Articles by Jim Pickerell

ImageBrief Closing Down

By Jim Pickerell | 619 Words | Posted 3/1/2018 | Comments (3)
After six years of connecting advertising agencies and brands with image creators ImageBrief has announced that they are closing down their marketing services. Effective March 1, 2018 when photographers who have subscribed to the service login the only page available to them is the one where they may download information about their licenses. No other website pages are operational. No new “Briefs” will be offered.

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."

VCG Acquires 500px

By Jim Pickerell | 522 Words | Posted 2/26/2018 | Comments
Visual China Group (VCG) announced on Monday, February 26th that it has acquired 100% of 500PX, INC. (500px) shares through its wholly-owned subsidiary, VCG Hong Kong LTD. 500px is one of the leading online visual creative communities in the world, founded in 2009 and based in Toronto, Canada. With more than 13 million professional and hobbyist photographers from over 195 countries and regions, the 500px community has produced over 120 million unique images diversity and creative trend. 500px is renowned globally for its community, image licensing, and custom photography.

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?

Depositphotos Launches The Focused Collection

By Jim Pickerell | 312 Words | Posted 2/23/2018 | Comments
Depositphotos, a global stock photography, stock footage and editing tools provider, has launched the Focused Collection, a marketplace of more than 400,000 premium images by selected artists which have previously never been available on stock photography platforms. The company partnered with 500px, Image Source Premium, Westend61, StockFood, MintImages and other major agencies to bring to life this collection of rare and authentic images, aiming to serve the needs of editors, websites, advertising agencies and corporate clients.

Shutterstock 2017 Financial Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1069 Words | Posted 2/22/2018 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported Q4 2017 revenue of $151.8 million up $21.7 million, or 16.6% on a constant currency basis, compared to $130.2 million in Q4 2016. The revenue was also up $10.7& million from Q3 2017. Revenue per download averaged $3.33 per image, an 11% increase over Q4 2016. About 27% of revenue, or roughly $150.4 million, was paid out in royalties to contributors.

Shutterstock Invests In ZCool, Sells Webdam

By Jim Pickerell | 357 Words | Posted 2/22/2018 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has announced that on January 4, 2018, the Company invested $15.0 million in convertible preferred shares issued by Zcool Network Technology Limited ("Zcoolto”). Zcool's primary business is the operation of an e-commerce platform in China whereby customers can pay to license content contributed by creative professionals. The platform has nearly six million registered users. Zcool has been the exclusive distributor of Shutterstock creative content in China since 2014.

Unsplash: How Free is Free?

By Jim Pickerell | 670 Words | Posted 2/21/2018 | Comments
Since its launch in 2013 Unsplash has been providing a platform where photographers can upload their images for the enjoyment of others. The photographers allow anyone to use their images for free, for any purpose and without credit. While the photo library only contains 400,000 photos (compared to the 180 million on Shutterstock), the company says it’s had more than 48 billion photo views and 310 million photo downloads since launch. Currently, it is seeing 10 photo downloads per second.

Copytrack To Launch Global Copyright Register

By Jim Pickerell | 904 Words | Posted 2/20/2018 | Comments
Copytrack has completed its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and will be launching a Global Copyright Register (GCR) this summer that will work in conjunction with their Global Copyright Enfocement services ( With their Presale and ICO they have a total of 8,600 investors who have purchased around 16 million tokens. The purchase of images found on the GCR will be tracked in a Blockchain and paid for using cryptocurrency tokens.

Embedding Photo Tweet Ruled Copyright Infringement

By Jim Pickerell | 238 Words | Posted 2/20/2018 | Comments
Judge Forrest of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Goldman v. Breitbart News, LLC has ruled in favor of photographer Justin Goldman that embedding a tweet that contains a copyright protected photo does, in fact, constitute a copyright violation. If the ruling is upheld, it could have a major impact on the way media and many other Internet users get some of their imagery.

About Jim Pickerell

Jim began his career in 1963 as a freelance photojournalist in the Far East. His first major sale, a Life Magazine cover, was a stock photo of the overthrow of the Ngo Dinh Diem government in Saigon, Vietnam.

He spent the next ten to fifteen years focusing on assignment work, first as an editorial photographer, and later in the corporate area. He regularly filed his outtakes with several stock agencies around the world.

As the stock side of his income grew, Jim studied the needs of the stock photo market, and began to devote more of his shooting time producing stock images. At about this time the 1976 change in the copyright law went into effect, and the industry began to see rapidly growing demand by commercial and advertising users for stock images.

In the early 80's he helped establish the Mid-Atlantic chapter of American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) and served as Vice President, President and Program Chairman over a period of six years. He served on the national board of ASMP for two years, was on the committee that produced the ASMP Stock Handbook in 1983, and was active in the fight to reverse the IRS rules that required capitalization of all expenses of stock photo production.

In 1989 he published the first edition of Negotiating Stock Photo Prices, a guide to pricing hundreds of stock photo uses. The fifth edition was published in 2001. In 1990, he began publishing Selling-Stock, a bi-monthly newsletter dealing with issues of interest to stock photographers and stock photo sellers, with particular focus on issues related to marketing stock images. Selling-Stock is recognized worldwide as the leading source of in-depth analysis of the stock photo industry. As a result of his many years in the industry and his work with Selling-Stock, Jim has an expert understanding of the stock photo industry, its standard practices and developing trends. He frequently provides consulting services on stock industry issues to photographers, stock agents and individuals in the investment community.

In 1993, his daughter, Cheryl, joined him in the business. Together they established Stock Connection, an agency designed to provide photographers with greater control over the promotion and marketing of their work than most other stock agencies were offering. The company currently represents selected images from more than 400 photographers.

At age 76, Jim continues to follow stock photo industry developments on a day to day basis and expects to continue to do so far into the future.