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It seems likely that we will see some major shifts in the stock photography business as the three major players – Getty Images, Shutterstock and Adobe/Fotolia – jockey for position in a market that is experiencing very little, if any growth. At the end of 2014 Getty’s total revenue
will be somewhere around $870 million, but $260 of that will be editorial. Shutterstocks will be about $328 million
and I estimate Fotolia’s at somewhere in the range of $110 million.
has been awarded $403,500 in a copyright infringement case against educational publisher John Wiley & Sons. The publisher was found to have used 6 images outside the scope of the license agreement. The case was heard before a jury in the Federal District Court the Northern District of Illinois.
Margi Sheard of the Greatstock (www.greatstock.co.za)
agency in South Africa recently published a story that raised an important issue about the world’s perception of Africa and the African people. The news media’s focus on tragedy and problems often provides an inaccurate picture of the real Africa, but it raises the issue of whether there is any way for photographers to do more to show the world the real Africa of the 21st century.
Adobe has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Fotolia
for approximately $800 million in cash. Fotolia will be integrated into Adobe Creative Cloud
, providing current and future Creative Cloud members with the ability to access and purchase over 34 million images and videos.
has added new features to its successful mobile app Stockimo that was launched last February
. To date more than 180,000 images have been submitted through the app and 99,000 have been accepted for marketing. These images can be found among the almost 53 million images on Alamy.com using the keyword “Stockimo.”
contributors have been advised that on January 15, 2014, the accounting operations of Getty Images and iStock will be combined into one unified system. Since Getty acquired iStock in February 2006 the two brands have been operated as separate businesses with separate accounting departments.
You'll never guess what attendees at the annual Self-Publishing in the Digital Age conference in London were told to pay for a photo that would attract readers and help sell their book. You'll be surprised. Check out this story.
One of the biggest problems in the stock photo business is search. As the most popular search engines gobble up more and more images it has become harder and harder for clients to find the best image for their projects. No buyer has the time to review even a fraction of the returns from most keyword searches.
Scoopshot is the latest to jump on the embed bandwagon. When users find an image they want to use they have the option of paying the listed price for a download or “Use For Free.” Get more information about how it works.
Recently Getty Images has started allowing its customers to organize their search returns by the “Most Popular” images as well as the default “Best Match” that has been the only option for years. I thought it would be interesting to see which photographers that shoot people produce the work that is in greatest demand at Getty images. I looked at the first 500 images returned when a customer does a search for “People” and narrowed the search to “Most Popular,” “RF only” and only photography.
ImageBrief has updated its rules regarding RF and provided a long explanation here
. Evidentally, many ImageBrief (IB) contributors have been asking “Why is ImageBrief adding so many RF briefs?” IB’s answer is, “We’re responding to client demands and listening to the market.”
has reported $83.7 million in revenue and total downloads of 31.2 million for Q3 2014. About 30 percent of the revenue was paid out to contributors in royalties. At the end of the quarter the company had 491 employees worldwide. The average price per download was $2.65 up from $2.35 in the previous quarter and an 13% increase compared to Q2 2013. This increase in the average price was due primarily to a growing number of Enterprise and Video sales.
Are more and more of your customers asking for RF licensed because they must have the flexibility to use the image in any way that develops and for an unlimited period of time? Hans Halberstadt of MilitaryStockPhoto
used to dismiss inquiries for RF licenses out of hand, but in recent years has found that many of his ad agency customers insist on the flexibility of an RF licenses.
In today's world most editorial or marketing pieces can be delivered in a variety of different ways over a long period of time. Customers licensing rights to photos don’t want to take the risk that plans will change and somehow an image will be used beyond a narrow and specific RM license. Consequently they often ask for "all-rights" to use the image. Here are some thoughts on how to deal with such requests and still hang onto the customer.
Dreamstime, Inc. is experiencing massive growth via their newly released app, Dreamstime Companion
launched in July on iOS and Google Play. The app allows smartphone users to access the Dreamstime community and upload their mobile photos via their mobile devices. In about three months approximately 30,000 mobile images have been added to Dreamstime’s 25 million image collection.
has announced the opening of its first office in Australia in order to support strong growth across Australia and New Zealand.
In the olden days (20th Century) when someone wanted to promote a product of service they placed an ad (that usually included a photo) in a magazine, newspaper or on TV. Many photographers were paid substantial fees for the use of their photos in these ads. Now the future of advertising may be in social media and embedding images. See here for how this could dramatically change the market.
The results of the annual GDUSA Stock Survey
of graphic designers in the U.S. is now available online. For several years nearly every graphic designers has answered that they use stock sometime during the year, but this year, for the first time, two-thirds of those answering the survey use stock more than 20 times a year and one-third use stock imagery more than 100 times a years.
One of the most interesting panels at the Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA formerly known as PACA) annual conference in New York this week was on “Opening New Markets Through Image Embedding.” Back in March Getty Images launched its Image Embed Tool
and made 35 million images available for free embedding on social media sites. That number has now jumped to about 50 million.
For those licensing images to textbooks National Public Radio published an interesting report recently that is worth a listen
. It was pointed out that prices for college textbooks are often over $300 and climbing faster than the cost of food, clothing, cars and even health care.
One of the arguments for licensing images as Rights Managed is that only then can they be licensed for Exclusive uses because all the uses of the images are controlled and limited. With Royalty Free customers can continue to use the images they acquire in unspecified ways long after initially licensed with very few limitations.
Using numbers from Getty Images it is interesting to look back at the RM and RF unit sales and revenue trends over the last decade. Between 2003 and 2007 when Getty was a public company they provided investors with very precise gross revenue and average price per image figures. This made it possible to make a reasonable estimate of the number of images licensed in each category.
In the case of Grant Heilman Photography
, Inc. vs. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. before Judge Michael M. Baylson in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania a jury has found in favor of Grant Heilman and awarded them the amount of $127,087 for the unauthorized use of a total of 53 images.
Many stock agencies focus on the number of images they have in their collections. But does the customer really care? Rather than numbers, I think the customer is looking for where they can find (1) the right image, (2) quickly and easily and (3) at a price they can afford. Often sheer numbers don’t produce the best results.
Search for your name on Images.Google.com
. You may be surprised at the results. And there may be money waiting for you.