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Author Topic: Has anyone seen this? Google is curating their own stock photo library  (Read 10308 times)

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« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2012, 06:28 »
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While it's true that nothing lasts forever, it's true as well that I have been reading in forums the voices of self appointed prophets announcing the inmmiment end of microstock since 2004 (I wasn't aware of microstock before 2004). Every little change has been seen as the herald of The End is Near. Had I listened to these inspirational voices now I would be significantly less rich.
I can understand that some people like our poster-of-a-thousand-names, who probably is making his profecies in different forums since the year 2000-- would love seiing microstock crashing, but wishes and reality are often different things. Sometimes is good to be able to look ahead instead of consuming time looking back while swallowing sulphur. Remember that to have your wishes made real instantly, you need a magic wand.

(But well, as I said, nothing lasts forever. If you live long enough, maybe someday you'll see your prophecy fulfilled)


Lagereek

« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2012, 06:30 »
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I don't think the microstock model is flawed, I think the greedy, rat ba$tard agencies are flawed. They are making deals with other people's property and not telling them. They are bargaining with images as though they have no value. That's not how the microstock model started out. Even the first images I ever submitted as a noob had value and sold. And as my photography improved, they sold better and better. It's some of the agencies that are supposed to be representing us that are changing the model to suit their own greedy pockets.  >:(

Only if the agencies are flawed, so are we!  having your own webb-site gives next to nothing.

StockBottom

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« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2012, 06:40 »
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I don't think the microstock model is flawed, I think the greedy, rat ba$tard agencies are flawed. They are making deals with other people's property and not telling them. They are bargaining with images as though they have no value. That's not how the microstock model started out. Even the first images I ever submitted as a noob had value and sold. And as my photography improved, they sold better and better. It's some of the agencies that are supposed to be representing us that are changing the model to suit their own greedy pockets.  >:(

i disagree.
if istock layoff people recently it means they're NOT making big profits, if at all !

now you can blame whoever you want for this, but despite grabbing 85% of a sale
they still don't make huge profits.

why else do you think they fired the old CEO ?

i know it may sound unbelievable to losing money while retaining 85% of the final selling price
but you guys must realize there's a huge cost in backend infrastructure, inspectors, and especially
in marketing.

buyers dont go to istock because they've been told so .. each and every client has been picked
up in many ways, each one of them costed getty maybe 20-30 or even 50$.

as company grows up the need accountants, lawyers, human resources, managers, and all
the other drones typically found in any corporation, that's a sh-itload of money per month, trust me.

microstock itself started because the istock founder, guess what ...had NO more money to pay the bills
for the server infrastructure and started asking 1$ per image !

now, we all know and they all know the issue is the very concept of microstock itself !
they cannot make decent profits while selling so cheap, they need to at least raise prices 50 or 100%.

but doing this they will kill microstock altogether as the prices will border or be in line with midstock.

it's a chicken and egg situation, and the conclusion is always the same : such a business model is NOT
sustainable when applied on a massive scale, as it simply doesn't scale linearly, the more they sell the more the costs go up until the costs are more than the earnings, same thing is happening for Facebook for instance ... growth is NOT linear ... and profits can be made when wokring in a specific "range" or users and buyers.

a 50/50 fee scenario is more than possible, but only with RM prices .. say 50 bucks per image.
it can't be done on 1$ RF, never ever.

prepare yourself for a new slash in agency fees, maybe around christmas or january.
or they could simply rationalize the whole pricing structure : 1$ per image to us, and 10$ per image for buyers, clear and simple, no matter size or whatever other BS.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2012, 06:48 by StockBottom »

StockBottom

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« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2012, 06:58 »
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Only if the agencies are flawed, so are we!  having your own webb-site gives next to nothing.

and rightly so as long as you don't invest in advertising.

then you will discover you must spend 90 to get 100 back.
welcome to reality !

all these rants about greedy agencies are completely detached from the real world.

as a photographer, even in the very best scenario that means having my own sales agent
or selling to an art gallery they still ask 50% of any sales they make.

and why, because the costs involved, the risk, and much more are HIGH.

selling on the web is not like 10 yrs ago.
it's exactly the same like having a brick and mortar shop, or even worse as
you fight directly against your direct competitors, just like if they had a shop next door to yours in the same
street !

if me as company spend 50$ to acquire a buyer, many of these buyers will probably just
buy 10$ in credits ... who's going to pay back the 40$ lost ?

the other buyers will, but it's a fine line between staying afloat and going down.
too many factors involved, including seasonal drop in sales.

we photographer make the product, but ANYTHING else is done by the agencies.
too easy to spit on agencies and call them greedy and bla bla bla.

try launching your own and you will see....

« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2012, 06:59 »
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IS was laying off people because H&F was siphoning money out of there with a big fat straw. They have taken over $1B out of Gettty in "dividends" for themselves.

There is a huge difference between changing the business model as microstock did - lower prices with higher volume, similarly to mass producing cars or furniture versus hand crafting it - and keeping the business model and sticking it to the contributors which is what the agencies are doing at the moment.

The first is smart business, the second is as close to larceny as you can get

StockBottom

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« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2012, 07:05 »
0
While it's true that nothing lasts forever, it's true as well that I have been reading in forums the voices of self appointed prophets announcing the inmmiment end of microstock since 2004 (I wasn't aware of microstock before 2004). Every little change has been seen as the herald of The End is Near. Had I listened to these inspirational voices now I would be significantly less rich.
I can understand that some people like our poster-of-a-thousand-names, who probably is making his profecies in different forums since the year 2000-- would love seiing microstock crashing, but wishes and reality are often different things. Sometimes is good to be able to look ahead instead of consuming time looking back while swallowing sulphur. Remember that to have your wishes made real instantly, you need a magic wand.

(But well, as I said, nothing lasts forever. If you live long enough, maybe someday you'll see your prophecy fulfilled)

actually i heard rumours about the imminent death of RM since 2004 as well :)

i'm not a prophet nor (yet) a business analyst but i can tell you all the major micro agencies are here to stay.
what is going to change is about pricing and fees, will it be an abrupt 180 degree change or a step by step
change ?

however it turns out, things must change if the whole industry is going to stay afloat.
i can't see any way for photographers in this scenario to make more money, it's all going to be about quantity, not quality.

microstockers with small portfolio will just find themselves out of the game soon.
new contributors will also soon realize the entry barrier to make some many is way higher than expected.

but all this is not at all enough to kill micros, a small percentage of buyers will move to greener pastures,
but the bulk of cheap buyers have no way out, they're locked in microstock, may they like it or not.

« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2012, 07:10 »
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So, our, microstockers,  have to be humans and clever for the future. If we want to be strong, maybe it's time to build a real community before becoming real "voluntary slaves". Microstock market is' nt dead at all, crisis is here, but customers can buy pictures for a good price, the proof is the ridiculous percentage we are earning from our selling. If the agencies was paying us only 30%, we could learn almost the double, and many more microstockers could make a living instead of feeding only powerful agencies.
If we don't find the power to say "no" to greeding agencies, I'm afraid we'll have to find another professional activity in some years.  :-\
 

StockBottom

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« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2012, 07:12 »
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IS was laying off people because H&F was siphoning money out of there with a big fat straw. They have taken over $1B out of Gettty in "dividends" for themselves.

There is a huge difference between changing the business model as microstock did - lower prices with higher volume, similarly to mass producing cars or furniture versus hand crafting it - and keeping the business model and sticking it to the contributors which is what the agencies are doing at the moment.

The first is smart business, the second is as close to larceny as you can get

there will be ALWAYS demand for stock images, both expensive and cheap.

what is to be seen is how this new mixed micro/macro market will adapt
but considering it's a getty monopoly it's maybe a question of how getty will play
its card and what sort strategy it will play or rather impose on buyers.

if the top agencies tomorrow triple their prices you think buyers will instantly
look for a new supplier ? NO, only maybe 5-10% of them.

buyers will just buy less and pay more.

rubyroo

« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2012, 07:15 »
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They are making deals with other people's property and not telling them. They are bargaining with images as though they have no value.

Yes indeed Cathy.  This is the bit that confuses me the most.  How, when and where did agencies decide that they had the right to do anything they like with our property without any dialogue with us?  I really don't understand this.  Can anyone tell me if the trad agencies behave this way?  Is this established practice in the agency/artist relationship, or is it a recent thing?

StockBottom

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« Reply #34 on: August 11, 2012, 07:16 »
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So, our, microstockers,  have to be humans and clever for the future. If we want to be strong, maybe it's time to build a real community before becoming real "voluntary slaves". Microstock market is' nt dead at all, crisis is here, but customers can buy pictures for a good price, the proof is the ridiculous percentage we are earning from our selling. If the agencies was paying us only 30%, we could learn almost the double, and many more microstockers could make a living instead of feeding only powerful agencies.
If we don't find the power to say "no" to greeding agencies, I'm afraid we'll have to find another professional activity in some years.  :-\
 

sorry 100% wrong.

if you want 100% more, you can only double your portfolio.
or launch your own site or small agency.

if doubling your portfolio isn't financially sustainable, well, welcome to reality as well ... the sort of images
you sell aren't sustainable on RF micro, try RM eventually, or give up, it's written nowhere that any micro
contributor can or should stay afloat, as by logic only the top ones shooting business and lifestyle could make it.

StockBottom

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« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2012, 07:19 »
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Yes indeed Cathy.  This is the bit that confuses me the most.  How, when and where did agencies decide that they had the right to do anything they like with our property without any dialogue with us?  I really don't understand this.  Can anyone tell me if the trad agencies behave this way?  Is this established practice in the agency/artist relationship, or is it a recent thing?

you signed or agreed on a contract, and it's all in the contract if you ever read it.

and yes, same happens in RM, see what getty did dumping part of its RM/RF portfolio on Thinkstock
just sending a "take it ot leave it" email.

Reef

  • astonmars.com
« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2012, 07:26 »
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While it's true that nothing lasts forever, it's true as well that I have been reading in forums the voices of self appointed prophets announcing the inmmiment end of microstock since 2004 (I wasn't aware of microstock before 2004). Every little change has been seen as the herald of The End is Near. Had I listened to these inspirational voices now I would be significantly less rich.

As someone who also works in the design industry I can honestly say we use more stock imagery, video and templates than ever before. We would be crazy not to. I don't see that changing anytime soon.

« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2012, 07:41 »
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I think we're all jumping the gun here before seeing any financial details.

If the terms turn out to be terrible, Google and Getty must know that every contributor with at least one brain cell would yank their images.

Maybe microstock as it stands is flawed, but people will always need good images.  The world is a visual one, and demand for images will continue to rise.  Yes, people will always look for the cheapest way to get them, but I think we've just about hit the bottom.  If payment to artists gets any lower, artists won't create, and the business would have to adjust to attract them back.  Sure, there will always be rock-bottom folks and hobbyists who get excited to see one of their pictures somewhere even if they get no money from it, but these people alone can't support the needs of the world.  No, a sustainable model would have to emerge from the ashes of microstock, and I don't see how it could look much different from microstock.  

And about Google... if they want to play in this space, they will win.  Imagine every search showing images from its own stock catalog way above all the established agencies.  It will be lights-out for many mid and lower tier agencies almost immediately.   Sure, they'll hang on to their established customer base for a while, but unable to attract new business they will begin a slide into the abyss.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2012, 07:43 by stockmarketer »

rubyroo

« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2012, 08:35 »
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you signed or agreed on a contract, and it's all in the contract if you ever read it.

and yes, same happens in RM, see what getty did dumping part of its RM/RF portfolio on Thinkstock
just sending a "take it ot leave it" email.

Yes I read the contracts... many years ago when I first signed up.  I suppose I've forgotten the details by now.  I'll have to sit down and read them again to see what permissions I granted them.

I see your point about the RM stuff that was dumped on Getty, but I'm curious to know if this sort of thing happened with the trads way before H&F took over Getty, and also prior to the 1990's, before Internet trading started.

Lagereek

« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2012, 11:43 »
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Remember Shooterguy?   ;D ;D ;D,  so be very careful here ;D

lisafx

« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2012, 13:20 »
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i disagree.
if istock layoff people recently it means they're NOT making big profits, if at all !


Sorry, I couldn't make it through your long, rambling, disjointed post, but had to respond to this part. 

You clearly don't follow basic economics.  It's not only unprofitable companies that lay off staff.  Vulture capitalist companies often lay off staff of very successful businesses, just to jack up the good profits into obscene profits.  That's what happened at Istock.  Try to keep up.

« Reply #41 on: August 11, 2012, 14:28 »
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Lisa, don't you think StockBottom is antistock?  It's the same oblivious to the facts nonsense, just under a different name.  Probably best to ignore but I hate using the ignore button :)


« Reply #42 on: August 11, 2012, 15:20 »
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I don't think the microstock model is flawed, I think the greedy, rat ba$tard agencies are flawed. They are making deals with other people's property and not telling them. They are bargaining with images as though they have no value. That's not how the microstock model started out. Even the first images I ever submitted as a noob had value and sold. And as my photography improved, they sold better and better. It's some of the agencies that are supposed to be representing us that are changing the model to suit their own greedy pockets.  >:(

I agree. I think as contributors (maybe buyers as well) demand more from their agencies, they'll get more out of them.

« Reply #43 on: August 11, 2012, 17:13 »
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No mention of compensation is telling in itself. Coupled with no notice to image owners is frightening. Look at the comments on the link and you'll see how the free-images-all-the-time mentality is floating to the top of the excrement pile. I do Google image searches all the time and see huge numbers of images show up from all the micro-stock sites. The Google search engine seems to me to be superior that many of the sites I contribute to even though they appear, for now, alongside lots of really bad images. I can image a scenario where Google improves it's search to the point where it becomes the dominate image search engine for everybody.

It reads to me as if they've cut a deal with one or more micro-stock sites using contributor agreements in their most liberal of interpretations. If so, I can see many more struggling sites jumping on board and many more contributors getting left out. The end game, in my opinion,  is to claim "rights" to any image that can be searched for on Google.

« Reply #44 on: August 11, 2012, 18:16 »
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^^^I think it's silly to speculate like this.  Why don't we wait and see what this deal is actually all about?  I'm not sure it's any different to the microsoft deal.  We will find out if contributors are asked for consent or if they are compensated.  I presume they will be until there's evidence otherwise.  If any of the wild speculation in this thread comes true, it wont be hard to leave istock/Thinkstock now.  Most of us have seen big declines in earnings there.  Are they really going to do something to make us all leave when they're about to sell the business?

rubyroo

« Reply #45 on: August 11, 2012, 19:38 »
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Good points Sharpshot. It's a shame that so much has happened to lead us to fear the worst, but it's surely understandable.

As you say though, we don't have all the information on this issue just yet.

lisafx

« Reply #46 on: August 12, 2012, 15:29 »
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Lisa, don't you think StockBottom is antistock?  It's the same oblivious to the facts nonsense, just under a different name.  Probably best to ignore but I hate using the ignore button :)

Makes sense.  The angry, long-winded, hardly punctuated style looked familiar, but I just couldn't place it.  Some of these guys keep turning up again and again like a bad penny.  Thanks for identifying this one :)

Lagereek

« Reply #47 on: August 13, 2012, 02:19 »
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^^^I think it's silly to speculate like this.  Why don't we wait and see what this deal is actually all about?  I'm not sure it's any different to the microsoft deal.  We will find out if contributors are asked for consent or if they are compensated.  I presume they will be until there's evidence otherwise.  If any of the wild speculation in this thread comes true, it wont be hard to leave istock/Thinkstock now.  Most of us have seen big declines in earnings there.  Are they really going to do something to make us all leave when they're about to sell the business?

Well if they do. That would be the final nail in the coffin, thats for sure without doubt.

StockBottom

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« Reply #48 on: August 13, 2012, 10:45 »
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i disagree.
if istock layoff people recently it means they're NOT making big profits, if at all !


Sorry, I couldn't make it through your long, rambling, disjointed post, but had to respond to this part. 

You clearly don't follow basic economics.  It's not only unprofitable companies that lay off staff.  Vulture capitalist companies often lay off staff of very successful businesses, just to jack up the good profits into obscene profits.  That's what happened at Istock.  Try to keep up.

i know and years ago it happened in the company i was working for, but in the case of iStock i disgress.
they're not doing fine, all indicators confirm istock is losing buyers and sales.

and maybe they simply overhired while they were booming and suddenly realized they've been too much
optimistic.

CEOs dont get usually fired for nothing, something smelly happened but we will never know the details.
maybe as you say they just wanted obscene profits rather than good profits but i've a sixth sense for these
things... and Getty isn't yet a public company, nobody knows their real numbers, no shareholders breathing on
their neck to score mega bucks in the next quarter, the real story here must be more dirty than what they
told us.

« Reply #49 on: August 13, 2012, 10:48 »
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I don't think the microstock model is flawed, I think the greedy, rat ba$tard agencies are flawed. They are making deals with other people's property and not telling them. They are bargaining with images as though they have no value. That's not how the microstock model started out. Even the first images I ever submitted as a noob had value and sold. And as my photography improved, they sold better and better. It's some of the agencies that are supposed to be representing us that are changing the model to suit their own greedy pockets.  >:(

Only if the agencies are flawed, so are we!  having your own webb-site gives next to nothing.

sorry but werent you having nice 4 figures sales on your RM site?


 

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