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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, email@example.com
, 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.
Stock photo professionals in the UK and across Europe are deeply concerned about the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill that is working its way through Parliament. As currently proposed it represent a serious threat to the ability of rightsholders to generate income from copyrighted works.
In October after Image Source
acquired Cultura Creative (see story
) the company immediately launched a series of photographer-centered workshops designed to inform top professional photographers of current industry trends.
In her presentations “The Fixer” at Photo Shelter’s Luminance event in September, retoucher and illustrator Amy Dresser beautifully demonstrated that there is no reality in photography any more. You'll be amazed at what she can do with Photoshop and Illustrator.
After Hurricane Sandy many news organizations will be thinking hard about covering breaking news events with iPhone’s and delivering the images via Instagram. Kira Pollack, Director of Photography for Time Magazine, hired five professional photographers to cover the event with their iPhones rather than their digital SLRs. By delivering the images via Instagram Time was able to show customers a more comprehensive report faster that would have been possible with a traditional approach to the assignment.
Axiom Photographic Agency Limited
ceased trading on September 20, 2012, and was subsequently placed into Voluntary Liquidation at a meeting of the shareholders on October 23, 2012 due to its inability to meet its obligations to creditors. The Liquidator subsequently accepted an offer presented by Design Pics Inc.
, to purchase the assets of Axiom Photographic, which became effective October 25, 2012.
At the PACA International Conference in Chicago in October the keynote
speakers was Ken Carson, EVP and General Counsel of Cengage Learning. He
outlined many of the challenges educational publishers face today and
provided insights as to where content licensing for educational use is
This article provides trend information on the global and U.S. revenue generated through advertising by newspapers, magazines and online delivery services. Advertising revenue has always been key in supporting the creation and distribution of information content.
Historically U.S. publishers have relied on 85 percent of their revenue coming from advertising.
The buyer’s panel at the recent Picture Agency Council of America (PACA) conference in Chicago offered a number of ideas for ways individual sellers and stock photo distributors might adjust their search, delivery and pricing procedures to improve the chances of their images being chosen and used.
Bigstock, a division of Shutterstock, has introduced a new partner program
that will allow companies like email service providers, website design services and online ad builders to offer Bigstock photos to their customers through their portals.
announced today the formation of Tectonic Media Group
(TMG), a New York-based talent management and media consulting firm. TMG represents the top talent in action and adventure sports photography and filmmaking. The firm will look after each artist in all aspects of their career, from print advertising and editorial work, to directing commercials, branded content, and feature length documentaries, as well as content licensing, book publishing, speaking engagements, and brand endorsements.
American Photographic Artists (APA
) has announced that Editorial Photographers (EP
), a highly regarded association aimed at improving profitability of editorial photography, has agreed to a merger that will benefit professional photographers around the world. The merger is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. This merger will increase the size of APA to approximately 3,200 members.
ABC News VideoSource has upgraded and expanded its website
delivering greater and easier online access to ABC News’ vast archival footage collection spanning from 1896 to the present day. Producers and researchers can browse, license and, in some cases, immediately access tens of thousands of video assets from ABC News’ expansive archives with the click of a mouse.
At the Picture Archive Council of America (PACA) international conference in Chicago over the weekend PACA and CCC (Copyright Clearance Center) offered a proposal for collecting revenue for the unlicensed use of images on social media sites and distributing a share of that revenue to the creators whose images were used
If we want to reduce copyright infringements we must make it easier for people to be honest. Reasoned education is not working. Aggressive pursuit of infringements is not slowing the number of infringements. This story suggests three steps that are technologically possible today and which the industry ought to be exploring.
Last year a positive partnership between content creators and internet service providers (ISPs) was created to better educate internet users on legal options for receiving entertainment content online and to inform consumers who repeatedly engage in infringement that their actions are inappropriate. Now they are ready to launch the Copyright Alert System.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) and Google have announced a settlement agreement that will provide the Google Library Project with access to books and journals that are still protected by copyright. Now, Google may digitize new books as well as make the contents of books already scanned available online.
Since 2008 Getty Images has noticed some change in the kind of images financial service providers are using. Check out this story
for insights into the trends.
has become the latest professional photography service to resolve its legal issues regarding the pinning of copyright-protected, watermarked images shared on Pinterest
. The solution incorporates an attribution line, which now appears beneath the photo in question and links back to the photo’s page on Dreamstime.com. This is the same solution that Pinterest offers to other members of its “attribution program,” including Flickr, YouTube, 500px, Etsy, and others.
For more than 30 years “Collecting Societies” in many countries have had systems to compensate photographers when their images in books and periodicals are photocopied. U.S. photographers are not so fortunate.
The Berlin based news agency group DAPD filed for insolvency on October 2, 2012. However, this action only affects six companies within the dapd media holding group AG including two photo services – dfd Foto Service GmbH and dapd video GmbH.
has raised $76.5 million by selling 4.5 million shares at $17 each. This was above the expected price range of between $13 and $15 per share. Today, the stock is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SSTK” at $22 per share.
Historical image library The Granger Collection has launched a tablet-friendly version of its website, www.granger.com
, that allows picture professionals to view and navigate the collection more easily on tablet computers.
has launched a Super Value collection of 1.7 million photos, illustrations and vectors available through a $50 subscription allowing 50 downloads per month (all file sizes). The images are not restricted to a daily quota: they can be downloaded at any point, as needed, during the term of the subscription. 3-month and 12-month options are also available.
has partnered with SoundCloud Music
in a deal similar to the one they have with Flickr. The more than 20 million registered users of SoundCloud can make their original content available for licensing simply by adding the Getty “license” button to their SoundCloud player.
The Patents County Court (PCC) system in the UK has revised its intellectual property laws for England and Wales and simplified the procedure for claims valued at £5,000 or less. Copyright holders will have the option of sorting out disputes through an informal hearing without legal representation. The government plans to increase this limit to £10,000, although when this will happen is currently unclear.
and Cultura Creative
today announced the merger of their businesses, two of the most respected brands in premium quality stock photography in the world. The new business which will operate under the Image Source Group umbrella come together in an exciting deal that on day one will have over a quarter of a million premium images under their collective management and a production power house capable of generating both quality and volume of content going forward.
John Lund has written an interesting blog post
about why He Hates Instagram
It has been pointed out to me that Getty Images has made some dramatic changes in its Rights Managed price calculator
. This may have been around for a while, but it is the first time I’ve had a chance to examine it in some detail.
Need a stock picture of a guy doing almost anything strange, actor Patrick Wilson is your man. Professional photographers have paid him to pose as “A guy in a tiger costume playing an inflatable guitar in a foggy room full of military personnel” and “A detective examining a jar of peanut butter in a room filled with mousetraps.”
Design Pics Inc.
, headquartered in Edmonton, Canada, has acquired Alaska Stock
, an Anchorage based photo agency, effective October 1, 2012. The agency was originally founded in 1990 by Jeff Schultz and has became known as “the place” to find quality images of Alaska, and more specifically, Alaska-themed images such as adventure, wildlife, winter lifestyles, and recreation.
has introduced a new corporate account system that streamlines administration of file downloads and enhances purchase and invoice tracking for large firms with multiple users. The new system enables multi-user firms to designate a Corporate Administrator, create multiple sub-accounts, and administer systems for purchasing images and track invoices.
Back in the first quarter of 2007 Getty Images introduced “Premium Access
” (PA) pricing for their “best customers.” See what's happening with Premium Access and how it compares with microstock.
Shutterstock Inc has announced that it plans to sell 4.5 million shares in its initial public offering at between $13 and $15 each. This block of shares would represent about 14% of its total shares outstanding.
iStockphoto has introduced a new Shopping Cart Checkout
option that allows customers to pay for just the images they need without having to purchase credits.
now offers almost 15 million downloadable images to a user base of 5.1 million. With over 100,000 new users joining each month, Dreamstime now has the fastest-growing user base in the industry and is one of the web's most popular sites. The company's rapid growth is fueled by a unique, community-focused business model that crowdsources creativity.
Yuri Arcurs, probably the world’s most prolific stock photographer, has written a blog post
outlining how the demand for stock imagery has changed and identified a few subjects to shoot and ones to avoid given the oversupply and declining demand.
Last weeks announcement that PACA, ASMP and CCC
are considering some type of arrangement that would compensate image creators for the unauthorized web usage of their images on sites like Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, etc. needs careful examination by all photographers and distributors before anything is formalized.
More than 1,000 designers responded to Graphic Design USA
(GDUSA) annual survey designed to determine how stock imagery is being used. The survey indicates that use of stock imagery has grown nearly three times in 25 years since the first survey, starting at 39 percent in 1986 and reaching 98 percent in 2012. The survey also shows that 31 percent of designers are in a full-blown love affair, using stock images over 100 times a year, which is up 11 percent from last year.
The cost of producing images certainly hasn’t declined in the last 8 years. If anything it has increased. But, it is interesting to take a look at what’s been happening to the return-per-image on file based on Getty Images figures.
The Picture Archive Council of America (PACA
), American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP
) and the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC
) are jointly exploring the development of a new, global, collective licensing model for unlicensed web usages. PACA expects this model to have a transformative impact on the industry for all licensors of visual media.
Last month we wrote about Scoopshot
a site where any photographer can submit cell phone pictures for editorial use. The company has been in business for about 18 months and has over 130,000 contributors from 165 different countries. Now Scoopshot has added an option that allows editors to identify and give assignments to a select group of photographers that produce professional quality work.
Last week we wrote about the new Getty Images initiative Post-Usage-Billing Service
(PUBS). On Thursday Craig Peters, Senior Vice President of Business Development for Getty spoke at the Luminance event in New York and shared some additional insights. He spoke of the dilemma the photo industry faces in protecting copyright and how Getty’s new initiative can solve at least part of the problem.
The Luminance 2012 event held in New York this past week was the first-of-its-kind event designed to explore the intersection of business, technology, culture and photography. Given how the Internet and digital technology is impacting and changing how images are created, distributed and used, those who hope to earn revenue from their images must constantly examine new trends and innovation and be prepared to adjust their business strategies.
As a way of motivating and educating graphic artists, for the past 10 months Fotolia has showcased the work of a single artist each month. Each artist was given a specific theme and was required to use some images from the Fotolia collection in the work. The themes included: business, family, travel, food, lifestyle, street art, mobile, money, drinks and abstract.
Alan Capel, Head of Content at Alamy
explains that the price for printing 3 million copies of a textbook was much higher than we reported earlier
On November 5, 2012 Jonathan Klein, co-founder and CEO of Getty Images will receive an award for Global Leadership in Innovation and Collaboration (GLIC) at Suffolk University in Boston. The award will be presented by the Center for Innovation and Change Leadership (CICL) and in an acceptance speech Jonathan will describe the innovative practices that Getty Images has employed that are transforming the digital media industry.
has announced the launch of the ImageIRC Post-Usage-Billing Service designed to assure photographers and content licensors that their work will be properly acknowledged on social media platforms which embrace the ImageIRC Post Usage Billing solution.
Photographer Jacques Jangoux reports that Alamy has licensed two of his images - A3N0PR (2 boys in a canoe in the Amazon region) and A3AB62 (waterfall of Jari River, tributary of the Amazon) – for just $25.00 each
for textbook use. Of course the photographer will only receive 60% of these figures.
When you discover that a large educational publisher has made extensive use one of your images beyond the rights they licensed is it wise to try to collect for the unauthorized use? In a recent discussion on the Stockphoto@yahoogroups.com forum it was pointed out that publishers often “blacklist” suppliers who try to collect for unauthorized use. Thus, it was argued that it may be better to accept a loss on one sale in hopes that in the years ahead you’ll make it up through additional sales to that same publisher.
The PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo is scheduled for October 24-27, 2012 . The 4-day event begins on Wednesday, October 24 with WPPI University, a one-day series of seminars designed to sharpen the creative and business skills of photographers.
The PhotoPlus Conference that runs from Thursday through Saturday offers more than 90 educational seminars
and hands-on labs for attendees to hone their skills, learn new techniques, and participate in discussions. For registration information check here
In March 2011 we published a brief story
about how Noam Galai’s picture of his screaming face had been used extensively all over the world without his permission. The image has gained a reputation as the “Stolen Scream.” But, was it really stolen or did the photographer effectively allow the uses.
Education Companies have recently settled copyright and trademark claims against several textbook distributors. However, these same companies have no remorse about knowingly, intentionally and systematically infringing the copyrights of image creators who have supplied images for use in many of the books they publish.
iStock has made it official. They are encouraging contributors to shoot with cell phones and accepting those images into the general collection. The next generation of stock photography – from RM to RF to Microstock to Cell Phones -- is upon us. See iStock’s Creative Brief
Travel photographers take note. Wikimedia Commons
thinks there are not enough free images available on the web. So they are running a contest to build their image database that already contains 13.6 million photos and illustrations.
No one likes to see their images used without compensation, particularly if the use is on a site that generates revenue for the user. PicScout
, a company that searches the web for images found in the collections of professional image distributor, says that 85% of the images they find on commercial sites are unauthorized uses (either never licensed, or used beyond the license). This article deals with what you should do to locate images that have been infringed and to receive compensation.
For some time professional image suppliers and many educational publishers have been at odds over unlicensed use of images. Image creators and suppliers claim they have not been properly compensated for the use of some images while publishers either try to hide the unauthorized uses or argue that what they have done is not copyright infringement. Now publishers and image creators are on the same side against alleged infringer Boundless Learning.
Kodak has announced plans to sell off its Personalized Imaging business unit which includes Kodak cameras, print kiosks, and consumer-grade film. In short, Kodak will no longer make any photographic items for the everyday consumer.
Photographers can now build their own portfolio and presentation apps for iPad and iPhone without the necessity of learning to code. Appafolio Biz and Appafolio Plus provide an application tool that lets the photographer produce and display slideshows, galleries and videos.
has created a new pricing strategy call Bidder that enables each customer to establish the price he or she is willing to pay for a royalty free image.
Google has made a change in its search algorithm that may discourage web site creators from using unlicensed photos. Such use could result in their entire site appearing lower in search rankings and thus seldom, if ever, seen as a result of a Google search.
According to Advertising Age measured ad spending for the top 100 biggest advertisers dropped 0.2% for the first half of 2012 compared to 2011. While there was a small increase in spending for TV it did not make up for the losses experienced by newspapers and magazines. Check out some of the other marketing trends.
Can today’s music photographers hope to shoot images that are as striking as those of the pop stars from the 50s to the 90s? Or will developments like tighter restrictions for concert photographers, and artists wanting greater image control, mean that today’s music stars will leave a legacy of bland, boring images for future generations? While creating the Pop and Rock showcase
from the Alamy collection, I was struck by how the images of the latest bands didn’t quite have the resonance and iconic status of the documentary coverage of bands and pop stars of earlier eras who often enthralled audiences with their antics, charisma, rampant exhibitionism and on-stage posturing. Photographers helped create those legends.
The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP
) has created a free Model/Property Release app for iOS (iPhone and iPad) that makes it easy for photographers to enter their own and the models information. The forms require that a photo of the model be attached to the release before it can be completed. Once the form is filled out the model, the photographer and a witness can each sign the form using their finger or a pen in the same manner as electronic credit card purchases are normally signed. Then, a PDF of the completed release can be emailed to the photographer and the model.
Citizen Stock has launched a royalty-free collection of over 10,000 images of real people and their emotions. Created by assignment photographers Sherrie Nickol and David Katzenstein, a husband and wife team, Citizen Stock (www.citizenstock.com
) is one of the first stock photo agencies devoted solely to portraiture of “real people.” The models aren’t professional models, but children, moms, dads, grandparents, skateboarders, lawyers, teachers, musicians, chefs, artists, office workers, clothing designers, and small business owners, to name a few.
On its Google Drive
cloud storage service Google has added a feature that will allow its customers to use Thinkstock
photos for FREE. They are currently asking their customers to suggest photos that they would like to see included in this gallery of free photos.
The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG
) and Getty Images management announced today they have formed a partnership to acquire Getty Images, Inc., from Hellman & Friedman for $3.3 billion. Carlyle will acquire slightly over 50% of the company. Getty Images Co-Founder and Chairman Mark Getty and the Getty family will roll substantially all of their ownership interests into the transaction. CEO and co-founder Jonathan Klein will also invest equity in the company.
In the following article, first posted on Visual Connections
, Michael Masterson, President of American Society of Picture Professionals
(ASPP), and a natural networker offers three tips for the imaging professional on the importance of networking, and how to go about it.
In November 2010 the UK government called for an independent review of the Intellectual Property laws and practices. Among the recommendations in a report submitted by Professor Ian Hargreaves and a panel of experts in May 2011 was the creation of a Digital Copyright Exchange
. Next, was another study
that offers some workable solutions to the problems addressed in the first report. Sarah Saunders has examined this latest effort.
We recently reported on Foap.com
, a Swedish site where photographers can sell pictures they take using their cellphones. Now the developers of the Finnish company Scoopshot
, which offers a similar service, tell us that their best selling photographers, Arto Mäkelä, has earned more than $19,000 from pictures he ha taken on his Android smartphone and uploaded to the free-to-download Scoopshot app.
Water Rights Images
has retained Visual Steam to build and manage a team of experienced licensing professionals on an ongoing basis.
On Wednesday in Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York a jury found after a seven-day trial that educational publisher John Wiley & Sons was liable for willful copyright infringement of two photos taken by Louis Psihoyos.
Photononstop Group, based in Paris, announces the purchase of 100% of the shares in
, France’s leading stock agency specialized in Nature, Garden and Environment Photography. The Biosphoto collection contains 2.5 million photos and 20,000 videos. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
For some years we’ve seen a decline in rights managed and traditional royalty free prices. If you look at the price calculators of major distributors it might appear that prices haven’t declined all that much. The problem is that nobody pays those prices.
has announced that Alan Bailey will assume the role of CEO and departing CEO, Lanny Ziering will take over the position of Chairman of RGB Ventures, the parent company of SuperStock. Mr. Ziering will focus on acquisitions, strategic alliances, and emerging technologies as the company focuses on expansion.
ZPartners have launched www.stock3dphotos.com
and is inviting still photographers to contribute. The site also provides photographer guidelines
for producing 3D photos.
With video it is all about the story. Still photographer Charles Gupton talks about the importance of focusing on the story first rather than just looking for great visuals and hoping that they will hang together later.
In the future, will it be possible for more photographers to earn a
better living than they are currently earning producing stock images? More and
more photographers are jumping into the stock photo business every day
and many hope to make it a career. Here’s a dozen reasons why future
revenue growth for this industry seems unlikely
. I’ve discussed all
these issues before, but it seems useful to briefly itemize them all in
has launched an initial archive of 100,000 free images mostly comprised of still frames pulled from HD videos that are available on VideoBlocks.com
On the MicrostockGroup
blog there has been a debate as to whether it is better to try to license images through Alamy
rather than on microstock sites given that the license fees and royalty percentages are so much higher.
Pond5 and Adobe
have teamed up to develop a one-of-a-kind plug-in that gives video editors seamless access to the largest collection of over 1.1 million royalty-free stock videos, including 330,000 royalty-free music tracks and sound effects, all exclusively within Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.
The stock photo industry seems to be going through another round of acquisitions and consolidations as owners of small, niche agencies find it difficult to compete in today’s market where there is a glut of supply, relatively flat demand and declining prices. Many agency owners are looking for ways to retire or move onto something else. I regularly get request asking “What is my company worth?”
(Picture Agency Council of America) 17th International Conference will be held this year in Chicago from October 19th through the 21st at the Chicago Marriott Downtown. In addition to PACA members the event is open to all ‘sister’ trade organizations for the image, illustration and advertising industry. These include:
has moved to expand its service in Latin American and Australia just two months after private equity firm KKR took a 50% stake
in the company.
is one of the world’s most successful stock photographers. His images have a clean, graphic, conceptual style and generally illustrate business concepts. His images are often humorous. Using photoshop and digital tools he creates images that put people and animals in impossible situations, but they are done so skillfully that viewers often ask, “Did that really happen?” The following are five tips for succeeding in stock photography.
On July 12, 2012, the dapd media holding AG, via its French subsidiary Sipa News, took over the French service of Associated Press (AP). After Sipa Press and Diora News, this is the third company dapd has taken over in France. This takeover makes dapd the largest agency partner of AP worldwide. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
We are rapidly moving toward a time when consumers will get more of their news via YouTube rather than from commercial television. On average 22 million people watch the evening news on the three U.S. broadcast channels each night. But, when there is a major event YouTube views regularly eclipse that number. During Japan’s tsumani disaster in March 2011 the 20 most viewed news-related videos on YouTube that focused on the tragedy were viewed more than 96 million times.
The summer heat in Washington has got me thinking about air conditioning. That brought to mind a story I did back in 2006 about air conditioning photos and microstock. It all started when a customer asked for a stock picture of an air conditioning repairman
working on a home system to use in a small yellow pages ad.
In late March In the case of Tom Bean vs. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona Judge Frederick J. Martone GRANTED
partial summary judgment to the plaintiff on the issue of defendant's liability for copyright infringement of 26 images used in seven titles.
Thousands of images from the National Geographic Stock: Vintage Collection are now available at The Granger Collection
. The rare historical catalogue, part of the National Geographic Image Collection, documents the world and its inhabitants, including indigenous people, their cultures, the environment, and the natural world from the 1880s through the 1970s.
Jacksonville, FL based SuperStock
has acquired Seattle based Science Faction Images
. The 40,000 tightly edited high-end science and high technology images in the Science Faction collection will allow SuperStock to “better serve our clients in publishing and advertising,” according to Lanny Ziering, CEO of SuperStock.
ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers) has published a free guide designed to assist photographers in unilizing social media to market their businesses. The guide can be downloaded at http://asmp.org/free/guide-mdeb
At least five private equity firms are bidding to buy Getty Images
from Hellman & Freedman (H&F) in a leveraged buyout worth an estimated $4 billion.
Based on our recent analysis of sales made by 193 of iStockphoto’s top sellers, total company downloads may have declined by as much as 22%
in the first 6 months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011. This story will walk you through how we collected the data, arrived at this number and explain why such a small sample of contributors is representative.
Professional photographers shooting travel photos have another new competitor. Foap.com is collecting iPhone photos from tourists and selling them for $10 each. To get started uploading pictures all the photographer needs to do is go to iTunes and download the app
.or go to foap.com
. The photographer receives a 50% royalty, payable through PayPal monthly.
ABC News VideoSource
has upgraded and expanded its website to provide greater and easier access to ABC News’ vast archival footage online. Producers and researchers will now be able to browse, license and, in some cases, immediately access tens of thousands of video assets from ABC News’ expansive archives with the click of a mouse. It offers customers, including documentary filmmakers, educators or anyone with an interest in archival video footage, historically-rich news video from a vast collection spanning from 1896 to the present.
Following its acquisition of Specialist Stock
and its move into the footage side of the stock image business Robert Harding World Imagery
has created its Comprehensive Research Facility (CRF) which not only offers research of its own collections but will also research a range of satellite suppliers including BBC Motion Gallery, NHNZ, Footage Search and SKYWORKS amongst others.
has published an 11-page white paper
that examines the challenges current pricing and licensing models face. The paper summarizes a round table discussion where key industry decision makers, including picture buyers, photographers, journalists, commentators and stock image providers, examined the issue.
. (formerly Thought Equity Motion), a leading provider of cloud-based video management and licensing services, has announced the launch of a new licensing offering—Paya
™ (Pay-ya), the world's index of licensable content™. To watch a short video that explains how Paya works, click here
Universal Images Group
(UIG), owned by industry veteran George Sinclair (also the founder of the Virtual Picture Desk in 2002 and co-author of Britannica’s Image Quest), has acquired the business rights and digital library of the MyLoupe
and the Ad Stock Images
In November 2010 the UK government called for an independent review of
the Intellectual Property laws and practices and assigned Professor Ian
Hargreaves and a panel of experts to prepare a report. The report,
submitted in May 2011, made 10 recommendations designed to ensure that
the UK has an IP framework “best suited to supporting innovation and
promoting economic growth in the digital age.” I'd like to recommend a different approach.
Since 2005 MediaStorm has produced 30 powerful, issue-driven video stories
about real life people and problems. All this work has been available for free on their website
. Most of these stories have been viewed a million or more times and they tend to draw large audiences outside the photo industry.
In the near future photographers can expect to see are some dramatic
changes in the way subscriptions are defined. Until now, most
subscriptions have allowed customers to download 25 images per day for
the duration of the subscription ranging from 1
month to 1 year. Now a number of new options are being introduced.
Stock photographers regularly complain about the “Race To The Bottom” in
terms of pricing and they look for someone to blame. Favorite whipping
boys are Getty Images, Alamy and microstock. But, these distributors are
not really the problem. The problem is technology.
Anyone thinking about setting up their own fully functional search engine to license images should read Yuri Arcurs article
about the trials and tribulations he went through in creating PeopleImages.com
Universal Images Group (UIG) has now opened an office in New York. This
is in addition to its offices in Chicago, USA; Rome, Italy and
Chelmsford in the UK. The business has achieved triple digit revenue
growth through distribution and electronic publishing in the past year
and it has become essential to provide a further production &
editing center in USA.
Every few months I put together a summary of some of our most important
recently published stories. This selection is designed to help investors
who are trying to understand the industry as well as image creators
just beginning to explore the idea of licensing their images. Regular
readers will have seen these stories. Please refer friends interested in
licensing images to this series of articles.
Evolve Images (www.evolveimages.com
) has announced that Lewis Blackwell has joined the company as Chief Creative Officer. Blackwell brings to Evolve an impressive array of credentials with leading experience in the image creation and licensing industry, as well as deep knowledge and active membership of the image-buying community.
Stephen Walker recently read a report about Shutterstock’s IPO plans
on APhotoEditor. He then posted the on following conclusions on the ASMPstock group on yahoo. "Traditional RM, RF are growing at a pretty good clip? Micro more so!" He also said, "I see these numbers as a strong indicator of growth and positive for stock shooters." I think he is entirely wrong. Read why.
Searching for a buyer for Getty Images or deciding whether to launch an
IPO may be the least of CEO Jonathan Klein’s worries these days. He’s
got to be looking at Shutterstock and Fotolia and anticipating that they
will use a good part of their new found wealth to build their premium
collections. When that happens, will these brands cut further into the
Getty Images franchise?
U.S. Judge Denny Chin has issued an opinion denying Google's motion to
dismiss lawsuits by the American Society of Media Photographers and the
Authors Guild. The motion to dismiss had been based primarily on
Google's assertion that trade associations did not have
standing to bring a copyright infringement suit on behalf of members. In
his ruling, the Judge asserted that "given the sweeping and
undiscriminating nature of Google's unauthorized copying, it would be
unjust to require that each affected association member litigate his
Most online databases of stock photos contain hundreds of thousands of
images that are never seen by potential buyers. This can be attributed
to the fact that the sole way of finding images is through the use of
keywords. Learn more about how Visual Search could go a long way to solving this problem and the specific strategy used by Pixolution
Late last week Shutterstock
sent out a press release introducing – a little pre-maturely it turns out – a new image discovery tool called “Shutterstock Instant.” In fact, if you go to the Shutterstock site there is no evidence that this feature exists. It turns out it is still a prototype. As with all prototypes when it is finally released to the public it may be quite a bit different than it is today.
It no longer makes sense to keep microstock and traditional stock separate. It’s time to look at integration. Read this article to understand why and what the industry needs to do to go about accomplishing such an integration.
According to Kantar Media $144 billion was spent on advertising in the U.S. in 2011. Television received the largest portion of this (47%) divided between Broadcast ($38.5 billion) and local and national Cable TV at $30 billion. Digital advertising is growing at a rapid pace. Newspaper and Magazine revenues are declining.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
(HMH) filed a voluntary petition for
reorganization under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of New York. The “pre-packaged” comprehensive
financial restructuring plan will eliminate $3.1 billion of the
company’s debt through a debt to equity transaction with its bank and
recently announced the release of Image ExpertTM. The
20/20 Software Image Expert is an advanced workflow and image processing
application. It provides image analysis using a set of rules provided
by the library; image conversion, image resizing, renaming, and metadata
has launched 123RF Stock Footage. Clients can choose from over 75,000 high definition video clips at www.123rf.com/stock-footage/
in addition to Royalty-Free Stock Photo and Illustrations.
just received $150 million growth investment and Shutterstock
will have over $100 million from an IPO soon. What will they do with the money? Check out this story to see what we were able to glean from Shutterstock's S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission and from other industry sources.
Hellman & Friedman, the owners of Getty Images Inc, have retained Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co to examine a possible sale or public offering of the business. According to press reports a sale or IPO could value Getty Images at $4 billion. This move follows announcements last week by Shutterstock
. Shutterstock hopes to raise $115 million in its IPO and Fotolia received a $150 million growth investment from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. for a 50% stake in the company