YayImages: alternative microstock agency with big potential

November 13, 2021 / by Grant Baker


YayImages is an alternative to the legacy stock media providers and the new unlimited download providers alike. Founded originally in Norway, this agency dates back to 2008. YayImages has the highest payouts for the hybrid unlimited/pay as you go model.

You can become a YayImages contributor and earn money with them not only on your sales but also on your referrals of other contributors.

History of YayImages

YayImages was launched in 2008 in Norway as a privately owned stock photography agency with venture capital. They boast one of the largest collections for images, vectors and videos with their hybrid unlimited download/ pay as you go model.

In 2018, YayImages was acquired by Doublesix Ltd, the new management moves fast and is breathing new life into the business.

Key statistics on YayImages:

  • Close to 13 million stock photos, vectors, and videos from individual and agency contributors;
  • Hundreds of thousands of images, vectors and videos are added to YayImages each month;
  • The business has close to 20,000 contributors;
  • Their customers are worldwide though they are recently gaining ground in Asia

What makes YayImages unique

While YayImages may appear to be just another stock platform with the same bells and whistles offered elsewhere, there are two things that make it stand out.


The interface is not overloaded with too many features or confusing tabs, likewise on the customer side the search and download process has been simplified to reduce as much friction as possible for any potential customers. The pricing model has been simplified and is competitive enough to be able to attract a variety of customers such as freelancers, entrepreneurs and corporates, while still being high enough to be profitable and share the revenue with contributors.

Sales model

Secondly, they stand out with their sales model. While the top two unlimited download agencies have ported over content from other collections and reduced pricing, or where a private equity firm has taken over the agency, they have a tendency to reduce contributor commissions. Things like “tiered commissions” become commonplace, so that most contributors do not meet the requirements for a 50% commission and the agency can keep more revenue in their pockets instead of distributing it to contributors.

Pricing model of YayImages and earnings

Assets pricing

Your files will be sold in a variety of ways. Though you are not able to set your own pricing, YayImages particularly excels when it comes to unlimited download plan pricing. This means that even if a customer does not perform any downloads, the revenue is still distributed to the contributors based on the overall downloads from all the customers combined during the monthly period.

The average sale is $0.5 per image and $8.00 per video, in most cases you will start to see sales within 30 days after your files are approved and the sales volume at YayImages more than makes up for the moderate price per image. Sales are reported on a monthly basis and not in real time, so some patience is required.


While legacy stock providers continue to lower their commissions and offer more and more free trials, YayImages has maintained its 50% commission since its inception in 2008. Even though YayImages has unlimited download plans, you will still see high value per download because they take the average revenue from subscriptions and divide this by the number of unique downloads to arrive at their payout per download.

While other agencies may claim to have the highest payouts or commissions they often place numerous goalposts or hoops for you to jump through to you in order to qualify. YayImages offers a 50% commission with a $60 minimum payout threshold.

During the month of November 2021, Xpiks contributors can participate in a promotion, where every 1000 images approved in November, will net you a $10 bonus payment in December, and every 500 model released images will net you another $10 bonus.

They report sales on a monthly basis.

What can you expect when working with YayImages:

  • With YayImages your content may start selling immediately. The common benchmark is to have at least 1K assets in your portfolio.
  • They grade the quality of your content as you upload it and the quality score affect your search engine results and sales - so make sure to only upload the best files

What kind of Files should you upload

YayImages accept a variety of content:

  • Images
  • Vectors, templates and illustrations (.eps and .svg format files)
  • Videos (HD & 4K)

There are plans to add music and 3D files to their platform, however it is still something they are considering.

YayImages dashboard
Contributor dashboard at YayImages

The best way to learn what kind of files will sell well, is to search YayImages for your preferred theme and look for a low number of search results. When you find a low number of search results you should aim to replace this content with your own, higher quality images. Your higher quality Images will rank higher in search than older content and thus make more sales.

Top YayImages customer searches:

  • Business
  • Christmas
  • Fashion
  • Food
  • Couples
  • Marketing
  • Technology

YayImages Image Manager

Uploading your assets is done via ftp. You can find the full image upload documentation here and the video documentation can be found here.

You must follow the instructions closely to ensure that your files are processed correctly. Typically it can take 15 minutes or more for your files to appear in your dashboard after they have been uploaded.

YayImages image manager
Managing metadata in the YayImages Image Manager

Providing metadata with YayImages is easy. The data is automatically extracted from your images and also extracts embedded meta from eps files. Alternatively with eps files you can upload one of each, eps+jpg with metadata, into a zip file and upload your zip files in bulk.

You can then attach model and property releases or make edits to the metadata. With YayImages you can simply upload one release for each model and attach it to multiple images.

All of your files on YayImages will be sold under the RF license. Check for email updates and login to your dashboard occasionally to view your sales performance. They often run promotions where you can earn bonuses for submitting certain files during certain times of the year.

The Content review process

After you have submitted your files, they will go under review. The reviewer will check for things like:

  • Have all model releases been attached?
  • Have the correct property releases been attached?
  • Has the metadata been fully completed?
  • Is the photo editorial and submitted incorrectly as RF?
  • Are the images high quality, do they have production value and commercial value?
  • Does YayImages have too many files of this type already?

YayImages tends to reject content that is very similar and submitted by too many contributors, such as editorial photos. If you have a unique niche and theme it will serve you better with approvals and sales revenue.

Referral program

Refer fellow photographers and illustrators for bonus commissions.

In your profile you can find a referral tab that will supply you with a referral link. If someone signs up through your referral link you will be eligible to receive up to 20% of their sales as a commission for a set period of time.

How to become a YayImages contributor

YayImages contributor portal
Contributor portal

Visit contributor portal and sign up to become a contributor. After registration, you must log in to the dashboard and make a request for approval to upload images. You should supply a link to your current images or videos hosted on another stock website. During this review, they will assign a quality score to your images and make a determination. A high score means that your images will appear higher in the search results.

Register at YayImages

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