Microstock news for 2015

By Andrew Hudson Published: December 31, 2015 Updated: October 18, 2016

The big microstock news of the year was that Fotolia became part of Adobe in January 2015. The price was $800M. Fotolia will be integrated into Adobe’s Creative Cloud solution, but will also operate as a standalone service, remaining open to anyone. However, Fotolia has fallen in traffic rankings, from #4 to #6 in the past two years.

The sale was hard on leader Shutterstock, which saw its stock halve in value, dropping from $70 to $29 in 2015. Founded in 2003 and publicly-traded since 2012, Shutterstock saw its stock start at $22 and peak in 2014 at almost $100. On the positive side, Shutterstock continues into a fourth year as the website-traffic leader (since June 2012).

Meanwhile, original market-leader iStock has continued to fade. Founded in 2000 as the first microstock company, iStock led the market for twelve years (and was bought by Getty in 2006). However, iStock dropped to #2 in 2012 (overtaken by Shutterstock), and in 2015 dropped two more spots to #4 (overtaken by 123RF and Dreamstime).

Jumping up the ranks are 123RF, Dreamstime and DepositPhotos. All three are private companies, founded in 2005, 2004 and 2009 respectively.

Most popular microstock sites, 2014 to 2016

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