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Author Topic: Production costs and RPI - please somebody help me with my Maths!  (Read 2837 times)

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« on: March 13, 2013, 10:21 »
-1
Approximately, what do you think your current annual RPI is?

If Im not mistaken, even somebody as prolific as Yuri Arcus is only claiming an annual RPI of about $5 these days.

So how does that work?

Yuri pays, expensive model fees, stylists, makeup artists, location fees, travel costs, props, retouchers, keyworders, uploaders, etc etc and more.

After a days shoot, he has maybe what 50 unique images to sell?
(or more?)

Based on 50

50 images at $5 RPI = $250/year

x 5 year life = $1250

This is surely a massive financial loss!
Or is my Math all wrong?
Wheres the profit?

I can just about understand that if you keep production cost to zero (dont pay models, blag locations, borrow props etc) and still produce first class images, then possibly/maybe I can see a modest living to be made. However, and Im genuinely intrigued, how can the big boys (and girls) spend all that money on production?


michealo

« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2013, 10:28 »
0
I suspect after a days shoot he has many more than 50 useable images, for a start he may have 3 shooters + a videographer.

And it's likely that he is deducting costs so the RPI is the net profit.

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2013, 10:31 »
0
I try to keep production costs near zero so I can't comment about costs.

But - contrary to my own expectations when I started 6 years ago - I am seeing almost no fall in sales of old pictures (except in case of dramatic changes in search engines). So the life span of pictures is well over 5 years.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 10:37 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

Microbius

« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 10:35 »
0
My RPI hovers around the $3/month level at the moment, down from $5-$6/month in 06/07. I fully expect it will slip further as my portfolio grows.
I find it a very useful stat for comparing month to month, letting me know if I am creating salable images and so on, but my main concern is the overall profitability of the business. As long as that increases what an image makes individually isn't of primary concern.

« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2013, 11:54 »
+1
My RPI is per month... not per year.
Probably the same for Yuri.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2013, 12:25 »
+1
I don't do many people shots and so my costs are more my own time and some travel.

I did a big analysis of my earnings per online image in my review of 2012: http://www.backyardsilver.com/2013/01/december-earnings-and-review-of-2012-for-stock-photography/

My earnings per image per month seems to hover around the $0.70 level.

Steve

« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2013, 13:56 »
0
There is no way that Yuri's RPI is only 5$ a year.  Possibly 5$ a month.
I made 5$ a month RPI a few years ago but it is now not much more that 2$

« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2013, 14:30 »
0
RPI for my 5 years in microstock:
http://microstock.pixelsaway.com/5-years-in-microstock-photography-return-per-image-trends/

so, around $1 per month.

I just finished my taxes for 2012. My expenses are about 23% of earnings.

« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2013, 15:12 »
+1
Yuri has been quoted saying his RPI was $5.00 .. and many anti-microstockers love to jump on that assuming it is per year.  He has said however it was per month.  That was a few years ago now.. who knows what it is now.

« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2013, 15:24 »
+1
Yuri has been quoted saying his RPI was $5.00 .. and many anti-microstockers love to jump on that assuming it is per year.  He has said however it was per month.  That was a few years ago now.. who knows what it is now.

The convention amongst traditional stock shooters was that RPI was calculated per year. Just like people tend to state their salary or income per year, not per month. Months have too much seasonal variation and even that can vary hugely between portfolios depending on their content. My best earning month of the year can be nearly double that of the worst.

« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2013, 16:30 »
0
Interesting posts thanks.

I'm not anti-microstock really, on the contrary, I'd like to make it work for me :)

I'd just like to understand the Math and figure out if it's really feasible to make a return especially if you fork out loads of wonga on production?

I just re-read John Lunds 2011 interview with Yuri and indeed, its not clear whether the RPI figures in question 11 (ish) are yearly or monthly.

http://blog.johnlund.com/2011/01/yuri-arcurs-leading-microstock.html

If its monthly, then clearly that helps with the Math quite considerably.

On the other hand, it does lead to yet another curios . where on earth do all these downloads actually get used?

« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2013, 16:35 »
+2
On the other hand, it does lead to yet another curios . where on earth do all these downloads actually get used?

Yes, on earth. ;)

It all depends on you.  Your costs, your subject, your production rate, etc.  Don't judge yourself by Yuri or anyone else.

« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2013, 17:05 »
+1
On the other hand, it does lead to yet another curios . where on earth do all these downloads actually get used?

Yes, on earth. ;)

It all depends on you.  Your costs, your subject, your production rate, etc.  Don't judge yourself by Yuri or anyone else.

... and a lot of them don't get used. Microstock is so cheap that a designer can purchase several images and only use the one that works the best.  When they are on subscriptions they can just download everything that looks good and use what works when they are putting their project together.

« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2013, 17:23 »
+1
... and a lot of them don't get used. Microstock is so cheap that a designer can purchase several images and only use the one that works the best.  When they are on subscriptions they can just download everything that looks good and use what works when they are putting their project together.

My entire business model relies on my images being downloaded but not used. I hardly ever produce images good enough to be the 'final selection'. Selling licenses at the prices we do I almost prefer my images to be bought and then not used.

There's an old saying that "the printers profit is in the stationery cupboard".

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2013, 19:35 »
0
.
There's an old saying that "the printers profit is in the stationery cupboard".

oh that makes me feel old if there's an "old" saying about ink cartridges... :)


 

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