Quick interview with Dan Kosmayer, founder of a new agency kicking into gear: Kozzi.com
I’m finding his heavy use of technology driving growth at Kozzi to be an interesting and positive approach for a new agency, so figured I’d share this interview since Kozzi is now accepting all contributors 🙂
Dan: First and foremost I love photography – I have been doing photography since I was 15 years old (35 years). I have a BA in economics, engineering, and a masters in business administration. We are based in Toronto, Canada with an office in the Philippines.
I spent most of the 90’s as a financial/software consultant to fortune 100 companies where I travelled 48 weeks per year. Photographing everywhere and honing my skill in “street photography”. 4 years ago sold off most of my interests and wanted to focus on photography. Started researching the microstock market and was intrigued to say the least.
Taking my top software engineers with me, we started to design Kozzi.com from the ground up. We have been developing the software for the past 3 years and we are still not done. Kozzi is extremely robust, scaleable and feature rich. Our philosophy — extreme automation (low cost operations) and flexible algorithm (firm belief that user behaviour determines what constitutes great and relevant imagery).
Bob: What’s your strategy or tactics for approaching the microstock market?
Dan: There are very good companies out there providing excellent services to their customers. Their infrastructure is robust. Their cost structure high and we feel their distribution of revenue as a percentage of total revenue to contributors – low.
Our approach at Kozzi is a streamlined operation through automation hence passing that saving on to the consumer while still maintaining solid payouts to contributors for their images. Our approach to marketing is volume sales through aggressive traditional and affiliate marketing.
Bob: Where do you think the microstock market is going?
Dan: I am excited about the future of the micro stock industry. The world is moving online — nothing new in that; but with that move the traditional media outlets are being marginalized. Print will be extinct one day. However, we now have hundreds of millions of people from all walks of life becoming the “new” media. Hundreds of thousands of websites, blogs and apps are replacing traditional media. They all need imagery — still and motion. But they need it in a package that is affordable and flexible.
Our experience is all the millions that steal images from the search engine image index prefer to purchase images legally if they can afford it. This is the market Kozzi is targeting.
Bob: How are you attracting buyers? What makes you stand out from other agencies?
Dan: Our operations are streamlined; designed from the ground up to be slim and low cost. We are just in the early stages of Kozzi’s marketing strategy and that is utilizing fully the affiliate marketing network. Even at this early stage our user base is near 220,000 registered members.
One of the features of our marketing efforts is a 7 day free trial. We pay contributors for each and every free trial download. We feel we would rather pay contributors and affiliates rather than the millions some firms spend on advertising on the major search engines and sites. There are many facets to our software infrastructure include a very robust fraud detection program enabling Kozzi to pursue marketing strategies that other firms simply could not pull off.
Bob: What are your curation criteria? How are you marketing to buyers?
Dan: We rely on our algorithm to push the best content to the front. As a result, we accept a greater number of images than most other agencies. We are not trying to compete with the top 3 in the industry in giving their customers what they have determined to be the most suitable (best) content for their customers. We want to do it cheaper in front of more people.
The demand for diverse imagery is expanding. With hundreds of thousands of users of imagery, what they are looking for, and what they feel is good, falls outside the traditional rules of what makes a great image. Along this line, Kozzi accepts editorial content beyond the generally accepted news-worthy content that other agencies accept. Kozzi accepts a diverse range of images and typically only rejects images on the basis of technical consideration – focus, lighting, etc. How many times have I heard that we are not accepting this image due to “commercial usability”.
We feel that the image-buyers will determine what is right for them.
Bob: Cheers Dan 🙂
A message from Kozzi to all stock creators:
Do you want to know what wasn’t around three years ago? Kozzi Images, and since then, our new upstart Microstock agency, which only began accepting contributor content a little over a year ago, is now reaching one million images. In Internet terms, our microstock website is in its infancy stages, but we are growing rapidly! This year, we’ll be present at the Microstock Expo 2013 in Berlin, so come down and see us!
As contributors, the name of the game is to upload your content to the top microstock agencies out there to get the most downloads and the biggest bang for your efforts. Kozzi Images is the up and comer, and already we host some of the world’s biggest contributor’s content. We work fast; we work for you. As a rapidly expanding business, we rely on talented contributors such as yourself to add to our images.
Why be a Kozzi contributor? Simple. We make it easy by doing the work for you. We want to make adding your content as simple as possible, which is why you only need to have the basics done, such as having your title, description, and keywords included in your metadata, and model release if it applies. The processing however? That’s where we handle things. Everything from categorizing and submission, to hosting, is on us, and we work fast.
Now, want to talk numbers?
For each download, you receive 50% commission on all credit sales and $0.25 per download on subscription sales. All you need to do is upload and we will do the rest.
Can’t wait to get started? Just upload your images (or your entire portfolio, we can handle it) to http://contributor.kozzi.com, or better yet, upload your content via picWorkflow for free. As a member of picWorkflow you can upload unlimited images to Kozzi for free. We’ll get your content, and at Kozzi, we will process them in record time.
Need more info or have any questions? You can email the founder and CEO directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will personally respond to all of your questions.