If it's to be believed, there are rumors swirling around the internet that Google (GOOG) is going to launch their own stock photo service in the immediate future, and not one that includes the aquisition of GYI, but will instead become a competitor (albeit on the low end) to them.
I posed the following questions to Google's press office:
1) Is Google launching a service whereby individuals or companies can obtain permission (either for a fee, or for free) to use/license images?
2) Will these images appear among the images.google.com search results with an icon on or next to them indicating the images are available for licensing?
3) Does Google have a platform to deliver and handle these licenses, or is there an acquisition plan for one already in existence?Google' response? A Google Spokesperson simply said "we don't comment on market rumor or speculation."
4) What is the pricing structure or pricing model that Google will utilize to assign a value to these images? Will the pricing model be "pay per pixel", or some variation thereof?
5) Will Google checkout be the preferred/only method of payment for these images, or will you be able to barter images you earn revenue/points from, to acquire other images from other people using your barter points instead of having to actually expend dollars?
Yet, the rumors persist. A Google version of "Flickr Pro"? Flickr caught flack when they it was rumored they might try to monetize their image pool. So, perhaps it gets done out of the gate this time by Google?
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