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Articles from January 2016
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.
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
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
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 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.
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 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.
In an effort to make it easier for more people to use Shutterstock imagery the company is partnering with Optimizely
. 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.
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.
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
for each of these words and record the number of returns. You’ll find the results in the chart below.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.”
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.
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, 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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
An increasing number of iStock’s most productive contributors have been dramatically reducing their production of new images in the last two years.
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.