Random Thoughts 82

Posted on 7/16/2004 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



July 16, 2004

a21 Sells Headquarters for $7.5 Million

a21, Inc. has announced the sale and leaseback of the Jacksonville, FL headquarters of its SuperStock subsidiary. The sale generated $7.5 million that will be used to reduce debt and increases cash.

"The sale of our headquarters allows us to prudently re-deploy our corporate assets to their highest and best use. With the proceeds from the building, a21 will reduce existing debt by approximately $5.6 million and add cash to reserves for acquisitions, future growth and business development," said Albert H. Pleus, Chairman and CEO, a21.

It is interesting to note that when a21 acquired the SuperStock assets in February 2004, the company was generating about $10 million in sales annually. A21 paid $2,600,625 in cash and notes that represented an aggregate purchase price of a little over $5.7 million.

SuperS tock has over 30 years of experience as a leader in the stock image industry and currently features over 900,000 images.

zefa Offering DV and Stockbyte Collections

zefa visual media group has greatly expanded their range of royalty-free imagery available with the addition of both the Digital Vision and Stockbyte collections. This adds over 80,000 high-quality single images and 450 CDs to their offering.

"We are proud to have found in Digital Vision and Stockbyte, two new co-operation partners who will enable us to offer our customers excellent, royalty-free images of exceptional image quality," confirms Tomas Speight, CEO of zefa visual media.

Zefa offers its material in over 70 countries throughout the world and has over 60 group partners licensing usage rights to the group's images via its global image portal

The Digital Vision collection of over 40,000 images and 350 discs will be added to the zefa web site and by the end of 2004 Stockbyte expects to have a portfolio of around 60,000 images on the site. With its new partners zefa can now offer a total of over 100,000 RF single images and 1,080 discs.

More CEPIC From Stockbyte

At the CEPIC International Congress Stockbyte regularly publishes a tabloid called IMAGE NEWS with pictures of Congress attendees and stories related to some of the events. While this publication heavily promotes Stockbyte it also includes a number of other stories of interest to people in the industry.

Jerry Kennelly, Founder and CEO of Stockbyte has made a PDF file of the IMAGE NEWS available to Selling Stock readers. There is also the great opportunity to place a face on people who you may have communicated with, but never had a chance to meet.

Hemera Adds Keith Levit Collection To Ablestock.com

Hemera has announced that it will be adding 2,500 architectural, landscape, lifestyle and environmental portraiture images from the Keith Levit library of over 100,000 images to its Ablestock.com offering.

Keith Levit is a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba. His work is widely recognized, and is often on exhibit throughout Canada. Levit has spent 25 years traveling through Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Images from the Levit collection are available for download at www.ablestock.com 6 or 12 month subscriptions, priced at $299 and $499 respectively. Single images are also available for $199 per image.

Kim Dixon, president and CEO of Hemera said, "Keith has a passion for photography and a legendary ability to capture the beauty of people and cultures from all over the world. The results are stunning and his images add a new dimension to Ablestock.com."

PictureQuest Upgrades Site

PictureQuest has launched a new, more powerful version of its current e-commerce site at www.picturequest.com . It is
using a new state-of-the-art data clustering technology infrastructure in an entirely new data center to ensure uninterrupted service and superior speed.

Creative professionals will now find unparalleled accessibility and tools to search, select, license and download images. They may search the entire library of RF and RM images in a single search without registration. With a completely revamped "My Account" tool, users can access all past licenses including prior-licensed images and pre-set their desired search preferences and license types.

In addition to a new look and feel, the new PictureQuest.com employed a massive data conversion project to ensure that its loyal customers enjoy a complete continuity of service. In total, over 500,000 images were re-processed, creating in excess of 3 million new viewable images. Customer histories for 416,000 companies were converted including all their associated shopping carts and lightboxes.

"We didn't want PictureQuest.com to be just another stock photography store on Internet Avenue," noted David Moffly, CEO of the Dynamic Graphics Group (parent of PictureQuest). "By combining speed, easy search, depth and breadth of inventory with the highest level of customer service, we are offering our clients and those visiting for the first time a consistent experience that effortlessly answers their image needs, while transforming their desktops into the ultimate digital stock resource. This new site is the culmination of nearly two years of work by our technology teams collaborating with our sales teams and I am extremely proud of their achievement."

"The real beauty of this technology solution for our customers is that they now have a comprehensive digital asset management tool at their fingertips, from which they can access and download any past purchase they've made from any one of the brands available through PictureQuest.com," said Lisa Platz, Director of Web Services.

Getty vs. Getty

The Los Angeles Times reports that the nonprofit J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty Images are in a trademark war over who owns the right to the Getty name.

It appears from court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles that the two organizations signed an agreement in 2002 to acknowledged that the Trust had the rights to the Getty name to sell photographs to the public from its museum bookstore and to scholars and publications in private transactions. Getty Images is allowed to use the Getty name when selling to business clients and "with occasional sales to individual consumers."

The dispute that has led to a suit arose when Getty Images started selling art prints through Amazon.com.

"We believe that Getty Images is damaging the value of the Getty Trust's trademarks by selling photographic prints to consumers on Amazon.com and other websites," says Peter Erichsen, vice president and general counsel of the trust. "This is also a breach-of-contract case. The contract is broadly worded to cover any sales to consumers. It definitely applies to sales on the Web."

Getty Images said in response that the contract "recognizes our right to do business with consumers on a limited and incidental basis. In the context of our $550-million-plus core business as a business-to-business imagery provider, any direct-to-consumer business we've done and are doing is, by definition, limited and incidental."

Buyer Interest in Color Management >

TrendWatch GraphicArts reports that in a recent survey 17% of design and production firms said they plan to invest in Color Management software and equipment. This was up from 9% a year ago. Some of this planned investment is due to improved business conditions in general, but it also recognizes that there is an increased need for, and interest in, Color Management.

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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