iStock New Beginnings Week

This week marks the end of an era and new beginnings in the stock photography world. iStock, one of the original microstock sites, is changing the back-end technology used to run its site. What does this mean for iStock contributors? Read more about the iStock new beginnings week.

If you are an active contributor to iStock you will be well aware of the changes going on with the site. You should have received several emails over the last 6 months explaining the changes, the implications, and the timelines. If you are an occasional uploader, then this brief summary might be useful.


iStock changes in February 2017 mean contributors will need to re-plan how they upload and track performance of their files

What’s changing? iStock is ‘retiring’ its legacy uploading system and replacing it with the system used by Getty Images (and also currently used for iStock video contributors).

So what does that mean? It means that – if you have been uploading directly to the iStock site – the way you do that will change from February 2017. You will no longer upload directly to the iStock site, but instead through a Getty Images application called ESP (or Deepmeta or Qhero, more on those in the next paragraph). Between 1 and 3 February 2017 you will receive an email from iStock / Getty Images which provides details for ESP.

What if you currently upload using Deepmeta or Qhero? Many contributors use Deepmeta as their way to upload and track their files. More recently Qhero has been available as a tool to upload your images. The upload process remains unchanged for Deepmeta and Qhero.

Do you really need to know about ESP? Yes, as a contributor you do need to know about ESP. As well as being a tool to upload images, it will also be the place where you find data about downloads and royalties. So, look out for the that email this week, and make yourself familiar with the ESP tool.

What else? If, like me, you are an active iStock contributor the past month has been very frustrating. During the current changes, stats about downloads and royalties have not been available. To a degree contributors have been ‘flying blind’ in January 2017. That all ends in February 2017 when details will be available in ESP. Here’s hoping it is a smooth transition and a success.

Thanks for reading iStock new beginnings week. I hope it goes smoothly for you and that the new world is an improvement for both contributors and buyers.

8 thoughts on “iStock New Beginnings Week

  1. Antonio Ribeiro

    Here is Australia, today is the 5th of February 2017. As I am yet to receive the referred email from iStock/Getty. However, is that email supposed to tell us how to upload to ESP? I hope so. I reality, I am totally lost with all the stuff going on with iStock. Please, tell me what is going on. Thanks

    1. Craig Dingle Post author

      Hi Antonio, thanks for your comment and welcome to Beyond Here. Are you an exclusive contributor? or independent? All exclusives should have got an email from iStock by now. Independent contributors may still be waiting. Let me know and I’ll see what I can do to help. (As an aside, I used qHero to upload over the weekend – very easy to use and will save me a lot of time uploading)

      1. Antonio Ribeiro

        Thanks Craig for your answer and time.
        At iStock I am an independent (non exclusive) contributor and I am still waiting for that email.
        For qHero I did signed up with them and tried to upload a couple images. However it asked me to sign into ESP and I still don’t have those credentials. That is my problem..

  2. Shovan

    I am from India, today is 12th Feb. Still I have not received any email for esp invitation. I contacted with them 4 days back in No reply.
    I opened a getty image account few years back just for nothing. I never upload anything. There I could login with ESP. But there ID number is different, and no photo from istock.
    Am I fired? I am totally lost.

    1. Craig Dingle Post author

      Hi Shovan, My guess is that because of the old account they think you have ESP account already. I’d suggest posting in one of the Facebook groups for iStock contributors. They have iStock staff active in those groups to help contributors. I hope this helps and you have access soon.

  3. Corina

    Hi Craig,

    Perhaps you can help me out. Last year I uploaded several photos though DeepMeta and they are still pending. I’m not sure if this is because the change to ESP or what, and if I can still upload using DeepMeta with the same username as before.

    I’ve looked everywhere and no one seems to know if I need to change the user or whatever.


    1. Craig Dingle Post author

      Hi Corina, I’m not a DeepMeta user – but I understand DeepMeta has been upgraded to match with the new ESP. I’d guess that means your current images which show as pending would need to be re-uploaded. Franky De Meyer is the person who built DeepMeta. Look out for him in the GI discussion forums or on the Facebook groups for iStock contributors. He will definitely be able to help.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *