The story of imageshop started at the end of the 20th century, when the founders were working in the Norwegian travel industry, marketing and distributing high-quality images of the Norwegian fjords, coastal culture, northern lights and other popular Norwegian natural phenomena to partners, travel agencies and tour operators all over the world. The usual way of sending images in those days was in the form of original slides or high-quality copies of original slides, which we sent by post, and which had to be returned to the sender. The delivery time from Bergen in Norway to somewhere like Tokyo in Japan could be as long as 10 or 11 days, and the job of sending and arranging for the return of these slides was time-consuming and expensive. The recipient then had to scan and process these images so that they could use them in their sales brochures or on websites.
Gradually, CDs became the medium of choice, and it became possible to save several images onto one CD, which saved time and money for both sender and recipient.
In 2001, the first version of the imageshop media bank was launched for the tourism company Fjord Norway AS, massively simplifying the work of distributing tourism images (the domain was registered on 27 March 2001). This was probably before the term Digital Asset Management system had even been invented or used, since we were one of the first on the market in this area. Imageshop was thereby enabling customers worldwide to order and download high-quality images easily – directly from the Internet. Delivery time was reduced from a minimum of 10 days to only a few minutes. Imageshop was undoubtedly a success, and this meant that we were able to start rolling out the system to numerous undertakings involved in the marketing of Norway, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, national tourist organisation (VisitNorway) and many companies involved in tourism all over the country.
In 2010, the company Screentek AS was established in order to continue the work of developing the products imageshop and Screenbooking. Imageshop now has hundreds of customers and thousands of users all over the world.
While products and companies often have short lives these days because of changing needs and demand, Screentek has noticed an increase in demand for our Digital Asset Management system. We have seen an exponential increase in the number of images around us, and there has never been a greater need for private and public undertakings to organise, process and share images. In the last few years, live streaming has also become increasingly relevant for our customers, which means that they need to process, convert, find and stream video clips efficiently.
The development opportunities for our Digital Asset Management system have become boundless. For example, take the keyword ‘artificial intelligence’, a phenomenon that will have ever more impact on every social sphere in the next few years – including our little niche.
In 2017, we are launching version 5.0 of our imageshop, which realises some of our dreams.