Thursday, July 14, 2011

The State of the Stock Industry

The stock photography industry is in free fall, and the floor seems to be porous, whereby free isn't even the bottom. While photographers who control their rates using services such as PhotoShelter, with pricing models powered by the baseline of fotoQuote, are able to better withstand the demand for lower rates, by simply saying "no" when unreasonable offers are made, those who are at the whim of pricing models set by a conglomerate, are suffering.

It would be smart for organizations, like Getty, Corbis, and others who have the marketshare to allow photographers to use their services more as a portal, or conduit, while permitting those who use the portal to set the rates. A transaction fee similar to that paid to credit card companies who process transactions (2-4%) would suffice.

Betsy Reid has done a remarkable job of analyzing the state of the market, over at the Brittish Journal of Photography, here, and I highly recommend it for a thoughtful read!

(Comments, if any, after the Jump)

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Anonymous said...

I am curious about the viability of selling stock via PhotoShelter. My assumption has been that I would have to drive all the traffic yourself. Are photo buyers actually doing their own searches on PhotoShelter? Is it worthwhile to use it as a stock portal?

Rich Green said...

I submit to stock, all images are RM, without any illusion that I'll make serious money, but it's still unsettling when I read this stuff.

Bill Koechling said...

John, you're right about the free fall of the stock industry as a whole. I have refused to sign Getty's new contract that requires accepting the possibility that any of my rights-protected images in their collection may, at Getty's discretion, be put into the royalty-free world.

On the other hand, there are new, well-conceived agencies like Glasshouse Images run by honorable people with a track record of respecting professional photographers to give me hope for the future of the stock business.

Laurie said...

Thanks for finding that - its a great article (if a bit long). I'm in the process of site specialising in selling event photos, and one issue that is often asked is if the photographers should be allowed to set their own prices...

So far the arguments are coming down strongly in favour of saying they can.

mike said...

thanks for the great info..well done

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