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India Today Group serves up India at her best through a new picture service

07-October-2005
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India Today Group serves up India at her best through a new picture service

What does a large publishing group with one of the biggest collections of India-centric images dating back to 1975 do? Share it with whosoever desires to use these high-resolution images for various publishing purposes, of course – for a sum.

The India Today Group recently launched its picture service. On offer are more than 70,000 images covering news and politics, business and economy, fashion, lifestyle, art, culture and entertainment. This number is expected to exceed 100,000 in a few weeks.

Said Ashish Bagga, Executive Director, India Today Group, “It was a huge critical mass waiting to be exploited on a commercial basis. Our coverage goes back to 1975.”

In order to buy these pictures all one has to do is log on to www.indiatodayimages.com and follow a six-step procedure. After registering with the site, one needs to search for the required image by entering key words in the search feature.

Once the image appears, the buyer needs to specify the details of how s/he intends to use the image and usage rights. There is a helpful feature called the ‘price calculator’, which instantly shows the price of the image. Once the price has been accepted, the buyer can proceed towards the online payment gateway.

Initially, the purchased images will be sent by email to the buyer after the payment has been made. Alternately, images can be put on a CD and delivered through courier at an additional cost. At a later stage, the images can be directly downloaded on to one’s PC.

Indiatodayimages.com is an arm of Syndications Today, which was set up by the India Today Group in 1999 to provide content-based services to various news agencies across the globe to supplement India coverage.

While admitting that the picture service was contextually similar to other picture service providers like Reuters, Getty Images, AP and Corbis, Bagga maintained that the content was different as the images were India-specific. “Our images deliver India at her best,” he insisted.

The picture service is meant for B2B usage, hence is targeted at news agencies, various forms of media, book publishers, researchers, websites, etc. “We provide content to embellish your own content,” said Bagga.

Though the launch of the service has been relatively low-key, the Group has plans for a major multi-media promotion campaign involving mailers, ads in print and websites. Though most of the creatives have been done in-house, several agencies have also been lined up. However, Bagga refrained from divulging further details on this front.

It will certainly be interesting to see how this service shapes up over the years as India Today’s image database – if one goes by the thousands of photos that have appeared in the various Group publications – is quite exhaustive and impressive.

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