Being a photographer is a great artistic experience that has its own rewards. Getting paid for your pictures isn't bad either. But when you put your pictures online to attract business, how can you be sure that you'll be able to monetize them without losing control over how they are used? LicenseStream is an online service that makes it possible to sell licenses to your pictures and videos, as well as helps you manage your photo business.
You see, pros almost never sell their pictures outright; rather, they license their use for specific purposes. Pricing depends on what that use will be. For instance, a small low-resolution version of an image for a SOHO Website would typically involve a different fee than a high resolution full-page print ad in a single issue of a glossy national magazine.
With LicenseStream, a photographer can set fees for specific types of uses, based on the PLUS industry standard licenses. LicenseStream has recommendations for appropriate fees, but you can amend those prices how you see fit. Then, if someone likes your picture, when they click it, they can define how they want to use it, and right then and there, purchase that specific license.
You can upload your images using Flash, HTML, or optional (free) plug-ins that work from within Adobe Bridge or Adobe Lightroom. LicenseStream allows you to set up several "stores," should you have separate types of images available--such as travel, sports and abstracts. As a business management tool, LicenseStream provides assistance in other ways, too, such as easily assigning pictures to individual galleries, and providing guidance for intelligent keywording. What1s more, it will provide HTML code that you can copy and paste into your blog or other Websites, which will place a clickable link for the licensing of any of your images wherever you display them online.
In addition to the annual fee for LicenseStream Standard ($50), the company takes 20% of all transaction fees they collect for you, which they pay out monthly. If you want more than the provided 2GB, you can purchase more storage space for $12/gigabyte, with discounts for larger sizes.
The next level of service is LicenseStream Pro ($150), which offers customized rights managed licenses, the ability to manage, track and collect royalty payments, plus Content Tracker. Content Tracker trawls the Internet for unauthorized uses of your images and sends emails in your name and theirs. But you have control over what those e-mails say: demands to take down your image, an invoice for usage of the image and/or a conduit for developing new business. Pro includes more storage space (10GB), and charges half the transaction fee (10%). In addition, LicenseStream charges 30% of all the "found" money collected via Content Tracker.
If you are serious about photography as a profession, LicenseStream makes good business sense.
Note: LicenseStream is available in Standard and Pro licenses. The price shown here is for a one-year Standard license. The Download link takes you to the vendor1s site, where you can sign up for this online service.
-- Sally Wiener Grotta & Daniel Grotta