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Author Topic: Entrepreneurs turn photo world upside down from Victoria  (Read 9333 times)

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« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2014, 20:27 »
+2
Not sure why there is bad feeling toward Bruce and Stocksy. He created an agency that deals very fairly with photographers, gives photographers a share of the company, manages growth in a prudent manner, carves out a market niche ...


ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2014, 20:42 »
+2
Maybe it was just the unfortunate use of the word 'altruistic' in the context of 'paying contributors fairly'. (?)
I'm sure no-one objects to the principle of being paid fairly.
As I used to say to my pupils, "Fair trade isn't charity. It's being paid fairly".

And although it's not for me ATM, and I'm not keen on the esotericism, I still wish stocksy all the best.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 08:19 by ShadySue »

shudderstok

« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2014, 21:16 »
+4
Not sure why there is bad feeling toward Bruce and Stocksy. He created an agency that deals very fairly with photographers, gives photographers a share of the company, manages growth in a prudent manner, carves out a market niche ...

i don't think there is bad feeling, but hypocrisy does come to mind. this new found altruism is a bit hard to stomach for many of us.

shudderstok

« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2014, 21:28 »
+2
Maybe it was just the unfortunate use of the word 'altruistic' in the context of 'paying contributors fairly'. (?)
I'm sure no-one objects to the principle of being paid fairly.

well bruce sure objected to being paid fairly while at the helm at IS. but he is a new man now with $50 million in the bank, so after years of royalties being 20% or so and undercutting many agencies, it's ok now to be holier than though and have values.

that said, if he had those values from the get go, i'd be a loyal fan for life, but these new values are very very late to arrive and for that i see it for what it is.

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.


« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 21:30 by shudderstok »

EmberMike

« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2014, 22:26 »
+2
well bruce sure objected to being paid fairly while at the helm at IS. but he is a new man now with $50 million in the bank, so after years of royalties being 20% or so and undercutting many agencies, it's ok now to be holier than though and have values.

that said, if he had those values from the get go, i'd be a loyal fan for life, but these new values are very very late to arrive and for that i see it for what it is.

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

So you're going to base a business decision on some bad feelings from the past, even with the current opportunity is a good one. Well that's brilliant.

Stocksy improved literally everything that was wrong with iStock. Fair royalty rates, image exclusivity vs. artist exclusivity, simple pricing, and on top of that they added the coop model and a pretty much unheard of 100% EL royalty. But you're still going to hold a grudge about iStock...

But watch out for that sneaky Bruce... he's going to get us with his fair pay and generous terms. Just when we least expect it, BAM, he'll hit us with some other fair thing to add to Stocksy. Then you'll be laughing, right? Wait...

;)
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 22:36 by EmberMike »

shudderstok

« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2014, 22:39 »
+1
well bruce sure objected to being paid fairly while at the helm at IS. but he is a new man now with $50 million in the bank, so after years of royalties being 20% or so and undercutting many agencies, it's ok now to be holier than though and have values.

that said, if he had those values from the get go, i'd be a loyal fan for life, but these new values are very very late to arrive and for that i see it for what it is.

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

So you're going to base a business decision on some bad feelings from the past, even with the current opportunity is a good one. Well that's brilliant.

Stocksy improved literally everything that was wrong with iStock. Fair royalty rates, image exclusivity vs. artist exclusivity, simple pricing, and on top of that they added the coop model and a pretty much unheard of 100% EL royalty. But you're still going to hold a grudge about iStock...

But watch out for that sneaky Bruce... he's going to get us with his fair pay and generous terms. Just when we least expect it, BAM, he'll hit us with some other fair thing to add to Stocksy. Then you'll be laughing, right? Wait...

;)

not at all. but i do find it to be very polar.

EmberMike

« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2014, 23:01 »
+1
not at all. but i do find it to be very polar.

It is very polar. In a good way. So what's the problem? Why call the guy a hypocrite and suggest he's trying to fool us somehow?

Do you expect that Stocksy will pull the rug out from under their contributors some day?


shudderstok

« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2014, 23:22 »
0
not at all. but i do find it to be very polar.

It is very polar. In a good way. So what's the problem? Why call the guy a hypocrite and suggest he's trying to fool us somehow?

Do you expect that Stocksy will pull the rug out from under their contributors some day?

nope i don't, would be a tough one to do being a co-op. i just don't like flip and flop. and i am not suggesting he is trying to fool you at all.
i think stocksy is a great idea in every way. but i really don't like the mystique about it. it appears to be a closed shop old boys club to me. also i don't think i would apply there anyway so it's not a big deal.
anyway, hope it works out for you.

EmberMike

« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2014, 23:31 »
+1
...and i am not suggesting he is trying to fool you at all...

Then why the whole "You can fool all the people some of the time..." bit?

...anyway, hope it works out for you.

I'm not a photographer, so no Stocksy for me. If they ever take illustrations, though, I'd be interested in applying.

Me


« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2014, 00:08 »
+5
well bruce sure objected to being paid fairly while at the helm at IS. but he is a new man now with $50 million in the bank, so after years of royalties being 20% or so and undercutting many agencies, it's ok now to be holier than though and have values.

that said, if he had those values from the get go, i'd be a loyal fan for life, but these new values are very very late to arrive and for that i see it for what it is.

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

So you're going to base a business decision on some bad feelings from the past, even with the current opportunity is a good one. Well that's brilliant.

Stocksy improved literally everything that was wrong with iStock. Fair royalty rates, image exclusivity vs. artist exclusivity, simple pricing, and on top of that they added the coop model and a pretty much unheard of 100% EL royalty. But you're still going to hold a grudge about iStock...

But watch out for that sneaky Bruce... he's going to get us with his fair pay and generous terms. Just when we least expect it, BAM, he'll hit us with some other fair thing to add to Stocksy. Then you'll be laughing, right? Wait...

;)

So if FT offered the EXACT same royalty payments as Stocksy in the future, you would happily sign up and forget about past misdemeanours?

Of course you should consider past performance in future business decisions, it would be nave and foolhardy not to. We all do it everyday. You don't go to a restaurant where you don't enjoy the food, you don't go to a shop where you know the service is bad, the list goes on. Why should this be any different?

In the past the guy has paid unfair royalty rates, why should you not expect the same in the future? Because he now has $50million and a conscience? Because it is now a co-op? The largest co-op in the world is struggling in the UK. A co-op is not the holy grail all saving grace of business, it is a business model which can fail the same as any other. It is down to the management of the business/co-op and in this case the management has a track record.

Please. Save me your platitudes for Bruce Almighty. The proof is in the performance. At the moment things are going well and congratulations to them all, but that is no guarantee of future security or prosperity.

« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2014, 01:32 »
+4
Also, do I detect a non-too-subtle change in the wording of what the photographer gets from Stocksy? I thought they originally got 50% of the revenue from image sales. Now apparently, they get 50% of the profit. There's a very big difference between those words.

That's probably a mistype by the author.  It's still the same - 50% of the royalty, 100% of the EL, and a share of the profit at year end.

and to me as a contributor it is all easy to calculate, i know which size the image sold for, my 50% share is fixed on the original price. If the agency applies a discount, it does not affect my share of the sale - unlike at other agencies where selling an image at size XS you earn between 14 cents and 25 cents.

Sri

« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2014, 02:21 »
+2
Hah. I wont believe on the land lord of a colony where i once bought a home. I did everything to improve our colony and residence for years and then came to know that the land lord sold the colony to a gang of goons, who started spoiling the colony, my neighborhood and my house. The colony has become a place of bad people and their wrong illegal deeds. I spent all my money i secured whole life, to buy this house. I spent so much of time to improve it. All worthless. Colony is not worth living for my family.
  Now i heard that the same old landlord has created a new colony and selling buildings with much facilities, Will i buy my new home from his new colony ? NEVER.
   This was just an example what i feel about istock and Bruce's new stocksy.  Bruce has not started new agency for the sake of photographers. He created this because simply he wants to make millions again and so he wants create another successful agency to sell it again in future.
Now you will ask then why he is giving 50% commission, 100% of ELs etc etc, because if he started an agency with same price, same 20-25% commission, who would have joined him. And if no one joins, how will he get images. No image, no sell, no profit.
There are many istock exclusives who are unable to leave IS despite their bitterness with the IS/Getty because they have already spent so much time, effort to build their portfolio there. Take the note now that sooner or later, same cycle will continue with stocksy and its contributors what happened or happening with Istock.
Now you can start giving me negatives.

« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2014, 02:39 »
+2
Maybe it was just the unfortunate use of the word 'altruistic' in the context of 'paying contributors fairly'. (?)
I'm sure no-one objects to the principle of being paid fairly.

Yes, but I don't think it's unfortunate, it seems deliberate. It's turning out to be a pattern, Bruce has done this before. When Stocksy got started he said something along the lines of "We talked to photographers and they wanted more". I forget the exact words, but that was the sense of it. Photographers want more. The implication being that he's there to satisfy a subjective want, potentially greed on the part of the photographer. Now he's basically repeating this with being altruistic and helping photographers.

If he had said instead that he's paying photographers in a fair and sustainable deal, preferrably with a guarantee that the deal will not be worsened for at least 10 years or so, I would be the first to cheer him on. As it is, I smell a rat.

« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2014, 02:45 »
+1
Hah. I wont believe on the land lord of a colony where i once bought a home. I did everything to improve our colony and residence for years and then came to know that the land lord sold the colony to a gang of goons, who started spoiling the colony, my neighborhood and my house. The colony has become a place of bad people and their wrong illegal deeds. I spent all my money i secured whole life, to buy this house. I spent so much of time to improve it. All worthless. Colony is not worth living for my family.
  Now i heard that the same old landlord has created a new colony and selling buildings with much facilities, Will i buy my new home from his new colony ? NEVER.
   This was just an example what i feel about istock and Bruce's new stocksy.  Bruce has not started new agency for the sake of photographers. He created this because simply he wants to make millions again and so he wants create another successful agency to sell it again in future.
Now you will ask then why he is giving 50% commission, 100% of ELs etc etc, because if he started an agency with same price, same 20-25% commission, who would have joined him. And if no one joins, how will he get images. No image, no sell, no profit.
There are many istock exclusives who are unable to leave IS despite their bitterness with the IS/Getty because they have already spent so much time, effort to build their portfolio there. Take the note now that sooner or later, same cycle will continue with stocksy and its contributors what happened or happening with Istock.
Now you can start giving me negatives.

I am not going to give you a negative and I am not a soothsayer anyway and you certainly are entitled to your point of view :)

This is my take on Stocksy. I am happy to see that Stocksy contributors are doing well. I have seen a few report their earnings above SS. I am happy to see an agency richly reward its contributors. Will Bruce repeat what he apparently did in IS ? I dont know. But even if he does, contributors would still have a good amount of earnings in the years that he may continue in the current way.

To be a part of Stocksy would be my dream. It will require a lot of work and perhaps a lot of luck :-) It will be good if my dream comes true !

Greed will continue to play a part in all industries including stock. I have learnt to appreciate the few people or the few years a few people will control their greed for the betterment of others.

shudderstok

« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2014, 02:49 »
+2
@sri - that is a nice little story, but even i find your analogy a bit misguided. firstly from what i understand he can't sell out, it is a co-op. secondly, even though i question his sudden utopian altruistic views and hypocrisy of wanting to suddenly be paying fairly, i really doubt he is out to screw people over in any way.

but yes, reading into your analogy a bit, it makes one wonder why this landlord with such hidden benevolent tendencies would sell to the evil empire and cash out, as that was not a group hug community loving feel all goodsy move for the benefit of the gullible community, it was a unilateral business decision to benefit brucey solely, and power to him for that - for that i have tremendous respect and i would have dropped the lot of you for $50 million as well.

but to come back all wishy washy feel good community let's fight for justice for photographers grass roots getty is bad nonsense, this is what i and several people question.

i think stocksy is a great idea, and i do wish it does well, but the delivery of introducing it really shows hypocrisy mixed with a hint of narcissism.
 
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 02:51 by shudderstok »

shudderstok

« Reply #40 on: May 08, 2014, 03:12 »
0
Wikipedia says:
"On April 1, 2008 Getty Images disclosed, as part of its agreement to be sold to a private equity firm, that iStockphoto's revenue in 2007 was $71.9 million USD of which $20.9 million (29%) was paid to contributors.

so let's speculate a bit here... sold two years earlier for $50 million. now let's just assume that in those two years getty increased sales and payouts by 100% in that two year period (which would be phenomenal growth for anyone's imagination) that would mean when it was sold out the sales would have been $35.5 million USD and payouts would have been $10.5 million.

who at that time was getting 50% royalties and a cut of the future profits? one would think if there was such altruism that one would have taken action then when the template was running of four cylinders.

most of you were getting 20%. but you had each other, a loving community.




Sri

« Reply #41 on: May 08, 2014, 03:48 »
0
@sri - even though i question his sudden utopian altruistic views and hypocrisy of wanting to suddenly be paying fairly, i really doubt he is out to screw people over in any way.

No he will not screw people purposely but he will not hesitate to leave stocksy contributors screwed if gets millions of money again.
The example/story was to show that people should trust those who have some ethics. If people/photographers want just short term benefits and satisfied with quick earning for short period like amateur photographers then they can definitely join stocksy,shutterstock or anyone because they have some different regular income. What about those who rely on these sites for all income. Can they bear with all stuffs that sites doing. Yes nobody knows the future what an agency will do with its contributors in coming years, but trusting one who has some well known past. ''No regret if one gets diddled for 1st time but for second time following same steps proves him really a fool.''
*Just an old saying. Not intended on any person.

shudderstok

« Reply #42 on: May 08, 2014, 04:04 »
+3
@sri - even though i question his sudden utopian altruistic views and hypocrisy of wanting to suddenly be paying fairly, i really doubt he is out to screw people over in any way.

No he will not screw people purposely but he will not hesitate to leave stocksy contributors screwed if gets millions of money again.


i personally don't think he screwed anyone over at IS for leaving. and i honestly don't think he would screw anyone over at stocksy by leaving.


« Reply #43 on: May 08, 2014, 04:10 »
+3
I don't know much about Bruce's evil deed or background in iStock as I was never part of them. All I know there is very few people that can create some impact in the industry and it happened that Bruce is one of them, not to mention the right timing since his departure from iStock and the money he made there. We all wish there will be a knight in shining armor in form of big corporation like Google comes to photographers rescue, but that's just a dream. My point is I appreciate anyone who is willing to create some ripples in the industry in favour of photographer, doesn't matter their past because there is very few who could. Now let's dream that Jon Oringer will eventually leave Shutterstock and setup another dream agency for photographers.

« Reply #44 on: May 08, 2014, 04:40 »
+2
No he will not screw people purposely but he will not hesitate to leave stocksy contributors screwed if gets millions of money again...
Quite frankly, if someone had offered me 50 millions, I would have done the same.

I also would own my private island and be world's leading photographer of half-naked hula girls by now...  ;D

« Reply #45 on: May 08, 2014, 05:46 »
+7
While Bruce was at the helm at istockphoto, istockphoto was a quite fair agency that showed concern for his photographers and, to a point, listened to their demands. Bruce increased royalties for exclusives until 40%, gave a 10% plus on ELs without nobody asking for that, created the 100% royalties day, took the selling prices from almost nothing to more reasonable amounts, created a subscription system tied to the size of images, gave access to Getty for exclusives, created Vetta among other things.
Most of the really controversial things (getty content ingest to Vetta and Agency, RC system, google deal, quality control relax and abolition of upload limits, thinkstock, new sub system la SS with fixed royalties for contributors, exclusive o no, with delayed reporting of sales) came later. 
This is not opinion, but facts.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 05:53 by loop »

« Reply #46 on: May 08, 2014, 05:58 »
+7
Sri, I fully understand the feeling that you gave a huge amount of work into istock and then saw it all destroyed and slipping away. I also put endless hours into the project and was confident I was building something longterm for myself and other artists. But unlike you I came to the conclusion that Getty is to blame for what happened, because as long as Bruce was there, my business was going well. Most of all I dont understand why they decided to destroy istock the way they did, because it didnt even make any sense commercially. istock was the dominant and growing market force. Why did Getty decide to kill it off and hand all advantages to Shutterstock???

In hindsight, or if we could turn back the wheels of time, I am sure Bruce wouldnt make that mistake again. But initially istock also did benefit from the Getty takeover. Suddenly a huge network of international offices and a sales team with contacts to big industry became available to sell large istock credit packagaes. The Getty CV was introduced which made all our content easily avialbale in many languages, Vetta was introduced and mirrored to getty, giving high quality files exposure on the macro market. All istock exclusives who wanted one were offered a Getty contract. If you didnt go for it, your decisions. I was happy to get my House contract and really enjoyed getting directly into the macro world and learning about it. I dont think I would have had the chance to get in otherwise.

People keep forgetting that in the beginning the deal with getty also brought a lot of advantages.

And then...Bruce left, in 2009, he stayed for 3 years, which I think is fair enough...and then Getty "really" took over. And made a big mess of things.

Today we know the deal with Getty was a mistake. But I dont think it was so easy to see that in 2006.

But overall I do not regret having been exclusive to istock. I do not regret having met all those wonderful people. istock changed my life, this will never go away.

Today I have moved on, I am an indepedent artist working with many agencies. stocksy is one of them. Maybe in time it will become one of my biggest earners, maybe it will be one of two or three equally weighted income streams, I dont know. But it will certainly be a great place to be inspired and to meet interesting people.

However, I will always try to make sure that my income is spread over different agencies and different mediums. And of course this means I can never blame one single individual if my income goes down. I might have started out doing stock in a company run by Bruce, but the success of my stock business is entirely up to me. Always was.

« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 06:02 by cobalt »

« Reply #47 on: May 08, 2014, 05:59 »
+4
I suppose his other options would have been to create another cutthroat agency that screwed over photographers. Or to stay in retirement. I fail to see how his actions can be construed as negative in any way. Perhaps the word altruistic might seem a bit heavy, but he could easily have created Stocksy as an agency much less photographer friendly and still been successful, so I'll give him the nod to use the word. 

« Reply #48 on: May 08, 2014, 06:03 »
0
While Bruce was at the helm at istockphoto, istockphoto was a quite fair agency that showed concern for his photographers and, to a point, listened to their demands. Bruce increased royalties for exclusives until 40%, gave a 10% plus on ELs without nobody asking for that, created the 100% royalties day, took the selling prices from almost nothing to more reasonable amounts, created a subscription system tied to the size of images, gave access to Getty for exclusives, created Vetta among other things.
Most of the really controversial things (getty content ingest to Vetta and Agency, RC system, google deal, quality control relax and abolition of upload limits, thinkstock, new sub system la SS with fixed royalties for contributors, exclusive o no, with delayed reporting of sales) came later. 
This is not opinion, but facts.

While all this is true, just imagine he had started Istock with paying artists 80% instead of 20%. How would microstock look now?

« Reply #49 on: May 08, 2014, 06:10 »
+1
istock was a place were designers exchanged their own images for free. Then they cost a few cent and when I joined I remember a huge discussion if it is morally acceptable for istock to raise the price from 50 cents to one dollar per image. Many people complaining istock was going to ruin the small time single webdesigner. It was a huge and passionate discussion.

There have also always been places where you get 70% etc...but they never become big successful agencies because marketing costs a lot of money.


 

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