May was a surprising month with sales doing very well for the first 10 or 12 days, then slowing down considerably and finally making a steady charge the last week for an overall up month. I didn’t get as much uploaded as I would have liked, but I finally did break the 1000 clips barrier on Pond5.
I went with my family to the Henry Doorly Zoo and their Wildlife Refuge Safari in Omaha, NE where I was hoping to get a lot of great footage because they don’t have commercial restrictions on images… but alas things conspired against me. I did manage to get a lot of great still shots, some of which are online, but very little usable footage. The crowds were big for a non-holiday weekend and there was no place to set up my tripod. When I did, it got knocked down several times (thankfully my camera wasn’t on it) and the cross support even got broken (thankfully, I was able to solidly repair it).
I am also having a problem with my computer… the hot part of summer is here and the room where my computer is gets up to 90 degrees even with our air conditioning running full blast. It’s just a poorly ventilated room and I can’t move my computer anywhere else as we have a full house all summer. So I have to do my editing and such at night which means I sleep during the day and miss a lot of opportunities to go out shooting video.
|Agency||Clips Sold||Portfolio Size|
|Pond5||87 (+10)||1009 (+47)|
|RevoStock||4 (+0)||261 (+18)|
|ShutterStock||3 (-4)||131 (+4)|
|ClipCanvas||5 (+5)||186 (+41)|
|MediaStock||0 (-4)||78 (+0)|
|Can Stock||0 (+0)||38 (+8)|
|iStock||0 (+0)||16 (+2)|
Pond5 started off where April ended with lots and lots of sales pouring in. Much of it I sure was coming from the huge $25,000 credit give-away, but I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth (what the heck does that mean?). Towards the middle of the month sales dropped pretty suddenly and started to trickle in, but over the last week they picked back up into a nice steady stream that just barely put me over the top on the last day for another BEST MONTH EVER (that’s four consecutive months if you’re counting). I could hardly believe it, but I topped my previous month’s sales by almost $50. We’re headed into the slow part of the year, so I expect this will be my last BME for a little while. But I must say, Pond5 knows how to sell footage and they do it better than any other site on the Internet. And I had to do a mad dash of editing and uploading the last few days of May, but I managed to get 1,009 clips online, so I can finally lay that goal to rest and start working on 10,000 clips.
RevoStock was ho-hum as usual. I matched April’s sales with just 4 clips. The good news is that RevoStock finally lifted their pricing restriction of lowballing a small percentage of your portfolio. I guess they realize that Pond5 and other sites were killing them on low-cost animation sales. You can now price HD as low as $10. I sell most of my animation at $25 on Pond5, so I matched those prices on Revo. We’ll see if it starts bringing in any additional sales this month. They are also allowing you to bundle clips together for a set price. So, you could put four $25 clips into a “Media Bin” and price the whole bin for a dollar amount or percentage off ($75 or 25% off, for example). That should be interesting and I’ve created several discount bins as a test.
ShutterStock went back to slow sales for me. Just 3 clips and not enough to make payout at the end of May, so it rolled over. Although, I didn’t upload very much to ShutterStock in May and I’m starting to think that the more you upload, the more attention you get which could account for my good sales in March and April when I was doing steady uploading. I will be testing out that theory in June, believe me.
ClipCanvas changed their pricing scheme to allow for more pricing options. I repriced all of my clips (which was a nightmare, their clip editing system is horrible) and managed to get 5 sales there which is fantastic. I’m really hoping they take off. MediaStock sales were non-existent for me in May and from watching their site, sales seem to have dropped quite a bit. It could be their busy with all the site updates and not doing as much marketing as they did previously… we’ll see how it goes.
The summers of 2008 and 2009 were very slow with sales dropping by as much as 50%, so I’m going into this summer with that expectation. Hopefully this will be a nice busy summer, but I’m not going to count on it. Better to be surprised than disappointed.