14 Apr 2008 YAYmicro

YAYMicro logoThe last thing most microstock contributors want is more microstock agencies. But sometimes one comes along which puts all its energy into creating a strategy that pleases everyone. Impossible, right? Well YAYmicro comes as close as any I’ve seen.

YAYmicro are currently seeking contributions in preparation for their launch to buyers in June. I need to be really impressed to write a review prior to an agency proving its ability to achieve high sales, let alone before they launch. I’ve actually already had quite a few email conversations with YAYmicro management about their strategy and then more in preparation for this review. I even convinced them to buy an ad button here to increase their exposure to contributors! But what impressed me about YAYmicro management was their strategy. They have the fundamental understanding of people that are often observed in ultra-successful businesses of other markets, specifically: openness, simplicity, high ambition, preparation, and a solid connection to reality.

So what makes their strategy so impressive? Here’s my own list:

  1. Commissions at 50% – not so low you feel you’re getting a poor deal, but not so high that the agency can’t afford to grow and promote
  2. Function over form – the website is deliciously simple, no fuss, logically organized and fast loading
  3. Prices and sizes that consider the market – web sized images are €1 for low-budget buyers while large images are high enough to make it worthwhile for contributors at €10
  4. Subscriptions with high commission and size limits – contributor royalty is €1 for subscription sales which are restricted to medium size
  5. All logical facilities are already there – FTP upload, IPTC reading, and Vector support are fully operational at launch
  6. They’re lean and fast – the organization itself has a small team excluding their reviewers, so changes happen fast and overheads are low
  7. They give – 3% of their post-commission income will be contributed to Kiva.org
  8. They’re including Editorial licenses


YAYmicro comes out of the microstock hotbed that is Scandinavia, specifically Oslo in Norway. The three primary entrepreneurs all left Scanpix – Scandinavia’s largest image agency – to start the venture. They’ve already sourced funding from the Norwegian government.

YAYmicro Details

Web Address www.yaymicro.com
Google Pagerank 0
Google Backlinks 0
Alexa Rank 1,688,425
Image Stats Information unavailable
Minimum Image Size 3 megapixels
Vectors Yes
Footage Soon
Licenses Royalty Free, Editorial
Compensation 50% or €1 for subscription sales
Pricing €1, €5 & €10 or subscription (€150)
Payment Methods PayPal & Moneybookers. €30 payout threshold
Payment Delay not yet tested, but payments are sent shortly after they’re requested
Referral Program Yes, pays €0.10 per each sale of referred contributors for five years
Application Process None, just start contributing
Exclusivity Not offered
Upload Methods FTP, Flash uploader, Java uploader, HTML form, CD or DVD or Hard Drive
IPTC Data Yes
Delete images? Yes, immediately and individually
Currencies Euro
Languages English
Headquarters Oslo, Norway

Cool Features

The YAYmicro mission is “to be the best creative and editorial microstock agency in terms of quality, turn-over, reputation and satisfaction”. There’s nothing on their website to distract them from core business and achieving their mission.

Image reviewers are full-time staff working from the same office, not members from “the community”. As can be experienced at other microstock agencies, this results in vastly more consistent inspections and less frustration for contributors.

Many contributors will be pleased with the absence of upload quotas, the five different upload methods and subscriptions being limited to small and medium sizes. While not ‘features’, they’re definitely ‘cool’ from the contributor perspective.


Their website performs extremely well now while they have little traffic. We’ll have to wait to see see what resources they assign to it once they start receiving submissions en masse, add buyer traffic and start serving millions of thumbnails.

As they haven’t yet launched to buyers there’s no way to compare their sales performance, but in this special case I’ll come back and update this review after six months when I have some data to analyze.


Contributing images to an unproven agency is always a risk. It usually takes a lot to convince contributors to upload their portfolios prior to the existence of any evidence of success. In this case, I personally am impressed with both the strategy and execution of YAYmicro and I’ll be contributing my portfolio as soon as possible.

I don’t give my portfolio or my recommendations lightly, and it’s only after conversations with YayMicro management that I’m sufficiently confident to participate. I’m looking forward to being impressed again in June when they launch to buyers.

Check out YAYmicro for yourself.

  • Mikhail Lavrenov
    Posted at 12:45h, 14 April Reply

    I think it’s worth to mention that yaymicro plans to put a special stress on editorial pictures – but I am not exactly sure what they mean by “editorial”.

    As the founders come from a traditional stock they naturally do know the stock picture market in Scandinavia.

    Another interesting point is that they plan to go with selected targeted marketing and sales. I am not sure whether it is a good or a bad thing, but as they know the market it could work well…

  • Christelle
    Posted at 14:03h, 14 April Reply

    Editorial is great, all these pictures we can take in public places with crowds or of buildings for non commercial use, brilliant. Tried their website, fast, pricing not bad, yes, very simple website, sounds good at first glace. I’ve used your link Lee, so you’ll get a share of what I’ll earn – if I do. There is a weatlh of photos I could not upload on other website that I’ll be able to on YAY.
    Beware of not being too carried away and posting some pics that could be use for exhibitions etc…

    So far so good, but as we say, the proof is in the pudding 😉

  • Zbynek Burival
    Posted at 18:22h, 14 April Reply

    Finally something looking really promising – simple, paying fair commision and paying in euros. I think this could be serious advantage as the dollar is heavily recessing and it makes serious hurt for many non-US contributors. Euro is also going slightly down but still much better.
    The reviewers team is also promising, hope they keep their feet on the ground and will try to avoid dozens of disputable rejections which offen happen at the other sites.

  • Alfonso - Phosy
    Posted at 13:59h, 16 April Reply

    I registered two days ago and put 11 photos to revision and they went approved yesterday, so by now very fast. The aplication to upload the photos is clearly the best. Very very fast for uploading and editing.

    Thanks for the recommendation. I have put a reference to this article in my blog (in Spanish)

  • Jeff Clow
    Posted at 21:39h, 16 April Reply

    Thanks for this review – I signed up under your referral link after reading your comments.

    I concur with others….the interface is superb. Let’s hope they can generate some sales when they launch…..

  • pdtnc
    Posted at 18:11h, 17 April Reply

    very new, theres nothing much to see there yet! I’ve signed up just to reserve my name 🙂

  • claudio
    Posted at 08:45h, 24 April Reply

    had my first two sales on yaymicro this month!

    not much, but better than nothing: maybe things are starting to move on that site?

  • Renato Borlaza
    Posted at 08:43h, 25 February Reply

    FTP support, bulk submission support, I find the YAY a contributor friendly site.

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