Random Thoughts 70

Posted on 12/15/2003 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



December 15, 2003

Getty Rasises Estimates

At their Analysts Day on December 12th Getty Images announced that they expect revenue
for the 4th Quarter of 2003 to be between $128 and $130 million. This is up from their
estimate at the end of October of $124 to $128 million.

For Q1 in 2004 they expect to report revenue in the range of $137 to $142 million and
they expect their annual revenue for 2004 to range between $560 and $580 million. Thus
they expect to see between 8% and 12% growth for 2004.

Digital Camera Sales Rising

Camera manufacturers expect to sell 71.2 million digital cameras in 2006. That will be a
74% increase over the estimated 40.9 million digital cameras that will be sold in 2003.

Canon has said that they expect to sell almost 1 million SLR's with interchangeable lens
in 2003 and they estimate sales of 5 million in 2006. Canon expects to have 50% to 60%
market share for these cameras this year and to be above 50% through 2006.

The worldwide price of all digital cameras is expected to fall about 7% each year.

Pew Internet & American Life Project

The Pew Internet & American Life Project surveyed 1,677 U.S. adults to explore the use of
the Internet and other technology in America. One of the conclusions was that,
"Americans' love affair with technology is one of the defining characteristics of their

They identified 31% of the population that make up the "technology elite". 60% of this
elite are Generation Xers with an average age of 36 and another 20% are Young Tech Elites
with an average age of 22.

One of the disturbing findings for those looking to the future of print media is that
when the entire population was asked which of the following information sources --
Computer, Internet, Cell Phone, Email, Telephone, Television, Cable TV, PDA, Newpaper and
Magazine -- would be "very hard to give up". Magazines were at the bottom of the list
with only 13% of the total U.S. population saying they would find it hard to do without
them. Newspapers scored a little higher with 19% saying they would find it hard to do
without them.

On the other hand 36% couldn't do without Email, 39% couldn't do without the Internet and
40% couldn't do without a computer. Clearly more and more people get the information they
need and use from sources other than magazines and newspapers. This does not bode well
for those who are focused on producing imagery for use in print media.

For a free copy of the full 39-page report of the study go to


Personalized Ads

According to a recent TrendWatch study, Ad Agencies expect the key change in the
effectiveness of print in the next five years to be targeting. Mass-produced campaigns
will become less effective and personalization and customization will be the keys to
communicating a message effectively in the future.

The study indicates that graphic communication is now more about strategy than anything
else. The increased media mix means that any kind of marketing campaign now requires
extensive advanced planning. Campaign strategists must first define a medium or
combination of media that most effectively reaches the target audience that the client
wants to reach. Historically, print was an overwhelming and popular choice, but now the
marketers' choices are much more vast and interwoven. For more information about the
study go to: www.trendwatchgraphicarts.com.

This could lead to fewer buys of photography for large print media purposes. In addition,
the purchasing of rights for a "campaign" where the image is to be used in a wide variety
of different ways - many unspecified at the launch of the campaign - may become much more
common. Pricing such "campaign uses" will be critical and complicated. What might appear
initially as a relatively small part of the campaign, or a relatively small additional
risk, could mushroom into a major use of the image.

Hidden Internet Uses

Some companies are discovering that the most efficient way to promote their products and
services is through the Internet. If image producers fail to understand exactly how their
images will be used, and fail to price those uses appropriately they may give up a huge
amount of value that a particular image creates for very little money.

Here's one example. An architectural photographer recently discovered that one of his
images of a hotel exterior had been put on the hotel's sales and marketing web site to
promote the hotel without his authorization.

As he began to research this usage he discovered that the images appeared on 155 separate
Internet portals that were promoting the hotel in the U.S. Canada and the UK. All these
sites were taking reservations. The photographer assumes there are many other portals in
other countries also acting as marketing agents for the hotel, but he hasn't identified
them yet. His image appeared on every one of these sites in different layouts and
different presentations. On average, the image appeared in various sizes, over 9 times on
each portal.

This raises several interesting issues. First, what should someone charge for this type
of use. Most sellers think of Internet use as being on a single URL, and appearing only
once on the site. In many cases that is what happens. But, in this case the use is very
much like multiple insertions in a magazine, or a series of magazines. Normally, in the
print environment we would charge a fee for the first insertion and a percentage of that
fee for each additional insertion.

My guess is that almost no one is charging for extra exposure on other portals because
most people haven't figured out that this is taking place. Having 155 portals marketing
your product is likely to generate a lot more revenue than if just one or two portals
were marketing the product. Companies that advertise on multiple portals, but only pay as
if they were advertising on one, are getting a lot of advertising and promotional value
for a very low fee.

Another interesting question is whether companies, like hotels, are discovering that they
don't need to allocate as much money for print promotions anymore because they can reach
their customers much more effectively using the Internet. This certainly won't happen in
all industries, but it may happen in many.

It is also important to consider that since high-resolution imagery is not necessary for
Internet use customers may come to rely more on RF and Subscription images, and less on
RM images where rights must be specified.

Sufficient Model Releases

When do you need a model release and what should it say? There are no absolute answers to
this question.

No one can tell whether a model release is sufficient, or not, without examining the
contents of the release, as well as the specific intended use. To guarantee that a
release is adequate, or not needed (in some editorial situations), is a dangerous
position for any seller to take if that seller does not have specific information about
the intended use.

In license agreements customers should be held responsible for the uses they make of
images. The customer should be required to examine relevant releases and determine if the
language is sufficient to allow the planned use, or accept the liability if for any
problems that arise.

PACA recommends that the following language be included in every invoice or license

    "No model releases or other releases exist on any images unless (individual or company)
    specifies the existence of such release in writing. Recipient shall indemnify (individual
    or company) against all claims arising out of the use of any images where the existence
    of such release has not been specified in writing by (company). In any event, the limit
    of liability of (individual or company) shall be the sum paid to it per the invoice for
    the use of the particular image involved. User will hold (individual or company) harmless
    from all claims for the use of the images, including defamatory use. (Individual or
    company) give no right or warranties with respect to the use of names, trademark, logo
    type, registered or copyrighted designs or works of art depicted in any image, and the
    client must satisfy himself that all necessary rights, consents or permissions as may be
    required for reproduction are secured."

Some archives and portals want to specify to their customers that all images have
satisfactory releases and then put the onus on the photographer to indemnify the archive
if a release is later determined not to be satisfactory. That is a dangerous position for
photographers to take, if people or property are part of the picture, no matter how solid
the photographer might think his signed releases are. (See Story
577 "Property Release

A better strategy is to put the onus on the customer, force him to make a determination
as to whether the available releases are satisfactory (because he knows how the image
will be used), and the context of the use. Make the customer responsible if courts later
determine the release was not satisfactory.

The only way the archive or photographer should take responsibility is if the buyer has
fully disclosed to the seller exactly how the image will be used, including all relevant
copy. That seldom happens.

As lawyer Ed Greenberg of Greenberg & Reicher puts it, "Venturing opinions on unseen
legal documents is akin to criticizing unseen photographs on technical or artistic

FutureStock Offers Large File Sizes

FutureStock Corporation ( www.futurestock.com ) has
developed a strategy to provide
customers with RF images in file sizes up to 700 MB. These images are tailored to exactly
fit the customer's file needs. The company also offers exclusive comping software and
seamless access to color-managed ICC compliant, wide format output that make it possible
for clients to complete their projects without ever leaving www.futurestock.com. They
expect this service to be particularly attractive to trade show designers and others
designing projects that require large printing outputs.

Andrei Lloyd, formerly with The Stock Market, has been appointed company president. Lloyd
will be responsible for developing worldwide marketing and sales, expanding the existing
image collection, and managing the overall strategy for the company's innovative products
and services.

Initially they are offering only RF images on their site and have over 100,000 images
from brands like Digital Vision, Rubberball and Brand X Pictures. They take the standard
file sizes offered by these companies and using proprietary interpolation technology res
the files up to whatever size the customer needs, up to 700MB. By going to FutureStock
customers can purchase an RF image and have it resed-up to the size and crop they need
all in one step.

When necessary, the company will also res up files provided by their customers.
FutureStock is a sister company to NancyScans, a leader in digital fulfillment, and
consequently has the unique ability to offer a total solution, working with individuals
during the entire span of the project, from image selection to final output.

"FutureStock is the only company that offers clients the flexibility of Royalty Free
while providing them with a range of valuable services," said FutureStock founder John
Olson, who is also the CEO of NancyScans. "We understand that 'one size fits all' should
not apply to the creative industry, where each project has its own specific needs."

FutureStock's CompWizard allows users to select an image or images and design
professional comps within minutes, plus add fonts, graphics and logos all at the click of
a button. CompWizard also offers pre-designed templates, if desired.

For creative professionals requiring quality wide format printing, FutureStock's ICC
compliant processes guarantee accurate, repeatable color and enables clients to
seamlessly order printed comps or take their projects all the way through to final

Royalty-Free Franchise Launched

Stock Media Corporation has launched StockRF.com that provides a turn-key solution for
small to mid-sized stock agencies to offer RF images under their own brand.

There are no upfront charges. StockRF retains 20% of gross licensing fees, or resellers
may opt to pay a flat monthly fee and receive 50% of sales. Participating agencies can
save significant time and money with this service because StockRF handles content
acquisition, editing, keywording, technology, hi-res online storage and image
fulfillment, as well as limited marketing support. Agencies can also elect to have
StockRF handle accounting, or do so themselves.

It's clear that agencies are losing far too much time and capital to handle everything
that's necessary to service the lower priced, royalty-free needs of their clients," says
Stock Media CEO Randy Taylor. "We provide an e-commerce solution that tremendously
reduces an agency's costs and technology headaches while paying the highest percentage
available to image providers." For more information contact rtaylor@stockmedia.net.

Stock Media also offers an image fulfillment service for RM images to companies that need
centralized, online digital asset management with controlled-access. This service offers
end-users the ability to resize images "on the fly" at the time of download and to
receive them in color or B&W in TIFF or JPG formats.

Corbis Represents WLIW Footage

Corbis Motion has entered into an exclusive partnership to represent the High-Definition
(HD) aerial footage collection of WLIW New York Public Television. WLIW is the fourth
most-watched public television station in the U.S.

Corbis Motion will represet WLIW's "Visions" serices, which contains flyovers of such
remarkable locations as Northern and Souther Italy, Sicily and Greece, with commissions
for numerous countries showcasing the unique and dramatic beauty of these places.

"WLIW shoots hundres of hours of aerial footage for documentary, educational and
entertainment programming," said WLIW President and General Manager Terrel Cass. "We look
forward to the increased potential for this amazing content that Corbis Motion's
representation and distribution will provide."

Index Stock and Photolibrary.com Extend Partnership

Index Stock Imagery and Photolibrary.com
of the UK will be extending their partnership
with Photolibrary.com uploading approximately 50,000 of Index's high-res images over the
next six months. These images will be available for licensing on Photolibrary.com web
sites in the Asia Pacific region as well as the UK. Photolibrary moved to a totally
digital platform about two years ago according to CEO Glenn Parker.

Photolibrary.com has offices in Sydney and Melbourne in Australia and other territories
within the Asia Pacific region. Their business model is based on being a distributor of
niche library content, which will be stronger when grouped together into a single source.
Photolibrary.com has bout 400,000 high-res images available online in Asia Pacific and is
looking to expand its presence further in both this region and elsewhere.

PanoramicImages.com Uses Archivia Search Engine

PanoramicImages.com launched its site
in November using Emsix's Archivia engine that
provides a complete solution for online search, sales, and delivery of stock media
assets. Vistors to the site can use keywords or one of the many category and
cross-reference search capabilities built into the Archivia system.

Panoramic had a very tight site design and development schedule of three weeks and Emsix
was able to bring the site online in that time frame.

Panoramic Images' CEO, George Sinclair said, "When we decided to create a new website for
the company, we knew that the strength of our images would speak for itself. It was
imperative that the site be simple and easy-to-use. On the other hand, we needed a
comprehensive online repository that would give our customers the power to search our
vast collection, then purchase and download images all in one stop. I could not be more
impressed with the result. Archivia is a rock-solid platform, and the turnaround time was

San Diego Zoo Partners With The Virtual Picture Desk

The Zoological Society of San Diego, which operates both the San Diego Zoo and the San
Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park, announced a management services agreement with the Virtual
Picture Desk to develop and manage the Society's licensing services for its photograph

The Society's photograph library consists of more than 450,000 images, some dating back
to the Zoo's inception in 1916. The Virtual Picture Desk will provide business services
to the Society's image collection to continue the expansion and preservation of its
library. The Virtual Picture Desk will conduct services such as editing, library
management, distributing, business development and publishing partnership.

"We are excited about this opportunity in developing the Zoological Society of San
Diego's licensing business," said George Sinclair, executive director for the Virtual
Picture Desk. "The Society's subject matter of wildlife and plants are a wonderful
addition to the other unique and specialized collections that we are currently

The Virtual Picture Desk, who's principle activity is providing business and technology
services, library management and content licensing, is managed by a group of industry
experts and creative partners under the leadership of executive director, George

The not-for-profit Zoological Society of San Diego, dedicated to the conservation of
endangered species and their habitats, engages in conservation and research work around
the globe. The Zoological Society manages the 100-acre San Diego Zoo, the 1,800-acre San
Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park (more than half of which has been set aside as protected
native species habitat) and the Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES), and
is working to establish field stations in five key ecological areas world-wide.

Copyright © 2003 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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