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Recently, I received a request from Clive Thompson, columnist with Wired Magazine
, asking about the number of stock photography images licensed annually. He was more interested in the increase/decrease of the number of images sold than in any impact it might have had on revenue. Here’s what I told him.
Getty Images has launched its iStock subscription offering
in an attempt to compete with Shutterstock
. There are two levels of iStock subscriptions – iStock Essentials and iStock Signature. With iStock’s offering customers can download 250 images a month with the monthly plan or 750 images a month with the annual plan. With Shutterstock there is a daily limit of 25 images a day (750 a month) regardless of which plan you purchase.
Getty Images has announced the call for entries for its Getty Images’ grants programs
for 2014. The grants will include – The Grants for Editorial Photography
, Creative Grants
and the Contour by Getty Images Portrait Prize
– as well as the Emerging Talent Award.
The deadline for entry and Applications is May 15, 2014 by 11:59 p.m. GMT (London Time). For more information see http://www.gettyimages.com/grants
has released a plugin for WordPress that enables WordPress users to easily access and embed free and commercial content from Dreamtime’s 22.5 million image library.
has decided that in order to attract more customers to their microstock offering they need to lower prices for professional users. They have created a members-only Dollar Photo Club and are promoting it to readers of Graphic Design USA (GDUSA
Carlyle Group should be trying to sell Getty’s Midstock division (iStock, Thinkstock and Photos.com) to Shutterstock before the value of that segment of Getty’s business collapses. Carlyle should recognize by now that Getty Images has been a bad investment. It is the time to cut losses.
has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire WebDAM
, a leading provider of web-based digital asset management software.
has announced that it will award a prize of $5,000 USD for the best selling image in 2014 that was uploaded to its new Instant Collection for iPhones. In addition, every image accepted in the Instant Collection before the end of April, will instantly earn $1. Now everyone has a chance to sell smartphone images, regardless of technical ability or expensive equipment. Contest details here: http://us.fotolia.com/instantcontest
has announced that in April it will launch a subscription product based on the Thinkstock
subscription product. The low priced Thinkstock product has been the fastest growing part Getty Images’ business.
If you couldn’t make it to the Microstock Expo (MExpo) in Berlin last November now from the comfort of your home or office you can see and hear all the discussions
that took place during the two-day conference. Of course, this material will be particular interest to microstock shooters and distributors, but even if you are licensing your work at RM or traditional RF prices you will find that many of the discussions provide important insights into where the stock photo industry is headed.
Over 9,000 iStock
photographers have received notices that they were overpaid for sales made through the Partner Program (PP). Getty plans to reclaim the overpayments by deducting the amount from the future royalty payments owed the contributors over the next six months. It is unclear exactly how much the total overpayment was, but based on what some photographers are being told will be deducted from their accounts it could have been millions of dollars.
On March 10, 1014 Getty Images plans to close down Photos.com
and move virtually all the content and operations to Thinkstock
. Thinkstock currently offers more than 14 million images. Added to Photo.com’s 5.5 million image that will put Thinkstock in the 20 million image range.
has reported a record 28 million downloads and $68 million in revenue for Q4 2013. The company’s revenue for all of 2013 was $235.5 million, up from $169.6 in 2012. About 28% of the revenue was paid out to contributors in royalties.
contacted 10 microstock agencies to determine what they believe will be visual trends in 2014. The agencies contacted were: Stocksy, PeopleImages, Fotolia, PantherMedia, Photocase, IngImage, Pixta, Photospin, YayImages, Dreamstime. Stockphotosecrets then compiled a list of 50 trends
with photo examples of each. The list is well worth reviewing as you plan your photo shoots for 2014. Review the list here
It is getting harder and harder to decide which stock photography licensing model to use if a photographer’s goal is to maximize earnings. For a long time it was generally assumed that the way to maximize revenue was to license your images based on usage (Rights Managed). In this way the seller could charge a lot of money – sometimes many thousands of dollars -- when a customer wants to make extensive use of an image. The fatal flaw in the RM licensing strategy is that when every sale is negotiated, there is a tendency to accept whatever a customer is willing to pay. See some comparative statistics about all the licensing models.
Vital Imagery Ltd.
, a leader in the online graphics subscription services, announced today that it has acquired Clipart.com and AnimationFactory.com from Getty Images
. These pioneering websites offer royalty-free clipart, 3D images and animations, photos, photo objects, Microsoft PowerPoint templates, fonts, as well as video backgrounds, e-mail and web page backgrounds for use in commercial and personal projects.
Recently, a photographer who has been regularly producing images for RM licensing for a lot of years asked, “Is there any future in stock photography?” He is with a leading agency, made very good money in the 1990s and sales were pretty good in the early 2000s. Then came 2008-2009 and sales dropped off the cliff. Now he is questioning whether it is worthwhile to continue to produce. He also said, “I have ever bought into the Royalty Free idea.”
For the past two years I have been tracking semi-annually the total downloads and images in the collection of 420 of iStock’s top earning contributors. As of the end of 2013 these contributors had a total of at least 50,777,000 total career downloads and 1,794,494 images in the iStock collection. Two-hundred-three of these contributors (48%) have uploaded fewer than 100
new images to their collections in the last two years.
I get a lot of questions about the size of the video clip market and its potential for growth. There is very little hard data publicly available. Back in 2011 The Association of Commercial Stock Image Licensors (ACSIL) conducted a global survey to determine the size of the stock footage market
. They concluded that the total stock video revenue generated in 2010 was about $394 million. ACSIL believes the revenue generated in 2013 will be about the same.
Recently, a German subscriber asked, “Who will be the winner, Microstock or Macrostock?
” To answer that question we must define winning. Is licensing the most pictures winning? Is the distributor with the most revenue the winner? Is making it possible for more photographers to earn some money from the pictures they take winning? Is it winning to make it possible for more photographers to earn a living producing and licensing rights to stock pictures? Is it providing customers with better service?
Many microstock image producers keep a very low profile. Recently we came upon a list www.microstocktime.ru/tools/
of the top 100 individuals and companies with the largest portfolios on Shutterstock
. We tried to learn a little more about Africa Studio, the number one contributor.
has announced that it has become the world's first stock photo website built around responsive web design principals. This step has made Stocksy the only stock photo site that can provide the same optimized research and buying experience across any smartphone, tablet or desktop device.
Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has reported that Fotolia’s
revenues for the fiscal year ending December 2012 totaled $87 million
. Moody’s expects revenues to increase in the “low to mid-single digit percentage range over the next 12 months.”
In November I surveyed image creators who had signed up to attend the Microstock Expo in Berlin and asked them two question:
(1) What are your top four distributors and the percentage of revenue from each?
(2) Is your gross revenue greater in 2013 than it was in 2012?
It’s time to take another look at PeopleImages.com
that Yuri Arcurs Productions launched 17 months ago. Yuri has long been the world’s most successful microstock photographer, and until June 2013 his work was represented on virtually all the world’s microstock distributors.