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Author Topic: Food for thought...a (possible/probable?) future for microstock.  (Read 9067 times)

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« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2015, 10:37 »
+7
Lots of talk... even in this thread which is supposed to be about the future... about what has happened in the past or is happening right now. That is the problem. Contributors are/have been making decisions based on current or past situations instead of projecting ahead and trying to make intelligent decisions for the future. The result is we are continually getting screwed as a community because someone else is controlling our collective future. I believe that if all of us were deciding how to proceed based on what was in our own best interest 12-18 months from now our situation would be much less bleak.


« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2015, 11:06 »
+3

I want a fair deal. I want buyers to get a fair deal. I'd like the agency/sales site to stick around and keep their promises. Good business can be built on such things.

The wasteland of the last decade in micro stock (snipped only to keep the big picture :))) gives us lots of examples of what to avoid and what not to do :)

I find this brilliantly stated.  Taken as an overview it reaffirms what any sincere contributor may want.  Simple business ethics lays the groundwork on which a win-win situation might occur for all ...


« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2015, 11:24 »
+1

I want a fair deal. I want buyers to get a fair deal. I'd like the agency/sales site to stick around and keep their promises. Good business can be built on such things.

The wasteland of the last decade in micro stock (snipped only to keep the big picture) gives us lots of examples of what to avoid and what not to do :)

I find this brilliantly stated.  Taken as an overview it reaffirms what any sincere contributor may want.  Simple business ethics lays the groundwork on which a win-win situation might occur for all ...
It says it all for me as well. This is what I would like to see. A fair deal for everyone involved, and for the agency or seller to do what they undertook to do when we gave them our work to sell. That is sell it on a reasonably equal footing with other work there, without all these insider deals and machinations to sell what they prefer to sell.

« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2015, 11:29 »
+10
@Jo Ann - A wasteland for 10 years? In those 10 years it has bought me a house in the UK, lock, stock and barrel, at the cost of a fairly modest effort. It doesn't look like a wasteland to me.

I should have elaborated. I've made a fair bit of money from various agencies (especially while exclusive at iStock) in that time, and I should probably have stated that. There was a lot of good - and I have learned a lot along the way via the agencies plus my investment of time and energy.

What I was trying to convey is what I see of lost opportunities, broken promises, and promising businesses dismantled or run into the ground. iStock is the biggest example of a business that was very successful and completely sustainable but has been crippled by Getty and its private equity owners. There's dreamstime and their endless complexity leading to being a perpetual #4; CanStock that used to pay substantial royalties and was a real innovator in site features, but which has never managed to sell; Fotolia whcich was a real innovator in internationalization and which has become a leader in scummy business practices. I could go on down the list, but I think you get the point.

Then there's SS, a success story in so many ways, but at what long term cost overall to the business we're all in? The handling of BigStock subscriptions and SS's ever rising share for me (and many others, I think) of the monthly income both worry me.

I guess the wasteland is largely the relationships between contributors and the agencies, not the money we've made along the way.

« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2015, 11:54 »
+7
@Jo Ann - A wasteland for 10 years? In those 10 years it has bought me a house in the UK, lock, stock and barrel, at the cost of a fairly modest effort. It doesn't look like a wasteland to me.

I should have elaborated. I've made a fair bit of money from various agencies (especially while exclusive at iStock) in that time, and I should probably have stated that. There was a lot of good - and I have learned a lot along the way via the agencies plus my investment of time and energy.

What I was trying to convey is what I see of lost opportunities, broken promises, and promising businesses dismantled or run into the ground. iStock is the biggest example of a business that was very successful and completely sustainable but has been crippled by Getty and its private equity owners. There's dreamstime and their endless complexity leading to being a perpetual #4; CanStock that used to pay substantial royalties and was a real innovator in site features, but which has never managed to sell; Fotolia whcich was a real innovator in internationalization and which has become a leader in scummy business practices. I could go on down the list, but I think you get the point.

Then there's SS, a success story in so many ways, but at what long term cost overall to the business we're all in? The handling of BigStock subscriptions and SS's ever rising share for me (and many others, I think) of the monthly income both worry me.

I guess the wasteland is largely the relationships between contributors and the agencies, not the money we've made along the way.

agree.
stock photography owners are like the mining (and brazilian clear cut forest to deserts) sorts. they do not care what they leave behind, they just rape the land .

the wasteland is the scourge of all mankind really. as far as i know, i have worked for yupee super idea people who were in for getting rich , rape the forest until they become deserts,etc and it is no difference with istock yesterday and ss today.
they all got to be millionaires off our backs and we got comfy too slaving for them while they paid for our mortgages. but many are no longer millionaires today.
they rose so high and crash with the stock market .
unlike our older pre-yuppy business fathers who value slow steady lasting growth and keep their workers happy with them. many are still in business with their great grand children and faithful employees intact.
we just went in business with the wrong kind , that's all. .
« Last Edit: January 21, 2015, 11:56 by etudiante_rapide »

« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2015, 12:00 »
+8
In terms of developing microstock as a new market and a new business model, it's been 100% get-rich-quick operations set up by people with no real thoughts about a future beyond the next 3 months - and photographers have been well and thoroughly 'played'.   So while money has been made, the future has been trashed, and in that sense the last few years have indeed been a 'wasteland'.

@etudiante_rapide, "clear cutting" of forests is a perfect analogy. 

« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2015, 14:04 »
+2
@Jo Ann - A wasteland for 10 years? In those 10 years it has bought me a house in the UK, lock, stock and barrel, at the cost of a fairly modest effort. It doesn't look like a wasteland to me.

I should have elaborated. I've made a fair bit of money from various agencies (especially while exclusive at iStock) in that time, and I should probably have stated that. There was a lot of good - and I have learned a lot along the way via the agencies plus my investment of time and energy.

What I was trying to convey is what I see of lost opportunities, broken promises, and promising businesses dismantled or run into the ground. iStock is the biggest example of a business that was very successful and completely sustainable but has been crippled by Getty and its private equity owners. There's dreamstime and their endless complexity leading to being a perpetual #4; CanStock that used to pay substantial royalties and was a real innovator in site features, but which has never managed to sell; Fotolia whcich was a real innovator in internationalization and which has become a leader in scummy business practices. I could go on down the list, but I think you get the point.

Then there's SS, a success story in so many ways, but at what long term cost overall to the business we're all in? The handling of BigStock subscriptions and SS's ever rising share for me (and many others, I think) of the monthly income both worry me.

I guess the wasteland is largely the relationships between contributors and the agencies, not the money we've made along the way.

agree.
stock photography owners are like the mining (and brazilian clear cut forest to deserts) sorts. they do not care what they leave behind, they just rape the land .


the wasteland is the scourge of all mankind really. as far as i know, i have worked for yupee super idea people who were in for getting rich , rape the forest until they become deserts,etc and it is no difference with istock yesterday and ss today.

they all got to be millionaires off our backs and we got comfy too slaving for them while they paid for our mortgages. but many are no longer millionaires today. they rose so high and crash with the stock market .

unlike our older pre-yuppy business fathers who value slow steady lasting growth and keep their workers happy with them. many are still in business with their great grand children and faithful employees intact.

we just went in business with the wrong kind , that's all. .

Perfect analogy of the microstock business model!

« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2015, 20:16 »
0
I get what you say about a paycheck being a paycheck but I'll take 19 less sales for the same money every time. That's 19 less customers who want my image that might later on need to buy it at full price and 19 less "customers" that can give away my image for free. Less sales at a higher price is much more sustainable for me in the long term.

As far as trust...a smaller agency made up of contributors or owners I respect would be preferable to a corporation who takes everyone they can find.

In all honesty, I  had my hopes with P5, but after this recent swanky new office in posh Soho and VPs appointments I lost my faith in it. Or they just fooled us about how artsy they were. No idea...but by looking at a top tier and corporate success, I think smaller scale of micro stock business is not going to work. I wish I am wrong.

They still pay us 50%. Most other agencies cut our commissions so they can use OUR MONEY to fund posh quarters and fancy, expensive titles. I give P5 credit for not using us as the pawns to pay for their luxuries.

Let's sit and watch...they all claimed to be "the good guys" until they gain our trust and get greedy....time will tell!

I am talking about today. So far they have held firm. Now, with all the shenanigans FOTOLIA, DT, IS, DT & 123 have pulled, it wouldn't surprise me. But I am giving them the benefit of the doubt until such a time we can have a 100 page thread on how P5 ripped us off. ;)

No Free Lunch

« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2015, 20:47 »
+1
Some day there will be no food for our thoughts  :-[



« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2015, 00:00 »
+2
Some day there will be no food for our thoughts  :-[

Nor a penny for them either. 

« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2015, 04:51 »
+8
I guess the wasteland is largely the relationships between contributors and the agencies, not the money we've made along the way.

Unfortunately, that's the logic of modern business/capitalism/globalisation. The reason there aren't any family businesses left on the High Street is that they either morphed into national or international corporations by squeezing suppliers and undercutting competitors, or they died. It's really no use getting upset about it. We just happened to be around to see the leading stock sites go through the process of being born, being friendly small businesses and growing into mega-corporations that were only interested in profits, or dying - that process is accelerated by the Internet.
And let's face it, contributors are not all saints, either. How many have tried to game the system through false sales, or "rating rings", or have copied your or my images, or have outright stolen images and resubmitted them, or see no harm in uploading public domain material (even if it says it should only be used with the name of the creater ... see Nasa's rules on that) or conned the agencies with false "exclusivity"? It's not just the agencies that think nothing but money matters, a lot of contributors would cut your throat for a penny.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2015, 04:53 by BaldricksTrousers »

guckinumguckirum

« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2015, 05:30 »
0
How much is a house in the UK?

« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2015, 05:45 »
+1
How much is a house in the UK?

They vary a lot, but in my case it was equivalent to about US$150,000.

« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2015, 10:54 »
+2
...It's really no use getting upset about it. ...

I am apparently pretty stubborn about the things that make me angry - I am upset about it, at least if I think about it. That's why I try not to think about it, in general, and should probably have skipped this discussion :)

I don't disagree with your point, but don't much like that view of our current business climate. But regarding the original topic, I'd have to be able to convince myself that a new agency/collective for selling stock imagery was something other than "business as usual" before I'd even care to consider their pricing or licensing model.

Semmick Photo

« Reply #39 on: January 23, 2015, 13:49 »
+2
@Jo Ann - A wasteland for 10 years? In those 10 years it has bought me a house in the UK, lock, stock and barrel, at the cost of a fairly modest effort. It doesn't look like a wasteland to me.

I should have elaborated. I've made a fair bit of money from various agencies (especially while exclusive at iStock) in that time, and I should probably have stated that. There was a lot of good - and I have learned a lot along the way via the agencies plus my investment of time and energy.

What I was trying to convey is what I see of lost opportunities, broken promises, and promising businesses dismantled or run into the ground. iStock is the biggest example of a business that was very successful and completely sustainable but has been crippled by Getty and its private equity owners. There's dreamstime and their endless complexity leading to being a perpetual #4; CanStock that used to pay substantial royalties and was a real innovator in site features, but which has never managed to sell; Fotolia whcich was a real innovator in internationalization and which has become a leader in scummy business practices. I could go on down the list, but I think you get the point.

Then there's SS, a success story in so many ways, but at what long term cost overall to the business we're all in? The handling of BigStock subscriptions and SS's ever rising share for me (and many others, I think) of the monthly income both worry me.

I guess the wasteland is largely the relationships between contributors and the agencies, not the money we've made along the way.

agree.
stock photography owners are like the mining (and brazilian clear cut forest to deserts) sorts. they do not care what they leave behind, they just rape the land .
the wasteland is the scourge of all mankind really. as far as i know, i have worked for yupee super idea people who were in for getting rich , rape the forest until they become deserts,etc and it is no difference with istock yesterday and ss today.
they all got to be millionaires off our backs and we got comfy too slaving for them while they paid for our mortgages. but many are no longer millionaires today.
they rose so high and crash with the stock market .
unlike our older pre-yuppy business fathers who value slow steady lasting growth and keep their workers happy with them. many are still in business with their great grand children and faithful employees intact.
we just went in business with the wrong kind , that's all. .

Isnt that the case with most business though? Buyers and suppliers make someone else mil/billionaire. I get your point, but the same happened with the tobacco industry for example. People slaving the land to supply the plants, and the fatnecks rake in the dineros.

« Reply #40 on: January 23, 2015, 15:33 »
0
and the fatnecks rake in the dineros.

That's the best mental image I've seen/heard in a week, Ron. Thanks for the laugh!

« Reply #41 on: January 23, 2015, 16:01 »
+1
Isnt that the case with most business though? Buyers and suppliers make someone else mil/billionaire. I get your point, but the same happened with the tobacco industry for example. People slaving the land to supply the plants, and the fatnecks rake in the dineros.
And once again of course it was the brand that they had. No future in selling "Fred's Tobacco Leaves" straight off the farm, but when you have one of the big brands of cigarettes. Bingo!


ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2015, 16:22 »
0
How much is a house in the UK?
Average in England and Wales is apparently 176,581 US$26,5145
... according to a report from the UK land registry, December 2014, which apparently doesn't report on Scotland or Northern Ireland.
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/390424/November_2014_HPI.pdf
More info than you could ever want, with stats broken up according to type of property, area etc

« Reply #43 on: January 23, 2015, 16:55 »
0
Isnt that the case with most business though? Buyers and suppliers make someone else mil/billionaire. I get your point, but the same happened with the tobacco industry for example. People slaving the land to supply the plants, and the fatnecks rake in the dineros.
And once again of course it was the brand that they had. No future in selling "Fred's Tobacco Leaves" straight off the farm, but when you have one of the big brands of cigarettes. Bingo!

tobacco and booze are another level of exploitation. it was considered illegal until the  mafia became
politicians. it was illegal until they're registered.
but the sharks are still the same, only now they are paid by you and me to rule the land 8)

i guess u can picture us as the laborers picking coco leaves or coffee beans for pennies a day.
35 cents a day, sounds a bit familiar ???


 

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