Getty Images on its Approach to Doing Business in China (GYI)

Jan.31.06 | About: Getty Images (GYI)

From Getty Images' (ticker: GYI) Q4 2005 earnings results conference call:

Jonathan D. Klein, Co Founder, Chief Executive Officer

So in 2005, one of our key initiatives was to accelerate international growth, we did, we launched Getty Images China, we made available a fully functional Chinese language website, the first of its kind.

We basically have three parallel and different tracks in China. The first and the easiest to talk about is our role as for the journalism organization which has photographers on the ground, all over China documenting what’s happening in China in News, Sports and Entertainment. In that area, we operate that completely, separately and we are very focused on licensing that imagery outside of China. And that means that we can choose any image we want, the images are not interfered with at all by the government. And, our editorial integrity is wholly intact as we shoot imagery in China and be distribute it outside of China. And in that sense, the revenues from the imagery didn’t turn up in the China numbers because its being sold outside but the costs are.

The second piece of it is our creative or photography business we choose to do this by way of joint venture so that we would not make some of the mistakes which some folks have made, some are being more better publicized than others and we have a stock photography business in China in joint venture with some folks we knew well. It’s going entirely inline with our expectations and we think with that over time will be good size business but we are building it carefully and slowly from the top of the pyramid down. In other words, we are interested in serving the needs of ad agencies and corporations who are the major ones in the big cities operating inline with intellectual property and copyright laws which they would use and which you will be familiar with outside of China.

The third part of our business is the Licensing of our International Imagery on the Editorial side into China, in other words, News, Sports, Entertainment Imagery from all around the world being sold into China. That is done by an agent and that agent operates under the auspices of one of the organs of the Chinese, not government but related to the Chinese government. And as a result of that, they make sure, that agents that they do not pull foul at the authorities because we think that it’s very important to be very sensitive to what’s happening in that market. I mean at the end of the day what speaks most about the Chinese situation is that long-term, it’s going to be very big market for us, short-term it won’t be and it’s the only joint venture we had anywhere in the world and that’s the joint venture on the Creative side and that’s because of sensitivity to the local market and how things are going over there. So yeah we are investing in it and we are pretty confident but don’t expect China to significantly or radically move to get the images numbers in the next several years.

Full transcript here.

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