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Author Topic: Fotolia: New Subscription Commissions  (Read 49367 times)

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« Reply #125 on: August 18, 2011, 09:39 »
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I saw a comment from sjlocke on another thread to Mat saying "So, you're fine with putting professional band photographers out of work?"  I just laughed to myself and thought... "Is he kidding?  Is he happy ruining it for professional photographers in general?"  We've all ruined it for them by selling microstock, especially at todays rates.

My comment was a little bit sarcastic, because I found it funny that he was essentially giving the band free content.  He didn't mention at first that he was there on a paid assignment (I think), and the giveaway was just a requirement for that.


« Reply #126 on: August 18, 2011, 09:41 »
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I reckon the 'last straw' has come for me. This is the 2nd commission drop within 6 months at FT.

I've been reading several previous years threads on here about all the commission cuts that have happened over the years at FT, and I find it very disturbing. If you were employed in a company that did nothing but cut your wages year after year, and even twice in one year I think you'd be looking for a different job.

Over the years prices have increased in just about everything, from electricity, petrol (gas) clothing right down to the food you eat. How can anyone survive with pay cuts year on year. It is no different with contributors such as us. We still need to eat, clothe our kids and ourselves etc etc etc.

The way things are going with FT, we will be paying them soon to sell our images, not the other way round!!!

So on that note, I have personally had enough now, and will take my stand by closing my account.

Edit: And would you believe it, as I was typing the above a sale came in from FT hahaha
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 09:50 by toots »

XPTO

« Reply #127 on: August 18, 2011, 10:20 »
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Don't assume that people who don't quit each and every site they are unhappy with are just sitting back and doing nothing.  I am sure quite a few of us are exploring our options and putting together exit strategies for when that last straw breaks the camel's back. 

Exactly Lisa,

I wish I could give up micro, or at least some of the most revolting agencies like FL, but I live from stock alone and until I create viable alternatives I cannot give up in an heart beat any agency that displeases me, for later to be choosing whether I want a place to live, or to eat that month...

And if the worse things that happen in FL were the decreasing commissions I would be "happy". I seriously suspect much worse things occur there that we cannot see.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 10:27 by XPTO »

helix7

« Reply #128 on: August 18, 2011, 10:24 »
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StockXpert never cut rates. Their subs model wasn't anything great, but they always kept things at 50% and prices were fair and simple for buyers. That's why so many people are so hopeful for the success of SF.

Are you kidding?  Where's stockxpert now?  They were sold to Getty...

So they were sold. So what? They could have slashed rates and jacked up prices to sweeten the deal, but they didn't. StockXpert was run pretty much like every agency should be, with simple pricing models and fair royalty rates.

I'm not saying let's not support SF.  I do support them now, but why settle for 50% if we have the tools to set up something that suits us, where we can get more for it.  Wy don't we do it?  I'm not saying let's drive the fair agencies out.  I'm saying let's put something in place that will drive the agencies to look after us as well as their buyers...

Do you have any idea what it would cost to set up an independent agency that could ever stand a chance of grabbing the attention of the other agencies or their buyers? Microstock isn't a shoestring startup game anymore. Think about what you'd need just to get up and running. The IT infrastructure, the support staff, reviewers, hardware, office space, web developers, designers, programmers, search experts, marketing, advertising, etc. It would take some serious startup money to get any microstock company off the ground, let alone a good one that would stand a chance against the likes of istock or fotolia.

We don't have the tools to set up something that would do what you're describing. The only thing that would make the big agencies bat an eyelid is another agency, not a contributor-based collective or unfunded mini-agency started by photographers. And to get a real agency like that going, you'd need an investor with deep pockets to fund the millions of dollars of expenses required to do the job.

TheSmilingAssassin

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« Reply #129 on: August 18, 2011, 10:40 »
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« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 23:21 by hasleftthebuilding »

TheSmilingAssassin

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« Reply #130 on: August 18, 2011, 10:46 »
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« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 23:22 by hasleftthebuilding »

« Reply #131 on: August 18, 2011, 10:51 »
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Don't assume that people who don't quit each and every site they are unhappy with are just sitting back and doing nothing.  I am sure quite a few of us are exploring our options and putting together exit strategies for when that last straw breaks the camel's back. 

Exactly Lisa,

I wish I could give up micro, or at least some of the most revolting agencies like FL, but I live from stock alone and until I create viable alternatives I cannot give up in an heart beat any agency that displeases me, for later to be choosing whether I want a place to live, or to eat that month...

And if the worse things that happen in FL were the decreasing commissions I would be "happy". I seriously suspect much worse things occur there that we cannot see.

The only thing keeping me afloat with FT were my Premium vector sub sales which have now gone from 1.08 to 0.27 per sale. So, it is a much easier decision for me to close my account with FT as I now feel that I will not be making payouts on a regular basis with such a 'drastic cut' to my commissions.

« Reply #132 on: August 18, 2011, 10:55 »
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pseu.. or suynnymars..

why do u say "you suckers" like your not one of them? You clearly have it in your head that your somewhat better than some people on this forum. Who are your really referring to as suckers? I just wished you would be less angry and not so happy to attack others. im being sarcastic too. i hope i can use that excuse whenever i feel like hating on people.

TheSmilingAssassin

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« Reply #133 on: August 18, 2011, 11:02 »
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« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 23:22 by hasleftthebuilding »

TheSmilingAssassin

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« Reply #134 on: August 18, 2011, 11:08 »
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« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 23:22 by hasleftthebuilding »

TheSmilingAssassin

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« Reply #135 on: August 18, 2011, 11:10 »
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« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 23:23 by hasleftthebuilding »

lagereek

« Reply #136 on: August 18, 2011, 11:14 »
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Side note!  I just got another email from Zazzle telling me I've sold another bunches of business cards.   

SUCKERS!   ;D

Actually I do get your solution point. all own shops and selling through one gigantic search. Only, we have no pull,  you know how expensive advertising, PR, is. From where do we get the clout to lure buyers away and come to us?
Just look how many middle and low tier agencies there are,  trying everything to gain customers and they all seem to be on the breadline. I mean its one thing setting up shop but its a whole differant story getting buyers, buyers that are willing to move over. Its been tried and failed all the time.

best.

TheSmilingAssassin

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« Reply #137 on: August 18, 2011, 11:28 »
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« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 23:23 by hasleftthebuilding »

dbvirago

« Reply #138 on: August 18, 2011, 11:30 »
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We are pleased to announce that one of your files has just been sold for 10% less than it was yesterday.

Ed

« Reply #139 on: August 18, 2011, 11:43 »
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Reading through this thread is painful.  I think the best approach for a few people here would be to take a deep breath, sit down, and create a business plan.  I'm willing to bet there are only 1 or 2 folks (if that) who have commented on this thread that have a written business plan.

I for one will continue to contribute to Fotolia.  Do I like that they cut commissions?  No.  Are they taking advantage of me?  Nope.  Not in the least.  Why?  Because the images I'm submitting to these places would not make the cut at other places where my work sells for more.  I'm not willing to sell a Ferrari at a Ford dealership at the price of an average Ford and you shouldn't either.

Some folks that are commenting on this thread sell images through Getty or Alamy or other "non-micro" type outlets and they do well at it.  One thing I found years ago, between 2005 and 2008 when I started doing this the first time, is that there's a market for EVERY image.  Your responsibility, as a business owner, is to find that market and be honest with yourself as to what that image is really worth.  You need to look at this from the value of an image perspective, not the value of a license or value of a royalty perspective.  Getty and Corbis and all the major players do this as well - they will move images from one collection to another because the value of an image will decrease based on the current market.  Why can't you do the same?

...and in my personal opinion, those that are giving away free images on the micro sites as part of their business strategy have absolutely NO room to comment on this thread - those images are worth something on a site somewhere...why give away the roost?  Ask yourself this, on sites where you set your own price on images, have you set the image to the maximum price or to the lowest price?  Why did you choose to price the image in that fashion?  Same concept.

Stop playing the role of a victim and run your business like a business.

« Reply #140 on: August 18, 2011, 12:36 »
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Helix,
you're right, of course.
But why only Yuri?
What would happen if Yuri, plus 20-30 big names Emeralds and 30 successful Golds would threaten to suddenly pull out their ports in protest?
That's a lot of wonderful images and a big loss.
I'm almost sure any agency would then back up and reconsider.
Those are the photographers with the power, they can do it.
But I'm just wasting time. 
Such a thing will never happen. I have never seen Yuri protesting or trying to change the industry for the better, (he could, if he wanted to), and I highly doubt big names will ever unite and act in unison.
Lisa Young is our only voice and the only independent BD who is aware of her power and tries to use it for the good of all of us. She needs back up from the others though, and she's probably never going to get it.
I already deleted my port at IStock.
I won't do it again unless I'm following in the steps of powerful artists who can make a difference.

PS
What's 'Warmpicture'?
If it's a fair agency and one that we should support, I want to go there too :)

lagereek

« Reply #141 on: August 18, 2011, 13:01 »
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Ed,  is in fact right in many of his staements. Nobody has twisted our arms to join up. For those of us whos been in the game prior to digital agencies. Surely you remember the good old trad-agencies, well then you also remember the gigantic fees we used to get? many times way past a grand, right?  then you will also remember the slow decline of prices, it went on for years. A pic that say fetched 1K, in 1990,  didnt fetch more then 500 bucks three years later and with identical rights.
This is nothing new!  been there before, a slow boat to China. In those days many photographers were irreplacable,  today you get replaced within 1 minute flat.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 13:04 by lagereek »

TheSmilingAssassin

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« Reply #142 on: August 18, 2011, 13:08 »
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« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 23:24 by hasleftthebuilding »

« Reply #143 on: August 18, 2011, 13:30 »
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Just keeps on going downhill :(

I have 1100 pics and HD video ready to pull anyone up for it, gathering a few/lot could be interesting to see the amount files we could end up with.

B

« Reply #144 on: August 18, 2011, 13:34 »
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I think I'm probably going to close my account too but right now on the fence.  Definitely not uploading anything else to them that's for sure.  I'll have to talk it over with my man to see if he can give me some help with it.  Since micro is my only income right now I have to figure out what is best for me.  And yeah I already know this slightly contradicts what I said the other day but I also don't want to make this decision lightly.

If it weren't for this place I'd not known about this going on because I never got the * email from that site and I am on the mailing list.  

« Reply #145 on: August 18, 2011, 13:45 »
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pseu.. or suynnymars..

why do u say "you suckers" like your not one of them? You clearly have it in your head that your somewhat better than some people on this forum. Who are your really referring to as suckers? I just wished you would be less angry and not so happy to attack others. im being sarcastic too. i hope i can use that excuse whenever i feel like hating on people.

Sorry to disappoint you VB, but you're not that important to me to actually make me angry.  I shake my head in frustration, but there's no anger.  As for "suckers" I'm saying that's how the microstock view us.  Can you really argue that they don't view us that way?  Can you argue that anyone doesn't view us that way?  We're selling our images for $0.27 *, are we not suckers?  How much time, effort (and money) does it take to create these images and we're selling them for $0.27 and they can use them their entire life.  Sorry, but we're SUCKERS.  lol we are!

As for 'hating on people', calm down, jesus.  It's constructive criticism.  If you can't take it, you're not just a sucker but a *(cat) as well.

im sure most ppl that read your posts think its angry. dont try to hide it by saying your being sarcastic. Im sure your frustrated, without much talent, its hard to make it in life.
 
haha... im not sure if your aware that i am exlcusive vector artist at istock  that is averaging around $7 a dl with my regular files. i dont concentrate on photography since i think its too little money for the return in my case. I come on this forum to guage the market because for some time last year i was actually thinking about committing more of my time on it. I have to wade through angry posts to get any good deal of info around here. Someone else said the most vocal people here are the ones making the least amount of money. I kind of see what they were talking about.

Zazzle? gimme a break... get some real clients. oh wait, zazzle is where you upload anything and everything you want with no restrictions on how many crappy products you put in your store that you have to advertise yourself and compete with millions of other crappy stuff? thats a better business model right there for the owners. talk about suckers

dbvirago

« Reply #146 on: August 18, 2011, 14:02 »
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this forum is starting to sound like shutterstock's.

See ya

« Reply #147 on: August 18, 2011, 15:25 »
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@Pseudo,
Ah! Thank you for the info!
I think I know who Dan is ... I remember something going on a few months ago, but at the time I was too ill to even turn on the computer.
OK.
'Warmpictures' sounds like a nice project, I know and respect Dan, and I would love to be allowed to participate.
Let's find out more about it and try to join :)

lisafx

« Reply #148 on: August 18, 2011, 15:28 »
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It's pointless sitting here discussing anything with most of you.  You have people like Lisa... who is a lovely girl but has sat there for a year bagging iStock, yet she continues to support them by giving them 85% of her income... what?  There is absolutely no point in me helping any of you.  I'll just help myself from now on.


Ouch!  How'd I get tossed into this catfight?  Nevermind - injected myself like always ;)

Let's be fair, at Istock I give them 81% of my in come, not 85%.  But your point is well taken.  It's still more than I like.   And as I have mentioned here before, Istock was consistently 40% of my income through 2010.  That is running more like a third this year, but still WAY too much to just toss out the window.  

Anyone here who is willing to toss away a third of their total income, please raise your hand...!

That doesn't mean I am going to passively quietly accept any BS they throw my way.  But, like most of us, I have worked for bosses or companies I didn't like in the past and still had to keep the job until I was able to get something better.  

Not a whole lot better out there, sadly.  But that doesn't mean we should give up.

FWIW, Pseudo, I think you are a lovely girl too :)

ETA:  Whew - this thread is fast moving.  I finally caught up.  

On the griping thing, I am all for griping, as Pseudo has pointed out.  My personal motto is "I complain, therefore I am". ;D  I just think it's important to point out the things that are happening over and above the griping.

Pseudo, I like your idea about a bunch of people with their own sites, but with a common search.  It was discussed here awhile back, and that was one of the main reasons I invested in my own site.  I lack the technical skill to implement something like that, but I would be happy to step up and support the efforts of anyone who wants to put something like that together.  As I am supporting Warmpicture, which is the closest effort to do that.  

There are a lot of ways to do something and not sit passively by, short of instantly dropping the top three sites that have cut commissions, and losing essential income.  For those who can afford to drop them, by all means, you have my respect, and even envy.  I am not in that position ATM.  
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 15:50 by lisafx »

« Reply #149 on: August 18, 2011, 16:20 »
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It would be hard to lose the earnings from istock but not so hard to leave FT.  If enough of us left, it might make the other sites think about cutting commissions.  The problem is, I don't see enough people leaving to make the buyers look elsewhere.  If buyers left, I bet a lot of them would go to istock or thinkstock, that's not going to help.

Something we could do is buy an advert in a design magazine with a list of sites that we back and would like buyers to have a look at.  We could coordinate it with sites giving special offers to entice buyers.  If that's too expensive, I'm sure there's other positive things we could do.


 

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