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Author Topic: iStock royalty cut goes live  (Read 12323 times)

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« Reply #50 on: January 14, 2011, 08:47 »
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Haaa, .13$ for a xs image. That's a new low for me :(


helix7

« Reply #51 on: January 14, 2011, 11:20 »
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I just have to repost this immortal quote from that gorgeous "contact sheet":

"And I must say, thank you to everyone for helping iStock with an exceptional year. With your hard work, we continue to meet and exceed our goals."

If I recall correctly, the big goal that Kelly was tasked with was to increase profits by 50%. So based on this statement it sounds like they've been on track with that goal throughout 2010.

Just lends more credibility to the theory that this all has nothing to do with "sustainability" and more to do with a cash grab.

« Reply #52 on: January 14, 2011, 11:39 »
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"And I must say, thank you to everyone for helping iStock with an exceptional year. With your hard work, we continue to meet and exceed our goals."

Has iStock asked you what your goals are? They didn't ask me, but still they say they know my goals (and that I have met and exceeded my goals even if I disagree).

My dream is that iStock would just suddenly vanish from the surface of earth. *POOF*

« Reply #53 on: January 14, 2011, 14:23 »
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"And I must say, thank you to everyone for helping iStock with an exceptional year. With your hard work, we continue to meet and exceed our goals."

Has iStock asked you what your goals are? They didn't ask me, but still they say they know my goals (and that I have met and exceeded my goals even if I disagree).

My dream is that iStock would just suddenly vanish from the surface of earth. *POOF*

You know that's my dream too, exactly, even though IS is where I make the most money.    All IS is doing now is grinding this business into dust.  Please die, IS, so we can start over.

« Reply #54 on: January 14, 2011, 14:41 »
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"And I must say, thank you to everyone for helping iStock with an exceptional year. With your hard work, we continue to meet and exceed our goals."

Has iStock asked you what your goals are? They didn't ask me, but still they say they know my goals (and that I have met and exceeded my goals even if I disagree).

My dream is that iStock would just suddenly vanish from the surface of earth. *POOF*

You know that's my dream too, exactly, even though IS is where I make the most money.    All IS is doing now is grinding this business into dust.  Please die, IS, so we can start over.

+1 (sigh)

« Reply #55 on: January 14, 2011, 14:54 »
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"And I must say, thank you to everyone for helping iStock with an exceptional year. With your hard work, we continue to meet and exceed our goals."

Has iStock asked you what your goals are? They didn't ask me, but still they say they know my goals (and that I have met and exceeded my goals even if I disagree).

My dream is that iStock would just suddenly vanish from the surface of earth. *POOF*

You know that's my dream too, exactly, even though IS is where I make the most money.    All IS is doing now is grinding this business into dust.  Please die, IS, so we can start over.

+1 (sigh)

God PLS take them in advance

+2 (grin)

« Reply #56 on: January 14, 2011, 16:11 »
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The only way to make them go "poof" is if contributors would stop complaining and just pull their portfolios.

« Reply #57 on: January 14, 2011, 19:25 »
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The only way to make them go "poof" is if contributors would stop complaining and just pull their portfolios.

True, I've still got my portfolio at IS, but I did stop uploading the day they announced the royalty cut. IS is still my #1 earner (not for much longer, I expect, since my earnings there are steadily declining) if I took everything off the site today, my monthly income would take a big hit. If I thought the majority of IS independents would pull their IS portfolios, then I would join them and pull mine as well. As it is I could take down my whole portfolio, and IS wouldn't even notice or care. I would suffer a big cut in income, and all for an empty gesture that changes nothing.

Perhaps forming a union would be our only hope, but how do you form a union when we have tens of thousands of contributors from all over the world? Is it even possible?

« Reply #58 on: January 15, 2011, 00:12 »
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Looks like Hellman & Friedman LLC owners of Getty are the selling mode: http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110112-706446.html
They bought Getty not evn 2 years ago, if they sell this year I doubt they will make the profit they just made with their sale:)

« Reply #59 on: January 15, 2011, 17:55 »
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Can't we just put our money together and buy one of these to send to HQ when its CEO meeting? (we could even attack them  :D)  Would eliminate all the speculating and we'd know what to prepare for!

In this photo taken from computer animation video Friday, Nov. 21, 2008, and released by the U.S. Air Force, shows the next generation of drones, called Micro Aerial Vehicles, or MAVs. The MAVs could be as tiny as bumblebees and capable of flying undetected into buildings, where they could photograph, record, and even attack insurgents and terrorists.

« Reply #60 on: January 15, 2011, 18:46 »
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^^ Count me in for a donation!  :D

Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #61 on: January 16, 2011, 01:33 »
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Just lends more credibility to the theory that this all has nothing to do with "sustainability" and more to do with a cash grab.

Was there any doubt? The owners are in the business of buying and selling companies, for a profit. They don't buy them to own and operate long term.

Much like the corporate raiders who would buy, divide the profitable, dump the losers, sell the pieces and move on to the next. Hellman & Friedman are in year three now? So pump up profits (screw the contributors and long term) and dump the company for a profit.

Watch for 2012 when they have milked us for every red cent they can bleed from the heart of the site, the contributors.

There have been people here jumping ahead and every few months saying, Hellman & Friedman is going to sell. It's kind of like The End of The World is just around the corner, doom and gloom. Some day they will be right and say, see I told you so. In the case of IS, we'll be here to say, yeah but you said it every three months for four years... with the end of the world as we know it, no one will be able to say it or hear it. ;)

Big buyers like Hellman & Friedman are not your friend, no matter how they try to pretend to care.

Back to the union, the only way a union works is if the workers have leverage or in some way can control the means of production. IS already has the product in stock and over supply.

« Reply #62 on: January 16, 2011, 07:59 »
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So here's the new reality of the commission cut for me:  My Sat, Jan 14 commissions were about ONE THIRD of my Sat, Dec 25 commissions.  Yes, ONE THIRD of my sales from CHRISTMAS DAY.  And Jan 15 was my BEST SATURDAY EVER on just about every agency.

Throughout the whole commission change controversy, I didn't add my voice to the angry mob calling for iStock boycotts.  I figured I'd just grin and bear it.  But reality has hit me and I'm seriously considering pulling down my port.  I dread the uploading process so much that a freeze on new uploads is all but certain, but I might just go the extra step and close up shop there.  I do have a bunch of blue and red flame files there, and a lot of other shots that will soon reach those levels, so iStock will feel some pain from this, I'm hoping.

« Reply #63 on: January 16, 2011, 09:02 »
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Looks like with the new system I will miss out on 35% level by 155 credits or less than one fraudulent Vetta sale.  I have 36,845 credits or 99.581% of what I need to get to the next level.  This is outrageous that I will miss out on 16% of sales by .4% or again less than one fraudulent Vetta sale.  

I don't know if it would be possible to bump you up, or not. but in your case, I'd definitely be contacting contributor relations.

It's cases like this that iStock's new system just doens't work.  I think traveler1116 should be bumped up too, but what about the guy who has 36,844 RC ... yeah he should probably be bumped up as well,... then what about 36,843 RC .. somewhere you have to draw a line and that line is going to be unfair.  Such a drastic change in income for a whole year because of a few measly missed sales.

traveler1116

« Reply #64 on: January 16, 2011, 09:25 »
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Looks like with the new system I will miss out on 35% level by 155 credits or less than one fraudulent Vetta sale.  I have 36,845 credits or 99.581% of what I need to get to the next level.  This is outrageous that I will miss out on 16% of sales by .4% or again less than one fraudulent Vetta sale.  

I don't know if it would be possible to bump you up, or not. but in your case, I'd definitely be contacting contributor relations.

It's cases like this that iStock's new system just doens't work.  I think traveler1116 should be bumped up too, but what about the guy who has 36,844 RC ... yeah he should probably be bumped up as well,... then what about 36,843 RC .. somewhere you have to draw a line and that line is going to be unfair.  Such a drastic change in income for a whole year because of a few measly missed sales.

Well once again I'm banned from IS forums.  Did I say something insulting, rude, incorrect, or offending?  Nope I simply asked Lobo about what he said last year (he said he would work hard to make sure nobody missed the next level by a very small margin) and posted the same as above here asking for a better response than the generic, canned answer support gives.   As to your point Leaf I think they should make it individually, they said they would reward people who work hard and I had nearly 2,000 images accepted last year so I think I fair well.  Others may have different reasons for why they should be moved up, but either way less than half a percent seems close enough.

« Reply #65 on: January 16, 2011, 09:30 »
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Looks like with the new system I will miss out on 35% level by 155 credits or less than one fraudulent Vetta sale.  I have 36,845 credits or 99.581% of what I need to get to the next level.  This is outrageous that I will miss out on 16% of sales by .4% or again less than one fraudulent Vetta sale.  

I don't know if it would be possible to bump you up, or not. but in your case, I'd definitely be contacting contributor relations.

It's cases like this that iStock's new system just doens't work.  I think traveler1116 should be bumped up too, but what about the guy who has 36,844 RC ... yeah he should probably be bumped up as well,... then what about 36,843 RC .. somewhere you have to draw a line and that line is going to be unfair.  Such a drastic change in income for a whole year because of a few measly missed sales.

Well once again I'm banned from IS forums.  Did I say something insulting, rude, incorrect, or offending?  Nope I simply asked Lobo about what he said last year (he said he would work hard to make sure nobody missed the next level by a very small margin) and posted the same as above here asking for a better response than the generic, canned answer support gives.   As to your point Leaf I think they should make it individually, they said they would reward people who work hard and I had nearly 2,000 images accepted last year so I think I fair well.  Others may have different reasons for why they should be moved up, but either way less than half a percent seems close enough.

So Lobo just banned you, you didn't get an answer as to whether it will even be considered? I agree you should be bumped up, good luck, I hope they do that. But then you realize, you won't be able to tell anybody, or you will start another uprising.  ;)

ShadySue

« Reply #66 on: January 16, 2011, 09:33 »
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Well once again I'm banned from IS forums.  Did I say something insulting, rude, incorrect, or offending?  Nope I simply asked Lobo about what he said last year (he said he would work hard to make sure nobody missed the next level by a very small margin) and posted the same as above here asking for a better response than the generic, canned answer support gives.

You should know better than to challenge a promise or statement!  ::)
Indeed, he only promised to 'work hard', he didn't promise he'd be able to achieve anything.  ;)
Kelly promised he'd resign if most exclusives didn't benefit. Sadly, only he will know the true figures, so we'll never know for sure if he has to keep or eat his fancy promise. >:(

traveler1116

« Reply #67 on: January 16, 2011, 10:04 »
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Nope no answer. 3 support tickets all with generic response.  2 threads in the forum one locked immediately, the other deleted.  5-10 appeals in the related threads in the forum no answers and one deleted post.  Everything deleted was asking lobo what happened to his pledge to work hard and not even in an angry way.

« Reply #68 on: January 16, 2011, 13:16 »
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I don't know what to say - I'd donate my extra credits if IS permitted such a thing, which of course they don't.

And as far as pledges being honored, ask those people who went exclusive as a result of the promises a year ago about grandfathering the canisters. They were royally hosed too. Not much consolation for you, I know, but you're dealing with an organization whose word is completely worthless. They've gone back on so many commitments - and not just to contributors; remember no Vetta price increases in 2010?.

I'm seriously rethinking my exclusivity - partly because their IT department appears to be trying to demolish the business and partly because I think more crap (specifically removing the opt out from the partner program) is likely to be coming. I really don't want to be doing that, but IS's recent behavior just leaves little hope for good things there in the future for contributors like me. YMMV.

« Reply #69 on: January 16, 2011, 13:21 »
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I'm seriously rethinking my exclusivity - partly because their IT department appears to be trying to demolish the business and partly because I think more crap (specifically removing the opt out from the partner program) is likely to be coming. I really don't want to be doing that, but IS's recent behavior just leaves little hope for good things there in the future for contributors like me. YMMV.

The thing with the partner program worries me too.  We've not been able to save the option to "opt-out" for months now, and while they tell us it's cosmetic and not to worry about it, I have to wonder.  Since that issue was brought up, they have changed the page to opt in or out of agency collections and made other changes to the page -- but the opt-out issue remains, they haven't addressed that fix.  So call me paranoid, but I have to wonder if that is by design, because the ability to stay opted out will be going away.  As far as the IT department . . . I am totally out of possible explanations!  I've been in development and testing since 1997, and I swear, I've never seen anything like this.  :(  I have to wonder if they lost a lot of staff, and have a bunch of new people trying to catch up on how it works.

« Reply #70 on: January 16, 2011, 13:44 »
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JoAnn - are you concerned about iStock becoming exclusive only? I feel as though things are heading towards a Getty-family only exclusivity requirement across the board. in which case, non-exclusives might be crap out completely unless they adopt exclusivity....

« Reply #71 on: January 16, 2011, 14:10 »
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I suspect they probably fired a lot of workers that they couldn't afford to lose, individuals they really needed to keep the site running properly. After all, if the intent is to rake in as much cash as quickly as possible, and then to dump the business after they've used it up and ruined it, wouldn't it make sense to save money by firing as many workers as possible? Or cut their workers' pay and benefits to the point where they quit in disgust, similar to how they're screwing us. These people are ruthless.

ShadySue

« Reply #72 on: January 16, 2011, 14:18 »
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I suspect they probably fired a lot of workers that they couldn't afford to lose, individuals they really needed to keep the site running properly. After all, if the intent is to rake in as much cash as quickly as possible, and then to dump the business after they've used it up and ruined it, wouldn't it make sense to save money by firing as many workers as possible? Or cut their workers' pay and benefits to the point where they quit in disgust, similar to how they're screwing us. These people are ruthless.
They claimed not. They claim to have a very happy workforce and a very low turnover rate. Yippers.
But then how much of what they say can you take at face value.
They must either have a rapid turnover in Quality Assurance Analysts ("can you break our software?", or an ever growing team of incompetents: they've been advertising for one for years, and I've never managed to 'catch' a time when they haven't wanted one.

« Reply #73 on: January 16, 2011, 14:38 »
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JoAnn - are you concerned about iStock becoming exclusive only? I feel as though things are heading towards a Getty-family only exclusivity requirement across the board. in which case, non-exclusives might be crap out completely unless they adopt exclusivity....


I don't think they can do that in the short term as they need the independents to be able to pay exclusives more than 20%. In the long run, I think they're weaning IS exclusives off higher than 20% royalties by moving more content to Getty family sites where the rates are 20% but the prices are higher. The soporific is that there's as much cash coming to the IS exclusive because the prices are higher on the other Getty family sites.

Right now they'd face revolt if they made the site exclusive only at 20%. Once they've moved enough business away to 20% sites that the big players are getting more of their income from the 20% sites than IS, then they might.

I want to be in a good place for the busiest part of the year in 2011. If that means being independent, I need to be uploading elsewhere well ahead of the fall to be able to take advantage of it. Right now, IS won't even give us the 2012 targets - which they had earlier said they would do. I don't trust them further than I can throw them at this point, so I don't want to be waiting until late in the year and then get another September curve ball.

I don't see a single optimistic sign anywhere (for me). Editorial sounds great if they ever do anything about it (see logos and Dexter), but that will be open to independents too. The nonsense with splitting illustrations and photos just made me think that all of this would be so much simpler - not to mention so much less angst on my part - if I stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I have no illusions about the other agencies or the issues of a small-ish contributor in an aquarium filled with big predatory fish. Any way you look at it, I think 2011 will be a turbulent year in microstock.

nruboc

« Reply #74 on: January 16, 2011, 14:40 »
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I suspect they probably fired a lot of workers that they couldn't afford to lose, individuals they really needed to keep the site running properly. After all, if the intent is to rake in as much cash as quickly as possible, and then to dump the business after they've used it up and ruined it, wouldn't it make sense to save money by firing as many workers as possible? Or cut their workers' pay and benefits to the point where they quit in disgust, similar to how they're screwing us. These people are ruthless.
They claimed not. They claim to have a very happy workforce and a very low turnover rate. Yippers.
But then how much of what they say can you take at face value.
They must either have a rapid turnover in Quality Assurance Analysts ("can you break our software?", or an ever growing team of incompetents: they've been advertising for one for years, and I've never managed to 'catch' a time when they haven't wanted one.

Maybe that's the problem, their incompetent workforce doesn't want to leave. Afterall, if they are able to keep their jobs after their numerous amount of f-ups, that's some pretty good job security

Microstock InsiderPhotoDune

 

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