As rumors went, the reality follows. Bill Gates wholly-owned Corbis is closing down its microstock experiment, Snapvillage and merging it into its high value brand, Veer. yes, you are reading it right, Veer will be the new destination for the corbis microstock offering. Called Veer Marketplace, it will develop into a full offering in two phases, this coming year. Not sure if exposing Veer customers to microstock is the best idea for the Veer contributors, but then, only time will tell.
Here is the official e mail send out by Corbis to its Snapvillage users:
“Dear SnapVillage Contributor,
As a contributor you know how fast microstock is growing. So do we! Corbis anticipates that within the next few years, microstock photography will represent more than 25% of the overall stock photography market. We are committed to taking a significant share of this market and providing photographers a leading brand and website to reach customers looking for affordable, quality photography and a great web experience.
We have learned a lot from SnapVillage, and we recognize that as the market has rapidly evolved over the past two years, we need a bigger, better offering to achieve success in microstock.
So today were excited to be sharing our plans to roll SnapVillage into a new microstock offering on Veer, which Corbis acquired in 2007. Veer is a highly successful stock agency specializing in creative rights managed (RM) and royalty free (RF). It has a large, established, global customer base, strong brand loyalty and an industry-leading website supported by winning marketing campaigns. These elements provide an ideal platform to rapidly build our microstock business and to help you sell more. We plan to build on SnapVillages assets to launch a new microstock-specific section at Veer called Veer Marketplace.
What does this mean for SnapVillage?
In the months ahead, well be inviting SnapVillage contributors and customers to Veer Marketplace. Once Veer Marketplace is launched and fully operational, it will become Corbis only microstock brand and SnapVillage will be phased out by the end of the year.
What does this mean for you?
Good news! In the months ahead, well be inviting SnapVillage contributors and customers to Veer Marketplace. Marketplace will offer contributors efficient uploading capabilities, a great user experience and your work will be showcased and marketed within the amazing award-winning design and community for which Veer is recognized. (There will also be other good stuff too but we cant reveal all our secrets before launch!).
When does Veer Marketplace launch?
Veer Marketplace will launch in two phases with a small sampling of affordable images that can be purchased a la carte in late February, followed by a full launch mid year with contributor upload capabilities and credit-based pricing and subscriptions. You can read more details about this in the attached FAQ.
It will take time to complete this process so please bear with us. By mid-year youll have the chance to sell your work to a whole new crowd of people and become part of the Veer community.
Want to learn more about Veer? Wondering if there is anything you need to do? Please read the Contributor FAQ to learn more about Veer Marketplace.
We also invite you to join the conversation about Veer Marketplace. Wed love to hear from you so register and create a profile to make sure as Veer Marketplace grows, we continue to meet your needs.”
“We have learned a lot from SnapVillage”
Sounds remarkably like Getty Images…
“Our experience with Scoopt has taught us some very valuable lessons”
Mmmmmmmmm what might that be???
Probably that they have learned they have made a mistake ?
They might have learned that not being able to give contributors FTP upload for over a year is not exactly part of that “pleasant uploading experience” that Veer announced.
When Getty bought iStock, they bought a mature product. Snapvillage is hardly mature with their glorified WordPress site and 5-at-a-time HTML upload.
It will be fun to see how Veer will handle those myriads of uploads once they opened the floodgates for the “traditional” cheap microstockers with large ports ready-to-go.
Cutting through the corporate smokescreen and newspeak (“strategic”, “enhanced”, “upgrade”, “synergy”), this is just another new microstock site that starts from scratch and Snapvillage has been wrapped up. Nice tax deduction though.