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Author Topic: Corbis Entering Microstock  (Read 13120 times)

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« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2007, 10:09 »
Maybe thats how they got big - by not wasting money.

As you say, hardly anyone would have noticed (at least someone did hence the articles).  I am sure there are hundreds of examples that never get picked up though.  ie. regional campaigns where they dont want to spend big money.

« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2007, 10:21 »
I am sure if Corbis launches microstock site, it will be in top 5 within a year.  On the other hand, I must say that RM images on Corbis' main site are not very spectacular--as a matter of fact I have seen much better works on IS.  There is also an enormous amount of keyword spamming... if you type in florida, for example, you get images of pill boxes and bicycles by page 3.  Not very promising.  You must also consider that most of the uploads to the Corbis site (at least at the initial stage) will come from collections posted somewhere else-be it IS, SS, Fotolia, etc.  So, I think they are aware of that.  So there is a good chance that they are currently buying all rights for some of the RM images that are not selling or downgrading high-priced RF images to inject something different into their site.


« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2007, 11:20 »
It will be interesting.

There's also a rumour that they have never ever made a profit. It might just be a rumour, but it makes one wonder if they have the ability to pull this off, even with more or less unlimited resources. Buying IS may have been the smartest thing Getty has ever done. Other candidates don't look nearly as attractive.

Whether they make a profit or not, revenue is increasing:

You also have to understand that Corbis has a licensing model where they buy the rights outright from photographers.  In a scheme like this, there would be a lot of cash outlay from the onset, then revenue from the continued sales.

RM and Macrostock are going the way of the dinosaur. They have to evolve in order to stay in business.
There is is too much competition  from the under priced micro stock sites that are virtually selling the same
images for many $$$ less. Micro stock has become the Walmart of of imagery!

Why would a designer pay $200 for a RM image when he can get the same image in some cases for 1/3 the price?

Don't make the same mistake the old school traditional photographers make by not paying attention to other business models.  I know of a sale in late 2006 at Alamy that went for about $18,000 - it was of the Statue of Liberty and would have been eligible at any of the micros.  RM and RP imagery is not dead or dying.

If you look at the pricing differences between RF at the traditionals and RM at the traditionals as well as study the terms of service, you'll see that you aren't comparing apples and apples.  At Alamy, a RF licensed image can be used just like an extended license image at the micros.  Unlimited use for unlimited reasons.  At places like DT, they restrict that usage to 500,000 copies under a standard usage agreement.  At Alamy, that same $300 image can be sold multiple times - at DT, you're buying exclusive rights to the image starting at $300.

There is also a whole world of editorial imagery - from lifestyle to newsworthy events that the micros haven't tapped into.  Shutterstock has only skimmed the surface and based on their noise requirements, they are only going to continue to skim the surface.

« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2007, 03:22 »
Just thought I would bump this back to the top.

Read an interview with a Corbis guy and he said they would have microstock in the next couple of months.

From the working it sounded like they would be starting from scratch.

I think the interview can be read on

« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2007, 18:49 »
Probably important to jump on board Corbis as soon as they launch.

Will be interesting to see what pricing model they use - will they try to attract millions of images by higher pricing and commissions like DT, or will they go lower with exclusive bonuses like IS.

« Reply #30 on: March 27, 2007, 01:30 »
I dont think a new site can give enough incentives to exclusives.  NOt until you know they are saleable.

I agree to jump on board early.

« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2007, 16:49 »
Anyone heard any further news about Corbis?

« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2007, 17:04 »
Haven't seen anything yet.

« Reply #33 on: June 01, 2007, 21:21 »

« Reply #34 on: June 02, 2007, 05:26 »
will be interesting to see how it panes out, and interesting to see how many photog's get a chance to submit to corbis, and not just the micro site.

« Reply #35 on: June 02, 2007, 19:32 »
I'll be interested to see how many images they launch with, the quality of those images, and who supplied those images. There's no way that site goes live with zero or even a couple hundred images. To be competitive off the bat, I'd have to assume Corbis has tapped their existing contributors to supply seed images. Plus, this might be a way to keep the peace with their existing photogs -- to give them first dibs in this "new" and "non-competing" market.

« Reply #36 on: June 02, 2007, 19:49 »
To be competitive off the bat, I'd have to assume Corbis has tapped their existing contributors to supply seed images. Plus, this might be a way to keep the peace with their existing photogs -- to give them first dibs in this "new" and "non-competing" market.

If that was true, I'm sure someone would have heard about it.  I would think that it would be hard to keep something like that a secret.  But what do I know???

« Reply #37 on: June 03, 2007, 02:06 »
Corbis has never made a profit.  why? Because they purchased a lot of the photos outright rathr than just taking a commission.  As such, they could put in a lot of the photos which they own, but have never sold (or even have sold).  They could use these to have critical mass at lauch and if they wanted to, take them out once other photos have replaced them (or leave them in).

Plus, if they have enough bandwidth and reviewers, and they can read ITPC, my guess is they will have 100,000's of photos within a month as everyone jumps on board straight away.  I am pretty sure my tiny portfolio could be up there in a day.  Even the big guys (4000+) could ftp (or even send in a DVD) and have them online within a month.

What they need to do is either tap new markets or make it a good experience for the buyer, or else why will they change from istock??

« Reply #38 on: June 04, 2007, 14:21 »
It was inevitable, it HAD to happen. Macro Stock is dying. Why?
.....Because Macro Stock can't compete with Microstock which has taken out a BIG chunk of it's profits. 

Why should a budding new designer with limited resources (or anyone for that matter), pay
the exuberant prices Macro Stock demands for it's images when microstock offers comparable images
for less than 1/4 the price?

Think about Microstock as the new Walmart for Macrostock.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2007, 21:44 by rjmiz »

« Reply #39 on: June 06, 2007, 21:14 »
People doing macrostock are still reporting sales. I also thought it would die but it hasn't quite happened yet.
 One of the reasons Corbis has not been profitable, besides the fact they have been buying a bunch of images, is because the premise of their business was based on a futuristic prediction that has so far failed to pan out. They wanted to be the main provider of home based digital images of many vintage and famous photographs. Basically digital screens that can project images and pretend to be artwork hanging on your wall. They could charge a subscription fee to a database of images and the customer could change the digital image on the wall when they got tired of looking at the previous one.

I think the problem with this idea is that generally people still prefer original or paper/canvas prints of artwork on their walls. Not everyone is a is a techno enthusiast like Bill Gates and Ray Kurzweil. Those two may think the idea of digital wall sized images is really cool, but I think it will be awhile before the general public catches on to this, and in the meantime it will be seen as kinda deClasse to have computer images on your wall instead of originals. Now if they could make animated digital images for your wall, like a running waterfall  for instance, that is something that a hard copy print cannot do and may have more mass appeal IMHO.

« Reply #40 on: June 07, 2007, 06:41 »
Macrostock will never die because large companies are happy to pay higher prices to ensure the images they use are not seen elsewhere.

Microstock has created a new market with the people who previously wouldn't pay high prices for stock. This new market only partially overlaps the existing macrostock market, with those in the overlapped portion happy to sacrifice image exclusivity for a much lower price.

The remaining portion of the macrostock industry - predominantly organisations with valuable brands and big marketing budgets - will never defect. Yes, macrostock photographers have lost a portion of their market, but it's a portion that wasn't relevant for their services from the beginning.

« Reply #41 on: June 07, 2007, 06:45 »
To support what Lee said, Getty thinks there is only a 15% cross over between micro and macro customers.

« Reply #42 on: September 20, 2007, 19:33 »
Big will always stay big and always want piece of cake.
Bigger an inerten agencies come for crempie.


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