A recent press release just popped up that had me twisting. It is about blog provider PicApp and aggregator Newscom. The deal they announced is quite simple. Newscom will provide content to Picapp to license with their website tool. Simple.

Yet the whole thing doesn’t make sense. Neither company own the photograph they license. They are just both technology platform. yet, they make an agreement to license images they do not own. What is up with photo agencies these days that they have to go through two different platform to reach their clients? Let see. Newscom takes anywhere from 30 to 50% of all sales. Picapp takes an additional 20% or more of all ads placed on images that are used. What is left for the agency? Even better, what is left to the photographers ?

If one understands that the Picapp model is ad supported, one has to realize it would take a lot of the same image to be published before any substantial revenue be made. After all these commission paid, there will not be much left besides pennies. Why would anyone in their right mind participate ? It makes sense for Picapp, obviously and it does, a bit less for Newscom. But for an agency, it makes no sense at all.

Any agency can create a system like Picapp or GumGum and integrate it within their website. Why go through third party providers that have really nothing to offer ? Because photo agencies are technology challenged. Same with Newscom. Why would any agency join a third party aggregator? Why not create an agency owned portal that would cut off the middle man. No need to pay anyone any percentage. It is about time that photo agency stop being thrown around by the incoming waves of innovation and take their destiny into their own hands. Technology is not a barrier but a bridge to your customers. It should not and never be control by anyone besides yourselves.

It is time to stop being passive and be proactive. The solutions are simple and easy to implement. lets do it.

Update: Apparently Newscom has also sign a deal with Gumgum, the company that calls photography “assets” .Press release here.

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