Thursday, September 11, 2008

BREAKING: PhotoShelter Collection To Shut Down October 10th

As the sun rises on the West Coast, the news is not good - PhotoShelter, in an effort to sustain their PhotoShelter Personal Archive is closing the PhotoShelter Collection October 10th, according to sources. They will be making a formal annoucement shortly with an expanded explanation about PhotoShelter's plans moving forward.

(Continued after the Jump)
This impending announcement comes on the heals of a rough industry situation as both Getty Images and Jupiter Images are suffering losses, and the promotion of all-you-can-eat subscription models that are squeezing every bit of profit out of the market. PhotoShelter has always championed the interests of photographers - seeking to be an advocate and a true representative (that is - looking out for the best interests of those they were representing) and when it came to pass that a change in the business model (i.e. a higher percentage to PSC, or a lowering of per-image pricing to compete with Getty/et al) was the solution, PhotoShelter opted to close the Collection rather than act to diminish their service to photographers.

This shuttering of a division of PhotoShelter Inc, will have no effect on their monthly PhotoShelter Personal Archive, which I use on a regular basis to service my clients and I think is the client-image-delivery-platform of the future, as the concept of shipping CD's to clients becomes an antiquated one. In fact, with more time on their hands, they will be able to be more focused on growing that product, which is, according to sources, a key part of their plans moving forward.

More information as we get it.
Update: Official statement here.

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.


Anonymous said...

Well done on breaking this so early.

Anonymous said...

I guess it is time to take a look at Rob's (aka aphotoeditor) list of stock agencies and see where to go next.

With a good amount of photographers on the site, I wonder how many head to iStock and flood the market some more.

Taylor Davidson said...

Sad to see. I'm sure this will spark another round of the debate on the future business opportunities for photographers.

Some will check out the micro-stock, I am sure some will re-focus on the other agencies, maybe even some will pay for the Personal Archive.

But it's another sign that the time is now for photographers to start exploring other ways to run their businesses.

Josh McCulloch said...

While I'm sad to see these guys close this down, as a Photoshelter Personal Archive user, I'm happy to see that they will continue expanding this service. My direct-to-client stock licensing has been growing steadily over the past few years, and much of that is attributable to the Personal Archive. I've customized it to look like & integrate directly with my site, and having clients be able to search my entire stock library without my help is invaluable. My DTC stock income now matches what I earn from the 5 other agencies I work with combined. While you will never be able to compete with the big agencies by volume, you can do it with specialized image collections, ease of licensing directly from you, and fantastic service, and I think the Personal Archive offers a great way to help accomplish those.

Cheers, Josh
Josh McCulloch

Tim Broyer said...

I'm bummed. As an emerging photographer, I am inclined not to follow the micro-stock model. What to do now?

Anonymous said...

here a list of Photo Agency:
I believe could be useful for some of us.

Anonymous said...

Tim. You can still have a personal archive with Photoshelter or you could try Digital Railroad which is who I use. Do the right thing and choose one of these!
Joshs approach is the right one I think. The real place for these archives is in the niche business but that means aggressive marketing and working the archive for all its worth. Today there are comments all over the web from people who clearly aren't putting the work into their archives and then are wondering why the PSC shut down! With half hearted photographers what chance does anybody have.

Anonymous said...

"PhotoShelter opted to close the Collection rather than act to diminish their service to photographers."

Have to disagree. Now they offer no service at all. It failed, and the investors are out (I assume!). They were late entrants, and I think they made the attempt with the Collection because the Archive is also weak. In fact the whole management team is weak as far as industry experience and strategy is concered. Upstarts with big words and no clue.

"This shuttering of a division of PhotoShelter Inc, will have no effect on their monthly PhotoShelter Personal Archive"

Well, I challenge you on that one! Let's see.

As far as the "where now" crowd is concerned, why do you believe there is a place to go? There is not enough room for everyone in any business. The closing down of the Collection is a good example. Get your act together. If you are good enough, run with the best. If you are average, follow the crowds and feed off the crumbs. Otherwise, don't bother.

Anonymous said...

Care to elaborate about why you think the Archive is weak? The Archive does what it is advertised to do. It is a powerful tool for photographers to run their own business as they see fit.

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