07 Jul 2007 Acceptance Rate Averages at Microstock Websites
What portion of the images that you submit to microstock websites are accepted? Are you a quality or quantity contributor?
I asked around and collected official acceptance rates from most of the top microstock agencies. Here’s the results.
Average Acceptance Rates
|ShutterStock||Jon Oringer||Founder and CEO||interview|
|Dreamstime||Ellen Boughn||Director of Content and Business Strategy|
|StockXpert||Steve Kapsinow||Community Evangelist|
|iStockphoto||Yvonne Beyer||Marketing Specialist|
|BigStockPhoto||Suzanne Hopkins||PR Director|
|LuckyOliver||Bryan Zmijewski||Chief Instigator|
Complications with the Data
Dreamstime penalzse contributors with low acceptance rates, reducing the number if images they can submit. This artificially raises their average acceptance rate.
iStockphoto also restrict upload quotas based on the status of the contributor. The status is determined by the number of sales the contributor has generated (their level) and their exclusivity status. This affects their average acceptance rates in a similar way.
So What Does it All Mean?
What are your acceptance rates? I published some of my acceptance rates previously. You can see that I am above average at ShutterStock and Dreamstime but below average at iStockphoto.
Not only does Dreamstime adjust your upload limit, but your acceptance rate also affects where your images appear in their search results.
Also, be aware that some agencies focus more on content than quality. So in addition to the technical quality of the image, they will look at the popularity of the subject and the commercial appeal of the image.
How do your approval rates compare? Are you a quality or quantity contributor?
Update: This post originally reported iStockphoto as having an acceptance rate of 71%. Yvonne Beyer later contacted me to correct the figure she’d provided and added that it “has never been any higher that 60% since iStock began”.