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Author Topic: No more cross-listing microstock at Photoshelter  (Read 7959 times)

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PaulieWalnuts

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« on: May 28, 2008, 21:10 »
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Looks like Photoshelter is tightening the requirements a bit with this news today. "Cross-listing live PhotoShelter Collection images with microstock sites is now prohibited."

You need an account to read the rest http://psc.photoshelter.com/mem/learn/history#20080528


jsnover

« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2008, 23:04 »
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I would imagine this would be a non-issue for most people as I'd expect them to have separate portfolios anyway. I have a small number of RM images at Alamy and Photoshelter, but none of the micro ones are there.

RT


« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2008, 05:47 »
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Hardly what I'd describe as earth shattering news, as far as I'm aware nobody really sells anything on Photoshelter anyway so it's not exactly a great loss.

I can't quite understand their marketing strategy, are they trying to compete with the big traditional macro sites (G,C,A,J) ?

If so what have they got to offer buyers that have established accounts and sales history with these guys?

As a contributor to the big 4 what are Photoshelter going to offer to persuade people to upload their exclusive images there instead of say Getty or Corbis?

They may get a few images from people 'testing the water' but that isn't going to create a large enough library to interest serious buyers, as such the sales won't be enough for any serious stock pro's to jump ship and the end result will be the demise of Photoshelter.
As things stand they're just going to end up with a few of the same shots that people have on Alamy and Inmagine, plus a few from microstockers that want to try the traditional route, again this won't bring in enough sales to keep the contributors happy.

I had a quick look at Photoshelter a while ago, decided not to bother when I saw they take a US tax cut on all images they sell from European contributors, at least Getty only take the 30% if the buyer is in the US which I can understand.
Add  to the fact I'm as described above, I'll only upload my stuff to agencies where there's a track record of sales or the potential to explore a new avenue in the stock market.

Photoshelter are a 'wanna be', if you listen to the traditional stock pro's there's a 50/50 split amongst them regards microstock and whether it's good or bad, some would rather cut off their right arm than take part, other's have accepted this new (ish) source of revenue.

It appears Photoshelter are trying a cheap 'jump on the anti microstock bandwagon' approach to trying to attract contributors, they'll soon learn the one's they will attract with their 'no microstockers' rule are the one's they don't actually want!

« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2008, 06:58 »
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To be fair it does not say "no microstockers" it says no images offered on other sites at <$50 a download, some macro's might be close to that with thier discount structures.

Quote
We consider 'microstock' to be any image provider offering licenses for less than $50

On that basis you could, just like a lot already do, have a different image portfolio for different sites micro and macro, then there is no conflict of interest as they have different views on the images they want and sell.


David
« Last Edit: May 29, 2008, 07:01 by Adeptris »

« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2008, 07:07 »
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To be fair it does not say "no microstockers" it says no images offered on other sites at <$50 a download, some macro's might be close to that with thier discount structures.

Quote
We consider 'microstock' to be any image provider offering licenses for less than $50


Really because getty sells images for less than $50

Their web usage license is $49

RT


« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2008, 07:17 »
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To be fair it does not say "no microstockers" it says no images offered on other sites at <$50 a download, some macro's might be close to that with thier discount structures.

Quote
We consider 'microstock' to be any image provider offering licenses for less than $50


Really because getty sells images for less than $50

Their web usage license is $49

Good point Leaf (I hadn't actually read the Photoshelter waffle), and in fact  every macrostock agency can sell images for less than $50 some do openly so and others as discounted, that just goes to show what Photoshelter knows about the industry!
So in effect they've now ruled out every stock photographer in the world!
Can't wait to tell some of the hardfast traditionlists that Photoshelter consider they're microstock photographers  :D

« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2008, 07:23 »
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To be fair it does not say "no microstockers" it says no images offered on other sites at <$50 a download, some macro's might be close to that with thier discount structures.

Quote
We consider 'microstock' to be any image provider offering licenses for less than $50


Really because getty sells images for less than $50

Their web usage license is $49

That $50 is a true quote from Photoshelter, and @ RT, in another thread on here I just read that Getty have the same witholding tax system as PS as they are US based, but I cannot confirm that.

I have just joined PSC this week, so I do not know how things will work out, but they have an archive system where you can store and sell your own images as well, only problem with that is driving traffic to your website, but you have to explore all options, and select the model that works for you.

I have tried the micro's and with a tiny portfolio and not much time, I netted with one sale on a macro site with 10 images as much as I did on the leading two micro's in six months and 40-50 images, but after the buzz of "Wow I have Downloads, people like my images", I have settled for one revenue stream for now!

But I still have an open mind and the jury is out!

David
« Last Edit: May 29, 2008, 07:25 by Adeptris »

RT


« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2008, 10:12 »
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That $50 is a true quote from Photoshelter, and @ RT, in another thread on here I just read that Getty have the same witholding tax system as PS as they are US based, but I cannot confirm that.

David, Getty's tax witholding system is as I wrote above, they only withold it IF the buyer is from the US which is what US legislation requires (it forms part of the contributor T&C's), as far as I'm aware Photoshelter intend to deduct it no matter where the buyer is from which is pants.

Here's the section from the Getty T&C's:

"The agreement is with Getty Images (US) Inc., a US-based corporation incorporated in New York state, so contributors who are non-US tax residents will be subject to a default 30% US withholding tax on their royalties income from US clients. According to the IRS, you can possibly reduce or eliminate this withholding tax altogether if there is an income tax treaty between the US and the country you are tax resident in."

and here's a section I found on Photoshelters contributor T&C's:

"we will be required to withhold twent-eight percent (28%) for U.S. Tax residents or citizens and thirty percent (30%) for non-U.S. residents from your payments in order to comply with, federal requirements, and we reserve the right to do so."

Notice how Getty appear to know that the 30% only needs to be deducted if the client is US based, so if that's the case why are Photoshelter deducting 30% for all sales!!!!!!!!
« Last Edit: May 29, 2008, 10:22 by RT »

« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2008, 10:45 »
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They are weird people. How do you guarantee that your images are not selling for less than 50 elsewhere when with majority of agencies you don't have any control over pricing? I am sorry but that's moronic. Prices change all the time - they go down on macros and go up on micros. The only way to guarantee what they want is to be exclusive to them - ha ha good luck with that. (and at the same time they say they are non-exclusive.... hmmmm......)

« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2008, 10:47 »
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RT

Thanks for the update, If I get a sale on PSC then I will just send in the tax forms anyway and see what happens, as you cannot apply until you have a sale.

Working as an IT contractor in the UK, I know some Companies have "special Tax arrangements" like the umbrella company I work through.

So the T&C's from both sites could be right for thier arrangements.

It would be nice to hear from anyone in the EU / UK that has sent in the Tax forms and had a payment since.

David  

« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2008, 11:52 »
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My experience on PSC is mostly 'ungood'.

Although they accept almost everything thrown their way, this is more than offset by their bulky keywording system - the CV at IS is leaps and bounds ahead of PSC. There are a lot of amateurs there, and their collection has a wealth of mediocre imagery. They seem to have plenty of lookers, but few buyers - I did not make a sale at PSC. This announcement was my tipping point, and I cancelled my account. This is the first agency I've abandoned.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2008, 11:54 by sharply_done »

« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2008, 12:28 »
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I'm curious - when you join an agency like PSC you have to accept their contributor agreement.  Now they change "non-exclusive" to "partly exclusive" by just modifying the text on their web page.  Don't contributors have to "sign" the agreement again?  What do they expect to be done for images that are live on PSC that don't comply to the new restriction?

Sounds like they're scared someone will realize that they could have bought an image cheaper elsewhere and they won't be able to justify their value-add.

« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2008, 17:59 »
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The CEO over in the PhotoShelter forum has responded to posts about the <$50 rule, and has responded that the $50 was an example and not meant as a limit.

The point he was trying to make was that you should not be uploading images to sell on Macro's that are selling for much less on the micro's, as it is a bad practice, and the buyer would not be happy and look for a refund if they found the image for a couple of dollars, which are fair comments.

David

« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2008, 02:00 »
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...
The point he was trying to make was that you should not be uploading images to sell on Macro's that are selling for much less on the micro's, as it is a bad practice, and the buyer would not be happy and look for a refund if they found the image for a couple of dollars, which are fair comments.

David

I don't think that argument is valid, and for two distinct reasons.

1. Why would a buyer look on PSC if he/she was also looking on microstock agencies? In my mind it's an either/or market. Those that use microstocks do not use traditional stock agencies, and vice versa. They are mutually exclusive markets.

2. Why would someone buy an image, then continue looking around for the same or similar images? Satisficing theory explains why not: After a satisfactory solution is reached, (i.e. the buyer found and purchased an image) people do not continue acting as though the problem still exists (i.e. continue searching for images).


If PSC is so convinced that their business model is superior to that of microstock agencies, they should put their money where their mouth is, and welcome the competition. Barring images that are 'good enough' to be in their library just because they can be licensed at a cheaper price elsewhere does not make good business sense. They'd be further ahead by patterning themselves after IS. As in, yes, we have images that can be had elsewhere, but we also have stuff that you can't get anywhere else. Curious? Come on in and have a look around ... you'll like what you see.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2008, 02:14 by sharply_done »

« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2008, 02:28 »
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Sharply is this not more a business / moral dilema

There have been posts when buyers have done just that, asked for a rebate as they found the exact same Image on a micro, one guy was even contacted by the buyer and removed the images from the micro's, so the buyer had to buy them from the macro site.

If you spent $200-$400 on any item and a day later saw the exact Item from the same supplier in another store for $10, how would you feel and would you shop there again, I would be back in the shop asking for a refund, we are not talking a few cents on a tin of produce or a litre of fuel are we, this just makes everyone look un professional, contibutors and agencies.

David

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2008, 05:18 »
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I think the issue with a macro/midstock site selling micro images is it degrades trust for the buyers at the macro/midstock site. Many macro/midstock buyers see themselves as high end professionals who don;t want to be associated with micro images. If a macro/midstock site is selling them micro images, buyers feel betrayed which makes the macro/midstock site look bad.

PSC seems to be positioning themselves as a somewhat higher-end Getty/Corbis alternative which would be a good idea to distance themselves from micros.

The CEO also feels buyers are willing to pay more for the right images.

« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2008, 05:56 »
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I had initially uploaded some of my best selling images to see what PSC was looking for.  For now i have simply "recalled" these images.  This allows me to put them back in the approved folder but does not have them up for sale.
I figure this will buy me a little time to decide what I want to do. 

« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2008, 11:21 »
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About refund - this is silly, too. Prices are different in the industry, and even if you only shop on "macros" you can find a non-exclusive RF image with price difference of 50-100 dollars. You think customers keep looking for cheaper price and ask for refund all the time? If this was the case, non-exclusive content would simply be a non-existent concept... 
If PSC is so concerned about refunds and customers finding images cheaper elsewhere, they simply should stop being non-exclusive. Be exclusive, and sell RM mostly (which i think they do anyway), and don't have illusions that  customers who want "good images" don't go to microstock. I mean, let's be realistic.
They want to find ways to be "different" from others, you have to be special to succeed when you start the business - but so far their main differences are extremely time consuming and annoying disambiguation system and pathetic attacks on microstock. Oh, and effectively changing the exclusivity policy retroactively.... way to go!

« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2008, 13:54 »
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It's not finding images cheaper, but finding the exact same RF Image for $2.00 on a Micro, that you have just paid $250.00 for on a Macro

How would you feel paying $1000 for a new lens in a store and then seeing the exact same lens for $8.00 brand new and boxed, would you be happy?

I would be asking for a refund.

« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2008, 14:59 »
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...
The point he was trying to make was that you should not be uploading images to sell on Macro's that are selling for much less on the micro's, as it is a bad practice, and the buyer would not be happy and look for a refund if they found the image for a couple of dollars, which are fair comments.

David

I don't think that argument is valid, and for two distinct reasons.

1. Why would a buyer look on PSC if he/she was also looking on microstock agencies? In my mind it's an either/or market. Those that use microstocks do not use traditional stock agencies, and vice versa. They are mutually exclusive markets.

2. Why would someone buy an image, then continue looking around for the same or similar images? Satisficing theory explains why not: After a satisfactory solution is reached, (i.e. the buyer found and purchased an image) people do not continue acting as though the problem still exists (i.e. continue searching for images).


If PSC is so convinced that their business model is superior to that of microstock agencies, they should put their money where their mouth is, and welcome the competition. Barring images that are 'good enough' to be in their library just because they can be licensed at a cheaper price elsewhere does not make good business sense. They'd be further ahead by patterning themselves after IS. As in, yes, we have images that can be had elsewhere, but we also have stuff that you can't get anywhere else. Curious? Come on in and have a look around ... you'll like what you see.



I found one of my photos in use in a book and looking at the credits, half the photos in the book were from traditional sites and the other half were from the micros.  I have seen the UK newspapers use both markets as well.  Some buyers just want the right image and don't mind if it costs $1,000 or $1 but they are not going to buy at the higher price if it is the same image.


 

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