The Spain-based, freemium stock media company Freepik recently disclosed their impressive numbers for the year 2021, which include a 61.5 million Euros turnover and clear signs of growth in strategic markets such as North America and Europe.
As the company points these results to be an indicator of the potential of their business model –a double hybrid that combines free and premium content, plus in-house and outsourced content production–, Freepik’s case is certainly worth looking at and brings valuable insight for both contributors and buyers.
Freepik Company’s 2021 Balance: All Numbers Up
The main and most impressive figure in Freepik’s activity in 2021 is their total turnover, which ascended to 61.5 million Euros. This total is supplied from the company’s three stock media marketplaces: Freepik, Flaticon, and Slidesgo.
Per their communication, during last year they averaged 41 million monthly users across all platforms and increased their number of subscribers by 34%. It’s precisely these subscriptions that make up for most of their revenue – 70% of the total turnover, to be exact.
While it’s headquartered in Málaga, Spain, the agency’s earnings are concentrated in the largest international markets, where most of its new subscribers come from. The USA is the main one, providing 20% of Freepik’s total income, breaking it down into 3.5 million users and 110,000 subscribers.
As for in-house, Freepik disclosed that in 2021 they expanded their Málaga-based team by 26% from the previous year, and now count 380 employees, working remotely.
And last but not least, their worldwide network of contributors –artists selling their content through their platform– ascends to over 18,000 creatives, located mainly in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. For these artists, Freepik represents a source for extra income or even a livelihood, something the company takes pride in, highlighting at the end of 2021 they had paid out more than 30 million Euros over the last five years.
All these are significant numbers, when we keep in mind they were acquired by a major investment company in 2020.
The Freepik Business Model: Freemium Platform with Mixed Content Sources
Freepik is one fast-growing Spanish startup, conceived by co-founders Alejandro and Pablo Blanes, and Joaquín Cuenca (founder of Panoramio, a company sold to Google). It’s distinctive for its offer that combines thousands of free images, illustrations, and graphic resources, with 21 million+ premium, paid content that you can access through a monthly or annual subscription (with unlimited downloads).
Another highlight is that their library is hybrid, with 85% of the content sourced from contributors, and the rest produced by in-house artists.
While they started out, in 2010 with only Freepik for graphic elements and later images, they now integrate Flaticon specialized in icons and stickers, and Slidesgo for Google slide themes and Powerpoint templates.
The Evergreen Rise of Unlimited Download Subscriptions
Freepik co-founder Joaquín Cuenca affirms that “in 2021 we exceeded our expectations, which shows that our business model is the right one to continue consolidating our leadership in the stock image industry”.
While that might be true, we also feel it’s clear that most stock photo buyers are attracted to unlimited subscription plans that let them download as much as they want from a library, for an affordable monthly or annual fee. Such is the offer that makes Canva Pro so popular, for example.
It’s interesting to see a Spanish company gaining such traction in the US market, and to know you have them as an alternative to download premium images and graphics with an unlimited subscription.
What do you think?