Selling Photos – Quarter 2, 2019
After my June report on earnings from Stock Photography was published earlier this week, I worked on my massive spreadsheet to calculate the quarterly results and smooth out some of the monthly variants. The end result isn’t too pleasing, to be honest!
The total, $8524 is the lowest since the third quarter of 2017 when I earned $7818. Of course, one quarter may be a blip, but the evidence points to a continued decline in earnings per online file, which is how I judge whether my efforts to grow my portfolio are paying off in increased earnings. I calculate the figure by averaging the number of files I have on Shutterstock, iStock and AdobeStock over the three months to give me an idea of the size of the portfolio in that quarter. This quarter, the answer was 9850 files. I then calculated the earnings from all my agencies but removed video sales and Fine Art America sales as they are much higher in value and more of a one-off. The division of average files into total earnings from image sales gives me my earnings per online image:
What a depressing picture! Although the earnings per download might be flat, I am now getting 50% of the earnings from each file that I upload compared to 5 years ago, and the trend is unremittingly downwards with no end in sight. Well, to be honest – there is an end: when the earnings per image reaches zero. Mathematically speaking, that will occur in just over 3 years if the trend continues. It is hard to picture how that would happen, but I wish I could see a leveling off of the graph!
In terms of agencies over the quarter, as you would expect, Shutterstock was the highest earner with $2635. The other agencies look like this:
This chart shows how far some of the agencies have fallen, at least for me. Alamy is becoming a terrible seller and Dreamstime is dropping off a cliff. Canva looked OK in the quarter results, but with earnings of $25 in June, I expect that to become a blip against the axis in future results. Hard to think of much that is positive to say about these results!