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Author Topic: Forget about the 10c adjustments - check this out  (Read 1634 times)

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« on: July 20, 2012, 09:02 »
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So, I just noticed that my IS earnings extracted by  Microstock Analytics are about 18% higher than reported by my account details in IS they are absolutely spot on for all other sites.
OK, there maybe some issues with the program but 20+ years in IT indicates that, if this was the case, virtually everything would be wrong not just a few selected files.  It looks like there are some fairly major integrity problems in the IS database not properly normalised so the same data is in different places and out of synch.  Some examples from the log:
Error: iStockphoto: Subscription Sales mismatch - 32 vs 44
Error: iStockphoto:     Id 12766918
Error: iStockphoto:     Subscription Sales: 1
Error: iStockphoto:     OnDemand Sales: 43
Error: iStockphoto:     Enchanced Sales: 0
Error: iStockphoto:     Custom Sales: 0
Error: iStockphoto:     Prints Sales: 0
Error: iStockphoto:     Delayed Sales: 0
Error: iStockphoto:     Partner Sales: 54
Error: iStockphoto: Subscription Sales mismatch - 45 vs 70
Error: iStockphoto:     Id 14539675
Error: iStockphoto:     Subscription Sales: 6
Error: iStockphoto:     OnDemand Sales: 64
Error: iStockphoto:     Enchanced Sales: 0
Error: iStockphoto:     Custom Sales: 0
Error: iStockphoto:     Prints Sales: 0
Error: iStockphoto:     Delayed Sales: 0
Error: iStockphoto:     Partner Sales: 25
Error: iStockphoto: Subscription Sales mismatch - 21 vs 22
Error: iStockphoto:     Id 14920627
Error: iStockphoto:     Subscription Sales: 0
Error: iStockphoto:     OnDemand Sales: 22
Error: iStockphoto:     Enchanced Sales: 0
Error: iStockphoto:     Custom Sales: 0
Error: iStockphoto:     Prints Sales: 0
Error: iStockphoto:     Delayed Sales: 0
Error: iStockphoto:     Partner Sales: 23
Error: iStockphoto: 3 files mismatched out of 28
 In other words, we either have a difference of 38 potential downloads not reported on my account page or some of their data is just screwed up of course the lower figures could be the correct ones but I dont like discrepancies like this.
Out of curiousity, I had a look at sales for 14539675 on the site.  It shows 45 IS sales and 25 PP sales (as above) with total royalties of $101.19. However, if you dump all the individual sales into Excel and add them, the total is $102.03.  OK, tiny difference(still too high to be accounted for by rounding to the nearest cent) but they should be exactly the same.
Bear in mind we are talking a tiny port of 28 images here are you guys with 100s or 1000s of images seeing anything like this?

Maybe there's some simple explanation everyone else knows about?
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 09:04 by heywoody »


« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2012, 13:31 »
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Interesting, but I don't know anything about Microstock Analytics.  Do I really want to just give my microstock account logins to these guys?  
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 13:35 by stockastic »

« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2012, 14:25 »
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I don't know whether I should cry or kill myself over this "news".

I don't want to hand out my login credentials either and I won't pick up any sort of programming to write a script to verify such findings.

This would be absolutely devastating to iStock if this would affect literally every contributor.

Maybe others who have Microstock Analytics account can double check and see if they also see discrepancies.

Scary.

« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2012, 14:36 »
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Do you know where this software is extracting the two pieces of data that don't match? You'd have to spot check something to be sure that this isn't a bug in their code (with respect to scraping data from iStock). Have you looked at IS's own CSV data to see if that helps explain anything?

As the others have said, I don't use Microstock analytics and wouldn't give my login information out to do so, so I have no experiences to offer.

« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2012, 14:53 »
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I don't use Microstock Analytics, but I checked one of mine using Excel and it was correct to the cent. It isn't in PP, so maybe that's where the problem is.

« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2012, 15:10 »
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Well surely the developer(s) of Microstock Analytics would have something to say about this.  I'm not a user so I can't ask them.

« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2012, 15:53 »
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There certainly seem to be some users of the tool and I have no reason at all to doubt the bona fidas of the developer:

http://www.microstockgroup.com/microstock-analytics/

I don't know the the internal structures of the iS system, nor do I know how the program extracts the data.  However, if there was an issue with the software I would expect wholesale discrepencies in the data returned but there aren't - in most cases it reports what I see on IS itself.  From experience, this looks like a "garbage in / garbage out" situation indicating a problem with the source data for certain months.

Even if we assume the program is wrong, I took the individual sales from another of the files (directly from IS) and totalled them in Excel - guess what, another small discrepency of $1.74.

Total MS income for me represents about 2 hours pay in my day job per month so no big deal but if their accounting system doesn't do basic addition .....

How does one get a CSV from IS?
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 15:55 by heywoody »

« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2012, 16:46 »
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first 2 images I added up with excel were fine for me

« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2012, 19:48 »
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first 2 images I added up with excel were fine for me

Yeah most of them are perfectly fine but the 2 examples are definitely incorrect.  However, that's just sloppiness in the coding of the summay page as I'd be confident that payouts would be calculated by adding the individual royalties.  Did some checking on the extra downloads thing and it looks like a case of certain sales on certain files being double counted in the analytics report so a data problem either on the site or in the tool.

« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2012, 20:01 »
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...How does one get a CSV from IS?

From the user_view.php page, click on the Stats tab and you'll see the CSV button. If you want to get monthly totals for the year, you have to select Monthly from the drop-down list and then select CSV button. As far as I know you can't get details per file (i.e there's no CSV button the file download list) but this might help you to find an administrative adjustment which possibly is the missing money.

Their accounting is hopeless - lots of things that we have had some info on (like the back payments for EL licenses for exclusives a while back) they got wrong. They acknowledged it was wrong but said that as it was a bit over they were going to leave it as is! I don't think there is any excuse at all in saying that the amounts are small, however that does reduce the incentive to fight them over things.

« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2012, 12:53 »
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Ah thanks - how did I miss that  ;D

« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2012, 09:28 »
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@heywoody are u talking about the missing royalty for the bug on 1-4 january  ?

« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2012, 10:16 »
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@heywoody are u talking about the missing royalty for the bug on 1-4 january  ?

No, I don't believe there are missing royalties.  Based on the limited evidence I believe there is a data integrity issue on some of the tables.  If royalties were missing I'd expect the "additional" sales to be on different dates and / or for different amounts but they are simply doubled.  Interestingly, the files are all Photo+ files.

« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2012, 14:19 »
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open a thread on the IS forum and ask, or call .....these are the solutions

ShadySue

« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2012, 14:58 »
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open a thread on the IS forum and ask, or call .....these are the solutions
You can't call; they don't allow mere contributors to phone them.
You could email them, but they'll tell you it's correct and click some explanation, whether or not it's relevant.
You could post on the iStock Help forum and we could all make bets on the likelihood of you getting a satisfactory answer, other than 'take out a CR ticket' (see above) before the thread is locked. Ironicially, there's an interminable circuit, whereby sometimes CR tickets suggest that you 'post on our forums, which are a wonderful information resource'. Then Lobo can have an apoplexy as he locks your next thread.
Vide the $2000 refund thread.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 15:09 by ShadySue »

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