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iStock reduces Collections and changes Prices for better (UPDATE)

 

UPDATED September 25th, 2016:  Very good news to our readers! We have a special, limited-time iStock promo code for you. From September 26th to September 30th, you will get 20% off all your iStock credit pack purchases!

Seize this limited-time deal and buy the largest credit packs to save more in the long run. You can take advantage of this offer long-term: iStock credits never expire! Buy now and download great stock photos whenever you want!

Grab this special iStock promo code before it’s too late!

iStock reduces Collections and changes Prices

iStock Promo Code 2016 – 20% OFF on Credits for All Customers

20% off istock credit packs

iStock Promo Code 2016 – 15% OFF Subscriptions

15% off istock subscription

As has been announced two weeks ago (you can still read the news below), iStock has changed its pricing basis over the last weekend. The new prices are in effect now, and if had old credits left in your account, they were most likely converted at this stage.

Expired iStock Promo Code

12off-promo-code-istock

The new prices at iStock

New Base pricing table at iStock

New Base pricing table at iStock

With the new pricing (click here to open them in a new window), credits have become pricier but also more valuable. All images can now be downloaded independent of their size at the same price. There is only differentiation between Essential images (which are not exclusive to iStock) and the iStock exclusive collection called Signature. Those terms were introduced with the subscription offer in spring and are now being used across the board.

We have got our hands on some neat iStock promo codes for you. You can save up to 15% on the iStock credits, which makes it easier to spend money on their new pricing. Just make sure to copy the codes and then click on the redeem link.

Look at the whole list to find the perfect package

Look at the whole list to find the perfect package

The base package contains 1 credit, equalling one of the Essential images. Further packages usually can be divided by 3 because that is the price for Signature images at iStock. With 18 credits – priced at $175 – you could therefore download 18 Essential images or 6 Signature images, or anything in between, compared to the 1 credit package this contains a discount of more than a third of the single image price!

Check all the prices on their page!

If the gap between the 1 credit and the “next best” 18 credit pack is too big for you, make sure to open the full list of packages available by clicking the “View all credit packs” link below the initial table to find a comprehensive offer ranging from 3 to 300 credits. The discounts start steep with 10% on the 3 credit package compared to the base pack, therefore you should carefully consider if buying more at once will be a better deal for you.

We certainly will have iStockphoto promo codes here on the credit packs next week.

How do the new prices compare to Shutterstock

 ShutterstockiStock EssentialiStock Signature
Min. Images2 Images1 Credit = 1 Image3 Credits = 1 Image
Min. Purchase$29$12,50$36
Price per Image$14,5$15$36
Price for 25 Images$229$255 (18 Credits + 6 + 1)$695 (60 Credits + 18)
Price per Image with 25 Image Pack$9,16$10,2$27,8
Price for Signature ImageALL INCLUDEDOnly Essentials ImagesSignature Images
Shutterstock Price PageiStock Price PageiStock Price Page

The new iStock pricing is easy to compare with the main competitor, Shutterstock‘s offer: The minimum price is more affordable at iStock, as the 1 credit package comes for $15 while at Shutterstock the minimum purchase is $29 for two images. Then again, for larger needs the 5 Image Pack at Shutterstock comes for $49, slightly less than $10 per image. To achieve that level of pricing, you would have to buy 18 credits at iStock for $175. Plus there is the question how many of the Signature collection images you will end up downloading as those images come at 3 times the base price of your package.

Shutterstock pricing overview

Shutterstock pricing overview

The subscription packages offered at iStock are showing a similar difference: The Essentials subscription comes at $166 in comparison to Shutterstock’s $199 pricing (based on an annual subscription in both cases). In case you want to have access to iStock’s Signature collection as well, you will have to choose the higher priced subscription for $333 a month.

So in all cases you are now having a choice to make: In some cases, iStock now definitely has a better price to offer – but if you want to get all of the iStock imagery, you will have to pay a certain surcharge compared to Shutterstock.

Changes at iStock (ANNOUNCEMENT – UPDATE ABOVE)

The changes where announced on the 4th September 2014 and these are all the news about the changes before we posted the update.

As microstock inventor and Getty Images subsidiary iStock has just announced, they are planning a complete overhaul of their collection, pricing and payment system. The key elements are to simplify the search and purchase experience for the customers.

Announcement of the exchange of credits

Announcement of the exchange of credits

The system using “credits” which was introduced in 2002 and helped iStock in licensing images at small fees, will be renewed, existing balances will be changed to the new system around September 13, 2014.

Less credits, more value

The new credit system iStock is to raise the value of the credits. To reflect this, existing customer balances will be changed from the old credits to the new credits with a exchange rate of 5:1 – as an effect you will see a reduction of your credit balance but the new credits will have a higher value when it comes to purchasing image licenses.

In the new system, one credit will serve as the base price to license images whereas today the license price can reach anywhere from 2 to 150 credits, depending on collection and size of the image.

The base price for the new credits will be $15 for the smallest packages. Larger packages will get a discount, lowering the price per credit down to $8. Though package size have not been announced, there has been a hint that the minimum sale will be a “one credit” package, basically allowing to buy single images without any leftovers in your account. Until now, the single image sale is only possible with direct payment which also contains a premium of up to 50% on the image price.

Simplified collections and pricing per image, not by size

After the reduction from seven to four collections last year, iStock is taking another step in simplifying their offer by now offering only two collections: They will be called “Essentials” and “Signature“, in line with the two subscription offers introduced earlier this year.

The Essentials collection will mainly contain the imagery of contributors who are also distributing the same content through other popular microstock agencies. Whereas the new Signature collection will contain all the higher value content exclusive to iStock and the Getty Images family, including the former premium collections Signature+ and Vetta.

Prices will be one new credit for each image in the Essentials collection and three new credits for Signature imagery. The Signature+ and Vetta imagery was priced at 30 or up to 150 credits in the past, those images will become available at a much lower price point in the future.

Contrary to now, there will no longer be a size based pricing, customers can easily choose any size they need for their projects at the same price. There will also be a possibility to “upgrade” from small sizes to larger resolutions after the change (only for images licensed after the change, older downloads can only be downloaded at the size that was originally licensed).

Those pricing levels will be the same for Vector illustrations. Video files will be priced at 6 credits (Essentials) and 18 credits (Signature/Vetta) in the future.

Simplification for more flexibility

As iStock co-founder and Senior Director Brad Ralph states in an open letter:

“With the changes you are about to see on iStock, we are disrupting our current business model to go back to our roots, back to the basics. Simplifying is what we did best when we started – affordable prices and great content.  Content found only from iStock. We are adapting to the changing market the way we always have so customers don’t need to settle for the same commodity content available on all those other stock sites.”

All the mentioned changes are supposed to be applied at or shortly after September 13, 2014. iStock has announced that they will take their servers offline during that weekend to apply all the necessary changes.

PS: If you are a iStock contributor – check out our coverage on MyStockPhoto.

 

About the author

I am a publisher and entrepreneur in the stock imagery field. I focus in 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 the PixelRockstar WordPress Plugin. 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.