Saturday, January 31, 2009

January 2009 earnings


A good month in term of earnings considering the slow start of the month and the fact that I did not have any EL and sales in midtock. Among the 10 agencies, I had only one BME at Dreamstime. RPI went up so does volume of sales from last month. However compared to the same period last year, RPI is only half its value and volume of sales about the same despite the fact that I have a larger number of pictures on line.

Compared to January 2008 in ():

Total earnings: $ 265.08 ($ 179.26)
Pictures sold: 462 (446)
Average $/dl: 0.58 (0.42)
Global RPI : 0.48 (0.89)

  • Shutterstock. A good month above the $ 100 mark again due a large number of OD sales which represent 15 % of the earnings, up from 5-8 % normally RPI=0.17. I had however my first 0 sale day ever this month.
  • Istockphoto. Sales are getting better again. IS new price structure certainly boosted my earnings.RPI=0.16
  • Fotolia. Very close to the second position this month and earnings. RPI=0.05
  • Dreamstime. A BME by few dollars hope it continues this way. RPI = 0.04
  • Stockxpert. A lot of sub sales this month since I had a only 6 credit sales on 45 sales. RPI=0.03
  • Bigstockphoto . Dissapointing month with earnings lower than in december
  • 123RF. Dissapointing month as well, a bit better than last month but still far from past performances....
Less than 1%: SCP (no sales this month),CSP,CT

On the midstock front no sales this like I mentioned earlier. I have 500 pictures on line now on YAY and decided to hold uploads now on. I give a bit more time to Cutcaster but still wait for my first sale there. I hope Zymmetrical and Panthermedia will pick up next month....


Lookstat screenshot January 2009

The trends of this month are clearly visible on this screenshot from Lookstat. FT should be added shortly to the list of agencies and it worth mentioning that Lookstat implemented a new feature this month to track earnings per picture. I will do a post about this later on but it is definitely a very good tool to analysis strengh and weakness of a portfolio.

Detailled earnings January 2009 (figures in USD)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

RPI (Return Per Image) going down down :(

I recently had a look at my RPI (return per image) from January 2008 till January 2009.
RPI is calculated for each agency by divided total earning by the number on pictures of the portfolio at the end of the month (EL included, referrals excluded).
Cumulative RPI is calculated by adding the RPI of each microstock agency namely SS,IS,FT,123RF,DT,SXP,CSP,SCP,LO,BSP,CT so a total of 10 agencies to which I contributed during the period.

By looking at the graph, it is pretty obvious that despite the increase in commission granted by the main agencies to their contributors, RPI went up and down during the past year band took a hit in October 2008. My RPI was the highest in May 2008 (my BME) with a value of 1.11 and reach its lowest point in December 2008 with only 0.38.

In other words, upload new pictures does not produce any more increase in earnings.....

1 year evolution of cumulative RPI and commission per download (Jan 2008 - Jan 2009)

So how to increase RPI in microstock ???

  • Join new agencies, a 0.01 bump in RPI is always welcome, but this is debatable.... CSP has contributed 0 to my RPI for a while now....
  • The first option to increase artificially is deleting the non selling pictures on each agency. Once again you never know when a picture sells especially with a EL, RPI can go up quite a lot in this case.
  • Produce more sellable pictures by finding a niche for sure will increase RPI over time, might take a while though....
  • Focus more on quality than quantity....
  • Another option is to increase the value of some pictures by analyzing past year sales and putting them as exclusives at FT or DT. I just did that for two of my best sellers in DT.
  • Other way to increase the value of a picture is to upload the high res size but in agencies with sub and credit it is again debatable.

These points made it will be interesting to look at the evolution of the RPI in 2009, hopefully it will stabilize somewhere around 0.5!!

Feel free to comment, I would like to hear about your RPI figures !

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Microstock goals for 2009

2008 is over so it is time to set some goals for 2009. I did not reach my 2008 goal which was to earn $ 500 a month (microstock only minus referrals): my best month of the year was May with $ 344 and the second one was September with $ 334.
Therefore $ 500 a month will be my goal for 2009 with some realistic individual goals for some agencies:

  • Shutterstock : increase portfolio size up to 1000 pictures and hopefully by the year reach the next commission level of $ 0.36 (above $ 3000 of total earnings).
  • Fotolia: increase portfolio up to 1000 pictures and reach silver rank (more than 1000 sales)
  • Istock: increase portfolio size up to 500 and aim at least for three more yellow flames (pictures downloaded more than 100 times each).
  • Stockxpert, 123rf, Bigstockphoto, Dreamstime: increase portofolio up to 1000 pictures, 123rf will be the first most probably
Misc : Increase my monthly midstock to 20% fo earnings by uploading in priority to Zymmetrical and Panthermedia.
Reach my first payout at Crestock and Scanstockphoto

Thursday, January 1, 2009

December 2008 earnings


As expected, a slow month in microstock especially during the second half of the month .Looking at the yearly graph, earnings dropped from September despite adding new pictures which is the opposite of last year. Compared to december 2007 most agencies are down also.
This month is the 2nd worst month of the year for earnings, the lowest RPI and $/dl with just below $ 200 for microstock. Quite unusual month as I did not have BME in the big 6 this month. No help from extended sales but a sale a panthermedia brings total earnings to almost $220. I also had my first payout there. Shutterstock was the only agency not be affected this month. I definitely looking forward to january to see an increase in downloads!

Compared to December 2007 in ():

Total earnings: $ 192.47 ($ 163.46)
Pictures sold: 383 (446)
Average $/dl: 0.50 (0.37)
Global RPI : 0.38 (0.90)

  • Shutterstock. A pretty good month considering the slow down at the end of the year, SS takes almost 50% of the earnings this month. As last, I sold less pictures this december than the one last year but because of the higher commission earnings are few dollars up. On demand sales made up for 5 % of the earnings.RPI=0.16.
  • Istockphoto. Very similar to last mont with RPI of 0.11 hopefully IS will pick up again next month. Got my first sub sale there for $ 0.19.
  • Fotolia. A big drop compared to the last two months at Fotolia. Very RPI at 0.02
  • Dreamstime. A bit slower than last month. RPI 0.02.
  • Stockxpert. A decrease compared to last month despite my first ppd sales of $ 7.5 via RPI of 0.02
  • Bigstockphoto . Not bad considering the performance of other stocks. RPI 0.01
CT had a BME but still under 2 % of total earning. I tried to resume my uploading but got 100% rejection! I think I will just for my first payout there !
Less than 1%: SCP,CSP


For the first time, I include this month stats provided by Lookstat that I joined recently. At the moment it allows to track the stats of SS,DT and IS. I had Rahul Pathak , CEO of Lookstats,on the phone recently to give him some feedback. Exciting developments are on the way, the ultimate goal being to move away to the classical Excel spreadsheet. Some features like tracking earning by keywords across agencies would a powerful tool since it very difficult or impossible to do that manually . FT will be added next as well as more flexiblity about the date periods selection.