Getty Images and Time Inc. to Launch

Posted on 9/24/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The legendary print title will be resurrected for the fourth time as, jointly owned and operated by Time Inc. and Getty Images. The Web site is scheduled to launch in 2009 with an ambitious goal: "to provide access to the most comprehensive iconic and professional photography collections available anywhere online."

The site will host over 10 million iconic images from the archives of LIFE, the magazine that mothered the photo essay. Getty Images will provide most of the images and upload 3,000 of new photos daily.

Though revered in professional circles, the magazine has not always met with commercial success in its 125-year history. Its first, illustrated weekly version launched in 1883, was published for over 40 years and had 250,000 readers as America headed into the Great Depression. Time Inc. founder Henry Luce acquired LIFE in 1936, relaunching it shortly thereafter as a weekly photojournalism magazine. Its circulation skyrocketed, tripling within weeks and reaching 8.5 million people at its height.

LIFE began losing readership in the late 1950s, as interest in television grew. Though the magazine continued to win awards and critical acclaim for another decade, shrinking advertising revenue and circulation numbers led to the weekly’s demise in 1972. In 1978, it relaunched as a general-interest monthly that averaged around 1.5 million readers for over 20 years. Time Inc. retired the magazine in 2000. After a 2004 revival as a Sunday newspaper supplement, it shuttered again in 2007 but kept its Web site.

The new is under construction, using Getty’s search technology. The Web site will be a free general-consumer resource that aims to capitalize on the growth of image search. The offering will include many never-before-seen photographs: the public has seen only 3% of the LIFE library. Archival content will be supplemented by Getty’s contemporary imagery, spanning news, entertainment, sports and other popular categories. Interactive games, community features, hard-copy prints and photo albums of user-selected images are in plans for early next year.

The project will be co-managed by Andy Blau, president of LIFE and senior vice president of Time Inc. Interactive, and Catherine Gluckstein, vice president of iStockphoto and consumer markets at Getty Images. Jonathan Klein, Getty co-founder and CEO, sees as the union of two most-recognized brands in photography.

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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