Digital Railroad Teeters on the Edge

- - Stock

“…it’s reasonable to expect a very short period of time for the final resolution of DRR – no less than 30 days, and a maximum of 90, but I expect they will surely want everything either closed down or transferred to a new owner by December 31st at the latest.” — John Harrington, Photo Business News (here)

There Are 28 Comments On This Article.

    • Put your library with a better service provider- we use Redhouse who are excellent. May not be quite as cheap as DRR but they have ftp that indexes & uploads in a few mins. & seach that works

      • @John,
        thx John, but I’m very satisfied with DRR ftp and search and price/performance.
        I hope they’ll survive, but I will check the site you suggested.

  1. I have a stock archive with PhotoShelter and signed up for DRR but never created or loaded an archive. I am very pleased with how PS runs their archive hosting site.

    Two friends of mine have built their own stock sites and are selling direct via very smart keywording and going after a specific client base.

    Randy Santos has DC Stock Images. ( Very specific collection and he gets pulled up in google searches easily.

    Stephen Kennedy has KennedyStock. ( Stephen’s site is focused on his distinctive portrait style.

    I’ve put a lot of effort into my aerialstock site and am with several agencies.
    By far, my best return has been with Getty Images. Smallest amount of images and no responsibility for keywording and reworking data for the files. (like Alamy or PhotoShelter)

    I think Randy and Stephen are on to something. Randy is also with DRR .

  2. Quel surprise! Dancing on the grave of Photoshelter when you look like their grumpy maiden aunt? Anyone with half a brain saw this demise coming.

  3. I’m looking at the measly 40% commission from my regional niche agency in a new light. I had been actively considering both PhotoShelter and DRR as higher commission options. I might dabble with Alamy (thanks, Jeff) but its looking like the time investment in other options has a high likelihood of not paying off.

  4. Why can’t photographers succeed with their own stock sites? What’s the biggest barrier? In my opinion, it’s technology, market and transaction costs.

    Why do we need to depend on companies to deliver the image management platform and the make the market (connect buyers and sellers)?

    A better approach would be for a company to:

    1) provide an open-source image management system and development community (similar to the blog systems WordPress and Movable Type) that allow photographers to host their own data, reduce their dependence on the agencies to manage and run their platforms, AND

    2) focus on the market-making function and use the images hosted by all the users of the open-source software.

    Many other industries are being forced to unbundle core functions: why not the stock photography industry?

    • @Taylor Davidson, That is an excellent idea, but could it fly? Part of the appeal of having an agency is the fact that I don’t have to host my own data. My time has already been minimalized in the digital age by having to worry about constantly updating my website, my myspace, my facebook, my flickr… you know what I mean? How much more time would this mean to me?

      • @Alexis Evanoff, good question, I know there are a lot of issues, and that we’re already spending a lot of time online managing all our different outlets and profiles. It’s not easy.

        As far as “hosting your own data” goes: there’s no need for it to be harder to set up than setting up an archive with PS or similar, if done right.

        It would not appeal to everyone, no question: but the idea is to provide choice and flexibility to those that can use and leverage the added power and flexibility.

  5. Word from DDR employees is that the company shut down operations today, laying off the remaining support and operations staff. RIP DDR 2.0

  6. i am transferring to PS. i dont know. its al a con. just paid a whole year and i am meant to get three onths back AT THE END. but i reead that PS was closing too and now i just paid. oh well. least my website will be up for a while longer. i have read poor things about PS. but who else was there to go to? DRR gave us 24 hours to upload or be hidden.

  7. Not only did they go belly up, Digital Railroad behaves badly. Clearly they knew that the company was taking a sharp, clear nose-dive, but not giving all of the photographers at least more than a day’s notice to clear out their archives is astonishingly selfish. When they retained Diablo, they should have informed the paying archive holders, so that at the very least we could have guessed they were in the final death throes. It’s just so cute that they included an email link to “” to the kill notice, plus a “Believe Your Eyes (TM)” Hah!
    I’ll believe my eyes when the check arrives for my sales including a credit for the remaining 10 months of “worry free off- site storage” service I pre-paid….
    and the check clears.

  8. The company has behaved in an absolutely despicable way. They must have known the chop was coming and yet hardly any notice was given.
    I managed to pull off one set last night, perhaps naively thinking that they would find another buyer.
    For all DRR users who like me didn’t manage to download all their files, the only solution to saving all that precious keywording and caption info is to grab the low res, paste the pics into a word document and then cut and paste all the info to go with the images.
    So at least when you sign with a decent service provider the pain is slightly lessened.
    The word from the now fired UK sales manager is that the servers will be active for 24 hours and then nothing. Oblivion for the hours and hours of hard work.
    One of the sad things about this is that they had a great product and managed to utterly f*** it up. Where on earth did $15M disappear to?
    Good luck backing up.


  9. Debra Weiss

    Member log in page can be found here

    @15 – Photoshelter has not not closed. They have just eliminated the stock sales segment of their business and have gone back to their original model which is storage. Another alternative, although more expensive, would be IPN Stock.

    @17 -“Where on earth did $15M disappear to?”

    Their business model was flawed from the beginning when they were just selling storage. When Marketplace was created it was equally flawed. A company cannot survive if the photographer’s share is to be 80%. They were not generating enough revenue to run the company as it should have been.

    All DRR and Photoshelter had to do when they decided to act as stock agencies was to look to Workbook Stock. If Workbook could not survive while having one of the most recognizable brands in the industry and the incredible reputation that the company and the owner of the company has, the odds were totally stacked against DRR and PS. (Workbook too gave a very generous percentage to the photographers).

    Even before Workbook Stock, there was Direct Stock – a great idea and a huge failure. For photographers who still have work with Workbook Stock (which was purchased by Jupiter who has been purchased by Getty, there may actually be a light at the end of the tunnel since their work will now be on the Getty site.

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  12. I transferred to Photoshelter in October from Digital Railroad when is liquidated.

    So far, Photoshelter have not provided any Google search facility. I have NOT had anyone look atmy site. I seem to be in some kind of culdisac and the site is not placed into any search engines in the UK. Photoshelter provides a hosting facility for photographers with secure image protection but no Google presence like Digital Railroad.

    I have not had any repsonses from passers by. I have not had any sales from passers by.

    Someone had written…..”there goes my living” he was not wrong.

    if anyone can find me a host site that not only protects your photos and promotes……….. or places you in the …super highway of the www, then do please tell me.