Stock Imagery Gains Wider Acceptance
A new report detailing the growth, use and acceptance of stock imagery shows it rising at a steady pace.
The report, published by TrendWatch Graphic Arts, says stock photos have become a first-choice option for a number of graphic arts, advertising, and Internet projects. The stock images range form traditional rights-managed images to royalty-free versions of all styles and price ranges, the TrendWatch Graphic Arts report says.
The preference is for high-end images use in professional-grade projects, while traditional slides and chromes are in steady decline. Graphic arts professionals now prefer to work with digitally captured or pre-scanned high-resolution digital images that can immediately become part of the workflow, the report says.
"Stock imagery remains one of the hottest topics covered by TWGA," says Vince Naselli, director of TrendWatch Graphic Arts. "At first, this may seem a bit surprising. Prices have come down and imagery is ubiquitous. And there are many inexpensive, or even free, alternatives to imagery for which traditional royalties must be paid.
"But then, all one has to do is examine TWGA's historical trend lines on the stock photography industry to understand the growing interest. Where other investments are struggling, stock continues to be an area that creatives, publishers, Internet firms, and graphic arts shops see as a good investment."
Stock imagery comprises photography, illustration, and video sold for limited use in advertising, publishing or promotional applications. Though the stock photo provider retains the rights of the imagery, Naselli says, the campaign designer or creative director can acquire the right look from stock imagery at a lower cost structure.
The report also found that 32% of publishers plan to purchase rights-managed images in the next 12 months; 47% of creative professionals plan to purchase royalty-free images rather than rights-managed images; 7% of all graphic arts firms plan to purchase royalty-free images over the next year, a figure that rises to 11% among trade shops; and 33% of catalogue publishers are likely to purchase stock illustration or clip art.