Thursday, 26th March 2009
Nancy Davis Kho
On March 18 iStockphoto (http://www.istockphoto.com), a subsidiary of Getty Images and purveyor of royalty-free stock multimedia content, announced that it had added 30,000 royalty-free and single-production audio tracks to its multimedia repository (http://digbig.com/4ynae). The move is another sign that the use of video and audio content, both for personal and professional use, is a trend that is gaining speed - and presenting new challenges for providers of storage, search, and rights management capabilities.
The company revolutionized the micropayment model for stock photography, and is now turning its attention to audio clips. The announcement says: 'iStock’s Standard Audio collection includes over 11,000 royalty-free, user-generated sound effects and music tracks. iStock also debuted a new Pump Audio collection of over 18,000 single-production music tracks. iStock is now the first company to offer stock imagery, video footage, vector illustrations, Flash files and audio for purchase under a single payment model, on one convenient site. iStock’s Standard Audio tracks start as low as $2 each with Pump Audio tracks as low as $29. Music and sound effects tracks can be used in a variety of creative projects, from Web video to TV shows, movies, commercials, public performances and even games.'
It does seem to get easier and easier for corporations and institutions to incorporate video and audio into their internal and external communications platforms, with podcasts, videos and slideshows livening up once-static corporate web sites and Intranets. But with that new flexibility and richness comes an amped up requirement for file storage (video/audio files are larger than text counterparts). That may be helping the Cloud Computing movement, which outsources storage to a shared facility like Amazon or EBay's huge infrastructure cloud.
Search also gets complicated - search engine providers will want to be sure that their offerings work as well on audio and video files as they do on text, and with growth and implementation of those media types running at a record pace, SE vendors have their work cut out for them. Finally, digital rights management - while cleanly addressed in the iStockphoto model - will need to take these emerging file types into account.
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