18 Aug 2015 500px Modifies Pricing Structure In Marketplace
500px introduced changes in their marketplace yesterday. Formerly offering all of their images in a single collection at the same price, they are now moving to a two-tiered pricing model. With this change, they hope to serve a larger portion of the market, reaching smaller-budget buyers with specific content needs, but also increasing visibility for their contributors.
Until now, all images submitted for commercial licensing were sold in the 500px Marketplace, with on-demand flat rates of $50 for web resolution and $250 for print resolution, with a products for resale license at $750. These prices now apply to the renamed Prime collection, which will feature only the most artistically—and commercially—valuable images.
The real news is the addition of the Core collection, which will contain high quality images from any camera, including mobile phones. On-demand prices for this collection will be at $35 for web resolution, $150 for print res, and $350 for products for resale.
All submitted images will be curated by a professional team of Content Editors, who will evaluate technical quality, originality, general aesthetics, and production and commercial value. Since visual trends change with time, photos may be moved from one collection to the other at any time, at editors’ discretion.
Contributors will still receive the established 70% royalty rate in both collections.
Why Are They Doing It?
500px explains that this strategy will help them reach a larger volume of buyers. Introducing a selection of more affordable content while maintaining the high quality standards of their brand will help them sell to smaller businesses and independent designers.
In addition, they expect the restructuring to help individual contributors boost their earnings. Dividing their marketplace to more precisely meet customers’ budget and content needs should ensure that more images are seen by the customers who are likely to buy them.
It’s true that more detailed curation could result in a better search experience for potential buyers, and certainly lower tiers can attract those who have avoided the platform due to their premium prices.
For contributors, it’ll all depend on how successful the new model turns out to be at increasing sales. Since the royalty rate is not changing, higher volume sales can make up for the price cut in terms of earnings, and if visibility is actually improved, it could also represent better exposure opportunities. Of course, if the strategy is unsuccessful, the resulting lower incomes will negatively impact relationships between 500px and their contributors, which would be harmful for a community-driven platform.