PAN 60sec Interview: Glenn Parker

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Name: Glenn Parker
Company: Photolibrary Group
Position: CEO


What age did you leave school?
The ripe old age of 23.
Where are you based?
Sydney Australia although sometimes with the amount of travel I do I think it’s on an Airbus 340.
How did you get into the picture library business?
I joined Photolibrary in mid 2000 when it was a small Australian library. Back in those days it was all tranparency based. I still remember how wonderful we felt when we launched www.photolibrary.com in late 2000 with a total of 16,000 images on it!!!
What were you doing before that?
I ran various internet based businesses from online stockbroking to online games!!! I thought the image industry was just ripe for the digital age and thats why I joined. Little did I know that it would take another 9 years to grow to where we are now!! The internet for the image market did not really take off until 2004 and from there is has grown considerably and changed remarkably since then as well. Today from its small beginnings Photolibrary now has over 6 million images on the web and offices in 12 countries. A far cry from the early days.
How many staff do you employ worldwide at the Photo Library Group?
Over 130
Describe your Monday morning?
Catch up with my partner Tim Moore, coffee, look at the plan for the week and down to business. It is also an opportunity to settle into the week slowly as when I am in Australia all of our other offices are still closed for the weekend on the monday. It is a very important day as the rest of the week is very hectic with early morning and late night phone calls around the world.
What footage content is Photolibrary looking for at the moment?
Always looking for more content to expand on our niche products although I would say that your typical lifestyle content which is the hallmark of the image business does not work in the footage environment. That is because stock footage is typically used as scene breaks or fill ins. It is rare that we would sell footage of a couple walking down a beach so to speak.
What was your best footage sale in May?
TVC out of UK for Robinsons Juice
What was your best selling still image in May?
A shot of Tianenmin Square…..I think we all appreciate that our biggest sellers are not always our most creative.
Which picture library web site has recently caught your eye?
Due to the nature of our group we speak a lot to niche agencies plus the larger corporates. All are good to chat to and we like to share a glass of wine with all of them. Next time you are in Sydney give us a shout.
Which websites do you visit daily other that photolibrary.com and Photoarchivenews.com?
Google of course!!! I am not a big net trawler and mostly I get lots of feeds from our staff around the world which is handy. We obviously utilise google, twitter, facebook and youtube in our daily marketing as digital advertising becomes a more important part of our marketing mix.
How are your sales figures at Photolibrary compared to this time last year?
We are up around 25% year to date which is pleasing. Most areas are experiencing growth so thankfully I dont need to single out any particular region.
What has been the major factor for maintaining sales?
We know our customers. We keep visiting clients, talking to them and finding out what they need. We use the web as our front but at the end of the day we are a service company and that is important for our clients to know. It is not something remarkable but it is a philosophy that is instilled in our sales force daily (if not hourly!!) rather than the odd sporadic approach that other libraries seem to take.
Have you changed your image pricing strategy?
No
Are you providing subscription deals or sticking with single image sales?
Yes. Photostogo is a subscription product we launched recently and has some positive growth in it’s first few months.
Are you looking to acquire more content this year? – stills or footage?
Yes but this is probably not the way we will announce it! You will be 2nd to know, after my wife! Seriously we are always on the lookout for potential acquisitions that can help our content base.
Which newspapers and magazines do you subscribe to?
I dont. I have a team of over 130 that keeps me well informed on the goings on around the world every day!!
When did you last pick up a camera?
I leave that to the professionals.
What are you doing when you are not selling photos?
Spend time with the kids and enjoy the great Aussie sun when I am here.
Favorite food?
Steak and veggies. Keep it simple is my motto both in life and business!!!
Cinema or pub?
Pub
Ideal Friday night?
Sit with staff and talk about the week and what’s on the plate for the weekend.
Ideal holiday destination?
It changes depending upon where I am. When I am in the US I think about the Bahamas as I am normally stuck in NYC. When in UK or Europe I like the old cities and their culture. When I am back in Australia – a weekend away at the beach!!
Lastly what advice would you give to any new picture library.
Most imprtantly of all you must enjoy what you do. If it is a burden then get out!!! Also as much as possible stick to your original game plan but always be ready to introduce new products into that game plan as things progress. I recall when I first joined this industry RF was still getting traction – now it seems to be the poor cousin given the various comments I have seen over the past year. We have always stuck to what we are good at irrespective of the product or price point. That is giving our customers exceptional service, wherever they are and whatever they want.

Posted by Will Carleton
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