Beyond Here has been following the changes in the micro stock photography industry, and particularly the changes at iStock. This coming week, on 21 January 2015, iStock changes payment frequency options for contributors.
Previously contributors were able to request payment of their earnings on a weekly basis as long as their earnings were above the minimum payment threshold. That process was outlined in the earlier post How Does Payment from Stock Photography Work.
What are the changes? 21 January 2015 is the final date that iStock contributors will be able to request a payment of earnings. After this date, contributors will be automatically paid on a monthly basis, as long as they are above the minimum payment threshold and have entered their payment details.
Who will this impact? This change will effect all iStock contributors. This isn’t an opt in or opt out exercise, it is a change in the way that iStock operates to be more in line with its parent company, Getty Images.
What impact will it have? This change will have the biggest impact on contributors who are currently requesting a payment on a weekly basis. Instead of the steady cash flow of a weekly payment, those contributors will be paid monthly. To operate their businesses they will need to plan for the more ‘lumpy’ cash flow of monthly payments. Ironically those that it will impact the most are those contributors who generate all or most of their income from iStock and rely on the weekly cash flow.
What benefits are there? Not many that I can see from a contributors point of view. For iStock it will simplify their payment processes and presumably bring some cost savings. How that might be reinvested for benefits for contributors or customers hasn’t been made clear by iStock yet.
What do I need to do? If you are an iStock contributor and wish to make a final payment request – this needs to be done by 21 January 2015 at midnight MST. Keep in mind the time difference to where you live. Then you need to make sure your payment details are entered in your profile so that you can be automatically paid on a monthly basis. That first monthly payment will be made on 25 February 2015.
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