ICO Spotlight: Wemark Takes Aim At Stock Photography Industry

Blockchain, ICO News | July 30, 2018 By:

Wemark is a decentralized blockchain platform for the sale and licensing of art, with a current focus on digital photography. The Wemark team hopes to disrupt the US$4 billion stock photography industry.

In the Wemark team’s view, there are many current problems with the stock photography business. Photographers currently rely upon large marketplaces such as Shutterstock and Getty Images to sell their photographs. But these marketplaces have fees of up to 85% of the price of a photo, leaving only 15% for the actual photographer. Photographers also do not know who is downloading and using their content, as the marketplaces do not release this information to them. In addition, the experience is frustrating for consumers who often have to purchase photos using “points” that are awarded based on subscription tiers. These points are lost if they go unused.

The Wemark team believes the solution to this problem is to cut out the middlemen by creating a trustless, decentralized platform for stock-photography sales.

How does Wemark work?

On the Wemark network, photographers license their content directly to stock-photo consumers (websites, ebook creators, etc.). They retain all rights to their work, determine its price, and always know who is using their content.

If a marketplace wants to use a photographer’s photos, it must sign a contract that details a price range for the photos, the terms of the license being issued to its users, and the distribution fee it receives. This information is kept on the blockchain and cannot be changed after the deal is made.

Payments, revenue distribution, and storage access are all handled by the Wemark protocol. If a marketplace is used, therefore, it’s only role is to market the photographer’s work. This should significantly reduce the fees marketplaces are able to charge.

While a marketplace will still be able to change its terms over time, contracts entered into prior to the change will be immutable. This will protect the rights of photographers. In addition, stock-photo consumers will purchase licenses using WMK tokens. This will eliminate the problem of unused points.

The Wemark team is creating a for-profit corporation that will serve as the first marketplace ever to use the Wemark protocol. This corporation will charge a 15% fee, leaving the other 85% to the photographer.

The Wemark team believes the efficiencies created by using the Wemark protocol will lead the network to grow over time, eventually replacing the centralized stock-photo marketplaces that currently exist.

How is Wemark unique?

Wemark’s principal competitors are the current stock-photo networks such as iStockphoto, Shutterstock, Dreamstime, and others. However, Wemark believes it can attract artists to its platform over time because of the far better pay and freedom it offers to them. Given the low fees charged by Wemark, the team also believes that many photographers may lower their prices, passing on the savings to consumers. This will serve to further reinforce the growth of the network and allow Wemark to outcompete traditional stock-photo websites. [MORE]

The Wemark summary was originally published on the Amity Blog. The Amity editorial team of cryptocurrency experts and writers predominately covers whitepaper summaries of ICOs and long-form articles about topics that interest their community.

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