A common question in recent times has been whether microstock will suffer or thrive as a result of the slowing global economy. Within the context of seasonal trends (March is always a great month for microstock) the question has been answered, at least for now.
Microstock photographers are reporting record earnings across all top agencies. Microstock agencies themselves are reporting rising sales and breaking daily revenue records this month. The fundamental market indicators are all pointing up.
Microstockers are Up
Top microstocker Andres Rodriguez has broken his daily record twice this month already and is on target to break his monthly earnings record. Many microstockers are reporting new records at various top microstock agencies over at Microstock Group. My own earnings are at an all-time high despite not uploading for almost four months.
Microstock Agencies are Up
Data from iStockcharts.de, a service which monitors sales volumes and other metrics of selected iStockphoto accounts, shows a modest increase in sales for the month of March. New accounts likely account for a portion of this growth, though most accounts of significant volume are already monitored.
The Seasonal Influence
This chart shows my previous three years of earnings. As you can see, March is always higher than February.
However, take into account the fact that I haven’t uploaded for almost four months, and note the results for February 2009 against previous years. Could this be indicating that microstock is indeed thriving in this economic climate? I wonder how my results would be different if I had shot and uploaded this month.
It’s Not Up for Everyone
Some exclusive iStockphoto contributors have reported dropping sales volumes since the last Best Match search algorithm update. Not all, but some. It’s offset by many contributors both exclusive and non-exclusive reporting record highs with the agency. Again, the data from iStockcharts.de shows it’s the typical shuffle of fortune which comes with algorithm updates. The percentage gain/loss column has a mixture of red and green. The difference for exclusive iStockphoto contributors is that they have total exposure (for their Royalty Free content) to the algorithm updates, for better or worse.
How are Your Microstock Earnings?
Did you break any earnings records in March? Do you think the indicators show microstock is resisting the global economic slowdown, or is it just seasonal?
Posted March 30th, 2009 by Lee Torrens