There are so many microstock agencies that sometimes you can just lose track where to find the right image at the best price. microstock.photos plans to offer a solution to that problem by comparing prices for millions of images across agencies.
How does microstock.photos work?
Just like Google Images does for all images, microstock.photos collects images from the most common microstock agencies and compares them. Quite often, you can find the same image on different platforms and they might be priced very differently.
The new search engine plans to make those prices transparent and comparable. Though, this is not an easy task: The prices depend on the size and those are not equal across sites. Also, all agencies have a different minimum purchase and – while the single image might be cheap – you have to pay in advance for multiple images that you might use or not.
On microstock.photos, buyers can now compare those prices by choosing the desired image size. And the search engine not only shows the price per image for each of the listed agencies but also the minimum purchase if you are planning to buy the image as a new customer.
Although, as the site still is in a beta phase, the information given might not be totally accurate at this stage. At the end, you will still have to figure out if your image needs are limited to the one image you are looking for right now or if an image pack or subscription at one of the agencies will serve your needs better. But it's a great start for now!
Who is behind microstock.photos and what are the plans?
The site was built by Russian microstock agency PressFoto which is a very competitive player in the market. Though they are mostly known in Easter Europe, they have shown interest to extend their reach in the near future. The platform will certainly help them to make price differences transparent and highligh PressFoto as one of the price leaders in microstock today.
“We believe that, once a prospective buyer sees how PressFoto stacks up against some of the better-known microstock companies that a lot of these buyers we’re able to help will soon become new customers,” said Dmitry Shironosov, CEO of PressFoto.
Currently, microstock.photos is in a public beta phase, and it claims to have indexed 33 million images from 10 agencies so far. However, at this stage we struggled to find many images that were indexed from more than one site so far. As a result the price comparison is not fully working at this time. Nevertheless, it already serves well to see images from different sites in comparison to a given search. And it offers a different view to those images than the agencies themselves. And overall the platform looks like it could soon evolve into a nice way for buyers to get the best deal for the images they are looking for.