Sunday, July 29, 2007

Reelin' In The Big Fish

Making news in the past few days is Digital Railroad's sales team, led by the überleet Tom Tinervin, an ASP and client services genius, for landing the New York Times Syndicate Photo Service.

The NYT Syndicate contains an enormous library of images, and Digital Railroad demonstrates, on a grand scale, the ability for newspapers with monetizable libraries to recoup the investment they made in producing their staff images over the years. Despite suggestions to the contrary by agencies like Corbis, who has the UPI/Bettman archives, or Getty, with many collections they represent, this solution will place more revenue in the hands of the papers, and rightly so.

The challenge for these papers will be evaluating their analog archives for images which are iconic in the markets they serve, and then properly digitizing and keywording the images. For more recent images, half that work is already done, and the necessary metadata is all that stands in the way between papers like the New York Times and the realization of the broader value that their archives contain. It would be foolish for papers to not consider seriously services such as this as comparable to those that Corbis or Getty would offer. Clearly, being in charge of your own archive instead of handing it off to someone else is a much better solution, giving you far more power to control the archive's destiny, and more importantly, a higher net percentage of each licensing fee.

Previously, I wrote about how you can utlize DRR's e-commerce capability to price image licensing.

Hat's off to DRR for this smart catch, and to the NYT for their smart move.

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