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Agency Based Discussion => Adobe Stock => Topic started by: saniphoto on June 07, 2011, 04:59

Title: fotolia is sinking
Post by: saniphoto on June 07, 2011, 04:59
hi
would like to know if it is just me, but Fotolia was going down in one year, from around 80 dollars per day, to a 15/20...  apparently without reason. I means, I upload regularly images, new ideas not same old same old, no views usually.. then noticed also lots of subs recently.
I am emerald BTW. I would like to know other emerald if they are noticing a similar decline, otherwise must think is just me and must correct something in my production of new images. thanks.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: sobm on June 07, 2011, 05:07
its always at low rank for me, i am just a small guy...but if i can earn 80 a day i could make a lving for that at least in my country 8)
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: sharpshot on June 07, 2011, 06:11
I'm nowhere near emerald but have noticed my earnings have fallen a bit in the past few months.  Every time they cut commissions or change the cannister levels, I lose motivation and they lose money.  Funny how the sites that cut commissions don't seem to be making as much as they used to.  Perhaps if they pay us more, we will have an incentive to work harder and it will make them more money.  I know that's not likely to happen, as they are focused on grabbing as much money from us as they can but it really looks like a flawed policy in the long term.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Allsa on June 07, 2011, 06:18
There has been a sharp decline in my earnings at Fotolia as well. Interesting the way the agencies that slashed our royalties are in decline, while the sites that treat us fairly are doing much better - poetic justice at work.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: luissantos84 on June 07, 2011, 07:02
I have been increasing slowly but last month had a drop but cannot compare results with you for sure.. I am on the 100 sales per month and yes I am having more subs than ever.. and still a little far from the silver, and what for? to get 25% when a few months ago was at 28%.. stock is a lot of fun :)

incredible how can I earn now less than when I started! yep keep on uploading and dreaming they won´t cut again when we are close to another "level"
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: qwerty on June 07, 2011, 07:10
my earnings at fotolia are down about 30% for the first 5 months of this year compared to the first 5 months of last year.

I have increased my portfolio by about 40% in that time. Most other agencies I have seen an increase iin earnings.

I'm at the lower end of the scale compared to you but I am seeing fallings in earnings.

Worthy noting that my royality pecentage has gone from 33% when I started to 23%. Thanks for that.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: saniphoto on June 07, 2011, 09:33
There has been a sharp decline in my earnings at Fotolia as well. Interesting the way the agencies that slashed our royalties are in decline, while the sites that treat us fairly are doing much better - poetic justice at work.

yes, you are right! in fact Dreamstime is now my number one. And they treat us fairly, communication is fantastic, you can even write to Serban and he always answer. Try that with Chad at Fotolia!   :)
Anyway is something that escape my mind, what logic they have in making us demotivated.. as rightly pointed out Sharpshot.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lisafx on June 07, 2011, 09:50
I'm emerald at FT also, and have noticed the same.  It is very distressing!

My stats for May showed a 15% decline from May 2010.  Yet the amount of downloads was statistically dead even!  (only 16 actual downloads fewer this May, out of over 2k). 

In my case it makes it pretty clear that the main culprit is subscriptions.  The vast majority of sales seem to have gone to subs.  There is also the issue of slow sellers being converted from 2 down to 1 credit base, but those sales are still relatively few for me.  Mostly it is just the subs. 

I didn't calculate the percentage changes from last year in the stats thread, but just did it now, so I'll share:

IS: -15%
SS: +20%
DT: +11%
FT: -15%

So my numbers agree with Allsa's theory.  Istock and FT equally (and substantially) down, SS and DT both up, with SS sales going through the roof!  Is this this some form of microstock Karma?  ;)
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on June 07, 2011, 10:10
They just found a way to not report sales.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on June 07, 2011, 10:32
My April was 60% down on the previous year, not that I've ever done very well there.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: saniphoto on June 07, 2011, 10:50
I'm emerald at Fotolia also, and have noticed the same.  It is very distressing!

My stats for May showed a 15% decline from May 2010.  Yet the amount of downloads was statistically dead even!  (only 16 actual downloads fewer this May, out of over 2k). 

In my case it makes it pretty clear that the main culprit is subscriptions.  The vast majority of sales seem to have gone to subs.  There is also the issue of slow sellers being converted from 2 down to 1 credit base, but those sales are still relatively few for me.  Mostly it is just the subs. 

I didn't calculate the percentage changes from last year in the stats thread, but just did it now, so I'll share:

IS: -15%
Shutterstock: +20%
Dreamstime: +11%
Fotolia: -15%

So my numbers agree with Allsa's theory.  Istock and Fotolia equally (and substantially) down, Shutterstock and Dreamstime both up, with Shutterstock sales going through the roof!  Is this this some form of microstock Karma?  ;)


Thank Lisa for your reply. Lucky you, with just a 15% loss! I better not tell what percentage is mine!  :'(
Well, it seems that at least the consensus is toward a kind of nice Karmic revenge on our behalf...  :)
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: saniphoto on June 07, 2011, 10:50
They just found a way to not report sales.

 :D
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: devon on June 07, 2011, 12:07
7 days rank: from 130-150 down to 450 to 500 in April 2011,
$$ down 30%

I think they did the Best Match Tweak.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: fotografer on June 07, 2011, 14:19
Same here and  I'm also emerald.  I have also gone from averaging 50 euros a day to averaging 20 euros a day.  It was a dramatic drop from one month to the next about 6 months ago which also makes me think that it was a best match change.   Luckily Dt has gone more or less the same in the other direction to take most of the loss or I would be hysterical now. Ft was my best earner and DT my 4th and now it is the other way round, Dt is my best earner and Ft my 4th.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: gwhitton on June 07, 2011, 14:22
Its funny how the experience on any given stock site is so different for each person, as I was about to ask the question in a different thread, what has changed at Fotolia recently? Not in a bad way, but in a good way.

For a long time I had the same experience of a friend, we called Fotolia the "one hit wonder" site, because we each had a few images that sold like crazy, and nothing else seemed to sell at all, or very rarely.

Now, in the last month, I am getting a lot of original sales, plus EL's...and I only have 153 images on the site.  I have never really cared for Fotolia, one because its sales potential was really weak for me, and because of its crazy rejections. I have a 70% plus approval rating with everyone else, and like 35% with Fotolia. It was annoying enough that I finally gave up, and decided I'll just wait for payouts with what I have up.

Now I am beginning to wonder if I should try again, and post some newer stuff.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: kjpargeter on June 07, 2011, 15:01
I too am an emerald contributor and my sales have dropped over 50% in the last few months! New images are getting hardly any views and no sales. Something has obviously changed for the worst for many contributors - i can only hope things pick up soon.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: saniphoto on June 07, 2011, 15:36
Its funny how the experience on any given stock site is so different for each person, as I was about to ask the question in a different thread, what has changed at Fotolia recently? Not in a bad way, but in a good way.

For a long time I had the same experience of a friend, we called Fotolia the "one hit wonder" site, because we each had a few images that sold like crazy, and nothing else seemed to sell at all, or very rarely.

Now, in the last month, I am getting a lot of original sales, plus EL's...and I only have 153 images on the site.  I have never really cared for Fotolia, one because its sales potential was really weak for me, and because of its crazy rejections. I have a 70% plus approval rating with everyone else, and like 35% with Fotolia. It was annoying enough that I finally gave up, and decided I'll just wait for payouts with what I have up.

Now I am beginning to wonder if I should try again, and post some newer stuff.

This is interesting. And made me wonder if FT isn't maybe more glad to pay you, than to pay me? I means, every sale by a silver is costing to FT less (exactly 0.25 for non excl.) than to pay an Emerald (0.37 for non excl.)...  if somebody object that also FT earn less by the sales from lower ranks, I can counter with the fact that probably is well compensated by the number of many small sales (that equal to lower payments by FT to contrib.). If FT earn 1 million dollars and must pay on that amount the 20 to 25% is surely better deal for them than to pay a lot of 30 to 40%... isn't it?
Not to mention the other old arguments of dollars vs euro... and the many cunning 'tricky' way FT has used to rip money from us, here and there... 
The fact is, that you cannot possibly plan anything seriously in a professional way (also in terms of investment), if the agencies can 'swing' in this crazy way and your sales as well go from crazy high to crazy low.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: gwhitton on June 07, 2011, 15:51
Wiseguy,

If I ever got seriously into this business, the lesson i have learned so far is to never count on anyone site for your survival. I would never ever consider going exclusive, as the agency has all the power and you have none. However by spreading yourself out, you decrease the impact any one site has on you. I would also make sure that micros aren't my only source of income.  You almost have to branch out if you don't want to become a victim of this race to the bottom that seems to be occurring.

I've always thought of my photos as a product that if I am careful I can sell forever at as many outlets as possible. The main thing I have to be careful of is not spread myself to thin trying to sell at shops that don't have any customers.  And we've all run into those.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: saniphoto on June 07, 2011, 16:04
I agree totally with you on this. But is true that I had to vent a little about this whole * FT falling!  :)
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Phil on June 07, 2011, 16:06
been gold about a month or so, sales I would describe as a bit low, cant say I noticed the commission increase.
I got to rank 422 overall with 7 days often hitting 300. when they lowered commissions last my 7 day rank went into the 700's. the change in gold hasn't changed my rank, still in the 700's (overall is now 426).
My inclination (and obviously I cant really tell) is that the best match is skewed away from higher ranks
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: nruboc on June 07, 2011, 16:26
been gold about a month or so, sales I would describe as a bit low, cant say I noticed the commission increase.
I got to rank 422 overall with 7 days often hitting 300. when they lowered commissions last my 7 day rank went into the 700's. the change in gold hasn't changed my rank, still in the 700's (overall is now 426).
My inclination (and obviously I cant really tell) is that the best match is skewed away from higher ranks

Yup, Fotolia is obviously hitting the higher ranked folks, probably due to the incresed number of subscriptions. They stand to make more off the higher ranks in the ppd scheme, since they charge more for their files , however, not so from a subscription standpoint, at least that I know of.

Who knows they may even have introduced two separate BMs. That's what I would do, based on whether the logged in customer was a PPD or a Subscription customer. They may be targeting the lower tiered photographers in their Subscription best match , and then the higher tiered photographers in thier PPD best match.

 
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lisafx on June 07, 2011, 16:56

My inclination (and obviously I cant really tell) is that the best match is skewed away from higher ranks

This thread would certainly suggest that's what's going on.  What a bummer.  Emeralds used to have favored search positions because they wanted to "put their best images in front of the customer".  Looks like that changed somewhere along the line. 

Taking a page from Istock's playbook - using the search engine to manipulate profits. 
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Black Sheep on June 07, 2011, 23:23
my analysis is that SS will be market leader in no more than 2 years.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on June 07, 2011, 23:51
Im Gold, and yes, nowhere near what it used to be, Its their best match-change that did it. They as always imitates IS, as soon as IS change their best match, two weeks later Fotolia will always do the same. Only this time the Fotolia change was actually more severe, damaged a lot of portfolios.
Right now, its not much better then a middle-tier agency.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on June 08, 2011, 00:35

My inclination (and obviously I cant really tell) is that the best match is skewed away from higher ranks

This thread would certainly suggest that's what's going on.  What a bummer.  Emeralds used to have favored search positions because they wanted to "put their best images in front of the customer".  Looks like that changed somewhere along the line.  

Taking a page from Istock's playbook - using the search engine to manipulate profits.  

I don't think its a direct targeting of emeralds. Maybe they're pushing older files further back in the search rank. As I said, my results there have always been dismal - I'm silver with no prospect of making it to a higher level in the foreseeable future - and I got hit, too. Before the search shake-up I had clawed up to $140-200 a month. After the 20% pay cut and the search shift I'm now down to $70 a month from several thousand images. This month it looks as if 123 will be way ahead of Fotolia.

Oh, yeah ... what I meant to say when I started writing this is that the impression that emeralds are the target could be created by the fact that it tends to be high-ranking people who post here.

OF course, they could have looked at emeralds, thought "there are lots of older files there", demoted old files to improve sustainability and taken my portfolio out as collateral damage.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on June 08, 2011, 00:44
my analysis is that Shutterstock will be market leader in no more than 2 years.

For non-exclusives, it already is and I'd guess that it already licenses more images than iStock does (it's outselling iStock 3:1 on my portfolio). There's no way we will ever know if/when shutterstock's cash turnover exceeds iStock's.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on June 08, 2011, 01:07

My inclination (and obviously I cant really tell) is that the best match is skewed away from higher ranks

This thread would certainly suggest that's what's going on.  What a bummer.  Emeralds used to have favored search positions because they wanted to "put their best images in front of the customer".  Looks like that changed somewhere along the line.  

Taking a page from Istock's playbook - using the search engine to manipulate profits.  

I don't think its a direct targeting of emeralds. Maybe they're pushing older files further back in the search rank. As I said, my results there have always been dismal - I'm silver with no prospect of making it to a higher level in the foreseeable future - and I got hit, too. Before the search shake-up I had clawed up to $140-200 a month. After the 20% pay cut and the search shift I'm now down to $70 a month from several thousand images. This month it looks as if 123 will be way ahead of Fotolia.

Oh, yeah ... what I meant to say when I started writing this is that the impression that emeralds are the target could be created by the fact that it tends to be high-ranking people who post here.

OF course, they could have looked at emeralds, thought "there are lots of older files there", demoted old files to improve sustainability and taken my portfolio out as collateral damage.

Hi!

You are too eloquent in your writing! I understand zip! of what youre saying. Let me guess, you mean that the higher levels are being punished or what? because it wouldnt surprise me, thats what many black-diamonds, and diamonds at IS, feel and in many searches at IS, neebie Vettas are in fact way in front of the established ones.

With FT, Im not sure, they havent got the same exclusivity presence, program as IS. No I got a feeling their best match change was just a stupid move, trying to earn more and by the sound of it, it backfired.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on June 08, 2011, 01:17
I mean older files may be being punished. That could hit higher ranks - either deliberately or just by accident. It is also hitting me, even though I am not a higher rank.

As many people posting here are from the higher ranks, if there was a general problem for almost everyone it might still look as if higher ranks are being punished because we don't hear much from anyone who isn't quite high up.

Clear now?
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on June 08, 2011, 01:21
I mean older files may be being punished. That could hit higher ranks - either deliberately or just by accident. It is also hitting me, even though I am not a higher rank.

As many people posting here are from the higher ranks, if there was a general problem for almost everyone it might still look as if higher ranks are being punished because we don't hear much from anyone who isn't quite high up.

Clear now?

Yes, sounds as if you might have a point there actually. Must say, very weird way, if this is true.

best.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: luissantos84 on June 08, 2011, 02:50
my analysis is that Shutterstock will be market leader in no more than 2 years.

they are already at least in my market :P
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: stockmarketer on June 08, 2011, 05:30
Not sure why it is, by my experience with FT is exactly the opposite.  My sales at FT have doubled in the past year.  Doing in the $60 range (around 100 downloads) most weekdays now.  I'm gold and non-exclusive.  Been at it for 3 years.  FT is currently my #2 site and gives SS a run for its money every month now.  Very strange that I seem to be the only one here seeing increases at FT.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Carl on June 08, 2011, 05:57
I have sales every day at SS, but I'm doing good to have a sale every month at FT.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on June 08, 2011, 06:31
Not sure why it is, by my experience with Fotolia is exactly the opposite.  My sales at Fotolia have doubled in the past year.  Doing in the $60 range (around 100 downloads) most weekdays now.  I'm gold and non-exclusive.  Been at it for 3 years.  Fotolia is currently my #2 site and gives Shutterstock a run for its money every month now.  Very strange that I seem to be the only one here seeing increases at Fotolia.

Ive always been doing good at FT, up till their latest best match change, I think thats what most people are experiencing, it was the change that sort of went downhill.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Pheby on June 08, 2011, 06:46
7 days rank: from 130-150 down to 450 to 500 in April 2011,
$$ down 30%

I think they did the Best Match Tweak.

They did, an admin confirmed it in the German Fotolia forum, adding that Fotolia in general is doing well and that the new best match is working for some of the contributors.
It seems that new images don't get a bonus at all any more, so the factor "new" has no or nearly no weight in the best match algorithm anymore. Since then (must have been the end of February), many German contributors are reporting a substantial drop in sales and also that new images hardly sell. This seems very relevant to me, as Fotolia is the market leader in Europe. A factor that counts more than "new" seems to be "popularity": the images that were sold around the date of the tweak keep selling and selling, most other stuff is, well, lost.
But there seem to be quite a few contributors, silver and above (and not only exclusives), who are profiting from the new best match.
I always have kept a close watch on where my new images start off from, and after the best match tweak in February, they went right to the very back of my port and of the best match search, instead of appearing on page 1 or 2, and since about a month, they are somewhere in the middle. That makes me think that they still tweaking away.

The worrying thing about the whole thing, to me, is that once Fotolia has made a change to it's site, it seems to be set in stone. So, when they have finished tweaking, best match will stay like that and favourise old but popular stuff for years.

FWIW, my sales have dropped by about 15 %, subs have increased (I don't dare to actually go and add them up!). I'm only silver, but, comparing myself to other contributors, I have been seeing a substantial amount of regular sales.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on June 08, 2011, 08:07
7 days rank: from 130-150 down to 450 to 500 in April 2011,
$$ down 30%

I think they did the Best Match Tweak.

They did, an admin confirmed it in the German Fotolia forum, adding that Fotolia in general is doing well and that the new best match is working for some of the contributors.
It seems that new images don't get a bonus at all any more, so the factor "new" has no or nearly no weight in the best match algorithm anymore. Since then (must have been the end of February), many German contributors are reporting a substantial drop in sales and also that new images hardly sell. This seems very relevant to me, as Fotolia is the market leader in Europe. A factor that counts more than "new" seems to be "popularity": the images that were sold around the date of the tweak keep selling and selling, most other stuff is, well, lost.
But there seem to be quite a few contributors, silver and above (and not only exclusives), who are profiting from the new best match.
I always have kept a close watch on where my new images start off from, and after the best match tweak in February, they went right to the very back of my port and of the best match search, instead of appearing on page 1 or 2, and since about a month, they are somewhere in the middle. That makes me think that they still tweaking away.

The worrying thing about the whole thing, to me, is that once Fotolia has made a change to it's site, it seems to be set in stone. So, when they have finished tweaking, best match will stay like that and favourise old but popular stuff for years.

FWIW, my sales have dropped by about 15 %, subs have increased (I don't dare to actually go and add them up!). I'm only silver, but, comparing myself to other contributors, I have been seeing a substantial amount of regular sales.


Set in stone!  well thats BAD news indeed. Im glad you told this because next week ( just waiting for the releases), I was about to upload Automotive-robot works with people and everything and I certainly DONT want them to end up on some last page in search or something.

See this is what it leads to, just troubles, in the end contributors and especially with hard-to-get or nieched material, well, they think twice before uploading such stuff, lots of work, timeconsuming stuff, need the quickest return.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Pheby on June 08, 2011, 08:29
Yeah, I have been thinking of holding on uploading, too. On the other hand, my competitors aren't, so I'll be going for it anyway.

"Set in stone" is just a strong tendency that I've been observing over the last two years or so. Have you ever seen a site feature change there since that? I haven't. Oh, except for the "latest uploads" page (which is titled "the latetest 300 uploads" although there are only 100, somewhat like the "top 20" that are in fact the top 50 or so). As soon as they are done with their tweaking, my bet is that the best match will stay as it is for years to come.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lisafx on June 08, 2011, 09:33
I mean older files may be being punished. That could hit higher ranks - either deliberately or just by accident. It is also hitting me, even though I am not a higher rank.

As many people posting here are from the higher ranks, if there was a general problem for almost everyone it might still look as if higher ranks are being punished because we don't hear much from anyone who isn't quite high up.

Clear now?

You may have a point about older files, but I don't see that happening in my port.  

Except the past couple of weeks, I always upload a steady stream of around 30-40 pics a week.  Have been doing that for 6 years.  So when there's a shift to older or newer files, I don't really see much change in income.  Just a redistribution.  

FWIW, my newer files are mostly sitting undownloaded and don't even have a lot of views.  Most sales I am seeing are of older files.   This seems to jibe with what Phelby is reporting from the German forums.  

I do think there is an element of dropping emeralds in the search.  I know its anecdotal, and if any emerald contributor is experiencing growth I would like to be proven wrong.  
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: saniphoto on June 08, 2011, 09:34
thanks Pheby for your information from the German front  :).  indeed interesting. I am also already holding my submission of new images, because I have five pages of new material uploaded since march, that has so few views (and almost no downloads, obviously..)
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: saniphoto on June 08, 2011, 09:43
Agree with you Lisa, newest images not viewed and more than the older, I would say that are the most successful images that are selling again and again. Looks like if customers choose the download option when seeing my port. I noticed today Yuri has 47k images in fotolia... but look at his new images, and how many pages you must go back to see more sales than zeros... and he is Yuri! So this is another point in favor of your analysis, that I consider correct.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Pheby on June 08, 2011, 10:12

I do think there is an element of dropping emeralds in the search.  I know its anecdotal, and if any emerald contributor is experiencing growth I would like to be proven wrong.  

I don't think really think so. Recently, I've been doing many, many searches (to try and find out whether my very first studio shots of a real model  8) stand a chance of being found) with simple terms like "woman" combined with "flowers", "headphones", "coffee", things like that. I had the search engine sort by relevancy and variied the option "online since", and the few files that are new and have one or a few downloads within the first week or month online, are mostly by emeralds and above. Often, they were files that got a bit of exposure by being featured on the "latest uploads" page. Admittedly, this is as arbitrary as you, Lisa, say your assumption is anecdotal. I'd be really interested to hear more from a few more emeralds.

BTW the search term "woman" combined with "online since 1 week" showed about 8000 results, just over 100 of which had at least one sale.
Until I saw the sheer masses, I was really excited about my new shots. Well, I'm still excited about them, but my hopes for them have gone straight. down. I've decided to upload them in small portions as a sort of compromise.

Somehow, Yuri seems to be a different story. His new files, as wiseguy points out, don't seem to lift off, and also, I've never spotted any of his files on the "latest uploads" page.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: madelaide on June 08, 2011, 18:47
FT has also become basically a subs site for me. I'm definitely considering leaving it.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: devon on June 08, 2011, 20:50
Except the past couple of weeks, I always upload a steady stream of around 30-40 pics a week. Have been doing that for 6 years.  So when there's a shift to older or newer files, I don't really see much change in income.  Just a redistribution.  

FWIW, my newer files are mostly sitting undownloaded and don't even have a lot of views.  Most sales I am seeing are of older files.   This seems to jibe with what Phelby is reporting from the German forums.  

I do think there is an element of dropping emeralds in the search.  I know its anecdotal, and if any emerald contributor is experiencing growth I would like to be proven wrong.  

Same thing here!!
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: robynmac on June 09, 2011, 16:59
I'm emerald rank at Fotolia and have experienced a similar big drop.  Comparing May 2011 to May 2010:

Earnings:    -28%
Downloads: -21%

I shoot microstock full-time, so this drop is having a major effect on my income, especially coupled with the iStock downturn and a big currency swing during the same period.   :'(   Thank goodness for Shutterstock and Dreamstime!!  Fotolia had been my #2 site for a couple of years, but has slipped to #3.

It's no fun to shoot and upload new stuff, only to see it languish with few views and even fewer downloads!   
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Mantis on June 09, 2011, 17:14
My story is that I went from $150 a month to about $60 a month, more than a 50% drop.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: melastmohican on June 09, 2011, 17:16
I am really tiny, tiny fish there. I observe better acceptance in last couple months and marginally better sales at the beginning of this year and slow down in last two months.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Slovenian on June 09, 2011, 17:23
Great, just when I uploaded around 200 photos after 9 months of not uploading there:s. I haven't completed the submitions on half of them, but those that got accepted in the last week didn't get any views, at all! Well a handful did...I did the same at DT, with just 63 images (I have a weekly quota of 42, a few got the similar rejection, the rest had some weird MR issues). But at least I got views on all from the first week and a DL. Though I didn't get any views on those that were accepted yesterday:s
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: saniphoto on June 10, 2011, 05:24
hit a new negative record yesterday, for a weekday: 14dollars... that was usually a Sun-Sat amount, eventually. Now this is really bothering me... no answer obviously from Chad, nor the support, where I asked if they could help me figure out what is wrong, to have fallen more than 50 percent in a few months.  :(
it is not just my fault, as I see many have similar problems. And even if there was the deadly best match switching, it cannot justif alone the massive downward direction taken by our sales.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Perry on June 10, 2011, 05:40
My Fotolia income has dropped from 300 to 400 dollars/mo to 150....200. This month has the potential to be the weakest month since January 2009.

So sad. It seems my avatar predicted even this...
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: zager on June 10, 2011, 06:24
Hmm, that's interesting. It seemed each of the top sites were growing steadily. Could that be the Fotolia's PhotoXpress site?
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Mantis on June 10, 2011, 06:39
My Fotolia income has dropped from 300 to 400 dollars/mo to 150....200. This month has the potential to be the weakest month since January 2009.

So sad. It seems my avatar predicted even this...

^Nice about your avatar
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: OM on June 10, 2011, 06:58
My Fotolia income has dropped from 300 to 400 dollars/mo to 150....200. This month has the potential to be the weakest month since January 2009.

So sad. It seems my avatar predicted even this...

Excellent avatar!  :D
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Beach Bum on June 10, 2011, 07:00
Big drop here too.  Making half what I normally make.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: saniphoto on June 10, 2011, 08:38
Hmm, that's interesting. It seemed each of the top sites were growing steadily. Could that be the Fotolia's PhotoXpress site?

hmmm, maybe you are partially right, at least that would explain the growth in subscription that many, me included are experiencing lately.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: LayerAce.com on June 10, 2011, 09:57
Hello,
Strange how you get so many downloads on fotolia. I have been with Fotolia since 2007 and sales were always terrible... It looks like the more i upload the less i get. 123rf.com is 10x better performer to me than fotolia, how is that possible?

Robertas.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: luissantos84 on June 10, 2011, 09:58
I was increasing slowly until two months ago.. last month went down a little and maybe this one will be too but overall despite the cut I am happy there
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Slovenian on June 10, 2011, 16:30
I just noticed the 4.3 precent drop for FT happening today on the poll results. It had a green arrow in the morning, I'm sure of it.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: luissantos84 on June 10, 2011, 16:41
I just noticed the 4.3 precent drop for Fotolia happening today on the poll results. It had a green arrow in the morning, I'm sure of it.

that is %? the other day asked about that, would love to know
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Slovenian on June 10, 2011, 17:29
I just noticed the 4.3 precent drop for Fotolia happening today on the poll results. It had a green arrow in the morning, I'm sure of it.

that is %? the other day asked about that, would love to know

I thought it was :s . What is it then, some kind of mark, index/points?
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: luissantos84 on June 10, 2011, 17:51
I just noticed the 4.3 precent drop for Fotolia happening today on the poll results. It had a green arrow in the morning, I'm sure of it.

that is %? the other day asked about that, would love to know

I thought it was :s . What is it then, some kind of mark, index/points?

the big numbers like the 4.3 must be the average of the earnings poll result.. and the other 0.0X might be the % of increase/decrease no?
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: epantha on June 10, 2011, 18:32
Fotolia has been better than ever the last few months. I thought it was because I finally hit Silver but maybe it is for other reasons?
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: luissantos84 on June 10, 2011, 18:54
Fotolia has been better than ever the last few months. I thought it was because I finally hit Silver but maybe it is for other reasons?

I am dreaming of reaching it too but heck what is the reward? this year went from 28% to 23% and silver is 25% thats a joy!  ;D
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: rinderart on June 10, 2011, 19:50
Yes, Sliding a bit.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Sandralise on June 10, 2011, 21:16
I'm also emerald rank at Fotolia but I'm experiencing the opposite.
My sales at Fotolia have doubled in the past year to the point that Fotolia has surpassed Shutterstock as my # 1 earner most months. They are running neck and neck with Dreamstime my #3 earner.
Like everyone else I've have noticed that new images are hardly being downloaded with few views and that does worry me. Not quite sure what to make of it.

I agree with Robyn, it's not fun to shoot and upload new stuff, only to see it languish with few views and even fewer downloads!   :(
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Pixart on June 10, 2011, 23:34
So confusing the way they run their business.  I sell waaaayyyyy more subs than ppd.   Yet they sure don't act like a subscrption site.  Why the heck isn't new content selling? ? ?  Can't understand this strategy. 
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on June 11, 2011, 00:32
All this trouble!  only beacause of a flick of a switch!  a best match change. Hard to believe and makes one realize how vulnerable and fragile this business really is.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: sharpshot on June 11, 2011, 02:29
Things have returned to normal for the start of June for me.  Hope that lasts for the rest of the month.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on June 11, 2011, 03:26
Things have returned to normal for the start of June for me.  Hope that lasts for the rest of the month.

Nah, it wont,  somebody else will decide to do a change and BOBs your uncle, trouble and strifes and back to square one.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: microstockphoto.co.uk on June 11, 2011, 07:08
Things have returned to normal for the start of June for me.  Hope that lasts for the rest of the month.

Keywords such as "normal" and "lasts" may not be used.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: madelaide on June 11, 2011, 17:52
123rf.com is 10x better performer to me than fotolia, how is that possible?
123RF is such a low performer to me that your results surprise me.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Slovenian on June 11, 2011, 18:34
123rf.com is 10x better performer to me than fotolia, how is that possible?
123RF is such a low performer to me that your results surprise me.

How does it compare to the rest? I'm curious to know, since I just dumped something like 138 photos over there (waiting to be reviewed though, but the acceptance should be 100% since they're all on the big 4)
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on June 12, 2011, 01:45
I want someone to attach lead weights to it so it could sink faster.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: sharpshot on June 12, 2011, 03:04
123rf.com is 10x better performer to me than fotolia, how is that possible?
123RF is such a low performer to me that your results surprise me.

How does it compare to the rest? I'm curious to know, since I just dumped something like 138 photos over there (waiting to be reviewed though, but the acceptance should be 100% since they're all on the big 4)
Unless your photos are perfect for stock, you need to be thinking of thousands of uploads to see significant results with the smaller sites.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Slovenian on June 12, 2011, 03:16
123rf.com is 10x better performer to me than fotolia, how is that possible?
123RF is such a low performer to me that your results surprise me.

How does it compare to the rest? I'm curious to know, since I just dumped something like 138 photos over there (waiting to be reviewed though, but the acceptance should be 100% since they're all on the big 4)
Unless your photos are perfect for stock, you need to be thinking of thousands of uploads to see significant results with the smaller sites.

OK, so it this proofs to be the case in my case, I've just wasted my time, since all I have is 400+ shots ( I plan to make another 400+ by the end of the year)
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: microstockphoto.co.uk on June 12, 2011, 03:18
Big 4 is subjective

My best earners are - in order:
1) Shutterstock
2) Fotolia
3) Istock=Dreamstime=123RF (all almost at the same level)

Just a few months ago it was:
1) Shutterstock
2) Istock
3) Fotolia
4) Dreamstime
5) 123RF

And especially - since I started to upload my entire port to all minor sites just a few months ago - the so called "Low Earners" are (cumulatively) earning me 5-6% of monthly total.

The only problem with Fotolia for me is that new files are not selling.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: sharpshot on June 12, 2011, 03:23
123rf.com is 10x better performer to me than fotolia, how is that possible?
123RF is such a low performer to me that your results surprise me.

How does it compare to the rest? I'm curious to know, since I just dumped something like 138 photos over there (waiting to be reviewed though, but the acceptance should be 100% since they're all on the big 4)
Unless your photos are perfect for stock, you need to be thinking of thousands of uploads to see significant results with the smaller sites.

OK, so it this proofs to be the case in my case, I've just wasted my time, since all I have is 400+ shots ( I plan to make another 400+ by the end of the year)
I just don't think it's worth having high expectations.  If you have patience, it's worth uploading now.  If you want to get a regular payout, wait until you have a bigger portfolio.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: LayerAce.com on June 12, 2011, 03:34
123rf.com is 10x better performer to me than fotolia, how is that possible?
123RF is such a low performer to me that your results surprise me.

How does it compare to the rest? I'm curious to know, since I just dumped something like 138 photos over there (waiting to be reviewed though, but the acceptance should be 100% since they're all on the big 4)

To me istock is in the first place, dreamstime always was in the second place, but now 123rf is in the second and dreamstime in the third, i no longer submit to shutterstock. Last month in fotolia i made 9$... Thats terrible. Looks like new stuff really doesnt sell at all especially to those who have lower rank. Yes, at 123rf you have to have big portfolio to make something. I have over 2000 images there (only 3 rejected images from these 2000), they accept almost everything.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on June 12, 2011, 06:17
FT, used to be my third biggest earner and now its down to fifth place. Sad.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: madelaide on June 12, 2011, 15:06
123rf.com is 10x better performer to me than fotolia, how is that possible?
123RF is such a low performer to me that your results surprise me.

How does it compare to the rest? I'm curious to know, since I just dumped something like 138 photos over there (waiting to be reviewed though, but the acceptance should be 100% since they're all on the big 4)

To me, at least, 123RF means less than 1/3 than any of the main sites (IS/DT/FT), in its good months.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: ThomasAmby on June 13, 2011, 13:29
My earnings are the same or up, but I noticed the best match change as well - my best seller suddenly slowed down a bit, but two other images took off at the same time (images that had been sitting there for long, a year or maybe two). So I won't complain about that. No views on new images is a serious problem though, I noticed that too. Doesn't make people want to continue uploading...
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on June 16, 2011, 09:26
Ive actually had three good days now, cant tell if they have tweaked the best match or not?

Ive also noticed the FT-Hotshots and they are good but honestly, whats the point in promoting these type of Lifestyle-images, plasticky people, etc, I mean, I bet, lifestyles are taking up at least 50%, of the whole stock-market and thay all look pretty much the same, dont they?
Probably makes more of an impact promoting exotic plants or spiders.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: stockmarketer on June 16, 2011, 09:50
For a few months earlier this year, FT had actually surged past SS to be my #1 earner.

It's now slipped back to #2 but doing very well.  I think I must have benefited from the recent changes.

For the record, my earners rank this way: SS, FT, DT, IS, CanStockPhoto, BigStock, 123 (and the rest).
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Pheby on June 16, 2011, 10:37
Ive also noticed the Fotolia-Hotshots and they are good but honestly, whats the point in promoting these type of Lifestyle-images, plasticky people, etc, I mean, I bet, lifestyles are taking up at least 50%, of the whole stock-market and thay all look pretty much the same, dont they?
Probably makes more of an impact promoting exotic plants or spiders.

Those were my thoughts on the promoted hotshots too, on the other hand, this kind of style (that contributor olly for example executes so well) might be becoming something of a new normal, slowly replacing the "shiny happy people isolated on white" images. Maybe buyers have had enough of what has been so successful for the last years. Fotolia seems to be pushing that kind of style forward.

I don't have the impression that the best match has been tweaked again, and the last few days have been average for me, but since a few days I've been seeing the relevancy within my port changing a couple of times a day.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Slovenian on June 16, 2011, 10:51
Are hotshots only in the newsletter (I'm not getting it although I'm opted in) or is it somewhere on their site as well (I couldn't find it)? If it is, could someone post a link?
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Pheby on June 16, 2011, 11:02
Are hotshots only in the newsletter (I'm not getting it although I'm opted in) or is it somewhere on their site as well (I couldn't find it)? If it is, could someone post a link?

No, the newsletter is nowhere on the site. I'd pass on the mail, but I've deleted it already. Sorry.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Mantis on June 16, 2011, 17:57
I just went and looked at a batch of 30 images I uploaded mid May.  Some have zero views, most have 1 view and the best was 4 views.  Before they made that last tweak I got a lot of views.  My sales have tanked there from $150-160ish to $60-$75 bucks a month.  Really sucks. I am still going to keep uploading for the next time they tweak the best match in my favor :D
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Slovenian on June 17, 2011, 02:09
Are hotshots only in the newsletter (I'm not getting it although I'm opted in) or is it somewhere on their site as well (I couldn't find it)? If it is, could someone post a link?

No, the newsletter is nowhere on the site. I'd pass on the mail, but I've deleted it already. Sorry.

If someone still has it, I'd really appreciate if he/she could forward it to me.

BTW if you're using webmail, it remains in the trash for a while (A month on gmail)
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Pheby on June 17, 2011, 02:15
Thanks, but it's seriously gone.   ;D
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Slovenian on June 17, 2011, 02:23
OK, tnx :) .

I did go and at least check out olly's shots.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Pheby on June 17, 2011, 05:35
FWIW I think I've found out what the changes in the portfolio display are that I mentioned earlier: They seem to be interchanging "Relevance" and "Popularity" from time to time over the course of each day.  ???
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Mantis on June 17, 2011, 07:00
FWIW I think I've found out what the changes in the portfolio display are that I mentioned earlier: They seem to be interchanging "Relevance" and "Popularity" from time to time over the course of each day.  ???

If that's true (popularity) then new images are sunk from the beginning, as is what seems to be happening across the plane.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Red Dove on June 18, 2011, 04:51
not sinking but it's always been a slow boat for me. sales seem to come in bursts - but it makes me wonder when three sales in a day can push me over a thousand places up on the relative rank.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: OM on June 19, 2011, 11:27
Ive actually had three good days now, cant tell if they have tweaked the best match or not?

Ive also noticed the Fotolia-Hotshots and they are good but honestly, whats the point in promoting these type of Lifestyle-images, plasticky people, etc, I mean, I bet, lifestyles are taking up at least 50%, of the whole stock-market and thay all look pretty much the same, dont they?
Probably makes more of an impact promoting exotic plants or spiders.

At least they seem to have stopped promoting their 'free images' in the newsletter.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Allsa on June 20, 2011, 15:14
Interesting that they are at the bottom of the top tier and still sinking. I wouldn't be surprised to watch them drop to middle tier in the near future...
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on June 21, 2011, 00:51
Well I hope not!  Ive got a lot of shots there.

Mind you, it just goes to show, a simple best match change and theres no end of troubles, lethal!
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Pixart on June 21, 2011, 11:26
Their newsletter said they were moving servers to Toronto on the weekend.  Well, my ranking has climbed 5000 since they moved their servers.  But it had dropped by 8000 the month before they moved.  Hopefully my position is back to the old norm, not the invisible norm.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: baz777 on June 26, 2011, 02:41
My second best seller after SS
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Mantis on June 26, 2011, 07:44
I am now approaching June as another data point where my sales are about 50% off (lower) that prior to their best match change.  Can't wait to see what happens when Europe shuts down for six weeks.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: sam100 on June 26, 2011, 14:23
I am now approaching June as another data point where my sales are about 50% off (lower) that prior to their best match change.  Can't wait to see what happens when Europe shuts down for six weeks.
Make that 8 weeks, in worst scenario 12 weeks.
Depending on what country the vacation period is spread over 3 months in europe.

Patrick H.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on June 28, 2011, 10:59
Sales are picking up!!  last three days have been good actually. Anybody else?
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lisafx on June 28, 2011, 11:14
Sales are picking up!!  last three days have been good actually. Anybody else?

Nope.  But congrats to you :)
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: LayerAce.com on June 30, 2011, 07:07
Sales are picking up!!  last three days have been good actually. Anybody else?

I have zero sales allready for a week.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: [email protected] on June 30, 2011, 10:09

I have zero sales allready for a week.
[/quote]

Same here... ???
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: luissantos84 on June 30, 2011, 10:14
Sales are picking up!!  last three days have been good actually. Anybody else?

I have zero sales allready for a week.

cannot be true.. looking at your port they all look good, really weird no sales..
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: LayerAce.com on July 01, 2011, 00:41
Sales are picking up!!  last three days have been good actually. Anybody else?

I have zero sales allready for a week.

cannot be true.. looking at your port they all look good, really weird no sales..

Maybe i'm stuck with that bronze rank... I have good sales at all other sites, this one should be performing well, but it isnt. Maybe i just need to wait.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: nruboc on July 01, 2011, 00:51
and sinking.... and sinking.. from a strong first place finisher.... now to third place almost overnight. Reaffirms my decision to never go exclusive anywhere....except maybe ShutterStock.. which has always been strong. Good old ShutterStock
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on July 01, 2011, 01:51
What I cant understand is this:  they see the disaster results following an IS, best match change, which happens every single time. Then they go and do exactly the same thing?
What are they thinking about?  sometimes I get this crazy feeling that agencies do search changes just out of plain stupidity, just "thinking" something will improve?

Why not take wisdom from a Cape-Canaveral space-launch: you better be bloody SURE! its gonna work or else you be in crap street.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: nikitabuida on July 01, 2011, 03:41
Same story here - shift to subs, sales decrease :(
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: sharpshot on July 01, 2011, 04:30
June was better than May for me.  Still a bit below their best but not too bad.  I've slipped down the rankings a bit, probably because I haven't uploaded much in the past few months.  I really don't see FT sinking much, nowhere near as bad as istock.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: madelaide on July 01, 2011, 05:45
Weak this week, but on average this month, subs mainly, eroding RPD.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: stockmarketer on July 01, 2011, 05:50
Fotolia remains extremely strong for me.  Was my #2 earner again in June.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: fritz on July 01, 2011, 18:55
With 1535 on line  only 96 files been downloaded in June.
Really disappointing. At IS and SS I make at least 5 times more
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: RacePhoto on July 05, 2011, 20:37
Same story here - shift to subs, sales decrease :(


(http://www.logoi.com/pastimages/img/titanic_3.jpg)

Titanic drawing (c) expired by the way. ;)
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: cidepix on July 05, 2011, 20:49
I haven't read the whole tread, so I don'y know if anybody mentioned this: Bad Karma  ;)

IS and FT, sinking together:D
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Anita Potter on July 06, 2011, 00:19
Me I'm not seeing that.  June was nearly BME for FT which just missed by a few cents.  And if this month doesn't fall to pieces I should see about the same in June.  I only care about my revenue going up from previous months the rest of it doesn't really matter to me.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: CD123 on July 06, 2011, 09:02
I find this sort of amusing. Since joining here I found constantly in the threads people complaining about bad sales or no sales at all on certain sites (and in this instance a "sinking" site), then you look at the poll on the right, and find it very rarely corresponds with the chatter.  ???
Fotolia up by 0.03
Panthermedia (another thread - no sales at all) on 2.7 and up by 0.08
etc.
etc.
etc.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on July 06, 2011, 11:50
The poll numbers are much less interesting than watching who is reporting declines in threads like these. When people with large portfolios and a strong sales record report sales are dropping, that's useful information.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: eggshell on July 06, 2011, 14:17
I find this sort of amusing. Since joining here I found constantly in the threads people complaining about bad sales or no sales at all on certain sites (and in this instance a "sinking" site), then you look at the poll on the right, and find it very rarely corresponds with the chatter.  ???
Fotolia up by 0.03
Panthermedia (another thread - no sales at all) on 2.7 and up by 0.08
etc.
etc.
etc.

+1
BME in June , changing rank helped a lot .
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: CD123 on July 06, 2011, 14:32
The poll numbers are much less interesting than watching who is reporting declines in threads like these. When people with large portfolios and a strong sales record report sales are dropping, that's useful information.
I rather follow the threads. As newcomer I used the polls to assist to which sited I would contribute, not knowing that some of them are very obviously pumped up by false statistics. So now I sit on a few very much dead middle and low tier sites I spent a lot of time on, like PantherMedia and Zoonar.  ::)
Have learned a lot through the forums though (if you know who to listen to, I have to add).  ;)  
It obviously also helps now that I have a reasonable portfolio on a few sites myself and can start seeing trends for myself.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: madelaide on July 06, 2011, 17:57
I have a small portfolio and I don't take part in the poll, but what I can say is that the number of sales in FT hasn't changed much, however the proportion of subs has increased, making RPD and monthly earnings lower.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on July 07, 2011, 00:03
I thought FT said something about a new search or something, coming soon or whatever, didnt they?
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: bolivarhavanna on July 08, 2011, 17:09
I find this sort of amusing. Since joining here I found constantly in the threads people complaining about bad sales or no sales at all on certain sites (and in this instance a "sinking" site), then you look at the poll on the right, and find it very rarely corresponds with the chatter.  ???

Agreeing with CD123 here. There are still contributors on Fotolia that have great sales (I can't complain myself) - But my output is high - It's an uphill battle to some degree.

Microstock has become some sort of a numbers game. Unless you don't put out 500+ images a month (or even more), your sales will drop over the course of time. Too much competition: Thousands of new contributors joining every month, on a site like FT alone...

 
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: CD123 on July 08, 2011, 17:34
bolivarhavanna , such a same you complete reply got edited out (guess it was too long but luckily I got the complete input by email). Your point (not completely reflected in the edited version of your reply) that people working hard at their portfolios every month does not feel the effects of "minor" site changes as those depending on previous sales and older images makes a lot of sense.

I think the top tier is further less influenceable than those below it, which can manipulated by a number of "false" contributor votes (which is very obviously the case in some of the sites I mentioned).

My situation is quite similar to yours bud (unfortunately not reflected in the remainder of your post above), mine is just medical of nature, but I wish you well and best of luck!!!
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: bolivarhavanna on July 08, 2011, 17:45
mindscanner, such a same you complete reply got edited out (guess it was too long but luckily I got the complete input by email). Your point (not completely reflected in the edited version of your reply) that people working hard at their portfolios every month does not feel the effects of "minor" site changes as those depending on previous sales and older images makes a lot of sense.

I think the top tier is further less influenceable than those below it, which can manipulated by a number of "false" contributor votes (which is very obviously the case in some of the sites I mentioned).

My situation is quite similar to yours bud (unfortunately not reflected in the remainder of your post above), mine is just medical of nature, but I wish you well and best of luck!!!

Ha!!! I decided to edit it after I re-read it and feared it was too boring and too long of a read  ;)
But thanks for pointing out, that an essential point I was trying to make got indeed lost, which was that putting more work into your portfolio helps to eleminate the vulnerabilty of your portfolio to sales fluctuations.

Best of luck to you as well!!
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Slovenian on July 08, 2011, 17:48
Microstock has become some sort of a numbers game. Unless you don't put out 500+ images a month (or even more), your sales will drop over the course of time. Too much competition: Thousands of new contributors joining every month, on a site like FT alone...

It's one of 2 possible strategies. Bombarding it with tons of photos, hoping some will hit. However if you work alone and upload 500+ images, you can deliver quality, so it is quantity over quality (image factories can deliver that with good quality as well, or deliver way more without it). The other is focusing on quality and great, edgy concepts. Than you can deliver 50 images and earn the same. Or even more if we are talking about utterly boring isolated on white shots etc. Personally I prefer the second option, although my work lacks quality in most cases and I only get online someting like 35 images/month.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: bolivarhavanna on July 08, 2011, 18:00
It's one of 2 possible strategies.

Slovenian, I absolutely agree. I forgot to add that this strategy works for ME, it may not work for everyone. I try to keep the balance between mass production and quality. It's a compromise, for sure...

If you have amazing skills and talent, you will succeed with a portfolio of 500 images and leave port's with 5000+ images behind easily.

The point I was trying to get accross was: In either case, and whatever strategy works for you, if you stop at 100 images with stratgey no.1, or stop at 2000 images with strategy no.2, your sales WILL stagnate. I think at this point, microstock requires constant contribution. The agencies like to portray contribution to their sites as "passive income" to make an easy and quick buck. Well, technically, it may be passive income, since you don't earn anything right after you're done shooting, but like I said: with the increasing competition, the limits of the sales potential of your portfolio increases as well, if you don't keep up with the pace.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lisafx on July 08, 2011, 18:22
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. 
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: bolivarhavanna on July 08, 2011, 18:31
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?  ??? 
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: bolivarhavanna on July 08, 2011, 18:46
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
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: bolivarhavanna on July 08, 2011, 18:49
Sorry, double post   :-\
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lisafx on July 08, 2011, 19:01

@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.

(http://www.pbase.com/image/136252585/original.jpg)
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: bolivarhavanna on July 08, 2011, 19:13
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.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Mantis on July 08, 2011, 19:37

@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.

([url]http://www.pbase.com/image/136252585/original.jpg[/url])


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.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: bolivarhavanna on July 08, 2011, 19:48
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  ::)
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: pancaketom on July 08, 2011, 21:10
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.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Allsa on July 09, 2011, 11:53
Personally I'd like to see IS and FT buyers go elsewhere since they are the leaders in low and dropping commissions.

+1
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: fotografer on July 09, 2011, 12:16
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.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: bolivarhavanna on July 09, 2011, 12:22
@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?
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lisafx on July 09, 2011, 13:28
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 :).   
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: fotografer on July 09, 2011, 13:44
@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.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Allsa on July 09, 2011, 14:00
My earnings for June '11 are about half of what they were in June '10. I'm at the gold level.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Slovenian on July 09, 2011, 15:31
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?
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: fotografer on July 09, 2011, 15:56
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.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lisafx on July 09, 2011, 18:22

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.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Mantis on July 09, 2011, 20:03
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.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on July 10, 2011, 00:43
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.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: bartee on July 11, 2011, 09:00
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 !
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: ayzek on July 11, 2011, 09:26
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.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: robynmac on July 12, 2011, 17:04
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.   :'(
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lisafx on July 12, 2011, 17:18
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.   :'(
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on July 12, 2011, 23:55
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.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: saniphoto on July 13, 2011, 01:21
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.

Microstock now is more like gambling than to run a business... for us who try to live with this, no good!
You cannot make predictions or have the enthusiasm to invest in new shootings. The problems with FT are huge, because their
policies seems to have transformed this as a sort of 'game', where you must hope to be on the good side...  :(
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lisafx on July 13, 2011, 13:01

Microstock now is more like gambling than to run a business... for us who try to live with this, no good!
You cannot make predictions or have the enthusiasm to invest in new shootings.

I completely agree with this.  And it applies to all sites, not just FT.  

I recently invested a lot of money and time in a big location shoot with 14 models and the initial sales are looking like a lead balloon.  Same type of investment a couple of years ago would have seen sales start immediately and climb from there.  We may have milked this cash cow dry...  
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on July 13, 2011, 13:22

Microstock now is more like gambling than to run a business... for us who try to live with this, no good!
You cannot make predictions or have the enthusiasm to invest in new shootings.

I completely agree with this.  And it applies to all sites, not just FT.  

I recently invested a lot of money and time in a big location shoot with 14 models and the initial sales are looking like a lead balloon.  Same type of investment a couple of years ago would have seen sales start immediately and climb from there.  We may have milked this cash cow dry...  

Agreeing 100%, it isnt worth it anymore. Why?  because at the flick of a best match switch, a seconds tap on a keyboard, just ruins years of work. The way it looks right now is as if FT, is joining IS, in the abyss of just, nothing.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: grp_photo on July 13, 2011, 13:49
FT is certainly going down to some degree but still pretty strong for me compared to others. Worst thing that new uploads even of top quality (content and technically wise) hardly see any sales.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: NancyCWalker on July 15, 2011, 08:40
FT consistently places 3rd or 4th in my line up. Sales have gone up this month. 
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on July 15, 2011, 08:52
Nah,  its their new best match, thats the culprit. Buyers I told to go to FT for certain shots,  well, they cant even find them anymore. One mailed me on Wednesday, told me he cant find the shots he once saw.  Its a mess,  simple as that.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Slovenian on July 20, 2011, 15:06
Can anyone tell me how long it takes for them to process the payout to moneybookers? It's now pending for a couple of days (my first obviously) and I can't find a payout schedule like there's one at IS or at least some info, like it's going to be processed within 5 business days (again like at IS).
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Pheby on July 20, 2011, 15:44
No, they don't have a shedule like istock has. It can take anywhere between 3 days and a few weeks for them to pay out.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: lagereek on July 20, 2011, 15:50
Ive had three pretty good days there now, hope it keeps up.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Pheby on July 20, 2011, 15:59
I've had a really good couple of weeks, too. But it really worries me that new images hardly sell...
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: Slovenian on July 20, 2011, 16:28
What worries me even more is, I don't have any old pics...
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: gbg2000 on August 30, 2011, 13:31
FWIW, I am really surprised to see FT is listed in the big 4, as it is definitely not in my top 5 earners, and their editors seems to take a special dislike to my style, my acceptance rate being half of that at IS.  But I guess they have enough customers, so it works for enough people
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: stocker2011 on August 31, 2011, 09:54
From a video contributor perspective my sales were always quite steady and in the last couple of months i have experienced a huge drop in sales which i thought was atttributed to a summer slowdown but it doesnt appear to be picking up, i am quite worried about it. This together with further redeductions in comission to contributors means that i am no longer recommending FT to anyone and i opted out of their subs program.
Title: Re: fotolia is sinking
Post by: ruigsantos on September 02, 2011, 11:59
FT has been quite dead for me. I'm new in the game and my sales are increasing at SS and DT but FT is as dead as the Dead Sea.