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Author Topic: Microstock/Midstock distinctions  (Read 8510 times)

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« on: June 06, 2008, 12:04 »
There's an obvious difference in price point between micro and midstock. However are the images used the same? I see a lot of the big players on both mid and micro sites and I have not done a image by image comparison but it looks like the same stuff to me. Does anyone know?

« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2008, 12:39 »
What sites are you talking about?  I have heard people call mostphotos and alamy "midstock" but they have a big difference in price.  I stick microstock photos on mostphotos but not on alamy, they get different photos.

« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2008, 13:15 »
Mediamagnet, Zymmetrical, places like that.

« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2008, 13:47 »

The main difference is the pricing. We let our contributors decide at what price they would like to license their images. The result is that the average price is higher than microstock. Not as high as macro/traditional RF but not as low as micro. Thus the appellation "midstock" .

Our users can also change their pricing ( once every 8 days at the most) if they feel they are too high or too low. We do have some similar images than microstock but we also have images not available in those sites. We receive a lot of submissions from pros, for example, that do not wish to subscribe to microstock pricing but still would like to get their feet wet in lower pricing than they were accustomed to.

Finally, the lightly higher pricing allows us to give back a higher percentage ( 70% in our case) making each sale more lucrative for the photographer or graphic designer.

Hope that helps

« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2008, 16:49 »
Yes, that does help and thank you for the very kind reply.

« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2009, 09:54 »
I havent searched carefully many other midstock priced agencies but for speaking for our agency (midstock) vs. microstock there is atleast two great difference.

1. With the little higher price customer will get the largest file size, many microstock you get only small file size of that price, if you want that XXL you pay quite same difference in price compared to midstock.
2. You dont have limited print runs or limited the usage in some other similar ways.

« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2009, 17:47 »
for me none of the midstock really are big enough as yet to warrant creating a set of midstock images. 

mostphotos is about $45 a sale but that is el licence (I believe) in which case that is cheaper than many micros. 

when you look at the licences received for $ spent, and then photos.com, fotosearch, $3 sales on alamy it all gets very messy :)

« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2009, 04:08 »
I don't understand exactly what you mean by "big enough". Do you mean that don't have enough photos for sale or don't make enough sales in total ?

Every agency has own differences, you have to just search the right ones you want (like most) to make the deal with. To some photographers the money is most important and they work hard to build a great portfolio to accumulate cash flows, some could find the community thing (discussion forums etc.) more important than the bucks flowing in.

I really think that it is kind of wasting time trying to understand the whole picture as a photographer. At this time there is probably hundreds of businessmen thinking about how they could turn things up side down to make another million dollar business by establishing a new agency which is selling photos in some different way. Just going to few grocery stores and comparing prices and you end up with the question "Why ain't all same products are priced same in the grocery store?"

Just focus what is most important to you personally. Just think the key points on how you want your photos to be sold, RM or RF, in traditional agencies, midstock or microstock and what are your goals. Content of your portfolio is also very important, what kind of photos it contain or will contain in time.

If the money is most important aspect, does it really matter is your photo sold either RM of RF, in micro, macro or midstock for a dollar or 100 dollars? All and all ain't it the total sum of commissions after a certain of period which counts. ;)

« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2009, 21:36 »

sorry if I wasn't clear.  by big enough, I meant not generating enough sales or marketshare for me personally to determine what images should go there and not enough return to dedicate certain images to this market. 

I have gone to generic images or those with lots of competion for micro, and nature / wildlife / travel for macro (although this is small at moment and I am rebuilding a good collection to expand this area), I struggle to see where midstock fits for me (so it gets the micro stuff)

trying to understand it all, from my perspective is where to put an image to bring about the greatest return.  seeing repeated sales in macro on images that wont sell well in micro (or some them not even be accepted) or images with daily sales in micro makes you think about where to put an image :)


« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2009, 03:48 »
OK. That was very clear. Thanks.

I don't see myself so distinct differences between micro and macro. That is true that some photos sell better in macro and vice versa but that could be just the case between few agencies not thought to be a rule.

Photographers should think it more straight forward process. How to spread portfolio in most effective way not to use too much time for the submitting process. Stock agencies should be more concerned about the volumes photographers and photos taken in.

One general rule should apply when talking about any agency. Photographer should get about 1-2 euros per photo per year basis. If that rule doesn't apply there is some reasons behind that. It can be that agency has just started, it could take 2-3 years to develop reasonable business. Portfolio could be weak either in size or content matter. Agency might generate a plenty of sales but customers doesn't need the content photographer has in portfolio, other photographers can earn multiple times compared to others. Usually agencies inform what category images sell well, if photographer cant produce that kind of material it is very likely to fall under that general rule revenue annually.

Generally micro is more volume business but selling photos in macro isn't shortcut to earn same money more easily. If you want to generate a steady sales monthly basis you have to have decent size of portfolio, when thinking about that the general rule is very good that expectations doesn't rise too high. 500 photos should earn you a 500 euros in a year per agency. Now think about is it better to submit those photos to one or five agencies if possible?

« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2009, 13:35 »

But, MIC and MID are RF license, you can have same photo on Shutterstock and Zimmetrical,but you can't put that photo on Alamy under RM license...
Difference between MIC and MID is only in a price and possibility that some of rules are different in RF license...

Am I right?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 16:20 by borg »

« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2009, 14:04 »
Yes, you're right. Though in my knowledge, either micro or midstock they're always selling RF. RM licenses are a different story.  ;)


« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2009, 15:05 »
Thanks for an excellent discussion.  It is so refreshing to find positive threads among the less encouraging babble.  I will save this one Juta and look for more of your comments.


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