Small Business Spotlight of the Week: Colourbox

Ever hear of Netflix (or Qwikster, for that matter)? Ever hear of Spotify?  These sites use the subscription business model, meaning you pay a monthly fee and have unlimited access to the library of videos or mp3’s the site has been granted streaming rights.

Well, Colourbox is like that, but for stock photos. It’s a Danish website, so if you’re not in Denmark, you might consider using a browser that can translate the page. A monthly payment gives you access to over 2,000,000 images, and give the promise of not running into any pesky royalty or copyright problems. Right now, they happen to be offering a promotion for a free account and a free picture download.

Henrik took a little time to explain further what makes Colourbox so special:

How would you explain what you do to somebody’s grandmother?

Colourbox is a major online library of images, illustrations and videos, where customers can download and use as many as they’d like, as much as they want, for only US$349 per month. Colourbox has more than 2,000,000 images, illustrations, and videos depicting anything and everything, from all over the world, and receives more than 10,000 new materials daily. All images, illustrations, and videos can be used for all kinds of communication worldwide, and single downloads can be bought from US$3.75.

What made you use crowdSPRING?

We needed a new logo for our site, so we were looking for a lot of different ideas/concepts, not just a few from 1 designer. The possibility of choosing between hundreds of different creative ideas for this project was very appealing. We found the logo we were looking for and are very happy with the final result.

What’s the craziest story you have from starting your own business?

As we work with images which are viewed by more than 50,000,000 people every day, we get all kinds of crazy and funny inquiries and reactions from people.

One time a man called us because he was convinced we had distributed images of him and his girlfriend in a very intimate situation; however, the people in the images were professional models who just happened to look like the man and his girlfriend! Another time a woman called and complained that she had not allowed her boyfriend to be a professional model and be photographed with another woman. Her boyfriend was 25 years old and clearly capable of making his own decisions!

We only distribute images that the photographer has a Model Release for, but some people seem to have doppelgangers all over the world.

What are some industry specific challenges you faced?

Falling prices for materials and increasing investment in technology.

What was your biggest learning curve/experience?

How difficult it is to develop user-friendly web-site on a global scale.

 If you could go back, would you do anything differently? If so, what and why?

Sometimes we have too many balls in the air at the same time. Maybe we should have chosen a better and more expensive solution from the start. Sometimes it costs money to save money in the long term.

How do you see your company growing in the future?

We have made a very aggressive growth plan and believe that we have the right people to carry it out. Prices for digital visual content will continue to drop in the future. We do not see this as a problem, but an opportunity.

What’s your working relationship like now with the crowdSPRING designer’s project you chose?

We had a great working relationship with the designer. We have not had an opportunity to do any more projects with him, but will definitely consider him if the need arises.

Six words of advice to those looking to start their own company.

Solve a problem, simplicity, focus, hard work, ambition, think global.

Colourbox’s call for a new logo received 690 entries and was awarded to Shihab.

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