View Full Version : How do image hosting sites make money?

02-10-2005, 04:21 PM
My sites have mostly low traffic text pages. The hosting plans I use allocate way more transfer than I ever use.

Since its already paid for, I wondered if an resource hog like an image hosting site would generate some income. For what its worth, I have a few thousand images of the American Southwest that I could load onto the site to start it off.

Anyone care to share suggestions for profiting from the situation?


02-10-2005, 05:33 PM
if you can promote it properly it can work. But the market looks like it is extremely competitive. You may want to 'niche it' and cater to a certain kind of photographer, like in your case a southwestern one.

02-10-2005, 06:44 PM
As the thepoorman said image hosting is a competitive market, I think the biggest problem is prevent/combating abuse (as that takes time). However, like suggested, a niche site would probably work well, if done correctly.

02-10-2005, 09:46 PM
Paul I think you have found your niche and I think it would work.

04-01-2005, 03:00 AM
Just to make a difference - I'm new to the forum so my vote doesn't mean much :) - but I think image hosting site is not worth the effort - the results wouldn't be satisfactory compared with the amount of work needed.

04-01-2005, 09:01 AM
I was actually considering posting this same question. I can't understand how image hosting sites make a profit.

It seems to me that you would go through a TON of bandwidth from people hotlinking your images, and only be able to show ads to the small portion of your traffic that actually visits your site to upload images.

Is there some way of earning money with these sites that I'm missing?

04-01-2005, 09:43 AM
Image hosting, if done properly and with added value, can be a great thing (just look at Flickr!). However, you do need to think it through properly, and think of how you can drive traffic to your site instead of just having your bandwidth used to pull photos FROM you site...

04-01-2005, 10:21 AM
I'm making one :)

It's not finished yet, but you can see beta at www.pixfolder.com.

Blue Cat Buxton
04-01-2005, 12:59 PM
If you allow direct access to a photo stored on a site like that, how do you make money (or will the url link show the picture plus advert(s)?

04-01-2005, 01:11 PM
Make just from person who uploads it. It doesn't allow movies or swf or anything else like that though.

04-01-2005, 01:43 PM
I wouldn't think you could make enough money just from showing adverts to people uploading to pay for all the bandwidth used by people who don't ever even visit your site. Of course, I have no numbers to back this up, just a gut instinct.

Blue Cat Buxton
04-01-2005, 01:51 PM
Which is why I was curious Westech, unless these services move to a premium, pay per use option at some point in time ?

04-01-2005, 02:16 PM
No, they do make money, I have seen proof...

04-01-2005, 03:16 PM
I'll be interested in hearing how yours does.

09-07-2005, 07:10 PM
I'm also curious what the status of your image hosting website is... any luck?

04-19-2006, 10:48 AM
I'm making one :)

It's not finished yet, but you can see beta at www.pixfolder.com.

Bit Off Topic:
But pixfolder.com is looking quite good. Keep us updating
For some major traffic, try and get it on Techcrunch

I like the look, it has the web 2.0 feel and even the smell :)

04-20-2006, 01:40 AM
I found a great script for an image hosting site. The real way they make money is becuase when you upload a picture you are given a link to show the image to others. The page that they see contaions the same image and is packed with ads.

Having said that, it is not worth it. Unless you have a design or photography community niche then a general image upload will not get enough traffic becuase there are thousands of them.