The German mobile photo community and marketplace EyeEm, which filed for bankruptcy and halted operations earlier this year, is officially back in business after being acquired by Spanish stock media licensing company Freepik.
The platform has resumed activities on all fronts, including paying outstanding royalties to contributing photographers and plans to move forward with existing and new sales channels and partnerships.
As you may remember, we reported that EyeEm was declared insolvent via its latest parent company, Talenthouse, in April 2023. At the time, there wasn’t much more information beyond the filing for bankruptcy in Germany –where EyeEm is based–only that the company had closed its stock photo marketplace and halted reviews of new image uploads. Plus, contributors worldwide were reporting that their latest royalty balances had not been paid. Updates were scarce in the months since, as well, until now.
Freepik is a successful Spain-based stock media licensing company with a freemium model and avid expansion strategies.
They will now fund EyeEm to overcome the insolvency status and direct the photo platform’s operations. EyeEm’s former VP of Engineering, Peter Willert, has been appointed Managing Director and CTO after the platform’s leading chair remained empty for months.
The most important takeaway from this announcement is that EyeEm is officially back in business, and all its photo licensing fronts are reactivated.
First and foremost, Freepik is rolling out the payment of outstanding royalties for all contributors, which they said will be honored 100%, and all payments will be completed by the end of October 2023. They encourage those contributors who haven’t yet requested payment to do so on their EyeEm account dashboard. Contributor payouts are also said to be kept up to date moving forward.
The EyeEm marketplace resumed activities as well. Customers can now license images from it, and photographers can upload new photos to be reviewed; the new reviewing team is also working on the months-long backlog of image submissions, so the approval process can be slower for some time until they catch up.
Also disclosed in the new FAQ about the Freepik acquisition and the email newsletter, EyeEm stock photos are now available for license on Freepik’s stock image website, but only for the Premium segment –meaning their paid subscribers.
They have not yet informed anything regarding royalty rates for this new sales channel. Still, given that Freepik Premium plans are between €9 and €15 per month with unlimited downloads and that they use a complex formula to calculate royalties on their native service, it’s unclear how much EyeEm photographers will earn from Freepik sales.
Finally, they stated they are already working to re-establish existing distribution deals –they had an ongoing partnership with Getty Images, for example– and developing new collaborations. In this point, we should mention that some contributors claim their EyeEm content continued to sell on partner sites, but they have not yet seen those sales reflected on their royalty balances; it is unclear how the new parent company will address that issue.
So, we know for now that EyeEm is back in full force with an ambitious and successful parent company, and they’re slowly getting everything back on track.
Are you an EyeEm contributor? Let us know what you think of this move!