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Author Topic: How would you take a business forward?  (Read 2583 times)

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« on: August 26, 2009, 16:26 »
mmmm exclusivity is delicious

This quote was from another thread, but it comes across like something the traditional guys might have said to photographers trying to break into the business back in 2000, and we all know that nothing stays the same!

Ok It might be delicious for exclusives now at Istock, but the model goes against Getty's own way of doing business, they have inherited the model to get the business and customers which was a very smart move, but they did not design the iStock business model.

I doubt if Getty as a business are really comfortable with the Exclusive Contributor model as it goes against free trade, they could leave it as is, but from my experiences with big companies like Microsoft they sit for a while after aqusition and then slowly bring things in house and change the companies they aquire to refect thier own business model and ethics, a sort of re-branding.

So this is a fake scenario, you have to decide the future of iStock:

If I was in charge of this situation what would I be looking at, the growth is falling and we will not make our projections, I would have to start with cutting costs and streamlining, now I think that for iStock the contributor exclusive served well and was a good tool a few years ago, but the parent business model is 'image set exclusive'.

I would be asking if the contributor exclusive content is a much better model than image set exclusive, and just how much value does it really add to the business for the additional cost, are the exclusive images that much better than non exclusive.

If then found that both products are a comparable quality and content then I would be looking to change things, as we will then be paying to much for a lot of our products.

My thinking would be an isolated apple may be from an exclusive artist but it has no greater value than a non exclusives isolated apple, so why we are paying some suppliers 50% more for the same image quality and content. 

I would need to restructure and clear out the old guard add a few 'yes men', get enough non exclusive quality content to balance the library.

To cut costs I would have to look at the content to see if it all had an added value, then do some gains and losses risk assesments, start to ease out poor non exclusive content to strenghen the brand, then I would start to use the parent companies model alongside the exclusive contributors and open up content from all contributors as 'invited exclusive image sets'.

This then opens up our premium collection and brings in the required images from the high production cost professional photographers that we are trying to attract as they move into microstock, build this exclusive image content from all contributors alongside the library and then turn the screw on the dross.

After a while move all contributors to the same model and have only the invited premium collection and a general library, with all contributors on the same commission structure based on the image quality not the contributor loyalty. 

After all as a business, if we lose a few contributors it is manageable and expected?

David  ;D (sleep tight don't have nightmares)


« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2009, 17:05 »
Hmmm... interesting

I think Istock know that even at 50% commission it's a steal. Honestly. To tie someone into a contract like that for 50% is a great great deal for them. The fact that they get away with paying even less to newer members, again a fantastic deal for them.

Istock confuse me, because with one hand they increase prices (Vetta), and with the other hand they decrease them. (Subscriptions). I see their model splitting right in two, with a much more definitive difference between the low grade buyer, and the high grade buyer, and different web sites to reflect those different needs and prices. Of course this has already started to happen with being used as an Istock sub site, and they HAVE to do that, because at the moment, they are trying to be all things to all buyers, and as a specific buyer with a specific budget, it becomes frustrating to the point that they are not anticipating your needs anymore, but your needs 10% of the time, and you're bumbling around with images that fit someone else's need and budget 90% of the time..

They might keep Istock for higher priced images only eventually, have another web site for pay-as-you go cheapie images, and another site for subs. That way, if any one of the ventures fails, they have others to fall back on. They like to feed images from the communal pile into the other web sites, less overheads that way, but the communal pile is getting frustrating for buyers, so as I said, they will have to sort that out soon..

I think they will find that when they price too high for their model, such as Vetta, they alienate their current buyer, and the current buyer purchases in volume not quality, I think they are mistaken to presume otherwise. They will find with fewer sales, and a higher % payout to contributors, they make a lot more money doing what they do best, which is 1 dollar a download pay-as-you-go images, and if they stick to that they'll be around for another while yet..

I think for the photographer, and for the industry as a whole, exclusivity is demeaning the value of high grade stock photographers and illustrators, and by giving exclusive images to a company giving them the lowest rates of return, they are helping them to eliminate the competition wiling to offer them a better %.. so it's awful for everyone concerned, however, when it comes to money if people feel going exclusive will put bread on the table who can blame them.. but in an ideal world istock would be laughed at for even suggesting such a bad deal for contributors!
« Last Edit: August 26, 2009, 17:10 by hqimages »


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