03 Sep 2015 Scoopshot Pivots to Become Uber For Photographers

One of the first movers in mobile stock, Scoopshot is now changing their business model. Moving away from being a stock images provider, they’re now looking to become the platform of choice for photographers to get assignments and provide buyers images on demand . That is, to become “Uber for photographers”. 

The Helsinki based company raised eyebrows in 2013 when secured a significant investment from Yuri Arcurs, and they’ve done considerable business development in stock space, expanding to global market, adding stock footage, and featuring a patented authentication system for mobile shots.

They are now getting rid of the stock library and pivoting into a service to connect clients with professional photographers and filmmakers.

A Little History

Scoopshot was founded in 2010 as part of P2S Media Group Inc, by founder and now CEO Petri Rahja. Launched in Finnish market in early 2011, they reached other 10 countries in their first year through a partnership with media company Metro International.

In 2013 they raised a total of over $9M in capital and rolled out global expansion. Funds came from a seed injection, a $1.2M venture investment from top microstocker Yuri Arcurs, and finally series A round at the end of that year.

Company integrates mobile app and website. They started life as an crowdsourced on-demand platform, and later added a mobile stock marketplace. In 2012 they introduced video footage to their offer.

They developed a patented authentication system that uses file metadata, content analysis and GPS information from the device used, to prove authenticity of images. This, adding RF licensing terms, made their services particularly suitable for media publishers looking for verified newsworthy photos or videos, and also a bit more trustworthy for commercial use.

Their app development was furious: besides adding video support, they’ve been constantly adding features –like in-image advertising, taking care of deal closing and image right management–, and developing tools. They currently have 7 patents, with other 26 pending.

With this business model they grew to have strong global presence, offices in the US and UK, and a worldwide base of around 670,000 users.

The Pivot

Scoopshot has never put focus in building up a large library of stock images. Their Task service was exclusive, submitted content for them was only visible to the customer who posted the task and never went into the library.

Having worked with a crowdsourcing model providing services for brands for long time, they will now try to grant companies contact with photographers capable of producing the content they want, rather than access to content itself – and this is the most distinctive point in their new proposition.

They think people (brands and creative) still need professional photographers, and that stock shooters have time availability to do assignments. While in their task model there’s one lucky winner and all other contributors must wait for the next customer, with their assignments system photographers are certain that they’ll earn money.

For professional photographers, Scoopshot will provide security by requiring that the customer prepays all assignments. They will immediately transfer the fees to the photographer’s account when the buyer approves the image delivery. Many photographers spend too much time collecting payment, so this will help them focus on creating images.

With this mindset, they are closing the stock library, and they expect to move the focus from product and centre it on people.

The New Approach

Through their initiative “Everyone’s private photographer” –that counts with 1800 accredited photographers in 55 countries, at the moment– they will make it extremely simple to commission work. This platform will feature photographer’s portfolios (limited to only 9 photos) and also a bid engine for professionals to bid on assignments.

They can also do crowdsourced photography in addition to contract directly, and just as with tasks, customers placing an assignment will have access to their own micro-library sourced by photographers.

Company will take care of all contracts and payment process for both buyer and photographer, allowing both parties to focus on producing the images needed. Scoopshot will take 25% for its services; for photographers, the platform will remain free of cost.

This is the model they hope will turn them into the “Uber” alternative for photography.

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