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Author Topic: I NEED YOUR HELP  (Read 3494 times)

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« on: July 07, 2020, 21:01 »
0
Hi guys,

I got into selling stock footage when I was producing and shooting travel videos for advertising. There were just too many clips Ive never gotten to use and I wanted to put them into a different use. I tried out different stock video selling websites, like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, etc, but there was always one thing that didnt suit my needs and I had to go off looking for another platform. Ive been talking to my videographer and developer friends about it and we have decided that we want to create a whole new platform just like Shutterstock and Pond5, but starting from square one.

For a bit of context, Ive always been frustrated at how I had to send my work off to agencies that take majority of the royalties, or doesnt give you the liberty to edit your submission afterwards. The keywording part is always an issue as well, as Ive heard from many others. In addition to all these, what prompted the development of this process is the recent boycott at Shutterstock. I noticed that the recent changes are inconvenient and inefficient, most of all it is inconsiderate to the users. This seemed to emphasize a need for a contributor-friendly, contributor-prioritizing space.

The dream is to make a website where it is easy for users to upload, manage and edit their submissions. Something that looks great but is also efficient, where the contributor's interest is the top priority.

I have been scouring through various communities on Reddit, Shutterstock, Microstock, Facebook directed at stock video creators and gathering information about what each website does well or fails. But I would like to ask for your opinions directly. As a stock video contributor using these websites, how has your experience been like? What worked well for you? What were the inconveniences? What improvements should the current stock video websites implement? Any thoughts on the current platform you are using? Price, design, function -- Anything (and by that I do mean absolutely anything!) would be golden.

If carried out well, I think it would potentially be a great push for many of the stock videographers here. We are still in the beginning stage, but your input is absolutely necessary in order for us to create a platform that is 100% suited to your interest and needs. Our goal is to reflect all these upsides and downsides that these current stock video websites have and refine ours with the utmost convenience.

Yours,

Shim   


« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2020, 21:28 »
+7
Your post is falling into a dark hole because (in my opinion) there's nothing in it to indicate what kind of response or information you want from us.

I didn't understand it yesterday, and reading again today, it's still not clear.

Are you pitching us for some great new stock opportunity? Asking us to tell you how to create a great new stock opportunity? Bemoaning the fact that there is no great new stock opportunity?

Or are you genuinely asking about our experiences which are clearly spelled out in mind-boggling depth over years throughout this forum?

If you'd like to clarify, perhaps somebody will be motivated to respond.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 21:30 by marthamarks »

« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2020, 09:23 »
+15
You are approaching this backwards, as have previous people who have attempted such things.

Your priority should be on buyers. Find markets that will provide large volumes of sales. Build a site and the contributors will come in a massive tsunami.
Having a nice site and a million contributors with no buyers will be pointless (and has been done before).

Get your market access set up and then we'll talk.

« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2020, 01:33 »
0
Ok, thanks guys for specifying how my previous post is spiralling into the no-response hole, so here's an updated version. Will provide tdlr in the end.

I didnt mention this in my previous post, but we started out with a solid plan and some progress has been made so far. Right now we are working on expanding the current scope of categories to suit more needs for both users and contributors and a service that would significantly reduce the amount of time devoted to coming up with keywords and descriptions.

So its not like oh i wanna make a website but idk anything so help kind of situation. We definitely have something going for sure, its just that its still early to say much about it at the moment. But it will be revealed. Soon.

We are focusing on the sellers for now because I believe that only when we provide an ideal platform for the contributors we can then gather a decent number of contributors. The buyers would naturally follow. So gathering buyers and actively promoting our site would be a later step. I mean, what use is the site with buyers when there isnt anything to buy? So I am trying to balance things out here.

To address previous concerns, we are asking for your experiences because we need the most updated opinions. It is also a part of connecting with you guys because we are not based in US / Europe where the stock video market is the biggest. We are also gathering very general info because we are using those to come up with a survey and an interactive event.

So yes, we are pitching a great new stock opportunity, but not just yet. But for now heres what I want to ask first:

How do you choose where to upload? Do you just straight up go for the big ones like Adobe, Pond5 etc, or do you use smaller platforms too? If you do use the smaller websites as well, why did you decide to do so? (eg. Good commission, neat website design, easy uploading process, stuff like that)


TDLR:
1) Making a new Shutterstock but better (hopefully)
2) Need your opinions and feedback along the way
3) Doing market research / survey prep
Q: Whats your criteria for choosing where to upload your videos?

Shim

« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2020, 03:05 »
+12

We are focusing on the sellers for now because I believe that only when we provide an ideal platform for the contributors we can then gather a decent number of contributors. The buyers would naturally follow.


There you are completely wrong. Buyers won't just follow and there is nothing happening naturally here - It's a highly competitive market where you need a good business strategy. 

 We already have plenty of stock agencies with good interfaces for contributors and millions (high quality) images, illustrations and videos in the database  - but without buyers. We don't need even more of these. Many of us already don't submit to many of the agencies that already exist, not because the contributor interface wasn't good enough, but because these sites don't have enough buyers and don't generate enough sales for it to be worth our time.
Look at the poll on the right: 43 stock agencies listed. To how many of these do most contributors submit to? I submit to a total of 4 and I have tried out more, but they did not generate enough sales and I gave up on them again.

You are focusing on the wrong end. You don't just create a stock site, have hopefull contributors join and submit their images and then magically expct buyers to flood in.

You want to know what contributors care the most about in a stock agency? The question is answered easily: Many sales and good payment. I can deal with the most gruesome interface, if my income is good. I will not bother with the most awesome interface in the world if the site is not generating sales for me.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 06:20 by Firn »

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2020, 04:52 »
+5
Quote
We are focusing on the sellers for now because I believe that only when we provide an ideal platform for the contributors we can then gather a decent number of contributors. The buyers would naturally follow. So gathering buyers and actively promoting our site would be a later step. I mean, what use is the site with buyers when there isnt anything to buy? So I am trying to balance things out here.

As others have said, this is the wrong approach.

Look at iStock (pre ESP) for example: for years it had a crappy upload system, tedious Controlled Vocabulary keywording, categorizing your submissions manually, yet they were market leader for years because they brought in the customers. They had the money to spend and the added benefit of starting when the microstock market was still young and unsaturated.

You can't expect buyers to follow naturally. Deliver us the buyers/sales and contributors will follow naturally. Even if your uploading system is slow and tedious. But of course, figuring out how to get the buyers is the hard part.

Even if you succeed in getting the first couple of buyers and a steady database, it will be very hard to break into the market and compete with the big agencies. You not only need to manage a delicate balance between quality content and plenty of buyers, you also have to keep your content fresh and high quality, spend your revenue on marketing to attract even more buyers and in the end make a profit too.


But to answer your question. I upload to (smaller) agencies when: a) the royalty % and prices are decent b) uploading is easy c) when they have a new and effective way of distributing content (e.g. Canva) d) they can tap into markets that are relatively new.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 05:04 by Noedelhap »

« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2020, 06:02 »
0
In my personal opinion, the only way to attract customers is being even cheaper than what microstock agencies are offering. Or else, what is the reason for customers to become your customers when there's already tons of agencies out there? There is no rocket science here... price is the main factor... next is quality. But with that being said, 100% of the earnings should go to the artists. How can that be done? We need a different type of approach here.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2020, 08:19 »
0
There may be a percentage of buyers who would appreciate better search results (most, possibly, all non-high-end, specialist sites have poor search results), but that would need niche specialists to set up so would be expensive, and I have no idea for what proportion of buyers that would trump price, even though they currently have to waste time sorting through irrelevant search results. Or just satisficing with something on the front page.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 09:02 by ShadySue »

« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2020, 08:49 »
0
What about paying us contributors a monthly fee for the rights to advertise our images so we don't have to worry about you finding buyers.

And then, pay contributors an extra bonus similar to the current commission structure for each and every sale these images bring in.

 8)

« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2020, 16:08 »
+9
"We are focusing on the sellers for now because I believe that only when we provide an ideal platform for the contributors we can then gather a decent number of contributors."

Nope.  You need a USP for buyers.  Contributors, as seen here, will upload anywhere.  The last place with a Buyer USP was Canva.

If I had a nickel for everyone that wanted to start an "agency", I could start an agency.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2020, 09:32 »
0
"We are focusing on the sellers for now because I believe that only when we provide an ideal platform for the contributors we can then gather a decent number of contributors."

Nope.  You need a USP for buyers.  Contributors, as seen here, will upload anywhere.  The last place with a Buyer USP was Canva.

If I had a nickel for everyone that wanted to start an "agency", I could start an agency.

If I won the lottery, I could afford to start an agency? Any startup needs enough money for 2-5 years to see if it's going to catch on and work out. I think half a million would be a possible entry level investment, if someone wants to start a serious small agency?

Tell me where to send the nickel when I win the lottery. Until then, I don't think so.  :)

The latest new addition is Wirestock which is looking better as a distribution center, to many agencies. Shoot and upload, go do something else?

Shelma1

« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2020, 09:40 »
+7
If I won the lottery the last thing Id do is start an agency. Id retire somewhere nice and warm and spend my days swimming and cycling and partying.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2020, 10:15 »
+1
If I won the lottery the last thing Id do is start an agency. Id retire somewhere nice and warm and spend my days swimming and cycling and partying.

That too. I meant the only way someone could afford to start and small independent agency, as the market is now, would be, have a million dollars first.  ;)

I don't like bugs, snakes, mold, and some other warm climate features. I'm happy in a place where we get a hard freeze every Winter. Although Australia sounds pretty nice, or New Zealand. Then there's always Scotland? Oh wait, I already live someplace that's beautiful, I'll stay here.


Summer


Winter

Did I need to label those?

Sorry back on topic. Does the market need another small agency? I'll agree with the general answer here, this isn't like "If you build it, they will come." The current market and economics are more like, you need to be a destination and then people will come, buyers and artists. Create that and yes, someone could succeed. Pond5 managed to be a video place and worked their way up.

Remember Deposit Photos, paid to get people to upload, big investment in making and promotion. Now what are they doing for artists? $30 a month on average.


« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2020, 10:18 »
+2
 I think opening another stock agency is an undertaking with little chance of success in general - there are already too many big players in the game.
Adobe is having success with it because they overtool Fotolia and because they already had a food in the door with customers and contributors due to their products. But starting completely from scratch?
 I am not even sure that there is really a point in it. How many of you contributors have ever though "Geese, there really aren't many agencies out there.  I wish there were more agencies I could submit my images to where they will never be bought. The 40+ agencies we have now just aren't enough."
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 12:04 by Firn »

« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2020, 10:24 »
+3
A google search yesterday for "Shutterstock" produced some ads and other stuff and then this suggestion from google about other searches.

I think it tells you a lot about the state of stock agencies that there are two which charge for content & the rest are the free sites. And one of the paid-content sites just turned on its contributors - shark infested waters...

« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2020, 02:56 »
+1
Hey all,

Thanks for all your comments. Ive read each and every one of your doubts, advice, and feedback and all of them would serve helpful in the near future. As youve all mentioned, I am aware this is not a particularly lucrative market to build on, but the team is all figuring it out a way to grasp both buyers and sellers. I realize your biggest concern is that the new website will not gain much sales, and we are coming up with solid marketing strategies that will attract buyers. In the meantime we are gathering all of this information to construct a survey, which we will post within the next week. This will really help us know your needs and reflect that onto our website.

Obviously, like I said, we cant reveal much at this stage. So I know none of these sounds real yet, or even practical, but trust me, you wont be disappointed.

Shim

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2020, 04:24 »
+4
How can one be disappointed if there are no expectations? ;)




« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2020, 07:13 »
0
Ha ha!

« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2020, 11:04 »
+4
With this strategy you will attract cheaper buyers. You should not be interested in this.
You want large buyers that need a lot of content of good quality AND don't want to search forever to find the file they need. Time is money and it can be quickly much more costly that the file you want to purchase.

So if any new actor want to appear on scene it needs great content, unique, an amazing search engine and affordable prices (not the cheapest). That means curating (by human or machines) but the low quality needs to be not accepted or pushed way back.

The main players are quite efficient at this points already so it is going to be tough to find a solution.

In my personal opinion, the only way to attract customers is being even cheaper than what microstock agencies are offering. Or else, what is the reason for customers to become your customers when there's already tons of agencies out there? There is no rocket science here... price is the main factor... next is quality. But with that being said, 100% of the earnings should go to the artists. How can that be done? We need a different type of approach here.

« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2020, 23:10 »
+2
My .02 is that the reason stock is so cheap to buy now is because there's a lot of garbage/ redundancy and everything is cost averaged down. Also, a lot of buyers aren't looking for "creative" or beautiful content they are looking for a picture of a caucasian mom in a kitchen, or a dime next to an egg. And there are thousands of each.

I think you'd have to do something radically different. You'd have to make the interface more intuitive for the client in a way that I don't think I've seen yet in the world. They need to be able to "see" more images at once.

If you can make their search faster and more efficient, ie not wading through 24,000 pictures of happy faces to find what they are looking for, they will pay more money for what they want.

But like others have said, you can have the best ideas in the world... what you need are clients.

My other thought is you could take a boutique approach to this. Get say 100 of the top photographers in the world together and form a collaborative where they can produce work on spec or a client can draw from archives. Client base would be high end and discriminating.

Years ago while working at a photolab in downtown Chicago while going to school the owner told me something. He said the client wants 3 things but they can only ever have two.

Price, quality, speed.

So you can give them prints at a good price and great quality... but it's going to take some time. If they need it fast and want great quality... it's going to to cost them. Want it cheap and fast?... ok but don't complain if the color is a little off.

I mention this because you have one of these three factors that you either don't want to change or you want to increase... price. So you either have to make the process more efficient for clients (speed. Mcdonalds increased revenue by simplifying the menu and getting people in and out faster). Or you have to give them better quality at a higher price and find the market for that, people that will pay a premium for less but higher quality content.

« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2020, 16:03 »
+1
another factor is google images - you can quickly search hundreds of images, many free and for designers 'good enough' often beats perfect

« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2020, 04:16 »
0
Hi guys, Im back. Thanks cascoly, Roger Mitsom and everest and the rest of you guys, your advice has been super helpful. Ill keep that in mind when I set the details for the website. In the meantime, it would be very helpful if you guys fill out this survey. The information you provide here will be beneficial for me to tailor to your needs as a stock creator.
             
Heres the link: https://shim704275.typeform.com/to/IfqshHAv

« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2020, 01:51 »
+1
Hi guys,

We are just a couple of months away from launching our brand new website, and we are also organizing (I am posting about this in about two weeks time!) a pre-launch event that could potentially be of great benefit to you guys. But I still need a few more opinions on our survey so we'll have enough data to reflect back onto our website functions. So if there is anything you felt like the existing stock video platforms lack, or your preferences of categories, commission, etc, I'd love to know through our survey. Thanks guys in advance. ;)

https://shim704275.typeform.com/to/IfqshHAv

« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2020, 21:11 »
0
Hi guys, hope you are well. We are almost ready to launch our website and show it to you, but there are still some things to be done. So in the meantime, this is our official Facebook page, where we will be uploading and introducing our stock video assets, creators, share sneak peeks of our website and PRE-UPLOAD event (coming soon!) details, and behind-the-scenes of our team at work. So please check out our fb page, and like our page for support, it would mean so much 😊

Here's a link to our FB page:
https://www.facebook.com/playstockgroup/

Here's a link to the survey! Please take this survey so that we can refine your experiences as a stock content seller!
https://bit.ly/3iuk5Ll

I know this may all sound a bit unrealistic right now atm without the website, but please bear with us and give us the benefit of the doubt :)



Shim
« Last Edit: August 11, 2020, 21:48 by cliffordthebigreddog »

« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2020, 02:08 »
0
Hi everyone, I hope you are well!

Things have been really pacing up and we are almost ready to launch our website. Before the official launch, we have organized a pre-launch event for you stock video creators. Ive shared the event poster from our facebook page and more details are in the link below. I really hope that you guys would participate -- this is a project weve been preparing for a long time in hopes that it would be a step closer to making a better stock video experience for everyone. So please check out our website, and participate in our Upload Bonus event!

Here's our landing page: www.playstock.net/pre-registration


 

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