Final Days of Jupiterimages

Posted on 2/13/2009 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

With the approach of the February 20th Jupitermedia stockholder vote on the sale of Jupiterimages to Getty Images, tensions are rising among employees and image suppliers.

More than a dozen Jupiterimages image suppliers have told Selling Stock that their monthly royalties due in January still have not been paid. Some of these companies are owed for more than a single month’s sales.

Jupitermedia CEO Alan Meckler said: “We do not feel we are significantly behind on paying any organization (based on the depression we are seeing in the world) and believe that payments to individual photographers are on schedule.”

Regardless of what Jupiter does in the next couple of weeks, when the sale is complete, Getty Images will have the obligation to pay all past due amounts, because it is buying all of Jupiterimages—assets and liabilities. Sources predict that the deal will be closed within seven days of the shareholder vote, or very early in March.

There are also rumors that most of Jupiterimages’ New York employees have been told to look for other jobs. This may indicate that in the not-too-distant future, Jupiterimages’ Web site will be permanently shut down. It is unclear what Getty intends to do with the imagery on jupiterimages.com if and when that happens. Some of the images will undoubtedly be integrated into Getty Images or Punchstock; others may no longer be represented.



Currently, Jupiterimages has 73 image partner brands. Of this number, 36 supply royalty-free and the rest rights-managed content. The majority—25 of 36—royalty-free brands already have their images on either Getty Images or Punchstock. In future, these companies will probably simply lose the revenue Jupiterimages has been generating for them. Of course, Getty hopes to grow revenue by continuing to sell to Jupiter’s customer base, but it seems likely that if Jupiter customers go to gettyimages.com, most of the images they find will be from the brands that are wholly owned by Getty, rather than the Jupiter image partners, given how the search-return order is organized. The other 11 brands may be given the option to be represented on gettyimages.com, but more likely on Punchstock.

Of the 37 rights-managed brands, 7 are already on the Getty Images site. (Punchstock does not accept rights-managed images.) These should probably expect to lose some of their previous Jupiterimages revenue. Some of the other 30 may be offered the option to be represented on gettyimages.com, but it seems likely that representation will be terminated for many.

“We are not privy to Getty’s game plan for the future of Jupiterimages. We have had smooth communications with Getty but we have not been given details of their model,” said Meckler.


Copyright © 2009 Jim Pickerell. 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

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  

Comments

  • Mark Turner Posted Feb 13, 2009
    It would be nice to know what to expect in the Jupiter to Getty transition as a Botanica rights-managed contributor. There's been no word from either party about what will happen in the coming months. Will royalty rates (now 50%) change? Submission process and editing? Availability of existing images for license? Transitioning of customers from Jupiter to Getty? Fortunately, Botanica is only one part of my revenue stream (although a decent fraction).

    -- Mark Turner

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