Need a special photo for that special project? Did you take an amazing photo that you think is worth selling? There is a market for these in the world of stock photos, but until recently this was a time consuming and difficult to use service. Today, professional photographers and amateurs alike can use iStockphoto to buy and sell images. We spoke with Kelly Thompson, iStockphoto's chief operating officer, about the service.
With more than 3.5 million registered members, the royalty-free stock image service could almost be considered picture perfect!
Bright Hub: Who is the main audience for the service? Right now who is using iStockphoto?
Kelly Thompson: iStock imagery can now be seen everywhere in daily life, from Fortune 500 company magazine ads, to newspaper articles, corporate videos, billboards, restaurant menus, book covers, websites, and blogs, to music industry awards shows, major motion pictures and broadcast commercials. In 2007 alone, iStock sold 18.25 million images or videos to buyers in virtually every country and industry in the world.
iStockphoto is the worlds leading royalty-free stock destination with more than 3.5 million photographs, vector illustrations, Flash files and video footage. On our site, a file is downloaded every 1.3 seconds.
iStock transformed the stock imagery market in 2000 by commercializing the work of hobbyist photographers, selling high-quality stock photos for as little as $1. This dramatic price point opened the world of imagery to a whole new segment of buyers who could never before have afforded traditional stock, which is priced from several hundred to several thousand dollars per image.
Seventy-five percent of our customer base is made up of small businesses, but a wide variety of companies and industries make use of our collection. On the video side, the collection appeals to independent and commercial producers, directors and designers, and iStock is also making inroads into broadcast news and documentaries as well; anywhere b-roll is needed that evokes a feeling or a concept.
Bright Hub: What advantages does iStockphoto have over other stock photo services?
Kelly Thompson: In terms of traditional stock imagery companies, iStock's top advantage is clearly price, but our quality is also as good, if not better, than many of the images found on many traditional sites. As to the micropayment stock imagery category iStock created, iStock's success as a robust community and online business has spawned many competitors, but iStock remains the market leader in sales, collection diversity, technical quality standards, community strength, innovation and high-profile business partnerships with Microsoft, HP, Avery Labels and many others.
iStock is also a profitable and burgeoning social network, and was one of the first user-generated content sites to pay people for their work. Many contributors make part or full-time livings and earn up to $300,000 a year from their iStock portfolios. iStock adds 100,000 new members worldwide monthly and averages 4.5 million unique visitors every month. The community offers the unique works of more than 60,000 global artists. As a subsidiary of Getty Images, we also provide a true career path for top artists to the global leader in stock imagery.