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Author Topic: Agency Significantly Owned by Contributors  (Read 9615 times)

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« on: September 23, 2014, 15:05 »
+1
I'm surprised I haven't seen any discussion of this already.  GDI Media is a new company being put together by Charles Taylor and his existing agency Photoshot. He is bringing together smaller, established, specialist RM editorial agencies as well as individual contributors to create an agency to compete with the big players.  The goal is to create a one-stop shop agency where RM, RF and Microstock are all available under one roof.  This includes photos, video, audio and vectors. They are planning for Microstock to be the largest revenue generator.

The big thing here is that both the individual agencies and individual contributors will be able to purchase shares in the company and have an ownership stake. The company will be listed on the AIM stock exchange in the UK.

You can check it out here: http://signup.gdi.media

Once you are signed up and approved you will receive a 28 page business plan with the details. It's quite affordable to purchase shares and there are some benefits for doing so early on. 

This is the kind of business plan I've been waiting for a long time.  Don't know if it will work but something has to be done to improve the conditions for suppliers in this industry.

I'll be interested to hear what others think!



« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2014, 15:23 »
+7
You might be able to check things out but I can't - no invite. Here's the explanatory text:

"Access to this site is by invitation only. Invitations have only been sent to potential contributors to GDI and potential agency partners, as well as members of the press.

If you have not received an invitation and feel that you may qualify, please contact us via the Contact Us link. Access will only be granted to individuals and organizations who qualify. In order to qualify you must be one of the following:

A content licensing business. Content being defined as photos, video, audio, illustrations and vectors.
An individual who is an existing contributor to a content licensing business.
Individuals or businesses that carry on the business of commercial photography, video, audio, illustration or vector production.
A member of the press.
Access is not permitted to businesses or individuals in some countries."

I don't know if I'm interested or not without details. Perhaps that's why there's no discussion?

« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2014, 15:34 »
+7
So that sounds like one of the businesses that you have to pay, so you can earn money.
That is heard of before.

« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2014, 15:35 »
0
I'll be interested to hear what others think!

What's the USP?

« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2014, 15:47 »
0
You might be able to check things out but I can't - no invite. Here's the explanatory text:

"Access to this site is by invitation only. Invitations have only been sent to potential contributors to GDI and potential agency partners, as well as members of the press.

If you have not received an invitation and feel that you may qualify, please contact us via the Contact Us link. Access will only be granted to individuals and organizations who qualify.


I did receive an invite as I had a distant previous relationship with one of Photoshots agencies.  Sorry, I did not realize that the page I linked to was invite only.  Jim Pickerell wrote a story yesterday about the agency that can be accessed here if you are a member:  http://www.selling-stock.com/Article/gdi-new-publicly-traded-stock-photo-company. Otherwise I guess you have to contact GDI first to request an invite.

« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2014, 15:51 »
0
What's the USP?

I think GDI would say their USP is a one-stop shop for everything photo, video, audio, vector related, all the way from microstock to RM under one roof.  Getty is the only one that even kind of does that.  They may own businesses in all of those segments but they're accessed from different sites except for the super secret getty360.

« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2014, 19:20 »
+4
...Otherwise I guess you have to contact GDI first to request an invite.

But I have no reason to request an invite as I know nothing about the site - I don't subscribe to Mr. Pickerell's newsletter.

Perhaps there's somewhere other than MSG where the invitees/subscribers might gather? I'm certainly interested in new opportunities where they're applicable, but I think there'll be no discussion here as long as the whole thing is so tightly under wraps.

Tror

« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2014, 20:35 »
+4
I'm surprised I haven't seen any discussion of this already.  GDI Media is a new company being put together by Charles Taylor and his existing agency Photoshot. He is bringing together smaller, established, specialist RM editorial agencies as well as individual contributors to create an agency to compete with the big players.  The goal is to create a one-stop shop agency where RM, RF and Microstock are all available under one roof.  This includes photos, video, audio and vectors. They are planning for Microstock to be the largest revenue generator.

The big thing here is that both the individual agencies and individual contributors will be able to purchase shares in the company and have an ownership stake. The company will be listed on the AIM stock exchange in the UK.

You can check it out here: http://signup.gdi.media

Once you are signed up and approved you will receive a 28 page business plan with the details. It's quite affordable to purchase shares and there are some benefits for doing so early on. 

This is the kind of business plan I've been waiting for a long time.  Don't know if it will work but something has to be done to improve the conditions for suppliers in this industry.

I'll be interested to hear what others think!


I`m very interested. It`s about time that something like that arrives and the business model - if thought through well - is very likely to work to at least some scale.

What I do not know: anything about you guys. If more data, background, personal information, stats etc. would be provided and compiled for easy cognitive digestion and if it shows sufficient professionalism it is quite thinkable for me to signup and step in....

Uncle Pete

« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2014, 12:28 »
+1
Probably not a good sign...

Sorry, we were unable to deliver your message to the following address.

<signup@gdi.media>:
Remote host said:
550 Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable

Ubermansch

  • Im designed to think
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2014, 01:59 »
0
Tried too, no contact to their server or something.

how much are shares? when is the ipo? Im still at school so not much cash but this looks like it could be the next microsoft.

« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2014, 03:27 »
+1
Or next Enron

Ubermansch

  • Im designed to think
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2014, 04:21 »
+1
Bernie Madeoff salivates in his prison cell at this moment :D

Uncle Pete

« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2014, 08:54 »
+1
That's why I wrote "not a good sign" can't even make a contact link work?  ???

I also wonder about the secret invite with password and all that. Unusual and not very business like. Especially when I have to work this hard to find some answers?  8)

Photoshot?

"Announcement of the launch of GDI Media Limited: a content licensing agency significantly owned by its contributors that will be listed on AIM, a leading international stock exchange based in London.

The formation of GDI Media Limited (GDI) was announced today by Chares Taylor, managing director.

GDI will be a photographic, video, audio, vector and illustration content licensing company, operating both traditional rights managed and microstock business models from offices around the world. It aims to become a challenger brand to leading content licensing companies such as Getty Images and Shutterstock.

The companys capital structure is a key factor that is designed to give GDI the scale of content, technological and financial resources to compete effectively. Founding equity participation is open to potential contributors be they individuals or editorial agencies.

GDI is in advanced discussions with over 40 leading editorial agencies from around the world. Their participation is contingent on listing on AIM, which is expected to happen towards the end of 2014. Successful inclusion of these agencies will result in a company with extensive, world-class content covering most developed markets.

Today sees the announcement of the formation of GDI to individual contributors who too will have the opportunity to become contributor-founders.

Fuller information can be found at http://signup.gdi.media. Access to the site is strictly limited to permitted persons. Interested parties may request access through the link published on the site.

For further information, please contact Charles Taylor. <removed>

Charles Taylor said:

The effect of the changes in market conditions has been that the content licensing industry is becoming polarized into a few dominant players including Getty Images and Shutterstock, who are significantly larger, more capable and better funded than their smaller competitors. Individually, these smaller, independent agencies are finding it harder to compete. Most of whom also have no natural buyer in the event that the owner wishes to sell.

We are possibly at a watershed: the market could see a number of me too agencies go to the wall, and further gradual consolidation around the Getty and microstock models.

However, that process is one that offers an opportunistic player the possibility to create a third or fourth critical mass in the market by assimilating a number of smaller, independent agencies and adopting new business models to form a credible, well-funded and technologically capable competitor.

Via a listing of GDIs stock, the injection of investment capital and savvy agglomeration of key archives, GDI is a catalyst for agencies to become involved in a third way and reassert themselves profitably in the market. GDI becomes a corporate vehicle other businesses can plug in to, gain critical mass and unlock value and strategic weight.

Additionally, GDIs capital structure enables individual contributors to become founder shareholders in a listed company. This has never before been offered to individual contributors. Both Getty and Shutterstock have enterprise values in the billions of dollars. This has significantly been created off the back of their contributors content. GDIs structure offers its contributors the possibility of creating enterprise value which they benefit from whilst also earning royalties on sales of their content.

Initially, GDI will have its head office in the UK, provided by Photoshot who is a founding agency, with offices in the US and at least one major European country, via the intended participation of agencies in those countries. The company will start to trade upon admission to AIM, which is expected at the end of 2014.

The board of directors will be as follows:-

The Chairman will be Daniel Hodson. Daniel's career has spanned the communications, financial, educational and charitable sectors. He became Deputy CEO of Nationwide Building Society in 1989 and in 1993 was appointed CEO of LIFFE plc, a post held until 1998. Prior to that he was Finance Director of Unigate and then Chairman and CEO of the marketing services group, Davidson Pearce. Daniel has extensive experience as non-executive director of The Post Office, Rolfe and Nolan plc, and the London Clearing House plc. From 1998 to 2002 he was Gresham Professor of Commerce, lecturing widely on governance, and was Chairman of the University of Winchester from 2001 to 2006. He was also Chairman of the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) from 1999 to 2005. He is a non-executive director of NASDAQ OMLX NLX and Chairman of BPL Global (Holdings) Ltd. He is also a former Master of the Mercers Company and has exhibited as a photographer.

Peter Smith will serve as a non-executive director. Peter was the President of NBC Universal International for 5 years until 2012, coming after senior roles with Universal Pictures International (President, International Home Entertainment), PolyGram Filmed Entertainment International (VP Continental Europe/Divisional MD UK) and Channel 5 Entertainment (MD). He has an exceptional record of achievement in the media business across international markets. His background in sales, marketing and acquisitions, were instrumental in delivering significant growth in revenue and margins at these organizations, such as 44% revenue growth over 3 years at NBC Universal. As a strategic thinker, Peter focuses on creating and executing strategic goals and developing high performance international teams.

In addition, the board will comprise a Finance Director with experience of running a publically listed company, a representative of those agencies who have transferred full ownership of their business to GDI. There will also one or two non-executive directors who can bring expertise and experience to the Company.

The Company will also form a Content Advisory Panel consisting of leading content creators who will act as ambassadors for the company amongst content providers."





Tried too, no contact to their server or something.

how much are shares? when is the ipo? Im still at school so not much cash but this looks like it could be the next microsoft.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2014, 09:09 by Uncle Pete »

« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2014, 10:12 »
+1
So this is the same Charles Taylor, as far as I can tell:

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/charles-taylor/8/158/b11

http://www.photoshot.com/


http://www.shutterstock.com/g/davincidig
http://www.dreamstime.com/davinci_portfolio_pg1
http://www.fotolia.com/p/17182
http://www.123rf.com/profile_davinci

The "microstock" stuff on the Photoshot site says Moodboard and the shots (over 50K of them) are on dreamstime as PhotographerLondon

http://www.dreamstime.com/photographerlondon_info

So this new company will be listed on AIM - I looked that up and found it's the part of the London Stock Exchange that caters to new businesses, for a fee

http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/companies-and-advisors/main-market/listing-fees/aim-fees-calculator.html

I have no idea what the admission fees would be but there is an annual fee of 6,500 pounds. When I think about all the things a new stock agency should be spending money on, fees to get the company listed on a stock exchange wouldn't seem to me to help sell any licenses or build the company's brand/awareness in the choice of stock agencies buyers have.

Another item that caught my eye was the guide to tax relief (for UK taxpayers) of companies listed on AIM - that would not be a factor for anyone based outside the UK, but perhaps might explain the reason the founders are pursuing a listing?

http://www.londonstockexchange.com/companies-and-advisors/aim/publications/a-guide-to-aim-tax-benefits.pdf

So without really knowing anything about the pitch they're making, or about how successful Photshot has been, I see a medium successful microstock photographer (I'm not all that successful and I've sold more licenses at dreamstime than Charles Taylor has, which includes me being gone from 2008-11 while exclusive at iStock) talking about getting listed on a stock exchange and having equity participation from the members.

What about how they'll market this world class content to take on Getty and Shutterstock?

I readily acknowledge I don't have all the facts, but this story doesn't hold together for me.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2014, 10:17 by Jo Ann Snover »

Uncle Pete

« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2014, 20:00 »
0
Thanks Jo Ann, more insight and research. I have no business opinion, but wonder why Photoshot is mostly Moodboard and Monkey Business (which they bought) Why there are broken links and  missing pages. Some parts of the site seem to be (C) 2009.

But I'm more than open to give them a chance to move forward and be something new in the world of stock.

Why the secrecy?

"We are possibly at a watershed: the market could see a number of me too agencies go to the wall, and further gradual consolidation around the Getty and microstock models."

Must agree, at some point the parasites and blood draining leeches will be closing or be sold and consolidated into other agencies. Keep in mind one fact. Most of the agencies, all the way down the list, have the same images, from the same people, and nothing to distinguish their content from every other site. IS is an exception.

« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 12:49 by Uncle Pete »

« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2015, 06:42 »
0
Update on this, was sent this email:


Invitation to participate in the launch of GDI.

A content licensing company significantly owned by its contributors    
          
     

Dear XXXXX

As many of you know, I have been working on the creation of GDI Media plc for a few months and having secured enough backing we can now proceed as planned. The aim is to create a comprehensive, international content licensing company operating both traditional and newer licensing models, such as microstock, and I would like you to seriously consider being a participant in the formation of the agency.

GDI has two exciting features:-

Firstly, it is intended that the agency be substantially owned by the agencies and individuals from around the world who supply it with content. As an individual you can participate either by becoming a contributor, or in certain countries (please see notes below, and in the disclaimer at the front of the Information Memorandum attached below), both a contributor and founding shareholder. Our agency, Photoshot, is a founding partner.

Secondly, the aim is to seek a listing on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in the UK. With a fair wind, this could happen as early as August. A central financial aim is that the value created accrues to those businesses and individuals who have actually produced wonderful content, and not to money men in suits.

Please take some time to download and read the Information Memorandum which can be found here.

http://filestore.thedataarchive.com/photoshot/GDI-Media-plc-Information-Memorandum.pdf

It is not as complicated or as scary as it might look. If you would like to become a contributor please complete and return the Contribution Agreement which can be found in Schedule 2 starting on page 26. If you would also like to become a shareholder please complete and return the Participation Application Individual Contributors on page 25. The closing date is 31st July 2015.

As well as inviting individual creators of content to become founding participants, we are also inviting editorial agencies around the world to merge into one bigger agency. This part of the offer was announced last week at the CEPIC Congress in Warsaw and was very well received.

I believe that GDI, with its co-operative, listed structure, can help redress the imbalance in the market which in recent years has been dominated by a few giants. We have an opportunity to create a great business that has real value. And most importantly, much of that value will accrue to you, the hard working and hard pressed contributor owners, rather than to financial backers, who typically have supported the big guys.

In short, GDI could become the David of the content world, to those Goliaths who are exerting an increasing stranglehold on the supply and sale of content.

I look forward to welcoming you to the company and please dont hesitate to contact me on ctaylor@photoshot.com if you have any questions.

Yours sincerely,

Charles Taylor
Managing Director
Photoshot License Limited
   
          
          
     

Some details on the process:

    Unfortunately, residents in certain countries (mostly outside the EU) cannot subscribe for shares under the attached Information Memorandum. Please see the disclaimer at the beginning of the document. We are working on producing legally compliant documents for key countries so that individuals resident in them may also participate.
    The formal invitation to participate in the formation of GDI Media plc is published by Photoshot License Limited and is made by way of the Information Memorandum published 9th June 2015
    We are inviting individuals to be become contributors and shareholders. The law is such that prior to listing, we can only invite individuals to become shareholders if a) they are an existing contributor to a library or a professional photographer, b) they MUST become a contributor to GDI.
    We have started to invite editorial agencies to either merge into GDI or appoint the company as their agent. In both cases, the agencies will own shares in the company
    Other individuals can only buy shares once the company is listed.
    Once we have hit critical mass (which we almost have), we will close the invitation made under the Information Memorandum and produce an Admission Document, which is the official document that should allow us to list on AIM. Anybody can buy shares in the company once we are listed.
    We will start the microstock collection once we are listed.
    The offer under the Information Memorandum will close no later than 31st July 2015.


Is anyone going for it?

« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2015, 09:30 »
0
I received it and was interested enough to read the contract carefully, certain key parts several times.


General reminder about contracts, especially when one's considering becoming shareholder in company:


Each section, each word of a contract can have major implications on immediate and future obligations. Unless one has relevant legal training, having contract reviewed by lawyer is a MUST.
Taking a risk isn't necessarily a bad idea, just as long as you clearly understand the risk.


« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2015, 10:40 »
+5
The email from September said they hoped to be admitted to AIM by the end of 2014. Now they hope "...as early as August..." (2015 I assume)

Not clear what the delay is or why they think that now things will move forward when before they didn't. Wouldn't you have expected some sort of explanation of the delay?

I couldn't become an investor even if I wanted to (which I don't) because I'm outside the EU, but this feels more like PicturEngine (lots of promises but nothing much ever came of it)

« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2015, 17:17 »
0
The market is already saturated with very similar offerings most sectors on the internet are dominated by one or two companies that got in early. Think I'll put my money on a horse instead.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2015, 20:31 »
+3
Which horse?  ;)

It's an investment and different way of looking at the game. I'm not going to take a swing at this either way, but will watch with interest. It's not the same old, new agency with empty promises routine. High commissions on sales that never come. Waste of time.  Or how it's a game changer or some other way to take your work and money and make a profit for the owners. A "next big thing" site, which there hasn't been one in about a decade.

This one, if it's what is proposed - you are the owner, and become the blood drinking, parasitic agency. Hey, why not. People hate the agencies for taking too much. Now's your chance to be on the other side. (and maybe see why agencies don't pay more than 15-20% in most cases?)

If owning the agency is the way to riches, people should jump into this. If it's a bad investment then I want to know how the complaints about percentages disappear when it comes to individuals owning the site? Can't have it both ways, at the same time.

Either way, my personal position, I'm not diving into this water until someone shows me how deep it is.  ;D It will be interesting to watch as time progresses.



The market is already saturated with very similar offerings most sectors on the internet are dominated by one or two companies that got in early. Think I'll put my money on a horse instead.

« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2015, 06:49 »
0
Whilst the funding ownership model may be novel I would take a lot of convincing any new business could generate the sales required unless they come up with something really radical that no one has thought of.

« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2015, 15:06 »
+5
.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2015, 23:23 by cdwheatley »

« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2015, 16:02 »
+2
If you could get all the best material to be sold exclusively on a site like this it might work. Let's face it, many contributors that have been at this a while are feeling a little unmotivated and paranoid about the future, for good reason. A site that was run by contributors with a chance to have shares as well... sounds refreshing. Maybe it could remain nonexclusive up until a point where the money was there, wont happen overnight. At that time, everything goes exclusive and ports are pulled from the other sites. Newbies would have to cut their teeth at the regular micros until they are good enough and have a large enough port to join the site. That way the flow of images would be top notch and only available under one roof. Istock was heading in this direction once upon a time only to get squashed by greed. We the contributors collectively own all the product, it's simple, put it all in one place and have it run by a us= game over. Having the same material spread out everywhere is the problem.

Nothing more effective than an army of 20,000+ contributors promoting a product that they believe in.

Honestly, with the way things are going, how many people that make a living doing stock still think they will be able to do so 5 years from now? Maybe a few. Are the agencies going to help us, do they care to help us?

While I agree 100% I still wonder if GDI is the one we are waiting for. My gut feeling tells me this is either a non-starter or, worse, a scam.

« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2015, 17:36 »
+4
.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2015, 23:24 by cdwheatley »

« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2015, 18:32 »
+3
If you could get all the best material to be sold exclusively on a site like this it might work....... Maybe it could remain nonexclusive up until a point where the money was there, wont happen overnight. At that time, everything goes exclusive and ports are pulled from the other sites. .....We the contributors collectively own all the product, it's simple, put it all in one place and have it run by a us= game over. Having the same material spread out everywhere is the problem.

Nothing more effective than an army of 20,000+ contributors promoting a product that they believe in.


several problems

1. you cant just close all your agency accts & go exclusive -- takes many months in some cases, and few people are going to abandon their other portfolios until the new site is a proven winner

2. even if somehow you got 20,000 artists involved, in no way would you have a corner on the market; and you'd  still be facing a steep uphill battle for market share  - look at stocksy, which does well for its contributors (MANY times smaller than 20,000) , but still is only a tiny fraction of the overall market

3. who chooses the 'best ' material? 
 

4 price - no way this kind of site will be able to compete with SS et al on price

so it's not just an uphill fight - you're standing at the bottom of the grand canyon and the established agencies are rolling rocks down the trail as you try to ascend


 

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