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<eyebeam><blast> new media market models


jordan invited me to be a guest on this list, and and asked me to
introduce the concept of stockobjects.

before i do so, a little context: my background is in visual art
practice and criticism, but for the past two years i've been involved in
the world of business. i've been browsing through the archives of this
list, looking for threads to which stockobjects might be relevant. it's
one thing to talk about "old school power broking between big firms,
governments and banks" in the context of net criticism, as geert does,
and another thing entirely to try to convice big firms and banks to
finance your startup company! what i'm trying to get at is that, for the
past two years, i've been thinking about the business of new media from
the perspective of an entrepreneur, an "inside" perspective that doesn't
allow much critical distance. at the same time, i've gained an intimate
knowledge of the business systems and economies that voices on this list
tend to criticize from the "outside." i'd be interested to hear what
people on this list think about the business outlined below.

stockobjects is the first, and thusfar the only, full-spectrum new media
stock library. based on the traditional photo stock buiness model (a
model that is about 80 years old and now serves a market that is fast
approaching one billion dollars), stockobjects serves as an online
clearinghouse for digital media assets. we license images, animations,
3D models and code objects from designers, animators and programmers,
and sell licenses to the objects via the web. members of the
stockobjects "community" can submit objects, browse the library, and
purchase objects online. objects can be purchased with a credit card
(transactions are processed in realtime using cybercash) or charged to
an account. purchased objects are then delivered immediately as email
attachments. we pay out royalties to suppliers as a percentage of
licensing revenues: generally our suppliers get 50% for exclusive
licenses, 25% for non-exclusive.

when we receive objects, we screen them for relevance, accepting only
those that we think are likely to sell based on customer feedback and
sell-through data. accepted objects are then watermarked, indexed,
priced and uploaded into the database.

we see stockobjects primarily as a business-to-business service. we're
focused on selling to professional web developers: corporations that
develop sites in-house, interactive ad agencies, web design shops and
systems integrators. while the consumer market (home page builders) is
growing fast, we don't think that consumers are ready to spend money on
stock media for their pages. professional developers, on the other hand,
seem to be more used to the idea of paying for stock media.

that's our business, in a nutshell. i'd be curious to hear your thoughts
on our attempt to create a market for digital media assets (much of
which could be considered art, applied art or commercial art).



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