Just Another Race to the Bottom

Yesterday ANP Group owned Nationale Beeldbank issued a Press Release, stating they’ve reorganised their price structure, now aiming at so-called: “budget customers”. Started out on €59,- per image years ago, maximum price per image (even for commercial use) is now: € 26,99. Prices now go as low as: € 2,99, leaving a meagre 40% – 50% commission (€ 1,20) for photographers and photojournalist. 

Although ANP Group is the leading PhotoPressAgency in the Netherlands, supplying news to many newspapers and magazines, they seem to be proud to licence work, made by hobbyists and amateur photographers, who: “would like to earn some extra money with their hobby”. Meanwhile Nationale Beeldbank deliberately opens competition with Shutterstock for marketshare, who has invented micro payments for often bad quality stockphotography. 

Portrait Woman Wearing Hoody

This news caused a huge stir among ANP Group Journalists and others, who instantly became very afraid their income will be further reduced to nearly nothing. Leaving them vulnerable for Chapter 11 or Worse. Meanwhile, this Race to the Bottom may also affect quality of photojournalism in The Netherlands, and elsewhere, since news-media will choose to use the cheapest options available, causing many freelancers to stop working. What remains is: amateur photography and amateur works of photojournalism being sold for pennies and dimes, instead of quality and premium journalism that is trustworthy and true. On top, freelance photographers and photojournalists are not able to work for microstock earnings, since this doesn’t cover even basic business costs. This development, set in, in 2018 or so, when DPG Media and Mediahuis became the only two, privately owned media corporations on the Dutch market, having Neo-liberal shareholders value, profitability and return on investment as leading, financial values. Instead of decent (photo)journalism and good, sustainable relations with photographers and (photo)journalists. Needless to say this is not sustainable, now even photojournalism is in decline. Many professionals will also perish in the proces. Perhaps even these substandard agencies themselves. Soon!


September 23, 2022

ANP launches ‘Shutterstock for Dutch Stock Photography’

The Nationale Beeldbank, part of the ANP Foto, positions itself as the leading image bank for Dutch stock images with low prices and a simple, royalty free licenses, with which the purchased image can be used for all purposes.

The Nationale Beeldbank has been around since 2006. About 3500 photographers are affiliated, both professionals who offer their Dutch stock images and the better amateurs who like to earn some extra money with their hobby. In 2018, the Nationale Beeldbank became part of the national news agency (AN Group). On September 23, 2022, the Nationale Beeldbank will be launched as a marketplace for Dutch stock photos, where ANP Foto will continue to focus on news photography.

Isabelle Schippers, manager of the Nationale Beeldbank: “There is a need for purely Dutch stock images and many users are willing to pay for it. That image must be low priced and there must not be any complicated restrictions in use. From 3 euros per photo we now offer real Dutch images that can be used both editorially and commercially. The premium images cost 9 euros and photos for which models have been deployed cost 27 euros. Then a model release is always arranged so that the portrait right is covered.”

“The ANP specialises in news photography, images with a limited shelf life because what is news today will be archive material next week,” says Martijn Bennis, director of the ANP. “That archive certainly has value, but interest in many archive images disappears over time, especially if it is offered by a party that is known as a news specialist. The ANP and photographers who work for the ANP also have a lot of images that are very useful as stock images and can be sold for a long time to come. Think of landscape images, city views or infrastructure. The stock photography market is very competitive. Buyers want a professional image that has a well-arranged license and that does not cost too much. That is the market that companies like Shutterstock have grown with. We want to claim that position for the Dutch market with the National Image Bank.”

Isabelle Schippers: “We have more than half a million images, but we want to show the whole of the Netherlands as much as possible. Hundreds of photographers are already working to make our collection even bigger and more beautiful.”

MORE INFORMATION: & Martijn Bennis: or Cell: +31 (0)6 20 4444 17 & Isabelle Schippers:

Note: The Press Release was translated from Dutch to English using Google Translate.

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