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has announced that it has become the world's first stock photo website built around responsive web design principals. This step has made Stocksy the only stock photo site that can provide the same optimized research and buying experience across any smartphone, tablet or desktop device.
Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has reported that Fotolia’s
revenues for the fiscal year ending December 2012 totaled $87 million
. Moody’s expects revenues to increase in the “low to mid-single digit percentage range over the next 12 months.”
In November I surveyed image creators who had signed up to attend the Microstock Expo in Berlin and asked them two question:
(1) What are your top four distributors and the percentage of revenue from each?
(2) Is your gross revenue greater in 2013 than it was in 2012?
It’s time to take another look at PeopleImages.com
that Yuri Arcurs Productions launched 17 months ago. Yuri has long been the world’s most successful microstock photographer, and until June 2013 his work was represented on virtually all the world’s microstock distributors.
The 2014 “Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year”
competition with a top prize of £5,000 has been announced. Professional and amateur photographers can submit their food images until January 31, 2014. The winner will be selected in London and announced on April 23, 2014 in a festive ceremony at the London’s “Mall Galleries.“
Getty Images has supplied selected investors with its third quarter revenue figures. Indications are that revenue continues to decline. For the year ending June 30, 2013 revenue was $897 million. For the 4 quarters ending September 30, 2013 indications are that the revenue is less than the $897 million, but we have been unable to determine exactly how much it has declined.
As of December 1, 2013 Universal Images Group Limited
(UIG) has opened a new Content Management facility for Asia based in Tokyo, Japan.
Last week a coalition of 37 news organizations, including the Associated Press, ABC News, The Washington Post and Reuters called for better access to the president and the White House
in a letter
addressed to White House press secretary Jay Carney.
The number of news photographers employed in the U.S has dropped 43% since 2000 from 6,171 to 3,493 according to the ASNE (American Society of News Editors). By comparison, the number of full-time newspaper reporters and writers dropped by 32%—from 25,593 to 17,422.
A jury has awarded photographer Daniel Morel $1.2 million in damages in his case against Agence France-Presse
(AFP) and Getty Images
for the unauthorized distribution of his images of the January 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake. At the time Morel received no payment from the agencies for almost 1,000 uses of his images.
The formula for producing stock images that sell is simple. Produce what customers want. All they want are images of “better quality” that are “more creative,” “natural, not staged” and that clearly illustrate a “concept” the customer needs at the moment. Also, the “price” for usage must be lower than anything else available.
has released a series of eight research reports entitled “Trends In Sight”
that explain and illustrate with Corbis images What’s New and What’s Next in photography.
Judge Denny Chin in Southern District of New York has ruled that Google Books provides a public benefit
and is a fair use
of copyrighted material. He ruled that the Google Books project doesn’t violate copyright law and dismissed the eight-year-old lawsuit against Google.
Design Pics Inc
. has announced the acquisition of AgStock Images, a California based photo agency specializing in agricultural photography. Founded in 1996 by Ed Young, AgstockImages.com
is a comprehensive library of worldwide agricultural photography, representing over 115 leading agriculture, produce, livestock, entomology, botany and plant pathology photographers, including photographers who are also professors and researchers across the United States, Canada, Europe and South America.
This story contains a list of the 99 Shutterstock contributors with the largest portfolios. All have more than 17,000 images on Shutterstock and the leading contributor, Africa Studio, has 346,683. Combined these 99 contributors have 4,433,257 or almost 14% of all the images on Shutterstock.There is a hot link to each contributor’s collection.
As happens every fall there is a whirlwind of photo conferences – PACA Annual Conference, Visual Connection and PhotoPlusExpo (all in New York), and this year Microstock Expo in Berlin. In light of everything I’ve seen and heard between October 20 and November 17, 2013 I’ve provided a few observations as to where I think the stock photo industry is headed.
, the world’s largest software maker and itself a massive consumer of image content for its products and services, has taken the bold step of promoting the theft of images online. Through its newly revamped Office product, Microsoft is replacing an image search functionality – one that routed the user to vetted sources for searching, transacting and integrating content into their online projects – with a general Bing
search. While Microsoft is certainly free to remove one piece of Office functionality and push users onto the Bing platform, the methods of how it is doing so underscores a blatant disregard of intellectual property.
Hundreds of thousands of images in major stock distributor collections are never viewed by any customer. If customers can’t see them they certainly can’t buy them. Tens of thousands of images are being added to stock photo databases every day. A very high percentage of them will quickly fall into an abyss never to be seen again. Is there a solution to this problem?
On behalf of thousands of photographers and picture agencies CEPIC, the Center of the Picture Industry has submitted a formal antitrust complaint against Google’s use of third-party images before the European Commission. The complaint was submitted on 8 November 2013 and supported by an unprecedented coalition of European and US trade associations representing thousands of photographers and picture agencies worldwide.
Attorney Edward Greenberg
reports that Andrew Paul Leonard
, a professional photographer who specializes in creating images of microscopic subject matter using a scanning electron microscope (“SEM”) has been awarded $1.6 million in his copyright infringement lawsuit against Stemtech Health Service.
Does exclusive representation make sense in today’s stock photography world, or is it better to place your images with multiple distributors? Here are a few things to consider.
Buyers often ask, “Why do stock images cost so much?” Photographers and agents tend to respond, “Because some images cost more than others to produce.” But the buyer will invariably point out that some very simple images shot on a white background are often priced higher than other more complicated and complex images that obviously cost more to produce.
has reported a record 25.4 million downloads and $56.8 million in revenue in Q3 2013. The Shutterstock collection has grown to more than 30 million still images and over 1.3 million video clips. Revenue per download grew 4% year-over-year to $2.35. The growth in revenue per download was driven primarily by a growing portion of revenue that is derived from video footage downloads.
Educational publishers are telling stock agencies and image creators that they need more and “better quality” still images. Despite declining prices many still photographers are continuing to try to improve on the images of educational subjects already in stock agencies. This may be a losing strategy for photographers.
In business it often helps to try to walk in your customer’s shoes. The following is a situation that developed when a busy designer was trying to give his customer a quality product on a tight deadline (aren’t all deadlines tight these days), and keep the cost of the project reasonable and within the customer’s budget.
Alamy has decided to lower the payout threshold for contributors and make payments whenever a contributor has $75 on account. No fees will be charged at the Alamy end regardless of the method or currency the contributor chooses.
One of the surprising things that came out of this year’s Visual Connections
event in New York was the degree of confusion and misunderstandings graphic designers and art directors have about image rights. Many seem unsure as to what they can and cannot do with the images they license.
On his Thoughts of a Bohemian blog
Paul Melcher points out that content is no longer king. Given the rise of amateur photography and the “corpocrates” that regularly license RM imagery for a few dollars, pros are content kings without kingdoms.
The stock visual media industry is seeing a pick-up after the longest downturn in living memory. Visual Connections New York, the world’s largest marketing event devoted to commercial licensing of visual media, drew more buyers and exhibitors this year than in 2012. Buyers could learn about 72 different stock agency brands from around the world, including 21 new to New York and 22 from outside the US (Canada, UK, Germany, Sweden and Argentina).
Stock photography is changing rapidly. The most serious issues facing stock photographers are:
they have no idea who their potential customers are;
they don’t know what their customers are looking for in the way of images; and
they don’t understand how their customer’s businesses are changing.
has done a deal with Pinterest
that will track the use of any of the 80 million photos and illustrations on Gettyimages.com whenever they are posted on the digital scrapbooking site. (A little over 7 million of those photos are on the Creative section of the site.)
has introduced two new products: Stipple Mobile and Stipple Search. With Stipple Mobil you can create Stippled photos right from your phone. Easily add videos from your camera and YouTube; Facebook, Twitter and Wikipedia profiles; and more to your photos. Photographers can instantly share everything on Facebook and Twitter.
, the commercial arm of the BBC, has agreed a global five-year partnership with Getty Images
, in which Getty Images will represent BBC Motion Gallery, BBC Worldwide’s prestigious video clip sales business. The agreement will see the world-renowned BBC Motion Gallery brand continue, with Getty Images as the exclusive global distributor.
PhotoShelter has just released the results of a new survey designed to determine “What Buyers Want From Photographers.” The 48 page report is available for Free here
Getty Images has been privately owned by Carlyle Group for a little over a year
, and before that by Hellman & Friedman for about 5 years. One of the results of going private is that much of the data that used to be shared about Getty’s operations is no longer available to the general public.
If you’re looking for an overview of the state of the stock photo industry as of October 2013 the stories listed below are a good place to start. Regular readers of Selling-Stock will have seen all this information before. For them, there is nothing new here although some of the stories were published in the last two weeks. If you’re looking for data and analysis – both current and historical – these stories are worth examining.
On September 31, 2013, the Copyright Office released the findings
of its two-year study on copyright small claims. The report documents the significant costs and other challenges in the current federal system of addressing copyright claims that have a relatively low economic value. The report recommends the establishment of a Copyright Tribunal housed within the Copyright Office to adjudicate claims.
Does anyone other than photographers think that photographers should be compensated with more than a credit for the use of their images? The response photographer Kristen Pierson received from the publisher of the Warwick, RI Beacon displays a common attitude, not just of the average consumer, but of many professionals and commercial users who should be licensing rights to the images they use.
, a stock photography co-op that launched on March 28, 2013, is on track to become profitable by November. A photo collective and online market co-owned by more than 400 photographers, Stocksy has accomplished this feat while giving members a 50 percent royalty on each transaction and 90 percent of profits.
Patrick Lor, co-founder of iStockphoto and formerly leader of Fotolia North America, has founded a stock footage company called Dissolve
. Lor’s company makes a significant number of clips available for $5 although some clips are priced at $50, $150 and $500.
There is increasing interest among debt investors as to what is happening at Getty and particularly in their Midstock division. I posted an analysis
last week, but already there is new information worth updating.
Graphic Design USA’s 27th annual Stock Visual Reader Survey
has revealed that 95% of creatives in the U.S. use stock visuals to some extent in their work. In 1986 only 34% of creatives used stock, but there has been a steady year-to-year rise in its use reaching 95% in 2010.
The latest edition of Alamy’s “Ask James” series of video chats where CEO James West responds to photographer questions is now live. West reports that the company licensed rights to about 360,000 images in 2012, up from under 200,000 in 2008.
In response to the new trends in Smartphone use, social media and mobile phone Fotolia is launching a new app and collection, uniquely designed for Smartphone photos. Created for iPhone 4 and up, Fotolia Instant
offers fresh, new “in-the-moment” images taken using the new app, which allows users to shoot and upload to Fotolia directly from their Smartphone.
Getty Images is finally declaring iStock a “Midstock” brand given how high they have pushed the prices of iStock’s exclusive imagery. I estimate that about 35% of the images on iStock are exclusive. Getty has told debt investors that 70% of iStock revenue is generated from exclusive images and that the gross revenue for the last 4 quarters was about $300 million. In Q2 2013 iStock revenue was down 9% compared to the revenue in Q2 2012.
Getty Images’ visual trends publication Curve
released their most comprehensive assessment of diversity in advertising to date. The Curve is designed to highlight the latest trends and research into the changing use of visual imagery that depicts social variety. It is also a resource for brands that are looking to create exclusive and progressive communications.
The New York Times has published a story about “Let the Fire Burn
” a new film due out today that chronicles the 1985 bombing by the Philadelphia Police of a house occupied by the radical group known as Move. The fire spread to 60 other houses in the neighborhood.
Frans Lemmens has a problem. One of his clients operates an iPad travel magazine called TRVL Magazine. They use a lot of his images. They encourage readers to share the images found in their app on Facebook. Frankly, readers would probably do this anyway whether they are encouraged to do so, or not. Also, in order to market their app this activity is probably critical for TRVL.
Given the changing and growing demands publishers are facing when developing an educational program, PACA’s Editorial Relations Committee and Cengage Learning have worked together to create a new “Preferred Provider” Insert License Agreement that helps meet the publisher’s needs while providing image vendors of a better understanding of how their images are being used.
Art Directors and Graphic Designers lament the decline in creativity
. They say this results from a lack of Time and a lack of Funding which leads to a lack of Inspiration. 75% say they have too many competing priorities to leave time for reflection.
Professional creatives are struggling to produce creative and effective campaigns in an increasingly stressful work environment, according to a new survey released by iStock by Getty Images
during Advertising Week 2013 in New York City. One in two (48 percent) of creatives believe levels of creativity in their industry have stagnated or declined in the last decade and nearly one quarter (23 percent) of creatives spend less than two hours of their day doing ‘creative’ work, according to the study’s findings.
The MAGNA GLOBAL Advertising Forecast released early this year reported that the Global advertising spend in 2012 was $495 billion up 3.8% from $479.9 in 2011. But, in 2013 newspaper and magazine ad revenues are expected to fall. The U.S. was the largest market with $153 billion in revenues in 2012. Japan, China, Germany and the UK complete the top five.
According to the New York Post Avril Nolan, 25, has sued Getty Images for $450,000 after discovering her unreleased picture splashed across a quarter-page color ad in the free newspaper am New York on April 3, 2012. Next to her face were the words "I am positive (+)" and "I have rights." Nolan is perfectly healthy, never had HIV and never signed a model release to allow her image to be used in any kind of advertising.
CueSongs, the one-stop music licensing hub for online and digital media, achieves yet another strategic partnership announcing it has reached an agreement to become the exclusive music partner of Image Source, the leading independent image agency, to power its new music licensing service unveiled today.
Getty Images has rebranded iStockphoto to just .iStock.
with of sub-head of by Getty Images. The new logo is white on black instead of the former red iStockphoto. The rest of the site looks pretty similar to what was offered before.
Alamy is soliciting questions for the next installment of it’s popular “Ask James" feature. Between now and September 23rd contributors can pose questions to James West, CEO of Alamy. He will answer as many as possible in one or more 10 minute video sessions.
Every photographer is aware that the average annual return-per-image has been steadily falling over the last few years. The numbers in this story based on the size of Getty's Premium image collection and the revenue it generates give an indication of just how much it has fallen.
At Visa pour l'Image in France earlier this month Olivier Laurent of the British Journal of Photography interviewed Jonathan Klein, CEO and co-founder of Getty Images. Among the issues discussed were falling prices, the future of the industry, the need for new economic models and the role of smartphones in a market in flux. The entire article can be found here
Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) and global digital media company Getty Images today announced a long-term extension of their successful partnership. Getty Images will continue to serve as the exclusive commercial photography partner of Major League Baseball (MLB) and exclusive licensor of the entire MLB image archive.
Getty is telling debt investors (people who buy corporate bonds and corporate debt) that 70% of iStockphoto revenue is generated by exclusive images. They also say that total iStock revenue annually is around $300 million. iStock revenue declined 9% in Q2 2013 compared with Q2 2012. Thus, about $90 million of Getty’s revenue comes from non-exclusive images and $210 million from exclusive
After reading about the new Facebook TOS
I began to wonder if Facebook would be able to resell images their advertisers acquire from Shutterstock as part of the new Facebook/Shutterstock deal
Getty Images rising debt compared to earnings (EBITDA) is worrying debt investors. Moody’s is reviewing the company to determine if they need to lower their Rating of the company’s debt. Getty has $2.6 billion in outstanding debt including an approximate $1.9 billion term loan, $550 million of 7% notes due October 2020 and $150 million line of credit. Gross revenue for the year ending June 30, 2013 revenue was $897 million.
In June 2013 VisualSteam
conducted a survey of over 1,000 art buyers, designers, creative directors, photo editors, service managers (and more), from agencies, design firms, publishers and corporations in the U.S. to determine “What Buyers Want.” They received a statistically valid response. For detailed results see the 5 page pdf or a longer video presentation here
has created a body of work that focuses on empowerment and accessibility, and reflects the lives of people with disabilities who run companies, have families, participate in sports, study, learn and enjoy life.
Clearly Shutterstock is on a growth curve in terms of number of images downloaded and revenue. According to debt investors (those who trade in corporate bonds and corporate debt) Getty’s revenue has been declining over the last three quarters and the company’s expenses have been increasing due to increased marketing costs. To get back in the game Getty has to try to take market share from Shutterstock.
Many Internet users seem to believe that it is OK to use any image they find online for wallpaper on their site. The next step is to grab a bunch of images they like and create a site that makes the images available to others for free wallpaper use. And, once they’ve gone to the trouble to create a site the site owners figure they might as well make a little money by selling a few ads.
After the announcement of the Shutterstock/Facebook agreement
that makes images available FREE of charge to businesses that advertise on Facebook, I contacted Shutterstock for additional clarification.
In this time of ever declining stock photo prices it is great when we can report a significant license fee for stock images. Last week one of the remaining, small, independent photo agencies negotiated a campaign of global scope entailing unlimited print, web and marketing uses of 7 images for a period of 10 years for a total fee of $415,000.
Many traditional RF and RM agencies and production companies are adding images to the Offset
collection. I’ve found images from Blend, Aurora, Tetra, National Geographic, Westend61, fStop, Johner, Gallery Stock, Cavan Images and Radius Images in the few searches I’ve conducted.
At the recent Interactive Advertising Bureau’s 2013 Digital Content NewFronts conference in New York 75% of the senior executives attending said they plan to shift more of their advertising budget from television to digital video ads over the next year.
has done a deal with Facebook that will give businesses that advertise on Facebook FREE
access to the Shutterstock library that now totals more than 28 million images. Each time a Facebook advertiser licenses a Shutterstock image the Shutterstock artist will earn a royalty – presumably the $0.25 to $0.40 subscription rate.
that connects creative and marketing professionals to a curated network of more than 7,500 professional photographers in 115 countries has published an infographic
that outlines some of the risks professional photographers face in the current market.
The American Society of Media Photographers, joined by National Press Photographers Association (NPPA
), The Digital Media Licensing Association (PACA
), American Photographic Artists (APA
), This Week in Photography (TWiP
), Professional Photographers of America (PPA
), Coordination of European Picture Agencies Stock, Press and Heritage (CEPIC
), Graphic Artists Guild (GAG
) and American Society of Picture Professionals (ASPP
Getty Images has made a number of strategic decisions in the past few years that have resulted in declines in both its “Creative” (RM and RF) and microstock lines of business. These decisions have also aided Shutterstock in its rise to a commanding position in the market with its subscription licensing model. I want to emphasize that when I talk about declines I am not referring to Getty’s other lines of business - Editorial, Footage, Other or B2B music – which as far as I can tell are still growing.
Getty Images has watched the rise of Shutterstock – to the company’s chagrin – and is trying to build Thinkstock to a position where it can take market share away from Shutterstock. Read this story to see why I think Getty is unlikely to be successful and why their fortunes are likely to further decline.
Photographers who are licensing their images based on usage (RM) need to give some careful thought to the lag time between creation and when they are likely to see any money. This is particularly true if they are licensing their images through an agency as the lag time seems to be getting longer and longer.
ASMP has published “The Instagram Papers
,” a very valuable analysis of Instagram Terms of Service. Every photographer who is considering posting images on Instagram, wants to retain control of his/her images and hopefully earn some money from them should be familiar with the information in this report.
Looking for inspiration? Check out Blend Images The Blog!
at blog.blendimages.com for amazing photos, illustration, graphics and fine art. For a little over a year now the stock photo production company has been regularly showing small collections of the work of amazing visual artists. The works are not limited to photography, but include, illustration, painting, collage, architecture, music, video and more.
has made the OJO Images available on iStockphoto
. The images are now “exclusively” available on the Getty Images network of sites and select partners. The full collection boasts nearly 31,000 premium files, which will grow to nearly 45,000 by the end of October.
Swedish mobile photography startup Foap
has secured $1.5 million in funding that will go towards further growing the company. The company will be taking its first steps into the American market by opening an office in New York in September.
Many expect users of mobile phones with decent cameras with constant connectivity to the world to be the next disruptors of the stock photography business. Crowd sources photojournalism
is expected to cut into the business of the long-suffering professional news photographers. Here are some thoughts as to why crowd-sourced mobile photography may not be the boom angel investors are hoping for.
Shutterstock has reported a record 24.3 million downloads and $56.8 million in revenue in Q2 2013. Revenue per download grew 5% year-over-year to $2.33. This was driven by a continued shift toward on demand, direct sales and footage downloads, all of which carry a higher effective price-per-download. The Shutterstock collection has grown to more than 28 million images and over 1 million video clips.
Has someone grabbed one of your images and posted it on Facebook without your permission? On the Stockphoto blog Stacy Walsh~Rosenstock
recently outlined a simple procedure for getting your image off the offending page.
Recently, in testimony on the importance of copyright before the House Intellectual Property Subcommittee John Lapham, Senior Vice President, General Counsel of Getty Images, provided some useful statistics
about Getty’s operation.
, the leader in image-based advertising and e-commerce, (see previous story
) has partnered with Getty Images
to help advertisers better reach their image audiences and to help publishers monetize photos more efficiently.
has compiled a collection of stock footage clips that number more than 3 million and includes collections from Getty Images, FootageBank, Framepool, CNN ImageSource and Shutterstock.
The Image Source
team responsible for tracking trends in the premium stock photography industry is in the process of publishing a series of briefings following their recent research conducted to determine near-future patterns in the use of conceptual imagery. Intended to help premium stock photographers produce the imagery demanded by image buyers, their research will be published as a series of articles on the Image Source photographer resource blog
over the next couple of months.
Video is starting to become the new essential for stills libraries. Although the two majors have had motion divisions for years, most UK photo-libraries avoided video for a number of reasons: technical complexity, bandwidth and the uncertainties of a new market, compounded by the economic difficulties of the past few years.
How fast is the education market moving from print to digital delivery? In its Q2 2013 earnings conference call with investors last week, Pearson, PLC, the world leading provider of educational materials and services provided some interesting data.
Yuri Arcurs has written a long post
entitled “Microstock sees its first major setback in 6 years and here’s why
.” In it he explains (1) why he is pulling his images out of all microstock agencies except iStockphoto and his own Peopleimages.com, (2) why he decided to go exclusive with Getty, (3) why mobile, crowd sourced photography is “a serious threat to stock photography” and (4) why he has invested $1.4 million in Scoopshot. This article is a must read for everyone in the industry.
A few months ago I reported how Getty Images’ Rights Managed prices
vary when an image is being used in different countries. Now, I've expanded that research to cover a number of additional countries and additional types of uses. The results are interesting and show how confusing RM pricing can be.
Earlier this month Cengage Learning Inc., the second biggest publisher of college-course material in the U.S., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it tries to restructure its debt of about $5.8 billion. Under a deal with some of its senior lenders, the company will try to use the bankruptcy case to eliminate $4 billion in debt,
We are moving rapidly toward a time when a large portion of the news photographs we see will be crowd sourced. There may be no way to slow this trend, but it raises some serious questions for those trying to earn a living as news photographers, or those who hope to take up this career in the future.
Alfonso Gutiérrez, President of CEPIC has provided some updated information on the CEPIC Image Registery (CIR) that Selling Stock reported on earlier here
. See his report.
In the last 18 months I have been tracking the collection sizes of 421 of iStock’s
leading contributors. These creators have had combined total downloads of 49,141,000 out of an estimated 150 million for iStock since its founding. Thus, they are very representative of iStock’s total collection and sales.
has announced today that 1/2 of its imagery is now 1/2 of its former price
. Prices for non-exclusive images used to be: 1, 4, 7, 10, 12, 15, 18 credits based on file size. Now those prices have dropped to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 credits with the price for the largest file size being only 39% of what was formerly charged.
Backed by Yuri Arcurs, Scoopshot
is launching a new service for crowdsourcing photography on-demand in minutes after the customer makes a request. Scoopshot gives photo buyers the ability to instantaneously place assignments in front of the company’s global network of 280,000+ mobile photographers.
Over the weekend, Seeking Alpha (SA) published an article aimed at the investment community entitled, “Shutterstock Valuation Makes Me Shudder
.” The points made in this article are well worth considering, not only for investors, but for anyone interested in earning a living in the business of stock photography.
Since early in 2009 I have been tracking downloads
of 192 of iStockphoto’s most productive contributors. All of them have more than 48,000 downloads and 130 of them have more than 100,000. There are others with high numbers of downloads that I have not tracked for as long a period, and I’m sure there are a few I have not identified. Nevertheless, I believe this group is very representative.
An increasing number of mobile phone photographers in Europe are contributing images to Scoopshot
. The company recently released the total number of images uploaded to the five tasks that photographers have found most interesting. Amazingly, 27,788 images were submitted to a request from WAZ Media Group in Germany for pictures of interesting coffee cups.
PhotoShelter has launched Beam
, a new web platform that makes it easy for photographers to create exciting portfolio sites with a contemporary look. Initially, they have provided four innovative templates, but more variations are expected in the near future.
The UK’s Copyright Hub
has launched its pilot phase. It is designed to be a gateway to information about copyright in the UK and point those interested in the right direction to get permission to use a copyrighted work.
James West (Alamy CEO) and Mike Fischer (Alamy Chairman) have invested in a smartphone video start up called Manything
, an innovative new video recording service that uses smartphones and tablets as remote video cameras.
brand that was announced in April is moving forward. Currently the site has more than 27,000 images with more images and artists added every day. Customers are already licensing images, but Offset is currently in an invite-only beta. If you would like to take a look at what’s on the site go to http://www.offset.com/
and request access.
PACA has changed its name to PACA, The Digital Media Licensing Association
. While the name Picture Archive Council of America has served the organization well, it has become apparent that it no longer accurately reflects today’s photography licensing business, or the membership of the organization.
has launched an initiative called “Ask James” where contributors pose questions on Facebook, Flickr or the Alamy blog about Alamy operations or the stock photo business in general. Once the questions are in CEO James West sits down infront of a webcam and records as many answers as he has time for in 10 minutes segments.
The stock photography business has its first billionaire. Bloomberg news reported that last week Jonathan Oringer, the founder of Shutterstock Inc
. (SSTK) became a billionaire. Oringer owns 18.5 million shares of Shutterstock, or 55 percent of the outstanding shares. Last week shares of the company reached a record high of $56.44. Today, shares are trading at around $56 per share which makes Oringer’s holding worth in excess of one billion dollars.
Here’s the second in our continuing series of things I’ve found on the web that might be of interest to readers. Rather than my trying to summarize each article it is better for readers to just check out the link. The first article deals with using discarded cell phones in the Philippines to replace costly textbooks. Next National Geographic gives cell phone users guidance and on how to produce great pictures. There is a great photographer’s review of Stocksy and finally brief biographies and pictures taken by 10 of the world’s most famous art photographers.
Internet entrepreneur and prolific angel investor Fabrice Grinda recently commented on his blog
that stock photography may be the “best business ever” – for the organization marketing the work online, not the producer.
Registration is now open for the 18th Annual PACA Conference
in New York City October 20-23, 2013. PACA will be teaming up with Visual Connections
to bring a 3-day event, which will feature the PACA Conference on days 1 and 2 and Visual Connections on day 3.
As a result of technological advancements, and the new image search techniques on the horizon, we are about to enter another paradigm shift in the way stock images are licensed. Delaying or ignoring this new trend in image marketing is not a viable option. It will move forward whether individual creators like it or not. The only option is to figure out how to adapt to this new reality in a way that will allow creators to continue to earn a living.
The biggest problem for the CIR
will be finding a way to let all the potential image users know it exists. It may be fairly easy to make the big publishing organizations aware of the CIR. They have been crying for a way to quickly determine if an image needs to be licensed and where to go to license it. But there is a long tail of small design firms and web developers that in the aggregate use a lot more images than these big users. It will be very difficult to reach all these small occasional users and make them aware of the CIR and its benefits.
Last month we reported on the storm over the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act
(ERRA) that was passed by the U.K. Parliament. Photographers were up in arms, but it turns out that many of the initial concerns may have been misplaced.
Yesterday we talked about the search by image feature on the CIR
. Today, we discovered that Getty has added a search by image feature to Thinkstock
. Go to the Thinkstock web site and look for the “search by image” button under the search box.
Motivated by the European Union’s challenge to develop a technological system that would make it easier for European citizens to gain access to cultural resources CEPIC has developed the CEPIC Image Registry (CIR) that will allows simultaneous visual or text search across thousands of image databases. Read more about how will work and how it may change the image licensing business.
Two Vancouver art directors faced with using stock photography because their clients don’t want to pay for assignments have launched a blog called Getty Critics
which pokes light-hearted fun at some of the stock photos that can be found at www.gettyimages.com
Recently, Google engineer Matt Cutts was asked if stock photos on a web
page have a negative effect on ranking compared to the use of original
photography? In a new Google Webmaster help video he said, “To the
best of my knowledge it doesn’t really make a difference whether it’s a
stock photo versus an original photo,"
Getty has announced that it will be retiring The Agency Collection (TAC)
on iStockphoto in the next few weeks and creating a new collection
called Signature+. The company says the main driver for this move is to
simplify their offer to customers. It is unclear how this will
“simplify” the offer.
National Geographic has gathered its expansive archive of still and moving images and its roster of award-winning photographic and filmmaking talent and made them accessible to the creative community in one place, through National Geographic Creative
In another example of how the news photography business is changing, the Chicago Sun-Times has eliminated all of its 28 staff photography positions. The paper intends to get images in the future from freelance photographers and reporters taking pictures with their smart phones.
Booking opened on June 4 to prospective exhibitors at Visual Connections New York 2013, which will take place on Wednesday, October 23rd immediately following the PACA International Conference on October 21st and 22nd.
Since he started producing microstock images in 2005 Yuri Arcurs, the world’s top selling microstock shooter with over 1,500,000 downloads from iStockphoto alone, has been a strong advocate of non-exclusive representation and not putting “all his eggs in one basket”. Recently he signed an exclusive deal with Getty Images.
Given the prices publishers are charging for their digital products, they are establishing a precedent that images – in fact, all the content – is essentially worthless. See what publishers are charging and what that makes a single photo worth.
On May 22nd iStockphoto
partnered with the Art Director’s Club to host Portfolio Night in more than 20 cities around the world. The Portfolio Night events were designed to connect aspiring young creatives with renowned advertising creative directors in hopes they would receive feedback on their work and ultimately secure career opportunities.
For those who were unable to attend here is some of the information that was provided.
Recently John Fowler wrote on the Stockphoto Group blog on Yahoo “My promotional efforts are failing me,” and asked other photographers for advice on the promotional strategies that are working for them. John shoots mostly natural history imagery with an emphasis on insects especially those of agricultural, health and economic significance. Here's my thoughts on his options.
is scheduled to release a new web-based platform later this month that will make task creation publicly available. This is expected to increase the number of users, the quality of the content, create more brand visibility and increase user engagement for their media partners.
PhotoShelter, in conjunction with Bill Cramer, founder and CEO of Wonderful Machine
, has released a new free guide on Pricing Corporate and Industrial Photography
. The guide provides useful price ranges for a variety of shoot types including: Corporate Lifestyle, Environmental Portraiture, Corporate Reportage, Headshots, Event Photography and Library Shoots.
In the case of Pacific Stock, Inc. vs. Pearson Education United States District Judge Susan Oki Mollay in Hawaii has denied Pearson’s request for summary judgment with regard to Pacific Stock’s claim that Pearson had engaged in fraud and fraudulent inducement in its use of 59 images. Pacific Stock has also alleged that with regard to 151 images from 70 of its photographers Pearson exceeded the print run rights granted for the use of its images in Pearson textbooks.
At the CEPIC Congress on June 11th the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) will sponsor the second annual "Photocentric Day," a day of inspiration and learning with the theme: How can the professional generate revenues in the digital world?
In my daily research I find many things that should be of interest to readers. Often there is little to say about the subject other than to provide readers with a link to what I’ve found. This will be the first in a continuing series of things I find interesting.
Corbis, Magnum, Getty and Alamy -- what do these words have in common. Unfortunately, the general public doesn't know. They've never heard of them, and if they have they don't know they are places where you can license the rights to use photographs, or what licensing photographs is all about. Do you care? Should you care? Read the story.
Is bulk pricing always bad? After reviewing the sales reports of a number of Getty photographers we’ve reported
that from 25% and up to 40% in some cases of Getty’s total sales are for fees of $25 or less – often a lot less. Hans Halberstadt explains how he uses bulk pricing and custom pricing menus to get much more reasonable fees for the use of his images.
The stock photography business has changed dramatically from what it was five or ten years ago and the future does and the future does not look promising. In this article we’ve provided links to a number of previously published articles that provide a good overview of the industry and where we believe it is headed. If the reader wants to get a basic grounding in what stock photography is all about this is the place to start.
just released the following to the press cautioning image user to be careful about grabbing images off the Internet because they could be “violating someone’s copyright.” To aid users in protecting themselves Dreamstime offers a collection of images at Stockfreeimages.com
has launched Corbis CRAVE
, a premium image discovery experience developed exclusively for iPad® and as an accompanying web experience. CRAVE features expertly curated imagery from industry-leading commercial and editorial photographers. At launch there are 47 portfolios from featured photographers.
With Stocksy (http://www.stocksy.com/
) Bruce Livingstone has set out to produce a collection of “authentic” stock images unlike anything customers will be able to find anywhere else. When he uses the work authentic he means a photograph that doesn’t look staged, pretend, forced or unrealistic. Images can be processed, but the processing must match the content. It’s not Instagram. Bruce took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.
At the CEPIC Congress in Barcelona on Wednesday June 12th there will be a discussion on a new initiative that could generate significant new revenue for image creators whose images are “crowd sourced” and posted without authorization to various domains on the Internet. This story examines the “Winston Project,” a system for collecting revenue for “Passive Image Use.” when a user uploads an image created by someone else to a “crowd sourced” domain, or when a user clicks on an image or shares it within the domain.
The United Kingdom company Eposure
has posted preliminary results of its Photographer Day Rates survey
that was conducted online through its blog. Eposure is a company that “brings commercial photographers and businesses closer” and provides information and mentoring programs for photographers.
Shutterstock has reported a record 22.3 million downloads and $51.5 million in revenue in Q1 2013. Revenue per download grew 8% year-over-year to $2.29. The Shutterstock collection has grown to more than 25 million images and over 1 million video clips. Revenue is expected to grow in Q2 to between $53 million and $55 million. For all of 2013 revenue is now projected to be between $221 million and $226 million. EBITDA is projected to be between $46 million and $48 million.
United Kingdom photographers are up in arms over the latest action by their government to make it legal for consumers to use their images without their permission. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act
recently passed in the U.K. provides a way to legally use images found on the Internet when the copyright owner cannot be identified or contacted. Such images are known as “orphaned works.”
In an effort to help its photographers shoot the imagery demanded by image buyers Image Source’s trend monitoring team, ISM, have published a report on its photographer resource blog
IMSO, that examines the concepts portrayed in recent family imagery. In the process of preparing this report Image Source analyzed changes in the buying patterns or its customers, and researched a wide range of media and customer needs.
We reported on price variations to different countries for use of the same photo here
. Kiratsinh Jadeja who originally raised the issue asked, “Do you think majority of the buyers already know about this and outsource already?”
If supplying pictures for educational use is a significant part of your business plan you need to be aware of how the market is trending toward digital delivery and how that is likely to affect the prices that will be paid for images used in digital products. In case you’ve missed them the following are links to a few stories we’ve published that deal with this subject in the last few years.
Since the fall of 2012 iStockphoto had been accepting pictures taken with mobile devices. Currently they have 7433 images on the site. So far, they do not allow contributors to upload their photos directly from their mobile devices. It is not clear whether they are accepting images from contributors who only shoot with a camera phone, or whether they are just encouraging their regular contributors to also submit some images they shoot with their phones.
The Hollywood Reporter says the distribution of motion pictures on film
in the U.S. could be over before the end of 2013. Eighty-five percent of
the screens in North America have already switched to digital as have
67% of those in Europe.
The Associated Press has scored a significant copyright victory in the case Associated Press v. Meltwater. While the issue in this case was about the “scraping” and re-purposing of copyrighted text it could have important applications for photographers whose images are grabbed and re-purposed by Internet sites. Meltwater’s fair use defense was struck down by the court.
Newscom, the world's largest multi-agency library of digital images, has announced the launch of its sister company, Pixation Images
. The focus of this new platform is to provide quality creative images designed for commercial use that clients need to sell their story.
Alamy has introduced a new forum for contributors as part of their continuous improvement strategy. Access the forum here
. Following the website redesign in April, the new forum has a fresh interface, enhanced features and is encouraging positive engagement within its community of photographers.
JMC Inc (formerly JTB Photo Communications) based in Tokyo, Japan and Universal Images Group Limited
(UIG) have entered into an agreement in Tokyo on April 12th 2013 for UIG to manage the global distribution business of JMC in respect of the JTB Photo picture library of 150,000 travel, travel related, cultural, cultural heritage and religious rights managed images. Another 650,000 to be edited and 10,000 new images per month are part of the deal.
The Instagram community of 100 million users will have a new way to market their images with the August 2013 launch of InstaStockImages
, the global crowdsourcing photo and video service has announced a global alliance with Ebyline
, a company which helps media publishers, agencies and brands to collaborate with professional freelance journalists worldwide by providing workflow tools.
The American Photographic Artists (APA) association has joined 15 plaintiffs in a copyright infringement lawsuit against Google that alleges the “Google Book Search” program violates the copyrights of numerous photographers and other visual artists.
In recent discussions with agents operating in Europe it seems that it has become impossible to hold the line on pricing. They say there is always a competitor willing to undercut any rate.
Last week we asked the question “Where is the best place to license images?
” if the image is available in the Getty Images collection. We thought India might be the cheapest source, but we found some surprising cheaper alternatives.
Anyone interested in a career as a photographer – as well as those photographers in mid-career -- needs to carefully consider how the business is changing. If we look at image use on the Internet it is undeniable that more images are being made available for viewing. However, for professionals this is not good news. More image use does not mean more demand for professionally produced images.
It does not mean that there will be more opportunities for photographers to earn their living taking pictures. In fact, the opportunities to earn a living as a photographer are declining. Here’s why.
If you want to license an image from Getty Images for use in the United Kingdom is it better to license the use in Canada or India? Recently, Kiratsinh Jadeja priced the same image for the same usage
in both countries. He discovered that if he licensed the use in India the cost would be less than half the Canadian price. In either case he could legally use the image in the UK. Learn why.
The CEPIC Congress
in Barcelona June 10 – 14, 2013 will attract stock agents from around the world. Falling prices and the impact they are having on stock agencies and professional photographers will be one of the key issues discussed.??I posed a series of questions to a few industry leaders that will be in attendance. Earlier Alfonso Gutierrez, CEO of age fotostock shared his observations and opinions
. In this story I will examine responses from a few others.
There is a battle brewing in courts that everyone in the photo industry should pay very close attention to. A company called ReDigi (https://www.redigi.com/
) is in the business of allowing anyone to resell “used” digital files. In other words, allowing anyone to sell, for example, an MP3 file they legally purchased. They claim rightful business practice under the first sale doctrine, the same rule that allows you to resell your used books.
Last month the U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-to-3 decision in the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons
found that Supap Kirtsaeng had the right to resell, in the United States, textbooks that his friends and relatives purchased in Thailand. The Thai math student at Cornell University generated roughly $900,000 in revenue by reselling books that can be purchased at a much lower price in Thailand than in the U.S.
has announced plans to launch Offset
, a new RF offering of premium, high-end stock photos and illustrations. Currently the curated collection is in private beta. A public launch will follow later this year.
Last week we wrote about the miniscule royalties
that appeared on Getty’s February royalty statements. Many Getty Connect sales showed a royalty of $0.00.
Getty has acknowledged that they made a rounding error on the recent statements and will report micro-royalties in fractions of a cent up to 5 decimal points in the future. Conceivably, a photographer could earn $0.00001 (one thousandth of a cent) for one license.
Getty Images makes it hard for some customers to purchase RM images. See what I learned when I tried to license usage of 4 images from Getty. We complain about the unauthorized use of images online and then we make it almost impossible for many potential image users to find out how to license images legitimately.
There was a time when one of the keys to being a successful stock photographer was to develop a strong working relationship with a top photo editor at one of the major stock agencies. That period has passed. Rolf Sjogren who managed a high-level team of art directors, photo editors, producers and retouchers for Getty Images from 2001 through 2008 explains what happened and gives us a picture editor's perspective on how the stock photo industry has changed in the last 20 or so years.
The CEPIC Congress in Barcelona June 10 – 14, 2013 attracts stock agents from around the world. Pricing will be one of the key issues discussed – specifically falling prices and the impact they are having on stock agencies and professional photographers. I posed a series of questions to a few industry leaders. This story is a response from Alfonso Gutierrez, CEO of age fotostock
PhotoShelter and ASMP have partnered to produce and distribute a new guide
that discusses photographer’s rights under the U.S. copyright law and explains what they must do to protect their work.
has released an infographic
that forecasts several design trends for the year ahead. In 2012 Shutterstock delivered 76 million image downloads giving them a wealth of data from which to draw conclusions.
Last summer Getty Images launched an API initiative called Connect by Getty Images that made it possible for then to collect a share of the advertising revenue when an ad appears on a page where a Getty Image is shown. One of the first companies to use the API was Yahoo. In the February statements Getty is reporting royalties from some of the early pay-per-view deals. The numbers being reported have alarmed a number of Getty’s contributors.
Bruce Livingstone founder of iStockphoto has launched Stocksy.com
. Stocksy has been designed as a co-op and pays photographers a 50% royalty on each sale. At the end of the year, the company divides 90% of its profits equally among contributors and other shareholders.
new website is the latest step in the company’s efforts to improve the online experience for creative and editorial customers. The company has taken a phased approach to the site re-design and is initially launching with a new homepage, search results, image pop-up and lightbox tool.
has raised a $700,000 round of financing from Square Peg’s Paul Bassat and Justin Liberman as well as other Australian investors. Originally based in Australia, the company has raised $2.2 million thus far.
In its annual study of the State of News Media the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism found that employment at U.S. newspapers in 2012 was down 30% from its peak in 2000 and below 40,000 full-time professional employees for the first time since 1978.
A reader wrote "Strikes me that there is so much fragmentation in the stock image space it’s hard for anyone, especially the photographers, to make money." He thinks we need a better way for people to search and license images. See my comments. Let me know if you have other ideas.
The International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) has released a new study
into the use of images by social media websites. Among those that remove photographer metadata from the images they host are Facebook, Flickr and Twitter.
has created Clashot.com
, a platform that allows image creators using mobile devices to share their images and potentially earn revenue from some of them.
After 56 years in the stock photography business, Photo Researchers Inc. has re-branded itself as Science Source®, a name which they feel "better reflects our primary focus on science, medicine, natural history, space and technology."
The number one issue for photographers is “what can be done to stop the steady down hill slide in the price paid to use an image?” Unfortunately, the answer is NOTHING! Look at the numbers and understand why.
If you are a young person who wants a career in visual communications where are the opportunities likely to be? They are least likely to be in print publishing. This article presents statistics that explain why and gives some insights into the potential for video.
Given the competition in the world of professional photography, anything that can help a photographer find customers is worth considering. A reader recently called my attention to Imagebrief.com
that allows art buyers to provide a detailed outline brief of their image needs for current projects. Photographers can review the briefs and submit images for the projects.
Novus Select has announced the addition of David Burnett, Holly Wilmeth, John Hafner and Joseph Puhy to its existing roster of talented artists centered around advertising. All have shot advertising and branding projects for top brands including GM, FedEx, Canon, Cabela’s and more.
In the digital age there is declining interest among consumers and advertisers in print publications. Investors have little confidence that there will ever be a recovery or revival of print. They want the companies they invest in to shed marginally profitable assets and focus on the much more profitable businesses of film and television. Publishers like Time Warner are looking for ways to reduce their print publication exposure and concentrate their investments on assets that offer better growth potential.
. has acquired the assets of Pixmac, a leading stock imagery network based in the Czech Republic. With millions of stock photos and illustrations distributed in 17 languages and in multiple currencies, the acquisition of Pixmac accelerates Pond5’s strategy to offer a global marketplace where media makers can connect with fellow artists.
For the third consecutive year, Corbis
will be the exclusive media broadcast partner of the LOOK3 festival in Charlottesville, Virginia from June 13-15. The festival is designed to bring together the international photography community, creating opportunities for attendees and artists to share images, ideas and inspiration.
Anyone who reads the comments on Selling Stock knows that travel photographer Bill Bachmann is a strong advocate of Rights Managed licensing and adamantly opposed to ever making any of his images available as Royalty Free. Imagine his surprise when he discovered that someone had found one of his images on Bing, grabbed it and used it as a background for another photo. And the other photographer was so proud of what he had done that he explained that the image he created was a "Bing Royalty Free background with model added."
Eric Charbonneau, a renowned entertainment photographer with over 25 years of experience, today signed with Invision
, the multimedia entertainment agency jointly owned by The Associated Press
and some of the world's leading entertainment photographers.
Over two million preview clips from over forty top footage collections are now available through Footage.net (www.footage.net
). By partnering with many of the world’s most prestigious footage companies, including Getty Images, FootageBank, Framepool, CNN ImageSource and Shutterstock, Footage.net has grown rapidly to become one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive online stock footage databases, and a powerful production resource.
A major shift is coming in the education market, and more rapidly than many expect. In Pearson’s recent Q4 2012 earnings call
John Fallon, CEO and Chief Executive of International Education business discussed many of the “fundamental structural change” that are taking place in Pearson’s education business.
Stock agency bankruptcies are becoming more frequent. In some cases
photographers receive notices from a bankruptcy administrator saying
that they are owed a certain amount of money. The administrator asks
them to confirm, or prove, that is what they are owed.
Many of the countries leading brands are placing their advertising messages on the more than 150,000 pirate entertainment sites that distribute content without any compensation going to creators according to the USC Annenberg Ad Transparency Report
In its quarterly conference call Shutterstock reported revenue of $169.2
million for the full year of 2012, a 41% increase over the $120.3 million in 2011. Fourth quarter revenue was $49.2 million, a 42% increase over Q4 2011. Looking ahead, the company expects to see revenue of between $48.5 and $50.5 million in Q1 2013, and for the full year revenue in the range of $213 to $219
million. Shutterstock stock (SSTK) closed at $32.88, up 17.22% on Friday.
Image Source has announced the dates and locations of its latest series of photographer workshops
, starting in London on March 12, 2013 and ending in Los Angeles on March 21st with additional workshops in Copenhagen, Milan, Munich and New York.
Universal Images Group Limited (UIG), has extended its regional content management facilities by opening offices in Florence, Italy and Sydney, Australia. UIG already has such facilities in Chelmsford, Essex and London in the UK, as well as Chicago and New York, and a video editing studio in Anchorage. The new facilities are managed by experienced editors with college degrees in art history and prior long term services with Alinari, and Photolibrary.
Editorial Photographers has announced its 2013 EP Edu Student Photography Grants program that will provide $1,000 cash grants and another $1,000 worth of gear and business tools to six deserving photography students. Entries must be submitted before March 17, 2013. Entrants must be enrolled full-time during 2012-13 in an accredited college in the U.S. or Canada. Full details are here: http://www.epedu.org
Most photographers are focused on how much they can charge for their images. The higher the price the happier they are. This is true, not just of RM photographers who want to retain the ability to negotiate on every sale depending on the importance and significance of the usage. It is also true of Microstock photographers as their distributors continue to push up prices. (Check out this story
blog conducts an annual survey of microstock contributors. The survey always receives a very high number of responses compared to other photographer surveys. This year 708 contributors supplied information. MicrostockGroup has posted an infographic
that highlights some of the more interesting information from the 2012 Microstock Industry Survey.
Many photographers that license their images at RM and traditional RF prices still believe microstock images are being licensed for $1.00. For the most part nothing could be further from the truth. Consider these price comparisons for images on 7 different microstock sites with the average price for an RM or RF sale on Getty Images. You'll be surprised!
Several major image producers that license their work through microstock distributors have told me that their revenue from iStockphoto
(FT) and Dreamstime
(DT) was down 25% to 30% in 2012 compared to 2011. What’s more, based on current trends they are predicting 2013 revenue will be down 35% to 45% compared to 2011.
Getty has given Sean Locke and Rob Sylvan notice that their iStockphoto contracts will be terminated in 30 days. Locke is one of the 5 top iStockphoto contributors with over 12,000 images in his collection and close to a million downloads of his images. Sylvan is author of “Taking Stock,” worked on the iStock staff for many years and has helped thousands of photographers build and improve their microstock businesses.
The Global Stock Image Market Research Group (GSIMRG) in Heidelberg, Germany has just released a report on the extensive study of the stock photo industry
that it conducted in 2012. They concluded that the stock photo industry generated $2.88 billion in revenue in 2012. Based on their figures I think image licensing is much less. Their report, and my commentary in this article, is a must read for anyone engaged in the stock photo business.
has re-launched its photographer resource blog, IMSO (http://www.imagesource.com/blog/
), as part of its continued commitment to support photographers. Since early 2011 IMSO has provided industry trending information for photographers and image buyers. Following increasing popularity and success, Image Source took the decision to re-launch IMSO as a dedicated professional photographer resource featuring photography trends, tips, reviews and interviews with leading industry figures.
In January the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released a report on Media and Information that provides some interesting insights into the photography business. Median still photographer income in U.S. is $28,860. The median for TV and video camera operators is over $40,000 and almost $53,000 for Film and Video editors.
Serban Enache, CEO of Dreamstime has explained in a blog post
how Google’s new image search techniques make it more likely that unauthorized use of your images will increase. Every image producer should read this story.
Mobile photography has made huge strides in a short time. Customers are using images shot with mobile devices. Image distributors are accepting mobile images into their collections. And the quality improves with each new generation of phones. iStockphoto has just published list of mobile photography tips
that will help photographers produce images of commercial quality with their mobile devices.
There is increasing dissatisfaction among iSockphoto contributors as a result of Googlegate
, and other recent moves by iStock. Many of the approximately 5,000 exclusive contributors are exploring the option of giving up their exclusive and placing their images on multiple web sites. Shutterstock is actively pursuing iStock exclusive contributors and has created a direct email address, firstname.lastname@example.org
, to guide them through the signup and approval process.
has announced today its public release of the new version “v2” of its website. The site offers a dramatically improved experience for both customers and contributors, giving filmmakers, photographers, musicians, 3D artists, and all kinds of media makers a place to connect with fellow artists, sell their stock media, and purchase high-quality content for their productions.
The Copyright Alliance has supplied a list of copyright related issues
that are likely to be considered the the 113th Congress during 2013.
Many who license their images at Rights Managed or traditional Royalty Free prices believe it is impossible to earn significant revenue licensing images at microstock prices. This article offers some comparative analysis.
Jon Oringer, CEO of Shutterstock, has written a very interesting piece
about why being exclusive with one distributor doesn’t work for microstock photographers. I agree with his conclusion, but disagree with one of his major arguments.
The ever increasing demand for instant and breaking news images and the huge improvement in the quality of phone and compact camera photographs has prompted Alamy
to begin accepting photographs for its Live News service from mobile (cell) phone cameras and compact cameras.
In the growing clamor and uproar about the free images available through Google Drive Rick Becker-Leckrone, CEO of Blend Images, made some points on the Stockphoto blog
that are worth examining. See the previous article
for more background.
Recently, a writer for Nikon Pro magazine asked me a series of questions in preparation for an upcoming article on the stock photography market. I have no idea how much of what I had to say will be used, but the questions were very appropriate for a readership of photographers with professional equipment who hope to make a little money from the images they produce.
Instagram has taken another shot at updating their Terms of Service. Peter Krogh, author of the DAM (Digital Assets Management) Book and Chair of ASMP’s Digital Standards Committee has reviewed the new terms and concluded that for the professional photographer trying to earn a living they are “still terrible.” Read his very thorough analysis here
This is the third in a series of articles on the image collection that is available to Google Drive users. (It looks like there may be many more articles as more details unfold.) To see the first two articles go here
. This is not just a microstock issue. Hundreds of traditionally priced RF images are involved.
Recently, a father asked if I would advise his 26-year-old son on “career options in the photography field.” This boy (we’ll call him John) graduated in 2011 from a four-year course (probably costing in excess of $100,000) at a premier West Coast photography trade school. Then he returned to his home in a major East Coast city where he has been freelancing.
iStock has provided an explanation on Google Drive issues described in my previous post
. The following was posted on the iStock forum late yesterday.
Sean Locke (one of iStock’s highest earning contributors) discovered recently that some of his best selling images are now available on GoogleDrive for FREE
. There is a major thread in the iStock forum
. I’ll try to summarize what seems to be known so far.
Stipple and PEOPLE are joining together to help fans learn more about the stars photographed on the red carpet at The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards held on Thursday, January 10, at 8pm EST. Photographers will receive extra compensation when consumer purchase products the stars wear.
As a specialist in model released military photography (http://www.photoshelter.com/c/militarystockphoto
) for more than 30 years Hans Halberstadt has always actively pursued infringements of his work. Over the years he has recovered in excess of $200,000, often a few thousand dollars at a time, for various unauthorized uses.
In observance of its 5-year anniversary of Reportage by Getty Images the company has put together a collection of some of the most compelling photojournalism shot by Getty photographers. See this anniversary gallery (http://www.reportagebygettyimages.com/news/).
Recently there has been a lot of talk in the U.S. press that “uncertainty” is the reason why the recovery is jobless, why businesses are sitting on billions in cash and why business leaders are cautious about expansion into new ventures. Uncertainty is also a major problem for stock photographers.
Recently several subscribers have asked questions, the answers to which might be of interest to all subscribers. So I’ve decided to share the questions and my answers here.
Getty photographer are complaining that their images aren’t being seen because over 365,360 iStock Exclusive+ images have been placed on the Getty site and are being given search return order preference. iStock photographers are complaining because images from various Getty brands are being pushed into The Agency Collection on iStock. TAC now contains at least 58,546 images.
At the end of 2012 the 423 had a combined total of 1,601,662 images on the iStock site and had grown their collections by 216,191 images (about 13%) during the year. However, it is interesting how this uploading breaks down. The top 20 uploaded 74,399 images (34% of the total). See their upload totals here.
The number of downloads from iStockphoto may have declined by 46% in 2012 compared to 2011 and almost 56% since 2010. This story explains in detail how we arrived at this figure and provides specific trend information on 194 of iStock's leading contributors.
The New York Times reports that late Thursday Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s co-founder said, that where advertising was concerned, the company would revert to its previous terms of service that have been in effect since October 2010.
has launched Scoopshot PRO that makes commissioning a photographer easier than ever. The service gives the media, ad agencies and other companies access to a global pool of professional and accredited amateur photographers, and the ability to set, manage and pay for assignments.
Uniloc USA and Uniloc Luxenburg has sued DepositPhotos
and other stock photo licensors alleging that their business models infringe Uniloc’s U.S. patent number 7,099,848 filed by Russell P. Reeder and Raymond M. Haynes on December 28, 2001 and granted on August 29, 2006.
On December 17th Instagram
proposed dramatic changes in its "terms of service" that would give the company the right to sell users' photos without payment or notification, effective January 16, 2013. This sparked immediate outrage and revolt among Instagram contributors. Many started removing images from the site. The next day Instagram reversed itself and pledged to “remove” the language that sparked the revolt.
If contributor attitudes as expressed on web forums are any indication iStockphoto is headed downhill fast. Most of the discussion seems to be taking place on the iStock official forum
and at Microstock Group
. In this article I’ll try to examine the issues and summarize some of the points being made by various contributors.
There is a continual drive in the stock photography world to produce more images. But more images don’t necessarily result in more revenue – particularly if prices are continually lowered in an effort to try to license those images.
I’ve been asked, “What’s the average price that stock images are being licensed for today?” Most RM and traditional RF image contributors would agree that on average fees have been steadily declining over the last few years. The question is how much. In the last few weeks I have gathered sales data from a few of Getty’s Image Partners and major individual contributors. While this survey is in no way scientific, I believe I can draw some reasonable conclusions about the degree of the decline.
At the PACA International Conference in October, Christie Silver of McGraw Hill School Education Group provided details on where her team found images for a major reading program they have been working on this year. She also provided insights as to how educational publishers will be sourcing images in the future and pointed out that the main focus of all educational efforts these days is digital.
As we near the end of 2012, I’ve just received a copy of Alamy’s financial statement for 2011 that was filed with Companies House
in the UK in August of this year. In 2011 Alamy’s gross turnover was £14,853,670 (about $22,913,400). This was up $1,042,600 (about 4.8%) from $21,870,800 in 2010. However, 2009 revenue was $22,864,000
so in 2011 they were barely able to climb back from 2010's lost sales.
Due to an urgent need for North American imagery produced with a fresh approach Image Source
has announced that they will be offering a royalty rate of 60% for all imagery produced in North America and accepted between Dec 1st 2012 and through to Dec 31st 2013. The bonus royalty rate will apply for the lifetime of those images”, added Anthony Harris, the Group’s Chief Operating Officer.
Is it possible to earn money by giving your images away for Free? With Stipple the answer is Yes! 40% of searches on the Internet today happen outside of search engines like Google. People discover what they are looking for via blogs, Tweets, Facebook and in general, just browsing around. With Stipple when they find your image they can also find you.
If you think there is still a decent market for textbook usage of stock photos – think again. The following is a summary of a conversation yesterday between a picture researcher for a major U.S. textbook company and renown travel photographer Wolfgang Kaehler
What are the photographic and illustration subjects that clients look for most often? Recently, iStockphoto surveyed its customers and asked them to identify the subject categories that they searched for most frequently in 2012. See the iStockphoto infographic
Think there are too many pictures on the Internet. The number is about to explode. About a year ago a team of Sweden’s most innovative and experienced entrepreneurs, its foremost camera electronics engineer, and an industrial designer decided people needed an easier way to create searchable, shareable memories. They believe we tend to forget some of the best things we experience because there is no record. They set out to change all that and started Memoto, a company with the goal of giving everyone true photographic memory.
For several years there have been discussions about the possibility of developing a simplified, less costly, less burdensome process for making a legal claim for unauthorized use of images. Currently all copyright infringement claims in the U.S. must be brought in Federal Court. Is a small claims system the answer?
has reported revenue of $42.3 million for the third quarter, a 36% increase over Q3 2011. The company expects to generate revenue of $44 to $45 million in the fourth quarter. Based on that projection revenue for 2012 will be between $164 and $168 million, up $44.7 million compared to the 2011 revenue of $120.3 million. This will be a 37% increase in revenue for the year.
has announced that beginning in January 2013 they will be reducing contributor royalty for direct and distributor sales by 10%. The new terms will be: Alamy Blue: Alamy commission 50%, Contributor commission 50% for Alamy Blue sales and 40% to the Distributor, 30% to Alamy, 30% to the Contributor for distributor sales.
A sure sign that camera phone images have become mainstream in the commercial image world is the announcement by Blend Images that it has added Memento, a new camera phone stock image collection, to its offering. Memento will feature strongly conceptual and illustrative commercial content and will be available for licensing at www.blendimages.com
and stock resellers worldwide in early 2013.
A photographer recently asked if I could point her to a chart that shows what royalty percentage each stock distributors pays its photographers so she could better determine which offered the best deal. She added, “I recognize that there were a number of factors involved -- home territories, partner agents, image collections, number of photographer’s images licensed, rights managed, traditional royalty free, microstock – so hopefully the chart would take all these factors into consideration.”
has launched Alamy iQ, a service designed to help customers better manage all the visual assets they own or have licensed rights to use. Alamy iQ will be particularly beneficial to global organizations that have people sourcing visual assets from many locations for a variety of uses. It will complement or replace existing asset management systems, help speed decision making and eliminate risk.
, a subsidiary of Shutterstock, has announced a new API program along with two world-class partners: CafePress Inc.
, The World's Customization Engine™, and Emma
an email marketing provider. These partners will utilize Bigstock's recently released API to provide their customers with access to Bigstock's expansive library of professional, commercially licensable photographs and illustrations
Today more than a quarter of all photos taken are taken on smartphones. No longer is the mobile phone just a communication device. Now users can take pictures with their phones anywhere, anytime without worrying about heavy equipment or camera settings. As of this month Dreamstime
has started accepting both editorial and commercial pictures that are shot using a mobile phone.
, the site that licenses crowdsourced travel images taken by iPhone user, has received an additional $500,000 in funding from Jade Global Investments. David Los, co-founder of Foap, attributes the company’s growth to a first-mover advantage in offering iPhone users an opportunity to monetize photos already stored on their phones.
One of the programs at the recent PACA International Conference asked five industry visionaries to explore emerging trends and predict what the stock photo business will be like in 2022. There was general agreement that the current business model of licensing based on usage is broken
and that in a few years (probably a lot less than 10) it will be necessary to develop a completely different approach to licensing.
Shutterstock has introduced a new Portfolio Page
feature that allows contributors to organize their collection into sets they want to feature. Once a significant number of contributors have taken advantage of this opportunity Shutterstock will encourage their customers to check out the galleries and image sets that their contributors have created.