Microstock 2011 – an Infographic in Review

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9 Comments

  1. Posted December 29, 2011 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    Great work Bob! Lots to take away from that. Not least of which is that there’s never a dull moment in our little market.

    • bobbigmac
      Posted December 29, 2011 at 1:34 am | Permalink

      Indeed… I’m still interested in our exciting industry despite now having been self-employed AND involved in microstock longer than any other career ‘phase’ in my life 🙂

  2. Posted December 29, 2011 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Always appreciate your analysis of market drivers !

  3. Posted December 29, 2011 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Great summery of the year Bob. I’ve bookmarked this page and will be sure to be linking and referring to it in the future 🙂

  4. Posted December 29, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Great job! 2012 will be another record year, in many ways…

  5. Lloyd Snr
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    great stuff …

  6. bobbigmac
    Posted January 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Some clarifications as a result of questions/comments over on microstockgroup

    Shutterstock show a smaller market-share (by unique users) than they would if it showed market-share (by revenue) because of their strong subscription-base (for obvious reasons).
    Defining and detecting a unique-user is pretty complicated (it’s a whole big web-analytics thing) since everyone measures it differently and in many cases it can be gamed (a couple of agencies gained 1% on their market-share in that chart because they’ve gamed their usage stats, or have better social-media-integration than others). It’s a small enough margin though that it didn’t need to be factored in for the sake of an infographic where 1% on a pie is pretty meaningless.

    The iStock numbers are pretty accurate (give-or-take a bit of wiggle-room)… some details in this video of my StockInRussia presentation (~606 photographers make 80% of iStock’s revenue iirc).
    iStock has just over 37,000 contributor accounts with at least 1 image for sale (getting excel to chart that many datapoints was a challenge I can tell you ;)).

    ~19 million images (~ = approx, in this case a ballpark of around 16-22m) uploaded (not accepted) is based on how many images I KNOW were uploaded to each of the 40+ agencies on picWorkflow, extrapolated for the rough market-share and number of agencies (and micro-priced individual collections) I know of across the industry, then reduced to account (this is the least certain part) for the number of duplicates (also gathered from picWorkflow data). It’s not ‘hard fact’ (hence the section is fact’oids’, not facts ;)), but it’s a pretty close estimate.
    Don’t forget, on the scale of the web, 19 million is not that much… flickr was getting 1 million per day in 2006, and facebook gets 200 million per day now. There are a LOT of photos on the web, and a LOT of photo-selling sites. I know fb/flickr don’t equate to stock but as an indicator of how many people are capable of producing images it’s good to know a comparison since at such large scales numbers like this don’t make much sense 🙂

    I also ‘discovered’ that many of the biggest contributors to iStock already do collaborate with each-other, or negotiate better terms. I’m not important enough to know for a fact what those terms are, but preferential search-placement is certainly on their radar. The iStock search-engine know who produces images which convert views-to-sales, and reward them.

    The list of search terms are not from iStock (no microstock agencies currently make their actual search volumes available, despite my constant and ongoing requests)… the search terms are gathered from my own microstock search apps, addons, feeds, plugins, widgets and various other services/proxies I run. My dataset is skewed towards these split (so it doesn’t make 100%) demographics:
    ~90% technically-capable users (at least enough to install an addon/plugin or run a blog/website)
    ~90% individuals or freelance/self-employed
    ~40% free-users (want free images, I’m working on the upsell)
    ~10% spam-users (kids looking for naughty pictures)
    The searches are accurate for all of my received searches, it’s close to agency data, but not 100% what they would see since I have very low corporate-reach (mainly means I see a drop in business or news related terms, I also have a low-side people search-list but that’s improving).

    As MikLav said, I am referring specifically to growth when I say “outpace the growth”, not volume. Volume on stills will probably always outsell footage, though total revenue for footage will probably beat stills within 3 years.

  7. Dmitriy
    Posted April 26, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Hey David, thanks for the stats, especially for the keywords.
    “butterfly” is the 3rd searched word? what a surprise.
    Fotolia is bigger than SS? Hm, why can’t I get it even close to SS in sales.

    A few comments about iconographic:
    – what are the boxes in each bar in bar chart? not labeled
    – pie chart labels are hard to read. right pie chart has all 0% but one 1%, show 2 decimals there (do you need that at all?)

    • bobbigmac
      Posted April 27, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Heya Dmitriy

      At a rough guess I’d say butterfly is at an inflated level there (due to some of the effects mentioned in other comments) though I’d bet it’s still right at the top somewhere. One of my other reports shows butterfly around 30th.

      Fotolia have more unique visitors than Shutterstock, though not necessarilly more gross revenue since SS have a strong corporate offering, whereas fotolia caters more to invidividual image users, so SS probably sell a lot more to each individual buyer than FT do.

      The boxes in each chart are the share proportional to each agency, not labelled because it’s not really relevant. The second pie (it’s a sub-pie) is just because there was no way to fit almost 50 agencies on one pie… it’s more readable like this, even if it is a bit of a mess still 😀

      Thanks
      Bob (btw, it’s Bob, not David :))

4 Trackbacks

  1. […] Microstock 2011 – an Infographic in Review […]

  2. […] dni temu via G+ Bob Davies udostępnił bardzo ładne podsumowanie roku 2011, dla tych co wolą poczytać po polsku przygotowałem tłumaczenie tekstowe (po wykresy zapraszam […]

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