Is Publisher Demand for Stock Down?

Posted on 11/21/2007 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Survey data of Publishing Forecast 2008, the latest research report by The Industry Measure, suggests that this segment's demand for stock imagery is on the decline. Though close to 40% plan to purchase royalty-free images and about 30% expect to buy rights-managed stock, planned spending has decreased by 3% to 13%, depending on license type.

The report draws on the research-firm's previous experience and statistics gathered by a recent survey. Senior analyst Richard Romano, the author of this report, said the survey had 170 total respondents. "Much of this report also draws on our historical database of 12 years' worth of surveys, which have had various numbers of respondents (most over 200)," he adds.

Publishing Forecast 2008 analyzes the prevailing economic environment and the current state of the publishing industry. Overall, responding publishers are slightly less optimistic that they were a year ago. Fewer publishers characterize last year's business conditions as excellent: 23% in 2007, down by 3% since 2006. The number of respondents reporting unchanged conditions is 58% (down by 3%). Publishers that think business has been poor rose to 16% from 12%; those that think conditions took a drastic turn for the worse rose to 3% from 1%.

A small decline in optimism is also evident in publishers' future expectations: 27% expect excellent business conditions to continue (down from 31% one year ago), while 65% anticipate no change (down from 62%).

Changes in stock-image purchasing trends are more significant. Planned investment in rights-managed imagery has fallen by approximately 3%, to 27% of all publishers and 31% of magazine publishers. Planned royalty-free spending is down by 8% overall, to 37% of all respondents. Magazine publishers demonstrate the highest change, with a planned 13% decrease in royalty-free spending: Only 39% currently plan to make such purchases, compared to 52% in 2006.

Royalty-free imagery remains more popular than rights-managed; however, rights-managed spending is not declining as fast. In addition, slightly more publishers (12% vs. last year's 11%) plan to invest in alternative license types, such as flat-fee, limited distribution schemes.

Other important trends highlighted by The Industry Measure include an increased emphasis on Internet-based promotion and a move toward integrating Web 2.0 into publishers' multi-channel strategies.

Copyright © 2007 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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