Notable achievement: Providing a legitimate rival to an established duopoly.
Simon Moss had been running a niche stock library with his wife Meg for five years. All the photos had to be comprehensively tagged with keywords so clients could search through the archive. The problem is that a photo taken in 1950 would need to be tagged as 1950, 50s, 50’s and so on, Moss says. “It’s impossible to capture all of the different things people might be searching for.”
Then he came upon web-based crowdsourcing businesses such as 99designs, where users post graphic design briefs and freelancers pitch for the work. “We thought, ‘My God! This is insanely amazing. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do this with photography’,” he remembers.
The two industry leaders for stock image libraries are Getty and Corbis. “We saw a lot of photographers with a tonne of content that couldn’t be found and a lot of buyers that were struggling to search and navigate,” he says.
Using ImageBrief, customers, who so far include publishers and advertising agencies, post a brief for the type of image they need and their deadline and budget. If photographers have images that fit the brief, they upload them to the website. “If a buyer finds an image they love, they can download it and pay by PayPal or credit card,” Moss says.
More than 4000 photographers have signed up to the website. ImageBrief raised $600,000 from a syndicate of unnamed angel investors, who have strong links to the media industry, after pitching at an Innovation Bay dinner in 2011. With the capital, Moss will open offices in New York and London in the next three months. (The amount of equity the $600,000 purchased is undisclosed.)