VisualSteam Announces Results of its 5th Annual Survey of Creative Pros on Stock Image Licensing

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Shutterstock ( takes the top spot as the Go-To resource for Creative Pros.

5th Annual Survey of Creative Pros

“Downward pressure on price continues as the appetite for images significantly outpaces any growth in budgets.”

For 5 years, VisualSteam has been surveying Creative Pros on stock image licensing. The survey is sent to US art buyers, art directors, art producers, creative directors, photo editors and marketing professionals to better understand stock image licensing behavior. Survey results provide a glimpse into how clients perceive stock image licensing, and what is driving licensing today.

The survey results show that reliance on stock images remains strong. In fact, clients indicate that stock visuals are imperative for success. Creative Pros feel the pressure of deadlines more than in years past. They are creating more than ever, across a variety of communications platforms. Generally, Creative Pros feel the quality of stock visuals is good or getting better, but the number one request is for agencies to remove old, stocky and staged photos. Authenticity is the keyword in this year’s results.

Leslie Hughes, VisualSteam’s Founder and Strategic Advisor, said, “The importance of visuals to user engagement and retention is clearly driving overall increases in demand. Reliance on stock visuals has grown stronger because it is available, certain, abundant and relatively cheap.” While the survey indicates that client budgets are increasing, Hughes went on to say, “Downward pressure on price continues as the appetite for images significantly outpaces any growth in budgets.”

To request a copy of this year’s survey, please email

For more information about VisualSteam, please go to, or email info(at)visualsteam(dot)com.

VisualSteam wants to recognize and thank its sponsor of this year’s survey, iSPY Visuals, Inc. iSPY allows creative pros to access images across providers with ONE search, and offers a single workspace where teams can like and comment on images, upload project briefs, file licenses and more.

For more information about iSPY Visuals, please go to, or email info(at)ispyvisuals(dot)com.

About Visual Steam
VisualSteam ( is a marketing services organization that specializes in visual content markets. We work with producers, creators, and distributors to better understand and respond to market needs and define strategies for expansion and execution. We also work with clients/image consumers and content marketers to help them understand, acquire and manage visual content.

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Ashley Smith
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