Business 2.0 features Fotolia as a David verses Goliath story to Getty and Corbis.

The Bible tells us the story of David and Goliath. For those of us who missed a few sermons, David is a little guy defending his city and family against this big giant of a man – Goliath – believed to be almost 10 feet tall. Now David (the little guy), is armed with a sling and a few stones. Most betting men would place their money on Goliath, but as the story goes David kills Goliath and David becomes a hero.
In the April 2007 issue of Business 2.0, Fotolia and other microstock photography agencies are featured as the Davids fighting the corporate Goliaths that are Getty and Corbis. The name microstock or micropayment is a term that refers to the low priced images and commissions starting at just $1 compared to the $100’s of dollars that Getty and Corbis charge for similar images.
Oleg, the President of Fotolia, describes in the article how the Internet, Skype, IM, and local coffee shops operate as the tools and infrastructure of today’s Web 2.0 business. Low overhead costs and over 4 million downloads helped Fotolia breakeven within just 8 months of operation.
Photographers should note that the article does mention that Fotolia pays out on average 40-50% commission to its contributors.
So how do we feel about the article? We are overjoyed to be featured and even have a picture of Oleg in the magazine – however – there is this discussion that microstock only has good enough or lower quality images than the Getty or Corbis. In my opinion this is not true. It is funny to note that one of the dissenters of the microstock model is actually a Fotolia customer. With a quick search, I found a number of employees from that company whom use Fotolia for advertising work so maybe they aren’t aware of this or consider Fotolia to be different than the rest of the microstock industry.
The reality is that the Giants still stand and little David’s like Fotolia are still throwing stones. Only time will tell what happens at the end of this story.
Check out the article in this months April issue of Business 2.0!