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Author Topic: Age Old Question  (Read 4617 times)

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« on: November 29, 2017, 11:06 »
+1
Ok, Ok I know this has been asked a million times, but I've really been thinking seriously about it lately and wouldn't mind some thoughts.

This is from a video background (think storyblocks)

So why don't the top 10/20 people on here (including me obviously) with portfolios over 5000 clips start their own site offering it as a membership site so people can download as many clips for a pre-payed amount each month?

If 20 people with 5000 clips join then that's a library of 100,000 clips (storyblocks size)
Not sure what everyone would need to put in to start something like this off? $2000? thats $40,000 to make a simple membership site.
We could start off slow and try to build it up to advertise etc.

Am i naive? I'm just not sure why this hasn't happened already?

I know people on here will be saying we couldn't compete against the likes of shutterstock etc, but word of mouth is the best method surly? We could start off with 10/20 people and then open it up for all and then really compete against the big boys?

What do you guys think?



« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2017, 11:20 »
+6
Running an agency is a pain in the behind, so most contributors don't want to bother unless it is just their own stuff. It's also difficult to get 20 people to agree on anything.

« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2017, 11:32 »
0
But it will be our stuff. I get the think about getting people to agree. But keep it simple and I'm sure everyone will want whatever is best as it could be huge?

I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but what is? (I'm surer that's a song lyric?)

« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2017, 13:00 »
+1
Not sure that anyone's tried a co-op with video, but it has been tried with images and so far, nothing has taken off.

You could certainly argue that video is different and that the monthly all-you-can-eat model is different, but I think that many of the same issues would come up.

Beyond the internals of running this co-op, why would buyers come to you versus any of the established agencies?

When you consider the momentum and marketing budget of the big agencies, having amazing unique content or some radically different approach (such as how Canva differs from Shutterstock, although SS is clearly trying to eliminate as much of that gap as it can) are the only ways to draw buyers away - I'm assuming you won't try to undercut on price as no major contributors would be interested.

How do you persuade major, successful contributors to forego the known income from an established site to give you exclusive content? Stocksy was able to get off the ground with that request because (IMO) they had Bruce Livingstone as a founder and agencies were behaving very badly at that particular time.

I'm leaving out a lot of other issues (such as the unlimited clips business model or the size of market for video vs. images (and I know everyone's currently breathless about the future of video, but the market is inherently smaller)). But even with just the above, you'd need to answer a lot of business questions - not how to build the site questions.

« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2017, 13:34 »
0
Thanks for your input Jo Ann.

Yes it's the business side of things that collaterally within the group we would need to discuss and get right. I've got loads of ideas and I'm sure other people have too - so it would be tricky but not impossible? I'm open to see the bigger picture and open new ways of thinking too so it would have to be a collective collaboration.

I wansn't thinking of exclusivity BTW. A place where we could market our own material. As a buyer when I buy clips I hate the thought that the stock agencies get most of the money. I would prefer to buy from a contributor owned site any day of the week. I know I have more knowledge than an ordinary buyer as I'm also a contributor but I'm sure most people would agree.

I think something big and (fair) needs to be done in our industry and maybe this could be a way to do it?

niktol

« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2017, 13:49 »
0
From my experience, if things have to be discussed before a business even exists, it's never going to materialize. Start with what you think has to be done with your own plan, then see if you can attract like minded people for specific tasks.

If I could say, "it's going to be difficult", I would. Truth of the matter though, many things aren't difficult, they are impossible, they are not going to work.

« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2017, 14:00 »
0
Thanks  niktol.
I must be naive then as I don't see any major issues? Contributors with sizable good content are sitting on little goldmines. If we join them up to make a decent portfolio, all chuck in a decent amount of money (but not ridiculous)  to get it off the ground. Then spread the word in creative and manageable ways, then surly it's worth a go?

Are any other video contributors out their thinking the same as me or am I on my todd?

Shelma1

« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2017, 14:14 »
0
Who will you hire to run an agency for a tiny $40,000 salary...and a huge part of that budget goes to building the site? How will you pay the salaries of the people needed to keep the site running? How will you budget for marketing? Same questions anyone starting a stock site will need to answer.

niktol

« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2017, 14:19 »
0
Thanks  niktol.
I must be naive then as I don't see any major issues? Contributors with sizable good content are sitting on little goldmines. If we join them up to make a decent portfolio, all chuck in a decent amount of money (but not ridiculous)  to get it off the ground. Then spread the word in creative and manageable ways, then surly it's worth a go?

Are any other video contributors out their thinking the same as me or am I on my todd?

The vast majority of people here are jaded. Many tried to go alone and failed, myself included.  I know a few of people who made it on their own, but they are not exactly stock material. Some of them are rather unconventional fellows, they won't work in a "team". Nor what I call "a normal person" would be able to follow their path.

« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2017, 14:36 »
0
Who will you hire to run an agency for a tiny $40,000 salary...and a huge part of that budget goes to building the site? How will you pay the salaries of the people needed to keep the site running? How will you budget for marketing? Same questions anyone starting a stock site will need to answer.

Hi Shelma, no I was thinking of $40,000 to set up the website. That was just pulled out of thin air BTW.
We would have to start off small and the 10/20 contributors would keep the site going. Although after it's set up I was thinking it would be fairly self-sufficient.

« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2017, 14:41 »
0
Thanks  niktol.
I must be naive then as I don't see any major issues? Contributors with sizable good content are sitting on little goldmines. If we join them up to make a decent portfolio, all chuck in a decent amount of money (but not ridiculous)  to get it off the ground. Then spread the word in creative and manageable ways, then surly it's worth a go?

Are any other video contributors out their thinking the same as me or am I on my todd?

The vast majority of people here are jaded. Many tried to go alone and failed, myself included.  I know a few of people who made it on their own, but they are not exactly stock material. Some of them are rather unconventional fellows, they won't work in a "team". Nor what I call "a normal person" would be able to follow their path.

That's exactly my point. Get 10/20 like minded people together with strong content and pull all the money and resources together - the outcome must be more favorable than trying it alone?

I think the jaded majority on here is due to years of seeing profit margins getting squeezed until there's no hope left. It's not their fault, just what the industry have persuaded them to think.   

« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2017, 19:55 »
+1
Based on my experience with co-op galleries... no.

One of the reasons I sell stock is that I don't want to have to deal with the selling to customers part.

« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2017, 21:00 »
+2
I think the jaded majority on here is due to years of seeing profit margins getting squeezed until there's no hope left.

I can't speak for the majority, but I doubt that's really the issue.

A reasonable-sized group here have participated in one of the prior attempts at co-op or networked individual sites (WarmPicture and Symbiostock-original version). Lots more have seen the parade of new agencies that have failed. There've been some that were "how hard can this be?"; some "if we build it, they will come'; some that were always talking about what was coming but it never really got off the ground (PicturEngine). If it was easy, more of them would have done better, I think.

If you don't have exclusive content, and you won't be trying to undercut the established agencies on price, then your whole pitch to a buyer is to appeal to supporting artists directly? Some will go for that, probably the smaller businesses where the creative makes the sourcing decisions.

I also think you are gravely underestimating the work of customer support, sales recordkeeping, content approval, licensing and site maintenance assuming it does get off the ground. I don't think of that as being jaded, just realistic.

« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2017, 23:48 »
+1
If you don't have exclusive content, and you won't be trying to undercut the established agencies on price, then your whole pitch to a buyer is to appeal to supporting artists directly? Some will go for that, probably the smaller businesses where the creative makes the sourcing decisions.

Yeah, it is always nice when a client wants to buy direct or where I make the most, but you really need exclusive content or semi-exclusive content to even get them in the door. It's not like you can compete with the advertising budgets of the big boys. And, there is no point to competing on price. Nobody or very few will ever show up to an indie site for discounts (unless it is free).

Semmick Photo

« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2017, 03:50 »
0
Symbiostock failed miserably except for 1 person. Way too many people disagreeing with each other on everything .

JimP

« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2017, 09:19 »
0
Why a sub site? Who's going to do the reviews? And everything Jo Ann and Michelle and everyone else suggested. A co-op site with exclusive content sounds much like Stocksy and that's what you should try to emulate. That's a good site, co-op, with powerful plan and good direction. Read about Warmpics it was the best attempt I've ever seen at group agency, based on people from here.

I didn't think Symbiostock was a group, it was individuals and they were supposed to share links, but some people decided they wanted to tell everyone else how to run their own private sites. There was all kinds of back biting about what material others had. Consider that self review but others wanted to meddle in my affairs and tell me about my content. Self appointed power grabs, you know who. I never saw Symbiostock as a co-op.

niktol

« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2017, 09:57 »
0

I think the jaded majority on here is due to years of seeing profit margins getting squeezed until there's no hope left. It's not their fault, just what the industry have persuaded them to think.

I'm just speaking for myself, but I am actually reasonably happy with not having to deal with advertisement, public, legalities, etc. I am not the one with no hope left, I'm doing fine. But then again, I don't do videos, so maybe something is different in that area.

« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2017, 10:38 »
0
Thanks everyone, really good views.
I think the video market is a rapidly growing sector and I've seen my sales more than double in this last year alone. Portfolio of over 6000 clips, been in this game since 2011.
I've been doing this full time now for 3 years so trying out new ideas.

I just see the likes of storyblocks as a multi million dollar site and all it is, is about 10 of us to join together to create a cool and modern site. I take it that it's a little hard work, but nothing is free in life.

I don't know too much about other startup sites. Symbiostock seemed like millions of websites trying to link to each other which I really didn't get? Correct me if I'm wrong.

Again I feel video is a growing area which has room for a contributor led co-op.
Not sure how many video contributor visit here?


 

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