Royalties

Making Money With RF

By Jim Pickerell | 333 Words | Posted 9/4/2019 | Comments
In response to my story RM Licensing No Longer Makes Sense Peter George Unger commented, “I have 9,200 images with Getty and every single one is RM. I am making on average $15,000 per year from them. Can you honestly tell me I can make more money than that on pathetic RF prices? for which they pay $0.25 cents per download. Which library would pay more then 15K on RF prices?

AdobeStock Revenue

By Jim Pickerell | 510 Words | Posted 9/4/2019 | Comments
For a long time, I’ve been trying to get some idea of the revenue AdobeStock generates annually. Adobe doesn’t share that information, but I’ve finally arrived at a strategy that may help. I’ve contacted a few of Adobe’s major contributors and asked them what their total royalty earnings were from Adobe in the last year and the total number of images they have in the collection.

EyeEm No Longer Subsidizing Getty Sales

By Robert Kneschke | 1153 Words | Posted 5/27/2019 | Comments
A few years ago EyeEm decided to guarantee its photographers a minimum compensation for each image licensed through the Getty website regardless of what they received from Getty. Over the years they have steadily lowered that minimum and with the last sales report they have finally dropped the idea of a guaranteed minimum royalty. This article explores what happened.

Another VCG Update

By Jim Pickerell | 749 Words | Posted 4/22/2019 | Comments
VCG is still offline in China and there is no clear indication when they may be able to resume operations. It appears that VCG’s standard prices have ranged from tens to thousands of yuan. Thus, they could be as low $5 to $10 for the use of an image. Such prices seem to fit with the gross sales prices Getty Images has been reporting, minus a reasonable share for the selling agency. We also know that in a very few cases customers have paid well over $600 to use an image. However, It is unclear what the usage conditions have been for the extremely low prices or anything in between. Maybe VCG’s standard price packages have been very similar to those of Shutterstock or Adobe Stock. We don’t know.

How The Value Of Stock Photos Has Declined

By Jim Pickerell | 530 Words | Posted 3/7/2019 | Comments
Back in 2007 I was called on to place a value on a collection of wildlife stock images that were involved in a legal action. At the time I based the per-image value on the “average annual return-per-image” of the Getty Images collection. By dividing the gross 2006 RM revenue by the total RM images in the collection I determined that the average annual gross license fee for an RM image was $335.

What’s An Image At Getty Worth?

By Jim Pickerell | 736 Words | Posted 3/5/2019 | Comments
Yesterday, I received a call from a travel photographer who recently started contributing his work to Getty Images. He has about 200 images from various locations around the world in the collection. He just received a sales report for 3 Premium Access sales, each for royalties of under $1.00. He wanted to know who he could contact at Getty about such ridiculously low royalties.

Image Creators Need Better Sales Information

By Jim Pickerell | 865 Words | Posted 2/27/2019 | Comments
Image creators need better information about the kind of content that is selling. Are customers looking at higher priced content? Can creators earn more money if their images are in a collection like Offset where images are licensed for much higher prices? Should creators produce more stills? Should they buy new equipment and start shooting video that sells for higher prices? Shutterstock’s quarterly reports to investors aren’t very helpful in this regard.

Direct Selling Of Stock Images

By Jim Pickerell | 2110 Words | Posted 1/25/2019 | Comments
The stock agency sales model no longer works for most photographers trying to earn a portion of their living from the images they produce. Prices for the use of photos have declined so dramatically that it no longer makes much sense for professional photographers to spend much time or effort producing stock images on speculation.

Cutting Out The Middleman

By Jim Pickerell | 1897 Words | Posted 12/18/2018 | Comments
As fewer and fewer stock photographers earn enough from the licensing of their photos to justify continued production, some suggest that instead of letting stock agencies pay them 20% to 30% of the small gross fees collected to use their images, they should sell their images directly to customers. In this way they would get higher prices and keep 100% of what the customer pays.

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.