Statistics & Surveys

Where Is Stock Photography Headed in 2019?

By Jim Pickerell | 606 Words | Posted 12/10/2018 | Comments
I was asked recently for my predictions on where the stock photo industry is headed in 2019. There will continue to be massive growth in the number of images added to the major stock photo collections. An increasing percentage will be produced by amateurs not professionals who might be trying to earn a portion of their living from the images they produce.

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.

CtoA 2 -Power And Leverage Of Individual Agencies

By Jim Pickerell | 2680 Words | Posted 11/26/2018 | Comments
In July 2018 I did an analysis of the more than 200 Getty Creative collections to determine how many images had been added to each collection in the almost two years between August 2016 and June 2018. Overall there was a 37% increase in the number of images added, but there were wide variations in the sources of the growth.

Photographer Income Survey Results

By Jim Pickerell | 2072 Words | Posted 11/6/2018 | Comments
We have closed the Editorial Photographer Income Survey that was sent out at the end of August. There were 270 responses which is somewhat disappointing considering the tens of thousands of photographers producing stock images today.

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.

Preliminary Income Survey Results

By Jim Pickerell | 390 Words | Posted 9/12/2018 | Comments
On August 31st I published the Photog Income Survey in an effort to get a better idea of what photographers worldwide are able to earn annually from the images they produce. To see all eight questions and some background information before starting to respond to the survey click on this link.

Most Photographed Cities

By Jim Pickerell | 883 Words | Posted 9/4/2018 | Comments
I saw a story recently that said Dreamstime had identified Kiev as the 15th most photographed city in the world. That surprised me. as I had expected a lot of other cities to be much higher in terms of tourist destinations than Kiev. I couldn’t find the original Dreamstime story in order to see who they had as number 1, but I found a lot of other lists of top cities and top travel destinations. They were all differed depending on who put together the list. I found one list of “25 Most Photographed Cities in Europe” and Kiev wasn’t on it. I decided to search Shutterstock’s collection of 216,094,727 images to see which were the top cities with the most photos.

Editorial Photographer Income Survey

By Jim Pickerell | 587 Words | Posted 8/31/2018 | Comments
I have created a SurveyMonkey survey in an effort to gather data on the general income ranges of Editorial Still Photographers around the world. Go to this link to respond to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PhotogIncomeSurvey Please encourage all editorial still photographers to respond to this survey. The resulting data could be very helpful to photography students, working photographers, the organizations that license rights to use editorial photography and those who purchase editorial photographs.

Shutterstock Download Trends

By Jim Pickerell | 697 Words | Posted 8/24/2018 | Comments
A multi-year review of Shutterstock download trends going back to Q3 2010 provides some interesting insights into how adding more images to the collection relates to sales growth. (See chart) Back in 2010 Shutterstock had 12.3 million images in its collection and 11.1 total downloads for that quarter. In theory the more choice you offer your customers the more sales you are likely to make. That pretty much held true through 2012 as Shutterstock almost doubled the size of its collection.

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.)

Who Are The Users Of Stock Photography?

By Jim Pickerell | 597 Words | Posted 7/27/2018 | Comments
I was asked recently if I had a breakdown of the stock images uses by various categories of industry users. The answer is NO, and as far as I know no one else has done that type of analysis. However, it occurred to me that it might be useful to develop some broad general ideas of what the breakdowns might be.

Getty, iStock, Shutterstock Comparisons

By Jim Pickerell | 360 Words | Posted 7/17/2018 | Comments
Recently I’ve done three stories examining various aspects of the collections at Getty and iStock and Shutterstock. The chart below provides easy comparisons of these three collections.

What’s In Demand At Shutterstock

By Jim Pickerell | 1425 Words | Posted 7/16/2018 | Comments
I’ve examined the number of images in certain keyword categories at Getty and iStock. Today, I’ve done a count of the number of Shutterstock images with the same keywords as the other two agencies to see if it is possible to draw any comparisons. I'll take a look at the comparisons of collection size between Getty and Shutterstock. In addition there are some interesting things to be learned when comparing the number of photos with the number of illustrations on the Shutterstock site.

What To Shoot: Learning From iStock

By Jim Pickerell | 683 Words | Posted 7/12/2018 | Comments
In the previous story I examined the Getty Image Creative collection, and in particular EyeEm’s contribution to that collection, in and effort to determine what subject matter might be in greatest demand, and thus most needed. iStock offers some interesting insights into the subject because it basically has two separate collections – Signature and Essentials – with imagery at different price points.

Are Photographer Shooting What’s In Demand?

By Jim Pickerell | 870 Words | Posted 7/12/2018 | Comments
If the major stock distributors want to sell more pictures it might be a good idea to give photographers more information about the relative demand for certain subjects in terms of number of images licensed and revenue generated by images with certain keywords. If occurred to me that the fastest growing collection on Gettyimages.com is EyeEm. Currently there are 26,024,940 images in the Getty Creative collection and 4,620,578 or 18% of them have been supplied by EyeEm. A little less than two years ago EyeEM only had 256,152 image in the collection.

Know Your Return-Per-Image

By Jim Pickerell | 726 Words | Posted 5/31/2018 | Comments
I would like to encourage every stock photographer to begin to calculate, on an annual basis, their Return-Per-Image (RPI) for each agency they work with. This is particularly important for those photographers who hope to realize a profit for the time and expense they invest in producing stock images.

Getty RF Promotion

By Jim Pickerell | 247 Words | Posted 5/29/2018 | Comments
Getty has just sent out an email to its customers promoting its Creative Royalty-Free Imagery.  When you click on View All Creative Images you find that there are 16,844,390 images in the Creative RF collection. There are also 6,590,271 "Creative RM" images in the total Creative Collection.

Technavio 2018 Global Still Images Market Report

By Jim Pickerell | 732 Words | Posted 5/22/2018 | Comments
London based, Technavio has published its 2018 report on the global still images market. The report estimates that the market will grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of approximately 8% during the period 2018-2022. The report is available at a discounted price of $2,500 and is said to “provide an analysis of the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook. In addition, it offers an up-to-date analysis of the market concerning the current market scenario, latest drivers, and the overall global environment.”

Is $1.00 Per-Image, Per-Year Enough?

By Jim Pickerell | 1169 Words | Posted 5/14/2018 | Comments
Recently Alfonso Gutiérrez, CEO of AGE FotoStock told one of my readers that a "professional" stock photo collection in an agency should be returning to its contributors a minimum of $1.00 per-image per-year. The photographer noted that his returns from AGE were way below that number and he wondered whether many photographers are seeing that kind of return.

Can Shutterstock Grow Revenue?

By Jim Pickerell | 1034 Words | Posted 5/1/2018 | Comments
Shutterstock ought to think about raising prices. Clearly the number of images download is flat and not likely to grow significantly in the future. Just look at the quarterly download numbers for 2016 and 2017. The overall market for stock photographer is not growing. For years Shutterstock got away with taking market share away from Getty. They though that because their downloads were growing that the market was growing. In reality they were just taking customers away from Getty.

Stock Image Industry Potential

By Jim Pickerell | 373 Words | Posted 2/5/2018 | Comments
I was asked recently, “Kindly tell me how I can determine the market potential of the stock image industry.” Here’s my short answer. Your question doesn’t have an easy answer. I think the annual gross revenue, worldwide, generated by the licensing of stock imagery is about $2.5 billion. This breaks down to approximately $600 million for footage, $400 million for editorial, news oriented images and $1.5 billion for generic still images and illustration. About one-third of the $1.5 billion is for illustration, not photographs.

Leading Shutterstock Contributors

By Jim Pickerell | 1244 Words | Posted 1/5/2018 | Comments
At the end of 2016 Shutterstock had 190,000 contributors. By May 2017 that number was up to 225,000 and in September when they launched Shutterstock Custom Content they said they had 250,000 contributors. Presumably the number was even higher at the end of the year.

VisualSteam Releases Stock Image Licensing Survey Results

By Jim Pickerell | 661 Words | Posted 12/11/2017 | Comments
VisualSteam has released the results of its 5th Annual Survey of Creative Pros on the issue of Stock Image Licensing. The survey was sent to US art buyers, art directors, art producers, creative directors, photo editors and marketing professionals and provides a glimpse into what is driving image licensing today.

Photos Shot In 2017

By Jim Pickerell | 621 Words | Posted 12/7/2017 | Comments
According to Statista 1,200 billion photos will be taken worldwide in 2017. Not surprisingly,  85% of them will be taken with Smartphones, 4.7% taken with Tablets and only 10.3% were taken with digital cameras. That works out to about 123,600,000,000 photos taken with digital cameras. A very small percentage of these will be made available available for licensing.