Twenty20 is a new stock photography service that just launched to the public after months of beta testing. It claims to have the world’s largest crowdsourced commercial image catalog — one that contains 45 million photos from 250,000 photographers based in 154 countries.
Since that early experiment, the company has raised $8 million from Silicon Valley venture capitalists to make a splash in the stock photography business, an industry that’s already teeming with competitors.
Twenty20 wants to set itself apart by taking a “mobile-oriented, crowdsourced approach” to stock imagery, allowing businesses to easily find, purchase, and legally use photos contributed by a massive community of smartphone photographers.
“In today’s content-filled, social media-fueled world, every company is a media company,” the company says. At the same time, “mobile photographers everywhere are looking for opportunities to spread and monetize their work.”
To make this happen, Twenty20’s 20-person team has created an app through which ordinary people can easily make money by uploading their smartphone snaps. Contributors earn 20% commission on their photo sales.
The images can be searched for through the Twenty20 website, and photo buyers can license the images in single use deals or through a monthly subscription that costs $89/month for 10 images up to $499/month for 100.
As a precautionary measure against copyright issues, Twenty20 claims to vet every photo submitted to its platform with an in-house legal team.
You can start using Twenty20 as a photographer by picking up the app through the iTunes App Store. There’s also an Android version that’s on the way.