3ARTBOX LOOKS TO THE FUTURE
June 3, 2006
Will the users of new technologies like cell phones and video ipods be satisfied with still images? A new company called ArtBoximages.com believes such mobile device users will expect much more.
Carlos Taminez, Managing Director of ArtBox, says, "this market will need clean, graphic illustrations combined with motion, flash and sound." Occasionally you see such content in TV advertising, commercial and cable TV productions, movies, powerpoint presentations, interactive banners, and digital signage. Up to now such content has been very expensive to produce.
By using flash technology ArtBox has developed a way to combine illustrations with motion graphics, flash and sound to produce a 'next generation' product at a moderate price. They have also found a way to keep the file sizes very small enabling such clips to be used on cell phones, ipods, video podcasts and the web. Describing the content in words is difficult, but you can view the company's portfolio at: http://www.artboximages.com/motion_reel.htm.
The company has teamed graphic designers and illustrators with technologists to efficiently produce these products. The company's goal is to have flash clips in every major stock photo category and by Q1 2007 it expects to have over 1,000 motion clips and 1,000 flash clips ready for licensing.
Even readers determined to continue producing still images would be well advised to spend a few minutes on the ArtBox web site to get an idea of where the market may be headed. It is already possible to watch movies on an ipod and the next version is expected to have wi-fi capability. Microsoft's Office 2007 will include a new version of Powerpoint with enhanced graphic capabilities and better video support. Such moves will certainly raise the standard for graphic presentations.
One of the major problems with the still side of the stock photo industry is that it has become very easy for herds of amateurs to make their images available through various marketing channels. Many of these image producers are not particularly interested in money, but are looking more for the self-gratification and the acknowledgement that someone likes their images well enough to use them. Potentially, this can dramatically cut into the revenue available to those who are trying to earn a living producing stock photography. The kind of thing that ArtBox is doing requires a higher professional and technology skill set than still photography, and thus it may be more difficult for the amateurs to take over this market. ArtBox believes that the motion market will never be as dominant as the still image market but that it is a growing niche that will grow dramatically in coming years.
Taminez also believes that the mainstream channels for advertising are decreasing every day as the possibilities for delivery of content increases. He expects audiences to fragment into many different, smaller, specialized channels and since advertising budgets will remain the same, it will be necessary to find new ways to create custom advertising content aimed at smaller demographics. Lower priced productions using stock will become a necessity.
Some sites to review to get a taste of the future are: