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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.
, 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.
have recently posted information on tends they have spotted that they think will continue to build in 2016.
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.
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.
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.
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! 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
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.
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.
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
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
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 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.
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 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.
In an effort to make it easier for more people to use Shutterstock imagery the company is partnering with Optimizely
. 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.
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.
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
for each of these words and record the number of returns. You’ll find the results in the chart below.
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.
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.
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.
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
Landov Media, a small, but well respected Editorial agency closed its doors last week. It’s website http://www.landov.com/
says it is no longer available and thanks the company’s “many loyal clients for your business and support through the years.”
One of the keys to success in stock photography is understanding what customers want. Given that the worldwide customer base is so diverse, that is often difficult to determine. We all see lots of different image uses in our daily activity, but often these are of little help in determining what customers really want to buy. VideoBlocks
sends regular advisories to its contributors giving them information about the keywords customers use most frequently when looking for video clips. In this story you'll find a recent list of Top Selling Keywords.
Have you noticed that when a customer searches for “man” on some major agency sites a different number of images will be returned than if they had searched for “male.” An agent called this to my attention after hearing complaints from a number of customers about this problem when searching on GettyImages.com.
Yuri Arcurs, one of the most successful stock photographers in the world, is running another of his photographer training programs in Capetown, South Africa. This program is for 17 to 24-year-olds that are highly competitive, goal-oriented and have strong entrepreneurial and creative characteristics. Candidates must survive a two-week Boot Camp beginning February 1, 2016. (This is not marine training, but it will be an intense experience to determine what the candidates know and how quickly they learn.)
One of the big questions for a freelance photographer approaching a new client is: “What should I charge.” What do others get for doing the same type of work? What has this client paid in the past? Recently, I was made aware of a web site called “Who Pays Photographers?
” Photographers can go to this site, enter the name of a publication or organization they would like to work for and get some idea of what the organization has paid for previous jobs.
Most image creators believe that adding images to online searchable databases will grow downloads and sales. This is particularly true, when one assumes that the new images being added are better than the ones produced earlier because the image creator has improved through experience and has a better understanding of what customers want. However, an examination of the sales by iStock’s leading contributors indicates that adding images is often counter productive in terms of increasing downloads. In fact, contributors who add very few, or remove, images often show the greatest download-per-image in the collection.
To better understand the potential for an iStock turnaround it is worth comparing iStock and Shutterstock downloads. At the end of my report on Shutterstock’s Q3 results
I estimated the number of IOD (single image) and subscription downloads Shutterstock will have for 2015. For an explanation of how I calculated the iStock numbers see this story
. The following chart compares the sales of these two companies.
Previously, I have supplied an analysis (here
) and (here
) of iStock’s downloads in 2015 and the number of images 430 of their leading contributors have in the collection. While 430 is only a small percentage of iStock’s more than 100,000 contributors this small group has somewhere between 55,070,000 and 58,554.000 downloads since the company’s founding in 2002. I believe this represents about one-third of iStock’s total downloads.
An increasing number of iStock’s most productive contributors have been dramatically reducing their production of new images in the last two years.
Where is iStock headed? In 2015 single image downloads were DOWN significantly compared to 2014, and 2014 was down compared to 2013. The company introduced subscriptions in April 2014
and that has had a major impact on the decline in single image sales.
has recently been listed on a small cap tech stock exchange called the NEEQ (National Equities Exchange and Quotations). The exchange is also called the New Third Board Stock. The company’s stock code is 834877.
In early January Videblocks
will begin making clips from Discovery Channel’s, Discovery Access
library available through Videoblocks Marketplace
. Videoblocks launched Marketplace in April 2015, had 374,000 clips by August
and now has over 880,000. The Discovery material will quickly push them over one million clips.
The newsmedia struggles with the concept of reality and unbiased reporting, but what is reality? Is reality what can be recorded on film? Is it a JPEG rather than a RAW file? Is it only what is recorded in a video regardless of what might have been happening moments before the video started recording? If a digital file has been adjusted, or manipulated, can it still be an accurate representation of the truth of a situation?
For agencies that offer subscriptions, Image-on-Demand and Enterprise options, how do “Comp Use” images affect search algorithms? There is an increasing trend driven by Adobe Stock and Shutterstock Enterprise to allow customers to download a lot of images for comp purposes and only pay for the ones they actually use in a final deliverable project.
Ever since Getty Images invented Premium Access (PA) licensing image creators have been upset that their images were being licensed to some users for ridiculously low prices. Often images licensed in this manner are ones that have been extremely costly to produce. For at least one contributor Rights Managed PA sales now represent 66% of total sales at an average price of $12.00 and over half the sales are for $4.35 or less.
, a New York-based stock photo platform with Ukranian origins, has announces a $5 million funding round led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) via the EBRD Venture Capital Investment Program. Previously TMT Investments had invested $3 million in Depositphotos in 201. In this round EBRD contributed $4 million and TMT $1million. The transaction should be completed before the end of the year.
All drone operators must register their unmanned aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) by Feb. 19, 2016. Registration begins on December 21, 2015 and is free for the first 30 days. While the registration fee is only $5.00 the government is encouraging as many owners as possible to register quickly.
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10) and Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (VA-10) have introduced H.R. 4241 – the Copyright Office for the Digital Economy Act or the CODE Act. This comes after months of discussion with various stakeholders, including several joint Member roundtables.
Sources tell me that Corbis representatives will be meeting with Visual China Group (VCG) next week in Beijing to discuss the Visual China’s possible acquisition of all, or part, of Corbis.
Six REX employees were laid off by Shutterstock earlier this week. One had been with the company for 34 years. I asked Shutterstock for an explanation.
PhotoPlus 2015 International Conference + Expo
welcomed more than 21,000 attendees from 67 countries and all 50 U.S. States. This year’s show also recorded the largest number of exhibitors in the past five years with 250, including 75 participating for the first time.
Shutterstock has launched a new editing tool in open beta. Shutterstock Editor
is a simple, fast and free way to edit photos.
What should we expect next from Adobe? The following is pure speculation. I have no inside information that the following is part of Adobe’s plan, but it seems logical to me that they will move in this direction in the near future. If they do it could benefit many image creators and possibly negatively affect some.
In its race to grow its image collection, Shutterstock has made it easier for new contributor to get accepted. New contributors used to have to submit 10 images for quality review. Seven of those 10 had to be accepted before the contributor was allowed to submit more images. Now, if only one is deemed acceptable the contributor can begin submitting more images. Here’s the way Shutterstock explains the change.
Shutterstock has provided investors with some very interesting information about their Enterprise pricing strategy and how it differs from their normal E-commerce pricing. You can find the “E-commerce vs. Enterprise Case Study” by going go to this link (http://investor.shutterstock.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=251362&p=irol-presentations
). Then open the pdf under “Investor Presentation” that was uploaded on 11/18/15. The chart explaining the Case Study is on page 25 of this 37 page pdf.
Adobe has announced that it has added over 1 million HD video files from the Fotolia collection to the Adobe Stock offering. These can be searched, downloaded and licensed directly on an a la carte basis within Adobe Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC or from stock.adobe.com
for use with any CC desktop app. The video clips are also available to enterprise customers on a subscription basis.
If you love Shutterstock, are a Google Chrome user and want Shutterstock to know everywhere you go and everything you do on the Internet, you may want to install the new Shutterstock Tab
just launched today. You can get the tab free of charge by going to the Chrome webstore
So you want a career in photography. You like taking pictures. It’s fun. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get paid to do it? You’re a high school student about to graduate. Everyone says you need more education to have a chance at a good job. You’ve no idea how much you’ll have to earn to feed, clothe and house yourself, and maybe some day a spouse and family. But, it seems you should get more education in the career path you want to follow.
Users report that Getty’s standard editorial license offers the following: “Worldwide editorial use for 15 years (may not be used for commercial purposes or print covers). Unlimited seats. No limits on impressions and print runs.
” This is essentially a Royalty Free license for images that are being offered as Rights Managed. Unlike most RF, the price charged is not fixed and based on the file size delivered. The price may be negotiable depending on the customer. But once the image is delivered, the customer can use the image in multiple ways over a period of 15 years as long as the use is editorial in nature and not for some commercial purpose, or for the cover of a printed product.
This past weekend the Washington Post published a detailed insider view of the ISIS propaganda machine
that should be of interest to everyone engaged in editorial journalism. The writers – Greg Miller and Souad Mekhennet – were able to interview a number of ISIS videographers and production people who had worked for ISiS in the contested territory and were later able to escape back to their home countries.
Many stock agencies are consolidating and downsizing, but not Tandem Stock
. Founded in 2010, they have been growing at an average rate of 45% per year. Specializing in Outdoor photography, they currently have a tightly edited collection of 115,000 images from 930 contributors. They have discovered that the needs of their clients are extremely specific and they specialize in supplying images that cater to those needs.
has announced that industry veteran Kelly Thompson has joined 500px as Head of Marketplace. Thompson will oversee the development of new products to service the company’s growing number of advertising agency and large brand enterprise accounts, as well as the servicing of the company’s base of self-service marketplace customers.
One of the most useful seminars at PhotoPlus Expo
this year was the “Your Roadmap To Success” presentation by Judy Hermann. Judy is a past president of the American Society of Media Photographers
(ASMP), served as an Olympus Visionary for 10 years and was awarded the United Nations International Photographic Council’s Leadership Award for her work as an educator and industry advocate.
Photographers with a goal of maximizing earnings from the images they produce, and who continue to insist that in order to realize that goal their work must be licensed as Rights Managed (RM), may need to consider the new realities of the stock photo business.
Envato, an Australian company that has provided resources and educational services to the graphic design community since 2006, has announced that it will expand its operations to the United States in 2016.
According to Bloomberg
, Getty Images has found a way to raise a net $90 Million in an effort to revive its “Midstock” business.
Photography has become much more of a means of self-expression than a business. That’s not necessarily a bad thing unless you are trying to earn your living from the images you produce.
Recently, a European asked me how the editorial market for photography has changed in the U.S. the last 10 years. First, gross revenue for U.S. newspapers has declined about 60% from $49.3 billion in 2006 to $19.9 billion in 2014. As revenue has declined the space for editorial content, including pictures, has declined.
Since 2013 the House Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Congress has been engaged in a comprehensive review of the current Copyright Act. It has held 20 hearings and heard from 100 witnesses.
For decades Masterfile has been a leading provider of stock imagery to advertising, design and corporate communications. The company represents the work of many of the worlds leading image producers. Its collection is well edited and its website offers very efficient search. Currently, more than 70% of the company’s revenue comes from sales in North America and more than 80% comes from the advertising, design and corporate communications segments of the market that presumably need the highest quality work and have the budgets to pay for it.
Bloomberg has reported
that Corbis will be cutting about 15% of its staff. The information came from an internal memo sent to employees by CEO Gary Shenk, and obtained by Bloomberg.
reported $107.3 million in revenue for Q3 2015, a 28% increase over Q3 2014 and up nearly $3 million from the previous quarter. The increase was primarily due to a 22% increase in the number of paid downloads compared to a year earlier.
In an effort to compete with AdobeStock
, at the end of August iStock
began to test an offering of Small Monthly Subscriptions
with 10 and 25 download limits. The rates for 10 downloads are $40 for Essential (non-exclusive) images and $99 for the images contributors have supplied exclusively to iStock.
Recently, I asked AdobeStock
a number of questions about their operations. Their answers can be found below.
today announces the appointment of Luke Vines as Chief Operating Officer. Vines will begin the role with immediate effect, reporting directly into Christina Vaughan, CEO of CueSongs.
has developed an interesting way to use mobile devices to promote its historical collection. The Diomedia Historica (enter Historical Calendar at the App Store) to get the free app.
Rumors were flying in New York last week that Corbis
may be sold. The rumors are that Shutterstock
is interested in purchasing Corbis. The consensus seems to be that Corbis’ gross revenue is in the range of $100 million down from $225 in the mid-2000s. It is believed that about half of the gross comes from editorial and the other half from creative. (These figures may not include the rights clearance part of Corbis’ business.)
I just returned from the annual “Photo Week” in New York – two days at PhotoPlus Expo
, two-and-a-half days at the DMLA annual conference
and one day at Visual Connections
. Here are a few take aways.
Nancy E. Wolff, Counsel for the Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA
) has written a very clear and detailed explanation of Why and When image creators need releases that was recently published on the American Society of Picture Professional (ASPP
) website. Anyone planning to license pictures of people, and in some cases object and other property, should be familiar with this information. Read the article here: http://aspp.com/the-law-releases-101-why-and-when-you-need-them/
Shutterstock's data team has identified the fastest growing colors over the past year by matching pixel data with image download behavior from our customers including brand marketers and creative professionals around the world.
The results of the Graphic Design USA annual stock survey are now available online.
Check it out
. Be sure to read the extensive comments of Graphic Designes that provide some important insights into what image creators should be producing, and stock agencies should be doing to provide better search ability of their collections.
Pearson has cut its full-year guidance to investors in a dire warning about the continuing "cyclical and policy-related factors which have been hurting our markets for some years." Its share price fell almost 17% to a value of $14.54 in New York. The company’s ADRs are now down 30.7% over the past six months.
has announced the expansion of its Lean In Collection
to incorporate positive gender images in an effort to disassociate itself from stereotypical stock photography. The 1191 images are available at "Signature Collection" prices of three credits.
What amazes me is why all the smart people in the publishing world think they have to give away all their information when they put it on the Internet. In theory if you get enough “eyeballs” then you can sell more ads and the revenue from the ads will cover your costs and generate a profit. But, that theory is not working.
eMarketer forecasts that the total worldwide ad spend in 2015 will be $569.65 billion. Global digital ad spend will jump 18% compared with 2014 and reach $170.17 billion, or 29.9% of the total advertising market.
has decided to focus its news collecting operation on video. They will continue to accept still images, but will limit the number of photos to 20 shots per submission.
A discussion of how image creation with mobile devices is changing stock photography and the photography business will be feature of the Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA
) conference in New York on October 27th.
Masterfile is offering its customer a unique subscription plan to Crestock’s entire collection of 2.3 million photos, illustrations and vectors. Prices start at $50 a month to download 50 image with no daily download limits. For a one-year subscription commitment prices drop to as low as $37.42 a month to download up to 50 images per month.
Jacqueline Mahoney, an Associate with the McDermott Will & Emery law firm has reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has reversed a district court decision and found that Minden Pictures, Inc. has the right to sue John Wiley & Sons, Inc. for the unauthorized use of stock images belonging to the photographers the agency represents.
After a long quiet period as a blogger, Yuri Arcurs has decided that it is time to comment on Adobe Stock
. Yuri is generally considered the most successful microstock photographer. For many years he was a strong advocate of non-exclusive representation, and placed his images with virtually every microstock distributor.
Using GPS data – both manually and automatically entered -- 500px has put together a selection of beautiful images from the 25 most photographed cities
of the world. These images are worth enjoying.
As more and more information consumers all over the world turn to the Internet for Information print publications are losing money. They can’t earn enough from Internet advertising to cover their costs. Traditionally, revenue from advertising has covered 50% or more of the total costs of operating a publication.
Scott Braut, Head of Content at Adobe, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA) (formerly PACA) annual meeting
in New York on Monday October 26, 2015 at 9:00am. Single session passes for the keynote address only are available for $65. For more information, see here under events
. (Hint: you may need to expand your window.)
Shutterstock, Inc. and Red Bull Media House agree to market and license a remarkable video collection filmed at some of the most remote locations around the world. Customers of Shutterstock will have access to thousands of rare aerial, time-lapse, slow motion, adventure, wildlife and landscape footage, all with the simplicity of a royalty-free license.
At Adobe MAX 2015 in Los Angeles today Adobe outlined its vision for a "connected creative canvas" where people create and share their work from anywhere. More than 7,000 graphic designers and photographers attended.
In a world where everyone is a content creator, publisher and editor, who do consumers most trust, and what do they expect from the content they consume? A new study from Adobe of 2,000 US consumers addresses these questions and more, revealing some surprising shifts in the content landscape:
Have you been watching the ads lately when you do online searches? Yesterday, I was reading a news story on Yahoo about U.S. manufacturing and three different Adobe Creative Cloud ads were delivered in connection with that one story. Two of the ads included the “St” icon promoting Adobe Stock.
Stock footage provider Dissolve has launched its premium royalty-free stock photography collection. It includes over 200,000 photos hand-picked from some of the world’s most acclaimed photography agencies, bringing the number of stock elements Dissolve licenses to over 1 million.
CEPIC has announced that its 2016 Congress will be held in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, beginning May 25th thru the 27th, 2016. This annual event brings together stock photo distributors from all over the world. The 2015 event
was held in Warsaw, Poland and attended by over 400 people from 32 countries representing all aspects of the picture industry -- stock and press agencies, cultural heritage, video vendors and producers as well as crowdsourcing and microstock companies.
Footage.net has just completed a major redesign of its stock footage search and screening platform. The new streamlined user interface, which came online in mid-August, makes it easy and intuitive for Footage.net users to proceed from a footage search to a footage purchase.
Recently, an investor looking for information about Shutterstock, Getty Images and Adobe asked me if the stock photo market functions efficiently
? Here’s what I told him.
Corbis and NetSeer have announced the launch of the industry’s first global programmatic platform for premium in-image advertising. The platform enables advertisers to programmatically target and buy premium In-Image advertising content while providing new monetization opportunities for publishers to thrive utilizing the visual content on their websites.
Flickr is curating its collection of over 10 billion images and contacting selected photographers to determine if they want to participate in Flickr Marketplace
. The Marketplace is expected to prepare images for licensing by many of the industry's RF and Microstock stock photo distributors and to pay image creators 51% or what Flickr receives.
Video education is red hot. For over a year Matthew White and Domenick Propati, CEO of Footage.net have been working to develop Footage Access
, an electronic service that allows students and faculty members at Colleges and Universities to research, download, and have limited free use of stock and archival footage in their non-commercial projects.
Recently, I received some second hand information about a major editorial agency in Europe that licensed about 70,000 in 2007. The number of images licensed was up to about 400,000 in 2014. Sounds great. But, here’s the rest of the story. The average price paid for each use in 2007 was about $167.00. The average price for each use in 2014 was a little over $12.00. Consequently, in spite of the almost 6 times growth in the number of images used in 2014 compared to 2007 the total revenue generated in 2014 was less than half that generated in 2007.
The Getty Images
Board of Directors has appointed Dawn Airey to the role of Chief Executive Officer, as of October 12, 2015. Co-founder and CEO, Jonathan Klein is stepping up to the role of Chairman
, as announced on the company’s 20th anniversary in March of this year.
Are you tired of ads for things you absolutely don’t want of need interrupting your favorite news or entertainment TV shows? Almost one-third of every hour is taken up with ads. When you’re trying to read something online do the pop-up ads that are often very difficult to get rid of interrupt your reading and train of thought? Many in the general population want to get rid of these annoyance, but how is that likely to affect revenue for image producers?
According to Zenith Optimedia total worldwide ad spend was about $510 billion in 2014 and Internet advertising (incluiding mobile) was about $122.4 billion in 2014. By 2017 digital is expected to be almost one-third (32.3%) of all global advertising or about $188 million.
Adobe has made it easier for companies with multiple designers (a creative team) to access, manage and license images from one shared Adobe Stock subscription at no extra cost. The service called “Pooled Images” allows an unspecified number of team members to have access to the same Adobe Cloud account.
Stock footage provider Dissolve
has announced that it will add royalty-free photography to its creative offering on October 1 of this year. The move comes after two years of steady revenue growth and a burgeoning reputation in the footage-licensing market.
has hired photographers Chelsea Lauren, Rob LaTour, Stephen Lovekin, and Andrew H. Walker to bring the best event photography and celebrity portraiture to the company.
VisualSteam has announced the results of its annual survey of art buyers regarding the use of stock photography and video. Getty Images, iStock Photos, and Shutterstock take the top 3 spots (in that order) as the go-to resources for art buyers.
The New York Times reports that the National Geographic Society have been sold to Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox
for $725 million.
Scoopshot’s new focus
on providing image buyers with professionally produced on-demand photography, produced to precise specifications, is a dramatic reversal from the company’s existing strategy of supplying User Generated Content (UGC).
has launched Purestock
, a subscription service that currently has about 3 million images, vectors and video clips. All the material on Purestock has been sourced from an entirely different set of contributors than those who supply Superstock and none of the Superstock images can be found on Purestock.
has launched a new initiative that every professional photographer interested in working on assignment ought to consider. Their “Everyone’s Private Photographer
” initiative makes it easy for customers to input a location, anywhere in the world, where they need a photographer and immediately see a 9-image portfolio of each photographer operating in that area who might be able to perform a photo assignment.
has announced that after “thoughtful consideration and exhausting many different ideas” it will shut down Skillfeed
at the end of the month. They are no longer accepting new subscribers or instructors. The platform will continue functioning for existing members until September 30th when website will be officially shut down.
Scott Braut, Head of Content for Digital Media at Adobe will be the keynote speaker at the DMLA Conference
(formerly PACA) in New York from Sunday, October 25th through Tuesday, October 27, 2015. Braut will actually be speaking at 9:00am Monday morning.
has announced that it is running a promotion from September 1st to September 20th that will discount the cost of images by 50%. For this limited period single images purchased will cost $4.99 instead of $9.99. Normally the royalty percentage might be expected to be calculated on the lower price, but to the huge relief and appreciation of image creators Adobe has announced that “regardless of this discount occurring, your commission will be unaffected and you will continue to generate royalties at the current rate.”
allows you to place your photos in front of over 1 million members. You set your own prices and earn 70% of every sale. The arrangement is non-exclusive so you can simultaneously market the same images through any other outlet you want. There is no approval process. Everything you submit is uploaded.
Image users on the MicrostockGroup
website report that Shutterstock has “dropped the price of single On Demand sales from 2 for $29 to $9.99 for each image.”
had priced the images in its Marketplace at flat rates of $50 for web resolution, $250 for print resolution, and $750 for products for resale. Now they have introduced a second tier for images their editors deem of lower quality. The flat rate prices for images in this tier, called Core, are $35 for web resolution, $150 for print resolution, and $300 for products for resale. The prices for the first Prime tier will remain the same.
Every year millions of images are photocopied and used by commercial organizations around the world without any direct compensation to the image creator. Often this is because there is no practical way to track such usages, or because the creator cannot be easily identified. Nevertheless, commercial organizations recognize that they have an obligation, and a liability, to compensate creators for such uses.
has released a new infographic
with information about how demand for certain subject matter is changing compared to a year ago. They have also included sample image in each category to give photographers a sense of what customers want.
ZUMA Press Inc. (www.zumapress.com
), a leading visual media provider for the editorial community, has announced that it is now representing images from Fairfax Syndication (www.fairfaxsyndication.com
), the most comprehensive range of Australian content from a portfolio of over 300 publications and websites.
Over 4 days (October 21-24) attendees to this year’s PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo
at the Javits Center in New York City will have their choice of more than 100 seminars
that include Photo Walks and Master Classes featuring the latest techniques and trends for photographers, filmmakers and digital imaging specialists.
, the leading marketing resource for commercial photographers and illustrators, will be the Principal Sponsor of this year’s Visual Connections Image Expo 2015
at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York on October 28.
that photographer Art Dragulis took a photo of Swain’s Lock
along the C&O canal in Maryland and uploaded it to Flickr. Roughly four years later, he discovered Kappa Map Group was using his photo for the cover of its Montgomery County, Maryland atlas. He sued for copyright infringement. And he LOST.
When Rights Mananged images are represented by multiple distributors it is possible for agencies that had nothing to do with an initial license to collect a fee for secondary uses. Consider this situation.
According to Bloomberg
(July 30th) Getty Images Inc.’s bonds and loans rallied as a report to creditors showed improving profit after several quarters of sinking earnings.
has won the most images race with Alamy
. Shutterstock now has more than 60 million royalty-free images in its collection in addition to 3 million video and music clips for a total of over 63 million pieces of content.
Alan J. Goldstein, a professional photographer located in Silver Spring, MD has commenced a legal action against Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. ("MRIS"), located in Rockville, MD, for violations of the Copyright Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The legal action is Case # 8:15-cv-2400 (TDC) (D. Md.).
For new readers, or those who may have missed some of what I have written over the last few months, the following are a list of stories worth looking at to get a sense of where the industry is headed.
The new Adobe Digital Publishing Solution (DPS), the next generation in its groundbreaking Digital Publishing Suite, pioneers new ways for brands to deliver high-impact content to mobile apps and is likely to result in more images appearing in apps. It will also become increasingly difficult for image creators to know if their images are being used in apps, or not.
Is Shutterstock in Serious Trouble?
On August 5th the SSTK stock price closed at $50.75. On August 6th the company announced its second quarter results
and missed the projected revenue for the quarter by 1.5%. On August 7th the stock closed at $33.65, a 34% decline in 2 days. NO!
The company is not in trouble. Rather, financial analysts that closely watch Shutterstock are finally waking up to the realities of the stock photo business.
reported $104.4 million in revenue for Q2 2015, a 30% increase over Q2 2014. However, they missed their projected revenue estimate by $960,000. Investors were disappointed and the stock that had been trading at $50.75 per share the day before dropped 32.20% to $34.41 before the market closed. The average price per download during the quarter was $2.85 down from $2.87 in the previous quarter, and compared to $2.52 in Q2 2014. There were 35.9 million downloads in the quarter and they paid out about 28% of gross revenue in royalties to contributors.
In the subscription environment customers pay for -- and the image creators receive a royalty for -- many images that are never used in any type of deliverable product. Nobody knows how many. Adobe Stock has changed all that. Now Adobe gives users free use
to any images considered during the users design and creative processes. Users only pay for the images that actually end up in a deliverable product. As a result, creators may begin to see a significant decline in the number of images licensed.
If you’re a videographer and have been discouraged by low prices and low royalties for your work it’s time to check out Videoblocks
. In April at the National Association of Broadcasters conference the company added a new feature when they launched the Marketplace section of their site. Customers must have an annual subscription in order to access Marketplace. When they choose any of the Marketplace clips they pay an additional $49 if it is HD or $199 for 4K.
Responding to an increasing demand for reliable insights on the stock photography market three top stock photography industry experts, Lee Torrens, Paul Melcher and Amos Struck, have officially launched Stock Photo Insight
, a consulting service providing calls with all three experts simultaneously.
If you’re trying to decide whether to get into video, or what to shoot, you may want to take a look at the Corbis Motion Trends Study
. This information should be of great value to anyone producing stock video regardless of whether they license their work through Corbis, or not.
The Associated Press
and British Movietone, one of the world's most comprehensive newsreel archives, are together bringing more than 1 million minutes of digitized film footage to YouTube
. Showcasing the moments, people and events that have shaped the world, it will be the largest upload of historical news content on the video-sharing platform to date.
What’s the difference between User Generated Content (UGC) and stock photography?
When people talk about UGC they are usually referring to pictures that can be found on the web (mostly on social media sites) that “someone else” may want to use. If that someone else wants to use the image (and doesn’t want to steal it) then technically it becomes a stock photograph.
The interests of the multi-billion dollar social media sites and photographers may finally be coming together thanks to DMCA and imagewiki
. The safe harbor provision of the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) says, “Online Service Providers (OSPs) cannot receive any financial benefit directly attributable to infringing activity.
” Thus OSPs cannot place ads on user generated content unless they can identify the image’s owner and use policy.
ASMP has responded to the April 24, 2015 U.S. Copyright Office Notice of Inquiry
, which set out to review “how certain visual works, particularly photographs, graphic artworks, and illustrations are monetized, enforced and registered under the Copyright Act.”
Subscription licensing is in for some dramatic changes. We know that a significant number of the images subscription customers download are used in the designer’s “creative process,” but never find their way into a deliverable end product. Traditionally, creators of all the images downloaded – whether used in a deliverable product or not – have received an equal royalty share of the revenue paid for the subscriptions.
has hired Scott Braut, formerly VP of Content at Shutterstock. He has been named Head of Content and will drive the company’s overall content strategy and operations for Creative Cloud
. Adobe says content is a strategic area of growth and focus as it builds a growing, strategic creative marketplace. Scott has over 20 years of experience in content licensing, product development, eCommerce, and digital media.
Shutterstock has released a new infographic
on Design and Emotion in Stock Photography.
Hong Kong based Super Image Market
launched in November 2014 has established a simple “Pathway” for making images available to customers rather that operating as a traditional agency or distributor. Contributors establish the license fee for each of their images on an image-by-images basis. SIM pays them 80% of every sale. (During the initial launch period until the beginning of 2016 contributors will receive 100% of every sale.)
has raised $13 million in a Series B round of funding. This round was led by Visual China Group
led this round with an $8 million investment. The other $5 million came from existing Series A backers that include Andreessen Horowitz, Harrison Metal, and ff Venture Capital.
will be adding a stock search aspect called MyMarketplace in the near future. Right now they are reaching out to their premium photographers to collect images for this service. It is unclear when the actual service will be available for buyers to search, but it will add stock search to the briefing and finding a photographer they can hire directly features they already enjoy.
(SSTK) was under heavy pressure Tuesday (-7.2%) after Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on the stock with an Underweight rating and a price target of $40. The company traded down 6.49% on Tuesday, hitting $52.33. About 6% (2,134,222 shares) of the company’s stock traded hands. Morgan Stanley analyst Dean Prissman said based on their proprietary AlphaWise study and bottom-up analysis, they believe Adobe's aggressive entry into Shutterstock's market is set to pressure growth.
The deadline for responses to the Copyright Office’s April 24 Notice of Inquiry
is rapidly approaching. ASMP needs more information from photographers about the problems they have encountered in protecting their copyright.
Visual China Group (VCG), the Getty Images representative in China, has resumed trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Composite market in China. The stock closed at 27.52 RMB ($4.40) per share up from 25.02 RMB ($4.00) last week when trading was suspended.
Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from investors trying to assess the stock photo industry growth potential and figure out where Shutterstock, Adobe and Getty Images are headed. In general here is what I’ve been telling them.
An increasing number of iStock’s most productive contributors seem to be pulling back on their production of new images. Of the 430 photographers and illustrators we have been tracking for more than four years only 34% have added more than 100 images to their collections in the last six months. That leaves two-thirds of this group of contributors who have added fewer than 100 images or removed images from the collection.
Since 2009 I have been tracking the image downloads of some of iStock’s leading contributors. Beginning in 2012 I increased the number of individuals tracked on a semi-annual basis to 430. While 430 is only a small percentage of iStock’s total contributors which number more than 100,000 combined this small group has at least 55,479,000 downloads and given the way iStock reports these numbers possibly as many as 58,416,000 downloads. I believe these numbers represent about one-third of all iStock downloads since the company’s founding in 2002.
Downloads for 430 of iStock’s leading contributors have continued their steady decline in the first half of 2015. Getty had hoped that the launch of iStock subscriptions
in April 2014 and the launch in September 2014 of a single price for images
, regardless of the file size needed, would turn iStock’s fortunes around and bring customers back from its competitors. Neither strategy seems to have worked.
, has altered its subscription plans to feature a monthly instead of daily quota of downloadable images, and is allowing the carrying over of unused downloads. The company says, “users will now effectively never ‘lose’ image downloads as unused downloads will roll over into the monthly quota amount, making Dreamstime the most convenient and flexible solution in the industry today.”
(https://picsbuffet.com/#) offers a new method of image search that allows users to easily, visually explore huge sets of images. The images are laid side by side in a “map style” format with similar images close to each other.
, a marketplace for digital services, and Getty Images, have unveiled a partnership that puts premium creative services in the hands of small and medium businesses (SMBs), empowering them to produce creative once only thought possible for large enterprises. Fiverr sellers, which include graphic and web designers, can tap into an unrivaled trove of the world's best images from Getty Images
to produce eye-catching ads, social content, fan pages, apps and just about any other creative design imaginable.
At its annual General Meeting (AGM), held this year in Paris member owned Magnum Photos
nominated six new members: a record breaking number. They include: Matt Black
, Carolyn Drake
, Lorenzo Meloni
, Richard Mosse
, Max Pinckers
and Newsha Tavakolina
(ASX: NWZ) is pleased to announce that it has entered a strategic partnership and content syndication agreement (Agreement) with Alamy
. Newzulu’s crowd-sourced news archive will be featured among Alamy’s collection of over 50 million images from which the platform has generated over US$154 million for its contributors in the last 15 years. Newzulu and Alamy will work together to generate revenue through the sale and licensing of Newzulu’s crowd-sourced content to Alamy’s editorial, creative and commercial clients worldwide.
Getty Images has been granted “interested party” status in the European Commission’s investigation into anticompetitive behavior by Google. Getty Images provides specialized image search and shopping services to end users in direct competition with Google.
Several of my readers have differing opinions with regard to the meaning of the term “no exchange of equity” as it appeared in Masterfile’s May press release
. I thought it meant that no money changed hands. I asked Steve Pigeon, CEO of Masterfile, for clarification.
has re-launched its free Pond5 plugin for Adobe® Premiere® Pro CC which gives editors instant access to nearly 5 million royalty-free video and audio clips.
. and Penske Media Corporation
(PMC) have agreed to form an alliance that will create and license entertainment and fashion images and videos to the world’s top media, publishing and creative companies. (Check out PMC brands
Tired of giving up 70% to 80% (and often more) of what a customer pays to use your image to a distributor? Consider Picfair
. Unhappy with the prices distributors are charging for your images and want more? Consider PicFair
Suppose there was a smartphone app that automatically sent every image capture to the cloud and stored all the metadata including date, time and exact location down to within 100 feet or less of where the picture was taken. (Also imagine if camera manufacturers built that into cameras.) It's coming!
Thanks to Adobe Stock
gross microstock revenue will start to decline. Let me explain why. I estimate that about $143 million of Shutterstock’s 2014 revenue
came from subscription and that there were about 114 million subscription downloads. It all those customers were to switch to Adobe Stock they could probably get all the images they need for $43 million or less and save $100 million annually
. Check out the numbers.
Matt Munson, CEO of Twenty20, recently made the case for why User Generated Content (UGC) will be The Death Of Stock Photos
. He argued that “stock photos do not depict reality” and that “brands that use them risk coming off as generic and out-of-touch” with consumers.
Adobe has launched [St] Adobe Stock
as part of its Adobe Creative Cloud subscription offering. Creative Cloud customers are now able to launch Adobe Stock directly within CC desktop software such as Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop or After Effects, and add watermarked or licensed images to their Creative Cloud Libraries. This will allow them to access and work with images across multiple desktop tools.
Visual Connections has announced the dates for its October conference in New York. This year Visual Connections New York 2015
will be on October 28th immediately following the DMLA (formerly PACA) Annual Conference
that runs from Sunday October 25 through Tuesday the 27th. And if that isn’t enough photo related events for you PhotoPlus Expo
will be October 22-24, 2015 at the Javits Convention Center.
LMKtag (also Lamark
) has developed a relatively inexpensive system to embed tags, invisible to the naked eye, in digital images files. These tags link back to a LMKtag database that contains the image creator’s name and contact information as well as whether the image is available for licensing. The database can also include caption information and other metadata about the image and the creator can adjust this information at any time.
is a relatively new social media site (launched in September 2013) that is designed to encourage photographers to shoot more pictures, work on assignments, participate in contests, build cool portfolios and socialize with each other.
Should traditional agencies be making more of an effort to source images from cell phone users? Sixteen months ago Alamy
introduced its Stockimo app
and started accepting images into its collection that are taken with cell phones. To date about 350,000 images have been submitted and about 170,000 accepted.
During the CEPIC Congress
in Warsaw a Russian stock photo agent told me that Russian photographers can live and support a family very comfortably on 50,000 roubles a month. At today’s currency exchange that works out to about $886 per month or $10,632 per year.
Last week I wrote a story about “Microsoft’s Research On Captioning Photos Automatically
." I argued that this technology is a long way from being of much use to stock photo customers who trying to find useful photos for their projects. However, helping users find photos
may not be what Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are really trying to accomplish.
Microsoft recently published an article about the advancements they are making in developing technology that can automatically caption pictures. (See here
.) However, from the point of finding images on the Internet there is one big flaw in where they are headed. In most cases there will be a huge number of choices that can reasonably have the same caption.
Many traditional suppliers of stock image (those that have been in business 15, 20 years or more) need to give some thought to what the image producing crowd wants. They need to consider possible ways of adjusting their business model in order to meet some of the needs of these part-time image creators. And they need to recognize how these photographers may change the entire stock photography licensing business.
Microsoft say that worldwide there are about 400 new powerpoint presentations being prepared each second. That works out to about 12.6 billion presentations a year. A significant percentage of them use multiple images. Some are the creator’s personal images. But the vast majority are grabbed from the Internet via Google, Bing, Flickr or somewhere else. If users paid even $1.00 for each image used in such presentations the annual gross revenue might be more than 5 times the revenue generated worldwide by the stock photo industry.
provides social media tools that may help users make more effective use of social media. Among the information offered is data from 300,000+ business users compiled in an infographic that shows the ideal image size for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Each of these sites has specific dimensions that you need to adhere to if you want your images to look their best.
As the stock photo industry has changed and revenue for many stock images providers has declined many traditional providers have been forced to cut back on staff, and in particular editors. This is also true of many photo users who previously had time to review portfolios, encourage new talent and support new photographers as they improved their skills. Now, most of the editors and picture buyers that are left have trouble keeping up with the images that fly across their desks, let alone find time to seek out the best images and encourage new talent. So who does the editing?
(“MFC”) - a global licensor of premium stock images - has sold 100% of the shares of its European operations to Mediapro Mediamarketing GmbH of Vienna, Austria. The transaction which closed on April 30th includes Masterfile companies in France, Germany, Italy and the UK (collectively “Masterfile Europe”).
Posting images on Social Media sites can be a dangerous thing. What rights are you giving away? Can someone else use your image without your knowledge? Can they earn revenue from your image without sharing any of it with you? If someone else mis-uses your image are you legally liable?
, Microsoft and Shutterstock
have teamed up to offer over $10,000 worth of prizes and Microsoft hardware to photographers who participate in the My World contest. Any photographer, amateur or professional, can enter and may interpret the theme of the competition any way they like. As a result PicHit will undoubtedly get images on every conceivable subject
Pond5 has announced a partnership with the 48 Hour Film Project, the largest and most dynamic timed film competition in the world.
As the official stock media sponsor for all 135 cities participating in the competition, Pond5 is offering 100 hand-picked audio tracks to contestants for free. All participants will also receive $25 in Pond5 credit.
Are we about to experience another major shift in the photography market similar to the shift from RM to RF and the dramatic changes brought about by Microstock? At the CEPIC Congress
in Warsaw on Friday June 5th at 10:00am I will be moderating a panel discussion on Crowdsourcing
and how it is likely to impact the stock photography business in the near future.
Be sure to read Paul Melcher’s story in his Kaptur Magazine
about where image recognition software is headed.
promotes itself as offering “FREE images” and says it has become an excellent source of photography, vector graphics, illustrations, clipart, handpicked bundles, and more for personal and business use.
has launched a new website that features professional, high quality images of nature, wildlife, and landscapes. Individual photos are available under royalty-free licenses at prices that range from $3 to $10 depending on the file size of the photo purchased.
If the blogs are any indication more and more Shutterstock contributors seem to be complaining about declining revenue. While individual royalties may not have been as high as some would have liked, for several years they were at least going up steadily month to month to month, or compared to the same month a year earlier. Within the last year or so an increasing number of contributors are complaining about revenue stagnation or decline.
, in collaboration with Instagram, has announced a call for entries for a new grant to support photographers using Instagram to document stories from underrepresented communities around the world. The three winners will each receive $10,000.
The launch of Windows 10 later this year could dramatically change the way people find pictures. On April 29th during the annual Microstock Build Developers Conference in San Francisco Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella described how Microsoft intends to (1) Build the Intelligent Cloud, (2) Reinvent productivity and business process and (3) Create more personal computing.
has reported $97.5 million in revenue for Q1 2015, a 34% increase over Q1 2015. There were 33.4 downloads for the quarter. About 28% percent of revenue for the quarter was paid out to contributors in royalties. The average price per download was $2.87 up from $2.68 in the previous quarter and a 17% increase compared to Q1 2015. There were 51.6 million images in the collection as of March 31, 2015 plus 2.6 million video clips. At the end of the quarter the company had 542 employees worldwide.?
In March, Shutterstock
began testing a new collection called Premier Selects
that is only available to Enterprise customers. For more about how it works check out https://premier.shutterstock.com
Maria Pallante the current Register of Copyrights and Director of the United States Copyright Office testified before the House Judiciary Committee on April 29th and offered a number of ideas for modernization of the copyright office. You can access the entire testimony here
has announced the release of Stock Photos by Dreamstime
, a new mobile phone app geared toward customers interested in purchasing and downloading images directly onto their smartphones and tablets. With the new mobile app, the Dreamstime team will be able to offer its popular, high quality digital images to an even greater range of on-the-go customers.
Shutterstock has provided a list of the 10 most popular cameras used by their contributors in 2014. (See Chart
.) They obtained this information by extracting the EXIF data from the photos uploaded.
, has unveiled auto-tagging technology that they claim is the first of its kind in the stock media industry. Built with artificial intelligence, this pioneering feature automatically generates keywords for each photo and video uploaded to the Pond5 platform.
The U.S. Copyright Office has created a Fair Use Index
to assist creators and user in understanding what is considered “Fair Use.” Fair use is a longstanding and vital aspect of American copyright law. The goal of the Index is to make the principles and application of fair use more accessible and understandable by presenting a searchable database of court opinions.
Want to know more about the people who are producing images that are licensed at microstock and subscription prices? Shutterstock Panorama
is worth a look.
Recently, I was asked to comment on whether a photographer under exclusive contract with a stock agency that licensed the work as Rights Managed could simultaneously post the same images on one of a series of social media sites.
If you’re interested in stock footage you may want to attend the ACSIL Footage Expo 2015
in Manhattan next week. The event will take place on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 between 10:30am and 5:15pm at the Midtown Loft & Terrace, 267 Fifth Avenue, (29th Street), New York. NY. Many of the major footage distributors will be exhibiting.
In order to earn significant money from licensing stock images it is almost mandatory to make the images available through more than one large stock image distributor. But having images with multiple distributors also makes it almost impossible to determine if there has been an infringement. While it is easy enough to determine if an image has been used on the Interne, it is often almost impossible to determine if the image was legally licensed.
It’s that time of year when high school seniors are waiting for college acceptance letters and thinking about future careers. If you know someone who is thinking about photography as a career you might want to point them to the stories listed below.
has raised $18 million in new venture capital and currently has a community of 13 million photographers across 150 countries.
has a great story by 30-year-old Brendan van Son about how he has been supporting himself for the last 5 years as a travel photographer/journalist. During that time he has visited almost 80 countries. He provides a lot of very valuable detail for anyone thinking about travel photography as a career.
, is hosting a NYC photo contest that awards $200 each for the best New York City photos in four different categories. The contest is in partnership with Mastercard
In March we reported that an ACSIL survey
of stock footage distributors concluded that globally $550 million in revenue was generated from the licensing of stock footage in 2014. The 53-question survey was sent to over 400 companies that license stock footage and 90 responded. The following is an executive summary of the results.
The European Commission has sent a Statement of Objections to Google alleging the company has abused its dominant position in the markets for general Internet search services in the European Economic Area (EEA) by systematically favoring its own comparison shopping product in its general search results pages. The Commission's preliminary view is that such conduct infringes EU antitrust rules because it stifles competition and harms consumers.
I received a note from a stock photographer who was one of the more successful full-time image producers in the 1990s and early 2000s. He called my attention to a CNN story about “Workers Striking For $15 An Hour.” He is envious of those who will earn $15 per hour for their work. He is looking for a new career because he can no longer earn anywhere near $15 an hour in present value for the time and effort he puts into producing new images.
Most Rights Managed stock images can be used in many different non-conflicting ways by a variety of customers. The theory behind RM licensing is that the fee charged to use an image should have some relation to the value the customer receives from the use. RM photographers are encouraged to carefully negotiate, and spell out in detail in a license, the rights and limitations of each use. It is assumed that an honest customer will then track its usage. If the customer wants to make additional use of the same image the customer will then come back and negotiate an additional license. Is that working?
he Bridgeman Studio
has launched its second annual Awards competition with a theme of “The Great Outdoors
If you’re goal is to earn a significant portion of your livelihood from the images you produce, and you already have a significant number of the best image you know how to produce with all the agencies and distributors who represent your work, does it make sense to regularly add even more images of the same general subjects to these collections?
, unveiled two new types of video content today—Backlots
. Provided by partner CT Image
, these digital backlots allow editors to flawlessly simulate background scenery from 25 of the world’s major cities in their video productions.
If you’re thinking about submitting images to Shutterstock you might want to check out the next ShutterTalk Live streaming workshop, “Preparing Your First Photo Submission
,” on Thursday, April 9 at 11am EST.
continues to make it easier customers to get the images they need via their subscription products. Until last week customers that purchased a subscription were limited to 25 downloads a day and a maximum of 750 per month for customers in the U.S. and Canada.
A photojournalist’s goal should be to supply the publications they work for with the best possible image that accurately reflects what they saw. If readers are to trust newspapers and magazines they must know that the images and information provided are an accurate representation of what really happened.
In August 2014 EyeEm
announced that it would be introducing a “Market” aspect to its social media site. Market has finally been launched. EyeEm was established in 2011 and currently has over 13 million users who post photos taken with their cell phones and comment on each other’s work. It is unclear how many images are on the site.
One of the biggest problems for stock photographers is the percent of their images in major collections that haven’t been shown to any customer for years. I suspect that most of the major distributors aren’t even tracking this figure. If I had to guess I would estimate that as many as half the thumbnails in most online collections have not been viewed by any customer in the last two years.
Global crowd-sourced media platform and live-streaming company, Newzulu
, and mobile photo and video crowdsourcing service Scoopshot
, have partnered to collect and market citizen generated content and offer untapped revenue opportunities to brands and publishers around the world.
In mid-February Alamy published changes in its standard contract that were due to go into effect April 1st (45 days later). A number of photographers, particularly in the UK, had issues with certain clauses and a lively discussion ensued on the EPUK
In preparation for the BAPLA
Focus on Copyright event in London on May 14, 2015, BAPLA is surveying its membership on the standards and pricing members employ for Web, Social Media and App use.
has announced its debut into the stock photography industry. The New York-based agency offers the editorial and commercial photography market high-end imagery that is tastefully curated with authentic real life moments.
I’m getting more frequent requests from long/short hedge fund investors about Getty Images’ turnaround potential in 2015. Getty’s $550 million of 7 percent unsecured notes due in October 2020 are selling for approximately 50 cents on the dollar. Investors are trying to determine if that is a good price, or if they could go even lower. (Getty also has about $2 billion in additional debut.) Here’s some of what I tell them.
Back in the early 2000s Graphic Designers started complaining that Royalty Free stock was too expensive and began looking for less expensive ways to get the photos and illustrations they needed for their projects. That was the birth of microstock. Now Christian Toksvig, former Getty Images VP, Christian Toksvig,, thinks there is new demand for still lower prices. He has founded StockUnlimited
and is offering unlimited vector downloads for $9.99 per month.
According to Meredith Kopit Levien, New York Times EVP of Advertising, speaking to OMMA SXSW in Austin, TX recently, “Last year the Times did about $180 million in digital advertising and almost that much in digital subscriptions. That puts us at a digital business that’s in the $350 million range."
Royalty free stock image agency Novel Expression
and Jenn LeBlanc of Illustrated Romance
are launching the Exclusive Jenn LeBlanc for Novel Expression collection. The initial collection will feature images of male and female same sex couples in both contemporary and historical costumes.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) has started requesting images directly from some very experienced stock photographers and offering them $300 for all-future-rights, including copyright
, to any image they select.
Under the title “Imagestate Media Partners Limited – In Liquidation” the Joint Liquidator in the UK reported on 6 March 2015 that Imagestate had been liquidated.
Bond traders are asking “If Getty Images changed its name, but had all the same content and pictures, would this have a significant impact on sales/marketing?” The reason for this question is that revenue has been declining for Getty for at least eight quarter and it is becoming increasing apparent that there is likely no way to turn the business around.
iStock by Getty Images will stage the UAE's first ever iStockalypse event in Dubai from 26 thru 28 March, 2015. Specifically chosen as a fitting venue to mark the 10th anniversary of iStockalypse events, iStockalypse Dubai will bring together a select group of both local and global photographers and videographers for three-days of creative shoots and visually themed talks.
Stock photography is a two-sided market. For the most part image producers need a distributor to make potential customers aware of their work. Image buyers need distributors to make it easier for them to find what they need when they need it. The distributor needs to cover its cost of providing the service and make a profit. But the distributor must also manage the delicate balance between what customers are willing to pay and generating enough royalty for contributors to encourage them to continue to produce.
Jonathan Klein, Co-Founder and CEO of Getty Image, has stepped down as CEO 20 years to the day after he and Mark Getty founded the company. Klein will continue as chairman and will remain instrumental in determining strategy, direction and vision for Getty Images. As Klein transitions into his new role as Chairman the company is expected to “expand its footprint in the consumer space.”
Stock Photo Secrets
has put together a list of 80 Stock PhotographyTrends For 2015
, In 2014 Stock Photo Secrets surveyed stock agencies and put together a list 50 trends
of the kinds of imagery customers were buying. This year 16 agencies responded with the 80 most popular subjects their customers are requesting and using.
has acquired Rue des Archives
, the premier French archival photo library, and expanded the company’s range of historic imagery and personalities for licensing. Rue des Archives is an exceptional resource with photography ranging from the cave paintings of Lascaux to 21st century Parisian life.
Shutterstock has put together a very interesting Infographic related to Contributor Earnings
. Everyone engaged in stock photography -- regardless of whether they have ever licensed an image through Shutterstock, or any other microstock distributor -- should examine this Infographic carefully. It contains a lot of important insights.
Clear Arts – ImageProtect (www.imageprotect.com
) an image tracking company has successfully negotiated a six figure damages settlement for copyright infringement of images belonging to Lived In Images, Inc. against Buzzle.com, an online content farm. Lived In Images, Inc.
, is a stock photo archive specializing in home, garden, and interior design pictures.
The Microstock segment of the stock photography business has grown rapidly over the last few years. I estimate that in 2014 gross microstock revenue, worldwide, was approximately $850 million. Sales by the Big Four distributors – Shutterstock, iStock, Fotolia and Dreamstime – represented about 85% of this total.
, the leading mobile platform for photo and video crowdsourcing, has partnered with Pearson. In an effort to reach out and engage millennials, Pearson is using Scoopshot to crowdsource photos from around the world to illustrate its publications.
The third ACSIL
Global Survey of Stock Footage Companies (AGS3) reports a rapidly growing business for companies who have set up dedicated units to market and sell footage. The $550 million global business in 2014 represents a 40% increase in the three years since 2011 when the market was estimated at $394 million
On Thursday, March 26 Boston will, for the first time, host Visual Connections’
spring visual media expo at the modern and accessible Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School.
Almost every day another blog publishes a story ridiculing and putting down stock photography. They highlight images found on some of the major stock web sites that no one in their right mind would ever want use, except as a joke. Some examples can be found here
A new mobile-oriented, crowdsourced photography service called Twenty20
was launched recently. They claim to have the world’s largest crowdsourced commercial image catalog with 45 million imagers from 250,000 photographers based in 154 countries.
On February 24th at an invitation-only conference hosted in Miami by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Getty Images executives told investors that midstock revenue had declined 15% in Q4 2014 compared to Q4 2013. This decline was on top of a 9.8% decline in Q3 2014 compared to a year earlier. Getty’s midstock division includes iStock, Thinkstock and Photos.com.
The information supplied yesterday in our story CEPIC Stock Photography Awards Competition Opens
was incorrect. See the revised story here
. Instead of there being winners in six different categories of competition there will be a single category of Creative Stock
and monetary prizes given to the First, Second and Third place winners.
The Associated Press and the National Football League today extended their commercial photo agreement, solidifying the AP’s status as the worldwide commercial licensing agent of the NFL through the 2017 season.
, in conjunction with East News Photo Agency
, has launched the first edition of the CEPIC Stock Photography Awards
competition with a 3,000 Euro prize and a title of CEPIC Stock Photographer of the Year
Jerry Tavin and Joe Panker launched Come Alive Images
. This site is dedicated to the commercial potential of GIFs—motion graphics, cinemagraphs, animated photography, looping illustrations and animation, 3D stereo photography and photo/video hybrids.
, the world’s leader in visual communication, and LeanIn.Org
, the women’s non-profit founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, are celebrating one year of partnership with the anniversary of the Getty Images Lean In Collection
– a curation of images devoted to the powerful depiction of women, girls and the communities who support them. Images from the collection have been licensed in over 65 countries, including Qatar, Kuwait and Korea, with sales doubling since the collection’s inception in February, 2014.
, the world’s two largest agencies for food photography, have signed a global partnership agreement. The two companies, widely recognized as market leaders in high-end culinary photography, will join forces from March 1st 2015.
I understand that Getty Images won’t be releasing Q4 2014 information to bond traders until April. Investors are anxiously awaiting the results and hoping Getty has been able to turn around its Midstock division (iStock, Thinkstock and Photos.com) in the first full quarter since its dramatic change in pricing strategy last September
Recently, I asked Geoff Tompkinson to share a little about his 35-year career in stock photography and where he thinks the business is headed. Before reading his story I suggest you take a look at Geoff’s amazing work – still photography
-- and then begin reading.
has launched a highly curated Premium RF collection
that places some of the company’s best images into a simple and easy to understand pricing model. The $250 for a small: 3mb/72 dpi image file and $500 for a 50mb/300 dpi file is a direct copy of the pricing used by Shutterstock
for its Offset.com
has reported $91.2 million in revenue for Q4 2014, a 34% increase over Q4 2013. There were 33.5 million downloads for the quarter. About 28 percent of revenue for the quarter was paid out to contributors in royalties. The average price per download was $2.68 up from $2.65 in the previous quarter and a 10% increase compared to Q4 2013. There were 46.8 million images in the collection at the end of 2014 plus 2 million video clips. At the end of the quarter the company had 513 employees worldwide.
The oldest photo on record is of a man on a Paris street getting his shoes shined. It was taken in 1838. In the first 170 years of photography up to the year 2000 it is estimated that 85 billion photos were taken. In 2014 alone, thanks to selfies, almost 1 trillion photos were taken and the number is expected to grow in 2015.
Getting new customers can be difficult. During Q3 2014 Shutterstock
spent about 25% of its gross revenue on sales and marketing. At that rate sales and marketing costs for all of 2014 could be in the range of $80 million.