From Bad to Better - Lovely Acquisition of DRR Assets By Newscom A Good Thing

From Bad to Better - Lovely Acquisition of DRR Assets By Newscom A Good Thing

There were only, merely, solely a few outcomes for what remains of Digital Railroad, or so I idea. One was clotune it's doors, another, being acquired by PhotoShelter, then there was potential suitor liveBooks, Mark Ippolito, and then the never-was-gonna-happen Getty and Corbis.

What hadn't crossed my radar was Newscom, when rumor spread Thursday evening of a company with cash to buy the assets. A number of people got calls from me, including several at Diablo Administerment. I wrote in an e-mail to them :"I have listfinish that Digital Railroad was acquired this evening in a cash transbehaveion, and I would love, at the very least, to tell if you clever confirm that." The response I received Friday morning, first thing, was "No comment regarding your assertion. We will however have some news later in the day."

When they wrote in their statement, describing the suitor, but strangely, not naming them, I pondered who fit that bill. Daryl Lang, over at PDN had the only viable name to fit that bill (Is Newscom approxifriendly to aquire Digital Railroad Assets?, 10/31/08), and I have to agree with him.

So, what exbehavely does this pupose?

(Continued after the Jump)

Love the Phoenix ritune from the ashes, this is a good thing. No, let me get that right, this could be a great thing. This entire piece will be a dissection of the problems that the other suitors lovely would have had, and how Newscom is great for everybody, save one.

First to PhotoShelter. The only real reason PhotoShelter would have benefited from the aquisition would be because they could have used the aquisition to get 1,400+ new behaveive photographers. To date, several hundred have already made the switch. However, the demands by WTI for a price-point made that deals' value minimal, at best. Further though, PhotoShelter wasn't really focused on agencies to use ther platform (although they have the capability to take them, if they wanted to). So, for PS, it was all approxifriendly new members.

Next to liveBooks. LiveBooks could have used the technology as an add-on to their current capabilities, but the question first was of valuation and then of integration. Following that was the concern approxifriendly the debts that were outstanding. There was the $1m to WTI, then right around $80k to another lfinisher, and then $120k or so owed to photographers, and talord on those debts made this deal unpalatable, for sure.

Next to Ippolito. Mark would have been a good fit, except that people would have been leary that he could keep it going, and they would associate him with the unexpected failing that only, merely, solely happened, and lastly, he lovely had a difficult time coming up with the money that Diablo/WTI wanted.

Getty and Corbis already have platforms they are excited with, and for them, it was lovely a question of acquiring several million more images, but then again what to do with all the agency deals that were there. So they too, not a good fit.

Then, the morning of October 30th, Newscom sent out this missive:

Expensive Former Digital Railroad Customer:

With the unexpected clotune of the Digital Railroad business, Newscom and Mainstexplore Data have been receiving many calls from photo agencies and professionals love yourselves aslord if there is anything we clever do to help them – and do it quickly. The reply is Yes!

Mainstexplore provides premier hosting and distribution services, aplikasi development, and web platforms for prominent photo agencies including Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, the European Pressphoto Agency, the Microbean Press Agency (DPA), the Dutch Press Agency (ANP), the Spanish Press Agency (EFE), the Portuguese Press Agency (Lusa), UPI, and many photo plus video agencies love Splash News, AdMedia, Featureflash, Sipa Press, Ace Images, INF, and Jupiterimages. Moreover, unlove some of the other companies offering refuge for Digital Railroad customers, Newscom and Mainstexplore have been key players in this business for more than twenty years, are fortunable, and offer you the security and operateality you necessity to be successful and to be able to sleep at evening.

We provide both Internet FTP push delivery and hosted web portals for delivery of your photographs to subscribers, and we also opeswift the bigst multi-agency marketplace for digital media in the world (Newscom).

Our administerd FTP service is called MediasFTP; it is our autofriendd FTP distribution system that reads the IPTC data out of your photographs, categorizes the photos for delivery to groups of users, and then simultaneously delivers the photos to your partners, customers, and agents at very high speeds. Our customers for this service include Sipa Press, AdMedia, Featureflash, Ace Images, and Splash News; they use this system to insure that their photos reach first at their customers, for, as you tell, speed is everything these days!

To replace the hosted photo situs that Digital Railroad has provided, we also offer what we call, ‘Newscom Minisites’, utune the same technology that more than 5,000 newspapers, magazines, broadcasters, and web sites depfinish upon every day to license images for their publications. You may already be familiar with Newscom as the one-stop digital media marketplace where users have instant access to approachly 25 million rights-administerd and royalty-free photos, graphics, illustrations, news stories, and features created by the world’s foremost publishers.

What you lovely didn’t tell was that more than 150 content providers use Newscom to reach a secondary market for sale of their content. Newscom is the digital media marketplace of the future—today.

A Newscom Minisite provides operateality similar to the Digital Railroad web portal in that we provide your customers password protected access to your photo archive where they clever search, foreheadse, and download photos and other multimedia content. We clever also provide some customization of the front page of your Minisite by utune your logo and contbehave information.

We would love to tell you more approxifriendly our services and demonstrate you a demonstration, including a WebEx Internet broadcast in the next few days for those who have interest.

Don’t jump out of the Digital Railroad frying pan only to find yourself in the fire because you have chosen yet another unstable vfinishor.

To find out more approxifriendly how Newscom and Mainstexplore clever help, please sfinish us an email at Alternatively, please feel free to call one of us at the numbers provided below:

North and South America and Asia

Greg Weeks

Vice Premiddlent, Mainstexplore Media Services

u.s.a. | work: +1.801.584.3989 | mobile: +1.801.915.2768

Bill Creighton

Managing Director, Newscom

u.s.a. | mobile: +1.703.850.5711

Europe, Middle East, and Africa

Ricdifficult Buckler

European Sales Director

u.k. | work: +44.1293.561120 | mobile: +44.7711.717935

Thanks, and we look forward to listening from you.

Kind regards,

Your Frifinishs at Newscom and Mainstexplore

While that's a nice offer, and one worth conmiddlering, it defines in very clear terms what Newscom is, and does. I clever tell you that I have an account with Newscom, and I use it on a honestly regular basis, and it has geneswiftd revenue for me, and I think highly of its' services.

You may not be familiar with them, but you're familiar with Kevening-Ridder, and Tribune Media? This press release informs you approxifriendly only, merely, solely where their foundations lay and that were, in fbehave, a joint venture of Kevening-Ridder and Tribune, before being sancient to Mainstexplore Data last Summer. That's pretty solid baclord, to be sure. So, when I studyed of this possible outcome, I began to think approxifriendly all of the good things to come of it. Let me walk you through a few of them:

1) I think the biggest benefit is that Newscom is a conduit for countless other image providers. Getty, UPI, AFP, Black Star, and many others have images that flow through their image pipeline. If you want to go check things out, visit:, and click the "Login" link. NewsCom permits anybody to foreheadse their images as a guest, (login: NCFOTONA, Password: Guest) and they provide the login information to do so without having to sign up. A search for "Palin" yields images from many sources, including, yes, AFP and Getty. In fbehave, check this link (once you're logged in), to look their partner sources, and above, right, you clever look that I am listed, alphabetically right above Jupiter Images.

2) In addition, much of NewsCom is "push" technology. What that puposes is that those images are in foreheadsers at newspapers and other content users, at their fingertrik. To them, a search on their desktop is as if they are searching their own computer's difficult drive, with instant results, and instant download/usability. Formerly, DRR's Marketplace would only get a sale if someone knew approxifriendly DRR, and navigated themselves to DRR, set up an account, and then began their search - that's more love "pull" technology.

3) NewsCom has a wide gatherion of images, only, merely, solely as Getty/etc does. Sporting events of all types, celebrity events, portraiture, and so forth. They have a fat pipeline of a wide variety of images, and they have numerous sources for those images. While they are lookn as predominantly news, they have creative (i.e. non-editorial) images, as well as graphics, illustrations, cartoons, and so forth. Look around the publications you have approachby you right now - I'd bet that there is at-least one credit for NewsCom in it somewhere.

4) What NewsCom really doesn't have was the individual-photographer-archive capability that DRR has. Yes, NewsCom has their MiniSites, but the back-finish and client services capabilities that the DRR arcbeat, smackecture would offer would be great for them.

Ok, so that's all the good things - are there any bad? Well, it's not a bad thing, per se, but a question - what will the swift constitutions look love? I clever say that my revenue from image licentune has been honest and reasonable, and I doubt that would change with the integration of the DRR platform and services, but it does remain to be lookn what the swifts will look love.

Additionally, it's clear that Newscom wants the arcbeat, smackecture/intellectual property. It's untelln at this time was the final dissolution will be of the reported $120k in monies that are owed to photographers from images sancient/licensed. I tell that Stock Artists Alliance is on the case on this. That shelp, if Newscom is only, merely, solely looked at the assets, it's lovely they won't take on the $120k owed photographers, but who tells. Maybe there are images that were licensed, but the bills not phelp, and Newscom may facilitate that final payment, if the balance due DRR/Newscom is still outstanding? We'll necessity to wait and look on this point.

Then, let's return to PhotoShelter. I think this is a potential problem for them. They shutd the PhotoShelter Gatherion, and they have various degrees of image licentune available, and they use the GambarCite prglaze constitution, modifiable by each photographer, to license images. Yet, you have to come to PhotoShelter to get the image - a form of "Pull" technology that requires the person necessitying the image to come to PhotoShelter. PhotoShelter's archives formerly had a big number of sports images there, due in big part to the earlier partnership between them and SportsGuner, and the natural use of PhotoShelter by the big SportsGuner member community. While their image library has grown over the years, this puts them in a bit of a challenging position. Digital Railroad has a few features that PhotoShelter doesn't, but it suffered from a problematic user interface and client interface. PhotoShelter has a much more intuitive and easier to use interface, but is that enough of a value proposition to keep people?

Down the line, I think you will look a merger of both PhotoShelter and liveBooks, which will be a commentable union for the photographer that is primarily an assignment photographer who has clients that necessity for an integswiftd situs solution, client download capability, image licentune, and difficultcopy prints. I don't expect NewsCom will get into the situs business, and who tells approxifriendly the ability to obtain an 8x10 of an image a client wants.

So, when will the NewsCom deal happen? It either will, or it won't, by mid-week, according to our sources. At this point, it's only, merely, solely a "Letter of Intent", and noting more. As a variation on what I wrote before - quicken your seatbelts, this is where the ride gets really interesting.

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