SpiderPic - Another case for being exclusive - Dreamstime

I recently sold this crazy photo of myself (I was dressed up for a charity event with a disco theme) and I was really curious to see where it might show up.

A Google images search took me to this site called SpiderPic.com and there it was - with a watermark -among hundreds of other images stripped from stock agency websites.

This was not the purchased image, but I'm like, what the #$%## is this SpiderPic?

Looking around the site I found that "SpiderPic is a price-comparison search engine for Stock Photography"

Basically its a search engine for stock photography with the ability to compare prices. As you know, as your stock images become more popular, they increase in value. SpiderPics finds the lowest price for that image.

So guess what? If you sell the same across the multiple stock agencies, you have the potential of shooting yourself in the foot as tools such as SpiderPics are used. Instead of getting a decent price for your bestselling images, you might be giving them away for pennies to someone who would have willingly paid a high prices if it were not for the "discounted" option.

You are also basically the screwing the agency that is selling your image at a higher price. In other words you're taking your Rolls Royce and willingly putting it on sale at Walmart!

When I used to work in the magazine business I was always sickened by the sales people who never seem to be able to make a sale without giving away a deep discount. What kind of sales person is that? A monkey could make sales like that. Selling images for the lowest possible price is same, it takes no skill - only the willingness of the contributor to allow it.

I hear a lot of complaints from contributors about how the agencies keep lowering their commissions and making it harder to make a buck in microstock but contributors have to take a large portion of the blame when they set up their own images to compete on price.

Photo credits: , Peanutroaster.

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June 07, 2012


Thanks for sharing

June 06, 2012


Really interesting blog.

June 04, 2012


Rccster - I tend to think of these things in the macro sense and what makes long term sense for the health of the industry. When a buyer knows they can get the same images at a dozen different agencies it doesn't encourage much loyalty.

You as a individual might feel you haven't lost anything but to the over all group of contributors but you've gone along with the downward spiral of smaller and smaller payouts.

In the Industrial Revolution they started out using adults in the factories. Then they found it cheaper to use children. If the workers didn't like the conditions, there was always someone else willing to do the work for less.

Things didn't change until the workers stopped just thinking about themselves, came together and formed unions.

June 04, 2012


Hi Peanutroaster,

If you work with several agencies you at least have a chance of increasing the number of sales since your photos are more widely exposed. Like you said "What the #$%## is SpiderPic?". Don't think that many people use SpiderPic to compare stock photographyprices. If those who are not exclusive get their images sold on DT instead of another agency, well... you haven't exactly lost anything, just sold it a little bit cheaper. Wouldn't call it shooting yourself in the foot.

By the way, I love your work! Cheers!

June 04, 2012


This is a good point and nice to meet you :) being exclusive increases the credit sales too...

June 03, 2012


interesting to learn about tools like that. Now I'm even more happy to be exclusive.

June 03, 2012


Nice pic! I don't qualify as exclusive here yet, but I am leaning towards it It seems like all the major agencies have co-marketing agreements, so a good image can expect exposure through multiple channels. And trying to figure out the exact right angle for multiple agencies is times consuming.

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