Most blogs on here come from DT contributors – photographers. This blog post looks at needs of those on the other end of the creative process – consumers of photographers’ work – BUYERS. My point in a nutshell: Dreamstime is the most cost-effective agency for photo buyers that do not want the commitment of a subscription model and that buy images for credits.
I am a contributor, and, theoretically, the more stock agencies charge per image the better for me because I’ll be getting a higher profit. So, theoretically, I should like the stock agencies where buyers pay more per image. Wrong. Because buyers shop around. And sooner or later they will leave sites where prices are higher and move to sites where they can buy the same image, but for 10-15 bucks cheaper. And for me, a contributor, volumes of sales are at least as important as prices as I’d much rather prefer to stick with a site that’s cost-effective and that will always survive and thrive by virtue of its cost-effective products. DT, being this very site – the site with the most competitive pricing scheme for a “for credit” photo buyer - is to stay strong in this competitive stock industry market because buyers are not going to leave the site where they can get “the best deal in town”.
In the world of improving image quality and spreading “subscription” system, the critical factor that will decide the fate of stock agencies might just be the price of “credits”. Claims of image quality is a relatively subjective criterion for evaluating strength of various stock agencies. Some stock sites are known for being “tougher” on contributors, others are notorious for being easy and take whatever photographers send their way. Yet, selectivity of stock agencies that strive to lure the buyers by offers of highest quality images is becoming less and less of a royal flush in the game of stock imaging. Why? First, the market is so saturated with millions of images in all image categories and photo buyers know this. A relatively flexible buyer knows that across all stock agencies she will definitely find images she is looking for. So, in choosing where to shop she will rely more on price of credits rather than on expectations of quality. Second, a stray pixel or two might just be not AS important as some stock sites lead us to believe. On average, “heavy weight” designers that need highest quality images possible for print in globally circulated publication are likely to be most demanding on image quality and are most likely to want that perfect, noise- and artifact-free, and so on and so forth image. But, most likely, they constitute the "subscription" consumers of images. I bet, quite a sizable portion of all image buyers are “occasional” image consumers who prefer to buy an image or two from time to time, or who prefer to stay on the “credits” system. And DT is most user friendly for these “for credit” buyers because it offers highest resolution images for least credits!
Well, if a stock site is after winning over this “occasional” buyer, not only does it have to offer a great variety of high quality images (which DT does), it absolutely also must be cost effective. Because those who buy for “credits” are probably more likely concerned about short-term savings and are more likely to shop around for the best deal in town. And of all the stock agencies out there, Dreamstime offers the most cost effective image for designers who purchase images for credits: best prices for largest sizes! So, designers, come here to stay!
I am offering a price comparison table on my site as I do not want to mention competition on here (even though all competitors lose in comparison to DT): please follow this link to comparisons and data on my photography website
PS: Disclaimer. This article is a ‘draft’ version of a longer piece that I am working on. Please credit me if you want to pass it on or offer it on your site.