chapter  8
18 Pages

Digitized News-image Markets and the Politics of Place: A Critical Exploration of Contemporary Changes to the Global Single Market and the Impact on Public Understanding of Place: D.J. Clark


The total global image market was estimated in 2002 to be worth US$6.5 billion and growing (Rubython 2002). However, due to the fractured nature of the market and the growth of digital networks, no one really knows the exact fi gure today and estimates vary greatly. In the early years of the fi rst decade of the twenty-fi rst century about 60 percent of the market was coming from direct commissions to photographers and the rest from the sale of “off-the-shelf” images (Cane 2002), but the whole structure of the industry has been transformed by digitization. In 2003, Linda Royles, managing director of the British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies, was saying, “There is a phenomenal change going on in the market at the moment. I really think people will look back at this period in the same way people now look at the changes from agricultural to industrial”.1 These changes threw the industry into disarray. According to Stephen Mayes (2006), CEO at picture agency VII Photo, “So fast has been the phenomenal change that we don’t yet have the systems in place to control the digital revolution. We are clinging to old rules in the hope that they will support us in the new world. But they don’t fi t. Put simply, we live in confused times”.