Rights Managed Sellers Should Adopt Microstock Pricing Strategies

Posted on 1/8/2011 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (3)

It time for rights-managed sellers to adopt many aspects of the microstock pricing strategy. The immediate reaction of many RM sellers will be, “I’ll never sell my images as royalty-free.” That’s not what I’m proposing. Photographers will continue to manage the rights to their images. They will continue to be able to license exclusive and restricted uses to their images. But from the customer’s point of view the basic pricing model will look and feel just like the microstock model that they have come to prefer.

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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 © 2011 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.  


  • Fred Voetsch Posted Jan 10, 2011
    A very though-provoking article. I believe that Mr. Pickerell has a rather accurate view here of the future of image licensing.

  • Mark Turner Posted Jan 10, 2011
    "The hardest part will be figuring out which images to offer at which price levels." That's only one issue, and certainly a challenging one. I also never know which images in my library will be licensed, or for how much. Most of my licenses are client-direct, not through what we used to call agencies, and to editorial customers who continue to pay better rates than microstock for the specialized images I provide. I would not welcome licensing based on file size.

  • Jim Pickerell Posted Jan 11, 2011
    Mark: Individuals selling direct probably should continue to quote prices based on very specific uses. The customers know them and are interested in their images specifically. Thus, the seller is in a position to control the negotiations. But, the advantage for most who deal with agencies is that the agencies offer them the potential to reach a much broader base of potential customers. The agencies must be concerned with how to get the customers to visit their site and in this case it is important to have a customer friendly licensing model.

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