Yahoo will be shutting down Flickr’s commercial licensing and royalty program over the next few months as it rethinks the photographer experience. The company confirmed the closure and cited “consistent feedback” in its realization “there is more work to be done.” Those participating in the program were notified by email.
“Over the past year we have received feedback from several of our users regarding the experience around licensing and royalties,” read a statement from a Yahoo spokesperson. “It was our hope to create the right Marketplace for our contributors, but based on consistent feedback, we understand there is more work to be done. As a result, we have decided to close the Flickr Marketplace licensing program. This closure will take place over the next few months.”
First reported by TechCrunch, Flickr Marketplace had been an effort to increase exposure for photographers and helping to monetize their work. Not only did it promise photos would be featured across the Yahoo network including the homepage, Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports, and Flickr, but images and videos may be shared with members of the media and industry.
While the current incarnation of Flickr Marketplace is being shut down, Yahoo’s statement suggests that an alternative solution could be in the works. However, it’s still unclear what Flickr’s role is, especially following its parent’s acquisition by Verizon. The marketplace opened in 2014 and touted its curation team that would scour through Flickr’s database to not only find the best images but provide whatever assistance, outreach, and connectivity was needed so photographers could monetize their work.
“Licensing is a great way to earn money with your photos, and whether you are new to licensing or an experienced pro, we want to make this process transparent and easy. We’ll handle the tedious work and keep you focused on taking great photos!” the company wrote at the launch.
From 2014 to 2015, Flickr had a partnership with Getty Images to handle licensing, but that relationship went sour and so now Yahoo is looking at other options to incentivize photographers to stick with the photo-based social network. Years ago, it may not have been so difficult of a task, but today Flickr isn’t the only game in town — photographers have other options to choose from from which they can monetize their creative work, including 500px and EyeEm. The latter two services have made efforts to help photographers, even launching their own marketplaces and unveiling apps that improve the professional’s workflow.
Although the program is essentially done, it’s said that Flickr will pay out all royalties.