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Author Topic: How to fight against lower and lower commissions!?  (Read 28830 times)

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« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2011, 15:40 »
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Until you are willing to leave microstock altogether, you will be forced to deal with lower and lower commissions.  Sorry, but microstock has no future for any but the highest end contributors who are (at this point) sheltered from the commission drops.  In a few years, only the fools will remain, slaving for a 10-20% commission because "a few dollars earned is better than none."

I'm going 100% with my own website and Alamy, and any other more traditional model with a reasonable commission percentage.  I have 6 more months of lock-in at DT.  Otherwise I am done with microstock.


« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2011, 16:07 »
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this is never going to stop.. thats the hard truth..

dont know if I am thinking well but listen.. (read lol)

IS, FT, whatever will lower and lower comissions.. it will go to 10% or above, one day we will all step out.. what is the strategy behind agencies? they wont do a single buck with 0 pictures..

ok this can take a few years but this is what will happen if this keep going.. ok they will have their pockets full but for how long, another business? not in photography for sure..
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 16:10 by luissantos84 »

« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2011, 16:12 »
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A good start would be to get rid of the 'a few pennies is better than nothing' mentality.
I just finished my own website (still need to think of a business name, urgh) but i'll do my small part by setting up a section talking about 'fair trade' and 'to avoid' agencies. Maybe if more bloggers would do it google would pick up some of it. It definitely wont make much difference, but every customer away from the worst agencies is a minor victory in my book.
Edit: or someone far more eloquent could put such post on their blog and we could promote it on the social networks, though issue is the mixed interests. I can imagine istock exclusives (rightfully from their perspective) not being too happy with such initiative...
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 16:16 by Artemis »

« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2011, 16:15 »
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These agencies are not going to fail.  If you sit around waiting for them to fail, you will be waiting a long time.  They have thrown down the gauntlet and made it so only the image factories and very best artists can afford to stay.  It means nothing to them if a bunch of mid tier contributors pull out.  They won't be missed.

And there will always be a line of fools waiting to submit their images so they can earn a few dollars, even if the agency is earning 5-10x what they are earning.  So don't expect their image libraries to go empty.  It's not going to happen.

But every contributor can choose to be 100% done with microstock any time they so choose.  It may not mean much to the industry, but for the contributor it will make all the difference in the world.  Unless you rely on microstock for your wages (in which case you need to diversify), there is no reason not to leave unless you really don't mind making 10-20% to the agency's 80-90%.

« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2011, 16:43 »
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For me the fact is:

IS reduced my earnings by -20% and FT by -18% in this month...
I have to react somehow...

« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2011, 16:54 »
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For me the fact is:

IS reduced my earnings by -20% and FT by -18% in this month...
I have to react somehow...

same situation here.. I would love to have a photographers agency, time ago it was talked here but soon everybody left, dont know if it was because of money issue (around 1 million dont know..) and also problems in how will be reviewing the pictures.. most be a ton of reasons but once again nothing was made.. not easy to predict agencies.. we need to come up with something.. going into other agencies?? really not easy to decide what can/should do..

« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2011, 17:57 »
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Also, in my case!

FT holds 77%  and IS 84% of image price just for agency job!!! Excellent!
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 20:10 by borg »

« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2011, 18:14 »
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It took this thread to move me to decide to delete my port at FT at the next payout. I wasn't aware of the pay cut til now and I'm just getting tired of my images selling for so little now and maybe even lower later this year. I've uploaded very few images there this year mainly because I'm selling in just a few categories with them. Soon there will be one fewer disappointing site on which to keep tabs.

I do disagree with some of folks here that are groping for a solution to the lowering price scale. I see this trend continuing on a rapidly increasing rate. Simple business of supply and demand.  I think five years from now we will look back on 2010-11 as the golden years when earnings were still worth working for.

« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2011, 19:35 »
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There is nothing that can be done in the short term - like helix7 said, this is the reality.  

In the long term we can stop contributing to sites that don't pay realistic commissions.  That means we cut off the big sites and forgo that income, while waiting for a better business model to emerge.  It won't happen overnight, but slowly, buyers should become aware of new sites, stop reflexively going to IS for everything, and see new content on the new sites, and start seeing the current big sites as stale and dated.

Like I said - long term.

I did put my (very small) portfolio on GraphicLeftovers and it was a real breath of fresh air - at first.  Uploading was easy, they liked my stuff, and even put a lot of it in their "GL Collection"  I made some sales and got a payout early on, but they stopped in November and I haven't had one since.  

At this point - speaking only for myself - I've concluded microstock isn't worth doing.  I think if I started making sales at GL again I'd feel differently, but until then, I've put the whole thing on ice because I'm not seeing any future in it.  

[update]
Trying to come up with a positive suggestion - the only thing I can think of would be for all of us to start contributing to, and promoting, agencies that pay fair commissions, and really talk up those agencies in forums and blogs.  I don't know if any buyers ever read forums like this one, but maybe their are other ways we could get their attention and start making them aware that there's a new market getting started, outside of IS and SS.  

 
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 19:46 by stockastic »

« Reply #34 on: January 20, 2011, 19:59 »
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Excellent post Stockastic!

Tomorrow I'll start to upload my portfolio on every small agency with good ratio... If I can get  same money on five or ten agencies with fair pay structure, like on FT or IS, excellent!!!

Also deleting existing portfolio on IS and FT is losing of money because they have big part of market and our work is already there, why to lose our effort...
So, we need different approach!
So, this need to be process or campaign of all of us...

My opinion is:
Our weapon is in "new content"... If we start to upload new content only on "friendly agencies" and publish all of that with all possible ways (social networks, blogs, etc.) on the Internet, then customers can be redirected to these agencies ... Probably that will be "synergy effect", more + new materials, friendly support etc....

That is long term process (1-3 years to see results),but not impossible!
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 20:19 by borg »

jbarber873

« Reply #35 on: January 20, 2011, 20:09 »
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   The reality is that it is very expensive to drive sales online to any website. The established big microstock sites are grandfathered in from the time 3 or 4 years ago when their was little competition for keywords such as " stock photo". Now the prices are extremely high- $4.50 per click last time i looked. That's just to get someone to the website, not make a sale. Likewise, SEO is very difficult to master, and is still subordinated by paid search results. It's easy and cheap to set up a website, but  getting buyers to go, and buy, is not so easy. The only one who is making out like a bandit in all this is google. I'm sure they could create a search engine that could find RF images for sale at individual websites by keywords, but I doubt that they will do it, simply because the advertising war between these sites is a gold mine for them. Look at all the ads for Thinkstock- every time they get a paid click, it's $4.50 in the till. And they don't have to pay contributors!
  And for those who think macrostock is the answer, just this morning I got my statement from a very big ( real big) stock agency, where I noticed that one of my royalties was for 10 cents. 10 cents! Many of the royalties were for less than a dollar. This is the culmination of a long slow slide from well over a six figure income from macrostock for many years.
   Having said all that, the internet has a way of filling the holes in broken business models in a very surprising and creative way. I would not be surprised at all to find that someone has come up with a way to make an end run around all of these agencies and connect directly to the photographer in a way that preserves some of the agencies' functions without the bloated management layer. I can remember when the internet was AOL. Everyone thought that AOL would rule the online world forever. Ask Time-Warner how that worked out. Ask Rupert Murdoch how that purchase of Myspace is going. Istock could be the AOL of the stock world, or it may not even rise to that level, but it won't be around forever.

« Reply #36 on: January 20, 2011, 20:22 »
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I think if I started seeing some sales on GL again, I'd resume doing photos, and I definitely won't be submitting anything new to IS.  I got worn out from all the hoop-jumping of submitting to just 3 agencies (IS, DT, SS).  What I'd really like is to submit to just one agency like GL,  and ideally have GL give me something in return for being exclusive.

If not GL, then Cutcaster, or some new agency we haven't heard of yet. 

« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2011, 20:30 »
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1. get 1000 photographers to threaten to delete account on fotolia


2. start a new way of image distribution.  cut off the middle man. maybe some kind of new image search engine where contributors can submit their own sites to.


 
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 20:34 by yuliang11 »

« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2011, 20:41 »
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I see on another thread that Cutcaster does have a higher commission for exclusives.  Unfortunately I never sold anything at CutCaster, but they could still be a factor for the future.   

xst

« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2011, 20:48 »
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buy IS and turn it into cooperative of artists. If you dont contribute you cannot be shareholder.
You can contribute and as soon as you passed certain level of sales you can become a member. Pay $50,000 entrance fee and have share in profits
I know some Doctors cooperatives built in this way.

« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2011, 21:05 »
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buy IS and turn it into cooperative of artists. If you dont contribute you cannot be shareholder.
You can contribute and as soon as you passed certain level of sales you can become a member. Pay $50,000 entrance fee and have share in profits
I know some Doctors cooperatives built in this way.

AHAHA good one, would you bring some woman??

jbarber873

« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2011, 21:09 »
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buy IS and turn it into cooperative of artists. If you dont contribute you cannot be shareholder.
You can contribute and as soon as you passed certain level of sales you can become a member. Pay $50,000 entrance fee and have share in profits
I know some Doctors cooperatives built in this way.

At $2.4 billion ( the buyout price paid for Getty to go private), you would only need 48,000 contributors to pony up $50,000 each to buy it back. Better get started right away.


« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2011, 21:23 »
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buy IS and turn it into cooperative of artists. If you dont contribute you cannot be shareholder.
You can contribute and as soon as you passed certain level of sales you can become a member. Pay $50,000 entrance fee and have share in profits
I know some Doctors cooperatives built in this way.

At $2.4 billion ( the buyout price paid for Getty to go private), you would only need 48,000 contributors to pony up $50,000 each to buy it back. Better get started right away.

wait just had 2 L sales for 1.7$ each, I will get to 50k soon :)

xst

« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2011, 21:24 »
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buy IS and turn it into cooperative of artists. If you dont contribute you cannot be shareholder.
You can contribute and as soon as you passed certain level of sales you can become a member. Pay $50,000 entrance fee and have share in profits
I know some Doctors cooperatives built in this way.

At $2.4 billion ( the buyout price paid for Getty to go private), you would only need 48,000 contributors to pony up $50,000 each to buy it back. Better get started right away.

you can open new site,
if you know how to market it

« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2011, 22:39 »
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Go out and do it. Whether it is a new agency that pays fair, a coop, a guild, Macro, Ktools, Clustershot, Photoshelter, Photodeck, Pixaria, Xpoze, StockBoxPhoto, or anything else, go out and try it. You really never know. Did we all forget trial and error somewhere along the line?

RacePhoto

« Reply #45 on: January 21, 2011, 01:15 »
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Alamy has 60% for their contributors...

Alamy is not Micro! I may like them and have most of my pictures and sales there, but they aren't the same as micro.

Don't sell out and submit to the new agencies with promises or that pay for uploads. They are never going to be anything but false hope and a waste of time. Too many people bought into the last one and only a few will admit, it didn't work and they have low or no sales there.

Honestly drop the agencies that screw us. I did and others have too. Yeah, I'm a quitter, I admit it.

I'm sorry if someone is an IS exclusive and can't quit. It's kind of like and abused wife who won't leave or keeps coming back. OK - some agencies keep changing the rules and cutting commissions, and people keep uploading and staying with them, because they are emotionally and financially dependent. They have invested years of work into making it on some agencies, and what they get back in return is abusive treatment, cuts in pay, and at some insulting rejections.

Anyone remember? "I'm Mad as Hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

« Reply #46 on: January 21, 2011, 01:19 »
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^
Network.

lagereek

« Reply #47 on: January 21, 2011, 02:33 »
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Its like asking for a "friendly" bank manager, square thinking of profit and loss. Forget it.

All Micro agencies rely on turnover of contributors, if they loose one today they will gain ten new ones tomorrow and hopefully one will be able to supply some good material. They DONT really want established photographers simply because they cant be messed around too much but the little new guy can be bullied into oblivion and is prepared to swallow any old garbage.
As I have said before, we dont have to do anything, the Micro industry will kill off itself, not now but maybe in a few years time it will all be history, you can only squeeze an orange so much.

« Reply #48 on: January 21, 2011, 02:34 »
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Alamy has 60% for their contributors...
Honestly drop the agencies that screw us. I did and others have too. Yeah, I'm a quitter, I admit it.

You're not a quitter. You've just come to your senses is all.

« Reply #49 on: January 21, 2011, 02:48 »
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 Unless you rely on microstock for your wages (in which case you need to diversify),

I'm diversifying. Maybe if this forces me into gallery sales it will turn out to be a good thing. Depending on whether I sell or not, of course.


 

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