By: Analisa Goodin, founder and CEO of Catch&Release
The creative industry is no stranger to shifting production timelines and budgets. But the COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented – the stock market recently took its biggest hit since 1987 and the entire world is facing restrictions that will change the way we move and work for who-knows-how-long. However, during this period of uncertainty and isolation, the Internet has never been more important – especially for brands, marketers, and creatives.
When I started out as a visual researcher for advertising agencies, production companies, and special effects shops, there were far fewer resources to search online. I had access to Google Images (no video in the beginning) and a handful of small to medium-sized stock libraries. Flickr was still in beta. I spent quite a bit of time searching offline (oh yes, books and films!) and would go to any extent necessary to find the right shot.
Cut to 2020: Social media sites like Instagram have made photography ubiquitous, and cameras with incredible resolution have turned everyone into a content creator. Millions of images and videos are created and uploaded to the web every day – every second, in fact – by novices and professionals alike. If we know where to look, we can find experiences, perspectives, and moments we’d never be able to capture on our own. From a creative standpoint, the possibilities of this phenomenon are virtually limitless.
I started Catch&Release because I wanted my clients to license what they love from anywhere on the Internet just as quickly as they could purchase images from a stock library. At a time when it feels like the world is getting smaller, our new licensing platform can help to expand brands’ and agencies’ creative options like never before.
C&R’s Catch Extension is a digital curation tool that allows users to capture images and videos from anywhere on the Internet – it’s like Pinterest for anyone in search of unique, relevant creative content. Meanwhile, the AI-powered Licensability Assessment tells users whether or not material can be licensed, and the collaborative digital workspace allows them to request rights, analyze content, and manage every aspect of the licensing process.
In order for brands and agencies to use the ocean of online content out there, licensing is crucial. They must obtain permission from the owner of any image or video they want to use in an ad. The commercial production industry is a high-exposure, high stakes environment, so ensuring that content is fully legal before it’s used is mandatory. That means the owner of a photo, anyone who appears in it, any recognizable logos, buildings, artwork, etc. need to be cleared prior to use.
This is how Catch&Release brings order to the “wild west” that is the Internet. We have built a platform that reduces the inefficiencies of a laborious, often opaque process of clearing and licensing content, while at the same time building proprietary technology that opens up huge reservoirs of content and new methods of discovery. At a time when we’re all stuck inside, just remember that there’s a vast digital world to explore.