Why Dreamstime is a fast growing microstock company

At the CEPIC new media conference a number of microstock veterans took part in a panel called ‘making millions with microstock, one euro at a time’

The first speaker of this panel was Serban Enache, Dreamstime’s CEO that presented some impressive growth data of one of the top microstock sites with a strong community of users:
  2007   2010
Users: 350,000 (+20,000 monthly) +585% 2,400,000 (+100,000 monthly)
Photographers: 15,000 (+1,000 monthly) +513% 92,000 (+2,000 monthly)
Images: 1,300,000 +561% 8,700,000
Users online: 2,000 +375% 9,500
Collections: 3,842 +124% 8,629
Board threads: 6,543 +138% 15,622
Board posts: 54,218 +130% 124,848

 The traffic site reflects this growth with 450,000 daily unique visitors (12M monthly), Alexa rank 600, Google page rank 8.

In the slide to the left you’ll find an overview of the image prices. For photographers, royalties range from 30% to 60%. The top country contributors are USA, UK, Russia, Ukraine, China, Canada.




 The best practices for sustainable sales could be summarized:


  • quality
  • diversity
  • quantity


  • relevancy and accuracy
  • diversity for similars
  • avoid spam and too many keywords

Building a brand

  • content
  • community

Other features give an extra boost to the Dreamstime’s platform and community. This starts with the Message Boards consisting of fully transparent community feedback, suggestions and debates. Users are involved in promoting the site thanks to one of the best referral programs of the microstock industry that works for both buyers and contributors referrals. Keymentors and Keymasters features provide keywording services to other contributors and the Blog section is the place to find tutorials, tips, useful links, life stories and other thoughts.

Serban also said that number of sold licenses and the related revenues are increasing every month. He still has an optimistic view for the future of the microstock market. The most downloaded sizes of photos are Medium and Large. The price level system of Dreamstime is one of the reasons that leads to rejection of submitted series of similar photos: focusing on the best ones there is a greater probability to drive them to the higher levels of price with an advantage for the agency and the photographer.

About the Author

Roberto Marinello is an amateur photographer from Italy. He has been selling his photos via microstock agencies since the beginning of 2006. He added a microstock photography blog to write about the experiences in the world of photographic microstock and related business. The blog  has progressively grown into a microstock photography and photo marketplace info center with news, interviews, tips, tools and stats for photographers/illustrators/designers/buyers selling and buying royalty-free images. It is planning to consolidate its position in the sector. Contact: info@mystockphoto.org/ Twitter @mystockphoto

Marco | Editor

Editor at large and founder of a bunch of stockphoto businesses

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