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Author Topic: Why we should remove our Dreamstime affiliate links  (Read 20285 times)

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fotorob

  • I am a professional stock photographer

« on: July 13, 2012, 13:12 »
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Lee Torrens posted a blog article on why he should removed all his Dreamstime affiliate links and why we all should do the same:
http://www.microstockdiaries.com/why-i-removed-my-dreamstime-referral-links.html

Long story short: The commissions for the affiliate spreader will be taken from the photographers share, not from the agency share now.

Based on that I removed all my Dreamstime affiliate links, because it seems unfair that a photographer earns less if I referred him instead of him signing up without my help.

What do you think?

Update: I postet a short article on my blog about removing my affiliate links as well:
http://www.alltageinesfotoproduzenten.de/2012/07/14/warum-ich-meine-referal-links-zu-dreamstime-entfernt-habe/
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 13:51 by fotorob »


« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2012, 13:17 »
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I always think that DT is the most friendly site for contributors!

Last month I changed my opinion when my sales were dropped more than 60% suddenly due to "intervention" on search engine!
Also I don't know how it is possible to lose "sales" but retain "views"?

Now even this info from Lee!
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 13:52 by borg »

« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2012, 13:20 »
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Last month I changed my opinion when my sales were dropped more than 60% suddenly due to "intervention" on search engine!
Also I don't know how it is possible to lose "sales" but retain "views"?

+ 1 (50%)

p.s: dump it until they do something lol
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 13:23 by luissantos84 »

« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2012, 13:23 »
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I certainly think that any referral fees should be paid out of the DT share - since it is someone else doing the marketing that DT is taking their % to cover.

lisafx

« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2012, 13:44 »
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Really?!  I was never aware of this.  I would like to hear more about this.  Hard to believe. 

WarrenPrice

« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2012, 13:45 »
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Lee Torrens is removing his personal referral links to DT is what I understand.  Or, is there a way to remove links to Partners selling our images and causing us to receive a reduction in commission?  IE; is he suggesting we can opt out of subscription sales through DT partners???

Microbius

« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2012, 13:57 »
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Really?!  I was never aware of this.  I would like to hear more about this.  Hard to believe.  

http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/this-is-how-microstock-agencies-really-calculate-your-royalties/

I was totally stunned when I read this. Can't believe that the agencies are so underhand about how much they actually pay out. If we could ever be organised enough to mount a lawsuit (and I know we never will be), I would think this one issue is the one most likely to be successful, I mean they are clearly claiming to pay out one percentage while actually paying out a completely different one.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 14:02 by Microbius »

« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2012, 14:02 »
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"Evil" has a new name ....

« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 14:16 »
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"Profit desire" formula of many agencies constantly calculate with our ignorance...

WarrenPrice

« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2012, 15:16 »
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Even the exclusives and a few of the "cheerleaders" are starting to grumble ... and not just about this revelation.  Is DT digging the hole deeper?

@Pancaketom ... thanks for posing the question in DT Forum.

« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2012, 16:33 »
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Long story short: The commissions for the affiliate spreader will be taken from the photographers share, not from the agency share now.


Just to clarify, Dreamstime still pays 'part' of the referral costs.  The referral costs are subtracted from the transaction value before our royalties are calculated, so the costs are shared. 

This is the relevant text from the Dreamstime site:  "For each transaction, the photographer receives a 25-50 percent Revenue Share, which is calculated based on the net sales amount for the transaction, after referral fees have been paid."

It's on this page:  http://www.dreamstime.com/sellimages

Note that "25-50" refers to previous rates. That needs to be updated to 20 - 60, or 20-50 if it's meant to refer to non-exclusive contributors only.

Lee Torrens is removing his personal referral links to DT is what I understand.  Or, is there a way to remove links to Partners selling our images and causing us to receive a reduction in commission?  IE; is he suggesting we can opt out of subscription sales through DT partners???


This has nothing to do with the partner program or subscriptions specifically.  This is about 'affiliates' (or 'referrers') who refer buyers and contributors to Dreamstime. They're a different group of people, in this context, to 'partners', who sell image licenses on behalf of Dreamstime. 

« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2012, 16:44 »
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Just to clarify, Dreamstime still pays 'part' of the referral costs.  The referral costs are subtracted from the transaction value before our royalties are calculated, so the costs are shared. 

I think the real issue with all these sorts of "sharing" is which costs are included in calculating the amount to be shared. I wouldn't mind if I could deduct the amortized cost of my camera, lighting, etc. from the total the buyer pays and then "share" the remainder with DT. They might not like that deal any more than I like the ones that take a bunch of promotional expenses - which I think are entirely theirs - and deduct those from the gross before "sharing" with me.

In the movie business, the whole scheme for big stars getting a percentage of the gross (versus the profits) came about because the studios always managed to keep the books so that there was no profit. The agencies are increasingly following the same path and trying to effectively continue to cut contributor shares while assisting their own bottom line.

lisafx

« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2012, 19:24 »
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Just to clarify, Dreamstime still pays 'part' of the referral costs.  The referral costs are subtracted from the transaction value before our royalties are calculated, so the costs are shared.  

This is the relevant text from the Dreamstime site:  "For each transaction, the photographer receives a 25-50 percent Revenue Share, which is calculated based on the net sales amount for the transaction, after referral fees have been paid."

It's on this page:  http://www.dreamstime.com/sellimages

Note that "25-50" refers to previous rates. That needs to be updated to 20 - 60, or 20-50 if it's meant to refer to non-exclusive contributors only.

 (snip)

This has nothing to do with the partner program or subscriptions specifically.  This is about 'affiliates' (or 'referrers') who refer buyers and contributors to Dreamstime. They're a different group of people, in this context, to 'partners', who sell image licenses on behalf of Dreamstime.  


Thanks for clarifying Lee. The way it was presented in this thread made me think that my referred photographers were having the referral fees I get for referring them deducted directly from their earnings.

I was aware of this policy regarding affiliates.  The way they justify it is that those are not buyers directly on the site and we might not get those sales without the affiliates.  Not crazy about it.  I would certainly like to get the whole royalty,  but at least it isn't a new surprise.    

« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2012, 19:35 »
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Thanks for clarifying Lee. The way it was presented in this thread made me think that my referred photographers were having the referral fees I get for referring them deducted directly from their earnings.

You had it right the first time.  They are.  Just not 100% - that's what I was correcting.  So, a portion of your affiliate earnings is deducted from the contributors you referred to Dreamstime.  That's why I removed my affiliate links - I don't want my referred contributors to be penalized.

I was aware of this policy regarding affiliates.  The way they justify it is that those are not buyers directly on the site and we might not get those sales without the affiliates.  Not crazy about it.  I would certainly like to get the whole royalty,  but at least it isn't a new surprise.   

I think you're confusing affiliates with partners here.  Affiliate just refer buyers and contributors, having them become direct customers and contributors with their own Dreamstime accounts.  Partners connect to Dreamstime via the API to sell to *their* customers, so the transaction is not handled by Dreamstime on the Dreamstime website and the customers don't have a Dreamstime account.  Partner sales are, as far as I can tell, completely unaffected by this policy, given a customer buying through a partner doesn't involve any Dreamstime member account. 

And this policy is new as of April this year, when they updated the levels. 

« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2012, 21:29 »
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I think DT now has pushed as far as possible in terms of hiding and camouflaging what we contributors are supposed to receive.

5 years ago, all an agency had to do was post their royalty rate XX%. Today it's a mix of non-traceable factors that determine our payouts.

It's time for a contributor owned stock agency. If someone like Yuri (with the necessary background and financial punch) would start setting it up, I'd drop 5 to 10 agencies in a heart beat.

We have been slapped all over the place. IS, Fotolia, DT and many more implement insane policies, pay cuts and other nonsense.

« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2012, 21:49 »
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In the movie business, the whole scheme for big stars getting a percentage of the gross (versus the profits) came about because the studios always managed to keep the books so that there was no profit. The agencies are increasingly following the same path and trying to effectively continue to cut contributor shares while assisting their own bottom line.



--------------------------------------------
Art Buchwald where are you when we need you?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buchwald_v._Paramount

lisafx

« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2012, 22:34 »
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You had it right the first time.  They are.  Just not 100% - that's what I was correcting.  So, a portion of your affiliate earnings is deducted from the contributors you referred to Dreamstime.  That's why I removed my affiliate links - I don't want my referred contributors to be penalized.

(snip)

And this policy is new as of April this year, when they updated the levels.  

Thanks for clarifying - again.  Hope they will rethink this policy.  Doesn't seem right to penalize new contributors just for being referred by someone else.  
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 22:39 by lisafx »

grafix04

« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2012, 00:10 »
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This has been happening for quite some time now.  I remember someone kicking up a fuss about it in the forums and Serban responded by saying it was a 'mistake' - that it was something they missed and should have been deducting referral money from contributors all along.  Yeah right  ::)

I've suspected since then that they're in financial trouble.  Since then they've been fiddling with the algorithm, testing royalties, changing levels, raising prices, adding the 'pin-it' button, giving our images away from free on Facebook in a desperate attempt to get more buyers, removing the weekly subscription plan and now reducing our royalties from subscriptions.  DT, who once was the most trusted and most promising agent is now the most conniving, most deceitful one out there. 

They've pissed off buyers and contributors and every time someone questions one of their dodgy new policies, Serban responds by saying that they need to make the change to remain competitive.  BS!  He's used that excuse when removing the levels on subscriptions but he had no problem shafting buyers by increasing the levels making the credit package they already bought worth less than it was before the change.  Then they shaft them again by increasing the prices of the credit packages. 

The company doesn't seem too healthy at all.  They're going down the pan and they deserve it.

« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2012, 05:06 »
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It is a shame Dreamstime is pushing (half) the cost of their referral program onto the photographer.  I feel this should come out of the advertising budget and not out of the contributers commission.

If Dreamstime wasn't it's contributers to advertise for them (with the referral program), they shouldn't punish those who use their links.

I posted this on Lee's blog as well.  I'll wait to see how this all pans out, but if nothing changes I don't see a point in sending photographers (or buyers) to Dreamstime through a referral link. 

And.. for those sites who aren't interested in providing a referral program for those of us who advertise their site I don't see a value in providing a link at all.

« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2012, 06:30 »
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Once again!

We contributors have to promote our portfolios on agencies where is the best deal for us...
That must be aggressive campaign!

« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2012, 06:45 »
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Once again!

We contributors have to promote our portfolios on agencies where is the best deal for us...
That must be aggressive campaign!

I think YAYmicro takes the cake on the best referral program.
Quote
You get a 20% commission on all sales - forever- generated by your referrals!

Direct Referral
Direct sale is the customers who use your link or bonus code when the register at YAY. You get a 20 % commission on all sales from your referred customers - each time they buy anything at YAY, forever!

2-Tier Referral
Along with giving you a whopping 20 % commission on all direct sales, we'll also give you 5 % commission on all indirect sales, generated by people you refer! This is called 2-tier sale. You'll get an overview of all your referrals at the My Referrals page.

« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2012, 11:16 »
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Yeah, I don't see removing the referral code making much of a difference either. I guess you could remove the link altogether which would punish them by eliminating a back link. Even without the link on the word, Dreamstime, you still could be referring people to the site. Call me pessimistic, but I don't see any action taken really being enough to stop DT from continuing to do this. And when one agency does it, you can be sure another one is soon to follow.

« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2012, 11:20 »
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Since I already gave the serious answer, it's time for the joke answer...

I think everyone should sign up for my affiliate program and replace their Dreamstime links with MyStockVectors links. That will show them.  ;)

« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2012, 18:26 »
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quite curious to know if there is any reply from Serban

« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2012, 02:31 »
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