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Top Tier - Big 4 => iStockPhoto.com => Topic started by: Herg on September 09, 2011, 06:49

Title: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on September 09, 2011, 06:49
Someone started off this topic but of course it was stamped on by you know who. September sales have tanked. Absolutely dire !!! This time of year should be busy.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: aeonf on September 09, 2011, 07:07
Doing well here.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: graficallyminded on September 09, 2011, 07:28
August was even way more lucrative than most years... kind of surprised me.  Things seem on track for September.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cathyslife on September 09, 2011, 07:36
One day you're in...the next day you're out.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on September 09, 2011, 08:03
One day you're in...the next day you're out.
I think there is definitely a 'person' component in the best match search.
Plus best match has shifted again for the fourth day in a row on my two standard search terms.
And on a broader note, after a good-for-me June to August, Sept has started relatively slowly, but a bit better than last Sept.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Elenathewise on September 09, 2011, 08:10
Actually, way better than average sales in August on Istock is very unusual - I wonder if another "clawback" is coming...:) things are just back to normal for me in September.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on September 09, 2011, 08:23
And for those who think iStock has it in for independents, here's what I get on a best match for "blue butterfly".
Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get you.(http://www.lizworld.com/BB.jpg)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on September 09, 2011, 08:56
Why to they keep changing the best match searches. WHY ?  ???
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on September 09, 2011, 09:01
Someone started off this topic but of course it was stamped on by you know who. September sales have tanked. Absolutely dire !!! This time of year should be busy.

It's mainly due to the long Labor Day weekend in the US & Canada. Sales have been fairly brisk for me (by today's standards anyway) from Tuesday onwards.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 09, 2011, 09:01
Plenty sales here!  but now according to a massive thread at IS,  they have yet again screwed the best match, so much so, they cant even get it back to the way it was, people over there are screaming but nothing seems to happen.

Oh well,  just another day at the funny farm.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on September 09, 2011, 09:14
Why to they keep changing the best match searches. WHY ?  ???
Because no one best match is ever fair to everyone? (that would be impossible). (that's the nice hypothesis)
After all, would you be happy if they stuck with a best match which happened not to favour your images?
Because they're trying to maximise profit (that's the realistic hypothesis).
TBH, I'd vote for a totally 'random' match to be an option, maybe to replace the 'name' search, which can't be much use to buyers (who can search by a contributor name if they've forgotten to bookmark a port).
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 09, 2011, 10:17
Why to they keep changing the best match searches. WHY ?  ???
Because no one best match is ever fair to everyone? (that would be impossible). (that's the nice hypothesis)
After all, would you be happy if they stuck with a best match which happened not to favour your images?
Because they're trying to maximise profit (that's the realistic hypothesis).
TBH, I'd vote for a totally 'random' match to be an option, maybe to replace the 'name' search, which can't be much use to buyers (who can search by a contributor name if they've forgotten to bookmark a port).

Hi!

Only at the moment we are back to square one, its either dominated by files with hardly any DLs at all and it really shows why they hardly sell, mediocre stuff (pardon me) or its Vettas.

The best match, to satisfy all?  youre right it doesnt exist BUT, a best match, at least to show buyers some quality without having to wade to page 25, surely that must be quite easy to engineer.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Elenathewise on September 09, 2011, 10:36
Well with millions of images they now have I would think it's a pretty difficult task - to "optimize" the search. Many categories are so well covered that you get pages and pages of images with similar content. Which ones do you serve first? If ones with most sales, then new ones will have no chance of making it, even if they are better quality. If new ones first, then old proven good sellers won't show. Mix of new images and good sellers? Then the ones in the middle that sold pretty well but didn't make it to the top yet get eliminated... and so on.
It will be increasingly difficult to have your stuff found in big libraries like Istock and other "top" agencies - I am surprised we still making some money at all..
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 09, 2011, 10:41
Well with millions of images they now have I would think it's a pretty difficult task - to "optimize" the search. Many categories are so well covered that you get pages and pages of images with similar content. Which ones do you serve first? If ones with most sales, then new ones will have no chance of making it, even if they are better quality. If new ones first, then old proven good sellers won't show. Mix of new images and good sellers? Then the ones in the middle that sold pretty well but didn't make it to the top yet get eliminated... and so on.
It will be increasingly difficult to have your stuff found in big libraries like Istock and other "top" agencies - I am surprised we still making some money at all..

So true!!  the old adage, cream always floats to the top,  is long gone. You can produce the most fantastic, most creative shots and they just fade away into oblivion. This happens to all searches that use relevance or best match,  hence "popularity"  is by far the most effective.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cathyslife on September 09, 2011, 11:14
Why to they keep changing the best match searches. WHY ?  ???
Because no one best match is ever fair to everyone? (that would be impossible). (that's the nice hypothesis)
After all, would you be happy if they stuck with a best match which happened not to favour your images?
Because they're trying to maximise profit (that's the realistic hypothesis).
TBH, I'd vote for a totally 'random' match to be an option, maybe to replace the 'name' search, which can't be much use to buyers (who can search by a contributor name if they've forgotten to bookmark a port).

Every single time they shuffle, somebody wins and somebody loses (among the contributors, that is...of course, Getty/IS wins all the time...like the house in Vegas).

Why contributors continue, after all this time, to be surprised, is beyond me.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on September 09, 2011, 11:20

So true!!  the old adage, cream always floats to the top,  is long gone. You can produce the most fantastic, most creative shots and they just fade away into oblivion. This happens to all searches that use relevance or best match,  hence "popularity"  is by far the most effective.

How does 'popularity' differ from 'downloads'?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 09, 2011, 11:36

So true!!  the old adage, cream always floats to the top,  is long gone. You can produce the most fantastic, most creative shots and they just fade away into oblivion. This happens to all searches that use relevance or best match,  hence "popularity"  is by far the most effective.

How does 'popularity' differ from 'downloads'?

Same thing, only popularity or downloads should be the default settings, problem at IS, is that not many bother to use the differant settings, just goes with the default which is this best match. Hence all the troubles.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 09, 2011, 11:38
Re: Popularity: In SS's case I think it's more like downloads per month - an age weighted downloads search with some brief boost for new files
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: halfshag on September 09, 2011, 13:19
A slight boost for indies during 'decision month'?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: luissantos84 on September 09, 2011, 13:42
A slight boost for indies during 'decision month'?

nice upgrade on royalties for 40% at iRockstock, great job
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: halfshag on September 09, 2011, 15:12
A slight boost for indies during 'decision month'?

nice upgrade on royalties for 40% at iRockstock, great job

Thanks Luis. Just here to keep tabs on iStock as always.

Just to elaborate a bit - my sales on iStock have increased significantly this month so far, don't know why but talking people down from the fence with a temporary best match shift the month before your indy files get 'locked' into other systems that, if you're like me, have no idea regarding the T&Cs of TS and other Getty family sites, loss of RCs and control over where your work is sold. A few extra dollars could be enough to sway people?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 10, 2011, 01:23
Yep!  slight boost for us during decision month hey?  looks that way doesnt it,  only Shouldnt this new IS venture work out or turning into the same fiasco, I have got myself the most beautyful way out of it. :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 10, 2011, 02:03
This week at iStock (weekend hasn't happened yet, to be fair, but these days that's generally pretty small) has been less than half last week (and that was less than the week before that). That's not just one day off for Labor Day, but as I say more and more these days, thank heavens for SS!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on September 10, 2011, 05:33
I would join SS but I can't be bothered jumping through the right hoops to get accepted. It's too frustrating.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 10, 2011, 07:22
Re: Popularity: In SS's case I think it's more like downloads per month - an age weighted downloads search with some brief boost for new files

Yes,  but it seems to work though, the SS search is without doubt the most effective, even if you try their new "relevance" search, its reasonably good.

The whole trouble with the IS, best match,  is that the relevance factor is also geared towards favouritism, Vettas,this and that, even geography seems to matter, so how on earth can you expect a search like that to be effective? might as well bang your head against a brickwall.

Just out of interest!  price-slider?  well thats a joke and a half. I asked some creative buyers I know, here and in England and France,  not one, not even one, can be bothered with this slider, some dont even know it exists. So much for that Einstein idea.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on September 10, 2011, 07:36
Re: Popularity: In SS's case I think it's more like downloads per month - an age weighted downloads search with some brief boost for new files

Just out of interest!  price-slider?  well thats a joke and a half. I asked some creative buyers I know, here and in England and France,  not one, not even one, can be bothered with this slider, some dont even know it exists. So much for that Einstein idea.
No-one is forced to use it. If price doesn't matter they can see everything easily (except the Dollar Bin).
Those for whom price is a major issue (and who were vocal in the forums) can use it.
I usually use sorts by price when shopping online. But hey, I'm Scottish (we're canny, which means careful, not 'mean/stingy').
Sometimes I even sort from top down, e.g. looking for a lens, it's easier to sort by top price then come down a few models.
Your point was?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 10, 2011, 11:16
Re: Popularity: In SS's case I think it's more like downloads per month - an age weighted downloads search with some brief boost for new files

Just out of interest!  price-slider?  well thats a joke and a half. I asked some creative buyers I know, here and in England and France,  not one, not even one, can be bothered with this slider, some dont even know it exists. So much for that Einstein idea.
No-one is forced to use it. If price doesn't matter they can see everything.
Those for whom price is a major issue (and who were vocal in the forums) can use it.
I usually use sorts by price when shopping online. But hey, I'm Scottish (we're canny, which means careful, not 'mean/stingy').
Sometimes I even sort from top down, e.g. looking for a lens, it's easier to sort by top price then come down a few models.
Your point was?

Scottish!  now I get it, Haggis and Scotch, hey!  apart from that, the highlands, fantastic place, love it.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Difydave on September 10, 2011, 11:24
Did somebody say Scotch. Mine's a Glenmorangie. A double please, as it comes. :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 10, 2011, 12:46
Did somebody say Scotch. Mine's a Glenmorangie. A double please, as it comes. :)

Lovely!  and a trebble. McAllens and Glenfidish, my favourites.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Difydave on September 10, 2011, 13:10
 We'll have another round here please! ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Artemis on September 10, 2011, 13:15
Did somebody say Scotch. Mine's a Glenmorangie. A double please, as it comes. :)

Lovely!  and a trebble. McAllens and Glenfidish, my favourites.
Glennfiddich? ;P (lol sorry for being a smartass)
I love scotch! Cardhu is my fav :)
For the Glenmorangie fans: try the nectar d'or (finished in sautern white wine casks), its divine!

Edit: OT - sales down as usual ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 10, 2011, 15:15
Did somebody say Scotch. Mine's a Glenmorangie. A double please, as it comes. :)

Lovely!  and a trebble. McAllens and Glenfidish, my favourites.
Glennfiddich? ;P (lol sorry for being a smartass)

Lol, you mean Glenfiddich.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Difydave on September 10, 2011, 15:32
It looks like we've sorted out on this thread what type of artists most photographers are! :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on September 10, 2011, 15:33
It looks like we've sorted out on this thread what type of artists most photographers are! :)
Drunk?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Artemis on September 10, 2011, 16:28
Did somebody say Scotch. Mine's a Glenmorangie. A double please, as it comes. :)

Lovely!  and a trebble. McAllens and Glenfidish, my favourites.
Glennfiddich? ;P (lol sorry for being a smartass)

Lol, you mean Glenfiddich.
Haha! i so deserved that ! annoying smartasses  :P
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: aeonf on September 10, 2011, 16:41
Glenlivet for me.
(quite/very drunk from Jameson as I write this BTW)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Difydave on September 10, 2011, 17:08
It looks like we've sorted out on this thread what type of artists most photographers are! :)
Drunk?
Not exactly the word I was thinking of, but it's the right idea.
Lot of discerning palates here though. You lot of reprobates 'd be an expensive bunch to get, er, drunk with! :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 11, 2011, 01:21
Jamiesons and Bushmills, are not bad either come to think of it. Few McAllens though and I dont give a toss about anybodies best match. ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on September 11, 2011, 08:51
It looks like we've sorted out on this thread what type of artists most photographers are! :)
Drunk?
Not exactly the word I was thinking of, but it's the right idea.
Lot of discerning palates here though. You lot of reprobates 'd be an expensive bunch to get, er, drunk with! :)

That's one more incentive to really make it in MS ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on September 11, 2011, 21:50
Did somebody say Scotch. Mine's a Glenmorangie. A double please, as it comes. :)

Lovely!  and a trebble. McAllens and Glenfidish, my favourites.

Highland Park and Talisker. but I've been sipping some Black Grouse for the average nights and like it very much.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on September 12, 2011, 11:11
Can we get back on topic please. Sales still appallingly dire. September looks set for another big slump.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Gannet77 on September 12, 2011, 11:32
My sales are fine.  But then my preference is for Ardbeg, or Bowmore.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: MicrostockExp on September 12, 2011, 11:34
I think I ll make just enough to buy a coffee this month.....
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 12, 2011, 12:31
My sales are fine!  thanks, now I have another Glennfiddich.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: stockmarketer on September 12, 2011, 13:04
If the next few weeks keep pace with the first two, Sept will be my overall BME.  Make mine a green tea.

Now, if we're just talking IS, that's another story.  My sales there have been fairly flat for about a year, with just the expected ups and downs (summer, holidays, etc.)   Good news is that SS and FT are more than making up for it.   
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Pixart on September 12, 2011, 13:27
Sales have slowed in a major way (because I have not signed new agreement?), but my totals have jumped by approx $30 over the weekend (maybe 48 hours) and I can't find an EL anywhere - I don't remember it taking this long to show up in the past - is this type of reporting delayed this long?    As long as it's something legit and not that I've been ported over to Thinkstock already - since my buttons were changed for maybe a month permitting it.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on September 12, 2011, 16:13
Is it easier to get into FT than SS ?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 12, 2011, 16:28
Don't worry Pixart, they haven't reported any TS sales yet this month. Perhaps you got something from a referral?

Herg - I don't know, but I do know that it is easier to sell images at SS than FT.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on September 13, 2011, 02:57
By the look of things, once you are accepted (which is almost impossible enough) it's now hard to get any images approved looking at the SS thread.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on September 13, 2011, 06:23
By the look of things, once you are accepted (which is almost impossible enough) it's now hard to get any images approved looking at the SS thread.

Indeed and they're surely giving a harder time to beginners. At least I got a lot less through when I started at IS and SS. I should really exclude SS, since half of my batches still get 100% (or close to) rejections. Even though I usually just split a session into 2 batches, meaning photos are of the same quality, at least technically.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on September 13, 2011, 11:56
Anyone (as well as aenof) getting good sales in September? Mine seem to have literally fallen off a cliff since the end of August. That's comparing to myself, not to BDs!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Sadstock on September 13, 2011, 12:12
Last week was one of the best weeks for me on Istock in probably 6 months.  No ELs, just lots of downloads. 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: aeonf on September 13, 2011, 13:39
Today seems quite dead but so far doing about 20% better then last month (which was horrible) but I still consider it slow (low RPI).
MS is a tough bussiness!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: luissantos84 on September 13, 2011, 13:42
Today seems quite dead but so far doing about 20% better then last month (which was horrible) but I still consider it slow (low RPI).
MS is a tough bussiness!

LOL now it is tough? I remember you saying that in a few weeks you would be over Sean  ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: aeonf on September 13, 2011, 16:10
Today seems quite dead but so far doing about 20% better then last month (which was horrible) but I still consider it slow (low RPI).
MS is a tough bussiness!

LOL now it is tough? I remember you saying that in a few weeks you would be over Sean  ;D

If I said that I was surely being sarcastic (or drunk), maybe in a few decades :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 13, 2011, 16:29
It's weird. One day there are like two or three days' sales rolled into one, then nothing at all on Sunday (the first time this year), and then Monday is like a Sunday. Today seems to be heading for an average result. Basically, everything is all over the place.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on September 14, 2011, 11:32
It's absolutely terrible.  Still dire sales. Sept=on track for being crapper than Aug.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on September 14, 2011, 12:59
It's absolutely terrible.  Still dire sales. Sept=on track for being crapper than Aug.
On day average, I'm almost 1/3 down on August, and it's not getting better. Even the few sales I get are smaller sizes on average.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Difydave on September 14, 2011, 14:34
It's absolutely terrible.  Still dire sales. Sept=on track for being crapper than Aug.
On day average, I'm almost 1/3 down on August, and it's not getting better. Even the few sales I get are smaller sizes on average.
Yeah, last week was bad for me. Worst week for a long time. This week started off OK-ish on Monday, but it's been downhill since.   
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Allsa on September 14, 2011, 14:38
I don't get it, independents are reporting declining, dismal sales at IS - so why are so many willing to accept their unreasonable ASA and give up control of their images in the process??! You're giving up so much to invest in a sinking ship!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on September 14, 2011, 15:15
I don't get it, independents are reporting declining, dismal sales at IS - so why are so many willing to accept their unreasonable ASA and give up control of their images in the process??! You're giving up so much to invest in a sinking ship!

There's decline and there's cessation.  I had a decline of sales from Istock over the past year.  Did not have cessation of sales, or anything close to it.  Now sales are picking up a bit. 

Also, P+ has given the ability to raise prices of good selling images, which offsets some of the numerical declines. 

Istock's declining numbers are worrying, but they were the top selling site for quite a few years.  They are still number two (or even #1 in my case) for a lot of people.  So despite their decline, and other shenanigans, they still bring in a substantial amount of income. 

Do they suck?  Yes.  Do they suck enough to make people sacrifice large percentage of their household income?   Everyone's answer to that's going to be different.  (check the poll). 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on September 14, 2011, 15:25
I don't get it, independents are reporting declining, dismal sales at IS - so why are so many willing to accept their unreasonable ASA and give up control of their images in the process??! You're giving up so much to invest in a sinking ship!
I don't think a knee-jerk reaction to two weeks' worth of poor sales would necessarily be in my best interest.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on September 14, 2011, 15:29
But keeping a watching brief is always smart too.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on September 14, 2011, 15:29
I don't think a knee-jerk reaction two weeks worth of poor sales would necessary be in my best interest.

Perfect!  Said in one sentence what it took me 4 paragraphs to try and get across.  :D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Allsa on September 14, 2011, 19:05
IS came up with Thinkstock for the purpose of destroying the competition - and if you think they're exploiting us now, imagine how bad things can get if they have very little in the way of competition to hold them in check. Raising commissions wasn't enough to lure people into TS, so they have now resorted to FORCING people to allow them to mirror their images on TS. They are counting on our passivity to work in their favor. Do you really want to prove them right? The exclusive content gets mirrored upstream, while independent content gets kicked down over to the bargain basement - thus devaluing your work, while raising the value of their own exclusive content by comparison. They've been screwing photographers for years, and they're very good at what they do. Underestimate them at your peril...
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 14, 2011, 19:43
I think Getty wants to make the most money possible. They don't have any particular wish to destroy competitors, but that's collateral damage given how they operate.

We're a cost and driving down costs is what they're trying to do. Unfortunately for us, there is no control over supply and the barriers to entry (for new photographers) are relatively low, especially if you're not being too picky and there aren't any "name brands" that customers demand.

I don't underestimate Getty, but I also don't want to overestimate the value of my photography to microstock customers. There are plenty of other people out there who will supply Getty if I don't. I will keep my new stuff off iStock for a bit so it shows up elsewhere first, but other than removing my vectors from iStock (which I already did) I don't think removing all of the independent iStock content from Getty's subscription sites would be more than a temporary setback for them.

Unpleasant realities, I'll grant you, but that's what I see.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Allsa on September 14, 2011, 21:13
But the independent boycott of Thinkstock was working, that's why they raised commissions early on! It's also why they resorted to forcing participation in TS. I think we underestimate our collective power, and we give up and give in way-y-y too easily.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 14, 2011, 22:40
But the independent boycott of Thinkstock was working, that's why they raised commissions early on! It's also why they resorted to forcing participation in TS. I think we underestimate our collective power, and we give up and give in way-y-y too easily.

I don't think I'm giving up, and I've been involved in a lot of the actions to try and bring agencies around to a more contributor friendly point of view for years. If you look at the IS forums, I was one of the vocal critics against the PP from the very beginning. I would never voluntarily have opted in without much better terms. When the commissions were raised and they still didn't get enough content, Getty made it mandatory (and they'd already shoved that down the throats of Getty Images contract holders this spring).

If Getty had offered another raise or an inducement, it would have indicated we still had wiggle room. They didn't - it was a switch to hardball tactics. It's most unfortunate that Getty owns so many of the stock outlets, but that gives them a very big stick. I fully expect them to mandate exclusive IS content into the PP in the future when they discover that it does them no good at all to have just the independent content on the partner sites that's already (plus more) on all the other microstock agencies.

We're outgunned here, at least with respect to Getty. If it were one of the other agencies, they'd have a harder time rebuilding their libraries from zero, but the Getty name will have people falling all over themselves to be abused by them.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on September 14, 2011, 22:48
Allsa, you do realize that to one degree or another three of the four top agencies have cut commissions, right?  And I assume you are also aware that three of the top 4 have "forced" people to participate in their subscription programs (the 4th is mostly all subs to begin with).  

Why quit Istock, but remain at FT and DT?  And if you do quit all three, just to be consistent, why be in microstock at all.  If you give up the best selling sites then you aren't very serious about stock in the first place.  

Most importantly, do you really think you are going to browbeat professional stock photographers into joining some rebellion with you?  You asked a question, it has been answered at great length by several people.  But by all means, keep belaboring your point.  Maybe we will all see the light and join you after all. 

I will certainly consider quitting Istock if you want to mail me a $100,000 check to cover the income you are asking me to give up over the next few years.  What's that, not sending that check?  Then I guess you are just talking out your a$$.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 15, 2011, 01:50
But the independent boycott of Thinkstock was working, that's why they raised commissions early on! It's also why they resorted to forcing participation in TS. I think we underestimate our collective power, and we give up and give in way-y-y too easily.

That's what you want to think. Commissions were raised after more than a year - that's not early on. And if it had anything to do with trying to drag more people into the programme please explain why they announced the increase in March and backdated it to January. What reason is there for backdating something if its purpose is to lure people to join you in future?

I'm pretty sure the commission rise was linked to an increase in the price of subscriptions and was designed to maintain a certain percentage payout. They waited until they saw the effect on their income and then announced the new rate - which is what SS used to do. The difference is that TS backdated the increase, presumably to the point where they had increased the subscription price.

TS is a much bigger and more successful agency than you think it is. In my earnings table it comes fourth, consistently behind DT but way ahead of Fotolia, Bigstock or 123.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 15, 2011, 01:55
JoAnne!  in order for Getty to earn as much as possible, they HAVE to destroy the competition, or else, whats the point? its business. The old adage, theres room for everybody, doesnt apply to the Micro industry,  here according to Getty, there can be only one. In any modern psychiatry that would be stamped as "inferiority-complex"  not the Napoleon syndrome.

Other major agencies are not helping at all, they follow like good little boys, cutting commissions, changing BMs, this and that, which ofcourse is exactly what Getty wants to happen, thats exactly what Getty wants them to do,  just look how many members screaming they are going to delete their ports at FT, etc?

Its clever, making other, smaller agencies follow, immitating their actions, deviating much heat from themselves. So far, I would say there policy have succeeded beautyfully.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 15, 2011, 02:12
Actually, you've got that backwards. Other agencies are introducing things like cut commissions (Fotolia is the market leader), subscription sales (DT and Fot) and iStock is running along behind them.

Does iStock need a competitor in order to avoid problems with monopolies legislation? It isn't trying to wipe out SS, if it was it would be undercutting the subscription price, which it could easily do, instead of pricing at similar or higher rates.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 15, 2011, 02:18
Actually, you've got that backwards. Other agencies are introducing things like cut commissions (Fotolia is the market leader), subscription sales (DT and Fot) and iStock is running along behind them.

Does iStock need a competitor in order to avoid problems with monopolies legislation? It isn't trying to wipe out SS, if it was it would be undercutting the subscription price, which it could easily do, instead of pricing at similar or higher rates.

Sure!  nowdays, yes,  but IS, started the ball rolling a few years back, on purpose ofcourse!  then they take a back-seat, watching the others fall apart. Thankfully, some refuse to fall.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Perry on September 15, 2011, 02:27
Does iStock need a competitor in order to avoid problems with monopolies legislation? It isn't trying to wipe out SS, if it was it would be undercutting the subscription price, which it could easily do, instead of pricing at similar or higher rates.

Ever heard of Thinkstock.com...? (They ARE trying to wipe out SS, and soon when they have forced all images to Thinkstock they will begin the fierce battle. I hope SS wins.)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 15, 2011, 02:42
Does iStock need a competitor in order to avoid problems with monopolies legislation? It isn't trying to wipe out SS, if it was it would be undercutting the subscription price, which it could easily do, instead of pricing at similar or higher rates.

Ever heard of Thinkstock.com...? (They ARE trying to wipe out SS, and soon when they have forced all images to Thinkstock they will begin the fierce battle. I hope SS wins.)

It gets me that everybody knows exactly what the strategic thinking is at iStock high command. They don't just suspect something, they know it as an absolute certainty. Sure, you COULD be right. But then you could also be wrong. What evidence is there that TS is intended to wipe out SS? All we know is that they created a subscription site and are pouring a lot of old, low-value stuff into it, along with much of the iStock collection. As the running costs are minimal they could easily sell subscriptions at half SS prices and still make a profit, but they never did that. They fixed the price as equal to or higher than SS prices. It's not the behaviour of a site that has the objective of wiping out its main rival.

Until someone produces something more solid than rhetoric, suspicion and ill-feeling to support this "they're out to destroy SS, the mighty battle approaches" theory, I will continue to base my opinions on the very limited facts that are available - which do not really support that theory. It is possible that this is the long-term objective (and one that is failing dismally at the moment) but there are alternatives.

How does US law regard monopolies? Are they subject to any regulation? If so, becoming a monopoly might not be the most profitable strategy.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 15, 2011, 02:48
Actually, you've got that backwards. Other agencies are introducing things like cut commissions (Fotolia is the market leader), subscription sales (DT and Fot) and iStock is running along behind them.

Does iStock need a competitor in order to avoid problems with monopolies legislation? It isn't trying to wipe out SS, if it was it would be undercutting the subscription price, which it could easily do, instead of pricing at similar or higher rates.

Sure!  nowdays, yes,  but IS, started the ball rolling a few years back, on purpose ofcourse!  then they take a back-seat, watching the others fall apart. Thankfully, some refuse to fall.

When, which ball, and by doing what?

Not first to cut commissions
Not first to launch associated subscriptions
Not first to force submitters to accept subscription sales or leave
Not first to force people into allowing images to be sold via partner sites

So what is the ball that they kicked into motion? I can't think of it.  I'm not being funny, I'm just perplexed as to what it is you think they did.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Perry on September 15, 2011, 03:07
So, your theory is that Getty/IS created Thinkstock just for fun?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RT on September 15, 2011, 03:13
So what is the ball that they kicked into motion? I can't think of it.  I'm not being funny, I'm just perplexed as to what it is you think they did.

They were the first to allow Forrest Gump to speak publicly to their suppliers.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 15, 2011, 03:22
Actually, you've got that backwards. Other agencies are introducing things like cut commissions (Fotolia is the market leader), subscription sales (DT and Fot) and iStock is running along behind them.

Does iStock need a competitor in order to avoid problems with monopolies legislation? It isn't trying to wipe out SS, if it was it would be undercutting the subscription price, which it could easily do, instead of pricing at similar or higher rates.

Sure!  nowdays, yes,  but IS, started the ball rolling a few years back, on purpose ofcourse!  then they take a back-seat, watching the others fall apart. Thankfully, some refuse to fall.

When, which ball, and by doing what?

Not first to cut commissions
Not first to launch associated subscriptions
Not first to force submitters to accept subscription sales or leave
Not first to force people into allowing images to be sold via partner sites

So what is the ball that they kicked into motion? I can't think of it.  I'm not being funny, I'm just perplexed as to what it is you think they did.


As usual you are nitpicking?  surely you agree that no other agency have gone out of their way, setting up, organizing, launching, sister-agencies, in order to simply destroy?

If you know or have followed the Getty history since 1992,  thats the way they have been operating. Thats a far and vast cry from petty, little commission cuts, etc. wouldnt you say?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 15, 2011, 03:46
As usual you are nitpicking?  surely you agree that no other agency have gone out of their way, setting up, organizing, launching, sister-agencies, in order to simply destroy?

If you know or have followed the Getty history since 1992,  thats the way they have been operating. Thats a far and vast cry from petty, little commission cuts, etc. wouldnt you say?

I'm sorry if you think that wanting facts instead of opinions is nit-picking. Why not just admit you were engaged in polemics.

What sister-agencies has Getty set up simply to destroy? Are you referring to TS? Which other/s (agencies being a plural). As I stated earlier I am not convinced that the objective behind TS is to destroy SS.

Perry: You are creating a false dichotomy. The alternatives are not "TS exists to destroy SS" or "TS exists for fun". There are plenty of other reasons, including such possibilities as:

1) Getty realised subscriptions offer significant earnings potential and there was a hole in its coverage that needed plugging
2) Getty had a mountain of images that nobody was willing to pay premium prices for and thought it could give them another lease of earnings life
3) Having just been taken over, the management had to produce a significant initiative to impress the new owners and this was an obvious gap, albeit one they hadn't wanted to fill before.
4) Many images at iStock were not selling because they were below the current quality expectation, and it was a waste to have them using bandwidth for nothing or simply to delete them when it might be possible to monetise them in a significant size cut-price collection.

So there are plenty of possible motives for creating Thinkstock. I'm sure having fun wasn't one of them.

 

I am aware that Getty has a long history of absorbing rival agencies in order to increase its market share. Whether that reflects a long-running desire to establish a complete monopoly in the industry I don't know. It's an unrealistic objective, anyway, because people will always start up new agencies if only in the hope of being bought out and Corbis isn't going away.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 15, 2011, 03:47
So what is the ball that they kicked into motion? I can't think of it.  I'm not being funny, I'm just perplexed as to what it is you think they did.

They were the first to allow Forrest Gump to speak publicly to their suppliers.

Excellent point!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 15, 2011, 04:45
As usual you are nitpicking?  surely you agree that no other agency have gone out of their way, setting up, organizing, launching, sister-agencies, in order to simply destroy?

If you know or have followed the Getty history since 1992,  thats the way they have been operating. Thats a far and vast cry from petty, little commission cuts, etc. wouldnt you say?

I'm sorry if you think that wanting facts instead of opinions is nit-picking. Why not just admit you were engaged in polemics.

What sister-agencies has Getty set up simply to destroy? Are you referring to TS? Which other/s (agencies being a plural). As I stated earlier I am not convinced that the objective behind TS is to destroy SS.

Perry: You are creating a false dichotomy. The alternatives are not "TS exists to destroy SS" or "TS exists for fun". There are plenty of other reasons, including such possibilities as:

1) Getty realised subscriptions offer significant earnings potential and there was a hole in its coverage that needed plugging
2) Getty had a mountain of images that nobody was willing to pay premium prices for and thought it could give them another lease of earnings life
3) Having just been taken over, the management had to produce a significant initiative to impress the new owners and this was an obvious gap, albeit one they hadn't wanted to fill before.
4) Many images at iStock were not selling because they were below the current quality expectation, and it was a waste to have them using bandwidth for nothing or simply to delete them when it might be possible to monetise them in a significant size cut-price collection.

So there are plenty of possible motives for creating Thinkstock. I'm sure having fun wasn't one of them.

 

I am aware that Getty has a long history of absorbing rival agencies in order to increase its market share. Whether that reflects a long-running desire to establish a complete monopoly in the industry I don't know. It's an unrealistic objective, anyway, because people will always start up new agencies if only in the hope of being bought out and Corbis isn't going away.
[/quote

No, your right, they start new agencies out of the godness of their hearts, giving away as much comission as possible, hoping to buy a premiere place by the side of St-peter.
In fact I think as contributors, we should freely give away more percentage, god knows we are really earning too much.
Amen and God bless.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 15, 2011, 04:57
Sometimes you can be a complete moron, Lagereek.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on September 15, 2011, 04:59
Sometimes you can be a complete moron, Lagereek.

Sometimes?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 15, 2011, 05:01
Sometimes you can be a complete moron, Lagereek.

Makes two of us!  only, I will be sober in the morning. Oh sorry I didnt realize the crettin no1, came in the middle, gotsy-boy has surfaced. WOW.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Xalanx on September 15, 2011, 05:13
The beauty of free speech on the internet - utter mix of reasonable and logical facts presented in a coherent manner, with almost unreadable drivel.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 15, 2011, 05:28
Sometimes you can be a complete moron, Lagereek.

Sometimes?
;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 15, 2011, 05:41
Sometimes you can be a complete moron, Lagereek.

Sometimes?
;)

Ever heard of Narcissus complex? nothing wrong with self absorption, exept, shall we say:  it can get out of hand.

You know, youre not even a full-time photographer, nor is gotsy, so where youre getting your expert comments from I dont know, maybe you are using a dictionary or something.
The minute you earn your living from photography, be my guest, until then stay the amateur you are.
Had I known this from the start, I wouldnt even have wasted my time on part-timers.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 15, 2011, 09:17
Sometimes you can be a complete moron, Lagereek.

Sometimes?
;)

Ever heard of Narcissus complex? nothing wrong with self absorption, exept, shall we say:  it can get out of hand.

You know, youre not even a full-time photographer, nor is gotsy, so where youre getting your expert comments from I dont know, maybe you are using a dictionary or something.
The minute you earn your living from photography, be my guest, until then stay the amateur you are.
Had I known this from the start, I wouldnt even have wasted my time on part-timers.

You don't know what you are talking about and are making yourself look more stupid than usual to those who do know who Gostwyck is and who I am.

PS: I just looked up your sales figures on IS and DT and I notice that they are well below Gostwyck's and mine, so what does that make you?

PPS: And while I think of it, there is no connection at all between being a professional photographer and being able to analyse what might or might not drive the decisions of a major company.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on September 15, 2011, 09:25
So what is the ball that they kicked into motion? I can't think of it.  I'm not being funny, I'm just perplexed as to what it is you think they did.

They were the first to allow Forrest Gump to speak publicly to their suppliers.

ROFL!  Quite an innovative approach it turned out to be ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: luissantos84 on September 15, 2011, 10:08
Does iStock need a competitor in order to avoid problems with monopolies legislation? It isn't trying to wipe out SS, if it was it would be undercutting the subscription price, which it could easily do, instead of pricing at similar or higher rates.

Ever heard of Thinkstock.com...? (They ARE trying to wipe out SS, and soon when they have forced all images to Thinkstock they will begin the fierce battle. I hope SS wins.)

they will never reach SS, I do like 10x more on SS and my PP sales are like half of IS
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on September 15, 2011, 14:15
* XS&S party today :( . I really got used to to L+ days, that August and Sep (until today) was full of.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 15, 2011, 14:36
Sometimes you can be a complete moron, Lagereek.

Sometimes?
;)



Ever heard of Narcissus complex? nothing wrong with self absorption, exept, shall we say:  it can get out of hand.

You know, youre not even a full-time photographer, nor is gotsy, so where youre getting your expert comments from I dont know, maybe you are using a dictionary or something.
The minute you earn your living from photography, be my guest, until then stay the amateur you are.
Had I known this from the start, I wouldnt even have wasted my time on part-timers.

You don't know what you are talking about and are making yourself look more stupid than usual to those who do know who Gostwyck is and who I am.

PS: I just looked up your sales figures on IS and DT and I notice that they are well below Gostwyck's and mine, so what does that make you?

PPS: And while I think of it, there is no connection at all between being a professional photographer and being able to analyse what might or might not drive the decisions of a major company.


I know you! who you are and what you do, make no misstake here. You really think that sales figures at a micro proves your a professional photographer? boy, your inferiority complex really shines through.
Youre a self-proclaimed walley Baldrick, one of those who pretends to be a lot more then they really are. As far as my sales figures at IS, is something to go by, well they beat yours and as far as my sales figures at Getty-RM, well?  if you can beat, approx, 5K, per month with the latest payout of well above that, good.

No Baldy and Gotsy, or should I say the BOYS,  go play in somebody elses playground,  your nothing but a bunch of wankers. ;D And you look like one as well, in your silly christmas-party pics.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: luissantos84 on September 15, 2011, 14:48
ahahaha this a joy, thats why I love this forum!

you three with all respect should meet, you guys could go like "Athos, Porthos and Aramis"
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on September 15, 2011, 14:55
I keep expecting someone is going to pull out a ruler and start measuring the size of their "portfolios". ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 15, 2011, 14:58
You obviously don't know who I am or you would know that my sales figures at iStock are way ahead of yours. I'm not the one going round making wild claims about what a wonderful old-time professional I am, claiming that I can just wander about on offshore oil rigs and shoot whatever I like to sell as stock and that the oil companies won't mind. Nor do I claim to have constant contact with stock agency execs who spill all the beans to me (though the tips never seem to come true), or to be getting $5k a month because I have 38 past-their-prime shots from Stone that ended up on the Getty collection.
Anyone can google your name and discover that you have your stuff all over every half-baked microstock site in existence trying to scrape together some pennies, Mr big-time Getty shooter .... and you say I'm the one pretending to be something I'm not?

But, back to the point, why are you so upset just because I wanted you to provide facts to back up what you were claiming?


PS, I'm glad to help with the entertainment (and I've got a bigger one than he has).
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on September 15, 2011, 14:59
I keep expecting someone is going to pull out a ruler and start measuring the size of their "portfolios". ;)
LOL!
It must be a 'boy thing'.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 15, 2011, 15:02
ahahaha this a joy, thats why I love this forum!

you three with all respect should meet, you guys could go like "Athos, Porthos and Aramis"

More like Huey, Dewy and Louie, lol.  Just kidding.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 15, 2011, 15:03
ahahaha this a joy, thats why I love this forum!

you three with all respect should meet, you guys could go like "Athos, Porthos and Aramis"

More like Huey, Dewy and Louie, lol.  Just kidding.

:)


I think Gostwyck deserves special acclaim for having achieved his notoriety in this thread through the contribution of just one word.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on September 15, 2011, 15:17
I think Gostwyck deserves special acclaim for having achieved his notoriety in this thread through the contribution of just one word.

That's what I was thinking!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 15, 2011, 15:54
@ Lisa - I like "portfolios" as a euphemism here.

Perhaps we can stipulate that all three of them loathe one another equally and just move on?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 15, 2011, 16:46
You obviously don't know who I am or you would know that my sales figures at iStock are way ahead of yours. I'm not the one going round making wild claims about what a wonderful old-time professional I am, claiming that I can just wander about on offshore oil rigs and shoot whatever I like to sell as stock and that the oil companies won't mind. Nor do I claim to have constant contact with stock agency execs who spill all the beans to me (though the tips never seem to come true), or to be getting $5k a month because I have 38 past-their-prime shots from Stone that ended up on the Getty collection.
Anyone can google your name and discover that you have your stuff all over every half-baked microstock site in existence trying to scrape together some pennies, Mr big-time Getty shooter .... and you say I'm the one pretending to be something I'm not?

But, back to the point, why are you so upset just because I wanted you to provide facts to back up what you were claiming?


PS, I'm glad to help with the entertainment (and I've got a bigger one than he has).


Fancy that!  I sucked you in!  I actually managed to suck you into a cheap argument on a public forum. You silly little man. ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on September 15, 2011, 16:53
Boys! Is the spitting competition next?? (bangs head on table...)

FWIW I am having a really good week on istock and it isnīt the xmas files that are beginning to sell. My sales are all over with quite a few first time downloads for very, very old files?

Could it be that the price slider is helping customers discover older (cheaper) files on istock and customers are coming back because they can finally find files that fit their budget (and the summer holidays are over...I know)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 15, 2011, 17:04
Boys! Is the spitting competition next?? (bangs head on table...)

FWIW I am having a really good week on istock and it isnīt the xmas files that are beginning to sell. My sales are all over with quite a few first time downloads for very, very old files?

Could it be that the price slider is helping customers discover older (cheaper) files on istock and customers are coming back because they can finally find files that fit their budget (and the summer holidays are over...I know)

Same here, many new and old files being sold,  dont think its the price-slider though,  rather they keep tweaking the best match, towards newer stuff.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 15, 2011, 17:26
Be right back. Going to get a more comfy chair and some popcorn for this.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 16, 2011, 01:02

Fancy that!  I sucked you in!  I actually managed to suck you into a cheap argument on a public forum. You silly little man. ;D


Congratulations! Well done! I can't think of anything more clever or more admirable or more professional than to spend all your time trolling on forums, disrupting conversations with gibberish on an industry discussion board in the hope that after hours of effort you will suck someone into a cheap argument. It is the mark of a true professional, not of somebody with the mentality of a six year old.

The cleverest part of all, of course, is that you admit to deliberately trying to get involved in cheap internet forum arguments with anonymous people while using your real name, thereby enhancing your own professional reputation and making anonymous people look silly. It's brilliant! It's the behaviour not only of a true professional but of an absolute genius!

At least, I hope that's right; I hope you're not just saying it because you can't think of anything else and reckon this is almost as clever as sticking your fingers in your ears and chanting "Yah boo, you suck, I win, you lose".

Whichever it is, I can only say that my admiration for you has moved several more notches in the direction it had been going for quite some time now.

At least we all now know that whatever you say is just there for entertainment value and not to be taken seriously.

Have a great day - and if this morning doesn't really seem very nice this site may help http://www.rupissed.com/hangovercures.html (http://www.rupissed.com/hangovercures.html)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: nruboc on September 16, 2011, 01:14

Fancy that!  I sucked you in!  I actually managed to suck you into a cheap argument on a public forum. You silly little man. ;D


Congratulations! Well done! I can't think of anything more clever or more admirable or more professional than to spend all your time trolling on forums, disrupting conversations with gibberish on an industry discussion board in the hope that after hours of effort you will suck someone into a cheap argument. It is the mark of a true professional, not of somebody with the mentality of a six year old.

The cleverest part of all, of course, is that you admit to deliberately trying to get involved in cheap internet forum arguments with anonymous people while using your real name, thereby enhancing your own professional reputation and making anonymous people look silly. It's brilliant! It's the behaviour not only of a true professional but of an absolute genius!

At least, I hope that's right; I hope you're not just saying it because you can't think of anything else and reckon this is almost as clever as sticking your fingers in your ears and chanting "Yah boo, you suck, I win, you lose".

Whichever it is, I can only say that my admiration for you has moved several more notches in the direction it had been going for quite some time now.

At least we all now know that whatever you say is just there for entertainment value and not to be taken seriously.

Have a great day - and if this morning doesn't really seem very nice this site may help [url]http://www.rupissed.com/hangovercures.html[/url] ([url]http://www.rupissed.com/hangovercures.html[/url])


Real easy to call people out while anonymous, huh? You should be proud!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 16, 2011, 01:21
Real easy to call people out while anonymous, huh? You should be proud!

Thank you. I don't do it normally but if you check the thread you will see that Mr Lagereek virtually insisted on having set-to by constantly posting drivel and insults while I was trying to make completely serious and informative points on an issue a lot of people are interested in that and they may not have thought about (judging by what everybody normally says).
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 16, 2011, 01:23

Fancy that!  I sucked you in!  I actually managed to suck you into a cheap argument on a public forum. You silly little man. ;D


Congratulations! Well done! I can't think of anything more clever or more admirable or more professional than to spend all your time trolling on forums, disrupting conversations with gibberish on an industry discussion board in the hope that after hours of effort you will suck someone into a cheap argument. It is the mark of a true professional, not of somebody with the mentality of a six year old.

The cleverest part of all, of course, is that you admit to deliberately trying to get involved in cheap internet forum arguments with anonymous people while using your real name, thereby enhancing your own professional reputation and making anonymous people look silly. It's brilliant! It's the behaviour not only of a true professional but of an absolute genius!

At least, I hope that's right; I hope you're not just saying it because you can't think of anything else and reckon this is almost as clever as sticking your fingers in your ears and chanting "Yah boo, you suck, I win, you lose".

Whichever it is, I can only say that my admiration for you has moved several more notches in the direction it had been going for quite some time now.

At least we all now know that whatever you say is just there for entertainment value and not to be taken seriously.

Have a great day - and if this morning doesn't really seem very nice this site may help [url]http://www.rupissed.com/hangovercures.html[/url] ([url]http://www.rupissed.com/hangovercures.html[/url])


Real easy to call people out while anonymous, huh? You should be proud!


You hit the nail there!  thats why he was so against the Pseudo-thread we had here a while back. Ofcourse with a pseudo you can palm yourself off as a Hollywood director, etc, being in reallity a waiter in a restaurant ( although nothing wrong with that) but you get my drift. He does this all the time and hiding behind a pseudo. BAD.
He should pick his fights more carefully.
Anyways, I have 4 private mails, telling me they like the postings.



best.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 16, 2011, 01:31
He should have picked his fight a bit more carefully.


Lol! You make it up as you go along don't you (and not just this), don't you remember that in your very last post you said (correctly) that it was YOU who picked a fight.

And "you're anonymous, so you lost" isn't a valid argument, either. whatever you may think.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 16, 2011, 01:43
I CALL A TRUCE! 

No hard feelings from me,  We have now made enough big jerks of ourselves and its time to put a stop to this.

what do you say?

all the best.  christian
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 16, 2011, 01:50
I CALL A TRUCE! 

No hard feelings from me,  We have now made enough big jerks of ourselves and its time to put a stop to this.

what do you say?

all the best.  christian

Yeah, it's run out of steam, hasn't it? It was fun while it lasted. Anonymous hard feelings would be pretty pointless, wouldn't they? BTW, there is no photo in my portfolio that matches the Christmas one you referred to earlier so you've probably misidentified me.

Sorry Pauliewalnuts, you'll have to point your chair somewhere else.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on September 16, 2011, 01:59
I CALL A TRUCE! 

No hard feelings from me,  We have now made enough big jerks of ourselves and its time to put a stop to this.

what do you say?

all the best.  christian

Yeah, it's run out of steam, hasn't it? It was fun while it lasted. Anonymous hard feelings would be pretty pointless, wouldn't they? BTW, there is no photo in my portfolio that matches the Christmas one you referred to earlier so you've probably misidentified me.

Sorry Pauliewalnuts, you'll have to point your chair somewhere else.


Great!  well at least we stood for some entertainment? I guess. I did probably misidentify you in them shots but its the same with the Getty, the images you found, some 40 pics they were shot ages back between 1989-1992, after Stones mereger with Getty in 93, many of us began to use our studio names.

Now lets carry on and make some money!

best. Chris.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: aeonf on September 16, 2011, 03:19
Now lets carry on and make some money!

best. Chris.

Amen !
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: hofhoek on September 16, 2011, 03:46
I keep expecting someone is going to pull out a ruler and start measuring the size of their "portfolios". ;)

Ha, Ha, Ha!!!!!!
How to the 'point'  that is  ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: rubyroo on September 16, 2011, 04:03
 :D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cathyslife on September 16, 2011, 06:30
I keep expecting someone is going to pull out a ruler and start measuring the size of their "portfolios". ;)

Ha! That's exactly what I was thinking!  ::)

All three of you, at times, have nuggets of wisdom and I have learned a lot, so I'm glad you zipped up and moved on, all of you wankers.  :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on September 16, 2011, 10:04
Another day of pathetic sales....sigh :'(
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on September 16, 2011, 10:29
Another day of pathetic sales....sigh :'(

Breaking news: On topic post shock!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on September 16, 2011, 11:01
Even more breaking news...........Sarcasm from Mr J Gough
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on September 19, 2011, 13:26
ahahaha this a joy, thats why I love this forum!

you three with all respect should meet, you guys could go like "Athos, Porthos and Aramis"

And who wins the honor of being D'Artagnan? That would complete the group for this thread. I started reading at the end and have been laughing my way backwards. One of the funniest I've seen in weeks, considering who is arguing and baiting whom.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on September 20, 2011, 07:02
Back on topic. How many here see September as a terrible month ? It's seriously bad and we are in Autumn !!!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: stockmarketer on September 20, 2011, 09:23
If it stays on track, Sept will be my BME.  A nice and expected climb out of the summer slump.

Breaking it down by agency...

SS solid growth as expected.

ISP somehow picking up steam and posting solid numbers.  Trend has been upward for about six weeks.

FT doing fantastic, now my #1.

DT my only big disappointment.  Not much higher than the beginning of this year.  A few good days, then days with huge runs of sub sales.  Can't figure out the pattern.  (Do sub sales get reported in batches?)

BigStock, 123, DepositPhotos all steadily rising.

CanStockPhoto posting good quantity of sales but revenue is falling because the big $20 "Distribution Regular" downloads have almost completely dried up.  Used to get 5 or 6 a week, now I'm lucky to get one a week.

CRE, Stockfresh, Veer, Yay... barely worth mentioning.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on September 20, 2011, 09:39
How do you get accepted by FT ?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: luissantos84 on September 20, 2011, 09:41
How do you get accepted by FT ?

isolations and people donīt get rejected
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: stockmarketer on September 20, 2011, 10:34
How do you get accepted by FT ?

isolations and people donīt get rejected

FT, and the other big players, spend a fair amount of resources on reviewing images.  It makes sense that they're becoming increasingly more selective over who and what they let in.  They have a very good idea of what will and won't sell, and they don't want to invite people in who won't earn them decent money and instead just be a drain on their reviewing resources.

To get accepted (and do well) at FT or any other site, follow two simple rules:
1. Be unique... create a unique style
2. Do marketing research... find underserved niches of topics that are in demand
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on September 20, 2011, 12:42
How do you get accepted by FT ?


Maybe the question should be, why do you want to get accepted at FT? Have you read the threads here about their latest changes and how they treat artists or maybe the mysterious partner programs, where your images will show up around the world?

Quote
Fotolia
Opt out possible?  No
1&1 - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/news-lcn-com-and-fotolia-form-strategic-partnership/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/news-lcn-com-and-fotolia-form-strategic-partnership/[/url])
1photoshop.fr - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/more-Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/more-Fotolia-partners/[/url])
AgeFotostock - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url])
artforweb - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url])
artiloo - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/more-Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/more-Fotolia-partners/[/url])
Bilderking - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url])
EasyFototock - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url])
everystockphoto - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/fotolia-and-everystockphoto-com/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/fotolia-and-everystockphoto-com/[/url])
fotky foto fotobanka - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/fotolia's-partner/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/fotolia's-partner/[/url])
foto.artgeist - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url])
Fotonity - [url]http://us.fotolia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=15570[/url] ([url]http://us.fotolia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=15570[/url])
Imagesformyweb - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/more-Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/more-Fotolia-partners/[/url])
Imagetrail - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url])
IML Image Group Ltd - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url])
inkshuffle - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/inkshuffle-com/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/inkshuffle-com/[/url])
kitgrafik - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url])
LCN Hosting - [url]http://blog.fotolia.com/us/news/fotolia/fotolia-_lcn-_partnership-.html[/url] ([url]http://blog.fotolia.com/us/news/fotolia/fotolia-_lcn-_partnership-.html[/url])
Microsoft Office - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/worse-than-istock-for-me/msg189974/#msg189974[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/worse-than-istock-for-me/msg189974/#msg189974[/url])
Moo - [url]http://blog.fotolia.com/us/news/fotolia/fotolia-partners-moo-.html[/url] ([url]http://blog.fotolia.com/us/news/fotolia/fotolia-partners-moo-.html[/url])
Moodboard - [url]http://www.stockphototalk.com/the_stock_photo_industry_/2008/03/fotolia-moodboa.html[/url] ([url]http://www.stockphototalk.com/the_stock_photo_industry_/2008/03/fotolia-moodboa.html[/url])
Oligopix - Per my post #47 in this thread
okaypix - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url])
onlydoo - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url])
photog.snaparazzi.eu - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url])
photos.codes-sources - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url])
photoxpress - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url])
Picturevillage - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/picture-village/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/picture-village/[/url])
pingg - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/news-fotolia-announces-partnership-with-pingg-com/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/news-fotolia-announces-partnership-with-pingg-com/[/url])
pixers.pl - per my post #45 in this thread
purebudget.com - per ThomasAmby post #56 of this thread
Scake - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/skace-com-another-fotolia-affiliate-probably/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/skace-com-another-fotolia-affiliate-probably/[/url])
scanpix - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url])
sisustus.net - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/more-Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/more-Fotolia-partners/[/url])
SlideRocket - [url]http://blog.fotolia.com/us/news/fotolia/fotolia-_sliderocket-_partners.html[/url] ([url]http://blog.fotolia.com/us/news/fotolia/fotolia-_sliderocket-_partners.html[/url])
snaparazzi - [url]http://blog.fotolia.com/us/on_the_net/cool_tools/snaparazzi_fotolia_api.html[/url] ([url]http://blog.fotolia.com/us/on_the_net/cool_tools/snaparazzi_fotolia_api.html[/url])
TemplateMonster - [url]http://blog.fotolia.com/us/press/release/fotolia-_templatemonster-_stoc.html[/url] ([url]http://blog.fotolia.com/us/press/release/fotolia-_templatemonster-_stoc.html[/url])
Tuweimei - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/Fotolia-partners/[/url])
Value Stock Images - Per my post #44 in this thread
visionbedding.com - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/image-sleuth/visionbedding-com/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/image-sleuth/visionbedding-com/[/url])
web-set.com - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/more-Fotolia-partners/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/more-Fotolia-partners/[/url])
Xycod - [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/partner-deal-with-xycod/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/fotolia-com/partner-deal-with-xycod/[/url])

pixmac – terminated 12/31/10  - per zager in post 28 of this thread.



(http://s1.postimage.org/1fbknp3es/3stooges.gif)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: stockmarketer on September 20, 2011, 13:14
How do you get accepted by FT ?

Maybe the question should be, why do you want to get accepted at FT? Have you read the threads here about their latest changes and how they treat artists or maybe the mysterious partner programs, where your images will show up around the world?


OK, so my images end up in lots of places I cannot track.  Potential for a lot more sales, but also for some sales not being properly commissioned to me.  I hope there are no issues and if there are FT takes steps to correct them.  But do I lose sleep?  No.  Here's why...

I don't think of myself as an artist pouring my soul into works that I must cling to and protect as my children.  I'm a business person.  I produce a product, send it out into the world, and hope it makes me some decent money.  Will it be stolen at some point?  I assume yes, and accept it as part of the process.  The bottom line is that I work a few hours a day on this side job and have created an income that is now larger than my main job.  FT is a huge part of that income... it's now my #1 earner, maybe thanks in large part to its diverse network of partners.  
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on September 21, 2011, 14:44
How do you get accepted by FT ?

Maybe the question should be, why do you want to get accepted at FT? Have you read the threads here about their latest changes and how they treat artists or maybe the mysterious partner programs, where your images will show up around the world?


OK, so my images end up in lots of places I cannot track.  Potential for a lot more sales, but also for some sales not being properly commissioned to me.  I hope there are no issues and if there are FT takes steps to correct them.  But do I lose sleep?  No.  Here's why...

I don't think of myself as an artist pouring my soul into works that I must cling to and protect as my children.  I'm a business person.  I produce a product, send it out into the world, and hope it makes me some decent money.  Will it be stolen at some point?  I assume yes, and accept it as part of the process.  The bottom line is that I work a few hours a day on this side job and have created an income that is now larger than my main job.  FT is a huge part of that income... it's now my #1 earner, maybe thanks in large part to its diverse network of partners.  

Wow is that some canned quote you use about heart and soul, I think that's the third time I've read it. :)

Sarcastic remarks (mine) don't always need logical responses, but since you mentioned it, and various times you have written that FT is you best agency, beating SS now and then, I can understand your defending them. They work for you and do a good job.

On the other hand, many other people have problems with FT, not just attitude, commissions or threats, but with that big, out of control distribution scheme, we don't know if images are being credited or not. We don't know who has our work, or who's buying it to give away. It's pretty uncontrolled and wild when someone looks at FT distribution.

The bold part was interesting, You work on the principle of Hope that FT has no issues? Please read the Image Sleuth section and all the places people find their work being given away for free. Maybe you should be more concerned?

BTW do you do photos or art work, graphics, vectors, rasters, whatever you want to call it.

I've read your sales and production numbers with interest, 100 a month for about three years, that's some good output. Especially for a few minutes uploading and a short time each night, producing things that the sites need. In other words, you have a good eye for finding subjects that are under produced, so I wondered if it was all creative drawings? They do produce better earnings than photos and many people here are photographers. :D

How far to Emerald at FT for you? That's a pretty good accomplishment.

Does it bother you that they claim they might return you to White because you sell on cheaper sites. FT sure treats us like crap sometimes. So you make good money, a way for them to make more would be change your commissions. Oh wait, they already did that once or twice, didn't they?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on September 30, 2011, 15:13
I am on track for this to be the second worst month this year.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: luissantos84 on September 30, 2011, 15:23
I am on track for this to be the second worst month this year.

I will have a BME! that said I am talking about 125$ (without PP)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 30, 2011, 15:29
Disappointingly, no growth in $$$ here from last year.  Almost exactly the same, despite another 2000 uploads.  Downloads down by 25%.

*.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Gannet77 on September 30, 2011, 15:57
$$s BME for me.  By quite a healthy margin.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Xalanx on September 30, 2011, 16:17
Disappointingly, no growth in $$$ here from last year.  Almost exactly the same, despite another 2000 uploads.  Downloads down by 25%.

.

2000 / year is not much. Especially when you start at 8000-something. Of course the capped $$$ has also to do with the unfortunate events happened since the last september on.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Freedom on September 30, 2011, 16:56
BME without EL, but not by much. Also I have been uploading a decent number of images.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 30, 2011, 16:59
"2000 / year is not much. Especially when you start at 8000-something"

Sure it is.  It's 2000 multiple person, model released lifestyle images, not walk around pictures if seagulls or rocks.  It should be plenty to provide some growth, regardless of the starting point.  I'm on par with August - no surge.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 30, 2011, 17:16
The day's not over, but at iStock, my September is 30% below August in $$ and that's never happened before - it's always been a matter of how much it was up, some years more than others. SS is up but not enough to compensate (although it's pretty close to SS beating out IS's monthly $$ total)

And as to the 2,000 images "is not much" comment - what rubbish. Growing your portfolio by 25% when you're at 8K to start is a bunch.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: luissantos84 on September 30, 2011, 17:28
"2000 / year is not much. Especially when you start at 8000-something"

Sure it is.  It's 2000 multiple person, model released lifestyle images, not walk around pictures if seagulls or rocks.  It should be plenty to provide some growth, regardless of the starting point.  I'm on par with August - no surge.

I donīt understand and I believe you shouldnīt even answer, 2000 ainīt much? that a 25% increase come on!

what is enough Xalanx? I hate to point other portfolio but you have less than 500 files for 4 years
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on September 30, 2011, 17:31
An incredible rollercoaster of a month which ended as my 3rd best month of year after June and August, which latter won out by a quite decent EL, no ELs in Sept. c10% up on last Sept for both $$ and dl; c30% increase in uploads, but I won't be able to sustain that. It's difficult to photograph gulls and rocks for stock when it keeps raining.  ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on September 30, 2011, 18:03
The day's not over, but at iStock, my September is 30% below August in $$ and that's never happened before - it's always been a matter of how much it was up, some years more than others. SS is up but not enough to compensate (although it's pretty close to SS beating out IS's monthly $$ total)

Exactly the same here.  September is usually one of my best months, but this year, at Istock it is way down from August.  Not sure if it is best match games, the massive influx of other content, or the departure of yet more buyers (to SS where I am having a BME).

And yeah, seriously, 2k images with the kind of production value Sean's talking about are a big achievement and there should be some monetary gain to make it worthwhile.  That said, I have seen an overall drop in $ to reward me for my 1k or so images.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Freedom on September 30, 2011, 18:14
From what Sean and Lisa said, me think, is it possible that too many top tier photogs are shooting similar concepts? Maybe gulls and rocks have become new niche!  ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on September 30, 2011, 18:20
Extremely bad month. Where are all the customers?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Graffoto on September 30, 2011, 19:03
I had a pretty good month, but ONLY because of a handful of Getty sales.
Now this last week has been absolutely dismal.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SK on September 30, 2011, 20:47
Worst month of the year for me with September down 25% from last year. I can't justify the time or energy to remain at IS. I  need to give up exclusivity and move my portfolio elsewhere.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on September 30, 2011, 21:52
Disappointingly, no growth in $$$ here from last year.  Almost exactly the same, despite another 2000 uploads.  Downloads down by 25%.

.

2000 / year is not much.

Huh? Are you kidding? Please can you define 'much' for us, at least in your world. Out of interest, by how many times 'much' did you beat Sean's 'not much' in the last year?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on September 30, 2011, 22:06
Extremely bad month. Where are all the customers?

Looking at my data I'd say Shutterstock. Thanks to the crass decisions of other agencies, or 'distributors' as some of them now prefer to define themselves, they are winning. Easily. Other agencies/distributors, with their overt greed, impatience and general incompetence are basically handing it to them on a plate. It would appear that all Shuttterstock have to do to succeed is ... er ... not be Istock or Fotolia.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Xalanx on September 30, 2011, 23:23
"2000 / year is not much. Especially when you start at 8000-something"

Sure it is.  It's 2000 multiple person, model released lifestyle images, not walk around pictures if seagulls or rocks.  It should be plenty to provide some growth, regardless of the starting point.  I'm on par with August - no surge.

Well yeah, but I remember Yuri complaining about sales last year I think, with about 20.000 new images. But again, you're not an image factory.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Pixart on September 30, 2011, 23:41
2000, oh boy.  I uploaded 14 to IS today and it took half the afternoon.  Likely could have sent 50 to 6 other sites in the same amount of time.   If their upload isn't slow enough, I had to go back to photoshop and stitch so many variations of releases together.  2000 sounds like quite an accomplishment of patience!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: iclick on October 01, 2011, 02:47
Extremely bad month. Where are all the customers?

Looking at my data I'd say Shutterstock. Thanks to the crass decisions of other agencies, or 'distributors' as some of them now prefer to define themselves, they are winning. Easily. Other agencies/distributors, with their overt greed, impatience and general incompetence are basically handing it to them on a plate. It would appear that all Shuttterstock have to do to succeed is ... er ... not be Istock or Fotolia.

Yup as fast as my IS earnings backtrack Shutterstocks soar ...... My returns at SS which were solid to start with have been increasing to more than compensate since the Getty involvement, and that is despite not uploading much for some time.

 Shutterstock and Veer will be getting my fresh better files from now on.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on October 01, 2011, 02:57
The usual story, IS, down by about 10%,  SS, way up, with DT and FT, slightly up. Must say with the latest IS-best match, give it six months and we will have to do business in the low-tier.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lienkie on October 01, 2011, 03:23
I had a BME. 123RF BME and wait for it......a BME on IS, up 50% in revenue from the previous BME there which was sometime last year.......weird business this. Also BME on DT but FT also waaayyyy down for me.
Quite happy, given that I'm a hobbyist and have a tiny port compared to you guys.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: XPTO on October 01, 2011, 03:38
The day's not over, but at iStock, my September is 30% below August in $$ and that's never happened before - it's always been a matter of how much it was up, some years more than others. SS is up but not enough to compensate (although it's pretty close to SS beating out IS's monthly $$ total)

Exactly the same here.  September is usually one of my best months, but this year, at Istock it is way down from August.  Not sure if it is best match games, the massive influx of other content, or the departure of yet more buyers (to SS where I am having a BME).

And yeah, seriously, 2k images with the kind of production value Sean's talking about are a big achievement and there should be some monetary gain to make it worthwhile.  That said, I have seen an overall drop in $ to reward me for my 1k or so images.

I also had a drop of about 30% regarding August which is quite strange. And a drop of 20% comparing to September last year. This is getting somewhat similar to the crash of 2008.

With all the rumors about a recession in the US and the pending catastrophe in the Euro-Zone i'm getting a bit worried. It seems we're up to another difficult time.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 01, 2011, 05:10
August was freakily good for me, September is back where May, June and July were in terms of earnings and sales.
Compared with last September (which was a bad month for me) the earnings are UP by about 10% and the sales down about 5%.
If it wasn't for the way things tailed off in the last 10 days I would say some sort of stability was setting in but last week's earnings don't look like a good omen for October.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on October 01, 2011, 05:20
Must say with the latest IS-best match, give it six months and we will have to do business in the low-tier.
Over the past couple of months, best match has hardly lasted six hours at a time, so no need for you to fret.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on October 01, 2011, 07:12
I hope the 4th quarter picks up because Q3 was weaker than normal.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on October 01, 2011, 07:15
Disappointingly, no growth in $$$ here from last year.  Almost exactly the same, despite another 2000 uploads.  Downloads down by 25%.

.

That's kinda scary that you had to add around 25% to your portfolio just to tread water for earnings. But that seems consistent with what other people with larger ports are reporting.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on October 01, 2011, 07:45
Must say with the latest IS-best match, give it six months and we will have to do business in the low-tier.
Over the past couple of months, best match has hardly lasted six hours at a time, so no need for you to fret.

Frank Sinatra.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: jamirae on October 02, 2011, 21:53
2000, oh boy.  I uploaded 14 to IS today and it took half the afternoon.  Likely could have sent 50 to 6 other sites in the same amount of time.   If their upload isn't slow enough, I had to go back to photoshop and stitch so many variations of releases together.  2000 sounds like quite an accomplishment of patience!

don't you use Deepmeta?  it's a lifesaver and stitches the releases together for you.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Michael Lancaster on October 03, 2011, 04:57
User EdStock, joined april 2011 and already 60880 files. What more can i say :(
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on October 03, 2011, 13:15
October is looking even bleaker. Not a single download today. That's a first. Is there some kind of public holiday in the US today ?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on October 03, 2011, 13:38
October is looking even bleaker. Not a single download today. That's a first. Is there some kind of public holiday in the US today ?
I don't think so, but I've only got 2, which is grim.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: jamirae on October 03, 2011, 13:58
October is looking even bleaker. Not a single download today. That's a first. Is there some kind of public holiday in the US today ?

next Monday is Columbus Day in the U.S.  some people have the day off, but it's not as widely "celebrated" (by a day off) as the other big U.S. Holidays. 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Pixart on October 03, 2011, 14:37
don't you use Deepmeta?  it's a lifesaver and stitches the releases together for you.

Just looked at their website, looks like a great application.  Thanks Jamirae
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: The Mighty Jungle on October 04, 2011, 20:26
Not only does DeepMeta speed up your uploads, it also allows you to add similar thumbnails below each image.... thus a great cross selling tool.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: hofhoek on October 05, 2011, 07:49
Don't do uploads to Istock anymore. Have deleted part of the images that sell well at other websites and have a still a lot to delete. Just saw that I sold an image for 8 (!) cents.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: jamesbenet on October 05, 2011, 14:25
30% drop with a 26% increase in portfolio size year over year.   It seems to echo many of the disappointing results here.

The RC downgrade did enough damage but these lower sales are just spilling more water on top of an already drenched bonfire.

My guess is that price increases + tons of customers going to the competition is whats making this cocktail. 

My fear is that now they might lower contributor cuts even more to make up for the revenue loss this probably caused "Considering lower sales for most high end contributors reporting".  They did it heavily once and we all know capitalism loves to double dip.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: loop on October 05, 2011, 14:46
These last days, sales aren't bad, but very uneven.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: nataq on October 07, 2011, 10:26
Quite the opposite here - very even, but bad.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on October 07, 2011, 10:37
My downloads are terrible for this time of the year. I will stop doing video and focus only on photography for at least two months. This is the most important tme of the year, i usually make 50% of my yearly turnover in these months. But October is so bad, that I worry about dropping another level.

Since the video contributors are also reporting much lower sales and video is not oversubscribed, there must be a lot of customers leaving. istock should lower the RC demands at the end of the year, at least to reflect the loss of buyers. This is something the contributor has no control over.

I can do something about new files and competition. But I am completely helpless if the agency encourages customers to buy elsewhere.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on October 07, 2011, 10:49
Since the video contributors are also reporting much lower sales and video is not oversubscribed, there must be a lot of customers leaving. istock should lower the RC demands at the end of the year, at least to reflect the loss of buyers. This is something the contributor has no control over.
I can do something about new files and competition. But I am completely helpless if the agency encourages customers to buy elsewhere.
Remember that they don't want us to reach our targets. Then they'd have to pay us more.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on October 07, 2011, 11:09
^^^That might be true but it seems crazy to want your contributors to have less sales and buyers go elsewhere.  I hope they soon revise their business plan, cutting commissions and demoralising contributors looks like it has a fatal flaw.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on October 07, 2011, 11:20
When I logged in this morning I was presented with a window asking if I wanted to take a survey when I left the site. I said yes, checked my overnight sales (that didn't take as long as it should have :)), and closed the tab.

The survey's first screen asked about content iStock had in 4 categories, asking me if it Definitely Offers, Doesn't Offer or Not sure. Music, Fonts, Photographs, Vector Illustrations.

Second screen asked a buying question. I don't use content for my work and am just browsing, I use content for work and have never bought from iStock, I use content and have bought in the past.

Third and final screen was for Comments - how could they better serve me. I said they could better serve me by recognizing the possibility of a contributor when putting surveys together :)

It'd be interesting to know what the other questions were for those who answered that they used or bought stock for work. The fact that there is a survey at all seems to suggest that either they've decided to become really customer focused all of a sudden (but problems in the help forum suggest that's not the case) or that they're trying to figure out why they're losing business.

How many surveys will it take to convince them that the changes to the site in the last year have driven away buyers?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: fujiko on October 07, 2011, 11:28
Surveys are only a way to be able to say "We asked" before an announcement and will not in any way influence the content of the announcement.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on October 07, 2011, 11:35
Sadly, the imposition of the new contributor agreement before the previous survey could have been analysed suggests it's all very token.
I just logged out an logged in and didn't get asked to do a survey,so maybe only a sample are being asked. In any case, my only comment would be 'where are the October sales?'
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: franckreporter on October 07, 2011, 14:03
is there any others that have a crap sales day today on IS ? seems that americans are sleeping :(
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Difydave on October 07, 2011, 14:10
Yeah, I think I had the same sales last Saturday! It was OK-ish up until lunch time here in the UK, and then it crashed. Nothing since!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on October 07, 2011, 15:30
This seems like more than a best match issue then.  With exclusives and non, higher and lower ranks all anecdotally reporting poor October sales, signs do point to buyer migration as the cause.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: aeonf on October 07, 2011, 15:38
FWIW, my october is OK so far.  On par with last month which was a BME.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: vlad_the_imp on October 07, 2011, 16:05
Quote
signs do point to buyer migration as the cause.

I agree this may be some of the cause but  I also see many lower category contributor reporting good sales, and it has been suggested they are favoured in the current best match. It would make sense, if sales are down, for istock and Getty to maximise profits by favoring people who are paid a lower commission, thus more money for IS.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on October 07, 2011, 16:41
Quote
signs do point to buyer migration as the cause.

I agree this may be some of the cause but  I also see many lower category contributor reporting good sales, and it has been suggested they are favoured in the current best match. It would make sense, if sales are down, for istock and Getty to maximise profits by favoring people who are paid a lower commission, thus more money for IS.

Thanks for that info.  I haven't been on the IS forums lately. Didn't know anyone (other than Aeonf just now) was doing well.

 Makes sense that IS would be shuffling what sales there are to lower canisters.  They've already proven they will do anything, including sabotaging their business, to save a few bucks in the short term. 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on October 07, 2011, 16:48
"Third and final screen was for Comments - how could they better serve me. I said they could better serve me by recognizing the possibility of a contributor when putting surveys together"

Ha, I said the same thing.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: aeonf on October 07, 2011, 17:14
Quote
signs do point to buyer migration as the cause.

I agree this may be some of the cause but  I also see many lower category contributor reporting good sales, and it has been suggested they are favoured in the current best match. It would make sense, if sales are down, for istock and Getty to maximise profits by favoring people who are paid a lower commission, thus more money for IS.

Thanks for that info.  I haven't been on the IS forums lately. Didn't know anyone (other than Aeonf just now) was doing well.

 Makes sense that IS would be shuffling what sales there are to lower canisters.  They've already proven they will do anything, including sabotaging their business, to save a few bucks in the short term. 

Also Franckreporter is doing extremly well.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: loop on October 07, 2011, 18:10
Almost without exception, "newbies" (let's say from 2007 and on) report BMEs or good sales in the September sales thread. "Oldies" report bad sales. I'm an "oldie" and my sales improved from August but not enough for a September.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Graffoto on October 07, 2011, 18:32
Ok, I think I just had a WWE (Worst Week Ever)!
I had one, that's right just one DL all week.
I have been exclusive since late 2009 and that has never happened before.

I am very seriously thinking about dropping the crown and spreading myself around more.

Maybe that is IS new agenda. Get rid of all exclusives so that they can pay everyone just peanuts.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: john_woodcock on October 07, 2011, 18:39
Quote
Didn't know anyone (other than Aeonf just now) was doing well.

There are a surprising number of people reporting a good month in September. What's also interesting is that almost none of them are vector contributors, who are almost without fail reporting falls in income.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Zephyr on October 07, 2011, 22:31
It makes me wonder if the Vetta Vector Rebellion, in March, made Gold/Diamond vector exclusives a little to expensive for the accountants. March was my best month this year and after "we won" my sales have been down ever since despite uploading consistently. I know there is much more to the problem than just that, but the conspirator in me is speculating that is a big reason. ;) I hope its not but no one is giving answers.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Zerkalo on October 08, 2011, 03:31
I am also exclusive in IS and the last 3 days of October were very bad compared to first couple of days..
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 08, 2011, 04:41
Quote
signs do point to buyer migration as the cause.

I agree this may be some of the cause but  I also see many lower category contributor reporting good sales, and it has been suggested they are favoured in the current best match. It would make sense, if sales are down, for istock and Getty to maximise profits by favoring people who are paid a lower commission, thus more money for IS.

Thanks for that info.  I haven't been on the IS forums lately. Didn't know anyone (other than Aeonf just now) was doing well.

 Makes sense that IS would be shuffling what sales there are to lower canisters.  They've already proven they will do anything, including sabotaging their business, to save a few bucks in the short term. 

I don't see a different behaviour from the big players. You definitely don't behave any different than if anything was just ok. You're not going to stop uploading and there's no chance of you pulling your port. And as we all know nobody cares about bitching, talk is cheap ;)

That being said, besides all the reasons stated so far, they're motivating lower rank contributors and when they'll become too big to pull their ports, they'll screw them over with best match not favouring them. A very distasteful business strategy, but it maximizes their profits. You big contributors really are a bunch of sheep, you're letting them do anything with you, they're wiping the floor with you.

Small contributors can't do anything to change things, big can. The big won't since they're getting greedier and greedier and are only thinking short term like IS, FT etc. This cuts are mostly caused by inaction of the big players. If agencies knew they won't get away with it, since every big contributor would start deactivating their content, they wouldn't do it. There's no agency without contributors.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on October 08, 2011, 09:08
I hope they soon revise their business plan, cutting commissions and demoralising contributors looks like it has a fatal flaw.

It certainly does. I'm staggered at how quickly sales have fallen at both IS and FT since they got uber-greedy and tried to keep almost all of the pie for themselves.

If their only realistic solution is to start treating all contributors and customers as if they actually mattered then they'd better get on with it pretty quickly or they're not going to have much of a business to sell on.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 08, 2011, 09:33

Small contributors can't do anything to change things, big can. The big won't since they're getting greedier and greedier and are only thinking short term like IS, FT etc. This cuts are mostly caused by inaction of the big players. If agencies knew they won't get away with it, since every big contributor would start deactivating their content, they wouldn't do it. There's no agency without contributors.

If your hypothesis is right - that they are transferring sales from big contributors to small ones - then the big contributors have no clout, anyway. Agencies can only transfer sales if everybody can be replaced by someone smaller.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 08, 2011, 12:10

Small contributors can't do anything to change things, big can. The big won't since they're getting greedier and greedier and are only thinking short term like IS, FT etc. This cuts are mostly caused by inaction of the big players. If agencies knew they won't get away with it, since every big contributor would start deactivating their content, they wouldn't do it. There's no agency without contributors.

If your hypothesis is right - that they are transferring sales from big contributors to small ones - then the big contributors have no clout, anyway. Agencies can only transfer sales if everybody can be replaced by someone smaller.

I think they're balancing it perfectly; cutting the max amount of sales that makes them still keep the big ones and giving just enough to the small ones to make 'em happy and motivated
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on October 09, 2011, 02:31
I have noticed October started slow but last week I had pretty good sales. I will ride out the winter and when it goes quiet at the new year I will drop my exclusivity and get my images in as many places as I can to spread my chances of making up the lost money. It's no good dropping it now as I may be missing out on a brief period of exclusive rate sales.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: nico_blue on October 09, 2011, 21:56
Right now the past two weeks have been almost 30% lower than what is "normal" for this time of the year... they've even been slower than the summer months. I'm not liking this trend.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on October 10, 2011, 00:59
Yep.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 10, 2011, 01:07
Again we are looking too deep into it. Its simple, you get a bunch of wannabee business-men, trying to run the show, computer-geeks and left-wingers ( photography business is full of them)  there is no "old" money anywhere, just upstarts, exploding brains, with the smell of money,  thats it.
The IQ level is on par with someone putting their pants on back-to-front and instead of changing,  they walk backwards all day long.

You've got it wrong again, Christian. It was the left wing weirdos and geeks who made the thing work in the first place, it's since the billionaire money-men in suits clutching their MBAs have been giving the orders that it stopped working. You're right about their IQ, though.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on October 10, 2011, 03:03
Again we are looking too deep into it. Its simple, you get a bunch of wannabee business-men, trying to run the show, computer-geeks and left-wingers ( photography business is full of them)  there is no "old" money anywhere, just upstarts, exploding brains, with the smell of money,  thats it.
The IQ level is on par with someone putting their pants on back-to-front and instead of changing,  they walk backwards all day long.

You've got it wrong again, Christian. It was the left wing weirdos and geeks who made the thing work in the first place, it's since the billionaire money-men in suits clutching their MBAs have been giving the orders that it stopped working. You're right about their IQ, though.
+1.  I think that most of the big problems with istock seem to of happened since the hedge fund Hellman & Friedman bought Getty in 2008.  I wouldn't call them "left wingers".  They don't seem to care about istock contributors and buyers but they appear to be good at making money for their investors.  If istock isn't sold, I don't see a good future for most of us there.  It looks like their policy is to take as much money from us as possible.  If they are sold, will the site be too damaged for the new buyers to turn it around?  It really looks like buyers are moving over to Shutterstock, as most internet sectors are dominated by one company, I think that might happen here.

We just have to hope that Shutterstock are more interested in building a good long term business than giving investors a short term return.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on October 10, 2011, 07:41
Again we are looking too deep into it. Its simple, you get a bunch of wannabee business-men, trying to run the show, computer-geeks and left-wingers ( photography business is full of them)  there is no "old" money anywhere, just upstarts, exploding brains, with the smell of money,  thats it.
The IQ level is on par with someone putting their pants on back-to-front and instead of changing,  they walk backwards all day long.

You've got it wrong again, Christian. It was the left wing weirdos and geeks who made the thing work in the first place, it's since the billionaire money-men in suits clutching their MBAs have been giving the orders that it stopped working. You're right about their IQ, though.

frank Sinatra.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cybernesco on October 11, 2011, 07:30
Haven't written a line here for sometimes....amazingly, although I haven't uploaded that much to any site this year, my total sale have been the same as 2010. However, I must say that there has been a big shift of buyers no longer buying my images at IS but buying them elsewhere. In 2009, IS was my number one, in 2010 it felt to number two. Last September it felt to 4th place, and now so far this October 6th place.

So far this October SS is first, FT second, DT third, CS fourth, Ala fifth and IS sixth.  I am getting some increased sales at SS not so much at FT but definitely more at DT, CS, BS, Veer and 123rf.

I think one of the main problem with IS is that they don't stick to a working formula. I do believe in changes but only when the market calls for it or when there is a genuine reason to believe that the market would want it. IS has too many various collections at various price points overlapping each others which therefore confuse the buyers. These days you want simple, quick and no hassles...that is why I think SS is a winner on that front. They kept one formula since they started while adding some very subtle changes without confusing anybody. SS works...no fixing needed....only subtle, small changes once in while. Furthermore, SS best match works great....I say let buyers decide and favor who ever they want not the agency. IS has a way of changing there best match to favor a particular group over what buyers really wants. To me this is a big no no, hence why buyers are moving elsewhere.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on October 11, 2011, 08:48
U2.  good group!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: The Mighty Jungle on October 11, 2011, 09:14
so who has the traffic these days?

FYI... I'm seeing the same thing as Nico_blue.... I've been a member since 2002 and my Octobers have always been up....  this year, for the first time... not so much.... and I'm uploading at a higher rate than ever.....
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on October 11, 2011, 09:37
so who has the traffic these days?

FYI... I'm seeing the same thing as Nico_blue.... I've been a member since 2002 and my Octobers have always been up....  this year, for the first time... not so much.... and I'm uploading at a higher rate than ever.....

Mick Jagger!  great mover.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: loop on October 11, 2011, 10:12
Forget about best match and customers fleeing because they feel contributors are not well treated. best match results are not bad at all, unless you think that the only good best match is the one that puts all your images in the first places. Search engine is great, and vastly better than any other site if you use any language that is not English. Customers give a  dam m about contributors or suppliers, like in any other business. If IS is losing speed is because of the prices.
Istock made a mistake when they created the concept of microstock. Too much micro. Too much cheap. It wasn't necessary, because any intermediate prices would had been seen as an steal as well, compared with Getty, Corbis etc. SS made another mistake when creating subscriptions; even cheaper, hiper-devaluated value of our work. That, of course, spoiled the customers. With time, IS corrected the mistake, now prices are reasonable. SS never did it (except for a reduction from 30 to 25 downloads/day, I think), other agencies followed this path; so IS nowadays prices seem not-reasonable to many customers. Should IS lower its prices now all the other agencies would lower theirs the next minute.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on October 11, 2011, 10:27
They simply dont have the traffic, its as simple as that. That fact alone makes the site worthless.

Sadly you may have a point.
I know Alexa is nothing like the whole story, but:
(http://www.lizworld.com/Alexa11-10-11.jpg)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gbalex on October 11, 2011, 10:41
I hope they soon revise their business plan, cutting commissions and demoralising contributors looks like it has a fatal flaw.

It certainly does. I'm staggered at how quickly sales have fallen at both IS and FT since they got uber-greedy and tried to keep almost all of the pie for themselves.

If their only realistic solution is to start treating all contributors and customers as if they actually mattered then they'd better get on with it pretty quickly or they're not going to have much of a business to sell on.

The two communities are linked (buyers/producers). I buy more than I produce and I no longer buy from either.  I can remember conveying my feelings about this and having it thrown back in my face as invalid. I also remember the producers who do not value or respect buyers.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: The Mighty Jungle on October 11, 2011, 11:07
If you go to the Alexa website, search on istockphoto.com and set the chart to MAX, you will see that there was a significant drop in visitors to the website around April of this year.... it's nearly a vertical drop ... and from that point on it continues downward.

What in the he** did they do in April?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on October 11, 2011, 11:13
That was when search was more broken than working and I can't remember when that got fixed. Getty was playing hardball with the new contract for their contributors; perhaps that spilled over into all Getty properties.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on October 11, 2011, 11:26
Is the traffic rank or daily traffic related to what google returns in image searches?

I did test searches for my bestsellers on Google and usually some of my images come up first or on the first page. Now I canīt find any istock images, none at all! It is all Shutterstock, or 123 or depositphotos. Only once did I see my image and that was a link from Thinkstock.

There used to be a lot of istock images visible in the google image search.

If daily traffic and google results are related, then I understand even less why they wanted the traffic to go elsewhere.

As an exclusive, I hope they have a plan somewhere, because this is not funny. Google results are important for sales.

It is frustrating, because as a contributor I have absolutely no influence on this. Only the agency can work on the daily traffic and google ranking.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on October 11, 2011, 11:49
Forget about best match and customers fleeing because they feel contributors are not well treated. best match results are not bad at all, unless you think that the only good best match is the one that puts all your images in the first places. Search engine is great, and vastly better than any other site if you use any language that is not English. Customers give a  dam m about contributors or suppliers, like in any other business. If IS is losing speed is because of the prices.
Istock made a mistake when they created the concept of microstock. Too much micro. Too much cheap. It wasn't necessary, because any intermediate prices would had been seen as an steal as well, compared with Getty, Corbis etc. SS made another mistake when creating subscriptions; even cheaper, hiper-devaluated value of our work. That, of course, spoiled the customers. With time, IS corrected the mistake, now prices are reasonable. SS never did it (except for a reduction from 30 to 25 downloads/day, I think), other agencies followed this path; so IS nowadays prices seem not-reasonable to many customers. Should IS lower its prices now all the other agencies would lower theirs the next minute.

Well Loop, we have heard this argument now for two years, etc and frankly its getting worn out, all this about good best match only if it suits oneself, etc. How can a search-engine be good if its based on favorism? crap I would say, how can a search be good when the whole damned site looks like a neewbie TS search ?

Tribute to the devil. Stones.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on October 11, 2011, 11:56
As an exclusive, I hope they have a plan somewhere, because this is not funny. Google results are important for sales.

It is frustrating, because as a contributor I have absolutely no influence on this. Only the agency can work on the daily traffic and google ranking.

I feel your pain but I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for Istock to pull something out of the bag. You might want to make your own plans instead. Judging by my data it is pretty much game, set and match to Shutterstock.

It's going to be interesting to see what 'adjustments' Istock might make to the RC targets at the end of the year to reflect the disappointing sales. Hmm.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: loop on October 11, 2011, 11:58
Forget about best match and customers fleeing because they feel contributors are not well treated. best match results are not bad at all, unless you think that the only good best match is the one that puts all your images in the first places. Search engine is great, and vastly better than any other site if you use any language that is not English. Customers give a  dam m about contributors or suppliers, like in any other business. If IS is losing speed is because of the prices.
Istock made a mistake when they created the concept of microstock. Too much micro. Too much cheap. It wasn't necessary, because any intermediate prices would had been seen as an steal as well, compared with Getty, Corbis etc. SS made another mistake when creating subscriptions; even cheaper, hiper-devaluated value of our work. That, of course, spoiled the customers. With time, IS corrected the mistake, now prices are reasonable. SS never did it (except for a reduction from 30 to 25 downloads/day, I think), other agencies followed this path; so IS nowadays prices seem not-reasonable to many customers. Should IS lower its prices now all the other agencies would lower theirs the next minute.

Well Loop, we have heard this argument now for two years, etc and frankly its getting worn out, all this about good best match only if it suits oneself, etc. How can a search-engine be good if its based on favorism? crap I would say, how can a search be good when the whole damned site looks like a neewbie TS search ?

IS, simply doesnt have the traffic,  its gone. period  and I wonder why?

Yes, and we have heard that the Earth is round for hundreds of years. And it is.
Title: No traffic at all!
Post by: lagereek on October 11, 2011, 11:58
Quite right!  they dont have the traffic anymore, not even the traffic on a bad day, simple as that. They are really reaching. The Admin really dont give a hoot since the entire site is moving into TS and once thats done and Getty has total controle,  heads will fall like bowling pins.

Loops theory, buyers dont care about contributors, is true!  however buyers dont want to wade through tons and tons of absoloute garbage, snapshots, poor content, low-quality creations, etc. No wonder Vetta is flourishing, the only thing left really.

At the same time, paralell,  SS, is doing better then ever, so is DT, even FT on the move, even some much smaller in the middle tier are trying.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on October 11, 2011, 12:01
Forget about best match and customers fleeing because they feel contributors are not well treated. best match results are not bad at all, unless you think that the only good best match is the one that puts all your images in the first places. Search engine is great, and vastly better than any other site if you use any language that is not English. Customers give a  dam m about contributors or suppliers, like in any other business. If IS is losing speed is because of the prices.
Istock made a mistake when they created the concept of microstock. Too much micro. Too much cheap. It wasn't necessary, because any intermediate prices would had been seen as an steal as well, compared with Getty, Corbis etc. SS made another mistake when creating subscriptions; even cheaper, hiper-devaluated value of our work. That, of course, spoiled the customers. With time, IS corrected the mistake, now prices are reasonable. SS never did it (except for a reduction from 30 to 25 downloads/day, I think), other agencies followed this path; so IS nowadays prices seem not-reasonable to many customers. Should IS lower its prices now all the other agencies would lower theirs the next minute.

Well Loop, we have heard this argument now for two years, etc and frankly its getting worn out, all this about good best match only if it suits oneself, etc. How can a search-engine be good if its based on favorism? crap I would say, how can a search be good when the whole damned site looks like a neewbie TS search ?

IS, simply doesnt have the traffic,  its gone. period  and I wonder why?

Yes, and we have heard that the Earth is round for hundreds of years. And it is.

Are you sure? the last I heard it was hexagonal.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: loop on October 11, 2011, 12:08
Are you sure? the last I heard it was hexagonal.

Not surprised you believed it...
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cybernesco on October 11, 2011, 12:13
Forget about best match and customers fleeing because they feel contributors are not well treated. best match results are not bad at all, unless you think that the only good best match is the one that puts all your images in the first places. Search engine is great, and vastly better than any other site if you use any language that is not English. Customers give a  dam m about contributors or suppliers, like in any other business. If IS is losing speed is because of the prices.
Istock made a mistake when they created the concept of microstock. Too much micro. Too much cheap. It wasn't necessary, because any intermediate prices would had been seen as an steal as well, compared with Getty, Corbis etc. SS made another mistake when creating subscriptions; even cheaper, hiper-devaluated value of our work. That, of course, spoiled the customers. With time, IS corrected the mistake, now prices are reasonable. SS never did it (except for a reduction from 30 to 25 downloads/day, I think), other agencies followed this path; so IS nowadays prices seem not-reasonable to many customers. Should IS lower its prices now all the other agencies would lower theirs the next minute.

A few years ago, cheap high speed internet and cheap massively produced high quality digital images were on a collision course. "Microstock" is a byproduct of that collision, helped by our "free democratized capitalism" society. If Getty did not see it coming, it is their mistake not IS.  If not IS, another entity would have quickly figured it out.

Because Getty did not figure out "microstock", they bough IS and because they don't understand "microstock" they have been trying to turn IS, a then already successful microstock based agency, into their own "getty dinosaur" agenda ever since, while disregarding contributors, buyers and what microstock is all about. Well good luck with that....
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on October 11, 2011, 12:37
Forget about best match and customers fleeing because they feel contributors are not well treated. best match results are not bad at all, unless you think that the only good best match is the one that puts all your images in the first places. Search engine is great, and vastly better than any other site if you use any language that is not English. Customers give a  dam m about contributors or suppliers, like in any other business. If IS is losing speed is because of the prices.
Istock made a mistake when they created the concept of microstock. Too much micro. Too much cheap. It wasn't necessary, because any intermediate prices would had been seen as an steal as well, compared with Getty, Corbis etc. SS made another mistake when creating subscriptions; even cheaper, hiper-devaluated value of our work. That, of course, spoiled the customers. With time, IS corrected the mistake, now prices are reasonable. SS never did it (except for a reduction from 30 to 25 downloads/day, I think), other agencies followed this path; so IS nowadays prices seem not-reasonable to many customers. Should IS lower its prices now all the other agencies would lower theirs the next minute.

Well Loop, we have heard this argument now for two years, etc and frankly its getting worn out, all this about good best match only if it suits oneself, etc. How can a search-engine be good if its based on favorism? crap I would say, how can a search be good when the whole damned site looks like a neewbie TS search ?

IS, simply doesnt have the traffic,  its gone. period  and I wonder why?

Yes, and we have heard that the Earth is round for hundreds of years. And it is.

Are you sure? the last I heard it was hexagonal.

Well, you know,  takes one to know one ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on October 11, 2011, 12:41

It's going to be interesting to see what 'adjustments' Istock might make to the RC targets at the end of the year to reflect the disappointing sales. Hmm.

I really hope they make adjustments, but since they failed to do so for the 2011 targets, despite dismal sales, I doubt they will lower targets for 2012 either.  More likely they are jiggering their search engine so the top "royalty" of exclusives manage to hang on to their levels, and for the rest of us - too bad.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 11, 2011, 12:51
They simply dont have the traffic, its as simple as that. That fact alone makes the site worthless.

Sadly you may have a point.
I know Alexa is nothing like the whole story, but:
([url]http://www.lizworld.com/Alexa11-10-11.jpg[/url])


That's got very little relationship to my sales rankings, which are, in order,  SS, iS, DT, TS, Fotolia. TS is probably  understated because it isn't visited by submitters the way others are.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: travelstock on October 11, 2011, 13:21

Yep!  youre right, thats what I mean though, new money!  they dont know how to deal with it, or treat their staff or look after the people who earns their money,  namely, the contributors. Like Frank Sinatra said when in Australia,  nothing but bums anyway.

So who do you want to run the place? Carl XVI Gustaf? The Queen of England? That's old money right?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lthn on October 11, 2011, 14:34
They simply dont have the traffic, its as simple as that. That fact alone makes the site worthless.

Sadly you may have a point.
I know Alexa is nothing like the whole story, but:
([url]http://www.lizworld.com/Alexa11-10-11.jpg[/url])


That's got very little relationship to my sales rankings, which are, in order,  SS, iS, DT, TS, Fotolia. TS is probably  understated because it isn't visited by submitters the way others are.


alexa is pretty good, you can trust their numbers
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on October 11, 2011, 15:16

Yep!  youre right, thats what I mean though, new money!  they dont know how to deal with it, or treat their staff or look after the people who earns their money,  namely, the contributors. Like Frank Sinatra said when in Australia,  nothing but bums anyway.

So who do you want to run the place? Carl XVI Gustaf? The Queen of England? That's old money right?

Holgs!  old-money, is just a saying, an old class saying, it doesnt mean old rich people should run the show. Its a saying thats all. The differance between class, style, panache and trash, rubbish. :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on October 11, 2011, 17:18

Yes, and we have heard that the Earth is round for hundreds of years. And it is.

Maybe not exactly round, somewhat spherical or ovate, slightly pear shaped, but since I've never been to the edge, I guess I'll have to believe it's roundish?  ;D

I enjoy the best match conspiracy, in that IS is somehow forcing buyers to buy lesser images from lower ranked contributors, so they make a higher percentage.  ??? What don't buyers have a brain enough to see what they want? I don't know how anyone finds anything of mine. I can't even find them when I use the keywords I know are in there. Oh wait, sales have tanked, maybe my pictures aren't there after all. But I don't blame the best match I blame the buyers for having good taste and buying something else!

(the truth is, I think the sales have been siphoned off to ThinkStock finally, after a year of IS trying to move buyers to the cheap subscription site.) That and what some others have concluded, buyers are tired of the complicated and convoluted pricing and changes. They moved somewhere else, like SS!

And might I point out the obvious which it seems I keep repeating and people keep managing to ignore... virtually all the same images are available on about ten other sites, and have been for years and years. Buyers are tired of IS price confusion, and have discovered that other places have all the same shots without the BS. Exception is the exclusives, which IS has been driving away for months now. Great game plan IS, take the only important part that makes you different and necessary, the quality and selection from exclusives and force those people to sell with the rest of the masses.

As for the suits running the show, yes, when the bean counters take over for the creative people, that's when things start to fail. I'd call that a good reason for many of the current problems. That and usually workers at the home office, living in fear and becoming "yes men" because they are afraid to express their true understandings of the business. It's possible that some buyers do care about artists, just tack that on as one more leak in the sinking IS sales.

I'd say the loss of buyers to other agencies is the major cause of the downturn.

(that, the Full Moon, the end of the world next year, crop circles with cattle mutes and their hidden messages, invisible shy alien visitors and a yet to be named ancient secret society, tied to an underground ancient religious order, that is manipulating all of this!)  ;)  Or maybe, just loss of buyers?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Graffoto on October 11, 2011, 20:20
Bean counters almost destroyed the American auto industry; forcing it to source cheaper and cheaper parts until the cars all but fell apart an hour after leaving the showroom. It took decades to claw back and its still not where it should be.

One would think that the lesson had been learned, but no.
History repeats itself over and over.

Shakespeare said "The First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Lawyers"
I would amend that to Kill All the Bean Counters.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on October 12, 2011, 01:21
Bean counters almost destroyed the American auto industry; forcing it to source cheaper and cheaper parts until the cars all but fell apart an hour after leaving the showroom. It took decades to claw back and its still not where it should be.

One would think that the lesson had been learned, but no.
History repeats itself over and over.

Shakespeare said "The First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Lawyers"
I would amend that to Kill All the Bean Counters.

Honest? You mean it wasn't the Teamsters and UAW striking until they got lifetime benefits, high pay and retirement promises that were impossible to fund? But OK if the Union leaders are lawyers, I'll go along with you. Most of the politicians are, so we can easily add them too!

Mine is, how can you tell if a lawyer is lying?
His lips are moving...
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ProArtwork on October 12, 2011, 11:30
I think Obama's image on the front page of iStockphoto is scaring buyers away!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: mlwinphoto on October 12, 2011, 13:15
Quote
signs do point to buyer migration as the cause.

I agree this may be some of the cause but  I also see many lower category contributor reporting good sales, and it has been suggested they are favoured in the current best match. It would make sense, if sales are down, for istock and Getty to maximise profits by favoring people who are paid a lower commission, thus more money for IS.

Well, I'm one of those "lower category contributors" and my sales, after a decent Sept for me, have absolutely tanked so far in October.  I'm also seeing many of my "better" sellers getting pushed further and further back in the best match in recent days.....

However, sales at SS have increased significantly.  Buyer migration???
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RT on October 12, 2011, 14:25

Yep!  youre right, thats what I mean though, new money!  they dont know how to deal with it, or treat their staff or look after the people who earns their money,  namely, the contributors. Like Frank Sinatra said when in Australia,  nothing but bums anyway.

So who do you want to run the place?

Alan Capel or James West would be my first choice.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 17, 2011, 18:34
Lately Mondays were great for me, but so far it's terrible, just 2 DLs. And overall a big decline in sales this month. Some of the other sites are making it up though, but not SS, which could really make a big difference.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pro@stockphotos on October 18, 2011, 10:49
It seems in the last couple of monthly sales reports the big fish are noticing the water is getting shallow in the pond.  The top 20 exclusives are feeling the problems.   A couple of days ago someone posted their yearly sales graph and September's sales graph was half the rest of the year.  This is a shiny gold camera member reporting a horrible month.   Their post was taken down and told its a September sales topic only.  Yikes!!!  Christmas sales have not even started to trickle in.  This could be the great crash I have been worried about since Getty deployed their brilliant "changes"
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on October 18, 2011, 11:02
DO NOT SPIT ON THE HAND THAT FEED YOU AND YOUR KIDS.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on October 18, 2011, 11:35
DO NOT SPIT ON THE HAND THAT FEED YOU AND YOUR KIDS.
Pot, meet kettle.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cthoman on October 18, 2011, 11:48
DO NOT SPIT ON THE HAND THAT FEED YOU AND YOUR KIDS.

Is that my hand or the agencies that represent me? It's probably a two way street for both of us.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on October 18, 2011, 12:10
AGAIN!  DO NOT SPIT ON THE HAND THAT FEED YOU AND YOUR KIDS! THINK ABOUT THE PUNISHMENT!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pancaketom on October 18, 2011, 12:24
AGAIN!  DO NOT SPIT ON THE HAND THAT FEED YOU AND YOUR KIDS! THINK ABOUT THE PUNISHMENT!

Can anyone translate this?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Tabimura on October 18, 2011, 12:37
AGAIN!  DO NOT SPIT ON THE HAND THAT FEED YOU AND YOUR KIDS! THINK ABOUT THE PUNISHMENT!

Why are you shouting? Do you think it sounds more... prophetic?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on October 18, 2011, 12:39
AGAIN!  DO NOT SPIT ON THE HAND THAT FEED YOU AND YOUR KIDS! THINK ABOUT THE PUNISHMENT!

Why are you shouting? Do you think it sounds more... prophetic?

Sorry I didnt know you heard the shouting.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Tabimura on October 18, 2011, 12:46
AGAIN!  DO NOT SPIT ON THE HAND THAT FEED YOU AND YOUR KIDS! THINK ABOUT THE PUNISHMENT!


Why are you shouting? Do you think it sounds more... prophetic?


Sorry I didnt know you heard the shouting.


http://www.inverhills.edu/online/faculty/docs/NetiquetteGuidelines.pdf (http://www.inverhills.edu/online/faculty/docs/NetiquetteGuidelines.pdf)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 18, 2011, 12:48
Glenmorangie or Talisker?  ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on October 18, 2011, 12:48
AGAIN!  DO NOT SPIT ON THE HAND THAT FEED YOU AND YOUR KIDS! THINK ABOUT THE PUNISHMENT!


Why are you shouting? Do you think it sounds more... prophetic?


Sorry I didnt know you heard the shouting.


[url]http://www.inverhills.edu/online/faculty/docs/NetiquetteGuidelines.pdf[/url] ([url]http://www.inverhills.edu/online/faculty/docs/NetiquetteGuidelines.pdf[/url])


Dont shout!  
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gbalex on October 18, 2011, 17:29
Quote
signs do point to buyer migration as the cause.

I agree this may be some of the cause but  I also see many lower category contributor reporting good sales, and it has been suggested they are favoured in the current best match. It would make sense, if sales are down, for istock and Getty to maximise profits by favoring people who are paid a lower commission, thus more money for IS.

Thanks for that info.  I haven't been on the IS forums lately. Didn't know anyone (other than Aeonf just now) was doing well.

 Makes sense that IS would be shuffling what sales there are to lower canisters.  They've already proven they will do anything, including sabotaging their business, to save a few bucks in the short term.  

I would not be at all surprised if many of the sites shuffled sales to newer contributors in the lower pay scales.  We consistently see the recruitment banners everywhere; nytimes ,huffington post, the list goes on and on and must cost a fortune.  You can not do a search for the micros these days without running into micro focused websites with training material sponsored by the various micro sites. Some of these site sponsored training web sites are becoming very focused with vids etc. The sites do everything they can to help us help the fresh unjaded new recruits along, just look at the SS critique area.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 18, 2011, 17:52
Errr ... I think the sales banner you see are related to your browsing history. I mean, I never see these stock site adverts, just stuff about member enlargement and ladies in my area  :o ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gbalex on October 18, 2011, 18:34
Errr ... I think the sales banner you see are related to your browsing history. I mean, I never see these stock site adverts, just stuff about member enlargement and ladies in my area  :o ;D

LOL
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lthn on October 18, 2011, 20:22
DO NOT SPIT ON THE HAND THAT FEED YOU AND YOUR KIDS.

ohh, remember they HAD TO cut royalties, and adjust the tiers so they don't go bankrupt. So... when will they announce banktrupcy and close shop now, with sales dropping? ; ) btw what' costing them so much? Are they building a spaceship? or maybe lobo gets an enormous paycheck for molesting people on their forum. : )
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: mtilghma on October 18, 2011, 23:36
When I read lagereek's shout, I really had no idea if he meant that we are spitting on the agencies' hands, or if they are spitting on our hands.  Don't know if he intended this catch-22, but it sure made me think.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: fujiko on October 19, 2011, 00:25
AGAIN!  DO NOT SPIT ON THE HAND THAT FEED YOU AND YOUR KIDS! THINK ABOUT THE PUNISHMENT!

Who is spitting on the hand of the clients?
Oh, I remember. It's IS who spits both on the clients and the providers.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Graffoto on October 19, 2011, 00:41
"You don't tug on Superman's cape,
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off that ol' Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with.... TPTB"
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on October 19, 2011, 03:24
AGAIN!  DO NOT SPIT ON THE HAND THAT FEED YOU AND YOUR KIDS! THINK ABOUT THE PUNISHMENT!

Can anyone translate this?
"AGAIN! MOS fol nga ana që ushqehen ju dhe fëmijët tuaj! Mendoni për DËNIMIT"

I think it makes a lot more sense in Albanian :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: leaf on October 19, 2011, 05:12
Disappointingly, no growth in $$$ here from last year.  Almost exactly the same, despite another 2000 uploads.  Downloads down by 25%.

.

2000 / year is not much.

Huh? Are you kidding? Please can you define 'much' for us, at least in your world. Out of interest, by how many times 'much' did you beat Sean's 'not much' in the last year?

2000 isn't much if you are a team with multiple shooters, producers, and editors (in which case 10,000/yr is more on par).  Sean is a one man band  (possibly the only top 10 photographer who is?), and perhaps wisely so, and for one person to plan, shoot and upload 2000 images, I would say it is a full time job.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on October 19, 2011, 06:35
Back to the OP. How are people's sales going in October? Mine are still well into the doldrums: fewer sales than June - Sept and most sales at smaller sizes. My fist half of October was worse than half the $$ of any other month this year, yet traditionally Oct and Nov should be good months. (Actually, last year my October sales dipped after Sept, but this year is even worse.)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: aeonf on October 19, 2011, 06:41
-18% from last month makes this a so-so month for us (so far)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on October 19, 2011, 06:44
Back to the OP. How are people's sales going in October? Mine are still well into the doldrums: fewer sales than June - Sept and most sales at smaller sizes. My fist half of October was worse than half the $$ of any other month this year, yet traditionally Oct and Nov should be good months. (Actually, last year my October sales dipped after Sept, but this year is even worse.)

Sales at IS seem to have picked up a little over the last few days. At the moment my earnings are projected to be about 5% down on Sept and 11% down on Oct 2010 (would be much worse without the boost from P+ as actual sales are likely to be down about 30%).
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pro@stockphotos on October 19, 2011, 07:36
Yes the saying is "don't bite the hand that feeds you" which doesn't apply since contributors actually feed the hand in this case.  Sales are not going well at IS and the top 20 exclusives are noticing and reporting concerns which is my point.  Which further puts the comment at odds with a normal response.   
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gbalex on October 19, 2011, 09:32
Yes the saying is "don't bite the hand that feeds you" which doesn't apply since contributors actually feed the hand in this case.  Sales are not going well at IS and the top 20 exclusives are noticing and reporting concerns which is my point.  Which further puts the comment at odds with a normal response.   
How ironic when you also consider how they treated contributors that were also buyers!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: The Mighty Jungle on October 19, 2011, 09:33
exactly....

we are feeding them a huge percentage of each one of our sales. They shouldn't be biting our hands like this....

and, to mix metaphors, they have smashed a hole in the hull and are ignoring this ship while it sinks.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: travelstock on October 19, 2011, 11:09
Back to the OP. How are people's sales going in October? Mine are still well into the doldrums: fewer sales than June - Sept and most sales at smaller sizes. My fist half of October was worse than half the $$ of any other month this year, yet traditionally Oct and Nov should be good months. (Actually, last year my October sales dipped after Sept, but this year is even worse.)

So far this month is going very well - for me my figures are already above June's totals. It looks like the weighting has shifted a lot more to newer files, so no doubt many of those with a large percentage of older files are going to be impacted. I think there has been a bit of a return to Vetta and agency as well in the last week or so.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 19, 2011, 11:44
^ same for me
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Freedom on October 19, 2011, 13:34
For me, whenever they are updating TS sales, my regular DLs will slow down.

Does anyone see this trend?

It was reasonably good for Monday and Tuesday, but today it doesn't look promising.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 19, 2011, 13:40
For me, whenever they are updating TS sales, my regular DLs will slow down.

Does anyone see this trend?

It was reasonably good for Monday and Tuesday, but today it doesn't look promising.

It's been sheaty all week in my case, not that bad DL wise, but size wise, earnings just half of the usual.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: traveler1116 on October 19, 2011, 15:16
Back to the OP. How are people's sales going in October? Mine are still well into the doldrums: fewer sales than June - Sept and most sales at smaller sizes. My fist half of October was worse than half the $$ of any other month this year, yet traditionally Oct and Nov should be good months. (Actually, last year my October sales dipped after Sept, but this year is even worse.)

So far this month is going very well - for me my figures are already above June's totals. It looks like the weighting has shifted a lot more to newer files, so no doubt many of those with a large percentage of older files are going to be impacted. I think there has been a bit of a return to Vetta and agency as well in the last week or so.

Wow that's pretty good I'm just over half as many sales as June.  I wouldn't say sales are bad but they could be better, especially for this time of year.  I took a break from uploading for a little while but hopefully I'll get between 500-1000 up before the end of the year.  Oh yeah try to stay dry, you're in Thailand still right?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cthoman on October 19, 2011, 15:47
Down 100% from every other month ever.  ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Zerkalo on October 20, 2011, 03:40
It was reasonably good for Monday and Tuesday, but today it doesn't look promising.
I will second this part. Monday and Tuesday were very nice. And Wednesday was crap where I got only downloads from older files. This makes me think of a new best match change. It's slow at the moment.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: travelstock on October 20, 2011, 03:55


Wow that's pretty good I'm just over half as many sales as June.  I wouldn't say sales are bad but they could be better, especially for this time of year.  I took a break from uploading for a little while but hopefully I'll get between 500-1000 up before the end of the year.  Oh yeah try to stay dry, you're in Thailand still right?

In Cambodia - going to spend about a week shooting at Angkor - its very wet here, but it should make for some interesting shots.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cathyslife on October 20, 2011, 05:19
Down 100% from every other month ever.  ;D

Ditto.   :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on October 20, 2011, 13:56
Something has happened as my sales have slumped again. They have been quite reasonable the last couple of weeks. :'(
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on October 20, 2011, 14:23
Something has happened as my sales have slumped again. They have been quite reasonable the last couple of weeks. :'(
Two (2) dls today. There's only so much lower it can go.  :'(
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on October 20, 2011, 14:30
Down 100% from every other month ever.  ;D


Ditto.   :)


Yes, even my creepy little sales that were consistent for a few years have dropped. I find it funny when people complain about morning vs night, or Monday vs Tuesday. I look at month to month and don't sit all day, every day searching for my own images to see where they are. (a watched pot never boils?) With that said, bottom line...

The Earth is flat and iStock has fallen off the edge.

Nearly nothing but ThinkStock subs for the last three months and now those are dropping.

I admit I was in denial, I thought it was just the Summer or some small dip, and IS would be coming back. No more, I see the light. It's Over!  Done! Not coming back... Gone. (http://s1.postimage.org/1fk2m4aro/shakehead.gif)

Want to know how bad it is? BS beat IS for me last month. StockXpert/ThinkStock sales beat all of IS for me last month. What's the use?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 20, 2011, 15:09
BS still doesn't make 10% of what I get from iStock. Either you are doing really well at BS or incredibly badly at IS
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: iclick on October 20, 2011, 15:24
Istock has gone from fantastic no one comes close.... to poor, then to embarrassingly bad for me

I keep on saying it cant get worse, and I keep on being wrong and to be honest I do not have much further I can fall

Thank heavens for Shutterstock is all I can say! more than compensates for the loses there  ;D

The rest top tier chug along
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: StanRohrer on October 20, 2011, 15:28
Here is what I see happening with the iStock best match.  Over the past days they are using it to churn the whole image collection.  The bad news is my sales are down.  The good news is I am selling images that haven't seen a single sale in years.  Perhaps they still have value but were heretofor buried.  Maybe some of my images that were lost on the bottom of the pile will get another chance at life. I can only hope this results in more sales later.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Graffoto on October 20, 2011, 15:45
Here is what I see happening with the iStock best match.  Over the past days they are using it to churn the whole image collection.  The bad news is my sales are down.  The good news is I am selling images that haven't seen a single sale in years.  Perhaps they still have value but were heretofor buried.  Maybe some of my images that were lost on the bottom of the pile will get another chance at life. I can only hope this results in more sales later.

I'm seeing the same thing. But those old files that were buried... well, in may case they are really not my best work. Back when I first started uploading, I was doing things on the cheap. I was using unpaid models (ie no experience), kept my post work minimal and just threw stuff up to see if it would stick.
I don't have much hope that churning the best match will bring a whole new life to these files. They never had that much much life in them to begin with!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on October 20, 2011, 16:38
Earnings are really grim.  Never had an October there like this, it's usually a strong month.  The only good news is that it looks like being another BME with SS.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: YadaYadaYada on October 20, 2011, 20:24
BS still doesn't make 10% of what I get from iStock. Either you are doing really well at BS or incredibly badly at IS

+1 looks like you figured it out incredibly bad.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Larry on October 20, 2011, 22:05
Sept and October are better than most previous  months. Feb March and June were my best months this year.  I should about hit last years royalties if things go on like they are in Sept and Oct.  Signed, small fish.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on October 20, 2011, 22:44

istock isn't part of my workflow anymore. Just not worth it. Earnings are less than 1/10th of what they used to be.

The EPS8 requirement nixes a good portion of my recent work anyway. With StockFresh adopting the EPS10 standard, istock is the last of the microstock companies I work with that still sticks to EPS8.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on October 20, 2011, 23:39
BS still doesn't make 10% of what I get from iStock. Either you are doing really well at BS or incredibly badly at IS

You got it. IS has dumped so bad in the past three months that BigStock is now bringing in more downloads and money. Something I never thought was possible.

I'll put it into perspective, I made more with my first download on IS the first month I was accepted, than I did for the whole month of September on sub downloads from ThinkStock + IS combined. I have many more images now and instead of growing the sales and income have been falling. The drop in commission isn't the major concern to do with the bottom line, what has changed month after month is less downloads on IS and no change on ThinkStock. In other words, IS is the problem, not stolen sales, but still it could explain why the same pictures have been selling for years are now getting no downloads at all? And this isn't timley, trendy or stylish stuff, just some isolations and cutouts.

Anyone have any idea why? Customers gone like CC said, seems to make the most sense.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Mellimage on October 21, 2011, 02:18
Down 100% from every other month ever.  ;D

Ditto.   :)

Add me to that club.    ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on October 21, 2011, 02:42
I had started uploading again, after they introduced photos+.  Now there's really no incentive.  It will make it a lot easier if I do decide to leave.  Are all the buyers moving to other sites or have exclusives been given another boost?  I've see a jump in sales with SS and DT have picked up the past few days.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 21, 2011, 03:57
In 2/3 of Oct I haven't even reached 1/2 of Sep sales :o
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: nico_blue on October 21, 2011, 20:21
October is on track to be my worst month on istock in 5 years (since December 2006). That's pretty pathetic to say the least.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: michaeldb on October 21, 2011, 21:16
October is on track to be my worst month on istock in 5 years (since December 2006). That's pretty pathetic to say the least.
That is beyond crazy and shocking. And coming from one of the great microstock portfolios. December 2006 is less than a year after I started microstocking. I am literally shocked.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 22, 2011, 00:35
October is on track to be my worst month on istock in 5 years (since December 2006). That's pretty pathetic to say the least.
That is beyond crazy and shocking. And coming from one of the great microstock portfolios. December 2006 is less than a year after I started microstocking. I am literally shocked.

Istock needs to show an interest in providing reasonable stability for its stars. People need to be able to budget. Hopefully, the stuffed shirts running the show are not thinking that they've got the top earners over a barrel.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 22, 2011, 00:43
October is on track to be my worst month on istock in 5 years (since December 2006). That's pretty pathetic to say the least.
That is beyond crazy and shocking. And coming from one of the great microstock portfolios. December 2006 is less than a year after I started microstocking. I am literally shocked.

Istock needs to show an interest in providing reasonable stability for its stars. People need to be able to budget. Hopefully, the stuffed shirts running the show are not thinking that they've got the top earners over a barrel.

well put. I agree. it makes me really nervous when people like nico_blue and Sean are seeing numbers dropping.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: luissantos84 on October 22, 2011, 01:20
I am a nobody but it does look worrying, I wonder what may be the reason for such "trend", how many variables do exist in stock or IS?

no constant or less uploading? best match changes? buyers bailing? more contributors? economic crisis? files in thinkstock? looking for cheaper pics (not exclusive ones)?

the real thing is that when contributors go really high, it must (donīt know but I guess) be a lot hard to maintain the momentum but on the other hand, those files shouldnīt never go back, is there any statistic regarding new pictures sales? (I do have always over 10 sales of the latest 20 on pictures that never sold before but I am not a high seller and donīt have a picture there that was sold many times, I am talking about 70 sales per month)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 22, 2011, 02:42
October is on track to be my worst month on istock in 5 years (since December 2006). That's pretty pathetic to say the least.
That is beyond crazy and shocking. And coming from one of the great microstock portfolios. December 2006 is less than a year after I started microstocking. I am literally shocked.

Istock needs to show an interest in providing reasonable stability for its stars. People need to be able to budget. Hopefully, the stuffed shirts running the show are not thinking that they've got the top earners over a barrel.

well put. I agree. it makes me really nervous when people like nico_blue and Sean are seeing numbers dropping.


Why? Why just for the stars? It reminds me of the real world, you know 99% against 1%. Why do they need to make MS such a miserable place as well?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 22, 2011, 03:55
October is on track to be my worst month on istock in 5 years (since December 2006). That's pretty pathetic to say the least.
That is beyond crazy and shocking. And coming from one of the great microstock portfolios. December 2006 is less than a year after I started microstocking. I am literally shocked.

Istock needs to show an interest in providing reasonable stability for its stars. People need to be able to budget. Hopefully, the stuffed shirts running the show are not thinking that they've got the top earners over a barrel.

well put. I agree. it makes me really nervous when people like nico_blue and Sean are seeing numbers dropping.


Why? Why just for the stars? It reminds me of the real world, you know 99% against 1%. Why do they need to make MS such a miserable place as well?

Because the stars have committed themselves to iSTock in a way that lesser lights and independents haven't. It's their job and their livelihood. If the system is designed to give reasonably consistent returns for the top-dogs, it will probably do the same for everyone else I'm not suggesting a system where an elite few get different treatment from the rest - though, anecdotally, iStock already has that. 

Also, I don't want all the top, highly-skilled stars to be pushed ever closer to making a decision about competing with the rest of us over on all the other sites :)

Admittedly, any problems exclusives face from earnings instability are partly of their own making, in that they lacked the foresight to recognise the risk they were taking in trusting that the ilove-in would never end, while others made the effort to spread the risk despite the extra work and loss of privileges.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 22, 2011, 04:47

Also, I don't want all the top, highly-skilled stars to be pushed ever closer to making a decision about competing with the rest of us over on all the other sites :)


I do agree with that ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on October 22, 2011, 05:03
Nico has one of the most successful portfolios on istock ever. And like Sean, as far as I know, he does it all himself, he is not a stock factory.

Something is seriously wrong. The dramatic drop in traffic is the only explanation. Buyers must be migrating to other sites.

At some point istock has to address the pink elephant in the room and tell the contributors what their plans are and if the high volume market has been abandoned in favor of the high price, but niche V/A market.

Of course they can do with their company whatever they want, we are not shareholders in the business. But I think they should let us know the customer target group.

I have absolutely no problem, if they say that they want to specialize istock on the high end V/A market. Just tell us.

But to keep pretending you are a coffee shop even if most of your income is from wine...

Personally I thought the drop in traffic is the result of not uploading enough, but if Sean and Nico are down, then it is not all my fault. I also have a lot of files in good search positions, so I wasn t expecting such a large drop.

At the moment I am shooting video to learn more about it and add another income stream to my portfolio. Basically I am adding tea, to my coffeeshop. But it will take me at least 2 years to become a good videographer and understand the video market. It is more difficult than I thought.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 22, 2011, 05:33
Something is seriously wrong. The dramatic drop in traffic is the only explanation. Buyers must be migrating to other sites.

At some point istock has to address the pink elephant in the room and tell the contributors what their plans are and if the high volume market has been abandoned in favor of the high price, but niche V/A market.

Of course they can do with their company whatever they want, we are not shareholders in the business. But I think they should let us know the customer target group.

I have absolutely no problem, if they say that they want to specialize istock on the high end V/A market. Just tell us.

But to keep pretending you are a coffee shop even if most of your income is from wine, is silly.


Not silly, very smart. Keeping you in the dark as long as it's obvious to everyone means keeping you a lot longer, offering exclusive material (meaning material other sites don't). Their tactics sure turn a lot of stomachs, but also brings them huge profits. Short term profits of course. I wish most of their traffic would to to the sites that pay 50%+, that of course won't make cuts immediately they become big.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 22, 2011, 05:34
Something is seriously wrong. The dramatic drop in traffic is the only explanation. Buyers must be migrating to other sites.

At some point istock has to address the pink elephant in the room and tell the contributors what their plans are and if the high volume market has been abandoned in favor of the high price, but niche V/A market.

Of course they can do with their company whatever they want, we are not shareholders in the business. But I think they should let us know the customer target group.

I have absolutely no problem, if they say that they want to specialize istock on the high end V/A market. Just tell us.

But to keep pretending you are a coffee shop even if most of your income is from wine, is silly.


Not silly, very smart. Keeping you in the dark as long as it's obvious to everyone means keeping you a lot longer, offering exclusive material (meaning material other sites don't). Their tactics sure turn a lot of stomachs, but also brings them huge profits. Short term profits of course 8but hey, that's the Wall St mentalitly that's getting us in trouble and recession). I wish most of their traffic would to to the sites that pay 50%+, that of course won't make cuts immediately they become big.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on October 22, 2011, 05:40
I like to do business with people who have a clear, ongoing, straightforward communication. Especially if you are doing international business.

I find it very hard to believe that "they are out to get me". I know most people here think, the exclusives are naive, we are not. We have met many people from the team, and they are all hard working, very dedicated people.

To me it looks like they are trying to integrate all the different Gettysites. Maybe some software/backend changes they need took much longer than necessary and that the marketing was postponed until it is all ready.  We keep getting these hints of "things to come".

But I still believe that good communication is essential for business.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 22, 2011, 06:48
I suppose how bothered they are will depend on whether traffic is migrating to other sites within the Getty empire or if it is going elsewhere. Shutterstock is up but I don't see that anywhere else and Fotolia seems to be well down. So where are these missing buyers? Are they still there, using up their budgets on the likes of Edstock and other wholly owned, high-priced content?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on October 22, 2011, 07:08
Usually customer traffic will flock to the next company with the strongest brand and reputation in the market. If  Mc Donalds becomes expensive then Burger King is next, not the small start up in your neighbourhood.

Others might withhold buying or spend less overall. That is if they want to stay with istock and buy a lot of V/a but their budget does not increase, they will buy a lot less (volume in downloads) although they are still spending the same amount of money per year.

The traffic however would drop if a large number of customers do this. One V/A sale must equal at least 5 "normal" downloads, if not more.

The traffic stats are an indicator of how much normal high volume "coffee" stock is being bought. istock itself might still be doing financially very well, if the "wine" business is up.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: bunhill on October 22, 2011, 07:25
the world economy being completely ****ed is potentially an issue which should not be overlooked. And now all of the talk seems to be about impending meltdown to come depending on what happens wrt the € and the banking knock - on. It's a very nervous time.

Companies and govt depts everywhere are drastically reducing spending and there is a shortage of investment for new start ups. It's a very different world compared with even 3 years ago. IPOs, for example, are more or less a thing of the past.

So less money to spend in general. In theory if everyone shifts their spending downwards then macrostock buyers should be transitioning to midstock prices - but I wonder whether many of them are not missing out that stage and going directly to the bargain basements.

^ total speculation obviously
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Sadstock on October 22, 2011, 07:31

I find it very hard to believe that "they are out to get me". I know most people here think, the exclusives are naive, we are not. We have met many people from the team, and they are all hard working, very dedicated people.


---------------------------------------

I agree nobody is out to get you or anyone else.  I certainly don't think you or top tier exclusives are naive, and I certainly value your input.  I've also met a number of the istock management and I agree they are hard working and dedicated people.  I don't think that is the group of people that Slovenian is talking about.  I think he's talking about Getty and H&F and I don't think that that those people care about exclusives or independents one bit.

The one thing that is surprising to me is how long the original Istock staff is hanging onto their jobs.  I don't think most of them have much future with Istock/Getty.  As the content line blurs more and more, the need for dedicated Istock staff (marketing, accounting, and likely inspectors too) decreases and the impact of their salaries on the bottom line becomes more and more apparent. 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: filo on October 22, 2011, 08:00
October is on track to be my worst month on istock in 5 years (since December 2006). That's pretty pathetic to say the least.

I just wanted to chime in and second what nico said here. I'm not nearly as big a fish and this last week has been abysmal. Some of the worst regular business days for sales I've had since 2007 at least (not including holiday weeks/days).
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Mantis on October 22, 2011, 08:07
October is on track to be my worst month on istock in 5 years (since December 2006). That's pretty pathetic to say the least.

I just wanted to chime in and second what nico said here. I'm not nearly as big a fish and this last week has been abysmal. Some of the worst regular business days for sales I've had since 2007 at least (not including holiday weeks/days).

This is an amazing transition for me.  15 a day average to, well, yesterday, 3, day before 4, last few weeks 5-7 a day max.  That's a 50-75% drop in DL's.  Istock is my number three in workflow now behind SS and DT.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on October 22, 2011, 08:45
It's really unsettling to find out that best sellers like Nico and Sean are experiencing such sales drops.  Usually the big ships are fairly steady, even when the smaller boats are rocked by waves.  When such big ships are affected it is one he11 of a storm!

I agree with Balderick.  It's in everyone's best interest for Istock to protect their top exclusives.  The fact that they aren't (can't) speaks volumes.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 22, 2011, 08:51

I find it very hard to believe that "they are out to get me". I know most people here think, the exclusives are naive, we are not. We have met many people from the team, and they are all hard working, very dedicated people.


---------------------------------------

I agree nobody is out to get you or anyone else.  I certainly don't think you or top tier exclusives are naive, and I certainly value your input.  I've also met a number of the istock management and I agree they are hard working and dedicated people.  I don't think that is the group of people that Slovenian is talking about.  I think he's talking about Getty and H&F and I don't think that that those people care about exclusives or independents one bit.

Exactly!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 22, 2011, 09:14
Of course, a lot of traffic is going to Thinkstock. I sell almost three times as many licenses there as I do at iStock and September looks like coming in stronger than ever. Maybe TS is now the coffee shop and only wine bar trade is at IS.

Overall (and I know some people will succeed in reaching the wrong conclusion from this) the actual number of licences I am selling per month from iS and TS combined is pretty much the same in November 2006, which was my best month ever for downloads. In cash terms the combined earnings are about 50% more than 2006 and August was only $2 shy of my best ever monthly total, which was in March 2010.
 September will be about 5% less than the BME.

I presume TS is also feeding a lot of money into Getty from old wholly-owned collections. So they may not care what is happening to ordinary priced sales at iStock.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cathyslife on October 22, 2011, 09:20

I find it very hard to believe that "they are out to get me". I know most people here think, the exclusives are naive, we are not. We have met many people from the team, and they are all hard working, very dedicated people.


---------------------------------------

I agree nobody is out to get you or anyone else.  I certainly don't think you or top tier exclusives are naive, and I certainly value your input.  I've also met a number of the istock management and I agree they are hard working and dedicated people.  I don't think that is the group of people that Slovenian is talking about.  I think he's talking about Getty and H&F and I don't think that that those people care about exclusives or independents one bit.

The one thing that is surprising to me is how long the original Istock staff is hanging onto their jobs.  I don't think most of them have much future with Istock/Getty.  As the content line blurs more and more, the need for dedicated Istock staff (marketing, accounting, and likely inspectors too) decreases and the impact of their salaries on the bottom line becomes more and more apparent. 

I agree and I have not met a number of istock management, but I suppose they are nice people. Most contributors here are nice people. The people at Getty making all the decisions are probably nice people too. But this is business (remember?). Niceness doesn't have anything to do with it! I don't know why people seem to think that those two statements even belong in the same sentence. The people at Getty and H&F want their money. Period. And no, they don't care about anything but their own bottom line and their own interests.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 22, 2011, 10:07

I find it very hard to believe that "they are out to get me". I know most people here think, the exclusives are naive, we are not. We have met many people from the team, and they are all hard working, very dedicated people.


---------------------------------------

I agree nobody is out to get you or anyone else.  I certainly don't think you or top tier exclusives are naive, and I certainly value your input.  I've also met a number of the istock management and I agree they are hard working and dedicated people.  I don't think that is the group of people that Slovenian is talking about.  I think he's talking about Getty and H&F and I don't think that that those people care about exclusives or independents one bit.

The one thing that is surprising to me is how long the original Istock staff is hanging onto their jobs.  I don't think most of them have much future with Istock/Getty.  As the content line blurs more and more, the need for dedicated Istock staff (marketing, accounting, and likely inspectors too) decreases and the impact of their salaries on the bottom line becomes more and more apparent. 

I agree and I have not met a number of istock management, but I suppose they are nice people. Most contributors here are nice people. The people at Getty making all the decisions are probably nice people too. But this is business (remember?). Niceness doesn't have anything to do with it! I don't know why people seem to think that those two statements even belong in the same sentence. The people at Getty and H&F want their money. Period. And no, they don't care about anything but their own bottom line and their own interests.

Nice or not, their greedy capitalistic logic is not going to work long term, instead of milking the cow, they'll settle for huge short term profits, mess up the site completely and then sell it. IS will never recover if it keeps on going like this for a while. Unless they have some super strategy which is taking longer than expected to incorporate (I highly doubt that).

And of course I wish traffic would go up, why wouldn't I want to earn more? Unless it goes to sites that will pay me at least 3 times the royalties (50%+)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 22, 2011, 10:11
I have just one msg for all these greedy pigs responsible for the cuts across agencies ;) YES THEY DESERVE TO DIE AND I HOPE THEY BURN IN HELL! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbB_HVcXpPk#ws)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 22, 2011, 10:26
Nice or not, their greedy capitalistic logic is not going to work long term, instead of milking the cow, they'll settle for huge short term profits, mess up the site completely and then sell it. IS will never recover if it keeps on going like this for a while. Unless they have some super strategy which is taking longer than expected to incorporate (I highly doubt that).

And of course I wish traffic would go up, why wouldn't I want to earn more? Unless it goes to sites that will pay me at least 3 times the royalties (50%+)

I have to mostly agree with this sentiment. though, I think what people are calling greed is in fact just the driving force of capitalism--being in a constant state of wanting more. semantics, but not really. we're all capitalists selling in this type of industry. and frankly it is capitalist advertising and marketing that keeps us in business. so while I agree with your assessment that the agencies are throwing us to the wolves for short term profit growth and resale...I think a non-capitalist culture would hang our industry completely. free market economies require constant marketing presence, and thank goodness for us.

maybe it's naive, but I think there is a place for sustainable, fair trade capitalism in the world. but as long as consumers want bargains....this is how it will be. consumers are the wheels on the bus dude
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: fujiko on October 22, 2011, 10:49
I believe greed is in fact what is killing capitalism. A little greed is a good engine, too much of it and it just stops working.

If you consider a capitalism to be like a living organism, greed people, the ones that hoard huge amounts of money and that look only for fast short term profit or that believe that growth can be sustained forever, are like a cancer or a thrombosis. They kill  the system with their infinite uncontrolled growth or they kill it by stopping the normal flow of life sustaining blood (cash).

Growth has to benefit all cells in the organism and must have limits or it dies. Blood has to flow to all cells in the organism or it dies.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on October 22, 2011, 11:03
I have to mostly agree with this sentiment. though, I think what people are calling greed is in fact just the driving force of capitalism--being in a constant state of wanting more. semantics, but not really. we're all capitalists selling in this type of industry.

Yes, however successful capitalism also requires good judgement even if the motivating force is 'greed'. Istock/Getty appear to have failed in their judgement of what they thought they could get away with (in their bid to optimise profits and the re-sale value of the business). Big, big mistake. It looks to have blown up in their faces. You can only mess customers about so much and when you start screwing the contributors too (of which so many are also customers) then you have a recipe for disaster.

You'll probably find Jon Oringer is a full-on capitalist too. He just has much better judgement than Istock/Getty and has the patience to play the long game.

My earnings from Istock are just about hanging in there but really only by virtue of the boost from P+. Without P+ my earnings would only be about 20% of my total __ that's down from a steady 40% or thereabouts not so long ago.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cthoman on October 22, 2011, 11:10
Is it still greed if it's not working?  ;D I just have to wonder if all these changes worked for them. Was it worth it? Are they making more?

My numbers were way down, so much so that it didn't matter if I left. I estimate that they earned about 23K less from me this year than they did last year. Plus, any future earnings because I pulled the plug.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: WarrenPrice on October 22, 2011, 11:20
It's a conspiracy.  This entire thread was a Sean Locke initiated scheme to discourage those who are just getting started ... and anyone else he and the Greedy Full-Timers can convince that the market has folded....


 ;D ;D ;D ;D 

Just kidding... but, ....   :P
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on October 24, 2011, 12:01
Lol...

Sorry for not responding at all - I was out of town.

October is on track to have downloads dropping about 25% from 2010 and $$$ down 2-3%.  Again, this is on portfolio growth of around 20%.  So, no growth at all, and actual backpedaling.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 24, 2011, 12:09
Lol...

Sorry for not responding at all - I was out of town.

October is on track to have downloads dropping about 25% from 2010 and $$$ down 2-3%.  Again, this is on portfolio growth of around 20%.  So, no growth at all, and actual backpedaling.

I'd feel very comfortable in your shoes ;). It's gonna take another hundred years or so before you drop to an average salary ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on October 24, 2011, 12:27
Had enough of this crap. I am going to give up exclusivity as this month has taken a dive from a pretty good start. I am going to get my images i8n as many libraries as possible.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 24, 2011, 12:29
Had enough of this crap. I am going to give up exclusivity as this month has taken a dive from a pretty good start. I am going to get my images i8n as many libraries as possible.

C'mon man wait at least until they announce the new RC targets, you just might be able to get a raise in the next cycle ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lthn on October 24, 2011, 12:36

I find it very hard to believe that "they are out to get me". I know most people here think, the exclusives are naive, we are not. We have met many people from the team, and they are all hard working, very dedicated people.


---------------------------------------

I agree nobody is out to get you or anyone else.  I certainly don't think you or top tier exclusives are naive, and I certainly value your input.  I've also met a number of the istock management and I agree they are hard working and dedicated people.  I don't think that is the group of people that Slovenian is talking about.  I think he's talking about Getty and H&F and I don't think that that those people care about exclusives or independents one bit.

The one thing that is surprising to me is how long the original Istock staff is hanging onto their jobs.  I don't think most of them have much future with Istock/Getty.  As the content line blurs more and more, the need for dedicated Istock staff (marketing, accounting, and likely inspectors too) decreases and the impact of their salaries on the bottom line becomes more and more apparent. 

I agree and I have not met a number of istock management, but I suppose they are nice people. Most contributors here are nice people. The people at Getty making all the decisions are probably nice people too. But this is business (remember?). Niceness doesn't have anything to do with it! I don't know why people seem to think that those two statements even belong in the same sentence. The people at Getty and H&F want their money. Period. And no, they don't care about anything but their own bottom line and their own interests.

Nice or not, their greedy capitalistic logic is not going to work long term, instead of milking the cow, they'll settle for huge short term profits, mess up the site completely and then sell it. IS will never recover if it keeps on going like this for a while. Unless they have some super strategy which is taking longer than expected to incorporate (I highly doubt that).

And of course I wish traffic would go up, why wouldn't I want to earn more? Unless it goes to sites that will pay me at least 3 times the royalties (50%+)

H&F mission statement pretty much sais they come, milk cash out and lave, and do all that as fast as possible, if you can read between the lines.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pancaketom on October 24, 2011, 14:21
Well, I'd like to see them (H&F) leave as soon as possible, but since they are strangling the goose, they might not be able to find a buyer. I do wonder how long it would take to get things back on track if they did leave. The damage (for contributors) might be terminal.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on October 24, 2011, 14:46
Well, I'd like to see them (H&F) leave as soon as possible, but since they are strangling the goose, they might not be able to find a buyer. I do wonder how long it would take to get things back on track if they did leave. The damage (for contributors) might be terminal.

I'd be forced to agree! There's one about a pooch but we can't write it here in mixed company.

I don't know if I'm allowed to reply, you see there's a certain bronze on IS who joined in May of 2008, with just under 500 files, who seems to think I'm not entitled to comment because of my sales history and number of files. I don't meet his standards for being allowed to have an opinion.

But I wanted to say, +1 to your comments. The sooner they get their profit and go away, probably the happier most of us will be.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on October 24, 2011, 16:19
Had enough of this crap. I am going to give up exclusivity as this month has taken a dive from a pretty good start. I am going to get my images i8n as many libraries as possible.

C'mon man wait at least until they announce the new RC targets, you just might be able to get a raise in the next cycle ;)

I do hope you are kidding.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 24, 2011, 16:23
Had enough of this crap. I am going to give up exclusivity as this month has taken a dive from a pretty good start. I am going to get my images i8n as many libraries as possible.

C'mon man wait at least until they announce the new RC targets, you just might be able to get a raise in the next cycle ;)

I do hope you are kidding.

Using sarcasm and trying to avert more competition :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on October 24, 2011, 19:37
October is on track to be my worst month on istock in 5 years (since December 2006). That's pretty pathetic to say the least.

Unreal. I figured most of you top guys were holding steady.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on October 24, 2011, 19:52
Had enough of this crap. I am going to give up exclusivity as this month has taken a dive from a pretty good start. I am going to get my images i8n as many libraries as possible.

I don't know if this last quarter of the year is typically a busy one for you, but you might want to at least consider waiting until January to leave (or early December to put in your 30 days notice) so you can get the maximum from your portfolio during the fall/winter season and take the hit during the process of uploading elsewhere during the quiet time at the beginning of next year.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: HughStoneIan on October 24, 2011, 20:17
Down 40% from 2010.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: dbvirago on October 24, 2011, 20:34
October is on track to be my worst month on istock in 5 years (since December 2006). That's pretty pathetic to say the least.

Unreal. I figured most of you top guys were holding steady.

Worst since Sept of 2006 for me. Considering the trouble it is to upload there, I'll be done there soon.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on October 25, 2011, 00:54
Had enough of this crap. I am going to give up exclusivity as this month has taken a dive from a pretty good start. I am going to get my images i8n as many libraries as possible.

I don't know if this last quarter of the year is typically a busy one for you, but you might want to at least consider waiting until January to leave (or early December to put in your 30 days notice) so you can get the maximum from your portfolio during the fall/winter season and take the hit during the process of uploading elsewhere during the quiet time at the beginning of next year.

Yes, that's good advice  :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 25, 2011, 02:05
The trap all exclusives are in is that handing in the little brass crown will probably cut your istock earnings by about half and it is likely to take a long time to make up for that on the other sites. The sites you must do well at to compensate are SS and DT and there is no guarantee your existing istock portfolio will get accepted in total on either, particularly if some of it is at 2008 or 2009 quality standards.
So while independence is probably a good long-term strategy be aware that it may take quite some time to get back to the earnings you already have - and the larger and better established your portfolio is, the longer it will take and harder it is likely to be to get back to where you are.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 25, 2011, 03:11
The trap all exclusives are in is that handing in the little brass crown will probably cut your istock earnings by about half and it is likely to take a long time to make up for that on the other sites. The sites you must do well at to compensate are SS and DT and there is no guarantee your existing istock portfolio will get accepted in total on either, particularly if some of it is at 2008 or 2009 quality standards.
So while independence is probably a good long-term strategy be aware that it may take quite some time to get back to the earnings you already have - and the larger and better established your portfolio is, the longer it will take and harder it is likely to be to get back to where you are.

Indeed, SS is a top earner by far for most contributors, but the catch is, their rejection rate is very high in the last 6 months, I used to get 100% rejections of big batches, while IS accepted over 95% of those same batches. DT also rejects any remotely similar images, so if you're one of those contributors that bombard a stock site with huge series, full of shots with different angles of the same subject, you won't get a lot on DT. The other sites probably won't even make over 5% of your current IS earnings (FT has fallen off the cliff, IS is doing great compared to them). And yes I'm being serious this time, read some threads on the matter, there are many (extensive too).
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: aeonf on October 25, 2011, 03:21
If one is a higher ranking exclusive at IS (at 35% or 40% levels) expected income can go down by even 70%-80%
Maybe Jsnover can gives us better figures.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: loop on October 25, 2011, 04:03
If one is a higher ranking exclusive at IS (at 35% or 40% levels) expected income can go down by even 70%-80%
Maybe Jsnover can gives us better figures.

I don't think so. Staying at IS like non-exclusive, would get you about 50% of what you were earning there. Let's say 35-40%% if you have Vetta and Agency pictures. From here, any new income adds, so reaching 50%-60% in the beggining should be easy.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 25, 2011, 06:34
If one is a higher ranking exclusive at IS (at 35% or 40% levels) expected income can go down by even 70%-80%
Maybe Jsnover can gives us better figures.

I don't think so. Staying at IS like non-exclusive, would get you about 50% of what you were earning there. Let's say 35-40%% if you have Vetta and Agency pictures. From here, any new income adds, so reaching 50%-60% in the beggining should be easy.

It's probably worse than that because exclusives have higher commission percentages AND higher file prices, so even without vetta they lose out twice over if they cancel. It isn't just going from 30% to - say - 17%. The exclusive base rate is the same as the independent "photos+" rate, so you might lose another 30% there. The decline could easily exceed 50% even for a silver or gold level contributor without Vetta or Getty earnings. They might also see the 17% commission rate drop to 16% after a year, because lower prices mean fewer "redeemed credits" even if your sales are unchanged. It's a serious issue for them.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: dbvirago on October 25, 2011, 07:08
When I'm earning 400% more at Canstock than at Istock, it's time to make a change. Just got a ten cent commission to bring me up to 1/3 of Sept sales and 1/4 of August sales.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: aeonf on October 25, 2011, 07:27
If one is a higher ranking exclusive at IS (at 35% or 40% levels) expected income can go down by even 70%-80%
Maybe Jsnover can gives us better figures.

I don't think so. Staying at IS like non-exclusive, would get you about 50% of what you were earning there. Let's say 35-40%% if you have Vetta and Agency pictures. From here, any new income adds, so reaching 50%-60% in the beggining should be easy.

It's probably worse than that because exclusives have higher commission percentages AND higher file prices, so even without vetta they lose out twice over if they cancel. It isn't just going from 30% to - say - 17%. The exclusive base rate is the same as the independent "photos+" rate, so you might lose another 30% there. The decline could easily exceed 50% even for a silver or gold level contributor without Vetta or Getty earnings. They might also see the 17% commission rate drop to 16% after a year, because lower prices mean fewer "redeemed credits" even if your sales are unchanged. It's a serious issue for them.

True indeed.
+ add to the equation the fact that because of worse best match for non exclusives  fewer of you files will be downloaded = even less income.

I know of one diamond exclusive which lost 70% of his income.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on October 25, 2011, 09:00

True indeed.
+ add to the equation the fact that because of worse best match for non exclusives  fewer of you files will be downloaded = even less income.

I know of one diamond exclusive which lost 70% of his income.

Yep. I'm non-exclusive diamond and my earnings are down 90% from the good-old days of 2 or 3 years ago.

It's amazing things are so widespread and so severe. It's not one of those things where exclusives benefit while independents suffer. It's everyone, exclusive and non, top to bottom. When you've got guys like nico talking about their worst month in 5 years, other BDs talking about dropping numbers, it's crazy.

And all signs point to diminishing volume, meaning buyers are either buying less or buying elsewhere. Which is something I honestly thought would never happen. I alluded to the idea that buyers would leave in forum posts, but really in the back of my mind I figured that the strong loyalty buyers had towards istock would endure. Seems like that's not the case anymore.

If istock wants to salvage any of what they've built, the need to cut prices. Unfortunately that's another thing I'll talk about here but will quietly dismiss as an impossibility. No way upper management will sign off on a price cut.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 25, 2011, 09:20
If one is a higher ranking exclusive at IS (at 35% or 40% levels) expected income can go down by even 70%-80%
Maybe Jsnover can gives us better figures.

I don't think so. Staying at IS like non-exclusive, would get you about 50% of what you were earning there. Let's say 35-40%% if you have Vetta and Agency pictures. From here, any new income adds, so reaching 50%-60% in the beggining should be easy.

It's probably worse than that because exclusives have higher commission percentages AND higher file prices, so even without vetta they lose out twice over if they cancel. It isn't just going from 30% to - say - 17%. The exclusive base rate is the same as the independent "photos+" rate, so you might lose another 30% there. The decline could easily exceed 50% even for a silver or gold level contributor without Vetta or Getty earnings. They might also see the 17% commission rate drop to 16% after a year, because lower prices mean fewer "redeemed credits" even if your sales are unchanged. It's a serious issue for them.

On top of that search engine is not favouring them anymore and we all know what a difference that makes. We can experience it every time there's a best match shakeup.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cthoman on October 25, 2011, 09:44
If istock wants to salvage any of what they've built, the need to cut prices. Unfortunately that's another thing I'll talk about here but will quietly dismiss as an impossibility. No way upper management will sign off on a price cut.

I think another survey should do it.  ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: traveler1116 on October 25, 2011, 09:47
If istock wants to salvage any of what they've built, the need to cut prices. Unfortunately that's another thing I'll talk about here but will quietly dismiss as an impossibility. No way upper management will sign off on a price cut.


I think another survey should do it.  ;D

Don't worry there will be more.
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=335179&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=335179&page=1)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on October 25, 2011, 12:21
If one is a higher ranking exclusive at IS (at 35% or 40% levels) expected income can go down by even 70%-80%
Maybe Jsnover can gives us better figures.

I don't think so. Staying at IS like non-exclusive, would get you about 50% of what you were earning there. Let's say 35-40%% if you have Vetta and Agency pictures. From here, any new income adds, so reaching 50%-60% in the beggining should be easy.

It's probably worse than that because exclusives have higher commission percentages AND higher file prices, so even without vetta they lose out twice over if they cancel. It isn't just going from 30% to - say - 17%. The exclusive base rate is the same as the independent "photos+" rate, so you might lose another 30% there. The decline could easily exceed 50% even for a silver or gold level contributor without Vetta or Getty earnings. They might also see the 17% commission rate drop to 16% after a year, because lower prices mean fewer "redeemed credits" even if your sales are unchanged. It's a serious issue for them.

True indeed.
+ add to the equation the fact that because of worse best match for non exclusives  fewer of you files will be downloaded = even less income.

I know of one diamond exclusive which lost 70% of his income.

As far as the price difference between exclusive files and not, Photos+ has largely taken care of that. I used up most of my quota on any of the files that sold well so they were at the same credit value as when I was exclusive. I had removed my Vetta files in September 2010 (back to the main collection) when they jacked up the price and mandated that the files move to Getty, so I didn't have any dependence on Vetta income to worry about in the exclusive to independent shift.

As far as the size of the initial drop, it's hard to nail because even people who stayed exclusive are seeing drops comparing 2011 to 2010 (same month). My feeling was that it was only a matter of when, not if, I left exclusivity after the April 2011 contract changes Getty forced on their contributors. Better get the pain over with sooner rather than later and not waste time measuring the delta. I am fairly certain that even if I had stayed exclusive, my 2011 income would have been lower than 2010, so then we're only quibbling about how much lower - but yes, there is a temporary smack in the face while sales build elsewhere. In my case I can't contribute to FT, which most other people switching to independent would want to do.

I think it's a variation of the old question Ann Landers used to suggest people ask when considering leaving a spouse - are you better off with him or without him? When it was just iStock with Getty in the background, for me the answer was a clear win for exclusivity. After H&F tightened the screws to wring every last bit of profit from the business regardless of future consequences, I decided I'm better off independent and I'm fortunate I can afford to take the financial hit in the short term.

The point about refusals is something to consider - all the agencies refused images that were proven sellers. With one or two at SS I resubmitted with a note pointing out how many times the image had sold at iStock to suggest LCV wasn't really appropriate, but for the most part I've just been willing to let it go. I've no energy for arguing about it.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: blamb on October 25, 2011, 12:52
I am fairly certain that even if I had stayed exclusive, my 2011 income would have been lower than 2010,

I think you can be certainly certain.  My 2011 income is going to be less than 2009 ....  :P
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Difydave on October 25, 2011, 13:19
I am fairly certain that even if I had stayed exclusive, my 2011 income would have been lower than 2010,

I think you can be certainly certain.  My 2011 income is going to be less than 2009 ....  :P
I'll beat my 2009 income, but not by much. Although if the rest of this year is like this month so far, I might  well be under.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Gannet77 on October 25, 2011, 13:50
I must be the odd one out, I've already beaten my 2010 income.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on October 25, 2011, 14:28
I must be the odd one out, I've already beaten my 2010 income.

That old expression about not looking a gift horse in the mouth comes to mind :)

Everyone's experiences are going to be a little different - mix of photos and other media (or not), few mega-sellers vs. broad base of good sellers, seasonal specialties, whether you uploaded at a time when a glitch favored (or hampered) future best sellers, best match luck of the draw when a new file catches or doesn't - it's a long list.  Certainly those with a substantial Vetta/Agency presence can have the potential for big wins.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: blamb on October 25, 2011, 14:42
vectors might also be a contributing factor ... a "vector panic thread" was just locked on the illus forum
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Difydave on October 25, 2011, 15:10
I must be the odd one out, I've already beaten my 2010 income.

That old expression about not looking a gift horse in the mouth comes to mind :)

Everyone's experiences are going to be a little different - mix of photos and other media (or not), few mega-sellers vs. broad base of good sellers, seasonal specialties, whether you uploaded at a time when a glitch favored (or hampered) future best sellers, best match luck of the draw when a new file catches or doesn't - it's a long list.  Certainly those with a substantial Vetta/Agency presence can have the potential for big wins.

It's not like I'm talking about a massive forecast drop personally, but it's a worrying trend downward. When the generally accepted best time of the year turns out to be naff as well it gets even more worrying. I've got this nasty feeling that your earlier comment about "When, not if" is right. I've had that feeling for a while now. Painful though the cure may be, I don't know how much longer I can watch this happening.   
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cthoman on October 25, 2011, 15:28
vectors might also be a contributing factor ... a "vector panic thread" was just locked on the illus forum

It will be interesting to see if some of the long time vector exclusives jump ship. A lot of talent there, but I've often wondered if they'd survive out in the wild.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: michaeldb on October 25, 2011, 17:41
Regarding advice to those IS exclusives thinking about going independent:
I'm not sure that waiting until after December would be good advice for everyone. For most people who don't have a lot of Christmas images, December is by far the weakest month. And for me last year January and March were very strong on all sites (except IS of course) - I would not want to sit out those months in 2012.

Secondly, regarding large % loss of income, no doubt. But another thing to consider is that on the non-IS sites, newer images often have very significant advantages. If I didn't have to resubmit and were given the chance to suddenly make all my images 'new' on all sites, I would do it (except on DT). Back in the day, there were threads on the SS forum about removing and resubmitting images just to make them new.

If my income were back to 2006 levels at IS and I was a crown-wearer and considering going independent, I would get started as soon as possible. Especially if I were a vectorist I wouldn't hesitate a minute.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on October 25, 2011, 18:11
A few years ago, new images had a big advantage with SS but they changed the search and older images now do much better than they used to.  I have redone some old images and uploaded them again but they don't get the sales boost they used to.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 25, 2011, 18:54
last week was fantastic, this week so far....average-below average. I don't see a major best match shift...but have noticed (and I think someone else might have mentioned it) that when you visit portfolios or perform searches on iStock; every once in a while the default search is not best match. default seems to be file age every x number of searches (don't know what x is equal to, could be random).

when Lobo stated that nothing had changed in best match....could have been a pretty good red herring....that may be true that the best match wasn't changed...however the default search format may be dynamic now. buyers wouldn't necessarily notice they're being presented with newest files first in search results instead of best match sometimes. and it doesn't correspond with my default display settings, nor do I save cookies between browser sessions

sorry if I'm discussing something already discussed. there are too many threads to weed through.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: traveler1116 on October 25, 2011, 22:19
It's not helping that files aren't showing up in the search.  http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=335317&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=335317&page=1)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on October 25, 2011, 22:56

Secondly, regarding large % loss of income, no doubt. But another thing to consider is that on the non-IS sites, newer images often have very significant advantages. If I didn't have to resubmit and were given the chance to suddenly make all my images 'new' on all sites, I would do it (except on DT). Back in the day, there were threads on the SS forum about removing and resubmitting images just to make them new.


And if I was SS and found people removing images so they could upload and be new again, gaming the system, I'd lock their accounts and give them a vacation for a month. Small wonder they changed the value of Newness when they figured out people were making more work for the same images, just for some small advantage. Now people with honestly new images will pay for the greedy ones who will do anything for a few more sales.

On the other hand a former exclusive should be able to upload a truckload of new images all at once and with the newness boost make up for one month. It will probably take six months to recover the losses, maybe longer and then with the new reviews and standards, who knows if the old images for the collection will even get accepted.

It's a tough decision.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: travelstock on October 25, 2011, 23:53
last week was fantastic, this week so far....average-below average. I don't see a major best match shift...but have noticed (and I think someone else might have mentioned it) that when you visit portfolios or perform searches on iStock; every once in a while the default search is not best match. default seems to be file age every x number of searches (don't know what x is equal to, could be random).

when Lobo stated that nothing had changed in best match....could have been a pretty good red herring....that may be true that the best match wasn't changed...however the default search format may be dynamic now. buyers wouldn't necessarily notice they're being presented with newest files first in search results instead of best match sometimes. and it doesn't correspond with my default display settings, nor do I save cookies between browser sessions

sorry if I'm discussing something already discussed. there are too many threads to weed through.

For me its gone from fantastic last week to just above average this week. Either way I've passed the last BME from May this year already this month on both DLs and $$s so have nothing to complain about at the moment. Put in context though the growth in both of these stats is still well below portfolio growth for the same time.

I think at the moment we're seeing such a divergence of outcomes because there are so many factors at play - for some the best match shifts are a huge factor, others have lots of new files that are benefiting, & some may be starting to suffer from the "attack of the clones", by which I mean there are a small but significant number of producers pumping out the stock look in the high selling categories which may be starting to dilute earnings.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on October 26, 2011, 05:03
Here is an interesting interview with Kelly. Interview with Kelly Thompson, iStockphoto / Getty Images (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbESgjlRjCA#ws)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on October 26, 2011, 05:40
That interview is hard to watch.  No questions about falling earnings, losing buyers to other sites and how they have lost the good will of lots of contributors.  I know they want to give the impression that everything going great but its so opposite to reality.

If they want to bury their heads in the sand, that's fine but they should be looking at what's really happening.  I have even less confidence in the future of istock if they aren't addressing issues that have lost them buyers and ruined their reputation with lots of contributors.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on October 26, 2011, 05:44
last week was fantastic, this week so far....average-below average. I don't see a major best match shift...but have noticed (and I think someone else might have mentioned it) that when you visit portfolios or perform searches on iStock; every once in a while the default search is not best match. default seems to be file age every x number of searches (don't know what x is equal to, could be random).

when Lobo stated that nothing had changed in best match....could have been a pretty good red herring....that may be true that the best match wasn't changed...however the default search format may be dynamic now. buyers wouldn't necessarily notice they're being presented with newest files first in search results instead of best match sometimes. and it doesn't correspond with my default display settings, nor do I save cookies between browser sessions

sorry if I'm discussing something already discussed. there are too many threads to weed through.

I haven't noticed the default search changing (that would be very annoying if a searcher has deliberately chosen a particular sort order), but the best match is changing. Out of badness - and because I have no files to process - I've been checking daily on Ed's Queleas masquerading as African Elephant. Yesterday lunchtime UK they were at positions 14 and 15 (up from the weekend) and today they are 46 & 47. Interesting that they never get separated. New files are only getting a very short time in the sun - one of mine which sold within a few days of acceptance two weeks ago is at 65. So definitely, the best match is still changing virtually dailly, no matter what Lobo said.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 26, 2011, 06:25
Of course, the match itself will change as files age, some are bought and new ones arrive. It's bound to shuffle arround every time it is recalculated but that doesn't tell you whether the algorithm constructing the match has changed. It's algorithm changes that send everything haywire.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on October 26, 2011, 06:53
That interview is hard to watch.  No questions about falling earnings, losing buyers to other sites and how they have lost the good will of lots of contributors...

Amos has an expo to run, he's not going to get on the bad side of a top istock exec. I wouldn't expect a guy in his position to ask the tough questions. Maybe some random blogger would, but then again some random blogger wouldn't land an interview with Kelly.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on October 26, 2011, 07:01
That interview is hard to watch.  No questions about falling earnings, losing buyers to other sites and how they have lost the good will of lots of contributors...

Amos has an expo to run, he's not going to get on the bad side of a top istock exec. I wouldn't expect a guy in his position to ask the tough questions.
So, pretty pointless then.  ???
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on October 26, 2011, 07:38
Amos has an expo to run, he's not going to get on the bad side of a top istock exec. I wouldn't expect a guy in his position to ask the tough questions.
So, pretty pointless then.  ???

No, pretty standard interview really. How many interviews have you seen where the interviewer asked scathing questions? Most business interviews go exactly this way, sticking to the basics and talking about what's going well at the company. what's new, what's coming up, etc.

I'd love to see a few tough questions thrown in there as much as anyone, but I also wouldn't call this a pointless interview or fault Amos for how he handled it. Not a bad interview, just sort of vanilla and average.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on October 26, 2011, 07:47
Amos has an expo to run, he's not going to get on the bad side of a top istock exec. I wouldn't expect a guy in his position to ask the tough questions.
So, pretty pointless then.  ???

No, pretty standard interview really. How many interviews have you seen where the interviewer asked scathing questions?
I'm a Paxman fan, and for me, vanilla and average = pointless. I'm not blaming Amos, Kelly might not have answered the scathing questions - the interview parameters were probably all hashed out in advance. For example re the question about cutting percentage rates - Kelly should not have been 'let off with' just saying, "we pay more to out photographers than any other agency". That's pretty irrelevant to individual photographers, who care about their own bottom line which is affected by their percentage rate.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on October 26, 2011, 08:48
Guys, did you even listen to what he is saying: we will get a new upload interface.

Something similar to Getty, which means you will upload all images from a shoot in one batch. No more uploading half the files now and the rest in six months if you see that a series sells well (and it is worth processing all the pics). The files then get distributed over all their agencies, depending on quality. Some might even go straight into Getty RM. Files that might normally be rejected by istock will get a life on their lower level agencies, because istock these days rejects a lot of stuff that could still make money, just not at istock prices.

If this is a good or a bad system will depend on how it is implemented. My acceptance rate for istock is over 90%, as long as the files that I want to send to istock find their way into my portfolio, I am happy and if they move some files from a batch up towards getty, I wouldnīt mind either.

I must say, i like the Getty interface. But I think for many people, especially those who do stock on the side, this will be quite a change, because processing takes so much time, that usually you spread it out over several weeks.

Letīs see what is coming and how much time they give us to prepare.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on October 26, 2011, 08:54
Guys, did you even listen to what he is saying: we will get a new upload interface.
JJ waffled about this a few weeks back

Quote
Something similar to Getty, which means you will upload all images from a shoot in one batch. No more uploading half the files now and the rest in six months if you see that a series sells well (and it is worth processing all the pics).
That's quite an inference from what Kelly said - but it may well be correct.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on October 26, 2011, 08:58
He says they want to distribute files over the different agencies and price points.They can only make that decision if they see all the files from a series. Which is the way it works on Getty.

I really like the getty interface, I find it very helpful to build a complete batch of files and see them all together. So if they implement this I would be quite happy.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on October 26, 2011, 09:00
So is this going to be for non-exclusives as well?  I think I already know the answer to that one.  Non-exclusive stuff will get sold for next to nothing on Thinkstock.

There's no reason to go exclusive any more and there's nothing but bad news for non-exclusives.  Watching that video just made me feel even worse about istock.  If they had a collection for exclusive images from non-exclusives and they could be pushed over to Getty, that would be interesting but I just can't see that happening.

I don't really understand why Getty has a flickr collection but non-exclusive istock contributors have no way to get in to the higher priced collections.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on October 26, 2011, 09:14
So is this going to be for non-exclusives as well?  I think I already know the answer to that one.  Non-exclusive stuff will get sold for next to nothing on Thinkstock.
Non-exclusive stuff is already "sold for next to nothing on Thinkstock".
Looks like, as we suspected, (some?) exclusive stuff will soon be compulsorily headed there if they don't think it's good enough for iStock.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: loop on October 26, 2011, 09:36
Guys, did you even listen to what he is saying: we will get a new upload interface.

Something similar to Getty, which means you will upload all images from a shoot in one batch. No more uploading half the files now and the rest in six months if you see that a series sells well (and it is worth processing all the pics). The files then get distributed over all their agencies, depending on quality. Some might even go straight into Getty RM. Files that might normally be rejected by istock will get a life on their lower level agencies, because istock these days rejects a lot of stuff that could still make money, just not at istock prices.

If this is a good or a bad system will depend on how it is implemented. My acceptance rate for istock is over 90%, as long as the files that I want to send to istock find their way into my portfolio, I am happy and if they move some files from a batch up towards getty, I wouldnīt mind either.

I must say, i like the Getty interface. But I think for many people, especially those who do stock on the side, this will be quite a change, because processing takes so much time, that usually you spread it out over several weeks.

Letīs see what is coming and how much time they give us to prepare.

have they said that? Or are you just guessing?

I wouldn't like that, specially the part where they decide where the pics go. Even if some went to Getty I woould prefer having a say on that.  Having to upload in batches wouldn't neither match my workflow routine.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on October 26, 2011, 09:42
This is what I get from the interview and my own experience on getty. This interview is a lot clearer than all the nebulous hints from jj. If you want to decide which files go where in the gettyverse, they have to see them all. I cannot think of any other way of doing it.

Imagine you upload a set of files, they take the best one for getty and then next week you upload an even better file from the series.

what he didnīt mention was when they would ago forward with this. maybe it is something for next year? he said they have plans for many years to come.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: mbug on October 26, 2011, 09:46
How would that work for illustrations and vectors, we don't usually produce smilar batches of work.

Oh i forgot illustrators are just an afterthought at Istock now, we are a bit of an embarrassment, you know a bit clipart, they don't really like us that much, that is why they treat us like Mushrooms, (you know kept in the dark and covered in sh*t) - actually that could apply to all the contributors at Istock.

Sorry, for ranting- exclusive vector contributor, feeling a bit bitter.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cthoman on October 26, 2011, 10:05
This is what I get from the interview and my own experience on getty. This interview is a lot clearer than all the nebulous hints from jj. If you want to decide which files go where in the gettyverse, they have to see them all. I cannot think of any other way of doing it.

Imagine you upload a set of files, they take the best one for getty and then next week you upload an even better file from the series.

what he didnīt mention was when they would ago forward with this. maybe it is something for next year? he said they have plans for many years to come.

How about they'll get nothing and like it!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on October 26, 2011, 10:11
Imagine you upload a set of files, they take the best one for getty and then next week you upload an even better file from the series.
One of the two main reasons for my not taking up my offer of Getty under the old iStock system was what they considered a series - in my case two photos taken over 100 miles and a week apart were considered 'too similar' for one to go to Getty and one for iStock. One of my CN had a photo rejected at Getty because he had a 'too similar' one already on istock - same species in a different place and IIRC taken over a year apart. These are natural history. So I can't upload a species today to iStock because I might get a better one some time in the future which they might deem Getty-worthy? That's a non-starter.
Easy for studio-wallahs, of course.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: michealo on October 26, 2011, 10:22
Imagine you upload a set of files, they take the best one for getty and then next week you upload an even better file from the series.
One of the two main reasons for my not taking up my offer of Getty under the old iStock system was what they considered a series - in my case two photos taken over 100 miles and a week apart were considered 'too similar' for one to go to Getty and one for iStock. One of my CN had a photo rejected at Getty because he had a 'too similar' one already on istock - same species in a different place and IIRC taken over a year apart. These are natural history. So I can't upload a species today to iStock because I might get a better one some time in the future which they might deem Getty-worthy? That's a non-starter.
Easy for studio-wallahs, of course.

the thought strikes me that if you uploaded a file every time you complained about IS here how large your portfolio would be ...
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on October 26, 2011, 10:40
^^^Then perhaps you should keep your thoughts to yourself, instead of having a dig at another contributor that has made a valid point?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: michealo on October 26, 2011, 10:45
^^^Then perhaps you should keep your thoughts to yourself, instead of having a dig at another contributor that has made a valid point?

bear in mind we are discussing a yet unreleased ingestion program so any contributor is speculating rather than making a valid point, and even if it were a valid point a stopped clock is right twice a day
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: fujiko on October 26, 2011, 10:54
As no announcement or survey has been made and it's all our imaginations flying, I think this whole concept of giving a new life to rejected files on TS would be a dirty trick.

In my opinion if a file is not worthy of IS, then to me IS is not worthy of deciding to send it somewhere else.
I think they should be able to send accepted images to Partner sites, but if they reject it, they should have no right over the file at all to send it anywhere.

If their plan is to send the images to different sites at different price points based on someone's opinion, keeping in mind that reviewers are competing contributors, it's a very dangerous thing. It may just be a way to minimize competitor's sales.

If IS wants to become a hub, will it also be the hub where you can disable uploaded files regardless of where it is?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cthoman on October 26, 2011, 10:55
Yes and a table has legs, and I have legs. Therefore, I am a table.  ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on October 26, 2011, 11:02

Something similar to Getty, which means you will upload all images from a shoot in one batch. No more uploading half the files now and the rest in six months if you see that a series sells well (and it is worth processing all the pics).

This would be absolutely disastrous to my workflow.  I process a images from each shoot over a long period of time, and upload batches with images from several shoots at a time.  It keeps me from getting bored, and keeps the reviewers who look at my images from getting bored too.  It also allows more variety for people viewing my portfolio by age. 

Sometimes it can take up to 6 months to finish processing and uploading a particular series.  I have NO INTENTION of changing my workflow or adopting a separate workflow for Istock.  I'd like to see how they could enforce something like this on independent contributors anyway.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on October 26, 2011, 11:13
I loved the quote from KKT that iStock runs like a well-oiled machine - I realize things are more stable now, but they can't even get new content showing up reliably every 24 hours. Broken down jalopy might be too strong in the other direction, but well-oiled machine is just fantasy land.

There was also some blather about how accepting content that iStock formerly rejected and sending it to photos.com instead would make photographers better in the process. He also mentioned clipart.com several times, but the quality of the content there is so horrendously low that I can't see how that site can do well without a huge makeover.

No timetable for all of this, but as I've already decided that iStock won't get any new content content - not sure if I'll have them lag by 6 months or more; enough to give all the other sites first bite of the apple before Thinkstock gets it - I'm not in any hurry.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on October 26, 2011, 11:20
He also mentioned clipart.com several times, but the quality of the content there is so horrendously low that I can't see how that site can do well without a huge makeover.
I think he said something about photos.com and clipart.com being fantastic domain names, but they'd need work to get them where they want them to be.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 26, 2011, 11:23
Of course, the match itself will change as files age, some are bought and new ones arrive. It's bound to shuffle arround every time it is recalculated but that doesn't tell you whether the algorithm constructing the match has changed. It's algorithm changes that send everything haywire.

but I mean the default search itself changes from best match to file age...randomly (it seems)....I haven't noticed it default to anything but best match or FA....but it still presents buyers with file age as default search once in a while. so while they're telling us that best match isn't changing, they're neglecting to mention that the default search return is changing periodically--that is if this is by design. It could have been a bug, or a coincidence. but as I mentioned, I use Firefox and I don't save cookies between browser sessions.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on October 26, 2011, 11:24
As no announcement or survey has been made and it's all our imaginations flying, I think this whole concept of giving a new life to rejected files on TS would be a dirty trick.
Way back when they introduced the Partner Program, I specifically asked whether certain rejected files, e.g. rejected for flat light, could be considered for TS and was told categorically not. But they said categorially it was a 'different market', then tried to get their biggest buyers to switch to TS.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: WarrenPrice on October 26, 2011, 11:37
Yes and a table has legs, and I have legs. Therefore, I am a table.  ;D

 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 26, 2011, 11:44
In London someone asked about rejected files going to the partner program....we were told, fairly definitely, that this would not be happening. the reason given was that during many of the server renos etc., storage of data concerning reasons for a file's rejection was not maintained...therefore they couldn't just truck over rejected files (many of which may have been rejected due to copyright issues/lack of release etc.). I believe that they have zero plans for rejected content.

though it is a policy that drives me nuts, I think one main reason for maintaining exclusive rights over rejected content is that it's often part of a series or similar to other accepted files.

As for the new upload system, they talked about that in London vaguely too. my take away was that it will be a batch upload system, much like Getty's. I hate the idea of it and am not looking forward to it. especially since it seems it will hinder our ability to strategically upload in waves, which I do.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on October 26, 2011, 12:14
That interview is hard to watch.

Ugh __ it's even harder to listen to. I see he's adopted the silly Australian end-of-sentence uplift which makes statements sound like questions. (Example 03.06 "... we're just trying to align that a little bit better ?"). It's fine when spoken in an Australian accent but otherwise it is extremely irritating. It makes a middle-age bloke sound like an anxious 14-year old girl. Total lightweight and was clearly out of his depth running Istock.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: bunhill on October 26, 2011, 12:15
In London someone asked about rejected files going to the partner program....we were told, fairly definitely, that this would not be happening. the reason given was that during many of the server renos etc., storage of data concerning reasons for a file's rejection was not maintained...therefore they couldn't just truck over rejected files (many of which may have been rejected due to copyright issues/lack of release etc.). I believe that they have zero plans for rejected content.

I suppose that would not exclude a system applicable to new content under which they could decide that particular images / batches would be most at home at the PP sites.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 26, 2011, 12:36
In London someone asked about rejected files going to the partner program....we were told, fairly definitely, that this would not be happening. the reason given was that during many of the server renos etc., storage of data concerning reasons for a file's rejection was not maintained...therefore they couldn't just truck over rejected files (many of which may have been rejected due to copyright issues/lack of release etc.). I believe that they have zero plans for rejected content.

I suppose that would not exclude a system applicable to new content under which they could decide that particular images / batches would be most at home at the PP sites.

I would agree that's a possibility. I think a new upload system will include designating files to collections right out of queue, much like it is now, but more tiers
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RapidEye on October 26, 2011, 12:36
I suppose that would not exclude a system applicable to new content under which they could decide that particular images / batches would be most at home at the PP sites.

The idea of some human deciding what stuff should be sold where makes my skin crawl. It would kill the genius of microstock -- the brilliant notion of accepting anything technically sound and then allowing the market to determine the fate of the file through the Best Match mechanism.

There are some pretty weird bestsellers in microstock, stuff that's so simple or so corny that no up-his-arse editor would ever have given it the nod. Only a pure market mechanism could ever have revealed that such images had enormous commercial value.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cthoman on October 26, 2011, 12:37
It was interesting seeing the video. It really highlights the disparity between what I think is going on there and what they think is going on.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on October 26, 2011, 12:52
In London someone asked about rejected files going to the partner program....we were told, fairly definitely, that this would not be happening. the reason given was that during many of the server renos etc., storage of data concerning reasons for a file's rejection was not maintained...therefore they couldn't just truck over rejected files (many of which may have been rejected due to copyright issues/lack of release etc.). I believe that they have zero plans for rejected content.
Funny - I can see my rejection reasons right back to when I started.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 26, 2011, 12:53
I suppose that would not exclude a system applicable to new content under which they could decide that particular images / batches would be most at home at the PP sites.

The idea of some human deciding what stuff should be sold where makes my skin crawl. It would kill the genius of microstock -- the brilliant notion of accepting anything technically sound and then allowing the market to determine the fate of the file through the Best Match mechanism.

There are some pretty weird bestsellers in microstock, stuff that's so simple or so corny that no up-his-arse editor would ever have given it the nod. Only a pure market mechanism could ever have revealed that such images had enormous commercial value.

I agree with you in general. at the same time, there's an argument for files being designated to higher priced collections, where they do sell well, like Vetta. but I agree 100% that the simplest, corniest files sometimes end up being so commercially valuable, that it's like a kick in the pants to all the complex, artsy stuff we shoot.....
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 26, 2011, 12:55
In London someone asked about rejected files going to the partner program....we were told, fairly definitely, that this would not be happening. the reason given was that during many of the server renos etc., storage of data concerning reasons for a file's rejection was not maintained...therefore they couldn't just truck over rejected files (many of which may have been rejected due to copyright issues/lack of release etc.). I believe that they have zero plans for rejected content.
Funny - I can see my rejection reasons right back to when I started.

me too...just relaying what we were told.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: bunhill on October 26, 2011, 13:03
me too...just relaying what we were told.

anything else that was said ? Tell us everything you know :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 26, 2011, 13:08
me too...just relaying what we were told.

anything else that was said ? Tell us everything you know :)

I've shared what we were told already. most of it was general and somewhat vague. and for the record, I don't feel obligated to share anything. but if it's relevant, I don't have a problem discussing some of the plans, which they've already discussed publicly anyways. I know people think that some secret society happens at a Lypse, but it's really not like that.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: michaeldb on October 26, 2011, 13:14
It was interesting seeing the video. It really highlights the disparity between what I think is going on there and what they think is going on.
"iStock runs like a well-oiled machine."
Interview with Kelly Thompson, iStockphoto / Getty Images  October, 2011

Interesting to hear Kelly Thompson's job description, the details of his promotion. If his performance at IS was a success, what would be the definition of 'faillure'? No more traffifc on the site at all? Nico_blue's earnings dropping to 2004 levels? All Illustrators leaving the site? The worldview of Getty is a very different one than that of most microstockers, that much is certain.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: bunhill on October 26, 2011, 13:19
I know people think that some secret society happens at a Lypse, but it's really not like that.

I heard it was like the Bohemian Grove.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on October 26, 2011, 13:20
I suppose that would not exclude a system applicable to new content under which they could decide that particular images / batches would be most at home at the PP sites.


The idea of some human deciding what stuff should be sold where makes my skin crawl. It would kill the genius of microstock -- the brilliant notion of accepting anything technically sound and then allowing the market to determine the fate of the file through the Best Match mechanism.

There are some pretty weird bestsellers in microstock, stuff that's so simple or so corny that no up-his-arse editor would ever have given it the nod. Only a pure market mechanism could ever have revealed that such images had enormous commercial value.


And I think that Getty's establishment of the Flickr collection was an acknowledgement that there was a market for some of the stuff that no editor would OK but that buyers find useful. Especially when there was a perception that collections were becoming too homogenous - smiling faces, perfect teeth - and wanting to find something "different".

Now that I'm not exclusive, I wouldn't mind as much having files placed in different sites IF I received RC credit for anywhere the file sold, and assuming I always had 100% control by being able to immediately disable a file if I didn't like the chosen destination.

So perhaps this whole universal submission system will go the way of logos and that neat new Mac-only interface (remember Dexter? (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=82230&page=1)) and never appear, or just be fashionably late like PNG (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=336083&page=1). We're still waiting for anything from independents to show up on any of the partner sites (meaning the forced ingestion of all independent content not already voluntarily in the PP).
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on October 26, 2011, 13:40
We are just speculating based on Kellys interview. At the moment we are all waiting for the new referral system that "is better than the invention of microstock" and already they didn meet their own deadline. Who knows how long it would take them to add a gettylike system for istock.

I can see the logic of making istock the ingestion point for all the agencies they have though.

The Vetta collection looks pretty good, so their editors could certainly spot very artistic high quality content and move it up to getty. And for the getty contributors it would be great if the files getty rejects could  find a life on istock.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cthoman on October 26, 2011, 14:02
I guess the problem with the whole ingestion process is that I signed up to do business at iStock. I didn't sign up at Thinkstock, photos.com, clipart.com or even Getty. This whole "daddy knows best" is idiotic and patronizing.

Most of us know what plan is best for our bottom line, and it doesn't even remotely resemble what they are doing over there. Moving in a direction where you have less control over your images is not helping. If anything, we should have more control.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 26, 2011, 14:28
I agree 100% that the simplest, corniest files sometimes end up being so commercially valuable, that it's like a kick in the pants to all the complex, artsy stuff we shoot.....

Simplicity is flexible. Being artistic is like adding filters (in fact, often it is adding filters) it limits the usage of the image.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 26, 2011, 14:37
I agree 100% that the simplest, corniest files sometimes end up being so commercially valuable, that it's like a kick in the pants to all the complex, artsy stuff we shoot.....

Simplicity is flexible. Being artistic is like adding filters (in fact, often it is adding filters) it limits the usage of the image.

I think artistic is more than adding filters....but otherwise I agree completely with what you've said
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on October 26, 2011, 15:18
I don think aristic is "better" than generic. When I look at stock I just distinguish between high volume and low volume content and the related production costs. "Artistic" usually is the opposite of generic and therefore too specific to be sold in high volume. It does have the "whow factor", but stock sites are not an art gallery.

But to encourage "artistic" photographers to upload more "art" to stock, where they know it will sell a lot less than a brown envelope isolated on white, it has to be marketed in a different way and needs a higher price to be produced. That is all.

Doing "simple" well, is very, very, very hard work. I spend hours, sometimes more than a week until I get one still life right. But because it looks "simple" people think it is easy (and often don appreciate the amount of work I put into it).

Of course I get really mad when I see the copy cats stealing our compositions. Because arriving at this "simple" compositions that have a "flow", is such a challenge.  Luckily the copycats often miss important details, so you can see it is a copy. But if B; serves it up first...anyway...different story.

I always think of the elegant design of the iPhone or the iPad. Once it is out - everyone say "this is easy" and tries to copy it.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 26, 2011, 15:23
I guess that is what Vetta was invented for - to turn LCV "art" into HCV files. If so, it was an acknowlegement that microstock is not the proper place for it. It used to be that microstock provided the materials and designers created the art, but there were a lot of designers selling stock, anyway, and others who were too unskilled or too lazy to want to make their own artworks and preferred to have it ready-made.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Microstock Posts on October 26, 2011, 15:54
I couldn't help noticing and obviously there's nothing in this apart from what could be regarded as a Freudian slip, but if you go to 4 minutes and 50 seconds he says, "The royalties don't matter as much as the total amount of money we can make....(extremely long pause)...for our photographers.."

I just found that amusing, have a look, it's funny. ::)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 26, 2011, 19:00
^ I think you're pulling something out of the interview that isn't there. what is painful to watch is the interviewer. granted, language is obviously an issue, but I suspect he's terrible at interviewing in Italian too. I really can't understand the way people are characterized here. Kelly was exactly the way he was when I met him for the first time in London-- he was sincere and accessible. I agree that in writing he has come across in forums like he's detached from the community. in person he's not like that and I think he did well in this interview. I know that will be met with groans and goading...but so be it. in particular, he emphasized how well beyond the competition iStock is in terms of revenue. you can deny that all you want. doesn't make it untrue.

where they're really screwing up is NOT taking care to create a long-term growth situation for individual contributors. they've taken away so much incentive to produce, as well as placing goals well out of reach. they may be sitting pretty right now, but what happens when exclusive contributors, big ones, continue to express dissatisfaction? we keep seeing it reported over and over--major contributors losing sales...bad bad bad
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cathyslife on October 26, 2011, 19:31
I couldn't help noticing and obviously there's nothing in this apart from what could be regarded as a Freudian slip, but if you go to 4 minutes and 50 seconds he says, "The royalties don't matter as much as the total amount of money we can make....(extremely long pause)...for our photographers.."

I just found that amusing, have a look, it's funny. ::)

Up to his old tricks, eh? Open mouth, insert foot. Too funny! But I'm sure he's a really nice person.  ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 26, 2011, 19:34
how many people commenting in here actually watched the interview?...never mind
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on October 26, 2011, 19:40
Seems to be a lot of assumptions being made here.

The only nugget I got out of this whole thing is the single ingestion process which I'm assuming is a single page where all IS and Getty contributors will submit. I predicted they would eventually shuffle contributors between Getty and IS. So the Getty "pros" who are submitting low value stuff may end up with stuff at IS or even Photos.com.

This interview mentioned yet another prediction of mine

Getty = High Value
IS = Medium Value
TS/Photos.com = Low Value/Beginner

This may even get split up further with TS being subscription and Photos.com being beginner level

The ideal model for them would be one site that could be configured to control different collections and price levels for all contributors and content. It would reduce operational costs (one sales, marketing, service, and IT team) and also probably be more desirable to buyers as a one-stop-shop. The fact that IS no longer has a dedicated CEO and the new GM is an E-Commerce Project Manager in a part time leadership role would indicate this is the direction they're headed. Consolidation of all sites to one common technology platform.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Noodles on October 26, 2011, 19:42
how many people commenting in here actually watched the interview?...never mind

I .................................................................................(extremely long pause).......................................................... agree :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on October 26, 2011, 19:47
I watched the whole thing from beginning to end. I thought KKT did a very poor job. Just because I have a negative opinion of him, what he did for iStock and this interview doesn't mean I'm out to get them. That's just my honest opinion. Other people's mileage may vary.

And having said many times that you feel people here are reflexively anti iStock, it's really rich, SNP, for you to throw out the idea that people might be commenting without watching. Talk about making wild assumptions...
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Noodles on October 26, 2011, 19:50
Consolidation of all sites to one common technology platform.

not sure because he said "its not about integration"  2.30
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Noodles on October 26, 2011, 19:52
I watched the whole thing from beginning to end. I thought KKT did a very poor job. Just because I have a negative opinion of him, what he did for iStock and this interview doesn't mean I'm out to get them. That's just my honest opinion. Other people's mileage may vary.

And having said many times that you feel people here are reflexively anti iStock, it's really rich, SNP, for you to throw out the idea that people might be commenting without watching. Talk about making wild assumptions...

I thought SNP made a fair comment because there was no "extremely long pause"
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 26, 2011, 19:53

Getty = High Value
IS = Medium Value
TS/Photos.com = Low Value/Beginner
The fact that IS no longer has a dedicated CEO and the new GM is an E-Commerce Project Manager in a part time leadership role would indicate this is the direction they're headed. Consolidation of all sites to one common technology platform.

I clipped your quote...sorry. but I think this sums up the direction I believe they're going in too. a massive imagery hub that leads to assets at all price points. in theory I don't think that's a bad model. in practice, however, experience tells us that they'll keep pitting us versus them. if they don't take care to keep contributors fairly compensated for performing...this model will not be sustainable for contributors, and we'll go elsewhere or return to traditional photography ventures.

if they take care to maintain contributor relationships, and consistently ensure long-term growth and a system of fair/achievable goals, they could do really well with this model...assuming they keep assets separate and not mirrored at various price points.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on October 26, 2011, 19:54
in particular, he emphasized how well beyond the competition iStock is in terms of revenue. you can deny that all you want. doesn't make it untrue.

How do you know that? What evidence do you have that there is any truth whatsoever in that statement? Because Kelly said so? How would he know how well other agencies are doing and what they're paying out anyway? Does he have a sizeable mature portfolio with them all? Even if he did actually know the truth (which I doubt) do you think he'd blurt out how badly IS are doing in a softly-softly 'interview'? Especially when you consider it all happened on his watch and he got fired because of it. How naive can you possibly be?

At the time of writing I have so far today sold a pathetic 9 images on IS for a paltry $9 or thereabouts. On SS I have sold 73 images and made $88 __ with the same portfolio. Yesterday I made almost exactly the same on each site but only because of a rare chunky EL on IS. The day before it was $49/32 in SS's favour. SS is spanking IS's bottom and pretty much every day the gap is growing. Whether you like it or not all the evidence I have suggests that IS is slowly (rapidly?) dying because they have pissed both their customers and their contributors off.

Just 'cos Kelly says so doesn't make it true.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Pixart on October 26, 2011, 20:00
Ugh __ it's even harder to listen to. I see he's adopted the silly Australian end-of-sentence uplift which makes statements sound like questions. (Example 03.06 "... we're just trying to align that a little bit better ?"). It's fine when spoken in an Australian accent but otherwise it is extremely irritating. It makes a middle-age bloke sound like an anxious 14-year old girl. Total lightweight and was clearly out of his depth running Istock.
Last time I skiied at Banff (just outside of Calgary) 95% of the staff were Australian so no doubt the accent has to have an effect.  But I think it's really a Western Canada thing, it's worse where I am.   
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on October 26, 2011, 20:01
I'm not interested in putting my content in Getty or Crapstock directly in any way.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 26, 2011, 20:04
in particular, he emphasized how well beyond the competition iStock is in terms of revenue. you can deny that all you want. doesn't make it untrue.

How do you know that? What evidence do you have that there is any truth whatsoever in that statement? Because Kelly said so? How would he know how well other agencies are doing and what they're paying out anyway? Does he have a sizeable mature portfolio with them all? Even if he did actually know the truth (which I doubt) do you think he'd blurt out how badly IS are doing in a softly-softly 'interview'? Especially when you consider it all happened on his watch and he got fired because of it. How naive can you possibly be?

At the time of writing I have so far today sold a pathetic 9 images on IS for a paltry $9 or thereabouts. On SS I have sold 73 images and made $88 __ with the same portfolio. Yesterday I made almost exactly the same on each site but only because of a rare chunky EL on IS. The day before it was $49/32 in SS's favour. SS is spanking IS's bottom and pretty much every day the gap is growing. Whether you like it or not all the evidence I have suggests that IS is slowly (rapidly?) dying because they have pissed both their customers and their contributors off.

Just 'cos Kelly says so doesn't make it true.

no evidence gostwyck. just consistent reporting over the years from people far more in the know than me. I realize we live in a culture of crooked CEOs and greedy corporate *insult removed*. and those stereotypes exist for a reason. I know that Getty's track record is mottled, and that's probably being kind. but I know what I've seen, I trust those contributors who've been around much longer than me, and I believe the overall data provided to us at events, otherwise they were bold-faced lying. these are decent people I'm talking about. I agree, however, that assuming the numbers are FABULOUS--that doesn't mean contributors are benefiting. their share of the pie keeps getting bigger and bigger, ours smaller. I also won't stand idly by and have my work stuck in programs I don't wish to participate in. so far exclusives still have the power to opt out. we'll see how long that lasts.

you'll see it however you wish. it's either true or it isn't and I have zero proof one way or the other.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on October 26, 2011, 20:04
Consolidation of all sites to one common technology platform.

not sure because he said "its not about integration"  2.30

It's at 3:20 and he continued by saying "there's no easy way to integrate them or make them work" and that it would take years.

I'm talking about consolidation, not integration. Build a completely new platform, or take an existing platform like IS or Getty, and consolidate the technology, functionality, and content on to one platform. It would be massively costly to do this, but so is probably running several independent companies that do the exact same thing.

 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cthoman on October 26, 2011, 20:35
how many people commenting in here actually watched the interview?...never mind

I watched it and I agree with you. Most of what he said was fairly accurate from iStcok's perspective. The company is a successful well oiled machine (compared to photos.com and other new properties) that pays its contributors a lot of money.

When you break those statements out from a contributors' perspective though, most of what he said seems fairly inaccurate and wrong. Especially with all the changes that have happened over the last year. Obviously, he's not going to do an interview where he focuses on falling income for artists, plunging royalty rates and RPDs, and a site that seems to have more technical problems and dead on arrival promises than all of the others combined. That would be an awesome interview to watch though.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Noodles on October 26, 2011, 20:35
Consolidation of all sites to one common technology platform.
not sure because he said "its not about integration"  2.30

It's at 3:20 and he continued by saying "there's no easy way to integrate them or make them work" and that it would take years.

I'm talking about consolidation, not integration. Build a completely new platform, or take an existing platform like IS or Getty, and consolidate the technology, functionality, and content on to one platform. It would be massively costly to do this, but so is probably running several independent companies that do the exact same thing.  

Integration, consolidation, yeah ok but I get your point. Setting up such a hub in someplace like India would make financial sense. Cheap servers, engineers, everything! Microstock and Digital Stock in general is ideal for such a location. Makes you wonder why it hasn't already been done.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on October 26, 2011, 21:08
I watched it and I agree with you. Most of what he said was fairly accurate from iStcok's perspective. The company is a successful well oiled machine (compared to photos.com and other new properties) that pays its contributors a lot of money.

When you break those statements out from a contributors' perspective though, most of what he said seems fairly inaccurate and wrong. Especially with all the changes that have happened over the last year. Obviously, he's not going to do an interview where he focuses on falling income for artists, plunging royalty rates and RPDs, and a site that seems to have more technical problems and dead on arrival promises than all of the others combined. That would be an awesome interview to watch though.

Is the correct answer. Good summary.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: hoi ha on October 26, 2011, 21:23
^^^^^ ditto
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on October 27, 2011, 00:59
That interview is hard to watch.

Ugh __ it's even harder to listen to. I see he's adopted the silly Australian end-of-sentence uplift which makes statements sound like questions. (Example 03.06 "... we're just trying to align that a little bit better ?"). It's fine when spoken in an Australian accent but otherwise it is extremely irritating. It makes a middle-age bloke sound like an anxious 14-year old girl. Total lightweight and was clearly out of his depth running Istock.

I agree with you on this. I also find it extremely irritating and it's epidemic in the UK. I know people who have talked normal all their life suddenly adopt this ridiculous habit.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: rubyroo on October 27, 2011, 02:50
How would he know how well other agencies are doing and what they're paying out anyway?

That is exactly what bugged me after watching that interview.  How could he possibly know that?

Other than that, to me he just seemed incredibly nervous, MUCH younger than I thought (having only seen photos before), and with thought processes that seem to hold up solely inside the Getty-verse.  I'm sure life is very rosy there, but unfortunately, the rest of us have to live outside it.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: grp_photo on October 27, 2011, 03:04
but I suspect he's terrible at interviewing in Italian too.
Yeah probably because he is German ;-)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ProArtwork on October 27, 2011, 06:18
Consolidation of all sites to one common technology platform.
not sure because he said "its not about integration"  2.30

It's at 3:20 and he continued by saying "there's no easy way to integrate them or make them work" and that it would take years.

I'm talking about consolidation, not integration. Build a completely new platform, or take an existing platform like IS or Getty, and consolidate the technology, functionality, and content on to one platform. It would be massively costly to do this, but so is probably running several independent companies that do the exact same thing.  

Integration, consolidation, yeah ok but I get your point. Setting up such a hub in someplace like India would make financial sense. Cheap servers, engineers, everything! Microstock and Digital Stock in general is ideal for such a location. Makes you wonder why it hasn't already been done.

It's not going to make the anti-outsourcing group happy!

Cost effective is one thing and cheap is another. In the end, you get what you paid for.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on October 27, 2011, 07:06
Consolidation of all sites to one common technology platform.
not sure because he said "its not about integration"  2.30

It's at 3:20 and he continued by saying "there's no easy way to integrate them or make them work" and that it would take years.

I'm talking about consolidation, not integration. Build a completely new platform, or take an existing platform like IS or Getty, and consolidate the technology, functionality, and content on to one platform. It would be massively costly to do this, but so is probably running several independent companies that do the exact same thing.  

Integration, consolidation, yeah ok but I get your point. Setting up such a hub in someplace like India would make financial sense. Cheap servers, engineers, everything! Microstock and Digital Stock in general is ideal for such a location. Makes you wonder why it hasn't already been done.

It's not going to make the anti-outsourcing group happy!

Cost effective is one thing and cheap is another. In the end, you get what you paid for.

Not necessarily. I regularly work with an offshore Indian company to develop .NET applications and they do excellent work.

Regarding anti-outsourcing, I understand the argument but in my situation I don't have a choice in the matter because my employer requires me to use them. For those who are negatively affected by outsourcing it's unfortunate but you either adapt, find a different career, or get in the unemployment line. As photographers we may face the same issue at some point.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cathyslife on October 27, 2011, 07:54
Regarding anti-outsourcing, I understand the argument but in my situation I don't have a choice in the matter because my employer requires me to use them. For those who are negatively affected by outsourcing it's unfortunate but you either adapt, find a different career, or get in the unemployment line. As photographers we may face the same issue at some point.

I understand what you are saying and to a certain degree I agree, but it's pretty tough for the millions already standing in the unemployment line to get a different career. There are only so many companies offering careers where outsourcing wouldn't come into play, and I think the number of people looking for jobs and that as a new career overshadows that tremendously.

The only answer is to stop outsourcing, but again, it's not about helping the country or employees or unemployment. For the CEOs and top management, it's all about keeping what they personally already have at everyone else's expense.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 27, 2011, 11:21
but I suspect he's terrible at interviewing in Italian too.
Yeah probably because he is German ;-)

rofl...my mistake, I wrongly assumed he was Italian being in Milan. same comment for German then.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Cogent Marketing on October 27, 2011, 15:49
I could not get past the 1m.30 seconds mark. What a ***** bag. If that guy was (is) one of the so-called execs running iSP no wonder they've gone down the toilet. Saying that, he probably comes over x10000 times better than Lobo would have. Everything seems so much clearer now.......
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 27, 2011, 15:51
I could not get past the 1m.30 seconds mark. What a ***** bag. If that guy was (is) one of the so-called execs running iSP no wonder they've gone down the toilet. Saying that, he probably comes over x10000 times better than Lobo would have. Everything seems so much clearer now.......

classy
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Cogent Marketing on October 27, 2011, 15:59
Sorry SNP. I cannot quote and reply to you as I'm one of the 32 that have you on ignore. Had to log out to see your comment and then log back in again.

Classy? probably not but I'm not one of the sycophantic exclusive istock lovers that troll this site (and not just this forum). I say as I find. Istock execs and admins are cr*p. Period.
If you're too blind to see that well that's your problem not mine.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: loop on October 27, 2011, 16:04
Sorry SNP. I cannot quote and reply to you as I'm one of the 32 that have you on ignore. Had to log out to see your comment and then log back in again.

Classy? probably not but I'm not one of the sycophantic exclusive istock lovers that troll this site (and not just this forum). I say as I find. Istock execs and admins are cr*p. Period.
If you're too blind to see that well that's your problem not mine.

Your own words tell a lot about you.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: michaeldb on October 27, 2011, 16:11
The only answer is to stop outsourcing...
Um, I think microstocking is outsourcing (the real meaning of which is getting the company's work done by sources outside the company). We should be careful what we wish for?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Cogent Marketing on October 27, 2011, 16:13
Sorry SNP. I cannot quote and reply to you as I'm one of the 32 that have you on ignore. Had to log out to see your comment and then log back in again.

Classy? probably not but I'm not one of the sycophantic exclusive istock lovers that troll this site (and not just this forum). I say as I find. Istock execs and admins are cr*p. Period.
If you're too blind to see that well that's your problem not mine.

Your own words tell a lot about you.
Anons comments don't count. Another one going down the troll shoot....
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: loop on October 27, 2011, 16:22
Wow, now you decide what counts and what don't. Such a big boy. What will be next? Comments from photographers with scarce/pitiful portfolios don't count? Comments from istock exclusives don't count?
Well, I don't know if I will be able to sleep this night thingking that I'm in your troll/ignore list. And thinhking about all this work, logging in and logging out. Terrible.
But don't fear, I won't put you in my ignore list, because I find your comments highly entertaining.  
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cthoman on October 27, 2011, 16:22
The only answer is to stop outsourcing...
Um, I think microstocking is outsourcing (the real meaning of which is getting the company's work done by sources outside the company). We should be careful what we wish for?

LOL. Yeah, don't stop outsourcing. I enjoy all my foreign and freelance clients. They are pleasure to work with and I wish I had more.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on October 27, 2011, 17:18
For anyone who doesn't know it, there's a "show" button on the posts of anyone you are ignoring.  You don't have to log out and login to read them.  Convenient :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: loop on October 27, 2011, 17:32
Oh, thanks. Never saw it. Maybe because I'm not in the ignore business.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 27, 2011, 18:23
The only answer is to stop outsourcing...
Um, I think microstocking is outsourcing (the real meaning of which is getting the company's work done by sources outside the company). We should be careful what we wish for?

LOL. Yeah, don't stop outsourcing. I enjoy all my foreign and freelance clients. They are pleasure to work with and I wish I had more.

I agree--love working with freelancers and as a freelancer. isn't everything outsourced these days anyways? people don't stay in one company long enough to justify training costs...better ROI with outsourcing
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on October 27, 2011, 18:32
Regarding anti-outsourcing, I understand the argument but in my situation I don't have a choice in the matter because my employer requires me to use them. For those who are negatively affected by outsourcing it's unfortunate but you either adapt, find a different career, or get in the unemployment line. As photographers we may face the same issue at some point.

I understand what you are saying and to a certain degree I agree, but it's pretty tough for the millions already standing in the unemployment line to get a different career. There are only so many companies offering careers where outsourcing wouldn't come into play, and I think the number of people looking for jobs and that as a new career overshadows that tremendously.

The only answer is to stop outsourcing, but again, it's not about helping the country or employees or unemployment. For the CEOs and top management, it's all about keeping what they personally already have at everyone else's expense.

And that's the problem. Everybody has become so lax at survival because they know if they fall down the government will pay them to stay on the ground. There is no more self accountability. Why do people need to wait until they're in the unemployment line to decide it's time for a career change? They couldn't tell it was coming? When over the past X years their coworkers have been being let go. Or the news is saying their industry will take a beating for the next X years. I changed careers when I saw my existing career was a dead end to hard times. Sure enough, people in that industry are facing a pretty slim future. I'm doing pretty well.

How do you stop outsourcing? Or how do you stop others from outsourcing? Should I tell my boss? "Hey boss, I think it's terrible that we're paying good developers $25 per hour when we could be paying local ones $100." What do you think the response would be?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on October 27, 2011, 19:36
Regarding anti-outsourcing, I understand the argument but in my situation I don't have a choice in the matter because my employer requires me to use them. For those who are negatively affected by outsourcing it's unfortunate but you either adapt, find a different career, or get in the unemployment line. As photographers we may face the same issue at some point.


I understand what you are saying and to a certain degree I agree, but it's pretty tough for the millions already standing in the unemployment line to get a different career. There are only so many companies offering careers where outsourcing wouldn't come into play, and I think the number of people looking for jobs and that as a new career overshadows that tremendously.

The only answer is to stop outsourcing, but again, it's not about helping the country or employees or unemployment. For the CEOs and top management, it's all about keeping what they personally already have at everyone else's expense.


And that's the problem. Everybody has become so lax at survival because they know if they fall down the government will pay them to stay on the ground. There is no more self accountability. Why do people need to wait until they're in the unemployment line to decide it's time for a career change? They couldn't tell it was coming? When over the past X years their coworkers have been being let go. Or the news is saying their industry will take a beating for the next X years. I changed careers when I saw my existing career was a dead end to hard times. Sure enough, people in that industry are facing a pretty slim future. I'm doing pretty well.

How do you stop outsourcing? Or how do you stop others from outsourcing? Should I tell my boss? "Hey boss, I think it's terrible that we're paying good developers $25 per hour when we could be paying local ones $100." What do you think the response would be?


The answer?

Who who ha ha ha ha ha

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/16/Drevil_million_dollars.jpg/200px-Drevil_million_dollars.jpg)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: jamesbenet on October 27, 2011, 19:39
I thought the interview was ok and a bit revealing to the future.

If you put yourself in the shoes of admins or Kelly they are doing quite ok in the company and climbing.  If you look at it through contributor eyes everything seems nasty especially if you've been affected by the changes.

In this economy who can really blame any of them for following the corporate road map. In the end its every man/woman for himself in this business.  The sooner you accept that fact the faster you will react to what will happen in the future.  Kelly is a success in Klein's and his own eyes. He got rewarded with a new VP job.  At this pace the guy could retire in 5-10 years without a care in the world.  Why would he want to honor the past promises when clearly what the future holds for him is quite rosy.  

While the plan is to sell less at a higher price while maximizing profits this is not uncommon in a capitalist enterprise.
What is uncommon is we contributors feeling betrayed and basing some unattainable expectations on the company. Sure they could do the right thing and get back on the do no evil footing but we all know that is probably a train that left the station long ago.  

If you haven't made up your mind of staying or leaving; I think it's a good a time as any to ponder that question.

I still believe iStock will be in the top tier for the foreseeable future. But it could go the same as Netflix, one stroke to many broke the camel's back.  Things can change in an instant and this could be a very different playing field 5-10 years from now.  

Choose wisely!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 27, 2011, 19:40
@pauliewalnuts: it's the same argument for buying locally produced food and products. people will always focus on short-term savings and instant gratification profit versus development and sustainability. we don't think in terms of the environmental and economic impact of outsourcing...we see the cost savings first. when I was just out of university and working my first corporate job, the issue of outsourcing was just coming into the foreground...specifically regarding call centres. then it was outsourcing training and skill development. then marketing materials and programming...and so on. that was 17 years ago and here we are now in a world where most of us buy goods produced in China, assembled at home so that they can slap on a Made in USA/Canada sticker and no one is the wiser.

I know I'm oversimplifying it, but it all comes down to how we consume. consumers run the world.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on October 27, 2011, 20:09
...In this economy who can really blame any of them for following the corporate road map. In the end its every man/woman for himself in this business.  ...

I don't think a poor economy is an excuse for lapses in ethics.

In particular, the promise of grandfathering royalty levels, people acting on that promise and then you later say "oh, never mind" and don't grandfather anything.

That, in my book, isn't just following a corporate road map but amoral and unethical behavior. It's not illegal, but it's scummy business practice. Some businesses don't care about anything but staying on the right side of the law, but I can certainly blame anyone who has no higher ethical standard than "it's OK as long as it isn't clearly illegal".
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on October 27, 2011, 20:15
Kelly is a success in Klein's and his own eyes. He got rewarded with a new VP job.  

Ah __ I hadn't realised that. I thought he just got demoted and moved 3000 miles from his home because that was a much cheaper option for Getty than paying him off (essentially hoping he'd resign in disgust). I wasn't aware that moving from a COO position, with full responsibility for P&L, to become a VP in the backwaters of the group represented a 'reward'. Who'd have thought it?

Personally, like others, I was absolutely stunned to finally see and hear the words of the 'Dear Leader' in all his glory. Unfortunately not in a good way. How on earth did he ever get promoted out of the mail room where he clearly belongs?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 27, 2011, 20:17
I'm not in any way making an argument that it is ethical...they have gone back on promises, unequivocally. playing devil's advocate though, they said they would grandfather canister levels, not royalty levels. canisters haven't been changed. royalties.......clearly have.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on October 27, 2011, 21:29
I'm not in any way making an argument that it is ethical...they have gone back on promises, unequivocally. playing devil's advocate though, they said they would grandfather canister levels, not royalty levels. canisters haven't been changed. royalties.......clearly have.

Very noble of them, grandfathering the now meaningless canister graphics and not the royalty rates.  ::)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 27, 2011, 23:16
I'm not suggesting it was noble in the least, nor am I implying agreement with any of it. but the promise was regarding canisters, not royalties. technically no promise was broken. separating royalties from canister levels was pretty slick....and it made the direction they're taking very clear. at least we know where we stand now and that the game is one of semantics and distrust. we're not the community we were. business is business and that's how contributors need to think too.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Graffoto on October 28, 2011, 00:01
Look this is how the world (and Getty) works: (note - Adult Language).
George Carlin - You are a slave (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB-HZG1Zh7s#ws)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 28, 2011, 00:03
Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that. ~ George Carlin was brilliant
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: franckreporter on October 28, 2011, 02:15
sorry folks....but what happened tonight (european night) on istock ? my sales overnight are tanked ! about 80% less than a regular night
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on October 28, 2011, 02:34
sorry folks....but what happened tonight (european night) on istock ? my sales overnight are tanked ! about 80% less than a regular night

Its taken a walk on the wild side! ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on October 28, 2011, 03:50
My regular night is either zero or one sale and I'm not doing much better by day.  The sales page used to be filled with sales from the one day this time of the year.  Now it takes about a week to fill it.  A huge crash in sales and earnings.  I hope they change the best match or my earnings there might not be worth the stress of having a portfolio on Thinkstock.  I've only stuck with them because I need the money, they need to make me more or I'll be reconsidering my decision.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Zerkalo on October 28, 2011, 05:49
In the last couple of days I don't get any download during European working hours. All the downloads happen when Americas start to work and stops on European morning hours. Does anybody else experiencing this pattern?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 28, 2011, 08:28
In the last couple of days I don't get any download during European working hours. All the downloads happen when Americas start to work and stops on European morning hours. Does anybody else experiencing this pattern?

I'm having most of my sales from Europe, but then again I don't offer fake looking models (absurdly white teeth, tons of silicone etc). Of course it may be something completely different in your case, but it's obviously you don't offer what European buyers need.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: loop on October 28, 2011, 08:32
I think it's a thing of this Regional Best Match. I'm in Europe and I'm selling well in Europe (and also in Asian hours, god knows why), but my sales in USA could be better.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on October 28, 2011, 09:52
... they said they would grandfather canister levels, not royalty levels. canisters haven't been changed. royalties.......clearly have.

I'm aware that they relied on this verbal gymnastics feat to try and avoid acknowledgement of the damaging and unethical change. However a halfway decent lawyer could probably make a very good case that as there was no separation of cannisters from royalties at the time the promise was made that it was clear iStock was expecting contributors to assume that grandfathering cannisters meant grandfathering all of the then-attributes of cannisters, not just the icon. If anyone knew that the royalties would have been separated from the icons, would anyone have participated in the program to quit being independent and get grandfathered? Obviously not as it would have been completely meaningless.

I don't think this would even pass legal muster and it certainly doesn't pass ethical muster.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on October 28, 2011, 10:39
...However a halfway decent lawyer could probably make a very good case that as there was no separation of cannisters from royalties at the time the promise was made that it was clear iStock was expecting contributors to assume that grandfathering cannisters meant grandfathering all of the then-attributes of cannisters, not just the icon. If anyone knew that the royalties would have been separated from the icons, would anyone have participated in the program to quit being independent and get grandfathered? Obviously not as it would have been completely meaningless...

Exactly. It was a dirty trick.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 28, 2011, 11:25
I agree. but legally I don't think they'd have any problem with it. anyways, we agree that it was unethical and it has clearly signaled the direction they're willing to go in. and the price they are paying for it is distrust, and in some cases contributors pulling their assets. it's about reaching targets and the best way to reach their targets is reducing payouts to contributors. until a good number of major contributors balk at these actions, nothing will change.

back on topic...sales are up and down, but more up than down. last week was fantastic. this week started off slow, but by Tuesday night was chugging away. Today is very good, well above average for this time of day.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on October 28, 2011, 11:44
I've sold one so far today, my week days are slower than weekends used to be, now I've got the Morrissey song "Everyday Is Like Sunday" on my mind :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 28, 2011, 11:47
I've sold one so far today, my week days are slower than weekends used to be, now I've got the Morrissey song "Everyday Is Like Sunday" on my mind :)

My sales have been pathetic all the time, what I don't like is the fact they're stagnating most of the months, instead of raising like on most sites (unfortunately it's the same story with SS).
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lthn on October 28, 2011, 13:35
...In this economy who can really blame any of them for following the corporate road map. In the end its every man/woman for himself in this business.  ...

I don't think a poor economy is an excuse for lapses in ethics...


Actually the lapses in ethic are the reason for the poor economy.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lthn on October 28, 2011, 13:36
In the last couple of days I don't get any download during European working hours. All the downloads happen when Americas start to work and stops on European morning hours. Does anybody else experiencing this pattern?

I'm having most of my sales from Europe, but then again I don't offer fake looking models (absurdly white teeth, tons of silicone etc). Of course it may be something completely different in your case, but it's obviously you don't offer what European buyers need.

you mean you shoot ugly ppl with bad teeth, is that what you'r trying to say? : ))
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: stockastic on October 28, 2011, 13:57

you mean you shoot ugly ppl with bad teeth, is that what you'r trying to say? : ))

That's what I do at Christmas with the relatives.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 28, 2011, 14:24
In the last couple of days I don't get any download during European working hours. All the downloads happen when Americas start to work and stops on European morning hours. Does anybody else experiencing this pattern?

I'm having most of my sales from Europe, but then again I don't offer fake looking models (absurdly white teeth, tons of silicone etc). Of course it may be something completely different in your case, but it's obviously you don't offer what European buyers need.

you mean you shoot ugly ppl with bad teeth, is that what you'r trying to say? : ))

You see, that's what I'm talking about lol. What's american perception of beauty is clearly visible not only in show business, but also if you watch miss world etc; miss america usually is the most artificial, doll looking woman there. Not that it's anything wrong with that, it's just how it is and what the rest of the world considers fake and is not buying.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 28, 2011, 14:53
what the rest of the world considers fake and is not buying.

I'm not sure they aren't buying it. I saw a poster from a european perfume company the other day where the model's features were so smoothed over that her hand actually looked like a prosthetic limb. Either that or they are using war victims to promote perfume these days but I rather doubt it.

Seriously, though, different "looks" will appeal to different markets. Some populations have strong national characteristics so the melting-pot American advertising ideal won't fit.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: fotografer on October 28, 2011, 15:46
Sorry SNP. I cannot quote and reply to you as I'm one of the 32 that have you on ignore. Had to log out to see your comment and then log back in again.

No need to log out, just press the 'show' button on the right hand side above the post.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 28, 2011, 16:34
I saw a poster from a european perfume company the other day where the model's features were so smoothed over that her hand actually looked like a prosthetic limb. Either that or they are using war victims to promote perfume these days but I rather doubt it.

that's exactly what super-skin-smoothed models look like in cosmetics ads...perfect analogy....
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: travelstock on October 28, 2011, 20:46
sorry folks....but what happened tonight (european night) on istock ? my sales overnight are tanked ! about 80% less than a regular night

Not quite sure but I had a lot more sales for a Friday than normal. I think there is probably some localised best match testing going on - I had a similar experience on Monday night where sales just stopped for 8 hours durring part of the US daytime, but I couldn't see any change in the best match here.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: nico_blue on October 28, 2011, 23:35
each week keeps getting worse and worse for me... i'm now down about 40% in weekly $ earnings from 'normal'.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: blamb on October 29, 2011, 01:49
each week keeps getting worse and worse for me... i'm now down about 40% in weekly $ earnings from 'normal'.

Yeah, I'm roughly down about that amount .... from 'the good times'. I imagine there will be an Oct results thread on the Illustration forum on Tuesday since a premature one has already been locked.  It'll be interesting to hear what the damage is.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on October 29, 2011, 02:17
Yeah but they are all down, exclusives as well, the four Diamond exclusives I know and chat with are all down between 30-40% and all their friends are down.
Its been a downhill trend for over two years, so whats the surprise? and a quick look at the best match and interface and how the buyers are forced to search, well?  its easy to see why its down.
Thats the way they want it?  let them have it.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: admin on October 29, 2011, 02:34
1 post (and a few replies to that post) was removed from this thread for unnecessary (rude / racist / crude) content and the original poster temporarily banned.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 29, 2011, 04:15
each week keeps getting worse and worse for me... i'm now down about 40% in weekly $ earnings from 'normal'.

Do you think IS has become so greedy, that is keeping everyone, besides a small number of carefully handpicked and those who made deals, from getting 40%? Because a lot of top contributors are reporting similar slumps
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Difydave on October 29, 2011, 04:54
each week keeps getting worse and worse for me... i'm now down about 40% in weekly $ earnings from 'normal'.
Same here. This is my fourth really bad week now. The last three have been rescued at least to some extent by ELs and the PP. This week has been bad though.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: FD on October 29, 2011, 06:03
Sorry SNP. I cannot quote and reply to you as I'm one of the 32 that have you on ignore.
Why would anybody ignore SNP? As a rule I don't ignore women since even when they're singing like the Queen of the Night in Mozart's Enchanted Flute, they still have something interesting to say. Apart from that and contrary to gossip, I like women in general. ;-)
By the way, you don't have to log out to read the posts of a blocked poster. Just hit the show button.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: FD on October 29, 2011, 06:06
each week keeps getting worse and worse for me... i'm now down about 40% in weekly $ earnings from 'normal'.
Me thinks this is very significant. Nico_blue is one of the most flabbergasting artists on iStock.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on October 29, 2011, 07:17
As its going to be really hard for exclusives to drop the crown and get their portfolios on the other sites, I wonder if a bunch of them will eventually decide to get together and start their own site?  If they want to remain exclusive to one site but their earnings are tanking with istock, that seems like a possible option.

Just imaging the top 100 istock exclusives working together on this, I'm sure they could do really well quite quickly.  If the istock ship is sinking, why stay on it?  The top exclusives might of been treated better by istock but they are still going to struggle if more and more buyers leave.

It would be really hard to start a new site but the benefits of not having to pay investors a huge amount of the profits, being able to control prices and where images are sold might outweigh the difficulties.  I really wouldn't be surprised to see it happen.

The other option would be for one of the other current big sites to come up with a good exclusive deal but I would of thought that might of happened by now, if they were interested.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Freedom on October 29, 2011, 07:31
This Friday was really terrible. Thursday was ok. The previous Friday was surprisingly good. They must be tweaking the best match.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: StanRohrer on October 29, 2011, 07:48
I am reasonably convinced the current Best Match has some sort of daily change to the algorithm.  That change is intended to stir up images that got buried by the old best match.  Some days I see a few images sold that haven't sold in years.  Other days I see extremely low sales (perhaps for years I didn't contribute much).  So this best match may be "set" but it includes auto changing components on a day by day basis.  My opinion.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Difydave on October 29, 2011, 08:42
I am reasonably convinced the current Best Match has some sort of daily change to the algorithm.  That change is intended to stir up images that got buried by the old best match.  Some days I see a few images sold that haven't sold in years.  Other days I see extremely low sales (perhaps for years I didn't contribute much).  So this best match may be "set" but it includes auto changing components on a day by day basis.  My opinion.
I think you're right. the order of my own PF was quite different the other morning to later in the afternoon when it looked more "normal". When the best match was changed less often, my sales normally used to take a day or two to get back to normal afterwards. I don't have any idea why, but I saw it happen lots of times. With these rapid changes now, nothing has a chance to settle down. I wouldn't mind quite as much if the best match was giving the occasional really good day, but that hasn't been happening recently.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: browndogstudios on October 29, 2011, 12:01
Same thing here, sales down about 40-50%. September was okay, but October hasn't been great, and I'm on a downward trend since May, which was a great month. Shutterstock seems to be catching up in terms of traffic, which might be why istock is looking for ways to increase profits. Time to form a union? ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: asiseeit on October 29, 2011, 16:19
This Friday was really terrible. Thursday was ok. The previous Friday was surprisingly good. They must be tweaking the best match.

In the US, world series game 7 was Friday night. Things like that affect sales too :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: contrastaddict on October 29, 2011, 16:54
each week keeps getting worse and worse for me... i'm now down about 40% in weekly $ earnings from 'normal'.

could this be from increased competition? I don't see competition talked about to often on here, and was just curious what everyones take on it was.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 29, 2011, 17:24
For competition to do that the collection would need to have almost doubled in size in a matter of months.
A combination of new collections (that's competition), changed search engine algorithms, deliberate redirection of buyers to other member sites, buyers quitting because they don't like the pricing/search results/whatever and reduced advertising budgets due to the recession is probably the answer
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 29, 2011, 17:57
For competition to do that the collection would need to have almost doubled in size in a matter of months.
A combination of new collections (that's competition), changed search engine algorithms, deliberate redirection of buyers to other member sites, buyers quitting because they don't like the pricing/search results/whatever and reduced advertising budgets due to the recession is probably the answer

+frustrated contributors submitting less, meaning they are not as up to date as some other sites like SS
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gbalex on October 29, 2011, 18:07
sorry folks....but what happened tonight (european night) on istock ? my sales overnight are tanked ! about 80% less than a regular night

Not quite sure but I had a lot more sales for a Friday than normal. I think there is probably some localised best match testing going on - I had a similar experience on Monday night where sales just stopped for 8 hours durring part of the US daytime, but I couldn't see any change in the best match here.

I agree with you, I am sure IS is not only site using search algorithms fine tuned to localized markets based on ROI database datamining and I would not be at all surprised to see them manipulate search algorithms based on payout scales.

The visible analytic's the sites use on the buyer side are getting fatter and more sophisticated every year!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: nico_blue on October 29, 2011, 21:02
I think the change was pretty sudden for me sometime halfway through september so I would say it's either something istock has been doing with the best match or otherwise they must have lost some huge contract or a number of big contracts at the same time. If things don't improve in November and early December I will have to start exploring my options, the current relationship is beginning to look unsustainable.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: asiseeit on October 29, 2011, 22:14
I think the change was pretty sudden for me sometime halfway through september so I would say it's either something istock has been doing with the best match or otherwise they must have lost some huge contract or a number of big contracts at the same time. If things don't improve in November and early December I will have to start exploring my options, the current relationship is beginning to look unsustainable.

So your concern is about a change over the last 6 weeks? How are your numbers for the year compared to last year Jan-Oct? Full disclosure - summer was good but lower than I expected. However, my Oct sales are up from September and from Oct last year, although I have noticed the best match tweaks every few days.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on October 29, 2011, 22:15
I think the change was pretty sudden for me sometime halfway through september so I would say it's either something istock has been doing with the best match or otherwise they must have lost some huge contract or a number of big contracts at the same time. If things don't improve in November and early December I will have to start exploring my options, the current relationship is beginning to look unsustainable.

40% suddenly...brutal. I remember how that felt when it happened to me in 2008, and my volume of sales then would have been absolutely nothing compared to yours. since the shift was sudden in your case, it certainly seems to point to a search change, best match shift or as you said, loss of business somewhere. since you are both a vector artist and photographer, do you mind stating if you've lost sales in both media?

I'm sure I don't have anywhere near your volume of sales, but I've seen very steady and slightly growing dl numbers consistently since the spring. besides some very bad days here and there, during which I inevitably worry about a long best match drought.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on October 30, 2011, 06:32

I agree with you, I am sure IS is not only site using search algorithms fine tuned to localized markets based on ROI database datamining and I would not be at all surprised to see them manipulate search algorithms based on payout scales.

The visible analytic's the sites use on the buyer side are getting fatter and more sophisticated every year!

If they ever did this it would be an extremely severe breach of trust. Basically you are saying if you are higher up in the payout scale, istock will slow you down and show your files less in a best match search and push files from a contributor on a lower percentage level.

They already have the RC system that allows them to decide how many 40% artist they want to have, by increasing the targets anyway they like, but to then add another "filter"/downgrade via best match would be terrible.

So many people on the team are contributors as well, it would demorailze anyone if best match got abused that way.

It would probably also be very difficult to keep something like this a secret.

No, I just cannot imagine them doing that.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Difydave on October 30, 2011, 07:54

I agree with you, I am sure IS is not only site using search algorithms fine tuned to localized markets based on ROI database datamining and I would not be at all surprised to see them manipulate search algorithms based on payout scales.

The visible analytic's the sites use on the buyer side are getting fatter and more sophisticated every year!

If they ever did this it would be an extremely severe breach of trust. Basically you are saying if you are higher up in the payout scale, istock will slow you down and show your files less in a best match search and push files from a contributor on a lower percentage level.

They already have the RC system that allows them to decide how many 40% artist they want to have, by increasing the targets anyway they like, but to then add another "filter"/downgrade via best match would be terrible.

So many people on the team are contributors as well, it would demorailze anyone if best match got abused that way.

It would probably also be very difficult to keep something like this a secret.

No, I just cannot imagine them doing that.
No one really knows. A lot of people are seeing a significant drop though. This must be either a drop in overall sales at iStock, or a drop for a significant number of people, a lot of whom seem to be on higher royalty rates. You can see why with the way things have gone in the last 12 months that people might think the worst, particularly when you think about things like how the wording of the agreement was changed to "distributor" from "agent", freeing them (in my opinion at least) of any need for treating all their contributors equally.
I'm not saying they are actually doing anything to boost sales of the content they prefer to sell, just that past performance shows they are capable of doing whatever it takes to maximise their own profits.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cathyslife on October 30, 2011, 08:08
No one really knows. A lot of people are seeing a significant drop though. This must be either a drop in overall sales at iStock, or a drop for a significant number of people, a lot of whom seem to be on higher royalty rates. You can see why with the way things have gone in the last 12 months that people might think the worst, particularly when you think about things like how the wording of the agreement was changed to "distributor" from "agent", freeing them (in my opinion at least) of any need for treating all their contributors equally.
I'm not saying they are actually doing anything to boost sales of the content they prefer to sell, just that past performance shows they are capable of doing whatever it takes to maximise their own profits.

No one really does know but I agree with you. I personally don't believe anything would be out of bounds, as long as their profits improve.

So many people on the team are contributors as well, it would demorailze anyone if best match got abused that way.


It wouldn't demoralize if those contributors were included in the benefits. As far as keeping it a secret, I think the threat of losing their job and meal ticket would serve as a little incentive to keep their mouth shut. No one is going to complain or squeal if they are reaping benefits. And really, they would be in the same boat as us...they might suspect this is going on, but no way to prove. And the people who might actually know for a fact, I am sure, are wrapped up tightly in confidentiality agreements and job loss threats as well.

The problem is, with all the facts that contributors on the forums have gleaned from their own sales figures, this is the only conclusion that one can come to. Do you have another explanation for why things have started happening this way? That's kind of the problem...it's the only rational explanation for why things are happening as they are.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Sadstock on October 30, 2011, 08:23

I agree with you, I am sure IS is not only site using search algorithms fine tuned to localized markets based on ROI database datamining and I would not be at all surprised to see them manipulate search algorithms based on payout scales.

The visible analytic's the sites use on the buyer side are getting fatter and more sophisticated every year!

If they ever did this it would be an extremely severe breach of trust. Basically you are saying if you are higher up in the payout scale, istock will slow you down and show your files less in a best match search and push files from a contributor on a lower percentage level.

They already have the RC system that allows them to decide how many 40% artist they want to have, by increasing the targets anyway they like, but to then add another "filter"/downgrade via best match would be terrible.

So many people on the team are contributors as well, it would demorailze anyone if best match got abused that way.

It would probably also be very difficult to keep something like this a secret.

No, I just cannot imagine them doing that.


-------------------------------------

So few people know how best match works and I think they have the technology to manipulate this data easily with just a few senior people and an IT tech or two.   It really is a question of trust, which I have very little of.  Are they actually doing it?  I've no idea.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on October 30, 2011, 08:25
I tend to agree with Dave and Cathy.  There is no reason to assume that the search engine is NOT being manipulated to lower the RC levels of the top (most expensive) contributors.   It has been manipulated for years to put the most profitable content in front of buyers.  As for being a huge breach of trust, sure it is, but that's nothing new for Istock.  Remember the canister grandfathering?  And the canisters being unlinked to royalties?  And the royalty rates being slashed for audio, and vectors?  And nobody being forced into the partner program?  And future frauds will not be deducted from contributor balances?  The list of their violations of trust goes on and on.  
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on October 30, 2011, 09:12
Yes, I remember the canister grandfathering. You are perfectly right to point that out. Also the dropping of rates, especially on V/A content, cancelling of punctum day etc...

But at this point I still believe it has to do with the amazing drop in sales volume, which is clearly visible with the traffic stats. It is the pink elephant in the room that istock is not talking about.

The October sales thread is coming up, letīs see what the results are. I find it very worrying that Nico is reporting such a large drop.

My own sales are steady but on a very low level. I was expecting a strong upswing for xmas, but donīt really see it yet. My blue flame xmas bestseller has dropped from the first pages of best match, but it still one of the top 20 files if you search by downloads. But it doesnīt look like many people do this. However I still have other files in good positions, so if the customer volume was there it should be happy xmas. Letīs see what happens.

My portfolio on Getty is holding up much better although it is tiny and I didnīt have time to add much this year. That is why I will make a big focus on Getty next year.

Like everyone here, I just follow the money. If istock drops even more...I am trying not to think about that.

But I am learning video to offer a new type of digital products.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on October 30, 2011, 09:15
My sales this October have slowed right down the last few days to pathetic. As soon as I get to the end of November I am going to drop the crown and head for greener pastures with a lot of images that will sell well.

The pink elephant in the room has a loud megaphone, disco lights and still they ignore it.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on October 30, 2011, 10:09
I tend to agree with Dave and Cathy.  There is no reason to assume that the search engine is NOT being manipulated to lower the RC levels of the top (most expensive) contributors.   It has been manipulated for years to put the most profitable content in front of buyers.  As for being a huge breach of trust, sure it is, but that's nothing new for Istock.  Remember the canister grandfathering?  And the canisters being unlinked to royalties?  And the royalty rates being slashed for audio, and vectors?  And nobody being forced into the partner program?  And future frauds will not be deducted from contributor balances?  The list of their violations of trust goes on and on.  

I mentioned something similar a while back. Based on the current RC model it would be in IS's best financial interest to keep promoting files from lower RC level contributors. Which in effect would most likely negatively affect the upper tier RC people. And there's nothing preventing IS from intentionally throttling back people who are on track for the next RC level. Both would likely put more money per sale in IS's pocket. And increasing profits by any means seems to be their primary goal.

Couple other things I've noticed so far. I actually moved up in search placement pretty much across the board with this latest best match. For one popular category I now have quite a few images on the first page. But my sales after March dropped and after June have ranged from low to flat. So how could my best match results improved overall but sales are flat? Would seem to indicate buyer volume is down.

And the big forth quarter boost Kelly was touting isn't happening so far for me in Oct. Oct is even with Jan which is toward the bottom of both downloads and revenue volume this year.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on October 30, 2011, 11:33
I tend to agree with Dave and Cathy.  There is no reason to assume that the search engine is NOT being manipulated to lower the RC levels of the top (most expensive) contributors.   It has been manipulated for years to put the most profitable content in front of buyers.  As for being a huge breach of trust, sure it is, but that's nothing new for Istock.  Remember the canister grandfathering?  And the canisters being unlinked to royalties?  And the royalty rates being slashed for audio, and vectors?  And nobody being forced into the partner program?  And future frauds will not be deducted from contributor balances?  The list of their violations of trust goes on and on.  

Ah no! youre kidding, they wouldnt do such a thing?  would they? :o they are supposed to be religious people, arent they ::)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Graffoto on October 30, 2011, 11:58
I am a low canister level, and there is no bump up here. My sales have dropped by percentages approx. equal the the big players.
If it were not for a small handful of Getty sales the last couple of months, I would not have even reached a payout in either Sept. or Oct.
Contrast that with the previous year where I sometimes reached two payouts per month and on one rare month made four.

While I don't dismiss the possibility that manipulation is going on, I don't see it. I am inclined to believe that the buyers are just going elsewhere.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on October 30, 2011, 12:03
I am a low canister level, and there is no bump up here. My sales have dropped by percentages approx. equal the the big players.
If it were not for a small handful of Getty sales the last couple of months, I would not have even reached a payout in either Sept. or Oct.
Contrast that with the previous year where I sometimes reached two payouts per month and on one rare month made four.

While I don't dismiss the possibility that manipulation is going on, I don't see it. I am inclined to believe that the buyers are just going elsewhere.

+1
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on October 30, 2011, 12:54
I'm only just over the 17% redeemed credits level.  It would be impossible for me to reach the 18% level but my sales have still tanked.  I don't think they are manipulating the best match to stop people reaching the next RC level, its just a lousy best match and a lot of buyers seem to of gone elsewhere.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on October 30, 2011, 15:49
... I think they have the technology to manipulate this data easily with just a few senior people and an IT tech or two.   It really is a question of trust, which I have very little of.  Are they actually doing it?  I've no idea.

I think the conspiracy theorists are granting Istock's development team with way too much credit. If they were trying to manipulate the search results for their own benefit we would know about it because the entire search facility would have been broken for weeks.

Sales have tanked because buyers are choosing to do their shopping elsewhere. Pretty much all the internet traffic indicators prove that to be the case. Considering how Istock have treated both their customers and their contributors over the last couple of years it would only be surprising if sales were not tanking. Istock miscalculated that their growth would carry on forever. Expensive mistake. Greed, impatience and lies have done for them. That's all there is to it and there is no probably route back to the 'good times'. The only question now is at what level will sales at Istock stabilise.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: tee on November 02, 2011, 16:17
Might as well pile on here. October was the worst month in earnings for me since December 2008, and the worst month in number of downloads since April 2007. My first photos were posted in MARCH 2007! People have said it before and now I'll say it - this crown is getting heavy. At this point it's Vetta keeping me around, but that's about it, and I don't know for how much longer.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gbalex on November 02, 2011, 17:32
... I think they have the technology to manipulate this data easily with just a few senior people and an IT tech or two.   It really is a question of trust, which I have very little of.  Are they actually doing it?  I've no idea.

I think the conspiracy theorists are granting Istock's development team with way too much credit. If they were trying to manipulate the search results for their own benefit we would know about it because the entire search facility would have been broken for weeks.

Sales have tanked because buyers are choosing to do their shopping elsewhere. Pretty much all the internet traffic indicators prove that to be the case. Considering how Istock have treated both their customers and their contributors over the last couple of years it would only be surprising if sales were not tanking. Istock miscalculated that their growth would carry on forever. Expensive mistake. Greed, impatience and lies have done for them. That's all there is to it and there is no probably route back to the 'good times'. The only question now is at what level will sales at Istock stabilise.

LOL

Kinda like SS's

Thanks for the laugh, you do have a point!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on November 02, 2011, 21:12
...If things don't improve in November and early December I will have to start exploring my options...

Please don't. I'd rather not see your vectors showing up at other sites.

;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: blamb on November 03, 2011, 00:08
You're winking .... but we're all coming.  Soon.    ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cthoman on November 03, 2011, 00:14
You're winking .... but we're all coming.  Soon.    ;)

Bring it on! ...Oh, but please sign up with me as a referral.  ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Microstock Posts on November 03, 2011, 05:34
This Friday was really terrible. Thursday was ok. The previous Friday was surprisingly good. They must be tweaking the best match.

In the US, world series game 7 was Friday night. Things like that affect sales too :)

The World series? How did the UK do?  ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on November 03, 2011, 05:46
It looks like sales are peaking according to the poll results on the right. +0.16 up, that's pretty decent.

I'm thinking about becoming exclusive ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on November 03, 2011, 08:41
You're winking .... but we're all coming.  Soon.    ;)

I believe it. But you know what, as much as I hate the idea of more competition, I think this would be good for the industry. I've been saying for a while now that it would be good for the stock business if istock became a less significant player or went away completely, and that could happen quickly if they lose their exclusive advantage. My earnings may suffer a little due to an influx of images from former exclusives, but in the long run I think it's better for everyone if istock suffers.

Right now there's this mentality in the microstock world that if you follow istock's example you can jack up prices, grab more money from artists, and rake in more profits. It would send a powerful message to companies like Fotolia who seem keen on following istock's example if the istock strategy starts to cause the company to implode. These companies might change their philosophies if they see that the greedy practices of istock resulted in serious damage to the company.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gbalex on November 03, 2011, 10:13
You're winking .... but we're all coming.  Soon.    ;)

I believe it. But you know what, as much as I hate the idea of more competition, I think this would be good for the industry. I've been saying for a while now that it would be good for the stock business if istock became a less significant player or went away completely, and that could happen quickly if they lose their exclusive advantage. My earnings may suffer a little due to an influx of images from former exclusives, but in the long run I think it's better for everyone if istock suffers.

Right now there's this mentality in the microstock world that if you follow istock's example you can jack up prices, grab more money from artists, and rake in more profits. It would send a powerful message to companies like Fotolia who seem keen on following istock's example if the istock strategy starts to cause the company to implode. These companies might change their philosophies if they see that the greedy practices of istock resulted in serious damage to the company.

I agree, Istock found out the hard way, how many of its contributors were linked to the buyer communities or were buyers themselves.  It did not take long for  sentiment on the buyer and submitter side to change and word to spread.  It is a good wake up call for our communities as well, we are not so helpless as we believe ourselves to be. I do think there is room for higher pricing on premium product, however it has to be a win win for everyone involved.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on November 03, 2011, 16:54
You're winking .... but we're all coming.  Soon.    ;)

I believe it. But you know what, as much as I hate the idea of more competition, I think this would be good for the industry. I've been saying for a while now that it would be good for the stock business if istock became a less significant player or went away completely, and that could happen quickly if they lose their exclusive advantage. My earnings may suffer a little due to an influx of images from former exclusives, but in the long run I think it's better for everyone if istock suffers.

Right now there's this mentality in the microstock world that if you follow istock's example you can jack up prices, grab more money from artists, and rake in more profits. It would send a powerful message to companies like Fotolia who seem keen on following istock's example if the istock strategy starts to cause the company to implode. These companies might change their philosophies if they see that the greedy practices of istock resulted in serious damage to the company.

Really excellent points Mike.  I shudder to think of the hit my income is likely to take if a flood of top exclusives signs up at the other sites, but it certainly will be a cautionary tale for the other agencies.  To be honest, I think Istock's plummeting sales and traffic stats should already be giving the other sites something to think about. 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pro@stockphotos on November 03, 2011, 17:20
It appears if istock sales are plummeting then all the large independents who currently dominate the best match on the other sites will be competing on price only.  Then watch the race to the bottom on earnings.  There is a reason coke doesn't allow their exact same product to be sold in cheaper bottles on the same store shelves.  Istock woes began with the dutch indie and then became worse with the english zoo lady dominating best match against their exclusives. 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on November 03, 2011, 17:51
It appears if istock sales are plummeting then all the large independents who currently dominate the best match on the other sites will be competing on price only.  Then watch the race to the bottom on earnings.  There is a reason coke doesn't allow their exact same product to be sold in cheaper bottles on the same store shelves.  Istock woes began with the dutch indie and then became worse with the english zoo lady dominating best match against their exclusives. 

Can we have a translation?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 03, 2011, 17:55
It appears if istock sales are plummeting then all the large independents who currently dominate the best match on the other sites will be competing on price only.  Then watch the race to the bottom on earnings.   

It's not strictly about price. Istock got away with higher prices than others for years. It's also about not pissing off your buyers, who often just happen to be your contributors. Both IS and FT did precisely that and now they both appear to be suffering a similar fate, much to the benefit of SS and DT. The shift in traffic suggests to me that it's not about 'cheaper', it's actually about 'fairer'. If that is truly the case then IS and FT have created a big problem for themselves.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on November 03, 2011, 19:17
...Istock woes began with the dutch indie and then became worse with the english zoo lady dominating best match against their exclusives. 

I don't know what this means. I think it might be referring to Yuri Arcurs (who I think is Danish, not Dutch) and Monkey Business Images. In addition to those folks being highly successful for a long time prior to iStock's recent series of own goals - which would suggest that they weren't responsible for any decline - I think the mass of very talented iStock top-producer exclusives might take offense at the idea that two contributors were so good they just lost in a fair fight to better images.

How about all the Getty stuff in the Agency Collection that flooded iStock? The jacking up of Vetta prices so the content price levels would mesh (after which they had to have a Vetta sale with double the RCs for the lucky club members because sales tanked)? The endless broken site features...

Talk about revisionist history...
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on November 03, 2011, 21:24
...Istock woes began with the dutch indie and then became worse with the english zoo lady dominating best match against their exclusives.

istock woes began with steady price increases, to the point where they priced themselves out of microstock and into some sort of midstock business model. Then they piled on with Vetta, Agency, Plus systems, etc., and eventually had buyers' heads spinning with all of these crazy pricing tiers and double and triple digit credit costs per image. They also slowly pushed the cost per credit up beyond $1.50. They treated their customers like they were idiots who didn't know any better and couldn't do the basic math required to figure out that they were getting screwed.

And finally, just to put the icing on the whole thing, they cut contributor pay, grabbed back money from fraudulent purchases that should have been the responsibility of the company to cover, and are now instituting this forced-inclusion image distribution plan (ThinkStock et al), effectively burning most bridges with the very artists they need the support of. Oh, and then added insult to injury by asking us to participate in their new referral program to help bring in some new business to replace what is being lost.

Or I'm wrong, you're right, and it's all Yuri's fault. ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cthoman on November 03, 2011, 22:17
istock woes began with steady price increases, to the point where they priced themselves out of microstock and into some sort of midstock business model.

To be honest, I really don't know what you're talking about. Their vector pricing is still relatively competitive with other agencies. Yes, they top out at some high prices, but they are still between $15-$30 for most vectors. That's not much different than DT or single sales at SS.

I have no love for IS (I deleted my images there), but I just don't see your argument when it comes to outrageous pricing (for vectors at least). If anything, other agencies should probably be closer to their prices.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on November 04, 2011, 00:04
...To be honest, I really don't know what you're talking about. Their vector pricing is still relatively competitive with other agencies...

Sure, for vectors, especially relative to DT and a few others istock's pricing is comparable. Unfortunately for us, buyers are still mostly looking for photos, and they are driven by photo prices. It doesn't matter if vectors are similarly priced, if someone can't get a reasonably priced photo at istock they're taking all of their business elsewhere. And when you've got alternatives like StockFresh, BigStock, etc. that are much cheaper for both types of imagery, then I think it's safe to say that pricing has been a factor in buyers looking beyond istock.

I'm not saying that their vector pricing is crazy, but on the whole istock's pricing is quite high and it takes some significant work to find comparably priced photos. That's something that I'm sure has been an issue with buyers.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on November 04, 2011, 00:59
...Istock woes began with the dutch indie and then became worse with the english zoo lady dominating best match against their exclusives.  


I don't know what this means. I think it might be referring to Yuri Arcurs (who I think is Danish, not Dutch) and Monkey Business Images. In addition to those folks being highly successful for a long time prior to iStock's recent series of own goals - which would suggest that they weren't responsible for any decline - I think the mass of very talented iStock top-producer exclusives might take offense at the idea that two contributors were so good they just lost in a fair fight to better images.

How about all the Getty stuff in the Agency Collection that flooded iStock? The jacking up of Vetta prices so the content price levels would mesh (after which they had to have a Vetta sale with double the RCs for the lucky club members because sales tanked)? The endless broken site features...

Talk about revisionist history...


Interesting. If someone hadn't pointed it out (and without your very helpful translation) I never would have noticed that Monkeybusinessimages moved from #13 in July to currently #10 on IS. Nice work and not exactly slipping past some small time creative people. That's some major work.

Two of the top ten are non-exclusive? Did I get that right?

(http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg40/scaled.php?server=40&filename=istop10nov2011.jpg&res=medium)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 04, 2011, 01:40
Helix7!  makes a brillant point!  apart from that,  just look at the October earnings thread at IS. That says it all. The only ones reporting any form of increase are little bronze and silver members and thats the way IS, wants it, they are the faithful contributors of tomorrow. They cant fool the top-contributors anymore and the black-diamonds will stay anyway. The rescue will be in the smaller guys, untill they get bigger and impossible to manipulate and then... its time for a new lot, coming in,  its a numbers game.

Lisa!  no need to fear any top-exclusives coming to other sites and even if they did? look at their ports, 9 out of 10, all shoot lifestyles, almost identical imagery. They kill off each other.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: tee on November 04, 2011, 02:29
I'd sort of been ignoring my stats, but checked them out of curiosity because of all these shenanigans. I've been using a third-party site to track views and clicks for my most popular images:

(http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/3007/istockc.jpg)

Clicks actually haven't gone down too much (except for October, which saw a big drop), but views show quite a downward trend. Of course this is just for me, but I wonder who else shares similar results.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pro@stockphotos on November 04, 2011, 08:38
The point is "the #1 microstock guy in the world, heck maybe even the universe" is seeing a slip in sales.  I don't care about the other sites since my wagon is hitched to istock.  But if you look at every other site on the list to the right over there, you see the same independents dominating the best match on all sites.  Istock by allowing too many indies at the top of their best match seems to have to taken short term gain and now is experiencing long term pain.

 What I would not do as a buyer is buy any independent work from istock.   The same exact photos is way cheaper on the other sites that compete only on price.   Maybe the buyers are figuring this out.  So your dipping sales at istock is costing you $$$ too.  What else are they competing on if every indie is on there site with the same work.    If a can get the dutch candy bar for $.35 at X why would I pay $2.50 at Y if they are the same and they are. 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 04, 2011, 09:25
The point is "the #1 microstock guy in the world, heck maybe even the universe" is seeing a slip in sales.  I don't care about the other sites since my wagon is hitched to istock.  But if you look at every other site on the list to the right over there, you see the same independents dominating the best match on all sites.  Istock by allowing too many indies at the top of their best match seems to have to taken short term gain and now is experiencing long term pain.

 What I would not do as a buyer is buy any independent work from istock.   The same exact photos is way cheaper on the other sites that compete only on price.   Maybe the buyers are figuring this out.  So your dipping sales at istock is costing you $$$ too.  What else are they competing on if every indie is on there site with the same work.    If a can get the dutch candy bar for $.35 at X why would I pay $2.50 at Y if they are the same and they are. 

That suits me just fine. The images might be cheaper elsewhere but the % commission is far higher. If that's what is happening then it is costing Istock far more than me.

Of course you contradict your theory in your first statement anyway. If 'indies' are dominating the best match then it can only be due to buyers choosing to purchase their work at Istock rather than elsewhere __ which obviously disproves your second point.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RT on November 04, 2011, 09:40
If a can get the dutch candy bar for $.35 at X why would I pay $2.50 at Y if they are the same and they are. 

So you'll support all your images at iS being transferred to Thinkstock and then support all the iS buyers buying them via a Thinkstock subscription then?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on November 04, 2011, 09:44

 What I would not do as a buyer is buy any independent work from istock.   The same exact photos is way cheaper on the other sites that compete only on price.   Maybe the buyers are figuring this out.  So your dipping sales at istock is costing you $$$ too.  

If your theory were correct, then why are the top exclusives reporting big drops in sales and declining income?  

The thing that's getting lost in this discussion is that buyers aren't all that price sensitive at microstock prices.  Service and convenience are huge factors, and Istock's customer service and site usability took a huge dive, at the same time as the prices of the most visible images in the best match jumped tenfold.  A very bad combination.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on November 04, 2011, 09:49
...Istock by allowing too many indies at the top of their best match seems to have to taken short term gain and now is experiencing long term pain....
I very much doubt that's the reason why buyers have left.  I think buyers have left because there's too many different prices.  They find what they want and its too expensive.  The search changes all the time, nothing seems to be stable.  They can filter by price now but it took too long to get that and they end up with just independents images that they can see much more of on the other sites.  The upload limits and low commissions mean that the other sites have a lot more to offer from independents than istock.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: a1bercik on November 04, 2011, 09:55
The answer is very simple - customers have a price sliders. And a choice of course - after all these troubles with overpriced flood (we call it 'sheet').
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on November 04, 2011, 10:04
I'd like to see stats on how many buyers are actually using the price slider. I don't think it is obvious to buyers and I doubt they are using it much.  Totally defies the KISS rule.  Much like the CV and the various other search functionalities, it requires too much effort to learn and is probably just confusing to buyers. 

Other sites are much more simple to use.  It's no coincidence that the site seeing the biggest jump in sales is the one that uses a simple, effective search and presents all images at the same price. 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 04, 2011, 10:07
The answer is very simple - customers have a price sliders. And a choice of course - after all these troubles with overpriced flood (we call it 'sheet').

Rubbish!  it was meant to fool customers into thinking it was a quality-slider but they didnt buy that stuff and saw as good images on other major sites,  consequently, nobody use the stupid thing.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on November 04, 2011, 10:22
I'd like to see stats on how many buyers are actually using the price slider. I don't think it is obvious to buyers and I doubt they are using it much.  Totally defies the KISS rule.  Much like the CV and the various other search functionalities, it requires too much effort to learn and is probably just confusing to buyers. 

Other sites are much more simple to use.  It's no coincidence that the site seeing the biggest jump in sales is the one that uses a simple, effective search and presents all images at the same price. 

I would venture they are using it, since the "How do I hide V/A images" posts have dropped to zero since it's introduction.  Ok, maybe there was one.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pro@stockphotos on November 04, 2011, 10:55
...Istock by allowing too many indies at the top of their best match seems to have to taken short term gain and now is experiencing long term pain....
I very much doubt that's the reason why buyers have left.  I think buyers have left because there's too many different prices.  They find what they want and its too expensive.  The search changes all the time, nothing seems to be stable.  They can filter by price now but it took too long to get that and they end up with just independents images that they can see much more of on the other sites.  The upload limits and low commissions mean that the other sites have a lot more to offer from independents than istock.


So the other sites compete on what exactly.... price...  what else is there to compete on.   If in the end the same image appears on my computer, then what does it matter on how many clicks it takes or what the portal looks like.  It seems to me independents are competing against themselves solely on price and unless I am an new to earth that will have to be lower in the future.   
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SK on November 04, 2011, 11:02
If you compare the stats for iStock and Shutterstock on Alexa.com, I think the results speak for themselves. iStock has lost a huge amount of traffic and Shutterstock seems to have been the recipient of iStocks loss. The stats show iStock and Shutterstock traffic to be equal. A year ago iStock had a huge lead. I think it is very telling.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: loop on November 04, 2011, 11:10
...Istock by allowing too many indies at the top of their best match seems to have to taken short term gain and now is experiencing long term pain....
I very much doubt that's the reason why buyers have left.  I think buyers have left because there's too many different prices.  They find what they want and its too expensive.  The search changes all the time, nothing seems to be stable.  They can filter by price now but it took too long to get that and they end up with just independents images that they can see much more of on the other sites.  The upload limits and low commissions mean that the other sites have a lot more to offer from independents than istock.




So the other sites compete on what exactly.... price...  what else is there to compete on.   If in the end the same image appears on my computer, then what does it matter on how many clicks it takes or what the portal looks like.  It seems to me independents are competing against themselves solely on price and unless I am an new to earth that will have to be lower in the future.  

Yes, that's the answer: price. While IS increased prices, all the others went to the subs formula, that's to say, lowered prices to almost nothing. I've never seen any micro agency daring to compete with istock with similar prices. There must be a reason for that. And, that said, I don't uderstand those who talk as if IS had loosed almost all their customers. While is true that earning are lower than last year, it's not so much lower (at least for me, it doesn't reach 15%), and another reason, invasion of exclusive studios (the YA kind) with hundreds of quality uploads a month play also a part in it.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on November 04, 2011, 11:46
I don't think buyers mind paying a little bit more, as long as the site has what they want and its always easy for them to get it.  They just don't like how far istock pushed prices up and how they no longer seem to care about them.

There's no sign of all the buyers going to the lowest priced site, they are just leaving the most expensive one.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gbalex on November 04, 2011, 11:53
...Istock by allowing too many indies at the top of their best match seems to have to taken short term gain and now is experiencing long term pain....
I very much doubt that's the reason why buyers have left.  I think buyers have left because there's too many different prices.  They find what they want and its too expensive.  The search changes all the time, nothing seems to be stable.  They can filter by price now but it took too long to get that and they end up with just independents images that they can see much more of on the other sites.  The upload limits and low commissions mean that the other sites have a lot more to offer from independents than istock.
So the other sites compete on what exactly.... price...  what else is there to compete on.   If in the end the same image appears on my computer, then what does it matter on how many clicks it takes or what the portal looks like.  It seems to me independents are competing against themselves solely on price and unless I am an new to earth that will have to be lower in the future.  

Yes, that's the answer: price. While IS increased prices, all the others went to the subs formula, that's to say, lowered prices to almost nothing. I've never seen any micro agency daring to compete with istock with similar prices. There must be a reason for that. And, that said, I don't uderstand those who talk as if IS had loosed almost all their customers. While is true that earning are lower than last year, it's not so much lower (at least for me, it doesn't reach 15%), and another reason, invasion of exclusive studios (the YA kind) with hundreds of quality uploads a month play also a part in it.

We shop for images at sites that make it easy to find the product we need in the least amount of time.  The money we make is very time dependent so wading through the mess at IS is counter productive and time consuming.  We need what we need and NOT the images that will make them the most money.

Most of our clients have room in their advertising budgets for a few less or more dollars. Search time is a deal killer, we decided to stop purchasing images at IS because of the business time squandered finding the images we needed for our projects as well as its abysmal lack of ethics and absence of concern for its customers and suppliers.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Gannet77 on November 04, 2011, 12:05
^  I do hope someone at IS is reading that.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 04, 2011, 12:08
We shop for images at sites that make it easy to find the product we need in the least amount of time.  The money we make is very time dependent so wading through the mess at IS is counter productive and time consuming.  We need what we need and NOT the images that will make them the most money.

Most of our clients have room in their advertising budgets for a few less or more dollars. Search time is a deal killer, we decided to stop purchasing images at IS because of the business time squandered finding the images we needed for our projects as well as its abysmal lack of ethics and absence of concern for its customers and suppliers.

Exactly. Logical and sensible. I am sure you are not alone in your thinking.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on November 04, 2011, 12:38
^  I do hope someone at IS is reading that.
They've ignored the situation for such a long time, I can't see them doing anything about it now.  I presume their plan was to lose lots of buyers but make more from the ones that remain?  If that's not their plan, then they really are in trouble.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on November 04, 2011, 12:48
We shop for images at sites that make it easy to find the product we need in the least amount of time.  The money we make is very time dependent so wading through the mess at IS is counter productive and time consuming.  We need what we need and NOT the images that will make them the most money.

What mess?  You've actually got the most filtering ability I've seen anywhere.  Price, copyspace, color, orientation, etc. etc.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cybernesco on November 04, 2011, 12:59

We shop for images at sites that make it easy to find the product we need in the least amount of time.  The money we make is very time dependent so wading through the mess at IS is counter productive and time consuming.  We need what we need and NOT the images that will make them the most money.

Most of our clients have room in their advertising budgets for a few less or more dollars. Search time is a deal killer, we decided to stop purchasing images at IS because of the business time squandered finding the images we needed for our projects as well as its abysmal lack of ethics and absence of concern for its customers and suppliers.


Totally Well Said....


Furthermore....
Infamous words from KKthompson on September 10, 2010:

But money isn’t going to be what makes you all happy. You want to know that this is still the best place to be, to hang out, and sell your work. You may not be convinced today like you were last week, but it’s our job to make sure you feel that way again soon.

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&page=1)

From that point on I understood that this was the beginning of the end for iStock. You simply cannot treat your contributors that way. They totally, arrogantly, and unethically have been disregarding their contributors, buyers and competitors.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: loop on November 04, 2011, 13:26
"Disregard of competitors?" OMG, this is new.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cybernesco on November 04, 2011, 13:29
We shop for images at sites that make it easy to find the product we need in the least amount of time.  The money we make is very time dependent so wading through the mess at IS is counter productive and time consuming.  We need what we need and NOT the images that will make them the most money.

What mess?  You've actually got the most filtering ability I've seen anywhere.  Price, copyspace, color, orientation, etc. etc.

They need it to filter out their mess. Who wants to learn a filtering engine? Who wants to learn about the reasoning behind so many collections at various price points? The buyers have been left out.....
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cybernesco on November 04, 2011, 13:31
"Disregard of competitors?" OMG, this is new.

disregard meaning "not paying attention".....IS have to know and understand what their competitors are doing else they will lose their buyers to them....
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RT on November 04, 2011, 13:38
What mess?  You've actually got the most filtering ability I've seen anywhere.  Price, copyspace, color, orientation, etc. etc.

Shame the CV's such a disaster!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Gannet77 on November 04, 2011, 13:39
We shop for images at sites that make it easy to find the product we need in the least amount of time.  The money we make is very time dependent so wading through the mess at IS is counter productive and time consuming.  We need what we need and NOT the images that will make them the most money.

What mess?  You've actually got the most filtering ability I've seen anywhere.  Price, copyspace, color, orientation, etc. etc.

Eventually, yes.  And I have no trouble with the search, but then I'm an IT person and familiar with searches, so maybe I'm not typical.

But it took so long.  And so many complaints.  You yourself apparently felt it so poor that you found it necessary to write a GM script to help the buyers filter out Vetta and Agency images.

And once the buyers, like gbalex, have left, they may not come back.  iStock should listen a bit more.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: loop on November 04, 2011, 13:42
"Disregard of competitors?" OMG, this is new.

disregard meaning "not paying attention".....IS have to know and understand what their competitors are doing else they will lose their buyers to them....

Then, the answer for istock is cutting their prices by half. But should that happen, many competitors would cut theirs too. Next station: free.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cybernesco on November 04, 2011, 13:48
"Disregard of competitors?" OMG, this is new.

disregard meaning "not paying attention".....IS have to know and understand what their competitors are doing else they will lose their buyers to them....

Then, the answer for istock is cutting their prices by half. But should that happen, many competitors would cut theirs too. Next station: free.

IS have to know and understand what their competitors are doing and try to do better, certainly not by putting prices higher within various complicated collections, else they will lose buyers to them....it is that simple
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: loop on November 04, 2011, 13:54
"Disregard of competitors?" OMG, this is new.

disregard meaning "not paying attention".....IS have to know and understand what their competitors are doing else they will lose their buyers to them....

Then, the answer for istock is cutting their prices by half. But should that happen, many competitors would cut theirs too. Next station: free.

IS have to know and understand what their competitors are doing and try to do better, certainly not by putting prices higher within various complicated collections, else they will lose buyers to them....it is that simple

It's a matter of choosing. Maybe they prefer less downloads and more income. Every time I get a Vetta or Agency sale for 12 to 80 dollars, and that happens daily, I can't avoid thinking how many sub sales I would need to match that.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cybernesco on November 04, 2011, 13:58
"Disregard of competitors?" OMG, this is new.

disregard meaning "not paying attention".....IS have to know and understand what their competitors are doing else they will lose their buyers to them....

Then, the answer for istock is cutting their prices by half. But should that happen, many competitors would cut theirs too. Next station: free.

IS have to know and understand what their competitors are doing and try to do better, certainly not by putting prices higher within various complicated collections, else they will lose buyers to them....it is that simple

It's a matter of choosing. Maybe they prefer less downloads and more income. Every time I get a Vetta or Agency sale for 12 to 80 dollars, and that happens daily, I can't avoid thinking how many sub sales I would need to match that.

I am happy for you that you are doing well!!!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: loop on November 04, 2011, 14:04
"Disregard of competitors?" OMG, this is new.

disregard meaning "not paying attention".....IS have to know and understand what their competitors are doing else they will lose their buyers to them....



Then, the answer for istock is cutting their prices by half. But should that happen, many competitors would cut theirs too. Next station: free.

IS have to know and understand what their competitors are doing and try to do better, certainly not by putting prices higher within various complicated collections, else they will lose buyers to them....it is that simple

It's a matter of choosing. Maybe they prefer less downloads and more income. Every time I get a Vetta or Agency sale for 12 to 80 dollars, and that happens daily, I can't avoid thinking how many sub sales I would need to match that.

I am happy for you that you are doing well!!!

I'm doing well enough, thanks. That's because I'm there. Have a nice weekend.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cybernesco on November 04, 2011, 14:13
"Disregard of competitors?" OMG, this is new.

disregard meaning "not paying attention".....IS have to know and understand what their competitors are doing else they will lose their buyers to them....



Then, the answer for istock is cutting their prices by half. But should that happen, many competitors would cut theirs too. Next station: free.

IS have to know and understand what their competitors are doing and try to do better, certainly not by putting prices higher within various complicated collections, else they will lose buyers to them....it is that simple

It's a matter of choosing. Maybe they prefer less downloads and more income. Every time I get a Vetta or Agency sale for 12 to 80 dollars, and that happens daily, I can't avoid thinking how many sub sales I would need to match that.

I am happy for you that you are doing well!!!

I'm doing well enough, thanks. That's because I'm there. Have a nice weekend.

Well...I guess.. it is not just because you are there...but more so...hopefully.. because you have lots of very nice images....have a nice weekend too
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on November 04, 2011, 14:41
my sales this week are consistent (stretched across most hours of the day, and steady). download numbers are better than last year even, not just income. I'm surprised how good November is turning out on the whole, despite days here and there that are bad.

re: iStock's search: iStock's search capabilities are amazing these days. despite the odd technical hiccups, which occur everywhere, iStock's search allows you just about any combination of parameters to find images you're searching for quickly at various price points. say what you will, but iStock's search is probably the best search in the business right now, the CV notwithstanding.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on November 04, 2011, 14:45


We shop for images at sites that make it easy to find the product we need in the least amount of time.  The money we make is very time dependent so wading through the mess at IS is counter productive and time consuming.  We need what we need and NOT the images that will make them the most money.

Most of our clients have room in their advertising budgets for a few less or more dollars. Search time is a deal killer, we decided to stop purchasing images at IS because of the business time squandered finding the images we needed for our projects as well as its abysmal lack of ethics and absence of concern for its customers and suppliers.

Thanks very much for posting this.  Really summarizes the situation perfectly. 

We contributors can hypothesize until we are blue in the face, but nothing makes the point as succinctly as an actual volume buyer willing to share their experience. 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pro@stockphotos on November 04, 2011, 15:00


Thanks very much for posting this.  Really summarizes the situation perfectly. 

We contributors can hypothesize until we are blue in the face, but nothing makes the point as succinctly as an actual volume buyer willing to share their experience. 


Really, I would jump through hoops and deal with all sorts of inconveniences if it meant saving a lot of money of for the exact same image form the exact same artist.  I am sure I would get used to dealing with a little "less than optimal supplier" if the image is the same.  Who cares about which discounter I have to go to.   I have no advantage to buying at a higher price. 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 04, 2011, 15:23
re: iStock's search: iStock's search capabilities are amazing these days. despite the odd technical hiccups, which occur everywhere, iStock's search allows you just about any combination of parameters to find images you're searching for quickly at various price points. say what you will, but iStock's search is probably the best search in the business right now, the CV notwithstanding.

It might be 'amazing' but not every buyer has the time to take evening classes to work out to to use it or learn Istock's 'special language'.

IMHO, SS's search engine is vastly superior to IS's. It is much faster in producing results, adding filters, choosing orientation, etc. Most importantly it is totally intuitive, even for novice buyers. The buyer doesn't need to learn all about price sliders because all images cost the same.

Want to find images of a small obscure place or particular flora or fauna? You can do that on SS whilst IS will often either find zero results or automatically choose a more mainstream choice for you. How frustrating for both buyers and contributors alike.

If you sold through SS or DT, where you can see the keywords actually used by the buyer, you be 'amazed' just how many times an image is found using keywords that IS would simply not allow or cater for despite the word being appropriate. The CV is simply not flexible enough to allow buyers to quickly find what they want.

Anyway, it seems to me that the buyers are making it pretty clear where they prefer to do business. So far this month my earnings at SS are almost double those at IS. The gap is widening on a monthly basis.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: alistaircotton on November 04, 2011, 15:29
A few years back it may actually have paid to go exclusive with IS. A lot of independents did not do that, even if it threatened to make initial short-term financial sense.

Now that sales are under pressure at IS, it appears there are those who believe independents have caused buyers to leave - since their images can be found cheaper elsewhere.

Nevertheless, if most independents had only seen the short-term, gone exclusive and given IS almost complete control over the supply chain, where would we all be today?

Based on experience to date, would IS have handled ultimate power over bulk of the supply base with respect and fairness? Or would they have completely screwed everyone over with single digit royalties and a wholly one-sided suppliers contract?

Given the obvious answer to this question, independents and the other agencies they supply are not in any way the enemy of the exclusive supplier. They are, more likely, the only reason exclusives make anything worthwhile off their stock contributions at all.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gbalex on November 04, 2011, 15:33


Thanks very much for posting this.  Really summarizes the situation perfectly. 

We contributors can hypothesize until we are blue in the face, but nothing makes the point as succinctly as an actual volume buyer willing to share their experience. 


Really, I would jump through hoops and deal with all sorts of inconveniences if it meant saving a lot of money of for the exact same image form the exact same artist.  I am sure I would get used to dealing with a little "less than optimal supplier" if the image is the same.  Who cares about which discounter I have to go to.   I have no advantage to buying at a higher price. 

A good number of our buyers are are paid an hourly or monthly salary and have bosses who watch their productivity closely.  The last thing those department heads or owners want to see is employees who spend unnecessary time searching for images.  In regard to bottom line spending a bit more for an image is more cost effective for the company than paying hourly wages to employees who spend unproductive billable time online using cobbled up searches that return poor results for the project.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on November 04, 2011, 15:37


Really, I would jump through hoops and deal with all sorts of inconveniences if it meant saving a lot of money of for the exact same image form the exact same artist.  I am sure I would get used to dealing with a little "less than optimal supplier" if the image is the same.  

This is a false dichotomy.  Nobody has to make the choice between price and convenience.  There are plenty of sites that provide both (SS, DT, and lots of the smaller ones).  

By contrast, Istock is both inconvenient AND high priced.  Thus the mass exodus of buyers.  

Great points above, Allistair, BTW.  
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pro@stockphotos on November 04, 2011, 15:39


Thanks very much for posting this.  Really summarizes the situation perfectly. 

We contributors can hypothesize until we are blue in the face, but nothing makes the point as succinctly as an actual volume buyer willing to share their experience. 

Really, I would jump through hoops and deal with all sorts of inconveniences if it meant saving a lot of money of for the exact same image form the exact same artist.  I am sure I would get used to dealing with a little "less than optimal supplier" if the image is the same.  Who cares about which discounter I have to go to.   I have no advantage to buying at a higher price. 

A good number of our buyers are are paid an hourly or monthly salary and have bosses who watch their productivity closely.  The last thing those department heads or owners want to see is employees who spend unnecessary time searching for images.  In regard to bottom line spending a bit more for an image is more cost effective for the company than paying hourly wages to employees who spend unproductive billable time online using cobbled up searches that return poor results for the project.

What do you mean poor results?  Every agency has the same top independents at the top of their best match.  It is very homogeneous. 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 04, 2011, 16:11
So the other sites compete on what exactly.... price...  what else is there to compete on.   If in the end the same image appears on my computer, then what does it matter on how many clicks it takes or what the portal looks like.  It seems to me independents are competing against themselves solely on price and unless I am an new to earth that will have to be lower in the future.   

Why are you so obsessed about price? Particularly without ever mentioning volume, which of course is primarily what microstock is supposed to be about. Surely if PRICE were everything, as it appears you do, you should be selling only RM licenses at macro agencies.

Is it not the case that if Istock are faltering it is most likely because they have completely forgotten the founding principles of 'microstock' that they claim to have invented? They also turned 'crowdsourcing' into 'crowdshafting' whilst they were at it. They've jacked up the prices of their images, their credits and introduced expensive collections so many times that they barely still qualify to be described as a 'microstock agency'.

When I started with Istock I think about the most a buyer could spend on a full-size image, any image at all, was $1. Now it is over $400. Even the average image price must have gone from about 50c to what, something like $15? As an independent my average image sale costs the buyer just over $9 but obviously most exclusive images cost more. Then they have the cheek to call it 'unsustainable' and reduce our commissions. You really couldn't make this stuff up.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on November 04, 2011, 16:14
oh come now gostwyck - you're a smartie pants, you can work the search.....and something tells me that buyers aren't as stupid as people are making them sound in this thread...
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: WarrenPrice on November 04, 2011, 16:20
oh come now gostwyck - you're a smartie pants, you can work the search.....and something tells me that buyers aren't as stupid as people are making them sound in this thread...

I confess to NOT being smart enough to follow this thread.  Are buyers leaving or not?  If so, why?  If not, why?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 04, 2011, 17:11
oh come now gostwyck - you're a smartie pants, you can work the search.....and something tells me that buyers aren't as stupid as people are making them sound in this thread...


Of course we can. That's because we've spent years of our lives on these sites and have lived through all the developments. My point was to contradict your statement that Istock's search facility was 'the best'. I honestly don't think it is. It is certainly the most complex but I think it is one of the worst in terms of useability for all but the 'expert' buyer.

Anyway, the combination of 'good enough' and 'cheap' will always beat 'complex/better' and 'expensive' in the long run. Think Betamax v VHS for example. Apple may have invented the smartphone but already they only have 14.5% market share against Samsung's 20%;

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57318644-37/samsung-outshines-apple-in-smartphone-shipments-market-share/ (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57318644-37/samsung-outshines-apple-in-smartphone-shipments-market-share/)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gbalex on November 04, 2011, 17:13
re: iStock's search: iStock's search capabilities are amazing these days. despite the odd technical hiccups, which occur everywhere, iStock's search allows you just about any combination of parameters to find images you're searching for quickly at various price points. say what you will, but iStock's search is probably the best search in the business right now, the CV notwithstanding.

It might be 'amazing' but not every buyer has the time to take evening classes to work out to to use it or learn Istock's 'special language'.

IMHO, SS's search engine is vastly superior to IS's. It is much faster in producing results, adding filters, choosing orientation, etc. Most importantly it is totally intuitive, even for novice buyers. The buyer doesn't need to learn all about price sliders because all images cost the same.

Want to find images of a small obscure place or particular flora or fauna? You can do that on SS whilst IS will often either find zero results or automatically choose a more mainstream choice for you. How frustrating for both buyers and contributors alike.

If you sold through SS or DT, where you can see the keywords actually used by the buyer, you be 'amazed' just how many times an image is found using keywords that IS would simply not allow or cater for despite the word being appropriate. The CV is simply not flexible enough to allow buyers to quickly find what they want.

Anyway, it seems to me that the buyers are making it pretty clear where they prefer to do business. So far this month my earnings at SS are almost double those at IS. The gap is widening on a monthly basis.

"The CV is simply not flexible enough to allow buyers to quickly find what they want need."

"Want to find images of a small obscure needed place or particular flora or fauna? You can do that on SS whilst IS will often either find zero results or automatically choose a more mainstream choice for you. How frustrating for both buyers and contributors alike."

Bingo and to be honest SS needs to improve their search results.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gbalex on November 04, 2011, 17:20
...Istock by allowing too many indies at the top of their best match seems to have to taken short term gain and now is experiencing long term pain....

I very much doubt that's the reason why buyers have left.  I think buyers have left because there's too many different prices.  They find what they want and its too expensive.  The search changes all the time, nothing seems to be stable.  They can filter by price now but it took too long to get that and they end up with just independents images that they can see much more of on the other sites.  The upload limits and low commissions mean that the other sites have a lot more to offer from independents than istock.

"I think buyers have left because there's too many different prices."  Especially when the quality for the different price points is non detectable, minor or even lower quality for higher priced images. 

"The search changes all the time, nothing seems to be stable."  Absolutely and add to that the search breaking down constantly (to be fair would not know what it is like lately)

"The upload limits and low commissions mean that the other sites have a lot more to offer from independents than istock." There is a flip side to this at sites like SS.  With years of keyword spamming and thousands of low quality images to slog through; it takes too much time to wade through the volumes of images to secure the images that we need.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on November 04, 2011, 17:21
I already wrote that, but no one bothered replying. So I'll ask again: where are you getting the idea of tanking sales from? The poll is showing THE BIGGEST jump of all the listed agencies. That being said, no, I'm no IS fanboy and my Oct sales dropped 13%. But it seems sales rose for majority of the contributors.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on November 04, 2011, 17:21

...I confess to NOT being smart enough to follow this thread.  Are buyers leaving or not?  If so, why?  If not, why?

The agencies might know the answers to this question (and iStock's recent surveys certainly asked questions that suggested they were trying to figure this out) but I doubt they're saying.

Contributors are just left trying to explain what they see with logical sounding explanations that fit the facts. Our own experience isn't data, but we don't have much else.

When I see the sales thread for October and the large number of talented major players who are seeing poor results - many of whom are uploading regularly, in quantity, and doing all the things the cheerleaders say people need to do - I think iStock has problems. I've seen years worth of these threads and it's never been like this before.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 04, 2011, 17:27
I already wrote that, but no one bothered replying. So I'll ask again: where are you getting the idea of tanking sales from? The poll is showing THE BIGGEST jump of all the listed agencies. That being said, no, I'm no IS fanboy and my Oct sales dropped 13%. But it seems sales rose for majority of the contributors.

That's because 'the poll' is utterly meaningless. It is based on self-selecting participants, without weighting for portfolio size or sales volume and has no statistical validity at all. What is to stop an exclusive contributor from giving IS a positive result and others negative for example? Personally I never even notice it much less actually participate.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 04, 2011, 17:34
We shop for images at sites that make it easy to find the product we need in the least amount of time.  The money we make is very time dependent so wading through the mess at IS is counter productive and time consuming.  We need what we need and NOT the images that will make them the most money.

What mess?  You've actually got the most filtering ability I've seen anywhere.  Price, copyspace, color, orientation, etc. etc.

Sean!  isnt that exactly what gbalex, is saying, who has got the time for all this filtering, ticking here and there, price-sliders, orientations, collections, etc. Isnt that exactly the "mess" a buyer wants to avoid?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RT on November 04, 2011, 17:37
Really, I would jump through hoops and deal with all sorts of inconveniences if it meant saving a lot of money of for the exact same image form the exact same artist.  I am sure I would get used to dealing with a little "less than optimal supplier" if the image is the same.  Who cares about which discounter I have to go to.   I have no advantage to buying at a higher price. 

Have you considered that not everyone has the same ideals as you, I expect many of iStocks buyers are buying there because that's where the company they work for has the account, they might not have the choice of shopping elsewhere and probably don't care.

Then there's buyers who have gone to iStock as the result of iStock's marketing campaign, last iStock add I saw never mentioned anything along the lines of "we're iStock but most of the same images are cheaper at site X"

You said 'as a buyer you wouldn't buy an independents images from iStock' which is a surprising statement, without the buyers buying independents work on a site you've elected to be exclusive on, you are in a round about way wishing the demise of the site you've chosen - no independent sales, no independents, no iStock
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on November 04, 2011, 17:37
I already wrote that, but no one bothered replying. So I'll ask again: where are you getting the idea of tanking sales from? The poll is showing THE BIGGEST jump of all the listed agencies. That being said, no, I'm no IS fanboy and my Oct sales dropped 13%. But it seems sales rose for majority of the contributors.

That's because 'the poll' is utterly meaningless. It is based on self-selecting participants, without weighting for portfolio size or sales volume and has no statistical validity at all. What is to stop an exclusive contributor from giving IS a positive result and others negative for example? Personally I never even notice it much less actually participate.

That's also because some people don't seem to understand math.

DepositPhotos    3.4  up 0.3
PhotoDune    3.2 up 0.41

IS up .24 which wouldn't be the biggest jump? Would it?  ::)

Other than that, yes, it's just a poll, people could be gaming it, some people could be ignoring it. It's just a voluntary poll, not some validated scientific study.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on November 04, 2011, 17:38
I already wrote that, but no one bothered replying. So I'll ask again: where are you getting the idea of tanking sales from? The poll is showing THE BIGGEST jump of all the listed agencies. That being said, no, I'm no IS fanboy and my Oct sales dropped 13%. But it seems sales rose for majority of the contributors.

That's because 'the poll' is utterly meaningless. It is based on self-selecting participants, without weighting for portfolio size or sales volume and has no statistical validity at all. What is to stop an exclusive contributor from giving IS a positive result and others negative for example? Personally I never even notice it much less actually participate.

If people were acting according to the example you mentioned, they'd be at the bottom of low earners (since the vast majority of contribs are non-exclusive) :)

(and yes, I get your point;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on November 04, 2011, 17:39
Few people seem to understand that when you get a memo from the finance manager complaining about rising costs and you research different options and then hold a meeting with the GM and the finance guy and a couple of others, and reach a conclusion that you will establish a new policy transferring your business to another provider, there is no going back.

Few buyers have any commitment to one supplier or another. Managers want stability so that they can quote prices and plan ahead. SS certainly understands that. iS, apparently, doesn't.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: thesentinel on November 04, 2011, 17:57

That's also because some people don't seem to understand math.

<snip>
PhotoDune    3.2 up 0.41

<snip>

Or arrow directions and colours. ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on November 04, 2011, 18:07
"Sean!  isnt that exactly what gbalex, is saying, who has got the time for all this filtering, ticking here and there, price-sliders, orientations, collections, etc. Isnt that exactly the "mess" a buyer wants to avoid?"

Not me.  The more options I have to filter, the happier I am.  Why should I page through 100 pages of refrigerators when I know I want a French door, bottom freezer, stainless with led lighting?  Ah 11 choices.  That's time saving.  That's how I narrowed down a recent purchase from a home improvement stores.  I imagine buyers at micros are smart enough to handle a couple of buttons.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on November 04, 2011, 18:15
"Sean!  isnt that exactly what gbalex, is saying, who has got the time for all this filtering, ticking here and there, price-sliders, orientations, collections, etc. Isnt that exactly the "mess" a buyer wants to avoid?"

Not me.  The more options I have to filter, the happier I am.  Why should I page through 100 pages of refrigerators when I know I want a French door, bottom freezer, stainless with led lighting?  Ah 11 choices.  That's time saving.  That's how I narrowed down a recent purchase from a home improvement stores.  I imagine buyers at micros are smart enough to handle a couple of buttons.

Yeah, well, try searching for Blatella germanicus, or the German cockroach (either version) and tell us how efficient the search is.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: disorderly on November 04, 2011, 18:41
Anyway, the combination of 'good enough' and 'cheap' will always beat 'complex/better' and 'expensive' in the long run. Think Betamax v VHS for example. Apple may have invented the smartphone but already they only have 14.5% market share against Samsung's 20%;

It's off topic, I know, but I just have to respond to these.  First, regarding Beta vs. VHS, Beta was arguably better in terms of image quality, at least in the early days.  But it failed in one major respect: record/play time.  Early Beta could play for an hour, which wasn't nearly enough for movies or other content in the home.  VHS had longer playing time, long enough to satisfy the consumer.  By the time Beta caught up, it was too late.

On to your second claim.  Apple didn't invent the smartphone; they merely made the first one that appealed to most consumers.  I had a Nokia E62, a smartphone by any measure, before the iPhone was announced, and that was six months before the first one shipped.  But it was an awful device, one I cheerfully tossed under the nearest bus the moment I was able to get my hands on an iPhone.

And Samsung likely hasn't outsold Apple in smartphones.  Note that Samsung no longer reports sales of its smartphones, and that the number reported is for shipments to the channel.  Apple reports the number it has actually sold.  It is, you will pardon the expression, comparing apples and oranges to talk shipments to the channel vs. shipments to paying customers.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: traveler1116 on November 04, 2011, 18:56
"Sean!  isnt that exactly what gbalex, is saying, who has got the time for all this filtering, ticking here and there, price-sliders, orientations, collections, etc. Isnt that exactly the "mess" a buyer wants to avoid?"

Not me.  The more options I have to filter, the happier I am.  Why should I page through 100 pages of refrigerators when I know I want a French door, bottom freezer, stainless with led lighting?  Ah 11 choices.  That's time saving.  That's how I narrowed down a recent purchase from a home improvement stores.  I imagine buyers at micros are smart enough to handle a couple of buttons.

Yeah, well, try searching for Blatella germanicus, or the German cockroach (either version) and tell us how efficient the search is.

I'm not sure I get it?  On shuttestock there are 0 "Blatella germanicus" and just 1 "german cockroach" while there are 0 zero of either on istock.  What does this tell us?  
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 04, 2011, 18:57
^^^ Fair points (you forgot to mention the Philips 2000 system which was apparently superior to Betamax and also video stores mainly stocked VHS movies).

However I'm sure that people will dream up all sorts of excuses, qualifications, differences in markets, etc, etc to explain that Shutterstock only beat Istock because .... (get those excuses ready for later insertion). The truth is that SS is easier, quicker, cheaper and more than 'good enough' for most buyers' needs and therefore it is a racing certainty that it will prevail. Most independents would probably say that it already has.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Perry on November 04, 2011, 18:58
Apple may have invented the smartphone but already they only have 14.5% market share against Samsung's 20%;

(Off-topic). Apple didn't invent the smartphone. But I would not call their 14.5% "only". 14.5% is pretty impressive considering they have only one model. I don't know how many smartphones for example Nokia has, maybe twenty?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 04, 2011, 18:59
I'm not sure I get it?  On shuttestock there are 0 "Blatella germanicus" and just 1 "german coackroach" while there are 0 zero of either on istock.  What does this tell us?  

If you spelt 'cockroach' differently you'd get different results.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: traveler1116 on November 04, 2011, 19:03
I'm not sure I get it?  On shuttestock there are 0 "Blatella germanicus" and just 1 "german coackroach" while there are 0 zero of either on istock.  What does this tell us?  

If you spelt 'cockroach' differently you'd get different results.
Fixed the spelling, I searched using the correct spelling though so that doesn't change.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 04, 2011, 19:08
(Off-topic). Apple didn't invent the smartphone.


Try telling that to the late Mr Jobs;

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-apple-google-20111104,0,1939553.story (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-apple-google-20111104,0,1939553.story)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on November 04, 2011, 19:45
I'm not sure I get it?  On shuttestock there are 0 "Blatella germanicus" and just 1 "german coackroach" while there are 0 zero of either on istock.  What does this tell us?  

If you spelt 'cockroach' differently you'd get different results.
Fixed the spelling, I searched using the correct spelling though so that doesn't change.
I got one searching on Blattella germanica (the endings must agree) (#1219653). Maybe all it says is that microstockers don't like shooting German Cockroaches?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: disorderly on November 04, 2011, 19:54
(Off-topic). Apple didn't invent the smartphone.


Try telling that to the late Mr Jobs;

[url]http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-apple-google-20111104,0,1939553.story[/url] ([url]http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-apple-google-20111104,0,1939553.story[/url])


Did you read the article?  Carefully?  Jobs never claimed to have invented the smartphone.  What he did claim was that Android was a ripoff of the smartphone technology developed by Apple.  Those are two different claims.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cybernesco on November 04, 2011, 20:17
But it seems sales rose for majority of the contributors.

I would suggest that sales rose for the majority of silver and below canisters which would make the bulk of most members but not necessarily the bulk of all images, hence why the poll on the right has raised and hence why the majority of gold, diamond and above are reporting terrible sales in the IS October thread. If it is this scenario, then the poll on the right will certainly drop down within the next couple of months as this can't be sustainable.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 04, 2011, 20:33
Did you read the article?  Carefully?  Jobs never claimed to have invented the smartphone.  What he did claim was that Android was a ripoff of the smartphone technology developed by Apple.  Those are two different claims.

Ok, not 'smartphone' then but their operating system (depends just how far you insist on going into the technical semantics). I'm not exactly a phone buff, I use a 10-year old Nokia 6310i. It's great for phone calls and that's about as 'smart' as a phone can get IMO. Don't understand people paying all that money for iPhones when as soon as you hold it up to your ear it covers the aerial and you don't get reception. Guess you're right __ Jobs certainly didn't invent the 'smartphone' with that particular model.

It doesn't change the observation that a superior and higher-priced product will almost always lose out to a 'good enough' cheaper competitor. Thus Istock's search facility can have all the bells and whistles it likes but, even if they could get it to work properly, it is unlikely to do them much good.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on November 04, 2011, 23:47
I'm not sure I get it?  On shuttestock there are 0 "Blatella germanicus" and just 1 "german coackroach" while there are 0 zero of either on istock.  What does this tell us?  

If you spelt 'cockroach' differently you'd get different results.

Right, and if someone is smart enough to not try to trick a search and instead act like a buyer, using only the word "roach" or "cockroach" ???

Roach Stock Photos, Illustrations, and Vector Art
Displaying results 1 - 150 of 1,215.

Cockroach Stock Photos, Illustrations, and Vector Art
Displaying results 1 - 150 of 1,257

Darn I thought I found a magic niche that needed images. False alarm.

BTW IS 569 for Roach or Cockroach, probably CV at work.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 05, 2011, 02:05
The point is "the #1 microstock guy in the world, heck maybe even the universe" is seeing a slip in sales.  I don't care about the other sites since my wagon is hitched to istock.  But if you look at every other site on the list to the right over there, you see the same independents dominating the best match on all sites.  Istock by allowing too many indies at the top of their best match seems to have to taken short term gain and now is experiencing long term pain.

 What I would not do as a buyer is buy any independent work from istock.   The same exact photos is way cheaper on the other sites that compete only on price.   Maybe the buyers are figuring this out.  So your dipping sales at istock is costing you $$$ too.  What else are they competing on if every indie is on there site with the same work.    If a can get the dutch candy bar for $.35 at X why would I pay $2.50 at Y if they are the same and they are. 

Listen to yourself!  what you are saying?  so if you found the perfect image for your client, etc, you wouldnt buy because of your own personal attitude?  how do you justify that to a client? you bought the second best because the best was the work of an independant. Jeez!  talk about unprofessional. Terrible attitude and naive to the point of sublimity.
Its like me turning down a commission because I dont like the companys political color.

Buyers like you are the last of its kind, the only ones that keeps IS alive. I sincerely hope that when the day comes, they will furnish you with a Diamond crown and thank God we dont have this sort of attitude in other agencies.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on November 05, 2011, 04:47
I'm not sure I get it?  On shuttestock there are 0 "Blatella germanicus" and just 1 "german coackroach" while there are 0 zero of either on istock.  What does this tell us?  

If you spelt 'cockroach' differently you'd get different results.
Fixed the spelling, I searched using the correct spelling though so that doesn't change.

Well, searching for German cockroach (no quotes) on SS brought up a couple of dozen.

My point (which I thought was obvious) was that Sean said you can use the iStock search with amazing effectiveness that other searches don't match .... but that is only true if you choose terms that they happen to have included in the CV - and most of the things in the world aren't in it, especially if you get very specific.

There must be quite a lot of buyers down the years who have been frustrated by being unable to find any results for something or other, even if there are files for it, because it is disallowed by the CV. Forcing people to go to rival agencies because you value your theory about searching more than making sales is just dumb, but that's where iStock has been for years.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Slovenian on November 05, 2011, 04:54
But it seems sales rose for majority of the contributors.

I would suggest that sales rose for the majority of silver and below canisters which would make the bulk of most members but not necessarily the bulk of all images, hence why the poll on the right has raised and hence why the majority of gold, diamond and above are reporting terrible sales in the IS October thread. If it is this scenario, then the poll on the right will certainly drop down within the next couple of months as this can't be sustainable.

I don't know why all of you ppl are constantly giving so much significance to top contributors. Are they more important than the rest? If anyone can afford the drop, it's them, who made hundreds of thousands or even millions. They built their houses with ms earnings etc and now they're whining because they probably won't be able to buy that second Porsche. While someone making just barely enough to live on won't be able to pay the bills and feed themselves. If anything I support the shift in earnings towards lower canisters. It's time they don't get favourised by search engines. Many of the diamonds or even BDs, really have average or even below average content that still sells great, because their files didn't loose the momentum they've picked up in 2004/05, when just about anything sold. And that's just wrong with so much great, awesome and original content being uploaded and buried because of those, photographically speaking, lousy files, that wouldn't get more than a sale or 2 today, most of them wouldn't sell at all, instead of having flames. Just the other day I came across total sale number of a diamond that still sells like crazy, but when I checked the port I almost threw up.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 05, 2011, 05:18
But it seems sales rose for majority of the contributors.

I would suggest that sales rose for the majority of silver and below canisters which would make the bulk of most members but not necessarily the bulk of all images, hence why the poll on the right has raised and hence why the majority of gold, diamond and above are reporting terrible sales in the IS October thread. If it is this scenario, then the poll on the right will certainly drop down within the next couple of months as this can't be sustainable.

I don't know why all of you ppl are constantly giving so much significance to top contributors. Are they more important than the rest? If anyone can afford the drop, it's them, who made hundreds of thousands or even millions. They built their houses with ms earnings etc and now they're whining because they probably won't be able to buy that second Porsche. While someone making just barely enough to live on won't be able to pay the bills and feed themselves. If anything I support the shift in earnings towards lower canisters. It's time they don't get favourised by search engines. Many of the diamonds or even BDs, really have average or even below average content that still sells great, because their files didn't loose the momentum they've picked up in 2004/05, when just about anything sold. And that's just wrong with so much great, awesome and original content being uploaded and buried because of those, photographically speaking, lousy files, that wouldn't get more than a sale or 2 today, most of them wouldn't sell at all, instead of having flames. Just the other day I came across total sale number of a diamond that still sells like crazy, but when I checked the port I almost threw up.


I agree 100%, although Im a Diamond contributor at IS,  I have to say, most buyers of micro seem to think that quantity means quality. They are staring themselves blind at massive ports, thinking its equal to quality and that exclusivity is something you earn!

To become exclusive at IS, simply means you need 500 downloads of just about anything, then buyers will see this crown appearing. Exclusivity at IS, has got nothing to do at all with top-notch images or that you have to earn your position. Its open to anybody, amateurs alike.

If you really had to earn by merit, exclusivity. Good God, 75% of all micro shots would be rejected and especially in the amateur leagues of IS. I am sure! buyers dont understand that images are accepted, as long as images are technically sound. Creativity, conceptuals, etc, is NOT criterias for acceptance.

Buyers want to see tough and rigorous editing? go visit SS, as an example.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: luissantos84 on November 05, 2011, 05:30
250!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on November 05, 2011, 05:46
I'm not sure I get it?  On shuttestock there are 0 "Blatella germanicus" and just 1 "german coackroach" while there are 0 zero of either on istock.  What does this tell us?  

If you spelt 'cockroach' differently you'd get different results.
Fixed the spelling, I searched using the correct spelling though so that doesn't change.

Well, searching for German cockroach (no quotes) on SS brought up a couple of dozen.

My point (which I thought was obvious) was that Sean said you can use the iStock search with amazing effectiveness that other searches don't match .... but that is only true if you choose terms that they happen to have included in the CV - and most of the things in the world aren't in it, especially if you get very specific.

There must be quite a lot of buyers down the years who have been frustrated by being unable to find any results for something or other, even if there are files for it, because it is disallowed by the CV. Forcing people to go to rival agencies because you value your theory about searching more than making sales is just dumb, but that's where iStock has been for years.
In this case, it's NOT the CV which is at fault [1], it's just that very few iStockers have chosen to upload cockroach photos, for whatever reason. In SS, it looks as though two people have uploaded series of the species.
Personally, I've found that uploading unusual species [2] to iStock isn't worth it - you only get a few if any sales. I'm sure the serious togs are still uploading to traditional wildlife outlets, where the buyers are. For me, it's better to use Alamy, and they better understand natural lighting - iStock's lighting requirements mean that there are many photos on iStock which are in light that they'd never be in in the wild, even shade loving species (automatic 'flat light' rejection) which would be anathema to a knowlegeable potential buyer, who also would be unlikely to use any of SS's isolated or 'running in a curve' pics. PS, why are there 5 near-identical photos of that?
[1] However, there is the issue that Americans call cockroaches 'roaches', and a roach is one of several species of fish, which isn't in the CV, so I have SM'd Ducksandwich and in the fulness of time, that will be DAd.
[2] It seems that German Cockroaches are NOT unusual. I'm happy to say that cockroaches are not something I've ever had to become knowledgeable about.  ;D
BTW - I'm hearing from independent contributors that unusual nature species photographed in the wild are currently getting whatever the SS rejection is for 'low commercial value'.
Plus there must be some other meaning of roach, as I'm seeing pretzels searching SS on 'cockroach' which appear to have no cockroaches in them.

OK, so I tried another search. It is true that the CV is only as good as the togs who are using it. So 'duck' is one of my bete noirs at iStock as people don't seem to know what is and is not a duck, and tag their rubber ducks,cooked or raw duck as food, domestic ducks, grebes, herons, swans, flamingoes and divers/loons as 'duck (freshwater birds)'.
So I tried Shutterstick with only duck and got a page almost full of rubber ducks. I tried duck NOT poultry NOT rubber and got 0 results, then duck - poultry - rubber and got a page almost full of illos of rubber ducks. So I tried duck wild and got the unfortunate mix (sorted by 'new') you'd get on iStock: lots of geese, some grebes and totally unbelievably six pics of a European Woodcock, correctly identified but also with the keyword 'duck'. Not even close.
So both systems fail on user ignorance and/or deliberate spamming.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Difydave on November 05, 2011, 06:23
It still seems to me that the biggest problem with the search is that they're trying to push the content they want to sell, rather than the content that people want to buy. As far as I know this never works long term with anything.
The only thing is of course that we don't know what is really happening to sales. We can only see a part of the story, we don't see any of the "new exclusive" Agency suppliers results for instance. It might be that the search they have now is giving them the best return.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sarah2 on November 05, 2011, 07:54
Re German Cockroach

Thanks to all for pointing out that is the US these are called roaches - so I've amended my keywords ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cybernesco on November 05, 2011, 08:08
But it seems sales rose for majority of the contributors.

I would suggest that sales rose for the majority of silver and below canisters which would make the bulk of most members but not necessarily the bulk of all images, hence why the poll on the right has raised and hence why the majority of gold, diamond and above are reporting terrible sales in the IS October thread. If it is this scenario, then the poll on the right will certainly drop down within the next couple of months as this can't be sustainable.

I don't know why all of you ppl are constantly giving so much significance to top contributors.


I was not giving any significance to anybody, I was just stating my observation...
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 05, 2011, 10:04
It still seems to me that the biggest problem with the search is that they're trying to push the content they want to sell, rather than the content that people want to buy. As far as I know this never works long term with anything.
The only thing is of course that we don't know what is really happening to sales. We can only see a part of the story, we don't see any of the "new exclusive" Agency suppliers results for instance. It might be that the search they have now is giving them the best return.

Hi Dave!

Well according to Lobo, this new best match, etc, is supposed to be exactly what buyers want and are looking for? so, according to that, if thats what they want to sell? they are taking the buyers for idiots, mind, after listening to many buyers in the IS forum, seems a pretty dismal and diletantic bunch anyway. They probably got their budget from a flee-market vendor.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pro@stockphotos on November 05, 2011, 10:41

I agree 100%, although Im a Diamond contributor at IS,  I have to say, most buyers of micro seem to think that quantity means quality. They are staring themselves blind at massive ports, thinking its equal to quality and that exclusivity is something you earn!

To become exclusive at IS, simply means you need 500 downloads of just about anything, then buyers will see this crown appearing. Exclusivity at IS, has got nothing to do at all with top-notch images or that you have to earn your position. Its open to anybody, amateurs alike.

If you really had to earn by merit, exclusivity. Good God, 75% of all micro shots would be rejected and especially in the amateur leagues of IS. I am sure! buyers dont understand that images are accepted, as long as images are technically sound. Creativity, conceptuals, etc, is NOT criterias for acceptance.

Buyers want to see tough and rigorous editing? go visit SS, as an example.

Right, sorry, but even "the top microstock sales person in the world, heck maybe even universe" has stated istock has the hardest submission standards.  Which makes sense to someone who has submitted to them.  It seems like you are always bringing up the term "micro" which is weird.  I guess you are macro?  It seems as though you should be mopping up the floor with the lightweights at istock since your portfolio is jammed pack with "creativity, conceptuals, etc."   It appears there are 450 amateurs above you in sales.   Do you not want more money?  Do you not like cash?  Why do you even bother dipping below the clouds to spend time with the lowly "micros" as you always point out?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 05, 2011, 11:48

I agree 100%, although Im a Diamond contributor at IS,  I have to say, most buyers of micro seem to think that quantity means quality. They are staring themselves blind at massive ports, thinking its equal to quality and that exclusivity is something you earn!

To become exclusive at IS, simply means you need 500 downloads of just about anything, then buyers will see this crown appearing. Exclusivity at IS, has got nothing to do at all with top-notch images or that you have to earn your position. Its open to anybody, amateurs alike.

If you really had to earn by merit, exclusivity. Good God, 75% of all micro shots would be rejected and especially in the amateur leagues of IS. I am sure! buyers dont understand that images are accepted, as long as images are technically sound. Creativity, conceptuals, etc, is NOT criterias for acceptance.

Buyers want to see tough and rigorous editing? go visit SS, as an example.

Right, sorry, but even "the top microstock sales person in the world, heck maybe even universe" has stated istock has the hardest submission standards.  Which makes sense to someone who has submitted to them.  It seems like you are always bringing up the term "micro" which is weird.  I guess you are macro?  It seems as though you should be mopping up the floor with the lightweights at istock since your portfolio is jammed pack with "creativity, conceptuals, etc."   It appears there are 450 amateurs above you in sales.   Do you not want more money?  Do you not like cash?  Why do you even bother dipping below the clouds to spend time with the lowly "micros" as you always point out?

Are you blind?  I said above Im an IS Diamond, so how in . can that be Macro?,  its micro, right? yes according to the Chart Im within their top 600 contributors BUT! independant. Hurts, doesnt it?
You are talking rubbish, I can hear it, even smell it. You are no more buyer then I am the man in the moon,  well maybe youve bought a few over the years, thats it. Youre postings are naive, unintelligent and corny, to say the least, you dont even bother to get youre facts right regarding Micro/Macro.
I strongly suggest you go elswhere with youre trolling.

Youre in the wrong forum. feel free to visit the DPR. :D :D :D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Difydave on November 05, 2011, 12:19
It still seems to me that the biggest problem with the search is that they're trying to push the content they want to sell, rather than the content that people want to buy. As far as I know this never works long term with anything.
The only thing is of course that we don't know what is really happening to sales. We can only see a part of the story, we don't see any of the "new exclusive" Agency suppliers results for instance. It might be that the search they have now is giving them the best return.

Hi Dave!

Well according to Lobo, this new best match, etc, is supposed to be exactly what buyers want and are looking for? so, according to that, if thats what they want to sell? they are taking the buyers for idiots, mind, after listening to many buyers in the IS forum, seems a pretty dismal and diletantic bunch anyway. They probably got their budget from a flee-market vendor.

Hi Chris
I always assumed that comment had an element of the political in it. "We know what the people want and that is what we are giving them (whether they want it or not)" sort of thing. :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on November 06, 2011, 05:05
...Right, sorry, but even "the top microstock sales person in the world, heck maybe even universe" has stated istock has the hardest submission standards.  Which makes sense to someone who has submitted to them...
That might of been true a few years ago.  Now, I find it much harder to get images accepted with SS and DT than istock.  The initial submission for SS seems much harder than istock, there's lots of people struggling to get in to SS now.  SS still has more images because they have no upload limits, pay higher commissions and have a much easier upload.  Lots of people don't bother with istock now but that's not because they have hard submission standards.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on November 06, 2011, 05:32
Lots of people don't bother with istock now ...
That certainly seems to be the case. I just happened to look at istockcharts last night and found that my meagre nuber of uploads in October (6) was very much on the high side for contributors in the pages around me there.
Sean should be pleased.  :D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: john_woodcock on November 06, 2011, 06:20
Quote
I just happened to look at istockcharts last night and found that my meagre nuber of uploads in October (6) was very much on the high side for contributors in the pages around me there.

I wouldn't take too much notice of those charts, I've uploaded about 16 images in the last 30 days, it's got me down as zero uploads.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on November 06, 2011, 06:54
Quote
I just happened to look at istockcharts last night and found that my meagre nuber of uploads in October (6) was very much on the high side for contributors in the pages around me there.

I wouldn't take too much notice of those charts, I've uploaded about 16 images in the last 30 days, it's got me down as zero uploads.
Fair enough. Plus I just realised that the default sort has changed since last I looked some months back. It used to be that the default was firstly broadbanded by downloads, e.g. 5000+ or whatever, and within that, alphabetically by user name, but now it's broadbanded by downloads, then by uploads in the past 30 days (that it has registered). So not surprising that those around me have low uls for the month, as I have.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pro@stockphotos on November 06, 2011, 10:33
...Right, sorry, but even "the top microstock sales person in the world, heck maybe even universe" has stated istock has the hardest submission standards.  Which makes sense to someone who has submitted to them...
That might of been true a few years ago.  Now, I find it much harder to get images accepted with SS and DT than istock.  The initial submission for SS seems much harder than istock, there's lots of people struggling to get in to SS now.  SS still has more images because they have no upload limits, pay higher commissions and have a much easier upload.  Lots of people don't bother with istock now but that's not because they have hard submission standards.


Oh, you have to love the independent group think on here.  SS pays higher commissions?  Did you read yuri's post "Shutterstock has gone up it seems but has the same low "per-item" commission".  I not happy with they way IS is going, but I have not told myself that I would be better off as an independent over the last 5 years because no one was.  In 2005 Istock payed higher commissions per sale, payed double commission rates to exclusives, and held a market share above 70%.  Even with the mathematical slap in the face, with the guarantee of losing tons of money, some people still went independent.  Factor in the company that was offering this advantage was a great, fair, and growing Canadian start up that was slaying the "evil" Getty and its even more puzzling. 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on November 06, 2011, 11:02
...Right, sorry, but even "the top microstock sales person in the world, heck maybe even universe" has stated istock has the hardest submission standards.  Which makes sense to someone who has submitted to them...
That might of been true a few years ago.  Now, I find it much harder to get images accepted with SS and DT than istock.  The initial submission for SS seems much harder than istock, there's lots of people struggling to get in to SS now.  SS still has more images because they have no upload limits, pay higher commissions and have a much easier upload.  Lots of people don't bother with istock now but that's not because they have hard submission standards.


Oh, you have to love the independent group think on here.  SS pays higher commissions?  Did you read yuri's post "Shutterstock has gone up it seems but has the same low "per-item" commission".  I not happy with they way IS is going, but I have not told myself that I would be better off as an independent over the last 5 years because no one was.  In 2005 Istock payed higher commissions per sale, payed double commission rates to exclusives, and held a market share above 70%.  Even with the mathematical slap in the face, with the guarantee of losing tons of money, some people still went independent.  Factor in the company that was offering this advantage was a great, fair, and growing Canadian start up that was slaying the "evil" Getty and its even more puzzling.  
SS don't just sell subs.  I made more than my earnings from istock with non-subs sales last month, at much better commission rates.  I didn't start until 2006 and never really felt there was an option to go exclusive without losing a lot of money.  Getty had already purchased istock.  Some people do well with istock, I have nothing against exclusives but there's a lot of us that would of made a huge mistake taking that option.

There's a lot of non-exclusive bias on this forum but there are also exclusives that keep saying things that are completely incorrect.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cthoman on November 06, 2011, 12:42
Oh, you have to love the independent group think on here.  SS pays higher commissions?  Did you read yuri's post "Shutterstock has gone up it seems but has the same low "per-item" commission".  I not happy with they way IS is going, but I have not told myself that I would be better off as an independent over the last 5 years because no one was.  In 2005 Istock payed higher commissions per sale, payed double commission rates to exclusives, and held a market share above 70%.  Even with the mathematical slap in the face, with the guarantee of losing tons of money, some people still went independent.  Factor in the company that was offering this advantage was a great, fair, and growing Canadian start up that was slaying the "evil" Getty and its even more puzzling. 

I would have agreed with this a month ago, but now that they have forced independents onto Thinkstock and photos.com, I doubt that they can maintain that higher RPD. Those subs will have to be factored in and will really bring down that average.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on November 06, 2011, 16:18
...Right, sorry, but even "the top microstock sales person in the world, heck maybe even universe" has stated istock has the hardest submission standards.  Which makes sense to someone who has submitted to them...
That might of been true a few years ago.  Now, I find it much harder to get images accepted with SS and DT than istock.  The initial submission for SS seems much harder than istock, there's lots of people struggling to get in to SS now.  SS still has more images because they have no upload limits, pay higher commissions and have a much easier upload.  Lots of people don't bother with istock now but that's not because they have hard submission standards.


Oh, you have to love the independent group think on here.  SS pays higher commissions?  Did you read yuri's post "Shutterstock has gone up it seems but has the same low "per-item" commission".  I not happy with they way IS is going, but I have not told myself that I would be better off as an independent over the last 5 years because no one was.  In 2005 Istock payed higher commissions per sale, payed double commission rates to exclusives, and held a market share above 70%.  Even with the mathematical slap in the face, with the guarantee of losing tons of money, some people still went independent.  Factor in the company that was offering this advantage was a great, fair, and growing Canadian start up that was slaying the "evil" Getty and its even more puzzling.  

Pro@, you are under a mathematical misconception. The 70:30 split (if correct, which it could well be) says nothing whatsoever about whether or not being independent would make more money or not. Say iStock had 10,000 photographers and 70% of the market and SS had 10 photographers and 30% of the market - then SS photographers would get 3% of the total industry spend and iS photographers would get 0.007%, making the independent 4,000 times better off.

You also ignore the fact that most serious independents were also at iSTock, so they got their slice of the 70%, anyway. OK, iStock trimmed the slice back to as little as half of what an exclusive would get, but even so the combined income of all other sites only had to match what a diamond inde was getting at iStock for everything to balance, and on average indes were reporting just under half their income came from istock.

The things that made it impossible for us to know whether we were losing out or not by remaining independent were the higher upload limits, the faster inspection and therefore better search engine position, suspicions that inspection standards were laxer for exclusives than for independents (nobody knows if that was true or not) and, more recently, the introduction of special perks such as higher prices for ordinary files and special collections, like Vetta.

It is entirely possible that you were better off being exclusive, but it is certainly not the open and shut case you think it is.

For many of us, independence was a way of guarding against disasters, such as loss of market position by iStock or simply upsetting someone and getting booted off (which has happened to people) thereby losing everything. If we lost money by steering clear of dependence on iS then that was the price of insurance.

You might also consider that the perks of exclusivity are there precisely because of the competition IS faced from emerging agencies. Dreamstime and Canstock started in June 2004 and SS in October 2004. It wasn't until December that iSTock announced that it would pay extra to people who didn't supply its rivals. So the extra benefits for exclusives only exist due to the hard work of independents who keep rival sites afloat. You should think fondly of us, we give you your extra percentage.

PS: In Jan 2005, I was silver level and 80% of my earnings came from IS and 20% from the new start-ups. I could have got a 25% increase with exclusivity, but that would just have brought things back level. In subsequent years, the growth in the percentage of income from other agencies at least kept pace with my moves up the can levels. The incentive was never pitched at a high enough level to be decisive.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Microstock Posts on November 06, 2011, 16:28
For many of us, independence was a way of guarding against disasters, such as loss of market position by iStock or simply upsetting someone and getting booted off (which has happened to people) thereby losing everything. If we lost money by steering clear of dependence on iS then that was the price of insurance.

You might also consider that the perks of exclusivity are there precisely because of the competition IS faced from emerging agencies. Dreamstime and Canstock started in June 2004 and SS in October 2004. It wasn't until December that iSTock announced that it would pay extra to people who didn't supply its rivals. So the extra benefits for exclusives only exist due to the hard work of independents who keep rival sites afloat. You should think fondly of us, we give you your extra percentage.

This is possibly my all time favourite quote on here. So I just had to quote it and I've got nothing else to say. :D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 06, 2011, 16:33
The incentive was never pitched at a high enough level to be decisive.

That's the truth __ and thank goodness for that. Imagine where we might be if Istock had total control of the market.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Will on November 06, 2011, 17:24
Baldricks, that was some of the most sensible opinion I've read, regarding the exclusive vs independent argument. Well stated!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on November 06, 2011, 19:41
Oh, you have to love the independent group think on here.  SS pays higher commissions?  Did you read yuri's post "Shutterstock has gone up it seems but has the same low "per-item" commission".  I not happy with they way IS is going, but I have not told myself that I would be better off as an independent over the last 5 years because no one was.  In 2005 Istock payed higher commissions per sale, payed double commission rates to exclusives, and held a market share above 70%.  Even with the mathematical slap in the face, with the guarantee of losing tons of money, some people still went independent.  Factor in the company that was offering this advantage was a great, fair, and growing Canadian start up that was slaying the "evil" Getty and its even more puzzling.

My earnings at SS so far this month are more than my earnings at istock will be for the entire month. I don't care what my RPD is at SS (and it's probably more than you think). All that matters is the totals at the end of the month, and in that category, istock doesn't even come close to SS.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cybernesco on November 06, 2011, 20:16
Baldricks, that was some of the most sensible opinion I've read, regarding the exclusive vs independent argument. Well stated!

I agree....Baldricks...you just made this forum that much more interesting to read...thank you for your keen observation and insight!!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 07, 2011, 01:05
Great post Baldricks!  only this  so called buyer,  pro@stockphotos?  I am not sure he is a serious buyer at all, he doesnt reason as one at all. We all know that serious buyers dont care where they buy or whose picture they buy, as long as they can satisfy their clients and thats ofcourse the professional way.
For all we kniow this could be a plant, a pseudo or a troll.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RapidEye on November 07, 2011, 01:48
Absolutely right, Baldrick. Over the past year I've chewed wryly over every one of the points you make. Unfortunately, when I started out in 2006 I rose rapidly through the iStock canisters, giving me a bigger early incentive, and I was rejected by Shutterstock at my first attempt. At this stage the golden handcuffs of exclusivity are pretty tight. I'm sure I've done at least as well as being independent, probably considerably better, but I'd certainly feel more comfortable if I'd paid that insurance premium.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on November 07, 2011, 09:33
The incentive was never pitched at a high enough level to be decisive.

That's the truth __ and thank goodness for that. Imagine where we might be if Istock had total control of the market.

Great post and coverage I'd like to add two more small details.

TAC as some call it. IS has added The Agency Collections, with the most notable EdStock currently at 75600 files! That's direct competition from inside the agency?

Self review. Whether Exclusives get better placement or easier reviews, seems to be unknown, but some people have self review as Exclusives. That has got to hurt.

Why would I want to be an exclusive at an agency that was putting in their own competing files and allowing special people a back door to distribution, when I could be free to sell anywhere I wanted.

Even thought I'm not a big part of Micro like some people, the independent factor just has a nice taste of freedom, freedom from the corporate giant and Big Brother, which right there, is enough to say, no thank you.

The Exclusives are working the system and doing well, I wish them the best, but I think at this point, new people looking at the option will not be dropping every other agency to put all their eggs in one basket. Those days have passed.

Yes PRO, SS pays the higher commissions, in dollars (or whatever people get paid in) and bottom line. I can't spend percentages on food, gas for the car or equipment I can only spend money. :D

IS is leaving Microstock. All the small contributors and crowd-sourcing is going to ThinkStock. Exclusives and pro photo factory collections, are going to IS under assorted price points and names.

That's my interpretation of why sales have migrated from IS over to ThinkStock for many people with MicroStock portfolios.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pro@stockphotos on November 07, 2011, 10:06


Pro@, you are under a mathematical misconception. The 70:30 split (if correct, which it could well be) says nothing whatsoever about whether or not being independent would make more money or not. Say iStock had 10,000 photographers and 70% of the market and SS had 10 photographers and 30% of the market - then SS photographers would get 3% of the total industry spend and iS photographers would get 0.007%, making the independent 4,000 times better off.

You also ignore the fact that most serious independents were also at iSTock, so they got their slice of the 70%, anyway. OK, iStock trimmed the slice back to as little as half of what an exclusive would get, but even so the combined income of all other sites only had to match what a diamond inde was getting at iStock for everything to balance, and on average indes were reporting just under half their income came from istock.

The things that made it impossible for us to know whether we were losing out or not by remaining independent were the higher upload limits, the faster inspection and therefore better search engine position, suspicions that inspection standards were laxer for exclusives than for independents (nobody knows if that was true or not) and, more recently, the introduction of special perks such as higher prices for ordinary files and special collections, like Vetta.

It is entirely possible that you were better off being exclusive, but it is certainly not the open and shut case you think it is.

For many of us, independence was a way of guarding against disasters, such as loss of market position by iStock or simply upsetting someone and getting booted off (which has happened to people) thereby losing everything. If we lost money by steering clear of dependence on iS then that was the price of insurance.

You might also consider that the perks of exclusivity are there precisely because of the competition IS faced from emerging agencies. Dreamstime and Canstock started in June 2004 and SS in October 2004. It wasn't until December that iSTock announced that it would pay extra to people who didn't supply its rivals. So the extra benefits for exclusives only exist due to the hard work of independents who keep rival sites afloat. You should think fondly of us, we give you your extra percentage.

PS: In Jan 2005, I was silver level and 80% of my earnings came from IS and 20% from the new start-ups. I could have got a 25% increase with exclusivity, but that would just have brought things back level. In subsequent years, the growth in the percentage of income from other agencies at least kept pace with my moves up the can levels. The incentive was never pitched at a high enough level to be decisive.

I appreciate your attempt to honestly answer my question without the "name calling" another poster pursued in response.  I am fine with the theory of your answer, however, I have not seen your numbers play out in the earnings stated by independents knowing what comparable exclusives have earned with the same downloads.  If your rise on the other stock sites is comparable to your rise on istock, your portfolio would be stronger with the advantages of being exclusive.  Tell me the top Veta selling photo could make up that income on other sites.  The top independents are losing sales at istock without a large enough growth on the other sites to make up the difference.  The are too many compounding multiples at istock.  Sure some of the top exclusives have seen drops but not all.  While the top independent has felt slowing growth.   It still comes down to protecting your brand.  Whether you a stock site or cola or apple, you can't sell your product at a price based model and see growth in the future.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: luissantos84 on November 07, 2011, 11:19
Why do you even bother dipping below the clouds to spend time with the lowly "micros" as you always point out?

spot on  ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 07, 2011, 11:25


Pro@, you are under a mathematical misconception. The 70:30 split (if correct, which it could well be) says nothing whatsoever about whether or not being independent would make more money or not. Say iStock had 10,000 photographers and 70% of the market and SS had 10 photographers and 30% of the market - then SS photographers would get 3% of the total industry spend and iS photographers would get 0.007%, making the independent 4,000 times better off.

You also ignore the fact that most serious independents were also at iSTock, so they got their slice of the 70%, anyway. OK, iStock trimmed the slice back to as little as half of what an exclusive would get, but even so the combined income of all other sites only had to match what a diamond inde was getting at iStock for everything to balance, and on average indes were reporting just under half their income came from istock.

The things that made it impossible for us to know whether we were losing out or not by remaining independent were the higher upload limits, the faster inspection and therefore better search engine position, suspicions that inspection standards were laxer for exclusives than for independents (nobody knows if that was true or not) and, more recently, the introduction of special perks such as higher prices for ordinary files and special collections, like Vetta.

It is entirely possible that you were better off being exclusive, but it is certainly not the open and shut case you think it is.

For many of us, independence was a way of guarding against disasters, such as loss of market position by iStock or simply upsetting someone and getting booted off (which has happened to people) thereby losing everything. If we lost money by steering clear of dependence on iS then that was the price of insurance.

You might also consider that the perks of exclusivity are there precisely because of the competition IS faced from emerging agencies. Dreamstime and Canstock started in June 2004 and SS in October 2004. It wasn't until December that iSTock announced that it would pay extra to people who didn't supply its rivals. So the extra benefits for exclusives only exist due to the hard work of independents who keep rival sites afloat. You should think fondly of us, we give you your extra percentage.

PS: In Jan 2005, I was silver level and 80% of my earnings came from IS and 20% from the new start-ups. I could have got a 25% increase with exclusivity, but that would just have brought things back level. In subsequent years, the growth in the percentage of income from other agencies at least kept pace with my moves up the can levels. The incentive was never pitched at a high enough level to be decisive.

I appreciate your attempt to honestly answer my question without the "name calling" another poster pursued in response.  I am fine with the theory of your answer, however, I have not seen your numbers play out in the earnings stated by independents knowing what comparable exclusives have earned with the same downloads.  If your rise on the other stock sites is comparable to your rise on istock, your portfolio would be stronger with the advantages of being exclusive.  Tell me the top Veta selling photo could make up that income on other sites.  The top independents are losing sales at istock without a large enough growth on the other sites to make up the difference.  The are too many compounding multiples at istock.  Sure some of the top exclusives have seen drops but not all.  While the top independent has felt slowing growth.   It still comes down to protecting your brand.  Whether you a stock site or cola or apple, you can't sell your product at a price based model and see growth in the future.

Why do you come here pretending you are a buyer?  I know who you are! lets leave it like that and kindly move on, trolling at another forum.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on November 07, 2011, 12:05
If your rise on the other stock sites is comparable to your rise on istock, your portfolio would be stronger with the advantages of being exclusive.  Tell me the top Veta selling photo could make up that income on other sites.  The top independents are losing sales at istock without a large enough growth on the other sites to make up the difference.  The are too many compounding multiples at istock. 

There are not enough data to prove or disprove that point. Personally, I have sold almost three times as many licenses on other sites as I have at iStock. Vetta, higher exclusive prices and the exclusive+ programme are all recent developments. I gather that access to Vetta is not equal for all. Many say that the exclusive-+ pricing lost them more sales than it was worth.

Vetta seems designed for the more "arty" sort of file that some artists are good at and others don't produce at all, so different individuals would have different results from it. It could be off limits for one exclusive artist and a gold mine for another.

The decline in sales reported by senior exclusives seems to be a far more general phenomenon than you suggest, so I think any established independent would have to have lost his marbles to be contemplating exclusivity right now. If iStock can put its ship in order over the coming months that might change (though the warning from recent history will always be there). As it is, buying into iStock right now makes about as much sense as sinking your life savings into Greek government bonds.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on November 07, 2011, 12:06
...If your rise on the other stock sites is comparable to your rise on istock, your portfolio would be stronger with the advantages of being exclusive.  Tell me the top Veta selling photo could make up that income on other sites.  The top independents are losing sales at istock without a large enough growth on the other sites to make up the difference...

You are absolutely right. Please stay exclusive at istock and encourage all other exclusives to remain so as well.

:)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: grp_photo on November 07, 2011, 12:46
As it is, buying into iStock right now makes about as much sense as sinking your life savings into Greek government bonds.
LOL  :D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on November 07, 2011, 14:12
Absolutely right, Baldrick. Over the past year I've chewed wryly over every one of the points you make. Unfortunately, when I started out in 2006 I rose rapidly through the iStock canisters, giving me a bigger early incentive, and I was rejected by Shutterstock at my first attempt. At this stage the golden handcuffs of exclusivity are pretty tight. I'm sure I've done at least as well as being independent, probably considerably better, but I'd certainly feel more comfortable if I'd paid that insurance premium.

I think a lot of exclusives feel this way. I like the simplicity of working with one agency, and I'm generally proud of being an iStock exclusive. but, the last two years have left me feeling frustration and significant concern about the direction things are going. I'm dependent on the income now and I don't believe it's better to be independent. I still think iStock are the industry leaders in many respects. That's proving to be both good and bad for contributors. I have often commented that I think contributors who started early on have it even worse. You would have enjoyed rapid growth and success in the early years, plateaus and then drops in download numbers as the collection has grown exponentially, not to mention the tides of change that keep threatening to drown suppliers.

Having invested everything in a company that communicates less and less with us, and which heavily prioritizes its interests over ours is increasingly unsettling.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on November 07, 2011, 14:19
I don't know why someone would feel proud of being an iStock exclusive. After all, all it means there is that you have licensed more than 500 photos there and decided to stick with the one agency. Surely pride is for an achievement - like licensing a large number of photos or having your work used in ways that show it is highly regarded - not for signing a business lock-in deal.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 07, 2011, 14:38
I don't know why someone would feel proud of being an iStock exclusive. After all, all it means there is that you have licensed more than 500 photos there and decided to stick with the one agency. Surely pride is for an achievement - like licensing a large number of photos or having your work used in ways that show it is highly regarded - not for signing a business lock-in deal.

Youre right!  its pathetic, really. Yes, I can understand pride, if you earned it by merit. Earning it by licensing 500 photos and then make such a song and dance over it. Talk about deprived people.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Freedom on November 07, 2011, 14:39
Is Istock having technical issues today? The sales is terrible.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: grp_photo on November 07, 2011, 14:44
I still think iStock are the industry leaders in many respects.
I think this too. But they are in a decline that's for sure and I don't think the declining trend will stop anyway soon, they have also always been the leader in arrogance.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: grp_photo on November 07, 2011, 14:46
I don't know why someone would feel proud of being an iStock exclusive. After all, all it means there is that you have licensed more than 500 photos there and decided to stick with the one agency. Surely pride is for an achievement - like licensing a large number of photos or having your work used in ways that show it is highly regarded - not for signing a business lock-in deal.
spot on!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on November 07, 2011, 14:47
I'm proud of the work I've done there, the way I've been supported by colleagues and admins, and the educational opportunities there for the taking that I continue to take advantage of. I'm proud of being associated with iStock as the agency they have been at their core (as much as I realize that the core is getting smaller, more and more impotent as the years go on). I realize saying that out loud will be met with cynicism here, but it's how I feel. I don't agree with a lot of the decisions they've made, and I don't agree with every direction they're going in of late. But yeah, I'm proud of being a part of iStock.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: grp_photo on November 07, 2011, 14:54
I realize actually saying that out loud will be met with cynicism here
Well no cynicism from me but you don't need an agency to be proud of your work etc. after all an agency is just an agency and it's obvious that some agencies take advantages of the lack of self-confidence from some of their contributors.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 07, 2011, 15:04
I'm proud of the work I've done there, the way I've been supported by colleagues and admins, and the educational opportunities there for the taking that I continue to take advantage of. I'm proud of being associated with iStock as the agency they have been at their core (as much as I realize that the core is getting smaller, more and more impotent as the years go on). I realize saying that out loud will be met with cynicism here, but it's how I feel. I don't agree with a lot of the decisions they've made, and I don't agree with every direction they're going in of late. But yeah, I'm proud of being a part of iStock.

Hi there!

I am proud too! in spite of being an independant. We had a good run thats for sure but as they say, All good things comes to an end. You have earnt the right to feel proud! worked hard and climbed the ladder which is not an easy task in this business.

The only cynicism you are going to meet here, are by the same noobs that keep bashing me in every thread, i.e. nobodies, so just ignore them.

all the best. :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on November 07, 2011, 15:05
I realize actually saying that out loud will be met with cynicism here
Well no cynicism from me but you don't need an agency to be proud of your work etc. after all an agency is just an agency and it's obvious that some agencies take advantages of the lack of self-confidence from some of their contributors.

thank you. it's not about self-esteem. Obviously I'm proud of my work, independent of agencies I work with. but I wouldn't place my work with any agency I wasn't proud to be associated with. iStock exclusively represents me an an artist globally. that's not a superficial relationship and it is an association I am proud of. I do wish TPTB would remember that at times too. 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: luissantos84 on November 07, 2011, 16:00
The only cynicism you are going to meet here, are by the same noobs that keep bashing me in every thread, i.e. nobodies, so just ignore them.

the only nobody in this forum is you actually, do you know a person here that like you? time to grow up ok? you can do it :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 07, 2011, 16:05
Stacey!  didnt realize, you are only a few short of Diamond level!  good show.

best.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 07, 2011, 16:13
I'm proud of the work I've done there, the way I've been supported by colleagues and admins, and the educational opportunities there for the taking that I continue to take advantage of. I'm proud of being associated with iStock as the agency they have been at their core (as much as I realize that the core is getting smaller, more and more impotent as the years go on). I realize saying that out loud will be met with cynicism here, but it's how I feel. I don't agree with a lot of the decisions they've made, and I don't agree with every direction they're going in of late. But yeah, I'm proud of being a part of iStock.

I'm proud that I managed to read all that without actually throwing up the dinner I've just eaten.

There's nothing to be 'proud' of there at all. Your status at Istock is purely a business decision and emotion should have nothing to do with it. How can you be proud of something that is essentially available for free to anyone who requests it? Let's see just how 'proud' you are to be exclusive in a couple of years time. Actually, by then it might be something to be proud of because they'll be far fewer in number than today.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 07, 2011, 16:18
I'm proud of the work I've done there, the way I've been supported by colleagues and admins, and the educational opportunities there for the taking that I continue to take advantage of. I'm proud of being associated with iStock as the agency they have been at their core (as much as I realize that the core is getting smaller, more and more impotent as the years go on). I realize saying that out loud will be met with cynicism here, but it's how I feel. I don't agree with a lot of the decisions they've made, and I don't agree with every direction they're going in of late. But yeah, I'm proud of being a part of iStock.

I'm proud that I managed to read all that without actually throwing up the dinner I've just eaten.

There's nothing to be 'proud' of there at all. Your status at Istock is purely a business decision and emotion should have nothing to do with it. How can you be proud of something that is essentially available for free to anyone who requests it? Let's see just how 'proud' you are to be exclusive in a couple of years time. Actually, by then it might be something to be proud of because they'll be far fewer in number than today.

What did you eat? Haggis? ;D ;D,  sorry, couldnt resist it.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on November 07, 2011, 16:30
I'm proud of working with companies like StockFresh and GL that pay fair rates, even if they are generally low earners. I'm also proud to work with companies that prefer to give customers what they want rather than telling them that they want something else and giving them that instead. As it relates to vector images, I'm proud to work with agencies that offer images in more current image formats like EPS10, instead of still only offering the antiquated EPS8 format because that's what they tell their customers is best for them (despite the industry-wide adoption of the EPS10 standard).

I'm proud to work with companies that really talk to contributors and work to resolve problems. I'm proud to work with companies that don't lie to me and expect me to believe that they need to take more than 80% of every sale of my work in order to remain "sustainable". And I'm proud to work with the company that is a real industry leader in microstock and knows how to keep their business simple, efficient, and easy for customers to use, while remaining simple, efficient, easy to use, and extremely profitable for contributors.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on November 07, 2011, 17:19
I'm proud that I sold a photo as a work of art for several hundred dollars today. So we've all got something to be proud of. That's great.

I'm somewhat less proud of my really dismal sales tally at iStock today.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: franckreporter on November 07, 2011, 17:31
I'm somewhat less proud of my really dismal sales tally at iStock today.
yeah i have no downloads in the last 2 hour....and this is very very strange for a business day
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Microstock Posts on November 07, 2011, 17:36
I'm proud that I ran out of my house during a minor quake on Friday, holding a full cup of coffee and I didn't spill a drop.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on November 07, 2011, 17:59
I'm proud that I ran out of my house during a minor quake on Friday, holding a full cup of coffee and I didn't spill a drop.

impressive. why waste good coffee...I've seen some tweets and comments about weird site goings ons today. I have some hanging pages too. sales seem normal though.

@Christian: thanks for the note about diamond. still a few downloads away.....
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: hoi ha on November 07, 2011, 20:21
I'm proud to work with companies that really talk to contributors and work to resolve problems. I'm proud to work with companies that don't lie to me and expect me to believe that they need to take more than 80% of every sale of my work in order to remain "sustainable". And I'm proud to work with the company that is a real industry leader in microstock and knows how to keep their business simple, efficient, and easy for customers to use, while remaining simple, efficient, easy to use, and extremely profitable for contributors.

Exactly
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: michealo on November 08, 2011, 04:32

There's nothing to be 'proud' of there at all. Your status at Istock is purely a business decision and emotion should have nothing to do with it. How can you be proud of something that is essentially available for free to anyone who requests it? Let's see just how 'proud' you are to be exclusive in a couple of years time. Actually, by then it might be something to be proud of because they'll be far fewer in number than today.

spot on, there are way too many emotions bandied around in this and other forums.

it's a business plain and simple
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 08, 2011, 04:42

There's nothing to be 'proud' of there at all. Your status at Istock is purely a business decision and emotion should have nothing to do with it. How can you be proud of something that is essentially available for free to anyone who requests it? Let's see just how 'proud' you are to be exclusive in a couple of years time. Actually, by then it might be something to be proud of because they'll be far fewer in number than today.

spot on, there are way too many emotions bandied around in this and other forums.

it's a business plain and simple


Gotswyck, is right on that one. In a couple of years time, the number of contributors will be cut in half,  not just IS but in the entire micro business. Always happens.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Perry on November 08, 2011, 05:10
I'm proud of the work I've done there, the way I've been supported by colleagues and admins, and the educational opportunities there for the taking that I continue to take advantage of. I'm proud of being associated with iStock as the agency they have been at their core (as much as I realize that the core is getting smaller, more and more impotent as the years go on). I realize saying that out loud will be met with cynicism here, but it's how I feel. I don't agree with a lot of the decisions they've made, and I don't agree with every direction they're going in of late. But yeah, I'm proud of being a part of iStock.


Is there a parallel universe or something similiar? Or is there another iStock that I'm not aware of? bizarro-istock.com? ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bizarro (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bizarro) )
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cybernesco on November 08, 2011, 08:48
Yesterday I have noticed an iStock ad banner within my Yahoo email account. Interestingly for me, this particular ad banner was featuring one of my images directly linked to my iStock port. However, despite the extra attention, I ended the day making only $1.25. Long gone are the business days when I used to average $20-$30 a day.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Microstock Posts on November 08, 2011, 08:57
Yesterday I have noticed an iStock ad banner within my Yahoo email account. Interestingly for me, this particular ad banner was featuring one of my images directly linked to my iStock port. However, despite the extra attention, I ended the day making only $1.25. Long gone are the business days when I used to average $20-$30 a day.

Maybe it's a last resort and they are trying to get the contributors to buy their own images.  :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cybernesco on November 08, 2011, 09:01
Yesterday I have noticed an iStock ad banner within my Yahoo email account. Interestingly for me, this particular ad banner was featuring one of my images directly linked to my iStock port. However, despite the extra attention, I ended the day making only $1.25. Long gone are the business days when I used to average $20-$30 a day.

Maybe it's a last resort and they are trying to get the contributors to buy their own images.  :)

Thanks...that is funny..  :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on November 08, 2011, 09:33
Yesterday I have noticed an iStock ad banner within my Yahoo email account. Interestingly for me, this particular ad banner was featuring one of my images directly linked to my iStock port. However, despite the extra attention, I ended the day making only $1.25. Long gone are the business days when I used to average $20-$30 a day.

The ad is based on files you've looked at in your port, or images around  or like these ones. We all get different files shown (I get my own). Many companies seem to do this nowadays - I'm always getting ads featuring things I recently looked at, even if I already bought it from the site. It's no doubt a developing technology.
See also http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/how-does-advertising-work/msg226634/?topicseen#new (http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/how-does-advertising-work/msg226634/?topicseen#new)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on November 08, 2011, 09:49
In a couple of years time, the number of contributors will be cut in half,  not just IS but in the entire micro business. Always happens.


Probably due to death by starvation among those trying to make a living out of it ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 08, 2011, 10:03
In a couple of years time, the number of contributors will be cut in half,  not just IS but in the entire micro business. Always happens.


Probably due to death by starvation among those trying to make a living out of it ;)

Well it wouldnt surprise me, Seriously though there must come a time when the agencies becomes more selective, I know its the internet and all but files are still clogging up, tons of irrelevant material and too much generic stuff.
DT, has already started to weed it out. Next will be that the only ports accepted are somewhat specialized material.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cybernesco on November 08, 2011, 10:13
Yesterday I have noticed an iStock ad banner within my Yahoo email account. Interestingly for me, this particular ad banner was featuring one of my images directly linked to my iStock port. However, despite the extra attention, I ended the day making only $1.25. Long gone are the business days when I used to average $20-$30 a day.

The ad is based on files you've looked at in your port, or images around  or like these ones. We all get different files shown (I get my own). Many companies seem to do this nowadays - I'm always getting ads featuring things I recently looked at, even if I already bought it from the site. It's no doubt a developing technology.
See also [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/how-does-advertising-work/msg226634/?topicseen#new[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/how-does-advertising-work/msg226634/?topicseen#new[/url])


It does make more sense now as I was probably the only one getting my image featured.....thanks
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on November 08, 2011, 10:25

Oh, you have to love the independent group think on here.  SS pays higher commissions?  ...

How about a bit of data from an independent. Yesterday I made more than twice the money on SS that I did on iStock. No ELs at either site. The on demand and singles sales really bring the SS returns per download up, not to mention that if you get a lot of those wretched discounted credits (where the buyer paid around 50 cents) the returns at iStock really look weak.

This isn't group think. This is just the way it is right now.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Freedom on November 08, 2011, 10:48
It started badly yesterday, but it was actually one of the better days. Most sales were in late afternoon and evening, not the usual heavy DL time. Perhaps the reporting was delayed?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 08, 2011, 10:56

Oh, you have to love the independent group think on here.  SS pays higher commissions?  ...

How about a bit of data from an independent. Yesterday I made more than twice the money on SS that I did on iStock. No ELs at either site. The on demand and singles sales really bring the SS returns per download up, not to mention that if you get a lot of those wretched discounted credits (where the buyer paid around 50 cents) the returns at iStock really look weak.

This isn't group think. This is just the way it is right now.

True!  and here, 3 times more then IS, and with some on-demand-sales.  No comparison.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: wut on November 08, 2011, 12:45

Oh, you have to love the independent group think on here.  SS pays higher commissions?  ...

How about a bit of data from an independent. Yesterday I made more than twice the money on SS that I did on iStock. No ELs at either site. The on demand and singles sales really bring the SS returns per download up, not to mention that if you get a lot of those wretched discounted credits (where the buyer paid around 50 cents) the returns at iStock really look weak.

This isn't group think. This is just the way it is right now.

True!  and here, 3 times more then IS, and with some on-demand-sales.  No comparison.


Almost x400 in my case, 1 sub Xs DL (10c) vs 15 subs, 1 OD and 1 EL at SS today.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on November 08, 2011, 13:20
if things are so great as an independent, why all the effort to convince exclusives that we're willfully walking the plank? relative to past years, downloads are either down for many of the longest contributing artists, or they've stopped growing as they had. But income and dls are up for some of us middle of the road contributors who sell a moderate volume, upload diverse content regularly.  sales aren't down for everyone, quite the contrary. I'm on track to have a record month again for downloads and income and I know a number of diamonds who are better performers than me, whose sales have also really picked up over the last two months.

it's an incorrect assumption that dls should increase at a regular rate with portfolio growth. more important is the rate of growth of the entire collection:rate of growth in your portfolio. new content being uploaded has to be competitive. there's a lot of good imagery in a collection of 10M. Some longtime contributors have rested on their laurels uploading very little new content and riding sales on bestsellers for too long. or compete with themselves by uploading the same concepts and scenes year after year with different models.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 08, 2011, 13:49
if things are so great as an independent, why all the effort to convince exclusives that we're willfully walking the plank? relative to past years, downloads are either down for many of the longest contributing artists, or they've stopped growing as they had. But income and dls are up for some of us middle of the road contributors who sell a moderate volume, upload diverse content regularly.  sales aren't down for everyone, quite the contrary. I'm on track to have a record month again for downloads and income and I know a number of diamonds who are better performers than me, whose sales have also really picked up over the last two months.

it's an incorrect assumption that dls should increase at a regular rate with portfolio growth. more important is the rate of growth of the entire collection:rate of growth in your portfolio. new content being uploaded has to be competitive. there's a lot of good imagery in a collection of 10M. Some longtime contributors have rested on their laurels uploading very little new content and riding sales on bestsellers for too long. or compete with themselves by uploading the same concepts and scenes year after year with different models.

To be honest I'm not surprised that your sales are increasing. Not only are you uploading regularly but the quality of your work has been transformed beyond recognition over the last couple of years. You've become a completely different stock photographer. Some of your latest stuff is truly excellent and appropriately benefits from TAC/Vetta rates. I'm sure you would be far better off remaining exclusive for the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on November 08, 2011, 14:05
if things are so great as an independent, why all the effort to convince exclusives that we're willfully walking the plank? ...

No one makes any initial effort to convince exclusives of anything, certainly not here. What happens when an exclusive starts making claims about how much better off independents would be as exclusives, is those with some data comment on or refute those claims.

And as far as sales growth goes, you have a relatively very large portfolio - bigger than lisafx or gostwyk and triple the size of mine. The one thing you won't/can't know is how much better that might be doing (a) elsewhere or (b) at iStock if they hadn't taken a dump on contributors and buyers.

The decision to stick with iStock isn't of any concern to anyone other than you. But expect pushback when exclusives make inaccurate comments about the outside world.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: loop on November 08, 2011, 14:40
Comparing sales at differents sites with different porfolios sizes (for independents, IS almost always the smaller because of upload limits) makes little sense. For me, the only figure that makes sense is Return Per Upload (Return for time and money invested would make sense too, but that's not easy to calculate). Now and then, some independents have published here these RPU figures for their portfolios, and to be true I've never seen none highest than mine's as an IS average exclusive  --not a super-star, not even near-- at 40%. Maybe they exist, it's possible, but I haven't seen them.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: aeonf on November 08, 2011, 14:46
Comparing sales at differents sites with different porfolios sizes (for independents, IS almost always the smaller because of upload limits) makes little sense. For me, the only figure that makes sense is Return Per Upload (Return for time and money invested would make sense too, but that's not easy to calculate). Now and then, some independents have published here these RPU figures for their portfolios, and to be true I've never seen none highest than mine's as an IS average exclusive  --not a super-star, not even near-- at 40%. Maybe they exist, it's possible, but I haven't seen them.

if you are at 40% you are a VERY high ranking exlusive. that mark isn't reached by many.
in addition the term is usually referred as RPI and that indeed is the most important parameter to compare.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on November 08, 2011, 15:18
if things are so great as an independent, why all the effort to convince exclusives that we're willfully walking the plank? ...

No one makes any initial effort to convince exclusives of anything, certainly not here. What happens when an exclusive starts making claims about how much better off independents would be as exclusives, is those with some data comment on or refute those claims.

And as far as sales growth goes, you have a relatively very large portfolio - bigger than lisafx or gostwyk and triple the size of mine. The one thing you won't/can't know is how much better that might be doing (a) elsewhere or (b) at iStock if they hadn't taken a dump on contributors and buyers.

The decision to stick with iStock isn't of any concern to anyone other than you. But expect pushback when exclusives make inaccurate comments about the outside world.

I'm not commenting on the outside world JoAnn. I haven't been independent, and I agree that there's no way to know--other than comparing how some other indies are doing with similar images and port size--how I would be doing as an independent. but there's little incentive to take the risk right now. I'm certainly not trying to convince anyone to become exclusive. A: why invite more competition, B: I know what works for me may not work for someone else. that is the nature of this business. but what is frequently commented here (despite your claim that it isn't), is that it's is virtually impossible to be doing well on iStock. and if you think you're doing well, you're in denial because they are nothing more than greedy corporate a55hats perpetually screwing us. like most things, fact exists somewhere in the middle.

@gostwyck: I think that is the nicest thing you've ever said to me. I'm not sure you meant it to be, maybe I'm missing some sarcasm. but thanks nonetheless.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: disorderly on November 08, 2011, 16:08
in addition the term is usually referred as RPI and that indeed is the most important parameter to compare.

Maybe for you, but not for me.

I generally have two kinds of shoots.  First are model shoots, where the expense is high, the sales per image are low, and I can get a lot of images accepted due to changes of outfit and expression.  I can get a hundred photos from a single session with a single model, and although my RPI/RPU will be low, my return on the shoot is potentially very high.

The second type of shoot is everything else: scenics, isolated objects, road signs, whatever.  My expense for the shoot may be low, but the number of images I generate is equally low.  RPI for these images will likely be higher than my model images when taken individually, but lower when compared to the model images taken in aggregate.

My RPI has been dropping like a rock since I started shooting models in 2008.  On the other hand, my revenue from stock has been increasing nicely.  My portfolio size has grown faster than revenue, which only matters if I consider a (to me) false measure like RPI.  Fortunately, I don't.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on November 08, 2011, 16:50


@gostwyck: I think that is the nicest thing you've ever said to me. I'm not sure you meant it to be, maybe I'm missing some sarcasm. but thanks nonetheless.

Gostwyck has an unblemished record of saying exactly what he thinks, so I would take that as his professional assessment of your progress.

As for trying to win over people - I don't think that is what is going on here. It is more a mixture of self-justification and exchange of information. In a polarised situation, both sides always have a set of reasons as to why they are right.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Perry on November 08, 2011, 17:01
I generally have two kinds of shoots.  First are model shoots, where the expense is high, the sales per image are low, and I can get a lot of images accepted due to changes of outfit and expression.  I can get a hundred photos from a single session with a single model, and although my RPI/RPU will be low, my return on the shoot is potentially very high.

The second type of shoot is everything else: scenics, isolated objects, road signs, whatever.  My expense for the shoot may be low, but the number of images I generate is equally low.  RPI for these images will likely be higher than my model images when taken individually, but lower when compared to the model images taken in aggregate.

My RPI has been dropping like a rock since I started shooting models in 2008.  On the other hand, my revenue from stock has been increasing nicely.  My portfolio size has grown faster than revenue, which only matters if I consider a (to me) false measure like RPI.  Fortunately, I don't.

Seems like you have been using RPI to analyze your sales, haven't you? :D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: aeonf on November 08, 2011, 17:29
in addition the term is usually referred as RPI and that indeed is the most important parameter to compare.

Maybe for you, but not for me.

I generally have two kinds of shoots.  First are model shoots, where the expense is high, the sales per image are low, and I can get a lot of images accepted due to changes of outfit and expression.  I can get a hundred photos from a single session with a single model, and although my RPI/RPU will be low, my return on the shoot is potentially very high.

The second type of shoot is everything else: scenics, isolated objects, road signs, whatever.  My expense for the shoot may be low, but the number of images I generate is equally low.  RPI for these images will likely be higher than my model images when taken individually, but lower when compared to the model images taken in aggregate.

My RPI has been dropping like a rock since I started shooting models in 2008.  On the other hand, my revenue from stock has been increasing nicely.  My portfolio size has grown faster than revenue, which only matters if I consider a (to me) false measure like RPI.  Fortunately, I don't.

You didn't understand me. I was not saying that a high RPI is a goal, but it is the only methood of comparing performance accross sites and over time.
For example the monthly earnings report here on MSG, people compare their sales from one MS to another but fail to mention the portfolio size in each site.  a true and correct comparison would be comparing RPI's accross sites.

To sum things up, RPI is a good comparison tool as well as planning things (like what would be your return on a shoot for example)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: disorderly on November 08, 2011, 17:41
You didn't understand me. I was not saying that a high RPI is a goal, but it is the only methood of comparing performance accross sites and over time.
For example the monthly earnings report here on MSG, people compare their sales from one MS to another but fail to mention the portfolio size in each site.  a true and correct comparison would be comparing RPI's accross sites.

To sum things up, RPI is a good comparison tool as well as planning things (like what would be your return on a shoot for example)

I did understand you.  I just don't agree.

Here's the thing: comparing agencies requires considering several factors, many of which are out of our control.  If I submit to iStock (which I no longer do), then I have to make allowances for the fact that I can generate many more images than they will accept.  Where's the value in a shoot that can produce 100 or more images if their upload limits restrict me to maybe 30 a week?  It's the same with Dreamstime, only worse, since they restrict both the number I may upload and the number of images they consider similar.  They'd restrict me to perhaps ten images of the same model in the same clothing, where Shutterstock may allow me thirty or fifty if they are sufficiently distinct.  So my ability to earn from studio shoots is much more restricted by those two agencies, while others will let me spread the expense over many more images.

Looked at another way, RPI assumes that the production cost per image (CPI?) is relatively constant.  It's not.  And if it's not constant, then we're not really looking at the revenue from a generic image, since we don't have such a thing.  Some images cost $10 to produce, some cost $100 and some cost nothing but time.  What's the point in considering their average revenue when their average cost is all over the map?

You're right that I considered RPI.  I considered it and then rejected it as meaningless for my portfolio.  Your mileage may differ.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: aeonf on November 08, 2011, 17:50
^^^ I hear you and do you have some good points points.
I can tell you that for us our RPI is VERY stable (standard deviation of 15% if that means anything to you) and is a great way for planning ahead.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: wut on November 08, 2011, 18:02
Where's the value in a shoot that can produce 100 or more images if their upload limits restrict me to maybe 30 a week?  It's the same with Dreamstime, only worse, since they restrict both the number I may upload and the number of images they consider similar.  They'd restrict me to perhaps ten images of the same model in the same clothing, where Shutterstock may allow me thirty or fifty if they are sufficiently distinct.  So my ability to earn from studio shoots is much more restricted by those two agencies, while others will let me spread the expense over many more images.

You say it pays out to have a lot more images of the same model, but does it pay out to do so much more retouching to get a few extra bucks per photo? Or do you retouch a model photo in 5 minutes (and don't strive to get the best result possible)? I did upload more photos of the same model at a couple occasions but it never payed out, especially considering all the extra time I had to put into postproduction. If I uploaded 5 relatively similar shots, 1 at best sells well, a couple get a DL or 2, a couple don't get any. So I try to focus more on quality then on quantity, though I admit I'm having a hard time hitting the right ratio. Because OTOH you never know what will sell. But from my experience uploading too many similars doesn't get you a noticeable bump in sales and lowers the RPI (although I know you don't care for it). I average just about 10 shots per shoot with a single model.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pancaketom on November 08, 2011, 18:21
RPE (Return Per Effort) makes more sense than RPI.

or at least for multiple sites, RPI (where the I = images uploaded, not accepted).

For example back when SS took them, random background texture shots were pretty low sellers, but they took almost no effort, so they still had a decent RPE. Now that they are mostly rejected - they aren't worth the effort. (but the old ones submitted back in the day are still there selling every once in a while).
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: disorderly on November 08, 2011, 18:25
You say it pays out to have a lot more images of the same model, but does it pay out to do so much more retouching to get a few extra bucks per photo? Or do you retouch a model photo in 5 minutes (and don't strive to get the best result possible)? I did upload more photos of the same model at a couple occasions but it never payed out, especially considering all the extra time I had to put into postproduction. If I uploaded 5 relatively similar shots, 1 at best sells well, a couple get a DL or 2, a couple don't get any. So I try to focus more on quality then on quantity, though I admit I'm having a hard time hitting the right ratio. Because OTOH you never know what will sell. But from my experience uploading too many similars doesn't get you a noticeable bump in sales and lowers the RPI (although I know you don't care for it). I average just about 10 shots per shoot with a single model.

As you say, I keep my retouching to a minimum.  Get the composition right in camera, adjust levels in ACR, fix skin with Portraiture, clean up whatever's necessary with the healing brush, and move on to the next photo.  I'm not an aggressive retoucher, and like to enhance what I captured on the day without changing it dramatically.  

I have a very high rate of acceptance at Shutterstock, so they must not hate what I'm giving them.  And I often get sales of multiple images from the same series, particularly at Shutterstock, 123RF, and Deposit, and less often at other sites.  I guess somebody (or a bunch of somebodies) sees value in different presentations of the same subject.

But my original point stands: RPI doesn't tell me anything I care to know.  Revenue matters, not RPI.  I can always increase RPI by deleting images that don't sell well, but how does that make me more money?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: disorderly on November 08, 2011, 18:27
RPE (Return Per Effort) makes more sense than RPI.

Yep.  Although a lot of what I shoot for stock I'd shoot anyway.  I like doing this, so doing less of it to optimize RPE would make me unhappy.  :'(
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: wut on November 08, 2011, 19:37
RPE (Return Per Effort) makes more sense than RPI.

Yep.  Although a lot of what I shoot for stock I'd shoot anyway.  I like doing this, so doing less of it to optimize RPE would make me unhappy.  :'(

I do the same half of the time. It's not very profitable for me, but at least I enjoy doing it. I really love doing it most of the time :) . And the best thing is, I often think it's gonna be a boring shoot, but it has to be done, it's stock photography. But halfway over the shoot I realize how much fun I'm having with the model(s), the crew (when a MUA and assistant are present), all the laughing...But from time to time I really have to do a conceptual shoot, something for the soul. I still upload it to MS sites and am happy for every cent that I earn with those shots (since I know they're not stocky)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: mtilghma on November 09, 2011, 15:31

There's nothing to be 'proud' of there at all. Your status at Istock is purely a business decision and emotion should have nothing to do with it. How can you be proud of something that is essentially available for free to anyone who requests it? Let's see just how 'proud' you are to be exclusive in a couple of years time. Actually, by then it might be something to be proud of because they'll be far fewer in number than today.

spot on, there are way too many emotions bandied around in this and other forums.

it's a business plain and simple


Gotswyck, is right on that one. In a couple of years time, the number of contributors will be cut in half,  not just IS but in the entire micro business. Always happens.

Now I've been in micro awhile, but just started actively paying attention to the overall numbers and economics recently, so I might be ignorant, but...
when has this happened before?  I thought the number of contributors in the microstock industry as a whole has pretty much increased monotonically since its inception.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on November 09, 2011, 15:42
...when has this happened before?  I thought the number of contributors in the microstock industry as a whole has pretty much increased monotonically since its inception.

I think lagereek was referring to the folks who do this as part of all of their income. Semi-pros and pros. The suggested implication is that there will be far fewer people doing this in those capacities in a few years time.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on November 09, 2011, 23:00

Now I've been in micro awhile, but just started actively paying attention to the overall numbers and economics recently, so I might be ignorant, but...
when has this happened before?  I thought the number of contributors in the microstock industry as a whole has pretty much increased monotonically since its inception.

Not so sure about that, it was a climbing number per year and then two or three years ago, new members started dropping. I don't think it's been growing at a constant rate at any point. If you want, I'll start another topic and show some new artist numbers for the last seven years? I always enjoy investigating and looking at trends.

As for the number of photos, yes, that's seems to be increasing at a rapid but steady rate.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: The Mighty Jungle on November 10, 2011, 09:57
>If you want, I'll start another topic and show some new artist numbers for the last seven years?

Would like to see those numbers.... and even more important, I'd love to see your traffic stats comparing istockphoto.com with the other top microstock sites. I've looked at them on alexa and it's hugely depressing... would love to see what you have.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pet_chia on November 10, 2011, 12:33
I've seen a more or less steady decrease in downloads and $ ever since early 2011.  This current month is on track to be the worst month ever, since going exclusive.

I'm assuming, based on some of the comments on this thread, that IS is losing market share and the decline is not merely because of the economic slowdown.

The obvious question is what, if anything has IS done to drive away their customers?  If the decline is as serious as it appears to be, then what are they going to do about it? 

I'm not going to ride this sucker to the bottom ... if Nov and Dec continue this way then I'll have to consider moving my portfolio elsewhere.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on November 10, 2011, 13:31
...The obvious question is what, if anything has IS done to drive away their customers?  If the decline is as serious as it appears to be, then what are they going to do about it?...

I think they know that buyers are unhappy and that was evident in the line of questioning seen in the recent customer survey. Questions about prices, where else people buy images, what they don't like about the istock credit system, the confusing nature of the different credit prices and image collections, and how much effort would it take to move their business elsewhere seemed to indicate that they know buyers are leaving, they're fearful of an increased rate of departure, and they are interested in finding out what they can do about it.

The problem I see is that even if the survey suggests that there are pricing problems and istock is willing to acknowledge those problems, they're unlikely to take the necessary action to correct the problem. The solution to these problems is to simplify the pricing structure and cut prices. However that solution goes against the last couple of years of change at istock. It's essentially asking management to be willing to take less money for each sale, and to possibly reassess their higher priced collections. Worse yet, it's surely a pay cut for contributors, at least in the short-term, until sales volume picks back up.

I think they're well aware of what the problems are, and that survey was just a means of confirming the obvious. Whether or not they're willing to put a solution into action is a whole other story.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pet_chia on November 10, 2011, 13:52
...  It's essentially asking management to be willing to take less money for each sale, and to possibly reassess their higher priced collections. Worse yet, it's surely a pay cut for contributors, at least in the short-term, until sales volume picks back up.

I think they're well aware of what the problems are, and that survey was just a means of confirming the obvious. Whether or not they're willing to put a solution into action is a whole other story.

Besides those fairly rational reasons why management might have for not wanting to back down and lower prices, simplify the collections, etc. there are the irrational reasons.  Someone in management might have done a big selling job and convinced the decision makers that it was a great idea to raise prices, provide often similar-looking content at vastly different prices, import large collections of older content without close inspections, etc.  Or maybe it was a top management person who came up with the idea.  They may have to be beat up pretty bad by the customers and by the company owners/board of directors before they admit that they were wrong.  Or maybe they'll never admit they were wrong, and they'll simply have to be replaced.

I have witnessed stagnant, scared management before in a large company.  In my experience the biggest problem of all, the one that damages companies the most, is not an unwillingness to accept new ideas or to change the approach in technology or sales ... the really big problem is that people in responsible positions often have a very hard time holding their underlings truly accountable ... by telling them bluntly that they screwed up, by moving them to other jobs and shifting their responsibilities, or by firing them.  The more that management hangs out together at parties, on vacation, etc. the more close they become and the more slack the company becomes.  They would rather go down with the ship than make a scene with their buddy who just happens to be steering the ship onto the rocks.

Just saying ...
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: mtilghma on November 10, 2011, 14:32

Now I've been in micro awhile, but just started actively paying attention to the overall numbers and economics recently, so I might be ignorant, but...
when has this happened before?  I thought the number of contributors in the microstock industry as a whole has pretty much increased monotonically since its inception.

Not so sure about that, it was a climbing number per year and then two or three years ago, new members started dropping. I don't think it's been growing at a constant rate at any point. If you want, I'll start another topic and show some new artist numbers for the last seven years? I always enjoy investigating and looking at trends.

As for the number of photos, yes, that's seems to be increasing at a rapid but steady rate.

the number of new contributors dropped, but the number of total contributors kept growing.  monotonically does not mean linearly, it just means it kept increasing (ie, the total number of contributors never decreased).  For instance, a plot of sqrt(x) for instance grows monotonically, even though the slope keeps decreasing.  Lagereek was claiming, or so I thought, that actual total number of contributors would decrease, not new contributors each year.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on November 10, 2011, 15:04

Now I've been in micro awhile, but just started actively paying attention to the overall numbers and economics recently, so I might be ignorant, but...
when has this happened before?  I thought the number of contributors in the microstock industry as a whole has pretty much increased monotonically since its inception.

Not so sure about that, it was a climbing number per year and then two or three years ago, new members started dropping. I don't think it's been growing at a constant rate at any point. If you want, I'll start another topic and show some new artist numbers for the last seven years? I always enjoy investigating and looking at trends.

As for the number of photos, yes, that's seems to be increasing at a rapid but steady rate.

the number of new contributors dropped, but the number of total contributors kept growing.  monotonically does not mean linearly, it just means it kept increasing (ie, the total number of contributors never decreased).  For instance, a plot of sqrt(x) for instance grows monotonically, even though the slope keeps decreasing.  Lagereek was claiming, or so I thought, that actual total number of contributors would decrease, not new contributors each year.

Got it, I read the word to mean increasing at a constant rate, same number of new users increasing each year over the last year, plus the number of new users the previous year. x (new users) plus the constant increase in new users.

If you are viewing total users, I'd say, that's always increasing, even if there are drops. See the new thread for new member counts which I'm beginning to wonder about how accurate they are using the Contributor Charts data. It seems to be growing and new users added, even back to 2002 counts?

I'd have to agree that the number of total contributors has not dropped and more are joining than leaving. Net gain continues.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 10, 2011, 16:33
In the case of IS, its pretty straight forward, I think. Getty has scared them stiff, the Admin is walking a tight-rope, afraid of getting kicked out and they would do and say, yes, to just about anything.
Mind! same as H&F, has got Getty by the short and curlies.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: mtilghma on November 10, 2011, 17:53
I actually don't disagree that the number of contributors might start dropping, I just found the "always happens" comment odd, because as far as I know, this would be the first time ever in the microstock industry's existence that the number of contributors has begun to drop.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pancaketom on November 10, 2011, 19:29
I would expect people who are disillusioned with microstock to just stop uploading, so they would still appear to be a contributor, but not an active one.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: jbarber873 on November 10, 2011, 19:32
The only cynicism you are going to meet here, are by the same noobs that keep bashing me in every thread, i.e. nobodies, so just ignore them.

the only nobody in this forum is you actually, do you know a person here that like you? time to grow up ok? you can do it :)

   I like lagereek. And anyway, can we get back on the topic of cockroaches? Or maybe laundry tips- I really miss that one.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Pixart on November 10, 2011, 21:23
The only cynicism you are going to meet here, are by the same noobs that keep bashing me in every thread, i.e. nobodies, so just ignore them.

the only nobody in this forum is you actually, do you know a person here that like you? time to grow up ok? you can do it :)

I hope you guys know each other and this is a joke between mates, otherwise Luissantos don't you think you are being a bit mean?  If I heard my kid speak like this he would be grounded for a month.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 11, 2011, 01:28
The only cynicism you are going to meet here, are by the same noobs that keep bashing me in every thread, i.e. nobodies, so just ignore them.

the only nobody in this forum is you actually, do you know a person here that like you? time to grow up ok? you can do it :)

I hope you guys know each other and this is a joke between mates, otherwise Luissantos don't you think you are being a bit mean?  If I heard my kid speak like this he would be grounded for a month.


 ;D ;D,  but Luis, IS, a kid!  joined in 2010 and KNOWS everything, seen everything and done everything. ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cathyslife on November 11, 2011, 07:23
snip
I have witnessed stagnant, scared management before in a large company.  In my experience the biggest problem of all, the one that damages companies the most, is not an unwillingness to accept new ideas or to change the approach in technology or sales ... the really big problem is that people in responsible positions often have a very hard time holding their underlings truly accountable ... by telling them bluntly that they screwed up, by moving them to other jobs and shifting their responsibilities, or by firing them.  The more that management hangs out together at parties, on vacation, etc. the more close they become and the more slack the company becomes.  They would rather go down with the ship than make a scene with their buddy who just happens to be steering the ship onto the rocks.

Just saying ...

I think you have nailed istock (and other companies, including the one I used to work for) right on the head.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: franckreporter on November 11, 2011, 09:12
today is so far the worst business day in the last 2 month !!! huge drop for me.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: FD on November 11, 2011, 09:26
today is so far the worst business day in the last 2 month !!! huge drop for me.
Today 11/11 is the anniversary of the end of WWI (or the signing of the treaty) and a holiday in a few (?) European countries. Many people are off for a long weekend.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: luissantos84 on November 11, 2011, 10:08
The only cynicism you are going to meet here, are by the same noobs that keep bashing me in every thread, i.e. nobodies, so just ignore them.

the only nobody in this forum is you actually, do you know a person here that like you? time to grow up ok? you can do it :)

I hope you guys know each other and this is a joke between mates, otherwise Luissantos don't you think you are being a bit mean?  If I heard my kid speak like this he would be grounded for a month.


 ;D ;D,  but Luis, IS, a kid!  joined in 2010 and KNOWS everything, seen everything and done everything. ;D

very far from that and I am the first person to admit it, I do enjoy great photographers/pictures I just abominate people full of themselves, sorry
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on November 11, 2011, 10:15
very far from that and I am the first person to admit it, I do enjoy great photographers/pictures I just abominate people full of themselves, sorry
Apparently, 29 people agree.  ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 11, 2011, 10:40
very far from that and I am the first person to admit it, I do enjoy great photographers/pictures I just abominate people full of themselves, sorry
Apparently, 29 people agree.  ;)

31, actually!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 11, 2011, 10:43
The only cynicism you are going to meet here, are by the same noobs that keep bashing me in every thread, i.e. nobodies, so just ignore them.

the only nobody in this forum is you actually, do you know a person here that like you? time to grow up ok? you can do it :)

I hope you guys know each other and this is a joke between mates, otherwise Luissantos don't you think you are being a bit mean?  If I heard my kid speak like this he would be grounded for a month.


 ;D ;D,  but Luis, IS, a kid!  joined in 2010 and KNOWS everything, seen everything and done everything. ;D

very far from that and I am the first person to admit it, I do enjoy great photographers/pictures I just abominate people full of themselves, sorry


I dont get it?  why the inferiority?  after all you had Vasco Da Gama,  that should last a few centuaries. ;D ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: grp_photo on November 11, 2011, 10:55
very far from that and I am the first person to admit it, I do enjoy great photographers/pictures I just abominate people full of themselves, sorry
Apparently, 29 people agree.  ;)
or 17 in the other direction  ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 11, 2011, 11:02
very far from that and I am the first person to admit it, I do enjoy great photographers/pictures I just abominate people full of themselves, sorry
Apparently, 29 people agree.  ;)
or 17 in the other direction  ;)

Yeah right!  Sue= 21  and Luis = 24,  that makes 45. Jeez!  what a pair,  makes me look like a Sunday-school.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: jbarber873 on November 11, 2011, 11:44
snip
I have witnessed stagnant, scared management before in a large company.  In my experience the biggest problem of all, the one that damages companies the most, is not an unwillingness to accept new ideas or to change the approach in technology or sales ... the really big problem is that people in responsible positions often have a very hard time holding their underlings truly accountable ... by telling them bluntly that they screwed up, by moving them to other jobs and shifting their responsibilities, or by firing them.  The more that management hangs out together at parties, on vacation, etc. the more close they become and the more slack the company becomes.  They would rather go down with the ship than make a scene with their buddy who just happens to be steering the ship onto the rocks.

Just saying ...

I think you have nailed istock (and other companies, including the one I used to work for) right on the head.

    Totally agree. Of course, that's what H&F is supposed to be doing- taking a bad management team and turning it into a good one. One of these days they better get started...
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: mtilghma on November 11, 2011, 13:07
Holy sh*t I'm confused.  Where did all these random numbers of people come from?

More importantly, why?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on November 11, 2011, 14:08
The only cynicism you are going to meet here, are by the same noobs that keep bashing me in every thread, i.e. nobodies, so just ignore them.

the only nobody in this forum is you actually, do you know a person here that like you? time to grow up ok? you can do it :)

   I like lagereek. And anyway, can we get back on the topic of cockroaches? Or maybe laundry tips- I really miss that one.

I like him too!  Christian's a great guy.  His eccentricities are part of what makes him fun :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on November 11, 2011, 14:13
I like him too. Sometimes he goes over the top, but you need to be a little crazy to survive in this industry for as long as he has.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: luissantos84 on November 11, 2011, 14:29
it looks like that now I am the bad guy, sure not a problem 24 or 27 I can handle it

BUT as I said, I was called a nobody before
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 11, 2011, 17:04
it looks like that now I am the bad guy, sure not a problem 24 or 27 I can handle it

BUT as I said, I was called a nobody before

No youre not!  your OK!  but as they say, you have to be a bit self centered, a bit crazy,  how else could you possibly survive ?  in actual fact you have to be nuts to even think of becoming a photographer in the first place. :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Mantis on November 12, 2011, 09:37
it looks like that now I am the bad guy, sure not a problem 24 or 27 I can handle it

BUT as I said, I was called a nobody before

No youre not!  your OK!  but as they say, you have to be a bit self centered, a bit crazy,  how else could you possibly survive ?  in actual fact you have to be nuts to even think of becoming a photographer in the first place. :)

Sounds like the lyrics of a new country song :P
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pet_chia on November 14, 2011, 11:27
Are large parts of the world still enjoying a long weekend?  Because my sales at IS are still deader than dead, having been in the tank for the previous week.  November is on track to be my WME, since the early days when I had only a handful of photos online.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: tee on November 14, 2011, 12:40
With all this continuing bad news (and it is continuing, just look at the latest posts in the Oct. sales thread on iS), if they don't change the RC targets I'm dropping my crown for sure. And speaking of being "...nuts for becoming a photographer in the first place", I'm feeling a little crazy staying exclusive with iS at this point. ::)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on November 14, 2011, 13:10
With all this continuing bad news (and it is continuing, just look at the latest posts in the Oct. sales thread on iS)...

Interesting comments over there about this part of the year supposedly being the best for sales, especially as it relates to the RC targets and istock's claim that they do most of their business in this quarter. If this is the new "good times", I wonder what the new slow quarters will be like.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 14, 2011, 14:12
Interesting comments over there about this part of the year supposedly being the best for sales, especially as it relates to the RC targets and istock's claim that they do most of their business in this quarter. If this is the new "good times", I wonder what the new slow quarters will be like.

It's going to be very interesting (or excruciatingly awkward, depending on which side of the fence you are on) to hear what Istock management announce about the RC targets for both this year and 2012. Do they confess to falling sales and reduce the targets ... or do they risk an army of exclusives dropping their crowns if they don't?

My guess is that they will tie themselves up in knots with an even more complex system, either adapting or abandoning the existing RC targets, in a smoke-and-mirrors exercise designed to obfuscate and confuse.

This will probably be the first major announcement from Rebbecca too __ something for us all to look forward to perhaps.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on November 14, 2011, 14:18
I thought things were starting to pick up for me again last Thurs and Friday. I've been out all day today and just had a look - 1 (ONE) sale all day.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on November 14, 2011, 14:23
With all this continuing bad news (and it is continuing, just look at the latest posts in the Oct. sales thread on iS)...

Interesting comments over there about this part of the year supposedly being the best for sales, especially as it relates to the RC targets and istock's claim that they do most of their business in this quarter. If this is the new "good times", I wonder what the new slow quarters will be like.
That came from last year, when they suddenly introduced the RCs in September and Kelly T said we hadn't to worry as the last quarter was best for sales, and we'd mostly meet our targets and most of us would be paid the same as before (which was clearly disingenuous, as if they weren't trying to squeeze more money out of many of us why would they have introduced the RC scheme).
Although in previous years, the last quarter wasn't a great increase in sales [as it had been in previous years: my BME for dls and $$ is still Nov '08 (sic)], for me, and for many other people, leading them to revise the RCs down last year.
I'd be surprised if they revised the RCs down this year, as that would be a real admission that they're in deep trouble. But I could easily be wrong.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: tee on November 14, 2011, 14:35
I thought things were starting to pick up for me again last Thurs and Friday. I've been out all day today and just had a look - 1 (ONE) sale all day.
Same here! None today, but a decent # Friday, although still slowish, and one small download Sunday. Sheesh.

Quote from: ShadySue
I'd be surprised if they revised the RCs down this year, as that would be a real admission that they're in deep trouble. But I could easily be wrong.
You're probably right. Regardless I'm going to shoot again today, start uploading some more, and see how the rest of the year goes. At the very least I'll have more material to send to other sites down the road. ;D They really need a "Guide for suckers exclusives: How to leave iStock and join the rest of the world." I started there, was happy with the relationship at the beginning and happy to give them exclusivity (that decision being 90% financial, 10% good will), but can only put up with so much.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pancaketom on November 14, 2011, 14:46

...


My guess is that they will tie themselves up in knots with an even more complex system, either adapting or abandoning the existing RC targets, in a smoke-and-mirrors exercise designed to obfuscate and confuse.

This will probably be the first major announcement from Rebbecca too __ something for us all to look forward to perhaps.

I am predicting some sort of way that they can boost RC for their chosen people - double RC for Vetta or something like that. Whatever it is it will be pre-announced leading to a lot of speculation and then announced poorly - so nobody really knows what they said. Finally it will be explained and be underwhelming for most. - or maybe they will just admit the low sales and drop RC targets or keep the RC targets about where they are and grab a greater percentage of less for next year.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pet_chia on November 14, 2011, 14:48
...
My guess is that they will tie themselves up in knots with an even more complex system, either adapting or abandoning the existing RC targets, in a smoke-and-mirrors exercise designed to obfuscate and confuse.
...

That may be, but right now I am thinking that they don't have any time for smoke and mirrors ... things are really catastrophically bad this past week.  If my own results are in any way typical then they had better be holding emergency meetings with a view to implementing a major, immediate revamp aimed at recapturing market share.

Do they actually benefit greatly from having a lot of exclusive contributors?  If they do then I think that they had better do something extremely quickly to retain them.  I was thinking of possibly dropping out in Jan. 2012 but now I'm thinking, no point hanging around for another disastrous 6 weeks, if they're only going to be dilly-dallying and (as you say) planning for more smoke and mirrors.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: tee on November 14, 2011, 15:05
Do they actually benefit greatly from having a lot of exclusive contributors?

They sure don't act like it, do they?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 14, 2011, 15:09
Do they actually benefit greatly from having a lot of exclusive contributors?

They sure don't act like it, do they?

They don't act like they benefit from any contributors. Period.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on November 14, 2011, 15:21
Ooooh, whining here about poor sales sometimes prompts one - in today's case, two!  ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Artemis on November 14, 2011, 15:29
Interesting comments over there about this part of the year supposedly being the best for sales, especially as it relates to the RC targets and istock's claim that they do most of their business in this quarter. If this is the new "good times", I wonder what the new slow quarters will be like.

It's going to be very interesting (or excruciatingly awkward, depending on which side of the fence you are on) to hear what Istock management announce about the RC targets for both this year and 2012. Do they confess to falling sales and reduce the targets ... or do they risk an army of exclusives dropping their crowns if they don't?

My guess is that they will tie themselves up in knots with an even more complex system, either adapting or abandoning the existing RC targets, in a smoke-and-mirrors exercise designed to obfuscate and confuse.

This will probably be the first major announcement from Rebbecca too __ something for us all to look forward to perhaps.
I  have the feeling they'll lower targets for exclusives only; the last initiatives seemed directed towards them (no forced opt-in,acces to some Getty pages,..)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 14, 2011, 15:35
I can live without their money, no problem!  the depressing part in all this, is to watch what was once a brillant site, slowly, slowly fading away into oblivion, losing just about everything and STILL pretending it aint happening, still keeping up appearances in front of a crumbling number of poor exclusives who seem so blue-eyed, they are still wet behind the ears. Pittyful.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on November 14, 2011, 16:29
If this is the new "good times", I wonder what the new slow quarters will be like.

God, what a sobering thought.  :(
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on November 14, 2011, 17:01
Do they actually benefit greatly from having a lot of exclusive contributors?

They sure don't act like it, do they?

They don't act like they benefit from any contributors. Period.

Every exclusive that goes Indy means more images for StinkStock. How about this, what if IS announces no more exclusives? I mean they have screwed with canisters, commissions, opt-outs for Subs and ThinkStock, why not just drop the Exclusives and in effect cut all that extra commission.  (I hope this doesn't give them any crazy ideas) But what better way to make more money fast! They have broken just about every promise made up until now, why not complete the twist of the knife in contributors backs?

Yours Truly,

Unsustainable
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 14, 2011, 17:07
Every exclusive that goes Indy means more images for StinkStock. How about this, what if IS announces no more exclusives? I mean they have screwed with canisters, commissions, opt-outs for Subs and ThinkStock, why not just drop the Exclusives and in effect cut all that extra commission.  (I hope this doesn't give them any crazy ideas) But what better way to make more money fast! They have broken just about every promise made up until now, why not complete the twist of the knife in contributors backs?

Not a chance. How could they justify the higher prices for exclusive images, Vetta, etc if they were spread all over the net? That would just accelerate their decline.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on November 14, 2011, 17:16
Do they actually benefit greatly from having a lot of exclusive contributors?

They sure don't act like it, do they?

They don't act like they benefit from any contributors. Period.



Every exclusive that goes Indy means more images for StinkStock. How about this, what if IS announces no more exclusives? I mean they have screwed with canisters, commissions, opt-outs for Subs and ThinkStock, why not just drop the Exclusives and in effect cut all that extra commission.  (I hope this doesn't give them any crazy ideas) But what better way to make more money fast! They have broken just about every promise made up until now, why not complete the twist of the knife in contributors backs?

Yours Truly,

Unsustainable

That's an interesting thought. I'm sure Rebecca is reviewing all the holy cows of iStock. They are losing content from the likes of Yuri Arcus through the non-exclusive restrictions. They could always make Vetta an image exclusive programme. Exclusive plus doesn't seem to be very popular and the photo-+ scheme has probably already got most of the best non-exclusive material priced at the same rate as ordinary exclusive.

Scrap exclusive-+, leave all existing exclusive material as photo-+ and make Vetta image exclusive and open to all on those terms. It would probably boost their income and would slightly simplify the pricing structure, while favouring the top independents with higher upload limits.

I think it is feasible.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on November 14, 2011, 17:30
At one time, not long ago, the idea of Vetta as open to all on an image exclusive basis would have really been exciting to me.  I would've happily submitted some of my best new stuff to Vetta. 

Now, to be honest, I don't know that I would bother submitting anything exclusively to Istock.  They seem to be on the way down and out.  I would prefer to place my best new stuff on sites that offer me the most return and can deliver the most sales.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on November 14, 2011, 17:53
Even after a really good EL to start the month off with a good head start push, I am starting to fall behind from what I usually get this time of year. Oh well, in a month I will sever this exclusive ball and chain to pastures more productive.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Freedom on November 14, 2011, 17:57
November has been stable for me, no big ups and downs.

E+ works very well for me, too.

Rebecca seems to be prudent. At least, she has not caused any big drama yet, unless I miss something.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 15, 2011, 00:57
At one time, not long ago, the idea of Vetta as open to all on an image exclusive basis would have really been exciting to me.  I would've happily submitted some of my best new stuff to Vetta. 

Now, to be honest, I don't know that I would bother submitting anything exclusively to Istock.  They seem to be on the way down and out.  I would prefer to place my best new stuff on sites that offer me the most return and can deliver the most sales.

At one time I would have done the same but not today. Today I would and am supplying my best to SS, DT and FT, the rest, differant shots are going into RM.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: tee on November 15, 2011, 14:35
Quote from: Freedom
Rebecca seems to be prudent. At least, she has not caused any big drama yet, unless I miss something.

Unless I missed something she hasn't said much of anything yet, even with tanking prices and now the unexpected (untimely?) price increases on buyers. There's drama going on, just none that they're willing to admit. ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: RacePhoto on November 15, 2011, 15:53
Every exclusive that goes Indy means more images for StinkStock. How about this, what if IS announces no more exclusives? I mean they have screwed with canisters, commissions, opt-outs for Subs and ThinkStock, why not just drop the Exclusives and in effect cut all that extra commission.  (I hope this doesn't give them any crazy ideas) But what better way to make more money fast! They have broken just about every promise made up until now, why not complete the twist of the knife in contributors backs?

Not a chance. How could they justify the higher prices for exclusive images, Vetta, etc if they were spread all over the net? That would just accelerate their decline.

Of course you just made my point. Seems they have a gun pointed at their own foot and keep shooting, next they may move up and finish the job.  :o

I also need to add for the conspiracy minded that low indy sellers have not received a boost in the rank, page display or a sudden burst of sales. It's possible that some diversity action was added to the searches to distribute results between more different contributors, but that doesn't mean that low life's like me, are suddenly getting a boost in placement.

Dropping exclusive wouldn't be the first really poor decision that IS has made in the last year?

And yes, I've always said that the exclusive collection is the best asset they have going for them. If I was a buyer, I'd want just what you pointed out, images that weren't for sale on 50 other agencies and being used by thousands of other people. Something nice and a little different from all the rest. There's hardly a difference between chasing away exclusives with lower commissions, bad placement, and other negative changes, vs just elimination of that class of contributors?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on November 15, 2011, 22:12
Quote from: Freedom
Rebecca seems to be prudent. At least, she has not caused any big drama yet, unless I miss something.

Unless I missed something she hasn't said much of anything yet, even with tanking prices and now the unexpected (untimely?) price increases on buyers. There's drama going on, just none that they're willing to admit. ;)

It would seem that she has recognised the pitfalls inherent in goofing around with the kids and trying to be a cool guy and has decided to sit in the background where she won't become a target.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 16, 2011, 03:41
Quote from: Freedom
Rebecca seems to be prudent. At least, she has not caused any big drama yet, unless I miss something.

Unless I missed something she hasn't said much of anything yet, even with tanking prices and now the unexpected (untimely?) price increases on buyers. There's drama going on, just none that they're willing to admit. ;)

It would seem that she has recognised the pitfalls inherent in goofing around with the kids and trying to be a cool guy and has decided to sit in the background where she won't become a target.

... or she may have little spare time to attend to her new part-time position.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 16, 2011, 04:52
Quote from: Freedom
Rebecca seems to be prudent. At least, she has not caused any big drama yet, unless I miss something.

Unless I missed something she hasn't said much of anything yet, even with tanking prices and now the unexpected (untimely?) price increases on buyers. There's drama going on, just none that they're willing to admit. ;)

It would seem that she has recognised the pitfalls inherent in goofing around with the kids and trying to be a cool guy and has decided to sit in the background where she won't become a target.

... or she may have little spare time to attend to her new part-time position.

Yeah right, part-time position and thats all it is. Front figure until the heat has blown over and then she will be expandible.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: JoeClemson on November 17, 2011, 07:23
I'm wondering if I'm just suffering  the effects of 'sales having tanked big time' or if there is something else going on. Are iStock telling me to pack my bags and go?

I am exclusive to iStock but not very prolific with 2679 photo and video downloads over some 5 years as a contributor. However the income I receive is very important and more than just a bonus to me.

I would normally expect to earn around $50 to $100 in a week on 10 to 15 downloads. In the past eight days I have had just one download worth a pitiful 72 cents.  No amount of sales variation due to ebb and flow, satistical anomaly or even a world-wide economic crisis is going to cause such a massive, sudden  change in sales pattern over such a short period (by comparison the first week in November was normal for me and typical of recent times at IS).

Someone, somewhere seems to have pressed a button turning off my sales and presumably, for others like me.

Discussion on the iStock forums seems very muted overall and I know this topic would be killed immediqately, but  I really would like to know if I am alone in this experience.

I would have posted a new thread rather than digress on this one, but I have to  make a posting somewhere before I'm allowed to start a new thread and this one seemed the most relevant.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: asiseeit on November 17, 2011, 10:38
I'm wondering if I'm just suffering  the effects of 'sales having tanked big time' or if there is something else going on. Are iStock telling me to pack my bags and go?

I am exclusive to iStock but not very prolific with 2679 photo and video downloads over some 5 years as a contributor. However the income I receive is very important and more than just a bonus to me.

I would normally expect to earn around $50 to $100 in a week on 10 to 15 downloads. In the past eight days I have had just one download worth a pitiful 72 cents.  No amount of sales variation due to ebb and flow, satistical anomaly or even a world-wide economic crisis is going to cause such a massive, sudden  change in sales pattern over such a short period (by comparison the first week in November was normal for me and typical of recent times at IS).

Someone, somewhere seems to have pressed a button turning off my sales and presumably, for others like me.

Discussion on the iStock forums seems very muted overall and I know this topic would be killed immediqately, but  I really would like to know if I am alone in this experience.

I would have posted a new thread rather than digress on this one, but I have to  make a posting somewhere before I'm allowed to start a new thread and this one seemed the most relevant.

Joe: Not sure the hate-istock thread/forum is the best place for this. But perhaps if you added a portfolio link to your profile you could get some constructive criticism. Without seeing it, my guess is that your portfolio is pretty small and depends a lot on the sales of a few older photos. Also normal fluctuations in sales happen all the time, a lot of Christmas purchasing is going on right now and maybe you don't have any Christmas images? I can only speculate. I can speak for me though that my sales are way up right now. In fact Tuesday was my highest download day ever, so there are plenty of buyers out there. I do have a large portfolio though. Hope that helps.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: JoeClemson on November 17, 2011, 11:04
I'm wondering if I'm just suffering  the effects of 'sales having tanked big time' or if there is something else going on. Are iStock telling me to pack my bags and go?

I am exclusive to iStock but not very prolific with 2679 photo and video downloads over some 5 years as a contributor. However the income I receive is very important and more than just a bonus to me.

I would normally expect to earn around $50 to $100 in a week on 10 to 15 downloads. In the past eight days I have had just one download worth a pitiful 72 cents.  No amount of sales variation due to ebb and flow, satistical anomaly or even a world-wide economic crisis is going to cause such a massive, sudden  change in sales pattern over such a short period (by comparison the first week in November was normal for me and typical of recent times at IS).

Someone, somewhere seems to have pressed a button turning off my sales and presumably, for others like me.

Discussion on the iStock forums seems very muted overall and I know this topic would be killed immediqately, but  I really would like to know if I am alone in this experience.

I would have posted a new thread rather than digress on this one, but I have to  make a posting somewhere before I'm allowed to start a new thread and this one seemed the most relevant.

Joe: Not sure the hate-istock thread/forum is the best place for this. But perhaps if you added a portfolio link to your profile you could get some constructive criticism. Without seeing it, my guess is that your portfolio is pretty small and depends a lot on the sales of a few older photos. Also normal fluctuations in sales happen all the time, a lot of Christmas purchasing is going on right now and maybe you don't have any Christmas images? I can only speculate. I can speak for me though that my sales are way up right now. In fact Tuesday was my highest download day ever, so there are plenty of buyers out there. I do have a large portfolio though. Hope that helps.

Many thanks f or your reply. You can see my iStock port easily by visiting the site as my member name is the same as the name I use here.  There are 940 videos and 740  photos with a wide range of topics so I'm used to a steady trickle of sales with little seasonal variation. I have only one image that has ever sold in any quantity so the effect if that slowing down is modest. The 8 day (getting on towards 9 days) drought is unprecedented for me since I had a very small portfolio in 2007.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: asiseeit on November 17, 2011, 11:24
Many thanks f or your reply. You can see my iStock port easily by visiting the site as my member name is the same as the name I use here.  There are 940 videos and 740  photos with a wide range of topics so I'm used to a steady trickle of sales with little seasonal variation. I have only one image that has ever sold in any quantity so the effect if that slowing down is modest. The 8 day (getting on towards 9 days) drought is unprecedented for me since I had a very small portfolio in 2007.

I don't do much video so it's hard for me to comment on the larger portion of your port. But for the photos I suggest focusing on producing more 'stocky' type (like your store sign one) images and less travel stock, imo. As far as the 9 day drought goes, I'd wait to see how the month finishes out before drawing any conclusions. As you know, best match shifts do effect sales on a daily basis. For me, I haven't seen an overall slowdown like that.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on November 17, 2011, 12:02
I'm wondering if I'm just suffering  the effects of 'sales having tanked big time' or if there is something else going on. Are iStock telling me to pack my bags and go?

I am exclusive to iStock but not very prolific with 2679 photo and video downloads over some 5 years as a contributor. However the income I receive is very important and more than just a bonus to me.

I would normally expect to earn around $50 to $100 in a week on 10 to 15 downloads. In the past eight days I have had just one download worth a pitiful 72 cents.  No amount of sales variation due to ebb and flow, satistical anomaly or even a world-wide economic crisis is going to cause such a massive, sudden  change in sales pattern over such a short period (by comparison the first week in November was normal for me and typical of recent times at IS).

Someone, somewhere seems to have pressed a button turning off my sales and presumably, for others like me.

Discussion on the iStock forums seems very muted overall and I know this topic would be killed immediqately, but  I really would like to know if I am alone in this experience.

I would have posted a new thread rather than digress on this one, but I have to  make a posting somewhere before I'm allowed to start a new thread and this one seemed the most relevant.

Joe: Not sure the hate-istock thread/forum is the best place for this. But perhaps if you added a portfolio link to your profile you could get some constructive criticism. Without seeing it, my guess is that your portfolio is pretty small and depends a lot on the sales of a few older photos. Also normal fluctuations in sales happen all the time, a lot of Christmas purchasing is going on right now and maybe you don't have any Christmas images? I can only speculate. I can speak for me though that my sales are way up right now. In fact Tuesday was my highest download day ever, so there are plenty of buyers out there. I do have a large portfolio though. Hope that helps.

good advice. I know many are seeing poor sales, and I'm not insensitive to that. but for the sake of reporting, my sales this month are very good, and very steady. this will be my BME. I don't have a ton of Christmas, I've got some new holiday stuff in queue. Fall files are selling well and a general mix of files, old and new.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: mtilghma on November 17, 2011, 12:13
I'll throw my hat into this ring, because it is worth reporting that my sales are paltry as well.

So far in Nov 2011:  15 sales, $20.
Total for Nov 2010:  120 sales, $630.

You do the math.  On track for a 94% decrease (ok, I did the math for you).

Things that should be noted, however, to be completely transparent:

I am somewhat guilty of the 'riding on the coattails of old bestsellers', like SNP often brings up.  However, I kind of blame this on new-found difficulty of getting new images to take off, not a decrease in quality on my part.

I have a small portfolio, so while I have built up a decent "canister" level, I find it nearly impossible to excel in the new "royalty target" system, so my royalties were slashed and burned.

Due mainly to the above, I rescinded exclusivity, further slashing my royalties as well as my search result locations.

In Nov 2010 I had $107 of EL sales, but none so far in Nov 2011 (also perhaps due to rescinding exclusivity).


However, if we take away the $107, its still $523 vs $40.  Even if we assume my royalties have been cut by a factor of 3 (overexaggeration), it's 523 to 120.  Thats still a 77% decrease, so it's not ALL my fault (though I freely admit it partially is)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on November 17, 2011, 12:23
^ of course you're going to see wild fluctuations in a case where we're talking under 100 dls per month. that isn't meant as an insult. I realize many people don't do this full time and any income is counted on. however, it's not indicative of any trend. you can't possibly expect to maintain predictable sales at that level. it's just common sense. since 2005 you have added just 415 files to your portfolio.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: mtilghma on November 17, 2011, 12:39
I'm aware of that.  But many people with small portfolios, in aggregate, can be as meaningful as several people with large ones.  Hence any data is useful for those wishing to compile a large picture.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on November 17, 2011, 13:12
^ I definitely think all data is useful to some degree. IMO, it just isn't evidence of a trend as you've suggested. there are too many variables within individual portfolios first of all. I have more files than some contributors who are Black Diamond for example. and it has taken me four years to just about hit 25K. whereas some of our peers have long surpassed me with fewer files. that's the nature of the game. but there is a base level that needs to be met before any meaningful extrapolation can be done on sales data. I saw that within my own portfolio and dl rate.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: JoeClemson on November 17, 2011, 13:36
^ I definitely think all data is useful to some degree. IMO, it just isn't evidence of a trend as you've suggested. there are too many variables within individual portfolios first of all. I have more files than some contributors who are Black Diamond for example. and it has taken me four years to just about hit 25K. whereas some of our peers have long surpassed me with fewer files. that's the nature of the game. but there is a base level that needs to be met before any meaningful extrapolation can be done on sales data. I saw that within my own portfolio and dl rate.

Having a  large portfolio and a large number of downloads very effectively smooths out the bumps in demand and provides a more releaible body of data from which to analyse trends. Even so, I would contend that my portfolio, which has produced consistent sales patterns for several years, can give a meaningful indication. Downloads shouldn't just drop off a cliff to pretty well nothing if the only factor at stake is the statistical probability of making a sale given the portfolio size etc. What I am experiencing falls well outside what is statistically probable, even allowing for the relatvely small data sample.

Hence I am wondering if something has been changed either intentionally or unitentionally, which affects portfolios like mine disproportionately. If so, is it permanent or temporary? Is it accidental or deliberate? Do iStock want to discourage part time contributors with generalised imagery in favour of professionals? I don't know the answer to any of these questions, but I hope others will share their expeiences so I/we can get a feel of what is happening and make a decision on how to proceed. I'm grateful for the responses so far, but emulating the bigger guns isn't an option for me and I would be pleased to hear from others with modest portfolios (whether or not their experience is the  same as mine).
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on November 17, 2011, 14:02
I think that I saw more than a few video contributors complaining of big drops in sales, plus one person here talking about going independent for video and seeing much better sales elsewhere. I don't know anything about iStock video, but to the extent that video played a big role in your income, that might be one of the issues for you. If you look at the huge complaints from iStock vector contributors it does appear that sometimes one medium is hurting more than the site overall. I think the vector folks have been asking the same questions about what's up and if/when anyone at iStock plans to do anything about it.

Those whose sales are currently doing well obviously credit their great skill and hard work for that and therefore will be looking for it to be your fault that these changes have happened to you. I wouldn't argue the toss as it's tantamount to a discussion about religion and won't change anyone's mind.

I do think that when you see very strong performers and big guns (Nico blue and Sean - sjlocke - come to mind) struggling with drops in income even as their portfolio has grown, it suggests that there are some changes in the buyer patterns that we've seen in the past at iStock. There have been months worth of sales threads talking about erratic performance as well as drops overall.

My decision was to return to independence because I had lost confidence that if iStock did sort anything out, it would apply to me. I think there's a small subset of those people who used to be very successful there who can continue to be (Vetta/Agency heavies being the likely candidates). Leaving exclusivity really sucked, but I'm glad I did as I'm still confident it was the right thing for my type of work.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: pet_chia on November 17, 2011, 15:54
...

Hence I am wondering if something has been changed either intentionally or unitentionally, which affects portfolios like mine disproportionately. If so, is it permanent or temporary? Is it accidental or deliberate? Do iStock want to discourage part time contributors with generalised imagery in favour of professionals? I don't know the answer to any of these questions, but I hope others will share their expeiences so I/we can get a feel of what is happening and make a decision on how to proceed. I'm grateful for the responses so far, but emulating the bigger guns isn't an option for me and I would be pleased to hear from others with modest portfolios (whether or not their experience is the  same as mine).

Nobody (except for insiders) knows the real story, but we have seen anecdotal evidence posted here by people with both large and small portfolios, plus internet traffic statistics have been posted, plus we've seen anecdotes about customers (and heard from contributors who are also buyers).  All of these data points, for what they are worth, seem to show that customers are leaving IS and shopping for content elsewhere.

Another piece of anecdotal evidence - I can't remember when was the last time I saw an ad for IS on another website, but yesterday I saw 2 or 3 of them on completely different websites.  Looks to me like they're trying to address the problem by doing more marketing.

Interestingly, the little thumbnails shown on the web ads were mostly my own photos.  I gather that there is some kind of web-sleuthing being done via cookies, which made the "smart" web ad software think that I was a customer who was interested in those particular photos, rather than being their author.  I guess that there is something of an ad blitz going on which is aimed at people who have at some time in the past visited istockphoto.com.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 17, 2011, 16:37
^ I definitely think all data is useful to some degree. IMO, it just isn't evidence of a trend as you've suggested. there are too many variables within individual portfolios first of all. I have more files than some contributors who are Black Diamond for example. and it has taken me four years to just about hit 25K. whereas some of our peers have long surpassed me with fewer files. that's the nature of the game. but there is a base level that needs to be met before any meaningful extrapolation can be done on sales data. I saw that within my own portfolio and dl rate.

As we all know "a rising tide lifts all boats". When an agency is growing then it seems that almost all contributors report that they are doing well __ like SS contributors now for instance. However when an agency is doing not so well there will still be individual contributors who buck the trend by virtue of portfolio growth, increase in their commercial quality or a best match change in their favour (as many of us know that alone can add or remove 30%+ to income).

The evidence against IS, in terms of their sales, is now overwhelming. There was the RC target reduction last year (just 3 months after setting it), no increase in RC target for 2011, the replacement of the COO a few months ago, the traffic stat's from a host of independent sites as well as the disgruntled reports from most Diamond or BD contributors that bother to report at all. If you don't think all of that represents 'a trend' then fair enough. You'd have to be astonishingly optimistic or painfully naive to believe that everything is rosy in the Istock garden.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on November 17, 2011, 16:41
For diamonds RC targets were increased by 25%...we will see how many make the cut this year. The other levels didnīt change, that is true.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 17, 2011, 16:58
For diamonds RC targets were increased by 25%...we will see how many make the cut this year. The other levels didnīt change, that is true.

Ouch. I didn't realise that. Not being exclusive it didn't affect me.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on November 17, 2011, 18:06
@ gostwyck: I agree that sales definitely seem to be affected for many contributors. I think it is entirely plausible that it is due to some buyers leaving. I wouldn't suggest everything is rosy at iStock. there are a number of issues facing contributors, without a doubt. whether or not the exodus of buyers is as epic as is being implied (or hoped for) by some here is not something any of us can really know. overall I don't know if sales are up or down for the site. one thing is for sure and that is the plight of the individual contributor is certainly of very little concern to TPTB versus the overall health of the business. that is an approach that is severely self-limiting.

@ Joann: you seem to feel you can pontificate as much as you wish, heaven forbid anyone might challenge your position. your comment about hard work--those are your words. you also continue to use Sean and Nico Blue as your examples. they can speak for themselves about why they fee they've lost sales. there's no blanket reason as I stated earlier, very clearly. IMO however, I think it is entirely fair and accurate to point out that a number of contributors complaining loudly are contributors with too few files to expect regular, steady sales. say what you will, but it is obviously a factor when someone uploads less than a few hundred files per year. I'm not attaching any sort of value judgment to that, it is just numbers. sorry if you feel someone is saying you're not working had enough.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: mtilghma on November 17, 2011, 20:19
pontificate is officially my new favorite word!  but let's keep it civil, I've really been enjoying this dialogue so far.  It is almost unheard of for someone to rise to success and then not want to defend their business decisions, which explains both of your vehemency. 

As for me, I do work my ass off.... but at my real job.  So you (SNP) are right about that.  And I understand that you understand there are many people like me -- I didnt take offense to anything you've said.  And I also understand that because of the way I approach stock, my data may be next-to-meaningless for someone like you, JoAnn, sjlocke, etc.  But that doesn't mean it's meaningless for everyone.  It is perfect data for someone, who, say, is attempting to paint a picture for approaching stock the way I do.  And there are a LOT of people like that.  I also agree that there may be (but also, there could not be) a larger variance of income between contributors my size than massive contributors.  But that just means said data-compiler just needs to find more examples.  Not that he needs to find data from larger contributors.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on November 17, 2011, 22:59
I don't disagree with you. Again, it has nothing to do with 'working hard'. But the reality is that perception is based on how you contribute and what percentage of your income you're referring to. For those of us whose main source of income is exclusive royalties from istock, you can understand that we're analyzing data all the time and watching reports of sales drops from everyone. it's too bad we gave so little access to company numbers. our sales data us somewhat useless without that information
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 18, 2011, 01:14
@ gostwyck: I agree that sales definitely seem to be affected for many contributors. I think it is entirely plausible that it is due to some buyers leaving. I wouldn't suggest everything is rosy at iStock. there are a number of issues facing contributors, without a doubt. whether or not the exodus of buyers is as epic as is being implied (or hoped for) by some here is not something any of us can really know. overall I don't know if sales are up or down for the site. one thing is for sure and that is the plight of the individual contributor is certainly of very little concern to TPTB versus the overall health of the business. that is an approach that is severely self-limiting.

@ Joann: you seem to feel you can pontificate as much as you wish, heaven forbid anyone might challenge your position. your comment about hard work--those are your words. you also continue to use Sean and Nico Blue as your examples. they can speak for themselves about why they fee they've lost sales. there's no blanket reason as I stated earlier, very clearly. IMO however, I think it is entirely fair and accurate to point out that a number of contributors complaining loudly are contributors with too few files to expect regular, steady sales. say what you will, but it is obviously a factor when someone uploads less than a few hundred files per year. I'm not attaching any sort of value judgment to that, it is just numbers. sorry if you feel someone is saying you're not working had enough.

Hi Stacey!  how goes?

well, that might be true in other places or here perhaps but if you look at the IS, October thread,  my God!  every single high ranking Diamond and Gold contributor is complaining of fallen sales, the only ones there reporting an increase are the lower cannisters.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: hoi ha on November 18, 2011, 01:32
the only ones there reporting an increase are the lower cannisters.

Exactly - contributors who really have nowhere to go but up. As a gold indpendent, my sales have fallen 85% in a year and a half. I will not remove my port (unless they make me of course) cause I still earn just enough for a monthly payout (though that will likely disappear quickly too) but I really am totally dis-incentivised to upload anything to IS. 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on November 18, 2011, 02:41
Hi Stacey!  how goes?

well, that might be true in other places or here perhaps but if you look at the IS, October thread,  my God!  every single high ranking Diamond and Gold contributor is complaining of fallen sales, the only ones there reporting an increase are the lower cannisters.

:-) I'm not disputing drops in sales, nor that buyers are leaving. that in itself is not meaningful. what would be meaningful would be a comparison of new buyers:buyers lost for every year. I think it's an inevitable state for some high ranking contributors to be seeing a decrease in dls, because portfolios are growing at slower rates than the collection as a whole. I think major contributors who began in the early days were used to an incredible rate of growth that had to eventually decrease. there's so much competition for contributors that didn't have much competition in the early days. I suspect that decrease will level out or fluctuate at some point. I don't think it is boiling down to nothing, which is often implied. either those contributors will get fed up and go independent, or sales will level out and increase again as new contributors get more and more weary about how much more difficult it is to establish a solid footing these days.

to your other point, it's fair to say that many of those reporting massive DROPS in income are also lower canisters whose entire downloads total 5-100 dls per month. a fluctuation of five or six dls per month has them reporting astronomical losses or major increases in percentages, which gives a skewed perception of what is happening on the whole. there are also a number of high ranking diamonds who are reporting good sales.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 18, 2011, 02:41
I know and as a Diamond merchant, my sales have fallen, well at least by 50% but Ive been lucky on the other hand SS, FT and DT, have together, increased by at least 50%, so its no real damage.

What amazes me is that IS have built all this paraphernalia around a pittyful number of 5000 exclusives, thats all, and of these 5000,  I bet only around 1000, are heavy suppliers and something to count and rely on. Well, IMO, thats a very, very fragile platform, more like a walk on egg-shells, I would say. All that needs are a few of the very top-contributors bailing out and that platform will shake in its foundations. Very fragile situation indeed.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on November 18, 2011, 02:47
I know and as a Diamond merchant, my sales have fallen, well at least by 50% but Ive been lucky on the other hand SS, FT and DT, have together, increased by at least 50%, so its no real damage.

What amazes me is that IS have built all this paraphernalia around a pittyful number of 5000 exclusives, thats all, and of these 5000,  I bet only around 1000, are heavy suppliers and something to count and rely on. Well, IMO, thats a very, very fragile platform, more like a walk on egg-shells, I would say. All that needs are a few of the very top-contributors bailing out and that platform will shake in its foundations. Very fragile situation indeed.

I don't disagree. but it's not a labour union. I don't think you'll see any major contributors willing to take an income hit for the team, and frankly why should they? we're all in it for ourselves. part of taking care of my business is the health of the contributor community and I understand that. but we're all so different, approaching this from so many perspectives, that any sort of consensus would be impossible. so you're right. until there is a massive movement by the highest ranking producers, nothing will change and maybe there's a reason why they haven't moved (yet). maybe it will happen, maybe it won't. who knows.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: wut on November 18, 2011, 05:05
I think it is entirely fair and accurate to point out that a number of contributors complaining loudly are contributors with too few files to expect regular, steady sales. say what you will, but it is obviously a factor when someone uploads less than a few hundred files per year.

Why do you think a few hundred ultra high quality, super conceptual and edgy images wouldn't be enough? I think you can earn more by adding 400 stunning images than 2000, that are good, but not really special and standing out. And usually those that upload as much as 2k/year don't do creative stuff, mostly boring studio isolations etc. Or even if it's high quality and diverse like Sean's it looks like it's not enough. But it could be if a tog could make 400 awesome, mostly A/V files.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 18, 2011, 05:44
I think it is entirely fair and accurate to point out that a number of contributors complaining loudly are contributors with too few files to expect regular, steady sales. say what you will, but it is obviously a factor when someone uploads less than a few hundred files per year.

Why do you think a few hundred ultra high quality, super conceptual and edgy images wouldn't be enough? I think you can earn more by adding 400 stunning images than 2000, that are good, but not really special and standing out. And usually those that upload as much as 2k/year don't do creative stuff, mostly boring studio isolations etc. Or even if it's high quality and diverse like Sean's it looks like it's not enough. But it could be if a tog could make 400 awesome, mostly A/V files.

In a normal agency, yes!  that would work fine and do so. We are not dealing with a normal agency, we are dealing with an agency who invents a search which favours some and kills off others. The old adage, " cream will always float to the top" ,  is a hoax, especially with 15 million images all battling with each other.
If you construct a search or a best match where images does not have to earn their right for exposure but instead just thrown there, hoping for the best and at the same time, cutting off certain parts of the world with "local searches", etc.  Sorry 400 top notch shots wont even pay for coffee.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: wut on November 18, 2011, 05:56
I think it is entirely fair and accurate to point out that a number of contributors complaining loudly are contributors with too few files to expect regular, steady sales. say what you will, but it is obviously a factor when someone uploads less than a few hundred files per year.

Why do you think a few hundred ultra high quality, super conceptual and edgy images wouldn't be enough? I think you can earn more by adding 400 stunning images than 2000, that are good, but not really special and standing out. And usually those that upload as much as 2k/year don't do creative stuff, mostly boring studio isolations etc. Or even if it's high quality and diverse like Sean's it looks like it's not enough. But it could be if a tog could make 400 awesome, mostly A/V files.

In a normal agency, yes!  that would work fine and do so. We are not dealing with a normal agency, we are dealing with an agency who invents a search which favours some and kills off others. The old adage, " cream will always float to the top" ,  is a hoax, especially with 15 million images all battling with each other.
If you construct a search or a best match where images does not have to earn their right for exposure but instead just thrown there, hoping for the best and at the same time, cutting off certain parts of the world with "local searches", etc.  Sorry 400 top notch shots wont even pay for coffee.

You mentioned 15 mil images, are you including SS into this description as well? Is this working in trad agencies? Because I've read some having not only tens of thousands of images in macro, but also  up to 100k (or more, I'm not sure). Their search sure is messed up, I think search at SS works so much better (and no, not only because I have quite a few premium placements)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 18, 2011, 06:32
I think it is entirely fair and accurate to point out that a number of contributors complaining loudly are contributors with too few files to expect regular, steady sales. say what you will, but it is obviously a factor when someone uploads less than a few hundred files per year.

Why do you think a few hundred ultra high quality, super conceptual and edgy images wouldn't be enough? I think you can earn more by adding 400 stunning images than 2000, that are good, but not really special and standing out. And usually those that upload as much as 2k/year don't do creative stuff, mostly boring studio isolations etc. Or even if it's high quality and diverse like Sean's it looks like it's not enough. But it could be if a tog could make 400 awesome, mostly A/V files.

In a normal agency, yes!  that would work fine and do so. We are not dealing with a normal agency, we are dealing with an agency who invents a search which favours some and kills off others. The old adage, " cream will always float to the top" ,  is a hoax, especially with 15 million images all battling with each other.
If you construct a search or a best match where images does not have to earn their right for exposure but instead just thrown there, hoping for the best and at the same time, cutting off certain parts of the world with "local searches", etc.  Sorry 400 top notch shots wont even pay for coffee.

You mentioned 15 mil images, are you including SS into this description as well? Is this working in trad agencies? Because I've read some having not only tens of thousands of images in macro, but also  up to 100k (or more, I'm not sure). Their search sure is messed up, I think search at SS works so much better (and no, not only because I have quite a few premium placements)

Well no, I have never heard of any Macro photographer with 100K pics, never. Somehow in the Trad-agencies, the searches works pretty well and thats because commercially viable images are ofcourse given prefferences, which ofcourse they should do, or else nobody is earning anything. The SS-search is the closest to that, they will show commercial top stuff on premiere pages and still find space for new images, etc.
The IS search is constructed, Im sure by some monkey out in the bush, playing with himself. Its a brainless search, showing nothing really and nothing in between either plus a whole heap of collections, pricing-sliders, etc,  everything possible to confuse the poor buyer.

Wait and see, pretty soon some buyer will now come forward here, telling us: Oh no I buy, I have got the time to spend all day searching. You wait and see.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on November 18, 2011, 06:35
I know and as a Diamond merchant, my sales have fallen, well at least by 50%

Earlier you indicated that you had deactivated several blue-flame files and maybe other big sellers, which would automatically make any sales comparisons meaningless.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 18, 2011, 06:40
I know and as a Diamond merchant, my sales have fallen, well at least by 50%

Earlier you indicated that you had deactivated several blue-flame files and maybe other big sellers, which would automatically make any sales comparisons meaningless.

Yes but thats just during the last three or four days and has no effect at all on sales, contrary, yesteday turned out fairly well. No I had to deactivate a few blue, red flames. I got an offer I couldnt refuse, in any case they were so far down in the IS search, you had to use a JCB to get them up
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: wut on November 18, 2011, 09:32

The IS search is constructed, Im sure by some monkey out in the bush, playing with himself. Its a brainless search, showing nothing really and nothing in between either plus a whole heap of collections, pricing-sliders, etc,  everything possible to confuse the poor buyer.


I love this paragraph, you couldn't have put it better  ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on November 18, 2011, 12:12
I think it is entirely fair and accurate to point out that a number of contributors complaining loudly are contributors with too few files to expect regular, steady sales. say what you will, but it is obviously a factor when someone uploads less than a few hundred files per year.

Why do you think a few hundred ultra high quality, super conceptual and edgy images wouldn't be enough? I think you can earn more by adding 400 stunning images than 2000, that are good, but not really special and standing out. And usually those that upload as much as 2k/year don't do creative stuff, mostly boring studio isolations etc. Or even if it's high quality and diverse like Sean's it looks like it's not enough. But it could be if a tog could make 400 awesome, mostly A/V files.

that may be true, and I know those accounts exist. I admire them myself. however, with so few files I doubt you're going to ride out best match changes over the years as well as you would if you produced more. anything I've said about size of portfolio obviously includes the caveat that the quality be there. my own portfolio as an example, my first two thousand uploads in general are utterly crap files. I learned 'live' in the sense that I uploaded everything I did in the beginning. I certainly don't upload like that anymore and those are not the files that garner me sales. so I'm not suggesting an oversimplified 'more is better' approach.

if in your example the contributor is talented enough to produce files that sell like hotcakes, the sales will only last so long, images seem to have a shelf-life, or as we've seen can be dropped overnight in the best match.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on November 18, 2011, 12:22

The IS search is constructed, Im sure by some monkey out in the bush, playing with himself. Its a brainless search, showing nothing really and nothing in between either plus a whole heap of collections, pricing-sliders, etc,  everything possible to confuse the poor buyer.


I love this paragraph, you couldn't have put it better  ;D

Me too!  I literally laughed out loud so hard I almost knocked my laptop on the floor.  Thanks for that priceless mental picture Christian ;D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on November 18, 2011, 12:26
The IS search is constructed, Im sure by some monkey out in the bush, playing with himself.

I have the very photo you need  :P:
(http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-5372504-look-what-i-ve-got.php?st=8da8390)

Modified: but the link doesn't seem to work!
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on November 18, 2011, 12:33
I think your analogy is funny. but totally inaccurate Christian. when you make statements like that, I lose a little respect for your experience. all things about HOW iStock is run aside, the search is incredible and works very fast. it took a long time to get there, but it certainly is there.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: CarlssonInc on November 18, 2011, 12:49
I'm a bit puzzled as well Christian regarding the blistering critique of the iStock search-engine? To me it doesn't look to shabby, never really have except for short durations when it was being tampered/tuned throughout the years. Tell us what you see and what is so terrible with it. The Getty search in my opinion is A LOT worse.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Eyedesign on November 18, 2011, 12:54
Just did a search using iStock and Shutterstock both are about the same. Shutterstock may be a bit faster but not by much.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on November 18, 2011, 12:57
I love the istock search engine. I love all the options, I donīt find them confusing at all.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on November 18, 2011, 13:17
I'm kinda in between. I don't think it's anything like as bad as Lagereek complains, except that my files are seldom at or near the top. I think that's what he means anyway.
I don't think it's great either. BM2 had the potential to be great, if they'd put in the manpower to clean up the keywords. But that has clearly been overturned with certain contributers, esp EdStock getting preferential positioning. Oh, his queleas are still in the top 20 for African Elephant. BM2 - punishing spam - should have ensured that these two files dropped like a stone. I've noticed this week on various searches that a lot of spammed files are in high positions on the wrong keyword. I guess they've learned that spamming is no longer being penalised in best match.  :(
Huh, as a tiny, glitch, I wondered why none of my almost nil-selling notebooks were showing up in a search - then I found out that I had keyworded them as notebook (stationery) but that's not a search option. Why do I bother? (Hopefully Duck is onto it!)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on November 18, 2011, 13:48
Any search engine that's built with the primary objective being to front-load the results with more expensive content is a horrible search engine. They provide the illusion of a quality search tool by building in various filters and controls, but really you don't have much control. Sometimes the perfect image for your search terms is on page 7 just because it's not in a preferred collection, when it should be on page 1 ahead of less relevant results. That's no way to build a search engine that really fits the needs of the customer.

It's more of the same istock philosophy. That whole "We'll give you what we want you to have," instead of, "We'll give you what you're looking for," idea.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on November 18, 2011, 14:16
Any search engine that's built with the primary objective being to front-load the results with more expensive content is a horrible search engine.
It's true they were doing that for a while, but I just searched on 'business' and there are only two Agency photos and one Vetta in the top 70, and at least here (UK) there's a wide price range on the top of the first page of best match search. They haven't done the A/V at the top thing for weeks now. So at least they've hopefully learned that lesson.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 18, 2011, 14:26
Any search engine that's built with the primary objective being to front-load the results with more expensive content is a horrible search engine.

I've only just realised that there is now a HUGE bias in favour of exclusive images in the best match results. That could certainly explain some of the disparity in the reports from independent and exclusive contributors. I'm guessing it may have more to do with Istock trying to stop exclusives dropping their crowns (by boosting their sales) than getting the customers to buy more expensive content.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on November 18, 2011, 14:44

It's more of the same istock philosophy. That whole "We'll give you what we want you to have," instead of, "We'll give you what you're looking for," idea.

^^This sums it up perfectly.   It is a problem.  

Even rigging the search in favor of exclusive files, while a short term gift to exclusives (and I don't begrudge them) it is only a temporary trick to disguise the overall demise of sales and departure of buyers.  
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 18, 2011, 15:22
Even rigging the search in favor of exclusive files, while a short term gift to exclusives (and I don't begrudge them) it is only a temporary trick to disguise the overall demise of sales and departure of buyers.  

Ironically rigging the search in favour of exclusives will also be costing Istock dearly in terms of their percentage profitability that they seemed so keen to improve. They must pay roughly twice the % commission on exclusive sales that they do on independent sales.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on November 18, 2011, 15:25
It's true they were doing that for a while, but I just searched on 'business' and there are only two Agency photos and one Vetta in the top 70, and at least here (UK) there's a wide price range on the top of the first page of best match search. They haven't done the A/V at the top thing for weeks now. So at least they've hopefully learned that lesson.

The search is still weighted heavily towards exclusive files. Priority #1 in the istock search is still to load the more expensive content towards the front. That may not be V/A, but it's still a biased search.

It makes total sense for the exclusive contributor, but for the buyer it's not providing the best service possible. If the perfect image happens to be a non-exclusive image, it's going to take a few more clicks to get to it. That's not efficient at all.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on November 18, 2011, 15:31
"They must pay roughly twice the % commission on exclusive sales that they do on independent sales."

Exclusive files are more expensive and if I remember the math correctly, they still make more money from exclusive files than independent files.

I think they are just boosting exclusives as a little end of year treat. I donīt mind, itīs been a sad year.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: traveler1116 on November 18, 2011, 15:32
It wasn't so long ago that nonexclusive files were at the top of the search either, just a couple months ago I think.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: tee on November 18, 2011, 15:38
I've only just realised that there is now a HUGE bias in favour of exclusive images in the best match results. That could certainly explain some of the disparity in the reports from independent and exclusive contributors. I'm guessing it may have more to do with Istock trying to stop exclusives dropping their crowns (by boosting their sales) than getting the customers to buy more expensive content.


This policy has been around a while as a perk for independents to go exclusive ("Exclusivity brings more attention to your portfolio and makes the most out of all that traffic. You will see a difference." (http://www.istockphoto.com/sell-stock-photos-exclusivity.php (http://www.istockphoto.com/sell-stock-photos-exclusivity.php))) If they've dialed it up in the past few days because of what's going on, it would fly in the face of the conspiracy theory that they want exclusives off the site because we earn too high a percentage.

Exclusive images sell at a higher price point anyway, so while an indy @ 20% will get 1.2 credits worth of $ out of a medium (6 credit) sale, and an exclusive @ 30% will get 3 credits of $ off a medium (10 credit) sale, iStock earns 7 credits with the exclusive and only 4.8 with the independent.

In any case when they don't communicate at all, except for Lobo bans and posts disappearing, we're left to our own assumptions. At this point they should really address people's worries, since a uniquely high number of big selling members have come out and said they've been having terrible sales. iStock seems to have no desire to ever recapture a sense of community there, which is sad, and not good business IMO.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on November 18, 2011, 15:57
If the perfect image happens to be a non-exclusive image, it's going to take a few more clicks to get to it. That's not efficient at all.
It could be, no matter what best match you use, that the perfect image is going to be at the end of the search. Just because that's the one that fits the buyer's needs.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 18, 2011, 16:09
Helix7,  has got a good point, front-loaded and favourism, weighted towards certain members and ofcourse, we dont care what you want BUT we will give you what we wnat you to buy.

Can anybody here or out there, explain to me HOW that could be a good search?  no matter how fast it is.  Beats me.

BTW, Carlssons-INC,  the SS-search is by default: most popular. i.e.  most sold and commercial.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on November 18, 2011, 16:10
The IS search is constructed, Im sure by some monkey out in the bush, playing with himself.

I have the very photo you need  :P:
([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-5372504-look-what-i-ve-got.php?st=8da8390[/url])

Modified: but the link doesn't seem to work!


Please try to get the link to work, would like a good laugh myself :D
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 18, 2011, 16:29
Exclusive images sell at a higher price point anyway, so while an indy @ 20% will get 1.2 credits worth of $ out of a medium (6 credit) sale, and an exclusive @ 30% will get 3 credits of $ off a medium (10 credit) sale, iStock earns 7 credits with the exclusive and only 4.8 with the independent.

What an absurd example __ you're not comparing apples to apples. There is only one independent contributor (if any at all) that earn 20%, the vast majority earn 17% or less. Exclusives on the other hand can supposedly earn up to 45% and there are certainly several hundred, if not thousands, that earn 35-40%. If you plug those numbers into your little equation you'll find that Istock's take, in cash terms, is roughly the same for each similar sale. It is that way because that's exactly what they designed the pricing architecture and commission levels to provide.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 18, 2011, 16:34
duplicate post
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lisafx on November 18, 2011, 16:38

Ironically rigging the search in favour of exclusives will also be costing Istock dearly in terms of their percentage profitability that they seemed so keen to improve. They must pay roughly twice the % commission on exclusive sales that they do on independent sales.

Very true.   But desperate times call for desperate measures ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on November 18, 2011, 16:38
The IS search is constructed, Im sure by some monkey out in the bush, playing with himself.

I have the very photo you need  :P:
([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-5372504-look-what-i-ve-got.php?st=8da8390[/url])

Modified: but the link doesn't seem to work!


Please try to get the link to work, would like a good laugh myself :D


Maybe it's because iStock have deemed it 'adult content' - honestly!!!
Try copy-and-pasting: http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-5372504-look-what-i-ve-got.php?st=8da8390 (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-5372504-look-what-i-ve-got.php?st=8da8390)
Give me a few minutes and I'll look for one that's an even closer match, and if I find it I'll throw it up somewhere ...
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: tee on November 18, 2011, 16:44
What an absurd example __ you're not comparing apples to apples. There is only one independent contributor (if any at all) that earn 20%, the vast majority earn 17% or less. Exclusives on the other hand can supposedly earn up to 45% and there are certainly several hundred, if not thousands, that earn 35-40%. If you plug those numbers into your little equation you'll find that Istock's take, in cash terms, is roughly the same for each similar sale. It is that way because that's exactly what they designed the pricing architecture and commission levels to provide.

OK so let's say that the independent gets 17% - that's iStock earning 4.98 for the medium file. Lets' say 35% for the exclusive - that's iStock earning 6.5 for the same size.

Even at 15% for the indy and 45% for the exclusive it's still 5.10 and 5.50 for iStock, respectively, and those are generous numbers, seeing as how difficult it is to reach past the 35% RC level. Over volume this is a huge difference, and my point is valid. No need to get so defensive.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on November 18, 2011, 16:47
But desperate times call for desperate measures ;)

Dead right __ and of course that's also why independent contributors got Photo+. It makes you wonder if there's anything left to squeeze dry in their efforts to maintain profits.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on December 05, 2011, 03:39
Well, so far Dec sales are terrible. Well below the usual busy run up to the end of the year.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Microbius on December 05, 2011, 03:51
Well, so far Dec sales are terrible. Well below the usual busy run up to the end of the year.

 I always found December to be the slowest month?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: stocker2011 on December 07, 2011, 15:28
It's just dawned on me how badly istock is perfoming now and made me worry about their future and of course my subsequent income.

My story is since january 2011 my sales have been dropping month after month, i usually put these variations down to ebb and flow but my sales results are just speaking for themselves. That together with observing the opinions from other contributors both on the istock forums and here as well as site traffic info leads me to an educated guess that they really are losing ground rather rapidly and are displeasing buyers and which in turn is displeasing contributors.

Many have their theories and i think common sense will tell you what is going wrong over there like many have already stated. As to why istock staff cant see this is completely beyond me, but there you go.

I personally think the following are major contributing factors:

Site revamp. It's horrible and i dont like it, the search feels slow and clunky and competitors sites are very quick in comparison.

Vetta to the front of the search. I think this is putting off buyers, they probably dont even look to the left TBH at sliders etc. The average buyer does a search, glazes over the lovely colourful images that are presented on the first couple of pages then runs away after looking at the price while having lodged in their brain that istock is now expensive and they can no longer trust them. I believe that the bods at istock know this as well but do not want to admit it as they have probably spent too much time and money on the system to roll it back now.

Global downturn. Higher priced images are a 'nice to have' if the economy was in good shape however its not and buyers are quite happy to shop around if it meant saving $50 for a cheaper alternative which may also be better suited towards them. Also my sales on competitors sites have not gone down at all this year. Also when you look back at when the global recession first took its toll istock was still doing well and were letting everyone know this fact but its only since these big changes have taken place with the site-revamp and Vetta order within the search that i have witnessed a huge loss.

In short, buyers (designers and corporates) are being put off by this, buyers want simplicity and a slick, quick site that pulls up the images that they want at a good price from an already established brand that they trust - what more could you ask for? Think Google. And if their trusted bank of images changes the game, what are you going to do? Go elsewhere.

To me, this is a huge shame and i cant see the situation getting better, only worse. 2012 may indeed be a horrible year for istock.

Anyway, i needed to get that off my chest and i wish everyone the best.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Herg on December 12, 2011, 01:15
Dec is looking to be the worst month if it carries on like this.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on December 12, 2011, 03:50
Well, so far Dec sales are terrible. Well below the usual busy run up to the end of the year.

 I always found December to be the slowest month?
Same here but it usually slows down later in December.  Christmas seems to of come early this year for istock :)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on December 12, 2011, 07:59
Dec is looking to be the worst month if it carries on like this.

Same here. At my current pace, this month will be my worst month at istock since June 2007, which is the month that I joined the site.

It will also knock istock down to 5th overall on my monthly earnings list. Pretty amazing considering that it wasn't very long ago that istock held the #2 spot, and was even occasionally #1 a few years back.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on December 12, 2011, 12:25
Over the weekend I actually had my first 'zero sales' day on Istock ... for 7 years (literally, my last zero sales day was 10th Dec 2004). It has been gradually getting closer and the way sales have been slipping it didn't come as a surprise. I'm expecting to 'enjoy' such events more and more regularly in the future.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: microstockphoto.co.uk on December 12, 2011, 13:36
My sales there have been going slowly down for at least one year now, but they were still in "Middle Tier".
This month is a totally different story, and way worse: if things continue this way, it will be my WME at IS, below my first month there (May 2008) and below some "Low Earners".
For the first time I am thinking IS is really over, unless something completely new happens (Someone buys them and comes with a proper business plan, not without clearly saying SORRY).
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Allsa on December 12, 2011, 14:06
This is the worst month I've had at IS in years. I'm shocked at how fast my earnings are declining there. It looks like the site is dying - maybe this was Getty's plan all along -- buy it then kill it.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Difydave on December 12, 2011, 14:37
My figures for the year are looking down by almost exactly the percentage I lost due to bringing in the RC system. So in effect I've lost ground even though I've been ULing regularly.
This month is dire. I had the worst week I've had for ages at the end of last month, start of this. Last week looked a bit better, but this has started really badly. TWO DLs so far today is ridiculous for a weekday, and is totally unsustainable for me in the long run. I just don't know where this thing is going any longer. I don't think I'm alone in that either.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 12, 2011, 15:10
This is the worst month I've had at IS in years. I'm shocked at how fast my earnings are declining there. It looks like the site is dying - maybe this was Getty's plan all along -- buy it then kill it.

It's not Getty, it's the financiers who own it. Getty bought it six years ago and actually expanded it. It's since the H&F takeover of Getty three (?) years back that things have got seriously peculiar.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: stockmarketer on December 12, 2011, 15:29
Dec is looking to be the worst month if it carries on like this.

Same here. At my current pace, this month will be my worst month at istock since June 2007, which is the month that I joined the site.

It will also knock istock down to 5th overall on my monthly earnings list. Pretty amazing considering that it wasn't very long ago that istock held the #2 spot, and was even occasionally #1 a few years back.

Helix7, just wondering if you see the same trends on your own website that sells your images.  How have your sales been lately?  Does the wave go up and down with the rest of the agencies? 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: helix7 on December 12, 2011, 16:15
Helix7, just wondering if you see the same trends on your own website that sells your images.  How have your sales been lately?  Does the wave go up and down with the rest of the agencies? 

Generally the volume of sales I'm getting on my own site is too low to really see any kind of trends. I'd say my personal site earnings are generally up, although slightly. That or I'd say they're steady. But probably not down.

But again, without a more significant volume, it's tough to say if there's any real trend line.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: luissantos84 on December 12, 2011, 17:22
Hello,

A few of your file downloads were paid royalties at the wrong rate
and we have made adjustments to your account balance to make up the difference.

A balance adjustment of $0.05 was added to your account.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

If you have any questions, hit us up anytime by email (artists@istockphoto.com) or phone (1-866-478-6251).

   The iStock Team
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on December 12, 2011, 17:39
Sales are below average, and they're made up of a weird mix of old files. Since Friday as far as I can tell
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cathyslife on December 12, 2011, 18:46
Hello,

A few of your file downloads were paid royalties at the wrong rate
and we have made adjustments to your account balance to make up the difference.

A balance adjustment of $0.05 was added to your account.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

If you have any questions, hit us up anytime by email (artists@istockphoto.com) or phone (1-866-478-6251).

   The iStock Team

Congrats, luis, you can do all your Christmas shopping now!  ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Mantis on December 12, 2011, 19:58
Over the weekend I actually had my first 'zero sales' day on Istock ... for 7 years (literally, my last zero sales day was 10th Dec 2004). It has been gradually getting closer and the way sales have been slipping it didn't come as a surprise. I'm expecting to 'enjoy' such events more and more regularly in the future.

Wow.  Sorry to hear this. 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on December 12, 2011, 20:30
delted
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: rubyroo on December 13, 2011, 02:59
Over the weekend I actually had my first 'zero sales' day on Istock ... for 7 years (literally, my last zero sales day was 10th Dec 2004).

Don't worry Gostwyck, it might not be as bad as it looks.  Some time next year you'll find out if you actually had a sale on the PP last weekend.

'Woo-yay' (as they say)  ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on December 13, 2011, 03:05
This is the worst month I've had at IS in years. I'm shocked at how fast my earnings are declining there. It looks like the site is dying - maybe this was Getty's plan all along -- buy it then kill it.

It's not Getty, it's the financiers who own it. Getty bought it six years ago and actually expanded it. It's since the H&F takeover of Getty three (?) years back that things have got seriously peculiar.


Too true!  people tend to forget that. Getty and IS, are playing second violin here, no saying in any matters it seems. H&F, are the ones pulling the strings.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: hoi ha on December 13, 2011, 03:55
Hello,

A few of your file downloads were paid royalties at the wrong rate
and we have made adjustments to your account balance to make up the difference.

A balance adjustment of $0.05 was added to your account.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

If you have any questions, hit us up anytime by email (artists@istockphoto.com) or phone (1-866-478-6251).

   The iStock Team

Lol - me too but I got more !!
Hello,

A few of your file downloads were paid royalties at the wrong rate and we have made adjustments to your account balance to make up the difference.

A balance adjustment of $0.27 was added to your account.
 
We apologize for the inconvenience.
 
If you have any questions, hit us up anytime by email (artists@istockphoto.com) or phone (1-866-478-6251).
   
    The iStock Team
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on December 13, 2011, 10:21
I'm making more with DT than istock this month, that's a first for me.  DT sales this month are already higher than for all of December 2010.  I haven't uploaded much to either site this year.  Istock used to make 4 or 5 times my DT earnings.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on December 13, 2011, 13:53
Over the weekend I actually had my first 'zero sales' day on Istock ... for 7 years (literally, my last zero sales day was 10th Dec 2004). It has been gradually getting closer and the way sales have been slipping it didn't come as a surprise. I'm expecting to 'enjoy' such events more and more regularly in the future.

Wow.  Sorry to hear this. 

Thanks but, the way things have been going at Istock, it had a certain inevitability about it! When Istock became uber-greedy, using the absurd pretence of their business being 'unsustainable', I think most independent contributors hoped that their significance as an agency would wane in favour of others. Well now we're gradually getting what we wished for ... and Istock's business is genuinely becoming 'unsustainable' too ... with every month that passes. Kind of ironic that.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 13, 2011, 16:15
Over the weekend I actually had my first 'zero sales' day on Istock ... for 7 years (literally, my last zero sales day was 10th Dec 2004). It has been gradually getting closer and the way sales have been slipping it didn't come as a surprise. I'm expecting to 'enjoy' such events more and more regularly in the future.

Wow.  Sorry to hear this. 

Thanks but, the way things have been going at Istock, it had a certain inevitability about it! When Istock became uber-greedy, using the absurd pretence of their business being 'unsustainable', I think most independent contributors hoped that their significance as an agency would wane in favour of others. Well now we're gradually getting what we wished for ... and Istock's business is genuinely becoming 'unsustainable' too ... with every month that passes. Kind of ironic that.

It's hard to believe what's happening. So far today, iStock, Deposit Photos and Bigstock have all sold the same number of images for me (two each), 123 has sold five. Meanwhile, SS and DT have both generated more than 10 times the income from iS.

I've had two zero sales days this year and a couple last year after six years without a gap. They have all been at weekends or on major holidays but it looks as if it won't be long before I start to see them on weekdays, too.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on December 13, 2011, 17:04
I get a few zero days at weekends but I had one on Monday 26th last month, my first on a working day for years.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Phil on December 13, 2011, 17:51
I'm another with shocking sales, got to think there has been a major best match shift. December has never been a good month, but everysite except IS is sitting on average sales so far. IS has more than halved, and for me this month is now 5th behind, SS, DT, FT and 123
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on December 13, 2011, 18:04
I'm another with shocking sales, got to think there has been a major best match shift.
There was a huge best match shift on 7th/8th, and some shuffling since.
However, different searches seem to have different algorithms, some heavily pushing Vetta to the almost exclusion of all else (e.g. Gorilla), others being much more mixed (eg businessman).
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 13, 2011, 18:14
I'm another with shocking sales, got to think there has been a major best match shift.
There was a huge best match shift on 7th/8th, and some shuffling since.
However, different searches seem to have different algorhythms, some heavily pushing Vetta to the almost exclusion of all else (e.g. Gorilla), others being much more mixed (eg businessman).

That's when my earnings got cut in half. How heroic: death by search engine algorithm. Perhaps I'll be proclaimed a martyr.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 13, 2011, 18:40
Martyr? You'll have to line up and wait your turn!

Today at iStock has so far netted a grand total of two images for $2.79 which is a complete joke - even if it were a weekend, which it isn't. 123rf can beat that hands down and that (until recently) never happened. DT almost beat that with just one of the day's sales - for a medium level 1 image.

Perhaps it's a bug, or maybe a feature. Either way, it's pretty sad.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 14, 2011, 02:34
Something is definitely going on at iStock, but I don't fully buy into buyers running away this quickly - it is all happening way too fast. Could be the best match search spreading DLs around in a significantly different way, for sure hurting the more vocal contributors thereby "painting the picture" that doomsday has arrived.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: borg on December 14, 2011, 03:36
Yesterday only one dl... :o

Slowly I will leave this ship, without wind...
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 14, 2011, 03:57
Something is definitely going on at iStock, but I don't fully buy into buyers running away this quickly - it is all happening way too fast. Could be the best match search spreading DLs around in a significantly different way, for sure hurting the more vocal contributors thereby "painting the picture" that doomsday has arrived.

And today the best match looks a hell of a lot better...at least for the three searches I ran..."high heels", "woman AND t-shirt" and "business".
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: kelby on December 14, 2011, 04:17
istock are pushing now in front of best match the images from the low canister contributor....this explain why the old diamond and black diamond canister are loosing sales day by day about 40% / 50% rather than the happy past years  ???
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 14, 2011, 04:32
istock are pushing now in front of best match the images from the low canister contributor....this explain why the old diamond and black diamond canister are loosing sales day by day about 40% / 50% rather than the happy past years  ???

Can't say that I can see what you are talking about. Today the best match mix looks more "normal", as well as a lot better (more representative, better mix). It even seems to give new files a nice fighting chance for attention.

Independents though are nowhere to be seen in the search - serves them right though having no faith in iStock (joking).
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on December 14, 2011, 15:27
December sales suck
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on December 14, 2011, 15:36
istock are pushing now in front of best match the images from the low canister contributor....this explain why the old diamond and black diamond canister are loosing sales day by day about 40% / 50% rather than the happy past years  ???

Can't say that I can see what you are talking about. Today the best match mix looks more "normal", as well as a lot better (more representative, better mix). It even seems to give new files a nice fighting chance for attention.

Independents though are nowhere to be seen in the search - serves them right though having no faith in iStock (joking).
I just tried 'telesales' out of interest, and found that one contributor has images, which look very much like the others at the top of that search, but they're all Agency. Looked at their port, and it seems that all their images are Agency.

I can certainly see how buyers wouldn't have a clue between collections. Apart from the 'oddities', all the pics at the top of that search, from basic indie pricing to Agency all look just the same - 'microstocky'.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: gostwyck on December 14, 2011, 16:07
December sales suck

True. I just checked mine and for the first 13 days my sales are down a staggering 44% compared to the same period in Dec 2010. Ouch __ that's unsustainable.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on December 14, 2011, 16:31
thanks to all the site issues etc., my seasonal uploads have all been kicked in the ornaments by the sucky best match. by the time I managed to get them up...big surprise, they were buried
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: cobalt on December 14, 2011, 20:24
Well, Id like to add something positive. I am really impressed with the editorial sales. That is something I see as a successful project in 2011.

I will definetly add more in 2012.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: SNP on December 14, 2011, 21:23
Well, Id like to add something positive. I am really impressed with the editorial sales. That is something I see as a successful project in 2011.

I will definetly add more in 2012.

really? I have to completely disagree with you there....editorial is my greatest disappointment at iStock for 2011. but the flipside is that the only place to go is up....? isn't that how it works?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on December 15, 2011, 02:16
Over the weekend I actually had my first 'zero sales' day on Istock ... for 7 years (literally, my last zero sales day was 10th Dec 2004). It has been gradually getting closer and the way sales have been slipping it didn't come as a surprise. I'm expecting to 'enjoy' such events more and more regularly in the future.

Wow.  Sorry to hear this. 

Thanks but, the way things have been going at Istock, it had a certain inevitability about it! When Istock became uber-greedy, using the absurd pretence of their business being 'unsustainable', I think most independent contributors hoped that their significance as an agency would wane in favour of others. Well now we're gradually getting what we wished for ... and Istock's business is genuinely becoming 'unsustainable' too ... with every month that passes. Kind of ironic that.

It's hard to believe what's happening. So far today, iStock, Deposit Photos and Bigstock have all sold the same number of images for me (two each), 123 has sold five. Meanwhile, SS and DT have both generated more than 10 times the income from iS.

I've had two zero sales days this year and a couple last year after six years without a gap. They have all been at weekends or on major holidays but it looks as if it won't be long before I start to see them on weekdays, too.

Yep!  same here!  SS, apart from an EL and some SODs,  8, times more then IS,  DT and FT,  6, times more then IS and DP and BS, twice as much. Frankly, even if they purposley set out to destroy a site,  they couldnt do much worse.
However I think Gostwyck ( can never spell his name right), hit the nail in another thread. They want it this way, this is the plan according to the blueprint. Think about it. How could they possibly survive on as measly 5K, exclusives, its an impossibillity and it doesnt take a genious to work out the result.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on December 15, 2011, 06:46
Well, Id like to add something positive. I am really impressed with the editorial sales. That is something I see as a successful project in 2011.

I will definetly add more in 2012.

really? I have to completely disagree with you there....editorial is my greatest disappointment at iStock for 2011. but the flipside s that the only place to go is up....? isn't that how it works?

Not necessarily at iStock  ;)
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: stocker2011 on December 15, 2011, 14:38
If istock are indeed going through a heavy slump in sales do you think they will take an appropriate course of action?

A company such as istock which has been in this business from the begining and has seen exponential growth followed by a slump which we can clearly see ourselves. I mean, we all have our graphs so we can see whats going on. Do you think there is someone looking at the whole picture and saying - well, we were once like this and we had this much sales, now we are like this and now we have this much sales. For many contributors it's quite easy to see what's going wrong but do you think they really know the answer?

I'd like to point out that it is still feasible that they may not actually be getting hit hard financially because best match matches may simply be shifting searches through to other contributors that may not be active on any internet forums hence we really are left in the dark as to how good or bad their sales really are - i find this frustrating.

However by looking at the drastic slump in sales I myself have been experiencing this year, plus looking at the comments on istock forum and the comments here, as well as trafic stats (which as pointed out are not 100% accurate but give a good indication) leads me to believe that things really are going bad at istock.

If this is indeed true a huge loss of sales is a huge loss in sales no matter how you cut it and a company can only sustain it for so long before the staff at istock are forced to take a long hard look at their business model, and if need be make cut backs but not necessarily make changes for the better.

All of this is really frustrating for myself and i suspect that full-timers are really having to push the boat out to get any decent return in investment.

Good luck to all of you.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: sharpshot on December 15, 2011, 15:38
...I'd like to point out that it is still feasible that they may not actually be getting hit hard financially because best match matches may simply be shifting searches through to other contributors that may not be active on any internet forums hence we really are left in the dark as to how good or bad their sales really are - i find this frustrating...
That's true, there are several people that used to post a lot here but stopped after they went exclusive.  Until they come here and tell us they are also experiencing a sales slump, I'm not convinced that things are as gloomy with istock as some here would like.

There's also the fact that more and more contributors have joined istock and we might be suffering from dilution but istock could still be doing OK overall.  It looks like they have lost a lot of business to SS but they might be doing well enough to give them the impression that their strategy is working.

If things were really as bad as they seem, wouldn't they be doing more about it?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: KB on December 15, 2011, 17:13
There's also the fact that more and more contributors have joined istock and we might be suffering from dilution but istock could still be doing OK overall.  It looks like they have lost a lot of business to SS but they might be doing well enough to give them the impression that their strategy is working.

If their revenues are increasing even slightly year over year, and their margins have improved (which they undoubtedly have, greatly, this being the first year of the new bracketed commission levels), then as far as H&F is concerned their strategy is working. We all know they don't give a flippin' @!#$ about how contributors are doing, or how damaging their actions are to the long term viability of their business. In 2012 they should be able to report huge balance sheet improvements throughout Getty, and dump the business off on some company or entity that doesn't thoroughly do their homework.

Assuming the economy doesn't crumble first, I think the odds are high that H&F will unload Getty next year.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: mlwinphoto on December 15, 2011, 21:47
If you think you have it bad.....I've had one measly (22 cent commission) sale in 4 weeks....came to a grinding halt Nov 17....to add insult to injury due to the bugs I have no idea if this is actually occurring as others have been reporting abnormally bad sales as well....is it me or is it iStock??   Yes, I have a small port but ebb and flow is not a reason I want to hear as it has never been close to being this bad.  And, other sites are doing as expected.  I've sent a request in to CR to look into this for me but I don't have alot of faith that it will be done.

Thank goodness for RM.....

I'm done venting, back to the bottle.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: Skylinehunter on December 17, 2011, 00:21
...I'd like to point out that it is still feasible that they may not actually be getting hit hard financially because best match matches may simply be shifting searches through to other contributors that may not be active on any internet forums hence we really are left in the dark as to how good or bad their sales really are - i find this frustrating...
That's true, there are several people that used to post a lot here but stopped after they went exclusive.  Until they come here and tell us they are also experiencing a sales slump, I'm not convinced that things are as gloomy with istock as some here would like.

There's also the fact that more and more contributors have joined istock and we might be suffering from dilution but istock could still be doing OK overall.  It looks like they have lost a lot of business to SS but they might be doing well enough to give them the impression that their strategy is working.

If things were really as bad as they seem, wouldn't they be doing more about it?

I noticed that Lisegagne, the star Istockphoto contributor, passed the 1 million sales mark in May 2010.  She crossed the 500,000 mark three years before, which means that her images must have been selling at least 166,000 times (and due to growth being exponential, more like 200,000 times.)  

Well, her Istockphoto page still shows her at 1,100,000+, which means that at the very least, she has yet to cross the 1,200,000 mark, despite 1.6 years since she crossed the 1 million mark, which suggests that her sales have slowed down (at least 20% but perhaps more likely more), despite her having 7,808 images (I remember her having something like 5,900 images around two years ago.  Of course, it probably doesn't bother her that much to go from perhaps $1 million a year to perhaps $500,000 to $700,000 a year, but its still a noticeable decrease.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: KarenH on December 17, 2011, 01:35
If you think you have it bad.....I've had one measly (22 cent commission) sale in 4 weeks....came to a grinding halt Nov 17....to add insult to injury due to the bugs I have no idea if this is actually occurring as others have been reporting abnormally bad sales as well....is it me or is it iStock??   Yes, I have a small port but ebb and flow is not a reason I want to hear as it has never been close to being this bad.  And, other sites are doing as expected.  I've sent a request in to CR to look into this for me but I don't have alot of faith that it will be done.

Thank goodness for RM.....

I'm done venting, back to the bottle.

I think that week is when everyone's came crashing to a halt, from the reports on the forums, and it was that week that downloads stopped being reported for some time.  I also believe something happened around that time, beyond a general slowdown (my own shows no downloads for two weeks, although the individual lines show DLs not reflected in the total).  Too many people have reported the same thing.  They don't seem to be dealing with CR requests much.  I've a phone call in that went directly to voicemail and was never returned almost a week ago, and several CR reports, and others have reported as such on the forums as well.  Given that they closed off another week without any comment on the bugs or responses to anything, I don't think they're paying a whole lot of attention to CR requests.  It really shows their contempt for their contributor base. 
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: lagereek on December 17, 2011, 02:06
...I'd like to point out that it is still feasible that they may not actually be getting hit hard financially because best match matches may simply be shifting searches through to other contributors that may not be active on any internet forums hence we really are left in the dark as to how good or bad their sales really are - i find this frustrating...
That's true, there are several people that used to post a lot here but stopped after they went exclusive.  Until they come here and tell us they are also experiencing a sales slump, I'm not convinced that things are as gloomy with istock as some here would like.

There's also the fact that more and more contributors have joined istock and we might be suffering from dilution but istock could still be doing OK overall.  It looks like they have lost a lot of business to SS but they might be doing well enough to give them the impression that their strategy is working.

If things were really as bad as they seem, wouldn't they be doing more about it?


I think you could be absoloutely right on this one!  The overall picture might not be as bad at all, as some will have it and all these graphs, etc, well theyre not realy giving any indication at all.

I think they are doing quite well with the Vettas/agency files, etc, or else as you say, they would do something about it and sure as hell, so would H&F, if anything.
Their strategy is probably going according to plan and so what?

Only, they can do that without my cooperation. Not interested.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: guenterguni on December 17, 2011, 05:01
After reading here for weeks or better month I want to let you know my two cents ...

... I understand that a lot of independent as well as exclusive IS distributors are frustrated ... mainly if the (nearly unbelievable) number of bugs/problems on the site are coming hand in hand with a drop/decrease of sales.

But believe me - there are at least as many contributors who are facing a huge increase in their IS income. Thanks god I am one of these, I doubled my income in 2011 and I easily made the 40.000 RCīs which means that I am having now the royalities of the gold canister while I am going to stay officialy silver for some months longer. And ... I only observed the german speaking forum on IS - there are lotīs of contris who made even stronger steps upwards, three of the people Iīm talking to regulary made this year even the step from silver to diamond (means that they got more than 150.000 RCīs...).

And... to avoid any comments from the beginning - I am for sure not one of these "woojay - thank you iStock for everything"-people, nor the other very succesful contris Iīm talking to are it. We are all critical, we hate the perfomance and especially the "communication" from iStock to us - but we are making good, some of us really good money.

If you read the monthly sales threads carefully you will find out, that it are mainly diamond/gold contris who arenīt uploading a lot that are reporting decreasing royalites - but I am very sure that there is the same number of cintributors who are uploading regulary and a lot and are doing extremely well.

I think you should consider this in your overall discussion about iStock ... there are problems, no question. But there are still a lot of people with good and increasing sales, so I think itīs a bit to early to send out invitations for the iStock funeral...
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 17, 2011, 05:17
That's interesting. May I ask what genre you supply and how long you have been contributing?
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: guenterguni on December 17, 2011, 05:19
That's interesting. May I ask what genre you supply and how long you have been contributing?

I started uploading in November 2007. And just click on the iStock symbol below my post and you see my portfolio.

... and, if you think my increase of income is only because some of my images are quite rare: the three german speaking colleagues who made it all in 2011 from silver to diamond royalities are all doing total different things: one ONLY studio shots, one ONLY lifestyle/people and one mostly architecture/landscape. For me personally this is the proof that it you upload a good number of decent quality images regulary (for my opinion a minimum of 500, maybe 600 images a year) there is still substantial growth possible.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: ShadySue on December 17, 2011, 05:43
That's interesting. May I ask what genre you supply and how long you have been contributing?

I started uploading in November 2007. And just click on the iStock symbol below my post and you see my portfolio.

... and, if you think my increase of income is only because some of my images are quite rare: the three german speaking colleagues who made it all in 2011 from silver to diamond royalities are all doing total different things: one ONLY studio shots, one ONLY lifestyle/people and one mostly architecture/landscape. For me personally this is the proof that it you upload a good number of decent quality images regulary (for my opinion a minimum of 500, maybe 600 images a year) there is still substantial growth possible.

Congrats on your sales this year: but it has to be said that it's not your sales from this year which have caused the huge bump. At least, not your most recent 400. Another feature of the current iStock is that in general it takes much longer for images to be noticed.
Title: Re: Sales have tanked big time
Post by: guenterguni on December 17, 2011, 05:46