A professional stock photographer has pointed out to me that a long held tactic to price a premium brand of anything is that a higher price indicates higher quality. He argued this is why some photographers insist on selling their images as Rights Managed. They believe they are producing a higher quality product. They often go to a great deal of effort and expense to produce their images. As a result, they feel they are not only justified in charging more, but that it is the only way they can recover their production costs.
, has announced the implementation of a proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) system that uses sophisticated algorithms to screen submitted images. The machine learning tool is designed to examine how human editors at Dreamstime review images, and then adjust its parameters to best match the editors' various criteria
, Inc. has announced that it has signed an exclusive global distribution deal with World Surf League (WSL) to market and license imagery from WSL’s Championship Tour and Big Wave Tour Events. The deal also includes WSL’s extensive archive, showcasing thousands of pivotal moments from competitive surfing history.
Thanks to information supplied by microstock.top
concerning Shutterstock contributors and information from Nationmaster.com
regarding the average 2014 monthly salary from 162 countries, it is possible to get a better understanding of why more than 60% of the images in the Shutterstock collection are provided by Eastern European and Asian creators.
Recently, I was contacted by a Business School student who is developing an app that “will be used by internet publication firms, as well amateur and professional photographers.” He asked if I would provide some insight into the industry, specifically on topics such as photographer compensation, and the market share of "real photo’s" vs. stock photos. Here’s my response.
A top 2017 priority for the major image distributors should be to reverse existing pricing trends and find a way to begin to increase usage fees to some extent. Usage fees have been steadily declining for a number of years. The industry must find a way to turn the corner.
More and more frequently RM photographers are receiving notes from their agencies, or the production companies representing their work, suggesting that they move some of their older images to RF. This make sense for images that might have been good seller at one time, but haven’t made any sales in the last year or so.
Based on the number of downloads Shutterstock had in the first three quarters
it looks like they will report about 167,000,000 total downloads for 2016 when they report their full year numbers on February 27, 2017. Last year they reported
147,200,000 downloads for 2015.
has also announced a collaboration with Adobe to introduce a select set of 500px images to Adobe Stock users within the Adobe Stock Premium Collection
Some Getty Images RF contributors have begun to share sales data with iStock Signature contributors and are coming to the conclusion that they can earn more money from images in the iStock Signature collection than from images on Gettyimages.com.
Twenty-five to 30 years ago there was a large demand for stock images relative to supply. Prices to use a stock image -- while reasonable when compared to what it cost to hire a photographer for an assignment -- were much higher than they are today. It was possible for a professional photographer to produce a lot of images that no one wanted to buy, and still earn a decent living from the few that did sell.
has released its annual Creative Trends report
, which is developed from analyzing the information from millions of searches and downloads.
Recently, I was asked my opinion of what Shutterstock
could do to grow revenue? The questioner had come to the conclusion that there will be very little growth in coming years in the number of stock photo customer or the quantity of still images or illustration that each will use. He also feels that iStock
and even Getty Images
have priced their products very competitively with Shutterstock making it difficult for Shutterstock to simply raise prices.
contributors who want to retain their detailed historical royalty data up to and including December 31st 2016
have 5 days left
before that data disappears from the iStock site. After January 31, 2017 Account Management will only offer 23 months of summary
historical royalty data. It’s critical that contributors download all the data they require from the iStock site as soon as possible.
has announced that it has expanded its milestone multi-year deal with The Associated Press
(AP). Beginning this week, Shutterstock will distribute AP’s daily global photo output for license to customers based in the United Kingdom. Shutterstock’s enterprise customers in the United Kingdom will have access to over 30 million photos from AP Images.
iStock single image downloads appear to have continued to decline in the last half of 2016. Unfortunately, five of the 430 contributors that we tracked in the past have now disappeared. In the last report these contributors represented 544,000 total career downloads. It is unclear whether they have withdrawn their collections, or repurposed them under another brand that I am no longer able to track.
Shutterstock supplies very little information about their Enterprise customers and how Enterprise sales work. Yet it is an extremely important segment of their business and critical to understanding the company’s potential for future growth. At the end of Q3 2016 Shutterstock had 35,000 Enterprise customers up from 24,000 at the beginning of the year, or about a 46% increase in 9 months. How much of that 46% is real growth?
It is almost that time of year (early January) when I publish one of my semi-annual reports on iStock sales trends. A reader asked me recently to explain how I get access to the information in these reports. I'll explain the process I go through in this report.
According to a document filed with Companies House in the U.K. (see here
) it appears that Rex Features Limited (owned by Shutterstock) lent Silverhub Media
the money necessary to purchase Splash
. In return Rex Features has received very extensive control over the activities of Silverhub with regard to certain unspecified assets.
Once Getty’s Unification Project
is fully implemented one of the issues Getty and iStock photographers will need to consider is where to upload new images in order to minimize effort and maximize sales and revenue.
has gone public with a promotion to the 95% of design professionals that use stock photography. For the first time, buyers looking for a comprehensive all-in-one search tool can review and license photography from all industry sources – and get no duplicates.
, with over 50 million stock images, and more than 16 million users has added 10,000 new images to its now 20,000 image library of free images available at www.dreamstime.com/free-photos
.?? Dreamstime also uses artificial intelligence-driven data from its companion site Stockfreeimages.com to dynamically adjust recommended image content based on user preferences
With Getty’s announcement in late October of the Unification Timeline
that is due to take effect January 3, 2017 most iStock contributors have focused on the fact that the minimum guaranteed royalty for a subscription download would be $0.02.
For the last 5 years I have conducted a semi-annual analysis of the number of downloads and images in the collection of 432 of iStock’s leading contributors. There may be some newer contributors that are now among the top iStock earners, but I don’t think very many. It takes time to build a significant collection and begin to get volumes of sales. These 432 probably represent one-third of all iStock single image downloads since the company began.
has published a infographic
on The Top Trends Shaping The Future Of Imagery. Photographers looking to produce the kind of imagery customers want to buy may want to make note of these trends outlined by Keren Sachs, Director of Content Development at Shutterstock and Offset.