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Traditional stock photo agencies are being hit hard by the digital technology. Many traditional agencies still refuse to adopt the Internet as a way to show or sell their images, and some will not provide digital versions of their images, even when the images start out as computer graphics illustration files!
__ Buyers of digitized images save both time and cost because they can:

  • Browse on-line or in a CD-catalogue, rather than paying the agency a $75 an hour file search fee.
  • Browse at any hour of the day or night
  • Download images files rather than waiting for a delivery.
  • Do not have to have a scan done.
  • Have free use of pre-digitized low res images for comps.
  • Pay far less for images than from a traditional stock agency.

Traditional stock agencies thought that their libraries of millions of images would always mean a greater choice, but many holders of large image libraries, such as magazines, are "repurposing" their images for digital sale. National Geographic already sells stock movie footage, and could overwhelm the market if it sold CD's of images drawn from its enormous stills library.
__ Traditional stock agencies thought that offering controlled use of their images would retain their high end market. However, digital stock images can be easily composited and customized in Photoshop to make them unique.
__ Today, according to Trend Watch Creative, 85% of all commercially purchased images are royalty-free digital images. Adobe estimates total industry revenues in 1997 of about $150 million for royalty-free images and $700 million for images from traditional stock agencies.

[ see this month's piece on the new Adobe Stock Photo collection ]


D'Lynn Waldron THE IMAGE PERFECTED copyright 1998

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Thank you for visiting D'Lynn Waldron's "Industry Insider" in The Design & Publishing Center , All content Copyright 1998 on behalf of D'Lynn Waldron, by The Design & Publishing Center, all rights reserved. Contact The Design Center design team for web page critique, makeover clinics, or website design, production and hosting. Products mentioned in D'Lynn's columns are the exclusive Registered Trademarks for their respective ownders. All Rights Reserved.