30 May 2008 Fotolia Adds Subscriptions Too
The last of the top microstock agencies to implement subscriptions, Fotolia, has today announced limited details of their subscription plan. The announcement comes as no surprise, though details of the 0.23 – 0.30 credit commissions and inability to opt-out non-exclusive images have disappointed contributors.
The announcement was made via an email newsletter, though there’s no supporting notification on the website. No launch date was provided, nor were pricing details. Many contributors are also frustrated at the lack of clarity in the commission rates which provide no way of knowing whether they’ll be earning 23 or 30 cents per sale (at the current credit price of $1) or something in between.
Feedback in the Fotolia and independent forums is understandably critical, with some contributors saying they’ve already removed their portfolios. Comparisons are being made to iStockphoto’s recently implemented subscription plan which ensures contributors don’t earn less for subscription sales and was subsequently well received by contributors.
Fotolia’s announcement assures contributors that their earnings will rise from the increased volume of sales. Few contributors are convinced that Fotolia’s sales record demonstrates an ability to generate sufficient sales to overcome the drop in per-sale commission. One of Fotolia’s two Sapphire ranked contributors, Andres Rodriguez, posted in the Fotolia forum thread, “until today Fotolia was my favourite site”.
Until their subscription plan is implemented, we won’t know whether Fotolia’s analysis will prove correct and contributor earnings will rise. However, contributor response shows a unanimously pessimistic expectation.