29 Sep 2015 Microstock Mobile Apps
There’s a lot happening in stock photography on mobile platforms. From established microstock agencies to new companies focusing on smartphone shots, the rise of this market has boosted app development in the sector.
Let’s take a look at what’s available.
Apps from Established Microstock Agencies
Almost every microstock agency has an app now, but here we’re just going to look at those which enable you to contribute photos directly from your phone or tablet.
Easier submitting process than iStock. Direct mobile access to reply content requests by potential buyers. Some social networking tools.
Photos pulled from device straight to their platform. Peer-feedback based review process. Best shots are selected to be sold on Depositphotos.
For approved Shutterstock contributors only. Access to portfolio management and workflow tools. Offers market analysis and counselling for users to improve quality and shoot what sells best.
Does what it says on the tin. Upload from your mobile phone to Alamy. Submission via the app, regular review, and images go into the regular Alamy collection.
Linked to Fotolia, but works somehow independently. Uploads mobile-shot images only and the images approved are integrated in the Instant Collection. One of the most successful apps in this market.
Stand-alone Mobile Stock Photos Apps
There’s actually a huge number of apps that allow you to sell your mobile photos now, but these are the most serious few.
50/50 royalty split, for their own marketplace. Distribution partnership with Getty Images for additional selling channel, cutting extra 10% from revenue. Community styled interface. Feedback between users. Challenges with exposure reward for winners.
Users’ self-pricing of images. 70% royalty. Access to tasks (assignments). Daily contests, awarded with greater exposure on the site.
50/50 split. Peer-approval system, you must rate 5 other users’ photos before uploading yours. Not very easy to use. “Missions”: Brands content requests rewarding best submitters.
Supports standard and mobile shots. Approval based in portfolio review. Buyers calls for submissions, chosen image is sold on a 30/70 split rate. “Gamified” system: points to rank on photographers’ chart, getting access to better features.
Royalties: 20% for subs sales, 80% for on-demand sales, and 100% for challenges prize or commissioned shots. Largest library, but entirely user-generated: not all images are good. Connects with Instagram. Allows to set your own portfolio on their interface, better individual exposure.
50/50 deal. Marketplace + community. Can synchro with Instagram. Review process per image, good feedback and higher quality levels. Combined keyword and multiple colour search engines, featuring of latest uploads on their homepage.
Utility & Service Apps
Apps in this field are designed to address one or more of the instances of contributing to stock photo sites.
It enables direct upload to multiple agencies directly from device, and includes keywords suggestions.
It collects and tracks up to 12 months of sales data from multiple agencies, providing analytics and notifications every time a new sale is registered.
Gathers sales data from several agencies and displays total earnings and available for withdrawal for each.
There’s also a few very useful apps for model and property releases.
Why is the Market for Mobile-shot Stock Photos Growing?
According to most CEOs and app developers, it’s all about the “natural”, “authentic” and “intimate” images a small device can capture. That and it’s cool to be seen using User Generated Content for brands in a lot of industries. Especially in social media –where most brands are spending more and more– this style of image goes down much better.
Most of these apps use 50/50 royalty splits to attract contributors, but only a few of them keep and extend that model. Many drop to 20-30% royalties, leaving the higher rates for contests or special features. Almost all of them have subscription model, and an average price of $10 per image for non-subscription sales.
A few, like Twenty20 and PicsaStock, can synchronise with Instagram, and others allow to connect with Dropbox and similar to ease the selection and uploading of files.
Have you explored mobile stock yet? Which apps do you use?