Fotolia Review - Review of microstock agency Fotolia. Should I sign up with Fotolia? What will I earn? Read our Fotolia review for contributors

Fotolia Review

Review Updated: 2017

You know the old saying “each to their own”?  Fotolia is a bit like that – some will rave about its performance for them, while for the rest of us Fotolia can be somewhat of a white elephant.  That being said, they have a large client base (particularly in Europe it seems), are usually in the top 4 or 5 libraries for most people and are worth uploading to if you are going to contribute to as many stock agencies as you can.

If you read this review a year or two ago, you would have noticed a few mentions about poor royalties. Well in some very good news, things have changed on this front. They aren’t breaking any records, but Fotolia is no longer going the way of iStock. Since Adobe purchased Fotolia in 2015, things improved almost overnight. Royalty rates went up to around the 33% mark, and the tier structure had a big improvement. Now every sale, regardless of credit or subscription purchase, counts as one sale toward the next level. As it should be. Depositphotos could learn from this change. Their 1/3 count of a full download for subscriptions is not great.

All Adobe Stock sales get reported through Fotolia. So its a little hard at this point to know exactly what a difference Adobe Stock is having on sales as they aren’t yet differentiated very well. But you would have to think being part of the massive Adobe network will begin to bring in a large amount of sales. Many contributors are reporting an increase. You would have to think at some point Fotolia will be either shut down or simply be a mirror of Adobe Stock, as all the effort is going into the Adobe site now. But for now at least, Fotolia is still somewhat its own entity.

Fotolia enjoys a nice mix of subscription and credit sales, and they have recently taken steps to try and encourage more extended license sales. Video footage sales aren’t amazing in their quantity, but they do happen, and seem to be growing.

Fotolia Review – Why Sign Up?

  • For many photographers it’s one of the top 4 or 5 earners
  • Large pool of buyers, with true international exposure
  • Tiered royalty structure rewards high quality work
  • 1 sale always counts as 1 sale toward the next royalty tier
  • Owned by Adobe, its the only way to get your work on Adobe Stock
  • Fotolia read metadata from video files upon upload, making submission faster

Fotolia Review – Downsides?

  • Strict reviewers, especially if you like landscapes, nature etc

Fotolia Review Fast Facts

Media Types

Fotolia sells the following media:

Stock photos
Vector illustrations

Sale Types

Fotolia sells using the following methods:

Credit packs
High-volume corporate rates

Fotolia Review – Conclusion

Many were turned off Fotolia prior to 2016 due to their cuts to contributor commissions.  At one point Fotolia’s rate was just 20% commission for new independent photographers.  This raised to 23% after 100 credit sales (subscription sales equaled only 1/4 of a credit sale).  Then the scale continued to climb, but most photographers would likely stay in the measly 23% – 25% royalty range for some years.

Thankfully, this has all changed as mentioned above due to the Adobe purchase. People were nervous when Adobe announced the acquisition, but surprisingly all the changes made were for the better. A website revamp, royalty increases, friendly customer relations – nothing yet has been disappointing about the new Fotolia. While 33% still isn’t a massive share of the royalties, this is just for subscription sales. Credit sales can still get you up to 46% if you manage to reach the highest earning tier.

If you are choosing to be represented by as many reputable libraries as possible (as I have), then I would recommend joining the new Fotolia as soon as possible. If your portfolio consists mainly of people or of objects isolated on white backgrounds, then you are probably on a winner with Fotolia, as these subjects almost always get approved and sell well.

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