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Monday, December 10, 2012

updated post on fotolia

The main reason holding many contributors up, from considering fotolia as their footage reseller is the dreaded subscription sales. That usually means selling your work for scraps. Thus far you could opt out of subscription sales if you were an exclusive fotolia contributor. Like this was an option.

Fotolia has now changed their rules and allows everyone to opt out of such sales, making this agency worth considering. I do not mean they will sell a lot of your footage, I am just saying their current pricing policy makes it reasonable to consider working with them at all.

As you may read in my first blog post, there is a logic behind my pricing policy. The main rule is, no agency offers my footage for less, than I decided to offer it at pond5. A place where you can get any of my files at a flat $59 rate, of which I get about $30. An agency that gives me 50% of sales price deserves not to be challenged by those paying less.

With fotolia there is a problem here. Customers can purchase credit packs. If one chooses to spend $7000 on a credit pack, your file will be available for such person for as low as $55. One thing though. $7000 on a credit pack? We are talking of a dedicated fotolia customer that probably does not shop around. To me this is a gain, not a loss.

On the other hand I do not want to get a lower commission than istockphoto or shutterstock have to offer, that is not less than $20. How does fotolia fit into this?

They say they offer the traditional royalty rate structure. The more files you sell overall, the higher royalty rate you get, from $0.30 up to $0.42 a credit. The minimum payout for a full high definition footage license is $22.5. With time it can go up to $31.5. That's fine with me

I say fotolia is back on the table. Now lets hope their upload process is as streamlined as some say.

After a very long conversation with contributor relations, I am finally able to break down their royalty rate structure to pieces.

Your non exclusive base royalty actually is $0.30 for every credit the file cost. They say it is 30%, this however is 30% of credits, not of the price. No matter if a customer paid  $1.30 or $0.74 a credit, when you cash out, one credit is $1, of which you get 30%. Strange, huh?

In real live it means each time your footage is sold you get the same amount of money, but different percentage of what the customer actually paid. If he got his credits just for one fhd file download, you get 23% of what he actually paid. If he got his credits the cheapest, you get about 40% of what he actually paid. Even more, If you are at a diamond level contributor, you get roughly 60% with such transaction.

I really have no idea, why would any agency decide for such a complicated royalty structure. The bigger mystery is, potentially offering 60% to contributors and not advertizing it. Really strange.

Tell me what you think.

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