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Author Topic: Ideas for Exclusives  (Read 4498 times)

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« on: January 19, 2012, 22:20 »
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With all the recent changes at IS, it's a scary time for exclusives.  Some are scared to take the plunge into independence for good reason...an immediate loss of income.  So what can exclusives do to lessen the pain of independence?

First, you can start developing a RM portfolio at Alamy or other traditional RM sites.  Grow your RM portfolio instead of your IS portfolio.

Second, you can sell print-on-demand products at places like Zazzle, Red Bubble, Etsy, etc. 

I'm sure others can share more ideas, but this is what's working for me as I slowly remove my portfolio from IS.  Building several different revenue avenues helps weather the storms, like low December sales or agency closures.  My Christmas sales at Zazzle made up for losses sustained during the holidays to my stock portfolio.  In two years, I haven't seen any decreases in my RF income from focusing on other projects...earnings have been remarkably steady...and I expect the same would hold true for exclusive IS portfolios.  Once those other avenues are built up, it will be much easier to walk away from exclusivity. 


« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2012, 22:23 »
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My Christmas sales at Zazzle made up for losses sustained during the holidays to my stock portfolio. 

Which was how much?

« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2012, 22:32 »
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You know we don't discuss such matters around here.   ;)

« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2012, 22:34 »
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It is scary that he is asking

Microstock Man

  • microstockman.com

« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2012, 22:34 »
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So can I just ask - is the time spent developing Zazzle worthwhile from your point of view (time vs return)? It's been a 'to-do' thing on my list, but just wasn't sure if it would pay off.

(not asking for $$ values here!!)  ;)

Thanks Karimala

« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2012, 22:47 »
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So can I just ask - is the time spent developing Zazzle worthwhile from your point of view (time vs return)? It's been a 'to-do' thing on my list, but just wasn't sure if it would pay off.

(not asking for $$ values here!!)  ;)

Thanks Karimala

Absolutely!  However, there's some tricks you'll need to learn in order to maximize your time, like making your own quick create templates.  It takes me only an 1 - 1 1/2 hours to create 100 products from a single image.  I need to write up the instructions for a friend, so when I'm done I'll post them in the print-on-demand forum. 

Microstock Man

  • microstockman.com

« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2012, 22:49 »
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That's great, thanks again Karimala.  I look forward to reading them.  :)

« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2012, 22:54 »
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I had 86 sales at Zazzle in 2011 for 240$, have around 800 products, since my start there have spent something like 5 to 10 days tops while watching TV, they were my 6th best agency in 2011 with 2.5% of my total earnings (top 5 - SS, IS, 123RF, FT, DT)

Microstock Man

  • microstockman.com

« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2012, 23:01 »
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Thanks luissantos84, that's also very helpful.

I think you guys have clinched it for me - I need to get it going.  Now even more looking forward to Karimala's write up!  :)

« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2012, 23:05 »
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I've never been overly impressed with the earnings at Zazzle. It makes money every month, but it's more of a fun thing to do/hobby than a real money earner.

« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2012, 23:14 »
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Nice thread.   How is Alamy working for you that have portfolios over there? I have a couple of friends that haven't had a single sale for years. 

Microstock Man

  • microstockman.com

« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2012, 23:20 »
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Alamy - around 6-9 sales a year with just under 1000 images.

Not setting the world on fire, but lately it does seem to have slightly increased.

« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2012, 23:28 »
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I was on a roll with the number of sales increasing every month all last year, but this month has been dead.  Averaging 4-5 sales per month with about 2,100 ordinary images.

« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2012, 05:01 »
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Are there actually exclusives that are going to drop the crown after this? I suspect not too many as most will probably feel vested and not willing to take the risk whatever their misgivings about Getty might be - as has been the case over the last few years they will most likely continue to say "I will wait and see ...".

As more of a buyer than contributor I do wish more exclusives would leave IS because I would love to have access to the ports of many of them (I have not purchased at IS for years for a variety of reasons). But I doubt it.

« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2012, 05:31 »
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My advice to the exclusives would be to read their contract carefully and see what it actually says.
A contract is an aggreement between two parties and BOTH should stick to it.

First thing to focus on is WHO are the legal entities involved? Have they changed, are the entities not the same anymore?
Second... There might be a breech or two from one of the entities, and if so, it makes the contract invalid, or at least negotiable.

In other words... contracts might not be so valid as you may presume...

« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2012, 05:48 »
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It would seem to me that if anyone is going to argue that iStock has voided the contract, then they would also be arguing that they are not entitled to the higher commission rates. I don't see how you could have it both ways.

« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2012, 05:49 »
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Quote
It is scary that he is asking

I think he was bordering on the sarcastic. My experience of Zazzle is that if it beat your iStock earnings you must be earning very little on IS.
Anyone who suggests Zazzle as a realistic alternative to exclusivity at IS is being a little less than realistic.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 05:57 by john_woodcock »

« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2012, 05:56 »
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It would seem to me that if anyone is going to argue that iStock has voided the contract, then they would also be arguing that they are not entitled to the higher commission rates. I don't see how you could have it both ways.

And in any case, even if you won the argument, they'd just make you sign another contract.

lagereek

« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2012, 05:57 »
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Another option is to:  exhibit your work at the Louvre in Paris or the Tate-Gallery in London, as the Guggenheim museum in NY. I mean the list of opportunities is endless.
Never despair!   :)

ShadySue

« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2012, 06:03 »
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Nice thread.   How is Alamy working for you that have portfolios over there? I have a couple of friends that haven't had a single sale for years.  

Last year my sales almost exactly doubled (from a small  base!), but my earnings were down 5%.
Micro has shot down the prices there: buyers have all the negotiating power.
Also note this thread:
http://www.alamy.com/forums/default.aspx?g=posts&t=12173
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 06:12 by ShadySue »

« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2012, 06:07 »
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It would seem to me that if anyone is going to argue that iStock has voided the contract, then they would also be arguing that they are not entitled to the higher commission rates. I don't see how you could have it both ways.

I dont know, I dont know the contract and I dont know which legal entities signed it.
And yes, claiming that IS void the contract, also means its not valid anymore. Which is the purpose.

I dont know, But it might be worth looking into. maybe some exclusive could take their contract to a lawyer? or just read it.

If legal entities change, the contracts should be renewed with the new name on it. The old ones are not valid anymore, unless the parties agree on the changes.

Well, if I were a exclusive and felt cheated by IS, I might consider to not give a "s.." about the exclusive agreeement, and upload my pictures to other agencies.... And IS might sue me for breech of contract.

But that certainly could be argued, IS might not have a good case.

Just to consider.

« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2012, 06:11 »
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Better just to quit exclusivity than look for a fight that could end up getting you sued for the return of commissions and thrown off the site.

michealo

« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2012, 06:13 »
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It would seem to me that if anyone is going to argue that iStock has voided the contract, then they would also be arguing that they are not entitled to the higher commission rates. I don't see how you could have it both ways.

I dont know, I dont know the contract and I dont know which legal entities signed it.
And yes, claiming that IS void the contract, also means its not valid anymore. Which is the purpose.

I dont know, But it might be worth looking into. maybe some exclusive could take their contract to a lawyer? or just read it.

If legal entities change, the contracts should be renewed with the new name on it. The old ones are not valid anymore, unless the parties agree on the changes.

Well, if I were a exclusive and felt cheated by IS, I might consider to not give a "s.." about the exclusive agreeement, and upload my pictures to other agencies.... And IS might sue me for breech of contract.

But that certainly could be argued, IS might not have a good case.

Just to consider.

well you can sell at other sites after 30 days notice
& SS allow you to submit and hold them until you are ready to go
& why risk losing a site that even non exclusives say makes circa 15% of there income, particularly as your portfolio is already loaded there?

« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2012, 06:23 »
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Better just to quit exclusivity than look for a fight that could end up getting you sued for the return of commissions and thrown off the site.

You cannot do both, thats not what I suggest.
I suggest you look into the contract and see if you can claim it has been breeched by IS.

In my understanding there are 3 problematic areas:
The shift of name when IS was bought, can another company inherit the contributers contracts?
Was the migration of material to thinkstock agreed by the contributor.
The cuts in commission + manipulation of search engines.

What you can do is to inform IS that you consider the contract broken by a date, and such have no obligations do remain exclusive.
But then again, Im just speculating. I would advice people to read their contracts and judge for themselves.

Law is law and luckily it begins to apply more and more to internet companies that have been used to produce their own rules.
BTW... that is also a message to other agencies who also have their own rules.

ShadySue

« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2012, 06:35 »
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My advice to the exclusives would be to read their contract carefully and see what it actually says.
A contract is an aggreement between two parties and BOTH should stick to it.

First thing to focus on is WHO are the legal entities involved? Have they changed, are the entities not the same anymore?
Second... There might be a breech or two from one of the entities, and if so, it makes the contract invalid, or at least negotiable.

In other words... contracts might not be so valid as you may presume...

So far, we've always had to agree to changes in the contract whenever a change has been made.
Of course the changes have always been in their favour, but we've always been made aware of it.
(Actually, I think the most recent was a default one, whereby if you didn't agree you were automatically opted in after four weeks or a month, but I can't remember what that was for)

Microstock InsiderPhotoDune

 

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