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Author Topic: The Stock Market Hits a Record Low (Pun Intended)  (Read 2450 times)

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Carl

  • Carl Stewart, CS Productions
« on: February 19, 2012, 06:06 »
0
I just got 19 cents for a photo on DP.  It's a personal record for the least amount I've been paid for one.  The race to the bottom heats up!   :P


Noodles

« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 06:23 »
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I just got 19 cents for a photo on DP.  It's a personal record for the least amount I've been paid for one.  The race to the bottom heats up!   :P

Do you think contributing your work to more than one agency is instrumental to this race? If every site has the exact same imagery, the only option for the agency to be competitive is to reduce its prices.

rubyroo

« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 06:29 »
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That's not the record low.

Others have reported as low as 10c on iStock and even 7c (IIRC). 

« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 08:10 »
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I had one for 10c on iS this week so you've got a ways to go to reach the record.  Don't think I've had one that low on DP before, although I have had a couple for 22c.

« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 08:57 »
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My record low was 9 cents on Istock about a week ago.

« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2012, 10:45 »
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I just got 19 cents for a photo on DP.  It's a personal record for the least amount I've been paid for one.  The race to the bottom heats up!   :P

Do you think contributing your work to more than one agency is instrumental to this race? If every site has the exact same imagery, the only option for the agency to be competitive is to reduce its prices.

Bingo

Carl

  • Carl Stewart, CS Productions
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2012, 18:22 »
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So all else being equal, price is the only way to compete?  Really?  I think not.

Noodles

« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 18:58 »
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So all else being equal, price is the only way to compete?  Really?  I think not.

Tell us what you think then :)

« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 19:46 »
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I just got 19 cents for a photo on DP.  It's a personal record for the least amount I've been paid for one.  The race to the bottom heats up!   :P

I just got a magnificent .13 dl on Istock, for a new production I might add.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 19:52 by Mantis »

« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 19:53 »
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I just got 19 cents for a photo on DP.  It's a personal record for the least amount I've been paid for one.  The race to the bottom heats up!   :P

I just got a magnificent .13 dl on Istock, for a new production I might add.


Well, pie in my face.  Just had an 11 cent burst of income on IS, with a new image I might add.  99 cent store here I come.

« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2012, 20:32 »
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I'm having my BSuE (Best Sunday Ever) so the title of this post struck me as false before I even read it.

Then I got in and saw that we're talking individual image prices.  Does anyone really fixate on individual transactions?  Folks, this is a volume business.  Yes, it would be a dangerous sign if the trend was that more and more of our downloads brought us just .19 each.

But check out Rinder's post on another thread (can't recall which one... how's that for helpful?)  He points out that in the very early days of microstock, it was common to see tons of 20 cent downloads.  He's been at this longer than just about anyone here, and in his macro view, earnings have been creeping upward, not downward.

Back to my original point, though... I take a very big picture view of my microstock efforts.  I don't even track RPD.  It doesn't matter to me.  What matters to me is that my images maintain a healthy RPI, and that I stick to my quota of uploading a certain number of shots each day.  Then I can project growth at Port Size x RPI = Total Earnings.  I won't bat an eye if I notice that I get .19 for this image, or even .09 for that image, because my daily RPI right now is .125 (was just .09 or so in my first year or two in microstock, and I've managed to goose it up by getting smarter about what I upload, and adding a few more agencies to my mix).

So, I suggest retitling this thread, The Stock Market is Alive and Well.

« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2012, 20:46 »
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...I take a very big picture view of my microstock efforts.  I don't even track RPD.  It doesn't matter to me.  What matters to me is that my images maintain a healthy RPI, and that I stick to my quota of uploading a certain number of shots each day. 

So if the agencies were increasing sales volume, decreasing your take of the total by a slightly smaller percentage so you saw a small rise in your income, you'd be happy? Really?

The reason to pay some attention to what individual images are selling for is to get an idea of what's going on overall in the business. So, for example, if agencies are increasing volume by discounting credits heavily, keeping their take constant by reducing supplier's percentages, looking at the prices paid by buyers would help us know what they were up to.

If you don't track the business overall, you end up joining that long line of artists who have been "had" by their managers, agents, whatever.

« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2012, 20:59 »
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Do you think contributing your work to more than one agency is instrumental to this race? If every site has the exact same imagery, the only option for the agency to be competitive is to reduce its prices.


Nope, lowering prices is not the only option and it is probably not the best one either.  Certainly isn't the best option for us.

Read through this new blog post from Dan Heller: Selling Stock: it's about search rank, not price

http://danheller.blogspot.com/

Noodles

« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2012, 21:37 »
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Do you think contributing your work to more than one agency is instrumental to this race? If every site has the exact same imagery, the only option for the agency to be competitive is to reduce its prices.


Nope, lowering prices is not the only option and it is probably not the best one either.  Certainly isn't the best option for us.

Read through this new blog post from Dan Heller: Selling Stock: it's about search rank, not price

http://danheller.blogspot.com/


Thanks. That was a good read and yes, search rank does play a very important role.

I would also agree that the primary cost of licensing images is in the cost of finding them rather than the license fee itself, although I never think of it that way. But it's true, as a graphic designer I will often spend hours locating the right image no matter what site and what price.  If, while searching, I notice the image I require is on several sites, I will of course choose the cheaper option! But I would have purchased it at the more expensive option if that had been the only choice!

This IMHO is how the typical graphic designer thinks. How bloggers, advertising agencies, etc. think when purchasing is probably different.

« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2012, 22:25 »
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We have DT, where - despite other failings - we get a significant number of sales at non-subscription prices.   We have SS where most sales are subscription, but some are on-demand or EL.    

Then a new site like DP comes along, and we're so excited that we just about climb over each other to hand them all our images - so they can start selling them at even lower prices and start drawing customers away from SS and DT.

What are we thinking? That DP is opening up some new market of previously undiscovered buyers who don't know about the established sites?  That they're reaching people who've been holding back on buying the images they need because they couldn't pay $3 - but at $1, they'll finally pop?

We all want something to take the place of IS, but chasing new sites with even lower prices doesn't make sense.   I'm not going to upload to any more new sites unless the prices are reasonable.  And I'm thinking seriously about backing out of DP because now I  feel dumb about going there.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 22:26 by stockastic »

« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2012, 23:00 »
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...I take a very big picture view of my microstock efforts.  I don't even track RPD.  It doesn't matter to me.  What matters to me is that my images maintain a healthy RPI, and that I stick to my quota of uploading a certain number of shots each day. 

So if the agencies were increasing sales volume, decreasing your take of the total by a slightly smaller percentage so you saw a small rise in your income, you'd be happy? Really?

The reason to pay some attention to what individual images are selling for is to get an idea of what's going on overall in the business. So, for example, if agencies are increasing volume by discounting credits heavily, keeping their take constant by reducing supplier's percentages, looking at the prices paid by buyers would help us know what they were up to.

If you don't track the business overall, you end up joining that long line of artists who have been "had" by their managers, agents, whatever.

I'm not saying I don't pay attention at all to image prices or commissions.  On the contrary, I've avoided agencies that sell for too low and I have given up on IS due to its changes.  But... aside from this awareness in a big-picture scale, I don't fixate on RPD.   It boils down to this... RPD won't pay a single bill... I just care about how much each image actually earns when all the numbers are crunched, and can I increase my uploads, multiply my number of new images by my RPI, and control my growth. 

« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2012, 07:24 »
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I believe the process of lowering prices on microstock sites will go further its just the question of time when its going to reach one cent per picture... and the only chance for photostock community is unite and create free association that is going to create web site and let phtographers set their own prices without being forced to seee how the prices of images falling year after year...
another words we need to unite and invest our own capital to build distribution center in internet and control the prices...
there is no other way to escape the problem of devaluation of our labor.


« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2012, 07:28 »
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and the good place and chance for this historic change is exactly the Microstock Group site ;)

« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2012, 23:59 »
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In general I would say that microstock prices aren't going down. What is going down is artists commissions. The difference goes to the agency.

It is also a lot harder to tell what exactly we get and what the sale was for these days. For example we recently discovered that DT is taking a cut out of our take to pay referrals. We only found this out because it was in subs which we thought we knew the minimum price for. Does that happen with regular sales too? We have no real way of knowing, but probably. This could be another 20 or 30% out of our pocket from time to time.

It would be illuminating if all the sites posted the sale price and our take like they do at PD and Alamy.

Do the math for your monthly income at IS - and be horrified by how big their take is in comparison.

Despite all the lower royalties I have managed a number of BME's in the last 6 months, so despite that I am making the most I have (with the largest port I've ever had).

ShadySue

« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2012, 05:26 »
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... as a graphic designer I will often spend hours locating the right image no matter what site and what price.  If, while searching, I notice the image I require is on several sites, I will of course choose the cheaper option! But I would have purchased it at the more expensive option if that had been the only choice!
This IMHO is how the typical graphic designer thinks. How bloggers, advertising agencies, etc. think when purchasing is probably different.
Interesting. I have so often read on forums that designers don't have time to look for the 'best' image, they will search through a few pages at one or two agencies to find an image that meets their needs (satisficing). This is said to be why search rank is so important. (a proportion of Alamy buyers search on thousands of images, so some buyers work your way.
I was always horrified when I read the assertion that buyers don't spend much time looking for the best image, as when I was teaching I often spent ages trawling through free clip art, PD DVDs etc looking for the best images for my lessons - for free, in my own time (or at least I wasn't paid any more for having the most appropriate available images in my worksheets and presentations than I would have been with no graphics at all).

It must depend on the price of the job. Someone who is only willing to pay a minimal price for a design job can't expect the designer to spend hours trawling for perfect images. I wonder how often a designer forced by local circumstances to accept lower prices for their work says to the clients "for that price, I'll do the design, but you'll have to source the images yourself. Here's a/some stock agencies"?

It's that old saying of Robin Williams (Mac/design author, not the comedian):
Good
Fast
Cheap

Choose any two.

Noodles

« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2012, 06:50 »
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It must depend on the price of the job. Someone who is only willing to pay a minimal price for a design job can't expect the designer to spend hours trawling for perfect images. I wonder how often a designer forced by local circumstances to accept lower prices for their work says to the clients "for that price, I'll do the design, but you'll have to source the images yourself. Here's a/some stock agencies"?

It's that old saying of Robin Williams (Mac/design author, not the comedian):
Good
Fast
Cheap

Choose any two.

I can't imagine not spending the time to find the right image. It all balances out in the end because sometimes you find something almost immediately.

« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2012, 11:54 »
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In general I would say that microstock prices aren't going down. What is going down is artists commissions. The difference goes to the agency.

This is what subscriptions are all about, and why the agencies love them.  They break the commission model, because there's no way of knowing what a buyer "paid" for an individual sale - the money is in upfront fees and the actual number of images received varies.  Those fees can be raised without any obligation to increase the "commisions" paid to photographers.   In the end we get whatever token payment the agency decides to give us.

lisafx

« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2012, 13:52 »
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I don't "fixate" on RPD, and I definitely understand this is a volume business, but I have always paid attention to the perceived "floor" of lowest commissions.  When I started 7 years ago that "floor" was .10, and very quickly rose from there.  So when I begin getting a significant number of < .10 commissions (like the .07, .08, etc. Istock commissions that are becoming common) that does alarm me.  There's not a whole lot of breathing room between .07 and FREE. 

As for those harping on and on about prices, that is a lot less important to me, as an independent, than what I get for the sale.  Yes, Istock is among the most expensive sites, but they are very miserly in what they actually pay me.  Why should I be excited about a site that gouges its customers, but shares only 19% of that money with me?   

Microstock InsiderPhotoDune

 

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