Leading iStock Contributors See Sales Decline in April

Posted on 5/6/2009 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Leading iStockphoto contributors saw their sales drop by almost 9% in April compared to March, according to our analysis of the numbers available through iStockcharts. To some extent, this might be explained by a loss of one business day to Easter.

Numbers are not available for 24 of the 150 iStock contributors with the highest total downloads. Only 10 of the remaining 126 saw their monthly downloads increase in April. Total March downloads for these 126 contributors were 436,410, but that number dropped to 385,203 in April. (This table offers details by contributor.)

There were 1,897,322 total April downloads of images that belong to 27,455 iStock contributors. Thus, the sales of the top 126 contributors represent roughly 20% of total iStock sales. Historically, these contributors have been responsible for about 25% of all downloads since iStockphoto was founded.

Despite the April decline in sales, many of these photographers and graphic designers are on track to earn significant stock income in 2009. Most of them are exclusive to iStock and earn about $2.60 per download. Those that are not exclusive usually earn more from the combined total of other microstocks than from iStock. Thus, annual photographer royalties from all agencies can be estimated by multiplying $2.60 by the number of total iStock downloads for the year.

Based on such estimates, 17 iStock contributors are currently on track to earn more than $150,000 this year. Another 24 can expect to earn between $100,000 and $150,000, and 30 should earn between $70,000 and $100,000. The top iStock producer—non-exclusive contributor Yuri Arcurs, who had 24,651 downloads in April—can expect to earn somewhere in the area of $412,000, which is less than 50% of his total microstock revenue.

Copyright © 2009 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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