Saturday, February 28, 2009

Microstock: Go Exclusive

At present, most contributors submit to a few microstock agencies at the same time. If a customer can't get an image at one site, he/she can get it elsewhere, sometimes with a better price. One good example is a contributor will get a $28.00 for selling an image with enhanced license at, while at, a contributor only gets $6.60.

Going exclusive is a definite advantage for the microstock agencies. This means customers can only come to them to get that particular image at the agency's price. The customer loses some bargaining power.

However, from the contributor's point, is going exclusive a wise choice? Let's say Yur Acurs, the legendary microstock star, goes exclusive with ABC agency. Would it be advantageous to him? It is reported that Yuri makes around $10,000 a month from one agency. Assuming he only make such amount at 3 agencies, then his monthly revenue is $30,000. If he goes exclusive with one agency, assuming his sales boosts by 50% because his fans follow him to ABC agency, and a 50% increase in payout rate for being exclusive, then his revenue will be around $22,500 per month all in all.

Under the current economic conditions, another serious concern for going exclusive is the risk of agency going bankrupt. If you submit to a few agencies, one of them fails, you still have your stream of income from other agencies; if you are exclusive to one agency and it fails, then that's it. Your income will immediately drops down to zero. You have to again painstakingly build up your portfolio with another agency. I am not talking about what kind legal tussle you may have to face with your photos previously at your exclusive agency.

Just my thoughts...

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