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Author Topic: 2009 Microstock Comprehensive Survey - Results Posted  (Read 4846 times)

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« on: June 03, 2010, 03:24 »
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In case you didn't see the blog post the other day, I posted the results from the 2009 Microstock survey here
http://blog.microstockgroup.com/microstock-survey-2009-results/

I'll be posting more results and hopefully more in-depth and interesting results on the blog in the future.


« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2010, 18:06 »
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Interresting results.

Thanks!
Claude

« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2010, 22:56 »
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Thanks for the blog

« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2010, 08:58 »
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I just posted a few more comparison stats on the blog
http://blog.microstockgroup.com/2008-vs-2009-microstock-statistics/

« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2010, 10:33 »
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Thanks __ very interesting.

« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2010, 10:53 »
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Thank you....I might have a question, but I have to look at it a bit longer. good information, much appreciated..

edit: never mind, found my answer in the comments on the blog
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 10:55 by Hawk_Eye »

« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2010, 10:58 »
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it's too bad the sample was so heavily weighted by non-exclusives (iStock)...but I suspect that the sample is representative of the community on MS, so that makes sense. it just makes the data less helpful for me.

« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2010, 15:19 »
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I'd be interested to see how the graph of income distribution compares for the two years. The average may be the same but that doesn't mean the two graphs will coincide.

The bar chart for the number of people earning up to 1,0000, then 1,000-2,000 etc could be very informative, as a single person earning a million could single-handedly add a few thousand onto the overall average.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 15:25 by BaldricksTrousers »

« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2010, 09:25 »
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I just posted a few more results from the 2009 survey ..... looking forward to starting the 2010 poll

http://blog.microstockgroup.com/2009-microstock-survey-full-time-microstock-earnings-analyzed/

lisafx

« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2010, 09:43 »
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Thanks for the updates.  It's interesting to read the results of the FT microstockers. 

If I am reading your results correctly, of the FT (more than 50% of income) microstockers, the average gross income was $29k annually?  2009 was a much better year for me than 2010.  Not sure if other full-timers saw similar drops to mine.  If so, I wonder where that will put the median income for this year.  Also curious to see if there are more or fewer full-timers in 2010 than last year...

Many thank, Tyler, for taking the time to collect and analyze this data! 

« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2010, 12:21 »
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Thanks for this very informative survey. It is very helpful in planing future actions. Thanks also for taking the time from your busy schedule to complete it.
Smiling Jack

« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2010, 12:42 »
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Thanks Leaf, very interesting reading.

Like Lisa I wonder how 2010's figures will read. I think I'm going to be down about 4% on the year but my income actually rose quite nicely for the first 5 months and only declined in the second half. If that pattern continues into 2011, which won't be helped by Istockphoto's commission cut, then it could be a lean year to come.

« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2010, 12:59 »
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Interesting read. I wasn't down this year, but it was definitely slow or no growth at some agencies. I had so much growth in 2009 though that it makes me wonder what happened in 2010.

Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2010, 15:23 »
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Interesting reading. I'm especially impressed with the full timers incomes and the six people over $100K a year. I still assert that the people on this forum represent the top microstock shooters, or at least the top 5% are represented here. Nice work!

Amusing will be the 19% IS exclusive and if that changed with the new programs there.

Average is distorted by the small number of people, 1.5%, who are way over and above the rest. I suppose you could do median income and come up with something?

One of the things that makes it difficult for you to produce good numbers, is the variety of efforts. The breakdown based on "full time" was a good one. Maybe you can do something based on number of images online? (or did you do that already)

As I've pointed out, if I delete all my non-selling images, my RPI goes way up!  ;D It's getting a little complicated for the survey, but personally, if I only add up sold images and figure what the average download income is, I have a nice number to look at.

But assuming that people are not cooking the books, number of images online on agency X and income for agency X, then number of images for agency Y and sales for agency Y... Etc. will give you some really strong information on not only agencies but also sales for individuals. Example I have 250 images on "Crapstock" and earned $2.50 in total sales for the year, the RPI is 1 cent per image annually.

« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2010, 04:22 »
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Interesting reading. I'm especially impressed with the full timers incomes and the six people over $100K a year. I still assert that the people on this forum represent the top microstock shooters, or at least the top 5% are represented here. Nice work!

Amusing will be the 19% IS exclusive and if that changed with the new programs there.

Average is distorted by the small number of people, 1.5%, who are way over and above the rest. I suppose you could do median income and come up with something?

One of the things that makes it difficult for you to produce good numbers, is the variety of efforts. The breakdown based on "full time" was a good one. Maybe you can do something based on number of images online? (or did you do that already)

As I've pointed out, if I delete all my non-selling images, my RPI goes way up!  ;D It's getting a little complicated for the survey, but personally, if I only add up sold images and figure what the average download income is, I have a nice number to look at.

But assuming that people are not cooking the books, number of images online on agency X and income for agency X, then number of images for agency Y and sales for agency Y... Etc. will give you some really strong information on not only agencies but also sales for individuals. Example I have 250 images on "Crapstock" and earned $2.50 in total sales for the year, the RPI is 1 cent per image annually.

Yeah, some interesting thoughts.

It would be fun to look at the stats for everyone with over 1000 images for example.  Like you said, the few people with over 100,000 in income are brining the average way up, but at the same time the few people with income under $1000 are also brining the average way down.

I am also interested to see if iStock's recent actions will have any effect on the exclusive %

« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2010, 06:35 »
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Interesting reading. I'm especially impressed with the full timers incomes and the six people over $100K a year. I still assert that the people on this forum represent the top microstock shooters, or at least the top 5% are represented here. Nice work!

Amusing will be the 19% IS exclusive and if that changed with the new programs there.

Average is distorted by the small number of people, 1.5%, who are way over and above the rest. I suppose you could do median income and come up with something?

One of the things that makes it difficult for you to produce good numbers, is the variety of efforts. The breakdown based on "full time" was a good one. Maybe you can do something based on number of images online? (or did you do that already)

As I've pointed out, if I delete all my non-selling images, my RPI goes way up!  ;D It's getting a little complicated for the survey, but personally, if I only add up sold images and figure what the average download income is, I have a nice number to look at.

But assuming that people are not cooking the books, number of images online on agency X and income for agency X, then number of images for agency Y and sales for agency Y... Etc. will give you some really strong information on not only agencies but also sales for individuals. Example I have 250 images on "Crapstock" and earned $2.50 in total sales for the year, the RPI is 1 cent per image annually.

Yeah, some interesting thoughts.

It would be fun to look at the stats for everyone with over 1000 images for example.  Like you said, the few people with over 100,000 in income are brining the average way up, but at the same time the few people with income under $1000 are also brining the average way down.

I am also interested to see if iStock's recent actions will have any effect on the exclusive %

True, for sure a lot more % is under the 1000$ (but we cannot forget that we are looking into around 70 microstockers)

I am anxious to get into the 2010 survey to bring numbers down :P
« Last Edit: December 21, 2010, 06:44 by luissantos84 »

« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2010, 07:28 »
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Interesting result. I think averages are very misleading (100k plus, for example, could be anything up to a million, and maybe it is for someone, but it is being counted as being exactly 100k), another way to look at it would be to see where the point is that there are the same number of people above the figure as below it. That figure is 20,000 and I think that is probably a reasonable reflection of what a fairly effective full-timer can expect, without being hugely productive and commercial.
Some of the 100k+ returns may represent the work of several people in a factory, which should not be compared with individual contributors if you want a clear idea of what is reasonably achievable. Maybe an "individual or factory" question could be in the next survey.
I think most iStock exclusives who post opinions do so in the iS forums, not here. Several quite well-known people on iSTock have asked where they can find independent discussion groups, so it seems awareness of MSG is far from universal. Do the returns from the iStock  exclusives produce significantly different means and averages than those of the independents? That's very important, because it might give us an idea for the first time which is most lucrative - independence or exclusivity. It's a pity the iS sample isn't bigger.
On the other hand, I don't think the sample is large enough for anyone to draw any conclusions from whether the 19% of exclusives increases or decreases in the next survey. The 30% of full-timers is even less meaningful, as it translates into about 23 people, If three or four of them just don't bother to take part next time the shift in percentages would look impressive (maybe down to 24%) but would not actually mean anything.


« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2010, 08:37 »
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Interesting result. I think averages are very misleading (100k plus, for example, could be anything up to a million, and maybe it is for someone, but it is being counted as being exactly 100k), another way to look at it would be to see where the point is that there are the same number of people above the figure as below it. That figure is 20,000 and I think that is probably a reasonable reflection of what a fairly effective full-timer can expect, without being hugely productive and commercial.

The question on the survey was an exact amount.  The top earner who answered was just over 100,000.  The values in the graph were gathered together to be 1000+ income, 50,000+income etc, but in the responses (and when averaged together) they were an exact amount

Some of the 100k+ returns may represent the work of several people in a factory, which should not be compared with individual contributors if you want a clear idea of what is reasonably achievable. Maybe an "individual or factory" question could be in the next survey.

Yeah, there was actually a question about if you work as part of a team

I think most iStock exclusives who post opinions do so in the iS forums, not here. Several quite well-known people on iSTock have asked where they can find independent discussion groups, so it seems awareness of MSG is far from universal. Do the returns from the iStock  exclusives produce significantly different means and averages than those of the independents? That's very important, because it might give us an idea for the first time which is most lucrative - independence or exclusivity. It's a pity the iS sample isn't bigger.

I put a link to the poll on the istock forum last year so they had the same chance as anyone to response.. if not more...  When presenting the results at... CEPIC I believe I did a look to see how many submitters total (a guesstimate from SS, Dreamstime, iStock and Fotolia) there were and how many of those were exclusive to iStock and 19% didn't seem too far off.

On the other hand, I don't think the sample is large enough for anyone to draw any conclusions from whether the 19% of exclusives increases or decreases in the next survey. The 30% of full-timers is even less meaningful, as it translates into about 23 people, If three or four of them just don't bother to take part next time the shift in percentages would look impressive (maybe down to 24%) but would not actually mean anything.

Yeah I agree, when we start looking at small groups of 73 respondents the accuracy of the survey starts to come into question.  I  still think it paints a relativly accurate picture though and the larger picture, of 400+ respondents is a decent sample size and starts to show some significance.  Either way though, I feel it does give a general direction of the industry if not an exact representation.

Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2010, 01:26 »
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Interesting result. I think averages are very misleading (100k plus, for example, could be anything up to a million, and maybe it is for someone, but it is being counted as being exactly 100k), another way to look at it would be to see where the point is that there are the same number of people above the figure as below it. That figure is 20,000 and I think that is probably a reasonable reflection of what a fairly effective full-timer can expect, without being hugely productive and commercial.
The question on the survey was an exact amount.  The top earner who answered was just over 100,000.  The values in the graph were gathered together to be 1000+ income, 50,000+income etc, but in the responses (and when averaged together) they were an exact amount

Help please, the graph shows 6 for the over 100,000 category? Did you just write it's one not six?

I see that I asked a question and the answer was there in June. But I haven't found this one. Since you know best where you have things calculated can you help please.

2009 Median Income: $2,560
What was 2008?

As far as a group sample, and someone saying the size may be a problem, actually the number of people you have sampled should give representative, good results... for the group surveyed. The only problem I see is the group answering is biased towards the high side because only active people who read the forums and are willing to share, are going to respond. People who may make less, or are not active, will not be answering. So my impression is, this is the best case scenario for active people, working at microstock, not the broader field. No complaints, just that it does represent a very small select group, to start with. So as far as that goes, it's probably correct and accurate. :D

The opinion of the outlook for microstock in the future is a nice indicator of the population of people who responded. Very positive and coming from people who depend on it and are committed to whaat they do. The ones who quit or find it a hobby probably didn't bother to answer, because their answer is already known, by their actions.

PhotoDuneMicrostock Insider

 

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