Sales By Category

Posted on 1/6/1998 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



January 6, 1998

Alfonso Gutierrez of A.G.E. Fotostock in Spain points out that worldwide there

are 10 big market segments and he defines them as: (1) Publishing, (2)

Decorative uses, (3) Advertising, (4) Packaging, (5) Calendars/Prints/Posters,

(6) Travel brochures, (7) Toys/Games/Puzzles, (8) Editorial, (9)

Music/Multimedia and (10) Miscellaneous as a final container for all other

unclassifiable uses.

Some of these market segments tend to get most of their images from catalogs and

others tend to rely on classic file searches. Certain of these categories are

more likely to use Royalty Free than others.

One of the things that interests me about this is that I believe our "segments"

here in the U.S. are much different from those in Europe. For the sake of

argument I would define the U.S. segments and their relative economic importance

in terms of gross sales in dollars as follows:


Print Advertising 20%

Brochures and catalogs of all types 35%

Non-publication Advertising

packaging, billboards, posters, POP 10%

Books - Textbooks & tradebooks 10%

Consumer Editorial Content in Magazines 15%

Corporate Editorial and other internal uses

Desktop Publishing, PR, a lot of

Internet use 5%

Calendars, Prints, Posters, Toys, Games

Puzzles 3%

Miscellaneous 2%

Different agencies are going to have different experiences depending on the make

up their files. Some agencies focus on selling to certain segments of the

market and pay less attention to others.

My guess is that the numbers for the market in Europe are totally different from

the U.S. percentages I have outlined above. The percentage in dollar volume for

Consumer Editorial is probably much higher and for Brochure use much less.

Calendars, Prints, Posters, Toys, Games, Puzzles, Music and Multimedia combined

represent a very small segment of the U.S. market while Alfonso has list them as

three of his ten segments.

I would be interested in comments from anyone in the U.S. or overseas who has

statistics that might prove or disprove my theories.

Accurate data would help everyone if we could find some ways to get accurate

comparisons between the relative economic importance of the Editorial market,

the Advertising/Brochure market and all the rest in various countries or parts

of the world.

In choosing an agency it is important for a photographer to understand the areas

where the agency tends to concentrate their marketing efforts, and to make sure

that this fits with the kind of material the photographer plans to produce.

The way we edit for the file, the way we handle requests and the way we

advertise and promote are very different for the Advertising and Editorial

markets. While most stock sellers make some sales in both markets, they also

tend to concentrate on one area or the other. I believe it is important to

allocate costs to each market area, and measure those costs against the returns

from that particular market.

Copyright © 1998 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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