Random Thoughts 83

Posted on 7/30/2004 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



July 30, 2004

Great Art Directors Think Alike

Art Directors at Dell and Gateway liked Doug Menuez's RF shots of a girl on a college campus so much that they both picked images of the same girl from the same shoot for their back to school ads selling their company's computers. As one wag noted, "This young lady going back to college appears to have a bit of trouble deciding whether she wants a Gateway or a Dell PC.

The images were from PhotoDisc so no exclusivity was guaranteed.
In both cases the art directors picked two images - one for the foreground and another for the background and merged them together to produce the composite they used.

Gateway used Photodisc Green image ED001041 for the background, but didn't like the way the girl was looking in that picture so they added Photodisc Red image LS011062 to the foreground.

Dell used Photodisc Green ED001044 for the foreground shot, but put her infront of a totally different building (we haven't figured out which image was used for this purpose yet).

One thing they both accomplished was to get their images for very little money. The maximum file size that Getty offers for a single image purchase of these images is 28MB. Photodisc Green images for this file size are priced at $249.99 and the Red images are priced at $329.99.

Menuez tells me that these images were created as part of a production shoot organized by Photodisc and they retained all the film and complete control over how the images were used. Neither of the art directors may have realized how many similar shots of this girl were available because the keywording on the images is not consistent and there is no simple way to pull up all the similars once an image has been chosen. On the other hand, maybe the art directors didn't care.

For a look at the two ads go to:


Jupitermedia Acquires Thinkstock

Jupitermedia Corporation has announced that it has acquired the assets of Thinkstock www.thinkstock.com and Thinkstock Footage www.thinkstockfootage.com for $4 million in cash, the assumption of certain limited liabilities and 50,000 restricted shares of Jupitermedia common stock. (The shares were trading today at $11.07 per share.)

Alan Meckler, Chairman and CEO of Jupitermedia said, "The addition of Thinkstock furthers Jupitermedia's position as one of the largest organizations worldwide in the business of selling stock images and Thinkstock Footage enables us to enter the rapidly growing business of selling video footage online."

The acquisition adds over 25,000 wholly-owned digitized stock images and over 4,000 wholly-owned stock clips to Jupiter's image library. Ron Chapple, founder of Thinkstock, will continue to provide imagery for Thinkstock and JupiterImages.

"We anticipate significant synergies between Thinkstock and our Jupiterimages division as well as our other Jupitermedia properties. We expect that this acquisition will immediately be accretive to our earnings," added Meckler.

JupiterImages network of web sites had a library of over 3 million images at the end of 2003 and as of January 2004 were generating over 85 million page views per month. Based on first quarter results their graphics related web sites (ArtToday, Photos.com, ClipArt.com, Graphics.com, Animations.com and FlashComponents.com) were on track to generate over $10 million in sales for 2004. In April Jupitermedia acquired Comstock that has been generating about $10 million annually and I estimate that Thinkstock's annual revenue is in the range of $2 million.
The second quarter report which will include the first three months of Comstock sales should be available in the next few weeks.

Online Ad Growth Predicted

Based on a new forecast, JupiterResearch (a division of Jupitermedia) predicts that online advertising will more than double over the next five years. The forecast sees the online ad market growing from $6.6 billion in 2003 to $16.1 billion in 2009. While paid search will grow 30% compounded annually over the next two years, it is no longer the sole driver of online ad spending. Display ads and online classifieds will each grow more than 25% compounded annually over the same period.

Much of the growth in online advertising can be credited to the increasing sophistication of advertisers. Benefiting from experience and a more powerful tool set, advertisers are better able to target, measure and convert their audiences online. This provides advertisers with the confidence to allocate more of their advertising dollars to the internet and a willingness to pay more for premium online inventory as it becomes scarce.

"The growth in online advertising is the product of all the progress that Web sites and technology providers have made in the last two years. We've seen companies very actively working to make the internet a more attractive advertising medium," said Gary Stein, Senior Analysts at JupiterResearch. "With targeting technologies, the discovery of search by major advertisers, and real measurement and planning tools, the Internet is ready to fulfill its early promises of effectiveness, reach and trackability," added Stein.

How 18-34 Males Are Reinventing Advertising

Wired Magazine has a very thought provoking story entitled "The Lost Boys" in their August 2004 issue that is a must read for anyone who thinks traditional advertising will recover as soon as the economy recovers. You can find the article at: www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.08/lostboys_pr.html.

The central theme of the article is that 18-34 year old boys are watching a lot less TV and using their free time in ways that make them much more difficult for print and TV advertisers to reach. To catch the interest of these Millennial and GenX generation buyers major advertisers are turning away from 30-second TV spots and looking at a lot of other types of marketing that don't necessarily use photographs in the same way the old media did. Or if they use photographs at all the images may be very different from what worked in print and on TV.

The article doesn't get into the use of photographs specifically, but the implications are there. The article listed five major advertisers - Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Ford Motor, General Motors and McDonald's -- that reduced their network TV spending in 2003 compared to 2002. The combined 2003 ad budgets for these companies were $5.28 billion, so even a small percentage reduction is significant. Correspondingly the companies increased their spending in other kinds of media most of which tend not to use a lot of still pictures.

In a survey by Jupiter Research that asked the favorite leisure activity of men in the 18-34 group, 22% said they go online and 16% play video games. Another 22% watch TV, 9% go to a movie and 6% watch a movie on DVD or VHS. Only 6% would read a magazine or book. It would seem that the printed word is not the way to reach them.

In addition, the number of people looking at network TV has been steadily declining for the last decade while the cost per thousand viewers reached has been steadily increasing. This is another reason advertiser cite for moving ad spending away from TV, but they may not spend it on print either.

Masterfile To Use PicScout

Masterfile has signed an agreement with PicScout to use its Image Tracker to monitor the use of Masterfile's entire rights-managed collection North America. This will also include the images of Masterfile's strategic partner, zefa. Image Tracker technology will add another layer of protection for Masterfile's clients, artists and partners.

According to Masterfile President, Steve Pigeon: "Masterfile has one of the industry's tightest rights management systems, staffed 24 hours per day. We have full-time infringements research personnel who police print media for unauthorized use of our images and generate significant annual revenue for Masterfile and our artists. PicScout will enable us to enhance our rights management capabilities by providing comprehensive coverage of the Internet."

New TrendWatch Stock Images Report

TrendWatch GraphicArts has released a new report on the use of stock imagery entitled, "Stock Images 2004: Still The One (Creative Markets)" They say that the reasons for the success of stock image collections owned by agencies, co-ops, and individual photographers is that they are improving in quality and diversity. Additional accessibility from online image collections, ever-improving search engines, and added speed and convenience of online purchasing and downloads have made an already popular commodity an even more useful and important creative tool!

The report says:

  • 27% of publishers plan to purchase stock illustration or clip art in the next 12 months, more than doubling to 56% among small catalogers;

  • 22% of Internet Designers plan to purchase royalty-free images in the next 12 months; this rises to 58% for graphic designers;

  • On average, creative professionals purchase 6 rights-managed images per month from the Internet versus 4 rights-managed images per month from a print catalog;

  • 38% of creative professionals plan to purchase rights-managed images (rising to 48% of ad agencies) in the next 12 months; 64% plan to purchase royalty-free images and 34% plan to purchase stock illustration.

The complete 134 page report is available for $995.00 at
www.trendwatchgraphicarts.com .

We are surprised that the figures from this survey are so low because we believe that virtually everyone that uses still pictures (assignment, self produced or stock), will purchase some stock images in the next 12 months. It seems to us that there are no creative buyers that obtain 100% of their photographs through assignments, or staff produced material. It has been our experience that virtually all image users buy stock for some of their projects -- unless they are able to get by with free photographs.

One possible explanation for these figures is that the people defined as "publishers" publish only text works and never used pictures of illustrations at all. And those defined as "creatives" may include writers who again, never have a call to purchase pictures.

We also find the idea that 40% of the images licensed today are found through print catalogs totally out of line with the facts. Hardly anyone has been producing print catalogs for the last couple years and from everything we can determine - although, granted not based on "scientific" surveying - 90% to 95% of all images purchased today are found through Internet searches.

There is one other explanation for the low percentage of new purchases, and that may be that a large number of these people have purchased CD-Rom discs of images in the past, and in the next 12 months they feel they will be able to get all the images they need from the discs they have already purchased.

In looking at the raw percentages one might be tempted to conclude that there is a big untapped market for images among publishers and creative professionals. I would caution my readers not to base any business decisions on that assumption.

Index Expands With Trove.Net

Index Stock Imagery is now representing the Trove.net collection. Trove.net is a service of RLG, a membership organization of libraries, museums, and archives, with collections that reflect the world's cultures. As a result, they have accumulated an enormous digital archive of precious, rare and exceptional imagery, representing history, fine arts, culture and architecture from all over the world.

Index will market the Trove.net images on its e-commerce web sites, www.indexstock.com
and www.photostogo.com , and more than 100,000 ready by the end of the summer. These will be made available for licensing immediately, as they come online. Additionally, Index plans to distribute the Trove.net collection via its agent network in more than 50 countries worldwide.

The Trove.net imagery is a wonderful resource for all types of commercial and creative clients, but will fast become a treasured resource for book publishers. Educational publishers are always looking for this kind of rich material. Dan Russelman, President of Index Stock states: "This is the largest single collection of images we have ever represented, and we are very excited about the value and historical importance of the Trove.net collection. Our customers are thrilled that we are adding such a vast collection of historic and culturally important material to the Index archive. We look forward to a long working relationship with Trove.net."

Susan Yoder, Director of Integrated Information Services at RLG, said, "Our arrangement with Index Stock, will further the goals of the libraries, museums, and archives that contribute their special collections to Trove.net. They are very eager to reach new audiences and support new uses of their remarkable materials."

RLG is an international, not-for-profit membership organization of over 150 universities, libraries, archives, historical societies and other institutions with collections that support research and learning. Founded in 1974, RLG designs and delivers innovative information discovery services, organizes collaborative programs, and takes an active role in creating and promoting relevant standards and practices.

Copyright © 2004 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.  


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