MicrostockGroup

New Sites / Low Earners => VideoBlocks => Topic started by: KB on July 16, 2018, 10:13

Title: Commission cut
Post by: KB on July 16, 2018, 10:13
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.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: pkphotos on July 16, 2018, 10:15
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
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on July 16, 2018, 10:15
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
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Justanotherphotographer on July 16, 2018, 10:16
Yes they did promise. I believe they were pushing the 100% always pretty f**king hard actually.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 16, 2018, 10:17
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
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on July 16, 2018, 10:20
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."
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: jjneff on July 16, 2018, 10:24
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
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Noedelhap on July 16, 2018, 10:27
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.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Harvepino on July 16, 2018, 10:31
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  :'(

Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: helloitsme on July 16, 2018, 10:34
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.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: stockmn on July 16, 2018, 10:36
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.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Justanotherphotographer on July 16, 2018, 10:38
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.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Video-StockOrg on July 16, 2018, 10:39
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  ::)
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on July 16, 2018, 10:41
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 (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.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: helloitsme on July 16, 2018, 10:41
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.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: helloitsme on July 16, 2018, 10:43
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?
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: trek on July 16, 2018, 10:56
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. 
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Video-StockOrg on July 16, 2018, 10:59
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.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: helloitsme on July 16, 2018, 11:01
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.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Video-StockOrg on July 16, 2018, 11:04
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?
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Noedelhap on July 16, 2018, 11:20
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.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: nobody on July 16, 2018, 11:20
The owner must be getting a new house and boat on the lake with our money... :-X

Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Noedelhap on July 16, 2018, 11:42
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.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 16, 2018, 11:47
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
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: treps on July 16, 2018, 11:48
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...
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: trucic on July 16, 2018, 12:00
... question for SB - how are we going to split -30% for non-treaty countries like mine...? SB, you are taking 30% for ALL files sold on your site, no meter if they are sold to USA or Senegal buyers...? This practice is only seen on SB... well, if I sold HD for 49USD with -30% every time, and half of that is my commission -> 17.15USD for HD video...?!
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: RAW on July 16, 2018, 12:30
The 50% commission is understandable. However, they should raise the HD price to $79.

50% of $49 is too low.

I will stop uploading and see if sales improve. But I'm not holding my breath.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Cider Apple on July 16, 2018, 13:56
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.

This is Fantastic Kevin. I'm well up for doing this. Even if it doesn't effect anything in the end at least I'll sleep better at night for the case of trying.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: msg2018 on July 16, 2018, 14:46
Fifty lines to say that you cut our commissions?

C'mon, CEO... I don't even mind about the cut in this case (50% of zero is still zero) but try to avoid insulting your contributors next time
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: pancaketom on July 16, 2018, 15:40
So if members buy a clip are they going to give the artist a cut of the membership fee - say like 50% of it?
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: jamesbenet on July 16, 2018, 16:13

I echo your sentiments John,

I believe if they said 70% or even 65% instead of 50% this could have gone much better. As the commission now stands to be $24.50 for HD then it falls into the lesser pay brackets of other sites. The sales have been reduced drastically from a year ago and now the cut makes it even less inviting to upload.  I've never sold a 4k clip there and never have had a non-subscription member buy a clip either.  Used to have a couple of dozen sales a month and this July so far is just 1 sale which is probably the lowest in 3 years.  They need to get us above the bottom of the barrel commissions to work out the lower sales and do not necessarily believe sales will flood in after the changes have been made.  We all knew the business model was due to change, but this is quite drastic without a gradual approach.  :(


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
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: noodle on July 16, 2018, 16:54
That’s a nasty slash
I will see if sales are positively impacted, although these kind of moves never work out
If no improvement is sales occurs by autumn, I will probably pull the port, as I do not want to support any business that introduces this kind of negative disruption
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on July 16, 2018, 17:49
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

Glad to see people agreeing that cutting commissions from 100% to 50% is intolerable and a betrayal of Storyblocks' commitment to the contributors it depends on for its existence. Several people saying they will stop uploading to Storyblocks, while some people suggesting that cutting commissions to 75% would be acceptable.

I second the idea of starting an online petition via change.org. Petition would state our grievances and say that signers are pledging to stop uploading content to Storyblocks unless Storyblocks maintains a commission of at least 75% AND makes up the lost 25% in commissions via higher sales.


What do people think of this approach and the terms?

I don't believe at all that cutting our commissions by 50% will be recouped by "driving sales growth" as TJ wrote his email, but if that's the plan then they should be held accountable by us not uploading new content until they've made up the lost 25% in commissions via higher sales. The commission reduction is a stab in the back to contributors who joined because of the good commission structure, and we as the content creators in this industry are long overdue to have some organized response to CEOs who think they can squeeze our paychecks without any consequence.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Open_ on July 16, 2018, 18:54
1st 2 years with them I'm averaging 20 sales/month, starting this year less then 5 sales, now this 50% cut will netted me 16.5$.

Meanwhile at P5, high sales volume at 2.5 times price tag, consistent for 8 years!

Maybe places like SB and SS don't like money ;D
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: helloitsme on July 16, 2018, 19:39
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

Glad to see people agreeing that cutting commissions from 100% to 50% is intolerable and a betrayal of Storyblocks' commitment to the contributors it depends on for its existence. Several people saying they will stop uploading to Storyblocks, while some people suggesting that cutting commissions to 75% would be acceptable.

I second the idea of starting an online petition via change.org. Petition would state our grievances and say that signers are pledging to stop uploading content to Storyblocks unless Storyblocks maintains a commission of at least 75% AND makes up the lost 25% in commissions via higher sales.


What do people think of this approach and the terms?

I don't believe at all that cutting our commissions by 50% will be recouped by "driving sales growth" as TJ wrote his email, but if that's the plan then they should be held accountable by us not uploading new content until they've made up the lost 25% in commissions via higher sales. The commission reduction is a stab in the back to contributors who joined because of the good commission structure, and we as the content creators in this industry are long overdue to have some organized response to CEOs who think they can squeeze our paychecks without any consequence.

Just email them that you'll pull out all the clips.  That's more effective because it's direct.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: helloitsme on July 16, 2018, 19:53
Sadly, I don't think their sales will increase.  Honestly, their curation sucks.  It's a bad algorithm or whatever, when you search for keywords, great clips don't come up that often.  A lot of garbage clips show up on the first page for some reason.  By cutting our commission by half, it's likely that it'll result in us getting half the money we used to get, that's all.  Also, maybe they are not good with big buyers.  Without big productions and TV stations buying from them, their sales may not increase.  I am likely to pull out all my clips by August 1st at this point if they don't increase our share to 70% or higher.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Mantis on July 16, 2018, 20:29
Sadly, I don't think their sales will increase.  Honestly, their curation sucks.  It's a bad algorithm or whatever, when you search for keywords, great clips don't come up that often.  A lot of garbage clips show up on the first page for some reason.  By cutting our commission by half, it's likely that it'll result in us getting half the money we used to get, that's all.  Also, maybe they are not good with big buyers.  Without big productions and TV stations buying from them, their sales may not increase.  I am likely to pull out all my clips by August 1st at this point if they don't increase our share to 70% or higher.

Is the "THE" date? I am thinking of closing my account, too.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: nobody on July 16, 2018, 20:42
Here is template that the MS companies can use -

Dear Contributors,

We are proud to announce that we will be reducing your commission rates to better serve you. The reduced commission rates will allow us to increase our marketing budget thus enhancing everyone’s sales in the long run.
Looking forward to the new revenue payouts that our hard-working contributors will enjoy for many years to come.

Sincerely…

Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: helloitsme on July 16, 2018, 20:55
Dear Employees,

We are proud to announce that we will be reducing your salary by half to better serve you.


 :D :D
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 16, 2018, 22:07
Please start a change.org petition. Some key points

- raise commissions to 75% (even this is a breach of what they were promising)
- raise prices for HD content to make it better than market rate
- suggest that sales need a better algorithm better site, more than they need marketing
- suggest a sales review by oct to see if this worked

Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: thepokergod on July 16, 2018, 23:13
Sorry but petitions etc are a complete waste of time.

Not at all surprised with this development - deleting my entire portfolio there now. If they raise prices I might be persuaded to stay but I'm not having my work out in the marketplace for peanuts and receiving 50%.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Video-StockOrg on July 17, 2018, 01:59
Dear Contributors,

We are proud to announce that we will be reducing your commission rates to better serve you. From now on you'll be working for exposure.


 8)
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Grenar on July 17, 2018, 03:33
To me, the only reasonable answer to these news is to stop every activity until things change. It's not a wise business choice to keep going in the dark. So:

- No uploads
- No videos in review
- No login to the site

My opinion is that they still can recover the situation, by allowing us to set our own price on the clips. That way, they'll be like Pond5, 50/50 split and contributor-set price, but with their Marketplace as the big difference.

Right now, 50% on a $49 clip ($43.39 because of tax cut) means $21,70 in the pocket (before my country's taxes). Pond5's equivalent is 50% of $59 = $29,50. I will not compete against myself, so I'm also considering deleting my entire port IF SALES GO UP.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 17, 2018, 05:56
Sorry but petitions etc are a complete waste of time.

Not at all surprised with this development - deleting my entire portfolio there now. If they raise prices I might be persuaded to stay but I'm not having my work out in the marketplace for peanuts and receiving 50%.
Do we each drop in a mail to the CEO with the points mentioned? Plus no activity till we get ability to set prices and a larger cut of the pie?
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on July 17, 2018, 09:10
I will start a Change.org petition and post the link in this thread - AND people should also email the CEO directly, as well as send comments through the contact page: http://support.videoblocks.com/customer/portal/emails/new (http://support.videoblocks.com/customer/portal/emails/new)

Is anyone able to track down the email for CEO TJ Leonard? I had no luck through Google, hoping someone here has some web sleuthing skills.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: msg2018 on July 17, 2018, 10:19
Is anyone able to track down the email for CEO TJ Leonard? I had no luck through Google, hoping someone here has some web sleuthing skills.


email may be:

tj@videoblocks.com

from page 8 of this publicly available PDF (page 5 on the document):
http://arlington.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?meta_id=164618 (http://arlington.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?meta_id=164618)
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: josvphoto on July 17, 2018, 11:32
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.

Totally agree with you, it's more than a commission cut. I have 2.000 videos and 500 pics, selling 80$ a month (but last months nothing more than 40$/month) and I´m sick of this situation, I don´t want to just sit and see what happens. I don´t mind losing than money (the possibility of 20$ a month), so I will delete my clips and close my profile. I want to think that that sales with come from other of the websites.

Please, if any of you do the same, notify on the forum.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: nobody on July 17, 2018, 13:41
The disappointing part is that they could've come to this site for our support.  Than after a lot of feedback/suggestions from both the artists and the management- a good or agree upon decision would have been made and understood by all parties.  Don't just leave the artists in the dark on major decision like this!  :-\

Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Video-StockOrg on July 17, 2018, 14:19
The disappointing part is that they could've come to this site for our support.  Than after a lot of feedback/suggestions from both the artists and the management- a good or agree upon decision would have been made and understood by all parties.  Don't just leave the artists in the dark on major decision like this!  :-\

We warned them via email years ago about their sketchy business and we suggested that they should raise our prices and take a share of sales... but no, this was their dumb marketing strategy. So, here you have it. Eat what you cook.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on July 17, 2018, 14:48
Here's a fun thread: http://www.microstockgroup.com/videoblocks/videoblocks-footage-marketplace-keep-100-of-what-you-earn/ (http://www.microstockgroup.com/videoblocks/videoblocks-footage-marketplace-keep-100-of-what-you-earn/)
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: nobody on July 17, 2018, 14:52
Here's a fun thread: [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/videoblocks/videoblocks-footage-marketplace-keep-100-of-what-you-earn/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/videoblocks/videoblocks-footage-marketplace-keep-100-of-what-you-earn/[/url])


Thanks Sean!

Sadly, when there is a pay cut they are nowhere to be seen! Trying their best to hide from us!
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on July 17, 2018, 16:16
Is anyone able to track down the email for CEO TJ Leonard? I had no luck through Google, hoping someone here has some web sleuthing skills.


email may be:

tj@videoblocks.com

from page 8 of this publicly available PDF (page 5 on the document):
[url]http://arlington.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?meta_id=164618[/url] ([url]http://arlington.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?meta_id=164618[/url])


Great find!! Thank you!
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on July 17, 2018, 16:17
Here's a fun thread: [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/videoblocks/videoblocks-footage-marketplace-keep-100-of-what-you-earn/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/videoblocks/videoblocks-footage-marketplace-keep-100-of-what-you-earn/[/url])


A quote from Zach at Videoblocks on that thread: "Our goal is to be the most contributor-friendly agency there is, so we will never do anything to jeopardize our relationships."
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: everest on July 17, 2018, 17:30
......................
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on July 17, 2018, 18:03
Here is the petition, please sign and share with friends!

https://www.change.org/p/tj-leonard-videoblocks-don-t-cut-people-s-pay-in-half (https://www.change.org/p/tj-leonard-videoblocks-don-t-cut-people-s-pay-in-half)
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 17, 2018, 21:40
Signed, have copied the text from the petition with the subject "commission cut - lets discuss" and sent to TJ. If there are some good wordsmiths can you please create a mail template and we can all send that.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: jjneff on July 18, 2018, 06:11
Thanks for this posted it on my FB page as well
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: namussi on July 18, 2018, 08:06
Signed, have copied the text from the petition with the subject "commission cut - lets discuss" and sent to TJ. If there are some good wordsmiths can you please create a mail template and we can all send that.

Companies/institutions/governments rarely take notice of identically worded emails or letters.

The email is dead easy to filter out so the recipient never even sees it.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on July 18, 2018, 10:10
Thanks for signing! Yes, it's probably best if people word their emails differently, can be short as saying you won't be uploading anymore (or deleting your port) in response to this pay cut.

I wrote a long, angry email to contributor@storyblocks.com and got a response this morning that largely recycled the lies in TJ's email about building a model that is sustainable so they can grow blah blah. This was my email response:

"Mike, did any employees at Storyblocks take a 50% pay cut so that you can be "sustainable" and "fair"? Are YOU taking a 50% pay cut for the "long term shared success strategy"? Is TJ? If not, then your response is 100% crap. Not 50% crap, 100%.You're stealing from contributors to grow profit and operating budget, and not sharing any of the pain. That's a horrible, insulting way to treat contributors, which is why we won't support you by contributing anymore. We're happy to work with your competition and support them. Your back-stabbing CEO just hurt his own company long-term by betraying its suppliers. That's the truth, and you guys are living in a PR spin zone if you don't see it."
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: stockmn on July 18, 2018, 10:36
I sent an email saying that I can't accept both the cut and the low price of $49 HD clips. In the reply I was told they had no plans to change pricing at this time.

I've made pretty good money with videoblocks up until they changed their name. Now it may be time to head to the door. I've stopped uploading and will see what the next couple of months hold before I make my final decision.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: HalfFull on July 18, 2018, 11:16
I'm just going to leave my port there until the 1st of August while I receive 100% and then remove it. I can live without there sporadic / occasional sales. It started off ok but has more or less died a slow lingering death. They spent to much time pushing there subscriptions which they get all the money, and just left the marketplace with very little TLC. No surprise it's failing.

Their search is still terrible as well and naming the company after an existing firm that supplies educational videos was a bizarre move. I'll just put this down to experience in terms of time wasted uploading my port. Given their previous marketing decisions, I don't really want to give them 50% of any sale just so they can screw that up as well.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: SpaceStockFootage on July 18, 2018, 11:59
"Mike, did any employees at Storyblocks take a 50% pay cut so that you can be "sustainable" and "fair"? Are YOU taking a 50% pay cut for the "long term shared success strategy"? Is TJ? If not, then your response is 100% crap. Not 50% crap, 100%.You're stealing from contributors to grow profit and operating budget, and not sharing any of the pain. That's a horrible, insulting way to treat contributors, which is why we won't support you by contributing anymore. We're happy to work with your competition and support them. Your back-stabbing CEO just hurt his own company long-term by betraying its suppliers. That's the truth, and you guys are living in a PR spin zone if you don't see it."

Don't you think that's slightly over the top? I could go with that if it was Pond5 (for example), going from 50% to 25%... but it seems a bit harsh under the circumstances, going from 100% to 50%. Sure, I'm not happy with it either, but... betrayal, back-stabbing, crap, stealing?! You'd think they'd murdered your family or something.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: SpaceStockFootage on July 18, 2018, 12:04
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  ::)

Well it was a great way to sell files.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Microstockphoto on July 18, 2018, 12:44
Quote
Well it was a great way to sell lies.

fixed it
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Microstockphoto on July 18, 2018, 12:45
btw, i had my account closed today, told them their lies are despicable
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Video-StockOrg on July 18, 2018, 15:12
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  ::)

Well it was a great way to sell files.

Damage was done. Forcing other agencies to find new exciting ways to sell our files. We really enjoy the $1.5 sales on SS now. Hidden "new channel" sales on Pond5 and also more and more subscription based lower based sales. Yea, let's welcome any new dumping agency that will undersell our files... Maybe $29 and EXPOSURE per file will be the next big thing. #sarcasmoff
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Tyson Anderson on July 18, 2018, 15:32
I'm blown away by everyones response.  $25 isn't enough for an HD sale?  $100 for 4k?  That's way better than all these under $20 4k sales I've had flooding in recently.  People complain about how bad their business model was before, and then complain about it when they make a change... and now a petition?  That's crazy!  It's not like they dropped it to 5%.  It's still 50%!  That's good in this game.  They should have some money to spend on marketing now, which usually creates more sales.  But good ahead and write them off if you want.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Video-StockOrg on July 18, 2018, 15:42
I'm blown away by everyones response.  $25 isn't enough for an HD sale?  $100 for 4k?  That's way better than all these under $20 4k sales I've had flooding in recently.  People complain about how bad their business model was before, and then complain about it when they make a change... and now a petition?  That's crazy!  It's not like they dropped it to 5%.  It's still 50%!  That's good in this game.  They should have some money to spend on marketing now, which usually creates more sales.  But good ahead and write them off if you want.


When you'll start living from it, you'll respect bigger priced creative works and also work in way of bigger income. Amateurs are happy with low incomes and will undersell in any way they can just to get some beer money. #facts
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: jjneff on July 18, 2018, 16:23
I use to think the same no big deal but trust me it is!! We need to scream as loud as we can and demand as much as we can. I do this for a living not a hobby!
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: nobody on July 18, 2018, 16:34
FYI

https://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/05/how-this-30-year-old-entrepreneur-built-a-20-million-business-from-his-rv-commentary.html (https://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/05/how-this-30-year-old-entrepreneur-built-a-20-million-business-from-his-rv-commentary.html)

Now he will be worth much more- heck, why not go public like Shutter did!
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on July 18, 2018, 17:23
I'm blown away by everyones response.  $25 isn't enough for an HD sale?  $100 for 4k?  That's way better than all these under $20 4k sales I've had flooding in recently.  People complain about how bad their business model was before, and then complain about it when they make a change... and now a petition?  That's crazy!  It's not like they dropped it to 5%.  It's still 50%!  That's good in this game.  They should have some money to spend on marketing now, which usually creates more sales.  But good ahead and write them off if you want.

Tyson, you don't seem to see the big picture. They're driving down market prices while also massively cutting our commissions, which is bad enough in itself but gets worse if/when it encourages other companies to do the same. We are the suppliers in an industry. When our profit is squeezed - especially in dramatic cases like this - if we do not respond as suppliers in any other industry would, then that is economic suicide. We've seen this play out with stock photography, and plenty of people here, myself included, will do all we can to not have that process repeat in stock footage.

SpaceStockFootage: why would you think there has to be a murder in order to  use words like "betrayal," "back-stabbing," "crap" excuses, etc.? It's a betrayal for a company to market themselves as especially contributor-friendly and then make a massive 50% cut in commissions. And it is crap to paste it over with hollow excuses. Do you really think they're going to increase sales enough to make up that 50%? Do you think even they believe that? Of course not, it's a false hope meant to pacify us. So what do you do when a business partner takes 50% of your money and then gives a BS reason about why he took it?

Let's address the obvious problem. The businesses are strong and centralized, we as individual suppliers are weak and widely dispersed. They're always looking to increase profit and undercut the competition, and to do that they'll always have an eye toward paying their suppliers less. Every single time they make a move in that direction, we owe it to ourselves as business people to take a stand and say no. By not uploading, by deleting portfolios, and especially by then telling the companies that you're taking those actions, we let them know that there are economic consequences to squeezing us. The more unified we are in that, the more powerful the response, then the more economically defended we are in the long term. So please don't shrug this event off. Don't take a "it's not so bad" attitude or a defeatist attitude. Simply take one single minute to sign the petition and share it with your friends. And if you have other ideas to protect our interests, please share them.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Tyson Anderson on July 18, 2018, 17:36
I also do this for a living.  I just don't think Videoblocks cutting commission from 100% to 50% is a reason to publicly speak out against them and start a petition.  And for anyone else doing this for a living, isn't it a bad business move to burn a bridge with one of the few companies that sells stock footage?  Let's say they do invest this money wisely and sales increase from them doing more marketing... 50% commission from a company that can sell videos is good.  As far as #facts about amateurs underselling for beer money, I know nothing about that.  I do know now that 50% commission from one company is standard, but with another company, it can get a petition started against them. 
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Tyson Anderson on July 18, 2018, 17:46
I'm blown away by everyones response.  $25 isn't enough for an HD sale?  $100 for 4k?  That's way better than all these under $20 4k sales I've had flooding in recently.  People complain about how bad their business model was before, and then complain about it when they make a change... and now a petition?  That's crazy!  It's not like they dropped it to 5%.  It's still 50%!  That's good in this game.  They should have some money to spend on marketing now, which usually creates more sales.  But good ahead and write them off if you want.

Tyson, you don't seem to see the big picture. They're driving down market prices while also massively cutting our commissions, which is bad enough in itself but gets worse if/when it encourages other companies to do the same. We are the suppliers in an industry. When our profit is squeezed - especially in dramatic cases like this - if we do not respond as suppliers in any other industry would, then that is economic suicide. We've seen this play out with stock photography, and plenty of people here, myself included, will do all we can to not have that process repeat in stock footage.

SpaceStockFootage: why would you think there has to be a murder in order to  use words like "betrayal," "back-stabbing," "crap" excuses, etc.? It's a betrayal for a company to market themselves as especially contributor-friendly and then make a massive 50% cut in commissions. And it is crap to paste it over with hollow excuses. Do you really think they're going to increase sales enough to make up that 50%? Do you think even they believe that? Of course not, it's a false hope meant to pacify us. So what do you do when a business partner takes 50% of your money and then gives a BS reason about why he took it?

Let's address the obvious problem. The businesses are strong and centralized, we as individual suppliers are weak and widely dispersed. They're always looking to increase profit and undercut the competition, and to do that they'll always have an eye toward paying their suppliers less. Every single time they make a move in that direction, we owe it to ourselves as business people to take a stand and say no. By not uploading, by deleting portfolios, and especially by then telling the companies that you're taking those actions, we let them know that there are economic consequences to squeezing us. The more unified we are in that, the more powerful the response, then the more economically defended we are in the long term. So please don't shrug this event off. Don't take a "it's not so bad" attitude or a defeatist attitude. Simply take one single minute to sign the petition and share it with your friends. And if you have other ideas to protect our interests, please share them.

I see the big picture very clearly.  This modern outrage culture looks exhausting.  It seams to me that people are getting so caught up in complaining that they are really missing the big picture.  Wasting time speaking out about this will not help you succeed in any way.  Adapt and get back to work!!!  And please quite saying this is driving down market prices.  $25 for HD and $100 for 4K isn't driving anyones prices down.  I just sold a video for under $5 on Shutterstock.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on July 18, 2018, 18:17
I also do this for a living.  I just don't think Videoblocks cutting commission from 100% to 50% is a reason to publicly speak out against them and start a petition.  And for anyone else doing this for a living, isn't it a bad business move to burn a bridge with one of the few companies that sells stock footage?  Let's say they do invest this money wisely and sales increase from them doing more marketing... 50% commission from a company that can sell videos is good.  As far as #facts about amateurs underselling for beer money, I know nothing about that.  I do know now that 50% commission from one company is standard, but with another company, it can get a petition started against them.

A company cuts our commissions by 50%, and your response is don't speak against it or you might burn a bridge, you're powerless, just get back to work. That's incredibly weak and self-defeating, if everyone had that attitude we'd be making even less. Don't distort things by blaming this on "outrage culture" or any such nonsense - this is business. If you don't want to stand up for your own economic self-interest, that's your choice.

Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Noedelhap on July 18, 2018, 18:19
I'm blown away by everyones response.  $25 isn't enough for an HD sale?  $100 for 4k?  That's way better than all these under $20 4k sales I've had flooding in recently.  People complain about how bad their business model was before, and then complain about it when they make a change... and now a petition?  That's crazy!  It's not like they dropped it to 5%.  It's still 50%!  That's good in this game.  They should have some money to spend on marketing now, which usually creates more sales.  But good ahead and write them off if you want.

Tyson, you don't seem to see the big picture. They're driving down market prices while also massively cutting our commissions, which is bad enough in itself but gets worse if/when it encourages other companies to do the same. We are the suppliers in an industry. When our profit is squeezed - especially in dramatic cases like this - if we do not respond as suppliers in any other industry would, then that is economic suicide. We've seen this play out with stock photography, and plenty of people here, myself included, will do all we can to not have that process repeat in stock footage.

SpaceStockFootage: why would you think there has to be a murder in order to  use words like "betrayal," "back-stabbing," "crap" excuses, etc.? It's a betrayal for a company to market themselves as especially contributor-friendly and then make a massive 50% cut in commissions. And it is crap to paste it over with hollow excuses. Do you really think they're going to increase sales enough to make up that 50%? Do you think even they believe that? Of course not, it's a false hope meant to pacify us. So what do you do when a business partner takes 50% of your money and then gives a BS reason about why he took it?

Let's address the obvious problem. The businesses are strong and centralized, we as individual suppliers are weak and widely dispersed. They're always looking to increase profit and undercut the competition, and to do that they'll always have an eye toward paying their suppliers less. Every single time they make a move in that direction, we owe it to ourselves as business people to take a stand and say no. By not uploading, by deleting portfolios, and especially by then telling the companies that you're taking those actions, we let them know that there are economic consequences to squeezing us. The more unified we are in that, the more powerful the response, then the more economically defended we are in the long term. So please don't shrug this event off. Don't take a "it's not so bad" attitude or a defeatist attitude. Simply take one single minute to sign the petition and share it with your friends. And if you have other ideas to protect our interests, please share them.

I see the big picture very clearly.  This modern outrage culture looks exhausting.  It seams to me that people are getting so caught up in complaining that they are really missing the big picture.  Wasting time speaking out about this will not help you succeed in any way.  Adapt and get back to work!!!  And please quite saying this is driving down market prices.  $25 for HD and $100 for 4K isn't driving anyones prices down.  I just sold a video for under $5 on Shutterstock.

You don't seem to understand something crucial. Storyblocks branded themselves as the most contributor-friendly agency claiming to 'always' give 100% commission on video sales. People responded by uploading their ports and thereby supporting and even advocating for Storyblocks. Sure their $49 prices were on the low side, but the 100% commission made up for it.
Now, they suddenly destroy our trust and goodwill with an outrageous cut (50%) which is the biggest paycut ever in the history of microstock. What's worse, they even dare try to spin it as something positive and uplifting for us, insulting our intelligence. More sales in the future making up for the loss in revenue? No agency ever lived up to that claim.

Truth is, that 100% commission was their only USP for contributors. Now they're just a mediocre, low-priced standard agency, but with lower sales AND known for stabbing their own contributors in the back...and for what? To boost their profits, nothing more.

And you're okay with that?
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Tyson Anderson on July 18, 2018, 18:37
Oh yeah, you're all right.  We should take time away from processing footage to complain and start petitions.  No!  Not one comment on here or petition signed is going to change their business decision.  Weak and powerless is going on a forum to complain like a sissy.  Buck up and get back to work if you're strong enough to adapt.  Wining is not speaking up for you self interest.  Not you or anyone on this forum is actually changing the business decisions of these big companies.  So you have the decision to accept the rule change and keep playing the game or sit on the sidelines and complain.  I really don't care what ya choose.  The more people complain and hold back from uploading, the more money I can potentially make.  I'm just trying to keep things positive.  And yes I fully understand what's happened here and why everyone's so mad... I just don't think that response is a productive choice when it comes to business.  Good luck everyone!
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Noedelhap on July 18, 2018, 18:51
Oh yeah, you're all right.  We should take time away from processing footage to complain and start petitions.  No!  Not one comment on here or petition signed is going to change their business decision.  Weak and powerless is going on a forum to complain like a sissy.  Buck up and get back to work if you're strong enough to adapt.  Wining is not speaking up for you self interest.  Not you or anyone on this forum is actually changing the business decisions of these big companies.  So you have the decision to accept the rule change and keep playing the game or sit on the sidelines and complain.  I really don't care what ya choose.  The more people complain and hold back from uploading, the more money I can potentially make.  I'm just trying to keep things positive.  And yes I fully understand what's happened here and why everyone's so mad... I just don't think that response is a productive choice when it comes to business.  Good luck everyone!

Accept and adapt? Oh sure, business-wise I've adapted. I have focused more on freelance assignments and see microstock as nothing more than side income. But accept silently without a fight? No way. Let the agencies know how we think about them.

Do I think they will reverse their decision? Will it change the industry? No. But hopefully my opinion on this may raise awareness and stop others from uploading there. Because there's no need to support greed and unethical businesses.
As for you, if you want to fight a losing battle, working twice as hard for that same lousy income, go ahead. You may succeed in recuperating your losses, accepting the fact that agencies keep chipping away your income until you're exhausted from working too hard. I'm off seeking greener pastures.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on July 18, 2018, 19:13
Well spoken, Noedelhap.

Plainly most people get it. If everyone who reads this thread sends an email or signs the petition and gets friends/peers to sign, then that is a significant number of people pledging to stop uploading or even delete their portfolio. Whether or not Videoblocks actually changes their policy, the point is they'll be made aware that cutting commissions means they will lose contributors, content and their good name. NOT responding to a massive, insulting commission cut sends the message to ALL stock companies that they can cut commissions as much as they want and we won't say a word (which is the more accurate definition of a sissy). By action or inaction, we inevitably MUST send one of those two messages. Seems a simple choice.

The petition link again: https://www.change.org/p/tj-leonard-videoblocks-don-t-cut-people-s-pay-in-half (https://www.change.org/p/tj-leonard-videoblocks-don-t-cut-people-s-pay-in-half)
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Mantis on July 18, 2018, 20:03
Oh yeah, you're all right.  We should take time away from processing footage to complain and start petitions.  No!  Not one comment on here or petition signed is going to change their business decision. Weak and powerless is going on a forum to complain like a sissy.  Buck up and get back to work if you're strong enough to adapt.  Wining is not speaking up for you self interest.  Not you or anyone on this forum is actually changing the business decisions of these big companies.  So you have the decision to accept the rule change and keep playing the game or sit on the sidelines and complain.  I really don't care what ya choose.  The more people complain and hold back from uploading, the more money I can potentially make.  I'm just trying to keep things positive.  And yes I fully understand what's happened here and why everyone's so mad... I just don't think that response is a productive choice when it comes to business.  Good luck everyone!

DPC
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 18, 2018, 22:51
Here is the petition, please sign and share with friends!

https://www.change.org/p/tj-leonard-videoblocks-don-t-cut-people-s-pay-in-half (https://www.change.org/p/tj-leonard-videoblocks-don-t-cut-people-s-pay-in-half)
43 people signed, guys push others to do it as well. I'm sure the remaining are not happy with the mail as well.

Plus need to keep up the mailing. I got a random stock reply as well about how this will help me earn more in the long run
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 18, 2018, 22:59
Oh yeah, you're all right.  We should take time away from processing footage to complain and start petitions.  No!  Not one comment on here or petition signed is going to change their business decision.  Weak and powerless is going on a forum to complain like a sissy.  Buck up and get back to work if you're strong enough to adapt.  Wining is not speaking up for you self interest.  Not you or anyone on this forum is actually changing the business decisions of these big companies.  So you have the decision to accept the rule change and keep playing the game or sit on the sidelines and complain.  I really don't care what ya choose.  The more people complain and hold back from uploading, the more money I can potentially make.  I'm just trying to keep things positive.  And yes I fully understand what's happened here and why everyone's so mad... I just don't think that response is a productive choice when it comes to business.  Good luck everyone!
I hope you've read animal farm. The " i must work twice as hard" mentality is what got the horse killed. Asking for a fair price for our work is not being a sissy, not asking at all is.

Let the upload volume drop significantly and there will be questions asked from TJ. We still continue to sell freelance, P5 and others, we lose a small part of potential sales (maybe). The art producers still make their stuff, we still sell, its just that it won't be through SB till they clarify what craziness they are doing.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Chichikov on July 19, 2018, 00:55
Fifty lines to say that you cut our commissions?

C'mon, CEO... I don't even mind about the cut in this case (50% of zero is still zero) but try to avoid insulting your contributors next time

The problem is not "50% of zero"
The problem is that doing so they will drive down the prices of the whole market…
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: msg2018 on July 19, 2018, 01:01
Fifty lines to say that you cut our commissions?

C'mon, CEO... I don't even mind about the cut in this case (50% of zero is still zero) but try to avoid insulting your contributors next time

The problem is not "50% of zero"
The problem is that doing so they will drive down the prices of the whole market…

Why? They're not lowering prices, they are "just" cutting our share, which in my case is already irrelevant.

By the way, most of us knew from the start that their business model couldn't work.

If they wish to turn into a normal stock site, they need to get rid of (or greatly demote) their owned collection and start promoting the paid collection for real.

If they wish to earn a little more by the commission cut alone, they need do nothing: their plan is already perfect, but it will end in tears for them before too long.

Anyone betting which way they'll choose? I bet the second.

Of course, they'll introduce subs sooner of later, and will try to undercut the competition on that.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: everest on July 19, 2018, 01:39
I can bear the cut although I don't like it. In any case 100% was for sure not sustainable in many ways.

BUT the HD price is way to low for some files . Or they let set prices by suppliers or part of my content will just not go there. I will not cannibalize Pond5, which is the only agency left that I think is somehow contributor friendly and on top lets you set the value of your footage.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: SuperPhoto on July 19, 2018, 01:45
I can bear the cut although I don't like it. In any case 100% was for sure not sustainable in many ways.

BUT the HD price is way to low for some files . Or they let set prices by suppliers or part of my content will just not go there. I will not cannibalize Pond5, which is the only agency left that I think is somehow contributor friendly and on top lets you set the value of your footage.

Doesn't matter if it wasn't "sustainable" (which, actually isn't really true based on how they've designed their site). The main point is they broke their word. They've proven that their word means nothing.

They will just abritrarily decide to do whatever they feel like. So. Maybe the future you'll get a new e-mail that says "Upon further reflection, we've decided we need 75%..." then later..." Actually, we need 90%"... And then, maybe "Well, we'll pay you $0.10/video, because of 'competition'", etc, etc...

They've proven their word means nothing.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: rod-09 on July 19, 2018, 02:20
Istock did that years ago... I deleted all my port and never looked back.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: ShadySue on July 19, 2018, 04:46
I can bear the cut although I don't like it. In any case 100% was for sure not sustainable in many ways.
BUT the HD price is way to low for some files . Or they let set prices by suppliers or part of my content will just not go there. I will not cannibalize Pond5, which is the only agency left that I think is somehow contributor friendly and on top lets you set the value of your footage.
Doesn't matter if it wasn't "sustainable" (which, actually isn't really true based on how they've designed their site). The main point is they broke their word. They've proven that their word means nothing.
Worse, they've proved their lack of judgement in imagining that 100% could be sustainable.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: treps on July 19, 2018, 05:57
Worse, they've proved their lack of judgement in imagining that 100% could be sustainable.

The 100% has always been a lure to fill their gallery and attract customers then incite them to subscribe, their model has always been to sell subscriptions not to have people buy our stuff from the market place !

Now that the market place is probably making enough money by itself they want their share.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: ShadySue on July 19, 2018, 06:16
Worse, they've proved their lack of judgement in imagining that 100% could be sustainable.

The 100% has always been a lure to fill their gallery and attract customers then incite them to subscribe, their model has always been to sell subscriptions not to have people buy our stuff from the market place !

Now that the market place is probably making enough money by itself they want their share.
Lack of integrity then. But that's in overall short supply in the micro business.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: helloitsme on July 19, 2018, 06:46
We as contributors/creators are in control of how much we should get per sales, not them.  We can do this by simply deleting our works from sites that don't respect us.  So easy!! 
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: SuperPhoto on July 19, 2018, 08:50
More specifically - they probably feel that they've found all the 'low hanging' fruit (i.e., people that WOULD sign up for subscriptions) - and their marketing efforts in that area aren't producing the same results...

So now, they are going after the other market...

Worse, they've proved their lack of judgement in imagining that 100% could be sustainable.

The 100% has always been a lure to fill their gallery and attract customers then incite them to subscribe, their model has always been to sell subscriptions not to have people buy our stuff from the market place !

Now that the market place is probably making enough money by itself they want their share.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 19, 2018, 22:44
Its definitely worth a shot to get the commission increased or custom pricing started.

I've reached out to friends who've shot or modelled for videos and gotten them to sign and drop TJ an email. It affects them as well if we get paid less.

For the people saying that this is their livelihood and they can't burn bridges. Well, if the return per video goes down then your livelihood goes down as well. You should be the most enthusiastic about leading this charge and ensuring that this continues to be a good way to earn a living.

Sign the petition and more importantly drop TJ and the contributor id a mail. No uploads till this is resolved

https://www.change.org/p/tj-le...don-t-cut-people-s-pay-in-half

Kevin, can you edit the petition and add the two email ids there. That way each one who signs can drop in a mail as well.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on July 20, 2018, 00:06
Done. Updated petition with email addresses for people who want to email TJ and Videoblocks. For some reason the link in your post was truncated and therefore didn't work. The full link to the petition is https://www.change.org/p/tj-leonard-videoblocks-don-t-cut-people-s-pay-in-half (https://www.change.org/p/tj-leonard-videoblocks-don-t-cut-people-s-pay-in-half)
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Video-StockOrg on July 20, 2018, 02:47
Did anyone make petition when:
- istock/getty started dumping prices on images and videos?
- when shutterstock invented $1.5 prices for stock clips?
- when Pond5 started offering membership?
- when Revostock closed down site and steal our money?
- when Dissolve threaten contributors with lower prices?
- etc...

why so much interest in dumping agency such as VB? Which lowered our value of footage from the beginning. You shouldn't even UPLOAD to such agencies.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: SpaceStockFootage on July 20, 2018, 02:59
We as contributors/creators are in control of how much we should get per sales, not them.

You must be new!
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: lucagavagna on July 20, 2018, 04:26
I signed the petition.
I think that they cannot tell us that they'll pay us a 100%  commission to convince us to upload and then after they have enough clips to go to the market  they change the agreements,
it's not fair. They treat us like stupid ones.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Noedelhap on July 20, 2018, 06:01
I sent them an email (directed to their CEO) and at least their support desk responded - with the following email:

Quote
We completely understand where you are coming from and I want to help clarify.

The reality is this: we have been proud to offer 100% commission since the launch of the Marketplace, and we made major investments in its success, but we need a more sustainable way to manage the operating costs going forward. After weighing every option available, we have determined the only way to maintain long-term health and success of the Marketplace is an even share in commission.

We get that this isn’t ideal, and it’s not what we’d hoped for either. That’s why we want to show our continued commitment to our contributor community by making impactful changes. Our plan is to increase the promotion of Marketplace content to those customers who are purchasers. This will lead to more sales for you.

We will also continue to educate all new and existing customers about the benefits of the Marketplace as part of their subscription. We definitely want to support you moving forward. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!
If there is anything I can do to assist, please let me know.

Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 20, 2018, 06:34
I signed the petition.
I think that they cannot tell us that they'll pay us a 100%  commission to convince us to upload and then after they have enough clips to go to the market  they change the agreements,
it's not fair. They treat us like stupid ones.
Its called a bait and switch
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: jonbull on July 20, 2018, 06:57
the problem is those who shoot video thought they were on a safer side compared to photos shooters. it's not like this. video market is already after a very short time over saturated, and demand is still more limited than photos. soon video will be paid like photos. all the industry is on a race to the bottom, better said they are digging under the bottom. there is nothing we can do apart hoping to earn something from best content. the future will be even worst...new generation rugged from instagram will see micro and photography as the only means to live a workless life. so they will join the industry. that means much more content and much less demand. only quality and uniqueness win at this point.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: SuperPhoto on July 20, 2018, 07:39
They didn't read the message then. I got a virtually identical response.

I sent them an email (directed to their CEO) and at least their support desk responded - with the following email:

Quote
We completely understand where you are coming from and I want to help clarify.

The reality is this: we have been proud to offer 100% commission since the launch of the Marketplace, and we made major investments in its success, but we need a more sustainable way to manage the operating costs going forward. After weighing every option available, we have determined the only way to maintain long-term health and success of the Marketplace is an even share in commission.

We get that this isn’t ideal, and it’s not what we’d hoped for either. That’s why we want to show our continued commitment to our contributor community by making impactful changes. Our plan is to increase the promotion of Marketplace content to those customers who are purchasers. This will lead to more sales for you.

We will also continue to educate all new and existing customers about the benefits of the Marketplace as part of their subscription. We definitely want to support you moving forward. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!
If there is anything I can do to assist, please let me know.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: SuperPhoto on July 20, 2018, 07:41
pps, what is the direct CEO e-mail?

I wrote to support as well - and not only did they not really read the message - it appears I received the *exact* same carbon copy message
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on July 20, 2018, 08:00
pps, what is the direct CEO e-mail?

I wrote to support as well - and not only did they not really read the message - it appears I received the *exact* same carbon copy message

We think TJ's email is tj@videoblocks.com.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on July 20, 2018, 08:19
I dont contribute to VB so I must be missing something here. 100% commission? How do they make money?

Unless they charge a membership fee, get advertising revenue, or make money somewhere else, this had to have been a temporary deal to grow their collection.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on July 20, 2018, 08:25
Did anyone make petition when:
- istock/getty started dumping prices on images and videos?
- when shutterstock invented $1.5 prices for stock clips?
- when Pond5 started offering membership?
- when Revostock closed down site and steal our money?
- when Dissolve threaten contributors with lower prices?
- etc...

why so much interest in dumping agency such as VB? Which lowered our value of footage from the beginning. You shouldn't even UPLOAD to such agencies.

You're highlighting the problem: stock agencies make moves that affect us negatively and we have no strong response. It doesn't have to be a petition, it can be a mass portfolio deletion, etc. - the point is that as the suppliers in the industry we have a right and duty to have some power in the relationship. Up to now we have been too disorganized to harness that power, so our response is scattered and weak. It's still too weak right now even with a petition, but this is a start in the right direction.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: SpaceStockFootage on July 20, 2018, 09:39
I dont contribute to VB so I must be missing something here. 100% commission? How do they make money?

Unless they charge a membership fee, get advertising revenue, or make money somewhere else, this had to have been a temporary deal to grow their collection.

Their core business has been unlimited video downloads from their membership collection. Clips they either created, bought outright or licensed for inclusion. I think it was 2010 they started... and you could get membership for $49 a year. As the content grew the prices grew as well... not it's $199 a year or $39 a month. Then a few years ago they decided to add the marketplace... where subscribers could buy affordable clips if there was nothing available in the membership section. So it was kind of a value add for their subscribers.   
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: trek on July 20, 2018, 09:52
I dont contribute to VB so I must be missing something here. 100% commission? How do they make money?

Unless they charge a membership fee, get advertising revenue, or make money somewhere else, this had to have been a temporary deal to grow their collection.

They do charge buyers a membership fee... 
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: increasingdifficulty on July 20, 2018, 10:15
They always charged 38% from non-member marketplace sales (they sold for $79, we still got $49, which they called "100%"), and now I'm curious if they will charge 50% of $79, or $54.50 from the $79 (which is almost 69%).

They never made it clear that they charged the 38% before, so I assume they haven't clarified what will happen with non-member marketplace sales after August 1st. Anyone know?
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Mantis on July 20, 2018, 17:17
I sent them an email (directed to their CEO) and at least their support desk responded - with the following email:

Quote
We completely understand where you are coming from and I want to help clarify.

The reality is this: we have been proud to offer 100% commission since the launch of the Marketplace, and we made major investments in its success, but we need a more sustainable way to manage the operating costs going forward. After weighing every option available, we have determined the only way to maintain long-term health and success of the Marketplace is an even share in commission.

We get that this isn’t ideal, and it’s not what we’d hoped for either. That’s why we want to show our continued commitment to our contributor community by making impactful changes. Our plan is to increase the promotion of Marketplace content to those customers who are purchasers. This will lead to more sales for you.

We will also continue to educate all new and existing customers about the benefits of the Marketplace as part of their subscription. We definitely want to support you moving forward. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!
If there is anything I can do to assist, please let me know.

Heres what they said about my email:

Thanks for reaching out! We completely understand where you are coming from.

Although we really hoped we could continue to offer 100%, we’re looking to partner in a model for long-term success. We’re constantly researching ways to grow contributor earnings. So although we don’t have an immediate plan to change prices, we don’t want to rule out pricing tests. We do acknowledge pricing as a concern from contributors.

We need to move forward by building a Marketplace that is sustainable, growing, and aligned with both our contributor’s needs and the realities of running a business. Our goal is to meet and exceed your historical earnings as quickly as possible through several new initiatives aimed at driving sales and improving our contributor experience. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks!

If there is anything I can do to assist, please let me know.

Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Microstockphoto on July 20, 2018, 18:15
waffle
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 20, 2018, 23:39
I suggest we stick to the no new uploads till we get a clarification or policy change rule. To all the eager beavers, you can always do a mass upload later if things work out well.

Lets reach out to more of the company management. Lets try tweeting to them, or instagram, facebook whatever it takes. Drop a polite message, add a link to the petition. Lets ask for a decent response atleast.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180721/5f5920777662ff3822d517679f2e7418.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180721/899e8560b05d726d562a7fa24efea7c1.jpg)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180721/318210985cc38acefec03ef1c8f7a9cc.jpg)
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on July 21, 2018, 10:15
Yes, definitely. Thank for posting that contact info. The more they hear from us, the better it is for us.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: SpaceStockFootage on July 22, 2018, 00:23
The more they hear from us, the better it is for us.

How so?
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 22, 2018, 09:10
The more they hear from us, the better it is for us.

How so?
Better than them doing a paycut and hearing not even a whimper of protest.

It makes little sense for us to support a bait and switch approach which underprices our work
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: namussi on July 22, 2018, 21:51
the problem is those who shoot video thought they were on a safer side compared to photos shooters. it's not like this. video market is already after a very short time over saturated, and demand is still more limited than photos. soon video will be paid like photos. all the industry is on a race to the bottom, better said they are digging under the bottom. there is nothing we can do apart hoping to earn something from best content. the future will be even worst...new generation rugged from instagram will see micro and photography as the only means to live a workless life. so they will join the industry. that means much more content and much less demand. only quality and uniqueness win at this point.

How bad must it get before you give up?
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 23, 2018, 22:03
the problem is those who shoot video thought they were on a safer side compared to photos shooters. it's not like this. video market is already after a very short time over saturated, and demand is still more limited than photos. soon video will be paid like photos. all the industry is on a race to the bottom, better said they are digging under the bottom. there is nothing we can do apart hoping to earn something from best content. the future will be even worst...new generation rugged from instagram will see micro and photography as the only means to live a workless life. so they will join the industry. that means much more content and much less demand. only quality and uniqueness win at this point.

How bad must it get before you give up?
I'm sure there are a bunch of folks who are stuck in this loop that says that the harder i work the better I'll do. Regardless of what happens in the world. Its bad, but it's still extra money on the table, no good way to compare the time spent on this vs other activities.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: thepokergod on July 23, 2018, 22:29
I'm pretty surprised by all the outrage, you must be pretty naive to think 100% royalties was a sustainable, long term prognosis. If it's too good to be true, it almost always is.

I originally uploaded my crappiest 1500 B-roll clips to VB knowing that it probably wasn't the smartest thing to do given the low prices but at least try and get a bit of short term extra income from my lower quality clips. That plan worked pretty well before sales dried up completely.

Now with this royalty cut I'm asking myself, do I want an agency which sells footage for $49 a clip and offers 50% to become the market leader (and subsequently drag  other agencies down to that level?) The answer is of course no, so I've pulled my entire portfolio and emailed them notifying them. If they raise prices or even enable artist pricing control (oh lord I wish there were more agencies who would do this) then I'll happily start uploading again.

For the record I make a solid living doing this and the bulk of my portfolio never sees the light of day on SS, VB etc
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 25, 2018, 04:30
I'm pretty surprised by all the outrage, you must be pretty naive to think 100% royalties was a sustainable, long term prognosis. If it's too good to be true, it almost always is.

I originally uploaded my crappiest 1500 B-roll clips to VB knowing that it probably wasn't the smartest thing to do given the low prices but at least try and get a bit of short term extra income from my lower quality clips. That plan worked pretty well before sales dried up completely.

Now with this royalty cut I'm asking myself, do I want an agency which sells footage for $49 a clip and offers 50% to become the market leader (and subsequently drag  other agencies down to that level?) The answer is of course no, so I've pulled my entire portfolio and emailed them notifying them. If they raise prices or even enable artist pricing control (oh lord I wish there were more agencies who would do this) then I'll happily start uploading again.

For the record I make a solid living doing this and the bulk of my portfolio never sees the light of day on SS, VB etc
That essentially means that you are heavily dependent on Pond 5. Imagine what would happen if did some thing like this. That's what smaller contributors like me are feeling
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: lucagavagna on July 25, 2018, 04:45
Well spoken, Noedelhap.

Plainly most people get it. If everyone who reads this thread sends an email or signs the petition and gets friends/peers to sign, then that is a significant number of people pledging to stop uploading or even delete their portfolio. Whether or not Videoblocks actually changes their policy, the point is they'll be made aware that cutting commissions means they will lose contributors, content and their good name. NOT responding to a massive, insulting commission cut sends the message to ALL stock companies that they can cut commissions as much as they want and we won't say a word (which is the more accurate definition of a sissy). By action or inaction, we inevitably MUST send one of those two messages. Seems a simple choice.

The petition link again: https://www.change.org/p/tj-leonard-videoblocks-don-t-cut-people-s-pay-in-half (https://www.change.org/p/tj-leonard-videoblocks-don-t-cut-people-s-pay-in-half)

We are only 91 contributors who signed the petition.
I think that all of us should give the signal that we don't agree with the decision SB communicated us.
Signing the petition is costless, if we are many contributors signing, SB will take the disturb to read about our disappointment.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: SpaceStockFootage on July 25, 2018, 05:04
Signing the petition is costless, if we are many contributors signing, SB will take the disturb to read about our disappointment.

True, but it's unlikely to make any difference to anything. I think it's highly unlikely they're sat at StoryBlocks HQ going "Strange, people don't like this change... we predicted that everybody would love it!". They will have expected this to be an unpopular decision. In fact, they're more likely to be sat there saying "Only 91 people have signed a petition regarding this?! That's fantastic, we thought the change would be a lot less popular! We should have gone for 60% to us instead!"
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on July 25, 2018, 09:28
Signing the petition is costless, if we are many contributors signing, SB will take the disturb to read about our disappointment.

True, but it's unlikely to make any difference to anything. I think it's highly unlikely they're sat at StoryBlocks HQ going "Strange, people don't like this change... we predicted that everybody would love it!". They will have expected this to be an unpopular decision. In fact, they're more likely to be sat there saying "Only 91 people have signed a petition regarding this?! That's fantastic, we thought the change would be a lot less popular! We should have gone for 60% to us instead!"

They're even more likely to say, "Look at the sheep contributors we have like SpaceStockFootage who never speak up against us and troll anyone who does. Let's take 75%." In the same paragraph you speak against the petition yet point out that not enough people are speaking up. People have signed the petition, people have deleted their portfolios, people have sent emails to TJ and the support staff telling them why their pay cut is a terrible idea. Is it a tidal wave of action? No, but it is something and it does show them they're losing contributors. What do you do to try to make the situation better? Nothing, you actively make it worse. Never seen anyone try so hard to convince himself and everyone else that no one has any power so we should all shut up. That's pathetic.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: DavidK on July 25, 2018, 10:31
I don't contribute to SB but if I did I would certainly sign your petition. I applaud your initiative, and even if it has no effect it certainly can't hurt. Apathy, pessimism, self defeatism and inaction accomplish nothing.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 25, 2018, 10:58
I suggest that we create a good amount of ruckus on this. Friends, family, models etc should be a part of this. My earning less affects them too. Plus it messes up the entire MS pricing, even if you are not on SB you still get hurt if you don't put up a fight now. Lets do our share and drop in mails, send chat messages on insta, drop tweets faster than they can delete them. Lets put up a fight
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on July 25, 2018, 11:07
Agree 100%. Also, the petition is not just for SB contributors - signing it also says you won't purchase stock from them either. In my edit jobs I sometimes have to purchase. Or people can just sign as a show of support, and please share with peers.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: DavidK on July 25, 2018, 11:20
Just signed it.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 25, 2018, 21:19
https://www.change.org/p/tj-leonard-videoblocks-don-t-cut-people-s-pay-in-half

Incase you want to share with friends/family

Remember to drop a mail, instagram note, tweet to them as well.

Points
- no new uploads till we get a price increase/custom pricing/commission increase
- don't download from SB, Head to P5 or others
- tell us what you'll be doing to push up sales

Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: lucagavagna on July 26, 2018, 02:23
https://www.change.org/p/tj-leonard-videoblocks-don-t-cut-people-s-pay-in-half (https://www.change.org/p/tj-leonard-videoblocks-don-t-cut-people-s-pay-in-half)

Incase you want to share with friends/family

Remember to drop a mail, instagram note, tweet to them as well.

Points
- no new uploads till we get a price increase/custom pricing/commission increase
- don't download from SB, Head to P5 or others
- tell us what you'll be doing to push up sales

Now we are 99 who signed. We can do a bit better. Come on!
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: SpaceStockFootage on July 26, 2018, 04:27
People have signed the petition, people have deleted their portfolios, people have sent emails to TJ and the support staff telling them why their pay cut is a terrible idea. Is it a tidal wave of action? No, but it is something and it does show them they're losing contributors.

It's not something... it's nothing. What have I done to help fix this issue? Nothing... because nothing can be done. How many instances can you remember when a stock agency made a change that wasn't popular and then they reversed that decision? I'm sure there will be one or two examples out there, but I can bet that they didn't reverse the decision due to concern for contributor satisfaction... it will have been because it had a negative effect on the bottom line. 

And I'm pretty sure stopping uploading or deleting portfolios will have considerably less effect than you seem to think it will. How many will delete their portfolios? Based on the petition numbers it might be 1%. Even if it's 10% or 50% it just means that somebody has 50 to 90 clips to choose from in their search rather than 100. Unless your clips are really unique and in demand, it's unlikely to affect Storyblocks one bit. In fact, if 50% of people leave then (all things being equal) it's 100% more likely a buyer will buy my content over somebody elses... so that cancels out the 50% cut in commission. Happy days! So yes, everybody removing their portfolios is the best course of action and I strongly advise it.

If you feel like you need to do something about this to feel like you're doing your bit, or making a difference, then fair enough. I'm not doing anything as I'm sure there's nothing that can be done. I read the email and sure it was news I'd rather not hear, but I basically thought... "S**t, that's a bit of a ball-ache. Ah well... life goes on."
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: jjneff on July 26, 2018, 06:26
There are 3 types of people in this world.

1. Those who make things happen
2. Those who let things happen
3. Those who say what the heck just happened!

I am in group #1 so I just ignore the other two groups!
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: SpaceStockFootage on July 26, 2018, 06:42
There are 3 types of people in this world.

1. Those who make things happen
2. Those who let things happen
3. Those who say what the heck just happened!

I am in group #1 so I just ignore the other two groups!

Well, unless our commission rate increases to over 50% then you're the type of person that wants to make things happen and/or thinks they make things happen and/or thinks they have the ability to make things happen. If the commission rate does increase then I shall agree that you are the kind of person that does actually make things happen... and I shall admit I was wrong and thank you for your efforts.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: stvagna on July 26, 2018, 07:20
Now we are 99 who signed. We can do a bit better. Come on!
+1
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: StanRohrer on July 26, 2018, 07:43
100 have signed.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: jjneff on July 26, 2018, 08:23
LOL, It does not matter what happens I continue to make things happen at many places, it is a mindset. Keep in mind 8 years ago I was told I could never make a living on stock video.....Well here I am 8 years later and doing great so I will continue to make things happen no matter what!   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwoU327B927MD49NNf16gxw?view_as=subscriber (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwoU327B927MD49NNf16gxw?view_as=subscriber)
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on July 26, 2018, 10:21
Let's not be short-sighted. Stronger sales at VideoBlocks is not a good thing, because that means sales taken away from sites that charge higher prices and/or pay us more in commissions. It means an overall devaluation in the market. This pushback against SB is not only about a massive commission cut, it is equally or even more about a race to the bottom in stock footage like we saw happen in stock photography. Anyone who cares about continually getting paid less and less for their stock footage work should be concerned about what SB is doing.

Secondly, it's incorrect to view our response in terms of meeting or not meeting a certain goal. It would be great if losing contributors and trust made SB decide that a smaller commission cut is a better idea long term, but even if they don't, it's still important for us to make their choice as costly and damaging for them as possible. The next time they - and any other stock company - considers such a move (and they will), they will absolutely think back to what the costs were for them the last time. What was the response? How many contributors were lost? How much content deleted from portfolios? What was the quality of content lost and were the new contributors as good? What was the damage to our reputation among contributors and how did that affect business? These are questions about "how much." Which means every email counts, every petition signer counts, every deleted portfolio counts.

Some people here are stuck in a mentality of "You won't get them to change their mind on this decision, so it's pointless to say anything." If that's your perspective, it's easy to see why you'd feel defeated. However, it's a flat-out incorrect perspective because this is not an "all or nothing" scenario, it's a matter or "how much." SB has acted against your best interest, and there is no escaping that you have a binary choice in how to respond. Silence is an invitation for them and their competitors to take more of your money in the future. Any action you take against them is a small dollar amount in their loss column and notice that future actions will bring more losses.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Video-StockOrg on July 26, 2018, 10:40
Let's not be short-sighted. Stronger sales at VideoBlocks is not a good thing, because that means sales taken away from sites that charge higher prices and/or pay us more in commissions. It means an overall devaluation in the market. This pushback against SB is not only about a massive commission cut, it is equally or even more about a race to the bottom in stock footage like we saw happen in stock photography. Anyone who cares about continually getting paid less and less for their stock footage work should be concerned about what SB is doing.


This is a matter I'm trying to kick in many heads on this forum, but no one understands what I'm saying. Many newbies that never worked in the real video production industry, where low budget productions lowers the industry standard. The same is happening to stock industry... it is just a matter of time (well, not exactly, $1.5 sales for video clip already kicking in)
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 26, 2018, 10:45
One more thing, they've started asking for feedback, I've been filling it at 0 and pasting the same details as the mails, insta messages, etc. Feel free to do the same

(http://)
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: flywing on July 26, 2018, 12:14
This is a matter I'm trying to kick in many heads on this forum, but no one understands what I'm saying. Many newbies that never worked in the real video production industry, where low budget productions lowers the industry standard. The same is happening to stock industry... it is just a matter of time (well, not exactly, $1.5 sales for video clip already kicking in)

Disagreed. In this case, it's the result of competition among agencies.

Too many contributors = dropping sales

Too many agencies = dropping price
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 27, 2018, 02:13
We'll have to build some barrier for these kind of changes. It hurts the agency in the long term as well and absolutely kills our ability to make money. For them I'm assuming that a short term spike in sales for which the contributor pays is seen as a bigger benefit than a long term sustainable business.

Keep dropping the mails, tweets, insta posts (they've gotten some of mine delinked, can't see them). Lets point them to the petition and to this thread.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: SpaceStockFootage on July 27, 2018, 03:56
For them I'm assuming that a short term spike in sales for which the contributor pays is seen as a bigger benefit than a long term sustainable business.

Would you class an agency that takes 0% from sales... a long term sustainable business?
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: increasingdifficulty on July 27, 2018, 04:16
If some people put half as much effort into creating new content as creating fake forum profiles and spamming companies, they might actually see a difference in sales.  :)

And all of a sudden $49 is a terrible price that will steal business from every other agency, when it's been at that level for years.

It seems like everyone agrees that VB sales have tanked this year (I do, too), so I very much welcome a big marketing effort toward marketplace clips.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Video-StockOrg on July 27, 2018, 05:01
For them I'm assuming that a short term spike in sales for which the contributor pays is seen as a bigger benefit than a long term sustainable business.

Would you class an agency that takes 0% from sales... a long term sustainable business?

No.
Why? Do you buy every product you own directly from the factory at production price? No you don't, because there will be always added price margin of merchants. It could be 80% that the merchant will earn, or it can be only 30%. But always there will be some margin to the production price. Because the merchant has also many expenses to market the product and give a salary to people working around the product. What VB/SB did was amateurishly skip that "margin". And naive people believe that this will work in the long term business. And even now support it... dumbest idea ever.
Simple argument what I'm talking about: How many things did you buy from Aliexpress or any relative Chinese websites? Why? You know that your local shop is selling the same things at few times bigger price? You are actually killing his business when buying from the (almost-production-price) Chinese dealers. I've seen many tech shops died because of lower priced internet shops. And interestingly, I'm noticing even the Chinese dealers now rising the prices up because more people are buying from them. Why wouldn't they, it is a shorter chain with less added margins which will slowly kill all other business on their field.

And same will (is already) happen to stock industry. Many are just to blind and short-term-minded that won't admit it. And I might screenshot what I just stated, so I can poke people in the future when everything goes to hell.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: SpaceStockFootage on July 27, 2018, 05:56
It sounds like you're agreeing with what I'm saying... but also not, if that's possible? But on this point...

Simple argument what I'm talking about: How many things did you buy from Aliexpress or any relative Chinese websites? Why? You know that your local shop is selling the same things at few times bigger price? You are actually killing his business when buying from the (almost-production-price) Chinese dealers. I've seen many tech shops died because of lower priced internet shops.

Absolutely! And you're killing the Chinese dealers business if everyone buys from the local shop. Let the best shop win I say! 
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Video-StockOrg on July 27, 2018, 06:00


Simple argument what I'm talking about: How many things did you buy from Aliexpress or any relative Chinese websites? Why? You know that your local shop is selling the same things at few times bigger price? You are actually killing his business when buying from the (almost-production-price) Chinese dealers. I've seen many tech shops died because of lower priced internet shops.

Absolutely! And you're killing the Chinese dealers business if everyone buys from the local shop. Let the best shop win I say!

This made me laugh.  ;D
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on July 28, 2018, 12:07


Simple argument what I'm talking about: How many things did you buy from Aliexpress or any relative Chinese websites? Why? You know that your local shop is selling the same things at few times bigger price? You are actually killing his business when buying from the (almost-production-price) Chinese dealers. I've seen many tech shops died because of lower priced internet shops.

Absolutely! And you're killing the Chinese dealers business if everyone buys from the local shop. Let the best shop win I say!

This made me laugh.  ;D
Our entire plight makes me laugh.

Lets hope we can do something about it
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on August 09, 2018, 10:17
And we have a new curve ball to this, just got this mail



In the weeks since announcing our new commission structure, we’ve had the opportunity to speak with a number of contributors in the community. You have given us valuable feedback about how we can serve you better, and we have been working hard to put your ideas into action. 

In particular, many of you have expressed concern with our member price for HD footage remaining at $49 with a 50% commission structure in place. We understand how important pricing is—not only to your earnings with Storyblocks—but to your overall participation in the stock media market. We have decided to address your concerns and will be raising the price of HD footage. 

By October 15, 2018, we will raise the publicized price of HD footage to $79. This is the price that guests will pay to purchase an HD clip. Members will also be charged $79 per clip, but they will receive a 10% instant rebate at the end of their checkout, the cost of which we will share 50/50 between us and you. In other words, when we sell an HD clip to a Storyblocks member, you will earn $35.55 per asset. For sales to guests, you will earn $39.50 per asset. This also means Storyblocks will no longer collect a “guest fee” from nonmember purchases. These changes will be reflected in your contributor agreement as well. The new 50% commission share will begin as planned on August 15. 

We will never stop working to create a sustainable, thriving community for you, our contributors. Our relationship with you is what sets Storyblocks apart, and we do not take that for granted. As always, please reach out to contributor@storyblocks.com with any questions you have. 
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on August 09, 2018, 10:20
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ENOUGH PEOPLE SPEAK UP! This is why we email with complaints, delete portfolios, refuse to upload, and yes, write petitions! Their prices are now comparable to Shutterstock and they're paying a higher commission. So the next time some pathetic loser tells you that you have no power and can't influence your industry, remember this event.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: jjneff on August 09, 2018, 10:22
To all the nay sayers who said it won't matter, please send me your extra commissions! I spent a good amount of time on the phone with VB! I
accept PayPal :-)
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on August 09, 2018, 22:47
Well lets just hope they put their money where their mouth is and spend well on marketing to get new buyers in. Hope a pricing system is also in the works

Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: SpaceStockFootage on August 09, 2018, 23:21
Well lets just hope they put their money where their mouth is and spend well on marketing to get new buyers in. Hope a pricing system is also in the works

There is a pricing system in place. You upload your stuff and there's a system that prices your items at the current rates they've set for HD and 4K. Unless you're referring to a pricing system that's different than the current one... in which case, you're usually best to explain the type of pricing system you want.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on August 10, 2018, 06:42
Well lets just hope they put their money where their mouth is and spend well on marketing to get new buyers in. Hope a pricing system is also in the works

There is a pricing system in place. You upload your stuff and there's a system that prices your items at the current rates they've set for HD and 4K. Unless you're referring to a pricing system that's different than the current one... in which case, you're usually best to explain the type of pricing system you want.
So much sarcasm. One where the contributor defines the prices.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: dragonblade on August 16, 2018, 04:09
Their prices are now comparable to Shutterstock and they're paying a higher commission.

Comparable to Shutterstock? I'd say a heck of a lot better than SS. On average, my HD sales at SS have been around $17 - $22. And these days, people are getting a lot of $1.50 sales for HD and 4k clips through SS. I think VB blows SS out of the water when it comes to stock footage earnings.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: KevinM on August 16, 2018, 10:42
Their prices are now comparable to Shutterstock and they're paying a higher commission.

Comparable to Shutterstock? I'd say a heck of a lot better than SS. On average, my HD sales at SS have been around $17 - $22. And these days, people are getting a lot of $1.50 sales for HD and 4k clips through SS. I think VB blows SS out of the water when it comes to stock footage earnings.

The sales price is comparable to Shutterstock ($79). And then VB pays a higher commission, so yes, it's a better deal for us than SS.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Video-StockOrg on August 17, 2018, 23:54
ammmmm


(https://image.ibb.co/cPX0dK/vb_bullshit.png)

Did they lie?  ???
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on August 18, 2018, 01:07
ammmmm


(https://image.ibb.co/cPX0dK/vb_bullshit.png)

Did they lie?  ???
Might be one of those 'member sales' but seems we'll have to be in the lookout
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: rod-09 on August 18, 2018, 03:59
Yes, I think they lied...
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: increasingdifficulty on August 18, 2018, 04:36
Yes, I think they lied...

Or, like so many others in 90% of any other "lie, cheat, or manipulation" situation, you just didn't read beyond the first sentence.  ;)
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: rod-09 on August 18, 2018, 04:48
You are right my friend.  ;)
 
I just read more carefully the same email they sent and found out this;

"By October 15, 2018, we will raise the publicized price of HD footage to $79. This is the price that guests will pay to purchase an HD clip. "

I guess until 15 october price will remain at 49$...  >:( >:( >:(
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: Noedelhap on August 18, 2018, 04:58
I hope I won't get any sales until October (never thought I'd say something like this).
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on August 18, 2018, 10:07
So they are banking that the price drop till oct will get them more sales. Amazing that they are not putting their 50% of the marketing share to drive traffic and just doing a price war
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: increasingdifficulty on August 18, 2018, 10:20
So they are banking that the price drop till oct will get them more sales. Amazing that they are not putting their 50% of the marketing share to drive traffic and just doing a price war

Yes, a full-on price war, total mayhem, for two months with a price they've had for three years...  :o
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: SpaceStockFootage on August 18, 2018, 11:05
So they are banking that the price drop till oct will get them more sales. Amazing that they are not putting their 50% of the marketing share to drive traffic and just doing a price war

Yes, a full-on price war, total mayhem, for two months with a price they've had for three years...  :o

And although they could probably pull their fingers out if they wanted to... things like this usually take time. I mean they'll have been planning the commission cut for a few months to implement now, it would make sense that if they've only just decided on it, it'll take a bit of time. Maybe not that much time... but still.
Title: Re: Commission cut
Post by: izzikiorage on August 18, 2018, 11:35
So they are banking that the price drop till oct will get them more sales. Amazing that they are not putting their 50% of the marketing share to drive traffic and just doing a price war

Yes, a full-on price war, total mayhem, for two months with a price they've had for three years...  :o

And although they could probably pull their fingers out if they wanted to... things like this usually take time. I mean they'll have been planning the commission cut for a few months to implement now, it would make sense that if they've only just decided on it, it'll take a bit of time. Maybe not that much time... but still.
So marketing spends + a price advantage. SB is going to rock the holiday buying season