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Corbis to phase out SnapVillage microstock site

Stock art company says it needs a "need a bigger, better offering to achieve success in microstock." It is folding its low-cost photography-licensing site into its Veer property.

Apparently, it wasn't as easy to launch a microstock site for lower-cost photography sales as Corbis thought it would be.

Corbis, one of the established powers in licensing stock photography, launched SnapVillage in 2007, arguing that the microstock market was still young. But on Thursday, Corbis announced that it will phase out SnapVillage by the end of the year.

Contributing photographers and illustrators, along with customers and existing imagery, will be moved to a new microstock part of Corbis' existing Veer property called Veer Marketplace. Veer, a stock art agency Corbis acquired in 2007, offers both royalty-free and rights-managed imagery.

"We recognize that as the market has rapidly evolved over the past two years, we need a bigger, better offering to achieve success in microstock," Corbis said in a blog post. "In the months ahead, we'll be inviting SnapVillage contributors and customers to Veer Marketplace. Once Veer Marketplace is launched and fully operational, it will become Corbis' only microstock brand."

SnapVillage competes with a host of microstock competitors that arrived on the market earlier. Those include iStockphoto, acquired by Getty Images; StockXpert, acquired by JupiterImages; Fotolia; Dreamstime; and ShutterStock.