New Fotolia Program Encourages Contributor Migration

Posted on 10/27/2009 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Fotolia has launched Operation Level Ground, a program designed to attract seasoned microstock contributors to the New York-based Web site by allowing them to keep hard-earned download rankings and the search-return placement these drive.

The company describes the offer as limited-time portability of reputation. Contributors typically have to start at zero when joining microstock Web sites—even if they have spent years amassing downloads on another microstock. Fotolia is offering new signups the chance for existing online sales and lifetime earnings to count at

When a newly joining contributor demonstrates having 12,000 online downloads, Fotolia will credit his or her account with this number and assign the gold contributor rank; 30,000 downloads garner emerald status. In monetary terms, lifetime microstock earnings of $15,000, $65,000 and $100,000 amassed elsewhere can earn gold, emerald or sapphire status, respectively, when putting images on

To take advantage of the program, shooters must have at least 1,000 actively selling images to upload to Fotolia. They must also present proof of downloads and earnings. The program runs until the end of the year.

The move obviously targets the top segment player iStockphoto. At least one former iStock exclusive, New Jersey photographer Jim DeLillo, has cancelled iStock exclusivity. DeLillo also issued a joint statement with Fotolia to publicize the move. (The same announcement also took the time to remind the industry that Fotolia recently hired ex-iStockers Garth Johnson and Patrick Lor, respective former vice president and co-founder of the Getty-owned company.)

In this statement, DeLillo comments on recent iStock business moves that precipitated his decision to expand to other microstock sites: “With iStock’s decision to offer exclusive content through non-exclusive partners, and Getty now marketing tiny size images while offering to purchase Flickr photos from individuals, it appears that the exclusive marketing model has changed.”

DeLillo added that he now wants to follow the view that more sales channels are better. This is a popular position among a number of prolific microstock shooters who say that the earnings generated from iStock on a non-exclusive basis are often less than the total earnings from several other microstock Web sites.

Copyright © 2009 Julia Dudnik Stern. 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


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