11 Nov 2015 Photokore to Close

After 5 years in business, Photokore has announced that they’re closing on December 9. They’ve informed contributors and customers about the upcoming closure, including details on customer refunds and contributor royalties.

The Announcement

Stating “several reasons” but not detailing any, the company sent out a notice via email to contributors and on their homepage for buyers, stating the service will close on December 9th, 2015 and detailing the process for both customers and contributors.

The email for contributors says the last royalty payouts will be made on December 15 for those above the $100 payout threshold, and arrangements will be made for those below it. The payment will include royalties for all downloads up to the closing day.  On their website they advise customers to use up their remaining credits and request a refund for subscriptions that last beyond the closing date.

The Photokore Story

Photokore was an Asia-based microstock agency founded in 2010 by former Managing Director of Japan with Getty Images, Sean Mooney.  He has been working as Business Development Manager for Asia/Pacific region at Shutterstock since 2013, and his LinkedIn profile shows he stopped working at Photokore at the end of 2012.

Former iStock VP, Brianna Wettlaufer, currently CEO of Stocksy, also served at Photokore as VP of Operations for a period, a likely influence on the iStock-like search functions and similar terminology across the site.

The agency specialised in the Asian market, which is extremely tough. The Asian region is known for high sensitivity regarding ethnical and cultural differences between countries, even more so than continental Europe.  Additionally the region is not nearly as wealthy as North America or Europe, making it difficult to penetrate with a dedicated agency.

A complex system to enable contributors to opt-in/out of different countries in the region – said to be crucial for success in the region – distinguished the company from others, but surely occupied a lot of resources that could have gone into business development and sales.

Responsible Closure

On a positive note, it’s nice to see a company facing closure process with responsibility and transparency to both their contributors and customers.

They’re informing both sides in advance, are already on top of refunds and being upfront with contributors about royalties.  This makes for a nice change from agencies that usually just slip away quietly.

  • zsooofija
    Posted at 04:33h, 03 May Reply

    about their “Responsible Closure”: they did not send me my payment of 93.39$, although on the website says it was paid. They do not answer any e-mail, and I really don’t know what else to do. That does not seem like a responsible closure to me…

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