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Author Topic: fotolia is sinking  (Read 37749 times)

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lisafx

« Reply #125 on: July 08, 2011, 18:22 »
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You're right, it's definitely not "passive" income.  However there is more to it than the number of images, or even the quality.  Sometimes the sites just decide to mess with the search engine, and no matter how large or high quality your portfolio, it gets buried. 

Currently Fotolia seems to have bumped the Emeralds back in the searches.  Maybe we are too expensive, or maybe it was just to get some more exposure for lower levels.  Whatever the reason.  Sales there have fallen off a cliff abruptly.  Seems far from coincidental that so many emeralds - who all presumably have high quality and (mostly) large ports - are reporting big sales drops.

On Istock will turn on and off the sales depending on what canister you are, and/or what collection you're in, or whether you are exclusive or not. 

On a level playing field, absolutely it would depend only on quality of images and amount of uploading.  But this playing field stopped being level a long time ago. 


« Reply #126 on: July 08, 2011, 18:31 »
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When people with large portfolios and a strong sales record report sales are dropping, that's useful information.

I have to admit, I have noticed SOME Gold and up members complaining on FT's forum as well, maybe 3,4 or 5 over the last 3 months. That is kinda scary, no doubt. But I still think there's plenty of contributors within those higher up ranks, producing great output every month, that are actually reporting sales increases, I'd estimate them to be at least twice as much as those complaining - They usually come out in opposition to "complaint threads". Now the question is: Who's more likely to go on the FT forum or here and voice their opinion? I would assume the majority of the successful ones actually tends to stay silent and if your experiencing the frustrations of a sales slump, you're much more likely to go out and shout. Maybe I'm wrong with that assumption, who knows?  ??? 

« Reply #127 on: July 08, 2011, 18:46 »
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Currently Fotolia seems to have bumped the Emeralds back in the searches.  Maybe we are too expensive, or maybe it was just to get some more exposure for lower levels.  Whatever the reason.  Sales there have fallen off a cliff abruptly.  Seems far from coincidental that so many emeralds - who all presumably have high quality and (mostly) large ports - are reporting big sales drops.

@lisafx
Maybe I am not seeing the whole picture here, and if you as an Emerald contributor have experienced this, who am I to try to argue with that? It's a fact, and it must be a nightmare and I honestly wish you hadn't experienced these troubles.

What I can't understand though is why FT would be selective and set back some Emeralds (on purpose??), and not others? In fact, you seem to (almost) imply that ALL (I know, you said "many", not all, but it kinda feels like it ;)) Emeralds have had these problems, which I just can't believe.

Nevertheless, there is obivously a large number of contributors on your level, that HAVE in FACT seen those problems - which is scary. Maybe I'm naive to assume that all Golds, Emeralds etc. that stay silent are still having amazing sales. The more I think about, the more confused I get. LOL
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 18:49 by bolivarhavanna »

« Reply #128 on: July 08, 2011, 18:49 »
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Sorry, double post   :-\

lisafx

« Reply #129 on: July 08, 2011, 19:01 »
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@lisafx
Maybe I am not seeing the whole picture here, and if you as an Emerald contributor have experienced this, who am I to try to argue with that? It's a fact, and it must be a nightmare and I honestly wish you hadn't experienced these troubles.

What I can't understand though is why FT would be selective and set back some Emeralds (on purpose??), and not others? In fact, you seem to (almost) imply that ALL (I know, you said "many", not all, but it kinda feels like it ;)) Emeralds have had these problems, which I just can't believe.

Nevertheless, there is obivously a large number of contributors on your level, that HAVE in FACT seen those problems - which is scary. Maybe I'm naive to assume that all Golds, Emeralds etc. that stay silent are still having amazing sales. The more I think about, the more confused I get. LOL


I am just going by the accounts I have read and other contributors I have talked to.  Perhaps this isn't the complete picture, but I have found these methods of information gathering to be effective in the past.  When I am experiencing something unusual, and the other high level contributors I talk to are experiencing the same, to me that paints a pretty persuasive picture.

But you're right - the only sales that really matter to me are my own.  And they suck at both Istock and Fotolia.  If it was only those two sites I would conclude that my portfolio has aged too much, or my concepts are oversaturated, or maybe I just plain suck.  However sales at SS and DT keep booming along at a very good rate, so that defeats that theory.

If you check out Alexa, or Google analytics you will see these exact same trends - IS & FT down, SS up, and DT level or slightly up.


« Reply #130 on: July 08, 2011, 19:13 »
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Looking at googletrends (how the search term "fotolia" is performing) is quite interesting too. The curves there usually correspond nicely with seasonal trends (summer sales slump e.g.)...

I just looked at your FT portfolio (Lisa F. ....) - and I have to say, it is beyond me why this portfolio would experience any significant problems. And I'm not saying that to make some phoney compliment, I really don't get it... Has anyone at Emerald or higher ever talked to anyone at FT, above support team level, about these issues?? I know from the FT forum that people in the lower ranks are frustrated by not getting any feedback, but I doubt the FT execs have time to answer to us "small ones" at silver or bronze level.

« Reply #131 on: July 08, 2011, 19:37 »
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@lisafx
Maybe I am not seeing the whole picture here, and if you as an Emerald contributor have experienced this, who am I to try to argue with that? It's a fact, and it must be a nightmare and I honestly wish you hadn't experienced these troubles.

What I can't understand though is why FT would be selective and set back some Emeralds (on purpose??), and not others? In fact, you seem to (almost) imply that ALL (I know, you said "many", not all, but it kinda feels like it ;)) Emeralds have had these problems, which I just can't believe.

Nevertheless, there is obivously a large number of contributors on your level, that HAVE in FACT seen those problems - which is scary. Maybe I'm naive to assume that all Golds, Emeralds etc. that stay silent are still having amazing sales. The more I think about, the more confused I get. LOL


I am just going by the accounts I have read and other contributors I have talked to.  Perhaps this isn't the complete picture, but I have found these methods of information gathering to be effective in the past.  When I am experiencing something unusual, and the other high level contributors I talk to are experiencing the same, to me that paints a pretty persuasive picture.

But you're right - the only sales that really matter to me are my own.  And they suck at both Istock and Fotolia.  If it was only those two sites I would conclude that my portfolio has aged too much, or my concepts are oversaturated, or maybe I just plain suck.  However sales at SS and DT keep booming along at a very good rate, so that defeats that theory.

If you check out Alexa, or Google analytics you will see these exact same trends - IS & FT down, SS up, and DT level or slightly up.




Lisa,

What's interesting about your graph is that IS and FT have almost the same trend (if you were to plot a trend line), only diff being the $ volume.  And since FT seems to follow IS's piss poor decisions it doesn't surprise me.

As far as quality vs volume vs concept vs keywording, they all play a relevant role in getting sales but best match shifts can be the umbrella factor that drives sales by a long shot...as I think you've pointed out.  FT, for example, could concoct an algorithm that favors new contributors (not new contributions) and then take those newbs with zero dl's and prioritize them to the top.  I am involved with developing lead scoring criteria at work and I am telling you that one click of a button can change the whole ball game.  This is to say that best match shifts aren't accidental and that this is part of stock that we as contributors can't control, plan for or defeat by a strategic shift.

« Reply #132 on: July 08, 2011, 19:48 »
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one click of a button can change the whole ball game.  

I think that's what it essentially boils down to. What's scary is that you won't know beforehand whether you're on the winning or losing side  :-\

Thanks for the insight, Mantis. It's interesting to learn more about this, but the more I do, the more I feel the urge to keep my naive ignorance and keep believing that the system can be beat ...  I am getting more and more scared of the upcoming FT update  ::)
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 19:52 by bolivarhavanna »

« Reply #133 on: July 08, 2011, 21:10 »
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It seems like IS and FT are a bit like big casinos, where what you really need to remember is that the house always wins.

but I suppose we should also remember we shouldn't be playing against the house, it should be a situation where we can both benefit even if some places say that is unsustainable.

Personally I'd like to see IS and FT buyers go elsewhere since they are the leaders in low and dropping commissions.

« Reply #134 on: July 09, 2011, 11:53 »
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Personally I'd like to see IS and FT buyers go elsewhere since they are the leaders in low and dropping commissions.

+1

« Reply #135 on: July 09, 2011, 12:16 »
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To give an example of how bad things are for some of us emeralds, last year in June I made over 1500$ this year I made less than 500$.  This has hit me really, really badly. Dt has been able to make up for it a bit but obviously not  nearly enough.

« Reply #136 on: July 09, 2011, 12:22 »
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@fotografer

I have to admit, that is a shockingly huge percentage of your sales dropping, even if you had stopped contributing a year ago (which I am assuming you didn't)...

Did you experience a sudden drop, that may have corresponded with the FT search engine change a few months ago?

lisafx

« Reply #137 on: July 09, 2011, 13:28 »
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To give an example of how bad things are for some of us emeralds, last year in June I made over 1500$ this year I made less than 500$.  This has hit me really, really badly. Dt has been able to make up for it a bit but obviously not  nearly enough.

Thanks for weighing in here.  Although my drop hasn't been quite as sharp, I know there are a lot of us in the same boat. 


Did you experience a sudden drop, that may have corresponded with the FT search engine change a few months ago?

I know this wasn't directed to me, but I do think you have hit the nail on the head.  There was a sudden large drop several months ago when the search engine changed.   This was something I hadn't experienced in the prior 5 years on Fotolia, although it was a very familiar scenario on Istock.

Of all the agencies NOT to emulate these days, I would think Istock would be top of that list. 
 
And BTW, Bolivarhavanna, thanks for checking out my port, and for the encouraging words :).   

« Reply #138 on: July 09, 2011, 13:44 »
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@fotografer

I have to admit, that is a shockingly huge percentage of your sales dropping, even if you had stopped contributing a year ago (which I am assuming you didn't)...

Did you experience a sudden drop, that may have corresponded with the FT search engine change a few months ago?
Yes it changed virtually from one month to the next with no change in my upload pattern.

« Reply #139 on: July 09, 2011, 14:00 »
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My earnings for June '11 are about half of what they were in June '10. I'm at the gold level.

Slovenian

« Reply #140 on: July 09, 2011, 15:31 »
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To give an example of how bad things are for some of us emeralds, last year in June I made over 1500$ this year I made less than 500$.  This has hit me really, really badly. Dt has been able to make up for it a bit but obviously not  nearly enough.

Did you upload regularly? Did you not do something you used to (getting the best models, locations, lighting etc) or do you think it's completely FT's fault?

« Reply #141 on: July 09, 2011, 15:56 »
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To give an example of how bad things are for some of us emeralds, last year in June I made over 1500$ this year I made less than 500$.  This has hit me really, really badly. Dt has been able to make up for it a bit but obviously not  nearly enough.

Did you upload regularly? Did you not do something you used to (getting the best models, locations, lighting etc) or do you think it's completely FT's fault?
I didn't change anything and it was too sudden to be anything that I did. Also it coincided with others saying the same at around the same time.

lisafx

« Reply #142 on: July 09, 2011, 18:22 »
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Did you upload regularly? Did you not do something you used to (getting the best models, locations, lighting etc) or do you think it's completely FT's fault?
I didn't change anything and it was too sudden to be anything that I did. Also it coincided with others saying the same at around the same time.

Yep.  Exactly.  Same here.

« Reply #143 on: July 09, 2011, 20:03 »
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To give an example of how bad things are for some of us emeralds, last year in June I made over 1500$ this year I made less than 500$.  This has hit me really, really badly. Dt has been able to make up for it a bit but obviously not  nearly enough.

Did you upload regularly? Did you not do something you used to (getting the best models, locations, lighting etc) or do you think it's completely FT's fault?

Oh come one now.  He said it was nothing irregular.  And even if he did sway far from the norm, would it be that bad giving his current port?  I think there's a lot to be concerned about here.

lagereek

« Reply #144 on: July 10, 2011, 00:43 »
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I have monitored a chosen 10 files that replaced MY, 10 files on first page in a search and this is AFTER the FT latest best match search, I did this just out of interest. Up to the end of last week, these new 10 files had a total of 28 dls,
my old 10 files that used to be in same slots used to have way over 100, dls, during the same time limit.

Now imagine, this is just one search, what about all the others?  

Its easy to see why a best match change can have a huge derrogative result.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 01:16 by lagereek »

« Reply #145 on: July 11, 2011, 09:00 »
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Somebody mentioned that high ranks seller go down, so new and "cheaper" submitters can go higher in search engines.

I just started month ago, with a tiny portfolio of just 50 pics.

SS - I sold more than 70 pics first week,
IS - just couple of photos sold, as they are rejecting my keywords and the queue takes forever to reupload, so only 7 - 8 pics accepted atm
DT - 5 sold, but quite a lot of views etc. Only 10 photos accepted as they got strict release policy (Before I had mostly IS releases and DT doesnt accept those).
Fotolia - almost all my photos accepted etc, but 0 sold and max 1 - 2 views per photo :O

Maybe I am not a perfect example as I dont have many photos, but with  1 - 2 views there are no chances to sell anything on FT :/ Will continue to upload and see how it goes, but atm SS and DT is really good for me !

ayzek

« Reply #146 on: July 11, 2011, 09:26 »
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Somebody mentioned that high ranks seller go down, so new and "cheaper" submitters can go higher in search engines.

I just started month ago, with a tiny portfolio of just 50 pics.

SS - I sold more than 70 pics first week,
IS - just couple of photos sold, as they are rejecting my keywords and the queue takes forever to reupload, so only 7 - 8 pics accepted atm
DT - 5 sold, but quite a lot of views etc. Only 10 photos accepted as they got strict release policy (Before I had mostly IS releases and DT doesnt accept those).
Fotolia - almost all my photos accepted etc, but 0 sold and max 1 - 2 views per photo :O

Maybe I am not a perfect example as I dont have many photos, but with  1 - 2 views there are no chances to sell anything on FT :/ Will continue to upload and see how it goes, but atm SS and DT is really good for me !

Same here.
Fotolia earnings is in 7th position in my agencies. Most viewed image in two month is 35 times and second one is 25 view. Average view per image is around 4-5 in a month :(
In Fotolio selling looks really hard for new contributors.

« Reply #147 on: July 12, 2011, 17:04 »
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I'm another Emerald who has experienced a sudden, dramatic drop in sales on FT.  My sales for June 2011 were down 37% on June 2010.  I keep waiting, hoping, that someone will flip the switch back again.  Looks like that's a forlorn hope.   :'(

lisafx

« Reply #148 on: July 12, 2011, 17:18 »
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I'm another Emerald who has experienced a sudden, dramatic drop in sales on FT.  My sales for June 2011 were down 37% on June 2010.  I keep waiting, hoping, that someone will flip the switch back again.  Looks like that's a forlorn hope.   :'(

Thanks for reporting that Robyn.  The more of us who report our sales, the more of a pattern emerges.  Not that it does us any good, but at least misery loves company.   :'(

lagereek

« Reply #149 on: July 12, 2011, 23:55 »
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Lets see now!  IS has just done a massive best match shake, since FT, always follow, lets see if they too will adjust and at least go back to the best match they had before so that the site gets worthwhile again. As it is now, its not even worth it.

They have not got the excuse of too many exclusives to look after.


 

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