537 INDUSTRY-WIDE SURVEY
February 8, 2003
2003 Stock Picture Industry Survey
Sponsored by PACA
An ambitious new survey has just been launched that will attempt to finally resolve the
question of The Size of the Stock Image Market in the U.S. While sponsored by PACA,
(Picture Archive Council of America), an effort will be made to collect data from ALL
stock image sellers, regardless of affiliation, to determine the true size of the market and
its licensing trends.
TrendWatch Graphic Arts
( www.trendwatchgraphicarts.com )
has been enlisted to collect,
tabulate and analyze the survey data and insure the confidentiality of all participants. TWGA
is a highly respected independent research firm that tabulates more than 50,000 surveys from
graphic communications industry respondents annually. It has a reputation for generating
solid industry statistics while protecting the proprietary information of the individual data
All persons and organizations that license stock pictures to end user clients, and have an
office located in either the United States or Canada are encouraged to participate. This
includes individual photographers and illustrators as well as agents representing them. "We
are actively seeking to include all the individuals and small companies that license stock
pictures, usually the 'missing' or silent segment of the industry," says Jeffrey Burke leader
of the PACA survey committee.
The Survey Questionnaire is available as a downloadable document and you can obtain your copy
at www.pacaoffice.org/survey.html .
The deadline for submitting a completed questionnaire is March 5, 2003.
The questions have been designed to avoid double counting from photographers who receive some
income from direct sales to customers and other income from one or more stock agencies. It
will also separate income that agents make directly to customers from that received from
sub-agencies. This should insure reliable results.
Why You Should Participate?
The following are a few of the reasons why you should participate in this survey.
Only those who supply data will receive copies of the survey results. Provisions have
been made for respondents to provide their e-mail address in order to receive survey results,
however respondents can be assured that their individual numbers will not be divulged to
anyone in the industry.
This survey will reveal the depth of Royalty Free penetration in the overall market
and enable sellers of Rights Managed images to make judgements about future demand for the
images they produce.
If image producers don't have some perspective on the size of their potential market
they may be encouraged to make production decisions that are not in their best interest.
It is believed that all major sellers in North America will supply data for this
survey. Most have been contacted and agreed to participate. One major question still
unanswered is whether there is a significant market for the work handled by small agencies
and individuals selling direct to the clients? This can only be answered if there is broad
based participation by the smaller sellers. This survey makes it possible for everyone to
have an answer to this question.
Does the worldwide industry generate $2 billion in sales annually, $1 billion or
less? It makes a lot of difference because it tells you how dominant the major players are
and what your chances are for sales growth if you are not represented by one of these major
players. Breakdowns of the results will probably be provided for those whose archives
generate revenue above a certain number annually, those archives that are below that number
and those who are individual creators selling images directly to end users. This will enable
you to compare your individual results with the average of those who are in a similar
relative position in the market.
Given the rapid changes in the industry it is critical for each individual to have
solid data about market conditions and trends on which to base future plans for production
and marketing of new images.
Are individuals making serious money by licensing their stock images directly to end
users? You'll learn averages here, but that is better than no information at all.
If there is an industry wide "baseline" of information then it will be easier for
individuals to identify future trends and make meaningful adjustments in the way they
Solid industry data will aid photographers and photographer organizations in their
negotiations with agents and portals.
This industry has changed from one based on personal relationships to one where money talks.
Photographers have never had a better chance to develop statistics that will help industry
leaders understand photographers money issues.
Several Selling Stock subscribers encouraged us to ask more questions in our recent
survey (the data is being collated now and will be reported in the near future) to get a
better understanding of what is happening in the industry. This PACA sponsored survey answers
that need. Unfortunately, Selling Stock will not be allowed to report the results as only
participants will receive that information. You can get this very valuable industry
information FREE by simply taking a few minutes to participate in the survey.
It's hard to get where you want to go if you don't even know where your are!
Encourage your friends to participate as well.