Does Exclusive Representation Still Make Sense?

Posted on 4/29/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (3)

Being represented exclusively by a single agency, or distributor, used to be important if you wanted a chance to license your images for high dollars for advertising or product identity uses. These customers wanted assurance that no one else would be using the same image while their campaign was in progress and they were willing to pay a lot of money for such rights.


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Copyright © 2016 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.  

Comments

  • Tibor Bognar Posted Apr 30, 2016
    I wholeheartedly agree with everything in this article. While I already work with several agencies, recently I tried to add more and talked to several new ones. They were all enthusiastic to start with but then turned me down flat when I mentioned that it could only be a non-exclusive relationship. I gave them all the arguments in the article, but they rigidly stuck to their point of view, even though some of them were fairly small and obviously could generate only a very modest yearly income. So, agencies should perhaps rethink their position. They gain very little and the contributors lose a lot with exclusivity, so why do they insist on it? An amateur photographer might agree for exclusive representation, but a full time photographer would and should not, so which ones are more desirable to work with?

  • David W Stuckel Posted Apr 30, 2016
    My experience is that exclusive listings are reducing my income. I have a set of images on one site that sell fairly regularly but another set of images of the same subject at another agency does not sell at all. Both are exclusive arrangements so I cannot post the pics at both locations, but clearly I am losing since I now have a good selection of images tied up for 5 years at a site that does not seem to generate any interest in them. Clearly, the sites are different but after a year with no sales at the second site I made a mistake.

  • Bill Bachmann Posted May 1, 2016
    A real short answer this time from me, Jim. Do NOT go exclusive with any agency. Forget their discussions.... they are doing it to benefit their agency, nit the photographer!

    www.billbachmann.com


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