Freepik Microstock Offering

Posted on 7/26/2019 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Recently, I received a press release from The name is a misnomer because not all the pictures on the site are free. They do have about 1,750,000 free vectors, icons and photos, all created or wholly owned by Freepik. In addition, they have over 4,185,000 Premium photos and illustrations supplied by about 8,000 individual creators and distributors of microstock. A little under half of the pieces of content are photos. The rest are illustrations, vectors and icons.

Freepik charges a subscription fee for access to the Premium images and shares 50% of the value they receive from the subscriptions with the image creator. In today’s market 50% sounds like a great deal. Shutterstock only shares about 25% of the gross license fee with its contributors. Getty’s royalty share is 20% and in some case 15%. But, before you go rushing to Freepik dig a little deeper into the numbers.

The gross revenue in 2018 for Freepik and its sister site Flaticon was about $19 million. It is important to note that the Freepik Company has three main sources of revenue:

  • Annual and monthly subscription users, which we call Premium.
  • Online advertising on our sites for anonymous and registered users
  • Affiliate program with Shutterstock
The affiliate program with Shutterstock is interesting. Certain of the more than 5 million images on the site (we don’t know how many) are direct links to Shutterstock. When a customer purchases one of those images the transaction is made by Shutterstock, under Shutterstock’s license terms. Presumably, the creator is paid the normal Shutterstock royalty and presumably Freepik is paid a “referral fee” by Shutterstock. We have no idea how much of $19 million revenue comes from Shutterstock referrals.

Direct Sales

Annual subscriptions for unlimited downloads of Freepik Premium images are about $90. If their total annual revenue came from licensing Premium images the company would have about 212,000 paying customers. Since they have revenue from other sources that actual number of customers is something less than this number.

Freepik says they have 18 million users per month (Shutterstock says they have 1.9 million customers) who download 100 million images per month or around 1.2 billion images per year. The 1.2 billion is more than six times the number of paid downloads Shutterstock is likely to have this year and about 120 times the number of images Getty will license this year. This gives us some idea of the demand from Free Images compared to Paid ones.

Depending on how many of the monthly users are repeat users every month, Freepik has somewhere between 18 and 216 million users a year. If we take the average of this number it would mean that less than 2/10s of one percent (0.002) of the total users of the site purchase Premium Images.

If 0.002 percent of the the total 1.2 billion downloads are Premium images that would be about 2,400,000 downloads annually or roughly one Premium image licensed once each year for every 2 images in the collection.


Currently Freepik has about 8,000 contributors from all around the world, providing non-exclusive Premium content. Thus, the average contributor has supplied about 523 images. However, two of the biggest suppliers to the collection are Rawpixel and pressfoto. Each of these companies might have several hundred thousand images to the collection. Rawpixel alone could have added over 1,000,000 of the 4,185,000 images.

Copyright © 2019 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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