Storyblocks Changes Marketplace Commission Structure

Posted on 9/14/2018 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

In an effort to drive more Marketplace sales Storyblocks has lowered its commission to 50%. When the company (then known as Videoblocks) launched its Marketplace offering in 2015 the company offered still images and video clips at dramatically, discounted prices compared to its competitors. However, they paid creators 100% of the money received from the licensing of their work. As a result creators ended up earning more for each image licensed than they would if the image was licensed by one of the other stock agencies that paid royalties that were a small percentage of the total license fee.

Videoblocks funded its operational costs with the subscription fees it charged every customer. Anyone interested in using an image or clip from the Marketplace collection had to be an annual subscriber to Videoblocks, even if they never used any of the free images available to subscribers.

After the commission change the sale price for Marketplace video clips remains at $49 although after listening to feedback from contributors the HD price will be raised to $79 in mid October. Image prices will remain at $3.99. There are currently 20 million clips in the Marketplace collection and 10 million still images.



In August 2015 when I asked Founder and then CEO, Joel Holland, “Is the 100% royalty just an introductory offer, or is it expected to continue forever?” He answered, “Forever. We intend to be the most artist friendly stock video company in existence.”

In today’s rapidly changing world, I guess “Forever” is now defined as 3 years. :)



Recently, TJ Leonard, Storyblocks CEO said, “During the first couple years, Marketplace sales grew quickly. Over the same period, the cost of hosting millions of media files, reviewing content, and operating the contributor platform also increased. Because all our revenue comes from subscriptions, we started prioritizing our Member Library in order to build a thriving business that could absorb the growing Marketplace expenses. This led to contributor sales flattening out as we promoted Member Library content over the Marketplace.

“To get Marketplace sales back on track, we need to make a change that may sting in the short term. We've examined all options, and it's clear that we must adjust our commission structure in order to align our business needs with the needs of our contributor community."

They launched the 50/50 commission structure on August 1st. It applies to all Marketplace sales of both video and still images. Contributor License Agreement are also being updated to reflect this change.



In addition, in mid-August they made changes in their video and search experience. That has resulted in a larger percent of their customer base actually purchasing from Marketplace rather than just going after the free images available as part of their subscriptions.

Leonard continued, “We know this change will impact your earnings over the short term, and for that we apologize. Our goal is to meet and exceed historical earnings as quickly as possible through several new initiatives aimed at boosting sales and improving our contributor experience.”


Copyright © 2018 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

Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

You must log in to post comments.

Stay Connected

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

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Selling-Stock Now Free
Good News. Beginning today, Selling-Stock (www.selling-stock.com) is FREE to all readers. Try it out. Not only is it possible to read every new story on the site by simply clicking on the headline, b...
Read More
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

More from Free Stuff