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Author Topic: Experiences after quitting iStock exclusivity.  (Read 37515 times)

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lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #100 on: October 28, 2012, 09:45 »
0
@LuisSantos84

- Shutterstock (Lucato's Portfolio) - 950 files, now it is 1524 files online (2400 submitted + 200 in the queue);
Quote
its actually 876


No. Are you sure you haven't set some filters that are affecting your search results? It is really 1524 files online at SS. On the left column on the bottom try to clean your search setting by hitting the clear button.

Have a great Sunday.


Milinz

« Reply #101 on: October 28, 2012, 10:12 »
0
Extremely daunting but brave move and in a totally oversaturated market where supply is much higher then demand and where most other agencies are turning their screws tighter and tighter around contributors.

I know somebody almost exactly in your shoes and with almost exactly the same amount of files. He keeps a low profile, doesnt really want to talk, let alone write about it. He left the entire micro industry and uploaded all his thousands of files as RF instead.
Today, just over a year later he is doing very well, almost on par with his earlier earnings.

Wish you all the luck and as Lisa said,  concentrate on SS at first, thats where your bread and butter will come from. :)

He left micro and uploaded all his files RF instead. Isn't micro RF. What are you telling us Christine?

« Reply #102 on: October 28, 2012, 10:19 »
0
Hi folks, just sharing the things after going to complete the 5th month... By the way, I'd like to hear also from other member that have left the exclusivity too how are the things doing on their side.


Regarding the iStock earnings, in sum it dropped 80% of my income by leaving the exclusivity (+ iStock sales drop), and the other agencies income didn't get close to this dropped value. So, for example if I used to make/earn 1k a month at iStock, it dropped to $200/month, and the others, no one get close to 50% of it yet and summing them all, doesn't reach what I was making as exclusive. 

Well, it was a decision for not leaving all eggs in the same basket and as they cut our exclusivity earnings from 40% to 35% with the RC



If you take the your $$$$ % drop after leaving istock, and apply it to your commission rate you went from 35% to 7% commission on istock sales.  I believe some of this due to falling sales but If you apply a 17% commission rate to non-exclusive files being cheaper (63% of a regular exclusive file) you are at 10.7% without factoring in loss of vetta or agency $$$.   That means the other combined non-istock agencies have to own 75% market share for you to make up the difference. 


« Reply #103 on: October 28, 2012, 10:21 »
0
There is another snag here as well. Many older files uploaded say about five, six years back would probably not pass todays quality and technical barriers.
I know for a fact that some of my own files accepted at SS and IS, around 2006, would never pass todays technical aspects irrespective of subject matter.

« Reply #104 on: October 28, 2012, 16:36 »
0
Extremely daunting but brave move and in a totally oversaturated market where supply is much higher then demand and where most other agencies are turning their screws tighter and tighter around contributors.

I know somebody almost exactly in your shoes and with almost exactly the same amount of files. He keeps a low profile, doesnt really want to talk, let alone write about it. He left the entire micro industry and uploaded all his thousands of files as RF instead.
Today, just over a year later he is doing very well, almost on par with his earlier earnings.

Wish you all the luck and as Lisa said,  concentrate on SS at first, thats where your bread and butter will come from. :)

He left micro and uploaded all his files RF instead. Isn't micro RF. What are you telling us Christine?

Well Mildred,  I am talking RF Macro, you know, Getty, Corbis, Alamy, etc, etc.

« Reply #105 on: October 28, 2012, 16:36 »
+1
Hi folks, just sharing the things after going to complete the 5th month... By the way, I'd like to hear also from other member that have left the exclusivity too how are the things doing on their side.

Well, I'm sorry to all for my delay, but it isn't not something to post daily. ;0)

Updating the other thread above where I said the agencies and files#, here is the update:
- Shutterstock (Lucato's Portfolio) - 950 files, now it is 1524 files online (2400 submitted + 200 in the queue);
- Fotolia (Lucato's Portfolio) - 149 files, now it is 1816 files online (2400 submitted + 200 in the queue);
- Dreamstime (Lucato's Portfolio) - 1450 files, now it is 1656 files online (2400 submitted + 200 in the queue).
- iStockphoto  (Lucato's Portfolio) - 7189 files, now it is 7213 files online (24 submitted)
- Depositphotos (Lucato's Portfolio) - new site, now it is 2553 files online (2600 submitted)
- BigStock (Lucato's Portfolio) - new site, now it is 1521 files online (2400 submitted)

Regarding the iStock earnings, in sum it dropped 80% of my income by leaving the exclusivity (+ iStock sales drop), and the other agencies income didn't get close to this dropped value. So, for example if I used to make/earn 1k a month at iStock, it dropped to $200/month, and the others, no one get close to 50% of it yet and summing them all, doesn't reach what I was making as exclusive. 

Well, it was a decision for not leaving all eggs in the same basket and as they cut our exclusivity earnings from 40% to 35% with the RC, and the sales went down drastically, plus a lot of bugs in the system, no FTP or other improvements in upload an so on. By knowing the other sites systems you see how iStock is old in its tecnology/system for editing/uploading images. Well, it is a long term and not for a short term results, I hope so, inspite of I'm in the 5th month that I've left the exclusivity. When I started at iStock I started to make my 1st $100 to withdraw a year or more too.

Well, in sum, if it is you only income and you have no reserves to hold this period of going down the hill, it is a big risk and I would advice you to not take it, plus if you're not a "workaholic", I would suggest you to stay as exclusive. Keep in the "comfort zone" even with the risks iStock is showing to have.

Besides that, you cannot take my data/portfolio as reference. I mean there are photographers with much less files and making much more money than I do/did. So, it will depend on your work/portfolio content/style too.

If you have in mind to move or not, I suggest you to ALWAYS save your images with the IPTC data for keywords, descriptions and categories. I didn't know that and you can imagine what a hard work I'm having with my 7200+ files to submit to other agencies. So, keep in mind this TIP/ADVICE!
 
Well, I hope that helps your future decision. Who knows in the next 5 months I post some other news. ;0)

As I said before, I'd like to hear also from other members that have left the exclusivity also and know how are the things doing on their sides too.

Thanks and have a nice day.


Very interesting and informative post Lucato. In the 5 months since you went exclusive my own iStock earnings, as an independent, have also dropped by 33% so a significant proportion of your losses may well have happened anyway.

I believe the long-term trend remains in your favour as an independent. At the time that you dropped exclusivity iStock were contributing 30% of my total earnings (not counting PP earnings). That has steadily dropped and this month iStock will probably only be about 19% __ and it looks like going lower too. This is due to both fewer sales at IS and also incredible growth at SS.

I would concur with Lisa's excellent advice to concentrate your uploading efforts to Shutterstock initially. This month SS will contribute about 49% to my total microstock earnings and it appears that they are getting stronger every month (at the expense of every other significant agency). Good luck and I'm sure that over the next few months you will conclude that you made the right decision.

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #106 on: October 28, 2012, 18:10 »
0
Lucato, thanks so much for the update. I continue to debate with myself over what point to leave iStock Exclusivity. I don't think I am at the point just yet for a number of reasons. Your report has been very helpful.
You're welcome StanRohrer. I know how this debate to ourselves is. :0) Keep following this thread. ;0)

« Reply #107 on: October 28, 2012, 18:16 »
0
@LuisSantos84

- Shutterstock (Lucato's Portfolio) - 950 files, now it is 1524 files online (2400 submitted + 200 in the queue);
Quote
its actually 876


No. Are you sure you haven't set some filters that are affecting your search results? It is really 1524 files online at SS. On the left column on the bottom try to clean your search setting by hitting the clear button.

Have a great Sunday.


I was talking about the number of rejections

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #108 on: October 28, 2012, 18:29 »
0
@Cobalt

I may be wrong, but I doubt that Lucato has many rejected files. If you are exclusive you really get to know the style that istock likes very well. Many exclusives have very high acceptance rates (over 90%).
However I wonder what kind of rejections he is receiving at the other agencies. Maybe he can share some insights or tips when he has time.

Hi Cobalt, these rejections in iStock or in the other agencies have a lot of factors.

Regarding the images were accepted in iStock doesn't mean they will pass in all other agencies, once there are people behind it and the agencies polices differ. Also a good point said by ClaridgeJ that "many older files uploaded say about five, six years back would probably not pass todays quality and technical barriers". Besides that they also will fall into "over supplied photo category" now a days, where five, six years ago they were building the data base and weren't flooded with certain category images. Well, as I said before, there are a little list of reasons such as:
- Some agencies now accepts images with at least 4MP while iStock used to accept lower sizes, so as I sent in lots/FTP it counted;
- other reject due similar tittle and description;
- similar image (like police do not crop, flip, color, etc);
- too much already in the database - (Oversuplied category);
- some agencies has just an automatic rejection if you pick some category like FLOWERS :0) ;
- other prefer that the image be more sharpened or less effects and so on...
- iStock is a pain with isolation standards;
- Other is so random that seems they have a certain number of rejections to reach due the flood of images received daily.

For example a DT police to follow:
Same subject, different colors - one image, collage.
Same subject, flipped, change perspective - one image, collage.
Subject A online, subject B online - don't submit Subject A+B.
Whole view of subject A - don't submit crops, rotates, fill corners, multiple 'stamps' of it etc.
Subject A isolated on white - don't submit same with background color changed.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 05:48 by lucato »

OM

« Reply #109 on: October 28, 2012, 20:22 »
0
@Cobalt

For example a DT police to follow:
Same subject, different colors - one image, collage.
Same subject, flipped, change perspective - one image, collage.
Subject A online, subject B online - don't submit Subject A+B.
Whole view of subject A - don't submit crops, rotates, fill corners, multiple 'stamps' of it etc.
Subject A isolated on white - don't submit same with background color changed.

Cheers.

Blimey, "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!" I'm only here for the beer.  ;D

« Reply #110 on: October 29, 2012, 04:37 »
0
  :):D ;D :P

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #111 on: October 29, 2012, 06:27 »
0
@ Pancaketom

I do not envy you the task of getting all the iptc data on all those files. ugh. I am guessing that as soon as the iptc is done then you upload them everywhere.  - a daunting task, that is for sure. For anyone starting out or for exclusives I second the advice to keyword etc. in the iptc.
I think that IS has been insulating exclusives (mainly by shafting independents it appears) from any downturns - unfortunately for them they seem to have run out of shafting to be done to independents, so the pain is starting to hit the exclusives. It will be a painful process to jump ship, and a long road to get back to the kind of earnings you made as an exclusive. Thanks for keeping us posted.

I agree it will be a long road to get bet the earnings I used to make at iStock, but even as exclusive the 2010 was The Best Year Ever and in 2012 the sales dropped 50~60% as exclusive. Well, I hope to get back soon to the earning I was making, otherwise I will need to find another way to make money like go back to work in th office. Knock on the wood. :0)

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #112 on: October 29, 2012, 06:32 »
0
@ ShadySue

Yes, thanks, Lucato. Very interesting reading, and not necessarily what I've have expected from your port going indie. (I'd have expected you to be exceeding your iStock exclusive earnings by now.) But clearly it's a long haul.
You're welcome. Yes a hard haul, actually I didn't expected to pair the income with iStock less than 6 months, but it seems will tack a year or more to pass it. I hope note.
Have a nice week.

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #113 on: October 29, 2012, 06:42 »
0
@jsnover

...However I wonder what kind of rejections he is receiving at the other agencies. Maybe he can share some insights or tips when he has time.


I'll give you some examples of iStock files of mine that have sold well that Shutterstock rejected (one of them I resubmitted saying that it had sold over 500 times on iStock and they accepted it; they had said it had LCV at first). In general, they don't much like dramatic light (and some of the rejects had been Vetta at iStock)

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

On the other hand, iStock rejected some things that SS accepted and which sell well, such as this, this  and this, so it really is a roundabouts and swings situation. DT's most annoying thing is the ridiculous similars policy; otherwise, they're pretty reasonable.


Yes, It is so random or if you get some inspector with a not good mood in that day. Check also this post above. :0) Hey JoAnn, you're in the same boat too, right? I mean, you have left the exclusivity too, if I'm not wrong. Would you ming to give your feedback if possible telling how are the things going for you. How long have you quit the exclusivite? Did you get to make equal or pass the iStock income? What agencies are you working with? Do you intend to keep as independent? and whatever you want to share with use... ;0)

Have a nice week.

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #114 on: October 29, 2012, 06:51 »
0
@ClaridgeJ

Extremely daunting but brave move and in a totally oversaturated market where supply is much higher then demand and where most other agencies are turning their screws tighter and tighter around contributors.
Yes it is very daunting, but more scary is to keep all eggs in the same basket the ways iStock is driving its ship now a days. But I may agree with you the oversaturaded market, anyway there is room for everybody, but the profit won't be the same as before.

Quote
I know somebody almost exactly in your shoes and with almost exactly the same amount of files. He keeps a low profile, doesnt really want to talk, let alone write about it. He left the entire micro industry and uploaded all his thousands of files as RF instead.
Today, just over a year later he is doing very well, almost on par with his earlier earnings.
Thanks for sharing.

Quote
Wish you all the luck and as Lisa said,  concentrate on SS at first, thats where your bread and butter will come from. :)
Thanks for your wishes and I'll follow this advice now for the next 2500 files to see how it goes. The only concern is what I said before, the ranking by sending all at once and not spreading as I was doing. :0)

Have a great week.

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #115 on: October 29, 2012, 06:57 »
0
@pro@stockphotos

If you take the your $$$$ % drop after leaving istock, and apply it to your commission rate you went from 35% to 7% commission on istock sales.  I believe some of this due to falling sales but If you apply a 17% commission rate to non-exclusive files being cheaper (63% of a regular exclusive file) you are at 10.7% without factoring in loss of vetta or agency $$$.   That means the other combined non-istock agencies have to own 75% market share for you to make up the difference.
Now I got a headache. :0) Thanks for your input.

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #116 on: October 29, 2012, 07:00 »
0
@ClaridgeJ

There is another snag here as well. Many older files uploaded say about five, six years back would probably not pass todays quality and technical barriers.
I know for a fact that some of my own files accepted at SS and IS, around 2006, would never pass todays technical aspects irrespective of subject matter.
Yes, good point! And as I said a little back also there is the "over supplied photo category" issue now a days, where five, six years ago they were building the data base and weren't flooded with certain category images.


lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #117 on: October 29, 2012, 07:03 »
0
@gostwyck

Very interesting and informative post Lucato. In the 5 months since you went exclusive my own iStock earnings, as an independent, have also dropped by 33% so a significant proportion of your losses may well have happened anyway.

I believe the long-term trend remains in your favour as an independent. At the time that you dropped exclusivity iStock were contributing 30% of my total earnings (not counting PP earnings). That has steadily dropped and this month iStock will probably only be about 19% __ and it looks like going lower too. This is due to both fewer sales at IS and also incredible growth at SS.

I would concur with Lisa's excellent advice to concentrate your uploading efforts to Shutterstock initially. This month SS will contribute about 49% to my total microstock earnings and it appears that they are getting stronger every month (at the expense of every other significant agency). Good luck and I'm sure that over the next few months you will conclude that you made the right decision.
Thanks for your input and advices. I appreciated that. Have a nice week and good sales.

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #118 on: October 29, 2012, 07:05 »
0
@LuisSantos84

I was talking about the number of rejections
Ops, my fault. I'm sorry about that. Thanks.

« Reply #119 on: October 29, 2012, 10:23 »
0
Yes, I was exclusive from 2008-11, having been independent from 2004-8 and since last June. As with you, 2010 was my best year (in spite of IS messing with the site in the busy season) and even before I left exclusivity in June 2011, things were down from the comparable month the prior year.

You can see which sites I contribute to from the links below my posts. We have monthly threads here where we discuss earnings, and you can see some of my recent posts here, http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/earnings-in-july-2012/msg265905/#msg265905]here[/url] and here.

In terms of how things are going overall, it'll be easier to answer once the Sept - November stats are fully in, including PP sales from IS, which are getting later and later, but I think Sept 2012 will be about 85% of Sept 2010 (the PP numbers aren't all in). Down 15% doesn't seem too bad given the plummeting sales reports from many diamond exclusives.

Sept 2012 was up 54% over Sept 2011, so things continue to improve as the months go by, largely because SS is doing so well.

« Reply #120 on: November 08, 2012, 17:30 »
0
Hey Lucato - good to see you went indie.  I am sure I have probably posted this before, but I will link to my blog where you can see my stats again (just in case anyone missed it!)  I have over 5 years of stats there now, both iS exclusive and indie.  Cheers

http://stockcube-stockcube.blogspot.co.uk/

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #121 on: November 08, 2012, 17:54 »
0
StockCube, you need to update your blog. Last post was Feb?

« Reply #122 on: March 17, 2013, 05:13 »
+2
Hi Lucato,

Im now one of the indies.

You can follow my progress here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cobaltstockcom/169793413171571

I want to upload my files slowly and mix new images from fresh shootings with older files. I believe the main problem is that people underestimate how long it takes to attract repeat customers.

I also want to do more video.

How are you doing? Any recommendations...?

wds

« Reply #123 on: March 17, 2013, 08:51 »
0
Yes, I was exclusive from 2008-11, having been independent from 2004-8 and since last June. As with you, 2010 was my best year (in spite of IS messing with the site in the busy season) and even before I left exclusivity in June 2011, things were down from the comparable month the prior year.

You can see which sites I contribute to from the links below my posts. We have monthly threads here where we discuss earnings, and you can see some of my recent posts here, http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/earnings-in-july-2012/msg265905/#msg265905]here[/url] and here.

In terms of how things are going overall, it'll be easier to answer once the Sept - November stats are fully in, including PP sales from IS, which are getting later and later, but I think Sept 2012 will be about 85% of Sept 2010 (the PP numbers aren't all in). Down 15% doesn't seem too bad given the plummeting sales reports from many diamond exclusives.

Sept 2012 was up 54% over Sept 2011, so things continue to improve as the months go by, largely because SS is doing so well.


jsnover: I think 85% of 2010 is quite good! I'm still exclusive at iStock and sales keep getting worse. I wouldn't be surprised if I drop the crown before the year is out. It just seems like such a daunting undertaking.

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #124 on: March 17, 2013, 11:13 »
0
Hi Lucato,

Im now one of the indies.

You can follow my progress here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cobaltstockcom/169793413171571

I want to upload my files slowly and mix new images from fresh shootings with older files. I believe the main problem is that people underestimate how long it takes to attract repeat customers.

I also want to do more video.

How are you doing? Any recommendations...?

Hi Cobalt, good to hear from you! I have posted a bunch of things over there. We keep in touch. Have a nice Sunday and good luck in this new step.


 

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