Wednesday, July 29, 2009

StockXchng & iStock Photo

Another blow was dealt to StockXpert with Getty Images choice to have Stock.Xchng run by the guys over at iStock Photo. First let’s give you a little background about Stock.Xchng. The site is a free stock photography site, currently with just under 400,000 images, all for free. Most of these images are not very high quality that you would find at a micro site that charges per download. However, the site is geared to small business owners, students, etc....and most contributors are just standard hobbies photographers that just get a kick out of someone using their image. Jupiter bought over Stock.Xchng and turned it into a traffic generator for its micro stock site StockXpert. How this works is every time you did a search for a free image, it would show you a list of images you could pay to download at the StockXpert site…call premium images. Natrually those images where of a higher quality and would attach designers or other users that did not mind doing a pay as you go option. As of July 29th the site has been retooled to show images of iStock Photo instead of StockXpert. Note to all you iStock users, all this site does for micro stock photographers is draw in extra traffic and possible increase your sales.

So what does this mean for the average photographer? Well if you are a user of StockXpert...very bad news. I would expect to see a drop in sales and traffic. Once again you will be wondering if Getty plans to close its doors as it siphons away traffic and sends it to iStock. If you are an iStock user, it’s great new. You should see more traffic going to your image. Note they are only using your non Vetta images. You only want to show those users at SXC lower price images sense they are looking at free images after all. Now if you are a member of both, like me, odds are it’s still not great for you. Most users have more images at StockXpert then iStock. This is due to the stricter approval process over at iStock then what is at StockXpert. So you had a higher chance of an image a customer would like at SXC. Once again, we will wait and see what is going to become of StockXpert as its partners are chopped up and moved away.