Changes At Pixmac

Posted on 1/26/2011 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Pixmac has removed its exclusively restrictions for its contributors and raised commission rates. Contributors will now receive 30% of the revenue collected or at least $0.25 per download for the first $200.00 in earnings. Once their total earning exceed $200.00 they will receive 40%.

Pixmarc determines image pricing based on the number of times an image has been downloaded. As a result if image creators examine the site carefully they can make some determinations as to how well their images might sell if represented by Pixmac.

The company has both “Budget” and “Premium” collections. In the budget collection the base fee for the smallest file size is 1 credit for Images that have sold from zero to two times. The price for the smallest file size goes up to 2 credits for the 3rd through 10th downloads and to 3 credits for downloads 11 and higher. In each case, more credits are charged for larger file sizes. Photographers will find that a huge percentage of the images on the site fall into the 1 credit category. By searching the site for a particular keyword, and then checking for 2 and 3 credit pictures it is easy to tell which images are the most popular and which probably haven’t sold at all, or at the most one or two times. You will find very few 2 and 3 credit pictures.

Extended license rights for the smallest file size of the budget pictures are 40 credits for images that have only been downloaded 1 or 2 times; 80 credits for images downloaded 3 to 10 times and 120 credits for images downloaded 11 times or more. Prices for images in the premium collection are 15 credits, 49 credits and 59 credits. Extended license rights are automatically included for all Premium pictures.

By clicking on any image thumbnail you can see the photographer’s entire portfolios along with the total number of images the photographer has in the collection and the number of his pictures that have actually sold. Also shown are a few of the photographer’s best sellers. The following is a list of a few or the photographers and agencies with significant numbers of images on the site.

Photographer Pixs in Gallery Sold Pixs Country
Basic Collection      
Design Pix 23511 1686 USA
Wavebreak Media 16910 713 Ireland
ElnurPixmac 25588 805 Azerbaijan
Keithlevit 27174 151 USA
Pavel Losevsky 14082 574 USA and UK
Yuri Arcurs 28151 5118 Denmark
Candy Box Photo 5650 27 Czech Republic
SPX1MSD 8271 38875 Czech Republic
Sub Totals 149337 47949  
Premium Sales      
Science Photo Library 9352 2 UK
Moodboard 31853 41 USA and UK
Image Source 72142 28 USA and UK
Sub-Totals 113347 71  
Total Sales 262684 48020  

The most successful photographer by far is SPX1MSD. His images can be easily found by searching for “couples”.  Pixmac currently has over 12 million images in its collection. The images of this group of eleven suppliers represent a little more than 2% of the collection. If the sales of this 2% are representative of all Pixmac contributors the company might have sold as many as 2.4 million images since its founding in September 2008. However, lots of the other photographers have over 1,000 pictures in the gallery with no sales whatsoever. Thus, we suspect we have identified some of the best sellers and that Pixmac’s total sales in the two-and-a-half years it has been in business are well below 1,000,000 downloads.

The combined total sales of the three agencies – Image Source, Moodboard and Science Photo Library -- that price their images at premium levels were 71. This is much lower than the 8 suppliers pricing their images at the basic level even though they have close to the same number of images in the collection.

One has to wonder if these three might have earned more on if they had been willing to license their images for the basic price rather than holding out for the higher prices they feel their images are worth. If we extrapolate the number of sold pictures to make a fairer comparison based on the number of images each group has on the site we would divide 94 into 47,949 and determine that for each image one of the agencies has sold for a premium price the other group will have sold 510 images mostly for 2 or 3 credits. Thus, it would appear that those licensing their images at basic prices earn quite a bit more money from their collections than those selling at premium prices.

We should not forget that this is a very small sample the ratios might not hold up if we were able to compare a larger body of data, but none the less the results are interesting.

Customers may also purchase just the images they want, when they want them, for a somewhat higher fee. These fees can be somewhat deceptive to the image seller because much of the “standard option” price for these single image purchases goes to cover the fees for PayPal and other banking options.

Copyright © 2011 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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