iStockphoto vs. Shutterstock – Credits vs. Subscription
iStockphoto vs. Shutterstock are both stock photo agencies that are included in the list of the ‘Big 6’. Their buying models are very different but there are many similarities to their business models, expansion ideas and the strategies they use to remain at the top of the list of stock photo agencies. You might want to take a look at our 5 Shutterstock alternative agencies compared
iStockphoto vs. Shutterstock the Similarities
- Free weekly photos – Both agencies offer free weekly photos that are released regularly to their members on the website. These agencies do not have free galleries.
- Large image libraries – Both agencies have large image libraries and add to the libraries regularly. They are popular with contributors which helps in the rapid building of their image library.
- Complimentary partner sites – Shutterstock highlights their partner site Bigstock and iStockphoto highlights their partner site Thinkstock.
- Multiple languages – Both agencies deal in multiple languages
- Forerunners in Stock photography – Both agencies have been selling stock photography online for many years and are considered the leaders in the industry.
- Buying model is done exclusively through credits that can be purchased in small and bulk packages.
- iStockphoto as some unique and exclusive Collections; Vetta Collection, Agency Collection and Editorial Collection
- Extended licenses are purchased with credits only
- Buyers can buy into the credit system at a very low price $18.50 USD
- Price per photo is generally higher than Shutterstock
- Great search tool to find photos that is very detailed, easy to use and finds photos easily
- Subscriptions have more options with a low 1 month buy in option. iStockphoto credit subscriptions start at a minimum of 3 months
- Price per photo under the subscription is lower than iStockphoto
- Favors new photos and highlights new photos in their search inquires
Which one to pick?
Both of these stock photo agencies have some similarities that have brought them under an umbrella of excellence. Their differences are so very different that it is hard to compare. Their buying models, photo sizes, credits and subscriptions are so very different it is almost unfair to compare.
iStockphoto is good for new buyers and companies that can benefit from their collections. Shutterstock is great for companies that need photos every day and want to pay little for them. Register for both using their free membership option so when your needs hit their features, you are ready to buy into their system and download a few or a lot of photos. If you want to benefit from the iStockphoto weekly free photos, register for your iStockphoto account today. If you want to benefit from the Shutterstock weekly free photo and vector register at Shutterstock and benefit from this weekly bonus.