Tag Archives: Paul Melcher

THE FUTURE OF PHOTOGRAPHY

After a lively “Fireside Chat” together at the 2015 DMLA Conference, Severin Matusek, VP of Community at EyeEm, asks his fellow panelists again how they see technologies will change photography this year.

Stephen Mayes, Executive Director at Tim Hetherington Trust; Anna Dickson, Content and Community Photo Lead at Google;  Taylor Davidson, Entrepreneur and writer specializing in digital media, technology and photography; and Paul Melcher; entrepreneur and founder of Kaptur all offer their insights here.

 

 

 

PHOTO BUYER SURVEY REVEALS STRONG DEMAND FOR QUALITY

Paul Melcher’s review of Visual Steam’s 2015 Buyer’s Survey gives great insight to some of the highlights of this year’s results.  DMLA was one of the sponsors of the survey which always provides a wealth of information to our industry; it is free to all DMLA members.  You can read Paul’s analysis here.

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.

Launch of Stock Photo Insight

Responding to an increasing demand for reliable insights on the stock photography market, the three top stock photography industry experts, Lee Torrens, Paul Melcher and Amos Struck, have officially launched Stock Photo Insight (http://stockphotoinsight.com), a consulting service providing calls with all three experts simultaneously.

In addition, Stock Photo Insight is introducing a one-question-by-email service where all three experts provide independent answers within 24 hours.  ”For the first time, stock researchers will be able to get 3 expert points of view from a single written question, getting focused answers on specific points quicker.” says Paul Melcher, stock photo industry veteran.

The company will produce free monthly video calls discussing topical issues in the industry and how they impact the market, with emphasis on the dominant participants Shutterstock and Getty Images.  These discussions will serve to keep investors and researchers updated while also demonstrating the expertise on offer.

Leveraging 40 years of combined industry experience, yet with varied specialisations, the service is designed to ensure the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts, providing an accurate, precise, fact-rich and knowledgeable picture of an industry rich in activity but poor in public data.

“After years of offering consultancy services separately – which we will all continue to do – we realize how much a time and cost saver it would be to offer our three perspectives in one call’ says long-time microstock analyst Lee Torrens. “ We can now offer a powerful solution for those seeking a full 360 view and understanding of the marketplace and its key players”.

“With our new service, says Amos Stuck, “we can now offer a level of understanding of the industry not previously available without running around to multiple, separate consultants. For an investor, it is the perfect tool”.

Bookings and more information are available on the Stock Photo Insight website: stockphotoinsight.com

About stockphotoinsight.com: Three independent consultants, each renowned stock photography experts, bring together their diverse backgrounds to provide accurate, current and actionable information on the stock photo licensing industry for investors, researchers and business leaders.

About Lee Torrens: Lee Torrens is founder, consultant and industry analyst at MicrostockDiaries.com, where he shares observations on the microstock business. He is also Co-Founder of Microstock Expo and Director of Stock Photography at Canva.

About Paul Melcher: Paul Melcher is currently a strategic consultant for visual startups, advisor and founder of Kaptur Magazine, the first online publication dedicated to the photo tech industry. He was listed in American Photo’s “100 most influential individuals in American photography.”

About Amos Struck: Amos Struck is founder and editor of Stock Photo Press, which operates several German and English-language stock photo magazines. He is also the creator of the Microstock Photo Plugin for WordPress and Co-Founder of Microstock Expo.

PACA Welcomes our Newest Members

The Membership Committee has been busy bringing new companies into the Digital Licensing Media family.  We are very excited to welcome them into the association!  Hope to see many of these new faces at the Annual Conference in October in NYC!

Corporate Sponsor:

Digimarc:  www.digimarc.com  Digimarc is the global leader in protecting author rights and book revenue, utilizes digital watermarks and web crawling technology to trace and remove pirated content across the Internet

General Members:

500px:  www.500px.com  Leveraging the photo community at 500px, with over 4 million professional photographers worldwide, 37 million data-backed photos, and dedicated research teams. 500px Prime is committed to helping creatives find and license the perfect image.

LiveItWell:  www.liveitwell.com  A small start-up to manage internet marketplace of still images made available for licensing and distribution.

PhotoAbility:  www.photoability.net  Stock Image Library featuring Inclusive Images of People with a Disability engaged in Travel, Leisure and Lifestyle activities. 

International Member:

Steven Sklifas Photography:  www.stevensklifas.com  This specialised Image Stock Library exclusively features the extensive and unique image collection of leading Mediterranean Heritage Photographer Steven Sklifas.  Stevens’ Archive library is one of the largest private collections in the world that represent Mediterranean Heritage.

Associate Members:

Karen Dsilva  Email: karen@karendsilvacreativeservices.com

Paul Melcher Email: pmelcher@gmail.com