Microstock

What Sells?

By Jim Pickerell | 1524 Words | Posted 7/12/2017 | Comments
Assuming you are taking pictures because you want to earn some money from what you produce, it would be very helpful to have some information about which images among the hundreds of millions out there are actually selling, and how frequently. What’s in demand?

TopImageSites: New Marketing Option

By Jim Pickerell | 839 Words | Posted 7/6/2017 | Comments
There is a new website called TopImageSites that, in theory, will help customers find “The Best Stock Images On The Web.” Ten agencies are listed and the number of “products” available in each agency’s collection are listed in the chart below. Products include: photos, vectors, illustration, videos and audio files. Some of the agencies don’t have audio files and Panthermedia doesn’t have either video or audio.

How Many Images Does It Take To Make Money?

By Jim Pickerell | 966 Words | Posted 7/3/2017 | Comments
Stock Performer recently published an article entitled “Are you uploading enough files to make money from microstock?” The article offers some interesting statistics. However, there are some other issues that need to be considered like, “Is More Automatically Better.”

What Does Image Curation Mean?

By Jim Pickerell | 495 Words | Posted 6/29/2017 | Comments
I just received a press release from Envato Elements that offers “inspiring and ready-to-use photos, templates, fonts and assets” for $29 a month. They say Envato Elements “now includes 200,000 hand picked photos” from its PhotoDune collection of 9 million photos. (Actually, there are currently 244,085 photos in the Elements collection.)

EyeEm New Model Release Strategy

By Jim Pickerell | 1018 Words | Posted 6/27/2017 | Comments
Photographer’s tell me that EyeEm has introduced a new model release strategy that is markedly simpler for photographers than the release strategy used by stock agencies and photographers for many years.

Adobe Stock Adds Reuters, USA Today, and Stocksy Content

By Jim Pickerell | 493 Words | Posted 6/16/2017 | Comments
Adobe Stock has announced new partnerships that will bolster its collection: news images from Reuters; sports photos from USA Today; 400,000 images from Stocksy.

InMagine Closing

By Jim Pickerell | 281 Words | Posted 6/2/2017 | Comments
InMagine has announced to its contributors that it will be shutting down its website on 30 September 2017 and will no longer be distributing your images, vectors and/or video on our website after that date.

Where Are Shutterstocks Most Productive Contributors Located?

By Jim Pickerell | 733 Words | Posted 5/24/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has released its 2017 Contributor Earnings report, which features it’s milestone of having paid out over $500 million in the 13 years since 2004 to the Company's global community of over 225,000 photographers, illustrators, digital artists, and videographers.

Earning Revenue From Non-Selling Images

By Jim Pickerell | 672 Words | Posted 5/18/2017 | Comments
Many of the non-sellers are very good images and would sell if customers only had a chance to see them. Back in January in as story entitled “How Can Shutterstock Grow Revenue?” I outlined an idea for a two-tier pricing system that could not only work for Shutterstock, but many other distributors with large collections, and grow their revenue, even if there is no increase in the number of images downloaded.

Photographee.eu: Stock Photo Production Company

By Jim Pickerell | 1452 Words | Posted 5/17/2017 | Comments
I wrote about the huge percentage of images being produced by a relatively small number of large production companies. Let me examine in some detail how one of these companies operates. Photographee.eu is a microstock production company in Lodz, Poland. It is owned and operated by Kasia and Lech Bialasiewicz. Lodz is Poland’s 3rd largest city located right in the middle of the country. According to the microstock.top list of Shutterstock suppliers photographee.eu is its 157th largest collection (out of over 190,000) with over 76,000 images at Shutterstock. These same images are marketed through multiple distributors.

Locating Major Stock Image Producers

By Jim Pickerell | 729 Words | Posted 5/15/2017 | Comments
Where are the major producers of stock images located? One might expect then to live in New York, London, Los Angeles and Berlin near where the major customers. We also must not forget San Francisco, Seattle and Calgary. Think again.

EyeEm Expands Into Video

By Jim Pickerell | 441 Words | Posted 5/10/2017 | Comments
On May 9, EyeEm announced the launch of EyeEm Videography Early Creator program a stock video platform that will use the same artificial intelligence that powers the still-image option to automatically keyword and organize videos. Current EyeEm users can upload clips between 5 and 40 seconds long as the platform prepares to completely integrate video into the EyeEm platform later this year. The company has already tested the system by invitation-only, with selected users submitting video in the aerial, urban, travel, food, and nature categories.

Shutterstock Q1 2017 Financial Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1235 Words | Posted 5/3/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported Q1 2017 revenue of $130.2 million. This revenue was up 12% from Q1 2016, but exactly the same as revenue in Q4 2016. Revenue per download increased 7% from $2.77 in Q1 2016 to about $2.96. Revenue per download in Q4 2016 was $3.02. At the end of the quarter there were 132 million images in the collection and 6.9 million video clips. This was up from 116.2 million images at the end of 2016.

Videoblocks Gives Still Photo Producers 100% Royalties

By Jim Pickerell | 890 Words | Posted 4/27/2017 | Comments
VideoBlocks is now accepting images for its new artist-friendly stock Photo Marketplace that will reward photo contributors with 100 percent commission from their sales. That 100% is $3.99 per still image download less third-party fees (like credit card charges) incurred when processing the transactions. Seeing this price many photographers may reject the offer out of hand. But, this is a very different business model from traditional stock agency businesses. Instead of paying a percentage royalty, contributors receive the full amount that the customer pays to use their work.

123RF Looking To Go Public

By Jim Pickerell | 1018 Words | Posted 4/3/2017 | Comments
Andy Sitt, the Malaysian founder of 123RF, is seeking to raise the profile of his Chicago-headquartered stock image and design business among funds and investors in hopes of launching an initial public offering (IPO) within the next 12 to 18 months. "We're at that stage where we have to think of the next stage of the company and I believe that the next stage would be some form of exit. So (profiling the company) is more towards building it for a potential IPO," Sitt told DEALSTREETASIA.

Topic Images Acquired By PIXTA

By Jim Pickerell | 342 Words | Posted 3/30/2017 | Comments
PIXTA Inc. in Japan has acquired 80% of the outstanding stock of Topic Images Inc. of Korea from its parent companies, NEWSIS Co., Ltd. and NEWS1 Co., Ltd. for 130 million JPY ($1,164,780). The transaction took place on Feb 24, 2017. Topic has been selling high-priced stock images mainly in Korea, producing many of them by itself.  Topic is now a subsidiary of PIXTA and will receive PIXTA’s strong support for its business operation. However, Topic is continuously conducting its own business as an existing company.

Pricing Stock Photos

By Jim Pickerell | 1090 Words | Posted 3/21/2017 | Comments
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.

Dreamstime Integrates AI and Machine Learning

By Jim Pickerell | 590 Words | Posted 3/16/2017 | Comments
Dreamstime, 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

Shutterstock Signs Exclusive Deal With World Surf League

By Jim Pickerell | 273 Words | Posted 3/16/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock, 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.

Stock Photo Production: Eastern Europe, Asia Dominate

By Jim Pickerell | 1030 Words | Posted 3/13/2017 | Comments
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.

What Are “Real Photos?”

By Jim Pickerell | 1551 Words | Posted 2/28/2017 | Comments
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.

Can Prices Be Increased?

By Jim Pickerell | 1178 Words | Posted 2/21/2017 | Comments
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.

Switching From RM To RF

By Jim Pickerell | 589 Words | Posted 2/14/2017 | Comments
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.

Shutterstock: Running The Numbers

By Jim Pickerell | 1091 Words | Posted 2/7/2017 | Comments
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.

500px On Adobe Stock

By Jim Pickerell | 302 Words | Posted 2/7/2017 | Comments
500px 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.