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Author Topic: Good Piece - Article From British Journal of Photography  (Read 8946 times)

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« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2011, 11:25 »
0
There's a comment at the end from someone called Mark Stout suggesting that there was something about the business model of microstock that led to Getty cutting royalties for iStock contributors.

I think that's just missing the point. It was the need for cash by H&F (to pay them back for their half billion dollar dividend recapitalization) that led to this. Absent that, the microstock model of 2010 could have continued to be exceedingly profitable for iStock and a large portion of its contributors. There was nothing unsustainable about the iStock end of the business, just Getty and H&F's.

I can only assume Mr. Stout is one of those who see evil in the success of the microstock business model, so he reshapes the actual situation to fit.

You're right. I think this article is just food for the masses. While it makes some valid points it doesn't necessarily apply to all full-timers or the ones making a living off of it.

It's an easy read for industry participants without the urge to dive deeper into the matter.

We've seen so much, you couldn't possibly cram it into a single article.


rinderart

« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2011, 11:33 »
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Big problem:
Quote
According to Picscout, a leading tracking service, nine out of every 10 stock images they found online were unauthorised uses.


Perhaps this will help?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jul/03/us-anti-piracy-extradition-prosecution


I don't believe so. If just little old me took the time to track down people on Foreign E-bay sites and personal websites selling My stuff as theres and selling Fineart prints in Bulgaria or someplace, I would have to hire a staff to do it. Unauthorized use is and always has been My Biggest concern. And it's so big that No site can handle it. I have proved over and over many times that I can remove any watermark from any Image. Right click, Genuine Fractals and you got it and pretty much good enough for any use.. 9 out 0f 10 Images is a staggering Number.

« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2011, 11:34 »
0
Big problem:
Quote
According to Picscout, a leading tracking service, nine out of every 10 stock images they found online were unauthorised uses.
Obviously checking RM trad agency images, which is what the SAA was interested in. They have very low sales and are not priced at levels most website owners can afford, they may also include material that is of interest to bloggers, which would tend to skew the percentages.

When I check my images I find very few with watermarks so I don't seem to have a problem with them being copied from agencies. Once someone publishes a legitimate RF copy online there is no way to know whether subsequent usages elsewhere are paid for or not. It goes with the territory.

« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2011, 12:23 »
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The main thing that happened was that what was previously a closed club became exposed to open competition. Its also a big reason why the SAA itself had to close its doors - they refused to accept the principle that the industry is now open to new entrants and that there aren't any gatekeepers other than success or failure at producing images. Instead of accepting that changes were there to stay: RF & microstock, and accepting the new entrants, they tried what many failing unions have unsuccessfully tried - a closed door policy. If they'd accepted that their industry had changed - both through RF and microstock and tried to influence those changes, they'd still be a going concern, and probably have membership numbers they'd never previously have dreamed of. Furthermore, they'd still be serving a useful purpose for stock photographers.  

Obviously they still think of microstock as being made up of amateurs, and that there is a pool of legitimate "professionals". The real coming-of-age isn't about microstock at all - its that the old-guard will increasingly be in the same boat as the rest of us. Some have adapted and are thriving in both forms of the game, others have already failed. Stock photography is still a viable industry - in total its probably earning more now than at any time previously - just that the cake is cut up in a different way, and is now available to far more buyers.

Unfortunately there's also no organisation trying to get artists a greater share of it. Instead we're reading the memoirs from a failed organisation.

Great post.

« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2011, 14:47 »
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I always love reading about the disdain some people have for the customers :D. Always makes me wonder why you contribute to microstock.

Apparently, Graphic Design Appreciation Day only happens once a year.  ;D

That frequently, eh?

« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2011, 14:51 »
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Btw, dealing in large numbers means most of the clients are 'the plebs', and the plebs has no taste whatsoever... what do they like to consume in large quantities? Jerry Springer, cheeseburger, big gulp cola...

I always love reading about the disdain some people have for the customers :D. Always makes me wonder why you contribute to microstock.

Ppl should only deal business with ones they respect? Yeah thats what capitalism is all about, just look around : ) The whole world would stop.

Maybe the whole world should stop. This disdain is a big part of what is wrong with the world today. And just remember, you reap what you sow. Supplier's lack of respect towards buyers means buyer's lack of respect towards suppliers.

michealo

« Reply #31 on: July 05, 2011, 05:33 »
0
There's a comment at the end from someone called Mark Stout suggesting that there was something about the business model of microstock that led to Getty cutting royalties for iStock contributors.

I think that's just missing the point. It was the need for cash by H&F (to pay them back for their half billion dollar dividend recapitalization) that led to this. Absent that, the microstock model of 2010 could have continued to be exceedingly profitable for iStock and a large portion of its contributors. There was nothing unsustainable about the iStock end of the business, just Getty and H&F's.

I can only assume Mr. Stout is one of those who see evil in the success of the microstock business model, so he reshapes the actual situation to fit.

There is a certain sense of naivety in your understanding of the issue

H&F are doing the right thing for their shareholders, that is their raison d'etre - to maximise shareholder value.

Your issue and most other users is that your work is generic and no different from anyone elses so you have no pricing power.

You need to find some way of differentiating your work from the masses so that you can bring something to the negotiating table ....

« Reply #32 on: July 05, 2011, 05:54 »
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You're wrong, Michael. Images need to be generic to produce sufficient sales to make microstock worthwhile. Unique images have too low a sales potential to be bargaining chips, that's why the leading photographers are noted for their technical skills not their unique style.

In any case, it makes no difference to the argument that there was nothing "unsustainable" about the 2009 iStock pricing model, the commission cuts were just a cash grab by the owners. All the indicators suggest that far from "doing the right thing for shareholders" they have actually been destroying shareholder value by adopting short-sighted policies that don't take account of the negative consequences.

michealo

« Reply #33 on: July 05, 2011, 07:39 »
0
You're wrong, Michael. Images need to be generic to produce sufficient sales to make microstock worthwhile. Unique images have too low a sales potential to be bargaining chips, that's why the leading photographers are noted for their technical skills not their unique style.

In any case, it makes no difference to the argument that there was nothing "unsustainable" about the 2009 iStock pricing model, the commission cuts were just a cash grab by the owners. All the indicators suggest that far from "doing the right thing for shareholders" they have actually been destroying shareholder value by adopting short-sighted policies that don't take account of the negative consequences.

I should clarify generic by saying essentially replaceable, consider the analogy of Dell, they make PCs and once upon a time their key differentiator was price, now that every other manufacturer has introduced similar production methods and similar pricing there is nothing to make consumers consistently  choose Dell over HP etc. My images, your images and Jo's images are all easily replaceable, we are (Vauxhall) Conference not Premier League ...

RacePhoto

« Reply #34 on: July 05, 2011, 13:15 »
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Vauxhall vs Premier? A car maker vs a drum maker? Speak English for God's sake. :D (humor aside, maybe...)

You are correct. MS has become a dollar store which is the same as all the rest, with the same plastic junk from the same Chinese, Korean and Japanese suppliers. (wherever, it's the same plastic crap, from crowd sourced photographers images)  Microstock not only has all the same photographers "collections" of all the same shots, but the wannabees who copied all the best sellers with the Me Too attitude and the same Micro lighting and setup poses, subjects and models. Which goes with your "easily replaceable" because they are factory products, not art or creative images. It's the same Plastic Crap! ;)

If I point this out on the forum, I will be attacked, since the truth seems to be denial. So I'll let you take the heat on this one and maybe next time, I'll point out the inconsistencies and contradictions.


You're wrong, Michael. Images need to be generic to produce sufficient sales to make microstock worthwhile. Unique images have too low a sales potential to be bargaining chips, that's why the leading photographers are noted for their technical skills not their unique style.

In any case, it makes no difference to the argument that there was nothing "unsustainable" about the 2009 iStock pricing model, the commission cuts were just a cash grab by the owners. All the indicators suggest that far from "doing the right thing for shareholders" they have actually been destroying shareholder value by adopting short-sighted policies that don't take account of the negative consequences.

I should clarify generic by saying essentially replaceable, consider the analogy of Dell, they make PCs and once upon a time their key differentiator was price, now that every other manufacturer has introduced similar production methods and similar pricing there is nothing to make consumers consistently  choose Dell over HP etc. My images, your images and Jo's images are all easily replaceable, we are (Vauxhall) Conference not Premier League ...


 

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