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Author Topic: Connection Between a Site's Uploading Mechanism and it's Profitability  (Read 4824 times)

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Carl

  • Carl Stewart, CS Productions
« on: January 20, 2012, 07:40 »
0
I've come to the conclusion that low-earning sites are also sites on which the contributor uploading mechanism is ill-conceived, bulky, troublesome, and (most important) time-consuming.  The reason is because they use the same design rationale for the buyers that they use for the contributors, so if the uploading mechanism is burdensome, the purchase mechanism will be likewise.  Therefore, the buyers will tend to do business at other sites with better (more user-friendly and streamlined) designs.  For example, the FT upload mechanism allows only one file to be edited at a time, including the assignment of model or property releases, and it can take a long time to wade through all of those stinkin' categories.  Contrast that with SS where I can assign a model release to multiple files, edit multiple files on one page, and submit multiple files with one click.

Example:  I've been a contributor to FT since March of 2009, and I have 1445 files in my portfolio.  I might average a half dozen sales per month.  I've been a contributor to SS since April of 2005.  I started with video and was accepted as a still photographer in September of 2010.  I currently have 1570 files in my portfolio, and I experience consistent daily sales.

In summary, it seems that there's a connection between the upload mechanism and the profitability of a site because the same design rationale is used for the contributor and the buyer.  My conclusion is that I get a better return on the investment of my time uploading to those sites with the most efficient upload mechanism.  One exception, however, is CanStockPhoto.  Very efficient upload mechanism, but sales (and even views) have dropped to zero.

I'd be interested in knowing whether or not other contibutors have the same observation and conclusion.

My top seller at SS, downloaded 87 times thus far:



My second-best seller, downloaded 57 times thus far:



« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2012, 07:47 »
0
Well, iStock has the worst upload and also sells quite a lot :-\
And sites like canstock have a very good upload and don't really sell much.

I think there are way more factors that need to be considered

michealo

« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2012, 07:47 »
0
I've come to the conclusion that low-earning sites are also sites on which the contributor uploading mechanism is ill-conceived, bulky, troublesome, and (most important) time-consuming.  The reason is because they use the same design rationale for the buyers that they use for the contributors, so if the uploading mechanism is burdensome, the purchase mechanism will be likewise.  Therefore, the buyers will tend to do business at other sites with better (more user-friendly and streamlined) designs.  For example, the FT upload mechanism allows only one file to be edited at a time, including the assignment of model or property releases, and it can take a long time to wade through all of those stinkin' categories.  Contrast that with SS where I can assign a model release to multiple files, edit multiple files on one page, and submit multiple files with one click.

Example:  I've been a contributor to FT since March of 2009, and I have 1445 files in my portfolio.  I might average a half dozen sales per month.  I've been a contributor to SS since April of 2005.  I started with video and was accepted as a still photographer in September of 2010.  I currently have 1570 files in my portfolio, and I experience consistent daily sales.

In summary, it seems that there's a connection between the upload mechanism and the profitability of a site because the same design rationale is used for the contributor and the buyer.  My conclusion is that I get a better return on the investment of my time uploading to those sites with the most efficient upload mechanism.  One exception, however, is CanStockPhoto.  Very efficient upload mechanism, but sales (and even views) have dropped to zero.

I'd be interested in knowing whether or not other contibutors have the same observation and conclusion.

My top seller at SS, downloaded 87 times thus far:



My second-best seller, downloaded 57 times thus far:




I think it's a tenuous connection at best

« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2012, 08:39 »
0
Nope, no correlation.

Good upload, good sales (for me, anyway): Shutterstock, 123RF, Canstock, PhotoDune

Bad upload, good sales: Dreamstime, Fotolia, iStock (used to be, anyway)

Good upload, bad sales: BigStock, Veer, Zoonar, Deposit, StockFresh, Yay, Scanstock, Graphic Leftovers

Bad upload, bad sales: Nobody I bother with

« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2012, 08:52 »
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If an agency doesnt have a smooth operating customer side, they are plain stupid.

The degree of lousiness on the contributer side, shows the respect they have for their contributors time.

Which is not always much.
IS far worse than any of the others, and its very telling that they did not improve it in all the years I have been there.

« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2012, 14:30 »
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No correlation whatever.

I'd put Canstock in the good upload bad sales column, but otherwise agree with disorderly's summary.

PhotoDune has decent sales and a so-so upload process - it's so far away from SS's which is I think the best out there that I don't think they belong in the same bucket.

« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2012, 14:37 »
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A plague on "categories".

« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2012, 14:39 »
0
Well, iStock has the worst upload and also sells quite a lot :-\
And sites like canstock have a very good upload and don't really sell much.

I think there are way more factors that need to be considered

For my part Canstock is my second best seller, they sell more than Fotolia, 123rf and Dreamstimes for me (I have a vector portfolio).

Not sure there is a link between bad upload system and sales. I think there are various factor like user friendlyness of a site, it's marketing and it's prices... Of course the files found there (related to uploading) also affect the buyer, as if he cannot find what he is looking for, he will look elsewhere.

« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2012, 14:49 »
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CanStockPhoto aint just worth because of the fastest upload but also because of sales, they were my 8th best agency in 2011 with 137 sales for 160$, exactly 1.6% of my total earnings for 2011

« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2012, 14:57 »
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I have legs and a table has legs, therefore I am a table.  ;D

« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2012, 15:02 »
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I have legs and a table has legs, therefore I am a table.  ;D

I hope you dont own a restaurant :D

« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2012, 16:34 »
0
There may not be a direct and obvious connection, but over the long run, csproduction's point is valid.   Assuming that price and selection are at least comparable, simplicity and ease of use will prevail. 

What I notice about many of the sites is that they never advance past rev 1.0.   The company spends a lot of time and money to create the site, and then it's frozen for all time and never evolves or (substantially) improves.   A price will be paid, eventually, for that lack of investment.

ShadySue

« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2012, 16:42 »
0
What I notice about many of the sites is that they never advance past rev 1.0.   The company spends a lot of time and money to create the site, and then it's frozen for all time and never evolves or (substantially) improves.   A price will be paid, eventually, for that lack of investment.
And then there's the site that insists on fixin' what ain't broke.

« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2012, 17:29 »
0
There may not be a direct and obvious connection, but over the long run, csproduction's point is valid.   Assuming that price and selection are at least comparable, simplicity and ease of use will prevail. 

What I notice about many of the sites is that they never advance past rev 1.0.   The company spends a lot of time and money to create the site, and then it's frozen for all time and never evolves or (substantially) improves.   A price will be paid, eventually, for that lack of investment.

To use Canstock as an example, they've never sat on the laurels and have been innovating - both for buyers and contributors - since the site began. They had image zoom before anyone else. They had a great notion of series (contributor defined) with a collapsed display in searches so you could avoid those results with masses of similars, and so on. They started out with much higher pricing than iStock - with a notion of being fair to photographers - and photographers got 50%. They lowered prices later on (I assume trying to compete).

The sales have never been there. It's a shame, but it is not a lack of investment in the site that's the problem.

« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2012, 18:56 »
0
The sales have never been there. It's a shame, but it is not a lack of investment in the site that's the problem.

Am I the only one making money with Canstock? It's not the first time I hear this, and it does not compare to my experience with them. Anyone else make a decent income with them? It might simply be that my portfolio is vector where most if photo.

I have a lot of vector sales at 2.5$ and 5$ commission for me which do add up quickly, but I make at least a 200$ payout each month with them, where I do half that on Fotolia.

Am I the only happy camper of Canstock out there? :p

« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2012, 19:27 »
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To use Canstock as an example [...] They had a great notion of series (contributor defined) with a collapsed display in searches so you could avoid those results with masses of similars, and so on.

The 'series' concept seems so obvious and so powerful that I don't understand why it hasn't been implemented everywhere.

« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2012, 20:10 »
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Canstock has always been a modest performer for me.  Lifetime, they're my #9 performer and represent 2.7% of my total microstock income, hardly anything to get excited about.  But that's changed recently.  In November they were 10.6% of my total, dropping to 8.4% in December but climbing to 20.9% and second place this month, behind only Shutterstock at 38.1%.  My sales are mostly subscriptions, which makes the growth even more impressive.  I'll be curious to see how it performs over the next few months.


« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2012, 13:12 »
0
agree with no correlation

in terms of ease of uploading:
CanStockPhoto
SS
123RF
DT
FT
iS

in terms of revenue
SS
iS
DT
FT
CanStockPhoto
123RF

I would say thats pretty uncorrelated

« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2012, 14:06 »
0
Am I the only one making money with Canstock? It's not the first time I hear this, and it does not compare to my experience with them. Anyone else make a decent income with them? It might simply be that my portfolio is vector where most if photo.

I have a lot of vector sales at 2.5$ and 5$ commission for me which do add up quickly, but I make at least a 200$ payout each month with them, where I do half that on Fotolia.

Am I the only happy camper of Canstock out there? :p

I'm with you. My results are pretty similar, but I'm vectors as well.


 

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