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Author Topic: Fotolia rank reset and DPC  (Read 14287 times)

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EmberMike

« on: May 05, 2014, 16:59 »
+29
In light of the launch of DollarPhotoClub, I thought it was appropriate to bring up something from a few years ago. In 2011 Fotolia sent out an announcement in which they threatened to drop your rank back to white if you sold images at any sites that undercut them. The announcement read as follows:

Quote
Over the last few months, we've seen new competitors offering pricing and commission rates that are lower than our white ranking levels. This is a threat to our business, for the market as whole, and for you, our contributors. This is an issue that must be addressed for us to remain competitive.

We have been obliged to modify our pricing and payment policies to allow Fotolia to adjust prices/commissions on a case by case basis. When a contributor sells on sites with significantly lower pricing and commissions, we will reset their rank to white to allow for competition.

Together, we'll work towards building a stronger stock photography market, and continue to enhance Fotolia's reputation and competitiveness as a leading microstock agency.


So if someone stays opted-in at DPC, does that mean their Fotolia rank drops back to white?

;)

Here's the old thread on the rank reset thing. Which as far as I know was later amended to only apply to high-ranking contributors and I'm not even sure if it was ever implemented. I just think it's pretty rich that Fotolia was so outraged that someone was undercutting them, and here they are undercutting absolutely everyone.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 17:01 by EmberMike »


« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014, 17:05 »
+2
yeah I remember that, DP was the main agency, oh another lovely place...

EmberMike

« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 18:40 »
+8

I kind of hate to admit it but I think this strategy would actually be pretty useful given the current state of things. DPC threatens not just contributors but also agencies as well. Imagine if a few big agencies said that because of Fotolia's highly destructive DollarPhotoClub, they can no longer work with any artist who also works with Fotolia.

As unpleasant as it might seem, if a few big agencies put up policies like this, DPC would be dead in the water. In fact it might be the only way to stop DPC.


« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2014, 18:57 »
+3

I kind of hate to admit it but I think this strategy would actually be pretty useful given the current state of things. DPC threatens not just contributors but also agencies as well. Imagine if a few big agencies said that because of Fotolia's highly destructive DollarPhotoClub, they can no longer work with any artist who also works with Fotolia.

As unpleasant as it might seem, if a few big agencies put up policies like this, DPC would be dead in the water. In fact it might be the only way to stop DPC.

Well, only Shutterstock is big enough to do that. (for me all over the years Fotolia was clearly the second largest agency in earnings..)
It would be nice to stop DPC that way but it would be also a frightening display of how much power a single agency (in this case Shutterstock) has.

Could they for example just mass e-mail all their contributors about the dangers of DPC? Would there be legal issues about it?

« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2014, 19:27 »
+2
Nice thought, but other agencies won't go there.  They would likely fall foul of all sorts of anti-competition laws in the EU and elsewhere if they tried that.

EmberMike

« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2014, 21:09 »
+1
Nice thought, but other agencies won't go there.  They would likely fall foul of all sorts of anti-competition laws in the EU and elsewhere if they tried that.

I'm not actually advocating that any company really do this, but if someone did, would it really be any more illegal than any exclusive deal or other clause that prohibits relationships with other companies already in use in this business? Companies can already legally tell contributors not to work with other agencies. Photographers Direct prohibits that any of their contributors work with microstock companies.

Maybe ethically a company that says they won't work with anyone who works with Fotolia is no better than Fotolia when they did the same thing years ago. But legally? I'm not so sure...

« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2014, 21:26 »
+2
Would depend upon circumstances if conduct was considered unfair dealing: relative market positions, effect on competition, if agencies colluded, primary purpose of conduct, etc.  There is a huge difference between exclusive contracts on individual basis and an overt or blanket attempt to prevent dealings with a competitor.  All hypothetical anyway.

Ron

« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2014, 02:06 »
0
SS is a US based company. Would it be illegal for them to say we dont accept images that are for sale on DPC? Anyway, The risk with that is, contributors might choose to go with FT and SS would have no images

« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2014, 02:19 »
+8
SS is a US based company. Would it be illegal for them to say we dont accept images that are for sale on DPC? Anyway, The risk with that is, contributors might choose to go with FT and SS would have no images

Really? You'd think they choose FT (DPC) over SS?

Ron

« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2014, 02:22 »
0
SS is a US based company. Would it be illegal for them to say we dont accept images that are for sale on DPC? Anyway, The risk with that is, contributors might choose to go with FT and SS would have no images

Really? You'd think they choose FT (DPC) over SS?
I dont think so, but the risk is there. And if you follow the forum on SS, there are reports of several people that FT is outperforming SS for them. There are loads of complaints from contributors that SS has killed their sales, and the proof is there, those people will probably jump ship.

« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2014, 03:30 »
+4
SS is a US based company. Would it be illegal for them to say we dont accept images that are for sale on DPC? Anyway, The risk with that is, contributors might choose to go with FT and SS would have no images

Really? You'd think they choose FT (DPC) over SS?
I dont think so, but the risk is there. And if you follow the forum on SS, there are reports of several people that FT is outperforming SS for them. There are loads of complaints from contributors that SS has killed their sales, and the proof is there, those people will probably jump ship.

loads seems a bit, if we count them perhaps less than 10 so it isn't particularly relevant, anyway the majority have noticed how inconsistent FT sales are in the long run, there might be a few cases that FT is getting closer to SS numbers but in terms of totals they are miles away, if so it must be a very small % of contributors like Robert per example

I don't think that contributors doing well at FT are willing to abandon ship when SS haven't pulled any "crap" at them like FT seems to be doing quite often

not to mention their wealth difference
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 03:32 by luissantos84 »

« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2014, 07:58 »
+3
In light of the launch of DollarPhotoClub, I thought it was appropriate to bring up something from a few years ago. In 2011 Fotolia sent out an announcement in which they threatened to drop your rank back to white if you sold images at any sites that undercut them. The announcement read as follows:

Quote
Over the last few months, we've seen new competitors offering pricing and commission rates that are lower than our white ranking levels. This is a threat to our business, for the market as whole, and for you, our contributors. This is an issue that must be addressed for us to remain competitive.

We have been obliged to modify our pricing and payment policies to allow Fotolia to adjust prices/commissions on a case by case basis. When a contributor sells on sites with significantly lower pricing and commissions, we will reset their rank to white to allow for competition.

Together, we'll work towards building a stronger stock photography market, and continue to enhance Fotolia's reputation and competitiveness as a leading microstock agency.


This reminds me of the old adage, "if you can't beat em, join em".  I mean this is an actual threat to their own contributors....that should tell you ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW about FT. In theory since they further cheapened the market with DPC and brought their pricing in line with other gutter agencies, none of their contributors are "violating" the "don't upload to cheaper sites" threat and their canister levels should be set back to where they were prior to this threat and many contributors should see a big fat increase in revenue.  But, unfortunately, FT's threat is just like that of a "temporary tax", which is just a marketing spin for permanent. Do you really think that they would roll anyone back to a higher canister level? FK NO!
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 08:01 by Mantis »

EmberMike

« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2014, 13:10 »
+9

Just noticed that this rank reset and price change policy is still very much in effect at Fotolia: http://us.fotolia.com/Info/Contributors/GeneralInformation

Emerald and above ranking contributors must consent to Fotolia being allowed to ask them where else they do business and adjust prices accordingly if anyone sells images cheaper elsewhere.

Thinking about vector pricing, Fotolia is about as cheap as they come. It's kind of strange, DPC was designed to undercut everyone, but for a lot of people the lowest limb on the tree is Fotolia. I guess it wasn't enough to already be cheap and they wanted to be the first to cut the deepest.

dpimborough

« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2014, 14:29 »
+4

Just noticed that this rank reset and price change policy is still very much in effect at Fotolia: http://us.fotolia.com/Info/Contributors/GeneralInformation

Emerald and above ranking contributors must consent to Fotolia being allowed to ask them where else they do business and adjust prices accordingly if anyone sells images cheaper elsewhere.

Thinking about vector pricing, Fotolia is about as cheap as they come. It's kind of strange, DPC was designed to undercut everyone, but for a lot of people the lowest limb on the tree is Fotolia. I guess it wasn't enough to already be cheap and they wanted to be the first to cut the deepest.


They just keep stacking up reasons to leave them don't they  ;D


« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2014, 15:10 »
+1
Nice thought, but other agencies won't go there.  They would likely fall foul of all sorts of anti-competition laws in the EU and elsewhere if they tried that.

No at all. Amazon (Amazon KDP) is doing exactly this since 2011 or so, without any problem. All they got was some moaning in the Smashwords forums (and smashword's CEO admitted that they couldn't do anything about it). Match on a lower price is 100% legal.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 15:12 by loop »

Goofy

« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2014, 15:45 »
+8

Just noticed that this rank reset and price change policy is still very much in effect at Fotolia: http://us.fotolia.com/Info/Contributors/GeneralInformation

Emerald and above ranking contributors must consent to Fotolia being allowed to ask them where else they do business and adjust prices accordingly if anyone sells images cheaper elsewhere.

Thinking about vector pricing, Fotolia is about as cheap as they come. It's kind of strange, DPC was designed to undercut everyone, but for a lot of people the lowest limb on the tree is Fotolia. I guess it wasn't enough to already be cheap and they wanted to be the first to cut the deepest.


one word for Fotolia- "Hypocrite"

OM

« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2014, 16:46 »
+2
Didn't notice that, 'under applicable law' contributors are required to tell the truth when enquiries are made.  ;D

Rinderart

« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2014, 11:13 »
+13
All SS would have to do Legally, is offer a Exclusive Option with a few cents more. I would accept. Time is money and If I stopped taking all the time it took to upload to 9 agencies. I would win based on that alone. Im sure that would kill FT.

« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2014, 12:20 »
+3
All SS would have to do Legally, is offer a Exclusive Option with a few cents more. I would accept. Time is money and If I stopped taking all the time it took to upload to 9 agencies. I would win based on that alone. Im sure that would kill FT.
Agree. But would it be desirable to make Shutterstock to a monopolist?

Rinderart

« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2014, 12:54 »
0
NO. In bold was "An Option" not everyone.Just dreamin out loud. time is My enemy, Uploading hoping some of these sites come back to year ago sales.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2014, 12:57 by Rinderart »

farbled

« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2014, 12:59 »
+1
Even better if we could opt-in individual images as exclusive. Like DT does. I don't want to have all my images exclusive, but a couple for sure..

« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2014, 14:10 »
+2
Even better if we could opt-in individual images as exclusive. Like DT does. I don't want to have all my images exclusive, but a couple for sure..

I think an Exclusive Image option combined with being able to opt it into the SOD/sensitive use category would be a winner, especially for those that don't want to put their entire portfolio into the sensitive use category.

« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2014, 18:34 »
0
All SS would have to do Legally, is offer a Exclusive Option with a few cents more. I would accept. Time is money and If I stopped taking all the time it took to upload to 9 agencies. I would win based on that alone. Im sure that would kill FT.

I think I would jump on this as well.  Time is indeed the key.  Just looked at my stats so far this year and SS is 65% of total sales.  Alamy is another 9% but that is with a different portfolio.  Without Alamy sales included and only looking at the microstock portfolio SS is 71% approximately.  So I could drop 8 agencies and sales would decline less than 30%.  Maybe not even that much if you assume buyers would look elsewhere for my amazing irreplaceable images.  :) Which I doubt, but we can dream.

The question is: do you trust SS enough to be your only agency?  And if they were the only microstock agency left standing would that be a good thing or a bad thing?

« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2014, 18:38 »
+2
I wonder if SS would let us add "Shutterstock Exclusive Photo" to our descriptions of files we are willing to do this with.  I'm sure they'll never give us a bigger piece of the pie for it, but it might help buyers make a more "informed" choice when they want a photo that's not in every dollar bin on the net.  I have gotten so disgusted with IS, FT, DT etc. that I've practically stopped uploading to them anyway.

Rinderart

« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2014, 19:58 »
+2
I wonder if SS would let us add "Shutterstock Exclusive Photo" to our descriptions of files we are willing to do this with.  I'm sure they'll never give us a bigger piece of the pie for it, but it might help buyers make a more "informed" choice when they want a photo that's not in every dollar bin on the net.  I have gotten so disgusted with IS, FT, DT etc. that I've practically stopped uploading to them anyway.

Agree.


 

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