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Author Topic: Fotolia changes to Exclusivity and other News  (Read 38583 times)

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« Reply #75 on: February 18, 2009, 17:02 »
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Hi Mat,

That's OK, These things do happen...

I just don't feel the need to take responsibility or bame for other contributors posts..  

With this I'll humbly leave the topic and wait for the time to come, when we see the predicted result of the free images...  Let history repeat it self, as they say  :D

have a nice evening

best regards
Flemming


vonkara

« Reply #76 on: February 18, 2009, 17:32 »
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That's absolutely the case.  And they will also let you give away files which aren't selling well.  Isn't Fotolia the best?

First Guarantee - Fotolia will continue to screw over its contributors
Second Guarantee - Contributors will scream about it, and threaten to do this or that
Third Guarantee - Contributors will end up accepting whatever Fotolia wants, because everyone wants every last dollar

Leave them.  Send a real message.
I like that

« Reply #77 on: February 18, 2009, 17:41 »
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- our commission goes down by 3%

Wow.  How exciting.  Should we thank them?   :-\

Yes, the commission is lower, but the cash in pocket is higher because they have raised the prices.  Here is my math again.  Someone else posted in the FT forum they did the math on their past 100 sales and found with the new rates they would come out on top.  Can you dispute this math for a silver photographer?...

37%...                                                            34%...

Medium:  $3.00 .....$1.11                                        $4.00.....$1.36
Large:  $4.00 ........$1.48                                        $5.00 ....$1.85
X-Large:  $5.00......$1.85                                        $6.00 ....$2.04


Total Exclusive Photographer....

54%                                                                51%

Medium:  $9.00 ..........$4.86                                       $12.00 ....$6.12
Large:      $12.00 .......$6.68                                       $15.00 ....$7.65
X-Large:  $15.00 ........$8.10                                       $18.00 .....$9.18

This math only works if consumer behavior remains the same. I am afraid it will increase subscriptions - at which we will earn 0.32 credits for a download in size L. (plus: 34% of 5,00 is 1,70 not 1,85...).

« Reply #78 on: February 18, 2009, 17:48 »
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Do you read the form at FT?

The moderator MAT, just wrote this...:


QUOTE!
Fotolia is reducing commissions by 5-10% not 3%.Hi guys,

Wow, did I pick the wrong day to sleep in or what?     Maybe the right day? 

As soon as I read the announcement I anticipated a lot of passion in the forum and was right. 

Now I would suggest you look at if from a point of logic....

For the sake of argument I looked at the commission for a silver ranked photographer either totally non-exclusive or totally exclusive and in both cases, the photographer is making more money.  Unfortunately, the photographer with partial exclusivity will take a hit.  I understand why that has people worked up.  For me, it is motivation to pull my photo's from the other sites I have tried as the exclusive commission here really does make it worth my while.

What I found doing some basic math if you are a non-exclusive, silver ranked photographer...

current commissions:

37%...                                                            34%...

Medium:  $3.00 .....$1.11                                        $4.00.....$1.36
Large:  $4.00 ........$1.48                                        $5.00 ....$1.85
X-Large:  $5.00......$1.85                                        $6.00 ....$2.04


Total Exclusive Photographer....

54%                                                                51%

Medium:  $9.00 ..........$4.86                                       $12.00 ....$6.12
Large:      $12.00 .......$6.68                                       $15.00 ....$7.65
X-Large:  $15.00 ........$8.10                                       $18.00 .....$9.18


It is more money for the photographers.

As far as the partial exclusive photographer is concerned, my personal belief has always been that it is in both the agencies and photographers best interest to submit exclusively.  With photographers dumping their images everywhere anyone will accept them, the prices are driven down because the sites are competing to sell the exact same images.  With exclusivity, the prices can go up and the demand for photographers amongst sites goes up as well.  In order to recruit the best photographers, the benefits need to be the best.  I don't see that happening overnight anywhere anytime soon but...to me, the benefits of submitting my work exclusively here far outweigh not doing so.

END QUOTE

... So guys... You're gonna get rich on this, not poor
 ;D

funny he says about being exclusive yet he was on here a few weeks back asking about agencies and what to do with his rejections and from memory saying he may have made a mistake by not submitting the rejected images at least to other agencies.



It has always been a question for me.  I have a few images at other sites...Snapvillage and Media Magnet that had very limited success.  Shutterstock closed my account without warning because I moderate the Fotolia forum so that was out.  I've always made a decent chunk of change at Fotolia.  At least 4 figures per month for the past couple of years so I have chosen not to fix something not broken.  Now, there is more incentive for me to submit only to Fotolia.  I've already got the bulk of my time invested there so why not.  The commission % is very high and now the $ amount will be higher with the increased price.  I have always believed, and believe now more than ever with the popularity of micro increasing that photographers are shooting themselves in the foot in the big picture here but uploading all their images everywhere they can.  That drives prices down.  If you were to submit exclusively anywhere, that would increase the competition amongst sites to create better incentive for you to go there which would include higher prices and commissions.  I stand by everything I have said.  I've sent my letters to Snapvillage and Mediamagnet asking them to close my accounts and I look forward to an increase in pay.  

I realize this isn't the popular approach.  Call me what you want, but loyalty is not something I will apologize to anyone for.

All the best,

Mat Hayward

Hi, I certainly did not mean it in any way to be degoratory and if it was taken this way then I apologise.   I was just amused at the irony of the fact that a few weeks ago you were looking at what to do with the rejections (and now due to a change of circumstances another option has become available to you, which obvisously in your position would be beneficial to you).

« Reply #79 on: February 18, 2009, 17:59 »
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This math only works if consumer behavior remains the same. I am afraid it will increase subscriptions - at which we will earn 0.32 credits for a download in size L. (plus: 34% of 5,00 is 1,70 not 1,85...).

[/quote]

Two solid points for sure.  There is definitely the X-factor of whether or not a price increase will either push buyers elsewhere or drive them towards subscriptions.  I think the latter isn't too big a concern.  For buyers of multiple images that subscriptions make sense for I think they are already there.  With so many really good options for them at pretty much all of the major sites I think that is what it is and this increase isn't going to be much a straw breaking the camels back.  I do think it's a risk to push buyers to cheaper sites which goes back to my original post that as long as the bulk of photographers continue to upload all the exact same photo's to all the agencies it will drive prices down.  I think I-stock was gutsy in making such a bold move to aggressively move photographers towards exclusivity and this move by Fotolia has an element of risk requiring courage as well.  Ultimately, I really believe that no matter what site you upload to, if you do so exclusively and the majority of others do the same, we would all benefit greatly in the long run.  I don't necessarily believe it's realistic but with I-stocks move and now Fotolia's it seems to be getting easier to make that decision.

As for the other point...ugh, how embarrassing.  You are right that 34% of $5 is $1.70.  Thank you for the clarification.  Would you believe me if I told you I did the math in my head?   ::)

Mat

« Reply #80 on: February 18, 2009, 18:05 »
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this is my concern, too many images being given away, I would be interested to see how many images this would be 10% of 5 million is 500k free images, why buy it if there is a similar image for free?

Phil
[/quote]

You can be sure it will be a choice of them. Giving away a volume of images for free is a mistake, because that only attracts free-image chasers. It has happened before and it should happen again.  Judgig by StockXpert ranking, it doesn't seem the legion of downloaders at sxh.hu pay much attention to the row of StockXpert paying images that appears when they do a search for free images.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 18:09 by loop »

« Reply #81 on: February 18, 2009, 18:23 »
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Can you dispute this math for a silver photographer?...

I think I can, given that most of my sales are either subs, XS or S.  I will do my own real-world math for the past months sales and post it here.

Regards,
Adelaide

I must say I bit my tongue and in the final math for the past months the new plan would result in an increase of 5-10% in my earnings. 

On the other hand, as Mellimage said, price increases in the credit side will move some buyers to the subs side.  Also some buyers may decide to save a bit buying a smaller size.  My calculations might then give a different result.

Nevetheless, it is disappointing to see FT cutting our already meager commissions and still force us to sell subs, FT being already one of the cheapest in the market in both cases.  I keep my position of not uploading to FT.

Regards,
Adelaide
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 18:26 by madelaide »

RT


« Reply #82 on: February 18, 2009, 18:29 »
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This is a serious question...Why is it that the most negative, angry...borderline mean people not just here, but on all online forums have usernames that are anonymous and refuse to sign their posts? 

I'd imagine it is because most of them are all to aware that places like Fotolia don't support freedom of speech, and many folks that read these forums are either management, reviewers or hold other non-paid posistions on sites which gives them the power to be vindictive to those that criticise their beloved agency. By posting as anonymous it gives people the ability to say how they feel without any recourse.


I am not an employee of Fotolia. 

I must be honest I always thought you were by the way you reply to policy questions on the forum and lock threads that reflect badly on Fotolias reputation, but that's mainly due to Chad also being tagged as a moderator, maybe they could change his tag to 'management' so everyone would know that when he replies it means something more than just a personal opinion.


vonkara

« Reply #83 on: February 18, 2009, 18:43 »
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This math only works if consumer behavior remains the same. I am afraid it will increase subscriptions - at which we will earn 0.32 credits for a download in size L. (plus: 34% of 5,00 is 1,70 not 1,85...).

Exactly what StockXpert just became. They did the exact same by higher the credit prices and now... Subs are all over the place. Fotolia follow the same track because the thruth is mostly they want buyers to brought only subs.

This way the agency earn around the same with subs package than with credit, get regular customers (1 month each or more) and the best part, give nothing to the photographers

That's why they put the prices like that. Tell me more about credit sales in 3 months LOL

« Reply #84 on: February 18, 2009, 18:44 »
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ironically I think I just had my best day for sales at FT, about 17 assorted credit and sub sales :)
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 18:47 by Phil »

« Reply #85 on: February 18, 2009, 18:53 »
0
This is a serious question...Why is it that the most negative, angry...borderline mean people not just here, but on all online forums have usernames that are anonymous and refuse to sign their posts? 

I'd imagine it is because most of them are all to aware that places like Fotolia don't support freedom of speech, and many folks that read these forums are either management, reviewers or hold other non-paid posistions on sites which gives them the power to be vindictive to those that criticise their beloved agency. By posting as anonymous it gives people the ability to say how they feel without any recourse.


It didn't do Bobby Deal much good did it Mat? Surprising that you couldn't work that one out all by yourself.

« Reply #86 on: February 18, 2009, 18:53 »
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Somehow I'm not surprised ::) What's next? Image placement fees?  >:(

« Reply #87 on: February 18, 2009, 18:54 »
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Well I'm glad the Extended license issue seems to have resolved itself. Still...

It still doesn't really make up for
- changing the goalposts for rankings - eg. you loose 2% commission (or 5.8% of revenue) for each file sold between 5000 and 10000
- the decrease in percentage for commissions
- substantially delayed ability to increase file prices
Overall its a triple whammy.

The combined effect of all this is that contributors share of revenue has dropped substantially. Whether we will actually see an increase in total revenue is a big unknown. My personal view is that we won't.

« Reply #88 on: February 18, 2009, 18:58 »
0
This is a serious question...Why is it that the most negative, angry...borderline mean people not just here, but on all online forums have usernames that are anonymous and refuse to sign their posts? 

I'd imagine it is because most of them are all to aware that places like Fotolia don't support freedom of speech, and many folks that read these forums are either management, reviewers or hold other non-paid posistions on sites which gives them the power to be vindictive to those that criticise their beloved agency. By posting as anonymous it gives people the ability to say how they feel without any recourse.


I am not an employee of Fotolia. 

I must be honest I always thought you were by the way you reply to policy questions on the forum and lock threads that reflect badly on Fotolias reputation, but that's mainly due to Chad also being tagged as a moderator, maybe they could change his tag to 'management' so everyone would know that when he replies it means something more than just a personal opinion.



You make a fair point.  I disagree, but also realize that perception is reality and if people have that fear or concern it makes sense.  My point isn't really limited to this discussion or even photography for that matter.  Since the internet has been in our lives, people feel a certain sense of bravado they don't normally have in the "real world."  They feel safe and protected to let their dark side lash out.  Kind of like the little old lady flipping someone the bird while driving a car.  Hard to imagine her dropping an F-bomb to someone's face if walking down the sidewalk instead of driving.  It's just human nature and I've always been bothered by it.

As for the title in the forum...that is actually a great idea and I'm going to write to Chad right now to see if he can make that change.  It would save a lot of confusion and misconceptions I'll bet.  Believe it or not, I have moderated the forum all these years because I simply love the power and control of it all!  Ha Ha, that's not even close but I'll bet some of you read that and gasped :)  I do it because I enjoy the forum, I care about the people that contribute to it and I care about Fotolia as a company.  I believe that it is run by good people and I have always believed it has the greatest potential of all the sites for long term success.  That is something I am proud to be a small part of.

Even the people that are the most skeptical can't argue with the success of the company.  Believe me, I know there have been communication Snafu's in the past.  I was thrilled to read this announcement prior to the changes being made.  I know for a fact that the upper management listens to and cares about the contributor's of Fotolia.  I've now seen two posts by people skeptical at first that did the math and learned that if the changes would have been made before their recent sales were made they would have made more money.  This is an increase in revenue!  

Mat

« Reply #89 on: February 18, 2009, 19:06 »
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Okay, I'm a very minor player but this does it for me. I was going to hold on until I could make payout but with the decrease in commission, that would probably keep me there another 2 years.  I'm done.  They are the worst seller for me (and that's saying something!), the lack of ability to adjust keywords (after approval) or use phrases means it takes me 3x as long to upload images there as even iStock. 

Is anyone else thinking of leaving, but pretty close to payout? I'd prefer to spend my credits with those who are not going to support Fotolia's continued screwing of it's contributors.


« Reply #90 on: February 18, 2009, 19:18 »
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what is partialy exclusive? I can have 3000 images non exclusive, and 1 exclusive, am I partial exclusive? LOL!

« Reply #91 on: February 18, 2009, 19:19 »
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I can't say I am thrilled with this latest announcement from Fotolia and it's fair to assume they won't be getting any free images from me, even if they are files that have not sold there in the past. Fact is, they could be on other sites selling quite nicely and the last thing you would want to do is throw them into the freebie pool.

I would prefer a price increase and no decrease in commissions but I don't think I can start jumping up and down in a violent rage when I still accept iStock's 20% commission for non-exclusives, as well as their obvious disdain for non-exclusive photographers.

I've always felt welcomed by Fotolia, have found Chad quick to respond to my personal queries. Some of the things they have done have been handled the wrong way but I can understand the need to cut costs in these difficult times. I guess we have to expect it too.

« Reply #92 on: February 18, 2009, 19:45 »
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I would prefer a price increase and no decrease in commissions but I don't think I can start jumping up and down in a violent rage when I still accept iStock's 20% commission for non-exclusives, as well as their obvious disdain for non-exclusive photographers.


The difference is the traffic at iStock. I've made more at iStock in 2 months than I have in several years at Fotolia. More at DT too. Fotolia's system is totally broken. If I miss a keyword on iStock I can fix it. On Fotolia, I'm stuck with those keywords unless support intervenes. I have dozens of files with phrases that can't be found because Fotolia did not inform contributors that it was an issue (maybe in the forums, but I don't read theirs) and refuse to allow those files to be corrected. I'd have to email every file # and changes to support to get it corrected.

All I want is the money they owe me. I quit uploading there after the last change. They're looking for more ways to screw contributors and they've found it.

« Reply #93 on: February 18, 2009, 21:27 »
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Okay, so I have been thinking about this new fibtolia slap in the face all day.  I realize that it does mean an increased income (much more so now for Fibtolia than for the contributors) assuming buyers get the M and above.  I could sit here and b*tch and moan all day...and all night, but then I would have to ask myself, who screws me more????  Oh yeah, IStock.

I've sold files on IStock for $0.19 USD - never had a sale that low on Fibtolia.

I get 20% commission on IStock - never had that low of commission on Fibtolia.

I can only upload 15 images a WEEK at IStock...don't have that problem at Fibtolia (not to mention the no FTP rule for non-exclusives on IStock)

I personally find IStocks forum and moderators to be much more controlling and full of negative, rude comments than Fibtolia (although, I don't spend much time on the Fibtolia forum - so my view could be skewed - but then I think of what happened to Bobby Deal and I wonder - Fibtolia could be worse in this category).

For me personally, I have got more photo's through the Fibtolia reviews than I do IStock.  (IStock even tells me how they want me to redo my animations to how they want them - start here ... end there... blah blah blah - spend all night rerendering...um.... no!)

So, when I think about it, it's really IStock who's sticking it to me, but I do make a lot more $$$ on IStock than I do on Fibtolia - in fact I could take or leave Fibtolia and it would have no real financial effect.

I'm not trying in any way to justify what Fibtolia has done, and trust me  - I don't like them, stopped liking them a while ago, but as far as who's screwing who???  I personally think its IStock screwing me.

Oh yeah, and some one might want to remind Fibtolia that they are not the highest paying commission in the industry even if your an exclusive.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 22:05 by snaprender »

vonkara

« Reply #94 on: February 18, 2009, 22:09 »
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I personally find IStocks forum and moderators to be much more controlling and full of negative, rude comments than Fibtolia (although, I don't spend much time on the Fibtolia forum - so my view could be skewed - but then I think of what happened to Bobby Deal and I wonder - Fibtolia could be worse in this category).

For me personally, I have got more photo's through the Fibtolia reviews than I do IStock.  (IStock even tells me how they want me to redo my animations to how they want them - start here ... end there... blah blah blah - spend all night rerendering...um.... no!)

So, when I think about it, it's really IStock who's sticking it to me, but I do make a lot more $$$ on IStock than I do on Fibtolia - in fact I could take or leave Fibtolia and it would have no real financial effect.

I'm not trying in any way to justify what Fibtolia has done, and trust me  - I don't like them, stopped liking them a while ago, but as far as who's screwing who???  I personally think its IStock screwing me.

Oh yeah, and some one might want to remind Fibtolia that they are not the highest paying commission in the industry even if your an exclusive.
For moderaters, I know only one banned person from IS forum. There's almost monthly on Fotolia who come here to say how they have been banned because of...

For the reviews I like more a strict and precise agency than a chaotic one like Fotolia. I almost always understand why I got rejected at Istock but it hardly make sense at Fotolia. That's the contributor problem also, you know that.

The 20% doesn't matter to me when the total sale is like 20$ and more. I still get 2$ to 5$ for one sale what I can't get on Fotolia. Also Istock doesn't have subscription, what make me have L, XL and XXL. I don't get that anymore on Fotolia

Don't get me wrong, I get your point of view and know you don't necessary like Fotolia. But there's another way to see things here, that I know you catch anyway.

LOL and yes someone please remind Fotolia peoples that their claims to be the highest commission is wrong. That prove they didn't go see elsewhere often LOL

« Reply #95 on: February 18, 2009, 23:09 »
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Man, is this getting to be one of the longest-running threads on MSG or what??

Contributors....just say "NO" to free images.....please!!!!

« Reply #96 on: February 19, 2009, 01:47 »
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Can you dispute this math for a silver photographer?...

I think I can, given that most of my sales are either subs, XS or S.  I will do my own real-world math for the past months sales and post it here.

Regards,
Adelaide

I must say I bit my tongue and in the final math for the past months the new plan would result in an increase of 5-10% in my earnings. 

On the other hand, as Mellimage said, price increases in the credit side will move some buyers to the subs side.  Also some buyers may decide to save a bit buying a smaller size.  My calculations might then give a different result.

Nevetheless, it is disappointing to see FT cutting our already meager commissions and still force us to sell subs, FT being already one of the cheapest in the market in both cases.  I keep my position of not uploading to FT.

Regards,
Adelaide

Frankly I don't have much of a problem with the changes.  However, I don't see anyone doing the math right on the price and commissions changes.

The law of supply and demand is pretty iron clad in competitive markets and Microstock is a near perfect competitive market (i.e. easy entry, many sellers, many buyers, etc.)  That being the case the 20% rise in the price of images will result in a 20% decline in demand for images and total revenue from the sale of images will remain the same.  The important change for contributors is that the lowered commission means that a smaller proportion of the total revenue will be going to the contributors.

Total demand - the number of images needed in the market - will continue to increase and revenues will increase with that demand but the price increase will mean that Fotolia sales will not increase as fast as the demand for images increases.  Increases in the supply of images constrains the ability of MS sites to increase prices without losing market share. 

FT can make up for some of this with marketing but in the end I think contributors will be lucky to break even with the changes.

fred


« Reply #97 on: February 19, 2009, 06:27 »
0
The law of supply and demand is pretty iron clad in competitive markets and Microstock is a near perfect competitive market (i.e. easy entry, many sellers, many buyers, etc.)  That being the case the 20% rise in the price of images will result in a 20% decline in demand for images and total revenue from the sale of images will remain the same.  The important change for contributors is that the lowered commission means that a smaller proportion of the total revenue will be going to the contributors.

Total demand - the number of images needed in the market - will continue to increase and revenues will increase with that demand but the price increase will mean that Fotolia sales will not increase as fast as the demand for images increases.  Increases in the supply of images constrains the ability of MS sites to increase prices without losing market share. 

FT can make up for some of this with marketing but in the end I think contributors will be lucky to break even with the changes.

fred

I don't think that the market is anything like as predictable as you suggest. If it were then IS should have lost much more market-share than it has because it is so much more expensive than the competition. The market is clearly segmented with buyers having different preferences and priorities.

From a contributor's point of view the details such as the % commission, etc are largely irrelevant. I have a portfolio of about 3000 images and all that really matters to me is how much it makes each month with each agency. I like agencies that make me a lot of money.

IS is the obvious example. They have always paid the lowest commission to independent contributors and yet they have always made me the most money. It does suggest that all this marketing malarkey does make a huge difference and that paying higher royalties at the cost of effective marketing/admin may indeed be false economy.

If FT believe they need to invest further in marketing and admin then I for one have considerable faith in their judgement based on their record of success to date. I've been extremely disappointed initially at what seems to be continual eroding of contributors' payouts but the overall effect, at least for me, has invariably been consistent growth in earnings. I'm looking forward to the future at FT.

msv

« Reply #98 on: February 19, 2009, 10:46 »
0
I'm a bronze there, no exclusive images.
Based on last 100 sales excel tells me that with new lower commissions and higher pricing I'd increase my earnings by 6%.
I guess their share has grown much more than that, I hope they'll use it wisely.
And in NO WAY I'll give them free images.

« Reply #99 on: February 19, 2009, 17:25 »
0
IS commissions are indeed lower, but they have been the same since I signed up with them, so I was aware of this.  All IS changes in pricing were positive, they never paid us less.  They let us opt out any subs in any image, and subs packages are not absurdly low cost as in FT (which is, if I am not wrong, the cheapest).

FT however is constantly making changes that are negative to us - subscriptions, no opt-out option, new rank limits, and now lower commissions.  They abuse of the right of changing the contract with us, IMHO.

Indeed, XS in IS may pay us only 19c vs at least 30c in FT, but I don't get in FT the higher commissions I get in IS (US$2.76 in one this month, and even in the new price plan FT won't pay us that for a XL image).

I used to like FT a lot, but their latest moves were very disappointing. It is still an excellent earner for me (and it's ahead of IS so far this month), still I don't like the way it is managed.

Regards,
Adelaide


 

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