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Author Topic: FT starts to listen to unhappy contributors  (Read 5899 times)

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cphoto

  • CreativeShot.com
« on: June 10, 2008, 12:25 »
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Contributor ranking

On Fotolia, a contributors rank is determined by the total number of files sold. The higher the rank the more files the contributor has sold. There 8 levels that represent the contributor rank and the number of files sold. To calculate your rank, we take into account each files sold from classical system. We also take into account files sold from subscription, four files sold from subscription are equivalent to one old file from classical system. The table below outlines each level and its corresponding symbol.

That's a first step but that proves that if we all complain on their forum and pursue the petition to have modification made to their subscription current model, FT will have to listen to us.

So let's keep the pressure on them, next step is an opt-out for everyone.


« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2008, 12:47 »
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This is an improvement.  They don't have to do much to match the other big sites.  I hope they will see sense soon.

« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2008, 12:58 »
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Quote
"A Contributor can be ranked at 1 of 8 levels; the more images the Contributor sells, the higher their rank and share in sales is. The ranks are calculated using image sales from the 'classic' purchase system along with any images sold from Subscription (4 images sold from Subscription equal to one image download from the classic system)."

nice. but 1:4 ratio is still slow. 1:2 would be fair, if not 1:1  :D

grp_photo

« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2008, 13:05 »
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Quote
"A Contributor can be ranked at 1 of 8 levels; the more images the Contributor sells, the higher their rank and share in sales is. The ranks are calculated using image sales from the 'classic' purchase system along with any images sold from Subscription (4 images sold from Subscription equal to one image download from the classic system)."

nice. but 1:4 ratio is still slow. 1:2 would be fair, if not 1:1  :D
Agree a sale is a sale!

« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2008, 13:14 »
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Still an insult. Agreed that a sale is a sale.

« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2008, 13:32 »
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cphoto,

Are you, or the people involved with this rebellion responsible for the 1:4 rank ratio?
If so, what was it prior to you getting it changed?
Did you actually engage in dialect with the powers at FT?
If so what was discussed?

Are they willing to listen to your grievances?

Cranky MIZ
The voice of reason

« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2008, 13:35 »
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They must be anticipating a huge number of subscription sales if they were at first not going to count them, but are now willing to count them at a low ratio.

I agree with the sentiment of "a sale is a sale is a sale". If they're not willing to increase the commission, a fair concession would be to allow sub sales to count in calculating ranking level. I'd like to see it higher than 4:1, though.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 14:49 by sharply_done »

cphoto

  • CreativeShot.com
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2008, 13:52 »
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cphoto,

Are you, or the people involved with this rebellion responsible for the 1:4 rank ratio?
If so, what was it prior to you getting it changed?
Did you actually engage in dialect with the powers at FT?
If so what was discussed?

Are they willing to listen to your grievances?

Cranky MIZ
The voice of reason


Before it was you can sell 1 million sub pictures, your rank will not move.  Sub sales were not counted towards your rank.
Andres was the first to complain on FT forums, followed by zillions of unhappy contributors.
You never talk directly to the dark force... But they have no other choice than listen to our Jedis.

jsnover

« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2008, 15:18 »
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...Andres was the first to complain on FT forums, followed by zillions of unhappy contributors.
I don't think he was anywhere near the first, but the threads in which other people started complaining got deleted.

I agree that this is a start, although not really a generous one - I make 37 cents on a XS sale and it gets me 1 step further in ranking, but one subs sale is 27 cents and 1/4 of a step. My grand total so far of 4 subs sales earns me 1 "ranking credit" and $1.08 :)

Seeing comments elsewhere here from a FT contributor paid in Euros made me realize how the commission issue is much more black and white for US contributors than European ones.

The SS and FT commissions, in Euros, at current exchange rates (i.e. with the weak $$) are virtually equivalent. So to them the current commission at FT doesn't seem like as bad a deal as it does to those of us in the US.

« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2008, 16:33 »
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They started with "a sale is a sale" by implementing subscription as inevitable thing.  But even they know that a subs sale is not worth that much...

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2008, 18:32 »
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They sell in dollars and pay in Euros? I mean, if you had done 100 $ in comissions they pay you 100 Euros?

jsnover

« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2008, 18:41 »
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They sell in dollars and pay in Euros? I mean, if you had done 100 $ in comissions they pay you 100 Euros?

If you were referring to my comment above, no. As a US contributor, I can only get paid in $$. Someone who is signed on to fotolia.co.uk (maps to en.fotolia.com I just discovered) can only get paid in pounds. If fr.fotolia.com is your home site, it's payment in Euros for you.

What I was trying to say was that given SS pays in $$ regardless of where you live, and given the low exchange rate at the moment for the US $, the SS commission per sale translates to 0.21 euros, just about the same as someone affiliated with one of FT's Euro-paying sites gets from a subscription sale. See the original comment here:

http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php/topic,4949.msg51382.html#msg51382


« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2008, 18:50 »
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Thanks for your reply, js, but I still don't get it. I mean that if Fotolia comission is 0.27 US dollars, if they pay european contributors in euros it seems that they would convert this comission to euros before paying you in euros, and, so, you would get about 0.16 euros.

I'm just asking, I really don't know.

jsnover

« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2008, 19:07 »
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The whole issue of multiple currencies is quite an interesting subject - I'd guess if I were an agency, I'd be worried about the many fluctuations that could result in some nasty situations where I had to pay contributors more than I took in, but then sometimes the agency makes out like a bandit and gets to pocket the difference.

Fotolia sells subscriptions in 3 different currencies, as far as I can see. US dollars, Euros and British Pounds. I think (but I'm not sure) that the Japanese site pays in US dollars (that's not a Yen symbol following the digits on the front page) as does the Brazilian one.

Fotolia pays contributors in one of those currencies, but only one, so the problems/opportunities to make more come where buyers pay in one currency and contribitors get paid in another. So, regardless of what a buyer in the UK or Germany (let's say) paid for my XS image, as a US contributor, I get 37 cents (I'm silver). For a subscription I get 27 cents.

Currency        1 month            6 months             1 year
======       =====            ======            =====
Euros             199                   899                      1649
GBP                125                  500                        900
USD               249                   999                      1899

If I go to Yahoo finance and do a currency conversion, 199 Euros is $307 and 1649 euros is $2,500, quite a premium over the US $$ prices.  So if (let's say) every buyer purchased in euros and every contributor was paid in US$, FT would make quite a bit on the currency switch as they'd still be paying me 27 cents US for each subscription but collecting more ($307 vs 249 for a 1 month subscription).

If FT switched to a system like IS where contributors get paid based on what the buyer actually paid for a credit, then this problem/opportunity would go away, but as contributors we'd see variable prices per credit instead of fixed ones.

« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2008, 19:17 »
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loop,

check my post in this thread:
http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php/topic,3605.0.html

(the longer one, in which I explain how prices differ in each currency)

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2008, 19:37 »
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Wow, it's almost impossible to understand, and very strange because, to begin with, prices on euros and sterling pounds in the local front pages are not rigth. Difficult to understand, too, why if people buys a file for any price in the global market (because contributors can be in their countries, but that's a global market), they don't get their cut for the price it got this file, converted to any currency. It would be easier  to understand. In the end, and being Fotolia a company with many buyers in Europe and many photographers in USA, they don't lose anything.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 19:41 by loop »

RacePhoto

« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2008, 10:54 »
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This is an improvement.  They don't have to do much to match the other big sites.  I hope they will see sense soon.

FT is just a follower, not a leader. They are watching what other sites are doing, shaving down the contributor profit margin and trying to copy them. Then they tried the cheapest photos on the web. It's not going to work.

The only way FT is going to be alive in a year is to be innovative and make themselves attractive to sellers and buyers, for something other than the "me too" program, and copying others.

Just about every contributor and every photo you can find on FT, you can already find on at least six other sites.

What makes them stand out or attract buyers, so the business will thrive. It's not originality, or content, there's little reason for anyone to use FT as their main source for photos.

That's the problem as I see it. I may be wrong.

lisafx

« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2008, 11:03 »
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I think what makes Fotolia stand out, and the reason they have done so well for a relative late-comer to the microstock game, is their appeal to European buyers. 

 I know other sites eventually added languages and currencies beyond English/Dollar, but Fotolia were the first to do that and so far seem to have done it best. 

When I google my name to find my in-actions, there are dozens of uses in all parts of Europe and wherever the agency is credited, it is almost always Fotolia.

« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2008, 17:21 »
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Next step: today they increase the commission for subs:

Ranking    Payment / Download
   0.30 Credit
   0.31 Credit
   0.32 Credit
   0.33 Credit
   0.34 Credit
   0.35 Credit
   0.36 Credit
   0.37 Credit

And I can't find anymore that subs sales do not earn referal payouts (neither on the US nor on the German site - I am sure it was on both).

They seem to be moving, but as usual, no single word from the "officials"...

« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2008, 18:19 »
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This is a quote from a yahoo forum written by Chad Bridwell which I will post here as it will be important to some of you especially the last paragraphs.

Hello Folks,

 

I would like to give you a quick update on Fotolia. We have recently raised the base price of subscription commissions from 25 30 cents for white rank photographers and up to 37 cents for top Diamond rank. As I mentioned 2 weeks ago Fotolia needed to gather more data before we could adjust the commissions. And as I predicted our data did allow us to raise our commissions to photographers. In addition Fotolia has decided to count subscription sales towards a photographers rank, as a 4:1 ratio meaning 4 subscription sales equal 1 traditional sale.  These changes are live on the site now.

 

Our recent statistics show us that Fotolia is doing something right as just yesterday Fotolia was ranked in the top 1000 websites by Alexa, ranking us as 983. Fotolia is ranked well above our competitors with the exception of istockphoto http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details/fotolia.com.

 

Never in the history of Fotolia has the photographer community made so much money. Every week we continue to break payout records to photographers. It is amazing to see our growth in just 3 short years of operation. Many said it could not be done but here we are. However we still have a long way to go. Everyday we fight for new buyers around the globe. Our competition is fierce and we are a small team but I believe in the future of Fotolia.

 

In concern to the discussions happening in various forums, we believe the majority of these discussions are not constructive and organized by a few to cause riots in the community. We also believe there are those who seek after selfish means of popularity and personal gain. Such discussions are dangerous not only to Fotolia but the entire community because we know that many buyers read and research your words. We believe in free speech but we will not tolerate such discussions from people who benefit from Fotolias success by day and tear us down at night. We will not allow this to continue. If we believe a members actions or comments (on or off Fotolia) are detrimental to the growth of Fotolia we will not hesitate to take action and remove their account regardless of their rank or past success. 

 

I want to make one thing clear, the Fotolia management team decides the strategy for Fotolia, no one else. Those who do not share in our vision for the company are free to leave at any time.

 

The reality has been that Fotolia has always tried to raise photographers earnings through higher prices, ranking, the ability to sell in the infinite collection, and now subscriptions. We believe in our model and do not make decisions irrationally. Generally people who have trusted us throughout these years are not disappointed.

 

I wish you all a great weekend.

« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2008, 19:52 »
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I've noticed a huge shift in when downloads occur in last few months. I am in Singapore (GMT +8) and most of my downloads would occur after a went to bed (i.e. the US market buying). In the last couple of months, this has definitely shifted and now at least half my downloads occur before I sleep, indicating much stronger European markets. It is Fotolia's presence in this market that makes it one of the strongest sites at the moment and why, despite the recent changes, that I continue to support it as I always have. I have always felt that they are trying to do the best they can by their contributors. Recent actions indicate that they are aware of market conditions and since they have done such a good job positioning themselves in Europe, I continue to trust their judgement.

Saying that, wish I got 35c+ for a subscription but fingers crossed for a raise before too long.


 

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