My favorite upstart stock photography business, the Photoshelter Collection, has decided that their experiment was not successful enough to continue. This is a shame. The quality of imagery at Photoshelter is competitive with the industry giants, yet they treated photographers more fairly than the traditional agencies and used a more democratic, more merit-based criteria to recruit their talent. According to CEO Allen Murabayashi, the problem was one of competion with the entrenched corporate heft of the traditional agencies, especially Getty:
The largest consumers of stock photography are often locked into subscription deals, which makes it very difficult for them to consider alternate sources.
The closing of Photoshelter does not affect me in any material sense, but it’s never fun to see Goliath beating out David.
Update: Terry Smith Dissents