Showbiz news agency WENN is launching a photo agency called Cover Images which will provide images across news, sport and other areas complementing WENN’s expertise in entertainment.
It is the third major UK-based picture agency launch in recent weeks following news that Splash founder Kevin Smith was launching Mega and the launch last week of Silverhub headed by former Daily Mirror picture editor Ian Down.
Cover Images will be headed up by Glen Marks, previously business development manager at photo agency Rex Features.
It will be fully up and running in the coming weeks and initially, aside from Marks, will not have a dedicated staff. Instead it will utilise staff from its parent group, which operates out of offices in London, where it has between 50 and 100 staff, Berlin, New York and Los Angeles.
Lloyd Beiny, chairman of WENN, hopes the new agency, which will be run from WENN’s London office, will prove a nimble alternative to “the duopoly” of Getty Images and Shutterstock, the two powerhouses of the sector.
He said: “Given the changing landscape of the photo industry we believe there is an opportunity for a full-service agency. Over the last few years it has emerged that there two main agencies, Shutterstock and Getty Images.
“With the launch of Cover Images our mission is simple: to provide a cost-effective, creative and efficient alternative to the effective duopoly created by the behemoths of the photo industry.
“I think it [Cover Images] will always sit under the WENN Media Group. As time goes by I hope it will develop its own identity.”
Cover Images will provide photos both on a subscription basis and to individuals.
The launch of Cover Images follows WENN’s acquisition last year of Cover Media, an agency which focuses on providing text, video and branded content for digital publishers.
Matthew Walker, managing director of Cover Images and Cover Media, said: “Cover Images is about making photos easy and affordable with inventive pricing structures to suit clients’ requirements.”