Photographers with a goal of maximizing earnings from the images they produce, and who continue to insist that in order to realize that goal their work must be licensed as Rights Managed (RM), may need to consider the new realities of the stock photo business.
Envato, an Australian company that has provided resources and educational services to the graphic design community since 2006, has announced that it will expand its operations to the United States in 2016.
According to Bloomberg
, Getty Images has found a way to raise a net $90 Million in an effort to revive its “Midstock” business.
In an effort to compete with AdobeStock
, at the end of August iStock
began to test an offering of Small Monthly Subscriptions
with 10 and 25 download limits. The rates for 10 downloads are $40 for Essential (non-exclusive) images and $99 for the images contributors have supplied exclusively to iStock.
Recently, I asked AdobeStock
a number of questions about their operations. Their answers can be found below.
Rumors were flying in New York last week that Corbis
may be sold. The rumors are that Shutterstock
is interested in purchasing Corbis. The consensus seems to be that Corbis’ gross revenue is in the range of $100 million down from $225 in the mid-2000s. It is believed that about half of the gross comes from editorial and the other half from creative. (These figures may not include the rights clearance part of Corbis’ business.)
has announced the expansion of its Lean In Collection
to incorporate positive gender images in an effort to disassociate itself from stereotypical stock photography. The 1191 images are available at "Signature Collection" prices of three credits.
After a long quiet period as a blogger, Yuri Arcurs has decided that it is time to comment on Adobe Stock
. Yuri is generally considered the most successful microstock photographer. For many years he was a strong advocate of non-exclusive representation, and placed his images with virtually every microstock distributor.
Scott Braut, Head of Content at Adobe, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA) (formerly PACA) annual meeting
in New York on Monday October 26, 2015 at 9:00am. Single session passes for the keynote address only are available for $65. For more information, see here under events
. (Hint: you may need to expand your window.)
Flickr is curating its collection of over 10 billion images and contacting selected photographers to determine if they want to participate in Flickr Marketplace
. The Marketplace is expected to prepare images for licensing by many of the industry's RF and Microstock stock photo distributors and to pay image creators 51% or what Flickr receives.
Adobe has made it easier for companies with multiple designers (a creative team) to access, manage and license images from one shared Adobe Stock subscription at no extra cost. The service called “Pooled Images” allows an unspecified number of team members to have access to the same Adobe Cloud account.
has launched Purestock
, a subscription service that currently has about 3 million images, vectors and video clips. All the material on Purestock has been sourced from an entirely different set of contributors than those who supply Superstock and none of the Superstock images can be found on Purestock.
Scott Braut, Head of Content for Digital Media at Adobe will be the keynote speaker at the DMLA Conference
(formerly PACA) in New York from Sunday, October 25th through Tuesday, October 27, 2015. Braut will actually be speaking at 9:00am Monday morning.
has announced that it is running a promotion from September 1st to September 20th that will discount the cost of images by 50%. For this limited period single images purchased will cost $4.99 instead of $9.99. Normally the royalty percentage might be expected to be calculated on the lower price, but to the huge relief and appreciation of image creators Adobe has announced that “regardless of this discount occurring, your commission will be unaffected and you will continue to generate royalties at the current rate.”
allows you to place your photos in front of over 1 million members. You set your own prices and earn 70% of every sale. The arrangement is non-exclusive so you can simultaneously market the same images through any other outlet you want. There is no approval process. Everything you submit is uploaded.
Image users on the MicrostockGroup
website report that Shutterstock has “dropped the price of single On Demand sales from 2 for $29 to $9.99 for each image.”
has released a new infographic
with information about how demand for certain subject matter is changing compared to a year ago. They have also included sample image in each category to give photographers a sense of what customers want.
has won the most images race with Alamy
. Shutterstock now has more than 60 million royalty-free images in its collection in addition to 3 million video and music clips for a total of over 63 million pieces of content.
For new readers, or those who may have missed some of what I have written over the last few months, the following are a list of stories worth looking at to get a sense of where the industry is headed.
Is Shutterstock in Serious Trouble?
On August 5th the SSTK stock price closed at $50.75. On August 6th the company announced its second quarter results
and missed the projected revenue for the quarter by 1.5%. On August 7th the stock closed at $33.65, a 34% decline in 2 days. NO!
The company is not in trouble. Rather, financial analysts that closely watch Shutterstock are finally waking up to the realities of the stock photo business.
reported $104.4 million in revenue for Q2 2015, a 30% increase over Q2 2014. However, they missed their projected revenue estimate by $960,000. Investors were disappointed and the stock that had been trading at $50.75 per share the day before dropped 32.20% to $34.41 before the market closed. The average price per download during the quarter was $2.85 down from $2.87 in the previous quarter, and compared to $2.52 in Q2 2014. There were 35.9 million downloads in the quarter and they paid out about 28% of gross revenue in royalties to contributors.
In the subscription environment customers pay for -- and the image creators receive a royalty for -- many images that are never used in any type of deliverable product. Nobody knows how many. Adobe Stock has changed all that. Now Adobe gives users free use
to any images considered during the users design and creative processes. Users only pay for the images that actually end up in a deliverable product. As a result, creators may begin to see a significant decline in the number of images licensed.
Subscription licensing is in for some dramatic changes. We know that a significant number of the images subscription customers download are used in the designer’s “creative process,” but never find their way into a deliverable end product. Traditionally, creators of all the images downloaded – whether used in a deliverable product or not – have received an equal royalty share of the revenue paid for the subscriptions.
has hired Scott Braut, formerly VP of Content at Shutterstock. He has been named Head of Content and will drive the company’s overall content strategy and operations for Creative Cloud
. Adobe says content is a strategic area of growth and focus as it builds a growing, strategic creative marketplace. Scott has over 20 years of experience in content licensing, product development, eCommerce, and digital media.
Hong Kong based Super Image Market
launched in November 2014 has established a simple “Pathway” for making images available to customers rather that operating as a traditional agency or distributor. Contributors establish the license fee for each of their images on an image-by-images basis. SIM pays them 80% of every sale. (During the initial launch period until the beginning of 2016 contributors will receive 100% of every sale.)