When smart people are combined with top end technology, something magical happens. Spiderpic is such an example. Brainchild of Ginipic, who had already launched a multiple database desktop application, Spiderpic is not only an image search portal but also serves as a price comparison site.

To top it all, it is very simple to use : enter a search parameter and hit enter. You will be offered a variety of images  from different sources. Up to now, nothing really revolutionary. However, once you decide which image is right for you, you can click on it and there it will show you its price on different site. Same image, same size, all the  different prices. Thus, you can make the right choice and purchase it at the lowest licensing cost.Spiderpic results

Of course, SpiderPic only works with microstock companies for now. but it works extremely well. The implication of such a deal are multiple. First, if widely used ( it is in Beta for now), it will drive the microstock companies into a price war that might leave many on the floor. It might also convince more users to go exclusive with one provider, as too avoid a drop in their revenue. Finally, it will put a full stop at the slowly growing cost of microstock.

Since about 90% of the microstock content is available on different competing sites, price shopping, especially with such a great application, will certainly be the new microstock sport very quickly.  The company, Spiderpic, will make its income via the referral programs of the  providers. The more usage, the richer they will get. Furthermore, since the hole process is automated, they can run it with as low as two people.

Some microstock companies might be tempted to block access to their database to hide their prices. Not a good idea if and when Spiderpic becomes popular. They might just be ignored by image buyers altogether. Others might decide to make their pricing less obvious, by having a very low call price, enhance at download time by “hidden” fees. Finally, others might require more obstinate memberships ( Shutterstock, subscriptions, etc) in order to keep their current customer base.

Regardless, this tool will put the microstock industry in a tale spin, forcing  marketing department to find other means to attract buyers than just low pricing . It will also make very difficult for  any company wishing to increase their prices to do so without loosing a lot of customers. Finally, its ironic, that the microstock industry finds itself pin down to their original appeal at time when they all thought they could slowly and discreetly increase their rate.

Regardless, this is a great tool. Now, if it could also do traditional RF and maybe one day, RM, that would be great. In the mean time, I very highly recommend you try it..and use it.

Author: pmelcher


  1. Well, I’ve seen the site yesterday and it really is a way how to keep the prices low and find the best offer for the customer. We at Pixmac are doing it the easier way. We’re collecting multiple agencies on our http://www.pixmac.com site and therefor you need to buy only one credit pack to be ready to download any image.

    That is a difficulty with Spiderpic, as you have to prepay credits on multiple sites and those usually expire in a year.

  2. Author


    You have also been reported as not having the authorization from some of your suppliers to license images the way you do. Since your last comment, we have received numerous emails of photographers not only unaware that you were licensing their images for such ridiculous price, but also very mad.
    You should clean up your house before you open the doors.

  3. Hello Pmelcher. Well, we’re licensing FT and DT images and some other traditional agencies. We’re trying to explain everything we do in our blog that is open to anyone interested in more information or interested in discussion. Is that since 2008 when we started.

    Check this Fotolia related post:

    And this post about photographers:

    We’re trying to be open as much as possible and if anyone is asking we’re replying. As you propably know from discussions on Microstock Group Forum. We also have Facebook and Twitter so whenever anybody has a direct question, we’re ready to discuss that.

    Please, send any comments to my email or to support. Thank you.

  4. Of course the access of these spidebots can be blocked easily. Shutterstock did it quickly enough for Lookstat, and that was just a help for contributors, not even buyers. This one of the many scavengers that try to make money on the artists’ sweat since they add their referral code – of course – to the image purchased. Most sites, and certainly Dreamstime have a clause in their TOS that prohibits automated access.

    It won’t happen for a “harvester” that still is in beta and requires a stringent registration, including birth date. The moment a site like this takes off and uses a significant amount of bandwidth of the microstock agents to feed their competition (adding insult to injury), be sure it will be blocked. If not technically, then legally by amending the TOS.

    Contributors nevertheless should anticipate on this evolution by _not_ uploading to agents that play the price competition game. The bottom line for stock photo prices has long been reached, considering the production costs that keep going up with the heftier quality requirements. It’s the responsibility of the contributors primarily. It doesn’t make sense to offer your work on “midstock” sites for premium prices, and at the same time undercut those agents by trowing the same images at cents-sites.

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