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Author Topic: EL price change at Fotolia?  (Read 14553 times)

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fotorob

  • I am a professional stock photographer

« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2010, 03:45 »
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I feel like we will loose many sales just because the XS prices from Yuri Arcurs' images have dropped from 4 to 3 credits and thus get sold more often... :-)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 11:01 by fotorob »


« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2010, 05:20 »
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One thing that's really hard for me to understand:

Fotolia restricts the ability to increase prices for contributors (effectively leading to a closer price range for similar images) and most people are upset.

Istock increases prices for parts of their collection (effectively leading to a wider price range for similar images) and everyone is upset.

So what would be the right way? ???

RT


« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2010, 05:25 »
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I feel like we will loose many sales just because the XS prices from Yuri Arcurs' images have dropped from 4 to 3 credits and this get sold more often... :-)

Why are all your images identical to his?

« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2010, 07:07 »
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Maybe it's just me, but I can't draw any comparisons between this and what Getty pulled on its contributors.  Fotolia lowered the credit costs for a few images sizes and top line ELs.  I realize this sucks for high end contributors.  But it hits Fotolia harder than the contributor, since FT make the lion's share of the commission.  

Obviously they wouldn't lower the credit cost if they could avoid it, because it hits them harder than it hits any contributor.  So their data shows them this is the right move for their company and its contributors.  I find no problem in this.  

Unlike Getty/IS which just decided to lower contributors' commission percentages and keep a higher % of the profit, in this case Fotolia and its contributors are clearly in the same boat together.  If Fotolia is wrong on this move, it will hit them harder than it will any of us.

+1

lisafx

« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2010, 10:27 »
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^^ +2

Well stated Dan.

« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2010, 10:50 »
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One thing that's really hard for me to understand:

Fotolia restricts the ability to increase prices for contributors (effectively leading to a closer price range for similar images) and most people are upset.

Istock increases prices for parts of their collection (effectively leading to a wider price range for similar images) and everyone is upset.

So what would be the right way? ???


I think this is probably a rhetorical question, but in the event you were actually looking for an answer, it would be:

The right way would be to treat contributors like partners in the business so that (a) gains and belt-tightening were reasonably shared, (b) communication and in some cases a discussion would accompany significant changes and (c) the long term success of the enterprise would be kept in mind, not just profits for the current quarter/year.

Being yanked around ticks people off. Both the changes you note felt like being yanked around. People got upset.

« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2010, 15:14 »
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One thing that's really hard for me to understand:

Fotolia restricts the ability to increase prices for contributors (effectively leading to a closer price range for similar images) and most people are upset.

Istock increases prices for parts of their collection (effectively leading to a wider price range for similar images) and everyone is upset.

So what would be the right way? ???


I think this is probably a rhetorical question, but in the event you were actually looking for an answer, it would be:

The right way would be to treat contributors like partners in the business so that (a) gains and belt-tightening were reasonably shared, (b) communication and in some cases a discussion would accompany significant changes and (c) the long term success of the enterprise would be kept in mind, not just profits for the current quarter/year.

Being yanked around ticks people off. Both the changes you note felt like being yanked around. People got upset.

I fully agree that the treatment of contributors as partners seems to be a low priority for both these agencies. And that this contributes a lot to the negative sentiment is obvious.

But in the Istock threads a lot of people argue about how bad it is to have different prices for similar images on one site and that it drives customers away. Nobody really mentioned that the same existed at other agencies as well.
Now that Fotolia is moving towards a smaller price band and removing these perceived unfairness against customers, almost all voices are negative again.

And the question was not completely rethorical, what would people really prefer?
A simple pricing scheme, same for all images? Special collections with higher prices as Istock offers (but maybe with stricter control to not allow similars with different prices)? The ability to set your own prices (as Fotolia still offers, just a bit more restrictive)? A image-level system as DT offers?

What I see here is different agencies trying to raise average prices using different methods. These different pricing schemes are competing on the market, and it looks like FT fears that their scheme was not competitive enough.

I personally would not be able to predict what's the best way to maximise prices without driving customers away. In the ideal world these different schemes would be open for participation for all (including independant) contributors, this way everybody could find his/her own strategy. Unfortunately this is not the case, it's only for exclusives and/or higher level contributors, so for myself these changes have no practical impact.

« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2010, 15:27 »
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DT level system seems to prove that it is ok to increase the price. Lots of people will pay for better images (supposing better images will be the ones in higher levels, of course it depends on many factors, mainly time on site).  I have regular credit sales of my level 3 and 4 images.

The reduction of EL price is a bit too drastic.

Above all, it's the lack of communication that sucks.

« Reply #33 on: November 18, 2010, 16:03 »
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DT level system seems to prove that it is ok to increase the price. Lots of people will pay for better images (supposing better images will be the ones in higher levels, of course it depends on many factors, mainly time on site).  I have regular credit sales of my level 3 and 4 images.

The reduction of EL price is a bit too drastic.

Above all, it's the lack of communication that sucks.

I agree. The DT level system seems to work ok, and more importantly, it has been that way since I can remember. Consistency. Something that IS lacks big time. Seems like every week/month, some new scheme is introduced.

« Reply #34 on: November 18, 2010, 17:11 »
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DT level system seems to prove that it is ok to increase the price. Lots of people will pay for better images (supposing better images will be the ones in higher levels, of course it depends on many factors, mainly time on site).  I have regular credit sales of my level 3 and 4 images.

The reduction of EL price is a bit too drastic.

Above all, it's the lack of communication that sucks.

I agree. The DT level system seems to work ok, and more importantly, it has been that way since I can remember. Consistency. Something that IS lacks big time. Seems like every week/month, some new scheme is introduced.


The biggest difference between the DT Level system and the various iStock price points is that at DT, the buyers drive the price point by choosing which images meet their needs.  Supply and Demand.  If an image is unworthy it will remain Level 1.  If it is special, it will be driven to 4 or 5 quickly.  At iStock, the price points are determined by a reviewer.  Or in the case of the Agency collection, they are just imported into the fray at a higher price point than existing collection images which may be just as good if not better.  I always found it ridiculous to assume a reviewer can predict future sales, and thus set an appropriate price point.

And just so it's not interpreted wrongly, I am not bashing the reviewers.  On the contrary I feel they are being asked to do the impossible. 
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 17:12 by djpadavona »

« Reply #35 on: November 18, 2010, 17:16 »
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The DT level system seems to work ok, and more importantly, it has been that way since I can remember. Consistency. Something that IS lacks big time. Seems like every week/month, some new scheme is introduced.

I'd hardly hold DT's pricing architecture as a shining light judging by overall sales. My earnings have barely risen there in 3 years and they appear to have been steadily losing market share against other agencies over the same timescale. One image can still be 9x more expensive than another simply by virtue of it being old enough to have sold 50 times. There's images at IS that sell more than that every week.

lisafx

« Reply #36 on: November 18, 2010, 18:38 »
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I think both Fotolia's and Dreamstime's pricing schemes are clearer and more logical than Istock's. 

First off, they are completely performance based - performance of the image, in DT's case, and performance of the contributor in FT's case - unlike Istock's, which appear pretty random. 

FT and DT's higher priced content are better integrated into the main library. 

The prices do not fluctuate by tens or hundreds of dollars for regular RF license.

Most importantly, the default search engine isn't front loaded with (almost) entirely the most expensive files, but offers buyers a nice mix of price points. 

« Reply #37 on: November 18, 2010, 18:43 »
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The biggest difference between the DT Level system and the various iStock price points (...)

In fact I was comparing DT with FT, regarding the original discussion, as there were some posts agreeing with FT strategy.

« Reply #38 on: November 18, 2010, 18:47 »
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Personally, I like istock's pricing the best. As a vector artist, it's nice that they don't sell the raster version at a bunch of different price points. I'd like to see small sizes go away. The one image one price model makes a lot more sense than priced by size. This isn't rights managed, so why should a web image be cheaper?

« Reply #39 on: November 18, 2010, 19:15 »
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I have to agree. I like the fact that iStock is moving away from being a pure micro agency. The possibility of higher prices for higher quality image motivates me to improve my work and aim at higher goals.

Personally, I like istock's pricing the best. As a vector artist, it's nice that they don't sell the raster version at a bunch of different price points. I'd like to see small sizes go away. The one image one price model makes a lot more sense than priced by size. This isn't rights managed, so why should a web image be cheaper?

lisafx

« Reply #40 on: November 18, 2010, 23:19 »
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I have to agree. I like the fact that iStock is moving away from being a pure micro agency. The possibility of higher prices for higher quality image motivates me to improve my work and aim at higher goals.

Sorry, but higher prices don't do much for contributors if royalties and downloads are both dropping dramatically.  Sounds like a zero sum game to me.

« Reply #41 on: November 19, 2010, 09:29 »
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I think both Fotolia's and Dreamstime's pricing schemes are clearer and more logical than Istock's. 

First off, they are completely performance based - performance of the image, in DT's case, and performance of the contributor in FT's case - unlike Istock's, which appear pretty random. 

FT and DT's higher priced content are better integrated into the main library. 

The prices do not fluctuate by tens or hundreds of dollars for regular RF license.

Most importantly, the default search engine isn't front loaded with (almost) entirely the most expensive files, but offers buyers a nice mix of price points. 

All good points, that does make a difference.

But at FT there still is the infamous "Infinity Collection" with different price tags, sometimes starting at 55 credits for an XS. And they are also mixed into every search page, not as prominent as on Istock but still this looks a lot like an effort to promote that collections. Even if you sort by downloads these images appear on the first pages, and I very much doubt that their real download numbers (which are not visible) are taken into account.

So there is intransparency to a certain degree on all these sites.

« Reply #42 on: November 19, 2010, 12:31 »
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I have to agree. I like the fact that iStock is moving away from being a pure micro agency. The possibility of higher prices for higher quality image motivates me to improve my work and aim at higher goals.

Sorry, but higher prices don't do much for contributors if royalties and downloads are both dropping dramatically.  Sounds like a zero sum game to me.

Lisa, I empathize with you and other non-exclusives who are excluded from some benefits at IS. But I also want to point out that some of your views do not reflect the whole picture. Since I became exclusive, the majority sales have been way above $1 so my royalties are definitely not dropping overall. The DL numbers are slightly down if I take consideration of the expansion of my port. But since canister levels no longer matter under the Redeemed Credit system, I am ok with the higher income.

« Reply #43 on: November 19, 2010, 13:56 »
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Exclusivity has been good for me too, up to now.

What you need to bear in mind is that although download numbers no longer matter, neither do dollars, at least as far as what you get for the following year's royalty percentage.

So if IS wants to manipulate contributor royalty rates further, they can increase credit prices and decrease the number of credits paid for each size or image type. If the buyer doesn't see much more than the expected annual price increase, what would they care about the credit total? But the contributor could be seriously hosed the following year when they don't meet their expected redeemed credit target.

IS is sweetening the pot for the recent changes by having increased Vetta & Agency prices and promising (at some point) to sell Vetta & Agency via Getty Images (with a flat 20% royalty and no redeemed credits getting added to your total). But as contributors we need to keep our eye on the ball that matters for us.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 15:37 by jsnover »

lisafx

« Reply #44 on: November 19, 2010, 14:36 »
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Lisa, I empathize with you and other non-exclusives who are excluded from some benefits at IS. But I also want to point out that some of your views do not reflect the whole picture. Since I became exclusive, the majority sales have been way above $1 so my royalties are definitely not dropping overall. The DL numbers are slightly down if I take consideration of the expansion of my port. But since canister levels no longer matter under the Redeemed Credit system, I am ok with the higher income.

I see your point, Freedom.  When I responded I had forgotten you are exclusive at IS.  The experiences of exclusives vs. non at Istock have definitely become very different over the past year or so.  

Glad exclusivity is still proving lucrative for you :)


So if IS wants to manipulate contributor royalty rates further, they can increase credit prices and decrease the number of credits paid for each size or image type. If the buyer doesn't see much more than the expected annual price increase, what would they care about the credit total? But the contributor could be seriously hosed the following year when they don't meet their expected redeemed credit target.


Yikes!  That is quite a scary thought.  And in spite of having read the monster thread on Istock, (before it was locked) this is the first time I have seen it articulated.  Makes complete sense though.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 14:38 by lisafx »

OM

« Reply #45 on: November 19, 2010, 17:26 »
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I asked them what's going on. Here is the answer I received. Amazing, isn't it? They seem to think they can treat contributors as retards.

Question   I see that my files are limited to a maximum extended license price of 100 credits instead of 200 as it used to be. Why has this changed? Was this change announced? Can it be corrected?

Elena Elisseeva (elenathewise)
Answers:   
Fotolia :   Hi Elena,

We have checked your account and noticed the the maximum price you can have for the EL license, according to your rank and exclusivity, is 100 credits each. Please visit http://us.fotolia.com/Info/Contributors for more information.
Kind regards,   11-17-2010 04:51 pm



I also sold a few of 200 ones a month. I'll be losing 100-200 dollars a month because of this.


Support's reply to your query re-confirms my suspicion that it consists of no more than HAL9000 operating out of somewhere on the Indian sub-continent. Wondered why THE CHAD had been hanging around the FT forum for a couple of days answering 'little' questions like, "What does the green 's' mean next to my image?" He was really there to capture the blow-back (or lack of it) from this 'little,' unannounced major change
« Last Edit: November 22, 2010, 08:08 by OM »

« Reply #46 on: November 19, 2010, 18:04 »
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Support's reply to your query re-confirms my suspicion that it consists of no more than HAL9000...

It's either a computer or one of those Magic Eight Ball kids toys. Sorry, ask again later... ;D


 

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