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Author Topic: Moving on from IS exclusive  (Read 29863 times)

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ShadySue

« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2012, 10:49 »
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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.
True, the bottom line is more important to me than RPI, but it's not the only thing, or I guess I wouldn't have uploaded almost equal numbers to Alamy last year than I did to iStock. But deciding what should go where is a stab in the dark.


« Reply #51 on: January 10, 2012, 10:59 »
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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%.

This is what bothered me about IS and I think SS has the same problem. Only it is hidden in a cloud of mystery. I'd be surprised if it was over 30%. Maybe even closer to 20-25%. That doesn't even factor in if subs damage regular sales.

Sure they earn good money and have high sales volume, but how much money is left on the table that you'll never see?

WarrenPrice

« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2012, 11:00 »
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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.
True, the bottom line is more important to me than RPI, but it's not the only thing, or I guess I wouldn't have uploaded almost equal numbers to Alamy last year than I did to iStock. But deciding what should go where is a stab in the dark.

So glad that you pointed that out.  I've been racking my brain, trying to figure out how you guys decide what is microstock and what goes traditional or macrostock.

ShadySue

« Reply #53 on: January 10, 2012, 11:07 »
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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.
True, the bottom line is more important to me than RPI, but it's not the only thing, or I guess I wouldn't have uploaded almost equal numbers to Alamy last year than I did to iStock. But deciding what should go where is a stab in the dark.

So glad that you pointed that out.  I've been racking my brain, trying to figure out how you guys decide what is microstock and what goes traditional or macrostock.

It was much easier before iStock started selling editorial.

Carl

  • Carl Stewart, CS Productions
« Reply #54 on: January 10, 2012, 11:12 »
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I don't do macrostock.  I'm strictly a microstocker.  For now, anyway.

« Reply #55 on: January 10, 2012, 11:24 »
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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.

Thanks for the clarification.  Yes, Americans do call it a "raise."  First new thing I learned today.   :)

lisafx

« Reply #56 on: January 10, 2012, 17:03 »
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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.

I am certain that the reason we haven't gotten a raise from SS in the past two years is because that's about the length of time TS has been around.  When TS gets away with paying .25 - .28 to contributors, why should SS increase its .38 max sub royalty?  If they raise prices, then they will be at a competitive disadvantage. 

« Reply #57 on: January 10, 2012, 17:13 »
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That's entirely possible, Lisa...and is another reason why I keep plugging away at slowly deactivating my IS images. 

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #58 on: January 12, 2012, 18:55 »
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Ok, so I switched my account back on with SS now I am indie. Nothing has changed. I can't see my now accepted images. I can't even use catalog manager because it tells me I have nothing to organize. I have 317 images up. Is there a delay before they are online ?

« Reply #59 on: January 12, 2012, 19:11 »
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Things can take a while to get indexed and percolate through the servers etc. First things will show up in your port and searched under "new" then after they are visible to a general search you can see them in the catalog manager too.

Hopefully they have fixed the bug where new files would show up briefly and then disappear for a few days.

« Reply #60 on: January 12, 2012, 19:18 »
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Things can take a while to get indexed and percolate through the servers etc. First things will show up in your port and searched under "new" then after they are visible to a general search you can see them in the catalog manager too.

Hopefully they have fixed the bug where new files would show up briefly and then disappear for a few days.

Things seem pretty immediate at SS to me now.

wut

« Reply #61 on: January 12, 2012, 19:48 »
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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.

Sometimes it's better to be a bit more "dumb", or better said willingly ignorant and just care about the bottom line: how much do I make on a certain site. If I look at 2011, IS brought me just shy of 2/3 of SS earnings (PP included, but of course the Dec earnings are not in yet). Since they decided to impose a genocide on indie content my MTD earnings aren't even at 20%. Let say PP sales remained at the normal level since best match can't affect them, then my MTD earnings would increase to a whopping 35-40%.

So I really don't care wether I'm being payed 1c or 300$/DL, I just care about the sum (though selling a file for 300$ probably gives you a nice warm feeling inside). And the way the company is headed, it seems that for SS the sky is not the limit, while IS looks like Icarus.

RacePhoto

« Reply #62 on: January 12, 2012, 23:01 »
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Things can take a while to get indexed and percolate through the servers etc. First things will show up in your port and searched under "new" then after they are visible to a general search you can see them in the catalog manager too.

Hopefully they have fixed the bug where new files would show up briefly and then disappear for a few days.

Things seem pretty immediate at SS to me now.

Yes it seems so. For a couple of weeks, things seem to be back to normal. They show up first as NEW and then sometime later the servers sync. and things are everywhere. I hope it sticks!

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #63 on: January 13, 2012, 02:38 »
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Well it's next morning and still nothing showing in my port or in the search. "You don't have any content to organize. Please upload some so you can use this tool!"

The first time I was accepted, I already had a sale before I switched my live account off. That was immediate. Now it seems to be not working.

« Reply #64 on: January 13, 2012, 12:20 »
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In the past few months I have found that SS has it's immediate-days, it's wait-fourorfive-days, or it's let's-remove-these-live-photos-forafew-days.  Don't worry, they will show up.

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #65 on: January 29, 2012, 18:58 »
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After a couple of weeks I can report all my files are up and running but sales went from slow to flat line. Even though I am un-exclusive with IS I am still making more money with them. Up to now - very disappointing :-\
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 19:00 by Herg »

Noodles

« Reply #66 on: January 29, 2012, 20:00 »
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After a couple of weeks I can report all my files are up and running but sales went from slow to flat line. Even though I am un-exclusive with IS I am still making more money with them. Up to now - very disappointing :-\

Herg, have you tried using the SS forum and asking for advice?  If your keywording is good and your pictures are good then I'm sorry your sales are not. I still think its a mistake to upload before going live as I believe, though not 100% sure, they will not enter at the top of the pile.


lagereek

« Reply #67 on: January 30, 2012, 02:06 »
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Sue!  the maths here is really easy. What would you rather have?  30 sales per day at 0.38c plus say 15 sales per day at, 2.85, dollars, OR, at IS, 10 sales per day at an average of say 2.50.
At SS, its the magnitude of sales plus the extras like ODs, single-sales and ELs,  in the end, I bet you would double if not even trebble your earnings at SS.
Thats what micro is all about, plenty and plenty of minor sales. :)

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #68 on: January 30, 2012, 04:55 »
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I'll wait and see what happens. One thing about keywording, do you use words such as Horizontal, vertical, nobody, photography ?

ShadySue

« Reply #69 on: January 30, 2012, 05:17 »
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Sue!  the maths here is really easy. What would you rather have?  30 sales per day at 0.38c plus say 15 sales per day at, 2.85, dollars, OR, at IS, 10 sales per day at an average of say 2.50.
At SS, its the magnitude of sales plus the extras like ODs, single-sales and ELs,  in the end, I bet you would double if not even trebble your earnings at SS.
Thats what micro is all about, plenty and plenty of minor sales. :)
You forget, as an iStock, exclusive, you get a higher %age; so even though they capped me at 30%, my average this month has been $3.70 per sale, and in December it was $4.01.
Herg hasn't 'doubled or trebled his earnings at SS', and others I've heard about haven't either.
I'm guessing that SS buyers want a much narrower range of subjects, maybe because only certain sorts of buyers have a need for buying subs (I know, it's not all subs nowadays, but still). As they don't supply dl figures, I have no way of confirming or rejecting my theory.

lagereek

« Reply #70 on: January 30, 2012, 05:37 »
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Sue!  the maths here is really easy. What would you rather have?  30 sales per day at 0.38c plus say 15 sales per day at, 2.85, dollars, OR, at IS, 10 sales per day at an average of say 2.50.
At SS, its the magnitude of sales plus the extras like ODs, single-sales and ELs,  in the end, I bet you would double if not even trebble your earnings at SS.
Thats what micro is all about, plenty and plenty of minor sales. :)
You forget, as an iStock, exclusive, you get a higher %age; so even though they capped me at 30%, my average this month has been $3.70 per sale, and in December it was $4.01.
Herg hasn't 'doubled or trebled his earnings at SS', and others I've heard about haven't either.
I'm guessing that SS buyers want a much narrower range of subjects, maybe because only certain sorts of buyers have a need for buying subs (I know, it's not all subs nowadays, but still). As they don't supply dl figures, I have no way of confirming or rejecting my theory.

All I can say is, in the "good old days" and this is a very good example, a friend of mine, diamond with IS, was earning as an exclusive, the same as he picks up from SS, today, as a non exclusive, this clearly show the progress of SS,  but also the horrific downslope of IS.

best.

« Reply #71 on: January 30, 2012, 05:40 »
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Sue!  the maths here is really easy. What would you rather have?  30 sales per day at 0.38c plus say 15 sales per day at, 2.85, dollars, OR, at IS, 10 sales per day at an average of say 2.50.
At SS, its the magnitude of sales plus the extras like ODs, single-sales and ELs,  in the end, I bet you would double if not even trebble your earnings at SS.
Thats what micro is all about, plenty and plenty of minor sales. :)
You forget, as an iStock, exclusive, you get a higher %age; so even though they capped me at 30%, my average this month has been $3.70 per sale, and in December it was $4.01.
Herg hasn't 'doubled or trebled his earnings at SS', and others I've heard about haven't either.
I'm guessing that SS buyers want a much narrower range of subjects, maybe because only certain sorts of buyers have a need for buying subs (I know, it's not all subs nowadays, but still). As they don't supply dl figures, I have no way of confirming or rejecting my theory.

As a former exclusive, let me tell you my personal experience :

-  SS is earning around 60% of my entire microstock earning, ( with an average of 300 dls/ month , in 3 months of contributing with them) with an port of 620 photos.
- DT around 20% (port of 1092 files )
- FT 15%  (760 pics)
- 123RF 5%( port around 730 files)

I will never go exclusive with one agency again. In my opinion people that are exclusive with IS, DT or FT are afraid to go independent because they don't want to lose a big share of the income. I personally have lose only $50 in the transition ( lucky me).

What i try to say is that anyone with an above average portfolio that is exclusive will earn at least 30-40% more after Max. 2-3 month after they dropped exclusivity. There is no business in the world without risks or financial delays.
You want to make more money you have to assume those risks or delays.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 05:46 by nicku »

ShadySue

« Reply #72 on: January 30, 2012, 05:46 »
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What i try to say is that anyone with an above average portfolio that is exclusive will earn at least 30-40% more after Max. 2-3 month after they dropped exclusivity. There is no business in the world without risks or financial delays.
That confirms my suspicion.
As I do not have an 'above average portfolio', I'm best to stay where I am at the moment.
Not to say that things won't change in the future.
Thanks for your input.

« Reply #73 on: January 30, 2012, 05:59 »
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What i try to say is that anyone with an above average portfolio that is exclusive will earn at least 30-40% more after Max. 2-3 month after they dropped exclusivity. There is no business in the world without risks or financial delays.
That confirms my suspicion.
As I do not have an 'above average portfolio', I'm best to stay where I am at the moment.
Not to say that things won't change in the future.
Thanks for your input.

by average port i refer to content not size.... course in microstock size matters. i believe you have a good port to do the move; except FT every other agencies accepts editorial.

ShadySue

« Reply #74 on: January 30, 2012, 06:09 »
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What i try to say is that anyone with an above average portfolio that is exclusive will earn at least 30-40% more after Max. 2-3 month after they dropped exclusivity. There is no business in the world without risks or financial delays.
That confirms my suspicion.
As I do not have an 'above average portfolio', I'm best to stay where I am at the moment.
Not to say that things won't change in the future.
Thanks for your input.

by average port i refer to content not size.... course in microstock size matters. i believe you have a good port to do the move; except FT every other agencies accepts editorial.

I was talking about content!
It's also time and hassle. iStock keywording is dead easy because of the CV (except for a few times where a meaning for a keyword doesn't exist but another meaning for that word does). At Alamy, I find keywording a total nightmare, and I'm guessing everywhere else is in between.

I keep hearing SS would reject many of my photos, expecially my editorial photos, which is their prerogative; but I'm not willingly going to waste my time for that hassle. I'm sure what they really want is business concepts. Fine.

Hey - the farmer and the cowman should be friends. I'll be exclusive for as long as it works for me, and no longer; but I wouldn't necessarily persuade anyone else to do the same.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 06:14 by ShadySue »


 

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