Corbis Takes A Piece Of User-News Service Demotix

Corbis and the user-contributed photojournalism site Demotix are expanding the syndication deal they struck in March in to an investment.

The photo agency giant has made an investment of an undisclosed size in the London-based service.

Demotix launched in 2009 out of the prior “citizen journalism” hype and has been one of the few services to take the notion mainstream. Demotix invites members to upload news photography – if it manages to license images to wires or news organisations, Demotix splits revenue 50/50 with contributors.

It counts 4,500 active freelance photographers who contribute 25,000 images each month and has a number of big-name media clients. Corbis began taking a limited selection of Demotix pictures this spring. The investment will not change that partnership, in which Corbis also takes a small revenue share. Demotix contributors won’t get a direct portion of the investment but stand to gain from greater photo licensing opportunity.

Corbis recently acquired the Splash News celeb photo agency and struck a distribution agreement with AP.

Demotix CEO Turi Munthe writes: “With Corbis at our side – as investors, but also as deeply committed media partners distributing our reporters’ work around the globe – we can begin a new phase of growth.

“Corbis’ administrative, financial and sales support gives Demotix the opportunity and resources to compete at the highest level. It reinforces our commitment to a democratised news space, and offers our community a truly global reach.”