123RF – Complete Review


123RF was founded in 2005, right after the main historical players of the microstock market. Since then the agency had a steady growth and, thanks to the restyling happened in 2010, has become one of the top agencies in the world of microstock, as proved by the traffic generated by the site, as well as the achievement of a portfolio of well over 68 millions of images (updated January 2017).

Among the elements that make 123RF a truly recommendable agency, there are a general ease of use and the extremely simplified procedures for the contributors. To be eligible you must pass an admission test by sending 10 of your best works. After being accepted, it is possible to upload images with no limits. The selection is much not very demanding and the percentage of approved images is one of the highest among all major microstock agencies.

The uploading process of the images can be done through Webform on site, or via FTP. Upon uploading files, the validation of the files (submission) is extremely simple: it is not even necessary to select the categories for the uploaded files. You only need to confirm that you want to send the files for approval of the reviewers. Time for review of the files may vary a lot and sometimes you even need to send a mail to push the review process, especially when it takes more than 2 weeks. However, the acceptance rate is very high and the reasons for the rejections are usually quite reasonable. Another example of how 123RF simplify the work of its contributors is about the management of the editorial images: not only they are accepted for sale, but it is not even needed to mark them as editorial or to describe them with a particular caption, as it happens with Shutterstock, iStock and BigStock. It’s up to the reviewers to decide whether an image is suitable for sale with royalty-free license or it has to be moved among the editorial images.

Beyond images, 123RF accepts also vectors, footages, music and design of logos and the available licenses are either standard or extended. 200X200_photoLike Shutterstock, neither 123RF allows its contributors to become exclusivists. Payments to the contributors are made in US Dollars, through the circuits PayPal / Skrill or by bank check. Payment is automatic, on a monthly basis, upon reaching the threshold of $ 50 for those who choose Paypal, or $ 100 for those who choose Skrill and $ 200 for those who choose to get paid by bank check. There’s also a referral program, although it is only possible to refer customer and not contributors.

Below is the table with the main informations about 123RF:

Logo Shutterstock Logo
Website www.123rf.com
Social Links/Blog Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Blog, Tutorial
Headquarters United-States Chicago, USA
Portfolio 68,290,327 (updated to January 2017)
Website Traffic Rank by Logo Button 125x40
Admission Test You need to send 10 of your best works for evaluation. Quite easy to get accepted.
Image Size Minimum 6 Megapixel
Accepted File Types Photos, Vectors, Footages, Music
Severity of the Reviewers Low
Editorial Images Accepted, and no specific description needed. Reviewers decide whether an image is suitable for sale with standard license or editorial
Types of Licences Standard License, Extended License, Editorial License
Price of the images $ 0.74 for single download by credits or $ 0.21 for each image downloaded on subscription
Earnings for Contributors From 30% of the downloads made with credits and $ 0.216 for each subscription download, growing according to this schedule
Payout Minimum Threshold $50 with Paypal / $100 with Skrill / $200 with bank checks
Payment Mode Automatic, Monthly, via PayPal/Skrill or Checks
Exclusivity No
Referral Program 25% on the first purchase made by referred customers; not available program for referred contributors
Uploading Mode Webform, FTP
Recognition IPTC data from file Automatic
Currency $ US Dollar (USD)
Supported Languages Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanes, Polish, Russian, Spanish
Tools 123RF app for smartphone
Download Release Forms Model Release

Property Release

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Expert in Marketing and Communication in a major company of the Italian FMCG market, traveler by vocation, passionate photographer, contributor at all major international microstock agencies, founder of Marcor$tock, a blog focused on Microstock Market and Digital Photography.