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Author Topic: Return to Start - Fotolia reserves right to put you back at white ranking.  (Read 76697 times)

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« Reply #400 on: September 30, 2011, 02:47 »
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Im white on FT. However, I dont think that FT have thought this one through. There are far too many people out there that are on multiple sites already. Using this technique they are just going to alienate people. If i do not progress through the ranks at FT then I will be removing my images from them. They are moving the goal posts all the time


« Reply #401 on: September 30, 2011, 04:02 »
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Well, well, if it is DP the big guys like Yuri are under the threat as well. And I see Fotolia putting them back to white as funny... Ha ha, this could be the last thing Fotolia might do before falling under the level of those small sites they are challanging now.

Last post from Chad on FT................no Murphy even on the big boyz! Still no sites mentioned.

Quote
Warren Millar
29/09/2011 21:57

be very interesting to know if some of the very top sellers here also sell images with the so called "Cheap sites" ....... are they also under the same restictions then CHAD ?
    

THE CHAD
30/09/2011 00:47


Warren it applies to all members even the top sellers.

Rimglow not sure what you mean by partner programs?

Chad Bridwell


I'll believe that Yuri's being downgraded when I see it. No way will he bow to pressure from Fotolia. Be aware that this can "apply" to Yuri and yet he can just go on untouched because the rule says it's entirely at Fotolia's discretion who they choose to penalise. It isn't "If you do A we do B" it is "If you do A we can decide whether or not to do B".

Microbius

« Reply #402 on: September 30, 2011, 04:18 »
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Folks,
I am not looking to argue the merits or downfalls of Fotolia or any
other agency.

This is why some of the agencies don't like coming here, if they can't completely control the dialogue they aren't interested in discussion at all. Everything else is just an excuse.
Well we do want to discuss the merits of Fotolia compared to other agencies. The price we sell images for is dependent on the price to the final customer and the percentage we get.
You don't want us to sell our work for less on another site, pay us a high enough percentage that we are actually getting more per download from Fotolia than from these other sites.
You don't want to discuss it just sit there in your little box and watch contributors walking out on you.

OM

« Reply #403 on: September 30, 2011, 04:33 »
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I'll believe that Yuri's being downgraded when I see it. No way will he bow to pressure from Fotolia. Be aware that this can "apply" to Yuri and yet he can just go on untouched because the rule says it's entirely at Fotolia's discretion who they choose to penalise. It isn't "If you do A we do B" it is "If you do A we can decide whether or not to do B".

With a load of legal wrangling, it could take a few years..........by which time Yuri is a TV CELEB and then it wouldn't matter so much.  ;)

Microbius

« Reply #404 on: September 30, 2011, 04:35 »
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.... And Fotolia is not telling you to stop submitting images
to these lower priced agencies. Just do not expect us to sell their
same images at a higher price. We will no longer allow this to happen......

.....and what exactly does this mean? The email implied that you would allow the above to happen but ensure that we get screwed while it does. ie. we would still be selling the same images elsewhere for less than on Fotolia, we would just be busted down to white on Fotolia and receive less money per download.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 04:38 by Microbius »

« Reply #405 on: September 30, 2011, 05:04 »
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One comment removed for adding nothing to the conversation other than insults - from the same user who had a similar comment removed earlier in this thread.

Said user has been banned for a week.

« Reply #406 on: September 30, 2011, 05:31 »
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I'll believe that Yuri's being downgraded when I see it. No way will he bow to pressure from Fotolia. Be aware that this can "apply" to Yuri and yet he can just go on untouched because the rule says it's entirely at Fotolia's discretion who they choose to penalise. It isn't "If you do A we do B" it is "If you do A we can decide whether or not to do B".

With a load of legal wrangling, it could take a few years..........by which time Yuri is a TV CELEB and then it wouldn't matter so much.  ;)

I'll only believe it when Yuri comes here personally to complain about it. He'll likely arrange his own little side deal just like other places.

« Reply #407 on: September 30, 2011, 05:37 »
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I'll only believe it when Yuri comes here personally to complain about it. He'll likely arrange his own little side deal just like other places.

We just had a big complaint thread started by him about royalties dropping.  Yet in here, it is very quiet from them.

lagereek

« Reply #408 on: September 30, 2011, 05:41 »
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I'll believe that Yuri's being downgraded when I see it. No way will he bow to pressure from Fotolia. Be aware that this can "apply" to Yuri and yet he can just go on untouched because the rule says it's entirely at Fotolia's discretion who they choose to penalise. It isn't "If you do A we do B" it is "If you do A we can decide whether or not to do B".

With a load of legal wrangling, it could take a few years..........by which time Yuri is a TV CELEB and then it wouldn't matter so much.  ;)

I'll only believe it when Yuri comes here personally to complain about it. He'll likely arrange his own little side deal just like other places.

Stormchaser!
So?  what if he does? so what? no business of ours. If you had the clout, you would negotiate as well. Lets concentrate on the problem at hand, rather then individual members, shall we?
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 05:42 by lagereek »

« Reply #409 on: September 30, 2011, 06:19 »
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.... And Fotolia is not telling you to stop submitting images
to these lower priced agencies. Just do not expect us to sell their
same images at a higher price. We will no longer allow this to happen......

.....and what exactly does this mean? The email implied that you would allow the above to happen but ensure that we get screwed while it does. ie. we would still be selling the same images elsewhere for less than on Fotolia, we would just be busted down to white on Fotolia and receive less money per download.

Yes, lets have some clarity on this.

Is Chad really saying that if I sell on a site that charges $50 for 100 credits, then Fotolia will cut its price for my work to 50c per credit? If not, then his whole claim that it is about the selling prices rather than the commissions is exposed as nonsense.

« Reply #410 on: September 30, 2011, 07:09 »
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.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 09:32 by AttilaTheNun »

fujiko

« Reply #411 on: September 30, 2011, 07:50 »
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Sorry to spoil the bashing party just a little bit, but Chad has a point that the issue is not about contributor share but solely about the price the buyer has to pay. Contributor shares are strictly between the contributor and the agent (FT) while the sore point is what the buyer will do when he sees the same image at a lower price point elsewhere than FT. FT might even go down to 1% contributor share, the buyer won't care (unless he's also a contributor and knows the situation).

That was the reason it was fine to upload to iStock till they changed the terms. Sales at iStock then were just an extra for the (independent) contributor since their price point for the buyers was so high that it wouldn't cannibalize sales elsewhere.

As has been said, a contributor might have a higher total revenue at other sites than FT (by the appalling low % at FT) while the price is still lower for the buyer, and here lies the conflict but only for the contributor. Chad said he didn't want to address this point, and that's fair enough. IMHO, he's right that the two issues can't be mixed.

Personally, I can't get worked up about all this since I didn't agree with the new iStock terms and de-activated my entire portfolio there. That hurt, but hey, money won't make us happy  :-\. My main motivation was that I don't want images (especially the higher levels) that sell well on DT to turn up on a Google Images or Picscout search at a much lower price point on Stinkstock, thereby cannibalizing my DT sales. I'm not on PD and I canceled DP a year after cashing in the upload bonus. I can just observe that Chad made exactly the same point.

Apart from all this, one could ask if the unilateral change of contributor terms on FT without any consent doesn't constitute a breach of contract. Another interesting point is what will happen if for instance DT would introduce the same clause for their level 2+ images that are sold at a much higher price point than at FT. In that case, FT's initiative would be a sword that cuts on both edges, and if I ever had to chose between FT and DT, I know what to do.

I believe both issues have to be considered as a whole.

The same thinking agencies use to make contributors accept lower commissions (there is always a contributor willing to accept less than you) works against them because there is always an agency willing to pay the same amount while selling to buyer for less.

Also, FT proudly announced they created the cheapest subscription ever. How can they say they don't want cheaper sites after their new subscription model?
When comparing to IS or other agencies, FT is the cheap one.

Vectors for 4 credits? Too cheap.

Stockfresh just increased the price to $10, many others sell at least at 6 or 10.

FT is cheap, very cheap.

They just are not willing to give more or get less.

« Reply #412 on: September 30, 2011, 08:07 »
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Sorry to spoil the bashing party just a little bit, but Chad has a point that the issue is not about contributor share but solely about the price the buyer has to pay.

If it's not about the contributors share, why does Fotolia seemingly plan to cut the commission rate but not alter its price to buyers (though he seemed to say something different in that last post)?

What they appear to be saying is that if you take a lower rate anywhere, we will pay you that rate while still charging customers our rate, not the cheaper site's rate.

That is ALL about contributor share and nothing to do with the price the buyer pays.

Well, actually it's all about Fotolia's share, they're not interested in contributors.

« Reply #413 on: September 30, 2011, 08:14 »
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If it's about price then all they should do is stop us having the abilitly to double the price of our images and leave our commision level alone.

« Reply #414 on: September 30, 2011, 08:38 »
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If it's not about the contributors share, why does Fotolia seemingly plan to cut the commission rate but not alter its price to buyers (though he seemed to say something different in that last post)?

What they appear to be saying is that if you take a lower rate anywhere, we will pay you that rate while still charging customers our rate, not the cheaper site's rate.

That is ALL about contributor share and nothing to do with the price the buyer pays.

Well, actually it's all about Fotolia's share, they're not interested in contributors.

No, you missed the point. FT do intend dropping people back to White and dropping the prices of their images accordingly. We'll know if this 'rule' is being applied to the top sellers by seeing how many credits their images are priced at in the future.

« Reply #415 on: September 30, 2011, 08:44 »
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What if I undercut Fotilia's price on photos sold from my personal website?   Will I have to raise my prices to match Fotlia's?

helix7

« Reply #416 on: September 30, 2011, 09:43 »
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...Fotolia is not telling you to stop submitting images to these lower priced agencies. Just do not expect us to sell their same images at a higher price. We will no longer allow this to happen. In a market where there is a good supply of high quality content, Fotolia is trying to avoid reducing our retail prices...

This reeks of the istock royalty cut reasoning. I'm just waiting to hear the word "unsustainable" from Chad. Count Fotolia as yet another company that is putting the burden on contributors to make up for their own internal shortfalls.

...We're not listing the agencies, but some have been named here already. If you are selling images at prices much lower than the top 4 microstock sites then you might want to review your options.

Name names, Chad. You're asking us to redefine how we do business in microstock and take a financial hit for your benefit. The very least you could do is list the agencies you disapprove of.

I hope Fotolia understands the hypocrisy of all this. It was companies like Fotolia and istock that came along years ago and undercut the traditional stock agencies, selling images at prices far lower that the major royalty-free stock houses. So it was ok for them to do it back then, but now when someone does it to them, contributors are at fault.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 09:47 by helix7 »

« Reply #417 on: September 30, 2011, 09:58 »
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No, you missed the point. FT do intend dropping people back to White and dropping the prices of their images accordingly. We'll know if this 'rule' is being applied to the top sellers by seeing how many credits their images are priced at in the future.

Ah, yes, of course. Going back to the fotolia base price for those who have upgraded their images.

I never got to the point of being able to adjust my prices.

PS: My guess is that there is a legal reason for them not naming the agencies they object to. Perhaps it would get them sued.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 10:00 by BaldricksTrousers »

velocicarpo

« Reply #418 on: September 30, 2011, 10:08 »
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The whole bahaviour of Fotolia is just ridiculous. Full of fishy stuff like "may", "maybe" "certain unnamed companies"...you cannot do professional business like this.

Who do you think will trust you in the future? You lost with this all your credibility. For me it seems to be more like a "we have to punish those who support our competition" bla....a very childish reaction. If you want to get a better position against competition offer good exclusivity terms. That is what exclusivity is made for. I, for my part, spreaded out because of the lack of trust, not because of maximizing profit.

Even if we would stop support newcomers, what then? You throw out competition and then? Whats next? Cutting comissions?

I still think if you would communicate yourself better you would have had the possibility to get the Contributors in the boat, but like this, I doubt you will have success...

« Reply #419 on: September 30, 2011, 10:12 »
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To me, this issue appears disputable in the following context: At the moment or in the near future, who stands a better chance of becoming the best image seller?
Sales and profits are exactly what we, as well as microstock owners, care of most of all. Moving away from growing microstocks will mean even greater destruction to our business model which keeps transforming every single day.
Think about the mobile communication pricing at the very beginning of its existence as compared to nowadays. This one is a good example. Things change from day to day and there is no way to maintain positions on the market by exercising tyranny towards the suppliers.

123rf and Depositphotos breathes down the neck of all large-scale stock photo agencies. Fotolia exceeds the traffic of Depositphotos just 3 times and is almost equal (as it is for me) in profitability per photographer. Moreover, it tends to reduction of the traffic gap and sales growing. I feel that Depositphotos is a professional team with a firm intention to succeed and display steady growth. Fotolia does a very foolish thing blackmailing its partners while Depositphotos, as well as others, take steps to be closer to photographers. In this very case, Fotolia studies its own mercenary interests, not the interests of the industry as a whole. Speaking about industry in the name of Fotolia would be wrong and quite silly since Fotolia itself is a pretty small-scale source in the framework of the industry.

The task of a businessman is increasing profits while the goal of this fraud (there is no other way of putting it) is intimidating and confusing the photographers through just thinking up some market laws. The main trait of the market is that its supposed to develop according to its own and not Fotolias laws.

All the other means of impacting it are nothing but dictatorship which is the last stage in the development of a project. Fotolia is way too small to dictate and way too unskillful to consolidate the market members.
Here, I can see some kind of unfair competition, an attempt to create some secret deal of large market players with the aim to eliminate the competitors.
When taking a closer look, one may see that there is not a bit of dumping in the policy of Depositphotos. Moreover, it pays more to its photographers. The prices do not vastly differ from other large microstocks like 123RF etc., and even from Fotolia.

I feel like to ask for the withdrawal from Fotolia and have a careful look at how it all is progressing. And of course, Im not going to delete my portfolio from any microstocks.
By the way, Fotolia also had a dumping policy when it entered the market and I wonder how it would act if iStockphoto had degraded all the photographers just to show that Fotolia had been destroying the industry.
Serious-minded people know what business ethics means. Fotolia doesnt.

OM

« Reply #420 on: September 30, 2011, 11:11 »
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What if I undercut Fotilia's price on photos sold from my personal website?   Will I have to raise my prices to match Fotlia's?

Not if you don't tell 'em!  ;) Seriously though, FT has to police this measure that they've announced and remember, it's arbitrary. My guess would also be that it's illegal anyway. Since when, as an independent supplier of a commodity/service, can you be forced to reveal who all your other customers are and at what price you supply them?
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 11:13 by OM »

« Reply #421 on: September 30, 2011, 11:15 »
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What if I undercut Fotilia's price on photos sold from my personal website?   Will I have to raise my prices to match Fotlia's?

Not if you don't tell 'em!  ;) Seriously though, FT has to police this measure that they've announced and remember, it's arbitrary. My guess would also be that it's illegal anyway. Since when, as an independent supplier of a commodity/service can you be forced to reveal who all your other customers are and at what price you supply them?

I sell the same stock photos from my personal website. The prices are there for all to see.

« Reply #422 on: September 30, 2011, 11:38 »
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Folks,

I am not looking to argue the merits or downfalls of Fotolia or any
other agency. And Fotolia is not telling you to stop submitting images
to these lower priced agencies. Just do not expect us to sell their
same images at a higher price. We will no longer allow this to happen.
In a market where there is a good supply of high quality content,
Fotolia is trying to avoid reducing our retail prices.

Now if a photographer wants to remove their images or negotiate a
higher retail price with these agencies then everything remains the
same.  Just beware that a few of these sites require that members keep
their images online for 1 year. We're not listing the agencies, but
some have been named here already. If you are selling images at prices
much lower than the top 4 microstock sites then you might want to
review your options.

Chad Bridwell
Director of Operations
Fotolia.com

Chad, I very much understand your concern about difference in retail pricing of images. However, what I fail to see is how it is a contributor's problem. What some people are trying to say here is that for a contributor, it's the royalties he receives that matters, not the retail price of the image. Let's say agency A manages to operate on 30% from the image sale (=pays 70% commission) because of low overhead, smart business practices and selling big volume of images cheaper, and agency B takes 85% from the sale (=pays 15% commission), sells at higher prices and lower volume. As a supplier of images I may receive the same compensation for my portfolio from both agencies, in spite of difference in retail pricing. But it seems to me that Fotolia is saying now that I should be supplying agency B, and not agency A, although for me they both generate the same income, because agency B is finding it hard to compete with agency A. This doesn't make much sense. The point is, your retail pricing is your business, not contributors. You can change your retail pricing any time, and I as a contributor will decide if it makes business sense for me to supply you - but for me, the business sense is based only on the monthly royalties I receive (=wholesale prices), not your retail prices.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 11:49 by Elenathewise »

lagereek

« Reply #423 on: September 30, 2011, 11:44 »
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Folks,

I am not looking to argue the merits or downfalls of Fotolia or any
other agency. And Fotolia is not telling you to stop submitting images
to these lower priced agencies. Just do not expect us to sell their
same images at a higher price. We will no longer allow this to happen.
In a market where there is a good supply of high quality content,
Fotolia is trying to avoid reducing our retail prices.

Now if a photographer wants to remove their images or negotiate a
higher retail price with these agencies then everything remains the
same.  Just beware that a few of these sites require that members keep
their images online for 1 year. We're not listing the agencies, but
some have been named here already. If you are selling images at prices
much lower than the top 4 microstock sites then you might want to
review your options.

Chad Bridwell
Director of Operations
Fotolia.com

Chad, I very much understand your concern about difference in retail pricing of images. However, what I fail to see is how it is a contributor's problem. What some people are trying to say here is that for a contributor, it's the royalties he receives matters, not the retail price of the image. Let's say agency A manages to operate on 30% from the image sale because of low overhead, smart business practices and selling big volume of images cheaper, and agency B takes 85% from the sale, sells at higher prices and lower volume. As a supplier of images I may receive the same compensation for my portfolio from both agencies, in spite of difference in retail pricing. But it seems to me that Fotolia is saying now that I should be supplying agency B, and not agency A, although for me they both generate the same income, because agency B is finding it hard to compete with agency A. This doesn't make much sense. The point is, your retail pricing is your business, not contributors. You can change your retail pricing any time, and I as a contributor will decide if it makes business sense for me to supply you - but for me, the business sense is based only on the monthly royalties I receive (=wholesale prices), not your retail prices.


Exactly!  its not our problem,  simple as that. We have just appointed them as one of our agents and whatever fluctuations in the market?  not our problem,  so we are expecting FT, to deal with this and on their own.

« Reply #424 on: September 30, 2011, 12:01 »
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Chad, I very much understand your concern about difference in retail pricing of images. However, what I fail to see is how it is a contributor's problem. What some people are trying to say here is that for a contributor, it's the royalties he receives matters, not the retail price of the image. Let's say agency A manages to operate on 30% from the image sale because of low overhead, smart business practices and selling big volume of images cheaper, and agency B takes 85% from the sale, sells at higher prices and lower volume. As a supplier of images I may receive the same compensation for my portfolio from both agencies, in spite of difference in retail pricing. But it seems to me that Fotolia is saying now that I should be supplying agency B, and not agency A, although for me they both generate the same income, because agency B is finding it hard to compete with agency A. This doesn't make much sense. The point is, your retail pricing is your business, not contributors. You can change your retail pricing any time, and I as a contributor will decide if it makes business sense for me to supply you - but for me, the business sense is based only on the monthly royalties I receive (=wholesale prices), not your retail prices.

My guess is that Fotolia are losing sales (and with it the opportunity to make as much money as they hoped from selling the business) and now they're looking for someone to blame (apart from themselves of course). They've been sensitive to customers being resistent to higher priced images for some time. I'm sure that's why they made the rankings harder to attain and recently of course they have limited how much the higher rankings can charge. They couldn't possibly impose this new rule against contributors to any of the other 'big 4' agencies so they are concentrating on where they can. In my view they are actually losing market share to SS (where all images are priced the same and the search results are hugely superior) and so this action won't actually help them. They've also been pissing off their contributors with regular reductions in commissions and now, like Istock, they are starting to pay the price for their greed.


 

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