Most photographers use two different figures to track revenue trends – revenue Per-Image-Licensed
and revenue Per-Image-In-Collection
. It’s easy for a photographer to figure his own per-image-licensed figure, but it is very difficult to determine how that might stack up with all photographers because the specifics of the number of images are usually not available even when you know (or have some idea of) the gross revenue collected during the period.
Microsoft has teamed up with Shutterstock
to add integration within PowerPoint in order to offer access to the vast collection of images for use in presentations.
has reported Q1 2016 revenue of $116.7 million up $19.1 million compared to Q1 2015. The growth is due mainly to new customers and increased activity by enterprise clients. Royalties paid to contributors during the quarter were about 29% of total revenue, or approximately $33.8 million. Currently, there are over 100,000 contributors meaning that the average contributor earned $338 during the quarter.
In 2014 500px introduced (500pxprime.com
), a licensing arm of its global online photography community that was launched in 2009 for the purpose of sharing and discovering images. Initially, prices were $50 for web use and $250 for print uses. The royalty share started out at 70%, but now it has been cut to 30%. Photographers are not happy with the pay cut.
The Shutterstock Contributor App that contributors may obtain from the Apple App store has been upgraded to allow contributors to directly attach, upload and manage model and property releases to their images from their phones.
A Korean subscriber recently asked the following questions. “I notice you say that many photographers are unable to earn enough money and end up leaving the market. Is there any specific number that you can prove? How many photographers/contributors were there in the past and now?
A videographer wrote recently complaining that two of his video clips had been sold by Getty Images to Viacom for a broadcast show on Comedy Central. This show also appears on the web. These two sales were made through a Premium Access deal and netted the videographer a whopping $8.46 for the two sales.
has made changes to its Extended License policy allowing users to produce unlimited copies of purchased media. Previously, customers purchased extended licenses for print or web usage of an image and were restricted by limits on the number of copies they could reproduce, for example for t-shirts, on-demand printed items, or e-cards.
Getty Images has contacted Veer contributors to explain what will happen to their imagery as a result of the sale of Corbis to VCG
. Their imagery will not be integrated into the Getty Images collection. Veer contributors may apply to iStock for possible upload of their content there. The memo says:
A photographer recently asked if I could explain why Shutterstock
is making such an aggressive effort to grow its collection. Currently, the company over 77 million images in its collection and is adding over 800,000 new images a week. As far as I can tell Shutterstock believes their customers want more and more choice not only in subject matter, but in newer, more updated images.
, Inc. has announced an exclusive global syndication deal with BFA
, a leading lifestyle, fashion, art and entertainment content creation agency. Over 1.7 million editorial images in the BFA collection will now be available to Shutterstock’s Premier customers, which include some of the largest marketing communications companies and publishing houses in the world.
As microstock agencies race to grow their collections, there is an increasing demand for people to review submissions. Reviewers are expected to review 30,000 images a month, but according to one source the average tends to be around 40,000. Some of the more experienced are able to review close to twice the average.
If you’re a photographer who licenses your work as RM because you believe that’s the way to earn the most money (or a reasonable fee) when your pictures are used, it’s time to take a look at Offset. Many photographers are so opposed to microstock and subscription that they refuse to consider anything connected in any way with Shutterstock. If it is a Shutterstock initiative then it must be bad.
The tedious process of uploading images for consideration by iStock is about to get much easier. On February 7th Kasper Ravlo will be launching a new tool called Q-hero
. The average time to submit a file for review will drop from over one minute per image to less than 1-2 seconds. Instead of being the slowest site for image submissions, iStock will become the fastest.
Shutterstock is not making enough money so they have decided to lower the royalties paid for Enhanced Licenses. Here's what it means for image creators.
In an effort to make it easier for more people to use Shutterstock imagery the company is partnering with Optimizely
. By integrating Shutterstock’s newest API
directly into their platforms, customers of these organizations will be able to easily search, preview, and license from the Shutterstock collection. Contributors will earn a royalty each time an Optimizely or Sprinklr customer licenses one of their images.
Most image creators believe that adding images to online searchable databases will grow downloads and sales. This is particularly true, when one assumes that the new images being added are better than the ones produced earlier because the image creator has improved through experience and has a better understanding of what customers want. However, an examination of the sales by iStock’s leading contributors indicates that adding images is often counter productive in terms of increasing downloads. In fact, contributors who add very few, or remove, images often show the greatest download-per-image in the collection.
To better understand the potential for an iStock turnaround it is worth comparing iStock and Shutterstock downloads. At the end of my report on Shutterstock’s Q3 results
I estimated the number of IOD (single image) and subscription downloads Shutterstock will have for 2015. For an explanation of how I calculated the iStock numbers see this story
. The following chart compares the sales of these two companies.
Previously, I have supplied an analysis (here
) and (here
) of iStock’s downloads in 2015 and the number of images 430 of their leading contributors have in the collection. While 430 is only a small percentage of iStock’s more than 100,000 contributors this small group has somewhere between 55,070,000 and 58,554.000 downloads since the company’s founding in 2002. I believe this represents about one-third of iStock’s total downloads.
An increasing number of iStock’s most productive contributors have been dramatically reducing their production of new images in the last two years.
Where is iStock headed? In 2015 single image downloads were DOWN significantly compared to 2014, and 2014 was down compared to 2013. The company introduced subscriptions in April 2014
and that has had a major impact on the decline in single image sales.
Ever since Getty Images invented Premium Access (PA) licensing image creators have been upset that their images were being licensed to some users for ridiculously low prices. Often images licensed in this manner are ones that have been extremely costly to produce. For at least one contributor Rights Managed PA sales now represent 66% of total sales at an average price of $12.00 and over half the sales are for $4.35 or less.
, a New York-based stock photo platform with Ukranian origins, has announces a $5 million funding round led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) via the EBRD Venture Capital Investment Program. Previously TMT Investments had invested $3 million in Depositphotos in 201. In this round EBRD contributed $4 million and TMT $1million. The transaction should be completed before the end of the year.
In its race to grow its image collection, Shutterstock has made it easier for new contributor to get accepted. New contributors used to have to submit 10 images for quality review. Seven of those 10 had to be accepted before the contributor was allowed to submit more images. Now, if only one is deemed acceptable the contributor can begin submitting more images. Here’s the way Shutterstock explains the change.
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.