343 RANDOM THOUGHTS 24
October 11, 2000
Getty Images has filed to trademark "1" and "One". So far there has been no response
from the trademark office, but one day everyone may have to pay Getty a royalty to use
"1" or "One."
Third Quarter Revenues For Getty Images
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Getty Images lead investment banker, said on October 6th,
"GETY Remains a Top Pick." Previously MSDW had estimated Getty's revenue for the third
quarter (ended September 30th) at $127 million. This would be a rise in revenue of
only $3.5 million, compared with the 2nd quarter, despite the fact that Getty should
have had a revenue boost as a result of the olympics and the presidential campaign
according to what Jonathan Klein told investors at the end of the 2nd quarter.
Now, MSDW has revised their estimate slightly to say they believe "Getty will report
somewhere between $125 and $130 million in revenue. At $125 million that is only a
$1.5 rise in revenue for the quarter. In investment banking circles to put a lower
bottom number on revenues six days after the end of the quarter discussed is
significant, even though it is only two million lower. Getty won't report its 3rd
quarter revenue number officially until sometime in early November.
Rebecca Runkle of MSDW also said in an earlier report that the eroding value of the
Euro may represent a near term risk for Getty Images as nearly 30% of its sales are
generated in that region.
This coupled with the Forbes article that we mentioned in Randon Thoughts 23
and Getty's current stock price of around $24 per share may mean some rough days ahead
for Getty Images.
Getty's Sales By Market Segment
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter reported Getty Images sales my market segment as follows:
They said that Stone's average sale per image is $700. If film is included along with
Corporate and Advertising 85% of Getty's business is aimed at this top end of the
market. It is also interesting that only 12% of Getty's sales are to the Magazine and
Publishing fields. I believe that worldwide Magazine Editorial and Book Publishing
represent closer to 25% of the total market revenue.
TIB Contract Addendum
TIB is distributing a new contract addendum to photographers. One of the issues is
return of images. The addendum promises to return all core images within 60 days which
is a big improvement over previous contract which had no time limit. However, for all
other images which for many photographers are better than 95% of what they have filed
with TIB, the company to look for them for three years, but if they haven't been found
in that time TIB (Getty) is absolved of any responsibility to find or return them.
There is no definition as to how hard they will look before declaring images lost.
Given the Chuck Mason story that appeared in PDN in July,
www.pdn-pix.com/news/arts_0700/art1.html and the huge number of images sitting in
warehouses, many for more than three years, this appears to be a back door way to dump
that material as well as a lot of other images rather than going to the trouble of
So far every photographers I have talked is rejecting this addendum on the basis of
this issue alone, even though there are a lot of other issues within the addendem that
give them cause for concern. if no other.
Sygma Executives Resign
Sygma General Manager Jean-Marc Smadja has submitted his resignation and will be leaving
the company on October 15th. Editorial Manager Eric Preau left the company at the end
of September and Jean-Francois Limelette, Financial Manager has also submitted his
Is Corbis following Getty's lead in trying to move beyond stock in an effort to get a
share of the assignment business? Some photographers were concerned recently when an
employment ad appeared on Monster.com for an "outside sales position targeting the
The ad went on to say, "This position is responsible for identifying, developing, and
managing relationships with advertising and graphic design clients in order to obtain
assignments for photographers by means of outbound telemarketing, direct sales, client
demos, sales events and presentations. Responsible for negotiating fees and rights and
drafting client proposals and contracts for assignments as well as stock image license
It turns out that the ad was placed by Marcel Saba and the person hired will be
reporting directly to him. The aim is to generate advertising assignments for the
editorial photographers represented by Saba. Saba has been involved in doing
assignment -- beyond the normal editorial type or work -- for many years, but
photographers who have been represented by Saba for a long time claim it is a miniscule
part of the operation.
This doesn't sound like a major foray into the assignment business and Corbis says they
have no plans to start an assignment business.
Corbis Selling Reuter & AFP Images
Corbis has a deal with Reuters and AFP that allows them to license rights to the images
these companies produce after a one week embargo.
These images are placed in the Corbis database on a daily basis and compete directly
with the images produced by editorial photographers formerly with Sygma and Saba.
Photo agencies used to limit the competition within a particular agency to a coverage
of a particular event. That is now a thing of the past. Any freelance photographer
covering an event where a Reuters or AFP photographer is present knows that his work
will be directly competiting with those images -- through his agency. If he can't
produce something totally unique from what the others are producing, he might as well
go home. The freelancer, of course, is working on speculation. The photographers
working for Reuters and AFP are paid a salary, or a day rate.
Dirck Halstead "Saying Goodbye to Sygma"
In his October editorial on www.digitaljournalist.org Dirck Halstead speaks strongly
about the situation at Sygma.
He reports that Steve Davis has said that Corbis does not want to co-produce any
journalistic projects and points out that if this is fact it may have signed the death
warrant faor freelance photojournalism.
In talking about the "mega agencies" he says, "What these giants wanted (when they
purchased the agencies) was the archives. What they did not want was to fork out more
money for new coverage. The acquisition of those archives meant -- in their minds --
they need no longer deal with the world of journalism."
For anyone interested in photojournalism, the article is worth reading and thinking
Searching For Your Images Online
Photographers should be able to search for their own images at online sites where their
work is represented. Here are some of the reasons:
They need to be able to determine if all their images are actually coming up when
searches are done on a particular subject. Mistakes happen and the photographer ought
to have the right to check, and correct, mistakes.
They need to determine the effectiveness of the keywording and make suggestions,
If there are subject areas where they have produced images and none of their
images come up when a search is done, they need to understand why.
When a client calls a photographer looking for images, the photographer needs to
be able to tell the client how to fine HIS images online. If the client later finds
images from a competitor by doing a broader search that is too bad, but the
photographer ought to have the ability to focus the client's initial search.
Knowing how many images have been selected on a particular subject helps the
photographer adjust his shooting. If the photographer has five images accepted on a
particular subject, but his agency has 150 images on that subject on their site the
photographer may not want to supply anything else on that subject. If he is going to
shoot more on the subject, he should make sure that the results will be better than the
others already available.
What's Needed In The Online Environment
A digital database that consolidates small suppliers in a way that will enable
them to effectively market worldwide.
Participation costs would be at a level the small and specialist supplier could
Buyers could use the database to easily find the right image, or the right
supplier for their particular specialist need of the moment. The database would have a
broad cross section of subject matter, and a depth of selection in every specialist
area. To accomplish this the database would be aimed at providing fast and efficient
digital search, not necessarily full e-commerce delivery.
Customer acceptance of a "scan-on-demand" strategy. In such cases the file size
shown for selection may be perfectly satisfactory for the editor to determine if he or
she wants to use the image. It may also be satisfactory for many small print uses.
However, the file may not have sufficient data for a full or double page ad use of the
image. When larger uses are contemplated, it may be necessary to re-scan the original.
The buyer may have to wait an hour, or a day, to get the file size necessary. This
may not be the optimum in customer service but in the long run customers will
eventually be faced with the choice of accepting "scan-on-demand," or living with a
very limited selection of imagery.
Buyers need to recognize that it may be in their long term best interest to encourage
suppliers who adopt a "scan-on-demand"
strategy because it is these sellers who will be able to afford to offer a better
selection of imagery in the buyers specialist area.
A system that offers customers easy access to a broader analog files when the
digital selection is not sufficient.