Photokore to Shut its Service in Decemmber 2015


It is sad to see another one go but times are a changing. Photokore, a stock image library that's been around since 2010 is finding hard to find paying customers for pictures from Asia. And by December 2015, it will shutter its site for good.

One of Photokore's strong points was it capitalized on photos made available to them from photographers based in Asia. That however hasn't translated to sales. People in Asia just don't buy pictures!

It has of course sent out alerts to both subscribers and photographers on the impending closure.

Problems with a Paying Market

One of the trends I notice is that Asia isn't a big contributor in terms of revenue to stock photography. Many prefer to lift images off others from social media and don't give a hoot until they get found out. In south Asia, where the weather remains relatively the same, you don't find much changes in the environment as say in four season countries. There are no distinct differences besides the rain and the sun shine. North Asia, aside from Japan and Korea, no one really bothers about buying pictures either. The respect for copyright is a right to copy. China, well, need I say more?

Western based markets are only slightly better as collateral has to be purchased before hand and this contributes somewhat to the revenue base. In fact, a majority of these stock agencies from the west make decent living from selling photos.

The paying market is shrinking, while the contributor base has been increasing, thanks largely to mobile photo sharing sites that have opted to jump into the stock image business.

Instagram briefly flirted with a stock image revenue model in 2012 only to have their users go up in arms about it. Now users will pay the price for this with lots of advertising. Which is the other way to get around the problem.

There is no two ways around this. Monetize or die.

Stock image wasn't the first choice for EyeEm or but they now offer a library of photos to would be photo buyers as well. Competing and sometimes complementing big names like Getty Images, they offer a cheaper option.

Not sure how long this model will survive but there isn't much in the long term to look forward to in the stock image business as we are already been inundated with photos from around the world in social media.

I have sold some photos but not enough of it to pay rent. That's my observations so far and I don't think it will change in time to come.