pancakes

MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Are things going well in microstock?  (Read 90676 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

michealo

« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2008, 05:33 »
0
Yuri,

I wonder whether the real problem is that the barriers to entry for your competitors like me are very low. I wouldn't for a second claim to be in your league but I still nonetheless I compete with you for sales. My sales are miniscule but there are thousands of me all around the world and everyday I am joined by a thousand more. You photos may be better but you can't shoot the sheer volume that we shoot.

I have no overheads as photography is a hobby so I already had the camera, I don't pay models or rent a studio., I suspect that many of the others are like me. Microstock is growing but the contributors are growing faster than the overall revenue.

You need to look carefully at where you can grow incrementally revenue at low cost, some of the choices you will have to make may be unsavoury like aiming for lower quality or reducing your costs.

Perhaps negotiating an exclusive deal with a single agency where you get a much higher % than usual. Your portfolio would lend huge legitimacy to a small site they should be prepared to pay you a large fee - make sure you get it up front.

Perhaps you look for a position in Snapvillage, they have deep pockets and need the help

Perhaps you let your assistants shoot stock and create a low cost volume based brand.

Perhaps you move to Ireland for the artists tax free exemption.

...





Yuri_Arcurs

  • One Crazy PhotoManic MadPerson
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2008, 05:34 »
0
Thanks Josh and Brian for bringing in the agencys perspective.

The thing is that being down with about 20% in the Christmas months (the total of 5% is over 4 months), January and February has to be up with about 20% to make it even out, and to make a progress they have to be up with a lot more. If January and February are only up with about 20%, that means I just lost a 40000USD investment and the time put into it.

Im planning to do this:
Downsize my SS uploads to minimum res, so the people that want to buy them in full res, does so for real money. This way people also dont get irritated with too big file sizes when downloading.
Obt out of StockXpert subscription, because I feel I have lost money ever since they introduced it and maybe some of my regular buyers are now buying my pictures over a subscription instead and thats why Im losing money.
No casino, concert, big business shoots or pro-model shoots, because it does not pay. Stick to secure and easily produced pictures.
Do an effort at pushing subscription agencies toward regular commission of the net-income from commission downloads. No fixed rates (0.30, 0.35 cents etc.) because they hide away the actual commission. 

RT


« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2008, 05:40 »
0
Macrostock is the 5-star restaurant. It has all that midstock has, but better. The food is top-notch. Prices are much higher but you get value for money, the best caviar and seafood. Those restaurants have many customers, often you have to make reservations.

You were typing this as I was adding my reply, your analogy is an interesting one and I agree with certain aspects of it except for the above statement, unfortunately on Macrostock not all the food is top notch in fact a lot of it is very sub par quality, but as you've rightly pointed out they have the customers who up until recently have only known this type of food!

There are some fantastic photographers on Macro who's work I aspire to, but believe me they are far out numbered by many who's work is quite frankly appalling.
Pick any Macro agency and do a search for an object (anything will do) on a white background, it's amazing how many photographers there think that a murkey dull grey colour is white! The background may have been white when they took the shot but it ain't in the final result, and yet these people are selling them for much more money that better shots sell for on Micro, Why? because as you pointed out buyers are tied into agencies that they've used for years, have accounts with and know how to use their search engines.


« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2008, 05:47 »
0
Perfect comparison FlemishDreams.

And to complete it I can add that there are some top notch restaurants that offer you a business lunch for 20 euro, while their dinner would cost 80-100, to widen their customer base.

But it is 20 against 100, not 1 against 100 and the choice is limited even if the quality is the same as the most expensive dinner.

I think that the actual problem in stock is the insufficient relation between quality and price.

While in the restaurant comparison is pretty obvious and also the customers know well the quality difference between McDonald and the "Great Gourmet Restaurant", in the stock images market you can often find better images in micro than in macro and at an insignificant price fraction of the latter.

This is confusing also for the customers and it is ruining the overall market.

To put into another comparison I still remember when electronic stuff from Japan did cost a fraction than USA or Germany one, but when it caught up with the quality of the latter the price difference was progressively eliminated and today is close to zero. My guess is that quality photographers like Yuri should sell at higher prices while most macro agencies should lower theirs.

« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2008, 05:57 »
0
I'm tending towards dropping agencies that offer subscriptions unless they have an opt out option, like StockXpert and SV. I  will lose some profit short term, but long term, it's the only way to go, at least if I believe that my images have qualities that customers are willing to pay at least $5 for.
Agree

Yuri_Arcurs

  • One Crazy PhotoManic MadPerson
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2008, 05:58 »
0
From my rounds of regular costumer interviews I know that buyers can be irritated about too big files, and with my JPG going way into 20mb+ in size I think that especially subscription buyers may cancel the upload, when they see the maga download time.

I havent thought about this before, but maybe, by reducing the size I could actually (ironically) get a lot more downloads on subscription agencies. Maybe the minority of our microstock buyers are not at all interested (and probably cant tell the difference, McDonalds vs Gournet) in really super high quality.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2008, 06:03 by Yuri_Arcurs »

« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2008, 06:03 »
0
Not gaining revenue is a downer, but seeing your images everywhere must be a buzz.
Probably the same kind of buzz that Vincent Van Gogh got as he knew his Sunflowers were sold for 100M$, and when he barely could afford the paint when he was alive  ;-)
« Last Edit: January 07, 2008, 06:05 by FlemishDreams »

« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2008, 06:27 »
0
Quote
Maybe the minority of our microstock buyers are not at all interested (and probably cant tell the difference, McDonalds vs Gournet) in really super high quality.

Yes and it's also normal to sell high resolution and quality images at higher price. We can't sell off our work for 25c.

« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2008, 06:54 »
0
Interesting topic. Yuris it might be time for you to diversify as already suggested. You might compete less with yourself.
Regarding the subscription on Shutterstock, I think you have a very good point in downsizing your images. Maybe all of us here on Microstockgroup should start a movement to agree on sending SS downsized images  max 4-5 MP and opting out on subscription where possible. Gving enough time and photographers who will join, buyers might notice that they get the best quality and images by not using subscription and paying more money for images. Also agencies will be less inclined to start subscriptions or will rethink this model or raising the price or ".. pushing subscription agencies toward regular commission of the net-income from commission downloads.." as you Yuris suggested. I am not totally against subscription, but 0,30 cents is really a little bit to low in my opinion.

Starting today I will send SS only downsized images and opting out of subscription at StockXpert.
If others will follow and want to proclaim it here in the forum, I suggest we should start a list.

Yuri_Arcurs

  • One Crazy PhotoManic MadPerson
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2008, 06:59 »
0
Good point! I will do so too and if I can actually get more downloads from downsizing then whats the trouble.
Someone get Andreas and IOfoto on the bandwagon?

« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2008, 07:00 »
0
Just a curious question from an amateur: why do you pros and semi-pros sell your images with margins of 0,25$ instead of selling through macrostock companies?

I think the microstock business is great for:
1) microstock companies (if they do the job right)
2) designers looking for inexpensive  images
3) amateurs like me and others -> "....not gaining revenue is a downer, but seeing your images everywhere must be a buzz.." (quote josh_crestock) is true/valid for me - but I dont have to pay my loans with that.....

But for professional photographers? Or is it just a place where you sell your second grade quality (hope its the right wording - me german, bad english.....) and your main income is created by specific customers and/or RM?

Again, Im just curious (in fact this issue is puzzling me from a "business point of view" since I entered the "microstock-world" in early 2007).





« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2008, 07:07 »
0
Ok, great!

Everybody who wants to join, should copy the names from the most recent post and put his name under our names in a new post.

So here is the list:

Yuri Arcurs
Freezingpictures

« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2008, 07:12 »
0
Yuri Arcurs
Freezingpictures
GeoPappas

« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2008, 07:14 »
0
Many now professional photographers started as amateurs and are now professional or semi-professional. You can make a lot of money with microstock if you are dedicated, thats the core reason why you will find more and more pros in this business.

Just a curious question from an amateur: why do you pros and semi-pros sell your images with margins of 0,25$ instead of selling through macrostock companies?

I think the microstock business is great for:
1) microstock companies (if they do the job right)
2) designers looking for inexpensive  images
3) amateurs like me and others -> "....not gaining revenue is a downer, but seeing your images everywhere must be a buzz.." (quote josh_crestock) is true/valid for me - but I dont have to pay my loans with that.....

But for professional photographers? Or is it just a place where you sell your second grade quality (hope its the right wording - me german, bad english.....) and your main income is created by specific customers and/or RM?

Again, Im just curious (in fact this issue is puzzling me from a "business point of view" since I entered the "microstock-world" in early 2007).






Yuri_Arcurs

  • One Crazy PhotoManic MadPerson
« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2008, 07:14 »
0
Just a curious question from an amateur: why do you pros and semi-pros sell your images with margins of 0,25$ instead of selling through macrostock companies?


Its not like you just walk into a macro agency and say hi, wanna sell my pictures Macrostock is very conservative and highly concerned about image, so being a microstocker you are at the very bottom. People spend up to four years of work and get big loans paying for the production fees building a portfolio to present to macrostock agencies so they maybe can be accepted...

« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2008, 07:15 »
0
opt out done at StockXpert

Yuri Arcurs
Freezingpictures
GeoPappas
Smithore
« Last Edit: January 07, 2008, 07:18 by Smithore »

« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2008, 07:19 »
0
Yuri Arcurs
Freezingpictures
GeoPappas
Smithore
rene


« Reply #42 on: January 07, 2008, 07:26 »
0
Just opted out of StockXpert.  I think it is a good idea to upload lower resolution images to subscription sites.  It is a shame we can't opt out on some sites and I wonder if StockXpert will make it compulsory if a lot of us opt out?

Yuri Arcurs
Freezingpictures
GeoPappas
Smithore
rene
sharpshot

« Reply #43 on: January 07, 2008, 07:28 »
0
Just Opt-out at StockXpert make sense since I send high res . I downsize at SS (10 to 5MP)

Yuri Arcurs
Freezingpictures
GeoPappas
Smithore
rene
sharpshot
ldambies

« Reply #44 on: January 07, 2008, 07:35 »
0
Just a curious question from an amateur: why do you pros and semi-pros sell your images with margins of 0,25$ instead of selling through macrostock companies?


Its not like you just walk into a macro agency and say hi, wanna sell my pictures Macrostock is very conservative and highly concerned about image, so being a microstocker you are at the very bottom. People spend up to four years of work and get big loans paying for the production fees building a portfolio to present to macrostock agencies so they maybe can be accepted...

Yuri, thank you for your feedback and clarification! So my understanding is that you (and others) went "pro" via microstock - then its a different picture for me now (still have to learn a lot about this business...).

From that perspective, the "downsize" approach makes sense - to be specific: what maximum size would you suggest ("medium" at IS is 5.5 MP - a Nikon D50 is producing 6 MP, freezingpictures is suggesting "4-5 MP")?

Well, Im just a tiny little contributor but if it helps you big guys (and it will not hurt me) you can add me to the list (ha - joining a little microstock-riot is fun...)

« Reply #45 on: January 07, 2008, 07:39 »
0
Despite being almost a complete newbie in microstock I am already sending downsized (4-5mb) images to SS. Why should someone buying them at DT have to spend 3-4 times without a reason? I guess in 90% of cases it would not make a difference for the customer and it helps to create some neat difference, web resolution image = cheap, luxus magazine resolution = a lot higher price. It makes sense.

Don't know if my name can be useful (as I told before I'm a newbie with a very little portfolio) but if can be of some help count me in.

Yuri_Arcurs

  • One Crazy PhotoManic MadPerson
« Reply #46 on: January 07, 2008, 07:42 »
0
Just a curious question from an amateur: why do you pros and semi-pros sell your images with margins of 0,25$ instead of selling through macrostock companies?


Its not like you just walk into a macro agency and say hi, wanna sell my pictures Macrostock is very conservative and highly concerned about image, so being a microstocker you are at the very bottom. People spend up to four years of work and get big loans paying for the production fees building a portfolio to present to macrostock agencies so they maybe can be accepted...

Yuri, thank you for your feedback and clarification! So my understanding is that you (and others) went "pro" via microstock - then its a different picture for me now (still have to learn a lot about this business...).

From that perspective, the "downsize" approach makes sense - to be specific: what maximum size would you suggest ("medium" at IS is 5.5 MP - a Nikon D50 is producing 6 MP, freezingpictures is suggesting "4-5 MP")?

Well, Im just a tiny little contributor but if it helps you big guys (and it will not hurt me) you can add me to the list (ha - joining a little microstock-riot is fun...)

Nope. But if you want to join the good macros it's not easy...Getty, Corbis, Jubiter, Masterfile, Blend, Tetra. etc.

« Reply #47 on: January 07, 2008, 08:00 »
0
Just a curious question from an amateur: why do you pros and semi-pros sell your images with margins of 0,25$ instead of selling through macrostock companies?


Its not like you just walk into a macro agency and say hi, wanna sell my pictures Macrostock is very conservative and highly concerned about image, so being a microstocker you are at the very bottom. People spend up to four years of work and get big loans paying for the production fees building a portfolio to present to macrostock agencies so they maybe can be accepted...

Yuri, thank you for your feedback and clarification! So my understanding is that you (and others) went "pro" via microstock - then its a different picture for me now (still have to learn a lot about this business...).

From that perspective, the "downsize" approach makes sense - to be specific: what maximum size would you suggest ("medium" at IS is 5.5 MP - a Nikon D50 is producing 6 MP, freezingpictures is suggesting "4-5 MP")?

Well, Im just a tiny little contributor but if it helps you big guys (and it will not hurt me) you can add me to the list (ha - joining a little microstock-riot is fun...)

Nope. But if you want to join the good macros it's not easy...Getty, Corbis, Jubiter, Masterfile, Blend, Tetra. etc.


mmhhhh..... I regulary look at corbis and getty images (for "educational" purposes) - some are quite outstanding, but there is also a lot of mediocre stuff compared to top microstock images (I have to admit just from my amateur point of view...).

Could it be the these sites just protect a "closed market" regarding photographers?

« Reply #48 on: January 07, 2008, 08:28 »
0
The thing is that being down with about 20% in the Christmas months (the total of 5% is over 4 months), January and February has to be up with about 20% to make it even out, and to make a progress they have to be up with a lot more. If January and February are only up with about 20%, that means I just lost a 40000USD investment and the time put into it.

If an increase of "only" 20% is a bad thing, I doubt anyone here can offer you advice.

Yuri_Arcurs

  • One Crazy PhotoManic MadPerson
« Reply #49 on: January 07, 2008, 08:43 »
0
The thing is that being down with about 20% in the Christmas months (the total of 5% is over 4 months), January and February has to be up with about 20% to make it even out, and to make a progress they have to be up with a lot more. If January and February are only up with about 20%, that means I just lost a 40000USD investment and the time put into it.

If an increase of "only" 20% is a bad thing, I doubt anyone here can offer you advice.

You may be misunderstanding my point. Increase has to match decrease.


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
14 Replies
4174 Views
Last post June 05, 2008, 14:00
by sharpshot
19 Replies
4240 Views
Last post February 17, 2012, 10:51
by luissantos84
15 Replies
4449 Views
Last post August 14, 2012, 00:30
by Microbius
40 Replies
6358 Views
Last post June 19, 2019, 01:32
by georgep7
17 Replies
1937 Views
Last post June 28, 2019, 00:17
by Clair Voyant

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results