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Introducing 500px Prime

Published by Diana Tula · February 6th 2014

UPDATE: We have heard your concerns and have decided to flip the commission percentage. Photographers will now receive 70% net from every license sold. For more info, please see our 500px Prime FAQ. Thank you!

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Hey there! We are excited to share with you a sneak peak into our new project Prime, a commercial licensing marketplace for 500px photography. We hope that you will soon become part of it.

Prime is a convergence of the growing demand to be able to license the amazing photography on 500px and a growing demand for a way for our photographers to be paid for their work. Our vision is to fundamentally change the way photos are licensed. A big part of this is changing the way photo licensing companies work with photographers.

What’s different?


First: We are pricing all licenses in a way that brings dignity to the photographer, we are not joining the race to the bottom. Our licenses will start at $250.

Second: We are giving you, the photographer, 30% for every one of your images that we license. It doesn’t matter how it is bought, who buys it, or under what license, your 30% comes off the top.

Third: We are using the power of the 500px community to give buyers insight into how photos will be received and perceived before licensing them. Imagine searching images by potential vitality, hero status and visceral reaction. This is revolutionary and something only 500px can do.

You can expect a transparent and honest relationship with 500px as we work hard to make us both successful. Help us spread the word and pass along the link of http://prime.500px.com to any buyers or sellers you know who might be interested in joining Prime.

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Want to buy photos?


Let’s talk! Email Dustin at dustin@500px.com to get more information about Prime, pricing and other details.

Want to sell your photos on Prime?


So many 500px photographers want a way to share their work in the commercial space but don’t have the time, skills, or funds to market themselves and deal with all the legalities. We want to help you do that. Let us connect you with the top buyers in the commercial licensing space.

Join now and send a note to primephotographers@500px.com. Our team of content editors are currently combing through the site and looking for photos to be included in our launch series. You could be hearing from them very soon if your photo is selected!

We’ve been working extremely hard on this project and we hope you will love Prime as much as we do. That is all we’ll say for now, but stay tuned for more information.

500px Team

UPDATE: We have heard your concerns and have decided to flip the commission percentage. Photographers will now receive 70% net from every license sold. For more info, please see our 500px Prime FAQ. Thank you!
     

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drobertfranz
D. Robert Franz  8 months ago
To offer lifetime exclusivity of an image for a measly $175 is absolutely insane. Very sad that any content provider would cut there own throat.. I just can't see this business model working for anyone but 500px. One time usage perhaps, but \unlimited lifetime rights..... Explain to me how any business could survive with this model.
alexbuntin
Alex Buntin  8 months ago
Just wanted to say thanks for being a part of the sustainable stock movement! It's great to see you and other companies starting to treat contributors like human beings. Thank you!
ROBIC
Robic Upadhayay  12 months ago
I have got an email with the message that "Someone" wants to buy a photo, but I am not sure about the next steps to follow if I really want to sell the photo. This is the very first time for me, I am not clear about the role 500 px would play in this transaction. Also happy that 500px's new provision of giving 70% to the photographers.
AlexandraKim
500px Team
Alexandra Kim  12 months ago
Hi Robic! Your next steps would be to upload a high res, unwatermarked version of your photo to your Store and fill out your release forms.

500px takes care of everything from sales and marketing on behalf of your photo to the complicated legal aspects of photo licensing so that you can concentrate on doing what you love - taking photos!

ggranvik
Plus Account
Geir A Granviken  about 1 year ago
Hello, I was invited a while back to submit one of my photos, which I did. I have been unsure whether this meant that he photo was includes in the collection, or if there would be another screening (haven't heard anytyhing after the submission. But today I looked into the 500px prime site, for the first time in many weeks, and found the photo. However, it was marked With "Photo not immediately available". What does that mean? I did upload in full resolution.
AlexandraKim
500px Team
Alexandra Kim  12 months ago
Hi Geir. Your photo is most likely labeled as "not immediately available" because you still need to complete your release forms. You can find these in your Store settings: http://500px.com/settings/store

Thanks!

AlviHasan
Alvi Hasan  about 1 year ago
I just got a mail from 500px about one of my photos that they want to license..

I want to specifically know about the money that I'm gonna receive. Will I get my 70% cut as soon as I submit my picture or once any buyers BUY IT? please do let me know!!

AlexandraKim
500px Team
Alexandra Kim  about 1 year ago
Hi Alvi. Sorry if that wasn't clear! You will be paid only if someone licenses your photo. Thanks!
marktwyning
Mark Twyning  about 1 year ago
70 % sounds muuuch better !!
AndreasJones
Awesome Account
Andreas Jones  about 1 year ago
Absolute respect to 500px for listening to the photographers.
Victor_Alexandre
Victor Alexandre  about 1 year ago
I agree with you, the respect and the feedback is in balance now. This union will be highly productive, everybody wins. Don't break that link in the future please. Chapeau staff of 500px.
Slobodan
Slobodan Blagojevic  about 1 year ago
About that "unlimited print" part of purchasing the royalty-free license... what is stopping the buyer from printing an image and offering it for sale at art fairs or online?
AlexandraKim
500px Team
Alexandra Kim  about 1 year ago
Good question! In our licensing agreement it explicitly says that this is prohibited. For more info on 500px Prime you can visit our Support page.
AlexandraKim
500px Team
Alexandra Kim  about 1 year ago
Hey everyone! If you haven't heard, we have decided to flip the commission percentage. Photographers will now be getting 70% of revenue from every sale. Thank you for voicing your concerns, and we're so proud that we were able to listen to your concerns and change the model to be more fair to you, the photographers.

For more info, read our newer blog post on 500px Prime: http://500px.com/blog/1043

Slobodan
Slobodan Blagojevic  about 1 year ago
I just received today an email invitation for the Prime beta launch. The letter sounds as if they are targeting me as a potential buyer. It contains the following sentence: "... In a world of diminishing profits for photographers our revolutionary 70% royalty plan is sure to make waves..."

Now, English is my second language, but I bet that any native speaker would understand it as the tone and logic of that sentence suggest: that 70% goes to the photographer.

Alternative reading of the sentence would be rather scary in its cynicism: that they are "revolutionizing" (speeding up?) the race to the bottom of diminishing profits for photographers. What gives?

MNRDphotography
Awesome Account
MNRD Photography  about 1 year ago
Obviously, I understand the allure of 'free money' as some have posted below, but it's hard not to see this as further proof that the photography industry is broken. I liken it to the music industry, where major labels lure artists in with promise of fame & fortune, only to take 90%(+) of the profits and leave the artists disillusioned and disenfranchised. I've always regarded 500px as the indie label that put their artists before profits, but this has 'major label' written all over it. As Jeremy Bartlett pointed out below, the fine print often contains crippling verbiage like 'lifetime exclusive license', which basically means that image is now exclusively theirs to profit from. Forever. Period. To refer back to the music industry; Sure, you wrote the song (conceived the photo), you recorded the song (made the photo), you labored over the song (developed/edited the photo), but it is no longer truly yours. What if a major magazine approached you about one of those images and wanted to run it as a cover? Cha-ching, right! Think again.

To quote Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: "I'd rather be a starving artist, than succeed at getting f**ked"

RyanTrower
Plus Account
R. Trower Pictures  about 1 year ago
It's good if you want to make a bit of money on the side. I think the main reason for this is to gove both amateurs (like me) and professions an opportunity a chance to be in the spotlight, so that people can see their talent, much like the normal website. Does anyone know when this will be released?
oigobai
Awesome Account
Ilias Jumadilov  about 1 year ago
Totally agree with Nicolas Jmt comments. Photography is my hobby and I will be grateful to 500px if in addition to the joy I receive from this community I will get reward for some of my best shots. I think it's an outstanding initiative to connect amateur photographers with the environment who'd love to use their photos to strengthen their messages or just to admire them at home.
andrecosto
Andre Costopoulos  about 1 year ago
Glad to see that so many real pros will stay out of this.Should make it easier for saps like me.
jbartlett
Plus Account
Jeremy Bartlett  about 1 year ago
Offering up a lifetime exclusive license blindly is something that NO photographer (or any content creator) should do no matter how much of a percentage (of an undisclosed/unknown amount) you get. In my private dealings with companies, I have ALWAYS negotiated a fixed term length for the license.
JohnHaldane
John Haldane  about 1 year ago
The poor image size choices, the terrible cropping of good images, the lousy return on commercial licensing - 500px is in the bottom 50% of POD sites, IMO. Never made a sale here but have sold over 30 in less than 2 years at Fine Art America. I will not be renewing.
jamy_nico
Plus Account
Nicolas Jmt  about 1 year ago
30% is bad for professionnal photographers but certainly not for amateurs like me. they contacted me for 3 pictures and I'm probably say yes, who would say no to free potential money. Especially from pictures I only put up on the website as a hobby with no intention whatsoever of making money out of it. This is the reality for most of 500px users, most of us are not professional ...

For the pros, stop crying and complaining or start selling your pictures more by yourself !! the moment you need help to sell, is the day you have to make compromise. Of course 30% is bad for pros, but if you think you can do better money by yourself just say no and do it. end of story. They never put a gun on you to sign for it !

JayArevalo
Jay Arevalo  about 1 year ago
i was also contacted. how's things going with working with them? Correct me if am wrong, did they pay you initially of $250 for licensing your photos with them whether exclusive or non-exclusive?
JacopoScarabelli
Awesome Account
Jacopo Scarabelli  about 1 year ago
I was really interested on this business with 500px.
But when i read 30%... disappointment.

I think that (at the actual rates) i will continue to be contacted directly from clients interested in my photos...less people but 100% incoming.

I suggest you (like a lot of people here) to edit soon the %.
And i suggest this to you not only for us as photographers but also for the business website you want to be.

RyanJZ
Ryan J. Zeigler  about 1 year ago
Oh look, a whole lot of people who are not making $$$ off of their current 500px uploads who are offended by possibly making a little money off of their 500px uploads. Don't participate.
stew32
Stewart McGrady  about 1 year ago
I think making a website like this compared to taking a photo deserves the 70%... Well known proffessional photographers can sell their work by themselves but this gives lesser known talented photographers a chance to make some money. Stop whining everyone, do something better with yoir day ;)
kushari
Ahmed Karam  about 1 year ago
I think you messed up when you tried to copy Apple's App Store Program, The content creator gets 70% not 30%.
MNRDphotography
Awesome Account
MNRD Photography  about 1 year ago
I was about to go on a tangent about this whole situation, but I don't think I could put it any better than Majeed has below. But I will add this... An increase to memberships fees last year to 'augment' the cost of the new Portfolios, which have all but sat stagnant since their launch; a constantly buggy Lightroom plug-in that has screwed up my workflow more than it has helped it, and now this ill-conceived cash grab?!?! I want to support 500px, especially being a Toronto based photographer, but this situation just reeks of greed and exploitation. How about fixing/maintaining the products that a lot of us were drawn to you for in the first place? It's truly sad, but I guess it's time to move on...
MajeedBadizadegan
Majeed Badizadegan  about 1 year ago
How many times are you, 500px, going to stub your toe like this? I work in PR and I think you guys are SORELY lacking in your marketing and public relations. Almost every time you try to do something, you get this blow-back and it's a huge hit to your credibility as an organization. You lost my financial support a year ago because of all this nonsense.

Before you roll out lame-duck ideas like this, why don't you FOCUS GROUP them. All you had to do was ask 10 photographers, "hey, we're thinking of giving you a 30% cut for selling the rights to your work, what do you think?" And they all would've told you the same thing. NO. Then, you don't look foolish in front of EVERYONE.

I think it has come to the point where it's embarrassing for your organization to have all these mis-steps. You need to reconsider your leadership and direction. It's pretty simple: your primary objective should be nurturing the relationships you have with the lifeblood of your site, the photographers, and finding ways to monetize that which does not alienate us. But instead, time and again you roll out these banal propositions and screwy algorithms.

I think if you want to "re-invent" how photos are licensed, you need to start by re-inventing 500px and the relationship your team has with photographers.

First and foremost, it needs to be a relationship built on respect. Your proposition is not respectful. It seems of all places, 500px should know the lengths photographers will go to make an image. Sometimes it means thousands in gear. Sometimes it means braving the elements Sometimes it means life and death. Sometimes it means pushing the limits and re-imagining what it is possible. But 500px organizationally should be connected to that, and this proposition shows the opposite.

I think you've got your voting algorithms in the best place they've ever been. I think you've made a great community here. I think 500px is great for photography and for that I commend you. So let's keep it that way. But more thought needs to go into these decisions.

There is too much art exploitation in this world. If you really want to be different, don't join that crowd: re-define the photographer/dealer relationship. Every decision should come from a place of respect for the photographer.

RobElliott
Rob Elliott  about 1 year ago
I agree there is a PR issue here but the 30% isn't it.. that is a normal (sad) rate, actually above normal. The mistake was the wording.

There is no Fundamental change here, there is no giving dignity. This is 500px leveraging their base to produce a stock site, and providing a decent (comparatively) rate for it. They are over selling it.

It will be interesting though to see how many people have chosen to sign up, and how much diligence people are doing with the releases. 500px has a lot of photo that can be leveraged into increased profits for them... they'd be foolish not to try to monetize this way. Especially with the market the way it is.

30% is low.. the reality is that many of the people that will jump at this will be ok to above average photographers that don't know how to break into a market or monetize any other way. For them this and or Flickr (at 20%) are the two best options, and this is the difference between $26,000 and $39,000 (as a example) More so for them photography may just be a hobby, which means it's free money for something they are going to do anyway, and requires no real work on their part. That is why the price becomes so low, you never offer more then you can get away with. If people will take 20 or 30 then offer 20 or 30 percent.

The big mistake is how many people think that this will fail.. 2.5 million active users at least 1 million of those are hobbyists I'm willing to bet at least 10% of them produces at least one marketable image a year. That gives 100,000 photos a year to add. about 280 a day. Every one of them will happily take the 30% I'm sure.

It might not be great, it might not be fair, but it's business.

indiablue
Plus Account
india | blue  about 1 year ago
Very well said Majeed.

And what rubbed really took the cake was saying this is a way to redefining how licensing works and bringing dignity to the photographer. That could not be further from the truth and is very disingenuous.

indiablue
Plus Account
india | blue  about 1 year ago
Comment hidden
MNRDphotography
Awesome Account
MNRD Photography  about 1 year ago
Well said, Majeed. Well said.
indiablue
Plus Account
india | blue  about 1 year ago
108 comments and all of them negative (except maybe 2) and not a single response from anyone on 500PX?
What's up guys. I thought you guys believed in dialogue and listening to the users? I am just am amateur and this doesn't really affect me as it does many others but still this is some F'ed up decision if there ever was.
paulamyes
Paul Amyes (inactive)  about 1 year ago
30/70 in your favour. Hmmm! No thanks. Why does the expression "blood sucking leeches" come to mind. Expect me not to renew my subscription.
mattia_sandrini
Awesome Account
Mattia Sandrini  about 1 year ago
Dear friends of 500px the other day when I sent an email about your new initiative Prime I had well realized the percentages 30-70. I immediately appreciated your work to enhance the extraordinary photographs of thousands of photographers in the world. I hope you do not make yourself get sucked into greed and review it reports 30-70%. Many photographers sacrifice your soul to make fantastic shots and I think that, 500px might be the right place to overturn the policy of exploitation that surrounds the photograph. STRENGTH AND COURAGE a better world begins with our small actions. I embrace - Mattia Sandrini
jackcohenphotography
Awesome Account
Jack Cohen  about 1 year ago
"Wow 30%! That's so generous!" - said no one ever
HeidrichPhotography
David Heidrich  about 1 year ago
No cool!
MarkGoodwinLrps
Mark Goodwin Lrps (inactive)  about 1 year ago
I am currently with three Libraries and I get 50%, 50% and 70%. The fees to the buyers are not fixed and are negotiated by professional sales teams, who try and get the best price for the particular use of the pic. Sometimes the fee is good and sometimes its not so good, but at least I know I am getting a pretty fair deal whatever the teams sell at.
Sorry 500px, but I feel you have got this very wrong, and unless you start back stepping promptly, you will find yourself with very few quality photographers, and left with the lower cut of the Togs who don't particularly care if they sell or not. But those of us who are passionate and serious about our profession will not be joining Prime, at this one won't.
Are you sure the model is not called 'C rime'?
johncaz
Plus Account
John Caz  about 1 year ago
This is really disappointing to hear. The only people I know that claim 60% or 70% are pimps! I really believed 500px was a more "just" place for photographers. Please correct your decision soon, or I think there will be a lot of bad press for you guys ;-(
ehodgesphoto
Eric Hodges  about 1 year ago
This is lame and appalling.

Note to photographers on 500px: Don't fall for this BS, it brings down the whole industry.

I'll probably just delete my account.

daugirdas
Daugirdas Tomas Racys  about 1 year ago
30% is not fair whatever way you look at it. Even Getty has a lot of bad publicity and lost contributors due to such pricing structure. Make it RM and / or exclusive and you are totally in the deep end.
marc_synwoldt
Plus Account
Marc Synwoldt  about 1 year ago
"We are pricing all licenses in a way that brings dignity to the photographer, we are not joining the race to the bottom." Well, maybe you're not exactly joining the said race, but your intended pricing is certainly not restoring dignity to the photographers either, many of which, incidentally, are helping pay for your site.

Taken as a whole, therefore, your claim is pretty pathetic, sorry.

Okay, 500px, how many days are you going to wait before you react to the major outcry you've caused?

jlwilliams
JL Williams  about 1 year ago
I think people are getting fixated on the 30% figure and ignoring the fact that the minimum licensing fee is $250. A 30% share of a $250 license is $75; another vendor might offer (for example) a 70% share, but if the average licensing fee is only $100, the photographer will net only $70.

It reminds me of selling through galleries: One gallery might charge a low commission but just let your work sit there, while another might charge a higher commission but actively market your work and cultivate buyers.

YMMV, but don't get insulted until you've done the math and seen how various scenarios might play out for you.

mlianopr
Awesome Account
Manuel Liaño  about 1 year ago
Right...
MichaelMiller9
Michael Miller  about 1 year ago
I'd love to see the commission at least at 50% like some of the sites. Hopefully the images will sell at a price point that won't make 30% seem so bad. Not to seem contrary to some of my brothers and sisters out there, but while we do bear the cost of producing the images there are costs involved in marketing, site logistics, etc. and without the people at 500px footing that bill we don't have a nice shiny site with access to so many viewers and potential buyers. So they do need to keep some of the pot, I'm just not convinced its 70%.
mlianopr
Awesome Account
Manuel Liaño  about 1 year ago
Some,sense,here!!
davidlloyd
David Lloyd  about 1 year ago
"We are not joining the race to the bottom" – 500px, it seems like you have won the race to the bottom already, before you even got started.
daugirdas
Daugirdas Tomas Racys  about 1 year ago
+1
lokisb
Santiago Billy  about 1 year ago
this is sad... very sad... FU 30% is the commission and not what the maker has to get... dafuq is wrong with you guys?

RavenMountain
Raven Mountain Images  about 1 year ago
30% to the person who does all the work and incurs all the expense??? Not gonna happen! A complete slap in the face. 70% to the photographer?? Maybe.
Sk0gr
Skog R.  about 1 year ago
Just upload only the lower 30% of your photos!
This will make them quickly reconsider their greedy decision. They are NOTHING without the photographers they now want to exploit more.
scottslone
Scott Slone  about 1 year ago
The challenge for 500px is that they have cultivated a quality membership producing quality content, which in turn represent 500px very well. As a filmmaker, this is much like Vimeo community. Vimeo has chosen the business model to empower their filmmakers. Content producers at Vimeo are provided option to sell or rent their videos, rich social and distribution tools, they've also worked great deals with musicians to give us access to great music for our films. The approach is very much about "Empower to keep you producing great content for our platform." Vimeo is constantly rolling out new features to help meet and up the standards for producers and users.

500px is looking at this business for Photographers all wrong in my opinion. Stock is an over saturated and very competitive market for any rep like 500px to get into, unless 500px landed themselves some contracts and a sweet rolodex. I'm not handing out any freebies to 500px, but it doesn't take a lot of mental exercise figure out a better approach to empower your producers so they can afford to keep producing, which in turn brings a sustainable flow of quality content to your platform. Look at Vimeo at the very least, because Stock is weak!

Cheers!

mlianopr
Awesome Account
Manuel Liaño  about 1 year ago
Well,this,is,a,business,they,are,only,trying,to,make,a,living!
MarkGoodwinLrps
Mark Goodwin Lrps (inactive)  about 1 year ago
Give me a break! I thought that was what we were all trying to do?
njolly
Plus Account
Neil Jolly  about 1 year ago
This reaffirms my decision to not renew with 500px this year. 30% share??? 50 - 70% would be more realistic. Prime is a great idea but it seems it will be lacking quality content.
MarkGoodwinLrps
Mark Goodwin Lrps (inactive)  about 1 year ago
Neil far be it for me to correct you old chum.... but a 50-70% split is not possible mate :-)]
westshop
Roy Gershow  about 1 year ago
Surely it is a misprint?
scottslone
Scott Slone  about 1 year ago
Everyone should just start uploading 30% of their images and bar out the rest. I think that gets the point across ;)
ErinBabnik
Erin Babnik  about 1 year ago
"Third: We are using the power of the 500px community to give buyers insight into how photos will be received and perceived before licensing them."

Yes, I can see it now: This photo was received very well by everyone who this photographer V+F'd.

chromaticvista
wayne d  about 1 year ago
Er - that should have read "500px admin". I guess I shot myself in the foot but hope you got my drift. Anything less than 50% is an insult to us.
chromaticvista
wayne d  about 1 year ago
Fotoblur admin, you have certainly shot yourself in your collective foot on this one. There are no positive feedback comments at all. That must account for something. Hopefully commonsense will prevail and your attitude towards photographers will change.
mlianopr
Awesome Account
Manuel Liaño  about 1 year ago
Hey,Nick,what,account???the,free,one,you,have,with,500px?let's,be,more,realistic...
portrait
Awesome Account
Michael Woloszynowicz  about 1 year ago
Such a shame. I'm a huge supporter of 500px and love what you guys do but this is just not the way I expected you to go. I had such high hopes for this service but at 30% commission, those hopes are dashed. For print services I can understand a 30% split since the cost of production and materials is a large part of the sale, but in an agent capacity it's merely on-par with what every other stock agency is doing. For a company that speaks to their users so often and understands the challenges they go through to produce their work and make even a modest living, it surprises me that you would even propose such a revenue share.
mlianopr
Awesome Account
Manuel Liaño  about 1 year ago
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