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Author Topic: Microstock 2010 Industry Survey  (Read 8345 times)

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« on: January 01, 2011, 06:40 »
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The last two years I have organized a survey for microstock artists so we can get a picture of the industry and perhaps see where the industry is heading, compare how we are doing, and for simple general interest.  If you haven't been following from before, you can see the previous years results here.

Last year we had just over 400 respondents which was a great number and gives a good sample size.  Hopefully we can break that record again.  The poll asks lots of numbers questions so have your graphs handy.  I tried to keep the question count to a minimum so the survey wouldn't take too much time to answer but I also wanted to be thorough so we can see some interesting results.  I am hoping the poll won't take more than 5 minutes to answer.

As always, your answers are anonymous.

Lastly, as a little thanks for those who fill out the survey, I'm giving away a book to two random people (for those who express interest).  The two books will be Taking Stock and Microstock Money Shots.  If you are interested, you can sign up for the draw on the page after the poll.  I'll make the draw at the end of January

oh yeah, and here is the link..
Take the survey here
... and spread the word - the more respondents the better results we'll have
« Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 08:02 by leaf »


« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2011, 08:22 »
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Hi Leaf,

This question is odd since you can only answer yes or no:

Do you have any employees or do you work as a team?

Kind regards,
laflor

ShadySue

« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2011, 08:38 »
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Hi Leaf,
This question is odd since you can only answer yes or no:
Do you have any employees or do you work as a team?
Kind regards,
laflor
Although it looks like two separate questions, I assumed it was just to differentiate between people working solely on their own, and 'any other model'.

« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2011, 09:50 »
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Hi Leaf,
This question is odd since you can only answer yes or no:
Do you have any employees or do you work as a team?
Kind regards,
laflor
Although it looks like two separate questions, I assumed it was just to differentiate between people working solely on their own, and 'any other model'.

Yeah, that was the point - to try and see who was working totally on their own and who was working with someone else, either it be with a parter / team or if they have employee's.

I'm open to suggestions for rewording the question

« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2011, 03:45 »
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We are getting close to 150 responses so far.  Thanks to everyone who has taken part... only 250 more responses to reach last years record. :)

« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2011, 07:12 »
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Done. Thanks Leaf for your work on this once again. I'll look forward to the results in due course.

It's amazing really; microstock as an industry is worth something like $500M in sales annually, has several thousand active participants world-wide ... and yet Leaf's survey is the only place which attempts to collate and publish industry-wide statistics from contributors. You'd think that information might have commercial value if only you could think of a way of monetising it.

RacePhoto

« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2011, 16:48 »
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We are getting close to 150 responses so far.  Thanks to everyone who has taken part... only 250 more responses to reach last years record. :)

I always look forward to the results and a balanced viewpoint of what's going on. Keep up the good work.

This question did make me do a little questioning...

"Which microstock agencies do you actively submit to?"

And you included StockXpert which we can't submit to directly.

I suppose a question could be - do you allow partner sales on IS? Or under actively submit to, include IS partner program as a choice?

That would cover ThinkStock and StockXpert? I don't know if it's of any importance since they don't represent much of a market, but at least it would include StockXpert and ThinkStock instead of ignoring them?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 18:10 by RacePhoto »

« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2011, 17:34 »
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Done.. I would like to see more breakdowns of earnings, like macro vs. micro - phots vs illustrations vs video etc.. Thanks for doing this survey Tyler..

« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2011, 06:12 »
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We are getting close to 150 responses so far.  Thanks to everyone who has taken part... only 250 more responses to reach last years record. :)

I always look forward to the results and a balanced viewpoint of what's going on. Keep up the good work.

This question did make me do a little questioning...

"Which microstock agencies do you actively submit to?"

And you included StockXpert which we can't submit to directly.

I suppose a question could be - do you allow partner sales on IS? Or under actively submit to, include IS partner program as a choice?

That would cover ThinkStock and StockXpert? I don't know if it's of any importance since they don't represent much of a market, but at least it would include StockXpert and ThinkStock instead of ignoring them?

darrgg :(  I shouldn't have included StockXpert at all.  I use the same questions each year and did a number of updates from last year but I forgot about removing StockXpert.  I have removed them from next year's survey.

ShadySue

« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2011, 06:25 »
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Done.. I would like to see more breakdowns of earnings, like macro vs. micro - phots vs illustrations vs video etc.. Thanks for doing this survey Tyler..
Oooh, I only included my iStock earnings, not my Alamy earnings. Was I supposed to give the total? IIRC, the question said, 'earning from micro', but I could be wrong.

« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2011, 06:35 »
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Done.. I would like to see more breakdowns of earnings, like macro vs. micro - phots vs illustrations vs video etc.. Thanks for doing this survey Tyler..
Oooh, I only included my iStock earnings, not my Alamy earnings. Was I supposed to give the total? IIRC, the question said, 'earning from micro', but I could be wrong.

Yeah that was right.. just micro earnings.

« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2011, 03:54 »
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Done.. I would like to see more breakdowns of earnings, like macro vs. micro - phots vs illustrations vs video etc.. Thanks for doing this survey Tyler..

I considered for a while breaking down earnings by media type, and in retrospect perhaps I should have.  I've had a few people request that. I didn't want to make the poll any longer than it already was so I left it out.  It would probably be a good question to ask next year and rather leave something else out if necessary.

We are up to 314 responses, so a big thanks to everyone who has answered.  Only 90 more to go to break last years record.

RacePhoto

« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2011, 04:14 »
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darrgg :(  I shouldn't have included StockXpert at all.  I use the same questions each year and did a number of updates from last year but I forgot about removing StockXpert.  I have removed them from next year's survey.

I guessed that. Statistical hangover.  :D

But still the question, where in the survey do you allow someone to include StockXpert and ThinkStock earnings? (better called IS partner program sales) Or do they just get lumped in with IS, even though many people will never allow one picture to be in the partner program? It's kind of a specific condition that other agencies don't have, but one way, you are ignoring those sales, or including them for some people without making a distinction for others who don't sell that way?

Maybe it doesn't matter.

« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2011, 04:24 »
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I assume people will include their TS earnings with iStock.  There are lots of agencies that have partner programs (most do) so in that regards iStock isn't unique in any way.

I guess having StockXpert there isn't totally irrelevant as many people still get a payout from them, but I wouldn't consider them an 'active agency'.  I'll just remove them all together next year.

« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2011, 07:35 »
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375 responses and counting...

thanks to everyone who has taken the time to take part.

Let me know which stats you are most interested in seeing when the results are completed.

Things like
avg income for full time microstockers compared over the last 3 years.
amount of people working as a team with more than 1000 images
number of people involved in video compared between the years

etc..

« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2011, 13:20 »
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Sorry I am not taking the survey this year because I became exclusive to IS in the middle of the year. My stats are likely not useful to paint a general picture.

« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2011, 14:05 »
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Sorry I am not taking the survey this year because I became exclusive to IS in the middle of the year. My stats are likely not useful to paint a general picture.

Why not?
Sure they are!


« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2011, 17:01 »
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Sorry I am not taking the survey this year because I became exclusive to IS in the middle of the year. My stats are likely not useful to paint a general picture.

Everyone's stats is what makes the poll interesting.

The poll has a question on it asking if you are exclusive or not (one of the first ones) and the rest of the poll changes to cater to just exclusives.  The fact that you became exclusive is also an interesting part of the equation... One of the most interesting stats that come from the survey are how many people became exclusive and how many gave up exclusivity.

« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2011, 04:45 »
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It looks like we may break 500 responses this year. Thanks everyone!

« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2011, 09:31 »
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I've participated every year, and always look forward to the results. Thanks for giving away a copy of my book (and Ellen's too which is quite good and quite different from mine). Hope whoever gets it finds it useful.

« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2011, 09:53 »
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Leaf, I took another look at the survey questions and abandoned it half-way. I don't mind answering how much I earned from microstock but I am not willing to answer my microstock earning percentage from my total income. Even though it is supposed to be anonymous but we know one's privacy is never gauranteed in the internet age. Sorry and best wishes.

« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2011, 10:01 »
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Hi!
I took this survey last year and also this year, I think, that the results are very interesting... and it inspired me to make similar survey in my country. So if you are from Czech Republic...

... tak si prosim najdete chvilku a vyplnte par obdobnych otazek v mem fotobankovem pruzkumu. Predem velmi dekuji!

I think, that comparing results of this survey and similar survey just for Czech photographers/illustrators can be quite interesting.

« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2011, 10:37 »
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Leaf, I took another look at the survey questions and abandoned it half-way. I don't mind answering how much I earned from microstock but I am not willing to answer my microstock earning percentage from my total income. Even though it is supposed to be anonymous but we know one's privacy is never gauranteed in the internet age. Sorry and best wishes.

point taken.  I agree that some of the questions can get personal - for some people more so than others I suppose.  The purpose of the questions is obviously to get as relevant and interesting information as possible but I respect that some people may not want to answer.  One solution I should perhaps consider in the future is to make more questions optional so you could leave out the answers you didn't feel comfortable filling in.

« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2011, 10:45 »
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Leaf, I took another look at the survey questions and abandoned it half-way. I don't mind answering how much I earned from microstock but I am not willing to answer my microstock earning percentage from my total income. Even though it is supposed to be anonymous but we know one's privacy is never gauranteed in the internet age. Sorry and best wishes.

point taken.  I agree that some of the questions can get personal - for some people more so than others I suppose.  The purpose of the questions is obviously to get as relevant and interesting information as possible but I respect that some people may not want to answer.  One solution I should perhaps consider in the future is to make more questions optional so you could leave out the answers you didn't feel comfortable filling in.

That's what I was thinking. I think I left that one blank too, but I didn't mind filling out most of the others. I wouldn't want the overall results to be messed up by my leaving blank answers, because there is a lot of other good info that will come out of your survey.

« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2011, 06:43 »
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Leaf, I took another look at the survey questions and abandoned it half-way. I don't mind answering how much I earned from microstock but I am not willing to answer my microstock earning percentage from my total income. Even though it is supposed to be anonymous but we know one's privacy is never gauranteed in the internet age. Sorry and best wishes.

point taken.  I agree that some of the questions can get personal - for some people more so than others I suppose.  The purpose of the questions is obviously to get as relevant and interesting information as possible but I respect that some people may not want to answer.  One solution I should perhaps consider in the future is to make more questions optional so you could leave out the answers you didn't feel comfortable filling in.

That's what I was thinking. I think I left that one blank too, but I didn't mind filling out most of the others. I wouldn't want the overall results to be messed up by my leaving blank answers, because there is a lot of other good info that will come out of your survey.

I made the "what % of your total income question does microstock account for" question optional.

It doesn't hurt the results if you want / need to leave that question empty.  When the stats are analyzed and that question is needed, your answers will just be omitted.  For everything else they will be included.


 

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