Lightrocket: Marketing Opportunity And More

Posted on 12/18/2013 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (4)

Over time royalty rates have declined. Usage fees have dropped dramatically in the last few years. And the huge oversupply of images is making it less likely that any images will ever be licensed. Faced with these facts many photographers have pulled back on new production of stock images, if not dropped out of the stock photo business entirely. Now, Lightrocket offers a marketing option that may make some of those businesses sustainable.


Get the Full Article (2 Credits)

Have an Account?

Access to this site is an exclusive benefit for you. Enter your username and password in the form above. If you don't remember your password you can reset it at any time.


Forgot your password?

New to Selling Stock?

Selling Stock is an on-line newsletter that reports on developing trends in the stock photo industry. It is updated at least twice a month. On-line subscribers receive e-mail notification whenever new stories are posted. Archives containing stories going back to late 1995 are fully available to subscribers.


Copyright © 2013 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 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/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  

Comments

  • Paul Smith Posted Dec 18, 2013
    Their business model just doesn't add up. They don't take any commission on sales and they don't charge buyers any fees to browse etc. So, apart from any deal they may have with Getty, their income is from the subscriptions paid by their contributors.

    Currently, they list almost 300 contributors. Even assuming that each contributor is paying the premium annual rate of $49, that only totals just under $15,000 annual income for the business. Even if you doubles or trebled that figure it doesn't make any business sense.

    This reminds me of Digital Railroad.

  • Bill Bachmann Posted Dec 18, 2013
    Doesn't make any sense to me either. How is the company making $$$.... advertising on the side of the pictures?? More needed here, Jim.

    Seems like the main problem in the business is the constant lowering of fees PERIOD! As I have called it often "The Race To The Bottom"

    www.billbachmann.com.

  • Jim Pickerell Posted Dec 20, 2013
    There certainly is some similarity to Digital Railroad and to PhotoShelter. They make their money off the monthly and annual fees. They also have an advantage over the other two in that they have the images from their "On Asia" site on Lightrocket and I presume they are still getting royalties from licensing those images.

    Thus, they have simply taken a going business and added on an additional feature that should generate more revenue for them.

    They may not be able to make it work, but PhotoShelter has built a pretty successful business offering web sites and cloud storage for photographers.

    The big advantage is that photographers get to set the price for their work and keep 100% of any sales they make.

    Bill, if you think fees are constantly being lowered wouldn't it be better to keep 100% of whatever fee you could get rather than giving 50% to 80% of it away to a distributor? And maybe you could even get a little higher fee if you were doing the negotiating rather than your distributors.

    The big question is whether they can get enough customers to actually use the site and go directly to the photographer rather than to one of his distributors. That may not work, but it costs very little to test it out.

    Everyone is complaining that fees and royalties are too low. Here's someone that is offering a solution that might -- and I stress might -- turn that around.

    The Getty deal is optional and it seems to me that if RM sellers have any hope of surviving they have to find a way to start dealing directly with customers and forget about dealing through distributors like Getty.


  • Bill Bachmann Posted Dec 21, 2013
    Good comments, Jim. But here are my points:

    1. I don't think enough photographers are going to sign up ..... making not enough $ for the company, first.
    2. Since not enough sign up, that will make the site not very useful to satisfy the customers who buy images to use that site. Won't be enough good content for them to keep coming back to find images.
    3. I would hope it would do well for photographers to keep 100%, but how are they going to market the site to buyers with so few photographers "kicking in" fees?

    www.billbachmann.com


Post Comment

You must log in to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive our FREE weekly email listing new stories posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More
Where Is The Stock Photo Industry Headed?
For new readers, or those who may have missed some of what I have written over the last few months, the following are a list of stories worth looking at to get a sense of where the industry is headed.
Read More

More from Free Stuff