01 Jun 2010 StockFresh – From the Makers of StockXpert

StockFresh logoAnyone who tells you it takes a long time, a large team and a lot of money to create a microstock agency has just been proven incorrect. Of course it helps if you’ve done it before.

Today, Peter Hamza and Andras Pfaff launched their new microstock agency, StockFresh. If those names sound familiar, it’s because they’re the founders of the successful microstock agency StockXpert as well as the free photo site SXC. Both of those sites were sold to Jupiterimage and ultimately went on to Getty Images, who have since closed StockXpert.

The sale of the outstanding 10% portion to Getty Images was merely last December. In the six months since then, Peter and Andras have built a completely new microstock agency and filled it with over 100,000 images.   Yuri Arcurs has 30,000 there and Ron Chapple’s iofoto collection is there, 15,000 images strong. Even I have 49 online.

Today, the new agency opens its doors to both contributors and buyers. The site is fully functional and well refined. It’s not even in beta. It’s actually easier to use and faster than many microstock agency websites that have been online for years.

The Details

Web Address www.stockfresh.com
Minimum Image Size 4 megapixels
Vectors Yes
Footage No
Licenses Standard Royalty Free
Compensation 50%, up to 62.5% for discounts. 35 cents for subscription sales
Pricing $1 – $20, Subscriptions start at $249 for 25/day limited to Medium size
Payment Methods PayPal & Moneybookers
Payout threshold $50
Referral Program 10% referred buyers only
Application Process 5 images + self description
Exclusivity Not offered
Upload Methods Web form, FTP, or DVD/HDD by post
IPTC Data Supported
Delete images? Yes, immediately and individually
Currencies US Dollars
Languages English, German, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Dutch, Polish
Headquarters Budapest, Hungary

The Verdict

The building part is what Peter does well. StockXpert grew to success because of other factors: it was among the first agencies, it built up a strong community early, it had the traffic driven from SXC, and ultimately benefited from the marketing and promotion of the Jupiterimage and wider Jupitermedia empire.

Now that Peter is without all those benefits, seeing StockFresh through to success will be a greater challenge.   On his side are his experience, his wealth of industry contacts and the cash from the sale of his previous businesses.

From the contributor aspect, there’s a lot to like about this agency. The pricing is not undercutting the competition and the royalties are exceedingly generous, both for credit sales and subscriptions. Subscriptions are also limited to medium size and below. The upload process is smooth and uses most industry best practices. Established contributors will have little trouble getting their portfolios online.

The buyer perspective presents the challenge.   The agency doesn’t have a great deal to differentiate itself from the existing microstock agencies. And without an active API, partnering will be difficult. If there is a way to attract new photo buyers or steal them from the competition, Peter hasn’t revealed it yet.

So while contributors will have relatively little work to get their portfolio online, and doing so would certainly help support high commissions and smart agency strategy, it’s not clear yet whether uploading will pay off financially.

Go StockFresh

You can sign up with StockFresh here.   They’re also on Twitter here (Peter and Andras) and Facebook too.

Peter Hamza is also attending the CEPIC New Media Conference next week, so come and share a pint and talk stock with him in Dublin.

32 Comments
  • plrang
    Posted at 09:38h, 01 June Reply

    How cool, hope it will bring back the best aspects of SXP, joined

  • Tyler Olson
    Posted at 09:42h, 01 June Reply

    Well I wish them the best of luck. It is great to have a site that treats it’s photographers well. StockXpert was a favorite amongst photographers and if stockfresh can generate some decent sales, I’m sure they’ll but just as popular.

    I just signed up for an account with StockFresh and it appears they have an application for photographers. I suppose new since you signed up. You have to give a few sentences about yourself, (1-3) website addresses (one mandatory), and 5 high res jpgs.

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 09:49h, 01 June Reply

      Thanks Tyler, just updated the post.

    • mystockphoto
      Posted at 09:56h, 01 June Reply

      Hi all,
      just applied to be a contributor and observed what Tyler said. There is also an application to join the affiliation program.
      Another link, the blog http://stockfresh.com/blog

      Ciao,
      Roberto

  • Dream Group Launches New Stock Photo Site Stockfresh.com | My Stock Photography
    Posted at 11:51h, 01 June Reply

    […] I also suggest to take a look at the first review published by Lee Torrens on microstockdiaries: StockFresh – From the Makers of StockXpert. var flattr_wp_ver = '0.9.2'; var flattr_uid = '5814'; var flattr_url = […]

  • sharply_done
    Posted at 13:33h, 01 June Reply

    I tried to check them out but the site won’t let me in unless I upgrade my browser. I’m currently using IE7 on WinXP – sure, I’m out of date, but enough to make things not function correctly? Offhand I’d say their decision to block potential customers with outdated systems wasn’t a good one.

    • Irisangel
      Posted at 18:04h, 06 July Reply

      Same here, I am upgraded my browser and I still can’t get to the site. I would really like to apply as a contributor as I was very disappointed to see SXP go. It was one of my favorites and I miss it. Good luck to all involved in the new venture. Please tell me how to get past that “Please upgrade your browser” page.

  • Peter
    Posted at 13:34h, 01 June Reply

    Thanks for the review! We’ll do our best to make the site successful. It is definitely going to be a challenge, but life would be boring without challenges! 😉

    There’s a huge interest already on the contributor side so I would like to ask for everyone’s patience. It may take a long time to get approved as we would like to “test the waters” first. Thank you!

    • Matt Antonino
      Posted at 14:01h, 01 June Reply

      Sales beget sales. Age on site usually has some role in determining search results too. The people who are successful on your site will be those who get in early and get sales early. I think Yuri has admitted as much (buyers sort by # of downloads when possible and buy from images with sales). If we can’t get in on any early sales we will be behind the game right from the outset.

  • Cory
    Posted at 14:01h, 01 June Reply

    It will be interesting to see how vectors are priced. It looked like it was a tier system, but I didn’t see any vectors on the site to get a feel for what the tiers were.

  • Candybox Photo
    Posted at 15:10h, 01 June Reply

    Sounds good but when we will see an agency daring to follow Apple’s app developer program 40/60 share? Who knows what may come?

  • miklav
    Posted at 19:08h, 01 June Reply

    I am glad to see Peter and Andras back to the game. SXP was one of my personal favorites and I wish SF the very best luck!

  • Amos Struck
    Posted at 04:45h, 02 June Reply

    I really like the clean design and the website speed, also the german translation will be a big point to sell to germany. I realy miss a API a something “new” which no other agency has (besides from the contributor share). Good luck Peter! BTW: A german news will follow!

  • Jen Pruett
    Posted at 17:20h, 03 June Reply

    wow thats great will try the service and see how it is, I like their web design nice and clean, Jen

  • Harry Hilders
    Posted at 07:46h, 04 June Reply

    Well I hope this works for them. Well I think it will, they always have been very good in what they do. I don’t think this will be a flop.

  • VectorBoy
    Posted at 12:19h, 04 June Reply

    I don’t know… all these javascript features is “over-cool”, it’s not so usable site, I don’t have good feeling to be there, sorry.

    • John
      Posted at 08:00h, 11 June Reply

      Vectorboy, I wonder which agency you are affiliated with. Oh, I can see now, what a surprise… 😉 How much are they paying you for spamming?

      • VectorBoy
        Posted at 10:13h, 02 July Reply

        Sorry, I just say my opinion…

  • pdtnc
    Posted at 16:49h, 04 June Reply

    Another stock site, at least the ethics will be right with Peter. 🙂

  • hfng
    Posted at 03:49h, 16 June Reply

    Seems they are backed up on approving submitters.

  • Wayne
    Posted at 01:49h, 18 June Reply

    Do you know if they accept Editorial Photos?

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 06:53h, 18 June Reply

      Hi Wayne, there’s no editorial license at StockFresh at this time.

  • Andreas G. Karelias
    Posted at 00:54h, 01 July Reply

    I applied to be a contributor to them from the moment you posted this information on StockFresh. My application is still being reviewed, after all this time. This is not a very good sign, and I cannot understand why they are taking so long. Anyone else with the same problem?
    Regards – Andreas

    • Peter
      Posted at 09:43h, 05 July Reply

      Hi Andreas,
      We’re just warming up so we are still quite slow with the applications. Obviously we want to let everyone who has what it takes in as soon as possible and we’re going to do our best to get your content online quickly. Thank you for your patience!
      Best regards,
      Peter / Stockfresh

      • Andreas G. Karelias
        Posted at 02:22h, 26 August Reply

        Dear Peter, it is now almost three months that my application is still pending. Are you sure this is normal? Is it possible that something is wrong with my application, or the delay is caused by a bug of some sort?
        Regards – Andreas

        • Peter
          Posted at 07:04h, 26 August Reply

          Hi Andreas,
          We’re working on getting as many contributors online as possible, but we still have a very small team and we are overwhelmed with the amount of images coming in. We’re working as fast as we can (we already managed to get 400 photographers with over 220,000 pics on board) and we’d like to ask for your patience as we go through all the applications. The vast majority get accepted, it just takes a while because we’re not necessarily doing it in order. Thank you very much!
          Best regards,
          Peter / Stockfresh

  • Jamie
    Posted at 13:41h, 08 July Reply

    I applied as soon as the article was posted as well, and my application was finally reviewed. DENIED. Now I have to wait another month before I can apply again. They told me to look at their most popular images to see what is selling, and it is all model photography, but even the most successful image has only been sold twice, not a fair market sample if you ask me, they need to allow more time to see what is selling before they deny good photographers.

    • Peter
      Posted at 14:49h, 08 July Reply

      Hi Jamie,
      I understand your frustration and that’s not a fair sample indeed because we have just launched the site, but we ran similar sites for several years and know what’s in demand. We have limited resources therefore we need to concentrate on those types of images that yield the best results. Thank you for your understanding.
      Best regards,
      Peter / Stockfresh

      • Jamie
        Posted at 15:11h, 08 July Reply

        Alright, what types of images do well, what are you looking for?

  • Daniel Padavona
    Posted at 11:17h, 16 April Reply

    I sincerely hope Stockfresh makes it, but my optimism is tempered by the history surrounding StockXpert (built up, then sold off). I think they are making the right move by sticking to the higher end contributors as they build up, and then opening the doors to other contributors when traffic supports the decision.

    • wdeon
      Posted at 18:17h, 16 April Reply

      I applied in June 2010. Though I understand that they want users with large portfolios, 10 months is quite a long time to wait to be reviewed.

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