Wall And Poster Art

Posted on 8/15/2014 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Stocktrek Images has a specialized image collection that is in high demand for wall and poster art. Their subjects include: Healthcare and Biomedical Science, Armed Forces, Military Aviation, Space, Weather, Astronomy and Dinosaur Art

I asked Stocktrek CEO Ryan Rossotto about this market. He provided a great deal of helpful detail for anyone interested in trying to sell into this market. In 2013 Stocktrek sold over 30,000 pieces of wall art through distributors, twice as much as they sold in 2012. The market is continuously growing. Print-on-demand wall art sales represented 47% of the company’s 2013 revenue with the rest coming from RM and RF licenses for use of the images. Eighty percent of the company’s annual revenue comes from distributor sales.

In the wall art market over half the unit sales came from Art.com and Allposters.com, but the average sale price is very low.

The second best selling distributor for them is Great Big Canvas. They only sell one poster for every 8 that Art.com/Allposter.com sell, but at much higher prices. Rossotto believes that by the end of 2014 Great Big Canvas will be the company’s #1 revenue producer for poster sales.

Numbers 3 through 7 in order of revenue generation are Fine Art America, Poster Lounge, Cafe Press, Skinit and WallMonkeys. Poster Lounge sales have been increasing in the last 6 months with 95% of all sales are in European countries.

Rossotto has also dealt with Zazzle, Barewalls,LTL Prints and ArtFlakes, but does not recommend any of these companies.

One of the reasons for Stocktrek’s success is it’s strong, specialized collections in niche categories that are not over populated on most sites. If a customer is looking for a military plane, colorful nebula, or t-rex dinosaur, odds are Stocktrek's images will be displayed at the top of the search order.

Many photographers want to sell their beautiful scenics that can only be identified by location keywords. These are hard to sell because give the volume of landscape imagery available. Users generally enter common search phrases instead of specific terms and locations.

All Print-on-Demand companies have their own algorithms. Best sellers are usually placed at the top of the search-return-order along with in-house imagery created by the distributor’s own art team. Once an image sells a lot it can make it to the top, but getting there can be a problem. On the other hand, if there is not a whole lot of choice for a particular keyword – and customers will use it – and there is significant demand for that subject – your image can climb quickly. For example go to AllPosters and search for dinosaurs. Ten of the images on the first page of 36 images are Stocktrek images. Stocktrek, has 2,500 dinosaur images representing over 450 different species, and all in incredible detail.

Another issue is that makes selling fine art work difficult is that distributor like Art.com & Allposters.com use an algorithm based on a contributor’s royalty percentage. A provider that is willing to accept a 10% royalty will receive better placement on search results than a provider that receives 20%.

Rossotto says the, “Majority of our print-on-demand sales are military and outer space photos. Astrophotography photos such as galaxies and nebulae do superbly well, along with images of the solar system and the northern lights. Air-to-air photography of military aircraft are also quite popular. We sell of a lot of military content to VA hospitals, military bases, veterans and their families, etc., which is what makes these so popular. Dinosaur images would be next in line, and are gaining popularity.  We started specializing in dinosaur content a couple years ago. It has exceeded our expectations and received a very warm reception from customers, artists and distributors.  Our medical collection was launched a year ago in Q4 2013."

Here are links to Stocktrek’s Best Selling Posters of 2012-2013 and Top 25 Aviation Posters

Copyright © 2014 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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