There’s no getting away from it: web publishers, digital agencies and even freelancing journalists wanting to add some vivid digital imagery to their article writing efforts face a stressful struggle. The content has either got to be freely available à la creative commons, or they have to sign a licence agreement with a professional digital media clearinghouse, which can take days to process. This is tough if you need the content right away because you’re covering highly topical or fast-moving events; however, a rather clever tech firm based in Finchley has come with what seems like a perfect solution: meet user content marketplace, Lobster.
This digital marketplace takes the headache and stress out of finding videos and photos with a pleasingly affordable solution. Social media users who are into a little snazzy photography or video production can sign up with Lobster to make their content available from their network of choice (they get a small fee every time their material is used). People on the hunt for images and videos can sign up, browse the online marketplace using tags, username, geography and date to search for what they’re after and pay a modest fee for any digital imagery that tickles their fancy (currently payment is through PayPal but credit card payments are on the way). The media can then be downloaded instantly.
Lobster is essentially capitalising on the growing trend among budding photographers and videographers who are freely posting the digital content they’ve created onto sites like Flickr and Instagram. They can make a little money as well, simply by adding the ’#ilobsterit’ hashtag to their work that opts them into making their creations available for sale through Lobster.
The company’s CEO Olga Egorsheva explains:
“Some people believe that social content is free, but it’s not: It’s owned by real people that deserve to be rewarded for their creativity.”
Currently, Instagram photos will cost $0.99 while Flickr photos will cost $1.99. Lobster currently charges up to $2.99 for images or videos of trending topics or locations (especially if they relate to breaking news stories). The company is actively reaching out to prospective Lobster photographers and videographers by speaking to communities of social network users, offering SEO services as part of the effort to tempt them to sign up.
This little initiative just might have wings.