has filed a formal Proposal to Creditors under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Canada ("BIA"). This is not a bankruptcy. The Proposal process will provide Masterfile the opportunity to restructure its business with the objective of returning to profitability. This process is similar to a Chapter 11 filing in the USA.
Inc. in Japan has acquired 80% of the outstanding stock of Topic Images Inc. of Korea from its parent companies, NEWSIS Co., Ltd. and NEWS1 Co., Ltd. for 130 million JPY ($1,164,780). The transaction took place on Feb 24, 2017. Topic has been selling high-priced stock images mainly in Korea, producing many of them by itself. Topic is now a subsidiary of PIXTA and will receive PIXTA’s strong support for its business operation. However, Topic is continuously conducting its own business as an existing company.
Given the declines in stock photo prices, it may be time for the industry to look for a new image pricing strategy. Yesterday I made an argument
for why the industry needs to price based on performance, or demand for certain images. There also needs to be a price floor for certain images that are in greater demand. Price should have little, if anything, to do with whether the image is exclusive or non-exclusive.
A professional stock photographer has pointed out to me that a long held tactic to price a premium brand of anything is that a higher price indicates higher quality. He argued this is why some photographers insist on selling their images as Rights Managed. They believe they are producing a higher quality product. They often go to a great deal of effort and expense to produce their images. As a result, they feel they are not only justified in charging more, but that it is the only way they can recover their production costs.
(IC), a leading photo and video agency on the Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, has signed a three-year exclusive agreement with the Chinese Super League (CSL), the country's most prestigious football league.
I was recently asked if I had any statistics on the number of unique RM/RF images available for commercial licensing. Last September Justin Brinson said he had more than 500,000,000 unique RM and traditional RF images (no microstock) on his PicturEngine
platform. These images were provided by 64 different agencies and a number of individual photographers.
More and more frequently RM photographers are receiving notes from their agencies, or the production companies representing their work, suggesting that they move some of their older images to RF. This make sense for images that might have been good seller at one time, but haven’t made any sales in the last year or so.
Some Getty Images RF contributors have begun to share sales data with iStock Signature contributors and are coming to the conclusion that they can earn more money from images in the iStock Signature collection than from images on Gettyimages.com.
Twenty-five to 30 years ago there was a large demand for stock images relative to supply. Prices to use a stock image -- while reasonable when compared to what it cost to hire a photographer for an assignment -- were much higher than they are today. It was possible for a professional photographer to produce a lot of images that no one wanted to buy, and still earn a decent living from the few that did sell.
It is that time when everyone talks about “trends” for the coming year. Getty offered an hour-long seminar on January 19, 2017 that can be reviewed in this youtube video
has launched a new, easy-to-use global photographer directory
with over 50,000 photographers from 11,000 searchable locations across 191 countries. Customers may search for a photographer in a specific city or town who specializes in one of 18 different categories of photography.
Erickson Stock has recently launched an RF collection
that is now available on PantherMedia
. For over 30 years Jim Erickson has been one of the US's preeminent commercial photographers and has created timeless imagery for hundreds of blue chip clients, including AT&T, American Express, Wells Fargo, Cisco, Pinnacle Entertainment, General Motors, HBO, Pfizer, Merrill Lynch, United Airlines and Home Depot.
The Getty Creative collection has grown by 4% in 4 months and now stands at 17,376,859 images. At that rate the collection size will be about 19,462,082 images by the end of 2017. In August 38% of the collection was RM images. Today 36.8% of the images are RM. At this rate of decline less than one-third of the images will be RM by the end of 2017. A huge percentage of these RM images are supplied by image partner agencies
that only, or predominately, represent RM images
A week after announcing that it had acquired 86.6 percent of Framepool
, Broadside Enterprises, Inc. (also known as Emaji) has announced that Frampool AG has entered into an agreement with ImagineChina
, one of the largest photo and video agencies in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
After my story last week on “High Level Thoughts On The Stock Industry
” John Fowler asked, “Have you found any encouraging information at all from any RM photographers? There must be some folks doing something that works for them.”
According to a document filed with Companies House in the U.K. (see here
) it appears that Rex Features Limited (owned by Shutterstock) lent Silverhub Media
the money necessary to purchase Splash
. In return Rex Features has received very extensive control over the activities of Silverhub with regard to certain unspecified assets.
Celebrity photo agency Splash News was sold to Corbis in 2011 and has now been acquired by SilverHub Media
. SilverHub Media recently did an exclusive deal with Shutterstock
for worldwide representation of the images in its collection. Thus, the Splash images should now be available through Shutterstock.
investors see the steadily rising number of images in the Shutterstock collection and the number of new content creators being added each quarter and come to the conclusion that there is no problem on the supply side of the stock photo business. But, having more and more product is not enough. It needs to be the right product that fulfills the customer’s needs. And the right images need to be easy for each unique customer to find.
Once Getty’s Unification Project
is fully implemented one of the issues Getty and iStock photographers will need to consider is where to upload new images in order to minimize effort and maximize sales and revenue.
As I pointed out in a previous article
I recently contacted a number of very successful photographers who, in the 90s, earned most, if not all, of their income from stock photography. After 2000, and despite a lot of continuing hard work and cost cutting, many saw significant earning declines and eventually had to look for something other ways to support themselves and their families.
If you think hard work, and continuing to produce better and better images is all that’s needed to make money in the stock photography business, think again. Here’s the story of one very successful photographer who started in the business in the late 1970s and how the last 16 years have impacted his business.
has gone public with a promotion to the 95% of design professionals that use stock photography. For the first time, buyers looking for a comprehensive all-in-one search tool can review and license photography from all industry sources – and get no duplicates.
has announced exclusive representation of the Built Images
stock library. With over 25,000 property-released photographs of contemporary commercial and residential architecture, interior design and home lifestyle, the “Built” collection is one of the most comprehensive and diverse image resources of its kind available for use in advertising and graphic design. This unique collection represents work from more than fifty of the top architectural photographers from the United States and around the world.
It does little good to blame someone else for how things have changed. We’re not going back to the old ways. The important thing is to figure out how to move forward. As might be expected not all readers agree with my take on where the industry is headed. A month or so ago a reader wrote: “When you write articles you must be impartial. The problem is you are very close to the Picture agencies that are destroying Photographer’s jobs. So its very difficult for you to be impartial.
A new stock photo source called Foto Sushi
, LLC has launched a custom library of unique portrait photography suitable for any project. This small collection of what many photographers will classify as very simple images is interesting because it was created by Jon Anderson, a seasoned Art Director and Creative Director, who believes he has identified an unfulfilled need of his colleagues – image buyers.