500px Marketplace In Transition

Posted on 3/30/2018 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Now that 500px has been sold to VCG it appears that the 500px Marketplace is in transition. Major contributors to Marketplace are receiving notices that their agreements will be terminated effective June 27, 2018. It is not clear that Marketplace will cease all licensing of imagery at that time, but that appears to be the case.

It seems possible that some Marketplace images will continue to be licensed in China through VCG, but that may require separate contractual agreements between the photographers and VCG. Since VCG doesn’t seem to license much imagery outside of China, sales in other parts of the world would probably be turned over to Getty Images in the same way as Corbis images were when VCG acquired Corbis. On the other hand, there may not be any effort at all to continue to license Marketplace images.

Evidently, VCG intends to take 500px back to being just a “community,” but it is not clear how they will monetize that activity. I conducted a search for “people” on Marketplace and the only images I could find were from Hero, Caia and Hex. Getty already represents these brands and presumably all these images. If Getty is looking for more travel or wildlife 500px has a broad selection of great images in its Marketplace, mostly from part-time amateur photographers.

But there is a question as to how much more of such imagery Getty needs. Taking in more may give Getty customers more choice, but it seems unlikely that additional images of these subjects will result in much in the way of additional sales.

In addition, many of the amateurs will probably not be happy that the majority of the sales made by Getty will be at much lower prices than Marketplace has been charging. Based on some recent analysis of Getty contributor sales 76% of the licenses were for prices less than $20 and over 55% were for prices less that $10. One of the reasons amateurs have gone to the trouble to make their images available for licensing through Marketplace is that they believed their images are worth more than these low prices.

Can Midlevel Distributors Succeed?

500px launched its Marketplace about 3 or 4 years ago. There is no question that they have a lot of quality imagery, but indications are from a number of contributors that there has never been substantial sales volume.

ImageBrief closed recently after launching in 2012 and raising more than $2.2 million in funding. Both companies have been trying to offer quality images at somewhat higher prices than the major agencies have been charging, but the prices were still much lower than what most agencies were charging a decade ago.

It appears to be an increasingly difficult to build a business that will challenge the market leaders.

Copyright © 2018 Jim Pickerell. 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

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff