31 Oct 2009 This Month in Microstock – October 2009

After the Shutterstock buys BigStockphoto bombshell of last month, October was full of relatively modest news updates. Here’s the highlights:

Dreamstime Starts Selling Prints

Top tier microstock agency Dreamstime added prints to their available purchasing options. Prints for any photo in their portfolio can be ordered at various sizes for glossy paper posters or polyester canvas. Shipping and handling to the US and Europe are included in the price. iStockphoto already offers prints but only for images where the contributor has consented to allow print sales.

Dreamstime Starts Culling Non-Selling Photos

Dreamstime announced their intention to start removing files over three or four years old which have not achieved any sales. Removed images will be added to the free section at the option of the contributor – a program not dis-similar to those of other microstock agencies.

Fotolia Launches Plugin for Microsoft Office

Continuing the idea of taking the transaction to where buyers use photos, Fotolia released a plugin that makes it easy for people to buy and insert photos directly into Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft PowerPoint 2007. The plugin is free and can be downloaded here.

Fotolia Launches Fotolia University

At Photoshop World Expo in Las Vegas this month, Fotolia announced the launch of Fotolia University. Open to all Fotolia members, the program takes the form of various events intended to improve the shooting and management of contributing photographers. The Fotolia expo stall and the Vegas Strip were the scenes of the first events where stock photo guru Jack Hollingsworth produced model shoots, instructing other Fotolia contributors on technology and technique.

Fotolia Launches Level Ground Program

In an effort to encourage more contributors from the traditional stock photo market and exclusive contributors from other microstock agencies, Fotolia launched a program designed to provide recognition of previous industry success to go directly to higher ‘levels’ in the Fotolia system. Higher levels provide higher royalties and the ability to set images at higher prices. The offer is not open to existing Fotolia contributors, many of whom would have qualified for higher levels but are disadvantaged by already being a Fotolia contributor.

PicScout Launches the Image IRC and ImageExchange

In a flurry of justified industry excitement, PicScout launched a new service with the potential to make a massive difference to how images are found and licensed online.

Shutterstock Adds an Image Guarantee

Shortly following a near identical move by iStockphoto who themselves followed the innovation of Vivozoom, Shutterstock also guaranteed their collection this month. Unlike iStockphoto who removed legally risky photos beforehand, Shutterstock have started doing so after implementing their warranty.

Cool LookStat Stuff

After opening their free trial to everybody, LookStat released some very valuable and useful insights into the data they’ve collected from all their customers. Check the LookStat blog for why it’s not cool to be square and cats versus dogs.   Last month LookStat went from a free microstock analytics site to a complete service provider doing processing, keywording, uploading and submission.

Robert Kneschke’s Earnings Calculator

High profile microstocker, traditional stock photographer and German language microstock blogger, Robert Kneschke, released a calculator tool to help microstockers and potential microstockers calculate their likely earnings growth based on their historic earnings performance and portfolio size growth. Check it out here.

  • Tyler Olson
    Posted at 05:11h, 04 November Reply

    Nice overview. Looks like I missed a few 🙂

  • R. Kneschke
    Posted at 05:59h, 04 November Reply

    Thanks for mentioning me, Lee.

    Just for the record: The Earnings Calculator is available in English, German and French.


  • Han Cheng
    Posted at 03:10h, 06 November Reply

    I hope sales at Dreamstime will improve after they start to selling Prints.

  • Vitezslav Valka
    Posted at 17:18h, 07 November Reply

    Thank you Lee! It’s good to see that Dreamstime and Fotolia are doing a lot 😉

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