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A blockchain startup is creating a disintermediated stock image marketplace that could make fees for content creators and prices for clients as low as possible.
There is a long list of industries that have to put up with really high fees and that’s something that blockchain promises to solve. The fees take up to 30% of the revenue in the music, apps and games industry and 40-60% in the e-books industry. Still, those fees are not nearly as outrageous as the ones that are charged by the stock photos agencies.
The fees charged by the industry leaders (such as Getty Images and Shutterstock) take up to 85% of the content creators revenue in this space. This is the problem that Wemark is trying to address. The new marketplace — which will be accessible just after the Company’s token sale — will charge only 15% in fees.
The lower fees that the platform proposes should also drive down the prices charged for stock photos — making it more competitive — which according to the whitepaper, in turn, should also attract more clients.
“By cutting the middleman, we believe photo licensing prices will decrease by 50% or more, while paying photographers more per download than they receive today.”
— Part of one of the “Strategies to attract customers” contained in the whitepaper.
Wemark is set to integrate additional payment methods in order to increase the accessibility and improve user-friendliness. This means that a client could pay for the WMK tokens when purchasing a stock photo with a credit card, wire transfer, BTC, ETH or other payment methods.
A working product already exists
Wemark has already launched the alpha version of its curated marketplace along with the first content partners. Monkey Business, Caia Image, and CAVAN — from the industry’s top-selling image producers — made their images available on the platform. This all sums up pretty quickly and, according to the data reported on the project’s token sale website over one million images have already been submitted to the marketplace.
“This is a tremendous milestone for Wemark. The world’s leading content providers have entrusted us with their photos before we have even licensed an image. They believe in what we are building and the future of the content licensing on the blockchain. We are honored and invigorated by the support from the creative community,” said Keren Sachs — former director of content development at Shutterstock and current Wemark advisor.
The potential clients and investors are already able to get familiar with the platform but won’t be allowed to license and download images until the distribution of tokens to purchasers in the company’s token sale, ending on July 27th.
Partners and investors
The project is advised by people with vast experience in the digital content space. Among them, we can find Lars Perkins (founder of Picasa and ex-director of product management at Google, after it acquired Picasa), Miguel Forbes (co-founder of Forbes.com and Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum). Even more pertinent to the industry is the experience of the Wemark advisors and former executives at Shutterstock — one of the market leaders in this space — Keren Sachs (former director of content development) and Michael C. Lesser (former vice president and general counsel).
Furthermore, the company has also raised over $1M from Palo Alto’s NFX Fund, Elevator Fund, Sarona Ventures and private investors. NFX Fund and its partners previously invested in companies like Lyft, Patreon, Flickr, Redbubble and Genome Compiler among others.
The Wemark ERC20 tokens (WMK) will serve as a native payment system on the platform. The total token supply is 135,000,000 and the ICO token price is ~$0,2 (2,375 WMK = 1 ETH).
The Wemark token sale ends on July 27th and you can get 20% bonus for making a deposit before that date. The ICO is accessible only to whitelisted investors and it is possible to be added to the whitelist on token sale website.