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Author Topic: This is what got my iStock forum privileges and sitemail access revoked  (Read 41674 times)

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« Reply #275 on: September 25, 2010, 12:59 »
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Clearly they are taking care of their top money earnings, most of whom we have heard nary a peep from. 

I'm not sure how you can draw that conclusion.  Several well established Diamonds have posted over on IStock.  Several other of the top money earners may not feel comfortable commenting in English as it's not their native language.  Because someone doesn't comment doesn't mean they like what's going on or they're getting a special deal.

If this is how they put food on the table and a roof over their family's head, they might be keeping their head low, doing damage control and calculating the best course of action for the future.

How many of the very highest income producers do you think will see their royalties fall, the structuring of the reductions is evidence in itself.  I think it is naive to believe that Istock did not open dialog with some of the very top producers before the announcements and I would not be surprise that communication is ongoing because of the conseqences to the bottom line should those contributors decide to leave. Not rocket science by any means.


« Reply #276 on: September 25, 2010, 13:09 »
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I think it is naive to believe that Istock did not open dialog with some of the very top producers before the announcements and I would not be surprise that communication is ongoing because of the conseqences to the bottom line should those contributors decide to leave. Not rocket science by any means.

On the contrary I think it is naive to assume that they did. Perhaps Lise G. was informed but then she's a fairly senior Admin anyway. Clearly the RC scales were carefully constructed to ensure that the top-selling exclusives would not be upset however those individuals are harnessed by their extraordinary incomes anyway. If your portfolio is earning several hundred thousand dollars per year, as many of them are, then you're unlikely to be going anywhere by choice.

« Reply #277 on: September 25, 2010, 13:38 »
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I think it is naive to believe that Istock did not open dialog with some of the very top producers before the announcements and I would not be surprise that communication is ongoing because of the consequences to the bottom line should those contributors decide to leave. Not rocket science by any means.

On the contrary I think it is naive to assume that they did. Perhaps Lise G. was informed but then she's a fairly senior Admin anyway. Clearly the RC scales were carefully constructed to ensure that the top-selling exclusives would not be upset however those individuals are harnessed by their extraordinary incomes anyway. If your portfolio is earning several hundred thousand dollars per year, as many of them are, then you're unlikely to be going anywhere by choice.

For the most part we are making the same point and I agree. The top earners have no incentive to leave unless of course istock changes the royalty structure in the future so that the very top contributors take a major hit and so far that is not the case, nor is it likely unless the bottom line becomes dire.

Any dialog would be to reinforce those points and to discuss details such the introduction of the agency collection and so on.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2010, 13:49 by gbalex »

« Reply #278 on: September 25, 2010, 14:19 »
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How many of the very highest income producers do you think will see their royalties fall, the structuring of the reductions is evidence in itself.  I think it is naive to believe that Istock did not open dialog with some of the very top producers before the announcements and I would not be surprise that communication is ongoing because of the conseqences to the bottom line should those contributors decide to leave. Not rocket science by any means.


Again referencing this chart, you don't have to be one of the highest income producers to see your royalties remain unchanged - iStock Diamond exclusives earning $79,500 or more per year, for example, will not see a commission reduction. Sure, royalties will fall a bit from EL & subscription reductions, but my numbers show that this will result in a royalty reduction of less than 1%.

Interestingly enough, after running the numbers with the new Vetta pricing, it looks to me like they might have been able to achieve more of their profit margin goals by adjusting only Vetta pricing and commissions, which would have gone a very long way in keeping everyone happy.

« Reply #279 on: September 25, 2010, 14:27 »
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How many diamond exclusives do you reckon are on $80k+? There can't be very many.

« Reply #280 on: September 25, 2010, 14:56 »
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How many diamond exclusives do you reckon are on $80k+? There can't be very many.

Offhand, I'd say 300+. Probably closer to 400 than 300.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2010, 15:18 by sharply_done »

« Reply #281 on: September 25, 2010, 16:44 »
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How many diamond exclusives do you reckon are on $80k+? There can't be very many.

Offhand, I'd say 300+. Probably closer to 400 than 300.

From where I'm sitting I'd say that is an overestimate :-\

« Reply #282 on: September 25, 2010, 17:03 »
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How many diamond exclusives do you reckon are on $80k+? There can't be very many.

Offhand, I'd say 300+. Probably closer to 400 than 300.

From where I'm sitting I'd say that is an overestimate :-\

Definitely! Somewhere between 70 - 100 would be my guess, probably on the lower end of that scale. Working from my own data (as an independent) you'd probably need to be averaging something like 2200 sales per month.

« Reply #283 on: September 25, 2010, 17:05 »
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From where I'm sitting I'd say that is an overestimate :-\

Okay, what's your guess?

I based mine on my own data together with iStockcharts showing 716 Diamonds, with a little over half of them earning enough to stay Diamond.

« Reply #284 on: September 25, 2010, 17:08 »
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I'm guessing that Vetta sales are the x factor in exclusive income. Very hard for an independent to estimate what these are worth. Perhaps sales on Getty should be factored into this too.

« Reply #285 on: September 25, 2010, 17:12 »
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Definitely! Somewhere between 70 - 100 would be my guess, probably on the lower end of that scale. Working from my own data (as an independent) you'd probably need to be averaging something like 2200 sales per month.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, gostwyck, you can't extrapolate your data as an independent to accurately calculate what an exclusive makes. I don't know why you don't believe me - doing things like that only leads to foolishness. Like making silly $10 bets. (grin)

That being said, I think my guess is indeed a little high, but not by that much - I'll change it to 275.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2010, 17:15 by sharply_done »

lisafx

« Reply #286 on: September 25, 2010, 17:24 »
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Up until this year it was pretty easy as an independent to guess how much you would make as an exclusive.  If you were diamond, you just doubled your 20% take and that was roughly what you would make as exclusive, give or take some best match placement. 

Within the past year things like Vetta, E+, and raising exclusive prices have all changed that equation completely.  It is indeed hard to guess what exclusives are making these days, but judging from the end-of-month threads gold and diamond members' price rises have been partially offset by the drops in downloads. 

« Reply #287 on: September 25, 2010, 17:28 »
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I've said it before and I'll say it again, gostwyck, you can't extrapolate your data as an independent to accurately calculate what an exclusive makes. I don't know why you don't believe me - doing things like that only leads to foolishness. Like making silly $10 bets. (grin)

That being said, I think my guess is indeed a little high, but not by that much - I'll change it to 275.

Ok, granted, my estimate was on the low side. At say an average of $4 per sale (the figure given to me by a couple of exclusives) you'd need to average about 1600 sales per month. Knowing my own sales and my ranking on the multimedia chart it seems unlikely to me that there are more than 200 that average sales of that order __ and that number includes independents as well. Maybe 150-170 exclusives make it.

« Reply #288 on: September 25, 2010, 21:10 »
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Ok, granted, my estimate was on the low side. At say an average of $4 per sale (the figure given to me by a couple of exclusives) ...

Here's the very last I'm going to say:

One of the reasons I became exclusive was so that I could spend more time doing portfolio management. I know that most people here scoff at such a thing, but by investing the time I've saved by going exclusive into more efficiently marketing my portfolio, I've been able to substantially increase the revenue I generate from it. In my opinion, those Diamond exclusives who are only averaging $4 per DL would be wise to do the same. There's more involved in microstock than shooting, keywording, and uploading, and ignoring the management side of things can cost you a lot of money.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2010, 21:13 by sharply_done »

« Reply #289 on: September 25, 2010, 22:14 »
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sharply_done:
Your use of the term "portfolio management" spiked my interest.I don't want your trade secrets or business strategies. But if you could  give a general statement that would start me thinking in the right direction I would appreciate it.
P.S.-Since you are exclusive and I am not a contributor to IStock I would not be competition and I have a thing about Getty from the old days. I swore I would never let them stick it to me again.
Smiling Jack

« Reply #290 on: September 25, 2010, 23:26 »
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sharply_done:
Your use of the term "portfolio management" spiked my interest.I don't want your trade secrets or business strategies. But if you could  give a general statement that would start me thinking in the right direction I would appreciate it.
...

Nope, and sorry - I wrote a proper response to you, but I think it's best for me to lay low for a while and keep my mouth shut.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 00:22 by sharply_done »

« Reply #291 on: September 26, 2010, 00:12 »
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Definitely! Somewhere between 70 - 100 would be my guess, probably on the lower end of that scale. Working from my own data (as an independent) you'd probably need to be averaging something like 2200 sales per month.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, gostwyck, you can't extrapolate your data as an independent to accurately calculate what an exclusive makes. I don't know why you don't believe me - doing things like that only leads to foolishness. Like making silly $10 bets. (grin)

That being said, I think my guess is indeed a little high, but not by that much - I'll change it to 275.

Some of you guys underestimate so badly its hilarious.  I'm with Sharply on this one, he's gotten the math right more often than not - and well he seems to be pretty smart and thorough instead of just bad guesses

« Reply #292 on: September 26, 2010, 03:57 »
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So by your figures then, sharply, the top one third of the diamonds will hang on to their earnings level next year, which probably helps to quell the outcry from some of the most highly respected members of the community.

But that is just next year. What happens if the average sales volume continues to fall and they leave the goalposts unmoved for 2012? A lot of the favoured 300 would probably fall out of the top level. And what if they shift the goalposts to ensure that two-thirds of those 300 slip down a level? At that point nobody will have any way of knowing what the impact of the changes is.

If iStock says sales have increased by 10% but credit requirements are only being increased by 5%, what will that tell us? Absolutely nothing. Some people will probably thank iStock for being so generous. But if that happens, then what it will really mean will be another massive but hidden commission cut, because we know that the butter is getting spread more and more thinly. iStock sales may go up by 10% while the average number of credits people earn may go down 10% as the community grows.

In a couple of years, there could just be half-a-dozen still clinging to the top level and nobody will know because, as Kelly told us, all our earnings details will be secret .... I mean, private.

Sharply, you hinted in response to Gostwyck's bet that you think you have some special relationship developing with iStock and I am willing to believe that. But you are naive if you think that chumming up with the in-crowd will protect you in the long run. It won't because it is just business now and special favors for the chosen few will only last as long as they help to boost the Getty balance sheet. The moment your friendship represents lost profit, no special relationship will protect your earnings.

« Reply #293 on: September 26, 2010, 22:00 »
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I think it is naive to believe that Istock did not open dialog with some of the very top producers before the announcements and I would not be surprise that communication is ongoing because of the conseqences to the bottom line should those contributors decide to leave. Not rocket science by any means.

On the contrary I think it is naive to assume that they did. Perhaps Lise G. was informed but then she's a fairly senior Admin anyway. Clearly the RC scales were carefully constructed to ensure that the top-selling exclusives would not be upset however those individuals are harnessed by their extraordinary incomes anyway. If your portfolio is earning several hundred thousand dollars per year, as many of them are, then you're unlikely to be going anywhere by choice.

you're wrong on this. I'm no Lise Gagne and I got a call warning me of the announcement. I'm not a top producer, just an active and fairly involved contributor.

« Reply #294 on: September 26, 2010, 22:45 »
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I think it is naive to believe that Istock did not open dialog with some of the very top producers before the announcements and I would not be surprise that communication is ongoing because of the conseqences to the bottom line should those contributors decide to leave. Not rocket science by any means.

On the contrary I think it is naive to assume that they did. Perhaps Lise G. was informed but then she's a fairly senior Admin anyway. Clearly the RC scales were carefully constructed to ensure that the top-selling exclusives would not be upset however those individuals are harnessed by their extraordinary incomes anyway. If your portfolio is earning several hundred thousand dollars per year, as many of them are, then you're unlikely to be going anywhere by choice.

you're wrong on this. I'm no Lise Gagne and I got a call warning me of the announcement. I'm not a top producer, just an active and fairly involved contributor.

You got an official call about the announcement, to warn you of it (in detail or just in generalities?) - prior to the announcement?

I'll take you at your word and not call you a liar, though I find what you're claiming seriously difficult to believe.

« Reply #295 on: September 26, 2010, 22:47 »
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you're wrong on this. I'm no Lise Gagne and I got a call warning me of the announcement. I'm not a top producer, just an active and fairly involved contributor.

You got an official call about the announcement, to warn you of it (in detail or just in generalities?) - prior to the announcement?

I'll take you at your word and not call you a liar, though I find what you're claiming seriously difficult to believe.

Seems the iStock Kool-Aid is also laced with hallucinogens. LOL

« Reply #296 on: September 26, 2010, 23:20 »
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... and I got a call warning me of the announcement. I'm not a top producer, just an active and fairly involved contributor.

Of course you did. As soon as Nurse gets here with your 'special' medication I expect you'll remember having lots more important phone calls too.  ::)

« Reply #297 on: September 26, 2010, 23:34 »
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yes, a call. the morning of the announcement. and lots of other people got calls, this isn't big news. I was simply refuting yet another piece of misinformation over here. I'm a middle of the road contributor, so if they took the time to call me, that certainly doesn't indicate a lack of concern for the well-being of contributors, financially or otherwise, ven if the mandate is to push through an unwelcome change. spin that whatever way suits you best.

« Reply #298 on: September 26, 2010, 23:49 »
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I'm a middle of the road contributor, so if they took the time to call me, that certainly doesn't indicate a lack of concern for the well-being of contributors, financially or otherwise, ven if the mandate is to push through an unwelcome change. spin that whatever way suits you best.

That/if such a large number of calls went out, as you suggest, then I'd classify them/the effort en masse damage control. Because clearly the change was going to be unwelcome. And while you may spin the calls as evidence of corporate concern of some kind, I think that's the Kool-Aid talking.

It was/is a huge change that was not going to be a welcome one, so it's not rocket science to put calls out, as you suggest. It would be semi-standard/smart pre-announcement damage control, although ... when the news is going to be as bad as this news is/was, no amount of calls beforehand are/were likely to quell the ensuing storm.

If you got a call, then, as you say, everyone above you must have got a call (though none of the folks I'm chummy with who are above you got calls, or not that they're admitting to, and they don't seem the types to keep that sort of info on lock from me, but who knows). And with the number of angry Black Diamonds and Diamonds on down that have posted (many who never post in the forums, let alone voice discontent there), "the calls" - it would seem - did little to no good.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 00:14 by Risamay »

« Reply #299 on: September 26, 2010, 23:53 »
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Some of you guys underestimate so badly its hilarious.  I'm with Sharply on this one, he's gotten the math right more often than not - and well he seems to be pretty smart and thorough instead of just bad guesses

Sharply is neglecting to factor in the large number of diamonds who contribute both photos and illustrations, many of whom have been pretty vocal about no longer being able to make 40% in either category.

PhotoDuneMicrostock Insider

 

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