Getty Images: Why Are Photographer Revenues Dropping?

Posted on 6/23/2009 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

Earlier this month, Selling Stock published statistics showing that many of the leading microstock sellers have begun to see substantial drops in the number of images licensed. Rumors abound that traditional sellers have been experiencing similar declines. Several of Getty Images' leading photographers have provided Selling Stock with detailed breakdowns of their March 2009 sales, which offer some insight into the current state of the industry.

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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 301-251-0720, 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:  


  • Cormac Hanley Posted Jun 24, 2009
    My statement saw major drops as well, but for sales months April & May, March was actually much better (but maybe a fluke).

    What is killing me is premium access, I never want to see a $2 royalty for any of my RM work. Getty shouldn't want to see that either. They are educating clients that its OK to pay peanuts for premium content from Stone and collections like it.

    And sure advertising clients would prefer to pay $49 that $490, but if they want to deliver something with high production values for their clients they will convince their clients of the value.

    I think the problem is that prices are being dropped out of a fear of fall off in business. But its not that clients are not buying because the prices are too high, - they are not buying because they have no new projects to work on at any price.

    By the time the market recovers these fire-sale prices will be established as the norm and there will be no going back.

    Getty shouldn't market on price, they should market on quality - if there is to be a future.

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