Jeff Kravitz (no, that is NOT him on the picture above), President and Founder of Filmmagic, bought by Getty Images in the $200 million Mediavast deal, has officially resigned. Citing impossible working conditions within the Mega image distributor, antiquated distribution system, one of the most succesful, and influential, red carpet photographer is slamming the door in the face of the Getty management.
In the wake of the Mediavast acquisition, past competing photographers find themselves using the same resources to distribute to the same clients, diluting their offering in a sea of similar images. However, not all photographers have the same agreement, making some quickly loosing revenue. There has already been photographers defection since the acquisition and many more are on the way. At this rate, Getty faces the risk of, once again, creating its own competition by allowing former photographers to create new, lean and mean, photo agencies. Klein has a legacy of failing to successfully integrate celebrity photo agencies as seen with Online USA in the 90′s and ImageDirect in the early 21th century. Is history repeating itself ?
With a share scheduled to drop and stabilize at $23.00, the arrogant leadership is facing a much bigger challenge here than the microstock rise . As much as microstock remains a subset of RF, as much as celebrity images is the faster growing, most powerful engine of growth in the editorial market. Jeff Kravitz has been instrumental in the growth of Mediavast and his departure is a great blow, especially if he decides to create his own new competing agency.
There will be more defection in the next few weeks and months, as predicted here.
Text of Jeff Kravitz’s email :
I resigned as President of FilmMagic.com today, effective in 2 weeks.
Just wanted you to hear it from me.
Getty has set my company back 3 years in 3 months. All my employees want to
quit and I can’t operate on promises of how it will get better as it
crumbles around me.
I am starting a new website that will be created to cater to our clients and
to get the work out as quickly as possible.