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Author Topic: How and why are earning decreasing at Fotolia (chart)?  (Read 12224 times)

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« on: February 02, 2014, 08:23 »
+13
My portfolio has over 24k images at FTL. I am still uploading new images every week but my income is decreasing since years now. While it is not the case with other agencies which are still be able to occasionally reach a BME.
I don't know what is the problem with Fotolia - any idea? My earnings are back to the level of mid 2008. That time I had 2-3k images online while now I have nearly 10 times more.

Anyway, there is a psychological level (a certain amount of monthly income) when my income falls below that I'll stop uploading to FTL for ever. I am very close to this. If the tendecy visible on the attached chart continues I will reach it this year.

Does anyone have an idea why is this?


« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2014, 08:34 »
+12
This has been discussed here several times.  Unlike sites like Shutterstock, FT have made it harder for a lot of their bigger contributors to sustain their earnings.  I have a much smaller portfolio but a similar looking chart.  With lower earnings and the way they have cut commissions several times in the past, I have no motivation to upload.  I do upload there occasionally but nothing like I used to.

They lost several big contributors who decided to go exclusive with istock.  I don't really understand their strategy, as they haven't been able to close the gap between them and Shutterstock in the earnings poll here.  If there's only room for a few big microstock sites in the future, it looks like FT wont be one of them.

« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2014, 17:03 »
+5
I believe it is mainly down to FT's search algorithm. It appears to give no weighting whatsoever to the most relevant keywords and also heavily promotes new files (and actually appears to penalise popular files).

This means that your older best-sellers, the ones that have historically earned you the most, have disappeared so far down the default sort-order that they are rarely seen by buyers.

It also means that most searches are littered with irrelevant images (due to all the keyword spamming and/or poor translation from other languages) which must be losing FT customers. Personally I wouldn't dream of buying at FT for this reason alone (although there are many other reasons too) because the search results are simply woeful in comparison to FT's main competitors.

« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2014, 17:20 »
+6
It is possible that FT may have decided that it benefits financially from organising the search in a way that penalises successful early contributors. I can see how the logic for that might work but I really don't know if they calculate things in that way.

« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2014, 18:14 »
+1
NitorPhoto when did you reach emerald? And did you raise prices? If so, when?
I am asking cause I suspect there might be a correspondence between raising pricing resulting in fewer downloads and consequently pushing you further in the search.
Of course I may be wrong and hope these are just my dark suspicions.

« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2014, 04:27 »
0
NitorPhoto when did you reach emerald? And did you raise prices? If so, when?
I am asking cause I suspect there might be a correspondence between raising pricing resulting in fewer downloads and consequently pushing you further in the search.
Of course I may be wrong and hope these are just my dark suspicions.

Niserin,

Yes, I have raised prices and I did it as soon as I was able to. It was many years ago, before they made it 10 times more difficult. I do not remember the exact date but it was much much before the decrease and even before the long increase visible on my graph. I think it was 2008 or 2009.

« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2014, 04:35 »
0
Thank you Nitor for your answer. At least it refutes my presumption.
Wish you best of luck in spite of the current trend!

grey1

    This user is banned.
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2014, 04:59 »
0
Not here. I am now close to Emerald and I find FT very steady, same as DT. Steady earners. Although same as with SS. Never upload so that reviewing takes place over a weekend. Just a tip.

« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2014, 07:23 »
0
A little bit of speculation from me:

One factor determining search ranking may be views to sales ratio (I think that has been talked about before, though nobody outside FT will know for sure), thus files with many views compared to sales may get punished.

A while ago (two years? can't remember correctly) FT introduced a change to their frontend and began to show big previews when you move your mouse over a thumbnail. That allows customers to decide better without clicking on an image thumbnail - and will certainly drastically reduce the number of views overall.

All images that were uploaded after that change will have a significantly better view to sales ratio (compared to old bestsellers).

If this theory is right, that might explain why portfolios with a big number of old bestsellers seem to suffer a lot.

At least that may be one factor in the game...

« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2014, 08:56 »
+10
lets focus here guys, there is no excuse for this serious decrease, we are talking about a 23k portfolio with 1600 files uploaded on the latest year and 4k in the last 2 years, something is "wrong" and I believe its not on NitorPhoto side

stocked

« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2014, 10:16 »
+8
lets focus here guys, there is no excuse for this serious decrease, we are talking about a 23k portfolio with 1600 files uploaded on the latest year and 4k in the last 2 years, something is "wrong" and I believe its not on NitorPhoto side
I have to agree as a very early contributor to Fotolia it's obvious to me that Fotolia is overall in a strong decline. They do cover their downtrend by promoting exclusive artists, known bloggers and new files in general that leads to the point that some very few people have exceptional results with them as well as newbies have good results with them as  they do have a far bigger percentage of new files so they rave about them. But the truth is they are loosing market share, in their strongest market (Germany) I have seen many newspapers and magazines that used before mainly Fotolia switching to Shutterstock in the last two years.

« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2014, 10:34 »
+1
Well maybe Nitor uploaded too much, however nonsense it may sound. I've noticed that when I upload a lot of files at once, I'm having some slower days. The new files might push your bestsellers further in your port and consequently in the main search.

stocked

« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2014, 11:01 »
+2
Well maybe Nitor uploaded too much, however nonsense it may sound. I've noticed that when I upload a lot of files at once, I'm having some slower days. The new files might push your bestsellers further in your port and consequently in the main search.
Sure Yuri Arcurs, AndresR etc. they all uploaded waayyy too much to Fotolia that is the reason they gave Fotolia the boot and joined IS exclusivity  ::).

« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2014, 11:20 »
0
Well maybe Nitor uploaded too much, however nonsense it may sound. I've noticed that when I upload a lot of files at once, I'm having some slower days. The new files might push your bestsellers further in your port and consequently in the main search.

That might be exactly true.

« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2014, 06:14 »
+1
Thx for the answers and ideas for everyone.
Upoading too much, punishment of big contributors, bad search algorithm, overall decline?
If you are right guys I don't know what . am I doing at Fotolia still?
I give them a very last chance until the end of 2014.

grey1

    This user is banned.
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2014, 06:44 »
0
I can not see anything wrong with promoting new files since they are the sellers of tomorrow. I mean we all know of another giant who will give new files a 5 sec exposure and if they dont sell, well then they are just history. Hobsons choice really.

lisafx

« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2014, 10:20 »
+6
Not here. I am now close to Emerald and I find FT very steady, same as DT. Steady earners. Although same as with SS. Never upload so that reviewing takes place over a weekend. Just a tip.

Well "close to emerald" is the key, isn't it?  Let me know if you are still happy with your Fotolia earnings once you have been emerald for a few months.

« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2014, 10:48 »
0
I can not see anything wrong with promoting new files since they are the sellers of tomorrow. I mean we all know of another giant who will give new files a 5 sec exposure and if they dont sell, well then they are just history. Hobsons choice really.

Grey1 banned already? That was quick!

« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2014, 10:48 »
0
Fotolia earnings have been tanking for me since 2012, just the same.  Bigstock and Depositphotos earnings are beginning to outweigh them. 

It's all just ebb and flow, this is exactly why you never put all your eggs in the same basket.  One marketplace will decrease, another may slightly increase... sadly it seems that they are all slightly decreasing at the same time.  Time to find more baskets and to make more eggs :)

Ron

« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2014, 13:44 »
0
I can not see anything wrong with promoting new files since they are the sellers of tomorrow. I mean we all know of another giant who will give new files a 5 sec exposure and if they dont sell, well then they are just history. Hobsons choice really.

Grey1 banned already? That was quick!
He got his ban on SS lifted today, so now he is posting on SS again. My god, its like a disease you cant get rid off. What happened to life time bans? If you tell someone to f*ck off on a forum and constantly insult his kid you deserve a life time ban!

« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2014, 13:53 »
+1
I can not see anything wrong with promoting new files since they are the sellers of tomorrow. I mean we all know of another giant who will give new files a 5 sec exposure and if they dont sell, well then they are just history. Hobsons choice really.

Grey1 banned already? That was quick!
He got his ban on SS lifted today, so now he is posting on SS again. My god, its like a disease you cant get rid off. What happened to life time bans? If you tell someone to f*ck off on a forum and constantly insult his kid you deserve a life time ban!

come on SS! ::)

« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2014, 21:34 »
+1
I can not see anything wrong with promoting new files since they are the sellers of tomorrow. I mean we all know of another giant who will give new files a 5 sec exposure and if they dont sell, well then they are just history. Hobsons choice really.

Grey1 banned already? That was quick!
He got his ban on SS lifted today, so now he is posting on SS again. My god, its like a disease you cant get rid off. What happened to life time bans? If you tell someone to f*ck off on a forum and constantly insult his kid you deserve a life time ban!

I have a lifetime ban, so they exist.

OM

« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2014, 21:41 »
+4
Contrary to popular opinion, FT is getting better for me and appears to be increasing with each month since around September 2013. I've known the good times (up until, say, 2+ years ago) and the bad times when earnings declined by 70+% and all my best sellers just suddenly dropped from the search radar and never sold again.
Earnings are still short of their previous peak despite a 50% increase in port size but they are noticeably on the up (>80% on pre-September levels). I haven't worked out the recent ratio of subs to dl's but overall (5 years) it's still at 60% dl to 40% subs and it doesn't seem to change much.
FT is often a bit strange. Some days I get nothing but subs and the next, nothing but dl's. Don't get many rejections  at FT either and they often accept stuff that SS rejects which goes on to become a good seller at FT. I have no idea why but FT seems to be working for me presently.  :)

« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2014, 15:33 »
+3
I experienced a drop in sales (and also in the 7 days rank - my relative position) when I got to Gold. Still working my way to emerald, but I already slipped from my 100-120 7 day rank position to the current 290. It's the only site where my sales are dropping significantly despite uploading regularly.

« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2014, 02:18 »
+11
After my earnings suddenly dropped 90% in 6 months, I walked away from Fotolia.  I refuse to support a company with my images that doesn't support me.


 

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