Media Marketplace Pond5 Acquires Stock Photo Startup Pixmac To Expand Its International Presence

Over the years, photo and video licensing company Pond5 has tried to differentiate itself with an artist-friendly licensing model, allowing its contributors to set their own terms and splitting sales with them 50-50. That’s a much more favorable revenue split than the competition, and as a result, the marketplace has done pretty well for itself. Now it’s looking to grow its business internationally, through the acquisition of stock photo competitor Pixmac.

One of the things Pixmac has done very well, according to Pond5 CEO Tom Bennett, is to make its content available in a variety of languages and geographies. Based in Prague, Pixmac has millions of stock photos and illustrations. And it’s made its marketplace available on 20 different domains in 17 languages with support for multiple currencies. The deal should help bring Pond5’s media to all those markets, which could have an immediate effect on its revenue and visibility throughout.

There’s also a bit of synergy between the types of media that both Pond5 and Pixmac license. Pond5 got its start in video, providing mostly B-roll for creators who wanted to flesh out their movie projects. It got into licensing other types of media — like photos, music, and visual effects — in 2011. Pixmac, on the other hand, has been focused on stock image licensing. Together, they will have millions of pieces of media for licensing.

The integration will also add a ton of traffic and potential new customers for Pond5. The purchase should double Pond5’s overall traffic, and together the combined entities will have more than half a million registered users and hundreds of thousands that have licensed media from the marketplaces. And it will make Pond5 content available for licensing in key strategic markets in areas where it doesn’t have a foothold — like Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Founded in 2006, this is the first big purchase that Pond5 has made. While terms were not disclosed, Bennett told me that the company has in the past avoided the temptation to grow through acquisition. However, Pixmac proved attractive both for its global reach and the work that it has done in SEO and localization for international markets.