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Author Topic: 2005 vs 2014  (Read 3914 times)

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Gino

« on: March 05, 2014, 05:25 »
0
I keep seeing photographers saying that it used to be so much better in "the good old days" when images seem to sell like crazy. I read an interview with Yuri were he said to make an amazing income just out of 800 images back then.

I just want to know how it compares to today. How much on average could 1000 images make in 2005 compared to the same images in 2014. Assuming they were good quality images. Anyone that has been in stock this long wanting to share some info? No need to say the exact income in $. I would just like to know in % what the difference is. So if you needed 1000 images to make x-income how many images would that be today for the same income. Thanks.


« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 05:57 »
0
Well, I don't go back quite that far, my first full year was 2007.

I can say that in 2007 I earned slightly less than 10% of what I earned in 2013, from about 20% of the number of images.

However, I wasn't Exclusive then - or at least, not the whole time, as I recall I think I went Exclusive towards the end of the year - nor did I submit to Alamy or do any footage (not that I make much with either), and I was still learning the ropes.

Looking at that, I seem to have done quite well really...  it just doesn't feel that way just now!

« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 06:07 »
+6
I think 2005 is not the best to compare. In 2005/06 microstock was still a niche for small businesses and designers. Downloads and revenue was picking up. But I think 2009/2010 were the golden years when for most people the revenue per image peaked.

Personally I made about $800-1,000 a month from around 800 (mediocre) images in 2010. I improved my photography a lot but now I'm struggling to get back to earning more than $1,000 a month from 2,500 images.

I know better photographers who made far, far more per image in 2009/2010 than I did. Like $10k from 2,000 images. I doubt they are still coming close to that number even working harder than ever.

« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014, 06:18 »
+5
In 2005 I made about four times as much per image as I do now and that was with only three sites, now I supply seven or eight.
Until about 2009 it was possible for me to gradually grow monthly earnings but after that the earnings per file declined faster than I was getting new files online to prop up the income.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 06:24 by BaldricksTrousers »

« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2014, 06:40 »
-3
In 2005 I made about four times as much per image as I do now and that was with only three sites, now I supply seven or eight.
Until about 2009 it was possible for me to gradually grow monthly earnings but after that the earnings per file declined faster than I was getting new files online to prop up the income.

supposing you had 1k files at SS (2005) and doing 2k $, now with 5k files at SS (2014) you doing 500$, is that correct?

« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 06:56 »
+4
In 2005 I made about four times as much per image as I do now and that was with only three sites, now I supply seven or eight.
Until about 2009 it was possible for me to gradually grow monthly earnings but after that the earnings per file declined faster than I was getting new files online to prop up the income.

supposing you had 1k files at SS (2005) and doing 2k $, now with 5k files at SS (2014) you doing 500$, is that correct?
No, I wasn't talking about SS I was talking about the sum total for all sites.
And your calculation would, in any case, mean I used to do 20 times better, not four times better.
The overall calculation is that if I was making $500 from 500 files in 2005, now I would need to have 2,000 files to make the same amount of money.

Gino

« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 07:14 »
0
Great info! Thanks!

« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 08:55 »
0
In 2005 I made about four times as much per image as I do now and that was with only three sites, now I supply seven or eight.
Until about 2009 it was possible for me to gradually grow monthly earnings but after that the earnings per file declined faster than I was getting new files online to prop up the income.

supposing you had 1k files at SS (2005) and doing 2k $, now with 5k files at SS (2014) you doing 500$, is that correct?
No, I wasn't talking about SS I was talking about the sum total for all sites.
And your calculation would, in any case, mean I used to do 20 times better, not four times better.
The overall calculation is that if I was making $500 from 500 files in 2005, now I would need to have 2,000 files to make the same amount of money.

that is right, my bad Paul, no need to minus me, not saying it was you of course

p.s: Tyler you need to take care of the minus abuse, even on an apologize?
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 10:59 by luissantos84 »

Lev

« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 09:50 »
+5
2005 is a bit before it started for us, but in 2007 we had RPI = USD 5 per month, with several thousand of very poor, by modern standards, images.

here and now, if we would start again with very same images, i think we would have less than 50 cents RPI.

so my estimation is - if your current portfolio could be magically transfered to year 2007, you would get approx. 10 times more money than you get now. maybe more or less, it depends on portfolio, but in average i believe it's approx. 10 times.

« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2014, 11:02 »
+4
I agree with the other comments. I wouldn't say it was better back in the earlier days. It was just a little easier. If I had a time machine, then I'd probably go back and build an agency. It would have been a lot easier to build a fair paying competitor back then.

« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2014, 13:56 »
+4
If I had a time machine, then I'd probably go back and build an agency. It would have been a lot easier to build a fair paying competitor back then.


I'd hold up CanStock as a counter example - they just limp along at the bottom but they started in 2004 with a great idea about being fair to photographers. Higher prices and a 50/50 split. Problem was that in spite of building a good site and being innovative with features - they were the first to have image zoom and had a great stacking feature to group images from a series in search results (user controllable) - they never got the marketing right and have been beaten by just about everyone else.

Duncan (who started CanStock) is a great guy; but being fair and being in the game early hasn't done CanStock any good at all.

And back to the original question, I'd say that 2010 was a great year (I've been doing this since the fall of 2004). On the other hand I don't much care to look back as I don't see it helping me earn income in 2014.

But if I had a time machine, I'd go back to 2006 and stop Bruce Livingstone from selling iStock to Getty Images.  Have a read of how things looked to Bruce in early 2006 and think about how Getty has since destroyed everything he hoped to build up:

http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=159

Not quite sure how I'd talk him out of it, but if I've built a time machine, I'm sure I could figure that part out :)

« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2014, 14:17 »
0
But if I had a time machine, I'd go back to 2006 and stop Bruce Livingstone from selling iStock to Getty Images....
Not quite sure how I'd talk him out of it, but if I've built a time machine, I'm sure I could figure that part out :)

Let me know... I'm going with you!

« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2014, 14:18 »
0
I find CanStockPhoto fairly competitive with the top micros, but I guess that isn't what the poll to the right says. Speaking of that. YayMicro? People make money there? When did that happen?

Still building an agency (even a mediocre one) seems like a much better money making operation than actually making the images and selling them at agencies. Since, I know how that turns out for the most part.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2014, 14:30 »
0
Have a read of how things looked to Bruce in early 2006 and think about how Getty has since destroyed everything he hoped to build up:
http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=159

We all  make mistakes, and his fundamental mistake was thinking "we needed experienced guidance to help take us to the next level" rather than, 'if it aint' broke, don't fix it'.
Then of course the choice of partner was totally bizarre given his hopes and aims for iS and what he wanted out of the deal. Getty had a pretty bad reputation for the way they treated photographers even back then.

Like I said, we all make mistakes.
But I can't blame him for selling out; in his position I'd probably have done the same, choosing a different bedfellow (who might have been even worse).

« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2014, 14:31 »
0
If I had a time machine, then I'd probably go back and build an agency. It would have been a lot easier to build a fair paying competitor back then.

I'd hold up CanStock as a counter example - they just limp along at the bottom but they started in 2004 with a great idea about being fair to photographers.

But Canstock was sold long ago, wasn't it? And that's where you make your money. Start an agency and sell it with six noughts on the price a few years later.

« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2014, 14:32 »
0
But I can't blame him for selling out; in his position I'd probably have done the same

Wasn't there some pressure on him from other people who had a stake in IS? I don't know if that really would have affected the decision or not.

EmberMike

« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2014, 15:39 »
+1
I wasn't in stock in 2005, but in 2007 it was still much easier to make money with pretty mediocre images. I look back at some of the junk I was selling back then and it's amazing the kinds of numbers some of it got. I had some pretty basic icon sets sometimes putting up 25+ DLs per day on SS. I can't even remember the last time I saw numbers like that for a single image. Today I can occasionally put up an image that might peak at 10 DLs in a day, for one day.

I think when people talk about the "hayday" of microstock, back when it was easier, you have to keep in mind that even though it was easier, it was also harder in some respects. I may not be able to put up 20+ DLs with a single image, but overall I'm doing far better financially then I was in 2007. There are more ways to make more money today, especially at SS. And those images that got me huge numbers of DLs back then? Most barely see any DLs anymore.

So maybe it was a little easier then, but it doesn't mean I'd be any better or worse off today if I had done anything differently back then. Back then was back then. Different time, different images, different trends and styles and buyer demand for certain things. Maybe I could have done more work, made more images, but they'd still be 7-year-old images today. How much 7-year-old stuff is getting purchased today?



« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2014, 15:51 »
0
If I had a time machine, then I'd probably go back and build an agency. It would have been a lot easier to build a fair paying competitor back then.


I'd hold up CanStock as a counter example - they just limp along at the bottom but they started in 2004 with a great idea about being fair to photographers.


But Canstock was sold long ago, wasn't it? And that's where you make your money. Start an agency and sell it with six noughts on the price a few years later.


It was sold to Fotosearch in 2008::

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/11/prweb1603934.htm

But Fotosearch is a bigger limper than Canstock! Alexa ranking of 15,183 /  7,882 versus Canstock's 3,636 / 2,027. Unlike Getty's acquisition of iStock, I can't see how Fotosearch wrecked a rising star - they just haven't helped them in any obvious way. Other than some illustrators doing well there (I suspect because vectors are dirt cheap), I don't think anyone makes much at CanStock

« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2014, 15:58 »
0
It was sold to Fotosearch in 2008::

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/11/prweb1603934.htm

But Fotosearch is a bigger limper than Canstock!


But how much cash did Duncan stick in his back pocket at a result? It certainly wasn't a $50m company but even a couple of million in cash would be a very, very nice return on four years' work (for which you've already been paid, anyway). It's enough to guarantee reasonable comfort forever.


 

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