SmartFrame Technologies, a UK-based technology provider specialising in image streaming, is pleased to announce the appointment of Alan Capel, who joins the company as its chief commercial officer.
Capel joins the business with over 30 years of experience in the image licensing industry. Prior to his new appointment, Capel served as the director of business transformation, operations director, commercial director, and head of content at Alamy, roles preceded by senior positions at Getty Images.
In his new role, Capel will be tasked with defining and executing commercial strategies and identifying new opportunities to help accelerate SmartFrame’s business growth and mission to redefine the digital image standard. Additionally, he will oversee commercial operations across sales and marketing functions.
Capel’s arrival comes at the end of a transformational year for SmartFrame in which it has seen its image-streaming platform grow to offer over 620 million embeddable images to publishers, free of charge, from a global assortment of image agencies. This collection includes over 82,000 images from New Zealand Rugby, who appointed SmartFrame as its official photography and image-streaming partner earlier this year. To help continue growth, along with the appointment of Alan, the company plans to increase its headcount by 45% by the end of 2024’s first quarter.
SmartFrame is transforming the digital image file format and distribution model, while simultaneously changing the terms of trade of image assets. By moving the industry away from a low-cost JPEG-licensing model – a USD$4bn (£3.3bn) industry that has been in terminal decline for over a decade – to a free, embeddable file format with an in-image advertising revenue share for both publishers and content owners, the company is creating a fairer, more transparent, and prosperous industry for the benefit of all. It’s estimated that USD$376bn (£307bn) will be spent on contextual advertising by 2027 due to the demise of the third-party cookie, a sizably larger revenue opportunity than the image licensing market currently offers content owners.
“It’s an honour to be able to bring Alan on board,” explains Rob Sewell, CEO of SmartFrame Technologies. “Having strong commercial leadership is crucial for our growth strategy, and Alan brings exceptional knowledge and experience from the imaging industry to SmartFrame. I’m confident he will play a pivotal role in strengthening the business and moving the industry across to our new model for image content while making us even more prominent in the sectors in which we have established ourselves as a true innovator.”
“It was always going to take something different and innovative with real potential to disrupt and challenge the status quo to bring me back to the photography industry, and this was too good an opportunity to turn down,” explains Capel. “I’ve known Rob and most of the senior leadership team for some time, and have followed the SmartFrame story since the company’s inception. The deals that have already been done, together with those in the pipeline, reflect the tip of the iceberg of the potential for SmartFrame to revolutionise how we work with images and how they work for us, whether we are photographers, ad agencies, publishers, or brands. It’s clear that the company has the strategy and the desire to deliver something transformational that can change the future outlook for the industry I have worked in for over three decades – and I very much want to be a part of the success story.”