Future Image Demand In Education

Posted on 12/11/2012 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

At the PACA International Conference in October, Christie Silver of McGraw Hill School Education Group provided details on where her team found images for a major reading program they have been working on this year.

She also provided insights as to how educational publishers will be sourcing images in the future and pointed out that the main focus of all educational efforts these days is digital. More than 50% of the projects her team worked on during the past year were for digital delivery of the product.

Silver added, “Only certain products are print. There will be less and less printing. But, we are still dealing with a marketplace where the majority of users and classrooms are not equipped with the technology that would enable them to have a completely digital experience. So until that takes place we will continue to print products.”

RF Taking Over

There were 23,806 images used in the various products that are part of the reading program that will be available in 2013.  42% of those images (and this included illustrations) were acquired from traditional RM sources. An additional 8% were new RF images acquired this year.

But, an astounding 48% of the images used came from McGraw Hill’s wholly owned digital asset library made up to a great extent of RF images that McGraw Hill had acquired in previous years for previous products. As the industry moves ahead, each year the company will purchases a few more RF images, but they will be used over and over again. The percentage of RM images acquired for future projects will certainly decline.

The other 2% of still imagery and illustration not accounted for in the figures above were produced on assignment because satisfactory stoek images were not available.


Despite the heavy use of RF imagery, McGraw Hill tends not to acquire much from microstock sources. Microstock is often more expensive than RM or traditional RF. With microstock the standard fee usually limits the number of impressions in printed products to less than 500,000. Typically, educational publishers want the freedom to print more than that number during the life of a product. To get unlimited print rights they must purchase an extended or enhanced license and this can add $100 to $200 to the standard microstock price. This makes discounted RM much more attractive than microstock.

In current microstock agreements the number of online impressions seem to be limitless. Thus, as educational publishers move more and more to delivering their products online -- and print few copies -- there may be less need for them to worry about print runs.


On the same reading program project McGraw Hill also used 1,378 videos. 50% of the clips used were RM stock and 21% were RF. Two percent came from the company’s digital asset library. They expect to use more and more video on future projects.

Twenty-seven percent of the clips used were created on assignment because satisfactory footage was not available as stock. Silver said, “We weren’t finding the reactions of the actors to be believable. We know it is more challenging on the video side because you have to get directors and good actors involved. It’s different than being a still model.” Many situations did not have the ring of authenticity. Safety is also an issue for educational publishers. Proper use of helmets, car seats and safety equipment in school labs are important considerations. Educational publishers also need good live audio to go with the video and this is usually not included in stock video offerings.

Given the lack of good moving footage often video segments are created using stills. In addition many of the available clips are too short. Currently, when editing video for stock there is a tendency to take one long action and break it up into many small pieces. Often these pieces are not even together in the search return order. Silver said they tend to need longer segments and would like to see the entire continuous action and make their own decisions about cuts.
While there will be growing future demand for video that can be used in educational products, given the unique requirements of the education market it is questionable – from the creators point of view – whether the demand and the pricing will be enough to justify creating stock video for education. Maybe the better solution is to go after that 27% of assignments.

Copyright © 2012 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.  


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff