Statistics & Surveys
From and investors point of view, Getty may have turned the corner. However, this may not benefit image creators, particularly those from North America and the Western Europe. It is my understanding that gross revenue in 2016 was about $840 million, up about 4% from around $808 million in 2015. Until 2016, Getty’s revenue declined steadily for about three years as they struggled to get their prices in line with their major competitor, Shutterstock.
Here is a list of 13 questions agencies should consider asking themselves. They might even want to consider asking their top producing photographers and illustrators questions 3, 4 and 7.
Technavio, a leading global market research company headquartered in London, has released its annual report on the Global Still Image Market
, looking ahead five years to 2021. They say: “Technavio analysts forecast the global still images market to grow to USD 4.46 billion by 2021
, at a CAGR of close to 8% over the forecast period."
Thanks to information supplied by microstock.top
concerning Shutterstock contributors and information from Nationmaster.com
regarding the average 2014 monthly salary from 162 countries, it is possible to get a better understanding of why more than 60% of the images in the Shutterstock collection are provided by Eastern European and Asian creators.
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.
Back in February 2016 microstock.top
began using archive.org/web/ to search thousands of creator portfolio pages at www.shutterstock.com
and record the data. This is not hacking, fishing, use of an API or insider information. These pages are accessible to everyone.
has reported Q4 2016 revenue of $130.2 million and a total of $494.3 million in revenue for all of 2016. The full year revenue was up about 16% from $425.1 million in 2015. There were a total of 167.9 million downloads for the year up from 147.2 million in 2015. While revenue grew 16% the collection size grew 63% to 116.2 million up from 71.4 million at the end of 2015.
I was recently asked if I had any statistics on the number of unique RM/RF images available for commercial licensing. Last September Justin Brinson said he had more than 500,000,000 unique RM and traditional RF images (no microstock) on his PicturEngine
platform. These images were provided by 64 different agencies and a number of individual photographers.
One things that surprised me about the research I did for the Alamy Measures
article was the small number of sales that were recorded.
As of January 19, 2017 Shutterstock
had 119,292,457 royalty free stock images in its collection according to www.microstock.top
. They had added 1,352,852 new stock images during the week. I recently discovered microstock.top which provides some very detailed breakdowns of Shutterstock contributors. It is unclear how frequently they will update this information, but it is the kind of information that can help everyone in the industry – Shutterstock contributor or not – have better understanding of Shutterstock’s business.
contributors who want to retain their detailed historical royalty data up to and including December 31st 2016
have 5 days left
before that data disappears from the iStock site. After January 31, 2017 Account Management will only offer 23 months of summary
historical royalty data. It’s critical that contributors download all the data they require from the iStock site as soon as possible.
If copyright protection is important to you, it is absolutely critical
that you respond by January 31, 2017
to the survey that the new Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden has posted on Survey Monkey
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
iStock single image downloads appear to have continued to decline in the last half of 2016. Unfortunately, five of the 430 contributors that we tracked in the past have now disappeared. In the last report these contributors represented 544,000 total career downloads. It is unclear whether they have withdrawn their collections, or repurposed them under another brand that I am no longer able to track.
has reported Q3 2016 revenue of $123.1 million up 15% from $107.3 million compared to Q3 2015. The growth is due mainly to new customers and increased activity by enterprise clients. The average price per download during the quarter was $2.91, up from $2.76 in Q3 2015 and from $2.81 in Q2 2016. There were 41.2 million paid downloads in the quarter and 102.7 million still images and illustrations in the collection at the end of the quarter up 61% from 63.7 million a year ago.
In the “Goodbye Shutterstock
” thread on MicrostockGroup
marthamarks said, “My older images still sell on Shutterstock, but newer ones die there.” Why would that be? One would expect newer images to sell better, particularly when agencies continue to ask for more and more images. This does not seem to be insolated complaint, but one common to many long time Shutterstock contributors.
Last month Africa Media Online
conducted a survey to gain an understanding of how picture buyers and picture researchers use Google to find images. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of respondents use Google to help them find images for licensing.
has reported on a new survey
being conducted in the UK to try gather information about the future potential of photography as a career.
Stock photographers need a better understanding of image buyers – their frustrations and what could make their lives easier. Jon Anderson is CEO of Foto Sushi
a new stock agency. He is also a Creative Director who has worked on B2B and B2C projects both within an advertising agency and corporate marketing organizations for more than 14 years. In a recent Foto Sushi promotion sent to image buyers, he hit on some very important points that all image creators ought to consider.
One-hundred thirty-seven photographers from 27 countries responded to our Stock Photo Revenue Trends
survey. Forty-seven percent of the respondents were from North America and 14% from the UK. The rest were spread rather evenly among other countries.
Recently, I was asked for my thoughts on stock photo industry revenue growth
between 1992 and 2016 with particular attention to the intermediate 8 year periods leading up to 2000 and 2008. I was also asked to make an estimate of the number of professional photographers in the world for the same years. I’ll deal with revenue growth first and the professional photographers later.
The last day to respond to the Stock Photo Revenue Trends
Survey that we launched last month will be September 17, 2016. For more information about the survey see here
. The good news, so far, is that 13% of the respondents earn over $80,000 a year from stock sales alone.
The basic operating structure of how most stock photo agencies acquire and market images has not changed in 15 to 25 years. Image creator produce and submit their work to an agency. The agency may reject some of it, but most will go into an online collection that customer can review. When a customer finds something she wants to use she pays a fee and the image creator receives a percentage. The agency’s job is to manage the material, make customers aware that the collection exists, license use of the image for whatever they can get and collect money.
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complete the recent Stock Photo Revenue Trends Survey
. Initial results show that two-thirds of the respondents have seen their annual revenue decline since 2010 with the most significant declines in the 2013 to 2015 period. However, 19% of respondents saw revenue growth of 20% or more between 2013 and 2015.
Recently, I decided to take a look at the number of images in the various Creative collections on Gettyimages.com
. The numbers are very revealing and in some ways surprising. Getty has 16,687,710 million images in its Creative collection, 10,341,296 of them or 62% are RF and the rest are RM. (Obviously, these numbers grow slightly every day.)