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Articles from January 2016

More On Corbis Sale

By Jim Pickerell | 941 Words | Posted 1/29/2016 | Comments (2)
The good news for Corbis photographers is that there will be no third cut before their royalty share is calculated. However, there are still a number of issues that aren’t clear. This story offers some additional clarifications and insights and a number of questions that are still unclear and need to be answered.

New Footage Sites

By Jim Pickerell | 200 Words | Posted 1/29/2016 | Comments
If you produce footage you might want to check out a couple of new sights. The first is the Stock Footage Newsroom where there are short summaries and links to full articles produced by Footage.net. This site will keep you up to date with what is happening at as number of footage distributors. The other is B-rollStock.com.

Royalties For Photocopying In UK

By Jim Pickerell | 359 Words | Posted 1/28/2016 | Comments
In the UK photographers can receive royalties when someone photocopies a page from a magazine or book that contains their image. In December the EPUK discussion group reported that REX Features, a UK editorial agency purchased by Shutterstock a year ago, misrepresented its right to collect certain monies from DACS on behalf of some of its photographers and falsely reported to the photographers what it had received from DACS. The full story is available here.

Estimated Value Of Assets Acquired By VCG

By Jim Pickerell | 814 Words | Posted 1/27/2016 | Comments (2)
VCG acquired parts, but not all, of Corbis’ assets. To understand what this means for the industry, it is important to have some idea of the amount of revenue the acquired assets generated in 2015? For a long-time Corbis has been thought to be the third largest seller of stock photography in the world after Getty and Shutterstock. If this is true, then how much does the combination of a significant part of the Corbis collection with Getty Images change the industry?

Getty Images Lowers Prices

By Jim Pickerell | 528 Words | Posted 1/26/2016 | Comments
Getty Images has introduced Ultra Pack pricing which effectively lowers prices on all premium creative Royalty-Free images, Editorial images and Videos by between 8% and 31%. The only images not affected by this price reduction are RM.

Uploading To iStock Is About To Get Easier

By Jim Pickerell | 930 Words | Posted 1/25/2016 | Comments
The tedious process of uploading images for consideration by iStock is about to get much easier. On February 7th  Kasper Ravlo will be launching a new tool called Q-hero. The average time to submit a file for review will drop from over one minute per image to less than 1-2 seconds. Instead of being the slowest site for image submissions, iStock will become the fastest.  

Shutterstock Lowers Royalties For Enhanced Licenses

By Jim Pickerell | 526 Words | Posted 1/23/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock is not making enough money so they have decided to lower the royalties paid for Enhanced Licenses. Here's what it means for image creators.

Shutterstock Partnering With Optimizely and Sprinklr

By Jim Pickerell | 197 Words | Posted 1/22/2016 | Comments
In an effort to make it easier for more people to use Shutterstock imagery the company is partnering with Optimizely and Sprinklr. By integrating Shutterstock’s newest API directly into their platforms, customers of these organizations will be able to easily search, preview, and license from the Shutterstock collection. Contributors will earn a royalty each time an Optimizely or Sprinklr customer licenses one of their images.

Visual China Group Acquires Corbis

By Jim Pickerell | 601 Words | Posted 1/22/2016 | Comments (1)
Corbis and Visual China Group (“VCG”; Shenzhen Stock Exchange:000681.SZ) today jointly announced that Unity Glory International Ltd. (“Unity Glory”), an affiliate of VCG owned by VCG’s major shareholders, has acquired the assets and brands of Corbis’ Images division, one of the world’s leading image archives and content licensing businesses. VCG is China’s leading visual communications and new media company and among the largest businesses in the image industry worldwide. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Video Subjects In Demand

By Jim Pickerell | 1224 Words | Posted 1/21/2016 | Comments
Recently, I found a list on Pond5 of popular keywords customers use to find videos. Earlier this month I published a similar list that Videoblocks had sent to its contributors a few months ago. I decided to search Pond5, Videoblocks and Shutterstock for each of these words and record the number of returns. You’ll find the results in the chart below.

Search Innovations Needed

By Jim Pickerell | 712 Words | Posted 1/21/2016 | Comments (2)
More images are not the answer. The industry needs to find a better way to present the images already in databases for customer consideration. Customers find it harder and harder to dig out the right image for their needs from todays large databases. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the right images aren’t there. It’s just that customers do not have time to search through all the available options.

Pond5 To Launch Video Subscription Offering

By Jim Pickerell | 283 Words | Posted 1/19/2016 | Comments
Pond5 is in the process of creating a collection of video clips that can be offered through low priced subscriptions. Contributors have the option of nominating their low-selling files for inclusion in the collection and will receive a minimum monthly royalties of $0.50 per item for every clip in the collection, regardless of downloads and usage.

Corbis To Be Dismantled

By Jim Pickerell | 371 Words | Posted 1/17/2016 | Comments
Corbis is changing. It is spinning off the right clearance aspect of its business known as Greenlight and renaming it Corbis Entertainment. It is our understanding that the rest of the company including Creative and Editorial licensing will be sold off and to some degree dismantled. It is unclear to whom these operations will be sold or exactly how the dismantling will occur, but more information is expected to be forthcoming later this week.

Additions And Corrections

By Jim Pickerell | 127 Words | Posted 1/15/2016 | Comments
Last week we posted a story “iStock/Shutterstock Comparison”. Since then there have been some very informative comments on Microstockgroup. You can find a link to these comments at the bottom of my story, or you can find them here.

Landov Media Closes Doors

By Jim Pickerell | 166 Words | Posted 1/15/2016 | Comments
Landov Media, a small, but well respected Editorial agency closed its doors last week. It’s website http://www.landov.com/ says it is no longer available and thanks the company’s “many loyal clients for your business and support through the years.”

What Video Subjects Are Customer Buying?

By Jim Pickerell | 654 Words | Posted 1/14/2016 | Comments
One of the keys to success in stock photography is understanding what customers want. Given that the worldwide customer base is so diverse, that is often difficult to determine. We all see lots of different image uses in our daily activity, but often these are of little help in determining what customers really want to buy. VideoBlocks sends regular advisories to its contributors giving them information about the keywords customers use most frequently when looking for video clips. In this story you'll find a recent list of Top Selling Keywords.

Importance Of Keywording

By Jim Pickerell | 880 Words | Posted 1/14/2016 | Comments
Have you noticed that when a customer searches for “man” on some major agency sites a different number of images will be returned than if they had searched for “male.” An agent called this to my attention after hearing complaints from a number of customers about this problem when searching on GettyImages.com.

Yuri Arcurs Elite Academy Program

By Jim Pickerell | 597 Words | Posted 1/12/2016 | Comments
Yuri Arcurs, one of the most successful stock photographers in the world, is running another of his photographer training programs in Capetown, South Africa. This program is for 17 to 24-year-olds that are highly competitive, goal-oriented and have strong entrepreneurial and creative characteristics. Candidates must survive a two-week Boot Camp beginning February 1, 2016. (This is not marine training, but it will be an intense experience to determine what the candidates know and how quickly they learn.)

What Are Current Assignment Rates?

By Jim Pickerell | 520 Words | Posted 1/11/2016 | Comments
One of the big questions for a freelance photographer approaching a new client is: “What should I charge.” What do others get for doing the same type of work? What has this client paid in the past? Recently, I was made aware of a web site called “Who Pays Photographers?” Photographers can go to this site, enter the name of a publication or organization they would like to work for and get some idea of what the organization has paid for previous jobs.

Will Growing Your Image Collection Increase Sales?

By Jim Pickerell | 6605 Words | Posted 1/8/2016 | Comments (1)
Most image creators believe that adding images to online searchable databases will grow downloads and sales. This is particularly true, when one assumes that the new images being added are better than the ones produced earlier because the image creator has improved through experience and has a better understanding of what customers want. However, an examination of the sales by iStock’s leading contributors indicates that adding images is often counter productive in terms of increasing downloads. In fact, contributors who add very few, or remove, images often show the greatest download-per-image in the collection.

iStock/Shutterstock Comparison

By Jim Pickerell | 889 Words | Posted 1/7/2016 | Comments
To better understand the potential for an iStock turnaround it is worth comparing iStock and Shutterstock downloads. At the end of my report on Shutterstock’s Q3 results I estimated the number of IOD (single image) and subscription downloads Shutterstock will have for 2015. For an explanation of how I calculated the iStock numbers see this story. The following chart compares the sales of these two companies.

iStock Photographer And Illustrator Comparisons

By Jim Pickerell | 6645 Words | Posted 1/6/2016 | Comments
Previously, I have supplied an analysis (here) and (here) of iStock’s downloads in 2015 and the number of images 430 of their leading contributors have in the collection. While 430 is only a small percentage of iStock’s more than 100,000 contributors this small group has somewhere between 55,070,000 and 58,554.000 downloads since the company’s founding in 2002. I believe this represents about one-third of iStock’s total downloads.

Top iStock Contributors Adding Fewer Images

By Jim Pickerell | 6455 Words | Posted 1/5/2016 | Comments
An increasing number of iStock’s most productive contributors have been dramatically reducing their production of new images in the last two years.

iStock 2015 Downloads: DOWN or UP?

By Jim Pickerell | 1251 Words | Posted 1/2/2016 | Comments
Where is iStock headed? In 2015 single image downloads were DOWN significantly compared to 2014, and 2014 was down compared to 2013. The company introduced subscriptions in April 2014 and that has had a major impact on the decline in single image sales.

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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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