People mag has reportedly paid $800,000 to publish the exclusive first photos of Jessica Simpson's new baby, WWD is reporting. The WWD article also rather snark-ily points out that $800,000 is a relatively low fee for exclusive new baby photos, and that there was no bidding war for photos of baby Maxwell Drew Johnson.
The thing is, those days of paying millions for baby photos--Nicole Richie reportedly got $1 million for her baby photos while Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony were rumored to get up to $6 million for photos of their twins--are long gone.
"The market for celebrity babies simply doesn't exist anymore. Magazines realized that it doesn't benefit them to pay over a million," says Jo Piazza, veteran celebrity journalist and author of Celebrity, Inc.: How Famous People Make Money. In fact, Simpson made out pretty well considering today's celeb baby pic market. "$800,000 is high for the baby pic market today," Piazza says. "Obviously it is low in comparison to the baby picture bull run of yesteryear where even Nicole Richie got a reported cool million for her pics."
So are celeb baby pics not driving sales as much? What gives?
"It's never benefited sales enough to pay the millions," says Piaza. "The mags never made up the marginal cost of the pics in sales. That's why they don't do it anymore." Oh, and, as usual, the internet is to blame as well. "Everyone sees them online anyway," adds Piazza.
To be sure, that's where we'll be looking for them.