Is the free section killing the market?

For over a year I am a contributor to DT and after that year, I did put some pictures in the free section that were not even looked at. To my surprise these images are now the best downloaded ones of my portfolio.

There are more than 97.000 photographers active on DT alone. If every one of them has 10 pictures in the free section, well you can do the mathematics. That is 970.000 free photo's! I am sure there will be a usefull one for every designer. I have 4 pictures in the free section, but I won't put anymore into it!

This free photo for instant is downloaded more than 20 times in only two weeks. Some people say that the sales will go up if you have pictures in the free section, but I have my doubts.

Royalty free, nine views, zero downloads....

Have a nice day!


Photo credits: Bob Suir.

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August 12, 2010


Sadly the proof is in the pudding and the short answer is yes. This image 1838402 which is on offer for free has 408 downloads, while this image
 Male Lion 
which is of higher quality only has 54 downloads (which is quite good for RF image of a lion) but could have more if not having to compete with free images. Just my opinion I guess, no disrespect for the author of the free image.

August 11, 2010


I try to get one of my photos for he free section for almost one year now, but I have no luck so far :( I don`t agree with you people! There are somewhere around 90.000 free pictures, that means 1 picture for photographer! I won`t mind giving up some of my pictures, I don`t think I am so much of an artist! And maybe there are some poor people who can do a lot with one of these free pictures!
So, think it over! :)

August 11, 2010


Lets cancel the free section ;-)

August 11, 2010


I have my answer(s) on the next blog! Cheers!

August 10, 2010


I suggest that free photos are more effective as a reward for loyal customers. If someone pays for a subscription, they should get their choice of a free image from the free section. Moreover, if they buy multiple images from the same artist, that artist can "sign off" on a free one for that loyal buyer.

August 10, 2010


There are many folks out there who love the idea of "something for nothing." I think it was Thomas Paine who said, "What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value."

August 10, 2010


I mean it`s not like the regular downloads are very expensive :)

It's true that WE don't get much money out of them, but paying something (as low as it may be) for a photo is very different than getting them for free.

August 10, 2010


I mean it's not like the regular downloads are very expensive :)

August 10, 2010



August 10, 2010


I agree, and have no photos in the free section either for the same reason. I don't think uploading free photos raises your paid downloads, actually I think the opposite happens: if you put your "bad" photos in the free section many website designers for example will settle for a low-quality photo if it's free and won't buy your better photos because you have free ones available.

August 10, 2010


I don't have images in the free section for that reason. I agree with you.

August 10, 2010


Well done, I agree with you

August 10, 2010


well... I think you are right... I have another reason not filling up the reservoir of free images with some of mine: I do not want any of my images to be used by EVERYONE for less than nothing...

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