- Exclusive interview with Gary Shenk:
Shenk doesn't believe microstock is the answer, and has instead been focusing on corporate customers. Shenk believes RM imagery holds the best value. "We're seeing a commoditisation of the market. We're not interested in that development. We're putting more focus on great and unique products. We're focusing on really great photography, we believe that editorial and rights-managed photography has the most value. In the creative segment so much can be recreated by amateur photographers. The key is to focus on stuff that cannot be replicated. The value grows over time."
Today microstock represents a small part of Corbis' revenues - less than 1%. "We give customers a choice, but the vast majority of our revenues come from great photography and rights-clearance," he says. In fact, over the past three months, Corbis has started to see an overall decline in the growth rate of microstock photography across the market.
BJP, Old gold (compiled).
Which is not the full truth. A decelerated increase in growth - depending on the microstock company - from 40% - 70% (in one case more) in former years to "only" 20% - 35% are still very healthy growth rates which hardly, if ever, can be observed in traditional stock.
Corbis once said in October 2008 that in 2012 microstock would be a market of around $500 million - $550 million. Convervative calculations - mainly based on the revenues of the Big Eight - put this market at around $320 million at least currently, and there are signs that this is not only conservative, but way too conservative, meaning finally that the $500 million barrier will reached earlier than 2012.
So if Shenk does believe that microstock is not the answer, the reason is also that it will take a long time for Veer Marketplace to become an important player in microstock and in this number game.