Photography community 500px acquired another startup, Authintic, which specialized in opt-in data for marketers; the purchase resulted in 500px Prime. The new site is a marketplace for premium photos, but it presents some key differences from all the other sites selling stock photography out in the world. Instead of just throwing a bunch of photos against the wall and seeing what sticks, 500px Prime is using some serious data to make the best possible matches.
The site uses demographics tied to the types of data different users share and like, and use all that information to drive search. Other marketplaces have used data to drive creativity already, including Netflix’s development of House of Cards.
We’re going to see this sort of creativity driven by numbers more and more in the years to come. I’m not worried about anyone automating creativity, if only because tastes and values are constantly evolving. But there is a chance that smaller creators, who don’t have ways to collect and analyze information about their own audiences as efficiently as big companies do, may struggle more to compete. It’s not an insurmountable problem, but we need to take the initiative in figuring out how to use data at different scales — and whoever gets into this game early will have the advantage.