Veer Acquires Solus Images

Posted on 11/25/2003 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Veer has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Solus Images.
Financial terms were not disclosed. The agreement marks Veer's second acquisition
in just over a month. (The first was Jukebox Typeface Foundry of Hollywood, CA.)
These two acquisitions demonstrate the company's commitment to expanding its
business by bringing more of the content acquisition under its direct ownership or
control.


Under the agreement with Solus, Veer acquires all assets, including the right to
market and license the more than 10,000 images that make up the rights-managed (RM)
collection. The acquisition builds on a successful marketing and distribution
partnership established in January 2003, where Veer was named the exclusive
reseller of the Solus Images collection in the United States.


On the Veer site customers can now find: CSA Plastock, LuckyPix and Solus as
exclusive RM brands, and Graphistock, Index Stock, Nonstock and Pete McArthur as
non-exclusive RM photography collections. In the RF arena Veer represents Digital
Vision, Image100, Image Source, PhotoAlto, Rubberball and Stockbyte
non-exclusively, and it represents fStop exclusively. Veer also represents the work
of a number of other companies that produce illustration and type.


The acquisition of Solus marks Veer's entry into new content development. Phyllis
Giarnese, who has been instrumental in building the Solus Images collection for
almost three years, has been appointed Director of Content Development by Veer.
Giarnese has led the recruitment of photographic talent at Solus and through her
direction and editing expertise, crystallized the unique look of Solus. Prior to
joining Solus she held senior positions at FPG and The Black Book. Veer will assume
operation of Solus' New York office and Giarnese will continue to operate out of
that office.


"We are very pleased to have Phyllis join our team," said Drina Lazar, general
manager and founding partner of Veer. "She brings a wealth of experience to the
role. Her proven track record in photographer recruitment and her unique
understanding of both the creative and business sides of building a world-class
image library make her a natural choice for the position."


"The acquisition of Solus is a significant milestone in Veer's growth," said Brock
Bohonos, a founding member of Veer who is responsible for business development. "We
had conversations with several agencies. But the potential within the Solus library
really stood out. Their photography is conceptually solid and commercially
relevant, which we feel are qualities that our customers demand in stock imagery.
It also gives us an international distribution
channel for a strong brand that we can build upon. After nearly a year marketing
the Solus library as a 'Veer Exclusive', we're very pleased to own the Solus
collection."

Complement To Veer's Design-Driven Market Approach


"Early on, we identified creatives' need for a sophisticated rights-managed
collection that would stand out from typical stock and complement our design-driven
approach," continued Bohonos. "The Solus collection exemplifies these strengths,
rivaling the caliber of content of Stone and Photonica."


The Solus library strikes a balance between visual artistry and commercial appeal,
and offers a wealth of creative possibilities. The tightly edited collection
captures three distinct aspects of image making: executing assignment-level
concepts, putting a new spin on traditional subjects, and exploring personal
visions. By granting photographers a greater degree of creative freedom, Solus has
been able to recruit award-winning talent, many of whom were previously unwilling
to shoot stock, including such well-known assignment shooters as Michael Grecco,
Antony Nagelmann, John Churchman, Wild Bill Melton, and Robin Davis.


"By partnering with Veer, the Solus library has benefited greatly from the team's
talent and expertise in marketing, creative, and e-commerce," said Arie Kopelman,
president and co-founder of Solus Images. "Veer quickly became our top reseller.
There isn't another team in the industry with their track record. Now, by owning
the collection and investing in its ongoing development, the Veer team is poised to
lead the growth and expansion of Solus, and fully
realize our vision for the business."


Kopelman will be available to Veer on a consultative basis during the transition
and will continue to work with photographers with whom he has developed a special
relationship over the years. Veer has committed to produce the next scheduled Solus
print catalog for which some photographers have already supplied images. This book
will be made available to international distributors.


Bohonos made the point that, "we will need to develop a more specific RM marketing
vehicle going forward now that we have this collection." Veer has also identified a
significant customer base that is interested in RM and they intend to direct
specific RM marketing, separate from their RF promotions, toward these customers.
In the past year Veer has mailed almost 2 million catalogs and direct marketing
pieces to their customer base.


In a short period of time the existing Solusimages.com web site will be closed and
customers will be directed to the Veer site, but the Solus brand will be maintained
to take advantage of the following this brand has already developed.


Photographers will need to sign new contracts as the existing contracts are not
transferable. These contracts with revised royalty percentages will be presented to
the photographers shortly. However, given that there will now only be one cut
rather than two, photographers will probably find that they will receive a greater
percentage of the gross sale than was the case in the past.


"It has been a shifting landscape for photographers in the stock business for some
time now," said Solus photographer John Churchman. "As the industry advances and
changes, we're looking to partner with an agency that understands the creative
process, delivers results through sophisticated marketing, and respects our work. I
believe that Veer is such a partner, breathing fresh life into the industry, and
offering a viable alternative for stock
shooters."


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 301-251-0720, 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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