Wemark, a Stock Photo Marketplace Adopts Blockchain Technology

Wemark launches a curated stock photography marketplace with more than 1 million images powered by a blockchain-based licensing protocol.

Fairer Marketplace for Digital Artists

Despite producing an array of excellent photographs and digital images, many of the world’s best photographers still struggle to make a decent living from their talents. For many years large agencies such as Shutterstock or Getty Images have monopolized the content distribution field. As middle-men between photographers and digital content purchasers, agencies often take their cut of the profits, sometimes up to as much as 85% of the revenue generated by photographers and digital image creators.

Such steep fees by middlemen make it even more challenging for artists and photographers to receive fair compensation for their work. Not only are creators limited to the amount of income they can generate for their efforts with big agencies, but they also have little control over their online business efforts. Until now, creators also only had few alternatives to reach customers, aside from relying on distribution from large agencies.

Wemark’s new curated stock photography marketplace offers creators and digital artists a much fairer alternative.

In an exclusive interview with Scope Weekly, Wemark Marketing Director Shenhav Yehuda said,

The $4 billion stock photography market is ripe for decentralization. Shutterstock and Getty take up to 85% of the revenue, just because they own and control the distribution. Customers and creators are ready for a change.

In addition to the attention received from photographers and artists, Wemark has also lured an impressive line of advisors to back their initiatives, which seems to indicate that they are genuinely responding to an unfulfilled need. Such advisors include Lars Perkins, founder of Picasa, Miguel Forbes, co-founder of Forbes.com, and two former Shutterstock execs, Keren Sachs and Michael C. Lesser, all of whom bring a keen understanding of the digital content space.

How Does Wemark Work?

Wemark announced on July 3, 2018, that they were set to launch their curated stock photography marketplace with more than 1 million commercial images available.

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wemark is a digital platform designed to transform the way creators and artists distribute their content and how they get paid for their efforts.

Yehuda said to The Scope Weekly, “Wemark helps creators reclaim control from agencies, benefit from transparency, and make much more money by removing the large agency fee.”

Wemark is also intended to benefit image buyers. Yehuda said, “Wemark is also better for customers. Wemark charges up to 70% less – often for the same photo – than large agencies. Customers get more flexibility without expiring credits or rigid subscription plans.”

Effectively removing the middle-men from the equation, Wemark’s licensing protocol allows customers to make payments directly for the digital content they want to buy. When payment is complete, the funds are automatically distributed to the photographer or creator.

Wemark’s photography marketplace takes advantage of smart contracts that facilitate payments and enable licensing directly between the creators and their customers.  Using blockchain technology allows creators to access real peer-to-peer transactions, which ensures security, authenticity, and transparency.

As there is no third party involvement in licensing or payments, creators have the advantage of keeping the majority of any revenue their work generates. Creators also have more control over how their digital content is distributed and how they get paid for their efforts.

Strong Backing by Leading Content Providers

As more photographers and creators begin to recognize the power platforms such as Wemark offer them, many are now able to reclaim control over their content and the revenue they generate. Wemark’s marketplace platform has already attracted some of the more successful names in stock photography, including many well-known creators who already top the sales rankings in large agencies such as Shutterstock and Getty Images.

Jonathan Gibson, founding director of Caia Image, said in a press statement, “The launch of Wemark’s Distributed Marketplace is a critical development that will allow Caia to reach a global audience without the compromises to pricing and rights that we currently experience.”

Yehuda envisions an even brighter future for the company with new partnerships, “After announcing partnerships with Caia Image and Cavan Images earlier this year, we’re proud to reveal more than five new content partners. These expertly curated collections include Monkey Business Images, Mint Images, The Good Brigade, Glasshouse Images, India Pictures, Maskot, and a few other collections we’ll be announcing soon.”

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