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Author Topic: December 2010 earnings thread  (Read 12587 times)

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« on: January 01, 2011, 05:54 »
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How was your December?

and as always... here is the monthly polls link
http://www.microstockgroup.com/pollsvote/


ShadySue

« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2011, 06:26 »
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On iStock (exclusive) - grim.
$$$ Down 23% compared to December 2009, and down 45% compared to Dec. '08.
Downloads less than half of Dec 2009. (down from 289 in 2007 to 121 this year)
Third worst month of the year, when previously it's been 3rd or 4th top.
On the positive side, I didn't get any of these fraudulent downloads to be sorted out.
And for the first time, my month at Alamy, if cleared (4 sales), is better than my month at iStock, though I understand that my big sale is very unusual these days, so can't hope for many more of these.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 08:09 by ShadySue »

« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2011, 06:47 »
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Exclusive at IS
177 downloads, 512$ for december.
Down 11% from November 2010
Hope 2011 will be better...

Is december suppost to be a good or bad month because of Xmas / years end ?

« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2011, 07:59 »
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Shutterstock   59%
Fotolia 18%
Dreamstime 8%
123 7%
CanStock   4%
GLO  2%
BigStock 1%
(Print on Demand Excluded)

December was about the same as October - i.e. better than I expected.

« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2011, 09:54 »
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Shutterstock 46%
iStockphoto 38%
Dreamstime 13%
Fotolia 2%
Bigstockphoto 1%
123RF, Canstock, GraphicsLeftovers, Veer all <1%

December definitely confirmed for me that independence is far more profitable than exclusivity for my portfolio.  I took a 10% haircut for going independent, but I only uploaded about 1/3 to 1/2 of my portfolio to DT,FT,BigStock, etc.  If I get off my lazy @&^ and upload some more, I'll see a nice pay raise.  Add in the projected 15-25% in commission reduction coming this month for most of us at IS, and independence is a no brainer for me.

My uploads were very strong at iStockphoto after giving up exclusivity.  This confirms for me that the best match sort does not favor exclusives very strongly anymore.  In fact, I checked my best match placement before and after exclusivity and found basically no change on my top images.  It also suggests to me that buyers are getting price conscious and are looking at the non-exclusive portfolios more and more, since they are significantly cheaper per image.

« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2011, 10:30 »
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Shutterstock 46%
iStockphoto 38%
Dreamstime 13%
Fotolia 2%
Bigstockphoto 1%
123RF, Canstock, GraphicsLeftovers, Veer all <1%

December definitely confirmed for me that independence is far more profitable than exclusivity for my portfolio.  I took a 10% haircut for going independent, but I only uploaded about 1/3 to 1/2 of my portfolio to DT,FT,BigStock, etc.  If I get off my lazy @&^ and upload some more, I'll see a nice pay raise.  Add in the projected 15-25% in commission reduction coming this month for most of us at IS, and independence is a no brainer for me.

My uploads were very strong at iStockphoto after giving up exclusivity.  This confirms for me that the best match sort does not favor exclusives very strongly anymore.  In fact, I checked my best match placement before and after exclusivity and found basically no change on my top images.  It also suggests to me that buyers are getting price conscious and are looking at the non-exclusive portfolios more and more, since they are significantly cheaper per image.

Glad to hear that going independent has been successful for you. That is great news to start the new year!

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2011, 11:18 »
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December wasn't great for me - after a run of $500 months, I am back at $430 even after two $25 downloads from Pond5.

Stats:
Shutterstock: 40%
iStock:23%
Dreamstime: 11%
Pond5: 11%
123RF: 4%
Fotolia: 4%
BigStock: 2%

I've started posting a graph of earning each month on my blog - the biggest change this year has been the focus on getting more images on-line. I have probably gone from 400 to 1300 on Shutterstock as the year went by. http://www.backyardsilver.com

Steve

« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2011, 15:50 »
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... Is december suppost to be a good or bad month because of Xmas / years end ?


Rather depends upon your portfolio and the seasonal image content. Historically for me (but not this year) December is the second best earner (November is best, followed by December or October and then September or March - that has varied).

As I'm an IS exclusive, their idiotic decision to roll out a broken search engine in early December hurt the month's sales. It was marginally up over December 09, but was the 7th best month of 2010, not the 2nd as I'd have expected.

Overall for 2010, income was up 72% and downloads up 6.5%, so it was a good year

« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2011, 16:25 »
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... Is december suppost to be a good or bad month because of Xmas / years end ?


Rather depends upon your portfolio and the seasonal image content. Historically for me (but not this year) December is the second best earner (November is best, followed by December or October and then September or March - that has varied).

As I'm an IS exclusive, their idiotic decision to roll out a broken search engine in early December hurt the month's sales. It was marginally up over December 09, but was the 7th best month of 2010, not the 2nd as I'd have expected.

Overall for 2010, income was up 72% and downloads up 6.5%, so it was a good year


Thank you for your input. we indeed had 2nd BME and Nov was our BME so your data is consistent with ours.
(for your "normal" years)

« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2011, 16:48 »
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dec2010  | dec2009 | +/-x%
is 26% | 47% | -21%
ft 27% | 13% | +14%
ss 24% | 18% | +6%
dt 12% | 12% | +/-0%
stinksock/StockXpert 0% | 5% | -5%
other 11% | 4% | +7%

so, getty -26% and all the others +27% = +1%
2010 = 2009 + 15%

« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2011, 17:24 »
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^^^ Wow! Those 2010/2009 comparisons are somewhat startling.

I'll try and knock my December numbers out tomorrow.

« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2011, 19:15 »
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A very poor month for me.  I wonder if it this will be the tendency now, after 2 years without uploading to micros, except now to SF (but same images I have in others).

A very good month at Zazzle, a new sale at ABC.  I'm starting to believe these may be the best outlets for my micro images, in the end.

« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2011, 21:21 »
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increasing until this Dec (drop into Nov).. looking forward to 2011 :)

wish u all a great year not just into stock but all around

« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2011, 02:31 »
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If I don't count macro/midstock I had exactly the same sales as last year's December, which was a good month.  So I'm not complaining.  Shutterstock did very well and covered the loss at Istock. 
As for the non micro sites :  Rodeo did VERY bad, but that's understandable, since they have not been adding any images since summertime.  It's rather difficult to have successful sales of my newest holiday photos if the site just puts them in the freezer instead of showing them on their site  ;D

RacePhoto

« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2011, 04:02 »
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Honestly without the figures from all sales on IS, I won't be able to answer accurately until about mid-month. From past experience, I will add that nothing has changed. Boring and consistent throughout the year.

50/50 SS and IS earnings. Earnings are what I count, not letters and statistics.

SS averages 30c per download, IS averages $1.58 per download. The assumption is, that will be changing downward for IS, in 2011.

If I wanted to increased my RPD or DPI or RPI or, make up some letters here, I could just remove the non-selling shots and make it look much better. Any statistic that I can manipulate, isn't worth watching or tracking. Bottom line is the bottom line. How much did they collect for me last month? Statistics don't put gas in the car or food on the table.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 04:31 by RacePhoto »

« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2011, 04:27 »
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Honestly without the figures from all sales on IS, I won't be able to answer accurately until about mid-month. From past experience, I will add that nothing has changed. Boring and consistent throughout the year.

50/50 SS and IS earnings. Earnings are what I count, not letters and statistics.

SS averages 25c per download, IS averages $1.50 per download. The assumption is, that will be changing downward for IS, in 2011.

If I wanted to increased my RPD or DPI or RPI or, make up some letters here, I could just remove the non-selling shots and make it look much better. Any statistic that I can manipulate, isn't worth watching or tracking. Bottom line is the bottom line. How much did they collect for me last month? Statistics don't put gas in the car or food on the table.
No they don't, they do help you decide what to shoot, how much to invest in it (and gear) and make future predictions.
For example I know what I will reach my break-even point, how many photos are needed for that etc' etc'.

RacePhoto

« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2011, 04:42 »
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No they don't, they do help you decide what to shoot, how much to invest in it (and gear) and make future predictions.
For example I know what I will reach my break-even point, how many photos are needed for that etc' etc'.

So if you have 1000 photos and make $1500 then you can calculate that if you have 2000 photos (based on rpi or rpd or some other fantasy number) you are going to make $3000? (hypothetical numbers for an example)

Then you are amazing, because it seems no one else can calculate that? :) There's no direct relationship between the number of images and sales, from what I've been reading? In fact I just read where someone has about 200 photos and makes over $300 a month, and another person uploads 1000 photos a year (has 3000 online now across multiple agencies) and makes under $500 a month.

If RPI was anything more than a measure of what has happened, and had anything to do with predicting the future, I'd be all for it. But all that stat does is tell me what has happened. It's like a weather man telling us if rained 15 days last month, which has nothing to do with what will happen tomorrow. Maybe a little, but it's all after the fact. That and the problem that RPI doesn't coincide with the number of images, 1 for 1.

What you pointed out that does make much more sense is What is selling and how many times that image or that type of image has sold. That's important and meaningful. RPI is nearly usless because it doesn't take into consider "What Image Was It".


« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2011, 04:47 »
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earnings 21% up on last december with 27% bigger portfolio.

This month % total earnings
IS 34% 
SS 28%
DT 17%
FT 6%
The Rest = the Rest %

« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2011, 05:13 »
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No they don't, they do help you decide what to shoot, how much to invest in it (and gear) and make future predictions.
For example I know what I will reach my break-even point, how many photos are needed for that etc' etc'.

So if you have 1000 photos and make $1500 then you can calculate that if you have 2000 photos (based on rpi or rpd or some other fantasy number) you are going to make $3000? (hypothetical numbers for an example)

Then you are amazing, because it seems no one else can calculate that? :) There's no direct relationship between the number of images and sales, from what I've been reading? In fact I just read where someone has about 200 photos and makes over $300 a month, and another person uploads 1000 photos a year (has 3000 online now across multiple agencies) and makes under $500 a month.

If RPI was anything more than a measure of what has happened, and had anything to do with predicting the future, I'd be all for it. But all that stat does is tell me what has happened. It's like a weather man telling us if rained 15 days last month, which has nothing to do with what will happen tomorrow. Maybe a little, but it's all after the fact. That and the problem that RPI doesn't coincide with the number of images, 1 for 1.

What you pointed out that does make much more sense is What is selling and how many times that image or that type of image has sold. That's important and meaningful. RPI is nearly usless because it doesn't take into consider "What Image Was It".

I don't know about other peoples statistics. regarding ours, yes they make things very predictable and our data is consistant the more data you have (portfolio size for example) the more acurate it will be.

« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2011, 08:53 »
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No they don't, they do help you decide what to shoot, how much to invest in it (and gear) and make future predictions.
For example I know what I will reach my break-even point, how many photos are needed for that etc' etc'.

So if you have 1000 photos and make $1500 then you can calculate that if you have 2000 photos (based on rpi or rpd or some other fantasy number) you are going to make $3000? (hypothetical numbers for an example)

Then you are amazing, because it seems no one else can calculate that? :) There's no direct relationship between the number of images and sales, from what I've been reading? In fact I just read where someone has about 200 photos and makes over $300 a month, and another person uploads 1000 photos a year (has 3000 online now across multiple agencies) and makes under $500 a month.

If RPI was anything more than a measure of what has happened, and had anything to do with predicting the future, I'd be all for it. But all that stat does is tell me what has happened. It's like a weather man telling us if rained 15 days last month, which has nothing to do with what will happen tomorrow. Maybe a little, but it's all after the fact. That and the problem that RPI doesn't coincide with the number of images, 1 for 1.

What you pointed out that does make much more sense is What is selling and how many times that image or that type of image has sold. That's important and meaningful. RPI is nearly usless because it doesn't take into consider "What Image Was It".

I don't know about other peoples statistics. regarding ours, yes they make things very predictable and our data is consistant the more data you have (portfolio size for example) the more accurate it will be.
[/quote

I'm with aeonf on this.  My RPI has been consistent, well into my third year at this, so it's a very useful number to track.  I forecast adding a certain number of shots per day to my port, and the money it will generate, and it's been spot on since the beginning.  Sure, I could manipulate the number by removing images from my port, but that would be idiotic and beside the point.  I track RPI for my own forecasting and insight into whether I'm on the right track, not for bragging rights.  It's my belief that if your RPI is falling, you're doing something wrong, and no one has been able to convince me otherwise since I have a ton of data that doesn't lie.

lisafx

« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2011, 10:38 »
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I am down 20% from last month (Nov), and down 10% on last December.   Not very cheerful statistics.  Portfolio growth was 17%.

On year end stats, 2010 was down 10% overall from 2009.  Judging from the last half of the year, I had thought that would be even worse, but the first 1/3 of 2010 was pretty good.  Things started to slide badly the second half of the year.  

I suspect that the main reason for my decline was that I rely heavily on Istock sales and those have been dropping steadily for me.  
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 11:29 by lisafx »

lagereek

« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2011, 10:59 »
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Im the same in Micro, hardly any change at all. On the RM side, Im noticing a really big increase, both in sales and monies. Then again in RM, it seams people buy for their Annuals and Corp profiles, etc and before X-mas.

« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2011, 11:21 »
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^^^ Quite similar for me.

I was down 14% from November and down 8% compared Dec 2009. But for a very strong showing from Shutterstock it could have been a lot worse. Like Lisa the drop was largely due to the decline in my sales at Istock. Percentages as follows (with 2009);

SS    35.1% (20.8 )
IS     30.4    (36.2)
FT     21      (19.1)
DT     10.2   (14)
BigStock    2.6    (1.8 )

Shutterstock now firmly established as my #1 earning agency with IS in steady decline.

The change in actual earnings at each agency compared to Dec 2009 were as follows;

SS    +54%
IS     -23%
FT      0%
DT    -33%
BigStock  +37%

I'm not overly optimistic about what 2011 will bring. The projections from my data do not make comfortable viewing. I've got a feeling that many of us with mature portfolios will have to work much harder (in what will eventually prove to be a hopeless attempt) to maintain our incomes. I work in a lot of niche subjects and many of those now are effectively 'full'. There are already far more images in some subjects than the world actually needs and yet more and more are still being approved every month. It's not really worth my time and effort to add to them so inevitably my sales will be squeezed yet further. In my view what can be easily seen in niche subjects is just a reflection of the greater market and what is happening everywhere else. I've had six good years from microstock but I'm not sure how many more are left before every subject is virtually swamped.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 11:23 by gostwyck »

lisafx

« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2011, 11:47 »
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I agree with your assessment, Gostwyck.  Looks like the long term outlook for those of us who have "hit the wall" is not too promising.  I am still relatively satisfied with my income, but if it were to continue this decline for a couple more years I would have to think of some other line of work...

I did my change in earnings for my year end stats, and also for December only. 

             all year     Dec. only
Istock       -11%        -17%
SS            =              =
DT            +2%        -10%
FT            =              =
BigStock          +8%         +53%  (I excluded the fraud sales from the Dec. totals)

As you can see, Istock is down for the year, but that drop accelerated quite a bit by the end of the year.  Dreamstime is up for the year overall, but I had a drop in December.  Part of this may be because I didn't upload anything in Dec.  I think the lack of new uploads may have had an impact at DT, but not at IS, where new uploads weren't showing in the search anyway. 

Shutterstock and FT numbers were statistically dead even from year to year. 

BigStock showed a big jump in the last quarter of the year. That is not because of the fraud sales, since I deducted those from the totals. 

« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2011, 16:22 »
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I agree with your assessment, Gostwyck.  Looks like the long term outlook for those of us who have "hit the wall" is not too promising.  

While I wish you were still increasing your earnings, there is a bright side.  How many people, let alone photographers, can say they pay their bills by doing something which they love...on their own time, at their own leisure, and with no boss or clock to answer to.  I envy your position.   ;)


 

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