Time flies! It's been ages since the microstockexpo (videos here) definitely time for a round-up of recent microstock news:


MicrostockExpo (Very) Mini Review

Last Novembers microstockexpo was another great event to attend like the first expo. A lot of companies were the promoting their latest 'mobile babies'. I can't help but feel most of the attendees were not all that interested in mobile (perhaps not such a surprise). A common theme across many of the speakers was 'authentic' photography - images that look unstaged and natural. Yuri's keynote was surprisingly open with lots of info on how he manages his business; there was a conflicting message in there which struck a chord with me - At one point he was showcasing some of his photos including highly polished / processed images a few minutes later extolling the virtues of candid and natural looking (I so want to drop the word 'authentic' a second time). I feel that sounds exactly like where we are in microstock, a crossroad between 'cut out on white' (arguably 'safe') and the more creative work we are starting to see on Stocksy, Offset, and indeed from Yuri. The two different image styles in Yuri's keynote mirrors the sentiment I made here regarding shooting simple stuff and also creative at the same time, I appreciate that simple and creative mean different things to different people anyway!

While on the subject of trends:

Shutterstock published a rather nice design trends infographic.

Trends this year: things on wooden backgrounds, lens flares, things that look like they just fell like that, business being done in a conversion, It's all about the story



istock announced a new subscription option would be launched in early April, from a post on shutterstock it looks like istocks photographers might have been off looking for pastures greener.

This follows on from Getty announcing that it was closing the photos.com subscription site with customers migrated to thinkstock. Punchchstock and jupiterimages also being closed and re-direted to gettyimages (inspirestock went from Punchstock to 123rf).


It didn't work for Picapp, will it work for Getty?

As you probably already know, Getty have announced that you can use 35 million (40 million?) of their images for free online if you use them via an embedded widget. The widget displays their images along with some advertising on your site. The idea is certainly nothing new, various companies have had a crack at it over the years, picapp (defunct) being the most developed option I ever saw, syndicating "millions" of professional celebrity, sports and tourism images (ideal candidates for bloggers I think) for free in return for you using their code and them getting a chance to show their ads in a popup if a user clicked on the image. Why will this work for Getty? I'm skeptical. Oringer sounded a little on the defensive - i've no idea why felt the need to (is that what shareholders need?). His comment about 99.9% of business being commercial is perhaps not the exact figure plucked from the top of his head but probably not far away from it.

I think by far the most interesting part of this story is Getty getting to grips with what is commercial and non-commercial use. Traditionally anything that was only available for non-commercial use had VERY limited scope for actually being used. Looking a online use only, it's difficult to find any popular website that is not earning some kind revenue from advertising or referrals. These might not be profitable businesses but earning money from adverting is commercial even if it is not covering costs. The definition of commercial has always been woolly (and still is) but Getty have opened to door to their 'non-commercial' use license including blogs that have things like Google adsense on them.

Plenty of discussion on this topic:

BJP Online - Getty Images makes 35 million images free in fight against copyright infringement

MichaelJayFoto - Why Getty decided to offer images for free

PDN Pulse - Why free images are good for photographers

Don't bet on Getty the downside of free


Other things

Best of the Best - Picworkflow did some further analysis based on a blog post and presentation at microstock expo by stockperformer.

Symbiostock stopped or went on hold, and then carried on the same; and oh I don't know anymore! I don't want to make any possibly damaging comments about something that is developing in the way that it is.

Microstockgroup 2013 annual survey results, looks like a fair bit of optimism and plenty of stability to me.

Shutterstock adding 200,000 images in a week via microstockgroup

Depositphotos shows us how syndication is great for making more sales but allows more people take a share of the pie... sometimes the lions share of it.

Shutterstock acquired webDAM cloud digital asset management platform

Picmac announced they were closing - amen to that

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