NY Times: How much for those baby photos?


Is it worth it for magazine’s to pay those high prices for celebrity baby photos? There really isn’t a clear answer to this question, a new article in the New York Times gives a good overview of just how magazines turn a profit, if they manage to turn a profit at all after paying millions of dollars to secure the exclusive rights to a celebrity baby’s first photo shoot. 

People Managing Editor Larry Hackett tells the NYT that although he doesn’t “enjoy” shelling out exorbitant sums of cash, it’s often necessary in order to maintain People’s position in the marketplace.

Last year, we lost a couple of weddings because OK! magazine was willing to spend more money than we thought made sense. If that continues, they’re going to get traction, and I don’t want any competitor to get traction where I can stop it.

While an extremely hot issue and cover can sell an extra 300,000 to 500,000 copies, that only translates into $1 million in domestic earnings — or less.  But splashing the exclusive photos on the magazine’s website can generate significant online interest, meaning a magazine can command higher advertising rates.  Also, while the magazine might take a big hit initially, that hit is lessened when the magazine sells the international rights to the photos. 

But perhaps the biggest motivator of all for the magazines is that  by securing the exclusive rights, you prevent your competitors from doing the same. 

The consumer’s expectation is if the photos are going to be available, I’m going to see them in People.  If we don’t get them, we miss that brand promise, we lose the halo that goes with that.



**Here’s a list of the .


***Not all celebrities opt to sell their babies pictures, recently Usher said  he “In no way would I ever pimp out my child for money,” he tells the New York Post’s of the the rumors that he shopped pics of 5-month-old Usher Raymond V to the tabloids.


We think it’s refreshing to know that there are other celebrities not going out and charging millions of dollars for their babies photos. Do you think celebrities should sell their newborn’s pictures?


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