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Author Topic: Kelly Thompson to 500PX  (Read 12850 times)

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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2015, 20:44 »
+6
Small world indeed.   Mr. " Money is not going to make you happy" is back.  >:(

« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2015, 20:47 »
+3
Money won't make you happy but pretty images will :-) In all honesty I am not sure it's all his fault at iStock. Getty likes to blame him but my guess is they tied his hands.

« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2015, 21:26 »
+11
Money won't make you happy but pretty images will :-) In all honesty I am not sure it's all his fault at iStock. Getty likes to blame him but my guess is they tied his hands.
You forgot all he said? If he had been an honest person, he would have resigned before writing all that garbage on Sept 2010. 

« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2015, 21:56 »
+7
And I was just getting ready to join 500px. Now on hold.

http://alisterpaine.com/2011/01/17/coo-interview-kelly-thompson-of-istockphoto-com/

Kelly: It often isnt about the cost of the image. Our images are so inexpensive that whats costing more is the time looking for the image. Hands down we have the best search and deliver the best images at an amazing price.

Kelly: We have 85,000+ contributors and 60,000 images a week are submitted. The images have to be technically perfect. Good lighting, razor sharp focus, no jpeg artifacts and no digital noise.

2011

Money will make me happier then low pay and people who try to cheat us for every penny they can get, always from the supply side.

« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2015, 22:08 »
+11
Is this a red flag for 500px?

Oh oh...

« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2015, 22:10 »
+11
Funny, I just signed back up for them. Now that I've read that he is in charge of growth with large companies, that means special promises of less money but more downloads.  fk that.

« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2015, 22:27 »
+13
Really depressing news.

I haven't done microstock in over a year, but recently I started reading posts about 500px and got interested.  So I signed up and put up a few photos. And now this.  500px is confusing enough to begin with;  really not interested in spending a lot of time figuring it out and submitting hundreds of photos if it's now in the hands of former IS people, especially someone whose agenda was clearly to beat photographers down to the ground on price, while claiming that customers are really paying for search functionality, not imagery.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 22:35 by stockastic »

« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2015, 22:39 »
+10
Get ready for royalty cuts at 500px!

In case you've forgotten or just didn't know Mr. Thompson's words:
"Since roughly 2005 we've been aware of a basic problem with how our business works. As the company grows, the overall percentage we pay out to contributing artists increases. In the most basic terms that means that iStock becomes less profitable with increased success. As a business model, its simply unsustainable: businesses should get more profitable as they grow. This is a long-term problem that needs to be addressed."  Kelly Thompson. September 8th, 2010

« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 00:33 by Digital66 »

« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2015, 01:02 »
+22
That's a massive bummer. I am very new at 500px but was very much hoping that it could be a good supplement for the more traditional stock sites.

Kelly Thompson being hired there is terrible news - it could be worse though. If they'd hired Jonathan Klein...

I'm not going to leave 500px just because they hired him, but I think I'll just stop uploading and go focus on something else (or find something else to focus on - we're a bit short on agencies with potential!)

« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2015, 01:12 »
+7
...In all honesty I am not sure it's all his fault at iStock. Getty likes to blame him but my guess is they tied his hands.

It absolutely isn't all Kelly Thompson's fault - there's lots of blame to go around. However,...

He handled the initial 2010 cash grab badly, and then when it blew up in the contributor community he tried to smooth it over and was so inept at that and clueless as to what he was dealing with that he made it much worse instead of better. Jonathan Klein's scorched earth policies and greed caught up with him in the end, but Kelly was just so out of his depth it wasn't funny. Prior to that, during 2009 when the site was in one of its many stages of being broken because they'd tried to "improve" it, he seemed completely out of touch with what a mess things were (this from a Q&A at the iStockalypse in Calgary). I don't know what he was supposed to be good at - other than being Bruce Livingstone's friend I don't know why he was there

« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2015, 01:15 »
+8
Yeah, saw this today and it sounded like terrible news. I was just getting excited about 500px and then they hired this guy to run the marketplace...

« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2015, 02:04 »
+7
I am sick beyond words.

PZF

« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2015, 03:25 »
+4
You see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel - 500px looking at sorting watermark issue, taking on distributors - and then you find they've put this guy to hold the torch....
:(

« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2015, 07:36 »
+5
It is clearly simplistic and potentially malicious to personally blame Kelly Thompson for what happened at iStock during that transitionary era. The same as it would be wrong to blame any of the other people who used to once speak for the company. And at least he was not annoying like the clubby insiders with their bizarre group speak and addressing each other as member :)

We have no idea how hard he may have argued for things to be different.

ShadySue

« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2015, 08:09 »
+6
I have no knowledge of the man whatsoever, and hold no candle for him. I absolutely found JJRD infinitely more annoying with the silly F5s and childish 'teasers'.

"Money isn't what makes us happy" was an extremely unfortunate choice of phrasing. As was that interview when he was asked how contributor reaction to the rates cut announcement had been, and he answered to the effect that there had been some murmuring at the beginning, but that had sort-of faded out, disingenuously ignoring the fact that persistent protestors were Lobotomised.

I do remember KKT once having a meeting with Getty and reporting that he'd been charged with increasing profits by 50%. Being a clueless innocent, I thought, "Oh great, more marketing to get more sales  :)". That wasn't very long before the rates cut announcement.

I'm not sure what he could have done better given that Klein or someone else further up the chain had made the decisons that were made in late 2010. He either had to tell us or hand in his notice and go off sick for the duration, refusing to communicate the message. Whatever, it wouldn't have saved us from their greed and incompetency.

All that said, 500px clearly didn't do much research if they didn't know the bad feelings between the content providers and KKT, so that looks like a poor move on their part.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 11:08 by ShadySue »

« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2015, 08:14 »
+6
bunhill, theres nothing malicious being posted here. as for thompson, i assume he had a role in istock and within that role he made decisions hurting us. if he was just a puppet then shame on him for being a hapless messenger


« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2015, 08:22 »
+1
bunhill, theres nothing malicious being posted here

I disagree.

Anyhow - most of what has happened in microstock including iStock is inevitable economics. If it had not been them it would have been someone else. Basic issues are that the economy collapsed about the same time as Facebook and the iPhone went mainstream. For many former customers that meant that they realised that they no longer needed a website (in many cases they never did). Content today is often something shared from 'friends' and followers.

Plus over-supply. The price of using mainstream stock photographs is trending towards zero.

« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2015, 08:40 »
+1
Kelly Thompson is a good guy who worked his ... off to move istock forward and earned us all a lot of money before getty brought istock down.

He made some stupid comments on the forums, yes, but to me he is one of the best istock had.

So this is good news.

Please give me a proper upload process with automatic downsizing and watermarks. I really would like to try 500pix.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2015, 08:42 »
+8
I've never met the guy and have no idea what was going on behind the scenes. Regardless of if he was the person who made the decisions or was just the messenger, my perception is he's questionable. Contributors have been conditioned that bad things tend to happen when he's involved. I think that's understandable. Part of the problem was communication. We were told to expect something and frequently experienced something different.

I only have a couple dozen images on 500px and have received a couple licensing requests. So that plus the higher prices and royalty percentage seemed like they were headed in the right direction. This move seems to be a fork in the road.

« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2015, 09:14 »
0
Bunhill "If it had not been them it would have been someone else. ", but it was them, not someone else

As for the value of photos, yes, I agree, until the entire market has been destroyed and all photographers have found refuge outside stock, we wont see an upturn

« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2015, 09:27 »
+3
It is clearly simplistic and potentially malicious to personally blame Kelly Thompson for what happened at iStock during that transitionary era.
I think we all agree it wasn't all Kelly Thompson's fault.  But several times he proved to be completely incompetent for the job.  As Jo Ann said above:  "I don't know what he was supposed to be good at - other than being Bruce Livingstone's friend I don't know why he was there"
« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 10:51 by Digital66 »

« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2015, 09:29 »
+5
I think the market will and is turning. Stocksy grew 600% this year and they are not bottom pricing. The smart and talented photographers are leaving cheap stock and if the company has a strong social network and good business sense it will grow. The backend to customers is very important as if you treat them right and help them they will spend the money. You can't just throw a product out and say here it is anymore. Curation is the future and it has to be smart curation. I made good money on Vetta at iStock but they have chosen the cheap route on photos. 500px is a different beast and has chosen to better route. Interesting times ahead for sure.

« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2015, 09:37 »
+6
bunhill, theres nothing malicious being posted here

I disagree.

Anyhow - most of what has happened in microstock including iStock is inevitable economics. If it had not been them it would have been someone else. Basic issues are that the economy collapsed about the same time as Facebook and the iPhone went mainstream. For many former customers that meant that they realised that they no longer needed a website (in many cases they never did). Content today is often something shared from 'friends' and followers.

Plus over-supply. The price of using mainstream stock photographs is trending towards zero.
I disagree.   What happened to iStock started the day they changed the royalty system.  The other agencies just took advantage of Getty/iStock bad decisions. 

« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 21:02 by Digital66 »

« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2015, 11:02 »
+3
One thing I think we can be sure about is that there will be big changes at 500px.  Maybe not tomorrow, and maybe not all at once, but it won't be what it was, or what we hoped it might become.  I'm not going to submit anything there until the new direction is made clear.


 

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