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Author Topic: 2013: My first year as a vector microstocker. (and a iS exclusive!)  (Read 2942 times)

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« on: January 04, 2014, 10:44 »
+10
Hey guys,

Back on February 2013, I asked on the forums for opinions on whether or not I should apply for exclusivity, (thread: http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/i'm-going-for-the-golden-choker/) and I eventually made the choice to go for it. Since then a few people have asked me about my experiences and my opinion on going exclusive, which is why I've decided to share how I did for the year of 2013:



A little background; I started uploading bits and pieces of old, un-used illustration work as early as September 2012 (these sold horribly), but I only began creating illustrations specifically for microstock starting from December 2012 onwards. You could say that I've been a serious microstocker for only a bit over a year now.

Some points to note:

- I'm doing microstock only on a part-time basis.
- I only do illustrations.
- This data only reflects revenue from iStock. Prior to exclusivity on Week 12, I submitted to a few other sites (Vectorstock, 123rf, Shutterstock.)

A few thoughts: Will I continue being exclusive?

For the time being, yes. My earnings have been meeting expectations so far - I would, however, probably pull out if they fall below a certain level. I recognize that going indie may be more profitable, but as a part-timer I'm not keen on making the somewhat risky jump, as well as take on the arduous task of uploading and maintaining a portfolio across many different websites.

Do I regret going exclusive?

This is a tough one. I was very happy with exclusivity for the first couple of weeks, before the collection changes hit and my earnings dropped. This was a pretty nasty shock, and really showed how dangerous it was to have all your eggs in the same basket. The fall wasn't bad enough to make me regret going exclusive, but I'm definitely feeling the tightness of golden choker in the sense that there isn't a whole lot else I can do but continue producing content.

Exclusivity - is it a good idea?

There's no easy answer to this... as many have said, it depends on your portfolio, personal preferences and whether or not you're full-time/part-time. Speaking from a pragmatic point of view though, I think that now wouldn't be the best time to sign up for it, not with the flurry of changes that seems to be happening at iStock... You'd never know what you'd be signing up for. I'm still waiting on the promised features that iStock has mentioned as early as July 2013, the ones that would "show their renewed commitment to exclusivity." It's taking a really long time though...

That's about it! Thanks to everyone on the forums for your advice and opinions - you guys have provided a wealth of information to the rest of us newbies so that we may navigate through this messy industry, and for this I'm very grateful. Here's to hoping that 2014 will be a better year... To many more years of microstocking! :D
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 11:40 by davidgoh »


« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2014, 11:26 »
+4
Thank you very much for sharing!

Being fully artist exclusive is a difficult decision. Sending only exclusive files, like Getty does or Fotolia or Dreamstime, is a lot easier. You can then still focus most of your attention on one agency, but can still have different content elsewhere for added protection.

I hope it keeps working for you. Many of my friends are still fully artist exclusive, so I hope Getty will soon focus more energy on their exclusives again and not just the "special exclusives" like Yuri.


« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2014, 11:34 »
+4
Nice to hear opinions on exclusivity :)

Istock seems a bit scary partner for exclusivity as they are so unpredictable in their moves but good luck for 2014!

« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2014, 11:14 »
0
Thank you very much for sharing!

Being fully artist exclusive is a difficult decision. Sending only exclusive files, like Getty does or Fotolia or Dreamstime, is a lot easier. You can then still focus most of your attention on one agency, but can still have different content elsewhere for added protection.

I hope it keeps working for you. Many of my friends are still fully artist exclusive, so I hope Getty will soon focus more energy on their exclusives again and not just the "special exclusives" like Yuri.



Thanks! I do hope things get better too, but I'm not holding my breath. Everything seems uncertain now, and I hear more bad news than good nowadays. A decline seems more likely, I think.

Nice to hear opinions on exclusivity :)

Istock seems a bit scary partner for exclusivity as they are so unpredictable in their moves but good luck for 2014!

Indeed! It's been quite the roller coaster ride this year. Makes me wish I'd join sooner... would have been nice to feel how it was like when things were more stable. I'm hoping 2014 would be the year that the dust settles. :)

« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2014, 14:06 »
+1
Nice to hear opinions on exclusivity :)

Istock seems a bit scary partner for exclusivity as they are so unpredictable in their moves but good luck for 2014!

Indeed! I missed the good old days :-(


 

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