Thursday, February 18, 2010

Digital Photo Rights - Don't Just Give Away The Farm

The FUTURE of all photographic uses is digital. No one doubts that print will be the antiquated backwater in just a few years. Learn from the mistakes of the publishing industry which gave away its content for free and then watched their print income evaporate, almost overnight. Learn from the publishing industry that ad/usage rates in the online arena had to be a sustainable figure on its' own, and not a parlor trick on a balance sheet.

Your images - your intellectual property - must be valued in both print and digital/online realms at a sustainable level. Just as photographers survived the shift from film to digital by establishing pricing models that were sustainable, and shunned the notion that clients attempted to foist upon us by saying "it's digital, so it's cheaper, just give me a jpeg." Now is the beginning of the time where the shift to digital will become even more pronounced, with the Wall Street Journal and New York Times beginning the shift to charging for online content, and the iPad setting the stage for the next evolution, just as the iPod/iTunes duo set the stage for the future of digital music.

Below is a great WIRED Magazine video on their iPad version:

No, go and read Paul Melchers piece - Share It - where he does an excellent job in advising you about avoiding a few of the pitfalls that are just down the road.

(Comments, if any, after the Jump)

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.


Alan B. said...

The functionality shown by Wired looks very compelling, however, Apple has chosen not to support Adobe Flash on the iPhone/iPad, so it remains to be seen how content providers like Wired will be able to author the same rich media experience for users of Apple mobile products. I'm no expert, so perhaps someone else knows the answer.

Rick Moore said...

A part of my photo business is live event coverage. Eight years ago print sales from live event coverage was roughly 12 to 15thousand dollars a month gross. Gross print sales from the last three months for the same live event coverage has been less than 250 dollars.

With the general population believing digital is inexpensive to generate my live event customers are reluctant to pay even 5 dollars a digital image. Needless to say I am closing the doors on the live event coverage portion of my business.

I have not come to terms with a solution on how to turn a digital image into a self sustaining business model. I am very curious as to how this market will shake out.

Wallis said...

excellent post!!

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