SnapVillage Exceeds Corbis Expectations

Posted on 2/13/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

According to Corbis vice president Adam Brotman, SnapVillage "is playing out better than expected." To capitalize on this momentum, Corbis is rolling out a sales and marketing campaign to drive buyers to the Web site.

Thus far, SnapVillage has limited its promotional activities to search-engine placements. As its inventory approaches 200,000 images, Corbis is planning a campaign that will include print advertising, direct mail and an expanded search-engine program. Initially limited to North America, print ads will appear in Creativity, Graphic Design USA and other publications that target marketing, advertising, graphic design and small business communities.

Brotman said SnapVillage has had some notable successes since its launch in the summer of 2007. Most importantly, it's seen growing sales.

Initially, Corbis executives feared that contributors would follow the typical microstock model and gravitate toward the low end of the pricing scale. However, Brotman said photographers have taken advantage of the pick-your-own-price structure, which allows pricing images at five points between $1 and $50.

The current inventory is split almost evenly among the five price points, with $1 image accounting for only 20%. "Photographers are using their business skills to set higher prices for better images," said Brotman. He added that the average price per image is currently $7.

Another risk that paid off was doing away with the microstock staple of pre-paid credit packages. Credit-card purchases of $1 could have resulted in very high total transaction costs, but Corbis thought offering buyers flexibility was important. Brotman said the average SnapVillage transaction is $20.

Over the past three months, the number of transactions has increased by 400% and new buyer accounts are up by 60%. In the two weeks since SnapVillage began to sell internationally, sales volume rose by 10%.

The company attributes this success to a broader range of content and higher level of site usability as compared to others in the microstock niche. While SnapVillage offers the baseline microstock content, its acceptance threshold is much lower than other libraries. "Instead of turning content away, we let the community decide what is a good picture," Brotman said. He added that SnapVillage continues to handle its keywording in-house. "It results in a superior search experience, which is a long-term investment we feel good about."

Copyright © 2008 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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