Despite my high praise for fotolia, the one aspect that could use some improvement is their commission structure. Despite stating that they are among the highest paying microstock agencies available, they pay lower commission then some of their largest competition, like Dreamstime. Fotolia currently pays thirty-three percent commission on credit sales. This is a mere thirty-three cents per credit. Subscription commissions may very but are typically thirty-one cents per download. You may ask yourself if, with such low pay, is fotolia worth all the effort of uploading to. I believe the answer is yes, and I am not the only one. Microstock superstar Yuri Arcurs recently stated that since early 2009 his Shutterstock sales have declined drastically and his fotolia earnings have easily made up the slack, and would soon be the agency that earns him the most money.
Apart from both credit and subscription sales, fotolia also has a comprehensive extended licence program. Unfortunately, like their credit and subscription sales, their extended licence program does not pay very well. Typical earnings from an extended licence sale is six dollars and sixty-six cents, the same thirty-three percent commission.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel though. Fotolia offers bonuses to those photographers who sell well with their agency. Unlike Dreamstime, who give bonuses for multiple sales of individual files, fotolia gives a bonus to photographers who sell predetermined amounts of photos, similar to Shutterstock's structure. The structure is done in eight tiers ranging from zero downloads to a million. No one has yet reached the million mark and only Yuri has gone above two hundred and fifty thousand sales.