From the PantherMedia Blog, a review of their “thrilling” 2009.
2009 was a very thrilling year. In our chronicle, we take the opportunity to sum up all important changes of this year and to give a brief outlook on 2010.
„The one who is ignoring the market will ultimately fail“
There was a lot going in Germany. Many international microstock companies worked the German market with local subsidiaries and huge marketing spendings. Additionally, some new German microstock companies joined the market. Hence, we reacted quickly to these new developments.
„Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights”
We have opened the doors for English speaking photographers in 2008 to get multi-cultural content. This year, we have prepared PantherMedia for international sales and the associated growth. The following changes have been implemented successfully:
- Image subscription: we have launched our new subscription plan in October. Main features are “opt-in” for photographers, a fair commission scheme of 50% for the photographer (in absolute numbers also higher than other agencies), no daily download limit for customers, individual subscription packages with a choice of sizes, numbers and licenses. All together, it is way more attractive package than what you can get elsewhere in the market – for both customers and photographers. It is too early to make any substantial long-term forecast but the subscription is more successful than anticipated.
- Credit payment: this year, we have also added our new credit payment system and adjusted our prices. We can now target totally new customers that have not been served by PantherMedia yet: designers, SMEs and freelancers. They appreciate an easy payment system.
- Internationalisation: we are very happy about the acceptance of these two new systems. They are not cannibalizing the existing business and were the key drivers for an unprecedented growth in the last quarter of 2009. Furthermore, these products are prerequisites for our international expansion. In 2009, we have opened our first international office. We have chosen Poland as our first country and are glad that Wieslaw Kubajka, an industry veteran in the Polish image market, has joined the team. The key factors of success are local prices, local marketing and native sales representatives, who maintain the same high service level as customers are already used.
- Image reviewing: We have introduced three new reviewers and one trainee to our image reviewing team in order to cope with the high number of uploads this year. We have exceeded the one million image mark, a very important prerequisite for the international success.
These changes may seen quite unexpected and exceptionally. Please be assured that we have prepared the changes very consciously, with in-depth analysis and anticipation. These changes will provide a long-term growth in terms of sales and consequently an increase in your earnings. Please note that these changes need an “incubation period” until its full potential is reached: marketing, sales activities, word-of-mouth, long-term experiences and adjustments only work after a certain period of time. However, in the last couple of weeks we have noticed the highest growth rates since PantherMedia’s existence.
„The best way to predict the future is to shape it”
What’s going on in 2010? We are no fortune tellers, and we do not want to reveal too much to our competition, but here is a small outlook to the next year.
We will start the new year with a new website for our stock-agency, our digital showcase and shop. Besides the design, we will ease the usability, add new functions and boost performance for a faster search.
For you as a contributor, there will also be a great innovation coming up: our new upload tool. Our beta tests will end mid of January. If results are positive, we can launch it soon after the beta test. The main advantage for you will be the batch uploading and editing of many images simultaneously.
PantherMedia will also expand to some new countries in 2010 to boost international sales.
„I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks”
We want to thank all photographers who have uploaded images to the stock agency and also the community, commented on images, gave great advice and supported the community and agency with their knowledge, creativity and time. We are highly appreciating your trust in PantherMedia and will continue to give our best. We also want to say thank you to our customers, sponsors and partners, who have supported PantherMedia. A big thank you goes out to the whole team that has shaped these changes in 2009 with their heart, brains and exceptional motivation.
We are looking forward to working together with all of you in 2010!
Happy New Year!
Robert Walters, Peter Ammel & the whole PantherMedia Team