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Shutterstock Stock Under Heavy Pressure

By Jim Pickerell | 512 Words | Posted 7/15/2015 | Comments
Shutterstock (SSTK) was under heavy pressure Tuesday (-7.2%) after Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on the stock with an Underweight rating and a price target of $40. The company traded down 6.49% on Tuesday, hitting $52.33.  About 6% (2,134,222 shares) of the company’s stock traded hands. Morgan Stanley analyst Dean Prissman said based on their proprietary AlphaWise study and bottom-up analysis, they believe Adobe's aggressive entry into Shutterstock's market is set to pressure growth.

What Investors Want To Know About Stock Photography

By Jim Pickerell | 2080 Words | Posted 7/10/2015 | Comments
Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from investors trying to assess the stock photo industry growth potential and figure out where Shutterstock, Adobe and Getty Images are headed. In general here is what I’ve been telling them.

Sales For iStock Leading Contributors Continue To Decline

By Jim Pickerell | 802 Words | Posted 7/2/2015 | Comments
Downloads for 430 of iStock’s leading contributors have continued their steady decline in the first half of 2015.  Getty had hoped that the launch of iStock subscriptions in April 2014 and the launch in September 2014 of a single price for images, regardless of the file size needed, would turn iStock’s fortunes around and bring customers back from its competitors. Neither strategy seems to have worked.

Dreamstime Removes Daily Image Download Limits

By Jim Pickerell | 572 Words | Posted 7/1/2015 | Comments
Dreamstime, has altered its subscription plans to feature a monthly instead of daily quota of downloadable images, and is allowing the carrying over of unused downloads. The company says, “users will now effectively never ‘lose’ image downloads as unused downloads will roll over into the monthly quota amount, making Dreamstime the most convenient and flexible solution in the industry today.”

Microstock Image Revenue Will Decline

By Jim Pickerell | 562 Words | Posted 6/17/2015 | Comments
Thanks to Adobe Stock gross microstock revenue will start to decline. Let me explain why. I estimate that about $143 million of Shutterstock’s 2014 revenue came from subscription and that there were about 114 million subscription downloads. It all those customers were to switch to Adobe Stock they could probably get all the images they need for $43 million or less and save $100 million annually. Check out the numbers.

Will User Generated Content Kill Stock Photos?

By Jim Pickerell | 573 Words | Posted 6/17/2015 | Comments
Matt Munson, CEO of Twenty20, recently made the case for why User Generated Content (UGC) will be The Death Of Stock Photos. He argued that “stock photos do not depict reality” and that “brands that use them risk coming off as generic and out-of-touch” with consumers.

Adobe Stock Launched: Royalty Rates UP!

By Jim Pickerell | 779 Words | Posted 6/16/2015 | Comments
Adobe has launched [St] Adobe Stock as part of its Adobe Creative Cloud subscription offering. Creative Cloud customers are now able to launch Adobe Stock directly within CC desktop software such as Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop or After Effects, and add watermarked or licensed images to their Creative Cloud Libraries. This will allow them to access and work with images across multiple desktop tools.

Declines In Average Royalties At Shutterstock

By Jim Pickerell | 1290 Words | Posted 5/14/2015 | Comments
If the blogs are any indication more and more Shutterstock contributors seem to be complaining about declining revenue. While individual royalties may not have been as high as some would have liked, for several years they were at least going up steadily month to month to month, or compared to the same month a year earlier. Within the last year or so an increasing number of contributors are complaining about revenue stagnation or decline.

Shutterstock Reports $97.5 Million For Q1 2015

By Jim Pickerell | 1261 Words | Posted 5/7/2015 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported $97.5 million in revenue for Q1 2015, a 34% increase over Q1 2015. There were 33.4 downloads for the quarter. About 28% percent of revenue for the quarter was paid out to contributors in royalties. The average price per download was $2.87 up from $2.68 in the previous quarter and a 17% increase compared to Q1 2015. There were 51.6 million images in the collection as of March 31, 2015 plus 2.6 million video clips. At the end of the quarter the company had 542 employees worldwide.?

Shutterstock Panorama

By Jim Pickerell | 338 Words | Posted 4/28/2015 | Comments
Want to know more about the people who are producing images that are licensed at microstock and subscription prices? Shutterstock Panorama is worth a look.

Does Constantly Adding Images To A Stock Collection Make Sense?

By Jim Pickerell | 1288 Words | Posted 4/10/2015 | Comments
If you’re goal is to earn a significant portion of your livelihood from the images you produce, and you already have a significant number of the best image you know how to produce with all the agencies and distributors who represent your work, does it make sense to regularly add even more images of the same general subjects to these collections?

Shutterstock Workshops

By Jim Pickerell | 217 Words | Posted 4/7/2015 | Comments
If you’re thinking about submitting images to Shutterstock you might want to check out the next ShutterTalk Live streaming workshop, “Preparing Your First Photo Submission,” on Thursday, April 9 at 11am EST.

Shutterstock Eliminates Daily Download Limits

By Jim Pickerell | 388 Words | Posted 4/6/2015 | Comments
Shutterstock continues to make it easier customers to get the images they need via their subscription products. Until last week customers that purchased a subscription were limited to 25 downloads a day and a maximum of 750 per month for customers in the U.S. and Canada.

Getty’s Turnaround Potential

By Jim Pickerell | 1208 Words | Posted 3/26/2015 | Comments
I’m getting more frequent requests from long/short hedge fund investors about Getty Images’ turnaround potential in 2015. Getty’s $550 million of 7 percent unsecured notes due in October 2020 are selling for approximately 50 cents on the dollar. Investors are trying to determine if that is a good price, or if they could go even lower. (Getty also has about $2 billion in additional debut.) Here’s some of what I tell them.

Is Stock Too Expensive? Must Prices Go Down?

By Jim Pickerell | 425 Words | Posted 3/24/2015 | Comments
Back in the early 2000s Graphic Designers started complaining that Royalty Free stock was too expensive and began looking for less expensive ways to get the photos and illustrations they needed for their projects. That was the birth of microstock. Now Christian Toksvig, former Getty Images VP, Christian Toksvig,, thinks there is new demand for still lower prices. He has founded StockUnlimited and is offering unlimited vector downloads for $9.99 per month.

80 Stock Photography Trends For 2015

By Jim Pickerell | 150 Words | Posted 3/13/2015 | Comments
Stock Photo Secrets has put together a list of 80 Stock PhotographyTrends For 2015, In 2014 Stock Photo Secrets surveyed stock agencies and put together a list 50 trends of the kinds of imagery customers were buying. This year 16 agencies responded with the 80 most popular subjects their customers are requesting and using.

Shutterstock Contributor Earnings

By Jim Pickerell | 494 Words | Posted 3/9/2015 | Comments
Shutterstock has put together a very interesting Infographic related to Contributor Earnings. Everyone engaged in stock photography -- regardless of whether they have ever licensed an image through Shutterstock, or any other microstock distributor -- should examine this Infographic carefully. It contains a lot of important insights.

Microstock Market Size

By Jim Pickerell | 1324 Words | Posted 3/6/2015 | Comments
The Microstock segment of the stock photography business has grown rapidly over the last few years. I estimate that in 2014 gross microstock revenue, worldwide, was approximately $850 million. Sales by the Big Four distributors – Shutterstock, iStock, Fotolia and Dreamstime – represented about 85% of this total.

Getty’s Midstock Decline

By Jim Pickerell | 1007 Words | Posted 2/26/2015 | Comments
On February 24th at an invitation-only conference hosted in Miami by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Getty Images executives told investors that midstock revenue had declined 15% in Q4 2014 compared to Q4 2013. This decline was on top of a 9.8% decline in Q3 2014 compared to a year earlier. Getty’s midstock division includes iStock, Thinkstock and Photos.com.

Did Getty's Midstock Strategy Last September Work?

By Jim Pickerell | 929 Words | Posted 2/18/2015 | Comments
I understand that Getty Images won’t be releasing Q4 2014 information to bond traders until April. Investors are anxiously awaiting the results and hoping Getty has been able to turn around its Midstock division (iStock, Thinkstock and Photos.com) in the first full quarter since its dramatic change in pricing strategy last September.

Shutterstock Reports $91.4 Million For Q4 2014

By Jim Pickerell | 1547 Words | Posted 2/13/2015 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported $91.2 million in revenue for Q4 2014, a 34% increase over Q4 2013. There were 33.5 million downloads for the quarter. About 28 percent of revenue for the quarter was paid out to contributors in royalties. The average price per download was $2.68 up from $2.65 in the previous quarter and a 10% increase compared to Q4 2013. There were 46.8 million images in the collection at the end of 2014 plus 2 million video clips. At the end of the quarter the company had 513 employees worldwide.

The Cost Of Acquiring New Customers

By Jim Pickerell | 232 Words | Posted 2/11/2015 | Comments
Getting new customers can be difficult. During Q3 2014 Shutterstock spent about 25% of its gross revenue on sales and marketing. At that rate sales and marketing costs for all of 2014 could be in the range of $80 million.

More Thoughts On Adobe/Fotolia

By Jim Pickerell | 755 Words | Posted 2/2/2015 | Comments
After reading “If I were Adobe” Zeke Koch wrote, “I don’t totally get it. Why do you think we should avoid adding stock to Creative Cloud subscriptions?” I probably didn’t make my arguments clear. The following may help.

If I Were Adobe

By Jim Pickerell | 507 Words | Posted 1/30/2015 | Comments
Adobe’s acquisition of Fotolia is expected to close in February (second half of Adobe’s fiscal Q1 2015). Assuming everything goes well the next question on the minds of everyone in the stock photo industry is what will Adobe do with Fotolia and how will that affect the rest of the players.

Want To Sell More Pictures? Look Down!

By Jim Pickerell | 374 Words | Posted 1/26/2015 | Comments
Based on the searches they have been getting in the last few months Shutterstock has just released a new infographic on 2015 Creative Trends in the demand for still images, illustration and video clips. One of the interesting trends for photographers is that searches for “top view” have increased 66% in the past year.