Welcome back to another detailed monthly report during these strange times! Even if it all seems kinda of hopeless, I’ve written extensively about finding profitable stock opportunities and trust me there are many within this paradigm shift.
I discuss at length some profitable opportunities in a three-part series – you may access Part I here and Part II here. I’ll be publishing Part III in the next few weeks and already quite excited about some of the more futuristic concepts I’m exploring.
Back to earnings…for a recap, click here to check out the March 2020 Earnings Report.
But first, would appreciate if you could help me out!
Throughout my blog, as you can appreciate, I’ve given quite a bit of my time to help you make sense of this complicated stock industry and focus on making money. I’ve also given away earnings info on some of my best-sellers which will directly lead to those images reducing their value (how much is impossible to say but suffice to say that copycat thieves may be lurking).
If you feel that the information below and throughout the blog is useful I kindly ask you to donate as much as you feel is reasonable, such a price of a coffee (not as Starbucks though), by clicking on the following link below:
You can also support me by purchasing one or more of my images as a wall-hanger for a friend / relative.
Lockdown in Portugal is relatively easy-going compared to other countries, such as Spain and Italy. Therefore, in April, I’ve taken full advantage, in between working remotely, to capture some beauty. I enjoy shooting this time of the year as the weather is changing, which produces some spectacular results.
Micros in the dumps
I have to be brutally honest, as always, that since I’ve been following the news on all stock sites with their management’s decisions to lower contributor commissions that I’ve lost much of my motivation to upload to micros. I’ve written about some of the price-lowering, at the expense of contributors, in this blog post.
Worse of all has been Shutterstock management’s decision to lower prices on their HD/4K packs where contributors will start earning as little as $3 for the sale of a 4K clip and $1.88 for HD! Disgusting!
To add insult to injury, Shutterstock seem to be rejecting more than usual stills for silly reasons, such as noise and focus. Eventually they do get accepted but boy does it take numerous attempts.
Arcangel is awesome
Therefore, my motivation lately has been in the form of capturing book covers. Arcangel, strict as they are, have loved my recent material, which includes the following (they aren’t yet reflected in this report since they are still being keyworded):
Some footage as well, of course
This month has been quiet on the footage side but I was keen to capture those fishing boats and flocking seagulls (among other similar clips) and I think I did a quite good job. All have been accepted at various agencies.
April Detailed Summary (Stills)
Well, in the month that many businesses, especially travel, are facing uncertain future, it’s not hugely surprising that sales were much lower than previous months, in fact half of March. I do hope that it will pick up in May but that’s probably wishful thinking (for another discussion).
Here are my detailed results per agencies for stills (in alphabetical order):
|Agency||Number of Images in port (added April)||Net Revenue for April (US$)||Avg Return Per Download (US$)|
|Adobe Stock||3,385 (21)||63||0.88|
|Creative Market||1,419 (21)||13||7|
|Fine Art America||690||0||0|
|Robert Harding||383 (0)||19*||9|
|Shutterstock Editorial||725 (0)||0||0|
*Q4 2019 results
April Detailed Summary (Footage)
Footage was poor as well with only 4 real sales at SS, thankfully for respectful prices. iStock also produced sales but they were all under $1 each, ugh:
|Agency||Number of clips in port (added April)||Net Revenue for April (US$)||Avg Return Per Download (US$)|
|Adobe Stock||351 (8)||0||0|
Total earned: $619 net in April vs March $1255
Long-term clip results
I’m hoping that even if overall sales do drop, that at least footage may pick up some of the slack, but so far this month that didn’t happen with only 19% of my earnings coming from footage. If you recall, one of my 2020 goals was that footage sales would account for at least 25% of earnings. There’s still time…
Long-term Results per major agencies
Average returns per download are steady but you can see huge drops in net earnings at the major agencies in April.
Now let’s look at the significant sales at each of the major agencies, in alphabetical order.
A somewhat respectful 10 sales for $91 net at Alamy on a problematic month. However, since buyers may pay 3 months after usage, we’ll see just how bad things get in the coming months. There’s already warning signs that sales will be dropping come May as the number of views and zooms (Click-through rate) has fallen off a cliff.
Pretty poor month at AS with $63 in earnings, including these best-sellers:
Decent month at iStock at $135, but keep in mind that they report one month behind, so these would be March results. I fully expect that April results to be significantly lower.
Some best-sellers in March include:
Some joke prices for clips:
Very very poor month at Shutterstock at $168 for stills and $77 for clips. In fact, last time that volumes were this low (309 downloads) was December 2017 when I had significantly less assets. In terms of earnings, last time I performed so poorly earnings-wise was also December 2017 and I wasn’t even doing videos then!
Unusually, no significant stills sales to share, just a bunch of subs and ODDs. As for clips:
Last one was the usual fireworks in Copacabana that sells every month.
I’ve taken a conservative decision to slow down my uploads to the Minnows during these more volatile times. I really don’t think many of these agencies will last another few months with fewer buyers! So I won’t risk my assets there.
Nevertheless, combined the minnows earned me a respectful $79 in April, with DepositPhotos leading the pack with $19 on over 6,000 assets!
Turd of the Month Agency
Turd of the Month goes to Picfair which hasn’t given me a sale in over 7 months despite registering almost 200,000 views!
Well done you fucking manipulative turds! Don’t upload there, please.
What’s in store for April?
I want to try to be as positive as I can and look for opportunities instead of complaining about how difficult it is to make money in this business, so stay tuned for Part III of my post-coronavirus world futuristic concept piece.
I’ll be purchasing a drone soon and have been researching with the Mavic Air 2 looking promising.
Featuring Theo’s home-office setup
I’ll also be featuring Theo from Bestravel on his plans for making the most of lockdown and capturing concepts at home, including his workflow and gear.
I’m an eccentric guy, currently based in Portugal (fled Madrid to escape the brunt of this nasty Coronavirus), on a quest to visit all corners of the world and capture stock images & footage, when thing sgo back to normal. I’ve devoted seven years to making it as a travel photographer / videographer and freelance writer (however, had recently go back into full-time office work to make ends meet!). I hope to inspire others by showing an unique insight into a fascinating business model.
I’m proud to have written a book about my adventures which includes tips on making it as a stock travel photographer – Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography