Grad Profile: acts as E-Commerce Platform for News Multimedia

Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2012-05-29

Grad Profiles highlight the personal and professional stories of Founder Institute Graduates from across the globe. 

This profile on, a Graduate of the Washington DC Founder Institute, was written by Emma Tzeng. Founded in 2011 by Anton Gelman, is an eccomerce for news publishers and independent media producers. 

Applications to the Autumn 2012 Washington DC Founder Institute are now open. Click here to apply early for your best chance of acceptance

No one could’ve predicted an event like the Arab Spring. And yet, ironically, it is the very surprise factor of such a phenomenon that makes for a great story. 

Knowing that random events often make for memorable stories, though, news publications face increased pressure to push out quality, timely content in an efficient manner. 

Washington, D.C.-based startup wants to make it easier for news agencies to access quality content by creating an online marketplace for publishers to purchase content from freelance media producers. In this way, agencies get to choose from a variety of trusted sources across the globe, and freelance photo and video journalists access more opportunities for their work to be viewed and read by wider audiences. 

“It’s all about content, and it’s all about content creators,” founder Anton Gelman exclaims. 

And indeed, seeks to disrupt the news publication realm by removing the traditional barriers of entry to news reporting. Currently, news content creators who lack the right connections or aren’t already employed with a big publication possess an extremely narrow window of opportunity to get published in a major news source. Furthermore, even if a freelance journalist manages to score a “big break,” publishers often only offer about $500 for the rights to print and distribute the material to their audiences. 

In addition to helping content producers, also lowers costs for publication agencies. According to Gelman, a news agency usually has to send two to five journalists to cover a breaking news story, which can cost up to $10,000 and $50,000 after factoring in overhead costs.  

Gelman founded in 2010 after experiencing firsthand the pitfalls that freelance photographers face. After realizing that his work was undervalued, Gelman quit his freelance career, joined National Geographic, and saw once again that the same issues still persisted on the industry level. 

Currently, over 5,000 major news organizations, 500,000 to one million professional journalists, and 10 to 20 million new media content creators exist internationally. Altogether, the professional video industry is valued at over $20 billion. provides an effective, efficient platform for the exchange between content producers and content agencies to occur seamlessly and fairly. 

After content creators create a profile and post their content on the platform, which is currently still in beta mode, they can then specify 30-, 60-, or 90-day exclusive or non-exclusive licenses to their content and sell and deliver their media to distributors. pushes its user content to social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, and email and takes a percentage of the transaction. 

As continues to revamp and accelerate the way the news is produced and distributed, media creators can expect to receive more recognition and news distributors can continue to release quality content at lower, quicker rates. 


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