Jim Pickerell is reporting that the microstock virus is spreading to Getty Images proper. Well, he didn't call it a virus, but it's appropo none-the-less. By virus I mean the iStock pricing mentality. Virus Patient zero is the former head of iStockphoto - Bruce Livingstone. It was indicated when iStock was aquired that he was to remain at the helm of iStockPhoto. Yet he has succeeded in bumping Getty's web guru as SVP of Technology Linda Ranz just weeks before the new site launch so that he is now SVP of Technology, in addition to his remaining as CEO of iStockphoto.
It's worth noting that Ranz was at Getty beginning in November 2006, and here JDK says of her "...Linda has had a spectacular career at Getty Images...". Hmmm, I doubt that anyone would suggest that a 10 month stint anywhere is a "spectacular career"). Like Jim Jones before him, Livingstone is passing out the purple kool-aid, and people are a drinkin'. According to Pickerell:
"Getty Images has announced a new Web-use price of $49...Getty believes this new low price will help it capture a portion of the market that might otherwise go to competitors...Image suppliers should find it easy to gauge the success of this initiative by watching their sales reports and comparing the volume of units licensed with previous orders."Volume of units licensed? Yes, but how many units must be licensed at $49 to arrive at the revenue previously? (Revenue, as in, cash paid for image license = profitability, etc) This seems like it could be a fake-out to artificially increase a line item in a quarterly report listing the number of images licensed for what will otherwise be a lackluster quarter for GYI, perhaps?
Tuesday, Andy Goetze over at StockPhotoTalk ,wrote:
Getty Images is "slicing off a portion of its portfolio to sell as midstock [under the new RF brand Valueline starting on August 31]. 100,000 royalty free photos will be removed from the bulging Getty portfolio to be sold under the Valueline brand at Punchstock.com. The images were all created prior to December 2005 and are drawn from various collections that Getty owns or markets for the photographers. Prices start at US$19 for a small web-sized image. All other sizes are US$49."So, it's not bad enough that it's $49, it's actually as low as $19. Welcome to the world of "midstock". Welcome to the alternate reality that is JDK's World.
CORRECTION: We originally listed Livingtone as CTO, he's not. He's still CEO of iStockphoto, and is now SVP of Technology too, as was Linda Ranz SVP before she got the boot.
Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.