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Author Topic: Three months in. How am I doing with sales?  (Read 4654 times)

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« on: November 27, 2016, 13:42 »
+1
I only started selling stock about four months ago and I now have three months of sales data to analyse. Im going to share my stats in the hope that it might give other new uploaders an idea of what might be achievable in the first few months and to hopefully get some feedback from stock selling stalwarts out there who might have their own ideas and opinions on what to expect during the first few months of selling in the current climate.

I decided early on to test the water by uploading all of my 80 video clips (a wide range of footage from city shots, to studio stuff) to seven stock sites, namely: Shutterstock, Pond5, VideoBlocks, iStock, VideoHive, 123RF and Adobe.

Using Microstockr Pro to analyse my sales over the last three months there have been some surprises based on my expectations, for example I thought Pond5 would have been a much strong performer (based on what Id read), but has only given me three sales to date. VideoHive on the other hand has provided consistent earnings across each month (because theyre cheap I assume). 123RF has produced zero sales to date and I probably will save my time by not uploading to them in the future.

So, to the earnings breakdown.

Month 1 (Sept) - $282 from 17 sales.
Month 2 (Oct) - $290 from 18 sales
Month 3 (Nov) - $354 from 23 sales

Total sales for 3 months - $926.00 with an average return per download (RPD) of $16 across all agencies.

Heres how it breaks down per agency across the three months with the average return per download for each agency.

Shutterstock - 9 sales RPD $17.82
Pond5 - 3 sales RPD $22.38
VideoBlocks - 8 sales RPD $40.08
iStock - 13 sales RPD $5.74
VideoHive 23 sales- RPD $11.66
123RF 0 Sales
Adobe 2 sales N/A

Going forward I will probably keep uploading to all the agencies except 123RF. Ive also recently uploaded to MotionElements so Ill be interested to see how things move along over there. Adobe Ive only done for a month, but the couple of sales Ive had there have been reasonably high compared to some of the others (iStock for example).

Based on my experience Id suggest anyone starting out should post their content to all the major agencies and see for themselves where the best sales comes from and even what types of content sells best at certain agencies. For example almost all of my sales at iStock have been for city shots.

So there you have it. Id be interested to hear other peoples experiences of starting out and what the prospects might be? Do sales keep on growing? Are there ways to promote content?

Id love to hear from others out there...

Keith.


Giveme5

« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 13:45 »
+1
very positive stats! Keep it up!  :)


« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 16:16 »
0
Looks quite good coming from just 80 clips, although I can't see how you're getting $11.66 avg from VH unless you're exclusive selling 90% 4k...

Anyway, the relationship between the sites looks quite normal I suppose (I sell more per DAY on certain sites than per year on others). Pond5 is a huge site with many, many buyers but it's not really a good place for newcomers. Most people who get good sales have been there for many, many years.

Their library is just too enormous and the search engine does not favor new clips with 0 sales at all. It takes years to be seen there. Luckily, that's not the case with some other sites.

However, if you'd been at P5 for 5-10 years and had clips with 10+ sales you would see quite a bit of action... Too bad you can't go back in time.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2016, 16:37 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2016, 18:06 »
0

123RF has produced zero sales to date and I probably will save my time by not uploading to them in the future.


Are you sure you haven't sold anything in 123rf? I'm asking you this because I have discovered that I have had sales after a few months, when I was also looking to delete my account. They have a very strange site. My balance (the one under My Account was showing 0, but when I have clicked on Sell Content (on the bottom page - under For Contributers) I have discovered that I actually had a few sales, so I have decided to give it a try. I can not say it is going fantastic, but I am quite happy that it moves a little bit (better than Dreamstime), at least for me.

« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2016, 02:43 »
0

Pond5 - 3 sales RPD $22.38
..
iStock - 13 sales RPD $5.74

Good work, but I think your rpd at Pond5 should be at least 35$ (mine is 57$), if the same content is selling well at SS you will earn more by rising your prices at P5.
Also I believe you should remove your account from Istock, their video rates are humiliating (I did that long time ago and now I'm really happy for that)

alno

« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2016, 03:04 »
+1
Those are very nice numbers :)
You either a pro with old big archive of really good clips to choose those 80 from or very talented beginner with Red Weapon :) In both cases you should proceed and see four digits of mothly income in a few months. The most surprising thing that you had good sells for the very first month since videos have way longer project time than photos in general. You should try some batch uploading and submission software like Stocksubmitter to stop worrying about temporary no-sellers, those are great time savers.
I know this is not typical on this forum to share portfolio links but it would be really interesting to see those 80 clips of yours.

« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2016, 19:53 »
0
Thanks for the comments - it's good to know things are moving in the right direction. I'll respond to each.

increasingdifficulty: I had a couple more sales before Sept at VH, which is probably why the numbers are bit off there. Very interesting to hear about P5 and how it functions. I guess I'll just have to hang around and keep uploading. As a video editor I know P5 is often a first port of call for productions I work on, which I guess is why I expected more. But your explanation makes sense.

Luka: I followed your instructions... sadly no hidden sales at 123RF.

AliJaber: The three sales I had from P5 varied a lot, hence the low RPD. I don't know why. I'll stick with iStock for a while longer and hope they become more contributor friendly.

Irina: It's all new material, I wish I did have a Red Weapon, that would be very nice. I hadn't heard about Stocksubmitter, so I'll give it a go, it looks ideal for me. You can see my portfolio over here: https://www.shutterstock.com/video/gallery/WrightMediaUK-3201023

op

« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2016, 01:55 »
0
Thanks for the comments - it's good to know things are moving in the right direction. I'll respond to each.

increasingdifficulty: I had a couple more sales before Sept at VH, which is probably why the numbers are bit off there. Very interesting to hear about P5 and how it functions. I guess I'll just have to hang around and keep uploading. As a video editor I know P5 is often a first port of call for productions I work on, which I guess is why I expected more. But your explanation makes sense.

Luka: I followed your instructions... sadly no hidden sales at 123RF.

AliJaber: The three sales I had from P5 varied a lot, hence the low RPD. I don't know why. I'll stick with iStock for a while longer and hope they become more contributor friendly.

Irina: It's all new material, I wish I did have a Red Weapon, that would be very nice. I hadn't heard about Stocksubmitter, so I'll give it a go, it looks ideal for me. You can see my portfolio over here: https://www.shutterstock.com/video/gallery/WrightMediaUK-3201023

Interesting post and great portfolio. What kind of footage are you selling the most? City shots/aerial or food? Thanks

alno

« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2016, 03:21 »
0

Irina: It's all new material, I wish I did have a Red Weapon, that would be very nice. I hadn't heard about Stocksubmitter, so I'll give it a go, it looks ideal for me. You can see my portfolio over here: https://www.shutterstock.com/video/gallery/WrightMediaUK-3201023

Really nice clips.
You've mentioned that you are a video editor, this might be the key to success.   

« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2016, 03:55 »
+2
Looks like a great start.  My experience with P5 is that they take a while to get sales going but then they have been my best selling site.  I'm only an amateur with video though.
I'll stick with iStock for a while longer and hope they become more contributor friendly.
I did that for 10 years and it never happened.  I really don't think non-exclusives should use them now because it will damage our earnings with other sites.  If all the sites sold for low prices and paid us 20%, it would be almost impossible to make money.  Istock are soon going to pay all non-exclusives 15% for stills, if we put up with that, the other sites wont pay us 30 to 50%.

50%

« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2016, 04:19 »
0
Exceptional good, saw your link just now great professional work!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 04:44 by 50% »

« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2016, 04:30 »
+4
I agree with Sharpshot that selling at iStock with their pitiful return to the artist is not a good thing as it may take sales of the same clip away from agencies which pay better. I still have an archive of clips at iStock (mostly old one's which don't meet my standards for uploading nowadays), but it still pains me to get a sale there when I might have got a fairer return elsewhere.

The opposite side of the coin is that I'm not uploading to Videoblocks and most certainly not to Videohive, even though, on the face of things, they bring in more money to the artist. Their pricing strategy of undercutting other agencies will only accelerate the reduction in overall prices at all agencies and in the long term hurt everybody's income.

« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2016, 05:51 »
+2
I get what everyone is saying about iStock. The return is a joke compared to what they sell for, Ill certainly reconsider uploading there in the future.

For the other agencies, Im still open, mainly because Im also a consumer of stock footage on a regular basis. My main occupation is as a freelance video editor so I know that most production companies have accounts with places like ShutterStock and Pond5, Ive never worked for a company that used VideoHive.

If theres a decent budget and the company has established practices in place then I dont see the potential for much cross cannibalisation, producers just dont have the time, or care, to sit down and try to find the cheapest version of a shot.

On the other hand as an independent filmmaker I sometimes need stock for a very small budget and thats when I might personally use agencies like VideoHive to buy stock. So in many ways I see different agencies as providers for different user markets.

Id be very interested to hear about anyone who has pulled out of agencies and seen a marked improvement in sales. I guess its always going to be hard to measure accurately without knowing the end users decision making process.

« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2016, 08:00 »
0
I can see that professional film makers don't have time to go chasing a saving of a few dollars by comparing agencies on the odd clip or two. On the other hand if Videoblocks carries on building a library which gives it similar content in quality and quantity to the other microstock sources, sooner or later those same filmmakers will realise they can get the same stuff for a saving of 10,20, 30 dollars or more per clip. At that point Videoblocks becomes the first port of call and higher priced sales at Pond5 and Shutterstock dwindle away and force them to lower their prices. I'm sure that is at least part of the game plan Videoblocks has and the only way I see for contributors to resist it is to not give Videobocks the quantity and quality of content it needs to succeed.

Yes, I know I am a tiny fish in a very big pond and I'm swimming against a strong current; I also know that there are many other factors at play than just Videoblocks but, I would rather try than meekly acquiesce.

csm

« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2017, 10:06 »
0
Interesting reading, and good to see you have a had a good start.
Gives hope, to people just beginning now to submit footage.
Good varied work too.

I too started submitting footage to all the main sites from the beginning of the year.
Pond5, Shutterstock, Videoblocks, Pixta and ME.
It`s been a lot of hard work, got about 150 clips finished and being ingested from the different sites.
I`ve had a couple of sales from Shutterstock, one sale from Pond5, non from VB.
Keep trying Videohive, but my video previews keep being rejected!
Starting to sweat a bit that things so far have been a bit slow.
I know it all takes time for you work to bubble up in searches, and that I need more clips online but I`ve invested a lot of time and effort so far and hoping soon to start seeing some returns on my work so far.
Must start using stock submitter!

Stock has been the only thing I`ve known for 20 years.
I`ve gone from from earning a good living from one agent, to now submitting across many sites non exclusively, which I wish I`d done years ago!
The industry has changed massively in that time.

I`m proud of my work so far and know it`s sellable, but wonder if I`m just a bit too late to the party.
Even if I had 1000 clips online with P5, would my work be seen as much as those that have been there longer?
How do you know when it`s time to stop pouring money and effort into something that might not pay off?
Keep wondering if I should wait a couple of months to just to see how things do before continuing.
(Although, I can`t really stop, I love doing this too much!)




 

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