Describing the new venture celebstock.com as a celebrity stock photographic agency, Lyons said it will charge users to access an “enormous archive” of 25 million images.
“It may be used by a basic blogger at home for $40, to [the] biggest publisher, possibly $20,000…” he told Australian magazine The Weekly Review.
“Photographers can upload and see their sales almost instantaneously. It’s a different price-point from Big Pictures.
“Big Pictures was charging anywhere between $250,000 to $1 million a picture.”
Shortly after Big Pictures went into administration in October 2012 Lyons bought back the assets – including its picture archive – via a new company called BPGG Limited for £164,000.
“I didn’t see the future in the current dinosaur that was Big Pictures,” he told the Review in an interview earlier this month. He continued:
I decided I’d kind of had enough. The global financial crisis had hit the business hard; I needed to restructure (it) …Lyons went on to boast of his wealth but insisted it was “immaterial”:
The changes in the business, from privacy (laws) to GFC (global financial crisis) to dealing with a lot of people in the industry – it wasn’t me.
There was a scourge in the industry, an underbelly of the industry which didn’t appeal to me.
I changed my perspective in what I felt was ethical. It’s like any business. You always get your bad eggs. The whole industry needed – and has had – a major shake-up. I got very depressed that the celebrities used their images when it was right for them and then the next minute they’d sue you …
“My dream was to be a millionaire by the time I was 30,” he says. “I’ve made plenty and lost plenty. My life’s a roller-coaster whether I like it or not. I can be as successful in my own heart and mind with 20 cents as I can with tens of millions. Money buys you nice things, but I’ll be honest with you, it becomes extremely immaterial after a while.He later described himself as a “huge gambler” before admitting that over the last few years he had “lost a lot”, adding: “but I’m also totally convinced that I’ll have the biggest business in the world again.”
My dad’s the absolute opposite of me in relation to material things. He drives around in his Nissan that I think has done 425,000 kilometres, and he loves his car, more than I love my Ferrari or my Lamborghini or my Range Rover.
Don’t get me wrong, I like having them. I don’t look at them as motor cars, particularly the two sports cars. I look at them as works of art. I’m a really arty person as you can see by the house. Whether it’s photography, whether it’s Warhol or beautiful pieces of art, I’m a great collector. I love collecting things that are special.
According to The Guardian, Big Pictures entered voluntary liquidation earlier this month owing more than £82,000 to photographers and other pictures agencies.
In evidence to the Leveson Inquiry last year Lyons said the agency handled 3,500 showbiz pictures a day from 152 freelance or paparazzi photographers around the world, as well as 29 full-time members of staff.