Royalties

Alamy Lowering Royalty To 40%

By Jim Pickerell | 495 Words | Posted 12/4/2018 | Comments
Alamy has announced that early next year they will be lowering the royalty rate from 50% to 40%. Early in January they will send all contributors an official announcement signaling the beginning of the standard 45-day notice period before a new contract change goes into effect. The new royalty rate is expected to take effect in February 2019.

CtoA 4 - Present To Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 1014 Words | Posted 11/26/2018 | Comments
Once the data has been collected then it will be time to talk to Getty – as a group. For years they have shown they are unwilling to pay attention to suggestions from individual agencies. The more Specialist Agencies that participate in the analysis the better.

CtoA 3 -Agencies Should Analyze Their Getty 2018 Sales

By Jim Pickerell | 1254 Words | Posted 11/26/2018 | Comments
In May I analyzed the sales of a few photographers who are major, direct suppliers to Getty. A major issue that all Specialist Agencies need to consider is whether the breakdown in the various price ranges in this analysis are representative of Getty’s total sales? Specialist agencies need to check their own figures against this baseline to determine if this is an accurate representation of Getty as a whole.

Masterfile Not Paying Royalties

By Jim Pickerell | 401 Words | Posted 11/25/2018 | Comments
According to photographers Masterfile has been unable to make any royalty payments to photographers since January 2018. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2017. Payments to the bankruptcy lawyer are prioritized ahead of payments to photographers. It appears the company has not been generating enough revenue to cover fixed expenses and still pay royalties.

Subscriptions Or Individual Licenses

By Jim Pickerell | 844 Words | Posted 10/10/2018 | Comments
Over the weekend on Stockphoto@yahoogroups.com Rick Boden said, “I was getting serious about (putting my images with) Adobe Stock Images and then I realized they sell images via subscription. I have a very bad feeling about getting into an arrangement like that based on experience where my present agency (that) has a tie in with Getty where I am getting many royalties of less than a dollar because of subscription sales.”

Getty Video Producers: Get Ready For Some Low Royalties

By Jim Pickerell | 479 Words | Posted 9/26/2018 | Comments
Getty Images has just done a deal with www.animoto.com to provide unlimited video clips to Animoto video producers. Animoto says, “Now when you create marketing videos in Animoto, you'll have unlimited access to our stunning collection of stock photos and video clips at no extra cost beyond your subscription.”

Storyblocks Changes Marketplace Commission Structure

By Jim Pickerell | 496 Words | Posted 9/14/2018 | Comments
In an effort to drive more Marketplace sales Storyblocks has lowered its commission to 50%. When the company (then known as Videoblocks) launched its Marketplace offering in 2015 the company offered still images and video clips at dramatically, discounted prices compared to its competitors. However, they paid creators 100% of the money received from the licensing of their work. As a result creators ended up earning more for each image licensed than they would if the image was licensed by one of the other stock agencies that paid royalties that were a small percentage of the total license fee.

Vimeo Launches Stock Footage Marketplace

By Jim Pickerell | 647 Words | Posted 9/5/2018 | Comments
Vimeo has announced the launch of Vimeo Stock, a new global, royalty-free stock marketplace featuring an exclusive collection of high-quality video footage sourced directly from Vimeo’s community of iconic creators. Vimeo Stock unlocks content from Vimeo’s world-renowned community of storytellers, redefining what stock footage can and should look like. Vimeo Stock contributors keep 60-70 percent of revenue generated from their licensed clips (versus the average industry cut of ~35 percent), while subscribers to Vimeo’s paid membership plans always save 20 percent on all stock purchases.

Shutterstock Update: Creator Earnings?

By Jim Pickerell | 633 Words | Posted 8/20/2018 | Comments
At the end of 2017 Shutterstock had about 300,000 “active contributors.” In the press release put out on August 1, 2018 they said, “Since the launch of Shutterstock, more than 450,000 photographers, artists and designers have become contributors to our platform.” Since it is hard to believe that they added 150,000 new contributors in just six months, I suspect they make a distinction between “active contributors” and “all people who have ever contributed” in their 15-year history. We asked their PR department, but got no clarification.

Part-time Photographers: Are They The Future?

By Jim Pickerell | 1253 Words | Posted 8/13/2018 | Comments
Will part-time photographers be able to supply all the future needs of professional photo users? This is one of the most interesting questions facing the stock photo industry today. There is no question that part-time photographers occasionally produce beautiful, creative, exciting images. Sometimes these images are better than anything produced by full-time professionals.

Shutterstock Q2 2018 Financial Results

By Jim Pickerell | 933 Words | Posted 8/1/2018 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported Q2 2018 revenue of $156.6 million up $22.6 million or 16.9% compared to Q2 2017. (The comparison excludes the 2017 revenue from Webdam which was divested in Q1 2018.) Revenue per download averaged $3.41 per image, an increase of 12% over Q2 2017. (Much of this growth is probably due to increased sales of video content offered at much higher prices than still image content.)

Getty Contributors: Are Your Images All There?

By Jim Pickerell | 550 Words | Posted 7/17/2018 | Comments
If you’ve been a Getty contributor for a long time you might want to check to see if all the images they have accepted over the years are still in the collection. Jonathan Nourok (www.jonathannourok.com ) has been contributing his botanical images to Getty Images since it was Tony Stone Images almost 30 years ago. He also posts some of the same images on his own website, but since he has an exclusive agreement for licensing with Getty he notes on his website that the images are only available for licensing through gettyimages.com.

VCG Closes 500px Marketplace: Abandons Creative Commons

By Jim Pickerell | 448 Words | Posted 7/2/2018 | Comments
On Saturday Visual China Group (VCG) shut down 500px Marketplace and replaced it with a distribution partnership arrangement. China users will be able to license the images through VCG who acquired 500px earlier this year. Getty Images will handle all licensing in the rest of the world.

Competing With Amateurs

By Jim Pickerell | 1325 Words | Posted 6/6/2018 | Comments
In two recent stories Know Your Return-Per-Image and Stock Photo Production Costs I discussed two very important issues for anyone trying to earn a portion of their living from stock image production. The issues boil down to (1) clearly understanding the cost of producing your images and (2) the return you’re receiving from sales of those images. No business can survive if it spends more to produce its products than it earns from sales.

Stock Image Production Costs

By Jim Pickerell | 1030 Words | Posted 6/4/2018 | Comments
One of the hardest things for stock photographers to calculate is their actual costs of stock image production. As in any business it is critical to understand your costs if you hope to eventually earn a profit from their production. This story will provide an outline of some of the things that need to be considered when determining costs. It will also provide some average costs figures that some leading professionals work toward.

Stocksy United Removes Membership Cap

By Jim Pickerell | 633 Words | Posted 6/1/2018 | Comments
Stocksy United, the artist-owned photography + cinematography co-op that has tightly limited its membership since its founding in 2012, has made a decision to open its doors to new contributors. Stocksy has seen continued strong growth since its founding due to careful selection of new contributors, tight editing and licensing fees considered reasonable by customers, but still fair to contributors. In 2015 revenue was $7,928,745, up 126% from $3.5 million in 2014. By the end of 2017 revenue had grown another 26% in two-years to roughly $10.7 million.

Know Your Return-Per-Image

By Jim Pickerell | 726 Words | Posted 5/31/2018 | Comments
I would like to encourage every stock photographer to begin to calculate, on an annual basis, their Return-Per-Image (RPI) for each agency they work with. This is particularly important for those photographers who hope to realize a profit for the time and expense they invest in producing stock images.

Are Photogs Being Credited And Paid Properly?

By Jim Pickerell | 879 Words | Posted 5/16/2018 | Comments
In 1968 Andy Sacks, a 20-year-old University of Michigan photographer covered Robert F. Kennedy’s campaign stop in Detroit for the student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. This is a story about how the photos he captured that day ended up getting used hundreds of times 40 to 50 year later and he received no credit or a reasonable share of compensation for their use.

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.

Photochain: Rewriting Rules For Monetizing Images

By Jim Pickerell | 685 Words | Posted 5/9/2018 | Comments
Photochain is raising funds to build a blockchain based stock image platform that is excepted to go live by the end of 2018. Artists will be able to define the price for their work and receive “up to” 95% of the price they set (depending on the business model). The platform takes a commission to maintain the platform, and to offer support, marketing and other services.

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.

Editorial Photography Future

By Jim Pickerell | 702 Words | Posted 4/25/2018 | Comments
A few months ago in an interview promoting his new book The Good Fight: America’s Ongoing Struggle for Justice, Rick Smolan was asked “How has technology disrupted photography.” Rick has been an editorial photographer since the 1980s, shot for Time, Life and National Geographic and may be best known for his “Day in the Life Of” series of books. The first six minutes of the interview is worth a listen.

Images On Getty They Can’t License

By Jim Pickerell | 366 Words | Posted 4/24/2018 | Comments
Does anyone know. who owns the copyright to image 607387712 of Marilyn Monroe on Gettyimages.com. Evidently Getty doesn’t. It seems that Getty has the rights to license the image for “Standard Editorial Rights,” but that does not include commercial use rights or print cover rights. Evidently it also doesn’t include the right to license a use for wall décor because Getty will not license the image for that purpose.

Declining Distributor Sales

By Jim Pickerell | 1299 Words | Posted 4/18/2018 | Comments
Back in the 1990s and early 2000s stock photo agencies began placing more and more copies of the images they represented with distributors around the world. Initially, this resulted in significant increases in revenue for the image creators and the primary agencies. The Internet and agency consolidation has changed all that, particularly for the image creator. Now, in many cases the distributor system has simply become a way to siphon off a bigger portion of the gross fee paid by the customer to middlemen before the image creator gets his share.

Masterfile Still Has Trouble Paying Current Royalties

By Jim Pickerell | 964 Words | Posted 4/12/2018 | Comments
Some Masterfile contributors report that the BIA restructuring of the company last year hasn’t solved Masterfile’s financial problems. Once again the company is falling behind on paying current royalties on new sales. I asked Steve Pigeon, CEO of Masterfile, for clarification and an explanation of the problems. The following are his answers.