In this Dreamstime Review you rill see that they are one of the top stock photography agencies which is a popular buyer and contributor stock photo agency. Their focus is images but they also focus on a community-based development model that they call the Dream Team. They successfully engage their members in the keyword development, blog article submissions and site revisions to create the Dreamstime tribe. This community model has maintained a devoted membership and grown their success as a stock photo agency.
Dreamstime Review Basics
- Over 11 million images
- Dreamstime has been online since 2000
- File types sold on Dreamstime are ordinary photos, vector files, TIFF files and exclusive photos. Vector files are available in JPG, AI and EPS formats. RAW files are available for purchase.
- Accepts payment by PayPal, Visa, American Express and MasterCard, JBC, Discovery Card
- Searchable by keywords, categories, collections, file type, orientation, license type. They enlist their community as Dream Team members to work on the search and keyword functions to ensure that the images and files can be searched in-depth.
- Free weekly images and free image gallery
- Active Blog (over 5 posts per day and member generated), forums and message boards for buyers and photographers alike, offering: tips,discussions, help and tools
- Languages including: English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Polish, Italian, Portuguese
- Their FAQ is extensive and is for members and contributors. The FAQ sections are designed to find answers.
- Dreamstime has their corporate headquarters in Brentwood, USA
Credit-and Subscription Based Currency Options
The Dreamstime credit and subscription template is one of the easiest to use. They clearly outline what options are available, enable multiple currencies (that automatically know your geographical location), and are very transparent in the pricing per credit.
An exclusive process to Dreamstime, is their pricing system that is based on the popularity (number of downloads) of photos. The price of a photo, or the amount of credits needed to purchase an image or file could be 3 to 5 credits more in a few months if it is a downloaded more than 5 times by the membership database. This affects both the credit and subscription payments.
Dreamstime credit buying options:
- Credits can be purchased in predetermined packages or through a custom selection option.
- Credits start as low as 93¢ with a maximum price of $1.25 per credit with the credit package plan.
- Custom selection has a minimum credit purchase of 110 credits at .93¢. The more you buy the less per credit you spend.
- Minimum of 8 credits to start in their pre-bundled credit packages, which costs $9.99 (equal to $1.23 per credit).
- Extended licenses can be purchased with credits starting at 50 Credits
- Custom and pre-packaged options
- Extended licenses can be purchased with credits
- Credit-based service allows you to purchase just one image at a time
- An extensive Image Terms FAQ outlines credit cost of images and files for members
- Multi-seat licenses can be purchased with credits
- Credits are pricey (starting at $1.23)
- Photo’s pricing is based on the amount of downloads which can greatly raise the cost of purchasing the pictures. There is not a guaranteed image price for all images.
Dreamstime Subscription Services
Dreamstime offers subscription buying options that are defined by image purchases but use a confusing download calculation system based on image levels and download quantity:
- Flexible subscription options
- Minimum of 10 images per day to a maximum of 50 images per day
- One week, One month, 3 month, 6 month and annual subscriptions
Here is an example of the subscription description of image pricing:
Level 1 & 2 images = 1 download
Level 3 & 4 images = 2 downloads
Level 5 images = 3 downloads
- Flexibility in subscription options
- Subscription services are cheap
- Unclear which images or files can be downloaded on the subscription plan
- Alternative licensing options require the purchase of credits for payment
- Little information on subscription plans
- Very confusing pricing of cost per downloads so it is difficult to figure out how much images really cost
Image Searching Tools
Keymasters from the Dreamstime Dream Team work tirelessly to improve the searchability of stock photos and files. Involving members in the process has proven a success model for Dreamstime.
Basic search options are extensive and include licensing options. Their Dreams Finder provides even further in-depth search parameters. They also include well defined categories, have member picked collections, and enable image display options that include image properties, model properties and record latest searches.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Their use of icons to save space in the search engines can be confusing but not unmanageable.
- A search can become too overwhelming for new members who are not familiar with all the licensing definitions
Dreamstime has some of the most extensive licensing options out of any of the stock photo agencies. This includes the purchase of an image copyright. The licensing options include royalty free, extended, editorial, and full copyright.
What they have done is segmented the extended licensing into categories, unlimted seats, unlimited copies, print usage and web usage and created their own codes for each of these extended licenses. It is confusing, but it does clarify for the buyer (once they study their segments) exactly how they can use the images.
Add-ons and Special Features
Dreamstime Blog-Their blog is worth mentioning as it is the only member driven and member written blog seen in stock photography agencies. It is active and answers questions that new and more seasoned users can benefit from.
Stock Photo Utilities-This is for designers and includes information, books and suggestions. This is useful for new and seasoned members and I would guarantee that this is also membership driven from the Dream Team
Photo Map-If you require geographical images and photos, Dreamstime just introduced their photo map that allows members to search by country.
Merchandise Store-For their members, Dreamstime has created a retail store of Dreamstime merchandise. It lends to their community based model and assists in creating their tribe.
Using their community based model to drive their website that engages their members and contributors, Dreamstime is a great stock photography agency to get involved with and learn from the members. Their extensive licensing options, copyright purchasing option and RAW file inventory is well worth a free membership so you can utilize these features.
Their searching tools provide in-depth file searches, where a member can find photos easily and with the right licensing options. It would be nice to see a less confusing subscription buying option that is more transparent and would require no studying of their terms and conditions and use of in-house definitions of image downloads. Additionally the price increase on popular files makes it difficult to gauge prices over time.
Dreamstime has been a leader in the stock photography business for over 11 years and will continue to be an innovator in the industry.