Are High View Counts an Indicator of Success?

posted on 3rd of june, 2009

There have been several message board threads and discussions regarding views. At the moment, there is one fairly intense discussion ongoing because of a change in the way Dreamstime counts views. One of the arguments is that views are important for beginners as an indicator of success, either for a particular image or as meaningful feedback on one's ability as a stock photographer.

I disagree that counting views was and is a meaningful guide for beginners. Logically one might think so but there were so many other factors influencing the view counter, that to dwell on the number of views is to be analyzing misleading information. I sometimes have had new uploads that received a barrage of views, some with several hundreds of views for reasons I could not understand. Sometimes it is explainable by receiving an editorial choice or some sort of milestone recognition, but often the reason is obscure. As it turns out, a number of those have now been donated to the free image library because they were never downloaded in spite of a high view count.

I do understand someone new to the business wanting any kind of feedback they can get when trying to put it all together. I was a newbie myself not long ago. However, my experience has been that counting views to determine images that will ultimate success or to find guidance about where to concentrate similar images is an inaccurate way to learn how to be successful.

The only real indicator of success is actual downloads. This puts new contributors at a disadvantage because it takes considerable time to build up a portfolio and to accumulate downloads. Patience is a virtue I fear is becoming more and more rare. A quicker solution is to take time to study portfolios and individual images that have large amounts of downloads already. Look at the images closely and try to determine what it is about them that has download appeal and commercial viability, not just viewing appeal.

Best wishes and happy shooting! And above all, be patience. Microstock success comes slowly and view counting is but a very small and relatively insignificant part of the business...

Comments (6)

Comment by Joezachs on June 17, 2010

Very true. Views have got nothing with your sales.
Your advice of studying the portfolio of successful people is the right direction.

Comment by Forestphotoart on June 11, 2009

I would think that higher downloads is a mark of success.

Someone may view your image a lot if it has the right keywords, etc.


Comment by Mayatairy on June 05, 2009

I totally agree with your comment.

Comment by Petroruth on June 03, 2009

Hi Ken
I agree with your analysis.Down loads are definitely a very good indicator of success. Some of the photographers have a great number of down loads and the views are in balance. But a newbie needs the views to give him hope that someone is interested. Like dangling the carrot and giving them the inspiration to keep on shooting uploading and most off all learning. Peter

Comment by Kittycat on June 03, 2009

Hi Bro, Where have you been? I have emailed you millons of times and so has Ellen.

Comment by Farek on June 03, 2009

images that have large amounts of downloads have large amount of views too but images that haven't large amount of views haven't many downloads .

Comments (6)

This article has been read 2502 times. 3 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Jamie Wilson, Ken Cole, RedDaxLuma, Stuart Key.

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