VPD, THP and the Changing Image Distribution Environment

Posted on 10/26/2007 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)


The Virtual Picture Desk (VPD) has chosen to use age fotostock's THP Photo Service to distribute images from VPD's 30-plus clients to distributors, and eventually customers, around the world. VPD will be adding more than 1.5 million professionally edited images to estimated  6 million THP is already offering to 120 distributors globally that directly or indirectly use the THP technology.

This is a good example of how the advent of digital technology has led and continues to lead to increasingly complex, and specialized levels of activity in the distribution between the image producer and the customer.

Previously, photographers would either deal directly with their customers, or have an agent who would handle the process of pricing and licensing for them. But, as the world becomes smaller, new systems are necessary.

Now, a photographer may supply images to a company that specializes in collecting images from a wide range of sources and prepare them for distribution. Such companies may farm out scanning and keywording to other specialist companies, often at additional fees charged the photographer.

In many cases, these image-collecting companies have little direct dealing with customers and look to other organizations to get the images to market.

VPD does not shoot or create images, but works with a number of companies that have amassed important collections. Usually, such companies have little or no direct dealings with customers outside their local area. VPD is focused on editing these collections with a view to global distribution and assisting the companies in finding distributors worldwide. VPD has not developed its own Internet distribution technology. Instead, it has gone to THP and other technology service providers for such services.

THP is a service solely aimed at providing technology that enables image suppliers with relatively small collections to connect with image distributors in small or specialized markets. In most cases, the suppliers cannot justify the expense of building a Web site with all the features necessary to market images worldwide. Similarly, the distributors usually have local customers and local market expertise, but cannot justify the cost of building and maintaining a site that will allow their customers to search for images in seven different languages 24/7. THP fulfils this role.

With this system, customers get access to a huge collection of images, and the distributors provide the services necessary to close the deals. Photographers are able to make their images available to a much broader market than before.







Copyright © 2007 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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