Still Images Or Video

Posted on 7/15/2020 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

If photographers are serious about trying to earn a portion of their living from photography they should probably focus on producing video rather than still images. Or maybe when they organize a video shoot also shoot some still images of the same situations.

Recently, I was talking to Cameron Gough of  Envato in Australia. He pointed out that the majority of the company’s earnings come from graphic related content and only about 10% to 20% of downloads are of still stock images. He also noted that after graphic content video footage is the second highest type of content in demand without giving a percentage.

It should be noted that Envato is focused on supplying a full range of resources and educational information to graphic designers, including courses and tutorials, not more narrowly focused on just supplying visual content.

Nevertheless, considering the amount of content they have to offer in each category the numbers are very revealing. In all content categories they have 2,905,293 pieces of content. About 44% of the content (1,278,170) and still photos, but this content only represents 10% to 20% of the downloads.

On the other had the site only contains 77,688 graphic templates, 34,022 graphics, 38,703 presentation templates, 2,657 web templates and 1,099 CMS templates for a total of 154,169 graphic related things. Thus, less than 5% of the content available represents over 50% (the majority) of the downloads.

There are 992,339 video clips on the site representing 34% of the content. We don’t know what percent of the downloads this content represents, but it is the second most in demand subject matter after graphics and in more demand than still photos.

It is interesting that the professionals who purchase and use visual content for their projects have a greater need graphic created content than anything else. After that their next greatest need is for video and last of all for still images. Their needs are totally opposite from the amount of each category of content available.

It is worth noting that several years ago Shutterstock told us that about one-third of their downloads were of graphic content. They haven’t supplied any breakdown recently.

Searching the Shutterstock site we find that they have 214,325,298 still photos, 70,454,420 vector illustration, 41,632,831 non-vector illustrations and 18,945,688 video clips for a total of 346,129,069 pieces of content.


Envato also has a collection of about 60 million editorial (not cleared) and commercially cleared images called Twenty20. Envato Elements customers can access all of this collection under their subscription but need to go to the website to see them (there is single sign on to make this easy).

However, Envato discovered that not all customers liked going to a separate shopfront for Twenty20's photos so in recent months they have started moving the best of the Twenty20 images into the shopfront. Thus, once the editing is complete the much smaller Elements collection should be a premium collection of the best, most in demand images from the Twenty20.

The downside of video is that most videographers who do shoot both video and stills tell me that the production time requirements for video are much greater than that for stills.

Copyright © 2020 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 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
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

More from Free Stuff