TopImageSites: New Marketing Option

Posted on 7/6/2017 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

There is a new website called TopImageSites that, in theory, will help customers find “The Best Stock Images On The Web.” Ten agencies are listed and the number of “products” available in each agency’s collection are listed in the chart below. Products include: photos, vectors, illustration, videos and audio files. Some of the agencies don’t have audio files and Panthermedia doesn’t have either video or audio.

Agencies Products Available
Dreamstime 60+ million
DepositPhotos 60+ million
123RF 80+ million
Adobe Stock 75+ million
Getty Images 100+ million
Alamy 100+ million
Panthermedia 60+ million
Pond5 25+ million
iStock 20+ million
Envato 20+ million

When the customers does a keyword search they are shown a selection of 4 images from each agency’s website. To see more of what the agency has to offer they must go to the agency’s website. It is virtually impossible to tell which agency might have the most appropriate images without toggling back and forth between various sites.

In many cases an image found at one agency may also be available at up to 6 of the other agencies. But there is no easy way to find the same image on another site in order to do a true price comparison. It may be buried deep in each of the other collections. A visual search could simplify this process, but that is not available at this time.

Going from site to site may be a way for customers to see what other customers using that site have found to be the best images, but it is not clear how important that might be for customers.

Part of the idea of this site is to help customers understand which companies offer the best prices, but the prices tend to vary wildly from site to site.  For example, customers can get 10 images a month for the following prices at these sites.

Agency Price for Additional Notes
  10 Images  
Dreamstime $39  
DepositPhotos $49  
123RF $79 You get 5 images per-day for $79, or any 5 images for $39.
Adobe Stock $49.99  
Getty Images $4,500 Of course what they don’t tell you is that if you qualify for Premium
    Access (ready to spend a few thousand dollars a year) you can get
    the same high priced images for less than what the others charge.)
Alamy Between  
  $19.99 & Price depends on use for each image. (Multiply by 10 to get the
  $59.99 10 image price.) But you can also get 24% off any purchase.
Panthermedia $90 But you can also get 20% off any purchase
Pond5 $99 But that price is for photos, vectors and illustrations. If you want
    video clips, which is what Pond5 is known for, prices range from
    betweem $20 and $800.
iStock $99 But that is for any image, either in the Exclusive Signature
    collection or the non-exclusive Essentials collection. If you can
    find all the images you need in the Essentials collection (and there
    are some very good ones there) you can get 10 images for $40.
Envato Between  
  $2 & $30 (Multiply by 10 for comparison with the other prices.) But you’ve got
  each to pick an image before you can determine what the price is.

On each site there are a lot of other pricing options available depending on how many images the customer needs and whether the customer wants to purchase images one at a time, or via credits or subscriptions. The options vary widely from agency to agency. It is almost impossible to really compare price from one agency to another.

For the customer, the trick when it comes to comparing prices is knowing exactly how many images they might need in the next month, or year and which images those really will be. Since most customers have very little ideas as to what they might need in the future, it is almost impossible to determine which deal will give them access to the best images for their purposes for the lowest price.

What tends to happen is the accounting departments of a firm (particularly large companies) look at the various deals offered and make a determination based purely on price. Then they tell the creatives at their company that they must get the images they need from the agency the accounts have chosen. Sometimes they will do deals with two or three agencies, but all the other sources tend to be shut out, no matter how great their images happen to be.

Copyright © 2017 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:  


  • Jim Pickerell Posted Jul 10, 2017
    There is an error in the above post. Panthermedia offers videos as well as still images. The original information on the Topimagesites was incorrect.

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