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Author Topic: Exclusivity, yes or no?  (Read 22918 times)

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SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« on: July 07, 2009, 11:23 »
0
is now a good time to be exclusive to iStock? or is now a good time to be independent? or neither?
« Last Edit: July 07, 2009, 11:36 by hawk_eye »


« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2009, 11:35 »
0
A timely appropriate question hawk-eye!
Let's see.
Um, if I had invested my time with IStock and have done well there , and I qualify to contribute to Vetta? It's a wholehearted YES.
If , otoh, I am independent, which I am. I would keep my options open with Veer Marketplace, and see which of the two takes off.
Vetta is obviously more rewarding, so I would wish it succeeds, even though I am not exclusive.
That being said, I keep an eye to see which of the Big 6 will bring out their own version of premium stock to stop the rest of us from joining Getty. Not that I am such a big hurry to join IS. But as Sean pointed out aptly, those who hung around faithfully with IS should by now deserve to reap the rewards of Vetta.

Objective opinion. Hey, and welcome to MSG...  ;)

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2009, 11:50 »
0
I'm not overly concerned about my own exclusivity, that decision was made and continues to be the best choice for me, but I am curious how some of the recent big site changes have affected contributors still considering it.

« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2009, 12:05 »
0
Vetta, IMO, does make exclusivity more attractive.  I could see how that might sway some people who are on the fence.

OTOH, for me istock is way too volatile.  Too many big changes, and all of them come with major site problems and search issues. 

I would not like to have to rely on such an unstable site for most of my photography income.  Would drive me nuts!

puravida

  • diablo como vd
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2009, 12:13 »
0
ggggeez PixelBytes, why do you know so much ??? lol.

yes, i have to agree with both of foregoing commentors. I would however wait to see what happens with Vetta. I am not a big fan of Istock either, although their ability to sell is not unknown to all independents.

still, as PixelBytes pointed out, to place so much trust in a volatile company is a bit of a decision risk. not sure if i like that. already i am quite pissed off with what some of the sites are doing, but as an independent i can at least change sides whenever they get anal with me. although being exclusive is convenient, you only have to upload to one site. a tradeoff i suppose.

« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2009, 12:20 »
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Being non-exclusive, at 13 sites, I have to say I like it better. You have to keep in mind that when you are only on one site, you DON'T get to see the market as a whole very well. You'll never know if your images could do better elsewhere because you do not have a "birds eye" view of the market that non-exclusives do.

Case in point, I uploaded one of my recent shoots to all my sites, I was expecting SS to bring in the majority of its gross sales, as similar shoots had done. I was dead wrong. As I tracked sales, I found it wound up being SX that made the shoot really profitable. Had I only been on SS, I would have a loss on my hands.

Such are the benefits of non-exclusiveness.

« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2009, 12:29 »
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As I said many times, I like IS and thinking about becoming exclusive a lot. However, being called "Freedom", I highly dislike the IS exclusive term which provides that you cannot give away your photos to family and frieds for free. I am not clear whether or not you can sell rejected photos as RM either. So it's too bad that I still haven't made the switch.

« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2009, 12:44 »
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... as an independent i can at least change sides whenever they get anal with me.

ROFL!  That paints quite a vivid picture  :o

« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2009, 12:48 »
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... I highly dislike the IS exclusive term which provides that you cannot give away your photos to family and frieds for free.

I would contact IS support on this one.  My understanding is that you just can't sell or give away images for commercial RF purposes.  Work for hire and giving prints to friends and family for personal use are not prohibited. 

Unless something about the exclusive agreement has changed....?

« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2009, 12:52 »
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No, I don't think I am aware of any changes. What I meant is what if I give my photos to my family and friends for their e-comm websites? What if I donate some photos to the websites of local community and charities to promote their causes and businesses? All these can be perceived as commercial RF.

I wish someone can tell me if a rejected photo can be sold as RM too.

... I highly dislike the IS exclusive term which provides that you cannot give away your photos to family and frieds for free.

I would contact IS support on this one.  My understanding is that you just can't sell or give away images for commercial RF purposes.  Work for hire and giving prints to friends and family for personal use are not prohibited. 

Unless something about the exclusive agreement has changed....?

« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2009, 12:56 »
0
I also agree that being an independent, it helps me see the "forest" and not just "the tree".

Being non-exclusive, at 13 sites, I have to say I like it better. You have to keep in mind that when you are only on one site, you DON'T get to see the market as a whole very well. You'll never know if your images could do better elsewhere because you do not have a "birds eye" view of the market that non-exclusives do.

Case in point, I uploaded one of my recent shoots to all my sites, I was expecting SS to bring in the majority of its gross sales, as similar shoots had done. I was dead wrong. As I tracked sales, I found it wound up being SX that made the shoot really profitable. Had I only been on SS, I would have a loss on my hands.

Such are the benefits of non-exclusiveness.

« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2009, 12:59 »
0
Being non-exclusive, at 13 sites, I have to say I like it better. You have to keep in mind that when you are only on one site, you DON'T get to see the market as a whole very well. You'll never know if your images could do better elsewhere because you do not have a "birds eye" view of the market that non-exclusives do.

Case in point, I uploaded one of my recent shoots to all my sites, I was expecting SS to bring in the majority of its gross sales, as similar shoots had done. I was dead wrong. As I tracked sales, I found it wound up being SX that made the shoot really profitable. Had I only been on SS, I would have a loss on my hands.

Such are the benefits of non-exclusiveness.

Sorry hawk_eye, a bit of a sidetrack here, but related.
cardmaverick, I think someone has already pointed out yet another good point of exclusiveness. That being , if you have dulpicity over 5, 15 sites, you reach payout a lot later, if not even reaching payout on many ie. Crestock, because they sell little. IS, DT, because of their high payout point.
Being exclusive means a buyer has to come to one place to get your images, which also mean your sales would reach payout sooner, instead of selling 1 at Crestock, 3 at Dt, 5 at StockXpert,etc.. and not seeing a payout cheque too regularly.
This alone makes exclusiveness attractive to me. However I don't see it happening that soon as there isn't one site I am crazy over. Maybe that will change with Veer Marketplace.

« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2009, 13:06 »
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No, I don't think I am aware of any changes. What I meant is what if I give my photos to my family and friends for their e-comm websites? What if I donate some photos to the websites of local community and charities to promote their causes and businesses? All these can be perceived as commercial RF.

I wish someone can tell me if a rejected photo can be sold as RM too.


I see what you mean.  I would contact IS Support if you decide you really want to be exclusive.  There may be workarounds for some of the issues you are concerned about.

bittersweet

« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2009, 13:24 »
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No, I don't think I am aware of any changes. What I meant is what if I give my photos to my family and friends for their e-comm websites? What if I donate some photos to the websites of local community and charities to promote their causes and businesses? All these can be perceived as commercial RF.

I wish someone can tell me if a rejected photo can be sold as RM too.


I see what you mean.  I would contact IS Support if you decide you really want to be exclusive.  There may be workarounds for some of the issues you are concerned about.

You can't license your images with a royalty-free license. Period. You can sell your images as work for hire. You can donate your images under a rights managed agreement. The exclusivity agreement is very specific about what you cannot do. You cannot sell royalty-free anywhere else, and you cannot license images elsewhere that are rejected by istock. Rights managed and work for hire scenarios are completely allowed.

« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2009, 13:54 »
0

You can't license your images with a royalty-free license. Period. You can sell your images as work for hire. You can donate your images under a rights managed agreement.

Sounds like this would be the appropriate work around if she decides to go exclusive. Thanks for the detailed info :)

« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2009, 14:31 »
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Vetta doesn't change anything for me because there are lots of other sites that I can sell RF at higher prices.  I am still happy to be non-exclusive and I have no regrets.  It would take too long to delete all my images from all the other RF sites now, so I don't really need to think about it any more.

I can understand why some people go exclusive, if istock consistently made more than 50% of my earnings it would be an option but that has never come close to happening for me.

« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2009, 15:04 »
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Like Sharpshot says, there are too many photos to delete from various sites now. So I probably can't go that direction unless there is some dramatic reason to trigger it.

I think IS will be a huge winner and threaten its competitions like it never has been if it allows for exclusive contents. Many contributors will certainly allow IS to have the first pick. At that time, IS can truly boost that it has the best exclusive contents in its inventory.


« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2009, 17:17 »
0
Being non-exclusive, at 13 sites, I have to say I like it better. You have to keep in mind that when you are only on one site, you DON'T get to see the market as a whole very well. You'll never know if your images could do better elsewhere because you do not have a "birds eye" view of the market that non-exclusives do.

Case in point, I uploaded one of my recent shoots to all my sites, I was expecting SS to bring in the majority of its gross sales, as similar shoots had done. I was dead wrong. As I tracked sales, I found it wound up being SX that made the shoot really profitable. Had I only been on SS, I would have a loss on my hands.

Such are the benefits of non-exclusiveness.

Sorry hawk_eye, a bit of a sidetrack here, but related.
cardmaverick, I think someone has already pointed out yet another good point of exclusiveness. That being , if you have dulpicity over 5, 15 sites, you reach payout a lot later, if not even reaching payout on many ie. Crestock, because they sell little. IS, DT, because of their high payout point.
Being exclusive means a buyer has to come to one place to get your images, which also mean your sales would reach payout sooner, instead of selling 1 at Crestock, 3 at Dt, 5 at StockXpert,etc.. and not seeing a payout cheque too regularly.
This alone makes exclusiveness attractive to me. However I don't see it happening that soon as there isn't one site I am crazy over. Maybe that will change with Veer Marketplace.

I would disagree about reaching payout faster. Rate of payout is determined by a few factors like portfolio size, quality of the work, agency customer base, ect. I see regular payout each month at many of my big sites, and the little ones are getting very close to monthly payout as well, so its really a non issue for serious non-exclusive submitters. As for having your stuff at only one place, well, like I said in my other post, I have data suggesting you won't always win at the same agencies every time.

« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2009, 18:20 »
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Personally I love exclusivity, its great for me, and it was a good decision on my part, but it doesn't work for some

« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2009, 18:22 »
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I would disagree about reaching payout faster. Rate of payout is determined by a few factors like portfolio size, quality of the work, agency customer base, ect. I see regular payout each month at many of my big sites, and the little ones are getting very close to monthly payout as well, so its really a non issue for serious non-exclusive submitters. As for having your stuff at only one place, well, like I said in my other post, I have data suggesting you won't always win at the same agencies every time.

Interesting. CHeers cardmaverick. I wonder if anyone has a different opinion. It's good to know, tho!

« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2009, 18:32 »
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I would disagree about reaching payout faster. Rate of payout is determined by a few factors like portfolio size, quality of the work, agency customer base, ect. I see regular payout each month at many of my big sites, and the little ones are getting very close to monthly payout as well, so its really a non issue for serious non-exclusive submitters. As for having your stuff at only one place, well, like I said in my other post, I have data suggesting you won't always win at the same agencies every time.

Interesting. CHeers cardmaverick. I wonder if anyone has a different opinion. It's good to know, tho!
I think the argument that images not accepted at one agency can be accepted at another is a bit misleading. It's a bit like hedging bets - you win more often but smaller amounts. Only those who have been on both sides of the fence can really speak about this, and even for them there are other changes that make comparisons not really fair. I think it's important not to get too attached to any one image and it's fate, but the success of your work as a whole.

« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2009, 18:36 »
0
I think IS will be a huge winner and threaten its competitions like it never has been if it allows for exclusive contents. Many contributors will certainly allow IS to have the first pick.

I always wondered why they don't do that. Rejected images are not always that bad but as an exclusive, you have let them rot on your disk, despite all the effort you put into them.

puravida

  • diablo como vd
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2009, 18:46 »
0
averil, you are so right. unless someone who has been exclusive and now independent can be the only ones to tell.

going exclusive or not, i feel in my own case would all depend largely on which site likes my work. i remember reading from the MSG archives someone (geopappas??)
said something like, "don't listen to what your neighbour is saying. SS is best, IS is best or whatever. find the site that approves most of your work and sell most of your work. that is the one that is the best.,, for you ! " 
that more or less sums it up for me. if ever i decide to go exclusive it won't be because my friends in this network tell me how well they sell, it will be based solely on which site takes my images and sell them. which site has my images on the first few pages vs getting my images buried on pg 100. which site gets me a view and a dl. not 1000 views and 0 dl, or worse 0 views for months. (you all know which sites i mean , so i won't get into that.).

it's all personal . for example, lately  ichiro17 has gone exclusive, and he likes it.
i think he is professional enough to know what he is doing. and if he says it works for him, that's it.  same for anyone else. pixelbytes does not go for it. and i believe that too is a valid decision.

« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2009, 18:47 »
0
As I said many times, I like IS and thinking about becoming exclusive a lot. However, being called "Freedom", I highly dislike the IS exclusive term which provides that you cannot give away your photos to family and frieds for free. I am not clear whether or not you can sell rejected photos as RM either. So it's too bad that I still haven't made the switch.

That is not true. You can give the pics to your family and friends for personal use. What you can't is to give away them for public licensed use. It's very different,

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2009, 18:57 »
0

You can't license your images with a royalty-free license. Period. You can sell your images as work for hire. You can donate your images under a rights managed agreement.


Sounds like this would be the appropriate work around if she decides to go exclusive. Thanks for the detailed info :)

It's not a workaround. Have you read the exclusive agreement http://www.istockphoto.com/asa_exclusive.php? (Though for sure it has not been written in clear English, and some clauses may or may not be understandable in US/Canadian courts of law, but make little sense to me - some of it seems to be ambiguous and some seems internally contradictory.)
The only thing you're not allowed to do is license your images RF anywhere else or give your images away free from a website, with no license. Other than that you can do whatever you like with your images, except for a bizarre and ambiguous clause which seems to say that if you want to license your rejected files RM, you have to get the explicit permission from support.


 

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