Stock photo company Fotolia just launched a new vertical named Dollar Photo Club with a brand new offering targeted toward heavy stock photo customers. Instead of amassing the biggest database and trying to reach as many clients as possible, Dollar Photo Club will target a small audience of approved members and provide exclusive photos.
“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.”
When you sign up, your application is reviewed by the team. After that, you get access to 25 million high-resolution photos at $1 each. More precisely, you first have to sign up to a $10 monthly subscription, which gives you 10 free photos. After that, you pay $1 for every subsequent image.
Simplifying the price will be a big time-saver as traditional stock photo websites can carry photos that cost between a few cents up to hundreds of dollars. Similarly, you don’t have to sign up for large plans with a lot of downloads or credits. There is only one plan and you can cancel anytime.
“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.
While the company promises exclusive content, some photos will come directly from Fotolia. Dollar Photo Club’s main challenge will probably be to attract users. Its cumbersome signup process could discourage potential clients. At the same time, the new website emphasizes its exclusive content offering to retain existing customers. When you are in, you get access to a lot of underused cheap stock photos.