500px Marketplace Closing Down

Posted on 5/31/2018 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Contributors to 500px Marketplace are finally learning what Visual China Group (VCG) has planned for them. VCG has just sent them a message outlining some “major enhancements” that are coming. “

“These changes will help maximize your potential earnings by positioning your content at the right price and with the right distribution. Starting July 1st, 2018, we’re offering our community an exclusive opportunity to work with our newest global distribution partner, Getty Images,” the message says. (emphasis mine)

Marketplace contributors need to think carefully about what the “right price” means to VCG and Getty. Last December we did a story entitled “Why Creators Are Dissatisfied With Getty” that showed that one-third of the sales were for gross license fees below $5.00, 55% below $10.00 and 73% below $20.00. These were gross fees. If photographers receive a 50% royalty then they will get one-half of these numbers.

While Getty promises that your royalty rate will “remain unchanged,” Getty has a history of lowering royalty rates once they have contributors locked into exclusive agreements. The majority of their contributors are getting 20% of less.

I recently had communications with another photographer who has been contributing to Getty for many years and has a large collection with them. In 2017 the photographer received royalties of less than $1.00 for 41% of sales. Another 38% of sales generated royalties between $1.01 and $5.00 and the royalties for 88% of total sales were less than $10.00 each.

Marketplace was originally sold to contributors as a way to get “Premium” prices for their work, not as a way to “undercut Microstock pricing.”

Getty does occasionally distribute to some premium customers and can sometimes get higher prices. In the case of this photographer royalty of over $100 were paid on less than 2/10ths of 1% (0.17%) of the sales.

Most contributors to the 500px Marketplace were opposed to Microstock and allowed 500px to represent their images because they promised higher prices. Before signing any exclusive deals, contributors should think long and hard about what they are agreeing to, and not be misled by the Getty Images name. If you really want to earn revenue from your images it may be time to submit them somewhere else.

Also see these stories:

VCG acquires 500px     2/26/18

Marketplace agreements will be terminated    3/30/18

Copyright © 2018 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff