Still photographers need to focus on several critical facts for survival.
* The future is video. The market for stills -- at traditional prices that allow photographers to make a living producing them-- is slowly collapsing.
* The future is the Web, not print. The Web is a video medium, not a medium for still images.
* Learning to produce quality short-form videos isn't easy. Get some experience is now. You've got to build a portfolio to get work.
* Customer segments will be much more diverse, niche and localized than in the past. These customers will need targeted editorial and advertising content.
* Small companies that could not afford TV or major print advertising in the past will now communicate with their customers through the Web. They will need imagery to tell their stories and that will usually be video.
Getty CEO Upbeat About Video
Consider what Getty Images CEO Jonathan Klein had to say to investors about video during his recent conference call. "The rapid growth of online and mobile multimedia platforms is driving an ever-expanding appetite for fresh digital content. This trend will accelerate... [with] increasing share of both customer attention and marketing spend... Soon all our photographers will be covering news and entertainment with video cameras and will also be wired for sound. "
"Our customers need multimedia product. Often they don't have the time, the content, the expertise, or the resource to create it themselves, and this is exactly where we come in. ... We find that many customers don't just want the still image, they don't just want the raw moving image - they want them together. We have migrated all of our rights-managed clips over to a royalty-free model to offer alongside the royalty-free selections. I have no doubt that we will accelerate the growth of footage, and it will become a more substantial percentage of our revenue."
RR Pricing in Footage Biz
Look at any site that uses still to promote their service. See if you can convince them to post short videos and compare their traffic results. The key is to promote video photograph. Points to remember:
* You can frame grab stills from video. Creating video from stills has severe limitations.
* The market for stills (at traditional prices that allow photographers to make a living producing them) is slowly collapsing.
* Newspapers are switching to video at a rapid rate. Circulation for printed newspapers has dropped 30% since 1985.
* The Cincinnati Enquirer has transitioned from being one newspaper to 270 niche publications, including suburban newspapers, neighborhood Web sites and regional magazines. All need niche content and have niche advertisers.
*Magazines will follow suit.
* We have a huge oversupply of stills that further dilutes revenue for any individual image.