When smart people are combined with top end technology, something magical happens. Spiderpic is such an example. Brainchild of Ginipic, who had already launched a multiple database desktop application, Spiderpic is not only an image search portal but also serves as a price comparison site.
To top it all, it is very simple to use : enter a search parameter and hit enter. You will be offered a variety of images from different sources. Up to now, nothing really revolutionary. However, once you decide which image is right for you, you can click on it and there it will show you its price on different site. Same image, same size, all the different prices. Thus, you can make the right choice and purchase it at the lowest licensing cost.
Of course, SpiderPic only works with microstock companies for now. but it works extremely well. The implication of such a deal are multiple. First, if widely used ( it is in Beta for now), it will drive the microstock companies into a price war that might leave many on the floor. It might also convince more users to go exclusive with one provider, as too avoid a drop in their revenue. Finally, it will put a full stop at the slowly growing cost of microstock.
Since about 90% of the microstock content is available on different competing sites, price shopping, especially with such a great application, will certainly be the new microstock sport very quickly. The company, Spiderpic, will make its income via the referral programs of the providers. The more usage, the richer they will get. Furthermore, since the hole process is automated, they can run it with as low as two people.
Some microstock companies might be tempted to block access to their database to hide their prices. Not a good idea if and when Spiderpic becomes popular. They might just be ignored by image buyers altogether. Others might decide to make their pricing less obvious, by having a very low call price, enhance at download time by “hidden” fees. Finally, others might require more obstinate memberships ( Shutterstock, subscriptions, etc) in order to keep their current customer base.
Regardless, this tool will put the microstock industry in a tale spin, forcing marketing department to find other means to attract buyers than just low pricing . It will also make very difficult for any company wishing to increase their prices to do so without loosing a lot of customers. Finally, its ironic, that the microstock industry finds itself pin down to their original appeal at time when they all thought they could slowly and discreetly increase their rate.
Regardless, this is a great tool. Now, if it could also do traditional RF and maybe one day, RM, that would be great. In the mean time, I very highly recommend you try it..and use it.