Yes, you did read the title correctly, Pixels.com has launched a new image licensing marketplace, and you're in control. Pixels.com is an online image licensing marketplace that enables artists and photographers to self-manage their images, prices and licenses. Take a look at how Pixels.com is structured, works, and proves to be a major game-changer for our entire industry.
Pixels.com allows photographers to set their own prices, control which licenses they want to sell (royalty-free or rights-managed), and even create their own custom licenses with their own terms and conditions. The business was inspired by the success of Broihier's print-on-demand business, FineArtAmerica.com, which is home to hundreds of thousands of artists and photographers who sell their images as canvas prints, framed prints, greeting cards, and more. FineArtAmerica.com allows artists and photographers to set their own prices for physical goods, and Broihier sees image licensing as a natural extension of this established, successful business model.
During an interview with Broihier led by fastcocreate.com he said "he was inadvertently prompted to launch this licensing business by Getty Images. He says his users had been asking for such a service for a while, but the stock footage giant’s move in March to give away 35 million images in their portfolio for online, non-commercial use without compensating their photographers was the last straw. “There was just a firestorm of complaints from photographers following that move. That sort of finally pushed me over the edge,” says Broihier, who is also the site’s programmer. “I knew we already had millions of images and we have artists who are happy with us because we treat them fairly. So I said, let’s see what happens.”
How They Do It
Pixels.com takes the price that is set by the photographer and marks it up 30 percent. The photographer earns the set price, and Pixels.com earns the markup. If a photographer sets his/her price at $100 for a royalty-free license, Pixels.com marks that up to $130.00. When it is purchased, the photographer keeps $100, and $30 goes to Pixels.com. In this example, the photographer takes home 77 percent of the sale price.
Why It Works
Pixels.com's unique business model has opened up the image licensing industry to the world's most talented artists and photographers. Many of these artists and photographers have sold on FineArtAmerica.com since 2006 but were hesitant to try image licensing due to the industry-standard low prices and commissions.
"Artists and photographers are understandably frustrated with being dictated to by the leading companies in the image licensing space," added Broihier. "We're changing that. If you're an artist or photographer, you should be able to dictate the price for your images. This doesn't have to be a race to the bottom."
For buyers, Pixels.com offers millions of images that can't be found anywhere else online along with an easy-to-use search engine that allows them to quickly find images based on license type, medium, orientation, color, and more. "If you want to find an image of a painting that can be licensed to use on the cover of a book, you can do that in two clicks," added Broihier. "Due to our flexible pricing system, we've attracted artists and photographers who simply refuse to license their images anywhere else."
What Does This Mean?
Personally, I'm very excited to see Pixels.com begin to be a major competitor for Shutterstock and Getty Images. Will Pixels.com breakaway from the status quo mean Getty and Shutterstock could follow suit? Only time will tell. Please let me know what you think in the comments below.