31 May 2009 This Month in Microstock – May 2009
The microstock market continues to grow and evolve and increasingly rapid rates. The month of May showed lots of strategic maneuvering among the top players, all seeking to boost their market share.
Getty Images made another step in absorbing the Jupiterimages properties. They announced iStockphoto content is to be sold on photos.com and Jupiterimages Unlimited where StockXpert content already appears. Some fundamental aspects of the program caused great upset among iStockphoto contributors, resulting in another monster-sized forum thread. The primary concerns were the inclusion of exclusive iStockphoto content and images that are already on these outlets via StockXpert being duplicated. True to form, iStockphoto management considered the feedback and made changes to the structure of the program.
Shutterstock announced plans to withhold tax for non-US contributors in line with US laws. The reaction from contributors was strong and divided.
Dreamstime raised the value of their credits which will result in higher royalties for contributors. They also announced plans to reduce the commission rates in the coming months in order to have more funds for marketing. Their commission rates will still be higher than competitors and the increased marketing will help raise sales volumes. It’s all about balance for Dreamstime who continue demonstrating superior skills in crowd pleasing.
Corbis stopped accepting new contributions at SnapVillage, but announced the new Veer Marketplace will open to contributors on June 8.
Patrick Lor, co-founder of iStockphoto, has come out of retirement to join Fotolia as president for North America. Fotolia later launched PhotoXpress, their free images site designed to grow the market market share.
TechCrunch rumored Fotolia had taken a round of funding between $50million – $100million from TA Associates. The credibility of the rumor was challenged in the comments, and it was pointed out that TA have a board member at Fotolia. Fotolia declined to either confirm or deny the rumor with this response:
TechCrunch has been very, very good to us. We are huge fans of the site and its reporters, and think they provide great value in to startup and tech community. The latest article is reporting on rumors, and we never comment on rumors. With respect to the facts in the article, we can confirm that Fotolia’s business is strong, rapidly growing, and gaining on the industry leader.
Vivozoom, the new non-crowdsourced microstock agency with image warranty launched to buyers this month.