Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Microstock report for May of 2010

This month had a couple of upswings.  Shutterstock was once again the best microstock site of the month.  There were no ELs once again (after three months straight with one....an EL is a $28 download), but it was a pretty consistent month.  And what's nice is that we're closing in on our next raise (from 33 cents for a regular download to 36 cents, and from $2.48 for On Demand downloads to $3.00).  And we should have our raise by July.

In second place for a year straight was Istockphoto.  They've been second since we got approved on the site, but this is the Best Month Ever for Istock.  Our previous high was back in October when the Chocolate Covered Strawberry sold as an EL).  With a sixth of the portfolio of Shutterstock, Istockphoto is really doing quite well with very little.  It's much harder to get a file on Istockphoto than it is on Shutterstock - the trade off is that you'll get more downloads per day on Shutterstock, but each download will earn more money on Istockphoto (which almost evens out the sites).  For example, this month we averaged about 13 downloads a day on Shutterstock and we averaged 1.6 downloads on Istockphoto.

Our regular third place finisher is, as always Dreamstime.  May turned out to be the second best month ever on Dreamstime...it always seems like we should be doing better on this site, but it tends to have stretches without any downloads.  What's nice is that Dreamstime has a monthly contest, (the illustrations I've contributed have to be exclusive to this site) and the images have been selling...slowly, but selling.  It's slower than the top two, but it's still worth contributing to.

The next in line was a bit of a surprise - BigStockPhoto came out of nowhere and reclaimed 4th place.  It has been pretty middling and, like Fotolia, threatened to compete for last place...but an EL on this site (which, for some reason, is only $16) helped pull it's numbers up.  I don't understand it though...this site, like Fotolia, continue to earn less than $20 a month (except for rare EL months) even though I continue to pump new files onto the site.  I figure it's just a matter of time when one (or hopefully more) of these files strike a cord with the site's customers.  In the meantime I'll just concentrate on the big three microstock sites (shutterstock, istockphoto, and dreamstime).

And to wrap things up - the rest of the show wasn't so bad.  Vectorstock is a site that a lot of Vector artists (people, like myself, who submit images created completely in Adobe Illustrator) warn against as they pay the least of any site (and have the most unrealistic raise goals)....and while I haven't uploaded my entire Shutterstock portfolio, I still have a pretty decent amount.  And each month it's getting better.  Last month was the first time I was able to request a payout (of $100) and it was also our Best Month Ever with $14.25.  It should take until August (at this pace) to finally reach the next level and get a raise (from 25 cents a download to 30 cents)...It's only taken a year and a half...

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