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Author Topic: Sales dropping. Istock especially.  (Read 28803 times)

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« Reply #125 on: September 19, 2011, 18:36 »
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(Re: Elena)
I thnk she was headhunted and 'hothoused'. So fast that I remember that after she became exclusive, you could still freely download at least some of her iStock pics, full size,  free from Flickr, including her IOW puppy/laundry (yet at least 250 people had paid to download it from iStock). I'm guessing she was 'rushed' so fast, she didn't realise it wasn't allowed.

well, again, I don't know if any of that is true. I just know what we all saw and how many of us felt about it. not begrudging the success of another contributor, but certainly concerned about preferential treatment when we play by the rules and all pay the same royalties (hah, in fact some of us are paying more since the RC debacle). add to that recent flexible exclusivity given to certain contributors....how do you keep yourself from thinking competitively? as I said earlier, kindness is wonderful, but this is business too and kindness is not a currency in our industry.
The Flickr bit is objective truth. I downloaded the pic at full size after she was exclusive. My other statements are subjective opinion, qualified as such by "I think" and "I guess".
IIRC, other people have been refused exclusivity until they have restricted their Flickr images.
[/quote]

I wasn't concerned at all. I found her work to be excellent and, most important, different, and I felt se deserved being showcased (very often, POW and Artist of the Week are newbies). Getting to 250 si fast was natural, given the quality of her art, han having it showcased in the main page.
The free pass to "Agency" artists from outer space is another matter...


« Reply #126 on: September 19, 2011, 18:46 »
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it may well have been achieved as simply as you say it was. again, not knocking her work, at all. but it felt by design at the time and it still does looking back. and it was the first time I saw anything like that kind of promotion for one contributor. especially one whose work is almost all composite.

I'll say the recent addition of Getty content and Agency pseudo-exclusives are a far greater issue for me though. and then there's finding these 'contributors' promoted in hot shots and getty top 8 newsletters. lightboxes on the front page filled with the same contributors' work week after week.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 18:49 by SNP »

« Reply #127 on: September 19, 2011, 19:15 »
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years ago I probably would have argued that iStock doesn't do special deals with hand-picked contributors. but then I saw the speed with which contributor Elena Vizerskaya was brought in, downloaded, made exclusive and boom--all in a very orchestrated fashion.....I love her work, that is beside the point. and theoretically I don't have any problem with superstar contributors being brought in to boost traffic etc.


So you didn't believe istock had special deals with contributors until Elena Vizerskaya turned up and rose quickly? Yeah, right.

This is the first time I've ever heard anyone referring to "questions and concerns within the community" about her and her career at istock. But there seems to have been loads of "rumbling" about her where you've been since she became an outstandingly successful contributor within a very short time (or rather "brought in" and "made exclusive" in a "very orchestrated fashion").

You've suggested multiple times in this thread that she is getting some kind of special treatment, of course without forgetting to mention often enough that her work is excellent. This is exactly how nasty rumours about people start to spread, and I'm sure you're aware of how inappropriate it is to act like that against a fellow contributor. Yeah: "kindness is a wonderful thing".

« Reply #128 on: September 19, 2011, 19:16 »
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I guess the prevailing opinion that he would need a deal at all tells you something about how the place is run. Unless, not setting up a ton of roadblocks is considered a deal now.  ;D

Yup - just allowing a best-selling contributor to upload his work without ridiculous limits would be a "special deal" on Istock... This is not how you run business if you're just after money (which you should be, business is kinda about that) - it looks there are a lot of personal feelings and agendas involved, not rational calculations. Of course, they could be justifying it as keeping their collection "special" and different from other agencies, but is it really better with very limited representation of best-selling independents?

That's about the one and only fair thing that iStock has done. The rules should be the same for all of us. I really cannot understand why someone would thing that it would be a good thing if an agency would give some members unfair advantages and benefits.

I have to disagree. It's more of a reverse situation - How is it *fair* to Yuri or other independents when they can't upload most of what they produce? If an average Istock contributor is happy uploading 30 files a week, let them do that. For someone who is producing 250 a week, and has a proven sales record, such low upload limit is extremely unfair. People may produce different amount of images and of different quality, and that's what fair competition is about. Some work more than others, and some invest more in business, the best man wins, I don't see a problem with that. Most of people here praise Shutterstock and earnings there, well last time I looked Yuri has 51,380 files with that agency, and that somehow doesn't prevent us earning good money there...  

« Reply #129 on: September 19, 2011, 19:24 »
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" For someone who is producing 250 a week, and has a proven sales record, such low upload limit is extremely unfair"

Wah.  The rules are the rules.  I'm glad this is how it is at IS. 

« Reply #130 on: September 19, 2011, 19:25 »
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" For someone who is producing 250 a week, and has a proven sales record, such low upload limit is extremely unfair"

Wah.  The rules are the rules.  I'm glad this is how it is at IS. 

Ha - of course you are:)

« Reply #131 on: September 19, 2011, 19:30 »
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years ago I probably would have argued that iStock doesn't do special deals with hand-picked contributors. but then I saw the speed with which contributor Elena Vizerskaya was brought in, downloaded, made exclusive and boom--all in a very orchestrated fashion.....I love her work, that is beside the point. and theoretically I don't have any problem with superstar contributors being brought in to boost traffic etc.


So you didn't believe istock had special deals with contributors until Elena Vizerskaya turned up and rose quickly? Yeah, right.

This is the first time I've ever heard anyone referring to "questions and concerns within the community" about her and her career at istock. But there seems to have been loads of "rumbling" about her where you've been since she became an outstandingly successful contributor within a very short time (or rather "brought in" and "made exclusive" in a "very orchestrated fashion").

You've suggested multiple times in this thread that she is getting some kind of special treatment, of course without forgetting to mention often enough that her work is excellent. This is exactly how nasty rumours about people start to spread, and I'm sure you're aware of how inappropriate it is to act like that against a fellow contributor. Yeah: "kindness is a wonderful thing".

I don't want to get caught up sniping at one another, so let me request that you go back and read my comments. within every comment I clearly state how good I find her work to be. and since I don't know who you are, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, maybe you weren't in the forums on istock when this came about. there was indeed a lot of commenting on this. you may also note in my first post that I stated I don't theoretically have a problem with bringing in superstars and promoting them as part of our collection. what I do have a problem with is preferential treatment and selective bending on rules. and FWIW, I don't blame those who benefit from the rules being bent. I blame the agency for operating using double standards.

@Sean: your post surprised me. do you really feel iStock's rules are the rules? I don't anymore. the rules are less than consistent these days.

« Reply #132 on: September 19, 2011, 19:38 »
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years ago I probably would have argued that iStock doesn't do special deals with hand-picked contributors. but then I saw the speed with which contributor Elena Vizerskaya was brought in, downloaded, made exclusive and boom--all in a very orchestrated fashion.....I love her work, that is beside the point. and theoretically I don't have any problem with superstar contributors being brought in to boost traffic etc.


So you didn't believe istock had special deals with contributors until Elena Vizerskaya turned up and rose quickly? Yeah, right.

This is the first time I've ever heard anyone referring to "questions and concerns within the community" about her and her career at istock. But there seems to have been loads of "rumbling" about her where you've been since she became an outstandingly successful contributor within a very short time (or rather "brought in" and "made exclusive" in a "very orchestrated fashion").

You've suggested multiple times in this thread that she is getting some kind of special treatment, of course without forgetting to mention often enough that her work is excellent. This is exactly how nasty rumours about people start to spread, and I'm sure you're aware of how inappropriate it is to act like that against a fellow contributor. Yeah: "kindness is a wonderful thing".

I don't want to get caught up sniping at one another, so let me request that you go back and read my comments. within every comment I clearly state how good I find her work to be. and since I don't know who you are, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, maybe you weren't in the forums on istock when this came about. there was indeed a lot of commenting on this. you may also note in my first post that I stated I don't theoretically have a problem with bringing in superstars and promoting them as part of our collection. what I do have a problem with is preferential treatment and selective bending on rules. and FWIW, I don't blame those who benefit from the rules being bent. I blame the agency for operating using double standards.

@Sean: your post surprised me. do you really feel iStock's rules are the rules? I don't anymore. the rules are less than consistent these days.

Of course I have read your posts - you might have noticed that I summarized the first one concerning this. And of course I was in the istock forums at the time.
You have no grounds to suggest that rules are being bent in favour of E. V. and that she is profiting from double standards, regardless of how often you highlight the point that you love her work and have nothing against her. Except from "It felt by design at the time". And that's how rumours start.

« Reply #133 on: September 19, 2011, 19:43 »
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I think it is totally fair to discuss something unsubstantiated as long as I state clearly that it is only surmising. the rumour is past its shelf life anyways, and I'm sure nobody cares about this particular example. it was simply the first time a possibility like this had come to my attention, which was my reason for pointing it out. it seems you don't like Yuri nearly as much as Elena, since you're letting him take a good flogging in here without your 'protection' ;)

« Reply #134 on: September 19, 2011, 19:47 »
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   Judging by the nasty tone this thread has taken on, nobody's very happy about anything any more. But since there really isn't any answer to the original question, I guess the next best thing is to score points against each other. Good thing you can't send electric shocks through the interwebs. At least not yet.

« Reply #135 on: September 19, 2011, 19:49 »
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I think it is totally fair to discuss something unsubstantiated as long as I state clearly that it is only surmising.

In general, ok. But bent rules and special treatment for a single contributor, don't you think that's a bit too sensitive to play with like that? And fueling a rumour like that, well that just has a bad taste to me.

« Reply #136 on: September 19, 2011, 19:51 »
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I'm not fueling anything. and I stand by my comments. but you're entitled to your opinion. cheers.

« Reply #137 on: September 19, 2011, 20:06 »
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@Sean: your post surprised me. do you really feel iStock's rules are the rules? I don't anymore. the rules are less than consistent these days.

As far as "regular" contributors go, yes, things seem pretty consistent to me.  Disregarding edstock and anything else having to do with Getty specifically, of course.

« Reply #138 on: September 19, 2011, 20:21 »
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@Sean: your post surprised me. do you really feel iStock's rules are the rules? I don't anymore. the rules are less than consistent these days.

As far as "regular" contributors go, yes, things seem pretty consistent to me.  Disregarding edstock and anything else having to do with Getty specifically, of course.

ok, with that qualification I don't disagree ;-)

« Reply #139 on: September 19, 2011, 21:52 »
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I seem to remember Sean posting quite pointedly about the Vetta fast track (pre Agency) that some contributors appeared to have and also the self-inspection that some contributors have. When exclusives were waiting for longer than usual times and the work of the anointed few got to end up online the same day, I remember Sean saying something about that in the forums.

There was an inspector whose work was for sale on other sites and after a brief forum fuss and some time where the portfolio was offline, all went back to normal. I had a hard time imagining that other exclusives would be given so much benefit of the doubt.

There was also the little giveaway of double RC credits during the Vetta sale at the end of 2010, which seemed to me a way to get the favored few their royalty rate for 2011 when the ridiculous Vetta price increase had caused sales volume to drop.

I don't see a lot of consistency from where I sit (even where I used to sit, as a diamond exclusive).

« Reply #140 on: September 19, 2011, 22:02 »
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You're right about the self-inspection bit.  I was thinking more big picture things.  Upload limits, royalty rates, etc.

lagereek

« Reply #141 on: September 20, 2011, 01:13 »
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I just searched the word "refinery",  since its in my interest and what do I find?  same boring models, posing as refinery workers,  Colgate smile into the camera and ofcourse the max DL, for one of these shots are embarrassing,  why?  because the people in these shots are not working, they are posing, hecne, they dont sell.
Now, you would think that a site like IS would have the knowledge, the expertice? right?  but sadly no,  they dont and why?  because then obviously the pohotographer is an exclusive.
This is why IS,  apart from the Vettas,  is not making any money from independants.
As I have always maintained,  you have to think commercially, you have to think, reallity.

Maybe yes, but more than 90% of people in stock are models, professional or amateur. Stock is not exactly "photo-verit", there are other places for that. I have shots with models playing doctors and shots with real doctors in action and the ones with models sell better (and the same with teachers). On the other hand, these shots you say about the refinery with models theme seem to sell well too.


Hi Loop!  hows things?

Sell,  yes but not all that,  30 or 40 sales after 8 months is nothing to shout about.  I was actually thinking past private matters,  thinking about the old adage that the entire AD-world, is bases upon:  " if you got it,  then flaunt it".

There is nothing wrong with models, I use them myself from time to time but when you get a dirty old worker with oil and fuel spill,  looking like Tom Cruise and with a Tony Curtis smile, glaring into the camera,  well, not belieavable is it? not even for an amateur buyer.

Right now and in many searches its not even new files given priority, it seems to be old files but with hardly any sales track.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 01:27 by lagereek »


XPTO

« Reply #142 on: September 20, 2011, 01:53 »
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Yawn, everyone else has moved along to the topic at hand, we don't need a book on the matter.

Funny statement from someone who hasn't made a single useful post in this discussion, which by the way was killed around post 72 by Yuri himself. Since then very little is discussed about the original topic.

In fact, this topic is as useless as all the other crying about falling sales. Very, very little has been added to what has been said ad nauseum in other discussions. Not even the economy part was talked about sufficiently to understand the current situation and allow us to adapt to what is coming. It's just whining all over again.

It's only missing the contributors with a portfolio of 10 images contradicting everyone else because he had 5 dl's as IS and call it a BME...

As for the original discussion, I may add that the fact that some agencies, like SS, continue to accept almost all kind of crap submitted to them burying great work right from the start, and in no way protect active contributors with a good collection is a reason for many of those who takes this as a business see falling income.

I personally reduced the number of submissions I send to micro because I don't like to see 21mp images buried under lots of images of the same search with much less quality and a 10th of the resolution. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of people better and more active than me, but they are probably more annoyed than me.

I believe that agencies love those old images from inactive contributors to a certain point, since they got a "long tail" income out of them, without the contributors withdrawing their money.

This way they get to keep the money in the banks generating a very nice revenue through interests, while the active contributors get their money out, monthly. And at this point they don't need many new images since all has been covered and the vast majority of the images won't go out of fashion that easily.

« Reply #143 on: September 20, 2011, 02:09 »
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...As for the original discussion, I may add that the fact that some agencies, like SS, continue to accept almost all kind of crap submitted to them burying great work right from the start, and in no way protect active contributors with a good collection is a reason for many of those who takes this as a business see falling income....
I can't agree with that.  I recently had a BME with SS, having uploaded very little this year.  They have become much more selective with reviews for me, sometimes rejecting images that have sold lots of times on the other sites.  Even if they did accept too much, the good images rise to the top and the "crap" gets lost in the search.  I also see buyers purchase images that I would never consider as good quality stock.  I get EL's of all sorts of strange images that would probably be rejected now.

DT became highly selective and my earnings have fallen a lot there.  I'm sure buyers would like more choice, not having relatively inexperienced reviewers deciding what's commercial.

« Reply #144 on: September 20, 2011, 02:11 »
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There's always been an inner clique/privileged contributors at iStock. I'm pretty sure Lise Gagne benefitted from that right from the start. Then there's the "one independent in the world gets to have 20% commission" policy. Hmmm. (I've just realised that nobody else at all gets 20% - it's either lower for beginners/independents or higher for exclusives. An entire payment band for just one person!)
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 02:15 by BaldricksTrousers »

lthn

    This user is banned.
« Reply #145 on: September 20, 2011, 02:33 »
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" For someone who is producing 250 a week, and has a proven sales record, such low upload limit is extremely unfair"

Wah.  The rules are the rules.  I'm glad this is how it is at IS. 

So what's cool about 18/week?

lthn

    This user is banned.
« Reply #146 on: September 20, 2011, 02:50 »
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There's always been an inner clique/privileged contributors at iStock. I'm pretty sure Lise Gagne benefitted from that right from the start. Then there's the "one independent in the world gets to have 20% commission" policy. Hmmm. (I've just realised that nobody else at all gets 20% - it's either lower for beginners/independents or higher for exclusives. An entire payment band for just one person!)

Ohh hell yea. Whenever I browsed the port of an 'inspector' badge person thing, I kept finding OOF, noisy, shaken -and ugly on top of all that- pics all over the place. Some of them where so messed up technically, it was just shameless. Inspection on IS has been the sandbox of a bunch of local inbreds for years and years.

grp_photo

« Reply #147 on: September 20, 2011, 03:18 »
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I don't think it's the economy.
It's the insane amount of new pictures hitting the micro market everyday. Sometimes it's that simple.

« Reply #148 on: September 20, 2011, 03:32 »
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I don't think it's the economy.
It's the insane amount of new pictures hitting the micro market everyday. Sometimes it's that simple.


The worst thing is the insane amount of SIMILIAR pictures hitting the micro market everyday. This blog post by John Lund made me think a lot: http://blog.johnlund.com/2011/09/photography-in-path-of-change.html

grp_photo

« Reply #149 on: September 20, 2011, 04:03 »
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I don't think it's the economy.
It's the insane amount of new pictures hitting the micro market everyday. Sometimes it's that simple.


The worst thing is the insane amount of SIMILIAR pictures hitting the micro market everyday. This blog post by John Lund made me think a lot: http://blog.johnlund.com/2011/09/photography-in-path-of-change.html

Right but I and others have tried to put not too similar pics in microstock, matter of fact they got lost. The microstock market seems to demand the same pictures over and over or none of them. There are only two ways to be successful with not too similar or special pics: either you place them in special collections like Vetta and TAC, or you place them on good macro sites like Getty and Corbis. Otherwise you waste time and money. Microstock is about similar pictures its about proven standards, if you're pictures are special place them in a special shop.


 

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