Microstock News

Fotolia have announced a new commission structure which will come into effect next week. The changes will reduce commission to lower non-exclusive fotolia rank contributors by around 20% (e.g. white rank commission reduced from 25% of sale to 20% of sale). Low ranking exclusive photographers fare even worse dropping from 42% to 35%.

The table below shows the new rates, (hover over the image to show the old rates). Clicking the image currently links to a page at fotolia displaying the new rates before they come into effect.

The big news in December for contributors was full launch of, we posted a review earlier in the month.

Other than that things were relatively quiet, most of the news coming from various changes at istockphoto. (most of which I'm not going to weigh in on - but the description "Istock F5 epic fail" that has been flying about does not seem all that unfair considering this is supposed to be a leader in the microstock industry.) It's not easy to make changes to a big website without issues cropping up, but sites like google, paypal, amazon etc seem able to do it without all that many "unforeseen" problems. This, I guess, is the price you pay for making the royalty structure complicated.

No sooner had I posted last months news update than I opened my inbox and found a press release for picworkflow, I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting picworkflow to be, but I have to say it was with some delight I found it was a direct replacement to isyndica.

picworkflow referral link

Since isyndica closed my microstock uploads have been somewhat on the backbuner, although prostockmaster is free it does not support all the sites I want to upload to, and my previous FTP tool took a dislike to windows7, only $50 for the latest version, but neither get around the fact that my upload speeds are limited to about 300kbps (reasonable ADSL1 speed) not too slow but it takes at least 30 minutes to upload a handful of good sized images to 15 sites. I'm looking for speed NOT work-arounds.

Dreamstime celebrated their 10 millionth image with a day long 20% discount sale for buyers and 100% commission to contributors. This brings a total of 3 microstock agencies with more than 10 million images in their own collection (so pixmac excluded). 123rf looks like it will be next in line.

In tandem with last months site updates and introduction of $1 images, Crestock relaunched themselves as "Good. Fast. Cheap" at the start of the month. Their previous price levels and site style placed them more towards the premium end of microstock.

Summary of Microstock happenings this October: and Fotolia got together to offer fotoilas image collection to the some 15 million creatives who use deviantArt via a specially themed fotolia sub-domain at This is all part of a plan for deviantArt to grow their own stock image collection, more details on that at

Updates since the last news post:

Fotolia added 10k of legal coverage to images downloaded from their site, full details of that in their license terms; they also announced they now have 10 million images. Fotolia also made a small change to the prices of images which that have not sold in the past 12 months. The vast majority of fotolia contributors, those photographers with less than 25000 images i.e. 'Emerald level' and below will be unaffected. Those photographers above Emerald level and above will find the priced of their unsold images reduced (if not already set to $1) to fotolias 'best prices' i.e. $1 XS to $10 for XXL. Prices remain at 'best price' until the image has sold 5 times.

istockphoto have announced a restructuring of their royalties to take effect in January next year. There is quite a lot to digest, if you have not already read this post on their site then get a drink and take it all in.

A couple of big news stories since my last update, the most noticeable one was the F5 update on istockphoto, but for contributors I think the news that prostockmaster is now available free of charge is the biggest story.


ProstockMaster Free-for-all

Prostockmaster was relaunched as freeware, I wrote a review of prostockmaster 2 years ago (needs updating!) while it was still a commercial product with a free option. Prostockmaster is microstock assistant application which helps in the process of keywording and uploading images to microstock agencies. The program supports uploading to 9 different agencies, IPTC keyword setting, image search and can also provide sales statistics. Full details can be found on



After some murmurings yesterday about new owners on microstockgroup, an official announcement has now been emailed to current crestock members.

as of 1 July 2010 crestock is now part of the masterfile corporation, masterfile have been in the licensing business for almost 30 years. In the statement they basically outline the fact that they wanted a microstock site and crestock was ripe for the picking.

This month in microstock; quite a lot happening, nothing earth shattering (which is nice!) but lots of interesting little stories:

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