Shenk Previews Ad-Supported Venture

Posted on 11/30/2007 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Although PicScout is keeping the official details of its upcoming PicApp platform under wraps for another few weeks, Corbis CEO Gary Shenk has given Reuters an advance preview. In partnership with PicScout, Corbis will soon be offering free images to social media, while monetizing the free content with advertising.

Corbis, Getty Images and several others are currently participating in an invitation-only PicApp beta. Getty Images is also working on another consumer-facing product,, which PDN news editor Daryl Lang recently described as having lots of advertising real estate.

Corbis and Getty are not alone. Peter Winkler, chief marketing officer at the broadcast intelligence company Teletrax, says that major media companies are increasingly forgoing restrictive digital-rights management technology in favor of monetized tracking and monitoring solutions.

According to the Digital Video Barometer Executive Survey, commissioned by Teletrax and conduced by the publishing and research firm Myers Publishing, 55% of 300 media and entertainment executives polled think DRM should be replaced by free distribution. More than 80% think video-content owners risk damaging their financial bottom lines if they do not employ tracking, monitoring and measuring technologies.

Owners of the largest inventories have already made use of monitoring tools like fingerprinting, watermarking and visual-recognition software for both still and motion content. Now, the media industry is moving toward using the same technologies to generate revenue.

In the stock industry, this translates to allowing publishers to obtain free visual content that carries embedded advertising. PicScout refers to this as a "content push solution." Mochilla and several smaller media and technology companies offer similar services. In such arrangements, the ad revenues are typically split among the content owner, technology provider and publishers. The long-term potential for large agencies is clear: Similar to microstock, millions of transactions this can translate nominal per-image earnings into large revenues.

Though smaller agencies and individual photographers should also expect a microstock-like trickle of income, the general-consumer market can potentially offer substantially larger revenues, due to its larger overall size, than the microstock-buyer community. In addition, the outcome of the current Writers Guild of America strike can have long-term income-related consequences for individual creatives.

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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