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Author Topic: Arrogance abounds at istock  (Read 30305 times)

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lisafx

« Reply #100 on: May 28, 2011, 12:36 »
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 I do know a lot of Macro people starting to shoot TAC and their are mixed feelings about the returns. I have heard $84 dollar RPI ( that is per year ) and I have also heard from an agency that they are no longer interested in being part of TAC because their results were miserable.

What is TAC?  A google search was not helpful.


PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #101 on: May 28, 2011, 14:30 »
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Paulie,

 I think your first post on this topic was very enlightening.

Hi Alisa,

 I am not an exclusive so I could not tell you if the same drop is taking place for them I was suggesting they will drop the non exclusives percentage with this system and keep their exclusives happier with higher sales, Getty is all about exclusive imagery these days that I know for sure.
 I do know a lot of Macro people starting to shoot TAC and their are mixed feelings about the returns. I have heard $84 dollar RPI ( that is per year ) and I have also heard from an agency that they are no longer interested in being part of TAC because their results were miserable. It will be interesting to see where this is heading. I think what Paulie said is the closest logical reason.

Best,
Jonathan


I think this SpiderPic example is a good reason why Getty is all about exclusive imagery.

If I was buying something and four different stores had way different prices, why not buy the cheapest? There would need to be differentiators. Better service, credit packages, license terms, etc. If all things are equal, lowest price wins.

Now if someone needs a very specific type of product and only one store carries that exact product they can charge a premium because the buyer has no other option. That SpiderPic example is probably how Istock views independent's images. As Istock is continues to slowly move pricing upward the less value independent images probably have to Istock because they can't continue to raise their prices and still be competitive.

lagereek

« Reply #102 on: May 28, 2011, 14:44 »
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Independancy sucks!

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #103 on: May 28, 2011, 16:03 »
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Independancy sucks!

Nice of you to imply that's what I said but it's not. Independence just doesn't seem to be well aligned with Istock's recent goals.

« Reply #104 on: May 28, 2011, 16:06 »
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Hi Lisa,

 It is short for "The Agency Collection " at both Getty and Istock. Getty's editing is take just about everything Istock is still doing the no more than 80%. One thing nice about adding to the TAC collection is you do not have to be exclusive as a photographer only the content has to be exclusive. I would guess in the future they might try to change this to fit the Istock photographer exclusivity but for now there are options to avoid being an Istock exclusive and still add your content into TAC through third party Macro agencies.
 If anyone is interested in learning other ways of getting your content into TAC please feel welcome to drop me a PM.

Best,
Jonathan

lisafx

« Reply #105 on: May 28, 2011, 17:52 »
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Ah.  Thanks for the explanation Jonathan. 

Doesn't sound like TAC is all that lucrative from what your friends are reporting. 

« Reply #106 on: May 28, 2011, 18:21 »
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Hi Lisa,

 It really has been a split on response so far. I am thinking of adding some work to TAC to see the results. It will take a while but if I get any decent data I will happily share.

Best,
Jonathan

« Reply #107 on: May 28, 2011, 18:45 »
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And Lobo...forever clueless about customer relations.

WOW... I didn't notice till you pointed it out that this was a forum moderator. That sorry, Good Luck clearly means I don't give a f$?" about what you think, and about what you need. Piss off!

Crappy way to treat customer. I have to agree that myself as a client I will look for both price and quality. If the quality is unique... and my client want to pay the extra $ to buy the right to the image, then fine. But for most project, when I see a 50 credit priced XSmal image and 150 credits for XXLarge I just look elsewhere. Fotolia, Dreamstime, 123rf... Vectorstock for cheap (pricewise) Vectors.

As a designer you are always looking for way to get some creative content in your designs without going over the quote and budget of the client. Stock is great for that. But like the client there, I am finding myself going more often then not looking elsewhere. Either because their search does not quite give me the result I am looking for (after 2-3 words they stop giving results), or that the image I find is "overpriced" for the project.

I still buy from them, but if they start massively promoting Vetta and Agency files and give less results to other more fairly priced image then of course I will have to start looking elsewhere.

« Reply #108 on: May 28, 2011, 21:45 »
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I am not an exclusive so I could not tell you if the same drop is taking place for them I was suggesting they will drop the non exclusives percentage with this system and keep their exclusives happier with higher sales, Getty is all about exclusive imagery these days that I know for sure.
 I do know a lot of Macro people starting to shoot TAC and their are mixed feelings about the returns. I have heard $84 dollar RPI ( that is per year ) and I have also heard from an agency that they are no longer interested in being part of TAC because their results were miserable. It will be interesting to see where this is heading. I think what Paulie said is the closest logical reason.

Best,
Jonathan

Hi Jonathan, I don't mean to butt in here, but I think there are at least two very different and distinct groups of TAC photos. Those from exclusive iStock contributors and those from outside Agencies. Both have contributed some amazing content to make the collection top-notch. However, it seems as though the outside Agency submissions are not culled through carefully (if at all). It's as if outside agencies sent their entire collection straight through to TAC without any approval/rejection process at all. I'm not saying they're not good images, they just seem to be one's entire portfolio, excellent images with average images, and many similars,...etc, imho. iStock exclusive TAC nominations on the other hand are heavily scrutinized and most are rejected. And I do know that many iS exclusives are seeing TAC/V RPI returns much higher than what you've heard.
Have a great day,
Steve

« Reply #109 on: May 28, 2011, 22:38 »
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Hi Steve,

 That is interest news thanks for sharing. Can you tell me what kind of numbers some of the exclusives at TAC are making. One thing to measure is if they are being highly edited then the RPI would have to be much higher to make up for the difference in image acceptance rate. I am not trying to debate here just trying to get a handle on all the different replies I have been getting on TAC numbers. Some numbers would be great help, no need to share any names. I am very interested in any data related to the collection.

Thank you,
Jonathan

« Reply #110 on: May 28, 2011, 23:39 »
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Jonathan, PM sent. Have a great weekend.

« Reply #111 on: May 29, 2011, 01:29 »
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If I was buying something and four different stores had way different prices, why not buy the cheapest? There would need to be differentiators. Better service, credit packages, license terms, etc. If all things are equal, lowest price wins.

Now if someone needs a very specific type of product and only one store carries that exact product they can charge a premium because the buyer has no other option.

Well, that's the rationale. It's an idea that they only came up with very, very recently (about the time they Bruce left and they started doing everything wrong). It's questionable whether they even believe the rationale themselves, since they want to push exclusive material into Thinkstock/Photos.com (and maybe some of the same material into Getty?), so they apparently simultaneously believe that exclusivity adds value and diversifying to outlets at different price points adds value and that these two things are mutually compatible.

The comparison with goods in different stores is far from exact, because store customers are generally buying in a private capacity where they put zero value on the time it takes to go from shop to shop (heck, I even know women who actually LIKE browsing around different shops and do it for fun!!!???). Photo buyers need to factor in the additional cost of time spent hunting for the same photo in a different collection, not knowing whether or not it will be there, which may not be cost-effective. 

It's more likely that people looking for cheap photos will sign up for a cheaper agency, rather than one with a large part of its collection at a price point that doesn't appeal to them. The creation of TS suggests that Getty thinks so, too, and wants to catch them in its safety-net as they drop off iStock.

I think it is worth remembering that nobody was arguing that exclusive photos had premium value to buyers until after iStock decided to split the collection into different price points. As soon as it did so, the rationalisation justifying it appeared like magic, as if it were self-evident. But it wasn't, otherwise it would have been called for long before in the forums. It happens that the rationalisation fits nicely with what people like to think - that their pictures are extra-special - making it a popular idea, even though Getty's other actions show they are far from convinced by it.

« Reply #112 on: May 29, 2011, 11:59 »
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like watching a slow death, obviously IS is changing the model.  I made 26.00 this month. Even with my mainly nature port, I used to get a payout every month. Sad, really sad. Here's another link with bailing buyers. It probably won't be there long.

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=329654&page=1

« Reply #113 on: May 29, 2011, 12:07 »
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like watching a slow death, obviously IS is changing the model.  I made 26.00 this month. Even with my mainly nature port, I used to get a payout every month. Sad, really sad. Here's another link with bailing buyers. It probably won't be there long.

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=329654&page=1


This one sums it up in a nutshell:
jerryleeg
Posted 1 hour ago


   
I've been using istock extensively for years and when the last of my credits run out, I'm going to have to move on. With no way to sort by price and no improvements to the search functionality, trying to find a suitable image at a price I or my clients would be willing to pay has become such a time consuming and frustrating chore. Thankfully, not all of istock's competitors have chosen greed over usability.

« Reply #114 on: May 29, 2011, 21:53 »
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If buyers complain rising prices are unsustainable for their business then how can it be sustainable for photographers considering IS is eating up to 85% of their sales ?

It's simply astounding to read professional designers complaining that 10$ is too much for a photo.
Clients like these should better head to Flickr instead of using microstock.

« Reply #115 on: May 29, 2011, 21:57 »
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I'm of the opinion IS search functionalities are crippled this way exactly to push their agenda of giving more vibisility to Vetta and agencies images.

It's not a bug but simply a business plan and they've certainly no intention to "fix" it, they're rightfully trying to re-educate buyers into paying fair prices (while screwing photographers, but that's anotherpart of their master plan).

lisafx

« Reply #116 on: May 29, 2011, 22:24 »
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I'm of the opinion IS search functionalities are crippled this way exactly to push their agenda of giving more vibisility to Vetta and agencies images.

It's not a bug but simply a business plan and they've certainly no intention to "fix" it, they're rightfully trying to re-educate buyers into paying fair prices (while screwing photographers, but that's anotherpart of their master plan).

I think there are quite a few of us of the same opinion. 


lagereek

« Reply #117 on: May 30, 2011, 00:33 »
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Professional designers, buyers, complaining about price increases with files that are already dirt cheap, no its a joke and like said above, they should really consult Flicr or something. What do they expect?  freebies? yes thats probably it.

Their memories are short, only 8 years back before Micro took off, any shot would have set them back hundreds of dollars, so what did they do then?

I dont believe a word of this, buyers are buying anyway, they have no other option, they cant come back to the client saying " sorry didnt find anything, everything is too expensive" what kind of rubbish is that?
Its all guessworks and speculations anyway, yes you might find the odd buyer bailing out but the overwhelming majority have no option but to buy and old habbits die hard so they stick with IS anyway.

Noodles

« Reply #118 on: May 30, 2011, 01:06 »
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Professional designers, buyers, complaining about price increases with files that are already dirt cheap, no its a joke and like said above, they should really consult Flicr or something. What do they expect?  freebies? yes thats probably it.

Their memories are short, only 8 years back before Micro took off, any shot would have set them back hundreds of dollars, so what did they do then?

I dont believe a word of this, buyers are buying anyway, they have no other option, they cant come back to the client saying " sorry didnt find anything, everything is too expensive" what kind of rubbish is that?
Its all guessworks and speculations anyway, yes you might find the odd buyer bailing out but the overwhelming majority have no option but to buy and old habbits die hard so they stick with IS anyway.

Totally agree. Professional Designers etc. are having a laugh. They have never had it so good when buying stock imagery. Its all Lovely Jubbly to them.

« Reply #119 on: May 30, 2011, 01:27 »
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I'm just wondering about the people complaining about the designers complaining...I know a few photographers here were selling RM, but it's my understanding the club was closed to most of you, wasn't it? So microstock gave many people an outlet to sell their photos who didn't have one before.

And I can tell you what designers with small budgets were doing before microstock - they weren't buying photos. At all. Microstock filled a need. If prices go back up to RM levels, most people will find they will be SOL with sales as most small budget designers and businesses will have to find other options. And sorry, but no one is going to buy a photo of a piece of paper or an apple for RM prices. If it bothers you to sell your stuff at microstock prices, you have a choice. Don't do it. Sell only RM.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2011, 01:29 by caspixel »

« Reply #120 on: May 30, 2011, 01:32 »
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Their memories are short, only 8 years back before Micro took off, any shot would have set them back hundreds of dollars, so what did they do then?


A lot of them made do without or got their clients to supply the imagery, or had all their customers using the same cruddy images from Photodisc, or made their own illustrations - or simply weren't in the design business a decade ago.

Yuri Arcurs alone probably licenses half as many images in a year as the entire stock industry did in 2001. The point about microstock is that it tapped into a vast new market of people who couldn't afford the prices that were being asked. It also encouraged much more lavish use of illustrations in projects that might just have used a handful previously. It must also have fuelled the creation of an enormous number of small design companies.

That is iStock's customer base but it seems to be a customer base that the company now resents and wants to be rid off. Perhaps Getty's attitude towards iStock is being driven by this false belief (which seems to prevail among the old school shooters) that iStock's customers used to pay well, need to get back to paying up they way they did in the good old days, and have no reason to complain about things going back to "normal".

« Reply #121 on: May 30, 2011, 01:40 »
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If it bothers you to sell your stuff at microstock prices, you have a choice. Don't do it. Sell only RM.


LOL! Nice one.

« Reply #122 on: May 30, 2011, 01:44 »
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And sorry, but no one is going to buy a photo of a piece of paper or an apple for RM prices. If it bothers you to sell your stuff at microstock prices, you have a choice. Don't do it. Sell only RM.

Times are changing.
My last RM sale on Alamy was a wopping 15$ and i heard people having 5$ sales on Getty RM for web-sized images !

« Reply #123 on: May 30, 2011, 01:47 »
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That is iStock's customer base but it seems to be a customer base that the company now resents and wants to be rid off. Perhaps Getty's attitude towards iStock is being driven by this false belief (which seems to prevail among the old school shooters) that iStock's customers used to pay well, need to get back to paying up they way they did in the good old days, and have no reason to complain about things going back to "normal".

The problem with microstock is they are selling too good material at too low prices and now they realize they're shooting themselves in the foot.
It's a good thing that IS is raising prices as that's the only way to get back on track and make IS a sort of "midstock" while moving the crap on ThinkStock.

« Reply #124 on: May 30, 2011, 02:14 »
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The problem with microstock is they are selling too good material at too low prices and now they realize they're shooting themselves in the foot.
It's a good thing that IS is raising prices as that's the only way to get back on track and make IS a sort of "midstock" while moving the crap on ThinkStock.

Unfortunately (for us content suppliers) you are simply wrong. There is a huge and growing issue of over-supply and, as always in such cases, the market will determine the worth of the services/goods.

Istock is trying to swim against the tide of the market. They will eventually become just the latest casualty amongst those who seek the hallowed and mythical place known as 'Mid-Stock'. If such a market ever existed it is surely shrinking by the day.

It's is interesting to note that FT have twice reined back on prices, both by limiting the number of contributors reaching the higher ranks and also by reducing the prices they can charge. They did that after recognising customer resistance to the higher prices.

SS haven't increased prices significantly for over 3 years and whenever they did so previously they proceeded with extreme caution. Maybe SS understand their market and their customer base better than their competitors?


 

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