MicrostockGroup

Agency Based Discussion => Adobe Stock => Topic started by: cphoto on June 09, 2008, 15:28

Title: Petition against FT subs
Post by: cphoto on June 09, 2008, 15:28
The French contributors are getting united to submit a petition against sub.

Could anyone translate the the following text in English so we can join them in fighting this evil sub model?  We would use only one text with French and English translation.

===================================================
A l’attention de Messieurs
Guillaume Le Bleis, Directeur des opérations France
Chad Bridwell, Directeur des opérations US


Messieurs,

Nous nous permettons de prendre contact avec vous suite à l’annonce de la mise en place du nouveau dispositif de vente par abonnement.

Les nombreuses réactions suscitées aussi bien au niveau des contributeurs US que Français ne doivent pas vous avoir échappées.

La surprise est grande de part et d’autre et de nombreux contributeurs – et non des moindres- sont prêts à retirer leurs portfolios si aucune modification n’est apportée dans les meilleurs délais.

Au-delà d’un manque de communication évident entre Fotolia et ses contributeurs, il devient clair qu’un certain seuil de tolérance vient d’être dépassé par des prix inadaptés et par le manque de souplesse du dispositif en question.

Inadéquation des prix abonnement :

L’introduction de la formule abonnement et de ses prix au sein de la tarification globale de Fotolia apparaît totalement inadaptée. En effet, jusqu’à présent, Fotolia s’est distinguée des autres microstocks par sa formule de classement des photographes avec la possibilité pour chacun d’eux d’augmenter leur prix à chaque palier de manière à avoir une rétribution satisfaisante tout en maintenant un large panel d’acheteurs intéressé par ce mode de fonctionnement.

Par ailleurs cela correspondait parfaitement à la vision de la Direction de Fotolia qui affirmait par l’intermédiaire de Chad Bridwell, Direction des opérations US, lors de la mise en place de la collection Infinite "...for example, a micro subscription model that pulls down prices to 25 cents an image, decreases the overall business and only provides short term sales benefits."…

Nous sommes désappointés à présent devant un tel décalage entre la parole et l’action…

Autant l’introduction de la formule abonnement au sein d’autres banques d’images à des tarifs extrêmement bas, ne génère pas de déséquilibre du fait d’une tarification globale elle aussi très basse, autant l’application d’un tel dispositif au sein de Fotolia casse littéralement la grille tarifaire appliquée jusqu’ici, et ce principalement pour vos contributeurs présentant des images en exclusivité… Par ailleurs, le fait d’accéder jusqu’au format L pour la formule abonnement permet de couvrir une large part des besoins des acheteurs.

Autrement dit, il n’y aura pratiquement plus aucun intérêt pour l’acheteur lambda et quel que soit son besoin quantitatif en images de ne pas opter pour l’abonnement. Dans ces conditions, pourquoi une telle formule ne devrait-elle intéresser que de nouveaux acheteurs ?

Il va de soit, que les plus pénalisés par ce dispositif, seront ceux qui placent des images en exclusivité sur Fotolia tout en refusant pour des questions d’éthique de voir brader leur travail et de voir dénigrer l’investissement qu’ils auront apporté à Fotolia.

La formule abonnement n’est pas en soi à rejeter mais d’autres modalités peuvent être envisagées qui tiennent compte de la grille tarifaire de Fotolia, par exemple :
- maintenir les prix actuels avec un geste commercial de 10% ou 20% de rabais en fonction d'un abonnement mensuel ou annuel
- réduction de la taille maximum accessible par l’abonnement

Si aucun changement n’est apporté à la suite de nos demandes, le risque est grand de voir une fuite des principaux contributeurs déçus globalement par votre vision et votre stratégie commerciale fluctuantes… Ainsi à moyen et long terme, la qualité des images peut régresser aussi vite qu'elle avait progressé.

Manque de souplesse du dispositif :

La réaction de beaucoup de vos principaux contributeurs US est dû principalement au fait de l’impossibilité pour les non-exclusifs d’entre-eux de sortir de la formule abonnement et qu’il se retrouvent ainsi « canibalisés » (selon leur propres termes) par ce dispositif.

D’autres banques d’images proposant également l’abonnement n’imposent pas ce dispositif à ses contributeurs mais leur laisse le libre choix d’opter ou non pour cette formule.

Ce n’est qu’avec cette souplesse de fonctionnement que Fotolia parviendra à satisfaire ses contributeurs.

Non-valorisation des images en exclusivité :

A présent, les images disponibles à l’abonnement et celles de la collection « Infinite » sont mises en évidence par un symbole et une couleur qui les identifient.

Aucune mention ou symbole ne permet de différencier et d’attirer l’attention sur les images en exclusivité.

N’est-ce pas paradoxal, que les images exclusives soient le « parent pauvre » de Fotolia alors que ce sont elles qui font la différence avec les autres banques d’images ?

Nous demandons donc qu’il n’y ait aucune différence de traitement au niveau du moteur de recherche entre les différents types d’images de la banque et une valorisation des images en exclusivité présentes sur Fotolia.

Impact de la mise en place de l’abonnement :

Une information donnée par l’un de vos modérateurs sur le forum US se voulait rassurante :

« I just want to re-assure you that after the first day of the Subscription, we have noticed that it represented less than 5% of purchases made. Our current customers have continued to purchase Credits for single downloads.
Although it is too early to give definite results, we can already see a trend which verifies our previous predictions; our subscription plan will attract new buyers. ……. In any case we shall continue to monitor it all very closely and will let you know more at the end of the week »…

Nous souhaiterions tous qu’effectivement ce nouveau dispositif n’intéresse que de nouveaux contributeurs, cependant d’après notre analyse et telle que la formule abonnement se présente actuellement, cela nous paraît hautement improbable et il devient urgent de modifier un certain nombre d’éléments afin de ne pas voir glisser les acheteurs dans leur large majorité vers l’abonnement …
__________

En conséquence, nous vous demandons de bien vouloir reconsidérer le dispositif mis en place pour qu’il corresponde aux attentes de vos contributeurs.

Pour rester dans le cadre d’un échange constructif, voici les différents éléments que nous vous proposons :

- Revoir la tarification de l’abonnement à la hausse pour que celle-ci devienne compatible avec la grille tarifaire existante de Fotolia

- Limiter la taille des images disponibles à l’abonnement aux formats XS, S et M maximum.

- Donner la possibilité de choisir ou non l’option abonnement pour les images non-exclusives

- Donner la possibilité de choisir ou non l’option abonnement photo par photo

- Mettre en place un système de valorisation des photos placées en exclusivité (moteur de recherche, symbole, couleur….)

Nous vous remercions de l’attention que vous nous accorderez en souhaitant avoir une réponse claire et précise à nos différentes propositions.

Très cordialement,
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: helix7 on June 09, 2008, 16:02

Seems like a waste of time. Why should Fotolia (or anyone else) give in to a petition?

I'm all for fair pricing, fair contracts, etc. But I just don't see any possible good outcome here. They have every right to price images as they wish, create pricing packages like subscriptions, basically do whatever they want, since that is the nature of microstock. Why would Fotolia all of a sudden reverse their thinking? Look at it from their perspective. Do you really expect them to say, "Those contributors are right. We should abandon this new business model that would have made us lots more money. We didn't really want all that extra money anyway."


Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: cphoto on June 09, 2008, 16:20

Seems like a waste of time. Why should Fotolia (or anyone else) give in to a petition?

I'm all for fair pricing, fair contracts, etc. But I just don't see any possible good outcome here. They have every right to price images as they wish, create pricing packages like subscriptions, basically do whatever they want, since that is the nature of microstock. Why would Fotolia all of a sudden reverse their thinking? Look at it from their perspective. Do you really expect them to say, "Those contributors are right. We should abandon this new business model that would have made us lots more money. We didn't really want all that extra money anyway."




To clarify for those of you who can't read French, this petition is not to request the removal of subscriptions, but to implement some critical changes.  So the last part reads:

"...
We are requesting that you :

- Increase the pricing model for subscription model to make it consistent with Fotolia traditional pricing model

- Limit download size to XS, S and M

- Give every one the option to opt-out

- Give the option to opt-in/out on a per picture basics
..."

And no they can't do whatever they want... Andres, Bobby and some top contributors along with lot of other contributors have stopped uploading new content to Fotolia.  A lot of French contributors that went exclusive with FT are now moving to other micros.  Fotolia would really be stupid not to listen to his contributors ;-)

Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: Peter on June 09, 2008, 16:33
I would sign petition for bringing back old search engine (before may 2008), I dont mind subscription (yeah they should put 0.3$ min). Search engine is real problem here.
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: sharpshot on June 09, 2008, 16:36
A petition is a good idea if we all get behind but I can't see them limiting download size to XS, S and M.  Make it more realistic and it will stand a better chance.
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: rjmiz on June 09, 2008, 17:01
keep in mind this one important factor before you take any action:
Photographers are disposable, and can be replaced very easily.

What if any, are the consequences if FT fails, or refuses to negotiate?
How much time do they have to respond, if in fact they even acknowledge this petition at all?
How will you present this petition? How will photog's who wish to participate get their names on the petition?

Cranky MIZ
The voice of reason

Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: cphoto on June 09, 2008, 17:07
keep in mind this one important factor before you take any action:
Photographers are disposable, and can be replaced very easily.

What if any, are the consequences if FT fails, or refuses to negotiate?
How much time do they have to respond, if in fact they even acknowledge this petition at all?
How will you present this petition? How will photog's who wish to participate get their names on the petition?

Cranky MIZ
The voice of reason



Well of course FT can choose to just ignore it, but if there is a significant number of people signing it I would hope they would have the decency to implement at least an opt-out for everyone.

We were thinking to use a service such as ipetitions.com

Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: jsnover on June 09, 2008, 17:15
What got FT's attention was talking about stopping uploads. Are all those signing this petition still uploading? If so, I think they should consider how they are going to get FT's attention without any action.
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: DiscreetDuck on June 09, 2008, 17:19
 ;D
Yes ! I think also those people, so well intentionned, should stop uploading to get Fotolia attention.
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: rjmiz on June 09, 2008, 17:21
I would have to agree. The option to bow out gracefully from the sub's is an ideal solution for all the photographers.
However keep in mind that the pricing arrangements currently established are based on everyone participating.

You are forcing the management to restructure their business model, reset their
software variables and to perform other behind the scene hidden tasks.
In my years of playing in this game, this is a first time rebellion that has no equal.

I too am somewhat of a rebel, and admire your quest. Good luck.

Cranky MIZ
The voice of reason
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: XeniaII on June 09, 2008, 17:23
sorry no one will hear at your... thats business.. theire are enough photografers that will work for them... thats only my opinion
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: cphoto on June 09, 2008, 17:35
sorry no one will hear at your... thats business.. theire are enough photografers that will work for them... thats only my opinion

I'd have to disagree.  Fotolia is a French company and in France that's how we do business... everybody goes on strike until thing changes.  That's why we have strikes all year long :)

And they did a similar action after the V2 launch and Fotolia took into accounts many suggestions that were made at that time.

Also Fotolia has a large base of unique exclusive photographers because they are the only micro that let you keyword in your native language.  So for those who don't master english that was really appealing.  Now most of these photographers are very angry and already stopped uploading.  Some have even stopped their exclusivity to move there work with other micros.

This petition would just be a common place where everyone could agree that some changes need to happen.

And like Miz said what would be the worst that can happen?  Being ignored?
I think it's worth a shot, if we get a couple thousands signatures that will definitely have some weight.
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: loop on June 09, 2008, 17:39
The only effective way to mend that is vote with your feet. Escape.
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: DiscreetDuck on June 09, 2008, 17:43
Here is something I did :
http://img28.xooimage.com/files/7/7/8/microstock-subscription-3fb61d.gif (http://img28.xooimage.com/files/7/7/8/microstock-subscription-3fb61d.gif) (updated)

It's not perfect but I tried this to compare.
What are your feelings ? Is Fotolia the worst ? for who ?
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: loop on June 09, 2008, 18:20
Yu can keyword too in your native language at istock, and disambiguated translation is excellent and effective.

sorry no one will hear at your... thats business.. theire are enough photografers that will work for them... thats only my opinion

I'd have to disagree.  Fotolia is a French company and in France that's how we do business... everybody goes on strike until thing changes.  That's why we have strikes all year long :)

And they did a similar action after the V2 launch and Fotolia took into accounts many suggestions that were made at that time.

Also Fotolia has a large base of unique exclusive photographers because they are the only micro that let you keyword in your native language.  So for those who don't master english that was really appealing.  Now most of these photographers are very angry and already stopped uploading.  Some have even stopped their exclusivity to move there work with other micros.

This petition would just be a common place where everyone could agree that some changes need to happen.

And like Miz said what would be the worst that can happen?  Being ignored?
I think it's worth a shot, if we get a couple thousands signatures that will definitely have some weight.
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: cphoto on June 09, 2008, 18:24
Here is something I did :
[url]http://img22.xooimage.com/files/0/1/1/microstock-subscription-3fb35d.gif[/url] ([url]http://img22.xooimage.com/files/0/1/1/microstock-subscription-3fb35d.gif[/url])
It's not perfect but I tried this to compare.
What are your feelings ? Is Fotolia the worst ? for who ?


For sake of completeness you should also indicate which micro let you opt-in/out.

Also the SS US package is wrong, it is in fact
1 Month  $249 
3 Months  $709 
6 Months  $1349 
1 Year  $2559 

123 US package is also wrong, it is:
1 Month $199
3 Months $499
1 Year $1799

Crestock is a low perfomer, I would not even show it there (not a "big 6").
Snapvillage is even worst and they won't be around in one year from now, so you can remove them as well ;)

So yes FT is clearly the worst if you take into account that
1. It does not let you opt-out
2. Pictures sold does not count towards changing rank or getting more credit per sale like with DT.
3. Nobody will ever reach the $0.31 limit, not even Andres.  But reaching $0.38 with SS is not that difficult.
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: DiscreetDuck on June 09, 2008, 18:34
I was unable to get the us tarifs, from france, even when clicking us.
Updated here :
http://img28.xooimage.com/files/7/7/8/microstock-subscription-3fb61d.gif (http://img28.xooimage.com/files/7/7/8/microstock-subscription-3fb61d.gif)
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: DiscreetDuck on June 09, 2008, 18:46
Crestock is a low perfomer, I would not even show it there (not a "big 6").
Snapvillage is even worst and they won't be around in one year from now, so you can remove them as well ;)
This was made to compare subscription models that are existing, not to compare sites that sell or don't.
The limit on Fotolia is $0.32, and I put $0.31 to be more realist.

I think subscription is the worst, everywhere. But no way to blame Fotolia more than others.
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: vonkara on June 09, 2008, 18:48
I would sign petition for bringing back old search engine (before may 2008), I dont mind subscription (yeah they should put 0.3$ min). Search engine is real problem here.
I agree whit that. As an agency you can't let your main search engine don't even work correctly whitout doing anything and they don't care about it. (for those seeing a drop)
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: cphoto on June 09, 2008, 20:41
Crestock is a low perfomer, I would not even show it there (not a "big 6").
Snapvillage is even worst and they won't be around in one year from now, so you can remove them as well ;)
This was made to compare subscription models that are existing, not to compare sites that sell or don't.
The limit on Fotolia is $0.32, and I put $0.31 to be more realist.

I think subscription is the worst, everywhere. But no way to blame Fotolia more than others.

I agree that subscription is bad, everywhere.
But, Fotolia is the micro who implemented it with the less respect for its contributor

1.  Announced in a newsletter that most of us don't even subscribe to, and implemented a few days after.
2.  For an average contributor like me (800 pics) FT does have the lowest royalty ( I get .38 with SS, .36 with 123, .30 with DT, .30 with StockXpert and .27 at FT).  All agencies are bringing prices up, FT does the opposite.  If FT takes buyer away from SS, I'm losing .11 per sales, which is almost 40% less
3.  FT is the only one that does not let you opt-out

4.  the subscription roll-out completely broke the search engine...

so if you look at everything yes FT has the most naive subscription model.

On top of that FT management said a couple of months ago:
"...for example, a micro subscription model that pulls down prices to 25 cents an image, decreases the overall business and only provides short term sales benefits." Chad Bridwell, Director operations, Dec 2007.


That really makes them look stupid today

Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: jsnover on June 09, 2008, 22:44
I think subscription is the worst, everywhere. But no way to blame Fotolia more than others.

I think I can "blame" FT for having a really contributor-unfriendly plan, but also for promoting itself as having:

"The lowest image prices in the world"

That's on their list of benefits if you click "Learn more" from the front page.

Competing on price just drags us all down - and their commissions really aren't that great on the credit sales any more either.
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: Alatriste on June 10, 2008, 02:17

2.  For an average contributor like me (800 pics) FT does have the lowest royalty ( I get .38 with SS, .36 with 123, .30 with DT, .30 with StockXpert and .27 at FT).


For me the lowest royalty is 0,20. That is what I have been paid for some sales at IS
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: litifeta on June 10, 2008, 02:51
"Oh, by the way, am I alone here in hating the French?" Al Bundy 1992
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: DiscreetDuck on June 10, 2008, 03:23
I think I can "blame" FT for having a really contributor-unfriendly plan, but also for promoting itself as having:

"The lowest image prices in the world"

That's on their list of benefits if you click "Learn more" from the front page.

Competing on price just drags us all down - and their commissions really aren't that great on the credit sales any more either.


I agree with you jsnover, for all these points.

Marketing make them say they are the "lowest price", and they are not !

I think this petition relates to Fotolia exclusives, as cphoto mentionned, so I personnaly don't feel concerned, because I never choose to get the benefits of exclusivity there before, even never played a bad game, breaking the rules by putting exclusive pictures everywhere elsewhere (explanations here (http://fr.fotolia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=10684)). But I can understand that this is a big change for them.

For your information, this petition is initiated by Fotolia's forum moderator(s).
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: DiscreetDuck on June 10, 2008, 06:40
If FT takes buyer away from SS, I'm losing .11 per sales, which is almost 40% less
If FT takes buyer away from SS, I keep nearly the same 0.21€ per sale on both (being bronze on FT). Even more at FT with 0.2158€ compared to 0.2110€ on SS.
Plus : there is a positive side making people leave the monster SS to FT, where they can buy both with credits and subscriptions.
Plus : Fotolia's royalties don't fall with the dollar.

3.  FT is the only one that does not let you opt-out
Hem, where is the button at DT ?

4.  the subscription roll-out completely broke the search engine...
This is a question of point of view. Before, only the first seven keywords were active for contributors under silver. Now it works for all.
It sounds like good news for me, because that was inequitable in a bad way before the changes, and something never seen elsewhere.
I think that Fotolia is now opened for new talents  ;)

On top of that FT management said a couple of months ago:
"...for example, a micro subscription model that pulls down prices to 25 cents an image, decreases the overall business and only provides short term sales benefits." Chad Bridwell, Director operations, Dec 2007.

That really makes them look stupid today
What is really stupid to me is to complain of a subscription system somewhere, and in the same time feed the SS monster...
The only way to kill the subs-system is to stop submitting everywhere where there is that offer. We are all individuals, and this will never happen in a global way because if you do, many others won't, thinking they will sell even more...
They changed their direction, nothing stupid here, but disappointing. They are into business, that's all.
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: helix7 on June 10, 2008, 11:33
We are requesting that you :

- Limit download size to XS, S and M

What other subscription sites offer this feature? Would you petition the other sites as well?


- Give every one the option to opt-out


Again, not every sub site offers this.

And no they can't do whatever they want... Andres, Bobby and some top contributors along with lot of other contributors have stopped uploading new content to Fotolia.  A lot of French contributors that went exclusive with FT are now moving to other micros.  Fotolia would really be stupid not to listen to his contributors...

Sure they can do whatever they want, and they know it. Maybe there are some heavy hitters on the list, but Yuri was leading the anti-sub charge with StockXpert and not much happened there. Even if someone like Andres threatened to leave Fotolia altogether, do you think they would change policy? A handful of contributors are a drop in the bucket when there are thousands of others, and many thousands of up-and-coming new artists who will fill the void.

I certainly applaud the rally around an issue here, and I'm as opposed to subscriptions as anyone else. Unfortunately subscriptions are here to stay, we can't stop them, and I really believe that we are in the unfortunate position of not being able to have much affect on how they are structured. These sites really can do whatever they want, because they know that there are plenty of people out there who will happily accept whatever terms they offer. There are lots of second-rate microstock sites out there, most of which people here don't bother with, but many people elsewhere do. The terms may be terrible, but people still contribute. As long as there are some people who will accept whatever terms a company throws at them, these companies have no need to worry about a small group of angry contributors, and they certainly have no need to act on a petition.

I wish we could make a difference, but it's just not going to happen. Nature of the microstock beast.


Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: cphoto on June 10, 2008, 12:29
I wish we could make a difference, but it's just not going to happen. Nature of the microstock beast.


Wrong.  Following complaints from Andres and many US and French contributors FT just changed their policy: http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php/topic,4965.0.html

That's a first step.

That should tell you that when 2 huge community (European + US) get united and complain, they HAVE to listen to us.

But if you just always accept changes in policies and never complain about them, for sure nothing will ever happen, same thing at my primary work, LOL ;)
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: sharpshot on June 10, 2008, 12:43
.....Fotolia is a French company and in France that's how we do business... everybody goes on strike until thing changes.  That's why we have strikes all year long :)

I like the way the French stand up for themselves.  I wish we would do this in the UK.  It does work, if enough people join in.  Most of us can manage without uploading to fotolia but they will suffer if they don't compromise.
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: rene on June 10, 2008, 12:48
I wish we could make a difference, but it's just not going to happen. Nature of the microstock beast.


Wrong.  Following complaints from Andres and many US and French contributors FT just changed their policy: [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php/topic,4965.0.html[/url]

That's a first step.

That should tell you that when 2 huge community (European + US) get united and complain, they HAVE to listen to us.

But if you just always accept changes in policies and never complain about them, for sure nothing will ever happen, same thing at my primary work, LOL ;)

Agree 100%.
They need us, they have to listen to us.
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: MicrostockExp on June 10, 2008, 12:53
For french speakers , a video interview about the CEO of Fotolia talking about his new business venture:

http://video.aol.com/video-detail/interview-thibaud-elziere-zilok/1136587344

Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: Peter on June 10, 2008, 13:02
what does he say?
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: MicrostockExp on June 10, 2008, 13:12
Basically he is talking about Zilok.com which is a bit similar to ebay except that you can just rent not buy.
For example  u can rent a camera for one day in Paris for about 15 euros...
So far few cameras for rent  but interesting concept
Title: Re: Petition against FT subs
Post by: marcopolo on June 11, 2008, 19:34
.....Fotolia is a French company and in France that's how we do business... everybody goes on strike until thing changes.  That's why we have strikes all year long :)

I like the way the French stand up for themselves.  I wish we would do this in the UK.  It does work, if enough people join in.  Most of us can manage without uploading to fotolia but they will suffer if they don't compromise.

Alamy is a British company, where the majority of contributors are British. Alamy recently did something that the contributors did not like and they protested. Alamy changed their policy within a day, so it seems the British were doing a good job of standing up for themselves in that case.