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If you're an istock contributor you will already be aware of the new Getty images "ESP" submission platform coming soon and the closure of the existing submission system at istockphoto (aka "xnet"). Somewhat annoyingly the powers that be have decided not to migrate data from the old platform; said platform has been somewhat hobbled for the past couple of months anyway, but now is an excellent time to take a look at the stats over the years before they're gone for good!

I started uploading to iStockphoto in 2003. A lot has changed - I’m not even 100% certain I wasn't still on dial up in the UK, if not I was certainly on my first cable modem with 600Kbits/s symmetric (and wow did I think that was the dogs dangalies back then...)


Uploads over the years - growing portfolio

portfolio size

At the end of last week Shutterstock announced it was about to change its royalty rates for Extended Licenses. You can read the details of the changes on microstockdiaries. Announcing the change would take place and then letting us wait a few days for the change to appear on the payouts page was uncharacteristically limp-wristed for Shutterstock.


It's been a good while since I shared any detailed analysis of my microstock earnings, there has been plenty going on over the past couple of years in changing royalties. Putting all the change, discussion, boycotts, rates and price structures to one side then probably the most important consideration for any photographer is what's happening to my revenue?


Agency Earnings Compared

Last time I shared a look at comparative revenue was back at the start of 2012, for the 12 months of Jan to Dec 2011, as an update I've looked at the 12 months to July 2015. A gap of 2.5 years, and a long time in microstock!

A somewhat brief article as unfortunately I have not left myself enough time to write a proper commentary on the subject: Microstock contributors are probably already aware of the thread at microstock group and 'movement' organized by boycottfotolia.org

The issue stems from photographer sentiment that devaluing of their work by Fotolias launch of 'dollar photo club' is something of a 'last straw' considering the license terms, image resolution etc provided. I can't really say I blame them considering Fotolias track record on transparency (or lack thereof).

StockPerformerStockperformer is an online microstock sales analysis tool. It was launched to select photographers at microstockexpo late last year, and is now available for general use. There is a 14 day free trial available. The system provides analysis of your sales on the top 4 agencies, istockphoto, shutterstock, fotolia and dreamstime.

No sooner had I posted last months news update than I opened my inbox and found a press release for picworkflow, I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting picworkflow to be, but I have to say it was with some delight I found it was a direct replacement to isyndica.

picworkflow referral link

Since isyndica closed my microstock uploads have been somewhat on the backbuner, although prostockmaster is free it does not support all the sites I want to upload to, and my previous FTP tool took a dislike to windows7, only $50 for the latest version, but neither get around the fact that my upload speeds are limited to about 300kbps (reasonable ADSL1 speed) not too slow but it takes at least 30 minutes to upload a handful of good sized images to 15 sites. I'm looking for speed NOT work-arounds.

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