Still fragmented and in a very nascent stage, the business of stock photography looks to have a good future in India
A picture is worth a thousand words, goes a rather popular proverb.
Look around you — the advertisement hoardings, the promotional emails, the corporate brochures … even the article you are reading right now. When one comes to think of it, the proverb does hold a lot of sense when it comes to advertising, marketing, promotions, announcements, editorial pieces, and such. It is overwhelming, the demand and consumption of pictures by various industries. It is said that the stock photography worldwide is a 2.5 billion industry, and it is only yet taking off in India.
What is stock photography?
Stock photography, also known as image bank, photo library, comprises huge collections of photographs, illustrations, video clips, animation, etc managed by agencies (called stock agencies), to license out for specific usage. Erstwhile offline, this business has been around for several decades now. Even in India, more than 20 years back, there were offline agencies like Photo Media, Dinodia, etc who had their image banks. It was, however, only in the 90’s with the Internet boom, that stock photography actually started gaining ground. With digital media fast replacing traditional photographs, the early 90’s saw the emergence of many online stock agencies such as Getty Images (owned by Mark Getty), Corbis (owned by Bill Gates), Jupiter Media, (owned by Alan Meckler), etc.
Evolving within itself, there was an offshoot business of micro stock photography, first started by IStock Photos, which came into being. Micro stock photography websites play on the volume of images. Hence are able to sell images for as cheap as $1. Comparatively, for the all-rights verified images at traditional stock photography websites, an image could cost as high as $200. Simply put, the pricing at traditional stock photography website is higher because all the usage legalities are taken care of for the buyer. At micro stock photography websites, however, since the images come in from both, in house staff and contributors from across the world – amateurs, hobbyists, etc, rights and releases need to be properly verified and double-checked by the buyer.
|Stock photography in India is still very fragmented and needs to be consolidated. However, India is a booming economy, and images are the backbone of the creative community; so the future looks very promising. |
— Vijay Chintamaneni ceo, visage images
Line of operation
We spoke to various agencies operating in India, such as Visage Images (who handle Getty operations in India), India Picture (who handle Corbis’ operation in India), and Images Bazaar, to understand more about the business of stock photography. Their clients have a mix of creative agencies, publishing houses, corporate communication divisions and such. Interestingly though, all of them focus on one segment of clients above all others. Visage Images has creative agencies as their primary target group, while India Picture does a lot to service the editorial clients, and Images Bazaar has a strong focus on Indian photos.
The nature of this business is such that trend tracking is a very crucial element. The agencies closely monitor the kind of images being used by their target group on a daily basis, besides having sources to report them on what the future trends will be like. Besides this, a simple research is done to identify what are the major events and activities slated to happen in different verticals and industries.
written by nfl football jerseys, October 18, 2010
written by adolf, July 07, 2010
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