341 DISCOUNT PRICING
October 11, 2000
Discount prices don't always result in an increased volume of sales as SuperStock
SuperStock Cancels Express Pricing
SuperStock has canceled the Express Pricing strategy they adopted in January and returned
to traditional pricing. See Story 276.
Gary Elsner, COO of Superstock, said, "We discovered that while customers care about
price, it is only at the final moment of the purchasing process."
"The first priority of picture buyers is to find the right image for their project. What
we learned is that they will use a variety of sources in the initial selection process.
When they find the image they want, then they deal with the pricing issues."
"We tried to add value by offering a simpler, easier way to purchase imagery, but it
didn't attract the customers. The buyers were unwilling to base their choice of image
providers solely on price."
Let me repeat, so you don't miss it. THE BUYERS WERE UNWILLING TO BASE THEIR CHOICE OF
IMAGE PROVIDERS SOLELY ON PRICE.
"The final confirming factor that Express Pricing wasn't a useful strategy is that we
dropped it in August, went back to our old more complicated methods of pricing, and so
far most of our customers haven't picked up on the fact that there has been a change,"
Some SuperStock photographers report that their royalties have dropped more than 40%
"The results did not justify continuing this experiment," Elsner said.
Cutrate Royalty Free
On the other hand it seems that some in the industry never get the message.
PhotoSpin believes that Royalty Free photos are too expensive. They have launched a new
subscription service that dramatically lowers the prices they charge for RF images when
compared with the prices of their competitors.
Customers can now pay a single $99 per year subscription fee for unlimited accesss to low
resolution files of PhotoSpin's entire library of over 15,000 images. In addition
PhotoSpin expects to add 1,000 new images per month to this library and these will be
included in the subscription price.
For $199 per year customers can get a key to the full PhotoSpin collection, including
high-resolution, print-ready images and illustrations, and the complete library of video
clips, audio files, fonts and more.
There is also a FREE tier that gives interested customers limited access to the PhotoSpin
collection. (On the site it is hard to figure out what is available for free, but at
these prices who cares?)
"There is a huge need for this kind of service," says Val Gelineau, the CEO and
co-founder of PhotoSpin. "No one else is providing an open-ended 12-month ticket to an
entire library of high-quality images targeted towards professionals."
One of the many problems with this model is that graphic designers and ad agencies who
typically use RF bill the fees back to client projects. How will these buyers bill a
"subscription fee"? PhotoSpin may be moving toward the SOHO (small office/home office)
market which is not typical of what is generally happening in RF.
The PhotoSpin collection includes award-winning photographs, illustrations, video clips,
sound files, fonts, and more. PhotoSpin's OEM clients include MetaCreations, Live
Picture, Microsoft, Encad, Artville, Ulead, WebUtilities.com, Altamira Group, Scream
Design, Andyart.com, PixoArts, KGA and ScanSoft.
What About The High End?
Keep in mind Getty is now saying that the average price for a Stone image is $700 and
Stock Connection reported a couple months ago that the average price for the images they
licensed in the first half of 2000 was $925. Some clients are willing to pay more.