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Author Topic: Microstock has reached a plateau...  (Read 38668 times)

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red

« Reply #50 on: July 13, 2010, 19:16 »
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I understand what you mean. I think the big issue for submitters is that they have no real clue about what the market actually demands. Many of these photographers who suddenly try to become video pro's have no real background in the business, so they just flounder.

I know that you are talking about video but I believe this can also be said for many new microstockers who read about how easy and lucrative microstock is/can be. The "plateau" may be the small number of serious shooters who are being replaced by the hundreds of dabblers.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 19:18 by cuppacoffee »


microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #51 on: July 13, 2010, 19:35 »
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Regarding video - I agree it will NOT replace photos.

A still image can convey an instant message, while a video requires time; it's not a question of bandwidth - easily solved by advancing technology -, it's a question of time: time is the most valuable commodity nowadays and I don't want to waste seconds of my life watching a video about something I am possibly not interested in.

That said, I am glad video has a market and some are doing well at it.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 19:40 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #52 on: July 13, 2010, 19:45 »
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I usually avoid video unless it's something major. Catastrophe, a jackass moment, etc. And even then I'll put up with a commercial that's a few seconds long. If it's longer than a couple seconds I bail. Video has a long way to go before it's kinks are worked out.

Regarding the data, it's interesting but I'm not sure how meaningful it is. Does a slice of one site accurately represent the entire micro segment?

lagereek

« Reply #53 on: July 14, 2010, 00:54 »
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Although the data and the statistics quoted are somewhat suspect, to say the least, I think most of us know that microstock will eventually plateau. With supply growing faster than demand it is inevitable.

What we don't know is what will happen next __ and neither does Jim Pickerell. I guess the 'photo factories' may act as early indicators of the marketplace. All those shoots cost money and once they find that the return is declining they'll be less inclined to invest in them. The next 5 years should see a good shakeout of contributors who decide their money and time are better spent elsewhere.

Couldnt agree more!   a shakeout of contributors that decide to waste their time elsewhere!  This could in fact be our one and only saviour.

« Reply #54 on: July 14, 2010, 03:18 »
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^^ dont count on less images/contributors in the future unless the agencies actually stop accepting them.

lagereek

« Reply #55 on: July 14, 2010, 05:24 »
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^^ dont count on less images/contributors in the future unless the agencies actually stop accepting them.

No I dont but its really up to the agencies to, like the Getty-RM, realise its getting too much of everything, too much junk and finally do some sort of weed out. I know it sounds harsh but if not, very, very few will earn any money in years to come and the business will decline as in everything.

« Reply #56 on: July 14, 2010, 05:59 »
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^^ dont count on less images/contributors in the future unless the agencies actually stop accepting them.

I think it might happen. Reviewing is quite an expensive business. For example if SS are accepting 100k new images per week then they might be inspecting 150K in the process. If each image costs them say 10c, including bandwidth, storage, etc then the cost would be about $15K per week or $750K per year. That's quite an investment, particularly if their statistics tell them that 80% of the new images fall on stony ground anyway (which wouldn't surprise me). I think it is inevitable that all established agencies will become ever more selective in who they allow to upload and how much. It has gradually been happening at IS for several years anyway.

« Reply #57 on: July 14, 2010, 06:34 »
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The law of supply and demand will all clear up with time... ;)

« Reply #58 on: July 14, 2010, 07:32 »
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Video can be effective as a design element (web site masthead) that won't slow the process of recieving the information you seek.

As video banks increase they might become more of a resource for online training material!

« Reply #59 on: July 14, 2010, 09:41 »
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While I'd hate to keep money out of someone's pocket, the article is now here for free:
http://rising.blackstar.com/has-demand-for-microstock-photography-peaked.html

« Reply #60 on: July 14, 2010, 10:21 »
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Video can be effective as a design element (web site masthead) that won't slow the process of recieving the information you seek.
In Europe, I'm charged by volume, and in Asia, I'm limited by bandwidth. Unsolicited self-starting video on a site costs me money and brings down my network. I'm not going to pay for it, that's why I installed the Flashblock add-on in Firefox. Sorry for all those people that think a Flash-website is cool.

jbarber873

« Reply #61 on: July 14, 2010, 10:37 »
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   Having been in the stock business as long as Jim Pickerell, I can state with authority that no one has any idea where things are going next in this industry. Selling photographs to people who want to buy photographs changes constantly, and while the rate of change has picked up since the digital camera came out, change has always been there.
   It kills me how many "industry experts" make a living by recycling the conventional wisdom of the moment into a newsletter for sale. I had a partner a while back that subscribed to an "industry expert's" newsletter ( who will go nameless to keep me out of trouble) , and i can tell you he had no insight into the future at all.
   When I saw Yuri Arcurs at the PDN photo show 2 years ago, he was brimming with enthusiasm and energy, as were all the other participants on the panel. The next year, everyone was cranky and complaining about competition, lower RPI and market saturation. These are arguably the most connected participants in the microstock industry, but i would submit that what they have to say can only relate to their own experience.
   Somewhere out there is another turn in the road, and another oppourtunity is opening up. Can anyone see it coming? I sure can't and I'll tell you right now you won't be reading about it from an "industry expert". Like those who jumped into the microstock when it was young, anything new is very hard to spot until it's on top of you. But, to predict that microstock has peaked is besides the point. More images will be bought by more people who need those images and the industry will grow. It may be called something else, but the business of producing images for users of those images has a bright future!
    Even if you only look at the amazing range of talent and energy that the people of this site have contributed to the world of microstock imaging, to say that the industry has peaked says more about the person who is saying it than the industry he's commenting on.

« Reply #62 on: July 14, 2010, 10:49 »
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When I saw Yuri Arcurs at the PDN photo show 2 years ago, he was brimming with enthusiasm and energy, as were all the other participants on the panel. The next year, everyone was cranky and complaining about competition, lower RPI and market saturation.

Gee, could the "inspiration" from the previous year, drawing attention to success, increase your competitors desire to take away your sales after that?  Nah.

« Reply #63 on: July 14, 2010, 10:52 »
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   Having been in the stock business as long as Jim Pickerell, I can state with authority that no one has any idea where things are going next in this industry. Selling photographs to people who want to buy photographs changes constantly, and while the rate of change has picked up since the digital camera came out, change has always been there.

I totally agree.

Along with all of the good information that can be found on the internet, there seems to be this "cloud" of information that really isn't information at all. Kind of like you said, it's just people charging other people for the same rehash that everyone else is charging for...and making money from ads on the site that is dispensing the non-information.

I pretty much stumbled into microstock on the advice of a friend...and I consider myself lucky to have gotten in when I did. As long as it lasts I will be happy.

jbarber873

« Reply #64 on: July 14, 2010, 11:05 »
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When I saw Yuri Arcurs at the PDN photo show 2 years ago, he was brimming with enthusiasm and energy, as were all the other participants on the panel. The next year, everyone was cranky and complaining about competition, lower RPI and market saturation.

Gee, could the "inspiration" from the previous year, drawing attention to success, increase your competitors desire to take away your sales after that?  Nah.

I'm sure that's true, although i doubt that the 50 or so people who were there were the problem for Yuri and friends. More likely it's the "best selling files" pages that create imitators. Crowd sourcing creates crowd competition- that knife cuts both ways!

« Reply #65 on: July 14, 2010, 11:12 »
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I'm sure that's true, although i doubt that the 50 or so people who were there were the problem for Yuri and friends. More likely it's the "best selling files" pages that create imitators. Crowd sourcing creates crowd competition- that knife cuts both ways!

True, but that panel was probably only one of dozens on "how to succeed" or "the state of the industry", etc.

« Reply #66 on: July 14, 2010, 11:19 »
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198 ports?  doesnt say much at all, had they taken the yop say 1000 ports it would have been much more interesting.

Do you really need to look that far down a list? Elections are usually forecast by asking a very individuals how they voted as they left the stations. The 198 ports represent, according to JP, over a half million of the best images. To me that's a very good sample size, especially off the top. There seems to be a desire to disbelieve any stat or indication that the micro business might be on a plateau. Which of course gives the opportunity for a decline.

right the sample size is certainly significant, but not random .  an even more telling stat is
"Also, in the past 14 months approximately 29% of all the downloads iStock has made were of images belonging to these 198 individuals.
"

so 5% of contribuimages have 29% of sales - thus confirming sturgeon's law that " 90% of anything is crap"

Well... My opinion is that ALL is crap - but there is rising market for that crap and that is all what matters...

;-)

lagereek

« Reply #67 on: July 14, 2010, 11:31 »
0
   Having been in the stock business as long as Jim Pickerell, I can state with authority that no one has any idea where things are going next in this industry. Selling photographs to people who want to buy photographs changes constantly, and while the rate of change has picked up since the digital camera came out, change has always been there.
   It kills me how many "industry experts" make a living by recycling the conventional wisdom of the moment into a newsletter for sale. I had a partner a while back that subscribed to an "industry expert's" newsletter ( who will go nameless to keep me out of trouble) , and i can tell you he had no insight into the future at all.
   When I saw Yuri Arcurs at the PDN photo show 2 years ago, he was brimming with enthusiasm and energy, as were all the other participants on the panel. The next year, everyone was cranky and complaining about competition, lower RPI and market saturation. These are arguably the most connected participants in the microstock industry, but i would submit that what they have to say can only relate to their own experience.
   Somewhere out there is another turn in the road, and another oppourtunity is opening up. Can anyone see it coming? I sure can't and I'll tell you right now you won't be reading about it from an "industry expert". Like those who jumped into the microstock when it was young, anything new is very hard to spot until it's on top of you. But, to predict that microstock has peaked is besides the point. More images will be bought by more people who need those images and the industry will grow. It may be called something else, but the business of producing images for users of those images has a bright future!
    Even if you only look at the amazing range of talent and energy that the people of this site have contributed to the world of microstock imaging, to say that the industry has peaked says more about the person who is saying it than the industry he's commenting on.

Must say, you sound very optimistic indeed or perhaps afraid it has reached a plateau?  Im not, Ive also been in the stock-business for over 20 years, seen very good agencies bite the dust, in fact the entire RM industry has been in a decline for the past 3 years and there is absoloutely nothing in this world that says Micro wont go the same way.
We are all wishfull thinkers though, arent we?
Many say people will always buy crap?  thats a pis poor thought if any.

« Reply #68 on: July 14, 2010, 12:44 »
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Must say, you sound very optimistic indeed or perhaps afraid it has reached a plateau?  Im not, Ive also been in the stock-business for over 20 years, seen very good agencies bite the dust, in fact the entire RM industry has been in a decline for the past 3 years and there is absoloutely nothing in this world that says Micro wont go the same way.
We are all wishfull thinkers though, arent we?

I think you're missing the point.  He said he expects there are changes coming but that people will always need images.  Do you think we'll revert to a text-based world and suddenly the billions of attention-span-challenged people will prefer to read information instead of taking it in visually?  Of course not.  Then you have to believe that the demand for images will only increase.  Next, do you think buyers will pay high prices for those images?  No, price pressure will only grow, making microstock or something like it the most viable business model for supplying low-priced images for some time.  Yes, microstock could and maybe will be replaced by another model (free downloads with contributors paid via advertising, or some other variation of the free model that compensates contributors), but if you think there's no future for image-producers, then you have your head in the sand and the industry will pass you by.
 

Xalanx

« Reply #69 on: July 14, 2010, 14:09 »
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Somewhere out there is another turn in the road, and another oppourtunity is opening up. Can anyone see it coming? I sure can't and I'll tell you right now you won't be reading about it from an "industry expert".

I thoroughly agree with this. Nobody can really predict anything. However its funny how since 2-3 years (my "age" in this business) the subject "oh man, the end is near!!" is constantly brought up on the table on every stock board.

« Reply #70 on: July 14, 2010, 14:14 »
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I thoroughly agree with this. Nobody can really predict anything. However its funny how since 2-3 years (my "age" in this business) the subject "oh man, the end is near!!" is constantly brought up on the table on every stock board.

I can't claim to have been in this industry for as many years as others, but I think the only thing that doesn't change is that someone is always going to be saying that this or that will destroy the industry.

lagereek

« Reply #71 on: July 14, 2010, 16:19 »
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Must say, you sound very optimistic indeed or perhaps afraid it has reached a plateau?  Im not, Ive also been in the stock-business for over 20 years, seen very good agencies bite the dust, in fact the entire RM industry has been in a decline for the past 3 years and there is absoloutely nothing in this world that says Micro wont go the same way.
We are all wishfull thinkers though, arent we?

I think you're missing the point.  He said he expects there are changes coming but that people will always need images.  Do you think we'll revert to a text-based world and suddenly the billions of attention-span-challenged people will prefer to read information instead of taking it in visually?  Of course not.  Then you have to believe that the demand for images will only increase.  Next, do you think buyers will pay high prices for those images?  No, price pressure will only grow, making microstock or something like it the most viable business model for supplying low-priced images for some time.  Yes, microstock could and maybe will be replaced by another model (free downloads with contributors paid via advertising, or some other variation of the free model that compensates contributors), but if you think there's no future for image-producers, then you have your head in the sand and the industry will pass you by.
 

Youre missing the point, nobody said it wont be a demand for image-makers, what I said or rather meant was: it will not and cant remain as it is and will probably be replaced by another model. There will always be a demand for pictures, sure! were not questioning that, another issue here.
The issue here is the Micro model, the concept and if you think this present model will remain for another 10 years, well then Im afraid youve got youre head in the sand and pretty much deeper then mine. sorry.

« Reply #72 on: July 14, 2010, 16:50 »
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The issue here is the Micro model, the concept and if you think this present model will remain for another 10 years, well then Im afraid youve got youre head in the sand and pretty much deeper then mine. sorry.

Powerdroid still thinks his newbie graphs will continue going upwards forever. Let him enjoy the fantasy for now __ he'll learn soon enough!

jbarber873

« Reply #73 on: July 14, 2010, 19:23 »
0
Must say, you sound very optimistic indeed or perhaps afraid it has reached a plateau?  Im not, Ive also been in the stock-business for over 20 years, seen very good agencies bite the dust, in fact the entire RM industry has been in a decline for the past 3 years and there is absoloutely nothing in this world that says Micro wont go the same way.
We are all wishfull thinkers though, arent we?

I think you're missing the point.  He said he expects there are changes coming but that people will always need images.  Do you think we'll revert to a text-based world and suddenly the billions of attention-span-challenged people will prefer to read information instead of taking it in visually?  Of course not.  Then you have to believe that the demand for images will only increase.  Next, do you think buyers will pay high prices for those images?  No, price pressure will only grow, making microstock or something like it the most viable business model for supplying low-priced images for some time.  Yes, microstock could and maybe will be replaced by another model (free downloads with contributors paid via advertising, or some other variation of the free model that compensates contributors), but if you think there's no future for image-producers, then you have your head in the sand and the industry will pass you by.
 

Youre missing the point, nobody said it wont be a demand for image-makers, what I said or rather meant was: it will not and cant remain as it is and will probably be replaced by another model. There will always be a demand for pictures, sure! were not questioning that, another issue here.
The issue here is the Micro model, the concept and if you think this present model will remain for another 10 years, well then Im afraid youve got youre head in the sand and pretty much deeper then mine. sorry.

    There's the glass half full and the glass half empty point of view. I prefer to look ahead to all the great new stuff happening ahead. If the micro model dies a slow death, well, that's fine, because i know that there will still be a demand for good images. The digital revolution opened many more new paths than it closed. Microstock photographers proved that image creation, and creativity, did not have to belong to a select group of photographers in the major cities with access to labs that could process 8x10 film in 1 hour and located next to model agencies and prop rental houses. That was too bad for those photographers ( i was one of them), but it changed the world for the better. Go back and look at some of the magazines from the 70's, and tell me that the quality was better than the microstock competition today. It wasn't!
Okay, i get paid far less than i did back then. But the overhead that existed back then was crazy- $50,000 a year for rent, $40,000 a year for film and processing, the same amount for assistants, then messengers, insurance, promotion, and when you got the job you paid 25% to the rep who got you the job. Spend 3 weeks without a job and you were out of business. Today, every one of those expenses is gone. Instead, you have to pay the website to sell your images. Well, to me, they are welcome to it.
   The rights managed business came out of an era when to sell a stock image you had to publish a 300 page catalog and send out 10,000 copies for FREE, and do this 3 times a year. You had to duplicate every image at a cost of $5 a dupe just to have images to send out on approval. The rights managed era died because the delivery mechanism changed.
    All I am really trying to say is, if you feel that you are a good photographer ( or artist), then don't worry about where the future will be. Just try to be the best at whatever you do, and that quality will be recognized. I'm living proof that you can survive change, if you embrace change as the oppourtunity it is.

« Reply #74 on: July 14, 2010, 21:03 »
0
There's the glass half full and the glass half empty point of view. I prefer to look ahead to all the great new stuff happening ahead. If the micro model dies a slow death, well, that's fine, because i know that there will still be a demand for good images. The digital revolution opened many more new paths than it closed. Microstock photographers proved that image creation, and creativity, did not have to belong to a select group of photographers in the major cities with access to labs that could process 8x10 film in 1 hour and located next to model agencies and prop rental houses. That was too bad for those photographers ( i was one of them), but it changed the world for the better. Go back and look at some of the magazines from the 70's, and tell me that the quality was better than the microstock competition today. It wasn't!
Okay, i get paid far less than i did back then. But the overhead that existed back then was crazy- $50,000 a year for rent, $40,000 a year for film and processing, the same amount for assistants, then messengers, insurance, promotion, and when you got the job you paid 25% to the rep who got you the job. Spend 3 weeks without a job and you were out of business. Today, every one of those expenses is gone. Instead, you have to pay the website to sell your images. Well, to me, they are welcome to it.
   The rights managed business came out of an era when to sell a stock image you had to publish a 300 page catalog and send out 10,000 copies for FREE, and do this 3 times a year. You had to duplicate every image at a cost of $5 a dupe just to have images to send out on approval. The rights managed era died because the delivery mechanism changed.
    All I am really trying to say is, if you feel that you are a good photographer ( or artist), then don't worry about where the future will be. Just try to be the best at whatever you do, and that quality will be recognized. I'm living proof that you can survive change, if you embrace change as the oppourtunity it is.

It is about time somebody finally said it.


 

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