Speedpix Moves Ahead

Posted on 10/11/2000 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



October 11, 2000

Speedpix has instituted a policy of no up-front charges for contributing

photographers. A fee of $50.00 per image will be deducted from sales. Only 50% of

any royalty owed will be used to pay off the photographer's outstanding obligation

ensuring that the photographer gets some income with the first sale.

Speedpix has a very simplified pricing structure. All prices listed on the site are

for a single one-time use, and a one year license for the usage. Customers who want

multiple insertions or exclusivity must contact Speedpix to determine the prices for

those usages.

Editorial Uses   

Promotional Uses   

File Size   
















Mike Morrison's explanation for this pricing strategy is as follows: "If you try to

set up a small shop next door to a supermarket and your business model offers buyers

exactly what they are already getting in the supermarket in terms of quality, ease of

use, and price (albeit with a greatly reduced depth of coverage) - you would be a

little foolish to expect to gain market share from the supermarket.

"If you set up your little shop next to the supermarket, and your plan is to shout

out loud that you offer the same quality goods, with a much greater ease of use and a

much simpler - most times cheaper - pricing structure, you may have a chance of

taking sufficient market share to start rocking the boat.

"The only stock selling model which has come along in recent years and actually been

successful in taking market share from the big boys is Royalty Free. We hate royalty

free - but if you look at it from the buyers point of view you can clearly see why it

works - it offers something which is radically different - and advantageous to the


"If Speedpix is to be serious about becoming a major player in the stock game we must

do the same! The pricing structure we operate is very simple for the buyer to

purchase single time usage rights. However we still have the ability to offer both

Industry specific and complete exclusivity. We still charge extra for multiple

insertions and collateral usage (where the same image is used simultaneously in a

range of ways). Although our current top individual sale price is $600 we are often

seeing sales going over $2000 due to these factors.

"Speedpix is a quality product with a distinct advantage for the buyer. The only

thing which can potentially stop us building a highly successful photographer biased

selling machine - is the

photographers themselves. We need great photographers to believe in what we are doing

and to have the vision to give us some great work now!," Morrison concluded.

Speedpix had initially planned to only accept credit cards as payment for usages, but

before going live they learned that many major buyers have a centralized purchasing system

that does not lend itself to credit card payments on the spot. For this reason they

established customer account facilities.

Morrison estimates that approximately 75% of current sales have been paid via account

rather than direct credit card. It will be interesting to see how this figure

changes as we add more US based customers to our client base.

Speedpix has started advertising in the U.S. and currently has either half or full

page ads in every issue of Communication Arts. Ads have appeared in PDN, Photo Expo

Show guide, Photo Source book. Morrison says they will be increasing US advertising

coverage in magazines one at a time with careful analysis of results. They have

discovered in the UK that some publications produce a lot of interest whereas others

produce very little.

Speedpix also plans to do targeted direct mailings, telephone sales and direct

appointments with large buyers in targeted US cities. Because everyone is so busy

the biggest barrier to getting clients to use any new system is to get them to take

the first look. In the UK they have found that direct contact either by telephone or

by appointment is proving far more effective in actually creating new buyers than

simple advertising by whatever media.

When Getty Images decided to close down Planet Earth Pictures in the UK, there were

reports that photographers were trying to interest Speedpix in uploading a certain

segment of the images into their system.

Morrison reports, "There is a certain amount of mis-understanding here - due in part

to poor wording on the letter we sent out to photographers on this issue.

"We were approached by photographers asking us if we felt there was some way to

rescue Planet Earth.

"Having looked at the way in which this specialist library works (clearly a filing

cabinet based library where manual searches need to be made by expert staff for

obscure specific images) we made it clear that an on-line solution was not really a

good idea. We have provided support to those individuals who are hoping to set-up a

file based system at a new location in London. We also offer a facility where the

more commercial images could be marketed via an expanded wildlife section of the

Speedpix site.

"We polled PEP photographers from all over the world in an effort to see if they

would be interested in proceeding with a new file based library should it be a

possibility. We have received overwhelming support.

"In order to clarify the situation for the many photographers who are thinking,

wrongly, that we are taking over Planet Earth - we have set up a web page where

on-going information on this issue will be posted at

http://www.speedpix.co.uk/pep/ ."

Morrison continued.

Speedpix will be at Photo Expo East in New York in early November at booth 566, or

you can go to

www.speedpix.co.uk for more information.

Also see the original Selling Stock Story 256.

Copyright © 2000 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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