Business model

The business model of OpenCM is built on crowdsourcing, being open to all, worldwide and democratic. The range of content is therefore more authentic than what has been available before from old traditional stock agencies, which almost exclusively have chosen to work with professionals. Although those who submit to OpenCM do include an incredible number of professionals, they are still a minority, as the OpenCM concept welcomes ordinary individuals as well. With today’s digital technology their content can be every bit as good, and it also gives the buyers access to content that’s local, up-to-the-minute and comes from the real world.

Therefore, you could say that the business model of Open CM applies the long tail concept in its most complete form so far in the field of commercial creative resources.


The state-of-the-art OpenCM software ranks content automatically, again with crowdsourcing as its main base and with the help of smart mathematical algorithms. That means content is ranked democratically, rather than being overly biased by one or a few individual opinions.

Another major advantage of OpenCM is that the archive can grow very quickly because it is open to all and works automatically. No manual reviews are done – the algorithm ensures that the uploaded content is of high quality.


All uploaded content is available for commercial or editorial use.

Buyers are required to use the material in the context of what is permissible. The rules are usually simple, straightforward and based on common sense. The commercial licences are based on the original Royalty-Free model that traditional stock agencies (such as iStockphoto, Shutterstock, Dreamstime , ...) made popular at the beginning of 2000. That same Royalty-Free concept is also used in OpenCM but usually with even simpler rules and conditions. The format is generally as follows: you pay once and get unlimited access rights, plus you may share the contents with co-workers and edit it as you wish. The only things you can’t do are to resell the content in your own name or to edit it in any degrading or in some other offensive way.


The OpenCM concept was founded by Arian Bahrami, an Internet entrepreneur from Sweden, founder of Mostphotos was launched in 2007 and was at that time the first company ever to apply OpenCM in its true form, with a focus on selling images in an open and democratic way.