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Author Topic: Experiences after quitting iStock exclusivity.  (Read 37514 times)

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« Reply #125 on: March 17, 2013, 12:07 »
+3
Hi Lucato,

thank you very much! I am a little shocked that Dreamstime is performing so poorly. From the site itself and the web traffic I would have thought they are a good agency.

And what has your experience been with fotolia?

If jsnover was able to recover 85 % of her 2010 earnings than she is already making more than many exclusives, who stayed exclusive and keep uploading.

I will try to get 600 files up in the next 2 months and then I will focus on mixing new and old while I shoot and upload.

Let's keep reporting our results, because many people are watching us ;)


« Reply #126 on: March 17, 2013, 12:48 »
+2
I am a little shocked that Dreamstime is performing so poorly. From the site itself and the web traffic I would have thought they are a good agency.

A couple of things you need to know about DT. Firstly it does take quite some time to build earnings at DT as your files need to to climb the Levels through sales. The vast majority of my sales nowadays are at Levels 4 & 5 so my RPD is at $2.60 this month (it's averaged about $2.40 over the last few months).

Not only does the price of images go up but so does the % royalty you receive too (between 25%-45%). A medium image sale at Level 0 will earn the contributor $1.25 whereas a medium sale at Level 5 will earn the contributor $9. That's a huge difference.

Another bizarre thing about DT is that the default sort-order appears to favour different contributors at different times on something like a 10-day cycle. It means that you end up with 10 days of 'feast' followed by 10 days of 'famine' and so on.

« Reply #127 on: March 17, 2013, 14:53 »
+2
..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.

November & December 2012 I matched my Nov & Dec 2010 exclusive earnings, so I was happy about that. This year will be different as I left iStock (all but my iStockalypse and editorial images) on D-day in February and just left Bigstock (over the lack of an opt out from their low-ball subscription program).

I'm well aware that my earnings will take a hit from this - and if SS reduces my royalties I won't hesitate to leave them too, and I'm expecting that will happen at some point this year, possibly after the 6 month window they gave the Bridge to Bigstock folks is up in August.

Regarding DT, my RPD is $2 and in Nov 2012 (my highest month of 2012) it was $1.82, however I still made more money total in November 2006 when they were making me half as much per download but the volume was better. I think their pricing model is a mess and that they could be so much better than they are.

In addition to the similars policy (don't upload a whole series that would be perfectly acceptable at any other agency; DT will rejeted all but a few and your approval percentage will take a hit), this apparent cycle that they maintain (it sounds insane, but you'll get a period with almost nothing but subs and then one with almost nothing but credit sales; I can't figure out why that would be), and some saying that your approval percentage factors in to your search placement, there has been talk in the past that you need to have your significant keywords in the title for best search placement.

« Reply #128 on: March 17, 2013, 17:36 »
0
I have another question - do you guys make use of the option to upload exclusive images? My super secret plan involves making dedicated exclusive shootings for the different agencies to increase overall visibility of the whole portfolio. However I need to get a feeling for the agencies first to see what they sell best and also what style they sell best.

So if an agency is good at shooting lifestyle they get exclusive lifestyle, if somebody is good at selling my amateur food images, they get more food, if they sell backgrounds...etc...

I think this would work particularly well for regional content. If you know an agency is US centric I would try to make the models smile more, if I shoot for the German or European market, I could include local settings etc...

Longterm I would try to give an agency that takes exclusive images around 30% exclusive content.

If istock had the option of accepting exclusive files I would definetly send them good material.

Or do you think this is a bad idea and that I should just always send everything everywhere?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 17:39 by cobalt »

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #129 on: March 17, 2013, 17:44 »
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.


I'm sorry for my delay. I saw that my microstock emails are not hitting me and some getting into spam folder which I detect today from cobalt I saw your and others latest replies. I will give a look on the links you post, thanks for sharing. I'll put soon a new table with the actual percentage as I put before comparing months to iStock income. Thanks for  your input. ;0)

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #130 on: March 17, 2013, 17:47 »
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/


Hey StockCube, thanks for your input and I'm sorry also for my delay. As I said above, I saw that my microstock emails are not hitting me and some getting into spam folder which I detect today from cobalt's email and I saw yours and others latest replies. I will also give a look into your link for the stats and so on. Thanks for sharing it. As I mentioned, I'll put soon a new table with the actual percentage as I put before comparing months to iStock income. Have a nice week. ;0)

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #131 on: March 17, 2013, 18:02 »
+6
Hi Lucato,

thank you very much! I am a little shocked that Dreamstime is performing so poorly. From the site itself and the web traffic I would have thought they are a good agency.
And what has your experience been with fotolia?
If jsnover was able to recover 85 % of her 2010 earnings than she is already making more than many exclusives, who stayed exclusive and keep uploading.
I will try to get 600 files up in the next 2 months and then I will focus on mixing new and old while I shoot and upload.
Let's keep reporting our results, because many people are watching us ;)


@Cobalt and all folks.

Regarding my experience with Fotolia, is my 3rd agency "better" income as you can check on the table below. So, by taking the iStock earnings as 100% (as independent) you will see on the table below how many % represents each other agency monthly compared to my iStock income (as independent) from each month:




So, based o the table above, you can notice that IS is my best income and the ShutterStock is my 2nd better income with a good monthly growth and always going up, on the other hand, DT is going down on the latest months. So, DT is the worst agency income for me lately. Fotolia as you had asked is in the 3rd position, but far away from SS which represents almost 68% of my income at iStock while Fotolia is just almost 8%. Well, enjoy the table and get your conclusions. ;0)

Well for those that don't want to read all these percentage numbers, for example if I get Feb/2013 and suppose that I've made $100.00 at iStock (as independent), I have made in the other agencies (ordered by earnings):

IS: $100.00
SS: $ 67.77
FL: $ 9.73
BS: $ 2.62
DT: $ 1.80
DF: $ 0.00 (Started this month)
PD: $ 0.00 (Started this month)

That was why I said as an advice from Lisa from here: "If I could just add a bit to that advice - Instead of uploading some images to each new site, and building your portfolio simultaneously on all new sites you are on, you might want to concentrate on getting all 7k images on each site at a time, in order of importance.  For example, I would be focusing all my energies on getting my portfolio on SS right now.  The sooner your port is up to high numbers there, the faster you will see your overall earnings jump.  Once they're all up on SS, then move to DT, then FT, and so on, in order of the sites' earnings potential."
 
I hope that can be useful some way :0)


« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 19:49 by lucato »

« Reply #132 on: March 17, 2013, 18:21 »
0
That is very, very useful information, thank you very much!!

This is my first week of independence, well first few days, actually. So I am trying to get to know the agencies in general and I want to make sure I get something like 300-500 interesting images up on all sites in the next 4-6 weeks.

Then I will continue to upload a mix of video, new shootings and old files and I will, like Lisa suggested, give more importance to the sites that actually sell.

According to your table that should be Shutterstock.

But the one thing you havent tried to raise the visibility of your portfolio, if I understand correctly, is to give exclusive series or files to the different agencies.

Again, thank you. I will share when I have some new info, but it will be a few months before I have enough data about the overall market.

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #133 on: March 17, 2013, 18:32 »
+1
You're welcome Cobalt.

Oww, a indie baby. :0)  Yes, in my case, the Shutterstock is the far away the 2nd best income (post edited above).

Humm, I didn't get very well what you meant with "But the one thing you havent tried to raise the visibility of your portfolio, if I understand correctly, is to give exclusive series or files to the different agencies.". Maybe my language barrier. kkk. What did you want to mean that I didn't try to rise my visibility? Should I have given some exclusive files to achieve that? Would please elaborate it better. I'm sorry. :0)

Yes, we will share when we have some new info. My next update also will be a few months later until I have enough data about the overall market again and with the 2 new agencies.

Have a great week.

« Reply #134 on: March 17, 2013, 18:36 »
+3
I have another question - do you guys make use of the option to upload exclusive images? My super secret plan involves making dedicated exclusive shootings for the different agencies to increase overall visibility of the whole portfolio. However I need to get a feeling for the agencies first to see what they sell best and also what style they sell best.

So if an agency is good at shooting lifestyle they get exclusive lifestyle, if somebody is good at selling my amateur food images, they get more food, if they sell backgrounds...etc...

I think this would work particularly well for regional content. If you know an agency is US centric I would try to make the models smile more, if I shoot for the German or European market, I could include local settings etc...

Longterm I would try to give an agency that takes exclusive images around 30% exclusive content.

If istock had the option of accepting exclusive files I would definetly send them good material.

Or do you think this is a bad idea and that I should just always send everything everywhere?

I would strongly advise against it. The only agencies that offer exclusivity for images tend to be relatively low sellers like DT and FT. With DT the incentive is nothing like enough to make it economically viable. Some years ago I tried a few on FT, which were selling particularly well there (and not much elsewhere), and the incentive at the time (about 6x more per sale if I remember correctly) was good. Since then the incentive has been hugely reduced and anyway, because FT's default sort-order now only favours newish files, those previously best-sellers are hardly ever seen. My exclusive images with FT are now firmly buried and only rarely sell.

« Reply #135 on: March 17, 2013, 18:38 »
0
Well gostwyck already answered my question. I meant exclusive images. You just take a series and upload it only to fotolia or dreams time.

Thank you for the input!

« Reply #136 on: March 17, 2013, 18:42 »
0
.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 15:24 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #137 on: March 17, 2013, 18:50 »
+1
The financial drop on istock comes from the much lower prices for indie files and the lower percentage. Basically you will immediatly earn 75% less, even if you have the same number of downloads.

My understanding of Lucatos table is that in February the earnings from all the other sites combined was around 80% of his istock earnings. But since these are just 25% of what he used to earn, he now gets around 40-50% of what he used to earn from istock when he was exclusive.

However, he still hasnt uploaded all his 7000 files. And i dont know how much new content he uploaded along the older files.

Actually if in 9 months I can get 50% of my last istock earnings with just a fraction of my portfolio I would consider it a great success.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 18:55 by cobalt »

« Reply #138 on: March 17, 2013, 18:59 »
0
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 15:24 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #139 on: March 17, 2013, 19:04 »
0
I am expecting it to take two years to get back to a level I feel comfortable with.

This is simply becuase by uploading to a new agency, you are entering a new marketplace. The customers need to get to know you as a reliable resource, they have to bookmark you, lightbox your files, "follow you" etc...Then the client has to approve the project and my files and then comes th download...and then a few months later the project gets extended and they download even more files etc...

The only variable is video. That is a new market and there is very little good content. And video files earn a lot more. So, if I learn how to make good videos, I might be able to speed up my income. But 18 months should be a minimum time frame. unless I become superhuman and can upload 500 files a month. But that is simply not possible unless I hire people. And at this time I dont want to.

« Reply #140 on: March 17, 2013, 19:12 »
0
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 15:24 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #141 on: March 17, 2013, 19:25 »
+1
What I understood from the table is that in february lucatos earn are 80% of the old earnings in iStock as exclusive. Pros and cons...
Cons: earning dropped
Pros: Not all the eggs in a basket; the money growing mounth by mounth; and 100% stated is refered at the old-gold days from 2010. I think that lucatos is happy, considering the fact that istock earning are dropping for all and at the end of february 2013 the 100% stated as base at the beginning of the series it's quietly impossible to reach  at istock nowdays. Probably if lucatos was exclusive now, selling only at istock reach the 50% 60% of the old 100%.


« Reply #142 on: March 17, 2013, 19:32 »
0
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 15:24 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #143 on: March 17, 2013, 19:44 »
0

I don't think there is anything in the numbers about his old earnings the 80% is for that month at Istock, not compared to the past.  Using his system if Istock is down then all the other numbers should be lower too since they are percentages of his Istock numbers.
[/quote]
I realized that problably you are right

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #144 on: March 17, 2013, 19:47 »
0
What I understood from the table is that in february lucatos earn are 80% of the old earnings in iStock as exclusive.old 100%.

Nope, I'll edit my post. This 100% at iStock is my actual income at iStock as independent. I cant' compare the month by month independence with exclusivity, if I'm no more exclusive and can't have images at other sites if I'm exclusive. So, I'm comparing independence with independence. So, at iStock now a days with 18% comission as independent it represents the 100% (Exclusive now a days makes 35% if reaches the RC system) . So, as I posted before, if for example I've made at iStock as independent $100.00 in Feb/2013, based on the percentage at others also in Feb/2013 I've made...

IS: $100.00 (Independent)
SS: $ 67.77
FL: $ 9.73
BS: $ 2.62
DT: $ 1.80
DF: $ 0.00 (Started this month)
PD: $ 0.00 (Started this month)

Is that better now? ;0)
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 21:18 by lucato »

« Reply #145 on: March 17, 2013, 19:56 »
0
I am expecting it to take two years to get back to a level I feel comfortable with.

This is simply becuase by uploading to a new agency, you are entering a new marketplace. The customers need to get to know you as a reliable resource, they have to bookmark you, lightbox your files, "follow you" etc...Then the client has to approve the project and my files and then comes th download...and then a few months later the project gets extended and they download even more files etc...

The only variable is video. That is a new market and there is very little good content. And video files earn a lot more. So, if I learn how to make good videos, I might be able to speed up my income. But 18 months should be a minimum time frame. unless I become superhuman and can upload 500 files a month. But that is simply not possible unless I hire people. And at this time I dont want to.

Why so long? We plan to have our entire 5K+ portfolio up and running in at least 10 different MS sits in about 1 month after exclusivity ends.
We are 2 people though...

« Reply #146 on: March 17, 2013, 20:28 »
0
I am expecting it to take two years to get back to a level I feel comfortable with.

This is simply becuase by uploading to a new agency, you are entering a new marketplace. The customers need to get to know you as a reliable resource, they have to bookmark you, lightbox your files, "follow you" etc...Then the client has to approve the project and my files and then comes th download...and then a few months later the project gets extended and they download even more files etc...

The only variable is video. That is a new market and there is very little good content. And video files earn a lot more. So, if I learn how to make good videos, I might be able to speed up my income. But 18 months should be a minimum time frame. unless I become superhuman and can upload 500 files a month. But that is simply not possible unless I hire people. And at this time I dont want to.

Why so long? We plan to have our entire 5K+ portfolio up and running in at least 10 different MS sits in about 1 month after exclusivity ends.
We are 2 people though...

Good luck with it! I am sure with your 'go for it' attitude you will be very successful. Your track record of earnings growth on IS was extremely impressive, at least until Getty screwed it up for you. Less pondering, a bit less analysing and more doing is what really works. I really should do more of the latter and less of the former myself, if truth be told.

The finest definition of 'an expert' I ever heard was 'one that has made the most mistakes'.

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #147 on: March 17, 2013, 20:32 »
0
Why so long? We plan to have our entire 5K+ portfolio up and running in at least 10 different MS sits in about 1 month after exclusivity ends.
We are 2 people though...

I hope you and your partner really get to categorize and assign MR/PR for the 5K+ in 10 different MS in a month, which will be "50k+" images to be categorized one by one. Of course there are sites that don't need categories. Anyway I hope you get to accomplish it. Keep us updated and tell us how you made it. ;0)

lucato

  • [<o>] Brasil


« Reply #148 on: March 17, 2013, 20:47 »
+1
Lucato am I correct in reading your numbers to say that February was the first month you made more as an independent than as an exclusive, the other 9 months losing a considerable amount of money?  Do you see your downloads dropping at Istock since going independent, because of a lower search position?  That would cause the other %s to go up but would make the overall money still lower than as an exclusive.  Thanks for sharing your numbers, it's valuable to know what's going on out there.


Hi, TickStock, no, you're reading it wrong. I'm comparing independence with independence.

Regarding downloads dropping at iStock they are dropping since I was exclusive. Check the image below and see how it started to drop since 2007...

« Reply #149 on: March 17, 2013, 20:52 »
0
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 15:24 by Audi 5000 »


 

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