The Toronto Star has opened a new photo and page sales site powered by Third Light’s IMS system.

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The Toronto Star is Canada's largest daily newspaper, reaching over 2.2 million readers each week. From an archive of almost one million images, covering local, national and international events for the past 100 years, Torstar Syndication Services offers reprints and rights-managed licenses for more than 32,000 Toronto Star photographs, using Third Light's IMS software.

On-demand Print and Download Sales

The Toronto Star online archive is offered for two main types of buyer: members of the public can visit the site to purchase high-quality photo reprints, while business users can register to access a rights-managed library (for commercial re-use of valuable photo stock).

IMS offers exceptional convenience by providing a single front-end web application to provide both print and licensing functions. The result is a large saving in time and significant cost savings compared to running two separate systems, or in-house software development.

Automated Galleries

The IMS web library is automatically populated with new photo stocks from the central image database at Torstar, a system called Mediasphere. Files are delivered to the IMS system using FTP across the corporate network. Pictures are processed and resized automatically on arrival, ready for approval. Torstar Syndication Services also distributes images to external clients, using the Third Light Outbound FTP module, highlighting IMS's capabilities as a fully-featured image hub with next-generation features.

IMS provides easy access to the latest photos via a link on the web site. Time-indexed Smart Folders powered by IMS allow the very latest photos to be displayed in a "Latest Photos" gallery, saving time and providing direct access to the current and popular images found in the daily newspaper.

Tracking and Order Management

In order to refine keywords and to understand individual clients’ requirements, staff at the Toronto Star can use IMS reporting and tracking tools to study statistics and reports on the way the galleries are being used. Editing tools to update industry standard IPTC and XMP meta data are built into the same console, and revenue and order management tools are always available on demand.

The total solution is simple and affordable, yet offers a remarkably effective way to commercialize new and existing photo stocks.

Claire Wollen, Manager of Torstar Syndication Services, comments on the project:

“In the summer of 2005, Torstar Syndication Services began to investigate available ecommerce solutions that would allow us to offer photo search and licensing functionality to our business clients, and photo browsing and print ordering options for our consumers. We wanted an attractive but powerful application that would provide our customers, and us, with reliable and proven functionality."

“The IMS application has given us all of the features on our 'ecommerce site wish list', and much more. In addition, from the first communication, the entire Third Light team has been unfailingly helpful, professional, receptive and responsive to our needs and requests, and a pleasure to work with."

“Since the launch of our new Toronto Star Photo & Page Sales site, we have received many words of appreciation from our clients. They praise the site's clean and attractive appearance, and its user-friendliness. We are thrilled to have an application that allows us to quickly and easily deliver the top quality services and products that our customers deserve. We would recommend Third Light, and the IMS application, without any hesitation."

Michael Wells, Managing Director of Third Light Ltd, explains how IMS offers a solution to newspapers with a mixed print and licensing model:

“As a self-contained commercial tool, IMS offers a simple proposition to newspapers. It provides an e-commerce outlet that can appeal simultaneously to consumers and business users, and as Torstar Syndication Services have shown, the solution is attractive and easy to navigate.”

”Flexible templates and data importing tools, as well as ready-made ecommerce modules, make IMS ideal for integration into newspaper web sites. The Toronto Star have invested in a modern application that is well-matched to their business model. We are delighted to be working with Torstar Syndication Services and look forward to ensuring the Photo and Page Sales site remains at the forefront of image sales on the web.”

To enquire about Third Light solutions tailored for newspapers, please contact Roland Henry on +44 (0)1223 440478, or email

Further details on the Third Light image library software are also available at

Published on: 12:00AM on 11th April 2007