Wednesday, December 28, 2011

LicenseStream - Evaporating Into Thin Air?

For several days recently, the LicenseStream website has been down. ImageSpan (Which changed it's name to LicenseStream in January of 2011), was the company behind LicenseStream, and billed the site as "the market-leading licensing and royalty payment automation platform for all media types and businesses." Yet, we have never really seen a functioning business model that we thought would work.

More than one LicenseStream employee was on-site at PhotoPlus Expo back in October in New York City looking for a new place of employment, stating that the company only had enough money to last through the end of December, as they spoke to prospective employers. Oddly, as Digital Railroad ( the formal online portal for image archiving, marketing, and sales, as well as a client delivery platform) went down in flames several years ago, they shopped their company around and then, with no buyers, shuttered operations with little warning to clients. LicenseStream has, according to sources, not been doing so - at least not amongst prospective buyers that would make sense to take over operations that we checked with. Whispers of friendly staff telling image owners they had relationships with to backup their images & data have not been substantiated, however, with enough chatter on the subject, and the risks if the data isn't redundant, we strongly encourage you to have all your LicenseStream content archived, either way.

LicenseStream secured Series A funding back in February 2007 (here) and another $11,000,000 in June of 2008 as a part of a second round of funding (here). In April of 2010, a new CEO was brought in, and another round of financing, billed as "growth financing", with an unreported amount of additional funds (here).

In preparing for this posting, we checked one last time and found that the website, at least as of this publishing, was back up. Perhaps it was just a multi-day site crash over the holidays, or perhaps it was a harbinger of things to come.

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