a21 Unveils Plans for MediaMagnet

Posted on 9/26/2007 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

In addition to moving closer to profitability, the recent consolidation and restructuring of a21 operations was intended to free up cash resources needed to launch new products and support existing ones. Today, a21 announced plans for an online royalty-free stock-licensing business MediaMagnet.

a21 CEO John Ferguson does not have a negative view of the current state of the stock industry. Instead, he sees growth opportunities arising from weaknesses that have limited the utility of existing stock-licensing sites.

MediaMagnet has been conceived to overcome these weaknesses. According to a21, its research and customer polls reveal that creative professionals want a site that provides relevant content, ease of use, value for price, speed, fun and a sense of community.

Despite the focus on community, MediaMagnet is not a microstock agency.

Though hard numbers have yet to be finalized, Ferguson indicates that pricing is currently envisioned to be in the range of $80 to $150 per image, which places MediaMagnet on the low end of traditional royalty-free pricing. This price point is higher than Getty Images' new Valueline collection and other midstock products, but lower than high-end royalty-free brands. For example, Getty offers print-resolution images by ImageSource and Stockbyte for $100 to $200, while the ImageSource Pink brand commands higher rates of $300 to $500.

MediaMagnet's Web site reveals a business that intends to target the professional buyer segment, which includes graphic designers, project managers and other creative types. The site seeks equally professional contributors, particularly photographers who produce images that attract the most critical art buyers. The required quality standards far exceed the 3 megapixel minimum of most microstock sites, necessitating the use of professional equipment, such as an 8.2 megapizel DSLR. The minimum capture file size is 24 megabytes, with final files upsized to 50 megabytes at 300 ppi.

a21 promises services that mirror the traditional agency, including editing, creative direction and contact with staff. MediaMagnet pledges to be the photographers' advocate, build a pro community, provide advanced technical tools and, most importantly, promote and profitably sell images.

Currently, buyers are offered a $100 discount to use for future purchases as a reward for signing up for the free MediaMagnet membership. Photographers are encouraged to fill out an application, which asks for portfolio URLs, other representing agencies and the volume of currently non-represented work. Though a21 has not publicly disclosed its commission structure, the new Web site assures photographers that royalties will be competitive.

MediaMagnet.com currently exists as an information-only Web site. The launch of a fully operational beta product is scheduled before year's end.

Copyright © 2007 Julia Dudnik Stern. 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 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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