Original Source Press Release:
PhotoPoint no longer free - the trend continues...|
(Saturday, April 7, 2001 - 13:56 EDT)
Online photofinisher opts for fee-based service...
We likened the current trend in online photosharing and photofinishing to a domino rally in a previous news item last month, and note today that the next domino has fallen. Online photofinisher PhotoPoint.com has today distributed a press release and sent an email to members detailing its change to a fee-based service effective mid-May 2001.
Details of PhotoPoint's new pricing structure have not been publicly announced, either in the press release or the email, however the company has noted that it will offer an introductory offer of a one-year membership including 25 free prints for $19.95, or a membership with no free prints for $9.95. These special offers will be available only until April 30, 2001. Accounts with more than 1000 photos will be charged an extra $9.95 per year - interestingly PhotoPoint seem to have opted not to charge based on storage space, so presumably an account with over 1000 small thumbnails will be paying more than an account with just under 1000 large, low-compression images...
PhotoPoint is just the latest in a long series of digital imaging-related sites to institute charges or shut down business altogether. The popular DigitalPhotoContest.com website recently provoked great debate amongst members by instituting a $20 annual charge for entry into the contest, along with other restrictions on how photos were to be submitted; the charge became effective as of the start of April. Last month, PhotoLoft.com announced a charging structure based on storage space used, and ranging from $35.88 annually for 10MB of storage, up to $600 annually for 1GB of storage. Another online photofinisher, SnapFish.com, announced that it was instituting a fee for film developing, and raising its handling fee. The only other alternatives for online photofinishers to charging fees seem to be to cut costs (as Shutterfly did last month when it laid off one quarter of its staff), or close business altogether, as PrintLife.com announced it would in early March.
We'd expect to see similar announcements from other online photofinishers - this 'domino rally' is not over yet...
Yahoo! Finance / PR Newswire
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|PhotoPoint Converts to Paid Subscription Service|
Members to Receive Additional Features and Incentives
SAN FRANCISCO, April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- PhotoPoint, the No. 1 online photo company, announced today it will begin charging for its popular online photo sharing service, PhotoPoint.com, starting in mid-May. The paid service will provide all the existing features of PhotoPoint.com, plus added benefits including use of its Print at Home feature, express customer service, free photo prints and discounted marketplace prices for a nominal annual fee.
The move comes after extensive market research that showed consumers expect more from photo services, and are comfortable paying for high-quality service and secure storage of their images.
Members of the paid PhotoPoint service will have access to all of the current PhotoPoint features, including secure photo albums, photo sharing and electronic photo postcards, as well as additional benefits. Members will:
Take advantage of the PhotoPoint Print at Home service -- high quality photos printed at home, right from online albums
- Receive up to 25 free prints
- Save 5% on all print orders
- Create and keep up to five ``Smashcast'' movies based on the member's
- Store up to 1,000 photos
Enjoy express customer service
Learn valuable photo tips and tricks with the PhotoPointers(TM) Tutorial Series
``Our research has told us that people really value the PhotoPoint service, and all the ways we help them enjoy their photographs,'' said Ed Bernstein, CEO of PhotoPoint Corp. ``Our members have told us over and over -- in research, on the phone, and by email -- that they are happy to pay a nominal annual fee for the ability to easily organize, share and store their photos in a secure location on the Web.''
As a special introductory offer, members who sign up by April 30, 2001 will have the option to receive one year of membership for $19.95 including 25 free prints, or join for only $9.95 with no prints included. Current members who choose not to join can download their images, or purchase them on CD-ROM. PhotoPoint will continue to offer a free trial membership, which provides many of the features of full membership, including photo sharing, but limits accounts to a total of 10 photographs.
About PhotoPoint Corporation
Launched in 1998 and headquartered in San Francisco, PhotoPoint (www.photopoint.com) is the No. 1 online photo company, providing business, event and consumer services. PhotoPoint builds online photo services for businesses and also operates PhotoPoint.com, the world's most popular photo site for consumers, according to PC Data, Media Metrix and Nielsen//NetRatings. PhotoPoint.com's 1.5 million members have uploaded more than 35 million photographs to date, adding up to 100,000 new photos each day. Through its partnership with Kodak's PhotoNet, consumers can develop their traditional film at more than 40,000 retail locations and then upload their images to a PhotoPoint album. In addition, PhotoPoint is a leading provider of event photography services through its JoePix division. PhotoPoint is backed by investments from Sun Microsystems, Epson America, US Venture Partners, SOFTBANK and Entertainment Media Ventures.
NOTE: PhotoPoint, PhotoPoint.com, and the PhotoPoint logo are trademarks of PhotoPoint Corp. All other trademarks and product names are the property of their respective owners.