You may have heard about this already, but a new stock photography site cavilled Stocksy launched a few days ago. What makes this special is that it was founded by iStock founder Bruce Livingstone. The goal is to create a new experience for those who have been disillusioned by the current issues facing the stock photography market, both as sellers and buyers.
In their own words...
Photographers came to us en masse. They all said the same thing. They wanted more. They were disillusioned and frustrated with the state of affairs in the industry-- artists were not fairly paid for the work they were creating.
They were right. In fact, when we starting to think through what the next phase of the maturation for this industry would look like, we took it even a step further. Not only were artists not fairly compensated, they were left out of benefiting from equity (ownership), even though they were the ones creating the long term value of the company by building its collection. We wanted to change that and create a corporate structure where photographers not only receive fair payment, but are also voting shareholders.
There are two big things that set Stocksy apart from the Getty empire and its subsidiaries. The first is that the collection is fully curated. If you've ever tried to find anything on iStock photo, you've undoubtedly had the experience of having to trawl through page after page of rubbish to fined the shot you want. It's a side effect of iStock's growth, and it's becoming a real problem. Stocksy aims to solve that issue by having a strong editorial control over the collection.
The second thing that sets Stocksy apart is that they pay artists a much fairer 50% royalty, but more than that, artists are shareholders in the company. It's a great idea and I hope it does well.