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Is bulk pricing always bad? After reviewing the sales reports of a number of Getty photographers we’ve reported
that from 25% and up to 40% in some cases of Getty’s total sales are for fees of $25 or less – often a lot less. Hans Halberstadt explains how he uses bulk pricing and custom pricing menus to get much more reasonable fees for the use of his images.
The stock photography business has changed dramatically from what it was five or ten years ago and the future does and the future does not look promising. In this article we’ve provided links to a number of previously published articles that provide a good overview of the industry and where we believe it is headed. If the reader wants to get a basic grounding in what stock photography is all about this is the place to start.
United Kingdom photographers are up in arms over the latest action by their government to make it legal for consumers to use their images without their permission. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act
recently passed in the U.K. provides a way to legally use images found on the Internet when the copyright owner cannot be identified or contacted. Such images are known as “orphaned works.”
We reported on price variations to different countries for use of the same photo here
. Kiratsinh Jadeja who originally raised the issue asked, “Do you think majority of the buyers already know about this and outsource already?”
If supplying pictures for educational use is a significant part of your business plan you need to be aware of how the market is trending toward digital delivery and how that is likely to affect the prices that will be paid for images used in digital products. In case you’ve missed them the following are links to a few stories we’ve published that deal with this subject in the last few years.
In recent discussions with agents operating in Europe it seems that it has become impossible to hold the line on pricing. They say there is always a competitor willing to undercut any rate.
Last week we asked the question “Where is the best place to license images?
” if the image is available in the Getty Images collection. We thought India might be the cheapest source, but we found some surprising cheaper alternatives.
Anyone interested in a career as a photographer – as well as those photographers in mid-career -- needs to carefully consider how the business is changing. If we look at image use on the Internet it is undeniable that more images are being made available for viewing. However, for professionals this is not good news. More image use does not mean more demand for professionally produced images.
It does not mean that there will be more opportunities for photographers to earn their living taking pictures. In fact, the opportunities to earn a living as a photographer are declining. Here’s why.
If you want to license an image from Getty Images for use in the United Kingdom is it better to license the use in Canada or India? Recently, Kiratsinh Jadeja priced the same image for the same usage
in both countries. He discovered that if he licensed the use in India the cost would be less than half the Canadian price. In either case he could legally use the image in the UK. Learn why.
The CEPIC Congress
in Barcelona June 10 – 14, 2013 will attract stock agents from around the world. Falling prices and the impact they are having on stock agencies and professional photographers will be one of the key issues discussed.??I posed a series of questions to a few industry leaders that will be in attendance. Earlier Alfonso Gutierrez, CEO of age fotostock shared his observations and opinions
. In this story I will examine responses from a few others.
Last week we wrote about the miniscule royalties
that appeared on Getty’s February royalty statements. Many Getty Connect sales showed a royalty of $0.00.
Getty has acknowledged that they made a rounding error on the recent statements and will report micro-royalties in fractions of a cent up to 5 decimal points in the future. Conceivably, a photographer could earn $0.00001 (one thousandth of a cent) for one license.
Getty Images makes it hard for some customers to purchase RM images. See what I learned when I tried to license usage of 4 images from Getty. We complain about the unauthorized use of images online and then we make it almost impossible for many potential image users to find out how to license images legitimately.
The CEPIC Congress in Barcelona June 10 – 14, 2013 attracts stock agents from around the world. Pricing will be one of the key issues discussed – specifically falling prices and the impact they are having on stock agencies and professional photographers. I posed a series of questions to a few industry leaders. This story is a response from Alfonso Gutierrez, CEO of age fotostock
Bruce Livingstone founder of iStockphoto has launched Stocksy.com
. Stocksy has been designed as a co-op and pays photographers a 50% royalty on each sale. At the end of the year, the company divides 90% of its profits equally among contributors and other shareholders.
The number one issue for photographers is “what can be done to stop the steady down hill slide in the price paid to use an image?” Unfortunately, the answer is NOTHING! Look at the numbers and understand why.
Most photographers are focused on how much they can charge for their images. The higher the price the happier they are. This is true, not just of RM photographers who want to retain the ability to negotiate on every sale depending on the importance and significance of the usage. It is also true of Microstock photographers as their distributors continue to push up prices. (Check out this story
Many photographers that license their images at RM and traditional RF prices still believe microstock images are being licensed for $1.00. For the most part nothing could be further from the truth. Consider these price comparisons for images on 7 different microstock sites with the average price for an RM or RF sale on Getty Images. You'll be surprised!
Several major image producers that license their work through microstock distributors have told me that their revenue from iStockphoto
(FT) and Dreamstime
(DT) was down 25% to 30% in 2012 compared to 2011. What’s more, based on current trends they are predicting 2013 revenue will be down 35% to 45% compared to 2011.
There is increasing dissatisfaction among iSockphoto contributors as a result of Googlegate
, and other recent moves by iStock. Many of the approximately 5,000 exclusive contributors are exploring the option of giving up their exclusive and placing their images on multiple web sites. Shutterstock is actively pursuing iStock exclusive contributors and has created a direct email address, firstname.lastname@example.org
, to guide them through the signup and approval process.
Many who license their images at Rights Managed or traditional Royalty Free prices believe it is impossible to earn significant revenue licensing images at microstock prices. This article offers some comparative analysis.
Jon Oringer, CEO of Shutterstock, has written a very interesting piece
about why being exclusive with one distributor doesn’t work for microstock photographers. I agree with his conclusion, but disagree with one of his major arguments.
Sean Locke (one of iStock’s highest earning contributors) discovered recently that some of his best selling images are now available on GoogleDrive for FREE
. There is a major thread in the iStock forum
. I’ll try to summarize what seems to be known so far.
Getty photographer are complaining that their images aren’t being seen because over 365,360 iStock Exclusive+ images have been placed on the Getty site and are being given search return order preference. iStock photographers are complaining because images from various Getty brands are being pushed into The Agency Collection on iStock. TAC now contains at least 58,546 images.
There is a continual drive in the stock photography world to produce more images. But more images don’t necessarily result in more revenue – particularly if prices are continually lowered in an effort to try to license those images.
I’ve been asked, “What’s the average price that stock images are being licensed for today?” Most RM and traditional RF image contributors would agree that on average fees have been steadily declining over the last few years. The question is how much. In the last few weeks I have gathered sales data from a few of Getty’s Image Partners and major individual contributors. While this survey is in no way scientific, I believe I can draw some reasonable conclusions about the degree of the decline.