If you’re a creator or distributor of Stock Photogaphy here are some questions to ask at the beginning of 2010:
- What if the Stock Photography industry does not recover after the recession and publishers and traditional advertising agencies will spend even less on Stock Photography?
- What if Content mills like Demand Media accelerate their activities and start taking big shares at the bottom of the market, just like Royalty Free and Micro stock did before them?
- What if producers of ‘high end’ Rights Managed and Royalty Free content can no longer match the quality of some of the best Microstock photographers who understand the power of scale?
- What if the complications of the Rights Managed pricing model keeps on driving clients away and only a few people realise simplification is needed?
- What if the futile misunderstandings and arguments between supporters of Rights Managed, Royalty Free, Microstock and Subscription models prevent everyone from collaborating towards a sustainable model?
- What if Google turns their raft of innovations into a search tool that matches or exceeds that of Stock Photography companies and immediately becomes the world’s leading source for finding Stock Photography?
- What if creating a direct connection between buyers and creators of images becomes so easy that Stock Photography distribution companies are simply no longer necessary?
- What if the historical, revenue split based, business model is challenged and replaced by paying for services directly?
- What if clients turn their back on complicated, unpredictable and unrealistic pricing models and turn to free images and much simpler pricing models?
- What if the industry is not paying attention and an outsider once again introduces a new model, just like past new models have come from the outside to a sceptical industry?
- What if well meant initiatives from the industries’ organisations are rooted in the past and don’t work in a fast changing media world?
- What is prices continue to go down as a result of saturation and many companies selling the same content without differentation?
- What if companies don’t cut their costs and keep spending too much on customised technology, expensive sales teams, large offices and other remnants of a business model that is loosing traction fast?
- What if more, not less, Stock Photography companies go out of business in 2010?
- What if a whole industry loses control over its destiny by not adopting new technologies, innovations, ideas and best practice?
The rough elements for a reshaping of the Stock Photography industry are out there and an industry working together can find, combine, develop and use them to create a business model that works in this fast changing media environment?
We’ll follow up with a list of things that may help deal with some of the challenges.
For now it would be good to hear from you what other threats are out there so please comment…