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Author Topic: Stock Footage vs. Stock Photography  (Read 6005 times)

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« on: July 27, 2018, 12:57 »
+2
Hey guys, how are you doing?  :D

I've seen many beginners in the stock world wondering if they should follow the photo or video path. Me and Alex Rotenberg launched a video on CreativeIncome on the differences of Stock Footage & Stock Photography.

https://youtu.be/ZqRMSaoHzmY [nofollow]

We tried to cover as most as we could, the video ended up being really long and is still not deep enough. Would like to hear if you guys have the same perception as we presented.



« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2018, 22:38 »
0
Stock photos is the only viable option. Stock video is a very small market.

« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2018, 01:21 »
+1
Video takes a lot of hard work and experience to compete with the pro contributors in this area.  Video sales are declining too. Video is still far more expensive and more time consuming.

« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2018, 03:44 »
+2
Stock photos is the only viable option. Stock video is a very small market.

Why not do both?  Video certainly takes more time and effort, but as a very small contributor - I have a total of some 280 clips, not all on all sites, against about 3800 images on iS and a number on Alamy RM - I find video makes around 20-25% of my stock income.

So I consider video well worth the effort.  And it's fun!

« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2018, 06:20 »
+17
Good job on the video.  You obviously put a lot of work into it.  A few of your graphics could be clarified... at one point you say you earn an average of $25 per video sold, but your graphic says it's $25 per image.  The same when you say you earn $5 per video per year, your graphic says image.  I would correct that.

In general, though, your clip is ten years too late.  The industry is dying, its death accelerated by the huge waves of new contributors thinking they're going to get rich.  And discussions like the one you posted are, I hate to say, a part of the problem.

For instance, your discussion on return per image (RPI) per year is not helpful.  I've been doing microstock for ten years.  I used to track this number religiously, thinking I could forecast how much money I would earn if I increased my portfolio by a certain amount.  (You can search my name in this forum and see how I argued about how meaningful this number is... I now know it's NOT.) It worked the first few years, and then my RPI sank like a stone.  It's no longer useful, since it only works if the number of contributors and the agency portfolio size REMAINS FROZEN IN TIME.  Otherwise, you would have to predict how much more competition your own portfolio will have over time.   I don't have the exact number on that, but at the rate we're currently going, you'd probably have to assume the overall portfolio size at agencies like SS is now doubling every year.  Unless you account for this depressing statistic, your return per image calculation is basically meaningless.

I hate to be so negative, but if you hope to get as much money as you can before microstock is no longer a profitable opportunity for every single contributor, your best bet is not to encourage others to jump on board and accelerate its death.  Discouraging other potential contributors is NOT just being selfish.  You need to tell them the reality.  This isn't 2005.  That was the right time to jump in.  Today microstock is a monumental struggle to earn pennies for hours of work, and tomorrow even those pennies will be gone.  People need to go into this with open eyes, not false hope of getting rich.

« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2018, 07:40 »
+5
98% of the comments on this entire forum are from a photography perspective.  Stock photography and stock footage are two totally separate beasts. 

Stock photography is very over-saturated, and like others say here, you earn pennies per image, and that number is dropping with every passing month.  When I read a comment talking about gloom and doom, 9 times out of 10, it's from a photographer.

Stock footage's future, however, isn't so bleak (for the time being).  If you work smart and shoot the right clips, you can still do very well in footage.

What do I mean by working smart and what are the right clips?  I'm not telling you my secret sauce.  I'm not a fan of cutting my own throat.

But, I do see an unfortunate trend of throat-cutting on Youtube.  People posting these "how-to" videos or talking about their "bets sellers" will only encourage more copy-cat contributors and competition.  And Blackbox isn't helping either, since they're the driving force behind all of these Youtubers pushing their affiliate links thinking they can make additional easy money with referral income.

The only thing I can hope for is a large dropout rate, where new users thinking they can make some fast cash who quit when they don't see any action right off the bat.  I've seen it firsthand myself: I've told a few friends who have the necessary skills they should start shooting footage on the side.  While they see the benefits of devoting the time, only one has continued.  All the others either didn't start, or quit after 10 or so clips.

There's nothing I like more than seeing a new stock footage producer giving up.

Their loss.

« Last Edit: July 28, 2018, 07:53 by StockGuy101 »

« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2018, 07:55 »
+6
98% of the comments on this entire forum are from a photography perspective.  Stock photography and stock footage are two totally separate beasts. 

I do photography AND footage, so my comments are valid for both.

After my first year or two in footage, I calculated my RPC (return per clip) and figured if I doubled my portfolio size I would double my income.  WRONG.  The same thing trips people up for both photography and footage.  The amount of competition is skyrocketing on both sides.  It's happening at a faster pace on photography, but video is still becoming oversaturated. 

PLUS when you factor the ridiculous $1.50 commissions at SS, and the 50% commission reduction at Storyblocks, and the "collection" vs "marketplace" battles at P5 and SB, you have to double or triple your footage portfolio every year just to maintain the same income. 

While photography and footage are different in some ways, they're the same in the only way that truly counts: from an income perspective, NEITHER IS SUSTAINABLE.  In the long-term, BOTH ARE A LOSING NUMBERS GAME.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2018, 07:57 by stockmarketer »

« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2018, 08:02 »
+3
Well, at the very least we agree these Youtube videos need to stop.

« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2018, 08:13 »
0
Don't you also cut your own throat as well as the agencies by selling on cheaper sites?

« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2018, 12:27 »
0
Thank you, guys! You're so motivating.  ;D

csm

« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2018, 15:47 »
+1
98% of the comments on this entire forum are from a photography perspective.  Stock photography and stock footage are two totally separate beasts. 

I do photography AND footage, so my comments are valid for both.

After my first year or two in footage, I calculated my RPC (return per clip) and figured if I doubled my portfolio size I would double my income.  WRONG.  The same thing trips people up for both photography and footage.  The amount of competition is skyrocketing on both sides.  It's happening at a faster pace on photography, but video is still becoming oversaturated. 

PLUS when you factor the ridiculous $1.50 commissions at SS, and the 50% commission reduction at Storyblocks, and the "collection" vs "marketplace" battles at P5 and SB, you have to double or triple your footage portfolio every year just to maintain the same income. 

While photography and footage are different in some ways, they're the same in the only way that truly counts: from an income perspective, NEITHER IS SUSTAINABLE.  In the long-term, BOTH ARE A LOSING NUMBERS GAME.



AS others have said aswell, I cannot understand why you would want to tell the world what your best sellers are.
Once you have told everyone, I'm sure some will try to copy, unless they are hard to copy, your best sellers may not be your best sellers for much longer.

I`m on Instagram, but I'm always reluctant to post behind the scenes images, to reveal either what I'm up to or how I created the image.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2018, 17:01 by csm »

csm

« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2018, 16:44 »
+5
How come all the top stock footage creators I know of, don't seem to be blogging or vlogging, or on Instagram or anything else I know of.

Actually I think I know the answer...

« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2018, 19:22 »
+3
I will echo what Stockmarketer has said.  In about 2006 I saw the market for stock photos going south and started in stock footage, from 2006-2014 there was pretty good money in stock footage, today it has become increasingly difficult to keep up with all the new content flooding the marketplace.

« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2018, 22:31 »
+2
How come all the top stock footage creators I know of, don't seem to be blogging or vlogging, or on Instagram or anything else I know of.

Actually I think I know the answer...

Indeed - the vloggers are the ones barely earning $100 a month yet offering to teach newcomers their secrets. Great insights to be had there.

« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2018, 22:40 »
0
Yes, focus on stock photos.  Stock video is very inefficient. 

« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2018, 00:50 »
+3
Not two different beasts at all just at a different point on the timeline. There's no reason to think video or any other digital content won't follow the same path. Though money can still be made for the talented/business focussed/hardworking.

« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2018, 02:46 »
+1
How come all the top stock footage creators I know of, don't seem to be blogging or vlogging, or on Instagram or anything else I know of.

Actually I think I know the answer...

Indeed - the vloggers are the ones barely earning $100 a month yet offering to teach newcomers their secrets. Great insights to be had there.

Don't forget that they also want to tell you how awesome BlackBox is...  ;)


« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2018, 03:16 »
+2
How come all the top stock footage creators I know of, don't seem to be blogging or vlogging, or on Instagram or anything else I know of.

Actually I think I know the answer...

Indeed - the vloggers are the ones barely earning $100 a month yet offering to teach newcomers their secrets. Great insights to be had there.

Don't forget that they also want to tell you how awesome BlackBox is...  ;)

So are 90% of vloggers doing youtube instructional videos because they can't make it at what they are giving instruction on?

I'd estimate the majority of people doing stock video/photos are part timers many of whom struggle to make their expenses back. They will be the ones making continuous posts as well as sharing their sales info. Meanwhile the core of professionals actually making it work are heads down, and know better than to share their hard earned trade secrets and financial info for all comers.

csm

« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2018, 03:36 »
0
Completely agree.

csm

« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2018, 03:37 »
+1
How come all the top stock footage creators I know of, don't seem to be blogging or vlogging, or on Instagram or anything else I know of.

Actually I think I know the answer...

Indeed - the vloggers are the ones barely earning $100 a month yet offering to teach newcomers their secrets. Great insights to be had there.

Don't forget that they also want to tell you how awesome BlackBox is...  ;)

So are 90% of vloggers doing youtube instructional videos because they can't make it at what they are giving instruction on?

I'd estimate the majority of people doing stock video/photos are part timers many of whom struggle to make their expenses back. They will be the ones making continuous posts as well as sharing their sales info. Meanwhile the core of professionals actually making it work are heads down, and know better than to share their hard earned trade secrets and financial info for all comers.

Completely agree.

« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2018, 15:25 »
0
How come all the top stock footage creators I know of, don't seem to be blogging or vlogging, or on Instagram or anything else I know of.

Actually I think I know the answer...

Indeed - the vloggers are the ones barely earning $100 a month yet offering to teach newcomers their secrets. Great insights to be had there.

Don't forget that they also want to tell you how awesome BlackBox is...  ;)

So are 90% of vloggers doing youtube instructional videos because they can't make it at what they are giving instruction on?

I'd estimate the majority of people doing stock video/photos are part timers many of whom struggle to make their expenses back. They will be the ones making continuous posts as well as sharing their sales info. Meanwhile the core of professionals actually making it work are heads down, and know better than to share their hard earned trade secrets and financial info for all comers.

I doubt many in North America are spending full-time hours on microstock ... If they are maybe they should make a video about how that can even be sustainable. Maybe a portfolio of a hundred thousand could keep up with the bills? lol.

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2018, 17:04 »
0
Quote
AS others have said aswell, I cannot understand why you would want to tell the world what your best sellers are.
Once you have told everyone, I'm sure some will try to copy, unless they are hard to copy, your best sellers may not be your best sellers for much longer.

I agree to a certain extend that it's probably a good idea to keep our 'cards close to our chests'. My top 5 lists consists of quite time-sensitive editorials which are almost impossible to recreate. For the still life/seasonal photographers out there, it's just shooting yourself in the foot.

Quote
So are 90% of vloggers doing youtube instructional videos because they can't make it at what they are giving instruction on?

I'd estimate the majority of people doing stock video/photos are part timers many of whom struggle to make their expenses back. They will be the ones making continuous posts as well as sharing their sales info. Meanwhile the core of professionals actually making it work are heads down, and know better than to share their hard earned trade secrets and financial info for all comers.

I don't see why someone can't do both? There's a wise saying: "to teach is to learn twice".

Quote
Don't you also cut your own throat as well as the agencies by selling on cheaper sites?

I don't think stock photo buyers buyers shop around nearly as much as in other industries (travel, hotels, food etc). I put together a post on this exact subject in reference to duplicating images on Alamy and micros:

https://brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2018/02/06/do-alamy-buyers-search-elsewhere-answers-from-alamy/


« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2018, 21:44 »
+1
I think its refreshing that people like creative shutter and brutally honest are willing to talk about their journey into stock. It would build competition but in most cases it just helps them connect with more people and ups their game as well.

« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2018, 10:31 »
+1
How come all the top stock footage creators I know of, don't seem to be blogging or vlogging, or on Instagram or anything else I know of.

Actually I think I know the answer...

Indeed - the vloggers are the ones barely earning $100 a month yet offering to teach newcomers their secrets. Great insights to be had there.

Don't forget that they also want to tell you how awesome BlackBox is...  ;)

So are 90% of vloggers doing youtube instructional videos because they can't make it at what they are giving instruction on?

I'd estimate the majority of people doing stock video/photos are part timers many of whom struggle to make their expenses back. They will be the ones making continuous posts as well as sharing their sales info. Meanwhile the core of professionals actually making it work are heads down, and know better than to share their hard earned trade secrets and financial info for all comers.

I doubt many in North America are spending full-time hours on microstock ... If they are maybe they should make a video about how that can even be sustainable. Maybe a portfolio of a hundred thousand could keep up with the bills? lol.

I believe most full time microstockers are way too busy producing product to bother with selfie tutorials... 

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2018, 11:39 »
0
Quote
I believe most full time microstockers are way too busy producing product to bother with selfie tutorials...

Or they don't have enough of a technical knowledge to edit to an excellent standard, as seen by Guilherme's final result.

I certainly don't, and stick with publishing blog posts. Seems like these types of YouTube tutorials have the potential to reach a much further audience and have a greater impact.   

« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2018, 16:06 »
0
Quote
I believe most full time microstockers are way too busy producing product to bother with selfie tutorials...

Or they don't have enough of a technical knowledge to edit to an excellent standard, as seen by Guilherme's final result.

I certainly don't, and stick with publishing blog posts. Seems like these types of YouTube tutorials have the potential to reach a much further audience and have a greater impact.

To what end?

csm

« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2018, 17:21 »
+2
Quote
I believe most full time microstockers are way too busy producing product to bother with selfie tutorials...

Or they don't have enough of a technical knowledge to edit to an excellent standard, as seen by Guilherme's final result.

I certainly don't, and stick with publishing blog posts. Seems like these types of YouTube tutorials have the potential to reach a much further audience and have a greater impact.

"Or they don't have enough of a technical knowledge to edit to an excellent standard, as seen by Guilherme's final result."

You need to look out for more showreels to see what others are doing.
And again, I see some absolutely gorgeous lifestyle footage portfolios, but the contributors aren't blogging on Youtube.

"I certainly don't, and stick with publishing blog posts. Seems like these types of YouTube tutorials have the potential to reach a much further audience and have a greater impact. "


Again, to what end, to gain an audience of wannabe stock footage creators? Or stock footage buyers? I don't see this as a way of bringing in stock footage buyers.
A good showreel yes, but that's not what I see here.

Lastly, I couldn't help but notice, and no offence to Gui that he has just over 300 clips on Shutterstock, in 5 years? That's not really enough.
I've produced treble that in just over a year, mostly model released lifestyle, but I don't consider myself yet an authority on stock footage.
And even if I was, I wouldn't be telling the world!






Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2018, 17:51 »
0
Quote
To what end?

There's ways to monetise YouTube traffic, blogs, ebooks, courses, networking....even fun! :D

csm

« Reply #28 on: July 31, 2018, 03:57 »
0
Quote
To what end?

There's ways to monetise YouTube traffic, blogs, ebooks, courses, networking....even fun! :D

You forgot to mention royalties from stock footage :)


 

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