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Author Topic: Wisdom of submitting to 10 Microstock Agencies  (Read 2616 times)

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« on: July 14, 2017, 09:32 »
+1
I am beginning to question the sense of contributing to 10 agencies. Half of them seem to be a bit stagnant when it comes to sales.

Do most stock photographers submit to this amount of agencies or is 5 perhaps a better idea?


« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2017, 10:33 »
+9
Don't get hung up about the number.  What matters to me are the incremental effort and payoff from each agency.  If the financial benefit justifies the work, then I'll submit my work.  If it doesn't, I won't.  With each agency I may try submitting a set of images and see how they do.  I won't go beyond that first set unless I see some sales.  And even then I make a decision about whether to upload everything or just a number that matches the sales they bring in.

I have a list of first tier agencies that get my new work.  Second tier get images every time they sell something.  Then there are a few I uploaded to but eventually figured out they were wasting my time.  I check them occasionally for signs of life, but that's it.


« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2017, 11:01 »
+1
I agree with disorderly here. Picking agencies you wanna contribute to is a natural ongoing process, the ones that require too much effort with too little return will eventually disappear from the list. Comparatively recently I tried three agencies by uploading ~100 pics, two of them turned out to be a dud, but the third one seems promising.

« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2017, 13:23 »
0
Thank you both for your helpful replies.
I have been uploading for a few years now and now I tend to stick to top tier & middle tier sites BUT even some of them are following away for sales.  As you can imagine SS, Al, adob/Get, drm, IS, Dp, Can, and a couple of others, but the last 3 have been not at all good for 3 months now.
P5 I thought was going to be good but zero so far, although to be fair I have only been with them 3 or four weeks now.

I just wondered what other stockers do.

« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2017, 14:02 »
+5
A long time ago, one of the original microstock success stories said that the strategy with a new agency was to give them 300 or so proven sellers. Give them a few months and see if they can sell those. If yes, upload more. If no, they're clearly not going anywhere.

It's not a bad approach, with the caveat that there are some issues to watch out for - a lock on the time approved content has to remain, the inability to delete your own content, license terms that seem like a bad idea (for example, including an extended license for the standard license price - that's a real example, BTW), onerous uploading rules or conditions (don't read metadata, want a custom size or title/description format), lots of partnership deals that they won't let you opt out of.

If an agency isn't producing much in the way of sales, I'll typically leave content there as long as they aren't reducing royalties or changing the terms of the site in some major way. I have left a number of sites of the last few years. As an example, the most recent was 123rf. Their sales were falling drastically for me (and I was still uploading there) but the trigger was that they have a noxious tiered royalty system, and the sales decline resulted in me moving down one notch in the royalty rates. To me, that seemed to be a perverse reward for the agency for their inability to sell my content (which I know is saleable from what happens at SS and Fotolia/Adobe). They keep more of the cash the worse they get.

Some agencies are good for one type of content and less so for another - for a while, illustrators would get better results from CanStock than other contributors; Pond5 was always the video place - they've certainly not done much with images. Unless you have lots of different types of images, I'd say that 10 agencies seems like a lot. Don't upload to the ones that don't produce, or cut it back to a once a year catchup.

« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2017, 15:31 »
0
In my experience, all of the agencies listed to the right as middle tier have recently began ghost towns (maybe with the exception of Alamy).
I don't think it is worth wasting your time there

« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2017, 15:57 »
+1
Some months I make more money from the low earners than the top tier.  I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing :)

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2017, 16:02 »
+1
If you can easily submit there with little to no work, why not upload there? If the amount of work doesn't weigh up against the number of sales, don't do it.

« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2017, 03:41 »
0
Thank you for all your replies which I am finding tends to agree with what I was thinking.
Uploading to 10 is a tedious process with very little or no returns.
I keep looking at the Microstock Poll Results on the right side of the screen and with the exception of two of the middle tier, Dreamstime & DepositPhotos, which I would place in my Top Tier, removing Pond5 and iStock, it definitely looks that I should reduce the 10 to 5 or 6.

It is quite a challenge as I do not include people in any of my submissions and tend to shoot landscape, nature, historic, and bridges.
Why I do not like photographing people is that I once asked 2 people, who I did not know, but were an integral part of an image, to sign a model release, and they demanded money or would not sign unless I 'coughed up' loot.
That put me right off from that moment on.

I do appreciate the Forum here and although I am a newbie on the forum, but an longtime photographer, I find it helpful to keep up with what is happening in the Microstock world and fellow photographers.

« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2017, 03:57 »
+2
Thank you for all your replies which I am finding tends to agree with what I was thinking.
Uploading to 10 is a tedious process with very little or no returns.
I keep looking at the Microstock Poll Results on the right side of the screen and with the exception of two of the middle tier, Dreamstime & DepositPhotos, which I would place in my Top Tier, removing Pond5 and iStock, it definitely looks that I should reduce the 10 to 5 or 6.

It is quite a challenge as I do not include people in any of my submissions and tend to shoot landscape, nature, historic, and bridges.
Why I do not like photographing people is that I once asked 2 people, who I did not know, but were an integral part of an image, to sign a model release, and they demanded money or would not sign unless I 'coughed up' loot.
That put me right off from that moment on.

I do appreciate the Forum here and although I am a newbie on the forum, but an longtime photographer, I find it helpful to keep up with what is happening in the Microstock world and fellow photographers.
I've put a lot of time in over the years "building" portfolios on smaller sites in the hope of a return when the port reached a certain size...in the vast majority of cases hard to justify the time spent.

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2017, 12:04 »
+1
The danger of submitting the same images to too many agencies is that if one or more of the agencies is struggling (as they are now), they may resort to desperate tactics and give steep discounts to buyers.

A smart buyer may shop around...let's say he/she needs an extended license and sees the same image at both SS and Dreamstime, I wonder who the buyer will choose and you're fked as a contributor. Then there's all the legalese to pull images.

I see Fotolia/Adobe Stock as up and coming so sending them more of my stuff. Also going to try out Pond5 for my footage which I'm learning.

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2017, 12:08 »
0
Quote
It is quite a challenge as I do not include people in any of my submissions and tend to shoot landscape, nature, historic, and bridges.
Why I do not like photographing people is that I once asked 2 people, who I did not know, but were an integral part of an image, to sign a model release, and they demanded money or would not sign unless I 'coughed up' loot.
That put me right off from that moment on.

Yea, I see what you mean, not sure I would give my signature if someone asked me on a street...it's just weird. For the right image a payment may be OK.

Try to capture from behind or as silhouettes and should be OK most of the time if you get a lenient reviewer. I managed to get myself some model-released stock images of a young dude who's building a modeling portfolio. A nice exchange!

« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2017, 13:07 »
0
Thank you Brasilnut and I see what you mean by providing the same images to too many agencies.
That is what I have been doing up till now.

Have been researching about all the agencies and I think I will stop uploading to half of them, which seems to be a more business conscious way to progress.

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2017, 04:43 »
0
Quote
Have been researching about all the agencies and I think I will stop uploading to half of them, which seems to be a more business conscious way to progress.

That's a good idea. Most of these low earners on the right probably won't be around in 2-3 years. One exception is YaYmicro, a Norwegian company, as from what I've read about the company they seem to have an interesting business model. I may start submitting to them soon, we'll see.

Anybody have any experience with them?

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2017, 04:55 »
0
Quote
Have been researching about all the agencies and I think I will stop uploading to half of them, which seems to be a more business conscious way to progress.


That's a good idea. Mo
st of these low earners on the right probably won't be around in 2-3 years. One exception is YaYmicro, a Norwegian company, as from what I've read about the company they seem to have an interesting business model. I may start submitting to them soon, we'll see.

Anybody have any experience with them?


No, but a bit of research here might put you off:
http://www.microstockgroup.com/yaymicro

« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2017, 05:01 »
+2
They sell images to customers from 10 cents. What's good about earning 5 cents?

« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2017, 05:07 »
0
Quote
Have been researching about all the agencies and I think I will stop uploading to half of them, which seems to be a more business conscious way to progress.

That's a good idea. Most of these low earners on the right probably won't be around in 2-3 years. One exception is YaYmicro, a Norwegian company, as from what I've read about the company they seem to have an interesting business model. I may start submitting to them soon, we'll see.

Anybody have any experience with them?
YaY micro......your'e kidding right completely dead!


Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2017, 12:47 »
0
Their business model of unlimited streams is unique, although it seems to only further screws contributors. However, I'll keep an eye out for where their business goes soon and whether they'll do enough to attract quality contributors and keep them there. 

Does anybody believe there's any "Low earners" which are up and coming...perhaps some of the mobile phone/cell phone friendly sites like Stockimo, Foap and EyeEm? I've never submitted any mobile phone pics but heard that there's some people making good money with it as it provides a more personal and authentic feel that some buyers like, apparently.

« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2017, 12:59 »
0
Their business model of unlimited streams is unique, although it seems to only further screws contributors. However, I'll keep an eye out for where their business goes soon and whether they'll do enough to attract quality contributors and keep them there. 

Does anybody believe there's any "Low earners" which are up and coming...perhaps some of the mobile phone/cell phone friendly sites like Stockimo, Foap and EyeEm? I've never submitted any mobile phone pics but heard that there's some people making good money with it as it provides a more personal and authentic feel that some buyers like, apparently.
Maybe I'm not a quality contributor all I know is 3/4 years ago they were low sellers but did occasionally get a nice surprise and even payouts. Sold nothing for a year....Eyem I'm currently finding unable to load files...I think some indeed do quite well there....not me yet but haven't been able to post much on there and very time consuming and horrid interface. FWIW I think only the larger mstock sites will survive along with high end specialists.

« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2017, 13:13 »
0
Their business model of unlimited streams is unique, although it seems to only further screws contributors. However, I'll keep an eye out for where their business goes soon and whether they'll do enough to attract quality contributors and keep them there. 

Does anybody believe there's any "Low earners" which are up and coming...perhaps some of the mobile phone/cell phone friendly sites like Stockimo, Foap and EyeEm? I've never submitted any mobile phone pics but heard that there's some people making good money with it as it provides a more personal and authentic feel that some buyers like, apparently.
What I found strange was that there were no sales from their unlimited streaming when I opted in.  Perhaps my images were being used but the amount made was too small to register?  I opted out of unlimited streaming because it was obvious that I wasn't going to make money from it.  After selling nothing for a year, I dumped them.  One of the few low earners that I have left, they really can't have many buyers if sites like FeaturePics sell more than they do.  They were a decent site but that was many years ago and now I wouldn't trust them.

« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2017, 13:37 »
+1
I though the last few posts were an elaborate joke as yay shut down. I'd forgotten they switched to the streaming thing. If I remember rightly it was another BS scheme that basically ended up with customers getting images for next to nothing and the streaming tag being a smoke screen.

Has anyone who stayed on with them seen any kind of decent return?

« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2017, 14:12 »
0
Their business model of unlimited streams is unique, although it seems to only further screws contributors. However, I'll keep an eye out for where their business goes soon and whether they'll do enough to attract quality contributors and keep them there. 

Does anybody believe there's any "Low earners" which are up and coming...perhaps some of the mobile phone/cell phone friendly sites like Stockimo, Foap and EyeEm? I've never submitted any mobile phone pics but heard that there's some people making good money with it as it provides a more personal and authentic feel that some buyers like, apparently.
What I found strange was that there were no sales from their unlimited streaming when I opted in.  Perhaps my images were being used but the amount made was too small to register?  I opted out of unlimited streaming because it was obvious that I wasn't going to make money from it.  After selling nothing for a year, I dumped them.  One of the few low earners that I have left, they really can't have many buyers if sites like FeaturePics sell more than they do.  They were a decent site but that was many years ago and now I wouldn't trust them.
Feature pics has died for me too and they rejected pretty much everything recently....I suspect as they haven't got the time to review it....or maybe I'm not very good...........(or both;-))

« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2017, 16:50 »
0
Its amazing but I used to submit to around 17 agencies and now I am down to 5.  I just wonder where microstock is going?

It more or less seems to be the top tier with perhaps 2 of the middle tier that are doing fine. Not brilliant but where does one go from here?

Selling through ones own website is difficult as you need to market heavily and that takes an aweful lot of time and serious application with marketing.

Any ideas???

« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2017, 17:55 »
0
Your guess is as good as anyone's.

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2017, 17:57 »
0
Quote
Its amazing but I used to submit to around 17 agencies and now I am down to 5.  I just wonder where microstock is going?

Yes, me too and now only 5 (2 micros, 3 midstock), seems to be working ok for me although midstock sales are fewer than micros but usually larger payouts.

Quote
Not brilliant but where does one go from here?

I think it's a good idea to diversify. I'm learning some footage (and planning to get myself a drone soon), also working on more model-released content which automatically makes the image more premium when done technically well with some in-demand concepts.

 
Quote
Any ideas???

Yeah, don't waste your time with agencies that waste your time.



 

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