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Author Topic: 2015: your image market predictions & personal resolutions ?  (Read 40654 times)

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ShadySue

« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2014, 22:14 »
0
I think a lot of us, me included, get stuck in the micro mindset that images aren't worth much. I've spent the past couple years brushing up my SEO skills and optimizing my images and am getting contacted directly regularly by companies who want to license my work.
Because of my exclusive IS agreement I've had to send them to Getty/IS. These companies were willing to pay thousands. They were amazed with IS low pricing. So this was a customer I developed and got a small percentage of peanuts instead of 100% of thousands of dollars. And this was with the old IS pricing.
Why couldn't you have drawn up RM licences for these companies?
RM terms can be very wide.

Later thought: I suppose that should technically be for images you don't actually have on iS/Getty.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2014, 22:30 by ShadySue »


Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2014, 22:32 »
+1
The bottom line is there are plenty of buyers willing to pay a premium for the right images and there are plenty of sales channel opportunities beyond stock. Experiment outside of stock and see what works.

exactly.


PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2014, 10:50 »
+1
I think a lot of us, me included, get stuck in the micro mindset that images aren't worth much. I've spent the past couple years brushing up my SEO skills and optimizing my images and am getting contacted directly regularly by companies who want to license my work.
Because of my exclusive IS agreement I've had to send them to Getty/IS. These companies were willing to pay thousands. They were amazed with IS low pricing. So this was a customer I developed and got a small percentage of peanuts instead of 100% of thousands of dollars. And this was with the old IS pricing.
Why couldn't you have drawn up RM licences for these companies?
RM terms can be very wide.

Later thought: I suppose that should technically be for images you don't actually have on IS/Getty.

Those are images already at IS/Getty. Their exclusive contract says you cannot license or even give away images you have with them. So whenever somebody contacts me about images I have with IS/Getty I end up sending those people IS/Getty links where they can buy them.

The IS/Getty exclusive contract also allows you to sell non-similar RM images elsewhere. For new images I create I'm making them non-similar, selling as RM through my site, and not submitting them to IS/Getty. So in the future if a company contacts me I can work with them and work out whatever pricing I want.

I don't like burning bridges so if I decide to drop exclusivity or leave IS/Getty I'd like to play by the rules and keep that door open.

« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2014, 11:11 »
0
The IS/Getty exclusive contract also allows you to sell non-similar RM images elsewhere.

I sell non similars RM at Alamy. My Alamy images are completely different (much better today IMHO!) than my mostly old RF stuff at iStock and mirrored at Getty. I am very careful not to do similars.

But - does the iStock Exclusive contract actually say anything about "similars" ? It certainly never used to. I haven't combed through it lately.

Is there a tight definition of similar ? I seem to find lots of what I would have called similars without looking too hard.

ShadySue

« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2014, 11:18 »
0
But - does the iStock Exclusive contract actually say anything about "similars" ? It certainly never used to. I haven't combed through it lately.
AFAICS, it doesn't actually forbid similars.

« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2014, 11:42 »
+2
It seems like the consensus is just about universal - there's no sense in doing new shots for microstock. 

Is anyone from the big agencies reading threads like this and wondering if maybe they've gone down the wrong road?

Probably not at SS, where all they're thinking about is the stock price and the next shareholder meeting.


PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2014, 11:57 »
0
But - does the iStock Exclusive contract actually say anything about "similars" ? It certainly never used to. I haven't combed through it lately.
AFAICS, it doesn't actually forbid similars.

Well maybe it changed. And GI/IS definition of similars isn't well defined. But I can't imagine it being okay to sell a jumping goldfish on IS as RF and a jumping betafish on Alamy as RM.

I'll need to dig it up.

« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2014, 12:05 »
+4
I think the market will lose quite a few talented and very experienced stock shooters,unless they can get their content into higher priced agencies like stocksy or offset. The returns on the micros for stills make it very difficult to predict when the investment will be recovered. And the people that know how to organize, plan and calculate shootings, when they look at the bottom line, many are concluding it is more lucrative to do assignment work.

However with smartphones and filters becoming more and more sophisticated the influx of new people and new content will steadily increase, however it will be increasingly difficult to find the right type of content. Too many people, trying things that are too simple for longterm success. And because they dont get the returns we used to get in the good years they cannot afford to invest and learn, the way we did.

I think it will be necessary for agencies to look how to actively nurture the curational talent in the crowd. There are simply too many images coming for a group of company paid editors to sort. And the world is a huge,global and complex beast,which company can afford to have specialists for all subject matters,all styles etc...?

The demand for stock media will continue to grow,if anything the coming generations are much more media savvy then we are now. And they will use cross media,photos,videos,audio for many different projects,just like people are buying different kinds of writing paper and pens today.

So curational talent that combines many different media successfully and makes it easy for people to follow,discover and buy,something like pininterest for stock, I think this would help everyone.

Personally I want to do more shoot upload repeat and will try to organize more shootings together with other artists instead of working on my own. Not just to share costs but to be able to create a bigger variety of concepts together. Then I will try to pool these files in combined lightboxes/galleries. If these can be shared with other artists like: "stock production from Cologne" that would be even better. Trying to create smaller,networked "virtual" agencies and boost each others work within  a common sales plattform.

The agency world will continue to be multi polar,SS, Fotolia,istock etc...will not disappear. There might also be a few more specialized and tightly edited collections like offset and stocksy.

Overall the stock world will become even more diverse and more confusing, which again will discourage the amateur shooter,because it will be very difficult to predict not just what to shoot but which marketplace is best to sell it through.

But for myself I am very optimistic that 2015 will be a great year.

Semmick Photo

« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2014, 14:59 »
+2
Well, I am hoping to get into RM or macro RF with a new business I started with my girlfriend, Pink Couch Photography.  I have acquired a studio lighting set and a pink couch furniture set. The idea is too shoot a niche of Burlesque, 1920s style, Not your every day business people and possibly children, all situated on and around the pink couches. At least I am going to do something different then landscapes and cityscapes. No idea how it pans out, but we hope to make enough money so that she can quit her day job.  I want to thank Ember Studio for desiging the logo, he did a great job.

« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2014, 18:15 »
+10
Personally, I am getting really tired of being fleeced. I will watch agencies very closely and will stop uploading to those with questionable business practices (many of those are not getting my new uploads already). Lucky for us, there are still a few places where stock business is done in a reasonable way.

« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2014, 18:49 »
+12
in 2015 is the most  important thing to do, to stop upload to  shity agencies, if we do that, we will survive, otherwise we can stop

Personally, I am getting really tired of being fleeced. I will watch agencies very closely and will stop uploading to those with questionable business practices (many of those are not getting my new uploads already). Lucky for us, there are still a few places where stock business is done in a reasonable way.

Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2014, 21:01 »
+9
Overall the stock world will become even more diverse and more confusing, which again will discourage the amateur shooter,because it will be very difficult to predict not just what to shoot but which marketplace is best to sell it through.

i don't think newbies are attracted by stock, they just step into stock while searching for a way, any way, to monetize their hobby.

but ... once their first batch of images is rejected or it's getting no sales and no activity whatsoever apart for 0.5$ downloads here and there in most of the cases they will quickly give up and never look back.

the irony is that the actual abysmal fees they're paying on micro agencies are the best way to keep amateurs out of the market unless they enter with a medium sized portfolio or are lucky enough to find a good niche.

moral of the story, only a small part of photography can be ever monetized as stock and most of it belongs to the low-sellers category so i can't see why stock could ever look like a get-rich-quick scheme for newbies.

modern stock is all about quantity and big portfolios and workflow, the average newbie has no chance to win at this game.

Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2014, 21:14 »
+1
The demand for stock media will continue to grow

you mean the demand for good photography will keep growing, yes i fully agree just look at any newspaper,  magazines, and especially web sites, they're all flooded with images from top to bottom, there's not a single one of these publications with less than a dozen images per page or per screen.

problem is, due to the actual oversupply how much are they going to invest in their photo budget, if they even pay for photos at all ?

so, the actual demand for stock is still synchronously linked to the actual number of serious buyers and it has little to do with the popularity of photography in general among the consumers, we can all see that photography has never been so popular like today and never been consumed in such a quantity but this is not translating in higher profits for the content makers (photographers), quite the opposite photographers are starving compared to the pre-internet era and nobody can see a way out, if even the cream of the crop are now doing workshops for a living instead of selling their images i don't think there's much hope in the long term for photography in general to get back on track.

i mean, even canon and nikon are losing money now, one has to wonder who's left doing serious cash on photography apart Adobe and a bunch of paparazzis and fine-art galleries.

« Reply #38 on: December 20, 2014, 06:11 »
+3
Rather than focus on doom and gloom and things out of my control. I will continue to try and work smarter and as long as my (rather poor) income keeps on an upward trajectory I will carry on.

« Reply #39 on: December 20, 2014, 06:19 »
0
Overall the stock world will become even more diverse and more confusing, which again will discourage the amateur shooter,because it will be very difficult to predict not just what to shoot but which marketplace is best to sell it through.

modern stock is all about quantity and big portfolios and workflow, the average newbie has no chance to win at this game.

exactly what I mean, we will see lots and lots of people every year trying to get into the stock game, but because the initial returns are so low, they will soon move on to try other digital ventures. Even very good people will have a hard time to survive as a single artist. So unusual original material will suffer, because the stock factories will have to shoot mainstream to survive.

Of course it will still be possible to make money in stock, but you will need a huge portfolio to make it work,so I suppose for the single artist it will be best to treat stock as a part time job. But many very good people are deciding to invest their time in other projects where they can make more money.

Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2014, 06:26 »
+1
Rather than focus on doom and gloom and things out of my control. I will continue to try and work smarter and as long as my (rather poor) income keeps on an upward trajectory I will carry on.

exactly and by the way there's always the option that photos that today are not selling too much can sell better a few years from now for whatever reason or due to unpredictable market changes especially in Asia.


Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2014, 06:35 »
0
exactly what I mean, we will see lots and lots of people every year trying to get into the stock game, but because the initial returns are so low, they will soon move on to try other digital ventures. Even very good people will have a hard time to survive as a single artist. So unusual original material will suffer, because the stock factories will have to shoot mainstream to survive.

Of course it will still be possible to make money in stock, but you will need a huge portfolio to make it work,so I suppose for the single artist it will be best to treat stock as a part time job. But many very good people are deciding to invest their time in other projects where they can make more money.

yes and the trend is symmetrical unless the actual situation doesn't change radically.

sooner or later the stock factories portfolio will be 100 or 1000 bigger than single contributors and at that point the random hobbyist shooting for fun will just have zero chances to see any return on investment, the factory will totally take over any search and any keyword, only obscure subjects won't be inflated but good luck selling your holiday pics of Pitcairn or Papua New Guinea ...

and i was saying this many years ago, it doesn't make sense to open the doors to anyone and their dogs, at the very least agencies should ask for a portfolio of 500 edited images before being let in.

in the past they needed traction and to show their VCs that the site was growing in popularity but nowadays this is not needed anymore, the top-4 could pretty much give the boot to 90% of their small contributors and nobody would ever notice !

now, i'm curious to see what Adobe will do about this, what strategy they're planning for FT, it could be game changer if they do things right.





« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2014, 06:44 »
+2
Yep I think part of being smarter is spotting niches that are hard for factories to emulate e.g less well known and local to me locations

« Reply #43 on: December 20, 2014, 07:32 »
+2
My predictions:

1. I expect iStock to (sooner or later) replace the artists exclusivity program with some sort of updated offering (which will amount to ending the exclusivity program). For better or worse, artist exclusivity seems like a legacy of another era which makes all of their processes and procedures more complicated (and expensive). Change could be good for a majority of contributors. (Much content at the main Getty Images site is no longer even image exclusive from what I can see).

2. Replace the iStock forum.

3. Maybe a Getty IPO depending more on external influences than anything else. ie depends where the market goes. Either way I bet that this is the long term exit route. If not, what ?

4. Jim Pickerell says there is a rumour that Getty is looking to get out of editorial. Not that this directly affects most of us here.

Me - Alamy and small cameras. Same as my 2014 prediction. That is working for me.

« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2014, 09:26 »
+1
Predictions >
I will transition out of micro...
+1  Last week I submitted what I expect was my last microstock image - now on to what I hope will be bigger things (still enjoy reading MSG though - and best of luck to everyone in 2015 :D)

In a large way, me too. I am focusing on P5 video, hoping to produce 1,000 vids in 2015. Way less focus on still images.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #45 on: December 20, 2014, 09:43 »
+1
Overall the stock world will become even more diverse and more confusing, which again will discourage the amateur shooter,because it will be very difficult to predict not just what to shoot but which marketplace is best to sell it through.

i don't think newbies are attracted by stock, they just step into stock while searching for a way, any way, to monetize their hobby.

but ... once their first batch of images is rejected or it's getting no sales and no activity whatsoever apart for 0.5$ downloads here and there in most of the cases they will quickly give up and never look back.

the irony is that the actual abysmal fees they're paying on micro agencies are the best way to keep amateurs out of the market unless they enter with a medium sized portfolio or are lucky enough to find a good niche.

moral of the story, only a small part of photography can be ever monetized as stock and most of it belongs to the low-sellers category so i can't see why stock could ever look like a get-rich-quick scheme for newbies.

modern stock is all about quantity and big portfolios and workflow, the average newbie has no chance to win at this game.

So if most newbies quit, and it seems like a lot of current contributors are moving on to other stuff, is it the handful of image factories that are causing the massive annual increases in sites' library size?

« Reply #46 on: December 20, 2014, 09:55 »
+1
the newbies quit after trying it for a while. the number of people getting online worldwide is still growing like crazy,so is the spread of smartphones. the more smartphones,the more people who will try to make some money by uploading through apps. I would expect the volume to grow very strongly in the coming years.

« Reply #47 on: December 20, 2014, 14:13 »
+4
The demand for phone photos is just a fad that will run its course.  There is absolutely nothing special about these photos. 

Returns are now so low that only serious, full time producers with very large portfolios will keep supplying the agencies with new content.  But they're not happy with the tiny returns either - it's just a case of the middleman having control of a market.  This situation will last until the big producers find ways to sell direct - the day that happens, these cr@ppy "agencies" will be on death row.  Or maybe they'll raise royalties and try to woo back all of the amateurs they've stiffed in the past.

Symbiostock didn't do it, but someone else will come along because there's an opportunity here.  An amateur like me can't pony up the time and money to set up direct sales, but the big players - or groups of them - can and will, eventually.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 14:50 by stockastic »

« Reply #48 on: December 20, 2014, 14:16 »
0
the more smartphones,the more people who will try to make some money by uploading through apps.


Have we had a thread about EyeEm already ?

Your First 100,000 Photos in The EyeEm Collection at Getty Images

EyeEm Wants to Make You a Professional Photographer !

« Reply #49 on: December 20, 2014, 14:24 »
0
The demand for phone photos is just a fad that will run its course

There are people making seriously big money in this arena ...

... the people renting office space and delivering pizza and weed to the venture funded tech startups which have an idea about algorithmically interpreting mobile and social and monetizing it as stock. 99.9% of these startups are going nowhere. But the 0.1% possibility keeps the venture money sloshing on through.


 

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