Stock

Breaking The Composition Rules

By Jim Pickerell | 416 Words | Posted 7/20/2017 | Comments
Adobe’s Visual Trends predictions  for July talks about “Breaking the Rules of Composition to Create Thought-Provoking Images.” Breaking the rules is great for someone trying to create Fine Art, but do such images actually sell? Of course Adobe will be able to point to a few that have sold, but in general is it better to break the rules, or learn the rules and stick to them if you’re trying to produce images customers will to buy?

TopImageSites: New Marketing Option

By Jim Pickerell | 839 Words | Posted 7/6/2017 | Comments
There is a new website called TopImageSites that, in theory, will help customers find “The Best Stock Images On The Web.” Ten agencies are listed and the number of “products” available in each agency’s collection are listed in the chart below. Products include: photos, vectors, illustration, videos and audio files. Some of the agencies don’t have audio files and Panthermedia doesn’t have either video or audio.

More On New Distribution System

By Jim Pickerell | 1746 Words | Posted 6/30/2017 | Comments
Justin Brinson of PicturEngine posted a thoughful comment to last week’s article “New Stock Image Distribution System Needed.” I’m re-posting his comments here because I want to be sure all my readers have a chance to consider them. I’ll add a few of my own comments below his.

EU Fines Google 2.72 Billion For Unfair Practices

By Jim Pickerell | 584 Words | Posted 6/27/2017 | Comments
The European Commission, which polices European Union competition rules, has imposed a  €2.42 billion euros ($2.72 Billion) fine on Google for breaching antitrust rules with its online shopping service. The ruling alleges that "Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service." Google was given 90 days to stop or face fines of up to 5 percent of the average daily worldwide turnover of parent company Alphabet.

Is Stock Photography Useless Trash?

By Jim Pickerell | 843 Words | Posted 6/26/2017 | Comments
Hardly a day goes by that we don’t see a news story about how terrible stock photography is. Writer may pull a bunch of the worst and most inappropriate pictures from Shutterstock and other web sites and imply that these represent all stock photography. They encourage image users to ignore and stop using stock photography.

New Image Distribution System

By Jim Pickerell | 222 Words | Posted 6/23/2017 | Comments
A number of mid-sized and specialist agencies should join together and explore the possibility of establishing a Non-Profit Online Distribution System. Stock photo prices have fallen dramatically in the last decade. Some RM photographers are earning, on average, less then 7% per-image-licensed of what they earned a decade ago. RF prices have seen similar declines, although not quite as severe. Seventy to 80% of traditional image licenses are for fees of $20 or less. More than 50% are for $10 or less. Throughout most of this period photographers have continued to produce new and better images. The cost of production has not declined.

New Stock Image Distribution System Needed

By Jim Pickerell | 2385 Words | Posted 6/23/2017 | Comments
Stock photo prices have fallen dramatically in the last decade. Some RM photographers are earning, on average, less then 7% per-image-licensed of what they earned a decade ago. RF prices have seen similar declines, although not quite as severe. Seventy to 80% of traditional image licenses are for fees of $20 or less. More than 50% are for $10 or less. Throughout most of this period photographers have continued to produce new and better images. The cost of production has not declined.

What Happened To Photoshot?

By Jim Pickerell | 294 Words | Posted 6/22/2017 | Comments
Photographers represented by the Photoshot in the United Kingdom tell me that they are having trouble getting responses to their emails and there has been no payment for a long time.

CEPIC 2017 Takeaways

By Jim Pickerell | 1382 Words | Posted 6/21/2017 | Comments
I’ve just returned from the 2017 CEPIC Congress in Berlin. Here are eight of my takeaways from the conference.

What Is A Premium Image?

By Jim Pickerell | 927 Words | Posted 6/20/2017 | Comments
Many of the attendees at the CEPIC Congress are working to produce a collection of more “Premium” images as a way to set themselves apart from the massive collections produced to a great extent by amateur contributors. To do this they are editing tighter and separating out images of the highest “quality” and production values. The argument for this is that there are still customers willing to pay higher prices for better quality, unique images with top quality models and great production values.

Adobe Stock Adds Reuters, USA Today, and Stocksy Content

By Jim Pickerell | 493 Words | Posted 6/16/2017 | Comments
Adobe Stock has announced new partnerships that will bolster its collection: news images from Reuters; sports photos from USA Today; 400,000 images from Stocksy.

InMagine Closing

By Jim Pickerell | 281 Words | Posted 6/2/2017 | Comments
InMagine has announced to its contributors that it will be shutting down its website on 30 September 2017 and will no longer be distributing your images, vectors and/or video on our website after that date.

Important Stock Photo Industry Issues

By Jim Pickerell | 153 Words | Posted 6/2/2017 | Comments
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.

What Sells?

By Jim Pickerell | 1038 Words | Posted 5/26/2017 | Comments
A fundamental flaw with stock photography as a business is that producers have little or no access to the data necessary to understand demand. In most any other business the producer has some idea of what is selling and how much demand there is for the particular product.

PantherMedia Launches Premium RF and RM Option

By Jim Pickerell | 394 Words | Posted 5/25/2017 | Comments
PantherMedia announces the launch of its Premium Collection to potential contributors around the world. Inspired by the Panther DNA their Premium Collection aspires to have an identifiable unique spirit that combines elegance and strength with a touch of danger.

Depositphotos Opens Lightfield Studios

By Jim Pickerell | 288 Words | Posted 5/24/2017 | Comments
Depositphotos has opened Lightfield Studios the biggest photography studio in Eastern Europe. With this launch, Depositphotos expands its services to include a first-class photography studio, available for rent, for creative professionals from all over the world.

Earning Revenue From Non-Selling Images

By Jim Pickerell | 672 Words | Posted 5/18/2017 | Comments
Many of the non-sellers are very good images and would sell if customers only had a chance to see them. Back in January in as story entitled “How Can Shutterstock Grow Revenue?” I outlined an idea for a two-tier pricing system that could not only work for Shutterstock, but many other distributors with large collections, and grow their revenue, even if there is no increase in the number of images downloaded.

Photographee.eu: Stock Photo Production Company

By Jim Pickerell | 1452 Words | Posted 5/17/2017 | Comments
I wrote about the huge percentage of images being produced by a relatively small number of large production companies. Let me examine in some detail how one of these companies operates. Photographee.eu is a microstock production company in Lodz, Poland. It is owned and operated by Kasia and Lech Bialasiewicz. Lodz is Poland’s 3rd largest city located right in the middle of the country. According to the microstock.top list of Shutterstock suppliers photographee.eu is its 157th largest collection (out of over 190,000) with over 76,000 images at Shutterstock. These same images are marketed through multiple distributors.

Blend Free Shoot

By Jim Pickerell | 323 Words | Posted 5/10/2017 | Comments
Blend has launched a promotion they call “Monthly Free Shoot.” Each month they will offer their customers all the images from one entire Premium Royalty Free shoot for unlimited, absolutely FREE use, according to the standard RF license.

Raising Stock Photo Prices

By Jim Pickerell | 548 Words | Posted 4/28/2017 | Comments
Here’s a way to raise prices without too much pain on anyone. Forget about raising prices on the top end sales. Instead, raise them a little bit at the bottom end. I recently examined licenses of some major suppliers to Getty Images and iStock. They received a royalty of less than $10 on 95% for the licenses. The average gross license fee of these lower end transactions was $5.12. Suppose instead of raising prices overall agencies add just a little bit to the gross license fee for their lowest priced licenses. 

Role of Product Costs In Negotiations

By Jim Pickerell | 706 Words | Posted 4/28/2017 | Comments
When most companies enter into negotiations with customers on the price of a product they usually know exactly what it costs them to product. In most cases they tend to not want to give away the product for less than it costs to produce. In the stock photo business usually have no idea what it costs to produce the product they are selling. They only know that they will have to give the creator a small percentage of what they are able to charge the customer. They have no idea if that is enough to cover the creators cost of production.

Panther Media Adds Rights Managed Licensing Option

By Jim Pickerell | 262 Words | Posted 4/26/2017 | Comments
Panther Media has introduced a new approach to Rights Managed licensing and is opening the door to some really special photography. “We always had a clear position on the subject of rights managed licensing”, says Tomas Speight, CEO of Panther Media GmbH, “we would only ever do it if we could make it so easy it doesn’t need explaining”.

Mike Watson: Where Is Stock Headed

By Jim Pickerell | 63 Words | Posted 4/19/2017 | Comments
What can photographers and stock agencies do about pricing and the shift of revenues from photographers to a few huge platforms? Mike Watson says, “It’s unlikely that the major platforms will change their practices and the all-you-can-eat deals will continue. It’s time for photographers and independent agencies to unite and talk directly to their customers.” Read his whole blog post on the robertharding blog.

15% Royalties At Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 759 Words | Posted 4/12/2017 | Comments
Get ready for 15% royalties. Getty has contacted some European agencies that supply the company with Royalty Free images for its Creative collection and told them that when their current contracts expire they will be terminated unless they agree to accept a 15% royalty.

Multi-Tier Pricing Model

By Jim Pickerell | 946 Words | Posted 3/22/2017 | Comments
Given the declines in stock photo prices, it may be time for the industry to look for a new image pricing strategy. Yesterday I made an argument for why the industry needs to price based on performance, or demand for certain images. There also needs to be a price floor for certain images that are in greater demand. Price should have little, if anything, to do with whether the image is exclusive or non-exclusive.