Microstock agency Fotolia leads race to the bottom

Dear reader, thanks again for stopping by,  I wish I could bring you a good news article, but I am afraid its again an article to make you aware some bad news for photographers.

A while back we learned about a deal Getty made with Google which was not beneficial to photographers, then Getty decided to give away 35 million images, later we found out Fiverr members were illegally re-selling our images, and now Fotolia has started the Dollar Photo Club, trying to disrupt the stock photo market.


Dollar Photo Club

This next write up is taken from this forum post: Earlier in 2014, Fotolia introduced the Dollar Photo Club, a stock site with all Fotolia’s photos and illustrations but with very different pricing. Although Fotolia is presenting this site as exclusive and targeted at high volume buyers, the reality is that for just $10 a month you can sign up for a 10-image “subscription” – $1 per  image, all sizes. Anyone can sign up – and some contributors who had never purchased a single image were sent the offer e-mail!

And the contributor makes a subscription royalty for each sale. Subscription prices without a requirement for the buyer to commit to a high volume of purchases is very very bad news for contributor income.

Contributors were not notified about the drastically different pricing and were initially told there was no way to opt out of this sales channel – except by leaving Fotolia. With the encouragement of a group of contributors pledging to remove their files if things didn’t change, Fotolia has relented and provided an option to opt-out of sales at Dollar Photo Club (referred to as DPC in the Contributor Profile)

You can read Fotolia’s intentions in their own words in this TechCrunch article:


“In an effort to take on the entrenched players in the States, namely Shutterstock and iStock, he created DollarPhotoClub as a pricing play to break into the US.” and “It’s disrupting the business model of the two big U.S. players…”

If Dollar Photo Club succeeds, what will get disrupted is contributor income – this is replacing higher royalties with lower, not opening new markets or finding new buyers (and early responses on Twitter and Facebook indicate that’s exactly what’s happening).

So for your own sake, at a minimum opt out of Dollar Photo Club – on Fotolia, when logged in, it’s in Profile, then Contributor Parameters. You could also consider whether or not it makes sense to support an agency that treats its contributors so shabbily. Remember, the opt out only became available as people started deleting work from Fotolia.

It was 28 million plus images; today, it’s 27 million and falling!

You can sign the petition here: http://boycottfotolia.org

You can read all about Fotolia Deactivation Day here: http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/fotolia-d-day-%28deactivation-day%29-may-1

Thank you for your time and support. The next blog will be a positve one, promise


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