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Author Topic: Best of the up and coming?  (Read 4053 times)

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« on: July 24, 2007, 18:45 »
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Many of us contribute to the up and coming sites. Which would rate as the best one and one that has potential to bump one of teh big six?


« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2007, 21:55 »
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123 without doubt. So much so that I would rather rate them among "The Big 7". Being a part of Inmagine doesn't hurt them either.

As microstock becomes a part of the "establishment", I think it will be increasingly difficult for newcomers without backing from major players in stock photography to attract customers. The exceptions will be agencies who serve particular niches or are connected to a certain geographical area or language, like ScanStockPhoto and StockPhotoMedia.

« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2007, 04:04 »
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Lucky Oliver.  The site looks great and works better than any other site I have used.  It is so easy to upload and there is a real community spirit.  The reviewers give feedback and are very useful for beginners.  They are building slowly, unlike other sites.  If this strategy works (and it is still a big if), they might well become one of the top 5 sites.

« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2007, 09:45 »
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with a fairly good portfolio on 8 micros, I have to say that 123RF income is higher than BS by almost double and this month it'll beat SX. I would bump BS down.   ;)

« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2007, 10:17 »
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with a fairly good portfolio on 8 micros, I have to say that 123RF income is higher than BS by almost double and this month it'll beat SX. I would bump BS down.   ;)
I recently began uploading to BigStock and am not pleased with the results.
It may be time for me to get busy with 123RF ...

dbvirago

« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2007, 11:48 »
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Currently, I like 123, LO, and Albumo.

123 because the sales have really increased (although the last 3 days have been dead)

LO for reasons found in many threads

Albumo - of the really new sites, they put the most thought and work into the site before releasing to the public.

At the end of the day (or year) it will come down to sales.  No matter how clunky IS is, they are #3 in sales so they will continue to get my support. F has fallen to 6th, so I will be less patient there.

« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2007, 16:15 »
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FWIW I don't intend uploading to any of them.  What I ask myself is this:

Is it better to drink from a river than to try to get blood out of a stone?

My experience so far with BigStock is that it is like trying to get blood out of a stone; I can upload and upload, but they simply don't seem to be investing and marketing to grow their buying customer base.  My returns there are uneconomic.  I see no evidence that the situation would be markedly different at LO or 123.

On the other hand I know that IS have 2 million buying customers, and I also know that they can sell in volume.  Instead of wasting my time with new agencies, what I should be doing is working out ways to maximise exposure to the 2 million customers at IS; that means doing some of the things others have done like making sure I have banners and lightboxes and 'similar images' links, and also of course maximising the upload facility with quality and commercially viable images.

The same thing applies at SS - I know they can sell in high volume so I am better off spending my time maximising that potential.  For instance there is a way to have five similar images displayed underneath each of my pictures.  I haven't worked it out yet, but I simply ask myself 'do I want to spend time showing every customer a further five images of mine whenever they download?'.  The answer of course is a resounding 'yes'.

So I wish everyone success with their new agency stuff, but I believe my time is better invested elsewhere.

« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2007, 17:15 »
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It takes me hardly any time to upload to the new sites.  I upload in the background while working on photos.  With LO, it only takes a couple of mouse clicks and my photos are done.  The other sites sometimes take about a minute to finish the photos.

« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2007, 17:42 »
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Well I think it's a mug's game to be honest.  No disrespect to anyone here.

Five years ago no-one had heard of microstock; istock entered the market and had a new concept to sell to millions of potential design and image buying customers.  They now have 2 million of them on their books.  SS, DT and FT followed closely on their heels and have around another million customers perhaps.

These customers have access to a huge number of images at good prices and with good service.

So the game has changed; the 'new' market no longer exists; 3 million of the customers are now captive.  Why would an existing or potential customer sign up with a new agency who might have less than 200,000 images when they can go to istock or DT or even SS?  Answer: very few.

So a new agency has hard work to do; it's going to require a huge investment, attendence at trade shows, marketing, advertising, and all to a diminished potential customer base.  StockXpert and LO are doing well by attending the trade shows but even so it's going to be a long hard slog for them.

So what is the logic of you giving your image library to these new agencies?  You've spent thousands of hours creating those images, and now you are freely handing them to new agencies many of which do not stand a hope in hell of ever creating an economic return on your investment.

But great for the new agency owner: he collects over time a nice image library of say 1 million pictures; he now has a valuable asset that he can sell - YOUR asset of course.  So in a year's time Albumo go along to Snapvillage and say "hey guys, don't waste your time collecting images one by one - you can buy our library for 2 or three million dollars; all the pictures nicely keyworded and categorised by our mug contributors who have made no money because we couldn't get any customers".

Please, people, don't be mugs; you've got a very valuable asset there; you should protect it, not just hand it out to all comers.

« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2007, 18:05 »
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I disagree.  Not all the designers are going to like the big 3 sites and there is a big enough market for new sites to thrive.  Does everyone shop at only the major stores?  If we all only uploaded to 3 sites, there would be little competition and the sites could lower commissions and do whatever they wanted.

The smaller sites are unlikely to sell out, as the other sites will already have those images.

When I add up the money made each month from a few of the smaller sites, it sometimes beats the money I make from istock.  They are also less time consuming, as they have FTP, some don't have categories and there is no need to go through all the tags.

« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2007, 18:07 »
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hatman12-
I think we can agree on something- I wouldn't get into a relationship with a business that I didn't know anything about.  It's important to trust that partnership.

On the size of the market...potentially 100 million plus.  We're just getting started.  Relationships with ad agencies are nice, but the longtail of this market is huge.  Until everyone has a digital camera, consumers are not going to understand why they need a great digital image.

Money drives business, but new artists getting into the market will not have the same experience or opportunity you have at company X.  That's what capitalism is all about.  I love it. Exposure, education and opportunity are all elements of the business relationship.

On collecting money as an owner?  Hmmm...you've got to be able to burn through some money to get a site going.  I'll let you know when I receive my first penny in compensation. :)  This is a business relationship , we're out there everyday creating more opportunity for our artists.  I started giving away my photos in 2000- this isn't something new for LuckyOliver.  As an artist and a designer I make it a priority to respect the work of our contributors. Not everyone will agree with our decisions, but we try to communicate the thoughts behind our ideas.

I think every artist needs to look at what they want out of a business relationship. LuckyOliver understands the importance of keeping that dialog open.


« Last Edit: July 25, 2007, 18:49 by bryan_luckyoliver »

« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2007, 20:53 »
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Sorry, I fail to see logic here...

So what is the logic of you giving your image library to these new agencies?  You've spent thousands of hours creating those images, and now you are freely handing them to new agencies

Freely giving? We upload them just as we do to any of existing and proven agencies. Motives are different of course: with proven ones it's for profit, with newer ones it's in order to be there in case it picks up. Each decides whether s/he wants to bet on this and if so, which ones appeal more. Fair game, what does it have to do with "freely giving"?

But great for the new agency owner: he collects over time a nice image library of say 1 million pictures; he now has a valuable asset that he can sell - YOUR asset of course.  So in a year's time Albumo go along to Snapvillage and say "hey guys, don't waste your time collecting images one by one - you can buy our library for 2 or three million dollars; all the pictures nicely keyworded and categorised by our mug contributors who have made no money because we couldn't get any customers".

If that assumed buyer (Snapvillage in your example) is existing one, they likely have those same images or quite close collection. I have hard time imagining this kind of acquisition happening, not for collection of images anyway. It could be if a company looking for a buyer has certain interesting and protected technology, customer base, but in that case it's not our images that made acquisition feasible.

Now, if assumed buyer is a new player and simply wants to buy out the one with library, it could be argued whether it makes sense... but even if so, what do contributors stand to lose? Their images are already online, new player is likely to invest in advertising to justify their acquisition...

The only practical question in all this is, how much time and effort uploading to new site takes. If it's as easy as 123RF makes it, it's not a problem at all. You uploaded, they are there, simple as that - no disambiguwhatever, no three levels categorizing.

The only "general approach" question in all this is, how many sites consitute a good compromise between "too many, market gets diluted" and "too few, monopoly may get too powerful which is never good for either customer or contributor". The rest is touchy-feely "ah my precious images in dirty hands of greedy capitalist pigs" - beyond wierd to me :)

« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2007, 06:40 »
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Five years ago no-one had heard of microstock; istock entered the market and had a new concept to sell to millions of potential design and image buying customers.  They now have 2 million of them on their books.  SS, DT and FT followed closely on their heels and have around another million customers perhaps.

Sorry - disagree totally

there are millions upon millions of customers that don't even know about the opportunity yet.

sort of like telling new car companies not to try - heck there are already 6-7 huge names out there in the biz, why start up? Yet they do it all the time.

sorry but your logic is all wrong. Like others have said, i'm not giving my assets away... i'm selling them and i'm trying to sell them to as many people as possible.

digiology

« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2007, 08:43 »
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Well I would have to say Lucky Oliver is the best of the up and coming. I really hope they do well. I just had one of the best reviews on my latest batch of 25 with valuable feedback on both rejected and accepted images. No other place goes into the detail they do when reviewing images.

Maybe we should be paying them!  ;)

« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2007, 20:07 »
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I'm new to ms photography, and started with LO, just by happenstance.

So far I have a very small portfolio, but had wonderful feedback from the reviewers on both the accepted and the rejected photos. This feedback has already impacted on me to the extent that I've made some adjustments on my techniques. I've also participated in LO forums and have rec'd LOADS of good useful info - it's an impressive, very positive group that is very willing to share tips and ideas.

Only been there a few wks, have had a few downloads, am pleased so far. All my photos there are exclusive. I might submit to other sites with other photos, but as I said, I'm  new at this and it will take some time to get rolling.


« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2007, 00:27 »
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One thing in favour of new, smaller agencies for sellers as well as for buyers, is that they accept images that are rejected by the big ones. The more restrictive the Big 6 get, the higher the quality of the "overflow".

As a buyer, I already see this, and I frequently find the photos I need on the most surprising places.


 

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