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Author Topic: Moving on from IS exclusive  (Read 29854 times)

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Phadrea

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« on: November 30, 2011, 06:05 »
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I am seriously thinking of dropping my exclusive with IS BUT I need to know if there are enough sites out there to make it worth my while. I am still in the process of trying to get into SS (about to be my 5th attempt) but I would like to know from experience if it is worth spreading your images out into as many sites as possible. The other thing about IS is I haven't submitted any images for about 13 months. I gave up after wasting a days shoot only to have them all turned down. Just a reason to pick up my camera again would be nice. My main income comes from Pro music/sound recording.

Sadly, it's time to move on from IS being the main earner for me as it no longer delivers. As an exclusive I feel they do not make it worth my loyalty, especially when they reject perfectly good, salable images.

Thanks.


« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2011, 06:25 »
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That's not easy to answer. On the micros, 80%+ of my income comes from three sites. 20%- comes from another six sites. None of those six produce much (though sometimes one or other goes up or down a bit) in return for the effort of supplying them but, on the other hand, who would turn down a 20% pay rise if they had the chance?

However, will uploading to all those reduce the amount of stuff you have time to put on the top sites? If so, it might be an illusory 20%.

I will say this: as an independent, if you're not on SS, then you're dead. You'd be much better off sticking with exclusivity. If SS isn't in the mix, then iS alone will deliver half your income once you manage to get everything up onto all the other sites. It will involve a hell of a lot of effort and at best it will put you back to square one.

« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2011, 06:33 »
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I would suggest to remain exclusive if you are not able to submit more often than today.
Did you have any good reason to not upload anything for 13 months? This is bad for any site, is not only with IS.
If you stop uploading, then the business is going down, no matter what site.

But if you want to leave the exclusivity on IS because they suck in the treatment with it's contributors, then I understand.

lagereek

« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2011, 08:37 »
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I will sanction what baldrick said. SS, is a must. DT and FT, are also great earners but only if your port is fairly big. However, having said this I would agree with previous posters and be carefull, you know what youve got, etc. Nowdays the editing at SS, is far tougher then at IS, goes for DT and FT as well.

lisafx

« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2011, 12:28 »
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I will sanction what baldrick said. SS, is a must. DT and FT, are also great earners but only if your port is fairly big. However, having said this I would agree with previous posters and be carefull, you know what youve got, etc. Nowdays the editing at SS, is far tougher then at IS, goes for DT and FT as well.

Yes, I agree with Balderick and Lagereek.  SS is a must if you are going to be independent. 

I have added quite a few sites over the past year.  I am now on 15 sites and in talks with another one that I may join.   However, 90% of my income still comes from the top 4 sites (SS, IS, DT, FT), so if you are worried about the time involved in uploading to multiple sites, you could stick to those 4 initially, and only add others once your port is established on the top sites. 

Before making a final decision on dropping exclusivity, I suggest you upload to IS again.  Their submission standards have gotten more lenient in the past year or so.

« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2011, 12:49 »
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I'd be a bit worried about it taking so many attempts to get accepted at SS and would definitely postpone dumping exclusivity until you've been accepted at SS (I agree with the previous posters that it will be a critical part of your independent earnings)

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2011, 18:43 »
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I have had images that made it through other submissions turned down next time round at SS. How on earth am I to read what to do from such inconsistency ? It's almost impossible. The only thing I will have to do is keep trying but someone there doesn't like me. A lot of my images are fine and folk here seem miffed why I am not on SS already.

« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2011, 18:47 »
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It's not being miffed, it's giving you sensible advice. Why should any of us care whether or not you are on it?
If I remember the SS test, they will examine the initial submission until they hit the limit for rejections and then don't bother looking at the rest. Those that weren't examined won't be marked as failed but it doesn't mean they actually passed.
Alternatively, maybe you are borderline so an image will just pass on one day and just fail the next.

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2011, 21:33 »
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I'm not independent. but I set up accounts at the other agencies just to be prepared. acceptance at SS took one submission. if you're on your 6th, as jsnover said, I'd hold off until you get accepted at SS. if I were to go independent at some point, SS would be first on my list of sites to submit to...

« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2011, 22:12 »
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Don`t under estimate the amount of time required to become non-exclusive. The biggest hurddle by far is re-keywording your entire portfolio. If you just copy paste your iStock controlled vocabulary you will sell yourself short.

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2011, 22:53 »
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Don`t under estimate the amount of time required to become non-exclusive. The biggest hurddle by far is re-keywording your entire portfolio. If you just copy paste your iStock controlled vocabulary you will sell yourself short.

one of the many reasons I'm still exclusive. the work isn't what scares me though. I've just talked to enough independents and done enough homework to know, that although it may be satisfying for some contributors to have dumped their crowns, the grass isn't greener as an indie. I prefer to be exclusive overall, but at times it makes things difficult (it's not exactly exciting contributing to iStock's wannabe editorial collection).

« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2011, 23:04 »
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Don`t under estimate the amount of time required to become non-exclusive. The biggest hurddle by far is re-keywording your entire portfolio. If you just copy paste your iStock controlled vocabulary you will sell yourself short.

one of the many reasons I'm still exclusive. the work isn't what scares me though. I've just talked to enough independents and done enough homework to know, that although it may be satisfying for some contributors to have dumped their crowns, the grass isn't greener as an indie. I prefer to be exclusive overall, but at times it makes things difficult (it's not exactly exciting contributing to iStock's wannabe editorial collection).

For me its been 2 steps back and then 3 steps forward. so overall I`m happy with my decision to be independent. Once I became non-exclusive, I realized that although it was a lot of work and initially and I took a temporary hit, the greatest benefit is not having all my eggs in one basket. The only constant in life is change and I get a greater sense of security in diversifying my portfolio.

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2011, 05:11 »
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Why should any of us care whether or not you are on it?

I'm not asking you to care. Good grief, the very thought of anyone being nice here  ::)

« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2011, 16:55 »
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Hi, I just wanted to point you in the direction of my blog if you haven't found it already.  I am a former iStock exclusive that left in October last year.  I have been blogging on independence with full earnings transparency every since.  It also links to a forum page - in one thread Doxadigital talked about a deal he came to with Shutterstock re asking to have his application accepted but put on hold to stop his images going live for sale before his exclusivity fell.  It might be useful for you:

http://stockcube-stockcube.blogspot.com/

Best of luck

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2011, 03:51 »
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But staying exclusive at IS isn't rewarding. They don't accept images anymore AND they are not selling my images like they used to. Surely going with others would make up the pathetic sales at IS ?

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2011, 03:52 »
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Hi, I just wanted to point you in the direction of my blog if you haven't found it already.  I am a former iStock exclusive that left in October last year.  I have been blogging on independence with full earnings transparency every since.  It also links to a forum page - in one thread Doxadigital talked about a deal he came to with Shutterstock re asking to have his application accepted but put on hold to stop his images going live for sale before his exclusivity fell.  It might be useful for you:

http://stockcube-stockcube.blogspot.com/

Best of luck


Thanks, will look into it.

« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2011, 01:34 »
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I was faced with the same dilemma : dropping exclusivity from DT. I am glad that i make the move; my income dropped with only $20 and SS has become my 1st earner.

So, from my point o view it is worth....


Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2012, 06:13 »
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Only 3 more days of being shackled to IS and then freedom :-) I have just over 300 files already in at SS. I am sure it will be worth it. IS has flatlined for me so I won't miss anything really and most of my downloads there are for audio.

Cogent Marketing

« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2012, 06:44 »
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Only 3 more days of being shackled to IS and then freedom :-) I have just over 300 files already in at SS. I am sure it will be worth it. IS has flatlined for me so I won't miss anything really and most of my downloads there are for audio.
Gotta be the right decision for the mid-long term. Best of luck.

« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2012, 07:53 »
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Only 3 more days of being shackled to IS and then freedom :-) I have just over 300 files already in at SS. I am sure it will be worth it. IS has flatlined for me so I won't miss anything really and most of my downloads there are for audio.

You've uploaded to ss but opted out of ss til the IS shackles come off? On the front page of ss they have a lightbox called New Artists, this is partly why those who join get a tremendous amount of downloads initially. Once u opt in to ss, I hope you still appear there.

Carl

  • Carl Stewart, CS Productions
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2012, 09:18 »
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It's generally not a good idea to "have all your eggs in one basket," which is why I've never gone exclusive to any site.  I was accepted on DT, FT, and DP on my first submission.  For SS, it took no less than eight submissions!  It seemed to be a moving target.  At least one submission contained only images that were approved in other submissions, but some were rejected nevertheless.  It was worth the effort, though, because I now get daily sales at SS (although at 33 cents per sale, it will take a long time to realize any significant income).  I make payout every other month, working diligently toward making it every month.  The inspectors are still very unpredictable and inconsistent, as they are among other sites as well.  Interestingly, there isn't even any consistency between sites, meaning that images which are rejected by one site will be accepted by another, and vice versa.  So among them, all of my images end up for sale somewhere, which makes a very good case for nonexclusivity.  I find that my efforts are best invested in SS, DT, FT, and DP, although I do see AllYouCanStock.com as very promising.  I've only had video on IS, but I no longer upload there.

ShadySue

« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2012, 09:23 »
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  For SS, it took no less than eight submissions!  It seemed to be a moving target.  At least one submission contained only images that were approved in other submissions, but some were rejected nevertheless.  It was worth the effort, though, because I now get daily sales at SS (although at 33 cents per sale, it will take a long time to realize any significant income).  I make payout every other month, working diligently toward making it every month. 
You have c800 pics of models on SS and 'make payout every other month' - Please tell me they have a high payout bar!

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2012, 11:39 »
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Only 3 more days of being shackled to IS and then freedom :-) I have just over 300 files already in at SS. I am sure it will be worth it. IS has flatlined for me so I won't miss anything really and most of my downloads there are for audio.

You've uploaded to ss but opted out of ss til the IS shackles come off? On the front page of ss they have a lightbox called New Artists, this is partly why those who join get a tremendous amount of downloads initially. Once u opt in to ss, I hope you still appear there.

How can I do any other ? If I go live before my IS exclusivity is over I could jepordize my place at IS. Are you suggesting I do the wrong thing ?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 11:43 by Herg »

« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2012, 11:44 »
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You've uploaded to ss but opted out of ss til the IS shackles come off? On the front page of ss they have a lightbox called New Artists, this is partly why those who join get a tremendous amount of downloads initially. Once u opt in to ss, I hope you still appear there.

How can I do any other ? If I go live before my IS exclusivity is over I could jepordize my place at IS. Are you suggesting I do the wrong thing ?
[/quote]

The lightbox has only got 30 images in it __ out of 88K new images uploaded in the last week alone. How much difference can it possibly make?

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2012, 11:48 »
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With any site I have found an initial "honeymoon" period before things drop and find their equilibrium.


 

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