Offsetting cost of this hobby...microstock?

Started Feb 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP gnagel Veteran Member • Posts: 7,239
Re: Offsetting cost of this hobby...microstock?

tundracamper wrote:

I agree heavily with the above. In addition, property taxes, insurance, and all that mess change when it becomes a "business."

I do appreciate you posting your numbers. I have been seriously contemplating my "exclusivity" over at iStock. Your ShutterStock numbers gave me a big pause when I first saw them. They are quite big when compared to the iStock numbers. However, when I did an apples-to-apples comparison, I may just stay where I'm at. When I look at your total income relative to the number of images (i.e. $7,044/1901), that comes out to about $3.71 per image per year. Of course, I am assuming the other portfolios are simply a subset of those on Shutterstock since it has the most images. When I look at my total iStock income for 2012 relative to the number of images I have today, the result is just under $3.80 per image per year. Given that I have added quite a few images the past few months, I am not so sure the extra headache of managing multiple portfolios would be worth dropping exclusivity for a increase in income that may not happen. Of course, if I were starting from scratch in the last year or so, I would definitely go the multiple agency route as the "exclusivity" road is not near as enticing as it used to be. In my case, though, it looks like staying may be the best move financially.

Interesting information.

Yes...iStock pays much more per download, but yields far fewer downloads per image.  Shutterstock uses a completely different model.  It allows many buyers to download so many images per day for a fixed subscription price. When images are selected under that plan, Shutterstock might only pay me 36 cents per download.  However, it isn't unusual to have 30 or more downloads in a day from that plan.  And, buyers still purchase images under the iStock type system within each week I generate a number of images that sell for $3 or even $28.  On occasion, some go for over $100 per download--depending upon the intended usage.


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