Number of Images at Microstocks: How Much Is It Important?

Most probable things you think of when choosing microstock are prices, quality and number of images at these sites. First two of mentioned matters are of no concern: cheaper and higher is the quality of images — more happier is the buyer. But when it comes to number of images it is not so clear.

The basic principle of “the more — the better” is something which is meant for sure, but is it sounds reasonable enough? Does it matters for you how many images are at some microstock if their number is definitely too much than you can buy? Even using subscription for buying 750 images per month you can get less than 10.000 of pictures in a year.

Nonetheless microstocks which contain millions of images are more attractive for buyers. Why?

More Images — Wider Variety of Images to Choose From

It's evident isn't it? It's easier for you to find what you need if microstock has 5 millions of images than when you're searching through a gallery containing only 500 thousands of images.

And it's important to note that many photographers working at this market aren't ready to spend their time to submit content to small sites. And it is correct cause small size of image gallery tells us of small number of buyers and subsequently of small number of sales. Then why will photographer submit his images to this microstock if he won't gain sufficient earnings?

So when you choose small site you've to understand one thing. It means that this microstock is losing not only in the game of “you have to have more and more images” but it also has less variety of images.

More Images — More Reliable Microstock

You have to pay attention to the reliability of the microstock you choose to work with. It's just a matter of certainty that tomorrow you'll find the same site at the same address.

Usually high number of images means high reliability of this microstock. If founders of the site have found enough potential to gather millions of images and thousands of photographers to work with then this microstock is worth trusting and it won't suddenly vanish in the haze someday. So remember: the more images are for sale the more is the reliability of the microstock.

Choose Only “Millionaire” Microstocks

How many images are to be in microstock's gallery for it to be considered worth enough to trust and work with? We suggest that you should look for microstocks containing at least 1 million of images. This number shows that these microstocks have successfully reached the stage of pro at the market and became established companies deserving attention.

But when microstock has more than 1 million of images then number of pictures available for sale must not be considered as the deciding factor. For example if there are two microstocks containing 5 millions and 10 millions of images then you should seriously consider other matters not the number of images. Look at the prices, quality, etc., cause several millions of images are more than enough to choose from.

And if microstock is hiding number of images in its gallery then it's cause for you to have some concern about its reliability. Always bear this in mind.

Number of Images at World's Largest Microstocks

Shutterstock — 10.5 millions of royalty free images.
Fotolia — 8.3 millions of royalty free images.
Dreamstime — 8.1 millions of royalty free images.
iStockphoto — 6.5 millions of royalty free images.
123rf — 6.1 millions of royalty free images.

Microstocks are sorted descending by the number of images. All numbers are actual by the date of this post.

Photo Credits

“Market Analyze” by Nikada at


I am a publisher and entrepreneur in the stock imagery field. I focus on providing knowledge and solutions for buyers, contributors and agencies, aiming at contributing to the growth and development of the industry. I am the founder and editor of Stock Photo Press, one of the largest networks of online magazines in the industry. I am the founder of Microstock Expo, the only conference dedicated to the microstock segment. I created several software solutions in stock photography like WordPress plugins. Plus I am a recurrent speaker at Photokina Official Stage, and an industry consultant at StockPhotoInsight. I am passionate about technology, marketing and visual imagery.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Shopping cart