Trend of Lowering Pricing Trickles Down

Posted on 12/18/2007 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

After Getty Images released its much-publicized Web-use license, many traditional stock agencies followed suit. Though companies like Image Source continue to see no reason to mark down premium inventories, other popular brands, including Corbis and Masterfile, also lowered their online licenses to around $50.

The trend has expanded to smaller, nontraditional companies and beyond the Web. Even contributor-based companies are facing stiff competition from other microstock and mid-priced businesses that many have slashed their already low prices even lower.

For example,, a New York-based company founded in 2003, will now license royalty-free images for prices ranging from $0.99 to $4.99, depending on size. These licenses cover either online use or traditional uses limited in quantity to under 10,000 pieces. Unrestricted uses remain priced starting at $20.

The move did not meet with universal contributor approval, particularly because ShutterPoint charges its 5,000 contributors fees for connecting them with buyers. Some of the photographers who own the 100,000 images represented by ShutterPoint do not foresee sufficient revenues from such a low price point.

ShutterPoint defends its move with claims of in-depth research into current pricing and contributor commissions of 85%, the highest on the Internet. In addition, contributors can choose whether to sell images under this new "standard" model; some have restricted their images to the "full," over $20 licenses only. There are also contributors who view this development as allowing extra flexibility and having the potential for additional sales.

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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