A blockchain-based market place is providing photographers with a potential lucrative source of earning. The Israel based company, Wemark, aims to achieve this by establishing a direct connection between the creators and the users.
Wemark believes that, the way the industry operates, specifically regarding the distribution of content, has artists at a significant disadvantage. The company claims that famous digital agencies like Getty Images and Shutterstock control much of the market, which ultimately leads to a super centralized industry for stock photography. This phenomenon makes these agencies more powerful than the individual photographer themselves; robbing the artist off most of the rights, control and earnings they have over their work.
According to Tai Kaish, Wemark’s CEO,
More often than not, creators are left with only a small part of the revenue and very little transparency and control. Blockchain changes this. Digital content licensing is a perfect use case for smart contracts, which facilitate payments and licensing directly between creators and customers.
Another downside of content marketplaces is the excess of clutter. Shutterstock has currently over 200 million images, which makes it harder for photographers to maintain ingenuity. Despite that, according to company claims, major agencies can take up to 85% of the revenue that’s generated when each image is sold.
Wemark is working on helping photographers to capitalize on the growing demand of digital content in the industry, thus giving them a chance to form new relationships, license photos directly to clients and experience a higher level of control and transparency.
The company offers a solution in the form of a ‘Distributed Marketplace’ (Wemark.com). The foundation of their strategy is the Wemark Protocol, which utilizes blockchain to form connections in a decentralized network that does away with the middleman or in this case, content market places. They offer the artist benefits, which not only, will help them, earn more revenue, but also gain recognition for their hard work.
Direct licensing of content
The company provides creators with autonomy over their content. They get to keep the rights to their work and hence are in control of its price as well. This also helps in curbing plagiarism because the customers will have the opportunity to license photos directly from photographers.
Unlike traditional agreements or contracts, the blockchain based digital contract remains irrevocable once signed. And the terms of it can only be changed with the consent of all parties included, which minimizes the chances of a contract being breached.
More often than not, artists have to settle for trading control over their content for exposure and a larger audience, as the agency’s reach is far wider than that of an individual photographer. Wemark’s referral programs helps creators reach a larger audience through a simple reward system using their cryptocurrency tokens.
Earlier this month, Wemark launched its alpha version of the marketplace. And through the lucrative partnership with organizations like CAVAN, Monkey Business and Caia Image, it contained over 130,000 images.
This is a tremendous milestone for Wemark. The world’s leading content providers have entrusted us with their photos before we have even licensed an image. They believe in what we are building and the future of the content licensing on the blockchain
Said Keren Sachs, a former director of content development at Shutterstock who is now an adviser at Wemark.
Of course the numbers are expected to constantly rise and ultimately lead to a vast collection of about a million images on the platform to choose from.
Another facet that makes this blockchain- based market place rather promising for content creators is that it facilitates payment distributions efficiently. This means photographers have full control of how, when and under what circumstances the money flows between all parties.
Wemark is achieving this goal by initiating a dedicated token system that paves way for a direct economy for digital content. The Wemark Tokens, or WMK, will be serving as the inherent payment system for the network.
How does it Work?
Wemark transforms the process of payment by using cryptocurrency (WMK). The payment is made on the basis of a series of pre-set rules that are not controlled or manipulated by the marketplace.
A set of blockchain-based smart contracts automatically distributes payments to all the parties involved under the abiding terms that were originally agreed upon.
The Wemark tokens hit the market when the company concluded its token generation event, which was on July 24. The WMK is initially Ethereum-based with compliance to ERC 20-standard. The company plans to accept more payment methods in the future such as Bitcoin and even credit cards.
Total Token Supply: 135,000,000
Limited Supply: Yes
Soft Cap: $1,500,000
Hard Cap: $8,000,000
Price per Token: $0.20