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Author Topic: iStock changing royalty structure  (Read 155836 times)

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« Reply #1000 on: September 28, 2010, 22:37 »
0
I was trying to be nice. LOL. You are right. They choose to stay. iStockholm Syndrome, perhaps? :D

Don't try and be nice __ they're not worth it. They're choosing to sell Istockphoto, it's values and all of us down the Swanee in pursuit of their own bonuses. All this misty-eyed faux 'concern' and 'ass-on the-line' nonsense is just that __ utter f*cking bollocks. Amazingly some poeple are actually falling for it.

Can I just say, I love your no BS forthright attitude. :D

Gostwyck is forthright 24/7, but seems to get more and more colorful beer by beer and hour by hour in the evening :) I keep a flame retardant suit handy for speedy access when necessary...


helix7

« Reply #1001 on: September 28, 2010, 23:10 »
0
...Crowd is out, elite is in.

I might have agreed with this statement, except that I think iStock missed their chance to really go elite and corner the market. Late last year they had some of the elite independent artists (Andres being one of them) reconsidering exclusivity after the prices for exclusive files were increased while non-exclusive file prices did not see the same increase. iStock had the elite independents coming back to the table to give the crown another look, and then they lit the table on fire with this pay cut.

Just imagine what things might look like today if iStock had, at some point this year, raised exclusive rates 5% across the board. Or offered a Black Diamond rate of 45%. They could have even moved forward with the non-exclusive rate cut. Drop all independents down to 15%, and offer a pretty sweet exclusive deal with a rate increase. Maybe guys like Andres would be exclusive today. What if more top tier independents were enticed by the deal and were sold on a higher rate? Maybe Yuri would be exclusive, Ron, Lisa, etc. iStock might have been on the verge of major market dominance by just sweetening the deal a bit more. And we all know they could have done it and that 55-60% profit is sustainable.

Instead, any chance of the most sought-after independent talent ever becoming exclusive is gone, and some people are actually reverting from exclusive back to independent. Makes you wonder if the folks at HQ will ever be looking back on 2010 as the year that could have been. 

« Reply #1002 on: September 28, 2010, 23:45 »
0
^^ Great point pet_chia!

As for all the recent updates to FAQ's, Admin mumblings and such: much of a muchness really. A rehash of what others had insinuated garnished with apathy. I shall light a candle for my exclusivity crown - it has lost alot of its brilliant lustre it once had...

« Reply #1003 on: September 29, 2010, 00:01 »
0
...Crowd is out, elite is in.

I might have agreed with this statement, except that I think iStock missed their chance to really go elite and corner the market. Late last year they had some of the elite independent artists (Andres being one of them) reconsidering exclusivity after the prices for exclusive files were increased while non-exclusive file prices did not see the same increase. iStock had the elite independents coming back to the table to give the crown another look, and then they lit the table on fire with this pay cut.

Just imagine what things might look like today if iStock had, at some point this year, raised exclusive rates 5% across the board. Or offered a Black Diamond rate of 45%. They could have even moved forward with the non-exclusive rate cut. Drop all independents down to 15%, and offer a pretty sweet exclusive deal with a rate increase. Maybe guys like Andres would be exclusive today. What if more top tier independents were enticed by the deal and were sold on a higher rate? Maybe Yuri would be exclusive, Ron, Lisa, etc. iStock might have been on the verge of major market dominance by just sweetening the deal a bit more. And we all know they could have done it and that 55-60% profit is sustainable.

Instead, any chance of the most sought-after independent talent ever becoming exclusive is gone, and some people are actually reverting from exclusive back to independent. Makes you wonder if the folks at HQ will ever be looking back on 2010 as the year that could have been. 

Haha. They should have considered hiring you a consultant.

nruboc

« Reply #1004 on: September 29, 2010, 00:07 »
0
...Crowd is out, elite is in.

I might have agreed with this statement, except that I think iStock missed their chance to really go elite and corner the market. Late last year they had some of the elite independent artists (Andres being one of them) reconsidering exclusivity after the prices for exclusive files were increased while non-exclusive file prices did not see the same increase. iStock had the elite independents coming back to the table to give the crown another look, and then they lit the table on fire with this pay cut.

Just imagine what things might look like today if iStock had, at some point this year, raised exclusive rates 5% across the board. Or offered a Black Diamond rate of 45%. They could have even moved forward with the non-exclusive rate cut. Drop all independents down to 15%, and offer a pretty sweet exclusive deal with a rate increase. Maybe guys like Andres would be exclusive today. What if more top tier independents were enticed by the deal and were sold on a higher rate? Maybe Yuri would be exclusive, Ron, Lisa, etc. iStock might have been on the verge of major market dominance by just sweetening the deal a bit more. And we all know they could have done it and that 55-60% profit is sustainable.

Instead, any chance of the most sought-after independent talent ever becoming exclusive is gone, and some people are actually reverting from exclusive back to independent. Makes you wonder if the folks at HQ will ever be looking back on 2010 as the year that could have been. 


Thank god they are so inept, can you image if IStock was the only game in town. I wouldn't hire them to run a lemonade stand.

« Reply #1005 on: September 29, 2010, 01:26 »
0
More ruthless than inept, actions speak loader than any words.

Egos can be costly!

ShadySue

« Reply #1006 on: September 29, 2010, 02:20 »
0
My sales at IS this week have been the worst for years.  I checked my biggest selling image that a few weeks ago was on the first page search result.
I have also received two sets of 100% rejections for unquantifiable reasons (i.e., "over filtered" and "artifacts" with no sample crops provided).  My acceptance rates had been running at over 70%.  Those same sets had 90% or better acceptance rates at all my other agencies.

Even if they hadn't come right out and said so, it's obvious now that independents are no longer second class citizens.  We're now third or fourth class.
Don't worry. Some exclusives are experiencing vastly increased rejection rates recently. I was up to over 90% acceptance, if you excluded the first few months, but now it's more like 80% rejection - mostly for 'poor light', though what they expect from natural history images taken in a rainforest, I'm not sure. Some of these were of species not found on iStock or any other micro I could find (but to be fair, the people looking for these images probably wouldn't be looking in the micros, so maybe they thought the images were unsaleable; though I could also say this about a lot of images which have come through recently).
Looks like they're moving on to purely 'studio' (indoor or outdoor) work.

lagereek

« Reply #1007 on: September 29, 2010, 04:44 »
0
My sales at IS this week have been the worst for years.  I checked my biggest selling image that a few weeks ago was on the first page search result.
I have also received two sets of 100% rejections for unquantifiable reasons (i.e., "over filtered" and "artifacts" with no sample crops provided).  My acceptance rates had been running at over 70%.  Those same sets had 90% or better acceptance rates at all my other agencies.

Even if they hadn't come right out and said so, it's obvious now that independents are no longer second class citizens.  We're now third or fourth class.
Don't worry. Some exclusives are experiencing vastly increased rejection rates recently. I was up to over 90% acceptance, if you excluded the first few months, but now it's more like 80% rejection - mostly for 'poor light', though what they expect from natural history images taken in a rainforest, I'm not sure. Some of these were of species not found on iStock or any other micro I could find (but to be fair, the people looking for these images probably wouldn't be looking in the micros, so maybe they thought the images were unsaleable; though I could also say this about a lot of images which have come through recently).
Looks like they're moving on to purely 'studio' (indoor or outdoor) work.

Well if thats the case, moving to purely studio work, then they are really barking up the wrong tree!  this is one area where Micro can never, ever compete with the Trad or RM/RF agencies,  when shooting studio stuff for RM/RF, one uses very elaborate lighting/studio set-ups, way beyond the budgets of most Micro photographers. So?  if thats the case they will without doubt fail.

best.

Microbius

« Reply #1008 on: September 29, 2010, 07:12 »
0
I was trying to be nice. LOL. You are right. They choose to stay. iStockholm Syndrome, perhaps? :D

Don't try and be nice __ they're not worth it. They're choosing to sell Istockphoto, it's values and all of us down the Swanee in pursuit of their own bonuses. All this misty-eyed faux 'concern' and 'ass-on the-line' nonsense is just that __ utter f*cking bollocks. Amazingly some poeple are actually falling for it.

Can I just say, I love your no BS forthright attitude. :D

+1. Refreshing after the patronising, belittling and passive aggressive BS  (alternated with lickspittle toadying from time to time) others have been been spouting of late  ;)

Microbius

« Reply #1009 on: September 29, 2010, 07:16 »
0
JJRD said
"Over the course of the past 2 weeks, kkthompson & I have put our own asses on the line many, many times over for this community of artists... and we'll do it again and again every single time that we feel it necessary."

This is the scariest thing of all. It sounds like there has is a battle beung waged between the old IStock admins and Getty. You can bet there will only be one winner in the end.
The result can only be a maximum payout of 20%, same as across all other Getty agencies. This rate will be for exclusives, hate to think what independents will be making by then!!!

« Reply #1010 on: September 29, 2010, 07:39 »
0
JJRD said
"Over the course of the past 2 weeks, kkthompson & I have put our own asses on the line many, many times over for this community of artists... and we'll do it again and again every single time that we feel it necessary."

This is the scariest thing of all. It sounds like there has is a battle beung waged between the old IStock admins and Getty. You can bet there will only be one winner in the end.
The result can only be a maximum payout of 20%, same as across all other Getty agencies. This rate will be for exclusives, hate to think what independents will be making by then!!!

Who knows what the battle was about. Maybe the top brass wanted to throw out all the people who had been critical of the company after the threads started to get heated. Maybe they wanted to shut the forums.  Whatever any ass-lining was about, it wasn't about the set-in-concrete (except for the conveniently obscure bits) new system.

Pet-Chia - that go to college, get inside the "club", accept low wages get paid more later system you think is being brought in is actually what is just being scrapped (if you are exclusive). Now you accept low wages and accept that things are never likely to get better. Previously you could earn promotion and higher pay through bronze, silver, gold and diamond even if you weren't a superstar.

You also accept now that your pay can be cut at any time in the future according to how the goalposts are moved during periodic "credit target reviews". The eventual target may be a flat-rate 20% or it may be 25% for all exclusives and 15% for all independents. Who knows?

How many employee-employer relations are based on the employer unilaterally reviewing the wage levels each year and setting them in accordance with what is most agreeable to the company. Would you take a job on those terms?

« Reply #1011 on: September 29, 2010, 08:23 »
0
...Crowd is out, elite is in.

I might have agreed with this statement, except that I think iStock missed their chance to really go elite and corner the market. Late last year they had some of the elite independent artists (Andres being one of them) reconsidering exclusivity after the prices for exclusive files were increased while non-exclusive file prices did not see the same increase. iStock had the elite independents coming back to the table to give the crown another look, and then they lit the table on fire with this pay cut.

Just imagine what things might look like today if iStock had, at some point this year, raised exclusive rates 5% across the board. Or offered a Black Diamond rate of 45%. They could have even moved forward with the non-exclusive rate cut. Drop all independents down to 15%, and offer a pretty sweet exclusive deal with a rate increase. Maybe guys like Andres would be exclusive today. What if more top tier independents were enticed by the deal and were sold on a higher rate? Maybe Yuri would be exclusive, Ron, Lisa, etc. iStock might have been on the verge of major market dominance by just sweetening the deal a bit more. And we all know they could have done it and that 55-60% profit is sustainable.

Instead, any chance of the most sought-after independent talent ever becoming exclusive is gone, and some people are actually reverting from exclusive back to independent. Makes you wonder if the folks at HQ will ever be looking back on 2010 as the year that could have been. 

GREAT points. Cas is right. They should have hired you as a consultant. They'd be untouchable in the market and it would be a veritable IS lovefest at the contributor level.

« Reply #1012 on: September 29, 2010, 08:40 »
0
GREAT points. Cas is right. They should have hired you as a consultant. They'd be untouchable in the market and it would be a veritable IS lovefest at the contributor level.

And having caught everybody who was anybody in the iStock exclusive net .... they would have cut the commission rates, because in the absence of competition why would they need to pay so much?

That's a little detail that gets overlooked: it was the existence of competition that let to "exclusivity" being invented in the first place, and props up the commission rates to this day.

Despite Kelly Thompson's bizarre recollection of sleepless nights, the exclusivity move was a work of genius not a cancer cell for financial unsustainability. Their only mistake was being willing to give a bit more back to the artists than subsequent owners would like ... oh, and using a gold crown to symbolise membership: it should have been golden handcuffs.

PaulieWalnuts

  • You talkin' to me?
« Reply #1013 on: September 29, 2010, 09:00 »
0
snip... it should have been golden handcuffs.

I think the partial golden handcuffs deal ran its course with the current exclusivity program. You can only offer so many incentives. When incentives no longer work well then there is only leverage which is what's going on now.

And yes, competition is the point. Even moreso now that Istock is trying to raise prices. The higher the prices go at Istock the less competitive non-exclusive files become because everywhere else will be cheaper.

« Reply #1014 on: September 29, 2010, 09:06 »
0
How many employee-employer relations are based on the employer unilaterally reviewing the wage levels each year and setting them in accordance with what is most agreeable to the company. Would you take a job on those terms?

They aren't my employer though. They are my agent. I use them to sell my work.

« Reply #1015 on: September 29, 2010, 09:21 »
0
I think our brand is being given some steroids....not necessarily a bad thing

Steroids cause brain cancer....

« Reply #1016 on: September 29, 2010, 09:32 »
0
Several of you replied to my recent post, saying in effect that istock appears to be simply too incompetent in their decisions to be evolving in an intelligent and productive way.  There may be something in that   :D

It's certainly possible that they are screwing this up.  In my previous experience as an employee of large companies I saw this happen several times, and there is one major cause of this.  Once a company reaches a certain size and complexity the average employee can no longer hear what the customers and suppliers are saying.  Instead they only hear the noise of their internal organization.  Survival and career growth in a large company depend on satisfying the bureaucracy and especially the management, whereas if you stick up for the customer or supplier you are branded by the powers that be as "not a team player".

This tends to happen in companies which have a dominant market position, because for a while they will be shielded from the consequences of their incompetence.  Customers and suppliers will keep dealing with them for some time after things go bad, for lack of alternatives.  By the time management notice that the company is stumbling badly it is often too late.  Even recognizing the problem clearly does no good if there is too much internal corporate inertia to turn the ship around.  Recognizing mistakes requires one to admit having made the mistake, losing face and taking a blow to one's *internal* *corporate* reputation.

Now that I review this in my mind and look back at the last three weeks of shock, anger, confusion and frustration, I see some evidence that this is going on at Getty/IS.  For one thing, if IS represents only a relatively small part of Getty then the consequences of screwing up IS will not be as noticeable to Getty management as they would have been to the management of IS alone if they were still an independent company.  They can point to overall company results or to overall industry trends or economic factors and make excuses while the ship sinks and some other smaller and more nimble company passes them.  "The ship isn't listing because of a hole in its side, it's just that all those damned passengers raced over to one side to look at the iceberg."  LOL

This is all just speculation of course ... now if you'll excuse me I have some images to send to scout  ::)

TheSmilingAssassin

    This user is banned.
« Reply #1017 on: September 29, 2010, 09:33 »
0
I think our brand is being given some steroids....not necessarily a bad thing

Steroids cause brain cancer....

...and shrunken balls.  It's the second biggest reason why exclusives feel like they're locked in  ;D

« Reply #1018 on: September 29, 2010, 09:57 »
0
How many employee-employer relations are based on the employer unilaterally reviewing the wage levels each year and setting them in accordance with what is most agreeable to the company. Would you take a job on those terms?

They aren't my employer though. They are my agent. I use them to sell my work.

Precisely the point I was trying to make in response to Pet-Chia's post suggesting  iStock is starting to form the sort of relationship you have with an employer.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 10:00 by BaldricksTrousers »

« Reply #1019 on: September 29, 2010, 10:02 »
0
Several of you replied to my recent post, saying in effect that istock appears to be simply too incompetent in their decisions to be evolving in an intelligent and productive way.  There may be something in that   :D

It's certainly possible that they are screwing this up.  In my previous experience as an employee of large companies I saw this happen several times, and there is one major cause of this.  Once a company reaches a certain size and complexity the average employee can no longer hear what the customers and suppliers are saying.  Instead they only hear the noise of their internal organization.  Survival and career growth in a large company depend on satisfying the bureaucracy and especially the management, whereas if you stick up for the customer or supplier you are branded by the powers that be as "not a team player".

This tends to happen in companies which have a dominant market position, because for a while they will be shielded from the consequences of their incompetence.  Customers and suppliers will keep dealing with them for some time after things go bad, for lack of alternatives.  By the time management notice that the company is stumbling badly it is often too late.  Even recognizing the problem clearly does no good if there is too much internal corporate inertia to turn the ship around.  Recognizing mistakes requires one to admit having made the mistake, losing face and taking a blow to one's *internal* *corporate* reputation.

Now that I review this in my mind and look back at the last three weeks of shock, anger, confusion and frustration, I see some evidence that this is going on at Getty/IS.  For one thing, if IS represents only a relatively small part of Getty then the consequences of screwing up IS will not be as noticeable to Getty management as they would have been to the management of IS alone if they were still an independent company.  They can point to overall company results or to overall industry trends or economic factors and make excuses while the ship sinks and some other smaller and more nimble company passes them.  "The ship isn't listing because of a hole in its side, it's just that all those damned passengers raced over to one side to look at the iceberg."  LOL

This is all just speculation of course ... now if you'll excuse me I have some images to send to scout  ::)


I agreed with your earlier post, I thought it was a concise and balanced perspective. but this one.....you've gone down the same road as the friendly neighbourhood naysayers--. your 'facts' aren't facts at all and your comments are skewed to kowtow to the point of view of the majority here. you seem to have quite a bit of business sense, so it's disappointing to see your latest post.

« Reply #1020 on: September 29, 2010, 10:08 »
0
snip... it should have been golden handcuffs.

I think the partial golden handcuffs deal ran its course with the current exclusivity program. You can only offer so many incentives. When incentives no longer work well then there is only leverage which is what's going on now.

And yes, competition is the point. Even moreso now that Istock is trying to raise prices. The higher the prices go at Istock the less competitive non-exclusive files become because everywhere else will be cheaper.

While the even more expensive exclusive files become even less competitive, because there are cheaper alternatives available everywhere else.

That obviously doesn't apply to the 0.1% that offer something unique but 99.9% are very similar to something else that is available elsewhere. I've seen at least one Vetta  landscapes that is virtually identical to a shot I have taken from exactly the same viewpoint. Mine is available on iStock at the non-exclusive rate (and a year ago the other one was available for the same price).  Put them side by side and I doubt if either I or the Vetta artist could say which belonged to who.

« Reply #1021 on: September 29, 2010, 10:12 »
0
the friendly neighbourhood naysayers

You seem to be missing the fact that *you* are the naysayer in this neighborhood.

« Reply #1022 on: September 29, 2010, 10:15 »
0
Several of you replied to my recent post, saying in effect that istock appears to be simply too incompetent in their decisions to be evolving in an intelligent and productive way.  There may be something in that   :D

It's certainly possible that they are screwing this up.  In my previous experience as an employee of large companies I saw this happen several times, and there is one major cause of this.  Once a company reaches a certain size and complexity the average employee can no longer hear what the customers and suppliers are saying.  Instead they only hear the noise of their internal organization.  Survival and career growth in a large company depend on satisfying the bureaucracy and especially the management, whereas if you stick up for the customer or supplier you are branded by the powers that be as "not a team player".

This tends to happen in companies which have a dominant market position, because for a while they will be shielded from the consequences of their incompetence.  Customers and suppliers will keep dealing with them for some time after things go bad, for lack of alternatives.  By the time management notice that the company is stumbling badly it is often too late.  Even recognizing the problem clearly does no good if there is too much internal corporate inertia to turn the ship around.  Recognizing mistakes requires one to admit having made the mistake, losing face and taking a blow to one's *internal* *corporate* reputation.

Now that I review this in my mind and look back at the last three weeks of shock, anger, confusion and frustration, I see some evidence that this is going on at Getty/IS.  For one thing, if IS represents only a relatively small part of Getty then the consequences of screwing up IS will not be as noticeable to Getty management as they would have been to the management of IS alone if they were still an independent company.  They can point to overall company results or to overall industry trends or economic factors and make excuses while the ship sinks and some other smaller and more nimble company passes them.  "The ship isn't listing because of a hole in its side, it's just that all those damned passengers raced over to one side to look at the iceberg."  LOL

This is all just speculation of course ... now if you'll excuse me I have some images to send to scout  ::)


I agreed with your earlier post, I thought it was a concise and balanced perspective. but this one.....you've gone down the same road as the friendly neighbourhood naysayers--. your 'facts' aren't facts at all and your comments are skewed to kowtow to the point of view of the majority here. you seem to have quite a bit of business sense, so it's disappointing to see your latest post.

Disappointing to you, because it differs from your opinion. It could be that the majority are right. That's probably another reason why it's so disappointing to you. Frankly, as someone who seemed so anti-establishment in the past, "& then...", I'm quite surprised you keep sticking up for "the man".

nruboc

« Reply #1023 on: September 29, 2010, 10:20 »
0
Several of you replied to my recent post, saying in effect that istock appears to be simply too incompetent in their decisions to be evolving in an intelligent and productive way.  There may be something in that   :D

It's certainly possible that they are screwing this up.  In my previous experience as an employee of large companies I saw this happen several times, and there is one major cause of this.  Once a company reaches a certain size and complexity the average employee can no longer hear what the customers and suppliers are saying.  Instead they only hear the noise of their internal organization.  Survival and career growth in a large company depend on satisfying the bureaucracy and especially the management, whereas if you stick up for the customer or supplier you are branded by the powers that be as "not a team player".

This tends to happen in companies which have a dominant market position, because for a while they will be shielded from the consequences of their incompetence.  Customers and suppliers will keep dealing with them for some time after things go bad, for lack of alternatives.  By the time management notice that the company is stumbling badly it is often too late.  Even recognizing the problem clearly does no good if there is too much internal corporate inertia to turn the ship around.  Recognizing mistakes requires one to admit having made the mistake, losing face and taking a blow to one's *internal* *corporate* reputation.

Now that I review this in my mind and look back at the last three weeks of shock, anger, confusion and frustration, I see some evidence that this is going on at Getty/IS.  For one thing, if IS represents only a relatively small part of Getty then the consequences of screwing up IS will not be as noticeable to Getty management as they would have been to the management of IS alone if they were still an independent company.  They can point to overall company results or to overall industry trends or economic factors and make excuses while the ship sinks and some other smaller and more nimble company passes them.  "The ship isn't listing because of a hole in its side, it's just that all those damned passengers raced over to one side to look at the iceberg."  LOL

This is all just speculation of course ... now if you'll excuse me I have some images to send to scout  ::)


I agreed with your earlier post, I thought it was a concise and balanced perspective. but this one.....you've gone down the same road as the friendly neighbourhood naysayers--. your 'facts' aren't facts at all and your comments are skewed to kowtow to the point of view of the majority here. you seem to have quite a bit of business sense, so it's disappointing to see your latest post.

Disappointing to you, because it differs from your opinion. It could be that the majority are right. That's probably another reason why it's so disappointing to you. Frankly, as someone who seemed so anti-establishment in the past, "& then...", I'm quite surprised you keep sticking up for "the man".


Stacey would believe IStock if they told her the sky was green

« Reply #1024 on: September 29, 2010, 10:22 »
0
Frankly, as someone who seemed so anti-establishment in the past, "& then...", I'm quite surprised you keep sticking up for "the man".


See below:

even if the community aspect were to dissolve or become more of a corporate culture, I wouldn't necessarily leave.


Corporate Shill

Quote from: Wikipedia
"Shill" can also be used pejoratively to describe a critic who appears either all-too-eager to heap glowing praise upon mediocre offerings, or who acts as an apologist for glaring flaws. In this sense, they would be an implicit "shill" for the industry at large, possibly because their income is tied to its prosperity.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 10:23 by dgilder »

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