Former champion of the microstock world Yuri Arcurs has written a highly critical review of Adobe Stock and Shutterstock. Yuri Arcurs who only sells his work with Getty and sites belonging to Getty broke a one year silence on his own blog to review the competitors of Getty. Naturally being an advocate of Getty the review post may be seen by many as lacking credibility, but let’s see what he has to say.
Yuri starts by comparing site speeds, Shutterstock came off the worst followed by Adobe Stock, with the winner being Peopleimages, Yuri’s own site. Yuri did not enter Getty Images or istock into this competition. Next is ‘Ease of Sign Up and Purchase’, Yuri gave Adobe Stock 1 out of 10 for this. Yuri complains about making a subscription purchase and not being able to download, he also complained that there was insufficient customer support.
Next up is ‘Search Result Quality’. For a simple keyword search using the word “cute” Yuri describes Shutterstock’s results as “accurate” but “not ideal” as the results showed mostly vectors and illustrations. I tried myself and he’s right, that is what happens for this keyword search at the time of writing this blog post. I then clicked on ‘Refine Your Search’ beside the search bar and chose the radio button ‘Photos’ and only photos appeared, the results were fantastic, plus any subsequent search continues to eliminate vectors and illustrations if that is what you want, this can be switched back to ‘All Images’ using the same method of clicking on ‘Refine Your Search’. Basically I found searching on Shutterstock simple and accurate, I really don’t find that you need a very high IQ to use the search so I don’t know why Yuri struggled with it. Yuri also searched “cute” on Adobe Stock and he found the results to be “very outdated and mediocre”. He also mentions that he found the exact same images on the first page on both Shutterstock and Adobe Stock, I only found 1 image which was the same, but even if I found more does that really matter? Most microstock contributors choose to send their images to multiple sites and most buyers choose to license images which have been or will be licensed by other buyers. I think Yuri understands the concept. Again, Yuri did not enter istock or Getty Images into this search competition. Cute.
Yuri enters istock into the next competition however which according to him they win. The search was for a rare keyword, “retrenched”. This time however Yuri does not enter Shutterstock into the competition, frankly I don’t think they would care, they are doing just fine with or without Yuri’s analysis. The results for Adobe Stock according to Yuri are “exceptionally unsatisfying “.
Yuri is particularly irate about Adobe Stock offering a flat rate royalty of 33% to its contributors, however he seems to have forgotten about the outpouring of anger from contributors when istock (Getty owned company) reduced its base rate royalty from 20% to 15% for non exclusive contributors, with the maximum rate being 20%. Naturally this doesn’t affect Yuri Arcurs as he is a Getty exclusive, the 33% royalty on Adobe Stock also doesn’t affect him, it is so nice of him to be concerned though, even if the criticism is one-sided. Had Yuri not decided to go with Getty a couple of years back, he would undoubtedly be asking his uploaders to send to Adobe Stock and there would be no mention of royalties in his blog.
Alas times change and so do allegiances, it will be interesting to see who Yuri Arcurs will be batting for in 10 years time, or even sooner.