Another month, another set of earnings! June 2013 was nothing great – not bad, but certainly not breaking any records. Total earnings in the month were $1956, helped by a pretty good month at Shutterstock with a total of nine enhanced downloads in the month. With those licenses, I ended the month with $955 at Shutterstock. All the rest were so-so. IStock continued its decline, to $242, and that is with an estimate of their Partner Program earnings. For “technical reasons’ iStock has not been able to post the earnings from the Partner Program for the month of May yet – almost 6 weeks after the month ended. Makes you wonder if they are still using calculators and paper to work out the earnings!
Here are the earnings per site this month:
And the total earnings growth over the past 2+ years – showing a steady growth, obviously, but very variable and unstable in these last months:
And to make it all make sense – here is a graph of how my file count has been growing during the past months. I’ve maintained a steady growth of images – this last month was mainly images that I took during a trip to Germany, and I’m still working on some of those! I also got some very nice macro shots of Cicadas, as Brood II was very populous in Virginia this year – 17 years in the ground and then they all make whoopy for a few weeks. As you can see from the graphs, I did a big upload of images that were sitting in Deepmeta and ready to upload to iStock in May – adding just a few more this last month. I find iStock to be annoying in that I have to work separately on each image to make sure the keywords match their controlled vocabulary, and with the recent drop off in sales it gets harder and harder to pluck up the energy to do that work. I haven’t uploaded any of my Germany shots, for instance, as yet.
Finally, a growing concern of mine is the success of Shutterstock relative to the other agencies. This graph shows the percentage of my earnings each month from the various sites. Back at the start, Shutterstock was around 35 – 40% or so of the total. The last two months it has been almost 50%. It is always a worry when one “customer” becomes such a large share of revenue – anything that goes wrong with that agency is immediately translated back to big changes for me. I would much rather get my income from a lot of similar sized agencies if it was feasible, but I do wonder if the Google Images changes where you could download an image directly from Google without going through to the hosting site is having a big impact on the smaller agencies. GL Images have laid off some staff, and I’m sure the other small agencies that relied on people searching for an image on Google and then buying it from their site are suffering.