BAPLA Appoints Cliffe, Releases Pricing Survey

Posted on 11/5/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies has announced the appointment of a new executive director and the release of its 2008 pricing survey.

Former news director of GCap Media Simon Cliffe takes the position occupied by Linda Royles for a decade prior to her recent resignation. Cliffe, an honors photography graduate of Salisbury College of Art, spent the last 10 years in radio. A career that included journalism positions at Chiltern Radio, ITN and Metro culminated in his most recent post of GCap news director, where Cliffe managed the output of over 60 radio stations and led the news team through digital conversion.

In addition to a skillset that BAPLA described as ideally suited to the organization’s goals, Cliffe’s digital-media experience is an important part of his contribution. “The first two or three waves of the digital explosion are behind us but I believe there's plenty more to come. If we can embrace that properly and in a timely manner, we can not only ride any storm thrown at us by the credit crunch but also build an extremely exciting future for this industry,” he said.

Average per-image price change since 2005

BAPLA’s 2008 pricing survey offers a perspective on whether optimism about the future is warranted by presenting current pricing trends and member-agency practices in a historical context. Though some 40% of survey respondents said average image pricing has stayed the same since 2005, over half reported declines. A third thought per-image pricing declined by more than 15%.

The survey also provides details on pricing evolution since 2001, by category, such as books or magazines. While many respondents said their agency’s image prices have declined, historical charts—for example, the average fee comparison for U.K. magazines, shown at right—demonstrate that industry averages have grown steadily.

Average fees for U.K. magazine use, 2001–2008

Practically everyone (98%) said they offered discounts to volume customers, on bulk purchases and in a number of other, more unique situations. Though the amounts vary greatly, the survey reveals than discounts of over 40% off standard price are not atypical for almost half of the respondents.

More surprising is the lagging adoption of technology by the BAPLA members responding to the survey. Only 21% offer fully automated e-commerce services. Half of the respondents generate less than 10% of their total sales via automatic online pricing.

The industry is also struggling with online and other electronic rights. In addition to the typically disparate practices among agencies, the survey reveals client pressures. “Magazines are saying that competitors are not charging them for online re-use, making it very difficult to get clients to pay for this increasingly lucrative market. [This] sets a dangerous precedent for future online usage,” commented one respondent. Other admitted it was challenging to attribute monetary values to client-requested “all media, in perpetuity” licenses.

The 103-page survey-results document is quite detailed. It is available for download at the BAPLA Web site and will not be physically printed in respect to the environment.

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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