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Author Topic: Istock raises payouts to partner program  (Read 17678 times)

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« on: February 23, 2011, 20:33 »
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http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=307512&page=1

Here are the new Partner Program commissions, (retroactively) effective January 1, 2011:

Non-exclusives will earn 28 per download (was 25).

Exclusives will earn the following amounts per download, according to their current royalty level here at iStock:
25% at iStock - 38 (was 30)
30% 40 (was 32)
35% 42 (was 34)
40% 44 (was 36)
45% 46 (was 38)

So Istock is seeking to encourage participation at the low end while discouraging it at the mid-level (cutting commissions)

JJRD's comment "Thanks to you for fighting, KK." seems to suggest that KK wanted to raise PP payouts, but somebody above him needed convincing.

Insert jokes about sustainability here


BooKitty

« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2011, 20:37 »
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Call me what you will but I am opted into the PP and I am happy about the increase.  :)

« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2011, 20:50 »
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Call me what you will but I am opted into the PP and I am happy about the increase.  :)

You've got fewer than 200 sales at IS in nearly 3 years. It may only be a bit of pin money and fun to you but to those of us who earn our living through microstock the PP would potentially be very damaging if it were to become successful. That's why anyone with any sense or hope for the future doesn't support it.

Fortunately that possibility seems remote right now. The fact that Getty are actually increasing commissions (shock, horror) indicates just how poorly the PP is being supported with new content and gaining customers. Good.

It's not enough for me. They'll have to match the commission structures at SS, DT and FT if they want my content.

« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2011, 21:32 »
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wow.. boy.. all the exclusives will be jumping right in now! 

I'll keep my opt-out on that thing.  not enough to get my heart started.

« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2011, 23:37 »
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hmmm, so withholding images from an agency pp has for the first time been officially confirmed as a legit way to put enough pressure on an agency to get them to raise commissions! So it is also official that the 25cents was not what they could reasonably afford to pay to keep the program sustainable as they always claim with all the rates, but was the lowest price they thought they could get away with paying us.  So we can also be certain that the new price structure was just pulled out of thin air as well. Well I must humbly apologize to those folks who held strong and opted out as I thought it would make no difference so I opted in way back, I wonder if holding out longer will increase it more?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 23:40 by lightscribe »

« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2011, 23:56 »
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they increase the payout now after you joint they will cut paid..this is their game

« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2011, 00:11 »
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they increase the payout now after you joint they will cut paid..this is their game


I was thinking exactly that as well.

Is it possible to opt out after one has already opted in?
If so, when they lower commissions once again, there could be a mass opt out done in protest.

« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2011, 00:27 »
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hmmm, so withholding images from an agency pp has for the first time been officially confirmed as a legit way to put enough pressure on an agency to get them to raise commissions! So it is also official that the 25cents was not what they could reasonably afford to pay to keep the program sustainable as they always claim with all the rates, but was the lowest price they thought they could get away with paying us.  So we can also be certain that the new price structure was just pulled out of thin air as well. Well I must humbly apologize to those folks who held strong and opted out as I thought it would make no difference so I opted in way back, I wonder if holding out longer will increase it more?

Kudos to you too for acknowledging the role that those who opted out of the PP have played in this sorry debacle.

Now is absolutely NOT the time to volunteer your content to the PP. Now is actually the time to withdraw any content you might have there to force the issue and make them pay the same commission as other agencies for it. Apparently they can afford to pay exclusives up to 46c per download. I'll have some of that please __ not 28c. For once we are beating Getty at their own game. Hopefully this could be the first of many victories if we act together.

« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2011, 00:35 »
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28c for non-exclusives?

I will remain opted out and I encourage all other non-exclusives to do the same.

« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2011, 00:55 »
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It's interesting to see "management" in some kind of conversation with contributers after months of silence - or "Yeppers!" - at the most. Even if it quickly changes to: "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you" when it gets really interesting about long term strategy...

« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2011, 00:59 »
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I will have to refuse this very generous offer and stay opted out  ;D

« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2011, 01:11 »
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JJRD's comment "Thanks to you for fighting, KK." seems to suggest that KK wanted to raise PP payouts, but somebody above him needed convincing.


Our personal super hero, the invencible F5CUTBUGMAN

« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2011, 01:20 »
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It's interesting to see "management" in some kind of conversation with contributers after months of silence - or "Yeppers!" - at the most. Even if it quickly changes to: "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you" when it gets really interesting about long term strategy...

I think it was simply an honest reply. it's not a guarantee and frankly I would like one, as unrealistic as that is. but those posts calmed some of my more recent concerns. certainly not with hard facts, as facts weren't offered and that much was said, but, I respect the sincerity of the message that was given and repeated. I have an obvious stake in iStock's success as an exclusive. I admittedly want to hear that TPTB are aware of the value that iStock represents and that the iStock brand=its content/contributors above all else. so it was good to see that put out there so boldly. anyways. I expect a good deal of disagreement, which is fine. I'm just expressing my impression of the exchange. information about their investment in the future of iStock is certainly a better carrot than pennies here and there in pay raises.

« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2011, 01:55 »
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It's interesting to see "management" in some kind of conversation with contributers after months of silence - or "Yeppers!" - at the most. Even if it quickly changes to: "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you" when it gets really interesting about long term strategy...

I think it was simply an honest reply. it's not a guarantee and frankly I would like one, as unrealistic as that is. but those posts calmed some of my more recent concerns. certainly not with hard facts, as facts weren't offered and that much was said, but, I respect the sincerity of the message that was given and repeated. I have an obvious stake in iStock's success as an exclusive. I admittedly want to hear that TPTB are aware of the value that iStock represents and that the iStock brand=its content/contributors above all else. so it was good to see that put out there so boldly. anyways. I expect a good deal of disagreement, which is fine. I'm just expressing my impression of the exchange. information about their investment in the future of iStock is certainly a better carrot than pennies here and there in pay raises.

I'm truly amazed about the amout of faith in IS that you're still able to have, given their track record in the last 12 months. And that is not meant as a personal attack, I realize not everybody is a cynic like me and I admire people who manage to keep a positive view on things.

IMO, your main question, whether TS and IS serve two different markets or not, was not adressed at all, instead allusions 'to 'the future of our offerings'' were given. I'm sure Getty and H&F know the value that IS represents and that they have "no single reason (none) to set up iStockphoto for failure". They'd be crazy to do so as they are reaping in 85% to 55% of the profits. The questions remains if the bright future for IS will be equally bright for us contributors - exclusive or not...

lagereek

« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2011, 02:01 »
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Looks like a desperate action!  I dont know but it seams that no matter what they try nowdays it just simply backfires and why is that?  because the credibility is gone, nobody exept a poor newbie, believes in them.

« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2011, 02:28 »
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I was amazed to see something approaching a direct statement - that they want more content in the partner program than they currently have and a tacit admission that their lowball payout scheme has cost them that content.

The pathetic offer of a small amount of additional cash changes nothing. Admitting that that they're willing to change things in contributors' favor should only encourage people to hold out for something decent.

In spite of the fact that they're mandating 'lypse content (Japan and the April in London one) goes to the partner program, they haven't got to the flow of good new images they need to keep buyers happy. The risk would be that at some point they'd drop the opt out (like they did for Vetta/Agency on Getty).

I'm fairly certain JJRD believes what he's saying, but even sincere nice people can be very wrong sometimes. They can believe that what they're being told by their management is true and pass it on. The fact remains that what's in Getty's best short term interests may not be in IS contributors' long term interests. H&F is a Carl Icahn-like entity that will happily cripple a business if they can get the cash they want in the process - they're not in it for the long haul.

I urge anyone who is thinking about their stock portfolio's long term success to leave the partner program alone. That little bit of extra cash now is destructive to your ability to earn the same or higher royalty rate next year (no RCs for PP sales) and for independents is chipping away at the leader in microstock subs - SS. SS pays better (and lets you earn higher payouts the more you earn, something the PP does not) and while it may have skipped raises, hasn't shafted its contributors the way other sites have done.

Starving the partner program sites of good content is the only way to get any changes in the terms offered.

« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2011, 04:06 »
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jsnover, I'm with you, I agree and think you're absolutely right so... I'm in, I mean I opt OUT wright now!

« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2011, 04:47 »
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I was amazed to see something approaching a direct statement - that they want more content in the partner program than they currently have and a tacit admission that their lowball payout scheme has cost them that content.

The pathetic offer of a small amount of additional cash changes nothing. Admitting that that they're willing to change things in contributors' favor should only encourage people to hold out for something decent.

In spite of the fact that they're mandating 'lypse content (Japan and the April in London one) goes to the partner program, they haven't got to the flow of good new images they need to keep buyers happy. The risk would be that at some point they'd drop the opt out (like they did for Vetta/Agency on Getty).

I'm fairly certain JJRD believes what he's saying, but even sincere nice people can be very wrong sometimes. They can believe that what they're being told by their management is true and pass it on. The fact remains that what's in Getty's best short term interests may not be in IS contributors' long term interests. H&F is a Carl Icahn-like entity that will happily cripple a business if they can get the cash they want in the process - they're not in it for the long haul.

I urge anyone who is thinking about their stock portfolio's long term success to leave the partner program alone. That little bit of extra cash now is destructive to your ability to earn the same or higher royalty rate next year (no RCs for PP sales) and for independents is chipping away at the leader in microstock subs - Shutterstock. Shutterstock pays better (and lets you earn higher payouts the more you earn, something the PP does not) and while it may have skipped raises, hasn't shafted its contributors the way other sites have done.

Starving the partner program sites of good content is the only way to get any changes in the terms offered.


I'm not sure that making a direct statement is an admission of anything beyond what he actually says - they want more content in the program and are going to pay for it.

The way they've structured the royalty increases seems to suggest that what they want in their is the older IS exclusive stuff. Non-exclusives get a 12% increase, whereas Exclusives get a 25% increase.

Its probably not going to be enough to convince many non-exclusives that are now opted out now - where the problem seems more ideological opposition to anything Getty, but if you have a big, older portfolio of images that are suffering from low sales now, its a way of accessing the instant gratification that subscription sites like SS offer without losing the higher royalties at iStock. In context, the "pathetic offer" for exclusives is higher subscription royalties than the highest tier on Shutterstock or Fotolia. Compared to the 25c subs at Crestock, even the independents rates look good.

While I don't disagree with the sentiment, the reality of the PP is that its Getty's way of attacking Shutterstock & Dreamstime's offerings. The pricing of Thinkstock lines up neatly against SS and Photos.com undercuts Dreamstimes $129/mth subs packages. Those who disagree with the partner program do have valid reasons, but the reality in the market place is that there are subscription sites doing very well, and that from what I can tell IS is actually the only major site that lets you opt out of them. 

« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2011, 05:07 »
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.28 is more than I've been getting from regular Istock sales lately. Maybe I should opt out from Istock and in on the PP?

ShadySue

« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2011, 05:09 »
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they increase the payout now after you joint they will cut paid..this is their game
I was thinking exactly that as well.
Is it possible to opt out after one has already opted in?
If so, when they lower commissions once again, there could be a mass opt out done in protest.
Yes, I was in at first and only uploaded old non-sellers, most of which were only available at Medium. I opted straight out again when they mass emailled their big buyers suggesting they move over to TS, which made a mockery of what they had told us - that it was a 'new market' they were seeking. At that time, I think I got out within two weeks, a bit longer than the promised '10 days'. Since then, people have had all manner of problems, running on for months, if they want out (or IN!!!).

« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2011, 05:12 »
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This is the attack on Shutterstock!!!!

« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2011, 05:14 »
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What's incredibly weird is that they are backdating it to Jan 1. That means that for almost two months they have been paying a higher rate without getting any benefit from it at all because nobody knew about it.
But a lot of things a istock are weird.

ShadySue

« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2011, 05:16 »
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This is the attack on Shutterstock!!!!
Indeed, I was just about to add the following to my earlier post, but will add it here.
At first, I was happy with the idea that we (!!) would be stealing sales from SS, but with everything that's happened at iStock since then, I'd rather there were other agencies and not one monopoly that could then screw us even harder.

« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2011, 05:16 »
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OT: How can I know exactly how many of my photos are ACTUALLY on the PP site (Thinkstock)  ?

« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2011, 05:21 »
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This is just another insult.  28 cents is still below what was being paid by StockXpert years ago, 30 cents.  It's still 10 cents lower than I get with SS and all they have done is stop the other sites from raising their subs commissions.  

And I presume the only way I could supply them is through istock and I don't upload there any more because 17% commission doesn't interest me.

Getty/istock have really gone a long way to ruin my desire to be a microstock contributor.  The fact that they can't even bring themselves to match the old StockXpert subs commissions doesn't restore my faith in them, it feels like another big let down.  I will stay opted out and recommend any subs buyers go to shutterstock, as they have a much better collection and give their higher selling contributors a much fairer commission.


 

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