Fotolia Launches deviantART Stock Project

Posted on 10/14/2010 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Fotolia has partnered with online artist community deviantART to launch a stock offering within the deviantART network. The arrangement has benefits on both sides: 15-million-member-strong deviantART represents what the two partners say is the largest online aggregation of microstock users. At the same time, Fotolia can help artist-members of this community monetize their own work.

For deviantART, this has been some time in the making. Last summer, company founder and chief executive Angelo Sotira revealed to the Web site’s artist community that a stock venture was in plans: “I’m not blind to what is going on out there in commercial stock on the Internet.  In fact most of the players in that area have stopped by to talk.”

Until now, deviantART members often used each other’s work as stock, sharing images on the basis of trust, with the only requirement of derivative works being displayed on the deviantART Web site. Those that did not wish to be restricted purchased stock for their projects. Sotira explained the way forward: “What a commercial stock house does and what a liberated free-sharing artist community does are completely different. That’s understood. At the same time, what a commercial stock offering provides—like money to artists, access to standard use agreements that can be transferred to clients, focused search for items and tracking the people using the content—is a package that goes past artist exchanges.” He felt that thousands of deviantART artists would welcome a chance to participate in selling stock to a large user base than the site’s own.

For the moment, however, the deal is limited to providing stock to deviantART users via a dedicated portal. Sotira said that the community uses stock in high volumes and thus needs an affordable solution with simple licensing terms. “We talked with all the major stock houses, and Fotolia was the only partner for us,” he said.

While Fotolia gets additional space on deviantART and direct access to a larger-than-before captivated audience, the benefits to the deviantART community are, for the moment, comparatively smaller. Some users are failing to see the point of the partnership. One comment reads: “If I want to sell images to Fotolia (or Dreamstime, or ...), I can do so right now. I can buy images from them, too. How is this going to be an improvement over that?” Another user says: “I don’t see the difference, so far, between accessing Fotolia’s stock photos directly from their own site or from deviantART’s Stock Project with Fotolia. The available stock is the same; the prices are the same; the licenses are the same.” But those are the views of deviantART users that are already familiar with microstock.

Furthermore, some are excited about the commercial potential a partnership with Fotolia will bring.

Fotolia plans to provide deviantART members with commercial tools to facilitate an image-licensing program. The fully integrated product is expected next year and will result in a deviantART stock collection—and that may be something to behold.

While deviantART certainly hosts some basic photography and other unremarkable imagery, much of the rest is quite unusual from a stock perspective, specifically because it was not created to be sold as stock. For that reason, it has unknown commercial potential; it may bomb and be totally irrelevant, but it could just as easily be a hit. And it could be rather large: founded in 2000, deviantART currently receives more than 140,000 daily uploads of original artworks ranging from traditional media, such as painting and sculpture, to digital art, pixel art, films and anime.

Copyright © Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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