Social Media: Are we on the Edge of a New Market for Images?

© Arrow
All this debate about Pinterest made me wonder about what this new social networks mean to our image marketing.

Meanwhile we are terrified with the escalation of piracy and finding tons of cooyrights inflingements around the web, we wonder if this industry has a future or if we are on a sinking boat.

I will start first analysing us compared to the audio and movie industry.

The first major diference is the market. Our images are mainly sold to the corporate market, they use it for advertising, posting information in magazines, newspapers, etc...

Now the music and audio industry is focused on the end customer, those people buy CDs, DVDs and Blurays, listen to the radio or go to the movies paying royalties.

The minute they had access to this content through the internet, they stopped buying this (ok, some still do, but in a much smaller scale now), and the industry is struggling (or at least thats what seems like is happening to me).

Now, the thing is that even though images can be downloaded for the end customer to have them for their delight, its not nearly as fun, yes maybe they will print a copy and hang it on a wall or leave it on a photo album, but images are only fun if you share, show somebody else, print on a tshirt, on your mug, its diferent than music that you listen by yourself at your car, if you know what I mean.

Now, what we are seeing with this social media, is an exponential increase of images being shared, you pin your image in pinterest and immediately its repinned through tons of other boards, you post it on facebook and people you havent heard for ages shows up from nowhere, like it, comment it and share it to some other people you dont know.

Its a diferent world and its scary, but its not our current market, its people, not corporations, so its a whole new opportunity. And, diferently than audio and movies that are downloaded and disappear from the eyes of their industry in somebodies computer or ipod, they stay at the open, visible at the internet, easily traced for us to find a way to generate income from that.

I thnk we are at the edge of something here, and that something might be a tremendous opportunity for us who have the gift to generate this content, images, highly needed for this new market up there.

We just need the tools to make it happen.

Thank you all for your time and your comments on the subject will be highly appreciated.


Alexandre Fagundes

Photo credits: Arrow, Artiomp, Christianm, Leonardo255, Alexander Kovalev, Raytags, Russiangal, Robert Kneschke, Sudheer K.s.

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May 27, 2012


Great blog,, tanks..:)

May 25, 2012


You are welcome

May 25, 2012


great blog.. thanks for sharing :)

May 24, 2012


Loved your insights, I do too think we are on that edge. We dont know where is heading, but surely I want to ride it!

May 23, 2012


Great blog, everything is changing so fast...

May 23, 2012


I´ve just read the terms of use at Amazon of music downloaded, its an interesting reading, just a piece of it "agree that you will use the Service only for your personal, non-commercial, entertainment use and not for any redistribution", so what they are managing to do is that they have a diferent license for commercial and for non-commercial use.
Maybe we could go this way, even though its quite impossible to diferentiate it later, but, hey, who knows today if an image has a P-EL or a standard RF license anyway?

May 23, 2012


I think the audio industry took too much time before starting to have the single music download option and than people have already got used to download them for free, I know tons of people who never paid for a song in their entire life!
Now, our industry is diferent, we started this microstock cheap downloads per image a long time ago, so there is no reason why they shouldnt buy it, but its a thought, a diference license for the end user who wont use the images commercially.
I just went to look at the copyright disclaimer of one of mine CDs
"All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws"

May 23, 2012


I don't know - when the songs got cheap (mostly since you only have to buy one song) people started paying rather than stealing. I know I went from not buying much music (but not stealing it, either!), to paying online once there was a reliable mechanism where there was confidence you could get the songs you paid for onto another device later, or if you lost your player.

Here is a recent study that shows growth in paid downloads: I think a lot of the issue is people just not knowing copyright. Students assume they can use anything if it is for educational purposes. I've seen a lot of photographers get called out online for posting photos set to music, when the music isn't licensed. So even people who understand copyright for their own Art fail to take the leap into another area. Making it easy to understand copyright laws would be helpful.

May 23, 2012


Tks Picstudio

May 23, 2012


Great blog!

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