Top appointments at media tech asset action press

  • Picture agency sets course by focusing personnel on new industry standard streaming
  • Daniel Nikolic new Editor-in-Chief, Frank Glandorf new CFO


As the first picture agency group ever, action press AG (Frankfurt) will map the transformation from the previous print focus to the expected new industry standard streaming of digital media assets with the British SmartFrame Technologies Ltd. (London) in all operational processes and has reorganized its personnel accordingly: In the course of its structuring into the three business areas of classic picture agency, streaming and AI-driven content, it will appoint an editor-in-chief and a CFO (chief financial officer) for the first time in its more than fifty-year history on September 1, 2023.

The new Editor-in-Chief of the action press group is Daniel Nikolic (42), who has been Visual Content and Assignment Editor at action press subsidiary ddp media GmbH since 2017. He gained management experience as Head of Picture Editing (2008 to 2012) at the agency face to face, which was acquired by action press in 2021. After a stopover as picture editor at Insight Media (2012 to 2017), he joined the ddp group, where he became the main person responsible for editorial and technical tasks with the Stockholm-based international picture agency and ddp subsidiary Stella Pictures AB. For two decades, Stella has covered major events in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, focusing on royals, celebrities and sports. Nikolic’s credentials include a strong affinity for IT. As Editor-in-Chief, he now heads the joint editorial team of action press AG and its subsidiaries action press international GmbH (Editorial Director Bettina Geschwind, with the company since 2004) and ddp media GmbH (Chief of Staff Holger Stevens, with the company since 2013).

With his many years of cross-functional management experience in finance and accounting, controlling, human resources and IT, Diplom-Kaufmann Frank Glandorf (age 50) is the new commercial director of action press AG. His expertise in the implementation of software, the optimization of processes (automation, digitization, workflows) and profitable further development through the implementation of cost management qualify him for his new area of responsibility. Frank Glandorf will also support action press AG’s upcoming investment and financing projects. In addition, he knows his new work environment, the trained tax specialist was already commercial director of action press from 2008 to 2009 and from 2009 to 2011 in the same function at ddp in Hamburg.

“We are very pleased that in Daniel Nikolic we have been able to recruit an editor-in-chief from our own ranks for this important task,” says action press AG CEO Ulli Michel. “In addition to lived pragmatism, Nikolic stands out with his strong digital expertise; we are now opening up strong monetization opportunities for publishers and content providers.”

“We are equally pleased to have Frank Glandorf return to action press,” said board member Prof. Moritz Hunzinger. “Glandorf is a strategically thinking, execution-driven entrepreneurial personality with a strong market and customer focus, who also has in-depth knowledge of the image industry.”

Successful image brands under one roof

action press AG, whose parent company was founded in 1970, unites under one roof the picture agency brands action press, the leading European brand for entertainment content, and the cross-departmental quality provider for press photography ddp images.

ddp images includes Pictures Press, Intertopics and Food Centrale (which appears on Microsoft’s web portals in German, English and Spanish with a new revenue model) and, since 2019, Stella Pictures AB (Stockholm), which is present in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark and has outstanding productions about the Scandinavian royals and was acquired in full in 2022. In addition, ddp photos will be distributed worldwide via the Reuters Connect international platform. Every day, a total of up to 50,000 press images and videos are processed by 5,000 photographers and 130 partner agencies from 120 countries and keyworded according to the highest editorial standards.

Since 2020, action press AG, which is traded on the open market of the Düsseldorf Stock Exchange, has been jointly managed by Prof. Moritz Hunzinger (Frankfurt) and Ulli Michel (Hamburg). The share capital of action press AG amounts to 22.05 million euros. A further 22.05 million shares serve as acquisition currency. As of May 2023, action press AG has a total of 200 million images and videos in its portfolio. This means that action press owns one of the world’s largest catalogs of digital media assets bundled in one company.

Streaming digital media assets with UK-based SmartFrame Technologies (London)

With SmartFrame technology, action press succeeds in monetizing image views on the Internet instead of having to license the use of photos for a fixed fee, as was previously the case. At last, sports clubs and leagues are tapping into new revenue streams and achieving greater fan loyalty thanks to the high-quality media material. The respective association pays for the assignments and advertisers pay per call, have full ownership and control over the images taken. In addition, there is protection against photo theft. Depending on the number of page views (page impressions), media receive a share of the advertising revenue and pay nothing. Publishers receive free access to high-quality image material. The streaming platform allows the placement of attractive, interactive and multi-format in-image advertising, the revenues from which are shared between the parties involved.

Photo: Daniel Nikolic new Editor-in-Chief (left), Frank Glandorf new CFO (right) / Credit: ddp media GmbH / Private

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