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Author Topic: Exclusivity might soon be the only option?  (Read 16003 times)

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mlwinphoto

« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2011, 19:39 »
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Agency and image exclusivity is typical in the RM markets where control of licensing terms is imperative.  IMO, exclusivity in the RF and micro markets makes no sense to anyone other than the agency; as an attempt to attract buyers that may be interested in images that aren't seen on every website and every page of every magazine....However, if a buyer expects to purchase the rights to an image that is truly unique for their intended use then they should expect to pay
RM prices.

I think attempts by micro agencies to require exclusivity would backfire.  If you are forced to go exclusive why not do so with a RM agency instead, where you have the opportunity to make what your work is worth. 


« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2011, 20:21 »
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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.
I agree. We all know the companies which turned their initial foothold into permanent marketshare dominance: Amazon, Microsoft, Ebay, and so on. But the history of the computer business is littered with the names we now forget, companies who blew their lead and put the truth in the saying, "It pays to be second."

The spreadsheet, the word processor, the microcomputer database, the first micrcomputer for consumers, the GUI were all invented by companies which no longer exist or are no longer in the microcomputer business. When was the last time you bought software from Digital Research, the company which produced CP/M, the first real microcomputer operating system? Or Heathkit? Or VisiCalc, which sold the first spreadsheet? Will the first microstock agency end up in that graveyard?

IS is making way too many mistakes. They may live to rue the day that they mistreated independents and illustrators the way they have. IS thinks they can get away with anything. They may be wrong.

« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2011, 22:12 »
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It was always baffling to me why Istock thinks their policy on exclusivity brings them any advantage in the market. Anything they gain by representing exclusive work of a few talented photographers they lose by NOT having a huge body of work from non-exclusive photographers that other agencies have (and Istock doesn't).
If they had nice exclusivity program and did not limit non-exclusive content, they'd have the best of both worlds and would just rule the marketplace.

« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2011, 22:36 »
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It was always baffling to me why Istock thinks their policy on exclusivity brings them any advantage in the market. Anything they gain by representing exclusive work of a few talented photographers they lose by NOT having a huge body of work from non-exclusive photographers that other agencies have (and Istock doesn't).

They do have a huge body of work from independents.  Seriously, do you need 1,000 of the same business images from someone, or will 400 pretty much cover the series?

« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2011, 22:49 »
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They do have a huge body of work from independents.  Seriously, do you need 1,000 of the same business images from someone, or will 400 pretty much cover the series?

Too bad that huge body of work from independents can't be found by buyers.

« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2011, 00:21 »
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be your own agency  ;D

« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2011, 02:03 »
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They do have a huge body of work from independents.  Seriously, do you need 1,000 of the same business images from someone, or will 400 pretty much cover the series?


Too bad that huge body of work from independents can't be found by buyers.


I read that over and over again here and from what I can see that just not true.
Ex.
1. Business: sort best match/View 200  5http://www.istockphoto.com/search/text/business/filetypes/[1]/source/basic/
Counted 50 images from independents in the first 100 images.

2. Senior: sort best match/View 200 http://www.istockphoto.com/search/text/senior_adult/filetypes/[1]/source/basic/
44 out of 200 images from independents.

3. Education: sort best match View 200, http://www.istockphoto.com/search/text/school/filetypes/[1]/textDisambiguation/%7B%22termId%22:%221_1692%22,%22string%22:%22school%22%7D/source/basic/

23 out of 200 images from independents.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 02:05 by Eyedesign »

lagereek

« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2011, 02:44 »
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Agreeing Thomas!  I also keep reading this all the time but in all fairness, I certainly find my own and friends images right on the premiere pages, so I dont know what kind of images these people are searching or looking for??

Yes, its quite true, exclusivity is associated with the RM industry, licencing, not Micro,  but really?  the micro we knew 5 years back have changed drastically and we are not really talking micro anymore, are we? its all moving towards Macro, RF, etc.

Im an independant myself and dont really speak for or against exclusivity but I think we have to remember, this is a business, not personal and if we start judging this business on moral grounds, aspects, etc,  we could be entering dangerous grounds.

« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2011, 03:52 »
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@Thomas

What are you doing here? You should be shooting ;-)

For me one of the main arguments for exclusivity is legal protection. I really dont see how I can chase after an infringement case or stop someone who is selling my work elsewhere all by myself.  The cases where I did find abuse of my work, istock got involved and my images were removed within 24 hours. All I had to do was send them a link.

Also exclusivity with istock now means your images will be quite widely distributed via partner sites as well (if you like that). And then there is the integration with Getty. I now have a house contract and can build an additional portfolio there. So Ireally dont feel I am "limited" in my exposure.

istock = Apple

« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2011, 05:05 »
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@ J., Last shoot at the old studio planned for Thursday  ;D

« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2011, 05:27 »
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It was always baffling to me why Istock thinks their policy on exclusivity brings them any advantage in the market. Anything they gain by representing exclusive work of a few talented photographers they lose by NOT having a huge body of work from non-exclusive photographers that other agencies have (and Istock doesn't).

They do have a huge body of work from independents.  Seriously, do you need 1,000 of the same business images from someone, or will 400 pretty much cover the series?
There's lots of good independents that never bothered with istock or only uploaded a tiny fraction of their portfolio because of the 20% commission.  There will be many more now, especially as istock don't sell new images well any more.  I do think the advantage they had with exclusives is diminished and they will find it harder to get as many good new contributors as their rivals.  That might suit some people but will the buyers like it?

« Reply #36 on: January 31, 2011, 05:32 »
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Im an independant myself and dont really speak for or against exclusivity but I think we have to remember, this is a business, not personal and if we start judging this business on moral grounds, aspects, etc,  we could be entering dangerous grounds.

+ 1  ;D

If your not treating this as a business you're in trouble.

« Reply #37 on: January 31, 2011, 05:42 »
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It was always baffling to me why Istock thinks their policy on exclusivity brings them any advantage in the market. Anything they gain by representing exclusive work of a few talented photographers they lose by NOT having a huge body of work from non-exclusive photographers that other agencies have (and Istock doesn't).

They do have a huge body of work from independents.  Seriously, do you need 1,000 of the same business images from someone, or will 400 pretty much cover the series?
There's lots of good independents that never bothered with istock or only uploaded a tiny fraction of their portfolio because of the 20% commission.  There will be many more now, especially as istock don't sell new images well any more.  I do think the advantage they had with exclusives is diminished and they will find it harder to get as many good new contributors as their rivals.  That might suit some people but will the buyers like it?

The point is not how many images independents have vs how many are loaded onto istock. The market is over supplied with images. I've said it before I'll said it again, show me an agency with 12 millon image and I'll show you an agency with 10 million crappy images.  

lagereek

« Reply #38 on: January 31, 2011, 05:47 »
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Sharpshot! No, its just too much pie-in-the-sky and wishful thinking going on, I can tell by some comments. Some time back we had a giant long thread "Is this the end of Micro"?  and everyone was sure it was going downhill,  now all of a sudden, there are many more and micro is flourishing??? and all because IS,  isnt selling all that well.
Micro, macro, RM, RF, doesnt just evolve around Getty/IS, they got it pretty much sewn up, theyre not worrying.  
You wake up on a Monday morning and you find two or three other of the leading agencies have gone the same way as Stockxpert? or simply bought up? which is a scenario that could very well happen.
Then where are you gonna stick all your eggs? or working day and night to furnish some 25 small hole-in-the-wall agencies for peanuts?

lagereek

« Reply #39 on: January 31, 2011, 05:55 »
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It was always baffling to me why Istock thinks their policy on exclusivity brings them any advantage in the market. Anything they gain by representing exclusive work of a few talented photographers they lose by NOT having a huge body of work from non-exclusive photographers that other agencies have (and Istock doesn't).

They do have a huge body of work from independents.  Seriously, do you need 1,000 of the same business images from someone, or will 400 pretty much cover the series?
There's lots of good independents that never bothered with istock or only uploaded a tiny fraction of their portfolio because of the 20% commission.  There will be many more now, especially as istock don't sell new images well any more.  I do think the advantage they had with exclusives is diminished and they will find it harder to get as many good new contributors as their rivals.  That might suit some people but will the buyers like it?

The point is not how many images independents have vs how many are loaded onto istock. The market is over supplied with images. I've said it before I'll said it again, show me an agency with 12 millon image and I'll show you an agency with 10 million crappy images.  
[/q


Couldnt have put it better myself! 90% crap, the rest is what sell. Do you remember the old Stones-Worldwide?  he proudly went out and said, "sure! we got plenty of shots but our very small collection of just 150K images, stand for 80% of turnover. Why? because they represent the very best in every field AND they did. So Getty bought them in 93.

« Reply #40 on: January 31, 2011, 06:53 »
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Sharpshot! No, its just too much pie-in-the-sky and wishful thinking going on, I can tell by some comments. Some time back we had a giant long thread "Is this the end of Micro"?  and everyone was sure it was going downhill,  now all of a sudden, there are many more and micro is flourishing??? and all because IS,  isnt selling all that well.
Micro, macro, RM, RF, doesnt just evolve around Getty/IS, they got it pretty much sewn up, theyre not worrying.  
You wake up on a Monday morning and you find two or three other of the leading agencies have gone the same way as Stockxpert? or simply bought up? which is a scenario that could very well happen.
Then where are you gonna stick all your eggs? or working day and night to furnish some 25 small hole-in-the-wall agencies for peanuts?
Nobody knows the future, I see more risk being exclusive now than non-exclusive but who really knows?  2 or 3 of the leading agencies could go the same way as StockXpert but I think it's just as likely that istock has missed its chance to dominate the market and is going to struggle to keep a dominant position.  I'm not going to risk putting all my eggs in one basket, I'm going to spend more time working on ways to make money outside of microstock.

« Reply #41 on: January 31, 2011, 08:18 »
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@ sharpshot, Finding a way to made money outside of microstock with your images is the best bet!


« Reply #42 on: January 31, 2011, 09:37 »
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@ sharpshot, Finding a way to made money outside of microstock with your images is the best bet!

Very good advice - I think its a much more productive approach to think of microstock as a whole as one basket - and look for other baskets that you have more control over or that involve different risk factors.

An alternative approach for some may also be to find other sources of income that aren't related to producing or licensing images at all.

helix7

« Reply #43 on: January 31, 2011, 10:13 »
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As long as SS is around, I don't see any incentive to go exclusive anywhere. My earnings at SS this month are more than double my IS earnings. While SS remains the top microstock earner for me, I'm inclined to stay on the same path I'm on right now. Microstock is a side income for me, much of it comes from SS, and my earnings there are steady and consistent even while I'm hardly uploading anything new these days.

Even if some of the other big companies (DT, FT, etc) were acquired or shut down, I'd still stay right where I am. SS is the key, though. If they were acquired or shut down, I'd probably go exclusive with IS and just stop producing anything for microstock entirely, and just collect whatever pennies I could from IS for as long as I could.

The only scenario I see for SS to disappear is by a Getty acquisition. SS is doing very well, so they're not going out of business any time soon. Getty has a competing property (Thinkstock) and they would benefit greatly from SS disappearing and directing all of those buyers over to TS. That's really the only way I could see SS going anywhere.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 10:21 by helix7 »

« Reply #44 on: January 31, 2011, 12:53 »
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Micro, macro, RM, RF, doesnt just evolve around Getty/IS, they got it pretty much sewn up, theyre not worrying.  

Dan Heller showed an industry study which proved that over 60% of stock photography sales are direct transactions between the buyer and the photographer.  Less than 40% involve an agency, and of that 40%, Getty hardly owns the entire pie, and the last several years they always seem one step away from bankruptcy or another sale.

You guys are allowing the agencies far more power than they actually have. 

lisafx

« Reply #45 on: January 31, 2011, 13:42 »
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Im an independant myself and dont really speak for or against exclusivity but I think we have to remember, this is a business, not personal and if we start judging this business on moral grounds, aspects, etc,  we could be entering dangerous grounds.

+ 1  ;D

If your not treating this as a business you're in trouble.

I don't know where this particular admonishment is coming from, Christian and Thomas.  Reading this thread, most of the arguments I am seeing against exclusivity are solid business arguments, not merely moral or emotional ones. 

You guys are certainly free to disagree with the majority and express your own opinions, but please don't denigrate those of us who disagree with you by dismissing our well-reasoned and articulated arguments as unbusinesslike. 

« Reply #46 on: January 31, 2011, 14:07 »
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You guys are certainly free to disagree with the majority and express your own opinions, but please don't denigrate those of us who disagree with you by dismissing our well-reasoned and articulated arguments as unbusinesslike. 

+ 1

« Reply #47 on: January 31, 2011, 14:07 »
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It was always baffling to me why Istock thinks their policy on exclusivity brings them any advantage in the market. Anything they gain by representing exclusive work of a few talented photographers they lose by NOT having a huge body of work from non-exclusive photographers that other agencies have (and Istock doesn't).

They do have a huge body of work from independents.  Seriously, do you need 1,000 of the same business images from someone, or will 400 pretty much cover the series?

This is hardly a logical statement. You can't assume every (or most) independents produce a constant stream of nearly identical images. Some of them do. But definitely not majority.
My own portfolio covers a wide range of subjects, simply because I get too bored to do the same thing over and over again. And more than half of it is not present on Istock. I am quite certain I am not the only one in this situation.
Of course, opening the doors would mean more competition for exclusives, but then it would have a positive effect on the quality of everyone's work. Competition makes you try harder.
----------------
On another subject - the idea of an agency that would represent the best stock artists and have a small but very sellable collection has been around for a while, and some people are trying it right now with various degrees of success. I personally like that idea very much, it would be so efficient, but it still needs to be run and marketed properly, and that costs a lot of money.


"What is it?" - "Efficient" (if you know where this quote is from, you're such a nerd!)

« Reply #48 on: January 31, 2011, 14:21 »
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This is hardly a logical statement. You can't assume every (or most) independents produce a constant stream of nearly identical images. Some of them do. But definitely not majority.
My own portfolio covers a wide range of subjects, simply because I get too bored to do the same thing over and over again. And more than half of it is not present on Istock. I am quite certain I am not the only one in this situation.

Is it not present on IS because you don't have enough upload slots, or because you just haven't used all your upload shots.

« Reply #49 on: January 31, 2011, 14:27 »
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The fact about exclusivity is that buyers find the same files at A, B, C, D... etc microstock sites, and that many of them know that just on istock will find different quality files, as well as a hugue body (not all them, that's true) of the said commodity files.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 14:43 by loop »


 

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