Masterfile Acquires Crestock

Posted on 7/3/2010 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (1)

On Thursday, Toronto-based Mastefile acquired Norwegian microstock Crestock. Both companies announced the deal late on Friday, without disclosing financial details.

Steve Pigeon, president of the 30-year old Canadian company, views the acquisition as a springboard for Masterfile to join the microstock revolution and gain a solid position in the fastest-growing segment of the stock image business.

Pigeon, who plans to personally oversee the integration of Crestock into the Masterfile family, said the company examined multiple opportunities and chose Crestock because of an excellent image collection and a smart Web site. Indeed, Crestock has always competed on image quality: its very high rejection rate is legendary among microstock contributors. Yet they also recognize that the site is technically superior from a contributor perspective, often cited as offering the industry’s fastest image upload capabilities.

Bodø-based Crestock was founded in 2005 by Norwegian entrepreneur and former television executive Geir Are Jensen, who has remained its chief executive until now. He will continue to work with the company as a senior advisor. Also staying on in his Scotland location is Gudmund Aarseth, who has been responsible for Crestock’s day-to-day operations since late 2009 and will now transition back to his preferred role as a Web site design consultant. In addition the support of Masterfile’s international team, Pigeon said he plans to recruit additional talent from the microstock sector. 

Crestock currently has more than 100,000 members and close to 1 million images. Contributors rank the site at the top of the low-earning tier of microstocks, preceded by Veer Marketplace, Can Stock Photo, Bigstock and 123RF in the middle tier and Dreamstime, Fotolia, iStockphoto, and Shutterstock as the biggest earners. With Mastefile’s backing, Crestock hopes to grow against this powerful competition.

Previous traditional acquisitions of microstock have included Getty Images’ purchase of iStockphoto and, more recently, the Fotosearch and Can Stock Photo deal. The microstock segment has also started consolidating internally, with Shutterstock’s purchase of Big Stock Photo, now known as Bigstock.

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


  • Gary O'Connell Posted Jul 5, 2010
    Interesting..If I recall, Steve Pigeon commented on SS a few years back that acquiring a microstock agency may be an option for him...

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