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Author Topic: 3 years in the future. What are you seeing?  (Read 17237 times)

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« on: June 11, 2014, 08:24 »
0
3 years in the future. What are you seeing as a micro stock contributor? What do you think would happen to you and agencies?


« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2014, 08:29 »
+2
Did you see the movie Road Warrior?   8)

« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2014, 09:22 »
0
Agencies boasting 75 million image libraries as a continuing price war reduces contributors return per upload 30% to 50%. 

« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2014, 09:41 »
+2
Did you see the movie Road Warrior?   8)


LOL. Like This...

just walk away

ethan

« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2014, 09:41 »
+3
Seriously. Three years from now looking at the path that (some) photographers are happy pursuing?

Royalty Free images will be known as 'Free' images. Even established buyers will be downloading images for free. Completely free, from a myriad of sites in addition to those already available. The value of a 'Royalty Free' image will be eroded to $0.00.

Those (some) photographers will procrastinate it will help build their stable of 'followers' for commission work - yeah right, of course it will :)

Photography that returns any type of re-imbursement for the photographer will be Rights Managed only or private commissions.

In fact, just the way it used to be before the advent of 'Royalty Free' stock.

Conscientious, particular and individuals seeking ' unique imagery' for advertisements or editorial will only look to RM sites (it's happening already) and the over saturated, over used and over exposed global libraries of 'RF' images will be the price-less fodder of everyday blogs and lower end agencies and free to air apps.

Bland, bland and blander.

The bubble has not yet burst, it won't happen that quickly. But someone has untied the knot and is holding the teat of the ballon and letting the air out very slowly.

In three years it'll be completely deflated and for many, the hobby that allowed them 'to make money from your photos' will be over. Back to the day job.

On the bright side, at least they'll have a pretty decent DSLR for taking snaps of their grandchildren while on vacation.

EDIT: And Oh, the likes of Oringer will sell out their shares before it all goes t*t's up and probably go into politics :)
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 09:46 by ethan »

ShadySue

« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2014, 09:46 »
+3
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 09:59 by ShadySue »

« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2014, 09:54 »
+3
A basic microstock subscription will be free. That is the inevitable outcome of the economics IMO.

Soon after that the robots kill us.

(+moonbases, monorails & personal hovercrafts obviously)

« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2014, 10:00 »
+15
A badge with my name on it and a teenage supervisor telling me how to do a very simple job.

« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2014, 10:10 »
0
Did you see the movie Road Warrior?   8)


LOL. Like This...

just walk away


Yes!!  Exactly like that! 
;D

Beppe Grillo

« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2014, 10:18 »
0
WWIII will have passed, and we will be busy to rebuild anything (the few of us who will survive)

ethan

« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2014, 10:22 »
+4
So are we all saying "it's essentially dead" ? :)

« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2014, 10:34 »
+2
So are we all saying "it's essentially dead" ? :)

I could see anything happening, but I think it has to get worse before it gets better. Like I said in another thread, SS seems to be tenuously propping up most people's earnings. If they falter, then the panic button will start to get pressed.

« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2014, 10:38 »
+1
A badge with my name on it and a teenage supervisor telling me how to do a very simple job.

And then, very quickly being jobless again. . . :)



« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2014, 10:42 »
+3
A badge with my name on it and a teenage supervisor telling me how to do a very simple job.

And then, very quickly being jobless again. . . :)

We're all doomed to be serfs of neo-liberal capitalist Barons one way or another, taking photos, flipping burgers, wiping bottoms. People in the West will revolt eventually, but not in my lifetime I expect.

« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2014, 10:45 »
+3
I think the slide will just continue - RPI will be lower, the sites that screw photogs will continue to do so. The quality of images will continue to rise as will the volume available. It will be even harder to get started in this business, but plenty will keep trying. Some older contributors will keep at it, others will just let their portfolios ride, and a few will pull them in anger.

« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2014, 10:56 »
+5
 I'll be out of micro and just considering photography a hobby.
   I could make more money collecting bottles beside the road.
   The digital camera has created way more supply than demand.
   I liked photography better when it was hard and there was less competition.

« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2014, 11:07 »
+5
A badge with my name on it and a teenage supervisor telling me how to do a very simple job.

And then, very quickly being jobless again. . . :)

We're all doomed to be serfs of neo-liberal capitalist Barons one way or another, taking photos, flipping burgers, wiping bottoms. People in the West will revolt eventually, but not in my lifetime I expect.
I thought us microstock photographers  already were "serfs of neo-liberal capitalist Barons"
We'll be OK though in the future you predict. Just as long as we can get releases for the burgers! :)


« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2014, 11:14 »
+3
A badge with my name on it and a teenage supervisor telling me how to do a very simple job.

And then, very quickly being jobless again. . . :)

We're all doomed to be serfs of neo-liberal capitalist Barons one way or another, taking photos, flipping burgers, wiping bottoms. People in the West will revolt eventually, but not in my lifetime I expect.
I thought us microstock photographers  already were "serfs of neo-liberal capitalist Barons"
We'll be OK though in the future you predict. Just as long as we can get releases for the burgers! :)

Don't mind me, I'm not have a very good week for sales. Next week when I'm back in favour I'll be a rapid libertarian again!

Goofy

« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2014, 11:16 »
+3
close your eyes- and what to you see? "nothing but total darkness"...



« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2014, 11:20 »
+4
SS seems to be tenuously propping up most people's earnings. If they falter, then the panic button will start to get pressed.

SS is built on the same unsustainable growth model. In many ways I think that free is going to potentially pose a bigger issue for them unless they start dividing their content into different collections.

The markets see user content as something which they allow us to upload for free in return for them having the right to build business around it. Eg Twitter and Instagram. They don't expect to have to pay us for it. They don't even seem to need to make a profit. Bonkers economics, obviously.

« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2014, 11:23 »
+3
Three years can be a really LONG time in an internet spawned industry with very low entry barrier.

So three years from now the word 'micro stock' could be obsolete. Like some old relic of a bygone industry

Micro stock companies could have finished slitting each other's throats and the few remaining could boast of 100 million+ images available for free.  That's not at all unlikely with an acquisition or two thrown in. Advertising revenue wars could be the order of the day among these few remaining agencies.

Micro stock work could be something like what some of the sites like Flickr etc are today. Largely hobby-driven by amateur photographers.

Micro stock photographers could be in other jobs - from flipping burgers to shooting commissions for advertisers and celebrities or whatever!  Maybe there would be some closed-to-entry RM agencies, probably owned by few photographers, and possibly with specialized content, maybe topic based, such as medical images or travel etc.

Occasionally the ex-microstockers would chat online about the good ole days   ;)



« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2014, 13:11 »
+4
MSG posters predicting the imminent demise of the industry and saying its a waste of time while still uploading pictures.

Shutterstock still dominant I-stock clinging on.  RPI declining nano stock level pricing for Facebook and as yet unknown opportunities.

Something totally unexpected!

« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2014, 13:26 »
+9
Sorry for my bad english.

Am I the only one who sees a brighter future?. Yes probably we will get less sales every month but I see a time where technology and fresh ideas change this industry for the better.

Currently every site selling stock photography is pretty dumb and almost all of them share the same basic features. But what would happen when some clever programer start to offer smart features like search for concepts rather than keywords, past performance of the image in social media or something, most suitable market for that image, you name it, is all possible.

And yes, probably the price in some places will go free, but you will get a cut of the profit in the final product: Imagine that the buyer wants to create a small documentary about cancer, he looks for the appropriate images and video and creates his documentary and he publish it on youtube, every creator will get part of the profit. I am sure the technology is here, unfortunately the implementations that we have seen are bad, but I am sure someone somewhere is going to build the right tools with the right model, in the near future.

As a example, I am building a tool to recommend not only keywords with a good combination between demand and supply, but whole concepts and is very accurate, with examples and everything. It takes like 1 hours but it works!. I only dream of what can be made by professionals.

« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2014, 13:34 »
+5
MSG posters predicting the imminent demise of the industry and saying its a waste of time while still uploading pictures.

Shutterstock still dominant I-stock clinging on.  RPI declining nano stock level pricing for Facebook and as yet unknown opportunities.

Something totally unexpected!

My income is fairly spread out over several agencies and more dependent on smaller places, so I still hope I'll survive the possible apocalypse. I worry about people that have most of their apples in the Shutterstock basket. If 50%-80% of your income comes from one place, what happens if that agency falters?

We've all seen sites take an overnight drop in income of fairly large percentages. Some from new policies, some from dropping sales and some from both. It just seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Maybe, it won't though. You never know when or if that big disaster will hit.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 13:52 by cthoman »

« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2014, 14:31 »
+5
A glass of Cretan Malmsey on the terrace, the sun setting over Drapanos, Pipistrelles soaring and swoopng and snapping above the lemon grove while the cicadas gradually fall silent. The inevitable strains of "Never on Sunday" wafting across from the distant taverna, borne on a warm breeze redolent of thyme and sage,  do battle with the equally distant sound of Dimitri's lyra striking up a lively syrtaki.

I'm sure microstock will suffice to keep the Malmsey flowing, at two euros a litre from Manolis's homemade reserves, it should cover the food bill, too, and - fortunately - we don't need much more than that.  As for the rest, it's anybody's guess. I don't know if I will still supply the micros or if I will be shooting landscapes and nature for my own amusement.


« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2014, 15:05 »
+14
At some point we'll see significant decline in earnings - the tsunami of microstock submitters has not reached it's crest yet. Most of us already notice some decline in earnings because our images are getting lost in a see of similar content.  You can imagine what will happen when SS will be accepting a million images a week. I think unavoidably there will be a phase when most photographers decide that this kind of activity is just not worth it anymore. For full-timers like me it will be a pretty low point. However... I do believe that after passing that point the industry will not be dead completely - it will evolve and will probably take a different shape, and hopefully those of us who decide to stay with this business can evolve with it. I don't see a need for images disappearing, and I don't see people providing high quality content for free. 

« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2014, 15:19 »
+3
At some point we'll see significant decline in earnings - the tsunami of microstock submitters has not reached it's crest yet. Most of us already notice some decline in earnings because our images are getting lost in a see of similar content.  You can imagine what will happen when SS will be accepting a million images a week. I think unavoidably there will be a phase when most photographers decide that this kind of activity is just not worth it anymore. For full-timers like me it will be a pretty low point. However... I do believe that after passing that point the industry will not be dead completely - it will evolve and will probably take a different shape, and hopefully those of us who decide to stay with this business can evolve with it. I don't see a need for images disappearing, and I don't see people providing high quality content for free.

In order to preserve a pipeline of usable content, agencies need to keep things just above that point - I think we're pretty close to it now.


jbarber873

« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2014, 15:24 »
+1
  Video. Everywhere. Shoot video. Now.

« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2014, 15:24 »
+3
I think there will always be opportunities to make a living at this, but not in the same ways we've been able to historically. Can I even use the word "historically" in microstock? Doesn't seem old enough yet.

Looking ahead, the writing is on the wall for some companies. There are a few you can count out already. Crestock should be gone in 3 years. Maybe Cutcaster as well.

DPC is kind of a wild card in all of this. Succeed or fail, either way it changes things. I think it will succeed, for Fotolia anyway. Maybe at the cost of Fotolia itself but I've always suspected that DPC was a bet on "nanostock" as the future of the business. They just wanted to be first to market.

However I don't think DPC still being around in 3 years means that very many other places won't be. Shutterstock is almost too big to fail at this point. iStock pulled all kinds of shenanigans with buyers and contributors over the years and they're still around. Shutterstock will be at least as resilient, even if DPC becomes wildly successful and poaches customers from SS. They might falter, but SS will be around for a long time, even if not always as the market leader.

I think in less than 3 years we'll see a lot more growth in premium agencies with higher standards and niche collections. I hear Stocksy is doing well. Offset, I'm not so sure but there have been rumors of artists seeing some good sales. There are some interesting companies emerging that sell some non-traditional stock products, graphics, fonts, texture packs, etc. Some are doing pretty well. GraphicRiver (Envato) could have been this kind of company but they price things too low and they aren't seen as a premium content provider. They got too caught up in gimmicky stuff like nightclub flyer templates.

I think there is a real market for these smaller premium-quality collections. I expect to see more of these kinds of companies emerge. I look at companies like these as being the means by which I might survive this very uncertain time. I keep hoping that Stocksy will offer some sort of premium vector/illustration option. I'm not totally thrilled with the idea of image exclusivity, but I like the possibilities of what Stocksy might offer. Bruce indicated that vectors were something they'd offer eventually. Hope that's still the plan.

In 3 years I expect to still be doing this. But I think a lot will change in those 3 years. I don't think that an individual company will represent more than 30% of my monthly stock income by then. And I think that will be the result of expansion into other areas and types of stock marketplaces, emphasis on places that pay better, and possibly due to Shutterstock losing some of their market to places like DPC.

« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2014, 16:01 »
0
Well thought through Mike - it amazes me how the smaller sites hang around so long.

I'm not sure about "premium quality" as I'm not surely its definable.

« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2014, 16:58 »
+2
I as well think "niche", i.e. Stocksy, Offset, players will continue create a good upper end secondary market, but overall microstock will consolidate and level out at a lower level than the current one, which may not be sustainable for many contributors. I also think there may be an uptick in RM, as companies look for unique content, but that RM agencies may charge for image placement the way Getty is now. Then again, I've been wrong about everything else in my life .....

« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2014, 17:03 »
+3
Exclusivity might be the next big thing.  If all the FOTOLIA DPC's of the world keep cheapening the market further, it might force other agencies like SS to offer a more lucrative system for its contributors, its exclusive contributors.  The grand assumption is that they can lure in those who could hurt the quality of the collections for the cheap seat agencies like FOTOLIA (DPC).  Lots of gaps to fill here, but I can see exclusivity being more heavily pushed if they can show it provides a competitive collection edge. Finally, I say exclusive because if the core of the MS industry just gives up and pulls content that can be more destructive to the agencies. I bet the photo mills would jump on a lucrative exclusive agreement if commissions start yielding consistent 10 cent returns.  There will be an "adjustment" somehow.

« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2014, 17:27 »
+3
Exclusivity might be the next big thing.  If all the FOTOLIA DPC's of the world keep cheapening the market further, it might force other agencies like SS to offer a more lucrative system for its contributors, its exclusive contributors.  The grand assumption is that they can lure in those who could hurt the quality of the collections for the cheap seat agencies like FOTOLIA (DPC).  Lots of gaps to fill here, but I can see exclusivity being more heavily pushed if they can show it provides a competitive collection edge. Finally, I say exclusive because if the core of the MS industry just gives up and pulls content that can be more destructive to the agencies. I bet the photo mills would jump on a lucrative exclusive agreement if commissions start yielding consistent 10 cent returns.  There will be an "adjustment" somehow.

I agree with what Mike said and that sets up a strong likelihood for "voluntary exclusivity". Basically, no formal agreement, but contributors feel it is in their best interest to submit to some places because they have such a higher RPD and earnings potential. I do this now, and if more lucrative places come online, I could see more contributors going this route.

« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2014, 17:53 »
0
Exclusivity might be the next big thing.  If all the FOTOLIA DPC's of the world keep cheapening the market further, it might force other agencies like SS to offer a more lucrative system for its contributors, its exclusive contributors.  The grand assumption is that they can lure in those who could hurt the quality of the collections for the cheap seat agencies like FOTOLIA (DPC).  Lots of gaps to fill here, but I can see exclusivity being more heavily pushed if they can show it provides a competitive collection edge. Finally, I say exclusive because if the core of the MS industry just gives up and pulls content that can be more destructive to the agencies. I bet the photo mills would jump on a lucrative exclusive agreement if commissions start yielding consistent 10 cent returns.  There will be an "adjustment" somehow.

I agree with what Mike said and that sets up a strong likelihood for "voluntary exclusivity". Basically, no formal agreement, but contributors feel it is in their best interest to submit to some places because they have such a higher RPD and earnings potential. I do this now, and if more lucrative places come online, I could see more contributors going this route.

I guess I should have read his post more thoroughly. I agree with him that image exclusivity is important. The one thing I struggle with though is giving away basic images that would not qualify on a site like stocky.  Like isolations.  If agencies consider these commodity content then many of us with large ports of this kind of content won't have anywhere to go but down.  So this also means that those of us who want to succeed will likely have to change what we shoot in order to survive. Unless sites that offer image exclusivity leave the decision up to the artist as to what they want to submit as exclusive content.  But niche sites.......that's a different beast if the industry does move heavily in that direction.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 17:55 by Mantis »

« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2014, 18:52 »
+2
A wild guess. Agencies continue to import other agencies collections to the point all agencies have almost identical content. Buyers go only to the agencies with the best prices and buying experience. Some of the fringe agencies die as the market consolidates. Photogs quit uploading because the agency percentages are all split to nearly exclude the photog. A couple of new agencies start with niche "fresh" not shared images but the competition is tough against the big world collections. A couple of the new agencies are overwhelmed with photogs attempting to get in and the agencies start getting very picky in selecting contributors. We find we have gone just about full circle around and back to the days before microstock and when small time photogs could not get into the desired agencies. However, at this time the micro agencies now exist with millions of images where it is difficult for any photog to join and make an income.

Video footage takes off.

« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2014, 19:02 »
0
I agree with what Mike said and that sets up a strong likelihood for "voluntary exclusivity". Basically, no formal agreement, but contributors feel it is in their best interest to submit to some places because they have such a higher RPD and earnings potential. I do this now, and if more lucrative places come online, I could see more contributors going this route.

Voluntary exclusivity is a strong possibility for some of my stuff. Especially as some of these niche companies start to really move. I feel pretty good about a couple of small companies. If things really pick up, I could easily justify focusing significant amounts of my time and effort on just those few companies and leave the random other images for the lower-paying places.

It's almost impossible for me to believe that I'm actually talking about exclusivity in some form for myself as a real possibility. A year ago I would have laughed at the idea. Now, with it being harder to keep up and "feed the beast", and especially with the new "nanostock" DPC type stuff around, voluntary (or even formal) image exclusivity might be the answer. Heck it might be the only thing that pulls some of us out of the fire as we try to differentiate ourselves from these new stock image dollar stores.

« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2014, 21:22 »
+1
In three years, I will be turning 70 and will have Alzheimers. In fact, I already forgot what I was going to say.

Oh yeah, I remember. I saw three or four posts predict the death of small sites like Cutcaster. I doubt it. Put yourself in John's place. The bulk of your cost was building the site, probably. Even if it starts to make less and less revenue, why close it? Just stop investing in promotion and cut back on reviewing new images (as Kelly at GL did for a while as I recall). Even if you are only bringing in say $1000 per day from your current inventory, why shut down if that pays your expenses and leaves you some profit? Even a bit of StockXpert is still running.  So I wouldn't be surprised if the little guys are with us 3 yrs from now.


« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2014, 22:52 »
0
So are we all saying "it's essentially dead" ? :)

I could see anything happening, but I think it has to get worse before it gets better. Like I said in another thread, SS seems to be tenuously propping up most people's earnings. If they falter, then the panic button will start to get pressed.

Yes, we're all hoping and praying SS doesn't pull an IS or FT and accelerate this industry's decline.  But the fact is, they don't have to... we're still f'ed.  It's the increased competition that will kill us all.  SS could even increase our commissions by a few cents a download, and the swelling ranks of new contributors uploading millions of new images will drown us. 

SS can't save us, unless they close their doors to new contributors, and they will not do that (I don't even think they should... it wouldn't be fair... but I don't have to like it when these new contributors run my earnings into the ground and force me out of this.)

Uncle Pete

« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2014, 23:23 »
+1
Photo population and the consumption of resources are maintained in equilibrium by requiring the death of every image reaching a particular age. (Sorry, pure theft from Logan's Run)

Images will be removed after their time and replaced by newer images. Since there will be 100 million images to choose from, there's no loss for buyers or artists in the recycling. Only room for the new.

Actually, what if agencies finally decide that an image that hasn't sold in two years, gets deleted? Not an unfair time for someone to see and DL it?

Also the other prediction that most agencies will have mostly identical content is already true, except the ones that have a distinctive identity and look for diversity and exclusive content. Not the SOS.

Third point is... I'm turning 70 in three years and I also forgot, just like michaeldb. LOL

« Reply #39 on: June 12, 2014, 00:43 »
+1
In three years, I will be turning 70 and will have Alzheimers. In fact, I already forgot what I was going to say.

Oh yeah, I remember. I saw three or four posts predict the death of small sites like Cutcaster. I doubt it. Put yourself in John's place. The bulk of your cost was building the site, probably. Even if it starts to make less and less revenue, why close it? Just stop investing in promotion and cut back on reviewing new images (as Kelly at GL did for a while as I recall). Even if you are only bringing in say $1000 per day from your current inventory, why shut down if that pays your expenses and leaves you some profit? Even a bit of StockXpert is still running.  So I wouldn't be surprised if the little guys are with us 3 yrs from now.

Agreed. The trick is for the small sites not to bother investing in anything so their sole costs are for image hosting. If they do that then the owner can live fairly  comfortably off the proceeds, even if turnover is as little as $300-400 a day.  At that sort of level they hardly even need to worry about artists reaching a payout, it will happen so rarely, but the owner still picks up $100k-plus a year from something that pretty much runs itself.

BoBoBolinski

« Reply #40 on: June 12, 2014, 01:15 »
+3
"The quality of images will continue to rise as will the volume available"

All I see at iStock is the quality of images declining. Looking at the latest vectors is just embarrassing.

MxR

« Reply #41 on: June 12, 2014, 02:00 »
+1
I,m learning music composition. I,m learning video editing.

« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2014, 02:39 »
+1
In three years, I will be turning 70 and will have Alzheimers. In fact, I already forgot what I was going to say.

Oh yeah, I remember. I saw three or four posts predict the death of small sites like Cutcaster. I doubt it. Put yourself in John's place. The bulk of your cost was building the site, probably. Even if it starts to make less and less revenue, why close it? Just stop investing in promotion and cut back on reviewing new images (as Kelly at GL did for a while as I recall). Even if you are only bringing in say $1000 per day from your current inventory, why shut down if that pays your expenses and leaves you some profit? Even a bit of StockXpert is still running.  So I wouldn't be surprised if the little guys are with us 3 yrs from now.

Yes, good point.  If anyone closes (or rather gets purchased by someone else) it will probably be one of the top 6 sites that have considerable expenses and a large staff.

On the flip side however, there is still a lot of customer support and work to keep the site alive and healthy, not to mention reviews and answering contributor emails :).  If a site has minimal income I think it would be most profitable to close the doors.

« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2014, 11:12 »
+6
Experts on the SS critique forum will continue to teach and nurture newbies who don't know an F stop from a bus stop. The newbies go on to become experts competing with them and flooding the market even more. Hobbyists and part-timers thrilled to see their work on the cover of a book don't mind that they were paid 38 cents for it. People who one year ago were posting OOF photos with purple fringing in the critique forum have now become Sage Oracles because they have a Wordpress blog with the word "Photography" in it. The unfortunate term "royalty-free" is increasingly confused in the minds of the public with the term "FREE" not to mention "Copyright-Free.' The art licensing world will be in ruins due to all the seamless vector patterns on micro, not to mention all these people willing to give up their layered files. I am old enough to remember a time when no designer would ever have dreamed of giving up a layered file, and if a client asked for one they were laughed at.

For me, the crowdsourcing aspect of micro is more destructive to my living than the micro prices. Because if it weren't for the sheer numbers of amateurs contributing, the agencies would never get away with half of what they're doing, DPC included. I'll probably get some incoming from saying this, but it is the way I feel.

« Reply #44 on: June 12, 2014, 11:23 »
+2
Thanks to microstock I have some nice equipment. Maybe I'll trade it for an M3 or 500CM and have fun with film, if there is any.

Shelma1

« Reply #45 on: June 12, 2014, 11:35 »
+1
Quote from: alison1414

For me, the crowdsourcing aspect of micro is more destructive to my living than the micro prices. Because if it weren't for the sheer numbers of amateurs contributing, the agencies would never get away with half of what they're doing, DPC included. I'll probably get some incoming from saying this, but it is the way I feel.

I see it the opposite way. There were two tiers, one for pros and one for amateurs (I'm an amateur). Macro used to be for pros, micro for amateurs. Then the pros saw they could make good money by outshooting and outdrawing the amateurs in micro, which led to a flood of pro images that were sitting on hard drives, increasing the quality of inexpensive images.

I think the market will eventually go back in that direction, with the pros heading more towards sites like Stocksy as they become disgusted with the low prices their work sells for, leaving the amateurs in micro.

And hopefully by then I'll have increased my skills enough to be considered a pro. ;)

« Reply #46 on: June 12, 2014, 12:20 »
+2
Quote from: alison1414

For me, the crowdsourcing aspect of micro is more destructive to my living than the micro prices. Because if it weren't for the sheer numbers of amateurs contributing, the agencies would never get away with half of what they're doing, DPC included. I'll probably get some incoming from saying this, but it is the way I feel.

I see it the opposite way. There were two tiers, one for pros and one for amateurs (I'm an amateur). Macro used to be for pros, micro for amateurs. Then the pros saw they could make good money by outshooting and outdrawing the amateurs in micro, which led to a flood of pro images that were sitting on hard drives, increasing the quality of inexpensive images.

I think the market will eventually go back in that direction, with the pros heading more towards sites like Stocksy as they become disgusted with the low prices their work sells for, leaving the amateurs in micro.

And hopefully by then I'll have increased my skills enough to be considered a pro. ;)

You are not an amateur haha. I hope you're right, but I'm already shocked at the high quality I see on micro, and I'm not sure we can put the toothpaste back in the tube.


Ed

« Reply #47 on: June 12, 2014, 13:29 »
+2
Shutterstock currently has a price to earnings ratio of 107.39 and they are sitting on a $155 million in cash - their cash balances on their balance sheet has been increasing year over year.  They are going to have to do something to increase earnings and live up to the stock price (perhaps use that cash to acquire other agencies). 

iStock (and Getty) has a note due to investors within the next two years.  Fotolia continues to refinance its debt.  We know very little about Dreamstime's financials.

Not only do I see industry consolidation on the horizon but prices are going to have to increase at some point (that doesn't necessarily mean contributor royalties will increase).
« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 13:33 by Ed »

« Reply #48 on: June 12, 2014, 14:03 »
+2
I'm surprized there are not more cross platform agencies like the Envato Marketplace.  I don't buy many photos so don't visit Photodune, but I buy Wordpress themes there and often wander over to Code Canyon or Graphic River for design elements - while using the same account.   They have very frustrating licenses though from a buyer's POV, and I haven't investigated for a couple years, but they didn't pay the greatest royalties. 

« Reply #49 on: June 12, 2014, 16:51 »
+3
Experts on the SS critique forum will continue to teach and nurture newbies who don't know an F stop from a bus stop. The newbies go on to become experts competing with them and flooding the market even more...

Who says that any of them are experts?

If they can be outdone by some newbies who pick up shooting tips on an internet forum, then they deserve to be outdone and surely they're not experts.


« Reply #50 on: June 12, 2014, 16:55 »
+7
I have been transitioning to video for years but I see a saturation and market growth problem in video. It is just not as popular as photo.  You need to use it in a produced piece or video web ad.  Photo probably sells 20:1 compared to video. 

With the 4k transition I guess you could see footage taking off as having stills taken out from video by clients buying it or extracting a frame from the site.   

I have more video than ever but revenue stays the same and sales are inching downward.   

My final guess is that Microstock right now is at a low point in the multi-year sales curve.  Be it reduced advertising budgets and or the recession still holding a grasp in consumerism. We will probably see better times ahead but also tougher times in the short term.  It will be a test of endurance and the ones surviving it will probably be able to reap the benefits.

All in all I think the real future of Stock media is for a search engine like google image search to allow us to list content for sale or on youtube and license it directly. Youtube Stock or Vimeo Stock.   Like direct image sales with some sort of revenue model for the sites but much more favorable for the contributor.

We need a patron St. of Microstock to light a candle and say some prayers.   St. DSLR?   :-X

« Reply #51 on: June 12, 2014, 17:07 »
0
I see the same trend as James. It is going to take a lot of work to stay in microstock at this time! Now more then ever you need to up your skills and push your limits to survive. Soon there will be fewer and fewer artist as there will not be any money in it for them and people will not want to go through the hassle of getting releases. I project a slow rest of the year and maybe an uptick next year but not for all artist. I have taken on other projects that pay decent in order to offset the micro side. I still wouldn't change a thing in my life as I love what I do. You need business sense to survive now and if you lack that then it will be a rough ride. There will always be a need in the market for unique good quality content.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #52 on: June 12, 2014, 21:48 »
+2
Have the past three years changed much? There will be more of what's already happening now. Supply of images is outpacing demand which will decrease perceived value and force lower prices of easily produced content. Eventually supply will stall from people not making enough money. Those who have rare or higher value content will move to specialized agencies or focus on selling direct. Generic stock will compete on lowest price.

I think the biggest change may come from a completely new licensing model. Either from a non stock company like an Instagram or from a completely new company. If this really is a multi billion dollar industry there are plenty of new generation entrepreneurs out there working on something innovative to replace the current old model. Not sure if that will be good or bad for contributors but it's only a matter of time.

Theres plenty of opportunity for those who can analyze the trends and adjust accordingly.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #53 on: June 12, 2014, 22:03 »
0
The big attraction with video is the huge amount of potential advertising revenue there is with forcing viewers to sit through 10-30 second sponsored commercials. Unfortunately most of that isn't stock video. It's a custom shoot or some amazing event someone captured on their phone. So video may be the future but not sure where stock video fits into that opportunity.

« Reply #54 on: June 12, 2014, 22:20 »
+4
I guess I'll look into my crystal ball and toss in my two cents... Getty Images/istockphoto - they are saddled with the H&F debt as well as the Caryle Group probably giving themselves a generous dividend (another debt) and trying to sell off the whole package again. The Getty family may attempt to buy up the rest. I predict istock HQ in Calgary will be closed and absorbed into Getty USA since that is how corporate works. Question: How do I lose 30 pounds? Corporate answer: Cut off your right leg. Ask the people who used to work at Veer. Exclusivity will be a thing of the past, as the actions of 2014 are already putting that in motion. (istock subs) A flat 20% (or less) for everybody. I also predict some shake-ups at the top office floors as they are unable to meet any expectations or have a solid plan of action.

Shutterstock - yes the stock is horribly overvalued and it will come down - it has to. Just like Yahoo, it will undergo a dramatic "plunge" and the CEO will soon be facing angry stockholders (mostly mutual fund managers) who will demand more value and scream bloody murder if you try and increase royalties. Also their contributors will be asking for some kind of increase after so many years and with eyes on the company earnings being made public. It may buy up some smaller companies or partner with some big boys (Google?) in an attempt to shore up it's business. Also I should point out here that both Getty and Shutter will be looking more towards the east for image markets and supply. Why pay an American to photograph that apple when I can get someone to do it in China or India for a few cents?

The smaller companies/agencies - some will change, some will consolidate, and a few will go "tits up". Like the early days of the car, there were hundreds of  businesses, and now there are a few. (RIP Packard)

However - all is not lost, I predict more will simply tire of the nonsense and go off on their own to brand themselves and become 100% independent. Also I predict we'll see small groups of artists form their own private markets. Stocksy is a good example, Symbiostock is another. And you can bet that there will be more solutions in the future. We live in a great time, we all have the ability to create great work in the comfort of our home businesses, and instantly access millions of people from around the world. We all have the power to become our own little Getty or Shutterstock. No, it's not easy, you need to work at it. But it's not impossible either.... Glass half full or empty? Forget the glass, there's plenty of water right here in the lake!

« Reply #55 on: June 12, 2014, 22:50 »
0
...Exclusivity will be a thing of the past, as the actions of 2014 are already putting that in motion. (istock subs) A flat 20% (or less) for everybody...

This is one thing that I can't believe hasn't happened already. Even though there may be value in a partially exclusive collection (especially today when so many of these companies have almost the exact same content) I've just always suspected that Getty must hate the idea that iStock pays their exclusive contributors more than 20%. Can't say I blame them. For years they've paid 20% and demanded exclusivity in the Getty house collection, and yet they're paying the same percentage for non-exclusivity at iStock and paying more (in some cases double) for exclusive content. It has to drive them a little crazy.

I agree with you, it could go away in the next 3 years (or far less). Or at the very least restructured in some way. Whatever they do, I can't imagine that anyone at iStock will ever get more than 30%.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #56 on: June 13, 2014, 09:07 »
+1
Both interesting and probably mostly right for the future. Many exclusives have said, they feel like IS/Getty is pushing them out the door and trying to make them "decide" to drop exclusive, so it feels like it's the individual's decision, not IS saying "We're dropping Exclusive".

It's a multi-billion dollar industry for the agencies, not for us. Lets not merge the two into anything. Agencies will grow and prosper. Individuals will become less and less important. Agency income and profits will grow, artists income will drop. This is not some wizards forward view, we're already seeing that and have for a couple of years.

The rapid growth period has passed, for them and us. Now things will be sorting out, leveling off and becoming more stable for agencies. Expect more closings or at least, dormant agencies that keep a presence and take the profits, but don't put out any effort, investment in advertising, for a greater market share.

Myself, I'll continue to shoot what I love and upload when I can, and take the money that I get from SS and IS. If the returns increase, I surely will not complain!  8) But I don't have expectations that overall Microstock is going to improve for artists.

This is not the time to be a new Microstock contributor and try to build a collection and income. At least not using the old methods that worked five to ten years ago.



...Exclusivity will be a thing of the past, as the actions of 2014 are already putting that in motion. (istock subs) A flat 20% (or less) for everybody...

This is one thing that I can't believe hasn't happened already. Even though there may be value in a partially exclusive collection (especially today when so many of these companies have almost the exact same content) I've just always suspected that Getty must hate the idea that iStock pays their exclusive contributors more than 20%. Can't say I blame them. For years they've paid 20% and demanded exclusivity in the Getty house collection, and yet they're paying the same percentage for non-exclusivity at iStock and paying more (in some cases double) for exclusive content. It has to drive them a little crazy.

I agree with you, it could go away in the next 3 years (or far less). Or at the very least restructured in some way. Whatever they do, I can't imagine that anyone at iStock will ever get more than 30%.


« Reply #57 on: June 13, 2014, 13:58 »
+1


Shutterstock -  the CEO will soon be facing angry stockholders (mostly mutual fund managers) who will demand more value and scream bloody murder if you try and increase royalties.

Agree with everything you said, especially the above. The minute there are stockholders, raises become endangered. We can always hope I guess

« Reply #58 on: June 13, 2014, 14:48 »
+1


Shutterstock -  the CEO will soon be facing angry stockholders (mostly mutual fund managers) who will demand more value and scream bloody murder if you try and increase royalties.

Agree with everything you said, especially the above. The minute there are stockholders, raises become endangered. We can always hope I guess

Shutterstock obviously doesn't have a problem attracting new content so I don't think a raise will be on the horizon any time soon. Especially given the fact that they have to keep impatient investors happy.

ruxpriencdiam

    This user is banned.
  • Location. Third stone from the sun
« Reply #59 on: June 13, 2014, 15:49 »
+1
There will be technological advances like no other!

Everyone will still be here and elsewhere discussing the same thing on all new threads.

We will all be on the new thing from Honda that is like the speeder on star wars.

Etc.

ACS

« Reply #60 on: June 13, 2014, 18:16 »
+1
The overall demand for RF content will increase, MS market will get bigger. This growth will mostly be driven by the emerging economies; buyers from Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China, South Africa, Turkey, Nigeria, Malaysia, Gulf countries will demand more content especially on "local" subjects. Video and illustration will take bigger pie from the cake when compared to photograph. Some agencies may start to pay more for new/less saturated more demanded/local content...

« Reply #61 on: June 13, 2014, 18:39 »
+1
I guess I'll look into my crystal ball and toss in my two cents... Getty Images/istockphoto - they are saddled with the H&F debt as well as the Caryle Group probably giving themselves a generous dividend (another debt) and trying to sell off the whole package again. The Getty family may attempt to buy up the rest. I predict istock HQ in Calgary will be closed and absorbed into Getty USA since that is how corporate works. Question: How do I lose 30 pounds? Corporate answer: Cut off your right leg. Ask the people who used to work at Veer. Exclusivity will be a thing of the past, as the actions of 2014 are already putting that in motion. (istock subs) A flat 20% (or less) for everybody. I also predict some shake-ups at the top office floors as they are unable to meet any expectations or have a solid plan of action.
I also do think that iStock (and Getty) are under very tight financial constraints and that they want to reduce the payout to Exclusives. However, they are just smart enough to know an across the board whack of percentages would likely stir such outrage that many Exclusives and Independents would bolt for the door. At least enough would that they would see further damage to their business. So here is an opportunity to get rid of the current RC system and install a new (or revive the old) scale system and, under the cover of change, try to lower the payouts once again. Once the contributors see that they lost ground it would again cause more ill will, but it would take some months be able to confirm the losses. Over months some of the energy of an uprising dies down and not as many bolt for the door. On the other hand, burnt once, we all will be watching any of these moves very closely.

iStock could also change to image exclusivity, keeping current photog exclusive images as image exclusive. Then photog exclusivity would be gone and new submissions all track at the lower levels. At least us photog Exclusives would be free to take _new_ images to additional sites and iStock would not be adding images at the higher payout levels. With new images not selling, this might be a viable consideration to transition iStock Exclusives out of the pay scale and allow them more freedom in image placement and exposure for sale (albeit maybe not within the Getty network).

« Reply #62 on: June 13, 2014, 19:08 »
+1
There will come a time very soon that agencies, in addition to contributors, will have to create new differentiators other than using price as the carrot.  I completely side with other here who have mentioned image exclusivity.  In my humble opinion content will be the next differentiator, and the way to attract artists with good content is to make it worthwhile financially.  Many of the good artists, especially niche artists, will contribute to making the difference in collection quality.  The only gap I see is do buyers care? Will they simply be happy with a 25 cent point and shoot image, shot without skill, planning, thought by joe blow sand his digital 110 instamatic? That's, to be, the bigger debate.

« Reply #63 on: June 13, 2014, 19:44 »
+1
...I completely side with other here who have mentioned image exclusivity.  In my humble opinion content will be the next differentiator...

I think this came about sort of organically. Not long ago the idea of any sort of exclusivity was a lot more unpopular. Image exclusivity was always talked about, but not with the same enthusiasm we see today.

The "organic" part of it I think is that it's not that opinions changed, but more that the market has changed to such a degree that we feel compelled to look to this sort of option with renewed interest.

...The only gap I see is do buyers care? Will they simply be happy with a 25 cent point and shoot image, shot without skill, planning, thought by joe blow sand his digital 110 instamatic? That's, to be, the bigger debate.

I think buyers absolutely care. If they didn't, niche shops wouldn't stand a chance. And now more than ever I think that they have good reason to care, when it seems like more and more of the content they find at these big agencies is more of the same stuff that Joe Blow has been doing. If they're content with what Joe produces, then maybe they have no need to look elsewhere. But I suspect that more and more often buyers are expressing an interest in other options.

I would almost guarantee that Offset came about from exactly these types of conversations with buyers. One of the things that Shutterstock does better than pretty much anyone in the business is talking to buyers and contributors. On a daily basis they interact with members of both groups. And since Shutterstock doesn't seem like the kind of company that would make a big move like Offset without at least some indication that buyers wanted it, I'm very inclined to believe that Offset was born out of buyers saying that they do care about quality, planning, concept, skill, etc., and that they want more choice.

« Reply #64 on: July 04, 2014, 05:30 »
+3
I remember studying a business model at university that may explain what is currently happening in the micro stock market.

The model explains that when someone invents new technology or product that consumers want, the market takes off and more and more businesses jump onto the bandwagon, and soon the market becomes over saturated, and eventually this forces down the price. But with the falling prices, eventually the price gets too low for anyone to profit, and the bulk of businesses either go broke, shut down or do something else.

However, if the product is still desirable by the consumers, often one large organisation will dominate and take over the market. The organisation that succeeds will be the one that has the best internal management, systems, etc. For example in the past, IBM with computers, Microsoft with software.

That one organisation will then continue to dominate that market until new technology comes in and takes over. Eg Apple with iPod, iPhone technology.

I think this business model can demonstrate what is happening here with micro stock, and they have hit the top of the market saturation point, and prices have to then naturally decline, until one large organisation remains.

So who will it be? Shutterstock perhaps, if they are smart enough.

« Reply #65 on: July 04, 2014, 05:52 »
+2
So, I don't think micro stock is dead, because there is still a high market demand for it especially with the continuing growth of the internet market. Eg online shopping, information resources, etc.

We are just in the middle of a market correction with too many players in the game. And of course, this goes for contributors as well, until the market corrects and those who do not find it profitable fall away.

« Reply #66 on: July 04, 2014, 15:22 »
+3
Very smart analysis Anja.  You could be right.  I think Getty expects to be the one remaining, but their terrible business decisions and disorganization have left Shutterstock the most likely winner.

But if this consolidation happens won't that be bad for the contributors?


« Reply #67 on: July 04, 2014, 16:02 »
+1
Yes, it would be bad - especially in the interim period. But there is also now, since the digital camera became more available, a glut of contributors, and if this economic model is correct then there will be a rationalisation of contributors as well, and eventually only those who can maintain a good income from it will remain.

It is not a pleasant time for all concerned when there is market over-saturation - a very turbulent time. But eventually the market corrects itself and the main players who remain and survive will do well.

Its been a few years since I studied economics, but I remember there are exceptions to the rule, so depending on the market tolerance, sometimes a small group of businesses rather than just one take over the industry, such as in the petrol industry - an oligopoly instead of an monopoly. And maybe we will be left with just the Big 4 stock agencies, if they do the right thing and look after both contributor and customer.

Tror

« Reply #68 on: July 04, 2014, 16:16 »
0
Sooner or later a smart entrepreneur will enter into the market and screw everything up with a bunch of mentionable investors in his back.

Shutterstock is good atm, but imho they do not understand images (or videos) and thus lacking a critical part of knowledge. They understand business structures, advertising, SEO and search algorithms - and for now it is enough. But their business course is on kamikaze - not only for photographers. Something like a microstock stocksy may very well enter the market at any given moment with a fresh paradigm and attitude. And, just to repeat, I am talking about a well funded, thought through and built business, not just a nice site with a good idea and attitude. You need loads of money to blow into marketing these days.

And regarding style and a shift in paradigms: look at many of the nowadays big sites. You see them linked on Facebook. Other create suddenly major headlines although you never heard about them before (eyem, anyone?). And as soon as you see those sites you immediately understand: "ahhh, that other one I used to use so long really looks like retro now". That hopefully will happen to SS. I say hopefully not because of bad or ill will. I say it because I think the economic scheme (subscription mixed with SOD and special uses and zero innovation) is not sustainable like this nor healthy for us or them. Off course they have the opportunity to evolve by themselves. But given the current ignorance is hinting out a business which sacrificed innovation and flexibility for numbers and size.

3 years? Current big microstock sites will be like the wallmart of stock (or art). If you have no choice you submit there. If you need a quick fix for low budget design you will find there what you want, but anyone with special needs, style or even self esteem will got somewhere else with more specific products or better style.
You may buy a 10$ coffee machine at wallmart because yours suddenly broke friday evening and it is 8pm. But you only buy it as a quick fix until you have the time to order a nice one and compare some products. At least if you have money. Most likely shutterstock (or similars) will even produce a negative image of themselves because of their lack of understanding inspection, creativity and leading of trends. People may say: "What you are able to buy there must be generic rubbish" . And maybe they will be right. "If you want some great stuff go to stocksy, or spacesimages, or 500px prime or whatever".
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 16:18 by Tror »

« Reply #69 on: July 04, 2014, 20:37 »
+2
.....

All in all I think the real future of Stock media is for a search engine like google image search to allow us to list content for sale or on youtube and license it directly. Youtube Stock or Vimeo Stock.   Like direct image sales with some sort of revenue model for the sites but much more favorable for the contributor.

.....

stocksy looks like a good step forward, and picturengine might be if it ever makes it to beta

global search was part of the idea behind symbiostock - and though the project has halted most sites are still active and there are 2 global searches across all symbio sites

http://symbiostock.info
and http://symbiostock-search.com

unfortunately, while many folks talk about collectives and ther combined efforts there are only a few who actually do anything.

« Reply #70 on: July 05, 2014, 07:11 »
+1
Creo que el futuro de microstock sera la especializacin de pequeas agencias, como 3stock.es que son mas cercanas para nosotros y pagan mejor sin entrar en guerras de precios y cuidan mejor a los contribuyentes, creo sinceramente que vale la pena apoyar iniciativas as.

« Reply #71 on: July 05, 2014, 13:19 »
+1
What am I seeing?
Nothing, emptiness, lot of clouds and smoke...
But I am hearing, drums... Drums, in the darkness....

« Reply #72 on: July 05, 2014, 13:37 »
+1
The model explains that when someone invents new technology or product that consumers want, the market takes off and more and more businesses jump onto the bandwagon, and soon the market becomes over saturated, and eventually this forces down the price. But with the falling prices, eventually the price gets too low for anyone to profit, and the bulk of businesses either go broke, shut down or do something else.

Interesting. I'd say the only flaw is that it doesn't take all that much to run a bare bones micro agency. You don't even have to compete or pay any attention to/with Shutterstock or any of the big 4 to be profitable.

« Reply #73 on: July 05, 2014, 14:26 »
+2
global search was part of the idea behind symbiostock - and though the project has halted most sites are still active and there are 2 global searches across all symbio sites

http://symbiostock.info
and http://symbiostock-search.com


But both of those sites produce lousy results. The quality just isn't there. Trying search for, say, business team. Compare the results with any microstock site. That is the downside of content which is not curated even by search algorithms.

Symbiostock has not worked so far (regular sales and loyal customers are the test) because it does not have adequate investment or group vision. The individual sites which have done okay (mostly established illustrators) would have done okay, perhaps better, on managed platforms.

The least important thing is writing the actual software. Software practically writes itself when a problem is thoroughly specified from the bottom up. It's the design, the concepts and the model which need to be defined first. Then the contracts and all legal issues. And the whole thing needs to be about a sense of what sort of work should be represented - who the customer is and how the business is being pitched.

« Reply #74 on: July 05, 2014, 14:58 »
+1
........

The least important thing is writing the actual software. Software practically writes itself when a problem is thoroughly specified from the bottom up.



you don't seem to have much actual experience in software development to make a statement like this!!! bottom up is one of the worst methods of software design!

Quote
It's the design, the concepts and the model which need to be defined first. Then the contracts and all legal issues. And the whole thing needs to be about a sense of what sort of work should be represented - who the customer is and how the business is being pitched.

and your actual contribution is going to be ready when??? are you looking to DO something, or just attack anyone who actually makes an effort?

« Reply #75 on: July 05, 2014, 15:00 »
0

.....
Symbiostock has not worked so far (regular sales and loyal customers are the test) because it does not have adequate investment or group vision. The individual sites which have done okay (mostly established illustrators) would have done okay, perhaps better, on managed platforms.

.....

not true -- reports from those who have/had other sites like photoshelter,smugmug etc, is that their symbio sites have done better than those other sites

« Reply #76 on: July 05, 2014, 15:42 »
+1
not true -- reports from those who have/had other sites like photoshelter,smugmug etc, is that their symbio sites have done better than those other sites

My Ktools site outperforms my Symbio site by quite a bit, but it is older and the hosting is a little more dedicated. So it has some advantages that the Symbio doesn't have. I've thought about bumping up the hosting, but I wasn't sure if anybody had any experience with that. I guess I'll have to ask about it when the forums reopen.


« Reply #77 on: July 05, 2014, 17:26 »
+2
Sooner or later a smart entrepreneur will enter into the market and screw everything up with a bunch of mentionable investors in his back...

The opportunity exists for some entrepreneurs and investors to enter into microstock and do the opposite of screw it up, too. None of the existing companies have perfected the art of distributing stock content. Even Shutterstock does a lot of things wrong. And customers have needs that companies like Shutterstock don't fulfill (it's pure insanity to me that I can't sell a vector file with editable text, i.e. non-outlined lettering) and customers are very willing to go elsewhere to get what they need, in the format they want.

It is highly possible (and I think highly likely) that in a few years time we may see a company emerge that can do it all and do it well. The best of everything. Good search tools, a stable website, innovative ways to help buyers find what they want from artists they like and get the kinds of files they want in the formats they want, pay fair royalties, gain contributor trust and support, and ultimately show the rest of these guys how stock should be done.

We all know that every one of the companies we work with have things they can (and should) improve, but often don't. The right group of entrepreneurs, developers, marketing pros, etc., could put something together than doesn't have the flaws these other companies have.

I think we've already seen some of the signs that this can happen. I see small companies doing some incredible things, stuff that the big companies haven't done yet, or won't ever do. I don't think it's a matter of whether some startup company can beat the big guys. It's more a matter of how have the big guys managed to not be beat already at their own game when they do so many things poorly.

« Reply #78 on: July 05, 2014, 17:27 »
0
not true -- reports from those who have/had other sites like photoshelter,smugmug etc, is that their symbio sites have done better than those other sites

My Ktools site outperforms my Symbio site by quite a bit, but it is older and the hosting is a little more dedicated. So it has some advantages that the Symbio doesn't have. I've thought about bumping up the hosting, but I wasn't sure if anybody had any experience with that. I guess I'll have to ask about it when the forums reopen.

ok, thanks for correcting that

Goofy

« Reply #79 on: July 05, 2014, 18:53 »
0
What do I see in three years from now?

Subs, DPC, Google Plus, even more Subs, more DPC's and more free images on Google... :(



« Reply #80 on: July 05, 2014, 21:14 »
+2
The least important thing is writing the actual software. Software practically writes itself when a problem is thoroughly specified from the bottom up. It's the design, the concepts and the model which need to be defined first. Then the contracts and all legal issues. And the whole thing needs to be about a sense of what sort of work should be represented - who the customer is and how the business is being pitched.

I did software development for decades.  And I think I know what you mean, and there is truth in it.  You left out one crucial thing though - long term support: continuing bug fixes and new development to keep up with evolving needs.  And that it seems to me is what Symbiostock was lacking.


 

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