Interesting to see what happens when industry veterans and technology experts get together to build the next big offering. The Mega Agency’s CEO, Tom Tramborg, gets us up to speed and excited about what he and his team are building for customer and contributor.
- Give us the elevator pitch for The Mega Agency
The Mega Agency was founded by Kevin Smith, who previously founded and eventually sold Splash to Corbis. Mega is basically founded on a mantra of being “The photographers friend” rather than just an outlet for images. When we started building the agency we wanted to disrupt the market and therefore we focused more on processes, speed and functionalities that would be attractive and beneficial to photographers and clients, than we did finding a cool-looking office spaces or fancy company cars etc. In essence that means we are offering higher commissions, more transparency and insights – but above anything else faster payments delivered in a real time digital dashboard to the photographers. We are selling direct in 15 territories and with the higher percentage, photographers get a fairer, faster and better deal. That strategy seems to have resonated with photographers, as the number of high quality photographers who have joined Mega in the last couple of months – and are continuing to do so – are overwhelming. Which then again benefit the customers who get better content – and are getting it faster.
- In a saturated market place, when players like Corbis disappear, how will Mega stand out?
We are a new agency and have only been live for a few months. but when you look at our executive team and staff in general, it is all veterans that brings a wealth of knowledge. We do try to utilize that knowledge to our advantage building a content base that is appealing to customers. I do see us filling a gap after Corbis. It seems that not only photographers are looking for alternatives to the more established players. I hope we stand out as the new, fresh and disruptive agency that offers breaking news as well general quality content faster than anybody else — and with a unique service.
- Tell us a bit about your offerings and collections. What makes Mega different from the customer PoV?
I have often heard that we were conceived as a “boutique” agency. But nothing could be further from the truth. Despite the fact that we have only been operative for a few months, our offering is already more than 30 million images in the “news, sport and entertainment” section, due to our relationships with various media partners. In addition we recently signed a syndication deal with American Media Inc (AMI) and are syndicating their content globally. We are constantly looking for new partnerships that will further grow our content base and bring more diversion to our content mix. Currently we are uploading a daily average of 4000 images and 8000 images when including our media partners — some days are well above 10,000 new images.
- Once you conquer the celebrity/news stills market, do you see yourself expanding into areas like motion or traditional stock(lifestyle, etc)?
You are saying once? Just joking. We have been very pleased with the interest from both customers and photographers to work with Mega and our ambition is to continue that growth trajectory, which also means that we will continue to expand our content base to eventually grow in to a full scope agency with studio-portrait, reportage photography, stock, etc. As our nature is disruptive and based on technology, we are very focused on the new types of content that arising these days, like VR Video and 360 images/videos both from an editorial and creative angle, and will be adding those categories to the content mix shortly. Our client base is growing with double digits month over month and I have no reason to think it will slow down in the foreseeable future.
- Favorite pictures? Scoops?
No, I really do not have a favorite set. We have several scoops that have been published on front covers globally, but I am equally pleased with a photographer delivering a set of images that is only locally relevant – and to be honest with 30 million images in the archive it wouldn’t be fair highlighting one. At the end of the day it is all about delivering quality content that brings value to the customer.
- What else do we need to know about Mega Agency?
We have recently released our app (trailer), which allows photographers to get their images to market faster than any of their competitors, which again means that Mega will be providing breaking news and entertainment content faster than any our competitors. So if you haven’t already signed up for an account, I think you should. I don’t think you will be disappointed.