EMBRACING CHANGE IN THE STOCK IMAGE INDUSTRY

NZ dollars notes by Miz Watanabe

New Technologies are consistently influencing the way we live but also the way we work and consume. Ecommerce platforms are now optimised to allow a one-click-to-purchase; we can now pay by waving plastic or our phones in front of a terminal and soon we won’t need gazillion different passwords for each and every single account we have as we will be able to log into them using a master key device.

Thanks to technologies, we also now have an almost-unlimited access to knowledge, media and resources. We chew every day through an unbelievable amount of content, at an incredible pace, and expect to see something fresh each and every single time we go online.

This is creating opportunities for the stock industry.

People in the creative, media and marketing industries have been monitoring this shift closely. They’ve understood that they needed to adapt their strategy in order to keep up with their audience and not be outstripped and outcompeted in their respective industries. In the past few years, they’ve been moving more budgets towards digital media and have had an increased focus on video. Today, they need to create content faster and more regularly… but do not have the time nor budgets anymore to produce their own content each and every single time. Which is why they need to buy these images or videos from someone… Someone like photonewzealand (a.k.a. YOU).

But here’s the catch! 

Marketers and creatives are now facing more constraints than ever (resources constraints, shorter deadlines, higher turn-around-time) and need to gain in efficiency. Which is why they are looking for tools and processes that are – in good Kiwi linguo – “easy as”!  E.g. “Image found – click, send to cart – click, select option –click,  finalise purchase – click, image downloaded. Done.”

They also want to have the flexibility to create new collateral or extend a campaign if need be, without having to go through the painful process of relicensing an image. Clients are prepared to go through the RM process only for very specific and unique  images… or, if they want to have exclusive use of an image. But this seems to have become less critical over the past few years to most clients.

And to complete the picture, our clients are also often following orders (their own clients’ instructions). Often times, they are the ones who are asking our clients to “only look at RF images”. Maybe they are not informed enough, maybe they do not understand rights managed images…

Whatever the reason, our clients simply DO NOT want to have to go through the hassle of using a price calculator anymore. They are moving away from RM images and are much more likely to purchase an image immediately if it’s a Royalty Free image. Even if in reality, very few of them will keep using an image “forever” (see reasons in paragraph #3), they will be happy to pay $400 to $600 for a RF image if they are “certain” of the price and if it makes things “nice and easy”.  the reality is many clients only look for RF images.

So, we’ve been asking ourselves… Is it time for us to change our strategy as well? Are we missing out on sales by having “so many” pictures in our RM collection? Our answer is simple: yes! 

Whether you like it or not, RF image collections are where the growth is. This is a very clear and steady trend and we strongly believe that unless you have a specific reason to stick to the RM model, you’re currently missing out on sales.

To give you an idea, in the past year alone, the share of Rights Managed licenses has continued to decline when our Royalty Free sales have grown by 300% in value.

Which is why we would like you to take an objective look at your collection currently live on photonewzealand and at your future submissions.

Our vision is that only your absolute best images should be Rights Managed. What do we mean by best images? We mean the images that are unique, hard to find anywhere else and that have high production values.

RF images are generally less “unique”. It does NOT mean they are “bad” pictures, it just means that if similar images can be found elsewhere on a RF site, then they should be in our RF collection – otherwise, clients will very likely go to that other site to buy the images. Be reassured, it does NOT mean that we would sell your RF images for $5 a pop either. Our price range for RF images will stay the same – and selling even once a large format of a RF image for $435 is better than not selling an image at all…

We know it’s a tricky and sensitive topic! And of course, the choice to migrate part or all of your RM images to the RF collection stays yours. We just thought we’d plant the seed and we’d start getting the ball rolling…

Signing off,
The One Shot team

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