January 2010 Sales Stats and News

January was kind of a mixed bag for me…  Most of the sites were way down in sales, while Pond5 was just a little above my 2009 average.  The biggest thing for me is that I doubled my clips on RevoStock and nearly doubled my clips on ShutterStock.  I also added ClipCanvas and iStock into my regular rotation, however iStock takes anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks to approve clips, so I don’t expect anything from them until March.

Agency Clips Sold Portfolio Size
Pond5 42 853
RevoStock 2 190
ShutterStock 2 84
Can Stock 1 12
ClipCanvas 0 38
MotionDrops 0 2

RevoStock was the real puzzler… After 3 months of decent sales, they completely dropped off in November, December and the first 3/4ths of January.  I managed to get 2 sales in January, but I went 88 days without a sale.  Yet, during that time Pond5 continued to sell very well.  I’m guessing that Pond5 and Revo just have different customers… I notice in the “Recent Downloads” section on the RevoStock home page that the majority of clips sold are footage and not animation.

Stock Footage DataUnlike Pond5, RevoStock doesn’t do much to help contributors with sales data.  So it’s hard to gage what types of clips sell well and therefore what I should concentrate on producing for RevoStock.  Their search terms data is mostly useless and you only get to see 10 clips in the “Latest Downloads” with no details on what search terms were used to find the clip or what size sold.  So the best I can do is keep using the Pond5 data to produce new clips and hope when I  upload them to Revo that something catches on.

Most of the reviewers on sites take the holidays off, so all of the sites fall pretty far behind on reviews.  By mid month Pond5 was down to 2 days, RevoStock was down to 3 days, and ShutterStock was down to 3 days.  However, I imagine there was a major surge in uploads the first few weeks of January because they’re all back to being a week behind in reviews.

RevoStock is in the middle of a major overhaul of the site.  They have updated the submission process for footage clips with some great new features.  They also posted some information to help artists get their assets into the weekly Fresh Cuts email newsletter.  Unfortunately, it seems they forgot about Twitter as the number of tweets from them has dropped off.  Pond5 had a minor surge of tweeting the first half of Januay, but they too have gone silent.  ShutterStock and, surprisingly, ClipCanvas are dominating the twitterverse right now with their daily tweets.

I am expecting to see more new features from RevoStock in February… hopefully including a new revenue sharing feature that allows artists to work on projects together and then share the revenue from sales.  Several artists and I pitched the idea originally to Pond5, but they turned us down thinking it would be too much work for them.  I decided to pitch the idea to RevoStock since they’ve been interacting with artists a lot more lately and they loved the idea.  Initially I think it will allow an artist to upload an asset then assign other artists as contributors.  So if you assign 1 contributor you each get a 50% split of each sale.  Eventually, I’d like to see them add the ability to add models as contributors.  This would allow me to shoot a model and instead of paying them up front, I could give them a percentage of anything that sells.

I also expect we’ll see one or two new features from Pond5 in February.  I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag, but if one of the features is what I believe it is, I can tell you that it’s going to be a game changer in the industry.  I’m personally really excited about it.

I spent most of January producing new animations as it was mostly too cold to go outside and shoot video.  It also gave me a chance to spend a lot more time uploading clips to balance out my portfolios across the sites I support.  Overall I uploaded close to 400 clips in January and I can tell you that I would not have been able to do it if it weren’t for iSyndica.

I have a fast Internet connection and I can upload a 100mb clip to one site in about 5 minutes as long as the rest of the family is asleep and not sharing my Internet connection.  You can imagine how long it would take to upload 400 clips manually.  Instead, I uploaded 88 clips to iSyndica and “syndicated” them to all of the other sites.  It made my life so much easier.  In fact, I recorded one of my upload sessions on iSyndica and as soon as I get it edited I’ll be posting a video review.

I hope everyone did well and I hope we all do better in February!

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