How Will Recession Effect Microstock?

Posted on 2/26/2009 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (3)

We already know that professional image buyers have slashed spending. This week, stock-industry blogs and coversations were filled with phrases like "40% decline" and "half the revenues of last year." PhotoShelter says the sky is not falling, but its own survey shows that 40% of buyers are reducing image budgets. With iStockcharts data suggesting that iStockphoto revenues declined by 12% from January to February, many wonder if the microstock market is finally beginning to feel the effects of the global financial crisis.


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Copyright © 2009 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 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Comments

  • Carlos Zardoya Posted Feb 26, 2009
    Great article, Jim. I am completely in agreement with this. Microstock is aswell a b2b than a b2c business, so comparing with retail industry is a good idea for having a refferal for the first. At this stage, no-one doubts that any industry or product is to be affected due to the recession -what no-ones know is utnil when, but it's true that low-cost models may survive better in this, than high-end costly structures (while I strongly rely that there is space for both segments in the market, if customer gets well the difference in production/quality value). The key, under my point of view, and to keep/retain the customers with you, is to offer all them what they need, and at all price points and models, on one acces/marketplace. Corbis' decission to integrate Snapvillage into Veer community, seems the trend and right direction into this industry. We'll see more doing in the short term (we did more than 6 months ago and the synergies found are encouraging).

  • Kelly Thompson Posted Feb 26, 2009
    Thanks for taking this to task. A few things.

    1. iStockcharts is scraping our site for data. It's not right. Sometimes it's not even close. We have a very long tail that it doesn't pick up on at al.

    2. It's looking like iStock will have double-digit growth February over January. Nice traffic growth as well.

    3. The only place we've seen the recession really hit iStock is video. Our sales are flat there.

  • Serban Enache Posted Feb 27, 2009
    Dreamstime has a growth of over 30% for its user-base in the last 5 months, probably highest in the industry.
    It is so true, we're mostly a B2B model and customers are usually small companies. They must be affected by the crisis more than high-end users budget-wise. What they spend may be less, but the long tail makes up for the volume compared to the high-end users.
    Still, we see no sign of slowdown (records for sales, new members, received content). When this economical turmoil will eventually be over, the process may be even more accelerated (more budgets).
    By referring to the sales of a niche of photographers one might get biased. With content growth, sales dilution are inherent, therefore you have to take into account ALL photographers involved within an agency.

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