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How Much Am I Paid for a Picture Download from Microstock?

8 July 2012 No Comment

After analyzing the long term trends in RPI (return per image) from my microstock portfolio I am looking now how much I am paid for a single picture download – RPD (return per download). It is just one factor affecting RPI and total earnings. Do higher image prices affect a volume of sales? Do they improve or not total earnings? These are open questions.

I derived $/download statistics for my 6 top microstock agencies (as in 2012). I smoothed monthly data from 4.5 years (9 months running average – thick lines) since I am interested in long term trends. However, I plotted original data (thin lines) for two agencies, iStockphoto and Shutterstock, to give you a sens of month to month variability (much higher at IS than SS). I included all types of licenses.


Going up and down around $1/download. High month to month variability.


Going slowly up, but maximum was in the second half of the last year when I got unusually high number of extended licenses. Currently ~$0.66/download.


Going up. Currently ~$1.75. It is consistent with their price structure where the picture price increases with a number of downloads. Also, I am uploading only limited number of new pictures due to their “similar pictures” policy. My earnings from DT are going down recently.


No clear long term trend, but going down during the last year.


Long term downhill trend! Earning are going downhill too.


Steady – mostly subscription sales. My earning are growing.

Do you have similar values from your microstock portfolio?

Related Posts:

Payout Structure from Microstock Agencies in 2012
Return Per Image (RPI) from Microstock Photography – Istockphoto, Shutterstock, Dreamstime and Mid/Low Earners
Microstock Portfolio Return Per Image (RPI) – 2009-2011 Trends
My microstock referral links for photographers:
Dreamstime, ShutterStock, BigStockPhoto, 123RF, FeaturePics, Panthermedia, CanStockPhoto, DepositPhotos, Graphic Leftovers, Smugmug

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