Photo Subscription Services

Posted on 6/5/2006 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



May 15, 2006

The figures below give provide some comparative information of 19 Subscription sites that are relatively easy to locate. There may well be more.

The data is what I could determine from looking at the first few pages of each site. The sites vary greatly in what they charge for their subscriptions and in their licensing strategies. These sites also make varying efforts to build community among buyers and to supply the buying community with some free information as well as photos. This community aspect is one of the things that draws customers to the sites.

Two of the sites - iStockphoto and Fotolia - are commonly referred to as "micro-payment" sites, but customers have to buy a minimum block of credits which has the same effect as a subscription. The minimum price for iStockphoto is $10 and for Fotolia $20. Discounts are available if you buy larger blocks of credits and Alan Meckler estimates that the average buyer spends $70 to $100 for the first block of credits.



1 Months

3 Months

6 Months




































































It should be noted that eight of these sites are JupiterImages brands. They are:,,,,,, and Photosubscribe is designed to link users to Ablestock, Comstock, Photoobjects and Liquidlibrary.

Index Stock Imagery has two sites that are: and

In most cases it is not easy to determine how many image suppliers or customers the sites have, but Fotolia says they have 75,788 members which includes buyers and photographers.

Copyright © 2006 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 301-251-0720, 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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