Saturday, January 24, 2009

RPI (Return Per Image) going down down :(

I recently had a look at my RPI (return per image) from January 2008 till January 2009.
RPI is calculated for each agency by divided total earning by the number on pictures of the portfolio at the end of the month (EL included, referrals excluded).
Cumulative RPI is calculated by adding the RPI of each microstock agency namely SS,IS,FT,123RF,DT,SXP,CSP,SCP,LO,BSP,CT so a total of 10 agencies to which I contributed during the period.

By looking at the graph, it is pretty obvious that despite the increase in commission granted by the main agencies to their contributors, RPI went up and down during the past year band took a hit in October 2008. My RPI was the highest in May 2008 (my BME) with a value of 1.11 and reach its lowest point in December 2008 with only 0.38.

In other words, upload new pictures does not produce any more increase in earnings.....

1 year evolution of cumulative RPI and commission per download (Jan 2008 - Jan 2009)

So how to increase RPI in microstock ???

  • Join new agencies, a 0.01 bump in RPI is always welcome, but this is debatable.... CSP has contributed 0 to my RPI for a while now....
  • The first option to increase artificially is deleting the non selling pictures on each agency. Once again you never know when a picture sells especially with a EL, RPI can go up quite a lot in this case.
  • Produce more sellable pictures by finding a niche for sure will increase RPI over time, might take a while though....
  • Focus more on quality than quantity....
  • Another option is to increase the value of some pictures by analyzing past year sales and putting them as exclusives at FT or DT. I just did that for two of my best sellers in DT.
  • Other way to increase the value of a picture is to upload the high res size but in agencies with sub and credit it is again debatable.

These points made it will be interesting to look at the evolution of the RPI in 2009, hopefully it will stabilize somewhere around 0.5!!

Feel free to comment, I would like to hear about your RPI figures !


Rahul Pathak said...

Nice analysis (if not so nice in terms of the conclusions) ;)

One thought - I wonder how seasonal RPI is? If there's a decline over the summer & end of year, would that trend reverse itself from Jan - June?

btw, we added a feature you might find useful - if you click on a thumbnail in LookStat, you can get the entire sales history for that image (by site). It may help when looking to put images as exclusive or not.

Laurent said...

Very nice addition to LookStat Rahul ! Once you have FT in, more decision about exclusivity could be made.
Nice also to see the shelf live of one picture at SS
To reply tou your question as RPI is related to the sale volume, it make sense that it the seasonal trends, but so far RPI this month did not get back for me to my RPI last january by far, I just hope 0.45 is not the best of this year lol