pancakes

MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Sales dropping. Istock especially.  (Read 29998 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2011, 15:33 »
0
Surprisingly it looks like that my income for Sep this year will be below my Mar sales this year. This is the first time in five years of production and certainly not due to me not uploading enough images...
Just my 2 cents... something else to think about:

You've been helping many people to getting into this business.  Some of them have portfolios almost identical to yours, some of them are exclusives with best positioning in the best match.  A big part of the piece of the cake they are taking, was yours before.  A negative impact in your sales would or will happen sooner or later.

Everytime we welcome new people into the business (by teaching newbes, by sharing information, by posting earnigs in blogs, by telling others how to make money), we are shooting ourselves on our own foot.   It's only good for the agencies, not for us.

I've been a business person all my life (I am 40+).  And this is the only business where I've seen people helping their potential competitors getting on board.   Honestly, I'll never understand it!


« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2011, 16:15 »
0
"And this is the only business where I've seen people helping their potential competitors getting on board.   Honestly, I'll never understand it!"

Because the economics of microstock used to be based on producing images very, very cheaply.

You share costs for models or model for free for each other, you share locations with each other for free, you train each other with software and gear without charging each other, you do free advertising and evangelizing for your favorite agency without charging them for the time...this way microstockers can produce images much, much  cheaper than traditional macro artists and therefore our images can be offered at much lower prices on the market. And you also got a huge variety of images from all kinds of people. It is a lot easier for a restaurant chef, a medical doctor, a housewife, a gardener etc... to learn about photography and then go on create content that is typical for his area of expertise than it is for photographers to learn about all kinds of different subjects and create industry specific content. In the beginning many microstockers were amateurs in photography but usually experts in many other fields. The photographers benefitted from their unique knowledge or locations.

The low price of the images then made it possible to sell to the masses, similar to the software apps in the itunes store that sell for 2.99 instead of 30 or 300 dollars. Cheap production, cheap marketing, high volume sales.

The concept of sharing is the economic basis of the success of microstock and all social network based advertising and commerce.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 16:31 by cobalt »

Xalanx

« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2011, 16:31 »
0
You're mistaking very much. This concept of sharing has only led to oversupply and the whole enormous pile of copycats that are microstock agencies today. And it might as well lead to its end.

« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2011, 16:36 »
0
No end, just a transformation as new markets open up.

There are more and more markets and countries around the globe entering the internet age. How many webdesigners in India, China, Middle East, South America are using stock sites today? How many will use it in five years? These are huge markets. Much bigger than Europe, even bigger than North America.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 16:38 by cobalt »

« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2011, 16:39 »
0
".this way microstockers can produce images much, much  cheaper than traditional macro artists and therefore our images can be offered at much lower prices on the market. "

No, not really.

But hiring a full staff may not make sense either.

« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2011, 16:43 »
0
No end, just a transformation as new markets open up.

There are more and more markets and countries around the globe entering the internet age. How many webdesigners in India, China, Middle East, South America are using stock sites today? How many will use it in five years? These are huge markets. Much bigger than Europe, even bigger than North America.

I think MS will not die, it will just continue to soften.  As demand grows in emerging markets so will supply and purchasing outlets.  The days of growing your port and realizing decent gains (notice I said decent) are closing....and closed for many low volume contributors.   

« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2011, 17:02 »
0
You're mistaking very much. This concept of sharing has only led to oversupply and the whole enormous pile of copycats that are microstock agencies today. And it might as well lead to its end.

thats very true but what have you done? what are you doing? thats stock even if Yuri or other dont share, it will never stop unless agencies stop approving more of the "same" stuff and perhaps deleting older pictures without sales, agencies till approve a lot of noisy pics..

microstock will shrink day after day unless you keep on producing more and more and diversify which Yuri havent done

my 2cents from a nobody

« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2011, 17:15 »
0
No end, just a transformation as new markets open up.

There are more and more markets and countries around the globe entering the internet age. How many webdesigners in India, China, Middle East, South America are using stock sites today? How many will use it in five years? These are huge markets. Much bigger than Europe, even bigger than North America.

Trust me most of those markets are already 'open'. Courtesy of Shutterstock's map, showing where your latest sales took place, I'm continually surprised how many of my sales occur in India, the Middle East and in South America.

From my time in the Far East I would say we're unlikely to ever crack the market there. For starters even microstock prices would be considered expensive in most of the Far East. Judging by the advertising you see they also have a preference for 'idealized' images that is simply off the scale compared to what we produce __ for example everyone has been 'whitened' to the point of being almost translucent. My guess is that their needs will eventually be met by their own agencies.

Xalanx

« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2011, 17:18 »
0
No end, just a transformation as new markets open up.

There are more and more markets and countries around the globe entering the internet age. How many webdesigners in India, China, Middle East, South America are using stock sites today? How many will use it in five years? These are huge markets. Much bigger than Europe, even bigger than North America.

Every country is in "internet age", is nothing new to anyone. These new markets as you say are already buying stock images. The majority of web designers these days are in India, Eastern Europe and other places where work sells cheap. Major western european or american companies are outsourcing their projects right there.
If you're talking about emerging companies within those countries, well then you'll have to wait for the said countries to develop their economies and I believe it's going to be a long time until then.

LE: blimey, gostwyck was a bit faster.

« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2011, 17:19 »
0
Although I am not a newbie, I never cease to be astonished by the blatant selfishness and lack of goodwill of some photographers. Yuri, you should be proud of yourself that you are a generous one. Sharing knowledge is a common occurance in all professions. However, in any profession, There are a few who are more selfish than others. Goodwill will not hurt one's business. Short-sightedness will.

My September looks better than August which was my third worst month of the year.

« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2011, 17:32 »
0
Although I am not a newbie, I never cease to be astonished by the blatant selfishness and lack of goodwill of some photographers. Yuri, you should be proud of yourself that you are a generous one. Sharing knowledge is a common occurance in all professions. However, in any profession, There are a few who are more selfish than others. Goodwill will not hurt one's business. Short-sightedness will.

I suggest you write to the Coca Cola company asking for the recipe for their nice drink so that you can make it for yourself. Explain to them, like you have lectured us, that "Goodwill will not hurt one's business". Let us know how you get on.

Have you ever actually heard the expressions 'trade secret' or 'commercially sensitive information'? Do those exist because of "blatant selfishness and lack of goodwill" from nasty business people?

Yuri is probably kicking himself that he didn't keep his big trap shut ... not that he'd ever admit it of course.

ShadySue

« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2011, 17:41 »
0
Sharing knowledge is a common occurance in all professions.
True, but stock is a business, which is a very different thing.

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2011, 17:48 »
0
But there's no trade secret here, our photos are out there for all to see.

Those serious about stock will find out anyway, and a lot of people - the large majority - will never succeed anyway, because it's not difficult but it takes time and devotion.

I completely agree with Yuri's way of sharing (and getting) information.

If anything, those sharing information - such as us on this forum - are gaining a competitive advantage against those who don't.

lthn

    This user is banned.
« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2011, 17:53 »
0
Interesting how dropping sales means new markets opening up to some : )  I get suprisingly big batches of downloads from india if the SS map is trustworthy, their ratio is increasing a lot.

Xalanx

« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2011, 17:53 »
0
If anything, those sharing information - such as us on this forum - are gaining a competitive advantage against those who don't.

You're thinking perhaps that "us on this forum" is limited to those who actively take part in discussion. When in fact there are zillions of pair of eyes watching these posts, many of them from persons who are not even registered here.

« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2011, 17:56 »
0
If anything, those sharing information - such as us on this forum - are gaining a competitive advantage against those who don't.

Really? There are nearly 13,000 registered members of this forum and an unknown number of unregistered 'lurkers'. Who exactly do you think you are gaining "a competitive advantage" over?

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #41 on: September 18, 2011, 18:04 »
0
@Xalanx and gostwyck:

Over those who don't even read our posts, and are unaware of what's happening everyday in stock industry.

Anyway, it must be boring just reading without taking part, and they can read all they want but if they don't go out shooting photos, editing, keywording, uploading there's nothing they can do with all the information we are giving out

Unless they are agencies spying on us, which I'm sure it's happening all the time
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 18:09 by microstockphoto.co.uk »


Xalanx

« Reply #42 on: September 18, 2011, 18:15 »
0
Most of them are lurkers, it's more comfortable taking all the knowledge and insights from everyone who takes part. Also remember that this is THE forum where real microstock discussions happen. Agencies' forums are bad jokes. So this forum is naturally, very watched.

PaulieWalnuts

  • You talkin' to me?
« Reply #43 on: September 18, 2011, 18:17 »
0
Although I am not a newbie, I never cease to be astonished by the blatant selfishness and lack of goodwill of some photographers. Yuri, you should be proud of yourself that you are a generous one. Sharing knowledge is a common occurance in all professions. However, in any profession, There are a few who are more selfish than others. Goodwill will not hurt one's business. Short-sightedness will.

My September looks better than August which was my third worst month of the year.

Goodwill on a one-to-one basis probably won't hurt your business much or at all. Such as if one person helps you and you help them in return. But every tip you share is being broadcast to an almost unlimited amount of potential competitors.

Let's say that overnight suddenly the amount of contributors to all sites doubled. And they all are actively submitting hundreds of thousands of new images similar to yours. Do you really think this would have no affect on your business?

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #44 on: September 18, 2011, 18:26 »
0
Most of them are lurkers, it's more comfortable taking all the knowledge and insights from everyone who takes part. Also remember that this is THE forum where real microstock discussions happen. Agencies' forums are bad jokes. So this forum is naturally, very watched.

We're probably saying the same thing: we're creating a very useful body of information here.
Simply, I don't care if there are lurkers, still better than not discussing at all.

« Reply #45 on: September 18, 2011, 18:29 »
0
Although I am not a newbie, I never cease to be astonished by the blatant selfishness and lack of goodwill of some photographers. Yuri, you should be proud of yourself that you are a generous one. Sharing knowledge is a common occurance in all professions. However, in any profession, There are a few who are more selfish than others. Goodwill will not hurt one's business. Short-sightedness will.

My September looks better than August which was my third worst month of the year.

Goodwill on a one-to-one basis probably won't hurt your business much or at all. Such as if one person helps you and you help them in return. But every tip you share is being broadcast to an almost unlimited amount of potential competitors.

Let's say that overnight suddenly the amount of contributors to all sites doubled. And they all are actively submitting hundreds of thousands of new images similar to yours. Do you really think this would have no affect on your business?

Like Elainthewise said once, if you don't teach, others will. You cannot ban the existence of schools, teachers and mentors, unless in some pretty naive mind. You cannot control what others do, all you can do is to make yourself better in skills, EQ and and business knowledge.

Why is Yuri doing better than all of us? Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned, not only his skills, but also how he approaches business. For those critical of him, are you sure you have never got any inspiration from him and benefits of his knowledge sharing?

« Reply #46 on: September 18, 2011, 18:30 »
0
Interesting how dropping sales means new markets opening up to some : )  I get suprisingly big batches of downloads from india if the SS map is trustworthy, their ratio is increasing a lot.

It's kinda basic business 101 and cause and effect.  I will share some basic business information with you.  For every business response there is a possible competitive response.  So while dropping sales somewhere may mean less sales for contributors on those sites, there may be other sites opening up to steal some share.  Does "big batches of downloads" mean 2 or 50?  That's a VERY OPEN STATEMENT TO MAKE.

PaulieWalnuts

  • You talkin' to me?
« Reply #47 on: September 18, 2011, 18:59 »
0
Although I am not a newbie, I never cease to be astonished by the blatant selfishness and lack of goodwill of some photographers. Yuri, you should be proud of yourself that you are a generous one. Sharing knowledge is a common occurance in all professions. However, in any profession, There are a few who are more selfish than others. Goodwill will not hurt one's business. Short-sightedness will.

My September looks better than August which was my third worst month of the year.

Goodwill on a one-to-one basis probably won't hurt your business much or at all. Such as if one person helps you and you help them in return. But every tip you share is being broadcast to an almost unlimited amount of potential competitors.

Let's say that overnight suddenly the amount of contributors to all sites doubled. And they all are actively submitting hundreds of thousands of new images similar to yours. Do you really think this would have no affect on your business?

Like Elainthewise said once, if you don't teach, others will. You cannot ban the existence of schools, teachers and mentors, unless in some pretty naive mind. You cannot control what others do, all you can do is to make yourself better in skills, EQ and and business knowledge.

Why is Yuri doing better than all of us? Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned, not only his skills, but also how he approaches business. For those critical of him, are you sure you have never got any inspiration from him and benefits of his knowledge sharing?

And wasn't the above bolded statement made based on the fact that she is selling books and profiting from teaching others? Schools get paid. Teachers get paid. In some cases mentors get paid but they also fit into the one-on-one type of help. How exactly do you benefit from broadcasting the inner workings of your business to tens of thousands of potential competitors? And for free?

Why is Yuri doing better than most of us? You're kidding me, right? Pretty simple.  He submits highly sellable images in huge quantities at a reasonable price to as many distributions channels as possible. I doubt buyers flock to buy his images because of his charitable efforts toward contributors.

Lesson learned? Yes, my lesson learned is that Yuri is saying his sales are declining and that if I'm going to succeed in the long term I probably want to make sure I use a different business model with my own unique style.

Naive, huh? Spare me.

Yuri_Arcurs

  • One Crazy PhotoManic MadPerson
« Reply #48 on: September 18, 2011, 19:04 »
0
Wow. Lot's of comments on this one. I am surprised that no one mentions the economic state we are in. Our internal speculations in my department on this matter are mostly related to the crisis and the fact that agencies are not raising prices. For example the model agencies that we work with regularly are seeing a massive drop in bookings and jobs for their models. Much more than we are seeing a drop in sales in microstock. A couple of years ago, right after the beginning of the crisis they saw no change, then a little drop last year and a totally devastating year this year - according to a couple of CEOs. I think this downfall in sales has to do with the economy in general, restructuring budgets and priorities changing.
In regards to copy-cats I completely agree with Lisa. I too was able to tell my images apart up to about two years ago. I don't think these individuals (copy-cat's if you will) came to where they are because of a  of advice I may have given on blog posts etc. I believe that the transparency of microstock, that it is so easy to see what to shoot to be successful makes it relatively easy to copy me and others. I have even had cases with people not only copying my images completely, but even copy-pasting the same title, keywords and description. Bold, but nevertheless effective.
In regards to sharing vs not sharing. I keep some things to myself. Off cause, but I also understand the time we live in. When asked, I will refer to the "knowledge restriction" or "sharing paranoia" that some photographers express as an old fashioned, conservative and very outdated way of thinking. The major overlooked aspect in this view is that you almost always gain, from sharing. When you enter a space with a mindset saying "ask me anything and I will try my best to answer you" and you genuinely try to help, you get so much back. This sounds soft, but it is actually not, it very concrete. I have always, and i really mean always, gained more from such situations than I felt I gave away. You never know what comes your way, but by keeping an open mind and a helpful mindset, people simply help back. And...it's generally a good way to be around other people. :)
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 19:24 by Yuri_Arcurs »

« Reply #49 on: September 18, 2011, 19:06 »
0
"Trust me most of those markets are already 'open'. Courtesy of Shutterstock's map, showing where your latest sales took place, I'm continually surprised how many of my sales occur in India, the Middle East and in South America."

Id love to have a map like that on istock :-(. That must be very helpful in targeting customers.

"From my time in the Far East I would say we're unlikely to ever crack the market there. For starters even microstock prices would be considered expensive in most of the Far East."

Yes, but companies are the end customer, not the single user. Our images maybe to expensive YET for the small bakery, but not for any business in the growing Middle class. My own background is from the Middle east, not Asia and I am seeing a huge growth in Middle Class businesses. But to become fully involved in these markets you need staff on the ground and a local office. You cant run it by remote from Canada. As for cheaper content - istock is en route to push several agencies with different price points. I wouldnt be surprised if the cheaper agencies are being created with the emerging markets in mind.

 "Judging by the advertising you see they also have a preference for 'idealized' images that is simply off the scale compared to what we produce __ for example everyone has been 'whitened' to the point of being almost translucent. My guess is that their needs will eventually be met by their own agencies."

I dont think it would difficult for microstockers to adapt to a new market. Besides, there will obviously many new artists joining from these markets who already know how to create that "look". And then we all copy them :-)

They just have to train the inspectors to accept overprocessed content...again, something JJ indicated when he said that some of their agencies would accept content at smaller sizes, even if there were too many artifacts for the normal istock collection.

The majority of sales would probably go to the local artists, nothing wrong with that. Just like US photographers will be best in creating "US style smiling" images.

"Interesting how dropping sales means new markets opening up to some "

Dropping sales mean that I worry that the sales and marketing team is not pushing hard enough for new customers. Most photographers seem to worry about dilution or Best Match. I am mostly interested in growth.

Dilution doesnt worry me. The majority of images added have nothing to do with my own little subject niche. I dont care how many sunsets or flowers or business images are being added every week. I only look at my own subjects. And the number of people creating high quality content is very small.

I think the concerns of Yuri who runs a large business with a lot of staff is very different from those of individual contributors. For us it is easier to carve out a niche specializing in "children and their pets ", "easy recipes for camping" or any other subject we choose.

The more specialized, the less competition you have.

But you still need the growth in customers. Maybe it is time to do more of our own advertising - keep active blogs about our favorite subject, become more active in non stock forums to interact with the community of potential buyers.

For Yuri this could mean more direct interaction with business customers, direct sales from his website, selling image Cds at trade shows or whatever else the agencies themselves do to attract buyers. Maybe even get a few exclusive contracts with companies so they only buy from him directly.  Part of the website could be hidden from public view so all of us lurkers cant copy him. Or just hide "exclusive" images during the first 6 months...whatever...

But maybe he is already doing that.

Microstock InsiderPhotoDune

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
4 Replies
2147 Views
Last post September 06, 2006, 22:55
by Quevaal
24 Replies
8294 Views
Last post October 29, 2010, 22:54
by PaulieWalnuts
67 Replies
9462 Views
Last post November 05, 2009, 02:42
by traveler1116
8 Replies
1345 Views
Last post October 26, 2012, 11:54
by enstoker
10 Replies
1508 Views
Last post December 18, 2013, 05:12
by targoszstock

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors