SuperStock Launches Purestock RF Collection

Posted on 5/13/2005 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



May 13, 2005

SuperStock, Inc., a subsidiary of a21, Inc. has unveiled the new royalty-free brand called "Purestock".

Purestock is aimed at an under-serviced niche in the RF market as RF suppliers not only expand their content offerings but seek to reach customers at a greater and greater variety of price points.

Purestock's first ten CD titles cover a wide range of categories including lifestyle, business, education and sports. These new CD titles provide the customer with 200 images each at 35MB high-resolution and 80MB super high-resolution for a price of $299 per CD. Single images will also be available for licensing at four different resolutions. a21 believes that the "Purestock" brand will provide its customers with a wide range of high quality images at pricing, sizes and resolutions to meet nearly all of its customer's requirements.

The price points for single images are $69.00 for a 1MB file, $179 for a 10MB file, $219 for a 35MB file and $269 for an 80MB file. The 80MB file is not resident on the disc, but disc customers will be provided with a unique link to download the 80MB file from the website at no additional cost.

The Purestock collection is scheduled to be launched internationally in more than 100 countries in June. The second set of 20 titles is scheduled to be available in September 2005, followed by a full schedule of additional series beginning in January 2006. The company expects to have 25,000 images in the Purestock collection by January 2006. Purestock will operate as an independent brand and will also be available on the SuperStock website.

Some RF History

SuperStock has quite a bit of history in the RF arena. In the 1990's they produced most of the images for the Adobe Photo Library brand that later was integrated into Eyewire and as a result of an acquisition is now a part of the images on the PhotoDisc Blue collection.

It is worth noting that for a number of years everyone thought RF pricing had to be simple. When a customer purchased an RF image he or she expected the prices for a given file size to be consistent regardless of what company or brand was offering the image. For a while Getty's PhotoDisc basically set the price and virtually everyone matched the Getty lead.

Things have changed dramatically. A few years ago Digital Vision started raising their prices and discovered that a higher price did not affect sales. Then all the RF sellers began to follow suit to the point that the average RF price on the Getty site has risen more than 100% in the last year and virtually every brand has a different price point. Now when a customer does a search on a distributor site that represents 20 to 40 different RF brands almost every image is at a different price. (See story 670.

In addition most companies started developing discs with fewer images as well as raising the price for the discs.

But, the prices of virtually all brands have steadily risen and as a result of these price increases there is growing evidence that a significant number of low-end, volume buyers are being priced out of the market. Many of these people are turning to subscription products and may be lost to traditional RF. Also, in some cases it is now cheaper to negotiate a deal with an RM supplier for a volume of images than to buy RF.

Traditional RF producers are trying to find ways to win those customers back and one of the keys seems to be to offer discs with more images and single image sales at a lower price point.

With Purestock SuperStock has moved into this low priced niche where, for the moment, there is relatively little competition.

Unique Position

SuperStock was uniquely positioned to offer such low priced products. In their collection in Jacksonville they have over 300,000 wholly owned images that can be the basis for many of these low priced discs. In addition they are ramping up to produce new, wholly owned images.

When SuperStock moved from New York to Jacksonville several years ago they built a huge state-of-the-art production facility that has gone mostly unused in the last couple of years. Now they intend to bring in photographers with various special expertise to do shoots on a project by project basis for a buyout price. Location shoots will also be done on the same basis. SuperStock has determined that in order to offer images at this price point it is desirable to wholly own the images. However, they are also currently exploring other options, including images from one to three photographers per title.

On its main site, SuperStock currently has 508,000 RM and 262,000 RF images.

Haim Ariav, President and Chief Creative Officer of SuperStock, Inc. says the launch is supported by a comprehensive marketing campaign including direct mail, on-line incentive promotions and email campaigns and added, "We're excited about the launch and are confident that customers worldwide will recognize the quality and value of Purestock."

Copyright © 2005 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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