Data Management

Market Size and Where Market Headed

By Jim Pickerell | 1567 Words | Posted 11/1/2018 | Comments
I’m regularly asked for my thoughts on the size of the worldwide market for stock photography in terms of gross revenue and the potential for market growth. I currently estimate the worldwide sale of stock imagery to be about $2.75 billion divided among four different product types - Microstock, Creative Stills, Editorial and Footage or Video. Further details of the breakdown are provided in this story.

Can Getty Repair Its Relationships With Creators?

By Jim Pickerell | 1129 Words | Posted 10/4/2018 | Comments
Recently, in a discussion with a stock photo agent the subject came up as to what it would take for Getty Images to repair its relationships with the Creator Community. I raised the issue late last year in “Why Creators Are Dissatisfied With Getty.”

Facebook Fact Checking Photos

By Jim Pickerell | 228 Words | Posted 10/1/2018 | Comments
Since March Facebook had been researching and testing with 27 fact-checking partners in 17 countries around the world how to fact check false photos and videos. They are regularly onboarding new partners.

SmartFrame Technologies Completes Funding Round

By Jim Pickerell | 547 Words | Posted 8/21/2018 | Comments
SmartFrame has developed a revolutionary, patent-pending new image format for the internet that seeks to redefine and become the ubiquitous digital image standard. Having spent 5 years developing the technology and building the infrastructure to support exponential growth, SmartFrame is now seeing the technology being adopted by photographers, picture agencies, publishers and brands globally and is on target to having over 1 billion SmartFrames on the Internet in the next 4 years.

Disrupting Stock Photography

By Jim Pickerell | 821 Words | Posted 6/14/2018 | Comments
Tom Zimberoff has written a very long and detailed story on Distrupting Stock Photography which makes some strong points about how the industry got to where it is today. Toward the end of his report he outlines a new business model which he calls “Business Made Easy For Photographers.”

How Many Unique Images Licensed Annually?

By Jim Pickerell | 767 Words | Posted 6/11/2018 | Comments
One of the big mysteries in the stock photo agency business is the percentage of “Unique images” licensed annually. Some agencies, like Shutterstock, report the total number of images licensed, but many of those licensed are used by multiple customers so the actual number of different, unique images used is much smaller.

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.

Shutterstock Invests In ZCool, Sells Webdam

By Jim Pickerell | 357 Words | Posted 2/22/2018 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has announced that on January 4, 2018, the Company invested $15.0 million in convertible preferred shares issued by Zcool Network Technology Limited ("Zcoolto”). Zcool's primary business is the operation of an e-commerce platform in China whereby customers can pay to license content contributed by creative professionals. The platform has nearly six million registered users. Zcool has been the exclusive distributor of Shutterstock creative content in China since 2014.

Getty Stops Keywording Images For Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 369 Words | Posted 2/15/2018 | Comments
Getting images into the Getty Images collection so potential customers might see them has just become more time consuming for image creators. As of February 9th, 2018 Getty has ended its practice of adding custom keywords to the basic list of words photographers submit.

ICL vs Plus Registry

By Jim Pickerell | 1472 Words | Posted 2/13/2018 | Comments
After I published my article proposing the development of an Image Creator Locator or ICL, several readers pointed out that the Plus Registry is designed to accomplish the same goal. See here for how ICL differs from Plus in its aims.

Metadata Practices Survey

By Jim Pickerell | 215 Words | Posted 2/7/2018 | Comments
Lamark is doing a survey on metadata practices to determine what photographer are doing to try to protect their images from unauthorized use. I urge all photographers to complete this short survey. This data will help Lamark devise better and easier to use systems that insure that photographers will be properly paid when their images are used.

IPStock Launch Blockchain Ecosystem For Stock Images

By Jim Pickerell | 611 Words | Posted 1/12/2018 | Comments
IPStock, run by Geneva based company Intellectual Property Depository and Management (IPDM) that develops a unique fintech platform for visual digital assets, has announced the launch of pre-ICO for its blockchain registry of visual digital content copyrights.

Basic Math At Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 2685 Words | Posted 3/2/2017 | Comments
Getty’s ESP system for supplying information about their sales to iStock contributors certainly offers much more information than was previously available. Unfortunately, this information may point to an overpayments problem. It all revolves around cancelled sales.

What Image Creators Need

By Jim Pickerell | 662 Words | Posted 1/5/2017 | Comments
As I pointed out in my iStock article on Monday more and more of the top image creators are cutting back on production and turning to other ways to earn a living. It’s not only microstock photographers who are pulling back, those selling RM and traditional RF are in even greater retreat. See this article

Agencies Ignoring Data

By Jim Pickerell | 1386 Words | Posted 1/3/2017 | Comments
The major agencies talk about how important their DATA is and how it has changed the industry. They argue that the company with the most and best data will be the winner. But I don’t think they are really looking at much of the data they have collected – or looking at it in the right way.

Image Supply: Are There Problems?

By Jim Pickerell | 949 Words | Posted 11/28/2016 | Comments
Many Shutterstock investors see the steadily rising number of images in the Shutterstock collection and the number of new content creators being added each quarter and come to the conclusion that there is no problem on the supply side of the stock photo business. But, having more and more product is not enough. It needs to be the right product that fulfills the customer’s needs. And the right images need to be easy for each unique customer to find.

Unification Of iStock And Getty Images Sites

By Jim Pickerell | 1308 Words | Posted 11/1/2016 | Comments
Big changes at Getty are on the way. Getty has supplied its contributors with the following information about a Unification project that will create common platforms for both iStock and Getty Images contributors. While many specifics have been provided there are still a number of questions about how this may impact current contributors and industry competitors. I will comment in a later article. In the meantime, I will be very interested in comments or questions anyone in the industry might have.

Big Data: Is Stock Industry Using It Effectively?

By Jim Pickerell | 821 Words | Posted 10/18/2016 | Comments
There is a lot of talk about how Big Data will save the industry, but are the major stock image distributors using the data they collect effectively? Given the huge number of images currently in major databases, it would seem that a very high percentage of them are never viewed by anyone. If the distributors are collecting data properly, they should know which images are reviewed by customers and which aren’t. If there are lots of images that are never reviewed by customers, is there any way to generate revenue from those images.

PicturEngine Nears Public Launch To Customers

By Jim Pickerell | 1406 Words | Posted 9/14/2016 | Comments
After years of development PicturEngine is about ready to begin promoting its search engine to customers. It has more than 500,000,000 keyword searchable images from 64 stock photo agencies and hundreds—soon to be thousands—of individual photographers.

Understanding Which Stock Images Will Sell

By Jim Pickerell | 893 Words | Posted 8/26/2016 | Comments
Of the millions of stock images which ones are actually being purchased and used by customers? Photographers trying to earn a living need better information about exactly what images are selling so they don’t waste time shooting things no one is interested in buying.

Stock Photo Marketing 2.0 – Part 1

By Jim Pickerell | 1623 Words | Posted 5/17/2016 | Comments
If there is going to be a business of producing and licensing rights to stock photos five or ten years from now, the industry needs a serious re-design. There are at least five areas that need serious modification if the industry is to include anything other than User Generated Content (UGC), or if there is to be revenue growth.

Where Did The High End Buyers Go?

By Jim Pickerell | 794 Words | Posted 5/11/2016 | Comments
Everyone says there is increasing demand for photos. And there certainly is for photos that can be had for $1.00 or FREE. But is there increasing demand from those customers who used to buy photos for use in advertising and major marketing campaigns? The following are some statistics. Unfortunately, this story may raise more questions than provide answers, but the questions are worth considering.

Melcher/Pickerell Colloquy

By Jim Pickerell | 2236 Words | Posted 5/3/2016 | Comments
Paul Melcher disagrees with much of my pessimism about the future of the stock photo industry. I have the greatest respect for Paul and his opinions. He is founding director of Melcher Systems and has been working in the stock photo space for more than 20 years. He has a thorough understanding of our industry. He has done much more in depth research of the tech side of the industry than I have, and has much better contacts and networking in that space. For these reasons, it is important for my readers to carefully consider what he has to say.

What Getty Customers Need

By Jim Pickerell | 1427 Words | Posted 4/12/2016 | Comments
In recent seminars and webinars Getty provided contributors with information about buyer activity and tried to help them understand what customers need. One of the most important bits of information was that Getty is currently licensing rights to 10 RF images for every 1 RM. For years the average licensing fee for an RM image has been about 2.5 times that of an RF image. While the royalty share of an RM sale tends to be higher than an RF sale (about 35% to 20%) at a 10 to 1 ratio creators are likely to earn significantly more licensing their images as RF than as RM.

Improving Search For Buyers

By Jim Pickerell | 1164 Words | Posted 3/30/2016 | Comments
Agencies need to think hard about supplying contributors with more detailed information about exactly what is being requested and what is really selling. It used to be enough to provide general information about the broad categories of subject matter in demand. At that point they would leave it up to the individual creator to guess at what buyers -- with whom they have no contact whatsoever -- might want. That is no longer enough. Shooting based on gut feelings no longer works.