iStock Gives Exclusives Over $200,000 in Royalties, Promotes Thompson to COO, Eyes Europe

Posted on 8/26/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Continuing the tradition it established last year, iStockphoto gave out $40,000 in cash and prizes. The company also let exclusive contributors keep 100% of the royalties—over $200,000—generated by their images on Monday.

The competitions and royalty giveaway were part of Punctum Day celebrations. Prizes of $5,000 each were awarded in eight categories, which ranged from "photo of the year" to "most deserving of a new camera." Prizes were in cash, with the exception of a new camera of the same value.

Awarded entries in all categories offer a glimpse of the stock industry's future.

"Late Trash," the winning still, is impeccably timed and technically flawless. It was shot by Maine photographer Trent Bell, who joined iStock in March and has only uploaded 18 images to date. Visiting Bell's Web site proves he is far from an amateur.

The winning design of the year, produced by Anthony McGovern of Sydney-based Atomic Design, combined 32 iStock images into a series of visuals for the new Adobe Australia eSeminars. McGovern's brief called for an expressive, eye-catching design that encompassed a cross-section of the possibilities offered by Adobe products, while centering on a central theme.

This year's royalty giveaway is double the amount iStock shelled out last year--and the just-promoted Kelly Thompson says that $200,000 is a low-end estimate. "We had to guess before the actual numbers were in," he explains. Asked if iStock also doubled its revenues over the last 12 months, Thomson pauses and offers: "-ish."

Bruce Livingstone's college buddy has worked with the microstock pioneer for some 15 years, spending the last few as iStock's executive vice president. As the company's new chief operating officer, Thompson will step away from marketing, his previous primary focus, and pay more attention to running the company.

However, this does not mean that Livingstone is going to be less involved. Though working from Getty's Seattle offices and, in Thompson's words, spread rather thinly among various new projects, Livingstone wants to spend more time on iStock. Thompson said that Getty is also increasingly focusing on its micro-payment subsidiary, which also happens to be its most valuable asset.

The COO sounds as excited about his own good fortune as he is about iStock's future. In that future is a new German office. "We sell everywhere, but it's just easier to have people on the ground," Thompson said, adding that the office should be open within a month or so.

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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