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Author Topic: iStock New Sub. Model Just Announced!  (Read 20391 times)

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« on: March 03, 2014, 19:56 »
0
Stock Image Subscription

Were excited to introduce image subscriptions, a new way to license photos and illustrations on iStock. Based on the Thinkstock subscription product that has been one of the fastest growing parts of our business since its launch, our new image subscriptions allow us to better serve customers with high volume licensing needs.

And it's clear that there are a lot of customers who love the ease and simplicity of the subscription model. Combining the right subscription offering with the amazing content at iStock will benefit both customers and contributors, so that's exactly what we're planning to do.

Some of you may know that we already have a subscription offering on iStock based on credits. The added complexity of credit pricing makes this subscription less friendly to new customers who are looking for a simple solution for their high volume licensing needs. When we launch the new subscription offering we will no longer promote the existing credit subscription on our website, and new iStock subscription customers will only be able to purchase this new image subscription.

For the time being, customers who have an active Credit Subscription will be able to keep using their existing subscription.

What is being offered in the new subscription model?

Clients will be able to choose between a Monthly and Annual Image Subscription, which are offered in two tiers. One tier gives customers access to the Main collection only, and the other gives access to the Main, Signature, and Signature+ collections. Image Subscriptions include Photos and Illustration only (excluding Vetta).

In order to make sure that our Exclusive Contributors can adequately participate in both Image Subscription tiers, we will be moving some of the more basic images that are underperforming in Signature, to Main. We think they will compete more effectively that way and have the added benefit of exposure to new customers through Image Subscription. We want to be sure our exclusive contributors have an opportunity to participate in the full range of products we offer at iStock.

What is the difference between the current credit subscription model and the new image subscription model?

The credit-based subscription model we launched in 2008 includes access to all of our files and provides clients with a limited number of credits to use each day. These credits can be used to purchase any file on iStock, and expire daily, at midnight MST.

Our new Image Subscription model allows our customers to download a specific number of Photos or Illustrations, of any size, monthly, from our Main, Signature, and Signature+ collections, depending on the tier.

What does this mean for contributors?

When someone licenses your content using an Image Subscription, we pay a flat royalty for each file based on your exclusivity and the collection your file belongs to, with a royalty of $0.28 for non-exclusive contributors and a minimum of $0.34 for exclusive contributors.

Here is a full breakdown of the Royalty Rates for Image Subscriptions:

Non-exclusive: All Collections: $0.28/download
Main (exclusive): $0.34/download
Signature (exclusive): $0.75/download
Signature+ (exclusive): $2.50/download


Weve made an adjustment to the Royalty Rate Schedule to reflect the new Image Subscription offering that will be effective when we launch Image Subscriptions. You will notice a new tab between Flash and the Partner Program.

Royalties will be reported monthly, not in real time. Initially we will be reporting these royalties under the Partner Program.

The existing Credit Subscription royalties are unaffected by this change. Any downloads made under Credit Subscription shall continue to pay royalties at the rates set out in the photo/illustration tab of the rate schedule.

How does the licensing work?

All files licensed under the new Image Subscription fall under our Standard License Agreement. One difference for subscription licenses vs. images licensed with credits or cash is that customers are required to use the images they download within the term of their subscription. If they dont use the image, the right to use that image terminates when the subscription terminates. For example, if a customer has a one-month subscription, they must use the images they download within that same month in order to continue using that image following the end of the subscription term.

Will Image Subscription downloads go toward contributor Redeemed Credit totals?

No. Image Subscription downloads arent purchased with credits so we will not be calculating RCs with these downloads.

Our intent is to provide customers with as many purchase options as possible to keep existing customers engaged with iStock and to attract new customers, leaving no reason for them to look elsewhere for the right content and workflow. Our new Image Subscription offering will allow us to accommodate all of our customers purchase preferences be they cash sales, credits, or subscription or in many cases, a combination of one or more options.

We will be launching Image Subscriptions in early April 2014.


« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 20:00 »
+12
So Thinkstock pricing comes to iStock - and no RC credit for a subs sale

That will make keeping higher royalty rates harder over time for exclusives...

« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 20:03 »
+60
Let me translate from iSpeak

thinkstock isn't shafting everyone enough. so we are starting a subs plan for istock that shafts people there too. Since a lot of the content from exclusives isn't available on main, we will move it there to shaft them too. Of course you get no RC for this shafting. We will mix the sales reporting in with the PP reporting so it will be harder for you guys to notice when we short change you, don't worry, if we accidentally overpay you we will claw it back eventually.

we are launching this in April, expect all sorts of things to be messed up as we roll this out.

« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 20:11 »
+6
Let me translate from iSpeak

thinkstock isn't shafting everyone enough. so we are starting a subs plan for istock that shafts people there too. Since a lot of the content from exclusives isn't available on main, we will move it there to shaft them too. Of course you get no RC for this shafting. We will mix the sales reporting in with the PP reporting so it will be harder for you guys to notice when we short change you, don't worry, if we accidentally overpay you we will claw it back eventually.

we are launching this in April, expect all sorts of things to be messed up as we roll this out.

Spot on.  Just one more fact that supports the race to the bottom.  Finally, this is one more thing added to an already broken system to fk it up even more.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 20:14 by Mantis »

stock-will-eat-itself

« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2014, 20:12 »
+14
I think this pretty much ends the exclusivity program for iS, most customers will switch to subs. Theres not much chance for anyone to hold onto their RC levels now.

Brace yourselves for exclusives dumping their ports across all the agencies.

KB

« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2014, 20:14 »
+10
If we exclusives needed another reason to think the end is near, this is it. 36c or 75c sales for XXXL sizes?  :o

It's inevitable now. SS is going to see quite an influx of new contributors.

« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2014, 20:17 »
+28
...we are launching this in April...

April 1st sounds like an appropriate choice :)

EmberMike

« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2014, 20:20 »
+6
...Since a lot of the content from exclusives isn't available on main...

This is really all this is about. They want to pump more content into their subscription business. They could force exclusives into the PP, or they could bring subscriptions over to iStock.

I'm kind of surprised they didn't just force exclusives into the PP. But iStock has never really done things the way I think makes sense, so...

« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2014, 20:22 »
+16
And again the exclusives have no control over which files get moved to the new subs program. :(

This would really freak me out. The whole point of being exclusive to istock (for most of the artists I know) is not to provide files for a subs program.

Now if you have high value content that rarely sells but you want to be able to provide it at a sensible price point only...it gets dumped into the subs program.

No RCs?

Thats just crazy.

They should then take the step to cancel the RC system altogether and base their systems simply on how much money is being earned over a lifetime,the way SS does it. Irrespective of file type. Money is money,is money.

I wonder if they will also move slow selling files from Yuri and the other people with "special deals". He moved out of SS because he thought their subs program was too low. What if Getty includes him now in their own deal?

I am glad I am already indie and have separated my portfolio into "high value" and "high volume" content. So everything on istock now, is suitable for subs.

The other files will go elsewhere.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 20:40 by cobalt »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2014, 20:29 »
+31
B*stards.
I said often, and only earlier this afternoon by SM here that I was sure this was why they've been suppressing new files for so long; and so it has proved.
Sell files stupidly cheaply, just like SS, and don't even give us RCs.
B*stards.
Sadly, I'm busy until Friday, but then time to start working out which files will be deactivated before April begins.
Just furious.
If I wanted to sell for stupid prices, I'd be on SS.
B*stards. (Did I say that?)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 20:47 by ShadySue »

« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2014, 20:30 »
+13
Because what the world needs is another low priced subscription model.

KB

« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2014, 20:35 »
+23
Because what the world needs is another low priced subscription model.
I'm not so sure it will be low priced. Only low paying.

« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2014, 20:43 »
+4
B*stards.
I said often, and only earlier this afternoon by SM here that I was sure this was why they've been supressing new files for so long; and so it has proved.
Sell files stupidly cheaply, just like SS, and don't even give us RCs.
B*stards.
Sadly, I'm busy until Friday, but then time to start working out which files will be deactivated before April begins.
Just furious.
If I wanted to sell for stupid prices, I'd be on SS.
B*stards. (Did I say that?)

Very poetic.  Love it. ;D

« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2014, 20:43 »
+3
How much are they charging for this that they can allow a mix of dls per month that pay out up to $2.50 or whatever?  What if a buyer downloads all S+ ?


« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2014, 20:45 »
+22
This is one of the scariest announcements I can ever remember reading. And that includes the Google deal. As much as I dislike the whole IS environment I dislike the subscription model even more. Istock has just become DP with better content. Why would anyone contribute to IS when they can make more at SS? The only thing keeping SS somewhat in check was IS. Very soon SS will be 70,80,90% of peoples earnings? This could be a very, very big problem for anyone who would like to make anything at all off of their images. A SS monopoly would be a very scary thing and if people aren't particularly careful about what they choose to do in the next 24 months we could be in for a massive problem.

« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2014, 20:53 »
+6
let me get some popcorn and go into the istock forums. which i never visit anymore

« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2014, 20:55 »
+5
let me get some popcorn and go into the istock forums. which i never visit anymore

Don't waste your time. For some reason the good parts lock up.

« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2014, 20:58 »
+2
its like a ghost town in there

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2014, 21:00 »
+19
"We want to be sure our exclusive contributors have an opportunity to participate in the full range of products we offer at iStock. "
Thank you for the opportunity. I'll pass, if you don't mind.
Oh, that wasn't what you meant? You meant "We want to force our expensive exclusives to earn less money and pay them 0 RCs, just like indies".
Anyone want to bet about whether RC target-missers won't be grandfathered next year?

SS should have been raising prices gently over the years so that we could all make fair money from our images, instead of forcing this cut-price war.

« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2014, 21:05 »
+3
This is one of the scariest announcements I can ever remember reading. And that includes the Google deal. As much as I dislike the whole IS environment I dislike the subscription model even more. Istock has just become DP with better content. Why would anyone contribute to IS when they can make more at SS?

The only thing keeping SS somewhat in check was IS. Very soon SS will be 70,80,90% of peoples earnings? This could be a very, very big problem for anyone who would like to make anything at all off of their images.

A SS monopoly would be a very scary thing and if people aren't particularly careful about what they choose to do in the next 24 months we could be in for a massive problem.


This is exactly why I have been concerned with comments coming from key shutterstock policy makers. They have publicly stated that they have plans to continue to keep prices artificially low to gain market share. They have no regard for the assets they devalue or the artist who produce and depend on those assets for a living.

My best images no longer go to Shutterstock and when possible I buy from other agencies

Snip
And your next question comes from the line of Brian Fitzgerald with Jefferies. Please proceed.
Brian Fitzgerald - Jefferies

When you guys think of the rev share agreements with contributors, there are competitors out there that have more generous revenue shares.

Can you -- would that tend to impact or take share from you guys over the course of time or can you talk about how that dynamic is panning out?

And then, it seems like guys have been driving down pricing among your major competitors. They're now trying to price match.

Have you seen any real impact from that thus far? Thanks.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/2037843-shutterstocks-ceo-discusses-q4-2013-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=single

Snip

Duck Swartz

Talking about your present strategy longer term?

Timothy E. Bixby - CFO

We think we can raise the prices over the long term but were primary in the growth mode right now and we would like to continue to cover as much of the world as possible and take as much as growth in the business that we can before we play with the pricing level. We havent raised prices in many years and then been a great strategy so far to grow.

Snip
Jonathan Oringer - Founder, CEO & Chairman of the Board

It still multiples. So it's order of magnitude whether it's if you look at us compared to other stock marketplaces like an iStock or others, it's two or three or four times more expensive to not use Shutterstock. If you look at the higher end sort of more traditional marketed might be 6 or 8 or 10 times more expensive.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/1841072-shutterstocks-management-presents-at-the-goldman-sachs-us-emerging-smid-cap-growth-conference-transcript?page=2&p=qanda&l=last

« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2014, 21:07 »
+17
I recently closed my account at IS, and now it looks like good timing.

« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2014, 21:34 »
+7
They cant change the images on the landing page to welcome customers with suitable content...but they can come up with this nonsense.

Its like they dont even want to try selling anymore. Just dump everything into the cheapest package available and hope something will stick.

Desperate...and lazy...at the same time.

« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2014, 21:42 »
0
No RCs, 28 cents, no real-time reporting... Sound like the future of iStock is subscription based...if customers go for this over credits I think video sales will further suffer unless they merge them into subscription somehow

wds

« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2014, 21:43 »
+1
So Thinkstock pricing comes to iStock - and no RC credit for a subs sale

That will make keeping higher royalty rates harder over time for exclusives...

They've grandfathered the "RC system" Royalty rates for the last two years. I have to wonder if they are going to scrap the RC system as it currently stands.

Sri

« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2014, 21:49 »
+1
so basically photos.com came inside IS covering exclusives too !


 

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