Most people use social media sites like Flickr, YouTube, and Vimeo for fun or to fulfill a hobby. Photographers and videographers, from professional to amateur, take to their cameras to produce images of beautiful scenery, wacky stunts, or family outings. But trying to make money off of something so simple rarely seems worth the hassle, but T3Media may have created a way to make it easy for content creators to turn a profit.
T3Media, which stores and manages large video files for clients such as Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, The New York Times, and the NCAA, has studied the exorbitant amount of social media content viewed and uploaded. There are 375 billion photos being created each day and 72 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. Facebook currently has 140 billion photos, Flickr has more than eight billion, and YouTube has exceeded four trillion views.
The founders of T3Media said they have a way for the company and content creators to turn a profit by collaborating all of their material from various social sites into one. It’s called Paya, a licensing offering site for professional and amateur content creators. This includes everything from professionally shot stock photography or video and citizen journalism to sports licensing and photo services, according to the company. Paya can also serve as a licensing engine for films, documentaries, shorts and other content.
“We think Paya is going to be huge and disruptive,” said Dan Weiner, executive vice president of marketing and products at T3Media. “We’ve seen an interesting evolution of how people access content and how goods are bought and sold. There’s an explosion of content and today’s content distributive model doesn’t allow for creators to make a lot of money.”
He said the current royalty rate is so low that it’s forcing content creators to just share rather than sell. T3Media has chosen to put the bargaining power back into the hands of the creators by only taking a 20% cut from whatever is sold. The company reported photo and creation and services is a $17 billion industry annually.
“Paya is like eBay or Craigslist but we sell all the content from social sites,” he said.
Users of Paya, much like every social media site, will create a profile and connect their photos and videos to be sold at their select price. Each image connected to Paya will receive a “buy” link on its social media page – whether YouTube, Flickr, or any other site – for buyers to click and purchase.
“We expect you to be out on the web somewhere else viewing the content,” Weiner said.
Users will be able to create their own content rules or use the site’s template rules for contracts. For the buyer, they will be able to search for a certain publisher and rate the publisher. Paya will also use quality criteria as a way to prioritize the searches.
If content is found on a social media site, but is not on Paya, a buyer can request the material through the “I Wanna Paya” tool. Weiner said this is just another way the platform will grow. The seller can then review and agree to terms and manage the transaction through Paya.
After several months of beta-testing, the company officially launches today. The social media platform site used existing relationships and pre-selected videographers and photographers to establish content including Warren Miller Entertainment, Serac Adventure Films, GoodSportHD, and Feathered Photos. So far the platform has been receiving several thousand pieces of content per day.
He said the main purchases in the beginning will most likely be marketing and advertising agencies and people or organizations already using this type of media.
“Soon the wheel will start turning towards general photography and along the lines of films and shorts (films),” he said. “This could be a multi-billion dollar market and another tool in the media company toolkit.”
Follow Dustin Bass on Twitter @dbass_cmn