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Microstock Photography Earnings – May 2009

1 June 2009 14 Comments

My microstock earnings in May were still growing (+10%), but I see a slowdown. Summer time? There are some changes in performance of my top players: Shutterstock and iStockphoto.

I spent less time in May in creating new images for microstock, but I managed to increase my average microstock portfolio from 942 to 1002 files. 86 new pictures in SS, 56 in IS, and 45 in DT.

Microstock earnings and payments from May 2008 to May 2009

Shutterstock. 37.6% of earnings (was ~50% in April). The first decline in earnings since August 2008. Number of downloads was at the same level as in April, but only two ELs and much fewer downloads on demand. The average earnings per download dropped from $0.53 to $0.46. 86 new pictures added (almost all accepted). $722 left to reach my next milestone here, $3000 in total sales. 2 or 3 months?

iStock. 30.6 % or earnings (was 22.5% in April). BME and a big one! Will IS catch up with SS? 53 new pictures accepted, i.e., more than in DT. A lot of sales from a couple of pictures uploaded in May. Mostly X-small sales, but in average $0.89/download.

DreamsTime. BME. Good sales, especially, in the end of May. Only 45 new pictures added. A lot of rejections: “Too many shots of the same item or from the same series”. “This is a very well covered subject in our data base or the subject of your image is too specific”. I am not submitting all my pictures to DT any more. Nevertheless, my acceptance ratio dropped down to 63%.

Fotolia. Lower earnings than in my April, but still almost at a payout level every month.

StockXpert. BME. 64% from subscriptions.

123rf. Slightly lower earnings than in April which was BME.

Big Stock Photo. Earnings lower than in April, but sufficient for my monthly $30+ payout. March’09 was my BME.

CanStockPhoto. BME. One big sale through PhotoSearch and a few $0.30 subscription sales puts CSP into the same income league as 123RF and BSP. I added CSP to my earnings graph.

Featurepics. No sales.

Panthermedia. 350+ images in my portfolio. 1 sale in May.

agency portfolio size downloads (EL) earnings % earnings


1199 687(2) $314.06 37.6%


728 286 $255.90 30.6%


942 92 $85.60 10.3%


1163 111 $49.20 5.9%


780 56 $44.62 5.3%


1039 7 $29.55 3.5%


1121 55 $29.03 3.5%

Big Stock Photo

1103 35 $27.00 3.2%

May was my 18th month in microstock with $5221 of total earnings.

Some other bloggers are reporting monthly earnings from microstock:
Microstock DiariesMicrostock ExperimentNiltoMiljrtbDriftless Ramblingsbankizdjec.plMeLastMohican’s BlogProbably Due To Network Congestion

My latest stock photos on Dreamstime Stock Photography Community

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