Welcome back to another detailed monthly report during these increasingly strange and desperate times!
Contributors, including myself, are upset at Shutterstock’s shocking new earnings decline…but with some stats to analyze, let’s see how much different they were from pre-June days. Perhaps dystopia is finally upon us…
Short earnings report
This will be a short earnings report as I really haven’t uploaded much these days, as you’ll see from my detailed breakdown. Taking a step back and thinking about my next month in this business.
Nevertheless, I’ve doubled my efforts to upload for book covers and the efforts are paying off.
Let’s get started…
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.
June Shutterstock deactivation
My Shutterstock earnings took a big hit this month as I engaged in a two-week deactivation, followed by a present-day boycott in protest to their diminished earnings schedule during a pandemic. In fact, I only managed to upload 5 images and 5 clips on Shutterstock for the whole month!
Hitting them where it hurts
In the meantime, I’ve been trying to hit Shutterstock where it hurts, by being a keyboard warrior on my Twitter account, especially by contacting buyers to shop elsewhere, such as Alamy and Adobe Stock.
Selling directly to Shutterstock Buyer
Even though I sacrificed perhaps $100 or $200 for a good cause during these two weeks, the fact that my port was deactivated at Shutterstock ironically led to a quite profitable direct sale from a buyer who contacted me directly to inquire about a particular image.
A few emails later and a license was sold for 20 euros, which will be used as a wall-print at a corporate office in Milan.
Book covers accepted this month
Busy month uploading book covers, with a total of 13 being accepted. Here’s some of my latest accepted in June in a slideshow:
Unfortunately no sales this month, but I’ll keep uploading and my goal is to reach 1,000 images by the end of the years, which means I’ll need to have an average of 30 accepted every month!
Detailed earnings in June
|Agency||Number of Images in port (added June)||Net Revenue for June (US$)||Avg Return Per Download (US$)|
|Adobe Stock||3,441 (12)||49||0.86|
|Creative Market||1,452 (1)||4||4|
|Fine Art America||690||0||0|
|Robert Harding||383 (0)||3*||1|
|Shutterstock Editorial||761 (0)||6||2|
*Q2 2020 results
|Agency||Number of clips in port (added June)||Net Revenue for June (US$)||Avg Return Per Download (US$)|
|Adobe Stock||355 (4)||20||20|
Total earnings: $578 vs $571 in May
Deeper analysis on Shutterstock Post-Earnings Announcement
Even though I only have two weeks’ worth of statistics to work with from Shutterstock, I was curious to see how it stacked up vs pre-June results.
To my surprise my average return per download for images was a really really high $1.03/download ($218 on 212 downloads). This is compared to May’s $0.55/download ($178 on 324 downloads). Still early days, so I’ll keep tracking these…but it seems that even though I’m seeing loads of 0.10-0.20cent pathetic prices I’m also seeing some more ODDs and at slightly higher prices. As for ELs, not many.
Would be curious to see how the results are for other contributors – please comment below. Meanwhile, here are my top 3 microstock agency by comparison:
Now, let’s look at some highlights for the month, starting with Alamy.
Quiet month over at my darling Alamy agency, which I have a love/hate relationship, with only 9 sales for $44. So overall, a very poor month.
The only reasonably priced sale was the following of Piers Cristo’s Floating Piers at Lake Iseo in Italy, that I captured in 2016, which sold for $20 net:
Adobe Stock Highlights
Sold this POV of walking down narrow streets in Seville, Spain for $20.
Relatively quiet month at iStock as the recession starts to bite. Some highlights were also in the video side with two clip sold for $10 each.
Captured at Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain using my gimbal skills:
As per stills, these four sold handsomely.
The following Brazilian jiu-jitsu timelapse sold at Pond5 for $26:
One print on demand sale at Photo4Me sold for $18 net, which suggests that I should probably invest more time and energy into uploading to both Photo4Me and FineArtAmerica.
“Hey, that’s my pic!”
Continuing on with my “Hey, that’s my pic!” segment, I’ve spotted the following four of my images being used in June.
Turd of the Month Agency
The major turd of the month agency this month is without a doubt….
BIGSTOCK, which earned me a whopping $3 on 3,829 images…wow!
Thanks for tuning in and please comment below if you have any interesting suggestions / questions / comments or just want to chat.
All the best and stay safe!
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 things go back to normal (July??). I’ve devoted eight 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, although been recently let go!). 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