20 Oct 2009 Next to Guarantee Photos is Shutterstock
I don’t know how long these things take to put together, but this is awfully soon after iStockphoto started providing their guarantee. Today, Shutterstock have announced that all images and footage licensed from this day forward is covered by a guarantee. The guarantee covers all the usual issues for up to $10,000 per subscriber.
The news likely comes as another blow to new microstock agency, Vivozoom. Their extensive research indicated a large portion of corporate America wouldn’t buy microstock because the agencies didn’t provide indemnification. So they built their agency with a strategy to target this market: contributors by invitation only and warranted imagery. Now it turns out that providing a guarantee isn’t so difficult for crowdsourced microstock agencies. The two largest agencies have introduced guarantees within a year of Vivozoom’s launch, undermining their unique selling proposition.
Like with the Vivozoom and iStockphoto guarantees, Shutterstock reserves the right to manage the case for defendant subscribers. The Vivozoom guarantee covers up to $25,000 ‘per case’ while the iStockphoto guarantee covers up to $10,000 ‘per file’. In this regard, if anyone is even interested in this level of detail, the Shutterstock guarantee compares poorly by covering $10,000 ‘per subscriber’
Given the timing of these two announcements, it’s not unlikely that we’ll see more agencies introduce guarantees in the short term in order to stay competitive. When the two largest competitors determine it’s worthwhile, it must be difficult for the rest not to follow.