The world of microstock is certainly one that continually evolves and changes, and 2014 was no exception. This was a year of partnership and acquisition, as well as restructuring and new and creative offerings. After reviewing tons of announcements and updates that took place throughout the year, here is a recap of the 10 top news items in the industry, working our way back through the year.
1. December 2014 – Adobe to Acquire Fotolia
Adobe announced that it will be acquiring Fotolia for $800 million in cash, with the plan to integrate Fotolia into the Adobe Creative Cloud. Fotolia is currently one of the top 5 stock agencies worldwide, offering over 34 million stock photos, videos, and illustrations.
Fotolia founder and CEO Oleg Tscheltzoff is quoted in the press release saying “Becoming part of the Adobe family is a dream come true for the Fotolia team and will accelerate our vision to become the best place for artists to build a business and the ultimate destination for designers to find stunning creative work”.
The deal is expected to be complete by the end of Q1, 2015.
2. November 2014 – Wix Teams Up With Bigstock
Wix, a leading web development platform with over 56 million registered users worldwide, is teaming up with Bigstock, a Shutterstock-owned media marketplace with over 21 million photos, videos, vectors and illustrations, to provide its customers with seamless access to high-quality, licensable images from inside their Wix accounts.
In the last two years, Wix’s customers’ use of images has increased by more than 150 percent and Wix recognized that they are becoming more visual and more focused on content, particularly images.
Michal Krasnodebski, General Manager of Bigstock says in the press release, “Bigstock offers Wix’s customers a simple and intuitive search experience to help create a beautiful, dynamic online presence.” “This collaboration expands the global reach of our business.”
3. November 2014 – Shutterstock Introduces Sequence™ Video Editing Tool
Shutterstock introduced an in-browser editing tool called Sequence™. The new tool, which currently only works with the Chrome browser, allows users to easily and quickly create and share videos with others across the internet. According to the press release, “Sequence allows users to seamlessly integrate their own footage and music with Shutterstock’s collection of more than 2 million high-quality video clips and music tracks to spark inspiration and bring their vision to life.”
4. September 2014 -iStock Adopts New Licensing and Pricing Strategy
iStock changed their licensing strategy in an effort to simplify search and purchase experience for purchasers. Key changes included making all file sizes the same price, consolidating all images into just two collection tiers, and raising the value (and cost) of credits. The changes put their pricing more in line with Shutterstock, and according to Getty Images CEO Jonathan Klein “will leave no room for ambiguity or indecision about the best place to source the right content at the right price.”
5. July 2014 – Dreamstime Launches Mobile App Called Dreamstime Companion
Dreamstime launched a new app called Dreamstime Companion, available on both iOS and Google Play. The app allows smartphone users to upload their mobile photos directly to Dreamstime via their mobile device.
6. June 2014 – Pond5 Raises Significant Funding
Pond5 raised $61 million in financial backing from two investment firms, fueling them securely into the serious player category of stock agencies. As quoted from their press release: “With this financing we are doubling down on our commitment to build out the world’s most vibrant and artist-friendly marketplace for creativity.” Though they sell photos and illustrations, Pond5’s growth has excelled in the video area, claiming the largest royalty-free video collection on the web.
7. May 2014 – iStock Changes Acceptance Standards
iStock announced changes to acceptance standards for multiple logos and crowds. Going forward, they started accepting “some” content that contains multiple logos, brands, information, and crowds of people.
There are some basic rules that need to be followed, such as:
- There must be a minimum of 3 different logos/brands in the image; the more there are the less risk there is.
- No logo should be the main focus of the image or more obvious than the others in the image.
- No one individual or number of individuals in a crowd can appear as the focus or subject of the image.
This change significantly opened up new subject opportunities that were not previously allowed, and applies not only to photos, but to videos and illustrations as well.
8. April 2014 – iStock Launches a Subscription Pricing Option
iStock launched a new subscription pricing model, providing customers with a new way to license photos and other media. Two tiered subscription offers are available for purchasers to choose from, depending on their needs. Subscriptions are well established in the industry, most notably with Shutterstock and Getty’s own ThinkStock.
9. March 2014 –Dreamstime Releases a WordPress Plugin
Dreamstime released a free WordPress plugin that enables WordPress users to easily access and select from over 23 million free or commercial images in the Dreamstime media library, and easily embed them into their website. Learn more about the Dreamstime photo image plugin.
10. January 2014 – Pond5 Releases a Plugin for Adobe Premeire® Pro
Pond5 released a free plugin for Adobe Premeire® Pro. With this free plugin, Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 and CC users can easily import watermarked comps into their projects, edit and add effects, and then with the ease of pressing a button, purchase, download, and replace the low-res previews with hi-res files. Here’s the press release for more information.
The Pond5 plugin for Adobe Premiere Pro CC is available for free download at pond5.com/adobe.
Check back with us regularly at everythingmicrostock.com to keep up with the stock industry and how you can sell your own artwork through microstock agencies.