Onepixel: New Microstock Agency

Posted on 10/23/2018 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

A few former Fotolia employees have joined forces to launch a new microstock site called  While at Fotolia these people were able to learn the type of pictures that customers are most interested in buying and build relationships with many of the photographers who have been most successful in producing such images.

They have determined that what the industry needs is not larger and larger image collections, but a smaller, well edited, easy to search collection of images in greatest demand. Onepixel has gone to many of the best selling producers and encouraged them to submit images for consideration on a non-exclusive basis.

While applications are open to everyone, It appears that the the number of contributors accepted will be limited and that Onepixel will be brutal in its editing in order to keep the site targeted to what customers have demonstrated they are really interested in purchasing. I fully agree with this part of their strategy.

Since most of the accepted photographers already have their images on many microstock sites including Shutterstock, iStock, AdobeStock and others many have concluded that there is no reason not to add images to one more site. Photographers feel that if Onepixel makes sales, it will simply add to their gross annual revenue. If they don’t then all the photographer has lost is his/her time to upload.

However, the photographer should consider whether a Onepixel sale is really an “addition” or just a “replacement” for a sale one of their other agencies might have made.

Overall, total industry sales are growing very little, if at all. Keep in mind that the number of images licensed in Q2 2018 by Shutterstock has grown less 10% compared to what it was in Q1 2016 (2 ½ years earlier). A big part of the growth is in footage licensing since Shutterstock was selling many fewer clips in 2016. Basically, industry sales overall are flat, but supply is expanding at a tremendous rate.

Onepixel’s search technology is good, but not significantly different or better than search on other sites. The big advantage for customers may be that Onepixel will have a much smaller collection and customers won’t have to wade through a lot of imagery of no interest.


However, Onepixel has decided that a well curated collection of top quality images is not enough and that they must also offer this service for less than anyone else is charging. It will cost them much more to deliver a curated collection than what it costs other sites that do little or no curation. Most other sites allow anyone and everyone to upload every image they have ever produced regardless of quality.

Nevertheless, Onepixel has also determined that customers want a cheaper and simpler licensing strategy than the subscription or image pack licenses available on many sites today. As a result, their standard license fee for a high quality RF image is $1.00 per image regardless of the number of images purchased -- 1, 10 or 100 images. The price for an extended license is $75 regardless of how much use is made of the image, or for how long. They say, “The Standard and Extended royalty-free licensing terms used on Onepixel match the standards of the stock industry.”

They seem to feel that if a customer has been paying $2 or $3 or even $4 for images that customer will turn to Onepixel because price and simplicity are the only things that motivates customers.

In my opinion the fact that customers can get images for $1.00 rather than paying a slightly higher price at the sites they currently use will not be enough of an incentive to switch suppliers and go to

Copyright © 2018 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:  


  • Bob Prior Posted Oct 27, 2018
    I always find it interesting that companies now do not supply a telephone. Why are they afraid to talk to their clients? What justifiable reason can they have`

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