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Author Topic: Worse than iStock for me  (Read 15916 times)

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« on: March 09, 2011, 12:57 »
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The situation for me at Fotolia has gone from bad to worse, in the short span of a few weeks. In fact, for me it's turned out to be even worse that at iStock. Everything is going downhill there - first there was the commission cut, then they changed the search function in way that caused a huge drop in downloads for me, and now they are rejecting almost half of what I upload - and they used to accept most of it. I've resumed uploading to iStock - Fotolia is even worse, and I can't afford to stop uploading to both of them. This is really discouraging. Am I alone in this, or are others feeling the pain?


RT


« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 13:01 »
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My Fotolia sales have dropped dramatically also, but I haven't noticed any problems with getting stuff approved.

« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2011, 13:03 »
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Indeed, less sales and lower RPD too. Only one image in february got me more than US$1.

jbarber873

« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2011, 13:18 »
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   Approvals are hit and miss. If the reviewer took their happy pills, all is good. But the sales are dropping to the floor. Almost everything now is subs- more and more 25 cent sales every day. The volume of sales is approaching the point where it's not worth the trouble.

« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2011, 13:36 »
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Sales at FT are reasonably steady for me. Last month might just have been a BME if they had not cut my commissions. Not so good this month though. I've barely had a rejection for the last couple of years. My problem is that new images appear so far down in the default sort order that they have very little time to be noticed before they sink backwards and into obscurity.

« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2011, 13:51 »
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Sales at Fotolia are reasonably steady for me. Last month might just have been a BME if they had not cut my commissions. Not so good this month though. I've barely had a rejection for the last couple of years. My problem is that new images appear so far down in the default sort order that they have very little time to be noticed before they sink backwards and into obscurity.
Out of curiosity, do have any idea why yours start out low down in the default order? Or put another way, do you know who gets to be up front in searches or what kinds/ages/prices of images get to be up front? I assume they give some sort of push to exclusive contributors and exclusive images - I think you said in the past you'd given FT some exclusive images; have they done any better in initial placement?

nruboc

« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2011, 13:52 »
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Sales at Fotolia are reasonably steady for me. Last month might just have been a BME if they had not cut my commissions. Not so good this month though. I've barely had a rejection for the last couple of years. My problem is that new images appear so far down in the default sort order that they have very little time to be noticed before they sink backwards and into obscurity.

^^ My experience as well. Fotolia used to be my clear #1, but now SS is trouncing them

« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2011, 14:21 »
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Out of curiosity, do have any idea why yours start out low down in the default order? Or put another way, do you know who gets to be up front in searches or what kinds/ages/prices of images get to be up front? I assume they give some sort of push to exclusive contributors and exclusive images - I think you said in the past you'd given Fotolia some exclusive images; have they done any better in initial placement?
They used to give new images a huge boost, similar to IS, but that was reduced significantly a few weeks ago. I think the real problem was that they accept so much rubbish, similars and poorly-keyworded (i.e. spammed) images (mainly from portfolios that hardly sell at all) that irrelevant new images were obscuring the best match search for buyers.

I'm not aware of any particular boost for individuals or images (except for the Infinite collection which doesn't really get in the way) at all although I can't say I've ever done much research into it. Certain images, for no particular reason, do spectacularly well on FT but nowhere else. Those are the images I chose to make exclusive. They already had excellent best match positioning by virtue of their sales record __ and they just keep selling and selling at the higher rate. The incentive to make images exclusive has been considerably reduced nowadays though with much lower commissions and selling prices. I haven't made any more images exclusive for months as the incentive/return is no longer there.

FT desperately need a keyword weighting system, similar to SS & IS, to sort the wheat from the chaff.

lisafx

« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2011, 14:26 »
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I am seeing steady sales from Fotolia.  No real deviation up or down from what I have been seeing for awhile.  Not sure why this is - maybe the size and scope of my portfolio protects me from some of the wild swings?   

Whatever the reason, it's pretty much steady as she goes.  Thank goodness.  With all the stuff going on elsewhere I don't need any more drama!

« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2011, 14:44 »
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Fotolia used to be number one earner for me, but this month I see interesting dynamics: all "big 3" - SS, FT and IS are showing practically same earnings, within tens of dollars. Fotolia did slow down a bit and Shutterstock is showing improvement for me.

« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2011, 15:48 »
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About the same, in the last 20 that I have sent in only 3 have made it, the rest have been rejected. Over the last 3 months I average one to two views per photo that gets accepted. So, for me this seems like a going no where site unless I start taking and sending in young females in a studio setting or learn how to do illustrations real fast. With low acceptance, almost no sales and no views and others saying the same thing.....I think that I will just stop sending to them for a few months or maybe longer.

« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2011, 17:29 »
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Sadly, exclusive images get no boost in the search engine.  I've been asking for that for obvious reasons for as long as I can remember but that isn't in the works any time soon. 

Mat


Sales at Fotolia are reasonably steady for me. Last month might just have been a BME if they had not cut my commissions. Not so good this month though. I've barely had a rejection for the last couple of years. My problem is that new images appear so far down in the default sort order that they have very little time to be noticed before they sink backwards and into obscurity.
Out of curiosity, do have any idea why yours start out low down in the default order? Or put another way, do you know who gets to be up front in searches or what kinds/ages/prices of images get to be up front? I assume they give some sort of push to exclusive contributors and exclusive images - I think you said in the past you'd given Fotolia some exclusive images; have they done any better in initial placement?

« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2011, 18:49 »
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steady downloads, rather more. As interpreted, new constributors at some days what reject everything. Backward i had only to avoid mondays, now i have to find out the new work plan.
But, nearly no downloads on new images .... but reanimation on old ones.
If this concept will establish i can give all new images at other agencies because there's no chance for development at FT. Oh, first i had to tell i gave my images first to FT and only the rejected at all others. I profited from the "exclusive image" concept a lot since i started at micro.
I also believe that this concept was the main reason for FT to come into the first 4...but i know that they don't know why they earned that gift. So, im not very amazed, that they give it away for nothing. FT is managed by nerds, they have no idea what they do or why they do it, they only try to copy IS to make no own decissions and hope to survive at 3 th or 4 th level, what is a lot of profit for beeing in a business what nobody of the CEOs understand. If i were at there position i would cry out every day and hour a big "weaaheaou".
The only problem is, they will never understand what they made big and I expect they will take some day everything away what made them big to the rubbish and fall apart deeply.
That's different from IS...IS is managed by people who knows the business. In my opinion, only subjective, naturaly.

« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2011, 12:37 »
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I haven't been able to upload to the them in months. When I try to the upload page has an error which will not allow my keywords to be transferred from one box to the other. I gave up trying to continue to upload to the them until they get the page fixed.

lisafx

« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2011, 13:01 »
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Fotolia is managed by nerds, they have no idea what they do or why they do it, they only try to copy IS to make no own decissions and hope to survive at 3 th or 4 th level, what is a lot of profit for beeing in a business what nobody of the CEOs understand. If i were at there position i would cry out every day and hour a big "weaaheaou".
The only problem is, they will never understand what they made big and I expect they will take some day everything away what made them big to the rubbish and fall apart deeply.
That's different from IS...IS is managed by people who knows the business. In my opinion, only subjective, naturaly.

Wow.  I can't believe I just read that.  You actually think the people running ISTOCKPHOTO know what they are doing?  As of March 09, 2011???!!!!

While I have not agreed with every single thing Fotolia has done in the past couple of years, they certainly seem to be thinking for themselves, and are, IMO, extremely aggressive in their marketing efforts.  

They are the newest of the major micros, and yet they have pushed their way into the top tier.  They are consistently my #2 selling agency.  They have partnered with Microsoft to have their image library directly linked into MS Office.  They were the first to establish a significant presence in Europe.  They also have numerous partnerships through which our images are sold.  I know some people are skeptical of partnerships, and that's understandable, but at least they are evidence of resources being directed toward marketing.

I understand why some people have not been happy with Fotolia, but you certainly can't say anyone in Fotolia management is resting on their laurels.  
« Last Edit: March 12, 2011, 13:03 by lisafx »

« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2011, 13:20 »
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Well lisa, i didn't say they don't do their business, FT is a real good distribution machine. I said: "they don't understand what they sell and it seems to me that they didn't understand what made them big."
In my opinion FT have had the chance to profit as most as no other agency from the problems and bad behauvior of IS. They throw it away for higher profits.

lisafx

« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2011, 13:26 »
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Well lisa, i didn't say they don't do their business, Fotolia is a real good distribution machine.

Oh.  Sorry.  I must have misinterpreted this:  "Fotolia is managed by nerds, they have no idea what they do or why they do it"  ;)

FWIW, I agree with you they should have kept the benefits of image exclusivity.

« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2011, 14:01 »
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Okay, okay, i wasn't clear enough, my fault. I also have to confess that i'm more than often not fair in my postings about FT but they leave me in an mixture of fear and frustration all the time, that needs a valve sometimes. Maybe i'm too emotional in this case, but i had so much sympathy for FT at my beginning and they run roughshod over it all the time...thats hard to bear.

« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2011, 14:40 »
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Okay, okay, i wasn't clear enough, my fault. I also have to confess that i'm more than often not fair in my postings about Fotolia but they leave me in an mixture of fear and frustration all the time, that needs a valve sometimes. Maybe i'm too emotional in this case, but i had so much sympathy for Fotolia at my beginning and they run roughshod over it all the time...thats hard to bear.

I can relate. I think it only human to be emotional and frustrated with companies who beat you down like this. I am still amazed at how quickly istock has gone down the toilet. They had SO much going for them. Maybe Charlie Sheen is the CEO.  :)

« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2011, 15:18 »
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Well, I've been lurking on this group for long enough and have decided to make my first post.  Fotolia has been very frustrating for me in regards to getting images accepted.  My acceptance rate there is only around 50% whereas the other main sites are in the 80 and 90 percentile range.  Ironically, sales there have been quite good; I just wish I could get more images on-line!  My main beef with them is that they've rejected many of my best-sellers from the other major sites.  I understand that this doesn't necessarily mean that these images would do well on Fotolia, but you'd think that at least they'd make it through the review process.  My latest rejection speaks volumes regarding my frustration with them: the image has had over 242 downloads in less than 2 months on SS, yet it's not good enough for Fotolia.

Very frustrating indeed...

« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2011, 15:46 »
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 They are consistently my #2 selling agency.  

 Lisa, I'm curious, do you spend the time to properly keyword for fotolia?

lagereek

« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2011, 16:43 »
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I see steady sales at FT, has always been a good agency so stick with them.

lisafx

« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2011, 19:02 »
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 They are consistently my #2 selling agency.  

 Lisa, I'm curious, do you spend the time to properly keyword for fotolia?

Sorry, I don't understand the question.  What does properly keywording for Fotolia entail? 

I keyword all images the same way in the iptc data.  I automatically put the most relevant words first.  Have done so for years. 

Only place I do anything differently is Istock where I have to add phrases and disambiguate.

OM

« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2011, 20:38 »
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I haven't been able to upload to the them in months. When I try to the upload page has an error which will not allow my keywords to be transferred from one box to the other. I gave up trying to continue to upload to the them until they get the page fixed.

Try uploading with Flash. Always worked for me after FTP failed on numerous occasions.

« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2011, 22:05 »
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I keyword all images the same way in the iptc data.  I automatically put the most relevant words first.  Have done so for years. 

 Yeah that was what I meant, is if you keyworded by importance. Just curious since you seem to do so well there.. Some people don't bother with the keyword sorting.. I did it in the website at the beginning, but wised up a few years ago and also sort when I do the keywording on the image..


 

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