Friday, January 21, 2011

Fotolia Cuts Contributor's Commission

Like IStockPhotoFotolia will be cutting contributor's commission by about 20% next week. To be frank, I feel that contributor's are being bullied and no longer a precious to stock agencies. There are too many contributors. And when supply is more than demand, stock agency will take the opportunity to exploit the contributor's effort for their own benefits. This is wrong, but it is a reality.

According to Fotolia, the increment for their own royalty is a must to expand their marketing coverage to country like China. If what they speak is the truth, then I must say this is for everyone's good. I do not mind if Fotolia will take my 20% royalty to market more. Afterall, without marketing, a business will not work. It is OK to get a little less on the royalty if they are able to increase the volume of downloads.

But how true is the above statement? My 20% commissions may not be fully gone into development and marketing. 15% of my cut may go into the upper management's salary so that they can go for a vacation on a cruise to see Alaskan's melting ice. We are the minority. We work hard, but we don't get our share back, and we are not able to see the truth. There is no transparency in this.

The only solution for all these problem is to have a revolution. Is like how Google suddenly takeover the search industry, and how Apple iPhone change the communication devices. We love Google and Apple more and more each days, and that has never happen in microstock industry. I wish that one day, a revolution will come and takeover the whole industry to a new height where it will benefit everyone (contributors, the agency, and buyers). Adobe should create a microstock site. But they don't have Steve Job or Bill Gates.

Revolution must come. Now the only savior is Shutterstock. If it offers exclusivity, I will definitely join them. I believe 90% of the independent contributors will join Shutterstock if it offers exclusivity and increase the pricing. Shutterstock earning is about 30-100 times more than other agencies. With move like this, competitors such as Fotolia and Dreamstime will really go down.


  1. Agree about Shutterstock exclusivity. I think it's something that every SS contributor expects.
    But I don't quite understand your Adobe fascination. What do you expect them to do? And how it would be different from all other stock agencies?

  2. Adobe is huge. They have the money. They can really do this if they are keen to do it.

    I think there are still a lot of potential buyers that have yet to buy anything at all. And buyers are one of the most vital point to make this industry a success.

    Imagine Adobe's users are being informed through their softwares (Illustrator/Photoshop) that they can buy vectors/photos online for their works, how many more buyers will be attracted to this?

    Apart from that, they can attract all Illustrator and Photoshop artists too to contribute to their database.

    This is a sure win for Adobe. And like I said in my previous post, if Adobe cannot do it, no one else can.