Tag Archives: microstock

PHOTO BUYER SURVEY REVEALS STRONG DEMAND FOR QUALITY

By Paul Melcher

Public photo industry surveys are so rare and few that it is always a refreshing exercise to review one when they do come out. VisualSteam just released the 2015 edition of its Art Buyer Survey and it surfaces some interesting trends.

Leslie Hughes, VisualSteam’s President and CEO, said, “Art Buyers are frustrated by stock agencies because of the time it takes to find ‘high quality’ content. They believe stock is too “stocky,” and many believe that pricing is still too high. Buyers want content that is fresh, easy to find, and authentic. Even so, nearly all use stock, and more than half say their use of stock images will continue to increase in the coming year.”

Another important fact showcased by this study is that RF still dominates the photo licensing landscaped. Not the microstock type but rather the more traditional, higher price point version. While the study does not dig deeper into the reasons why, a cross-reference to other answers seems to point to a crucial need for quality imagery. While the RF licensing model is  the easiest to manage for buyers, they still overwhelming seek the higher editing standards of the traditional RF. Rights-Managed and Microstock tied at 58% as the second most common license types with RM down from 66% a year ago and Micro down from 60% a year ago. The biggest surprise, in our eyes, is the sharp rise in free photos usage, up to 41% (was 33% a year ago).

Screen-Shot-2015-09-10-at-ThursdaySep-1010.22-AM

Type of license used by art buyer. Free images are flirting with Microstock and RM models. Source: VisualSteam

When asked what are their first stop go-to source for stock images, the panel overwhelmingly pointed to Getty Images, followed by Istock and then Shutterstock. This bias towards Getty is not due to the need for editorial images since the panel is in large majority commercial stock buyers from the ad/design/marketing / corporate world.  Rather, professional image buyers seem to seek Getty’s offering due to its scope, its reinvention and just probably because of long-established habits. Shutterstock has only recently ( last 2 years) addressed the high volume image buyer segment and might not yet offer the full scope of its demand. Let’s not forget, as well, that Getty Images’ revenue  is  twice  of Shutterstock’s.

Also interesting to note is the high position of Google in the result, confirming that the search engine is used as a meta search for visual content. As well, the Dollar Photo Club, a sub-brand of Fotolia ( acquired by Adobe and in the process of being shut down) rates higher than the larger, longer-established Corbis. Finally and also of importance, Pexels, a source of free images, marks the first ever appearance of a free site in the list, above a couple of microstock companies. One reason cited often is not pricing but originality/freshness of content. Interestingly, no mention of social media UGC content (Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr) appears on this list.

go-to-source-for-Stock-images

Number one go to source for stock images. note the appearance of Pexels, a free photo site on the list. Source: VisualSteam

The VisualSteam study has many more points of interest and offers a comprehensive snapshot of buyers’ habits and motivations. It should be a required read for anyone in the stock photo business, especially in the USA.  It is free for members of the DMLA and $50 for other and can be downloaded here. For those who wishes to know more, there will be a whole session on “The business of Free” at the upcoming DMLA conference, with 3 free content companies owners (similar to Pexels) explaining their business model. You can register for the conference here.

Dreamstime Stock Photo Agency Acquires Their 20,000,000th Image, Adding 1Million Images per Month

Dreamstime, one of the leading stock photography and image sources in the world, recently announced they have acquired their 20,000,000th image (image number 21,000,000 should be on the site before Christmas). In a world of text, the right image will stop the eye and grab the attention of the reader. Dreamstime, one of the Top 500 most visited sites in the world, guarantees great images at low cost and no royalties. When the creative community needs an image to punch through reader indifference, Dreamstime provides that image.

One advantage of Dreamstime over other stock agencies comes from their sense of community. 7,000,000 registered users visit the site regularly, and 80 percent declare Dreamstime their primary image source. In addition, over 150,000 users upload their own images for sales, providing thousands of new images each and every day. This sense of community includes active forums where experienced designers and photographers discuss their art and craft to help bring new site visitors up to speed.

“Dreamstime began as an internal project for our web design company,” said Serban Enache, CEO of Dreamstime. “Stock images were so expensive, at $500 to $1,000 each, that they overwhelmed development budgets completely. That is why our images are often only a dollar or two, and come with no royalty demands.”  Now, Dreamstime reaches customers across devices – computers, tablets and mobile – and around the world.

Besides Dreamstime (www).dreamstime.com), users can also acquire images at corporate siblings Stock Free Images (www.stockfreeimages.com), or choose a new image for their Facebook Timeline banner photo (or Google+ or Twitter profiles) at Time Line Images (www.timelineimages.com).

In today’s world of multi-tasking and inattention, only images can stop the eye and focus the attention of the viewer. Combining the power of 20,000,000 images and an active community of creative people from all over the world makes Dreamstime the go-to image source for over 100,000 new users each month.

 

PACA 2013 Conference Rocks!

The PACA staff and Program Committee are still riding high from the success of the PACA 2013  Conference!  Feedback from participants has been great and we believe that this was one of our best conferences in recent years.

The move from a hotel seems to have been a positive one and we enjoyed being the only event going on in the Altman Building.  The content of the sessions was excellent and full of amazing information for all in attendance.  We plan to post as many power-point presentations and notes as possible on our website in the upcoming weeks.

We also will be sending out a post-conference survey, so please be looking for it in the next day or so.  Please be sure to take a few minutes to fill it out, as it is our only way to hear from you and make adjustments for next year.

Thank you to all the fabulous speakers, panelists, committee members and everyone else who worked to make this a great event.   We look forward to seeing everyone back in NYC next year!

Yuri Arcurs Sees Setsbacks for Microstock

Yuri Arcurs is pulling his images out of all microstock stock agencies, except for for iStockphoto, and investing $1.4 million dollars into Scoopshot. Will mobile be a major setback to Microstock? Read about his latest moves in this interesting article and form your own opinions.

http://petapixel.com/2013/07/26/microstock-king-yuri-arcurs-says-mobile-is-the-next-big-disrupter/