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Articles from July 2014

VideoBlocks/Shutterstock Comparison

By Jim Pickerell | 833 Words | Posted 7/31/2014 | Comments (1)
Can usage fees continue to drop? Most videographers think that Shutterstock’s prices for video clips at $19 for web use, $49 for an SD file, $79 for HD and $299 for 4K are about as low as prices could go. Any lower and videographers would no longer go to the trouble of creating new clips.

Where Is The Education Market Headed?

By Jim Pickerell | 827 Words | Posted 7/30/2014 | Comments (2)
Pearson’s conference call updating investment analysts on the company’s financial results for the first half of 2014, offered some interesting insights into where the education business is headed. By the end of 2014 Pearson will have cut its physical infrastructure and warehousing capacity in half compared to what it was 2 years ago. They will have cut 4,000 jobs, around 10% of the their workforce, primarily in print-related activities in mature markets.

VideoBlocks: New Trends In Content Acquisition

By Jim Pickerell | 892 Words | Posted 7/29/2014 | Comments
Last week we published a story about AudioBlocks a new platform licensing royalty-free music by subscription. Today, I want to examine the parent company, VideoBlocks, that was launched in 2010 and licenses royalty-free video clips by subscription.

How Does iStock Define “Most Popular”?

By Jim Pickerell | 918 Words | Posted 7/28/2014 | Comments
At iStock the “Most Popular” search option used to show images in order of popularity based on the number of times each image had been downloaded during its life of on the site. The first image shown was the one with the most downloads; the 2nd image was the image with the second highest number of downloads, 3rd had the third highest number of downloads and so on. This was true as late as the end of June 2014.

Google Favors Pirate Sites Over Those That License Images Legally

By Jim Pickerell | 352 Words | Posted 7/28/2014 | Comments (1)
On July 19, 2014 the TV channel France24 broadcasted a comprehensive 11 minute report on "Why Google is annoying/ Pourquoi Google nous agace." This report has been translated into English and can be found here.

EU Likely To Revise Google Antitrust Decision

By Jim Pickerell | 269 Words | Posted 7/24/2014 | Comments
Back in February European Union antitrust regulators reached a settlement with Google in an unfair competition investigation that had been going on since 2010.

Photographing Children Of Celebrities Risky

By Jim Pickerell | 134 Words | Posted 7/24/2014 | Comments
Singer-songwriter Adele has received a 5-figure settlement from Corbis Images UK for the taking and distributing photos of her 1-year-old son, Angelo. In a suit she claimed that children of celebrities are not public property and are entitled to privacy.

Fire!! Do You Have Off Site Backup

By Jim Pickerell | 272 Words | Posted 7/22/2014 | Comments (1)
Fire! Can it destroy your business? Are your files protected? On May 30th Steve Cole and his wife woke at 2am with smoke in their bedroom. They had a couple minutes to get out of bed and escape the house. Luckily both got out with their dog, but their three cats that were very much a part of their family did not survive. They lost everything including everything work related in his home office.

NPPA Best of Photojournalism (BoP) Awards

By Jim Pickerell | 740 Words | Posted 7/21/2014 | Comments
The Palm Beach Photographic Centre (PBPC), has invited the public to participate in the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) 2014 Best of Journalism Awards Show on August 8th and a full Education + Community Day on August 9th with TED-style panel discussions.

VideoBlocks.com Launches New Music Platform, AudioBlocks.com

By Jim Pickerell | 331 Words | Posted 7/21/2014 | Comments
VideoBlocks.com, the first subscription-based provider of unlimited royalty-free stock video, has launched its third content platform, AudioBlocks.com. At $99 per year, AudioBlocks is the only subscription service to offer unlimited downloads of over 100,000 high-quality, royalty-free music tracks, sound effects and loops.

Ask James Take 3

By Jim Pickerell | 2200 Words | Posted 7/18/2014 | Comments (1)
James West, CEO of Alamy, has just posted his latest answers to contributor questions at Ask James Take 3. Highlights of the 10 minute video include the fact that sales of iPhone photos acquired through its Stockimo app are selling “slightly better” per 1,000 photos than sales of the rest of the Alamy collection. He gave no indication as to how many of the 1 million images per month are iPhone produced images.

Barter: The New Way To Pay For Photos

By Jim Pickerell | 661 Words | Posted 7/17/2014 | Comments
As image users become more and more reluctant to pay much, if anything, for the images they need compensation for the use of photos may migrate to a barter system.

Pond5 Raises $61 Million From Accel Partners and Stripes Group

By Jim Pickerell | 433 Words | Posted 7/16/2014 | Comments
Pond5, the world’s leading online marketplace for video footage and stock media, announced today that it has raised $61 million in equity financing from Accel Partners and Stripes Group. The funding is the first institutional investment for the company and will be used to fuel global growth, hiring, and product development.

Dreamstime Launches Dreamstime Companion iOS and Android

By Jim Pickerell | 553 Words | Posted 7/16/2014 | Comments
Dreamstime has released Dreamstime Companion, a new iPhone and Android free mobile app that enables photographers to upload their own images directly from their smartphones. The uploaded images can be purchased by Dreamstime's more than eight million users, the largest designer database in the stock photography industry. More than 2,500 new photographers join Dreamstime every month, and the site now has more than 15 million monthly unique visitors.

StudentStock: Educating The Next Generation Of Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 1521 Words | Posted 7/15/2014 | Comments
Recently, there has been a flood of new websites focused on marketing stock. According to Michael Agliolo, a photography instructor at Butte College, StudentStock has a different mission. “My partners and myself come from educational backgrounds, and would like to impact the stock photography business with a new model, and a new approach. Our site is all about the education of students. The selling section of the site is secondary.” Should students be looking to stock photography as a career? See my take.

PDN PhotoPlus Registration Opens

By Jim Pickerell | 993 Words | Posted 7/15/2014 | Comments
Registration is open for PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo, taking place October 29-November 1, 2014 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. PhotoPlus Expo (PPE) will be an experience no photographer should miss this year! From a trilogy of world-class keynotes to photo walks throughout the city and a conference program of seminars featuring the industry’s finest working photographers, PPE continues to be the premiere annual gathering place for visual artists to inspire and be inspired.

LightRocket Announces Major Cloud Storage Expansion

By Jim Pickerell | 397 Words | Posted 7/14/2014 | Comments
LightRocket.com has announced a major value boost by offering its members up to five times more default cloud storage (100GB for premium accounts) and expanded 100GB storage units, providing members with pay-as-you-go flexibility.

BookStats Announces 2013 Publishing Figures

By Jim Pickerell | 412 Words | Posted 7/11/2014 | Comments
BookStats has reported that the U.S. book and journal publishing industry sold 2.59 billion units and generated $27.01 billion in net revenue in 2013. The trade sector - covering general consumer fiction and non-fiction – generated $14.66 billion in net revenue leaving about $12.35 billion for educational publishing. There were 2.32 billion trade book units sold and approximately 270 million educational books.

Getty Overhauls iOS Apps

By Jim Pickerell | 89 Words | Posted 7/11/2014 | Comments
According to Techcrunch.com Getty Images is overhauling its iOS App on gettyimages.com and iStock to make it easier for customers using mobile devices to source and purchase images. Also included in the Getty Images app will be Getty’s new Embed function, () unveiled last March that allows user looking for stock imagery for non-commercial use to download images at no cost so long as the image is hosted on the Getty servers and not pasted to the users own website or blog.

RM: Adapting To The New Realities

By Jim Pickerell | 1572 Words | Posted 7/10/2014 | Comments (2)
After reading my recent series of stories on iStock (?See here, here, here, here and here) a reader asked, “What are the implications for rights managed?  Does it mean placing one's images with a number of websites is actually a self-defeating exercise and one only needs to place them with one super star agency and wait for the high returns to roll in?  Or does that conclusion not apply to rights managed?  Or are rights managed images dead in the water these days?” All good questions, read this story for answers.

PantherMedia Acquires Digitalstock

By Jim Pickerell | 318 Words | Posted 7/9/2014 | Comments
After 10 years in operation, and with more than 800,000 images, the German microstock agency Digitalstock.de has decided to cease operations and provide customers and photographers with an exclusive offer to continue buying and selling photos online at PantherMedia.net.

World of Stock Helps Photogs Sell Direct

By Jim Pickerell | 606 Words | Posted 7/9/2014 | Comments
After 11 years as an independent stock photo agency, at one time hosting over 300,000 images from 130 photographers, worldofstock.com is in the process of making a significant change in response to shifts in the stock photo marketplace. Now photographers will pay a reasonable subscription fee (minimum $6.25 per month for 10GB of space), to have their images on a fully functional stock website where they keep 100% of any revenue generated from sales.

Is RM The Only Place To Find Great Pictures?

By Jim Pickerell | 6795 Words | Posted 7/8/2014 | Comments
Many RM photographers still believe that microstock images are of much lower quality than RM and that customers who want images of the highest quality will continue to go to RM sites for the images they need. Unfortunately, they are only kidding themselves. (Note the difference in number of downloads in this story.)

Ask James 3 Coming Up

By Jim Pickerell | 187 Words | Posted 7/7/2014 | Comments
Alamy has launched another “Ask James”, where customers, contributors and journalists can ask CEO James West any questions they have about Alamy, Stockimo, or the industry in general. Get Your Questions In. Questions must be submitted via email to:  nfxwnzrf@nynzl.pbz no later that Thursday July 10th.

iStock: More Images Does Not Increase Sales

By Jim Pickerell | 5839 Words | Posted 7/4/2014 | Comments
For most of the 431 top iStock contributors adding more images to their portfolios does not seen to have had a significant impact on the growth in their number of downloads. In fact, those who grew their collections by the smallest percentage, or not at all, seemed to experience continued growth in sales. Seems counter intuitive.

Three Categories Of Image Creators

By Jim Pickerell | 6029 Words | Posted 7/3/2014 | Comments
Yesterday I provided a list of the 431 of the top iStock contributors in the order of the total number of image downloads they have had in their careers. In the coming week I will explore some other ways to look at the available data. It is important to recognize that not all the people on this list are photographers. I have separated them into three groups – Illustrators (I), people with a mix of illustration and photography in their collections (PI) and photographers.

Image Licensing Decline

By Jim Pickerell | 80 Words | Posted 7/3/2014 | Comments
Robert Henson has provided an important perspective on the Decline of Image Licensing on Paul Melcher’s blog. He succinctly outlines some of the key changes in the imaging business that will undoubtedly lead to a further price declines. There are also indications that fewer professional produced images will be needed as more and more customers find other ways to acquire the images they need. This is a must read for anyone looking for a future as a stock image producer.

iStock Downloads Continue To Decline, First Half 2014

By Jim Pickerell | 5418 Words | Posted 7/2/2014 | Comments
On average, there has been a continued decline in the number of downloads for 431 of iStock’s leading contributors during the first half of 2014.  I have been tracking the activity for these contributors for more than 2 year, and about half of them since 2009. Since these individuals joined iStock their images have been downloaded a combined total of at least of 54,291,100 times and a possible maximum of 56,658,200. (See for how I arrived at these numbers.)

Tracking iStock Downloads

By Jim Pickerell | 472 Words | Posted 7/2/2014 | Comments
Since early in 2009 I have been tracking downloads of 192 of iStockphoto’s most productive contributors. At that time istockcharts, a service of multimedia.de provided a daily listing of the total downloads of most of iStock’s contributors. This list could be indexed by downloads so it was easy to determine which contributors had the most iStock downloads in their careers.

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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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