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I’m getting more frequent requests from long/short hedge fund investors about Getty Images’ turnaround potential in 2015. Getty’s $550 million of 7 percent unsecured notes due in October 2020 are selling for approximately 50 cents on the dollar. Investors are trying to determine if that is a good price, or if they could go even lower. (Getty also has about $2 billion in additional debut.) Here’s some of what I tell them.
Stock Photo Secrets
has put together a list of 80 Stock PhotographyTrends For 2015
, In 2014 Stock Photo Secrets surveyed stock agencies and put together a list 50 trends
of the kinds of imagery customers were buying. This year 16 agencies responded with the 80 most popular subjects their customers are requesting and using.
The Microstock segment of the stock photography business has grown rapidly over the last few years. I estimate that in 2014 gross microstock revenue, worldwide, was approximately $850 million. Sales by the Big Four distributors – Shutterstock, iStock, Fotolia and Dreamstime – represented about 85% of this total.
, the leading mobile platform for photo and video crowdsourcing, has partnered with Pearson. In an effort to reach out and engage millennials, Pearson is using Scoopshot to crowdsource photos from around the world to illustrate its publications.
has reported $91.2 million in revenue for Q4 2014, a 34% increase over Q4 2013. There were 33.5 million downloads for the quarter. About 28 percent of revenue for the quarter was paid out to contributors in royalties. The average price per download was $2.68 up from $2.65 in the previous quarter and a 10% increase compared to Q4 2013. There were 46.8 million images in the collection at the end of 2014 plus 2 million video clips. At the end of the quarter the company had 513 employees worldwide.
Getting new customers can be difficult. During Q3 2014 Shutterstock
spent about 25% of its gross revenue on sales and marketing. At that rate sales and marketing costs for all of 2014 could be in the range of $80 million.
After reading “If I were Adobe
” Zeke Koch wrote, “I don’t totally get it. Why do you think we should avoid adding stock to Creative Cloud subscriptions?” I probably didn’t make my arguments clear. The following may help.
, a stock photography agency based in Spain with offices in Barcelona, Madrid, New York, and Paris, launched a new look on their website this week.
Adobe’s acquisition of Fotolia
is expected to close in February (second half of Adobe’s fiscal Q1 2015). Assuming everything goes well the next question on the minds of everyone in the stock photo industry is what will Adobe do with Fotolia and how will that affect the rest of the players.
Based on the searches they have been getting in the last few months Shutterstock has just released a new infographic on 2015 Creative Trends
in the demand for still images, illustration and video clips. One of the interesting trends for photographers is that searches for “top view” have increased 66% in the past year.
Dreamstime has been selected as a “beta provider of stock photos for Google display ads.” According to the explanation on the company’s online forum
contributors will be paid roughly $2 per image selected during the “beta” license period which is 12 months.
In the next year image creators who are also image buyers may determine the future of stock photography. One-third or more of the images purchased may be bought by people who are also trying to sell their images. As buyers they want the lowest possible price. With their seller hat on they want the highest possible price.
Yesterday, Shutterstock paid $33 million in cash to acquire London-based Rex Features
In the technology section of its website Crain’s New York Business
says, “The purchase of Rex puts Shutterstock in direct competition with Getty Images for a share of the editorial stock photography market, and ends long-held speculation that Shutterstock was looking to knock off its London rival.”
Will Adobe offer a tool that makes it possible for its Illustrator and InDesign customers to discover if the images they find on microstock sites (particularly Shutterstock or iStock) are also available at Fotolia where they can be purchased for much less?
When Adobe takes over Fotolia
be forced to lower their Image On Demand (IOD) prices? Basically, since Getty lowered iStock prices
last September non-exclusives images on iStock and Shutterstock images are priced about the same – roughly $10 per image for any file size. However, Fotolia images are priced 25% to 60% lower than Shutterstock on a yearly basis, and 60% to 75% lower if the customer purchases a Fotolia image pack on a monthly basis.
After last week, readers probably feel they have more information about iStock than they ever wanted to know. But an analysis of where contributors who produce microstock images live provides some additional insights into the future of stock photography. I promise this will be the last analysis of iStock data until July.
Getty’s simplification and dramatic lowering of iStock prices in September
in an effort to better complete with Shutterstock doesn’t seem to be working. The number of images downloaded in the last half of 2014 for 431 of iStock’s top producers was down about 34% compared to the first half of 2014.
Should the price paid to use a photo cover the cost to produce it? Most stock photographers recognize it is highly unlikely that they will regularly recover the cost of producing an image from a single sale. The profit and loss calculation is much more complicated.
Adobe has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Fotolia
for approximately $800 million in cash. Fotolia will be integrated into Adobe Creative Cloud
, providing current and future Creative Cloud members with the ability to access and purchase over 34 million images and videos.
has added new features to its successful mobile app Stockimo that was launched last February
. To date more than 180,000 images have been submitted through the app and 99,000 have been accepted for marketing. These images can be found among the almost 53 million images on Alamy.com using the keyword “Stockimo.”
has announced a partnership between WIX
and its Bigstock
brand. Wix is a website creation tool designed for small businesses with 56 million users in 190 countries. Wix offers a “drag n' drop website building platform with HTML5 capabilities, 100s of designer made templates, top grade hosting, innovative Apps and tons of features for free.”
ImageBrief has updated its rules regarding RF and provided a long explanation here
. Evidentally, many ImageBrief (IB) contributors have been asking “Why is ImageBrief adding so many RF briefs?” IB’s answer is, “We’re responding to client demands and listening to the market.”
has reported $83.7 million in revenue and total downloads of 31.2 million for Q3 2014. About 30 percent of the revenue was paid out to contributors in royalties. At the end of the quarter the company had 491 employees worldwide. The average price per download was $2.65 up from $2.35 in the previous quarter and an 13% increase compared to Q2 2013. This increase in the average price was due primarily to a growing number of Enterprise and Video sales.
There is a segment of the photographic community that insists on arguing that in order to get more reasonable prices for image use we must eliminate RF. Forget it; it’s impossible; it won’t happen. But there are other options.
Dreamstime, Inc. is experiencing massive growth via their newly released app, Dreamstime Companion
launched in July on iOS and Google Play. The app allows smartphone users to access the Dreamstime community and upload their mobile photos via their mobile devices. In about three months approximately 30,000 mobile images have been added to Dreamstime’s 25 million image collection.