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Comprehensive Dreamstime Review for Stock Media Contributors

Are you an aspiring visual artist looking to make a passive income in the stock media industry?

Dreamstime can be your next destination in the world of stock photography, but before taking that jump it is important to gain insight and perspective from those who have already gone down this path.

That’s why I’ve put together this comprehensive Dreamstime review — to help videographers, photographers and other creative professionals make informed decisions about whether should they start selling stock media on Dreamstime.

In this review, I will take a look at Dreamstime’s features and benefits in detail: How to get started? Features of the platform? How much money do you stand to earn if accepted as a contributor? And, should you invest your time with them or look elsewhere for opportunities?

Let’s get started on our journey to explore Dreamstime. And by the end of it, you will hopefully have a better idea of whether this platform is right for you or not.

Dreamstime Logo

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Overview of Dreamstime

Dreamstime is a stock photography site that offers a platform for anyone interested in selling stock media.

They have been around since 2000 and have grown into a global community of over a million photographers, designers, and videographers who upload and sell their creative work all over the world.

Dreamstime has more than 20 million visitors each month and includes over 225 million media assets in its library.

They have millions of users looking for content for their projects, which means when you sell your work through Dreamstime, you have the opportunity to reach millions of potential buyers.

Dreamstime Statistics in November 2023
Dreamstime statistics as of November 2023

How To Get Started on Dreamstime And the Main Features

Starting your journey to selling stock media on Dreamstime is a simple and straightforward process.

To begin, you need to create an account on the platform. You may also need to upload a few files for review first.

After this, you can start uploading all your content. Remember, quality matters, so ensure that your media files are of high quality.

Once your files are uploaded, it’s essential to describe your media accurately. This includes adding relevant metadata like the title, description, and keywords.

These will help potential buyers find your media.

Uploading Your Content

The process of uploading your files is straightforward and convenient.

You need to make sure you save them in the accepted content formats, at the maximum quality.

The platform allows you to upload multiple files at once, and you can continue the submission process by providing metadata such as title, keywords, and description. These must be written in English.

You must add different titles and descriptions which may sometimes slow down the submission process.

Dreamstime supports automated EXIF/IPTC data retrieval, which means you can edit these fields using software programs like Adobe Lightroom for example.

However, if your image features identifiable people, you must attach a model-release document signed by the subject to avoid rejection.

Dreamstime Media Submission Portal
Dreamstime Media Submission Portal

What Kind of Content and File Formats You Can Sell On Dreamstime?

Dreamstime accepts a wide variety of stock media, including photographs, illustrations, vector graphics, videos, audio, and AI-generated images.

As long as your media meets their quality standards and has commercial value, you can sell it on Dreamstime.

This opens up a variety of possibilities for creativity and allows contributors to explore different types of media and expand their skill sets.

File requirements on Dreamstime
File requirements on Dreamstime

Selling AI-Generated Images On Dreamstime

One unique feature of Dreamstime is that it accepts AI-generated images from contributors.

Dreamstime is accepting AI images under certain conditions.

It is important that contributors have complete rights to the generated images and clearly indicate that the image was created using AI in the description.

Additionally, the illustrations and clip art/AI-generated category must be selected for these images.

However, according to Dreamstime, it is not possible to upload images of people due to the inability to provide a model release for them.

This is different from Adobe Stock, which accepts AI-generated images of people.

Exclusivity On Dreamstime

Dreamstime offers the possibility to sell your content files exclusively on their platform.

This means that the media you upload on Dreamstime cannot be sold elsewhere.

By doing this, you get a higher percentage of royalties if your file sells.

You can also apply to become an exclusive contributor which means all your files will be set as exclusive by default and you cannot contribute to any other stock media site.

It’s entirely up to you whether you want to sell your media exclusively or non-exclusively.

However, in my opinion, becoming an exclusive contributor restricts your potential to make better money on other platforms.

Affiliate Program

In addition to selling stock media, Dreamstime also has an affiliate program where contributors can earn extra income by promoting the website or their portfolio.

By referring buyers or contributors, you can earn a 10% share for three years after their registration.

It doesn’t matter who your referral is – you earn money for both buyers’ purchases and contributors’ sales.

Visitors you recommend will be remembered and assigned as your referrals if they sign up within 30 days of their first visit via your referral link.

Royalty Payments and How Much Money You Can Make on Dreamstime

For each download, contributors can earn 25-50% of the net amount depending on your exclusivity and a file’s content level.

In addition, exclusive files get an added 10% bonus, while exclusive contributors enjoy a 60% revenue share for all sales.

Content level is determined by how many downloads a file has received.

For popular content files on the highest level, the maximum royalty is 45% for non-exclusive files and 49.5% for exclusive files.

Royalties on Dreamstime are relatively fair in the industry, making it an interesting platform for contributors to earn from their work.

But what does this mean in terms of actual earnings?

Well, the amount of money you can make on Dreamstime largely depends on the volume and quality of your content.

Popular contributors with a large portfolio can earn hundreds of dollars each month.

With a modest portfolio, you can only earn a minor income.

For instance, if you have 1000 images on the platform, you can earn anywhere from $0 to $40 per month.

This is based on my own experience. I have a little less than 1300 images on my portfolio and my earnings are in that range. Mostly under $10 each month.

So, in the end, the earning potential on Dreamstime is not exactly a gold mine level.

However, thinking positively, if you are passionate about selling stock images and put in the effort to consistently upload quality content of thousands of files, it can definitely turn into a decent source of passive income.

Dreamstime Royalty Structure
Dreamstime Royalty Structure for Images. Find out more in HERE

Reaching Buyers- Tactics for Getting Your Images Noticed and Sold

The success of selling stock media on Dreamstime depends on getting your images noticed and chosen by buyers. Here are a few tactics to increase visibility and attract potential buyers:

  • Use relevant keywords: Make sure to use accurate and specific keywords when describing your media. This will help buyers find your content easily.
  • Submit high-quality images: Quality matters in the world of stock photography. Ensure that your content is in high demand, unique, tell a story, or just better than others
  • Keep up with current trends: Stay updated on the latest trends and popular topics in the world. This will help you create content that is in demand by buyers.
  • Upload a lot of content: On Dreamstime, the sales volume is comparatively lower than on other sites. This is why you need a significant amount of content to achieve good sales levels—talking about multiple thousands of media here.
  • Upload AI-generated Images: Dreamstime is one of the first stock agencies to accept AI-generated images. Harness this opportunity to rapidly expand your portfolio.

Here are just a few tips on how to effectively sell your stock media on Dreamstime.

Keep in mind that consistency and patience are key when it comes to making sales on any stock media platform.

So keep creating, uploading, and marketing your content, and you’ll eventually see sales on Dreamstime.

For more general tips for selling stock photography, read this post too: Tips To Selling Stock Images And Maximize Your Income

Pros & Cons – Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Dreamstime as a Stock Media Contributor

In this comprehensive Dreamstime review, I’ve covered everything you need to know as a stock media contributor on the platform.

But let’s take a step back and look at the bigger picture. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Dreamstime as a contributor?


  • Large global reach: Dreamstime has a large international customer base, giving your media exposure to a wide audience.
  • Fair royalty payments: Dreamstime offers competitive royalties to their contributors, ensuring fair compensation for their work.
  • Diverse media types to sell: Dreamstime offers a variety of media options, including photos, videos, illustrations, AI-generated images, and audio files, allowing contributors to explore different forms of creative expression.
  • Accepts Editorial Content: Unlike some stock media platforms, Dreamstime accepts editorial content, giving contributors the opportunity to sell news-related images and videos.
  • Quick review times: The content you upload is usually reviewed in a matter of hours, so your media can go live on the site quickly.
  • Possibility to sell AI-generated images: Dreamstime is one of the few stock media sites that allows contributors to sell AI-generated images.


  • Low sales volume: As mentioned before, the sales volume on Dreamstime is lower compared to some other stock media sites. This can make it challenging for contributors to generate a steady stream of income. You need thousands of files to reach good income levels.
  • High competition: With a large number of contributors, it can be difficult to stand out and get noticed by potential buyers.
  • The uploading process is tedious: Dreamstime requires contributors to add different titles and caption every image, which can be time-consuming for those with a large portfolio.


In conclusion, Dreamstime has its pros and cons.

With a big buyer base and fair royalties, it is definitely worth considering for visual content creators who already have a large portfolio of images or videos or are willing to work hard to build one.

However, the low download volume might be discouraging for creators who are looking for a platform to quickly generate income.

It’s important to remember that every contributor’s journey is unique, and what works for one person might not work for another.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons and decide if Dreamstime is the right platform for you.

Personally, I still upload my images on Dreamstime, but I’m not as active as I am on other platforms. The sale levels just don’t seem to pick up even though I’ve been contributing for years now.

I hope this has been helpful and wish you all the best in your stock photography journey!

Happy selling!