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Author Topic: 2010 Microstock Industry Survey - First results published  (Read 11060 times)

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« on: February 01, 2011, 08:11 »
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Thanks to everyone who responded in the survey.  There were a total of 524 respondents (so far).  

If you haven't gotten around to filling out the survey yet, you can still do so and your answers will be included in future analysis.  You can find the survey here
http://microstocksurvey.com/index.php?sid=86572

Here are the results
http://blog.microstockgroup.com/2010-microstock-industry-survey-first-look/

The two winners of the books were:
Microstock Money Shots: Melanie Horne
Taking Stock: A Russian photographer who i only know the email address to

The winners were picked using the random number generator on DuckDuckGo
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 09:05 by leaf »


« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2011, 10:27 »
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I notice on the survey that if you check the box that says you're exclusive to iStock, the "Which microstock agencies do you actively submit to?" option disappears - does that mean you've added the IS exclusive numbers to the independent numbers for that chart?

Some interesting results...

« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2011, 11:27 »
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I notice on the survey that if you check the box that says you're exclusive to iStock, the "Which microstock agencies do you actively submit to?" option disappears - does that mean you've added the IS exclusive numbers to the independent numbers for that chart?

Some interesting results...

No, that answer would be just for independent artists.  I should probably make a note of that in the results.   done
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 11:30 by leaf »

lisafx

« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2011, 12:33 »
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Nice work Tyler!  Thanks for the effort you put into this.  Will be interested down the line to read more of your analysis. 

« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2011, 12:51 »
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Thanks for the initial blog post Tyler. Much appreciated.

One comment about presentation would be that it's very hard, particularly with the pie charts, to tell which of the big 4 is which as they're all shades of green. I know in the bar chart you said they read left to right and top to bottom, but not sure how to apply that to the pie charts.

If the big 4 were visually very distinct colors (red, yellow, blue, green, for example) it'd make mapping the teeny squares to the pie charts a lot easier.

I did fill out the survey, but I don't remember if you asked about portfolio growth over the year as well as income growth. I wonder if it's worth tracking income growth against portfolio growth?

Regarding the income growth, would it be possible to have a few brackets and then report growth within those brackets? What I'm wondering is whether people over $50K a year are seeing one growth rate, people $20K to $50K something else etc. It's relatively much easier for someone earning $1,000 one year to earn $3,000 the next, versus someone to go from $20K to $60K which is quite tough.

RT


« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2011, 12:59 »
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Interesting results Tyler, it may me conduct a small test of my own regarding which site sells the least proportion of my files, I've started a poll called 'Unsold files' maybe include something like this in next years survey?

« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2011, 15:10 »
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Interesting results-thanks for all your hard work!
This is my first post here so hope you don't mind my making a suggestion, but I'd like to pose two questions for next year:

1. Where does traditional stock fit into a microstockers income?
Many photographers shoot for both markets (even Yuri). Since there is some talk that the two markets are converging, it would be helpful to know if traditional shooters are also doing well on the micros, and vice-versa. Are some of those part-time microstockers making the other 60% of their income from traditional stock; are they seeing microstock earnings become a bigger and bigger part of their income? It'd be good to know.

2. What's your RPI on the micros and is that per month or per year? On the traditional agencies?
That's an income gauge that helps take into account the difference in portfolio sizes and helps you predict, to some extent, how much your income will rise as you upload more. If RPI is falling across the board, then that's important to consider when setting goals and managing your expectations.
 
Further Income Breakdown?
I'm pretty new to this & a part-timer, but I'd like to see what's possible out there for more than just the very top shooters so I'm eager to see more income data. We know half made less than $3,200, which means the top 50% of microstockers surveyed have an income that ranges from enough money to buy some new equipment next year to enough to live nicely. You said you were going to go into more detail & I'd love to get a sense of what percent of microstockers - broken down by full-timers and part-timers, fall within certain income ranges.  In that top group, for example, how many are in the $150-211K bracket, $100-149.9K, $75-99.9K, $40-74.9K, $10-39.9K, $3,200-9.9K? Maybe a breakdown on the lower end of the spectrum too, say above & below $1,000 and maybe below $100?

I know that's a lot of work, but you've hinted that the numbers so far don't tell the full story - finding some way to see the distribution of income along such a huge spectrum will give us a much better picture

(Please don't ban me from the forum. If it's too much work, I understand)  :-X

Thanks again for all your hard work!  :)

« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2011, 15:45 »
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Interesting how even with the increase in IS exclusives completing the survey that income from IS came in at 4th place.

« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2011, 17:01 »
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Interesting how even with the increase in IS exclusives completing the survey that income from IS came in at 4th place.


IS exclusives aren't included in that pie chart - there's a comment up top to that effect. That's just how independents fared - and I assume includes those independents who don't submit to IS at all. Those who do lots of raster illustrations and composites often skip IS as they reject such a high percentage of that sort of thing whereas FT and SS lap it up and sell it.

There's probably also an effect for the larger independent contributors of their smaller IS portfolio (which is true for many, I think). Plus a lot of those just starting may be skipping IS because of a perceived difficulty in getting accepted.

For 2011, I'm sure the IS percentage of the independent total will go down - other than Yuri, all independents got a royalty cut and no price increase to speak of.

« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2011, 21:29 »
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Because this was my first year, 10 months actually, and I was exclusive with DT, I did not answer the survey but I appreciate all the work that went into producing this survey.  Very educational; this will shape the direction I take as I now venture into the non-exclusive status and spread myself among other sites.

« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2011, 03:01 »
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Because this was my first year, 10 months actually, and I was exclusive with DT, I did not answer the survey but I appreciate all the work that went into producing this survey.  Very educational; this will shape the direction I take as I now venture into the non-exclusive status and spread myself among other sites.

I am glad you find the survey helpful.  It doesn't matter that you are so 'young' in microstock or exclusive to dreamstime though.  Getting all perspectives is important in a survey like this.  If only the long terms microstock artists or only those who contributed to 10+ agencies answered the results would be skewed.  We need both beginners and experienced artists to answer for the results to be accurate.

The fact that you only submit to Dreamstime and have only been involved for 10 months would both show up in your answers so it would all be taken into account.

« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2011, 03:13 »
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Interesting results-thanks for all your hard work!
This is my first post here so hope you don't mind my making a suggestion, but I'd like to pose two questions for next year:

1. Where does traditional stock fit into a microstockers income?
Many photographers shoot for both markets (even Yuri). Since there is some talk that the two markets are converging, it would be helpful to know if traditional shooters are also doing well on the micros, and vice-versa. Are some of those part-time microstockers making the other 60% of their income from traditional stock; are they seeing microstock earnings become a bigger and bigger part of their income? It'd be good to know.

Yeah those would be interesting questions to have answers to.  I did have the one question about if they submit to macro but I didn't ask anything about earnings or if they were in macro first.  That would be interesting to know.

2. What's your RPI on the micros and is that per month or per year? On the traditional agencies?
That's an income gauge that helps take into account the difference in portfolio sizes and helps you predict, to some extent, how much your income will rise as you upload more. If RPI is falling across the board, then that's important to consider when setting goals and managing your expectations.

I didn't ask the RPI question because there would be a lot of confusion on how to calculate it.   I can think of at least 4 ways to calculate it :) It was also a good question to skip since it is possible to calculate it myself from the portfolio size and income question.  I'll post some RPI some in a future blog post.
 
Further Income Breakdown?
I'm pretty new to this & a part-timer, but I'd like to see what's possible out there for more than just the very top shooters so I'm eager to see more income data. We know half made less than $3,200, which means the top 50% of microstockers surveyed have an income that ranges from enough money to buy some new equipment next year to enough to live nicely. You said you were going to go into more detail & I'd love to get a sense of what percent of microstockers - broken down by full-timers and part-timers, fall within certain income ranges.  In that top group, for example, how many are in the $150-211K bracket, $100-149.9K, $75-99.9K, $40-74.9K, $10-39.9K, $3,200-9.9K? Maybe a breakdown on the lower end of the spectrum too, say above & below $1,000 and maybe below $100?

I know that's a lot of work, but you've hinted that the numbers so far don't tell the full story - finding some way to see the distribution of income along such a huge spectrum will give us a much better picture

(Please don't ban me from the forum. If it's too much work, I understand)  :-X

Thanks again for all your hard work!  :)


Did you see the 2009 income breakdown for full time microstock photographers?
http://blog.microstockgroup.com/2009-microstock-survey-full-time-microstock-earnings-analyzed/

I'll do a similar post for 2010 again, as well as a few other earnings breakdowns.

Thanks for all your thoughts and suggestions!

« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2011, 03:19 »
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Thanks for the initial blog post Tyler. Much appreciated.

One comment about presentation would be that it's very hard, particularly with the pie charts, to tell which of the big 4 is which as they're all shades of green. I know in the bar chart you said they read left to right and top to bottom, but not sure how to apply that to the pie charts.

If the big 4 were visually very distinct colors (red, yellow, blue, green, for example) it'd make mapping the teeny squares to the pie charts a lot easier.

I did fill out the survey, but I don't remember if you asked about portfolio growth over the year as well as income growth. I wonder if it's worth tracking income growth against portfolio growth?

Regarding the income growth, would it be possible to have a few brackets and then report growth within those brackets? What I'm wondering is whether people over $50K a year are seeing one growth rate, people $20K to $50K something else etc. It's relatively much easier for someone earning $1,000 one year to earn $3,000 the next, versus someone to go from $20K to $60K which is quite tough.

Yeah, that would be interesting to have a specific question on income growth and portfolio growth.  Currently I have just been inferring those number from the results from the previous years survey.  There is a lot of different people who answered the poll this year though so the demographic could be slightly different which would skew the numbers so a specific question would be helpful.

about the graphs - I agree.  I'll make better ones in the future posts.

« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2011, 10:27 »
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Thanks Leaf for the survey and all the work i am sure you put into it. It  allows
us to plan and set realistic goals.
Smiling Jack

« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2011, 11:48 »
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I just completed the survey yesterday... when are you planning to post the final data?

« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2011, 12:13 »
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I just completed the survey yesterday... when are you planning to post the final data?


well, the 'final' data is already posted here
http://blog.microstockgroup.com/2010-microstock-industry-survey-first-look/

That post doesn't include everyone who answered in February and beyond but I'll be posting further break-downs of the results at least once a month and all those blog posts will include everyone's responses up to the date I make the post.

« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2011, 13:58 »
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Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post. I hadn't seen that other survey. Thanks for the head's up.


« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2011, 05:18 »
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Because this was my first year, 10 months actually, and I was exclusive with DT, I did not answer the survey but I appreciate all the work that went into producing this survey.  Very educational; this will shape the direction I take as I now venture into the non-exclusive status and spread myself among other sites.

I am glad you find the survey helpful.  It doesn't matter that you are so 'young' in microstock or exclusive to dreamstime though.  Getting all perspectives is important in a survey like this.  If only the long terms microstock artists or only those who contributed to 10+ agencies answered the results would be skewed.  We need both beginners and experienced artists to answer for the results to be accurate.

The fact that you only submit to Dreamstime and have only been involved for 10 months would both show up in your answers so it would all be taken into account.

Thanks Leaf, completed the survey.

i find it very interesting that DT makes up 5% of the average income but the other three "big 4" make up 69 percent of the total. Now that I will no longer be exclusive the DT, if my sales of my existing portfolio increase to reflect this average income, I will be pleased.

« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2011, 05:30 »
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Because this was my first year, 10 months actually, and I was exclusive with DT, I did not answer the survey but I appreciate all the work that went into producing this survey.  Very educational; this will shape the direction I take as I now venture into the non-exclusive status and spread myself among other sites.

I am glad you find the survey helpful.  It doesn't matter that you are so 'young' in microstock or exclusive to dreamstime though.  Getting all perspectives is important in a survey like this.  If only the long terms microstock artists or only those who contributed to 10+ agencies answered the results would be skewed.  We need both beginners and experienced artists to answer for the results to be accurate.

The fact that you only submit to Dreamstime and have only been involved for 10 months would both show up in your answers so it would all be taken into account.

Thanks Leaf, completed the survey.

i find it very interesting that DT makes up 5% of the average income but the other three "big 4" make up 69 percent of the total. Now that I will no longer be exclusive the DT, if my sales of my existing portfolio increase to reflect this average income, I will be pleased.

Are you referring to this questions "On which site did you generate the most income?"
If so, that isn't a breakdown of where people earned their money, it only tells us which site people are earning the most income on.  For me Dreamstime earns around 10% of my total income.

« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2011, 05:49 »
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thanks, very intersting. my questions from it is who is 84 and who is 16? :):)

« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2011, 11:38 »
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Hi Phil I am afraid I am the 84yr old mentioned.I am told I have trouble acting my age.I guess i will retire if I make it to 90.
Smiling Jack

« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2011, 12:09 »
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Hi Phil I am afraid I am the 84yr old mentioned.I am told I have trouble acting my age.I guess i will retire if I make it to 90.
Smiling Jack
Please keep having trouble acting your age!:) This is awesome.

« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2011, 15:09 »
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Hi Phil I am afraid I am the 84yr old mentioned.I am told I have trouble acting my age.I guess i will retire if I make it to 90.
Smiling Jack
Please keep having trouble acting your age!:) This is awesome.

sure is :)

« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2011, 17:53 »
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Hi Phil I am afraid I am the 84yr old mentioned.I am told I have trouble acting my age.I guess i will retire if I make it to 90.
Smiling Jack

cool, I wonder if you are THE oldest guy in microstock.

lisafx

« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2011, 18:47 »
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Hi Phil I am afraid I am the 84yr old mentioned.I am told I have trouble acting my age.I guess i will retire if I make it to 90.
Smiling Jack

Wow, I am really impressed!  Agree with Elena - keep thinking young!  Who knows, you might still be doing this on your 100th birthday :D

grp_photo

« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2011, 19:14 »
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Hi Phil I am afraid I am the 84yr old mentioned.I am told I have trouble acting my age.I guess i will retire if I make it to 90.
Smiling Jack
That's supercool - my deepest respect!

« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2011, 06:22 »
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Hi Phil I am afraid I am the 84yr old mentioned.I am told I have trouble acting my age.I guess i will retire if I make it to 90.
Smiling Jack

Respect! my grandfather is your age more or less and he doesn't even know how to turn a computer on (or what is it good for...) took us several years to persuade him to get a micro-wave....


RacePhoto

« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2011, 00:05 »
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Hi Phil I am afraid I am the 84yr old mentioned.I am told I have trouble acting my age.I guess i will retire if I make it to 90.
Smiling Jack

Respect! my grandfather is your age more or less and he doesn't even know how to turn a computer on (or what is it good for...) took us several years to persuade him to get a micro-wave....

Dang nabit I'm not getting no Mico Wave thingy. I don't want all those little micros flying around and filling my food up with waves...

My Sister is 67. When she has computer problems I say: remember when we used to shovel walks and rake leaves for the neighbors? Five bucks was a big paycheck. (in the 50s and 60s keep that in mind) Go grab any 12 year old walking in front of you house, and chances are they know more about computers than either of us. Ask them to fix you computer for Ten Bucks and they probably will have it running better than ever. :) In under 15 minutes too.

Keep up the good work smiling Jack. I would only hope to be alive and make it to 84, let alone be out and around shooting pictures. Although I did always aspire to be a Senior Golfer? ;)

« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2011, 04:24 »
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Thanks to everyone who responded in the survey.  There were a total of 524 respondents (so far).  

If you haven't gotten around to filling out the survey yet, you can still do so and your answers will be included in future analysis.  You can find the survey here
http://microstocksurvey.com/index.php?sid=86572

Here are the results
http://blog.microstockgroup.com/2010-microstock-industry-survey-first-look/

The two winners of the books were:
Microstock Money Shots: Melanie Horne
Taking Stock: A Russian photographer who i only know the email address to

The winners were picked using the random number generator on DuckDuckGo


I just thought I'd follow up on this and update that both books have been sent out, and one has arrived.  I'm glad the book winners didn't click 'send to spam' when I sent the email You won, you won. :)

« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2011, 04:47 »
0
hey leaf,

thanks for the interesting survey.
But I am sure that many people in this forum would like to see the datafile online for download.
So my question is: is it possible to make the data available as an excel, CSV or spss file?

Thanks
Stock_Fox  :) :) :) :)


 

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