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Dreamstime - Microstock AgencyDreamstime are one of the top tier microstock agencies and are working hard to stay at the top. They’re creative and entrepreneurial, developing original technology and business models. Their commission for photographers is 50%, among the highest in the market, and certainly the highest of the top tier microstock agencies.

Dreamstime Background

Dreamstime began life as a royalty free CD store in 2000, but came onto the Alexa radar in 2004 when they became ‘community enabled’. They’ve innovated in line with their close competitors to remain at the top of the market. Despite relatively slower sales, their success in generating high earnings for contributors is largely due to their high commission rate.


Web Address www.dreamstime.com
Google Pagerank 6
Google Backlinks 8,560
Alexa Rank 1,941
Image Stats 1,272,506
Minimum Image Size 3 MegaPixels
Vectors Yes
Footage No
Licenses Royalty Free (including Editorial). Extended Licenses: Increase Max Copies; Web Usage; Print Usage; Sell the Rights.
Compensation 50% – 80% of sale price 20-60% less referral costs (see calculator)
Pricing Dependent on photo sales quantity: $0.74 – $5.92
Payment Methods PayPal, Moneybookers, Payoneer, Check
Payout Threshold $100
Referral Program 10% of purchases contributor sales for 3 years. Important note!
Application Process No application, just upload
Exclusivity 10% extra per exclusive photo, plus $0.20 bonus for approved photos of exclusive artists
Upload Methods HTML Form and FTP
IPTC Data Yes
Delete images? Only up to 70% of the images submitted in the past six months
Currencies US Dollar
Languages English
Headquarters Brentwood, USA (with operational headquarters in Bucharest, Romania)

Cool Features

  • $5 Instant referral bonus – place the Dreamstime banners on your website and let them know. They’ll inspect your website and credit your account with a $5 instant bonus.
  • In-the-News editorial photos – submit photos of current events to be presented within the In-the-News section
  • Keymentors – suggest batches of 10 or more keywords on images other than your own and receive $0.02 for each accepted batch.
  • Keymasters – pay $0.20 and have your image professionally keyworded for you! Or apply to become a keymaster and earn that $0.20.
  • Sell the rights – Dreamstime allows you to set a buyout price for your images, allowing buyers to gain exclusive rights to a photo
  • Upload capacity – Dreamstime’s default upload limit, set at 100 per day at the time of writing, is reduced down to half or a quarter if your approval rate drops. FTP access is also withdrawn at low levels. This protects Dreamstime from deliberate time-wasters and those who need to focus more on their photographer than contributing, allowing other contributors to have their submissions reviewed sooner.


Dreamstime fluctuates around position four in terms of traffic of microstock agencies. They have a high payout per image which makes up for lower sales compared to other microstock agencies. Community is evident on the Dreamstime website and in their forums.


Dreamstime are definately in the top tier of microstock agencies with most microstockers reporting them amonge their top four earners. They’re also viewed as the most contributor-friendly microstock agency, paying high commissions and considering contributors a priority in their decision making. While they may lack the turnover of Shutterstock and the bleeding edge innovation of iStockphoto, they have a solid system and produce great results.

Register at Dreamstime here.

Posted June 10th, 2007 by


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