Another Year and More News

Stolen Equipment

In May someone broke into my car and stole roughly $5,000 of equipment including my Panasonic GH4, several lenses, Sennheiser wireless audio kit, a portable LCD, some LED lightning and misc other accessories.  It was devastating.  And it was not covered by my insurance (loophole).

In a desperate home to recover as much as I could, I created a GoFundMe campaign where I raised just over $1,000. Coupled with another $1,000 in direct donations, I was able to get a new camera within a few weeks.  I am very grateful to all those who contributed or sent me messages of encouragement.  The campaign is still active and I still need to raise a little more to cover my audio needs if you feel like you might have a few dollars to spare.

I am especially grateful to some close friends who donated generously and Pond5 who gave $300.  They were the only agency that donated and I am so blessed by their kindness.

Major Changes in Microstock

Since my last post on Microstock news, there have been a lot of changes…

  • Revostock closed up shop – They were buried under a lot of legal debt from their patent infringement lawsuit (that they won) and couldn’t recover. They shut down owing a LOT of money to a lot of contributors.
  • Dissolve, a partnership from some former iStock employees, started up a new Microstock Footage web site. They talked a lot of people into joining promising a lot of things and then screwed everyone over a few months later. Given they come from iStock, it’s not surprising they would do that.
  • VideoBlocks started allowing contributors to upload footage and after effects projects. So far, they appear friendly and are like Pond5 used to be when they started. Very communicative with the artist community and they are doing very well in sales.
  • The founders of Pond5 are almost all gone and it shows.  They are no longer artist friendly (except for the industry leading 50% revenue share) and of course they stopped communicating with artists a long time ago.  They got a huge influx of cash from investors who want their investment back, so they replaced a lot of people that made things happen. They are still a top seller, but I expect that to change over the rest of the year as they are rejecting over 50% of all new submissions and favoring a few artists over everyone else.

Microstock revenue as a whole is growing as more and more of the world joins digital.  But we’re seeing agencies do more to keep more money and share less.  And we’re seeing a lot of changes at agencies as they try to increase their share of the market.  Most of the changes are NOT good for artists.

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