Getty's move comes two months after the company, co-founded by Mark Getty, grandson of oil magnate J. Paul Getty, acquired online poster and framing shop Art.com for $200 million. Locked in a battle with Corbis, the Bill Gates-owned online image house, Getty's strategy has been to ramp up its Internet offerings by acquiring companies like Art.com and PhotoDisc, as well as offline photographic stock houses.
Through the deal, Getty will gain access to Calgary, Alberta-based EyeWire's stock of some 50,000 images and illustrations, 1,000 typefaces and 1,500 video and audio clips. Prior to the merger, Getty had a collection of some 30 million photographs and 15,000 hours of film footage.
Getty co-founder and chief executive Jonathan Klein said EyeWire's offerings will be added to a portal the company will launch in October. In addition to EyeWire's images and video clips, Klein said the portal, which will target creative and advertising professionals, will include photographs from PhotoDisc and film clips from the company's Energy Film Library.
Getty announced last month that it was reorganizing into four divisions to target markets centered on creative professionals, editorial and press, business users, and consumers. Klein said Getty made the move to gain access to EyeWire's audio clips and typefaces to round out the offerings on its creative professional portal.
"It is our stated strategy to create vertical portals for each of our defined customer segments," Klein said, adding that in order to do that, Getty "needs to have products other than pure photography and film."
According to Klein, EyeWire, which used to be a part of Adobe, had some $12 million in revenue last year. Seattle-based Getty lost $36.3 million on $185 million in revenue in 1998.
Klein said EyeWire's existing management team would remain in place after the merger.
Getty closed up 0.06 to 18.06.