28 Feb 2010 This Month in Microstock – February 2010

The microstock landscape was permanently changed again this month with the closure of StockXpert and opening of ThinkStock dominating industry news. Here’s a summary.

StockXpert Closed and ThinkStock Opened

StockXpert, widely considered the fifth largest microstock agency, has closed to both customers and contributors.   StockXpert was 90% owned by Jupiterimages, which was sold to Getty Images in 2008. Getty Images purchased the remaining 10% in December. This month, they’ve redirected StockXpert customers to iStockphoto, honoring outstanding credits with iStockphoto credits one to one. StockXpert contributors will receive their ThinkStock royalties through the StockXpert website. Vivozoom took advantage of the StockXpert closure offering StockXpert clients a 50% discount.

At the same time, Getty Images launched a new subscription stock site using the ThinkStock brand also acquired with Jupiterimages.   ThinkStock was the agency created by Ron Chapple and sold to Jupiterimages in 2004. The new incarnation now combines content from StockXpert branded as Hemera collection, iStockphoto content that’s opted in to the partner program, and various other Getty Images owned / represented content.

Shutterstock Passed 10 Million Files

Shutterstock became the first microstock agency to amass 10 million files – photos, illustrations and video.   Included in the announcement was the statistic of 125 million downloads in the history of the company. They also launched a new Facebook application during the month which does the same as their Twitter connection.   That is, automatically broadcast daily stats about a users’ Shutterstock acceptance and sales.

Fotolia and AudioMicro Launch Flixtime

Flixtime allows user to create free 60-second video slideshows using their own photos or photos from Fotolia and music from AudioMicro.

LookStat’s Microstock Guide for Traditional Stock Photographers

Helping to demystify much of the misunderstandings of microstock in the traditional market, LookStat released a beautifully designed and free 35-page downloadable PDF guide to microstock for RM and RF Stock Photographers.

Cool Changes at iSyndica

This month iSyndica switched from monthly to annual subscriptions with prices discounted by 60%. They also added a Moneybookers payment option, a very cool chart to compare earnings per agency to all other iSyndica users, distribution to Alamy, and improvements to their content management interface.

  • M.
    Posted at 17:32h, 28 February Reply

    The shutdown of Stockxpert is troubling. They honour credits to _buy_ photos on iStockPhoto, but I can’t find anything about StockXpert earnings policy. Any ideas what will happen to people who have earnings there less then payout amount?

    • Luis Santos
      Posted at 17:42h, 28 February Reply

      Hi there! Do you have your photos at ThinkStock? If yes you will continue to have the earnings deposit on your account, if not send a message to support and they will send your current earnings!

      • M.
        Posted at 18:06h, 28 February Reply

        I don’t have my photos at ThinkStock. I have asked for assistance using StockXpert’s contact form. Thanks for help, Luis!

  • Matt Antonino
    Posted at 17:43h, 28 February Reply

    Just for accuracy and searchability it’s Hemera not Hemena. I don’t like these changes.

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 17:56h, 28 February Reply

      Thanks Matt, I’ve corrected the error. Agree – there’s not much for us contributors to like about these changes.

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