New York City-based PhotoShelter is expanding its 10-year-old professional photo management platform today to add a version for businesses.

“Pro photographers were bringing PhotoShelter to their [business] clients,” CEO Andrew Fingerman told VentureBeat. Seeing the way some companies handled their collections, he said, was “like a hoarder taking them to their house.”

Called Libris, the new business-targeted version of the professional service offers a centralized image database, advanced search, user access control, sharing functions, archiving, and image rights management. There’s also the ability to set up websites for stakeholders to access.

The new service is kicking off with 70 paying client companies from its just-ending beta period.

PhotoShelter has been hosting more than 200 million images for over 80,000 pro photographers through its own platform on U.S.-based servers, employing a content delivery network for abroad. Video is not currently supported, but Fingerman said it is on the company’s roadmap.

He noted that the Baltimore Ravens used to have team photographers share a folder on the corporate network — but only some users had access, and only within the team’s building. With PhotoShelter, the photographers now upload their photos from wherever they are.

He acknowledged there are already “plenty” of digital asset management (DAM) systems out there, but added that “no affordable solutions” offer the right mix for many businesses of features and price.

VentureBeat is studying marketing clouds.
Answer our survey now and we’ll share the results with you.

At the low end, Fingerman said, the competition is “no DAM,” where organizations use ad hoc systems like shared file folders and spreadsheets. He pointed to these companies as Libris’ biggest opportunity.

A screen from PhotoShelter's Libris.

Above: A screen from PhotoShelter’s Libris.

Image Credit: Libris

In the next rung of competitors, Fingerman said, there are cloud-based DAMs like WebDAM and Widen. They cost “five figures on an annual basis,” he said, and provide features many smaller companies don’t need, like workflow tools for approval processes or version controls.

PhotoShelter’s price tag for its business version is $5,500/year for five editors, an administrator, and an unlimited number of end users like photographers or marketing agencies.

“One service I don’t believe others offer,” Fingerman said, is “a built-in e-commerce platform.”

The new service allows companies to handle sales of licenses or prints. He also noted that Libris’ open API enables functional expansion by integration with other tools, such as ones for workflow.