Deutsche Telekom Enters Micro Segment

Posted on 6/17/2009 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Deutsche Telekom, the thriving German telecommunications leader and owner of leading global mobile phone service T-Mobile, has launched a microstock business. Operating since the first week of June, Polylooks combines a microstock media store with an online community and a photography magazine.

Amid huge businesses crashing in many of the world’s leading economies, Deutsche Telekom continued growth through the first quarter of 2009. Such growth was both financial and geographical: Revenues were up by 6.2% from the previous year. The company also consolidated its business with the Greek OTE group, expanding its reach in Europe and growing its base of mobile customers by roughly 20 million.

The seeming disparity between the company’s general line of business and the stock-image space is interesting, but the microstock venture is actually not the first Deutsche Telekom foray into photography. Polylooks builds on the success of the early-2009 launch of online magazine Augenblicke. The new ad-supported title reached 17 million hits from over a million users in the first quarter of the year, solidifying its parent company’s interest in online photography.

Augenblicke has now been augmented with a typically microstock community and store sections, all packaged under the Polylooks brand. The German-language site runs on a credits-based system, with resolution-dependent prices of 1 to 15 Euros per image. Polylooks also offers all the standard microstock trimmings of extended licenses, subscription plans and payment terms for corporate buyers.

Initial for-sale content has been provided by 2-year-old German stock-photo business Zoonar. Polylooks is now inviting individual photographers to contribute. Contributor commissions will range from 35% to 50%, based on exclusivity. Microstock Diaries has extensive additional details.

Most traditional and microstock leaders—including Getty Images, Masterfile, iStockphoto and others—consider Germany to be the top image market among non-English-speaking countries. If successful in attracting contributors, Polylooks may take a big bite out of the local business of more established agencies.

More importantly, its parent company’s current global base of 150 million customers and solid financial position serve as the answer to the biggest challenge for any new microstock venture: reaching the elusive non-traditional image buyer. Given Deutsche Telekom’s previous successes in Europe and Stateside, Polylooks’ eventual expansion beyond the German market appears as good as certain.

Copyright © 2009 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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