Random Thoughts 75

Posted on 3/6/2004 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



March 6, 2004

A21 Completes Acquisition of SuperStock

A21, Inc. has completed its acquisition of SuperStock and Haim Ariav, President of
a21, has been named President of SuperStock. Bill Beermann and Jim Ong, co-founders
of SuperStock, will step down from their roles within the company. Kai Chiang and
the balance of the senior management team of SuperStock will remain in place.

"We are very pleased to have completed this transaction," stated Albert H. Pleus,
Chairman of a21. "We see great opportunity in the image space - opportunity to
better serve buyers and photographers with compelling content and a simpler, more
rewarding experience. This acquisition will give us a platform from which to
demonstrate the a21 advantage to the global market."

"We believe our plans for a21 and SuperStock are timely and achievable," stated Mr.
Ariav. "Our focus on implementing a 'daisy-chain' acquisition strategy in parallel
with an organic growth overlay makes us confident our goals can be attained," he

At this point the specifics of any changes they expect to make to grow the company
are unclear. They do seem to be looking at other companies to possibly acquire.
And given Mr. Ariav's background they are exploring the possibility of getting
involved in assignment photography in some way.

ArtToday.com Changes Name To JupiterImages

Jupitermedia Corporation has announced that JupiterImages will be the new name of
its only image business previously known as ArtToday.com.

The subscription service of JupiterImages includes Photos.com, ClipArt.com and
FlashComponents.com. The offerings include royalty-free stock photography, photo
clipart, vector and raster clipart, fonts, sounds, animations, and editable Flash
source files called Flash components.

The Jupitermedia group of businesses includes JupiterImages, JupiterWeb,
JupiterResearch and JupiterEvents.

ZUMA Launches Reportage Division

ZUMA Press has launched an assignment division called zReportage that will
represent photographers and their personal projects. The idea is to push photo
essays, rather than individual pictures.

ZUMA director and founder Scott McKiernan told Photo District News, "I have no
delusion that this is going to be a monster profit center. Our interest is to tell
stories the world should be thinking about."


MAC Use By Creative Community

According to TrendWatch Graphic Arts 82% of design and production firms use
Macintosh as their primary operating system, but 65% use Mac OS 9 or earlier
operating systems. There has not been a big rush to OS X, despite the fact that it
has been available for at least three years.

It appears that one of the reasons for the slow transition to OS X is that there
was a long delay in the development of an OS X version of QuarkXPress. The OS X
version of Xpress (6.0) will start shipping this month, but the learning curve in
switching from 9 to X may give many designers pause and continue to slow the

Creatas Chooses Linux For Storage and Delivery Platform

Creatas, the corporate parent of Dynamic Graphics and PictureQuest, has chosen
Linux for its storage and delivery platform rather than the more commonly used
network-attached storage(NAS).

The company's IT gurus - Todd Moore and Brian Kohles - discovered that NAS costs
twice as much, delivers less I/O throughput and has fewer expansion options than a
Linux cluster.

Formerly PicturesQuest was on a Unix (Solaris) server and Creatas.com was on
Windows. Given the problems of backing up content and trouble-shooting problems
across two different platforms the goal was to migrate everything to one system.
The Linux cluster environment offered the most practical solution.

Scalability of the system was a big attraction. Creatas has 11 terabytes of data
now and they should be able to grow to 30 to 40 terabytes without a complete
redesign of the system.

Decline In Use of Film

Fuji's dependence on silver based products is decreasing rapidly in the digital
age. Traditional products such as film, photo paper, developing chemicals and
nondigital printers account for 42% of Fuji's sales, but that is expected to shrink
to 31% by 2007. Film, paper and processing represents 61% of Kodak's current sales
and is expected to still account for 43% of revenue in 2007.

New England Stock Photography Victims Group

Photographers who had images with New England Stock Photography may be interested
in NESP Victims Group.

A few years ago Rich James owner of NESP abruptly closed down his stock photo
operation, and failed to return most of the images or to communicate with the
photographers he represented. Some photographers have tracked him to a home in
Glastonbury, CT. They also claim that he maintains a phone and an address in
Evanston, IL. Some claim to have evidence that James is still licensing rights to
their images, but not paying photographers their royalties for usage.

The NESP Victims Group is seeking the assistance of the Department of Consumer
Protection of the State of Connecticut in getting their images returned. Based on
initial discussions there seems to be some hope of success.

Photographers with a claim against NESP, and interested in getting their images
returned, should contact: Eric Berndt, P-Tn, Inc., 6835 Lamar Avenue, Overland
Park, Kansas 66204 or email ericberndt@p-tn.com.

Communication Arts Illustration and Photography Competitions

The deadline for the 45th annual Communication Arts Illustration and Photography
competitions is March 15, 2004. This is an opportunity for photographers and
illustrators to promote their talent to creatives in the world's largest and most
important juried competition for illustration and advertising photography.

Selected, award-winning pieces will appear in Communication Arts magazine, in
either the July Illustration Annual or August Photography Annual. More than 72,000
copies of each Annual will be distributed worldwide, assuring the selected entries
important exposure to professionals in the field of advertising and design.

For submission guidelines, PDF entry forms and FAQ's, visit:
www.commarts.com/competition .

Copyright © 2004 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 301-251-0720, 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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