Earlier this year, Fotolia just launched a new segment-sliced stock website called DollarPhotoClub, with a very unique proposition to graphic and layout designers who are heavy stock photo users. Instead of trying reach as many clients as possible, Dollar Photo Club will target a small audience of approved members and provide exclusive photos for only $1, at the highest resolution download – there is actually no sizes, the largest size to download is the only size to download.
“We want to target big buyers, and provide them with exclusive offers,” co-founder and CEO Oleg Tscheltzoff told me. “For example, when it comes to content, if it’s a royalty-free photo website open to everyone, images quickly become overused. That’s why we are doing a club.”
To become a member, you need an invitation and after your sign up, the application is reviewed by the their internal team. If approved, then you gain access to over 25 million high-resolution photos at $1 each. Actually you have to sign up for a minimal basic plan, which is a $10 monthly subscription, giving you 10 free photos per month. Even so, after you quickly burn through those 10 downloads at $1 each, you still only pay $1 for every subsequent image. What a win!
Price variations on large stock sites for varying sizes and quality is one of the biggest concerns many designers have about stock websites, and this new approach will be a huge time-saver. Also, the side step of expensive credit bundles or large monthly download lock-in plans is a new and disruptive way to get access to a huge number of high quality XXL large size stock files. And of course, you can cancel at anytime and your downloads never expire, even after you cancel your membership.
“This pricing is very disruptive compared to everything else that exists, including Fotolia,” Tscheltzoff said.
Dollar Photo Club represents Fotolia’s first step in the microstock photo market and will compete directly with Shutterstock (which completed its IPO in 2012) and Getty’s iStockphoto. Yet, even though Fotolia isn’t the first to tackle the lower end of the market, its take is a bit different thanks to its $1 fixed price.
Even thought the company makes a promise of exclusive content, we know some photos will come directly from Fotolia. Dollar Photo Club’s main challenge will most likely be to get users as the approval signup process may discourage potential clients, but that is probably the point, to keep it exclusive. So once you are a member and you’re in, you literally can get stock for next to nothing.