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Author Topic: Commission cut  (Read 14133 times)

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KB

« on: July 16, 2018, 10:13 »
+7
Beginning August 1st, you will see a 50/50 commission structure applied to all your sales on both the video and image Marketplaces.

I can't say I'm surprised, but didn't they "promise" that we would ALWAYS received 100% commissions?

Still, as much as I hate to say it, I'm ok with a 50/50 split, as long as sales dramatically increase. I'm skeptical that that will happen, though. But even if it does, that would simply drive more supply to SB/VB, thereby causing a drop in sales per contributor.

I guess I'm just pessimistic about all of microstock by now. Too much supply.


« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2018, 10:15 »
+3
It doesn't surprise me either at all. It was good while it lasted. 50/50 is still decent although their membership/free stuff is spamming their system. If it brings more sales then a good move otherwise I'd stop uploading

« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2018, 10:15 »
+4
Lol, surprise!  I guess I'll go from 100% of nothing to 50% of nothing.

Here's the whole thing:
You have been asking us what we can do to drive more Marketplace sales and we hear you. After a great start, commissions growth has slowed, and we need to do something about it.

During the first couple years, Marketplace sales grew quickly. Over the same period, the cost of hosting millions of media files, reviewing content, and operating the contributor platform also increased. Because all our revenue comes from subscriptions, we started prioritizing our Member Library in order to build a thriving business that could absorb the growing Marketplace expenses. This led to contributor sales flattening out as we promoted Member Library content over the Marketplace.

To get Marketplace sales back on track, we need to make a change that may sting in the short term. We've examined all options, and it's clear that we must adjust our commission structure in order to align our business needs with the needs of our contributor community.

Beginning August 1st, you will see a 50/50 commission structure applied to all your sales on both the video and image Marketplaces. Our Contributor License Agreement will be updated to reflect this change as well.

We know this isn't ideal, but an equal partnership between Storyblocks and our contributors will allow us to better promote your Marketplace content, and ultimately drive sales growth.

Since launching our video marketplace in 2015, and images in 2017, we've worked to be the most contributor-friendly platform for creative content. We have been proud to offer 100% commission these last three years as a sign of our commitment. We are incredibly grateful for the support you've shown in return, which has far exceeded anything we could have imagined.

We know this change will impact your earnings over the short term, and for that we apologize. Our goal is to meet and exceed historical earnings as quickly as possible through several new initiatives aimed at boosting sales and improving our contributor experience.

In the months ahead, you can expect:

    Shorter approval times
    New portfolio pages
    Increased promotion of your content to Marketplace buyers

Quite simply, we don't have a business without your trust and support. We know this is a big change, and we hope that the relationship we've built these last three years - in tandem with the new initiatives rolling out over the summer and fall - will reassure you that our dedication to the contributor community is as strong as ever.

If you have any questions at all, we're here for you as always. Feel free to reach out to us at contributor@storyblocks.com.

All the best,
TJ Leonard
CEO, Storyblocks

« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2018, 10:16 »
+5
Yes they did promise. I believe they were pushing the 100% always pretty f**king hard actually.

« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2018, 10:17 »
0
Well guess they figured out that they can make money in this game now. The funny part is that they still have a good structure, provided that sales go up

« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2018, 10:20 »
+8
https://contribute.storyblocks.com/faq

"Since we profit from our membership fees, we pass on 100% of the Marketplace sales back to you. Our Marketplace pricing is competitive and you earn nearly twice as much per sale as you do with other agencies. Our unique model allows us to offer lower prices to customers while still ensuring that you earn more for each sale."

"You will receive 100% commission from each standard Marketplace sale on Storyblocks and Videoblocks."

https://contribute.storyblocks.com/faq/pricing-commission
"Your content is sold to our core members on our consumer sites. This is the original sales channel and the heart of Storyblocks. You always earn 100% commission on Marketplace sales."

« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2018, 10:24 »
+6
My letter to them.
Hello,

As a videoblocks artist with thousands of high quality clips here I am saddened by your news! You are now going to be one of the lowest earners per clip sale instead of the highest. This will force me to not give you certain content due to the low pricing return! A much better move would be to stay the leader for artist is to be at 75% instead of 50%. I have been in this industry for years and this is a mistake! You should have also lowered your 4k price to $150.00. You see the value is in the buyer getting a great price for subscribing to your service and the artist getting a great return a win win in this industry. Now you are lower and offer less features you will not be able to compete with Getty, Adobe and Pond5, shutterstock unless you stand out. What made you stand out is how you treated the artist! Sorry to see this go out the window.

John
CraftedShutter

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2018, 10:27 »
+11
When sales decline, the only option to maintain a steady revenue as a stock agency is to cut commissions, as we all know. Therefore, as of August 1, sales commissions will be brutally slashed in HALF (from 100% to 50%).

What a huge letdown. Some people already expected this business model to be unsustainable and a future commission cut, although some believers (myself included) thought the 100% commissions could be funded and propelled by the library memberships. Sales indeed declined, but that was to be expected when the library grows.
Now this very harsh reduction makes me wonder if there's any incentive at all to upload anymore. Prices were already lower than usual, and Pond5 lets you set your own prices. But now that's we're getting only $24 per sale, it's hardly better than Shutterstock, but without the volume.

Vague promises about bringing back sales are hardly believable, since their main revenue comes from the free library, so this is just another way to generate extra profit at our expense.

Storyblocks, you screwed up big time and lost me as a fan.
Consider a 75%-80% commission and I might be able to live with that.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2018, 10:31 by Noedelhap »

« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2018, 10:31 »
+5
This led to contributor sales flattening out as we promoted Member Library content over the Marketplace.
"we made it so that you earn nothing"

Beginning August 1st, you will see a 50/50 commission structure applied to all your sales on both the video and image Marketplaces.
"from now you'll earn half of that"
 ;D  :'(


« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2018, 10:34 »
+5
50% of $79 (HD clip price for non-member) is OK, but 50% of $49 (HD clip price for member) is too cheap.  They have to raise the membership HD price to like $69.  Otherwise, I'll delete all my clips there.

« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2018, 10:36 »
+5
The only way I could accept the low $49 price for video was because I was getting 100%. At 50% commission the price for an HD clip is WAY too low. I guess my uploads to VB will have to be cut by 100%. Too bad.

« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2018, 10:38 »
+2
This led to contributor sales flattening out as we promoted Member Library content over the Marketplace.
"we made it so that you earn nothing"

Beginning August 1st, you will see a 50/50 commission structure applied to all your sales on both the video and image Marketplaces.
"from now you'll earn half of that"
 ;D  :'(
Good point, "Our shafting of you has sadly led us to have to shaft you" who could have seen that coming.

« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2018, 10:39 »
+2
Hahahahahahahahaah, maybe we should find our old statements about their sketchy business... but noooo, some shitheads from this forum tried to convince us that Videoblocks is a great way to sell files. Here you have it. Now you'll get even less than on SS  ::)

« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2018, 10:41 »
+17
I think it's dangerous to all of us to let this go unchallenged. This is a massive commission cut. It's also the breaking of a commitment they made to contributors. To allow them to do that to us with no response except indifference and acceptance is not only bad in the short term, it's terrible for the long term. It means they will cut commissions again in the future. And of course other stock companies are watching - if they see that they can massively reduce commissions without any consequences, they may very well follow suit. It doesn't matter if you only have a few or no sales a month there, this is a big move and extremely damaging for us as the suppliers in this industry.

I'd like to hear if others feel the same. There are options we can explore, such as a collaborative response to Storyblocks and their CEO. They're particularly vulnerable to us shutting down our portfolios in protest because for most people they're such a low earner anyway. I think this is a needed time for us to make a stand for the sake of our long-term health and power in the industry.

UPDATE: PLEASE SIGN THE CHANGE.ORG PETITION TO PROTEST THIS UNFAIR PAY CUT, THEN SHARE THE LINK WITH PEERS AND FRIENDS - https://www.change.org/p/tj-leonard-videoblocks-don-t-cut-people-s-pay-in-half

ALSO PLEASE CLICK TO VOTE THIS POST UP SO THAT IT WILL APPEAR IN MICROSTOCK EMAILS AND GARNER MORE ATTENTION AND SIGNATURES.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 19:54 by KevinM »

« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2018, 10:41 »
+5
The only way I could accept the low $49 price for video was because I was getting 100%. At 50% commission the price for an HD clip is WAY too low. I guess my uploads to VB will have to be cut by 100%. Too bad.

I agree.  If they pass us $35 out of $49 for commission, I'll take it, but $25 is unacceptable.  I'll say goodbye to them.

« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2018, 10:43 »
+2
Hahahahahahahahaah, maybe we should find our old statements about their sketchy business... but noooo, some shitheads from this forum tried to convince us that Videoblocks is a great way to sell files. Here you have it. Now you'll get even less than on SS  ::)

We made good money there for like first 2 years.  Did you miss that sitting on the sideline?

« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2018, 10:56 »
+6
Given the changes - they should give us the ability to set our own prices.  It is a "marketplace" after all.  I am not comfortable undercutting my pricing at other agencies. 

« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2018, 10:59 »
+2
Hahahahahahahahaah, maybe we should find our old statements about their sketchy business... but noooo, some shitheads from this forum tried to convince us that Videoblocks is a great way to sell files. Here you have it. Now you'll get even less than on SS  ::)

We made good money there for like first 2 years.  Did you miss that sitting on the sideline?

And you forgot that such dumping businesses drive other agencies to lower their prices. In every industry.

« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2018, 11:01 »
0
Hahahahahahahahaah, maybe we should find our old statements about their sketchy business... but noooo, some shitheads from this forum tried to convince us that Videoblocks is a great way to sell files. Here you have it. Now you'll get even less than on SS  ::)

We made good money there for like first 2 years.  Did you miss that sitting on the sideline?

And you forgot that such dumping businesses drive other agencies to lower their prices. In every industry.


Income from SS and P5 both kept growing too. 
Stop crying.

« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2018, 11:04 »
0
Hahahahahahahahaah, maybe we should find our old statements about their sketchy business... but noooo, some shitheads from this forum tried to convince us that Videoblocks is a great way to sell files. Here you have it. Now you'll get even less than on SS  ::)

We made good money there for like first 2 years.  Did you miss that sitting on the sideline?


And you forgot that such dumping businesses drive other agencies to lower their prices. In every industry.


Income from SS and P5 both kept growing too. 
Stop crying.

And both invented new ways of selling stock files at lower prices. Did you miss this too?

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2018, 11:20 »
+1
Hahahahahahahahaah, maybe we should find our old statements about their sketchy business... but noooo, some shitheads from this forum tried to convince us that Videoblocks is a great way to sell files. Here you have it. Now you'll get even less than on SS  ::)

We made good money there for like first 2 years.  Did you miss that sitting on the sideline?


And you forgot that such dumping businesses drive other agencies to lower their prices. In every industry.


Income from SS and P5 both kept growing too. 
Stop crying.

And both invented new ways of selling stock files at lower prices. Did you miss this too?

There's no correlation between that and Storyblocks' pricing. Keep in mind that Videohive and Getty/iStock were already selling video for lower prices than Storyblocks ever did.

So I had a good 3,5 years there. No regrets. I took a piece of the pie while I could and now it's time to ditch them.

« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2018, 11:20 »
+4
The owner must be getting a new house and boat on the lake with our money... :-X


Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2018, 11:42 »
+9
By the way, the email is one hell of a bloated corporate-speak crapfest. There's no way to properly spin a commission cut as something positive, so why do they even bother? Upper management always seems to think contributors are morons who can't see it when they're trying to play the 'we're your best friend' sob story.

« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2018, 11:47 »
0
I think it's dangerous to all of us to let this go unchallenged. This is a massive commission cut. It's also the breaking of a commitment they made to contributors. To allow them to do that to us with no response except indifference and acceptance is not only bad in the short term, it's terrible for the long term. It means they will cut commissions again in the future. And of course other stock companies are watching - if they see that they can massively reduce commissions without any consequences, they may very well follow suit. It doesn't matter if you only have a few or no sales a month there, this is a big move and extremely damaging for us as the suppliers in this industry.

I'd like to hear if others feel the same. There are options we can explore, such as a collaborative response to Storyblocks and their CEO. They're particularly vulnerable to us shutting down our portfolios in protest because for most people they're such a low earner anyway. I think this is a needed time for us to make a stand for the sake of our long-term health and power in the industry.
Agreed completely, how do we go about it. Set up something on change.org, send the CEO some crazy mails, picket . out of them

« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2018, 11:48 »
+6
I'm not really surprised, from the start Videoblocks was using our content as a way to fill their library with stuff free for them but their business model was to push their (already profitable) content not what was on the market place, hence the 100% they "offered" us...

When their subscribers realize that the "free" stuff included in their subscription is not that great and that all the good stuff is in on the marketplace they don't renew their subscription and start buying on the marketplace then VB does not make enough money to keep the model sustainable for them...


 

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