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Payout Structure from Microstock Agencies in 2012

1 July 2012 4 Comments

In the two previous posts I looked at trends in RPI (return per image) from my microstock portfolio. Now, let’s look at the payout structure, i.e., how much (in %) of actual money is coming from different stock sites. I calculated it for the first half of 2012 (including payouts scheduled until middle of July).

Top 3: Shutterstock, iStockphoto and Dreamstime

Most of my microstock income is coming this year from Shutterstock. iStockphoto used to be my leader for several years. Dreamstime is slowly loosing ground in the top 3 group. It is the agency with the smallest part of my microstock portfolio online.

Middle Tier: 123R, Fotolia, DepositPhoto, BigStock, CanStock, Veer, and PhotoDune

7 agencies with regular payouts. It looks like Zoonar is also falling into this group. Earnings and payouts from Zoonar may be high, but are very irregular. Fotolia is going downhill and, recently, is behind Depositphotos.

Low Earners

with low and occasional sales. I am actively uploading to sites with fast submission process. Alamy is included here. I started to upload pictures to Alamy 6 months ago and have only about half of my microstock portfolio and a few RM pictures there. Actually, my uncleared balance at Alamy is much higher than payouts so far. I also keep my portfolio at Smugmug. In the second year, the sales are finally covering hosting fees of the pro account.

Related Posts:

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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  • Luis Santos said:

    very interesting idea, can you share the % of payouts comparing to total income during this first half? thanks for sharing again your incredible analysis :)

  • Marek (author) said:

    What do you mean by total income? I consider payouts my real taxable income (minus expense of course). Sales vs payouts? There is a certain time delay, but taking into consideration my top and middle tier sites (so, those with regular payouts) and a longer time period there are pretty close.

  • Pixels Away microstock » Blog Archive » 5 Years in Microstock Photography – Return Per Image Trends said:

    […] posts: Return per Image from Microstock Photography – Year by Year Comparison Payout Structure from Microstock Agencies in 2012 Return Per Image (RPI) from Microstock Photography – Istockphoto, Shutterstock, Dreamstime and […]

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    Have you ever thought about publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog based upon on the same ideas you discuss and
    would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would appreciate
    your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

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