Agency Revenues Down 21%

Posted on 10/19/2009 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

A survey of attendees at last weekend’s Picture Agency Council of America’s 14th Annual International Conference in Miami, Fla., found that, on average, stock agencies and production companies have had a 21% decline in 2009 revenues compared to 2008.

There was a 35% response rate from all those in attendance. Some 13% percent of respondents reported slight revenue increases, with one up by 22%. The remaining 87% were all in negative territory. Over a third (39%) of respondents were down by more than 30%, with one seeing a 60% drop in revenue since last year.

In private discussions, many reported that their sales through Getty Images and Corbis were down more significantly than their direct sales or those made by smaller distributors. Sources generally attributed this to the large agencies’ tendency to dramatically discount prices compared to the prices those answering the survey are able to get when they sell direct. Another factor cited by many producers was the lowering of their images in the search return order of the industry leaders, who have been pushing their wholly owned work and that of the image partners with lower commissions.

One survey respondent reported that the number of images licensed in 2009 has actually increased slightly. However, this was offset by the “rapidly decreasing average price per image.” This is believed to have been the trend for everyone, although it was not a question specifically asked in the survey.

Copyright © 2009 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, 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:  


  • Thom Gourley Posted Oct 19, 2009
    How did you arrive at the 21% figure - average of all responding, weighted average, or other?

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