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Author Topic: Videoblocks (StoryBlocks) wants to buy some of my footage!  (Read 6234 times)

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« on: January 15, 2018, 17:37 »
0
Hello everyone!
I just recived this message from storyblocks:

I'm the Acquisition Manager for the VideoBlocks Member Library. I just came across your portfolio-- I really love your work!

We're interested in buying some footage from you on a non-exclusive license to expose more of our users to your content. For the Member Library, we typically buy in bulk for an up front cost. Since it is non-exclusive, you can of course continue selling that same content on other sites, however, we would move the selected files from your VideoBlocks Marketplace portfolio.

We can make the initial selection and then you can have the final approval, that way you can let us know if there are files you would prefer not to sell.

Let me know if you are interested. We can offer you $2,500 for 100 files.

Thanks,

I think the price is very low because I will lose the opportunity to sell them in videoblocks, but I want to know what do you think?!!
thank you in advance for your opinion


« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2018, 17:40 »
0
Well, I would take a look at what your current average is over there and calculate how much 100 files would bring in over 3 years or so.

If it's more than $2,500, don't put them in the membership section. If it's less, do put them there.

StockbyNumbers

  • www.StockbyNumbers.com
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2018, 18:35 »
+2
Thanks for sharing this Mograph. I've always been curious how Videoblocks goes about acquiring their footage.

Seems like a tricky sell at that price. I wonder what kind of effect selling it to them might have on the footage's sales on your other sites?

As a video editor I'll check each site for the same clips. Considering that they have anywhere between 130K and 300K subscribers, I bet many of them do as well.* So you might lose out on sales at the other sites.

The biggest thing I would be curious about is whether they have license to the clips in perpetuity or if the contract is time bound, (one year?). Maybe that is something you could suggest? If they have license forever, I would think $2,500 for 100 clips would be very, very low. I made roughly $6500 last year from 300 clips across 3 agencies. So over several years, 100 clips value should far exceed $2,500.

Seems like such an informal offer as well, maybe they're open to negotiating? Given that the downloads for their marketplace footage can run into the thousands, seems like they might be willing to offer more.

I guess the last thing to consider might be whether this could lead to a longer relationship. Getting $25 / clip guaranteed might be worth it if they eventually bought 2000 or more of your clips...

--

*An article from October about their founder mentions that they bring in $26 million in subscriptions, which would mean they have roughly 130,000 subscribers if they were all paying the $200 plan.

« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2018, 19:07 »
+1
I agree.

Chances are - they want to buy your clips that are selling - not the ones that aren't - you could ask them.

If they want to buy the ones they are - now you will have $0 income from videoblocks with those specific clips. Look at how well you did the previous year. If you made $2500 or more in the last year with those clips - don't sell - because it is too low. If you need the money now though - maybe you should.

So it depends.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2018, 19:10 »
+1
I had the same, but they took 50 clips. The key for me was you can choose which clips you don't want included. If they chose my 50 best clips, then on a good month, I'll be in the red for a few months and then I'll lose out. As I nominated my ten best selling clips not to be included... it'll be a couple of years before I'm losing out... so that made it a much better option.

StockbyNumbers

  • www.StockbyNumbers.com
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2018, 19:25 »
0
Thanks @SpaceStockFootage - did you happen to notice any difference in sales from those clips on other agencies? or those related?

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2018, 19:38 »
0
Not really. They're low selling on the other marketplaces as well. My best selling clips might sell three times in a month on more than one agency. Anything outside my top ten might sell once over three months... so hard to notice much of a difference at the moment, as it was only November I sold them.

StockbyNumbers

  • www.StockbyNumbers.com
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2018, 11:16 »
+1
Sounds like a great approach then. Thanks again for sharing.


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SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2018, 12:45 »
+2
The only thing that really put my off, was that they'll own them forever. Well, they don't own them... you still own the rights to them and are welcome to sell them elsewhere... but I was imagining the unlikely scenario of somebody offering my millions of dollars for exclusive rights to my entire portfolio. I wouldn't be able to include those as there would be a limitation on where they could upload... i.e. not VideoBlocks. An unlikely situation, but still... you never know what might happen in one, two, five, ten years. That was my main concern. Other than that, with the ability to exclude your best selling clips, I couldn't really see any down sides.

StockbyNumbers

  • www.StockbyNumbers.com
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2018, 12:57 »
+2
That would make me anxious as well. In my experience its very rare to give a license to a creative work for re-sale in perpetuity.

Seems like this could become the norm though at some point if they are getting footage at these prices.

Let us know if your portfolio is picked up for millions too ;)


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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2018, 15:17 »
0
@spacestock  - what kind of pricing did they offer you? Was it the same $25? Higher/lower? I imagine they offer different prices based on the type of clip it is?

« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2018, 21:38 »
+2
It might affect your best-selling clips too. VB appear to push their owned content to the top of searches , so if your best-selling content has similar in their content, yours might get pushed down in searches. DISCLAIMER: This is based on my personal observation and may or may not be true)

« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2018, 12:11 »
+6
I'm not doing it, got the same email. Pretty soon their own library is filled and nobody will buy our regular clips anymore..

« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2018, 13:13 »
0
What do they do with that library? Resell videos? That needs a different license right?

« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2018, 16:15 »
+3
I'm not doing it, got the same email. Pretty soon their own library is filled and nobody will buy our regular clips anymore..

Good point. I was just thinking the same thing... It's good for them long term though. They have the sales data to know which clips sell, and which ones don't.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2018, 19:10 »
+1
What do they do with that library? Resell videos? That needs a different license right?

Yes. The different license that they are offering in the email they send.

« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2018, 22:33 »
+2
What do they do with that library? Resell videos? That needs a different license right?

Yes. The different license that they are offering in the email they send.

That seems rather low then, 2500$ for 100 clips, that's 25$ a clip, that's regular license price isn't it?

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2018, 01:20 »
0
What do they do with that library? Resell videos? That needs a different license right?

Yes. The different license that they are offering in the email they send.

That seems rather low then, 2500$ for 100 clips, that's 25$ a clip, that's regular license price isn't it?

Well it depends. If you're giving them your top selling clips and they make you an average of $25 a month or something, then yes, it's very low and it would be pointless to do so. But if you're giving them your bottom selling clips and they make you an average of $1 a month or something... then it starts to look a lot more appealing. So how lucrative it is depends on the individuals sales figures and what they give away.   

« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2018, 07:02 »
0
What do they do with that library? Resell videos? That needs a different license right?

Yes. The different license that they are offering in the email they send.

That seems rather low then, 2500$ for 100 clips, that's 25$ a clip, that's regular license price isn't it?

Well it depends. If you're giving them your top selling clips and they make you an average of $25 a month or something, then yes, it's very low and it would be pointless to do so. But if you're giving them your bottom selling clips and they make you an average of $1 a month or something... then it starts to look a lot more appealing. So how lucrative it is depends on the individuals sales figures and what they give away.

I understand, if they are not selling they are worth next to nothing, so better one regular price that predictably nothing or almost nothing. Thanks for clarification.

« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2018, 18:20 »
+1
I sent to them that the price seems very low to me and I would not take the offer, and they replayed me:

" Definitely understandable. We're happy to work with you to make sure we're not taking your top sellers or anything like that. Did you have another price in mind for 100 files? "


« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2018, 19:45 »
0
Sounds like they are open for price negotiation.

StockbyNumbers

  • www.StockbyNumbers.com
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2018, 20:10 »
+2
I sent to them that the price seems very low to me and I would not take the offer, and they replayed me:

" Definitely understandable. We're happy to work with you to make sure we're not taking your top sellers or anything like that. Did you have another price in mind for 100 files? "

Thanks for sharing this. Really fascinating and what I was most curious about.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but a recent article in bizjournals.com mentioned they had over $30 million in revenue last year and their recent marketing materials make it sound like they have around 115,000 clips in their membership library. If these numbers are correct they are grossing around $260 per clip per year. Even if 90% of their gross either comes from other sources besides their footage library, or is spent on overhead marketing etc, they would still be making net $26 per clip per year. 10% net seems low though, so they are probably making more.

If this is the case it seams like their asking price is very very low considering they would pay it off in less than a year.

Not sure if this math stacks up, but at least having some information is better than going into negotiations blind.


Thanks again for sharing and, anyone, please let me know if I'm missing something or am way off somehow...

« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2018, 03:23 »
0
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but a recent article in bizjournals.com mentioned they had over $30 million in revenue last year and their recent marketing materials make it sound like they have around 115,000 clips in their membership library. If these numbers are correct they are grossing around $260 per clip per year. Even if 90% of their gross either comes from other sources besides their footage library, or is spent on overhead marketing etc, they would still be making net $26 per clip per year. 10% net seems low though, so they are probably making more.

Interesting article. But 95 + 25 employees + 22,000 sq ft office + storage + bandwidth + marketing also costs quite a bit. Hard to say exactly what the profits are of course.


If this is the case it seams like their asking price is very very low considering they would pay it off in less than a year.


Sure, but the goal of a business is after all to make as much money as possible. Not break even.



Not sure if this math stacks up, but at least having some information is better than going into negotiations blind.


Absolutely, they seem to have left room for negotiation. Try $50 per clip and see what they say.



Thanks again for sharing and, anyone, please let me know if I'm missing something or am way off somehow...


They also make money from marketplace clips from non-members. $30 per clip sold (buyers pay $79, you still get $49). It says that the $30 million is subscription revenue so I guess we can assume their total revenue is even bigger, if you add in the marketplace sales.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 03:28 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2018, 03:53 »
+1
You should value them at more than 1 years earnings. 3-4 years ??
Other way is to work out how much time you spent on them and assign a hourly rate.


StockbyNumbers

  • www.StockbyNumbers.com
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2018, 20:51 »
0
I agree with all of the above @increasingdifficulty and @qwerty.

Since our mutual goal is doing more than break even, maybe they would be receptive to agreeing to a more sustainable price for contributors work.

Not that I'm in this situation, but if I were, I might be tempted to ask for more than $50 (maybe $100 / clip) and just be honest with them about trying to figure out a price that works for both parties. Another option would be to pitch them on a larger number of clips, if they bought 300 at once at $50 it might be worth it, considering that is a lot of money in hand that you could re-invest vs. speculative earnings down the road.

They might also be open about explaining their reasoning behind their offer too, if you ask. You never know...

Did not know about the marketplace clip commission from non-member sales, thanks for mentioning it.

« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2018, 18:08 »
+1
I also got the email and passed, they wanted my most recent clips which were costly to produce. They wanted 100 clips for about $30 a clip.   That doesn't even get me to break even on the time and cost of making just 40 of them.  Had to rent an expensive camera, lights, and more costs. 

Another big site came to me with a similar offer about 2 years ago for 300 clips for 20k USD.  They also wanted my best selling, did the math and between taxes owed for the contract payment, it came about $50 per clip for perpetuity.  I also passed and now after two years those same clips have generated over 30k in 2 years and they are still my property.

I am not saying it will not be a big deal for some video factories that create thousands a year but for me, as a lone producer, it can certainly kill any chance of revenue hikes long term. 

« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2018, 02:24 »
0
Another big site came to me with a similar offer about 2 years ago for 300 clips for 20k USD.  They also wanted my best selling, did the math and between taxes owed for the contract payment, it came about $50 per clip for perpetuity.  I also passed and now after two years those same clips have generated over 30k in 2 years and they are still my property.

That's great, and it will probably be the case for most.

But it's also important to consider that $20k today, is worth more than $20k tomorrow. Could even be worth more than $40k in two years. Or $200k depending on what you do with it.

It all depends on whether you need money right now, or what investment opportunities you miss out on by not having capital.

« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2018, 17:03 »
0
They offered to me 40$ per clip..i passed...i think that for perpetual use this is too low,considering that i'll lose those sales on vb but most important on all other agencies...

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SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2018, 18:54 »
0
...this is too low,considering that i'll lose those sales on vb but most important on all other agencies...

Unless people are getting emails with differing offers... you're still allowed to sell your content at other agencies. I would have never done it otherwise.

« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2018, 06:09 »
0
Yes i know...but the problem here is that buyers surf through agencies to find what they need at lowest price and if you have those clips for free on vb i'm sure it will erode your sales in other agencies too..this is my experience since we buy footages daily for our office and we buy on multiple sites to find the best deal...

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SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2018, 22:48 »
+1
True, but by that logic, we shouldn't get any sales at SS, iS, Fotolia (and in some insatnce) P5... as VideoBlocks are cheaper. Although I'm sure there are plenty of people like you who shop around, there's probably the same amount of people who have a go-to site that they use all the time. If price is the most important thing for them, they'll probably just shop at VideoHive... or rather than buying your video at the cheapest price they can find, they'll just buy somebody elses video at a cheaper price.

« Reply #31 on: February 01, 2018, 07:24 »
0
Yes,you right..i just did tell our experience,i didn't say all buyers act the same way...like you said there are buyers that buy only on a specific site and buyers that buy on multiple agencies,for that i think we would lose some sales...

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« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2018, 17:58 »
+3
I got a similar offer for a larger number of clips at a somewhat higher price, but also said no. Long term the offer doesn't make sense for the artist. Its a one-off payment that reduces your clips to virtually valueless elsewhere in a contract that you can no longer withdraw from. These clips have made many times their offer at other agencies, and even if its just a single license per clip that's lost, its a worse outcome for artists. At the moment much of their membership library is of poor quality, if that changes, then it presents a threat to our income from other sources.

Videoblocks seems to be struggling for sales recently. Possibly diversifying into photos has come at the expense of marketing video content. I'd suggest that its best to avoid these kinds of offers - video takes much longer for initial sales to come through, but long term sales are very lucrative, unless you cut them off at the outset.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2018, 02:01 »
0
These clips have made many times their offer at other agencies...

And they would continue to do so if you sell the rights to VB.

« Reply #34 on: February 03, 2018, 06:30 »
0
These clips have made many times their offer at other agencies...

And they would continue to do so if you sell the rights to VB.

You're basing this on what data exactly? From my experience talking to buyers a fair percentage do shop around and those that do know where to go for the cheapest content. Sales lost on Pond5 or Shutterstock will hurt you double, because ultimately the sales there will also affect your search ranking on those sites. If as you say on another thread VB is outperforming pond5 and SS, its much more likely that your cheap prices on videohive and videoblocks subscriptions are eating up sales there.

« Reply #35 on: February 03, 2018, 06:44 »
+1
If you have very unique clips, one-of-a-kind clips, you may hurt your own sales. But most of us don't have that.

Some buyers shop around, absolutely, but far from all. If a buyer is very concerned about price, they will simply find a similar enough clip and not buy yours at all.

Buyers who are not too concerned with price tend to value their time more, and buy where they are already buying.

I have sold assets for up to 8-10 times the price on certain sites for years, and they outperform the cheaper ones.

---

You are very right about the double penalty regarding search ranking, but I still believe it pays off to spread your assets around as much as possible.

Another very good argument against selling to VB is of course that if EVERYONE would do it, and they would gather most of the good clips in the world, it might render the other sites useless.

If that were to happen though, their acquisition costs would be so high that they would have to charge $10,000 or more for the membership, and only big buyers needing lots of footage would go there.

---

I don't think it's an easy yes or no answer.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 06:57 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #36 on: February 03, 2018, 07:55 »
+1
If you have very unique clips, one-of-a-kind clips, you may hurt your own sales. But most of us don't have that.

Some buyers shop around, absolutely, but far from all. If a buyer is very concerned about price, they will simply find a similar enough clip and not buy yours at all.

Buyers who are not too concerned with price tend to value their time more, and buy where they are already buying.

I have sold assets for up to 8-10 times the price on certain sites for years, and they outperform the cheaper ones.

---

You are very right about the double penalty regarding search ranking, but I still believe it pays off to spread your assets around as much as possible.

Another very good argument against selling to VB is of course that if EVERYONE would do it, and they would gather most of the good clips in the world, it might render the other sites useless.

If that were to happen though, their acquisition costs would be so high that they would have to charge $10,000 or more for the membership, and only big buyers needing lots of footage would go there.

---

I don't think it's an easy yes or no answer.

I'm not suggesting not selling there at all, at their normal price the royalties are competitive, I'm saying that selling the rights for the videos is a really bad idea, especially at the rate they're offering which is a tiny fraction of what buying the rights to content should cost.

There's a huge difference between being able to license an unlimited number of clips for $149 per year (or whatever discount they're currently offering - frequently free for 7 days), which is what VB gets the rights to your videos for the $25-$35 that they seem to be offering and a single license at $49.  It just takes a single buyer even through videoblocks itself to choose the free version of your clip (which by definition all buyers there have access to) instead of licensing it or a similar clip for the contributor to be worse off. Unless you think you're never going to sell the clip or similar clips on their platform, you're worse off by selling the rights at this price.

If you ever later want to sell the complete rights to your portfolio, having given away rights to some part in perpetuity allowing re-license will also significantly diminish the value of your work to other potential buyers.

« Reply #37 on: February 03, 2018, 08:25 »
0
I'm not suggesting not selling there at all, at their normal price the royalties are competitive, I'm saying that selling the rights for the videos is a really bad idea, especially at the rate they're offering which is a tiny fraction of what buying the rights to content should cost.

There's a huge difference between being able to license an unlimited number of clips for $149 per year (or whatever discount they're currently offering - frequently free for 7 days), which is what VB gets the rights to your videos for the $25-$35 that they seem to be offering and a single license at $49.  It just takes a single buyer even through videoblocks itself to choose the free version of your clip (which by definition all buyers there have access to) instead of licensing it or a similar clip for the contributor to be worse off. Unless you think you're never going to sell the clip or similar clips on their platform, you're worse off by selling the rights at this price.

If you ever later want to sell the complete rights to your portfolio, having given away rights to some part in perpetuity allowing re-license will also significantly diminish the value of your work to other potential buyers.

All good points of course.

It comes down to whether you have a really big portfolio or not, how many "filler" clips you have and how much you can negotiate the price. Clearly they just start with a low number, and are willing to raise it.

I took a look at one of the top sellers in the industry, and saw that about 30% of the clips in the near 20k portfolio were never sold. I don't know if this is true for most people, but it can give you a rough idea. To compare, a top author in stock music would have very few, if ANY, tracks that don't sell. Less than 1%.

Picking the least likely to sell and putting them in the VB program could strike a nice balance, and also give you a nice chunk of capital for investing (in gear, travel, stock market)...

---

I would never sell the rights to any of my music, unless the money was extremely good, as I sell pretty much all my tracks.

But footage is different, as many clips never sell. I would, however, ask for at least $100 per clip.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 10:44 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #38 on: February 03, 2018, 14:00 »
0
Yes of course you're not going to sell 100% of your clip,out of 20k clips i believe that at least 3000 k won't sell...but videoblocks (at least in my experience)tries to buy clips that have a value,you can't force them to buy only clips that never sell,they make the selestion,that's the point!!!

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