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Microstock Agencies

Extending Fotolia sales statistics

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We extend Fotolia sales statis support in v1.5.1 of our microstock software, including now the download and sales statistics for all international customers who use local Fotolia sites in their languages, like es.fotolia.com, de.fotolia.com or fr.fotolia.com.

Additionally, Fotolia microstock sales statistics in ProStockMaster software will show now the number of the current month downloads and the monthly earnings for the stock photos sold.

Alamy’ “Novel Use” licensing: go microstock?

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With the fantastic success of microstock agencies in the last few years Novel Use is a native attempt for a traditional stock photography agency like Alamy to follow up this microstock photography wave, and open an additional revenue stream from selling microstock. Just look around – virtually everyone sells microstock credits and subscriptions, why Alamy should not?

Particularly knowing that the competition is tight and a major microstock site made $70 mln revenues last year, followed by others tens-of-mlns-dollars microstocks, does not it make a perfect sense for Alamy trying to follow their success?

Well, I am not sure. At least not with NU idea.

Let me state: it is not about stock photography content. This is exactly my point: stock content does not matter. Content is similar. I can hear your strong “NO!”, but, – come on, forget for a sec all these technical “TIFF+scale-up+keywording” content preparation tricks for the “really high quality stock photos” and just look what the micros sell. Would you agree now? – from the buyers point of view they all sell the same photos and stock illustrations. I know that stock photography content people will never agree to this statement, but the stock imagery buyers just made their votes with their bucks, so it is better to hear the market. You can find content at microstock prices for at least 90% of needs for an industrial buyer. Buyers can choose buying content through Alamy or through a microstock. And surprise 🙂 – stock imaging buyers are already subscribed to 2-4 microstock agencies (InfoTrends marketing research).

So where is the Alamy’s difference on this saturated microstock market? Well, it’s not about the content, it’s about the community. It’s Alamy’s Pros vs microstock Amateurs. Can you sell your community to a buyer? Not sure. Can you sell quite similar content for non-micro prices? Sure you can not, Alamy already knows this answer and therefore NU came out.

However, NU does not takes in account the most important – psychological – factor: for many pros Alamy was an alternative to microstock. NU completely destroys this vision. The last shelter for a stock photographer who keeps screaming “I am not going to sell my images for a buck or two! Never ever!”, this last shelter fails with the NU introduction. Well, probably it should not be so dramatic, but the feeling of many stock photography professionals as they express themselves in Alamy blog and in other places on the Internet is quite similar to that.

That’s why Alamy community strongly disagree to license their images under NU. Their vision is an opposite to microstock amateurs who say “I can get 30 cents per download or nothing if my images will keep sitting on my hard disk. I prefer to be paid”.

In my understanding, NU, which attempts to sell existing “non-micro” content to “microstock-like” buyers is an unnecessarily hard try. Not because Alamy has to educate the market that Alamy sells microstock too, but mostly because Alamy has to educate its own community that Alamy went microstock. And such community education could be a long and not necessarily successful process.

A reasonable alternative to this community education process could be… getting another community, which is willing to contribute stock photos and sell them as microstock. Alamy should expand the contributors base making it easier for amateur photographers to sell stock photos. For the microstock market a stock photography agency needs a microstock community. If Alamy can do that instead of forcing their existing contributors to license stock photos under NU, Alamy definitely gets a good chance to penetrate into the microstock world. Alamy’ brand, the team and the vast agency’s market knowledge supported by the microstock selling community or a resale partner can make the difference.

Keyphrases handling by various stock photo agencies

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So here is the trick that Terry pointed me out a few months ago and Jorgen confirmed the same issue for some more agencies:
IPTC keyphrases interpreting differs between various stock agencies.

It means that if you index your image with a keyphrase like blue water, it will be retrieved OK from IPTC data on e.g. iStockphoto, but will become two keywords blue and water on e.g. Shutterstock. If you will try another trick by doble-qouting your keyphrase (note that PSM is a rare applications which allows you doing that without any problem) and your original keyphrase becomes to be “blue water”, Shutterstock will show it correctly as a blue water keyphrase, but iStockphoto will not show it at all (BTW, why is that iStockphoto.com?)

Good bye, Lucky Oliver!

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I hate to see that Lucky Oliver microstock site did not make it. It was a really nice stock photography agency and I wish a lot of good luck to Bryan and the LO team. Thank you guys and see you in your next venture.

StockXpert microstock uploads issue

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v1.4.1 has a flaw with StockXpert uploads – only one first stock photo in the batch is uploaded. All the rest are reported to be uploaded, but never appear on StockXpert web site.
I am going to investigate this problem and once resolved I’ll issue a software update.

Stock photography software adds Alamy and StockXpert

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New v1.4.0 is here!
It brings you two new agencies:
1. Alamy, the first traditional royalty free and rights managed stock photography agency which we decided to include. Meanwhile we have implemented the uploads only, however we plan to extend Alamy support in further releases.

2. The long-awaited (and millions times requested) Stockxpert! Many thanks to Steve Kapsinow from Stockxpert for his valued help.

Upload issues with Dreamstime and 123rf reported in my previous post are also fixed in this version.

Our list of supported stock photos sites reaches for the first time a two-digits number: there are 10 supported microstock agencies on the list now. It’s a nice milestone.

Fotolia uploads and BigStock fixes

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What’s inside:
1. uploads to Fotolia microstock can go now either to “unfinished” zone on their stock photography web site (like it was in all versions prior to v1.3.3) or directly-to-approval-queue (like it was introduced in v1.3.3).
This behavior is controlled by Preferences in ProStockMaster microstock software and can be manually changed for any group of stock photos your going to upload and be sold on Fotolia.

For instance, if the stock images you are about to upload require model releases, you can select uploading to “unfinished” zone, upload the photographs, and then add model releases. Alternatively, if you are going to upload e.g. nature shots, you can upload them directly to the approval queue, thus saving significant amount of dirty work at Fotolia web.

2. Issues with BigStockPhoto uploads, caused by the changes at BigStockPhoto web, are fixed now.

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