stock royalty payments

New Here ,
Oct 06, 2016

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i have recently added some images to Adobe stock and have made a few sales. i would like some explanation of the royalty/commission payments. i see that the images are for sale at £5.99 but i have received commission of 19p - was i wrong for thinking the 33/35% royalty payment would be that percentage of the price?

@Laura, that is an indication you have not completed a tax form yet. As a result, your commissions are subject to the maximum amount of tax withholding.

-Mat

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stock royalty payments

New Here ,
Oct 06, 2016

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i have recently added some images to Adobe stock and have made a few sales. i would like some explanation of the royalty/commission payments. i see that the images are for sale at £5.99 but i have received commission of 19p - was i wrong for thinking the 33/35% royalty payment would be that percentage of the price?

@Laura, that is an indication you have not completed a tax form yet. As a result, your commissions are subject to the maximum amount of tax withholding.

-Mat

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Oct 06, 2016 0
Adobe Employee ,
Oct 06, 2016

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Thanks for your question. Your commission rate on Adobe Stock image sales is 33% of the price paid for the image. This cost varies based on the number of images and the license the customer commits to purchase. There is a minimum payment amount that is determined by your rank to ensure that for very large subscription packages, the royalty rates don't drop too low.

There are additional price options at Fotolia where your images are available for sale. You can find information about the royalty structure at this link: Royalty-Free Stock Photos, Vector Art & Video - Fotolia

Kind regards,


Mat Hayward

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Oct 06, 2016 2
Community Beginner ,
Oct 19, 2016

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According to Fotolia rates, the LOWEST rate someone should be paid is 99 cents, but I just sold my first image and the commission is 33 cents! And if the lowest payout is when the total reaches $50, it seems Adobe could make millions on sales where the photographers get nothing. Please explain.

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Oct 19, 2016 8
Adobe Employee ,
Oct 24, 2016

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There are large subscriptions available such as 750 downloads for $199. This drives the cost per download fairly low so there are minimum payment amounts in place that are set by your rank. The more you sell, the higher your rank. The higher your rank, the more your commission. You can find information with specific details at this link: Account and payment information

Kind regards,

Mat Hayward

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Oct 24, 2016 1
Community Beginner ,
Nov 03, 2016

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Matt

This is the License Agreement - Every time someone purchases your content on Adobe Stock, you get a 33% commission for photos and vector art, and a 35% commission for videos based on the price of the image.

Nowhere does is state that one must gain in rank to make more money on stock sales. The Adobe Stock site shows only 2 Licenses for sale - Standard @$9.99 and Extended @ $79.99

So according to this, I and others who make sales based upon the Standard License fee of $9.99 should be earning $3.29 per sale. Not $.33 or $.43

As of now, this is a Breach of Contract and susceptible to litigation.

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Nov 03, 2016 6
Adobe Employee ,
Nov 03, 2016

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Thanks for writing. The prices you listed ($9.99 and $79.99) are based on individual license sales. In other words, if the customer is purchasing one file only, those are the prices available at Adobe Stock for the standard license and extended license. Your commission on those individual purchases would be $3.30 for standard license or $26.40 for extended licenses.  There are additional prices available at Fotolia for individual sales but for the purpose of this discussion lets stick with Adobe Stock for now.

If a customer needs more than one image, there are different price packages available for him or her. For example, if they need 10 images (standard license), they can purchase a package that provides them with 10 images for $49.99. This drops the cost per license to $5 each. Your commission is 33% of that price which is $1.65. There are additional variations to consider. If the customer needs 10 images per month and commits to buying a subscription for a full year, the cost for those 10 images is $29.99. The customer is committing to purchase at least 120 licenses over the course of the year this way so their cost per image goes down to $3. Downloads from that option result in a .99 commission.

For heavy users of stock content there is an even larger package available. A customer can buy 750 downloads to be used in one month for $249.99 or $199.99 if they commit to the full year of monthly subscriptions.

This package drops the cost per image very low which is where your minimum commission amount comes into the picture (no pun intended). The cost per image with this package can go as low as .26 so if we paid 33% of that, the commission would be very low. To compensate for this, there is a minimum commission amount for contributors that your royalties will not drop below. The minimum amount is what is determined by your rank. For new contributors with less than 100 total sales, the minimum payment amount is $0.25. Once you have reached 100 sales your rank goes to "bronze" status and the minimum payment goes up to $0.27. When you reach 1,000 sales your rank is increased to "silver" and your minimum payment amount is $0.29. 10,000 downloads is the requirement to reach "gold" status where your minimum is $0.31 and 25,000 sales is "emerald" status with a minimum payment of $0.33.

I can tell you from my personal experience as a contributor at Fotolia/Adobe Stock for over 10 years that it requires time and effort to build your portfolio. However, once you establish your portfolio, there is a massive customer base purchasing a high volume of content 365 days per year. The overall volume of sales, including the minimum subscription payments can potentially add up to significant earnings if you are willing to put the work in to get there.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Kind regards,

Mat Hayward

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Nov 03, 2016 3
Community Beginner ,
Nov 03, 2016

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None of this information is stated in the License Agreement. Thus, it's a Breach of Contract based upon the current language of the License Agreement. This is a ripoff and you know it. I'll be pulling all my images.

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Nov 03, 2016 8
Adobe Employee ,
Nov 03, 2016

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I respect your decision and wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors. If I can be of any assistance in the future, please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Kind regards,

Mat Hayward

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Nov 03, 2016 3
New Here ,
Mar 05, 2017

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Hi Mat,

I'm new to Adobe Stock and read the above thread to understand my first 0.33c payout. Your explanation was clear and understandable, thanks for posting it. There's clearly no breach of contract here.

Regards,

Aaron

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Mar 05, 2017 3
New Here ,
Mar 08, 2017

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Why do you not inform your contributors of the reason for the level of commission when it is posted. It is just bad PR to dump on your partners like this. Very unprofessional and a bit deceitful not to explain the basis upon which the sale was calculated. Hope you don't fill in your tax returns using that approach. Maybe I'll send them your name.

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Mar 08, 2017 2
New Here ,
May 16, 2017

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Hey Mat,

I am about to start as an Adobe Stock contributor and found this really helpful. Thank you for providing this information. The rates are much better than alternatives such as Shutterstock, and I completely understand.

Thanks,

Lucid

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May 16, 2017 6
New Here ,
May 17, 2017

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Hi Mat,

I found this article very useful, everything is clear and well explained. However, there is something I don't understand: if the minimun payment amount is 0.25, why am I getting 0.18 in most of my sells?

Hope you can help me.

Thanks,

Laura

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May 17, 2017 2
Adobe Employee ,
May 17, 2017

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@Laura, that is an indication you have not completed a tax form yet. As a result, your commissions are subject to the maximum amount of tax withholding.

-Mat

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May 17, 2017 1
New Here ,
May 17, 2017

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Thanks a lot Mat, I knew it had to be something wrong.

Tax form completed!

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May 17, 2017 2
Participant ,
May 18, 2017

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That is a very useful explanation, Mat. Might I suggest that this detailed info is posted on your site somewhere so that Stock Contributors know what they're getting into before deciding to invest the time into building a portfolio? I have spent a significant amount of time curating, posting, keywording, etc. and it's a very time consuming process. Initially, I was getting quite a few images rejected for various reasons, and that has been a learning curve too. I'm getting better at predicting which images will be accepted. I was quite excited when my first sale occurred soon after posting my first batch, but when I clicked through and saw that the payment was $.33 (rather than the $3.50 I was expecting), it was quite a letdown!

So far, I have averaged about $.61 per image, and it will probably be a few more months before I hit the $50 threshold for payout. But I'm retired from my corporate career, have >100,000 images on my hard drives and am actively shooting, so I assume my efforts will eventually generate a decent amount of passive income.

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May 18, 2017 4
Community Beginner ,
Jun 17, 2017

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Hi Mat, sorry to add to this discussion, but I'm a little confused. I got a sale commission yesterday of $0.20. The license sold is listed as "standard", and my tax status says that I have a validated W-8BEN form uploaded. I'm curious as to why this is below the minimum payment, especially for a standard commission, rather than a subscription commission.

I'm only a couple of weeks in, still trying to understand how everything works here.

Thanks,

D.

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Jun 17, 2017 1
Explorer ,
Jun 18, 2017

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I have a couple of .20 payouts as well and just checked my tax status. Mine has also been confirmed.  I only have a handful of sales, but they seem to be decreasing in payouts.

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Jun 18, 2017 0
Adobe Employee ,
Jun 19, 2017

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That .20 commission is likely a one credit sale at Fotolia. These are different than subscription sales. Your commission rate increases as your rank increases. Your rank increases as your sales count increase.

Details about these sales are on the bottom of this page: Royalty-Free Stock Photos, Vector Art & Video - Fotolia

-Mat 

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Jun 19, 2017 1
Community Beginner ,
Jun 19, 2017

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Thanks so much for that link Mat! It's a little painful to see that I could potentially make as little as $0.12 per image sale with the fotolia credits system, but at least I now know.

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Jun 19, 2017 0
New Here ,
Jul 08, 2017

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I was going to sell my own images via adobe stock, but I won't bother now as the payouts are way too low.  You'd have to sell 1500 photographs to get the $50 minimum payout.  Adobe needs to consider that it takes a high degree of skill, learning, time and patience to take photographs that are good enough to sell online.  At this rate I'll never, ever recover the cost of making of those photographs via adobe stock as the payouts are so low.

Also why should the price that I get paid for my product be dependent upon the value of the plan they choose to sign up for via adobe?  My photos either have commercial value or they don't and minimum commission rates should be minimums.  I've done the maths and at the moment it doesn't seem like a sound business decision to offer my photos via adobe stock.

All the best!

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Jul 08, 2017 17
New Here ,
Jul 17, 2017

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agree entirely. If a picture is sought for commercial purposes, it has a value. This race to the bottom, especially with absurd discounts, makes the whole proposition worthless.

I couldn't find any of this detail on the Adobe Stock promo's. 

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Jul 17, 2017 3
New Here ,
Oct 19, 2017

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Why should anyone hand over their product for you to Capitalize on? If im doing the shoot and uploading the images to the web and all you do is provide a space for that and dictate a license.... That would be STEALING From the creator. Usage is a very important function of the business. Why would you try to override copyright and usage payout to unsuspecting contributors and buyers?

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Oct 19, 2017 0
New Here ,
Oct 20, 2017

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Questionable contracts are a breach of intellectual property!

Especially when it comes to USAGE!

On Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 9:44 AM, MatHayward <forums_noreply@adobe.com>

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Oct 20, 2017 0
New Here ,
Nov 15, 2017

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I agree that photographers are grossly underpaid. All agencies are the same so what do you do? We should all campaign to get paid at least a dollar per picture. It doesn't seem like a lot, but it adds up pretty fast. Agencies could agree to that, surely! They depend on contributors after all.

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Nov 15, 2017 8
Community Beginner ,
Jul 08, 2017

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Not sure of where to ask this, but here seemed like a good spot. What are purchasers allowed to do with the images they purchase? For example - how many prints, brochures, t-shirts, etc? Let's say a contributor was paid 99 cents for his image-what is the most a purchaser could do with that image as far as use goes? Thanks

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Jul 08, 2017 0
Explorer ,
Aug 23, 2017

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I'm feeling pretty much the same way.  Nowhere is there a way to see who is buying my images and how they are being used.  Can you imagine seeing your image on a multi-million dollar corporation's billboard only to find out that they bought it for $0.27!!  I would have to sell 10 images just to put a gallon of gas in my car, Really?!! 

This is what is killing the industry for all of us pro photographers.  You can buy any image for pennies instead of hiring a pro and paying us for what we've all worked so hard to perfect.  It's truly disheartening that another big company has found a way to squeeze out the little guys while making millions of dollars off of their hard work.  Looks like I'll be pulling my images as well.  In a year I've had 151 sales and made less that $100!!  I can't even fill my car up with gas twice for that!!  I would  have thought that Adobe, considering that they depend on all of us creatives, would be advocating for all of us to make money and support their company, but I'm loosing faith in the industry as a whole by the minute.... Ugh....Maybe I should have been a garbage man instead.  Just my frustrated $0.02....

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Aug 23, 2017 12
Enthusiast ,
Oct 25, 2017

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When I saw Adobe was starting a stock company I thought: "This is great!" so I did some (heavy) research. I thoroughly read their TOS, had a good laugh and dismissed Adobe Stock altogether. Period.

As a professional photographer of 25 years my only question to other professionals is WHY? Why on earth would you contribute to a company that is basically stealing from you. I mean how were you sold such a bill of goods?  Anyone who can provide a reasonably intelligent explanation as to why they are willing to give this, or any, company 65% of the profit for something they created should post it (and not Adobe's well paid spinnners) because I can't think of a single one. You all are living in backwards land because the creator should be getting at least 65% of the gross sale and the marketer 35%.

Are you forgetting you are an art director, location scout, set designer, booking agent, lighting specialist, retouching expert, asset management... plus a (seemingly) highly skilled photographer all rolled up into one. Additionally you're heavily invested in gear and training, pay for your own car, equipment and health insurance (Is Adobe providing insurance for you because they are for their employees). You spend hours and sometimes days creating a "perfect" image and you're willing to accept pennies on the dollar? Ask any one of those aforementioned "specialists" (especially art director) if they will work for pennies

You are the sole creator. 90-95% of the work is done by you and you're settling for 33%? OK fine, let's be "fair" and account for the infrastructure/storage/maintenance Adobe accounts for. At the very minimum the creator (photographer/artist) should see a return of 70 cents on the dollar (70/30).

If you're willing to settle for .33 on the dollar then heck, just give it away and sell your renewable bodily fluids because you'll get much more. Better still, come work for me. I'll even pay you 40 cents on the dollar!

Adobe stock is based on YOUR work and DOES NOT EXIST WITHOUT IT! They should be ashamed of themselves.

DON'T SELL YOURSELF SHORT EVER!

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Oct 25, 2017 21
Community Beginner ,
Dec 03, 2017

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Agree. The ratio should be 70/30 wherin the photographer is paid 70% of the sale. Photographers worldwide should do a crowd funding and start an agency which is beneficial to the community. These Microstock companies treat photographers like a traffic signal beggar. This is not sustainable for long. Neither for the photographers, nor for the agencies.

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Dec 03, 2017 6