Germany's PantherMedia Eyes Global Markets

Posted on 1/17/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Munich-based PantherMedia has added English language and international e-commerce components to its stock-licensing Web site. Claiming the status of the first German midstock, the royalty-free agency is looking to expand into global markets.

Established in 2004, PantherMedia bills itself as a stock agency and photo community. The business model combines elements of traditional and micro-payment stock licensing.

PantherMedia's 500,000-image collection is user-generated. The site offers anyone an opportunity to submit images and sports a user forum. The inventory represents the work of 15,000 photographers, mostly European until now.

Image pricing is in line with what the stock industry now considers the middle of the market. In Germany, license costs range from 5€ to 80€, depending on file size. Merchandise licenses, which allow use of images on products for resale and are also priced by size, cost 90€ to 240€. The new international pricing is not a perfect parallel: Images are offered at $10 to $70, and merchandise licenses cost $160 to $213.

The Web site can transact business using credit cards, PayPal and Firstgate Click&Buy in multiple currencies, including Euros, U.S. dollars and British pounds. Account terms are also available.

PantherMedia prides itself on offering reasonable prices without eliminating customer service, as have other community-driven stock businesses. The agency maintains a client-service team that provides image research and other customer assistance. It also offers customers the opportunity to make free and non-binding new image requests.

Though it is growing at the rate of 1,000 images per day, PantherMedia emphasizes its focus on quality. It describes its photographer terms as fair, offering a 50% commission for images not sold at cheaper price points. Images available through microstock agencies are commissioned at 30%.

Robert Walters, managing director of Panther Media, said, "We want to export this very successful business model." The international Web site will service new English-speaking customers, but the company also plans to pursue international subsidiaries and parent companies of its existing clients.

Another traditional quality adapted by PantherMedia is a global distribution network. Its collection is currently sold in over 30 countries by partners that include ImageChina and Granata Images of Italy. PantherMedia also has a number of partnerships, including a relationship with Avenue Images.

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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