14 Apr 2010 Tony Stone Joins Vivozoom
Tony Stone (the person!) announced today that he has joined Vivozoom to help the innovative new microstock agency “sharpen focus on the most relevant images”.
Who is Tony Stone?
Those of us who entered stock photography with microstock aren’t as familiar with Tony Stone as those in the traditional sector of the market. But Tony is a living legend in the stock photography industry with a background rich in innovation and success.
The stock photo library that Tony created, Tony Stone Images, was the first acquisition and the foundation of Getty Images (known as Getty Communications back then) when Jonathan Kline and Mark Getty first launched the company in 1995. At the time, Tony Stone Images was among the leading stock photo libraries in the world, generating $42 million in revenue from a portfolio of over 1 million photos. It was still 90% of the business when Getty floated in 1996. Later, as part of Getty, Tony Stone Images became the first library to offer stock photos for license via the web.
Tony remained on the Getty Images board until 1999 after which he did various consultation in the UK stock photography industry. In 2006 he married a French woman and now divides his time between London and Provence in Southern France.
In His Own Words
Tony answered a few questions about his appointment at Vivozoom and his thoughts on the microstock industry.
What’s your mission at Vivozoom?
To help evolve a microstock site which understands the needs and the frustrations of designers, which will solve the conundrum: how do you provide a generous choice and at the same time a search facility so agile that exactly relevant images are found almost in no time at all.
What is it that attracted you to work with Vivozoom above other agencies?
I like their dynamism and willingness to think out of the box . I share their pioneer spirit, shown for example in their determination to protect their clients through the Vivozoom image warranty
What aspect of Vivozoom’s strategy, in your view, will give it enough advantage to grow in this competitive market?
First, they really do care about the customer. They focus not only on quality but on relevance too, critical in a market where customers can be overwhelmed by millions of images.
How do you expect your peers will react to you being involved in microstock?
They will be surprised that I still have the urge to excite innovation in the industry. Perhaps they will think that a veteran of the early world of digital delivery can’t understand microstock’s new world “ but they would be wrong. Microstock is only new in the way it sources its images and its mass-market prices. But it still delivers images exactly as it did fifteen years ago. This is where I hope to encourage the Vivozoom difference.
What business advice are you giving established professional stock photographers in the current climate?
Focus on quality, and before you fund a shoot examine hundreds of stock images in print and online, and then imagine real uses for your own images. Here’s your mantra: ‘Relevance, relevance, relevance. This approach will focus your shooting, reduce your costs and boost your sales.
In your view, who are typical Vivozoom customers and how, if at all, do they differ from traditional stock photo buyers?
I’m still getting to understand them, but it’s not too soon to say that they are all dedicated to a professional approach, very price-conscious, yet still expecting a high quality and a relevance which is right for the job in hand; and more and more they’re looking for the peace of mind that comes with Vivozoom’s warranty.