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Author Topic: Floundering US economy...good or bad  (Read 4880 times)

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« on: May 02, 2008, 16:30 »
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It struck me today that the poor US economic conditions could be a good thing for microstock in general.

Historically, in down times here in the US, companies will cut (counterintuitively) back their advertising budgets. That could mean larger corporations who generally go for the bigger budget photo shoots, just might turn to stock or even microstock in order to trim the fat from their costs.

I know that companies such as Dell have already used microstock in some campaigns.
But I never did see them as big players in the advertising game.

Just my thoughts...anyone else?


vonkara

« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2008, 18:00 »
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I didn't read more than 2 lines of what you written and I already agree. That's also my opinion

Also they will not "cut" in their advertisment but more to try others alternative to save money. They will cut in employees..., but advertisment will stay because too much important.

I think we will sell more pictures whit "poorness" in keywords than "success", and maybe that will be the only big change I think
« Last Edit: May 02, 2008, 18:32 by Vonkara »

« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2008, 19:44 »
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Both good and bad.

Good - means the Australian dollar is 95 cents compared to 50 cents years ago. That means we can buy camera gear at great prices.

Bad - means the Australian dollar is 95 cents compared to 50 cents years ago. When the Aus Dollar was low, getting paid meant that you got almost double the money when you exchanged it to local currency.

Good - micro may make some inroads against macro

Bad - any cut in advertising budgets is likely to hurt everyone in this industry.

Good - means that new markets are evolving in previously poor economies.

Bad - US is still the major player in the capitalised world. When America hurts, everyone hurts.

« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2008, 09:26 »
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When US economy hurts, then it hurts mostly US but many other markets will be affected also though I dont think it will hurt too much. Economy changes anyway and there are many other big players like China, Russia, Taiwan etc.

It maybe means great times for agencies paying in bucks which means they pay less and prices in US are not 35% higher from year ago what was the drop od U$ here. That means they sell cheaper pics and so attract customers, pay less to photographers and still earn great money. Its pretty bad for most of photographers outside US - we have to increase portfolios very fast just to cover drop of $$ value.  So maybe great for customers but not so much for photographers - imagine you have to work 20% harder every year in your regular job just to earn the same - how long can you do it that way?

« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2008, 09:29 »
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Good - micro may make some inroads against macro
I see that as a bad point.  At the moment, it seems that it is possible to make much more money with macro than micro.  I would like to have that opportunity one day.  If micro damages macro too much, more photographers will switch to micro and that would increase competition.

« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2008, 09:32 »
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It struck me today that the poor US economic conditions could be a good thing for microstock in general.

Historically, in down times here in the US, companies will cut (counterintuitively) back their advertising budgets. That could mean larger corporations who generally go for the bigger budget photo shoots, just might turn to stock or even microstock in order to trim the fat from their costs.

I know that companies such as Dell have already used microstock in some campaigns.
But I never did see them as big players in the advertising game.

Just my thoughts...anyone else?

Didn't Dell run an ad with a microstock photo of Macintosh computer.    

« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2008, 10:52 »
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When US economy hurts, then it hurts mostly US but many other markets will be affected also though I dont think it will hurt too much. Economy changes anyway and there are many other big players like China, Russia, Taiwan etc.

It maybe means great times for agencies paying in bucks which means they pay less and prices in US are not 35% higher from year ago what was the drop od U$ here. That means they sell cheaper pics and so attract customers, pay less to photographers and still earn great money. Its pretty bad for most of photographers outside US - we have to increase portfolios very fast just to cover drop of $$ value.  So maybe great for customers but not so much for photographers - imagine you have to work 20% harder every year in your regular job just to earn the same - how long can you do it that way?

Big point... I also notice the need to upload more just to stay in the game....

Patrick H.

« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2008, 16:15 »
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Quote
When US economy hurts, then it hurts mostly US but many other markets will be affected also though I dont think it will hurt too much.
Wrong - sorry, buddy but when the US economy hurts everybody else hurts too, big time.  Who do you think buys plastic toys from China, cars from Germany, IT services from India?  The US, right.  And when they don't buy anymore, or buy less everybody will pay the price and it could be a heavy one.   Love it or hate it but the US has been driving global demand for goods and services for a long time.  That might change over time, as China and India become bigger markets but these guys are currently growing mainly because the Americans are buying their stuff putting the money they need for those shiny new Mercedes' (or whatever) in their pockets. 
 
The economy has long gone global and so has microstock. You can tell simply by checking who bought your pics on Fotolia or what time you sell something on SS (I pretty much guarantee you that a sale at 1 am PST is a European - or Asian sale). 

What does that mean for microstock? Hard to tell.  Will major companies ever overcome their bias against using non-exclusive pictures for major campaigns?  Time will show - but I wonder.  They might also use their power to drive down the prices for an exclusive photo shoot (you can call me a miserable little bottom-feeder but I would probably do that major shot for $300 less than you - just to do it).  They might have fewer new campaigns, advertising less frequently - all associated with major savings.
In general I think that recessions - unavoidable as they are - are good business for very few and so it would be foolish to assume that microstock as a whole will profit from this one. 
As always, just my 2 cents worth (these days, Euro cents, not US Dollar cents, though)

iofoto

  • iofoto.com
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2008, 17:45 »
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For what its worth, this is my third USA recession since being in the stock business. Stock photography is amazingly resilient to general economic conditions. There is currently a major decline in print use that drives the high end sales, but that is driven by competition w/ the internet, not from the economy.

On another note, recessions are perfect times to start a business. The cost of doing business is less, and finding qualified people, free-lance or full-time, is more cost effective. The cost of money is at the lowest point in many years. I just had a major design magazine approach us to advertise at 50% off the list price, doesn't get any better!

My advice would be to find and occupy your niche so that when the cycle ticks up, you're ahead of the game. Think 5 years out.

Ron

« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2008, 23:39 »
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Ron,

Thank you for your insight.
Your history in this industry and hence your depth of knowledge are indispensable!

Of course you are spot on about a downturn being a good time to start a business.

My grandfather understood this well.
He begged and borrowed all he could near the end of a historic downturn... it was known around here as the Great Depression. Then he used the money to purchase diamonds and started his own wholesale gem business.

Ah, to have such a crystal ball. I would give my eye teeth to be able to time things like that.  8)


 

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