They should have picked a closer planet. Something like MarsMedia or even MoonMedia. It would have been easier to reach. Seems like Jupiter just doesn’t cut it. Number 3 ( or two) of the big three US corporation to hold an interest in the photo world just posted their final numbers for 2007 and…surprise.. its a loss: $77.3 million, according to their press release.

Ouch!!. If we look at the numbers more closely, it hurts even more ( and its not even my money). A pathetic $2,5 Million increase in revenue from last year. And you should see how much it cost them to increase their revenue . They had to spend close to $1.50 for every dollar they made. wow !!

It is just not going well, is it. Not for the photo industry which has always been a hard place to swim in, but for the corporate 3. Getty Images had to sign off and find strategic partners before being thrown out of Nasdaq, Corbis has to shut down offices across the world and retreat in Virtual Reality and now, Mr Internet.com himself feels the pain of non-profit.

One of the interesting part is that both Getty and Jupiter own two of the top microstock properties in cyberspace, but that still does not seem to help . Take a (strong) hint Corbis !!!. Sure the market in commercial stock photography is changing, shifting but even holding one of the cannibalistic tribe doesn’t balance that shift. Lots of little images for little money doesn’t equal a few images for a lot of money.

But even so, one wonders is these microstock operations are even profitable at all. Istockphoto allegedly has 70 staffers plus 90 freelance photo editor. At an average of 80 cent per image sold, it takes a huge amount of image sold to make a profit.

So there not much hope there. Unless if they all raise the prices of microstock, which they will have to do.

According to ATI website, Alan Meckler “even went so far as to say that the high-end RF single image and CD-ROM business won?t even be around in ten years. ” Question is: Jupiter shows no sign of transforming its operation to get ready for this change. If anything, by purchasing a microstok music store, Meckler shows more signs of moving away from its photo division.

Regardless, it seems that is due time for the corporate world to leave an industry where only one has barely succeeded at huge cost ( Getty Images) and the two others seem incapable of posting a profit. And last I checked, that is the main, and the sole purpouse of a corporation.

The rest of us, well we all really really enjoy working with great photography, even if some months we have a hard time paying the bills.

For those who like to crunch : jupiter financials

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