I received an email last week from my editor at Jupiter Images mentioning the acquisition of JI by Getty Images. Naturally, my first reaction was shock. JI had around 50% share of the stock image market since acquiring numerous smaller stock agencies, including Brand X Pictures, and others, a couple of years ago. The remaining 50% is controlled by Getty. Now that Getty basically own everything, albeit apart from a few smaller companies, they’re set to dominate the market.
As a contributor, Im not entirely sure how this will impact on my income, or that of the other JI contributors. When Brand X Pictures (the collection Im with) was just BXP, the collection was also shown on the Getty website, and my sales were good. But, when JI purchased BXP the partnership broke and I noticed a 50% drop in sales, which proved how important sales from Getty were for BXP contributors. A while back, JI partnered with Punchstock (owned by Getty) and sales increased again. This was partly also due to having been quite prolific in creating new imagery 6 months earlier which got published on 2 new disks. It can take 6-12 months for new imagery to filter down to all the affiliates and smaller publishers in the chain, so I couldnt be sure it was just due to the partnership with Punchstock which boosted sales again, but it certainly didn’t hurt.
I’ve had the first ‘welcome’ email from Getty which outlined the acquisition in brief but didnt really mention much else. There’s going to be a few more sent to all the contributors over the next few weeks/months which Im hoping will be more informative and put our minds at rest.
Im going to think positively about the new acquisition and trust it will be a benefit to all concerned, not least the buyers.
Watch this space…