Date : September 23, 2019
New Opportunity: Image Protect Inc. (OTCMKTS:IMTL)
- IMTL’s new “Fotofy Image Marketplace” solution holds huge upside potential as a disruptive market innovation in the $50B in-image ad market
- Technology for this solution has already been developed and deployed
- New Cloud Services strategy is set to accelerate market returns on this technology
- KODAKOne Strategic Partnership expected to deliver $5M in initial revenue growth
Image Protect (IMTL) is a classic market disruption story defined by a clever path to solving an old problem.
As of five years ago, it was known that as many as 657,000,000,000 – over 650 billion – images were uploaded to the web annually. But, in the past five years, the technology involved in uploading an image online has both been refined and found the means to extend to many more people in the world – those in the developing world who have only recently gained access to things (like broadband and smartphones) that most of us take for granted.
At this point, the digital image marketplace is likely one of the most enormous untapped markets in the history of capitalism – “untapped” because no one has really devised a model for monetizing the use and sharing of all those images.
But that could be about to change thanks to an innovation by a small company based in San Clemente, California.
Image Protect (OTC: IMTL) is trading right now at a slim market cap of just $1.5 million. But it may be poised for bigger things thanks to its “Fotofy” strategy, which employs a brilliant technological solution to present an “Uber-like” breakthrough to both image users and image creators, while building what could become one of the largest digital advertisement markets on the planet as it gains traction.
And thanks to a few high-profile partnerships already signed or now pending – including the KODAKOne partnership – this huge potential is already starting to be tapped. The total size of this potential is difficult to quantify. But it’s pretty clear that, even in a worst-case scenario version of success in this niche, given the total size of the global market opportunity and the partnerships already in place, it’s quite a bit north of $1.5M, where shares now trade.
In other words, IMTL is certainly worth a good hard look right now, before the crowd figures this out.
Who is IMTL
Image Protect Inc. (OTCMKTS:IMTL) was born as a solution to the rampant infringement of digital image copyright ownership on the internet.
According to an annual Internet Trends report put out in 2014 by one of the most successful Silicon Valley venture capital firms (Kleiner Perkins), people uploaded an average of 1.8 billion digital images every single day. That’s 657 billion photos per year. As you can imagine, due to further advances in technology and a widening of the total reach of the internet, we can assume these numbers are much, much larger today, 5 years later.
Yet, images are used, shared, copied, and integrated into designs with impunity by everyone online all the time. Most of this use is technically grounds for some sort of legitimate legal action if someone were to take the time to pursue it. IMTL was once dedicated to being that someone, seeking to recover huge legal value on behalf of participating clientele (the image rightsholders being exploited en masse) in the process.
However, after some period, the company came to understand that this business model, while workable, provided insufficient ROI over time. Recognizing this obstacle, the company shifted to a new model based on the market for in-image advertisement.
The Fotofy Strategy. In short, the company has created a “digital image marketplace” powered by technology (that the company has already successfully developed) to embed digital ad capabilities within images in a manner that makes it impossible to copy the image using the computer’s clipboard function or a screenshot tool without passing along the embedded ad capability – see here for a comprehensive tutorial on how this works.
The Big Point: The company can now offer images for FREE to prospective image users AND promise eventual monetization of those images to image creators.
And, along the way, Image Protect can profit by extracting a piece of this equation – think of the image users as Uber passengers, the image creators as Uber drivers, and Image Protect as “Uber”.
Both the image creator and IMTL end up owning partial rights to a massive piece of advertisement-ready internet real estate, with a potential value in the billions of dollars as traction builds. There are no genuinely direct competitors, and several internationally renowned photographers have already signed on as early adopters.
This is the “Fotofy Strategy”, which really divides into two segments: “Fotofy Digital Image Marketplace” and “Fotofy Cloud Services”.
The Fotofy Marketplace is a platform where image creators can post images, and users can use and share them for free, spreading the future/potential in-image advertisement footprint to eventually be monetized.
The Fotofy Cloud Services segment is an offering now becoming available to other online image repositories for monetization of images – which simply allows Image Protect to grow much faster than would otherwise be the case if it was solely depending on its own image library. In other words, the Fotofy technology suddenly gains access to the hundreds of billions of images already online, with IMTL receiving a share of all future ad revenues in the process.
This process is already underway, and we can expect lots of big headlines from the company over coming weeks and months further developing this theme.
But one of the most interesting factors to take into consideration here is a recent development that harkens back to its prior model: The company just signed a strategic partnership that promises to monetize its legacy case-load for potential infringement enforcement.
The In-image ad and digital ad markets are worth $50 billion and $333 billion annually, respectively, right now and growing fast.
The KODAKOne Partnership. The “Legacy Model Strategy” represents the fact that the company has a ton of expertise in infringement enforcement, as well as a large book of potential-revenue-producing “cases”. It has forged two key partnerships to monetize those assets – the most interesting being its partnership with RYDE Holdings, the creator and operator of the KODAKOne Image Rights Management Platform.
The two companies came together over the summer and released an appraisal valuing the revenue potential of the partnership at $5 million over the intermediate term, with initial revenue flows starting to come in the door beginning in Q4 of this year.
The biggest question mark here was about the technical integration of the two platforms. This was answered last month when Image Protect announced the completion of that integration and the successful test run of its processes, suggesting that all systems are now “Go”.
In other words, Image Protect has now aligned itself with one of the most successful brands in the history of image creation, as part of an essential partnership in attacking one of the biggest unmet needs defining the nature of online activity in the world today. And this is effectively its fallback position.
The company has also partnered with Higbee Associates, a leading copyright and infringement law firm located in California, to monetize its remaining domestic US infringement assets. The KODAKOne partnership will be instrumental in monetizing infringement assets in the EU and Asia as well.
The overall cloud-based digital rights management space is projected to grow from $491.5 million in 2016 to just over $2.5 billion by 2025, according to a ResearchNReports study. While this pales by comparison to the type of numbers associated with the digital advertising strategy discussed above, this is still a massive global market in which this Image Protect – KODAKOne partnership is arguably well-placed to take a legitimate leadership role.
Fotofy Launch. The launch of the Fotofy Image Marketplace platform is the formative event in this company’s history. That happened just last month when the fotofy.com site went live and began collecting a library of high-quality images voluntarily placed there by image creators of every ilk, from your next door neighbor to some of the most well-known names in the photography industry, such as Idris Erba and Steven Lake.
The company recently released data showing rapid traction in the growth of the Fotofy Image Marketplace. All of the images uploaded to the platform are automatically seeded with the capacity to become vehicles for in-image ads, representing a network-connected billboard that can be monetized at any time. For example, imagine a super high-quality close-up of Ronaldo scoring a goal in a World Cup match is passed around 1 million times through web sites and articles and social media, and you are the photographer and it was originally taken from your Fotofy page. You could now go to a sports drink company and offer them banner ad space on the bottom quarter of every one of the those million instances where the image is now located.
In other words, rather than trying to track people down and make them pay damages for “stealing” images, Fotofy engages the image rightsholder in a bet that letting people use and share the image can ultimately pay off better – and easier.
Fotofy Dashboard. The other major catalyst related to the Fotofy launch is the coming launch of its Analytics Dashboard. The Fotofy Dashboard is a virtual tool capable of tracking, in real time, the path of an image in its journey across the internet in all of its manifestations. This is all based on the “Deep Data” layer built into the platform, which facilitates the management of in-image ad campaigns deployed on an image’s internet footprint – the virtual real estate carved out by the image’s placement across all websites and social media threads.
According to the release, management believes no other image sharing platform offers such depth and breadth of image management for image creators and photographers. The Fotofy Dashboard will include the following highlights:
- Number of Images uploaded
- Number of Images Embedded
- Number of views and Impressions
- Number of URLs with Embedded Images
- Number of Images Mouse or Scroll over (hovering)
- Number of Images Click-through
- Number of Shares of the Image
KODAKOne Announcements. In addition to the growth underway on the Fotofy strategy side, the legacy business has never looked better. The irony of this is interesting, but all of it goes to the benefit of long-term shareholders who stuck with this company through the seeming end of the legacy infringement enforcement strategy, only to then watch the much more compelling Fotofy strategy rise from the ashes. To now see the ashes turn into the likelihood of millions of dollars of unforeseen revenues is quite a nice situation.
The primary vehicle for that reassertion of value is the KODAKOne strategic partnership. The two companies believe the Partnership will generate over $5 million in digital image copyright infringement claims and drive tangible revenue growth starting in calendar Q4 2019.
The partnership represents an integration of Image Protect’s License Recovery Unit with RYDE Holding’s KODAKOne platform, creating an overlap that will bring the KODAKOne platform to bear on thousands of new copyright infringement cases and numerous new digital rightsholder clients. This will be especially important for claims outside of the domestic US market.
Adding further excitement to this partnership, the company recently announced that it has overcome the initial hurdle of software integration between the two platforms and a test run was highly successful.
Technically, the IMTL chart is most importantly defined by the shift we have seen in the nature of the action since the company started to report traction following its Fotofy launch. Trading volume has been on the rise and the stock has formed a possible double-bottom pattern at the key $0.001/share level.
One of the most important signals is the bullish divergence on both the RSI and MACD indicators. In each case, the first test of the lows was accompanied by much deeper oscillator readings.
It is a standard idea among technicians that a retest accompanied by higher oscillator readings in either or both of these mainstay indicators can often be read as a key signal of increasing potential for a chart reversal back to the upside.
IMTL (Image Protect Inc.) focuses on building a community of visual artists to help defend against copyright infringement. Its tracking and recovery technology simplifies copyright protection by combining industry-leading software with a platform of visual artists and copyright experts.
The company’s Web application monitors the global Internet to seek and collect evidence for illegally used visual content; and its legal partners in North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania ensure that clients receive appropriate compensation and recovering settlement fees when their work has been used without a valid license.
The company was founded in 2014 and is based in San Clemente, California.
- IMTL is disrupting the monstrous global digital image market, which is unquantifiable in overall size, with the launch of its Fotofy Image Marketplace.
- IMTL is using this vehicle to mount a powerful attack on the $333B digital ad marketplace and the $50B in-image ad marketplace.
- IMTL is already making real money to help fund operations, with trailing revs already coming in at $542K.
- IMTL is nearing commencement of revenues from its lucrative KODAKOne strategic partnership, which is estimated to produce $5M in total revs over the intermediate term beginning in Q4 2019.
- IMTL is carving out a possible double-bottom reversal pattern as it approaches initial primary revenue growth from major operations.
- IMTL share volume has been rising as the stock logs technical “bullish divergences” on the RSI and MACD indicators in recent action.
The Image Protect story is genuinely one of the most interesting OTC stories on the boards right now. The potential here is jaw-dropping. One point we made at the outset is this: even if you want to be a skeptic here and say the most dramatic version of this story never comes to pass, you are still dealing with an outcome distribution massively skewed to the upside as buzz about the stock gains purchase among investors.
The overall market opportunity is well into the many billions of dollars as a convergence of themes in advertising and image rights comes together. The technology owned by the company is effective and already deployed and in use by real-world participants in its platform. And the company could be closing in on important steps to expand the value of the technology with a cloud services application, including new and valuable partnerships.
The stock is trading with some promise in recent action as this flurry of catalysts is digested by the market. And why not: the numbers here are enormous in an image market set to be disrupted. The photo sharing market has been in a long decline. In-image ads are the solution.
And IMTL is the only game in town.