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Author Topic: Anyone Use Blackbox?  (Read 6633 times)

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« on: June 22, 2018, 02:21 »
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I see several people on youtube pushing blackbox and was wondering if anyone here has any positive/negative experiences with them for videos?  Thanks.


« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2018, 14:27 »
+1
Blackbox saves me a lot of time.

But they are just a distributor, not an agency.

You files will sell just as well, or not, as if you uploaded yourself.

But blackbox really makes a difference for my workflow and I got all my payments on time every month.

« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2018, 08:15 »
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So you're saying that Blackbox saves time when you have a lot of volume or would it be a time saver for everyone?

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2018, 23:52 »
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But blackbox really makes a difference for my workflow and I got all my payments on time every month.

Aside from technical errors, incorrect payment details, user error and the occasional Revostock here and there etc... is there anyone that doesn't get all their payments on time every month?

Or more importantly... who regularly doesn't get all their payments on time every month, so much so that signing up for such a service would be a solution to such an ongoing,  and never-ending and issue?

« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2018, 01:31 »
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« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 04:46 by Chichikov »

« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2018, 12:51 »
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I've tested Blackbox, and don't really care for the service as it is right now.  It seems BB is severely lacking in the statistics department.  Without basic, yet vital information like what agencies accepted or rejected your clips, I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND using Blackbox, at least until they spruce things up a bit.

I uploaded a few clips that I wanted to split the revenue on with a model of mine as a test, and despite the admin panel saying these clips are "online" (after a month of waiting), I can only find them on Adobe Stock.  What about Shutterstock, Pond5, and Videoblocks?  Were they reviewed and rejected? If so, why? Or were they not even looked at yet and are still "pending" on those agencies?  (Or, worse yet, did they never even make it to those agencies to begin with?)  Is there a method to re-submit?  When I first heard of Blackbox, I didn't care for the service.  But I eventually saw the benefit of revenue sharing, so I opened my mind and tried it out.  Now that I have, I'm back to not liking the service.

 I'd even go out on a ledge and say that BB is submitting their clips manually to all four agencies, or at the very least, some form of human intervention is required on the backend for every batch. (Boy, wouldn't that be a horrible job?)  Which leads me to believe that my "missing" clips simply fell through the cracks and never saw the light of day.

Unless I'm missing something on the admin panel.  If so, please enlighten me.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 13:53 by ODesigns »

« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2018, 14:14 »
+2
When I heard about BB and what it offers I was 100% against it. Why? Simple. Pay the staff you hired and if things go well, you'll hire them again. Splitting income is a bad longterm idea. You invest a lot of own resources, time, equipment, post-processing and time to get profitable results. If you cut all incomes with all the actors and other stuff, you'll never return your own investment. Never.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2018, 14:24 »
+2
When I heard about BB and what it offers I was 100% against it. Why? Simple. Pay the staff you hired and if things go well, you'll hire them again. Splitting income is a bad longterm idea. You invest a lot of own resources, time, equipment, post-processing and time to get profitable results. If you cut all incomes with all the actors and other stuff, you'll never return your own investment. Never.

Well splitting revenue is entirely optional... so it's a strange reason to be 100% against them.

« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2018, 14:41 »
+2
If I understood correctly, they don't offer any stats, keywording and captioning, submission to higher-tier agencies etc., and just serve as a place to upload your files, which they then (probably manually) upload to 4 agencies you can upload to yourself (P5, AS, SS and SB). And for that... they take 15% of your revenue?

If that's right and anyone accepts those terms, they deserve to lose 15% of their income.

Anyway, I don't like them either. 15% for THAT. Lol.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2018, 14:50 »
+1
They have better rates at some of the agencies. I know they said at Shutterstock, you'll get a bit more than you would normally, even after the 15%.

« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2018, 07:18 »
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When I heard about BB and what it offers I was 100% against it. Why? Simple. Pay the staff you hired and if things go well, you'll hire them again. Splitting income is a bad longterm idea. You invest a lot of own resources, time, equipment, post-processing and time to get profitable results. If you cut all incomes with all the actors and other stuff, you'll never return your own investment. Never.

I think it's much more risk to pay someone without knowing if the clips will sell at all... it all depends how you look at it.

« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2018, 17:46 »
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They have better rates at some of the agencies. I know they said at Shutterstock, you'll get a bit more than you would normally, even after the 15%.

How's that possible? They get higher royalties from SS or SS charges more for their clips?

« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2018, 19:02 »
+1
I'm with BB since one month or so. Only two sales till now, because i have just around 200 clips online, but that's not important at the moment, because of my 200 clips. ;) I will upload more and see what will happen...

I've noticed a few good things about BB. When searching my clips uploaded via BB at the agencies they are dealing with these clips are very high ranked. A lot of clips of mine on page one.
As mentioned above they have some deals with the agencies. You can get more money with BB + Shutterstock for example.
And i think the most coolest thing about BB is: They managed it that Storyblocks raised their price for HD footage to $79, so that Storyblcok's commission cut doesn't hurt so much. 

I don't understand the very negative posts about BB. My feeling is that BB really cares about us. I'll give them a try...

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2018, 21:16 »
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And i think the most coolest thing about BB is: They managed it that Storyblocks raised their price for HD footage to $79, so that Storyblcok's commission cut doesn't hurt so much. 

I think they were a contributing factor at best!

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2018, 10:23 »
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They have better rates at some of the agencies. I know they said at Shutterstock, you'll get a bit more than you would normally, even after the 15%.

How's that possible? They get higher royalties from SS or SS charges more for their clips?

Yeah, they get higher royalties. It's a shame they don't advertise what these higher rates are though (apart from at SS), as it would definitely be a positive to draw people in... but I assume that the first rule of BlackBox/Agency club is that you don't talk about the royalty percentage of BlackBox/Agency club. Would cause potential issues when negotiating future deals with other such setups.

« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2018, 11:11 »
+5
If that is true then I find it disturbing that SS et al can find it within their margins to offer services like this higher commission structures than they offer the actual creators of the work directly. Oh I get it, cost of doing business, promotion, affiliate costs, blah freakin blah - but this split should be coming out of agency margins not contributors.

« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2018, 13:57 »
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If that is true then I find it disturbing that SS et al can find it within their margins to offer services like this higher commission structures than they offer the actual creators of the work directly. Oh I get it, cost of doing business, promotion, affiliate costs, blah freakin blah - but this split should be coming out of agency margins not contributors.

All agencies make special deals with aggregators or larger studios. It saves the agencies time, because the content will be pre inspected and they also dont have to deal personally with another large group of whiny contributors ;)

You dont have to work with BB.

I like them very much, but I do also miss not being connected to stock performer. I hope it comes in time.

Until then I have a few themes that I still have to upload myself, so I can track the progress and sales of the combined photo/video shoot, but everything else goes to blackbox.

If they get themselves connected to stockperformer I can probably upload nearly everything via Blackbox.

It will free me to also focus more on other, more specialized agencies that want exclusive content.

I also dont quite understand the negativity, BB is not the only aggregator/distributor out there. And at 15% they are more reasonable then most. Plus you have the option to use their sharing tools for larger productions or can work with various curators, just dump your files on them and go back to shooting.

But to each his own, I am happy there.


SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2018, 18:44 »
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....but this split should be coming out of agency margins not contributors.

You've lost me. On BB, the different royalty split is coming out of agency margins. And whether on BB or not, the "cost of doing business, promotion, affiliate costs, blah freakin blah" is also coming out of agency margins.

« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2018, 05:20 »
+2
You dont have to work with BB.

No. But I have to work against BB if I don't work with them.

One thing that I always liked about being a stock contributor, is that (at least I thought) it's a level playing field. Everyone has the same chance to succeed, everyone's royalties are the same and everyone is ranked equally (well, algorithmically, but that algorithm is impartial) in the search results.

I don't find it fair if I, as an independent contributor, have to wrestle large aggregators (who already put up so many files no one contributor can match) that have both higher royalties and better search ranking.

If it comes to the point that I'd earn, say 50% more through BB (which is achievable, given that my country doesn't have a tax-treaty, so I lose 30% to all US-based sales (and all sales on SB)), then I'd consider switching to BB. No one guarantees that those 15% will remain forever, I dislike their business model and would prefer not to work with them, but as a business decision, I'd think about it. Thanks for all the info.

« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2018, 08:15 »
+1
....but this split should be coming out of agency margins not contributors.

You've lost me. On BB, the different royalty split is coming out of agency margins. And whether on BB or not, the "cost of doing business, promotion, affiliate costs, blah freakin blah" is also coming out of agency margins.

Don't kid yourself, all of this comes out of the contributor side one way or another. The fact that there is room to pay higher commission rates to aggregators, affiliates and factory producers  than workaday peons like myself tells me that this rate structure is actually subsidised by depressed commissions for the rest of us. How can it be otherwise if you can really make more now by contributing obliquely through a third party instead of directly to the source? And Cobalt, if you look at what I wrote again you might find that I said absolutely nothing negative about BB. I was "whining" about the inequity of it all ;)

To be honest, until this thread I hadn't really given much thought to the idea of multiple commission structures and how they could be exploited for the benefit of a larger group of individuals. I always knew of the existence of so called factory producers like Africa Studio for example, but had always (naively) assumed that they were structured more along the lines of SB or something similar where a centralized entity speculatively purchased work outright from individuals. The whole BB thing though has made me rethink that. Does anyone know how factory producers like AS actually operate? What the ballpark royalty difference might be for something like BB?
« Last Edit: August 17, 2018, 09:21 by DavidK »

« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2018, 11:29 »
+3
In my opinion, BB is a house of cards.  I'd stay away.

And as of this post, of their 153,000 clips on P5, only 0.006% have sold (using the P5 search query "artist:blackboxguild salegt:0").  So I'm not sure about their higher search rankings.

Plus, given that VB has 156,000 BB clips, P5 has 153,000 BB clips, SS has 75,000, and AS has 121,000 from what is presumably the same source material makes me think that there's a chance your clip(s) may never see the light of day on all four agencies they "work" with.  And if your clips are missing on one agency or the other, there is no reason provided to you as to why.

« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2018, 11:48 »
+2
In my opinion, BB is a house of cards.  I'd stay away.

Fully agree. And their marketing just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. All of a sudden, every YouTuber with anything related to film, even if they don't even sell stock, seem to just LOVE BlackBox. Out of the blue.  ;) Oh, I know the smell of affiliate links.


And as of this post, of their 153,000 clips on P5, only 0.006% have sold (using the P5 search query "artist:blackboxguild salegt:0").  So I'm not sure about their higher search rankings.

Thanks for that query, simply brilliant! Now I know what I'll be doing tonight!  ;D

That's an absolutely terrible sales average.

This query shows you someone who actually DOES sell: artist:hotelfoxtrot salegt:9

This clip has sold 331 times, which is quite a lot for Pond5 (among the top):

artist:hotelfoxtrot salegt:330
« Last Edit: August 17, 2018, 11:57 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2018, 14:21 »
+1
I hear a lot of speculation, and most of it does not make any sense to me at all.

Why does BB claim they get a higher commission? Because, with more videos available, they presumably sell (or at least are projecting selling) more videos than any of us individually would.  If I sell more photos on SS, I get paid more.  I don't think that is explicitly stated (would have to check again to be sure) for videos, but I'll bet there is room there for that same arrangement in videos.

As for their small number of sales so far.  Yeah, and why would you expect otherwise? BB said their portfolio increased 4X just in the month of June 2018. They said it was accelerating even faster in July, as word got out about them.  They are a new company and building portfolio fast. Those who sell video here have often said that video does not sell quickly, and that it often takes many months or even more than a year to get the first sale from a clip.  If 80% or more of their stock is less than 30 days old, how would you expect higher sales yet?

Complaint that the same number of videos is not on every agency?  Well, do you have 100% acceptance on your media? Have you never had media accepted on one be rejected on another?  That alone could easily account for the number difference.  Add the fact that the portfolio is very new, and the turnaround for reviewing video is much longer than photos, and I think the rest of the difference is easily explained.

I have no axe to grind either way. I am not (yet) selling on BB. I don't know squat about them other than their web site and what has been discussed here.  It just seems there is a lot of frothing at the mouth here with not a whole lot of thought going on behind the volume...

« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2018, 16:40 »
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I hear a lot of speculation, and most of it does not make any sense to me at all.

Well, I was thinking to test them and, at the opposite, I found many useful info!

As for their small number of sales so far.  Yeah, and why would you expect otherwise?

Maybe because I'll pay them? 😁
Those who sell video here have often said that video does not sell quickly, and that it often takes many months or even more than a year to get the first sale from a clip.  If 80% or more of their stock is less than 30 days old, how would you expect higher sales yet?

Maybe because I'll pay them? 😁
Complaint that the same number of videos is not on every agency?  Well, do you have 100% acceptance on your media? Have you never had media accepted on one be rejected on another?

If they have special agreement with agencies I don't expect to have clips rejected from agencies, maybe from themselves.
That alone could easily account for the number difference.  Add the fact that the portfolio is very new, and the turnaround for reviewing video is much longer than photos, and I think the rest of the difference is easily explained.

It's all true. But if I should go to give them my port there should be good reasons not to go by myself: higher percentage of sells, quick review without expecting rejections, and so on

If I choose to go with them is not to have same numbers and timing of indipendente seller, that's for sure

« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2018, 17:10 »
+2
BlackBox is the future. They are not a shady company and I have been working with them for many months. Now it might not be for everyone and that is understood. Let's say you upload to P5 and SS but don't have time for others. You don't think that VB and Adobe could make you some money? The keywording interface is a lot better on BB then other places! BB can also add other agencies in the future where boom all your hard work would be there as well. I like the platform and have been in this business a long time. I make a regular payout there and know that the software will only get better and better. Cheers to all, it does not fit everyone but I sure love it.


 

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