Random Thoughts 152

Posted on 7/3/2007 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

July 3, 2007

Corbis Restructures to Focus on Stock and Rights Services

While Getty Images is diversifying into what CEO Jonathan Klein refers to as a broad-based media company, its closest competitor is taking the opposing route. Last week, incoming Corbis CEO Gary Shenk announced that the company will no longer offer artist representation and media-management services. Instead, it will focus on its core business.

In addition, Corbis has cut 160 positions, reducing its global workforce by 15% in order to lower operating costs. The layoffs affect 17 of the company's 24 offices. All members of the Corbis executive team remain.

Both developments are the result of a two-month efficiency review. Shenk, who succeeds Steve Davis, intends to transform the second-largest stock image company in the world into a profitable business. "As I indicated earlier this year, we will intensify our focus on profitability and shareholder value," he wrote in a company memo announcing the layoffs and changes in business strategy.

The assignment division of Corbis will cease once existing contracts expire; some assignment clients will have direct relationships with photographers. In contrast, the media-management business, which recently doubled its number of clients, is up for sale. Its staff escaped last week's layoffs and will remain with the company until the eventual sale. A buyer has yet to be identified.

The new Corbis strategy has surprised industry analysts, who predicted continued diversification into segments other than stock-image licensing. While Corbis has expanded into microstock with the launch of SnapVillage, it is not following the path to music licensing established by Jupitermedia and, more recently, Getty Images.

Instead, Corbis will target energies in its core businesses: still-image and footage licensing. The rights clearance division, which represented roughly $30 million of Corbis's quarter-billion revenues in 2006, also survives. According to Shenk, the move "reshapes us into a more focused, competitive company that can provide better opportunities for its employees as we become the strongest brand."

International Fight League to Sell Photos by Getty

By: Julia Dudnik Stern

A new IFL online store markets stills by Getty Images to fans of martial-arts. Getty Images, which reports significant growth of its collection in this segment, is the official photographic partner for the professional mixed martial-arts league. The new IFL store is powered by Pictopia, which is a direct-to-consumer photo-commerce company.

Mainstream Data Acquires Newscom

By: Julia Dudnik Stern

Content licensing company Newscom has been acquired by Mainstream Data, a content delivery solutions provider headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. Newscom provides news, editorial and visual content, including millions of rights-managed and royalty-free images, to the global publishing community. Content suppliers include Agence France-Presse, Getty Images, Jupiterimages and Reuters. Newscom will now operate as an independent subsidiary of Mainstream Data. It will remain in Washington, D.C., and add a sales office in New York.

Copyright © 2007 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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