Category Archives: commercial stock

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Q&A with the founders of Haystack

Calling all photo buyers: Are you sick of having a gazillion tabs on your desktop while toggling through different photo agencies for the stock image you need? Former  Vanity Fair and Travel + Leisure contributing photographer Andrew Rowat and technology developer Vache Asatryan created Haystack— which launched its beta in October– because they believed the previous technology was “like searching for a flight in 1999.” Here’s why they’re banking on what has already been billed as the Google Image search for stock photo agencies. What was…

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Why does real photography matter?

On October 26, I participated in a fireside chat about “Real Photography” at the DMLA’s annual conference. 1 Ostensibly about “what new technologies are doing for photography”, it became a place and a time for everyone – not just the panelists, but the entire room – to talk about anything happening at the intersection of photography and technology. 2 One lesson: any conversation today that starts out about “real photography” inevitably turns into a debate about selfies. Should that be a surprise? A photo posted…

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Data driven stock photography

While there has never been so many photos taken and shared online, the world of professional photo licensing is not striving. In fact, most legacy companies have seen their revenue freeze or decline in the last decade, with rare exceptions.  While at first contradictory, a closer analysis reveals that part of the issue seems to be linked to antiquated business model that are ill-fitted to our all digital, mobile world. The few companies in this space that continue to grow, and some as much as 40%…

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Automated photo generating A.I

What will we do with all the data we accumulate from photos? On a daily basis, internet juggernauts like Google, Yahoo, Facebook or Microsoft use highly sophisticated deep learning engines to better understand the content of billions of images uploaded, liked and shared. For now, it is to better serve adverting but what else can be done? For one, we could generate custom-made photos. Automated photo generating A.I. using all the knowledge acquired about photography, including which image types helps sell more products, which dominant colors appeal to viewers,…

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it’s Adobe Stock and it’s live

Will convenience be the powerful  feature to  make Adobe’s $800 million gamble succeed in the stock photo market? Launched amidst a flurry of Creative Cloud updates for Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere, Adobe Stock is a fully integrated stock photo offering within the company’s flagship product. Created with the content of recently acquired Fotolia, it boasts, at launch, 40 million images, putting it right in the path of mighty competitors Getty Images and Shutterstock. However, it has a strong advantage: it is there where you need…

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Shutterstock buys Rex for $33 Million

North America woke up with the news that golden boy photo agency Shutterstock acquired no less than 2 companies in what seems as one swoop. One, in the music category, the other, in the photo licensing world. Obviously it is the latter that interests us here. Shutterstock’s announcement that it has acquired 60 years old UK base photo agency Rex Features for $33 million is certainly good news for Rex ( at least, their share holders) but not so much for Shutterstock. And here’s why: Rex is…

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The rise of the Chief Visual Officer

One the strongest emerging trend we have all experienced in the last few years is a massive increase in usage of photography. Not just for the purpose of documenting and remembering events for nostalgia-filled family gatherings but rather to communicate in real-time. In fact, the core foundation of all social media is photography: There are no successful social media platforms without photo sharing at its core feature. This has impacted advertising and brand awareness strategies in a revolutionary way. In the age of physical film,…

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10 Questions to a founder : Foap

There are not a lot of true pure Photo:Tech companies that have found a successful business model around the creation  and distribution of photography  online at a large-scale thanks to an intelligent use of technology. Shutterstock, obviously, comes to mind, along with newly acquired Fotolia. However, both are extensions of an older business model, that of stock photo agencies. Their primary limitation to massive growth is their need to store a massive repository of pre-formatted images that might never be licensed. Enter the on-demand market. Instead…

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The Content Marketing Machine and Photo Supply

The sharp rise in content marketing by corporations has demanded a commensurate rise in content acquisition from traditional sources, and has opened the door to niche platforms and services such as Thismoment and Newscred. The impact to the photo industry has been mixed. On one hand, image licensing agencies – and specifically large-scale aggregators like Shutterstock – have benefitted from their inroads into corporate clients, expanding and servicing a segment that is marketing-focused with high volume transactions. On the other hand, UGC (corporate-generated) and platforms…

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Embedding Images: The Promise of Proliferation, The Tension of Control

             The practice of allowing visual media to be embedded on an external site by an anonymous user has seen widespread adoption (thanks, YouTube), so that any site in the business of publishing content uses it. By allowing readers to share the video/photo itself, and not a page link, it incentives use and reuse by offering bespoke contextualization of the object. Moreover, it gives the source publisher the ability to generate outbound links and traffic data in a more meaningful…

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