Sohm Picks LicenseStream for Direct-to-Buyer Licensing

Posted on 8/11/2009 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Much of the recent coverage of trends in the stock-photo business revolves around the shift away from traditional stock, in both subject matter and distribution model. Photo-historian Joseph Sohm’s selection of ImageSpan’s LicenseStream as a licensing solution exemplifies both.

Selling Stock recently profiled Sohm’s distinguished career, which has culminated in the publication of coffee-table book Visions of America: Photographing Democracy and companion multimedia Photo Symphony. For years, Sohm has been in the top 3% of earners among stock photographers. It is telling that he currently expects to derive half of this year’s income from non-stock activities, such as books, speaking engagements and concerts.

Still, photo sales will make up the other half, and Sohm’s choice of LicenseStream highlights the importance successful professional photographers are placing on being found by buyers directly—via search engines, outside of the traditional producer-agency-buyer paradigm. Sohm’s award-winning photographic journey across the U.S. is now available for licensing at The photographer points out that only a portion of these images have been previously available through stock agencies, which he says operate on the premise that a core set of images typically attract customers repeatedly.

Using ImageSpan, Sohm is able to publish his entire body of work, optimizing it for search engines. This, he feels, allows him to offer buyers more choices, speed the pace of transactions and drive incremental revenue. Sohm is also appreciative of the cost difference: using the LicenseStream platform requires fees allows the creator to keep a much larger share of royalties than a traditional agency—multiple times the typical 20%. “That’s a huge difference,” said Sohm, “and it’s why LicenseStream makes it affordable for me to shoot, metatag, process and offer my customers a greater variety of photographs online.”

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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