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Author Topic: Microstock Image Prices Now  (Read 10548 times)

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« on: January 09, 2010, 08:55 »
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Following Istock's new pricing structure I've checked out the prices at each of the 'Big 5' microstock agencies for comparison purposes.

The prices quoted are for a 'Large' size image, roughly 5MP, standard RF license and purchased using small credit package;

IS Exc       $22.50

IS Non-Ex  $15

SS OD       $10

DT            $7-22 (depending on image level)

FT            $8.5 - 33

StockXpert          $5

It'll be interesting to see what effect, if any, Istock's latest increase has on the purchasing habits of the buyers and if any other agency will profit as a result.

Although there is obviously a significant difference between the prices at the various agencies I still think that all of these prices are remarkably cheap, particularly in comparison to the other costs of the projects in which they are likely to be used.

Any thoughts?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2010, 15:04 by gostwyck »


« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2010, 09:33 »
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I think that there are three types of buyers: 1. higher end agency-type businesses, large companies, etc. 2. small business and 3. individuals. I think that IS caters to 1. and some of 2. and therefore the price increase will not matter too much. I think that for part of groups 2. and 3., price matters. I think that some of the 2. and 3. group that currently buy at IS will migrate over to the other sites.

My opinion is that IS will likely lose some buyers, but their price increase will fill in the gap left by that loss. They will continue to make money. I think that the other sites will see some increase in business, but unless they advertise on the scale that istock has done in the past, they will remain where they are, behind IS. If one of those sites decided to wage war, I think they stand a good chance of giving IS a run for their money. I like to root for the underdogs.

After looking into my crystal ball, that's what I came up with. Just my opinion, though. I might need a new crystal ball. :)

« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2010, 10:16 »
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What stands out there is that Getty own the highest and lowest charging sites.  They also have the bottom end of the subs market with photos.com and the new Getty microstock subs sites while istock subs are more expensive.  Quite a strange strategy but I am sure there will be more big changes in the next year.

« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2010, 14:20 »
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Are the Dt prices for a level 1 image?   I have had xs images that have given me  5.63$ which  means that even for xs size they can sell for over 11$

« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2010, 14:38 »
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Are the Dt prices for a level 1 image?   I have had xs images that have given me  5.63$ which  means that even for xs size they can sell for over 11$

Ah __ good point. DT should be about $7-22 depending on image level. I'll amend the OP.

« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2010, 14:45 »
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Same for fotolia.  I have doubled my prices there and I think that some have even trebled or quadrupled their prices.

Are the Dt prices for a level 1 image?   I have had xs images that have given me  5.63$ which  means that even for xs size they can sell for over 11$

Ah __ good point. DT should be about $7-22 depending on image level. I'll amend the OP.

« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2010, 15:05 »
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Same for fotolia.  I have doubled my prices there and I think that some have even trebled or quadrupled their prices.


Another good point! Ammended again to reflect higher-priced images at FT. Suddenly Istock's exclusive images are starting to look competitively priced.

« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2010, 17:15 »
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Interesting comparison.

Just a question: A "large" images about the same resolution at all agencies or do some sell the max resolution at the "large" price?

« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2010, 18:07 »
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Ah __ good point. DT should be about $7-22 depending on image level. I'll amend the OP.
FYI - most of my sales on DT this year were higher level images. Moneywise, they drive up my RPD a lot.

« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2010, 20:10 »
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Same her that was why I thought it was worth mentioning.  My RPD has been over 2$ for several months now.
Ah __ good point. DT should be about $7-22 depending on image level. I'll amend the OP.
FYI - most of my sales on DT this year were higher level images. Moneywise, they drive up my RPD a lot.

« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2010, 21:55 »
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Howdy,

One idea is they could make one flat price for a Micro image at any size. $10 bucks would work for me. I would make a lot more money, even if they dropped to half as many sales as they are now at the new $10 price.

Cheers,
Jonathan

« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2010, 22:09 »
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__snip__
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 09:09 by sjlocke »

« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2010, 00:25 »
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Howdy,

One idea is they could make one flat price for a Micro image at any size. $10 bucks would work for me. I would make a lot more money, even if they dropped to half as many sales as they are now at the new $10 price.

Cheers,
Jonathan

For sure Jonathan. It is an unfortunate situation we're in where such high profile usages are sold for so little money. Even in the game of number it doesn't make sense.

« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2010, 06:34 »
0
Howdy,

One idea is they could make one flat price for a Micro image at any size. $10 bucks would work for me. I would make a lot more money, even if they dropped to half as many sales as they are now at the new $10 price.

Cheers,
Jonathan

They tried that at Snapvillage same price no matter what the size. Wasn't a roaring sucess, but not the only issue with that site
 (I love the term someone else came up with for snapvillage = craphamlet)

« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2010, 11:57 »
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(I love the term someone else came up with for snapvillage = craphamlet)

 ;D  or you could take that one step further to say :

their minds just SNAPped and they VEERed off course???    ;D ;D ;D

« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2010, 18:12 »
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One idea is they could make one flat price for a Micro image at any size. $10 bucks would work for me.
The current price range in stock is unsustainable in the long run, period. Some type of shoots will disappear from in the long run, since the return doesn't cover the costs. What might stay are left-overs from assignment shoots, but that's only true for a small minority of professional photographers. The amateurs will keep uploading their glorified snapshots.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2010, 22:27 »
0
Howdy,

One idea is they could make one flat price for a Micro image at any size. $10 bucks would work for me. I would make a lot more money, even if they dropped to half as many sales as they are now at the new $10 price.
Cheers,
Jonathan
They tried that at Snapvillage same price no matter what the size. Wasn't a roaring sucess, but not the only issue with that site
 (I love the term someone else came up with for snapvillage = craphamlet)

I don't think giving contributors total control to set their own pricing is a good idea. There needs to be consistency otherwise it becomes a fleamarket.


« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2010, 22:05 »
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Hi Paulie,

 I agree. I wouldn't think setting your own price would be good for the agencies or the shooters, confusing for buyers. Maybe a flat price set by the agency across the board, one size fits all. Again its just an idea. Anyone wish to comment and add other options, love to hear them  ;D

Best,
Jonathan

« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2010, 22:11 »
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That's a poor idea.  It takes money to purchase equipment to make larger sizes, and those who can make those available deserve the compensation for the flexibility a larger size provides.

« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2010, 22:24 »
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^^^ ... is the right answer.

Providing the contributor with the ability to set their own prices, within certain constraints, doesn't seem to have done Fotolia much harm, especially considering they're generally accepted to be the fastest growing agency out there. Yuri seems to doing just fine pricing his stuff at 4 credits for the smallest size.

« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2010, 04:51 »
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I don't claim to ultimate truth, but it seems to me Fotolia type of work - or something like this variant - is the optimum both for sellers and buyers. If you are a real professional and you're making really good shoots - with all this equipment - your images can't be of a small cost. And the buyers must have a chanse to choose, if they wish to have an amateur image for the small price or really good work from the professional.

What I want to say is that in the market there is a need in all types of shoots with all types of pricings, and it's fair to give you a chanse to choose if you want to have higher price and more rare sells or a low price and lots of buyers for your works. Ideal scheme in my oppinion is when an agency sets you a "roof' for your prices for the image according to your professional level and you're free to set desired sum for the shoot.

« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2010, 07:58 »
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Howdy,

One idea is they could make one flat price for a Micro image at any size. $10 bucks would work for me. I would make a lot more money, even if they dropped to half as many sales as they are now at the new $10 price.

Cheers,
Jonathan


I know at least two (German) agencies that work exactly like this:
www.shotshop.com (flat price 30)
www.digitalstock.de (photographer can choose between three price levels: 4,99, 9,99, 14,99)

Both pay 50% and have at least some sales, but far from the volume of the big micros (in my case their at sixth and seventh place behind the big five).

« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2010, 01:48 »
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  Hi All,

 Yea just an Idea I was throwing out. I don't think having a bigger sensor makes much difference these days, top cameras are now or will be in everyones price range soon it's how well you can shoot quality and what the buyer needs that counts. I just know that the percentage average at even my biggest selling company isn't $5 dollars a sale and if it were I would be pretty happy.
 Hi there Agnesh,
 I was under the impression you only got to raise your price point at Fotolia based on your sales status or how many downloads you already have. Am I mistaken and anyone can choose there price point at Fotolia, that would be great news. Please fill me in more on this topic, I am clueless to their agreement for pricing images.

Thanks,
Jonathan

« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2010, 09:18 »
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Hi Jonatan!

  Hi All,
 I was under the impression you only got to raise your price point at Fotolia based on your sales status or how many downloads you already have. Am I mistaken and anyone can choose there price point at Fotolia, that would be great news. Please fill me in more on this topic, I am clueless to their agreement for pricing images.

Thanks,
Jonathan


No, i was talking mostly "I wish I could" - as far as I remember in Fotolia you can change for a little some prices - double it for the small image for example or simply make bigger for the extended license. The higher you level is the greater freedom of changes you have. But all the same you're not totally free in pricing, its a pity.

« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2010, 09:36 »
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Once you reach emerald you can double your prices for all size images and set the ELs at 200$.  When I reached Emerald level I only needed 10,000 dls but recently that has been changed to 25,000 making it much more difficult to achieve. At the higher levels you can increase the prices even more.

  Hi All,

 Yea just an Idea I was throwing out. I don't think having a bigger sensor makes much difference these days, top cameras are now or will be in everyones price range soon it's how well you can shoot quality and what the buyer needs that counts. I just know that the percentage average at even my biggest selling company isn't $5 dollars a sale and if it were I would be pretty happy.
 Hi there Agnesh,
 I was under the impression you only got to raise your price point at Fotolia based on your sales status or how many downloads you already have. Am I mistaken and anyone can choose there price point at Fotolia, that would be great news. Please fill me in more on this topic, I am clueless to their agreement for pricing images.

Thanks,
Jonathan

« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2010, 14:14 »
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Thanks for ,

 Yea this canister changing thing that some companies are doing only represents that either they are greedy or they didn't think their companies start up plan very well. Either way it looks bad for the company that makes these changes, especially without warning. At least Istock is giving everyone a chance to decide before they lock in, I respect that.

Best,
Jonathan

« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2010, 15:03 »
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Yea this canister changing thing that some companies are doing only represents that either they are greedy or they didn't think their companies start up plan very well. Either way it looks bad for the company that makes these changes, especially without warning. At least Istock is giving everyone a chance to decide before they lock in, I respect that.

Yes indeed. Compare and contrast how FT introduced a change in canister levels without even the courtesy of an announcement let alone a notice period, a significant price increase to compensate losses and also a compromise on the time-line. How very different to IS.


« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2010, 10:17 »
0
Following Istock's new pricing structure I've checked out the prices at each of the 'Big 5' microstock agencies for comparison purposes.

The prices quoted are for a 'Large' size image, roughly 5MP, standard RF license and purchased using small credit package;

IS Exc       $22.50

IS Non-Ex  $15

SS OD       $10

DT            $7-22 (depending on image level)

FT            $8.5 - 33

StockXpert          $5

It'll be interesting to see what effect, if any, Istock's latest increase has on the purchasing habits of the buyers and if any other agency will profit as a result.

Although there is obviously a significant difference between the prices at the various agencies I still think that all of these prices are remarkably cheap, particularly in comparison to the other costs of the projects in which they are likely to be used.

Any thoughts?


thanks for starting the conversation gostwyk.  I went ahead and gathered the info for the rest of the sizes and made a post on the blog
Image prices and sizing comparison


 

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