Sales this year so far have been interesting. Overall, they are above my 2010 sales at this time, but growth is slow. I think that’s mostly due to the fact that I haven’t been vigilant about adding new content to my portfolios.
Sales are up considerably on ClipCanvas which seems to be a very fast growing player in the Stock Footage marketplace. They cater to the European market which appears to be a good niche for them. They don’t yet support clips encoded in PNG with alpha, but it’s a feature they are working on. Unfortunately, they joined the club of sites offering free files and they hamstring artists who don’t contribute to their free file pool. When will agencies figure out that buyers don’t care about free files and free files do not attract new buyers. The only people interested in free files are non-buyers who just want more free files.
Sales are also up on ShutterStock, although just barely. I’ve added a few new files this year, but every 4 or 5 submissions gets rejected with some ridiculous reason like “no commercial value” or “use a tripod”. The “user a tripod” is particularly funny when I’m submitting animations. The good news is that ShutterStock has hired a new person for their Stock Footage side of the business who is intent on increasing SS’s market share. We’ll have to see how successful he is… but he’s saying all the right things.
Pond5 sales are up from last year at this time, but pretty even with the end of last year. So I haven’t really experience much overall growth in the first 6 months of 2011. Pond5 has a number of issues which I’ll discuss in a follow-up post. They still outsell all of the other Stock Footage markets combined, but the company is on auto-pilot right now from what it looks like.
RevoStock is both disappointing and exciting at the same time. They have been on a tear adding new features to the site on the stock footage side and over all. A new wordpress plugin for displaying artist portfolios, a new system that allows buyers to resize and re-encode footage for their needs. They are doing a lot to encourage more sales. Unfortunately, they’re not actually making more sales. At least not for me and a half-dozen or so other artists I speak to frequently. Sales are down and have been on a downward trend for some time. I’m not sure what they can do to fix that, other than more direct advertising to studios and such.