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Articles from February 2014
If you couldn’t make it to the Microstock Expo (MExpo) in Berlin last November now from the comfort of your home or office you can see and hear all the discussions
that took place during the two-day conference. Of course, this material will be particular interest to microstock shooters and distributors, but even if you are licensing your work at RM or traditional RF prices you will find that many of the discussions provide important insights into where the stock photo industry is headed.
Over 9,000 iStock
photographers have received notices that they were overpaid for sales made through the Partner Program (PP). Getty plans to reclaim the overpayments by deducting the amount from the future royalty payments owed the contributors over the next six months. It is unclear exactly how much the total overpayment was, but based on what some photographers are being told will be deducted from their accounts it could have been millions of dollars.
Earlier this week I wrote about the average price per image licensed at Getty
. This article will examine some of the publicly available and widely reported numbers related to the number of images licensed.
On March 10, 1014 Getty Images plans to close down Photos.com
and move virtually all the content and operations to Thinkstock
. Thinkstock currently offers more than 14 million images. Added to Photo.com’s 5.5 million image that will put Thinkstock in the 20 million image range.
Recently, I had the opportunity to examine the 2013 sales of a few of Getty Images’ major contributors. They licensed images as both RM and RF. While these contributors represent a very small sample of all the people represented by Getty, I believe their experience is reasonably representative of what is happening in the entire collection. Their figures may provide some useful insights.
has reported a record 28 million downloads and $68 million in revenue for Q4 2013. The company’s revenue for all of 2013 was $235.5 million, up from $169.6 in 2012. About 28% of the revenue was paid out to contributors in royalties.
has jumped into the mobile photography business with Stockimo
, a new iPhone app that lets photographers upload pictures taken from their iPhone. Stockimo is open to anyone. Alamy contributors who were with the company before the Stockimo launch will receive a 50% royalty. Contributors who are new to Alamy and just submitting iPhone photos will receive a 20% royalty.
Over the weekend I reported that there were 71 live briefs
worth a combined total of over $150,000. Allyson Scott
, who has been responding to briefs and submitting images for more than six months, points out that actually making a sale is not as easy as I might have made it sound. Here’s what she had to say.
Getty Images’ photojournalists Brent Stirton, Sara Lewkowicz, Chris McGrath, Ezra Shaw, Al Bello and Quinn Rooney have been awarded top honors at World Press Photo
, the world’s largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest.
Currrently there are 71 image requests worth a combined total of over $150,000 on ImageBrief
. Clients looking for photos include: BBH (UK), Conde Nast, Huge Inc, Weiden+Kennedy, Story Worldwide, Expedia Inc, Grey Advertising, Penguin Books, Random House, Hearst, TriBeCa Film Festival, Proximity, Visa, McGarry Bowen, Harper Collins, Young & Rubicam.
Recently PACA published a letter from Past President Robert Henson about how Microsoft “has taken the bold step of promoting the theft of images online. Through its newly revamped Office
product.” Through its “Office Help” function Microsoft advised users looking for images to “Use Bing to get images.” Bing made finding images easy and implied that anything found was free to use.
In January Pearson provided a regular trading update and on February 28, 2014 it will announce preliminary results for 2013. While overall the company expects an operating profit of approximately £865m they had “lower underlying margins in North American Higher Education, particularly in the important fourth quarter.”
If you’re not happy about the copyright protection you are afforded, now may be the time for photographers and stock agencies to speak up. The European Commission and the U.S. Copyright Office are asking for your input.
Copyright registration of still images and illustrations as it is currently conducted in the U.S. is a waste of government time and money. Congress should encourage the development of a privately funded, non-profit facility where those who want to use images they find on the Internet or in print can easily determine if the image needs to be licensed for use. Here's a suggestion as to what it should look like and how it should function.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and author of Lean In, has worked with Getty Images to try to identify 2,500 images that portray woman in more empowering ways than many of the stock images of old-fashioned stereotypes found in today’s advertisements and media. Photographers may want to review the "leanincollection" for shoot ideas.
International Business Times
reports that in January alone Getty filed five lawsuits for the unauthorized use of single images. While Getty has been aggressively pursuing infringers with “settlement demand letters” for some time, lawsuits are unusual because the monies involved usually don’t justify the expense of going to court.
I’m getting tired of the overuse of the term “Professional” as it relates to photographers. Webster’s defines a professional as “a person who earns a living in an occupation frequently engaged in by amateurs, or a person who is expert in his or her work.” Many stock photographers want to call themselves “professionals” after they have sold their first image.
Google and European Union antitrust regulators have reached a settlement in the competition investigation that has been going on since 2010. Under the agreement, subject to a final approval by the EU, Google will pay no fine and there will be no finding of wrongdoing. No change likely in the way Google Images conducts image search.
A couple weeks ago I proposed an adjustment to current agency pricing strategies that offers the potential to get higher prices for the images in greatest demand and still make large quantities of excellent images available to customers who can’t afford the best. (See “Solving The Problem Of Too Many Images
”) Some subscribers thought I should also factor in production costs. Here's my response.
The biggest challenge for a photographer hoping to license rights to stock images is how to get the images seen by potential buyers. It would seem that the first step might be to get the images accepted by a good agency. But given the number of images on all subject matter in most agency collections that doesn’t necessarily mean customers will ever see them.