When we originally founded JumpStory in the Summer of 2018, we were asked, why our business model was not like other major stockphoto-websites. Why didn’t we also license our images in special ways to prevent everything from turning into open licenses such as Creative Commons 0 or Public Domain?
There seems to be a war going on between the commercial stock photo-companies and photographers and then the communities of people, who instead believe in using open license formats like CC0.
This war is nothing new, and it happened 15-20 years ago in the software industry.
Back then the ability to code was democratized, and this resulted in the creation of amazing open-source projects such as Firefox and WordPress. The world saw a new community of people, who just loved to code and gave away their work to others. It was amazing for some, but commercial players like Microsoft absolutely hated the idea, because they feared Firefox and Mozilla would take over the browser market and defeat the Internet Explorer once and for all.
As we all know, Google ended up winning that battle – at least for now – , but in fact WordPress HAS ended up becoming a world dominating player with its Open Source platform, and millions of people are using WordPress globally – and some are even making good money building plugins to this open project.
The same is taking place at the moment in the visual industry. Smartphones and modern technology has democratized the ability to take stunning photos, and open licenses like Creative Commons are growing and growing. Does this then mean the end of photography?
At JumpStory we don’t think that this question can be answered with a yes / no. It will be a yes in the sense that some forms of photography will suffer, but others will still thrive and maybe even grow.
We are certain that in the future of photography, there will still be a huge demand for specialized photographers. The visual industry will probably never be able to use AI to create amazing editorial photo-shoots from breaking-news-events, and it’s also very unlikely that companies will not still need nice and professional company portraits and photos in the future.
So photography is not dead – not at all. But it will change, just like when Bill Gates said: The world doesn’t need banks, but it will still need banking.
Amazing movements like Creative Commons is not going to kill it either, but it might change some of the dynamics in the industry. At JumpStory we have decided to add all of our images, videos, icons, vectors and illustrations on the platform as CC0 – the most open Creative Commons license that exists. We do this in a closed environment in the sense that you have to pay to get in, but we don’t charge you for any of the photos, illustrations, videos, vectors etc. They remain free.
You only pay for the software that we’re building to make it as easy as possible so search the visuals, edit them, select them based on performance criteria etc.
So even though some might think of JumpStory as yet another stock photo platform, we’re not. We’re a visual universe that has been created to help people working with marketing and communication in their efforts to get their visual messages across in the best possible way. We’re also not an (100%) AI-company like Generated Photos, but we work a lot with AI and are very inspired by it.
So at the end of the day JumpStory is not something that you have seen before. And to be quite honest we’re not really focusing on beating the industry or its current players.
Deciding to use a camera to earn a living does not entitle you to earn a living.
When you decide to go into the business of photography, there is the chance of both success and failure. The competitive landscape changes, and you need to react to it – or even better, create or re-create it.