The market for stock photos is massive and ever-evolving, with new agencies constantly emerging. One example which has recently popped into the radar is Addictive Stock Creatives.
I’m pleased to publish this detailed review of Addictive Stock, which I trust you’ll find useful, especially if you’re looking for a new Midstock agency to license your premium travel and lifestyle type images / footage.
Introducing Addictive Stock Creatives
Firstly, straight from the horse’s mouth, here’s Addictive Stock’s pitch to potential contributors:
Victor Torres, Founder and CEO
Which types of images / footage are Addictive Stock seeking?
According to Addictive Stock, they’re looking for the following types of creative content:
“The stock photography and video industry has changed a lot in recent years. Addictive aspires to be a breath of fresh air in the sector by providing a collection of contemporary images with an authentic and natural look. We always need new images of lifestyles, professions, food, landscape, business, animals, sports, travel, architecture, portraits, medicine and more. We are looking for creators who are developing such a style in any subject area.
If you produce content of the kind you can see on this website, we have a place for on our team. Our mission is to look out for our artists and make you comfortable in doing your own work in creating high quality stock content. Focus on the creative process. Addictive will do the rest: selection, keywording, content upload and promotion.”
Addictive Stock appear to have taken a leaf from the likes of Stocksy, Offset, Canva and Westend61 in terms of the types of premium imagery / footage they’re seeking from existing and potential contributors.
In other words, the proposed content certainly needs to be above and beyond what you’d normally find at Microstock, both in terms of quality and unique subject matter (as you can see by the sample of four images).
Almost goes without saying that potential license prices will be superior to that of micros In my case, an average of 72cents/image at Shutterstock where I have 6,000 images. More on commission rates later.
What to shoot
Here’s some more on the types of topics that Addictive Stock buyers are looking for…and also a nice reminder to focus on these themes & trends for those who shoot stock photography generally:
Note: Identifiable person(s) need need to sign model releases. In addition to property owners, when applicable.
How much can you earn? Finally!
Residual revenue generation has been and will always be the key motivator for the vast majority of stock photographers.
Addictive Stock will pay contributors 60% commission on sales. However, it’s not as simple as it first appears.
You may be thinking that 60% sounds like a fantastic deal if a client purchases an image/footage directly from Addictive Stock, but much more likely than not, sales will come from their distribution network. This extensive network consists of distributing premium RF content (non-editorials) to the likes of Getty, Adobe Stock Premium and Offset, etc. as well as on advertising and promotional campaigns.
In fact, Offset has a small and growing portfolio of 8370 images belonging to Addictive Stock contributors.
More later on what the 60% means in real $ terms.
Any other perks?
I can think of a few perks to being an Addictive Stock contributor, including:
- Stock Analytics integration to track earnings and other analytics;
- Captioning and keywording, the most tedious part of the job, to be done by their professional in-house team, so you can focus on shooting and post-processing;
- Access to premium image banks that you may not normally have access, such as Offset and Adobe Stock Premium. Being accepted as a member in those agencies is extremely competitive;
- Greater exposure of your work in social media by Addictive Stock’s marketing team;
- Being part of a small close-nit community of 160 talented artists, especially in the exciting/scary early days of an Agency. If all goes well, if you join in now, in a few years you may be considered a senior member of the team within a successful agency.
A few words on Exclusivity…
I need to make this important point – Addictive Stock is an image-exclusive agency.
Ah bummer…exclusivity! I know what you’re probably thinking…fuck that, but do hear me out.
What does “exclusivity” mean? Well, looking at the wording in their contributor contract, it means:
“It is strictly forbidden to upload ‘sisters’ photos (from the same session) to agencies other than those used by THE COMPANY. In other words, if the author decides to provide THE COMPANY with a specific session where, for example, a model appears, with a specific style and a specific location, it will not be able to divide this session between different media, since it would not comply with the exclusivity terms imposed by the agencies with which THE COMPANY works.”
Need to affirm that this is image-exclusive not contributor-exclusive. In other words, you’re of course free to submit non-similar works to other image banks, including Microstock. In addition, there is no restriction on uploading your own images to social media.
Exclusivity is a deal-breaker for some
I understand that this may be a deal-breaker for some, but I need to affirm that exclusivity is common for many Midstock agencies. This includes travel-specialist Robert Harding and Arcangel images, the latter where I painstaking submit my images to be licensed as Rights-Managed on horror/suspense book covers and have yet to license anything after two years (584 images).
Keep in mind that exclusivity is considered a necessary evil, since those Midstock agencies need to have full control of your images within their distribution network. This is in order to avoid potentially awkward situations with clients, such as being offered different pricing points and/or contractual conditions between different agencies, among other potential pitfalls.
I applied to be an Addictive Stock contributor and was accepted!
About a month ago, I applied speculatively to be a contributor and was accepted. However, before fully committing, I had some doubts including the exclusivity question.
Half ignoring the flashy brochures and promises to take your “stock business to another level”, I was looking for straight-up answers. There’s something about polite and polished marketing-speak that drives me crazy! At the end of the day I want to know if an agency will represent my best interests and I’ll get rewarded over and above Micro prices for what I and they consider to be “premium” images.
Brief chat with the Founder and CEO, Victor Torres
The acceptance email included a copy of the contributor agreement and a welcome pack. In reply, I asked the following three simple questions and was pleasantly surprised when the Founder and CEO, Victor Torres, replied to me directly.
He’s kindly given me express permission to publish his direct answers:
“1. Question: Could you please explain to me how the 60% breakdown works in practice. Let’s say an image sells for $100 on Offset, how much would I receive in the end?Answer: You always get the 60% of the royalty we get, not of the final price you can see in the agencies. For example if we sell one of your images at Offset at 100$ we get a commission of 30$ and you’ll get the 60% of that (18$). Precisely, we are negotiating with Offset an increase of our commission. Hope we can get it in the incoming months.2. Question: What would be the benefit of going via Addictive Stock instead of submitting myself directly to various agencies?Answer: The benefit of working with us is that we make the Keywording work for you and sell your stuff via Premium agencies, not in microstock ones. Of course you can apply to premium agencies and if you are accepted maybe you won’t need to work with us, but even in that case you will have to invest time in uploading your content to those agencies and of course doing the tedious work of keywording.3. Question: How many images and photographers are currently at Addictive Stock and how are these photographers doing, generally speaking?”Answer: We have currently in Addictive about 160 selected artists and more than 30K images/videos on sale. Some of them have thousands of images and videos with us an other only some tens. So some of them earns a lot with us and other only a bit 🙂
OK, how do you make an application to join them?
If you’re happy with what you’ve heard so far and have carried out your own due diligence, and feel that you have what it takes (producing quality commercial work), what’s the next step?
Simply fill out your details on this “Apply Now” page and wait a few days for a reply (unlike Stocksy that took me 4 months). Best of luck!
The stock photography industry is in a constant state of flux. While some agencies, such as ImageBrief, close their doors due to competition and/or mismanagement, it’s important to keep an eye out for newcomers which may take your earnings & exposure to the next level.
I honestly believe that Addictive Stock is an interesting option for image / footage artists. This comes in light of the 1000s of applications made to join Stocksy’s exclusive club and were disappointingly rejected (as was I and you can see my application blog post here),
I understand that going exclusive is a huge decision and one that has both benefits and drawbacks, but if you’re tired of only earning subs on Micros for images you feel would gain a lot more exposure and revenue, then you have really not much to lose.
Outside the earnings, I consider being part of a small-nit community of 160 talented artists to be a key motivator for joining this club. This is since the sharing of knowledge within a positive/encouraging environment, among what I would consider to be colleagues, is what will really take your skills to the next level, not the extra income you receive from premium images.
Best of luck if you’re applying!
Hope you’ve found this review useful and please, like, share comment below!
About the Author
Alexandre Rotenberg is a travel photographer and blogger, based in Italy.
He has recently published a Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography where he gives brutally honest tips on making it as a stock photographer in times of diminishing returns due to oversupply.