It is getting harder to get images accepted in every agency nowadays. All my top 5 agencies rejected much more images than before. Only Fotolia seems to have higher than average acceptance rate. I am sending exactly same images to all sites and images are randomly accepted or rejected. Most of these agencies sit on millions of images so I expected they will keep rejecting more images to save on storage costs.
Overall, I earned 43% more than in previous year. Not every agency contributed to this result. Shutterstock continues to earn over 50% of my royalties. 123RF is balancing around 15% as it was before. I lost around 10% of income since Getty purchased StockXpert. Images transferred to ThinkStock earn only 2% in comparison to 12% before this change. Also Dreamstime went down from %14 to 8%. On a bright side Fotolia keeps generating errand 5% and IS gives additional 8%. Few smaller sites that did not give any results in 2009 start generating sales which are usually very weak but combined give around 9%. I am not feeling well about depending mostly on income from two agencies. Dreamstime high rejection rates and lower sales make me think that they might next one that is going to sink. I am hoping that somehow Fotolia, CanStockPhoto and Veer would continue to build up momentum. Another question is IStockPhoto. Obviously they start generating me some income but at the same time they drastically lowered contributors royalties so next year might be not as good as it looks now.
The only agency that provides me with some sort of volume is Shutterstock. Others from top 5 are roughly 2/3 of it combined. Volume is one thing but more interesting factor is how much agency pays for each image sold. For me RPD is usually below $1. Ironically agencies which give better RPD do not generate enough sales. I started suspecting that RPD is inversely proportional to sales :-)
Goals for 2011.
- Keep trying to improve results on Shutterstock
- Make serious effort to increase portfolio size on IStockPhoto
- Continue to upload to Veer
- Continue to grow on Fotolia
- Test if it is worth uploading to Dreamstime with growing rejections and declining sales
- Verify if there is a sense uploading to 123RF. Right now portfolio is huge but sales are stagnant.
- Keep trying more with video.