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Author Topic: In terms of revenue is Shutterstock now a bigger agency than Istock?  (Read 11751 times)

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« on: August 01, 2013, 13:52 »
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Obviously whilst SS do publish their financial details, Istock being a private company does not, however I believe we can make comparisons.

Following the recent price reductions at IS my income there is now less than half what it was before and clearly that will be reflected in the money that IS themselves make from my portfolio.

I'm on 18% at IS and roughly, for the sake of this comparison, an assumed 30% at SS (it might be less but that would only swing the numbers even further in SS's favour). Based on those percentages it would appear that SS made more than double the revenue from my portfolio last month than IS did. However in July 2012 both agencies made an almost identical amount from my port. That's a huge swing towards SS.

Yes, Istock have their exclusives and also the higher-priced collections, but exclusive contributors have been dwindling, along with the falling sales, for many months now. Are they enough to bridge the gap in earnings from independent contributors? I doubt it.

Istock's overall revenue must have been slashed by the price reductions and, based on my own sales numbers, I think it is quite likely that SS are now a bigger agency than IS in every respect, including total revenue.

Any thoughts?


« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2013, 14:01 »
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What are we measuring this on? Overall revenue or net profit?

« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2013, 14:06 »
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What are we measuring this on? Overall revenue or net profit?

Overall revenue. We don't have anything like enough detail of Istock's costs.

« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2013, 14:47 »
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 11:30 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2013, 14:52 »
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Average sale $27 really? Sounds high to me

« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2013, 14:57 »
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 11:30 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2013, 15:04 »
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There is no istock, it's just part of Getty.  I think trying to work out what revenue istock makes when its so intertwined with Getty is a waste of time.  Don't think there's any doubt that Getty is bigger than SS but that leaves room for SS to grow.

« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2013, 15:18 »
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In 2011 Istock licensed more than 21 million files...

If this is true, then you probably don't need all the other numbers. If SS made 120 million dollars in 2011, then iStock would only have to sell those 21 million files for $6 a piece. I assume their average sale is higher than that. Things probably changed in 2012 & 2013, but that seems like a large gap to make up.

« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2013, 15:23 »
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 11:30 by Audi 5000 »

ShadySue

« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2013, 15:26 »
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Average sale $27 really? Sounds high to me

I doubt it very much. My average sale (exclusive, 30%) this year is about $5.50, though July's was much lower, because of the collection changes.
Someone on 45% with a lot of Vettas will get more, but there are a lot more of us bottom feeders to pull the average well down.

« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2013, 15:28 »
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 11:30 by Audi 5000 »

ShadySue

« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2013, 15:32 »
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Average sale $27 really? Sounds high to me

I doubt it very much. My average sale (exclusive, 30%) this year is about $5.50, though July's was much lower, because of the collection changes.
Someone on 45% with a lot of Vettas will get more, but there are a lot more of us bottom feeders to pull the average well down.
I'm not talking about RPD, I'm talking about the price the buyer pays.  In your case if your RPD is only $5.5 (you aren't counting PP sales are you?) then the buyer is paying over $18 per sale.
Ah, OK, sorry.
I'm absolutely not in the PP.

« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2013, 15:43 »
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Average sale $27 really? Sounds high to me

I doubt it very much. My average sale (exclusive, 30%) this year is about $5.50, though July's was much lower, because of the collection changes.
Someone on 45% with a lot of Vettas will get more, but there are a lot more of us bottom feeders to pull the average well down.
I'm not talking about RPD, I'm talking about the price the buyer pays.  In your case if your RPD is only $5.5 (you aren't counting PP sales are you?) then the buyer is paying over $18 per sale.

As ShadySue said "July's was much lower". That's what I'm talking about. The price reductions were a game-changer.

« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2013, 15:48 »
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 11:30 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2013, 15:55 »
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I think July is just a blip, things will change in the next month or two so I don't think any conclusions can be drawn based on last month.  They've said they are going to raise the prices of some nonexclusive content and I still believe that will happen.   There's also no substantial data on what happened last month, I may have my best July ever when it's all done and there are other exclusives reporting a good month as well.

July isn't 'a blip' if your RPD was substantially reduced because of the price reduction __ as happend to all independents and, so it would seem, some impact on exclusives too.

Whatever might happens to IS prices in the future ... is for the future. Sure, they might increase prices __ but that will probably reduce volume too.

« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2013, 16:00 »
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 11:30 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2013, 16:11 »
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1st Q SS revenue was $51 million total (that includes Bigstock, SS photos, video, illustrations). 

It's hard to figure out Istock's numbers but I think it's been said that 80% of sales are from exclusives, is that an agreed upon number?  Conservatively I would guess that the average sale price of an exclusive file is $30-$40. A nonexclusive probably is $7 (now it would have been higher until recently).  So then an average sale would be around $27, conservatively.   So 1.9 million downloads would be needed in three months to get $51 million if that was the only consideration.  There are also video, illustration, audio, and flash sales along with the partner program along with mirrored sales on Getty Images.

In 2011 Istock licensed more than 21 million files.  Lets say for arguments sake that sales fell by 50% since 2011, they haven't for me (they've gone up since then) that would mean 10.5 million a year and 2.6 million per quarter.  Even using my conservative numbers, not counting mirrored content on Getty or the partner program or the possibility that vector and video sales have a higher RPD than photo sales it seems impossible that Shutterstock is bringing in more revenue than Istock.

My sales at IS (between Jan-June) are indeed about 50% of the volume over the same period in 2011.

I don't think it's likely that 80% of Istock's sales can come from exclusive content when, from the searches I've done, considerably less than 50% of content is exclusive. For easy numbers let's say sales are 50/50 between ex/non-ex content.

In July the buyers of my images paid an average of $4.42. Let's assume that the average price paid for independent content is $5 and the average for exclusive content is $20 ... after the price reductions remember.

So ... if Istock are say currently on target to sell 10.5M images over the year ... and the average price paid is now $12.50 (based on 50/50 ex/non-ex sales) ... that would generate annual revenue of $131M ... barely more than half of the revenue SS is projecting for 2013.

If the percentage of exclusive sales were lower than 50% (highly likely based on the content distribution) then the numbers tumble even further.

« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2013, 16:41 »
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 11:29 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2013, 17:27 »
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I think you are picking unrealistically low numbers.  All those Istock/Getty contributors sell their work for around $75/dl.  Video downloads average well over $100/dl.   The estimate in 2011 was that Istock had revenue of $350 million, my guess is that number has increased although not as fast as it did in the past.   I think it's very far fetched to think that overall Istock has lost more than 50% of it's revenue in a year and a half when it seems much more likely they've grown by a substantial margin.  FWIW the average DL in 2011 was said to be over $16, maybe $20 is more realistic for now?

Don't forget that Getty themselves flatlined, during the H&F ownership, between 2008 and 2012. Getty's turnover was $950M on the last published figures so, if Istock really did grow to $350M, they would have been Getty's major earner at nearly 40% of their total. It's possible but I'd think that Getty might have taken better care of such an essential part of their empire.

I doubt that video, audio and Vetta+ sales are a particularly significant proportion of IS's total revenue __ I'd guess that they might account for 10% or 15% at best.

All we need is for a few more exclusive and independent contributors to advise the average price paid for their own images during July. Those would be real numbers that we could work back on.

Do I think that Istock's revenues have massively declined over the last couple of years? Yes I do and there's lots of evidence for it too. I know lots of long-term independent contributors, like me, whose income from Istock has dwindled to a fraction of what it was just a couple of years ago. Then there's all the ex-exclusives who have left in the last year or so. Why did they do that if incomes weren't falling?

Here's 'Pesky Monkey', a regular uploading exclusive contributor since 2007 with over 10K files and 170K+ sales, in this month's sales thread;

"$ down 25% and DLs down 56% compared to July 2012."

From the evidence that I see it is entirely possible (I'd even say probable) that Istock's revenue has halved since it's peak. That's why they keep sacking the boss.

« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2013, 17:50 »
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 11:29 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2013, 18:15 »
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I won't argue that some long time contributors have gone down in income.  I don't think their revenue is down because Istock's revenue is down, I think that money has moved to different contributors (you can look at just few of the new Getty contributors and see they brought in millions in revenue in just a couple years) and some to the Partner Program.

You claimed in another thread that this was your 7th or 8th year in microstock (you said you'd had 7 Julys). That makes you a longer-term contributor than Pesky Monkey. If massive amounts of income have moved from several of the major players then where has it all gone? Some newer contributors must have been doing fantastically __ but I don't see them celebrating on the sales thread. It's only newbies or folk who have recently been doubling or trebling their portfolios that report any growth at all (and even then it's nothing much relative to the effort involved).

You seem desperate to talk Istock up whilst ignoring all the facts and the evidence against them.

Why would Istock have slashed the prices for their 'Main Collection' by 60%+ if they weren't having a problem selling them? That even includes lots of exclusive files. That means that Istock will need to sell more than twice as many of those same files ... just to break even on the deal. Is that going to happen? Not a chance. However, with sales falling so fast, did they really have a choice if they wanted to stay in the game? Apparently not in the judgement of Istock's management.

Ron

« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2013, 18:23 »
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I know one contributor at IS, indy, who is 50% up from June and June was 1400 dollar for him/her. So he/she told me.

« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2013, 18:33 »
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 11:29 by Audi 5000 »

Leo Blanchette

« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2013, 18:43 »
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How are those numbers to the right generated anyway?

Shutterstock
74.9 arrow
iStock
  exclusive
29 arrow
  347.5
Fotolia
26.7 arrow
Dreamstime
16.9 arrow

« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2013, 18:47 »
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 11:29 by Audi 5000 »


 

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