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    Profile photo of Andre

    The news just came in. One more reason to go independent!

    Corbis content will be available at Getty Images
    Today, Corbis announced the sale of its content licensing business to Unity Glory International, which is an affiliate of the Visual China Group (VCG), a leading Chinese visual communications and new media business. This sale includes the images and motion archives from Corbis Images, Corbis Motion, and Veer, and all their associated brands and trademarks. The sale does not include the Branded Entertainment Network, Splash, or Greenlight, its rights clearance and representation business.

    So, what does this mean for you?

    As a valued customer, we want you to know that nothing changes immediately for you today. You can continue to find and purchase content using your existing account and with the assistance of your current Corbis sales representative. Moving forward, VCG will be expanding their longstanding partnership with Getty Images, and, following a transition period, Getty Images will become the exclusive global distributor of Corbis content outside of China.

    In the coming months, VCG and Getty Images will migrate Corbis Images and Corbis Motion content to gettyimages.com where it will become available as new collections. Once this transition is complete, you will have access to an unprecedented combined offering, with Corbis content available together with Getty Images’ award-winning collections of almost 200 million creative and editorial images and videos, all available from gettyimages.com and with support from Getty Images’ global sales teams. This offering includes the best of historical photography, combining Getty Images’ renowned Hulton Archive, the largest privately held archive in the world with an estimated 80 million images dating back to the beginning of photography, together with the Bettmann and Sygma archives from Corbis.

    When Corbis sought a buyer for its Images, Motion and Veer assets, it wanted to find an excellent steward for its world-class archives and one that valued and appreciated its iconic library. Corbis also wanted to ensure that you, and all of its customers, continue to receive excellent service. Corbis believes that VCG is the right partner for all of these goals.

    Profile photo of Robin

    It’s very important that we prep for the future by falling into a steady pace of constant self-promotion. Things will move slow here and there, but there is no other option if we plan to keep being self-employed photographers/vector artists. The whole reason we’re such a tight knit group to begin with is that we all understand the inherently unsustainable business model the agencies have created. Anyone already not worried is fooling themselves into thinking that if they just take more pictures they’ll be able to out-pace the floor that’s loosening underneath them.

    For my part, I feel I’ve put a great deal of effort and work into this entire thing and now really depend on everyone else to take a step forward too. I always knew marketing would be both daunting and unpredictable, but also something that we could work on as a community.

    The entire point is to get on solid ground as independents before this all comes crumbling down. I’ve actually seen this happen before – I used to run a very successful website prior to the dot-com bust, and trust me, when it happens, it doesn’t happen slow. It actually feels like there’s this massive abundance of money and then pop, everything just stops. Back then I saw it coming and saved up – this time I saw a way through it, so that’s what we’ve built here.

    It may come quick, it may come slow, but it won’t come at all if we don’t keep at it. Write blogs. Post on social media. Link to each other. Create more media.

    And you may not realize it, because we’re starting gradually, but what we’re doing is really working:




    About a month in, specialized niches, and Symzio is already on the first page. We have about 5% of the images that other agencies do, and we’re already competing with them on a global level for niche keywords. This is extremely positive. Cross linking works tremendously. I had mentioned earlier in 2015 when we first released the Symzio widget that we’re looking for that ‘critical mass’ – with every new active contributor, I feel we’re getting closer to that point.

    Just keep on keeping on and we’ll see our way through this.

    Profile photo of Robin

    Speaking of which, just got this from Shutterstock:

    At Shutterstock, one of our most important goals is to drive our contributor’s success by continuously delivering new earnings opportunities to you, our partners. Our enhanced license provides a great opportunity to license your content at a higher price point. Over the past year, we have been testing ways to better communicate the value of this premium license to our customers. 

    We have determined that a fixed rate payment for enhanced licences limits our ability to continually drive more downloads. Therefore, effective January 25th 2016 the enhanced license payout will move from a fixed rate of $28 to a tiered percentage model, similar to our custom image license. To help simplify the earnings schedule, your enhanced license payout will now be determined by your earnings tier. 

    In other words, they are reducing the amount of money contributors make on ELs.

    Profile photo of Robin

    I have to stay diplomatic, both because I am dependent on SS for living income and because of my position within the project, but I think it’s really ‘unfortunate’. It feels as if this was one area that was discovered as a plausible way to retain more revenue without creating too large of a wave in the contributor base because, well, we’re already being paid through tiers via non EL purchases.

    There’s a lot more I want to say, and have written and deleted. Suffice to say, the most diplomatic thing I can say is: Go Symzio.

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