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iTune it

Just like the music industry, with which it shares many similarities, the photo licensing world is ripe to be iTuned.

The industry landscape is dispersed and confused. None of the photo licensing companies know what to do. From the Getty images to the small mom and pops that have been around for 5,000 years ( it seems) , everyone is playing the wait and see game. Some try various solutions in the hopes it will lead to a new golden age but none innovate.

Furthermore, even with the Getty/ Corbis consolidations, it is still a very disparate world with deep resentments and personal conflicts. From one company to the other, there is suspicion, continuous poaching, and overall despise.

In other words, professionally licensed photography is breaking from all direction. A bit like the music industry was before a tech company ( Apple) took over the distribution.

Since photography and the internet is a marriage made in heaven, there no shortage of very smart, tech savvy entrepreneur ready to spend the funds of a smart VC . The challenge ?


Replace the antiquated, print based licensing model by an effective, flexible process. A platform a la iTune.

Not that replicating iTune for photography would work. Countless of RF or Microstock aggregators have come and gone leaving no trace of success behind them.

The iTune for photography will come from somewhere else, from a tech company that will approach the photo licensing industry from a consumer end. Not from what licensors want but from what consumers need. They will make it simple, easy and cost effective to purchase images and use them, wether it comes from Getty Images or your cousin Fred. The solution, using technology wisely, will be so obvious that it will sweep the photo industry of it’s already febrile grounds and make impossible to live outside of it.

Author: pmelcher

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