Image courtesy of Corbis and Splash News.
Corbis has taken control of Splash News in a deal destined to grow the stock agency's position in the candid celebrity photography market. "Entertainment news now represents more than 60% of all searches on the Internet," Corbis' CEO Gary Shenk tells BJP. "This content is in high demand, and it's a category we need to be the leaders in as it continues to grow."
Splash News is a Los Angeles-based agency that "provides candid celebrity photography and video content to the world's premier entertainment print, online and broadcast media outlets." The agency, which was founded by two former tabloid journalists - Gary Morgan and Kevin Smith -, has offices in London, Los Angeles, New York, Rome, Milan, Sydney and Miami. It regularly works with more than 3000 photographers.
Morgan and Smith will stay with the company, according to Corbis. "We want to keep the independence of the Splash brand because it's a very unique brand; a brand that is loved by its customer base and continues to be very edgy and produces content that other sources do not get," says Shenk. As a result, the Splash News website will continue to run independently from Corbis.
As for Splash News' other employees, Corbis' CEO says that the agency doesn't "intend to make any personnel changes at this time."
Beyond getting a stronger foothold in the celebrity market, Corbis also hopes to benefit from Splash News' technology. "It's very impressive," says Shenk. "In the entertainment industry, timing is more critical than in any other parts of the market. Splash's technology has the ability to get pictures from the photographer's camera to the customer in under 10 seconds. This technology is something that is very interesting to Corbis."
"Another interesting part of Splash is the way they bill their customers," Shenk adds. "They can track usage of their images - so the customers don't have to go through the difficult process of reporting exactly what images did they use"
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