In February 2007, Getty Images purchased iStockphoto for the sum of $50 million. At the time, Getty Images CEO Jonathan Klein was quoted as saying, ‘If someone’s going to cannibalise your business, better it be one of your other businesses.’ What began as a free image-sharing exchange used by graphic designers, has in just seven years has grown into an industry leader in social networking and micro-payment systems, and claims to have become the world’s highest volume seller of stock imagery, audio and video.
The fact that iStockphoto’s success made image library and agency giant Getty Images sit up and take notice is astounding in itself. However, the business rules employed by iStockphoto, which has allowed them to achieve this level of success, is something that no business can afford to ignore: the power of crowdsourcing.
Vector illustrations by Australian iStockphoto Exclusive Artists Che McPherson (chemc) and Russell Tate.