PicApp Launches Public Beta Site

Posted on 3/21/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

After several months of private beta-testing, PicScout's ad-supported image application is open to the public. While still officially in beta, PicApp now offers bloggers and publishers access to free editorial and creative imagery. Previously, it would warrant a licensing fee for hundreds of dollars.

On offer are the latest images of U.S. presidential candidates on the campaign trail, red-carpet celebrity photos and in-depth coverage of sporting events. There is also a vast array of general stock in typical categories, such as business, lifestyles and holidays.

Each image published by PicApp clients is accompanied by an ad. For example, a photo from a Barcelona soccer match may carry an ad from SearchExplorer.com, promoting most popular Web sites for the keyword "Barcelona," which appears when a user rolls over the photo.

Accessible with a click is additional in-picture functionality, including an image caption, photographer credit and self-promotional links to PicApp features. The latter come in the form of Scootie, the picapp.com guide and mascot, a widget that invites visitors to share and publish PicApp images, among other things. Scootie's most important function is to drive additional clients to the PicApp platform through the sites of the publishers using it.

Updated daily, the PicApp inventory includes photographic and illustrative content from major industry players, such as Getty Images, Corbis, Jupiterimages and Image Source. Copyright holders are compensated with ad proceeds, though specific revenue-sharing arrangements between image providers and PicScout have not been disclosed.

To use the service, bloggers register with PicApp as "quick publishers" or registered users, who have access to value-added features. These include lightboxes, loyalty programs and other services. In addition to supplying free images, PicScout is also working on ways of enabling online publishers to make money with PicApp.

Founded in Israel and now headquartered in San Francisco, PicScout maintains a development and operations center in Herzelia. The company is among several that are currently testing ad-supported image-licensing models. For example, PicScout's California neighbor GumGum recently launched a similar product, along with another licensing schema that ties pricing to a publisher's site traffic and duration of image use.

Copyright © 2008 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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