Pricing

What’s Selling?

By Jim Pickerell | 771 Words | Posted 5/21/2018 | Comments
What kind of images are generating the most revenue? Is it the amateur produce imagery that is quickly loading up most of the databases, or the more costly to produce model released people, lifestyle, and business imagery requiring complex and costly set ups and arrangement?

Do We Need Floor Prices?

By Jim Pickerell | 847 Words | Posted 5/15/2018 | Comments
A reader agreed with the lead in “Escalating Price Based On Demand” that few photographers understand what they should charge for their work, but he argued that there is “another possible consideration.” He said it is important to establish a “floor price” below which you won’t license a usage. He asked, “why won’t agencies allow creator to set a ‘floor price” for ‘special images?’ It can be painful to see $2.50 sales of extremely complicated to produce images. Creators should be able to mark certain "high value images" so they can't be used unless the buyer is willing to pay at least a minimum fee.”

Is $1.00 Per-Image, Per-Year Enough?

By Jim Pickerell | 1169 Words | Posted 5/14/2018 | Comments
Recently Alfonso Gutiérrez, CEO of AGE FotoStock told one of my readers that a "professional" stock photo collection in an agency should be returning to its contributors a minimum of $1.00 per-image per-year. The photographer noted that his returns from AGE were way below that number and he wondered whether many photographers are seeing that kind of return.

Escalating Price Based On Demand

By Jim Pickerell | 1441 Words | Posted 5/10/2018 | Comments
Possibly the biggest flaws in the Blockchain model is allowing photographers to establish one fixed price for their work. As I have pointed out before very few photographers have any understanding of what they should charge for their work. They may know what they would “like” to get if someone uses one of their images, but invariably that will be much higher than all but a very few customers will be willing to pay to use the image.

The Blockchain Fairy Tale

By Jim Pickerell | 1094 Words | Posted 5/2/2018 | Comments
Blockchains are being touted as offering great future economic benefit for stock photographers. Photographers will be able to set the price for their work. No waiting weeks of months to be paid the photographers share of the sale. Once the image is licensed virtually 100% of the revenue will be transferred immediately to the photographer’s account. “Technology” has removed the need for middlemen and their costs. Blockchains will keep such great records on every transaction that consumers will be unable to steal without getting caught. Any unauthorized used will be immediately identified and the infringer will be pursued. Is it all really that good? Check out this story.

Can Shutterstock Grow Revenue?

By Jim Pickerell | 1034 Words | Posted 5/1/2018 | Comments
Shutterstock ought to think about raising prices. Clearly the number of images download is flat and not likely to grow significantly in the future. Just look at the quarterly download numbers for 2016 and 2017. The overall market for stock photographer is not growing. For years Shutterstock got away with taking market share away from Getty. They though that because their downloads were growing that the market was growing. In reality they were just taking customers away from Getty.

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.

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.

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.

Growing Revenue In The Future

By Jim Pickerell | 1121 Words | Posted 4/6/2018 | Comments
The major stock agencies seem to have reached a revenue plateau. It is time to consider a major change in marketing strategy. There is a strategy that should be relatively easy to implement which could result in higher, overall revenue from licensing the same number of images.

Growing Revenue At Shutterstock

By Jim Pickerell | 820 Words | Posted 2/27/2018 | Comments
A Shutterstock investor asked me recently, “What can Shutterstock do to grow revenue?” He went on, “worldwide, the number of customers willing to actually pay for the images they use seems to be flat, not growing. Shutterstock cut prices In 2017. Downloads were up less than 2% compared to 2016. Meanwhile, they added enough new images to grow their collection by 46% in 2017 compared to 2016. Art directors say the size of the collection is making it harder, not easier, for them to search and find what they need. AI doesn’t seem to be solving the search problem."

Shutterstock’s Average Price Increases: What Do They Mean?

By Jim Pickerell | 946 Words | Posted 2/23/2018 | Comments
The numbers Shutterstock put out yesterday got me thinking. Is it really possible for the average price per download to steadily rise in a year when they have introduced new 10 and 50 image packs at lower costs to the customers?  Do the download figures really mean the customers are using more of every category of imagery?

Blockchain Pricing – Will It Work In The Stock Photo Industry?

By Jim Pickerell | 1827 Words | Posted 1/12/2018 | Comments
When I first heard about a blockchain based strategy for licensing stock images it sounded like it might have some potential. What photographer wouldn’t like to be able set the price for the licensing of his/her images, have customers pay those prices, and have most of the price the customer pays immediately credited to the photographer’s account. Sounds great.

Raising Prices By $1.00

By Jim Pickerell | 565 Words | Posted 1/9/2018 | Comments
It is hard to find a stock photographer who has been in business for any period of time who can point to rising revenue per-image-licensed. Some who have dramatically increased the size of their collections may be able to point to overall annual revenue growth, but not growth per-image-in-the-collection.

Will Blockchain Benefit Image Creators

By Jim Pickerell | 907 Words | Posted 12/28/2017 | Comments
Can blockchains improve tracking of stock photo sales, give creators greater control, cut costs and increase royalties? Various companies are talking about instituting such systems. Announcements are expected in the near future. Such systems may reduce the need for some of the services stock agencies currently provide and remit 80% to 90% of the fee the customer pays to the photographer.

Why Creators Are Dissatisfied With Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 750 Words | Posted 12/13/2017 | Comments
Recently, a Microstockgroup post by Hochmann asked, “Why all the hate towards Getty Images?” He went on to say, “Yes, I know that they give 20% as a commission while a bunch of other companies start at 35% and many of them go above 50%. But the thing is that in Getty you're getting 20% of photographs sold for $100 or $1000 instead of 50% of 1 dollar.

Getty Promotion Offers 31% Discount

By Jim Pickerell | 566 Words | Posted 12/12/2017 | Comments
Getty Images has sent out a promotion inviting customers to “Stretch Your 2017 Budget Into 2018  With Ultrapacks” and giving them 31% off if they purchase before the end of the year the right to download a certain number of images in 2018.

RF, RM And Model Releases

By Jim Pickerell | 996 Words | Posted 11/27/2017 | Comments
“Must all Royalty Free photos be model released?” This question came from a stock agent who is considering converting his collection from RM to RF. The answer is NO. An increasing number of images are being offered under a Royalty Free License for Editorial Use Only. What the Editorial Use Only means is that “we don’t have a model release for this image,” and thus it can not be used for commercial purposes.

Promoting Images That Have Been Licensed

By Jim Pickerell | 1193 Words | Posted 10/27/2017 | Comments
Stock photo agents tell me that they can’t offer a system that would let customers search for just the images that have been licensed at least once because their photographers will complain.

Does Adding To An Image Collection Automatically Grow Revenue?

By Jim Pickerell | 664 Words | Posted 10/17/2017 | Comments
The question for today is: “Does adding to an image collection automatically grow revenue?” and the companion question “Must an image be NEW to be useful to a customer?” Shutterstock supplies some detail that is instructive and worth reviewing.

Storyblocks Will Generate $30 Million In 2017

By Jim Pickerell | 860 Words | Posted 10/12/2017 | Comments
Storyblocks, formerly Videoblocks will generate about $30 million from licensing stock imagery in 2017. Currently, they have a little over 200,000 subscription customers who pay $149 a year for unlimited access to about 115,000 video clips. They also offer about 200,000 photos, 200,000 vectors and other illustrations and 100,000 pieces of music for a separate subscription price.

Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing

By Jim Pickerell | 243 Words | Posted 10/9/2017 | Comments
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of stock images. This has led to a dramatic shift in how stock images are produced and who produces them. It is harder to tell how this has affected the quality of the offering, but the huge oversupply (compared to demand) has made it more difficult for customers to find the images they need.

Future Of Aggregation Agents

By Jim Pickerell | 677 Words | Posted 10/4/2017 | Comments
Photographers placing images with agents that seek to license uses at higher prices ($100 or more), and generate a lot of their sales via distributors, need to think hard about whether such an approach is in their best economic interest.

Stock Photo Prices: The Future

By Jim Pickerell | 1277 Words | Posted 9/28/2017 | Comments
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discussion on Stock Photo Prices and whether there is anything that can be done to raise them -- even slightly. I will moderate the discussion.

Sales Trends At Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 1013 Words | Posted 9/22/2017 | Comments
Contributors report that Getty Images believes there is still a demand for RM imagery. However, they are seeing fewer high quality submissions on a consistent basis, despite the fact that they have many more RM contributors than was once the case. The company is trying to encourage more production by posting increasingly frequent shoot briefs on the Getty contributor website.