iStockphoto Listens To Videographers

Posted on 4/21/2011 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

In early March Selling-Stock reported that many of iStockphoto’s most experienced videographers were very upset with the proposed royalty share for iStock's new Vetta collection. At least 25 of the most productive contributors with a combined total of about 45,000 clips decided not to participate in Vetta. Most concluded they were likely to earn more if their clips were licensed at the lower Exclusive prices because they would continue to receive a higher royalty rate. It is also expected that clips available at the lower Exclusive prices will sell more frequently than those at the higher Vetta prices. Illustrators who produce Vector art were faced with the same problem.

In today’s stock photo world creatives often feel they have no alternative but to accept whatever distributors decide to offer. In this case a number of iStock’s leading videographers made it clear to iStock that they would not participate in Vetta unless some adjustments were made in the royalty share being offered for this new brand. Kelly Thompson, CEO of iStock, listened to the leaders of this group -- simonkr, uberstock, morganl, and multifocus -- and decided to significantly increase the royalty percentages for those who participate on Vetta video.

Royalty percentages are based on the number of redeemed credits in the previous year. (This relates to the amount the videographer earned in the previous year, but is not necessarily a direct dollar for dollar comparison.) The chart below shows what was originally offered and the revised percentage.

Redeemed Non-   Vetta   Revised
Credits Exclusive Exclusive TAC   Vetta share
1,250,000 20% 45% 30%   40%
160,000 19% 40% 28%   38%
85,000 18% 35% 26%   36%
40,000 17% 30% 24%   34%
14,500 16% 25% 22%   32%
Default 15% 25% 22%   32%

Below is a list of the number of credits currently required to purchase an Exclusive clip compared with the prices for a Vetta or The Agency Collection (TAC) clip.
  Exclusive Vetta
  Credits or TAC
Small Web 20 not offered
Small Web 30 55
Big Web 50 90
HD 720 85 120
HD 1080 95 150

A statement from Kelly Thompson is available on the iStockphoto website.

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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