Microstock Statistics – April 2016
After months of uninterrupted growth, in April my activity brought stable results, though still at high levels. In fact from a purely numerical point of view, the downloads are grown further even if very little compared to the previous record of the month of March (+1%): therefore, even if only slightly, April is the new best-month-ever about licenses sold. The setback comes instead from revenues, decreased by approximately -6,7% compared to March, due to a lower proportion of higher-value downloads. As usual, overall performance was largely affected by Shutterstock, while some notable results came from smaller agencies. Stable or slightly decreasing results for the other top 10 agencies.
Again good news about my portfolio online, which continues to grow without stops: also in April there have been 1,600 new approvals, with an increase of approximately +5% of files for sale compared to March.
Among the new files of April, some works done in Imperial Rome, during a wonderful day spent visiting the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, obviously passing through the inevitable Colosseum and concluding with the Forum of Augustus, Trajan and Caesar, the so-called Imperial Forums. The shooting also gave me the opportunity to try some new additions to my gear, including the new eyepiece viewfinder for my Nikon D750, the Meike battery grip and my new backpack, Lowepro Flipside 400 AW.
I also had the opportunity to finally realize some timelapse videos among the ruins of ancient Rome. Besides, I could also experience some simple pan and zoom effects applied in After Effects. (Click on the following images to watch the videos directly on Shutterstock).
Going back to the statistics of April 2016, here follows a breakdown of the performances of the main agencies:
|Transitional month for Shutterstock: on one side I had the new download record (+3% vs. March), on the other, due to a lower incidence of single downloads, I had a decrease in revenues of approximately -12% from the previous month. Nothing to worry about, since this is nevertheless the fourth-best result ever. My portfolio comes back to grow in double digits (+11%) with approximately 250 new files, a total that far exceeds the sum of 2,500 files of images and video on sale.|
|Once again it has been a month at double speed for 123RF, this time with opposite trend compared to the month of March: downloads decreased of around -15%, while revenues grew by more than 40 percentage points, thanks to a long series of licenses sold at higher prices. Consequently the month can’t be evaluated negatively. The portfolio instead is steady, but that’s because some hundreds of files in the queue for approval by the end of March finally obtained approval in early May. In practice, more than a month of waiting for the revision of the files. It’s true that you just need to complain by email with them in order to break the deadlock, but complaining on a regular basis is likely to become very annoying.|
|Negative month for Depositphotos, with decreasing downloads (-11% compared to March) and lower revenues obtained (-30%). The portfolio, despite long approval time, is further increased by about +6% over the previous month.|
|After a particularly positive March, here comes a negative rebound for iStock: the licenses sold decreased by about -15% versus March, while revenues were almost -20% less than the previous month. The portfolio is almost unchanged.|
|Stable trend for Fotolia, with revenues and downloads absolutely in line with the previous month. I have not been particularly affected by the closure in April of Dollar Photo Club, the “low cost” service of Fotolia. Many others microstockers however complained that this event has caused a reduction in their sales of between 20% and 40%. Personally I came from a March that had already been very negative, therefore the fact that I seemingly have not had any damage from the closure of Dollar Photo is a factor that can be hardly evaluated as positive. Moreover my images portfolio grew by more than +15% from the previous month and it was therefore reasonable to expect something more.|
|Stable month also for Pond5 compared to March. The images portfolio is virtually unchanged, accomplices the long times for review of the files. At this rate, any “seasonal” work program is likely to be completely busted. To be sure to have Christmas images online in time, you should start to send those works in early September…|
|Positive month for Dreamstime, growing both in terms of downloads (+30% vs. March) and in terms of revenues (+21%). There is really little to get excited about, but sometimes some signs of recovery like this give hope for a better future for this agency. Finally I found in April a little time and patience to upload new files. Consequently, the portfolio has returned to growth (+10% compared to March).|
|Total disaster for CanStock, with downloads and revenues at historic lows compared to the last year and a half. It’s true that it is still easy to upload new works and the submission process requires no loss of time, but it’s really depressing to see the results of this agency in recent times. I will use the rest of the year to figure out if CanStock is going to be one of the next cuts in my collaborations.|
|Back to grow instead Bigstock, with the second best result ever in terms of downloads (+9% versus March), and an encouraging +25% in terms of revenues. All this with a stable portfolio (only +2% vs. March) because I uploaded only few images in the last couple of months.|
As mentioned earlier, the good surprises of April come from so-called minor agencies, with some very encouraging performances: in particular the remarkable exploit of Colourbox, at its best month ever, enough to take an unprecedented place in the Downloads Top 5 of April. Very well also Mostphotos (best month ever) and Pixta. Stable Kozzi and Panthermedia.
Here following the charts with the top 5 agencies in terms of downloads and in terms of revenues: beside the Colourbox surprise in the Downloads Top 5, in terms of revenues the major agencies are confirmed at the top 5 places.
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