382 RANDOM THOUGHTS 29
February 24, 2001
We reported that Randomeye has a new strategy of charging agencies 10% of sales. It
turns out that many of the agencies currently on the site are getting a free ride and
aren't paying anything.
Getty tells us that they have no contract with Randomeye and that they are not paying
anything for the service at the present time.
They acknowledge that they are getting traffic, but don't seem to know how much. They have
no idea as to whether the traffic is generating any sales.
All the PhotoDisc, Eyewire, Stone, TIB, FPG and Eyewire Footage images that are being
shown through Randomeye are simply grabbed by the Randomeye spider. The same is
probably happening with most of the other sites.
It appears that initially Randomeye has simply connected to a lot of sites free of
charge in an effort to try to demonstrate their capabilities. Now they are going
these companies -- presumably with traffic statistics -- to try to negotiate deals.
They say that since January 8th they have been de-listing agencies who were unable or
unwilling to enter into an agreement with Randomeye.
The major point is that the "10% of sales" strategy that we mentioned in the earlier
article may not be solid, and may be open to negotiation. It is our opinion that
most agencies would have trouble justifying a payment of this size for this service
unless Randomeye is prepared to spend a huge amount of money on advertising and
Allsport Copies Empics Web Site
Almost two years ago Empics, a leading sports photo agency in the UK, launched
TheSportArchive.com aimed at offering sports fans pictures of their favorite players.
The site has more than 380,000 images to choose from and the format has been very
successful according to Phil O'Brien, CEO of Empics.
Allsport, a Getty Images company, liked the idea so much that rather than developing
something of their own, they copied Empics' format almost exactly. They called their
site sportsfanarchive.com and lifted the terms and conditions and help section from
Empics' site. They even used Empics trading name, "The Sport Archive", twice on the
Empics' lawyers have sent a "strongly worded letter" to Allsport's London office
seeking damages, costs and demanding that the pages be immediately removed from the
Given Getty's money losing experience in trying to sell to consumers through Art.com,
they may have concluded that the only chance for success was to carefully copy
someone who has figured out how to do it right.
Getty And Corbis Pursue Web And Power Point Users
Getty has launched gettyworks.com aimed at those image users who need images for the
web and Power Point projects. The user can pays as little as $4.95 per image, or they
can buy an annual subscription for $99.95.
Corbis has a site called BizPresenter.com aimed at the same customers. Prices on the
Corbis site start at $7.95 for presentation use and $14.95 for web use, and $19.95
for print use. So far they do not have a subscription option, but they anticipate
adding that and other features in the near future.
All images on both these sites come from their Royalty Free collections. The only
images being made available for these reduced prices by Getty are images that have
been online for at least a year.
Within the last few months both companies raised their Royalty Free pricing. Now with
these prices they are undercutting their own RF rates in much the same way that RF
undercuts Rights Protected rates when the file size needed is very small. If
customers need a larger file size they are directed to PhotoDisc, EyeWire or Corbis
Images for the higher pricing.
Many Stone, TIB and FPG photographers were concerned about these low prices, but
Getty has advised them that only Royalty Free images are being offered to this
Zefa Acquisition of Benelux Closes
It is believed that Zefa's acquisition of Benelux has closed. The combined annual
sales of the two companies is approximately $30 million.
New Sygma Images Going Online
Corbis is uploading about 500 new images per day from the production of the Sygma Paris office.
This works out to over 125,000 images per year. This does not include Tempsport or
other Paris production. The non-selects are being filed in the Paris office and are
not being returned to the photographers.
At this point they are not making any projections as to what portion of the
historical file (images shot prior to the Corbis purchase) will be digitized and what
percentage of that work has already been completed.
Corbis Promotions And Resignations
Leslie Hughes has been named president of Corbis' newly formed Markets and Products
Group. This group represents the consolidation of three formerly separate business
units -- professional licensing, consumer, and business communicator -- under a
single brand strategy.
Hughes now has responsibility for all of Corbis' revenue centers as well as corporate
marketing, commercial and editorial photography and customer service.
Andrei Lloyd has been appointed a vice president and chief operating officer of The
Marcel Saba has been appointed a vice president of editorial photography worldwide.
Francois Hebel has been named vice president of editorial photography for Europe.
Saba will rely heavily upon division heads Jody Potter, Jim Roehrig, Francois Hebel
and Charlie Borst for leadership, counsel and support.
Helen Finney who has managed the London office of Sygma has resigned and will be
leaving at the end of February.
Elsner No Longer With SuperStock
After a little more than a year as CEO of SuperStock, Gary Elsner has now returned to
consulting. Elsner was Vice President of Sales and Marketing at FPG for many years
and served that company for more than 30 years. He is available to advise
photographers in their upcoming contract negotiations.
He emphasizes that photographers need to get a very clear contractual definition as
to what rights they have to sell the images that are about to be returned to them by
Getty and Corbis. "Depending on the agency's definition of 'similars' the
photographers may have no right to license a large portion of the images that are
being taken out of circulation and returned," Elsner pointed out.
He also believes that photographers should insist on getting better statistics and
better financial reporting than has been provided up to now. For more background on
Elsner see story 199 .