Finland’s Scoopshot now announces it has received $1.2 million (€920,000) funding from Yuri Arcurs, the world’s top selling stock photographer, who reportedly sells one photo every eight seconds. If you haven’t seen our past coverage, Scoopshot provides an app that allows news organizations to source photos of events when they need them, getting rid of the need to send out a freelance photographer to every location.
As you may have guessed by the expertise of their financier, Scoopshot is also getting into the crowdsourced stock-photography game by placing a greater emphasis on sourcing photos for brands and content producers. The funding will be used mainly for marketing and sales purposes with a focus on the UK, US and German market.
“In our media business we quickly realized the one cool thing we have is send assignments to 100k mobile photographers. Then the realization is the increase in the need for content for small, medium sized, or large businesses – or for creative content,” Scoopshot CEO, Niko Ruokosuo tells us.
Scoopshot offers local, national and global photo assignments. Location-based local tasks can be created for free, with national and global tasks available for a small fee. Photo buyers can pay to send an instant notification to photographers in a specific location alerting them of the task, extend the duration of a task, or brand the task with a logo. All photos submitted are available to buy for just $5 each.
“We’re sitting in the middle of a perfect storm,” says Roukosuo. “The first is the growing need of media companies and brands to source unique and relevant content. Also there’s now a willingness and eagerness for society to provide content and be involved. And then the third is improvements in mobile camera technologies and payment methods. We’re taking advantage and taking these needs together.
For better or worse, an image is the last thing we try to find before publishing an article, so a Scoopshot might not be the silver bullet for sourcing exactly the content we need, but perhaps there will be higher quality (or less contrived) images once their database of content grows.
Malmö-based Foap is another company in the region focusing exclusively on the brand content angle, without driving any sort of news photography. Scoopshot will charge €5 a picture, while Foap has a €10 per picture price. Anyone that has searched for stock photography knows that you’re not really searching on price, however. Instead the key metric is how not-awful the image is. Foap lets the crowd pick out the bad images to keep their content high, which is interesting but I haven’t searched enough to know how well it works.
That all being said the whole stock photography ecosystem needs to be shaken up – I consider it one of the most depressing parts of my job. Perhaps it’s just my searches but you always run across more than enough awful pages businessmen pondering into their laptops or high-fiving to make you wonder why you’re on the 9th page of pictures. I welcome a new era, and it will be fun to see how Scoopshot and Foap grow around each other.