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Author Topic: Failed to Make Payout Second Consecutive Month - a First for Me  (Read 4865 times)

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Carl

  • Carl Stewart, CS Productions
« on: September 01, 2014, 05:05 »
+2
SS has always been the highest performer for me, and it continues to be so, but for the first time in the several years I've been a contributor there, I failed to make payout for two consecutive months (July and August).  I've had a few months here and there that I was just a bit short of the required minimum for payout, but never for two months in a row... until now.  I'm wondering if it's just a fluke, or is it the beginning of a trend?   :-\


« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2014, 07:33 »
+7
This is no fluke. 

It's been widely reported that most SS veterans are reporting lower sales.  There are two primary reasons:

- THE BIG CRASH OF EARLY 2013.  Most veterans can pinpoint the month of March 2013 as when their earnings took a massive hit and have never recovered.  Some believe there was a significant change in search results, and SS themselves have admitted they saw a huge rise in new contributors that month, most likely due to former iS exclusives dropping the crown and joining at that time.

- HUGE INCREASE IN OVERALL COMPETITION.  It's an unavoidable mathematical truth.  All other factors being equal, to maintain the status quo, the average contributor must grow his/her port at the same rate that an agency's overall collection grows.  If Shutterstock's collection grew from 25 to 40 million in the past year (which it has) its total offerings grew by 60%.  Did your SS port grow by 60% in the past year?  If not, you're probably making less money than you did a year ago.  Factor in the Big Crash, and your decrease may be HUGE.


« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2014, 07:37 »
+3
The poll results here show an alarming pattern for the last month.  Up until August SS had mirrored (and clearly well above) all the other graphed agencies in pattern so was clearly showing the standard seasonal variations etc.

Take a look at the last months data however and you see all the other agencies begin their post-summer upward trend whereas SS is the only one continuing to lose value.


« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2014, 07:49 »
+3
This is no fluke. 

It's been widely reported that most SS veterans are reporting lower sales.  There are two primary reasons:

- THE BIG CRASH OF EARLY 2013.  Most veterans can pinpoint the month of March 2013 as when their earnings took a massive hit and have never recovered.  Some believe there was a significant change in search results, and SS themselves have admitted they saw a huge rise in new contributors that month, most likely due to former iS exclusives dropping the crown and joining at that time.

- HUGE INCREASE IN OVERALL COMPETITION.  It's an unavoidable mathematical truth.  All other factors being equal, to maintain the status quo, the average contributor must grow his/her port at the same rate that an agency's overall collection grows.  If Shutterstock's collection grew from 25 to 40 million in the past year (which it has) its total offerings grew by 60%.  Did your SS port grow by 60% in the past year?  If not, you're probably making less money than you did a year ago.  Factor in the Big Crash, and your decrease may be HUGE.

I can't say I agree that the competition would kick into affect in one month so drastically. It would be a slower ramp than this. It is something else for sure to do with the search algorithm.

Shelma1

« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2014, 08:01 »
+4
My Shutterstock earnings dropped substantially this summer, but not as much as my iStock earnings dropped after they introduced subs. Usually SS earns me about 3x what iS does, but in August it was 5x as much.

« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2014, 10:17 »
0
For me sales volume dropped off from 5-20% beginning in June with the worst last month, and I had 0 downloads yesterday for the first day in a very long time.  Decent amounts of SODs kept the revenue steady so I always made payout but was nervous a couple of months.  Based on the map the reason was an almost complete drop in sales from Europe beginning after the first week of June.  European sales started to appear on the map again last week and there were a few more this morning so I'm hoping it was just a long summer vacation and will return to normal this month.

Rinderart

« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2014, 11:01 »
+5
This is no fluke. 

It's been widely reported that most SS veterans are reporting lower sales.  There are two primary reasons:

- THE BIG CRASH OF EARLY 2013.  Most veterans can pinpoint the month of March 2013 as when their earnings took a massive hit and have never recovered.  Some believe there was a significant change in search results, and SS themselves have admitted they saw a huge rise in new contributors that month, most likely due to former iS exclusives dropping the crown and joining at that time.

- HUGE INCREASE IN OVERALL COMPETITION.  It's an unavoidable mathematical truth.  All other factors being equal, to maintain the status quo, the average contributor must grow his/her port at the same rate that an agency's overall collection grows.  If Shutterstock's collection grew from 25 to 40 million in the past year (which it has) its total offerings grew by 60%.  Did your SS port grow by 60% in the past year?  If not, you're probably making less money than you did a year ago.  Factor in the Big Crash, and your decrease may be HUGE.

I can't say I agree that the competition would kick into affect in one month so drastically. It would be a slower ramp than this. It is something else for sure to do with the search algorithm.

+1000, it was like a light switch. and through all our questions and talk. We will never know the reason.

« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2014, 11:56 »
+3
It's been widely reported that most SS veterans are reporting lower sales.  There are two primary reasons:

- THE BIG CRASH OF EARLY 2013...

- HUGE INCREASE IN OVERALL COMPETITION. ..

There are two other potentially very significant factors:

1. Likely decline in the market for cheap stock photo content. Many companies and other potential clients for stock photography have substantially switched to using social media. Today they are just as likely to re-share a picture which one of their customers ('friends') took on their iPhone and instantly shared. Also - today most professional blogs use free content supplied by the companies which they are writing about (promoting).

In the early 2000s everyone running a corner-shop or church choir thought that they needed to be on the web. And maybe they even printed a newsletter. Lots of little clubs and community groups used to have websites and blogs which potentially needed content. Today they are all on Facebook - and their users share iPhone photos.

2. iStock launched subs.

IMO microstock (cheap and relatively low production value stock) was a 2000s phenomenon. Today shared content (and free / bundled stock) is where it is going.

« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2014, 12:44 »
+2
Looks like it's continuing for me because I have had zero sales. For a Monday that is insane.

KB

« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2014, 12:45 »
+7
Looks like it's continuing for me because I have had zero sales. For a Monday that is insane.
Don't forget today is a major US holiday.

« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2014, 12:52 »
+4
It's been widely reported that most SS veterans are reporting lower sales.  There are two primary reasons:

- THE BIG CRASH OF EARLY 2013...

- HUGE INCREASE IN OVERALL COMPETITION. ..

There are two other potentially very significant factors:

1. Likely decline in the market for cheap stock photo content. Many companies and other potential clients for stock photography have substantially switched to using social media. Today they are just as likely to re-share a picture which one of their customers ('friends') took on their iPhone and instantly shared. Also - today most professional blogs use free content supplied by the companies which they are writing about (promoting).

In the early 2000s everyone running a corner-shop or church choir thought that they needed to be on the web. And maybe they even printed a newsletter. Lots of little clubs and community groups used to have websites and blogs which potentially needed content. Today they are all on Facebook - and their users share iPhone photos.

2. iStock launched subs.

IMO microstock (cheap and relatively low production value stock) was a 2000s phenomenon. Today shared content (and free / bundled stock) is where it is going.

Disagree.

Not sure who your customers are, but I know mine are publishers, mid-sized companies and business owners who would not use social media, shared pics or iStock freebies in their frame with their info around it. 

No, I stick with my #1 and #2 reasons as described above, but I will add a potential #3 cause:

3. RISE OF BARGAIN-BASEMENT SITES LIKE DPC and DP.  Customers who might normally pay more at sites like SS and DT might be drawn to sites where every day is a fire sale.  Nightmare scenario is SS, DT and other big players slash their prices to squash these threats and we all see a further 50% drop in earnings overnight. 

« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2014, 12:56 »
0
My sales are constant and rising and have been for 3 years, despite I do not upload much.

BoBoBolinski

« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2014, 16:15 »
0
My sales are constant and rising and have been for 3 years, despite I do not upload much.
Rising how much, and from what base? And what percentage gain annually? Without figures such announcements are meaningless. When I see someone on IS claiming they are doing well, against all expectations, the first thing I do is look at their total sales. I can guarantee, almost with fail, that those people are low sellers.
If you are the same JPSDK as is a contributor on IS you average about 20 sales a month for the 7 years you have been at IS, and your portfolio consists of 1 file, so to say you don't upload much is a bit of an understatement and you are hardly the average contributor.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2014, 16:19 by BoBoBolinski »

Valo

« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2014, 16:26 »
+2
It is an image of a cockroach, and the rest of the portfolio is deleted. The cockroach is symbolic for Istock. The sales would have diluted a lot by now. You cannot use the Istock statistics for argument sake.

« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2014, 16:40 »
+2
This is no fluke. 

It's been widely reported that most SS veterans are reporting lower sales.  There are two primary reasons:

- THE BIG CRASH OF EARLY 2013.  Most veterans can pinpoint the month of March 2013 as when their earnings took a massive hit and have never recovered.  Some believe there was a significant change in search results, and SS themselves have admitted they saw a huge rise in new contributors that month, most likely due to former iS exclusives dropping the crown and joining at that time.

- HUGE INCREASE IN OVERALL COMPETITION.  It's an unavoidable mathematical truth.  All other factors being equal, to maintain the status quo, the average contributor must grow his/her port at the same rate that an agency's overall collection grows.  If Shutterstock's collection grew from 25 to 40 million in the past year (which it has) its total offerings grew by 60%.  Did your SS port grow by 60% in the past year?  If not, you're probably making less money than you did a year ago.  Factor in the Big Crash, and your decrease may be HUGE.

I can't say I agree that the competition would kick into affect in one month so drastically. It would be a slower ramp than this. It is something else for sure to do with the search algorithm.

+1000, it was like a light switch. and through all our questions and talk. We will never know the reason.

if u refer to the light switch (more like a fuse-box turned off), whenever sales shoots up
for your account, i too find that happening month to month.
as soon as i get a large sale, for example, the rest of the month drops to zero days big time.

it is like there is a capping, as others say. i am not sure, but i am tempted to agree based on my earnings.  but thankfully , i have been reaching payout monthly.
only, as i said, repeat... the blackout begins as soon as i hit payout.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2014, 17:50 »
+8
My sales are constant and rising and have been for 3 years, despite I do not upload much.
Rising how much, and from what base? And what percentage gain annually? Without figures such announcements are meaningless. When I see someone on IS claiming they are doing well, against all expectations, the first thing I do is look at their total sales. I can guarantee, almost with fail, that those people are low sellers.
If you are the same JPSDK as is a contributor on IS you average about 20 sales a month for the 7 years you have been at IS, and your portfolio consists of 1 file, so to say you don't upload much is a bit of an understatement and you are hardly the average contributor.
Why did you bring iS into this conversation?

JPSDK did not say he did well on iS (in fact, he didn't mention iS on this thread), he said he was increasing his income on SS. iS is totally irrelevant here. He has kept us informed about his history with iS, and it is totally disconnected to his sales at SS.

« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2014, 18:07 »
+4

There are two other potentially very significant factors:

1. Likely decline in the market for cheap stock photo content. Many companies and other potential clients for stock photography have substantially switched to using social media. Today they are just as likely to re-share a picture which one of their customers ('friends') took on their iPhone and instantly shared. Also - today most professional blogs use free content supplied by the companies which they are writing about (promoting).

In the early 2000s everyone running a corner-shop or church choir thought that they needed to be on the web. And maybe they even printed a newsletter. Lots of little clubs and community groups used to have websites and blogs which potentially needed content. Today they are all on Facebook - and their users share iPhone photos.

2. iStock launched subs.

IMO microstock (cheap and relatively low production value stock) was a 2000s phenomenon. Today shared content (and free / bundled stock) is where it is going.

I'd agree with you. The overall decline in my sales has been slowly accelerating for well over a year at all agencies I sell through. I believe it is in part due to increased competition ... but I also think that demand for microstock images may have either stalled or is in decline.

I mainly shoot food and I know that some niche subjects are completely saturated and have been for at least a couple of years now. It appears that the world has already got as many images as it needs in that subject. Nothing to stop you shooting and uploading more of them ... but good luck with getting a return on your investment and time. Maybe there's simply a limited number of buyers for that niche subject and maybe they have already bought as many images as they're ever likely to need in that subject?

I don't know exactly what the reason is for the decline in volume and revenue in microstock generally but I wouldn't bet any money on it ever returning to the levels of 2-3 years ago.


« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2014, 18:12 »
+2
This is no fluke. 

It's been widely reported that most SS veterans are reporting lower sales.  There are two primary reasons:

- THE BIG CRASH OF EARLY 2013.  Most veterans can pinpoint the month of March 2013 as when their earnings took a massive hit and have never recovered.  Some believe there was a significant change in search results, and SS themselves have admitted they saw a huge rise in new contributors that month, most likely due to former iS exclusives dropping the crown and joining at that time.

- HUGE INCREASE IN OVERALL COMPETITION.  It's an unavoidable mathematical truth.  All other factors being equal, to maintain the status quo, the average contributor must grow his/her port at the same rate that an agency's overall collection grows.  If Shutterstock's collection grew from 25 to 40 million in the past year (which it has) its total offerings grew by 60%.  Did your SS port grow by 60% in the past year?  If not, you're probably making less money than you did a year ago.  Factor in the Big Crash, and your decrease may be HUGE.

I can't say I agree that the competition would kick into affect in one month so drastically. It would be a slower ramp than this. It is something else for sure to do with the search algorithm.

+1000, it was like a light switch. and through all our questions and talk. We will never know the reason.

if u refer to the light switch (more like a fuse-box turned off), whenever sales shoots up
for your account, i too find that happening month to month.
as soon as i get a large sale, for example, the rest of the month drops to zero days big time.

it is like there is a capping, as others say. i am not sure, but i am tempted to agree based on my earnings.  but thankfully , i have been reaching payout monthly.
only, as i said, repeat... the blackout begins as soon as i hit payout.

This happens to me ALL the time. It happens so frequently month to month that it is impossible to be coincidental. They do cap your income. There can be no other explanation. It's not like this happens now and then. It happens every time I get a big sale. And lately, even subs stink. without a large sale I would be 50% down from my peak. Every time I get an EL or big SOD, I say, wooohooo, then prepare mentally for a drop to the center of the earth....every time because it happens every time.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2014, 19:27 by Mantis »

Photominer

« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2014, 18:34 »
+3

This happens to me ALL the time. It happens so frequently month to month that is is impossible to be coincidental. They do cap your income. There can be no other explanation. It's not like this happens now and then. It happens every time I get a big sale. And lately, even subs stink. without a large sale I would be 50% down from my peak. Every time I get an EL or big SOD, I say, wooohooo, then prepare mentally for a drop to the center of the earth....every time because it happens every time.
+1 every single time for me as well. The only time it doesn't is if I get a large sale in the last few days of the month.

« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2014, 18:48 »
+5

This happens to me ALL the time. It happens so frequently month to month that is is impossible to be coincidental. They do cap your income. There can be no other explanation. It's not like this happens now and then. It happens every time I get a big sale. And lately, even subs stink. without a large sale I would be 50% down from my peak. Every time I get an EL or big SOD, I say, wooohooo, then prepare mentally for a drop to the center of the earth....every time because it happens every time.
+1 every single time for me as well. The only time it doesn't is if I get a large sale in the last few days of the month.

Me too..I had an $89 sale at the start of the month and then after that everything slowed to a trickle. Instead of having a bumper month based on the platform of that early sale, it all just led to my average monthly earnings total...which basically hasn't changed for a couple of years now. I fail to see how I always seem to earn roughly the same figure regardless of whether I upload or not...especially over such a long period of time.

baz777

  • Im not sociable so I dont use social media
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2014, 20:30 »
+4
My earnings took a big hit August 2013 and despite uploading nearly 400 new vectors this year Im still down approx 10-20% each month from a year ago.

« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2014, 00:07 »
+2
My sales are constant and rising and have been for 3 years, despite I do not upload much.
Rising how much, and from what base? And what percentage gain annually? Without figures such announcements are meaningless. When I see someone on IS claiming they are doing well, against all expectations, the first thing I do is look at their total sales. I can guarantee, almost with fail, that those people are low sellers.
If you are the same JPSDK as is a contributor on IS you average about 20 sales a month for the 7 years you have been at IS, and your portfolio consists of 1 file, so to say you don't upload much is a bit of an understatement and you are hardly the average contributor.
I took my images down from is some time ago, left only one, a dead cockroach.
I was referring to shutterstock. But maybe I should be a bit more precise: My sales are relatively constant and the income is rising and have been for 3 years, despite I do not upload much.

« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2014, 02:35 »
-1
Are we referring to the SS default payout amount ? If yes, it is not good.

« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2014, 21:53 »
+1
For about the last year I make the minimum payout every two months despite uploading.  Although I haven't uploaded regularly since about May of this year when I started working.  It's been a frustrating last 14 months where stock is concerned.

So no, you're not alone.  I've been dealing with this about July 2013 and it hasn't recovered for me yet.

Rinderart

« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2014, 11:04 »
+3
Anyone think were gonna figure this Out? I wrack my brain over this and it is so tiring and draining and makes me almost numb at times as far as being creative, This blocks us creatively and permeates into our core and thats not good folks. what can we do? what if anything can SS do? What would Scott say or do that would change this? There happy, There getting fat and THATS ALL THAT MATTERS guys. We have to accept it or go nuts.

It helps to let it out, I know but...Does it help? What will help?  My sales generally are slowly sliding back up a bit after a 16 month decline, New gets Lost and buried,Old is whats new again. 500 new Images I assume is a drop in the bucket nowdays as compared to the factories with massive ports and an Influx of new submitters from 40,000 to 60,000 that will take our place in weeks. I think they look at us as whiners and trouble makers..That is simply not true, We care and we care deeply for us as individuals and as a group and if we didn't care we would,nt say anything. All the sites are down, Do we talk about them as much? No. I will say DT for me is making a run for it and coming back strong.

The writing is on the wall my friends, It's just blurry now and we can't read it. What it says or what it will say, No one knows.

Im a lifelong Photographer,Musician and painter, I know nothing else and to me, I have to do this to feel good. Weather the output be for penny stock or gallery work or, at 71 going back and banging on doors getting client shoots. The sales issues are killing me inside and killing me more than the money.

This was inevitable my friends and I wrote a lot about in as early as 2007, Thats my feeling. regardless of the supposed reasons we can ponder forever.

Be creative because it's in you to do so. The other stuff we have no control of.......we gave it away a long time ago Im afraid.


 

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