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.Â 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.
|Minimum Image Size||4 megapixels|
|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|
|Referral Program||10% referred buyers only|
|Application Process||5 images + self description|
|Upload Methods||Web form, FTP, or DVD/HDD by post|
|Delete images?||Yes, immediately and individually|
|Languages||English, German, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Dutch, Polish|
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.Â 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.Â 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.
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.
Posted June 1st, 2010 by Lee Torrens