World Illustrated is an interactive, multi-media publisher of content which informs, educates and entertains the viewer across an extensive, almost limitless, range of topics. This engagement is supplemented by social media functionality. Its ethos harks back to the glory days of famous publications like Life and Picture Post magazine, with a 21st century twist. Free to view, World Illustrated could attract a significant global audience and advertising revenue.
World Illustrated is also a content licensing company offering individuals and businesses the opportunity to license the published content directly from the site for personal or professional use. It is envisaged that volume of viewer traffic and subsequent purchases will enable the licensing side of the business to credibly compete with the likes of Getty Images and Shutterstock, the leaders in the content licensing market.
On-line activities will be supported by a “clicks and mortar” presence delivered through a chain of coffee cum bar galleries where customers can also buy content related products such as prints, cards and posters. These consumer products will also be available on-line. World Illustrated will earn revenue from advertising, content licensing, consumer products based on the content and from its galleries.
World Illustrated will operate from offices in London and Florida.
World Illustrated passes the toothbrush test – it is something that you want to and should use every day.
The content/viewer premise is that tens of thousands of professionally produced images, videos and articles are submitted to re-selling agencies every day but only a fraction of this material is ever published despite the content’s intrinsic merit or interest to significant numbers of individuals. This non-publication is due to the structure of traditional publishers and their restricted content acquisition budgets. World Illustrated’s images and videos will initially be supplied by four international photo and video agencies who collectively represent 130 million images and videos covering a broad range of topics. World Illustrated is also in negotiations with other content providers.
World Illustrated has acquired a 25% stake in the lead supplier, Avalon Media Limited, a UK/US image licensing business, with an option to increase to over 50%. Avalon represents or owns 23 million images covering a wide range of interests and which are updated on a daily basis. Users of the World Illustrated will be able to supplement Avalon’s content by uploading their own works which will also be available for both viewing and licensing.
World Illustrated will not have to pay traditional upfront licensing fees, a major impediment for all publishers. World Illustrated will only have to pay content suppliers a percentage revenue derived from the publication or licensing of the content, enabling the company to publish extensively on a global scale free of charge to the viewer. World Illustrated is in negotiations with other content providers beyond the initial group of suppliers to supply their content on a similar basis.
Social media functionality will further enhance the stickiness of World Illustrated. Users will be able to engage with each other via comments and contribution mechanisms. In addition, each user will be able to create their own “My World” where they can engage with, add to and share comments and content with their friends or other users. World Illustrated’s chain of galleries/coffee shops/wine bars will add to brand awareness as well as revenues.
World Illustrated’s editorial policy is one of inclusiveness, reinforcing its intended role as a platform where high quality work on any topic can be viewed, submitted to, commented on and shared. It will not have a pre-defined editorial policy unlike many traditional publishers.
It is further anticipated that, by its wide reach to potentially millions of users, World Illustrated will be a significant licensing platform and increase the licensing activities carried on by Avalon Media Limited.
World Illustrated has concentrated on assembling an editorial team and content suppliers. A full commercial team will be recruited upon successful closing of the first round of funding.
The existing team has a myriad of senior management skills, industry expertise and entrepreneurial flair.
Charles worked in investment banking from 1982 to 1999 including for Orion Royal Bank and Morgan Stanley International. With a long-standing interest in photography, he founded Photoshot in 2001 which subsequently became Avalon Media Limited. Avalon now is a leading UK and US provider of editorial images to the mainstream media.
In building Avalon, Charles acquired 18 smaller specialist photo agencies including UPPA, one of the oldest UK press agencies, Retna and LFI, entertainment and music libraries, Pacific Coast News, a US paparazzi agency and NHPA, a world class nature library.
Charles is also part owner and publisher of Hotshoe
International, a leading contemporary photography
magazine and Hotshoe 333, a photographic gallery cum
coffee shop and wine bar in London’s Notting Hill.
He is also a director of a hotel in Scotland.
Initially, World Illustrated will outsource the Finance Director’s role to Finovium. Finovium is a small firm of chartered certified accountants based in Chelsea, London that provides a full range of professional services from statutory reporting to tax advisory to core support services including bookkeeping and payroll. The firm focuses on small owner-managed companies and high growth start-ups. Finovium’s client base ranges from small listed PLCs to sole traders.
The acting Finance Director will be Andrew Searle who is a chartered certified accountant and the founder of Finovium. Andrew originally trained with Baker Tilly in the 1990s and has also worked for a wide variety of global companies ranging from Barings Bank, BAT plc, and Reuters plc. He has set up and run a number of his own ventures in both Germany and the UK over the past 20 years. He has a bachelor’s degree from Kent University and an MBA from Durham University.
In 2019, Yvonne was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize for her work with a team of South African lawyers when she helped them set up an electronic bank of evidence documenting war crimes against Rohingya refugees. She has spoken to the British Parliament about her work and has addressed the House of Lords in the UK parliament on the issue of human rights. She has accepted the position of Managing Editor, News at World Illustrated.
Yvonne Ridley has more than four decades of experience working as a journalist. She cut her teeth as an investigative journalist in her native North East of England before running the news desk at the Sunday Sun and becoming Thomson Regional Newspaper’s first female editor at Wales on Sunday.
After becoming Chief Reporter of the Sunday Express newspaper she unwittingly became the story in 2001 when she was captured by ruling Taliban in Afghanistan. While other hostages remained in captivity she was released after 11 days and went on to write a best seller about her experience.
In 2003, she moved to Qatar where she helped set up and run the English website for Al Jazeera which was the forerunner to the TV station’s English channel. In 2007 her expertise was drawn on again when she was asked to help launch the global English-speaking channel, Press TV, headquartered in Tehran. During that time, she presented and produced several award-winning documentaries including Inside the Wire based on Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The documentary was nominated and commended at the Roma Film Festival in Italy.
Yvonne also works in an advisory capacity for the international WTX Online News service. Her political analysis on Middle East and Asian affairs is often sought by news organisations around the world and she also writes a weekly column for the influential Middle East Monitor and Gercek Hayat, a Turkish news magazine.
She’s an author of several factual books and in January 2020 launches the first of a fictional trilogy called The Caledonians, all of which carry a Scottish history backdrop.
Rick was one of the first people to ever write a showbiz gossip column and became a pioneer of the art starting in mid-Seventies. Among his achievements, Rick was the editor of daily gossip columns of three national UK newspapers, The Sun, The Daily Star and The Daily Mirror in the UK.
He has been responsible for breaking thousands of the biggest showbiz stories and over the years and has travelled the globe to interview numerous legends of the entertainment world including Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna and Paul McCartney. He has written several best-selling celebrity books including biographies of Freddie Mercury and Take That. Rick has appeared on hundreds of prime-time TV programmes.
In 1997, Rick founded BANG Showbiz which has grown to become one of the world’s premier entertainment news agencies providing exciting celebrity news to online, print and broadcast media outlets across the globe. BANG produces content, notably video content, in over 15 languages, including German, French, Spanish and Japanese and its clients include some of the world’s biggest media companies such as MSN, AOL, Yahoo, Twitter and News Corp. Rick also owns Famous, a photo agency, which he co-founded in the Eighties.
Latterly, David has been a photo consultant and specialist at numerous major multi-sport events, including numerous Olympic games.
As a schoolboy and a keen sports fan, David was desperate to make it onto the pitch in a career as a sports superstar. Reaching his goal however came from behind the camera. As a multi award-winning sports photographer David made a successful reputation by his twenties. In later years, his aspirations developed and David created Action Images PLC which rapidly became the worlds’ largest independently owned sports photo agencies employing over sixty staff.
Having divested his interest by his early forties to Thomson Reuters, David has since worked across numerous media platforms.
Colin is currently Director of Strategic Development at Avalon where he has assisted Charles Taylor in selecting target acquisitions and integrating their businesses. Colin’s extensive knowledge of content has further foundations in his prior positions including Head of Image Resources at the Natural History Museum in London where, amongst other responsibilities, Colin ran the world’s largest photo competition, The Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
An expert in archival content and a regular magazine contributor and event presenter, Colin was also Global Sales Director – Archival Collections at Getty Images for 7 years. Prior to which Colin was Head of Sales at The Stage newspaper and held various publishing related positions at The Design Council in the UK.
Solwee are based in the Czech Republic and specialize in building sophisticated content management and publication systems and is used by agencies around the world.
Their knowledge of dealing with images and videos plus the attendant reporting and accounting functionality makes them an ideal partner for World Illustrated. As World Illustrated grows, the company will take over development of the site.
To date, World Illustrated has five international content partner agency suppliers who collectively represent approximately 135 million professionally shot and captioned images and over 20,000 video clips and which is updated daily with the latest stories from around the world. The content covers an extensive range of topics from news to zoology.
Avalon Media Limited is the lead content supplier and is 25% owned by World Illustrated. Based in the UK and US, Avalon is an amalgamation of 18 smaller specialist agencies, one of which, UPPA, was founded in 1929. It represents or owns 23 million images. The collections cover topics as diverse as news, interiors, sports, nature, music, paparazzi, horticulture and construction. See Appendix 1 for a fuller description. World Illustrated has an option to acquire a further 25% stake in Avalon.
dpa Picture-Alliance GmbH based in Frankfurt/Main is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the German Press Agency dpa and is one of the leading photo agencies in Germany and the world. Its content-portal offers a diverse selection of 75 million high-quality images, graphics, illustrations and clips from more than 280 partner agencies around the world. The covered subjects range from daily news to sports, entertainment, business, art, nature, travel, lifestyle and creative stock content. In the historic section there more than ten million images. The dpa-archive plus the extensive material of its partners document about 100 years of world events from all aspects of public life. dpa are the official media and photo partner of the German Sports Aid Foundation and the German Olympic Sports Federation (DOSB).
WENN has been at the forefront of providing the world’s media with up-to-the-minute entertainment news and photo content for over three decades. WENN is an independent, global news organisation, headquartered in London with content production hubs in Los Angeles, New York and Berlin.
WENN’s entertainment content is relied upon by newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, websites, blogs, telecoms and national & international news agencies.
BANG Showbiz is a leading entertainment news agency providing articles, videos and images of celebrity news to online, print and broadcast media outlets across the globe in over 15 languages, including German, French, Spanish and Japanese.
BANG Showbiz was established in 1997 by Fleet Street showbiz columnist Rick Sky to serve the UK and world media with entertainment stories.
BANG Showbiz derives its superb editorial content from Rick’s years of experience and his creation of a team of talented journalists and video makers producing the hottest celebrity news for audiences around the world. BANG Showbiz’s clients include some of the world’s biggest companies including MSN, AOL, Yahoo, Twitter and News Corp.
Globe Photo’s is the oldest pop culture licensing agency in the US, founded in New York City in 1939. Globe has represented over 3,500 photographers worldwide over the past 75 years and has over 10 million images in its archive representing the world’s most iconic figures from Hollywood, music, historical and sports.
WENN’s entertainment content is relied upon by newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, websites, blogs, telecoms and national & international news agencies.
The content will include still images, videos, and articles.
Content will be organised by theme and location, such as American news, Italian sport, nature, history, etc. all of which are described as “channels”. Channels will be searchable, offering users the ability to select which ones they would like to follow. Each channel will present the most recently added content first. Content will remain on the site, enabling users to look back and search for events on a specific date. The number of channels is expandable.
Within each channel there will be “threads” which are built around specific topics within a channel. For example, within the Italian sport channel, there will be threads for individual sports such as football, golf, and swimming.
In some channels, such as music, the threads will relate to the specific subject, for example the Rolling Stones or Coldplay.
Each channel will be managed by a Managing Editor and supported by expert editors and journalists.
The content will be produced by the supplying agencies and will come with captions. World Illustrated editors will extend these captions where necessary to expand on the topic being presented.
Other than engaging viewers by the sheer range and quality of the content, the site will be interactive and have extensive social media functionality.
Viewers will be able to post comments on all content, and each channel and thread will have a specific chatroom or forum where viewers can further discuss the content. For example, the Rolling Stones thread will have an area where Stones fans can comment and interact with each other. Alerts will also notify them of new content.
Additionally, users will be able to create their own social media account, “My World” which in many respects will be similar to a person’s Facebook page. It will also have additional functionality which enables them to easily follow specific channels and threads and share them with other likeminded individuals or friends and family.
Viewers will also be able to upload their own content, either to their own My World account or for publication within a thread. When uploaded to a thread, user generated content will be displayed in a separate viewer uploads area in order to preserve the professional quality and integrity of the thread. User content will also be available for licensing.
Customer engagement will be supplemented by World Illustrated’s physical presence in the high street through a chain of coffee shop cum bar galleries. These will be not dissimilar to bars and cafes often found in museums and art galleries which have grown in popularity in recent years and which have become significant sources of revenue for the locations. They will display images and videos from the site and carry curated collections of prints, posters and related items which will be available for purchase.
Users will be able to buy prints, poster and wall décor of the content on the site. The fulfilment of this will be done by a US provider of consumer photo prints and wall decor, Photo File.
Photo File was founded in 1987 and is well known as a leading manufacturer US of sports photography products. It holds licenses from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, CLC, and MLS and their respective player associations.
World Illustrated will also create collections of prints, posters and wall art which will be available for purchase on-line and in its coffer shop cum bar galleries, each of which will have a Print Room.
Content licensing directly from the site to potentially millions of viewers presents a significant revenue opportunity for World Illustrated. The key driver to achieving this is attracting a significant, daily viewing audience.
Whilst there are no authoritative figures available on the size of the global image licensing markets, some estimates put it in the low US$ billions per year ($2 to $3billion), others have put it in double digit billions.
Broadly, licensing customers fall into two categories: those who use images for “editorial” purposes, such as newspapers, magazines, book publishers, on-line publishers; and those who use images for “commercial” purposes. This latter group includes design and advertising agencies, but more importantly, any business, no matter how large or small that needs imagery – from hairdressers and shops, to property developers, accountants, banks and multi-nationals. A particular licensing product called “microstock” is now the prevalent one. This is where images are sold on-line for a small fee – a few dollars.
The biggest agency is Getty Images which was founded in March 1995 and was floated on NASDAQ in July 1996 before moving to the NYSE in Oct 2002. Getty was taken private by Hellman & Friedman in Feb 2008 for $2.5 billion. Getty’s 2007 sales were $858 million and its net income $125 million. Hellman & Friedman in turn sold the company onto the Carlyle Group in 2012 for $3.3 billion. Getty’s sales come from editorial (approximately 20%), commercial and microstock products (approximately 80%). Getty bought istockphoto, the world’s leading microstock provider at the time in 2006 for $50 million. The company has now been repurchased by its founder, Mark Getty.
Shutterstock is now the leading microstock agency. It was founded in 2003 as a supplier of commercial imagery and entered the microstock market in 2007 with around 2 million images. At the end of 2018, Shutterstock had 225 million images, 1.9 million customers and sales of $623 million producing a net income of $54 million. Shutterstock was floated on the NYSE in December 2012 and has a market cap of $1.3 billion.
Sufficient content has been acquired to launch the site. World Illustrated has the rights to publish up to 135 million images and video and has ensured a daily supply of topical images.
The company has acquired a 25% stake in Avalon Media Limited, one of its’ content suppliers, with an option to acquire a further 25%.
The key editorial staff to manage important-to-have channels.
The launch website has been commissioned. Delivery will take several months. The cost is being underwritten by the CEO.
The design of the stores has been commissioned and an initial location in London identified.
Consumer product collections are being created.
Acquiring further rights to specialist content.
Hiring of a broader team of senior management to cover finance and commercial and marketing staff. This will commence on closing of the first funding round.
Further development of website functionality.
Further information on the offer can be obtained from:
+44 7775 641 681
+1646 247 3667