Saturday, April 07, 2007

Fotolia - How To Make Millions, Selling Photos Online.

Oleg Tscheltzoff is the president of Fotolia, one of a new breed of so-called microstock houses--born of the Internet and Web 2.0-that are challenging the giants like Getty Images and Corbis, and could soon start cutting into their market share.

While the big two offer exclusives on great photos at prices that range from a few hundred dollars to more than $10,000 apiece, Fotolia sells pretty good pictures for a good deal less--often just a dollar or two. Unlike Getty and Corbis, which compete fiercely to work with the top artists, the microstock firms get most of their photos the way Wikipedia gets its entries, by "crowdsourcing" work from interested amateurs or beginning pros.

And, like Wikipedians and bloggers, the micro-stock sites are radically remaking their corner of the media business.

"We have a disruptive business model," says Tscheltzoff, who co-founded Fotolia in 2005. "One of us could even challenge Getty."

That could take some time. Although Fotolia sold 4 million images last year, it doesn't offer the quality or the exclusivity that ad agency art directors demand, so it can't charge premium rates. But that's only a matter of time.

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