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Finnish firm puts your pix in the news

By Antonio Díaz, October 2012

Photo: Topi Kairenius/ScoopshotScoopshot news photos, smartphone app, Helsinki, FinlandA Scoopshot user snapped this picture when a fire broke out in a Helsinki shop. The photo made it into the tabloids.

Although the economy is not going through its best period, the Finnish technology sector is witnessing the creation of numerous startups. One of them, Scoopshot, connects photographers with media outlets that are looking for up-to-the-minute pictures.

P2S Media in Helsinki is the company behind the Scoopshot application, which can be downloaded free to Android or Apple devices. Users can snap on-the-spot photos of newsworthy events, choose a price and upload them to the Scoopshot online store, where the media can view the pictures and purchase them for publication.

Media and companies can also reach their local or global audiences by requesting or commissioning photo and video material based on a certain geographic area. Some users in Finland have earned thousands of euros taking photographs to order. They can also build their reputations by sharing stories on Facebook when they sell content, or by sharing info about interesting commissions so that friends can also participate.

All this makes Scoopshot an application that is quite different from others in the field – while it is fun, it’s also actually possible to make real money from it. “The fact that money can be made is normally seen as the primary differentiating factor,” says executive director Niko Ruokosuo. “However, personally I think the best thing is that users can really make a difference with Scoopshot, attracting the attention of the media to large and small events. Mentioning and publishing these things leads to changes.”

Potential media game-changer

Photo: ScoopshotScoopshot news photos, smartphone app, Helsinki, Finland
Photo facilitator: Scoopshot’s smartphone app lets photographers sell pictures to publications easily.

The concept of crowdsourcing, where the users themselves take charge of providing media content, is still relatively new in the media industry, which sometimes has a difficult time altering its traditional model of assigning in-house photographers or buying photos from news agencies.

Inventions such as Scoopshot, which aims to provide new solutions, have the potential to change the way the media work. “I’m convinced that when the media and the big corporations realise the global potential of crowdsourcing, it will create a whole new world in terms of content strategies and opportunities,” says Ruokosuo.

With a current base of more than 130,000 users throughout the world, Scoopshot is thinking about launching a Pro service, where professional and amateur photographers can publish portfolios and receive offers or commissions directly from the media. “We want to turn it into a global tool and ecosystem so that communications media and corporations can utilise user-generated content,” says Ruokosuo. “At the same time, we want to offer a channel for all citizens to express their opinions.”

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