EyeEm, one of the Hottest Global Startups Of 2013, has just announced that it will be partnering with stock photography site Getty Images to distribute photographs taken by EyeEm’s mobile users. The move comes after EyeEm launched its marketplace, an in-app feature that allows photographers to opt-in and make their images available for use in advertising campaigns.
“We are aware it is difficult to scale distribution on your own - we have solved that problem from day one,” explained Florian Meissner, cofounder and CEO of the Berlin-based photo app.
EyeEm has already licensed user-generated images to companies including Lufthansa and RedBull.EyeEm users can now make their images available for licensing on Getty Image platforms, including iStock. Photographers will split revenue 50/50 with EyeEm, just as they would if they were to sell through the EyeEm Marketplace. The financial details of EyeEm’s partnership with Getty are undisclosed.
Founded in 2011, EyeEm had just 1 million users in January 2013, growing to 10 million photographers by the end of the year. Meissner’s cofounders, Lorenz Aschoff, Ramzi Rizk and Gen Sadakane, have some unlikely suspects to thank for their newfound popularity. A group of high school and college students in Texas adopted the app in February 2013, spreading its popularity on Twitter. By July, EyeEm was gaining a million new users a month, announcing it closed a $5 million Series A round with plans to monetize by becoming the go-to for mobile crowd-sourced images.
“The goal is really, in the next couple of weeks, to turn out the first million to our users,” said Meissner.
As for privacy concerns, Meissner emphasized that users must opt-in to monetize their photos:”We are not forcing anyone to sell photos,” explained Meissner. “Everybody will be able to continue to use EyeEm only and share images within EyeEm or on another platform without having them sold.”
And what about the privacy of subjects, who might appear in portraits taken by EyeEm users and sold to Getty?
“We’ve developed a very simple process which is mobile compatible to get releases from the friends, families, models they are shooting, guaranteeing that it is actually rights-managed.”
Of course, the test is whether EyeEm users take to selling their photos. Meissner says, so far, so good: “With the people we invited, all of them opted in with most of their photos.”
“A mobile photographer does not get into Getty – we help those guys.”
As of December 2013, EyeEm had 25 staff. They have raised $6 million to date.
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