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Author Topic: Exclusivity might soon be the only option?  (Read 15982 times)

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lagereek

« on: January 30, 2011, 03:01 »
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I dont think Exclusives anywhere are doing all that, not at the moment anyway. For us non-exclusives however, its gradually becoming more and more difficult, if not booted out, well then we end up last in searches, so whats next? its become a job without identity, really, "jack of all trades but master of none".
From the Micro agencies point of view, their future lies entirely in stopping the competition from having the same material as themselves, i.e. hosting lots of exclusives and able to supply unique material, well, if you can call it unique, that is?

For us non-exclusives, a pretty scary scenario could soon become a reality, the 5 bigger agencies could easily just over a night be bought or transformed to just one or maybe two umbrellas, making life pretty miserable for outsiders, especially the serious ones with large portfolios, depending on it for a living and having to rely on the mediocre selling-power of smaller agencies.
Terminating exclusivity, today?  thinking the grass is greener with the others?  the majority has found themselves starving alive. Its all too late for that, the business have changed, sure its a numbers game, problem is nowdays, there are just too many numbers.
Also, when the time comes for exclusivity, which Im sure will come, sooner or later, its bound to come, its geared that way. That might bee too late as well, they might not want us?

Any thoughts?

Im not advocating at all for exclusivity or independant, live and let live, I would say but as an independant, there are things to be taken into consideration.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2011, 03:06 by lagereek »


microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2011, 03:10 »
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While I mainly agree with your observations here, my conclusion - based on current uncertainty across microstock - is against exclusivity.

And if the time will come (and I hope it doesn't) for exclusivity, it's better to already have our full port everywhere.

lagereek

« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2011, 06:50 »
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While I mainly agree with your observations here, my conclusion - based on current uncertainty across microstock - is against exclusivity.

And if the time will come (and I hope it doesn't) for exclusivity, it's better to already have our full port everywhere.

Full port!  yep, thats for sure or else its curtains.

« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2011, 07:02 »
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I don't think I will ever be interested in contributor exclusivity, where I can't upload any RF images anywhere else.  I might be interested in image exclusivity, where I can still put different images on the other sites.

For now, I will just see how it goes.  I had hoped shutterstock would want an exclusive images collection but that hasn't happened and I don't really like the other big sites enough to try their exclusive images options.  It doesn't seem like a good option with the smaller sites because they don't have enough buyers.

« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2011, 08:01 »
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I would never, ever become an exclusive contributor on a site with strict terms ("all your RF stuff belongs to us, and you can't even sell rejects as RF").

BUT, I could consider submitting exclusive images/shoots to some site, but then there should be real compensation for that. DT's and FT's few-percents-more doesn't cut it.

I have been thinking about a site that sells only exclusive images. You couldn't find the same images anywhere else. The problem is to get the submissions, but if someone really started an "only exclusive images" agency, I would try them with a dozen images.

lagereek

« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2011, 08:32 »
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Problem is not now! but pretty soon, with exeption of subscription-agencies, I recon that the major agencies will have little alternative but to insist on exclusivity, or else?
Image exclusivity might work for DT but it certainly wont work for something like IS, too big and too hard to police, not to mention Getty ofcourse.
No, I think the majority of us are in for a bit of a surprise before the end of this year.

« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2011, 09:08 »
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I'm thinking exclusivity - at least agency exclusivity - is a fad.  I don't see the upside for the customer.  Customers don't license the image exclusively - any other customer of the site can license the image at the same time and what other benefit could they gain from agency exclusivity.

The restriction that the customer must buy a particular image from a particular site actually seems to me to be disadvantageous to customers.  This kind of exclusivity means that to satisfy all their image needs customers need accounts with many agencies.  Hasn't the MS revolution gotten them used to just maintaining accounts at a few agencies where they can get everything they need?  Where is the benefit of having to look for what they need in many places?

I am probably missing something because I really don't see how this idea ever got started.  But if I am right it should die away as customers realize they are better off with an image market that has lots of independent suppliers selling across multiple outlets.

Agency exclusivity also seems to be anti-competitive and may be open to legal challenges.    In the U.S. anti-trust enforcement is so moribund that it is unlikely to succeed but elsewhere (EU, Canada, etc.) it may be a possibility.

fred

« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2011, 09:18 »
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I know that this is OT, but I just had to say how much I like Perry's avatar!  :D

« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2011, 10:21 »
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I know that this is OT, but I just had to say how much I like Perry's avatar!  :D
The way things are going, that trash bin will be soon full of other icons...

« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2011, 10:32 »
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While I mainly agree with your observations here, my conclusion - based on current uncertainty across microstock - is against exclusivity.

And if the time will come (and I hope it doesn't) for exclusivity, it's better to already have our full port everywhere.

That's the key.  Upload everywhere in anticipation that consolidation will occur.  I've pulled my port from a few sites but regret it today because of exactly what ^ said.

« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2011, 10:41 »
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I'm thinking exclusivity - at least agency exclusivity - is a fad.  I don't see the upside for the customer.  Customers don't license the image exclusively - any other customer of the site can license the image at the same time and what other benefit could they gain from agency exclusivity.

The restriction that the customer must buy a particular image from a particular site actually seems to me to be disadvantageous to customers.  This kind of exclusivity means that to satisfy all their image needs customers need accounts with many agencies.  Hasn't the MS revolution gotten them used to just maintaining accounts at a few agencies where they can get everything they need?  Where is the benefit of having to look for what they need in many places?

I am probably missing something because I really don't see how this idea ever got started.  But if I am right it should die away as customers realize they are better off with an image market that has lots of independent suppliers selling across multiple outlets.

Agency exclusivity also seems to be anti-competitive and may be open to legal challenges.    In the U.S. anti-trust enforcement is so moribund that it is unlikely to succeed but elsewhere (EU, Canada, etc.) it may be a possibility.

fred

I agree with your thinking. Personally, I think agency exclusivity is really just an advantage for the agency, as a way to control their contributors.

jbarber873

« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2011, 11:15 »
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  I think Lagereeks post poses some interesting questions, and the answer is difficult to know. The biggest plus for going exclusive at Istock is the higher placement in searches, higher payout and a persistent feeling that the crown gives you an edge in getting an image accepted ( i know many will dispute this, but that's just MY take on it.) Couple this with Istocks commanding market recognition and it's a compelling argument. The biggest negative is the complete disarray of the management at IStock. IF that changes, and Istock lives up to it's potential, and you could really see a complete change in the market. I keep thinking of Yuri's statement on the John Lund blog post to the effect that if he were starting out now he would seriously think about exclusivity. Over time, an exclusive collection would probably bring the best work to Istock, because that's where the best returns could be. That's again, very iffy, because given the mess the current management has made of Istock, it's not apparent that they are up to the task. But it could happen. A lot of the images on all the sites are starting to look pretty stale by now, and if the "look" of stock imagery takes off in a new direction,as it did in the late 90's, all the collections will start looking like the Bettman archives. As for legal challenges, an agency has the right to structure their suppliers any way they choose. If there was any merit to the argument that agencies collude in denying access to a market, that would have been better directed to the macrostock agencies years ago. But the market took care of that. It's called microstock.

« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2011, 11:25 »
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All exclusive doesn't seem to be the way things are headed. If anything, I'd say the opposite. Smaller agencies are slowly eroding the superiority of the Big 4. If I was going to predict, I think the landscape will be more of a bunch of mid tier agencies, and nobody will command enough sales to justify exclusivity.

lagereek

« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2011, 12:27 »
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No. wrong!  the smaller agencies will certainly have their place, fill a function, etc,  but they will simply not be allowed to get much further, UNLESS! they are taken over by one of the big umbrellas. Thats the way it works. As soon as one becomes a threat, its a gonner or bought. Look at Stockxpert! golden example.

« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2011, 13:05 »
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I think quite opposite! Non-exclusivity is future! Because erratic decisions of stock agencies "don't put all eggs in the same basket" becomes very live command for every contributor....

P.S.
Put "treasure chest" in IS "best match" search engine and you will see my photo on third place (of 60 pages) without crown or/and flame...  Istock gets more money from me than from any exclusive contributor, so if buyers love some image , it doesn't matter whose property is....
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 06:39 by borg »

« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2011, 13:15 »
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No. wrong!  the smaller agencies will certainly have their place, fill a function, etc,  but they will simply not be allowed to get much further, UNLESS! they are taken over by one of the big umbrellas. Thats the way it works. As soon as one becomes a threat, its a gonner or bought. Look at Stockxpert! golden example.

Well, I guess they'll have to get their checkbook out because there are a few agencies that they'll probably need to buy.  ;D

« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2011, 13:35 »
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Could it?..... Yes possibly

Will it?..... No I very much doubt it

The market place for contributers is evolving so rapidly anything could happen which is exactly why I will always keep my options open ;)

To each their own,  being Exclusive is not for the faint hearted, especially at IS  :D


« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2011, 14:08 »
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Probably should read "best viable option" as there are always other options. No titan has ever survived for that long. Something changes, a chink in the armour and they fall like the lead balloon they have become. And usually based on the huge level of arrogance and non-caring, stick it your b**t attitude they develop; everyone is all too  happy to see them fall and are just as happy to leave and go wherever it is that is replacing them. The fat lady has never finished singing.

jbarber873

« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2011, 15:24 »
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Probably should read "best viable option" as there are always other options. No titan has ever survived for that long. Something changes, a chink in the armour and they fall like the lead balloon they have become. And usually based on the huge level of arrogance and non-caring, stick it your b**t attitude they develop; everyone is all too  happy to see them fall and are just as happy to leave and go wherever it is that is replacing them. The fat lady has never finished singing.

   I guess the question is:  Which one is Istock- AOL or Apple? One went down in flames and the other was reborn stronger than ever.

« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2011, 15:36 »
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I guess the question is:  Which one is Istock- AOL or Apple? One went down in flames and the other was reborn stronger than ever.

Right now my money would be on AOL.

grp_photo

« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2011, 16:39 »
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I shoot mainly exclusive...... but session-exclusive. I fully understand the need for agencies to have exclusive images to have an USP... but I'm totally against bond-slavery it is plain wrong and belongs to the middle-age, and of course it was also wrong in the middle-age. Contributor-exclusivity is a dumb thing! Don't be stupid think twice!

« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2011, 17:38 »
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Content exclusivity is OK, but contributor exclusivity is a pure slavery , just wrapped in nice paper.

« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2011, 17:46 »
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Content exclusivity is OK, but contributor exclusivity is a pure slavery , just wrapped in nice paper.

I agree it's pure slavery, but where is the nice paper? ;)

« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2011, 18:15 »
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Content exclusivity is OK, but contributor exclusivity is a pure slavery , just wrapped in nice paper.

I agree it's pure slavery, but where is the nice paper? ;)
lol

lisafx

« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2011, 18:35 »
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If I were ever to consider exclusivity it would have to be to an agency that treats its contributors as respected partners, not slave labor.  That certainly rules out Istock, and exclusivity at the other two sites in the big 4 that offer it, just doesn't appear to be lucrative enough.  

Christian, you may very well be right, but, like the majority here, I see the industry moving away from the artist exclusivity model.   In fact, Istock seems to be working to chase its lower and mid-tier contributors away from exclusivity.   IMHO any agency that insists on artist exclusivity is going to lose a lot more good content than they gain.  

In what other branch of business - art related or otherwise - does the storefront insist on complete exclusivity from their suppliers?  

If agencies want suppliers to go exclusive at this point, they need to consider a lot more carrot and a lot less stick.  
« Last Edit: January 30, 2011, 18:51 by lisafx »


 

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