MacDirectory Magazine

Spring-Summer 2008 (#37)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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140 MacDirectory PROFILE It is said a picture is worth a thousand words, but as those in advertising will tell you, it has to be the right picture. The good news (for them and us) is that with PhotoSpin , the right picture is just a click away. CEO and co-founder Val Gelineau explained, "We sell photos, illustrations, audio, video and fonts to advertising and marketing professionals. (Our premise is that) customers can pay once and use whatever they want." It is a premise that works. Gelineau told MacDirectory that PhotoSpin's current renewal rate is at 70 percent a year, with new customers joining all the time. It all started in 1995, Gelineau told MacDirectory. "When we started Photo- Spin there were only three companies in the industry. But the other two (were large) and we could not compete. So, necessity being the mother of invention, we launched a subscription service." The initial subscriptions were for discs, that is, a CD-ROM with a selection of photos for users to copy and download. It soon became apparent, however, that that model was not practical, as customers were only using about a dozen of the 100 or so images loaded onto the disc. So, PhotoSpin went to a model in which, for a flat fee of $299 for a regular sub- scription, $499 for a super-subscription, customers could directly download images off of the company's Web site. Before long, Gelineau said, "Customers were downloading hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of images a year." PhotoSpin obtains images from photographers all over the world. The images are then downloaded and used by customers in everything from advertising to in-house presentations. It is a formula that has worked well and continues to do so, helped in large part by PhotoSpin's ongoing commitment to their customer base. "We try to satisfy as many customers as we can. We have over 70 percent that renew every year, and our goal is 100 percent," Gelineau said. It is this spirit of continuing commitment to their customers that has prompted PhotoSpin to begin working on a new service – music. As of March 2008, PhotoSpin will offer a subscription for low- resolution music clips, the kind that are "perfect for…a demo track." Also available will be instructions on how users can buy entire pieces directly from the publisher for publication or reproduction. Another arena PhotoSpin is planning to enter is that of community. But before visions of YouTube start dancing in your head, the space Gelineau wants to provide is strictly professional. "We want to create a community where creatives will be able to go in and interact with one another – so if you're a commercial artist that needs a copyright attorney there will be a list there. (This community) will (also) let you interact with advertisers, artists, anyone who supports the commercial arts." The site will be monitored so that spam and "undesirable content" cannot be posted. Considering PhotoSpin had over a million visitors to their site in the last year alone, PhotoSpin's community has the potential to become very large very quickly. "If you are a customer and you need an image and you come to PhotoSpin and we don't have it, wouldn't it be great to go to a forum and have 200 photographers saying 'I have that, go to my Web site.' I do not think there is anything like that on the Web, and we have enough people to make it happen." PICTURE THIS! > PHOTOSPIN PROVIDES A ONE-STOP SHOP FOR IMAGING NEEDS WORDS BY JONE DEVLIN > IMAGES PROVIDED BY PHOTOSPIN.COM

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