16 Dec 2010 Steve Pigeon on the Crestock Acquisition [video]

On July 1, 2010 microstock agency Crestock was acquired by Masterfile Corporation, one of the largest traditional stock photo agencies. Masterfile immediately endeared themselves to Crestock contributors by paying out all backlogged royalties and bringing the review queue back under control. But there’s still a lot left to do for Crestock to compete in the microstock market.

A few weeks ago I caught up with Masterfile’s President, Steve Pigeon, to talk about the acquisition and his plans for the future of the fledgling microstock agency.

The interview was recorded back on October 10, so many of the things Steve announced are not news anymore. I apologize for the distraction of me checking my phone – I was referring to questions and watching the timer for the 5 minute limit of HD filming on the 5DM2.

Ellen Boughn Recruited to Blog for Crestock

Yes, industry guru and new author, Ellen Boughn, is now writing weekly blog posts for Crestock. Check it out here.

The Future of Crestock

Crestock print adSo Crestock is back to a solid financial position, with pricing better aligned to the market and a substantial marketing campaign to help increase the buyer base. Steve has also hired a new President for Crestock in Joan Fischer.

Check out some of the very creative new ads over at Crestock’s media page. You can also read more about the implications for Crestock contributors on the Crestock blog.

There are still doubts about the ability of traditional agencies to achieve success with microstock, and with the slow performance of Crestock to date, Masterfile are clearly starting from well behind. However, the fate of the company is looking particularly more promising now than it was prior to the acquisition.   Subsequently, there’s a lot of good will among microstock contributors for Masterfile at this moment.

5 Comments
  • Tyler Olson - MicrostockGroup
    Posted at 07:50h, 16 December Reply

    Thanks for the interview. It’s nice to ‘meet’ the owner of an agency and hear their thoughts on moving forward. I have always liked the design and business strategy behind Crestock and found it disappointing they weren’t able to gain more ground than they did. Hopefully Masterfile can push Crestock to being one of the top 6 microstock sites again.

  • paul prescott
    Posted at 14:03h, 16 December Reply

    Hi Lee,
    good that you are upgrading to video interviews. What 5 minute limit on HD are you talking about?
    You need to put your camera on manual to not get the fluctuating light. I don’t know what mic you are using but I would recommend getting the VideoMic from RODE. Check out my sound on this shot of 5d: http://www.bobsnbabes.com/the-bobsnbabes-story.html
    You should also sit in a more comfortable position, hehe, and you needn’t say ‘Ok’ at the end of each section interview, just pass onto the next question.
    You are great, you will be the perfect interviewer after a few sessions!! Well done and hope to see some more video interviews

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 01:45h, 17 December Reply

      Hey Paul,

      Woops. I previously had the D90 which has a five minute limit. I see the 5D is limited by the 4G filesize, which means about 12 minutes for 1080p. At least I’ll know for next time.

      The camera was on manual; the fluctuating light came from the window behind. And actually, I was using the RODE VideoMic – love that thing. Lapel mics would be better, but I haven’t reached that level yet.

      As for the sitting position and the nervous acknowledgments after each answer, I totally agree. I need more practice!

      More video interviews are coming. Thanks for the encouragement.

      -Lee

  • Marek
    Posted at 18:36h, 16 December Reply

    Thank you for the interview! I hope that you would ask about any changes in reviewing process.

    I didn’t have much luck with uploading to the “old” Crestock due to massive rejections.

    I gave a try to the “new” one and uploaded some 200 pictures. Once I got almost immediate review and most pictures were accepted with just a few rejections. Second time my pictures waited a couple of weeks for a review to be mostly rejected as “visually uninterested”. Those rejections included some good sellers from IS and SS.

    I am not in a hurry to try again with the same old Crestock reviewing team and and the same attitude. Occasional $0.25 sales don’t compensate for uploading effort and frustration, but we will see …

  • Cory
    Posted at 12:54h, 17 December Reply

    Nice interview. It’s interesting that he mentions reading forums about the company before they bought it. Crestock doesn’t exactly have the most positive reputation on some of the micro forums. They definitely have a big job ahead of them to rebuild that reputation and have contributors come back to submit. It will be interesting to see if they can do it.

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