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Author Topic: Fotolia exclusives opted out of subs?  (Read 13474 times)

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lisafx

« on: April 15, 2010, 18:02 »
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I know there are only a couple of you here, but I have a question.  Do you have your portfolio opted out of subs, and if so, do you think it has hurt your search positions and/or sales numbers there?

I guess what I'm wondering is if sub buyers will:  1) See your image in good search position, and 2) buy it with credits since it isn't available with subs.  I would assume they would try and find a similar they could get with their subscription. 


« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2010, 06:00 »
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Mat Hayward is the only one I know and his port is opted in for subs. I think it would be incredibly damaging for sort-order position (and therefore sales) to be opted out of subs. I have a few exclusive images at FT myself and initially opted them out of subs. However sales appeared to rapidly slow on them so I fairly quickly opted them back in.

« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2010, 11:07 »
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So FT does even that?  How disgusting.  I didn't see any loss in StockXpert when I opted out of subs.

« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2010, 11:43 »
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One guy here reported exactly this thing. He is exclusive, opted out of subs. I think he saw big drop in files visibility and after a while opted back in. I can't find the thread. My memory tells me it was part of one of the large FT threads (not a separate one about the topic). You may be able to find it.

« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2010, 11:45 »
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So FT does even that?  How disgusting.  I didn't see any loss in StockXpert when I opted out of subs.

It's just a consequence of the default sort-order being determined by an image's sales/views ratio (and also it's age). A sub download still counts as a sale and because something like 40% of my sales are subs I'd assume that fewer sales, from being opted out of subs, would over time reduce an image's prominence. Maybe you'd also get fewer views too, if the sub buyer only clicked on images with the green sub marker, but I wouldn't count on it.


« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2010, 15:32 »
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^^^ SS isn't all subs.  My PPD and EL's there last month made me about the same as FT.

lisafx

« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2010, 15:46 »
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I am amazed at the number of subscription sales I'm having now.  I'm not sure what they are doing to market them but it seems to be working.  As it is, I've made an extra couple of thousand dollars in Subscription sales I would never have had if I was opted out.

Mat

Thanks for the info Mat.

Hope you are right and the sub sales are gravy.  I certainly agree there are a lot of them!

And thanks Danicek and Gostwyck for the reminder on files dropping from sight if they are opted out. 

No serious plans to go exclusive at the moment, but I am interested in the experiences of the ones who have tried it :)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 15:48 by lisafx »

« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2010, 17:01 »
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Exclusive on Fotolia? Really? Wow, I'm surprised you'd ever entertain something like that.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 17:21 by sharply_done »

« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2010, 18:01 »
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Exclusive on Fotolia? Really? Wow, I'm surprised you'd ever entertain something like that.
They are the fastest growing agency for most independent contributors __ and by a huge margin too. They pay much higher commissions than Istock and let the contributor choose the prices they sell images, within certain limits.

The microstock market is not set in stone and Istock are by no means guaranteed the position of market leader into the future. IMHO the next 5 years will see a huge struggle for supremacy between Istock and Fotolia.

lisafx

« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2010, 18:18 »
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Exclusive on Fotolia? Really? Wow, I'm surprised you'd ever entertain something like that.

No serious plans to go exclusive at the moment, but I am interested in the experiences of the ones who have tried it :)

Sorry you are surprised.  I certainly don't think I said anything at all surprising.  Feel free to take my remarks at face value and try not to read too much into them....  :)

« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2010, 19:17 »
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well, it's not that unusual to think about getting exclusiv at FT. If someone have a good acceptance ratio. FT sells better and better in the last years. Im on since 22 month. If I would go exclusive i would double my income and would win a lot of time uploading elsewhere.
But, the reason why i don't go this easy way is: It seems to be to risky to me (just my opinion). FT behave not trustworthy to me. Every year (springtime) they reduce constributors income. Also they enlarge sales, what is complimented. And FT was and is still my best earner.
Maybe I'm stupid, disclaiming the more profit i could get. But FT doesn't give me the feeling of beeing save and sound.
Just by numbers, it's stupid for me to upload and develop portfolios elsewhere.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 19:20 by palaver »

OM

« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2010, 20:03 »
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One guy here reported exactly this thing. He is exclusive, opted out of subs. I think he saw big drop in files visibility and after a while opted back in. I can't find the thread. My memory tells me it was part of one of the large FT threads (not a separate one about the topic). You may be able to find it.


Might have been me. I opted out of subs for about 2 weeks but chickened out when my sales of PPD also dropped off rapidly......at least that was the impression I got (not a very scientific analysis, I'm afraid). That was February when I stopped subs and went back in again. Feb was OK, March was close to or even BME but April, so far, has been diabolical with almost all sales being subs or premium subs. In contrast to Mat, I don't consider subs as gravy....they're more like cod-liver oil. Maybe good for you but leaves a foul taste in the mouth. FT has no doubt been successful at promoting their subs program considering the number of subs sales I'm getting now but that only goes to show that the business interests of micro-stock sites and contributors are diametrically opposed. The site gets in large volumes of cash quickly which has to be paid out in minimal amounts slowly. The contributor is most interested in selling full price 'L' s , 'XL' s and 'EL's frequently.

Here's a piece from the FT blog on subscriptions and why opting out may be bad for your FT financial health:

"Visibility
By following the rules above, you will achieve a better visibility. But there are further tips to increase your visibility:

1. By allowing the sales in subscription you will improve the ratio sold/views for each one of your contents. When a subscription customer wants to buy your image and you dont allow the sale in subscription, your content will be marked at 0 sold for 1 view. The ratio sold/view is an important criteria within our search engine. Images that are sold each time they are viewed receive a better visibility in the results page."

http://blog.fotolia.com/uk/guideline/microstocktips.html

To be honest, I can't really see FT's interest in 'exclusive' photo's or contributors. Unless the images of an exclusive contributor are of a particularly 'hot' genre or style, FT only has to shell out more of it's share of the profit to the contributor than if they were non-exclusive. If the exclusive images are in subs, the buyer of subs is getting $20-$40 'L' or 'XL' exclusive photo's for peanuts compared to a regular PPD. For a couple of hundred bucks/month, a buyer can download several thousands of bucks worth of photo's. It's no skin off FT's nose if the buyer was never intending to pay the full price anyway.

« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2010, 20:55 »
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They are the fastest growing agency for most independent contributors __ and by a huge margin too. They pay much higher commissions than Istock and let the contributor choose the prices they sell images, within certain limits.

The microstock market is not set in stone and Istock are by no means guaranteed the position of market leader into the future. IMHO the next 5 years will see a huge struggle for supremacy between Istock and Fotolia.

Yes, I know all that - but we're talking Fotolia here, not a very above-board agency.
As for the impending struggle, I've already placed my bet: May the best agency win!
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 22:49 by sharply_done »

« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2010, 20:57 »
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Exclusive on Fotolia? Really? Wow, I'm surprised you'd ever entertain something like that.

No serious plans to go exclusive at the moment, but I am interested in the experiences of the ones who have tried it :)

Sorry you are surprised.  I certainly don't think I said anything at all surprising.  Feel free to take my remarks at face value and try not to read too much into them....  :)

I did read your words at face value: I was just surprised you'd entertain that notion, that's all.

« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2010, 02:17 »
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I hope shutterstock will join in the battle for supremacy.  They seem to be slow to react to the other sites, they should have a premium collection and image exclusivity by now but hopefully they will bring that in.

Would be good if FT let us increase subs prices for exclusive images.  DT are selling higher ranked non-exclusive images at higher subs prices, the other sites should do the same.  Instead of cutting our commissions, the sites should be looking at the big difference in prices between subs and PPD.

lagereek

« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2010, 03:05 »
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Fotolia is growing and growing fast and personally Im doing very well there, cant complain.  IS, SS and FT, will for sure exist in 5 years time, no reason why not. Getty have existed for 20 years now and thats thanks to Stones and Image-Bank, thats what in 93, put them on the map.

Personally I find it hard not to say impossible to see anybody else but IStock reigning supreme, they are and have been all the time, inventors and mentors, etc. this, you cant take away from them, never mind personal views and feelings, they are stable and with visions AND they are with Getty!  pretty safe bet I would say.

Im saying all this and Im not even exclusive at IS  but if I were to one day put all my eggs in one basket, well, at this side of 2015, it would for sure be IS. Again who knows? in 2020 it might be FT or a new one, Joe-Bloggs.

« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2010, 03:58 »
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I'd like to experience that famous fast growth of Fotolia. I'm listening about it more than 2 years now, but all I experience are slow, sloooow sales. Fotolia has always been twice worse than 123RF. Also, everyone who I know personally has poor experience with FT sales. It looks to me that FT gives much more exposure to their best selling photographers than other agencies.
According to Alexa (which most of you don't respect as relevant), Istock is growing much faster than Fotolia in every sense: Traffic Rank, Reach, Pageviews, Pageviews/User, Bounce %, Time on Site, Search %
So, can anyone tell me why everyone is saying that Fotolia is fastest growing agency?

I don't ask this question because I want to be mean, but simply because I want to know.

« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2010, 04:18 »
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I'd like to experience that famous fast growth of Fotolia.
My FL sales were low for a long time, but started to grow considerably after my portfolio has grown above 1000 photos. One of my friends photographing very different subjects mentioned similar experience with FL.

« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2010, 04:35 »
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Yes, I know all that - but we're talking Fotolia here, not a very above-board agency.
As for the impending struggle, I've already placed my bet: May the best agency win!

Fair point but then you also have to consider from where each agency started __ IS at 20% and FT closer to 40% for non-exclusive contributors. I do think that the presence of exclusive contributors helps keep an agency 'honest' though. Having said that the introduction of Thinkstock, and the way it was done, has somewhat leveled the 'above-board' stakes for me.

I'm not ready to place my bet yet. If I had to right now it would be IS but it is interesting how things are developing.

« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2010, 05:05 »
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I'd like to experience that famous fast growth of Fotolia.
My FL sales were low for a long time, but started to grow considerably after my portfolio has grown above 1000 photos. One of my friends photographing very different subjects mentioned similar experience with FL.

With my rejection rate at FT, I won't experience it soon ;D

« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2010, 13:44 »
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Fotolia has always been twice worse than 123RF.
In the past 6 months, FT and IS have been my two top sites, and this month so far FT is ahead of IS for 50%.  On the other hand, I have made only US$9 in 123RF this year.

« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2010, 15:56 »
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I made 30x more at Fotolia last month than I did at 123RF.
Fotolia has always been twice worse than 123RF.

[/quote]

« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2010, 16:39 »
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These 123RF and Ft discrepacies in numers, can be caused by the fact oh having x files in one site and 10x at ther other. Actually, the only way for measuring the potential of an agency is looking at Return Per Image. Beside that, it's all smoke and mirrors.

« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2010, 16:57 »
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You are perfectly right but the ratio is still 22x more on Fot than on 123.

quote author=loop link=topic=10409.msg143118#msg143118 date=1271626769]
These 123RF and Ft discrepacies in numers, can be caused by the fact oh having x files in one site and 10x at ther other. Actually, the only way for measuring the potential of an agency is looking at Return Per Image. Beside that, it's all smoke and mirrors.
[/quote]

« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2010, 18:41 »
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These 123RF and Ft discrepacies in numers, can be caused by the fact oh having x files in one site and 10x at ther other. Actually, the only way for measuring the potential of an agency is looking at Return Per Image. Beside that, it's all smoke and mirrors.
I have 350 images at FT and possibly around the same at 123RF (I can't check because of the login problem - what a great site!) 

I know my numbers are statistically small, but there is a consistent difference for me in FT vs 123, and I am surprised that some people experience the opposite (as they must be surprised with my results as well).

ap

« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2010, 23:11 »
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I made 30x more at Fotolia last month than I did at 123RF.
Fotolia has always been twice worse than 123RF.

[/quote]

just to be contrarian, i made 70x more at 123 than ft last month, only last month.

lisafx

« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2010, 13:43 »
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Personally I find it hard not to say impossible to see anybody else but IStock reigning supreme, they are and have been all the time, inventors and mentors, etc. this, you cant take away from them, never mind personal views and feelings, they are stable and with visions AND they are with Getty!  pretty safe bet I would say.


I would have agreed with this before Thinkstock.  I think that's a game changer.  To me it is a major indication that the folks at IS HQ are not calling the shots.  I don't think Getty gives a rat's patoot about IS or their exclusives.  It's just another commodity. 

I would even argue that Getty, technically, is a failed company.  They had to be short sold two years ago.  The only part of their company that is consistently turning a profit is Istock, and they seem determined to bleed that dry and toss away the husk. 

As for rankings of the various sites - Istock still ranks above FT in traffic, etc. but Fotolia has been steadily gaining on them.   I don't always agree with every decision made by FT, but it is obvious they are playing to win. 

« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2010, 15:38 »
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As for rankings of the various sites - Istock still ranks above FT in traffic, etc. but Fotolia has been steadily gaining on them.   I don't always agree with every decision made by FT, but it is obvious they are playing to win. 


I've extracted the data from my spreadsheet to illustrate just how fast FT have been gaining on IS. You can view the last 28 months on a graph by clicking on the link below. The Y axis is the % each agency contributes to my total stock income;

http://tinyurl.com/IS-FT-last28months

As Lisa says __ FT are playing to win.

lagereek

« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2010, 00:13 »
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Personally I find it hard not to say impossible to see anybody else but IStock reigning supreme, they are and have been all the time, inventors and mentors, etc. this, you cant take away from them, never mind personal views and feelings, they are stable and with visions AND they are with Getty!  pretty safe bet I would say.


I would have agreed with this before Thinkstock.  I think that's a game changer.  To me it is a major indication that the folks at IS HQ are not calling the shots.  I don't think Getty gives a rat's patoot about IS or their exclusives.  It's just another commodity. 

I would even argue that Getty, technically, is a failed company.  They had to be short sold two years ago.  The only part of their company that is consistently turning a profit is Istock, and they seem determined to bleed that dry and toss away the husk. 

As for rankings of the various sites - Istock still ranks above FT in traffic, etc. but Fotolia has been steadily gaining on them.   I don't always agree with every decision made by FT, but it is obvious they are playing to win. 

Hi Lisa!

True!  I dont think IS has ever called the shots. The Getty guys always like to be in charge for better or worse. Thinkstock??  dont know much about that? what is ist? a subscription-site?
Whatever, I opted-out of that one. Did you?
Fotolia is gaining and gaining a lot, as far as I know theyre independant as well and that means a lot nowdays. Not bound and gaged, etc.

best.

« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2010, 04:12 »
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Gostwyck... Your graph makes very interesting reading thanks for posting. It would be great for IS to have a serious competitor and it looks like it's not far off. For me fotolia and dreamstime are nose to nose but that's with a portfolio of 1500 images. 

lisafx

« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2010, 18:43 »
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Gostwyck... Your graph makes very interesting reading thanks for posting.

Completely agree.  Thanks for posting that.  If I were to make a similar graph it would likely show the same. 

Anyone who doubts FT is out to challenge IS should consider that they have hired at least two former Istock execs. 

« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2010, 20:52 »
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As for rankings of the various sites - Istock still ranks above FT in traffic, etc. but Fotolia has been steadily gaining on them.   I don't always agree with every decision made by FT, but it is obvious they are playing to win. 
...I've extracted the data from my spreadsheet to illustrate just how fast FT have been gaining on IS. You can view the last 28 months on a graph by clicking on the link below. The Y axis is the % each agency contributes to my total stock income;

For all the negative thoughts I have about FT, I have to give them credit for being the last entrant to the microstock arena who made it beyond the huddle of also-rans to be a major player. They aggressively pioneered selling into markets other than English-speaking and aggressively pursued partnerships and deals. When they introduced V2 software it looked for a while as if they might just have killed the whole operation, but they managed to keep the site going even though very little worked correctly for a very long time.

I do think that more than any other site, FT is creating a very wide chasm between the top earners - independents who get to double (or more) their prices) and just about everybody else. Those who are emerald and above have a vastly different playing field from everyone else. It's not just the higher royalty but the higher prices - and across the whole portfolio, unlike individual images at DT.

I wonder if you took a look at the more middle-tier players (i.e. not emerald & up) and compared FT gold with IS whether you'd see a similar pattern.  Which is not to say that for those who are emerald and up that things aren't rosy at FT, but can FT do great with only the relatively small pool of emerald, sapphire and rubis (1) contributors if things aren't so great for everyone else.

I guess you may not want to be too specific for fear of outing yourself and removing your ability to speak frankly, but I wonder if the period of the graph was all at emerald status?

« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2010, 21:18 »
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^^^ Nope __ I should have mentioned that, the graph's all at Gold status or below.  Turning Emerald should make for even more interesting figures (and even more difficult decisions).

lagereek

« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2010, 12:47 »
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^^^ Nope __ I should have mentioned that, the graph's all at Gold status or below.  Turning Emerald should make for even more interesting figures (and even more difficult decisions).

Well I would have been Gold there ages ago if it wasnt that they count small subscriptions in a differant way. Weird.

KB

« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2010, 13:14 »
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Well I would have been Gold there ages ago if it wasnt that they count small subscriptions in a differant way. Weird.

Don't they count all subscriptions as 1/4 of a "paid" sale?

I just looked at my sales on FT. I'm approaching 4 years there (only 2 seriously), and just today my sub sales now account for exactly 1/2 of my total paid sales (or, IOW, exactly 1/3 of my total sales).  It wasn't too long ago that they were 1/4 of paid sales. Looking over my sales for the last week, sub sales are outnumbering regular sales by nearly 2:1.  >:(

At this rate, it shouldn't take more than a year or two for the sub / paid ratio to be similar to that on SS.  Not that bad, if it weren't for the lower commissions and maximum size giveaways. As it stands, though, not a good thing at all.

« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2010, 02:35 »
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Interesting how Fotolia is performing for everyone differently. It used to be my number three after Istock, Shutterstock (not specifically in that order) but this month everything seems to stand on hold. Hardly any sales but they do accept almost anything from me suddenly as they didn't in the past.  I have about 1500 files but still only a few are selling all the time. I'm still very puzzeled by Fotolia.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 05:40 by hofhoek »

« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2010, 09:40 »
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Indeed, the disparity of performances is very curious.  And I had an EL today - first in many weeks anywhere - so I can't really complain, this month they are super.

lagereek

« Reply #38 on: April 26, 2010, 01:41 »
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Hi Lisa!

Agreeing with you!  FT, is doing a great job indeed. Ive been looking through the files of this new Thinkstock and frankly I dont think theyve got the images to match, seems to be leftovers somehow, not very good stuff Im afraid.

Getty??  well what can you say?  they bark and the others jump! its been like that since 93 you know, they keep enforcing weird stuff onto their sub-agencies and its all in aid of enlisting Exclusives, and for total control but for the serious contributor it has the opposite effect.

best.


 

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