Along with the news about re-launching Ektachrome, Kodak seems to have some other news, too. At CES 2017, they announced the global launch of their on-demand photography service KODAKIT. Although the app was launched almost a year ago, the online service is now available worldwide. It covers 37 countries and 92 cities.
Historically, Kodak is known as a camera company. But over the last decade or so, they have fully switched to producing other technological solutions and systems. However, it seems they are slowly getting back to their photographic roots. The last announcement they made is not about launching a new camera or revival of an old film, but it is photography-related. They have created KODAKIT – the service that is supposed to connect photographers and customers all over the world. But is this service really bringing something new to the market?
Kodak announced KODAKIT Android and iOS app in March 2016. They launched it later that year, but it was only available in Singapore. Now the online service is available for different countries and open for registration. However, the mobile app is still only available in Singapore. If you live in another country and plan to register, you can do it only through the website. In case your city is on the list, though. You can still register if it isn’t, because Kodak plans to spread the availability of the service to other cities.
KODAKIT gives photographers a chance can create a profile and find clients, and companies can make a profile and find photographers. Just like Uber or Airbnb, it connects those who offer a service with the ones who are looking for it. And the price range differs depending on what you’re looking for. Though Kodak itself will not have any photographers of their own. (just like how Airbnb has no rooms, and Uber has no taxies).
The company says KODAKIT will focus primarily on the travel, food, and real estate markets. But, according to the website, you can also sign up for making (or getting) other types of photos. They cover events, weddings, birthdays, portraits, family and pets. So, I guess the service is not actually tightly focused on travel, food and real-estate photography. As a matter of fact, they offer the same types of services as many other on-demand photography websites and apps. This makes me wonder: how exactly do they plan to stand out from the crowd?
After scheduling and the shooting are finished, the photographers upload the final images on a cloud and share them with the customers. As a photographer, you determine your own price, and KODAKIT keeps 20% of the earnings as a fee. So, I assume this is how they plan to fund the further development of the app.
I am glad to see that Kodak is getting back on their feet and launching new (and re-launching old) products and services. However, I’m not quite sure how KODAKIT will stand out from the other on-demand photography services. There are several similar services online, all of which help you schedule a photo shoot for different occasions. There are also mobile apps that serve this purpose, and some of them are yet to be launched. Frankly, you can even hire a photographer or find a gig on freelance websites like UpWork (and also pay 20% fee). For now, I don’t really see too much potential here. I believe it would be better if they at least focused on specific type of photography rater than covering everything other services do. What do you think?