03 Sep 2010 This Month in Microstock – August 2010

A relatively quiet month in the microstock market both in developments and sales. Not a silly time to schedule a major site redesign.

iStockphoto F5 Website Redesign

The big news of August was the much anticipated and much hyped launch of iStockphoto‘s latest redesign. Branded F5 – a not-so-in in-joke about the page refresh key – the new design is more clear and more modern. Naturally there’s some complaints from those who knew their way around the old design. There’s also a substantial list of bugs, including one preventing contributors from opting out of the partner program. Yet iStockphoto is both the undisputed market leader and the agency which most frequently updates the design of their website.

Alamy Launch iPad App

Alamy has launched a simple gallery iPad app. The free app shows a slideshow of around 20 photos from the Alamy collection, updated daily. No direct sales, but great photography and a neat little app.

Microstock Photo Plugin for WordPress Now Includes iStockphoto

This month the Microstock Photo Plugin for WordPress, one of my GuteWolke projects, added iStockphoto as a purchase option alongside Fotolia. The inclusion scores a valuable precedent for multiple microstock agency APIs in use alongside one another in a single product.   The iStockphoto press machine also did a great job in boosting the download figures for the plugin which has now been downloaded over 2,300 times.


Ever wanted a super-easy way to keep up to date with new photos for a specific keyword? Microstock utility guru Bob Davies has a new tool that does just that. Check out StockPhotoFeeds.

Fotolia Drops Prices for Unsold Files

Fotolia announced their policy for dealing with unsold files, to come into effect September 1st. The price level will be dropped to the lowest level (1 credit for small and 10 for XXL) for images which have not sold in the past 12 months, regardless of the quantity of sales prior to that period. Only exclusive images and those of Emerald and above level contributors (of which there are not many) are able to be raised above the lowest level, so this new policy won’t affect a lot of contributors. Fotolia contributors have also expressed appreciation for being notified about the policy, and in advance!

For comparison, Dreamstime has a similar policy. It applies after three years, not one, and only for images which have never sold. Contributors are given the choice of deactivating the image, donating it to the free section, or paying 20 cents to have the Dreamstime Keymasters re-keyword the file.


Fotolia passed 10 million files, CanStockPhoto passed 3 million, YAYmicro 1 million, and newcomer StockFresh hit 200,000. Shutterstock turned 7.

  • claudio
    Posted at 19:38h, 03 September Reply

    Fotolia price drop: those who are not affected are possibly the most affected, as they will now compete with many more pictures from top level contributors – provide price level actually counts for buyers (not sure about that)

  • Holgs
    Posted at 02:18h, 08 September Reply

    August: The calm before the storm. Looks like September’s wind-up will be a little bit busier…

  • Don Farrall
    Posted at 19:43h, 10 September Reply

    Lee, I’m surprised not to find any commentary about the implosion at Istock over their new Royalty plan. Yikes, lots of contributors livid!

    • Nacho
      Posted at 19:28h, 13 September Reply

      Don, I guess we are all waiting for Lee to write about it…
      I’m pretty sure you would read some comments as soon as the post is launched.
      See you then,


  • Cyril Hou
    Posted at 23:57h, 22 September Reply

    An odd silence – censorship or iStockOppression?

  • Lee Torrens
    Posted at 00:00h, 23 September Reply

    I’ve been unwell. It’s coming.

    • Cyril Hou
      Posted at 00:02h, 23 September Reply

      Oops – get well, best wishes! 🙂

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