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High-Level Thoughts On Stock Industry

By Jim Pickerell | 1831 Words | Posted 12/2/2016 | Comments (1)
An investment portfolio manager recently asked me to spend five minutes giving my “high-level thoughts on the (stock photo) industry outlook, competitive dynamics and emerging trends.” I couldn’t do it in anywhere near five minutes. Here are my high-level thoughts.

Splash Sold Again

By Jim Pickerell | 228 Words | Posted 12/2/2016 | Comments
Celebrity photo agency Splash News was sold to Corbis in 2011 and has now been acquired by SilverHub Media. SilverHub Media recently did an exclusive deal with Shutterstock for worldwide representation of the images in its collection. Thus, the Splash images should now be available through Shutterstock.

Sherman Grinberg Film Library Joins Footage.net   

By Jim Pickerell | 442 Words | Posted 12/1/2016 | Comments
Footage.net, the stock, archival and news footage search engine, has announce that preview clips from the Sherman Grinberg Film Library are available for viewing through Footage.net.

Emaji Acquires 86.6 Percent Of Frampool

By Jim Pickerell | 366 Words | Posted 11/30/2016 | Comments
Emaji, Inc. a publicly traded development stage company based in Irvine, CA has announced the acquisition of 86.6 percent of the outstanding shares of Framepool AG (www.framepool.com), a leading distributor of stock footage with headquarters in Munich, Germany.

Image Supply: Are There Problems?

By Jim Pickerell | 949 Words | Posted 11/28/2016 | Comments (1)
Many Shutterstock investors see the steadily rising number of images in the Shutterstock collection and the number of new content creators being added each quarter and come to the conclusion that there is no problem on the supply side of the stock photo business. But, having more and more product is not enough. It needs to be the right product that fulfills the customer’s needs. And the right images need to be easy for each unique customer to find.

Bridgeman Images To Represent The British Library

By Jim Pickerell | 181 Words | Posted 11/28/2016 | Comments
Bridgeman Images is proud and excited to have won the tender for the exclusive representation of the British Library content in the UK. Bridgeman Images has worked for the British Library for many years across all our offices. We are delighted to have been appointed for all commercial and editorial licensing with the exception of branded products and scholarly uses which will remain with the British Library.

Black Friday

By Jim Pickerell | 127 Words | Posted 11/25/2016 | Comments
Let’s see if we can sell a few images for less. Check out the offers from Deposit Photos, 500px, ImageSource and Dreamstime.

Getty Unification Delay

By Jim Pickerell | 581 Words | Posted 11/25/2016 | Comments
A month after the Getty’s initial announcement of its Unification Project Getty has announced that “Due to the complexity of the work required (in the iStock Royalties and Unification Project) we are pushing back most of the changes by about a month.”

Haystack: New Image Search Strategy

By Jim Pickerell | 740 Words | Posted 11/23/2016 | Comments
In an effort to make it easier for art directors to find the right image quickly Haystack has launched a site that lets users search multiple agency sites simultaneously. Andrew Rowat and technology developer Vache Asatryan created Haystack and call their site the kayak.com for licensing images. They have 19 collections on the site already and say they will be adding a number of additional agency sites in the near future.

Getty Unification: Image Ingestion

By Jim Pickerell | 607 Words | Posted 11/23/2016 | Comments
Once Getty’s Unification Project is fully implemented one of the issues Getty and iStock photographers will need to consider is where to upload new images in order to minimize effort and maximize sales and revenue.

Is Going After Unauthorized Uses Worth It?

By Jim Pickerell | 1966 Words | Posted 11/22/2016 | Comments (1)
After looking at their sales reports, an increasing number of photographers are deciding that it no longer makes sense to produce new images. At the same time, they are aware that many of the images that they produced years ago are being used very widely across the Internet without their permission. Some are saying, “Maybe, rather than producing new images, it is better to spend my time chasing infringements of the images I have already created.”

Big Data: Is Anyone In The Stock Industry Paying Attention?

By Jim Pickerell | 1511 Words | Posted 11/18/2016 | Comments
The buzz word in the world today is “Big Data” and how it is going to improve everything. But in the stock photo business are the major agencies are really examining the data they have collected? If they were I think they would be more worried about their future and doing a lot of things differently. I don’t see that happening.

Making Up For Declining Stock Photo Sales

By Jim Pickerell | 1142 Words | Posted 11/16/2016 | Comments
As I pointed out in a previous article I recently contacted a number of very successful photographers who, in the 90s, earned most, if not all, of their income from stock photography. After 2000, and despite a lot of continuing hard work and cost cutting, many saw significant earning declines and eventually had to look for something other ways to support themselves and their families.

Shutterstock Does Exclusive Deal With SilverHub Media

By Jim Pickerell | 424 Words | Posted 11/16/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has signed an exclusive deal to distribute SilverHub Media’s growing collection of imagery worldwide.

Cautionary Tale

By Jim Pickerell | 722 Words | Posted 11/15/2016 | Comments (3)
If you think hard work, and continuing to produce better and better images is all that’s needed to make money in the stock photography business, think again. Here’s the story of one very successful photographer who started in the business in the late 1970s and how the last 16 years have impacted his business.

PicturEngine Empowers Agencies, Designers and Photographers with One Search

By Jim Pickerell | 441 Words | Posted 11/14/2016 | Comments (1)
PicturEngine has gone public with a promotion to the 95% of design professionals that use stock photography. For the first time, buyers looking for a comprehensive all-in-one search tool can review and license photography from all industry sources – and get no duplicates.

Dissolve Launches New Footage Collections

By Jim Pickerell | 412 Words | Posted 11/11/2016 | Comments
Dissolve, the stock footage and photography provider, today announced the launch of three new premium stock footage collections, Dissolve Filmmaker™, Dissolve Auteur™, and Dissolve Elements™. The clips are available now for licensing and use in movie, TV, and commercial projects.

Free Image Use: Is It Indicative Of What Paying Customers Will Buy?

By Jim Pickerell | 516 Words | Posted 11/10/2016 | Comments
Dreamstime, with over 50 million stock images, and more than 16 million users has added 10,000 new images to its now 20,000 image library of free images available at www.dreamstime.com/free-photos.?? Dreamstime also uses artificial intelligence-driven data from its companion site Stockfreeimages.com to dynamically adjust recommended image content based on user preferences.

Getty Partners With ITN For Footage Distribution

By Jim Pickerell | 425 Words | Posted 11/10/2016 | Comments
ITN, the UK’s leading supplier of independent broadcast news has agreed a multi-year partnership with Getty Images, to license and distribute its award-winning news archive around the world from mid-2017. The distribution agreement will see over one million clips spanning more than 60 years of iconic news footage reach an even larger audience through Getty Images’ industry-leading global platform and expert international sales team servicing millions of buyers in nearly 200 countries.

What’s Next At Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 1057 Words | Posted 11/9/2016 | Comments
The Getty Unification Project that creates common platforms where both iStock and Getty Images contributors can upload their images and bring them into the Getty marketing system opens the door for a lot of potential new changes. If, or when, any of the following issues will come to fruition is unclear. But, Getty or iStock contributors and anyone considering offering images to either of these companies should consider the implications of these possible changes.

What’s Selling At ImageBrief

By Jim Pickerell | 279 Words | Posted 11/9/2016 | Comments
In a recent promotion ImageBrief sent out a link to its “What’s Selling” collection. This is a hand picked subset of sold images specifically organized for photographers who have asked for insights into the type of images clients are buying.

iStock Unification: What’s It Mean For Contributors?

By Jim Pickerell | 1584 Words | Posted 11/8/2016 | Comments
With Getty’s announcement in late October of the Unification Timeline that is due to take effect January 3, 2017 most iStock contributors have focused on the fact that the minimum guaranteed royalty for a subscription download would be $0.02.

Chasing Infringements

By Jim Pickerell | 915 Words | Posted 11/7/2016 | Comments (1)
ImageRights monitors use of the work of more than 8,000 professional photographers and photo agencies worldwide to assist them in ensuring that their intellectual property rights are protected.  Notable clients include Magnum Photos, CPi Syndication, Nunn Syndication Ltd., Playboy Enterprises, and Lickerish Ltd.

Shutterstock Q3 2016 Financial Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1711 Words | Posted 11/4/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported Q3 2016 revenue of $123.1 million up 15% from $107.3 million compared to Q3 2015. The growth is due mainly to new customers and increased activity by enterprise clients. The average price per download during the quarter was $2.91, up from $2.76 in Q3 2015 and from $2.81 in Q2 2016. There were 41.2 million paid downloads in the quarter and 102.7 million still images and illustrations in the collection at the end of the quarter up 61% from 63.7 million a year ago.

Getty Launches Verbatim

By Jim Pickerell | 374 Words | Posted 11/3/2016 | Comments
Getty Images has launched a new commercial assignments venture, Verbatim and is dedicating focus, resource and its world-leading photo expertise to capture the opportunity within the commercial sector to bring authentic visual storytelling to the fore.

Shutterstock’s Distributes AM Stock-Cameo Film Library

By Jim Pickerell | 252 Words | Posted 11/3/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock has announced an exclusive three-year agreement with AM Stock-Cameo to make more than 60,000 HD clips available to Shutterstock users. This robust, diverse library features aerial footage, explosions, driving plates, and shots of hospitals, military bases, schools, and more. This is essential footage for transition and establishing shots.

Stock Photo Business In China

By Jim Pickerell | 2016 Words | Posted 11/3/2016 | Comments (1)
Chai Jijun, Co-Founder and EVP of Visual China Group (VCG) provided a very detailed and complete picture of the stock photo business in China when he gave the keynote address at the DMLA 2016 Conference last week. The following is his presentation.

Stocksy: Highly Curated Content vs. UGC

By Jim Pickerell | 1138 Words | Posted 11/2/2016 | Comments
Will crowd-sourcing images (UGC) or highly curated collections from professional creators be the future of stock photography? All the major suppliers of stock imagery are focused on acquiring more User Generated Content, but long range will that be the best way to grow revenue or create the most usable collections for image consumers? At the recent DMLA 2016 Conference Brianna Wettlaufer, CEO of Stocky United, talked about an alternative to UGC and how to run a viable, sustainable and profitable photographer’s co-op.

european pressphoto agency and Shutterstock Sign Global Distribution Deal

By Jim Pickerell | 264 Words | Posted 11/2/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has signed a deal with the european pressphoto agency b.v. (epa) to distribute its unique collections of visual content globally. Beginning in January 2017, Shutterstock’s editorial customers, which include some of the largest media companies and publishing houses, will be able to license epa’s daily image content from around the world.

Adobe Stock Partners With Reuters

By Jim Pickerell | 545 Words | Posted 11/2/2016 | Comments
Adobe Stock has announced a partnership with Reuters that will enable creatives to access Reuters editorial content, as well as over 60 million royalty-free commercial photos, videos, illustrations, graphics, 3D assets and templates.

Unification Of iStock And Getty Images Sites

By Jim Pickerell | 1308 Words | Posted 11/1/2016 | Comments
Big changes at Getty are on the way. Getty has supplied its contributors with the following information about a Unification project that will create common platforms for both iStock and Getty Images contributors. While many specifics have been provided there are still a number of questions about how this may impact current contributors and industry competitors. I will comment in a later article. In the meantime, I will be very interested in comments or questions anyone in the industry might have.

GDUSA Stock Visual Reader Survey

By Jim Pickerell | 1160 Words | Posted 10/26/2016 | Comments
The 30th annual GDUSA Stock Visual Reader Survey, is now available. GDUSA says that stock visuals have become a vital creative resource for graphic designers, moving over the 30-year period from marginal to mainstream to essential.

Maria Pallante Removed as Head of Copyright Office

By Jim Pickerell | 730 Words | Posted 10/25/2016 | Comments
After five years in the position of US Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante was fired last Friday. Pallante was informed of her change in roles by being locked out of her computer. Maria has been a huge advocate for the rights of Creators and instrumental in the industry’s efforts for modernizing the Copyright Office and the creation of a Small Claim’s Court for Creators. She has been seen as being fair and unbiased by all who know her.

Image Brief Collections

By Jim Pickerell | 423 Words | Posted 10/24/2016 | Comments
In an effort to make it easier for customers to find the images they need, ImageBrief has pulled together into 72 collections of 11,352 of the best images its photographers have submitted in response to customer briefs. See the list of collections below.

Robertharding Announces ‘good to go’ License

By Jim Pickerell | 267 Words | Posted 10/24/2016 | Comments
The stock photography world is changing fast, and constantly throwing up new challenges. robertharding has decided to take a pioneering approach to creating new and exciting ways of working that will enable a new generation of image buying clients to find and purchase the work of a new generation of photographers in the easiest way possible.

PhotoPlus Expo 2016

By Jim Pickerell | 629 Words | Posted 10/21/2016 | Comments (2)
I just returned from the 2016 PhotoPlus Expo. For the stock photographer there wasn’t much reason to go. If your interested in seeing what’s new in the way of equipment, then the Expo in New York is the once-a-year place to be. The Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Epson, Olympus and Tamron exhibits at the trade show were as big as always. Canon’s space may have even be bigger. But, overall the trade show was the smallest ever.

Shutterstock Editor

By Jim Pickerell | 246 Words | Posted 10/21/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has expanded the functionality of its design application, Shutterstock Editor. Features including professionally designed templates and the ability to upload personalized visual content such as a logo or business image, save designs for editing later, and publish finished designs to social networks are now available from within the application.

Search Algorithms: How Do They Work?

By Jim Pickerell | 777 Words | Posted 10/19/2016 | Comments (1)
Microstock sites used to surface new images for weeks or months after they were uploaded. Now, photographers are saying that this no longer seems to be happening. It would be nice if photographers had more information and a better understanding about how the search algorithms work. Here's a little about how I think these complex algorithms work.

Something For Nothing

By Jim Pickerell | 354 Words | Posted 10/19/2016 | Comments (1)
Justin Black operates Visionary Wild a company that organizes workshops and photo tours for passionate photographers who have attended workshops and seminars with experienced photographers and are looking for new opportunities to move their work to the next level of quality, depth, purpose and meaning. Justin shared this story that occurred on a recent scouting trip to Svalbard aboard an expedition cruise ship.

Big Data: Is Stock Industry Using It Effectively?

By Jim Pickerell | 821 Words | Posted 10/18/2016 | Comments
There is a lot of talk about how Big Data will save the industry, but are the major stock image distributors using the data they collect effectively? Given the huge number of images currently in major databases, it would seem that a very high percentage of them are never viewed by anyone. If the distributors are collecting data properly, they should know which images are reviewed by customers and which aren’t. If there are lots of images that are never reviewed by customers, is there any way to generate revenue from those images.

Pearson Nine-month Interim Management Statement

By Jim Pickerell | 254 Words | Posted 10/17/2016 | Comments
Overall sales for Pearson fell 7% in the first 9 months of 2016, due to further inventory corrections by retailers in North American Higher Education courseware in July and August. Pearson noted that trends improved in September and, so far, into October.

Volume And Search Return Are Killing Sales

By Jim Pickerell | 1185 Words | Posted 10/14/2016 | Comments
In the “Goodbye Shutterstock” thread on MicrostockGroup marthamarks said, “My older images still sell on Shutterstock, but newer ones die there.” Why would that be? One would expect newer images to sell better, particularly when agencies continue to ask for more and more images. This does not seem to be insolated complaint, but one common to many long time Shutterstock contributors.

Releases and Sensitive Subjects

By Jim Pickerell | 631 Words | Posted 10/13/2016 | Comments
As more and more amateurs supply images for marketing – particularly “candid, real life” images – there may be an increased risk of images without proper releases getting used. Some agencies – and maybe even customers -- are also becoming more lax in checking whether valid releases exist. While many agencies require that a release be submitted with all people images, not all do.

Book Reading: Print or Digital Devices

By Jim Pickerell | 349 Words | Posted 10/12/2016 | Comments
According to the Pew Research Center in the last year 39% of Americans read only print books. Another 26% didn’t read any books at all, but read other things. The question is where do the other 35% of book readers get their information. Remember, that not so long ago the 74% who wanted to read a book turned to one that was printed.

Video Clip Acquisition: Adobe Premiere CC Projects

By Jim Pickerell | 511 Words | Posted 10/12/2016 | Comments
In a research project performed by Pfeiffer Consulting for Adobe Stock, Pfeiffer found that users who acquire video clips from Adobe Stock could realized up to a 6x productivity increase for their video workflow compared to using other conventional stock video sources.

Image Buyers Using Google Search

By Jim Pickerell | 731 Words | Posted 10/7/2016 | Comments (1)
Last month Africa Media Online conducted a survey to gain an understanding of how picture buyers and picture researchers use Google to find images. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of respondents use Google to help them find images for licensing.

Photography Education: What’s Needed

By Jim Pickerell | 269 Words | Posted 10/7/2016 | Comments
Fstoppers has reported on a new survey being conducted in the UK to try gather information about the future potential of photography as a career.

Images In Popular Subject Categories

By Jim Pickerell | 1030 Words | Posted 10/6/2016 | Comments (1)
In the chart below I’ve searched Shutterstock, iStock, AdobeStock, Alamy and Getty Images for the number of images in popular subject categories. No customer would use these words alone in a search for images. Other words would certainly be needed to narrow the search for something more specific within each category. (Note: that some images have more than one of these keyword and will appear in multiple categories.)

iStock Contributors: Average Download Per Image

By Jim Pickerell | 5397 Words | Posted 10/5/2016 | Comments (3)
For the last 5 years I have conducted a semi-annual analysis of the number of downloads and images in the collection of 432 of iStock’s leading contributors. There may be some newer contributors that are now among the top iStock earners, but I don’t think very many. It takes time to build a significant collection and begin to get volumes of sales. These 432 probably represent one-third of all iStock single image downloads since the company began.

Built Images Architectural Photography Joins Blend Images

By Jim Pickerell | 317 Words | Posted 10/5/2016 | Comments
Blend Images has announced exclusive representation of the Built Images stock library. With over 25,000 property-released photographs of contemporary commercial and residential architecture, interior design and home lifestyle, the “Built” collection is one of the most comprehensive and diverse image resources of its kind available for use in advertising and graphic design. This unique collection represents work from more than fifty of the top architectural photographers from the United States and around the world.

Of Images In Collections: How Many Are Actually Used

By Jim Pickerell | 1222 Words | Posted 10/4/2016 | Comments
How many of the images in stock photography collections are ever used? The stock photo distributors could figure this out, but for the most part I don’t think they pay attention to this figure -- or really care. Their interest is in unit sales, and average price. They don’t care if a few images sell hundreds of times, or every image in their collection sells once – as long as revenue continues to rise.

Understanding What Stock Photo Buyers Want

By Jim Pickerell | 1333 Words | Posted 10/3/2016 | Comments (1)
Stock photographers need a better understanding of image buyers – their frustrations and what could make their lives easier. Jon Anderson is CEO of Foto Sushi a new stock agency. He is also a Creative Director who has worked on B2B and B2C projects both within an advertising agency and corporate marketing organizations for more than 14 years. In a recent Foto Sushi promotion sent to image buyers, he hit on some very important points that all image creators ought to consider.

Stopping Copyright Thief In China

By Jim Pickerell | 877 Words | Posted 10/3/2016 | Comments
Guarding intellectual property rights in China causes many headaches - but also opens fresh opportunities for lateral thinkers like Chu Yong, whose company’s biggest income stream comes from court cases against copyright thieves. He is making more money for his 400 image creators he represents from compensation for infringement, than many of them receive from selling their products to genuine buyers.

Image Creators: Open Letter To U.S. Senators

By Jim Pickerell | 1439 Words | Posted 9/29/2016 | Comments
Getty Images is asking image creators to add their names to an open letter to U.S. Senators. The letter asks the Senators to say NO to Google’s anti-competitive Image Scraping practices that harm visual artists and other independent creators.

Will Stopping Google Image Scraping Solve Photographer’s Problems?

By Jim Pickerell | 516 Words | Posted 9/29/2016 | Comments (1)
Getty announced on April 27th that it would file a complaint against Google with the European Commission concerning Google’s anti-competitive business practices. On May 20th, to the chagrin of CEPIC, they announced they would not pursue a copyright case against Google in U.S. courts  

Blame Game

By Jim Pickerell | 1622 Words | Posted 9/28/2016 | Comments
It does little good to blame someone else for how things have changed. We’re not going back to the old ways. The important thing is to figure out how to move forward. As might be expected not all readers agree with my take on where the industry is headed. A month or so ago a reader wrote: “When you write articles you must be impartial. The problem is you are very close to the Picture agencies that are destroying Photographer’s jobs. So its very difficult for you to be impartial.

Selling Stock: Purpose And Goals

By Jim Pickerell | 741 Words | Posted 9/28/2016 | Comments (3)
A month or so ago a reader wrote, “When you write articles you must be impartial. The problem is you are very close to the Picture agencies that are destroying Photographer’s jobs. So its very difficult for you to be impartial.” Since then I have been doing a lot of thinking about “impartial,” It may be time for me to provide a clear explanation of how I see my role as editor of Selling Stock.

How Good Is Visual Image Search?

By Jim Pickerell | 946 Words | Posted 9/27/2016 | Comments
Photographers are discovering that Getty is being paid fees by Pinterest for images it doesn’t represent.

Getty Images Launches Adobe Creative Cloud Plugin

By Jim Pickerell | 841 Words | Posted 9/26/2016 | Comments
Getty Images has launched an Adobe Photoshop plugin that allows user to find images in the Getty collection and then edit watermarked images in Photoshop. If any image found and manipulated in this manner is later purchased, the edits will be applied to the licensed content.

Flickr Marketplace Concedes Defeat

By Jim Pickerell | 337 Words | Posted 9/22/2016 | Comments
An increasingly competitive marketplace has led Yahoo-owned Flickr Marketplace to bow out of the stock photography market. After Getty Images terminated its agreement with Flickr in March 2014 that had enabled Getty to add almost 900,000 images from Flickr photographers to the Getty Images collection, Flickr decided it would set up its own Flickr Marketplace to market the images from its photographer community.

PicturEngine Update

By Jim Pickerell | 3363 Words | Posted 9/21/2016 | Comments
After publishing my analysis of PicturEngine last week (9/14) Justin Brinson, PicturEngine CEO, made extensive comments. I’ve decided to re-publish the entire story with Justin’s comments inserted where he indicated.  I hope this gives readers a clearer understanding of this new search engine.

Stock Photo Revenue Trends Survey Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1492 Words | Posted 9/21/2016 | Comments (7)
One-hundred thirty-seven photographers from 27 countries responded to our Stock Photo Revenue Trends  survey. Forty-seven percent of the respondents were from North America and 14% from the UK. The rest were spread rather evenly among other countries.

Adobe Stock Launches Contributor Site

By Jim Pickerell | 418 Words | Posted 9/20/2016 | Comments
Adobe has launched the public beta of the Adobe Stock Contributor Site, a new platform that enables creatives to upload and sell their photos, illustrations, videos and vectors to the world’s largest creative community.

Industry Growth: 1992 - 2016

By Jim Pickerell | 1245 Words | Posted 9/19/2016 | Comments
Recently, I was asked for my thoughts on stock photo industry revenue growth between 1992 and 2016 with particular attention to the intermediate 8 year periods leading up to 2000 and 2008. I was also asked to make an estimate of the number of professional photographers in the world for the same years. I’ll deal with revenue growth first and the professional photographers later.

DMLA 2016 Conference

By Jim Pickerell | 747 Words | Posted 9/16/2016 | Comments
The 2016 Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA) annual conference will be held in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Jersey City on October 27-29. DMLA is known for its exceptional educational programming related to current industry issues.

EU Draft Directive on Copyright

By Jim Pickerell | 487 Words | Posted 9/15/2016 | Comments
On 14 September 2016 the European Commission published its copyright package including a draft directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market for promoting a “fair and efficient European copyright-based economy”. CEPIC represents hundreds of picture agencies and hundreds of thousands of photographers. CEPIC’s members have been digitizing visual content from the advent of the Internet. They license the resulting digital asset for all kinds of commercial uses, to newspapers, magazines, advertising, broadcasters, off and on-line, etc.

Foto Sushi: New Stock Image Library

By Jim Pickerell | 431 Words | Posted 9/15/2016 | Comments
A new stock photo source called Foto Sushi, LLC has launched a custom library of unique portrait photography suitable for any project. This small collection of what many photographers will classify as very simple images is interesting because it was created by Jon Anderson, a seasoned Art Director and Creative Director, who believes he has identified an unfulfilled need of his colleagues – image buyers.

PicturEngine Nears Public Launch To Customers

By Jim Pickerell | 1406 Words | Posted 9/14/2016 | Comments (1)
After years of development PicturEngine is about ready to begin promoting its search engine to customers. It has more than 500,000,000 keyword searchable images from 64 stock photo agencies and hundreds—soon to be thousands—of individual photographers.

Future Imagery Trends According to Shutterstock Research

By Jim Pickerell | 306 Words | Posted 9/14/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock has published a infographic on The Top Trends Shaping The Future Of Imagery. Photographers looking to produce the kind of imagery customers want to buy may want to make note of these trends outlined by Keren Sachs, Director of Content Development at Shutterstock and Offset.

Curation By Customers

By Jim Pickerell | 1157 Words | Posted 9/13/2016 | Comments
In the last few months I have argued that the stock photo industry needs smaller, better curated image collections. However, many of the major image collections have consciously decided that a totally opposite strategy is the best course of action. Agencies want to leave the curation process up to their customers.

Mega Expansion Continues With Australian Office

By Jim Pickerell | 1023 Words | Posted 9/12/2016 | Comments
The Mega Agency is partnering with the News and Entertainment division of Australia’s premier photo agency, Snapper Media, the two companies announced today, September 12th, 2016. The Snapper News and Entertainment division will operate under Mega’s name and both partners are confident the new venture will become an even more formidable player in the Australasian markets.

Can Assignment Photography Replace Some Stock?

By Jim Pickerell | 301 Words | Posted 9/12/2016 | Comments
Are graphic designers trying to raise their clients to the next level of quality becoming frustrated with generic images and insisting on more images that relate specifically to the brand. Here’s what one website design company in Pittsburgh is doing. Top Hat IMC, a Pittsburgh website design company, has launched its very own in-house brand photography service.

Trend Survey Deadline Approaching

By Jim Pickerell | 361 Words | Posted 9/8/2016 | Comments
The last day to respond to the Stock Photo Revenue Trends Survey that we launched last month will be September 17, 2016. For more information about the survey see here. The good news, so far, is that 13% of the respondents earn over $80,000 a year from stock sales alone.

Shutterstock Launches Adobe Photoshop® Plugin

By Jim Pickerell | 294 Words | Posted 9/8/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has announced that its vast collection of 100 million high-quality photos and illustrations is now accessible within Adobe Photoshop® software through its new custom built plugin. With more than 100,000 new images added every day, the Shutterstock plugin boasts the largest collection of photos and illustrations that can be licensed directly within the Creative Cloud desktop application.

Archive Value Of News Pictures

By Jim Pickerell | 2756 Words | Posted 9/7/2016 | Comments
I have a theory that a very high percentage of the uses of editorial or news pictures occur in the first month or two after they are shot. Newpapers, magazines and websites use the images when they are fresh and then move on to the next news happening. Of course, certain events will have historical value and key images from these events may be used over and over in future years – Iwo Jima flag raising, World Trade Center, Hindenburg crash, etc.– but it seems to me that such situations represent a very small percentage of overall use.

Alamy Provides Huge Benefits To Photography Students

By Jim Pickerell | 351 Words | Posted 9/6/2016 | Comments
Students who have decided to study photography at the post secondary level (college or university) should sign up for the Alamy Student Scheme and begin to get a realistic idea of the value of their work in the marketplace. Alamy can help the student learn what customer’s want.

Shutterstock Acquires The Kobal Collection and The Art Archive

By Jim Pickerell | 316 Words | Posted 9/6/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has acquired of over 700,000 images from two prominent photo collections: The Art Archive and The Kobal Collection. Both collections, previously held by UK-based The Picture Desk, are now available to Shutterstock Premier customers globally.

Agencies – Buyer and Supplier Relationships

By Jim Pickerell | 1321 Words | Posted 9/2/2016 | Comments
Yesterday, I talked about why the business of licensing rights to stock photos - as currently structured - is Designed To Fail unless some major changes are made. Two of the changes needed are: (1) make finding the right image for a project much easier for the buyer, and (2) improving supplier efficiency.

Stock Photo Agencies – Designed To Fail

By Jim Pickerell | 970 Words | Posted 9/1/2016 | Comments (3)
The basic operating structure of how most stock photo agencies acquire and market images has not changed in 15 to 25 years. Image creator produce and submit their work to an agency. The agency may reject some of it, but most will go into an online collection that customer can review. When a customer finds something she wants to use she pays a fee and the image creator receives a percentage. The agency’s job is to manage the material, make customers aware that the collection exists, license use of the image for whatever they can get and collect money.

Science Photo Library and StockFood Announce Strategic Partnership

By Jim Pickerell | 318 Words | Posted 9/1/2016 | Comments
StockFood GmbH, one of Germany’s leading photo agencies, and Science Photo Library (SPL), the world’s leading source of science and medicine content, have announced a strategic partnership aimed to deliver SPL’s collection of scientific imagery to the German market.

Frans Lanting Seeing Digital Asset Manager

By Jim Pickerell | 119 Words | Posted 9/1/2016 | Comments
The Frans Lanting Studio, located in Santa Cruz, California, home base of one of the world’s foremost nature photographers has an opening for a Digital Asset Manager to manage the Studio’s digital assets from ingestion to application. The position requires proficiency in Mac OS, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, Keynote, Microsoft Office.

MEGA Agency Signs Global Licensing Deal With Newscom

By Jim Pickerell | 495 Words | Posted 8/30/2016 | Comments
The Mega Agency is launching with an archive of 30 million images after signing a ground-breaking agreement with Newscom, the world’s largest multi-agency archive of digital images.

DMLA Annual Conference

By Jim Pickerell | 251 Words | Posted 8/30/2016 | Comments
The 2016 DMLA Annual Conference (http://digitalmedialicensing.org/conference.shtml) will return to the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Jersey City, October 27-29. Registration fees are due to go up on September 1st, but the deadline for the discounted rate has been extended to September 9th for those who use the promo code DMLA16.

Recent Stories – Summer 2016

By Jim Pickerell | 245 Words | Posted 8/29/2016 | Comments
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complete the recent Stock Photo Revenue Trends Survey. Initial results show that two-thirds of the respondents have seen their annual revenue decline since 2010 with the most significant declines in the 2013 to 2015 period. However, 19% of respondents saw revenue growth of 20% or more between 2013 and 2015.

Image Collections On Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 1538 Words | Posted 8/28/2016 | Comments
Recently, I decided to take a look at the number of images in the various Creative collections on Gettyimages.com. The numbers are very revealing and in some ways surprising. Getty has 16,687,710 million images in its Creative collection, 10,341,296 of them or 62% are RF and the rest are RM. (Obviously, these numbers grow slightly every day.)

Understanding Which Stock Images Will Sell

By Jim Pickerell | 893 Words | Posted 8/26/2016 | Comments (3)
Of the millions of stock images which ones are actually being purchased and used by customers? Photographers trying to earn a living need better information about exactly what images are selling so they don’t waste time shooting things no one is interested in buying.

Is Knowing Which Images Get The Most Downloads Enough?

By Jim Pickerell | 1307 Words | Posted 8/26/2016 | Comments (1)
I have been told that there are at least 650 million images available for easy licensing in various databases around the world. This doesn’t include all the images that can be found by searching Google, Bing and the social media web sites where other images can be found, but not easily licensed. Only between 1% and 4% of these are ever licensed. Do photographers need better information so they don't waste so much time shooting all those images no one wants to use?

Stock Photo Revenue Trends Survey

By Jim Pickerell | 670 Words | Posted 8/25/2016 | Comments
Selling-Stock is conducting a worldwide, blind Stock Photo Revenue Trends survey and is asking all photographers who earn money through licensing rights to some of their images to respond. Individuals can respond to the short, 8 question survey by going to this link. A full report of the results will be available to each respondent.

China Seeking Hollywood Takeover

By Jim Pickerell | 203 Words | Posted 8/24/2016 | Comments
According to Reuters China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, is stepping up his push to take over one of the major Hollywood studios.

Job Opening: Stock Motion Workflow Manager

By Jim Pickerell | 134 Words | Posted 8/24/2016 | Comments
Seattle based Blend Images workflow team is seeking an innovative, results-oriented, stock video professional to oversee content editing, quality control, distribution and support of its fast building stock clip library. The ideal candidate will have experience in stock video production, solid technical skills, sound business judgment and work well in a team environment.

RM Photographer Frustration

By Jim Pickerell | 1154 Words | Posted 8/23/2016 | Comments (2)
Today, Peter James made comments on my Facebook page to several of the stories listed there. I can understand his frustration. Here are links to the stories he looked at, his comments and my reactions to those comments.

ASPP Reorganizes

By Jim Pickerell | 334 Words | Posted 8/23/2016 | Comments
Darrell Perry has been named Executive Director of ASPP (American Society of Picture Professionals) and has written to members and friends informing them of recent changes and asking for help in recruiting new members.

White Label: Who Created That Image?

By Jim Pickerell | 749 Words | Posted 8/22/2016 | Comments
Do photographer’s care if their name is attached to their images, or just that the images generate some revenue for them? While doing some recent searches, I discovered it can sometimes be very difficult to determine who created an image.

Three Senior News Executives Join The Mega Agency 

By Jim Pickerell | 527 Words | Posted 8/19/2016 | Comments
Three senior news executives have joined Kevin Smith’s new media company, The Mega Agency. Smith is delighted to announce that Paul Tetley, David Leigh and Karlo Pastrovic have joined the Mega team.

Picfair Passes 3 Million Image Mark

By Jim Pickerell | 754 Words | Posted 8/15/2016 | Comments
Picfair, a London-based image licensing startup launched two years ago, has announced that it now has more than three million images in its collection. “Our three millionth image was uploaded by a photographer in China, of a family playing ping pong in a Beijing park,” says Picfair founder Benji Lanyado.

Alamy On Latest Visual Trends

By Jim Pickerell | 497 Words | Posted 8/15/2016 | Comments
Alamy reports that a current visual trend seems to take advantage of “instagram – like” filtering that pulls up the black point of the image and reduces the contrast.  

Brooks Institute To Close

By Jim Pickerell | 570 Words | Posted 8/15/2016 | Comments (2)
Brooks Institute, possibly the premier photography trade school in the U.S., has announced that after 70 years of training media and visual arts students it will close its doors on October 31. Students, faculty, and staff were informed of the closing at a meeting with school representatives on the morning of August 12, 2016.

Celebrity Photo Agency For Sale

By Jim Pickerell | 221 Words | Posted 8/11/2016 | Comments
A US-based celebrity photo agency is currently looking for a buyer interested in taking over its operations or acquiring its archives. Founded in 2003 by a music photographer, the company has established reputable and strong relationships with publications, artists and publicists. With just one highly motivated owner who wishes to retire, it is profitable, has no debt and is reasonably priced. A buyer could either manage the company as an independent archive or integrate the archive (1.4 Million images, fully captioned in English) to its own collection.

Shutterstock: Opportunity For Investors?

By Jim Pickerell | 1159 Words | Posted 8/11/2016 | Comments
If you’re curious as to why Shutterstock’s stock price keeps rising while from the perspective of many in in our industry Shutterstock’s long term growth prospects don’t appear to be that favorable, David Trainer offers some interesting insights. See here. Trainer is CEO of New Constructs (www.newconstructs.com), an independent research firm that leverages proprietary technology to find key insights from the Financial Footnotes of 10Ks and 10Qs. After studying his analysis here are a few of my thoughts.

Is Studying Photography In College A Good Idea?

By Jim Pickerell | 712 Words | Posted 8/10/2016 | Comments (1)
It is that time of year when students are getting ready to head off to college. Most will go there because it sounds like more fun than going out and getting a job and because they have been told that a “higher education” will give them a better chance at future career advancement and eventually earning more money.

Photographer Union

By Jim Pickerell | 743 Words | Posted 8/10/2016 | Comments
Some European photographers, particularly in France, think many of our industry’s problems could be solved with a Photographer’s Union. Unfortunately, a Union of Professional Photographers would probably only make the situation worse for most union members.

Pond5 Names Jason Teichman New CEO

By Jim Pickerell | 378 Words | Posted 8/9/2016 | Comments
Pond5, the world’s largest provider of royalty-free stock videos, music tracks and sound effects, as well as millions of photos, has announced the appointment of Jason Teichman as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer and Board Director. In this role, Teichman will help the company continue to accelerate its growth by scaling its creative marketplace, leveraging its unique relationship with the artist community, and furthering its investments in emerging media such as drone footage and 360-degree video.

Blend Images Launches New Website

By Jim Pickerell | 344 Words | Posted 8/9/2016 | Comments
Blend Images, the world's leading multicultural stock photography agency, has recently announced the launch of a new website with a focus on world-class curated royalty free imagery and motion clips. The new Blendimages.com offers an improved user interface, a simplified pricing model, large image previews, and is the only place to search the entire Blend Images collection.

Decision Time For RM Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 1438 Words | Posted 8/8/2016 | Comments
RM photographer working with the major stock production companies may have some very difficult decisions to make in the near future. With the rise of Offset, Stocksy, AdobeStock Premium and iStock Signature it seems that RM photographers that are not also owners or shareholders of production companies, like Blend Images, Image Source and Tetra Images, may find that they can earn more by moving their collections to RF.

Offset: Is This Premium Editing?

By Jim Pickerell | 901 Words | Posted 8/5/2016 | Comments (3)
A reader sent me a note recently indicating that after seeing an Offset promotion he had asked Shutterstock the following question: “Do you think, clients - professional or not - are expecting this level of imagery from a high end collection?” The images shown in the promotion were taken in Thailand by Brooklyn-based photographer Lucy Schaeffer. The Offset tagline said “her images mix refined, understated luxury with the country’s beautiful and dramatic scenery. Be Transported.” The following are links here and here show the two images that were shown in the promotion.

Shutterstock Q2 2016 Financial Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1913 Words | Posted 8/4/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported Q2 2016 revenue of $124.4 million up from $104.4 million compared to Q2 2015. The growth is due mainly to new customers and increased activity by enterprise clients.

Public Domain Images, Can Anyone Use Them?

By Jim Pickerell | 343 Words | Posted 8/2/2016 | Comments (1)
This is an update on the story we published last week concerning Carol Highsmith’s copyright infringement suit against Getty Images and other defendants.

Imaginechina Acquired By Bytedance

By Jim Pickerell | 184 Words | Posted 8/1/2016 | Comments
Imaginechina has been acquired by Bytedance, a digital tech company based in Beijing. The stock agency will continue to operate independently as a photo, video and commercial licensing agency serving editorial media, advertisers, creative agencies and brands, in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Aurora Photos Adapts To Changing Business

By Jim Pickerell | 840 Words | Posted 7/28/2016 | Comments
The needs of stock photo customers are changing. Successful agencies and distributors are adapting to those needs. Increasingly, customers are turning away from the large collections that purport to have everything. They are moving toward smaller, tightly curated collections that have a narrow focus in terms of the subject matter they represent. Aurora Photos is one such agency.

When Are Releases Needed

By Jim Pickerell | 987 Words | Posted 7/28/2016 | Comments (1)
Photographers who saw ImageBrief’s a recent blog post about Pamela Olivera’s shot that was used worldwide in a Delta Airlines campaign have been asking why Delta would take such a risk on an unreleased picture. Other ImageBrief photographers have commented lately that ImageBrief does not determined whether or not they have releases on at least some of their accepted pictures. They seem to simply accept that every image submitted has all necessary releases.

Photographer Hits Getty With $1B Copyright Suit

By Jim Pickerell | 151 Words | Posted 7/27/2016 | Comments
Law360 reports that photographer Carol M. Highsmith has filed a copyright infringement suit in New York against Getty Images. Damages could be worth $1 billion.

What Does Shutterstock Need For Growth?

By Jim Pickerell | 1698 Words | Posted 7/25/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock investors often ask my opinion of stock photo industry’s future and the potential for Shutterstock’s growth.  I tell them growth will slow significantly. Demand from customers willing to pay for the images they use will decline. Shutterstock has grabbed about all the customers they can from Getty so there is not much potential for growth there. Adobe will take a much bigger share of the market. Recently an investor asked me, “What would you do if you were Shutterstock?” Here’s what I told him.

Stock Photography Timeline

By Jim Pickerell | 142 Words | Posted 7/21/2016 | Comments
Alamy has created a infographic timeline showing the History of Stock Photography. They are actively seeking feedback and interaction on the infographic so that we can gather as much information as possible.

Dreamstime Adds HTTPS Encryption To All Pages

By Jim Pickerell | 278 Words | Posted 7/21/2016 | Comments
Dreamstime, has implemented a significant improvement to its website security by switching all site pages to "HTTPS" including the dedicated mobile website and the Dreamstime applications for iOS and Android.

RF Limitations

By Jim Pickerell | 1466 Words | Posted 7/20/2016 | Comments (1)
Many RM photographers are opposed to Royalty Free because they believe that for a single low fee they would be giving away all future rights to use their images. That’s not quite true. Check out this story to see the real differences and understand how much you might really be giving away if you license your images as RF.

Africa Media Online Offers New Simplified RM Pricing

By Jim Pickerell | 466 Words | Posted 7/19/2016 | Comments
In response to changes in the industry and client requirements Africa Media Online has introduced a new simplified pricing model. The South Africa based picture library has moved away from the complexities of narrowly defined RM usages and is now offering clients a simple procedure for establishing what an image costs.

Shutterstock Keywords Suggestion Tool

By Jim Pickerell | 256 Words | Posted 7/19/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock has launched a new keyword suggestion tool for iPhone that leverages a combination of metadata (man) and pixel data (machine) to suggest more relevant and accurate keywords for images that are uploaded in the Shutterstock contributor app.

Is Simplified RM Really Needed?

By Jim Pickerell | 1490 Words | Posted 7/18/2016 | Comments
After reading last week’s article on “Rights Simplified Pricing” a reader asked if I could expand on why an alternative to Rights Managed pricing is needed. He said that seldom has he found that customers are unwilling to pay fotoQuote RM rates that are based on how images are used. The following is my response.

Small Claims Legislation For Creators Moves Ahead

By Jim Pickerell | 652 Words | Posted 7/15/2016 | Comments
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Congressman Tom Marino (R-PA) have introduced a bipartisan small claims bill, H.R.5757, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2016. When Congress reconvenes after its upcoming six-week recess Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) plans to introduce a separate version of small claims legislation establishing a small claims tribunal in the Copyright Office.

Rights Simplified Pricing: Alternative To RM

By Jim Pickerell | 781 Words | Posted 7/14/2016 | Comments
To deal with increased customer demand for simpler, easier to understand pricing, and the general decline in the use of Rights Managed images industry wide, plainpicture in Germany has introduced a new pricing model they call (RS) plainpicture Rights Simplified.

Shutterstock API Integrated With Google’s Ad Platform

By Jim Pickerell | 237 Words | Posted 7/12/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has announced an API integration with Google. The image licensing deal provides Google’s digital and mobile display advertising products, including Adsense, Adwords, and Admob, with access to Shutterstock’s collection of more than 90 million images for license.

MotionElements Introduces Video & Audio Search Discovery Tools

By Jim Pickerell | 441 Words | Posted 7/12/2016 | Comments
Singapore based, MotionElements has introduced VisualSearch and AudioSearch v2; two improved revolutionary tools that simplifies all creators’ search for that perfect footage or music to use in their projects.

Why RM?

By Jim Pickerell | 653 Words | Posted 7/11/2016 | Comments (2)
One of the principal reasons for licensing images as Rights Managed rather then Royalty Free is to insure that the customer pays additional fees whenever they reuse an image. With RF, once purchased, the customer can use the image as many times as they want. But how often do such multiple uses occur?

Distributor Sales Of Stock Images

By Jim Pickerell | 601 Words | Posted 7/7/2016 | Comments
Recently, I asked about 100 medium sized stock agents around the world a series of questions to try to get an understanding of the revenue generated from images supplied to them by other stock agencies as opposed to revenue from images the agent had collected directly from image creators.

iStock: Downloads Don’t Tell Whole Story

By Jim Pickerell | 849 Words | Posted 7/6/2016 | Comments
A few iStock contributors tell me that since the introduction of subscription sales in March 2015 downloads as reported on the contributor’s portfolio page no longer tell the whole story.

Where Getty’s Headed In H2 2016

By Jim Pickerell | 858 Words | Posted 7/6/2016 | Comments
Paul Banwell, Senior Director, Contributor Relations for Getty Images has just sent contributors the following letter regarding Getty’s directions for the future. This information should be of interest to every stock image producer and distributor regardless of their relationships with Getty Images.

Adding Images To iStock Produces Mixed Results

By Jim Pickerell | 5419 Words | Posted 7/4/2016 | Comments
Some iStock contributors continue to add significant numbers of images to their collections, despite the decline in the number of downloads and we presume revenue, since average prices per-image downloaded have also declined.

iStock Statistics: First Half 2016

By Jim Pickerell | 922 Words | Posted 7/1/2016 | Comments
Downloads from iStock continued to decline in the first half of 2016. Since 2011, I have been tracking the number of downloads and images in the collection of 430 of iStock’s leading contributors. At the end of June 2016 these contributors had between 56,465,000 and 58,967,000 total downloads during their iStock careers. iStock has over 100,000 contributors, but despite the small number in this group we believe the images licensed by this 430 represent almost one-third of all the images iStock has licensed since the company began operations.

A Contrarian View: Jerry Tavin

By Jim Pickerell | 597 Words | Posted 6/29/2016 | Comments
A couple weeks ago I wrote an articles asking “What Is ‘Commercial’ Stock Photography.” I questioned how big the demand is for “candid,” “natural” and “real life” grab shots of what happens in front of the photographer rather than staged shots that look real but are carefully posed with great production values. A reader suggested I contact Jerry Taven who founded Nonstock about a fifteen years ago.

New Image Marketing Strategy Needed

By Jim Pickerell | 1583 Words | Posted 6/28/2016 | Comments (1)
One of the biggest problems with stock photography licensing today is that there is often no clear logic behind why a higher price should be charged for one image and not another. In this article we explore how the industry's marketing strategy might be improved to generate more revenue for creators and distributors, as well as making the image search process more user friendly for customers.

Changing World Of RM

By Jim Pickerell | 1109 Words | Posted 6/23/2016 | Comments (1)
Photographers choose to sell their work as RM for three reasons: (1) They believe that everything they produce should only be licensed for prices higher than those charged for RF, (2) They dream that one, or a few, of their images will eventually be licensed for an extremely broad, major use. Customer who make such uses are willing to pay multi-thousand-dollar prices for exclusive rights to such images, and (3) Such high value sales can only happen if images are always licensed based on use. There are several fallacies to these arguments.

Getty Sues Serious Copyright Infringer

By Jim Pickerell | 333 Words | Posted 6/23/2016 | Comments
Getty Images has taken action against a serious copyright infringer who was discovered to have improperly accessed, downloaded and distributed Getty Images content through social media.

Photoshop Artists Recreate 4 Famous Masterpieces Using Adobe Stock

By Jim Pickerell | 523 Words | Posted 6/22/2016 | Comments
Skilled digital artists don’t need more photos. Everything needed to recreate many of the world’s most famous masterpieces already exists. Adobe challenged four digital artists to recreate four lost, stolen or destroyed artistic masterpieces using only Adobe Stock. If you’re a photographer, and not a Photoshop expert, you need to take a few minutes to watch the four time-lapse videos that show how these digital artists worked. See Make a Masterpiece

robertharding Unveils New Contributor's Portal

By Jim Pickerell | 196 Words | Posted 6/22/2016 | Comments
robertharding has unveiled an innovative new portal for photography contributors to upload work to their site.

Alamy Adds Reuters Content To Its Collection

By Jim Pickerell | 229 Words | Posted 6/22/2016 | Comments
Alamy has been chosen as a distribution partner for photo content from international news agency Reuters. The deal will give all of Alamy’s customers in the UK, US, Canada and Ireland access to millions of images that span over 20 years of incredible news photography.

Adobe Stock Adds Premium Collection

By Jim Pickerell | 806 Words | Posted 6/21/2016 | Comments
Adobe has released a host of new features and performance enhancements for its Creative Cloud users. Of greatest interest to stock photographers is the addition of an all-new Premium Collection of over 100,000 high quality stock images. Images will be available for single download purchase and priced between $100 and $500. In addition, there are other key enhancements to Adobe Stock that provide a deeper integration with Creative Cloud apps.

CAIA Image: Photographer Collective

By Chris Ryan | 840 Words | Posted 6/21/2016 | Comments
Editor's Note: I recently asked Chris Ryan of CAIA Image to explain how their company came into existence as a stock photo production company, and how it operates. He sent me the following and said, "we are always looking for new contributing artists whose work we think is truly outstanding."

ZUMA Press Offering Reuters Images In News Feed

By Jim Pickerell | 394 Words | Posted 6/17/2016 | Comments
ZUMA Press, has announced that it is now offering images from top wire service Reuters through its news feed. ZUMA proudly becomes a distributor of Reuters images in the United States and Latin America as of today.

What Is “Commercial” Stock Photography?

By Jim Pickerell | 712 Words | Posted 6/16/2016 | Comments (2)
Have we lost sight of what commercial stock photography is? Have we become so obsessed with “real life” and “natural” the we think that anything that is arranged or posed is bad? Does an image have to shock to be good stock?

Image Brief Updates Terms And Conditions

By Jim Pickerell | 353 Words | Posted 6/16/2016 | Comments
Image Brief has made some changes in its terms and conditions. One of the major changes is that they are introducing Social Media Pricing. Photographer may op-out of social media pricing for their RF images, but if they don’t act within 30 days they will automatically be opted in.

StockFood Now Part Of Hubert Burda Media

By Jim Pickerell | 338 Words | Posted 6/16/2016 | Comments
Munich-based StockFood GmbH is now part of Hubert Burda Media´s network. StockFood is one of Germany’s most respected photo agencies. As market leader, it carries works by more than 1,000 food photographers from around the world. StockFood will retain its current workforce and its independence as a company. Hubert Burda Media is one of Germany´s largest media companies and market leader in food media.

Does RM Licensing Still Make Sense?

By Jim Pickerell | 783 Words | Posted 6/15/2016 | Comments (1)
Does licensing images as RM make sense anymore? If you’re licensing your images as RM the following are a few things to think about from both the customer and the image creator points of view. If you really want to license your work you must consider why fewer and fewer customers are buying RM images.

National Geographic Creative Looking For Senior Photo Editor

By Jim Pickerell | 335 Words | Posted 6/14/2016 | Comments
National Geographic Creative is looking for a new Senior Photo Editor. Based in Washington, DC this person will review submissions from National Geographic Creative talent, assess which assets would be of commercial value and make determinations as to how they can best be directed for monetization.

Visual China Group’s Image Collections

By Jim Pickerell | 1670 Words | Posted 6/13/2016 | Comments
Visual China Group has provided a list of the third party image collections it represents. The combined totals of RM and RF images in these collections is over 10.5 million images. It has been believed that VCG represents all the images in the Getty Images collection, but that appears not to be the case.

Microsoft And Google Make Peace

By Jim Pickerell | 223 Words | Posted 6/10/2016 | Comments
On April 22, 2016 Google and Microsoft announced officially that they had buried the hatchet. Reflecting a changing relationship, the two sides drop complaints to regulators around the globe. Why should stock photographers care?

Don’t Customers Have Enough RF Images Already?

By Jim Pickerell | 720 Words | Posted 6/9/2016 | Comments
At the recent CEPIC conference one attendee asked, “Why do customers continue to buy RF images? Don’t they already have enough? If they get unlimited rights to everything they own, why don’t they just use the images they have already purchased and never need to buy another image again?”

Getty Images And Virtual Reality

By Jim Pickerell | 483 Words | Posted 6/7/2016 | Comments
Getty Images has launched the Getty Images Virtual Reality Group, a new business dedicated to the creation and global distribution of virtual reality (VR) content.

Pond5 Launches Customer Sweepstakes

By Jim Pickerell | 282 Words | Posted 6/6/2016 | Comments
Pond5, the largest provider of royalty-free digital video assets, announces the Pond5Million Sweepstakes celebrating the company’s milestone of 5 million videos uploaded to the platform and its growing community of more than 40,000 artists.

Over 97% Of Getty Visitors Come To Look At – NOT PURCHASE – Imagery

By Jim Pickerell | 518 Words | Posted 6/2/2016 | Comments
According to Getty Images CEO, Dawn Airey, “Over 97 per cent of visitors come to our websites to look at – not purchase – amazing imagery.”

ACSIL Announces Panelists For NY Expo June 9th

By Jim Pickerell | 671 Words | Posted 6/2/2016 | Comments
ACSIL has announced the panelists who will be speaking at its ACSIL FOOTAGE EXPO 2016 in New York next week. The event is being held at the historic Prince George Ballroom at 15 East 27th Street, New York City on June 9, 2016. This one-day event is a chance to meet with footage distributors from both Europe and the U.S. and to hear discussions about the latest trends in the stock frootage industry. 

Graphics Detective Finds Unauthorized Uses

By Jim Pickerell | 538 Words | Posted 6/1/2016 | Comments
Graphics Detective (GD) in Belgium has developed a strategy for chasing online infringements that photographers may want to check out. There is no cost to the photographer unless there is a settlement. In the event of a settlement Graphics Detective pays the photographer 50% of whatever it collects.

Shutterstock Offers Reverse Image Search on iOS

By Jim Pickerell | 300 Words | Posted 6/1/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has made its visual search features, first introduced for desktop use in March available for mobile use. Reverse Image Search for mobile invites users to capture the world around them on their mobile phones, and then upload them via the Shutterstock app to search Shutterstock’s collection of over 80 million images for similar content and style.

Stocksy: Impressive Growth

By Jim Pickerell | 724 Words | Posted 5/31/2016 | Comments
Stocksy has reported another year of impressive growth with gross sales of $7,928,745 million in 2015. That is up 126% from $3.5 million in 2014. The great news for image creators is that Stocksy paid out $4,323,735 in royalties. That’s 55% of gross revenue collected. In addition, because the company is a Co-Op, they were able to pay out an additional $200,000 in dividends to members who sold images during the year.

Update: Getty's Dealing With Pinterest

By Jim Pickerell | 425 Words | Posted 5/31/2016 | Comments
Since October 2013 Getty Images has been collecting money from Pinterest for images in its collection that have been pinned on Pinterest. The transactions appear on photographer sales reports as $0.03 gross sale and a photographer royalty of $0.01. Indications are that this is a one-time payment no matter how long the image stays on Pinterest.

Offset To Introduce Social Media License

By Jim Pickerell | 760 Words | Posted 5/30/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock has notificed its Offset contributors that it has decided to make Offset content available to its Enterprise clients (over 24,000 of them) at a price point between $50 and $100. The current Offset price for a 72dpi web use image is $250.

Revenue Per Image Comparisons

By Jim Pickerell | 663 Words | Posted 5/30/2016 | Comments
Most photographers use two different figures to track revenue trends – revenue Per-Image-Licensed and revenue Per-Image-In-Collection. It’s easy for a photographer to figure his own per-image-licensed figure, but it is very difficult to determine how that might stack up with all photographers because the specifics of the number of images are usually not available even when you know (or have some idea of) the gross revenue collected during the period.

Getty Will Not Sue Google For Copyright Infringement

By Jim Pickerell | 115 Words | Posted 5/20/2016 | Comments (1)
In a Photo District New interview entitled “Too Big To Sue” Getty Images General Counsel Yoko Miyashita and VP and General Counsel Lisa Willmer explain why Getty Images is not suing Google Inc. in the US for copyright infringement. This is a must read for everyone engaged in the image licensing business.

Dissolve To Add Premium RM Photographs

By Jim Pickerell | 347 Words | Posted 5/18/2016 | Comments
Dissolve has announced it will add over 50,000 premium rights-managed (RM) commercial photographs to its site at dissolve.com. The photos will be live on the site on June 1.

500px Marketplace Makes Submission Changes

By Jim Pickerell | 125 Words | Posted 5/18/2016 | Comments
In order to safeguard its users, 500px Marketplace has modified its submission requirements by asking for extra details to confirm the identity of its contributors. As of May 16, 2016 contributors must confirm their contact information and provide a copy of their government ID before any new images they submit to Marketplace can be sold.

Get Upfront Money From Your Images

By Jim Pickerell | 429 Words | Posted 5/18/2016 | Comments
If you’ve got quality digital image files that have been sitting around for a while and earning little or no money, there may be a way to get some cash for them. GraphicStock, owned by VideoBlocks, is paying a small one-time fee for non-exclusive rights to image collections. For this one-time fee they receive the right to license the images to customers non-exclusively, in perpetuity. No additional royalty will be paid to the creator for such sales.

Add Shutterstock Images To PowerPoint Presentations

By Jim Pickerell | 92 Words | Posted 5/18/2016 | Comments
Microsoft has teamed up with Shutterstock to add integration within PowerPoint in order to offer access to the vast collection of images for use in presentations.

Stock Photo Marketing 2.0 – Part 2

By Jim Pickerell | 1336 Words | Posted 5/18/2016 | Comments
In a previous story we talked about five aspects of the image licensing business where serious modification to standard practices are needed, if the industry is move ahead and grow revenue.  In that story I dealt with three of the five:  (1) Pricing Floor For Certain Imagery, (2)  Simplified Pricing and (3) Better Actionable Data For Contributors That Relates To What’s Selling. In this story we’ll examine the issues of (4) Curation and, (5) a Central Database For Small Collections.

Stock Photo Marketing 2.0 – Part 1

By Jim Pickerell | 1623 Words | Posted 5/17/2016 | Comments (1)
If there is going to be a business of producing and licensing rights to stock photos five or ten years from now, the industry needs a serious re-design. There are at least five areas that need serious modification if the industry is to include anything other than User Generated Content (UGC), or if there is to be revenue growth.

Pulitzer Prize Photographers Tell Back Stories

By Jim Pickerell | 269 Words | Posted 5/13/2016 | Comments
The “Best In Show Festival 2016” of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs will open at 12:00 noon Saturday, May 14, at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre in West Palm Beach, FL.

footageMarketplace In London

By Jim Pickerell | 125 Words | Posted 5/12/2016 | Comments
The annual FOCAL International Awards Ceremony will be held on May 26, 2016 and the day before on May 25th the footageMarketplace will be held at 195 Piccadilly (home of BAFTA) in London. At this event footage and music content buyers can meet with 35 of the world’s premier footage/production music libraries.

What’s Happened To Corbis Employees?

By Jim Pickerell | 350 Words | Posted 5/12/2016 | Comments
Aurora Photos has announced that Tim Davis has joined the growing Aurora sales team as an Account Executive. Tim had spent the last 15 years with Corbis, most recently as a Sales Associate and Account Executive.

PhotoAlto Collection Available At PantherMedia

By Jim Pickerell | 470 Words | Posted 5/12/2016 | Comments
PantherMedia is happy to announce that the royalty free images of the renowned Parisian Agency PhotoAlto are now available via PantherMedia. This addition gives extra flair to PantherMedia’s Premium Collection. PhotoAlto's images distinguish themselves with a special touch of fashion and style that can only originate from Paris. Creatives all around the world hold PhotoAlto in high regard due to its strong technical quality paired with a specific, individual take on subjects and themes of any type. While the main focus of the collection is on people photography, there is also a strong emphasis on food, travel and other subjects.

Dreamstime Accepting Studio-Quality Audio Clips

By Jim Pickerell | 355 Words | Posted 5/12/2016 | Comments
Dreamstime has enhanced the already prolific stock media catalog of 43 million images and is now accepting submissions to build a library of royalty-free audio clips. In the first 24 hours after opening the site for submissions Dreamstime received more than 10,000 sound clips. The new audio section will eventually contain thousands of high quality professionally produced sound effects and music files, not currently found anywhere else in the industry. The royalty-free audio clips are grouped into four categories which include instrumental, style, theme, and sound effects, with many sub-categories available for further refining, ensuring users can quickly find the exact sounds or music their projects require.

Where Did The High End Buyers Go?

By Jim Pickerell | 794 Words | Posted 5/11/2016 | Comments
Everyone says there is increasing demand for photos. And there certainly is for photos that can be had for $1.00 or FREE. But is there increasing demand from those customers who used to buy photos for use in advertising and major marketing campaigns? The following are some statistics. Unfortunately, this story may raise more questions than provide answers, but the questions are worth considering.

ACSIL Hosts 2016 Footage Expo In NY

By Jim Pickerell | 461 Words | Posted 5/10/2016 | Comments
The major sources of stock and archival footage will exhibit at the ACSIL FOOTAGE EXPO 2016 which is being held at the historic Prince George Ballroom at 15 East 27th Street, New York City on June 9, 2016.

Shutterstock Q1 2016 Financial Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1536 Words | Posted 5/4/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported Q1 2016 revenue of $116.7 million up $19.1 million compared to Q1 2015. The growth is due mainly to new customers and increased activity by enterprise clients. Royalties paid to contributors during the quarter were about 29% of total revenue, or approximately $33.8 million. Currently, there are over 100,000 contributors meaning that the average contributor earned $338 during the quarter.

Melcher/Pickerell Colloquy

By Jim Pickerell | 2236 Words | Posted 5/3/2016 | Comments
Paul Melcher disagrees with much of my pessimism about the future of the stock photo industry. I have the greatest respect for Paul and his opinions. He is founding director of Melcher Systems and has been working in the stock photo space for more than 20 years. He has a thorough understanding of our industry. He has done much more in depth research of the tech side of the industry than I have, and has much better contacts and networking in that space. For these reasons, it is important for my readers to carefully consider what he has to say.

Corbis Contributors Released From Contracts

By Jim Pickerell | 364 Words | Posted 5/3/2016 | Comments
Corbis contributors have received the following information relating to the release from their contracts from Corbis & Unity Glory/VCG, the Chinese company that purchased Corbis.

Does Exclusive Representation Still Make Sense?

By Jim Pickerell | 1162 Words | Posted 4/29/2016 | Comments (3)
Being represented exclusively by a single agency, or distributor, used to be important if you wanted a chance to license your images for high dollars for advertising or product identity uses. These customers wanted assurance that no one else would be using the same image while their campaign was in progress and they were willing to pay a lot of money for such rights.

Top Footage Distributors

By Jim Pickerell | 193 Words | Posted 4/28/2016 | Comments (2)
More and more photographers have started to produce stock footage as a way to grow their business. Clearly, there is increasing demand for video clips as well as a greater need for video than still images. One of the questions I’m frequently asked is “What are the best companies to represent my work?”

Corbis Transition Almost Complete

By Jim Pickerell | 600 Words | Posted 4/28/2016 | Comments
Getty has supplied Corbis contributors with the information below. For many the most important information is that after May 2nd Corbis contributors who have not signed a separate agreement with Getty Images will be released from their contributor contracts and all survival periods will be waived.

Getty Files Google Image Piracy Complaint With EU

By Jim Pickerell | 779 Words | Posted 4/27/2016 | Comments
Getty Images has filed a competition law complaint with the European Commission against Google Inc. The complaint follows Getty Images’ submission in June 2015, when it joined as an interested third party in support of the European Commission’s existing investigation into Google’s anti-competitive business practices.

Uberization Of Stock Photography

By Jim Pickerell | 755 Words | Posted 4/26/2016 | Comments
The take over of the stock photography business by amateurs and part-timers is not new, but the long range implications are worth considering.

Drastic Royalty Cuts Change Photogs View Of 500px

By Jim Pickerell | 749 Words | Posted 4/21/2016 | Comments
In 2014 500px introduced (500pxprime.com), a licensing arm of its global online photography community that was launched in 2009 for the purpose of sharing and discovering images. Initially, prices were $50 for web use and $250 for print uses. The royalty share started out at 70%, but now it has been cut to 30%. Photographers are not happy with the pay cut.

Shutterstock Partners With Starpix

By Jim Pickerell | 311 Words | Posted 4/20/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock has signed a 3-year exclusive worldwide distribution agreement with Starpix, a boutique celebrity, red carpet and event photo company that provides photo coverage on the East coast for leading film studio clients and publishers.

Shutterstock Partners With PR Newswire

By Jim Pickerell | 443 Words | Posted 4/20/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock has announced a partnership with PR Newswire that will provide its customers with access to the Shutterstock 83 million+ image library of licensable photos.

Good News For Corbis Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 343 Words | Posted 4/19/2016 | Comments
Some Corbis photographers whose images have been integrated into the Getty Images collection tell me that their images are appearing high in the search-return-order for searches of their particular subject matter.

Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images

By Jim Pickerell | 139 Words | Posted 4/15/2016 | Comments
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Getty Images collection. Getty’s collection was marketed in China by VCG before the sale. The new enlarged collection with the addition of some Corbis images will continue to be marketed in China by VCG.

Shutterstock Contributor App Upgraded

By Jim Pickerell | 146 Words | Posted 4/15/2016 | Comments
The Shutterstock Contributor App that contributors may obtain from the Apple App store has been upgraded to allow contributors to directly attach, upload and manage model and property releases to their images from their phones.

How Low Can Prices Go?

By Jim Pickerell | 1340 Words | Posted 4/14/2016 | Comments (2)
How low can prices go? Is the volume of images used more important than earning money when an image is used? Must we accept whatever the customer is willing to pay, or is it possible, at some point to say NO? If there is such a point where is it? Most photographer will agree there is some point where the people representing our images should say NO, but there is big disagreement on where that point should be.

Where Stock Photo Industry Is Headed

By Jim Pickerell | 903 Words | Posted 4/13/2016 | Comments (3)
I was recently asked for my views on where the stock photo industry is headed over the next few years, the value of the industry at present, and how I think the major players will adapt to the growing availability of user-generated content. Here’s my answer.

What Getty Customers Need

By Jim Pickerell | 1427 Words | Posted 4/12/2016 | Comments
In recent seminars and webinars Getty provided contributors with information about buyer activity and tried to help them understand what customers need. One of the most important bits of information was that Getty is currently licensing rights to 10 RF images for every 1 RM. For years the average licensing fee for an RM image has been about 2.5 times that of an RF image. While the royalty share of an RM sale tends to be higher than an RF sale (about 35% to 20%) at a 10 to 1 ratio creators are likely to earn significantly more licensing their images as RF than as RM.

Megapixl.com Launched

By Jim Pickerell | 455 Words | Posted 4/12/2016 | Comments
Dreamstime, has launched Megapixl.com, a new website that utilizes machine learning to offer more refined stock image choices based on past user behaviors. This artificial intelligence (AI) utilizes past behavioral data garnered from millions of designers in order to determine which content is the most relevant and suitable for the individual user.

Veer Closed: Corbis Will Close May 2nd

By Jim Pickerell | 442 Words | Posted 4/7/2016 | Comments
Veer has closed its doors and photographers have been released from any contractual obligations they had with Veer. Images belong to Veer photographers have not been automatically migrated to iStock, but photographers can request a transfer and sign a new iStock contract if they wish. Effective May 2, 2016, the Corbis Images and Corbis Motion businesses and websites will no longer be accessible.

Finding The Right Image

By Jim Pickerell | 231 Words | Posted 4/7/2016 | Comments
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides links to a number of previous stories that deal with this issue.

Time: A Factor In Creativity

By Jim Pickerell | 1027 Words | Posted 4/6/2016 | Comments (1)
Time is becoming an increasing important factor for art directors and image buyers. Bosses and customers are demanding more output and giving the art director less time to produce results. The time it takes to find the right (well maybe, just usable) image is an increasingly important factor to be considered.

Released: Do You Use It As A Keyword?

By Jim Pickerell | 698 Words | Posted 4/4/2016 | Comments (1)
A photographer recently called to my attention a keywording anomaly that those who want their images found might want to consider. The photographer said that when he prepares for a trip to another country he searches some of the popular photo sites for the country and the keyword “released.”

Avalon: Consolidation Of Small Agencies

By Jim Pickerell | 263 Words | Posted 4/4/2016 | Comments (1)
Charles Taylor is still trying to put together a company that will consolidate many smaller independent picture agencies into a single publicly traded company that will be traded on the AIM stock exchange in the UK. Back in 2014 Taylor’s organization was called GDI Media Limited. The new version is called Avalon. More about it can be found here.

U.S. Photo Market Trends

By Jim Pickerell | 738 Words | Posted 3/31/2016 | Comments
Last fall, BVPA, the German association of picture agencies, asked me a series of questions about the U.S. market for stock photography and where I think it is headed. The following is what I told them along with links to a few relevant stories.

The Mega Agency Hires UK Sales Director

By Jim Pickerell | 183 Words | Posted 3/31/2016 | Comments
The Mega Agency, a new global media business, focused on delivering editorial images, is pleased to announce that David Ellis has been recruited as UK Sales Director.

Improving Search For Buyers

By Jim Pickerell | 1164 Words | Posted 3/30/2016 | Comments (2)
Agencies need to think hard about supplying contributors with more detailed information about exactly what is being requested and what is really selling. It used to be enough to provide general information about the broad categories of subject matter in demand. At that point they would leave it up to the individual creator to guess at what buyers -- with whom they have no contact whatsoever -- might want. That is no longer enough. Shooting based on gut feelings no longer works.

Photographers Quitting: Why Should Investors Care?

By Jim Pickerell | 1086 Words | Posted 3/28/2016 | Comments
After reading my previous story investors in stock photo companies as well as image buyers may ask, “Why should we care if professional photographers stop producing stock images?”

Are Photographers Leaving The Stock Business?

By Jim Pickerell | 1145 Words | Posted 3/25/2016 | Comments (1)
A Korean subscriber recently asked the following questions. “I notice you say that many photographers are unable to earn enough money and end up leaving the market. Is there any specific number that you can prove? How many photographers/contributors were there in the past and now?

Videoclips Sales At Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 506 Words | Posted 3/24/2016 | Comments
A videographer wrote recently complaining that two of his video clips had been sold by Getty Images to Viacom for a broadcast show on Comedy Central. This show also appears on the web. These two sales were made through a Premium Access deal and netted the videographer a whopping $8.46 for the two sales.

Visual Search: Will It Solve The Problems Stock Photo Customers Face?

By Jim Pickerell | 637 Words | Posted 3/22/2016 | Comments (1)
There is a huge amount of focus on Visual Search and its potential for the stock photo industry. In my opinion Visual Search Will Not Solve The Problems Stock Photo Customers Face. Visual search can be very useful in finding an image that the customer has a copy of in hand. It can find all the uses on the Internet of a particular image, but that’s not what most customers want.

Uploading Images To Multiple Agencies: Good Or Bad Strategy

By Jim Pickerell | 941 Words | Posted 3/21/2016 | Comments (2)
Recently, a photographer ask the following questions: Is stock photography a growing industry. I have read some analysis that say it is growing significantly, but others argue that free stock photography and microstock photography are leading photographers to leave the market. What is your opinion on that argument? Should a photographer upload the same pictures to as many other agencies as possible?

Shutterstock Reverse Image Search

By Jim Pickerell | 267 Words | Posted 3/18/2016 | Comments
Over the past year, one of Shutterstock’s engineering teams has spearheaded and modified computer vision technology to introduce more innovative search and discovery features and to improve the customer’s overall site experience.

Dissolve Introducing Liftoff At NAB 2016

By Jim Pickerell | 387 Words | Posted 3/17/2016 | Comments
Stock footage and photography company Dissolve will be introducing its popular Liftoff program to filmmakers at NAB 2016, April 16-21 in Las Vegas.

Protecting Your Copyright

By Jim Pickerell | 1407 Words | Posted 3/16/2016 | Comments (1)
It is getting harder and harder for photographers to protect their copyright. With PicScout, TinEye, Google Image Search and other reverse image search solutions it is easy enough to locate uses of specific images online. But, it can be very laborious to search one-by-one for particular images in a large collection, and it can be costly to have someone like PicScout do it for you.

Adobe Stock Offers 50 Million Assets

By Jim Pickerell | 219 Words | Posted 3/16/2016 | Comments
Adobe Stock has announced that it now has over 50 million high-res photos, vectors, illustrations, HD videos including some 4K videos to its collection.

CEPIC Congress In Zagreb

By Jim Pickerell | 378 Words | Posted 3/15/2016 | Comments
The annual CEPIC Congress, the world’s largest event where licensors of still still and footage get to together to discuss issues facing their industry, will be held from 25 to 27 May 2016 in Zagreb, Croatia at the Sheraton Zagreb Hotel.

Why Is Curation So Necessary?

By Jim Pickerell | 1396 Words | Posted 3/11/2016 | Comments
I want to call your attention to a couple of comments to my recent story “Curated Collections: The Future.” It is important to recognize that there are some great images on most of the stock photo sites with tens of millions of images. But as we shove everything that meets certain technical standards onto these sites, it becomes harder and harder to sort through all the mediocre shots and find the few great ones.

France Editorial Agencies Struggle To Reorganize

By Jim Pickerell | 857 Words | Posted 3/10/2016 | Comments
As revenues have declined in recent years due to declining sales for the use of images in print, and increasing use of images on the web at much lower prices, many French editorial agencies have found it necessary to reorganize. Jean Michel Psaila, CEO and owner of Abaca Press says, “The market has changed. We used to get €200 for print use. Now we get €5 for online use.”

Shutterstock Announces Multiyear Deal With AP

By Jim Pickerell | 692 Words | Posted 3/10/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has announced a three-year deal with The Associated Press (AP) to distribute AP's daily global photo and packaged video output for license to customers based in the United States. This milestone will also give U.S. Shutterstock editorial customers access to over 30 million photos and nearly 2 million video clips from, respectively, AP Images and AP Archive.

Dreamstime Introduces Unlimited Extended Licenses

By Jim Pickerell | 284 Words | Posted 3/8/2016 | Comments
Dreamstime has made changes to its Extended License policy allowing users to produce unlimited copies of purchased media. Previously, customers purchased extended licenses for print or web usage of an image and were restricted by limits on the number of copies they could reproduce, for example for t-shirts, on-demand printed items, or e-cards.

How Search Return Can Kill Sales

By Jim Pickerell | 1481 Words | Posted 3/7/2016 | Comments
If you’re a Getty contributor and your sales and revenue have been declining, it may be time to do some searches on Gettyimages.com as a customer would search. Input some of the generic keywords that a customer might use to find your images. See where your images fall in the search return order.

The Mega Agency

By Jim Pickerell | 392 Words | Posted 3/4/2016 | Comments
If you’re in the editorial photography business keep your eye on The Mega Agency. This company is a new editorial stock agency founded by the people who started Splash. Splash later became a key part of the Corbis editorial offering.

What Did VCG Buy?

By Jim Pickerell | 707 Words | Posted 3/3/2016 | Comments
It seems to me that all VCG bought when they acquired Corbis was: (1) The right to put out a press release saying, “We are the largest stock photo source in China,” (2) The removal of Corbis content from ImagineChina, which many believe was previously the largest stock photo agency in China, and (3) We bought a company from Bill Gates. Rumor has it that Bill Gates was paid $225 million for Corbis.

Copyright Small Claims Proposal

By Jim Pickerell | 378 Words | Posted 3/2/2016 | Comments
While there has been a great deal of discussion recently about the possibility of Congress creating a small claims process for visual arts, several visual artist groups, representing hundreds of thousands of creators, have joined forces to propose key components of potentially forthcoming small claims legislation. Collectively, the groups represent photographers, photojournalists, videographers, illustrators, graphic designers, artists, and other visual artists as well as their licensing representatives.

What’s Next For Veer?

By Jim Pickerell | 299 Words | Posted 3/2/2016 | Comments
Getty Images has contacted Veer contributors to explain what will happen to their imagery as a result of the sale of Corbis to VCG.  Their imagery will not be integrated into the Getty Images collection. Veer contributors may apply to iStock for possible upload of their content there. The memo says:

Pond5 Introduces Improved Search And Membership Plans

By Jim Pickerell | 1410 Words | Posted 2/29/2016 | Comments
Pond5 has improved its systems for searching and finding the right video clip or image. In addition, it has introduced a Membership offering that provides significant saving for customers who pay monthly or annual subscription fees.

Shutterstock’s Drive To Add Images

By Jim Pickerell | 707 Words | Posted 2/25/2016 | Comments
A photographer recently asked if I could explain why Shutterstock is making such an aggressive effort to grow its collection. Currently, the company over 77 million images in its collection and is adding over 800,000 new images a week. As far as I can tell Shutterstock believes their customers want more and more choice not only in subject matter, but in newer, more updated images.

Shutterstock 2015 Financial Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1302 Words | Posted 2/24/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported Q4 2015 revenue of $115.9 million and a total of $425.1 million in revenue for all of 2015. The full year revenue was up about 30% from $328 million in 2014. Approximately, $8.6 million of the annual revenue was generated by Rex Features and PremiumBeat that were acquired during Q1 2015, and the impact of foreign currency exchanges. Excluding these contributions to revenue the company’s revenue growth was approximately 27% in 2015 down from 39% in the previous year.

Good News, Bad News: For Corbis Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 147 Words | Posted 2/23/2016 | Comments (3)
The Good News -- Getty has started offering some Corbis contributors who also have an existing contract with Getty the chance to have their Corbis images migrated to Getty. The Bad News – One contributor was earning a 40% royalty on his Non-Exclusive RM contract with Corbis. Now Getty has offered him an agreement that gives him a 25% royalty.

Speight New Panther Media CEO

By Jim Pickerell | 284 Words | Posted 2/23/2016 | Comments
Tomas Speight has joined Panther Media GmbH as Chief Executive Officer. He will initiate a drive to grow the business into a global presence. Panther Media has a range of initiates relating to clients, international partnerships, as well as new content lines that will be launched in the near future. Further innovations beneficial to both photographers and clients are in the pipeline.

Is Growing Collections A Good Thing?

By Jim Pickerell | 826 Words | Posted 2/22/2016 | Comments
Many photographers who used to earn hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars for the use of one of their images think Shutterstock, and Microstock in general, are killing the stock photo business. Some Shutterstock contributors are even beginning to ask the same question. A reader recently asked for my analysis of why Shutterstock’s continued addition to its collection of over 700,000 new images a week won’t “drown it’s customers and risk losing its best contributors.”

Getty Supplies Corbis Contributors With Information

By Jim Pickerell | 817 Words | Posted 2/19/2016 | Comments
Getty Images has sent Corbis contributors the following information about the migration of Corbis material to Getty representation. While some questions have been answered there are still a number of issues that are not clear.

Public Company Dilemmas

By Jim Pickerell | 868 Words | Posted 2/18/2016 | Comments
The three public companies in the stock photo industry – Getty Image, Shutterstock and AdobeStock -- face major challenges that will probably be impossible for them to overcome. Adobe is the possible exception because it can approach the stock image side of its business as a loss-leader that supports the other 98% of its business.

Global Market Size For Stock Images

By Jim Pickerell | 717 Words | Posted 2/16/2016 | Comments
Another leading global market research company, Technavio, headquartered in London, has taken a look at the global still image market and concluded that it will exceed USD 4 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of over 7%.

Agents Interested In Talking To Corbis Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 773 Words | Posted 2/16/2016 | Comments (1)
Since publishing “Next Step For Corbis Photographers” last week, I’ve been contacted by a number of agents interested in talking to Corbis photographers who might be looking for somewhere else to place their work.

Next Step For Corbis Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 1316 Words | Posted 2/12/2016 | Comments
I’m getting a lot of requests from Corbis photographers that basically ask, “What should I do now!” Indications are that fewer than 20% of Corbis photographers will be offered Getty contracts. The actual number may be significantly less. Knowing who will and won’t be selected may not happen quickly. This story offers more thoughts on what's likely to happen and offers options for photographers to consider

Curated Collections: The Future

By Jim Pickerell | 925 Words | Posted 2/12/2016 | Comments (3)
Increasing numbers of stock photo buyers seem to be deciding that ever larger collections of images are not for them. At least as a first stop. The big question is finding an alternative since most of the better known sites – both microstock and traditional – are racing to add more images.

ImageBrief And Mymarketplace Collection

By Jim Pickerell | 982 Words | Posted 2/10/2016 | Comments (2)
It may be time for stock shooters to take another look at Image Brief. It started out as a place where customers would go to list a brief explaining the kind of imagery they needed for their next project.

Shutterstock Signs Exclusive Deal With BFA

By Jim Pickerell | 457 Words | Posted 2/9/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has announced an exclusive global syndication deal with BFA, a leading lifestyle, fashion, art and entertainment content creation agency. Over 1.7 million editorial images in the BFA collection will now be available to Shutterstock’s Premier customers, which include some of the largest marketing communications companies and publishing houses in the world.

Marketing Trends To Watch In 2016

By Jim Pickerell | 226 Words | Posted 2/8/2016 | Comments
Both Adobe and Shutterstock have recently posted information on tends they have spotted that they think will continue to build in 2016.

Adobe Stock Adds 100,000 4K Video Clips

By Jim Pickerell | 401 Words | Posted 2/5/2016 | Comments (2)
Adobe Stock has added over 100,000 4K video assets to its current collection of over one-million video assets. The site also offers over 45 million images and graphics. This story shows how that compares with other footage providers.

Visual Connections In Chicago

By Jim Pickerell | 256 Words | Posted 2/5/2016 | Comments
Visual Connections returns to Chicago on Thursday, May 5th to stage another networking and education event for art buyers and researchers who need images and footage. The venue will be the conveniently located Ivy Room at Tree Studios.

Reviewing Microstock

By Jim Pickerell | 890 Words | Posted 2/4/2016 | Comments
As microstock agencies race to grow their collections, there is an increasing demand for people to review submissions. Reviewers are expected to review 30,000 images a month, but according to one source the average tends to be around 40,000. Some of the more experienced are able to review close to twice the average.  

How Much Will Getty Benefit From Licensing Corbis Images?

By Jim Pickerell | 791 Words | Posted 2/3/2016 | Comments
In a previous story, I came to the conclusion that the Corbis properties VCG purchased probably generated in the range of $60 million in 2015. Does that mean that after experiencing steadily declining Premium and Midstock revenue for several quarters Getty is likely to have a $60 million increase in 2016? I think the answer is No. Here’s a dozen reasons why.

Fashion Photographers Beware

By Jim Pickerell | 208 Words | Posted 2/2/2016 | Comments
Fashion photographers beware! Much of your market is about to disappear. Why bother dealing with temperamental photographer and models when customers can hang the clothes on a mannequin and give the mannequin a human looking body and expression with Photoshop. That’s what Looklet is doing.

Want Higher Prices? Check Out Offset

By Jim Pickerell | 1545 Words | Posted 2/1/2016 | Comments (1)
If you’re a photographer who licenses your work as RM because you believe that’s the way to earn the most money (or a reasonable fee) when your pictures are used, it’s time to take a look at Offset. Many photographers are so opposed to microstock and subscription that they refuse to consider anything connected in any way with Shutterstock. If it is a Shutterstock initiative then it must be bad.

More On Corbis Sale

By Jim Pickerell | 941 Words | Posted 1/29/2016 | Comments (2)
The good news for Corbis photographers is that there will be no third cut before their royalty share is calculated. However, there are still a number of issues that aren’t clear. This story offers some additional clarifications and insights and a number of questions that are still unclear and need to be answered.

New Footage Sites

By Jim Pickerell | 200 Words | Posted 1/29/2016 | Comments
If you produce footage you might want to check out a couple of new sights. The first is the Stock Footage Newsroom where there are short summaries and links to full articles produced by Footage.net. This site will keep you up to date with what is happening at as number of footage distributors. The other is B-rollStock.com.

Royalties For Photocopying In UK

By Jim Pickerell | 359 Words | Posted 1/28/2016 | Comments
In the UK photographers can receive royalties when someone photocopies a page from a magazine or book that contains their image. In December the EPUK discussion group reported that REX Features, a UK editorial agency purchased by Shutterstock a year ago, misrepresented its right to collect certain monies from DACS on behalf of some of its photographers and falsely reported to the photographers what it had received from DACS. The full story is available here.

Estimated Value Of Assets Acquired By VCG

By Jim Pickerell | 814 Words | Posted 1/27/2016 | Comments (2)
VCG acquired parts, but not all, of Corbis’ assets. To understand what this means for the industry, it is important to have some idea of the amount of revenue the acquired assets generated in 2015? For a long-time Corbis has been thought to be the third largest seller of stock photography in the world after Getty and Shutterstock. If this is true, then how much does the combination of a significant part of the Corbis collection with Getty Images change the industry?

Getty Images Lowers Prices

By Jim Pickerell | 528 Words | Posted 1/26/2016 | Comments
Getty Images has introduced Ultra Pack pricing which effectively lowers prices on all premium creative Royalty-Free images, Editorial images and Videos by between 8% and 31%. The only images not affected by this price reduction are RM.

Uploading To iStock Is About To Get Easier

By Jim Pickerell | 930 Words | Posted 1/25/2016 | Comments
The tedious process of uploading images for consideration by iStock is about to get much easier. On February 7th  Kasper Ravlo will be launching a new tool called Q-hero. The average time to submit a file for review will drop from over one minute per image to less than 1-2 seconds. Instead of being the slowest site for image submissions, iStock will become the fastest.  

Shutterstock Lowers Royalties For Enhanced Licenses

By Jim Pickerell | 526 Words | Posted 1/23/2016 | Comments
Shutterstock is not making enough money so they have decided to lower the royalties paid for Enhanced Licenses. Here's what it means for image creators.

Shutterstock Partnering With Optimizely and Sprinklr

By Jim Pickerell | 197 Words | Posted 1/22/2016 | Comments
In an effort to make it easier for more people to use Shutterstock imagery the company is partnering with Optimizely and Sprinklr. By integrating Shutterstock’s newest API directly into their platforms, customers of these organizations will be able to easily search, preview, and license from the Shutterstock collection. Contributors will earn a royalty each time an Optimizely or Sprinklr customer licenses one of their images.

Visual China Group Acquires Corbis

By Jim Pickerell | 601 Words | Posted 1/22/2016 | Comments (1)
Corbis and Visual China Group (“VCG”; Shenzhen Stock Exchange:000681.SZ) today jointly announced that Unity Glory International Ltd. (“Unity Glory”), an affiliate of VCG owned by VCG’s major shareholders, has acquired the assets and brands of Corbis’ Images division, one of the world’s leading image archives and content licensing businesses. VCG is China’s leading visual communications and new media company and among the largest businesses in the image industry worldwide. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Video Subjects In Demand

By Jim Pickerell | 1224 Words | Posted 1/21/2016 | Comments
Recently, I found a list on Pond5 of popular keywords customers use to find videos. Earlier this month I published a similar list that Videoblocks had sent to its contributors a few months ago. I decided to search Pond5, Videoblocks and Shutterstock for each of these words and record the number of returns. You’ll find the results in the chart below.

Search Innovations Needed

By Jim Pickerell | 712 Words | Posted 1/21/2016 | Comments (2)
More images are not the answer. The industry needs to find a better way to present the images already in databases for customer consideration. Customers find it harder and harder to dig out the right image for their needs from todays large databases. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the right images aren’t there. It’s just that customers do not have time to search through all the available options.

Pond5 To Launch Video Subscription Offering

By Jim Pickerell | 283 Words | Posted 1/19/2016 | Comments
Pond5 is in the process of creating a collection of video clips that can be offered through low priced subscriptions. Contributors have the option of nominating their low-selling files for inclusion in the collection and will receive a minimum monthly royalties of $0.50 per item for every clip in the collection, regardless of downloads and usage.

Corbis To Be Dismantled

By Jim Pickerell | 371 Words | Posted 1/17/2016 | Comments
Corbis is changing. It is spinning off the right clearance aspect of its business known as Greenlight and renaming it Corbis Entertainment. It is our understanding that the rest of the company including Creative and Editorial licensing will be sold off and to some degree dismantled. It is unclear to whom these operations will be sold or exactly how the dismantling will occur, but more information is expected to be forthcoming later this week.

Additions And Corrections

By Jim Pickerell | 127 Words | Posted 1/15/2016 | Comments
Last week we posted a story “iStock/Shutterstock Comparison”. Since then there have been some very informative comments on Microstockgroup. You can find a link to these comments at the bottom of my story, or you can find them here.

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

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

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