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Author Topic: Are things going well in microstock? season 2  (Read 4813 times)

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« on: June 04, 2008, 17:35 »
Yuri Arcurs   start this topic January 06, 2008, 18:15

about stockxpert and list who turn off subscription at this site

Now i see Yuri Arcurs or "Logos" turn on subscription sales .

Do you think this is fear ??????????????????????????

So shame on you Yuri Arcurs.

« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 17:37 by techno »


« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2008, 18:03 »
I turned mine on and so did a lot of others from that thread. I figure why punish StockXpert when other sites impose subscriptions on us.

« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2008, 18:11 »
I went the other way. StockXpert has always been a great site for me, so I kept my portfolio at subs.  The first 3-4 months were fine, subs sales were marginal and credit sales almost stayed the same.  Then April came and subs became too common and credits shrinked.  In the middle of the month I turned subs off.

I'm so thankful StockXpert, and now IS, have played fairly with us contributors on this.  Leaving to the photo owner the right to choose how to market their images is certaily the way to go.


« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2008, 18:54 »
I opt out subscription  at same time as most of guys here, at any moment i didnt want to change my decision, funny part is that my earnings are double for last 3 month, despite big slow down in first month opt out.


« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2008, 19:09 »
I stayed opted in and happily subscriptions make up only a tiny amount of my sales. 

I don't think anyone should be dissing Yuri though for changing his mind.  Aren't we all entitled to do that?  If I voice an opinion today and later circumstances for me change then my opinion will change too. 

A lot of people who are the most adamant that everybody should take action against these sites are not people who are making their living at this.  When microstock is your primary or sole source of income you have to keep an open mind and be adaptable. 


« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2008, 19:49 »

I explained my reasoning for opting back in at the time.  I never had a problem with subscriptions per se.  The concern I, and many had, was the potential commission percentage we were receiving at Shutterstock.  This concern was based on Yuri's post, which itself was based on someone he knows in the industry. 

Once I got past that concern, I saw no reason to eliminate sub sales.  Sub sales can be very profitable, especially at a site like Shutterstock which pays well as you move up in rank.  They are also profitable at Dreamstime, where sub sales push images up in Level and raise subsequent credit sales by quite a bit.

So are things going well?  Overall, I think so.  I'm doing well these days, and others are expressing that their earnings continue to grow.  Obviously Fotolia coming out with a very low subscription cost puts us all at risk, as it de-values the entire industry.  So in the short term, a lot of us are concerned.  But the majority of the agencies seem to respect their contributors, and strive to raise prices across the board for all involved.

« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2008, 20:35 »
I had a BME in May. I also had BME at SS, IS and FT the same month. Still, I don't think this is going well. Although payments for credit sales are going up, payments for subscriptions are not, at least not if we look at the whole picture.

Most (all?) of the agencies introducing subs the last 12 months have told us the reason is they lose sales if they don't have it. Surprise, surprise. I'm sure there are Mercedes Benz dealers whole lose sales because they don't sell Volkswagens or Mazdas.

It looks to me that most agencies want to offer all services at all price levels. They want to have all the images that the others have, plus a lot that are exclusive to them. They also want to sell at the highest price possible, paying as little as possible to the suppliers. All this is similar to any other business. The big difference here is that, in this case, any costs that the suppliers (us) may have, is not a part of the equation. We are just supposed to deliver, regardless if we gain or lose money on this.

And we do. Since this is so much fun, and a great lifestyle and that can't be measured in dollars or euros or pounds, or can it?

When one of my "partners" in this reduces the prices of my photos so that he can make more money, I'm not sure if I can consider him a partner anymore. I am of course free to withdraw my portfolio, but I did actually invest a lot of time, effort and money uploading those photos, an investment I had hope would return some profits in the long run. Those profits are now sinking, not so much because of competition from other photographers, although that's also a part of it, but because there's a price war going on between agencies selling identical products.

We're obviously at the bottom end of the food chain here, and that is something I'm ready to accept. What is harder to accept, is that the agencies feel free to change the terms at their own will, just like land owners did with small farmers renting land in the medieval ages.

The western civilization hasn't developed much the last 1,000 years, has it?


« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2008, 21:09 »
You bring up valid points Epixx. 

I'm not ready to believe there is a subscription price war going on yet, particularly when all agencies have been raising credit prices rather noticeably.  Yes it is true more agencies are adopting subscription plans.  But really, the only major player not to add one yet is Bigstock, and honestly I don't see their actions causing shock waves across the industry.  Everyone of note who was going to add subs, has already added subs.  What's done is done.

Fotolia is the first to come out and try to under-cut the subscription prices by a large margin.  Until I see someone counter with their own cut, I don't see any war.  I just see Fotolia making a one time move for customers.

I would not be shocked to see this backfire for Fotolia.  There is clearly a stigma when someone tries to sell something worth a lot for a very cheap price.  The first reaction from a savvy customer is not, "Oh boy what a deal."  Rather the first reaction is more likely, "What's the catch?"

In this case, the very cheap price may reflect negatively on customers' perceptions of the product.  After all, "They wouldn't be selling it for so cheap if it was any good."  Fotolia may have outsmarted themselves this time, and too bad for them if it turns out that way.

Look at it from another perspective.  iStock raised prices considerably, yet contributors continue to get sales and iStock remains the industry leader.  Did customers run for the exits?  Perhaps some did.  But they must have been replaced by other customers who believed the iStock product "must be better, because they are charging more for it than those other guys."  Perception is very important to customers.  A deal which looks too good to be true probably is. 

I think Yaymicro is brilliant in their pricing.  They are charging close to iStock credit prices, and their subs plan is fairly expensive and limited to medium size images or smaller.  It creates a perception of quality.  Coupled with their slick design and interface, Yaymicro stands to gain.  They are the only small site right now which gives me hope, because they seem to be making all of the right decisions.  Including pricing.

A concern we probably share is that while subscription commissions have risen noticeably the last 4 years, they have not risen nearly as fast as credit commissions. So our growth is muted because subs are growing as a percentage of sales everywhere. 

« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2008, 21:23 »
Very good posts everyone.

Dan, the problem with the Fotolia deal isn't pricing but commissions - their monthly subs price is $249 the SAME as SS, but they are screwing the suppliers; somebody getting 38c at SS is being paid 30c at FT EVEN THOUGH THE AGENCIES CHARGE THE SAME PRICE TO BUYERS.

That is why people are right to say we've been screwed.

« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2008, 22:26 »
I consider the introduction of subs from most agencies (IS possibly excluded) as a price war in itself. If it wasn't, they would charge more, at least in theory.

It would be interesting to know which of those agencies actually make a profit?


« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2008, 23:46 »
were getting screwed across the board. Always have been and always will because you/We/I let them do it. Those of us who are serious about this could all quit tommorrow and ya know what?? it wont mean a * thing. If commission's went back to 20 cents or even 10 cents It wont mean a * thing to the owners. only us and there will be overnight 1000 new ones to replace Us. They Know it why don't you????trust me on this..These are all the changes I've been preaching about for a year. STOP WITH THIS PENNY MENTALITY!!!!!!!!!


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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2008, 23:54 »
Rinder, I see a lot of your posts saying what everyone is doing wrong. I'm more interested in hearing your solution.


« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2008, 13:35 »
I opted back in at StockXpert. Didn't see any evidence that subs really cut into credit sales, at least not yet. Over time, if more people switch to subs, it could happen.

The logic initially was that a subscriber would still buy a non-sub image if they really wanted it. So far, I haven't seen anything to support this idea. In fact, a subscriber on the StockXpert forum asked if there was a way to sort searches by sub-enabled image only. Seems likely that subscribers aren't interested in credit images at all, and opting out of subs just cuts into your earnings.

« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2008, 13:56 »
I have gone from 25 cents to 38 cents per download with SS and that is still the only significant subscription site.  Pay per download sites have risen their prices beyond my expectations.  This is the opposite of what the doom and gloom people have been saying is happening.

Fotolia might of screwed us with subscriptions but they are giving the buyers a really bad deal as well.  They can only download up to 'L' size.  123rf charge the buyers less and they can download full size.  They also give us a much higher commission.  Perhaps that is why they have a green arrow in the poll results this month?  Fotolia wont be able to screw us and the buyers.  They will have to sort this out or see their customers and suppliers go elsewhere.

« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2008, 14:00 »
I opted back in at StockXpert. Didn't see any evidence that subs really cut into credit sales, at least not yet. Over time, if more people switch to subs, it could happen.

The logic initially was that a subscriber would still buy a non-sub image if they really wanted it. So far, I haven't seen anything to support this idea. In fact, a subscriber on the StockXpert forum asked if there was a way to sort searches by sub-enabled image only. Seems likely that subscribers aren't interested in credit images at all, and opting out of subs just cuts into your earnings.

They might as well go to SS that pay me 38 cents or 123rf that pay me 36 cents per download.  I opted out after the SS raise and wont opt back in until StockXpert give us a raise.


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