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Author Topic: Idea: Micropayment Clearing House  (Read 6939 times)

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JerryL5

  • Blessed by God's wonderful love.
« on: October 16, 2009, 10:18 »
0
Ok. This may be not be practical, but an idea borne of frustration when money is short.
For instance, when I have $200 spread over five sites, and can't get a payout at any
for weeks or months. I realize this would not apply to the more successful among us.

Simply put, there should be a central clearing house for sales from all agencies.
Maybe once a week each agency would transfer our present earnings, no matter
how meager to the clearing house. We could then take our earnings in a more
timely manner. Of course there may still be limits set, but I think it would be a
more reasonable way to do it.


« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2009, 12:25 »
0
The very reason that the sites hold your $$ until you get to $100.00 or whatever, is the same reason that they won't go for this.

« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2009, 12:37 »
0
More 'practical' to just upload a few more images isn't it?

« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2009, 12:53 »
0
Would they give this no interest loan they got from thousands of contributors who never get paid. If real micro payments were implemented I have to transfer money after each transaction.

JerryL5

  • Blessed by God's wonderful love.
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2009, 13:00 »
0
More 'practical' to just upload a few more images isn't it?

Yeah. That makes sense. Just need better quality work and have no complaints. -

« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2009, 14:06 »
0
As already said about 75% of contributors never make a payout, this is a part of the stock sites business model, when contributors give up they often delete the images and leave a few dollars in the 'account' or convert thier earnings to credits and purchase images thinking that the contributors will benefit, or just not bother, all these values are budgeted in the business plan as working capital.

There are some sites that will pay when you close the account, or at year end without a limit, but not many do that, really the funds should be moved to deffered earnings, I have a PayPal verified business 'micropayments' account with lower charges, I have some website skin assets on another site that pays $5 a pop to PayPal, I am also going to try this on a merchant transaction basis with a test website next year, so there is no real reason for site not to pay-up as a transaction of a couple of dollars takes place.

Quote from: PayPal
Micropayments fees for US dollar transactions are 5% + 5 cents per transaction.  
When compared to PayPals standard fees (2.9% + 30 cents), the micropayments rate can save money for merchants whose average selling price is below $12.

You pay more longer term but you are not waiting a year for a payout!

Quote from: my Blog
The Commission
Reading the blogs you might be impressed by the amount in millions of commission paid out to contributors, and you may read about a new microstock start-up and a photographer saying "40% commission is a good deal".

The agencies commission rates are between 20% 70%, with one of biggest paying just over 25% the real payout will be nothing like the advertised percentages.

Many agencies have a set minimum payout level that a contributor must reach before they see a cent of their commission or royalties, it is widely reported that 75% of Artist never make a payout so on this revenue there is 0% commission to pay out.

When an artist gets disillusioned and gives up on a stock site they might choose to delete their images and leave the few dollars they have earned, there is then 0% Commission to pay out on this revenue.

Others like me think they are clever when they close an account and convert the earnings and download images to help others but this comes out at about a 5% commission to payout.

Lets say the real commission paid is in the region of 10% 30%, that leaves a lot of revenue for the stock sites, for every 100 million of revenue the stock sites owners get 70 90 Million, the type of percentages the contributors get should be what the agencies get.



David  ;)  
« Last Edit: October 16, 2009, 14:25 by Adeptris »

« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2009, 15:17 »
0
I think Amazon, eBay or any other online store is not interested in a "product" that does not appeal to generic consumer audience. Frankly, who needs stock, designers, press, publishers, web masters?

« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2009, 15:51 »
0
I think Amazon, eBay or any other online store is not interested in a "product" that does not appeal to generic consumer audience. Frankly, who needs stock, designers, press, publishers, web masters?

Ebay are a true merchant that connects sellers and buyers for a fee, they do sell quite a lot of small value items as well and the funds go instantly to PayPal that was more my point, they have a huge market and I have sold low value items and some prints on ebay Sub $10 and an instant payment via Paypal, so why not direct digital downloads.

Who do you think buys the most Microstock images, I keep reading about ADs, designers, press, publishers, web masters, but it is 'generic consumers' everyday people that need an image for a printed or online article, presentation, essay, blog, personal website, community leaflet, homework, facebook or just because they like it, these are the largest group of microstock customers.


David  ;)
« Last Edit: October 16, 2009, 16:02 by Adeptris »

« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2009, 16:11 »
0
Who do you think buys the most Microstock images, I keep reading about ADs, designers, press, publishers, web masters, but it is 'generic consumers' everyday people that need an image for a printed or online article, presentation, essay, blog, personal website, community leaflet, homework, facebook or just because they like it, these are the largest group of microstock customers.

I seriously doubt that generic Joe needs to buy commercial quality images for their Facebook profile. They would rather snap it with mobile phone or use something from a top page on Google Image Search. Unless he has a business I do not believe he got such a need.

« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2009, 17:15 »
0
No because someone would have to pay for the clearing house and I can't see that happening. If a number of agencies did get together on this they would find a way to pass the cost onto us the contributor and not the buyer. That's how MS works.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2009, 17:17 by Red Dove »

« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2009, 03:49 »
0
I seriously doubt that generic Joe needs to buy commercial quality images for their Facebook profile. They would rather snap it with mobile phone or use something from a top page on Google Image Search. Unless he has a business I do not believe he got such a need.


Please do not paint all social network or other online users with the same brush, generic Joe comes in many different age groups, backgrounds, education levels, and moral values, and many would not know what a commercial quality image was, just that they like the image and it fits the use.

Many will know that it is wrong to copy an image and would visit a microstock website and pay $1 - $2 for a xs image to use with comfort, even if you have images on flickr you may get requests to use an image, so not everyone is unaware of copyright issues.

Definitely a growth of great proportion thus the drop in the other models. Istock sold $865,000 in sales just yesterday. Just one day, that's serious chowder at a few bucks a piece.
<...
>...


Shame we did not know the quantity of images downloaded, back to the OP's question, lets say the Istock artists share of the above amount is around 30%, say $260,000 some of that will never be paid out, some will be converted to credits, and until the remainder is paid out it will be earning interest or for new start-ups and smaller sites could be used as working capital.

Any Escrow Account would need to be funded, this could be done from the interest earned, but the loss of liquid revenue to the websites make the idea a non starter, it would be nice if there was a law which stated that any royalty revenue received on behalf of an artist for a completed work and completed transaction must be paid withing 3-6 months, maybe that would be a better approach.

David
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 03:55 by Adeptris »

« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2009, 19:10 »
0
Ok. This may be not be practical, but an idea borne of frustration when money is short.
For instance, when I have $200 spread over five sites, and can't get a payout at any
for weeks or months. I realize this would not apply to the more successful among us.

Simply put, there should be a central clearing house for sales from all agencies.
Maybe once a week each agency would transfer our present earnings, no matter
how meager to the clearing house. We could then take our earnings in a more
timely manner. Of course there may still be limits set, but I think it would be a
more reasonable way to do it.



reasonable for us maybe, but what agency is going to give up the float they earn on those under achieving portfolios? 

i'd also expect that a large number of accounts never do reach payout, making those little accounts even more profitable for the agencies

not holding my breath....

JerryL5

  • Blessed by God's wonderful love.
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2009, 22:55 »
0
Ok. This may be not be practical, but an idea borne of frustration when money is short.
For instance, when I have $200 spread over five sites, and can't get a payout at any
for weeks or months. I realize this would not apply to the more successful among us.

Simply put, there should be a central clearing house for sales from all agencies.
Maybe once a week each agency would transfer our present earnings, no matter
how meager to the clearing house. We could then take our earnings in a more
timely manner. Of course there may still be limits set, but I think it would be a
more reasonable way to do it.



reasonable for us maybe, but what agency is going to give up the float they earn on those under achieving portfolios? 

i'd also expect that a large number of accounts never do reach payout, making those little accounts even more profitable for the agencies

not holding my breath....

What a fool I was, putting us first. Of course they do need operating capital, I guess.

michealo

« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2009, 06:08 »
0
To be fair to the agencies, if you haven't made a payout yet, you have probably cost them money in administration and rejections (inspection cost) ...

« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2009, 07:21 »
0
To be fair to the agencies, if you haven't made a payout yet, you have probably cost them money in administration and rejections (inspection cost) ...

True enough. Traditionally agencies have mostly steered clear of the hobbiest photographer by insisting on portfolios of several hundred quality images before acceptance, presumably because they considered them more hassle & administration than they were worth. We might see that re-introduced to microstock one day.

« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2009, 14:03 »
0
To be fair to the agencies, if you haven't made a payout yet, you have probably cost them money in administration and rejections (inspection cost) ...


Stocksites have it easy, they do not have to send their buyers out into the market, or sit for hours trawling the web for acceptable content, they have vendors knocking the doors down to contribute thier assets.

Sourcing a good product is part of any business, they have asked for samples, judged the samples as acceptable, added them to thier collections and may have presented them to the customers, we all know that many of the search engines favour different searches and contributors, pushing good images down the search.

The reason many may not have had a payout is not rejections and administration, but because of a small portfolio and all the other variables that may be stacked against them, because the site unfairly weights images, search on several websites and you will see the same sets of images, a buyer may look at the first few pages, this promotes the images on the first page and demotes the images further down, it is very debatable if the website offer the best images!

I recently researched a number of stocksites for a blog article I was writing on image diversity , one thing I was frustrated by was the same images coming up on the first pages across many websites, time and time again.

Not reaching a payout does not mean a bad product, often it can be down to website thinking customer want to see the same images for a search, week in week out and month in month out.

My Ideal website would offer a different set of images every time I used the same search term, this would make the buyers use light boxes more, then you would know the better images.

Regards

David  ;)

« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2009, 22:46 »
0
I think that if the same images are coming up on the first pages of many websites then you can pretty much guarantee that they are the better images as I'm sure that the websites aren't all unfairly favouring the same photographers.
My images do very well in most of the searches at the sites that I upload to (with the exception of IS where they don't do quite so well).  None of the sites have any reason at all to favour my images, nor do I have any contact or arrangement with the sites.   

I recently researched a number of stocksites, one thing I was frustrated by was the same images coming up on the first pages across many websites, time and time again.






« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2009, 11:58 »
0
Great conversation. As a site/service that is selling images we took the approach that it's your money and you should get it as quickly as possible. We're aiming to be a bit like Ebay but for photos.

The solution we came up with for payments was two fold:

1) Automatic payment when your account gets to 100.00 (nothing new here)
2) You can request a payment at any time for a fee of 5% of the payout with a minimum charge of 30 cents. This covers our transaction costs and gives us a little incentive to give you your money and not hold onto it.

While we like our solution we don't think it's ideal. We're partially limited by current micropayment services and fees. The good news is that both Paypal and Amazon have been updating their products and have some very cool new features we're looking at implementing. One of those features is advanced payment splitting. I.e. If a photo is sold on ClusterShot for 100.00 the payment can be split automatically at the payment provider end - $12.00 would be sent to us directly and $88.00 to you. We're investigating and will let you know what we find out.

« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2009, 14:40 »
0

The solution we came up with for payments was two fold:

1) Automatic payment when your account gets to 100.00 (nothing new here)
2) You can request a payment at any time for a fee of 5% of the payout with a minimum charge of 30 cents. This covers our transaction costs and gives us a little incentive to give you your money and not hold onto it.

While we like our solution we don't think it's ideal. We're partially limited by current micropayment services and fees. The good news is that both Paypal and Amazon have been updating their products and have some very cool new features we're looking at implementing. One of those features is advanced payment splitting. I.e. If a photo is sold on ClusterShot for 100.00 the payment can be split automatically at the payment provider end - $12.00 would be sent to us directly and $88.00 to you. We're investigating and will let you know what we find out.

the payment split sounds ideal - and there's really NO reason all agecies couldnt do it, since it involves 0 work on their end - it even saves them the expense of sending out individual payments, reports, etc - paypal gives reports to sellers directly

failing that, in the compouter games industry, my contracts always had BOTH a minumum payent and a maximum time - eg, guarenteeing payments of whatever amount every quarter or annually  - i do nt know of any ms agency that does this

steve

« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2009, 14:53 »
0
the payment split sounds ideal - and there's really NO reason all agecies couldnt do it, since it involves 0 work on their end - it even saves them the expense of sending out individual payments, reports, etc - paypal gives reports to sellers directly

I wouldn't go as far as saying that it involves no work. To implement Paypal's new API is a fairly substantial undertaking for the developers of a site. When you get into the istockphoto size of a site it becomes quite an engineering project. They are selling ~$850,000/day. Dealing with that amount of commerce and the corresponding traffic should not be under estimated. Should they hold your 99.99 forever? Probably not but once a company sets up a system and it becomes heavily used it can be hard to change both from a technical and inertia perspective.


 

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