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Articles from May 2018

Know Your Return-Per-Image

By Jim Pickerell | 726 Words | Posted 5/31/2018 | Comments
I would like to encourage every stock photographer to begin to calculate, on an annual basis, their Return-Per-Image (RPI) for each agency they work with. This is particularly important for those photographers who hope to realize a profit for the time and expense they invest in producing stock images.

500px Marketplace Closing Down

By Jim Pickerell | 378 Words | Posted 5/31/2018 | Comments
Contributors to 500px Marketplace are finally learning what Visual China Group (VCG) has planned for them. VCG has just sent them a message outlining some “major enhancements” that are coming. “ “These changes will help maximize your potential earnings by positioning your content at the right price and with the right distribution. Starting July 1st, 2018, we’re offering our community an exclusive opportunity to work with our newest global distribution partner, Getty Images,” the message says. (emphasis mine)

Technavio: Fake News

By Jim Pickerell | 277 Words | Posted 5/30/2018 | Comments
Last week I published information about Technavio’s new market research report. While I had not read the full report, I pointed out that I disagreed with some of the conclusions provided in the press release.

Do News Organizations Respect Copyright?

By Jim Pickerell | 293 Words | Posted 5/29/2018 | Comments
In 2016 a massive flash flood raced down the main street of Ellicott City, Maryland. It was called a “thousand-year flood” given the unique characteristics that set it in motion. On May 27, 2018 the flow that supposed to only occur once every 1,000 years struck again. Photographer Max Robinson gets classic footage and Fox News uses it without permission.

Getty RF Promotion

By Jim Pickerell | 247 Words | Posted 5/29/2018 | Comments
Getty has just sent out an email to its customers promoting its Creative Royalty-Free Imagery.  When you click on View All Creative Images you find that there are 16,844,390 images in the Creative RF collection. There are also 6,590,271 "Creative RM" images in the total Creative Collection.

Sandoval To Manage New & Press Business Development For agefotostock

By Jim Pickerell | 403 Words | Posted 5/25/2018 | Comments
agefotostock has appointed Yolanda Sandoval as Business Development Manager for the News & Press area of the company following the launch of their new website that simplifies their business into three primary business areas, Press, Creative and Economic imagery. Economic imagery was formerly referred to as Creative Stock photography. Sandoval will work out of the Madrid office.

Can Getty Raise Prices?

By Jim Pickerell | 996 Words | Posted 5/24/2018 | Comments (2)
After years of Shutterstock taking market share from Getty, it seems that the two have achieved a state of relative parity with regard to gross revenue generated from the licensing of still images. Customers no longer seem to be leaving Getty because its prices are too high. In fact, Getty seems to be charging selected customers less per-image than what Shutterstock would charge them. Where AdobeStock fits in is unclear, but for the time being each seems to have a customer base that favors them. There does not seem to be a lot of movement of customers from one to the other.

More on GDPR

By Jim Pickerell | 283 Words | Posted 5/23/2018 | Comments
The General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR, that goes into effect on Friday, May 25, 2018 will require companies that do business in the EU to provide a form to the companies that they are dealing with. It is not clear if it is necessary to supply such a form to each and every individual that a company deals with. A survey by CompliancePoint shows that 76% of U.S. businesses are not prepared for the enforcement deadline. (Check out previous story.)

Distributing RM Images To Multiple Agencies

By Jim Pickerell | 387 Words | Posted 5/23/2018 | Comments
Arcangel Images has sent the following message to the photographers it represents. “Again, we ask all photographers not to split rights-managed photoshoots between libraries or submit to other outlets near identical RM images to those held by Arcangel. Aside from devaluing your work, this can and will lead to major licensing conflicts. This not only affects our reputation as a supplier of high-end imagery, one which has taken almost twenty years to build but can be costly for the photographer, as they may be liable to pay legal and re-printing costs.”

Technavio 2018 Global Still Images Market Report

By Jim Pickerell | 732 Words | Posted 5/22/2018 | Comments (1)
London based, Technavio has published its 2018 report on the global still images market. The report estimates that the market will grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of approximately 8% during the period 2018-2022. The report is available at a discounted price of $2,500 and is said to “provide an analysis of the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook. In addition, it offers an up-to-date analysis of the market concerning the current market scenario, latest drivers, and the overall global environment.”

Lebrecht Photo Library Acquired By Bridgeman

By Jim Pickerell | 256 Words | Posted 5/22/2018 | Comments
Bridgeman has announced the acquisition of Lebrecht Photo Library, the world’s largest image bank for music and related arts, with a collection of over 400,000 specialist images. Lebrecht is the world's most comprehensive image bank for every kind of music ever created  - classical music, jazz, opera, rock music, musical instruments, notation, Broadway musicals, dance and ballet. It also has an extensive archive for literature and historical personalities.

What’s Selling?

By Jim Pickerell | 771 Words | Posted 5/21/2018 | Comments
What kind of images are generating the most revenue? Is it the amateur produce imagery that is quickly loading up most of the databases, or the more costly to produce model released people, lifestyle, and business imagery requiring complex and costly set ups and arrangement?

GDPR Explained

By Jim Pickerell | 296 Words | Posted 5/18/2018 | Comments
North American photographers and stock agencies may have heard about the new European Union GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) law that goes into effect on May 25, 2018, but figured “that’s something happening in the EU that I don’t have to worry about.” Well, maybe not!

IBM Watson To Improve Shutterstock Search

By Jim Pickerell | 301 Words | Posted 5/18/2018 | Comments
Shutterstock is enlisting the help of IBM’s Watson AI technology to make it easier for marketers to find images, videos, and music tracks. The company announced today that its library of more than 200 million assets will become available in July through the Watson Content Hub, a cloud-based management system designed to aid in the creation of websites, apps, billboards, and more.

agefotostock Divides Website Into News, Creative And Microstock

By Jim Pickerell | 729 Words | Posted 5/17/2018 | Comments
When one analyzes the market for images, it is easy to see that the stock photography business seems to be classified into three image groups that clients can browse and license. Press and news images, creative photographs and a mountain of other visual content that goes from cheap to very cheap, defined as Microstock, although if we want to go lower on pricing, we can also find masses of free pictures from unknown, if not desperate authors, produced to generate internet traffic.

Are Photogs Being Credited And Paid Properly?

By Jim Pickerell | 879 Words | Posted 5/16/2018 | Comments
In 1968 Andy Sacks, a 20-year-old University of Michigan photographer covered Robert F. Kennedy’s campaign stop in Detroit for the student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. This is a story about how the photos he captured that day ended up getting used hundreds of times 40 to 50 year later and he received no credit or a reasonable share of compensation for their use.

Do We Need Floor Prices?

By Jim Pickerell | 847 Words | Posted 5/15/2018 | Comments
A reader agreed with the lead in “Escalating Price Based On Demand” that few photographers understand what they should charge for their work, but he argued that there is “another possible consideration.” He said it is important to establish a “floor price” below which you won’t license a usage. He asked, “why won’t agencies allow creator to set a ‘floor price” for ‘special images?’ It can be painful to see $2.50 sales of extremely complicated to produce images. Creators should be able to mark certain "high value images" so they can't be used unless the buyer is willing to pay at least a minimum fee.”

Is $1.00 Per-Image, Per-Year Enough?

By Jim Pickerell | 1169 Words | Posted 5/14/2018 | Comments
Recently Alfonso Gutiérrez, CEO of AGE FotoStock told one of my readers that a "professional" stock photo collection in an agency should be returning to its contributors a minimum of $1.00 per-image per-year. The photographer noted that his returns from AGE were way below that number and he wondered whether many photographers are seeing that kind of return.

Escalating Price Based On Demand

By Jim Pickerell | 1441 Words | Posted 5/10/2018 | Comments
Possibly the biggest flaws in the Blockchain model is allowing photographers to establish one fixed price for their work. As I have pointed out before very few photographers have any understanding of what they should charge for their work. They may know what they would “like” to get if someone uses one of their images, but invariably that will be much higher than all but a very few customers will be willing to pay to use the image.

Blockchain Stories

By Jim Pickerell | 161 Words | Posted 5/9/2018 | Comments
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blockchain offerings, or who are considering putting images with one of the blockchain companies the following are some stories you might want to review.

Photochain: Rewriting Rules For Monetizing Images

By Jim Pickerell | 685 Words | Posted 5/9/2018 | Comments
Photochain is raising funds to build a blockchain based stock image platform that is excepted to go live by the end of 2018. Artists will be able to define the price for their work and receive “up to” 95% of the price they set (depending on the business model). The platform takes a commission to maintain the platform, and to offer support, marketing and other services.

Shutterstock Launches New Search Tools

By Jim Pickerell | 332 Words | Posted 5/8/2018 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has launched of Shutterstock Reveal, a new Google Chrome extension, together with the release of its new experimentation site, Shutterstock Showcase, which features two additional new search innovations - Copy Space and Refine.

Hiring A Copyright Attorney

By Jim Pickerell | 1014 Words | Posted 5/4/2018 | Comments
When hiring an attorney to handle a copyright enforcement case the Copyright Alliance has suggested five questions photographers should consider.

Future Of Photography: Taking Or Creating Images

By Jim Pickerell | 441 Words | Posted 5/3/2018 | Comments (1)
If you enjoy taking pictures and are considering photography as a career, maybe it is time to think again. If you’re in your 20s or 30s it is definitely time to think again. If you’re thinking about majoring in photography at a University, please don’t waste your money.

The Blockchain Fairy Tale

By Jim Pickerell | 1094 Words | Posted 5/2/2018 | Comments
Blockchains are being touted as offering great future economic benefit for stock photographers. Photographers will be able to set the price for their work. No waiting weeks of months to be paid the photographers share of the sale. Once the image is licensed virtually 100% of the revenue will be transferred immediately to the photographer’s account. “Technology” has removed the need for middlemen and their costs. Blockchains will keep such great records on every transaction that consumers will be unable to steal without getting caught. Any unauthorized used will be immediately identified and the infringer will be pursued. Is it all really that good? Check out this story.

Can Shutterstock Grow Revenue?

By Jim Pickerell | 1034 Words | Posted 5/1/2018 | Comments (1)
Shutterstock ought to think about raising prices. Clearly the number of images download is flat and not likely to grow significantly in the future. Just look at the quarterly download numbers for 2016 and 2017. The overall market for stock photographer is not growing. For years Shutterstock got away with taking market share away from Getty. They though that because their downloads were growing that the market was growing. In reality they were just taking customers away from Getty.

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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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