Flickr today announced that it will shutter its photo-licensing program. Flickr Marketplace was launched in 2014 for users to partner with photo agencies, editors and designers seeking original content.
Members of the platform were informed by email on the closure, which Flickr said was based on “consistent feedback”.
“Over the past year we have received feedback from several of you regarding your experience around licensing and royalties. It was our hope to create the right Marketplace for our contributors, but based on consistent feedback, we understand there is more work to be done,” states the email, accessed by TechCrunch.
“As a result, we have decided to close the Flickr Marketplace licensing program. This closure will take place over the next few months. Once all licensed photos are removed from our distribution channels, we will communicate the completion of the closure to you.”
The Marketplace was Flickr’s ambitious project to encourage its photo-sharing community to generate additional income through commercial licensing.
A curatorial team was also formed to select pictures that will be showcased to potential buyers. Selected works will even be featured on the Yahoo! network, Tumblr, The New York Times, Reuters and Getty.
Flickr said the closure will not affect users who should receive any royalties due to the ongoing licensing terms. It is not fully giving up on the commercial photography market yet. The Yahoo-owned company is asking members to take part in a survey, so to help “shape possible decisions for any licensing opportunities in the future”.
It was amid severe competition from websites such as Instagram and 500px that Flickr embarked on a photo-licensing venture. Clearly, the advent of new and interesting alternative services has adversely affected Flickr’s business.