Changing Demand For Images

Posted on 8/26/2015 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Shutterstock 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.

It is important to note that during Q2 2014 Shutterstock had 31.5 million downloads. In Q2 2015 they had 35.9 Million downloads. Thus, there was a 4.4 million increase in downloads in 2015 compared to 2014, or an average 14% increase overall.

Searches for male and female images grew at the same rate and were up 13% from last year.

This means that the demand overall isn’t changing much compared to the overall growth in downloads. Male images are chosen twice as often as female images.

Searches for ethnic backgrounds are increasing for Middle Eastern (27%) and African American (24%). Asian (19%) is up slightly compared to the average growth. Hispanic (17%), Native American (16%), Caucasian (15%) and Japanese (15%) are all pretty close to the overall growth in demand for all images in general. The demand for Chinese (10%) increased slightly less than the overall demand for other types of images in the file.

There is also growing demand for Friends (25%) and Family (20%) compared to the overall demand for the entire file. Demand for Weddings (14%) grew exactly the same as the overall demand for pictures in the file.

Baby and Kids downloads are growing faster than average in every region of the world.

The five fastest-growing markets for images of teenagers are all in Asia -- Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand.

There are three times as many downloads of 20-year-olds as 60-year-olds.

Images of people in their thirties and forties are most popular in the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Mexico.

Mature, older, aged, and senior are popular keywords for 50- and 60-year-olds.

Nearly 100 countries downloaded at least one image of transgender people in the first half of 2015, with the United States and the United Kingdom leading the way.

In 2012, a multicultural image entered Shutterstock’s Top 25 People downloads for the first time. This year, the Top 25 list includes five images of people with distinct cultural backgrounds.

Using insights from Shutterstock downloads and searches, discover how businesses, advertisers, and marketing agencies are making use of people images.

Copyright © 2015 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:  


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