Saturday, October 10, 2009

2009 microstock commissions, highs and lows

It is time for an update of  my post of last year post regarding microstock commissions. I added 6 new agencies to compare and lower and upper limit commissions.
To sum it up, sales commission will depend on: amongst over on the type of sales (subscription or credit), image size, agency or photo exclusivity, contributor or photo ranking.

Once again these numbers are not universals but are related to my ranking, exclusivity and my photo equipment: I have a  10MP and 12MP cameras, a bronze level at Fotolia with some exclusive photos there, some level 2 images at Dreamstime, sold more than $ 500 worth of pictures at Shutterstock but less than $ 3000.

These are the highs and lows I registered for 2009 (extended licenses are excluded from the list):

  • Shutterstock : between $0.33 (subscription) and $2.48 (on demand sale). Same numbers than last year.
  • Stockxpert (subs opt-in) : between $0.3 (stockxpert,, jupiterimages subscription) and $5 (L size, pay per download stockxpert) . Up limit dropped from $7 last year due to the discontinuation of credit sales this year, drop from $0.5 on the lower limit because I opted-in for subscription sales.
  • Istockphoto : between $0.19 (XS size) and $3.36 (L size). Upper limit is up this year from $2.70 last year:)
  • Fotolia : between $0.31 (subscription) and $4.99 (L size, exclusive). Lower commission dropped from $0.36 last year. I however expect for the upper limit to be lower since my commission for exclusive photos dropped from 52% to 32% in 2009! You have now to be 100% exclusive to get a 49% commission (bronze ranking)...
  • Dreamstime : between $0.30 (subscription) and $3.75 (panoramic image maximum size, level 1). $3.32 (level 2 image, maximum size). Up from $2.70 last year for the upper limit.
  • BigStockphoto : between $0.5 (small) and $3 (panoramic image, extra large). Up limit was $2 last year.
  • Crestock : between $0.25 (subscription) and $1.5 (S size). Up limit up from $1 last year
  • 123RF : between $0.36 (subscription) and $4.94 (Mega High XL TIFF). Up limit up from $4.5 last year

New agencies:

  • Canstockphoto: $0.3 (Fotosearch subscription) and $19.80 (Fotosearch regular)
  • Cutcaster: $4.70 (XXLarge)
  • Yaymicro: $3.69 (S size) - $7.38 (L size)
  • 3DStudio: $2.40 (Small) - $7.20 (large)
  • Scanstockphoto: unique commission at $1.46
  • Fotomind: $0.9 (full resolution)

In the light of last year numbers, few conclusions can be made:

Fotolia is the agency with the more disparity between lower and higher commissions ($0.31 to $4.99).

Sales commissions are the highest for the new agencies, unfortunately sales volume is still very small:(

The difference between higher and lower commissions increased compared to last year (from $7.3 to $19.61).

Agencies where my commissions are stable: Shutterstock,bigstockphoto
Agencies where my commissions are raising:) Istock, Dreamstime,crestock,123RF
Agencies where my commissions are dropping :( Fotolia, Stockxpert

Looking at my average monthly sales commission (including extented sales) for the first nine months of the year, it actualy increased this year to $0.74 from $0.58 last year.

See you in a year to see if these numbers are moving up or down......


R. Kneschke said...

Thanks for your post. But doesn't Shutterstock start at $0,25 royalties?

Laurent said...

Yes but as I mentioned, these numbers are related to my portfolio and I received $0.33 for subs at Shutterstock, $0.36 soon:)

Luis said...

Hi..! The ratio per download is a good value.. I am on 0.45$

Luis said...

Hi again! I just got one payment from SS so far but have only 8.5% from US!

cheers and 3d studio :(