ProStockMaster Celebrates First Birthday

Posted on 7/18/2007 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

This July marks the first year for ProStockMaster, a shareware software package that allows microstock contributors to simultaneously upload images to eight leading Web sites.

Microstock licensing is a volume business; the size of a contributor's portfolio and the number of sites representing it is critical to earnings. Despite successes such as iStockphoto's exclusive photographer Lise Gagne, more than half of all microstock contributors work with several sites. ProStockMaster is a utility that makes the submission process easier and less time-consuming for these nonexclusive photographers.

Developed by software engineer and amateur photographer David Mail, ProStockMaster was released in July 2006 and is now up to version 1.3.2. The Java-based application works on both PC and Macintosh platforms. Supported Web sites include 123RF, BigStockPhoto, CanStockPhoto, Dreamstime, Fotolia, iStockphoto, LuckyOliver and ShutterStock.

ProStockMaster also features additional capabilities designed to streamline a photographer's workflow. It offers keywording assistance and full Adobe XMP IPTC and EXIF data support for JPEG files. It also has a bookkeeping function, presenting summarized statistics of earnings, downloads and other data for each supported agency. It even supports uploads to MySpace.

The utility remains available as a freeware download; however, the free version limits the number of image uploads to five per day. A commercial license is $49 and includes one year of service packs, upgrades and technical support. ProStockMaster has received rave reviews in microstock contributor blogs and forums, and Mail says that thousands of photographers use the software.

While ProStockMaster streamlines the submission process for photographers, it is also helping to blur the distinction between microstock sites' inventories. Industry analysts see potentially serious consequences. For example, Andy Goetze of Stock Photo Talk thinks that if the utility becomes commonplace, it can "kill the exclusivity of the various microstock sites." He predicts that some agencies will eventually react by offering higher royalties and customer loyalty incentives in order to differentiate themselves from an ever-increasing number of competitors.

Copyright © 2007 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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