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Author Topic: Microstock is nosediving - time to find something else  (Read 2472 times)

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« on: June 21, 2024, 01:52 »
+6
This statement is nothing new of course, but I used to have hope - Shutterstock was good, and when it fall off the cliff, Canva kept rising and became even better.


Now I don't think I have hope anymore. Why so?


For now Adobe Stock and Istock are kinda holding on, but Adobe Stock taking forever to review submissions can't be a good sign. Also, I'm not sure what to think about that whole AI adventure.

Shutterstock, the former best earner, continues to be worse each year, and Canva, the best earner for some of us, just keeps nosediving month after month.

Others are not even worth a mention.


This industry doesn't look sustainable at all. Sure, we will keep earning bucks from it, but if we want to survive and live in the long term, seems to me we will have to find other source(s) of income relatively fast, or to simply get a regular 9-5 job, which absolutely sucks.

I think I'm pretty much done with submitting - for a while it seems like a waste of time. Better to try something else - blog, youtube or whatever.


« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2024, 02:18 »
+5
Even these are hard to get it. I own 2 photography forums which are on Google adsense. In 4 years I've earned 33. Still haven't cashed out.

YouTube it's hard to get it. I do YouTube as well, but isn't easy. In 1 year I got 144 subs. So even that isn't easy at all. Unless you have something unique to deliver to people

« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2024, 02:23 »
0
Thanks for sharing your experience.

« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2024, 02:44 »
+1
Yeah I thought about Youtube. Have a channel with 352 subs but it's in a niche I don't really want to grow to monetization (drone footage). Have barely put anything into to it over the past couple of years. It does show me though that if I put in the effort I could probably grow a channel to monetization but there are two prevailing issues that hold me back: 1) What is something I'm really interested in / passionate about that I know I can go out time and time again to continue creating videos to publish; and 2) Will that topic or niche be surely sufficiently popular to interest a large enough audience to grow in subs and views that will make it worthwhile financially - considering the likelihood of a low(er) CPM. Perhaps there's something that can be combined with microstock. I like plane spotting for example and some of those channels grow quite large but I think the CPM is low on that. Nevertheless you could post those photos and clips on stock sites as well as the YT channel. I'm not interested in or otherwise skilled and qualified to have a channel on finances and wealth (or similar) that do have higher CPMs. Other than that, I just can't find the spark to get started on Youtube or anything else for that matter.               

« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2024, 15:56 »
+3
we've seen this coming for years now, but my  drop in sales has been minimal to modest

these are my losses compared to 2018 total
  • 2023   -2.78%
    2022   -24.90%  while non-photo eBay & Amazon sales doubled under covid
    2021   -3.82%
    2020   -4.50%
    2019   -11.80%

SS continues to be my best source - consistently about 2 x AS, with canva and SS contending for 2nd place

much of the reason i've been able to minimize losses is i've opted in to every option for income for training, AS $5 to list as free, etc..

how many of those complaining about drop in sales have declined this low hanging fruit?

FAA, alamy and pond have low sales, but larger ones when they do occur

i've branched out to selling galleries (20+ images for a single price) on my blogsite (with links from my content) and started an etsy store a month ago so still filling the shelves there
« Last Edit: June 21, 2024, 20:37 by cascoly »

« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2024, 03:33 »
0
Lately I've been getting more money from posting my content on Facebook than from selling it on Adobe. Time to say goodbye to microstock is getting closer..

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2024, 09:21 »
+1
Lately I've been getting more money from posting my content on Facebook than from selling it on Adobe. Time to say goodbye to microstock is getting closer..

How do you get money for posting to FB? Sounds like you're doing the right things.

« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2024, 13:08 »
0
Lately I've been getting more money from posting my content on Facebook than from selling it on Adobe. Time to say goodbye to microstock is getting closer..

How do you get money for posting to FB? Sounds like you're doing the right things.
There are a few different ways of earning money on Fb and IG - e.g. ads on videos, performance bonus and more. Availability depends on country, achieving specific reach milestones and on plain luck as some are invitation only. In the past I never would have thought I'd be saying I earn money by posting on FB, but here we are :D. My post was not about praising Fb though, but about ever declining Adobe earnings, which is the last microstock agency still "standing"
« Last Edit: July 01, 2024, 13:13 by mike123 »

« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2024, 14:01 »
0
Lately I've been getting more money from posting my content on Facebook than from selling it on Adobe. Time to say goodbye to microstock is getting closer..

How do you get money for posting to FB? Sounds like you're doing the right things.
There are a few different ways of earning money on Fb and IG - e.g. ads on videos, performance bonus and more. Availability depends on country, achieving specific reach milestones and on plain luck as some are invitation only. In the past I never would have thought I'd be saying I earn money by posting on FB, but here we are :D. My post was not about praising Fb though, but about ever declining Adobe earnings, which is the last microstock agency still "standing"

Off topic again, from my understandings, you are posting lots of shorts ? :)

Looking to quit stock industry, as a newbie is time consuming and it's just not worth the effort to be honest.

« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2024, 06:00 »
+3
I,on the other hand,despite all the negative results that I read from the experiences of many,still believe in microstock.

it's difficult,very difficult,you have to be willing to make sacrifices,many,many sacrifices,very little free time,late nights at work,yesterday for example I worked all day and then finished at 4 in the morning.

in my opinion it's not enough to just do AI or just photos or just videos or just vectors,you have to do everything,you have to do it well,and you have to do it in quantity.

if someone thinks that it is enough to upload a few thousand contents and then they can go on holiday for life,they are very wrong,it is no longer the case,it takes much more and it takes a lot of patience,an extraordinary patience,it takes passion and determination.

for me it's even more difficult than some,because my investment possibilities are really very limited,but this won't stop me,I'll make it!

Keep it up!  :)


« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2024, 06:52 »
+2
I didnt start till 2018 but each year my earnings rise as more content is uploaded, I only upload 25 photos a week and have never missed a week in 6 years. I do photography as a hobby so dont consider it work and I work full time elsewhere. Ive reached $500 to $600 a month for doing relatively nothing I wouldnt normally be doing so Im happy with it.

« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2024, 10:46 »
+1
I didnt start till 2018 but each year my earnings rise as more content is uploaded, I only upload 25 photos a week and have never missed a week in 6 years. I do photography as a hobby so dont consider it work and I work full time elsewhere. Ive reached $500 to $600 a month for doing relatively nothing I wouldnt normally be doing so Im happy with it.

To which agencies you are contributing, if you don't mind me asking.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2024, 11:09 »
+2
Lately I've been getting more money from posting my content on Facebook than from selling it on Adobe. Time to say goodbye to microstock is getting closer..

How do you get money for posting to FB? Sounds like you're doing the right things.
There are a few different ways of earning money on Fb and IG - e.g. ads on videos, performance bonus and more. Availability depends on country, achieving specific reach milestones and on plain luck as some are invitation only. In the past I never would have thought I'd be saying I earn money by posting on FB, but here we are :D. My post was not about praising Fb though, but about ever declining Adobe earnings, which is the last microstock agency still "standing"

Thanks, that's interesting. I won't be doing FB, but monitizing that, is entertaining.

Yes, this has been said for years now.

This statement is nothing new of course, but I used to have hope -

This industry doesn't look sustainable at all.

I think I'm pretty much done with submitting - for a while it seems like a waste of time. Better to try something else - blog, youtube or whatever.

What's fun to read are new people, who come here, read and research, and still join and think there's some money in Microstock. Less and less, old people, are motivated to work for dimes and low commissions. Ten years later, if not 12, new people are still asking how to make money and what agencies. When it used to be 25 agencies, now we're down to maybe 4 or 5. For some people that number is ONE.  :)

So, I'd have to answer for the new people, how to make money in Microstock, is, don't start, go do something else. The boom is over, the rush has ended, the ship has sailed... the train has left the station!  ;)

« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2024, 12:13 »
+2
I didnt start till 2018 but each year my earnings rise as more content is uploaded, I only upload 25 photos a week and have never missed a week in 6 years. I do photography as a hobby so dont consider it work and I work full time elsewhere. Ive reached $500 to $600 a month for doing relatively nothing I wouldnt normally be doing so Im happy with it.

To which agencies you are contributing, if you don't mind me asking.

Just the usual, Adobe, iStock, Shutterstock, Dreamtime, Alamy, Deposit, RF123, Pond5

zeljkok

  • Non Linear Existence
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2024, 13:31 »
+3
Quote from: Uncle Pete

The boom is over, the rush has ended, the ship has sailed... the train has left the station!  ;)

Respectfully, I will somewhat disagree.   Demand has not changed, if anything it might be bigger.  Or to use station analogy, people are still travelling but there are simply many more trains!

Main thing are realistic expectations along with hard work.   If someone thinks it is possible to snap photo with iPhone, upload and get rich - well, that train has indeed left long time ago.  But there are people out there (i.e. Backyard Silver) that still make several 1000's per month from stock.  That is all hard work, like most other things in life.   And for rest of us - it should be about enjoying photography and being realistic.   

Someone above mentioned they upload "only" 24 photos / week.  Being mainly landscape photographer, I upload only 1-2 photos / week.   After awhile all lakes and mountains and .. look the same.   After 6 or 7 yrs in stock I have about 2000 photos in port.   But it makes enough to finance photo gear, electronics and similar toys.  In addition I run a website;  it's mostly about hiking, but people have found it and I sold photos directly both in US and Canada, including being published in printed books.   So, despite everything, I don't feel photography is nosedive.


« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2024, 15:01 »
+2
If you do research on a subject you understand, you will usually realize the huge amount of content that is missing.

And as long as content is missing you can make money with stock.


wds

« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2024, 21:23 »
0
One question in my mind is what will be the long term impact of AI content. There is already a flood coming in. The amount being generated is so great that it has ballooned the inspection time at Adobestock. Think about that, the rate of AI submissions must be many times that of traditional submissions to cause the inspection time to go from a few days to over a month. The AI content generation will become more and more automated increasing the rate even more.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2024, 21:26 by wds »


« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2024, 03:53 »
+1
Lately I've been getting more money from posting my content on Facebook than from selling it on Adobe. Time to say goodbye to microstock is getting closer..

How do you get money for posting to FB? Sounds like you're doing the right things.
There are a few different ways of earning money on Fb and IG - e.g. ads on videos, performance bonus and more. Availability depends on country, achieving specific reach milestones and on plain luck as some are invitation only. In the past I never would have thought I'd be saying I earn money by posting on FB, but here we are :D. My post was not about praising Fb though, but about ever declining Adobe earnings, which is the last microstock agency still "standing"

Thanks, that's interesting. I won't be doing FB, but monitizing that, is entertaining.

Yes, this has been said for years now.

This statement is nothing new of course, but I used to have hope -

This industry doesn't look sustainable at all.

I think I'm pretty much done with submitting - for a while it seems like a waste of time. Better to try something else - blog, youtube or whatever.

What's fun to read are new people, who come here, read and research, and still join and think there's some money in Microstock. Less and less, old people, are motivated to work for dimes and low commissions. Ten years later, if not 12, new people are still asking how to make money and what agencies. When it used to be 25 agencies, now we're down to maybe 4 or 5. For some people that number is ONE.  :)

So, I'd have to answer for the new people, how to make money in Microstock, is, don't start, go do something else. The boom is over, the rush has ended, the ship has sailed... the train has left the station!  ;)

yes,that's why in June I made 25% more sales in numbers and 110% more earnings compared to June 2023.  ;)

and if I look back over the years my income has increased by much more than 110%

the motivation does not lie in working for dimes or low commissions,but in the awareness of increasing earnings over time.

but in any case,if someone can find something else simpler than microstock,certainly better,making microstock is difficult and not for everyone.

"Your ship is sailing with the high tide
And all your dreams are on the inside
On the inside looking out"

Alan Parsons.


« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2024, 21:58 »
+1
Man, I've been shooting micro stock since 2005, got into Getty in a limited fashion around 2006, then unlimited uploads for Getty around 2009, something like that. My sales reached their highest around 2016 and been getting less and less ever since. This last year sucked. in 2019 started selling prints on Etsy, just making up for the stock losses. 9 months ago started selling AI designs on Etsy. It's fun but no huge money maker for me. On balance, with stock and Etsy total, I'm still less than stock alone in 2016. I'm focusing on Etsy and starting AI stock to see where that's going but haven't shot any real photography for stock since 2018.

« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2024, 07:05 »
+2
I'm sorry about your experience on Getty,but unfortunately you backed the wrong horse.

I was lucky that I broke up with them in 2021,since then my earnings have improved,Adobe is a different story,even Shutterstock is a better agency than Getty and even Depositphotos is much more serious and helpful than Getty.

Getty is like a vampire with a nice face,it sucks your soul,and when you no longer serve them it throws you away with frightening simplicity.

Don't think that I don't know that the current situation is difficult in the microstock,I started in 2018,so not long ago,but year after year my earnings have increased,and as long as this remains the case I will continue,if ever my earnings will be lower than the previous year for 3 consecutive months,that will be the moment when I will have to stop.

this week is also a bad week on Adobe,but I'm not particularly worried,because it's all managed by the sales system,even if there will be billions more images,I'm pretty sure I'll continue to earn more year after year.

what in my opinion can make a difference is not so much the number of images in the Adobe Stock library, but more the number of new active contributors.

with AI,unfortunately or by merit,new contributors are increasing,this could perhaps represent a problem,because I believe it is more difficult for Adobe's sales system to manage an excessive number of contributors.

but AI still cannot create many types of content,or rather they can also do them,but not at the same level as real content,while instead they can do some types of content even better than real contents.

so in conclusion,for now I continue to work because I continue to see an improvement,if I ever start to see a worsening for 3 consecutive months,then I think I will stop.

I of course hope that this day will never come!

zeljkok

  • Non Linear Existence
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2024, 01:17 »
+1
Biggest thing that bothers me with iStock is 15% compensation rate.  It is downright disrespectful.   If you can swallow this,  they are still better than Deadstime

Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2024, 06:02 »
+2
Getty is like a vampire with a nice face,it sucks your soul,and when you no longer serve them it throws you away with frightening simplicity.

« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2024, 14:05 »
+1
Yeah,just like this,a digital vampire with a nice face! :D

« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2024, 14:16 »
0
Biggest thing that bothers me with iStock is 15% compensation rate.  It is downright disrespectful.   If you can swallow this,  they are still better than Deadstime

But do you mean 15% of 50 cents?  :D









 

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