Q&A with iStockphoto’s Bruce Livingstone

CNET News published an interview with CEO Bruce Livingstone of iStockphoto on Wednesday. An excerpt:

Have the pros decided that it’s better to band with you than to try to fight you?

Livingstone: The ideas are changing. A lot of pro photographers are now submitting to microstock agencies, and at least testing it out and seeing, “Can I actually make money here?” I think a lot of them are finding that yes, they can.

Dan Heller had an interesting reaction to the Livingstone interview — particularly the part where the CEO suggested that “everyone” was getting into the microstock game.

Smart business thinkers know that when everyone’s rushing to get all the fish out of the same lake, the real business lies in finding the next lake…Major photo players today … only see the current set of buyers as large companies, media, and ad agencies; and the current suppliers as being pro photographers. Every single action, statement and expression by the top photo agencies and suppliers all talk about these buyers and sellers as though they were the only ones that matter. All of Bruce’s statements in his interview clearly show that.

As for the “next lake,” Heller nails it:

We are in an era where no company in the photo business today will possibly survive the future without fully and wholly embracing the common, everyday consumer as both the buyer and seller of photos (including their roles within the workplace)… Consumers are the sleeping giant of the photo licensing industry–they have awoken and are soon going to want breakfast.

In other words, microstock is a transitional phase to where the industry is heading; it’s not the ultimate solution — for photographers or for buyers.

[tags]Bruce Livingstone, iStockphoto, Dan Heller[/tags]

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