Photocase is a German based creative community and crowdsourced stock agency that was launched in 2001. The site is somewhat different to mainstream microstock sites for various reasons:
- No FTP upload (quality over volume)
- Higher prices and royalty rates than average
- A 'Creative' ethic to image acceptance (words like abstract, unusual, arty, different, Lomo, cross-processed "off the wall" etc. would be used to describe the Photocase collection).
- Free credits for each accepted image allows 'an exchange' of images from community members - prima!
- No Referral Program or API.
Over the past few years the site has grown a good sized image collection (very small by mainstream standards) and a community of nearly a half million users.
By comparison to microstock Photocase accept the unusual, and will almost certainly reject any 'nice pretty stock' you upload to them. To compare to magazines, Photocase images are much more 'monster children' than 'ideal homes'.
I've had a few sales (downloads with earnings) from a small portfolio. Each image accepted rewards you with download credits to access other photos on the site. You earn Income when a photo is purchased but not when one is downloaded using the download credits earned by other photographers. Most of my downloads have been from other contributors - hence earning nothing. The plus side of this is that I have a ready supply of interesting stock photography I can download. This reminds me more of the bartering system iStock (I think) once used.
While it might seem that a 10+ year old site should have built a larger image collection it certainly does not seem that Photocase is in stagnation (perhaps steady and sustainable rather than venture capital bang-and-bust). The community is very much active, as I wrote above this site is quite (very!) different to mainstream microstock; quality over quantity, very much a niche style. If you choose to upload to Photocase it will be because you have a supply of creative images similar to those you see on the site, not because "it's another microstock" to distribute through.
It's hard to measure Photocase against a mainstream microstock agency; the numbers don't measure up well. The images I've uploaded to Photocase are not from my normal microstock portfolio, so I can't compare sales to other sites on a level playing field. I like Photocase, the images on there and the community. If you are currently uploading 'creative stuff' to agencies and having it rejected, or currently not trying to monetise it and just displaying it on Flickr (et al) then photocase might well be worth a look.
I've left the site unrated for now as I've only been using it for a few months, I'll update this as I learn more.