iStockphoto: A Buyer for Every Image

Posted on 7/20/2007 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The Calgary-based microstock pioneer iStockphoto says its community has surpassed 2 million members. Of this number, 38,000 people are contributors - and many art directors and designers moonlight as microstock photographers.

This announcement bucks the trend of image providers that compete based on inventory size. In both the traditional and microstock space, an increase in the number of photos is the most common subject of a press release. Companies often forget that it's not the size of the inventory, but the number of customers, that makes a real difference.

iStock leads in both categories.

Fotolia is the competitive micro-payment Web site closest to iStock in business model and inventory, with about 2 million images. Fotolia's total community, which is under 380,000 members, makes iStock the only microstock provider to have as many buyers as it does images.

The lucky winner of 2,000 iStock credits is Brandon Elrod, who was the two-millionth person to register at the site. Elrod is a California arborist and the president of a professional association that needed images of trees for a tradeshow banner. He chose iStock after receiving an image quote that was higher by $740 from another provider.

iStock's popularity with buyers continues to rise globally. New members signing up at the same time as Elrod included residents of Australia, Canada, China, the Philippines and Trinidad and Tobago. Kelly Thompson, iStock executive vice president, says the company's growth rate is an explosive 100,000 new users per month. "It is very likely that we'll have to figure out a great prize package for the three-millionth user soon," he adds.

Copyright © 2007 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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