According to a recent outlook study conducted by Technavio for year 2017-2021, the gross value of the still images market is predicted to surpass $4 billion by 2020. With the ever increasing demand for unique, creative, and appealing visual content, it comes as no surprise that royalty managed and royalty free still images will continue to set premiums.
Today, some of the well-know market leaders in the industry include the likes of Shutterstock®, 123RF, iStock, and plenty more. These are legacy brands that have dominated the stock images market since the dawn of the internet and act as premier hubs for both photographers as well as for those seeking to purchase royalty-free images.
To sustain market dominance and increase shareholder return, the aforementioned companies are forced to retain an overwhelmingly large portion of all image sales. This results in the photographers and illustrators, that are the core drivers of this market mind-you; in getting marginalized, pushed to the sidelines, and ultimately receive less in monetary recompense than what is truly deserved.
With Shutterstock® for example, contributors to the platform are placed into tiers, with image sales being classified as either “Subscriptions” or “On Demand”. “Subscription” image sales stand to garner up to $0.38 per image, while “On Demand” image sales stand to bring in a whopping (sarcasm) $2.85 per image download.
These legacy models hold many pitfalls, primarily in that they greatly increase the barrier-to-entry for those seeking to pursue a full-time freelance career as a photographer or illustrator and don’t empower the content creators nearly to the extent that they should. Furthermore, many of these photostock companies resort to subscription based models that are too costly for most end buyers, especially if you’re not buying dozens of images per month.
Photochain Empowers the Content Creator
Photochain is the first of its kind marketplace to operate at the intersection of Blockchain and Photography. By using a decentralized model that utilizes Ethereum Smart Contracts and IPFS for image storage, Photochain empowers photographers and illustrators by allowing them to set their own rates and by giving them 95% of all gross sales, forever.Think of Photochain as an eBay for photographers and illustrators, where instead of like other photostock platforms that buy the rights from the content creators and resell them, Photochain is instead a peer-to-peer marketplace that essentially pairs the image holder with the buyer, allowing the image holder to retain rights and to sell their works, royalty free for a small 5% fee paid to sustain the Photochain DApp and marketplace.
On the buy-side of the equation, because fees are substantially less for the content creator and because they are free to set their own rates for images, we can see a more competitive pricing dynamic take shape that will be based more on open market, supply-demand economics rather than a revenue quota that a centralized authority must fill.
Photochain DApp (Decentralized Application)
Photochain has laid a proper course by developing a prototype application prior to raising funds, with Version 1.0 scheduled to launch mid-2018, as outlined by their roadmap. You can test out the prototype here: https://demo.photochain.io
Because Photochain utilizes Ethereum’s mainnet, the trust is inherently built into the blockchain and transactions are automated with the use of Smart Contracts, which results in nominal operating costs, with savings being passed onto the content creators.
Pho·ton – the Fundamental Particle of Visible Light… Or a Utility Token?
The native utility token of the Photochain DApp, or in other words the currency that buyers and sellers will transact with on the platform is called the Photon (PHT). The branding synergy of the Photon is itself a sight to behold. Here are but some of the core properties of the Photon:
• Name: PHOTON Token (PHTs)
• Standard: Ethereum ERC-20
• Max Supply: 500,000,000 pre-mint
• Regular Price: 0.0004 ETH / PHT
• Release date: issued at pre-sale (December 2017)
• Represented value: trade in digital visual works
Photochain brings to the table a strong team of developers and advisors that are seeking to solve a fundamental market flaw in the photography industry. Unlike most tokens that have no use other than speculation, Photochain’s Photon will have a natural demand that follows an innate market need for unique and creative, still images, all while rewarding the content creators with maximum earnings allowable to-date.
For more information on the Photochain project, we highly recommend watching the interview if you haven’t yet, or you can visit Photochain.io.
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