moodboard will launch moodboard 2.0 Â at PhotoPlus in October to add to its current three offerings: micro, premium and moodboard+. Moodboard was launched a year ago by Mike Watson and a number of other ex-Digital Vision senior staffers. Watson sold Digital Vision to Getty Images in 2005 for $165 million.
Micro images are priced at midstock levels, based on file size; the premium images are priced at high-end royalty free levels. For moodboard+ images, there are four different prices for broad categories of commercial use and four for editorial. The moodboard+ pricing is similar to Getty's Rights Ready model. While pricing has not been set yet for the moodboard 2.0, it is assumed it will be priced at a level similar to existing microstock.
Moodboard also has a brand called moodboardunlimited, which allows customers to set their own price for each image downloaded. At this time, there is no plan to move any of the images submitted for moodboard 2.0 into moodboardunlimited. A separate addendum to the contract would be necessary if such a move were ever contemplated.
For microstock photographers, a key difference between moodboard 2.0 and other microstock offerings is that images deemed technically and commercially strong may be moved upbrand if the photographer agrees. This option will enable many leading microstock photographers to earn more from some of their images while continuing to service microstock customers. It also provides an easy way for photographers to move up market.
Images that are chosen to be represented in the premium or moodboard+ brands must be exclusive to moodboard, but images chosen for moodboard 2.0 only, will be represented non-exclusively. It is unclear how "similars" of exclusive images will be treated, and how broadly moodboard will define similars.
A clear advantage of this offering, compared with other microstock brands, is that professional editors with years of experience at Digital Vision will be choosing the images for the various brands. DV was an industry leader in producing RF images for the high-end commercial market. These editors are much more than inspectors. They know what higher-end commercial customers want to use.
In addition, moodboard has a creative team that intends to help photographers with ideas and written briefs. In some cases, they will art direct shoots and coach photographers from the idea to the finished image. Industry-wide, this kind of support has declined dramatically over the last decade. To the degree the company can once again provide such support to some photographers, it will be a welcome change.
Currently, moodboard has more then 70,000 images. It is also the fastest-growing image provider on Corbis.com and the images are represented by more than 140 distributors worldwide. This month, moodboard sold its most expensive RF image to-date for $16,000. (This is believed to be the most expensive single image sale ever in the royalty free industry.)
Moodboard is currently asking all photographers interested in working with the company to go to https://www.moodboard.com/photographers/application.htm, fill out an application and provide some samples of their work. They are not accepting images until after the October launch, but at that time will actively seek images from microstock photographers.
Hobbyists and amateur photographers are encouraged to make contact before launch. Those who don't currently supply microstock are asked to mail firstname.lastname@example.org so the company can keep them posted on developments and notify them after launch. Contracts and the royalty structure are still being drawn up and not currently available.
"Both the creative industry and photographer circuit were ready for an alternative to Getty and the establishment," said Watson, "so we've filled the gap to deliver something new and exciting. It's got to be good news that there's a cheaper, faster and more viable option in moodboard." He added that moodboard's pricing strategy aims to achieve the "best possible return for talented photographers through our evolved business model and we offer unrivalled photographer coaching and support."
Moodboard's creative director Kate Stevens says the philosophy is to "grow our image bank modestly with only the best, most innovative photography to meet the ever changing needs of end users."