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Author Topic: leaving exclusivity  (Read 5164 times)

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« on: June 17, 2015, 16:00 »
0
I am guessing if I could leave exclusivity in Istock. I have a decent portfolio most of it vectors and it seems that I can't grow.  Really don't know anything about other sites performance. Does the exclusivity boost could be compensated by the sales on other sites? 
Any experiences about leaving exclusivity?
Thanks!
Alvaro


« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2015, 16:08 »
+2
The only way to know for sure is to do it.  You can look at the poll here and see that exclusivity is roughly equal to all the other sites combined.  Dropping exclusivity means accepting some very low royalties from some of those sites as well but maybe that's not a concern of yours.  You can also leave and come back in a few months if you change your mind as long as you don't upload to Dreamstime or any other site that keeps you locked in for a prolonged period.

« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2015, 16:21 »
+1
I am almost at the third part of my monthly income of one year ago and is loosing interest for me. I am making nearly 1000 dollars a month now.  I konw it's money, but it seems to be too little for the material involved. 2000 vectors and 500 photos.


« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2015, 16:30 »
+1
The average RPI for SS (overall per month) is 17 cents and most people make about 50% of their income their so best guess is that the average file on 12-20 sites makes 35 cents per month. 

Shelma1

« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2015, 16:45 »
+8
Actually, if you believe the poll you'd make the same amount with the top 6 or 7 sites, not the top 12-20. It varies slightly by month. But keep in mind you'll see a big drop in income at first as you gradually build your portfolio at the other sites while instantly losing exclusive status. (You can't upload all your images at once or they'll just get buried.)

Some people have said they don't make as much and others have said they make more. It's a tough call. But all indicators point to iStock continuing to lose market share. As with investments, it's probably best to diversify. But whether you'll ever make up for the initial loss in income is anyone's guess.

« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2015, 16:50 »
+3
I wouldn't count Pond5 or Alamy.  Pond5 is for video and probably a good chunk of Alamy is RM which you can do as an exclusive.  If you get past them the returns start to become very low.  Veer makes the average contributor on here $11/month for instance.

« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2015, 03:21 »
+5
I am almost at the third part of my monthly income of one year ago and is loosing interest for me. I am making nearly 1000 dollars a month now.  I konw it's money, but it seems to be too little for the material involved. 2000 vectors and 500 photos.

Based on my own numbers you could probably make a similar amount when going non-exclusive. Vectors tend to sell a bit more often than photos but the difference is probably not as huge as it used to be some years ago. I am not sure if the Poll Results are a good indication when you mainly do vector.

And it will take some time because at all other agencies you will start at the lowest level. At some places it takes a short time to advance in the rankings, at others the higher levels are just unrealistic these days.

That loss in sales you are seeing is basically the result of iStock trying to adapt to the current realities in the microstock field. They had missed a few turns the market took, and now they have implemented all those changes very quickly. But it's not all iStock's fault, it's how the market is.

What I've found relieving when I left exclusivity was the freedom to try everything and find out myself what worked for me and what doesn't. I am still always looking for new potential sources of income, within and outside of the stock world.

« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2015, 13:43 »
0
I've always been concerned about me, a long timer, leaving iStock exclusivity and then deciding to return if things didn't work out. Do I get back into exclusivity at the previous payout percentage (I think yes). On exit I expect files to shuffle among the collections to meet the non-Ex rules. There are different payouts based on the collections (Essentials, Sig, Sig+, Getty, Thinkstock, etc.).  Do they go back to the previous collections if i return to Ex? How long does it take for the (generally faulty) Getty connector to update the remote files? Can I really leave iS Ex and return to the the same state?

« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2015, 13:55 »
0
I doubt you can return "to the same state". When you are indie, your search ranking for the files drop and other files get pushed forward. All the new work you upload doesnt get the same boost etc...also your downloads will be less, which might affect your royalty rank, unless they save "everyone" at the end of the year, the way they did before.

Going indie is a complex decision, you cant expect to get your exclusive income back in three months. The other agencies havent been waiting for you, your files need to fight their way up in the food chain.

Michael did it in 6 months, but he is extremely diligent and hard working.

Your portfolios also need to move up in royalty rate to get a similar status the way you had on istock, this should take quite a while, it didnt happen over night on istock either.

However, what you dont know is what will your future at istock be like. If you continue to upload, do you expect your income to rise, to remain the same or to fall?

So even if you stay exclusive, your income might drop another 30% in the coming months. Then maybe going indie is better.

It is a personal decision and if you are not ready to work hard to fight for a good status on the new agencies, then maybe staying exclusive is the best decision.

Or you get to know other agencies with vectors and video first.

But nobody can map a path for you and predict how fast you will earn money.

Personally I wouldnt go indie,if you are not ready to really commit yourself to it and give yourself two years to really learn about the many,many different agencies and options that you have. There is so much more than just SS and Fotolia out there. And many agencies (including getty) take exclusive images, so you can get the best of both worlds and really find a good home for your files.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 13:58 by cobalt »

splitimage

« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2015, 14:41 »
+1
Here's a quote from the GettyFAQ
"When you become Exclusive, your new uploads on iStock.com will start in the Signature collection. The content that you had previously uploaded as a non-exclusive will stay in their original iStock collection, typically the Essentials collection."


ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2015, 15:01 »
0
Here's a quote from the GettyFAQ
"When you become Exclusive, your new uploads on iStock.com will start in the Signature collection. The content that you had previously uploaded as a non-exclusive will stay in their original iStock collection, typically the Essentials collection."
I didn't know that!

However, I'm sure I've read (but can't find, anyone else have the link handy?) that if you become indie(haveing been exclusive), the converse happens: your old files stay as Sig, and your new files go in as Ess.
If I'm remembering correctly, for the new indie, your exisiting files:
1. earn a lower percentage of a higher sale price (it would be worthwhile for iS to promote these images above exclusive Sig files),
2. don't gain the benefit of undercutting exclusives,
3. aren't seen by those buyers who filter out Sig files.
4. are seen by those buyers who filter out Ess files, only wanting to see what's exclusive, (if there are (m)any of those).

splitimage

« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2015, 15:16 »
+3
Here's a quote from the GettyFAQ
"When you become Exclusive, your new uploads on iStock.com will start in the Signature collection. The content that you had previously uploaded as a non-exclusive will stay in their original iStock collection, typically the Essentials collection."

I didn't know that!

However, I'm sure I've read (but can't find, anyone else have the link handy?) that if you become indie(haveing been exclusive), the converse happens: your old files stay as Sig, and your new files go in as Ess.
If I'm remembering correctly, for the new indie, your exisiting files:
1. earn a lower percentage of a higher sale price (it would be worthwhile for iS to promote these images above exclusive Sig files),
2. don't gain the benefit of undercutting exclusives,
3. aren't seen by those buyers who filter out Sig files.
4. are seen by those buyers who filter out Ess files, only wanting to see what's exclusive, (if there are (m)any of those).


From the same GettyFAQ
"When you cancel your Exclusivity, your new uploads on iStock will start in the Essentials collection. The content that you had previously uploaded as an Exclusive will stay in their original collection, which will typically be Signature, or SignaturePlus.

As an Exclusive you would have had select stills and video content mirrored to Getty Plus or GettyImages.com. When you cancel your exclusivity, your Signature content (content which mirrored to Getty Plus), will now be available on Thinkstock.com. Note that this change is not typically immediate, but can take some time for our systems to update. Any content that you have on GettyImages.com will stay on GettyImages.com in their respective collections (i.e.: E+, Vetta, Vetta Video, iStock Vectors, iStockfootage)."

Here's the link:
http://istockfaq.gettyimages.com/what-happens-to-my-content-when-i-cancel-my-exclusivity/

Going back to my other previous quote. It's a raw deal for anyone wanting to go exclusive as all their old files will still only cost 1 credit, being as they remain in Essentials collection.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2015, 16:10 »
+3
Here's the link:
http://istockfaq.gettyimages.com/what-happens-to-my-content-when-i-cancel-my-exclusivity/

Going back to my other previous quote. It's a raw deal for anyone wanting to go exclusive as all their old files will still only cost 1 credit, being as they remain in Essentials collection.


Tx for the link.
I can't think why anyone would want to become exclusive nowadays.
Leaving exclusive is more of an unknown.
I do agree with Cobalt, though. You have to give it enough time.
I've seen people returning to exclusivity in the minimum allowed time, which isn't giving independence a chance. Do your research as best you can and either test it out properly or stay exclusive.

« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2015, 06:51 »
+3
Can I really leave iS Ex and return to the the same state?

No, you can not. Even if that would have been the plan, their software is just too faulty to provide that. For example, your images can stay for a very long time on the Getty site (which is positive because they still generate money for you). However, once they are removed from Getty you won't be guaranteed that they ever go back there.

Existing images will not be moved down from Signature to Essentials - though that would have been the plan, they didn't manage to implement it and claimed it to be feature since. But new images you upload will enter into the Essentials collection and are unlikely to ever get moved up as well.

With regards to percentages I do not believe you are supposed to come back to the same percentage you had. Though again, their faulty system makes it rather likely that this would happen, at least when you return to exclusivity within the same year.

However, if you think going back to exclusivity is something realistic for you within the first 24 months, I would urgently recommend to stay exclusive in the first place. As I said before, being non-exclusive only makes sense once you get into the higher ranks at other microstock sites - and I also believe, having one or multiple premium outlets for your images is essential for a good mix. And you can't get all that within six months.


« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2015, 08:49 »
+2
I am almost at the third part of my monthly income of one year ago and is loosing interest for me. I am making nearly 1000 dollars a month now.  I konw it's money, but it seems to be too little for the material involved. 2000 vectors and 500 photos.

I just noticed now that you have vectors and photos. Well, in that case I'd think the solution is rather straight forward: Quit your photo exclusivity right away. This will keep your income almost steady as I assume you derive more than 80% from your vectors. But you can start submitting your photos to other agencies. This will help you find out if submitting across agencies is something you can deal with. And if you give it some time it might help you already generate some downloads towards the higher ranking levels. Then the field would be prepared if one day you would quite vector exclusivity as well.

If you would take that path, I would however also recommend that for the future you make an effort to extend your photo portfolio at about the same speed as your vector portfolio to keep things running.


 

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