Stock Report: First Half of the Year

Posted on July 17, 2012 | Category :Business of Illustration | 4 Comments

I was going over my statistics for first half of the year, and I noticed some interesting things. So, I thought I’d try something new on the blog. No, I’m not talking about writing more than one post in a month, although that is something different. I’m talking about sharing some stats. Besides, I know how much artists love math.

Anyway, I was filling in the stats for my top seven agencies. Why seven? Well, these are the agencies that typically earn me over $100 a month, so that seems like as good a bar as any to judge them all by. My over 100 bucks micro sites include: Clipartof, Shutterstock, MyStockVectors, Dreamstime, 123RF, Can Stock Photo and GL Stock Images. Now that I’ve introduced all the players, it’s time for the stats. Hooray, stats!

Top Earners (% of Total Earnings)

For all of you that love decimals, I apologize that I rounded the numbers.

1. ClipArtof  (25%)
2. Shutterstock  (21%)
3. MyStockVectors  (11%)
4. Dreamstime  (10%)
5. 123RF  (8%)
6. Can Stock  (7%)
7. GL  (6%)

You’ll notice that these sites represent about 90% of my micro income, so the rest of the sites don’t contribute a huge amount to my overall total. You may also notice that my own site came in 3rd in total earnings. I know! I’m pretty proud of myself too.

[pauses to do happy dance]

OK, I’m back. Where were we? Oh yeah, earnings. So, how much did I earn? I’m not telling. I will say that my best month at Clipartof came in at around $900, and my worst month at GL was around $70. Hopefully, that is enough to satisfy your curiosity. If not, you can probably dig through some of my old post on this site. Next up, download stats.

Most Downloads (% of Total Downloads)

Again, I rounded. I’m just not that into decimals.

1. Shutterstock  (52%)
2. 123RF  (17%)
3. Dreamstime  (11%)
4. Can Stock  (6%)
5. ClipArtof  (5%)
6. GL  (3%)
7. MyStockVectors  (1%)

OK, this is where things got interesting for me. I knew Shutterstock had a lot of downloads, but I didn’t realize that it was over half of them. The other big surprise was that 123RF was my second most downloaded site. Also, you can see that some of my better earners have some of the lowest download totals. That’s because they sell less, but pay more. This brings me to my next stat, RPD (Royalty per Download).

RPD (Average Royalty per Download)

Here are the decimals. I hope it was worth the wait.

1. MyStockVectors ($16.28)
2. ClipArtof  ($8.55)
3. GL ($4.11)
4. Can Stock ($1.92)
5. Dreamstime ($1.77)
6. 123RF ($0.78)
7. Shutterstock ($0.67)

Again, everything shuffles around, but there definitely seems to be a correlation between low royalties and higher download numbers (not necessarily better earnings though). I would assume price and subscription models have something to do with that.

Speaking of subs and lower prices, I’m surprised at how much 123RF is starting to look like a mini Shutterstock. I guess that is a good thing if you love Shutterstock because it looks like it has a little brother. For me, I found it a little disturbing. Knowing that the majority of my sales (nearly 70%) net me about 70 cents, makes me a little queasy. Especially since I’ve been trying to increase the value of my work by concentrating my efforts at better paying agencies.

Well, that’s it. You made it through it, and there were even decimals. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

Comments 4

  1. Luis Santos Reply
    12/07/18

    have a great 2nd half! (now back to work) :D

  2. benchart Reply
    12/07/19

    Hello Cory,

    Very useful stats. And congrats for your successful work, especially after quitting IS and taking the risk of building your own selling place.
    If I do some math, the amount of $ seems very very good ! :-)
    So you deserve much much respect for that !
    Hope it will keep on this way a long time (and that I could reach this level of amount one day [fingers crossed] ;-)
    Best

    Benoit

  3. 12/09/04

    Nice that you are earning a lot of money through stock and your vectors are really cute.. :) Just asking – why did you quit IS? Is it because of their low commissions or cumbersome upload process of lack of sales for the effort? And I dont see fotolia in the stats mentioned.. Is that such a low earner for you.. Anyhow, thanks for the stats and all the best for ur future!

  4. Cory Reply
    12/09/04

    I’ve been trying to clean up how I make my money in stock art. With all the changes happening, I found the industry very unstable. So, I eliminated the sites that I thought were the worst offenders like IS, FT and (most recently) 123RF.

    I’m not sure if there is a justification for what makes one site worse than another, but those were the ones I didn’t feel very positive about. I wouldn’t mind getting rid of a few others, but I still want to make some money as well.

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