Education Market In Transition

Posted on 2/28/2012 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

In the previous series of articles entitled "Education: How The Market Has Changed" we looked as some of the factors that have changed the educational market for images. This series of stories looks ahead. Not only have there been dramatic changes in the past, but the business of delivering educational materials to students is still very much in transition. There will certainly be a decline in the use of printed products, a growth in the delivery of educational material online and more use of video. Check out these stories for more about where things seem to be headed.

From Books To iPads

What happens when the iPad becomes the primary vehicle for delivering educational information? Check out this story for some of the things we think are likely to occur the education business. Consider how disruptive these changes are likely to be for writers and photographers. The disruption that microstock has caused may be minor compared to the impact the iPad will have. I would also recommend that anyone interested in supplying photos for educational use take a look at this video that explains how iPads may be used in education in the future.


Back To School

The 2011-12 school year is about to begin. The use of printed books is declining. Many school systems will expand their use of computer and iPads this school year. Beginning in kindergarten children will be taught using digital devices.


Education Product For Students

The educational market has always been a big segment of the stock photo business. Some agencies and individual photographers earn the majority of there revenue from sales for educational use. Until recently, most of the photographs used for educational purposes were published in textbooks. All that is changing with Britannica Image Quest that gives students and teachers unlimited access to a 2.3 million image file.


Pricing Electronic Uses

When customers first requested rights to use images in both print and online it seemed reasonable to charge a supplemental fee for the online use that was much less than the print price. Today, electronic use is at least equal to print and tomorrow it will be the predominate use of all imagery. If we continue to price electronic as a lesser usage we will be offering a huge discount on the price for the majority of our future licenses. Therefore we must come up with an entirely new strategy for licensing electronic uses.


Educational Pricing Based On Unique Users

Educational publishers regularly set up “preferred provider” agreements with image suppliers who represent large collections. Publishers outline certain standard terms and uses. The image provider is then asked to stipulate a fee that will be charged for each use. Based on the fees providers agree to charge the publisher decides which supplier to use. McGraw Hill School Education Group has recently requested quotes from potential preferred providers and they have introduced a new concept for determining circulation of the product. Instead of talking about the number of copies printed McGraw Hill now refers to the number of “unique users.”


Encyclopaedia Britannica Pricing For Picture Access

Last week in a story entitled “Educational Products For Students” I discussed the new educational publisher strategy for making images available to students. In particular I examined the Encyclopaedia Britannica product called Image Quest and made some estimates about pricing and the royalties photographers might receive for the use of their images. Encyclopaedia Britannica has now provided us with more details of their pricing strategy and we need to revise our numbers.


Britannica Image Explorer

Universal Images Group, the distribution business unit of the Virtual Picture Desk (VPD), in conjunction with Encyclopaedia Britannica has launched a new photo service called "Britannica Image Explorer." This library of imagery launched with over 1 million images specifically edited for the needs of educational users. School systems will subscriber to this service and members of these organizations will have unlimited access to low resolution (150 dpi) versions of these images for the duration of the license. The license is for non-commercial educational use only. Any uses not covered by the subscription license must be licensed separately directly from the image provider.


Do Creatives Need Educational Publishers?

Creatives need to start exploring ways to deliver their products –writing, photographs, illustration, video – to students, instructors and educational institutions without the aid of educational publishers. This article goes into some of the reasons why and how it could be done.


Image Licensors Should Be Given Passwords For Textbook Websites

Those who license rights to use photos in textbooks should include language in their invoices that requires publishers to provide the licensor with a password to any web site where the licensors images are used. This story explains why it is important and provides recommended language.


Educational Pricing Based On Unique Users

Educational publishers regularly set up “preferred provider” agreements with image suppliers who represent large collections. Publishers outline certain standard terms and uses. The image provider is then asked to stipulate a fee that will be charged for each use. Based on the fees providers agree to charge the publisher decides which supplier to use. McGraw Hill School Education Group has recently requested quotes from potential preferred providers and they have introduced a new concept for determining circulation of the product. Instead of talking about the number of copies printed McGraw Hill now refers to the number of “unique users.”


Fees Paid By Volume Photography Users Will Continue To Decline!

Photographers complain that stock photo fees are way below what it costs them to produce images. And they are right. But, the prices volume user pay for images will continue to decline. Read this story to find out why.


Do Creatives Need Educational Publishers?

Creatives need to start exploring ways to deliver their products –writing, photographs, illustration, video – to students, instructors and educational institutions without the aid of educational publishers. This article goes into some of the reasons why and how it could be done.


Negotiating “Life of Edition” Rights

Some textbook publishers have begun to ask photographers to invoice them for the right to use images for the “life of the edition” of a book. The following is the language from one such request. "Please bill us for publication rights for the life of the edition. … we would like by this permission request to sell additional units through the life of the edition...."


Pricing Extended Educational Uses In Today’s Market

Recently a photographer asked how to price extended educational use of an image that was first licensed by the publisher for textbook use two years earlier. Initially the image was printed full page, inside. Now the publisher wants virtually all rights for 20 years. This story explains how I would approach the problem.



Copyright © 2012 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 301-251-0720, e-mail: vasb@fryyvat-fgbpx.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/cv.asp.  

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