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Summary:

PicApp, a San Francisco-based company is offering copyright news and stock photos from large photo banks like Getty Images and Corbis for free. The company is likely to announce availability of its public beta service later today. The photos are displayed in a flash media file […]

PicApp, a San Francisco-based company is offering copyright news and stock photos from large photo banks like Getty Images and Corbis for free. The company is likely to announce availability of its public beta service later today.

The photos are displayed in a flash media file and can be embedded on any web page, just like YouTube. PicApp makes money off contextual advertising it embeds in the photos, and in turn shares it with the photo agencies. The new service is a sign of how tough things are in the stock photography business, where new and low cost competitors are emerging thick and fast, and challenging the old dogs like Getty Images.


PicApp’s business approach could be best described as “making lemonade when life serves you lemons.” It’s parent company is Israel-based PicScout which has technology that helps image copyright owners identify the copyright infringements online. Eyal Gura, CEO of PicScout told us that there are millions of photos that get taken from the sites of big photo agencies and show up on the web (replete with watermarks.) Litigation seems like a losing battle, but free ad-supported photos is worth a shot.

While most of us tech bloggers don’t have a pressing need for news photos to accompany our posts, the service can be useful for small websites and blogs that follow politics and news. Hollywood gossip blogs could find use for PicApp.

That said, PicApp will need a very large number of embeds in order to bring any meaningful revenues. I think it is a challenge that has confounded all “embed”-based businesses. On the other hand, larger sites that can provide large traffic volume like PopSugar and Defamer can afford to pay for the photos and use that as a way to stand out from in an increasingly crowded market place.

Update: Michael Arrington wrote about GumGum that has taken a similar approach to the stock photography market place.

By Om Malik

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  1. [...] that an alternative business model involves providing the images for free, with ads, as noted by GigaOm. The site is now launching its public [...]

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  2. i dont see why anyone wants to pay if the same content comes for FREE?

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  3. [...] GigaOM reports that a new service will offer bloggers legit news photos for free. [...]

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  4. [...] info: PicApp Met dank aan: Gigaom Tags:afbeeldingen [...]

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  5. [...] Legit News Photos for Free. Om Malik has the scoop on PicApp, where you can get legit news photos for free. It’s an interesting service, but I actually prefer to use something like the Voxant, a service that actually pays you for views of the latest news. I like free stuff, who doesn’t, right? Well, it’s even better if they pay you. Here’s sample content from today from Voxant, about the Republicans who have been instructed to blog, blog, blog: [...]

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  6. Someone always trying to make a buck at the expense of others. You can get a photos.com subscription and get unlimited photos (royalty-free). While you have to pay up front to gain access, at least you don’t have to run someone else’s ads on your site or blog.

    There are also several free (as in beer) royalty-free and creative commons licensed sites on the net that sure beats ad supported images that allows someone to make money off of our own hard work.

    I don’t see this service lasting very long at all.

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  7. embedding Flash instead of using an image? I would never do such a thing.

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  8. oh ohm….

    you wrote:

    “It’s parent company is Israel-based PicScout ….”

    “It’s” ????

    oh boy. someone needs to consult a good grammar primer. or maybe it’s time to hire a good copy editor, eh, blogger guy :)

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  9. [...] often see pics of famous people on blogs, they’re usually there illegally. I read about it at GigaOm, and I think it makes for a nifty tool to add to the arsenal for certain types of [...]

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  10. [...] [via GigaOm] [...]

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  11. The content is nice. But 1.) I am not able to control what is shown on my blog 2.) I don’t want a flash backdoor on my site used to push ads.

    Are there any alternatives … ?

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  12. Great idea, hope it works out for them.

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  13. [...] GigaOM Recommander |0 Commentaires |0 [...]

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  14. Very interesting.

    nhick
    http://www.itrush.com

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  15. Yes, I don’t see why you would want to run their pictures and their ads. Makes no sense. I mean maybe if there was a revenue share.

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  16. [...] Om Malik posted about PicApp earlier and assessed the service as follows: While most of us tech bloggers don’t have a pressing need for news photos to accompany our posts, the service can be useful for small websites and blogs that follow politics and news. Hollywood gossip blogs could find use for PicApp. [...]

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  17. [...] that an alternative business model involves providing the images for free, with ads, as noted by GigaOm. Read more. addthis_url = [...]

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  18. [...] company called PicApp. It’s been all over the blogoshere, so you may have heard of it. GigaOm wrote: PicApp, a San Francisco-based company is offering copyright news and stock photos from large [...]

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  19. [...] As Om explains, the site gives publishers access to copyrighted stock photography and news photos. Publishers, including bloggers, are free to republish the photos on their own sites using PickApp’s embed code. The code delivers both the image and advertisements. [...]

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  20. picapp rules! it’s the best thing ever!

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  21. [...] to a report at Gigaom, PicApp has advertising embedded in the photos and has a revenue share with the photos [...]

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  22. [...] are displayed in a flash media file and can be embedded on any web page, just like […] (Read on Source) This entry was posted on Friday, March 21st, 2008 at 10:30 am and is filed under 4164. You [...]

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  23. Shnizel said:

    i dont see why anyone wants to pay if the same content comes for FREE?

    i agree whit you :)

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  24. [...] PicApp (hat tip to GigaOm). [...]

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  25. [...] an interesting post from Chris Brogan over the weekend, which pointed to this post at GigaOm. It mentions and demonstrates a new widget from PicApp. More importantly though it discusses the [...]

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  26. [...] Does “GigaOM” realize as to what PicApp does while writing about it in For Bloggers, Legit News Photos For Free. [...]

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  27. [...] and legal news photos for bloggers. GigaOM reports that San Francisco-based PicApp is making copyright news photos available free of charge to [...]

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  28. Yeah I’m too hyped on this either, and I have sideline sites that could use this type of content. Even as a ‘small guy’, sites like Wire Image have really cheap subscription packages…$10 / month for watermark free pics.

    I think there are some flaws here:

    1. If you at all take your site seriously, $10/month is nothing and odds are the ad revenue pays for it anyway.

    2. If you are a 17 year old girl posting celeb pictures to your MySpace page, you probably don’t know any better and will rip images from anywhere you find them.

    That leaves this service in a weird limbo where they need people who know better, but can’t justify spending the cost of two beers + tip on their site :-)

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  29. [...] way of getting free press images for your blog. I prefer the image search from Jazz Biscuit. I use it [...]

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  30. [...] Reports say the site quietly launched on Friday giving online publishers legal free stock photo for their sites. The company recognizes that bloggers are the new journalists of the world and needed free legal photos for their sites. [...]

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  31. [...] אום מאליק מציג את PicApp, שירות להטמעה חוקית של צילומי עיתונות בבלוגים, שמבוסס על טכנולוגיה של PicScout הישראלית. [...]

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  32. Photos like these are great for a variety of marketing projects both live and online for creative minds, have a look at this link found through someone promoting your applications in your blog: http://youtube.com/watch?v=54CSrBi8op0

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  33. [...] Legit News Photos for Free. Om Malik has the scoop on PicApp, where you can get legit news photos for free. It’s an interesting service, but I actually prefer to use something like the Voxant, a service that actually pays you for views of the latest news. I like free stuff, who doesn’t, right? Well, it’s even better if they pay you. Here’s sample content from today from Voxant, about the Republicans who have been instructed to blog, blog, blog: [...]

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  34. [...] partnerships with the world leading photo agencies, then after much appreciated user feedback (“making lemonade when life serve you lemons”), we launched to open beta, then we launched a non-flash version of the picapp product to [...]

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  35. [...] the most valued Technology & Business sites, GigaOM,  had published a post with coverage on Picapp.  For some months now, we were anxious and very curious to see what will be written about [...]

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  36. [...] online publishers access copyrighted content in an affordable manner?” , or as Om Malik called it “make Lemoned when life serves yo lemons” If you recall this journey was a continuation of much work I  did in that field during my days [...]

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