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Author Topic: Why I love Fotolia!  (Read 30858 times)

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« Reply #50 on: September 14, 2010, 11:59 »
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Exclusivity at Fotolia is actually much more popular for Europe photographers.
And probably FT is more popular with EU buyers too, considering the low share of sales made to US buyers (given the 30% tax I lose on these).

When FT still showed the buyers' name, most of my sales were from Germany and the UK indeed.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 12:16 by microstockphoto.co.uk »


« Reply #51 on: January 24, 2011, 16:51 »
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I have to throw in my .02 on the latest Microstock controversy here.  It's no secret that a lot of people have felt burned by FT on changes made in the past but in my opinion most, if not all the changes made had been done so with the sole intent of increasing business which ultimately had a benefit to us all.

So many people have asked me on many different occasions why I am exclusive to Fotolia.  I received a call from a guy just the other day trying to recruit me to upload to his company.  I told him I was exclusive and he said "Oh, I thought you were a Fotolia guy...not I-Stock."  That made me chuckle and realize how few people are exclusive to FT like myself.  Reading about the I-Stock Changes got me to thinking about why that is so I thought this seemed like as good a time as any to explain my choice.

Right now, as an Exclusive Emerald (equivalent to I-Stock Diamond right?) Photographer I earn a 54% commission on my sales.  54%!  Not only is the commission high, but I set my prices at $5 for XS and $40 for XL so I'm getting a higher commission on a higher dollar amount.  Every time I sell an XL file I get $21.60 added to my account.




As an Emerald Photographer I also have an Infinite Collection account to sell photos at even higher prices ($20 for XS, $200 for XL) with increased visibility and a 50% commission.

As far as I know, even non-exclusive commission rates have always been dramatically higher than those of I-Stock.  I always found it shocking that so many people were so defensive of IS and their 20% commissions...now?  

FT has an option for Image Exclusivity which lets contributors raise prices on individual photos.  Of course you get the higher commission if you are an exclusive photographer but you can still get the benefit of higher prices on exclusive images even if not.  This doesn't benefit me as I'm totally exclusive anyway but I thought I would mention it regardless.

I can upload as many images as I want as often as I want regardless of being exclusive or not.  I heard there is some sort of bulk upload option for new photographers as well but I'm not too sure about that.  When I dipped my toes in the I-stock water a few years ago I was puzzled and frustrated by the limits.  I would never get caught up...ever!  Not that I am now but being chronically behind is solely based on my procrastination through FT not on silly limitations they put on me.

FT pays commissions on promotional and free credits as though they were purchased.  I heard that I-Stock does not do this?  From what I understand they send out a lot of these promo credits to recruit buyers.

FT is the number one micro-stock site in Europe and is picking up speed around the world!  I have always believed that FT has had my best interest in mind as their successes equate to my success.  I would both love and hate it if all the top micro-stockers were at FT.  Love it because the quality of imagery would be so high that the lions share of the buyers would have to be there too.  Hate it because the competition would be so fierce I would really have to step up my game.  I'm willing to do it if you want to give it a shot come on over!

For what it's worth guys, I'm sorry that you are getting dumped on so rough at IS.  Especially those of you that are exclusive.  If any of you have any questions about FT I'm happy to answer them.  I'm not always a shameless cheerleader, I'll give straight answers to the best of my ability and if I don't know the answer I will try to find it for you.

Good luck all,

Mat Hayward  

And Fotolia now do almost the same thing as IS ....... you have to find this funny Mat ....... and then someone bans me from the forum ?? you just have to laugh ..... or forgot Mat its ok because it don't affect you :-)
« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 16:57 by warren0909 »

« Reply #52 on: January 24, 2011, 17:11 »
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Interesting to read through this old thread...funny how things change in a few months...I didn't realize fotolia bans people for commenting about changes they made...will they really ban you if you speak your opinions in this forum as well...even istock doesn't do that...I better keep my mouth shut or open an anonymous account...wow that is really terrible sorry to hear that.

« Reply #53 on: January 24, 2011, 17:16 »
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They cant ban you from this Forum but I have to be careful what I say althe same I cant afford to have my portfolio pulled at FT ....only wish I could !! have been at FT for Six years made it up silver rank (without any help !!) and now after six years I am back to the commission I was getting when I first started as is every other silver or below !!

jbarber873

« Reply #54 on: January 24, 2011, 22:21 »
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Interesting to read through this old thread...funny how things change in a few months...I didn't realize fotolia bans people for commenting about changes they made...will they really ban you if you speak your opinions in this forum as well...even istock doesn't do that...I better keep my mouth shut or open an anonymous account...wow that is really terrible sorry to hear that.

    The forums at the stock sites are run by people, and as such, are subject to human emotions such as being petty and vindictive. No one ever wants to admit there is something wrong in the little world into which they have invested so much of their lives. That's why people like Matt come here and try to spin everything from their own point of view. The bottom line on all these sites is that they can do whatever they want. I've been banned from Istock forums, and if I cared enough to even go to the fotolia forums I' sure they'd ban me there too. In my opinion, those at Fotolia who stay there are on the next sinking ship.

lagereek

« Reply #55 on: January 25, 2011, 02:16 »
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Dont agree on this one!  FT, is selling very, very well and is nowhere near a sinking ship??  so they cut the rates, big deal, so what, they will all do the same,  eventually. Getting banned from a forum?  well, what the heck, its only a forum.

I once belonged to this DPR-camera forum and somehow got involved in a crazy thread regarding Nikon vs Canon,  OH! BOY!  half the members got banned after that thread EXEPT the OP, who started it and later turned out to be a troll, he didnt even use these cameras.

jbarber873

« Reply #56 on: January 25, 2011, 10:07 »
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Dont agree on this one!  FT, is selling very, very well and is nowhere near a sinking ship??  so they cut the rates, big deal, so what, they will all do the same,  eventually. Getting banned from a forum?  well, what the heck, its only a forum.

I once belonged to this DPR-camera forum and somehow got involved in a crazy thread regarding Nikon vs Canon,  OH! BOY!  half the members got banned after that thread EXEPT the OP, who started it and later turned out to be a troll, he didnt even use these cameras.

   Well I can only speak from my perspective, and hope springs eternal that FT will start selling again, but all I get these days is subs, very few other sales, so the payout is about 50% down from last year. Hopefully you are right and my results are not typical...

« Reply #57 on: January 25, 2011, 23:03 »
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Re:  "Hope springs eternal"

My hope springs eternal that IS and FT will sink below the Middle Tier as better managed sites rise to prominence. 

« Reply #58 on: January 26, 2011, 04:24 »
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I never thought I'd say this, but.......despite Fotolia's latest commission decrease, despite three years of seemingly never-ending frustration with them, my business is now at a point where I'm seriously considering exclusivity in the next year or two, and Fotolia is at the top of my list.

Last time they decreased commissions, my income rose so much that Fotolia is now my #2 earner.  I've also made some of my best sellers at Fotolia exclusive, and they still sell as hotly as they ever did, and because I tripled my price, now I earn 3x more than I did on the same credit sales volume.  Tripling my price on everything and earning 45% at silver sounds pretty appealing at this point in my five-year micro journey.     

« Reply #59 on: January 26, 2011, 17:12 »
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I never thought I'd say this, but.......despite Fotolia's latest commission decrease, despite three years of seemingly never-ending frustration with them, my business is now at a point where I'm seriously considering exclusivity in the next year or two, and Fotolia is at the top of my list.

    
I'm not in anyway considering going exclusive but if I did it would be at fotolia.

« Reply #60 on: January 26, 2011, 17:55 »
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I never thought I'd say this, but.......despite Fotolia's latest commission decrease, despite three years of seemingly never-ending frustration with them, my business is now at a point where I'm seriously considering exclusivity in the next year or two, and Fotolia is at the top of my list.

    
I'm not in anyway considering going exclusive but if I did it would be at fotolia.

They haven't screwed exclusives much YET (unless you count moving the levels goalposts away).

« Reply #61 on: January 26, 2011, 21:08 »
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I have to throw in my .02 on the latest Microstock controversy here.  It's no secret that a lot of people have felt burned by FT on changes made in the past but in my opinion most, if not all the changes made had been done so with the sole intent of increasing business which ultimately had a benefit to us all. So many people have asked me on many different occasions why I am exclusive to Fotolia.  I received a call from a guy just the other day trying to recruit me to upload to his company.  I told him I was exclusive and he said "Oh, I thought you were a Fotolia guy...not I-Stock."  That made me chuckle and realize how few people are exclusive to FT like myself.  Reading about the I-Stock Changes got me to thinking about why that is so I thought this seemed like as good a time as any to explain my choice...

are you still happy with fotolia after the latest updates?  ;D

« Reply #62 on: January 27, 2011, 01:24 »
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Yes, I am.  I still receive a 54% commission on my sales.  Because of my exclusivity I can set my prices higher so more % on more $ makes me still happy. 

I can appreciate the frustration of those that were impacted by the recent changes.  I have some strong opinions that are <big shocker> not very popular with the majority of microstock photographers but I believe the low prices and the low commissions are a direct reflection of the lack of any loyalty by photographers with the desire to spam the market with images everywhere that will take them.  If photogs picked their horse and stuck with it then the sites would be competing to get the best photographers.  As it is, they all have most of you and as a result buyers have the luxury of choosing a site based on price structure rather than the quality of the images.  They can get the exact same images pretty much everywhere!  As a result, the sites then must cannibalize each other to attract the buyers along with an increase in spending to recruit buyers they have to squeeze more out of contributors while charging less.  It's logical but it sucks none the less.  I don't foresee any drastic changes to the mindset of the masses here any time soon to change that so I can't help but think it's only going to get worse in the industry :(  Especially for non-exclusives. 

Good luck all,

Mat

I have to throw in my .02 on the latest Microstock controversy here.  It's no secret that a lot of people have felt burned by FT on changes made in the past but in my opinion most, if not all the changes made had been done so with the sole intent of increasing business which ultimately had a benefit to us all. So many people have asked me on many different occasions why I am exclusive to Fotolia.  I received a call from a guy just the other day trying to recruit me to upload to his company.  I told him I was exclusive and he said "Oh, I thought you were a Fotolia guy...not I-Stock."  That made me chuckle and realize how few people are exclusive to FT like myself.  Reading about the I-Stock Changes got me to thinking about why that is so I thought this seemed like as good a time as any to explain my choice...

are you still happy with fotolia after the latest updates?  ;D

« Reply #63 on: January 27, 2011, 02:22 »
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Good points Mat.

ayzek

« Reply #64 on: January 27, 2011, 04:14 »
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Yes, I am.  I still receive a 54% commission on my sales.  Because of my exclusivity I can set my prices higher so more % on more $ makes me still happy. 

I can appreciate the frustration of those that were impacted by the recent changes.  I have some strong opinions that are <big shocker> not very popular with the majority of microstock photographers but I believe the low prices and the low commissions are a direct reflection of the lack of any loyalty by photographers with the desire to spam the market with images everywhere that will take them.  If photogs picked their horse and stuck with it then the sites would be competing to get the best photographers.  As it is, they all have most of you and as a result buyers have the luxury of choosing a site based on price structure rather than the quality of the images.  They can get the exact same images pretty much everywhere!  As a result, the sites then must cannibalize each other to attract the buyers along with an increase in spending to recruit buyers they have to squeeze more out of contributors while charging less.  It's logical but it sucks none the less.  I don't foresee any drastic changes to the mindset of the masses here any time soon to change that so I can't help but think it's only going to get worse in the industry :(  Especially for non-exclusives. 

Good luck all,

Mat

i totally agree with you.
I also want to add why Fotolia less considerable for me:
Exclusives in istock get between 1,7-2,1x more % than non-exc. but in fotolia you get 1,35-1,75x more % than non excl. Also if you consider sub sells this difference getting bigger (%50 sub. dowload rate in fotolia and % 1 rate in istockphoto).
If the opt-out from subscribtion sells do not effect best match search, Fotolia should be more considerable.

« Reply #65 on: January 27, 2011, 04:29 »
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Sorry Mat delighted you are so happy with Fotolia however I am seriously disappointed by there recent antics/cuts in royalties especially how I have defended and recomended them strongly in the past ..... no matter what spin they or you put on it cutting to the chase (and all spin aside) they witnessed istockphoto get away with the savage reductions and followed suit

I say to them what I said to IS my allegiance has been shifted and any further cuts and I am out!

RT


« Reply #66 on: January 27, 2011, 06:58 »
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I can appreciate the frustration of those that were impacted by the recent changes.  I have some strong opinions that are <big shocker> not very popular with the majority of microstock photographers but I believe the low prices and the low commissions are a direct reflection of the lack of any loyalty by photographers with the desire to spam the market with images everywhere that will take them.  If photogs picked their horse and stuck with it then the sites would be competing to get the best photographers.  As it is, they all have most of you and as a result buyers have the luxury of choosing a site based on price structure rather than the quality of the images.  They can get the exact same images pretty much everywhere!  As a result, the sites then must cannibalize each other to attract the buyers along with an increase in spending to recruit buyers they have to squeeze more out of contributors while charging less.  It's logical but it sucks none the less.  I don't foresee any drastic changes to the mindset of the masses here any time soon to change that so I can't help but think it's only going to get worse in the industry :(  Especially for non-exclusives.  

Good luck all,

Mat

There are some very good points there, and to one extent I agree that non-exclusivity is probably the cause of how some agencies can almost treat their suppliers like dirt.

The reason I place my images with agencies is to use them to market my images, I agree that total exclusivity would mean the sites would compete to get the best, however for me personally (not that I'll ever go exclusive) a big concern with Fotolia is that they don't place any value on exclusivity, and that's not just my opinion that's come from the management.
 Not so long ago after iStock announced their greedy commission cuts structured commission rank I contacted Chad at Fotolia to discuss a couple of things amongst which was that I was thinking about supplying Fotolia some images on an exclusive only basis and my concern was why they didn't promote exclusive images, now I think he misunderstood my question but his reply, which surprised me, was that Fotolia do not want to promote exclusivity of any shape or form, or in other words exclusive images do not get any type of marketing advantage on Fotolia over non-exclusive images, and the same goes for contributors your work as an exclusive gets the same treatment as mine a non-exclusive.

The appeal to anyone for exclusivity be it totally or image only is to increase sales and therefore increase revenue, Fotolia allow you to increase your prices but don't do anything to promote your work over and above the rest of the stuff on the site, as Tyler (leaf) pointed out a while ago there's an unknown equation for whether an image takes off on Fotolia, to go exclusive there is just too much of a risk IMO, iStock has many many faults but one thing you can't knock them for is their constant promotion of the exclusive content.

Edited to add: Another reason I would never go exclusive with Fotolia is my disgust over the fact that someone who sells less than me gets a higher commission rate because of the unjust ranking change last year.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2011, 07:08 by RT »

« Reply #67 on: January 27, 2011, 09:39 »
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Because of my exclusivity I can set my prices higher so more % on more $ makes me still happy. 
I though, from another thread, that you had exclusive images, not that you were exclusive.

Your avatar made me think of FT and IS. :)

« Reply #68 on: January 27, 2011, 11:18 »
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Because of my exclusivity I can set my prices higher so more % on more $ makes me still happy. 
I though, from another thread, that you had exclusive images, not that you were exclusive.

Your avatar made me think of FT and IS. :)

Nope, I am an exclusive photographer.  All of my RF images are on FT.  I have some editorial RM images up on Alamy as an experiment that is sadly not doing well as of right now. 

Mat

« Reply #69 on: January 27, 2011, 11:47 »
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I thought about exclusivity with FT, too, but quickly dropped the idea. I just don't trust any of them, not even DT or SS.

« Reply #70 on: January 27, 2011, 14:18 »
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Interesting points, Richard and Mat. 

The great thing about Fotolia and DT is the ability to offer exclusive images instead of making an entire portfolio exclusive.  Before making a decision about total exclusivity (if I ever do), I'm slowly going through all of my portfolios and comparing sales stats, and then turning best sellers into exclusive images.  Some photos will have great sales at one site and hardly any on all the rest of the sites, so why leave them on other sites where they don't sell when I can earn more from them through exclusivity?  My portfolio's eggs aren't all in one basket, archives aren't duplicated with the same photos, and with this approach just a handful of images have already made a noticeable positive impact on my overall income.  Eventually I'm going to drop sites that only payout every few months, stop uploading to sites that don't offer per-image exclusivity, and only upload new stuff to SS, DT, and FT. 

jbarber873

« Reply #71 on: January 27, 2011, 14:20 »
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  the point Matt makes about exclusivity makes sense, but since it almost seems like an afterthought at FT, the logical conclusion to his argument is exclusivity at Istock. IF FT were a bigger player, had they demonstrated an effort to make contributors more of a partner and less of an exploited natural resource, exclusivity could work. However, that horse left the barn a long time ago.

« Reply #72 on: January 27, 2011, 15:28 »
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the point Matt makes about exclusivity makes sense, but since it almost seems like an afterthought at FT, the logical conclusion to his argument is exclusivity at Istock. IF FT were a bigger player, had they demonstrated an effort to make contributors more of a partner and less of an exploited natural resource, exclusivity could work. However, that horse left the barn a long time ago.

FYI -- Fotolia is the biggest player in the European market...ahead of IS.

As for single image exclusivity, after I wrote my above post I went over to FT to see what sold today.  Oh hey...guess what...this one image I made exclusive that rarely if ever sold anywhere else, but for some reason sells nearly every day at FT...well, it sold 5x in the last 24 hours, two of which were XXL at 3x the regular credit price earning me $9.30 a pop.  The medium size earned $6.00 and the xs earned 75 cents.  The last sale was a subscription.  IS wouldn't even touch this image, since it's a non-vector illustration, so exclusivity there doesn't make any sense when I can earn just as much money elsewhere on images they refuse to accept.

jbarber873

« Reply #73 on: January 27, 2011, 16:07 »
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the point Matt makes about exclusivity makes sense, but since it almost seems like an afterthought at FT, the logical conclusion to his argument is exclusivity at Istock. IF FT were a bigger player, had they demonstrated an effort to make contributors more of a partner and less of an exploited natural resource, exclusivity could work. However, that horse left the barn a long time ago.

FYI -- Fotolia is the biggest player in the European market...ahead of IS.

As for single image exclusivity, after I wrote my above post I went over to FT to see what sold today.  Oh hey...guess what...this one image I made exclusive that rarely if ever sold anywhere else, but for some reason sells nearly every day at FT...well, it sold 5x in the last 24 hours, two of which were XXL at 3x the regular credit price earning me $9.30 a pop.  The medium size earned $6.00 and the xs earned 75 cents.  The last sale was a subscription.  IS wouldn't even touch this image, since it's a non-vector illustration, so exclusivity there doesn't make any sense when I can earn just as much money elsewhere on images they refuse to accept.

   Well, everyone has to decide based on their own sales, and for whatever reason, my sales at FT have been dropping like a stone. If there was a way to opt out of subs, I could see making an image exclusive with FT, but the numbers are just not there for me. Sub after sub.  Even with the high rejection rate at IS, my sales are 6 times the sales at FT. Maybe Europeans don't like my images? If it works for you , then go for it. :)

« Reply #74 on: January 27, 2011, 17:11 »
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If there was a way to opt out of subs, I could see making an image exclusive with FT, but the numbers are just not there for me. Sub after sub. 

At FT you can opt out of subs your exclusive images (and only those).


 

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