Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Microstock report for August, 2009

stock,illustration,Isaac Marzioli

This month surged in some places and sunk to new lows in others. I finally had more time to do some stock images - I added over 20 images to Shutterstock (some good, some bad...some had pretty decent starts, but never ended up going anywhere).

Once again Shutterstock was tops.  I made $162 while uploading 20 or so new images.  I'd say quite a few of those 'new' images were reworkings of older images.  Total time spent on creating new images was still very low...and that lack of time and care might have kept those new images from reaching any substantial download totals.  What's nice to know is that if you upload new stuff to this site - it seems as if people will search through the rest of your portfolio and download other things (older illustrations that haven't had downloads in forever were suddenly getting multiple downloads).  And other illustrations that had a similar theme to newer ones were also getting downloaded.  So while it didn't seem to effect the totals of the other sites, Shutterstock really pays off to keep a constant flow of uploads...

It also helped that we had our first EL download on Shutterstock.  An EL is an Extended License agreement, and instead of the usual .33 cents per download, these are $28 downloads.  These types of downloads are rare in general, and even rarer for illustrations.  

Istockphoto wasn't nearly as good as last month ($52 as opposed to $65 in July), but the last two months have been the most successful months on this site...and I've got more images approved than ever before (I used to get denied 9 out of every 10 images I uploaded)...so I think I'm getting the hang of what they want and how to format my files appropriately.

One big disappointment was Dreamstime - the downloads happened every couple of days like they usually have on this site - but this time there were no big downloads (everything was .35 rather than a couple of bucks or 5 dollars here and there).  I also wasn't able to upload any of my new files because the uploading page kept freezing my internet.  I'm going to try again soon enough, and maybe the bigger downloads will start back up.  On an upside, I finally have my first referral that's actually uploading pictures!

The last one I'll talk about is Fotolia - They were an incredibly disappointment.  The worst thing is that they've got a new uploading process that's different from all the other sites (you have to have a higher res jpg zipped in a folder with the illustrator eps file).  This is very different from where they were 2 or 3 months ago where I only had to resave my eps file as a svg (a vector format that wasn't as popular as they first expected that was web friendly), and upload that - and it made it's own jpg preview.  On top of this, I uploaded almost as many files on this site as on Shutterstock, and yet I saw absolutely no uploads.  It's frustrating because it was one of my middle of the pack microstock sites, and it's just stalled.  I keep getting a ton of views for my pictures, but no downloads.

Anyhow - this month, except for Shutterstock, it was going to be hard to compete with the previous month or so because I got ELs on a few of the other sites (Dreamstime  in June for $28, Fotolia and StockXpert in July for $12 each).  So while this month made about 30 dollars less than the previous two months did (the last two months were in the $290's), my microstock sites still generated enough business to make it interesting and fun.  That's the biggest thing for me - as long as it's interesting (and it's mostly Shutterstock that's providing the most interest) I'll keep creating new illustrations.

1 comment:

Cory said...


Good to see Shutterstock is still going well for you.

iStock can definitely be tricky with rejections. They are picky about what they want and catch a lot of the open paths and stray points that some of the other agencies don't. Having the Illustrator plugin helps. Dreamstime is my big rejector though.

For Dreamstime, I switched to Firefox from Safari. Safari always seemed to stall out on my eps uploads there. I don't know if that is the issue you are having though.

Finally, Fotolia is actually still accepting my svg files. I don't know if its a loophole, so keep it quite. ;)

Sorry this post was so long.


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