I started to work with iStock back in January of 2009. As a beginner I was impressed with the features and the details that iStock had to offer. There was a huge community involved in this microstock. Image reviewers were very meticulous and they often reduced images to minimize iso noise and camera lens imperfections. However, reviewers gave clear explanations on what was wrong with images that were not accepted onto the site - this advice helped me learn the nuances of micro stocks. At that time iStock was in top 2 of the micro stock list together with Shutterstock.com (Review).
Uploading here was more difficult and time consuming than it is on any other micro stock, in fact, it was a real pain. The only saving grace is that it offered sales that made of for the hassle encountered during uploading and motivated you to keep going back.
At the end of 2011, iStock announced a significant contributor commission decrease. Prior to 2011, non- exclusive contributors received a 20% commission (already low) and this was reduced to just 15%. To reach a 16% commission, a contributor had to achieve a total of 1500 credits during last year, and for hobbyists and semi-professionals this number was unattainable. This change in the contributor commission rates caused a great deal of displeasure among contributors and as a result some members switched from non-exclusive to exclusive contributors. Some, on the other hand, were so displeased they deleted all of their media and quit altogether. I was in the “quitting” category but did not delete my works. 15% is just too low even if iStock did sell them well. At the end of the day, I would be better off uploading my images to a website that didn’t have as great of sales but offered a commission of 30%, versus a few additional sales with iStock at a mere 15%. For this reason, I can’t say that I have a lot of experience with iStock, but I wouldn’t recommend it because of its pathetic contributor commissions.
|Contributor rate||15% - 20%|
|Image size||Minimum 2 MP|
|Referral program||Exclusive contributors only|
|Media accepted||Photo, Vector, Footage, Flash, Audio, Logo|
|Licenses||Standard License, Enhanced License, Editorial License|
|Payment methods||PayPal, Bank Transfer, Cheque, Prepaid Mastercard|
|Exclusivity||25% - 45%|
Essentials - Exclusive images presented only on iStock.
Signature - Non-exclusive images.
Images per month
Monthly price $
Monthly price €
1 Month Essentials
1 Month Signature
1 Year Essentials
1 Year Signature
Essentials video clip
Signature video clip
USD per credit
EUR per credit