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Author Topic: NEWS - Operation Level Ground attracts Artists to Fotolia  (Read 43555 times)

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« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2009, 17:18 »
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Agree fully - FT needs to fix this pretty quickly before it backfires on them.... its one thing attracting new contributors, but doing so at the expense of people who have been with you for a number of years won't go down well.

Absolutely. The reason they gave for the harsh ranking changes was that too many people were attaining the upper echelons. Presumably what they meant by that is too many contributors were upping their image prices according to their ranking and they detected customer resistance or it didn't allow them to undercut IS by as much.

Now their policy is exactly the opposite of that but only for those who have not supported them from the start. If it wasn't for the contributors who remained independent they wouldn't have a business at all.

Quite frankly exclusivity with IS just got a whole lot more attractive. At least you know where you stand with IS and can have a reasonable expectation of being treated fairly.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 17:24 by gostwyck »


RT


« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2009, 17:19 »
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Under the new offering I like others here qualify for sapphire, I've written to Fotolia asking them if it's a simple process to be 'upped' to my qualifying rank or whether I need to delete my portfolio and start again. Let's see what response I get, I think I know what they'll say!

ap

« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2009, 17:22 »
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I just hope shutterstock will start an exclusive images collection, that might be good option.

what do you think would be the incentive for them to do this? it would be of great benefit to contributors since they offer the highest earnings potential.

« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2009, 17:31 »
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Will istock just sit back and watch FT tempt their exclusives?  I doubt it, this could get nasty.  I seem to lose out both ways.  I don't want to go exclusive with istock but they keep adding on extras, like contributing to Getty and Vetta and it looks like they are going to stop me using photos.com.  Now FT have annoyed me again, I am still sore from the commission cuts and the harsh ranking changes.

I just hope shutterstock will start an exclusive images collection, that might be good option.

Agree fully - FT needs to fix this pretty quickly before it backfires on them.... its one thing attracting new contributors, but doing so at the expense of people who have been with you for a number of years won't go down well.

It won't backfire on them. If there's one thing that Fotolia have proven time and time again, it's that a solid buyer base is more powerful than contributor goodwill.

« Reply #29 on: October 21, 2009, 18:08 »
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It won't backfire on them. If there's one thing that Fotolia have proven time and time again, it's that a solid buyer base is more powerful than contributor goodwill.

Oh yes it could. IS's buyer base is far more powerful than FT's __ probably 3-4x more in terms of spending. If IS themselves took the gloves off, say by increasing exclusive commission to 50%, which of course they could easily afford to do, they could decimate FT and all the rest of the competition in a matter of months. As it happens IS most likely will need to do nothing as FT will do the damage to themselves.

There is only so many times that FT can treat their contributors with worthless disdain, forever moving the goalposts, continually reducing their benefits and unfairly favouring the few over the majority __ whilst all the time refusing to engage in or even allow any discussion of such issues on their forum.

« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2009, 19:32 »
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Quote
There is only so many times that FT can treat their contributors with worthless disdain, forever moving the goalposts, continually reducing their benefits and unfairly favouring the few over the majority __ whilst all the time refusing to engage in or even allow any discussion of such issues on their forum.

That is very true and the reason I left and have never looked back.  I just wonder what their really up to though.  It seems they do these things and then turn the tables a couple months down the road.  Like their video collection - started uploading because I liked their commission..then all of a sudden a new subscription comes out and the new commision is $3.60 for and HD - hmmm. Not to mention the video contest for who can upload and get the most approved videos to sweeten the deal before they brought down the hammer.  Or when they decided to offer $.50 for images that hadn't sold in 2 years for the free section...that actually turned into another site (photoxpress) for them and gives NO link back to the photographers portfolio on Fotolia for a possible paid sale. Or do you remember when the CEO said that subsciptions were ruining microstock...then 6 months later they started subs.  The list goes on....

« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2009, 19:34 »
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I wonder if we forced their hand with that post about Jim yesterday (whoops!).

« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2009, 19:39 »
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It won't backfire on them. If there's one thing that Fotolia have proven time and time again, it's that a solid buyer base is more powerful than contributor goodwill.

Oh yes it could. IS's buyer base is far more powerful than FT's __ probably 3-4x more in terms of spending. If IS themselves took the gloves off, say by increasing exclusive commission to 50%, which of course they could easily afford to do, they could decimate FT and all the rest of the competition in a matter of months. As it happens IS most likely will need to do nothing as FT will do the damage to themselves.

There is only so many times that FT can treat their contributors with worthless disdain, forever moving the goalposts, continually reducing their benefits and unfairly favouring the few over the majority __ whilst all the time refusing to engage in or even allow any discussion of such issues on their forum.

Only so many times until what?  Why hasn't it happened yet?

« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2009, 19:46 »
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I wonder if we forced their hand with that post about Jim yesterday (whoops!).

Fotolia PR say Jim did his press release by himself, but that they knew about it and when it was coming.  So it seems it was all planned this way.

« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2009, 19:49 »
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I wonder if we forced their hand with that post about Jim yesterday

That's exactly the same thought that came into my head. They didn't want it to look like they were unfairly favoring one person over all the other contributors so they've come up with this little scheme.

I bailed from FT a year or so ago because it seemed to me like they were always making reactive, knee-jerk decisions like this one. It doesn't seem like they think things through very well. It will be interesting to hear how they handle contributors already on the site that want to join in the program.

« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2009, 19:55 »
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Quite frankly exclusivity with IS just got a whole lot more attractive. At least you know where you stand with IS and can have a reasonable expectation of being treated fairly.

I respectfully disagree. I think exclusivity would be the last thing I would consider now. With everything so volatile and companies being devoured by bigger companies, the last place I would want to be is exclusive with the last man standing. If there's no competition, there's bound to be a lot more abuse of the contributors. They won't have the choice of taking their toys to another sandbox if they're being bullied. Just my take. And hopefully we won't ever have to worry about that.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 19:58 by cclapper »

« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2009, 20:11 »
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I wonder if we forced their hand with that post about Jim yesterday (whoops!).

Yep, I reckon so. It's known (but probably not that well) that they've been privately bumping contributors up to Emerald in return for having said contributors agree to donating images to their 'free' section. Hayward confirmed the rumours recently.

« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2009, 20:14 »
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I wonder if we forced their hand with that post about Jim yesterday (whoops!).

Yep, I reckon so. It's known (but probably not that well) that they've been privately bumping contributors up to Emerald in return for having said contributors agree to donating images to their 'free' section. Hayward confirmed the rumours recently.

Maybe its time for a "tell all thread" about microstock's dirty little secrets... could make for some good reading...

« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2009, 20:17 »
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I respectfully disagree. I think exclusivity would be the last thing I would consider now. With everything so volatile and companies being devoured by bigger companies, the last place I would want to be is exclusive with the last man standing. If there's no competition, there's bound to be a lot more abuse of the contributors. They won't have the choice of taking their toys to another sandbox if they're being bullied. Just my take. And hopefully we won't ever have to worry about that.

It seems to me that we independent contributors get bullied far more, more often and more severely than our exclusive counterparts __ and almost all of it comes from Fotolia.

« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2009, 20:40 »
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It won't backfire on them. If there's one thing that Fotolia have proven time and time again, it's that a solid buyer base is more powerful than contributor goodwill.

I meant in the context of signing up Istock exclusives - it would be quite ironic if the result was a whole lot of independents did exactly the opposite. IS is actually growing quite strongly in terms of and is dangling a lot of quite attractive carrots like the Getty contracts.

Unlike 6-12 months ago I just don't get the sense that there is much of a push from many people to drop IS exclusivity - more the opposite, that the ship has steadied and is steaming ahead.

« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2009, 20:56 »
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It won't backfire on them. If there's one thing that Fotolia have proven time and time again, it's that a solid buyer base is more powerful than contributor goodwill.

I meant in the context of signing up Istock exclusives - it would be quite ironic if the result was a whole lot of independents did exactly the opposite. IS is actually growing quite strongly in terms of and is dangling a lot of quite attractive carrots like the Getty contracts.

Unlike 6-12 months ago I just don't get the sense that there is much of a push from many people to drop IS exclusivity - more the opposite, that the ship has steadied and is steaming ahead.

I think what your really seeing here is something I wrote about a year ago - the "professionalization" of micro stock. Micro is now at a point where enough high volume PRO's who seriously invest in quality shoots (locations, models, makeup, post, etc.) are now in the game that they probably feel they can let go of the hobby shooters and FIGHT for the volume pro's. Seriously, with a few hundred volume pro's/companies you don't need zillions of hobby shooters to meet customer demand for the most popular subjects. Hobby shooters, at best, will become the mortar between the bricks - just filling in the gaps. Enough will come and go to keep the cracks filled.

Micro really is a "changing" of the guard for stock photography - I would expect more mergers and takeovers of collections, they won't necessarily close down, just become a sister company for example. Getty did that back in the 90's if I remember correctly.

« Reply #41 on: October 21, 2009, 21:00 »
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I meant in the context of signing up Istock exclusives - it would be quite ironic if the result was a whole lot of independents did exactly the opposite. IS is actually growing quite strongly in terms of and is dangling a lot of quite attractive carrots like the Getty contracts.

Unlike 6-12 months ago I just don't get the sense that there is much of a push from many people to drop IS exclusivity - more the opposite, that the ship has steadied and is steaming ahead.

... is the right answer. IS are looking frighteningly secure and now, with the guarantee bit too, look poised to grab most of the important corporate accounts (if they haven't got them already). IS exclusivity has never looked more attractive or affordable and maybe FT have just delivered the final push we needed.

« Reply #42 on: October 21, 2009, 21:08 »
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I left because of their shenangens and if I wasn't already exclusive and still submitting, i would be gone now.

istock is huge, and I absolutely hate how FT runs their business.

As for consolidation, its going to happen, and the small useless players will disappear while the mid-players get bought out.  The writing is on the wall

« Reply #43 on: October 21, 2009, 21:14 »
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I think I meet all the criteria to be bumped up to emerald. The only problem is my 1000+ images are already on Fotolia. Way to kick us below the belt Fotolia.

So should we hire a lawyer to find a loophole in this? Johnny Cochran give me strength.  :D

« Reply #44 on: October 21, 2009, 21:22 »
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I left because of their shenangens and if I wasn't already exclusive and still submitting, i would be gone now.

istock is huge, and I absolutely hate how FT runs their business.

As for consolidation, its going to happen, and the small useless players will disappear while the mid-players get bought out.  The writing is on the wall

Hmm __ historically we don't agree on much but I think you're probably spot on here! My guess is that FT will buy DT. After that Corbis, if they want to stay in the game at all, will pretty much be forced to buy FT at a very high price. Within a couple of years there will be only 3 major players.

« Reply #45 on: October 21, 2009, 21:23 »
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I meant in the context of signing up Istock exclusives - it would be quite ironic if the result was a whole lot of independents did exactly the opposite. IS is actually growing quite strongly in terms of and is dangling a lot of quite attractive carrots like the Getty contracts.

Unlike 6-12 months ago I just don't get the sense that there is much of a push from many people to drop IS exclusivity - more the opposite, that the ship has steadied and is steaming ahead.

... is the right answer. IS are looking frighteningly secure and now, with the guarantee bit too, look poised to grab most of the important corporate accounts (if they haven't got them already). IS exclusivity has never looked more attractive or affordable and maybe FT have just delivered the final push we needed.

Yeah, with *this* I agree. With both of you. I see it backfiring in terms of pushing more contributors away from Fotolia than it attracts, but the issue is - as Chris says - they'll attract the professional stock shooters and drive away the hobbyists. Not really much of a backfire in terms of their bottom line.

I also agree with the other comments that Fotolia has always been more 'business' than 'community'.  That strategy has a LOT of advantages. But, don't forget to compare their commission rates to iStock. Fotolia's subscription sales pay poorly - there's no competition there - but non-exclusive commissions at Fotolia reach higher than the exclusive commissions at iStock, and for those just starting out, are much higher. Granted, iStock sells many times the volume of licenses and their subscription commissions are great, but it's not totally one-sided.

Edit to correct statements on commission comparisons that were completely wrong! Was looking at the wrong table.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 21:27 by Lee Torrens »

« Reply #46 on: October 21, 2009, 21:34 »
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Wow, lots of interesting discussion on this one.

See, _this_ is what this forum is good for :) .

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #47 on: October 21, 2009, 22:06 »
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Fotolia credits him/her with 12,000 downloads on Fotolia’s site and provides a Gold Level status.


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« Reply #48 on: October 21, 2009, 22:10 »
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I don't see anywhere where it says: current contributors will be excluded from the deal.

They would never do that to the hard working folks who have been supporting them, would they.  ;)

« Reply #49 on: October 21, 2009, 22:38 »
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I don't see anywhere where it says: current contributors will be excluded from the deal.

They would never do that to the hard working folks who have been supporting them, would they.  ;)

I've put in my application already... still waiting for my canister level to change though ;)


 

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