While microstock major Shutterstock decided the midst of a pandemic was an excellent time to cut the small fraction of revenue it shares with its contributors to an even smaller fraction, competitor Dreamstime has increased royalties to its contributing photographers by 10 percent.
The move is explicitly prompted by the impact the Coronavirus lockdown has had on photographers, and will continue ‘for as long as possible’. It describes the move as extending corporate responsibility to ‘a community centred strategy.’
(Dreamstine had been directing 5 percent of its sales to the WHO Solidarity Response Fund since March.)
‘…this means that all purchases beginning with June 1st will reward an extra 10 percent increase in the royalties value for all downloads, regardless of the exclusive or non-exclusive status. For clarity, a download that now awards 50 percent royalties will award 55 percent after the increase.’
‘Fifty percent? Dreamstime’s dreamin’!’ followers of the current Shutterstock fiasco might be thinking, but so long as it isn’t undercutting the market (no wait, we have Unsplash for that) it appears that Dreamstime is already giving more to contributors than most microstock agencies:
For each transaction, the contributor receives 25-50% Revenue Share, which is calculated based on the net amount for the transaction. Exclusive files receive an additional 10 % bonus, while exclusive contributors enjoy a 60 % Revenue Share for all sales and an additional bonus of $0.20 for each approved submission.
Acknowledging that its contributors ‘have lost job opportunities and part of their revenue’ Dreamstime is offering a ‘relief stimulus’:
While we have committed to ensuring financial stability for our employees, our +620,000 creative community will benefit from the extra 10% financial incentive. No matter how small, all help matters. The stock photo industry has experienced its own economic contraction but we’re hoping to pay our contributors these increased royalties for as long as possible (no guarantee about the time frame though).
Other pandemic relief measures taken by Dreamstime include options for subscribers to pause download plans and free subscriptions for NGOs looking for visuals. Dreamstime also has a series of tutorials and guidelines available for contributors.