Future Planning

What Are The Stock Images That Sell?

By Jim Pickerell | 844 Words | Posted 12/7/2018 | Comments
A professional photographer asked recently “what kind of still images and video clips are being used?” It’s a great question with no good answer. Stock agencies know the answer, but they’re not sharing. Photographers seriously interested in earning money from their stock photo production need detailed and specific information about what customers are buying if they hope to create new images cost effectively. Such information would enable them to focus their efforts on producing more of the subject matter customers regularly want to buy.

Call To Action - (CtoA)

By Jim Pickerell | 667 Words | Posted 11/26/2018 | Comments
Recently I was told by a stock agency that my Photographer Income Survey Results were not relevant to Specialist Agencies because the results are “rather negative and don’t offer a possible positive call to action.” In the following series of stories I will outline a “Positive Call to Action” for stock agencies.

CtoA 2 -Power And Leverage Of Individual Agencies

By Jim Pickerell | 2680 Words | Posted 11/26/2018 | Comments
In July 2018 I did an analysis of the more than 200 Getty Creative collections to determine how many images had been added to each collection in the almost two years between August 2016 and June 2018. Overall there was a 37% increase in the number of images added, but there were wide variations in the sources of the growth.

Potential For Market Growth

By Jim Pickerell | 1719 Words | Posted 11/1/2018 | Comments
There is very little likelihood that the overall market will grow if the stock photo business continues on its current course. In order to have growth at least four major strategy changes are needed. I see no likelihood that any of these will occur.

Conceptual Realism: Is That What Customers Are Buying?

By Jim Pickerell | 614 Words | Posted 9/20/2018 | Comments
Getty Images has just sent out a promotion – probably mostly to photographers – to show Conceptual Realism. The implication is that customers want more of this type of imagery and photographers should be shooting more of it and supplying it to the agency. Is Such Imagery Really What Customers Want? I can’t believe that most of what is being shown in this gallery are images that customers are actually licensing for use.

Getty Debt

By Jim Pickerell | 1330 Words | Posted 9/18/2018 | Comments
Many in the industry are concerned about the level of Getty Images debt and what that might mean for the future of the company. The following is some general information about the financial status of the company. It is not clear how the debt might affect the future. Getty Images has about $2.367 billion in debt. About $1.8 billion of that is in Term Loans at 4.37%. Back in 2012 they had about $2 billion in Term Loans so in the past six years it appears they have paid down about $200 million of the principal in addition to the annual interest. The terms of these loans is unclear and may vary.

Editorial Photographer Income Survey

By Jim Pickerell | 587 Words | Posted 8/31/2018 | Comments
I have created a SurveyMonkey survey in an effort to gather data on the general income ranges of Editorial Still Photographers around the world. Go to this link to respond to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PhotogIncomeSurvey Please encourage all editorial still photographers to respond to this survey. The resulting data could be very helpful to photography students, working photographers, the organizations that license rights to use editorial photography and those who purchase editorial photographs.

Shutterstock Download Trends

By Jim Pickerell | 697 Words | Posted 8/24/2018 | Comments
A multi-year review of Shutterstock download trends going back to Q3 2010 provides some interesting insights into how adding more images to the collection relates to sales growth. (See chart) Back in 2010 Shutterstock had 12.3 million images in its collection and 11.1 total downloads for that quarter. In theory the more choice you offer your customers the more sales you are likely to make. That pretty much held true through 2012 as Shutterstock almost doubled the size of its collection.

Part-time Photographers: Are They The Future?

By Jim Pickerell | 1253 Words | Posted 8/13/2018 | Comments
Will part-time photographers be able to supply all the future needs of professional photo users? This is one of the most interesting questions facing the stock photo industry today. There is no question that part-time photographers occasionally produce beautiful, creative, exciting images. Sometimes these images are better than anything produced by full-time professionals.

Getty: More Concentration On Exclusive RM

By Jim Pickerell | 1158 Words | Posted 7/31/2018 | Comments
Getty is contacting its RM photographers with non-exclusive or co-exclusive agreements and asking them to convert all their images in the Getty collection to exclusive so Getty will be the only organization that can license rights to use the images. This may be a particularly difficult decision for photographers with co-exclusive arrangements if they typically license a fair number of uses directly to clients annually. All those future sales will be lost.

Is Getty Really Analyzing Its Image Collection?

By Jim Pickerell | 1505 Words | Posted 6/20/2018 | Comments
One has to wonder if Getty does any analysis of their Creative Collection in terms of what sells and what doesn’t. Clearly, as we reported yesterday, the largest and fastest growing segment of the Getty collection is EyeEM with 4,558,201 RF images. Back in August 2016 EyeEm had only recently started contributing to Getty Images and had 256,152 images in the collection. They have 17.79 times as many images now as in 2016. At that time Getty had a total of 16,687,710 images in the Creative Collection. That collection has grown 43% in size in two years, but nothing like EyeEm’s 1779% growth.

How Many Unique Images Licensed Annually?

By Jim Pickerell | 767 Words | Posted 6/11/2018 | Comments
One of the big mysteries in the stock photo agency business is the percentage of “Unique images” licensed annually. Some agencies, like Shutterstock, report the total number of images licensed, but many of those licensed are used by multiple customers so the actual number of different, unique images used is much smaller.

Stock Image Production Costs

By Jim Pickerell | 1030 Words | Posted 6/4/2018 | Comments
One of the hardest things for stock photographers to calculate is their actual costs of stock image production. As in any business it is critical to understand your costs if you hope to eventually earn a profit from their production. This story will provide an outline of some of the things that need to be considered when determining costs. It will also provide some average costs figures that some leading professionals work toward.

Know Your Return-Per-Image

By Jim Pickerell | 726 Words | Posted 5/31/2018 | Comments
I would like to encourage every stock photographer to begin to calculate, on an annual basis, their Return-Per-Image (RPI) for each agency they work with. This is particularly important for those photographers who hope to realize a profit for the time and expense they invest in producing stock images.

More on GDPR

By Jim Pickerell | 283 Words | Posted 5/23/2018 | Comments
The General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR, that goes into effect on Friday, May 25, 2018 will require companies that do business in the EU to provide a form to the companies that they are dealing with. It is not clear if it is necessary to supply such a form to each and every individual that a company deals with. A survey by CompliancePoint shows that 76% of U.S. businesses are not prepared for the enforcement deadline. (Check out previous story.)

Editorial Photography Future

By Jim Pickerell | 702 Words | Posted 4/25/2018 | Comments
A few months ago in an interview promoting his new book The Good Fight: America’s Ongoing Struggle for Justice, Rick Smolan was asked “How has technology disrupted photography.” Rick has been an editorial photographer since the 1980s, shot for Time, Life and National Geographic and may be best known for his “Day in the Life Of” series of books. The first six minutes of the interview is worth a listen.

Changing Photography Business

By Jim Pickerell | 1766 Words | Posted 3/7/2018 | Comments
Over 60 years ago I decided that because I enjoyed taking pictures I wanted to pursue photography as a way of earning my living. I’ve had a great career, but as a profession things have changed dramatically. For anyone starting out today it is much more difficult to get a foothold – and much less likely that you will ever earn reasonable money – taking pictures for a living.

Copytrack To Launch Global Copyright Register

By Jim Pickerell | 904 Words | Posted 2/20/2018 | Comments
Copytrack has completed its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and will be launching a Global Copyright Register (GCR) this summer that will work in conjunction with their Global Copyright Enfocement services (copytrack.com). With their Presale and ICO they have a total of 8,600 investors who have purchased around 16 million tokens. The purchase of images found on the GCR will be tracked in a Blockchain and paid for using cryptocurrency tokens.

Image Trend Reports

By Jim Pickerell | 347 Words | Posted 1/26/2018 | Comments
It is that time of year when stock agencies report on image trends they expect to see in the coming year. The purpose of these reports is to help photographers focus their production on the subject matter the agencies think will be in demand in the coming year.

Photographer Productivity

By Jim Pickerell | 1299 Words | Posted 1/3/2018 | Comments
One of the things I said in my 2018 Predictions is: “Image creator may be given more useful information about what is in demand.” In recent years we’ve seen a huge growth in the number of creators entering the stock photo business as well as images added to the collections. But we’re no longer seeing a corresponding growth in revenue.

2018 Predictions

By Jim Pickerell | 1060 Words | Posted 1/2/2018 | Comments
Here are a few stock photo industry changes that I predict will occur before 2019. 1 – At least one radically new and different business model for licensing stock images will be introduced. 2 – Customers will become more disenchanted with the major stock photo distributors. 3 -  Image creators may be given more useful information about what is in demand.
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Finding Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 835 Words | Posted 12/27/2017 | Comments
Most commercial users want to be honest. They don’t set out to steal. They certainly don’t want to be chased by a photographer and his/her legal team once it is discovered that they have used an image without permission. If photographers want to license more images to professional users – and get better prices – then they must make it easier for customers to find them once the customers finds an image they would like to use. The process is easy enough if the customer finds the image on a stock agency website, but more and more customers are finding the images they would like to use by searching Google, Bing, Flickr or by randomly searching Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, other social media sites or various publications.

Storyblocks 2018 Trend Guide

By Jim Pickerell | 199 Words | Posted 12/14/2017 | Comments
Storyblocks has published a 2018 Trends Guide that features predictions for the year ahead based on 64M searches and 38M downloads across their sites in the last year (365 days). The results suggest that creators are increasingly globally aware and creating a strong increase in demand for diverse and global content.

VisualSteam Releases Stock Image Licensing Survey Results

By Jim Pickerell | 661 Words | Posted 12/11/2017 | Comments
VisualSteam has released the results of its 5th Annual Survey of Creative Pros on the issue of Stock Image Licensing. The survey was sent to US art buyers, art directors, art producers, creative directors, photo editors and marketing professionals and provides a glimpse into what is driving image licensing today.

Tired Of Low Prices? Here’s A Possible Solution

By Jim Pickerell | 1068 Words | Posted 11/29/2017 | Comments
Tired of low stock photo prices? Maybe you ought to license your images to customers direct. More and more customers are finding the images they need by searching Google. Sometimes the image may be one of yours that is represented by an agency. You may be able to get these searchers to come directly to you.