Pricing

What To Do When Competitors Discount Prices

By Jim Pickerell | 489 Words | Posted 8/16/2019 | Comments
An editorial stock agent tells me that he is trying to hold the line, or increase, the prices he charges for images because his providers tell him that their costs are increasing. Meanwhile, a competitor who is offering dramatically lower prices in an attempt to win customers has entered the market. As a result, the agent's providers are seeing poorer sales. He asks for advice as to what he should do? I’ll give some answers, but I also want to invite my readers to chime in with any thoughts they might have, or strategies that have worked for them.

RM Licensing No Longer Makes Sense

By Jim Pickerell | 1492 Words | Posted 7/30/2019 | Comments
Photographers trying to license their images as Rights Managed (RM) need to give some serious though about whether this strategy is still in their best interests. In theory, licensing based on usage should enable a photographer to occasionally get higher prices for certain uses, rather than giving away all future rights and allowing multiple re-uses for a low Royalty Free (RF) license. The following are some reasons why this “theory” no longer works.

Free Images For Sketches, Internal Presentations And Pitches

By Jim Pickerell | 663 Words | Posted 6/27/2019 | Comments
A reader asked,  “Is it known how much money is lost when premier and enterprise customers are able to get high resolution images that they use for sketching, internal presentation or pitches at subscription prices and only pay for the ones they use in print?”? The answer if NO. Nobody had any idea, or is tracking, of how many images are used in this way compared to how many are actually used in delivered products. But, we do offer some related data of the loss through subscriptions compared to licensing based on use.

Rights Managed Future At Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 565 Words | Posted 5/30/2019 | Comments
A stock agent asked if I had heard a rumor that Getty isn’t selling RM images anymore. The rumors are almost true. I did a story back in March entitled the "End of RM" where I reported that Getty Images personnel were telling some stock agency suppliers that in 3 to 5 years there will be no more RM licensing.

Ad Agencies Turn Away From Stock To Assignments

By Jim Pickerell | 368 Words | Posted 5/27/2019 | Comments
As more and more consumer are turning to social media for information about the products and services they want to buy Ad agencies and brands are finding that they must up the quality of their offerings in order to get attention. According to Erik Radle, CEO of Dallas-based Miller Ad Agency, “People are finding out that the content has to just sing. It has to just dazzle. We’re spending a lot of time doing photo shoots because the days of stock photography being meaningful on social media are over. That just doesn’t cut it any more and will get you ignored.”

EyeEm No Longer Subsidizing Getty Sales

By Robert Kneschke | 1153 Words | Posted 5/27/2019 | Comments
A few years ago EyeEm decided to guarantee its photographers a minimum compensation for each image licensed through the Getty website regardless of what they received from Getty. Over the years they have steadily lowered that minimum and with the last sales report they have finally dropped the idea of a guaranteed minimum royalty. This article explores what happened.

Another Look At The Market In China

By Jim Pickerell | 643 Words | Posted 5/2/2019 | Comments
The stock photo market in China may be bigger, and more lucrative than many people think. Gaopin Images tells Selling Stock that their average gross sale to Chinese customers in 2018 was $35, 17% more than what Getty is earning worldwide and 44% more than the gross China sales Getty is reporting to its contributors.

Future Value Of Stock Images

By Jim Pickerell | 462 Words | Posted 4/29/2019 | Comments
I was asked recently to appraise the value of a collection of stock images that were being donated. Back in the 1990s and even the early 2000s this would have been a relatively easy task. I would look at the revenue the collection had generated in previous years, determine the rate of revenue decline year over year and assess, based on the type of imagery, the length of time they might continue to have commercial value.

PIXTA Makes Business Alliance With Naver OGQ Market In South Korea

By Jim Pickerell | 194 Words | Posted 3/19/2019 | Comments
The Japanese microstock agency PIXTA which purchased Topic, a South Korean premium stock agency a couple years ago, has decided to make a business alliance with OGQ Co.,Ltd. in their "Naver OGQ Market." Naver is Korea's version of Yahoo or Google. The sales price for each image use will be 200 South Korean Won. This is equivalent to about $0.18 in U.S. dollars.

Getty To Push Exclusive RM

By Jim Pickerell | 701 Words | Posted 3/13/2019 | Comments
Getty Images sent out the following notice to image suppliers yesterday. Be sure to also see Getty Simplifying RM Exclusivity where I analyze the pros and cons of this plan for image creators. They said, "We will soon begin including a base level of Exclusivity into RM licenses called Market Freeze, which will allow customers exclusive use of an image for the combination of use, industry, geography, and duration of any commercial use license."

Getty Simplifying RM Exclusivity

By Jim Pickerell | 1012 Words | Posted 3/13/2019 | Comments
Will Getty’s move to simplifying RM Exclusivity be good for Image Creators? The following are several things RM contributors should think about. In particular, contributors who have co-exclusive agreements with Getty should question this new deal. See Getty To Push Exclusive RM for the full release on this new program

The End Of RM

By Jim Pickerell | 1002 Words | Posted 3/11/2019 | Comments
Getty Images personnel are telling some stock agency image suppliers that in 3 to 5 years there will be no more Rights Managed licensing. Everything will be RF. Currently, only 21% of the images in Getty’s Creative collection are RM. That is down from 55% in 2007, the last time Getty supplied detailed figures on gross sales of the various collections. Getty is also putting pressure on individual photographers to switch their RM images to RF.

How The Value Of Stock Photos Has Declined

By Jim Pickerell | 530 Words | Posted 3/7/2019 | Comments
Back in 2007 I was called on to place a value on a collection of wildlife stock images that were involved in a legal action. At the time I based the per-image value on the “average annual return-per-image” of the Getty Images collection. By dividing the gross 2006 RM revenue by the total RM images in the collection I determined that the average annual gross license fee for an RM image was $335.

What’s An Image At Getty Worth?

By Jim Pickerell | 736 Words | Posted 3/5/2019 | Comments
Yesterday, I received a call from a travel photographer who recently started contributing his work to Getty Images. He has about 200 images from various locations around the world in the collection. He just received a sales report for 3 Premium Access sales, each for royalties of under $1.00. He wanted to know who he could contact at Getty about such ridiculously low royalties.

Image Creators Need Better Sales Information

By Jim Pickerell | 865 Words | Posted 2/27/2019 | Comments
Image creators need better information about the kind of content that is selling. Are customers looking at higher priced content? Can creators earn more money if their images are in a collection like Offset where images are licensed for much higher prices? Should creators produce more stills? Should they buy new equipment and start shooting video that sells for higher prices? Shutterstock’s quarterly reports to investors aren’t very helpful in this regard.

Pricing For Today’s Stock Photo Market

By Jim Pickerell | 537 Words | Posted 2/21/2019 | Comments
An agent who has operated a small, specialist agency specializing in RM licensing for years contacted me recently and asked the following question. “I’m reworking (or trying to figure out) image pricing in bundle form (similar to OFFSET STOCK PHOTOS). I’m wondering if you’ve talked to them about whether their program might/might not be working?" Here’s my response.  

Low Slow Sales Growth For Shutterstock

By Jim Pickerell | 752 Words | Posted 2/15/2019 | Comments
Shutterstock will report its fourth quarter 2018 numbers on February 26, 2019. If the last three years are any indication, it is unlikely that there will be much evidence of additional sales growth. I’ve put together a chart of quarter-by-quarter sales since the beginning of 2014. The chart offers some interesting insights, particularly in regard to what has been happening in the last three years since the beginning of 2016.

More On Apple’s Photo Contest

By Jim Pickerell | 250 Words | Posted 2/1/2019 | Comments
Last week I reported on Apple’s new global photography contest. The 10 winning images will be used extensively in a massive advertising campaign including product packaging and billboards. The official contest rules say the winning entries will have “No cash value.”

How Much Has The Value Of A Great Photo Declined?

By Jim Pickerell | 259 Words | Posted 1/23/2019 | Comments
Want to know how much the value of a great photo that is used in advertising has declined? In 2001 Microsoft paid $135,000 to use Chuck O'Rear's image of a green rolling hillside with a pale blue sky to launch a major advertising campaign for Windows XP software. How much do you think Apple is willing to pay for an iPhone photo that will be used heavily in iPhone advertising? Hint: If you're a photographer you won't be surprised, but you also won't be happy!

Don’t Ignore Customer Needs

By Jim Pickerell | 1279 Words | Posted 1/3/2019 | Comments
In response to the article I published last week where I suggested that what is needed is a system that enables photographers to deal directly with customers Macintosh Smith commented “Isn’t this what PhotographersDirect.com has tried to establish?" Photographers Direct is a good first step, but in my opinion it has some major flaws. Consequently, I suspect it is generating very little traffic.

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future

By Jim Pickerell | 48 Words | Posted 12/21/2018 | Comments
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy for engaging in the stock photo business in 2019.

Which Companies Get Images For Rock Bottom Prices?

By Jim Pickerell | 584 Words | Posted 12/14/2018 | Comments
Everyone knows that many images are being licensed for very low prices. Many feel that the people paying these low prices are small, start-up businesses that are so poor they can’t justify paying fees high enough to cover the costs of creating the image. It is hoped that if photographers help these businesses succeed in the initial stages, eventually when they are profitable they might be able to pay enough to enable image creators to actually profit from their efforts.

Call To Action - (CtoA)

By Jim Pickerell | 667 Words | Posted 11/26/2018 | Comments
Recently I was told by a stock agency that my Photographer Income Survey Results were not relevant to Specialist Agencies because the results are “rather negative and don’t offer a possible positive call to action.” In the following series of stories I will outline a “Positive Call to Action” for stock agencies.

Lower Prices: Last Thing Industry Needs

By Jim Pickerell | 864 Words | Posted 10/23/2018 | Comments
The last thing this industry needs is lower prices. However, it often seems that whenever someone wants to start a new business, or grow an existing one, they conclude that the most important distinguishing characteristic compared to their competitor must be lower prices. The new Onepixel offering clearly illustrates this point. A group of people with experience in the industry put together a new site. Based on their experience they are well aware of the type images in greatest demand by customers. They have previously built relationships with many of the creators of such images. They have a good idea for offering a small highly curated collection of images that will make it much easier for customers to quickly find what they need.

Onepixel: New Microstock Agency

By Jim Pickerell | 609 Words | Posted 10/23/2018 | Comments
A few former Fotolia employees have joined forces to launch a new microstock site called Onepixel.com.  While at Fotolia these people were able to learn the type of pictures that customers are most interested in buying and build relationships with many of the photographers who have been most successful in producing such images.