The face of new business in the land of opportunity….Bruce Livingstone (CEO of iStockPhoto.com). He looks like a Harley rider heading to the SD Bad lands, not sitting at a conference table running a major photo imaging company. Guess I’m envious…and need to bring back the “sole patch”.
In the spirit of, “get-your-act-together” (GYAT), I spent time last weekend to become a contributing photographer for istockphoto.com. I read through the mountain of paperwork, reviewed the rules and finally received confirmation that I passed their online exam. But it’s unclear they will ever “approve” any photo I decide to submit because snapping pics of people eating Turkey gravy in Huber’s isn’t my tea bag and they are all full up of fall foliage and sunset shots.
The photo stock biz is dominated by Getty Images. But, they are being hurt. There’s more competition, and customers are turning to cheaper, Web-based imagery providers as an alternative to the high-end products that Getty specializes in. Last February they acquired iStockphoto, a Canadian company that accepts images from amateur photographers and others, and sells them for as little as $1. Thus my interest.
Certainly the Getty/Corbis’ of the world are under pressure and facing competition from smaller rivals. Yahoo already owns one of the biggest social network/photo sites (Flickr) in the world. They must be thinking about monetizing Flickr at some point, right? What about all that social user generated content that is appearing all over the internet? Getty likely needs to maintain high editorial standards to ensure that photos are not doctored, etc. before they are sent out to worldwide publications so they will continue to use high scrutiny and only use their pros for certain types of photo’s.
But, as the digital cameras get better and less expensive, more and more people will put them in “AUTO” and are able to create stunning images. The proliferation of great images are created due to lower barriers to entry for fine photography.
And, all that user generated content appearing all over the internet only puts more pressure on Getty. It’s a great day for us amateur photographers!