Thursday, March 26, 2009

Where will the revenue come from?

This is a bold undertaking to be sure. And not an inexpensive one I wouldn't think. How will you fund this company if the service is free? (This question is from a comment to the Welcome message at 7:25 PM, March 26, 2009, by DAN POYOUROW PHOTOGRAPHER ... see reply in comments in this thread)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dan,

    Thanks for being the very first person to ask a question in our brand new blog. And, it’s a good question.

    We anticipate long-term revenue in four areas – creator authentication fees, report fees, on-site advertising and copyright registration fees.

    While basic use of is free, we are already charging $25 per year to be “authenticated”. What does that mean? We feel responsible to the creative community to put our best efforts toward making sure people are who they say they are who are reclaiming online creative works as theirs. Authentication fees pay for identity verification.

    What the creator gets for that $25/year is an upgrade in services that includes the ability to lock records so others can’t change them and a growing list of special or bulk functions, such as bulk upload of URL’s to register and bulk display of usage records. Our next upgrade is a service that’s in high demand and available elsewhere at a much, much higher price. By growing value, we expect to broaden the range of participating creators to include amateurs and “prosumers” from sites like Flickr who are willing to pay $2 per month for these functions.

    Photographers who are members of trade associations that defend and support creators and copyright have a special benefit. For all members of pro-copyright associations that have aligned with our efforts, this $25 annual fee is waived.

    Report fees are our second revenue source. Our process enables reports issued to be verifiable later as “unmodified” from the original, which will likely be desirable in legal proceedings. We expect revenue from issuing and tracking reports for formal or legal purposes.

    Thirdly, we will have advertising on the site when traffic reaches critical mass.

    And finally, we have been asked many times, especially by stock photo agencies, if there is a way that we can make copyright registration with the U. S. Copyright Office easier and more efficient. We plan to use our strengths in automated processes to offer that service, as well.

    To this, I add an answer to an unasked question. As important as revenue is, profits are even more important for long-term sustainability. We’ve seen a lot of companies with huge funding disappear overnight because their plans were not profitable. Note that does not store any images (which also means that photographers don’t need to upload any image files.) With no storage costs, profitability will occur at very low levels of revenue.