How Photochain Is Using Blockchain to Reinvent the Stock Photo Industry

Stock photography has its roots embedded much earlier than people imagine. In fact, the first stock photograph was produced in 1920 by an American photographer. Despite this, it took another 60 years for the industry to really take off, when advertising agencies experienced increased demand from clients.

These custom photo shoots were tedious, costly, and often a burden to pull off. Although not the most efficient process, the demand for custom imagery made it an industry worth investing in for technologists, agencies, and creative professionals.

Fast forward another four decades and the industry has now swelled to over $2 billion revenue annually. Anyone with a camera can upload their images to a stock photo platform and begin earning royalties on their content. For the top content creators, this can equate to a full-time living and more, off the model.

Despite this growth, the industry still suffers from a host of problems, mainly copyright issues, minimal royalties and monopolistic platforms. Eliminating unnecessary intermediaries and decentralizing traditionally closed-loop platforms are a few reasons why blockchain technology has become the catalyst to drive change for creative platforms and to give more power back to content creators.

The stock photo industry is no exception. One company is out to change the way creators and purchasers transact and to create a mutually beneficial scenario for both parties.

Meet Photochain: Creating the Stock Photography Revolution

Photochain is using blockchain technology to create an open and democratic platform for photographers and designers. Photographers will be able to sell visual media quickly and easily while retaining as much of the profit as possible. Security is at the forefront of their model, with copyright protection provided by the technology.

As described by Photochain’s Chief Marketing Officer, Haris Rana:

“Photochain has been designed and developed completely with the users in mind. The platform has rebuilt the entire concept of a photostock from the ground up, leveraging the power of blockchain technology in every step of the process. This leads to a seamless buying and selling experience to all users, where they can feel comfortable that their best interests are put first.”

The decentralized platform has found recent praise and momentum after taking home third place in the ICO Pitch Competition at the 2018 Blockchain Leadership Summit in Zurich.

While innovative marketplaces do currently exist for stock photos, they are complicated and don’t make it easy for beginners to compete with major players in the industry. Verification processes are long and arduous, as identity theft in the industry is rampant. Users of these platforms have no control over the pricing of their services and products, making it incredibly difficult for content creators to find suitable solutions for their specific situations.

Payment is also a significant problem. Users who sell their media on these platforms rarely retain more than 25% of the profits earned from their work. In addition, payment can take over a month as processing is painfully slow. Photochain believes that the solutions to all these problems lie in the blockchain and have prepared a comprehensive marketplace to service the struggling industry.

How Blockchain Will Be Used for Optimization

Photochain’s first fix to the current hegemony of marketplaces is to simplify verification. Blockchain technology allows for the speedy transfer of sensitive data in a secure manner, cutting down the verification process significantly and making it far easier for users to sell their content.

Copyright protection is not an issue, as each photographer who uploads photos has their verification data permanently linked to their uploaded works. This link forever exists in the blockchain, in what Photochain call a Digital Copyright Chain (DCC). This leaves a trail of ownership for every single photo that passes through the platform. Each uploaded image, by every photographer, is compared to the DCC for copyright infringement – automatically.

Photochain also sees blockchain technology as the perfect fix to the current problems involving payments in the stock photo industry. Blockchain allows for the elimination of nearly every middleman in the traditional transfer process.

Importantly, Photochain allows users to price their own works and on their own terms. Smart contracts manage the whole sales process, making it quick and easy for a for creators to monetize their content.

Then, as the platform uses a proprietary crypto token, Photochain allows transactions in a fast and secure manner just between users. With no middleman needed to provide the trust between buyers and sellers, Photochain will allow for creators to retain of up to 95% of their profits. Which their smart contracts calculate and deliver in a matter of seconds.

As Haris says, “Photochain is about giving the power back to the content creators. As photography enthusiasts ourselves, we want to see the photography, rather than the businesses, thrive.”

For Photochain, the implications of capturing a percentage of the stock photography market could mean millions of new content creators that are fairly compensated for their work. Fairly compensated, securely protected photographers no longer have to stress about the industry and focus solely on creating beautiful works. Seems like all round, everyone can be a winner with blockchain.

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