31 Mar 2009 This Month in Microstock – March 2009

Big news continues to change the microstock landscape each month this year and March was no exception.

Microstock News

Bruce LivingstoneThe biggest news of the month was the resignation of Bruce Livingstone as CEO of iStockphoto and SVP of Getty Images. The official announcement and forum thread has the details. Highlights are that Kelly Thompson is taking over Bruce’s responsibilities and will report directly to Getty Images CEO, Jonathan Klein. Bruce is taking some time to spend with his family though will remain involved with iStockphoto, hoping to increase his upload rate.

Dreamstime introduced a new statistics page which provides comprehensive numerical detail alongside a customizable chart of vital contributor statistics. A new benchmark has been set!

Additionally, Dreamstime updated their on-page upload system to enable multiple simultaneous file uploads and added some nifty new functions to their advanced search facility.

This month the Flickr Collection at Getty Images went live with over 4,000 images.

Alamy proposed subscriptions were the only way to survive the competition amidst rapidly dropping expenditures in the UK editorial market. The suggestion was, as expected, not popular. Alamy responded openly to the feedback in a second announcement on the topic.

iStockphoto added the Getty Images owned Pump Audio content to iStockaudio, boosting the collection with   18,000 tracks.

Fotolia stopped showing the details of the buyer account for images sales, citing contributors pestering buyers for details on how their images were used. It’s a valid justification, and few other agencies provide this data.

Microstock Press

While the Getty Flickr deal itself isn’t news, some interesting details are being considered. Daryl Lang supposes that Flickr Collection images are too expensive for small businesses who will see the four-figure prices and head directly to microstock, while existing Getty Images clients will negotiate discounts. Stephen Shankland points out the images previously assigned a Creative Commons license before going into Getty’s Flickr Collection can only be licensed Royalty Free as CC licenses are perpetual.

Daryl and Stephen also both covered Bruce Livingstone’s resignation here and here respectively.

Microstock received more mainstream press coverage with a short piece from USAToday, prompted by the Flickr Collection’s launch on Getty Images. Unfortunately it focussed on the potential earnings and legal requirements without providing any indication of how difficult it is to get started in microstock at this time. It provided no new information for industry insiders.

  • R. Kneschke
    Posted at 14:58h, 31 March Reply

    It’s not true that Fotolia was the only agency that showed buyer details. PantherMedia is showing the name as well and some macrostock agencies do the same.

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 15:18h, 31 March Reply

      Thanks for the correction Robert. I’ll update the article.


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