668 RANDOM THOUGHTS 87
October 4, 2004
SAA AND RF
SAA board member Gary Buss wrote to clarify the SAA's position relative to my comments in Story 661
on the SAA White Paper: Understanding Stock Licensing Models .
He said, "We are always attempting to disseminate information to as many people as possible and what better way than with a reference in Selling Stock. One point I would like to address is your characterization of the SAA's stance as softening towards Royalty Free. While the white paper was intended to give a well-balanced overview of the current licensing models, the SAA feels strongly that Rights Managed is a superior business model for the photographer, now and in the future. We do not want your readers to think that the SAA now supports the Royalty Free business model or that it is a sound business decision for their future."
PACA 9th International Conference
The PACA 9th International Conference, being held this year at Hyatt New Jersey in Jersey City kicks off on Saturday Evening October 16th and goes through the 18th.
On Sunday morning Alan Meckler , CEO, Jupiter Media Corporation Inc; Haim Ariav , President, A21/Superstock and Jennifer Hurshell , SVP, Corbis will share their Visions of the Future for stock photography.
After lunch a panel of New York Art Buyers will share their perspectives on the industry. This will be followed by roundtable discussions on Digital Standards, Royalty Free and Legal Issues, and in the evening a cocktail party hosted by Image Source.
As always, there will be abundant time for private meetings and networking. To date more than 275 attendees from more than 140 International organizations in 25 countries are scheduled to attend making this event an ideal opportunity for U.S. and non-U.S. image sellers to network. When first hearing of the location some Europeans were less than excited to attend, but one European who recently stayed at the Hyatt on a New York business trip was impressed with the business facilities and the general atmosphere of the hotel and found room rates an excellent value compared with anywhere she had ever stayed in Manhattan. On top of that the hotel is only 15 minutes from Newark Airport and it only took this agent 10 minutes by PATH train to get to her meetings in Manhattan.
On Monday there will be sessions on Technology Today and Emerging Trends. For more details about attending the conference, and a full list of speakers, or for information about reserving one of the private conference rooms go to www.stockindustry.org .
Veer Modifies Strategy
Veer has notified its photographers - mostly those who were part of the Solus Brand that Veer acquired in November 2003 - that it is entering the next phase of its initiative to develop quality RM and RF collections. "The product development strategy has evolved from its sole focus on RM photography and one product brand to a larger, fully-integrated product build. We have a clear strategy and solid creative vision that includes a strategic, proactive approach to developing world-class photography that is able to compete at the top-end of the market and yield strong results for our photographers," said Don Wieshlow in his letter to photographers.
To support this strategy Veer is moving its North American photography editing from New York to its headquarters in Calgary and has hired a new art director to replace Phyllis Giarnese who had been the photographer's primary contact. They plan to build a multi-person product team that will include people with a variety of skill sets and be global in nature.
SAA Cautions Photographers On Blend Split
A photographer reading your report on Blend (Story 667 ) might think they could sign up and make 30% of every license. When would they ever see 30%? It is misleading not to clarify this further and say that they would actually NEVER be making more than around 10% of any license.
You have reported that Blend will not do any direct licensing and is only selling through other distribution channels. After the distributor takes their commission, Blend will net only 30-40% of the license fee at best, (ed. note: I think the percentage is higher, but the splits are not specified) and the contributor's split would be 30% of what Blend "nets", or around 10% of the actual license fee paid. That's a long way down from the 30% advertised.
You also reported that 30% is the highest percentage paid to photographers by any RF distributor in the industry. This is not accurate as Alamy and Fog Stock both pay 50% or more, and depending on the deal you've signed up for with Alamy, you could get as much as 75% of the gross RF license amount.
It's time that stock companies started standardizing how they explain their royalty terms. Every company should provide - and every photographer should expect to be told - what percent of the total (gross) license fees paid that a contributor will receive.
Unless that information is provided, many photographers will likely be confused over the terms.