Jon, compared to the microstock photography market size, how big do you estimate is the microstock footage market size in general?
Comparatively speaking, the microstock footage market is much smaller. However, like the microstock image market in its early days (just a few years ago), it is quickly growing and has great potential.
Compared to the traditional footage market size, is microstock footage opening a new market that didn´t formerly exist (like microstock photography)?
But more in general, what is happening on YouTube? I was surprised to note the implicitness (one can of course use another word for this) how many people download and remix images as well footage from the Big Two -- there are only two search results for
"Creatas" and not a single one for "Thinkstock" on YouTube -- for illustrating their personal lifes and feelings, without any further concerns.
Autonomy Exercises Option To Buy Blinkx, Will IPO it in London: Rafat Ali is just out with "this is among the first such IPOs in the still-nascent online video search space, and almost solves the mystery of the weirdly secretive relationship between the data/information search company Autonomy and video search consumer site Blinkx. Also, keep in mind that Blinkx was on the block for a while two years ago, but a deal never materialized. Anyway, the announcement on this from Autonomy is very dense, so I’ll try explaining here". paidContent. Just yesterday
the goldfingers from Draper Fisher Jurvetson funded video search technology company CastTV, with Marc Andreessen on the Board of Directors.
Jupitermedia announced the Conference Program for the WebVideo Summit 2007
Both Time Magazine and American Photo have published in the last days news listing companies and people they think are Persons Of The Year and Innovators.
For a moment, let us put the visual world, captured through photography and footage, all into one box, and take into account the perspective of User-Generated Content, Social Networking or Social Media, Community and Crowdsourcing. Phrases which partly have become synonyms and unfortunately buzzwords. Here is my personal list -- micropayment stock photo companies are intentionally not included -- with the real heroes in the visual world of the year 2006 and the upcoming year 2007, alphabetically:
For the owners and shareholders, selling companies with user-generated or community-driven image or video content has been financially very succesful in the past 20 months: Yahoo/Flickr ($17-35 million), Getty/iStockphoto ($50 million), Google/YouTube ($1.65 billion)... .
Michael Arrington over at Techcrunch today reports about the latest rumors on video sharing site Metacafe. The surprise however is not which company might be the purchaser (just yesterday he reported it may be Yahoo, but obviously this rumor is 24 hours later already colder than my coffee) or how high the acquisition price (as usually, no limits whatsover) would be.
"While perusing the archives of world-reknown
photographer, Eddie Adams, I came across some photos I hadn't seen of
the construction of the buildings .. As the government, land developers
and families struggle to rebuild Ground Zero, here is a poignant
reminder of how it started." (Allen Murabayashi)
"Last year, photographer Martin Fuchs put together a multimedia gallery 'Four Years Later'. It was his first attempt to create a multimedia gallery, and he has recently re-edited it." (Peter Marshall)
iStockphoto´s competitor ShutterStockannounced in February 2006 the introduction of Shutterstock Footage and noted then that "Shutterstock is the first among their competitors to branch
from still photography into video".
After accepting video submissions for two months, Shutterstock Footage went fully online in April 2006 and showcases currently 2,953 royalty-free footage clips. The site is still in beta modus.
iStockphoto today announced it
is now accepting user-generated video for the new service iStockvideo, to be launched later this year on September 5th. iStockvideo will offer royalty-free stock video/footage and film in broadcast-quality, as well as
animation clips for as little as $5 for thirty-second
James Jordan, former CEO of Footage.net, has a sales and marketing consulting agreement to manage the launch of new industry search portal StockMotionFinder.com. Jordan also plans to assume an equity stake in that business. StockMotionFinder is a new effort from parent company StockPhotoFinder to provide a one-stop search site for the buyers of footage ... Previously, StockPhotoFinder and Jordan had been in discussions to acquire the assets of Footage.net but talks have since ceased.
Google recently announced on January 6th during the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) the planned opening of the Google Video Store, an open video marketplace enabling consumers "to buy and rent a wide range of video content from a major television network, a professional sports league, cable programmers, independent producers and film makers" (Link). Video producers can upload content and distribute it for free or at a fixed price and owners also have the choice to offer their content with or without copy protection.
Short note for the people who are tired of the acquisition game "I´ll buy your competitor before you´ll grab this company". Back to the roots:
MediaStorm´s Brian Storm (Ex-VP of News, Multimedia & Assignment Services for Corbis), Robert Browman (Ex-Senior Editor for News, News Assignment Representative and
Multimedia Producer for Corbis) and Joe Santa (Ex-Multimedia Design Director for Corbis) have launched a new online publication with projects by renowned journalists, filmmakers and artists. Details (this press release doesn´t show the images of the original, so point your browser to MediaStorm).
One could assume: NO BIG THING. For some people footage portals, as the necessary addition to stock photo portals, do not exist any longer only as a play of thoughts in the distant future, but are a present reality, together with the convergence of stock photos, footage, TV clips, mobile image and video content all in one place.
As I wrote earlier, some people are arguing that there must be some money in this Press Release Business of the Stock Photo Industry. This new business model is called TMFRPR: Take-Money-For-Reading-Press-Releases. I also wrote that the competition in the Press Release Business is getting harder and sometimes ruinous. These efforts of John, using a professional and very complex Blogspot/Blogger account, are of course one of the most stunning approaches ever, moving me and his customers to tears.
John is working as a "consultant in the commercial footage industry.
industry business advice, appraisals, project management, strategic
planning and associated revenue-driving activities." John again has
demonstrated his ability to serve the needs of his customers as a big
innovator, mastermind and prophet in his industry, extending the "associated revenue-driving activities" of his business.
To no surprise, the press releases published at Footageinfo.blogspot.com are the same ones as at Footage.info. To no surprise, the links of the tiny tot refer to other sites of John:
The BBC Motion Gallery, the clip sales division of BBC worldwide encompassing 500 million feet of film and 400,000 hours of video and over 8 million subject categories,
brought in revenues of £9.8m (approx
$17.02) in 12 months ending March 31st. The report explains that Motion
Gallery is migrating its business model from offline clip sales to
digital sales and delivery of audio-visual images, making more than
17,000 moving images archive available online programme extracts and
news clips from the BBC and CBS News Archives. The division's profits
were reported at £1.1m ($1.95m). [Link and full report]
Getty Images had revenues in 2004 of $ 34.2m from footage sales (5.5% of the total revenues of $ 622.4m), the average license fee for a clip of stock footage was $ 629 with a final 2004 quarter rise of 25.5% compared with the last quarter of 2003.
Corbis instead is unable to give figures breaking down revenues between footage and photos. Similiar "The BBC does not have shareholders and does not aim to make a profit" (p. 97 of the full report).
In the last days C|Net has published a bunch of articles on Videoblogging and Video-On-Demand:
"Netscape co-founder eyes video blogs" about the new startup of Mark Andreessen (24 H Laundry): "A blogging and social networking site for consumers that will include video [...], 24HL, as in "airing your laundry," is largely funded by its founders, according to one Silicon Valley venture capitalist. [...] Since retiring from Netscape, Andreessen has lived the life of a gentleman entrepreneur. [...] More recently, he, along with Netscape alum Mike Homer, launched the Open Media Network,
which caters to broadcasters, independent filmmakers and average people
who want to distribute their films on the Internet for free."
On the edge, the former articles also mentions the "TiVo with search"-tools of Gotuit Media. More about this in "Dawn of a new ad age" at the bottom. Similar an article ("IBM's 'Marvel' to scour Net for video, audio") on Marvel, IBM´s new internet search technology for footage, which is based on MPEG-7: "The 'How Much Information?' survey conducted by the University of California at Berkeley determined that television stations worldwide produced about 123 million hours of total programming in 2002. Of the total, 31 million hours represented original programming, which translates to 70,000 terabytes of data.[...] The prototype system can scan through a database of more than 200 hours of broadcast news video and use 100 different descriptive terms to classify and identify scenes. IBM hopes to come up with a list of 1,000 descriptive labels by April. A query takes about two to three seconds. Marvel is based on the MPEG-7 data format, but it can search on any standard video format."
"Video content set free on Web" about the new startup of J.D. Lascia, Ourmedia ("the grassroots media revolution"), which hosts video for free: ""We're still at an early stage of the multimedia-rich Web. The Web is
not going to be Web logs and text; it's going to be people posting
video and podcasting and taking part in the citizens' media that's just
starting to explode." Ourmedia's ultimate goal is not to amass a huge collection of video,
but to establish open standards that will make vast multimedia
libraries and archives across the Internet accessible through any
number of social networks, blog tools, portals and media-sharing sites. [..] "One of our goals is to create an open format for video so that there
are no more format wars," Lasica said. "It's crazy right now. It's
confusing to people when they can't play video, and it's very
"Google readying Web-only video search", only a week old, but already widely quoted, about the old and new plans of Google-Video: "Longer term, Google is preparing a payment system for a premium
video service that would let people pay to watch full video clips.
Google is talking to several top-tier content providers, including
Hollywood movie studios, to gain agreements for aggregating their video
and selling premium or pay-per-view access. "The ultimate endgame is streaming video, otherwise Google can't get
video advertising dollars," said one source. "They have to figure a way
to get video into their world to capture those dollars."" Similar "Yahoo, Google turn up volume on video search battle".
Similar to the deal Getty Images has closed with Universal Studios, Corbis has signed a contract with the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios to sell their photographs and film footage:
Seattle-based Corbis will offer advertisers and editorial clients around the world the licensed use of MGM's library. [...] Los Angeles-based MGM holds rights to more than 4,200 titles in all. [...] Corbis recently launched its rights representation business with partnerships with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Marvel Enterprises Inc., along with acquisition of the Roger Richman Agency, which represents more than 50 of the world's most recognized personalities.
Some weeks off the blog and a lot of stuff to work out:
Index Stock modifies its Image Search System (Link)
Getty Images selling the footage of Universal Studios (Link): "Universal Studios, part of NBC Universal, is the first major motion picture studio to have its footage searchable via its own "portal" on a leading imagery site. At the Getty website, Universal is now offered as a search category alongside Archive Films and Image Bank. Getty says the new alliance represents "a significant step forward in the strategic development of Getty Images film, which has grown over twenty percent for the past three consecutive quarters" (John Flewin/Footage.info, no direct link available; John Flewin is to the footage industry what Jim Pickerell is to the stock photo industry, and far apart from that - how to say - questionable E-Data-thing last year at the CEPIC). This corresponds to rumours that some traditional photo portals are starting to add footage sections to their websites. I wrote about that earlier: after Visual Search and Middleware Technology (Communication Server/OpenGate) the next big step will be the convergence of stock photos, footage, TV clips and mobile image and video content in one place. Some people were requesting the link to a formerly mentioned article, here we go: "Stock footage: Look no further than the newly organized, digitized and revitalized stock footage industry".
Two other new companies: Konrad Dienst and Artur Krüger over at confessMEDiA finally have launched their first and new website (sorry, no english version so far) some days ago. Their main product, the Communication Server, creates virtual photo portals for photo buyers and - together with their partner agencies - for photo agencies. But as always: the clients in Europe and US are top of the line but the dumb traditional media in our industry won´t listen. Not even one single word. Why? Is it just because the mighty German Press Agency (Deutsche Presse Agentur) bought APIS Picturemaxx through one of their subsidiaries three months ago? There are rumours regarding pan-european anti-trust laws and how they might apply to reality.
BTW: Getty had revenues in 2004 of $ 34.2m from footage sales (5.5% of the total revenues of $ 622.4m), the average license fee for a clip of stock footage was $ 629 with a final 2004 quarter rise of 25.5% compared with the last quarter of 2003. Corbis instead is unable to give figures breaking down revenues between footage and photos (Link).
"...in the 2003 film "Matrix Reloaded", a wall of monitors displays several
horrific historical footage, from the WTC towers burning, to dead bodies at Auschwitz, to Ku Klux
Klan members marching. All that footage, all 59 clips according to the report, were licensed by
Gates' Corbis Motion."
"If you thought that Bill Gates' Corbis and Mark Getty's Getty Images were peacefully co-existing, think again."
As predicted earlier (May 19: "Rumors, Rumors, Rumors"; first with real names, then in a figure of speech), Thinkstock and Thinkstock Footage have been sold to Jupiter Media (1; 2) "for $4.0 million in cash, the assumption of certain limited liabilities and 50,000 restricted shares of Jupitermedia common stock. Thinkstock has been in the stock imagery and stock footage business since 1999 and is based in Charlotte, NC" (Link). As written earlier: "a sweet nice agency located in - no, not in SC." (Link)