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80% Of Illegal Image Uses Are Found Through Search Engines

By Jim Pickerell | 529 Words | Posted 5/23/2017 | Comments
According to a survey conducted by the European CEPIC industry association, 85% of the images found by visual search systems are illegal copies. 80% of these illegal images were distributed through search engines like the Google image search.

Virtual Reality In Real Estate

By Jim Pickerell | 321 Words | Posted 5/23/2017 | Comments
According to MediaPost’s IoT Daily, the Real Estate industry is moving into Virtual Reality. It may be an opportunity for stock photographers looking for a way to diversify their businesses.

Is RM Still A Viable Business Model?

By Jim Pickerell | 975 Words | Posted 5/19/2017 | Comments
Is Rights Managed(RM) licensing still a viable business model if your goal is to earn the maximum from your image collection? For most image creators the answer is clearly NO, particularly if part of the deal is to place your images exclusively with a single RM distributor.

Earning Revenue From Non-Selling Images

By Jim Pickerell | 672 Words | Posted 5/18/2017 | Comments
Many of the non-sellers are very good images and would sell if customers only had a chance to see them. Back in January in as story entitled “How Can Shutterstock Grow Revenue?” I outlined an idea for a two-tier pricing system that could not only work for Shutterstock, but many other distributors with large collections, and grow their revenue, even if there is no increase in the number of images downloaded.

Photographee.eu: Stock Photo Production Company

By Jim Pickerell | 1452 Words | Posted 5/17/2017 | Comments
I wrote about the huge percentage of images being produced by a relatively small number of large production companies. Let me examine in some detail how one of these companies operates. Photographee.eu is a microstock production company in Lodz, Poland. It is owned and operated by Kasia and Lech Bialasiewicz. Lodz is Poland’s 3rd largest city located right in the middle of the country. According to the microstock.top list of Shutterstock suppliers photographee.eu is its 157th largest collection (out of over 190,000) with over 76,000 images at Shutterstock. These same images are marketed through multiple distributors.

Locating Major Stock Image Producers

By Jim Pickerell | 729 Words | Posted 5/15/2017 | Comments
Where are the major producers of stock images located? One might expect then to live in New York, London, Los Angeles and Berlin near where the major customers. We also must not forget San Francisco, Seattle and Calgary. Think again.

Adobe Visual Trends: Purpose Over Beauty

By Jim Pickerell | 305 Words | Posted 5/15/2017 | Comments
Adobe Stock has released a new Visual Trends report on Purpose Over Beauty based on studying images in more than 75 million social engagements. They found that a lack of content that makes a powerful statement cannot be disguised by pretty packaging.

Blend Free Shoot

By Jim Pickerell | 323 Words | Posted 5/10/2017 | Comments (1)
Blend has launched a promotion they call “Monthly Free Shoot.” Each month they will offer their customers all the images from one entire Premium Royalty Free shoot for unlimited, absolutely FREE use, according to the standard RF license.

EyeEm Expands Into Video

By Jim Pickerell | 441 Words | Posted 5/10/2017 | Comments
On May 9, EyeEm announced the launch of EyeEm Videography Early Creator program a stock video platform that will use the same artificial intelligence that powers the still-image option to automatically keyword and organize videos. Current EyeEm users can upload clips between 5 and 40 seconds long as the platform prepares to completely integrate video into the EyeEm platform later this year. The company has already tested the system by invitation-only, with selected users submitting video in the aerial, urban, travel, food, and nature categories.

Pearson Education: Further Cuts Ahead

By Jim Pickerell | 299 Words | Posted 5/8/2017 | Comments
Pearson has begun “a strategic review” of its U.S. school publishing business which has been a drag on growth due to intense competition. Their goal is to speed up the company’s transition to a slimmer, more digital group. They intend to either sell, or seek a joint venture partner, for their schoolbooks division that represents about 8% or £360 ($466) million of the company’s business.

European Photo Assns vs Google Images

By Jim Pickerell | 285 Words | Posted 5/8/2017 | Comments
A meeting between Google Germany and the German Association of Picture Agencies, BVPA is set for May 9, 2017 in Google’s Berlin office. On Thursday, May 11, 2017 the French trade association of "online content publishers", GESTE, has called their members to a "working meeting" to look into the impact on traffic of the new features of Google Images on the websites of GESTE's members. Reports of both meetings will be available on CEPIC.org.

Enterprise Customers: Are They Good For Creators

By Jim Pickerell | 1425 Words | Posted 5/5/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock makes a big deal about expanding its number of Enterprise customers. The last number they reported for Enterprise customers was 36,000 and just this week they said that Enterprise customers generate 32% of their revenue ($41.6 million for Q1 2017). Getty has an Enterprise program for its best customers which they call Premium Access. We have no idea how many customers fall into this category, but based on examining photographer sales reports my guess is that it is at least as many as Shutterstock, and probably more. A few years ago Getty said that any customer that spent $6,000 a year with them could qualify for Premium Access. I suspect that number is much lower now.

Stock Video: Erickson’s New Marketing Strategy

By Jim Pickerell | 301 Words | Posted 5/4/2017 | Comments
Jim Erickson has adopted a new marketing strategy for selling stock video. Instead of just offering clips he has created powerful, intimate and compelling prepackaged video stories, with narration, on themes related to healthcare and seniors. On his newly re-launched site he has 15 stories. More stories and themes are expected soon.

Cultura Supplies RM To PantherMedia

By Jim Pickerell | 228 Words | Posted 5/4/2017 | Comments
Cultura RM is the first RM Collection to join PantherMedia after the company announced its new Rights Managed licensing strategy last month.

Shutterstock Q1 2017 Financial Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1234 Words | Posted 5/3/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported Q1 2017 revenue of $130.2 million. This revenue was up 12% from Q1 2016, but exactly the same as revenue in Q4 2016. Revenue per download increased 7% from $2.77 in Q1 2016 to about $2.96. Revenue per download in Q4 2016 was $3.02. At the end of the quarter there were 132 million images in the collection and 6.9 million video clips. This was up from 116.2 million images at the end of 2016.

The Mega Agency Partners With New York Post

By Jim Pickerell | 344 Words | Posted 5/3/2017 | Comments
The Mega Agency has signed an exclusive syndication partnership with the New York Post, one of the most famous names in the American publishing world.

Raising Stock Photo Prices

By Jim Pickerell | 548 Words | Posted 4/28/2017 | Comments
Here’s a way to raise prices without too much pain on anyone. Forget about raising prices on the top end sales. Instead, raise them a little bit at the bottom end. I recently examined licenses of some major suppliers to Getty Images and iStock. They received a royalty of less than $10 on 95% for the licenses. The average gross license fee of these lower end transactions was $5.12. Suppose instead of raising prices overall agencies add just a little bit to the gross license fee for their lowest priced licenses. 

Role of Product Costs In Negotiations

By Jim Pickerell | 706 Words | Posted 4/28/2017 | Comments
When most companies enter into negotiations with customers on the price of a product they usually know exactly what it costs them to product. In most cases they tend to not want to give away the product for less than it costs to produce. In the stock photo business usually have no idea what it costs to produce the product they are selling. They only know that they will have to give the creator a small percentage of what they are able to charge the customer. They have no idea if that is enough to cover the creators cost of production.

Videoblocks Gives Still Photo Producers 100% Royalties

By Jim Pickerell | 890 Words | Posted 4/27/2017 | Comments
VideoBlocks is now accepting images for its new artist-friendly stock Photo Marketplace that will reward photo contributors with 100 percent commission from their sales. That 100% is $3.99 per still image download less third-party fees (like credit card charges) incurred when processing the transactions. Seeing this price many photographers may reject the offer out of hand. But, this is a very different business model from traditional stock agency businesses. Instead of paying a percentage royalty, contributors receive the full amount that the customer pays to use their work.

Natural History Museum Showcases Unique Collection

By Jim Pickerell | 367 Words | Posted 4/27/2017 | Comments
The Natural History Museum is showcasing its award-winning imagery including its Wildlife of the Year content at fotofringe 2017 in London. NHM has chosen Capture Ltd as its partner in bringing the extraordinary collection to market.

Copyright Bill Passes

By Jim Pickerell | 92 Words | Posted 4/27/2017 | Comments
If you think nothing ever happens in Congress, you’re wrong! On April 26th the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1695, a bill that proposes making the Register of Copyrights a Presidential appointee, confirmed by the Senate. This is a first step toward modernizing the U.S. Copyright Office.

Panther Media Adds Rights Managed Licensing Option

By Jim Pickerell | 262 Words | Posted 4/26/2017 | Comments
Panther Media has introduced a new approach to Rights Managed licensing and is opening the door to some really special photography. “We always had a clear position on the subject of rights managed licensing”, says Tomas Speight, CEO of Panther Media GmbH, “we would only ever do it if we could make it so easy it doesn’t need explaining”.

Adobe Adds New Contributor Tools

By Jim Pickerell | 290 Words | Posted 4/26/2017 | Comments
Adobe Stock has added new tools to make the image creation process easier and provide  more efficient ways to upload and submit photo, video or other assets to Adobe Stock.

Alamy Contract Changes

By Jim Pickerell | 113 Words | Posted 4/26/2017 | Comments
As of April 26, 2017 Alamy has made contract changes that will be of interest to contributors. Most notably they will now pay contributors monthly whenever the Cleared Funds in the contributor’s account exceeds US $50. Previously, contributors were not paid until their Cleared Funds exceeded $US $75.

Protect Copyright: Add Your Voice

By Jim Pickerell | 139 Words | Posted 4/20/2017 | Comments (1)
Here’s a simple thing every photographer and stock agent can do to protect their copyright. Tell Congress to Vote “Yes” on H.R. 1695 – a bill to Modernize the U.S. Copyright office. It will take you less than 5 minutes. Go to http://copyrightalliance.org/get-involved/add-your-voice/ . Click on “Take Action.” The Copyrightalliance will ask for your zip code and then your name and address. Once you’ve input that information your name will be added to a pre-written letter to your Congressperson. It’s that simple!

Is There A Better Subscription Strategy?

By Jim Pickerell | 946 Words | Posted 4/19/2017 | Comments
Getty Images has been focusing on growing its subscription business. The theory is that subscriptions will make customers more dependent on the company for their future needs.  Currently, subscriptions represent 37% to 38% of Getty’s Creative Revenue and about 50% of Editorial Revenue.

Adobe Announces Partnership With Pond5

By Jim Pickerell | 478 Words | Posted 4/19/2017 | Comments
Adobe Stock has announced a partnership with Pond5, further expanding the video offerings in Adobe Stock. Sourced from an international community of artists across a mix of modern, highly sought after content themes, such as lifestyle, recreation, sports, cinematic and aerial footage, the addition of the Pond5 video library will give video producers and designers access to one of the industry’s largest and fastest-growing collections – all natively integrated into Creative Cloud applications.

Mike Watson: Where Is Stock Headed

By Jim Pickerell | 63 Words | Posted 4/19/2017 | Comments
What can photographers and stock agencies do about pricing and the shift of revenues from photographers to a few huge platforms? Mike Watson says, “It’s unlikely that the major platforms will change their practices and the all-you-can-eat deals will continue. It’s time for photographers and independent agencies to unite and talk directly to their customers.” Read his whole blog post on the robertharding blog.

Getty Turns The Corner

By Jim Pickerell | 590 Words | Posted 4/17/2017 | Comments
From and investors point of view, Getty may have turned the corner. However, this may not benefit image creators, particularly those from North America and the Western Europe. It is my understanding that gross revenue in 2016 was about $840 million, up about 4% from around $808 million in 2015. Until 2016, Getty’s revenue declined steadily for about three years as they struggled to get their prices in line with their major competitor, Shutterstock.

North American And Western Europe Production Declining

By Jim Pickerell | 1031 Words | Posted 4/14/2017 | Comments
Who is producing the majority of stock images that get used? Based on Shutterstock’s 2014 and 2015 financial reports about 37% of the company’s gross revenue came from North America, 35% from Europe and 28% from the rest of the world. Given these numbers it seems reasonable to assume that since North America and Western Europe seem to be where most stock images are used that is probably where most are produced. Back in the 90s and early 00s that may have been the case, but no longer.

Photo Conferences

By Jim Pickerell | 2805 Words | Posted 4/13/2017 | Comments
Each year there are three important events where representatives of stock photo agencies get together to share information – CEPIC, DMLA and Visual Connections. These events are also good places for photographers to meet stock agents and get a better understanding of industry trends.

15% Royalties At Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 759 Words | Posted 4/12/2017 | Comments
Get ready for 15% royalties. Getty has contacted some European agencies that supply the company with Royalty Free images for its Creative collection and told them that when their current contracts expire they will be terminated unless they agree to accept a 15% royalty.

Masterfile Restructures Its Business

By Jim Pickerell | 890 Words | Posted 4/7/2017 | Comments
Masterfile has filed a formal Proposal to Creditors under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Canada ("BIA"). This is not a bankruptcy. The Proposal process will provide Masterfile the opportunity to restructure its business with the objective of returning to profitability. This process is similar to a Chapter 11 filing in the USA.

NY Times Raises Day Rates

By Jim Pickerell | 198 Words | Posted 4/7/2017 | Comments (1)
According to Around The Lens sources close to the New York Times have confirmed that the paper will begin paying freelance photographers a day rate of $450, more the double the $200 they’re currently paying. For shorter shoots, or those that don’t meet the full day-rate requirement, the rate will be $300, still more than the previous full day rate.

Shutterstock To Showcase The Glamour Of The Met Gala

By Jim Pickerell | 300 Words | Posted 4/6/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. announced today that it will again offer comprehensive coverage at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Benefit, more commonly known as The Met Gala. This premier annual event of the fashion industry will be held on Monday, May 1st at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Among the attendees will be prominent and prestigious names in entertainment, fashion, sports, and business.

Questions Agencies Should Be Asking

By Jim Pickerell | 593 Words | Posted 4/4/2017 | Comments
Here is a list of 13 questions agencies should consider asking themselves. They might even want to consider asking their top producing photographers and illustrators questions 3, 4 and 7.

Global Still Image Market Growth Trends: According To Technavio

By Jim Pickerell | 904 Words | Posted 4/3/2017 | Comments
Technavio, a leading global market research company headquartered in London, has released its annual report on the Global Still Image Market, looking ahead five years to 2021. They say: “Technavio analysts forecast the global still images market to grow to USD 4.46 billion by 2021, at a CAGR of close to 8% over the forecast period."

123RF Looking To Go Public

By Jim Pickerell | 1018 Words | Posted 4/3/2017 | Comments
Andy Sitt, the Malaysian founder of 123RF, is seeking to raise the profile of his Chicago-headquartered stock image and design business among funds and investors in hopes of launching an initial public offering (IPO) within the next 12 to 18 months. "We're at that stage where we have to think of the next stage of the company and I believe that the next stage would be some form of exit. So (profiling the company) is more towards building it for a potential IPO," Sitt told DEALSTREETASIA.

Topic Images Acquired By PIXTA

By Jim Pickerell | 342 Words | Posted 3/30/2017 | Comments
PIXTA Inc. in Japan has acquired 80% of the outstanding stock of Topic Images Inc. of Korea from its parent companies, NEWSIS Co., Ltd. and NEWS1 Co., Ltd. for 130 million JPY ($1,164,780). The transaction took place on Feb 24, 2017. Topic has been selling high-priced stock images mainly in Korea, producing many of them by itself.  Topic is now a subsidiary of PIXTA and will receive PIXTA’s strong support for its business operation. However, Topic is continuously conducting its own business as an existing company.

Good News For Copyright Holders

By Jim Pickerell | 590 Words | Posted 3/29/2017 | Comments (1)
The House Judiciary Committee has passed the amended “Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act” (H.R. 1695) by an overwhelming majority of 27-1. Key provisions of the act makes the Copyright Office an independent agency under the Legislative Branch with no connection to the Library of Congress and creates a Small Claims Court System for pursuing infringements.

Fake News And Stock Photography

By Jim Pickerell | 1239 Words | Posted 3/27/2017 | Comments (1)
A writer for the Boston Globe asked me to discuss the role, if any, that stock photos plays in fake news. “Can or should the stock photo industry do anything to curb the use of its photos on fake news sites.” Stock photography is not “Fake.” This is not to say that there aren’t some photos that are designed to be outright distortions of the truth, but the vast majority of stock photos are taken with the hope of showing an actual event or something that illustrates real life.

Similar Content

By Jim Pickerell | 448 Words | Posted 3/24/2017 | Comments (1)
Shutterstock may have decided the loading up of their collection with “Similar Content” may have gotten out of hand and may not be benefiting customers. They have recently changed their editing strategy and issued a notice to contributors saying, “Submitting subtle variations of the same image can be considered content spamming and is not permitted. We continuously evaluate our collection and remove images that do not meet our policies.”

Multi-Tier Pricing Model

By Jim Pickerell | 946 Words | Posted 3/22/2017 | Comments
Given the declines in stock photo prices, it may be time for the industry to look for a new image pricing strategy. Yesterday I made an argument for why the industry needs to price based on performance, or demand for certain images. There also needs to be a price floor for certain images that are in greater demand. Price should have little, if anything, to do with whether the image is exclusive or non-exclusive.

Pricing Stock Photos

By Jim Pickerell | 1090 Words | Posted 3/21/2017 | Comments (1)
A professional stock photographer has pointed out to me that a long held tactic to price a premium brand of anything is that a higher price indicates higher quality. He argued this is why some photographers insist on selling their images as Rights Managed. They believe they are producing a higher quality product. They often go to a great deal of effort and expense to produce their images. As a result, they feel they are not only justified in charging more, but that it is the only way they can recover their production costs.

RightSmith: Exclusive, Global Provider Of Amazing Race Footage

By Jim Pickerell | 472 Words | Posted 3/21/2017 | Comments
RightSmith Group, specialists in the licensing and management of high-value media archives, has partnered with Profiles Television, creator of The Amazing Race, to commercialize its enormous archive of stunning stock footage from the world-renowned TV series. Hundreds of hours of pristine footage covering more than 85 countries is now exclusively available for licensing by creative professionals via the RightSmith content licensing portal.

Does The Stock Industry Need Western Creators?

By Jim Pickerell | 925 Words | Posted 3/17/2017 | Comments
I’ve been doing a little more thinking about some of the implication of the story I wrote on Monday. As an American I had assumed that image creators who only earn a few thousand a year from their creative work couldn’t possibly be supporting themselves from the images or illustration they produce. Therefore, I had concluded that they must be amateurs. That may not be the case.

How the Internet Is Saving Culture, Not Killing It

By Jim Pickerell | 204 Words | Posted 3/17/2017 | Comments
Stock photo sellers and producers should read the New York Times story “How the Internet Is Saving Culture, Not Killing It”  (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/16/learning/questions-for-how-the-internet-is-saving-culture-not-killing-it.html?_r=0 ) The story makes the argument that increasingly Internet users are willing to pay for certain content and no longer expecting that everything they find on the Internet should be free.

Dreamstime Integrates AI and Machine Learning

By Jim Pickerell | 590 Words | Posted 3/16/2017 | Comments
Dreamstime, has announced the implementation of a proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) system that uses sophisticated algorithms to screen submitted images. The machine learning tool is designed to examine how human editors at Dreamstime review images, and then adjust its parameters to best match the editors' various criteria

Shutterstock Signs Exclusive Deal With World Surf League

By Jim Pickerell | 273 Words | Posted 3/16/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has announced that it has signed an exclusive global distribution deal with World Surf League (WSL) to market and license imagery from WSL’s Championship Tour and Big Wave Tour Events. The deal also includes WSL’s extensive archive, showcasing thousands of pivotal moments from competitive surfing history.

Real vs Arranged Photos

By Jim Pickerell | 830 Words | Posted 3/14/2017 | Comments
There is a lot of noise about the demand for photos that are “natural,” “candid” and more “realistic shots of real people” rather than the carefully arranged, high production value photos that have been best sellers in the stock photo industry for many years.

Stock Photo Production: Eastern Europe, Asia Dominate

By Jim Pickerell | 1030 Words | Posted 3/13/2017 | Comments
Thanks to information supplied by microstock.top concerning Shutterstock contributors and information from Nationmaster.com regarding the average 2014 monthly salary from 162 countries, it is possible to get a better understanding of why more than 60% of the images in the Shutterstock collection are provided by Eastern European and Asian creators.

Shutterstock Provides Curated Collection For Amazon’s Customized Prints

By Jim Pickerell | 169 Words | Posted 3/9/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock has announced the availability of a curated collection of images within Amazon's newly launched Posters & Prints program. A dedicated Shutterstock storefront on Amazon will give customers access to thousands of images that they can select to have printed and delivered - all without leaving Amazon.

MEGA Introduces "Cash Out' System For Contributors

By Jim Pickerell | 427 Words | Posted 3/9/2017 | Comments
The Mega Agency, a provider of news, sports and entertainment content, has announced the launch of a revolutionary payment system that allows content providers to ‘cash-out’ on their media sales the moment content has been licensed to select customers.

Dissolve Supplying Free Footage For Pro Bono Projects

By Jim Pickerell | 264 Words | Posted 3/7/2017 | Comments
Dissolve has provided its contributors with information about a special marketing campaign - Dissolve for a Cause - it has launched. Under this program, agencies and studios working on pro bono projects may apply to receive up to $2,500 in royalty-free footage or photography.

Raising Stock Photo Prices

By Jim Pickerell | 1105 Words | Posted 3/6/2017 | Comments
In the next few months I intend spend a lot of time examining the question, “Can the stock photo industry raise prices on at least some of the images it offers?” The possible answers to that question are either YES, NO or MAYBE.

Stock Photography: An Amateur Business

By Jim Pickerell | 862 Words | Posted 3/6/2017 | Comments (1)
Can the stock photo industry survive if it is only a business of amateur suppliers? It is certainly on road to becoming that business. Gross sale rates have declined so much that most photographers who need revenue from the images they produce to support themselves and their business can no longer justify continued production. (Check out stories here and here.

Basic Math At Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 2685 Words | Posted 3/2/2017 | Comments
Getty’s ESP system for supplying information about their sales to iStock contributors certainly offers much more information than was previously available. Unfortunately, this information may point to an overpayments problem. It all revolves around cancelled sales.

Employment Opportunity: Frans Lanting Studio

By Jim Pickerell | 127 Words | Posted 3/2/2017 | Comments
Frans Lanting, one of the world's foremost nature photographers, is looking to hire a DIGITAL ASSET MANAGER. See this article for core responsibilities and contact information

Shutterstock Editorial Clarification

By Jim Pickerell | 136 Words | Posted 3/2/2017 | Comments
In the article “Understanding Editorial At Shutterstock” I reported on a London photographer had to find uses of his images and report the uses to Shutterstock in order to be paid. Shutterstock provided a clarification pointing out that they use the same procedures as other editorial agencies to track usages of their images.

Shutterstock Royalty Rates: Is There A Disconnect?

By Jim Pickerell | 484 Words | Posted 2/28/2017 | Comments (2)
It is worth looking at recent Shutterstock statistics. In the conference call yesterday Shutterstock said they had over 190,000 contributors at the end of 2016. In 2016 Shutterstock paid out about $138.400,000 to contributors. If we divide the total number of images in the collection (116,200,000) into contributor royalties on average contributors received $1.19 per-image in the collection for the full year.

What Are “Real Photos?”

By Jim Pickerell | 1551 Words | Posted 2/28/2017 | Comments
Recently, I was contacted by a Business School student who is developing an app that “will be used by internet publication firms, as well amateur and professional photographers.” He asked if I would provide some insight into the industry, specifically on topics such as photographer compensation, and the market share of "real photo’s" vs. stock photos. Here’s my response.

Microstock.top - Shutterstock Data

By Jim Pickerell | 423 Words | Posted 2/28/2017 | Comments
Back in February 2016 microstock.top began using archive.org/web/ to search thousands of creator portfolio pages at www.shutterstock.com and record the data. This is not hacking, fishing, use of an API or insider information. These pages are accessible to everyone.

Shutterstock 2016 Financial Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1556 Words | Posted 2/27/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported Q4 2016 revenue of $130.2 million and a total of $494.3 million in revenue for all of 2016. The full year revenue was up about 16% from $425.1 million in 2015. There were a total of 167.9 million downloads for the year up from 147.2 million in 2015. While revenue grew 16% the collection size grew 63% to 116.2 million up from 71.4 million at the end of 2015.

Understanding Editorial At Shutterstock

By Jim Pickerell | 304 Words | Posted 2/24/2017 | Comments (2)
An editorial photographer in London pointed out to me today that he has to notify Shutterstock when his pictures are used in order to get paid. Evidently Shutterstock doesn’t know that it is standard practice of many publications in the UK not to notify the agency when they use an image. Instead, they wait for the agency or the photographer to call them or send them an invoice.

ImagineChina Secures Image Copyright Deal With Chinese Super League

By Jim Pickerell | 280 Words | Posted 2/22/2017 | Comments
ImagineChina (IC), a leading photo and video agency on the Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, has signed a three-year exclusive agreement with the Chinese Super League (CSL), the country's most prestigious football league.

iStock Statements Delayed

By Jim Pickerell | 316 Words | Posted 2/21/2017 | Comments
Back in November iStock contributors were told that “Due to the complexity of the work required (in the iStock Royalties and Unification Project) we are pushing back most of the changes by about a month.” Given the new system for calculating subscription royalties that was being introduced, January statement would not be available until February 20th and royalties would be paid on February 25th. February 20th has passed. Still no statements.

Can Prices Be Increased?

By Jim Pickerell | 1178 Words | Posted 2/21/2017 | Comments (1)
A top 2017 priority for the major image distributors should be to reverse existing pricing trends and find a way to begin to increase usage fees to some extent. Usage fees have been steadily declining for a number of years. The industry must find a way to turn the corner.

Editorial Photography In France

By Jim Pickerell | 506 Words | Posted 2/20/2017 | Comments
Is there a future for editorial photographers in France? France used to be one of the most vibrant markets in the world for editorial photography. That seems to be rapidly dying, not because of a lack of French publications (See chart) that want to use editorial pictures. Some just don’t want to pay for the images they use.

Statistics: Available Images, 2016 Licenses

By Jim Pickerell | 478 Words | Posted 2/16/2017 | Comments
I was recently asked if I had any statistics on the number of unique RM/RF images available for commercial licensing. Last September Justin Brinson said he had more than 500,000,000 unique RM and traditional RF images (no microstock) on his PicturEngine platform. These images were provided by 64 different agencies and a number of individual photographers.

More On Alamy Measures

By Jim Pickerell | 471 Words | Posted 2/16/2017 | Comments
One things that surprised me about the research I did for the Alamy Measures article was the small number of sales that were recorded.

Alamy Measures

By Jim Pickerell | 1869 Words | Posted 2/14/2017 | Comments
I Made A Mistake. In last week’s story on Alamy Image Manager I said that “contributors have no idea how frequently customers use a particular word to search for images.” That turns out to be totally wrong.

Switching From RM To RF

By Jim Pickerell | 589 Words | Posted 2/14/2017 | Comments (2)
More and more frequently RM photographers are receiving notes from their agencies, or the production companies representing their work, suggesting that they move some of their older images to RF. This make sense for images that might have been good seller at one time, but haven’t made any sales in the last year or so.

Alamy Image Manager

By Jim Pickerell | 795 Words | Posted 2/10/2017 | Comments
As image databases get larger and larger, keywording becomes more and more important as photographers try to get their work high enough in the search-return-order for the images to be seen. Often creators must spend more time keywording than they spend taking pictures. In addition, image distributors are constantly coming up with new strategies that often necessitate going back and re-keywording images that have already been uploaded.

Group Registration Of Photographs

By Jim Pickerell | 426 Words | Posted 2/10/2017 | Comments
DMLA together with various other visual arts associations (what we are loosely referring to a Coalition of Visual Artists –DMLA, APA, ASMP, GAG, NPPA, NANPA, and PPA) filed a joint response to a proposed rulemaking by the Copyright Office on Group Registration of Photographs.

Shutterstock Stats

By Jim Pickerell | 603 Words | Posted 2/8/2017 | Comments (1)
As of January 19, 2017 Shutterstock had 119,292,457 royalty free stock images in its collection according to www.microstock.top. They had added 1,352,852 new stock images during the week. I recently discovered microstock.top which provides some very detailed breakdowns of Shutterstock contributors. It is unclear how frequently they will update this information, but it is the kind of information that can help everyone in the industry – Shutterstock contributor or not – have better understanding of Shutterstock’s business.

Attempt By Maryland To Regulate Copyright Demand Letters Thwarted

By Nancy e. Wolff | 462 Words | Posted 2/8/2017 | Comments
Action by the DMLA and other photography trade associations successfully headed off proposed legislation by the Maryland Senate Finance Committee aimed at preventing copyright owners from “making certain assertions of copyright infringement in bad faith”. The bill stipulated that a court may consider, among other factors, the absence of a certificate of copyright registration accompanying the letter as evidence of bad faith.

Shutterstock: Running The Numbers

By Jim Pickerell | 1091 Words | Posted 2/7/2017 | Comments
Based on the number of downloads Shutterstock had in the first three quarters it looks like they will report about 167,000,000 total downloads for 2016 when they report their full year numbers on February 27, 2017. Last year they reported 147,200,000 downloads for 2015.

500px On Adobe Stock

By Jim Pickerell | 302 Words | Posted 2/7/2017 | Comments
500px has also announced a collaboration with Adobe to introduce a select set of 500px images to Adobe Stock users within the Adobe Stock Premium Collection.

Getty RF vs iStock Signature

By Jim Pickerell | 633 Words | Posted 2/6/2017 | Comments
Some Getty Images RF contributors have begun to share sales data with iStock Signature contributors and are coming to the conclusion that they can earn more money from images in the iStock Signature collection than from images on Gettyimages.com.

Shutterstock Offers Lower Subscription Options

By Jim Pickerell | 1104 Words | Posted 2/3/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock says they are “testing” new subscription options that allow customers to download either 10 or 50 images per month. The prices for these packages are $29 and $99 respectively on an annual purchase plan. This seems to be a reaction to the iStock and Adobestock subscription offerings (see chart below) that have been in place for some time.

Supply And Demand

By Jim Pickerell | 1178 Words | Posted 2/2/2017 | Comments (1)
Twenty-five to 30 years ago there was a large demand for stock images relative to supply. Prices to use a stock image -- while reasonable when compared to what it cost to hire a photographer for an assignment -- were much higher than they are today. It was possible for a professional photographer to produce a lot of images that no one wanted to buy, and still earn a decent living from the few that did sell.

Shutterstock Position on US Executive Order on Immigration

By Jim Pickerell | 359 Words | Posted 2/1/2017 | Comments
Jon Oringer, Founder/CEO of Shutterstock Images has sent the following letter to staff and contributors outlining Shutterstock’s position on the recent immigration decision.

Programmatic Advertising At Getty Images

By Jim Pickerell | 747 Words | Posted 1/31/2017 | Comments
Getty is adding Programmatic Advertising content to its site. In June 2016 CEO Dawn Avery pointed out, that “Over 97 per cent of visitors come to our websites to look at – not purchase – amazing imagery.”  Getty is trying to find a way to earn some money from this 97% of users.

Do Takedown Notices Work?

By Jim Pickerell | 505 Words | Posted 1/30/2017 | Comments
The U.S. Copyright Office is trying to determine the impact and effectiveness of safe harbor provisions contained in Section 512 of the Digital Millennial Copyright Act (DMCA). The safe harbor offers qualified Internet Service Providers (ISPs) immunity from monetary damages for hosting infringing content if the ISP expeditiously removes the content after receiving a proper notice.

Shutterstock Visual Trends

By Jim Pickerell | 204 Words | Posted 1/30/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock has released its annual Creative Trends report, which is developed from analyzing the information from millions of searches and downloads.

How Can Shutterstock Grow Revenue?

By Jim Pickerell | 1096 Words | Posted 1/27/2017 | Comments
Recently, I was asked my opinion of what Shutterstock could do to grow revenue? The questioner had come to the conclusion that there will be very little growth in coming years in the number of stock photo customer or the quantity of still images or illustration that each will use. He also feels that iStock, AdobeStock and even Getty Images have priced their products very competitively with Shutterstock making it difficult for Shutterstock to simply raise prices.

What Sells?

By Jim Pickerell | 842 Words | Posted 1/26/2017 | Comments
It is that time when everyone talks about “trends” for the coming year. Getty offered an hour-long seminar on January 19, 2017 that can be reviewed in this youtube video.

iStock Data: 5 Days Left

By Jim Pickerell | 170 Words | Posted 1/26/2017 | Comments
iStock contributors who want to retain their detailed historical royalty data up to and including December 31st 2016 have 5 days left before that data disappears from the iStock site. After January 31, 2017 Account Management will only offer 23 months of summary historical royalty data. It’s critical that contributors download all the data they require from the iStock site as soon as possible.

500px Launches Photographer Directory

By Jim Pickerell | 652 Words | Posted 1/25/2017 | Comments
500px has launched a new, easy-to-use global photographer directory with over 50,000 photographers from 11,000 searchable locations across 191 countries. Customers may search for a photographer in a specific city or town who specializes in one of 18 different categories of photography.

Decline In Textbook Use

By Jim Pickerell | 430 Words | Posted 1/23/2017 | Comments
Pearson has reported that in 2016 the North American higher education courseware market was much weaker than expected and that their net revenues fell 30% in the final quarter resulting in an unprecedented 18% decline for the year.

Dreamstime: 250 “Authentic” Images

By Jim Pickerell | 2890 Words | Posted 1/20/2017 | Comments
Dreamstime editors and CEO Serban Enache recently released a promotion of 250 “authentic” images from the Dreamstime collection. While this collection of images certainly shows customers that Dreamstime has some very impressive and beautiful images, it may not be very representative of what Dreamstime is actually selling. Thus, when planning future shoots image creators may not want to use this collection as a guide.

SkyPan Fined $200,000 For Violating FAA Regulations

By Jim Pickerell | 117 Words | Posted 1/20/2017 | Comments
If you are using a drone for aerial photography be careful that you don’t violate FAA regulations. SkyPan International was just fined $200,000 for violating FAA “Rule 107.”

Switching From Stills To Video

By Jim Pickerell | 1475 Words | Posted 1/18/2017 | Comments
Many still photographers have watched their revenue decline and are considering transitioning to video. In a recent article I asked Jesse Hughes, Jim Erickson’s director of sales to outline some of the specific challenges a videographer faces, and ways that a video shoot differs from a still shoot. I’ve also contacted two other photographers – Gail Mooney-Kelly of New York and David Scott Smith of Montana – for their thoughts. Both or these photographers were very successful still shooters at one point in their careers, but for a number of years now have focused almost exclusively on producing video.

Erickson Stock RF Now Available At PantherMedia

By Jim Pickerell | 426 Words | Posted 1/17/2017 | Comments
Erickson Stock has recently launched an RF collection that is now available on PantherMedia. For over 30 years Jim Erickson has been one of the US's preeminent commercial photographers and has created timeless imagery for hundreds of blue chip clients, including AT&T, American Express, Wells Fargo, Cisco, Pinnacle Entertainment, General Motors, HBO, Pfizer, Merrill Lynch, United Airlines and Home Depot.

Mega Agency Does Syndication Deal With AMI

By Jim Pickerell | 505 Words | Posted 1/16/2017 | Comments
The Mega Agency launched its newly-signed syndication deal with American Media Inc. (AMI), one of America’s biggest publishers, with world-wide coverage of the first wedding of Prince Harry’s new girlfriend Meghan Markle.

What Is An “Authentic” Photo?

By Jim Pickerell | 914 Words | Posted 1/13/2017 | Comments
What is an “Authentic” picture? Do they really sell? Photographers are being asked to produce more authentic pictures, but they are being given little or no information about what makes a image authethic, or how well such images are actually selling.

Protect Your Copyright: Respond To Survey

By Jim Pickerell | 288 Words | Posted 1/12/2017 | Comments
If copyright protection is important to you, it is absolutely critical that you respond by January 31, 2017 to the survey that the new Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden has posted on Survey Monkey.

Dinodia: Pictures From India

By Jim Pickerell | 101 Words | Posted 1/11/2017 | Comments (1)
If in the last 30 years you’ve seen an image taken in India there is a good chance it was supplied by Dinodia Photo Library. For years Dinodia images have been represented by many other image distributors around the world and those images have found their way into countless books, newspaper and magazine articles.

Footage: The Future

By Jim Pickerell | 3403 Words | Posted 1/10/2017 | Comments
David Seevers, Chief Marketing Officer of Footage.net and owner of Thriving Archives recently asked me for my thoughts on the future of the footage industry. As owner of Thriving Archives Seevers was also the principle author of all three ACSIL Global Surveys and has produced other industry specific research reports.

Getty Granted Temporary Restraining Order Against Roxanne Motamedi

By Jim Pickerell | 357 Words | Posted 1/10/2017 | Comments
Getty Images has been granted a temporary restraining order against it former VP of Global Entertainment, Roxanne Motamedi. Motamedi held the post at Getty from June 2009 to November 2016 and was based in Los Angeles.

Shutterstock Announces UK Distribution Deal With AP

By Jim Pickerell | 259 Words | Posted 1/10/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has announced that it has expanded its milestone multi-year deal with The Associated Press (AP). Beginning this week, Shutterstock will distribute AP’s daily global photo output for license to customers based in the United Kingdom. Shutterstock’s enterprise customers in the United Kingdom will have access to over 30 million photos from AP Images.

What Image Creators Need

By Jim Pickerell | 662 Words | Posted 1/5/2017 | Comments
As I pointed out in my iStock article on Monday more and more of the top image creators are cutting back on production and turning to other ways to earn a living. It’s not only microstock photographers who are pulling back, those selling RM and traditional RF are in even greater retreat. See this article

Diversity: Are Stock Agencies Showing What’s Needed?

By Jim Pickerell | 784 Words | Posted 1/4/2017 | Comments
A couple weeks ago, I was interviewed by an NPR writer for a story about stock photography. The first question out of the box was “Why aren’t the stock agencies doing a better job of showing diversity?” I wasn’t sure how to answer that question because I felt that for a long time photographers have been pushed to show more diversity and there must be a lot of such pictures in the stock agency collections.

Agencies Ignoring Data

By Jim Pickerell | 1386 Words | Posted 1/3/2017 | Comments
The major agencies talk about how important their DATA is and how it has changed the industry. They argue that the company with the most and best data will be the winner. But I don’t think they are really looking at much of the data they have collected – or looking at it in the right way.

iStock Single Image Download Decline Continues

By Jim Pickerell | 1042 Words | Posted 1/2/2017 | Comments
iStock single image downloads appear to have continued to decline in the last half of 2016. Unfortunately, five of the 430 contributors that we tracked in the past have now disappeared. In the last report these contributors represented 544,000 total career downloads. It is unclear whether they have withdrawn their collections, or repurposed them under another brand that I am no longer able to track.

Art Buyers Survey

By Jim Pickerell | 563 Words | Posted 12/27/2016 | Comments
The results of the VisualSteam’s Annual Survey of Art Buyers has just been released. The 19-page report is packed with useful information that image creators and stock photo sellers need to know. Anyone trying to earn a living producing stock images should read this report. It is well worth the $49.95 fee

RM: The Future

By Jim Pickerell | 298 Words | Posted 12/21/2016 | Comments
The Getty Creative collection has grown by 4% in 4 months and now stands at 17,376,859 images. At that rate the collection size will be about 19,462,082 images by the end of 2017. In August 38% of the collection was RM images. Today 36.8% of the images are RM. At this rate of decline less than one-third of the images will be RM by the end of 2017. A huge percentage of these RM images are supplied by image partner agencies that only, or predominately, represent RM images

Keywording Changes At Getty/iStock

By Jim Pickerell | 412 Words | Posted 12/21/2016 | Comments
iStock photographers may want to use downtime over the Christmas and New Year holidays to prepare and upload images that are in the photographer’s queue for their eventual upload to iStock. The Unification of the upload system for both the Getty Images and iStock sites is now scheduled to go into effect on February 1, 2017. There are plans to change the keyword vocabulary for both sites over to the Getty vocabulary, which might mean that after that time the keywords the photographer submits may no longer be included in the list of words attached to the image.

Subscriptions: Do Customers Download All The Images Allowed?

By Jim Pickerell | 548 Words | Posted 12/19/2016 | Comments
How many customers make maximum use of their subscriptions? Most businesses that offer subscriptions offer their customers much more than they can ever use for one fixed price. Some customers like this because they know exactly what their monthly costs will be regardless of how much they use the service.

Enterprise Mystery

By Jim Pickerell | 1109 Words | Posted 12/15/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock supplies very little information about their Enterprise customers and how Enterprise sales work. Yet it is an extremely important segment of their business and critical to understanding the company’s potential for future growth. At the end of Q3 2016 Shutterstock had 35,000 Enterprise customers up from 24,000 at the beginning of the year, or about a 46% increase in 9 months. How much of that 46% is real growth?

Visual China Group Investors Dump Stock

By Jim Pickerell | 246 Words | Posted 12/14/2016 | Comments (4)
Visual China Group the company that acquired Corbis in January 2016 has seen a more than 50% decline in value as an investment since the purchase and a 20% decline in the last month. VCG is a publicly traded company on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

ImagineChina To Represent Framepool

By Jim Pickerell | 400 Words | Posted 12/12/2016 | Comments
A week after announcing that it had acquired 86.6 percent of Framepool, Broadside Enterprises, Inc. (also known as Emaji) has announced that Frampool AG has entered into an agreement with ImagineChina, one of the largest photo and video agencies in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Tracking iStock Uses

By Jim Pickerell | 646 Words | Posted 12/12/2016 | Comments
It is almost that time of year (early January) when I publish one of my semi-annual reports on iStock sales trends. A reader asked me recently to explain how I get access to the information in these reports. I'll explain the process I go through in this report.

Diversity: Do We Have The Right Images?

By Jim Pickerell | 927 Words | Posted 12/9/2016 | Comments (1)
I was recently asked by an African American stock photo customer why the stock photo industry doesn’t do a better job of showing diversity. I was surprised by the question and didn’t know how to answer.

How About Some Encouraging Information For RM Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 1726 Words | Posted 12/9/2016 | Comments (4)
After my story last week on “High Level Thoughts On The Stock Industry” John Fowler asked, “Have you found any encouraging information at all from any RM photographers?  There must be some folks doing something that works for them.”

Highsmith Case Against Getty Dismissed

By Jim Pickerell | 258 Words | Posted 12/9/2016 | Comments
Last July, photographer Carol Highsmith filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Getty Images for $1 billion after discovering that Getty and its subsidiaries had been charging customers fees to license her images of Americana.

Splash: Roundabout Trip To Shutterstock

By Jim Pickerell | 702 Words | Posted 12/7/2016 | Comments (1)
According to a document filed with Companies House in the U.K. (see here) it appears that Rex Features Limited (owned by Shutterstock) lent Silverhub Media the money necessary to purchase Splash. In return Rex Features has received very extensive control over the activities of Silverhub with regard to certain unspecified assets.

Shutterstock Growth Trends

By Jim Pickerell | 901 Words | Posted 12/6/2016 | Comments
I was asked recently if I am optimistic that Shutterstock will maintain its momentum in 2017? The short answer is YES, I believe Shuttrstock’s 2017 growth will continue on the same track as it has in the last two years. In 2014 revenue growth was 39%. In 2015 it was 30% and in 2016 it is expected to be around 18%. I expect the company will continue to maintain its DOWNWARD trend.

Pond5 Introduces Extended Licenses

By Jim Pickerell | 217 Words | Posted 12/5/2016 | Comments
Pond5 has announced the launch of its new Extended Licenses offering some of the highest levels of coverage, protection, and flexibility in the industry.

High-Level Thoughts On Stock Industry

By Jim Pickerell | 1831 Words | Posted 12/2/2016 | Comments (3)
An investment portfolio manager recently asked me to spend five minutes giving my “high-level thoughts on the (stock photo) industry outlook, competitive dynamics and emerging trends.” I couldn’t do it in anywhere near five minutes. Here are my high-level thoughts.

Splash Sold Again

By Jim Pickerell | 228 Words | Posted 12/2/2016 | Comments
Celebrity photo agency Splash News was sold to Corbis in 2011 and has now been acquired by SilverHub Media. SilverHub Media recently did an exclusive deal with Shutterstock for worldwide representation of the images in its collection. Thus, the Splash images should now be available through Shutterstock.

Sherman Grinberg Film Library Joins Footage.net   

By Jim Pickerell | 442 Words | Posted 12/1/2016 | Comments
Footage.net, the stock, archival and news footage search engine, has announce that preview clips from the Sherman Grinberg Film Library are available for viewing through Footage.net.

Emaji Acquires 86.6 Percent Of Frampool

By Jim Pickerell | 366 Words | Posted 11/30/2016 | Comments
Emaji, Inc. a publicly traded development stage company based in Irvine, CA has announced the acquisition of 86.6 percent of the outstanding shares of Framepool AG (www.framepool.com), a leading distributor of stock footage with headquarters in Munich, Germany.

Image Supply: Are There Problems?

By Jim Pickerell | 949 Words | Posted 11/28/2016 | Comments (1)
Many Shutterstock investors see the steadily rising number of images in the Shutterstock collection and the number of new content creators being added each quarter and come to the conclusion that there is no problem on the supply side of the stock photo business. But, having more and more product is not enough. It needs to be the right product that fulfills the customer’s needs. And the right images need to be easy for each unique customer to find.

Bridgeman Images To Represent The British Library

By Jim Pickerell | 181 Words | Posted 11/28/2016 | Comments
Bridgeman Images is proud and excited to have won the tender for the exclusive representation of the British Library content in the UK. Bridgeman Images has worked for the British Library for many years across all our offices. We are delighted to have been appointed for all commercial and editorial licensing with the exception of branded products and scholarly uses which will remain with the British Library.

Black Friday

By Jim Pickerell | 127 Words | Posted 11/25/2016 | Comments
Let’s see if we can sell a few images for less. Check out the offers from Deposit Photos, 500px, ImageSource and Dreamstime.

Getty Unification Delay

By Jim Pickerell | 581 Words | Posted 11/25/2016 | Comments
A month after the Getty’s initial announcement of its Unification Project Getty has announced that “Due to the complexity of the work required (in the iStock Royalties and Unification Project) we are pushing back most of the changes by about a month.”

Haystack: New Image Search Strategy

By Jim Pickerell | 740 Words | Posted 11/23/2016 | Comments
In an effort to make it easier for art directors to find the right image quickly Haystack has launched a site that lets users search multiple agency sites simultaneously. Andrew Rowat and technology developer Vache Asatryan created Haystack and call their site the kayak.com for licensing images. They have 19 collections on the site already and say they will be adding a number of additional agency sites in the near future.

Getty Unification: Image Ingestion

By Jim Pickerell | 607 Words | Posted 11/23/2016 | Comments
Once Getty’s Unification Project is fully implemented one of the issues Getty and iStock photographers will need to consider is where to upload new images in order to minimize effort and maximize sales and revenue.

Is Going After Unauthorized Uses Worth It?

By Jim Pickerell | 1966 Words | Posted 11/22/2016 | Comments (1)
After looking at their sales reports, an increasing number of photographers are deciding that it no longer makes sense to produce new images. At the same time, they are aware that many of the images that they produced years ago are being used very widely across the Internet without their permission. Some are saying, “Maybe, rather than producing new images, it is better to spend my time chasing infringements of the images I have already created.”

Big Data: Is Anyone In The Stock Industry Paying Attention?

By Jim Pickerell | 1511 Words | Posted 11/18/2016 | Comments
The buzz word in the world today is “Big Data” and how it is going to improve everything. But in the stock photo business are the major agencies are really examining the data they have collected? If they were I think they would be more worried about their future and doing a lot of things differently. I don’t see that happening.

Making Up For Declining Stock Photo Sales

By Jim Pickerell | 1142 Words | Posted 11/16/2016 | Comments
As I pointed out in a previous article I recently contacted a number of very successful photographers who, in the 90s, earned most, if not all, of their income from stock photography. After 2000, and despite a lot of continuing hard work and cost cutting, many saw significant earning declines and eventually had to look for something other ways to support themselves and their families.

Shutterstock Does Exclusive Deal With SilverHub Media

By Jim Pickerell | 424 Words | Posted 11/16/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has signed an exclusive deal to distribute SilverHub Media’s growing collection of imagery worldwide.

Cautionary Tale

By Jim Pickerell | 722 Words | Posted 11/15/2016 | Comments (3)
If you think hard work, and continuing to produce better and better images is all that’s needed to make money in the stock photography business, think again. Here’s the story of one very successful photographer who started in the business in the late 1970s and how the last 16 years have impacted his business.

PicturEngine Empowers Agencies, Designers and Photographers with One Search

By Jim Pickerell | 441 Words | Posted 11/14/2016 | Comments (1)
PicturEngine has gone public with a promotion to the 95% of design professionals that use stock photography. For the first time, buyers looking for a comprehensive all-in-one search tool can review and license photography from all industry sources – and get no duplicates.

Dissolve Launches New Footage Collections

By Jim Pickerell | 412 Words | Posted 11/11/2016 | Comments
Dissolve, the stock footage and photography provider, today announced the launch of three new premium stock footage collections, Dissolve Filmmaker™, Dissolve Auteur™, and Dissolve Elements™. The clips are available now for licensing and use in movie, TV, and commercial projects.

Free Image Use: Is It Indicative Of What Paying Customers Will Buy?

By Jim Pickerell | 516 Words | Posted 11/10/2016 | Comments
Dreamstime, with over 50 million stock images, and more than 16 million users has added 10,000 new images to its now 20,000 image library of free images available at www.dreamstime.com/free-photos.?? Dreamstime also uses artificial intelligence-driven data from its companion site Stockfreeimages.com to dynamically adjust recommended image content based on user preferences.

Getty Partners With ITN For Footage Distribution

By Jim Pickerell | 425 Words | Posted 11/10/2016 | Comments
ITN, the UK’s leading supplier of independent broadcast news has agreed a multi-year partnership with Getty Images, to license and distribute its award-winning news archive around the world from mid-2017. The distribution agreement will see over one million clips spanning more than 60 years of iconic news footage reach an even larger audience through Getty Images’ industry-leading global platform and expert international sales team servicing millions of buyers in nearly 200 countries.

What’s Next At Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 1057 Words | Posted 11/9/2016 | Comments
The Getty Unification Project that creates common platforms where both iStock and Getty Images contributors can upload their images and bring them into the Getty marketing system opens the door for a lot of potential new changes. If, or when, any of the following issues will come to fruition is unclear. But, Getty or iStock contributors and anyone considering offering images to either of these companies should consider the implications of these possible changes.

What’s Selling At ImageBrief

By Jim Pickerell | 279 Words | Posted 11/9/2016 | Comments
In a recent promotion ImageBrief sent out a link to its “What’s Selling” collection. This is a hand picked subset of sold images specifically organized for photographers who have asked for insights into the type of images clients are buying.

iStock Unification: What’s It Mean For Contributors?

By Jim Pickerell | 1584 Words | Posted 11/8/2016 | Comments
With Getty’s announcement in late October of the Unification Timeline that is due to take effect January 3, 2017 most iStock contributors have focused on the fact that the minimum guaranteed royalty for a subscription download would be $0.02.

Chasing Infringements

By Jim Pickerell | 915 Words | Posted 11/7/2016 | Comments (1)
ImageRights monitors use of the work of more than 8,000 professional photographers and photo agencies worldwide to assist them in ensuring that their intellectual property rights are protected.  Notable clients include Magnum Photos, CPi Syndication, Nunn Syndication Ltd., Playboy Enterprises, and Lickerish Ltd.

Shutterstock Q3 2016 Financial Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1711 Words | Posted 11/4/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported Q3 2016 revenue of $123.1 million up 15% from $107.3 million compared to Q3 2015. The growth is due mainly to new customers and increased activity by enterprise clients. The average price per download during the quarter was $2.91, up from $2.76 in Q3 2015 and from $2.81 in Q2 2016. There were 41.2 million paid downloads in the quarter and 102.7 million still images and illustrations in the collection at the end of the quarter up 61% from 63.7 million a year ago.

Getty Launches Verbatim

By Jim Pickerell | 374 Words | Posted 11/3/2016 | Comments
Getty Images has launched a new commercial assignments venture, Verbatim and is dedicating focus, resource and its world-leading photo expertise to capture the opportunity within the commercial sector to bring authentic visual storytelling to the fore.

Shutterstock’s Distributes AM Stock-Cameo Film Library

By Jim Pickerell | 252 Words | Posted 11/3/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock has announced an exclusive three-year agreement with AM Stock-Cameo to make more than 60,000 HD clips available to Shutterstock users. This robust, diverse library features aerial footage, explosions, driving plates, and shots of hospitals, military bases, schools, and more. This is essential footage for transition and establishing shots.

Stock Photo Business In China

By Jim Pickerell | 2016 Words | Posted 11/3/2016 | Comments (1)
Chai Jijun, Co-Founder and EVP of Visual China Group (VCG) provided a very detailed and complete picture of the stock photo business in China when he gave the keynote address at the DMLA 2016 Conference last week. The following is his presentation.

Stocksy: Highly Curated Content vs. UGC

By Jim Pickerell | 1138 Words | Posted 11/2/2016 | Comments
Will crowd-sourcing images (UGC) or highly curated collections from professional creators be the future of stock photography? All the major suppliers of stock imagery are focused on acquiring more User Generated Content, but long range will that be the best way to grow revenue or create the most usable collections for image consumers? At the recent DMLA 2016 Conference Brianna Wettlaufer, CEO of Stocky United, talked about an alternative to UGC and how to run a viable, sustainable and profitable photographer’s co-op.

european pressphoto agency and Shutterstock Sign Global Distribution Deal

By Jim Pickerell | 264 Words | Posted 11/2/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has signed a deal with the european pressphoto agency b.v. (epa) to distribute its unique collections of visual content globally. Beginning in January 2017, Shutterstock’s editorial customers, which include some of the largest media companies and publishing houses, will be able to license epa’s daily image content from around the world.

Adobe Stock Partners With Reuters

By Jim Pickerell | 545 Words | Posted 11/2/2016 | Comments
Adobe Stock has announced a partnership with Reuters that will enable creatives to access Reuters editorial content, as well as over 60 million royalty-free commercial photos, videos, illustrations, graphics, 3D assets and templates.

Unification Of iStock And Getty Images Sites

By Jim Pickerell | 1308 Words | Posted 11/1/2016 | Comments
Big changes at Getty are on the way. Getty has supplied its contributors with the following information about a Unification project that will create common platforms for both iStock and Getty Images contributors. While many specifics have been provided there are still a number of questions about how this may impact current contributors and industry competitors. I will comment in a later article. In the meantime, I will be very interested in comments or questions anyone in the industry might have.

GDUSA Stock Visual Reader Survey

By Jim Pickerell | 1160 Words | Posted 10/26/2016 | Comments
The 30th annual GDUSA Stock Visual Reader Survey, is now available. GDUSA says that stock visuals have become a vital creative resource for graphic designers, moving over the 30-year period from marginal to mainstream to essential.

Maria Pallante Removed as Head of Copyright Office

By Jim Pickerell | 730 Words | Posted 10/25/2016 | Comments
After five years in the position of US Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante was fired last Friday. Pallante was informed of her change in roles by being locked out of her computer. Maria has been a huge advocate for the rights of Creators and instrumental in the industry’s efforts for modernizing the Copyright Office and the creation of a Small Claim’s Court for Creators. She has been seen as being fair and unbiased by all who know her.

Image Brief Collections

By Jim Pickerell | 423 Words | Posted 10/24/2016 | Comments
In an effort to make it easier for customers to find the images they need, ImageBrief has pulled together into 72 collections of 11,352 of the best images its photographers have submitted in response to customer briefs. See the list of collections below.

Robertharding Announces ‘good to go’ License

By Jim Pickerell | 267 Words | Posted 10/24/2016 | Comments
The stock photography world is changing fast, and constantly throwing up new challenges. robertharding has decided to take a pioneering approach to creating new and exciting ways of working that will enable a new generation of image buying clients to find and purchase the work of a new generation of photographers in the easiest way possible.

PhotoPlus Expo 2016

By Jim Pickerell | 629 Words | Posted 10/21/2016 | Comments (2)
I just returned from the 2016 PhotoPlus Expo. For the stock photographer there wasn’t much reason to go. If your interested in seeing what’s new in the way of equipment, then the Expo in New York is the once-a-year place to be. The Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Epson, Olympus and Tamron exhibits at the trade show were as big as always. Canon’s space may have even be bigger. But, overall the trade show was the smallest ever.

Shutterstock Editor

By Jim Pickerell | 246 Words | Posted 10/21/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has expanded the functionality of its design application, Shutterstock Editor. Features including professionally designed templates and the ability to upload personalized visual content such as a logo or business image, save designs for editing later, and publish finished designs to social networks are now available from within the application.

Search Algorithms: How Do They Work?

By Jim Pickerell | 777 Words | Posted 10/19/2016 | Comments (1)
Microstock sites used to surface new images for weeks or months after they were uploaded. Now, photographers are saying that this no longer seems to be happening. It would be nice if photographers had more information and a better understanding about how the search algorithms work. Here's a little about how I think these complex algorithms work.

Something For Nothing

By Jim Pickerell | 354 Words | Posted 10/19/2016 | Comments (1)
Justin Black operates Visionary Wild a company that organizes workshops and photo tours for passionate photographers who have attended workshops and seminars with experienced photographers and are looking for new opportunities to move their work to the next level of quality, depth, purpose and meaning. Justin shared this story that occurred on a recent scouting trip to Svalbard aboard an expedition cruise ship.

Big Data: Is Stock Industry Using It Effectively?

By Jim Pickerell | 821 Words | Posted 10/18/2016 | Comments
There is a lot of talk about how Big Data will save the industry, but are the major stock image distributors using the data they collect effectively? Given the huge number of images currently in major databases, it would seem that a very high percentage of them are never viewed by anyone. If the distributors are collecting data properly, they should know which images are reviewed by customers and which aren’t. If there are lots of images that are never reviewed by customers, is there any way to generate revenue from those images.

Pearson Nine-month Interim Management Statement

By Jim Pickerell | 254 Words | Posted 10/17/2016 | Comments
Overall sales for Pearson fell 7% in the first 9 months of 2016, due to further inventory corrections by retailers in North American Higher Education courseware in July and August. Pearson noted that trends improved in September and, so far, into October.

Volume And Search Return Are Killing Sales

By Jim Pickerell | 1185 Words | Posted 10/14/2016 | Comments
In the “Goodbye Shutterstock” thread on MicrostockGroup marthamarks said, “My older images still sell on Shutterstock, but newer ones die there.” Why would that be? One would expect newer images to sell better, particularly when agencies continue to ask for more and more images. This does not seem to be insolated complaint, but one common to many long time Shutterstock contributors.

Releases and Sensitive Subjects

By Jim Pickerell | 631 Words | Posted 10/13/2016 | Comments
As more and more amateurs supply images for marketing – particularly “candid, real life” images – there may be an increased risk of images without proper releases getting used. Some agencies – and maybe even customers -- are also becoming more lax in checking whether valid releases exist. While many agencies require that a release be submitted with all people images, not all do.

Book Reading: Print or Digital Devices

By Jim Pickerell | 349 Words | Posted 10/12/2016 | Comments
According to the Pew Research Center in the last year 39% of Americans read only print books. Another 26% didn’t read any books at all, but read other things. The question is where do the other 35% of book readers get their information. Remember, that not so long ago the 74% who wanted to read a book turned to one that was printed.

Video Clip Acquisition: Adobe Premiere CC Projects

By Jim Pickerell | 511 Words | Posted 10/12/2016 | Comments
In a research project performed by Pfeiffer Consulting for Adobe Stock, Pfeiffer found that users who acquire video clips from Adobe Stock could realized up to a 6x productivity increase for their video workflow compared to using other conventional stock video sources.

Image Buyers Using Google Search

By Jim Pickerell | 731 Words | Posted 10/7/2016 | Comments (1)
Last month Africa Media Online conducted a survey to gain an understanding of how picture buyers and picture researchers use Google to find images. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of respondents use Google to help them find images for licensing.

Photography Education: What’s Needed

By Jim Pickerell | 269 Words | Posted 10/7/2016 | Comments
Fstoppers has reported on a new survey being conducted in the UK to try gather information about the future potential of photography as a career.

Images In Popular Subject Categories

By Jim Pickerell | 1030 Words | Posted 10/6/2016 | Comments (1)
In the chart below I’ve searched Shutterstock, iStock, AdobeStock, Alamy and Getty Images for the number of images in popular subject categories. No customer would use these words alone in a search for images. Other words would certainly be needed to narrow the search for something more specific within each category. (Note: that some images have more than one of these keyword and will appear in multiple categories.)

iStock Contributors: Average Download Per Image

By Jim Pickerell | 5397 Words | Posted 10/5/2016 | Comments (3)
For the last 5 years I have conducted a semi-annual analysis of the number of downloads and images in the collection of 432 of iStock’s leading contributors. There may be some newer contributors that are now among the top iStock earners, but I don’t think very many. It takes time to build a significant collection and begin to get volumes of sales. These 432 probably represent one-third of all iStock single image downloads since the company began.

Built Images Architectural Photography Joins Blend Images

By Jim Pickerell | 317 Words | Posted 10/5/2016 | Comments
Blend Images has announced exclusive representation of the Built Images stock library. With over 25,000 property-released photographs of contemporary commercial and residential architecture, interior design and home lifestyle, the “Built” collection is one of the most comprehensive and diverse image resources of its kind available for use in advertising and graphic design. This unique collection represents work from more than fifty of the top architectural photographers from the United States and around the world.

Of Images In Collections: How Many Are Actually Used

By Jim Pickerell | 1222 Words | Posted 10/4/2016 | Comments
How many of the images in stock photography collections are ever used? The stock photo distributors could figure this out, but for the most part I don’t think they pay attention to this figure -- or really care. Their interest is in unit sales, and average price. They don’t care if a few images sell hundreds of times, or every image in their collection sells once – as long as revenue continues to rise.

Understanding What Stock Photo Buyers Want

By Jim Pickerell | 1333 Words | Posted 10/3/2016 | Comments (1)
Stock photographers need a better understanding of image buyers – their frustrations and what could make their lives easier. Jon Anderson is CEO of Foto Sushi a new stock agency. He is also a Creative Director who has worked on B2B and B2C projects both within an advertising agency and corporate marketing organizations for more than 14 years. In a recent Foto Sushi promotion sent to image buyers, he hit on some very important points that all image creators ought to consider.

Stopping Copyright Thief In China

By Jim Pickerell | 877 Words | Posted 10/3/2016 | Comments
Guarding intellectual property rights in China causes many headaches - but also opens fresh opportunities for lateral thinkers like Chu Yong, whose company’s biggest income stream comes from court cases against copyright thieves. He is making more money for his 400 image creators he represents from compensation for infringement, than many of them receive from selling their products to genuine buyers.

Image Creators: Open Letter To U.S. Senators

By Jim Pickerell | 1439 Words | Posted 9/29/2016 | Comments
Getty Images is asking image creators to add their names to an open letter to U.S. Senators. The letter asks the Senators to say NO to Google’s anti-competitive Image Scraping practices that harm visual artists and other independent creators.

Will Stopping Google Image Scraping Solve Photographer’s Problems?

By Jim Pickerell | 516 Words | Posted 9/29/2016 | Comments (1)
Getty announced on April 27th that it would file a complaint against Google with the European Commission concerning Google’s anti-competitive business practices. On May 20th, to the chagrin of CEPIC, they announced they would not pursue a copyright case against Google in U.S. courts  

Blame Game

By Jim Pickerell | 1622 Words | Posted 9/28/2016 | Comments
It does little good to blame someone else for how things have changed. We’re not going back to the old ways. The important thing is to figure out how to move forward. As might be expected not all readers agree with my take on where the industry is headed. A month or so ago a reader wrote: “When you write articles you must be impartial. The problem is you are very close to the Picture agencies that are destroying Photographer’s jobs. So its very difficult for you to be impartial.

Selling Stock: Purpose And Goals

By Jim Pickerell | 741 Words | Posted 9/28/2016 | Comments (3)
A month or so ago a reader wrote, “When you write articles you must be impartial. The problem is you are very close to the Picture agencies that are destroying Photographer’s jobs. So its very difficult for you to be impartial.” Since then I have been doing a lot of thinking about “impartial,” It may be time for me to provide a clear explanation of how I see my role as editor of Selling Stock.

How Good Is Visual Image Search?

By Jim Pickerell | 946 Words | Posted 9/27/2016 | Comments
Photographers are discovering that Getty is being paid fees by Pinterest for images it doesn’t represent.

Getty Images Launches Adobe Creative Cloud Plugin

By Jim Pickerell | 841 Words | Posted 9/26/2016 | Comments
Getty Images has launched an Adobe Photoshop plugin that allows user to find images in the Getty collection and then edit watermarked images in Photoshop. If any image found and manipulated in this manner is later purchased, the edits will be applied to the licensed content.

Flickr Marketplace Concedes Defeat

By Jim Pickerell | 337 Words | Posted 9/22/2016 | Comments
An increasingly competitive marketplace has led Yahoo-owned Flickr Marketplace to bow out of the stock photography market. After Getty Images terminated its agreement with Flickr in March 2014 that had enabled Getty to add almost 900,000 images from Flickr photographers to the Getty Images collection, Flickr decided it would set up its own Flickr Marketplace to market the images from its photographer community.

PicturEngine Update

By Jim Pickerell | 3363 Words | Posted 9/21/2016 | Comments
After publishing my analysis of PicturEngine last week (9/14) Justin Brinson, PicturEngine CEO, made extensive comments. I’ve decided to re-publish the entire story with Justin’s comments inserted where he indicated.  I hope this gives readers a clearer understanding of this new search engine.

Stock Photo Revenue Trends Survey Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1492 Words | Posted 9/21/2016 | Comments (7)
One-hundred thirty-seven photographers from 27 countries responded to our Stock Photo Revenue Trends  survey. Forty-seven percent of the respondents were from North America and 14% from the UK. The rest were spread rather evenly among other countries.

Adobe Stock Launches Contributor Site

By Jim Pickerell | 418 Words | Posted 9/20/2016 | Comments
Adobe has launched the public beta of the Adobe Stock Contributor Site, a new platform that enables creatives to upload and sell their photos, illustrations, videos and vectors to the world’s largest creative community.

Industry Growth: 1992 - 2016

By Jim Pickerell | 1245 Words | Posted 9/19/2016 | Comments
Recently, I was asked for my thoughts on stock photo industry revenue growth between 1992 and 2016 with particular attention to the intermediate 8 year periods leading up to 2000 and 2008. I was also asked to make an estimate of the number of professional photographers in the world for the same years. I’ll deal with revenue growth first and the professional photographers later.

DMLA 2016 Conference

By Jim Pickerell | 747 Words | Posted 9/16/2016 | Comments
The 2016 Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA) annual conference will be held in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Jersey City on October 27-29. DMLA is known for its exceptional educational programming related to current industry issues.

EU Draft Directive on Copyright

By Jim Pickerell | 487 Words | Posted 9/15/2016 | Comments
On 14 September 2016 the European Commission published its copyright package including a draft directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market for promoting a “fair and efficient European copyright-based economy”. CEPIC represents hundreds of picture agencies and hundreds of thousands of photographers. CEPIC’s members have been digitizing visual content from the advent of the Internet. They license the resulting digital asset for all kinds of commercial uses, to newspapers, magazines, advertising, broadcasters, off and on-line, etc.

Foto Sushi: New Stock Image Library

By Jim Pickerell | 431 Words | Posted 9/15/2016 | Comments
A new stock photo source called Foto Sushi, LLC has launched a custom library of unique portrait photography suitable for any project. This small collection of what many photographers will classify as very simple images is interesting because it was created by Jon Anderson, a seasoned Art Director and Creative Director, who believes he has identified an unfulfilled need of his colleagues – image buyers.

PicturEngine Nears Public Launch To Customers

By Jim Pickerell | 1406 Words | Posted 9/14/2016 | Comments (1)
After years of development PicturEngine is about ready to begin promoting its search engine to customers. It has more than 500,000,000 keyword searchable images from 64 stock photo agencies and hundreds—soon to be thousands—of individual photographers.

Future Imagery Trends According to Shutterstock Research

By Jim Pickerell | 306 Words | Posted 9/14/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock has published a infographic on The Top Trends Shaping The Future Of Imagery. Photographers looking to produce the kind of imagery customers want to buy may want to make note of these trends outlined by Keren Sachs, Director of Content Development at Shutterstock and Offset.

Curation By Customers

By Jim Pickerell | 1157 Words | Posted 9/13/2016 | Comments
In the last few months I have argued that the stock photo industry needs smaller, better curated image collections. However, many of the major image collections have consciously decided that a totally opposite strategy is the best course of action. Agencies want to leave the curation process up to their customers.

Mega Expansion Continues With Australian Office

By Jim Pickerell | 1023 Words | Posted 9/12/2016 | Comments
The Mega Agency is partnering with the News and Entertainment division of Australia’s premier photo agency, Snapper Media, the two companies announced today, September 12th, 2016. The Snapper News and Entertainment division will operate under Mega’s name and both partners are confident the new venture will become an even more formidable player in the Australasian markets.

Can Assignment Photography Replace Some Stock?

By Jim Pickerell | 301 Words | Posted 9/12/2016 | Comments
Are graphic designers trying to raise their clients to the next level of quality becoming frustrated with generic images and insisting on more images that relate specifically to the brand. Here’s what one website design company in Pittsburgh is doing. Top Hat IMC, a Pittsburgh website design company, has launched its very own in-house brand photography service.

Trend Survey Deadline Approaching

By Jim Pickerell | 361 Words | Posted 9/8/2016 | Comments
The last day to respond to the Stock Photo Revenue Trends Survey that we launched last month will be September 17, 2016. For more information about the survey see here. The good news, so far, is that 13% of the respondents earn over $80,000 a year from stock sales alone.

Shutterstock Launches Adobe Photoshop® Plugin

By Jim Pickerell | 294 Words | Posted 9/8/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has announced that its vast collection of 100 million high-quality photos and illustrations is now accessible within Adobe Photoshop® software through its new custom built plugin. With more than 100,000 new images added every day, the Shutterstock plugin boasts the largest collection of photos and illustrations that can be licensed directly within the Creative Cloud desktop application.

Archive Value Of News Pictures

By Jim Pickerell | 2756 Words | Posted 9/7/2016 | Comments
I have a theory that a very high percentage of the uses of editorial or news pictures occur in the first month or two after they are shot. Newpapers, magazines and websites use the images when they are fresh and then move on to the next news happening. Of course, certain events will have historical value and key images from these events may be used over and over in future years – Iwo Jima flag raising, World Trade Center, Hindenburg crash, etc.– but it seems to me that such situations represent a very small percentage of overall use.

Alamy Provides Huge Benefits To Photography Students

By Jim Pickerell | 351 Words | Posted 9/6/2016 | Comments
Students who have decided to study photography at the post secondary level (college or university) should sign up for the Alamy Student Scheme and begin to get a realistic idea of the value of their work in the marketplace. Alamy can help the student learn what customer’s want.

Shutterstock Acquires The Kobal Collection and The Art Archive

By Jim Pickerell | 316 Words | Posted 9/6/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has acquired of over 700,000 images from two prominent photo collections: The Art Archive and The Kobal Collection. Both collections, previously held by UK-based The Picture Desk, are now available to Shutterstock Premier customers globally.

Agencies – Buyer and Supplier Relationships

By Jim Pickerell | 1321 Words | Posted 9/2/2016 | Comments
Yesterday, I talked about why the business of licensing rights to stock photos - as currently structured - is Designed To Fail unless some major changes are made. Two of the changes needed are: (1) make finding the right image for a project much easier for the buyer, and (2) improving supplier efficiency.

Stock Photo Agencies – Designed To Fail

By Jim Pickerell | 970 Words | Posted 9/1/2016 | Comments (3)
The basic operating structure of how most stock photo agencies acquire and market images has not changed in 15 to 25 years. Image creator produce and submit their work to an agency. The agency may reject some of it, but most will go into an online collection that customer can review. When a customer finds something she wants to use she pays a fee and the image creator receives a percentage. The agency’s job is to manage the material, make customers aware that the collection exists, license use of the image for whatever they can get and collect money.

Science Photo Library and StockFood Announce Strategic Partnership

By Jim Pickerell | 318 Words | Posted 9/1/2016 | Comments
StockFood GmbH, one of Germany’s leading photo agencies, and Science Photo Library (SPL), the world’s leading source of science and medicine content, have announced a strategic partnership aimed to deliver SPL’s collection of scientific imagery to the German market.

Frans Lanting Seeing Digital Asset Manager

By Jim Pickerell | 119 Words | Posted 9/1/2016 | Comments
The Frans Lanting Studio, located in Santa Cruz, California, home base of one of the world’s foremost nature photographers has an opening for a Digital Asset Manager to manage the Studio’s digital assets from ingestion to application. The position requires proficiency in Mac OS, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, Keynote, Microsoft Office.

MEGA Agency Signs Global Licensing Deal With Newscom

By Jim Pickerell | 495 Words | Posted 8/30/2016 | Comments
The Mega Agency is launching with an archive of 30 million images after signing a ground-breaking agreement with Newscom, the world’s largest multi-agency archive of digital images.

DMLA Annual Conference

By Jim Pickerell | 251 Words | Posted 8/30/2016 | Comments
The 2016 DMLA Annual Conference (http://digitalmedialicensing.org/conference.shtml) will return to the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Jersey City, October 27-29. Registration fees are due to go up on September 1st, but the deadline for the discounted rate has been extended to September 9th for those who use the promo code DMLA16.

Recent Stories – Summer 2016

By Jim Pickerell | 245 Words | Posted 8/29/2016 | Comments
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complete the recent Stock Photo Revenue Trends Survey. Initial results show that two-thirds of the respondents have seen their annual revenue decline since 2010 with the most significant declines in the 2013 to 2015 period. However, 19% of respondents saw revenue growth of 20% or more between 2013 and 2015.

Image Collections On Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 1538 Words | Posted 8/28/2016 | Comments
Recently, I decided to take a look at the number of images in the various Creative collections on Gettyimages.com. The numbers are very revealing and in some ways surprising. Getty has 16,687,710 million images in its Creative collection, 10,341,296 of them or 62% are RF and the rest are RM. (Obviously, these numbers grow slightly every day.)

Understanding Which Stock Images Will Sell

By Jim Pickerell | 893 Words | Posted 8/26/2016 | Comments (3)
Of the millions of stock images which ones are actually being purchased and used by customers? Photographers trying to earn a living need better information about exactly what images are selling so they don’t waste time shooting things no one is interested in buying.

Is Knowing Which Images Get The Most Downloads Enough?

By Jim Pickerell | 1307 Words | Posted 8/26/2016 | Comments (1)
I have been told that there are at least 650 million images available for easy licensing in various databases around the world. This doesn’t include all the images that can be found by searching Google, Bing and the social media web sites where other images can be found, but not easily licensed. Only between 1% and 4% of these are ever licensed. Do photographers need better information so they don't waste so much time shooting all those images no one wants to use?

Stock Photo Revenue Trends Survey

By Jim Pickerell | 670 Words | Posted 8/25/2016 | Comments
Selling-Stock is conducting a worldwide, blind Stock Photo Revenue Trends survey and is asking all photographers who earn money through licensing rights to some of their images to respond. Individuals can respond to the short, 8 question survey by going to this link. A full report of the results will be available to each respondent.

China Seeking Hollywood Takeover

By Jim Pickerell | 203 Words | Posted 8/24/2016 | Comments
According to Reuters China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, is stepping up his push to take over one of the major Hollywood studios.

Job Opening: Stock Motion Workflow Manager

By Jim Pickerell | 134 Words | Posted 8/24/2016 | Comments
Seattle based Blend Images workflow team is seeking an innovative, results-oriented, stock video professional to oversee content editing, quality control, distribution and support of its fast building stock clip library. The ideal candidate will have experience in stock video production, solid technical skills, sound business judgment and work well in a team environment.

RM Photographer Frustration

By Jim Pickerell | 1154 Words | Posted 8/23/2016 | Comments (2)
Today, Peter James made comments on my Facebook page to several of the stories listed there. I can understand his frustration. Here are links to the stories he looked at, his comments and my reactions to those comments.

ASPP Reorganizes

By Jim Pickerell | 334 Words | Posted 8/23/2016 | Comments
Darrell Perry has been named Executive Director of ASPP (American Society of Picture Professionals) and has written to members and friends informing them of recent changes and asking for help in recruiting new members.

White Label: Who Created That Image?

By Jim Pickerell | 749 Words | Posted 8/22/2016 | Comments
Do photographer’s care if their name is attached to their images, or just that the images generate some revenue for them? While doing some recent searches, I discovered it can sometimes be very difficult to determine who created an image.

Three Senior News Executives Join The Mega Agency 

By Jim Pickerell | 527 Words | Posted 8/19/2016 | Comments
Three senior news executives have joined Kevin Smith’s new media company, The Mega Agency. Smith is delighted to announce that Paul Tetley, David Leigh and Karlo Pastrovic have joined the Mega team.

Picfair Passes 3 Million Image Mark

By Jim Pickerell | 754 Words | Posted 8/15/2016 | Comments
Picfair, a London-based image licensing startup launched two years ago, has announced that it now has more than three million images in its collection. “Our three millionth image was uploaded by a photographer in China, of a family playing ping pong in a Beijing park,” says Picfair founder Benji Lanyado.

Alamy On Latest Visual Trends

By Jim Pickerell | 497 Words | Posted 8/15/2016 | Comments
Alamy reports that a current visual trend seems to take advantage of “instagram – like” filtering that pulls up the black point of the image and reduces the contrast.  

Brooks Institute To Close

By Jim Pickerell | 570 Words | Posted 8/15/2016 | Comments (2)
Brooks Institute, possibly the premier photography trade school in the U.S., has announced that after 70 years of training media and visual arts students it will close its doors on October 31. Students, faculty, and staff were informed of the closing at a meeting with school representatives on the morning of August 12, 2016.

Celebrity Photo Agency For Sale

By Jim Pickerell | 221 Words | Posted 8/11/2016 | Comments
A US-based celebrity photo agency is currently looking for a buyer interested in taking over its operations or acquiring its archives. Founded in 2003 by a music photographer, the company has established reputable and strong relationships with publications, artists and publicists. With just one highly motivated owner who wishes to retire, it is profitable, has no debt and is reasonably priced. A buyer could either manage the company as an independent archive or integrate the archive (1.4 Million images, fully captioned in English) to its own collection.

Shutterstock: Opportunity For Investors?

By Jim Pickerell | 1159 Words | Posted 8/11/2016 | Comments
If you’re curious as to why Shutterstock’s stock price keeps rising while from the perspective of many in in our industry Shutterstock’s long term growth prospects don’t appear to be that favorable, David Trainer offers some interesting insights. See here. Trainer is CEO of New Constructs (www.newconstructs.com), an independent research firm that leverages proprietary technology to find key insights from the Financial Footnotes of 10Ks and 10Qs. After studying his analysis here are a few of my thoughts.

Is Studying Photography In College A Good Idea?

By Jim Pickerell | 712 Words | Posted 8/10/2016 | Comments (1)
It is that time of year when students are getting ready to head off to college. Most will go there because it sounds like more fun than going out and getting a job and because they have been told that a “higher education” will give them a better chance at future career advancement and eventually earning more money.

Photographer Union

By Jim Pickerell | 743 Words | Posted 8/10/2016 | Comments
Some European photographers, particularly in France, think many of our industry’s problems could be solved with a Photographer’s Union. Unfortunately, a Union of Professional Photographers would probably only make the situation worse for most union members.

Pond5 Names Jason Teichman New CEO

By Jim Pickerell | 378 Words | Posted 8/9/2016 | Comments
Pond5, the world’s largest provider of royalty-free stock videos, music tracks and sound effects, as well as millions of photos, has announced the appointment of Jason Teichman as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer and Board Director. In this role, Teichman will help the company continue to accelerate its growth by scaling its creative marketplace, leveraging its unique relationship with the artist community, and furthering its investments in emerging media such as drone footage and 360-degree video.

Blend Images Launches New Website

By Jim Pickerell | 344 Words | Posted 8/9/2016 | Comments
Blend Images, the world's leading multicultural stock photography agency, has recently announced the launch of a new website with a focus on world-class curated royalty free imagery and motion clips. The new Blendimages.com offers an improved user interface, a simplified pricing model, large image previews, and is the only place to search the entire Blend Images collection.

Decision Time For RM Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 1438 Words | Posted 8/8/2016 | Comments
RM photographer working with the major stock production companies may have some very difficult decisions to make in the near future. With the rise of Offset, Stocksy, AdobeStock Premium and iStock Signature it seems that RM photographers that are not also owners or shareholders of production companies, like Blend Images, Image Source and Tetra Images, may find that they can earn more by moving their collections to RF.

Offset: Is This Premium Editing?

By Jim Pickerell | 901 Words | Posted 8/5/2016 | Comments (3)
A reader sent me a note recently indicating that after seeing an Offset promotion he had asked Shutterstock the following question: “Do you think, clients - professional or not - are expecting this level of imagery from a high end collection?” The images shown in the promotion were taken in Thailand by Brooklyn-based photographer Lucy Schaeffer. The Offset tagline said “her images mix refined, understated luxury with the country’s beautiful and dramatic scenery. Be Transported.” The following are links here and here show the two images that were shown in the promotion.

Shutterstock Q2 2016 Financial Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1913 Words | Posted 8/4/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported Q2 2016 revenue of $124.4 million up from $104.4 million compared to Q2 2015. The growth is due mainly to new customers and increased activity by enterprise clients.

Public Domain Images, Can Anyone Use Them?

By Jim Pickerell | 343 Words | Posted 8/2/2016 | Comments (1)
This is an update on the story we published last week concerning Carol Highsmith’s copyright infringement suit against Getty Images and other defendants.

Imaginechina Acquired By Bytedance

By Jim Pickerell | 184 Words | Posted 8/1/2016 | Comments
Imaginechina has been acquired by Bytedance, a digital tech company based in Beijing. The stock agency will continue to operate independently as a photo, video and commercial licensing agency serving editorial media, advertisers, creative agencies and brands, in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Aurora Photos Adapts To Changing Business

By Jim Pickerell | 840 Words | Posted 7/28/2016 | Comments
The needs of stock photo customers are changing. Successful agencies and distributors are adapting to those needs. Increasingly, customers are turning away from the large collections that purport to have everything. They are moving toward smaller, tightly curated collections that have a narrow focus in terms of the subject matter they represent. Aurora Photos is one such agency.

When Are Releases Needed

By Jim Pickerell | 987 Words | Posted 7/28/2016 | Comments (1)
Photographers who saw ImageBrief’s a recent blog post about Pamela Olivera’s shot that was used worldwide in a Delta Airlines campaign have been asking why Delta would take such a risk on an unreleased picture. Other ImageBrief photographers have commented lately that ImageBrief does not determined whether or not they have releases on at least some of their accepted pictures. They seem to simply accept that every image submitted has all necessary releases.

Photographer Hits Getty With $1B Copyright Suit

By Jim Pickerell | 151 Words | Posted 7/27/2016 | Comments
Law360 reports that photographer Carol M. Highsmith has filed a copyright infringement suit in New York against Getty Images. Damages could be worth $1 billion.

What Does Shutterstock Need For Growth?

By Jim Pickerell | 1698 Words | Posted 7/25/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock investors often ask my opinion of stock photo industry’s future and the potential for Shutterstock’s growth.  I tell them growth will slow significantly. Demand from customers willing to pay for the images they use will decline. Shutterstock has grabbed about all the customers they can from Getty so there is not much potential for growth there. Adobe will take a much bigger share of the market. Recently an investor asked me, “What would you do if you were Shutterstock?” Here’s what I told him.

Stock Photography Timeline

By Jim Pickerell | 142 Words | Posted 7/21/2016 | Comments
Alamy has created a infographic timeline showing the History of Stock Photography. They are actively seeking feedback and interaction on the infographic so that we can gather as much information as possible.

Dreamstime Adds HTTPS Encryption To All Pages

By Jim Pickerell | 278 Words | Posted 7/21/2016 | Comments
Dreamstime, has implemented a significant improvement to its website security by switching all site pages to "HTTPS" including the dedicated mobile website and the Dreamstime applications for iOS and Android.

RF Limitations

By Jim Pickerell | 1466 Words | Posted 7/20/2016 | Comments (1)
Many RM photographers are opposed to Royalty Free because they believe that for a single low fee they would be giving away all future rights to use their images. That’s not quite true. Check out this story to see the real differences and understand how much you might really be giving away if you license your images as RF.

Africa Media Online Offers New Simplified RM Pricing

By Jim Pickerell | 466 Words | Posted 7/19/2016 | Comments
In response to changes in the industry and client requirements Africa Media Online has introduced a new simplified pricing model. The South Africa based picture library has moved away from the complexities of narrowly defined RM usages and is now offering clients a simple procedure for establishing what an image costs.

Shutterstock Keywords Suggestion Tool

By Jim Pickerell | 256 Words | Posted 7/19/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock has launched a new keyword suggestion tool for iPhone that leverages a combination of metadata (man) and pixel data (machine) to suggest more relevant and accurate keywords for images that are uploaded in the Shutterstock contributor app.

Is Simplified RM Really Needed?

By Jim Pickerell | 1490 Words | Posted 7/18/2016 | Comments
After reading last week’s article on “Rights Simplified Pricing” a reader asked if I could expand on why an alternative to Rights Managed pricing is needed. He said that seldom has he found that customers are unwilling to pay fotoQuote RM rates that are based on how images are used. The following is my response.

Small Claims Legislation For Creators Moves Ahead

By Jim Pickerell | 652 Words | Posted 7/15/2016 | Comments
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Congressman Tom Marino (R-PA) have introduced a bipartisan small claims bill, H.R.5757, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2016. When Congress reconvenes after its upcoming six-week recess Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) plans to introduce a separate version of small claims legislation establishing a small claims tribunal in the Copyright Office.

Rights Simplified Pricing: Alternative To RM

By Jim Pickerell | 781 Words | Posted 7/14/2016 | Comments
To deal with increased customer demand for simpler, easier to understand pricing, and the general decline in the use of Rights Managed images industry wide, plainpicture in Germany has introduced a new pricing model they call (RS) plainpicture Rights Simplified.

Shutterstock API Integrated With Google’s Ad Platform

By Jim Pickerell | 237 Words | Posted 7/12/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has announced an API integration with Google. The image licensing deal provides Google’s digital and mobile display advertising products, including Adsense, Adwords, and Admob, with access to Shutterstock’s collection of more than 90 million images for license.

MotionElements Introduces Video & Audio Search Discovery Tools

By Jim Pickerell | 441 Words | Posted 7/12/2016 | Comments
Singapore based, MotionElements has introduced VisualSearch and AudioSearch v2; two improved revolutionary tools that simplifies all creators’ search for that perfect footage or music to use in their projects.

Why RM?

By Jim Pickerell | 653 Words | Posted 7/11/2016 | Comments (2)
One of the principal reasons for licensing images as Rights Managed rather then Royalty Free is to insure that the customer pays additional fees whenever they reuse an image. With RF, once purchased, the customer can use the image as many times as they want. But how often do such multiple uses occur?

Distributor Sales Of Stock Images

By Jim Pickerell | 601 Words | Posted 7/7/2016 | Comments
Recently, I asked about 100 medium sized stock agents around the world a series of questions to try to get an understanding of the revenue generated from images supplied to them by other stock agencies as opposed to revenue from images the agent had collected directly from image creators.

iStock: Downloads Don’t Tell Whole Story

By Jim Pickerell | 849 Words | Posted 7/6/2016 | Comments
A few iStock contributors tell me that since the introduction of subscription sales in March 2015 downloads as reported on the contributor’s portfolio page no longer tell the whole story.

Where Getty’s Headed In H2 2016

By Jim Pickerell | 858 Words | Posted 7/6/2016 | Comments
Paul Banwell, Senior Director, Contributor Relations for Getty Images has just sent contributors the following letter regarding Getty’s directions for the future. This information should be of interest to every stock image producer and distributor regardless of their relationships with Getty Images.

Adding Images To iStock Produces Mixed Results

By Jim Pickerell | 5419 Words | Posted 7/4/2016 | Comments
Some iStock contributors continue to add significant numbers of images to their collections, despite the decline in the number of downloads and we presume revenue, since average prices per-image downloaded have also declined.

iStock Statistics: First Half 2016

By Jim Pickerell | 922 Words | Posted 7/1/2016 | Comments
Downloads from iStock continued to decline in the first half of 2016. Since 2011, I have been tracking the number of downloads and images in the collection of 430 of iStock’s leading contributors. At the end of June 2016 these contributors had between 56,465,000 and 58,967,000 total downloads during their iStock careers. iStock has over 100,000 contributors, but despite the small number in this group we believe the images licensed by this 430 represent almost one-third of all the images iStock has licensed since the company began operations.

A Contrarian View: Jerry Tavin

By Jim Pickerell | 597 Words | Posted 6/29/2016 | Comments
A couple weeks ago I wrote an articles asking “What Is ‘Commercial’ Stock Photography.” I questioned how big the demand is for “candid,” “natural” and “real life” grab shots of what happens in front of the photographer rather than staged shots that look real but are carefully posed with great production values. A reader suggested I contact Jerry Taven who founded Nonstock about a fifteen years ago.

New Image Marketing Strategy Needed

By Jim Pickerell | 1583 Words | Posted 6/28/2016 | Comments (1)
One of the biggest problems with stock photography licensing today is that there is often no clear logic behind why a higher price should be charged for one image and not another. In this article we explore how the industry's marketing strategy might be improved to generate more revenue for creators and distributors, as well as making the image search process more user friendly for customers.

Changing World Of RM

By Jim Pickerell | 1109 Words | Posted 6/23/2016 | Comments (1)
Photographers choose to sell their work as RM for three reasons: (1) They believe that everything they produce should only be licensed for prices higher than those charged for RF, (2) They dream that one, or a few, of their images will eventually be licensed for an extremely broad, major use. Customer who make such uses are willing to pay multi-thousand-dollar prices for exclusive rights to such images, and (3) Such high value sales can only happen if images are always licensed based on use. There are several fallacies to these arguments.

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This stock photography news site focuses on the business side of photography with a special emphasis on stock photography. Our goal is to help photographers maximize their earnings based on the quality of their work and the commitment they are prepared to make to the trade. The information provided will be applicable to part-timers as well as full time professional photographers. We’ll leave it to others to teach photographers how to take better pictures.

Jim Pickerell launched his career as a photographer in 1963. In 1990 he began publishing a regular newsletter on stock photography. In 1995 the information was made available online as well as in print and was gradually expanded to a daily service. Click here for Pickerell's full biography.

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