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Author Topic: Experiences after quitting iStock exclusivity.  (Read 17681 times)

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ShadySue

« Reply #50 on: January 17, 2012, 11:27 »
0
So far after leaving IS exclusivity and going to SS is absolutely dire. After 3 days at SS I have earned a mere $2.00 on 8 downloads. That's much worse than IS who pay more than that for one download. I have checked my images and they do come up in the searches.

How many images do you have up at SS?

And did you/he read and consider my suggestion to redo keywords to make them work better for sites like SS that don't use a controlled vocabulary?  After the new image bounce, what matter are keywords.  And synonyms help buyers find your work.

How does it work for other languages? I got 112 results for pollo, but 95,382 for chicken.
45 for fenetre (some 'surprising'); 290,257 for window.

When you go to the Spanish language version, 95,382 images come up for "pollo."

Ah, I see that now!!!  :-[


« Reply #51 on: January 17, 2012, 13:07 »
0
Ok, I will try the keywording. For instance, on IS the words nobody photography horizontal vertical are used when needed. How critical is this at SS ?

« Reply #52 on: January 17, 2012, 13:28 »
0
Ok, I will try the keywording. For instance, on IS the words nobody photography horizontal vertical are used when needed. How critical is this at SS ?

Not at all. I've never noticed any buyer using those keywords on either SS or DT. However it is important to include spelling variations or different words for the same thing in different countries e.g. 'aubergine' in the UK is the same as 'eggplant' in the US. On FT and DT you also need to include plurals if appropriate to the image.

« Reply #53 on: January 17, 2012, 13:38 »
0
Ok, I will try the keywording. For instance, on IS the words nobody photography horizontal vertical are used when needed. How critical is this at SS ?

Not at all. I've never noticed any buyer using those keywords on either SS or DT. However it is important to include spelling variations or different words for the same thing in different countries e.g. 'aubergine' in the UK is the same as 'eggplant' in the US. On FT and DT you also need to include plurals if appropriate to the image.

Ok, thanks. I will bear that in mind.

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #54 on: May 04, 2012, 05:37 »
0
Hi folks, just to share with who is following my post, finally I made a decision (30 days ago) and quit the iStock exclusivity. So my portfolio are in these microstock agencies now:
- Shutterstock (Lucato's Portfolio) - 950 files
- Fotolia (Lucato's Portfolio) - 149 files
- Dreamstime (Lucato's Portfolio) - 1450 files
- iStockphoto  (Lucato's Portfolio) - 7189 files

For a while I can't mention how are the things doing after the move made, once I just made it.

But just to share with those that intend to give up the exclusivity, one think I can tell you all for sure, it isn't a easy move even other agencies having FTP and CSV files or accepting IPTC. I mean, it is a hard job to send files to all them, re-keyword, re-categorize and so on. You must have time and be dedicated and I don't know yet if all hard work will worth. :0) I hope so. Let me cross fingers! Anyway it isn't any monster with 7 heads.

If you have other suggestion of other the biggest microsites agencies that worth the hard work to submit, please, post their names here.

All the best.
Lucato

« Reply #55 on: May 04, 2012, 06:20 »
0
All the best to you! You are very brave and many here will follow your results.

To see that getty/istock is being burdened with tremendous debt by its owners, while cutting down support for the artists and no visionary goals and directions in sight, who knows what will happen.

At the moment for me this si no option. I need to be able to produce in high volume before I make any decisions and I really want to focus on video this year.

« Reply #56 on: May 04, 2012, 06:42 »
0
If you have other suggestion of other the biggest microsites agencies that worth the hard work to submit, please, post their names here.

All the best.
Lucato

Hi, Lucato. Have a look at 123 and Depost Images. DI might just take your entire portfolio in one go and handle the work of putting it up on their site. FTP uploading to 123RF is quite simple, too, and some people do quite well there.

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #57 on: May 04, 2012, 06:46 »
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Hi Cobalt, good morning and thanks for the warm wishes.
Yes, the iStock lately isn't the way it was before. Support/earnings cut and so on.
Actually IMHO you have already a enough volume. I get the double, but half had no sale over there, maybe never fit in the search adjustments. Yes, that is true.
I intended to work with video, illustrations and etc, but also you need to much time and it is very sad by being exclusive when you expend a lot of ours producing a video or illustration and get rejected. :0)
Well, all the best to you too with your new video step.
Have a nice weekend.

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #58 on: May 04, 2012, 06:47 »
0
If you have other suggestion of other the biggest microsites agencies that worth the hard work to submit, please, post their names here.

All the best.
Lucato

Hi, Lucato. Have a look at 123 and Depost Images. DI might just take your entire portfolio in one go and handle the work of putting it up on their site. FTP uploading to 123RF is quite simple, too, and some people do quite well there.
Thanks for the advice, I will keep that in mind and check them out.

« Reply #59 on: May 04, 2012, 09:20 »
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Good luck with your brave move Lucato. It may take a couple of years but I'm sure by then you will be certain that you made the right decision. Istock is only going in one direction as the owners have cut staff and now appear to be using it as a cash cow to recover as much of their original investment as possible. You can only screw your customers and your contributors for so long. Fortunately SS is taking up much of the slack.

The 'engine' of your earnings is almost certainly going to be SS but it will take time for your images to climb up the default sort order and gain favourable position for regular sales __ think months rather than days or weeks although some will take off immediately. The same is also true of DT and FT but sadly they too are becoming less important.

Keep us posted on how things go.

« Reply #60 on: May 04, 2012, 09:44 »
0
Good luck with the transition. I agree that it's work, but having dropped exclusivity in early June 2011, I still think I made the right decision - many exclusives are seeing drops in April 2012 vs. April 2011 but I saw an increase. Impossible to say what it would have been had I stayed, but ...

« Reply #61 on: May 04, 2012, 10:22 »
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Hi folks, just to share with who is following my post, finally I made a decision (30 days ago) and quit the iStock exclusivity.

A bold move - I admire your bravery. I'm so reliant on istock for my income now I don't think I'll ever be able to do it, but will follow your progress with much interest.

Keep us informed on how it goes!

« Reply #62 on: May 04, 2012, 12:51 »
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Congratulations Lucato!  Sorry to see you and other exclusives have to wrestle with this decision.  I am sure you will do well, and in time all your efforts will be rewarded :)

Wishing you all the best of luck!

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #63 on: May 04, 2012, 18:48 »
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@gostwyc
I hope you're completely wrong by saying "couple of years" and it be "couple of months" instead. :o) Yes, I don't have idea what Getty intend to do with iStock, let's see on the other side as non-exclusive how the things go. ;o)
Yes, by checking the Big 4, SS seams really to be the 1st, IS as 2nd, FL 3rd and DT 4th. What are all sites that you contribute and what are the ones that worth to work with in you opinion?

@jsnover
Thanks for the wishes and I hope too to have made the right decision. It scares have 50% of the earnings cut due giving up exclusivity, and worst it was already cut +34% with that RC table! Anyway iStock must be very happy with these all giving up, their income will increase a lot having a bigger commission over our sales.
I see your icons signature you contribute to several microstock agencies, in your opinion, what are the ones that worth to work with and brings you a better and significant income? Thanks.

@fotoVoyager
Thanks fotoVoyager, very concerned, but I had to quit the comfort zone. I have 7000+ images there and created a lightbox with 0 downloads and get to notice that almost 50% of them have no downloads! So, it was time to get out of a only search results/tweak and give a chance to these files into other baskets, because IMHO they aren't bad at all to have no sales within couple years. Just as curiosity if you want to check, this is the Be the first one to use lightbox that I'm talking about. ;0)

@lisafx
Hi Lisa, good to hear from you! Thanks and thanks for your help. ;0) Yes, I'm crossing fingers here to do well, as I said to jsnover it scares, but let's give a chance to other options in our lives and get out of the square. ;0)

Thanks folks for all inputs, wishes and talking about wishes, I wish you all an amazing weekend and good luck too in your moves and sales. ;0)

Keep the opinions and comments coming. ;0)
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 07:02 by lucato »

« Reply #64 on: May 04, 2012, 20:02 »
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iStock and SS are, for me, where the big bucks are coming from. Fotolia wouldn't have me back (long story that's all in this forum somewhere) so I don't have any current experience with them, but there are lots of disenchanted gold and emerald contributors as FT has been playing some of the same games as iStock.

I keep hoping that Veer will get some volume going, but so far it's been pretty slow (and their 50 a week upload limit really slows down getting a portfolio uploaded). Their subscriptions (introduced a few months ago) appear to be all but dead, but the royalties on regular sales are very reasonable.

123rf has been good, but they've announced that starting in January they'll have a system just like iStock's RCs (with a few twists so that it's a rolling average, changing month by month versus getting set for 12 months at a time). They've tried some rather sad spin as to how this will be better for us, but it's really just another cash grab by a greedy agency, IMO.

I'd give BigStock a miss - the sales just aren't there for new work (some people who are getting decent sales have said here that it's mainly older stuff that's selling). I'd love to see something happening at StockFresh, but again, sales aren't there so I'd wait until you see posts here about how sales are picking up before you add them to your list.

CanStock is a nice company and the uploading is easy and fast. Sales are very slow but the ones through their parent company which come through periodically are much higher earnings, so they might be worth your while. I don't do DepositPhotos because their prices and commissions are too low, IMO. They offer people special deals and placement, but as they keep offering that, it would seem to dilute the value to past contributors - we can't all be getting special placement.

« Reply #65 on: May 04, 2012, 22:03 »
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I wish you much success Lucato you certainly have worked a lot to do this...  Hope to hear about your earnings findings on your blog when you have enough data %.

I say support the fair agencies and stop feeding the greed.   

« Reply #66 on: May 05, 2012, 04:22 »
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I'd give BigStock a miss - the sales just aren't there for new work (some people who are getting decent sales have said here that it's mainly older stuff that's selling). I'd love to see something happening at StockFresh, but again, sales aren't there so I'd wait until you see posts here about how sales are picking up before you add them to your list.



If he talks nicely to SS they might automatically mirror all his work on bigstock. That way he gets to earn a little bit from them with absolutely no effort on his part.


lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #67 on: May 05, 2012, 06:31 »
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@jsnover
Thanks for the extra info jsnover, I appreciate that. Regarding Fotolia, sorry to hear that you had some bad experience. If you find it among your own posts in your profile and want to share, feel free to post the link.

Veer seems to be in the 4th place from the middle tier shown here. I don't know how this data are based, if are from users input or API control. From API would be more precise.

My only concern on participating into more agencies than the top 4 that I'm already in, is if it worths the effort and time spent instead of using it to treat the thousand of images I have stored into my HD (queue) and/or take new shots and upload to the top 4 agencies.

Well, maybe it is something to think about after sending all my files to all big 4 first. :0)

Have a nice day and thanks again.

jamesbenet
Hey James, thanks. I'll try to post some articles on my blog regarding the subject and update here. ;0)
Have a great weekend.

BaldricksTrousers
Hi there, I'm sorry for the dumb question, but does SS own BigStock too? I will try to talk nicely to them if so. Thanks for the advice. I appreciate that. ;0)
Have a nice day.

Keep coming...
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 06:32 by lucato »

« Reply #68 on: May 05, 2012, 09:06 »
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Hi Lucato,

had a look at that zero download light box - I agree, there are a lot of lovely files in there, that deserve more attention. And if you really have over 3000 files in need of new exposure, your move makes a lot of sense.

Had a look at my portfolio, I have 480 files with zero downloads and maybe another 500 files with very few downloads, but many of those are either old files from when I started out with stock or the less attractive files from a series.

Thanks to stockperformer it is quite easy to see how my portfolio is doing and usually over 2 years most of my stuff will get sold.

I really need to upload more, that is my main problem right now.

With video it is different, I already have more sales and money from going independent than from being exclusive, so for me this was a good decision. It might be different if I got the same royalty rate like my pictures, but as a newbie to rise through the RC levels is impossible if it is not your main subject. I am sure this is what the RC system really wants - only be exclusive with your strong subject and spread your files for the weaker ones, so istock can get a bigger share from your second media types.

I thought it would have been good to convince artists to remain fully exclusive, but if that was their intention, they would have improved the RC system a long time ago.

But for photos I think istock is still doing a good job at selling them, it is not their fault if I dont upload enough.

« Reply #69 on: May 05, 2012, 09:07 »
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@jsnover
Thanks for the extra info jsnover, I appreciate that. Regarding Fotolia, sorry to hear that you had some bad experience. If you find it among your own posts in your profile and want to share, feel free to post the link.

Veer seems to be in the 4th place from the middle tier shown here. I don't know how this data are based, if are from users input or API control. From API would be more precise.

My only concern on participating into more agencies than the top 4 that I'm already in, is if it worths the effort and time spent instead of using it to treat the thousand of images I have stored into my HD (queue) and/or take new shots and upload to the top 4 agencies.

Well, maybe it is something to think about after sending all my files to all big 4 first. :0)

Have a nice day and thanks again.

jamesbenet
Hey James, thanks. I'll try to post some articles on my blog regarding the subject and update here. ;0)
Have a great weekend.

BaldricksTrousers
Hi there, I'm sorry for the dumb question, but does SS own BigStock too? I will try to talk nicely to them if so. Thanks for the advice. I appreciate that. ;0)
Have a nice day.

Keep coming...

Yes, shutterstock bought bigstockphoto a couple of years ago and offer to some what they call Bridge to Bigstock. It's usually by invite but like has been suggested maybe you could email them and ask if they'd do it, there would be nothing for you to do, no categorizing, no assigning releases, no nothing.

ShadySue

« Reply #70 on: May 05, 2012, 09:54 »
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I thought it would have been good to convince artists to remain fully exclusive, but if that was their intention, they would have improved the RC system a long time ago.
Not have started it, or rescinded it, or at least upheld their 'grandfathered in' promise.
The fact is they don't really care if we're exclusive or not, and would probably prefer that most of us (other than the top sellers) weren't.
Added: from what I've heard, iStock don't follow through any exclusives who go indie. That in itself speaks volumes.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 10:15 by ShadySue »

« Reply #71 on: May 05, 2012, 09:59 »
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Lucato, you asked a couple of times in posts above what other sites to consider uploading to.  I have been very impressed with both Photodune and Depositphotos.  They are newer sites, but their contributions to my monthly totals are significant, and comparable to longer established sites like 123RF and Canstockphoto (where you might also consider uploading).  Hope that helps :)

« Reply #72 on: May 05, 2012, 18:34 »
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Canstock contacted me a while back to ask me to FTP my entire archive to them after they noticed that I'd not bothered sending them some of it. I think they accepted it into their collection without my having to do anything. So a mail to them might be worthwhile. I don't think it's worth bothering with them unless they make it really easy to get your portfolio on there.

With both Canstock and Deposit Photos the work in uploading your entire portfolio might involve no more than leaving an FTP server running for a while.

« Reply #73 on: May 06, 2012, 06:08 »
+1
The best of luck Lucato with your new journey (((hugs))). It's so sad seeing long time exclusives having to make that difficult decision. I've been pretty inactive over the last couple of years with uploading (kinda lost my spirit and enthusiasm over that last year with iS and haven't regained it), but found (after dropping exclusive) that my images started to sell pretty quickly at SS.

« Reply #74 on: September 21, 2012, 00:22 »
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Hi Luis,
its been a while and I hope for you that youve seen some success yet. Unfortunately for many of us it looks more and more that youve made the right decision. IStock currently seems to fall apart.
Would you be willing to share some of your experience again? It seems to gain importance day by day.


 

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