pancakes

MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: "Istock Collections" what ??  (Read 21684 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

lisafx

« on: August 22, 2010, 18:33 »
0
Looks like Istock has started to create and promote special lightboxes of themed images hand picked by their editors. 

Guess what, if you aren't exclusive or a major image factory your pictures aren't in there, regardless of whether your images on the subject are top sellers with blue or red flames.

Here's the School Daze lightbox they are pimping this month:
http://www.istockphoto.com/file_search.php?action=file&lightboxID=8580721

Guess the rest of us with education images, regardless of how popular, are SOL on Istock.

Fortunately, if buyers want to see a variety of education (or other topical) images by more than a tiny handful of artists, they can go to the other micros. 


« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2010, 18:55 »
0
All I can say is I hope they have a bunch of freakin geniuses working in their marketing department, because to me (just a regular person) it sure seems like they are shooting themselves in the foot.

« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2010, 18:55 »
0
Yippee. Freakin'. Skippy.

« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2010, 18:56 »
0
Maybe it's called "Istock Collections", because it has only images that can be found only on Istock...I mean exclusive images.

« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2010, 18:59 »
0
But not all of the images in there are exclusive. And I think they are all from July and August, so it must be about fresh rather than about exclusive images. Maybe not that bad, as everyone is complaining about new images not picking up.

« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2010, 19:00 »
0
Fixed the hyperlink http://www.istockphoto.com/file_search.php?action=file&lightboxID=8580721

They're saying, "sorry our search engine kind of sucks, but here are the 100 or so images that we think you should be purchasing anyways."

Seems kind of macro-stocky, no?

KB

« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2010, 19:48 »
0
There may be a few token non-exclusive images, but it seems to me the clear majority of images are Vettas.  Some are new, but many are not that new.

traveler1116

« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2010, 03:22 »
0
...
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 03:23 by traveler1116 »

lagereek

« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2010, 03:42 »
0
Sigh!!  never seems to stop, does it?

« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2010, 04:29 »
0
It seems they are trying to push vettas on the buyers in every way they can. I doubt if that will help either iS or their exclusives - it will just create the impression that if you want bargain price images you need to go elsewhere.

Are they trying to turn iStock into midstock and Thinkstock into Getty's micro? There's never been a successful midstock agency, has there?

« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2010, 04:32 »
0
Well, at least there seem to be a few exceptions to the rules.

They included one of my pics (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-11375965-long-eared-owl-asio-otus.php) in their "compelling critters" lightbox.
I'm not exclusive, the file isn't brand new (uploaded Dec 2009) - and honestly, I don't understand why they chose it. It's a nice enough shot, but to include it into a lightbox featuring "The very best animal portraits on iStock as selected by our team of editors." with a total of 164 files - I certainly feel flattered...

Though I have to say it hasn't resulted in any sales yet..

« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2010, 08:03 »
0
Looks like Istock has also started to sell Getty owned images?
http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-3767160-lady-of-the-lamp.php
(photo description - Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2010, 08:15 »
0
Looks like Istock has also started to sell Getty owned images?
http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-3767160-lady-of-the-lamp.php
(photo description - Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)


Yes they just started, about three years ago.

helix7

« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2010, 08:31 »
0
If you think that photo lightbox is heavily weighted towards exclusive images, check out the featured back-to-school illustration lightbox. Maybe a half-dozen non-exclusive images total in 10 pages of results.

Can't say I blame istock for trying to capitalize on their one trump card in the game. Exclusive is a selling point. I just think they can take it too far. Not sure I can say how far is too far for the general buying audience, but for me they've gone too far already. istosk is just not worth it to me anymore. I always immediately filter out Vetta in searches. No way I'm paying that much for an image. Among the regular collections, exclusive images (and plus images) are still much more expensive than what the competition offers. Non-exclusive images are priced more appropriately, but good luck finding any of them after pages and pages of exclusive content in search results.

The draw of istock for a long time was that although they might cost a bit more, they were convenient and had a higher-quality collection. But the quality level is starting to equal out among competitors, so quality is a harder sell when so many sites have more and more great content.

Where I think istock can really start to slip is in cost. I'm looking at the latest copy of HOW Magazine right now, and there's a full-page ad for photoxpress (the Fotolia affiliate) boasting monthly subscriptions for $9.99. So for the cost of 1 large photo at istock, you can get 30 large "premium" level images at photoxpress, plus 15,000 non-premium image downloads per month. All the buyer needs to do is purchase more than 1 premium image per month under that subscription and they're already saving money over istock. As a buyer, it's extremely tempting. When I go to buy my next photo at istock, I'd be extremely tempted to just buy a 1-month subscription at photoxpress instead, knowing that the 29 images I download after that would basically be free. Sure the collection might not be as great as istock, but it's pretty good. I don't mind digging through a couple more pages of search results to find a suitable alternative to an istock image. I'm already going through extra steps in every search at istock to filter out Vetta and try to find cheaper non-exclusive images.

It's a slippery slope, and I think istock is playing a dangerous game as they continually push more expensive content while good, cheap alternatives are becoming more available and at very tempting price points.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2010, 08:51 »
0
I can see why they would emphasize exclusive images for something like this.

A lot of buyers will probably see an image they like and then go cross-shop it at other sites to see if they can find it cheaper somewhere else. Why would istock promote images that most likely could be found on a dozen other sites? And cheaper.

« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2010, 08:54 »
0
Didn't iStock always promote holiday and seasonal themed lightboxes? I always assumed they picked a lot of them by specific keywords or categories. The back to school one doesn't look that much different.

« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2010, 08:57 »
0
... So for the cost of 1 large photo at istock, you can get 30 large "premium" level images at photoxpress, plus 15,000 non-premium image downloads per month.

wow...

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2010, 09:13 »
0
If you think that photo lightbox is heavily weighted towards exclusive images, check out the featured back-to-school illustration lightbox. Maybe a half-dozen non-exclusive images total in 10 pages of results. Can't say I blame istock for trying to capitalize on their one trump card in the game. Exclusive is a selling point. I just think they can take it too far. Not sure I can say how far is too far for the general buying audience, but for me they've gone too far already. istosk is just not worth it to me anymore. I always immediately filter out Vetta in searches. No way I'm paying that much for an image. Among the regular collections, exclusive images (and plus images) are still much more expensive than what the competition offers. Non-exclusive images are priced more appropriately, but good luck finding any of them after pages and pages of exclusive content in search results. The draw of istock for a long time was that although they might cost a bit more, they were convenient and had a higher-quality collection. But the quality level is starting to equal out among competitors, so quality is a harder sell when so many sites have more and more great content. Where I think istock can really start to slip is in cost. I'm looking at the latest copy of HOW Magazine right now, and there's a full-page ad for photoxpress (the Fotolia affiliate) boasting monthly subscriptions for $9.99. So for the cost of 1 large photo at istock, you can get 30 large "premium" level images at photoxpress, plus 15,000 non-premium image downloads per month. All the buyer needs to do is purchase more than 1 premium image per month under that subscription and they're already saving money over istock. As a buyer, it's extremely tempting. When I go to buy my next photo at istock, I'd be extremely tempted to just buy a 1-month subscription at photoxpress instead, knowing that the 29 images I download after that would basically be free. Sure the collection might not be as great as istock, but it's pretty good. I don't mind digging through a couple more pages of search results to find a suitable alternative to an istock image. I'm already going through extra steps in every search at istock to filter out Vetta and try to find cheaper non-exclusive images. It's a slippery slope, and I think istock is playing a dangerous game as they continually push more expensive content while good, cheap alternatives are becoming more available and at very tempting price points.


Your point, from a buyer's perspective, is exactly why all of these free and ultra cheap sites like Photoxpress need to be gotten rid of and not supported by contributors.

Buyers are now not only fleeing IS, they're skipping over all the rest of the main sites and going to the bottom. All of us lose.

How much do contributors earn from the bottom at places like Photoxpress and other micro-microstock affiliate sites? Nothing? Pennies?

Like I said in some other posts, a lot of buyers are now just looking for "good enough" and here's proof. Agencies claim these freebie sites are to attract customers. Yes, they do a great job of attracting freebie/cheap hunters and luring them away from places where contributors have a slight chance of being compensated reasonably.

Thank you for confirming this.

« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2010, 09:56 »
0
I'm pretty sure there isn't an opt out of Photoxpress since they are owned by Fotolia. Kind of makes you wonder how far they are willing to go, Ouch!!

lagereek

« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2010, 10:05 »
0
If you think that photo lightbox is heavily weighted towards exclusive images, check out the featured back-to-school illustration lightbox. Maybe a half-dozen non-exclusive images total in 10 pages of results. Can't say I blame istock for trying to capitalize on their one trump card in the game. Exclusive is a selling point. I just think they can take it too far. Not sure I can say how far is too far for the general buying audience, but for me they've gone too far already. istosk is just not worth it to me anymore. I always immediately filter out Vetta in searches. No way I'm paying that much for an image. Among the regular collections, exclusive images (and plus images) are still much more expensive than what the competition offers. Non-exclusive images are priced more appropriately, but good luck finding any of them after pages and pages of exclusive content in search results. The draw of istock for a long time was that although they might cost a bit more, they were convenient and had a higher-quality collection. But the quality level is starting to equal out among competitors, so quality is a harder sell when so many sites have more and more great content. Where I think istock can really start to slip is in cost. I'm looking at the latest copy of HOW Magazine right now, and there's a full-page ad for photoxpress (the Fotolia affiliate) boasting monthly subscriptions for $9.99. So for the cost of 1 large photo at istock, you can get 30 large "premium" level images at photoxpress, plus 15,000 non-premium image downloads per month. All the buyer needs to do is purchase more than 1 premium image per month under that subscription and they're already saving money over istock. As a buyer, it's extremely tempting. When I go to buy my next photo at istock, I'd be extremely tempted to just buy a 1-month subscription at photoxpress instead, knowing that the 29 images I download after that would basically be free. Sure the collection might not be as great as istock, but it's pretty good. I don't mind digging through a couple more pages of search results to find a suitable alternative to an istock image. I'm already going through extra steps in every search at istock to filter out Vetta and try to find cheaper non-exclusive images. It's a slippery slope, and I think istock is playing a dangerous game as they continually push more expensive content while good, cheap alternatives are becoming more available and at very tempting price points.


Your point, from a buyer's perspective, is exactly why all of these free and ultra cheap sites like Photoxpress need to be gotten rid of and not supported by contributors.

Buyers are now not only fleeing IS, they're skipping over all the rest of the main sites and going to the bottom. All of us lose.

How much do contributors earn from the bottom at places like Photoxpress and other micro-microstock affiliate sites? Nothing? Pennies?

Like I said in some other posts, a lot of buyers are now just looking for "good enough" and here's proof. Agencies claim these freebie sites are to attract customers. Yes, they do a great job of attracting freebie/cheap hunters and luring them away from places where contributors have a slight chance of being compensated reasonably.

Thank you for confirming this.



Talk about an industry cutting its own throat so effectivly. Seen nothing like it?  if this is the perspective of one buyer, what about all the rest?

lisafx

« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2010, 10:09 »
0
There may be a few token non-exclusive images, but it seems to me the clear majority of images are Vettas.  Some are new, but many are not that new.

Yeah, you're right.  I went through the whole thing by contributor (only 7 pages) and there are about 8 or 9 from monkeybusiness and 1 from Yuri and THAT'S IT.  All others from exclusives. 

It is certainly istock's right to market whatever images they want, but if it is almost entirely exclusive, and Vetta or E+ at that, they should make it clear to the buyers.  To try and say (paraphrasing here) "this is the best education imagery we have, bar none" is just dishonest and kinda slimey. 

helix7

« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2010, 10:13 »
0

Your point, from a buyer's perspective, is exactly why all of these free and ultra cheap sites like Photoxpress need to be gotten rid of and not supported by contributors...

There's no chance of that happening. Sure it would benefit contributors immensely to see sites like photoxpress and thinkstock go away. But they have enough content and enough marketing firepower to easily compete with the bigger agencies, and they're here to stay. Thinkstock was heavily boycotted by contributors, and yet they're still here and still pushing hard with the ad campaigns, and buyers are attracted.

Sure I'm probably a scumbag contributor by going to photoxpress instead of dreamstime or fotolia or even SS for a subscription. But I certainly don't feel bad about dodging istock. In this particular discussion, we're talking about istock and their push to get higher-priced content in front of the buyers first and foremost. And in that regard, I think they're are making a mistake. The whole argument about which alternative sites people should be flocking to is probably best suited for a separate thread. In this discussion, I'll just add that I have no problem leaving istock as a buyer while they continue to make it harder for me to find appropriately priced images. And in my opinion, in the context of what cheaper options are out there, the istock policy of pushing the most expensive content is pushing me towards those other options.

lisafx

« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2010, 10:14 »
0
Didn't iStock always promote holiday and seasonal themed lightboxes? I always assumed they picked a lot of them by specific keywords or categories. The back to school one doesn't look that much different.

No, this is fairly new.  In the past they had "seasonal searches" which were just a link to a best match search on a seasonal topic.  Everybody's images showed up.  

Also, they have always promoted a "lightbox of the month" but those were user created and included any images the (contributor) lightbox admin had chosen.  

« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2010, 10:21 »
0
There are a lot of Exclusives as well as Non-exclusives who have great school images that were ignored or overloooked.  I don't think it's IStock catering to Exclusive's as much as IStock pushing Vetta, catering to a few select photographers and not wanting to be bothered taking the time to do it right.

lisafx

« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2010, 10:26 »
0
Excellent point!  I was really shocked that none of Nano's or Bonniej's top selling education images were included. 


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
30 Replies
11533 Views
Last post September 30, 2008, 01:03
by RacePhoto
0 Replies
1252 Views
Last post April 08, 2009, 07:26
by vii-studio
1 Replies
6831 Views
Last post March 14, 2011, 05:33
by fotorob
90 Replies
19539 Views
Last post March 22, 2010, 11:28
by stockastic
27 Replies
4430 Views
Last post September 05, 2012, 08:24
by robhainer

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors