05 Mar 2010 Snapixel
Self-described as a marriage between Flickr and iStockphoto, Snapixel is not your standard microstock agency. The Snapixel mission is ‘Openstock’â„¢ – opening a licensing opportunity for photos that don’t look like typical stock photos.
What’s Different about Snapixel?
Snapixel are not the first to combine photo sharing with a photo agency, but the integration is instantly familiar. Sharing photos and joining groups is just like Flickr. Following other contributors is just like Twitter. And seeing the activity of those you’re following in a stream is just like Facebook.
Those just using the sharing and social features get a free account up to 5GB of storage, after which a €9 per year Pro account unlocks unlimited storage capacity among other benefits. Contributors selling photos in the marketplace, once approved, get a free Pro account.
Other key differences are
- Euro currency (Though adding and withdrawing credits can be done in any PayPal supported currency)
- A high 60% commission
- No typical review process, just quality control and internal ratings
- Contributors can set their own price
- No release management (releases must be emailed in)
- No FTP upload (but they’re working on an API with the intention of enabling uploads via iSyndica)
|Minimum Image Size||4 megapixels|
|Licenses||Royalty Free (with Creative Commons outside the marketplace)|
|Pricing||Set your own price, €3 – 27 (more for extended licenses)|
|Payment Methods||PayPal only|
|Payment threshold||€30 (equal to 50 credits)|
|Application Process||For approved marketplace account, submit three test images|
|Upload Methods||HTML Form, Flash uploader|
|Currencies||Euros (plus all PayPal supported currencies for payments)|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, USA|
So Will it Work?
The question ‘will it work’ has a different context for Snapixel. The intention is not to climb the ranks of the top microstock agencies. The intention is to create a market for photos which don’t fit the narrow definition of commercial value of microstock agencies.
For microstock photographers, Snapixel represents an interesting, if not unique, opportunity. All those slightly more artistic photos which microstock agencies just don’t appreciate have a welcome home at Snapixel. Remember, there’s no reviews! That’s not to say that they’re not interested in your regular stock portfolio too. They’ve recently taken on Yuri’s entire portfolio which currently floods the search results.
So will it work as an alternative marketplace for non-typical stock photos? The concept itself is not new nor is it enough to generate the buzz and rapid growth of Flickr and iStockphoto. Though there’s much more behind the success of those two sites than just the core idea.
Will Snapixel deliver a return on your time invested uploading your existing portfolio? Probably not until they get their API online and connected to iSyndica to reduce the time investment. But that’s probably not the best opportunity they represent either.
If the photos you like to create are routinely rejected by microstock agencies but you know there’s a market for them, Snapixel might be the solution for you. The ability to set your own price and the super-high commissions are also big positives, especially in the current microstock climate.