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Wake-up call

Okay, so this post was about digital music and how prices are falling because of plain old economics.

And photographers need to pay attention here. Consider this paragraph from the story I linked:

"The price of music will likely not fall in the near term to absolutely zero. Charging any price at all requires the use of credit cards and their minimum fees of $0.20 or more per transaction, for example. And services like iTunes and Amazon can continue to charge something for quality of service. With P2P networks you don’t really know what you are getting until you download it. It could, for example, be a virus. Or a poor quality copy. Many users will be willing to pay to avoid those hassles. But as long as BitTorrent exists, or simple music search engines like Skreemrallow users to find and download virtually any song in seconds, they won’t be able to charge much."

Let's re-write it for the commercial photographer:

"The price of a photo will likely not fall in the near term to absolutely zero. Charging any price at all requires the use of credit cards and their minimum fees of $0.20 or more per transaction, for example. And services like iStockphoto can continue to charge something for quality of service. With sxc.hu and other free photo sites you don’t really know what issues may lay ahead. It could, for example, be a stolen image. Or have an unreleased model in the photo. Many users will be willing to pay to avoid those hassles. But as long as Flickr exists, or simple photo search engines like Google allow users to find and download virtually any photo in seconds, they won’t be able to charge much."

Can your business model deal with that harsh reality? If it doesn't, it needs to, and fast.

“Wake-up call”