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Author Topic: Please explain the hate towards Getty Images  (Read 11192 times)

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« on: November 03, 2017, 08:14 »
+2
Hi!

I'm a new poster here but relax: I'm not trolling or anything.

I want to ask a question because I've seen all the hate posted by people, way more than I would think would be normal, for Getty Images. I've been a contributor with them for about 5 years and have a portfolio of over 2000 photographs there.

Very recently I also started uploading to Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, Depositphotos, 123RF, iStockphoto, and Dreamstime, so I'm a newbie as far as microstock is concerned but not so much in regular stock. I've been selling very little as of yet with Shutterstock and Adobe Stock being the best (although I've NEVER seen pickiest reviewers - or reviewer bots- as in AS).

So, my question is this: why all the hate towards Getty Images? Yes, I know that they give 20% as a commission while a bunch of other companies start at 35% and many of them go above 50%. But the thing is that in Getty you're getting 20% of photographs sold for $100 or $1000 instead of 50% of 1 dollar.

Is it that so many of you are already at the level of selling 1000 or 5000 or 10,000 photographs a month in the other ones? I JUST started a couple of months ago with all the other agencies non-exlusively and only have anywhere from 100 to 500 photographs in any of them, so I obviously don't know what it's like to sell anywhere near that number, but please help me understand.

If there is the chance of getting to that kind of level that quickly with a bunch of other agencies making a higher percentage of images selling for a dollar or so but of selling hundreds or thousands a month... that would make me consider things in a different light.

I would not take down my photographs from Getty Images or stop uploading to them because I am thankful of everything I've done there, and also for the fact that I've had a pretty great experience with contributor relations and reviews. But I would start focusing more time weekly on micro stock photographs and videos than I've done in the past four months and consider joining many other agencies as well as subscribing to StockSubmitter to make things more streamlined.

I'm not looking for a fight, just substantiated points of view.

Thank you to any and all who answer.

Regards,

Sergio


« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2017, 08:33 »
+7
got my popcorn ready...

angelawaye

  • Eat, Sleep, Keyword. Repeat

« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2017, 08:39 »
+4
I've got the soda ready!

« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2017, 08:41 »
0
I think the hate stems from early on in the microstock game. An "us versus them" or "micro versus trad" mentality and the misinformed belief that it is/was a closed shop. You have to understand that in the "trad" way of life you had to actually know what you were doing to even be accepted, not that different from being accepted to the current day Stocksy. Stocksy (an agency I have no interest in) currently is in effect as closed as the "trads" were. In a nutshell you had to submit your best images and you went through a rigorous screening process and you either made the grade or you did not. Speed up the truck and the introduction of microstock and a whole new breed of generally speaking hobby photographers who knew little if anything about the stock industry, a very low threshold of entry and a rather rapid pace of technology and you now suddenly have a new generation of entitled spoiled kids who know more than the "old school" photographers ever knew about the stock industry. Voila the hate of anything Getty is born.

Also to add fuel to the fire, Getty has traditionally sh!t on the photographers it represents and has little if any respect for the producers of content and continues to do so.

For the most part it is a blend of ignorance from people who have little working knowledge of the industry and the abuse from an agency towards photographers who do have a strong working knowledge of the industry. A perfect storm.

The hate you see towards Getty stems from fabricated misinformation and to a large extent self inflicted by the continual abuse towards their content providers.

 


« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2017, 08:50 »
0
The hate you see towards Getty stems from fabricated misinformation and to a large extent self inflicted by the continual abuse towards their content providers.

Thank you for your reply! While I cannot say anything bad about the treatment they've given me (quite the opposite, actually), I understand the rest very well, then.

What about the fact of the earnings? Are people selling thousands upon thousands of images on the other sites that Getty Images pales in comparison even though the prices and payouts are higher (although the percentage is lower)?

Shelma1

« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2017, 08:57 »
+19
If you've read the threads about Getty here you already know why so many people hate them.

« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2017, 09:07 »
+3
The hate you see towards Getty stems from fabricated misinformation and to a large extent self inflicted by the continual abuse towards their content providers.

Thank you for your reply! While I cannot say anything bad about the treatment they've given me (quite the opposite, actually), I understand the rest very well, then.

What about the fact of the earnings? Are people selling thousands upon thousands of images on the other sites that Getty Images pales in comparison even though the prices and payouts are higher (although the percentage is lower)?

In many ways as an individual contributor the treatment can be good to exceptional, but as a company the treatment is despicable and does not bode well for any contributor. Getty simply does not have the best interests for the hand that feeds them. They are actually very out of touch in this regard.

When I first started with Getty it was a total honor to be a contributor and honestly now I would not recommend them to anyone. On their survey the first question was out of 1 to 10 how likely are you to recommend Getty to other photographers etc. My honest answer would be 3. Years ago my answer would have been 10.

In many ways they f*cked themselves. The sad part is the management is so out of touch with contributors that they don't even see what went wrong.

If what you are doing works for you, then keep doing it. I know I don't have plans to drop Getty any time soon as I am in for the long game. If I was just starting out though, I'd do things a whole lot differently from the privileged position I have worked for over many years to achieve. 



« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 09:14 by Clair Voyant »

« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2017, 09:32 »
+3
Wait for me please.
I am mixing my cocktail...

« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2017, 09:59 »
+13

« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 11:43 »
+29
The loathing of Getty started well before they stepped into the microstock world by buying iStock. They bought up lots of smaller agencies and then changed the terms of deals with photographers to boost Getty's bottom line.

They systematically cut back control contributors had over how their work was licensed - choosing RM versus RF licensing, for example. For photographs and for music. As Getty got bigger and more powerful, smaller agencies put work with Getty and percentages for contributors got smaller and smaller. Various efforts to move the focus back to the creator of images were started but didn't go far.

The royalty cutting went with all acquisitions, such as Pump Audio in 2009 where they promptly cut the royalty rate from 50% to 35% unless to changed to exclusive status. All sorts of tales of ethically challenged tactics.

There's a quote from an old article about Getty acquiring Photo Disc "Getty would probably prefer to license usages for several hundred dollars each rather than $49.95, as long as they can. But there are some very interesting advantages to the PhotoDisc model for the stockholders. With every PhotoDisc sale Getty pays a much smaller share of the licensing fee to the image creator, and thus keeps a greater profit for the stockholders."

Two rounds of private equity owners, Hellman & Friedman and Carlyle, have left the company saddled with debt - see here, here and here. Their struggles to deal with that financial bind resulted in more squeezes on contributors and Jonathan Klein's departure when he couldn't turn things around.

There are masses of articles about the various shenanigans Getty has pulled over the years, but I think you get the general drift from the above. Many times people have put up with the stream of bad news and pro-Getty anti-contributor changes because they made enough money at Getty that they couldn't easily walk away, but this doesn't breed positive feelings.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 11:44 »
+5
For me it's not hate. It's a business relationship and I'm more disappointed that it didn't work out. But all of the time I spent on creating images and learning the industry has opened a lot of other doors so I'm grateful for the opportunity.

« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2017, 11:51 »
0
Thank you all very much for your answers!

Now what about the other thing that I asked about? What are the realistic earnings potential for having photographs non-exclusively in 10-20 sites?

Oh, and another question before I forget: in StockSubmitter, is the price they charge per 2-year period or per month? I found no link for Contact and in their Facebook page no link for sending them a message even!

« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2017, 11:58 »
+10
5 years?   Oh, I guess you weren't here for the royalty slashes and the very public statement "Money isn't going to be what makes us happy" response, were you?

ShadySue

« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2017, 11:59 »
+9
How long have you got?

What I write below is based on Getty's buyout of iStock, Getty themselves had a poor reputation among their own photographers for various reasons well before 2007, and several big names had left by then.

Broken promises, e.g.
"you will be grandfathered in at your next level" (didn't happen)
"buyers will never be able to filter out exclusive content" (they can buy 'essential' subscriptions)
"exclusives will always feature highly in search" (not a reality for a couple of years at least, now not even a promise)
"being exclusive means we'll be able to protect your property", (Now:  if they feel like it and it isn't too much bother, they might)

Plus if you're always getting 20% of high sales you're lucky. My Getty sales are often just cents with only occasional large sales and my average rpd is already below 1/3 of what it was around 2012/3.

How is 20% an equitable relationship, even if you are getting reasonable money?



« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2017, 13:17 »
+3
How long have you got?

What I write below is based on Getty's buyout of iStock, Getty themselves had a poor reputation among their own photographers for various reasons well before 2007, and several big names had left by then.

Broken promises, e.g.
"you will be grandfathered in at your next level" (didn't happen)
"buyers will never be able to filter out exclusive content" (they can buy 'essential' subscriptions)
"exclusives will always feature highly in search" (not a reality for a couple of years at least, now not even a promise)
"being exclusive means we'll be able to protect your property", (Now:  if they feel like it and it isn't too much bother, they might)

Plus if you're always getting 20% of high sales you're lucky. My Getty sales are often just cents with only occasional large sales and my average rpd is already below 1/3 of what it was around 2012/3.

How is 20% an equitable relationship, even if you are getting reasonable money?

From a Moment's collection contributor, it is not equitable considering:
- they used to keyword and now contributor does it
- keywording and all the data has to be entered before being refused, unlike other macro agencies where you may complete info after it's been accepted by editor
- they don't care and most often don't pursue illegal uses (considering they work on image exclusivity, image has to be stolen from them ...)
- often there are IT bugs in the reporting system or image publication

I clearly fail to see why is Getty "charging" me 80%, ... and I've reached the point where I am considering that 2018 will be the year I will cancel my contract and move somewhere else (not sure where though ... ).

« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2017, 13:46 »
+18
Why?

Because they are hateful by nature

How can we not hate a site selling your images for 2 and reporting your sales after more that a month (when other sites report the sales in minutes)?

« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2017, 13:49 »
+16
When an agency considers to be unsustainable to live with a commission of 80% of each sale, and raises it to 85% cutting the measly share of the artist from 20 to 15%, I think it deserves all the hate and then some more.

Especially considering that several agencies have survived all these years splinting the sale 50/50 with the artist.


« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2017, 17:47 »
+2
Sorry hochmann, but registered today...
NEXT!!!
But congrats for beeing so new and so trustable.

Getty Images and Istock stories are not the same...
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 17:56 by Oligo »

« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2017, 18:49 »
+3
...What are the realistic earnings potential for having photographs non-exclusively in 10-20 sites?

Depends on the photographs and on the sites :)

If you look at the poll results listed here, they're roughly a gauge of what to expect from the microstock sites. The low earners are a waste of time - if you were already there, like I am at Dreamstime, it'd be OK to stay, but otherwise don't bother.

People have advocated using a mix of sites - some macro, some specialist (if you have suitable content), some mobile, etc. Stocksy is currently accepting new artists - have you considered them? One or more niches may work well for you and then you focus more on supplying them. It's hard to know without trying sites out with your content.

Some of the decisions are different for video or illustrations from photographs. Many photographers have branched out into video as a way to counteract the stagnant income (or decline) for stills. Occasionally there's something really innovative - Canva was the last site of that sort introducing micro RM licensing. There are always hopefuls stopping by here with a new agency pitch - mostly focusing on building the web site and not on finding and appealing to buyers. Most are come and gone pretty quickly, but there's hope that a newcomer might improve the list of choices at some point.

Spread the risk and stay flexible :)


« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2017, 12:00 »
+7
Why?

Because they are hateful by nature

How can we not hate a site selling your images for 2 and reporting your sales after more that a month (when other sites report the sales in minutes)?

Please add, months or longer to the above. Files that were removed in December of 2016 were still being reported in Feb and March of 2017. I won't say I hate them, but I hate what they do. I resent the insults and the way they treat us as a group by lying and unfulfilled promises. Cut commissions, cut more, cut more.

If you never went to the forum it would be hard to see how Lobo reflected so clearly the position of the management. Rude, shut off questions, locked threads or vague promises of an answer coming just to put us off for more time. iStock and Getty paid him to be that way which was terrible artist relationship management. Why would any of us be happy with that rotten treatment?

Overall just horrible communication with artists and some kind of twisted viewpoint towards us as their ignorant needy slaves. I'm not so desperate that I will take abuse from an agency just because they drop some spare change on me from time to time. There is an issue of personal integrity and not being willing to take their overall abusive and rude condescending superior attitude.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 12:05 by YadaYadaYada »

« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2017, 19:52 »
+9
Why?

Because they are hateful by nature

How can we not hate a site selling your images for 2 and reporting your sales after more that a month (when other sites report the sales in minutes)?

Please add, months or longer to the above. Files that were removed in December of 2016 were still being reported in Feb and March of 2017. I won't say I hate them, but I hate what they do. I resent the insults and the way they treat us as a group by lying and unfulfilled promises. Cut commissions, cut more, cut more.

If you never went to the forum it would be hard to see how Lobo reflected so clearly the position of the management. Rude, shut off questions, locked threads or vague promises of an answer coming just to put us off for more time. iStock and Getty paid him to be that way which was terrible artist relationship management. Why would any of us be happy with that rotten treatment?

Overall just horrible communication with artists and some kind of twisted viewpoint towards us as their ignorant needy slaves. I'm not so desperate that I will take abuse from an agency just because they drop some spare change on me from time to time. There is an issue of personal integrity and not being willing to take their overall abusive and rude condescending superior attitude.

I had an email from Lobo once threatening to revoke my forum privileges because I called them out on an image which they rejected for copyright - it was money.  I called them out because shortly after I uploaded my image there was one almost exactly like mine from an admin.  I was pissed and made a stink of it publicly.  He was a rude POS and deleted my posts.  I'm sure to hide the hypocrisy they practiced so well.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 09:21 by Mantis »

« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2017, 23:15 »
+6
I deleted my video portfolio from Getty two years ago even though then I made nearly $1000 pm with them. They undervalued my work so I pulled the plug and went non exclusive. Best thing I ever did.  I wonder where Lobo is now.... Hopefully Bering treated the way he likes to treat others, with complete disregard for human decency.

ShadySue

« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2017, 03:17 »
+1
Still working there, but seldom posts on the forum nowadays.

Shelma1

« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2017, 04:01 »
+4
Still working there, but seldom posts on the forum nowadays.

He's too busy being rude and dismissive to people on Facebook now. :D

« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2017, 04:45 »
+3
Because they hate and resent their contributors and aren't shy about showing it in the way they communicate and in their business dealings (please just take a look at the threads on this here forum, start by searching for "unsustainable" and "Google giveaway" for two prime examples).

That and they are a bunch of douche bags (their contributor platform is called "ESP" and their copyright department is named the "CIA" for goodness sake).


 

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