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.10 cent sales suck, but what's your lifetime average?


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Over 1600 downloads in 2 years, RPD of a little over 25 cents. I think that's primarily because a vast majority of my downloads come from India where 90 percent of the sales have been in the 10-12 cent bracket. The ODDs, SODs and larger subs come mostly from the US, Europe and Japan but they are few and far between. I guess geography has a big say in how much you make.

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5 hours ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

Thank you, Doug. It's not that much, though. There are contributors that have an RPI of several hundred dollars on shutterstock alone. Across agencies, their RPI is in the four digits.

Yeah, but a lot of those contributors have high overhead, employees, model fees, and incur other expenses to produce those images.  I spend $0 and put very little effort into it.

My highest grossing image has earned $8344 and I have several that are over $5K, so I know that four digit returns are possible if someone focuses only on posting their very best work.  I'll admit that I upload a lot crap that might sell only once, or maybe never at all, and that brings my overall RPI down --  but ultimately it brings my overall income up.  I'd rather have a higher gross income than a higher RPI, if given that choice. 

 

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2 hours ago, Doug Jensen said:

Yeah, but a lot of those contributors have high overhead, employees, model fees, and incur other expenses to produce those images.  I spend $0 and put very little effort into it.

The contributors I was referring to don't spend anything on models and don't have employees. However, they certainly invest much more in their images than I do.

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Well, as you know, gross income doesn't really tell the wholestory, either.  If someone spends 100 hours creating their portfolio and earns $1000, that is not as good as someone who spends 10 hours and earns $500.   By my calculations, I've put 747.8 hours into creating my portfolio, which makes my hourly income so far $247.89 -- just at Shutterstock alone.  So I do feel like my venture into stock footage has been well worth the effort, even if other people are making more money.  Good for them.  I don't envy them, I strive to be like them.

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1 hour ago, Doug Jensen said:

Well, as you know, gross income doesn't really tell the wholestory, either.  If someone spends 100 hours creating their portfolio and earns $1000, that is not as good as someone who spends 10 hours and earns $500.   By my calculations, I've put 747.8 hours into creating my portfolio, which makes my hourly income so far $247.89 -- just at Shutterstock alone.  So I do feel like my venture into stock footage has been well worth the effort, even if other people are making more money.  Good for them.  I don't envy them, I strive to be like them.

Hmmm,

You have 9000 videos. Divided by 748 hours.  Makes 5 minutes per video. I know that your calculation does not include your travel time, setting up the camera, the time to film and transfer the films to the computer. You have always written that. I calculate differently, but that doesn't matter.

Nevertheless, it is sensational for me to digitally optimize the films in 5 minutes, in necessary also cut,  upload and provide with keywords and put online with at least 3 agencies absolutely sensational. I need significantly longer for this process alone, because I also customize it at some agencies where I upload. I need at least 10 to 15 minutes per image. Maybe even 20 minutes in individual cases. This may also be related to the native language. Nevertheless, your workflow is incredibly fast for me.

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Actually, the last time I watched the clock, it was only taking me an average 4 minutes per 4K clip to ingest, trim, color grade, export, and add the necessary keywords and descriptions for each clip into my master spreadsheet.  But I continue to use 5 minutes as my number, just to be conservative.  Of course, that speed is only possible when I'm batch processing dozens of clips at the same time (not necessarily of the same subject matter, however) and can move from clip to clip quickly and efficiently.  

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My RPD from May 2012 (start) to (and including) May 2020 was $0.70.

From June 2020 to December 2020 RPD = $0.55

From January 2021 to now RPD = $0.53

Indeed my RPD dropped from $0.70 (antediluvian) to $0.54 (tsunami)!

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Judging by the posts on this thread, I think it is fair to say that the RPD for most people's photos is less than $.50.   My RPD for videos is almost $30.00 -- 60 times more income per download.  So, my question is, does it take 60x more effort to create and submit a video?   Will a photo get 60x more downloads?

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26 minutes ago, Doug Jensen said:

Judging by the posts on this thread, I think it is fair to say that the RPD for most people's photos is less than $.50.   My RPD for videos is almost $30.00 -- 60 times more income per download.  So, my question is, does it take 60x more effort to create and submit a video?   Will a photo get 60x more downloads?

Speaking for myself, two reasons...

1). I shoot with my phone and a 400$ Nikon DSLR and cheap lenses. They are the only equipment I've ever owned. So, shooting pictures is a lot more affordable than shooting video for a cheapskate like myself. Of course, you make what you invest although the fact that my stock earnings have made more than what I paid for my camera and lenses isn't such a disastrous return.

2). When I'm out with my camera or my phone, I can only think images. My brain muscles don't seem to process the fact that my camera/phone can also shoot video. So even on days I'm determined to go out and shoot video because of the money it entails, I end up with a ton of images. Taking images comes naturally to me and is more fun for me and I'm an idiot with the naive belief (that perhaps a more sensible commercial mindset can't comprehend) that one ought go out and do what makes you happy.

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If taking photos is what makes you happy, that is all the reason you need.  That's exactly the same reason I only shoot video.

And if all you have is a phone, you are wise to say away from video because you will not have success.  Better to stick with photos, as you have said you decided to do.

And if income doesn't matter to you, then I assume you must also get joy, happiness, and fulfillment from creating the metadata and submitting those photos to Shutterstock. If that is the case, good for you.  But I do not enjoy that process or get any happiness from it, so that's the point where I expect to be well-compensated or else I would get out from in front of my computer and go shooting with my camera instead. 

Life is too short to piss away doing drudgery work unless I'm being paid to do it. Your feelings may be different if you get happiness from doing paperwork.

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9 minutes ago, Doug Jensen said:

And if income doesn't matter to you, then I assume you must also get joy, happiness, and fulfillment from creating the metadata and submitting those photos to Shutterstock.

The metadata part is drudgery, I agree. But I typically submit 5-10 images a day (and not on all days) and that takes about 10-20 minutes of my time. I spend a lot more time on twitter and instagram every day (I'm a terribly unproductive person) but unlike social media, I at least get paid a little bit for the drudgery.

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I just started contributing in March, and since I had a lot of dead time this spring, I went through my back files and uploaded about 500+ photos.  So far my lifetime average is $0.24, but every single image sold in August has been $0.10.  July was $0.36, and I think June was about $0.14.  My average sale on Alamy, where I've been a contributor for about 15 years, is about $40.

I have to say that I pretty much don't put any effort into stock photos, it's all just out-takes from my editorial and commercial photography, plus whatever I get when I'm travelling around.  At best, my stock income ads up to beer money (and for SS, only if I want to drink alone).

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4 hours ago, balajisrinivasan said:

I'm an idiot with the naive belief (that perhaps a more sensible commercial mindset can't comprehend) that one ought go out and do what makes you happy.

Love that comment 🙂

40 minutes ago, David Buzzard said:

At best, my stock income ads up to beer money (and for SS, only if I want to drink alone).

and that one 🍻

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9 hours ago, stevemart said:

My RPD from May 2012 (start) to (and including) May 2020 was $0.70.

From June 2020 to December 2020 RPD = $0.55

From January 2021 to now RPD = $0.53

Indeed my RPD dropped from $0.70 (antediluvian) to $0.54 (tsunami)!

Just had a $45.00 SOD...so that messes UP^ my RPD for this month! 😲

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On 8/18/2021 at 7:05 AM, Doug Jensen said:

Judging by the posts on this thread, I think it is fair to say that the RPD for most people's photos is less than $.50.   My RPD for videos is almost $30.00 -- 60 times more income per download.  So, my question is, does it take 60x more effort to create and submit a video?   Will a photo get 60x more downloads?

I think you are one of very few video contributors who still gets such a high RPD for video clips. Mine hovers at a sad $5.38 for this year. Can a photo catch up in volume what it lacks in earnings per download? In my case, I've seen it. I have a photo with 78 downloads that earned $138, the same scene as a video has earned just $43 for 2 downloads.

I also have a photo that is literally a screen grab off the 4K video scene. So far, the pic has 25 downloads and $32.60, the video has 7 downloads and $56. Yes, the video is still ahead, but certainly not by a factor of 60x - at least not here at SS. At other places like AS and P5, video most definitely outpaces pics.

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