Corbis contributors have received the following information relating to the release from their contracts from Corbis & Unity Glory/VCG, the Chinese company that purchased Corbis.
Getty has supplied Corbis contributors with the information below. For many the most important information is that after May 2nd Corbis contributors who have not signed a separate agreement with Getty Images will be released from their contributor contracts and all survival periods will be waived.
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Getty Images collection. Getty’s collection was marketed in China by VCG before the sale. The new enlarged collection with the addition of some Corbis images will continue to be marketed in China by VCG.
Veer has closed its doors and photographers have been released from any contractual obligations they had with Veer. Images belong to Veer photographers have not been automatically migrated to iStock, but photographers can request a transfer and sign a new iStock contract if they wish. Effective May 2, 2016, the Corbis Images and Corbis Motion businesses and websites will no longer be accessible.
It seems to me that all VCG bought when they acquired Corbis was: (1) The right to put out a press release saying, “We are the largest stock photo source in China,” (2) The removal of Corbis content from ImagineChina, which many believe was previously the largest stock photo agency in China, and (3) We bought a company from Bill Gates. Rumor has it that Bill Gates was paid $225 million for Corbis.
Getty Images has contacted Veer contributors to explain what will happen to their imagery as a result of the sale of Corbis to VCG
. Their imagery will not be integrated into the Getty Images collection. Veer contributors may apply to iStock for possible upload of their content there. The memo says:
I’m getting a lot of requests from Corbis photographers that basically ask, “What should I do now!” Indications are that fewer than 20% of Corbis photographers will be offered Getty contracts. The actual number may be significantly less. Knowing who will and won’t be selected may not happen quickly. This story offers more thoughts on what's likely to happen and offers options for photographers to consider
In a previous story, I came to the conclusion that the Corbis properties VCG purchased probably generated in the range of $60 million in 2015
. Does that mean that after experiencing steadily declining Premium and Midstock revenue for several quarters Getty is likely to have a $60 million increase in 2016? I think the answer is No. Here’s a dozen reasons why.
The good news for Corbis photographers is that there will be no third cut before their royalty share is calculated. However, there are still a number of issues that aren’t clear. This story offers some additional clarifications and insights and a number of questions that are still unclear and need to be answered.
VCG acquired parts, but not all, of Corbis’ assets. To understand what this means for the industry, it is important to have some idea of the amount of revenue the acquired assets generated in 2015? For a long-time Corbis has been thought to be the third largest seller of stock photography in the world after Getty and Shutterstock. If this is true, then how much does the combination of a significant part of the Corbis collection with Getty Images change the industry?
Corbis and Visual China Group (“VCG”; Shenzhen Stock Exchange:000681.SZ) today jointly announced that Unity Glory International Ltd. (“Unity Glory”), an affiliate of VCG owned by VCG’s major shareholders, has acquired the assets and brands of Corbis’ Images division, one of the world’s leading image archives and content licensing businesses. VCG is China’s leading visual communications and new media company and among the largest businesses in the image industry worldwide. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
is changing. It is spinning off the right clearance aspect of its business known as Greenlight
and renaming it Corbis Entertainment
. It is our understanding that the rest of the company including Creative and Editorial licensing will be sold off and to some degree dismantled. It is unclear to whom these operations will be sold or exactly how the dismantling will occur, but more information is expected to be forthcoming later this week.
Sources tell me that Corbis representatives will be meeting with Visual China Group (VCG) next week in Beijing to discuss the Visual China’s possible acquisition of all, or part, of Corbis.
Rumors were flying in New York last week that Corbis
may be sold. The rumors are that Shutterstock
is interested in purchasing Corbis. The consensus seems to be that Corbis’ gross revenue is in the range of $100 million down from $225 in the mid-2000s. It is believed that about half of the gross comes from editorial and the other half from creative. (These figures may not include the rights clearance part of Corbis’ business.)
Under the title “Imagestate Media Partners Limited – In Liquidation” the Joint Liquidator in the UK reported on 6 March 2015 that Imagestate had been liquidated.
has acquired Rue des Archives
, the premier French archival photo library, and expanded the company’s range of historic imagery and personalities for licensing. Rue des Archives is an exceptional resource with photography ranging from the cave paintings of Lascaux to 21st century Parisian life.
, the world’s two largest agencies for food photography, have signed a global partnership agreement. The two companies, widely recognized as market leaders in high-end culinary photography, will join forces from March 1st 2015.
Yesterday, Shutterstock paid $33 million in cash to acquire London-based Rex Features
In the technology section of its website Crain’s New York Business
says, “The purchase of Rex puts Shutterstock in direct competition with Getty Images for a share of the editorial stock photography market, and ends long-held speculation that Shutterstock was looking to knock off its London rival.”
Will Adobe offer a tool that makes it possible for its Illustrator and InDesign customers to discover if the images they find on microstock sites (particularly Shutterstock or iStock) are also available at Fotolia where they can be purchased for much less?
Adobe has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Fotolia
for approximately $800 million in cash. Fotolia will be integrated into Adobe Creative Cloud
, providing current and future Creative Cloud members with the ability to access and purchase over 34 million images and videos.
There are widespread rumors that, in an effort to get out from under some of its crushing debt, Getty
hopes to sell its Editorial Division early in 2015. It has been reported that Q3 2014 sales for this segment of their business was about $65 million up 21% year-on-year. Editorial represents about 30% of the company’s gross revenue.
Last week Taylor Davidson published a list of 86 acquisitions and IPOs
in the imaging industry from 2004 to today. Included in his report are a lot of social media acquisitions that are probably of minor interest to my reader. In addition he left out a number of stock agency acquisition, many of which I believe are significant.
Image Makers Stock Photography, Art & Illustration
is looking for expressions of interest in purchasing the agency’s inventory which consists of 32,230 tightly-edited and extensively-keyworded digital images. Currently there are 172 individual artists, photographers & illustrators under contract.
Carlyle Group should be trying to sell Getty’s Midstock division (iStock, Thinkstock and Photos.com) to Shutterstock before the value of that segment of Getty’s business collapses. Carlyle should recognize by now that Getty Images has been a bad investment. It is the time to cut losses.
has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire WebDAM
, a leading provider of web-based digital asset management software.