Don’t enter the market at the end of the lifecycle, says Photoshelter CEO

Allen Murabayashi, CEO of Photoshelter, a provider of portfolio websites, photo sales and archiving tools for photographers, wrote a blogpost last week that got  the attention of a number of people, including a regular reader that pointed the post out to me. It draws analogies between the goldrush and developments in stockphotography. It gives every content owner and mover in the industry something to think about during the big shifts that are taking place in the industry. Here’s part of the blogpost:

“It’s been just over a year since we shut down the PhotoShelter Collection – our ill-fated attempt to bring diversity into the stock photography market while giving the photographer the majority of sales. At the time (and probably still), many photographers felt duped, and hurt that we didn’t give it more time to mature. But now that we’re many months away from that traumatic event”

There are some words of warning and a couple of options near the end of the post. The solutions are not a definitive and this reads like the beginning of a debate that is overdue. The debate will need to adress all the challenges the Stock Photography industry is facing, the learnings from other industries and the various businessmodels that are viable, from free imagery to high-end photograhy.

Allen Murabayashi says this about possible solutions:

“Don’t enter a market at the end of the lifecycle. You’ll always get burned. If you want to play the stock photography game, don’t leave it up to chance to make sales. Understand who is buying the images you’re shooting, and make sure your marketing plan includes them. This might mean building a clientele and licensing directly. It might mean moving to footage. It might mean none of the above”

You can find this post in the forum and are welcome to share your thoughts on how to overcome the challenges in the industry.

Marco | Editor

Editor at large and founder of a bunch of stockphoto businesses