pancakes

MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked  (Read 61600 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

helix7

« Reply #225 on: September 22, 2010, 15:48 »
0
Why do you think they developed ThinkStock?

ThinkStock is only cheap if you're a volume buyer. For the casual buyer, who just wants a few images per week for their blog, neither ThinkStock nor iStock meet that need anymore.


« Reply #226 on: September 22, 2010, 16:00 »
0
ThinkStock is only cheap if you're a volume buyer. For the casual buyer, who just wants a few images per week for their blog, neither ThinkStock nor iStock meet that need anymore.

I think the vast majority of bloggers prefer to use images for free, and in that regard no microstock agency can ever meet their needs - only Flickr can. And does.

zzz

« Reply #227 on: September 22, 2010, 16:27 »
0
I believe they are planning to use Getty for Macro...iStock for mid stock and ThinkStock for the subs which I personally believe is where the non-exclusives will end up if they choose not to go exclusive. I've stated this many times already and I don't know if this will happen but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if it did happen. Only time will tell.
I think you are right on the money. iStock is moving away from microstock and will standing out from the crowd by providing high quality content at a premium price. The target audience is certainly not the casual buyer.

« Reply #228 on: September 22, 2010, 17:52 »
0
ThinkStock is only cheap if you're a volume buyer. For the casual buyer, who just wants a few images per week for their blog, neither ThinkStock nor iStock meet that need anymore.

I think the vast majority of bloggers prefer to use images for free, and in that regard no microstock agency can ever meet their needs - only Flickr can. And does.

totally agree with you.  as I recall, When iStock partnered with Vox blogs bloggers there could use select images for free on their blogs and the small images linked to the image for sale at istock.  sadly Vox didnt take off big and are closing down the end of this month 9/30/10.

Pixel-Pizzazz

« Reply #229 on: September 22, 2010, 18:34 »
0
Quote
Sorry but this does not make any sense.  How is it possible that downloads have dropped, commission rates have dropped and you've earned more?  It's not possible if you've kept everything constant.  What you're probably saying is that you're earning more (at IS) because you switched to exclusivity, thereby artificially inflating your commission rate, in which case, you're not earning more because you have no idea about the potential loss of revenue you would have made had you spread your portfolio accross other agents.

As someone mentioned above, prices have gone up. I have always been exclusive and my income has risen year on year and my downloads have dropped as prices have increased. Fewer sales at higher prices.


See now some of you people are excellent photographers but a lot of you are not business-minded at all.  How can you settle for saying downloads have gone down, commissions have gone down but its okay because prices have skyrocketed and hence the overall sales numbers have gone up.   Youre accepting that you, the owners of the work that is being sold, dont deserve a bigger piece of the pie.  Youre not taking into account the potential gain you could have made if istock didnt shaft you and pocketed your fair share.  I dont think youre looking at the overall picture here.  Istock is your agent... they work for you, not the other way around.  Here are a few things you should think about....

What percentage increase in revenue are you seeing compared to istocks increase in revenue? Has your RPD gone up or down? Has your revenue increased at the same rate as the size of your portfolio? Have your costs gone up at the same rate as the increase in sales revenue?  What about your profit margin? Has that increased at the same rate of inflation or the cost of living?  What would your potential profit be if your portfolio was with an agent paying a fairer commission or spread across many agencies that pay a fair commission?

Istock expects their profit margin to increase over time and so should you.  Istock is bloody brilliant to have brainwashed so many of you into thinking youre getting a good deal when you are not.  I cant blame you for not knowing any better.  Youre not accountants who sit there analysing your figures in every way possible.  You see a few arrows on an upward trend and all say yay, im happy!  What pisses me off is that istock know full well that youre getting the short end of the stick and the pretentious pricks play on that and refer to you as their friends to your faces while pulling the rug out from under you.  It is disgusting how theyve mistreated the people who have put food on their plates and I cant stand the shifty *insult removed*. And then theres the buyer who is also brainwashed.   istock has made a number of costly blunders.  Their way out of was to give the buyers (and the contributors) the perception that istock is the Rolls Royce of microstock so that they can increase prices shafting the buyer, while reducing commissions shafting the contributor.  What has come out of all of this isnt just that istock are greedy, but also that istock is inefficient and that their product is way overrated.  

I don't have a lot of files (only 173), but I'm a gold, none the less (almost 19,000 sales) and have only just become exclusive (1 month now)  - for reasons other than money (I was definitely making more as an independent at 5 agencies).  I decided to make a graph to illustrate my IS earnings.  As you can see, my dollars stayed pretty flat, in relative terms, until adding videos in 2009.  As for my files online, I started in June 2004 and uploaded most of my 173 files within the first three years - I've only deleted a few over the same time - my biggest money making file was deleted one month ago, when I switched to exclusive.  Like many others, my numbers show a downward trend in number of downloads, without having a significant effect on my income (because of the increases in prices).  Since I was an independent for almost the entire time charted, my numbers are not skewed by royalty increases, because I was at the same percentage all along, up until 1 month ago when I went exclusive and started earning the gold 35% royalty.  See attached graph.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2010, 21:22 by Pixel-Pizzazz »

TheSmilingAssassin

    This user is banned.
« Reply #230 on: September 22, 2010, 19:12 »
0
If earnings have increased, while downloads and commissions have decreased, the prices must have gone up a fair whack.  What percentage increase are we talking about and over period of time?

I guess it's just me, but when someone asks this sort of very basic question it makes me totally disregard any opinion they might have about microstock in general, and iStock in particular. How can you have an informed opinion when you don't even know the basic facts? Given some of the things you've said, pseudonymous, I'm surprised to be the only one to call you out on this. Although it's obvious you're not here for this reason, right now I think you should be doing more reading than writing.

Really?  I would disregard the opinion of anyone who doesn't ask that question when someone tells them they're earnings have increased over "the years".  What years were they talking about?  And where do you suggest I "read" about istock's pricing structure dating back to 2000?  When you go to see a financial adviser, do you not provide him with some information?  Do you expect them to be familiar with the financial records of every corporation that exists on this planet along with details of your portfolio and earnings history?

Most people here continue to talk about earnings going up without mentioning anything about the size of their portfolios, their direct and indirect costs, even the cost of living.  Everyone talks about their RPD but doesn't mention how much they're making per upload.  For every file submitted there is a cost involved and everyone disregards it and focuses on total revenue.  People also disregard the files they've submitted but have been rejected and I'd image there would be a few on IS.  What about the costs involved with those images?  What about the potential earnings of those images that are rejected at IS that can't be submitted elsewhere?  There is no point getting excited over, or being content with, a steady small increase in total revenue over time, if that revenue isn't worth what it was 5 years ago and doesn't make you the same profit.  You cannot ignore the cost of inflation and spending capacity of today's dollar compared to yesterday's dollar.  If people aren't comparing apples to apples, then whatever sales increase they're talking about should be ignored.  Everyone is also disregarding the value of their portfolio.  IS rates it highly and gives you peanuts for it.  I don't see how anyone can be content with those massive price increases without expecting to earn a fair shair of it.

I want to add, sharply_done, that I really can't be bothered addressing someone that compares microstock exclusivity to a 9-5 day job.  From all the ridiculous things I've read on this board (and there's been a lot of them), that has to top them all.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2010, 19:43 by pseudonymous »

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #231 on: September 22, 2010, 20:56 »
0
I don't know who said it above, but I don't think any exclusive should be comfortable with dls numbers decreasing as long as income is increasing. I already said this once, but that is a fairly short-sighted, destructive way to manage your business. after 2008 when dl numbers fell for everyone pretty much, I started watching my numbers increase steadily. granted, money is increasing exponentially while dl number are creeping up slowly....but both are moving upward and that's what I want to see.

It's strange that that has ended up being the iStock strategy. HQ has never confirmed it, but it has seemed like the company was headed for a midstock model for several years now. Just not sure it's a good way to go. There is so much potential in lower-priced high-volume content. When you could get an X-Small image for your blog for $1, it didn't take much debate to click the Purchase button. At $3.00 or more for the same image, it's a different story.

It looks like iStock is betting on midstock to be the more profitable and long-term successful model, but I wouldn't bet on microstock and $1 images going out of demand.

Why do you think they developed ThinkStock?



agreed. I am not opted into the partner program in any case. not even worth the effort to click the check box.

« Reply #232 on: September 22, 2010, 23:43 »
0
...
I want to add, sharply_done, that I really can't be bothered addressing someone that compares microstock exclusivity to a 9-5 day job.  From all the ridiculous things I've read on this board (and there's been a lot of them), that has to top them all.


Sorry pseudonymous, but I can't really take anything you have to say about microstock seriously when you were under the impression that commissions at iStock have been dropping (reference this post). Just so you know, everyone who's been involved in microstock for any non-trivial amount of time knows that iStock commission rates have not changed since the day they were introduced. Your thinking that iStock has a history of lowering commissions shows that you have limited knowledge of the microstock industry, and it speaks volumes about your experience in this marketplace, which severly undermines the value of your opinion - at least to me, anyway. But then again, who knows, maybe you've been involved in the traditional stock arena for decades and want to impart some of your knowledge/experience here. If that's the case you should go ahead and do so, but perhaps temper your opinions a little - microstock isn't traditional stock, and you shouldn't treat it as such. If you have to ask why not, then I'll just have to point you to back to the beginning of the what I just wrote.

Moving on, I think you misunderstood the comparison quoted above. What I was saying is that being exclusive to and collecting royalties from a single agency is in some ways similar to having a regular job and collecting a wage/salary from a single employer. That's all. I still think it's an apt analogy - it's certainly not a ridiculous one, and of that I'm confident most everyone would agree.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2010, 23:46 by sharply_done »

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #233 on: September 22, 2010, 23:51 »
0
I've compared being exclusive to being employed in some contexts. I also use the analogy that we are iStock's client, many of us do. we basically hire them as our agent, to give us a gallery/storefront, to market our images, and ultimately to sell them. as long as I feel iStock is doing those things for my images, as long as my income and dl numbers continue to rise...I'm generally happy. I also enjoy the community and the opportunity to learn from my peers through the community. I've found the inspection process is one of the single greatest contributions to my evolution as an artist, or in the least as a commercial stock producer. so, I'm getting my money's worth.

I don't think there was anything ridiculous at all about the employment analogy. pseudo, I'd quit while I'm not too far behind in this debate. frankly, there are enough pissing contests to wade through, pardon the pun, over here already.

« Reply #234 on: September 22, 2010, 23:56 »
0
...
frankly, there are enough pissing contests to wade through, pardon the pun, over here already.

Ain't that the truth.

« Reply #235 on: September 23, 2010, 01:59 »
0
...
I want to add, sharply_done, that I really can't be bothered addressing someone that compares microstock exclusivity to a 9-5 day job.  From all the ridiculous things I've read on this board (and there's been a lot of them), that has to top them all.


Sorry pseudonymous, but I can't really take anything you have to say about microstock seriously when you were under the impression that commissions at iStock have been dropping (reference this post). Just so you know, everyone who's been involved in microstock for any non-trivial amount of time knows that iStock commission rates have not changed since the day they were introduced. Your thinking that iStock has a history of lowering commissions shows that you have limited knowledge of the microstock industry, and it speaks volumes about your experience in this marketplace, which severly undermines the value of your opinion - at least to me, anyway. But then again, who knows, maybe you've been involved in the traditional stock arena for decades and want to impart some of your knowledge/experience here. If that's the case you should go ahead and do so, but perhaps temper your opinions a little - microstock isn't traditional stock, and you shouldn't treat it as such. If you have to ask why not, then I'll just have to point you to back to the beginning of the what I just wrote.

Moving on, I think you misunderstood the comparison quoted above. What I was saying is that being exclusive to and collecting royalties from a single agency is in some ways similar to having a regular job and collecting a wage/salary from a single employer. That's all. I still think it's an apt analogy - it's certainly not a ridiculous one, and of that I'm confident most everyone would agree.

Did they always pay commission as a percentage of the discounted price?

« Reply #236 on: September 23, 2010, 02:54 »
0
Did they always pay commission as a percentage of the discounted price?


Oops, I think you got me there.

They used to pay using a system similar to the one FT uses, where 1 credit was originally $0.50 but then raised it to $1 in 2005. In 2007 they switched to using the net amount the buyer paid per credit, and when they did that any discount the buyer experienced was inherently passed on to us. So I guess you can look at that as one way they temporarily lower commissions, but the effect of it is/was small compared to the increase in income when they switched to the 'net amount' system. You can see how iStock has changed how much they pay their contributors by going here: Click Me. It's interesting to note that they haven't updated this for 2011 yet.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2010, 03:06 by sharply_done »

TheSmilingAssassin

    This user is banned.
« Reply #237 on: September 23, 2010, 05:08 »
0
...
I want to add, sharply_done, that I really can't be bothered addressing someone that compares microstock exclusivity to a 9-5 day job.  From all the ridiculous things I've read on this board (and there's been a lot of them), that has to top them all.


Sorry pseudonymous, but I can't really take anything you have to say about microstock seriously when you were under the impression that commissions at iStock have been dropping (reference this post). Just so you know, everyone who's been involved in microstock for any non-trivial amount of time knows that iStock commission rates have not changed since the day they were introduced. Your thinking that iStock has a history of lowering commissions shows that you have limited knowledge of the microstock industry, and it speaks volumes about your experience in this marketplace, which severly undermines the value of your opinion - at least to me, anyway. But then again, who knows, maybe you've been involved in the traditional stock arena for decades and want to impart some of your knowledge/experience here. If that's the case you should go ahead and do so, but perhaps temper your opinions a little - microstock isn't traditional stock, and you shouldn't treat it as such. If you have to ask why not, then I'll just have to point you to back to the beginning of the what I just wrote.

Moving on, I think you misunderstood the comparison quoted above. What I was saying is that being exclusive to and collecting royalties from a single agency is in some ways similar to having a regular job and collecting a wage/salary from a single employer. That's all. I still think it's an apt analogy - it's certainly not a ridiculous one, and of that I'm confident most everyone would agree.


It really doesnt matter if you take me seriously or not, its your right.  You may have been in the microstock industry for many years and I may not have been an IS contributor at all but that is because, and Ive said it several times, I thought IS was bonkers and alas, they have just proved me right.  Your experience as a photographer does not make you an expert in running or analysing a business.  If you were an expert, you wouldnt have been so foolish to become an IS exclusive.  You were easily drawn in by the nutters who waved a bunch of empty promises in your face and brainwashed you into believing youll have it cushy there and now youre locked in.  Perhaps youre too proud to admit youve made a mistake going exclusive but come January, when you start to take a big hit in earnings, youre going to have to admit it... at least to yourself.

If ISs commission rates havent come down then oh well, youre right, thats  the impression I received from reading many posts scattered around here and on the IS forums complaining about previous pay cuts.  I was wrong, it was because others wrote something that was wrong.  In any case, it doesnt really matter if commissions havent fallen previously.  Its actually worse if people willingly applied to istock from the beginning handing over up to 80% commission.  It doesnt at this point in time, matter whats happened historically, theyre reducing already degrading commissions even further and the points Ive raised about profitability are still valid. 

and it speaks volumes about your experience in this marketplace, which severly undermines the value of your opinion - at least to me, anyway

My opinion might not matter to you and you should ignore it if thats the case but Ive worked across many industries for multicorporates as a management accountant and they paid me big bucks for my opinions which both increased their efficiency, reduced costs (without cutting the throats of their employees) and gave them a competitive edge.  These industries were far more complicated than the microstock industry that has very little overheads and variable costs.  Believe me theyre not that difficult to figure out.  So I dont really care if some random photographer, who has been in the microstock industry for 10 years, making poor decisions with regards to their own portfolio, doesnt take my advice.  Most people would be happy to pick my brain for free and if Ive come here, its really not for my own benefit, but rather to show my concerns and support to those who are going to feel the effects the most.  I wont be affected by Istocks f-up at all.  But it still pisses me off to see arseholes like that stealing money from undeserving victims... in this case, its you people and your families.  It's always been my nature to look after underdog and I can't help it.  There are going to be people here that think Im full of *, thats fine.  But there might be the odd ones that take my advice or at least use my advice to make them think about their position and future in a different light.  Youre expert photographers and all of you think youre experts in managing your own work but sadly youre not and its the agents that take advantage of that.  As vlad mentioned somewhere above... theres a downward pressure in earnings but the biggest contributing factor of this downward pressure is the contributors themselves and their attitudes and acceptance that their work has little value.  You allow these companies to trick you into thinking theyre looking out for you but theyve screwed you over in every way possible... and youve allowed them to.

As for your analogy, I understood what you meant, but I still think it is ridiculous.  How does it compare to working for a single employer?  I cannot see any connection at all apart from the word single.  For starters, Istock or any agent isnt your employer, they are your agent who provides you a service (not the other way around) and you pay them a commission (not the other way around).  Furthermore, those working 9-5 are usually after some stability and security.  Becoming exclusive, you lose stability and security over your portfolio more so than being independent.  Also I dont think many photographers and artists relate to any 9-5 because a big part of the attraction of photography and art is flexibility and working for yourself.  So again, I still find your analogy a tad ridiculous.  Okay, I admit, ridiculous is harsh.  Ill tone it down and say its irrelevant.

TheSmilingAssassin

    This user is banned.
« Reply #238 on: September 23, 2010, 05:12 »
0
...
frankly, there are enough pissing contests to wade through, pardon the pun, over here already.

Ain't that the truth.

There are but I'm really not trying to win any pissing contest.  I'd rather be proven wrong to be honest.  Ideally, Istock doesn't turn out to be the greedy turds as they portray themselves to be, istock makes more money paying the contributors what they deserve and everyone lives happily ever after.

« Reply #239 on: September 23, 2010, 06:33 »
0
....the biggest contributing factor of this downward pressure is the contributors themselves and their attitudes and acceptance that their work has little value.  You allow these companies to trick you into thinking theyre looking out for you but theyve screwed you over in every way possible... and youve allowed them to.
That's true but I would rather people came up with a solution to this problem than attack others for making decisions that might be the best for them.  I don't think sharply is stupid and he makes more money than nearly all of us here.  Istock pay low commissions but they also give more money to their contributors than most of the sites that pay higher commissions.  20% was hard to swallow but it is better to have 20% of a large amount of money than 50% of very little.  That is the reason why they can get away with it.

In an ideal world, all contributors and buyers would just use sites that pay at least 50% commissions and haven't hiked prices too much for the buyers.  That hasn't happened, so what can we do about it?  A few of us leaving istock wont make the difference, something else has to happen.

People were still using crestock when they were getting mainly $0.25 subs, having most of their uploads rejected and payments delayed for months.  Buyers still use them, even though they have a much smaller choice of images.  I sometimes wonder how far a site has to go before people will stop using them.  It helps us to vent about it but I think the best way to make a real change is to have more communication with buyers and get them to use the sites that are better for all of us.

« Reply #240 on: September 23, 2010, 07:54 »
0
...
I want to add, sharply_done, that I really can't be bothered addressing someone that compares microstock exclusivity to a 9-5 day job.  From all the ridiculous things I've read on this board (and there's been a lot of them), that has to top them all.


Sorry pseudonymous, but I can't really take anything you have to say about microstock seriously when you were under the impression that commissions at iStock have been dropping (reference this post). Just so you know, everyone who's been involved in microstock for any non-trivial amount of time knows that iStock commission rates have not changed since the day they were introduced. Your thinking that iStock has a history of lowering commissions shows that you have limited knowledge of the microstock industry, and it speaks volumes about your experience in this marketplace, which severly undermines the value of your opinion - at least to me, anyway. But then again, who knows, maybe you've been involved in the traditional stock arena for decades and want to impart some of your knowledge/experience here. If that's the case you should go ahead and do so, but perhaps temper your opinions a little - microstock isn't traditional stock, and you shouldn't treat it as such. If you have to ask why not, then I'll just have to point you to back to the beginning of the what I just wrote.

Moving on, I think you misunderstood the comparison quoted above. What I was saying is that being exclusive to and collecting royalties from a single agency is in some ways similar to having a regular job and collecting a wage/salary from a single employer. That's all. I still think it's an apt analogy - it's certainly not a ridiculous one, and of that I'm confident most everyone would agree.


It really doesnt matter if you take me seriously or not, its your right.  You may have been in the microstock industry for many years and I may not have been an IS contributor at all but that is because, and Ive said it several times, I thought IS was bonkers and alas, they have just proved me right.  Your experience as a photographer does not make you an expert in running or analysing a business.  If you were an expert, you wouldnt have been so foolish to become an IS exclusive.  You were easily drawn in by the nutters who waved a bunch of empty promises in your face and brainwashed you into believing youll have it cushy there and now youre locked in.  Perhaps youre too proud to admit youve made a mistake going exclusive but come January, when you start to take a big hit in earnings, youre going to have to admit it... at least to yourself.

If ISs commission rates havent come down then oh well, youre right, thats  the impression I received from reading many posts scattered around here and on the IS forums complaining about previous pay cuts.  I was wrong, it was because others wrote something that was wrong.  In any case, it doesnt really matter if commissions havent fallen previously.  Its actually worse if people willingly applied to istock from the beginning handing over up to 80% commission.  It doesnt at this point in time, matter whats happened historically, theyre reducing already degrading commissions even further and the points Ive raised about profitability are still valid. 

and it speaks volumes about your experience in this marketplace, which severly undermines the value of your opinion - at least to me, anyway

My opinion might not matter to you and you should ignore it if thats the case but Ive worked across many industries for multicorporates as a management accountant and they paid me big bucks for my opinions which both increased their efficiency, reduced costs (without cutting the throats of their employees) and gave them a competitive edge.  These industries were far more complicated than the microstock industry that has very little overheads and variable costs.  Believe me theyre not that difficult to figure out.  So I dont really care if some random photographer, who has been in the microstock industry for 10 years, making poor decisions with regards to their own portfolio, doesnt take my advice.  Most people would be happy to pick my brain for free and if Ive come here, its really not for my own benefit, but rather to show my concerns and support to those who are going to feel the effects the most.  I wont be affected by Istocks f-up at all.  But it still pisses me off to see arseholes like that stealing money from undeserving victims... in this case, its you people and your families.  It's always been my nature to look after underdog and I can't help it.  There are going to be people here that think Im full of *, thats fine.  But there might be the odd ones that take my advice or at least use my advice to make them think about their position and future in a different light.  Youre expert photographers and all of you think youre experts in managing your own work but sadly youre not and its the agents that take advantage of that.  As vlad mentioned somewhere above... theres a downward pressure in earnings but the biggest contributing factor of this downward pressure is the contributors themselves and their attitudes and acceptance that their work has little value.  You allow these companies to trick you into thinking theyre looking out for you but theyve screwed you over in every way possible... and youve allowed them to.

As for your analogy, I understood what you meant, but I still think it is ridiculous.  How does it compare to working for a single employer?  I cannot see any connection at all apart from the word single.  For starters, Istock or any agent isnt your employer, they are your agent who provides you a service (not the other way around) and you pay them a commission (not the other way around).  Furthermore, those working 9-5 are usually after some stability and security.  Becoming exclusive, you lose stability and security over your portfolio more so than being independent.  Also I dont think many photographers and artists relate to any 9-5 because a big part of the attraction of photography and art is flexibility and working for yourself.  So again, I still find your analogy a tad ridiculous.  Okay, I admit, ridiculous is harsh.  Ill tone it down and say its irrelevant.


wow...multicorporates...you are a star...teach me more man...teach me more.

Most of us have business experience in multiple areas and I know for a fact that Sharply isn't just another photographer.  If you can't tell by his posts that he's a smart guy, then maybe you should stop and re-evaluate your own abilities to pick up information.  Just because you have some work experience in other industries (I don't know how old you are or when this happened or who you worked for or what happened to those companies so I can't make the argument that you are an outdated hasbeen) doesn't mean your opinions are all valid.  Especially without facts or properly reading the arguments presented.

TheSmilingAssassin

    This user is banned.
« Reply #241 on: September 23, 2010, 08:00 »
0
....the biggest contributing factor of this downward pressure is the contributors themselves and their attitudes and acceptance that their work has little value.  You allow these companies to trick you into thinking theyre looking out for you but theyve screwed you over in every way possible... and youve allowed them to.
That's true but I would rather people came up with a solution to this problem than attack others for making decisions that might be the best for them.  I don't think sharply is stupid and he makes more money than nearly all of us here.  Istock pay low commissions but they also give more money to their contributors than most of the sites that pay higher commissions.  20% was hard to swallow but it is better to have 20% of a large amount of money than 50% of very little.  That is the reason why they can get away with it.

In an ideal world, all contributors and buyers would just use sites that pay at least 50% commissions and haven't hiked prices too much for the buyers.  That hasn't happened, so what can we do about it?  A few of us leaving istock wont make the difference, something else has to happen.

People were still using crestock when they were getting mainly $0.25 subs, having most of their uploads rejected and payments delayed for months.  Buyers still use them, even though they have a much smaller choice of images.  I sometimes wonder how far a site has to go before people will stop using them.  It helps us to vent about it but I think the best way to make a real change is to have more communication with buyers and get them to use the sites that are better for all of us.

I didnt call anyone stupid.  Im sure Stuart is a brilliant photographer who earns a decent amount but everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and management might not be one of his.  That doesnt make him stupid.  I was just pointing out that it's unfortunate that these agents play on peoples weaknesses.  I also wasnt attacking him or anyone for doing whats best for them and in actual fact, I was one of the first people in the Buyers Bailing thread that suggested people dont make a rash decision that will hurt them.  By all means if istock proves to be profitable next year then of course people should stay there.  I just do see this happening and think exclusives should plan for the worst instead of sitting back being confident that istock will save the day.  

As far as a solution, I actually have one but Im just not sure people will be bothered or are open-minded enough and ready to hear it because it would take some organisation and some conformity.  I dont want to be the one to organise or implement it, nor do I, if people think its a good idea, want any credit for it but heres what Im thinking...

Whoever it was that raised the union idea wasnt too far off the mark.  Im not talking about picket lines and protesting, that would be a waste of time, but uniting and setting up some guidelines that everyone can follow would be a good the way to go.

So far the trend for most microstockers has been to either upload all their files on the big 4 and to the odd lower ranking sites that either pay fairly or provide easy uploads.  Then theres the exclusive contributor who picks one of the big four and hopes for the best.  What Im proposing is that, instead of the agents having control over your commissions, turn the table around and restructure the agents yourselves by uploading certain files to certain agents based on their commissions.  We all know our own portfolios better than anyone else so we should split them into three groups:  

1.   best performers
2.   medium performers
3.   average performers

Stock sites that pay 50% or more should get 1, 2 and 3.  Sites that pay between 30-40% get 2 and 3, and agents that pay below 30% get 3 only.  This way, contributors wouldnt mind if their worst files receive lower commissions.  This also gives buyers who are looking for a cheaper alternative somewhere to go.  Doing this will make the agents actually work for you for a change like theyre supposed to.  Do this and you watch how agents change their tune to get all three categories.  It gives the contributors total control over their portfolios and lets them decide the value of their own work.  Im not saying people should pull their files from one agent and place them on another, thats too messy, but maybe upload this way from now on or just pull your best performers and place them on the top sites?

Thats it in a nutshell.  As I said, itll take some unity and it wont work unless you have some big players involved but it would be in everyones best interest to do this or something similar.

As for istock exclusives, it might turn out that you're going to have to take a hit on your earnings.  If I were you, when you start to feel the squeeze, drop the exclusivity and remain an independent, at least for the short term.  This way, even if youre commission is dropping to below 20%, some money is coming in while you establish yourselves elsewhere.  Stock Fresh is going to be a god send for a lot of you all because theyre new and no one has really marked their territory there just yet so itll give you guys a chance to start somewhere in the middle rather than the bottom of the pack.  

Im pretty sure, like any other decent suggestion thats mentioned here, this will be ignored and Ive just wasted another five minutes of my time typing this, oh well lol

« Reply #242 on: September 23, 2010, 08:06 »
0
Won't work.  Its a waste of time.  There's no such thing as unity.  This is an everyone for themselves business with a side of community.

TheSmilingAssassin

    This user is banned.
« Reply #243 on: September 23, 2010, 08:08 »
0
...
I want to add, sharply_done, that I really can't be bothered addressing someone that compares microstock exclusivity to a 9-5 day job.  From all the ridiculous things I've read on this board (and there's been a lot of them), that has to top them all.


Sorry pseudonymous, but I can't really take anything you have to say about microstock seriously when you were under the impression that commissions at iStock have been dropping (reference this post). Just so you know, everyone who's been involved in microstock for any non-trivial amount of time knows that iStock commission rates have not changed since the day they were introduced. Your thinking that iStock has a history of lowering commissions shows that you have limited knowledge of the microstock industry, and it speaks volumes about your experience in this marketplace, which severly undermines the value of your opinion - at least to me, anyway. But then again, who knows, maybe you've been involved in the traditional stock arena for decades and want to impart some of your knowledge/experience here. If that's the case you should go ahead and do so, but perhaps temper your opinions a little - microstock isn't traditional stock, and you shouldn't treat it as such. If you have to ask why not, then I'll just have to point you to back to the beginning of the what I just wrote.

Moving on, I think you misunderstood the comparison quoted above. What I was saying is that being exclusive to and collecting royalties from a single agency is in some ways similar to having a regular job and collecting a wage/salary from a single employer. That's all. I still think it's an apt analogy - it's certainly not a ridiculous one, and of that I'm confident most everyone would agree.


It really doesnt matter if you take me seriously or not, its your right.  You may have been in the microstock industry for many years and I may not have been an IS contributor at all but that is because, and Ive said it several times, I thought IS was bonkers and alas, they have just proved me right.  Your experience as a photographer does not make you an expert in running or analysing a business.  If you were an expert, you wouldnt have been so foolish to become an IS exclusive.  You were easily drawn in by the nutters who waved a bunch of empty promises in your face and brainwashed you into believing youll have it cushy there and now youre locked in.  Perhaps youre too proud to admit youve made a mistake going exclusive but come January, when you start to take a big hit in earnings, youre going to have to admit it... at least to yourself.

If ISs commission rates havent come down then oh well, youre right, thats  the impression I received from reading many posts scattered around here and on the IS forums complaining about previous pay cuts.  I was wrong, it was because others wrote something that was wrong.  In any case, it doesnt really matter if commissions havent fallen previously.  Its actually worse if people willingly applied to istock from the beginning handing over up to 80% commission.  It doesnt at this point in time, matter whats happened historically, theyre reducing already degrading commissions even further and the points Ive raised about profitability are still valid. 

and it speaks volumes about your experience in this marketplace, which severly undermines the value of your opinion - at least to me, anyway

My opinion might not matter to you and you should ignore it if thats the case but Ive worked across many industries for multicorporates as a management accountant and they paid me big bucks for my opinions which both increased their efficiency, reduced costs (without cutting the throats of their employees) and gave them a competitive edge.  These industries were far more complicated than the microstock industry that has very little overheads and variable costs.  Believe me theyre not that difficult to figure out.  So I dont really care if some random photographer, who has been in the microstock industry for 10 years, making poor decisions with regards to their own portfolio, doesnt take my advice.  Most people would be happy to pick my brain for free and if Ive come here, its really not for my own benefit, but rather to show my concerns and support to those who are going to feel the effects the most.  I wont be affected by Istocks f-up at all.  But it still pisses me off to see arseholes like that stealing money from undeserving victims... in this case, its you people and your families.  It's always been my nature to look after underdog and I can't help it.  There are going to be people here that think Im full of *, thats fine.  But there might be the odd ones that take my advice or at least use my advice to make them think about their position and future in a different light.  Youre expert photographers and all of you think youre experts in managing your own work but sadly youre not and its the agents that take advantage of that.  As vlad mentioned somewhere above... theres a downward pressure in earnings but the biggest contributing factor of this downward pressure is the contributors themselves and their attitudes and acceptance that their work has little value.  You allow these companies to trick you into thinking theyre looking out for you but theyve screwed you over in every way possible... and youve allowed them to.

As for your analogy, I understood what you meant, but I still think it is ridiculous.  How does it compare to working for a single employer?  I cannot see any connection at all apart from the word single.  For starters, Istock or any agent isnt your employer, they are your agent who provides you a service (not the other way around) and you pay them a commission (not the other way around).  Furthermore, those working 9-5 are usually after some stability and security.  Becoming exclusive, you lose stability and security over your portfolio more so than being independent.  Also I dont think many photographers and artists relate to any 9-5 because a big part of the attraction of photography and art is flexibility and working for yourself.  So again, I still find your analogy a tad ridiculous.  Okay, I admit, ridiculous is harsh.  Ill tone it down and say its irrelevant.


wow...multicorporates...you are a star...teach me more man...teach me more.

Most of us have business experience in multiple areas and I know for a fact that Sharply isn't just another photographer.  If you can't tell by his posts that he's a smart guy, then maybe you should stop and re-evaluate your own abilities to pick up information.  Just because you have some work experience in other industries (I don't know how old you are or when this happened or who you worked for or what happened to those companies so I can't make the argument that you are an outdated hasbeen) doesn't mean your opinions are all valid.  Especially without facts or properly reading the arguments presented.


Jesus calm down.  I didn't say his opinions weren't valid or that he wasn't a smart guy.  He was suggesting my opinions weren't valid and I was explaining my position.  It doesn't really matter if I work for the microstock industry, the building and construction, manufacturing, travel industries etc, I'm trained to perfom in any of them, but who gives a crap.  I'm not going to put up my CV, it's irrelevent.  All I'm saying is that it's really silly to disregard people's opinions just because they have less experience in istock or microstock.  

TheSmilingAssassin

    This user is banned.
« Reply #244 on: September 23, 2010, 08:18 »
0
Won't work.  Its a waste of time.  There's no such thing as unity.  This is an everyone for themselves business with a side of community.

lol, then why . are you all here whining together as a group?  Why?

If that's the case, piss off on your own and shut your trap and put up with istock raping you.  This is it, everyone here wants to whinge but no one really wants to do anything about it.  There is no point in feeling sorry for a bunch of no-hope lifers.  At the end of the day the majority of you deserve to take the beating you're given.  You deserve to put in hours of work and be paid peanuts if you don't demand anything more.  I just feel bad for ones that put up with an industry screwing them just because there's a majority of people content with being screwed.  This mentality is the reason why microstock has sunk to the level it has and why it will continue to do so till it's no longer viable for anyone other than the odd hobbyist to upload.  The agents have screwed you but you've all pulled your pants down and bent over!

« Reply #245 on: September 23, 2010, 09:41 »
0
Won't work.  Its a waste of time.  There's no such thing as unity.  This is an everyone for themselves business with a side of community.

lol, then why . are you all here whining together as a group?  Why?

If that's the case, piss off on your own and shut your trap and put up with istock raping you.  This is it, everyone here wants to whinge but no one really wants to do anything about it.  There is no point in feeling sorry for a bunch of no-hope lifers.  At the end of the day the majority of you deserve to take the beating you're given.  You deserve to put in hours of work and be paid peanuts if you don't demand anything more.  I just feel bad for ones that put up with an industry screwing them just because there's a majority of people content with being screwed.  This mentality is the reason why microstock has sunk to the level it has and why it will continue to do so till it's no longer viable for anyone other than the odd hobbyist to upload.  The agents have screwed you but you've all pulled your pants down and bent over!

Wow.  Aren't you a bitter old sack of crap.  I'm not whining about the changes.  I'm here for the discussions and most of the opinions - like most people.  I enjoy hearing the views of the vets such as sjlocke and lisafx because they have different points of view given their experiences.  They offer a lot in terms of knowledge in their own unique ways.  They are also reasonable and don't have some sort of god complex like yourself because you think you are trying to save everyone with your 'management accounting skills' and because you have all this 'experience'. 

This is capitalism.  Its the evolution of an industry and the shifting of powers.  Its how technology changes industries.  It happened to music.  It happened to the movie industry.  Its happening to photography.  Is this such a big surprise? Adapt to the change or die.  Make Darwin happy.

vlad_the_imp

« Reply #246 on: September 23, 2010, 09:59 »
0
Quote
Ive worked across many industries for multicorporates as a management accountant and they paid me big bucks for my opinions which both increased their efficiency,

Now, I know a few high flying corporate types and to be honest none of them hang around microstock forums boasting of their business prowess.

Quote
You deserve to put in hours of work and be paid peanuts if you don't demand anything more

Quite a lot of us aren't paid peanuts. I have a well above average income from microstock. How about you? Oh no, sorry, you're a big buck management accountant, unaccountably hanging out with a bunch of loser artists.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2010, 10:00 by vlad_the_imp »

TheSmilingAssassin

    This user is banned.
« Reply #247 on: September 23, 2010, 10:08 »
0
Won't work.  Its a waste of time.  There's no such thing as unity.  This is an everyone for themselves business with a side of community.

lol, then why . are you all here whining together as a group?  Why?

If that's the case, piss off on your own and shut your trap and put up with istock raping you.  This is it, everyone here wants to whinge but no one really wants to do anything about it.  There is no point in feeling sorry for a bunch of no-hope lifers.  At the end of the day the majority of you deserve to take the beating you're given.  You deserve to put in hours of work and be paid peanuts if you don't demand anything more.  I just feel bad for ones that put up with an industry screwing them just because there's a majority of people content with being screwed.  This mentality is the reason why microstock has sunk to the level it has and why it will continue to do so till it's no longer viable for anyone other than the odd hobbyist to upload.  The agents have screwed you but you've all pulled your pants down and bent over!

Wow.  Aren't you a bitter old sack of crap.  I'm not whining about the changes.  I'm here for the discussions and most of the opinions - like most people.  I enjoy hearing the views of the vets such as sjlocke and lisafx because they have different points of view given their experiences.  They offer a lot in terms of knowledge in their own unique ways.  They are also reasonable and don't have some sort of god complex like yourself because you think you are trying to save everyone with your 'management accounting skills' and because you have all this 'experience'. 

This is capitalism.  Its the evolution of an industry and the shifting of powers.  Its how technology changes industries.  It happened to music.  It happened to the movie industry.  Its happening to photography.  Is this such a big surprise? Adapt to the change or die.  Make Darwin happy.

I think it's you that's the bitter old sadsack of crap.  I did not even address you and you had a go at me, why?  awww did i pick on your istock pals, was that it?  You're not here to discuss various opinions with people who think outside the box... youre just a puppet who will only pay attention to those who have climbed the ranks and disregard anyone else's.  

God Complex?  hahaha, come off it, you watch too many movies mate.  I wasn't blowing wind up my own arse like half of you lot do.  If my position or career has offended you, that's your problem.  As for the microstock industry evolving, you're right, it is, but you people aren't willing to adapt, you're willing to become extinct, and you probably deserve it because you're the ones that are outdated.

« Reply #248 on: September 23, 2010, 10:15 »
0
Too bad there any beans left for you to count

You obviously have a problem with the people in this forum.  You have a problem with this business.  This is a microstock forum, not a management accountant convention.  I'm sure there are other places for you to park your big-boss I'm better than you attitude......mate

TheSmilingAssassin

    This user is banned.
« Reply #249 on: September 23, 2010, 10:24 »
0
Quote
Ive worked across many industries for multicorporates as a management accountant and they paid me big bucks for my opinions which both increased their efficiency,

Now, I know a few high flying corporate types and to be honest none of them hang around microstock forums boasting of their business prowess.

Quote
You deserve to put in hours of work and be paid peanuts if you don't demand anything more

Quite a lot of us aren't paid peanuts. I have a well above average income from microstock. How about you? Oh no, sorry, you're a big buck management accountant, unaccountably hanging out with a bunch of loser artists.

lol mentioning my title is boasting of my "business prowess"?  I don't remember boasting.  Pissy pants asked the question about what I do and I answered.

As for hanging around with a bunch of loser artists I mentioned back in May what brought me to microstock.  I'm off work due to an injury and I'm dabbling in my creative side again because it keeps me still.   From memory, you were a bit of a turd back then and you apologised to me.

As for being paid peanuts, it doesn't matter how much you pocket, for the work you do and the hours you put in, you're paid peanuts per download and even worse per upload.  You're all deluded and have no clue how much you're worth.  You also have no idea how to best market yourselves and next year when your income (that YOU keep boasting about) falls, I'll be on my way back to doing what I normally do and you'll be left here in the forums taking even less from istock while continuing to defend them.  At the end of the day, you deserve the peanuts you're getting.


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
12 Replies
3244 Views
Last post April 18, 2007, 16:56
by GeoPappas
20 Replies
10137 Views
Last post April 07, 2014, 02:20
by hakusan
40 Replies
6327 Views
Last post April 02, 2013, 07:54
by Luppload
8 Replies
2880 Views
Last post December 03, 2016, 18:46
by YadaYadaYada
1 Replies
1761 Views
Last post September 26, 2017, 11:03
by ShadySue

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors