iStockphoto Expands Beyond Stock to Custom Photo Requests, Increases Site Speed by 10x and Adds Dyna

Investment Focuses on Enhancing User Experience for Site’s Community of Designers and Photographers MACWORLD EXPO Booth #834, Jan. 9, 2006 – iStockphoto, the world’s most visited online stock photography site, debuted sweeping site improvements today. iStockphoto’s 600,000 plus member community can expect dramatic improvements to site navigation, speed and functionality. Of particular interest to designers is the new BuyRequest™ tool, available on the site by the end of January, which formally extends iStockphoto’s offerings beyond stock photography by allowing buyers to tender a bid for a specific project to the site’s photographer/illustrator community. In addition, iStockphoto has streamlined the search for photos by creating 5,000 individual categories, and now offers further options for dynamic licensing. This multi-million dollar enhancement project is the result of iStockphoto’s combined investment in new hardware and software infrastructure improvements, and months of work by iStockphoto’s internal development teams. The infrastructure improvements have resulted in a 10x improvement in the site’s performance, which will allow the community to use iStockphoto more efficiently, with faster searches and downloads. The AJAX-based redesign provides instant feedback, fewer page loads, a more application-like interface and an enhanced workflow. The redesign also includes several new features to further expand iStockphoto’s functionality. “From the beginning, we have listened to our community, and tried to exceed their expectations,” said Bruce Livingstone, President, CEO and Founder of iStockphoto. “These latest improvements will have dramatic impact for all of our members and further our mandate to integrate iStockphoto into the creative process and the desktop. Powerful new features such as BuyRequest demonstrate our commitment to fostering a great community and direct relationships between buyers and sellers of photography.” Expanded Functionality iStockphoto has added several advanced capabilities to expand the value of iStockphoto for both designers and photographers who use the site. –         BuyRequest allows iStockphoto members to contact photographers directly for specific projects. Members can offer “Finder’s Fees” for image library research, make “Open Offers” for custom images and even hire specified photographers to shoot “On Spec.” It offers a formal structure for the process that benefits both designers seeking a particular image and the artists bidding on the job. –         Dynamic Licensing eliminates the need for manually generating special license agreements, with an automated license creation interface. Created for iStockphoto clients whose requirements may fall outside of the standard license restrictions, Dynamic Licensing streamlines the licensing process. This revolutionary approach relaxes strict royalty-free contracts, and gives users unprecedented options on usage rights. –         Improved Image Categorization iStockphoto has created more than 5,000 categories to describe its collection of 575,000-plus files, ensuring that users find the exact type of image they are seeking as quickly as possible. These expanded category hierarchies also eliminate issues of incorrect spelling and keyword synonyms.   Infrastructure Investments New hardware has quadrupled the site’s processing power for increased speed and capacity, and a redundant data center has been installed for increased reliability. iStockphoto has also chosen the EdgeSuite® Delivery service of Akamai Technologies, Inc. to deliver its image and thumbnail content, resulting in increased site availability, faster page downloads and improved reliability. With EdgeSuite, iStockphoto has experienced consistent content delivery performance improvements of between 800% and 1600%. The iStockphoto site redesign and infrastructure improvements were unveiled today. The new Buy Request and Dynamic Licensing features will be available on the site by the end of January.   About iStockphoto Founded in 2000 as a solution to the need for high-quality, royalty-free stock images at affordable prices, iStockphoto,, started the micro-payment phenomenon, allowing designers and others to purchase images for as little as a dollar each. iStockphoto is now an addictive, community-powered global home for the digital photography generation, transforming the market for digital images by offering high-quality and affordable images that appeal to the biggest names in the creative industry and small businesses alike. By creating new revenue and continuing education opportunities for photographers while dramatically simplifying user interfaces for both photographers and designers, iStockphoto is redefining the meaning of “stock photography.” With 20,000 contributing artists, a community of more than 600,000 and 12,000 new images added weekly, iStockphoto is the international creative solution that is remaking stock in its own image. iStockphoto is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.   BuyRequest™, CopySpace™ and iStockphoto™ are trademarks of iStockphoto Inc. All other company or product names are the registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners. # # #     For more information, please contact:   Kara Udziela Weber Shandwick 503.552.3731 Kelly Thompson 403.265.3062 x232