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Author Topic: BigStock e-mail about subscriptions and an RC-like payment system  (Read 44199 times)

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Microbius

« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2013, 15:24 »
+2
You know, that sounds about right here. How do you get people to give up on the idea of a raise? You make their current rate seem like a gift.

Better yet, you make the current rate seem like a reward for those who can reach it.

The financial implications for us is one thing. The real kick in the teeth for me is that this reads like a page out of the istock playbook. It's an RC system with impossible-to-reach goals. Very few people retained their 20% at istock. Very few people will match the $0.38 they're getting from SS over at Bigstock. And if this ever does make it's way over to SS, you can bet that it will be more of the same. Another set of impossible goals, just dangling that $0.38 carrot out there while almost no one will be able to reach it.

I just did my sums for the last year, and based on my earnings I don't think anyone will reach the 38c, in fact I doubt anyone will even reach 35c.

Anyone reading this that will, correct me if I'm wrong


« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2013, 15:25 »
+5
I guess it is time to look for an alternative occupation. I don't think there is any future in this business.

« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2013, 15:31 »
0
I had almost 1600 downloads during my best month at Shutterstock.

My by rough calculations, I will have to do 160% more downloads at BigStock than my best month at Shutterstock just to make the same commission of $.38 per download.

I make 95% less per month at BigStock than Shutterstock as it is.

lisafx

« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2013, 15:32 »
+5
I just did my sums for the last year, and based on my earnings I don't think anyone will reach the 38c, in fact I doubt anyone will even reach 35c.

Anyone reading this that will, correct me if I'm wrong

I won't  be correcting you.  I'm one of their better sellers and I will be stuck squarely on .31, based on last year's totals.  I don't see any sales trends that would make me believe next years will be different. 

Anyone who thinks SS or Jon Oringer are the second coming of J-e-s-u-s  C-h-r-i-s-t is in for a very, very rude awakening. 

(seriously, j-e-s-u-s c-h-r-i-s-t reverts to jeepers creepers????)
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 15:34 by lisafx »

« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2013, 15:34 »
+3
I personally don't give a f*** about BS. never joined them. The thing that make my very worry is the fact that BS is owned by Shutterstock; and 60% of my total microstock earnings came from SS ( and I don't talking about a several hundred dollars here)  . I really hope this ''cancer that started with IS  extended to 123RF and now BS will not affect SS.

Yup, a test for a future RC system at SS I'd bet.
Say what you will about 123 at least their targets are obtainable, unlike IS and now BS.
If SS go down this route they'd better have some reachable target levels if they want to keep contributors on side.

The funny thing is... when IS gone down the road WE the contributors had a very viable alternative named SS which grew rapidly and steadily. If SS will fallow the IS path, what alternative we will have?.......... NONE. This is my big worry.

lisafx

« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2013, 15:37 »
+5

The funny thing is... when IS gone down the road WE the contributors had a very viable alternative named SS which grew rapidly and steadily. If SS will fallow the IS path, what alternative we will have?.......... NONE. This is my big worry.

The only alternative I can see, other than getting out of stock entirely, would be to stop uploading to micros altogether and put any future shoots into RM. 

Was a fun ride while it lasted. 

« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2013, 15:46 »
+1
Anyone who thinks SS or Jon Oringer are the second coming of J-e-s-u-s  C-h-r-i-s-t is in for a very, very rude awakening.

LOL. I just hope this and the referral thing open some eyes. Maybe hurtling towards the Sun at a million miles an hour like a space monkey on the rocket ship SS isn't the best course.

« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2013, 15:47 »
+2

The funny thing is... when IS gone down the road WE the contributors had a very viable alternative named SS which grew rapidly and steadily. If SS will fallow the IS path, what alternative we will have?.......... NONE. This is my big worry.

The only alternative I can see, other than getting out of stock entirely, would be to stop uploading to micros altogether and put any future shoots into RM. 

Was a fun ride while it lasted.

Interesting idea... BUT... Today many people are affording good DSLR's and they upload on microstock sites. Even if we (MSG members) pull out our entire portfolios from a agency ( top 4 agency) they will loose max. 1-1.5 millions files. I think the hole will be filled very fast by others.  :(
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 15:50 by nicku »

« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2013, 15:49 »
+1
Those milestones seem impossible to hit. ...
If a stupid idea like this ever migrates over to SS...


Yes and yes.

The migration to the mother ship is the big worry. Perhaps Jon read the other thread suggesting we wanted a raise at SS and this is his way of getting that restive mood to go away :)

If you put a few heads on pikes outside the castle, the peasants revolt less...


I very much doubt if it was a response to my thread. I have been paying attention to actions at SS over the last year and I think they have shifted into full mode to reduce costs per sale at our expense. The big question will be, are we going to let them get away with it? I know I would rather pitch a tent until we can get a fair co op up and running than let them continue to rob us.

This comment made by analyst in the businessweek investment article pretty much sums it up. In my opinion they started reducing cost per sale with the addition of new search engine.  And that is just a start to long term plans.

http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/financials/financials.asp?ticker=SSTK
"Year over year, Shutterstock, Inc. has been able to grow revenues from $83.0M USD to $120.3M USD. Most impressively, the company has been able to reduce the percentage of sales devoted to cost of goods sold from 38.99% to 37.83%. This was a driver that led to a bottom line growth from $18.9M USD to $21.9M USD"

I quit buying at IS because they showed their true colors and I will do the same with SS.  IS and SS were successful because they were powered by people.  When they forget that it does not take long for word to get out and mindsets to switch.

Getty does not get that while we submit we are also some of its biggest customers. If SS wants to go down that road they will learn this as well.


« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2013, 15:52 »
0

The funny thing is... when IS gone down the road WE the contributors had a very viable alternative named SS which grew rapidly and steadily. If SS will fallow the IS path, what alternative we will have?.......... NONE. This is my big worry.

The only alternative I can see, other than getting out of stock entirely, would be to stop uploading to micros altogether and put any future shoots into RM. 

Was a fun ride while it lasted.

Agreed I started working on a RM port Nov 2011. I see things swinging back to RM. Some companies just can't use MS for their projects. RM is on the rise.

« Reply #35 on: February 07, 2013, 15:54 »
+1
I am sentimental about Bigstock because I started out there. But, Bridge to Bigstock gives me 6 months at 38c then my port comes down. I am not accepting low BS rates, (no pun intended), when I can get 38c on Shutterstock who OWN Bigstock. This doesn't make sense - Shutterstock are allowing a company they own to undercut them? It does appear to be a race for the bottom that I won't be a part of. I won't let a small player cannibalise my sales at Shutterstock, regardless of sentiment.

I expect this sort of behaviour from some sites but I thought Shutterstock/Bigstock were above this.

« Reply #36 on: February 07, 2013, 15:57 »
0
Look at recent happenings at FT, IS, SS, and now BS. Nobody gets 50,000 downloads/year at Bigstock.

There is no future in microstock. Pulling my portfolios today.

Tryingmybest

  • Stand up for what is right
« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2013, 16:00 »
0
Did they get this frustrating "last 12 months" idea from 123?

Agreed. These people are ridiculous. Maybe they're trying to wreck Bigstock with the hopes of closing it and send all customers to SS.

« Reply #38 on: February 07, 2013, 16:01 »
0
5
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 22:38 by tickstock »

Tryingmybest

  • Stand up for what is right
« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2013, 16:02 »
+1
I say we all send Mr. Ben Pfeifer email messages with our thoughts. http://www.bigstockphoto.com/contactus.html

I am sentimental about Bigstock because I started out there. But, Bridge to Bigstock gives me 6 months at 38c then my port comes down. I am not accepting low BS rates, (no pun intended), when I can get 38c on Shutterstock who OWN Bigstock. This doesn't make sense - Shutterstock are allowing a company they own to undercut them? It does appear to be a race for the bottom that I won't be a part of. I won't let a small player cannibalise my sales at Shutterstock, regardless of sentiment.

I expect this sort of behaviour from some sites but I thought Shutterstock/Bigstock were above this.

« Reply #40 on: February 07, 2013, 16:07 »
0
So all my pics at SS you can down download cheaper at BS? Given the volume of contributors contributing to both agencies, as a buyer I might ditch SS for a cheaper deal at BS.

It's not like SS and BS have totally different sets of customers. Doesn't seem to bode well for the future..

« Reply #41 on: February 07, 2013, 16:07 »
+2
I am sentimental about Bigstock because I started out there. But, Bridge to Bigstock gives me 6 months at 38c then my port comes down. I am not accepting low BS rates, (no pun intended), when I can get 38c on Shutterstock who OWN Bigstock. This doesn't make sense - Shutterstock are allowing a company they own to undercut them? It does appear to be a race for the bottom that I won't be a part of. I won't let a small player cannibalise my sales at Shutterstock, regardless of sentiment.

I expect this sort of behaviour from some sites but I thought Shutterstock/Bigstock were above this.

BS is virtually SS. i believe SS introduced subscriptions on BS with very high commission targets as a result of a general expenses cuts strategy . I believe they know very well that some sales will be cannibalized from SS. But on BS they will pay less/sub. The BS sub. strategy combined with the SS referrals cuts will spear SS/BS company of a consistent sum of money. Course sums of money out of our pockets.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 16:11 by nicku »

« Reply #42 on: February 07, 2013, 16:11 »
0
Guys, the Shutterstock referral cutoff and Bigstock subscription model announced in the same week, I think it's pretty obvious what's going on. Everybody needs to get out of microstock...now.

« Reply #43 on: February 07, 2013, 16:14 »
0

The thing that gives me the shivvers is the 12-month totals for qualifying for subscription payment levels. If they do the RC-like system there, is it going to spread to the mother ship?

Now I am wondering if it's worth to upload new stuff. $0.25 with 12-month count would undermined the purpose. Unless they agree to forgo the 12-month count or give us option to opt out of subscription for individual images or the whole collection I rather stop uploading my new images.

EmberMike

« Reply #44 on: February 07, 2013, 16:17 »
0

I emailed Bigstock to clarify how the initial subscription rates would be set, since we don't have 12 months of subscription sales data to use to set our rates. The answer I got was that they will still use the last 12 months of data to set the initial rates.

So when this kicks off next week I'll be at $0.27.

No one starts at the upper rates, we have to work our way up there, if that is even possible.

Our rate will change as soon as stats from the last 12 months totals out to the next royalty rate tier.


« Reply #45 on: February 07, 2013, 16:26 »
0
How can you even tell how many downloads you get there over the past 12 months.  I'm not going to take the money and get an average.

I'll probably be on the lower tier anyway.

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #46 on: February 07, 2013, 16:27 »
+6
I don't give a rat's ass about Bigstock. I had less than 50 sales last year. The thing that worries me is that the trend is becoming too obvious. RC-like systems, unreachable levels, it's all spreading like a plague.

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #47 on: February 07, 2013, 16:28 »
0
How can you even tell how many downloads you get there over the past 12 months.  I'm not going to take the money and get an average.

I'll probably be on the lower tier anyway.

Image statistics, choose a custom time frame of the past 12 months using the calendar in the right top corner.

« Reply #48 on: February 07, 2013, 16:30 »
+24
Here's the e-mail I just sent:

Mr. Pfeifer,

I'm not sure what you're thinking in implementing the schedule of contributor compensation outlined in your e-mail earlier today.

You must be aware of the low-earning status BigStock has for most contributors . Bottom-tier sites get supplied by contributors - in spite of their low earnings - as long as they meet several criteria. One is ease of upload; two is that they don't undercut a higher-earning site; and three is that they have decent royalty rates and a low payout threshold.

In the past, Big Stock has just about met all three of those (I have been with BigStock since 2005, with a hiatus from 2008-11 as an iStock exclusive and a new account when I returned in 2011). Your e-mail this morning has shot two of those three criteria in the head and the uploads are only OK - nothing like the easiest out there.

With the low earnings, it makes it very easy for contributors to walk away from BigStock, and with a recent rash of bad behavior by agencies, existing contributors are significantly on edge. Realistically, 50,000 downloads a year - even subscription downloads - isn't something that most of your contributors will ever reach. Many never will on Shutterstock, where the volume of business is much, much larger. And for heaven's sake don't even consider making some argument that you'll double, triple (or whatever) sales at BigStock in the next year or two. Not realistic.

Perhaps you aren't concerned about losing existing contributors and feel that there is an endless supply of willing participants with a nice point and shoot who'll supply you with content when the current crop of malcontents leaves. If that's the case, you're certainly making sure we head quickly for the exit.

If you have any concern about keeping your existing contributors, I strongly urge you to promptly reconsider this move. It is strongly reminiscent of the moves airlines made a few years ago for a two-tier pay system for pilots - one for the regional jets and one for the long-haul ones. From that, they tried to move jets classified as "regional" to the longer routes and move the pay scale with it. The real worry here isn't BigStock, but that you're looking to try this compensation scheme out and then move it to Shutterstock.

In the IPO documents, amid all the flowery words about a virtuous cycle, was a note of risks for the business. One was that contributors would no longer want to continue supplying you with content. You have the storefront but contributors own the content. Do you really want to start alienating your contributors when in general you are one of the respected agencies? Why just throw away all that goodwill you've spent so long building?

regards,

Jo Ann Snover (jsnover on both sites and contributor 249 at Shuttersock)

Tryingmybest

  • Stand up for what is right
« Reply #49 on: February 07, 2013, 16:40 »
0
I sent mine. Not as eloquent as yours. Good one thanks!  8)

Here's the e-mail I just sent:

Mr. Pfeifer,

I'm not sure what you're thinking in implementing the schedule of contributor compensation outlined in your e-mail earlier today.

You must be aware of the low-earning status BigStock has for most contributors . Bottom-tier sites get supplied by contributors - in spite of their low earnings - as long as they meet several criteria. One is ease of upload; two is that they don't undercut a higher-earning site; and three is that they have decent royalty rates and a low payout threshold.

In the past, Big Stock has just about met all three of those (I have been with BigStock since 2005, with a hiatus from 2008-11 as an iStock exclusive and a new account when I returned in 2011). Your e-mail this morning has shot two of those three criteria in the head and the uploads are only OK - nothing like the easiest out there.

With the low earnings, it makes it very easy for contributors to walk away from BigStock, and with a recent rash of bad behavior by agencies, existing contributors are significantly on edge. Realistically, 50,000 downloads a year - even subscription downloads - isn't something that most of your contributors will ever reach. Many never will on Shutterstock, where the volume of business is much, much larger. And for heaven's sake don't even consider making some argument that you'll double, triple (or whatever) sales at BigStock in the next year or two. Not realistic.

Perhaps you aren't concerned about losing existing contributors and feel that there is an endless supply of willing participants with a nice point and shoot who'll supply you with content when the current crop of malcontents leaves. If that's the case, you're certainly making sure we head quickly for the exit.

If you have any concern about keeping your existing contributors, I strongly urge you to promptly reconsider this move. It is strongly reminiscent of the moves airlines made a few years ago for a two-tier pay system for pilots - one for the regional jets and one for the long-haul ones. From that, they tried to move jets classified as "regional" to the longer routes and move the pay scale with it. The real worry here isn't BigStock, but that you're looking to try this compensation scheme out and then move it to Shutterstock.

In the IPO documents, amid all the flowery words about a virtuous cycle, was a note of risks for the business. One was that contributors would no longer want to continue supplying you with content. You have the storefront but contributors own the content. Do you really want to start alienating your contributors when in general you are one of the respected agencies? Why just throw away all that goodwill you've spent so long building?

regards,

Jo Ann Snover (jsnover on both sites and contributor 249 at Shuttersock)



 

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