Buyers Discuss Trends at DRR/ASMP Panel

Posted on 3/26/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Last week, Digital Railroad and the Midwest chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers organized a Chicago image-buyer roundtable. The panel included local advertising, corporate and publishing executives, who offered a rosy perspective on the state of the stock-licensing industry.

While many image producers and retailers use words like “crisis” and “revolution” to describe the current business climate, buyers could not be happier. They love the abundance of images, new price points and new distribution channels. In addition, some buyers feel that the availability of cheap imagery is a good thing, because it frees up more money for better, higher-cost imagery.

As client use of free imagery made available on social networks and photo-sharing Web sites grows, many photographers become increasingly concerned about the effect of such cannibalization on traditional stock revenues. While smaller companies and individuals may use amateur imagery in place of stock, the panelists’ opinions highlighted that Flickr, and even microstock imagery, is still considered overly risky by buyers concerned with rights issues.

In addition, Flickr imagery is still perceived by high-end buyers as having inferior quality to professional stock. However, the overall level of image quality in the stock industry is seen as having improved, particularly in the royalty-free area.

The discussion also touched on the scarcity of historical imagery, the need for standardization of terms and licensing structures, and the more mundane aspects of stock licensing, such as preferred file sizes and formats. A detailed transcript is available on Digital Railroad’s Web site.

Copyright © 2008 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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