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Why UGC Photos and Videos?

Make a difference with authentic, licensed content that’s affordable to any brand

What sets authentic UGC apart from stock photography?

When you’re telling a visual brand or media story, you want it to be authentic - to come from real people, so it reflects the diverse audience it’s targeting. You also want to catch their eye with quality, fresh content that will make them take notice. User generated content (UGC) is becoming the go-to method for savvy marketers, advertising agencies, blog writers and press members that want to strike a chord with their audience and build better relationships. That’s why using UGC through imagery and video is now one of the most powerful ways to tell stories for your campaigns. Lobster’s online marketplace makes it easy to search, license and download authentic content with royalty-free permissions from the users. Creatives have spent far too much time trawling through generic stock photos trying to find fresh imagery that represents their ideas. More often than not, they spend more time trying to source images and videos than they do on the creative project. UGC adds another dimension to sourcing photos through real-life, licensed images that capture moments and share the stories you want to tell.

The complete lack of authentic touch in stock photos is making them an outdated method when it comes to finding the right picture for your work. The emotional response to a picture you’ve seen a thousand times before will be lacking. However, audiences will engage with UGC content up to 50% more. If you compare the search results on Lobster with Google Images or stock photo websites, you will be able to see the difference. While stock websites tow the line of generic, almost outdated content, Lobster offers a selection of vibrant, high-quality images that reflect the people of today and tomorrow. The lines are becoming even more blurred between ‘professional’ photography and the visual content found on social media and cloud archives. We’re now at a point where most customers struggle to see the difference in quality, - so high is the resolution and aesthetic beauty of modern UGC.

So for the past 3 years, Lobster has been reinventing the licensing of creative images and video from social media such as Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Vk and Google Photos and can source content from most popular cloud photo storages such as Dropbox and Verizon. All content in one place, available to discover and license fast across 6 millions items and automatically request from 40 billions. We are adding new UGC photo, video, 360 and cinemagraphs partners all the time, so follow our licensing platform to keep on top of the content trends.

How does the licensing work and how much does it cost?

Lobster has solved the complexities behind UGC licensing and getting user permissions. If you’re selecting images and videos that have been taken by real people on social media, the last thing you want to do is download something that needs permission from the user. Lobster’s online marketplace acts as a hotbed where people with social media and cloud accounts sign up, opt in for the licensing program and make their content available to discover. Contributors get 75% of the fee for each image or video and are often excited by the idea of their content being featured on a website, blog, brand campaign, media or editorial piece. By signing up to the service, authors are giving worldwide, royalty-free permission to anyone who buys their content through Lobster. All the images are high quality, hyper local and indeed reflect the current social trends and diversity. An email copy of the license is also provided, which allows purchasers to use the photo or video on their own websites and campaigns. You can discover high-resolution images and videos without having to concern yourself with any of the legalities.

Lobster uses high-tech AI tools to curate the content, request model releases for UGC photos and provide a powerful creative content search in addition to hashtags, geolocations, usernames, comments and date ranges. If your content brief is very specific, we also provide a ‘social search’ for billions of public social media photos, with a function to automatically request permissions from users across the world. Fighting against social media piracy, we never allow downloads without permission. When a photographer confirms and customer buys an image, they are automatically purchasing the license for that content, so they can use it in a legal way globally.

Other than the high quality, being affordable is one of the key factors driving small businesses, brands and agencies towards the service. With individual photos to download, which start at just £1.19 and subscription services from £50, using Lobster is an affordable way to discover the best UGC on the web. With the fresh embedding functionality, it's even possible to access the content on Lobster for free - perfect for a small blog post. You embed the image or video into your text with a link to author’s page on Lobster, where the image can be purchased from creator with an extended license by brands who need a global commercial permission.