Where do I find market data for photo marketplace?


Our startup is an open market place for photos and illustrations. I am trying to find market analysis to define the size of our market, which can be sumed up as the number of users dissatisfied with stock photo results when searching for images. We have 4 targets. General consumer, high end creative, news outlets/ editorial and brand sponsored. I think the right strategy is to focus on high end creatives / art directors and build a cross over to other markets. Where can I start to find out this information beyond a survey and for limited funds.

Market Analysis Photography

asked Jan 3 '12 at 16:55
15 points
  • Why? This will be nearly impossible information to get. What is the purpose of the information? If it is to prove market-- getting a number will not accomplish that goal. If it is to inform a strategic choice. .. there might be other ways. What is the core purpose of the ask? – Joseph Barisonzi 12 years ago
  • To present potential investors the size of the opportunity. My thinking is to get data on the size of the stock photo industry and maybe work backwards from that. – Mconnors 12 years ago

2 Answers


The price point and marketing strategies for attracting and satisfying general consumer and high end creative clients in stock photography is quite different as their budgets and needs are significantly different. I wouldn't assume that the same market place could attract both. Your whole model seems really vague. What type of dissatisfaction are you trying to tap into, there are many types. For example, some are dissatisfied that the images aren't creative or high end enough, some are dissatisfied that the pricing is too expensive and the pricing structures too rigid. I would suggest that you need to be more focused.

answered Jan 5 '12 at 00:50
Laura Barisonzi
191 points
  • Sorry, the admin removed the link, otherwise it would have made more sense. The app lets you request a specific image. So the market is essentially a person who couldn't find this specific image through stock photo, web search or any other means. The two markets are different- but I am hoping to create a market that is designed for high end, but simplify the image acquisition process a high end creative goes through to attract general consumer. I don't think its impossible to serve more than 1 market. For example Harry potter is a book for children and it was bought by everyone. – Mconnors 12 years ago
  • Links can be added within your profile. People can go there to view/see it. – Joseph Barisonzi 12 years ago


High-end and high-margin doesn't buy stock, they get a photographer. If they don't have the budget for a photographer they go to one of the markets-- where pricepoint and finding the right image are paramount.

The market for this need, as you know, is very crowded. When my project budget can't afford to hire a professional (like my super awesome sister Laura, who works out of NYC ) I have never had a problem finding quality stock that meets my immediate need. There were subject matter niches that have been difficult in the past (like urban, or people of color) -- but not so much now. I am not seeing the business case at the moment as presented.

As a business developer then it does beg the question of the market opportunity -- or size of the market -- since there is not an immediate need. In this case the market size is based on several varable:

  1. The number of people who purchase stock
  2. The number of people who purchase stock and are unhappy with the choices
  3. the number of people whose budget supports premium stock

I would presume that the goal of the business would be to also capture some of the professional photgraphers business as well. When a generic picture will do, for less.

There are market research companies that may have elements of this data to put together a case. Most of them promoto and advertise online and you can find them. I believe that the cost (I would budget about $1,500-$3,000) will exceed the value that you will dirive from having the numbers. Why? Because they wont really answer the core question -- of "is there a market"

If you absolutely have to have something in your business plan that is credible: go to the industry website and ready their press releases. Grab quotes from there and make up what percentage of the industry (like 1/2 of 1%) that you are targeted to capture. So how do you answer that question -- of "is there a market"? By proving it. Create the market. And then research it, know it. You can then approach investors with a "scale my current business model's penetration of this market" rather than "give me money to test my assumption that this market may exist"

There is one distinction to this -- which is if your core product is innovative technology --then the single market vertical application of the technology is the proof of concept of the technology-- and market size will not be as important anyway at that stage of business development.

answered Jan 5 '12 at 09:19
Joseph Barisonzi
12,141 points
  • Thanks Joseph, this is incredibly useful. – Mconnors 12 years ago

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