Getty Images, the leading provider of stock photography and video, agreed to a buyout offer today from private equity firm Hellman & Friedman. At ScanDigital, we continue to work closely with professional photographers wishing to digitize their life work and monetize the image through the sale of stock photography. The move today by Hellman & Friedman supports our belief that this segment of the market will continue to grow. Getty Images owns iStockphoto.com, a site that provides royalty free images. This cost structure has proven itself to be particularly attractive for many web developers and companies seeking images for their website.
iStockphoto as well as other web based companies that sell stock photography continue to be a great source of ongoing income for professional photographers and are an invaluable resource for web designers and graphic artists. Images that once could have cost hundreds of dollars now cost only a few dollars which has increased overall volume. The stock photography industry has also grown as meta-tagging and search capabilities have been improved allowing users to more readily find and access images matching the user’s specifications.
It will be quite interesting to watch how Getty grows and changes as a company under Hellman & Friedman’s management. It will also be interesting to see if other private equity firms make a run at Getty’s competitors, such as Corbis. At ScanDigital we continue to be excited about our ability to assist photographers to bridge the gap from analog to digital. It is an all around winning situation: professional photographers are able to increase their income through the sale of the images, the stock photography sites enjoy a larger library, we have additional digital conversion work and, perhaps most importantly, the end user has access to better images in a larger library at a lower cost.