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Author Topic: future microstock  (Read 22527 times)

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« on: July 14, 2012, 04:43 »
0
I wounder what the future will bring?
I looked for related posts, but I could find any related with my question.

so, stocksites are now 6-8 years old?
but we still uploading images vectors footage each day
will that still the same over 5 years? I know we don't see the future but still...


And will vectors sell the better then now?

thanks for your answers
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 04:44 by pixol »


« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2012, 05:42 »
0
If commission cuts stop or reverse and there's potential for me to grow my earnings in the future, I'll keep uploading.  At the moment, that looks highly unlikely.  Hopefully that will change or I wont be doing this in 5 years.  I'm not going to remove my portfolios but there's not much point in carrying on working for very little return

« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2012, 07:52 »
0
I think the correct way to look at microstock earnings is considering the return of our investment over time. In other words the cumulative earnings of a given image with no additional work on our part after the upload.
It's been over a year since I've uploaded anything. Yet I continue to draw income from my remaining sites IS, DT, SS, and to a much lesser degree, Veer. So whatever hourly or per-image rate of return I've seen discussed in this group I haven't seen any calculation based on continuing income with no additional time spent. I've also seen a gradual lowering of the rate of sales on my lesser popular images but very little reduction on the most popular, some of which has been on those sites for 4-5 years. So that's the sunny side of the equation that hasn't received much attention.

« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2012, 11:15 »
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hope we are all here to watch it, kind off hard to predict IMO

for sure agencies will continue to approve new stuff, they will obviously do regular cleanings too, dont believe that after 20 Millions buyer will be excited to know they have "now" 100 M to find their perfect picture, not to mention that only the top contributors will survive but again we know how best matches change so I believe we can't predict even tomorrow sales :)

« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2012, 11:25 »
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Considering I've been working on my "Escape Plan" for about a year, my view of the future of micro in its present state is pretty bleak. That said, things can change and probably will (whether they change for the better or not is hard to say).

Lagereek

« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2012, 13:46 »
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Same as everything, micro is no exeption, its had its heydays and glorydays. It wont come to en end but it will stabilize itself into just an average earner, exactly the same as the old film-agencies did after a 10-15, year span. Only the very big and successful, nieched, portfolios will survive. Eventually they will all amalgamate into one or two outfits. Exclusivity in micro will be dropped, its pointless since there are 100 times more independants creating as good, some even better stuff. I will give it another 2-3, years before we see the above scenario.

Its almost scary, how identical the history of micro is mirrored in the trad-agency history, same lifespan, everything.

So folks! its time for an exit and escape plan or else its thanks for the coffee and solong.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 13:48 by Lagereek »

« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2012, 13:50 »
0
I cover quite a lot about the future of microstock in this talk/presentation I gave for StockInRussia last year:
Future of Microstock (Part 4) - Understanding Mature Microstock Stock Photo Industry - picWorkflow

@Leaf not sure if that counts as a promotional link, please feel free to remove if it's too much :)
Bob

lisafx

« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2012, 16:49 »
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Really thoughtful analysis Bob.  Very much worth the listen :)

Lagereek

« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2012, 01:30 »
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Agreeing, great analysis!

antistock

« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2012, 01:42 »
0
the only way to stay afloat is having a big portfolio, anything else comes later.

people who are slow to produce or do it part time will never last long, there are just too many new photos being added every day.

the real danger is the publishing and editorial market going fully digital and using only cheap low-res images.
that would be the end for many agencies and many photographers.

the other danger is the western economy collapsing soon, nobody want to talk about it but it's a real and serious threat !

« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2012, 03:31 »
0
Thanks for the analysis Bob.  I'm not to sure why you think Pixmac have a good future?  They're not even in the low earners in the earnings poll.  There's been some serious problems with them in the past and I think it's hard to get a good reputation back.

I'm not convinced that the contributors that are doing well now have a good future with microstock.  Most people here seem to hit a wall at some point that makes it extremely difficult to increase earnings.  With the sites cutting commissions, we have no idea how low they will be in 5 years time.  Like you said, the sites aren't concerned about losing contributors because there's so many of us.  So how can we improve earnings after hitting the wall when commissions are being cut?  The cost of living is increasing every year and I need to know I can increase my microstock earnings significantly in the future.

The other point I strongly disagree with is that sites like Fotolia have cut commissions because they're expenses have gone up.  I'm sure they're doing it because they think they can get away with it and it makes them more profit.

Lagereek

« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2012, 03:35 »
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Thanks for the analysis Bob.  I'm not to sure why you think Pixmac have a good future?  They're not even in the low earners in the earnings poll.  There's been some serious problems with them in the past and I think it's hard to get a good reputation back.

I'm not convinced that the contributors that are doing well now have a good future with microstock.  Most people here seem to hit a wall at some point that makes it extremely difficult to increase earnings.  With the sites cutting commissions, we have no idea how low they will be in 5 years time.  Like you said, the sites aren't concerned about losing contributors because there's so many of us.  So how can we improve earnings after hitting the wall when commissions are being cut?  The cost of living is increasing every year and I need to know I can increase my microstock earnings significantly in the future.

The other point I strongly disagree with is that sites like Fotolia have cut commissions because they're expenses have gone up.  I'm sure they're doing it because they think they can get away with it and it makes them more profit.

"The wall",  yes and that wall, is a fact, you can add thousands of files and once you hit this wall, thats it. Ofcourse theres an increase but in no way paralel with amount of files added.

Microbius

« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2012, 08:58 »
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Thanks Bob, really interesting. One thing, where does the specific 606 top photographers figure come from?
And I would also like to know why Pixmac has a good future.
Thanks again!

Wim

« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2012, 06:31 »
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A bit over 1 year in microstock here, this is how I see it:

Microstock getting more and more infested with hobbysits celebrating every penny they make.
Agencies supporting those hobbyists and treat us alike, making it easier to do as they please and squeeze even more out of us. These hobbyists try their best to defend just about every bad thing that happens at an agency because they think their sales will magically go up, making the agency conclude their is nothing wrong, case closed.
More underpaid and unqualified reviewers that do not care if some contributors make a living from this but punish their direct competition or use the rejection button as a tool (toy) to speed up their work.
Because of contributors/images overload more site/server bugs that will negatively affect our sales.
Even less (automated) support then what we already receive and more sneaky actions behind the scenes.

Something positive? let's see..uh.the existance of this forum so we can at least put the word out and try to do something about all this. Of course the majority will not put their voice out because of fear for retaliation (why do you think I'm still anonymous) or lack of time (too busy trying to survive in this business) and therefore also contribute to the downfall of this business.
That's why I also hate to read many threads that are filled with contributors flaming eachother or think by being an .ss they will somehow eliminate their competition (on the contrary).

Good times!
Now for all those big shots complaining about small potatoes, try to imagine how hard it is for us newcomers to make it in this business ;)  2005 was a joke!

I do hope things will change for the better, that's why I'm still here, but from what I have been reading from long time contributors I highly doubt this will happen, on the contrary, it seems to get worse by the day.

Take care all and sorry for my english, it's not my native language.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2012, 06:34 »
0
A bit over 1 year in microstock here, this is how I see it:
Microstock getting more and more infested with hobbysits celebrating every penny they make.
That's how it started, except that at the very beginning no-one made any pennies.

« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2012, 07:57 »
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Many microstock shooters are fine photographers but they are too lazy to work the market to diversify the market and expand their earnings.

A photographer friend moved out of microstock into wedding photography and improved his earnings from photography hundred times.

Microstock is like a bad joke to him.

« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2012, 09:55 »
0
A bit over 1 year in microstock here, this is how I see it:

Microstock getting more and more infested with hobbysits celebrating every penny they make.
Agencies supporting those hobbyists and treat us alike, making it easier to do as they please and squeeze even more out of us. These hobbyists try their best to defend just about every bad thing that happens at an agency because they think their sales will magically go up, making the agency conclude their is nothing wrong, case closed.
More underpaid and unqualified reviewers that do not care if some contributors make a living from this but punish their direct competition or use the rejection button as a tool (toy) to speed up their work.
Because of contributors/images overload more site/server bugs that will negatively affect our sales.
Even less (automated) support then what we already receive and more sneaky actions behind the scenes.

Something positive? let's see..uh.the existance of this forum so we can at least put the word out and try to do something about all this. Of course the majority will not put their voice out because of fear for retaliation (why do you think I'm still anonymous) or lack of time (too busy trying to survive in this business) and therefore also contribute to the downfall of this business.
That's why I also hate to read many threads that are filled with contributors flaming eachother or think by being an .ss they will somehow eliminate their competition (on the contrary).

Good times!
Now for all those big shots complaining about small potatoes, try to imagine how hard it is for us newcomers to make it in this business ;)  2005 was a joke!

I do hope things will change for the better, that's why I'm still here, but from what I have been reading from long time contributors I highly doubt this will happen, on the contrary, it seems to get worse by the day.

Take care all and sorry for my english, it's not my native language.

keep on digging my friend, don't forget to hammer some on the way too ;D


« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2012, 10:37 »
0
A photographer friend moved out of microstock into wedding photography and improved his earnings from photography hundred times.

Microstock is like a bad joke to him.

Doesn't sound like he was very good at it.

antistock

« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2012, 12:20 »
0
A photographer friend moved out of microstock into wedding photography and improved his earnings from photography hundred times.

Microstock is like a bad joke to him.

Doesn't sound like he was very good at it.

exactly, as if the wedding industry wasn't already in deep sh-it due to the hordes of newbie photographers with their Canon Rebel shooting for a pittance.

i could add the music/concerts/gigs photo business is even in a worse situation, a friend of mine is on the verge to give up and move on to .. weddings ! :)

antistock

« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2012, 12:25 »
0
A bit over 1 year in microstock here, this is how I see it:

Microstock getting more and more infested with hobbysits celebrating every penny they make.
Agencies supporting those hobbyists and treat us alike, making it easier to do as they please and squeeze even more out of us. These hobbyists try their best to defend just about every bad thing that happens at an agency because they think their sales will magically go up, making the agency conclude their is nothing wrong, case closed.
More underpaid and unqualified reviewers that do not care if some contributors make a living from this but punish their direct competition or use the rejection button as a tool (toy) to speed up their work.
Because of contributors/images overload more site/server bugs that will negatively affect our sales.
Even less (automated) support then what we already receive and more sneaky actions behind the scenes.

Something positive? let's see..uh.the existance of this forum so we can at least put the word out and try to do something about all this. Of course the majority will not put their voice out because of fear for retaliation (why do you think I'm still anonymous) or lack of time (too busy trying to survive in this business) and therefore also contribute to the downfall of this business.
That's why I also hate to read many threads that are filled with contributors flaming eachother or think by being an .ss they will somehow eliminate their competition (on the contrary).

Good times!
Now for all those big shots complaining about small potatoes, try to imagine how hard it is for us newcomers to make it in this business ;)  2005 was a joke!

I do hope things will change for the better, that's why I'm still here, but from what I have been reading from long time contributors I highly doubt this will happen, on the contrary, it seems to get worse by the day.

Take care all and sorry for my english, it's not my native language.

well, we (old farts) ALL told you it would end this way for micros.
now it's too late.

besides, i don't blame the agencies, it's their job to maximise profits and cut costs.

can't see the problem for the newcomers, it's never been easy to make serious bucks with stock photos.
it was certainly easier in the golden age of micros (2005 ?) but it was never easy to get the foot in the door with
Getty or Corbis.

the over supply will just force agencies to raise the bar even more.

in the end of the day you will survive only with a big enough portfolio, anything else comes later and i'm reaching the conclusion
that keywording is now maybe more important than the image itself.

Lagereek

« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2012, 01:17 »
0
There is one gigantic, huge thing though that separated the trad film agencies from micros, trad agencies realized immediately that the contributors were their life-blood and did everything to keep people happy and productive. Micros? are just about doing everything to make it as hard as possible for contributors and buyers ( bar a few such as, SS,DT, etc) and on the whole its become a shabby market a sort of cut-price fleemarket.
As I said, micros will stabilize itself and become just another low earner but the good old days even the mediocre days are over. Were lucky though, just imagine sitting with a gigantic port of say 10K images, all exclusive at IS or something? What!  and behind your back, Getty is wheeling and dealing, selling, buying, etc and in the end you dont know where you are, finally, you wake up on a Monday and youre finished.
I Personally know many buyers who are really fed up with micros, fed up with searching for an image or a specific concept and theyre bumping into tons and tons of really bad and irrelevant material so they consult the macros, RF instead and dont mind paying that little extra, saves time I suppose.

Microbius

« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2012, 01:59 »
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I've had to buy about half a dozen licenses this year, and for all but one of them I really struggled to find what I wanted on the micro sites.
For several I had to rethink the designs, because the photos just weren't out there. For one I had to grit my teeth and fork out 100+ credits (I think about 120) for an exclusive (photo+?) photo on IStock, because it was the only one that fit the bill.
So I guess what I'm saying is the like Lagereek says, there's tonnes of stuff on the micros, but a lot of it covers the same ground without lot of actual variety.

antistock

« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2012, 02:28 »
0
I've had to buy about half a dozen licenses this year, and for all but one of them I really struggled to find what I wanted on the micro sites.
For several I had to rethink the designs, because the photos just weren't out there. For one I had to grit my teeth and fork out 100+ credits (I think about 120) for an exclusive (photo+?) photo on IStock, because it was the only one that fit the bill.
So I guess what I'm saying is the like Lagereek says, there's tonnes of stuff on the micros, but a lot of it covers the same ground without lot of actual variety.

it can't be otherwise.
if the subject is too obscure they will reject it for not being commercially interesting.

besides who is going to specialize in hard-to-find subjects for micros if in the best scenario it will be downloaded once in 4-5 yrs lifespan ?
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 02:30 by antistock »

antistock

« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2012, 02:34 »
0
There is one gigantic, huge thing though that separated the trad film agencies from micros, trad agencies realized immediately that the contributors were their life-blood and did everything to keep people happy and productive. Micros? are just about doing everything to make it as hard as possible for contributors and buyers ( bar a few such as, SS,DT, etc) and on the whole its become a shabby market a sort of cut-price fleemarket.
As I said, micros will stabilize itself and become just another low earner but the good old days even the mediocre days are over. Were lucky though, just imagine sitting with a gigantic port of say 10K images, all exclusive at IS or something? What!  and behind your back, Getty is wheeling and dealing, selling, buying, etc and in the end you dont know where you are, finally, you wake up on a Monday and youre finished.
I Personally know many buyers who are really fed up with micros, fed up with searching for an image or a specific concept and theyre bumping into tons and tons of really bad and irrelevant material so they consult the macros, RF instead and dont mind paying that little extra, saves time I suppose.

i would be nervous to be an IS exclusive nowadays, who knows what they have in store for the next season !

on the other side if buyers are fed up they should reconsider the professional figure of the "image researcher" and give it a try.
the idea that any idiot buyer without any experience in stock could just grab what he needed on the web in a few clicks was BS from the start,
now that agencies have tens of millions of images online it's indeed cheaper to pay a small price for someone researching the pics for you, it's nothing new actually any RM agency does that since ages.

time will come when RF agencies will just refuse any new submission or at least they will for some categories, after all they already don't accept sunsets and other boring stuff.

antistock

« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2012, 02:42 »
0
but a lot of it covers the same ground without lot of actual variety.

once again blame the micro agencies and their idiotic policy of not accepting many similar images.

i can shoot a statue of buddha in 20-30 different and interesting point of view, but agencies will never pick
up more than 4-5 of these and guess what then buyers like the photo but can't find what they need (ie : full buddha
with head and feet, or a close up of the eyes, etc).


 

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