CEPIC Congress In Paris June 5 – 7

Posted on 5/6/2019 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

It is less than one month until the annual CEPIC Congress convenes in Paris on June 5 thru 7, 2019. Each year this event is the single most important meeting of people from all over the world who are engaged in the picture licensing industry.

Among the issues that will be discussed in seminars during the three days will be:

Making Media and Images Financially Sustainable with a discussion of the recently adopted copyright directive which establishes a new neighbouring right or “related rights” for press publishers and press agencies, including press picture agencies. Related rights in civil law are similar to authors' rights, but are not connected with the work's actual author. Other topics will be covered including the cost of production and the cost of piracy.

The Challenge of Finding the Right Image at the Right Price
, and the question of Quality v. Quantity. Fundamental issues that hopefully will be addressed during this discussion include:
    1 – Is there a bottom line on prices?
    2 – As prices continue to drop will professional image creators continue to create “Quality” at a financial loss?
    3 – Is there any way to stop continued price decline when a few majors compete with each other on price?

    4 – Can small and mid-sized specialized agencies survive in today’s market climate while three market leaders fight it out for market dominance?
Technological Solutions for implementing the recent European Copyright Directive aimed at revenue sharing between platforms, press publishers and news agencies and content creators. There will also be discussion for fighting the spread of Fake News.

Legal Workshops related to the EU Copyright Directive. After a short introduction of the issues and ensuing questions, specialized lawyers and interested non-professionals will discuss, and work out, strategies for the future.

Side Discussions

Typically, the most productive discussions takes place in the hallways and in the Table Area where various stock agencies and other interested parties meet with people interested in the work of their particular organization.

Hopefully, some of the other issues that come up in these discussions will include:

1 – Is more images a winning strategy, or do we need more quality collections that are easily searchable and at higher prices? In Q1 2015 Shutterstock had 54.2 million images in its collection and 33.4 million downloads. Thus, the number of download represented 62% of the images in its collection. (Of course, many of the same images were downloaded multiple times so the actual percentage of unique images downloaded was much lower.)

In Q1 2019 the company had 274.8 million images and video clips in its collection, more than 5 times the 2015 number. In the quarter they had 47.2 million downloads representing 17% of the images in its collection. (The actual percentage of unique downloads was also much lower. Revenue growth for Shutterstock in Q1 2019 was 8.7% compared to a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Adobe Stock with only 100 million images in its collection reported a 25% growth in revenue for Q1 2019 compared with a year earlier.

2 – Is it possible to ever go back to “more quality collections that are easily searchable and at higher prices?”

3 – Has any agency examined their sales records to determine the percentage of revenue that comes from the licensing of images created by photographers who are trying to earn a portion of their living from the licensing of stock images?

4 – Is that percentage declining as more and more of the new images are created by amateurs who just want to see their images used and are unconcerned about the revenue they generate?

5 – If all the professional creators leave the market will the agencies still have a sustainable business licensing only images produced by amateurs?

– Can the stock agency licensing system survive (particularly the small and medium size specialist agencies) if the only images they receive are from amateurs unconcerned about profit?


Footage was supposed to be the growth area of the business. According to the recent ACSIL survey worldwide footage revenue has only grown a total of 3% in the last 3 years.

In Q1 2015 footage at Shutterstock accounted for about 10% or $10 million of its revenue. At that time they had 2.6 million clips. By Q1 2019 the number of clips had jumped more than 5 times the 2015 level to 14 million. If their revenue from video footage remained at about 10%, and there is no indication there was dramatic growth relative to still imagery, their Q1 2019 revenue for footage would have been about $16.3 million.

Copyright © 2019 Jim Pickerell. 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

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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