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Author Topic: 2019 Year-End Review: Good, Bad & Ugly  (Read 3894 times)

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Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« on: December 27, 2019, 12:39 »
+2
Just published my comprehensive 2019 year-end review, featuring all my stock photography / videography earnings:

www.brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2019/12/27/2019-year-end-review-good-bad-ugly/

Brutally Honest Alex


« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2019, 04:04 »
+3
I now offically have the worst earnings since 2014.

It's collapsed by 20% and SS and Alamy are the worst followed by the debacle at Envato

« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2019, 07:43 »
+1
Thanks! Gear post as always - really enjoy reading your perspective! Adobe stock is really kicking it into high gear for me lately, especially with allowing illustrative editorials. Though I wish theyd accept regular editorials, but its a start.

« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2019, 09:29 »
0
I now offically have the worst earnings since 2014.

It's collapsed by 20% and SS and Alamy are the worst followed by the debacle at Envato

what happened at envato?

« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2019, 05:01 »
+2
I now offically have the worst earnings since 2014.

It's collapsed by 20% and SS and Alamy are the worst followed by the debacle at Envato

what happened at envato?

They introduced a share scheme in 2017 which shared 50% of customers unspent subscription revenue equally among all contributors which they then changed in June 2019 so instead of getting around $250 to $300 per month from the bonus scheme I among others now get nothing or next to nothing.

They also sell your stuff for $0.01 in a lot of cases.  So instead of up to $300 per month I now get $10 for December

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2019, 12:42 »
+2
I now officially have the worst earnings since 2014.

Officially, my total is barely better than 2014, which reflects that SS is barely more than 2014, less than any year, 2015-2018. Only portions that kept my annual earnings up to 2015 were FAA, Alamy and more sales on AS. SS dropped 16% from the 2018 total. Overall, I actually earned the same total as the past three years.

Keep in mind, I'm small time, three agencies, and some scattered amusement. Now considering adding a real FAA account to see what's up, but I still don't understand Pixels.com ? When I go there it looks identical to FAA?

« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2019, 16:48 »
0
Just published my comprehensive 2019 year-end review, featuring all my stock photography / videography earnings:

www.brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2019/12/27/2019-year-end-review-good-bad-ugly/

Brutally Honest Alex


Sometimes i'm surprised how much different people's experience can be regarding tendencies between different agencies, and different times.

For example i've seen that October was the worst month for you. For me it was clearly the best month of the year, actually an all time BME (uploading Stock since 2006)

« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2019, 18:29 »
+1
They also sell your stuff for $0.01 in a lot of cases.  So instead of up to $300 per month I now get $10 for December

Hopefully , people there will realize their work does not deserve to be pirated immediately & then sold for $0.01.
Yes, since elements is subscription "unlimited" , everything that gets released there is on "w4r3z" websites in less than 2-4 hours.

just love reading their elements customer forums, glassdoor, or trustpilot reviews (even though they bought a lot of fake ones, its declining, again)
Shows you what kind of business practice these people are into.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2019, 18:42 by vectorblazer »

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2019, 21:46 »
+1

Sometimes i'm surprised how much different people's experience can be regarding tendencies between different agencies, and different times.

For example i've seen that October was the worst month for you. For me it was clearly the best month of the year, actually an all time BME (uploading Stock since 2006)

Very true, we aren't all the same and all agencies are not all the same for everyone. There's a bit of needs and chance involved, what buyer needs what, but then there's always the time of year relationship to what kind of images. I'm not getting rich, but I have some Holiday images and they do get downloads, while somebody with none will be more likely to get less.

Really weak December on SS and what happens, someone downloads a sailboat image EL in the last days. Last July I sold a snow storm and a Christmas illustration. Not that they get big sales, but just pointing out, sometimes, downloads make no logical sense and aren't tied to the season or the agency, but just who needs something and when.

georgep7

« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2019, 05:14 »
0

someone downloads a sailboat image EL in the last days

Add different customs and traditions worldwide to the equation: A sailboat can actually fit for Christmas in some occasions or if manipulatung the downloaded image.

 https://www.google.com/search?q=traditional+greek+christmas+boat

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2019, 05:33 »
+7
Good blog, but this part bafffled me:

Quote
Im really trying hard to justify why I keep uploading to iStock when they provide, by far, one of the lowest Returns Per Download for the majors, at around 0.45 cents and non-exclusive commissions are at a pathetic 15%.

However, Ill keep uploading to them because $100 a month is better than $0 but I cant say that I feel good about it.

Uploading to one of the worst offenders in microstock for a mere $100 "because it's better than $0?"? That's flawed logic. You're saying you have a hard time justifying it.
I would understand it if you keep your portfolio online, but uploading new content to a greedy agency is exactly the reason why they're able to stay afloat.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2019, 05:39 »
+2
Good blog, but this part bafffled me:

Quote
Im really trying hard to justify why I keep uploading to iStock when they provide, by far, one of the lowest Returns Per Download for the majors, at around 0.45 cents and non-exclusive commissions are at a pathetic 15%.

However, Ill keep uploading to them because $100 a month is better than $0 but I cant say that I feel good about it.

Uploading to one of the worst offenders in microstock for a mere $100 "because it's better than $0?"? That's flawed logic. You're saying you have a hard time justifying it.
I would understand it if you keep your portfolio online, but uploading new content to a greedy agency is exactly the reason why they're able to stay afloat.

Is not uploading but leaving things on IS for my $50-$100 a year also flawed? Some days I think so, and wonder about just closing. Others I feel that for the effort, I'll take some "free money". Can't decide, so I keep reviewing the situation and thinking, maybe I should just close out and stop helping them. But then I say, what's the harm... OK you get the idea, undecided, flip flop, can't make up my mind.   ;D


someone downloads a sailboat image EL in the last days

Add different customs and traditions worldwide to the equation: A sailboat can actually fit for Christmas in some occasions or if manipulatung the downloaded image.

 https://www.google.com/search?q=traditional+greek+christmas+boat

Always interesting, world customs and traditions. It was The Santa Maria, Columbus' ship basically B&W art drawing.

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2019, 06:00 »
+4
Good blog, but this part bafffled me:

Quote
Im really trying hard to justify why I keep uploading to iStock when they provide, by far, one of the lowest Returns Per Download for the majors, at around 0.45 cents and non-exclusive commissions are at a pathetic 15%.

However, Ill keep uploading to them because $100 a month is better than $0 but I cant say that I feel good about it.

Uploading to one of the worst offenders in microstock for a mere $100 "because it's better than $0?"? That's flawed logic. You're saying you have a hard time justifying it.
I would understand it if you keep your portfolio online, but uploading new content to a greedy agency is exactly the reason why they're able to stay afloat.

Is not uploading but leaving things on IS for my $50-$100 a year also flawed? Some days I think so, and wonder about just closing. Others I feel that for the effort, I'll take some "free money". Can't decide, so I keep reviewing the situation and thinking, maybe I should just close out and stop helping them. But then I say, what's the harm... OK you get the idea, undecided, flip flop, can't make up my mind.   ;D

No, that's what I do as well, leaving it online. Considering the work we all put in to upload to iStock, deleting your entire portfolio is a waste, but not actively uploading hurts them enough I hope. But I'm going back and forth as well between closing and leaving it online :D

georgep7

« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2019, 06:21 »
+2
Good blog, but this part bafffled me:

Quote
Im really trying hard to justify why I keep uploading to iStock when they provide, by far, one of the lowest Returns Per Download for the majors, at around 0.45 cents and non-exclusive commissions are at a pathetic 15%.

However, Ill keep uploading to them because $100 a month is better than $0 but I cant say that I feel good about it.

Uploading to one of the worst offenders in microstock for a mere $100 "because it's better than $0?"? That's flawed logic. You're saying you have a hard time justifying it.
I would understand it if you keep your portfolio online, but uploading new content to a greedy agency is exactly the reason why they're able to stay afloat.

Is not uploading but leaving things on IS for my $50-$100 a year also flawed? Some days I think so, and wonder about just closing. Others I feel that for the effort, I'll take some "free money". Can't decide, so I keep reviewing the situation and thinking, maybe I should just close out and stop helping them. But then I say, what's the harm... OK you get the idea, undecided, flip flop, can't make up my mind.   ;D

No, that's what I do as well, leaving it online. Considering the work we all put in to upload to iStock, deleting your entire portfolio is a waste, but not actively uploading hurts them enough I hope. But I'm going back and forth as well between closing and leaving it online :D

Semi offtopic, no matter the work I have put to upload in the one agency submitting to,
I will have no doubts and regrets to delete everything if leaving them one day.
It is basic business tactic I think similar if leaving an employer or a client.
You don't leave some gear or files or a hard drive around just in case they pay something in the future...

Perhaps I am wrong though :)

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2019, 06:37 »
+2
Good blog, but this part bafffled me:

Quote
Im really trying hard to justify why I keep uploading to iStock when they provide, by far, one of the lowest Returns Per Download for the majors, at around 0.45 cents and non-exclusive commissions are at a pathetic 15%.

However, Ill keep uploading to them because $100 a month is better than $0 but I cant say that I feel good about it.

Uploading to one of the worst offenders in microstock for a mere $100 "because it's better than $0?"? That's flawed logic. You're saying you have a hard time justifying it.
I would understand it if you keep your portfolio online, but uploading new content to a greedy agency is exactly the reason why they're able to stay afloat.

Is not uploading but leaving things on IS for my $50-$100 a year also flawed? Some days I think so, and wonder about just closing. Others I feel that for the effort, I'll take some "free money". Can't decide, so I keep reviewing the situation and thinking, maybe I should just close out and stop helping them. But then I say, what's the harm... OK you get the idea, undecided, flip flop, can't make up my mind.   ;D

No, that's what I do as well, leaving it online. Considering the work we all put in to upload to iStock, deleting your entire portfolio is a waste, but not actively uploading hurts them enough I hope. But I'm going back and forth as well between closing and leaving it online :D

Semi offtopic, no matter the work I have put to upload in the one agency submitting to,
I will have no doubts and regrets to delete everything if leaving them one day.
It is basic business tactic I think similar if leaving an employer or a client.
You don't leave some gear or files or a hard drive around just in case they pay something in the future...

Perhaps I am wrong though :)

I understand that, but an employer or client is something different. Unless there's nothing for me to gain, I'm not a fan of burning bridges definitively. Sometimes an agency can turn 180 degrees (Fotolia for instance).

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2019, 07:56 »
+2
Quote
Is not uploading but leaving things on IS for my $50-$100 a year also flawed? Some days I think so, and wonder about just closing. Others I feel that for the effort, I'll take some "free money". Can't decide, so I keep reviewing the situation and thinking, maybe I should just close out and stop helping them. But then I say, what's the harm... OK you get the idea, undecided, flip flop, can't make up my mind.   ;D


Closing is always the nuclear bomb option should only be done in extreme situations. I closed my account on Canva after the teamed up with those Unsplash turds and started offering our entire ports for $10/month. In 2019 I closed my accounts at Colourbox and Canstock, mainly due to poor performances.

One option would just be to stop unloading new stuff which is still shooting ourselves in the foot since it would prejudice future earnings, however small. It comes down the accepting that we are too small to make any sort of meaningful difference. Even if Africa Studios pulled their entire port of 1.3million pics on SS, not even sure that would make a huge difference, so what hope is there for my puny 6.5k pics on iStock. They don't care, we're just drops in the sand. But the $100 is real and = $1.2k a year to put towards upgrading/trips/wild trips in Amsterdam, etc.

I would rather feel slightly "bad" about about earning $1.2k/year than feel good / righteous about earning $0.


georgep7

« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2019, 08:25 »
0
No actual argument or judgement here, we all do what we believe as better for us. But:

Quote
I would rather feel slightly "bad" about about earning $1.2k/year than feel good / righteous about earning $0.

You understand that you are talking for sales equal to "just" 20x 4K footage clips per year Alex, right?


jonbull

    This user is banned.
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2019, 08:42 »
+1
the problem is stock is impacting a lot ss and adobe giving practically free image to customer and penny tour....so maybe is 100 dollar month but maybe you not earn three hundred more in adobe and ss cause customer pay much less to getty who actually play much much less to us....that-s wy the industry is finished. because people only see a little upgrade of gear and a weekend as a great performance.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2019, 08:55 »
+3
the problem is stock is impacting a lot ss and adobe giving practically free image to customer
And previously Getty/iS was trying to raise prices (I was then averaging >$6.75 per sale, and plenty others were averaging well over $8 rpd), but SS and Ft etc were holding prices down.

The message being, we don't know what's round the corner, and it's impossible in this business to make 'informed' decisions based on current reality, particularly if it involves deleting one's port. iS was the one we loved, then it seemed to be SS, now it's Adobe. Next year ... who knows? It seems whoever is the favoured one starts to take their suppliers for granted.

« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2019, 09:40 »
+1
This year was good for me, better than 2018, a total revenue increase of 13%. :-) :-) :-)
But for the last 6 months I have been experiencing instability and some significant declines, example of the POND5 that has fallen wildly since April.

For me if 2020 equals 2019 it will be excellent, but I have my doubts.

Increasing by more than 100% the images / videos (from 3000 to 6300) of my portfolios.
Compared to 2018, 2019 I had:

SHUTER. Equal without increased earnings. Very good months and others well below. Unstable, but being number 1 of all.

Adobe 41% increase :-) Big surprise selling more videos.

Pond 5 fall by -44% :-( I don't know what's going on over there. Sad.

Getty (exclusive images) 26% increase. I like this site. My 2nd best. I will look for alternative images (if any) and upload them there. Big sales make up for it yet.

Istock (started end of 2018) so the portfolio is current. I have good sales over there, although I hear very badly from there for some here. In fact in the year total I received more money there than in Adobe.

Dreamstime with no increase in earnings.

Videoblocks Marketplace closed (I was upset, selling well over there)

For me it's great, I see it as a passive income without major investments on my part.

If I were a full time photographer on Microstock (not the case) I would look for other options also outside this market.
Millions of images and video and each day more with small values.

Happy new year to all and excellent 2020.

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2019, 10:07 »
0
No actual argument or judgement here, we all do what we believe as better for us. But:

Quote
I would rather feel slightly "bad" about about earning $1.2k/year than feel good / righteous about earning $0.

You understand that you are talking for sales equal to "just" 20x 4K footage clips per year Alex, right?

Yes, we're talking about a very very small amount of money here, relative to the work put in, but interesting nevertheless.

In 2019, footage consisted of only 11% of my overall net earnings. I'm betting all out on footage and book covers next year since I don't see much in terms of further earnings in stills. If anything, i'll just keep adding more images at 100 a month to keep earning the same, sort of like being on a treadmill.

« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2019, 10:22 »
+2
Good blog, but this part bafffled me:

Quote
Im really trying hard to justify why I keep uploading to iStock when they provide, by far, one of the lowest Returns Per Download for the majors, at around 0.45 cents and non-exclusive commissions are at a pathetic 15%.

However, Ill keep uploading to them because $100 a month is better than $0 but I cant say that I feel good about it.

Uploading to one of the worst offenders in microstock for a mere $100 "because it's better than $0?"? That's flawed logic. You're saying you have a hard time justifying it.
I would understand it if you keep your portfolio online, but uploading new content to a greedy agency is exactly the reason why they're able to stay afloat.
Why is it flawed logic? I can see why people don't want to do it but its a rational thing to do.

 "From now on I'm thinking only of me."

Major Danby replied indulgently with a superior smile: "But, Yossarian, suppose everyone felt that way."

"Then," said Yossarian, "I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way, wouldn't I?
― Joseph Heller, Catch-22

georgep7

« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2019, 10:57 »
+1
Quote
"From now on I'm thinking only of me."

Major Danby replied indulgently with a superior smile: "But, Yossarian, suppose everyone felt that way."

"Then," said Yossarian, "I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way, wouldn't I?
― Joseph Heller, Catch-22



not in the mood to talk decisions.
It is new years eve, playful, silly talk.
So here is some Hemingway paraphrased:

"That isn't it." She said. "Tell me, is stock dead?"
"Sure"
"Please hold me tight, I am ill now"
"Poor you. Poor poor you"
" I am sorry for everyhting I ever did or said"
"Me too"
"Poor you and poor me"
"Poor everybody" he said but he didn't add "poor stock"
:P

(Islands in the Stream)


Happy new year to All.
Thank you Alex for writing those articles, I might disagree on some points but they are useful
:)
« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 11:04 by georgep7 »

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2019, 17:16 »
+1

I understand that, but an employer or client is something different. Unless there's nothing for me to gain, I'm not a fan of burning bridges definitively. Sometimes an agency can turn 180 degrees (Fotolia for instance).

Oh sure like DT, DP, BS, GL, 123RF, CS, Panther, and a dozen more that aren't worth the electrons people waste, uploading to them?  ;D

Sure, I'm waiting for "the next big thing", you know the one that disrupts the industry. Right, but I'm not holding my breath and not at all confident that when that next ting comes along, it won't be Canva,  Evanto, Pond5, or one of the others, that make a big splash, look promising and fall in line behind the rest of the low returns for loads of high effort.

So you are basing your sticking with many crappy sites, with Adobe buying FT. Sure we can't predict, but what site is left, that anyone actually would want to buy? Getty is done raiding the market, Adobe has theirs, apparently Google and FB don't want a site or they would have had something years ago.

Your job is predict the next big thing8)  Good luck

georgep7

« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2019, 18:52 »
0
Sorry for reviving this old (2019) thread :P

The next big thing (translated to old-time prifits) might be just simple plain ....quality?

If I got it right, there are small high quality agencies with strict policies
and SS, AS P5 departments (<---not the right word) dedicated to high
quality commercial work with respective pricing.

We try to reinvent the wheel in order to drive a rocket. Duh!!!


 

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