New 500px photography licenses for social and web
Today 500px announced a new form of photography license offered through their quickly expanding and quite impressive stock photo arm, 500px Prime. Under the new deal, agencies, brands, companies and other consumers of digital media can purchase licenses of great photography, including mine, for a small fee of $50. Here is the verbiage from the press release:
We are excited to introduce a new type of license to 500px Prime: The Single-use Social/Web License. Here's the skinny: In an increasingly social world, buyers are looking for beautiful photography that they can use online to represent their brands. When it comes to representing you, we want to put our best foot forward. With the Single-use Social/Web License, we will be able to offer a license that buyers will be excited about; resulting in higher demand for your quality work. The terms of this Rights Managed license include a low-res photo (1 Megapixel: 1200x800) for one-time use on an online ad or website. To read the new terms, go here. The license will cost $50(USD) and as always, you will continue to get 70% of the royalties.
Personally, I think this is a huge step in the right direction for 500px. I think the marketplace for this sort of stock photography is quickly on the rise, and brands are looking for this sort of content regularly. I also think that in terms of pricing and profit share, 500px has realy hit a sweet spot here, offering a much larger share of the profit to the actual artist, which feels much better on this end of the transaction. Here's a photo I'd love to offer up for $50 a pop to agencies like Travel Oregon, Portland Monthly Magazine, or other regional Oregon magazines or tourist organizations.
What are your thoughts on 500px Prime's move? Favorable? Foolish? Not sure?
Good point Sarah, thanks for weighing in. I agree that there are circumstances where you may net much, much more by using a different design. My limited experience has been with both Getty and 500px. With Getty, they've licensed my photos for as little as $2 in the past, and that certainly felt wrong on this end. I think as 500px gets better, they will provide greater flexibility. In fact, I think this latest update came directly out of a survey they sent out a few weeks back.
While I am glad that 500px has raised the royalty percentage for photographers, I still think there are many flaws in their set-up. The $250 fee for any media, royalty free license, unlimited use seems hugely problematic. Yes, it is better than microstock but still is a bad deal for a photographer. With the 500px set-up, a large magazine can buy a 500px licensed photo for $250 and the photographer gets a whole $175. I much prefer the model that Tandem is using - reasonable prices for buyers based on use, much more fair for the photographer in terms of earnings. We have licensed images found on 500px for much, much more than the $250 fee so at least for now, I will stick with having my work be found there but licensed outside of their system. I might license fewer images but at least for 2014, will make a heck of a lot more than if I were part of the 500px Prime system.
Ryan, thanks for the comment. I'm not sure I agree with you. Most stock agencies, including 500px (I have to assume) use sophisticated tracking tools to make sure that licensed images are not used without permission. I've actually read lots of upset webmasters getting nasty emails/letters from Getty and others. What would interest me is if/when those agencies collect on those earnings, do they pass it on to the photographer? I'm sure it is covered somewhere in the agreement with the photographer.
Hard to say... I think they're on the right track, but consider this: once the photo is out there on Portland Monthly's website, for example, it will be stolen left and right by its readers/customers. That's just gonna happen. So given that your image is now going to be flowing freely out there, sans credit, is $50 really enough compensation? I don't know... Maybe that's something that we, as photographers, just have to chalk up as a cost of doing business. I think the bar keeps getting set lower and lower as far as what's considered appropriate compensation for digital images, though; enough that I'm not sure I even wanna play in that space anymore. Of course, my stuff has never had the same demand that yours does anyway, so the risk is much less for me. ;-)
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