The blog rumor mill is busy these days with the possible lay off of some 400 JupiterImages employees. We had expected that to happen months ago. It makes sense. Getty already has the operation and distribution in place, why would they need to double it ? To make this acquisition successful, they need to get rid of the debt and cost ( read staff ) and absorb the imagery. Since JupiterImage was running about $120 million a year, it will not take long for Getty to pay back the cost of acquisition and post a profit. Especially if they add no cost. Makes perfect sense.
Alan Meckler’s blog is remaining quiet about this, at least for now.
While Getty consolidate its strenght, at least in imagery, on the commercial side, it is starting to hurt on the editorial side. More top talent photographers have left Getty in the last weeks and it seems it is only the beginning of the defection. This year should see more mistreated photographers throw their contracts in the air and resume having pleasure in photographing ( is that a verb ?). Not that we haven’t said it before, but the corporate world is really not conducive to creativity. The environmental of “little bosses”, politics, backstabbing and other petty time wasters is really not what a good photographers is looking for in a company. And because mediocrity tends to rise to the top in these big companies, most staff photographers get confronted daily by small-minded-ladder-climbing ambitious middle managers that will do anything to put their careers in front of inspiring creativity. Most of them probably never look at pictures, as they are too busy running from one meeting to another, in a desperate attempt to destroy any any ideas that is not theirs.
It will be interesting to see if Getty destroys the acquired sub brands of Jupiter Images and let the collections die of a slow death or will instead invest in producing some new images. We all know that traditional RF is suffering badly from microstock and JI is mostly made of traditional RF. However, if Getty is successful in maintaining the brands and growing them, then we will know it was just bad management.