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Author Topic: The Dreamstime levels system  (Read 1496 times)

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« on: January 21, 2024, 18:54 »
0
When I first joined DT years ago and was reading through all the info, I thought I had a fair idea of how their levels system worked. If I recall correctly, each time a photo sells, it reaches a higher level and you end up being paid higher commissions (or higher amounts) each time. But that doesn't work in reality. My latest sale was for a photo that has sold at least four times before. And this photo usually earns me exactly the same amount each time - $0.33c (including this latest sale.) Obviously subscription sales. One time, this image did earn me $1.90 for one of the earlier sales (which surprisingly was also a subscription sale.)

So I'm wondering what is the point of this levels system at DT? No matter how many times a photo sells and what level it is, you usually don't get an increase in earnings. It will usually be the same or similar amount each time. 


zeljkok

  • Non Linear Existence
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2024, 00:55 »
+2
My understanding is that levels are for a la carte downloads (Non Subscription);  so for higher levels buyer has to spend more credits & contributor payout will be higher.  But I agree with you;  I've been on DT over 5yrs & have some images level 5 but don't see difference.   0.35 standard sub (0.38 during Covid) most of the time.  Occasional 2.00 Sub,   super rare EL never more than 17.

« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2024, 02:01 »
+1
Ah thanks for the clarification. So these higher levels only really matter in the rare circumstances when we get non subscription sales. In the early days of being a DT contributor, I was really getting my hopes up about my images reaching higher levels.

« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2024, 02:14 »
+2
I think the level system is extremly vague anyways. The FAQ just says "When the amount of downloads per image reaches a specific number the level of the file is increased", but it doesn't tell you what that "specific" number is. Is it 5 downloads? Is it 50?

I found the information that "The prices go up 2-3 credits for each level. Level 5 images are between 11 and 20 credits", but even that is vague? Why "between 11-20 credits?" Is it 11 or is it 20? How comes no one knows?

And the same source says that the final cost of an image is determined by the credit pack the customer buys. This means you might get less for a level 5 image if the person buying the image has a 2000 credit pack than you might get for a level 1 image if the person has a 11 credits pack. So, at least according to this source (stockphotoguides.com), the levels are also for subscription sales, not just for non subscription! But I can't confirm, as no detailed information can be found on Dreamstime's site.

All very intransparent. In the end I never held much hope for the level system anyways. It might probably work if you have very unique images, but as soon as your image is more generic and there are 5873 of the same topic in the database, it might just mean that customers will serach for a cheaper image once yours costs more, so the system might be sabotaging your sales.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2024, 03:23 by Her Ugliness »

zeljkok

  • Non Linear Existence
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2024, 03:02 »
+1
These are great points.

This is one of my level 5 photos; 30 downloads.   Look right - all 0.35.  It's like that all the way to 1st DL except just one at Level 4,  2.96,  16 credits

Levels concept sounds great in theory, but appears to have little practical benefit

« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2024, 08:57 »
0
I can't contribute to statistical statements because my portfolio like everywhere else is relatively small, and because I don't have that many level 5 files.

But a few things stand out:

1. I have images that haven't had a single download, but are already at level 1. I don't know why that is. I also haven't checked how many there are.

2. Level 5 pictures: On average, I find that a high level is much more noticeable for vector files in the RPD than for photos, renderings and other CGI images. There is one exception: one vector file only earned $34 from 35 downloads, i.e. an RPD of less than $1 - the rest are significantly higher. For normal images, the best ones are in the $2 RPD range, but there aren't that many.



« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2024, 08:59 »
0
Sorry, missing screenshot...

« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2024, 12:07 »
+3
I haven't looked at the fine print, but basically all images start at level 1, if there are no sales after a certain time (6 mo?) thye drop to level 0. For sub sales - which are 90+ percent of all sales at DT it makes no difference anyway, but for other sales the cost goes up with higher levels and more importantly the % that the artist gets from sales of higher level images goes up with higher levels. For a while higher level subs sales cost more sub credits and paid higher, that is no longer the case.

The reason that they say a variable number of credits is because the cost varies based on the size of the image they sell. Also the $ amount is highly variable because the cost of credits varies wildly based on how big of a credit pack is purchased - and if it is purchased with a discount.

The # of sales to go up a level has dropped a lot through the years, but any benefit from this has been more than offset by the change from 50% for the artist to much less - 25% to 45% now.

https://www.dreamstime.com/sell-stock-photos-images
« Last Edit: January 22, 2024, 12:13 by pancaketom »

« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2024, 12:53 »
0
I haven't looked at the fine print, but basically all images start at level 1, if there are no sales after a certain time (6 mo?) they drop to level 0.

That sounds like a plausible explanation. Thank you!

Checking your statement, I just realized that almost 50% of my images at DT have no download. That's by far the worst rate of all the agencies!

But not much happens there anyway. I'll just let it continue...

« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2024, 14:44 »
0
In the old days the levels system made a big difference but nowadays almost all sales are subs where the levels are irrelevant.  My last credit sale was in October where a level 2 sale netted me $3.45.  Unfortunately those are rare nowadays.  What I really hate is allowing TIFF downloads with subs - those should be limited to the smaller sizes to encourage credit sales.

« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2024, 14:53 »
0
This is like complaining about the quality of the food on the Titanic. Dreamstime is a sinking ship, the levels didn't mean much 5-10 years ago but certainly don't matter today, because the majority is sub sales anyway (not just on DT)...if you're lucky to get sales at all.

« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2024, 03:05 »
0
This is like complaining about the quality of the food on the Titanic. Dreamstime is a sinking ship, the levels didn't mean much 5-10 years ago but certainly don't matter today, because the majority is sub sales anyway (not just on DT)...if you're lucky to get sales at all.

Some people might have other experience.
 Dreamstime is not a strong earner for me. But during all the years I've been doing microstock, sales and earnings there have been steady. Not much, but steady. That's not what I consider a "sinking ship". A sinking ship, for me, is an agance where earnings are constantly declining - like, at least for me, Shutterstock is doing right now.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2024, 13:28 »
0
This is like complaining about the quality of the food on the Titanic. Dreamstime is a sinking ship, the levels didn't mean much 5-10 years ago but certainly don't matter today, because the majority is sub sales anyway (not just on DT)...if you're lucky to get sales at all.

Some people might have other experience.
 Dreamstime is not a strong earner for me. But during all the years I've been doing microstock, sales and earnings there have been steady. Not much, but steady. That's not what I consider a "sinking ship". A sinking ship, for me, is an agance where earnings are constantly declining - like, at least for me, Shutterstock is doing right now.

You mean like these places?

Canva
Vecteezy
Pond5
Zoonar
ColourBox
DepositPhotos
PantherMedia
123RF
Canstockphoto
Bigstockphoto
PhotoCase
MostPhotos
Envato
ClipDealer
PicFair
YayImages



« Last Edit: January 25, 2024, 12:16 by Uncle Pete »

zeljkok

  • Non Linear Existence
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2024, 15:11 »
+2
For what it's worth my DT experience is similar;   low earner, but keeping steady and not declining.  I also find them friendly, with these contests and very simple upload interface.   SS on the other hand is in a freefall ever since new payment scheme started few yrs ago. 

« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2024, 23:08 »
0
My last credit sale was in August, although I got a $2.00 subscription sale just this week. So yea, the levels dont mean much, but DT is a consistent, if slow, earner for me.


 

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