Fotolia´s new Provocateur "collection" ("Affordable avant-garde"): If there would be more from this type of imagery (not only 100+ images) at this price, with only a few having the potential, I´d be ready to forget about Vetta.
People on the move: "Thilo Semmelbauer has joined the executive team at Shutterstock [in April] as President in Shutterstock’s headquarters. Semmelbauer brings a wealth of experience leading subscription-based online businesses", says Shutterstock. Most recently he was EVP, NA Consumer Business for TheLadders.com; more here. Adam Riggs, Shutterstock’s President for over four years, remains CFO.
Many will have noted in the past weeks the changes on Bigstock and the rebranding from BigStockPhoto to the simpler, shorter name Bigstock - which was done because many customers already called the site Bigstock and since Bigstock also offers many illustrations. Here´s exclusively more from Jon Oringer about the future of Bigstock:
"I hope by now many of you have taken the time to check out Bigstock’s redesigned website, www.bigstock.com. The site is the culmination of an enormous amount of work by our team – we’ve redone the site’s design, interface and upload tools, rebuilt its search interface and algorithm, and we’ve made important additions to its navigation, branding, help text and SEO capabilities. Every page of the site has been touched with the goal of improving the customer experience, and we’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish.
Many people have asked us what the future holds for Bigstock. We plan to make significant investments to expand Bigstock’s presence among image buyers and contributors worldwide. In addition, we’ll be investing heavily to further develop our infrastructure: We just added two blogs, one for customers and one for contributors, and we're also introducing a creative new advertising campaign that will run in major design publications worldwide. We invite Bigstock’s community to tell us what they think about the improvements, and to stay tuned for more exciting news to come."
Shutterstockannounced in September 2008 that 60 million image files had been downloaded since 2005, roughly three months after a high-risk but finally lucky analysis presumed a similar approach then.
In their recent press release with respect to the 10-million-images milestone, Shutterstock mentions that it "has delivered over 125 million image downloads to customers since its founding in 2003", which would result in a very high number of downloaded files in this relatively short period (September 2008 until February 2010) of only 18 months. -One of the last official numbers, iStockphoto achieved 17.55 million downloads in 2007.
Both annoncements from Shutterstock as of 2008 and 2010 exclude footage.
While Shutterstock added "40,000 new images a week" in 2008, it´s now up to "80,000" per week in 2010, with a rejection rate of 60%.
The rest about the "industry of imitators" over there.
News about yet another newly achieved millions-of-images-count-milestone appeared from most of the well-known microstock agencies in 2009 about every second month. So generally no big thing.
But now for the first time it´s up to numbers with eight figures. Though already an old number a day later, Shutterstock, the inventor of the subscription model and as the first of the Big Four* microstock agencies, completed yesterday shortly before midnight local time NY its next milestone of 10,000,000 microstock subscripton images.
As known all over the place, the absolute number of images can, but must not necessarily be connected to the financial success of a microstock agency: iStockphoto currently shows roughly 6,3 million, Dreamstime 7,7 million and Fotolia 7,4 million - the latter surprising because Fotolia announced 8 million images two month ago in December 2009.
(Screenshot exclusively and courtesy of Shutterstock)
*I have excluded microstock newcomers like PixMac which predominantly
distributes external content from Fotolia and Dreamstime and reaches
10,185,000 images this way.
Update Feb. 16, 2010:
Fotolia´s image-/file count: So while on the topic whether or not Fotolia shows 8 million image files, Fotolia´s EVP NA Garth Johnson added: "Our count is over 8 million now. We separate the Photos and
Illustrations from both Vectors and Videos." "All together, we have well
over the 8 million mark."
Acquire another credit-based micro agency which additionally doesn´t offer a subscription plan: more details.
Read Jon´s announcement here on the SS forum: "Though we studied the possibility of building a credit site from scratch, in the end we decided that acquiring and building upon the momentum of a solid brand like BigStockPhoto.
What we did with subscriptions - we plan to do with credits".
Stock Firms Profit From Cost Efficiencies: In an economic climate of wilting ad revenues and viewer fragmentation, the bill for an original shoot is simply tougher than ever to justify when a cheaper version already exists, according to Mona Kanin, regional director of the NY office for Framepool. Not all microstock companies compile lists of broadcasters who use their service, but anecdotal evidence is telling. iStockphoto's footage has appeared on Nightline, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and in ads for the John McCain campaign as well as in music videos and promos. Shutterstock's content has been used by A&E, CBS News Marketing, and VH1's Save the Music campaign, among others. As Oringer says: “They've found it to be an affordable library for them, and they've been able to find what they've needed at prices they've never seen before.” Broadcasting & Cable.
Up to now you never ever had a tiny chance in your lifetime to sit on a panel with two iStockers, one former one and one present one, and the session partly mirrored this dramaturgy of its very own kind with crown caps flying from the right side all over the panel desk to the left side.
Thanks also to Jon from Shutterstock, Serban from Dreamstime and Alex from 123RF for contributing their opinion on the matter. And a special Thank you! to Barack who responded to the question if a professional picture researcher should use more free images with a clear voice by kindly saying: Yes, we can´t. But I don´t go into the details here.
To be fair, please note that in threads like the two mentioned above the negative
comments of some members might prevail which might not reflect the opinion of
the majority of contributors. Also, and again to be fair, the results of the quoted and ongoing survey above might not be representative for the majority of contributors. Again, you need to read both
threads mentioned above yourself for a complete and balanced overview.
Shutterstock announced the introduction of Shutterstock footage in February 2006 and went live with it in April 2006 - way earlier than iStock footage (Sept. 2006). 11 months ago in April 2008 Shutterstock added a subscription plan to Shutterstock footage. While Fotolia is still in the process of building its microstock footage library, Shutterstock announced today that it is extending all Shutterstock Footage subscription terms from 30 days to one year at no additional cost and also introduces Low Resolution stock footage subscriptions.
Detailed changes between the initial 2008 and today´s 2009 subscription plan after the jump, marked in red.