Where do Independent Microstockers Submit?

Just a quick post today to take a look at some stats from picWorkflow on which Microstock agencies are commonly used (and in what proportion) by microstock photographers. (using Google Docs interactive charts so if the spaces below are blank, wait a few seconds and refresh)

First up… the share of all picWorkflow accounts which have each agency configured and made at least one successful upload (ie. a valid contributor’s account).

Secondly… the percentage share of successful uploads to each agency across the entire picWorkflow upload history (December 2010 to June 2011).

Some observations:

  • The ‘big 4’ (SS, FT, DT and 123) make up almost 40% of all uploads (roughly 80% of files sent to each one are sent to the other 3, though there wasn’t much point adding a chart for that).
  • I’m surprised to see Canstock, Crestock and Veer ranking ahead of (or close behind) Bigstock on both charts, though this may be because Bigstock was delayed in being added to picWorkflow (which explains no ‘big 5’ here).
  • Yay Micro and Graphic Leftovers have a LOT of uploads for a low configured rate, this seems to be down to a handful of former iStock exclusives distributing their entire portfolio’s there (their very quick submission made them highly attractive to former exclusives, and they’ve been showing good sales growth lately too).
  • It’s great to see some of the smaller agencies performing well, though with 50% of all uploads going to only 6 agencies, the less established agencies clearly have to build more confidence to attract more photographers.
  • iStock have a very low number of uploads compared to their configured-accounts mainly because of their upload limits.
  • iStock’s position on the first chart seems low simply because of their high share of exclusive photographers (among whom picWorkflow is usually not used for distribution).

What do you think?

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  1. Posted June 30, 2011 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Great to see these stats. I’m sending my images to agencies I otherwise may not wish to spend the time on, such as Deposit Photos, Panther Media and Zoonar. It’s pretty easy to send files via picWorkflow, so I think why not. Getting some sales there now too. Keep up the good work Bob. 🙂

  2. Posted June 30, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    off-topic, but great use of google charts, Bob!!

  3. Burt Johnson
    Posted July 1, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Actually I would guess that iStock is low for you because of DeepMeta. They do a far superior job of posting to iStock, though picWorkFlow is better for the other agencies.

    As an example, every time I upload, I use DeepMeta for iStock, and then PWF for the other half dozen agencies i submit to.

    Now, I would LOVE to get statistics on revenue from those agencies…!

    • bobbigmac
      Posted July 1, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      Aye, picWorkflow was never really ‘meant’ to support iStock due to their unwillingness to provide API access for anyone who also works for contributors at other agencies, it was only really added in some form because a lot of people asked for it, so I did the best I could. Since DeepMeta is owned by iStock (and the only application using their contributor api that I know of) there’s no way I can better it. Sadly :/
      picWorkflow doesn’t yet track photo sales revenue, although it is in the works for stats-phase-2. When there is revenue data I will be sharing that as well, purely in aggregated form though for privacy reasons (and opt-outable of course).

  4. Posted July 2, 2011 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    Great stats, Bob. Thanks for sharing.

    As Fotolia is configured for more users but has fewer approved submissions than Shutterstock, is it safe to assume that Shutterstock has a higher overall acceptance rate, or are there other factors that impact this data?

    • bobbigmac
      Posted July 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Yep, it’s a close releationship (within just a few pct for both configured and uploads) but I’d assume from this dataset that Shutterstock has a higher overall acceptance rate… this would be backed up by my own experience of submitting at both too. For me: SS at around 75%, FT at around 50-60%… though I doubt they’re the same for others (my images are not great), the relative proportions are probably somewhere in there. To note though, the second chart is the uploads rather than approved submissions, though iirc Shutterstock has quite a lot more images than FT so suggests they accept at a higher rate given they receive only 0.5% more images.

  5. Simon Greig
    Posted July 16, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    I think the iStock is possibly low because a lot of people use DeepMeta (myself included) to submit as it avoids the annoying web pages to allocate keywords and categories. I use picworkflow for all other submissions though and I am very happy with it.

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