Microstock earnings report – December 2009 + 2008 / 2009 comparison

The year 2009 is over and it is time to put here some information about the earnings in December and also compare the whole year 2009 earnings with the previous year.

Although December is every year weaker month than November, I reached Best Month Ever on three agencies – Fotolia, Stockxpert and iStockphoto, so it was good month for me.


December 2009 earnings report

As you can see on the graph Fotolia, Stockxpert and Dreamstime had very similar results. We will see next year which one will be better. Stockxpert and Fotolia sales are better and better mainly because of the vector formats, that I started to upload there (thank’s again iSyndica!).

Extended licences

I had only one extended licence on Shutterstock.

Best microstock sites this moth

Final order of best selling sites for December 2009 (lot of changes – check the previous month also):

  1. Shutterstock
  2. Stockxpert (moved from 4th place)
  3. Fotolia
  4. Dreamstime (moved from 2nd place)
  5. iStockphoto
  6. 123RF (moved from 7th place)
  7. BigStockPhoto (moved from 6th place)

2008 / 2009 Comparison

Here is the comparison graph of my earnings from the years 2008 and 2009. Earnings from the year 2008 are drawn with dashed line:

Microstock earnings comparison - 2008 and 2009

You can see, that the earnings are going up! The best improvement is on iStockphoto and Fotolia:

Agency Portfolio size increase Earnings increase
iStockphoto 163% 517%
Fotolia 259% 367%
Stockxpert 154% 166%
Dreamstime 162% 154%
Shutterstock 160% 127%
123rf 199% 125%
BigStockPhoto 180% 103%
Total 176% 141%


  1. Hi Orson,

    I found your web site and the information presented on it useful for my selling vectors purposes. Thank you for your previous answer in the article 10 tips for photographers. In this article I would like to ask you the following question:
    My vectors were approved and Shutterstock asked me to fill the Tax form. I am individual and come from Nederland, with the income tax treaty between the United States and Nederland. So I don’t need to pay 30 percent etc.

    Do you know more about Shutterstock Tax fill form point 6 – SSN or ITIN?

    How did you fill this point? I don’t have that ITIN number, what do I have to do?

    I appreciate your answer.


  2. Hi Orson,

    Thank you for your answer.

    But if I do not fill SSN or ITIN, does it mean that 30 percent will be cutted from my sale?


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