The Photolibrary Group began as a small Australian company and over the years has become one of the world’s biggest indies for stock images, footage and music. James Cape, the Photolibrary Group’s European sales director, talked with realscreen about how the company is faring in the global downturn and about some recent developments.
Cape reports that business is great for Photolibrary, and that the acquisitions and changes to the company over the past four or five years have exemplified that it is no longer just an Australian company – although that’s where the headquarters are – and that Photolibrary is now one of the few global independents left. The company has two offices in the UK, three in the U.S. and two in Australia, as well as offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates.
Having footholds in each of these countries, the strategy for Photolibrary has been to go out and listen to what its customers want. ‘We are continually visiting our clients, day in and day out, month in and month out,’ says Cape. ‘[In] these times when it’s difficult for your clients and they’ve got less [of a] budget, the ones that you’ve got a better relationship with, the ones you speak and meet regularly with are the ones you’re going to work with.’
That familiarity has paid off, and the company has fared well during the recession. Instead of seeing a decrease in sales, Photolibrary’s global revenue is up about 20%.
‘We have very good relationships with our clients and we look after them. When times are hard and they only want two images instead of the usual 10, they’ll get both those images from us,’ he says. ‘It’s potentially a bit of a stock answer, but it’s very true.’
Photolibrary.com and fellow website osffootage.com, which offers specialist natural world footage (such as the rather candid shot of the polar bear, pictured), now offer improved search functions, and Photolibrary’s site is offering color-based filters, using pixel technology. Another recent online development has been the launch of www.britainonview.com, which Photolibrary Group created and now operates for Britain on View, the image library of the UK’s National Tourist Board.
Cape is pleased with how well the footage is selling. ‘The U.S. market is very strong for us, and we have a very fantastic team over there and also in the UK. We’re very pleased with how they’re operating.’