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Unsplash: How Free is Free?

By Jim Pickerell | 670 Words | Posted 2/21/2018 | Comments
Since its launch in 2013 Unsplash has been providing a platform where photographers can upload their images for the enjoyment of others. The photographers allow anyone to use their images for free, for any purpose and without credit. While the photo library only contains 400,000 photos (compared to the 180 million on Shutterstock), the company says it’s had more than 48 billion photo views and 310 million photo downloads since launch. Currently, it is seeing 10 photo downloads per second.

Copytrack To Launch Global Copyright Register

By Jim Pickerell | 904 Words | Posted 2/20/2018 | Comments
Copytrack has completed its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and will be launching a Global Copyright Register (GCR) this summer that will work in conjunction with their Global Copyright Enfocement services (copytrack.com). With their Presale and ICO they have a total of 8,600 investors who have purchased around 16 million tokens. The purchase of images found on the GCR will be tracked in a Blockchain and paid for using cryptocurrency tokens.

Embedding Photo Tweet Ruled Copyright Infringement

By Jim Pickerell | 238 Words | Posted 2/20/2018 | Comments
Judge Forrest of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Goldman v. Breitbart News, LLC has ruled in favor of photographer Justin Goldman that embedding a tweet that contains a copyright protected photo does, in fact, constitute a copyright violation. If the ruling is upheld, it could have a major impact on the way media and many other Internet users get some of their imagery.

Footage.net Showcaseing Leading Footage Companies At NAB

By Jim Pickerell | 414 Words | Posted 2/16/2018 | Comments
Six prominent footage companies have signed on so far to take part in Footage.net's 2018 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) exhibition, set to take place April 9-12 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Current participants include Bridgeman Images, FootageBank, Global ImageWorks, INA, Reelin' in the Years Productions and the WPA Film Library. More footage companies are expected to sign on soon.

Teaching Journalists Where To Find Photos

By Jim Pickerell | 520 Words | Posted 2/15/2018 | Comments (1)
The Poynter Institute, headquartered in St. Petersburg, FL, is considered by many to be a global leader in journalism education. Poynter claims to be “the world’s leading instructor, innovator, convener and resource for anyone who aspires to engage and inform citizens in 21st Century democracies.” In a recent article formatted as a conversation between two Poynter employees -- Kristen Hare and Ren LaForme -- the two took the position that it’s hard to get anyone to read an online article if it is not accompanied with an image.

Getty Stops Keywording Images For Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 369 Words | Posted 2/15/2018 | Comments
Getting images into the Getty Images collection so potential customers might see them has just become more time consuming for image creators. As of February 9th, 2018 Getty has ended its practice of adding custom keywords to the basic list of words photographers submit.

ICL vs Plus Registry

By Jim Pickerell | 1470 Words | Posted 2/13/2018 | Comments (1)
After I published my article proposing the development of an Image Creator Locator or ICL, several readers pointed out that the Plus Registry is designed to accomplish the same goal. See here for how ICL differs from Plus in its aims.

Joe Sohm: Stock Photo Success Story

By Jim Pickerell | 1336 Words | Posted 2/12/2018 | Comments (1)
Joe Sohm, the creator of Visions of America has been crisscrossing the U.S. for more that 30 years documenting the country as he sees it in all its beauty and uniqueness. From Presidential Campaigns of both parties to Landscapes & Cityscapes, Sohm is one of the most prolific Americana photographers. He has approximately 33,000 images in his collection. The collection is represented by the three major agencies – Getty Images, AdobeStock and Shutterstock – as well as a host of other agencies around the world.

Getty Images Announces Partnership With Google

By Jim Pickerell | 785 Words | Posted 2/9/2018 | Comments (2)
Getty Images and Google have announced an agreement that includes a multi-year global licensing partnership, enabling Google to use Getty Images’ content within its various products and services. “This agreement between Getty Images and Google sets the stage for a very productive, collaborative relationship between our companies,” said Dawn Airey, CEO, Getty Images. “We will license our market leading content to Google, working closely with them to improve attribution of our contributors’ work and thereby growing the ecosystem.”

Pursuing A Stock Photography Career

By Jim Pickerell | 1036 Words | Posted 2/8/2018 | Comments
I’ve been hearing more and more complaints from experienced photographers about the low royalties they are receiving for the use of their images – often less than $1.00. In many cases these low figures result because the primary agent with whom they placed their images is using a secondary distributor to actually handle the licensing to the customer.

Anthony Harris Leaves Image Source: Christina Vaughan Returns As CEO

By Jim Pickerell | 268 Words | Posted 2/8/2018 | Comments
As of January 31st Anthony Harris has stepped down as CEO of Image Source and Christina Vaughan has returned to the CEO position. In 2015 Christina turned over her leadership of Image Source to Mr. Harris, but remained a small shareholder. She moved to the position of CEO at CueSongs, and oversaw the initial deployment and beta testing of the new CuePro platform, which won the Technology Strategy Board competition in 2014 and received a substantial grant to develop its “Frictionless Music Licensing for Online Broadcast”.

IPA, Independent Photo Agency Acquires Photofoyer

By Jim Pickerell | 92 Words | Posted 2/8/2018 | Comments
IPA, Independent Photo Agency, one of the most important Italian photo agencies, has announced the acquisition of Photofoyer, which specializes in interior design and architecture photography. The purpose of the acquisition is to start a strategic project for the expansion of IPA’s creative sector, increasing its operations both at the European and extra-European context.

Metadata Practices Survey

By Jim Pickerell | 215 Words | Posted 2/7/2018 | Comments (1)
Lamark is doing a survey on metadata practices to determine what photographer are doing to try to protect their images from unauthorized use. I urge all photographers to complete this short survey. This data will help Lamark devise better and easier to use systems that insure that photographers will be properly paid when their images are used.

Footage In 2017

By Jim Pickerell | 2076 Words | Posted 2/5/2018 | Comments
If you’re interested in news about the stock footage industry you ought to be reading the Stock Footage Newsroom blog. In a recent edition David Seevers of Footage.net has provided a very detailed report on the highlights of what happened in the stock footage business in 2017. Footage.net If provides serious footage researchers with the opportunity to search across 30 of the world’s top stock footage archives with a single search, enabling researchers to find better content and save time. Footage.net also offers powerful tools for locating hard-to-find stock footage and simplifying the footage search process.

Stock Image Industry Potential

By Jim Pickerell | 373 Words | Posted 2/5/2018 | Comments
I was asked recently, “Kindly tell me how I can determine the market potential of the stock image industry.” Here’s my short answer. Your question doesn’t have an easy answer. I think the annual gross revenue, worldwide, generated by the licensing of stock imagery is about $2.5 billion. This breaks down to approximately $600 million for footage, $400 million for editorial, news oriented images and $1.5 billion for generic still images and illustration. About one-third of the $1.5 billion is for illustration, not photographs.

Understanding Blockchains

By Jim Pickerell | 1225 Words | Posted 2/1/2018 | Comments (1)
At some point in the future Blockchains may play a significant role in the licensing of stock imagery. My role is to try to provide my readers with a simplified, not too technical, understanding of the potential benefits, and risks, of blockchain technology so the readers might better plan their individual futures.

KodakCoin Sales Delayed Several Weeks.

By Jim Pickerell | 428 Words | Posted 2/1/2018 | Comments
If you’re an image creator, or a stock photography customer and you’ve been thinking about getting involved with the new KodakOne you might want to think again. The initial coin offering (ICO) of KodakCoin, that was supposed to launch on January 31st, has been delayed several weeks. In order to eventually license rights to images it will be necessary to use KodakCoins.

Album Upgrades Website 

By Jim Pickerell | 182 Words | Posted 2/1/2018 | Comments
The Barcelona-based photolibrary www.album-online.com has upgraded its website, designed & powered by its own internal team, with some improvements which will benefit photobuyers, including reverse image search, and bigger thumbnails so users can see if the picture meets their needs more quickly. 

More Than 1 Billion Images Licensed By Shutterstock

By Jim Pickerell | 298 Words | Posted 1/31/2018 | Comments (1)
Shutterstock has announced that in its 14-year history it has licensed more than 1 billion royalty free images, videos and music tracks across all of its businesses. Currently the company has more than 170 million commercial images, 40 million editorial images and 9 million video clips in its collections.

Blockchain Payment: How They Work

By Jim Pickerell | 791 Words | Posted 1/30/2018 | Comments
After publishing several stories on blockchain technology as it relates to image licensing, it has been unclear to me how customers with dollars in their pocket would conduct a transaction to license use of a photo and how the image creator would actually gets dollars they can use to buy groceries.

Where Have Photo Assignments Gone?

By Jim Pickerell | 966 Words | Posted 1/29/2018 | Comments
It used to be when a major corporation like British Petroleum (BP) went looking new images their art department would come up with a rather specific concept for what they needed. Then they would review photographer portfolios and hire a photographer to do the job. They would pay $1,500 per day, plus expenses for the shoot. Leading, experienced photographers often received significantly higher day rates.

Blockchains Without Cryptocurrency

By Jim Pickerell | 1076 Words | Posted 1/26/2018 | Comments
Blockchain tracking of stock image licensing may be a way to improve the working environment for image creators without getting involved in cryptocurrencies. One of the things that concerns image creators when they hear discussions about blockchains is that they always seem to be tied to collecting money in some type of “new economy” cryptocurrency like KodakCoin.

Protect Your Images From Unauthorized Use

By Jim Pickerell | 961 Words | Posted 1/26/2018 | Comments
One of the biggest problems in the stock image business is unauthorized use. Many of those making unauthorized uses would be happy to ask permission and compensate the creator, if they could just find them. When they find an image on a website other than the creators there is usually no information about who the creator is or how to locate him/her.

Image Trend Reports

By Jim Pickerell | 347 Words | Posted 1/26/2018 | Comments
It is that time of year when stock agencies report on image trends they expect to see in the coming year. The purpose of these reports is to help photographers focus their production on the subject matter the agencies think will be in demand in the coming year.

Pray Your Images Won’t Be Used Online

By Jim Pickerell | 1094 Words | Posted 1/22/2018 | Comments
If you want to earn more for the images you produce, and for there to be less unauthorized use, maybe you should be praying that your images won’t get used by customers online. For many this may sound like heresy, or at the very least, ridiculous. Doesn’t everyone want more people to see and use their images? Consider this analysis.

Shutterstock Forecasts 2018 Creative Trends

By Jim Pickerell | 770 Words | Posted 1/17/2018 | Comments
Shutterstock has released its 2018 Creative Trends Report. Every year, Shutterstock customers across the world make billions of searches for images, footage, and music. Shutterstock creative teams analyze this search and download data to discover the biggest year-over-year increases and identify the trends they believe will continue to grow throughout 2018.

Can Your IP Address Affect Your Shutterstock Sales

By Jim Pickerell | 307 Words | Posted 1/17/2018 | Comments
One Shutterstock photographer who has resided in various countries at different times reports that the Shutterstock search engine seems to use the contributor’s IP address as part of the algorithm to rank images higher or lower in the search return order based on location.

Stock Photography Performs Better Than Original Photography

By Jim Pickerell | 379 Words | Posted 1/16/2018 | Comments
You’ve seen all the stories about how stock photography is junk, will chase customers away and destroy a company’s business. Well now Darren Johnson, publisher of Campus News, says that Stock Photography actually Performs Better for his publication Than Original Photography

lPStock Blockchain - More Information

By Jim Pickerell | 1210 Words | Posted 1/15/2018 | Comments (2)
After publishing the story on IPStock on Friday I had some further questions particularly in regard to how customers actually pay for the use of images and how the photographers would receive payment. Askold Romanov, answered my questions.

Copyright Small Claims – Write Your Congressperson

By Jim Pickerell | 146 Words | Posted 1/15/2018 | Comments
In support of #SmallClaimsDay all U.S. image creators, stock agents (and friends of the creative community) are being asked to write their Congresspersons before January 17, 2018 and request that they co-sponsor H.R. 3945. By using this site (http://copyrightalliance.org/get-involved/add-your-voice/ ) sending letters is quick and easy to do!

Blockchain Pricing – Will It Work In The Stock Photo Industry?

By Jim Pickerell | 1827 Words | Posted 1/12/2018 | Comments
When I first heard about a blockchain based strategy for licensing stock images it sounded like it might have some potential. What photographer wouldn’t like to be able set the price for the licensing of his/her images, have customers pay those prices, and have most of the price the customer pays immediately credited to the photographer’s account. Sounds great.

IPStock Launch Blockchain Ecosystem For Stock Images

By Jim Pickerell | 611 Words | Posted 1/12/2018 | Comments
IPStock, run by Geneva based company Intellectual Property Depository and Management (IPDM) that develops a unique fintech platform for visual digital assets, has announced the launch of pre-ICO for its blockchain registry of visual digital content copyrights.

Copytrack Comments On KodakOne

By Jim Pickerell | 421 Words | Posted 1/12/2018 | Comments
Kodak have just started their new project “KodakOne” and already their shares have skyrocketed. In 2012 it was a different story as they were on the verge of bankruptcy, but they are slowly fighting their way back with their new idea. But what’s all the hype around the new project “KodakOne”?

2017 Stories Worth Reviewing

By Jim Pickerell | 161 Words | Posted 1/10/2018 | Comments
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.

Kodak Announces Photographer-Friendly Cryptocurrency

By Jim Pickerell | 783 Words | Posted 1/10/2018 | Comments
Kodak and WENN Digital, in a licensing partnership, have announced the launch of the KODAKOne image rights management platform utilizing blockchain technology and KODAKCoin, a photo-centric cryptocurrency to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management.

Copytrack’s Blockchain-based Global Copyright Registery

By Jim Pickerell | 650 Words | Posted 1/10/2018 | Comments
Copytrack, the German organization that tracks use of images on the Internet and then pursues infringers when an unauthorized use is discovered has announced that its “blockchain powered copyright registry and enforcement platform is preparing the enter the second round of the crowdsale” as a way of raising revenue for future expansion.

Raising Prices By $1.00

By Jim Pickerell | 565 Words | Posted 1/9/2018 | Comments
It is hard to find a stock photographer who has been in business for any period of time who can point to rising revenue per-image-licensed. Some who have dramatically increased the size of their collections may be able to point to overall annual revenue growth, but not growth per-image-in-the-collection.

Dealing With Free Image Use Requests

By Jim Pickerell | 612 Words | Posted 1/9/2018 | Comments (1)
Recently, Owen Franken asked how I would deal with a request for personal blog use of an image. He receives such requests rarely. He received the following from Andrew Skladowski in Australia. See my comments on things to consider regarding such a request.

Two Categories Of Image Suppliers

By Jim Pickerell | 1019 Words | Posted 1/8/2018 | Comments
Broadly, there are two different categories of photographer who produce stock images. I believe way less than 7% of Shutterstock contributors are earning enough annually to view stock photography as a career. A contributor probably needs a collection of at least 20,000 images to earn a reasonable amount of money by U.S. standards. At least 93% of Shutterstock contributors have fewer than 1,000 images in the collection and their average income is less than $200 annually. See the breakdowns.

Leading Shutterstock Contributors

By Jim Pickerell | 1244 Words | Posted 1/5/2018 | Comments
At the end of 2016 Shutterstock had 190,000 contributors. By May 2017 that number was up to 225,000 and in September when they launched Shutterstock Custom Content they said they had 250,000 contributors. Presumably the number was even higher at the end of the year.

Sheldon Marshall Has Passed Away

By Jim Pickerell | 333 Words | Posted 1/5/2018 | Comments
Heritage Images Partnership has announced that their company CEO and friend Sheldon Marshall passed away on 17 December 2017 during an expedition to Mount Everest; one of his long standing dreams. Marshall had been active in the stock photo industry for decades.

Adobe Trends – Silence And Solitude

By Jim Pickerell | 163 Words | Posted 1/5/2018 | Comments
Following its Visual Trends predictions for 2018, Adobe recently released a deep analysis of its first trend – Silence and Solitude. In this chaotic, always-on world where people are bombarded with constant speeds and feeds, the Adobe is seeing a growing demand for images that convey comfort and regeneration.

Photographer Productivity

By Jim Pickerell | 1299 Words | Posted 1/3/2018 | Comments
One of the things I said in my 2018 Predictions is: “Image creator may be given more useful information about what is in demand.” In recent years we’ve seen a huge growth in the number of creators entering the stock photo business as well as images added to the collections. But we’re no longer seeing a corresponding growth in revenue.

2018 Predictions

By Jim Pickerell | 1060 Words | Posted 1/2/2018 | Comments (1)
Here are a few stock photo industry changes that I predict will occur before 2019. 1 – At least one radically new and different business model for licensing stock images will be introduced. 2 – Customers will become more disenchanted with the major stock photo distributors. 3 -  Image creators may be given more useful information about what is in demand.
See More explanation

Will Blockchain Benefit Image Creators

By Jim Pickerell | 907 Words | Posted 12/28/2017 | Comments
Can blockchains improve tracking of stock photo sales, give creators greater control, cut costs and increase royalties? Various companies are talking about instituting such systems. Announcements are expected in the near future. Such systems may reduce the need for some of the services stock agencies currently provide and remit 80% to 90% of the fee the customer pays to the photographer.

Finding Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 835 Words | Posted 12/27/2017 | Comments
Most commercial users want to be honest. They don’t set out to steal. They certainly don’t want to be chased by a photographer and his/her legal team once it is discovered that they have used an image without permission. If photographers want to license more images to professional users – and get better prices – then they must make it easier for customers to find them once the customers finds an image they would like to use. The process is easy enough if the customer finds the image on a stock agency website, but more and more customers are finding the images they would like to use by searching Google, Bing, Flickr or by randomly searching Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, other social media sites or various publications.

The Cost Of Trusted Information

By Jim Pickerell | 708 Words | Posted 12/27/2017 | Comments
The European Parliament is debating new legislation that could require Facebook, Google, Twitter and other major players to share some of the advertising revenue they earn from making the information produced and supplied by major European press agencies available to readers for free.

Blockchains Are Coming

By Jim Pickerell | 480 Words | Posted 12/22/2017 | Comments (1)
Photographers and stock agencies may want to start paying a little attention to all the news about blockchains and cryptocurrency. Promoters say that blockchains can cut out some of the middleman costs and provide a more efficient and less costly payment system between image creator and buyer. With many cryptocurrency transactions it is possible to immediately convert the currency into green backs that can be used at any local store, or hold onto the cryptocurrency with the hope that it will increase in value.

Shutterstock Showcases Premier Editorial Content To All Customers

By Jim Pickerell | 894 Words | Posted 12/20/2017 | Comments (1)
Last week Shutterstock notified its editorial shooters that they had begun showcasing all of their Premier Editorial content on Shutterstock.com. Previously this content has only been accessible through the Shutterstock Premier website. “The new editorial tab will include our historic Rex collection, images from strategic partners, including AP, BFA, epa, and live coverage of breaking news, entertainment and sports events,” they said. 

Shutterstock Bans Images Of Ape And Monkey “Actors”

By Jim Pickerell | 351 Words | Posted 12/18/2017 | Comments (1)
After PETA (People For Ethical Treatment Of Animals) pointed out that monkeys and great apes suffer immensely when used for photo shoots—and that images of these animals in unnatural settings can harm conservation efforts and bolster the illegal wildlife trade—Shutterstock agreed to remove and ban all such photographs and videos of these species from its collection as well as from those of its subsidiary Bigstock.

Storyblocks 2018 Trend Guide

By Jim Pickerell | 199 Words | Posted 12/14/2017 | Comments
Storyblocks has published a 2018 Trends Guide that features predictions for the year ahead based on 64M searches and 38M downloads across their sites in the last year (365 days). The results suggest that creators are increasingly globally aware and creating a strong increase in demand for diverse and global content.

HOsiHO: Aerial Stock Collection

By Jim Pickerell | 216 Words | Posted 12/14/2017 | Comments
A three-year-old specialist stock agency in France call HOsiHO (meaning High So High, in French) is finding strong demand for aerial stock photography. The agency has a collection of 3000 aerial videos and stills shot by a pool of more than 40 talented contributors based at the four corners of France.

Why Creators Are Dissatisfied With Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 750 Words | Posted 12/13/2017 | Comments (2)
Recently, a Microstockgroup post by Hochmann asked, “Why all the hate towards Getty Images?” He went on to say, “Yes, I know that they give 20% as a commission while a bunch of other companies start at 35% and many of them go above 50%. But the thing is that in Getty you're getting 20% of photographs sold for $100 or $1000 instead of 50% of 1 dollar.

Getty Promotion Offers 31% Discount

By Jim Pickerell | 566 Words | Posted 12/12/2017 | Comments
Getty Images has sent out a promotion inviting customers to “Stretch Your 2017 Budget Into 2018  With Ultrapacks” and giving them 31% off if they purchase before the end of the year the right to download a certain number of images in 2018.

VisualSteam Releases Stock Image Licensing Survey Results

By Jim Pickerell | 661 Words | Posted 12/11/2017 | Comments (3)
VisualSteam has released the results of its 5th Annual Survey of Creative Pros on the issue of Stock Image Licensing. The survey was sent to US art buyers, art directors, art producers, creative directors, photo editors and marketing professionals and provides a glimpse into what is driving image licensing today.

Pickit Establishes Offices In Redmond Washington

By Jim Pickerell | 370 Words | Posted 12/8/2017 | Comments
Tim Hinchliffe has reported on the Sociable blog that Swedish stock image startup Pickit has announces its entry into the US market by establishing an office in Redmond, Washington to be closer to Microsoft.

Photos Shot In 2017

By Jim Pickerell | 621 Words | Posted 12/7/2017 | Comments
According to Statista 1,200 billion photos will be taken worldwide in 2017. Not surprisingly,  85% of them will be taken with Smartphones, 4.7% taken with Tablets and only 10.3% were taken with digital cameras. That works out to about 123,600,000,000 photos taken with digital cameras. A very small percentage of these will be made available available for licensing.

New Career Paths For Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 531 Words | Posted 12/5/2017 | Comments
Many stock photographers are earning less and less from the new stock images they produce. They are finding that they can no longer expect to earn a significant portion of their annual income from licensing right to the use of their stock images. Consequently, they are looking for other ways to supplement their income.

Do All Google Searchers Expect FREE Images?

By Jim Pickerell | 588 Words | Posted 12/4/2017 | Comments
Jim Domke, creator of the Domke Camera Bag, recently commented about my Can Customers Find You article. He said, “Those searching for photos on Google or Bing are searching for FREE photos.” I disagree.

Netherlands Judge Redefines Creativity And Copyright

By Jim Pickerell | 1779 Words | Posted 12/1/2017 | Comments
A judge published a verdict on November 28, 2017 in the District Court of North Hoilland that could dramatically change the meaning of copyright in the Netherlands, if it is upheld. Masterfile and Mediapro, its representative in the Netherlands, had brought a case against a website operator who had used a Masterfile distributed photo of a “clear close-up of a temperature gauge of a car.” The photo was used without permission and no payment was made by the website operator to Masterfile

Entertainment Shooters Find They Don’t Need Stock Agencies

By Jim Pickerell | 636 Words | Posted 11/30/2017 | Comments
Given the low prices, royalty cuts and delayed payments, experienced entertainment shooter are finding they no longer need stock agencies – particularly microstock agencies. When a photographer shoots red carpet or other entertainment events all sales pretty much come the next morning, or not at all. Red carpet event photos have a VERY SHORT shelf life. The trick is getting your photos on the editor’s desk the next morning.

Tired Of Low Prices? Here’s A Possible Solution

By Jim Pickerell | 1068 Words | Posted 11/29/2017 | Comments (1)
Tired of low stock photo prices? Maybe you ought to license your images to customers direct. More and more customers are finding the images they need by searching Google. Sometimes the image may be one of yours that is represented by an agency. You may be able to get these searchers to come directly to you.

Can Customers Find You?

By Jim Pickerell | 1558 Words | Posted 11/28/2017 | Comments
When potential customers see one of your images they would like to use can they find you or your representative. More and more image users are finding the images they would like to use by searching Google or Bing. They also stumble on images that would be perfect for their next project while searching Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and other social media sites.

RF, RM And Model Releases

By Jim Pickerell | 996 Words | Posted 11/27/2017 | Comments
“Must all Royalty Free photos be model released?” This question came from a stock agent who is considering converting his collection from RM to RF. The answer is NO. An increasing number of images are being offered under a Royalty Free License for Editorial Use Only. What the Editorial Use Only means is that “we don’t have a model release for this image,” and thus it can not be used for commercial purposes.

Is Drone Photography In Your Future?

By Jim Pickerell | 421 Words | Posted 11/22/2017 | Comments
Stock photographers operating drones may want to take a look at Skytango, a startup agency that specializes in supplying drone footage. Not only will Skytango license stock clip, but it will help those who need custom footage, that can only be shot from above. The company will help customers locate drone operators who have the equipment and skills needed for their jobs.

TT News Acquires IBL

By Jim Pickerell | 296 Words | Posted 11/21/2017 | Comments
The TT News Agency in Sweden has acquired IBL. Since its inception in the 1960s IBL has enjoyed a solid market position, in Sweden as well as internationally. Daily newspapers, weekly press, magazines and book publishers are the company’s main clients.

Adobe: Visual Trends For 2018

By Jim Pickerell | 153 Words | Posted 11/21/2017 | Comments
Adobe has identified six visual design trends for 2018. They are: Silence and Solitude; The fluid self; Multilocalism; Creative Reality; History and Memory and Touch and Tactility. In each of these areas they have created a gallery of Adobe Stock Photos that illustrate the concepts.

Explaining The Copyright Small Claims Bill

By Jim Pickerell | 54 Words | Posted 11/21/2017 | Comments
There have been many articles published about how the Copyright Small Claims Bill, H.R. 3945,  entitled, the “Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2017” (the “CASE Act”) will benefit image creators. Here is a link to an excellent article that may make it easier for photographers to understand exactly how the Act will benefit them.

Is Shutterstock Benefiting Editorial Photographers?

By Jim Pickerell | 720 Words | Posted 11/20/2017 | Comments
The market for editorial stock photos is quite different from the commercial market. Shutterstock may be having a difficult time adapting. In January 2015 Shutterstock purchased Rex Features for $33 million. At the time it was believed that Rex’s gross 2014 revenue was about $7 million.

Is SilverHub Media Closing After Less Than Two Years? SEE CORRECTION

By Jim Pickerell | 236 Words | Posted 11/17/2017 | Comments
SilverHub Media is an editorial agency launched in 2016 by long time Getty senior executive Nick Evans-Lomb and Adrian Murrell. On 11/14/2017 Companies House in the UK announced that SilverHub Media will be dissolved within 2 months “unless cause is shown to the contrary.” Rumors have it that SilverHub is saying this was an administrative error.

Michael Jay’s Perspective On EyeEm As A Market

By Jim Pickerell | 272 Words | Posted 11/14/2017 | Comments
Last week I wrote about the Top Suppliers to Getty Image and pointed out that EyeEm has significantly more images in the collection than any other agency supplier.

123RF’s New Idea: Ask Users For Donations

By Jim Pickerell | 524 Words | Posted 11/13/2017 | Comments
Contributors to 123RF recently received a request from Eric, who heads the team that secures content for 123RF. He asked them to make their footage available to users via a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. The theory behind this strategy seems to be that some users may be so thankful for your footage and images that they will send you a “donation” to show their appreciation. Of course, they are not “required or obligated” to donate.

Top Suppliers To Getty Images

By Jim Pickerell | 1545 Words | Posted 11/10/2017 | Comments
It was recently called to my attention that EyeEm has 3,494,298 images in the Getty Images collection. Add to that the 2,755,731 in the Moment collection (from Flickr photographers) and these two collections represent 29% of the combined RM and RF collections currently on Gettyimages.com, and 41% of the RF collection alone. I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the current number of images each brand has at Getty.

Are Getty’s Top Suppliers Providing What Customers Need?

By Jim Pickerell | 1972 Words | Posted 11/10/2017 | Comments
One of the interesting questions raised by the chart in the previous story and the chart below is the annual revenue each collection might possibly generate. Certain specialized collections may have provided very few images and thus generate much less than the larger collections. However, by using the attached chart brand owners may be able to get a senses of whether their images are selling as well as those of their competitors.

Getty Images Revenue

By Jim Pickerell | 514 Words | Posted 11/8/2017 | Comments
Moody’s Investor Service reports that total Getty Images revenue for the twelve months ended 30 September 2017 was $836.8 million.

Joomag Customers Get iStock Images For $2.99

By Jim Pickerell | 509 Words | Posted 11/6/2017 | Comments
iStock has done a deal with Joomag that allowed Joomag users to purchase as few, or as many, images a month as they would like to use for $2.99 each. Joomag provides a graphic design service to over “500,000 businesses across all sectors” that allows customers to create digital newsletters, magazines, catalogs, brochures, ebooks and more and deliver these products either online or in printed form.

What Stock Photos Are Most Frequently Used By Customers?

By Jim Pickerell | 810 Words | Posted 11/3/2017 | Comments
The GDUSA Survey of graphic designers provides a list of subjects in greatest demand by image buyers. The top 25 listed appear in more or less the following order. I searched the five major stock photo distributors – Getty Images, Shutterstock, AdobeStock, iStock and Alamy – to determine the number of images returned when each keyword is used.

Alamy Trends Since 2008

By Jim Pickerell | 713 Words | Posted 11/2/2017 | Comments
Alamy had a very good year in 2016 with total turnover up 31% to 19,185,668 £ compared to 14,627,376 £ in 2015. However, much of that percentage growth was due to strong sales in the U.S. and a declining exchange rate in the pound compared to other currencies. Based on the U.S. dollar rate at the end of each year the total turnover 2016 was $23,675,114 compared to $21,569,529 for 2015.

GDUSA Stock Visuals Survey Results

By Jim Pickerell | 828 Words | Posted 11/1/2017 | Comments
The results of Graphic Design USA’s 31st Annual Stock Visual Reader Survey are now available here. Ninety-two percent of the respondents use stock photos, 72% use stock illustration and 41% use footage and animation. This is a must read for anyone trying to produce imagery that the market wants.

Shutterstock Q3 2017 Financial Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1061 Words | Posted 10/31/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported Q3 2017 revenue of $141.1 million up $18.0 million, or 14% on a constant currency basis, compared to Q3 2016. The revenue was also up $7.1 million from Q2 2017. Revenue per download averaged $3.23 per image, an 11% increase over Q3 2016. About 27% of revenue, or roughly $38.09 million, was paid out in royalties to contributors.

Why Do Customers Infringe Copyright?

By Jim Pickerell | 1578 Words | Posted 10/30/2017 | Comments
Photographers and agencies complain about Copyright Infringement. But, in many ways they make it hard for customers to discover who owns an image, whether it is one that needs to be licensed and how to properly license it. Most people in business will tell you that if you want to sell more products you need to make it easier for customers to find and pay for your products.

Promoting Images That Have Been Licensed

By Jim Pickerell | 1193 Words | Posted 10/27/2017 | Comments
Stock photo agents tell me that they can’t offer a system that would let customers search for just the images that have been licensed at least once because their photographers will complain.

Adobe Stock And NDAs

By Jim Pickerell | 416 Words | Posted 10/27/2017 | Comments
Photographers at PhotoPlus Expo report that they are receiving invitations to join AdobeStock, but Adobe wants them to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) before they get information about what the invitation is all about.

Don’t Miss PhotoPlus Expo

By Jim Pickerell | 427 Words | Posted 10/27/2017 | Comments
Stock photographers in the New York metropolitan area still have time to attend the PhotoPlus Expo that has run from October 26th through tomorrow October 28th.

Visual Connections For Sale

By Jim Pickerell | 585 Words | Posted 10/25/2017 | Comments
After ten years running Visual Connections LLC, co-owners Deborah Free and Edward Leigh have decided to make it available for acquisition.

Rick Leckrone Resigns As Blend Images CEO

By Jim Pickerell | 314 Words | Posted 10/24/2017 | Comments
Blend Images LLC, a leading stock photography agency, has announced that CEO Rick Leckrone has resigned, effective immediately. Sarah Fix, Creative Vice President has been named CEO by Blend's LLC Managers.

Does Adding To An Image Collection Automatically Grow Revenue?

By Jim Pickerell | 664 Words | Posted 10/17/2017 | Comments
The question for today is: “Does adding to an image collection automatically grow revenue?” and the companion question “Must an image be NEW to be useful to a customer?” Shutterstock supplies some detail that is instructive and worth reviewing.

Picfair CEO: Free image Websites Exploit Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 345 Words | Posted 10/17/2017 | Comments
Benji Lanyado, CEO & Founder of Picfair, the London-based fair trade photography platform, has used a blog post and a tweet to call on the photographer community to turn away from free images websites that offer "exposure" in return for free images.

Capture Unveils New Front-end WordPress Technology

By Jim Pickerell | 491 Words | Posted 10/17/2017 | Comments
Capture will be showcasing its new front-end Capture WEBSITE 3 technology – the window to your assets which forefronts audience engagement - at the DMLA 2017 conference in New York on October 22-24.

Storyblocks Will Generate $30 Million In 2017

By Jim Pickerell | 860 Words | Posted 10/12/2017 | Comments
Storyblocks, formerly Videoblocks will generate about $30 million from licensing stock imagery in 2017. Currently, they have a little over 200,000 subscription customers who pay $149 a year for unlimited access to about 115,000 video clips. They also offer about 200,000 photos, 200,000 vectors and other illustrations and 100,000 pieces of music for a separate subscription price.

Stocktrek Images Reveals New Website Design

By Jim Pickerell | 287 Words | Posted 10/12/2017 | Comments
Stocktrek Images has revamped its website with the emphasis on a new appearance to enhance its customer interaction. With the client's approach to licensing images changing significantly in the past years, Stocktrek has developed a new website to incorporate the requirements and demands of today's clients.

Hemis.fr Launches New Website

By Jim Pickerell | 346 Words | Posted 10/12/2017 | Comments
Hemis.fr, an independent photography agency founded in France in 2004 has launched a new website with a trendy design. The site has a high speed search engine that is fully responsive to Smartphone and Touch pad search. The site is searchable in both French and English.

20/20 Software Offers New Tools For Working With Footage

By Jim Pickerell | 295 Words | Posted 10/10/2017 | Comments
20/20 Software, a leading provider of multi-media websites and image/business management software to media libraries, museums, corporations, institutions, and newspapers, has outlined some of the newest tools it offers for working with footage.

Alamy Launches New International Websites

By Jim Pickerell | 188 Words | Posted 10/9/2017 | Comments
Alamy has launched a Spanish language version of its customer website with additional language sites for Italian, French and Portuguese-speaking countries scheduled to launch at a later date.

Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing

By Jim Pickerell | 243 Words | Posted 10/9/2017 | Comments
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of stock images. This has led to a dramatic shift in how stock images are produced and who produces them. It is harder to tell how this has affected the quality of the offering, but the huge oversupply (compared to demand) has made it more difficult for customers to find the images they need.

Customer Challenge: Delivering More Assets

By Jim Pickerell | 650 Words | Posted 10/6/2017 | Comments
Stock photo customers have a big problem. They need more time and they need to be able to operate more efficiently. Stock photo sellers could help. Check out how.

Small Claims Legislation Update

By Jim Pickerell | 841 Words | Posted 10/5/2017 | Comments
A bipartisan solution to help artists, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, songwriters, authors and other creators protect their life’s work from unauthorized reproduction has been introduced by U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), a Democrat, and U.S. Representative Tom Marino (PA-10), a Republican, both members of the members of the House Judiciary Committee.

Re-Uploading Images

By Jim Pickerell | 371 Words | Posted 10/5/2017 | Comments
Have your images that sold a year or two ago sold again recently? If not, it may be because the images are now buried so deep in the search return order that customers no longer see them.

Future Of Aggregation Agents

By Jim Pickerell | 677 Words | Posted 10/4/2017 | Comments
Photographers placing images with agents that seek to license uses at higher prices ($100 or more), and generate a lot of their sales via distributors, need to think hard about whether such an approach is in their best economic interest.

Image Storage: Image Search

By Jim Pickerell | 965 Words | Posted 10/2/2017 | Comments
One of the biggest problems in the photo world today is that we are being buried in photos. InfoTrend estimates that consumers will take 1.2 trillion photos worldwide in 2017. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is 9%. This year 3,934,500,000,000 will be stored on hard drives and other formats worldwide.

Stock Photography Timeline: Updated

By Jim Pickerell | 149 Words | Posted 9/29/2017 | Comments
In July 2016 Alamy published an infographic with a timeline for the history of stock photography. They have just released an updated version with 10 new milestones based on comments they received from the public. You can find the updated timeline here.

Stock Photo Prices: The Future

By Jim Pickerell | 1277 Words | Posted 9/28/2017 | Comments (1)
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discussion on Stock Photo Prices and whether there is anything that can be done to raise them -- even slightly. I will moderate the discussion.

Is The Customer Always Right?

By Jim Pickerell | 516 Words | Posted 9/27/2017 | Comments (2)
In a speech at PhotoPlus Expo in 1998 Jonathan Klein told the stock photography community, “We also know that the stock photography industry has not historically focused on the needs of customers and, frankly, needs to in order to SURVIVE!, That is where we are now.” Getty Images developed a strategy that was totally focuses on "the customer," but it hasn't necessarily worked out.

Google Slides Makes Finding Images Easier

By Jim Pickerell | 346 Words | Posted 9/27/2017 | Comments
Both Shutterstock and Adobe Stock have announced that users of Google Slides  can now access their collections directly. This could result in more image uses for photographers with images in both collections.

Adobe Names Santiago Lyon Editorial Content Director

By Jim Pickerell | 221 Words | Posted 9/26/2017 | Comments
Adobe has announced that Santiago Lyon has joined Adobe Stock as the first director of editorial content. In this newly created role, Santiago will lead Adobe Stock’s editorial content strategy and collection, working with world-class photojournalists, documentary photographers, editorial providers and media.

Restrictions On Retouching Photos Of People

By Jim Pickerell | 183 Words | Posted 9/26/2017 | Comments
Effective October 1, 2017 a new French law obliges clients who use commercial images in France to disclose whether the body shape of a model has been retouched to make the individual look thinner or larger.

Sales Trends At Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 1013 Words | Posted 9/22/2017 | Comments (1)
Contributors report that Getty Images believes there is still a demand for RM imagery. However, they are seeing fewer high quality submissions on a consistent basis, despite the fact that they have many more RM contributors than was once the case. The company is trying to encourage more production by posting increasingly frequent shoot briefs on the Getty contributor website.

Videoblocks Launches Storyblocks.

By Jim Pickerell | 657 Words | Posted 9/21/2017 | Comments
Videoblock has rebranded itself as Storyblocks. The existing video and audio libraries are being maintained as separate subsites: Videoblocks by Storyblocks and Audioblocks by Storybloacks. (Each offering requires a separate subscription.) The former GraphicStock library is now part of Storyblocks.

Shutterstock Introduces Shutterstock Custom

By Jim Pickerell | 248 Words | Posted 9/21/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has launched its Flashstock business as Shutterstock Custom, a proprietary platform that provides an efficient and innovative way for its 1.7 million customers to create branded content.

Shutterstock Plugin More Fully Integrate With Adobe Creative Cloud

By Jim Pickerell | 302 Words | Posted 9/20/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has updated its custom-built plugins to more fully integrate with Adobe’s Creative Cloud®, adding compatibility directly within the Adobe Premiere Pro®, Adobe Illustrator®, and Adobe InDesign® applications. This is the first time Shutterstock has made its high quality video collection of 8 million clips available through a plugin, giving amateur filmmakers and veteran film editors another powerful tool at their disposal within Premiere Pro®.

Why Would Customers Pay Higher Prices?

By Jim Pickerell | 930 Words | Posted 9/19/2017 | Comments
The big question for the industry is, “Why would customers agree to pay slightly higher prices?”
Everyone seems to believe that the only way to get, or keep, customers is to constantly give them lower and lower prices. I think there are a couple other things customers want: (1) better quality and (2) the ability to find what they need quickly. The industry is missing out on both these levels.

Raising Prices

By Jim Pickerell | 852 Words | Posted 9/19/2017 | Comments (1)
How much would we have to raise prices to begin improving the pricing situation? Not all that much. Many image creators would like to see the industry return to the much higher prices of old. While it is easy to justify those former prices based on the cost of production and the value the customer receives from using the image, a return to such prices is not likely to happen. On the other hand, if a strategy could be developed that would increase prices by just a small amount, it could begin to move the industry in the right direction.

Getty Cuts Royalties Again

By Jim Pickerell | 228 Words | Posted 9/19/2017 | Comments
According to sources Getty Images has reduced the royalty share of sales for all commercial RF collections supplied by agencies and distributors to 15% of the gross sale price.

Getty Custom Content

By Jim Pickerell | 975 Words | Posted 9/15/2017 | Comments (1)
Getty has sent its photographers a new Custom Content assignment for T-Mobile. “T-Mobile is looking for photography shot on mobile phones* that is the total opposite of stock images.” (*The images don’t actually have to shot with a mobile phone, and most of those submitted probably won’t be.)

Can Prices Be Raised?

By Jim Pickerell | 1139 Words | Posted 9/14/2017 | Comments (1)
In a little over a month I will be moderating a panel discussion at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York on the subject Prices: Can We Raise Them? Stock photo prices have been declining for years, partially due to oversupply. Must prices continue to fall? Is there a strategy for charging more, to enough customers, that production of new images will become a viable business option for more producers? If so, how? What’s the strategy? If not, will that impact contributor supply? What alternatives are there for agencies to grow their business?”

Are Professional Stock Producers Needed?

By Jim Pickerell | 834 Words | Posted 9/13/2017 | Comments
A big question the stock photo industry is facing, and one I think very little effort has been expended in trying to analyze, is Are Professional Stock Producers Needed? Can the industry survive and grow with only images produced by part-timers and amateurs who are more interested in having their work “liked” than in earning enough to cover their production costs?

How Subscriptions Royalties Are Calculated

By Jim Pickerell | 666 Words | Posted 9/13/2017 | Comments
Some photographers are confused about how payments for subscription usage work. I received the following question recently: If say a customer pays $100 per month for the right to download 100 images, but only actually uses 20 images from the library during the month is the photographer royalty share based on 1/100th of what the library received, or does he get 1/20th of what the library received? The first works particularly well for Picture Libraries as they receive income for less work.

Alamy Appoints Andy Harding CEO

By Jim Pickerell | 300 Words | Posted 9/12/2017 | Comments (1)
Alamy has appointed Andy Harding to take over the role of Chief Executive Officer beginning on December 4th 2017. Co-founder and CEO James West is moving up to the role of Chair after 18 years as CEO.

ImageRights Simplifies Copyright Registration

By Jim Pickerell | 416 Words | Posted 9/12/2017 | Comments
ImageRights International, the global leader in copyright enforcement services for photo agencies and professional photographers has launched a dedicated copyright registration service. For the first time, any photographer or agency can register their images with the United States Copyright Office through ImageRights highly efficient and precise copyright service. Previously, only ImageRights members had access to the service.

Bridgeman Footage Joins Footage.net

By Jim Pickerell | 407 Words | Posted 9/12/2017 | Comments
Footage.net has announced that preview clips from Bridgeman Footage are now available for viewing through Footage.net. Bridgeman Footage is a division of Bridgeman Images, the world's leading specialist in the distribution of fine art, cultural and historical media for licensing. Bridgeman Images represents over 2,000 image suppliers - including museums, galleries, artists, stately homes, photographers, private collections, libraries, universities, auction houses and picture archives.

Court Permits Copyright Claim To Proceed Despite Error In Registration Application

By Jim Pickerell | 256 Words | Posted 9/8/2017 | Comments
The District Court of the Southern District of New York, in the case of Archie MD, Inc. v. Elsevier, Inc., recently clarified the standard by which a copyright registration may be considered valid despite containing inaccurate information.

Stock Agencies Focus On Custom Shoots

By Jim Pickerell | 1756 Words | Posted 9/8/2017 | Comments
Since 2012 ImageBrief has been helping image buyers submit briefs to photographers about their image needs. Now Shutterstock and Getty Images seem to be getting interested in offering their customers custom shoots. In June Shutterstock acquired Flashstock and in early July Getty introduced its Custom Content assignments program to Getty Images and iStock Exclusive contributors.

Wining Photo Contests

By Jim Pickerell | 154 Words | Posted 9/7/2017 | Comments
It is no longer necessary to take pictures in order to win photo contest. Photographers who share their images on public domain sites are sometimes surprised to learn that others have taken their images, entered them in photo contests and won awards.

What Kind Of Images Are In Demand?

By Jim Pickerell | 939 Words | Posted 9/5/2017 | Comments
What kind of pictures do companies really want for their ads? What are they actually buying? In this story we'll look at some ways to get more of what customers want to buy into the images collections. And, maybe less of the images that just sit there and no one ever want to use them.

Hootsuite Collaborates With Adobe Stock

By Jim Pickerell | 400 Words | Posted 9/5/2017 | Comments
Hootsuite has announced a collaboration with Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Stock that will give its customers the ability to access, edit, distribute, and measure the impact of social content directly from Hootsuite, thus helping marketers get more value from their creative content.

Keywording: New Shutterstock Resource

By Jim Pickerell | 789 Words | Posted 9/1/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock has produced a new resource called The Shot List that may be helpful to anyone trying to keyword images. It includes some very broad general guidelines on the kind of imagery customers are looking for when searching for: Landmarks, People, Interiors and Religion and Holidays.

Shutterstock Downgraded By Jefferies

By Jim Pickerell | 375 Words | Posted 8/31/2017 | Comments
The investment banking firm Jefferies has downgraded Shutterstock shares from Hold to Underperform with a price target of $30.00. Shutterstock stock price closed today at $33.69 down 20% from $42.14 a month ago. The stock is down 52% from the high of $65.16 that it hit in September 2016.

Eight Tips To Prevent Image Theft

By Jim Pickerell | 866 Words | Posted 8/31/2017 | Comments
Everyday Copytrack is confronted with the question from their users of how they can protect their images. Despite there being no one method that completely protects image online, we suggest other tools and ways that reduce the chances of image theft. Here are the simplest to the most complex methods for image protection as presented by Copytrack.

Define The Term “Microstock”

By Jim Pickerell | 938 Words | Posted 8/30/2017 | Comments
I was asked recently if I could provide a definition for “microstock.” The term is probably meaningless today as are the terms Rights Managed and Traditional Royalty Free. All have changed dramatically and overlap in many ways..

Shutterstock Finds Way To Better Protect Its Watermarks

By Jim Pickerell | 275 Words | Posted 8/30/2017 | Comments
A couple weeks ago we reported that Google researchers had found a way to remove the watermarks used by most stock photographer and stock photography sites. To protect their watermarks Shutterstock engineers have designed a “watermark randomizer” that adds subtle inconsistencies to its marks, ensuring each one is a little different and making them difficult for Google to remove.

Watermarks On Photos: Easily Removed

By Jim Pickerell | 250 Words | Posted 8/18/2017 | Comments
Researchers at Google have found a vulnerability in the way watermarks are used by stock imagery sites like Adobe Stock that makes it possible to remove the opaque stamp used to protect copyright.

Illustration Segment Of Stock Image Industry

By Jim Pickerell | 891 Words | Posted 8/16/2017 | Comments
A readers recently asked what I believe the illustration segment of the stock photo industry is worth. A very good question. Since, I've spent most of my career as a photographer, I tend to think of the stock image business in terms of photography, but the reader is right that a huge percentage of the business involves the licensing of graphics and illustrations, not photos. Let me see if I can break it down.

Demand For Assistance In Pursuing Copyright Abuse Increases

By Jim Pickerell | 504 Words | Posted 8/16/2017 | Comments
Increasingly, image creators are turning to online service providers to provide assistance and support in pursuing copyright abuse. Copytrack is seeing rising customer demand in both Japan and the U.S. Marcus Schmitt, Copytrack CEO, attributes the heightened demand to the Berlin-based portal’s strong international involvement in Asian and US congresses, and associations, such as Japan Professional Photographer Society and the Digital Media Licensing Association in New York.

Where Is Offset Headed?

By Jim Pickerell | 854 Words | Posted 8/15/2017 | Comments
Nobody seems quite sure what the future of Offset might be. Keren Sacks, the god-mother of Offset, left (or was let go, no one seems quite sure) last December and is now working as a “Visual Content + Strategy Consultant.”

Workbook To Sponsor Visual Connections Expo 2017

By Jim Pickerell | 265 Words | Posted 8/15/2017 | Comments
Workbook, the leading marketing resource for commercial photographers and illustrators, will again be a sponsor of this year’s Visual Connections Image Expo at the New Yorker hotel in New York on October 25.

Discounts: Do They Generate Enough Revenue?

By Jim Pickerell | 705 Words | Posted 8/10/2017 | Comments (2)
A reader has pointed out that Image Source is offering its customers using the promo code AUG50 a 50% discount on any image purchased during the month. Cavan Images is also offering a 25% discount all month if customers use the discount code CAVAN25. Will temporary discounts bring in more customers and result in more sales overall?

Legal Portraits

By Jim Pickerell | 199 Words | Posted 8/9/2017 | Comments
Stock photographers looking for a way to make some extra money might want to take a look at this article from the National Law Review. The Law Review argues that law firms need to consistently update their attorney portraits on their websites because “prospective clients may use them to form a first impression” of the law firm.

Time Inc. Looks To Save $400 Million: Staff Could Be On The Chopping Block

By Jim Pickerell | 180 Words | Posted 8/9/2017 | Comments
Time Inc. unveiled plans for a “strategic transformation” that will yield more than $400 million in savings over the next few years. In the last quarterly earnings report total revenues fell 10% year to year while operating income fell from $50 million to a loss of $38 million.

Pursuing Copyright Infringement

By Jim Pickerell | 174 Words | Posted 8/9/2017 | Comments
Photographers living in the New York Metro Area who have evidence of a copyright infringement of their work may want to check out this opportunity for free legal assistance in pursuing their case.

What To Charge For Photo Assignments

By Jim Pickerell | 1400 Words | Posted 8/7/2017 | Comments (1)
A woman who earned some decent money as a photographer back in the 1990’s called me recently asking for pricing advice. She was trying to help a young neighbor (just out of high school) understand what he should charge for his photography. This boy loves photography and wants to make it a career. His parents have bought him a lot of good equipment, but his mother is tired of spending money with no prospects of a return on that investment. She wants him to start earning some money from some of the pictures he takes. Here's my advice.

Shutterstock’s Vision Of Market Size

By Jim Pickerell | 824 Words | Posted 8/3/2017 | Comments
On the Shutterstock conference call yesterday CEO and Founder Jon Oringer and CFO Steven Berns made some statements about stock photo market size, and growth potential, that need to be examined. When discussing the Editorial market Oringer said, “Today, we believe our editorial business represents less than 1% of what we estimate is a more than $1 billion market opportunity.”

Shutterstock Q2 2017 Financial Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1013 Words | Posted 8/2/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported Q2 2017 revenue of $134.0 million. This revenue was up 8% from Q2 2016, and up $3.8 million from Q1 2017. Revenue per download increased 9% from $2.81 in Q2 2016 to $3.05. Revenue per download in Q1 2017 was $2.96. At the end of the quarter there were 144.7 million images in Shuttrstock’s collection and 7.6 million video clips. This was up from 132 million images at the end of Q1 2017 and from 92.1 million a year earlier at the end of Q2 2016.

Undiscovered Images At Adobe Stock

By Jim Pickerell | 1033 Words | Posted 8/1/2017 | Comments (1)
Adobe Stock offers customers a very useful search feature that Shutterstock, Getty Images and iStock have chosen to ignore. Adobe lets customers search for “Undiscovered” images. We assume that means image that have never been used, although Adobe doesn’t make that entirely clear.

MonkeyBusinessImages

By Jim Pickerell | 778 Words | Posted 7/28/2017 | Comments
Kathy Yeulet owns and operates MonkeyBusinessImages, which she started in 2006 and is one of the most successful microstock production companies . Previous to that she owned and operated Banana Stock, a company that produced and licensed stock images at traditional royalty free prices. With near perfect timing she sold that company in 2004 when the traditional royalty free prices were near their peak. Two years later decided to start producing images for the relatively new microstock market.

Thoughts On Ways To Improve Search

By Jim Pickerell | 1029 Words | Posted 7/27/2017 | Comments
As image databases become larger and larger it becomes more and more difficult for customers to quickly find the “right image” for their projects. Increasingly, customers are frustrated by this problem. They want more choice, but they don’t want it to take them longer to find an image they can use.

Global Advertising Forecasts

By Jim Pickerell | 786 Words | Posted 7/27/2017 | Comments
In reviewing the latest reports from Magna, eMarketer, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and ZenithOptimedia it appears that the global advertising market is expected to generate about $504 billion in 2017, up 3.7% from 2016. The growth in 2016 was +5.9%, but the Olympics and U.S. Elections contributed a lot to that growth. Global advertising growth is expected to re-accelerate to +4.5% in 2018 with the return of even-year events (Football World Cup in Russia, Mid-Term U.S. elections, Winter Olympics in South Korea.)

Legal Tips For Part Time Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 785 Words | Posted 7/25/2017 | Comments
There is increased demand for real, authentic photos, not set up shots using professional models. Many photographers grabbing these “authentic” photos on holiday, or as they go about their daily lives, ignore some of the legal hassles that can arise as a result of trying to license use to such images.

Breaking The Composition Rules

By Jim Pickerell | 416 Words | Posted 7/20/2017 | Comments
Adobe’s Visual Trends predictions  for July talks about “Breaking the Rules of Composition to Create Thought-Provoking Images.” Breaking the rules is great for someone trying to create Fine Art, but do such images actually sell? Of course Adobe will be able to point to a few that have sold, but in general is it better to break the rules, or learn the rules and stick to them if you’re trying to produce images customers will to buy?

How Technology Helps Identify Needed Imagery

By Jim Pickerell | 410 Words | Posted 7/20/2017 | Comments
In a story by Rick Boost published in Campaign Asia-Pacific, a publication providing insights and intelligence into the ideas, work and personalities shaping Asia’s marketing-communications industry, Kumi Shimamoto, Asia vice-president for Getty Images, says that one of the reasons for the company’s position as the largest image supplier in the world is its audience research methods.

Unsplash: Can Those Selling Stock Images Compete With Free?

By Jim Pickerell | 1033 Words | Posted 7/19/2017 | Comments (1)
More and more photographers are willing to give their images away rather than trying to earn some revenue from their use. Unsplash is one of many free sources for image. Can photographer who are trying to license rights to their images compete with the availability of free?

Easier Search For Customers

By Jim Pickerell | 922 Words | Posted 7/18/2017 | Comments
One of the major problems faced by the stock photo industry is “too many images.” Customers don’t need more images they need to be able to find an image that works quickly. To offer some additional search options Adobe has introduced some AI-powered aesthetic filters that will enable art directors to search more naturally and intuitively.

ImageRights Acquires Image Witness

By Jim Pickerell | 447 Words | Posted 7/17/2017 | Comments
ImageRights International, the global leader in copyright enforcement services for photo agencies and professional photographers, today announced the acquisition of Australia’s Image Witness, whose rapid scan image search technology fortifies ImageRights’ technology leadership position in the fast-growing copyright enforcement services industry.

What Sells?

By Jim Pickerell | 1524 Words | Posted 7/12/2017 | Comments (1)
Assuming you are taking pictures because you want to earn some money from what you produce, it would be very helpful to have some information about which images among the hundreds of millions out there are actually selling, and how frequently. What’s in demand?

Shooting Video With A Smartphone

By Jim Pickerell | 156 Words | Posted 7/10/2017 | Comments
The ads make it sound easy to get great pictures using a smartphone. Certainly a lot can be done with an iPhone 7, but when watching a spectacular ad look for the little notice at the bottom that says, “Additional equipment and software used.”

Photo Week In New York

By Jim Pickerell | 506 Words | Posted 7/7/2017 | Comments (1)
It’s time to start thinking about Photo Week in New York, October 22nd through 28th. It all starts with the Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA) conference beginning Sunday night through Tuesday. Then on Wednesday the 25th is Visual Connections. Technically, the PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo begins on Wednesday the 25th, but the trade show doesn’t really open until Thursday the 26th and runs for three full days through the 28th.

PhotoPlus: October In New York

By Jim Pickerell | 684 Words | Posted 7/7/2017 | Comments
For photographers and videographers who want to see the see the newest equipment and trends as well as learn how to improve their skills, the annual PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in New York from October 25-28 is a must-attend event.

TopImageSites: New Marketing Option

By Jim Pickerell | 839 Words | Posted 7/6/2017 | Comments (1)
There is a new website called TopImageSites that, in theory, will help customers find “The Best Stock Images On The Web.” Ten agencies are listed and the number of “products” available in each agency’s collection are listed in the chart below. Products include: photos, vectors, illustration, videos and audio files. Some of the agencies don’t have audio files and Panthermedia doesn’t have either video or audio.

How Many Images Does It Take To Make Money?

By Jim Pickerell | 966 Words | Posted 7/3/2017 | Comments
Stock Performer recently published an article entitled “Are you uploading enough files to make money from microstock?” The article offers some interesting statistics. However, there are some other issues that need to be considered like, “Is More Automatically Better.”

More On New Distribution System

By Jim Pickerell | 1746 Words | Posted 6/30/2017 | Comments
Justin Brinson of PicturEngine posted a thoughful comment to last week’s article “New Stock Image Distribution System Needed.” I’m re-posting his comments here because I want to be sure all my readers have a chance to consider them. I’ll add a few of my own comments below his.

What Does Image Curation Mean?

By Jim Pickerell | 495 Words | Posted 6/29/2017 | Comments (1)
I just received a press release from Envato Elements that offers “inspiring and ready-to-use photos, templates, fonts and assets” for $29 a month. They say Envato Elements “now includes 200,000 hand picked photos” from its PhotoDune collection of 9 million photos. (Actually, there are currently 244,085 photos in the Elements collection.)

Shutterstock to Acquire Flashstock

By Jim Pickerell | 766 Words | Posted 6/28/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Flashstock Technology, Inc., a Toronto based company that enables the efficient creation of custom visual content through its proprietary platform, for approximately $50 million cash. Flashstock has a fast growing customer base of enterprise marketers seeking on-brand content to feed the ever growing visual demands of multiple marketing channels. By integrating Flashstock into its product offerings, Shutterstock will be able to offer a high-quality custom content product to its 1.7 million customers. The transaction is expected to close in July 2017.

Danita Delimont: New Website Design

By Jim Pickerell | 301 Words | Posted 6/28/2017 | Comments
Danita Delimont Stock Photography has launched a new website design with large photos and roll over pop ups. The site’s new Galleries section shows tightly edited collections of the best images in 48 of the most popular subject categories they have to offer.

EU Fines Google 2.72 Billion For Unfair Practices

By Jim Pickerell | 584 Words | Posted 6/27/2017 | Comments
The European Commission, which polices European Union competition rules, has imposed a  €2.42 billion euros ($2.72 Billion) fine on Google for breaching antitrust rules with its online shopping service. The ruling alleges that "Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service." Google was given 90 days to stop or face fines of up to 5 percent of the average daily worldwide turnover of parent company Alphabet.

EyeEm New Model Release Strategy

By Jim Pickerell | 1018 Words | Posted 6/27/2017 | Comments (3)
Photographer’s tell me that EyeEm has introduced a new model release strategy that is markedly simpler for photographers than the release strategy used by stock agencies and photographers for many years.

Is Stock Photography Useless Trash?

By Jim Pickerell | 843 Words | Posted 6/26/2017 | Comments
Hardly a day goes by that we don’t see a news story about how terrible stock photography is. Writer may pull a bunch of the worst and most inappropriate pictures from Shutterstock and other web sites and imply that these represent all stock photography. They encourage image users to ignore and stop using stock photography.

New Image Distribution System

By Jim Pickerell | 222 Words | Posted 6/23/2017 | Comments
A number of mid-sized and specialist agencies should join together and explore the possibility of establishing a Non-Profit Online Distribution System. Stock photo prices have fallen dramatically in the last decade. Some RM photographers are earning, on average, less then 7% per-image-licensed of what they earned a decade ago. RF prices have seen similar declines, although not quite as severe. Seventy to 80% of traditional image licenses are for fees of $20 or less. More than 50% are for $10 or less. Throughout most of this period photographers have continued to produce new and better images. The cost of production has not declined.

New Stock Image Distribution System Needed

By Jim Pickerell | 2385 Words | Posted 6/23/2017 | Comments (3)
Stock photo prices have fallen dramatically in the last decade. Some RM photographers are earning, on average, less then 7% per-image-licensed of what they earned a decade ago. RF prices have seen similar declines, although not quite as severe. Seventy to 80% of traditional image licenses are for fees of $20 or less. More than 50% are for $10 or less. Throughout most of this period photographers have continued to produce new and better images. The cost of production has not declined.

What Happened To Photoshot?

By Jim Pickerell | 294 Words | Posted 6/22/2017 | Comments (1)
Photographers represented by the Photoshot in the United Kingdom tell me that they are having trouble getting responses to their emails and there has been no payment for a long time.

CEPIC 2017 Takeaways

By Jim Pickerell | 1382 Words | Posted 6/21/2017 | Comments (1)
I’ve just returned from the 2017 CEPIC Congress in Berlin. Here are eight of my takeaways from the conference.

New CEPIC Executive Board (2017-2019)

By Jim Pickerell | 64 Words | Posted 6/21/2017 | Comments
On June 14th a new CEPIC executive board was elected to serve two years terms. Alfonso Gutierrez of AGE Fotostock, current president of CEPIC was elected to another two year term.

MEGA Expands Staff in US, UK and Germany

By Jim Pickerell | 340 Words | Posted 6/21/2017 | Comments
The MEGA Agency has expanded its staff in the US, UK and Germany to cope with the companies rapid growth. CEO Tom Tramborg said, “Our growth since launch has been phenomenal, so we are hiring new staff to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for Mega images.”

What Is A Premium Image?

By Jim Pickerell | 927 Words | Posted 6/20/2017 | Comments
Many of the attendees at the CEPIC Congress are working to produce a collection of more “Premium” images as a way to set themselves apart from the massive collections produced to a great extent by amateur contributors. To do this they are editing tighter and separating out images of the highest “quality” and production values. The argument for this is that there are still customers willing to pay higher prices for better quality, unique images with top quality models and great production values.

Photography At The New York Times

By Jim Pickerell | 445 Words | Posted 6/19/2017 | Comments
The New York Times 2020 Group published a report in January 2017 that said its daily reporting needed to become more visual. In April it was reported the day rate for freelance assignments would jump from a previous $200 to $250 (according to some contributors) to $450, with shorter assignments “that don’t meet the full day-rate requirement” paying out at $300, still higher than the previous full day rate.

Adobe Stock Adds Reuters, USA Today, and Stocksy Content

By Jim Pickerell | 493 Words | Posted 6/16/2017 | Comments
Adobe Stock has announced new partnerships that will bolster its collection: news images from Reuters; sports photos from USA Today; 400,000 images from Stocksy.

Getty Images Signs Drone Content Deal

By Jim Pickerell | 157 Words | Posted 6/16/2017 | Comments
Getty Images has announced an exclusive content distribution deal with drone pilot platform DroneBase. Beginning with over 200 creative video assets, the partnership will expand to include 360 stills and video and virtual-reality content.

Future Growth Potential For Stock Video

By Jim Pickerell | 818 Words | Posted 6/8/2017 | Comments
One of the big questions in today’s stock photo industry is the future potential for stock video use. Recently, the Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA) conducted a webinar on this subject. A video is available here.

Learning What To Shoot

By Jim Pickerell | 1322 Words | Posted 6/6/2017 | Comments (1)
Stock photo agents tend to resist supplying photographers with much information about the specific images customers license. I would like to look back to the 1980s and 1990s and remind them how such information helped agencies grow their businesses and photographers produce more of what customers really wanted to buy.

U.S. Newspaper Future

By Jim Pickerell | 406 Words | Posted 6/5/2017 | Comments
According to Pew Research Center the combined print and digital U.S. daily newspaper circulation fell an estimated 8% to 35 million and 38 million for Sunday, the lowest levels since 1945.

InMagine Closing

By Jim Pickerell | 281 Words | Posted 6/2/2017 | Comments
InMagine has announced to its contributors that it will be shutting down its website on 30 September 2017 and will no longer be distributing your images, vectors and/or video on our website after that date.

Open Letter To CEPIC Attendees

By Jim Pickerell | 530 Words | Posted 6/2/2017 | Comments
In less than two weeks representatives from the major stock photo agencies and distributors from around the world will be meeting at the CEPIC Congress in Berlin. The stock photo industry has changed dramatically in the last decade or two and faces major challenges as it moves ahead.

Important Stock Photo Industry Issues

By Jim Pickerell | 153 Words | Posted 6/2/2017 | Comments
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.

Production Shoots: Staying In Budget

By Jim Pickerell | 368 Words | Posted 5/31/2017 | Comments
As prices for the use of stock photos decline it becomes important to find ways to cut overhead and production costs in order to earn a profit from your efforts.  If you’re a photographer, living in New York or Western Europe, and looking to for ways to reduce the costs of studio production shoots with multiple models you might want to consider flying to Kiev, Ukraine.

What Sells: Part Two

By Jim Pickerell | 895 Words | Posted 5/29/2017 | Comments
In a comment to my previous story, Sarah Fix of Blend Images pointed out that technology solutions alone may not provide photographers with the information they need to make the most productive use of their time and resources.

What Sells?

By Jim Pickerell | 1038 Words | Posted 5/26/2017 | Comments (1)
A fundamental flaw with stock photography as a business is that producers have little or no access to the data necessary to understand demand. In most any other business the producer has some idea of what is selling and how much demand there is for the particular product.

PantherMedia Launches Premium RF and RM Option

By Jim Pickerell | 394 Words | Posted 5/25/2017 | Comments
PantherMedia announces the launch of its Premium Collection to potential contributors around the world. Inspired by the Panther DNA their Premium Collection aspires to have an identifiable unique spirit that combines elegance and strength with a touch of danger.

Trending Search Terms

By Jim Pickerell | 51 Words | Posted 5/25/2017 | Comments
In one of its recent promotions directed to customers, Getty Images has identified three trending search terms, Mismatch, Heroines and Internet of Things. See what images you find using these terms.

Where Are Shutterstocks Most Productive Contributors Located?

By Jim Pickerell | 733 Words | Posted 5/24/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has released its 2017 Contributor Earnings report, which features it’s milestone of having paid out over $500 million in the 13 years since 2004 to the Company's global community of over 225,000 photographers, illustrators, digital artists, and videographers.

Depositphotos Opens Lightfield Studios

By Jim Pickerell | 288 Words | Posted 5/24/2017 | Comments
Depositphotos has opened Lightfield Studios the biggest photography studio in Eastern Europe. With this launch, Depositphotos expands its services to include a first-class photography studio, available for rent, for creative professionals from all over the world.

80% Of Illegal Image Uses Are Found Through Search Engines

By Jim Pickerell | 529 Words | Posted 5/23/2017 | Comments
According to a survey conducted by the European CEPIC industry association, 85% of the images found by visual search systems are illegal copies. 80% of these illegal images were distributed through search engines like the Google image search.

Virtual Reality In Real Estate

By Jim Pickerell | 321 Words | Posted 5/23/2017 | Comments
According to MediaPost’s IoT Daily, the Real Estate industry is moving into Virtual Reality. It may be an opportunity for stock photographers looking for a way to diversify their businesses.

Is RM Still A Viable Business Model?

By Jim Pickerell | 975 Words | Posted 5/19/2017 | Comments
Is Rights Managed(RM) licensing still a viable business model if your goal is to earn the maximum from your image collection? For most image creators the answer is clearly NO, particularly if part of the deal is to place your images exclusively with a single RM distributor.

Earning Revenue From Non-Selling Images

By Jim Pickerell | 672 Words | Posted 5/18/2017 | Comments
Many of the non-sellers are very good images and would sell if customers only had a chance to see them. Back in January in as story entitled “How Can Shutterstock Grow Revenue?” I outlined an idea for a two-tier pricing system that could not only work for Shutterstock, but many other distributors with large collections, and grow their revenue, even if there is no increase in the number of images downloaded.

Photographee.eu: Stock Photo Production Company

By Jim Pickerell | 1452 Words | Posted 5/17/2017 | Comments
I wrote about the huge percentage of images being produced by a relatively small number of large production companies. Let me examine in some detail how one of these companies operates. Photographee.eu is a microstock production company in Lodz, Poland. It is owned and operated by Kasia and Lech Bialasiewicz. Lodz is Poland’s 3rd largest city located right in the middle of the country. According to the microstock.top list of Shutterstock suppliers photographee.eu is its 157th largest collection (out of over 190,000) with over 76,000 images at Shutterstock. These same images are marketed through multiple distributors.

Locating Major Stock Image Producers

By Jim Pickerell | 729 Words | Posted 5/15/2017 | Comments
Where are the major producers of stock images located? One might expect then to live in New York, London, Los Angeles and Berlin near where the major customers. We also must not forget San Francisco, Seattle and Calgary. Think again.

Adobe Visual Trends: Purpose Over Beauty

By Jim Pickerell | 305 Words | Posted 5/15/2017 | Comments
Adobe Stock has released a new Visual Trends report on Purpose Over Beauty based on studying images in more than 75 million social engagements. They found that a lack of content that makes a powerful statement cannot be disguised by pretty packaging.

Blend Free Shoot

By Jim Pickerell | 323 Words | Posted 5/10/2017 | Comments (1)
Blend has launched a promotion they call “Monthly Free Shoot.” Each month they will offer their customers all the images from one entire Premium Royalty Free shoot for unlimited, absolutely FREE use, according to the standard RF license.

EyeEm Expands Into Video

By Jim Pickerell | 441 Words | Posted 5/10/2017 | Comments
On May 9, EyeEm announced the launch of EyeEm Videography Early Creator program a stock video platform that will use the same artificial intelligence that powers the still-image option to automatically keyword and organize videos. Current EyeEm users can upload clips between 5 and 40 seconds long as the platform prepares to completely integrate video into the EyeEm platform later this year. The company has already tested the system by invitation-only, with selected users submitting video in the aerial, urban, travel, food, and nature categories.

Pearson Education: Further Cuts Ahead

By Jim Pickerell | 299 Words | Posted 5/8/2017 | Comments
Pearson has begun “a strategic review” of its U.S. school publishing business which has been a drag on growth due to intense competition. Their goal is to speed up the company’s transition to a slimmer, more digital group. They intend to either sell, or seek a joint venture partner, for their schoolbooks division that represents about 8% or £360 ($466) million of the company’s business.

European Photo Assns vs Google Images

By Jim Pickerell | 285 Words | Posted 5/8/2017 | Comments
A meeting between Google Germany and the German Association of Picture Agencies, BVPA is set for May 9, 2017 in Google’s Berlin office. On Thursday, May 11, 2017 the French trade association of "online content publishers", GESTE, has called their members to a "working meeting" to look into the impact on traffic of the new features of Google Images on the websites of GESTE's members. Reports of both meetings will be available on CEPIC.org.

Enterprise Customers: Are They Good For Creators

By Jim Pickerell | 1425 Words | Posted 5/5/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock makes a big deal about expanding its number of Enterprise customers. The last number they reported for Enterprise customers was 36,000 and just this week they said that Enterprise customers generate 32% of their revenue ($41.6 million for Q1 2017). Getty has an Enterprise program for its best customers which they call Premium Access. We have no idea how many customers fall into this category, but based on examining photographer sales reports my guess is that it is at least as many as Shutterstock, and probably more. A few years ago Getty said that any customer that spent $6,000 a year with them could qualify for Premium Access. I suspect that number is much lower now.

Stock Video: Erickson’s New Marketing Strategy

By Jim Pickerell | 301 Words | Posted 5/4/2017 | Comments
Jim Erickson has adopted a new marketing strategy for selling stock video. Instead of just offering clips he has created powerful, intimate and compelling prepackaged video stories, with narration, on themes related to healthcare and seniors. On his newly re-launched site he has 15 stories. More stories and themes are expected soon.

Cultura Supplies RM To PantherMedia

By Jim Pickerell | 228 Words | Posted 5/4/2017 | Comments
Cultura RM is the first RM Collection to join PantherMedia after the company announced its new Rights Managed licensing strategy last month.

Shutterstock Q1 2017 Financial Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1235 Words | Posted 5/3/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported Q1 2017 revenue of $130.2 million. This revenue was up 12% from Q1 2016, but exactly the same as revenue in Q4 2016. Revenue per download increased 7% from $2.77 in Q1 2016 to about $2.96. Revenue per download in Q4 2016 was $3.02. At the end of the quarter there were 132 million images in the collection and 6.9 million video clips. This was up from 116.2 million images at the end of 2016.

The Mega Agency Partners With New York Post

By Jim Pickerell | 344 Words | Posted 5/3/2017 | Comments
The Mega Agency has signed an exclusive syndication partnership with the New York Post, one of the most famous names in the American publishing world.

Raising Stock Photo Prices

By Jim Pickerell | 548 Words | Posted 4/28/2017 | Comments
Here’s a way to raise prices without too much pain on anyone. Forget about raising prices on the top end sales. Instead, raise them a little bit at the bottom end. I recently examined licenses of some major suppliers to Getty Images and iStock. They received a royalty of less than $10 on 95% for the licenses. The average gross license fee of these lower end transactions was $5.12. Suppose instead of raising prices overall agencies add just a little bit to the gross license fee for their lowest priced licenses. 

Role of Product Costs In Negotiations

By Jim Pickerell | 706 Words | Posted 4/28/2017 | Comments
When most companies enter into negotiations with customers on the price of a product they usually know exactly what it costs them to product. In most cases they tend to not want to give away the product for less than it costs to produce. In the stock photo business usually have no idea what it costs to produce the product they are selling. They only know that they will have to give the creator a small percentage of what they are able to charge the customer. They have no idea if that is enough to cover the creators cost of production.

Videoblocks Gives Still Photo Producers 100% Royalties

By Jim Pickerell | 890 Words | Posted 4/27/2017 | Comments
VideoBlocks is now accepting images for its new artist-friendly stock Photo Marketplace that will reward photo contributors with 100 percent commission from their sales. That 100% is $3.99 per still image download less third-party fees (like credit card charges) incurred when processing the transactions. Seeing this price many photographers may reject the offer out of hand. But, this is a very different business model from traditional stock agency businesses. Instead of paying a percentage royalty, contributors receive the full amount that the customer pays to use their work.

Natural History Museum Showcases Unique Collection

By Jim Pickerell | 367 Words | Posted 4/27/2017 | Comments
The Natural History Museum is showcasing its award-winning imagery including its Wildlife of the Year content at fotofringe 2017 in London. NHM has chosen Capture Ltd as its partner in bringing the extraordinary collection to market.

Copyright Bill Passes

By Jim Pickerell | 92 Words | Posted 4/27/2017 | Comments
If you think nothing ever happens in Congress, you’re wrong! On April 26th the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1695, a bill that proposes making the Register of Copyrights a Presidential appointee, confirmed by the Senate. This is a first step toward modernizing the U.S. Copyright Office.

Panther Media Adds Rights Managed Licensing Option

By Jim Pickerell | 262 Words | Posted 4/26/2017 | Comments
Panther Media has introduced a new approach to Rights Managed licensing and is opening the door to some really special photography. “We always had a clear position on the subject of rights managed licensing”, says Tomas Speight, CEO of Panther Media GmbH, “we would only ever do it if we could make it so easy it doesn’t need explaining”.

Adobe Adds New Contributor Tools

By Jim Pickerell | 290 Words | Posted 4/26/2017 | Comments
Adobe Stock has added new tools to make the image creation process easier and provide  more efficient ways to upload and submit photo, video or other assets to Adobe Stock.

Alamy Contract Changes

By Jim Pickerell | 113 Words | Posted 4/26/2017 | Comments
As of April 26, 2017 Alamy has made contract changes that will be of interest to contributors. Most notably they will now pay contributors monthly whenever the Cleared Funds in the contributor’s account exceeds US $50. Previously, contributors were not paid until their Cleared Funds exceeded $US $75.

Protect Copyright: Add Your Voice

By Jim Pickerell | 139 Words | Posted 4/20/2017 | Comments (1)
Here’s a simple thing every photographer and stock agent can do to protect their copyright. Tell Congress to Vote “Yes” on H.R. 1695 – a bill to Modernize the U.S. Copyright office. It will take you less than 5 minutes. Go to http://copyrightalliance.org/get-involved/add-your-voice/ . Click on “Take Action.” The Copyrightalliance will ask for your zip code and then your name and address. Once you’ve input that information your name will be added to a pre-written letter to your Congressperson. It’s that simple!

Is There A Better Subscription Strategy?

By Jim Pickerell | 946 Words | Posted 4/19/2017 | Comments
Getty Images has been focusing on growing its subscription business. The theory is that subscriptions will make customers more dependent on the company for their future needs.  Currently, subscriptions represent 37% to 38% of Getty’s Creative Revenue and about 50% of Editorial Revenue.

Adobe Announces Partnership With Pond5

By Jim Pickerell | 478 Words | Posted 4/19/2017 | Comments
Adobe Stock has announced a partnership with Pond5, further expanding the video offerings in Adobe Stock. Sourced from an international community of artists across a mix of modern, highly sought after content themes, such as lifestyle, recreation, sports, cinematic and aerial footage, the addition of the Pond5 video library will give video producers and designers access to one of the industry’s largest and fastest-growing collections – all natively integrated into Creative Cloud applications.

Mike Watson: Where Is Stock Headed

By Jim Pickerell | 63 Words | Posted 4/19/2017 | Comments
What can photographers and stock agencies do about pricing and the shift of revenues from photographers to a few huge platforms? Mike Watson says, “It’s unlikely that the major platforms will change their practices and the all-you-can-eat deals will continue. It’s time for photographers and independent agencies to unite and talk directly to their customers.” Read his whole blog post on the robertharding blog.

Getty Turns The Corner

By Jim Pickerell | 590 Words | Posted 4/17/2017 | Comments
From and investors point of view, Getty may have turned the corner. However, this may not benefit image creators, particularly those from North America and the Western Europe. It is my understanding that gross revenue in 2016 was about $840 million, up about 4% from around $808 million in 2015. Until 2016, Getty’s revenue declined steadily for about three years as they struggled to get their prices in line with their major competitor, Shutterstock.

North American And Western Europe Production Declining

By Jim Pickerell | 1031 Words | Posted 4/14/2017 | Comments
Who is producing the majority of stock images that get used? Based on Shutterstock’s 2014 and 2015 financial reports about 37% of the company’s gross revenue came from North America, 35% from Europe and 28% from the rest of the world. Given these numbers it seems reasonable to assume that since North America and Western Europe seem to be where most stock images are used that is probably where most are produced. Back in the 90s and early 00s that may have been the case, but no longer.

Photo Conferences

By Jim Pickerell | 2805 Words | Posted 4/13/2017 | Comments
Each year there are three important events where representatives of stock photo agencies get together to share information – CEPIC, DMLA and Visual Connections. These events are also good places for photographers to meet stock agents and get a better understanding of industry trends.

15% Royalties At Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 759 Words | Posted 4/12/2017 | Comments
Get ready for 15% royalties. Getty has contacted some European agencies that supply the company with Royalty Free images for its Creative collection and told them that when their current contracts expire they will be terminated unless they agree to accept a 15% royalty.

Masterfile Restructures Its Business

By Jim Pickerell | 890 Words | Posted 4/7/2017 | Comments
Masterfile has filed a formal Proposal to Creditors under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Canada ("BIA"). This is not a bankruptcy. The Proposal process will provide Masterfile the opportunity to restructure its business with the objective of returning to profitability. This process is similar to a Chapter 11 filing in the USA.

NY Times Raises Day Rates

By Jim Pickerell | 198 Words | Posted 4/7/2017 | Comments (1)
According to Around The Lens sources close to the New York Times have confirmed that the paper will begin paying freelance photographers a day rate of $450, more the double the $200 they’re currently paying. For shorter shoots, or those that don’t meet the full day-rate requirement, the rate will be $300, still more than the previous full day rate.

Shutterstock To Showcase The Glamour Of The Met Gala

By Jim Pickerell | 300 Words | Posted 4/6/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. announced today that it will again offer comprehensive coverage at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Benefit, more commonly known as The Met Gala. This premier annual event of the fashion industry will be held on Monday, May 1st at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Among the attendees will be prominent and prestigious names in entertainment, fashion, sports, and business.

Questions Agencies Should Be Asking

By Jim Pickerell | 593 Words | Posted 4/4/2017 | Comments
Here is a list of 13 questions agencies should consider asking themselves. They might even want to consider asking their top producing photographers and illustrators questions 3, 4 and 7.

Global Still Image Market Growth Trends: According To Technavio

By Jim Pickerell | 904 Words | Posted 4/3/2017 | Comments
Technavio, a leading global market research company headquartered in London, has released its annual report on the Global Still Image Market, looking ahead five years to 2021. They say: “Technavio analysts forecast the global still images market to grow to USD 4.46 billion by 2021, at a CAGR of close to 8% over the forecast period."

123RF Looking To Go Public

By Jim Pickerell | 1018 Words | Posted 4/3/2017 | Comments
Andy Sitt, the Malaysian founder of 123RF, is seeking to raise the profile of his Chicago-headquartered stock image and design business among funds and investors in hopes of launching an initial public offering (IPO) within the next 12 to 18 months. "We're at that stage where we have to think of the next stage of the company and I believe that the next stage would be some form of exit. So (profiling the company) is more towards building it for a potential IPO," Sitt told DEALSTREETASIA.

Topic Images Acquired By PIXTA

By Jim Pickerell | 342 Words | Posted 3/30/2017 | Comments
PIXTA Inc. in Japan has acquired 80% of the outstanding stock of Topic Images Inc. of Korea from its parent companies, NEWSIS Co., Ltd. and NEWS1 Co., Ltd. for 130 million JPY ($1,164,780). The transaction took place on Feb 24, 2017. Topic has been selling high-priced stock images mainly in Korea, producing many of them by itself.  Topic is now a subsidiary of PIXTA and will receive PIXTA’s strong support for its business operation. However, Topic is continuously conducting its own business as an existing company.

Good News For Copyright Holders

By Jim Pickerell | 590 Words | Posted 3/29/2017 | Comments (1)
The House Judiciary Committee has passed the amended “Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act” (H.R. 1695) by an overwhelming majority of 27-1. Key provisions of the act makes the Copyright Office an independent agency under the Legislative Branch with no connection to the Library of Congress and creates a Small Claims Court System for pursuing infringements.

Fake News And Stock Photography

By Jim Pickerell | 1239 Words | Posted 3/27/2017 | Comments (1)
A writer for the Boston Globe asked me to discuss the role, if any, that stock photos plays in fake news. “Can or should the stock photo industry do anything to curb the use of its photos on fake news sites.” Stock photography is not “Fake.” This is not to say that there aren’t some photos that are designed to be outright distortions of the truth, but the vast majority of stock photos are taken with the hope of showing an actual event or something that illustrates real life.

Similar Content

By Jim Pickerell | 448 Words | Posted 3/24/2017 | Comments (1)
Shutterstock may have decided the loading up of their collection with “Similar Content” may have gotten out of hand and may not be benefiting customers. They have recently changed their editing strategy and issued a notice to contributors saying, “Submitting subtle variations of the same image can be considered content spamming and is not permitted. We continuously evaluate our collection and remove images that do not meet our policies.”

Multi-Tier Pricing Model

By Jim Pickerell | 946 Words | Posted 3/22/2017 | Comments
Given the declines in stock photo prices, it may be time for the industry to look for a new image pricing strategy. Yesterday I made an argument for why the industry needs to price based on performance, or demand for certain images. There also needs to be a price floor for certain images that are in greater demand. Price should have little, if anything, to do with whether the image is exclusive or non-exclusive.

Pricing Stock Photos

By Jim Pickerell | 1090 Words | Posted 3/21/2017 | Comments (1)
A professional stock photographer has pointed out to me that a long held tactic to price a premium brand of anything is that a higher price indicates higher quality. He argued this is why some photographers insist on selling their images as Rights Managed. They believe they are producing a higher quality product. They often go to a great deal of effort and expense to produce their images. As a result, they feel they are not only justified in charging more, but that it is the only way they can recover their production costs.

RightSmith: Exclusive, Global Provider Of Amazing Race Footage

By Jim Pickerell | 472 Words | Posted 3/21/2017 | Comments
RightSmith Group, specialists in the licensing and management of high-value media archives, has partnered with Profiles Television, creator of The Amazing Race, to commercialize its enormous archive of stunning stock footage from the world-renowned TV series. Hundreds of hours of pristine footage covering more than 85 countries is now exclusively available for licensing by creative professionals via the RightSmith content licensing portal.

Does The Stock Industry Need Western Creators?

By Jim Pickerell | 925 Words | Posted 3/17/2017 | Comments
I’ve been doing a little more thinking about some of the implication of the story I wrote on Monday. As an American I had assumed that image creators who only earn a few thousand a year from their creative work couldn’t possibly be supporting themselves from the images or illustration they produce. Therefore, I had concluded that they must be amateurs. That may not be the case.

How the Internet Is Saving Culture, Not Killing It

By Jim Pickerell | 204 Words | Posted 3/17/2017 | Comments
Stock photo sellers and producers should read the New York Times story “How the Internet Is Saving Culture, Not Killing It”  (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/16/learning/questions-for-how-the-internet-is-saving-culture-not-killing-it.html?_r=0 ) The story makes the argument that increasingly Internet users are willing to pay for certain content and no longer expecting that everything they find on the Internet should be free.

Dreamstime Integrates AI and Machine Learning

By Jim Pickerell | 590 Words | Posted 3/16/2017 | Comments
Dreamstime, has announced the implementation of a proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) system that uses sophisticated algorithms to screen submitted images. The machine learning tool is designed to examine how human editors at Dreamstime review images, and then adjust its parameters to best match the editors' various criteria

Shutterstock Signs Exclusive Deal With World Surf League

By Jim Pickerell | 273 Words | Posted 3/16/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has announced that it has signed an exclusive global distribution deal with World Surf League (WSL) to market and license imagery from WSL’s Championship Tour and Big Wave Tour Events. The deal also includes WSL’s extensive archive, showcasing thousands of pivotal moments from competitive surfing history.

Real vs Arranged Photos

By Jim Pickerell | 830 Words | Posted 3/14/2017 | Comments
There is a lot of noise about the demand for photos that are “natural,” “candid” and more “realistic shots of real people” rather than the carefully arranged, high production value photos that have been best sellers in the stock photo industry for many years.

Stock Photo Production: Eastern Europe, Asia Dominate

By Jim Pickerell | 1030 Words | Posted 3/13/2017 | Comments
Thanks to information supplied by microstock.top concerning Shutterstock contributors and information from Nationmaster.com regarding the average 2014 monthly salary from 162 countries, it is possible to get a better understanding of why more than 60% of the images in the Shutterstock collection are provided by Eastern European and Asian creators.

Shutterstock Provides Curated Collection For Amazon’s Customized Prints

By Jim Pickerell | 169 Words | Posted 3/9/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock has announced the availability of a curated collection of images within Amazon's newly launched Posters & Prints program. A dedicated Shutterstock storefront on Amazon will give customers access to thousands of images that they can select to have printed and delivered - all without leaving Amazon.

MEGA Introduces "Cash Out' System For Contributors

By Jim Pickerell | 427 Words | Posted 3/9/2017 | Comments
The Mega Agency, a provider of news, sports and entertainment content, has announced the launch of a revolutionary payment system that allows content providers to ‘cash-out’ on their media sales the moment content has been licensed to select customers.

Dissolve Supplying Free Footage For Pro Bono Projects

By Jim Pickerell | 264 Words | Posted 3/7/2017 | Comments
Dissolve has provided its contributors with information about a special marketing campaign - Dissolve for a Cause - it has launched. Under this program, agencies and studios working on pro bono projects may apply to receive up to $2,500 in royalty-free footage or photography.

Raising Stock Photo Prices

By Jim Pickerell | 1105 Words | Posted 3/6/2017 | Comments
In the next few months I intend spend a lot of time examining the question, “Can the stock photo industry raise prices on at least some of the images it offers?” The possible answers to that question are either YES, NO or MAYBE.

Stock Photography: An Amateur Business

By Jim Pickerell | 862 Words | Posted 3/6/2017 | Comments (1)
Can the stock photo industry survive if it is only a business of amateur suppliers? It is certainly on road to becoming that business. Gross sale rates have declined so much that most photographers who need revenue from the images they produce to support themselves and their business can no longer justify continued production. (Check out stories here and here.

Basic Math At Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 2685 Words | Posted 3/2/2017 | Comments
Getty’s ESP system for supplying information about their sales to iStock contributors certainly offers much more information than was previously available. Unfortunately, this information may point to an overpayments problem. It all revolves around cancelled sales.

Employment Opportunity: Frans Lanting Studio

By Jim Pickerell | 127 Words | Posted 3/2/2017 | Comments
Frans Lanting, one of the world's foremost nature photographers, is looking to hire a DIGITAL ASSET MANAGER. See this article for core responsibilities and contact information

Shutterstock Editorial Clarification

By Jim Pickerell | 136 Words | Posted 3/2/2017 | Comments
In the article “Understanding Editorial At Shutterstock” I reported on a London photographer had to find uses of his images and report the uses to Shutterstock in order to be paid. Shutterstock provided a clarification pointing out that they use the same procedures as other editorial agencies to track usages of their images.

Shutterstock Royalty Rates: Is There A Disconnect?

By Jim Pickerell | 484 Words | Posted 2/28/2017 | Comments (2)
It is worth looking at recent Shutterstock statistics. In the conference call yesterday Shutterstock said they had over 190,000 contributors at the end of 2016. In 2016 Shutterstock paid out about $138.400,000 to contributors. If we divide the total number of images in the collection (116,200,000) into contributor royalties on average contributors received $1.19 per-image in the collection for the full year.

What Are “Real Photos?”

By Jim Pickerell | 1551 Words | Posted 2/28/2017 | Comments
Recently, I was contacted by a Business School student who is developing an app that “will be used by internet publication firms, as well amateur and professional photographers.” He asked if I would provide some insight into the industry, specifically on topics such as photographer compensation, and the market share of "real photo’s" vs. stock photos. Here’s my response.

Microstock.top - Shutterstock Data

By Jim Pickerell | 423 Words | Posted 2/28/2017 | Comments
Back in February 2016 microstock.top began using archive.org/web/ to search thousands of creator portfolio pages at www.shutterstock.com and record the data. This is not hacking, fishing, use of an API or insider information. These pages are accessible to everyone.

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About This Site

This stock photography news site focuses on the business side of photography with a special emphasis on stock photography. Our goal is to help photographers maximize their earnings based on the quality of their work and the commitment they are prepared to make to the trade. The information provided will be applicable to part-timers as well as full time professional photographers. We’ll leave it to others to teach photographers how to take better pictures.

Jim Pickerell launched his career as a photographer in 1963. In 1990 he began publishing a regular newsletter on stock photography. In 1995 the information was made available online as well as in print and was gradually expanded to a daily service. Click here for Pickerell's full biography.

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