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iStockphoto Contributing Artist Royalties

Starting in 2011 every iStock contributor's royalty rate for the year will be based on the number of credits used by customers to download their files in the previous year.

Beginning on January 1st each year, a counter on your stats page will track every credit used to download your files. We call these "Redeemed Credits". You will have a separate redeemed credit total for each different file type you contribute.

Your initial royalty rate each year will be based on the Redeemed Credit target you ended the previous year with. This initial royalty rate is a guaranteed minimum for the entire year.

Every year in January we will post the Redeemed Credit targets for the upcoming year. These targets will affect your royalty growth for 2011 and set your initial royalty rate for 2012. You can go up from your initial rate as you meet additional targets for the upcoming year, but you will never decrease during the year.

Redeemed Credits do not pass from one year to another. Your counters will all reset on January 1st of each year.

What are Redeemed Credits?

Your redeemed credits total represents all the credits that have been used by iStock customers downloading your files. It tracks the actual number of credits used in each download, depending on the file size, collection, and any extended license options.

Example: If you are a non-Exclusive contributor and someone downloads an extra-small photo, your Redeemed Credit total will increase by 1. If they download an extra-large photo, your Redeemed Credit total will increase by 15.

Example: If you are an Exclusive contributor and someone downloads an extra-large Vetta photo, your Redeemed Credit total will increase by 50.

There is now a field on Stats tab of each contributor's private profile page showing their current total number of Redeemed Credits for the year. This number represents the total number of credits that have been used to download your files since January 1 of the current year. We aim to have this number update daily.

Example: If you are an Exclusive photo contributor and have 42,000 redeemed photo credits at the end of 2010, your starting royalty rate on January 1, 2011 will be 35%. Remember: this is just your starting rate for the year.

If your Redeemed Credit total passes a higher target for the upcoming year before the end of the year, your royalty will increase. For example, if you start 2011 at 35%, and reach the 2012 Redeemed Credit level for 40% during course of 2011, you will immediately move to the higher rate.

You will have a different redeemed credit total for each of the different file types you upload to iStock. Illustration and Flash contributors will now have their own royalty rate levels separate from photos.

Example: If you are an Exclusive contributor who uploads both photographs and illustrations, you will now have a different royalty rate for each file type. If your 2010 Redeemed Credit totals are 20,000 for Photographs and 10,000 for Illustrations, you will begin the year earning 30% on photographs and 25% on illustrations in 2011.

Example: If you are an Exclusive Audio contributor and your 2010 Redeemed Credit total is 25,000, you will begin 2011 earning 35% on all audio downloads.

Vetta Collection Prices and Royalties

We will be increasing the prices for Vetta content as well as adjusting Vetta royalties, which will now range from 22, 24, 26, 28, & 30% when sold on iStock. Even with the decrease in royalties, this will be a net gain for contributors, and customers are still getting one of the best collections in the world at a fraction of traditional stock pricing.

The royalty chart below lists the corresponding Vetta royalty rate for each Redeemed Credit level.

Example: If you are an Exclusive photographer and your Redeemed Credit total for 2010 is 55,000, you will begin 2011 with a 35% royalty rate, and your royalty on all Vetta downloads will be 26%.

Example: If you are an Exclusive photographer and your Redeemed Credit total for 2010 is 22,000, you will begin 2011 with a 30% royalty rate, and your royalty on all Vetta downloads will be 24%.

These new Vetta royalty rates will also apply to all downloads from the new Agency Collection.

Lifetime downloads and Canister levels

Your canister icon will still show the total number of lifetime downloads you have had at iStockphoto. This number will no longer have any connection to your royalty rate. Each contributor's individual royalty rate will now be private information.

2011 Royalty Targets

Here are the 2011 Royalty Targets for each file type:


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