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Author Topic: I simply don't understand exclusivity?  (Read 28464 times)

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« Reply #50 on: December 03, 2008, 17:06 »
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Does anyone else ever wonder why there is so much time and energy spent here discussing what a bad idea exclusivity is?

There are loads of posts on the istock forum about how great going exclusive is. 

So you don't see the difference? One is criticizing the choice made by others; one is cheering the choice made by themselves.

What is there to debate? Nobody is arguing with you or trying to convince you otherwise. You are preaching to the choir. That's the part I don't get. It is just pure commiseration.

Maybe you are all just trying to convince yourselves.   ;)

Oh never mind. Like a wise woman said somewhere recently, once you've got an idea in your head, there isn't much chance of changing your mind if you won't listen to anybody saying something different.

I think we are rejoicing in our non-exclusivity :)


hali

« Reply #51 on: December 03, 2008, 18:37 »
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Can't disagree with you there Hali,

All increadible musicians. Thelonious especially for me.

 Best,
AVAVA

well, actually, playing in G and Bb is nothing new if you go way back to Coltrane.
on the guitar (which i play) Gm is based on Bb , and playing Gmajor and Gminor is like alternating between the major and the minor. Something we all learn from Coltrane, way before Brubeck.
But among the Berklee circle, Brubeck was certainly one of the first proponents.

Keith of Zymmetrical, so who is this jazz reknown? It would be wonderful to chat with him.
It's been over 15 years since I had to talk music with anyone. Haven't touch my guitar that long too.
But a few art students here in this new city of mine, are trying to get me to come out of retirement and pick up the guitar once again. What a coincidence that we're talking about music here, only a night ago that was the revival topic for me ;D

(Sorry to get so off topic , people).
« Last Edit: December 03, 2008, 18:40 by hali »

« Reply #52 on: December 03, 2008, 20:30 »
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@ getalife whatalife :  ( ;) sorry, couldn't help it  ;D )

the exclusives aren't the problem.  They are just people like we are who just made a different choice.

The 'problem' (if we can call it that way) is that IS treats non-exclusives very different then exclusives.  And this is what some people don't accept.  

Well, hello?  That's the point.  To be treated differently.  If you were treated the same, there wouldn't be a difference.

Btw, regarding copying, I just helped out a contributor who had another blatently ripping off her more successful images.  The other is being dealt with.

« Reply #53 on: December 03, 2008, 20:56 »
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Quote
Well, hello?  That's the point.  To be treated differently.  If you were treated the same, there wouldn't be a difference.


yes of course, but what I really mean is 'being treated beyond the point of fairness'

But it will always be a game of yes or no.


« Reply #54 on: December 03, 2008, 21:13 »
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Well, hello?  That's the point.  To be treated differently.  If you were treated the same, there wouldn't be a difference.

I think what is more annoying is to see differences that haven't been officially described, or have been even denied.  It's ok that they have their rules - it's their site - but it's not ok that they make hidden rules to priviledge the exclusives.

As far as I know, the only offcial rules are the uploading facilities and the higher commissions.  Yet we see other things, such as the more lenient inspection and the distorted best match sorting.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #55 on: December 03, 2008, 21:32 »
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I dunno.  I'm sure you could find an accepted crappy independent image for every crappy exclusive image.  People just tend to get tweaked because my image of "X" was rejected while this exclusive crappy image of "X" got in.   But there may be another perfectly crappy X insependent image that did get in, just not yours.

I'm not sure where the idea came about that everything needs to be spelled out in crystal clear terms, but everyone here has seemed to come to the same conclusion about various things, so why not just accept whatever that is as a starting point and go from there?

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #56 on: December 03, 2008, 22:41 »
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Most of the comments I see here seem to be from non-exclusives who think they know how things work for exclusives. I went exclusive recently and since I can tell you both sides, here's what I see:

- My acceptance rate is the same
- I get treated the same
- I get a higher % of sales
- I get access to a few more things like business cards and Getty
- Sometimes I get faster reviews, sometimes I don't
- The Best Match tanked my downloads and sales by about 30%
- My best selling images are at the back of my portfolio

When you decide to buy the VIP card, you get right in the nightclub while everybody else stands in line. When you decide to be a high roller at the casinos you get free rooms and meals while everybody else pays. The key word is "decide". The exclusive perks are pretty clear and when you decide to make that commitment you get the perks in return.

What I don't understand is how anyone doesn't understand this.

jsnover

« Reply #57 on: December 03, 2008, 22:53 »
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Yet we see other things, such as the more lenient inspection...

I just don't buy this point of view. I think the only thing I noticed was that I was more likely to get a Can Resubmit on a rejection (such as for overfiltering) than before I went exclusive. I'm honestly staggered at some of the stuff I see getting accepted, particularly from new (gray cannister) contributors. Obviously it must be fine technically, but dull/gray/snapshot/not stock. I chalk that up to wanting to encourage newbies to keep contributing. For other cannister levels I just chalk it up to the variance in the inspection process.

helix7

« Reply #58 on: December 03, 2008, 23:01 »
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...What I don't understand is how anyone doesn't understand this.

People get it. You just have to consider the crowd that is looking at the options here. Look back at the monthly earnings threads, and you won't see istock breaking 30% of total microstock earnings for many people. Maybe just 1 or 2 in most cases. So this forum is mostly populated by a group of artists who would stand to do very poorly if they became exclusive istock contributors. It's not that people don't get the exclusive deal, what it's about or what the perks are. It's just that most people here wouldn't benefit from it, most would actually be harmed financially by it, and many just don't know why . anyone would do it. I think the animosity towards istock and the exclusivity program in general comes out most often when things take a turn for the worse (such as in this current best match disaster) and the solution proposed by some is "Well you could just become exclusive if you want to boost your earnings." It's not an option for most people around here, and I think people tend to get a little peeved that this is ever offered as a serious solution. As if things are ever just that simple, and we could all make our lives so much easier by going exclusive. If only things were ever so black and white.

I do know that some people are doing quite well as exclusive contributors. Would they be better off as independents? Who knows. Are they happier as exclusives? Usually yes, and so I'm happy for them.


bittersweet

« Reply #59 on: December 03, 2008, 23:12 »
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I think the animosity towards istock and the exclusivity program in general comes out most often when things take a turn for the worse (such as in this current best match disaster) and the solution proposed by some is "Well you could just become exclusive if you want to boost your earnings." It's not an option for most people around here, and I think people tend to get a little peeved that this is ever offered as a serious solution.

With the obvious exception of one person, I don't really see a whole lot of people here trying to recruit new exclusives or promote becoming exclusive as a cure for the current best match disaster (which also harmed many exclusives, by the way). In fact, it's quite the opposite.

rinderart

« Reply #60 on: December 04, 2008, 01:12 »
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Not only that, but shooting outside the box is also likely to result in rejections because the reviewers are specifically trained to think inside the box with respect to subject, lighting, color, composition, etc.  This motivates a contributor to be a boring copycat and to use other, not-merit based factors to get sales, such as keyword spamming and best match spamming using whatever techniques happen to work with the current algorithm.

I speculate that this tendency is more pronounced right now because the prevailing economic pessimism is leading to generally conservative and cautious business attitudes.  A more optimistic business climate would presumably lead to more originality and creativity in business-related graphic arts.

It's also true that if you upload an image that depicts an idea that has been done to death, the reviewer may be inclined to judge it more harshly, given that it's just a repetition of things that are already over-represented on the site. The benefits of being original are even greater when you're independent - you're not locked into one site's vision of what constitutes a good stock image.

...and what about personal integrity - wouldn't you rather believe that you are contributing something of value, instead of simply trying to steal sales from other people? Otherwise, you're just making money at other people's expense, and you haven't contributed anything worthwhile to the world. Why not take some pride in your work?

Great statement.

« Reply #61 on: December 04, 2008, 03:08 »
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...and what about personal integrity - wouldn't you rather believe that you are contributing something of value, instead of simply trying to steal sales from other people? Otherwise, you're just making money at other people's expense, and you haven't contributed anything worthwhile to the world. Why not take some pride in your work?

Well said.

« Reply #62 on: December 04, 2008, 06:13 »
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Quote from: whatalife link=topic=6477.msg73403#msg73403

With the obvious exception of one person, I don't really see a whole lot of people here trying to recruit new exclusives or promote becoming exclusive as a cure for the current best match disaster (which also harmed many exclusives, by the way). In fact, it's quite the opposite.

Who do you think is here is trying to recruit exclusives?

bittersweet

« Reply #63 on: December 04, 2008, 06:52 »
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Quote from: whatalife link=topic=6477.msg73403#msg73403

With the obvious exception of one person, I don't really see a whole lot of people here trying to recruit new exclusives or promote becoming exclusive as a cure for the current best match disaster (which also harmed many exclusives, by the way). In fact, it's quite the opposite.

Who do you think is here is trying to recruit exclusives?

No, Sean, I was not referring to you.

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #64 on: December 04, 2008, 07:35 »
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And so you were referring too...

grp_photo

« Reply #65 on: December 04, 2008, 07:40 »
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And so you were referring too...
to me  :)
Yeah go all exclusive with iSuck h i meant iStock and leave the other sites for me ;D

bittersweet

« Reply #66 on: December 04, 2008, 08:01 »
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And so you were referring too...

Oh never mind. I guess the exception wasn't as obvious as I thought. It's not important to whom I was referring. The point is, the excuse that it's okay to treat exclusives here like crap because all they do in response to complaints is say "go exclusive and all will be well"and so this breeds righteous animosity towards them is just a load of garbage. That just isn't happening. The animosity stems from frustration with istock, and we have no more control over what they do than we would if we were independent.


« Reply #67 on: December 04, 2008, 08:03 »
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I agree there is no conspirital wave of exclusives here trying to convert anyone.

« Reply #68 on: December 04, 2008, 08:08 »
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OK, I'm not interested in opinions like "it's fully safe" or "it's a hobby so I'm too lazy to upload to many more agencies".

I agree, exclusivity can put an agency in a good light but from the contributor's viewpoint I don't see the reason.

I was looking at my exclusivity estimator and multiplied these numbers with 3 and I still got a number of 1/3 of what I earn when I'm present at multiple agencies. If I produce something why sell this only in one store???

I think about putting all eggs in one basket. Risky? It's good to live in the shadow of a big but when something good/worse happens this big pulls everybody with him. See the new iStock's best match search algorithm. Except non-exclusives, many exclusives had BME/WME in November while at StockXpert, FL, DT, etc. there are no changes. Do they expect this???

Again, except a 'fully safe' and 'hobbyist' membership, an exclusive contributor only looses money not selling material with other agencies. We need to find the roots of exclusivity in the human behavior?

I am mostly exclusive with Fotolia. I have a very small portfolio with Istock and Alamy which hold the photos which Fotolia rejects (Istock) or which I want to manage the rights in some way (Alamy). I would probably earn more money if I was not exclusive and submitted all my images to every micro site out there. But I don't have time or the want to keyword and categorise at numerous sites. Fotolia offers a good percentage of the sale price if you're exclusive and as you climb the ranking you can set a fair and reasonable price for your images. I am at silver rank now and can charge 3US$ for the smallest size photo and up to $21 for the largest size image. Extended licence sales can be sold for $100. For each sale I get 54% of the sale price. With the increase to my prices I have not noticed a considerable drop in number of sales. Very important to me in this deal too is that I can opt out of subscription sales. And this brings me to the reason I don't sell through every agency. I hold very strong opinions about subscription sales, it is unethical to pay a photographer such a small amount for an image and buyers through the subscription program in my opinion are fueling an unethical way of doing business. It is wrong and I will not have any part in supporting subscription sales.  I know that through the volume of sales I well might earn more money if I offered my images at say shutterstock, but for me it's the principle of the sale price. I simply won't sell my work at that price, it's where I draw the line morally. Istock fortunately offers the option of opt out of subscription sales and is why my fotolia rejects go there. So bottom line is that I feel fotolia offers me flexibility in what I can charge for my images, they offer me a fair share of the sale price and I can keep well away from subscription sales. The types of images I produce seem to sell well at fotolia and I am lucky that I seem to have a very successful approval rate there.

« Reply #69 on: December 04, 2008, 08:21 »
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I agree there is no conspirital wave of exclusives here trying to convert anyone.

euh, no.  I think it's more the other way around.  non-exclusives try to convince other non-exclusives not to become exclusive  ::)

« Reply #70 on: December 04, 2008, 08:36 »
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Note to Sophie - the istock plan is nothing like a ss type plan.

bittersweet

« Reply #71 on: December 04, 2008, 08:37 »
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I agree there is no conspirital wave of exclusives here trying to convert anyone.

euh, no.  I think it's more the other way around.  non-exclusives try to convince other non-exclusives not to become exclusive  ::)

Glad we are all in agreement.

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #72 on: December 04, 2008, 08:44 »
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And so you were referring too...

Oh never mind. I guess the exception wasn't as obvious as I thought. It's not important to whom I was referring. The point is, the excuse that it's okay to treat exclusives here like crap because all they do in response to complaints is say "go exclusive and all will be well"and so this breeds righteous animosity towards them is just a load of garbage. That just isn't happening. The animosity stems from frustration with istock, and we have no more control over what they do than we would if we were independent.

I don't feel I'm being treated like crap with Istock and didn;t either when I wasn't exclusive. I feel they are making business adjustments to cope with the economy and other issues and it's going to affect somebody. I do feel like I was being treated like crap with the other sites or at least didn't have any confidence in their decision making. Shutterstock freezing accounts based on heresay? Fotolia making massive changes and not bothering to tell anybody? Dreamstime and their hugely inconsistent review process? I'm not going to bother with the other dozen because they represented a drop in the bucket income-wise.

I don't see anybody here pushing exclusivity. I see the exact opposite. Non-exclusives pushing non-exlusivity.

bittersweet

« Reply #73 on: December 04, 2008, 09:50 »
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Okay I am being wildly misunderstood. :P Is anyone actually reading what I'm saying???? I will try once more to explain.

I was not referring to istock treating exclusives like crap. I was referring to the attitudes of some people here who lob insults towards exclusives like beads at Mardi Gras.

As an apparent justification for these attitudes, helix posted this statement (emphasis mine):
I think the animosity towards istock and the exclusivity program in general comes out most often when things take a turn for the worse (such as in this current best match disaster) and the solution proposed by some is "Well you could just become exclusive if you want to boost your earnings." It's not an option for most people around here, and I think people tend to get a little peeved that this is ever offered as a serious solution. As if things are ever just that simple, and we could all make our lives so much easier by going exclusive. If only things were ever so black and white.

I replied (apparently incoherently) that I don't see anyone pushing exclusive, but the exact opposite. The meaning was muddied by my reference to one person who replies with statements to the effect of "tough shite, if you don't like it then become exclusive".




lisafx

« Reply #74 on: December 04, 2008, 12:50 »
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Frankly, I don't see any benefit to either exclusives pushing exclusivity or independents pushing non-exclusivity. 

IMHO we have all made our decisions based on what business model works best for us, and in no way benefit from convincing anyone else to go our way.

For example, if most independents were to become istock exclusive it would very much dilute exclusive benefits.   

At the same time, if a significant number of exclusives (or just a few of the best ones) were to begin uploading to the other sites it would most likely mean a dilution of sales for many independents. 

The system as it works now seems like a good balance (my complaints about the recent best match notwithstanding).  I think it is in everyone's best interest for istock to keep its exclusives happy and preserve that balance. 


 

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