We pay contributors royalties for each file download. The royalty varies depending on how files are downloaded (iStock Credits, Pay As You Go, Subscriptions) and whether a contributor is exclusive or not. Files are licensed three ways:
When someone licenses your content with iStock credits, you earn your royalty based on the net value of the credits used to download your image.
When someone licenses your content using a credit card, you earn your royalty based on the net amount paid to download your image.
When someone licenses your content using a subscription, we pay a flat royalty for each file based on your exclusivity and which collection your file belongs to, with a royalty of $0.28 for non-exclusive contributors and minimum $0.34 for exclusive contributors.
iStock pays in U.S. dollars. You can convert your earnings to iStock credits at any time at a 1-1 ratio. When your account balance reaches $100 USD, you can submit a payment request which is payable in one of the following three payment methods:
Mailed every two weeks. Please allow 1 week within the US and 4-6 weeks for all other locations.
Processed on business days. Payments are processed once a week, although in some instances transactions can take up to five days.
Under Request Earnings, sign up for either direct deposit or our iStock Payoneer card which can be used worldwide and at ATMs or as a regular MasterCard.
If you're eligible for exclusivity, your royalty rate can reach up to 45%. To become an exclusive photographer or illustrator, you must have 250 downloads and a minimum 50% approval rating, or 500 downloads. Audio contributors can become exclusive after they reach 10 downloads. Video contributors are eligible for exclusivity immediately. Once eligible, contributors must apply to join the exclusivity program.
Every time one of your files is downloaded your Canister icon gets a little closer to the next level. The number of files you can upload to iStock each week increases as your Canister level moves up.