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Microstock Photography Forum - General => General Stock Discussion => Topic started by: fotoVoyager on May 01, 2012, 11:59

Title: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: fotoVoyager on May 01, 2012, 11:59
http://blog.melchersystem.com/2012/05/01/to-sum-it-all/ (http://blog.melchersystem.com/2012/05/01/to-sum-it-all/)
Title: Shutterstock IPO could not be good news for contributors...
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on May 01, 2012, 12:29
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/01/us-shutterstock-ipo-idUSBRE8400PC20120501 (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/01/us-shutterstock-ipo-idUSBRE8400PC20120501)

Here's the Reuter's report on the possible SS IPO - but why now? Jon wants to get his money out - but then I can't see how contributors will continue to be treated well at SS. Shareholders will press for more profits and contributors will be squeezed. It won't be in Jon's hands any more and...

I do hope this isn't true
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: Ed on May 01, 2012, 12:35
Quote
The company owns a library of photographs and illustrations that customers can license...

Ahem....

 ::)
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: lagereek on May 01, 2012, 12:35
No, this is not good news, not for us contributors anyway. The noose is tightening around photographers, thats for sure. Maybe its time to look for other avenues, before the blast.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: gbalex on May 01, 2012, 12:45
Not at all surprised.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on May 01, 2012, 13:04
Like I said a while back (http://www.microstockgroup.com/123royaltyfree-com/change-in-commission-structure-for-123rf-com-contributors/msg243442/#msg243442), something was bound to happen. All of this "SS is wonderful and Jon is a beautiful person so lets support them" stuff is ridiculous. It's a business and every decision is made based on improving financials. Money is #1, people are expendable.

I think I'm done being Microdamus. You're all business people and can make your own intelligent and informed decisions.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: bunhill on May 01, 2012, 13:10
Shareholders will press for more profits and contributors will be squeezed. It won't be in Jon's hands any more and...

These sorts of things are aways fascinating but isn't it more complicated than that. Doesn't it depend what the initial price is set at and what the stock ends up trading at relative to earnings. And don't stockholders typically become troublesome only when the P:E ratio is all out of kilter and they know that the stock is trading too high ... not meeting expectations.

Also - you don't know how much of the stock they might make available. They may not give up much. And it is a relatively small company anyhow. You can't pre judge these things.

I wonder what they want to use the investment for. Expansion maybe.

Not at all surprised.

Do you mean in a now or possibly never kind of a way? Or do you mean .... In the current climate ? Or both ?
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: cobalt on May 01, 2012, 13:15
This is scary news, although not unexpected. Especially for me as an istock photo artist. If SS has fresh money and a dedicated leadership...what will getty do?

Especially if they plan to enter the news and editorial market?

I hope istock/getty come up with some fresh new ideas :(
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: gbalex on May 01, 2012, 13:18
Shareholders will press for more profits and contributors will be squeezed. It won't be in Jon's hands any more and...

These sorts of things are aways fascinating but isn't it more complicated than that. Doesn't it depend what the initial price is set at and what the stock ends up trading at relative to earnings. And don't stockholders typically become troublesome only when the P:E ratio is all out of kilter and they know that the stock is trading too high ... not meeting expectations.

Also - you don't know how much of the stock they might make available. They may not give up much. And it is a relatively small company anyhow. You can't pre judge these things.

I wonder what they want to use the investment for. Expansion maybe.

Not at all surprised.

Do you mean in a now or possibly never kind of a way? Or do you mean .... In the current climate ? Or both ?
I mean they have been making changes within the company and to the site. It looked to me like they were gearing up for something.
Title: Re: Shutterstock IPO could not be good news for contributors...
Post by: gostwyck on May 01, 2012, 13:25
Here's the Reuter's report on the possible SS IPO - but why now? Jon wants to get his money out - but then I can't see how contributors will continue to be treated well at SS. Shareholders will press for more profits and contributors will be squeezed. It won't be in Jon's hands any more and...

I do hope this isn't true

As far as I can tell squeezing contributors doesn't seem to have worked terribly well for either Istock or Fotolia.

At least with an IPO you can become a shareholder ...

NB: That's much better than the money going to hedge funds.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: ppdd on May 01, 2012, 13:25
This is how the investment firms who have financed their growth get the largest return - I'm sure there is pressure.
Title: Re: Shutterstock IPO could not be good news for contributors...
Post by: WarrenPrice on May 01, 2012, 13:35
Here's the Reuter's report on the possible SS IPO - but why now? Jon wants to get his money out - but then I can't see how contributors will continue to be treated well at SS. Shareholders will press for more profits and contributors will be squeezed. It won't be in Jon's hands any more and...

I do hope this isn't true

As far as I can tell squeezing contributors doesn't seem to have worked terribly well for either Istock or Fotolia.

At least with an IPO you can become a shareholder ...

NB: That's much better than the money going to hedge funds.

So can Getty ... with a lot more shares than I can afford.   :o :-\
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on May 01, 2012, 14:05
An IPO could be a 49% sale with the current management staying in control (Gates remained the dominant voice at MS long after it went public) it is different from a takeover. Even if the majority of the company is sold, spreading the shares widely would prevent a single H+F-type owner from dictating terms to the Board.

I'm not sure the additions to the board are entirely encouraging but this is big business now.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on May 01, 2012, 14:06
Well, I guess this shows they're all *insult removed*.

eta: oops, sorry ;)
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: gostwyck on May 01, 2012, 14:22
An IPO could be a 49% sale with the current management staying in control (Gates remained the dominant voice at MS long after it went public) it is different from a takeover. Even if the majority of the company is sold, spreading the shares widely would prevent a single H+F-type owner from dictating terms to the Board.

I'm not sure the additions to the board are entirely encouraging but this is big business now.

I don't think you can try and retain 51% and expect an IPO to be taken seriously. The big players such as the pension funds won't stand for that. You have to give up significant control of your business and dance to the shareholders' tune. It doesn't always suit a true entrepeneur which is why Branson bought back all the shares to his business a few months after it floated.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on May 01, 2012, 16:26
An IPO could be a 49% sale with the current management staying in control (Gates remained the dominant voice at MS long after it went public) it is different from a takeover. Even if the majority of the company is sold, spreading the shares widely would prevent a single H+F-type owner from dictating terms to the Board.

I'm not sure the additions to the board are entirely encouraging but this is big business now.

I don't think you can try and retain 51% and expect an IPO to be taken seriously. The big players such as the pension funds won't stand for that. You have to give up significant control of your business and dance to the shareholders' tune. It doesn't always suit a true entrepeneur which is why Branson bought back all the shares to his business a few months after it floated.
Maybe not. Sadly I've never been in the position to find out for myself. Even so, if you give up 75% to several hundred major investors, you only have to have a small proportion of them on your side to retain effective control.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: ShadySue on May 01, 2012, 17:02
This is scary news, although not unexpected. Especially for me as an istock photo artist. If SS has fresh money and a dedicated leadership...what will getty do?

Especially if they plan to enter the news and editorial market?

I hope istock/getty come up with some fresh new ideas :(
SS sell editorial content, and from reports here tend to prefer news to secondary editorial, bizarre as that might seem to an outsider.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: lisafx on May 01, 2012, 17:05
Anyone planning to buy shares?
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: click_click on May 01, 2012, 17:13
... All of this "SS is wonderful and Jon is a beautiful person so lets support them" stuff is ridiculous. ...
No idea why you think it's ridiculous but Jon founded SS and always has been "more" than normally involved on the IT side if not setting the whole thing up himself from the get-go (also being responsible for running a pretty stable agency compared to others...). He is not the only human being who can do that, true, but I don't get why this is supposed to be ridiculous.

SS is the bread and butter of 99% of microstockers (except exclusives of other agencies), so SS still deserves some kudos IMO.

As other agencies experienced in the past, SS is also running into technical issues but in no way is it affecting our sales compared to the competition who f*cked up numerous times before and we all complained and most of us kept dealing with it.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: click_click on May 01, 2012, 17:18
Well, I guess this shows they're all *insult removed*.
eta: oops, sorry ;)
I think we all would be *insult removed*, in a situation like this.

Imagine starting a company from nothing that grows into something like SS, I'm sure after 10+ years of dealing with business operations on a daily basis you get burnt out.

I wouldn't blame Jon for selling the whole thing and be done with it - surely I wouldn't be happy about it at all but this show can't go on forever.

I can imagine he has some other projects on the bucket list, so now he has the dough to ride it out. Good for him.

I can only hope that SS maintains more control over their business than IS did when they sold out and you know about how that went...
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: grp_photo on May 01, 2012, 17:19
All of this "SS is wonderful and Jon is a beautiful person so lets support them" stuff is ridiculous. It's a business and every decision is made based on improving financials. Money is #1, people are expendable.

+1
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on May 01, 2012, 17:54
... All of this "SS is wonderful and Jon is a beautiful person so lets support them" stuff is ridiculous. ...
No idea why you think it's ridiculous but Jon founded SS and always has been "more" than normally involved on the IT side if not setting the whole thing up himself from the get-go (also being responsible for running a pretty stable agency compared to others...). He is not the only human being who can do that, true, but I don't get why this is supposed to be ridiculous.

SS is the bread and butter of 99% of microstockers (except exclusives of other agencies), so SS still deserves some kudos IMO.

As other agencies experienced in the past, SS is also running into technical issues but in no way is it affecting our sales compared to the competition who f*cked up numerous times before and we all complained and most of us kept dealing with it.

The point is... that when everybody felt screwed by the big Istock changes the response was "let's destroy IS and support Fotolia!".  A week later when everybody got screwed by Fotolia it was "let's support 123RF, they've never screwed us".  Then 123RF screwed everybody. Then it was "Let's support Shutterstock. They would never screw us. Jon is the most amazing wonderfulest person". And now it looks like Jon might be lining his pockets with an IPO and possibly putting the contributors in a position to be screwed. Not sure if anyone is paying attention, but there's a pattern here.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: click_click on May 01, 2012, 18:02
... Not sure if anyone is paying attention, but there's a pattern here.
The pattern is that (usually) companies want to increase profits. There is nothing wrong with that in general.

Some companies can do that without screwing their suppliers but most of them also cut the suppliers' commission, which hurts us.

Sure there is a very high possibility that launching SS's stocks could put the current SS management under a lot of pressure (see IS).

However, we're not at that point yet and let's have a little hope that not everything fails on us. It's hard to maintain a positive attitude but SS has done a lot more than any other agency so let's see what the future brings.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: disorderly on May 01, 2012, 18:10
The point is... that when everybody felt screwed by the big Istock changes the response was "let's destroy IS and support Fotolia!".  A week later when everybody got screwed by Fotolia it was "let's support 123RF, they've never screwed us".  Then 123RF screwed everybody. Then it was "Let's support Shutterstock. They would never screw us. Jon is the most amazing wonderfulest person". And now it looks like Jon might be lining his pockets with an IPO and possibly putting the contributors in a position to be screwed. Not sure if anyone is paying attention, but there's a pattern here.

Revisionist history.  Fotolia screwed us long before iStock did, and I don't recall much of anybody seeing them as a savior when iStock slashed our royalties.  The magnitude of the first screwing wasn't as extreme as at iStock, but it happened.  And then it happened again.  It was about the third time Fotolia adjusted rates downward and level requirements upward that many of us finally had enough.  I've been removing content from iStock and Fotolia ever since.  

As for 123RF, they haven't screwed anybody, at least not yet.  My earnings there are way up, putting them #2 for past year.  Their planned royalty adjustment, which won't take effect for another eight months, will likely cost me some revenue, but nothing like what I've seen with iStock or Fotolia or Dreamstime.  I'll reevaluate when I see where the changes put me.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: aeonf on May 01, 2012, 18:40
Anyone planning to buy shares?

That all depends on the price...
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: lisafx on May 01, 2012, 18:41
The point is... that when everybody felt screwed by the big Istock changes the response was "let's destroy IS and support Fotolia!".  A week later when everybody got screwed by Fotolia it was "let's support 123RF, they've never screwed us".  Then 123RF screwed everybody. Then it was "Let's support Shutterstock. They would never screw us. Jon is the most amazing wonderfulest person". And now it looks like Jon might be lining his pockets with an IPO and possibly putting the contributors in a position to be screwed. Not sure if anyone is paying attention, but there's a pattern here.

I don't know who you're quoting Paulie.  Most of it doesn't sound familiar to me.  Can you link to some of those quotes?   I think most of us who were screwed by Istock took a pretty skeptical view of other sites as well.  With the possible exception of Shutterstock.  Which, to be fair, is only floating an IPO.  They haven't screwed anyone yet.  
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: gbalex on May 01, 2012, 19:55
Anyone planning to buy shares?

It could be wiser to buy stock in a company that is setting itself up to grow and increase its profits, than it would be to spend our hard earned resources and time producing revenue generating images, illustrations and video for a publicly traded company. It is pretty much a given that a publicly traded SS, will be under pressure to divert revenue obtained from our hard work and financial investments to its new shareholders.

"Shutterstock, which competes with stock photo leader Getty Images, generated close to $100 million in revenue in 2011, another source close to the company said.

The company OWNS a library of photographs and illustrations that customers can license and download through subscription deals."
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: jamesbenet on May 01, 2012, 20:04
When iStock was being squeezed by creditors, Bruce came into the forums and actually asked for opinions.  I remember telling Bruce how an IPO was going to kill IS because the control will be lost to a board and earnings reports that always want better numbers each quarter. He agreed with my point and others views; then other options were explored.

Then he did his visit with Getty and he moved forward with a Getty acquisition.  We all know what that turned out to be...

The only way Shutterstock wont morph into just another publicly run company will be to retain that 51% voting rights internally and just do a segmented IPO to gather cash.   Somehow I think that won't happen.  

Many believe Microstock is imploding and for SS management its a great time to exit.  In the end artists will always stay holding the bag because that is how the business model is structured. We don't make decisions we just accept or deny the terms of agreements.  

I hope this IPO doesn't destroy the good will the company has earned with artists and buyers.  

In the end the capitalist system breeds small companies into midsize then blows them up in the market when they are ripe.  We shouldn't be surprised that a growing company wants to follow what is an established guide to corporate prosperity.  
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on May 01, 2012, 20:16
I think the mood is more dismay than surprise. And we all (I think) retain that childlike wish for a happy ending...
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: cthoman on May 01, 2012, 20:20
Many believe Microstock is imploding and for SS management its a great time to exit.  In the end artists will always stay holding the bag because that is how the business model is structured. We don't make decisions we just accept or deny the terms of agreements.  

I don't know if the microstock can implode. The content and demand are still there. Some site will pick that up if another one dies. You just hope it's a better site.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: lagereek on May 01, 2012, 23:56
Anyone planning to buy shares?


I would not buy shares in any creative corp or service, waste of time. I once bought shares in one of the worlds most prominent AD-agencies, sold them six months later,  waste of time. When depression hits the globe, the"creative-world",  is the first one to bite the dust.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: gallofilm on May 02, 2012, 00:02
Getty is overrated and overvalued. A company that sells stock at higher prices and offers lower quality than any microstock agency should not be able to buy microstock. It should have been IS to but Getty. Obviously their interest is to kill the microstock market.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: Noodles on May 02, 2012, 00:03
Anyone planning to buy shares?


I would not buy shares in any creative corp or service, waste of time. I once bought shares in one of the worlds most prominent AD-agencies, sold them six months later,  waste of time. When depression hits the globe, the"creative-world",  is the first one to bite the dust.

Getty seem to be doing alright!  Can't get much more creative than Apple either! Wish I had bought a few share in that company for sure.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: lagereek on May 02, 2012, 00:15
When I say creative, I am ofcourse thinking of creative-services, typical of Ad-agencies, photo-agencies, etc. Not as in Apple or Microsoft.

Further!  to me it doesnt matter who sell my stuff, RM, RF or micro,  if they want to kill off micro, so what? as long as the others will sell! micro has hit the roof and no doubt it will fade away, sooner or later,  thats why we are beginning to see adjustments everywhere. As long as I have various outlets for my stuff, I couldnt careless.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: Microbius on May 02, 2012, 01:08
Anyone else thinking Getty could well be in the market to buy out the competition yet again? This is their track record, acquiring any company that looks like it is serious competition when it comes on the market. 
Hellman & Friedman could actually be the break here, if they have made a loss with IStock and learned their lesson (but who knows, maybe they consider it a great success?)
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on May 02, 2012, 01:45
.  

Many believe Microstock is imploding and for SS management its a great time to exit.

I think many people believe that microstock as a good source of earnings for artists is imploding. Being a microstock agency is a very different thing altogether - paying less to suppliers while selling more and more products is not a characterstic of an imploding business model.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: nataq on May 02, 2012, 02:07
Microstock in general didnīt hit the roof and it wonīt anytime soon.
Itīs us contributors who hit the roof because demand doesnīt grow nearly as fast as supply does.

It wonīt take long until revenues wonīt pay the costs for shootings and most "professional" contributors will lose interest. But there will always be people who are happy getting the investment of their camera back. And in fact thereīs nothing really bad about that, we canīt blame them can we? Most of us would act the same way.

I wished getty buyed shutterstock (awaiting your attacks now). If they kill microstock - well, why not. If there is no supply for cheap images, people will pay more and eventually make professional setups with paid models worth wile again. Would they screw contributors? Sure they would, but so would other shareholders as soon as they realized that growth is never exponential forever.
Mentioning Apple - weīll see what happens if Apple returns to a more regular growth. Their problem will be that they just had been too successful in very short time. Thatīs never a good idea in the time we are living in as strange as that might sound. Shareholders will demand the same exponential growth forever, or theyīll be disappointed. Thatīs just plain stupid and the company should be really happy with a 10% loss over the next five years too because thatīs still very very high level. Just the people that invested their money to proliferate it without ever adding a single idea or workhour wonīt be and demand cost reduction. Which means screwing employees and suppliers. Thatīs the way it is.

In a perfect world there would only be one Stock agency, paying their contributors good money and having a lot of well paid and satisfied employees. The photographers will pay their models a fair fee and buy new equipment produced by people that are getting paid well. Models and stock agency employees would buy fair trade food and goods. The well paid farmers on their end would buy fair produced products in factories that care about the environment,... In the end everybody would be happy and live a comfortable life. Sounds like real communism, does it? But this is never going to happen because humans are never satisfied with the things they have. They always want more, even if they can never ever spend the money they have. Am I different? Perhaps a bit - but not really.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: gbalex on May 02, 2012, 11:43
So when do you think the new window dressings and promos will go out preparing for the IPO?
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: lisafx on May 02, 2012, 12:23
In a perfect world there would only be one Stock agency, paying their contributors good money and having a lot of well paid and satisfied employees. The photographers will pay their models a fair fee and buy new equipment produced by people that are getting paid well. Models and stock agency employees would buy fair trade food and goods.

Sorry, I'm confused.  When has a monopoly ever produced a fair trade environment?  If there were only one stock agency, or if GOD FORBID, Getty bought Shutterstock, then there is no incentive to pay contributors well.  As the only game in town, (or in the second scenario nearly the only one) they can pay contributors whatever pittance they can get away with. 
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: lagereek on May 02, 2012, 12:36
In a perfect world there would only be one Stock agency, paying their contributors good money and having a lot of well paid and satisfied employees. The photographers will pay their models a fair fee and buy new equipment produced by people that are getting paid well. Models and stock agency employees would buy fair trade food and goods.

Sorry, I'm confused.  When has a monopoly ever produced a fair trade environment?  If there were only one stock agency, or if GOD FORBID, Getty bought Shutterstock, then there is no incentive to pay contributors well.  As the only game in town, (or in the second scenario nearly the only one) they can pay contributors whatever pittance they can get away with. 

Amen to that!  we might as well embark on something new,  count our losses, smile, bow and put up with it. I wont, I dont have to.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: RacePhoto on May 02, 2012, 12:36
In a perfect world there would only be one Stock agency, paying their contributors good money and having a lot of well paid and satisfied employees. The photographers will pay their models a fair fee and buy new equipment produced by people that are getting paid well. Models and stock agency employees would buy fair trade food and goods.

Sorry, I'm confused.  When has a monopoly ever produced a fair trade environment?  If there were only one stock agency, or if GOD FORBID, Getty bought Shutterstock, then there is no incentive to pay contributors well.  As the only game in town, (or in the second scenario nearly the only one) they can pay contributors whatever pittance they can get away with. 

While I agree 100%, don't they already pay us a pittance and get away with it?  ??? It could only get worse.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: ARTPUPPY on May 02, 2012, 13:22
Anyone planning to buy shares?


I would not buy shares in any creative corp or service, waste of time. I once bought shares in one of the worlds most prominent AD-agencies, sold them six months later,  waste of time. When depression hits the globe, the"creative-world",  is the first one to bite the dust.

I would look into buying shares. It certainly is a company on the rise and may lead to a future buyout. Also as a shareholder you will be have access to the annual reports which would be interesting to look at. What would be the costs be in running this kind of business? It's interesting to hear people complain of gas prices or bank fees yet do not buy shares in any of these related companies when they make record profits. As to buying shares of a creative company, Warren Buffett made some good coin buying a few advertising agencies back in the day. Holding a stock for six months is too short a time to gain any value. Sorry to hear you got burned but don't close the door on it.

Would Getty buy into this? Maybe. But I get the image of a very fat man in a restaurant with the waiter saying "Sorry sir, but your credit has been declined..."
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: cobalt on May 02, 2012, 13:25
another article. nothing really new.

isnīt it great that our work can be used for large loans to pay off other debts...instead of investing in our marketing or infrastructure?

http://www.pehub.co20097790m/141056/hellman-friedman-with-380-mln-dividend-from-getty-images-makes-back-nearly-all-of-its-money/ (http://www.pehub.co20097790m/141056/hellman-friedman-with-380-mln-dividend-from-getty-images-makes-back-nearly-all-of-its-money/)
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on May 02, 2012, 13:34
The text on this from Reuters says in part that they expect growth to slow in iStock - see here (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/14/idUSWNA250820120314).

The part I didn't know about before today was that they'd paid a second round of cash to H&F mid- March. So that might explain closing contributor relations phone support and dropping PNGs and other cost cutting measures.

Funny thing is that if you expect growth will slow and so you cut back on spending anything on developing the business, you've created a self-fulfilling prophecy, no?

And Jasmine's link didn't work - but the article's here. (http://www.pehub.com/141056/hellman-friedman-with-380-mln-dividend-from-getty-images-makes-back-nearly-all-of-its-money/) I think that's the same one
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: cthoman on May 02, 2012, 13:43
While I agree 100%, don't they already pay us a pittance and get away with it?  ??? It could only get worse.

LOL. That's what I was thinking. The competition thing hasn't worked out so great either.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: cobalt on May 02, 2012, 13:48
Thanks! Sorry for the broken link.

Quite depressing to read. How much more could they have made if they had grown the business, especially the community side of it. Considering what has just been paid for Instagram and the market seems to be ready to (over)pay for Facebook?
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: luissantos84 on May 02, 2012, 14:50
Well, I guess this shows they're all *insult removed*.

eta: oops, sorry ;)

naughty boy, what have you said?
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: luissantos84 on May 02, 2012, 14:51
Anyone planning to buy shares?


I would not buy shares in any creative corp or service, waste of time. I once bought shares in one of the worlds most prominent AD-agencies, sold them six months later,  waste of time. When depression hits the globe, the"creative-world",  is the first one to bite the dust.

all world is crappy already (USA, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and many other) and contributors/agencies keep on collecting..
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on May 02, 2012, 17:05
From Cobalt's link:
"Based on preliminary, unaudited financial statements, for the three months    
ended Dec. 31, 2011, Getty's revenue decreased 0.7% on a currency neutral    
basis"
I seem to recall the late, unlamented COO telling us that the bulk of earnings for iStock (and presumably Getty) came in the last quarter.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: traveler1116 on May 02, 2012, 17:22
From Cobalt's link:
"Based on preliminary, unaudited financial statements, for the three months    
ended Dec. 31, 2011, Getty's revenue decreased 0.7% on a currency neutral    
basis"
I seem to recall the late, unlamented COO telling us that the bulk of earnings for iStock (and presumably Getty) came in the last quarter.
Wouldn't this be comparing to the last quarter of the year before?  The link isn't working for me.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on May 02, 2012, 17:59
From Cobalt's link:
"Based on preliminary, unaudited financial statements, for the three months    
ended Dec. 31, 2011, Getty's revenue decreased 0.7% on a currency neutral    
basis"
I seem to recall the late, unlamented COO telling us that the bulk of earnings for iStock (and presumably Getty) came in the last quarter.
Wouldn't this be comparing to the last quarter of the year before?  The link isn't working for me.
It's really not clear if it is a quarter by quarter comparison or 2011 versus 2010. To me it looks more like quarter by quarter.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: bad to the bone on May 02, 2012, 20:22
Anyone planning to buy shares?

YES
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: pancaketom on May 02, 2012, 22:04
It would be interesting to be a shareholder if only for the information they send out - It might be hard to tell the shareholders how wonderful everything is and then at the same time tell the artists that they need to lower commissions because of the competition... Then again, it seems like many of the other sites have done that without even having any shareholders.

A closer look at the financials would be interesting though.

plus if they screw the contributors in favor of the shareholders, it would be nice to be a shareholder.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: jamesbenet on May 02, 2012, 23:05
The mistake is thinking that shareholders will be taken care of.  That maybe once was the prerogative of Wall St. but today the banks, brokers and financiers are always first while shareholders have to work overtime to get enough juice to turn a profit if at all.  Not saying this will be the case with SS but I have my share of disappointments in stocks.

In rare cases companies seem to do no wrong like Apple but the higher they go the harder it will be on the shareholders while insiders have already been parachuted out.  Put a price target and get out, don't hold the bag.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: nataq on May 03, 2012, 01:00
In a perfect world there would only be one Stock agency, paying their contributors good money and having a lot of well paid and satisfied employees. The photographers will pay their models a fair fee and buy new equipment produced by people that are getting paid well. Models and stock agency employees would buy fair trade food and goods.

Sorry, I'm confused.  When has a monopoly ever produced a fair trade environment?  If there were only one stock agency, or if GOD FORBID, Getty bought Shutterstock, then there is no incentive to pay contributors well.  As the only game in town, (or in the second scenario nearly the only one) they can pay contributors whatever pittance they can get away with. 

Lisa, you put my quote out of connection. My post continued like that...
...The well paid farmers on their end would buy fair produced products in factories that care about the environment,... In the end everybody would be happy and live a comfortable life. Sounds like real communism, does it? But this is never going to happen because humans are never satisfied with the things they have. They always want more, even if they can never ever spend the money they have. Am I different? Perhaps a bit - but not really.

BTW: I donīt think regulatory authorities will allow a fusion of SS and Getty, so thereīs probably nothing to worry about.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on May 03, 2012, 01:07
this is never going to happen because humans are never satisfied with the things they have. They always want more, even if they can never ever spend the money they have. Am I different? Perhaps a bit...
Good lord! So the rumours about you being a non-human lifeform are true, then?
(sorry, I can't resist an open goal).
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: borg on May 03, 2012, 07:39
I haven't read all this topic...
But I wonder myself, what will be if Getty buy more than 51% of SS shares in IPO?
I think that shadow of "fair trade killing machine" known as Getty is above us...
Maybe that is main reason why Yuri will open new agency...

Yuri save us! We are yours!
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: gostwyck on May 03, 2012, 07:51
I haven't read all this topic...
But I wonder myself, what will be if Getty buy more than 51% of SS shares in IPO?
I think that shadow of "fair trade killing machine" known as Getty is above us...
Maybe that is main reason why Yuri will open new agency...

Yuri save us! We are yours!

There are rules about such things. Generally speaking once you own more than a certain percentage of a company's stock (I think it is 39% in the UK) you are obliged to make an offer for the remaining stock.

It wouldn't be Getty anyway, it would be H&F. I think they are more interested now in withdrawing money out of this industry rather than investing further into it.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: Ed on May 03, 2012, 10:09
Don't understand the logic behind buying shares to get more information.  All of that information (on ANY publicly traded company) is available on the SEC EDGAR database.

I won't be buying into the company.  I've bought into other advertising companies in the past only to see the price plunge.  This isn't an industry I'd be interested in investing in from the investor side of things.  The money and profits aren't there and they won't be there for a long time.  If you want to invest, think of companies that cater to the aging population - that's where the money will be.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: lagereek on May 03, 2012, 10:32
Don't understand the logic behind buying shares to get more information.  All of that information (on ANY publicly traded company) is available on the SEC EDGAR database.

I won't be buying into the company.  I've bought into other advertising companies in the past only to see the price plunge.  This isn't an industry I'd be interested in investing in from the investor side of things.  The money and profits aren't there and they won't be there for a long time.  If you want to invest, think of companies that cater to the aging population - that's where the money will be.

Yep!  I sanction that, bought into a giant ad-agency once, waste of time. This is the kind of business that, when a slight depression hits the globe, its the first one to get the lid on.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: sharpshot on May 03, 2012, 11:40
I can't see SS giving away too much of the company in an IPO.  They must of turned down some big offers in the past and hopefully they're only trying to raise cash to buy istock :)
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: lisafx on May 03, 2012, 12:51
In a perfect world there would only be one Stock agency, paying their contributors good money and having a lot of well paid and satisfied employees. The photographers will pay their models a fair fee and buy new equipment produced by people that are getting paid well. Models and stock agency employees would buy fair trade food and goods.

Sorry, I'm confused.  When has a monopoly ever produced a fair trade environment?  If there were only one stock agency, or if GOD FORBID, Getty bought Shutterstock, then there is no incentive to pay contributors well.  As the only game in town, (or in the second scenario nearly the only one) they can pay contributors whatever pittance they can get away with. 

Lisa, you put my quote out of connection. My post continued like that...
...The well paid farmers on their end would buy fair produced products in factories that care about the environment,... In the end everybody would be happy and live a comfortable life. Sounds like real communism, does it? But this is never going to happen because humans are never satisfied with the things they have. They always want more, even if they can never ever spend the money they have. Am I different? Perhaps a bit - but not really.

BTW: I donīt think regulatory authorities will allow a fusion of SS and Getty, so thereīs probably nothing to worry about.

Okay, I'll quote your whole post and let people slog through and try to pick out the relevant bits.  But I was only responding to your assertion that a monopoly would be okay in "a perfect world" and describing why that is NEVER the case.  I did not dispute the second half of your post, so did not see the need to include it in my comments. 
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: nataq on May 03, 2012, 15:51
this is never going to happen because humans are never satisfied with the things they have. They always want more, even if they can never ever spend the money they have. Am I different? Perhaps a bit...
Good lord! So the rumours about you being a non-human lifeform are true, then?
(sorry, I can't resist an open goal).
I'd win any E.T. lookalike contest hands down
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: BK on May 03, 2012, 17:15
SS going public isn't necessarily a bad thing. Shareholders definitely want to see profits. But for a small company like SS, shareholders want to see revenue growth more than anything. Using the funds from the IPO on efforts to grow revenues would be good for contributors.  Sure, they have to manage expenses (i.e. commissions) but that only goes so far. Especially if cutting commissions may threaten revenue growth. Many IPO's, especially technology, aren't even profitable.  Investors are buying future profits not current, so there may not be pressure on profitability for quite a while, as long as they grow revenues.
I see the fact that the new directors are from large corporations as a good sign.  Seems like the SS management is seeking advice on how to become a large corp. rather than just "cashing in." The new directors certainly bring a different point of view that could drive growth. Although, one of them is from News Corp, so I wouldn't give them your cell number!
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: gostwyck on May 03, 2012, 18:35
SS going public isn't necessarily a bad thing. Shareholders definitely want to see profits. But for a small company like SS, shareholders want to see revenue growth more than anything. Using the funds from the IPO on efforts to grow revenues would be good for contributors.  Sure, they have to manage expenses (i.e. commissions) but that only goes so far. Especially if cutting commissions may threaten revenue growth. Many IPO's, especially technology, aren't even profitable.  Investors are buying future profits not current, so there may not be pressure on profitability for quite a while, as long as they grow revenues.
I see the fact that the new directors are from large corporations as a good sign.  Seems like the SS management is seeking advice on how to become a large corp. rather than just "cashing in." The new directors certainly bring a different point of view that could drive growth. Although, one of them is from News Corp, so I wouldn't give them your cell number!

Exactly. Well said. Plus of course the contributor has the opportunity to buy shares and also profit from the gain in the value of the business. I really wish I'd had this opportunity with Istock before they sold out for peanuts to Getty.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: antistock on May 05, 2012, 03:16
SS going public will be a disgrace.

royalties will be cut even further, prices will rise, and the money flowing from shareholders will be spent in advertising to lure in new customers or to acquire smaller agencies.

there's no way it's good for photographers unless they triple their customer base keeping the same royalties.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: sharpshot on May 05, 2012, 04:27
^^^That's the worst case scenario.  There's lots of companies with shareholders that are run well and are good with their suppliers.  There's lots that are only interested in keeping their shareholders happy.  The owners of SS have avoided selling out to Getty, so I'm hopeful that they will want to make the most of their business and keep their suppliers motivated.  If the current owners keep full control of the company and it raises cash to increase growth, I wouldn't be against it.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on May 05, 2012, 04:57
The owners of SS have avoided selling out to Getty

It amazes me how many people seem to think that Getty is in any condition to fund a major acquisition. It's floating on a sea of debt, H&F have discovered that they don't understand the stock image business well enough to meet their targets (which were to turn Getty round and sell it at a profit within three years) and have been desperately scrabbling to find other ways of clawing their investment cash back.

They are not very bright if they haven't worked out that they had better not get in any deeper than they already are. In addition, technology keeps delivering new challenges to the image licensing market. None of us know whether a new image marketing model will derail microstock in the next few years.

 
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: wut on May 05, 2012, 05:14
The owners of SS have avoided selling out to Getty
In addition, technology keeps delivering new challenges to the image licensing market. None of us know whether a new image marketing model will derail microstock in the next few years.

That could be a good thing. In fact how could it get any worse? Images are sold for peanuts and we get, on average, 30% out of it. At best, since we earn majority of our money at SS and IS, that pay us from, by my estimation, 15-25%. And that's pretty optimistic I'd say, since SS doesn't pay us more than 30% for any DL (and to get that you have to be in the top tier). A new way of licencing, limiting the usage, raising prices, that really are absurdly low for virtually unlimited usage. Either raising prices and forcing them to buy more ELs or selling images for strictly limited usages (like there is now for ELs, for instance web usage, prints in both cases with different prices for different print runs or web usage linked to number of visitors on that page etc). Perhaps a whole new model of licencing images, a revised RF model, with a lot more restrictions, you could say a form of RF with a touch of RM. But I can't see the new model that would be so much more restricting to the buyers burying the existent. So far, as it is, IS is doing the most to raise prices. Everybody cuts commissions anyway. Well SS doesn't, but it a way they do; no raises in years is really meaning we get micro cuts every year, because of the inflation.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: sharpshot on May 05, 2012, 06:34
The owners of SS have avoided selling out to Getty

It amazes me how many people seem to think that Getty is in any condition to fund a major acquisition. It's floating on a sea of debt, H&F have discovered that they don't understand the stock image business well enough to meet their targets (which were to turn Getty round and sell it at a profit within three years) and have been desperately scrabbling to find other ways of clawing their investment cash back.

They are not very bright if they haven't worked out that they had better not get in any deeper than they already are. In addition, technology keeps delivering new challenges to the image licensing market. None of us know whether a new image marketing model will derail microstock in the next few years.

 
I was thinking of the times when Getty were buying sites, like istock and Jupiter (who owned Stockxpert).  I would be surprised if they hadn't made an attempt to get SS, as it was obviously the main competition to istock.  They might not be in a position to buy them now but things were different a few years ago.  They seemed eager to buy as many of their rivals as possible.

I'm not sure H&F were ever interested in the stock images business.  They just want to make money and they seem to be quite good at doing that.  It's a disaster for us but we have different ambitions to a business that's only interested in generating money.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: fotoVoyager on May 05, 2012, 06:57
I'm not sure H&F were ever interested in the stock images business.  They just want to make money and they seem to be quite good at doing that.  It's a disaster for us but we have different ambitions to a business that's only interested in generating money.

That's exactly right I'm afraid. I'm sure people at Getty are just as passionate about photography as the people at iStock, but if your business has been take over by * fat cats you've got no chance to improve and grow. It must be as frustrating for the staff at iStock and Getty as it is with us - they just don't have a public forum to vent in.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: [email protected] on May 05, 2012, 08:19
All the evil claims of getty/istock are about to be injected in to the low paying SS.  Wow, wait until the low paying SS has to maximize its shareholders profits.  So much for all the love given to this low paying agency of the last 3 years.  Capitalism is about to slap you back to reality. 
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: fotoVoyager on May 05, 2012, 08:22
Why has my post been edited? And edited silently. Very sneaky and questionable behaviour if you ask me.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: lagereek on May 05, 2012, 09:45
H&F, who are they accoutable to?  who are they getting the money from?  whoever it is, they must be blind,  forwarding money to one of the most unsecure and unsustainable business ever.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on May 05, 2012, 11:42
Why has my post been edited? And edited silently. Very sneaky and questionable behaviour if you ask me.

You lost me - was a post removed, or just a word deleted? There's some automatic editing that the forum does on certain words (the name of the party in Germany's third reich, for example, just gets deleted if you include it); could that have been what happened?
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: stockastic on May 05, 2012, 14:26
Put me in "it's the beginning of the end" column.   The IPO is a Rubicon that, once crossed, commits the company to endless pursuit of ever-increasing profit targets.   IPO investors want one thing: for the perceived value of the company to increase, so they can sell at a profit.   But typically the value of the company has already been pretty well inflated just to promote the IPO, and after that, reality starts to reassert itself.  The pressure to churn top management, to bring in new marketing "experts", and to keep changing the business model, is irresistable.   Both buyers and contributors can expect a progressively worse deal, amid constant hype about exciting new changes.

For those who found this post too long to read, here's the summary:  higher prices and lower commissions.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: leaf on May 05, 2012, 14:28
Why has my post been edited? And edited silently. Very sneaky and questionable behaviour if you ask me.

You lost me - was a post removed, or just a word deleted? There's some automatic editing that the forum does on certain words (the name of the party in Germany's third reich, for example, just gets deleted if you include it); could that have been what happened?

Yep.. it looks like whatever word you used is automatically removed.  I've changed it so all automatically removed words are replace with a * so you know what happened.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: wut on May 05, 2012, 14:51
Why has my post been edited? And edited silently. Very sneaky and questionable behaviour if you ask me.

That's exactly what happened to one of my posts a few months ago. When it was edited in such a way that it became a personal attack on a forum member :o . I started a thread about it back then...
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: antistock on May 05, 2012, 14:52
Put me in "it's the beginning of the end" column.   The IPO is a Rubicon that, once crossed, commits the company to endless pursuit of ever-increasing profit targets.   IPO investors want one thing: for the perceived value of the company to increase, so they can sell at a profit.   But typically the value of the company has already been pretty well inflated just to promote the IPO, and after that, reality starts to reassert itself.  The pressure to churn top management, to bring in new marketing "experts", and to keep changing the business model, is irresistable.   Both buyers and contributors can expect a progressively worse deal, amid constant hype about exciting new changes.

For those who found this post too long to read, here's the summary:  higher prices and lower commissions.

yes, but if they want to grow they must steal customers from all the other agencies, there's no other way, and to do this they need to both rethink their whole marketing mix and invest a ton of money in aggressive advertising.

so, lower commissions for sure, but also MORE SALES.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: sharpshot on May 05, 2012, 17:02
Funny how people seem to ignore the fact that things have become far worse with Getty/Istock since they were bought by a private hedge fund.  We were better off when they had shareholders.  What would Google and Amazon be like if they had remained private companies?  Having shareholders isn't always a disaster.  Might as well wait and see the details of the IPO before jumping to conclusions.  I would rather SS go this way than be bought by someone like H&F.
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: caspixel on May 05, 2012, 17:16


That could be a good thing. In fact how could it get any worse? Images are sold for peanuts and we get, on average, 30% out of it.

Too funny. You obviously weren't there at the beginning of microstock, when the images were free and then started selling for something like 25 cents. :D
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: wut on May 05, 2012, 17:27


That could be a good thing. In fact how could it get any worse? Images are sold for peanuts and we get, on average, 30% out of it.

Too funny. You obviously weren't there at the beginning of microstock, when the images were free and then started selling for something like 25 cents. :D

So things are already too good to be true? :o
Title: Re: Interesting figures on Getty and Shutterstock
Post by: luissantos84 on May 05, 2012, 17:35


That could be a good thing. In fact how could it get any worse? Images are sold for peanuts and we get, on average, 30% out of it.

Too funny. You obviously weren't there at the beginning of microstock, when the images were free and then started selling for something like 25 cents. :D

the competition was a lot smaller/weaker, not saying I want that time back (myself only from 2009) but perhaps if we all started back in 2002 microstock would be even worst..