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Author Topic: fotolia is sinking  (Read 25070 times)

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« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2011, 00:44 »
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my analysis is that Shutterstock will be market leader in no more than 2 years.

For non-exclusives, it already is and I'd guess that it already licenses more images than iStock does (it's outselling iStock 3:1 on my portfolio). There's no way we will ever know if/when shutterstock's cash turnover exceeds iStock's.


lagereek

« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2011, 01:07 »
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My inclination (and obviously I cant really tell) is that the best match is skewed away from higher ranks

This thread would certainly suggest that's what's going on.  What a bummer.  Emeralds used to have favored search positions because they wanted to "put their best images in front of the customer".  Looks like that changed somewhere along the line.  

Taking a page from Istock's playbook - using the search engine to manipulate profits.  

I don't think its a direct targeting of emeralds. Maybe they're pushing older files further back in the search rank. As I said, my results there have always been dismal - I'm silver with no prospect of making it to a higher level in the foreseeable future - and I got hit, too. Before the search shake-up I had clawed up to $140-200 a month. After the 20% pay cut and the search shift I'm now down to $70 a month from several thousand images. This month it looks as if 123 will be way ahead of Fotolia.

Oh, yeah ... what I meant to say when I started writing this is that the impression that emeralds are the target could be created by the fact that it tends to be high-ranking people who post here.

OF course, they could have looked at emeralds, thought "there are lots of older files there", demoted old files to improve sustainability and taken my portfolio out as collateral damage.

Hi!

You are too eloquent in your writing! I understand zip! of what youre saying. Let me guess, you mean that the higher levels are being punished or what? because it wouldnt surprise me, thats what many black-diamonds, and diamonds at IS, feel and in many searches at IS, neebie Vettas are in fact way in front of the established ones.

With FT, Im not sure, they havent got the same exclusivity presence, program as IS. No I got a feeling their best match change was just a stupid move, trying to earn more and by the sound of it, it backfired.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 01:10 by lagereek »

« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2011, 01:17 »
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I mean older files may be being punished. That could hit higher ranks - either deliberately or just by accident. It is also hitting me, even though I am not a higher rank.

As many people posting here are from the higher ranks, if there was a general problem for almost everyone it might still look as if higher ranks are being punished because we don't hear much from anyone who isn't quite high up.

Clear now?

lagereek

« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2011, 01:21 »
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I mean older files may be being punished. That could hit higher ranks - either deliberately or just by accident. It is also hitting me, even though I am not a higher rank.

As many people posting here are from the higher ranks, if there was a general problem for almost everyone it might still look as if higher ranks are being punished because we don't hear much from anyone who isn't quite high up.

Clear now?

Yes, sounds as if you might have a point there actually. Must say, very weird way, if this is true.

best.

« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2011, 02:50 »
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my analysis is that Shutterstock will be market leader in no more than 2 years.

they are already at least in my market :P

« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2011, 05:30 »
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Not sure why it is, by my experience with FT is exactly the opposite.  My sales at FT have doubled in the past year.  Doing in the $60 range (around 100 downloads) most weekdays now.  I'm gold and non-exclusive.  Been at it for 3 years.  FT is currently my #2 site and gives SS a run for its money every month now.  Very strange that I seem to be the only one here seeing increases at FT.

Carl

  • Carl Stewart, CS Productions
« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2011, 05:57 »
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I have sales every day at SS, but I'm doing good to have a sale every month at FT.

lagereek

« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2011, 06:31 »
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Not sure why it is, by my experience with Fotolia is exactly the opposite.  My sales at Fotolia have doubled in the past year.  Doing in the $60 range (around 100 downloads) most weekdays now.  I'm gold and non-exclusive.  Been at it for 3 years.  Fotolia is currently my #2 site and gives Shutterstock a run for its money every month now.  Very strange that I seem to be the only one here seeing increases at Fotolia.

Ive always been doing good at FT, up till their latest best match change, I think thats what most people are experiencing, it was the change that sort of went downhill.

« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2011, 06:46 »
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7 days rank: from 130-150 down to 450 to 500 in April 2011,
$$ down 30%

I think they did the Best Match Tweak.

They did, an admin confirmed it in the German Fotolia forum, adding that Fotolia in general is doing well and that the new best match is working for some of the contributors.
It seems that new images don't get a bonus at all any more, so the factor "new" has no or nearly no weight in the best match algorithm anymore. Since then (must have been the end of February), many German contributors are reporting a substantial drop in sales and also that new images hardly sell. This seems very relevant to me, as Fotolia is the market leader in Europe. A factor that counts more than "new" seems to be "popularity": the images that were sold around the date of the tweak keep selling and selling, most other stuff is, well, lost.
But there seem to be quite a few contributors, silver and above (and not only exclusives), who are profiting from the new best match.
I always have kept a close watch on where my new images start off from, and after the best match tweak in February, they went right to the very back of my port and of the best match search, instead of appearing on page 1 or 2, and since about a month, they are somewhere in the middle. That makes me think that they still tweaking away.

The worrying thing about the whole thing, to me, is that once Fotolia has made a change to it's site, it seems to be set in stone. So, when they have finished tweaking, best match will stay like that and favourise old but popular stuff for years.

FWIW, my sales have dropped by about 15 %, subs have increased (I don't dare to actually go and add them up!). I'm only silver, but, comparing myself to other contributors, I have been seeing a substantial amount of regular sales.

lagereek

« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2011, 08:07 »
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7 days rank: from 130-150 down to 450 to 500 in April 2011,
$$ down 30%

I think they did the Best Match Tweak.

They did, an admin confirmed it in the German Fotolia forum, adding that Fotolia in general is doing well and that the new best match is working for some of the contributors.
It seems that new images don't get a bonus at all any more, so the factor "new" has no or nearly no weight in the best match algorithm anymore. Since then (must have been the end of February), many German contributors are reporting a substantial drop in sales and also that new images hardly sell. This seems very relevant to me, as Fotolia is the market leader in Europe. A factor that counts more than "new" seems to be "popularity": the images that were sold around the date of the tweak keep selling and selling, most other stuff is, well, lost.
But there seem to be quite a few contributors, silver and above (and not only exclusives), who are profiting from the new best match.
I always have kept a close watch on where my new images start off from, and after the best match tweak in February, they went right to the very back of my port and of the best match search, instead of appearing on page 1 or 2, and since about a month, they are somewhere in the middle. That makes me think that they still tweaking away.

The worrying thing about the whole thing, to me, is that once Fotolia has made a change to it's site, it seems to be set in stone. So, when they have finished tweaking, best match will stay like that and favourise old but popular stuff for years.

FWIW, my sales have dropped by about 15 %, subs have increased (I don't dare to actually go and add them up!). I'm only silver, but, comparing myself to other contributors, I have been seeing a substantial amount of regular sales.


Set in stone!  well thats BAD news indeed. Im glad you told this because next week ( just waiting for the releases), I was about to upload Automotive-robot works with people and everything and I certainly DONT want them to end up on some last page in search or something.

See this is what it leads to, just troubles, in the end contributors and especially with hard-to-get or nieched material, well, they think twice before uploading such stuff, lots of work, timeconsuming stuff, need the quickest return.

« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2011, 08:29 »
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Yeah, I have been thinking of holding on uploading, too. On the other hand, my competitors aren't, so I'll be going for it anyway.

"Set in stone" is just a strong tendency that I've been observing over the last two years or so. Have you ever seen a site feature change there since that? I haven't. Oh, except for the "latest uploads" page (which is titled "the latetest 300 uploads" although there are only 100, somewhat like the "top 20" that are in fact the top 50 or so). As soon as they are done with their tweaking, my bet is that the best match will stay as it is for years to come.

lisafx

« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2011, 09:33 »
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I mean older files may be being punished. That could hit higher ranks - either deliberately or just by accident. It is also hitting me, even though I am not a higher rank.

As many people posting here are from the higher ranks, if there was a general problem for almost everyone it might still look as if higher ranks are being punished because we don't hear much from anyone who isn't quite high up.

Clear now?

You may have a point about older files, but I don't see that happening in my port.  

Except the past couple of weeks, I always upload a steady stream of around 30-40 pics a week.  Have been doing that for 6 years.  So when there's a shift to older or newer files, I don't really see much change in income.  Just a redistribution.  

FWIW, my newer files are mostly sitting undownloaded and don't even have a lot of views.  Most sales I am seeing are of older files.   This seems to jibe with what Phelby is reporting from the German forums.  

I do think there is an element of dropping emeralds in the search.  I know its anecdotal, and if any emerald contributor is experiencing growth I would like to be proven wrong.  
« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 09:38 by lisafx »

saniphoto

« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2011, 09:34 »
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thanks Pheby for your information from the German front  :).  indeed interesting. I am also already holding my submission of new images, because I have five pages of new material uploaded since march, that has so few views (and almost no downloads, obviously..)

saniphoto

« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2011, 09:43 »
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Agree with you Lisa, newest images not viewed and more than the older, I would say that are the most successful images that are selling again and again. Looks like if customers choose the download option when seeing my port. I noticed today Yuri has 47k images in fotolia... but look at his new images, and how many pages you must go back to see more sales than zeros... and he is Yuri! So this is another point in favor of your analysis, that I consider correct.

« Reply #39 on: June 08, 2011, 10:12 »
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I do think there is an element of dropping emeralds in the search.  I know its anecdotal, and if any emerald contributor is experiencing growth I would like to be proven wrong.  

I don't think really think so. Recently, I've been doing many, many searches (to try and find out whether my very first studio shots of a real model  8) stand a chance of being found) with simple terms like "woman" combined with "flowers", "headphones", "coffee", things like that. I had the search engine sort by relevancy and variied the option "online since", and the few files that are new and have one or a few downloads within the first week or month online, are mostly by emeralds and above. Often, they were files that got a bit of exposure by being featured on the "latest uploads" page. Admittedly, this is as arbitrary as you, Lisa, say your assumption is anecdotal. I'd be really interested to hear more from a few more emeralds.

BTW the search term "woman" combined with "online since 1 week" showed about 8000 results, just over 100 of which had at least one sale.
Until I saw the sheer masses, I was really excited about my new shots. Well, I'm still excited about them, but my hopes for them have gone straight. down. I've decided to upload them in small portions as a sort of compromise.

Somehow, Yuri seems to be a different story. His new files, as wiseguy points out, don't seem to lift off, and also, I've never spotted any of his files on the "latest uploads" page.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 10:27 by Pheby »

« Reply #40 on: June 08, 2011, 18:47 »
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FT has also become basically a subs site for me. I'm definitely considering leaving it.

« Reply #41 on: June 08, 2011, 20:50 »
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Except the past couple of weeks, I always upload a steady stream of around 30-40 pics a week. Have been doing that for 6 years.  So when there's a shift to older or newer files, I don't really see much change in income.  Just a redistribution.  

FWIW, my newer files are mostly sitting undownloaded and don't even have a lot of views.  Most sales I am seeing are of older files.   This seems to jibe with what Phelby is reporting from the German forums.  

I do think there is an element of dropping emeralds in the search.  I know its anecdotal, and if any emerald contributor is experiencing growth I would like to be proven wrong.  

Same thing here!!

« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2011, 16:59 »
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I'm emerald rank at Fotolia and have experienced a similar big drop.  Comparing May 2011 to May 2010:

Earnings:    -28%
Downloads: -21%

I shoot microstock full-time, so this drop is having a major effect on my income, especially coupled with the iStock downturn and a big currency swing during the same period.   :'(   Thank goodness for Shutterstock and Dreamstime!!  Fotolia had been my #2 site for a couple of years, but has slipped to #3.

It's no fun to shoot and upload new stuff, only to see it languish with few views and even fewer downloads!   

« Reply #43 on: June 09, 2011, 17:14 »
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My story is that I went from $150 a month to about $60 a month, more than a 50% drop.

« Reply #44 on: June 09, 2011, 17:16 »
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I am really tiny, tiny fish there. I observe better acceptance in last couple months and marginally better sales at the beginning of this year and slow down in last two months.

Slovenian

« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2011, 17:23 »
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Great, just when I uploaded around 200 photos after 9 months of not uploading there:s. I haven't completed the submitions on half of them, but those that got accepted in the last week didn't get any views, at all! Well a handful did...I did the same at DT, with just 63 images (I have a weekly quota of 42, a few got the similar rejection, the rest had some weird MR issues). But at least I got views on all from the first week and a DL. Though I didn't get any views on those that were accepted yesterday:s

saniphoto

« Reply #46 on: June 10, 2011, 05:24 »
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hit a new negative record yesterday, for a weekday: 14dollars... that was usually a Sun-Sat amount, eventually. Now this is really bothering me... no answer obviously from Chad, nor the support, where I asked if they could help me figure out what is wrong, to have fallen more than 50 percent in a few months.  :(
it is not just my fault, as I see many have similar problems. And even if there was the deadly best match switching, it cannot justif alone the massive downward direction taken by our sales.

« Reply #47 on: June 10, 2011, 05:40 »
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My Fotolia income has dropped from 300 to 400 dollars/mo to 150....200. This month has the potential to be the weakest month since January 2009.

So sad. It seems my avatar predicted even this...


« Reply #49 on: June 10, 2011, 06:39 »
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My Fotolia income has dropped from 300 to 400 dollars/mo to 150....200. This month has the potential to be the weakest month since January 2009.

So sad. It seems my avatar predicted even this...

^Nice about your avatar


 

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