By Jemima Kiss: The online news marketplace Beamups launches a UK version today, hoping to exploit the dire of state of the news industry by allowing producers to sell on unused and archive content. The site launched a beta for the Middle East in April and set up deals with broadcasters including the BBC, al Jazeera, ABC and Rtvi. For them, it’s an opportunity to make extra money from unused footage, while buyers get one source of global, professional material.
Beamups’ spokeswoman told me this is essentially a business-to-business service, and though they expect that some citizen journalism to make it onto the site it isn’t trying to do the same as sites Demotix, which focus very much on the amateur consumer market. Content is sold with a 40 percent commission to Beamups (fairly standard for B2B news content) and the seller decides the price. Terms can be for one-off use by multiple organisations or exclusively. Sellers get their own store and build up ratings much like eBay (NSDQ: EBAY) and don’t have to pay a subscription to join.
Beamups is fronted by former News Corp (NYSE: NWS) Europe senior vice president Dean Stewart, and was founded by two documentary cameramen, Boaz Eshtai and Yosi Romano – who grew tired of always having to hand over the rights to their work for the BBC, APTN, the Discovery (NSDQ: DISAB) Channel and National Geographic. Their most widely distributed work wouldn’t make them a proportionate amount of money, while some of their best work would sometimes not find a suitable slot at all.
“As freelance budgets and crew sizes are shrinking, we wanted to open up the news market to offer an international distribution model that gives professional journalists precious access to newsrooms around the world,” said Eshtai.
This article originally appeared in Â© Guardian News & Media Ltd..