Software maker ArcSoft and photographic supply firm Photo Systems have formed a new company, NewsMediaExchange.com, to license digital photographs to national and international news outlets, the two companies said.
The new outfit will enter an intensely competitive industry. Corbis and Getty Images--bankrolled by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and oil fortune heir Mark Getty, respectively--have been gobbling up competitors in the estimated $2 billion digital image market.
In terms of size, Getty is still the market leader with 70 million pictures and 27,000 hours of film. Corbis owns 65 million images.
Media outlets will be able to download the digital images from the Web site. Unlike most photo agencies, which charge subscription or membership fees, NewsMediaExchange will charge on a per-photo basis.
NewsMediaExchange will allow individuals to store images--up to 100 megabytes--free of charge with nominal archiving fees for additional space, the company said. Media outlets can view the low-resolution photos and receive high-resolution digital copies over the Net once purchased. Sellers will set their own price on images.