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

PhotoDune Review

Review Updated: 2017

As a newcomer to the stock photography market, PhotoDune is enjoying pretty good success for such a small library.  Essentially this is because of one major difference to every other new stock agency – PhotoDune is part of the hugely successful Envato Market group.

Envato Market currently run a lot of different marketplaces (ThemeForest, AudioJungle, GraphicRiver and VideoHive to name just a few) that sell everything from audio to web templates – and stock photography.  They have made a HUGE success of these other sites, with some contributors selling over $1,000,000 worth of content!

A few years back they turned their attention to stock photography, and opened to contributors in August 2011. However, in 2017 they made a huge change and deleted around 80% of their entire stock catalogue. This of course meant a lot of contributors with nothing left in their portfolios. It’s too early to tell if their new approach will pay off.

PhotoDune Review – Why Sign Up?

  • They have the backing of a major network of established sites
  • Good client base already established (due once again to their sister sites)
  • Nice clean website with constant improvements happening
  • Innovative group of people who seem to have some fresh ideas for marketing their agency
  • You can buy other cool stuff from their massive marketplace, such as web templates etc.
  • Using their sister sites you can sell video footage, audio and more

PhotoDune Review – Downsides?

  • No tiered royalty scale for independents – doesn’t reward long time contributors
  • Reviewers can be frustratingly inconsistent
  • Yet to attract a client base outside of their existing marketplace network
  • If you want to sell illustrations (vectors) as well as photos they have to be uploaded to a separate site, GraphicRiver
  • The new approach (small catalogue) hasn’t been time-tested yet to see if it will work

PhotoDune Review Fast Facts

Media Types

PhotoDune sells the following media:

Stock photos
Video, audio, vectors at network sites

Sale Types

PhotoDune sells using the following methods:

Credit packs
On Demand Sales

PhotoDune Review – Conclusion

Since their existing client base seems heavily web-centric, images that are slanted toward web concepts and online business seem to be doing very well.  Other images types don’t seem as popular. Yet, in a strange move given their client base, they made all photo sales in one size only in 2017. This seems to have angered a lot of their buyers, who of course only need smaller web images, but are now paying for full resolution ones. It seems 2017 will be a time of testing for PhotoDune, and only next year will we know if their strategy paid off.

As of December 2011 PhotoDune had raised their commission rate for independents from 25% to 33%. Around the start of 2015 they restructured their whole pricing system, to a much more complicated one. The short story for independent contributors is that this change raised commissions to 36%. While still considered low, this is a welcome change from a lot of other agency’s lowering their rates in recent years.  Let’s hope PhotoDune and Envato continue to reward their contributors and listen to their feedback in the future as they grow into a bigger agency. Another change though is their move from Australia to the USA which has introduced US Withholding Tax (like most other agencies). But due to the complicated pricing structure of Envato it seems like contributors are left slightly out of pocket with this change.

Their upload process needs some improvements, especially if you deal a lot with model releases.  They have recently upgraded their servers to cope with larger amounts of image submissions which should help keep things reliable for the future.  Over on the other marketplace sites like VideoHive, the upload process is even more painful, which (accompanied by the very low cost of the footage) may keep the hordes at bay. In comparison to other sites, there are less selling on the Envato ones at this point, meaning a slightly bigger piece of the pie for those who do.

As with their other marketplaces, they are heavily geared toward exclusive content (with royalties getting up to 70% for their best exclusives!) but this doesn’t seem to be impacting their search or sales results for independent photographers.  This is probably due to the fact that almost all the photographers currently joining PhotoDune would be independent, so we’ll have to wait and see a few years down the track to determine whether this stays the same.

With their proven expertise at selling digital media it seems PhotoDune will succeed in the long run.

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