Microstock

Subscriptions Or Individual Licenses

By Jim Pickerell | 844 Words | Posted 10/10/2018 | Comments
Over the weekend on Stockphoto@yahoogroups.com Rick Boden said, “I was getting serious about (putting my images with) Adobe Stock Images and then I realized they sell images via subscription. I have a very bad feeling about getting into an arrangement like that based on experience where my present agency (that) has a tie in with Getty where I am getting many royalties of less than a dollar because of subscription sales.”

Conceptual Realism: Is That What Customers Are Buying?

By Jim Pickerell | 614 Words | Posted 9/20/2018 | Comments
Getty Images has just sent out a promotion – probably mostly to photographers – to show Conceptual Realism. The implication is that customers want more of this type of imagery and photographers should be shooting more of it and supplying it to the agency. Is Such Imagery Really What Customers Want? I can’t believe that most of what is being shown in this gallery are images that customers are actually licensing for use.

Storyblocks Changes Marketplace Commission Structure

By Jim Pickerell | 496 Words | Posted 9/14/2018 | Comments
In an effort to drive more Marketplace sales Storyblocks has lowered its commission to 50%. When the company (then known as Videoblocks) launched its Marketplace offering in 2015 the company offered still images and video clips at dramatically, discounted prices compared to its competitors. However, they paid creators 100% of the money received from the licensing of their work. As a result creators ended up earning more for each image licensed than they would if the image was licensed by one of the other stock agencies that paid royalties that were a small percentage of the total license fee.

Shutterstock Download Trends

By Jim Pickerell | 697 Words | Posted 8/24/2018 | Comments
A multi-year review of Shutterstock download trends going back to Q3 2010 provides some interesting insights into how adding more images to the collection relates to sales growth. (See chart) Back in 2010 Shutterstock had 12.3 million images in its collection and 11.1 total downloads for that quarter. In theory the more choice you offer your customers the more sales you are likely to make. That pretty much held true through 2012 as Shutterstock almost doubled the size of its collection.

Shutterstock Update: Creator Earnings?

By Jim Pickerell | 633 Words | Posted 8/20/2018 | Comments
At the end of 2017 Shutterstock had about 300,000 “active contributors.” In the press release put out on August 1, 2018 they said, “Since the launch of Shutterstock, more than 450,000 photographers, artists and designers have become contributors to our platform.” Since it is hard to believe that they added 150,000 new contributors in just six months, I suspect they make a distinction between “active contributors” and “all people who have ever contributed” in their 15-year history. We asked their PR department, but got no clarification.

Part-time Photographers: Are They The Future?

By Jim Pickerell | 1253 Words | Posted 8/13/2018 | Comments
Will part-time photographers be able to supply all the future needs of professional photo users? This is one of the most interesting questions facing the stock photo industry today. There is no question that part-time photographers occasionally produce beautiful, creative, exciting images. Sometimes these images are better than anything produced by full-time professionals.

Recipe For Disaster

By Jim Pickerell | 865 Words | Posted 8/8/2018 | Comments
A key to success of any business is supplying customer what they need and want. Sometimes you can sell them things they don’t need, but there is a limit as to how long you can survive with that strategy. Image user don’t want more images. They want to find exactly the right image quickly. They don’t want to be editors. They want someone to do the editing for them. Most don’t have a lot of time to waste.

Shutterstock Q2 2018 Financial Results

By Jim Pickerell | 933 Words | Posted 8/1/2018 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported Q2 2018 revenue of $156.6 million up $22.6 million or 16.9% compared to Q2 2017. (The comparison excludes the 2017 revenue from Webdam which was divested in Q1 2018.) Revenue per download averaged $3.41 per image, an increase of 12% over Q2 2017. (Much of this growth is probably due to increased sales of video content offered at much higher prices than still image content.)

Beer Stock

By Jim Pickerell | 681 Words | Posted 7/30/2018 | Comments
According to The Takeout Anheuser-Busch has launched two Royalty Free collections of stock images featuring properly served beer, with diverse consumers and brewers, and myriad beer styles all found in contemporary settings on the free sites Pexels and Unsplash.

Getty, iStock, Shutterstock Comparisons

By Jim Pickerell | 360 Words | Posted 7/17/2018 | Comments
Recently I’ve done three stories examining various aspects of the collections at Getty and iStock and Shutterstock. The chart below provides easy comparisons of these three collections.

What’s In Demand At Shutterstock

By Jim Pickerell | 1425 Words | Posted 7/16/2018 | Comments
I’ve examined the number of images in certain keyword categories at Getty and iStock. Today, I’ve done a count of the number of Shutterstock images with the same keywords as the other two agencies to see if it is possible to draw any comparisons. I'll take a look at the comparisons of collection size between Getty and Shutterstock. In addition there are some interesting things to be learned when comparing the number of photos with the number of illustrations on the Shutterstock site.

What To Shoot: Learning From iStock

By Jim Pickerell | 683 Words | Posted 7/12/2018 | Comments
In the previous story I examined the Getty Image Creative collection, and in particular EyeEm’s contribution to that collection, in and effort to determine what subject matter might be in greatest demand, and thus most needed. iStock offers some interesting insights into the subject because it basically has two separate collections – Signature and Essentials – with imagery at different price points.

Microstock Agency Sizes

By Jim Pickerell | 1067 Words | Posted 6/29/2018 | Comments
Other than Shutterstock’s quarterly reports and occasional bits of information from Getty concerning iStock there is virtually no solid information available regarding the annual gross revenue generated by the microstock companies. I decided to take a look at the Poll information that can be found on Microstockgroup.com of 10 of the leading microstock agencies to see if I could draw any reasonable conclusions about the annual revenue of these companies.

SilverHub Going Into Administration

By Jim Pickerell | 181 Words | Posted 6/18/2018 | Comments
Sources tell me that in an all-staff conference call on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, Nick Evans-Lombe and Adrian Murrell informed the SilverHub.Media staff that the company would be going into administration, the UK version of bankruptcy protection.

Shutterstock Launches Ireland Office

By Jim Pickerell | 555 Words | Posted 6/12/2018 | Comments
Shutterstock has announced the launch of its Dublin office with the intent to initially hire 40 professionals including engineering roles, and to potentially grow the team further over the coming years. This project is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.

DroneBase Footage Now Available At Shutterstock

By Jim Pickerell | 248 Words | Posted 6/7/2018 | Comments
Shutterstock is expanding its aerial footage collection in a new distribution deal that will deliver hundreds of high-quality 4K videos produced by the largest global drone operations company, DroneBase. From a soaring bird’s-eye view of the biggest cities in the world to incredible coastline vistas, all of this immersive content is now available to license for commercial use on Shutterstock.

Know Your Return-Per-Image

By Jim Pickerell | 726 Words | Posted 5/31/2018 | Comments
I would like to encourage every stock photographer to begin to calculate, on an annual basis, their Return-Per-Image (RPI) for each agency they work with. This is particularly important for those photographers who hope to realize a profit for the time and expense they invest in producing stock images.

500px Marketplace Closing Down

By Jim Pickerell | 378 Words | Posted 5/31/2018 | Comments
Contributors to 500px Marketplace are finally learning what Visual China Group (VCG) has planned for them. VCG has just sent them a message outlining some “major enhancements” that are coming. “ “These changes will help maximize your potential earnings by positioning your content at the right price and with the right distribution. Starting July 1st, 2018, we’re offering our community an exclusive opportunity to work with our newest global distribution partner, Getty Images,” the message says. (emphasis mine)

Can Getty Raise Prices?

By Jim Pickerell | 996 Words | Posted 5/24/2018 | Comments
After years of Shutterstock taking market share from Getty, it seems that the two have achieved a state of relative parity with regard to gross revenue generated from the licensing of still images. Customers no longer seem to be leaving Getty because its prices are too high. In fact, Getty seems to be charging selected customers less per-image than what Shutterstock would charge them. Where AdobeStock fits in is unclear, but for the time being each seems to have a customer base that favors them. There does not seem to be a lot of movement of customers from one to the other.

IBM Watson To Improve Shutterstock Search

By Jim Pickerell | 301 Words | Posted 5/18/2018 | Comments
Shutterstock is enlisting the help of IBM’s Watson AI technology to make it easier for marketers to find images, videos, and music tracks. The company announced today that its library of more than 200 million assets will become available in July through the Watson Content Hub, a cloud-based management system designed to aid in the creation of websites, apps, billboards, and more.

Wemark Enters Stock Photography Marketplace

By Jim Pickerell | 738 Words | Posted 4/30/2018 | Comments
Wemark has announced on VentureBeat.com that it is looking to replace existing agencies in the stock photography marketplace with a blockchain strategy that supports direct transactions between creators and customers and gives photographers control over the price of their photos.

Shutterstock Q1 2018 Financial Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1009 Words | Posted 4/26/2018 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported Q1 2018 revenue of $153 million up $22.8 million compared to $130.2 million in Q1 2017. On a constant currency basis revenue grew about 12.8% compared to the first quarter of 2017. The revenue was also up $1.8 million from Q4 2017. Revenue per download averaged $3.40 per image, an 16.8% increase over Q1 2017.

SmugMug Acquires Flickr

By Jim Pickerell | 942 Words | Posted 4/23/2018 | Comments
SmugMug, an independent, family-run company, has acquired Flickr from Verizon’s digital media subsidiary Oath. Flickr was founded in 2004 and sold to Yahoo in 2005. Yahoo, in turn, was acquired by Verizon in 2016 for $4.83 billion. Verizon combined Flickr with AOL to create a new subsidiary called Oath.

BrandCamp By Cavan Images

By Jim Pickerell | 853 Words | Posted 4/19/2018 | Comments
As more and more photographers with experience at putting together high production value shoots are leaving the stock photo business major brands are beginning to have trouble finding the images they need in stock photo files. There are plenty of cheap images and plenty of candid, “real life” images, available as stock photos, but often they don’t fit the concepts brands have in mind.

Getty Retiring Thinkstock

By Jim Pickerell | 808 Words | Posted 4/9/2018 | Comments
Getty Images has announced that it will be retiring Thinkstock.com in mid-2019 and taking steps to transition Thinkstock customers over to Getty Images and iStock. Getty says this move will make way for a newer and overall improved experience for Thinkstock customers on Getty Images and iStock.