|No, you don't have to check ... it's one of my own photos|
10 Years of Stock Photo Industry. That's a long time. I'm old, I was in it even longer. Not anymore though, at least not working for a stock agency anymore. The industry changed a lot since I worked in it. From analogue to digital, from only RM (Rights Managed) to RF (Royalty Free) to Microstock. People can find their way on the internet nowadays. Instead of having a big sales department stock agency's now need a couple of sales people in every country. It's not easy. Absolute leader at this moment is still Getty, they evolve.
I also see a future in very specialized stock agency's like the one in this series of interviews: Craig Holmes, partner at food stock photo library The Picture Pantry. You can focus.
Biggest problem I see is the website. It's a must to have a very very very good and user-friendly website. Also the license system. Leave the size, countries, print run, et cetera. Make simple licenses so people can easily buy online. Shutterstock is doing a good job with this.
Another thing, if you operate worldwide, don't force people to pay with a credit card. Not every country is credit card minded. But every country has some payment service local, like iDeal in the Netherlands. Make it easy for clients ... make it easy for yourself.
And ofcourse I know this change seems easy but isn't. Contracts with photographers. Change the backoffice. Change the administration / finance.
Does a press agency belong to the stock industry? It can, I'm convinced it can. But again it needs another way of working.
I can go on and on ... but I'm not going to give free advice anymore. The change is bad for me (is it?), I'm out of a job, but overall the change is good. So if anyone wants to hire me for image research, or if anyone wants advice how a user friendly website must look like, user friendly for clients and for the sales force ... you know where to find me! :)
Above text doodle is thinking out aloud, perhaps I'm going to work on it and publish a 'real article', who knows!
Oh, one last thing, read this article about free photography. This is a very good reason to hire me to do your image research. I must say one thing, their very simple website marketing is very nice. It made me smile, a downloadable whitepaper / book. Well done.