Another day, another service is getting its blockchain counterpart. This time, we’re talking about a decentralized stock photography marketplace which aims to help artists increase their earnings. This, as you might presume, involves kicking the middleman out of equation and directly connecting artists with buyers.
Making it easier for artists to make a living
The new service, called Wemark, argues that today’s centrally controlled stock photography marketplaces take up to 85 percent of the revenue that’s generated when one of artist’s images is sold; as a result, even professionals are having a hard time making a decent living.
Adding to the problem is the fact that popular sites like Shutterstock have over 200 million images in their collection, making it extremely difficult for photographers to stand out and earn a substantial income from their work.
In contrast, the blockchain-based marketplace developed by Israel-based Wemark aims to allow artists to establish relationships with buyers, license photos to businesses directly, and experience a much higher level of control and transparency.
The secret sauce, according to Wemark’s CEO Tai Kaish, is to use smart contracts which would facilitate payments, and licensing directly between creators and customers.
An impressive library to start with
Wemark’s marketplace is currently in alpha and is already boasting over 130,000 images. Furthermore, the company is in the midst of adding new collections to its offering, to eventually surpass a million of commercial photographs. This will be done by partnering with organizations such as CAVAN, Monkey Business and Caia Image — which premium collections are known to regularly top the sales rankings of Getty Images and Shutterstock.
“This is a tremendous milestone for Wemark,” Keren Sachs, a former director of content development at Shutterstock who is now an advisor at Wemark, told Cointelegraph. “The world’s leading content providers have entrusted us with their photos before we have even licensed an image. They believe in what we are building and the future of the content licensing on the blockchain.”
A win-win scenario + ICO plans
In addition to photographers who stand to earn a fairer share for their work, Wemark also promises good things for customers, who will benefit from reduced costs per photo; the company says these savings could be as high as 50 percent.
Like pretty much any other blockchain platform, Wemark will have its own token that will act as real money for buying photos. The “real money” part comes from the fact that all unused Wemark tokens could be sold, which is something you couldn’t do in “regular” stock photography marketplaces.
Speaking of which [tokens], Wemark has started its token generation event (ICO) on July 24, and yes — if you want to join the ride, now’s your chance.