Bloomen Photo: Insight into the Future of Direct Photo Exchange

A key question for the Bloomen Project was: “Can a complex technology like Blockchain improve content workflows in the media industry and support better compensation for creators?” From the perspective of Deutsche Welle (DW) as a media company we also asked: “Can Blockchain improve visual journalism and ensure fair and fast payment for photographers?”

Results from Bloomen

A series of articles about the outcomes of the Bloomen Research project. 

Solving photo acquisition problems with a Blockchain photo application

At DW Innovation we tried to find answers to these questions by developing a new type of application called BLOOMEN PHOTO, which is based on user needs of photo editors and the related process requirements in news media companies. Photo editors often look for specific pictures they cannot easily obtain through news agencies or stock photo platforms.

The scarcity of independent photographers, from whom they can easily and quickly source legally compliant photos leads to a shortage of usable photos for publishing. This is a barrier to high quality visual journalism. With the explosion of channels and providers for digital news services, visual content has now become a key differentiator for success.

The needs of photographers were also considered in building this application, to support their adoption of this new approach and to ensures that professional creators from international regions are willing to work with media companies in this way. 

What is BLOOMEN PHOTO in a nutshell?

While the number of visuals required by news organisations is rapidly increasing, underlying systems for image acquisition remain largely unchanged. BLOOMEN PHOTO enables a more direct, fair and efficient approach to acquire specific news photos from external photographers and to deal with related rights management. It is the overall goal to improve visual news journalism and to simplify photo acquisition processes in media organisations.

What is the status of the application?

We are pleased to report that we now have a much refined and user tested demonstrator. Thanks to months of iterative development by our direct software partner ATC, input from Bloomen’s other technology providers Worldline, ICCS and Kendraio and the user validation programme run by DW Innovation. Feedback from photo editors, media managers and photographers has been highly encouraging and the four key business assumptions from our perspective of a media company were all validated.

What can photo editors achieve with BLOOMEN PHOTO?

From the start, we designed the application for the simple and effective exchange of photos. For this demonstrator, the focus was solely on photos, but the model could be later extended to include video or audio segments.

Bloomen Photo provides an optimised workflow for photo acquisition by media companies, using Blockchain technology to enhance photographer verification, photo acquisition, meta-data enhancement by both photographers and publishers as well as integrated payment options from publisher to photographer, but also between photographers. 

Key features include:

  • Innovative digital workflow for photo sourcing
  • Photographer verification
  • Photographer license terms
  • Photographer digital contract
  • Photo editor assignment description
  • Photo editor assignment agreement and order process
  • Photo metadata enrichment for photographer and photo editors (in parallel)
  • Digital wallet for payments

What are the benefits of BLOOMEN PHOTO?

A key benefit of BLOOMEN PHOTO can be summarised as better localised pictures due to direct contact between photo editors and photographers, also via the dedicated “assignment” function. This allows photo editors to describe and announce specific needs for a set of photos, which are then “assigned” to and purchased from one photographer on the platform.



Most important for media companies is that the application enables quick, smart contracting with photographers (or other types of creative producers of video or audio).

Key elements of the business view on Bloomen Photo are features already integrated into the platform: Identification/verification of the creator; reliable, long term licensing including keeping records in the Blockchain and, finally, the option to initiate direct payments using the Bloomen wallet features, all in one platform. Bloomen Photo offers a “package” of benefits which are not available in the traditional photo sourcing process, complementing the needs of newsrooms with an integrated, multi-step workflow designed for better photo sourcing.

Visual: Workflow steps of the Bloomen Photo Assignment feature

Contact us to test Bloomen Photo and share learnings 

If you are photo editor or a photographer, we are happy to show you a demo of the BLOOMEN PHOTO application on request and welcome your feedback. We would also like to share our experience related to using Blockchain in media asset management and workflow processes with media decision makers and experts.

To get in touch, please send an email to:

Photo by ?? Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash