Monday, 25 June 2007

Corbis has entered microstock - snapvillage

As I blogged about here, corbis has finally entered the microstock market and from my initial impressions, it is highly disappointing.

First of all the name - Snapvillage. The "snap" makes it sound amateurish and not like a professional stock agency that is targeting design firms to be clients.

Second, in the initial stage the focus is on getting contributors. They have not done anything to attract photographers to upload (special deals - ie. Fotolia offered 20c for every accepted photo). In addition, they do not offer FTP uploading (yet) and the upload (maximum 5 at a time) does not read IPTC data (such as title and keywords) embedded into the photo (apparently if you dont input anything, they will fill it in for you - not sure if I trust them though).

Third, there doesn't appear to be much quality control. From the few photos I have looked at, the quality isn't always there and the photos would have been rejected at all the other agencies. There is also keyword spaming as well!

Forth, from the one photo I have uploaded, they appear to be resizing photos down if they don't meet the next size up (rather than offering original size).

Fifth, commission is only 30%. Compared to StockXpert and 123RF that both offer 50%, it isn't that great. Others like iStock , which only offer 20% are well established and bring in the sales volume that the low commission isn't that bad.

Good points??

Well, they have the corbis name behind them which should attract buyers.

They also let you set the price at either $1,5,10,25 or 50. This seems ok (you can choose higher prices) but there is also the problem of people offering photos at $1 which is far to low for a large image.


They are still in Beta so hopefully they will improve things significantly. I still wont like the site name but hopefully uploads will be easier and sales volumes high.

At this point though, I wouldn't recommend joining up. They just don't seem to be offering anything that isn't already available. They don't have the number (or quality) of photos to attract buyers and without that, there isn't much point.

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