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has announced that in April it will launch a subscription product based on the Thinkstock
subscription product. The low priced Thinkstock product has been the fastest growing part Getty Images’ business.
If you couldn’t make it to the Microstock Expo (MExpo) in Berlin last November now from the comfort of your home or office you can see and hear all the discussions
that took place during the two-day conference. Of course, this material will be particular interest to microstock shooters and distributors, but even if you are licensing your work at RM or traditional RF prices you will find that many of the discussions provide important insights into where the stock photo industry is headed.
Over 9,000 iStock
photographers have received notices that they were overpaid for sales made through the Partner Program (PP). Getty plans to reclaim the overpayments by deducting the amount from the future royalty payments owed the contributors over the next six months. It is unclear exactly how much the total overpayment was, but based on what some photographers are being told will be deducted from their accounts it could have been millions of dollars.
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.
On March 10, 1014 Getty Images plans to close down Photos.com
and move virtually all the content and operations to Thinkstock
. Thinkstock currently offers more than 14 million images. Added to Photo.com’s 5.5 million image that will put Thinkstock in the 20 million image range.
Recently, I had the opportunity to examine the 2013 sales of a few of Getty Images’ major contributors. They licensed images as both RM and RF. While these contributors represent a very small sample of all the people represented by Getty, I believe their experience is reasonably representative of what is happening in the entire collection. Their figures may provide some useful insights.
has reported a record 28 million downloads and $68 million in revenue for Q4 2013. The company’s revenue for all of 2013 was $235.5 million, up from $169.6 in 2012. About 28% of the revenue was paid out to contributors in royalties.
has jumped into the mobile photography business with Stockimo
, a new iPhone app that lets photographers upload pictures taken from their iPhone. Stockimo is open to anyone. Alamy contributors who were with the company before the Stockimo launch will receive a 50% royalty. Contributors who are new to Alamy and just submitting iPhone photos will receive a 20% royalty.
Over the weekend I reported that there were 71 live briefs
worth a combined total of over $150,000. Allyson Scott
, who has been responding to briefs and submitting images for more than six months, points out that actually making a sale is not as easy as I might have made it sound. Here’s what she had to say.
Currrently there are 71 image requests worth a combined total of over $150,000 on ImageBrief
. Clients looking for photos include: BBH (UK), Conde Nast, Huge Inc, Weiden+Kennedy, Story Worldwide, Expedia Inc, Grey Advertising, Penguin Books, Random House, Hearst, TriBeCa Film Festival, Proximity, Visa, McGarry Bowen, Harper Collins, Young & Rubicam.
Recently PACA published a letter from Past President Robert Henson about how Microsoft “has taken the bold step of promoting the theft of images online. Through its newly revamped Office
product.” Through its “Office Help” function Microsoft advised users looking for images to “Use Bing to get images.” Bing made finding images easy and implied that anything found was free to use.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and author of Lean In, has worked with Getty Images to try to identify 2,500 images that portray woman in more empowering ways than many of the stock images of old-fashioned stereotypes found in today’s advertisements and media. Photographers may want to review the "leanincollection" for shoot ideas.
International Business Times
reports that in January alone Getty filed five lawsuits for the unauthorized use of single images. While Getty has been aggressively pursuing infringers with “settlement demand letters” for some time, lawsuits are unusual because the monies involved usually don’t justify the expense of going to court.
A couple weeks ago I proposed an adjustment to current agency pricing strategies that offers the potential to get higher prices for the images in greatest demand and still make large quantities of excellent images available to customers who can’t afford the best. (See “Solving The Problem Of Too Many Images
”) Some subscribers thought I should also factor in production costs. Here's my response.
The biggest challenge for a photographer hoping to license rights to stock images is how to get the images seen by potential buyers. It would seem that the first step might be to get the images accepted by a good agency. But given the number of images on all subject matter in most agency collections that doesn’t necessarily mean customers will ever see them.
has announced to its contributors that as part of its initiative to streamline and simplify its collections structure and improve customer experience it will be retiring Jupiterimages.com and Punchstock.com over the course of February and March.
contacted 10 microstock agencies to determine what they believe will be visual trends in 2014. The agencies contacted were: Stocksy, PeopleImages, Fotolia, PantherMedia, Photocase, IngImage, Pixta, Photospin, YayImages, Dreamstime. Stockphotosecrets then compiled a list of 50 trends
with photo examples of each. The list is well worth reviewing as you plan your photo shoots for 2014. Review the list here
It is getting harder and harder to decide which stock photography licensing model to use if a photographer’s goal is to maximize earnings. For a long time it was generally assumed that the way to maximize revenue was to license your images based on usage (Rights Managed). In this way the seller could charge a lot of money – sometimes many thousands of dollars -- when a customer wants to make extensive use of an image. The fatal flaw in the RM licensing strategy is that when every sale is negotiated, there is a tendency to accept whatever a customer is willing to pay. See some comparative statistics about all the licensing models.
Vital Imagery Ltd.
, a leader in the online graphics subscription services, announced today that it has acquired Clipart.com and AnimationFactory.com from Getty Images
. These pioneering websites offer royalty-free clipart, 3D images and animations, photos, photo objects, Microsoft PowerPoint templates, fonts, as well as video backgrounds, e-mail and web page backgrounds for use in commercial and personal projects.
Yesterday, I wrote about the problem of the growing size of image databases
and how this is making it difficult for customers to easily find the right image for their projects. Many good images are never seen by anyone because they get buried in the search returns delivered.
Recently on the Linkedin Stock Photography blog
Valerie Henschel asked, “When do you cull older non-selling images from your archive?” It is certainly something to think about. If customers are forced to go through a lot of outdated, mediocre or totally irrelevant images in order to find something that really fits their needs – and hopefully the best of that subject matter available in the collection – they are likely to give up and go elsewhere. As the choices of almost any photographic subject expand exponentially, this is becoming a bigger and bigger problem for buyers.
Google has just made it much easier for searchers to find images they can legally use for FREE – even for commercial uses. Bing introduced this feature last July. Go to Google. Use the images search feature and search for any subject. Click on “Search Tools” and under that click on “Usage Rights.” The default search is “not filtered by license,” but the searcher can change that to any one of the following:
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.
Recently Shutterstock published a Trend Report that showed the 12 most popular images downloaded by creatives in the last week. While this is a very small sample it may provide useful insights for photographers to consider. Only 4 of the 12 images in greatest demand were photos and two of the 4 were backgrounds. The other 8 images were Vector illustrations.
Recently, a photographer who has been regularly producing images for RM licensing for a lot of years asked, “Is there any future in stock photography?” He is with a leading agency, made very good money in the 1990s and sales were pretty good in the early 2000s. Then came 2008-2009 and sales dropped off the cliff. Now he is questioning whether it is worthwhile to continue to produce. He also said, “I have ever bought into the Royalty Free idea.”