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Author Topic: Return to Start - Fotolia reserves right to put you back at white ranking.  (Read 94252 times)

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« Reply #200 on: September 24, 2011, 16:09 »
0
8 pages of countless posts and I am going to be the only one who actually agrees with this new policy from Fotolia.
Not only that I agree, but I would also love, love Shutterstock and Dreamstime to follow suit.

In my opinion this is not about some unknown 'offending' agencies out there.
This is clearly about IStock (driving everyone down, again!) and forcing independents to submit to ThinkStock.

The only way to stop ThinkStock and Getty from completely taking over the industry is for the other agencies themselves to take a stand. If we leave it to photographers, the battle is lost.
Photographers, newbies or professionals the same, will never, ever stop uploading.
No matter how low the Getty commission, no matter how measly IStock's 0.7 cent payments.
They will not do it.
They will never delete their ports and they will keep on uploading to ThinkStock, image after image, more and more, all the while hiding behind flimsy logics and sorry excuses.
This is not simply about money.
This is about pure greed.  
Not money, or necessity, or the sad stories about, 'I can't afford to leave IStock because my 5 children are so sick and in hospitals', and not even the newer ThinkSock theory, -'It's OK to submit to ThinkStock because ThinkStock cannot hurt SS' holds any water or substance.
These are nothing but excuses.
Excuses to fuel photographers' greed.

I have been secretly hoping for such a statement from an agency for a long time.
And I hope that Shutterstock and Dreamstime follow suit soon.
Go on SS and DT, do it!
And don't worry about photographers deleting their ports.
They never will.

but i don't get how, with this reasoning, Fotolia is accomplishing anything for the better (for the photographers)

Say iStock cuts rates to 10% and reduces prices by 50%.  Fotolia tells me I have to either leave iStock or they cut my commissions by 50% (put me at white).  If, as you say, I (or photographers in general) don't leave Fotolia and don't leave iStock, then both iStock and Fotolia will reduce my commissions by 50%.  It's a win win for the agencies.  If i leave iStock, or Fotolia then my earnings are again taking a hit.


« Reply #201 on: September 24, 2011, 16:12 »
0
8 pages of countless posts and I am going to be the only one who actually agrees with this new policy from Fotolia.
Not only that I agree, but I would also love, love Shutterstock and Dreamstime to follow suit.

In my opinion this is not about some unknown 'offending' agencies out there.
This is clearly about IStock (driving everyone down, again!) and forcing independents to submit to ThinkStock.

While it might be a good and generally positive thing to do (I see and agree with your point about stopping the race to the bottom - this race to the bottom is exactly why I am about to leave Istock, I do not want to give Istock any further power to offer my images cheaper than they are already offered at on other agencies) - I dislike the way Fotolia is doing it - the only strategy they know is to punish their contributors and piss them off when they should (once in a while) try to provide incentives to photographers to submit to them, to stay with them - but with two commission cuts within a year and now the thread of being dropped in rank - the tone has turned nasty, patronizing. And I think the strategy carried out this way is gonna backfire - contributors who are fed up with FTs and ISs behavior may prefer to send images first to other better paying, more contributor friendly images (even if that is only based on perception). Those who will be dropped to white have no incentive to stop their behavior really - quite contrary they may be looking to further dillute ports to make up loss of income. So by pissing contributors off with this kind of behavior, they may be shooting themselves in the foot.

Just my 2cents.

« Reply #202 on: September 24, 2011, 16:39 »
0
I don't think it makes much sense that FT complains about other sites, given they are among the lowest commissions we get.

lisafx

« Reply #203 on: September 24, 2011, 17:00 »
0
I'm emerald and haven't recieved a letter as yet.  I wonder if Lisa has had one!!

I'm not aware of having gotten one, but I've been offline for days.  Doing remodeling and can't access my office or computer.  Reading this on my tiny netbook.  I didn't get the letter in my webmail account, unless spam filter got it.

FWIW, I would expect to leave FT if I was dropped to white commission level. My income there is already less than half what it was a year or so ago.  I will not be told where I can upload.  That's the whole point behind being independent.

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #204 on: September 24, 2011, 17:07 »
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I'm emerald and haven't recieved a letter as yet.  I wonder if Lisa has had one!!

I'm not aware of having gotten one, but I've been offline for days.  Doing remodeling and can't access my office or computer.  Reading this on my tiny netbook.  I didn't get the letter in my webmail account, unless spam filter got it.

FWIW, I would expect to leave FT if I was dropped to white commission level. My income there is already less than half what it was a year or so ago.  I will not be told where I can upload.  That's the whole point behind being independent.

That's the whole point...no one should be able to tell you where you can upload the images you own without stating it in a contract before hand or tell you how much YOU chose to sell them for. They are your images. That should only be for exclusives...not independents.

« Reply #205 on: September 24, 2011, 17:18 »
0
I don't think it makes much sense that FT complains about other sites, given they are among the lowest commissions we get.

That's exactly what I've been thinking. I'm realtively new there, still at white, just a few DL's from bronze, but their EL's are for white level contributors are substantially lower than SS.  If they are so concerned about parity maybe they should be raising their entry level EL's to match SS - they don't seem to have any guilt over undercutting other sites but they're right there to squawk if someone does it to them.  This latest announcement is certainly not incentive to try and get to higher levels with them.  

I noticed too that they state if any contributor is participating in one of the anonymous offending sites regardless of whether or not it's the same images you're at risk of getting slapped back down to white level, so even if you post different images to the sites they may still come after you.

« Reply #206 on: September 24, 2011, 17:19 »
0
I'm emerald and haven't recieved a letter as yet.  I wonder if Lisa has had one!!

I'm not aware of having gotten one, but I've been offline for days.  Doing remodeling and can't access my office or computer.  Reading this on my tiny netbook.  I didn't get the letter in my webmail account, unless spam filter got it.

FWIW, I would expect to leave FT if I was dropped to white commission level. My income there is already less than half what it was a year or so ago.  I will not be told where I can upload.  That's the whole point behind being independent.

That's the whole point...no one should be able to tell you where you can upload the images you own without stating it in a contract before hand or tell you how much YOU chose to sell them for. They are your images. That should only be for exclusives...not independents.

Agree with you, but it seems to me that micros keep changing the rules as we go.  Say one thing then do another.  It is a freakin crap shoot to upload these days because you don't know what tomorrow brings.

lisafx

« Reply #207 on: September 24, 2011, 17:22 »
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Those who will be dropped to white have no incentive to stop their behavior really - quite contrary they may be looking to further dillute ports to make up loss of income. So by pissing contributors off with this kind of behavior, they may be shooting themselves in the foot.

Just my 2cents.

Very good point.  In fact this is what already happened.  Speaking for myself, I had avoided adding any new sites for a couple of years.  In fact I had started deleting my port from smaller sites.

Then all this BS of lowering commissions started, and then accelerated.  The threat to my income from lower commissions and search engine gerrymandering at the big sites is what made me receptive to offers from smaller sites in the first place.  I doubt I'm the only one.

« Reply #208 on: September 24, 2011, 17:34 »
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Very good point.  In fact this is what already happened.  Speaking for myself, I had avoided adding any new sites for a couple of years.  In fact I had started deleting my port from smaller sites.

Then all this BS of lowering commissions started, and then accelerated.  The threat to my income from lower commissions and search engine gerrymandering at the big sites is what made me receptive to offers from smaller sites in the first place.  I doubt I'm the only one.
That's exactly what I did. I was only on 5 sites until a few months ago along with Crestock which I had stopped uploading to and started deleting.  Since all the crap we have been getting from the sites I have uploaded to a half a dozen more.

« Reply #209 on: September 24, 2011, 17:34 »
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Let's take the analogy of a Tablet maker, say Samsung, they did not have any exclusive arrangement with either Best Buy or Circuit City or Office Depot. They signed separate agreements with each of them at whatever price/deal Samsung has cut with these shops (depending on what the entire distribution agreement offers). If Circuit City decides to sell the same tablet at 20% below what Best Buy is selling the same tablet for whatever reason (low price leader, better marketing, lower overhead), and as a result Best Buy is losing sales to Circuit City, Best Buy has no right to go to Samsung later and say "your tablet is being offered at Circuit City for 20%, therefore I am going to take 20% off the your wholesale price unilaterally" and by the way we are going to do this retroactively. That is absurd!

Stock photo sites are nothing without contributors (yes most contributors will not leave as it is their livelihood). Competing to see who gets to the bottom first will ensure that you get to the bottom first. Instead they should be working hard at building and nurturing loyalty with their suppliers (contributors)  What FT is doing at every turn can only ensure that it loses its standing in the stock photography community fast if it has not already done so.

« Reply #210 on: September 24, 2011, 17:36 »
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It's not just about dropping you down to white, the intention seems to be to cut your commission to match the lowest level on the lowest paying site you contribute to. That's how I read it, anyway.

Note that Veer's lowest subscription payment would be 10c under the plan they just announced (be sure to read up on that one, Lisa, you will probably want to ask them to leave you out of it).

« Reply #211 on: September 24, 2011, 17:38 »
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I don't think all that is because TS. Should tey force to choose between istock-TS and them, they would lose a lot of contributors. Maybe Fotolia subs pay 1 or 5 cents more, I don't know, maybe IS just offers 15-20%, but IS sells more that FT and at a higher prices, so the loss in revenue --with the same portfolio size-- would be higher on IS.

« Reply #212 on: September 24, 2011, 17:46 »
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I don't think all that is because TS. Should tey force to choose between istock-TS and them, they would lose a lot of contributors. Maybe Fotolia subs pay 1 or 5 cents more, I don't know, maybe IS just offers 15-20%, but IS sells more that FT and at a higher prices, so the loss in revenue --with the same portfolio size-- would be higher on IS.

+1

They can't really attack sites ranked higher than them on the list on the right. Only those below them.

lisafx

« Reply #213 on: September 24, 2011, 17:52 »
0
It's not just about dropping you down to white, the intention seems to be to cut your commission to match the lowest level on the lowest paying site you contribute to. That's how I read it, anyway.

Note that Veer's lowest subscription payment would be 10c under the plan they just announced (be sure to read up on that one, Lisa, you will probably want to ask them to leave you out of it).

Thanks for the headsup BT.  Done.

« Reply #214 on: September 24, 2011, 17:57 »
0
8 pages of countless posts and I am going to be the only one who actually agrees with this new policy from Fotolia.
Not only that I agree, but I would also love, love Shutterstock and Dreamstime to follow suit.

In my opinion this is not about some unknown 'offending' agencies out there.
This is clearly about IStock (driving everyone down, again!) and forcing independents to submit to ThinkStock.

The only way to stop ThinkStock and Getty from completely taking over the industry is for the other agencies themselves to take a stand. If we leave it to photographers, the battle is lost.
Photographers, newbies or professionals the same, will never, ever stop uploading.
No matter how low the Getty commission, no matter how measly IStock's 0.7 cent payments.
They will not do it.
They will never delete their ports and they will keep on uploading to ThinkStock, image after image, more and more, all the while hiding behind flimsy logics and sorry excuses.
This is not simply about money.
This is about pure greed.  
Not money, or necessity, or the sad stories about, 'I can't afford to leave IStock because my 5 children are so sick and in hospitals', and not even the newer ThinkSock theory, -'It's OK to submit to ThinkStock because ThinkStock cannot hurt SS' holds any water or substance.
These are nothing but excuses.
Excuses to fuel photographers' greed.

I have been secretly hoping for such a statement from an agency for a long time.
And I hope that Shutterstock and Dreamstime follow suit soon.
Go on SS and DT, do it!
And don't worry about photographers deleting their ports.
They never will.

Speak for yourself. Some of us have already left both of these poor paying agencies. I agree that contributors should be more selective of where they submit, but I can't really see how this is a stand by Fotolia. Basically, they are saying that they want to be the cheapest and poorest paying agency out there. They will match anybody and everybody's crummy deal.

If they really wanted people to leave their competition, then offer them incentives to do so (not threats). While I'd never go exclusive, I'd gladly dump many of the major sites for a quality deal with a major agency. I think Dreamstime may be the only agency left to be in a position to offer that though. The rest have gone down the opposite road pretty far and Shutterstock as a subs service can't really offer much more.

« Reply #215 on: September 24, 2011, 18:05 »
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FWIW, I would expect to leave FT if I was dropped to white commission level. My income there is already less than half what it was a year or so ago.  I will not be told where I can upload.  That's the whole point behind being independent.

+1

I'm Emerald, and suffering a major 7 day ranking and income drop from last year. My income from FT has dropped from around 25% of my total last year to 13% this month!  While the loss of even this income would still hurt, I would not hesitate to pull my port if they dropped me to white.

« Reply #216 on: September 24, 2011, 18:14 »
0
FWIW, I would expect to leave FT if I was dropped to white commission level. My income there is already less than half what it was a year or so ago.  I will not be told where I can upload.  That's the whole point behind being independent.

+1

I'm Emerald, and suffering a major 7 day ranking and income drop from last year. My income from FT has dropped from around 25% of my total last year to 13% this month!  While the loss of even this income would still hurt, I would not hesitate to pull my port if they dropped me to white.

+2. Almost exactly the same stat's as Robyn regarding share of earnings. I honestly can't see anybody at all staying with FT if such action was taken against them.

« Reply #217 on: September 24, 2011, 18:19 »
0
with so many contributors how can they really police this?  I mean how can they track down every contributor's portfolio on other sites?  what am I missing here? 

« Reply #218 on: September 24, 2011, 18:30 »
0
with so many contributors how can they really police this?  I mean how can they track down every contributor's portfolio on other sites?  what am I missing here? 

They trying to block the top contributors puting images on cheaper sites/new - stop competition
They trying to claw some more profit - you go to white if you are on Istock

I don't think they're trying to get people to choose between being on Istock or FT they would lose that battle. However if by reducing commission in FT to 20% for emeralds they are thinking that they would keep their portfolio on both because 20% of what they sell on FT is still more than 0%.

FT is behaving like youd expect from a major player RM agency trying to protect their ground. They are however a midrange microstock agency that established their business undercutttting the market.

 

nruboc

« Reply #219 on: September 24, 2011, 18:39 »
0
8 pages of countless posts and I am going to be the only one who actually agrees with this new policy from Fotolia.
Not only that I agree, but I would also love, love Shutterstock and Dreamstime to follow suit.

In my opinion this is not about some unknown 'offending' agencies out there.
This is clearly about IStock (driving everyone down, again!) and forcing independents to submit to ThinkStock.

The only way to stop ThinkStock and Getty from completely taking over the industry is for the other agencies themselves to take a stand. If we leave it to photographers, the battle is lost.
Photographers, newbies or professionals the same, will never, ever stop uploading.
No matter how low the Getty commission, no matter how measly IStock's 0.7 cent payments.
They will not do it.
They will never delete their ports and they will keep on uploading to ThinkStock, image after image, more and more, all the while hiding behind flimsy logics and sorry excuses.
This is not simply about money.
This is about pure greed.  
Not money, or necessity, or the sad stories about, 'I can't afford to leave IStock because my 5 children are so sick and in hospitals', and not even the newer ThinkSock theory, -'It's OK to submit to ThinkStock because ThinkStock cannot hurt SS' holds any water or substance.
These are nothing but excuses.
Excuses to fuel photographers' greed.

I have been secretly hoping for such a statement from an agency for a long time.
And I hope that Shutterstock and Dreamstime follow suit soon.
Go on SS and DT, do it!
And don't worry about photographers deleting their ports.
They never will.

but i don't get how, with this reasoning, Fotolia is accomplishing anything for the better (for the photographers)

Say iStock cuts rates to 10% and reduces prices by 50%.  Fotolia tells me I have to either leave iStock or they cut my commissions by 50% (put me at white).  If, as you say, I (or photographers in general) don't leave Fotolia and don't leave iStock, then both iStock and Fotolia will reduce my commissions by 50%.  It's a win win for the agencies.  If i leave iStock, or Fotolia then my earnings are again taking a hit.

The win is for those who don't support sites who continue to lower commissions (which IStock is leading). I win because I don't have my commissions lowered at Fotolia, which was probably the alternative to this plan, and which happened last time Fotolia followed IStock's lead in lowering commissions. It's only those who continually support the lowering of commissions that get "penalized". That's fair in my book.

« Reply #220 on: September 24, 2011, 19:03 »
0
with so many contributors how can they really police this?  I mean how can they track down every contributor's portfolio on other sites?  what am I missing here? 

I don't contribute to FT, I did in the beginning, but bailed on them the first time they pulled crap (so long ago don't really remember what it was) but I have been following this thread.

Jami's question is exactly the one I had. If they can't police copyright infringements that are costing both them AND contributors money, how can they possibly police this? If they can't send email out to every contributor, how do they have the means to do this? This seems like it would be a monumental job. Unless FT contributors start tattling on each other and giving them help. But even so...

« Reply #221 on: September 24, 2011, 19:11 »
0
Could someone who has reached the ranking (Emerald I think) that enables them to double or triple their credits please check:

A photo(s) that has not sold in 6 months with less than 5 sales

to see if the price has dropped to level 1 with that little red box stating something about not changing the price until it has more than 5 sales.

« Reply #222 on: September 24, 2011, 19:16 »
0
The win is for those who don't support sites who continue to lower commissions (which IStock is leading). I win because I don't have my commissions lowered at Fotolia, which was probably the alternative to this plan, and which happened last time Fotolia followed IStock's lead in lowering commissions. It's only those who continually support the lowering of commissions that get "penalized". That's fair in my book.

Oh yeah! FT have never, ever cut commissions have they? Plus, how do you know what % you receive anyway? If your account is in USD then you won't be receiving anything remotely close to the 37% that you are supposed to get from any sales in Euros or GBP's. Let's face it, FT severely penalizes any contributor who is paid in USD. That'll be you then. Why don't you go exclusive with FT if you think they are so 'fair'?

« Reply #223 on: September 24, 2011, 19:41 »
0
Anyone want to go to local tradeshows and talk to anyone who walks away from Fotolia's booth?

For starters:
Viscom THIS WEEK Paris
Graphics Canada, Toronto, November 2011 (Last year Istock was here also)
Media Pro, London November 2011  
Print World, Toronto 2012


Oh, and leave an honest comment on this entry "Is Fotolia the Webs Best Stock Photography Site?"

http://thenextweb.com/apps/2011/06/24/is-fotalia-the-webs-best-stock-photography-site-we-find-out/fotoliasub/

OM

« Reply #224 on: September 24, 2011, 19:49 »
0
Has anyone ever had a straight answer from FT regarding a 'thorny' problem? They could reduce contributors to white from gold/emerald etc but you should never expect a detailed reason for their doing it................cuz then you might be able to fight them in court..............so they won't. By keeping it arbitrary and unspecified, they can shaft you but keep others that earn more for them. JIMHO.


 

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