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Author Topic: Moving on from IS exclusive  (Read 29858 times)

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« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2012, 11:50 »
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I wasn't suggesting anything at all. I just think it will be a shame if u don't appear in the New Artist lightbox on the homepage. I understand the predicament though.

However, as gostwyck says it probably doesn't make much of a difference. At the time of posting I thought it did.


Phadrea

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« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2012, 13:45 »
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Ok, I'll let you off  ;) I know what you mean though.

« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2012, 17:42 »
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I dropped iS exclusivity in june 2011.  I am happy with the decision I made, because it truly revitalized my love of photography, and re-motivated me.  That said, I still have not recovered to where I was before, earnings-wise.  I'm getting there, but not there yet.  However, I do think I'd be ahead relative to where I WOULD be if I had not rescinded, because the RC change would have hit me very hard.  But that's all speculation.

Carl

  • Carl Stewart, CS Productions
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2012, 21:25 »
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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!

It depends on your definition of "high."  After all, you've gotta sell a lotta pictures at 33 cents each in order to make any money.  For example, so far this month I've had 28 sales resulting in a whopping $11.39*.  That's just plain wrong!   :P  Ya know how many sales it takes to get that amount of money at AllYouCanStock.com?  THREE!

Don't get me wrong - I'm honored to be a SS contributor, and I appreciate the steady volume, which I don't get (yet) at AYCS.  But I'm definitely not a fan of subscription sales.  I think it devalues our work.  But the truth is that it's just the simple law of supply and demand at work here.  If I were to delete my SS portfolio, it would have the same lasting effect as withdrawing my finger from a glass of water.   ::)

(*In case you're doing the math, there was one on-demand sale for $2.48.)

Phadrea

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« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2012, 04:22 »
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I didn't realize prices were so low for images sold at SS. Why does everyone seem to rate them then if they don't pay like IS ?

« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2012, 04:44 »
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Because SS sells images like crazy.  It's been my top earner for over six years now.  IS never came remotely close to bringing in the number of downloads or the money.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 04:46 by Karimala »

ShadySue

« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2012, 04:47 »
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I didn't realize prices were so low for images sold at SS.

You move heaven and earth to get into a site and you haven't read the earnings schedule?
http://submit.shutterstock.com/earnings_schedule.mhtml
Quote
Why does everyone seem to rate them then if they don't pay like IS ?

That's what I totally can't get my head around. Pics of any size that the contributor gets 25c for (max 38c) on the sub scheme, 20% - 30% for 'single images on demand'.[/quote]
Admittedly, better than TS, but that's about all.
I don't submit to TS either. If iStock forced us all into it, that could be the last straw unless there were big compensations in some other way.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 06:39 by ShadySue »

ShadySue

« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2012, 04:47 »
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Because SS sells images like crazy.  It's been my top earner for over six years now.  IS never came remotely close to bringing in the number of downloads or the money.
Out of respect for contributors, they really need to up prices.

« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2012, 05:11 »
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Because SS sells images like crazy.  It's been my top earner for over six years now.  IS never came remotely close to bringing in the number of downloads or the money.
Out of respect for contributors, they really need to up prices.

Agreed...and our royalties.  It's been a couple of years since we last had a raise.

« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2012, 05:14 »
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Because SS sells images like crazy.  It's been my top earner for over six years now.  IS never came remotely close to bringing in the number of downloads or the money.
Out of respect for contributors, they really need to up prices.

why ? they do not want to go on IS path.... Like in any other thriving business ...small price but huge volumes....

SS has become by far my best earner despite the fact i have half of images compared with other agencies.

rubyroo

« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2012, 05:54 »
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If they could pay me more and keep providing me with the consistent upward trend in income that I've experienced these years, then of course I'd be even happier with them than I am now.  My concern would be that if they push buyers too far, they'll lose market share and my income would stabilise or fall.  I wouldn't want that.

I think their 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' approach has served them (and me) very well so far.  For that reason, I tend to trust Jon Oringer's judgement.

ETA:  Removing a paragraph, because I don't want to encourage the competition over to SS TOO much!  ;)
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 06:35 by rubyroo »

Phadrea

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« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2012, 06:41 »
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I didn't realize prices were so low for images sold at SS.

You move heaven and earth to get into a site and you haven't read the earnings schedule?
http://submit.shutterstock.com/earnings_schedule.mhtml

I didn't need to as SS are coming out on top ;-)

ShadySue

« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2012, 06:46 »
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why ? they do not want to go on IS path.... Like in any other thriving business ...small price but huge volumes....
Not remotely 'like any other thriving business' most of which are forced out of business when they cut prices too far.
It is doable with agencies because their stock costs are very low and they can sell many times for an initial low cost (inspection) and a small ongoing cost (server space and maintenance).
However, while attractive to the customer, these prices, as was mentioned earlier, devalue the work and expense of contributors.
On the other hand, many people with better ports than me don't seem to mind that.
It is interesting that anecdotally they are pushing the acceptance standards up and up, but the recompense isn't following suit.

« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2012, 06:55 »
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After all, you've gotta sell a lotta pictures at 33 cents each in order to make any money.  For example, so far this month I've had 28 sales resulting in a whopping $11.39*.  That's just plain wrong!   :P  Ya know how many sales it takes to get that amount of money at AllYouCanStock.com?  THREE!

Don't get me wrong - I'm honored to be a SS contributor, and I appreciate the steady volume, which I don't get (yet) at AYCS.  But I'm definitely not a fan of subscription sales.  I think it devalues our work. 


Why do people keep bleating on about "SS sells at just 25/33c"? My average sale at SS this month is over 70c and that figure has been steadily rising for the last 3 years.

Without the context of volume such statements are utterly meaningless. Nowadays I sell roughly 4x more images at SS than I do on Istock. Yes, I get paid about 2x more per sale at Istock but do they produce the volume? No __ nowhere near. That's why my portfolio makes more than twice as much money on SS.

In June 2010 I had a sale at Istock that netted me just 5c. Yes honestly, see here;

http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/5c-royalty-at-istock/

But do people go on about "Istock sells at just 5c"? No. Why not?

rubyroo

« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2012, 07:00 »
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5c?

Wow.  I must have missed that.  I think the lowest I've had at IS is 7c, and my share of 10cs.

I was astounded by 7c.  But 5c?!!!

How low can they go?

ShadySue

« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2012, 07:08 »
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But do people go on about "Istock sells at just 5c"? No. Why not?
They do: when low sales happen, they often get mentioned both over on the iStock forums and here.
If these are genuinely old credits, fair enough - but there can hardly be that many of these flying around.
What I believe is wrong is that new credits are being sold at well below the published rate for big buyers, but this isn't visible to us plebs, who sign up on the basis of the prices which are visible. (Same on Alamy, of course - pics are being sold at way below the rack rate for big buyers.)

What people do go on about is the %age earned by contributors. Yes, it's insulting at 15% for many indies at iStock; and probably Yuri is about the indie earning 20%. Plus many/most of us aren't getting the %age we were promised ("grandfathered in") before the bombshell.

But how do you know what percentage your flat rate of 25c - 38c is of a subscription payment? And it seems from the earnings schedule that the maximum you can ever get at SS is 30%.

So what you're (not 'you', Gostwyck, in particular) really saying is that SS is good because it sells your very high quality (nowadays) images at very low prices so you get more sales? Some keen iStockers say the same about TS.  :(

I know that not all who submit to SS get good volumes of sales, like anywhere else. However, I accept that people will say as they find, and that's fine. Except that for the past few months those who aren't doing so well there, with only one or two exceptions, seem a bit intimidated to admit that on here.

Don't interpret the above as an apologia for iStock or a demonisation of SS. It's neither.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 07:12 by ShadySue »

« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2012, 07:08 »
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Because SS sells images like crazy.  It's been my top earner for over six years now.  IS never came remotely close to bringing in the number of downloads or the money.
Out of respect for contributors, they really need to up prices.

Agreed...and our royalties.  It's been a couple of years since we last had a raise.

Not exactly. My income per sale at SS has been steadily rising for about 3 years. In Jan 2009 for example my average sale price was 50c (and I was already on the maximum commission) and now it is over 70c.

My total income from SS is projected to be roughly double what it was in Jan 2009 too. If that's not 'a rise' then I don't know what one is. All that in the teeth of the worst Worldwide recession/depression since the 1930's.

What sort of 'a rise' would satisfy you?


« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2012, 07:29 »
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If they could pay me more and keep providing me with the consistent upward trend in income that I've experienced these years, then of course I'd be even happier with them than I am now.  My concern would be that if they push buyers too far, they'll lose market share and my income would stabilise or fall.  I wouldn't want that.

I think their 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' approach has served them (and me) very well so far.  For that reason, I tend to trust Jon Oringer's judgement.

Exactly. Oringer has always taken a slow and scientific approach to increases on image prices, testing customer resistance for several months before fully implementing changes. It is in sharp contrast to Istock's recklessness and greed ... and there will be only one winner.

I believe many microstockers need to 'reset' their expectations of monthly/yearly increases. Yes, it was great for the first few years when the market was finding its own level, images prices soared each year and we could double the sizes of our portfolios ... but now things are different. Microstock has become a mature market and is highly competitive both for agencies and individual contributors. Increases in income from here on in will have to be hard won by talent, investment and graft rather than being simply handed out annually by the agencies via ever-increasing prices. Better get used to it because that's how it's going to be.

ShadySue

« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2012, 08:00 »
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If they could pay me more and keep providing me with the consistent upward trend in income that I've experienced these years, then of course I'd be even happier with them than I am now.  My concern would be that if they push buyers too far, they'll lose market share and my income would stabilise or fall.  I wouldn't want that.

I think their 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' approach has served them (and me) very well so far.  For that reason, I tend to trust Jon Oringer's judgement.

Exactly. Oringer has always taken a slow and scientific approach to increases on image prices, testing customer resistance for several months before fully implementing changes. It is in sharp contrast to Istock's recklessness and greed ... and there will be only one winner.

I believe many microstockers need to 'reset' their expectations of monthly/yearly increases. Yes, it was great for the first few years when the market was finding its own level, images prices soared each year and we could double the sizes of our portfolios ... but now things are different. Microstock has become a mature market and is highly competitive both for agencies and individual contributors. Increases in income from here on in will have to be hard won by talent, investment and graft rather than being simply handed out annually by the agencies via ever-increasing prices. Better get used to it because that's how it's going to be.

Can't see how that's anything to cheer about unless you're a customer.
While pleasing the customer is a Good Thing, there has to be a fair balance. IMO neither 25c nor 70c for a full sized image, or even a medium sized one is fair to the producer. IMO these prices are no better than an occasional 7c for an XSm.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 08:10 by ShadySue »

« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2012, 08:17 »
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Low price + high sales volume is what defined the microstock model. As iStock gradually pushed its way out of microstock into the non-existent midstock category people started looking at price per sale rather than total earnings. Price-per-sale it a trad-stock way of thinking.

One of the reasons I went with the PP was that when you get down to basics, the arguments against it are the same as the arguments against the entire microstock model and it seemed irrational to be willing to sell images at $250 per monthly subscription on SS but to be unwilling to sell them for $250 per subscription on TS.

It is worth noting that from the buyer's perspective, a purchase from the SS subscription involves spending $250, while a purchase from iS, using the smallest available credit pack is probably less than 10% of that. So from one point of view, it can be argued that iS is devaluing images more than SS is.

From the microstocker's perspective, what matters is not the return on individual sales, or even the percentage commission, it is the bottom line at the end of the month. That is what got us into this game in the first place.

ShadySue

« Reply #45 on: January 10, 2012, 08:20 »
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From the microstocker's perspective, what matters is not the return on individual sales, or even the percentage commission, it is the bottom line at the end of the month. That is what got us into this game in the first place.
Oh, and there was me thinking it was an opportunity for those outside the old boy network of the trad macros.

« Reply #46 on: January 10, 2012, 08:54 »
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Because SS sells images like crazy.  It's been my top earner for over six years now.  IS never came remotely close to bringing in the number of downloads or the money.
Out of respect for contributors, they really need to up prices.

Agreed...and our royalties.  It's been a couple of years since we last had a raise.

Not exactly. My income per sale at SS has been steadily rising for about 3 years. In Jan 2009 for example my average sale price was 50c (and I was already on the maximum commission) and now it is over 70c.

My total income from SS is projected to be roughly double what it was in Jan 2009 too. If that's not 'a rise' then I don't know what one is. All that in the teeth of the worst Worldwide recession/depression since the 1930's.

What sort of 'a rise' would satisfy you?

I wasn't talking about a "rise."  I was talking about a "raise."  When I started there in 2005, contributors earned 20 cents per subscription sale.  Then they raised it to 25 cents, then 30 cents, and then they implemented the tiered system with a max of 38 cents.  Used to be we could expect a raise every year, but we haven't had one since the economy tanked.

« Reply #47 on: January 10, 2012, 09:14 »
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I wasn't talking about a "rise."  I was talking about a "raise."  When I started there in 2005, contributors earned 20 cents per subscription sale.  Then they raised it to 25 cents, then 30 cents, and then they implemented the tiered system with a max of 38 cents.  Used to be we could expect a raise every year, but we haven't had one since the economy tanked.

I think what Americans call 'a raise' in the UK would be referred to as 'a rise' We have pay rises (hopefully) not pay raises.

I'm sure Jon would like to increases prices, and thereby commissions, but has concluded it would be a poor business move to do so. He's having to compete for sub customers against FT, DT and TS amongst others so to charge significantly more could be catastrophic for his business. Instead he is growing his business 'organically' (to use that horrible expression) by offering better site functionality and service than his competitors.

All those price increases don't seemed to have helped Istock much as far as I can see. Most folk are reporting stagnant or falling incomes from them. As BT observes above microstock was always about low prices and high volumes. When Istock forgot about that minor detail they were sunk. FT have made several moves to decrease prices recently and even DT has had to change its pricing architecture and introduce an easy system for customers to seek out cheap images from search results. Against all that SS appears to be doing a pretty good job.

rubyroo

« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2012, 09:30 »
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All together now.... "you say 'tomayto'; I say 'tomahto'.... you say potayto; I say potahto..."  ;D

I agree very much with your post Gostwyck.   
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 09:40 by rubyroo »

« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2012, 10:37 »
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From the microstocker's perspective, what matters is not the return on individual sales, or even the percentage commission, it is the bottom line at the end of the month. That is what got us into this game in the first place.
Oh, and there was me thinking it was an opportunity for those outside the old boy network of the trad macros.

An opportunity to do what? Call yourself a stock photographer or make some money? If the answer is "make some money" then the bottom line comes back into it.


 

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