19 Aug 2011 The PACA Conference 2011
Despite fundamental differences in business models, microstock agencies have always learned a lot from traditional stock photo agencies. There’s also some things that go the other direction.
After publishing my report for agencies, I’m now spending more time talking about this part of the business. That has now culminated in a huge opportunity that I’m very excited about. This year I’m hosting three sessions on the program at the PACA International Conference.
What Are the Most Valuable Discussions Today?
I’ve picked three topics that I feel are at the core of what makes the difference between growth and contraction for stock photo agencies today. They’re aligned for an audience of primarily traditional, non-microstock, agencies. And the content is based in microstock, the area of knowledge where I can add the most value.
PACA + Microstock?
For anyone still not familiar with PACA, they’re a member based association representing stock photo agencies, libraries and distributors. Their annual conference is the highlight of the industry calendar. It’s both a networking mecca and an educational conference where experts from within and beyond the industry share knowledge on topics of the day.
While focussed on North America, PACA counts most of the world’s bigger stock photo companies among its members. Shutterstock and Dreamstime are also both members, as is iStockphoto parent Getty Images.
This year the conference is open to photographers and buyers to help broaden the conversations. ASPP, ASMP and other photographer organizations are involved in the program and helping bring in photographers to participate.
Time to Replace your Gut Instincts with Real Numbers and Logical Analysis
Are your customers telling you they want one thing but buying something else? How do you know? Is there benefit in profiling stock photo customers by numbers – how many are there, how much do they spend, how frequently do they buy, and what do they buy?
ROI and Social Media (Notice how ROI comes first!)
Are you increasing profit with social media, or just increasing brand value, customer satisfaction and other intangible assets? How can you track social media revenue and effectiveness? How do you know if the people you are reaching are potential buyers, and if not, where can you find them? What are the most effective tools and techniques being used by stock photo libraries today.
Ingestion 2.0 – How to get your contributors back
Where did all our contributors go? What can a stock photo library do to lower the cost of doing business for contributing photographers? What technologies is everyone else using to reduce, displace or eliminate ingestion costs? What do photographers want, and how do they evaluate where to place their content?
Other Parts of the Program
The rest of the program is also looking great.
The keynote address will be given by Kathy Ryan from The New York Times Magazine.
Tom Kennedy, former Director of Photography for National Geographic and Washington Post Managing Editor of Multimedia, will be speaking about ‘Understanding the Changing Media Landscape’, sponsored by ASMP.
Gail Mooney, photographer and filmmaker, will talk about the innovative distribution methods she used for her “Opening our Eyes” documentary, sponsored by ASPP.
James Pierson, Program Manager of Trust & Safety at Linden Lab, makers of Second Life, will be presenting on copyright infringement.
Two of the most evident lessons microstock has learned from the traditional agencies are distribution and collections.
For the first five or so years of microstock there was no distribution. Microstock agency portfolios were silos. Distribution in the traditional market has, for the life of the microstock business model, been a complex web, often described as “everyone distributing everyone”. That distribution is now fully integrated in the microstock market too.
For a similar period of time microstock agencies didn’t have collections either. Fotolia was the first to introduce a separate collection with Infinite, and now iStockphoto has its content split across six different collections.
What’s At PACA for Stock Photo Businesses?
It’s where most of the industry distribution deals are negotiated and re-negotiated. Beyond distribution it’s also where most businesses find their platform providers and recruit staff members.
The program also makes it the place where stock photo businesses keep up to date with developments, and hear about new technologies, new ideas and new market opportunities.
And this year with some sharing of knowledge from different areas, it may also be where all parts of the stock photo industry come a little closer together.
Let the networking begin!