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Statistics & Surveys

Growth In Number Of Images Licensed

By Jim Pickerell | 1472 Words | Posted 4/22/2014 | Comments
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.

Image Licensing Trends

By Jim Pickerell | 612 Words | Posted 2/26/2014 | Comments
Earlier this week I wrote about the average price per image licensed at Getty. This article will examine some of the publicly available and widely reported numbers related to the number of images licensed.

Top 5 Industry Leaders

By Jim Pickerell | 859 Words | Posted 1/15/2014 | Comments
I was recently asked to name the 5 biggest companies in the stock photo industry and the percentage of total industry turnover they represent. The surprising thing is how the names of the top 5 have changed in the last few years and the implications for the long term future of the industry.

Advertising Trends

By Jim Pickerell | 859 Words | Posted 1/2/2014 | Comments
Total global ad spend in 2013 was between $489.6 billion (Magna Global) and $503 billion (ZenithOptimedia). This is up between 3.2% and 3.5% compared to 2012. According to eMarketer the U.S. portion for 2013 is about $171.33 billion or 34% of the world media market.

Video Clip Market

By Jim Pickerell | 974 Words | Posted 12/23/2013 | Comments
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.

Microstock Expo Survey

By Jim Pickerell | 492 Words | Posted 12/9/2013 | Comments
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?

State Of Stock Photo Industry: 2013

By Jim Pickerell | 186 Words | Posted 10/17/2013 | Comments
If you’re looking for an overview of the state of the stock photo industry as of October 2013 the stories listed below are a good place to start. Regular readers of Selling-Stock will have seen all this information before. For them, there is nothing new here although some of the stories were published in the last two weeks. If you’re looking for data and analysis – both current and historical – these stories are worth examining.

Getty's Midstock Revisited

By Jim Pickerell | 805 Words | Posted 10/10/2013 | Comments
There is increasing interest among debt investors as to what is happening at Getty and particularly in their Midstock division. I posted an analysis last week, but already there is new information worth updating.

GDUSA Stock Survey Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1137 Words | Posted 10/9/2013 | Comments
Graphic Design USA’s 27th annual Stock Visual Reader Survey has revealed that 95% of creatives in the U.S. use stock visuals to some extent in their work. In 1986 only 34% of creatives used stock, but there has been a steady year-to-year rise in its use reaching 95% in 2010.

Alamy Doubles Downloads Since 2008

By Jim Pickerell | 666 Words | Posted 10/7/2013 | Comments
The latest edition of Alamy’s “Ask James” series of video chats where CEO James West responds to photographer questions is now live. West reports that the company licensed rights to about 360,000 images in 2012, up from under 200,000 in 2008.

Decline In Return-Per-Image

By Jim Pickerell | 1147 Words | Posted 9/16/2013 | Comments
Every photographer is aware that the average annual return-per-image has been steadily falling over the last few years. The numbers in this story based on the size of Getty's Premium image collection and the revenue it generates give an indication of just how much it has fallen.

iStock Earnings Per Download

By Jim Pickerell | 649 Words | Posted 9/12/2013 | Comments
Getty is telling debt investors (people who buy corporate bonds and corporate debt) that 70% of iStockphoto revenue is generated by exclusive images. They also say that total iStock revenue annually is around $300 million. iStock revenue declined 9% in Q2 2013 compared with Q2 2012. Thus, about $90 million of Getty’s revenue comes from non-exclusive images and $210 million from exclusive

Getty Facing Possible Debt Ratings Cut By Moody’s

By Jim Pickerell | 789 Words | Posted 9/11/2013 | Comments
Getty Images rising debt compared to earnings (EBITDA) is worrying debt investors. Moody’s is reviewing the company to determine if they need to lower their Rating of the company’s debt. Getty has $2.6 billion in outstanding debt including an approximate $1.9 billion term loan, $550 million of 7% notes due October 2020 and $150 million line of credit. Gross revenue for the year ending June 30, 2013 revenue was $897 million.

Buyers Survey Conducted By Visual Steam

By Jim Pickerell | 710 Words | Posted 9/10/2013 | Comments
In June 2013 VisualSteam conducted a survey of over 1,000 art buyers, designers, creative directors, photo editors, service managers (and more), from agencies, design firms, publishers and corporations in the U.S. to determine “What Buyers Want.” They received a statistically valid response. For detailed results see the 5 page pdf or a longer video presentation here.

Shutterstock Q2 Revenue: $56.8 Million

By Jim Pickerell | 596 Words | Posted 8/8/2013 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported a record 24.3 million downloads and $56.8 million in revenue in Q2 2013. Revenue per download grew 5% year-over-year to $2.33. This was driven by a continued shift toward on demand, direct sales and footage downloads, all of which carry a higher effective price-per-download. The Shutterstock collection has grown to more than 28 million images and over 1 million video clips.

Getty Statistics

By Jim Pickerell | 701 Words | Posted 8/6/2013 | Comments
Recently, in testimony on the importance of copyright before the House Intellectual Property Subcommittee John Lapham, Senior Vice President, General Counsel of Getty Images, provided some useful statistics about Getty’s operation.

Is Adding Images To iStock Worth The Trouble?

By Jim Pickerell | 6054 Words | Posted 7/17/2013 | Comments
In the last 18 months I have been tracking the collection sizes of 421 of iStock’s leading contributors. These creators have had combined total downloads of 49,141,000 out of an estimated 150 million for iStock since its founding. Thus, they are very representative of iStock’s total collection and sales.

iStockphoto Download Trends

By Jim Pickerell | 3005 Words | Posted 7/12/2013 | Comments
Since early in 2009 I have been tracking downloads of 192 of iStockphoto’s most productive contributors. All of them have more than 48,000 downloads and 130 of them have more than 100,000. There are others with high numbers of downloads that I have not tracked for as long a period, and I’m sure there are a few I have not identified. Nevertheless, I believe this group is very representative.

2013 Stock Photography Trends

By Jim Pickerell | 723 Words | Posted 5/17/2013 | Comments
The stock photography business has changed dramatically from what it was five or ten years ago and the future does and the future does not look promising. In this article we’ve provided links to a number of previously published articles that provide a good overview of the industry and where we believe it is headed. If the reader wants to get a basic grounding in what stock photography is all about this is the place to start.

Photographer Day Rates Survey Results

By Jim Pickerell | 807 Words | Posted 5/9/2013 | Comments
The United Kingdom company Eposure has posted preliminary results of its Photographer Day Rates survey that was conducted online through its blog. Eposure is a company that “brings commercial photographers and businesses closer” and provides information and mentoring programs for photographers.

Global Design Trends 2013: Decline In Photo Use

By Jim Pickerell | 426 Words | Posted 3/28/2013 | Comments
Shutterstock has released an infographic that forecasts several design trends for the year ahead. In 2012 Shutterstock delivered 76 million image downloads giving them a wealth of data from which to draw conclusions.

Dismal State Of News Media In 2013

By Jim Pickerell | 620 Words | Posted 3/21/2013 | Comments
In its annual study of the State of News Media the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism found that employment at U.S. newspapers in 2012 was down 30% from its peak in 2000 and below 40,000 full-time professional employees for the first time since 1978.

Shutterstock Has 41% Growth In 2012

By Jim Pickerell | 1352 Words | Posted 2/22/2013 | Comments
In its quarterly conference call Shutterstock reported revenue of $169.2 million for the full year of 2012, a 41% increase over the $120.3 million in 2011. Fourth quarter revenue was $49.2 million, a 42% increase over Q4 2011. Looking ahead, the company expects to see revenue of between $48.5 and $50.5 million in Q1 2013, and for the full year revenue in the range of $213 to $219 million. Shutterstock stock (SSTK) closed at $32.88, up 17.22% on Friday.

MicrostockGroup 2012 Survey

By Jim Pickerell | 555 Words | Posted 2/15/2013 | Comments
The MicrostockGroup blog conducts an annual survey of microstock contributors. The survey always receives a very high number of responses compared to other photographer surveys. This year 708 contributors supplied information. MicrostockGroup has posted an infographic that highlights some of the more interesting information from the 2012 Microstock Industry Survey.

Survey Results: Global Stock Image Revenue

By Jim Pickerell | 1385 Words | Posted 2/8/2013 | Comments
The Global Stock Image Market Research Group (GSIMRG) in Heidelberg, Germany has just released a report on the extensive study of the stock photo industry that it conducted in 2012. They concluded that the stock photo industry generated $2.88 billion in revenue in 2012. Based on their figures I think image licensing is much less. Their report, and my commentary in this article, is a must read for anyone engaged in the stock photo business.