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Author Topic: How was your 2010?  (Read 8417 times)

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« on: January 01, 2011, 05:53 »
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I'll get the official survey started soon, but I wanted to get this thread going.

How was your 2010?  Are you happy with your earnings? were they down from 2009?

...... I'll post my info later today


grp_photo

« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2011, 05:59 »
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Mine was pretty good. I didn't do much Microstock in the past 18 months but I had very good assignments and VERY good RM-Sales, traditional RF was not so great but still okay now waiting for the TAX :-(.
This year I will continue with RM but also will start Microstock again but will reduce my traditional RF-output.

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2011, 06:11 »
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growing a bit less than expected but still up from 2009 - overall happy

ShadySue

« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2011, 07:08 »
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On iStock up from 2009, and even from 2008, which was much better than 2009. But the increase over previous years was in the beginning of the year. The year end, previously my best time, was relatively disappointing. Also my pics uploaded in the past 18 months are being virtually ignored, so I've very much slowed down on uploading there.
Focussing on building my Alamy portfolio, on a long-term 'wait and see'.

« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2011, 07:52 »
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Up from 2009. Not big gains but still going in the right direction.

« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2011, 08:30 »
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Disappointingly in 2010 I was 3% down on 2009 despite adding about 20% to my portfolio. That compares to gains over the previous 4 years of +26%, 77%, 56% & 56%.

What is really concerning is that all of the slide occurred in the second half of the year. Until May I was ahead of 2009 for every month. The trend since has been quite sharply downwards which of course from January will be accelerated further by the Istockphoto reduction in commissions.

Most of the 'loss' is due to a steady drop in earnings at IS where I was 13% down compared to 2009. Fortunately this was mitigated to a large extent by a 13% increase in my earnings at SS. From June onwards IS has slipped backwards in my overall earnings every single month going from 35.5% to 30.4%. In the same timescale overall earnings at SS have gone from 24.7% in June to 35.1% last month and SS are now firmly established as my #1 agency.

Clearly my data sample is tiny compared to the overall market but it seems to me that 2010 has seen a significant shift in buyers' preferences away from Istockphoto and towards Shutterstock. Last month for the first time ever at Shutterstock earnings from PPD's and EL's exceeded (51%) those from sub sales.

Times they are a'changing.

« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2011, 09:06 »
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I'm exclusive to iStock:

539% increase in downloads compared to 2009

1461% increase in earnings compared to 2009

I increased my portfolio by 5500 images, which explains the DL. The $ is because of VETTA, E+ and Agency.

Stock photography is alive  :o

« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2011, 09:23 »
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With 33 months uploading part time, there was a 47% increase from 2009.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 10:19 by epantha »

« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2011, 09:40 »
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3rd year in microstock
~800 new files in 2010
doubled total earnings from 2009
graphs of trends in my sales over 3 years in my blog
tried and learned some new things

lisafx

« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2011, 18:52 »
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Overall I am down 10% on 2009, having increased my portfolio by 17%.  Which to be honest, is less of a drop than I expected.  Like Gostwyck mentioned, I did pretty well the first few months of the year, but started seeing a downward trend mid year where sales were less than the same month of 2009. 

I have always been heavily reliant on Istock, so the instability there has very seriously affected my overall sales.  Shutterstock, Fotolia, and even Bigstock all saw gains for me, but they were not enough to compensate for the drop in sales at Istock.  And unlike exclusives, the drops in sales numbers were NOT compensated by hikes in prices. 

vonkara

« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2011, 19:04 »
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Like Gostwyck mentioned, I did pretty well the first few months of the year, but started seeing a downward trend mid year where sales were less than the same month of 2009.  
  

Same about the beginning of 2010. Then it slowed down for almost the rest of the year. I did better than 2009 though
« Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 19:05 by Vonkara »

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2011, 19:35 »
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2010 was my BYE for money and downloads. I added a lot to my portfolio too.

2010 was the first year I can call my income a full-time salary equivalent so it was a great year here.

« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2011, 19:46 »
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I have basically given up micros in 2009, concentrating on POD and a bit of macros in 2010, which proved a good strategy. Personal issues limited my time anyway, so I did just a fraction of what I had in mind. Hopefully I'll have more time in 2011.

Happy New Year everyone, achieving whatever are your goals.

« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2011, 19:48 »
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My portfolio grew by 384 images in 2010 (fewer images than I uploaded in 2009) which represents a 19% increase (I'm not counting dollar bin files).

My income grew by 72% and my downloads by 6.5%, so I think by pretty much any measure it was a good year. If downloads had grown more than the portfolio did, that would have been better, I'll grant, but I'm not complaining :)

« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2011, 20:15 »
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Seriously, I'm just lucky I made it through 2010 alive ;D.  But, it's great to report that without being active my sales somehow increased (thanks to levels and price increases I guess).  2011 is definitely looking much better already!  My own business was way too busy in the last half.... I've decided to take just a few favourite clients going forward and to enjoy my kids while they are young enough to still want my company - I have no fantasy that I can make much of "a living" at stock without making a full-time effort, but my husband has a decent job and I think stock would be a much better investment in my time, especially when "Mom's" time affects the whole family.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 20:19 by Pixart »

Noodles

« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2011, 20:16 »
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I'm just a small player but I know stats are interesting so here you go :) Not a clue how to work the percentages but I'd reckon they are quite good and overall, after going exclusive, I'm happy with my figures.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Istock Exclusive from Aug2010. Start of year, 77 files.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jan $206
Feb $150
Mar $177
Apr $123
May $112
Jun $140
Jul $128
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Start IS Exclusive and between Jan and July added 7 more files (84 files total)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aug $253 (2009 $104)
Sep $204 (2009 $108)
Oct $273 (2009 $116)
Nov $316 (2009 $182)
Dec $512  (2009 $192)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Between Aug and Dec added 13 more files (97 files total made up of 88 images and 9 vectors)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2011, 21:22 »
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a lot better than 2009 but still too "green/new" to talk about :)


« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2011, 03:25 »
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Shutterstock 7% up compared to 2009 sales.
fotolia          11% (largest growth in absolute figures)
istock            1%
dreamstime 15%
bigstock    -0,5%
Xpert           -90%  (1st two months before they stopped)
123rf            63%  (congratulations 123rf!)
Total       4,3% growth compared to 2009.

Cutcaster, Canstock and Graphicleftovers were added in 2010 to cover up the loss of StockXpert.  They did so for only 16% :
graphicleftovers  4% of Xpert 2009 sales
canstock  12%  of Xpert 2009 sales
cutcaster  0%

Total growth compared to 2009 was 4,3% in dollars, but 11% in euros!
Conclusion :  BIG slowdown in growth, but I expected worse, especially in the 2nd half of 2010.
On the other hand :  I'm a real pessimist, so my forecasts are ALWAYS very low, and things usually turn out better than expected  :D
For 2011, I expect sales to go under 2010 (here's the pessimist again!) because of the Istock royalty-cut, the dollar-rate and the general tendency in the larger portfolios (my average portfolio went from 3100 to 4000 in 2010).

Happy new year to you all,
may there be a Big Boost in downloads AND royalties on every microstock site!

« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2011, 09:51 »
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Up 171% from 2009, with 2300 new photos.

« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2011, 09:55 »
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Up 171% from 2009, with 2300 new photos.

How much did your downloads increase though (i.e. taking out the effect of the massive price increase which you won't get this year)?

lisafx

« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2011, 12:16 »
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Up 171% from 2009, with 2300 new photos.

How much did your downloads increase though (i.e. taking out the effect of the massive price increase which you won't get this year)?

Yes, this is the part that I am interested too.  Royalty increases are great in the short term, but ITLR downloads are a more revealing trend. 

« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2011, 14:02 »
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Up 171% from 2009, with 2300 new photos.

Respect on your port!!
I would love to hear/read more data as well...

RacePhoto

« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2011, 17:40 »
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Up 171% from 2009, with 2300 new photos.

My compliments. Good to see people doing well. There's really much more of that going on here than the complaining would seem to indicate, but 171% is dandy.

I don't even know how 2010 was compared to 2009 (yet?), but after dropping all the agencies except two, it seems like my income hasn't suffered at all, in fact it went up. CrapStock isn't just a style, it's a whole way of doing business. :D

Things are so good, I might add another 20 or 30 new photos next year?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 17:43 by RacePhoto »

« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2011, 14:40 »
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I am considering myself a serious hobbyist :-)

Overall, I earned 43% more than in previous year. Not every agency contributed to this result. Shutterstock continues to earn over 50% of my royalties. 123RF is balancing around 15% as it was before. I lost around 10% of income since Getty purchased StockXpert. Images transferred to ThinkStock earn only 2% in comparison to 12% before this change. Also Dreamstime went down from %14 to 8%. On a bright side Fotolia keeps generating errand 5% and IS gives additional 8%. Few smaller sites that did not give any results in 2009 start generating sales which are usually very weak but combined give around 9%. I am not feeling well about depending mostly on income from two agencies. Dreamstime high rejection rates and lower sales make me think that they might next one that is going to sink. I am hoping that somehow Fotolia, CanStockPhoto and Veer would continue to build up momentum. Another question is IStockPhoto. Obviously they start generating me some income but at the same time they drastically lowered contributors royalties so next year might be not as good as it looks now.

See more info at my blog.

« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2011, 15:36 »
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Interesting seeing everyone's results. I was up in 2010. My amazing growth from 2009 was more subdued in 2010, but I wasn't going backwards (thankfully). IS, SS & FT all were worse in the second half than they were in the first (which is very concerning to me). I'm starting to wonder if the big four will maintain their supremacy or if there will be more equal percentages between all the agencies. I'm not predicting doom, but 2011 is not going to be simple.

« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2011, 18:25 »
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49.27% increase in income compare to 2009 with 364 new uploads.
DLs down by 9.9%

« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2011, 09:01 »
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Here's my breakdown of earnings.

also, I just did a blog post covering my last six years of microstock income
http://blog.microstockgroup.com/6-years-of-microstock-income-graphed/


« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2011, 09:23 »
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Income up 5x the amount that downloads were down. :)

« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2011, 09:38 »
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I'm iStock Exclusive, income up 41%, downloads up 0.1%.

Not sure exactly how many new uploads, but probably about 30%.

The 41% sounds good, but I did go up a canister level half way through the year, whereas this year I'll go back down, so it remains to be seen if this can be maintained!

RT


« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2011, 09:08 »
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In total revenue up 29.96%

Every site showed a % increase, the smallest of which was iStock which had a 2.2% increase over last years sales.

« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2011, 10:48 »
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@CThoman - Did you see growth in your own website sales?  I'd be interested to know if it is becoming a more significant portion of your overall revenue.

I had a solid 2010 until the September news hit.  Not much growth in DL's, but revenue grew nicely thanks to a higher RPD across the board.  The last few months I have spent scrambling to get my work uploaded elsewhere post exclusivity.

« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2011, 11:06 »
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@CThoman - Did you see growth in your own website sales?  I'd be interested to know if it is becoming a more significant portion of your overall revenue.

It really hasn't been open long enough to see a pattern. So far, it hasn't been more than 5%. I'm having a good month this month, but there's no telling if customers will come back or new ones will come in.

« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2011, 11:18 »
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Im independent, average portfolio size is now about 2k (a lot less on istock as they real pain with accepting vectors which is half of my portfolio) Ive been doing this a couple of years and so guess Im not a newbie now.

Im still in the steep growth phase pretty much as I enter year 3... earnings were up from 2009 (where I had about 1.3k images) by 230%. This represented a big jump in income and I think proves newbies can still do it and make a very good secondary income (now about half my fulltime wage as a freelance graphic designer), I think vectors help though and appear to sell much better than photos.

I wouldn't fancy doing this full time though as I think it could easily be very demoralising with all I read in this forum especially with the way things are heading commission wise. Many of the big ideas I have will never be attempted as it wouldn't be worth my time and effort which is a big shame so Im hoping something will come up that attracts bigger money for real quality and a fair commission, at the moment it seems there is only Getty RM and I don't want them taking 80% of work I've really crafted, mmmmmm!

Best performer for me in terms of percentage increase was Istock which was way ahead of the others, which of course makes life difficult with the measly commission rates and dilemnas therein! Second place bizarley for % increase was Veer, I know many don't do well there but I seem to, this was then followed by the big 4.

« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2011, 15:05 »
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 Hi All,

 We have been extremely lucky. Our income grew just a tad and it seems to be continuing, we have been building our new agency Spaces Images so I have not been shooting this year. November was 8% higher in our sales than last year without uploading any new work, with the exception of Istock because of their limit but they are not the reason for the growth. Our Micro was up just a bit but our Macro stayed strong with no new images and grew in sales, that is where the 8% growth came from. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Fingers crossed  :)
 

Best,
Jonathan

« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2011, 15:16 »
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probably useless, but:

  • Started year port with 13 photos/vids, ended with 20.
  • Became IS exclusive in Sept.
  • 364 dloads total, 1146.38 income

- not counting SS and other income as it adds up to a miniscule amount by comparison (under $50 probably)
Good luck in MMXI all!

« Reply #35 on: January 30, 2011, 10:56 »
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Overall I am down 10% on 2009, having increased my portfolio by 17%.  Which to be honest, is less of a drop than I expected.  Like Gostwyck mentioned, I did pretty well the first few months of the year, but started seeing a downward trend mid year where sales were less than the same month of 2009. 

I have always been heavily reliant on Istock, so the instability there has very seriously affected my overall sales.  Shutterstock, Fotolia, and even Bigstock all saw gains for me, but they were not enough to compensate for the drop in sales at Istock.  And unlike exclusives, the drops in sales numbers were NOT compensated by hikes in prices. 

Lisa,

Same here.  My last quarter at IS was horrible (down 25% in $) and it continues through today.  So I have five straight months of lower sales at IS and I don't anticipate as a non exclusive it will improve for me much even though I uploaded 500 new images in 2010.  Alamy has bailed me out with about $3500 in sales AFTER the 60/40 split.  So overall I am about even, maybe a little up.  Now that Fotolia is screwing their contributors it will make 2011 extremely challenging to beat 2010.  I just keep shooting and uploading.  Interestingly, on Fotolia after I posted some negative feedback on their forum about the royalty cuts, my ranking went from 1000 to 2000 within a day or two of that post.  And my sales have all but stopped.  Them and Istock are like the Mafia...you say anything negative about them and they cut your jugular.

And your port is amazing, so it's horrible to hear your feedback isn't in the black.

« Reply #36 on: January 30, 2011, 11:54 »
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Down 20% from last year, but that's primarily because I hardly uploaded anything new.  I spent most of the year researching a book, got back to work, uploaded a batch, and then couldn't work for the next three months as my gear was covered in asbestos after a huge fire in the apartment next door the very same morning.   :-[


lisafx

« Reply #37 on: January 30, 2011, 18:59 »
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Lisa,

Same here.  My last quarter at IS was horrible (down 25% in $) and it continues through today.  So I have five straight months of lower sales at IS and I don't anticipate as a non exclusive it will improve for me much even though I uploaded 500 new images in 2010.  Alamy has bailed me out with about $3500 in sales AFTER the 60/40 split.  So overall I am about even, maybe a little up.  Now that Fotolia is screwing their contributors it will make 2011 extremely challenging to beat 2010.  I just keep shooting and uploading.  Interestingly, on Fotolia after I posted some negative feedback on their forum about the royalty cuts, my ranking went from 1000 to 2000 within a day or two of that post.  And my sales have all but stopped.  Them and Istock are like the Mafia...you say anything negative about them and they cut your jugular.

And your port is amazing, so it's horrible to hear your feedback isn't in the black.

Sorry to hear you are in a similar boat.  Don't let my experience discourage you though.  It is quite possible that, having been doing this for 6 years now, buyers are just tired of what I have on offer. 

Maybe I need to dig up a new niche or shake up my style or something.  Working on getting a new studio space.  Hopefully that will help... :)

« Reply #38 on: January 30, 2011, 20:47 »
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increased portfolio about 20-25%, income in $US increased by about 10% on 2009. unfortunately the $US has been getting me around AU$0.98 for the past six months (compared to avg AU$1.30+ in 2008) and with withholding tax (only 5% for me, but it is still 5%), I ended up 2.5% up on 2009 and 5% down on 2008.

The main growth for me was the mid tier group. All I'm really managing to do on the top 4 is maintain.


 

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