MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Has DT gone over to the dark side  (Read 11055 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: October 19, 2012, 19:27 »
0


Poncke

« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2012, 02:20 »
0

« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2012, 05:07 »
0
For me that shows level 0 after 6 months, for you or if I logged out probably 2 years.  Serban has confirmed that they are "experimenting" again so better than average chance this is coming for everyone.  Maybe going on for a while as I had previous got a lower than expected price on a sale.

http://www.dreamstime.com/thread_32179

At least IS, FT and 123 give you advance notice of a shafting!!


« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2012, 09:16 »
+2
I feel like iStock set the bar in the industry in terms of how bad we can be treated without leaving the agency.

Now DT is getting the hang of it and tries to push through these "tests" to beautify their bookkeeping. Every other reason to do this could have easily be announced prior to going live IMO.

Not cool.

lisafx

« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2012, 09:42 »
0

At least IS, FT and 123 give you advance notice of a shafting!!

I'll give you 123RF, but IS and FT have both shafted us without notice.

« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2012, 11:38 »
0
It gets better - check the comparison that was posted - price cuts on the way across the board - mightn't affect most of you now but be * sure it will.


« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2012, 12:11 »
+1
It gets better - check the comparison that was posted - price cuts on the way across the board - mightn't affect most of you now but be * sure it will.

That's not good. They seem to be very confused over there. I think they change their pricing schemes more than anybody else. I'm sure there is a purpose to it all, but it looks very random. The whole tiered pricing thing is kind of a mess. I feel sorry for their customers. I'm surprised they put up with it.

« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2012, 12:58 »
+1
I saw the comparison of prices posted in that thread, but when I tried looking after logging out, I saw the same prices (I went to check in a browser I don't normally use to avoid any issues with cookies), so either the test is regional or over, or very selective?

I've been having a decent month at DT (after some really bad ones when they messed around with prices earlier in the year), so I hope they don't change that. I still think their pricing scheme must be a huge turnoff for buyers and the reason they're still doing OK most of the time is that for buyers ticked off with iStock, but who don't want a big ticket subscription, they're one of the two choices in the top tier agencies.

If iStock stopped being a total mess or SS figured out how to make Big Stock an effective PAYG arm, I think DT might feel the real effects of this jumble of prices.

« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2012, 13:56 »
+1
If iStock stopped being a total mess or SS figured out how to make Big Stock an effective PAYG arm, I think DT might feel the real effects of this jumble of prices.

I agree. I think their slogan should be... We're Dreamstime and we are OK. Not terrible. I'd say DT's problem is they seem to lack an identity. They just don't have anything they can hang their hat on. They used to pay 50% and had some bragging rights about being a good paying agency. Not anymore though. The tiered pricing model really doesn't allow them to say they are the cheapest, priciest or even the simplest. Their collection isn't the best curated (their weird similar rules), but it also isn't the worst.

If I were them, I'd move back to 50% or at least close to it. Normalize my pricing. I might even move to a one or two sku pricing model and just sell the high res files and maybe a web size. I think if you get the RPD up high enough and earnings up enough, then you could start trying to lure exclusives away from iStock into your own exclusive program.

That's probably too many changes to make it feasible, but they definitely need to try establish some differentiating factor.

« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2012, 15:05 »
+1
I hope this experiment to move more files into the 20% category is dropped pretty soon.

Why not experiment and pay out 80% for the contributors. That is an experiment I would like to participate in.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2012, 18:44 »
0
Seems a little wishy washy.  Somebody needs to make a decision.  Stop screwing around an "do business."

« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2012, 08:05 »
0
I wonder when sites will understand that as they keep cutting my commission percentages, I'll spend less time working with them and they'll make less money?  If they did the opposite and raised commission percentages, it would be a big incentive to spend more time working with microstock.  That would make me more money and the sites more money.  It might be different in other industries where the suppliers have no choice but to accept whatever the agents are offering.  We do have other ways to make money selling images.  There might be a tipping point when the sites pay so little it forces us to start our own site.  Why would they want that to happen?

red

« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2012, 09:27 »
0
If you leave, you will be replaced by 100 other small contributors in a matter of only a few days (not you in particular, but as a general statement).

My thought is that the majority of contributors (at DT at least) have small ports. According to their stats the 15th largest contributor has 13,895 images. Many of those above this level have quit uploading or have large ports on all sites and already have their own sites. With 16 million images and 141,660 photographers total the bulk of their database is populated with small time photogs and illustrators which works to their advantage. New people come and go, may have ports of 50 to 1,000 images (average is 106 images). If those people got mad and left, they would be replaced the next minute with new people finding these sites and unloading photos their friends and family told them were great (and some are). If accepted they make a few bucks but don't take this seriously. These members never read the forums, do no research, probably don't really know what they are being paid per download and will continue to be added to or replaced by newer members.

My opinion has always been that the major sites need to get rid of old, lousy images to make their collections more relevant. If a buyer knows they can find only the best images at one place they will choose that agency over another but now all of them house the same stuff. DT has tried to do that by getting rid of non-sellers but more has to be done. It's also time to eliminate good images that are keyworded improperly. No matter how good they are if no one can find them they are useless. DT tried to allow non-sellers to be rekeyworded by their keymasters but even that didn't work. They've stopped that. A soccer ball isolated on white that hasn't sold in 3 years will not be sold with new keywords when there are 10,000 other soccer balls isolated on white in the database.

The criteria for "best images" will always be controversial and if implemented will make most contributors mad because some of their images will be eliminated. But, bottom line, there are just too many useless images that have to be waded through when looking for something relevant so the only way the agencies can continue to make money, in their minds, is to cut prices. Something else has to be tried, but I have no answers.

« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2012, 09:53 »
0

My opinion has always been that the major sites need to get rid of old, lousy images to make their collections more relevant. If a buyer knows they can find only the best images at one place they will choose that agency over another but now all of them house the same stuff.
I honestly don't think it matters as long as these images are at the back of the searches.  As we all know by the affect that search orders can have on our sales buyers rarely look at more than the first couple of pages.

« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2012, 10:04 »
0
I think trying to be more selective and have a higher quality collection doesn't work because its so subjective.  Also, for every buyer that wants higher quality, there must be lots that want as much choice as possible.  If that wasn't true, the sites wouldn't need such big collections to attract buyers.

They could try rating all images and letting the buyers decide if they want to look at all images or just the higher rated ones.

As for thinking of other ways to make more money other than taking it from us, Getty opened Thinkstock to compete with the micros, why don't they go for some of the higher priced RF and RM market that Getty are making lots of money from?  The big advantage that the microstock sites have is that a lot of their contributors aren't in Getty and would find it hard to get in to their main collection.  So they have a chance to get a higher priced RF and RM collection that's could interest buyers.

lisafx

« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2012, 18:15 »
+4
I wonder when sites will understand that as they keep cutting my commission percentages, I'll spend less time working with them and they'll make less money?  If they did the opposite and raised commission percentages, it would be a big incentive to spend more time working with microstock. 

This is so very true.  I was having this exact conversation with my husband just this morning. 

A year and a half ago I was making plans to expand my studio and increase the complexity and production value of my images.  Now I see absolutely no point in doing that.   

I've hit the wall and income is stagnant or dropping, no matter what or how often I upload.  Other top sellers, many quite a bit more successful than me, are reporting the same thing.

Some of that drop is due to competition, no doubt, but a significant amount of it is due to agencies dropping our royalty percentages - some of them repeatedly. 

It is a huge struggle to find motivation to plan and execute and finance good shoots when there is no chance for growth or progress, but rather an effort to simply slow the decline. 
 

« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2012, 20:19 »
+1
I wonder when sites will understand that as they keep cutting my commission percentages, I'll spend less time working with them and they'll make less money?  If they did the opposite and raised commission percentages, it would be a big incentive to spend more time working with microstock. 

This is so very true.  I was having this exact conversation with my husband just this morning. 

A year and a half ago I was making plans to expand my studio and increase the complexity and production value of my images.  Now I see absolutely no point in doing that.   

I've hit the wall and income is stagnant or dropping, no matter what or how often I upload.  Other top sellers, many quite a bit more successful than me, are reporting the same thing.

Some of that drop is due to competition, no doubt, but a significant amount of it is due to agencies dropping our royalty percentages - some of them repeatedly. 

It is a huge struggle to find motivation to plan and execute and finance good shoots when there is no chance for growth or progress, but rather an effort to simply slow the decline.

^^^ So true Lisa. About the only positive thing is that customers are increasingly choosing SS over the agencies that keep cutting our commissions. Maybe there's a cause/effect thing going on there?

« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2012, 09:37 »
0
The criteria for "best images" will always be controversial and if implemented will make most contributors mad because some of their images will be eliminated. But, bottom line, there are just too many useless images that have to be waded through when looking for something relevant so the only way the agencies can continue to make money, in their minds, is to cut prices. Something else has to be tried, but I have no answers.

DT currently sends out a message to contributors that have old images with no sales in 3 years!  Contributors can decide to have these images automatically delete from their port or be offered as a free image!

red

« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2012, 10:03 »
0
Yes, I know, but is 3 years too long? Perhaps it should be a shorter time. Yes, I know that a non-seller is sometimes purchased after a few years but how many non-sellers are purchased more than once or twice after 3 years? DT also allows images to be re-keyworded without any review so if a non-seller sits for 2-1/2 years then the photog pays to have it re-keyworded it can sit for another 3 years. New keywords don't improve image quality and some older images are just not up to snuff.

« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2012, 10:54 »
0
Yes, I know, but is 3 years too long? Perhaps it should be a shorter time. Yes, I know that a non-seller is sometimes purchased after a few years but how many non-sellers are purchased more than once or twice after 3 years? DT also allows images to be re-keyworded without any review so if a non-seller sits for 2-1/2 years then the photog pays to have it re-keyworded it can sit for another 3 years. New keywords don't improve image quality and some older images are just not up to snuff.

It's just a thinly veiled excuse to implement their anti-jackalope policy.  ;D

« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2012, 12:52 »
0
It looks to me like a way to move more images into the 20% commission category and to drop prices - a double whammy for the artist.

As far as "bad" images gumming up the search - they need to seriously combat spam and work on the search engine - instead of showing 20 or more images from the same artist in a row.

« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2012, 11:14 »
0
DT also allows images to be re-keyworded without any review so if a non-seller sits for 2-1/2 years then the photog pays to have it re-keyworded it can sit for another 3 years. New keywords don't improve image quality and some older images are just not up to snuff.


Not any more, they removed the re-keyword option in September: http://www.dreamstime.com/thread_32290

« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2012, 14:20 »
0
It looks to me like a way to move more images into the 20% commission category and to drop prices - a double whammy for the artist.

As far as "bad" images gumming up the search - they need to seriously combat spam and work on the search engine - instead of showing 20 or more images from the same artist in a row.

Exactly. That's been their real problem for years. Why they don't recognise that and do something about it is beyond me.

« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2012, 16:40 »
0
At least IS, FT and 123 give you advance notice of a shafting!!


You can't say they didn't give us notice, Serban said "There are more plans scheduled for a great fall..." in his June post (http://www.dreamstime.com/thread_31748.  He didn't say it would be great for contributors! :(
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 11:02 by Megastock »

« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2012, 01:48 »
0
I've got a Level 0 image on DT that was downloaded as an EL on SS last week.
On DT's scale its SS sales add up to a Level 3 image. I've got quite a few images that are selling
elsewhere but are dead at DT. Could be search placement or buyer demographics?

"fill her up and check that oil you know it could be the distributor and it could be your coil"
Tom Waits


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
0 Replies
1504 Views
Last post May 20, 2007, 20:08
by rjmiz
3 Replies
6854 Views
Last post May 12, 2008, 17:10
by a.k.a.-tom
16 Replies
7800 Views
Last post August 02, 2010, 20:08
by Suljo
7 Replies
2283 Views
Last post February 02, 2013, 12:38
by brmonico
11 Replies
2790 Views
Last post March 31, 2016, 06:42
by Melissa22

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results