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How Does iStock Define “Most Popular”?

By Jim Pickerell | 918 Words | Posted 7/28/2014 | Comments
At iStock the “Most Popular” search option used to show images in order of popularity based on the number of times each image had been downloaded during its life of on the site. The first image shown was the one with the most downloads; the 2nd image was the image with the second highest number of downloads, 3rd had the third highest number of downloads and so on. This was true as late as the end of June 2014.

VideoBlocks.com Launches New Music Platform, AudioBlocks.com

By Jim Pickerell | 331 Words | Posted 7/21/2014 | Comments
VideoBlocks.com, the first subscription-based provider of unlimited royalty-free stock video, has launched its third content platform, AudioBlocks.com. At $99 per year, AudioBlocks is the only subscription service to offer unlimited downloads of over 100,000 high-quality, royalty-free music tracks, sound effects and loops.

Ask James Take 3

By Jim Pickerell | 2200 Words | Posted 7/18/2014 | Comments
James West, CEO of Alamy, has just posted his latest answers to contributor questions at Ask James Take 3. Highlights of the 10 minute video include the fact that sales of iPhone photos acquired through its Stockimo app are selling “slightly better” per 1,000 photos than sales of the rest of the Alamy collection. He gave no indication as to how many of the 1 million images per month are iPhone produced images.

Pond5 Raises $61 Million From Accel Partners and Stripes Group

By Jim Pickerell | 433 Words | Posted 7/16/2014 | Comments
Pond5, the world’s leading online marketplace for video footage and stock media, announced today that it has raised $61 million in equity financing from Accel Partners and Stripes Group. The funding is the first institutional investment for the company and will be used to fuel global growth, hiring, and product development.

Dreamstime Launches Dreamstime Companion iOS and Android

By Jim Pickerell | 553 Words | Posted 7/16/2014 | Comments
Dreamstime has released Dreamstime Companion, a new iPhone and Android free mobile app that enables photographers to upload their own images directly from their smartphones. The uploaded images can be purchased by Dreamstime's more than eight million users, the largest designer database in the stock photography industry. More than 2,500 new photographers join Dreamstime every month, and the site now has more than 15 million monthly unique visitors.

LightRocket Announces Major Cloud Storage Expansion

By Jim Pickerell | 397 Words | Posted 7/14/2014 | Comments
LightRocket.com has announced a major value boost by offering its members up to five times more default cloud storage (100GB for premium accounts) and expanded 100GB storage units, providing members with pay-as-you-go flexibility.

RM: Adapting To The New Realities

By Jim Pickerell | 1572 Words | Posted 7/10/2014 | Comments
After reading my recent series of stories on iStock (?See here, here, here, here and here) a reader asked, “What are the implications for rights managed?  Does it mean placing one's images with a number of websites is actually a self-defeating exercise and one only needs to place them with one super star agency and wait for the high returns to roll in?  Or does that conclusion not apply to rights managed?  Or are rights managed images dead in the water these days?” All good questions, read this story for answers.

PantherMedia Acquires Digitalstock

By Jim Pickerell | 318 Words | Posted 7/9/2014 | Comments
After 10 years in operation, and with more than 800,000 images, the German microstock agency Digitalstock.de has decided to cease operations and provide customers and photographers with an exclusive offer to continue buying and selling photos online at PantherMedia.net.

World of Stock Helps Photogs Sell Direct

By Jim Pickerell | 606 Words | Posted 7/9/2014 | Comments
After 11 years as an independent stock photo agency, at one time hosting over 300,000 images from 130 photographers, worldofstock.com is in the process of making a significant change in response to shifts in the stock photo marketplace. Now photographers will pay a reasonable subscription fee (minimum $6.25 per month for 10GB of space), to have their images on a fully functional stock website where they keep 100% of any revenue generated from sales.

Is RM The Only Place To Find Great Pictures?

By Jim Pickerell | 6795 Words | Posted 7/8/2014 | Comments
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.)

iStock: More Images Does Not Increase Sales

By Jim Pickerell | 5839 Words | Posted 7/4/2014 | Comments
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.

Three Categories Of Image Creators

By Jim Pickerell | 6029 Words | Posted 7/3/2014 | Comments
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.

StockFood Launches “you are what you crEATe” Food Blog

By Jim Pickerell | 421 Words | Posted 6/27/2014 | Comments
Fresh, brash and outspoken. With their uninhibited photographic style and unbridled joy of experimentation, food bloggers have conquered a huge fan community on the internet. No wonder even the traditional media are rolling out the red carpet for the new stars. Food bloggers get their own columns, produce cookbook best-sellers and operate cooking shows for an audience of millions. The most interesting among them are now at the center of a new blog where the food image agency StockFood once again lives up to its reputation as a trendsetter.

New Photo Agencies

By Jim Pickerell | 195 Words | Posted 6/23/2014 | Comments
Paul Melcher’s latest on the “New Photo Agencies” is worth reading. He discusses the Community Builders, the Scrapers, the On Demanders and the Hybrids, and notes that “the barriers between pros and casual photographers are going to completely vanish.”

Can Technology Replace Human Curators?

By Jim Pickerell | 2077 Words | Posted 6/20/2014 | Comments
Everyone agrees there is an oversupply of images. In spite of this fact many professional image buyers claim they can’t find good images or at least the images they need. As I look at what is available online today I think there are more good and great images than there ever have been, but often they are buried under piles of mundane images and images that are irrelevant to buyers needs. The problem is curation.

“Likes” vs “Buys”

By Jim Pickerell | 998 Words | Posted 6/16/2014 | Comments
A lot of attention is being given to finding a better way to search for photos. Those who believe technology can solve all the world’s problems are trying to build algorithms that will instantly find exactly the right image to meet the needs of each paying customer. With 1.8 billion photos being uploaded to the web each day and even professional sites like Shutterstock uploading more than 260,000 new photos each week there are more good pictures on any given subject than any professional user has time to look at.

Stock Photo Pricing Survey

By Jim Pickerell | 341 Words | Posted 6/12/2014 | Comments
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.

Click here to Complete the Survey

Visual Connections New York 2014 Opens for Booking

By Jim Pickerell | 186 Words | Posted 6/12/2014 | Comments
Booking opened on June 10 to prospective exhibitors at Visual Connections New York Image Expo 2014, which will take place on Wednesday, October 22nd.

ALERT: UK Government About To Allow Use Of Your Images Without Compensation

By Jim Pickerell | 989 Words | Posted 6/10/2014 | Comments
In early October 2014 the UK government is expected to change its copyright legislation and introduce an Extended Collective Licensing (ECL) scheme that will enable collecting societies to authorize use of any image within the UK. Please respond to this survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ECL-Opt-out) before 12pm 23 June 2014.

What About Corbis?

By Jim Pickerell | 203 Words | Posted 6/10/2014 | Comments
Every once in a while someone asks me if Corbis is a place to put their images? Corbis has a nice looking website and I assume they are still making a reasonable number of sales, but I never hear much about them. Photographers never tell me the are happy with Corbis sales, either in volume or price.

Time To Retire RM Pricing

By Jim Pickerell | 1584 Words | Posted 6/6/2014 | Comments
It may be time to retire Rights Managed as a licensing model. RM pricing doesn’t work for most customers anymore. Moreover, it no longer really maximizes the potential earnings of photographers. There used to be a time when all image uses were in print. In those day when an art director purchased an image for a magazine ad, a book or a brochure she knew exactly how the image would be used in the layout and how many copies would be printed. Those days are mostly gone forever.

Stocksy Pays Photographers Almost $200,000 A Month In Royalties

By Jim Pickerell | 324 Words | Posted 6/5/2014 | Comments
Launched in March 2013, Stocksy continues to grow dramatically. The company is paying out almost $200,000 a month in royalties and is on tract to generate something in the neighborhood of $5 million in gross revenue in 2014.

PantherMedia Launches Premium Collection

By Jim Pickerell | 288 Words | Posted 6/4/2014 | Comments
PantherMedia has added a handpicked collection of fancy images to its archive of more than 28 million images. The Premium Collection is composed of special interest images like architecture, food, ecology and sustainability as well as people and lifestlye.

Can iStock Turn Midstock Sales Around?

By Jim Pickerell | 615 Words | Posted 6/3/2014 | Comments
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.

DisabilityImages.com Represents Design Pics Imagery

By Jim Pickerell | 447 Words | Posted 5/21/2014 | Comments
DisabilityImages.com, a leading stock source for high quality stock images of real people with real disabilities, has agreed to represent selected imagery from Design Pics. DisabilityImages serves a select group of customers with narrowly focused and specific needs. The company has developed a strong reputation in this niche, and has a thorough understanding of the needs of customers within this community.