AOL Launches Pixcetera

Posted on 7/22/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)



AOL has launched a new general consumer Web site Pixcetera to focus exclusively on high-end photography. Featuring content from the image industry's leaders, Pixcetera offers users the opportunity to browse, rate, share and comment on images organized in popular lifestyle categories.

Peter Riviera, AOL senior vice president of experience design, said the company already publishes thousands of images across its international network of sites and sees additional opportunity in a premiere-image offering.

The launch collection is vast. Editorial content from the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France Presse, Getty Images, Splash News and others is organized in themed galleries, with subjects ranging from the evolution of Nicole Kidman to NASA space imagery.

Photo credits offer an AOL perspective of the editorial segment's pecking order. At first glance, Associated Press imagery appears to dominate Pixcetera; of the eight featured galleries, five are by AP. Exploring the themed channels, however, reveals an equally strong presence by Getty Images. While there are some branded galleries, such as TV networks' images of Emmy-nominated actors and other niche content, the beta version of Pixcetera is largely and AP/Getty show.

Pixcetera sports a photo blog. Though AOL says its intent is to allow its photo editors to discuss trends in photography and teach readers to take better pictures, the current content offers little of practical use to a general-audience reader. Aside from a token effort at guiding a visitor though digital-camera choices, the Pixcetera blog is an insider affair: It interviews prominent pro photographers, shares link love with agencies ranging from Magnum to PhotoShelter and discusses industry issues, such as the lack of image-crediting information online and the implications of Getty's recent deal with Flickr.

Pixcetera's parent, AOL, owns the largest online advertising network, Advertising.com, supported by a suite of global publishing and community properties. In the U.S., these draw a monthly average of 110 million unique visitors. Pixcetera is one of 19 Web sites launched over the last year, and AOL plans to expand to 30 other countries by the end of 2008. By then, it may also have a new owner.



Copyright © 2008 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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