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« Reply #125 on: May 29, 2012, 17:35 »
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Justin pretty impressive actually, thanks for showing us more PE, when do you think it will launch? what will be the price after? the 40$ starts in which month? where do we upload? thanks again for all your effort
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 17:57 by luissantos84 »


« Reply #126 on: May 29, 2012, 21:27 »
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I just did a Google searching for keywords on my best selling area. It comes up with a number of my images in the first couple of pages. Interestingly they are all either photos in use or from 123rf or shutterstock. Maybe someone can explain why other agencies don't place as highly.

If the PicturEngine search provides customers with what they want quickly, based on some great best match algorithm that is superior to the search they can do on a site then some people will use it.

I can see that there are issue however with buyers who will be confronted with images at microstock prices, mid level prices and some at much higher. If I was on a budget (or cheap) I wouldn't want to wade through looking at images above my price range. Maybe this is aimed at the higher end of the market. 

This site may be of great benefit to some contributors but I can't see it being worth $40+ per month for me at the moment.

I understand that $40 a month seems a little steep for an unproven site, but this is totally different from anything else we've had.  We do a lot of complaining about the agencies squeezing the life out of contributors and now we have something new that could revolutionize the industry.  For 100% commissions, I'm more than willing to pay $40 a month.  Besides, aren't we paying each agency much more than $40 a month?  If you make $200 a month at an agency that pays 20% commission, then you are, in essence, paying that agency $800 a month.  And that's just one agency!

Danny,
You make a great point!  This is exactly what our photographer surveys have shown.  PicturEngine is very affordable when you look at the numbers. 

You are already ahead of the curve!
JB

I will get to more of these tomorrow my time is limited.

« Reply #127 on: May 30, 2012, 01:47 »
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....PicturEngine is very affordable when you look at the numbers.  
Perhaps when you're established but not for a new site.  If I pay $40 a month, you need to sell at least $80 a month or you aren't beating the commission percentage I get with sites like alamy, Stockfresh and Graphic Leftovers.  I haven't seen a new site that hasn't spent a lot of money on marketing generate anywhere near $40 a month from my portfolio.  Most of them take years generating sales and they are unlikely to ever reach $40 a month.

If you really think this is going to take off, why are contributors having to fund the start up of the site?  Waive the fees until there are enough sales to pay for them.  Have a temporary 50% commission for the first year.  You'll get lots more interest from contributors who will recommend the site to buyers.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 01:50 by sharpshot »

« Reply #128 on: May 30, 2012, 10:34 »
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If you really think this is going to take off, why are contributors having to fund the start up of the site?  Waive the fees until there are enough sales to pay for them.  Have a temporary 50% commission for the first year.  You'll get lots more interest from contributors who will recommend the site to buyers.

I agree! this has never happened before, in a different way CreativeWarehouse is asking for funds to build a website too, for us contributors is very unusual and in a certain way we think its dodgy, sure PE aint

« Reply #129 on: May 30, 2012, 10:36 »
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It would be better of instead of picture engine linking to the site where the image is uploaded to first that it was linked to a site that you could nominate the site that you want to be displayed. i.e the one that gives you the most money per sale (or % if you want to direct your sales that way)

 (how does linking to the "first site" work anyway if I upload to all sites on the same day, first site to approve, first to index ?)

Qwerty,
That is a good idea.  I see that becoming an option for the Advertising Only subscription.  You could choose an agency to which you want us to direct buyers, however any agency you choose will still take a commission, whereas we do not take any commission and only charge a flat fee.

Note to others on how we choose where to send the buyers:
We all know the current system of searching for images is flawed and broken.  Buyers have told us (via 16,000+ returned surveys) that on average they search 12 agencies to find a single image to use for a project.  They need to be thorough to make sure they find the best image for the job, so they first try to search a base set of agencies to make sure they see everything.  Buyers most often complain that "the same images are at all of the agencies."  Now, we all know that's not possible, as some agencies are exclusive, BUT the client is always right and their perception is just as real as the facts.  They see the same (or very similar) images everywhere so that's the first problem we solved. 

With that said, we set out to eliminate the "duplication factor.  You should know first, PicturEngine does NOT compare prices.  If the SAME image is unfortunately located at 10 different agencies, we only give the buyer 1 choice.  To make the decision on which images to send the buyer, we attempt to discern where the image was uploaded FIRST and serve that location to the buyer.  If the image was uploaded the same day to multiple agencies, then we use a random calculation to choose the winner.  We make this determination when image records enter our database, not within our search results as the user is searching, which speeds the searching process. The only exception is, when the seller is one of our PicturEngine photographers and has listed the exact same image in his/her PicturEngine account.  In this case, we believe that both the buyer and the seller are benefitting by directing the buyer directly to the PicturEngine seller on PicturEngine, as we take no commission.  We do take care of our own in this case.   I'm not saying there is any bias in the search, I am ONLY referring to duplicates at multiple agencies and when the exact same image is uploaded to our platform.

Best,
JB

« Reply #130 on: May 30, 2012, 10:40 »
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Justin, thanks for answering some of our questions, but I feel that you still haven't answered my main question, which is what do I get for my $40? Presumably, you would be hosting my images on your site, but I would like a clear answer on that. Do you have FTP?
Would I need to categorise? Just knowing a bit more would be helpful.  I think this is a great idea and would love to be involved from the beginning, but I'm a cautious person.  If I could pay monthly, I'd be much keener to join than if I had to pay $480 up front. Is that a possibility?


Hi Equus,
All of these questions are answered in our interactive FAQ section, support.picturengine.com
I will attach some links below for your reference.
what do I get for my $40?
http://j.mp/zJkWt4 - What do you get?
http://j.mp/HMtFAv - Will you help me keyword?
http://j.mp/Az3MdA - Can I set my own pricing?

Presumably, you would be hosting my images on your site, but I would like a clear answer on that. Do you have FTP?
http://j.mp/A5DYQ2 - Image storage?
http://j.mp/H7ifvr -  How do I upload images?
http://j.mp/HvVD40 - What size photos do I need to upload?

If I could pay monthly, I'd be much keener to join than if I had to pay $480 up front. Is that a possibility?

Absolutely, after the photographer beta, you will have the option to spread out the payments, but at a higher overall cost (annual payments will be discounted).  Our beta photographers are receiving the best deal we will ever offer.

Best,
JB

« Reply #131 on: May 30, 2012, 10:41 »
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Justin, thank you again for your thorough answers to our questions.  I, for one, will be signing up for the advertising plan.  Hopefully it will return much more than the nominal $120 fee over the next year.  :)

ETA:  Okay, I'm confused.  The only "platforms" listed are photoshelter, stockpipeline, licensestream, rightspro, and photodeck.  Don't you have functionality to sign up with my own, self-hosted site?  (Ktools)

Lisa,
Correct, if you have your own custom site or platform, currently not listed as one of our supported platforms, you will need to go the agency route (register as an agency) and we will provide an estimate for making a data importer for your site.  We wont know the cost until we look at your site and its database, structure, etc.

We cover the cost for the major platforms initial implementations because we can distribute the up front cost over many users (we had more than 10 users per platform ask to be included on the ones currently listed).  If you know of more users with Ktools (10+), please ask them to join you when registering.  This will bring your costs down and we will include your platform in our Advertising Only plan. 

Best,
JB

lisafx

« Reply #132 on: May 30, 2012, 10:45 »
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ETA:  Okay, I'm confused.  The only "platforms" listed are photoshelter, stockpipeline, licensestream, rightspro, and photodeck.  Don't you have functionality to sign up with my own, self-hosted site?  (Ktools)

Justin, you must have been answering me the same time I was posting this.  
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 11:36 by lisafx »

« Reply #133 on: May 30, 2012, 10:55 »
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Justin pretty impressive actually, thanks for showing us more PE, when do you think it will launch? what will be the price after? the 40$ starts in which month? where do we upload? thanks again for all your effort


luissantos84
Please check out the FAQs http://support.picturengine.com/ :
http://j.mp/HDEl6s - When will the site be "live?"
http://j.mp/I4XfUk - When does my 1 year subscription begin?
http://j.mp/A5DYQ2 -  where do we upload?

I think I am caught up on questions, please let me know if I have missed any.  Please check the FAQs first :)

Best,
JB

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #134 on: May 30, 2012, 11:04 »
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Buyers most often complain that "the same images are at all of the agencies."  Now, we all know that's not possible, as some agencies are exclusive, BUT the client is always right and their perception is just as real as the facts.  They see the same (or very similar) images everywhere so that's the first problem we solved. 
So if you're solving the 'very similar' issue, how are you going to decide whose 'isolated red apple against white' (gazillions within each and between all the agencies) is going to be featured?

grafix04

« Reply #135 on: May 30, 2012, 11:19 »
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Justin, thank you again for your thorough answers to our questions.  I, for one, will be signing up for the advertising plan.  Hopefully it will return much more than the nominal $120 fee over the next year.  :)

ETA:  Okay, I'm confused.  The only "platforms" listed are photoshelter, stockpipeline, licensestream, rightspro, and photodeck.  Don't you have functionality to sign up with my own, self-hosted site?  (Ktools)

Lisa,
Correct, if you have your own custom site or platform, currently not listed as one of our supported platforms, you will need to go the agency route (register as an agency) and we will provide an estimate for making a data importer for your site.  We wont know the cost until we look at your site and its database, structure, etc.

We cover the cost for the major platforms initial implementations because we can distribute the up front cost over many users (we had more than 10 users per platform ask to be included on the ones currently listed).  If you know of more users with Ktools (10+), please ask them to join you when registering.  This will bring your costs down and we will include your platform in our Advertising Only plan. 

Best,
JB

Wait, what?  Why would we sign up as agents, we're photographers.  On the support page is says to sign up as 'Photographer Advertising Only and now you say to sign up as Agents.  I'm not so sure you know what you're doing.  So it's not $10 a month now?  Now it's whatever you quote us on an individual basis?  hmmm, I'm losing interest.

A lot of people here use ktools.  If you had done your homework, you would have known that and prepared for that platform.  I'm afraid that just threw my confidence in you and your site out the window.  I'm definitely not signing up during beta.  As someone else mentioned, you should be begging us to sign up for free on a trial basis for the first year till you get the system working and until you attract buyers.  If you had us on board, we would promote the site and you'd get your buyers faster.  There are too many unknowns.  

I'll take my chances and wait for the site to launch.  Who knows, you might be desperate for photographers by then and drop your prices.  Which are definitely too high for an unknown, unproven system.

lisafx

« Reply #136 on: May 30, 2012, 11:47 »
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Justin, thank you again for your thorough answers to our questions.  I, for one, will be signing up for the advertising plan.  Hopefully it will return much more than the nominal $120 fee over the next year.  :)

ETA:  Okay, I'm confused.  The only "platforms" listed are photoshelter, stockpipeline, licensestream, rightspro, and photodeck.  Don't you have functionality to sign up with my own, self-hosted site?  (Ktools)

Lisa,
Correct, if you have your own custom site or platform, currently not listed as one of our supported platforms, you will need to go the agency route (register as an agency) and we will provide an estimate for making a data importer for your site.  We wont know the cost until we look at your site and its database, structure, etc.

We cover the cost for the major platforms initial implementations because we can distribute the up front cost over many users (we had more than 10 users per platform ask to be included on the ones currently listed).  If you know of more users with Ktools (10+), please ask them to join you when registering.  This will bring your costs down and we will include your platform in our Advertising Only plan.  

Best,
JB

Wait, what?  Why would we sign up as agents, we're photographers.  On the support page is says to sign up as 'Photographer Advertising Only and now you say to sign up as Agents.  I'm not so sure you know what you're doing.  So it's not $10 a month now?  Now it's whatever you quote us on an individual basis?  hmmm, I'm losing interest.

A lot of people here use ktools.  If you had done your homework, you would have known that and prepared for that platform.  I'm afraid that just threw my confidence in you and your site out the window.  I'm definitely not signing up during beta.  As someone else mentioned, you should be begging us to sign up for free on a trial basis for the first year till you get the system working and until you attract buyers.  If you had us on board, we would promote the site and you'd get your buyers faster.  There are too many unknowns.  

I'll take my chances and wait for the site to launch.  Who knows, you might be desperate for photographers by then and drop your prices.  Which are definitely too high for an unknown, unproven system.

Well put Grafix 04.

Looks like it is a non-starter for me too.  I am not an agency.  I am an individual photographer - not even a microstock factory.  Paying agency rates to be included in your search engine is not feasible.  

I suspect you will find that may of us have designed our own self-hosted sites using Ktools.  Unless you find a way to include our sites in your advertising plan, you will be missing out on a large segment of the market.  

Please let us know when you decide to incorporate the functionality to include photographers who have their own sites, or include Ktools as one of your platforms.

  
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 13:05 by lisafx »

« Reply #137 on: May 31, 2012, 08:07 »
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I am reposting it because it is sooo well put. There should a "like" option on this forum ;).

Quote
I'm definitely not signing up during beta.  As someone else mentioned, you should be begging us to sign up for free on a trial basis for the first year till you get the system working and until you attract buyers.  If you had us on board, we would promote the site and you'd get your buyers faster.  There are too many unknowns. 

I'll take my chances and wait for the site to launch.  Who knows, you might be desperate for photographers by then and drop your prices.  Which are definitely too high for an unknown, unproven system.

velocicarpo

« Reply #138 on: May 31, 2012, 09:38 »
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As soon as the search is stable I will sign up.

I like the possibility too to sign up as a agency. Since some time I think about setting up a Ktools site or something similar and this is another marketing opportunity. The site alone would be useless without lots of money for Ads etc. but incorporated into a site like this may bring traffic.

Lagereek

« Reply #139 on: May 31, 2012, 11:10 »
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With due respect, etc, etc. The idea is great but not solid, to me this is at the moment,  just another search-engine, another best match?, and as You yourself said earlier, all agencies searches are totally messed up. So hows this one holding up, in future I mean?
I have yet, after 25 years in this business, to see just a "good" search, perfect, will never happen.

Its also true, we are not agents, but represented by agents,  thats a big differance indeed. Have in mind, as a commercial, dayrate photographer the commission I pay to a sole, exclusive gaent is between 15-25%  and then we are talking thousands of dollars generated by a sole agent.

best.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 11:14 by Lagereek »

« Reply #140 on: May 31, 2012, 11:25 »
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Seems to me that the service will have an incentive to "feature" more prominently those entities that pay it the highest monthly fees. That isn't going to get the buyers the best images or help an individual photographer with great images but which pays a low fee.

And none of this says (I may have skipped as I did skim this) how this service is going to attract eyeballs. As we know, that costs money and if you don't spend any you get StockFresh - great site with no buyers.

The model I can get my head around is where both the agency/service and the contributor make money out of the same thing. With this model, it appears that the service makes money by attracting more punters to pay more fees, not by selling more of my images.

« Reply #141 on: May 31, 2012, 19:57 »
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The model I can get my head around is where both the agency/service and the contributor make money out of the same thing. With this model, it appears that the service makes money by attracting more punters to pay more fees, not by selling more of my images.

I would love not to agree but without having it live it will be very hard to have other thoughts, I can easily think that perhaps 5 to 10 sales / month would pay the 40$ but actually we need to pay 480$ at once, it doesnt motivate us unless we have somekind of integration/beta period to see if it works or not

that said I believe this could be a very nice idea (which could have been "done" by Yuri, but why would he?)

honestly I dont understand why PE doesnt even want 1% of the sales, its too good to be true..
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 20:00 by luissantos84 »


« Reply #142 on: May 31, 2012, 22:29 »
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Buyers most often complain that "the same images are at all of the agencies."  Now, we all know that's not possible, as some agencies are exclusive, BUT the client is always right and their perception is just as real as the facts.  They see the same (or very similar) images everywhere so that's the first problem we solved. 
So if you're solving the 'very similar' issue, how are you going to decide whose 'isolated red apple against white' (gazillions within each and between all the agencies) is going to be featured?

Hi Sue,
The search order is determined by the image buyers interactions with their search and results.  Just like traditional search engines (NOT photo agencies), we pay special attention to the way users interact with our search and results.  Some traditional photo agencies sort results by various means giving extra weight to such things as image age, amount of clicks or previews, number of downloads or purchases; while other agencies rely solely on keywords, captions etc.  PicturEngine takes everything into consideration.  We have learned from the search giants like Google, that not all users searching our platform are the same.  Some are very simple and to the point and rarely stray off course, while others start a search with a general concept and end up purchasing something entirely different, therefore all of these factors and more are considered when producing our search results.  For some, searching for images is a journey and for others it is a destination, therefore one search cannot fit all as it currently does in the traditional stock photo world.  The PicturEngine search includes, but is not limited to, traditional embedded metadata (captions, keywords, etc), visual comparisons / components / concepts, color, image size and orientation, direct and passive user input, and ranking (plus a lot more).  I am not here to give away the secrets of providing a great search, but I will say that it is not easy and it took years of testing and trials to develop, and we are always making improvements.

For PicturEngine, search is not just a term, but a journey and destination in one.  We are dealing with very creative minds and often times a project ends before it begins with a simple discovery search.  For instance, using your example, a client may say to a creative (art buyer) that they want an 'isolated red apple against white' and that may truly be where the journey begins, but often times, as you so delicately pointed out, there are gazillions of these images at agencies.  It is our job as a search engine (NOT an agency) to minimize the clutter and duplication and focus on the uniqueness and separateness of those images that are in fact different and not focus so much on those that are the same.  We do utilize sim matching technology and photographers images that are unfortunately uploaded to multiple agencies are consolidated and only shown once.  We also consolidate images from the same photographer that are very near sims (from the same shoot, etc.), by stacking the results in groups (a simple hover over the stack unstacks them to display to the user), thus giving the one on the journey, the creative, an uncluttered view of the world of stock photography.  PicturEngine is unique and will fast become the place to search for stock photography.

Best,
JB


grafix04

« Reply #144 on: June 01, 2012, 07:05 »
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Hi everyone using Ktools, 
We are talking with Ktools and asking them to build a data exporter for the PicturEngine platform.  If you are using Ktools, please send them an email letting them know you are interested in this plugin and to please accelerate the development process.  This will allow us to easily add Ktools to our Advertising Only platform.

Best,
JB

You've been working on this project for four years?

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #145 on: June 01, 2012, 07:19 »
0
...
 We do utilize sim matching technology and photographers images that are unfortunately uploaded to multiple agencies are consolidated and only shown once.  We also consolidate images from the same photographer that are very near sims (from the same shoot, etc.), by stacking the results in groups (a simple hover over the stack unstacks them to display to the user), thus giving the one on the journey, the creative, an uncluttered view of the world of stock photography.  PicturEngine is unique and will fast become the place to search for stock photography.

Best,
JB

At what stage are the above going to be implemented?
On a simple search for apple currently, there are three 'near similars' by the same photographer (girl in white coat holding apple) not stacked, and two virtual identicals (same photo of green apple with water drops close up against white, but with a slightly different colour balance) both showing, next to each other.

I'm not sure who this search is benefitting.
Buyers? Get a much wider range of images, but should only see one version of each photo, so don't know if they could get the same pic elsewhere at a better deal (which is impossible to quantify anyway).
Sellers? Could be beneficial to togs who sell independently as they could otherwise find it difficult to get traffic unless they already have a good fan base. But not so advantageous for someone who only sells through distributor/s: now their hypothetical 'red apple against white' is competing against all the others from every agency + independents rather than just those on the agency/ies they chose to upload to. More competition, harder to get sales if all buyers switched to your system.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 19:34 by ShadySue »

lisafx

« Reply #146 on: June 01, 2012, 18:25 »
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Hi everyone using Ktools, 
We are talking with Ktools and asking them to build a data exporter for the PicturEngine platform.  If you are using Ktools, please send them an email letting them know you are interested in this plugin and to please accelerate the development process.  This will allow us to easily add Ktools to our Advertising Only platform.

Best,
JB

Sounds good.  If this comes through I would still be interested in trying it out. 

grafix04

« Reply #147 on: June 11, 2012, 08:03 »
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I just had another peak at the site to see if there's been any progress and noticed a couple of photographers have signed up.  I also noticed a big problem with their images.

When you right-click on an image from a photographer one that has paid $40/month - you can access the image that's larger than the thumb without a watermark.  Heres one as an example:

http://c328791.r91.cf1.rackcdn.com/Kae0110363416.jpg

The right-click should link to the small thumb the same way it does on micro agents.  Check Shutterstock and hover over an image, then right-click, grab the image URL and you'll see that it links back to the small thumb and the hover image is watermarked.  What picturengine is displaying isn't protecting the photographers' images.

« Reply #148 on: June 11, 2012, 09:36 »
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That's because he isn't hosting the images.  They're using the thumbs from the peoples' sites, and resizing them in the browser with the html, which is why they look bad when displayed on PE.

grafix04

« Reply #149 on: June 11, 2012, 10:31 »
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That's because he isn't hosting the images.  They're using the thumbs from the peoples' sites, and resizing them in the browser with the html, which is why they look bad when displayed on PE.


Sean, that's for the advertising only plan.  The $40/month plan is for those photographers who don't have their own site and want to sell directly through PicturEngine.  The images are uploaded through the PE website and hosted at a third party.

I'll walk you (or others) through my previous example.  For the image I mentioned above, here is the link to it with the watermark.

http://www.picturengine.com/beta/stock_photo_detail/image/image-Kae0110363416.html

If you right-click and grab the image URL, it has the watermark and it is all good here:

http://c328792.r92.cf1.rackcdn.com/Kae0110363416.jpg

However when you find the image during a search as I've done here. If you right-click on it and grab the image URL, you get the a larger image without a watermark.  It's not as large as the watermarked image above but I believe it's way too large to be displayed without a watermark.  When you right-click on an image on the micros during a search, you get the tiny thumbnail.  It should be the same here.  The buyers should only be able to see the larger watermarked version of the image on the page where they are asked to pay for it.


 

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