In just four years, Getty Images has transformed the stock photography and film footage business. Through an aggressive acquisition strategy, the company has become the world's largest provider of stock photography, audio and film content, with more than 60 million still images and 30,000 hours of film footage in its library. In September, it made its biggest purchase to date: a $183 million buyout of Eastman Kodak subsidiary The Image Bank. Chief Executive Jonathan Klein talked with Senior Writer Mel Duvall.
What's your strategy?
Our strategy when we formed this company four years ago was to consolidate a fragmented industry. Business customers do not want to go to 50 different Web sites to get their content. We wanted to digitize the content so it could be delivered electronically. Third, we wanted to develop a clear e-commerce strategy.
What did The Image Bank bring to the table?
[It's] one of the best-known companies in the visual content industry. We think they'll help us gain access to more markets.
What are your online revenues?
About $13.8 million, or 29 percent, of our second-quarter sales were generated online. Analysts are predicting our Web sales could be in excess of $50 million for the year. I believe within three years virtually all of our revenues will come from the Web.
Of all the images you've acquired, what's your favorite?
We have a photograph in our London office taken by Bill Brandt of two young boys crossing a street in a poor working-class district of Scotland. It has a tremendous, gritty feel to it, and I always find myself stopping to take another look.