Agency Review – Veer (Corbis Microstock)
I really want to like Veer. Their site is slick, hip, and geek sexy. As far as keywording processes go, they rock. They have great images. Groovy fonts. There are helpful and fun blogs. They even have cool merchandise. When you are on their site, it feels like you are hanging out with the coolest kids in SoHo. There’s just one problem – I can’t get my pictures on their site!
The problem isn’t getting accepted – I was accepted on my first submission. That only took a few days. The problem isn’t about acceptance rate, mine has been greater than 90%, which pleases me greatly. The problem is that following my initial submission it took 8 WEEKS to get subsequent batches reviewed!
The problem began when in mid-summer of 2010 they offered a “Dash for Cash” promotion where contributors were paid not just for sold images, but were paid for accepted images. You can imagine the response. Sadly, Veer didn’t imagine it. And they have been playing catch up with their review times ever since.
A little bit about Veer. The publishing powerhouse Corbis, founded by Bill Gates, owns Veer. Yes, that Bill Gates. At least we know our contributor’s checks won’t bounce. Corbis entered the market to go head to head with Getty. And by all accounts they were successful, garnering a large chunk of the market and standing proud. Getty entered microstock with acquisition of Istockphoto and partnered with Flickr. Corbis in turn started their own agency, SnapVillage. In Microsoft parlance, if Corbis images were Windows XP, then SnapVillage was Vista. It flopped. Sorry, I couldn’t resist – after spending my days at work dealing with Vista, I often wanted to return home and put a pretty wig on my MacBook Pro, just so I could gently brush the hair off the camera eye and whisper that someday we would be together forever. But I digress. I suppose that makes Veer Windows 7. It is somewhat untested, but promising. At least it doesn’t totally suck.
- It’s too early to tell how revenue from Veer will be – having most of my portfolio in review for 2 months makes it hard to sell. But this is what I like:
- Website is great – it looks like they really spent time designing a site that is visually appealing and functional.
- Keywording. They have a great keyword suggestion tool that allows you to select additional keywords based on the ones you submitted. I often take their suggested keywords and put them into Lightroom before I export additional images with similar subject matter.
- Attitude is fun and positive.
- Reviews – yes they are slow, but I agree with their selections more than at any other site. They accepted the ones I felt were strong. Perhaps even more importantly, I agreed with their rejections. It is hard not to take it at least a little bit personally when a photo you like gets rejected, and one you didn’t gets accepted. Veer rejected a few that I was surprised other agencies had accepted. It kind of takes the sting out of rejection when you can say, “Yeah, I was trying to slip that one by. Busted”.
- Dislikes, this one is obvious, review time. Hope they get it sorted out soon.