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Statistics & Surveys
BookStats has reported that the U.S. book and journal publishing industry sold 2.59 billion units and generated $27.01 billion in net revenue in 2013. The trade sector - covering general consumer fiction and non-fiction – generated $14.66 billion in net revenue leaving about $12.35 billion for educational publishing. There were 2.32 billion trade book units sold and approximately 270 million educational books.
Many RM photographers still believe that microstock images are of much lower quality than RM and that customers who want images of the highest quality will continue to go to RM sites for the images they need. Unfortunately, they are only kidding themselves. (Note the difference in number of downloads in this story
For most of the 431 top iStock contributors
adding more images to their portfolios does not seen to have had a significant impact on the growth in their number of downloads. In fact, those who grew their collections by the smallest percentage, or not at all, seemed to experience continued growth in sales. Seems counter intuitive.
Yesterday I provided a list of the 431 of the top iStock contributors
in the order of the total number of image downloads they have had in their careers. In the coming week I will explore some other ways to look at the available data. It is important to recognize that not all the people on this list are photographers. I have separated them into three groups – Illustrators (I), people with a mix of illustration and photography in their collections (PI) and photographers.
On average, there has been a continued decline in the number of downloads for 431 of iStock’s leading contributors during the first half of 2014. I have been tracking the activity for these contributors for more than 2 year, and about half of them since 2009. Since these individuals joined iStock their images have been downloaded a combined total of at least of 54,291,100 times and a possible maximum of 56,658,200. (See for how I arrived at these numbers.
Since early in 2009 I have been tracking downloads of 192 of iStockphoto’s most productive contributors. At that time istockcharts, a service of multimedia.de provided a daily listing of the total downloads of most of iStock’s contributors. This list could be indexed by downloads so it was easy to determine which contributors had the most iStock downloads in their careers.
In general, prices and revenue have been declining in the stock photo industry. To a large extent this has been due to oversupply and more and more customers finding the images they need at lower price points. Based on the information I’ve been able to collect, I have made estimates of the average 2013 gross license fee for images in the five major price categories – RM, traditional RF, Midstock, Microstock and Subscription. I want to find out if my readers think these prices are high or low.
iStock’s sales seem to have been declining over the last few quarters. About 75% of iStock sales are at Midstock prices totaling roughly $180 million in 2013. There are indications that customers and creators are increasingly dissatisfied. One big questions is whether the decline is due to a generally higher priced offering, poor customer service including a less than optimal performing website, or both.
In 2013 there were 145,713 ad pages in the magazines measured by the trade organization Publishers Information Bureau
. It is worth noting that in 2000 this organization reported 286,932 ad pages – almost double the 2013 numbers -- for the magazines it tracks.
During Time Warner’s Q1 2014 earnings call Howard Averill, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Time Warner said advertising revenue was down 7% and subscriptions were flat.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.