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Cutcaster’s Photo Pricing Algorithm – How to price stock photography?

Ever wonder how much one of your photos or illustrations is worth? What you should charge for a great stock photo? Should the price of a stock photography license change depending on the image or buyer? If you charge too much will that scare away all the photo buyers?

Outside of a stock photography agency telling you what they are going to charge their photo buyers for a stock photo license or a buyer telling you directly what they want to pay, it’s hard to know what to charge for a stock photo. You can look at your costs, the uniqueness of the image or how the stock image will be used and come up with a some idea for what to charge. There are also some photo pricing tools for stock photography out there but most you have to pay for or, worse, are outdated.

So Cutcaster introduced it’s ‘photo pricing algorithm‘ and ‘bidding for content‘ features to help sellers use get the most revenue in return per image and buyers find the best deals for stock photography. The pricing algorithm and bidding for photos feature are the cornerstones of Cutcaster’s dynamic content marketplace which provide sellers total control over how much they want to charge for a license to use one of their stock images. Below we will explain how the Cutcaster Pricing Algorithm works.

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What is the Cutcaster Pricing Algorithm?

Cutcaster’s proprietary pricing algorithm maximizes your content’s earning potential by changing it’s price to match the demand in the marketplace. The revolutionary pricing algorithm is the first of it’s kind in the stock photography industry. The more demand for your stock image, the more you should be paid for it.  The algorithm is based on image metadata, search variables surrounding your content and how your file stacks up against similar content in the Cutcaster marketplace so we can understand better what the buyers are willing to pay and how to price the content in the future.

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How does the photo pricing algorithm add dollars to my bottom line?

Just like how the price of a company’s stock on an global stock exchange is set through the interaction of buyers and sellers, we wanted to create a similar marketplace for a piece of digital content.  If the price moves too high and nobody buys or views your content, well, the price will come down. If there is a high level of demand for your content, the price will move up and you as the seller should be able to capture a higher price for it.  What the algorithm accomplishes for you is the automation of this process across your entire inventory of content. So with very little effort, you can feel confident that your work is being sold at the right price and you are getting the most return per image.  If the price is set to high, well that is where the buyer can bid on content and show you what price they are willing to pay. At Cutcaster, we want our content contributors to spend their energy being creative.

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How does it work?

It’s actually pretty simple.  You have the option to set your own start price and let the algorithm work its magic from that price.  To set the start price you may want to look at your costs regarding the production of the photo, how it has sold in the past, the uniqueness of the image or how the stock image will be used (in Cutcaster’s case it is royalty free) and come up with a some idea for where you want to start the photo’s price. From that price the algorithm will go to work. Alternatively, you can use the algorithm default starting price, which will look at the image’s metadata, the keywords, the description, similar content in our marketplace and other pertinent information to get a fair start price. Once the file is approved by our editors and released into the Cutcaster marketplace, the price will fluctuate depending on the demand for that particular image.

The formula is flexible and will/can be modified. Feel free to let us know if you think there’s room for improvement or other variables we should consider when evaluating your prices.