500px announced 500px Prime today, a new commercial licensing marketplace for photography on 500px.

On their blog entry announcing the new project, 500px writes that, “Our vision is to fundamentally change the way photos are licensed. A big part of this is changing the way photo licensing companies work with photographers.”

500px goes on to say that licenses will be priced “in a way that brings dignity to the photographer, we are not joining the race to the bottom. Our licenses will start at $250.”

So far, so good. With millions of outstanding images on 500px from some of the most talented photographers in the world, the opportunity for developing a top-notch image licensing platform is certainly there. Most photographers would certainly agree that the stock photography marketplace is indeed plummeting in a race to the bottom, with most agencies offering a very low percentage to photographers. For instance, Flickr’s partnership with Getty offers photographers the ability to earn  20% for Royalty-Free and 30% for Rights Managed images, a cut of the profits that many felt to be far too low.

500px promises to revolutionize the way imagery is licensed, offering photo buyers some insight into how the public will react to photos they’re considering. With no shortage of sources for licensing photos, where 500px truly has an opportunity to shine is in how they treat the relationship with photographers who choose to opt-into the 500px Prime program.

Dignity is a tough thing to put a number on though, but 500px’s promised percentage for photographers whose photos are licensed has surprised many in the photography community, with the reaction being overwhelmingly negative.

We are giving you, the photographer, 30% for every one of your images that we license. It doesn’t matter how it is bought, who buys it, or under what license, your 30% comes off the top.

What do you think — is 30% to the photographer an improvement to the world of stock photography? Let us know in the comments section below.


2 Responses

  1. Bryan

    30%. Yet another reason to continue licensing on my own. Stock sites aren’t worth my time these days. Too many willing to give their work away for pennies. 50% and then its fine as long as its not royalty free.
    In this case, 30% of something isn’t better then 100% of nothing unless you are licensing 100+ images a year. Doubt many will do so.

  2. Frederic Hore

    At first glance, 30% of $250 is $75. Cheap for the effort put in, but far better than the $1 ot $2 that iStockphoto or other sites with RF images pay. 500px says $250 will be their minimum license fee, but you can lay bets the price will drop for “collections” or “themes” where images are grouped for resale. And as 500px discovers that their price is too high compared to other RF sites, no doubt they will eventually drop their price.

    In the end, the photographer suffers. That’s one of the reasons I do not have a single image on 500px, or any other website, except perhaps 10 on flikr. You cannot trust photo websites you upload photos too, will not reuse these images for financial gain. This includes National Geographic. It’s all in the “Terms and Conditions”… if one carefully reads the small print.

    Frederic in Montréal


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