Recently we have seen several photo sharing sites venture into the photo licensing and stock image business, for example 500px with its Prime program and EyeEm with its Marketplace and a cooperation with Getty Images. Getty itself updated its iOS apps in order to prepare itself better for the growing competition in the mobile stock photo market.
However, long before smartphone images were accepted by stock agencies Yahoo-owned Flickr started its own cooperation with Getty via the Flickr Collection, allowing its members to monetize their images by offering them for licensing. Now it appears Flickr might be about to add another stock image solution to its portfolio. Today the site has announced the roll-out of a new licensing initiative called marketplace. Unfortunately, information provided on the Marketplace page is quite limited at this point and all users can do is sign up to receive updates once they become available. A blog post (from someone who appears to be a marketing representative of Flickr) doesn't provide any more detail.
However, we do know so far that Marketplace will be curated by a team within Flickr and allow participating members to have their images featured across Yahoo's own network of sites including Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Sports and Flickr itself. In addition images will be shared with bloggers, trade press and other media outlets including tumblr, the New York Times, Reuters, GIZMODO, Monocle and the BBC. According to the announcement, Marketplace will provide opportunities to license your work to photo editors, designers, and agencies including Getty Images.
All this sounds very vague at this point. There is no talk about licensing terms and conditions, fees, the submission and selection process or even a launch date. This makes it pretty much impossible to judge how attractive the new initiative will be to enthusiast and professional photographers and if it can be a viable alternative to the platforms listed above. It's clear though that image licensing seems to become an increasingly popular source of revenue for image sharing platforms of both the mobile and "traditional" kind. We'll keep an eye on the developments and will provide updates as new information becomes available.