The Acanvas digital picture frame is a large-format digital picture frame which hangs on a wall and allows the owner to stream Pixels.com images to the frame using a mobile app.
The owner of the picture frame pays a monthly subscription fee for unlimited access to Pixels images. Think of Acanvas as "Netflix for Art".
You (the image owner) get paid based on how many minutes your images appear on each digital picture frame during a given month. Please read below for complete details.
How Do You Earn Income?
In the music streaming business, musicians get paid each time one of their songs gets played through a streaming service such as Spotify.
In the artwork streaming business, you get paid based on how long your images get displayed on a digital picture frame.
The royalty rate is $0.00005 per minute per image. That number looks very low, but it adds up quickly. Let's see how it works.
There are roughly 43,200 minutes in an average month. If a buyer selects your image and displays it on his digital picture frame for the entire month, you would earn $0.00005 x 43,200 = $2.16 from that single device for that month.
Now, if 100 different buyers did that, you would earn $216 for the month. That's not an enormous number, but it's not too shabby, either. Keep in mind, the Acanvas digital picture frame is being manufactured by a very well known electronics manufacturer (LG) who will be putting their full marketing might behind making this product a success and getting it into as many homes as possible.
Let's say that there are 100,000+ Acanvas picture frames out there in the world. If Pixels and LG decide to feature one of your images and promote it to all of the digital frame owners via a newsletter or a mobile push-notification, it's entirely possible that 1,000+ of them might decide to stream your image to their digital picture frames. That starts to generate serious revenue very quickly.
Beyond the digital streaming revenue, there's another interesting revenue opportunity here, as well...
The Acanvas is controlled using a mobile app on an iPhone or an Android phone. That's how the user searches for images. That's how the user selects which images should appear on the digital picture frame, and that's how the user controls how long each image will appear. While the user is browsing through images via the mobile app, the app displays clickable buttons which allow the user to leave the app, go directly to the image page on Pixels, and buy the image on all of the physical products that you're offering for sale on Pixels (e.g. canvas prints, framed prints, greeting cards, throw pillows, etc.)
So - the digital picture frame has the ability to generate recurring revenue for you via the artwork streaming subscription... and it has the ability to introduce you and your images to a huge audience of art buyers who might end up purchasing physical products from you on Pixels, as well.
How Do You Get Paid?
Once per month, LG (the creators of Acanvas) will send us a report which shows how long each Pixels image was visible on each Acanvas device. We'll total up all of the minutes for each of your images... multiply the number of minutes by the royalty rate... and then deposit the appropriate amount into your Pixels balance.
It's that easy. You'll see one deposit per month into your Pixels.com balance for all of your streaming royalties from the previous month.
Getting started is simple. All you have to do is tell us which images you want to add to the Acanvas streaming service. You can add and remove images individually or in bulk, at any time.
If you would like to add or remove an individual image, all you have to do is find the image in your portfolio here on Pixels, click the appropriate button to edit the image, and then look for the Acanvas checkbox. If you check the box, the image will be enabled for Acanvas streaming. If you uncheck the box, then streaming will be disabled for that image.
You can also edit your images, in bulk, using our bulk image editor.
You can opt-in and opt-out at any time. Please note - when you opt-in, there is no guarantee that your images will actually be streamed to an Acanvas device in any given month. Curators from Acanvas make the ultimate decision regarding which images are made available to their users from the available pool of opt-in images.
Should You Give This a Try?
Yes. You should give it a try. Like everything else on Pixels, you can opt-in and opt-out at any time. If you opt-in and your royalty payment for the first month is $0.01, then you'll probably opt-out fairly quickly. On the other hand, if you start earning several hundred dollars or several thousand dollars per month in royalties, then you'll probably stay opted-in.
As always, the choice is up to you whether or not you want to participate.
Q. If I choose to participate and later change my mind, can I opt out?
Yes. You can opt in and out out at any time.
Q. If I opt out, what happens to all of the digital picture frames which are currently displaying one of my images?
Your images will be removed from all of the digital picture frames within one hour.
Q. Are my full resolution images sent to the Acanvas digital picture frames?
The Acanvas digital picture frames display HD images which are 1,920 pixels by 1,080 pixels. Your full resolution images are scaled down so that they just fill that entire view. For example, an image that is 3,000 pixels by 3,000 pixels would be scaled down to 1,920 x 1,920 and then center cropped to fit the 1,920 x 1,080 view.
Q. How do I make money?
You earn a royalty for every minute that your image appears on a digital picture frame. The royalty rate is $0.00005 per minute as discussed, above. Let's say that you have three images on Pixels which you make available through the Acanvas streaming service, and our installed based of 100,000+ digital picture frame owners stream your images for the following durations during a single month: Image #1 (150,000 minutes), Image #2 (5,000 minutes), and Image #3 (25,000 minutes). That's 180,000 minutes (total) for all of your images on all of the devices. You would earn $0.00005 x 180,000 = $9.00 in streaming royalties for that month.
Q. What happens if my image only appears on a digital picture frame for 30 seconds? Do I still get paid?
Yes. You actually get paid per second. We're just using minutes in the discussion here to make the math simple.
Q. How do I get paid?
Once per month, you will get a deposit into your Pixels account for all of the streaming revenue that you earned during the previous month.
Q. Can I set my price like I do with other products on Pixels?
No - the streaming royalty rate is the same for all artists across the board.
Q. If the owner of a digital picture frame clicks on a button in the mobile app to look at my portfolio on Pixels and then purchases a physical product from me on Pixels, do I earn my normal markup on that physical product?
Q. Are my images permanently stored on the Acanvas digital picture frames?
No. Your images are stored in temporary memory on the Acanvas, and they only exist in temporary memory while the image is actually being displayed on the device. As soon as the user switches to a different image or cycles power on the unit, your image gets erased from the device's memory.
Q. Could my images be stolen from an Acanvas digital picture frame?
Yes. Anything is possible. Hackers could steal your high-resolution images from Pixels and any other website that you've uploaded them to (e.g. Flickr, Facebook, etc.) Hackers recently stole personal information from 1 billion Yahoo users. Hackers stole hundreds of thousands of e-mails from high-ranking U.S. government officials. Hackers have stolen feature films from movie studios before they're released, and hackers regularly steal millions of credit card numbers from websites all over the world each year. Despite everyone's best efforts to protect sensitive data such as credit card numbers, government secrets, and your high-resolution images, it's always possible that a hacker could find and exploit a security loophole. Having said that, the Acanvas is designed with security in mind. There are no external data ports (e.g. USB, Firewire, etc.) that would allow the user to extact data from the device, and when images are displayed on the device, they are stored in temporary memory which gets cleared as soon as the device loses power.
Q. Are digital picture frames going to cannibalize the sales of my canvas prints, framed prints, etc.?
Maybe someday. Right now - no. The technology is too new, and it's going to take a long time to gain mass adoption. Plus, when it comes to wall art and home decor, people are always nostalgic for the past. Why do we still decorate our homes with vintage signs, analog clocks, and rustic wood? We could all be living in futuristic modern homes like the Jetsons if we wanted to, but most of us like the old-school charm of a physical print, a reclaimed-wood coffee table, and a clock with moving hands. That will probably never change. If digital picture frames really do catch on as wall art, they won't replace physical prints entirely... they'll be selectively used in certain rooms to compliment physical prints and other decor.
A Look Into the Future
In less than 15 years, a 24" x 36" digital picture frame will be paper thin... will weigh less than 5 lbs... will display stunning images which are indistinguishable from physical paper prints... and will be able to hang on your wall and get recharged wirelessly without running any power cables up the wall.
All of the technology to make this happen already exists right now. Thin, flexible digital screens already exist (read this article)... color e-ink already exists (read this article)... and electronic devices which can be wirelessly re-charged from up to 15 feet away already exist (read this article).
Put those technologies together, add a mobile app, add a huge library of images, add 15 years of tech innovation to make everything lighter and more efficient, and you've got the future of wall art in your home.
If such a device was priced around $100, would you buy it? You could framed it, hang it over your couch, and have an endless supply of artwork for your home for only $10 per month.
Once digital picture frames become thin, lightweight, and capable of producing images which are indistinguishable from paper prints, it's inevitable that most homes will eventually have at least one of these devices hanging on their walls.
The digital revolution is coming to the art world. It's already here:
A Few Final Thoughts
New technology is always a little bit scary - especially when it directly impacts your livelihood. For years, musicians and record companies fought the rise of MP3s and digital streaming services in order to protect their existing revenue streams from the sale of CDs. They were concerned that MP3s and digital streaming services would cut into their profits. They were right. Many record labels went out of business. Many record stores such as Tower Records went out of business, and musicians don't earn nearly as much now from digital streaming services as they used to from CDs.
Does that mean that artists and online art companies such as Pixels should fight the digital revolution just like musicians and record companies did in the past?
No. Fighting the progress of technology is a losing battle.
CDs are now on the verge of extinction, and musicians and record labels have learned to adapt. Technology has created new revenue streams for them (e.g. YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music), and they've created new revenue streams for themselves, as well, by licensing their music for use in TV commercials and movies and by licensing their brand assets (e.g. band logo) for use on merchandise.
As technology changes, you have to adapt so that you don't end up like Tower Records, Blockbuster Video, or Barnes & Noble.
Large-format digital picture frames will, eventually, become a staple in many homes once the technology advances to a point where the images on the digital screens are indistinguishable in quality from paper prints. They won't replace physical prints entirely, but they'll be selectively used in certain rooms to compliment physical prints and other decor. We're at the beginning stages of this new technology. It may be many, many years before you walk into your friend's home and see her raving about the new 36" x 48" digital picture frame hanging over her sofa. However, the seeds for that day are being planted right now.
As large-format digital picture frames begin to gain mass adoption in the coming years, we want to ensure that it's Pixels artists who are being displayed in homes all over the world and generating recurring revenue from their artwork.