Let's get the upside out of the way here - SpiderPic is a great solution for the photo buyer, in the short term. SpiderPic is an aggregator that brings together search results across microstock sites, showing you your results, and in examples like at right, where there are identical images - which place has the best price. Paul Melcher, in his piece - A Microstock Price War? - has a good analysis of this service, and was where I first learned about it.
I have not delved deep into the ownership of SpiderPic, but what I have learned is that their revenue is from referrals to each of the microstock sites, where they take a piece of each transaction. Melcher is right - this will create a price war. Further, guess what - the loser will be - that's right - the photographer.
But how stupid can these photographers really be?
If you are one of the many photographers who are selling the exact same image in different portals, at difference rates, for the same exact usage, then you need to re-think your common sense - not to mention your business sense.
Do I blame SpiderPic for facilitating this? Yes, and no. First, they are just making it easier to do what someone previously had to do manually, and so, for that service, they get a piece. However, as creative budgets get slashed by these low prices, budgets will make it all but impossible to create fresh content for assignments, and that's bad long term.
Now all the microstock photographers can pile on here in the comments, with sentiments like "I just want to see my photo in print, who cares about the money..." and "...for some of us it's not about the money it's about the fame..." and other equally idiotic sentiments. go ahead and subsidize multi-national corporations and mega-corporation quarterly reports with your EOS Rebel or D90 photos. Some day, you'll tire of all the work and the market will be so flooded you'll lose interest. Go ahead - I'll wait.....that's right, patience is a virtue, and while I have more than I need of it, clearly one "virtue" of these microstockers is that they couldn't care less about the profession of photography as a sustainable endeavor. SpiderPic's results demonstrates just one more manifestation of that.
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