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It seems likely that we will see some major shifts in the stock photography business as the three major players – Getty Images, Shutterstock and Adobe/Fotolia – jockey for position in a market that is experiencing very little, if any growth. At the end of 2014 Getty’s total revenue
will be somewhere around $870 million, but $260 of that will be editorial. Shutterstocks will be about $328 million
and I estimate Fotolia’s at somewhere in the range of $110 million.
has been awarded $403,500 in a copyright infringement case against educational publisher John Wiley & Sons. The publisher was found to have used 6 images outside the scope of the license agreement. The case was heard before a jury in the Federal District Court the Northern District of Illinois.
Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") changed the rating outlook of Getty Images, Inc.
to negative from stable due to continuing declines in Midstock revenue. Moody's also revised its forecast indicating very high leverage over the next 12 months with reduced free cash flow. Moody's affirmed the B3 Corporate Family Rating, B3-PD Probability of Default Rating.
Margi Sheard of the Greatstock (www.greatstock.co.za)
agency in South Africa recently published a story that raised an important issue about the world’s perception of Africa and the African people. The news media’s focus on tragedy and problems often provides an inaccurate picture of the real Africa, but it raises the issue of whether there is any way for photographers to do more to show the world the real Africa of the 21st century.
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.
has added new features to its successful mobile app Stockimo that was launched last February
. To date more than 180,000 images have been submitted through the app and 99,000 have been accepted for marketing. These images can be found among the almost 53 million images on Alamy.com using the keyword “Stockimo.”
The crowdsourcing site FOAP
has raised a fresh $2.3 million in funding from some interesting names like CNN Worldwide President, Jeff Zucker; CEO and Co-Founder of VaynerMedia, Gary Vaynerchuk; Upshot Chairman and Protagonist LLC Partner, Jordan Rednor; and CEO of Delivery Hero, Niklas Ostberg, among others. The company raised another $1.5 million
in August. Total funding now stands at roughly $5 million but they’re not quite ready to call this a Series A yet.
contributors have been advised that on January 15, 2014, the accounting operations of Getty Images and iStock will be combined into one unified system. Since Getty acquired iStock in February 2006 the two brands have been operated as separate businesses with separate accounting departments.
On Monday I mentioned several search innovations
that Shutterstock is testing at Shutterstock/Labs
. Most of these ideas were developed during company wide hackathons.
Scoopshot is the latest to jump on the embed bandwagon. When users find an image they want to use they have the option of paying the listed price for a download or “Use For Free.” Get more information about how it works.
has announced a partnership between WIX
and its Bigstock
brand. Wix is a website creation tool designed for small businesses with 56 million users in 190 countries. Wix offers a “drag n' drop website building platform with HTML5 capabilities, 100s of designer made templates, top grade hosting, innovative Apps and tons of features for free.”
Recently Getty Images has started allowing its customers to organize their search returns by the “Most Popular” images as well as the default “Best Match” that has been the only option for years. I thought it would be interesting to see which photographers that shoot people produce the work that is in greatest demand at Getty images. I looked at the first 500 images returned when a customer does a search for “People” and narrowed the search to “Most Popular,” “RF only” and only photography.
has reported $83.7 million in revenue and total downloads of 31.2 million for Q3 2014. About 30 percent of the revenue was paid out to contributors in royalties. At the end of the quarter the company had 491 employees worldwide. The average price per download was $2.65 up from $2.35 in the previous quarter and an 13% increase compared to Q2 2013. This increase in the average price was due primarily to a growing number of Enterprise and Video sales.
, Inc. has introduced Sequence
, an in-browser editing tool designed to provide an easy way for anyone to create and quickly share videos with colleagues and clients. Sequence allows users to seamlessly integrate their own footage and music with Shutterstock’s collection of more than 2 million high-quality video clips and music tracks to spark inspiration and bring their vision to life.
Are more and more of your customers asking for RF licensed because they must have the flexibility to use the image in any way that develops and for an unlimited period of time? Hans Halberstadt of MilitaryStockPhoto
used to dismiss inquiries for RF licenses out of hand, but in recent years has found that many of his ad agency customers insist on the flexibility of an RF licenses.
Dreamstime, Inc. is experiencing massive growth via their newly released app, Dreamstime Companion
launched in July on iOS and Google Play. The app allows smartphone users to access the Dreamstime community and upload their mobile photos via their mobile devices. In about three months approximately 30,000 mobile images have been added to Dreamstime’s 25 million image collection.
has announced the opening of its first office in Australia in order to support strong growth across Australia and New Zealand.
In the olden days (20th Century) when someone wanted to promote a product of service they placed an ad (that usually included a photo) in a magazine, newspaper or on TV. Many photographers were paid substantial fees for the use of their photos in these ads. Now the future of advertising may be in social media and embedding images. See here for how this could dramatically change the market.
One of the most interesting panels at the Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA formerly known as PACA) annual conference in New York this week was on “Opening New Markets Through Image Embedding.” Back in March Getty Images launched its Image Embed Tool
and made 35 million images available for free embedding on social media sites. That number has now jumped to about 50 million.
Using numbers from Getty Images it is interesting to look back at the RM and RF unit sales and revenue trends over the last decade. Between 2003 and 2007 when Getty was a public company they provided investors with very precise gross revenue and average price per image figures. This made it possible to make a reasonable estimate of the number of images licensed in each category.
has adopted Solr search technology to power its online stock footage search and screening platform. The newly deployed search engine allows Footage.net to better manage huge datasets, organize diverse metadata fields, perform a vast number of simultaneous searches and filter search results dynamically. It's also extremely fast, significantly expediting the footage search and discovery process for Footage.net's global user base.
Did you know that it is illegal to license for commercial use pictures of hundreds of the most popular, beautiful and interesting venues around the world? In many cases it is also illegal to use such pictures for editorial purposes.
In the case of Grant Heilman Photography
, Inc. vs. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. before Judge Michael M. Baylson in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania a jury has found in favor of Grant Heilman and awarded them the amount of $127,087 for the unauthorized use of a total of 53 images.
Many stock agencies focus on the number of images they have in their collections. But does the customer really care? Rather than numbers, I think the customer is looking for where they can find (1) the right image, (2) quickly and easily and (3) at a price they can afford. Often sheer numbers don’t produce the best results.