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Author Topic: Left CS yesterday  (Read 13995 times)

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« on: December 02, 2007, 07:05 »
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After reaching the payout level I decided it was time to call it quits with CS.

The main reason is the increase in subscription sales there. More then half my sales where subscription sales.  Duncan seems intent on increasing that part of the site so its a direction I was not willing to follow.

An opt out clause would have kept me there but he won't add one and has no plans on doing so. 

Not  really a big loss for me, I made about $25 to $30 a month there.  I used to make that same amount before he added the subscription plan  with all regular and guest sales. 

One nice benifit is its one less site to upload to!

 


« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2007, 07:38 »
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I'm on the fence there. Stopped uploading, but will see if the trend continues. If it does, I'm probably out as well. In October, I had lots of subscription sales. In November, there were hardly any sales at all.

« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2007, 13:09 »
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I hate being misquoted.

I don't follow this site (or any other microstock discussion sites), but I got an anonymous tip and felt compelled to respond.

Below is exactly what I said. I never said anything along the lines of increasing that part of the site. I also didn't say we had no plans of allowing opt-outs at some point, I said we just cant guarantee it.

I can't guarantee that we will allow opt-out for subscriptions. The subscription option was brought about by market pressures - it's no secret that the subscription model is continuing to increase in dominance. So as such, we got on board.

I understand that some photographers don't want their images used for this purpose - but the reason we have not allowed an opt-out is purely from a logistics standpoint. Just imagine all the customers that would be pissed off if the image they searched for was not available once they bought a very expensive subscription. We can't very well market the site as having "600,000 images for credits, X for subscriptions". It would be a nightmare trying to separate the two and not making our customers confused and angry. So it's not a matter of us being stubborn - it just comes down to logistics.

I am sure you already know, but I think it's important to keep in mind what subscription images are used for. These are buyers who download mass amounts of images and only actually use a very little. They may try 30 different images for a mockup, and only use 1 in the final product. The VAST majority of subscription downloads are never used. So while the per-download fee is comparatively very small, the actual return for your work is quite a bit higher. The majority of the time your images are being purchased for the possibility of being used - opposed to credits where the majority of the time your images ARE used.

Anyways, just thought I'd let you consider that. Sometimes photographers don't truly understand the different usage of the subscription vs. credit buyer. If you are able to accept the per-image commission, I think you'll realize that subscription sales are actually a very fair deal in the end.

« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2007, 13:31 »
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I hate being misquoted.

I don't think that you were misquoted.  Mshake doesn't like subscriptions sales (especially when they are the majority of sales).  You don't allow an opt-out on your site.  You made your decision.  Mshake made his decision.  Pretty simple to me.

I understand that some photographers don't want their images used for this purpose - but the reason we have not allowed an opt-out is purely from a logistics standpoint. Just imagine all the customers that would be pissed off if the image they searched for was not available once they bought a very expensive subscription. We can't very well market the site as having "600,000 images for credits, X for subscriptions". It would be a nightmare trying to separate the two and not making our customers confused and angry. So it's not a matter of us being stubborn - it just comes down to logistics.

Yet StockXpert has managed to get around this "logistics" issue.  Why can they do it, and you can't?

I am sure you already know, but I think it's important to keep in mind what subscription images are used for. These are buyers who download mass amounts of images and only actually use a very little. They may try 30 different images for a mockup, and only use 1 in the final product. The VAST majority of subscription downloads are never used. So while the per-download fee is comparatively very small, the actual return for your work is quite a bit higher. The majority of the time your images are being purchased for the possibility of being used - opposed to credits where the majority of the time your images ARE used.

I have heard this argument before and want you to realize how bad this sounds.  It is bad enough when we receive a pittance (0.25 or 0.30) for our work.  But it is even worse to know that the image will probably be thrown in the garbage.  Doesn't give me a warm and cozy feeling.  It actually feels like an insult:  "Hey kid.  I like your image so much that I'll buy it for a 0.25 and then throw it in the garbage!"

I think you'll realize that subscription sales are actually a very fair deal in the end.

Actually, we are finding out just the opposite.  The only parties that subscriptions are "fair" to are the stock site and they buyer.  Contributors get raked over the coals.  That is why we are dropping sites that have a majority of subscriptions, yet very few other sales.


« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2007, 13:53 »
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Duncan, with all do respect I did not misquote you.  I still say it SEEMS you are intent on increasing that part of the site.  I did not quote you but got that very strong feeling from your response to me. You advertise specials for the subscription plan all the time. When you advertise it and say this what do you think it means to us?

"The subscription option was brought about by market pressures - it's no secret that the subscription model is continuing to increase in dominance. So as such, we got on board. "

You got on board, I never liked it and thats why I left. I  also don't agree that it is continuing to increase in market dominance. Its becoming more of what CS is all about but in my humble opinion its not in the overall microstock market.

I DO think it would be in your best interest to allow the opt out clause. Its why I left and I made that perfectly clear to you.  I know there are no guarantees but from everything you say I think your happy with the sub plan and want to keep it as is. What would change that would make you include an opt out clause when you say things like this?...

"Just imagine all the customers that would be pissed off if the image they searched for was not available once they bought a very expensive subscription. We can't very well market the site as having "600,000 images for credits, X for subscriptions". It would be a nightmare trying to separate the two and not making our customers confused and angry. So it's not a matter of us being stubborn - it just comes down to logistics. "


When I read that it sure seems like your not going to change it to include an opt out clause, at least not anytime soon.

Bottom line is they did allow an opt out clause at Stockxpert so it can be done and should have been done right from the start at CS.  It wasn't part of the plan when I joined CS and I felt it was wrong to force that on us later with no opt out clause.

As I said to you , I wish you luck with your site. This isn't personal, its business and the sub plan to me is bad business period.  Maybe you will see that someday Duncan, probably not.

« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2007, 15:21 »
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Will StockXpert be able to keep the opt out option?  I think it will be difficult to keep it.  If I was going to pay for a subscription, I would want to be able to purchase all the images on a site, not just a selection of them.

« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2007, 07:11 »
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Will StockXpert be able to keep the opt out option?  I think it will be difficult to keep it.  If I was going to pay for a subscription, I would want to be able to purchase all the images on a site, not just a selection of them.

 StockXpert has a clause that says.

"Gain instant access to virtually every image on the site and save hundreds, even thousands, when you Subscribe to Stockxpert."

Its clearly displayed right next to the pricing for the subcription  plan.

Keep in mind that  they have substantially more photos to pick from then CanStockPhoto does. Even if half the photos where not in the subscription plan they would probably still have more to pick from then CanStockPhoto does.

« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2007, 14:33 »
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I currently have no experience with the subscription based models as I am on my 2nd applicaiton to shutterstock, and haven't been approved yet at stockXpert ...

From what I have heard about shutterstock, isn't it the largest earner for just about anyone that is fortunate enough to get approved to sell there?

Please forgive my ignorance or naivity as I am here to learn more about the microstock world ...

Any comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Mark





« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2007, 15:01 »
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From what I have heard about shutterstock, isn't it the largest earner for just about anyone that is fortunate enough to get approved to sell there?


Mark,
I don't make a living from photography, so perhaps this allows me to be selective, but I don't agree with selling images so cheap, even if they sell a lot.  I'm kind of alone in this here.  I have just written about this in another thread.

Regards,
Adelaide

jsnover

« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2007, 15:14 »
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In the last 6-9 months, Shutterstock has been my #1 earner - it always used to be iStock, but they haven't been earning well for me this year.

I think that looking at price without considering volume doesn't make sense - it's essentially what makes the traditional stock folks so mad at microstock sites. They think selling for $5 or $10 is giving work away, without taking into consdieration how many licenses you sell at that price (versus $299 or $599 or whatever).

The mixed model sites - per image sales and subscriptions - haven't worked IMHO, at least not from the contributor's point of view.


« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2007, 19:39 »
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 Mark...

I am at Shutterstock and have been almost from the start, sign up number 496. But I knew going in it was a subscription based site and they have always had huge volume. It is normally my number one earning site. Its also worth mentioning that SS has the best referral program out there and with that alone I earn more in one month  then I would total in three months at CanStockPhoto. There are people who do nothing but refer other people to the site.

 I have already stated my reasons for leaving CanStockPhoto.  Basically the business model of the site has changed from when I signed up to it.  CanStockPhoto is simply heading in a direction that I didn't want to follow.

 From what I can tell over at Stockxpert there subscription model is not doing all that great and accounts for a very low percentage of sales there.  But since they offered an opt out clause I have no problem with the plan. Most people I'm sure opt into it. But you have the choice.

 Dreamstime also has a subscription plan but it also only accounts for a very small percentage of my sales there and the larger "level" sales earnings more then make up for the sub sales there. I wish they had an opt out clause to but since the subscription plan has been in place for quite a while now and it is a low percentage of sales I can live with it.
 
 So I am not against a subscription based site as long as it was that when I went in. If its implemented later then I want to see an opt out clause at least for anyone who was there prior to the plan being implemented.  Like Joanne says, the volume of sales and the referral program at SS makes up for the low price per photo.

« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2007, 19:53 »
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mShake and everyone thanks for your input :)

I too would be a bit upset if the business model were to change AFTER I subscribed and not offerecd an alternative. It appears that almost all sites require you to have your images "locked-in" for at least a minimal period. If the business model were to be changed mid-stream, it only makes sense that they should offer an "opt-out", or at least the option of pulling your material from off the site, or some other alternative form of compensation. IMHO.

Mark


« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2007, 16:53 »
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Had my second sale in CanStockPhoto this month, both were subs.  That's so disappointing...

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2008, 12:13 »
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I am not in any way jumping on the perverbial bandwagon, but I have been re-evaluating my own uploading strategy and I just can't see wasting my time uploading to CanStockPhoto when I am amongst some cheezy, poorly isolated images (not yours Michael  ;) ), and not making any sales!  One sale a month with 500 images is just beyond slow.  And to see that one sale be a sub sale half the time, is just a kick in the face with a golf shoe. 

I am having a hard time parting with the hard earned $28.50 that I currently have there.  If you are thinking about bailing on CanStockPhoto and want to convert your earnings to credits rather than forfeit them, you can purchase one of my images so I can sleep at night when I go through the laborious task of deleting 500 images off the site.

here is a link to my portfolio

« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2008, 12:43 »
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.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2008, 14:11 by sharpshot »

« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2008, 15:52 »
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CS has been good for me so far.

There should be at least one satisfied member there!  We found him!  ;D

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2008, 00:25 »
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CS has been good for me so far.  I started uploading there the end of October and have had 150 sales and reached a $50 payout.  They are not far off 123rf for earnings some months. 

I have seen their big 2 page advert in a UK photoshop magazine.  I think this site shows promise and is worth persisting with.  The upload is one of the easiest.

While I have no doubt that it can make some money if the portfolio is big enough, the concern for me is that it doesn't provide a return that is worth the time uploading. On top of that, its selling its subscriptions at a rate that is substantially less than even Shutterstock, and paying photographers less per download.

Take a look at the subscription packages:
A 1 week subscription costs $35.95 for 70 downloads of large files - the photographer gets .25c per download - or less than 50%.

It just doesn't make sense to support the site in these circumstances - longer term all you're doing if this site does succeed is undercutting the better paying sites.

I'm also out.

« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2008, 04:28 »
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I am also about to close my accont at CS. I too feel that the subsales are bad for the photographers and that it is killing our profits in the long run. Do you have to delete all your pictures one by one or can you just close the account?

« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2008, 07:02 »
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I am also about to close my accont at CS. I too feel that the subsales are bad for the photographers and that it is killing our profits in the long run. Do you have to delete all your pictures one by one or can you just close the account?

There is a spot (under my account at the bottom) where it says "delete my account".  Problem is that you have to take all your pictures off, one by one, before you can do it.  I am going to start today to take pictures off that I know will not help me reach a payout.

« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2008, 13:08 »
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If you email support asking to have all your images removed, don't they do it for you?

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2008, 09:07 »
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I am going to start today to take pictures off that I know will not help me reach a payout.

I average 5 - 10 dl's a week there and I NEVER know what will sell. It's like a reviewer at a site rejecting an image because "it's not stock material"...they have no idea what "stock" material is and what will or will not sell (if they did, they'd be making so much money SELLING photos, they wouldn't have time to review). You've already uploaded it, let it ride.

« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2008, 12:02 »
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I have over 500 images to delete.  I gotta start somewhere. 
I am going to start today to take pictures off that I know will not help me reach a payout.

I average 5 - 10 dl's a week there and I NEVER know what will sell. It's like a reviewer at a site rejecting an image because "it's not stock material"...they have no idea what "stock" material is and what will or will not sell (if they did, they'd be making so much money SELLING photos, they wouldn't have time to review). You've already uploaded it, let it ride.

« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2008, 12:46 »
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There is a spot (under my account at the bottom) where it says "delete my account".  Problem is that you have to take all your pictures off, one by one, before you can do it.
That is just ridiculous. Or, reading Duncan's post on the CanStockPhoto forum that he is on high troll alert and that whoever posts things there he doesn't like, will see his account vanish "suddenly", maybe you should troll around a bit there ;-)

nruboc

« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2008, 13:56 »
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CS is the bottom of the barrel, the lowest subscription payout, and the most unfriendly admins out there in my opinion. Look folks, they've been around for a loooong time and they still can't get their stuff together, they're not going anywhere, let's face it. I dropped them a couple of months ago, and am soooo glad I did. Good riddance.

If you want to support a low traffic site, support FeaturePics, very friendly and pay 70%.

« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2008, 14:08 »
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oops, I have mixed this thread up with the crestock one.  I will delete my previous post about having some sales :-[


 

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