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Author Topic: Getty says "Don't buy at istock"  (Read 17385 times)

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KB

« on: March 19, 2010, 17:17 »
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Have I missed the discussions on this? Or haven't there been any?

Two active IS forum topics:

1. Getty is cold-calling iStock corporate buyers to get them to switch to ThinkStock:
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=189221&page=1

2. Getty is now advertising on iStock's website (subscription page), urging potential (and no doubt current) buyers to consider ThinkStock:
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=190081&page=1

The end is nigh!  >:(


lisafx

« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2010, 18:14 »
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Holy sh*t. 

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2010, 18:19 »
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Holy sh*t. 

MAKE THAT A SECOND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2010, 18:26 »
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What does it say about this move that since iSuck at iStock and don't have more than .3% of my gallery there that I'm happy with this?  I think it should say they shafted you - but I think everyone already knew that.  It doesn't shaft me - I have 2700 pics on ThinkStock through StockXpert.  More business there helps me - but hurts true iStockers.

« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2010, 18:27 »
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The best thing we as individuals can do at this point is to refuse to participate in Thinkstock. If they have a small, poor quality collection, buyers will go elsewhere. Don't feed the monster.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2010, 18:48 »
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The best thing we as individuals can do at this point is to refuse to participate in Thinkstock. If they have a small, poor quality collection, buyers will go elsewhere. Don't feed the monster.
Sadly, one of the Black Diamonds has over 4000 images on Thinkstock.  :o

« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2010, 19:00 »
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The best thing we as individuals can do at this point is to refuse to participate in Thinkstock. If they have a small, poor quality collection, buyers will go elsewhere. Don't feed the monster.
Sadly, one of the Black Diamonds has over 4000 images on Thinkstock.  :o

An exclusive black diamond? I wish we had a rough idea of the percentage of exclusive content available on Thinkstock - I was hoping it was very low, and certainly there are a number of vocal opponents among the higher levels of exclusives.

« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2010, 19:00 »
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Geez, people, don't be so knee-jerkish: They're not dissuading regular buyers from using iStock, they're merely pointing subscription buyers towards Thinkstock, which makes this largely irrelevant: the number of subscription sales at iStock is minimal at very best.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2010, 19:02 by sharply_done »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2010, 19:21 »
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The best thing we as individuals can do at this point is to refuse to participate in Thinkstock. If they have a small, poor quality collection, buyers will go elsewhere. Don't feed the monster.
Sadly, one of the Black Diamonds has over 4000 images on Thinkstock.  :o

An exclusive black diamond?
Oh yes.

« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2010, 19:24 »
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Remember the Partner Program qualifications? I think it's sadder that someone has 4000+ images without a sale in 18 months!

« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2010, 19:25 »
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It is just one.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2010, 19:28 »
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The best thing we as individuals can do at this point is to refuse to participate in Thinkstock. If they have a small, poor quality collection, buyers will go elsewhere. Don't feed the monster.
Sadly, one of the Black Diamonds has over 4000 images on Thinkstock.  :o

An exclusive black diamond?
Oh yes.
Two more EBDs have over a thousand each, and another has a few hundred. I haven't checked them all.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2010, 19:30 »
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Remember the Partner Program qualifications? I think it's sadder that someone has 4000+ images without a sale in 18 months!
Huh? Exclusives can nominate any or all of their images over 18 months old to the PP, and any newer images to the PP rather than iStock.

KB

« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2010, 19:35 »
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Geez, people, don't be so knee-jerkish: They're not dissuading regular buyers from using iStock, they're merely pointing subscription buyers towards Thinkstock, which makes this largely irrelevant: the number of subscription sales at iStock is minimal at very best.
Really? Did you read what I wrote? Did you read that first thread I linked to?

KB

« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2010, 19:37 »
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It is just one.
That we know of. But if there's one, there could be many.  >:(

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2010, 19:40 »
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It is just one.
What is just one what?

KB

« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2010, 19:45 »
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It is just one.
What is just one what?
Hey, you started it, if anyone should know, it's you.  ;D

One black diamond contributing to TS.

« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2010, 19:51 »
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It's easy to see that there are very few, and these ones with very few photos, in some cases deleted from istock, in others just old and so-so photos. You can search by name or alias, "xxxx", as you know.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2010, 20:14 »
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It is just one.
What is just one what?
Hey, you started it, if anyone should know, it's you.  ;D

One black diamond contributing to TS.
I checked five exclusive BDs and three of them are contributing to TS.

« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2010, 20:54 »
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Sounds like a desperation move.
Cold calling is rarely viewed kindly by the call-ee (is that a word?).

« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2010, 20:56 »
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Let's see, Thinkstock is a part of Getty, why wouldn't they point this option out to clients? Would it make sense to hide it and hope it fails?

« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2010, 20:57 »
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Sounds like a desperation move.
Cold calling is rarely viewed kindly by the call-ee (is that a word?).
Huh? The reason cold calling is done is because it works.

« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2010, 21:21 »
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Sounds like a desperation move.
Cold calling is rarely viewed kindly by the call-ee (is that a word?).
Cold calling in business is a core part of the sales team. They're not calling residences interupting their dinner. I get cold calls and when done properly by good sales people they usually end up being decent conversations.

I doubt it's desperation. It's probably a move that is highly profitable and the more sales volume the better.

« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2010, 22:09 »
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My two cents:

Why do you think Getty would kill Istock, a company that is making them a hundred million dollars per year? I don't think they will! Would you stop uploading images on your best selling agency just because you think that new one which you just found will do better in future? I would not.
They might want to move the subscription program to Thinkstock to bring some new customers and then advise those new customers about Istock, as another store that is  better and more expensive.

About the woman-salesman, maybe she works on commission and they don't care about what will happen in future as long as they make their commission.

Regards,
Kone

« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2010, 22:15 »
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Cold calling in business is a core part of the sales team. They're not calling residences interupting their dinner.
When I still had a landline, they always were, at the most inconvenient moments. I registered a couple of times in an opt-out list but they kept on calling at very awkward moments. It's unavoidable since when you have a tiring day job and home at 7pm, it's the only time you are around and they want to take advantage of your weakness then.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2010, 22:18 by FD-amateur »

« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2010, 22:42 »
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Why do you think Getty would kill Istock, a company that is making them a hundred million dollars per year?
You can expect anything from a company that killed a fine site like Stockexpert just because some overhyped white collar "managers" want their extra bonus. Reading between the lines on the IS forum, you can feel that Sylvan isn't that enthusiast about it all. In a very elusive way, he asked for support - and he will get it since IS isn't Getty and vice versa.

« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2010, 23:06 »
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My cynical perspective on this sort of thing comes from the years I spent working in a big technology corporation.  

After the big execs go on an acquisition/startup binge, they wake up in bed with a financial hangover, and a new company they may not really know what to do with, and which may not look quite so 'hot' now that the thrill of the chase is over.   There is then enormous pressure to make the whole deal look like a winner.  Resources are quickly diverted to the new acquisition to pump up its bottom line before the next big accounting cutoff.  Those resources often come from other, established parts of the company that are doing well.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2010, 23:09 by stockastic »

« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2010, 23:23 »
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Reading between the lines on the IS forum, you can feel that Sylvan isn't that enthusiast about it all.

You can 'read between the lines' all you like but actually Rob is supporting the PP with his best-selling images. Don't forget we were all encouraged right from the start to send our entire portfolios to the PP, exclusive and independents alike.

Only a particularly stupid person would provide their content to an agency that they hoped would eventually fail. Maybe the IS admin are on some sort of bonus scheme based on the success of the PP.

I'd be absolutely gutted about these latest developments if I were exclusive. It seems that Istock's real message is "You play ball with us ... and we'll shove the bat up your arse".

« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2010, 23:36 »
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Maybe the IS admin are on some sort of bonus scheme based on the success of the PP.
Ah yes, good old capitalism at its best. If you can't beat them, bribe them. I was merely sliming in the hope to get a bump in the best match of course.  ;)

« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2010, 23:37 »
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No surprise!  We already knew Getty's intentions to send IS clients to Thinkstock.

Well, Thinkstock supporters must be happy now... They are about to have a few more subscription sales a month  :-\

I guess most thinkstock supporters must be either very low Istock sellers who think they have nothing to lose or very greedy people who can't help leaving money on the table and can't see the damage they are causing to themselves.   The other group would be naive newbies.

This is sad.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2010, 00:11 by Digital66 »

nruboc

« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2010, 00:16 »
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Subscriptions today, PPD tomorrow. Getty obviously stands to make a bundle if they can target their wholly owned content above content they have to pay up to a 40% commission on. It's so obvious, I don't know why people are so surprised when they hear news like this anymore, it's baffling.

« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2010, 00:21 »
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I guess most thinkstock supporters must be either very low Istock sellers who think they have nothing to lose or very greedy people who can't help leaving money on the table and can't see the damage they are causing to themselves.   The other group would be naive newbies.

115 images on Istock.
2700 images on ThinkStock.

You tell me.

« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2010, 02:13 »
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Sounds like a desperation move.
Cold calling is rarely viewed kindly by the call-ee (is that a word?).
Huh? The reason cold calling is done is because it works.

Speaking strictly from personal experience, it does not work on me.
I am in a position at my company where I get cold called.
I hang up almost instantaneously when I realize what the call is.

Yes, I have read that it works.
I have read that spam works as well, but I have yet to open and respond to a spam email, just as I have yet to buy anything from a cold caller.  ;D

In the early 80s in a fairly bad business climate, my then employer had all of his employees making cold calls to drum up business.
It did not work at all. Zilch, nada, zip.

I know I'm in the minority here and everyone else feels cold calling is just good business.
C'est la guerre.

« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2010, 06:11 »
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Reading between the lines on the IS forum, you can feel that Sylvan isn't that enthusiast about it all.

You can 'read between the lines' all you like but actually Rob is supporting the PP with his best-selling images. Don't forget we were all encouraged right from the start to send our entire portfolios to the PP, exclusive and independents alike.

Only a particularly stupid person would provide their content to an agency that they hoped would eventually fail. Maybe the IS admin are on some sort of bonus scheme based on the success of the PP.

I'd be absolutely gutted about these latest developments if I were exclusive. It seems that Istock's real message is "You play ball with us ... and we'll shove the bat up your arse".

LOL!

« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2010, 06:15 »
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I thought closing StockXpert was a bad decision and moving buyers from istock to thinkstock looks like another one.  This might not be bad for non-exclusives though, as I have seen increased sales on istocks rival sites.  Hopefully enough of us wont use thinkstock and the site will never appeal to buyers as much as the other subs sites.  Corbis haven't done well with microstock so far, perhaps Getty will be just as bad?

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2010, 06:25 »
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I thought closing StockXpert was a bad decision and moving buyers from istock to thinkstock looks like another one.  This might not be bad for non-exclusives though, as I have seen increased sales on istocks rival sites.  Hopefully enough of us wont use thinkstock and the site will never appeal to buyers as much as the other subs sites.  Corbis haven't done well with microstock so far, perhaps Getty will be just as bad?
Getty seem to have done pretty well with their microstock acquisition up 'til now.

« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2010, 06:58 »
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Getty seem to have done pretty well with their microstock acquisition up 'til now.

I think it is more the case that IS have done very well for Getty rather than the other way around. IS and microstock generally was already a runaway train when Getty jumped aboard.

Getty were on the NYSE when they bought Istock but the rest of their business was in such sharp decline that the shareholders eventually gave up on them and they sold out cheaply to H&F. I certainly wouldn't put it beyond Getty to screw up Istock with a series of poor business decisions __ which is what they appear to be doing.

What did they gain by closing down StockXpert for example? Why then start afresh with Thinkstock, a virtual mirror of PC/JIU which have failed to make any impact? Crazy. Phoning their highest-spending Istock customers and suggesting they buy a sub at TS instead is little short of lunacy. There were very good business reasons why Istock always avoided going down the conventional subscription route and that seems to have served them very well up to now. Getty appear intent on dismantling all that made Istock so successful. The eventual winner out of all this will be Fotolia.

« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2010, 07:12 »
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@Mantonino,

"115 images on Istock.
2700 images on ThinkStock.

You tell me."

One thing comes to my mind - Thank God for IStock's upload limits!
Hopefully they'll stay in place.


3 - out of the 5 searched for - Black Diamonds contribute to ThinkStock.
No surprise here. I knew it.
I wonder, if asked, what their reason for uploading there would be?
'Trust in HQ' is a popular reply.
But is it accurate?

Most people upload to ThinkStock because they want to make more money. (One would think an exclusive Black Diamond is past such worries. But no.) The further down Getty's road they go chasing, the less we're all going to get.
Let's keep those upload limits in place for as long as possible.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2010, 07:40 »
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What did they gain by closing down StockXpert for example? Why then start afresh with Thinkstock, a virtual mirror of PC/JIU which have failed to make any impact? Crazy. Phoning their highest-spending Istock customers and suggesting they buy a sub at TS instead is little short of lunacy. There were very good business reasons why Istock always avoided going down the conventional subscription route and that seems to have served them very well up to now. Getty appear intent on dismantling all that made Istock so successful.
Totally agree.

« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2010, 08:02 »
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I think we might now need to plan for the possibility of IS forcing participation in the PP.  I didn't think it would happen before, but now I'm not so sure.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #40 on: March 20, 2010, 08:08 »
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I think we might now need to plan for the possibility of IS forcing participation in the PP.  I didn't think it would happen before, but now I'm not so sure.
In that scenario, I guess everything would hinge on how many of the Big Sellers 'pulled' their images from iStock in protest. (currently, for example, neither Lise nor Sean are opted in, though only Sean has posted his reasons and Lise is now heavily involved 'at the top')  What the rest of us small fry do is virtually irrelevant.
Would any of the 'opposition' sites offer them a Golden Hello? Otherwise they might virtually be forced to stay at iStock despite not liking the PP.
Way back when the PP was first proposed, and the OptOut avatars were appeaing, a BigWig (Kelly? JJRD?) made a peevish post that if we didn't opt in they'd populate the program in other ways (implied: so we'd better take the fantastic opportunity or lose it). Whether he meant by forcing us in, or whether he meant they'd trawl Flickr etc, who knows?
« Last Edit: March 20, 2010, 09:49 by ShadySue »

« Reply #41 on: March 20, 2010, 08:28 »
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Afraid it all smacks of desperation IMO feels like IS is being sacrificed for the GGG (Getty Greater Good ) and we are still in the early stages :(

« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2010, 09:22 »
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The only reason getty is doing this is "they would love to eventually kill istockphoto and pay us only 0.25 cents forever". It is even worse than usual %20 we are getting at istock.

lisafx

« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2010, 09:26 »
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What does it say about this move that since iSuck at iStock and don't have more than .3% of my gallery there that I'm happy with this?  I think it should say they shafted you - but I think everyone already knew that.  It doesn't shaft me - I have 2700 pics on ThinkStock through StockXpert.  More business there helps me - but hurts true iStockers.

It doesn't help you either.  Not in the long run.  When Shutterstock stops paying you .33 or .38 or whatever level you're on and bumps everyone back to .25 because people are willing to accept that at TS then you get shafted right along with the rest of us.

« Reply #44 on: March 20, 2010, 09:46 »
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What does it say about this move that since iSuck at iStock and don't have more than .3% of my gallery there that I'm happy with this?  I think it should say they shafted you - but I think everyone already knew that.  It doesn't shaft me - I have 2700 pics on ThinkStock through StockXpert.  More business there helps me - but hurts true iStockers.

It says to me that because you can't compete yourself you're happy to assist in destroying the market for everyone else.

alias

« Reply #45 on: March 20, 2010, 09:48 »
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It seems to me that there is a good case for selling the same images under different brands and at different prices under different models. It works for many independents.

It doesn't help you either.  Not in the long run.  When Shutterstock stops paying you .33 or .38 or whatever level you're on and bumps everyone back to .25 because people are willing to accept that at TS then you get shafted right along with the rest of us.

For many people the rate they can earn at SS is 0.23 - 0.26 because of US taxes.

« Reply #46 on: March 20, 2010, 09:50 »
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I don't think we will be forced in to joining the PP or that we will eventually have only $0.25 subs but I have been looking at other ways to make money and if I don't like what is happening with microstock, I can leave.  Hopefully thinkstock will work as well as snap village did.  I am not going to panic, earnings are still good overall, might as well wait and see what happens.

« Reply #47 on: March 20, 2010, 09:53 »
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A lot of people says "i will not accept to sell a 0.20 cents" then you see this guy putting photos everywhere for free too.
This is the microstock illusion, only illusions.
Few years left and the databases  of clients will be full enough to allow them don't buy nothing anymore.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #48 on: March 20, 2010, 09:56 »
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It seems to me that there is a good case for selling the same images under different brands and at different prices under different models. It works for many independents.

Maybe so, but fotolia isn't suggesting that its biggest buyers might get a better deal at dreamstime or vice versa.

« Reply #49 on: March 20, 2010, 10:26 »
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In that scenario, I guess everything would hinge on how many of the Big Sellers 'pulled' their images from iStock in protest.
They don't have to pull their images. They just don't have to opt in the PP.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #50 on: March 20, 2010, 10:43 »
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In that scenario, I guess everything would hinge on how many of the Big Sellers 'pulled' their images from iStock in protest.
They don't have to pull their images. They just don't have to opt in the PP.
That was creative cutting.
The scenario I was referring to was the suggestion that Getty might not make 'opting out' of the PP an option for iStock contributers.

lisafx

« Reply #51 on: March 20, 2010, 10:55 »
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The scenario I was referring to was the suggestion that Getty might not make 'opting out' of the PP an option for iStock contributers.

My guess, and it's only that, would be that one of the "exclusive benefits" will eventually be the ability to opt out of the PP.  I suspect non-exclusives will one day be herded into it whether they like it or not. 

« Reply #52 on: March 20, 2010, 11:05 »
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just slightly off topic, but still related to IS...

a moment ago, when i go to my link for IS , and click on VIEW PORTFOLIO...
i get an error message.

is anyone getting the same thing when they go to their own
http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id .....
link to click on VIEW PORTFOLIO.

i am thinking that maybe IS has changed the portfolio link, like Fotolia did last year to our link.

« Reply #53 on: March 20, 2010, 11:29 »
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My guess, and it's only that, would be that one of the "exclusive benefits" will eventually be the ability to opt out of the PP.  I suspect non-exclusives will one day be herded into it whether they like it or not. 
In that case I'm gone. They won't make it mandatory, they will just kick you back some pages down the Worst Match.

« Reply #54 on: March 20, 2010, 12:39 »
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*snip*

Most people upload to ThinkStock because they want to make more money. (One would think an exclusive Black Diamond is past such worries. But no.) The further down Getty's road they go chasing, the less we're all going to get.
Let's keep those upload limits in place for as long as possible.

Just wondering if we're absolutely sure those black diamonds all opted in... i still read posts in the istock forums from people being outraged because they opted out and their images are STILL there?

Apart from this... i agree with istock being sacrificed for the "Greater Getty Good" as someone stated earlier; it becomes painfully obvious with every new move. And btw, isn't this very typical?! The bomb gets dropped right before the weekend again...
« Last Edit: March 20, 2010, 12:42 by Artemis »

RacePhoto

« Reply #55 on: March 20, 2010, 13:42 »
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Geez, people, don't be so knee-jerkish: They're not dissuading regular buyers from using iStock, they're merely pointing subscription buyers towards Thinkstock, which makes this largely irrelevant: the number of subscription sales at iStock is minimal at very best.


Here's the page people get when they click on Subscriptions for photos. I don't see where it says "don't buy from iStock"?

What I see are two choices?

http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_thinkstock_subscription.php

Says this under Thinkstock, with a bunch more: Stop comparison-shopping at different subscription sites. If budget is your main concern and you don't need video or audio options, Thinkstock is for you.

Under the iStock subscription link it says: An iStock subscription gives you access to our entire collection: photographs, vectors, Flash media, video footage and audio tracks. You'll get the newest files from our Exclusive artists, and the exceptional quality of the Vetta collection

Of course as someone who's non-exclusive, opted in for the PP I'll like this better than an exclusive who is opted out. I can understand that difference.

KB

« Reply #56 on: March 20, 2010, 13:58 »
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Geez, people, don't be so knee-jerkish: They're not dissuading regular buyers from using iStock
Here's the page people get when they click on Subscriptions for photos. I don't see where it says "don't buy from iStock"?

Clearly I titled the thread for maximum exposure. But what I wrote in the first post was this:
2. Getty is now advertising on iStock's website (subscription page), urging potential (and no doubt current) buyers to consider ThinkStock:
I did not say they were advertising "don't buy from iStock" on iStock itself.

The "don't buy from iStock" quote comes from the first thread I linked to:
When I said that we buy our images from Istockphoto, she said some thing like "Yeah, but if you buy a lot of images for your project, you should consider ThinkStock also!

True, the exact words were not "don't buy from iStock". But the meaning, to me, was exactly that.

I'm an independent who is opted out of the PP, so, yeah, I like this a whole lot less than someone opted in. IMO, you shouldn't be giving away your images for $0.25. It isn't worth it, and it can definitely lead to a lowering of commissions across the board. But that's JMO; we'll have to wait a year or two to see how it actually all plays out.

alias

« Reply #57 on: March 21, 2010, 05:50 »
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I'd be absolutely gutted about these latest developments if I were exclusive. It seems that Istock's real message is "You play ball with us ... and we'll shove the bat up your arse".

Seems to me they are offering the opportunity to grow sales in a different space.

Very regular users need cheap content. Consider that many of the biggest sites are using free and or CC images. Cheap subs are competing with free content. The ad yields are much lower per page vs print and the pages have a much shorter life than the old static webpages.

Cheap content has the potential to create a demand for cheap content and to therefore increase volumes. A designer choosing images to use in a specific project with a relatively longer shelf life is a different market from an editor looking for something to illustrate a blog post. The only thing they have in common is a need for images but they come to that completely differently.

I totally get the point of having competing and cross promotional brands under one family with different prices. When someone does a search at Google you want as many as possible of the sites to be selling your content differently. Just like independents always argued.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2010, 05:52 by alias »

« Reply #58 on: March 21, 2010, 07:31 »
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Just because someone -wants- cheap content because their business model or hobby doesn't have enough cash, doesn't mean you have to guve them the same content for cheap that dies sell for acceptable pricing.  An entitlement attitude does not need to be satisfied.  Unless you can offer special licensing, like $250 a month, 250 images, usage period one month for non-advertising purposes.

alias

« Reply #59 on: March 21, 2010, 08:45 »
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Just because someone -wants- cheap content because their business model or hobby doesn't have enough cash, doesn't mean you have to guve them the same content for cheap that dies sell for acceptable pricing.  An entitlement attitude does not need to be satisfied.  Unless you can offer special licensing, like $250 a month, 250 images, usage period one month for non-advertising purposes.

Not about hobby sites or poor business models. About publishing pages and blog posts which have a shorter shelf life and therefore generate less potential ad revenue than more static web pages or magazines.

That is a new market. Different enough from the web which has previously been served by stock and microstock to potentially justify different price models. It's a different web as print dies. Different opportunities. And you would be potentially competing with CC and or free.

Obviously you can either decide to try to serve that different market of not. Other markets exist along side it.

You could argue for restrictions but restrictions tend to put off customers. They tend to want the potential for flexibility even if they don't use it. But I think the new sub buyers are mostly going to be a different set from the people who carefully choose a few images at a time.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2010, 08:47 by alias »

« Reply #60 on: March 21, 2010, 09:30 »
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If it has different needs, serve a different license then.  No need to give the farm for nearly free.

« Reply #61 on: March 21, 2010, 09:53 »
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Just because someone -wants- cheap content because their business model or hobby doesn't have enough cash, doesn't mean you have to guve them the same content for cheap that dies sell for acceptable pricing.  An entitlement attitude does not need to be satisfied.  Unless you can offer special licensing, like $250 a month, 250 images, usage period one month for non-advertising purposes.

so true. you're a fine spokeman and a strong voice against giving away the store if ever we need one to represent that school, Mr Locke!

the problem with the officials of the microstock sites is that , to quote a previous prime minister of canada, they "speak from both sides of the mouth".
on one hand, they preach in secret that they really do not approve or like the idea of subs,
but in public they say you have to do it, or as Gostwyck puts it so succinctly, "we'll shove the bats up..."

it's not playing well with the contributors. every day it seems to get worse. at least IS gives you the option to opt out, while some sites , eg. DT , does not give you that luxury.
and the consensus seem to want to see the bottom fall out. even though the consensus on the contributor side
(including Mr. Locke, thank goodness), is openly against the idea of giving away your fine work.

so where is this going?  is it time again for another lube up the rear end for us?
« Last Edit: March 21, 2010, 09:56 by PERSEUS »

« Reply #62 on: March 21, 2010, 10:09 »
0
I'd be absolutely gutted about these latest developments if I were exclusive. It seems that Istock's real message is "You play ball with us ... and we'll shove the bat up your arse".

Seems to me they are offering the opportunity to grow sales in a different space.

Very regular users need cheap content. Consider that many of the biggest sites are using free and or CC images. Cheap subs are competing with free content. The ad yields are much lower per page vs print and the pages have a much shorter life than the old static webpages.

Cheap content has the potential to create a demand for cheap content and to therefore increase volumes. A designer choosing images to use in a specific project with a relatively longer shelf life is a different market from an editor looking for something to illustrate a blog post. The only thing they have in common is a need for images but they come to that completely differently.

I totally get the point of having competing and cross promotional brands under one family with different prices. When someone does a search at Google you want as many as possible of the sites to be selling your content differently. Just like independents always argued.

I would think that people requiring cheap images would use the free sites etc or when they have to buy individual images from the cheapest sites, I would doubt if many would buy $250 / month subs plans. 

« Reply #63 on: March 21, 2010, 10:27 »
0
It's the classic strategy for dealing with a threat of competitive innovation, as revealed in a now-infamous internal email from Microsoft: "embrace, extend, extinguish".  

Getty loves microstock, buys into it - expands it, introduces new subscription plans - drives the price to the floor - floods buyers' searches with cheap, low-quality, repititious images - until contributors can no longer recover their costs and stop submitting new work, and buyers burn out.  Eventually, in the words of Yogi Berra - "nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded".  

When the time is right, Getty will introduce a revolutionary "new" way to buy stock images, which will be a lot more expensive, and a lot more exclusive, and end up feeling a lot like the past.

Consider the online music business.  The big labels, with their army of lawyers, moved in and first shut down Napster, then (essentially) acquired it, carefully setting it up as a failure;   the cheap subscription model was tried by eMusic and others, but failed due to perceived lack of quality material.  So today, we pay - at iTunes or Amazon - almost as much for a dowloaded album  as we originally paid for a CD in the days before the internet.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2010, 10:31 by stockastic »

« Reply #64 on: March 21, 2010, 10:48 »
0
Just because someone -wants- cheap content because their business model or hobby doesn't have enough cash, doesn't mean you have to guve them the same content for cheap that dies sell for acceptable pricing.  An entitlement attitude does not need to be satisfied.  Unless you can offer special licensing, like $250 a month, 250 images, usage period one month for non-advertising purposes.

Not about hobby sites or poor business models. About publishing pages and blog posts which have a shorter shelf life and therefore generate less potential ad revenue than more static web pages or magazines.

That is a new market. Different enough from the web which has previously been served by stock and microstock to potentially justify different price models. It's a different web as print dies. Different opportunities. And you would be potentially competing with CC and or free.

Obviously you can either decide to try to serve that different market of not. Other markets exist along side it.

You could argue for restrictions but restrictions tend to put off customers. They tend to want the potential for flexibility even if they don't use it. But I think the new sub buyers are mostly going to be a different set from the people who carefully choose a few images at a time.

Hello???? Blog sized images cost $1 at pretty much every micro site. How much cheaper does it need to be??????

« Reply #65 on: March 21, 2010, 10:59 »
0
Just because someone -wants- cheap content because their business model or hobby doesn't have enough cash, doesn't mean you have to guve them the same content for cheap that dies sell for acceptable pricing.  An entitlement attitude does not need to be satisfied.  Unless you can offer special licensing, like $250 a month, 250 images, usage period one month for non-advertising purposes.

So so true Mr. Locke, so so true. Even the conditions you consider do not need to be offered.

« Reply #66 on: March 21, 2010, 11:20 »
0
Very regular users need cheap content.
I need a Cessna since I'm tired of all this local transport here at 25km/h over mud roads. I really honestly do need it. And I need it very cheaply, let's say for 8 DT credits. Got the point? A regular user can ask what he wants, but nobody is forced to offer or to produce it for the price that user wants to or can spend. If the images are too expensive, he can always go out and shoot them himself.

« Reply #67 on: March 21, 2010, 11:38 »
0
It's the classic strategy for dealing with a threat of competitive innovation, as revealed in a now-infamous internal email from Microsoft: "embrace, extend, extinguish".  

Getty loves microstock, buys into it - expands it, introduces new subscription plans - drives the price to the floor - floods buyers' searches with cheap, low-quality, repititious images - until contributors can no longer recover their costs and stop submitting new work, and buyers burn out.  Eventually, in the words of Yogi Berra - "nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded".  

When the time is right, Getty will introduce a revolutionary "new" way to buy stock images, which will be a lot more expensive, and a lot more exclusive, and end up feeling a lot like the past.

Consider the online music business.  The big labels, with their army of lawyers, moved in and first shut down Napster, then (essentially) acquired it, carefully setting it up as a failure;   the cheap subscription model was tried by eMusic and others, but failed due to perceived lack of quality material.  So today, we pay - at iTunes or Amazon - almost as much for a dowloaded album  as we originally paid for a CD in the days before the internet.

I think you are giving them too much credit :) I work in a university and it never ceases to amaze how often people that are so smart do things that are so dumb :)

alias

« Reply #68 on: March 21, 2010, 11:42 »
0
Very regular users need cheap content.
I need a Cessna since I'm tired of all this local transport here at 25km/h over mud roads. I really honestly do need it. And I need it very cheaply, let's say for 8 DT credits. Got the point? A regular user can ask what he wants, but nobody is forced to offer or to produce it for the price that user wants to or can spend. If the images are too expensive, he can always go out and shoot them himself.

A difference would be that nobody is going to give you that but plenty of people are already offering free content. And plenty of others are already offering cheap subscriptions. It's always going to be down to whether you want some of that business which will inevitably grow whether or not you are in it. Then it is about volume. These are roughly equivalent to the arguments which already took place around microstock in general.

I'm not advocating any of this but rather noting that it is an inevitable tide or trend since if someone does not serve a market at a particular price then someone else will. And in some ways I think it is possibly more interesting to see how any shifts affect prices, volumes and percentages at the other end of any market.

« Reply #69 on: March 21, 2010, 11:50 »
0
It's the classic strategy for dealing with a threat of competitive innovation, as revealed in a now-infamous internal email from Microsoft: "embrace, extend, extinguish".  
...

I think you are giving them too much credit :) I work in a university and it never ceases to amaze how often people that are so smart do things that are so dumb :)

That is so true, and it's worth pointing out that Microsoft's "embrace, extend, extinguish" strategy has mostly been a failure in the long run. 

« Reply #70 on: March 21, 2010, 12:09 »
0
I'd elaborate more, but I'm on my phone.  My point is not that there isn't a market to be served - there may be.  But create a product to fill that need, don't reduce everything to the lowest factor.  Obviously people who aren't concerned about maintaining a certain level will upload everything to anywhere with a pulse, so you can make that product based on the content.  It must be based then on something else.  Terms that are tailored to that need.  Transitory blog?  Great.  Here's a one month license to use it for non-advertising.  Maybe even set up a hoylinked image system you can turn off at the end (there's stuff like that out there).  No need to price a full fledged RF license at crack induced rates just because someone 'wants' it.

« Reply #71 on: March 21, 2010, 12:28 »
0
all very good points from both sides of the spectrum.
yes, embrace extend and extinguish may have failed in some, but in real estate ie. creating inner city slumps to drive prices down and then moving back in to buy them back and firesale giveaway prices have been done consistently in USA . still is,and i am sure being done elsewhere where there is political clout.

the speculation that Getty may be trying to kill microstock to drive sub prices (ha!, a good  pun... sub prices make micro earnings  dive like a sub).. and then introduce a premium stock genre later, does not sound atrocious.
in fact, i think i will welcome Getty's success, and quick.

let's encourage that generic la dee dah boring stock images to be over saturated by the top 4 and co, bring about the quick death to cheap stock images. submit all these generic images to all the sites that encourage sub prices. help Getty kill the market, so we can settle with IS and other sites who will only accept niche images and well shot images so that we can see the old high price images again.

sounds like a great idea. if we can't kill subs but revolting again sites who continue to drive earning lower, why don't we kill subs but getting the market flooded until buyers are so sick of seeing all these cheap banal generic images?

worth a try, i'd say! after all, we are already getting 30 cents for a XL download.
what have we got to lose to kill the sub market and bring it to a quicker death?
 

« Reply #72 on: March 21, 2010, 12:32 »
0
My own opinon is that the internet is going to run its wires right around and past these agencies.   Google - and others - will eventually give photographers ways to make their portofolios directly and uniformly searchable by buyers everywhere.   We won't need microstock, we - collectively - will BE microstock.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2010, 15:56 by stockastic »

« Reply #73 on: March 21, 2010, 13:22 »
0
My own opinon is that the internet is going to run uts wires right around and past these agencies.   Google - and others - will eventually give photographers ways to make their portofolios directly and uniformly searchable by buyers everywhere.   We won't need microstock, we - collectively - will BE microstock.

That would be an ideal situation...but my guess is that Getty would figure out a way to 'own' the search and still drive the first ten pages of results to a Getty site.

Also consider that if the photographers were all running independently, there would be a lot of flicker style content that would never have passed inspection at a 'real' stock site. For web content this is fine but not for print. Yes, I know print is dead/dying. Funny thing, I still get LOTS of catalogs, fliers, postcards etc. in my mailbox every day  :-\

« Reply #74 on: March 21, 2010, 13:58 »
0
No, the Internet thing wouldn't work.  Most buyers need releases checked, quality high or at least usable, etc.  You need some kind of oversight, also to keep idiots from driving pricing to a penny.

« Reply #75 on: March 21, 2010, 14:50 »
0
well, yes, yes, and yes..
starting back to front..

sjlocke..
-agree, we need some form of QA. although i can't say much for bias reviewers who would approve dogshit and then reject a studio shot for poor composition. literally.
-not sure what you mean by "keep idiots from driving pricing to a penny", Mr Locke.
the microsites are already doing that . is it ok for agencies to drive prices down to a penny but not ok for individuals?  maybe i misread your thoughts.

nosaya..
- agree. even now, amongst sites, there is some form of bias in driving buyers to insider's portfolio.
you know it's happening. how else would there be such disparity in a new image where one gets an instant sale while another much better image gets shafted on page 110 of the same keyword search placement. or when in a site's blog by an official, a poorly underexposed image is given credit as "stock sellable " example.
so, of course, Getty will find a way to own the search to still get first ten pages. in failing that, all Getty will need to do is buy over the search engine. and then kill it too.lol.

stockastic..
= i am not advocating to do away with agencies. they do their job and they earn their commissions.
i just don't like the way some of them are controlling contributors, be it not allowing them to opt out, or just plain showing no concern of the bottom line .

good thread. this is the kind of forum i enjoy, where there is some form of unity amongst contributors. after all, if we let agencies shaft us, no one particular contributor is immuned.
that is, unless, you start your own agency. .. and we know how successful that is, lol.

« Reply #76 on: March 21, 2010, 15:03 »
0
IS has raised my RPI 50 times what is was from when I started.  Left to a collection of image factory contributors and hobbyists, they'd surely slit their own throats trying to cut under each other down to a penny or so asap once rpi starts to drop. 

« Reply #77 on: March 21, 2010, 15:39 »
0
IS has raised my RPI 50 times what is was from when I started.  Left to a collection of image factory contributors and hobbyists, they'd surely slit their own throats trying to cut under each other down to a penny or so asap once rpi starts to drop. 

sure, Mr Locke. anyone can slit their own throat(s) by undercutting you. but in order to get a buyer to move to these cutthroats, they have to make images like yours.
if you make images that is easy to copy, or clone, i can see that reducing your lifelihood to a penny.
somehow i don't think that is just that easy. if so, IS wouldn't give you that preferential treatment either, would they?

what i see with other sites, not IS, though... is that they are trying to get total amateurs to move in on your "territory"  but being lenient to them initially.  this is why we see so much crap in microstock. some quite laughable.   i suspect this is to maintain the volume.

it seems many sites are now doing a fantastic job with the smoke screen... ie. wow, we now have xxx millions images ... and wow too, you can get these xxx millions at prices AS LOW AS (fill in the blanks here, as this amount keeps getting lower and lower each time you check).

 

« Reply #78 on: March 21, 2010, 16:07 »
0
No, the Internet thing wouldn't work.  Most buyers need releases checked, quality high or at least usable, etc.  You need some kind of oversight, also to keep idiots from driving pricing to a penny.

There are several ways it can work.  Credible 3rd party reviewing services, paid by sellers, could be part of it.  Many of the review criteria - like noise, "artifacts", white balance, sharpness - today seem to require skilled reviewers but in reality could be evaluated by software.  A new standard file format could embed a digital signature and a bit of code that allows the image to be rendered (viewed) only a fixed number of times - sufficient for the buyer's own review.  A downloadable application and encrypted JPGs could do the same thing today - giving the buyer a right of inspection and return.  

The internet has shown a strong long-term ability to get buyers and sellers in touch, one way or another.   Look at Ebay/Paypal for example - who predicted that?

« Reply #79 on: March 21, 2010, 16:31 »
0
IS is the eBay/paypal of this business.  All 3 are middlemen between the two people, all 3 raise rates as they like and all 3 annoy their users :).

« Reply #80 on: March 21, 2010, 16:53 »
0
IS is the eBay/paypal of this business.  All 3 are middlemen between the two people, all 3 raise rates as they like and all 3 annoy their users :).

... and all of them spend a lot of money on marketing too. The primary reason that IS, SS and FT have been so successful (and why others have not been so) is the amount of money they have spent on getting customers.

« Reply #81 on: March 21, 2010, 19:01 »
0
Very regular users need cheap content.
I need a Cessna since I'm tired of all this local transport here at 25km/h over mud roads. I really honestly do need it. And I need it very cheaply, let's say for 8 DT credits. Got the point? A regular user can ask what he wants, but nobody is forced to offer or to produce it for the price that user wants to or can spend. If the images are too expensive, he can always go out and shoot them himself.

A difference would be that nobody is going to give you that but plenty of people are already offering free content. And plenty of others are already offering cheap subscriptions. It's always going to be down to whether you want some of that business which will inevitably grow whether or not you are in it. Then it is about volume. These are roughly equivalent to the arguments which already took place around microstock in general.

I'm not advocating any of this but rather noting that it is an inevitable tide or trend since if someone does not serve a market at a particular price then someone else will. And in some ways I think it is possibly more interesting to see how any shifts affect prices, volumes and percentages at the other end of any market.

Free content is legally hazardous, hardly searchable and with an average poor quality.  Even if you were determined to do do it, producing free content with acceptable standarts would cost you a lot of money, and because of that, if not the hobby of a bored billionarie, free content never will be able to replace paid content. An the same will happen, in the near future ,with too-,much-cheap content (basically subs)... in the point when producers discover that they spent  more than what they get.

« Reply #82 on: March 21, 2010, 20:23 »
0
Free content is legally hazardous, hardly searchable and with an average poor quality.  Even if you were determined to do do it, producing free content with acceptable standarts would cost you a lot of money, and because of that, if not the hobby of a bored billionarie, free content never will be able to replace paid content. An the same will happen, in the near future ,with too-,much-cheap content (basically subs)... in the point when producers discover that they spent  more than what they get.

i think it also depends on your upbringing too. if you're a buyer who shops at the dollar store or thrift, and prefers to buy lots of nothing for a buck each, you will find subs to make sense.
then you have the other buyer who would never dream of buying something from the thrift stores or flea mart. this would be the buyer who sees quality as opposed to quantity, and will think subs is really another way of getting them to spend on something they really don't need, and in many cases, pay for more and get far less.

the mentality of those running the agencies who think subs is the way to make money is really a lot of bull. after all , wasn't part of the demise of StockXpert due to some wise idea of introducing subs?

thus, going back to the constant promotion of subs sites stressing on quantity vs quality. so you keep hearing the brass cheer each time they reach another million in images.  you know, all the ballyhoo about having the most images in microstock and the lowest price .  such crap!!!

« Reply #83 on: March 22, 2010, 00:10 »
0
There are several ways it can work.  Credible 3rd party reviewing services, paid by sellers, could be part of it.  Many of the review criteria - like noise, "artifacts", white balance, sharpness - today seem to require skilled reviewers but in reality could be evaluated by software.  A new standard file format could embed a digital signature and a bit of code that allows the image to be rendered (viewed) only a fixed number of times - sufficient for the buyer's own review.  A downloadable application and encrypted JPGs could do the same thing today - giving the buyer a right of inspection and return.
Correct. A clearance house for rights and releases, a warranty, a technical evaluation, payment, controlled downloads....
What you are talking about is a... stock agency.  ;D

« Reply #84 on: March 22, 2010, 08:31 »
0
I havent read this entire thread....  just bits and pieces...

I do however, sit and watch with wonder and amusement in the Great Microstock Wars.

Is it just my thinking or...  is SS the only stable micro force left on the planet?  Since day one, I have had no problem with SS.  Maybe they should consider an exclusive program.  The way everything is in such turmoil... I might actually seriously consider it for the  first time in my micro-life. 8)=tom

... or maybe I'm wrong....

« Reply #85 on: March 22, 2010, 09:51 »
0
i think many of us have hijacked this thread. so let's pull it back into topic.

to reconsider why Getty would want to divert attention from IS.
well, maybe they are not as stupid or insensitive to IS contributors (esp exclusivies) as i initially thought.

we see the other top 4 sites literally going for the mass volume cheap subs marketing. so Getty gets StockXpert and shaft them into Thinkstock. also shaft a lot more of non selling IS images there.
this creates competition for SS, DT , FT,et.. who seem to favor subs , even though we know contributors hate sub with a passion.  but Getty has to fill that need or lose market hold .

now, a buyer can choose between "premium" micro stock that you can find at IS,
or Thinkstock. you probably will find everything from horseshit to one thousand and one golden people same old same old for the next 100 pages in Thinkstock as you would with SS, DT, FT,etc..
this way, Getty buyers are happily served via Thinkstock without having to go outside the Getty fold.

then, when the buyer gets tired of seeing all those same old same old at Thinkstock,
they can come back to IS and pay for something better.

this pleases both contributors of IS, and buyers.
not as dumb as they look... this Getty.

« Reply #86 on: March 22, 2010, 09:58 »
0
There are several ways it can work.  Credible 3rd party reviewing services, paid by sellers, could be part of it.  Many of the review criteria - like noise, "artifacts", white balance, sharpness - today seem to require skilled reviewers but in reality could be evaluated by software.  A new standard file format could embed a digital signature and a bit of code that allows the image to be rendered (viewed) only a fixed number of times - sufficient for the buyer's own review.  A downloadable application and encrypted JPGs could do the same thing today - giving the buyer a right of inspection and return.
Correct. A clearance house for rights and releases, a warranty, a technical evaluation, payment, controlled downloads....
What you are talking about is a... stock agency.  ;D

Except for a few minor details - Google provides the search functionality, we display the images however we want, we arrange our own transaction processing,  we set our own prices, we do our own marketing (if any) and we get all the money.

alias

« Reply #87 on: March 22, 2010, 10:49 »
0
Except for a few minor details - Google provides the search functionality, we display the images however we want, we arrange our own transaction processing,  we set our own prices, we do our own marketing (if any) and we get all the money.

How can a buyer be guaranteed that you own the image which you are selling the rights to use ?

How can a buyer be certain that the image is rights cleared ? Who checks the paperwork ?

What are you going to offer as a trader which is better than what an agency can offer ?

Who checks that you are not spamming your keywords or uploading inferior shots ?

The best photographers in the world need someone else to make editorial decisions for them. Same as all other creatives ultimately.

« Reply #88 on: March 22, 2010, 11:07 »
0
Except for a few minor details - Google provides the search functionality, we display the images however we want, we arrange our own transaction processing,  we set our own prices, we do our own marketing (if any) and we get all the money.

How can a buyer be guaranteed that you own the image which you are selling the rights to use ?

How can a buyer be certain that the image is rights cleared ? Who checks the paperwork ?

What are you going to offer as a trader which is better than what an agency can offer ?

Who checks that you are not spamming your keywords or uploading inferior shots ?

The best photographers in the world need someone else to make editorial decisions for them. Same as all other creatives ultimately.


So how does anyone ever buy a car on Ebay Motors?  I'm sure the dealers all laughed and said that would never happen.

It can be hard to imagine a life outside of an abusive relationship.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 11:09 by stockastic »

alias

« Reply #89 on: March 22, 2010, 11:15 »
0
You need to look at things from the clients' perspectives.

« Reply #90 on: March 22, 2010, 11:28 »
0
 All the potential problems you list are real, but in time new solutions will be worked out. 


 

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