Charting Industry Revenue Trends

Posted on 5/20/2008 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (3)

On a company basis, the best year-to-year percentage of growth overall came from Alamy with 18%, even though Getty Images had a respectable 10% growth overall on a much higher gross revenue. And, of course, one division of Getty, iStockphoto, had an amazing 124% growth. But we need to look closer at the actual numbers.

Get the Full Article (2 Credits)

Have an Account?

Access to this site is an exclusive benefit for you. Enter your username and password in the form above. If you don't remember your password you can reset it at any time.

Forgot your password?

New to Selling Stock?

Selling Stock is an on-line newsletter that reports on developing trends in the stock photo industry. It is updated at least twice a month. On-line subscribers receive e-mail notification whenever new stories are posted. Archives containing stories going back to late 1995 are fully available to subscribers.

Copyright © 2008 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 301-251-0720, 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:  


  • Grant Faint Posted May 21, 2008
    simple comment how deep will the world recession be? and for what period of time will it exist? 1991/93 recession drove the stock photography into new sales levels. Now with micros pricing hitting at the same time as a many buyers will be driven into the business method of acquiring what they need? expect the numbers to change dramatically.


  • Tom Grill Posted May 21, 2008
    The most important observation here is Alamy's substantial growth in the face of an explosion of material -- now over 12 million images. This goes counter to what every other agency has accomplished and is doing. Why? Alamy has wisely solved the problem with a computer algorithm that puts the most desirable images (from the client's point of view) at the top of the search.

    It is astounding that the other large agencies -- Getty, Corbis, Jupiter, et al -- have not done this. Instead they continue to follow an outmoded model that allows their accounting department mentality to put those images with the highest percentage return to the company on the top of the search heap. This is a short term strategy sure to backfire as image databases grow. Client will go where they can find the best image and inspiration in the shortest amount of time.

    It has been proven time and again in all reports that buyers seek the right image solution first with price being a much lower priority. The controls needed today, as the image databases grow exponentially, is not simply to cut the number of photographs but to control how they are found. Alamy, to its huge success, has found this out and implemented it.

    The micro agencies have incorporated this policy from the get-go by putting control of search order in the hands of the client. It's basic business 101 to give customers what they want. Why it is taking so long for traditional agencies to realize this remains an anomaly.

  • Tim Mcguire Posted May 21, 2008

    In your story entitled

    Royalties Adapt to Changing Biz Models
    Posted May 13th, 2008 by Jim Pickerell

    ...doesn't the chart you present in that story show that iStock is canabalizing the Creative Stills market and couldn't one conclude that microstock is diluting the revenue of the industry at large... at the least, on the creative commercial end?

    Why would the big three put old images into a licensing model(microstock)that is cannibalizing their core business?

    iStocks growth doesn't come close to making up for the decline in revenue from Creative Stills. Getty's overall growth comes from other revenue streams and non still imagery business.

    Perhaps Getty is moving on and they've finally finished destroying the market for professionally produced commercial stock photos. Really, what has Getty done for this industry since it entered it 10-15 years ago? The revenue for the industry has stayed stagnant even with an incredible growth in numbers of customers and images licensed. Getty gained market share by buying others and giving away more for less forcing the entire industry into this downward spiral. Hardly an innovative forward looking company. They just did what investment bankers do.. they sucked all the profits out of the industry and now they are moving on.

    Do you think think this industry can revive itself to take better advantage of the huge growth in customers / images licensed? Can we increase the size of "the pie" rather than just continually dividing it into smaller and smaller pieces to be divided between more and more people and businesses?

Post Comment

You must log in to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive our FREE weekly email listing new stories posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
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 ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
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 discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff