Having just returned from one of the largest B2B image licensing conferences, CEPIC, I gained some perspective on larger industry trends of late and what they in turn point toward.
At some point throughout this recession and contraction within the industry, attention had to return from the public sector. With outside money flowing back in the form of investments (Shutterstock IPO, Fotolia private growth equity, Getty [IPO or sale rumors]), confidence in the evergreen industry of licensing is returning.
For many years the story was about quantity and price, where all licensors competed along the lines of product breadth and miniscule transaction amounts; but the promise of volume never translated to outside of a handful of large aggregators – and even then growth stalled.
This was largely due to scope in production changing, and now the industry is realizing the appetite in consumption has moved to higher quality – not quantity – and that prices follow suit.
There’s a tremendous amount of niche refinement being practiced across the industry, whether it is new collections specializing in a core subject or other core competencies. Businesses are less distracted and reigning in their focus on what they do best.
This type of disciplined niche focus is the key to growth for businesses seeking a voice in an increasingly disruptive and new growth stage of the image licensing industry.