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Stocktrek Images with specialized image collections in Healthcare and Biomedical Science, Armed Forces, Military Aviation, Space, Weather, Astronomy and Dinosaur Art has introduced a $35 price for web and mobile use of its images. The new web and mobile sizes of 600-800 pixels are ideal for use on web sites, online ads, digital magazines, periodicals, mobile applications, tablets, and other handheld devices.
Getty Images has launched its iStock subscription offering
in an attempt to compete with Shutterstock
. There are two levels of iStock subscriptions – iStock Essentials and iStock Signature. With iStock’s offering customers can download 250 images a month with the monthly plan or 750 images a month with the annual plan. With Shutterstock there is a daily limit of 25 images a day (750 a month) regardless of which plan you purchase.
The CEPIC Congress
scheduled to be held in Berlin on June 4 through 7, 2014 is less than 2 months away. Already nearly 350 stock photo agents and industry suppliers are signed up to attend. For a full conference program see here
The Permission Machine
(PM) is a startup in Belgium that is trying to educate social media users that they need permission to use the images they find on the web and provide them with a simple, easy way to license uses.
Getty Images has announced the call for entries for its Getty Images’ grants programs
for 2014. The grants will include – The Grants for Editorial Photography
, Creative Grants
and the Contour by Getty Images Portrait Prize
– as well as the Emerging Talent Award.
The deadline for entry and Applications is May 15, 2014 by 11:59 p.m. GMT (London Time). For more information see http://www.gettyimages.com/grants
Peter Krogh has written a disturbing report about how the value of imagery is about to be slashed once again. It’s called The Fire Hose concept. We have reprinted his report with his permission. Peter is also author of the DAM Book (digital asset management) and a group of publications on the use of Lightroom 5. For information about these publications see here
has released a plugin for WordPress that enables WordPress users to easily access and embed free and commercial content from Dreamtime’s 22.5 million image library.
ASMP has announced two webinars later this month that should be of value to stock photographers and stock photo agents. Both are free if you sign up and listen at the scheduled time. These webinars will also be recorded and made available within a week after the event through a web link. ASMP members will be able to listen to them for free. Non-members will be charged a fee of $4.99.
Some say the whole idea of setting up image registries
is a waste of time because everyone will continue to go to Google, Bing and Yahoo and grab anything they find believing it is their right.
Late in 2013 the Patents County Court (PCC) that handles copyright claims in the UK was renamed the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court
(IPEC) and a provision for submitting small claims was introduced. The small claims track is intended for claims with a value of up to £10,000 and where costs orders are tightly controlled.
Recently, on the “Stock Photography, buy and sell your images
” group on LinkedIn photographer Pierre Charrlau complained that his Getty Images sales have “greatly diminished” and wanted to know if others were having the same experience.
On its web site for Flickr contributors Getty asks, “What are the average prices for RM and RF?” and then gives the following answer. “The average licensing fee for royalty free ranges from $175 to $225. And for rights managed licensing, keeping in mind that uses and fees vary widely; the average is around $550-$650.”
has decided that in order to attract more customers to their microstock offering they need to lower prices for professional users. They have created a members-only Dollar Photo Club and are promoting it to readers of Graphic Design USA (GDUSA
In celebration of the one-year anniversary of Stocky United
, Brianna Wettlaufer has been appointed CEO of the company. Wettlaufer, who was co-founder and former VP at iStockphoto, (which was acquired by Getty images for $50 million in 2006) brings over 10 years of leadership and innovation to her role.
The United States Copyright Office of the Library of Congress has published a final rule establishing adjusted fees for copyright registration. The new fee structure will go into effect on May 1, 2014. The fee for an application filed online will increase from $35 to $55. The fee for an application filed on paper will increase from $65 to $85.
Be careful what you write in your blog. It’s not private. Over the weekend I received a request from a former mid-level employee of a stock agency who wanted me to delete from our Selling Stock archive a story that was published in 2009.
PACA’s mission has always been to support a healthy and sustainable market for licensing the use of photographic images, as well as to encourage and support innovative ways for photography to be legally used in the rapidly changing marketplace. Clearly, models for licensing of photography have had a difficult time keeping pace with changes brought on by the Internet, social media, and the blogosphere.
The informal corporate motto for Google is “Don’t be evil.” This motto is sometimes incorrectly stated as Do no evil. But the company’s image search tool facilitates
theft. The same is basically true of Bing and Yahoo.
After many years, the Ninth Circuit finally entered a decision in the Alaska Stock, LLC v. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company (HMH) case. In Anchorage U.S. District Judge H. Russel Holland had originally tossed the federal lawsuit after finding that the photographs had been improperly registered with the Copyright Office.
A reader asked if anyone produces a list of the stock photography subjects that are in greatest demand. As far as I know such a list does not exist. In very general terms the subjects in greatest demand are model released people in business and family situations, but to be useful it is necessary to get much more specific.
StockFood has released a new collection of food images that points to a new trend in food photography, and to a certain extent in stock photography as a whole. They call their collection “Perfectly Imperfect
” which describes the spirit of spontaneity that is increasingly in demand in every type of photography.
In all the excitement about 35 million FREE images it is worth looking back at some of things that have been happening at Getty Images in the last three months. After watching revenue decline for the fifth straight quarter, and many of its top producers cut back on production or stop supplying new images altogether, Getty evidently decided that their turn-around strategy wasn’t working and they needed to make some radical changes.
Carlyle Group should be trying to sell Getty’s Midstock division (iStock, Thinkstock and Photos.com) to Shutterstock before the value of that segment of Getty’s business collapses. Carlyle should recognize by now that Getty Images has been a bad investment. It is the time to cut losses.
The German microstock agency PantherMedia (http://www.panthermedia.net
), a German microstock agency with 28 million images in its collection, has relaunched its new website with the most comprehensive update in 10 years. Besides the clear new design, the website offers new products, new licences and additional features.
Photographers, illustrators, Getty’s Image Partners (stock agencies), and trade associations representing Getty photographers should be asking Getty to supply creators with a limited amount of the data collected when Getty embeds creator's images on a web site for FREE
has announced to its Flickr contributors that it has provided notice to terminate its existing agreement with Flickr
. The original 5-year agreement went into effect in July 2008. Getty has been unable to come to a new agreement at this time. Getty says they continue to be open to working with Yahoo!/Flickr.
Most photographers believe stock photo prices are declining everywhere. But not at Shutterstock
where they have seen a 27% increase in 3 years from $1.91 per download in Q4 2010 to $2.43 in Q4 2013. RM and traditional RF photographers are thinking, “This is not a story for me. I’ll never go near any distributor with prices that low.” Please don’t give up. Let me walk you through some numbers that you may find useful and interesting.
See the previous story
. It looks like a high percentage of the RM and RF images in the Creative Stock Images of the www.gettyimages.com cannot be accessed
using the Embed Tool
. This may not be the slam dunk Getty is hoping for.
has made it possible for anyone to easily embed and share its imagery – at no cost – for non-commercial use on websites, blogs and social media channels through a new embed tool
. Free Pictures For Anyone Who Blogs.
has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire WebDAM
, a leading provider of web-based digital asset management software.
has announced that it will award a prize of $5,000 USD for the best selling image in 2014 that was uploaded to its new Instant Collection for iPhones. In addition, every image accepted in the Instant Collection before the end of April, will instantly earn $1. Now everyone has a chance to sell smartphone images, regardless of technical ability or expensive equipment. Contest details here: http://us.fotolia.com/instantcontest
has announced that in April it will launch a subscription product based on the Thinkstock
subscription product. The low priced Thinkstock product has been the fastest growing part Getty Images’ business.
If you couldn’t make it to the Microstock Expo (MExpo) in Berlin last November now from the comfort of your home or office you can see and hear all the discussions
that took place during the two-day conference. Of course, this material will be particular interest to microstock shooters and distributors, but even if you are licensing your work at RM or traditional RF prices you will find that many of the discussions provide important insights into where the stock photo industry is headed.
Over 9,000 iStock
photographers have received notices that they were overpaid for sales made through the Partner Program (PP). Getty plans to reclaim the overpayments by deducting the amount from the future royalty payments owed the contributors over the next six months. It is unclear exactly how much the total overpayment was, but based on what some photographers are being told will be deducted from their accounts it could have been millions of dollars.
Earlier this week I wrote about the average price per image licensed at Getty
. This article will examine some of the publicly available and widely reported numbers related to the number of images licensed.
On March 10, 1014 Getty Images plans to close down Photos.com
and move virtually all the content and operations to Thinkstock
. Thinkstock currently offers more than 14 million images. Added to Photo.com’s 5.5 million image that will put Thinkstock in the 20 million image range.
Recently, I had the opportunity to examine the 2013 sales of a few of Getty Images’ major contributors. They licensed images as both RM and RF. While these contributors represent a very small sample of all the people represented by Getty, I believe their experience is reasonably representative of what is happening in the entire collection. Their figures may provide some useful insights.
has reported a record 28 million downloads and $68 million in revenue for Q4 2013. The company’s revenue for all of 2013 was $235.5 million, up from $169.6 in 2012. About 28% of the revenue was paid out to contributors in royalties.
has jumped into the mobile photography business with Stockimo
, a new iPhone app that lets photographers upload pictures taken from their iPhone. Stockimo is open to anyone. Alamy contributors who were with the company before the Stockimo launch will receive a 50% royalty. Contributors who are new to Alamy and just submitting iPhone photos will receive a 20% royalty.
Over the weekend I reported that there were 71 live briefs
worth a combined total of over $150,000. Allyson Scott
, who has been responding to briefs and submitting images for more than six months, points out that actually making a sale is not as easy as I might have made it sound. Here’s what she had to say.
Getty Images’ photojournalists Brent Stirton, Sara Lewkowicz, Chris McGrath, Ezra Shaw, Al Bello and Quinn Rooney have been awarded top honors at World Press Photo
, the world’s largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest.
Currrently there are 71 image requests worth a combined total of over $150,000 on ImageBrief
. Clients looking for photos include: BBH (UK), Conde Nast, Huge Inc, Weiden+Kennedy, Story Worldwide, Expedia Inc, Grey Advertising, Penguin Books, Random House, Hearst, TriBeCa Film Festival, Proximity, Visa, McGarry Bowen, Harper Collins, Young & Rubicam.
Recently PACA published a letter from Past President Robert Henson about how Microsoft “has taken the bold step of promoting the theft of images online. Through its newly revamped Office
product.” Through its “Office Help” function Microsoft advised users looking for images to “Use Bing to get images.” Bing made finding images easy and implied that anything found was free to use.
In January Pearson provided a regular trading update and on February 28, 2014 it will announce preliminary results for 2013. While overall the company expects an operating profit of approximately £865m they had “lower underlying margins in North American Higher Education, particularly in the important fourth quarter.”
If you’re not happy about the copyright protection you are afforded, now may be the time for photographers and stock agencies to speak up. The European Commission and the U.S. Copyright Office are asking for your input.
Copyright registration of still images and illustrations as it is currently conducted in the U.S. is a waste of government time and money. Congress should encourage the development of a privately funded, non-profit facility where those who want to use images they find on the Internet or in print can easily determine if the image needs to be licensed for use. Here's a suggestion as to what it should look like and how it should function.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and author of Lean In, has worked with Getty Images to try to identify 2,500 images that portray woman in more empowering ways than many of the stock images of old-fashioned stereotypes found in today’s advertisements and media. Photographers may want to review the "leanincollection" for shoot ideas.
International Business Times
reports that in January alone Getty filed five lawsuits for the unauthorized use of single images. While Getty has been aggressively pursuing infringers with “settlement demand letters” for some time, lawsuits are unusual because the monies involved usually don’t justify the expense of going to court.
I’m getting tired of the overuse of the term “Professional” as it relates to photographers. Webster’s defines a professional as “a person who earns a living in an occupation frequently engaged in by amateurs, or a person who is expert in his or her work.” Many stock photographers want to call themselves “professionals” after they have sold their first image.
Google and European Union antitrust regulators have reached a settlement in the competition investigation that has been going on since 2010. Under the agreement, subject to a final approval by the EU, Google will pay no fine and there will be no finding of wrongdoing. No change likely in the way Google Images conducts image search.
A couple weeks ago I proposed an adjustment to current agency pricing strategies that offers the potential to get higher prices for the images in greatest demand and still make large quantities of excellent images available to customers who can’t afford the best. (See “Solving The Problem Of Too Many Images
”) Some subscribers thought I should also factor in production costs. Here's my response.
The biggest challenge for a photographer hoping to license rights to stock images is how to get the images seen by potential buyers. It would seem that the first step might be to get the images accepted by a good agency. But given the number of images on all subject matter in most agency collections that doesn’t necessarily mean customers will ever see them.
More and more stock agencies that license RM and Traditional RF rights are becoming aggregators of images rather than direct sellers of images. This is not a new phenomenon, but as more and more customers tend to go to a few large databases to find the images they need it is having a major impact on the income of many photographers.
, one of the leading international photo libraries representing 5,500 contributors worldwide and representing over 15 million images, today announced that it had completed the purchase of The Data Archive/Construction Photography
, a digital asset management software developer and a specialist photography and licensing company.
has announced to its contributors that as part of its initiative to streamline and simplify its collections structure and improve customer experience it will be retiring Jupiterimages.com and Punchstock.com over the course of February and March.
contacted 10 microstock agencies to determine what they believe will be visual trends in 2014. The agencies contacted were: Stocksy, PeopleImages, Fotolia, PantherMedia, Photocase, IngImage, Pixta, Photospin, YayImages, Dreamstime. Stockphotosecrets then compiled a list of 50 trends
with photo examples of each. The list is well worth reviewing as you plan your photo shoots for 2014. Review the list here
It is getting harder and harder to decide which stock photography licensing model to use if a photographer’s goal is to maximize earnings. For a long time it was generally assumed that the way to maximize revenue was to license your images based on usage (Rights Managed). In this way the seller could charge a lot of money – sometimes many thousands of dollars -- when a customer wants to make extensive use of an image. The fatal flaw in the RM licensing strategy is that when every sale is negotiated, there is a tendency to accept whatever a customer is willing to pay. See some comparative statistics about all the licensing models.
Vital Imagery Ltd.
, a leader in the online graphics subscription services, announced today that it has acquired Clipart.com and AnimationFactory.com from Getty Images
. These pioneering websites offer royalty-free clipart, 3D images and animations, photos, photo objects, Microsoft PowerPoint templates, fonts, as well as video backgrounds, e-mail and web page backgrounds for use in commercial and personal projects.
Yesterday, I wrote about the problem of the growing size of image databases
and how this is making it difficult for customers to easily find the right image for their projects. Many good images are never seen by anyone because they get buried in the search returns delivered.
Recently on the Linkedin Stock Photography blog
Valerie Henschel asked, “When do you cull older non-selling images from your archive?” It is certainly something to think about. If customers are forced to go through a lot of outdated, mediocre or totally irrelevant images in order to find something that really fits their needs – and hopefully the best of that subject matter available in the collection – they are likely to give up and go elsewhere. As the choices of almost any photographic subject expand exponentially, this is becoming a bigger and bigger problem for buyers.
Shutterstock has published an infographic that outlines some Global Design Trends 2014
based on its more than 350 million all-time downloads and over 100 million of them in 2013.
Do companies need an inexpensive catalogue of company-specific images showing their products and services being used by consumers? FlashStock, Inc.
thinks they do. Do the companies still need such images if that are all shot by part-time, amateur photographers using cellphones?
Alamy has announced that it will add vector graphics to offering as part of its strategy to provide a full service to image buyers. The company is launching with a collection of 500,000 vectors from leading suppliers including YAY media AS, Matthew Britton and Pavel Konovalov.
If you want to see beautiful pictures and know what’s happening visually in the world at large there is no better place to go than the Time Lightbox
. Each Friday the Time editors put together a 40 to 60 image slideshow of the best pictures that have come across their desks in the past week that were shot by news photographers around the world.
If there is something related to photography or illustration that you want to learn more about, chances are that Shutterstock’s Skillfeed (www.skillfeed.com
) has a video tutorial on the subject. Some of the tutorials are designed for beginners while others are aimed at people with more advanced experience. When searching a subject you can sort the tutorials by your skill level.
Google has just made it much easier for searchers to find images they can legally use for FREE – even for commercial uses. Bing introduced this feature last July. Go to Google. Use the images search feature and search for any subject. Click on “Search Tools” and under that click on “Usage Rights.” The default search is “not filtered by license,” but the searcher can change that to any one of the following:
n it’s latest trend briefing
, the Image Source blog, IMSO, delivers an analysis of popular stories covered during 2013 – from the Cult of Maersk on the rise of Industrial imagery to features on Richard Avedon’s work in Jeans Advertising – the research reveals five developing trends in photography: Mythography; Post-Cowboy Capitalism; Neo Geo Plus; Tonka Tech; and The Double Take.
I was recently asked to name the 5 biggest companies in the stock photo industry and the percentage of total industry turnover they represent. The surprising thing is how the names of the top 5 have changed in the last few years and the implications for the long term future of the industry.
Last summer Selling Stock published stories here
about efforts in the UK to revise the copyright rules and devise a path for those who want to use “orphan works” to do so legally. Orphan works are any copyrighted material where the copyright holder cannot be identified or located. The process moves forward.
Recently Shutterstock published a Trend Report that showed the 12 most popular images downloaded by creatives in the last week. While this is a very small sample it may provide useful insights for photographers to consider. Only 4 of the 12 images in greatest demand were photos and two of the 4 were backgrounds. The other 8 images were Vector illustrations.
Recently, a photographer who has been regularly producing images for RM licensing for a lot of years asked, “Is there any future in stock photography?” He is with a leading agency, made very good money in the 1990s and sales were pretty good in the early 2000s. Then came 2008-2009 and sales dropped off the cliff. Now he is questioning whether it is worthwhile to continue to produce. He also said, “I have ever bought into the Royalty Free idea.”
A subscriber asked recently, “What is the best way to find out all the legal compliance issues associated with selling stock images of individuals and/or groups?” The issue is very simple. If the image is used for any type of commercial use you need a release. If it is being used for editorial use to illustrate a magazine or newspaper story of something that actually happened, and was taken in a public place, then a release is usually not required. However, it can get a little fuzzy if a picture of someone is used to “illustrate” an editorial story that has nothing to do with the subject of the photograph’s lifestyle.
For the past two years I have been tracking semi-annually the total downloads and images in the collection of 420 of iStock’s top earning contributors. As of the end of 2013 these contributors had a total of at least 50,777,000 total career downloads and 1,794,494 images in the iStock collection. Two-hundred-three of these contributors (48%) have uploaded fewer than 100
new images to their collections in the last two years.
Based on the downloads of 420 of iStock’s most productive contributors who have a combined total of at least 50,777,000 downloads the number of downloads in 2013 were down about 12%
compared to 2012. This group of contributors have approximately one-third* of all iStock downloads since the company’s founding,
Total global ad spend in 2013 was between $489.6 billion (Magna Global
) and $503 billion (ZenithOptimedia
). This is up between 3.2% and 3.5% compared to 2012. According to eMarketer
the U.S. portion for 2013 is about $171.33 billion or 34% of the world media market.
After reading my story on Lightrocket
and the comments, Yvan Cohen, co-founder of Lightrocket provided some feedback and clarification.
Patents are granted for original ideas. Unilock has a U.S. patent
that describes in broad terms a system for licensing the use of images online. The company is claiming that stock agencies are infringing their patent when they license image use through online sites.
I get a lot of questions about the size of the video clip market and its potential for growth. There is very little hard data publicly available. Back in 2011 The Association of Commercial Stock Image Licensors (ACSIL) conducted a global survey to determine the size of the stock footage market
. They concluded that the total stock video revenue generated in 2010 was about $394 million. ACSIL believes the revenue generated in 2013 will be about the same.
Recently, a German subscriber asked, “Who will be the winner, Microstock or Macrostock?
” To answer that question we must define winning. Is licensing the most pictures winning? Is the distributor with the most revenue the winner? Is making it possible for more photographers to earn some money from the pictures they take winning? Is it winning to make it possible for more photographers to earn a living producing and licensing rights to stock pictures? Is it providing customers with better service?
There is a growing demand for narrowly focused image collections that provide high quality, tightly edited and in depth coverage of their particular niche. DisabilityImages
is a good example of one such collection.
Over time royalty rates have declined. Usage fees have dropped dramatically in the last few years. And the huge oversupply of images is making it less likely that any images will ever be licensed. Faced with these facts many photographers have pulled back on new production of stock images, if not dropped out of the stock photo business entirely. Now, Lightrocket
offers a marketing option that may make some of those businesses sustainable.
Many microstock image producers keep a very low profile. Recently we came upon a list www.microstocktime.ru/tools/
of the top 100 individuals and companies with the largest portfolios on Shutterstock
. We tried to learn a little more about Africa Studio, the number one contributor.
Visual Connections has announced that Visual Connections Chicago
(), the leading forum to meet and learn from image/footage buyers, will be moving to a new venue in 2014. Bookings for the Thursday, April 24, 2014 event will open on Wednesday, December 18 at 10am ET.
Zap Email Service enables creative professionals to instantly send their footage requests to over 50 top footage houses via a single email. Footage companies participating on the service receive a daily stream of new footage requests.
has announced that as of January 1st 2014, they are dropping the placement fee for RM Photographer’s Choice. This means that there are no longer any fees associated with Photographer’s Choice RM and RF!
Photographers all over the world are making sales through ImageBrief
. While it can be a lot of work responding to briefs the photographers we talked to seem generally happy with the results. ImageBrief reported that in October and November they negotiated sales for 168 photographers operating in 30 different countries. (See list below)
stock footage collection now exceeds 2 million clips. In addition the Redcode RAW (R3D) -- the native format for the popular RED series of ultra-HD cameras -- is now supported on the platform (http://www.pond5.com/r3d
has announced that it has become the world's first stock photo website built around responsive web design principals. This step has made Stocksy the only stock photo site that can provide the same optimized research and buying experience across any smartphone, tablet or desktop device.
Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has reported that Fotolia’s
revenues for the fiscal year ending December 2012 totaled $87 million
. Moody’s expects revenues to increase in the “low to mid-single digit percentage range over the next 12 months.”
In November I surveyed image creators who had signed up to attend the Microstock Expo in Berlin and asked them two question:
(1) What are your top four distributors and the percentage of revenue from each?
(2) Is your gross revenue greater in 2013 than it was in 2012?
It’s time to take another look at PeopleImages.com
that Yuri Arcurs Productions launched 17 months ago. Yuri has long been the world’s most successful microstock photographer, and until June 2013 his work was represented on virtually all the world’s microstock distributors.
The 2014 “Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year”
competition with a top prize of £5,000 has been announced. Professional and amateur photographers can submit their food images until January 31, 2014. The winner will be selected in London and announced on April 23, 2014 in a festive ceremony at the London’s “Mall Galleries.“
Getty Images has supplied selected investors with its third quarter revenue figures. Indications are that revenue continues to decline. For the year ending June 30, 2013 revenue was $897 million. For the 4 quarters ending September 30, 2013 indications are that the revenue is less than the $897 million, but we have been unable to determine exactly how much it has declined.
As of December 1, 2013 Universal Images Group Limited
(UIG) has opened a new Content Management facility for Asia based in Tokyo, Japan.
Last week a coalition of 37 news organizations, including the Associated Press, ABC News, The Washington Post and Reuters called for better access to the president and the White House
in a letter
addressed to White House press secretary Jay Carney.
The number of news photographers employed in the U.S has dropped 43% since 2000 from 6,171 to 3,493 according to the ASNE (American Society of News Editors). By comparison, the number of full-time newspaper reporters and writers dropped by 32%—from 25,593 to 17,422.
A jury has awarded photographer Daniel Morel $1.2 million in damages in his case against Agence France-Presse
(AFP) and Getty Images
for the unauthorized distribution of his images of the January 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake. At the time Morel received no payment from the agencies for almost 1,000 uses of his images.
The formula for producing stock images that sell is simple. Produce what customers want. All they want are images of “better quality” that are “more creative,” “natural, not staged” and that clearly illustrate a “concept” the customer needs at the moment. Also, the “price” for usage must be lower than anything else available.
has released a series of eight research reports entitled “Trends In Sight”
that explain and illustrate with Corbis images What’s New and What’s Next in photography.
Judge Denny Chin in Southern District of New York has ruled that Google Books provides a public benefit
and is a fair use
of copyrighted material. He ruled that the Google Books project doesn’t violate copyright law and dismissed the eight-year-old lawsuit against Google.
Design Pics Inc
. has announced the acquisition of AgStock Images, a California based photo agency specializing in agricultural photography. Founded in 1996 by Ed Young, AgstockImages.com
is a comprehensive library of worldwide agricultural photography, representing over 115 leading agriculture, produce, livestock, entomology, botany and plant pathology photographers, including photographers who are also professors and researchers across the United States, Canada, Europe and South America.
This story contains a list of the 99 Shutterstock contributors with the largest portfolios. All have more than 17,000 images on Shutterstock and the leading contributor, Africa Studio, has 346,683. Combined these 99 contributors have 4,433,257 or almost 14% of all the images on Shutterstock.There is a hot link to each contributor’s collection.
As happens every fall there is a whirlwind of photo conferences – PACA Annual Conference, Visual Connection and PhotoPlusExpo (all in New York), and this year Microstock Expo in Berlin. In light of everything I’ve seen and heard between October 20 and November 17, 2013 I’ve provided a few observations as to where I think the stock photo industry is headed.
, the world’s largest software maker and itself a massive consumer of image content for its products and services, has taken the bold step of promoting the theft of images online. Through its newly revamped Office product, Microsoft is replacing an image search functionality – one that routed the user to vetted sources for searching, transacting and integrating content into their online projects – with a general Bing
search. While Microsoft is certainly free to remove one piece of Office functionality and push users onto the Bing platform, the methods of how it is doing so underscores a blatant disregard of intellectual property.
Hundreds of thousands of images in major stock distributor collections are never viewed by any customer. If customers can’t see them they certainly can’t buy them. Tens of thousands of images are being added to stock photo databases every day. A very high percentage of them will quickly fall into an abyss never to be seen again. Is there a solution to this problem?
On behalf of thousands of photographers and picture agencies CEPIC, the Center of the Picture Industry has submitted a formal antitrust complaint against Google’s use of third-party images before the European Commission. The complaint was submitted on 8 November 2013 and supported by an unprecedented coalition of European and US trade associations representing thousands of photographers and picture agencies worldwide.
Attorney Edward Greenberg
reports that Andrew Paul Leonard
, a professional photographer who specializes in creating images of microscopic subject matter using a scanning electron microscope (“SEM”) has been awarded $1.6 million in his copyright infringement lawsuit against Stemtech Health Service.
Does exclusive representation make sense in today’s stock photography world, or is it better to place your images with multiple distributors? Here are a few things to consider.
Buyers often ask, “Why do stock images cost so much?” Photographers and agents tend to respond, “Because some images cost more than others to produce.” But the buyer will invariably point out that some very simple images shot on a white background are often priced higher than other more complicated and complex images that obviously cost more to produce.
has reported a record 25.4 million downloads and $56.8 million in revenue in Q3 2013. The Shutterstock collection has grown to more than 30 million still images and over 1.3 million video clips. Revenue per download grew 4% year-over-year to $2.35. The growth in revenue per download was driven primarily by a growing portion of revenue that is derived from video footage downloads.
Educational publishers are telling stock agencies and image creators that they need more and “better quality” still images. Despite declining prices many still photographers are continuing to try to improve on the images of educational subjects already in stock agencies. This may be a losing strategy for photographers.
In business it often helps to try to walk in your customer’s shoes. The following is a situation that developed when a busy designer was trying to give his customer a quality product on a tight deadline (aren’t all deadlines tight these days), and keep the cost of the project reasonable and within the customer’s budget.
Alamy has decided to lower the payout threshold for contributors and make payments whenever a contributor has $75 on account. No fees will be charged at the Alamy end regardless of the method or currency the contributor chooses.
One of the surprising things that came out of this year’s Visual Connections
event in New York was the degree of confusion and misunderstandings graphic designers and art directors have about image rights. Many seem unsure as to what they can and cannot do with the images they license.
On his Thoughts of a Bohemian blog
Paul Melcher points out that content is no longer king. Given the rise of amateur photography and the “corpocrates” that regularly license RM imagery for a few dollars, pros are content kings without kingdoms.
The stock visual media industry is seeing a pick-up after the longest downturn in living memory. Visual Connections New York, the world’s largest marketing event devoted to commercial licensing of visual media, drew more buyers and exhibitors this year than in 2012. Buyers could learn about 72 different stock agency brands from around the world, including 21 new to New York and 22 from outside the US (Canada, UK, Germany, Sweden and Argentina).
Stock photography is changing rapidly. The most serious issues facing stock photographers are:
they have no idea who their potential customers are;
they don’t know what their customers are looking for in the way of images; and
they don’t understand how their customer’s businesses are changing.
has done a deal with Pinterest
that will track the use of any of the 80 million photos and illustrations on Gettyimages.com whenever they are posted on the digital scrapbooking site. (A little over 7 million of those photos are on the Creative section of the site.)
has introduced two new products: Stipple Mobile and Stipple Search. With Stipple Mobil you can create Stippled photos right from your phone. Easily add videos from your camera and YouTube; Facebook, Twitter and Wikipedia profiles; and more to your photos. Photographers can instantly share everything on Facebook and Twitter.
, the commercial arm of the BBC, has agreed a global five-year partnership with Getty Images
, in which Getty Images will represent BBC Motion Gallery, BBC Worldwide’s prestigious video clip sales business. The agreement will see the world-renowned BBC Motion Gallery brand continue, with Getty Images as the exclusive global distributor.
PhotoShelter has just released the results of a new survey designed to determine “What Buyers Want From Photographers.” The 48 page report is available for Free here
Getty Images has been privately owned by Carlyle Group for a little over a year
, and before that by Hellman & Friedman for about 5 years. One of the results of going private is that much of the data that used to be shared about Getty’s operations is no longer available to the general public.
If you’re looking for an overview of the state of the stock photo industry as of October 2013 the stories listed below are a good place to start. Regular readers of Selling-Stock will have seen all this information before. For them, there is nothing new here although some of the stories were published in the last two weeks. If you’re looking for data and analysis – both current and historical – these stories are worth examining.
On September 31, 2013, the Copyright Office released the findings
of its two-year study on copyright small claims. The report documents the significant costs and other challenges in the current federal system of addressing copyright claims that have a relatively low economic value. The report recommends the establishment of a Copyright Tribunal housed within the Copyright Office to adjudicate claims.
Does anyone other than photographers think that photographers should be compensated with more than a credit for the use of their images? The response photographer Kristen Pierson received from the publisher of the Warwick, RI Beacon displays a common attitude, not just of the average consumer, but of many professionals and commercial users who should be licensing rights to the images they use.
, a stock photography co-op that launched on March 28, 2013, is on track to become profitable by November. A photo collective and online market co-owned by more than 400 photographers, Stocksy has accomplished this feat while giving members a 50 percent royalty on each transaction and 90 percent of profits.
Patrick Lor, co-founder of iStockphoto and formerly leader of Fotolia North America, has founded a stock footage company called Dissolve
. Lor’s company makes a significant number of clips available for $5 although some clips are priced at $50, $150 and $500.
There is increasing interest among debt investors as to what is happening at Getty and particularly in their Midstock division. I posted an analysis
last week, but already there is new information worth updating.
Graphic Design USA’s 27th annual Stock Visual Reader Survey
has revealed that 95% of creatives in the U.S. use stock visuals to some extent in their work. In 1986 only 34% of creatives used stock, but there has been a steady year-to-year rise in its use reaching 95% in 2010.
The latest edition of Alamy’s “Ask James” series of video chats where CEO James West responds to photographer questions is now live. West reports that the company licensed rights to about 360,000 images in 2012, up from under 200,000 in 2008.
In response to the new trends in Smartphone use, social media and mobile phone Fotolia is launching a new app and collection, uniquely designed for Smartphone photos. Created for iPhone 4 and up, Fotolia Instant
offers fresh, new “in-the-moment” images taken using the new app, which allows users to shoot and upload to Fotolia directly from their Smartphone.
Getty Images is finally declaring iStock a “Midstock” brand given how high they have pushed the prices of iStock’s exclusive imagery. I estimate that about 35% of the images on iStock are exclusive. Getty has told debt investors that 70% of iStock revenue is generated from exclusive images and that the gross revenue for the last 4 quarters was about $300 million. In Q2 2013 iStock revenue was down 9% compared to the revenue in Q2 2012.
Getty Images’ visual trends publication Curve
released their most comprehensive assessment of diversity in advertising to date. The Curve is designed to highlight the latest trends and research into the changing use of visual imagery that depicts social variety. It is also a resource for brands that are looking to create exclusive and progressive communications.
The New York Times has published a story about “Let the Fire Burn
” a new film due out today that chronicles the 1985 bombing by the Philadelphia Police of a house occupied by the radical group known as Move. The fire spread to 60 other houses in the neighborhood.
Frans Lemmens has a problem. One of his clients operates an iPad travel magazine called TRVL Magazine. They use a lot of his images. They encourage readers to share the images found in their app on Facebook. Frankly, readers would probably do this anyway whether they are encouraged to do so, or not. Also, in order to market their app this activity is probably critical for TRVL.
Given the changing and growing demands publishers are facing when developing an educational program, PACA’s Editorial Relations Committee and Cengage Learning have worked together to create a new “Preferred Provider” Insert License Agreement that helps meet the publisher’s needs while providing image vendors of a better understanding of how their images are being used.
Art Directors and Graphic Designers lament the decline in creativity
. They say this results from a lack of Time and a lack of Funding which leads to a lack of Inspiration. 75% say they have too many competing priorities to leave time for reflection.
Professional creatives are struggling to produce creative and effective campaigns in an increasingly stressful work environment, according to a new survey released by iStock by Getty Images
during Advertising Week 2013 in New York City. One in two (48 percent) of creatives believe levels of creativity in their industry have stagnated or declined in the last decade and nearly one quarter (23 percent) of creatives spend less than two hours of their day doing ‘creative’ work, according to the study’s findings.
The MAGNA GLOBAL Advertising Forecast released early this year reported that the Global advertising spend in 2012 was $495 billion up 3.8% from $479.9 in 2011. But, in 2013 newspaper and magazine ad revenues are expected to fall. The U.S. was the largest market with $153 billion in revenues in 2012. Japan, China, Germany and the UK complete the top five.
According to the New York Post Avril Nolan, 25, has sued Getty Images for $450,000 after discovering her unreleased picture splashed across a quarter-page color ad in the free newspaper am New York on April 3, 2012. Next to her face were the words "I am positive (+)" and "I have rights." Nolan is perfectly healthy, never had HIV and never signed a model release to allow her image to be used in any kind of advertising.
CueSongs, the one-stop music licensing hub for online and digital media, achieves yet another strategic partnership announcing it has reached an agreement to become the exclusive music partner of Image Source, the leading independent image agency, to power its new music licensing service unveiled today.
Getty Images has rebranded iStockphoto to just .iStock.
with of sub-head of by Getty Images. The new logo is white on black instead of the former red iStockphoto. The rest of the site looks pretty similar to what was offered before.
Alamy is soliciting questions for the next installment of it’s popular “Ask James" feature. Between now and September 23rd contributors can pose questions to James West, CEO of Alamy. He will answer as many as possible in one or more 10 minute video sessions.
Every photographer is aware that the average annual return-per-image has been steadily falling over the last few years. The numbers in this story based on the size of Getty's Premium image collection and the revenue it generates give an indication of just how much it has fallen.
At Visa pour l'Image in France earlier this month Olivier Laurent of the British Journal of Photography interviewed Jonathan Klein, CEO and co-founder of Getty Images. Among the issues discussed were falling prices, the future of the industry, the need for new economic models and the role of smartphones in a market in flux. The entire article can be found here
Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) and global digital media company Getty Images today announced a long-term extension of their successful partnership. Getty Images will continue to serve as the exclusive commercial photography partner of Major League Baseball (MLB) and exclusive licensor of the entire MLB image archive.
Getty is telling debt investors (people who buy corporate bonds and corporate debt) that 70% of iStockphoto revenue is generated by exclusive images. They also say that total iStock revenue annually is around $300 million. iStock revenue declined 9% in Q2 2013 compared with Q2 2012. Thus, about $90 million of Getty’s revenue comes from non-exclusive images and $210 million from exclusive
After reading about the new Facebook TOS
I began to wonder if Facebook would be able to resell images their advertisers acquire from Shutterstock as part of the new Facebook/Shutterstock deal
Getty Images rising debt compared to earnings (EBITDA) is worrying debt investors. Moody’s is reviewing the company to determine if they need to lower their Rating of the company’s debt. Getty has $2.6 billion in outstanding debt including an approximate $1.9 billion term loan, $550 million of 7% notes due October 2020 and $150 million line of credit. Gross revenue for the year ending June 30, 2013 revenue was $897 million.
In June 2013 VisualSteam
conducted a survey of over 1,000 art buyers, designers, creative directors, photo editors, service managers (and more), from agencies, design firms, publishers and corporations in the U.S. to determine “What Buyers Want.” They received a statistically valid response. For detailed results see the 5 page pdf or a longer video presentation here
has created a body of work that focuses on empowerment and accessibility, and reflects the lives of people with disabilities who run companies, have families, participate in sports, study, learn and enjoy life.
Clearly Shutterstock is on a growth curve in terms of number of images downloaded and revenue. According to debt investors (those who trade in corporate bonds and corporate debt) Getty’s revenue has been declining over the last three quarters and the company’s expenses have been increasing due to increased marketing costs. To get back in the game Getty has to try to take market share from Shutterstock.
Many Internet users seem to believe that it is OK to use any image they find online for wallpaper on their site. The next step is to grab a bunch of images they like and create a site that makes the images available to others for free wallpaper use. And, once they’ve gone to the trouble to create a site the site owners figure they might as well make a little money by selling a few ads.
After the announcement of the Shutterstock/Facebook agreement
that makes images available FREE of charge to businesses that advertise on Facebook, I contacted Shutterstock for additional clarification.
In this time of ever declining stock photo prices it is great when we can report a significant license fee for stock images. Last week one of the remaining, small, independent photo agencies negotiated a campaign of global scope entailing unlimited print, web and marketing uses of 7 images for a period of 10 years for a total fee of $415,000.
Many traditional RF and RM agencies and production companies are adding images to the Offset
collection. I’ve found images from Blend, Aurora, Tetra, National Geographic, Westend61, fStop, Johner, Gallery Stock, Cavan Images and Radius Images in the few searches I’ve conducted.
At the recent Interactive Advertising Bureau’s 2013 Digital Content NewFronts conference in New York 75% of the senior executives attending said they plan to shift more of their advertising budget from television to digital video ads over the next year.
has done a deal with Facebook that will give businesses that advertise on Facebook FREE
access to the Shutterstock library that now totals more than 28 million images. Each time a Facebook advertiser licenses a Shutterstock image the Shutterstock artist will earn a royalty – presumably the $0.25 to $0.40 subscription rate.
that connects creative and marketing professionals to a curated network of more than 7,500 professional photographers in 115 countries has published an infographic
that outlines some of the risks professional photographers face in the current market.
The American Society of Media Photographers, joined by National Press Photographers Association (NPPA
), The Digital Media Licensing Association (PACA
), American Photographic Artists (APA
), This Week in Photography (TWiP
), Professional Photographers of America (PPA
), Coordination of European Picture Agencies Stock, Press and Heritage (CEPIC
), Graphic Artists Guild (GAG
) and American Society of Picture Professionals (ASPP
Getty Images has made a number of strategic decisions in the past few years that have resulted in declines in both its “Creative” (RM and RF) and microstock lines of business. These decisions have also aided Shutterstock in its rise to a commanding position in the market with its subscription licensing model. I want to emphasize that when I talk about declines I am not referring to Getty’s other lines of business - Editorial, Footage, Other or B2B music – which as far as I can tell are still growing.
Getty Images has watched the rise of Shutterstock – to the company’s chagrin – and is trying to build Thinkstock to a position where it can take market share away from Shutterstock. Read this story to see why I think Getty is unlikely to be successful and why their fortunes are likely to further decline.
Photographers who are licensing their images based on usage (RM) need to give some careful thought to the lag time between creation and when they are likely to see any money. This is particularly true if they are licensing their images through an agency as the lag time seems to be getting longer and longer.
ASMP has published “The Instagram Papers
,” a very valuable analysis of Instagram Terms of Service. Every photographer who is considering posting images on Instagram, wants to retain control of his/her images and hopefully earn some money from them should be familiar with the information in this report.
Looking for inspiration? Check out Blend Images The Blog!
at blog.blendimages.com for amazing photos, illustration, graphics and fine art. For a little over a year now the stock photo production company has been regularly showing small collections of the work of amazing visual artists. The works are not limited to photography, but include, illustration, painting, collage, architecture, music, video and more.
has made the OJO Images available on iStockphoto
. The images are now “exclusively” available on the Getty Images network of sites and select partners. The full collection boasts nearly 31,000 premium files, which will grow to nearly 45,000 by the end of October.
Swedish mobile photography startup Foap
has secured $1.5 million in funding that will go towards further growing the company. The company will be taking its first steps into the American market by opening an office in New York in September.
Many expect users of mobile phones with decent cameras with constant connectivity to the world to be the next disruptors of the stock photography business. Crowd sources photojournalism
is expected to cut into the business of the long-suffering professional news photographers. Here are some thoughts as to why crowd-sourced mobile photography may not be the boom angel investors are hoping for.
Shutterstock has reported a record 24.3 million downloads and $56.8 million in revenue in Q2 2013. Revenue per download grew 5% year-over-year to $2.33. This was driven by a continued shift toward on demand, direct sales and footage downloads, all of which carry a higher effective price-per-download. The Shutterstock collection has grown to more than 28 million images and over 1 million video clips.
Has someone grabbed one of your images and posted it on Facebook without your permission? On the Stockphoto blog Stacy Walsh~Rosenstock
recently outlined a simple procedure for getting your image off the offending page.
Recently, in testimony on the importance of copyright before the House Intellectual Property Subcommittee John Lapham, Senior Vice President, General Counsel of Getty Images, provided some useful statistics
about Getty’s operation.
, the leader in image-based advertising and e-commerce, (see previous story
) has partnered with Getty Images
to help advertisers better reach their image audiences and to help publishers monetize photos more efficiently.
has compiled a collection of stock footage clips that number more than 3 million and includes collections from Getty Images, FootageBank, Framepool, CNN ImageSource and Shutterstock.
The Image Source
team responsible for tracking trends in the premium stock photography industry is in the process of publishing a series of briefings following their recent research conducted to determine near-future patterns in the use of conceptual imagery. Intended to help premium stock photographers produce the imagery demanded by image buyers, their research will be published as a series of articles on the Image Source photographer resource blog
over the next couple of months.
Video is starting to become the new essential for stills libraries. Although the two majors have had motion divisions for years, most UK photo-libraries avoided video for a number of reasons: technical complexity, bandwidth and the uncertainties of a new market, compounded by the economic difficulties of the past few years.
How fast is the education market moving from print to digital delivery? In its Q2 2013 earnings conference call with investors last week, Pearson, PLC, the world leading provider of educational materials and services provided some interesting data.
Yuri Arcurs has written a long post
entitled “Microstock sees its first major setback in 6 years and here’s why
.” In it he explains (1) why he is pulling his images out of all microstock agencies except iStockphoto and his own Peopleimages.com, (2) why he decided to go exclusive with Getty, (3) why mobile, crowd sourced photography is “a serious threat to stock photography” and (4) why he has invested $1.4 million in Scoopshot. This article is a must read for everyone in the industry.
A few months ago I reported how Getty Images’ Rights Managed prices
vary when an image is being used in different countries. Now, I've expanded that research to cover a number of additional countries and additional types of uses. The results are interesting and show how confusing RM pricing can be.
Earlier this month Cengage Learning Inc., the second biggest publisher of college-course material in the U.S., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it tries to restructure its debt of about $5.8 billion. Under a deal with some of its senior lenders, the company will try to use the bankruptcy case to eliminate $4 billion in debt,
We are moving rapidly toward a time when a large portion of the news photographs we see will be crowd sourced. There may be no way to slow this trend, but it raises some serious questions for those trying to earn a living as news photographers, or those who hope to take up this career in the future.
Alfonso Gutiérrez, President of CEPIC has provided some updated information on the CEPIC Image Registery (CIR) that Selling Stock reported on earlier here
. See his report.
In the last 18 months I have been tracking the collection sizes of 421 of iStock’s
leading contributors. These creators have had combined total downloads of 49,141,000 out of an estimated 150 million for iStock since its founding. Thus, they are very representative of iStock’s total collection and sales.
has announced today that 1/2 of its imagery is now 1/2 of its former price
. Prices for non-exclusive images used to be: 1, 4, 7, 10, 12, 15, 18 credits based on file size. Now those prices have dropped to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 credits with the price for the largest file size being only 39% of what was formerly charged.
Backed by Yuri Arcurs, Scoopshot
is launching a new service for crowdsourcing photography on-demand in minutes after the customer makes a request. Scoopshot gives photo buyers the ability to instantaneously place assignments in front of the company’s global network of 280,000+ mobile photographers.
Over the weekend, Seeking Alpha (SA) published an article aimed at the investment community entitled, “Shutterstock Valuation Makes Me Shudder
.” The points made in this article are well worth considering, not only for investors, but for anyone interested in earning a living in the business of stock photography.
Since early in 2009 I have been tracking downloads
of 192 of iStockphoto’s most productive contributors. All of them have more than 48,000 downloads and 130 of them have more than 100,000. There are others with high numbers of downloads that I have not tracked for as long a period, and I’m sure there are a few I have not identified. Nevertheless, I believe this group is very representative.
An increasing number of mobile phone photographers in Europe are contributing images to Scoopshot
. The company recently released the total number of images uploaded to the five tasks that photographers have found most interesting. Amazingly, 27,788 images were submitted to a request from WAZ Media Group in Germany for pictures of interesting coffee cups.
PhotoShelter has launched Beam
, a new web platform that makes it easy for photographers to create exciting portfolio sites with a contemporary look. Initially, they have provided four innovative templates, but more variations are expected in the near future.
The UK’s Copyright Hub
has launched its pilot phase. It is designed to be a gateway to information about copyright in the UK and point those interested in the right direction to get permission to use a copyrighted work.
James West (Alamy CEO) and Mike Fischer (Alamy Chairman) have invested in a smartphone video start up called Manything
, an innovative new video recording service that uses smartphones and tablets as remote video cameras.
brand that was announced in April is moving forward. Currently the site has more than 27,000 images with more images and artists added every day. Customers are already licensing images, but Offset is currently in an invite-only beta. If you would like to take a look at what’s on the site go to http://www.offset.com/
and request access.
PACA has changed its name to PACA, The Digital Media Licensing Association
. While the name Picture Archive Council of America has served the organization well, it has become apparent that it no longer accurately reflects today’s photography licensing business, or the membership of the organization.
has launched an initiative called “Ask James” where contributors pose questions on Facebook, Flickr or the Alamy blog about Alamy operations or the stock photo business in general. Once the questions are in CEO James West sits down infront of a webcam and records as many answers as he has time for in 10 minutes segments.
The stock photography business has its first billionaire. Bloomberg news reported that last week Jonathan Oringer, the founder of Shutterstock Inc
. (SSTK) became a billionaire. Oringer owns 18.5 million shares of Shutterstock, or 55 percent of the outstanding shares. Last week shares of the company reached a record high of $56.44. Today, shares are trading at around $56 per share which makes Oringer’s holding worth in excess of one billion dollars.
Here’s the second in our continuing series of things I’ve found on the web that might be of interest to readers. Rather than my trying to summarize each article it is better for readers to just check out the link. The first article deals with using discarded cell phones in the Philippines to replace costly textbooks. Next National Geographic gives cell phone users guidance and on how to produce great pictures. There is a great photographer’s review of Stocksy and finally brief biographies and pictures taken by 10 of the world’s most famous art photographers.
Internet entrepreneur and prolific angel investor Fabrice Grinda recently commented on his blog
that stock photography may be the “best business ever” – for the organization marketing the work online, not the producer.
Registration is now open for the 18th Annual PACA Conference
in New York City October 20-23, 2013. PACA will be teaming up with Visual Connections
to bring a 3-day event, which will feature the PACA Conference on days 1 and 2 and Visual Connections on day 3.
As a result of technological advancements, and the new image search techniques on the horizon, we are about to enter another paradigm shift in the way stock images are licensed. Delaying or ignoring this new trend in image marketing is not a viable option. It will move forward whether individual creators like it or not. The only option is to figure out how to adapt to this new reality in a way that will allow creators to continue to earn a living.
The biggest problem for the CIR
will be finding a way to let all the potential image users know it exists. It may be fairly easy to make the big publishing organizations aware of the CIR. They have been crying for a way to quickly determine if an image needs to be licensed and where to go to license it. But there is a long tail of small design firms and web developers that in the aggregate use a lot more images than these big users. It will be very difficult to reach all these small occasional users and make them aware of the CIR and its benefits.
Last month we reported on the storm over the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act
(ERRA) that was passed by the U.K. Parliament. Photographers were up in arms, but it turns out that many of the initial concerns may have been misplaced.
Yesterday we talked about the search by image feature on the CIR
. Today, we discovered that Getty has added a search by image feature to Thinkstock
. Go to the Thinkstock web site and look for the “search by image” button under the search box.
Motivated by the European Union’s challenge to develop a technological system that would make it easier for European citizens to gain access to cultural resources CEPIC has developed the CEPIC Image Registry (CIR) that will allows simultaneous visual or text search across thousands of image databases. Read more about how will work and how it may change the image licensing business.
Two Vancouver art directors faced with using stock photography because their clients don’t want to pay for assignments have launched a blog called Getty Critics
which pokes light-hearted fun at some of the stock photos that can be found at www.gettyimages.com
Recently, Google engineer Matt Cutts was asked if stock photos on a web
page have a negative effect on ranking compared to the use of original
photography? In a new Google Webmaster help video he said, “To the
best of my knowledge it doesn’t really make a difference whether it’s a
stock photo versus an original photo,"
Getty has announced that it will be retiring The Agency Collection (TAC)
on iStockphoto in the next few weeks and creating a new collection
called Signature+. The company says the main driver for this move is to
simplify their offer to customers. It is unclear how this will
“simplify” the offer.
National Geographic has gathered its expansive archive of still and moving images and its roster of award-winning photographic and filmmaking talent and made them accessible to the creative community in one place, through National Geographic Creative
In another example of how the news photography business is changing, the Chicago Sun-Times has eliminated all of its 28 staff photography positions. The paper intends to get images in the future from freelance photographers and reporters taking pictures with their smart phones.
Booking opened on June 4 to prospective exhibitors at Visual Connections New York 2013, which will take place on Wednesday, October 23rd immediately following the PACA International Conference on October 21st and 22nd.
Since he started producing microstock images in 2005 Yuri Arcurs, the world’s top selling microstock shooter with over 1,500,000 downloads from iStockphoto alone, has been a strong advocate of non-exclusive representation and not putting “all his eggs in one basket”. Recently he signed an exclusive deal with Getty Images.
Given the prices publishers are charging for their digital products, they are establishing a precedent that images – in fact, all the content – is essentially worthless. See what publishers are charging and what that makes a single photo worth.
On May 22nd iStockphoto
partnered with the Art Director’s Club to host Portfolio Night in more than 20 cities around the world. The Portfolio Night events were designed to connect aspiring young creatives with renowned advertising creative directors in hopes they would receive feedback on their work and ultimately secure career opportunities.
For those who were unable to attend here is some of the information that was provided.
Recently John Fowler wrote on the Stockphoto Group blog on Yahoo “My promotional efforts are failing me,” and asked other photographers for advice on the promotional strategies that are working for them. John shoots mostly natural history imagery with an emphasis on insects especially those of agricultural, health and economic significance. Here's my thoughts on his options.
is scheduled to release a new web-based platform later this month that will make task creation publicly available. This is expected to increase the number of users, the quality of the content, create more brand visibility and increase user engagement for their media partners.
PhotoShelter, in conjunction with Bill Cramer, founder and CEO of Wonderful Machine
, has released a new free guide on Pricing Corporate and Industrial Photography
. The guide provides useful price ranges for a variety of shoot types including: Corporate Lifestyle, Environmental Portraiture, Corporate Reportage, Headshots, Event Photography and Library Shoots.
In the case of Pacific Stock, Inc. vs. Pearson Education United States District Judge Susan Oki Mollay in Hawaii has denied Pearson’s request for summary judgment with regard to Pacific Stock’s claim that Pearson had engaged in fraud and fraudulent inducement in its use of 59 images. Pacific Stock has also alleged that with regard to 151 images from 70 of its photographers Pearson exceeded the print run rights granted for the use of its images in Pearson textbooks.
At the CEPIC Congress on June 11th the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) will sponsor the second annual "Photocentric Day," a day of inspiration and learning with the theme: How can the professional generate revenues in the digital world?
In my daily research I find many things that should be of interest to readers. Often there is little to say about the subject other than to provide readers with a link to what I’ve found. This will be the first in a continuing series of things I find interesting.
Corbis, Magnum, Getty and Alamy -- what do these words have in common. Unfortunately, the general public doesn't know. They've never heard of them, and if they have they don't know they are places where you can license the rights to use photographs, or what licensing photographs is all about. Do you care? Should you care? Read the story.
Is bulk pricing always bad? After reviewing the sales reports of a number of Getty photographers we’ve reported
that from 25% and up to 40% in some cases of Getty’s total sales are for fees of $25 or less – often a lot less. Hans Halberstadt explains how he uses bulk pricing and custom pricing menus to get much more reasonable fees for the use of his images.
The stock photography business has changed dramatically from what it was five or ten years ago and the future does and the future does not look promising. In this article we’ve provided links to a number of previously published articles that provide a good overview of the industry and where we believe it is headed. If the reader wants to get a basic grounding in what stock photography is all about this is the place to start.
just released the following to the press cautioning image user to be careful about grabbing images off the Internet because they could be “violating someone’s copyright.” To aid users in protecting themselves Dreamstime offers a collection of images at Stockfreeimages.com
has launched Corbis CRAVE
, a premium image discovery experience developed exclusively for iPad® and as an accompanying web experience. CRAVE features expertly curated imagery from industry-leading commercial and editorial photographers. At launch there are 47 portfolios from featured photographers.
With Stocksy (http://www.stocksy.com/
) Bruce Livingstone has set out to produce a collection of “authentic” stock images unlike anything customers will be able to find anywhere else. When he uses the work authentic he means a photograph that doesn’t look staged, pretend, forced or unrealistic. Images can be processed, but the processing must match the content. It’s not Instagram. Bruce took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.
At the CEPIC Congress in Barcelona on Wednesday June 12th there will be a discussion on a new initiative that could generate significant new revenue for image creators whose images are “crowd sourced” and posted without authorization to various domains on the Internet. This story examines the “Winston Project,” a system for collecting revenue for “Passive Image Use.” when a user uploads an image created by someone else to a “crowd sourced” domain, or when a user clicks on an image or shares it within the domain.
The United Kingdom company Eposure
has posted preliminary results of its Photographer Day Rates survey
that was conducted online through its blog. Eposure is a company that “brings commercial photographers and businesses closer” and provides information and mentoring programs for photographers.
Shutterstock has reported a record 22.3 million downloads and $51.5 million in revenue in Q1 2013. Revenue per download grew 8% year-over-year to $2.29. The Shutterstock collection has grown to more than 25 million images and over 1 million video clips. Revenue is expected to grow in Q2 to between $53 million and $55 million. For all of 2013 revenue is now projected to be between $221 million and $226 million. EBITDA is projected to be between $46 million and $48 million.
United Kingdom photographers are up in arms over the latest action by their government to make it legal for consumers to use their images without their permission. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act
recently passed in the U.K. provides a way to legally use images found on the Internet when the copyright owner cannot be identified or contacted. Such images are known as “orphaned works.”
In an effort to help its photographers shoot the imagery demanded by image buyers Image Source’s trend monitoring team, ISM, have published a report on its photographer resource blog
IMSO, that examines the concepts portrayed in recent family imagery. In the process of preparing this report Image Source analyzed changes in the buying patterns or its customers, and researched a wide range of media and customer needs.
We reported on price variations to different countries for use of the same photo here
. Kiratsinh Jadeja who originally raised the issue asked, “Do you think majority of the buyers already know about this and outsource already?”
If supplying pictures for educational use is a significant part of your business plan you need to be aware of how the market is trending toward digital delivery and how that is likely to affect the prices that will be paid for images used in digital products. In case you’ve missed them the following are links to a few stories we’ve published that deal with this subject in the last few years.
Since the fall of 2012 iStockphoto had been accepting pictures taken with mobile devices. Currently they have 7433 images on the site. So far, they do not allow contributors to upload their photos directly from their mobile devices. It is not clear whether they are accepting images from contributors who only shoot with a camera phone, or whether they are just encouraging their regular contributors to also submit some images they shoot with their phones.
The Hollywood Reporter says the distribution of motion pictures on film
in the U.S. could be over before the end of 2013. Eighty-five percent of
the screens in North America have already switched to digital as have
67% of those in Europe.
The Associated Press has scored a significant copyright victory in the case Associated Press v. Meltwater. While the issue in this case was about the “scraping” and re-purposing of copyrighted text it could have important applications for photographers whose images are grabbed and re-purposed by Internet sites. Meltwater’s fair use defense was struck down by the court.
Newscom, the world's largest multi-agency library of digital images, has announced the launch of its sister company, Pixation Images
. The focus of this new platform is to provide quality creative images designed for commercial use that clients need to sell their story.
Alamy has introduced a new forum for contributors as part of their continuous improvement strategy. Access the forum here
. Following the website redesign in April, the new forum has a fresh interface, enhanced features and is encouraging positive engagement within its community of photographers.
JMC Inc (formerly JTB Photo Communications) based in Tokyo, Japan and Universal Images Group Limited
(UIG) have entered into an agreement in Tokyo on April 12th 2013 for UIG to manage the global distribution business of JMC in respect of the JTB Photo picture library of 150,000 travel, travel related, cultural, cultural heritage and religious rights managed images. Another 650,000 to be edited and 10,000 new images per month are part of the deal.
The Instagram community of 100 million users will have a new way to market their images with the August 2013 launch of InstaStockImages
, the global crowdsourcing photo and video service has announced a global alliance with Ebyline
, a company which helps media publishers, agencies and brands to collaborate with professional freelance journalists worldwide by providing workflow tools.
The American Photographic Artists (APA) association has joined 15 plaintiffs in a copyright infringement lawsuit against Google that alleges the “Google Book Search” program violates the copyrights of numerous photographers and other visual artists.
In recent discussions with agents operating in Europe it seems that it has become impossible to hold the line on pricing. They say there is always a competitor willing to undercut any rate.
Last week we asked the question “Where is the best place to license images?
” if the image is available in the Getty Images collection. We thought India might be the cheapest source, but we found some surprising cheaper alternatives.
Anyone interested in a career as a photographer – as well as those photographers in mid-career -- needs to carefully consider how the business is changing. If we look at image use on the Internet it is undeniable that more images are being made available for viewing. However, for professionals this is not good news. More image use does not mean more demand for professionally produced images.
It does not mean that there will be more opportunities for photographers to earn their living taking pictures. In fact, the opportunities to earn a living as a photographer are declining. Here’s why.
If you want to license an image from Getty Images for use in the United Kingdom is it better to license the use in Canada or India? Recently, Kiratsinh Jadeja priced the same image for the same usage
in both countries. He discovered that if he licensed the use in India the cost would be less than half the Canadian price. In either case he could legally use the image in the UK. Learn why.
The CEPIC Congress
in Barcelona June 10 – 14, 2013 will attract stock agents from around the world. Falling prices and the impact they are having on stock agencies and professional photographers will be one of the key issues discussed.??I posed a series of questions to a few industry leaders that will be in attendance. Earlier Alfonso Gutierrez, CEO of age fotostock shared his observations and opinions
. In this story I will examine responses from a few others.
There is a battle brewing in courts that everyone in the photo industry should pay very close attention to. A company called ReDigi (https://www.redigi.com/
) is in the business of allowing anyone to resell “used” digital files. In other words, allowing anyone to sell, for example, an MP3 file they legally purchased. They claim rightful business practice under the first sale doctrine, the same rule that allows you to resell your used books.
Last month the U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-to-3 decision in the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons
found that Supap Kirtsaeng had the right to resell, in the United States, textbooks that his friends and relatives purchased in Thailand. The Thai math student at Cornell University generated roughly $900,000 in revenue by reselling books that can be purchased at a much lower price in Thailand than in the U.S.
has announced plans to launch Offset
, a new RF offering of premium, high-end stock photos and illustrations. Currently the curated collection is in private beta. A public launch will follow later this year.
Last week we wrote about the miniscule royalties
that appeared on Getty’s February royalty statements. Many Getty Connect sales showed a royalty of $0.00.
Getty has acknowledged that they made a rounding error on the recent statements and will report micro-royalties in fractions of a cent up to 5 decimal points in the future. Conceivably, a photographer could earn $0.00001 (one thousandth of a cent) for one license.
Getty Images makes it hard for some customers to purchase RM images. See what I learned when I tried to license usage of 4 images from Getty. We complain about the unauthorized use of images online and then we make it almost impossible for many potential image users to find out how to license images legitimately.