iStock Review: Is It Worth It?

In this iStock review, we will be examining whether or not the iStock Subscription Plans and Credit Packs are worth your money.

iStock is a stock media platform offering various subscription plans and credit packs.

Table Of Contents
    iStock Review 4

    Background and History

    Founded in 2000, iStock by Getty Images has grown from a 6-person start-up to become a global player in the stock media industry with hundreds of employees and over 160,000 global contributors.

    It remains an industry leader and key destination for creative business professionals who want to make a big impact without breaking the bank.

    iStock is part of the Getty Images family of companies.


    iStock takes a straightforward approach to licensing, offering users the choice between two distinct licenses: standard and extended. When you download any file from iStock, it automatically comes with a standard license, which serves as the default licensing arrangement. If you require additional rights beyond the standard license terms, iStock provides an extended license option that entails an additional license fee.

    The standard license, which accompanies every iStock download, governs your usage of the content unless you opt for an extended license. This standard license forms the basis of usage rights for most downloaded files.

    iStock offers flexibility in how you can obtain licenses – through credits or a subscription model. If you choose the credits system, you can purchase credits in preset packs, which can then be used to download various types of files including photos, illustrations, vectors, videos, and music. The cost-effectiveness of this option increases with the quantity of credits purchased, offering savings as you scale up.

    Additionally, iStock presents subscription options that cater to different user needs. Whether opting for a monthly or annual subscription, you're granted the ability to download a set number of photos, illustrations, vectors, videos, or music per month. These subscription plans offer further savings, making them an attractive choice for those with consistent content requirements.


    Adobe® Creative Cloud® plugin

    Find the perfect iStock image faster without ever leaving Photoshop®, Illustrator®, and InDesign®. Use iStock's industry-leading search and organizational tools to download comps of any iStock image. Ready to go from comp to final? Simply download your image with your credits or subscription.

    iStock + Dropbox

    Organization just got easier. Link your Dropbox account on iStock to access, share and collaborate with your content across all your devices. Enjoy a swift, seamless workflow that lets you spend less time managing your content and more time creating outstanding work.

    Subscription Plans

    iStock offers eight different plans.

    The Essential Images Only Subscriptions give you the industry standard photos, vectors, and illustrations in the iStock Essentials collection.

    The (Signature) Access All Images Subscriptions include every image in the iStock Essentials collection as well as any of the handpicked premium Signature collection images.

    Video clips are not currently available with any subscription.

    If you'd prefer, you can get an iStock Credit Pack, these credit packs are one-time payment, it doesn't expire and it allows you to download and use a certain amount of images whenever you want. The iStock Credit Packs vary from 1 credit to 300 credits.

    iStock Pros & Cons

    iStock: Pros

    • Lifetime use
    • Credits don't expire
    • Many different plans
    • Well established
    • Huge library

    iStock: Cons

    • Subscriptions don't include videos
    • Low commissions for contributors
    • Too political

    iStock Review: Verdict

    iStock is a very good and well-established platform for stock media.

    iStock offers many subscription plans and credit packs and you're bound to find one that fits your needs, if you want to get a subscription plan, we believe that you should get an iStock Signature Subscription Plan as they offer the best value for the cost.

    iStock allows you to narrow down your search results when looking for a specific image. You can further narrow your search down by using many categories. After narrowing your search down to a smaller group you can filter your images even more so by best match, age, downloads, contributor, rating, size, and title.

    The customer support isn't great and this is an area which iStock should look to improve.

    The fact that iStock has been one of the pioneers of stock photography, makes them very reliable, they have a very solid base of contributors and clients and it's definitely an option you should consider, this being said, we suggest you also look at Storyblocks as this may be an option that better suits most people's needs.

    If you'd like to read our Storyblocks Review or find the best iStock Discount, simply follow one of the links below!

    • Overall Score

    iStock Review 3
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