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Author Topic: Peer-to-peer direct stock selling platform (WireStock)  (Read 32266 times)

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« on: October 21, 2017, 07:21 »
+2
Hey Guys,

My name is Mike and I am new to the community. I am a fan of photography and been involved with numerous art/photo tech projects in the past. Currently, I and my friend are thinking about creating a new peer-to-peer stock platform where artists will have the ability to sell images/videos directly to buyers with very low transaction fees (5-10%). We are doing research in the space and would really appreciate your feedback. Would you be kind to fill out the short survey below:

https://goo.gl/forms/Ev00fvEjzN4MoHXS2
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 12:06 by mike_snaps »


« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2017, 10:07 »
+4
Two words. Mar. Keting. Finding a platform isn't a problem, the aforementioned two words are.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 10:09 by niktol »

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2017, 10:13 »
+6
Search for Symbiostock on this forum as well for a lot of history of similar attempts. Symbiostock is still going, but my sales using the approach have been pitiful, I'm afraid, mainly because of those two words mentioned earlier.

In essence, many people search for images, but don't want to spend money. The ones that spend money usually have accounts at an agency somewhere and go there first.

Steve

« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2017, 10:17 »
+4
This has been tried before and was not too successful, but not for lack of enthusiasm.  You might want to look up past discussions about Symbiostock to see what was done previously.  That one was basically free but my impression is it required too much effort to get started.  These ideas are easy to come by but difficult to implement.  You should think about it carefully and come up with a really good idea before proposing much here - this bunch is pretty jaded after all of the previous attempts to do this.  The problem is marketing - oops, somebody just beat me to it, see previous posts.

« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2017, 10:56 »
+2
Mar........- as in buyers, not just contributors.
Attracting the B's are the biggest problem.

« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2017, 14:13 »
+2
This has been tried before and was not too successful, but not for lack of enthusiasm.  You might want to look up past discussions about Symbiostock to see what was done previously.  That one was basically free but my impression is it required too much effort to get started.  These ideas are easy to come by but difficult to implement.  You should think about it carefully and come up with a really good idea before proposing much here - this bunch is pretty jaded after all of the previous attempts to do this.  The problem is marketing - oops, somebody just beat me to it, see previous posts.

It was easy to start ... it was ... poorly received and implemented.

« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2017, 14:49 »
+3
Yes, as another Symbiostock early birder, who invested some $$ and a ton of time, energy, and enthusiasm on a personal stock site that ultimately crashed and burned, I'm not eager to go that route again.

Mar-keting

Yep, that's the biggest problem.

ShadySue

« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2017, 15:10 »
0
Hey Guys,

My name is Mike and I am new to the community. I am a fan of photography and been involved with numerous art/photo tech projects in the past. Currently, I and my friend are thinking about creating a new peer-to-peer stock platform where artists will have the ability to sell images/videos directly to buyers with very low transaction fees (5-10%). We are doing research in the space and would really appreciate your feedback. Would you be kind to fill out the short survey below:

https://goo.gl/forms/Ev00fvEjzN4MoHXS2

I see your questionnaire mentions both 'freelance work' and 'stock'.
Are you scoping a traditional stock type platform, or a platform where buyers make requests and photographers vie to respond, or some hybrid of both?

« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2017, 15:40 »
0
First of all, thanks for all of your comments! You are absolutely right about marketing being the game changer factor in this space. It is important to have a critical mass of buyers to ensure constant stream of revenues for quality contributors. However, what is equally important is the way a p2p platform is set up with regards to pricing, distribution and transaction fees. Platforms like Symbiostock are not pure p2p platforms as they charge fees for hosting and other flat or reoccurring fees. What we are building is a fully transparent p2p platform based on blockchain. In our network, both buyers and contributors will be better off by having full control over pricing and distribution. In other words, by diminishing the role of the middle man, buyers will pay less and contributors will earn more.

We are committed to building this platform and that's why we are really excited to learn from microstockgroup community and your personal experiences (also through the survey shared above).

« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2017, 15:44 »
0
Hey Guys,

My name is Mike and I am new to the community. I am a fan of photography and been involved with numerous art/photo tech projects in the past. Currently, I and my friend are thinking about creating a new peer-to-peer stock platform where artists will have the ability to sell images/videos directly to buyers with very low transaction fees (5-10%). We are doing research in the space and would really appreciate your feedback. Would you be kind to fill out the short survey below:

https://goo.gl/forms/Ev00fvEjzN4MoHXS2

I see your questionnaire mentions both 'freelance work' and 'stock'.
Are you scoping a traditional stock type platform, or a platform where buyers make requests and photographers vie to respond, or some hybrid of both?

We are thinking about a more hybrid solution that would enable custom requests and projects on top of regular stock trading.

« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2017, 16:14 »
+9
I don't think you understand what symbiostock was.  Not the hosted pls form.

Anyways, I'm not interested.  I don't have time or interest in finding my own buyers.  That's why I split the fee with an agency.  "Blockchain" sounds cool and trendy, but I don't see how that helps anything.

If people want custom work, they can just get in contact.  I don't need a platform for that.

« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2017, 16:46 »
+3
I don't think you understand what symbiostock was.  Not the hosted pls form.

Anyways, I'm not interested.  I don't have time or interest in finding my own buyers.  That's why I split the fee with an agency.  "Blockchain" sounds cool and trendy, but I don't see how that helps anything.

If people want custom work, they can just get in contact.  I don't need a platform for that.

Yeah, sounds like the original Symbiostock. Where individual sites were grouped into networks. Unless, I'm misunderstanding the P2P aspect of it. It would be nice to have a new software platform to run my site on. Everything seems to get old and broken in a short period of time though.

« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2017, 17:02 »
+7
Did licensing stock become a target for blockchain technology boosters somehow? This is the second fishing expedition in a short time that was long on technology, short on problem solving:

http://www.microstockgroup.com/newby-discussion/hey-all-i-am-newbie-on-this-website/

I was about to complete your survey, but you want an email address. I don't mind handing over some data anonymously but I'm not willing to provide income range and an email address to some random survey request.

I didn't think the survey was very well put together - for example, you have a very small list of things we'd like changed in existing agencies that doesn't even begin to cover the issues contributors face. There's no "other" option for input.

I participated in Warm Picture (a collective site) and Symbiostock in its original incarnation (a network of independently hosted sites) - in other words I am open to finding alternatives to the existing agencies.

However, unless there is a plan to attract buyers I have no interest in hearing anything about the great technology with which you (or anyone else) will build a site/network/platform/collective/???

Technology is not going to find buyers or cause them to switch from Getty, Shutterstock or Adobe Stock. Tossing in buzzwords about which technology you'll use really hurts your pitch instead of helping it - it suggests you're up for the technical challenge and uninterested in the heavy lift of building a business.

"...buyers and contributors will be better off by having full control over pricing and distribution..." Full control sounds good, but what does this really mean? Buyers never control price or distribution and contributors are only better off in control of both if they have buyers as customers. Which comes back to marketing the site to attract customers away from the existing agencies - how will you do that?

« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2017, 23:11 »
0
Did licensing stock become a target for blockchain technology boosters somehow? This is the second fishing expedition in a short time that was long on technology, short on problem solving:

http://www.microstockgroup.com/newby-discussion/hey-all-i-am-newbie-on-this-website/

I was about to complete your survey, but you want an email address. I don't mind handing over some data anonymously but I'm not willing to provide income range and an email address to some random survey request.

I didn't think the survey was very well put together - for example, you have a very small list of things we'd like changed in existing agencies that doesn't even begin to cover the issues contributors face. There's no "other" option for input.

I participated in Warm Picture (a collective site) and Symbiostock in its original incarnation (a network of independently hosted sites) - in other words I am open to finding alternatives to the existing agencies.

However, unless there is a plan to attract buyers I have no interest in hearing anything about the great technology with which you (or anyone else) will build a site/network/platform/collective/???

Technology is not going to find buyers or cause them to switch from Getty, Shutterstock or Adobe Stock. Tossing in buzzwords about which technology you'll use really hurts your pitch instead of helping it - it suggests you're up for the technical challenge and uninterested in the heavy lift of building a business.

"...buyers and contributors will be better off by having full control over pricing and distribution..." Full control sounds good, but what does this really mean? Buyers never control price or distribution and contributors are only better off in control of both if they have buyers as customers. Which comes back to marketing the site to attract customers away from the existing agencies - how will you do that?


Hey Jo,

The email address in the survey is optional, so you can just skip it. The "other option" to the question you mentioned is now available. We would appreciate if you could complete it now.

I am happy to hear that you are open to finding alternatives which is not surprising given the tiny royalties paid by agencies in comparison to how much they charge buyers.

First of all, I would like to note that I was a buyer of stock photography for a few startups that I managed in the past. Besides marketing that does not provide actual value for customers, what really attracts buyers is the low price of stock photo as well as the flexibility to purchase photos in small quantities and not having to pay for subscription for ridiculous prices. By using blockchain technology, we are able to offer something which current agencies are not. It is the flexibility for buyers and contributors to freely trade stock photography by setting their prices without being charged high percentage transaction fees. By solving the microtransaction problem, we will be able to create an environment where buyers will pay 30-50% less while contributors will earn 30-50% more for the exact same content. This is only possible with decentralization and microtransactions available through blockchain. So to answer your question, buyers will switch to our platform as they will be able to pay significantly less as well as buy content on demand without increased rates (the case with most existing large agencies).

« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2017, 01:34 »
+4
How does block chain help with the costs of transactions exactly? Genuine question as it seems to be flavour of the month buzz word to drop into any new business idea.

I can see it being as a way to finally be able to track all license sales for a particular image but can't see any advantages to sales transaction processing right now.

« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2017, 02:38 »
+6
... what really attracts buyers is the low price of stock photo...

So what sort of low price do you have in mind?

This is no longer a situation where you just have to undercut Getty or Jupiter who charged $500 to license an image. At 123rf you can buy two images for $13 or 5 for $39. Deposit Photos offers 10 images for $49. BigStock offers 10 images for $35. How much lower than that do you envision your project going?

There's not much real freedom in "set your own prices" if the whole selling point of the business is to undercut existing agencies on price. I can't imagine too many contributors wanting to go there - a few might; see the threads here on the now-defunct Dollar Photo Club for that offshoot of an existing agency that tried to slash prices as a way of building market share.

All the Symbiostock sites allowed single purchases via PayPal and had very reasonable prices, but that wasn't enough to get a sustained stream of buyers. PayPal's fees aren't much. My most recent sale from my own site, PayPal deducted 59 cents from the $10 license (for a medium size image). When you talk about "solving the microtransaction problem", I don't see 59 cents on a $10 license as a problem.

Shelma1

« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2017, 05:12 »
+7
What they said. Sellers aren't interested in cool technology, and why would we be interested in slashing prices and undercutting ourselves?

Marketing. Marketing. Marketing. No amount of words you write will hide the fact that you have no plan to attract buyers.

« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2017, 05:23 »
+5
It is important to have a critical mass of buyers to ensure constant stream of revenues for quality contributors. However, what is equally important is the way a p2p platform is set up with regards to pricing, distribution and transaction fees.

No, it's not equally important. You are not listening, and notice that everyone is saying exactly the same thing here. Blockchain is cool, but do you know what else is cool? A credit card or a paypal payment. There is no demand for this tech among contributors. Zinch. You are not solving any problems. What is the problem though is the cost of customer acquisition, cost of conversion or whatever lingo corporate internet peddlers use. Not the pricing, not for contributors anyway. And the only few companies who can bring customers en masse are charging an arm and a leg for it.  If you could whip all these buyers into buying staff directly from me instead by using a glorified in silico ledger, I'd be all for it. But you can't, can you? Because that's not what ledgers are for, are they?

ShadySue

« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2017, 05:31 »
+5
...You are not listening ...
And how often have we been here before, with people coming allegedly 'to seek our opinions', but really just want to mould us into what they want to do?
And where did any of them get?

Same old, same old, but with the additional barrier of blockchain.
 ::)

« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2017, 06:09 »
0
...You are not listening ...
And how often have we been here before, with people coming allegedly 'to seek our opinions', but really just want to mould us into what they want to do?
And where did any of them get?

Same old, same old, but with the additional barrier of blockchain.
 ::)

I just hope they are some kind of internet trolls without much to do. Alternatives are much worse.

« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2017, 07:26 »
+1
... what really attracts buyers is the low price of stock photo...

So what sort of low price do you have in mind?

This is no longer a situation where you just have to undercut Getty or Jupiter who charged $500 to license an image. At 123rf you can buy two images for $13 or 5 for $39. Deposit Photos offers 10 images for $49. BigStock offers 10 images for $35. How much lower than that do you envision your project going?

There's not much real freedom in "set your own prices" if the whole selling point of the business is to undercut existing agencies on price. I can't imagine too many contributors wanting to go there - a few might; see the threads here on the now-defunct Dollar Photo Club for that offshoot of an existing agency that tried to slash prices as a way of building market share.

All the Symbiostock sites allowed single purchases via PayPal and had very reasonable prices, but that wasn't enough to get a sustained stream of buyers. PayPal's fees aren't much. My most recent sale from my own site, PayPal deducted 59 cents from the $10 license (for a medium size image). When you talk about "solving the microtransaction problem", I don't see 59 cents on a $10 license as a problem.

Thanks for bringing up the examples. Lets take the specific example with Deposit Photos.

10 on demand images will cost the buyer $50 which is $5 per image. Contributors, on the other hand, will earn 34-42% per image which on average which equates to $1.9 sending $3.8 to Deposit Photos.

In our case, we will charge 5-10% (to cover markeing and transaction costs) for the same transaction. The seller will be able to charge $3.5 (for example) for the same image earning $1.25 more ($.35 goes to the platform) while the buyer will pay $1.5 less (30%) not to mention the fact that they will not have to purchase in bulk. This kind of microtransaction is only possible through the blockchain technology we are currently building. If you do the same with paypal or credit card, the transaction fee alone will be more than $.35 leaving the middle man with nothing. That is how we will have an advantage in terms of costs and value proposition that can be used in our marketing campaigns.

« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 07:44 by mike_snaps »

« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2017, 07:38 »
0
It is interesting to get most of your feedback. I just wanted to clarify that the reason why we posted our idea here was precisely to hear your thoughts about the potential challenges that we may run into. We are not after buzz trends or are amateur rookies that have no clue how to start and build sustainable businesses. We have been buying stock photography for a few years for our prior projects and know the buyer-side market quite well. We have seen inefficiencies and are determined to build a platform that will solve them (see my posts above for more details).

Again, marketing is important, but most buyers care about the costs they are incurring more than anything. So when you offer a superior cost structure made available with new technology, it will be easier to attract new buyers. That being said, we understand the difficulty and expected cost of user acquisition and will be using most of our investment and future earnings to attract buyers.

Also, we would be happy to share a more detailed explanation of how blockchain will help us solve some of the problems that exist in the stock image world covering user acquisition, transaction fees, decentralized management, copyrights and etc.

« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2017, 07:44 »
+7
How is this "peer to peer" if you're going to do marketing and transactions?  That makes you another "agency".  Albeit one that doesn't know the true cost of marketing.

I don't think I'm really interested in making buyers get accustomed to licensing "cheaper", even if it means a few more cents for me.

« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2017, 07:46 »
+3
... what really attracts buyers is the low price of stock photo...

So what sort of low price do you have in mind?

This is no longer a situation where you just have to undercut Getty or Jupiter who charged $500 to license an image. At 123rf you can buy two images for $13 or 5 for $39. Deposit Photos offers 10 images for $49. BigStock offers 10 images for $35. How much lower than that do you envision your project going?

There's not much real freedom in "set your own prices" if the whole selling point of the business is to undercut existing agencies on price. I can't imagine too many contributors wanting to go there - a few might; see the threads here on the now-defunct Dollar Photo Club for that offshoot of an existing agency that tried to slash prices as a way of building market share.

All the Symbiostock sites allowed single purchases via PayPal and had very reasonable prices, but that wasn't enough to get a sustained stream of buyers. PayPal's fees aren't much. My most recent sale from my own site, PayPal deducted 59 cents from the $10 license (for a medium size image). When you talk about "solving the microtransaction problem", I don't see 59 cents on a $10 license as a problem.

Thanks for bringing up the examples. Lets take the specific example with Deposit Photos.

10 on demand images will cost the buyer $50 which is $5 per image. Contributors, on the other hand, will earn 34-42% per image which on average which equates to $1.9 sending $3.8 to Deposit Photos.

In our case, we will charge 5-10% (to cover markeing and transaction costs) for the same transaction. The seller will be able to charge $3.5 (for example) for the same image earning $1.2 more ($.35 goes to the platform) while the buyer will pay $1.5 less (30%) not to mention the fact that they will not have to purchase in bulk. This kind of microtransaction is only possible through the blockchain technology we are currently building. If you do the same with paypal or credit card, the transaction fee alone will be more than $.35 leaving the middle man with nothing. That is how we will have an advantage in terms of costs and value proposition that can be used in our marketing campaigns.
So you reckon less than 10% of your income is enough for marketing? When then the market leaders who already have a presence typically spend 30% plus. "but most buyers care about the costs they are incurring more than anything"- You need to do a bit of research about marketing.

ShadySue

« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2017, 08:03 »
+1
Also, we would be happy to share a more detailed explanation of how blockchain will help us solve some of the problems that exist in the stock image world covering user acquisition, transaction fees, decentralized management, copyrights and etc.
That's as may be, but how are you going to persuade a large number of buyers to buy into blockchain? Like bitcoin, not all buyers are anxious to be 'cool kids'. Are the business bean counters going to jump on board?


 

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