Statistics & Surveys
If copyright protection is important to you, it is absolutely critical
that you respond by January 31, 2017
to the survey that the new Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden has posted on Survey Monkey
As I pointed out in my iStock article on Monday
more and more of the top image creators are cutting back on production and turning to other ways to earn a living. It’s not only microstock photographers who are pulling back, those selling RM and traditional RF are in even greater retreat. See this article
iStock single image downloads appear to have continued to decline in the last half of 2016. Unfortunately, five of the 430 contributors that we tracked in the past have now disappeared. In the last report these contributors represented 544,000 total career downloads. It is unclear whether they have withdrawn their collections, or repurposed them under another brand that I am no longer able to track.
has reported Q3 2016 revenue of $123.1 million up 15% from $107.3 million compared to Q3 2015. The growth is due mainly to new customers and increased activity by enterprise clients. The average price per download during the quarter was $2.91, up from $2.76 in Q3 2015 and from $2.81 in Q2 2016. There were 41.2 million paid downloads in the quarter and 102.7 million still images and illustrations in the collection at the end of the quarter up 61% from 63.7 million a year ago.
In the “Goodbye Shutterstock
” thread on MicrostockGroup
marthamarks said, “My older images still sell on Shutterstock, but newer ones die there.” Why would that be? One would expect newer images to sell better, particularly when agencies continue to ask for more and more images. This does not seem to be insolated complaint, but one common to many long time Shutterstock contributors.
Last month Africa Media Online
conducted a survey to gain an understanding of how picture buyers and picture researchers use Google to find images. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of respondents use Google to help them find images for licensing.
has reported on a new survey
being conducted in the UK to try gather information about the future potential of photography as a career.
Stock photographers need a better understanding of image buyers – their frustrations and what could make their lives easier. Jon Anderson is CEO of Foto Sushi
a new stock agency. He is also a Creative Director who has worked on B2B and B2C projects both within an advertising agency and corporate marketing organizations for more than 14 years. In a recent Foto Sushi promotion sent to image buyers, he hit on some very important points that all image creators ought to consider.
One-hundred thirty-seven photographers from 27 countries responded to our Stock Photo Revenue Trends
survey. Forty-seven percent of the respondents were from North America and 14% from the UK. The rest were spread rather evenly among other countries.
Recently, I was asked for my thoughts on stock photo industry revenue growth
between 1992 and 2016 with particular attention to the intermediate 8 year periods leading up to 2000 and 2008. I was also asked to make an estimate of the number of professional photographers in the world for the same years. I’ll deal with revenue growth first and the professional photographers later.
The last day to respond to the Stock Photo Revenue Trends
Survey that we launched last month will be September 17, 2016. For more information about the survey see here
. The good news, so far, is that 13% of the respondents earn over $80,000 a year from stock sales alone.
The basic operating structure of how most stock photo agencies acquire and market images has not changed in 15 to 25 years. Image creator produce and submit their work to an agency. The agency may reject some of it, but most will go into an online collection that customer can review. When a customer finds something she wants to use she pays a fee and the image creator receives a percentage. The agency’s job is to manage the material, make customers aware that the collection exists, license use of the image for whatever they can get and collect money.
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 complete the recent Stock Photo Revenue Trends Survey
. Initial results show that two-thirds of the respondents have seen their annual revenue decline since 2010 with the most significant declines in the 2013 to 2015 period. However, 19% of respondents saw revenue growth of 20% or more between 2013 and 2015.
Recently, I decided to take a look at the number of images in the various Creative collections on Gettyimages.com
. The numbers are very revealing and in some ways surprising. Getty has 16,687,710 million images in its Creative collection, 10,341,296 of them or 62% are RF and the rest are RM. (Obviously, these numbers grow slightly every day.)
is conducting a worldwide, blind Stock Photo Revenue Trends
survey and is asking all photographers who earn money through licensing rights to some of their images to respond. Individuals can respond to the short, 8 question survey by going to this link
. A full report of the results will be available to each respondent.
has reported Q2 2016 revenue of $124.4 million up from $104.4 million compared to Q2 2015. The growth is due mainly to new customers and increased activity by enterprise clients.
Recently, I asked about 100 medium sized stock agents around the world a series of questions to try to get an understanding of the revenue generated from images supplied to them by other stock agencies as opposed to revenue from images the agent had collected directly from image creators.
Some iStock contributors continue to add significant numbers of images to their collections, despite the decline in the number of downloads
and we presume revenue, since average prices per-image downloaded have also declined.
has reported another year of impressive growth with gross sales of $7,928,745
million in 2015. That is up 126% from $3.5 million in 2014. The great news for image creators is that Stocksy paid out $4,323,735 in royalties
. That’s 55% of gross revenue collected. In addition, because the company is a Co-Op, they were able to pay out an additional $200,000 in dividends to members who sold images during the year.
Most photographers use two different figures to track revenue trends – revenue Per-Image-Licensed
and revenue Per-Image-In-Collection
. It’s easy for a photographer to figure his own per-image-licensed figure, but it is very difficult to determine how that might stack up with all photographers because the specifics of the number of images are usually not available even when you know (or have some idea of) the gross revenue collected during the period.
has reported Q1 2016 revenue of $116.7 million up $19.1 million compared to Q1 2015. The growth is due mainly to new customers and increased activity by enterprise clients. Royalties paid to contributors during the quarter were about 29% of total revenue, or approximately $33.8 million. Currently, there are over 100,000 contributors meaning that the average contributor earned $338 during the quarter.
How low can prices go? Is the volume of images used more important than earning money when an image is used? Must we accept whatever the customer is willing to pay, or is it possible, at some point to say NO? If there is such a point where is it? Most photographer will agree there is some point where the people representing our images should say NO, but there is big disagreement on where that point should be.
After reading my previous story
investors in stock photo companies as well as image buyers may ask, “Why should we care if professional photographers stop producing stock images?”
Another leading global market research company, Technavio
, headquartered in London, has taken a look at the global still image market
and concluded that it will exceed USD 4 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of over 7%.
Ever since Getty Images invented Premium Access (PA) licensing image creators have been upset that their images were being licensed to some users for ridiculously low prices. Often images licensed in this manner are ones that have been extremely costly to produce. For at least one contributor Rights Managed PA sales now represent 66% of total sales at an average price of $12.00 and over half the sales are for $4.35 or less.