RF Microstock analysis: Dreamstime.com

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This image of the M1 motorway taken originally as a weather picture for the UK national newspapers sold recently for US$0.25. But is there any meaningful revenue from Dreamstime with editorial RF Microstock images?

Continuing my adventures in RF Microstock, I signed up some weeks ago with Dreamstime.com and began uploading various stock images, including some recent reportage stuff from recent years and some stock images I took in the summer here in Portugal.

I’m now heading for over 400 files on their servers and it will continue to be interesting to monitor sales on the RF Micro license (especially on the RF Microstock Editorial). At the time of writing, I had sold four downloads and made the princely sum of US$1.29.

It is of course, early days and I am quite sure the sales will look quite different in a few month’s time.

One nice feature about Dreamstime is their simple upload and submission system. It is pretty easy to put a file for submission and you can achieve a reasonable workflow.

As most of the RF Microstock market since they appeared on the stock photo scene almost a decade ago is commercial, I am expecting that high-quality editorial images are likely to earn less and be more erratic than an image which falls into the category of being a commercial RF Micro image.

So far, this analysis seems to have been borne out. Though, I have sold two images from the same set and also with work that has rarely ever sold on the Rights Managed Editorial licenses. Three of the images were of Nicola Sturgeon, the current Scottish First Minister, who I photographed on several occasions in 2014 during the Scottish Independence Referendum.

The other was a weather picture originally shot on spec for submission to the UK newspapers of the M1 motorway. The first one I have – to my knowledge – sold from that set.

My reasoning on RF Microstock is that Rights Managed licenses have been heading south for some time and it is hard to make any money at all from an editorial collection.

I have about 400 images on Getty Creative and the sales in 2016 to September are disappointing, under US$200. If they are averaging out at US$0.50 per image/per year, then it is not a tempting prospect to supply.

It should be interesting to see what happens with RF Microstock Editorial stock images in the coming months, as much of the clients have driven down prices to micro levels, though it remains to be seen (for me at least), whether this is actually sustainable in terms of resulting sales.

Time will tell, as they say. I have a broad range of editorial stock images on Dreamstime and will be publishing more posts in the future to see if indeed it is a good earner or not?

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