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Author Topic: Very lengthy article on the stock photo industry  (Read 867 times)

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« on: September 07, 2019, 21:34 »
+1
Here's a very lengthy article on the stock photo industry.
https://medium.com/storiusmag/fixing-photography-593e97aa2417

So long that it was hard to read. There were some parts that were quite interesting, a lot that I found quite boring and so I skimmed over those parts. But for sure he makes a good argument about some of the problems that micro stock has evolved into. Namely there is too much crap content that has suppressed prices. Low prices make it difficult for pro photographers to want to contribute, the low prices don't justify their time. Thus just ensuring more crap content that fits the low prices on offer.

I don't think he mentioned this or that I skipped over that part, is that, there is so much amazing content already on micro stock sites, it's very difficult to raise prices for new amazing photos. Because few people want to pay more if they don't need to. In my personal life I often look for the cheapest prices for items I purchase.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2019, 23:18 by charged »


« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2019, 23:07 »
0
Interesting.

While I will get less 'expensive' content if it is worth it and I can 'easily' find it (i.e., simply comparing two sites for the same asset)... If I have to 'hunt' for it - I value my time more than trying to hunt around to save a few bucks. So at a certain point, if I can't find what I want inexpensively - I will pay a higher price for the asset content if it is what I need and what I want.

« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2019, 23:23 »
+1
As for me saying I look for low prices, I meant every day items I use in real life. I saw a smart plug for $30 in Lowes hardware store today. I've bought 4 for $20 on Amazon before. I do a lot of shopping on Amazon, and most of the time I look for the cheapest price with a high number of reviews. Sometimes I will scroll through several pages of near identical products just to save an extra buck. Probably because bargain hunting is pleasurable.

« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2019, 00:19 »
+2
That was an amazingly rambling article - I will confess I skimmed chunks as it was numbing. He clearly has been around the photography industry a while, but clear and concise verbal communications doesn't appear to be his thing.

What were his main points? There was lots of airing of grievances that shared much with earlier complaints from old line "pro" photographers that crowdsourcing and microstock were ruining their cozy and lucrative business. Who was he addressing the article to? Buying companies? Stock agencies? Investors considering starting a new agency? I can't imagine any executive being willing to wade through such a meandering and lengthy article.

There didn't appear to be any sources for what he was claiming - other than his own and his acquaintances' experiences. I think he is taking way too rosy a view of the "quality" of the photos in the pre-microstock days (custom shoot or stock) and if businesses were truly unhappy with stock photos, they're buying a ton of them, so I guess they aren't as unhappy as he suggests. Regarding his notion of quality (or the lack of it in current stock photos), it reminds me of a Peter Drucker assertion that quality for the customer is based on how useful the product is to them, not how hard or expensive it was for the seller to produce.

Clearly Shutterstock's last quarterly review showed they had messed up the expansion of their enterprise segment, but the other 60% of their business is growing. Adobe's hard to assess because stock imagery is just a component in their overall business of leasing software, but their investors appear to be happy. Where is the pressure to make big changes in the business going to come from unless customers are not happy (as he is asserting with a couple of quotes, one of which was from a Getty exec)?


« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2019, 02:06 »
0
That was an amazingly rambling article - I will confess I skimmed chunks as it was numbing. He clearly has been around the photography industry a while, but clear and concise verbal communications doesn't appear to be his thing.

What were his main points? There was lots of airing of grievances that shared much with earlier complaints from old line "pro" photographers that crowdsourcing and microstock were ruining their cozy and lucrative business. Who was he addressing the article to? Buying companies? Stock agencies? Investors considering starting a new agency? I can't imagine any executive being willing to wade through such a meandering and lengthy article.

There didn't appear to be any sources for what he was claiming - other than his own and his acquaintances' experiences. I think he is taking way too rosy a view of the "quality" of the photos in the pre-microstock days (custom shoot or stock) and if businesses were truly unhappy with stock photos, they're buying a ton of them, so I guess they aren't as unhappy as he suggests. Regarding his notion of quality (or the lack of it in current stock photos), it reminds me of a Peter Drucker assertion that quality for the customer is based on how useful the product is to them, not how hard or expensive it was for the seller to produce.

Clearly Shutterstock's last quarterly review showed they had messed up the expansion of their enterprise segment, but the other 60% of their business is growing. Adobe's hard to assess because stock imagery is just a component in their overall business of leasing software, but their investors appear to be happy. Where is the pressure to make big changes in the business going to come from unless customers are not happy (as he is asserting with a couple of quotes, one of which was from a Getty exec)?
Thanks I gave up it just seems like a long list of resentments with no credible "solution". Bottom line images are worth what people will pay for them no more no less.

« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2019, 02:10 »
0
Here's a very lengthy article on the stock photo industry.
https://medium.com/storiusmag/fixing-photography-593e97aa2417

So long that it was hard to read. There were some parts that were quite interesting, a lot that I found quite boring and so I skimmed over those parts. But for sure he makes a good argument about some of the problems that micro stock has evolved into. Namely there is too much crap content that has suppressed prices. Low prices make it difficult for pro photographers to want to contribute, the low prices don't justify their time. Thus just ensuring more crap content that fits the low prices on offer.

I don't think he mentioned this or that I skipped over that part, is that, there is so much amazing content already on micro stock sites, it's very difficult to raise prices for new amazing photos. Because few people want to pay more if they don't need to. In my personal life I often look for the cheapest prices for items I purchase.
What people will pay more for is exclusivity if you are marketing Prada handbags you wouldn't want to use a recognisable stock image that might appear on an advert for 99c carrier bags at Walmart.

« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2019, 03:23 »
0
.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 03:38 by georgep7 »

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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2019, 09:50 »
0
Insanely long and convoluted.

« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2019, 12:08 »
+2
Very long article and a little BS in it. Here are my thoughts for what it is worth about the article. It seems to drive the point stock photos are really not very good and photographers really don't know how to price their work. In the 80's I worked for one of the top photography studios in Dallas, Greg Booth. Greg was a GREAT photographer. He charged a day rate of 5k a day and worked maybe 100 days a year. Greg had what we called an eye. The eye was he could see what most could not see.  A truly talented man. Sadly Greg is  talking pictures in the heavens now. What made Greg a top imager maker is that he worked with top art directors and even thought the images were Greg's, the Art directors would take creative ownership in his images. Making those images great in their own mind. The big difference of those images, they were exclusive to the client. Todays Stock images are just as good as those maybe even better. Now we stock photographer have no outside art director and are not exclusive to buyer. No one today that I know makes anywhere in the 5K day range. Todays stock is not bad, just different. Todays photographers are just as creative and maybe more so with digital. Stock photography is not over just changing in the wind. Some really smart person will change the rules again in a few years for stock and be ready. If you are only doing stock for the money maybe you are really in the wrong industry.

« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2019, 13:59 »
0
Stock photography is not over just changing in the wind. Some really smart person will change the rules again in a few years for stock and be ready.

I actually suspect stock photos is going to change massively in 3-5 years time. There is a lot of amazing photos on stock sites with high production costs that were created some years ago when the earnings made sense. Right now the earnings generally don't make sense for most high production shoots AFAIK. But in the coming years that is going to change again. A software named Unreal Engine that is for video games can now create photo realistic scenery on the fly. That kind of technology is going to creep into photography software at some point. Some apps now already can morph your face pretty convincingly into someone else or just a different age for you, or add facial features that look real. There already are software that can pretty convincingly isolate people, animals, objects off complex backgrounds. At some point computer vision is going to get good enough to auto tag photos with a very high degree of confidence. The internet once disrupted the stock photo industry by bringing photos online and allowing new types of stock business models to evolve. I suspect artificial intelligence will soon disrupt the stock business and everyone will be evolving how they produce content.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 14:02 by charged »


 

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