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Author Topic: Revenue per Download (RPD) and Revenue Per Image (RPI)  (Read 4116 times)

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« on: February 24, 2023, 13:10 »
0
I wrote an article about Revenue Per Download (RPD) and Revenue Per Image (RPI). You can read the full article here: https://pangamedia.com/microstock-general/rpi-rpd-the-golden-microstock-statistics/
For those that don't want to read the whole article, here is a quick summary:

I use those stats mainly as a feedback to see whether I am still improving and how I'm improving. Thereby my aim is to keep my RPI the same or improve it. When the RPI is stagnating or decreasing, I can easily spot why (decreasing effort/ quality of my images) and try to improve it once more. Another simple use is of course to look at your RPD per agency and see if it is worth your energy.

Drawbacks are the following:

 - Never look at one of the two separate, moreover you should also know your portfolio size to be able to draw any conclusion.
 - Conclusion really means indication, as there are more factors that have not been taken into account
 - Depending on how much you sell, you should not look at to small time spans (100 downloads a month is sufficient for a monthly time span)


I know at least some people on this forum are using those stats, what do you use them for? Did I miss out on some important features?



« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2023, 14:23 »
+1
both are essentially useless since the size of portfolio has massive effect on RPI, while actual income doesnt depend on size. same for RPD - a few EL can drastically change RPD .  i do calc RPD but dont use it to make any decisions. my SS RPD is always 20-30% lower than AS but my earning from SS are 2-3 times less - so what use is RPD?

and a 3-4 mo running average makes more sense since can be big differences from month to month

« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2023, 10:04 »
0
both are essentially useless since the size of portfolio has massive effect on RPI, while actual income doesnt depend on size.

You are right that Porfolio Size is important, something I did write in my article but forgot to mention in this 'quick' summary. However, in the same sentence you are talking about actual income: while looking at RPI and RPD you do not have a need for your actual income. If that is what you want to now you simply look at how much you earned.

same for RPD - a few EL can drastically change RPD . i do calc RPD but dont use it to make any decisions.

Yes, a few EL can drastically change RPD, hence the third point of my drawbacks. " - Depending on how much you sell, you should not look at to small time spans (100 downloads a month is sufficient for a monthly time span)"  Note: 100 downloads is still at the low side. Another option would be to simply remove this large EL. (While calculating your statistics you can remove outliers if you have a well reasoned reason)

my SS RPD is always 20-30% lower than AS but my earning from SS are 2-3 times less - so what use is RPD?

1. It's telling you that AS royalties are better, so in that point of view AS is worth your attention as they give higher royalties
2. It might tell you that SH has more customers or that your sell 2-3 times less than on Shutterstock. It could also be that you simply have much less images on Adobestock.
Now the important part here is that you try to figure out what is the case. If your images at AS sell 2-3 times less than on Shutterstock, why is that? Note: I sell roughly the same amount of images on AS and SH every month with an almost identical portfolio so in my point of view AS does not have much less customers than SH. And from what I'm reading on this forum, AS is winning terrain on SH for a lot of people.

and a 3-4 mo running average makes more sense since can be big differences from month to month

Completely right: I wrote this in my article as well indeed. Also, you should not fixate yourself for a long time on those statistics as they are only a feedback.


I would like to come back on your statement "both are essentially useless'. I wrote the following:
"I use those stats mainly as a feedback to see whether I am still improving and how I'm improving. Thereby my aim is to keep my RPI the same or improve it. When the RPI is stagnating or decreasing, I can easily spot why (decreasing effort/ quality of my images) and try to improve it once more"

Much more important for me is too see how I'm doing at a particular agency. Hence, I usually do not compare those stats between agencies but rather look at them per agency. Especially when I change something in my workflow I like to see an improvement in my RPI as a positive feedback. So it could be a very useful feedback to yourself if used right.

« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2023, 13:53 »
+2
After my first few years (and maybe even then) I think the changes at the sites make a bigger difference than any changes I made other than the number of images I uploaded and even that is small potatoes compared to a site taking 20 or more percent of every sale. In general RPI and RPD has been on a downward trend for a long time. Actual income seems to have leveled off at a much lower level, but it is still dropping if you take inflation into account and the sites probably are about to announce some more exciting news.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2023, 14:28 »
0
Both are essentially useless but interesting. Part of the problem is, looking for useful and significant information, is complicated and at the same time, RPI or RPD is over simplified.

With 100 images, RPI is easy, at 1,000 you get a different view. When the total reaches 2,000 change is less noticeable and just for a number at 5,000 there's so much variety, age, styles, types, subjects, and diversity, that RPI means nothing. Plus if you wanted to make the numbers more positive and feel better about your work, you can just delete 1,000 unsold images and suddenly the RPI goes up.

RPD is at least closer, but because of the mix of ways our images are licensed, it's a mess. Unless of course someone has found a way to make good sales numbers, for a fair payback, and eliminated, Connect sales, Subscriptions, special contracts, novel use and whatever name the agencies toss out for heavily discounted uses. If you take out the minimal licenses and then drop the ELs, you might as well remove the occasional OD and Singles, because those are a small percentage of the normal and usual licenses.

In which case, the real RPD is what we get, from the standard license, most of the time and it's a nice easy number to determine. Not worth all the math?  :)

Just for a personal measure, I have 5X more images on SS than AS and I make more from AS. Let me add, it's an unfair comparison, because most of the images that make me, most of the money on AS are not acceptable for SS. And 90% of the images than make up the 5 times more images on SS, aren't on AS, but they are a majority of my SS earnings.

I really find myself, looking at something that's personally more important and telling. How much did I get paid last month, by which agency. Is that number increasing or decreasing?


« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2023, 21:03 »
0
I use RPI at each agency as a guide to where I should focus future uploads, since it takes portfolio size out of the comparison.  RPD is useless without total DLs and then you are just looking at total revenue.  Alamy has my highest RPD by far but DLs are so few that it isn't in the top five for total revenue.  Plus we can't even calculate RPD for some of them (like Canva) since they don't bother to tell us the total DLs.  The agency with the highest RPI is the one that is yielding the most per accepted image so should focus on getting more into that one to increase revenue in the future.

« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2023, 13:18 »
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Hmmm, i think some kind of long tail strategy works with low RPI.

« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2023, 13:56 »
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I use RPI at each agency as a guide to where I should focus future uploads, since it takes portfolio size out of the comparison.  RPD is useless without total DLs and then you are just looking at total revenue.  Alamy has my highest RPD by far but DLs are so few that it isn't in the top five for total revenue.  Plus we can't even calculate RPD for some of them (like Canva) since they don't bother to tell us the total DLs.  The agency with the highest RPI is the one that is yielding the most per accepted image so should focus on getting more into that one to increase revenue in the future.

That's also a good point of view indeed. Although, I would like to add that RPD is useless for you because you are not interested in how much you get per download but rather the end picture. Something you are free to do but others in this industry choose to pay attention to because for one if too many start uploading to Canva might be leading to lower royalties at SH/AD etc. A discussion that can be read on this forum on several occasions. (https://www.microstockgroup.com/canva/canva-now-pays-0-6-cent-pr-license!/msg0/?topicseen#new / https://www.microstockgroup.com/general-big-6/my-first-month-with-freepik-!/msg583673/#msg583673 / https://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/filmsupply-artgridalternative-video-platforms/msg578268/#msg578268). At the start I did not care about RPD either, however nowadays I do not upload my assets to agencies with unlimited subscriptions (anymore). Only time will tell us what would have been the better strategy  ;)

After my first few years (and maybe even then) I think the changes at the sites make a bigger difference than any changes I made other than the number of images I uploaded and even that is small potatoes compared to a site taking 20 or more percent of every sale. In general RPI and RPD has been on a downward trend for a long time. Actual income seems to have leveled off at a much lower level, but it is still dropping if you take inflation into account and the sites probably are about to announce some more exciting news.

Yeah, income from stock has been reduced drastically. Sites are announcing 'excting news' a tad too much and there is a lot more competition than in the early days (From what I heard because I'm not that long active in the microstock industry). But there are still people earning decent money from microstock (inclusive me), so it is not all bad and worse.

Hmmm, i think some kind of long tail strategy works with low RPI.


That would be the same actually as your your RPI does not differentiate between a few high sales and a large volume of small sales. I you would look at amount of sales a long tail strategy would work out fine yeah.


With 100 images, RPI is easy, at 1,000 you get a different view. When the total reaches 2,000 change is less noticeable and just for a number at 5,000 there's so much variety, age, styles, types, subjects, and diversity, that RPI means nothing. Plus if you wanted to make the numbers more positive and feel better about your work, you can just delete 1,000 unsold images and suddenly the RPI goes up.

That's an interesting one yeah. Rather than looking at total RPI you could split your portfolio up and look at the RPI per theme (chrismas/halloween/etc) or just grab the last 2000 assets of your portfolio and look at the RPI of those assets in stead of all. But I think that is necessary only for very large portfolios (mine is 6000 assets and I can still see notable changes in my RPI/RPD).
In my opinion you go wrong here though: "there's so much variety, age, styles, types, subjects, and diversity that RPI means nothing.' This variety might be an important factor to your RPI, if you change style suddenly people might not like your assets not as much anymore. Or if you stop putting more variety in your portfolio (duplicate older themes) your assets might not be downloaded as much anymore (since they are duplicates)

Just for a personal measure, I have 5X more images on SS than AS and I make more from AS. Let me add, it's an unfair comparison, because most of the images that make me, most of the money on AS are not acceptable for SS. And 90% of the images than make up the 5 times more images on SS, aren't on AS, but they are a majority of my SS earnings.

Why are those images not accepted at both agencies? Are they editorial?

RPD is at least closer, but because of the mix of ways our images are licensed, it's a mess. Unless of course someone has found a way to make good sales numbers, for a fair payback, and eliminated, Connect sales, Subscriptions, special contracts, novel use and whatever name the agencies toss out for heavily discounted uses. If you take out the minimal licenses and then drop the ELs, you might as well remove the occasional OD and Singles, because those are a small percentage of the normal and usual licenses.

In which case, the real RPD is what we get, from the standard license, most of the time and it's a nice easy number to determine. Not worth all the math?  :)

It's not too much math in my opinion (especially as my computer does it without any effort of myself)  ;). I would not take out any of that because they determine the average RPD (although I did not implement connect sales). My SH RPD ranges from 0.3 to 2 dollars. That's better than the standard license of 10 cents which is sadly all too common.


« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2023, 14:02 »
+2
A Modest Proposal: we should encourage the use of RPD & RPI since those focusing on useless stats become less competitive wrt the rest of us or are making the wrong strategic decisions! evolution in action!
« Last Edit: February 27, 2023, 14:04 by cascoly »

« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2023, 14:42 »
0
A Modest Proposal: we should encourage the use of RPD & RPI since those focusing on useless stats become less competitive wrt the rest of us or are making the wrong strategic decisions! evolution in action!

Just trying to have a nice discussion about how to use them here mate, nothing else :)

« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2023, 16:20 »
+2
The topic is as old as microstock itself.

The bottom line is that each contributor must decide for themselves.

My subjective view is that there has to be an acceptable ratio between the work I invest and the bottom-line monthly income.

One contributor makes $3,000 a month and the other makes $500. Maybe one just has significantly more images. Or significantly better images. Then the difference is quickly understandable.

The RPI and RPD actually start to matter when one contributor has to work 240 hours a month to do it and the other 10. Maybe because one is doing it as a full time job and the other is just doing it on the side.

In the end, it's like a paid hourly wage. And there are different claims there, too. One may be satisfied with $10, the other not until $100. One may be able to live on $10 an hour - perhaps because he/she lives in a place where that is already an above-average income. The other must have $50 an hour because otherwise he/she is unable to make a living with his earnings in the place where he lives.

In this respect, the relevance of RPD and RPI is absolutely subjective and depends on the personal life situation. And one's own demands.

« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2023, 13:46 »
0
A Modest Proposal: we should encourage the use of RPD & RPI since those focusing on useless stats become less competitive wrt the rest of us or are making the wrong strategic decisions! evolution in action!

Just trying to have a nice discussion about how to use them here mate, nothing else :)

sorry - i thought it was clear from 'modest proposal' that i was not serious!

« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2023, 13:53 »
0
sorry - i thought it was clear from 'modest proposal' that i was not serious!

No worries, also my bad.. sometimes it's hard to guess intentions by just reading

The topic is as old as microstock itself.

As old as microstock itself, but it stays interesting  :D 
One contributor makes $3,000 a month and the other makes $500. Maybe one just has significantly more images. Or significantly better images. Then the difference is quickly understandable.

The RPI and RPD actually start to matter when one contributor has to work 240 hours a month to do it and the other 10. Maybe because one is doing it as a full time job and the other is just doing it on the side.

Comparing the RPI, RPD and (portfolio size) you could see this quickly  ;)

And yeah, whether your RPD and RPI is acceptable is absolutely subjective and depends on the personal life situation.



« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2023, 15:08 »
0
Maybe interesting.
A comparison of average RPI from some stock photographers.
https://photutorial.com/how-much-can-you-make-selling-stock-photos/


« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2023, 16:23 »
+1
Maybe interesting.
A comparison of average RPI from some stock photographers.
https://photutorial.com/how-much-can-you-make-selling-stock-photos/

I wonder if chatgpt wrote that. I've certainly had sales below the minimum listed there.

« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2023, 17:14 »
0
Maybe interesting.
A comparison of average RPI from some stock photographers.
https://photutorial.com/how-much-can-you-make-selling-stock-photos/

Hmmm,

I find this source rather questionable.

"Key Takeaways
On average, stock photographers make $0.02 per image per month with stock photos, while professionals make $0.05-$0.25 per image per month."

Professionals, in my view, must be many times higher than $0.25. Some who are here on the forum are at ten times that without being professionals.

And I also find it very difficult to imagine that contributors create or shoot 10,000 images, keyword them and upload them to earn an average of $200. I think the data is wrong.

« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2023, 18:56 »
0
Maybe interesting.
A comparison of average RPI from some stock photographers.
https://photutorial.com/how-much-can-you-make-selling-stock-photos/

Hmmm,

I find this source rather questionable.

"Key Takeaways
On average, stock photographers make $0.02 per image per month with stock photos, while professionals make $0.05-$0.25 per image per month."

Professionals, in my view, must be many times higher than $0.25. Some who are here on the forum are at ten times that without being professionals.

And I also find it very difficult to imagine that contributors create or shoot 10,000 images, keyword them and upload them to earn an average of $200. I think the data is wrong.

It is clear that the person who wrote this does not know the first thing about the stock photo market or statistics.

Just consisder the first diagram, which is labeled "Mean earnings per royalty-free license sale" and compare it to the table below.

What they call "mean" is not the arithmetic middle or anything making any sense, but the mean distance between the minimum and maximum value given in the table for license sales for the various agencies.

That way, they calculate a "mean earning" of about three dollar per sale for Shutterstock, not taking into account that the 0.1$ sales are far more frequent than the 5.8$ sales.

The rest is mainly anecdotic evidence form people who published there earning on Youtube channels or Websites.

The first person he quotes has uploaded a whopping number of 30 images to Shutterstock and had 10 saels in four months. On that solid data basis, they calculate the average earnings per month.

The other people they mention have uploaded more images, but it still remains anecdotical. The number about what professionals earn per image and month seems to be taken from these anecdotes.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2023, 19:01 by Big Toe »


« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2023, 21:02 »
0
The best KPI is not RPD nor RPI, but RPYPI = revenue per year per image.

It takes the size of the portfolio in consideration, the performance of the assets and normalizes everything on the time scale.

High RPYPI means success and efficiency.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2023, 21:08 by Zero Talent »

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2023, 12:17 »
+1
"Stock photo agencies algorithms favor consistent uploaders." show me the evidence not someone on Youtube says so. Key Takeaway... if you upload more you will earn more.  ;D

I think the numbers for the minimums are not correct. I've had credits under that for most of the top agencies.

There is a nice collection of good advice such as research trends, avoid over populated images, use accurate keywords and more.


The best KPI is not RPD nor RPI, but RPYPI = revenue per year per image.

It takes the size of the portfolio in consideration, the performance of the assets and normalizes everything on the time scale.

High RPYPI means success and efficiency.


Good viewpoint.


 

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