Q&A with Katrin Sauerwein, Senior Product Analyst at EyeEm
#Topic : Managing Content Supply
EyeEm is a technology company that collects images or photographs from photographers around the world and allows them to connect or share these images to different brands globally. With millions of images and content in its database, it’s important that content management or image management is done properly. My background is Senior Product Analyst but for the last six months, I switched to Product Management and now I manage the content supply funnel engine.
We have grown to a community of 22 million photographers and a lot of our community members sell their content and we connect them to the marketplace with different brands. We use our own technology which we can leverage to our advantage. Managing the content itself is very important because at the moment we have about a hundred million photos that we have on our platform and that is definitely not an easy thing to manage.
Management Supply for us means giving all our friends and customers a very fast and efficient access to any content they want. We do this by preparing the content as soon as it comes in.
Our supply Engine
– Full automation is the key scale
– Human Control Supported by recent technology ensures quality
1. Upload Photos
*Sorting images by:
· Sales Potential
· Release Detection
· Quality Scoring
· Priority Sorting ( E.g. user performance)
– Ensures images are found using quality keywords
*Technology Used: EyeEm Vision
– Sending photos to partners or making them available on search
– Ensures that images are accessible via all suitable channels:
– All content distribution is 100% automated
Key Question #1
How long have you been in existence? How much have you grown since? What kind of challenges have you had to overcome and how did you do it?
The company started as a small community of photographers interacting and sharing photographs but as the community grew, we had to change our business model to be able to attract investors so we started selling images. The EyeEm marketplace was founded around four and a half years ago and from that time we started selling, the company and the community continue to grow. It’s definitely not an easy business to run especially now that a lot of people can take great photos. We have to come up with creative keywords just to make the images detectable on search. That’s where my team comes to the scene.
What is the automation aspect side of your technology in terms of screening new users or members and being able to sort genuine profiles to fake ones? How do you screen appropriate and not appropriate photos? Do you rely on your technology to decide what is acceptable or not?
We have to factor the human eye for screening these things. We also have a team that oversees the remodeling of the algorithms based on continuous feedback from our users. It’s a never-ending loop of tests and alterations. We do have marginal errors like the system can’t detect a watermark automatically but we have addressed these issues and it only got better.
What is your business model?
The business model is really just connecting the photographers with the brands. Anyone can be a photographer and sell their photos. If the images get sold, 50% goes to the photographer and 50% goes to EyeEm. We tried to keep it simple that way.
Key Question #2
Since anyone can sign-up and sell their photos in your platform, how does EyeEm select the quality of the photos from photographers and meet the standard quality of what the brands are looking for?
We have multiple ways of ensuring quality photos from photographers. We try to empower the photographers by featuring them and their works one at a time. We also launch photo exhibits on our apps. We have a curations team. We have the EyeEm blog that gives tutorials and trainings. Photographer’s ranking in the platform is also very important as it focuses on quality images. All the top ranked photographers are fast-tracked in searches. We also have Project New Talent who are new photographers and we try to find special content from them to be used first. There’s also competitions for photographers which is a good place for exposure. So we function a bit like an agency within the community.
What is the average age of the photographers that uses your platform?
I don’t have the exact numbers but as far as I’m aware of, they’re around their 30’s and majority of them are male.
What form of training do you provide for photographers?
It’s more in the form of written blog posts because it’s easier to manage and can be accessed easily on mobile phones by our users from anywhere in the world.
Key Question #3
How many people work in your company and how many are involved in the manual aspects that is required to curate, monitor and do quality control?
We have around 60 employees at the moment in our company . We outsource the easy tasks but for managing the high quality stuff, connecting photographers and finding the best talent, we have a four-man team for that.
How has your culture gone through growing from a small community to 60 employees?
It definitely changed a lot through the years. I started almost four years ago and a lot of the people who were working at the company when I started are no longer with us because they didn’t like where the direction of the company is going when it made the switch to do business. Compared to other companies in the same area, we managed very well in the business aspect as most of our competitors went broke.