With all the industry talk about finding new ways to make money from celebrity images, you’d think that monetising the brands found within such pics would be well-tilled ground by now. But that’s not the case – there are still plenty of opportunities.
Amongst photo agencies there are undoubtedly some leaders in the field, such as the Branded Entertainment Network (formerly known as Corbis), and Getty Images. Amongst, internet publishers and bloggers there are those working “get the look” advertorial. Lainey Gossip and the Daily Mail Online are a couple of notable examples. And there is a strand of social media.
All of which raises the question as to why the internet isn’t awash with paparazzi images being used for promotion and sales. Whilst there are some legal restraints around endorsement, in the editorial context these are not major barriers. Here are the main reasons why there is still plenty of room for brand images to be utilised for money making by photographers, photo agencies and internet publishers:
- So many opportunities, so little time – The number of outlets including social media, are truly vast, with new blogs and posts running into the many, many thousands every day, if not hour. What celebrity brand promotion there is can seem lost in that giant sea of imagery. That is also a sea of opportunity.
- Brands, what brands? – More than 99% of brands in celebrity images go unnoticed because not enough time is spent finding them. You can’t monetise what you don’t know about.
- Sticking to the knitting – The celebrity/news photo agencies which have managed to survive to this point have been able to do so in large part from sticking to their knitting and curbing costs. That’s not a recipe for innovation, especially as innovation requires investment.
- Systemic failure – Traditional pathways for sales are much easier to use, and have been perfected from a technical point of view in recent years by use of the internet. The systems to streamline brand image sales and monetisation are still being developed. That said, they are undoubtedly on their way, and the photo agencies which take the steps to utilise these have huge amounts to gain.
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