Stock Photo Industry Leaders - Revised
Earlier this month, I put together a list of what I believed were the world's leading picture libraries and portals. Given that most companies in this industry are privately held and do not reveal their annual turnover, it is extremely difficult to accurately gage the size, and relative position of one to another. Despite this obstacle, it is useful for image producers and sellers to know the major players. This revised list takes into account the many additions and corrections submitted by readers and provides a more accurate reflection of the industry than my initial one.
In order to provide a general idea of the relative size of various companies, I have divided them into three categories:
Group A - gross annual sales in excess of $20 million
Group B - annual sales between $5 and $20 million
Group C - annual sales between $1 and $5 million.
In my opinion, all companies not included on this list have gross annual sales of less than $1 million. Where possible, I have added a link to the company's Web site.
In Group A, I have listed the companies based on size, with Getty Images selling the most in this category, and Aflo of Japan selling the least, but still more than $20 million. Groups B and C are organized in alphabetical order, because it is more difficult to gage actual gross revenue generated by these companies.
The order is based entirely on the company's licensing of still imagery and does not include other lines of business. For example, I did not consider revenue from Getty's footage business, Jupitermedia's online information division or a21's fine art print division.
The order is based on what I believe these companies report as gross revenue, not necessarily the gross license fees of the images in their collections. For example, an agency like Image Source has images on Getty Images and many other portals. An ImageSource image may sell on Getty for $100, but Image Source may only receive and report 30% (or so) of that money. Getty will report 100% of this sale on its books, meaning that a certain percentage of the revenue is counted twice.
I may still have missed some companies or placed them in the wrong category. Please add suggested changes to the comments section of this site, or contact me directly.