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Author Topic: Nov 2011 - Microstock Earnings Thread  (Read 9206 times)

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« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2011, 14:35 »
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@pancaketom: i'm not claiming objectivity. I don't think anyone invested could. We are discussing November sales. Not the big picture. Concerning big picture, I've regularly criticized istock for making company benefitting decisions at the expense of contributors. What makes you think I don't have my finger at the ready over the crown eject button? You're reading what you want to as much as anyone else is. I don't think your comments are fair or accurate. I don't passionately defend istock. I do sometimes defend individuals who are being personally attacked by sophomoric twits. There are real people at work, good people. And fwiw I can't scroll easily only iPhone. I'm currently sitting in a cessna 4000 ft above Georgian bay. I wasn't intentionally inflating monthly reports. I was simply stating that there are some diamonds doing well and there are reasons why some contributors don't appear to be doing well. I don't know why
Contributors compare this year to x year. Those numbers only matter if ports are growing at the same rate as the collection. Obviously not possible for any of us

Um, I don't think I directed anything at you personally (or in any other fashion really). From time to time I make comments to myself when I read your posts - especially when you tout the superiority of IS search, but you seem to continue to do well there so why shouldn't you mention what you like about them. Despite the fact that I often disagree with you I think you get more than your share of ad hominem atttacks which I think is unfortunate and uncalled for.

In any case I think you are confusing me with someone else but if it was something I said you felt was directed at you I do apologize, that was not at all my intent I was merely stating that IS did VERY poorly for me this last month, but that isn't a big surprise, I deactivated about 95% of my portfolio rather than accept the new TOS for those images.


« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2011, 15:02 »
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IS Vector Exclusive

When the missing days sales are added in it will probably be the BMY and be close to my BME. The foundation appears to be cracking and sales are up. I don't know what to think but I'm happy sales are up!

lisafx

« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2011, 15:16 »
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Not a great month for me, and for a November, things were unprecedentedly awful.    Overall I am down 3% from a lackluster October, and down a worrying 10% from last November.  The only bright spots were a spectacular BME at Shutterstock, and a very robust month at Alamy.  Portfolio growth over the year was around 700 images.  

Here's the breakdown, along with the % gained or lost over last year in parentheses

ISP   23% (-38%)
SS   32% (+64%)
DT   13% (-20%)
Fot   16% (-31%)
BigStock   5%
123   3%
CanStockPhoto   2%
Pd   2%
Dp   2%
Alm   5%

ETA:  This is officially the first month EVER (almost 7 years) that Istock has dropped out of my #1 spot.  And they dropped like an anvil.  Shutterstock is officially my #1, and by a wide margin. 

Glad to see someone's still having good sales at IS.  Congrats Stacey!  Couldn't happen to a harder working person :)
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 15:25 by lisafx »

« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2011, 15:24 »
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@pancake: your comments seemed pretty personal. But anyways, I hear what you're saying.
Lisa, you're one of the contributors feel like I know well and by all rights you shouldn't be down the way you are, not that anyone 'deserves' poor sales. It's just tough to see your sales so low

lisafx

« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2011, 15:27 »
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@pancake: your comments seemed pretty personal. But anyways, I hear what you're saying.
Lisa, you're one of the contributors feel like I know well and by all rights you shouldn't be down the way you are, not that anyone 'deserves' poor sales. It's just tough to see your sales so low

LOL!  As I was typing my congrats to you, apparently you were typing commiserations to me :)

Thanks for the kind words.  I think the search is just too heavily weighted against non-exclusives.  I don't take it personally.  Might help if I get back to work too, though...

« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2011, 15:36 »
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I know you don't take it personally, i think the search does hit indies really hard. My increase this month is really the work of some new big sellers. Unlikely files I wouldn't have expected to take off. It certainly wasn't anything portfolio wide in my case though me sales were steadily good even without the high performing new files
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 15:37 by SNP »

« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2011, 17:31 »
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I am an istock photo exclusive. Best month of the year, but November always is.

I am significantly down compared to a year ago, but this is due to ongoing "real life" issues since 2009 and simply not uploading. I have also been holding back with uploading becuase I was hoping there would be better integration with getty, i.e. that the exclusives would be allowed to put the files that getty rejects on istock. unfortunately that didnt happen.

Once the site is working again, i will try to focus on uploading as much as I can. I take pictures while shooting video, so there should always be a more steady stream of images going live.

BME for video! I sold my first ever file on istock.  :) Nothing from the other sites yet, but it has only been 10 days.

« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2011, 05:49 »
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I'm an iStock exclusive photographer. Here are my numbers.

This November 2011 compared to

November 2010:

$ -25%
DL -44%

November 2009:

$ +1%
DL -59%

November 2008:

$ -5%
DL -73%

I haven't kept track of my portfolio size over that time but it's probably fair to say it increases by a couple of thousand images a year at least.

In the New Year I'm going to start the long and laborious process of keywording my images in the exif data in preparation for when iStock is no longer sustainable for me. What a shame.

« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2011, 06:41 »
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Just for a bit of context here - I keep a record of total istock downloads as reported on the multimedia.de site, and based on that overall downloads in November for all contributors listed were up 44% compared to October 2011, and down 19% compared to November 2010.

Of course, those figures are pretty fuzzy because they're taken from individual totals and those are only approximate, plus it may not include all contributors, but it's interesting.  I guess iStock hasn't quite fallen apart yet despite all the harbingers of doom.

« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2011, 07:07 »
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It wouldn't surprise me if iStock is booming as a business but individuals are seeing falls because of the increase in size of the library. Dilution might provide short term profits but in the long run it'll make full time stock shooting impossible.

The quality of the images will fall since no-one will be able to invest the time or money to create those professional photographs we see now.

This will be a problem for all the agencies in the long run; it may be that iStock - as has been the case from the start of this adventure - is leading the pack.

« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2011, 07:19 »
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Istock Exclusive for photos, non-exclusive footage.

Photo: With one day of stats still to be added for November, & without seeing PP or GI sales, it looks like the month is a BME in terms of total $$ and very close if not a BME for DLS.
EDIT: $$ up 9% on October, DLS down 3% - seeing as I moved from 30 to 35% part way through Oct, the numbers are mainly reflecting that change.

Video: First sale on Pond 5, nothing on SS and still waiting for inspections on IS... still early days on this front!
« Last Edit: December 03, 2011, 07:31 by holgs »

« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2011, 10:23 »
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only a few uploads this Nov, one the months I have done less since start (I have mainly been uploading hard to some agencies in November and December will finish, I am talking about Superhug, Zoonar, iSignstock, Photokore, Alamy)

I will have the 4th month in a row over 1k $, IS down!

1003$, 1062$, 1017$ and around 1000$ for November

this month top 5 % (previous month):

- SS 42% (47%)
- IS 10% (14%)
- 123RF 10% (11%)
- FT 8% (7%)
- DT 6% (4%)

24% across other agencies (more relevant below):
- Zazzle (5%)
- CanStockPhoto (3%)
- DepositPhotos (3%)
- PhotoDune (2%)
- Alamy (2%)
- Veer (2%)
- iSignstock (2%)
« Last Edit: December 02, 2011, 10:35 by luissantos84 »

lagereek

« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2011, 10:49 »
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only a few uploads this Nov, one the months I have done less since start (I have mainly been uploading hard to some agencies in November and December will finish, I am talking about Superhug, Zoonar, iSignstock, Photokore, Alamy)

I will have the 4th month in a row over 1k $, IS down!

1003$, 1062$, 1017$ and around 1000$ for November

this month top 5 % (previous month):

- SS 42% (47%)
- IS 10% (14%)
- 123RF 10% (11%)


- FT 8% (7%)
- DT 6% (4%)

24% across other agencies (more relevant below):
- Zazzle (5%)
- CanStockPhoto (3%)
- DepositPhotos (3%)
- PhotoDune (2%)
- Alamy (2%)
- Veer (2%)
- iSignstock (2%)


So what are your stats based upon Luis?  a port of 400 shots?

ShadySue

« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2011, 11:01 »
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This will be a problem for all the agencies in the long run; it may be that iStock - as has been the case from the start of this adventure - is leading the pack.
So effectively you're saying that the micro model is, indeed, "unsustainable"?

« Reply #39 on: December 02, 2011, 11:21 »
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So what are your stats based upon Luis?  a port of 400 shots?

I know where you are heading but I am sure you can see what and how many pics I have on stock agencies

my stats are my stats just like you said, I am quite happy with them considering the work I have done during the last two years and the subjects I can approach without spending money, I really don't need to justify anything, I do like to talk but I know your talk for a long time, keep collecting your big bucks and I will continue my thing

wut

« Reply #40 on: December 02, 2011, 11:36 »
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only a few uploads this Nov, one the months I have done less since start (I have mainly been uploading hard to some agencies in November and December will finish, I am talking about Superhug, Zoonar, iSignstock, Photokore, Alamy)

I will have the 4th month in a row over 1k $, IS down!

1003$, 1062$, 1017$ and around 1000$ for November

this month top 5 % (previous month):

- SS 42% (47%)
- IS 10% (14%)
- 123RF 10% (11%)


- FT 8% (7%)
- DT 6% (4%)

24% across other agencies (more relevant below):
- Zazzle (5%)
- CanStockPhoto (3%)
- DepositPhotos (3%)
- PhotoDune (2%)
- Alamy (2%)
- Veer (2%)
- iSignstock (2%)


So what are your stats based upon Luis?  a port of 400 shots?

It would be a great result if it's actually based on 400 images. But very bad if it would be on 4k

« Reply #41 on: December 02, 2011, 11:47 »
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It would be a great result if it's actually based on 400 images. But very bad if it would be on 4k

is this Nov topic about me? I am not that good, actually I am pretty bad, don't waste your time guys, keep on collecting and just leave the pennies for me :D


« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2011, 12:29 »
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Just for a bit of context here - I keep a record of total istock downloads as reported on the multimedia.de site, and based on that overall downloads in November for all contributors listed were up 44% compared to October 2011, and down 19% compared to November 2010.

Of course, those figures are pretty fuzzy because they're taken from individual totals and those are only approximate, plus it may not include all contributors, but it's interesting.  I guess iStock hasn't quite fallen apart yet despite all the harbingers of doom.

That's interesting. I notice that the comparison with Nov 2010 is similar to the numbers SJL reported on the IS forum thread. Sean's portfolio and sales are probably large enough to be a fairly accurate barometer of the agency itself. Although there are always going to be some people who buck the trend, by virtue of an increase in portfolio size or quality, I don't think there's much doubt that overall sales at Istock are slipping. The only real questions are by how much and how long will the trend continue.

« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2011, 12:57 »
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As I'm in transition (as it were), I can't make some of the comparisons I'd like to, but here's some facts I've pulled out of my re-done earnings spreadsheet (the old one was beginning to look like one of those houses that's been added on to too many times and is in danger of falling over)

November 2011 wasn't as good as Nov 2010 - 40% drop in income. Up 26% from October, so things are (in general if you don't count iStock) moving in the right direction.

The good news  (such as it is) is that my iStock downloads dropped 60% from Nov 2010 levels, so something made up the difference, primarily Shutterstock. Except for some nasty months at the end of 2008 (a best match shift that made my life miserable for a few months) I have to go back to December 2007 to find a download number as low as Nov 2011 at iStock.

SS was my #1 earner for Nov 2011, beating iStock by 20%. IS was 33% of the month total and SS 40%. SS was up 60% over October 2011 where IS was down 5%.

123rf and DT both did well, at 12% and 6.5% of the total. Veer had an extended license sale which was great, but the temporary boost in their contribution to earnings is probably just that.

For me, looking at the reports of golds and diamonds in the iStock stats threads with drops over Nov 2010 of 15% to 50% in income, I suspect I'd have had a big drop in income, possibly around the 40% I had as an independent, but this way I'm in the process of building up my income elsewhere, versus just hoping something good happens to turn IS around.

So all in all I'm content - not happy, but cautiously optimistic that if IS does really hit the skids, I'm reasonably buffered from the worst effects.

rubyroo

« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2011, 13:17 »
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I'm very pleased to hear that things seem to be working out for you jsnover.  :)

« Reply #45 on: December 02, 2011, 13:48 »
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This will be a problem for all the agencies in the long run; it may be that iStock - as has been the case from the start of this adventure - is leading the pack.
So effectively you're saying that the micro model is, indeed, "unsustainable"?

It's the logical outcome for this business model as it works at the moment. Increasing image supply inevitably leads to lower returns for contributors till it reaches at point that it's not economically viable to shoot anything specifically for microstock that costs more than cents to produce since the likely return per image will be so small.

As we know, the trad agencies started as collections of unused assignment shots and developed into stock shot for that purpose but they managed to kept the returns artificially buoyant by limiting photographer access and grossly inflating the value of even mediocre images.

Perhaps they'll have to return to that kind of model in the very long term in order to stay supplied with professional quality images. The days of mega-high prices for stock are gone and microstock has shown there's no real secret to being a good photographer: you just need a modicum of seeing ability, post-processing competence and to work hard - most of us are proof of that!

« Reply #46 on: December 03, 2011, 13:18 »
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BTW, I'm an exclusive Istockphoto contributor and I'm considering going independent again.

However, I need an answer from all of you here who are independent.

How much do you get per picture per month on average across all your websites?

On Istockphoto, I had around 470 images in October and November that made:

$3.24 an image in October
$2.66 an image in November

If going independent for me will drastically lower this figure, it would make stock photography unsustainable for me.

« Reply #47 on: December 03, 2011, 23:37 »
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My four best agencies for November are: Shutterstock, Zazzle, DepositPhotos, Dreamstime
You can find my full statistic at http://microstockinfos.blogspot.com/2011/12/stock-photography-sales-statistic.html






« Reply #48 on: December 04, 2011, 01:52 »
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BTW, I'm an exclusive Istockphoto contributor and I'm considering going independent again.

However, I need an answer from all of you here who are independent.

How much do you get per picture per month on average across all your websites?

On Istockphoto, I had around 470 images in October and November that made:

$3.24 an image in October
$2.66 an image in November

If going independent for me will drastically lower this figure, it would make stock photography unsustainable for me.

Nobody can answer that question for you, especially without seeing the images. RPI is very portfolio dependant and the range is anywhere from nothing to tens of dollars per month, in some cases maybe more. Some portfolios will work better at higher price-points than others, some won't sell as much when you bump up prices, but sell in massive volumes if offered as subscriptions. Its not a case of one size fits all.

« Reply #49 on: December 04, 2011, 05:38 »
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How much do you get per picture per month on average across all your websites?
If going independent for me will drastically lower this figure, it would make stock photography unsustainable for me.

As Holgs said, it's not that simple. On IS last month my average sale was $1.73 and on SS it was $0.62. However I sold 4.5x more images on SS so I made a lot more money there.

Much more important is for you to assess where IS might be in another year, two years or five years from now. Can they turn it around or have they blown it? Even if they do turn it around will they just screw commissions down even further, raising those RC targets ever further out of reach? Has SS developed the optimum microstock formula and will they continue to grow and take customers from others?

PhotoDuneMicrostock Insider

 

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