Contributors shape the market! - Dreamstime

I'm writing this blog because I believe there is wave of strange behavior from some contributors that is affecting the Microstocks Market in a way or another.

This concerns everyone, but specially non exclusive photographers or those who might think of being non exclusives in the future.

Now a days with the crises, we see many agencies showing up, some under strange names, wanting a share in the microstock photography market, & mostly they are agencies with no future, they just play hit & run to gather as much they can in a short period of time!

It's up to anyone or any identity to make their own microstock business, but it's also up to us contributors to join or not!

Yeah I believe in free competition, but you should be concerned about your numbers & what you gain by the end!

When someone informs you about a new agency called greenbananastockphotos (Hope I'm not violating any trademark), some contributors blindly join thinking it's an opportunity to get another source of cash through images! Will it might be, but, you have to consider some things before you join:

© Daioda
1- These new agencies will share an existing market, mostly without data-base of strong buyers, so they ain't creating new market for you, specially at the beginning!

ie. Your sales might drop on the top agencies, if buyers switch to new agencies, while buyers can always remain in fewer solid agencies, which will give you more stable income where you are selling at the moment.

2- What's the payout amount of these new agencies? You might be happy to make a couple of dollars when you join on there, but the question is, will you ever reach a payout with them?

Many new agencies had closed their doors & left the contributors without receiving the small amount they made in sales as it was less than the payout!

3- Why top contributors are not the first to join new agencies?! Yes mostly they know about them & they like to gain more & spread their successful experience, but they have a market to keep balanced before they risk it & join any new agency!

© 72soul
4- Supply & demand rule, more agencies supplying images with the same demand by buyers. That will divide the cake to more agencies & will make you gain less on some agencies where you used to earn good!

5- Oh some agencies are paying me to upload! Yeah that's great! Make your calculations if your images will give you a payout according to the bonus offered by that agency, before you upload & collect half a payment that might never be cashed!

6- Does this new agency really have a good watermark to protect your images? Well I've seen some new agencies that don't even bother to do so!

Will you choose to publish your images on an agency that almost giving a print size without protection?!

Some weak netzins might find this agency as a source of getting your images for free with a little crop or some small cloning!

7- Does the new agency accept editorial photos as royalty free? They are considered editorials on the top agencies for a reason! Don't be happy that your editorial images went accepted while it might get you legal troubles in the future! This shows how serious is the new agency you are dealing with.

© Charon
8- I personally don't trust any agency that accepts any image to be online for sale, some agencies now a days can accept a whole white color image as an abstract! BUHH!

We really have to be careful with what we do, cause it really affects the market & sales! I'm not saying to put all your eggs in one basket, but make sure to be smart while distributing your images.

Photo credits: 72soul, Alexskopje, Andres Rodriguez, Charon, Daioda, Icefront, Michaeljayberlin, Patryk Kosmider, Miriam Doerr.

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January 03, 2014


VERY good, down-to-earth information! Really made me think. Thank you, and Happy New Year!

December 09, 2013


Yes Meryll DT is the most accessible agency!
Thank you Sebastiangh ;)

December 09, 2013


So true! Very good article with strong arguments for any stock photographer to consider! Thanks for sharing!
   Think smart   

December 02, 2013


I contributed to 5 agencies, one of them macro stock photo agency. Now i keep uploading into three microstock ones and I am happy with that. I earn more than being exclusive here although it pays very much to be here, DT is a very good agency with the concept of your images getting to higher price levels in time... not even talking about support here which is GREAT!

December 01, 2013


Thank you all for your comments! :)

Alvera you mean small earners, cause they all start small, but the most important is to start right! ;)

December 01, 2013


Useful for me too. Thanks. Small agencies are just waste of time.

November 28, 2013


Interesting subject---thanks Maen, for taking the time to bring it to everyone's attention. Once I went exclusive with Dreamstime I stuck my head in the sand and haven't paid much attention to other agencies.

November 28, 2013


Hello Maen,

Your blog is both timely, interesting and what you expressed
therein is a very accurate and thought provoking synopsis of
what is going on in the microstock business today. One must
indeed be very selective especially with so many start-up
agencies, most of which will not last due to already established
competitors who still carry the brunt of photo buying. Having
had a few unpleasant experiences with two of these agencies
(which shall remain nameless as the very thought of them just
makes me cringe) I suggest all photographers do some
research before committing themselves to these lesser
agencies which seemingly promise the world and then
your photos sit idle with nary a sale to be had. It's just
not worth it. Thanks for raising this important topic which
all stock oriented photographers need to very carefully

November 27, 2013


Good blog as always, Maen

November 27, 2013


Nice informative blog. You should always do some research first before joining any site regardless of what sort it is. It's even better when someone else recommends or refers you to sites that they are already using and can let you know the positives and negatives :)

November 26, 2013


Thank you guys! :)

November 26, 2013


great blog

November 25, 2013


Greenbananastockphotos :)
True, one should be careful with new startups.

November 25, 2013



November 25, 2013


great blog... thanks for sharing.

November 25, 2013


@David Watmough: I heard about TWO agencies that closed their doors in a short period, luckily it wasn't a personal experience but some members of a group in a social media were talking about it!

@Brad: Yes I heard about that agency also, they decided that a year after & the funny part that some members had thousands of images on there without a single sale during a year tho, imagine to be there as exclusive! :)))

@Mike Heywood: Believe me, even big portfolios shouldn't risk it sometimes, one of the new agencies had Yuri Arcurs on there & it made him less than 200 sales in more than a year! :)))

Thank you everyone for your comments! :)

November 25, 2013


Beautiful blog, thanks for sharing Maen!

November 25, 2013


I liked your article ; to me I decided to be exclusive here in DT ;) one safe direction ... one basket with little amount of eggs.

November 25, 2013


Great article Maen and great info for all users.

November 25, 2013


I had a new site invite me to submit images with promises of financial rewards, which I declined. Then a month later they sent an e-mail to let me know they were only accepting exclusive content, and that any RF images I'd submitted were going to be removed. Lucky I hadn't spent any time on that useless exercise! I agree that startups are impossible to predict, and you are very unlikely to benefit much from the time spent, and any sales just undercut established sites.

November 25, 2013


It's easy enough to find out which agencies produce the best returns per image and upload there. I agree that it's largely pointless uploading to new small agencies especially if you have a small portfolio as you'll never see a payout.

November 25, 2013


Good blog! Thank you for this topic!

November 25, 2013


I haven't come across one of these here today gone tomorrow agencies............ but a major agency has emailed to offer images at half price and that is gloomy news isn't it ? Maybe it was a temporary price reduction but it didn't sound like that.

November 25, 2013


Very good article... food for thought... Thanks :)

November 25, 2013


Thanks Marilyn! :)

November 24, 2013


Thank you for the helpful information Maen, its great reminder to research companies prior to committing your images to their custody.

November 24, 2013


Sure Michael! I thought you are already there! :D

November 24, 2013


Hey Maen, I have searched for greenbananastockphotos and can't find the website... would you be able to forward me your referral link so I can join and make you rich? Thanks. :-)

November 24, 2013


Thanks Susan!

November 24, 2013


Good info, Maen.

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