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500px 'Prime' is a licensing marketplace with 30% cut for photographers

By dpreview staff on Feb 8, 2014 at 02:10 GMT

Photo-sharing site 500px has followed Flickr into the photo-licensing market by announcing 'Prime' - a licensing service that it is describing as 'the world's most intelligent marketplace'.

Fees will start at $250 and interestingly, the company is also claiming that the photographer will get 30% of every fee for a licensed image, no matter 'how it is bought, who buys it, or under what license'. It's not totally clear whether licenses are for single images only or might cover multiple images, but either way, a $250 license = $75 for the photographer. 

500px is one of the world's largest photo-sharing sites, with more than 3 million registered users. According to a post on the company's blog, 'Our vision is to fundamentally change the way photos are licensed [and] a big part of this is changing the way photo licensing companies work with photographers.'

Under a crosshead entitled 'What's different', 500px lists three ways in which Prime differs from other photo licensing services:

  • We are pricing all licenses in a way that brings dignity to the photographer, we are not joining the race to the bottom. Our licenses will start at $250. 
  • We are giving you, the photographer, 30% for every one of your images that we license. It doesn’t matter how it is bought, who buys it, or under what license, your 30% comes off the top.
  • We are using the power of the 500px community to give buyers insight into how photos will be received and perceived before licensing them. Imagine searching images by potential vitality, hero status and visceral reaction. This is revolutionary and something only 500px can do.

500px users interested in selling their images are encouraged to send an email to primephotographers@500px.com.

What do you think of this move from 500px? Let us know in the comments.  

Via: PetaPixel, Source: 500px

Comments

Total comments: 119
12
TCMercury
By TCMercury (2 months ago)

As a possibly very naive aside, has everyone here received an email asking them fi they want to sign up, complete with a few photos 'Requested' (to quote the name of the tab)? I'm not sure if I've been scouted or jawed, as it were.

0 upvotes
NotisSt
By NotisSt (2 months ago)

I don't expect the average photographer to be an economics expert, but some facts need to be acknowledged, even by photographers.
The price of a product or service is determined by supply and demand. Today, we all now that there is excess supply of photographs. Not all of them are of the same quality obviously, but there are a lot of good ones out there, many of them coming from amateurs whose first priority is NOT to make a living from photography.
On the contrary, setting up a business with millions of customers (I mean here registered users) (in this case 500px) is not as common, i.e. there is not such a big supply of sites like 500px out there. Therefore, they can set the price at 70% for selling your photos and they would be idiots to set it any lower.
The near future will show which way the prices will go. More sites like 500px will mean more supply for photographers. More photographers will mean more supply for 500px. Eventually a new equilibrium will be found and so on ...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
photosecosse
By photosecosse (2 months ago)

Some of you with "superior" knowledge appear to have missed the point...I do have my own website from which I sell my work, and I have gone for the 30% from 500px Prime because the money will be AS WELL AS what I get from my own marketing, without much effort. With a non exclusive license I can sell the same image over and over on "Prime" AND my website. Getty do not offer anything much better !!
iStock give 15% ( !!! ), Shutterstock 20%, and if you sell to Getty via Flickr, you are looking at 15% and you cannot sell the image anywhere else and are tied in for five years.

1 upvote
eyedo
By eyedo (2 months ago)

I've licensed stock since the 1970s and this 500px deal is crap.
30%..ha! Not much better than rights grabbing Getty.
You are better off doing a great blog,getting active on Linkedin and Facebook and having an ecommerce site thru Zenfolio. $150 a year where you keep all but the Paypal fees and you set your own rates,can have prints made and get the name and address of the purchaser.

0 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (1 month ago)

Surely a 30% of a license starting at $250 is a better starting place than an "all you can eat" for a few bucks a month or $10-15 license with the shooter getting %15 or so of that?

0 upvotes
paddyrags
By paddyrags (2 months ago)

Why not 70% for the photographers.

Unless 500px is taking care of the following:

1. The photographers insurance - medical and general
2. Sponsor his all equipments - cameras, lens, other peripherals
3. Pays for the travel, lodging and other incidental costs

Guys please feel free to add to the above list..

Cheers
Happy Clicking

1 upvote
BNapa
By BNapa (2 months ago)

4. Paid vacations
5. Four-day work weeks
6. On-site day care
7. Not any camera, 80MP Hassy with Zeiss lenses (augmented #2)
8. Catered lunches

That is it for now! Will add more later!

4 upvotes
joshnl
By joshnl (2 months ago)

Comments like this is why I barely look at DPR anymore.

0 upvotes
BNapa
By BNapa (2 months ago)

D's30% for the photographer sucks. That is true. But do you know how hard it is to market directly to the marketplace.
1. You better have spectacular photos
2. You need a web site to show the stuff
3. You have to create and manage the contracts
4. You have to have a web site that is capabale of commerce
5. You have to get the word out as in all the marketing work.
6. You are going to fight the fact that you are an unknown and anyone who has the money to license your work will be hesitant to work with an unknow (rightfully so) photographer
7. You have to secure your site, e-commerce from hackets
... and the list goes on. So you see, it is not that easy to go direct.
I know because I have tried.
In 2003, I came up with the idea, photographed, designed and did limited print run of 2,500 copies of an oversized B&W calendar. By the time I paid all the vultures and ate the cost of all the unsold copies, I came up on the loosing end big time.
And this was for a calendar which everyone thought was an Ansel Adams calendar.
I identified local retailers, presented to store managers and got them to agree that it was going to sell like hot cakes only to be overridden by a jerk out of New York who killed the idea because hedid not Iinitiate it. So I ended up dealing with Borders and Barnes and Nobles of the world.
Sure they gave me my 35% but wait, out of that I had to take out the cost of printing, shipoing the inventory to them, pay for shipping back to me what did not sell. And the time it took to creat the work. Lets not go there.
As I said, it is not easy to go direct.
The biggest lesson (albit an expensive one) I learned was that it is all about distribution not the work. That is why you see so much sub standard work (at least in calendars) out there. The are crappy photos printed for pennies in China and on the shelves where you are going to make money.

3 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (2 months ago)

One thing you didn't mention is that calendars are dated material. They have to be back from the printer in China in time to be on the shelves by Thanksgiving (in the US) and if they are unsold by first week, January, they are worthless.

Iif you make an "Ansel Adams" book it can stay on the shelf, have price reductions, be remaindered, etc. Might even become more popular as time goes on. But with calendars, even if you pick the right subject--swimsuits, cats or quilts--it's a very long shot.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
1 upvote
BNapa
By BNapa (2 months ago)

AbrasiveReducer,
You have an excellent point.
My calendar did go through price reduction and the works. But at the end of the day it is a calendar and it is a dated material. So, it has to come off the shelves.
My point was that going direct has its perils. In the case of calendars, there is no chance of selling direct. I tried and got shot down.
I have been a photographer all of my adult life and then some. I have also been involved with consumer goods and the retail world. In either case, art or hard goods, it is about distribution. Being on the shelves or being in front of the intended audience can make or break you.
So these guys take a lions share of the money. At least you get to be seen by the masses who might buy your stuff.
As much as I hate the thought, I must agree with another poster that 30% of something is better than 100% of nothing.
The artist in me says do not sell out. The bean counter in me says sells, sell, sell at any cost!

1 upvote
Kenc68
By Kenc68 (2 months ago)

30% for photographers has been the industry standard for years. For those of you complaining, 30% of something is better than 100% of nothing. Most big businesses will go to an organisation rather than an individual for stock images as they will be dealt with in a manner familiar to them. This is how the business operates. It's not personal & certainly not a case of "money grabbing" it's just business.

5 upvotes
Smeggypants
By Smeggypants (2 months ago)

Ahhhhh the old X% of something is better than 100% of nothing excuse. Of course that'll still be used when photographers only get 5%

Yup that's right ..... 5% of something is better than 100% of nothing

Of course it's a case of money grabbing and people with Stockholm Syndrome won't convince us otherwise.

People excused the slave trade by stating "it's just business", "it's an industry standard"

Yawn.

2 upvotes
BNapa
By BNapa (2 months ago)

The artist in me says do not sell out. The bean counter in me says take the money and run!
I am not sure if I would equate this to the slave trade. Slavery was/is inexcusable. It was/is a human tragedy.
Selling out to these big agencies is a form of slavery after all. However, it is not a human tragedy!!
The option of going direct is always there but next to impossible to succeed. Believe me. I have tried.

0 upvotes
eyedo
By eyedo (2 months ago)

I'm with agents all over the world and still manage to get 50-60%.
I've licensed more than 44,000 rights managed images since 1979. I'm not with Getty and I will not do microstock.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
keb27
By keb27 (2 months ago)

I ran a search on "Fair Trade Photography" and came up with this company: http://www.photographersdirect.com/. The website is not especially slick, but I like what they are about. Has anyone worked with them? It may be worth checking out.

1 upvote
eyedo
By eyedo (2 months ago)

I've not uploaded to that site in years but have made sales in the past.

0 upvotes
ryanshoots
By ryanshoots (2 months ago)

I think if your work is good enough to get license you can do better selling it on your own or seek out a deal with an agency directly. These opt in to the agency pools deals are never as good as if the agency wants your work because it's unique. And by the way, do we really need anymore photoshopped to hell and back landscape stock?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (2 months ago)

What we need is more guys with a D800 and Zeiss lenses shooting landscapes. Any photo agency will jump on this stuff because it's so unique.

1 upvote
Madaboutpix
By Madaboutpix (2 months ago)

The more I think about that Prime offer, the more I resent it. Didn't take up this hobby in the vain hope of making money from it anyway. And at such a lousy cut, without any control over what my images are used for and by whom? Well, not going to sell my photographic soul as cheaply as that. Nor do I think this a contradiction to letting Ricoh Imaging Americas use shots of mine for free that made it into the Pentax Photo Gallery for marketing purposes. After all, Ricoh continues to build the cameras that I love to shoot, and therefore it's an honour to support the brand, in other words, my own conscious choice to do so.

As of now, I'm not contemplating removing images from 500px, since I use my account more for sharing what I do, rather than believing in some bizarre affection score (as if that were an accurate measure of artistic quality) or primarily seeing it as a selling platform.

I, for my part, am not going to touch that deal with a bargepole.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
CM2seabee
By CM2seabee (2 months ago)

I may never ever be good enough to even make the front page of 500.
The only ones that do are the ones that use the buddy code to boost the number of views on their photo. I cancelled my paying account on 500 for that very problem. I have seen poor photos on there make it to the premiere page. Only because of the "you scratch my back, i scratch yours" . Even if i ever am good enough too sell a photo it wont be thru 500px

1 upvote
CIASpook
By CIASpook (2 months ago)

For those that are complaining about their 70% cut...when you have a gallery showing at an art house, what is your cut?

If you want a larger cut, then build your own website. Market your own work.

If that earns you more money, then you win.

But if you're a nobody, perhaps this can open a door for you. Get your name out there.

Most people here won't make much at all. There are too many photographers that shoot the same thing and quite possible better than you.

3 upvotes
Fredy Ross
By Fredy Ross (2 months ago)

Does anybody know who are there customer base. I can't see photographers buying other photographers work nor can I see outsiders searching through so many photos of the same thing. I joined 550x when it first came to Israel but as soon as they wanted money I became suspect. the same before with 1x. I have uploaded to stock photography sites over the years but without model release or property release there is little money in it. Can somebody enlighten me>

0 upvotes
MikeFairbanks
By MikeFairbanks (2 months ago)

Their customer base is everywhere. It's just hard to notice until you are looking for it. Store ads, brochures, and almost everywhere. If you go to Yahoo. com you will see stock images for news stories (the computers match up the pics with the story, which is why sometimes you see a bad match).

Do a simple Google Image search for nouns that represent ideas, like "honor" or "friendship" and a ton of images will pop up that are for sale from different websites.

1 upvote
Paul Guba
By Paul Guba (2 months ago)

I guess if your attitude is something is better than nothing. Not a successful business model for any photographer. They are correct in they are fundamentally change how photos are licensed, they get the money you don't. If you produce anything and the sales person says to you my cut will be 70% for selling your product what would you say? Have fun being poor.

2 upvotes
dvine
By dvine (2 months ago)

The prime contract, seems to give 500px, rather than you the "Licensee" the copyright to your images. See contract excerpt below.

======

Your acceptance of this
Agreement forms a binding agreement between You and 500px. Please read this Agreement carefully
before downloading any images offered for licensing on the site (“Image(s)”). By downloading any Image
you agree to be bound by the terms of this Agreement, the 500px Privacy Statement and 500px’s
Website Terms of Use.
1. Ownership of Images. All Images on the 500px Website are protected by United States
copyright law and international copyright treaties. 500px and/or its Contributors own or control all rights,
including the copyrights in and to the Images. 500px and/or its Contributors reserve all rights in and to the
Images not expressly granted to You in this Agreement.

1 upvote
ryanshoots
By ryanshoots (2 months ago)

The licensee gets a license - that's it. The person that took the photo has the copyright, that doesn't transfer to a licensee.

Nothing tricky about this.

3 upvotes
Charles
By Charles (2 months ago)

I joined dpreview some years back mostly for tech info on equipment. It seems most others are as well from looking at the number of comments from the other articles in the news section:

New Sigma - 79 comments
New GH4 - 367/112 comments
New Coolpix P340 - 92 comments
Tamron 16-300mm lens - 196 comments

However (to me at least), the most important one "500px Prime" only has 79 comments. I find this a bit sad as this business model is something that will kill photography as a profession in the not too distant future. The microstock companies have already crippled stock photography. With digital cameras amateurs can afford to submit pictures to these cut throat agencies hoping to make a bit of money to pay for their equipment. Taking a deal like this you will discover that your time & equipment replacement cost will not be covered. Professionals see the danger of this kind of deal. I hope others will start to see the light as well. You should not be touching this with a ten foot pole.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
1 upvote
AV Janus
By AV Janus (2 months ago)

Shameless...
They take 70%... I wonder how many emploies they have and where that would possibly explain this model...
Probably bloated consulting and legal fees...

1 upvote
ryanshoots
By ryanshoots (2 months ago)

Have you checked the stock agencies? Unless you are contacted by a big name agency because your work rocks, you aren't going to get better than 30%. It's a pretty standard deal out there. There are a few that might give 40 or 50 percent but what is their gravity in the industry? For example say Bob's Pet Stock offers contributors 80%. Big deal, no one on the planet knows about Bob's Pet Stock.

2 upvotes
ryanshoots
By ryanshoots (2 months ago)

Have you checked the stock agencies? Unless you are contacted by a big name agency because your work rocks, you aren't going to get better than 30%. It's a pretty standard deal out there. There are a few that might give 40 or 50 percent but what is their gravity in the industry? For example say Bob's Pet Stock offers contributors 80%. Big deal, no one on the planet knows about Bob's Pet Stock.

0 upvotes
Smeggypants
By Smeggypants (2 months ago)

Ryanshoots is suffering from Stockhome Syndrome

0 upvotes
Smeggypants
By Smeggypants (2 months ago)

Some capitalist parasite that it claiming giving a photographer only 30% of the revenue from that photographer's own work is a good deal should be reviled.

Any decent photographer wouldn't corrupt themselves with this parasitic model. Boycott 500px, take pics for fun and share them for free.

1 upvote
eyedo
By eyedo (2 months ago)

I'm still making 6 figures in photography as are many of my friends busting their buns.Giving away is stupid.That menas someone is profiting off of you. That's being a real chump and a half and degrading the photography model as a career.How would you like if people took away YOUR job to work for free?

0 upvotes
photo_rb
By photo_rb (2 months ago)

I often read comments on computer forums on how Apple is ripping off developers by taking 30%. Those commenters should take a walk in the world of stock photography.

5 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (2 months ago)

Or publishing in general. Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing? You get 35% - or 70% if you give them exclusivity and only for some markets. (And the 30% take in app stores is the same for Google Play and the Windows Phone store.)

1 upvote
siggo
By siggo (2 months ago)

I think they should stick this offer where the light is -5EV (where the sun doesn't shine) Once again the people who sell make disproportionally more than the people who create.

5 upvotes
Smeggypants
By Smeggypants (2 months ago)

I agree. A 70% cut is simply repulsive.

0 upvotes
wildbild
By wildbild (2 months ago)

Given the fact that they are no professional photo agency I think 70—90% would be an appropriate share »that brings dignity to the photographer«.

2 upvotes
KL Matt
By KL Matt (2 months ago)

I signed up for the preview. Awful lot of pictures of cats in there for an agency attempting to sell images. Hint: people aren't interested in spending the big bucks on pictures of pets doing what pets do. Unless maybe, and this is a very tentative maybe, it's their own pet and the image is truly extraordinary. Sure some of the other images there are great, but what's up with all the felines? Hard to take them seriously with curating like that.

2 upvotes
Deardorff
By Deardorff (2 months ago)

30 percent to the photographe? Just one more batch of hucksters who don't value the work of photographers.

8 upvotes
maddox
By maddox (2 months ago)

As most of us know this has been the photographers lot for years now. The days of making a living wage have all but gone. Staffers at a number of newspapers have been replaced by the journalist and a smartphone.

The daily's are full of agency photos where in the past staffers were sent out.
Even the BBC is full of amateur video footage and they encourage viewers to send in their news pics for free and thousands do.

I do some event photography at weekends and struggle to make £150 a day. I notice my clients are encouraging those on the event to submit their own photos and many do which are adequate for web site use. I expect eventually I will loose this work as they will get more than enough pics for free.

This is why 500px can promote this business model.

3 upvotes
Ferling
By Ferling (2 months ago)

It's all about content and access. Content still being "king", and access from having the right tools (skills) and permission (client, agreement, contract, etc.) to extoll a fee.

With the majority of today's content being essentially free, there's very little if any profits to be made. Only those whom have exclusive access to create unique and uncommon images, (product, event and corporate photography) are making it.

Some make a name for themselves and will continue to do so long as their contacts/clients actively remain in positions of influence to win them work (I hope they have more than one).

Still, the schools continue to crank out the hungry hordes whom wind up busing tables, etc. to pay for their tuition. I'm certain many of them would have done differently if they did their homework and built a business plan, first. (I wish high schools would make business planning a required project).

500px taking a 70% cut is another example of the disparity in which the market exist.

1 upvote
lorenzo de medici
By lorenzo de medici (2 months ago)

As an amateur photographer who won't be selling anything by any method, I have some outsider thoughts with nothing to gain or lose. The professional photography that results from a direct transaction between the client and the photographer won't appear there or on any other similar site. Video is replacing still photography. Print publications are going to disappear, and internet based news, entertainment, or advertising requires video. The sales of stock photos aren't based on absolute quality or specificity, which the professional photographer offers directly to the client. I think they're based on more generic criteria, and there are millions of photographs already out there that meet generic criteria. So they have rightly concluded that the supply will exceed the demand, and this is all they need to pay. Any business would do the same.

5 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (2 months ago)

Interesting thoughts, but I don't believe for a moment that video is replacing stills photography just because of the internet. Plenty of people want to scan a new story quickly, and don't have the patience to watch video, or are reading in an environment where the video isn't an option anyway.

5 upvotes
MikeFairbanks
By MikeFairbanks (2 months ago)

I agree. I will only watch a video online occasionally, and hardly ever for news. I don't like it, in fact, when I click on an article and a video pops up. I like reading. Videos bore me.

That said, I do like clips of some personal interest stuff (surfing, practical jokes, etc.). Just not usually.

0 upvotes
Charlie boots
By Charlie boots (2 months ago)

These people are crooks. Photographer should get at least 50% but 60% would be ideal!

2 upvotes
fuego6
By fuego6 (2 months ago)

This isn't a model for the professional or amateur who do photography as a living... its a model that is for the average joe who is happy to make a few bucks off their images.. money is secondary - the thrill of having someone buy their photo is tops... welcome to modern photography!!

4 upvotes
Smeggypants
By Smeggypants (2 months ago)

No the photographer should get at least 90%. 10% is a reasonable agency vut. 70% is a rip off.

0 upvotes
SRT3lkt
By SRT3lkt (2 months ago)

reminds me of the Photoshelter used to be...

0 upvotes
newday
By newday (2 months ago)

Is it 30% for exclusive or non exclusive images? If it is non exclusive images like offset and you can still sell from your own site or other macro sites it would already be a competitive offer in the macro world. Because most of them want exclusive images. There are of course many agencies in the market that pay 50% or more - but do they generate sales? And you can always sell direct and get 100%. Nobody really needs an agency, or do they ;)? Just one more market place in the industry, we will see how they fare. There is no lack of agencies and it will be interesting to see what they offer that is different.

2 upvotes
feral01
By feral01 (2 months ago)

Unfortunately 500px is probably working from the premise that it takes a high profile site, like themselves, to enable us to "successfully" market our photos. So, other than not opting in, what other choice do we have?

0 upvotes
Smeggypants
By Smeggypants (2 months ago)

You can choose the artistic route with photography. Take pics for fun.

0 upvotes
Fredy Ross
By Fredy Ross (2 months ago)

How do you know they actually have access to selling large quantities. I wonder if they have a list of buyers. Has anyone seen statistics of places like flickr pro and if people actually make money from these places Sometimes I feel that the most lookers are other photographers. Same with 1x how many do they actually sell?

5 upvotes
davids8560
By davids8560 (2 months ago)

Gee, did somebody say, "Let's figure out a way to make easy money off other people on the Internet"?

Comment edited 9 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
10 upvotes
John M Roberts
By John M Roberts (2 months ago)

There will be many non professional shooters that will feel, “what the heck, I might make some money if I just invest in the join up fee. I’m not getting anything right now anyway.”

30% of a sale does not justify what work I put forth into creating my library of images. I put out all the expenses, time and effort to gather images with the speculation that the effort will pay off. The agency takes none of that gamble. Their gamble begins after selection. How cushy they can also charge for a contract. They are feeding off of the large arena of photographers that are not gambling their livelihood on photography.

It seems this trend of devaluing what the image creator receives for their work will be difficult to reverse mainly due to supply and demand yet I would encourage photographers not to settle for such a percentage.

7 upvotes
McCool69
By McCool69 (2 months ago)

>> 30% of a sale does not justify..

Well, then you should of course sell your images yourself and keep 100% of the price. Personally I care more about the amount of money I actually get than the percentage. Then again; if you already have an easy time selling your photos by yourself there is no reason to join an agency like this.

What you 'pay for' via their cut is of course not the cost of keeping their servers online. You pay for the reach they have - in other words for 'getting inside the store'. Which in most cases is 1000x more exposure and lots more sales than you can ever dream of getting if you do everything yourself.

They also handle the boring stuff - like sending invoices, follow up that people actually pay and even more important in this day and age: Track down sites that use your photos without permission - and make them pay.

It all boils down to the size of the total cake and the size of your slice. A huge slice of the total means nothing if the cake is tiny.

8 upvotes
John M Roberts
By John M Roberts (2 months ago)

I know all about the efforts of the agency. I first joined in the late 80's. They did all the categorizing, marketing, publishing thousands of hard copy inventory books to mail out to potential clients, billing, and got me connected with buyers I’d never would have done on my own. The cut was 60/40, in favor of the photographer, then shifted to 50/50%. It was a fair arrangement.

It is supply and demand that allows this current percentage to occur not the efforts the agency puts forth compared to the serious photographer. Websites are much easier and cheaper to maintain than hard copy, not to mention organizing and filing. With your expressed thoughts, all the agencies years ago should have received 70% for their efforts and the photographers were ripping them off. I'd guess that if you had been a professional photographer experienced with this type of business relationship you might have a different perspective on the equity of percentages.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
fuego6
By fuego6 (2 months ago)

Sounds like you do photography for a living - this isn't marketed for you.. this is for the folks that dabble... happy to have someone buy a photograph.. payment is secondary and 30% is awesome!

3 upvotes
raincoat
By raincoat (2 months ago)

"this is for the folks that dabble"

Do they honestly believe anyone would pay $250 for their image?
Delusional.

More chance making a sale at shutterstock.

1 upvote
onlooker
By onlooker (2 months ago)

I am not sure I get the outrage. It's supply and demand. Millions of photographers, few decently established middle-man galleries. Who do you think dictates the terms?

If you really think it's a ripoff and that 500px will get rich off it, then it should be a good business opportunity. Get together other like-minded individuals, secure funding, start a new company, and spend the time and resources to get established, then offer other photographers a good deal.

Well?

13 upvotes
locke_fc
By locke_fc (2 months ago)

Well, it's still a rip-off.

2 upvotes
Okotoks_Photos
By Okotoks_Photos (2 months ago)

I removed all of my images from 500px some time ago, as they make it too easy for people to steal images from the site.

4 upvotes
AlainPilon
By AlainPilon (2 months ago)

Let me tell you a little secret: If your image is displayed on the internet, I can steal it. No site offer any level of protection that cant be beaten in less than 5 seconds.

The "only" way to "protect" images is to display the image via a Flash or Java applet, but no one does that because of the overhead on processing and performance. And even if they do, I can still do a screenshot (takes about 1 second).

So please, tell me how they are making it "too easy" and show me someone who makes it "hard".

26 upvotes
Suntan
By Suntan (2 months ago)

@AP

I've never been to 500px so I don't know what they do, but if they show images in high resolution with no watermarking, then yes it is less secure than other stock agencies. Places like Alamy and Getty show previews with watermarks. Yes, you can screen-cap them, but you're not getting much. You have to pay to get full res/quality.

-Suntan

2 upvotes
sh10453
By sh10453 (2 months ago)

The whole trend is a new form of slavery, and not just by 500px, but any site that charges over 10% to 15% commission.

Just think about it; their cost for storing and selling your images in an automated process (on huge sites like Getty's, Flickr, or 500px) may not exceed pennies, I would think!

Some correction to this trend is badly needed.

Freelance photographers, in particular, should join hands and make their own site, as shareholders, and pocket their fair fees (and not allow the big players to buy the site out).

5 upvotes
vFunct
By vFunct (2 months ago)

Most pro agents charge 30-50%. This isn't that far off.

2 upvotes
AlainPilon
By AlainPilon (2 months ago)

While I agree that the 30% commission is way too low, maybe the 70% cut will be justified by a super high sale rate? Maybe... 500px is in a unique position where it can tell the buyer in advance if an image will be liked or not for a specific demographic. VERY FEW agencies can do that so this is a big plus for the buyer.

The only plus for the sellers is that if enough buyers move to this market place, they are actually going to make money out of stock.

IMHO, a 70/30 split, à la iTunes Store, would have been better received.

1 upvote
Raist3d
By Raist3d (2 months ago)

This isn't that far off? Are you crazy? Since when going from 30-50 to 70% "isn't that far off?"

Check the numbers on a numerical 2D line math scale.

5 upvotes
Jun2
By Jun2 (2 months ago)

You should try to sell your photos by yourself. you get 100%.

4 upvotes
Michel F
By Michel F (2 months ago)

@Jun2: There's no such thing as getting 100%. There are operating costs to any legit business and they are not always monetary. You also need to factor in time and effort which equals a loss of revenue.

5 upvotes
Suntan
By Suntan (2 months ago)

Jeez,

Yet another reference to slavery for something that is completely voluntary... Oh the drama.

-Suntan

0 upvotes
vFunct
By vFunct (2 months ago)

A 20% difference is nothing. It is not important. It is not something you should care about.

0 upvotes
Bryan Costin
By Bryan Costin (2 months ago)

Yes. Because offering a voluntary service is exactly like slavery. No, really, it isn't. That's just silly.

Don't like the terms? Then don't sign the contract. If you think you can build and operate a similar service at a 10% commission then you should go do it. You apparently have a bunch of customers right here on this message thread who are anxious to do business with you. But what other people choose to do with their photos is really none of your concern.

0 upvotes
munro harrap
By munro harrap (2 months ago)

The percentage needs to be 70% to the photographer, as they have no expenses like travel equipment time, health issues, and like all agents cant be bothered to take pictures themselves. Its costs them how much per image per annum to host your work on their site? and can they GUARANTEE that the pics wont be stolen? Well?
There's no point advertising a service when you dont say what EXACTLY is involved, but ask you to Email them (thus giving away your hard drive and location!) to do what? make an individual deal?
No, everything on offer should be available- exact contract details- (IS there a contract) the terms- do you upload thumbnails to the site before anyone buys and email them the image yourself after they have paid the fee? That would be good- as then everybody is happy.
I expect 500pix to answer all our queries HERE, by sending everything to Dpreview, and on this page so we can all see it.
Why risk death in Syria to fund them, AND lose your work?

1 upvote
Peksu
By Peksu (2 months ago)

Without commenting on the percentage, no-one on the internet can GUARANTEE that something wont be stolen. I also haven't heard that unlicensed use of stock photos is some kind of a widespread problem. How is emailing them giving away your hard drive? Or your location? And I'm sure you can get the contract details by contacting them, maybe they are still being worked at.

The photographer emailing the picture to the buyer would be a horrible way to run things. What if he doesn't? What if it takes a day or two, but the customer needs the photo now? If they run a marketplace, they need to make sure the customer get's what they are paying for, and fast. And would you buy a photo based on a thumbnail? I wouldn't.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Louis Dallara
By Louis Dallara (2 months ago)

Maybe we need a boycott of 500px, any photogs want to remove there photos?This is obscene, and I thought micro stock was a rip off, this takes to to a new level.

9 upvotes
Rocky Mtn Old Boy
By Rocky Mtn Old Boy (2 months ago)

You don't have to remove anything... these are two completely different sites. Join 500px Prime in you want... or not. It's up to you. Your photos on their old site are not subject to the same criteria, even though they claim 3 million photographers (2 million iphotographers) in the photo licensing space. Which is BS, btw.

There will be a lot of photographers that will put their new and old images up on Prime as the more eyeballs that can access their images the better the chance at selling an images - no matter what the commission.

Like any of these sites.... you have the opportunity to "vote with your feet". Insulted? Do the right thing (for you)... which is nothing.

6 upvotes
blurredvision
By blurredvision (2 months ago)

This is something I've found that I don't like about the photography community. You get mad about one thing that is COMPLETELY OPTIONAL and you start trying to rally the village and get everybody to bring their pitchforks.

Don't like it, don't use it. Why is that so hard? Sure, you can boycott it, but why try to get everybody to join your cause? You posting "maybe we need to boycott" is like me finding a random item in Walmart that I think it insanely overpriced, then start running around to gather other shoppers to start a protest that they take this item off the shelf or we're leaving. See how stupid that would be?

11 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (2 months ago)

Sorry but your walmart analogy doesn't work. This isn't rallying people around one item you found insanely overpriced but in the analogy more like a company policy that is just not right.

2 upvotes
blurredvision
By blurredvision (2 months ago)

@Raist3d

Nope, it's a product that 500px offers, price is all that matters. There are no "policies" at play here, you're reaching. Some of you don't like what 500px is offering so you're trying to get support to boycott them, for whatever stupid reason you think you have for being the leader in this unneeded rebellion.

2 upvotes
skogredd
By skogredd (2 months ago)

So they call themselves "the world´s most intelligent marketplace". Oh wow.

Must be ok then to let users pay $$ for yearly subscription to get features like image sets and take 70% if users sell anything.

They actually crowdsource what was left after microstock: very high quality images with mostly non-stock content.

0 upvotes
McCool69
By McCool69 (2 months ago)

How much money you are left with at the end of the day is of course way more important than the percentage. I would rather have 25% of a large cake than 75% of a muffin.

Some of the major players (I am lucky enough to have 100+ photos with Getty Images) does a lot of work for their share and is in my opinion well worth it. I made more from my first 2-3 sales via Getty (I got in early through their co-operation with Flickr) than I had made from other services in total the previous years.

What you 'pay for' via their share is not only marketing and outreach but also payment collection and even more important: systems that chase down sites that use photos without permission. It seems that some people think this type of companies only receives your photo and then sits down and waits. That is simply not true.

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
matt k
By matt k (2 months ago)

Can I suggest that perhaps the photographer gets 70% and 500px gets 30%.
Their current proposal is insulting and smacks of greed.
And can I suggest that if it doesn't happen then photographers boycott the site?
Perhaps there is an opening here for a photographers co-op where a group of photographers start up a site and get the full value of their images minus expenses?

6 upvotes
dcdigitalphoto
By dcdigitalphoto (2 months ago)

Look up Stocksy. 50% on sales + full value on extended licenses and contributors get a cut of end of year profit.

4 upvotes
Bjorn_L
By Bjorn_L (2 months ago)

The bigger issue then what % you get is how MUCH you get. Meaning 15% of a billion is more the 50% of a million. 500px has not be a major player in selling photos. What new marketing efforts are they putting out other then this attempt to get photographers excited about 30% of what thus far has been a rather small number.
Getty (for example) might take a big huge cut but they also tend to sell alot of photos.

6 upvotes
dcdigitalphoto
By dcdigitalphoto (2 months ago)

This is very true. I sell through Shutterstock and Pond5. I get 50% of each sale at Pond 5 and a much lower percentage at SS, but I get 100 times the sales per upload at SS and more than 10 times the $ per image uploaded to their site.

6 upvotes
locke_fc
By locke_fc (2 months ago)

Am I reading this right? The photographer gets a measly 30% while 500px pockets the remaining 70%???

Daylight robbery.

3 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (2 months ago)

I wonder how much work and investment they put into marketing your photos for that 70%?

If they actually did put in over twice as much work and investment selling the photos as their photographers do in taking the photos, then it might be fair. Somehow I doubt that they do.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (2 months ago)

I'm guessing not much work at all. Or more specifically- the same amount of work that they do now- post up a 'buy this photo' button under the image. I like 50px, but they're search function, tagging & catagories are severely lacking. And that's a big deal if your trying to sell your photos.

They'll make a lot of money. Not so much for the photographer.

0 upvotes
technic
By technic (2 months ago)

if I read it right they are not putting in much work, the viewers of the 500px site are doing the work for them by rating images ...

5 upvotes
garyknrd
By garyknrd (2 months ago)

The sad part is they will be overrun with people wanting to sell a photo.

4 upvotes
vadims
By vadims (2 months ago)

OK, ok, it's a ripoff. Now please tell me what established microstock site gives a better deal. iStockPhoto pays 15% (45% if Exclusive, which is something you most probably wouldn't want), Shutterstock pays 20% to 30% (if you happened to earn $10+ with them already), and so on and so forth.

Pretty please no emotions etc., it's just a question. And I would really appreciate if it's answered.

2 upvotes
Holgs
By Holgs (2 months ago)

Pond 5 pays 50%

2 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (2 months ago)

I think a good question to ask is - is it worth to put up with deals like these from anyone?

2 upvotes
dcdigitalphoto
By dcdigitalphoto (2 months ago)

iStock only pays 45% if you sold more than about 100,000 photos the previous year. The number of photographers who did that is about 1.

Most exclusives get 25%-35%.

4 upvotes
vadims
By vadims (2 months ago)

Thanks Holgs and dcdigitalphoto.

An observation: only Holgs answered my question, and he got no "likes", while the other two replies got two "likes" each... <sigh> That's DPR comment ratings for you.

0 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (2 months ago)

Thievery at the highest level. They give a crumb and eat the whole cake. Sell ​​your work in a more direct or through a fairer service mode.
Not sure how it is now, but over a year, not even had the chance to delete a photo that was posted for sale on the original size, simply, the option we took them out for sale. However they were always with the image originally sent by us on servers. The difference is that was not for sale. But in reality it was never deleted. This way of managing is twisting my nose when I have not the least control of my work, when I can not even delete my own image. Now I do not know if this process keeps. And for other reasons, 500px, no thanks.

2 upvotes
Kipplemaster
By Kipplemaster (2 months ago)

Only 70% commission? What an absolute bargain!

4 upvotes
Steve Bingham
By Steve Bingham (2 months ago)

What an insult! Another penny stock socking it to the photographer - with free advertising from dpreview! No thanks. In fact, this does not speak well for dpreview. 30%? My gallery gives me 50% on my prints and I get 100% when I market my images. Preparing and uploading images takes time! And they want me to first kick in $250? This really is a sucker deal.

25 upvotes
sh10453
By sh10453 (2 months ago)

I think you may have misunderstood the $250 (minimum) license fee issue.
My understanding is that there is no fee to pay as a photographer.
It's a fee paid by buyers of images.

If I'm wrong, I hope someone would correct me on this.

6 upvotes
TCMercury
By TCMercury (2 months ago)

I'm worrying the same thing here. I most definitely fit into the passing-interest amateur category.

0 upvotes
Dennishh
By Dennishh (2 months ago)

+1 to that Steve. Sucker deal is being nice to them! Until photographers get some balls, this exploration will continue to take advantage of the poor helpless photographers.

0 upvotes
MtOlympus
By MtOlympus (2 months ago)

Most of the retail art galleries that I'm familiar with charge 50% and they should have a higher overhead cost per dollar of sales. Personally, I think taking more than 50% is obscene. If they can make it work, what does this say for photographers?

10 upvotes
Jim Salvas
By Jim Salvas (2 months ago)

Well, I licensed some my photos through Getty on Flickr and that was a worse deal. They sell an image for $800, and I get just $160.

7 upvotes
Charles
By Charles (2 months ago)

Get out of Getty! They have been ripping photograghers off for years!

12 upvotes
sh10453
By sh10453 (2 months ago)

So that is 20%, and they keep 80%.
Even slavery would have been a better deal, I think!!!
Where do I apply for "Slave Photographer Wanted"?

Last spring, it took me 3 trips to a nature area, that is 60 miles away (360 miles total), and, of course, 3 full days (over a period of one week), to produce one single image that I was satisfied with as publication quality!

Do they think we aim at our backyards, from the comfort of our home, and shoot through the kitchen window to make the images we submit?

3 upvotes
Dennishh
By Dennishh (2 months ago)

I pulled all my work off of 500px as a protest and sent them a e-mail which they didn't respond to. 500px became successful on the backs of hard working dedicated photographers and are now screwing all of them. Digital has made professional photography a thing of the past now 500px is putting the last nail in the coffin.

0 upvotes
saralecaire
By saralecaire (2 months ago)

This service is probably for amateur and hobbyists who just shoot for he fun of it. No photographer who does it for a living will use this service.

9 upvotes
Total comments: 119
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