PhotoShelter + PicScout:
Frequently Asked Questions
PhotoShelter and PicScout are partnering to help PhotoShelter photographers extend their marketing reach online through the use of PicScout's powerful fingerprinting technology. PicScout's ImageIRC platform, which enables the ImageExchange to identify images any where they are encountered online, is used by many of the world's largest photo libraries - and is now widely available to individual photographers through this agreement.
Immediately, PhotoShelter images that have been priced for online sales will be fingerprinted and indexed by PicScout. Once implemented, PhotoShelter photographers' images appearing anywhere online will appear in the ImageExchange side panel to image buyers using the PicScout ImageExchange browser add-on, giving buyers a clear, professional path to licensing or purchasing images online, wherever they may find it originally - including thumbnails within search engine results or within any web publisher's content.
What does PhotoShelter do?
PhotoShelter makes powerful websites, archiving and sales tools for professional and aspiring photographers. PhotoShelter is used by over 60,000 photographers worldwide to archive, display, sell, and deliver photography online. Photographers can showcase their work using a PhotoShelter website template or by designing their own on top of PhotoShelter's platform. PhotoShelter's workflow tools let photographers display, organize, safeguard and deliver images to clients online, while PhotoShelter's sales and marketing tools help photographers drive more website traffic and build a following.
What does PicScout do?
PicScout is the worldwide standard for image credit, information, and commerce. Through its proprietary and highly scalable image recognition and identification technology, PicScout created the image copyright protection marketplace through its widely used ImageTracker™ product and is now leading the way for image commerce to become a legitimate Internet economy.
How will ImageExchange enable buyers to find and license/purchase my images?
Image buyers experience enhanced productivity by using the PicScout ImageExchange browser add-on to expand their image search opportunities. In the course of their regular daily Internet browsing, or when using search engines to find new images, creative pros will see any image that has been fingerprinted and indexed by PicScout in the ImageExchange side panel. As such, all PhotoShelter images that are public and priced for sale will appear in the ImageExchange side panel for buyers using PicScout's add-on. Buyers may then click an image in the side panel to receive image metadata and licensing details and click through directly to license that image from the PhotoShelter photographer.
Why have PhotoShelter & PicScout partnered?
This partnership offers significant benefits to users of both solutions. PicScout is able to quickly fingerprint PhotoShelter's current image collection as well as support ongoing updates of new images that can be instantly licensed or purchased online, resulting in improved image selection for buyers using the ImageExchange browser add-on. Meanwhile, PhotoShelter's photographers get a new way to put their work in front of image buyers. Photographers are already using PhotoShelter's SEO and social media tools to ensure their images appear in more places online. PicScout's solution makes a perfect combination - now buyers can see an immediate path to license/purchase those images regardless of how far they travel or where they may reside.
What is the benefit to photographers?
ImageExchange offers increased visibility, attribution, and promotion - all connecting to promote the sale. Image buyers who have implemented the PicScout add-on are actively seeking to license or purchase new images. When they see an image appear in the ImageExchange side panel, they know a professional, easy mechanism exists to license or purchase that image. When combined with the results of PhotoShelter's work to help photographers increase their visibility through search engines, social networks and blogging - this partnership becomes a powerful new way to help PhotoShelter photographers get the attention of interested buyers. This partnership will also be expanded in the future to include offering PicScout's ImageTracker service to PhotoShelter photographers which will enable photographers to ensure image usage is legitimate and provide recourse options if needed.
What challenges are you addressing for photographers?
Photographers are constantly competing for image buyer attention and working hard to drive new traffic to their websites. PicScout's solution helps extend a photographer's reach by providing a marketing capability that can occur anywhere online - using the ImageExchange side panel to capture an image buyer's attention and drive sales. Meanwhile, PhotoShelter's tools help photographers enhance their visibility through search engine optimization and social media sharing. The end result is new opportunities for photographers' work to be found and purchased online.
What is the timeline for execution?
PicScout has already begun fingerprinting all PhotoShelter photographers' images that are available for public display and priced for licensing or sale as prints. As images are fingerprinted, they will gradually appear with the ImageExchange for buyers using the add-on. This will begin an introductory period of indefinite duration, allowing both services to build momentum and obtain feedback on the integration. During this introductory period, the service will be free for all PhotoShelter photographers. When the introductory period concludes, there will be a fee when images sell via this pathway. PhotoShelter photographers will have the opportunity to opt out of the service.
What will be integrated now vs. later?
During the initial phase, all images available for public display and priced for licensing or sale as prints will go through the PicScout fingerprinting process,will be indexed and will participate in the initial phase where the ImageExchange icon will appear on the images. Prior to the revenue share being launched, photographers will have the opportunity to opt out. Also, PhotoShelter and PicScout anticipate making the ImageTracker and other applications based on the ImageIRC available to PhotoShelter photographers as phased rollout continues. ImageTracker is PicScout's solution for policing and reporting on improper image usage.
PhotoShelter furnishes a low-resolution copy of the image to PicScout. PicScout fingerprints images using an advanced image recognition algorithm that identifies unique patterns within the image. Unlike a watermark, this image fingerprint is derived from the image, and therefore cannot be erased, modified or edited. The current ImageExchange technology allows PicScout to identify images in a near-exact match as they appear on the Internet.
Each image fingerprint is associated with its unique metadata, which the image rights owner supplies along with the image. This metadata can include image owner, licensor, license type, landing page, and other important information. The image is not altered by PicScout in any way.
What is the process for selling images when a photographer's image is found in the ImageExchange side panel?
Any image that is fingerprinted by PicScout will be identified in the ImageExchange side panel of the buyer's browser. Clicking the icon will then reveal the image details and a path to license the original image on the photographer website.
What is the financial arrangement for photographers if images get found and purchased through PicScout?
During the initial period, there is no revenue sharing component - all transactions occur as they normally do through PhotoShelter whereby 90% of the proceeds from every sale goes to the photographer while 10% goes to PhotoShelter. Following this introductory period, a financial component will be introduced whereby PicScout will receive compensation for serving as the marketing vehicle that initiated the sale. Photographers will have the opportunity to opt out of this arrangement.
Will adding the service through PhotoShelter cost photographers extra?
PhotoShelter will not be charging photographers to participate - this will be yet another powerful feature included in all PhotoShelter subscriptions. Only images that have been priced for online sales will be included.
How many photographers are participating?
The initial introduction will be available to all of PhotoShelter's photographers– but their images must be publicly searchable and priced for sale. PhotoShelter Starter and Basic accounts may add e-commerce for a $50 activation fee. This fee is waived for PhotoShelter Standard and Pro accounts.
Will PicScout be marketing to buyers?
PicScout's ImageExchange is targeted towards creative professionals, graphic designers, photo buyers, picture researchers, bloggers, corporate communication personnel and anyone who actively uses images and is being actively promoted to these user groups as a productivity tool for their daily work. Photographers are also encouraged to download the add-on and share the tool with their creative counterparts.
How widely distributed is the ImageExchange add-on?
The ImageExchange is currently in an extended open beta release. PicScout is currently executing an extended marketing plan, and currently has several thousand users.
What does a photographer need to do in order to participate in the program?
During the introductory period nothing. PhotoShelter photographers' images available for sale will be automatically enrolled in PicScout's ImageIRC and will populate in the side panel through the ImageExchange during the initial period. Prior to the conclusion of the first phase, photographers will have the opportunity to opt out of the ImageExchange program. Photographers can improve their marketability by ensuring their meta data and SEO functions are fully completed.
How can a photographer know if s/he is taking part in the program?
If your images are priced for sale, your images are part of the program. Download the ImageExchange add-on, and when you see your image in an online search or at a web page, you will also see it appear in the ImageExchange side panel. Among the better ways to check is to go to the photographer's own website and check if the images are displayed in the ImageExchange side panel.
How do I get more of my images included in Google image search?First, it is important to recognize that the benefits of PicScout integration go far beyond search engines, but rather include everywhere your image may be displayed online.
Currently, several hundred thousand images hosted by PhotoShelter are included in Google Image Search results. PhotoShelter recently made some key infrastructure changes to enhance the visibility of images to Google. Significant search result traction is anticipated in the near future. Photographers can enhance their visibility to Google by diligently populating their websites with key SEO factors - including highly relevant keyword-rich text throughout their websites, image galleries, and individual image pages. Photographers using PhotoShelter can take advantage of the SEO Grader, which scans their entire account and makes specific recommendations for improving SEO across the 30+ factors that PhotoShelter enables photographers to control. In addition to strategic keywording, building links to your images online (from other sites) is the most powerful way to increase visibility to Google.
PhotoShelter members with e-commerce enabled can get access to PicScout's ImageExchange, a powerful solution that the world's largest stock agencies use to reach more image buyers online.