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Author Topic: Is Fotolia Tanking for anyone else?  (Read 22501 times)

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« Reply #50 on: October 12, 2012, 04:50 »
0
My Fotolia sales is down 15 to 18% compared to last year, but only in August, September and October.  Before that, I still had monthly growth of about 5%.  I am Emerald.  So the theory of Emeralds being punished severely does not apply to me, unless you call 18% "severely"  (and if you do, how would you call Lisa's -90%?).  Of course, -18% does not make me happy, as Fotolia is my n2 seller!! 
I do notice that 90% of my Fotolia sales happen during my (European) working hours, so I suppose the main % of their buyers are European, and so am I.
Anyka I'm european and emerald and mine dropped by 70%. My sales are also european working hours.  Rarely sell much during the european night .


« Reply #51 on: October 12, 2012, 04:59 »
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Anyka I'm european and emerald and mine dropped by 70%. My sales are also european working hours.  Rarely sell much during the european night .
Wow 70% !  In that case I really don't know why my sales went down "only 18%" compared to the other Emeralds.  I cannot see your portfolio, but I assume it's not totally US-oriented.

XPTO

« Reply #52 on: October 12, 2012, 05:27 »
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Close to gold, 80% drop since January.  :o

CD123

« Reply #53 on: October 12, 2012, 05:53 »
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Sorry if I am misunderstanding but if you "hide" your best products than less excellent products will be nearer the front - inferior meaning less good not necessarily "rubbish."
Within the context of the discussion I was referring to "best" as their top sellers from a business perspective and did not refer to quality at all. That is the reason why the other posters took you on about your "inference", which therefore seemed like a statement. Let us move on.

« Reply #54 on: October 12, 2012, 06:42 »
0
Anyka I'm european and emerald and mine dropped by 70%. My sales are also european working hours.  Rarely sell much during the european night .
Wow 70% !  In that case I really don't know why my sales went down "only 18%" compared to the other Emeralds.  I cannot see your portfolio, but I assume it's not totally US-oriented.
I often make images with the idea of appealing to the US.  I just don't think that fotolia sell a lot more in Europe.

« Reply #55 on: October 12, 2012, 07:27 »
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The real reason why a diverse and large well selling port is suddently going on ground is usually competition.
The port is being replaced, by better and cheaper content.

Mechanisms that apply to single pictures also applies to whole portefolios. Or even to agencies.

So you who are hit, take a look at the competition, are your pictures being replaced? Are whole big portefolios with the same content as yours being uploaded?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 07:31 by JPSDK »

« Reply #56 on: October 12, 2012, 08:39 »
+1
The real reason why a diverse and large well selling port is suddently going on ground is usually competition.
The port is being replaced, by better and cheaper content.

Mechanisms that apply to single pictures also applies to whole portefolios. Or even to agencies.

So you who are hit, take a look at the competition, are your pictures being replaced? Are whole big portefolios with the same content as yours being uploaded?
Doesn't apply in this case.  It wasn't a gradual process of better content being uploaded it was  a sudden death of all different type of images suddenly not selling and it happened to quite a few of us at the same time.

« Reply #57 on: October 12, 2012, 08:57 »
+1
If it was competition, it would be the same on all sites.  FT is by far the biggest decline I have ever seen on any site.  I'm sure they've pushed some portfolios back in the search and promoted others.  They could be doing that to give their site a different look to the competition, to encourage newbies or just to punish people that sell on lower priced sites.  There's lots of reasons why they could be doing this but what would be really nice to know is, how can we get our portfolios back up the search rank?

As they don't seem to communicate and they obviously don't care if some of their big contributors (not me) have had their earnings decimated, I doubt we will ever get an answer to that question.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 09:00 by sharpshot »

OM

« Reply #58 on: October 12, 2012, 09:00 »
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My Fotolia sales is down 15 to 18% compared to last year, but only in August, September and October.  Before that, I still had monthly growth of about 5%.  I am Emerald.  So the theory of Emeralds being punished severely does not apply to me, unless you call 18% "severely"  (and if you do, how would you call Lisa's -90%?).  Of course, -18% does not make me happy, as Fotolia is my n2 seller!! 
I do notice that 90% of my Fotolia sales happen during my (European) working hours, so I suppose the main % of their buyers are European, and so am I.


Up until a month ago, I did a fair bit of poking around at FT search and I agree with your observation that FT has not been specifically targeting the higher ranked contributors for exclusion from the first pages. On the first pages of most searches (mostly food related) there was a liberal sprinkling of emerald and gold contributors' images. However, I got the impression then that most of the images to come up on the first pages were recently uploaded, to the exclusion of best-selling images from the past (which can be found under 'downloads' filter which very few customers appear to look at). Hence the loss of many long-time contributors images from the 'relevance' search and their drop in income as a result.

Looking at the search now, it does seem to have become more 'balanced' in that more images with actual sales are amongst the predominantly new images on the first pages. However, there are some weird anomalies with the search. It's almost as if the algorithm hones in on particular images and brings them up on the first pages of search time and time again for many of the keywords associated with that image.

Here's what I just looked at at FT UK site: Entered 'bread' as search word and this brings up the first page:

http://en.fotolia.com/search?k=bread&filters[content_type%3Aall]=1&submit.x=22&submit.y=7

Now about halfway down that page there's this picture of a woman with a bag of shopping but no bread in sight (there's another shot by the same contributor also on that page where, in close-up, the bananas have been exchanged for a baguette so the contributor has just used the same keywords...anyway....):

http://en.fotolia.com/id/44897352

Viewed 15 times sold once but on page one of my search 'bread' ??????? Bizarre!
There's lots of keywords and I've pulled out 'full', 'shirt', 'salad' and 'bear' as not especially relevant to the photo and entered them each separately in search........now each of these keywords produces that same photo on either the first or second page of the search:

http://en.fotolia.com/search?filters[content_type%3Aall]=1&k=full&offset=50
http://en.fotolia.com/search?filters[content_type%3Aall]=1&k=shirt&offset=50
http://en.fotolia.com/search?filters[content_type%3Aall]=1&k=salad&offset=50
http://en.fotolia.com/search?filters[content_type%3Aall]=1&k=bear&filters[content_type%3Aall]=1&submit.x=18&submit.y=14

I have no explanation but I have tried this with other searches and get similar results. Often there's an image which is totally incongruous to the search and yet these images keep popping up on numerous first few pages of search.

Methinks FT should change its name to Serendipity #13...........lucky for some, unlucky for others!

« Reply #59 on: October 12, 2012, 09:24 »
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You are correct when you say that newer images are still selling from Emeralds ports.  Some of my newer files are selling very well but virtually nothing of more than 6 months old is selling.  Everything older than that is nowhere to be found in the searches. If I stopped uploading for 6 months I would barely have any sales at all.

lisafx

« Reply #60 on: October 12, 2012, 09:27 »
+1
The real reason why a diverse and large well selling port is suddently going on ground is usually competition.
The port is being replaced, by better and cheaper content.


Sorry, but I don't buy this.  If it were truly only competition then sales should be dropping by roughly the same % across all sites.  They have held up well at DT, and are excellent at SS, including some recent BMEs.  Even at Istock, with all their problems, sales have dropped only a fraction of what they have on FT.  Competition would account for a gradual drop, not a drop off a cliff.

From the posts in this thread, it seems I am far from alone.  There is some specific phenomenon going on at FT, hitting a large number of people who shoot a variety of subjects.  Simplistic explanations about "competition" and "aging portfolios" don't cut it. 

« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 09:31 by lisafx »

« Reply #61 on: October 12, 2012, 09:48 »
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I just keyed in "football fan" thinking I might get Lisa's model on the first page.  No. But every photo on first page was either silver or infinity.  I also noticed if you hit F5 the first page changes order - it appears to the the same photos, but it changes where they fall on the page.

I did the same for "ballet legs" and ballerina.  The photos that came back were extremely artsy, almost to the point of being useless as a stock photo, and more than half same silver photographer.

OM

« Reply #62 on: October 12, 2012, 10:23 »
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You are correct when you say that newer images are still selling from Emeralds ports.  Some of my newer files are selling very well but virtually nothing of more than 6 months old is selling.  Everything older than that is nowhere to be found in the searches. If I stopped uploading for 6 months I would barely have any sales at all.

Absolutely. I'm a tiny player in this big world but I had a couple of very good, regular sellers at FT (both subs and dl's). Suddenly (around March this year) they all stopped selling completely. Now that I'm no longer exclusive there (whadda fool I was), those couple of ex-best sellers at FT are once again my best sellers at SS (both subs and dl's).

« Reply #63 on: October 12, 2012, 10:32 »
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My fotolia earnings dropped down a lot in August this year. Last month I made the same $$ than in 2007 with 300 pictures on line (1800 now...)....
I put some data on my blog: http://microstockexperiment.blogspot.com/

« Reply #64 on: October 13, 2012, 10:52 »
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it would be nice to have an explanation/opinion from Mat :)

« Reply #65 on: October 13, 2012, 11:48 »
+3
My sales on Fotolia are 60% down compared to last year (emerald). We even emailed them asking what's happening and if there is something we should be aware of.... no reply! But I think the suggestion expressed here that images of the contributors with lower commissions are getting priority in searches rings true - decreasing payouts would be a way of increasing profit. I actually think they should drop the "hierarchy" for contributors - I know I would sell way more if my images were given a chance to be displayed in searches! Right now it looks like I am being punished for having a lot of sales in the past....  ??? 
My newly uploaded images also sell for a while after being accepted, as other contributors reported here, but given the size of my portfolio the ratio between new and old is very small, so basically my payout depends on how many new images I upload a month, and that's a pretty constant amount... this is starting to look like we're working for salary, not for royalties. Many people left Fotolia already, but this kind of deal will push out talented and hard working photographers with big portfolios... well I guess Fotolia is not afraid to lose them.

« Reply #66 on: October 13, 2012, 12:48 »
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My sales on Fotolia are 60% down compared to last year (emerald). We even emailed them asking what's happening and if there is something we should be aware of.... no reply! But I think the suggestion expressed here that images of the contributors with lower commissions are getting priority in searches rings true - decreasing payouts would be a way of increasing profit.

Surely adopting that policy would actually reduce profit as images from lower-ranked contributors sell for fewer credits? It would increase the percentage profit (on lower sales) but they'd be making less profit in total.

I don't think it is true anyway. Try a couple of searches for yourself and check how many of the first 100 images, when sorted by 'Relevance', are 1-credit images.

I tried 'business team' and 53 of the images were priced at 1-credit (so 47% of the images were 2 credits or above).

I also tried 'food' and 67% of the first 100 images were priced at 1-credit. If I then changed the 'food' search to sort by 'Newest' (which should effectively be random) the number of 1-credit images goes up to 84%.

Try a few searches yourself but from what I've seen it would suggest that higher-priced images are actually being favoured by the default search mode. Maybe higher-priced images are simply being favoured rather less than in the past, as FT has taken note of the price-sensitivity of their customers.

I'm Emerald and I'm usually about 10% down on last year (when I wasn't Emerald). Some months I have been down 20% but thankfully nothing like the drops that some have experienced.

« Reply #67 on: October 13, 2012, 15:01 »
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My sales  have been very bad since the beginning of this year. I don't know what percentage but all I know things are not going well for me with them.

Edit:BTW they used to be my second best earner now probably the least earner now even lower then 123rf etc
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 06:24 by stokfoto »

« Reply #68 on: October 13, 2012, 19:21 »
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What's revealing about Fotolia is that we know many of the other agencies read these forums and some even post to clarify situations or deliver bad news (or good news).  I am pretty sure FT reads these forums and then turns, chuckles and says....suckers.... >:(

« Reply #69 on: October 13, 2012, 19:26 »
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Reached a middle of 1K$ in 2011, dropping since Februar 2012 over 60% in income. Sales also drop, but only 40%. This phenomenon only happens at FT. My overall ranking as shown is nearly stable (lost 4 places). All the numbers make no sense to me.

- i lost more income than sales
- i lost more sales than ranking places
- i lost extremly more at FT than on the second bad agency, what is called Istockphoto (at Deposit btw. i gained over 100%)

I stopped to upload at FT and started to shift my portfolio from FT to all others. But it takes time.
Meanwhile i'm looking at the SS Shares, looks like if i put all my Microstock income in SS-Shares i maybe able to gain more income than by upload anymore.



« Reply #70 on: October 13, 2012, 21:15 »
+1
My sales on Fotolia are 60% down compared to last year (emerald). We even emailed them asking what's happening and if there is something we should be aware of.... no reply! But I think the suggestion expressed here that images of the contributors with lower commissions are getting priority in searches rings true - decreasing payouts would be a way of increasing profit.

Surely adopting that policy would actually reduce profit as images from lower-ranked contributors sell for fewer credits? It would increase the percentage profit (on lower sales) but they'd be making less profit in total.


It would not reduce the profit if you're aiming to sell more cheaper images, and that's what they seem to be heading for - including subscription sales. Most of my sales are sub 0.33 sales, with occasional credit sale here and there. They seem to think that dropping prices is the only thing that can keep them competitive.

« Reply #71 on: October 14, 2012, 00:22 »
0
My sales on Fotolia are 60% down compared to last year (emerald). We even emailed them asking what's happening and if there is something we should be aware of.... no reply! But I think the suggestion expressed here that images of the contributors with lower commissions are getting priority in searches rings true - decreasing payouts would be a way of increasing profit.

Surely adopting that policy would actually reduce profit as images from lower-ranked contributors sell for fewer credits? It would increase the percentage profit (on lower sales) but they'd be making less profit in total.


It would not reduce the profit if you're aiming to sell more cheaper images, and that's what they seem to be heading for - including subscription sales. Most of my sales are sub 0.33 sales, with occasional credit sale here and there. They seem to think that dropping prices is the only thing that can keep them competitive.

Like I said, if you actually do some research, it appears that higher-priced images are still favoured in the default sort-order when compared to random results. For a supposed PhD in physics I'd have thought you could have worked that one out for yourself rather than jump to illogical conclusions based on your own prejudices.

You might as well get used to the idea of FT income falling anyway. They are losing the game, quite comprehensively, to SS and not without reason. Their search engine is painfully unsophisticated and that is compounded by their relaxed attitude to keyword spamming. They are also making the same mistake as IS in trying to push high-priced 'collections' down customers' throats except that FT's pretentious 'Infinity' offerings are generally of a lower standard than the 'uninifity collection'. Ridiculous.

As a potential customer where would you do your shopping, FT or SS, either for single images or for a subscription? For me it wouldn't even be close and the gap between them is widening on a daily basis. End of.

« Reply #72 on: October 14, 2012, 05:59 »
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I have a small port, but only newest images sell very well. If i upload good images, sales go up for 2/3 months and then stop ...   

lisafx

« Reply #73 on: October 14, 2012, 09:54 »
0
I have a small port, but only newest images sell very well. If i upload good images, sales go up for 2/3 months and then stop ...

Well, given Gostwyck's research, perhaps it is an emphasis on newer images that is hurting older, more established ports, rather than a bias against Emeralds, per se. 

As Elena pointed out, no matter how regularly you upload, if you have a port of many thousands of images uploaded over 6 or 7 years, no amount of new uploads can compensate for a heavy preference toward new files in the searches.  I rely on older and newer files selling to keep my numbers up. 

My sales on Fotolia are 60% down compared to last year (emerald). We even emailed them asking what's happening and if there is something we should be aware of.... no reply! But I think the suggestion expressed here that images of the contributors with lower commissions are getting priority in searches rings true - decreasing payouts would be a way of increasing profit.

Surely adopting that policy would actually reduce profit as images from lower-ranked contributors sell for fewer credits? It would increase the percentage profit (on lower sales) but they'd be making less profit in total.


It would not reduce the profit if you're aiming to sell more cheaper images, and that's what they seem to be heading for - including subscription sales. Most of my sales are sub 0.33 sales, with occasional credit sale here and there. They seem to think that dropping prices is the only thing that can keep them competitive.

You might as well get used to the idea of FT income falling anyway. They are losing the game, quite comprehensively, to SS and not without reason.

^^ This is certainly true, for the reasons you mentioned and others, like upsetting so many contributors.   SS sales are booming, for sure, but unfortunately, they are not booming enough to compensate for the loss of sales on FT and IS.  Those of us who relied on a balance between the top 4 sites for our incomes are hurting when two of the top 4 have nosedived.


« Reply #74 on: October 14, 2012, 10:20 »
0
You might as well get used to the idea of FT income falling anyway. They are losing the game, quite comprehensively, to SS and not without reason. Their search engine is painfully unsophisticated and that is compounded by their relaxed attitude to keyword spamming. They are also making the same mistake as IS in trying to push high-priced 'collections' down customers' throats except that FT's pretentious 'Infinity' offerings are generally of a lower standard than the 'uninifity collection'. Ridiculous.

As opposed to ShutterStock?  Keyword spamming on SS is horrific and certainly no better than on FT.  The only site doing anything about that is iS and their DA approach doesn't work effectively.  This is a huge problem on all the sites not just FT.  I agree with the rest of what you're saying, although for me as a small timer FT is doing better lately.


 

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