Growth in UIG/Encyclopaedia Britannica Image Quest Product

Posted on 3/26/2012 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Universal Images Group Limited has built a database of more than 2.5 million education images for use by Encyclopaedia Britannica, in its Image Quest online subscription service for schools, colleges and universities.

Launched in January 2011 in North America, the Britannica Image Quest service provides the largest educational rights managed picture database in the world. The database has been sourced and edited by Universal Images Group (UIG) from many picture libraries, museums and archives from around the world over a 5-year period.

The service now exceeds 1 Million transactions per month and is available in many countries including Australia, the UK and Japan. In June of 2011 we reported that after the first three months 25,000 students from the Dallas school system were accessing Image Quest at a rate of 700,000 transactions per year. Thus, in about 9 months there has been an impressive 17 fold growth in the number of transactions.

Based on the figures released at that time Image Quest may currently be available to something in the range of 425,000 students and teachers. It is important to note that in the U.S. alone there were 75.9 million students in schools and colleges in 2010 so there is an opportunity for tremendous, continued growth in the use of the Image Quest product.

Also, based on the figures provided in our earlier report, the total royalty that is currently being shared by the participating agencies may be sharing something in the range of $100,000 annually.

There are a number of factors that could affect this figure including: (1) increased use by the number of subscribing students and (2) an adjustment in the fee per-student from that charged initially.

UIG has recently added new picture collections from well known image sources including:
  • The National Geographic Society
  • The British Library
  • The National Portrait Gallery
  • Wellcome Trust Images and
  • agefotostock
As part of the development of Image Quest for international markets, Britannica has now launched Spanish, Portuguese and French versions of the web site, including metadata translation checkboxes.

UIG has an exclusive picture supply agreement with Britannica for Image Quest which was recently extended to 10 years.

UIG continues to develop educational picture databases for other online platform distributors under the Universal Source and Core Learning Collection brands and currently has a database of over 3 million images.

UIG also represents editorial image providers, including photographers & artists through its acquisition of the Omni Photo digital archive, and distributes over 850,000 high resolution premium images through its international agency network, which includes Getty Images, Amana Images, Superstock, Masterfile and the Bridgeman Art Library. The subjects include art, history, culture, science, medicine, biology, botany, nature, natural history, diversity, ethnicity, and the environment.

UIG has recently added BSIP, Auscape, Werner Forman, Amana Images, The British Library, PYMCA and Mondadori as new image providers.

For further information please contact George Sinclair at: TFvapynve@ICQPbec.pbz.

Copyright © 2012 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, 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:  


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