Random Thoughts 29

Posted on 2/24/2001 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



February 24, 2001

Randomeye Update

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

Allsport site.

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

Allsport site.

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

Stock Market.

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 .

Copyright © 2001 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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