Random Thoughts 155

Posted on 7/9/2007 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

July 9, 2007

Micro Segment Grows at Macro Pace

In addition to the much-publicized launch of SnapVillage by Corbis, two more microstock agencies entered the market in the last two months. Albumo, based in Fair Oaks, Calif., and the U.K.-based Gecko Stock. Both community sites are attempting to woo potential contributors with 50% commissions.

Now there's a third. While Corbis and Getty Images separate microstock from their premium brands, the London-based moodboard launched this week with a collection that includes both microstock and traditional royalty-free images.

Founded by Mike Watson, the creator of Digital Vision, the London-based moodboard is not seeking to lead the market with a multimillion image inventory. Instead, it is banking on offering a wide range of images at different price points. "[We] are leveraging all our experience to take advantage of a new product and pricing opportunities," said Mike Watson. Prices of moodboard images start at £8 (roughly $15) for extra-small, Web-quality images.

Microstock is often vilified as the cause for the stock-image industry's stagnating net revenues. Other industry analysts, such as stock veteran Chris Ferrone in a recent editorial for About The Image, point to oversupply as the real cause of problems. Now, the increase in overall quantity of images is being accompanied by an equally rapid growth in the number of stock retailers, particularly in the micro segment.

According to Lee Torrens of the Microstock Diaries, there is now a total of 29 microstock Web sites. As evidenced by the new launches, this segment continues expanding and is likely entering a new phase of competition. Today, $1 images are no longer new, and the majority of microstock contributors are not exclusive to one provider. The sites that are likely to emerge - or remain - in leadership positions are those that provide the best incentives to its contributors and, more importantly, have the best repeat business.

Currently, iStockphoto leads the microstock segment in site traffic and sales volume. However, its contributor commission of 20% is the lowest in the industry.

Fotolia Announces First API Partnership

By: Julia Dudnik Stern

Fotolia partnered with EveryStockPhoto.com, which will now index Fotolia's global collection of images. Previously, EveryStockPhoto focused on searching a database of 1 million free images. This is the first partnership to mark Fotolia's recent release of a public Application Programming Interface. The API has individual, business and developer versions, allowing partners to integrate Fotolia into other applications or products.



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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