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Author Topic: Preparing for iStock Exclusivity  (Read 7171 times)

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« on: May 31, 2008, 22:11 »
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Because of recent development, I (and I assume a lot of other people) am now considering iStock exclusivity little more seriously.

Here is a list of the major sites and how to delete your portfolio. PLEASE, if you think that any of the information below is incorrect, don't hesitate to correct me.

SS:
Just click opt-out from shutterstock at anytime.

FT:
Can remove your images at any time.

DT:
Uploads older than 6 months can be deleted at any time. Uploads newer than 6 months can not be deleted (You can delete 30% of the new files but thats useless if you want to close your account).
So in conclusion, IN ORDER TO CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT AT DREAMSTIME YOU CAN NOT UPLOAD FOR 6 MONTHS!

BS:
Every approved file can not be deleted for 90 days.

SPX:
Can delete images at any time.

123RF:
Can delete images at any time.

FP:
Can delete images at any time.


Honestly, I was not aware of the requirement on DT. Half a year is a long time. I am definitely not uploading to DT until I know what will iStock offer next week. If the offer is good and subscriptions take off, it will be a LONG wait. My last upload was May 5th so I still have 5 months left.
If I decide to go exclusive at the end of the year, I will keep uploading to SS (quick return on new images) and keep portfolios on the other sites. Then close all accounts at one time and click the button on iStock.


PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2008, 22:27 »
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This looks accurate to me. I have about two more weeks left of being locked down to DT.

« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2008, 22:32 »
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This looks accurate to me. I have about two more weeks left of being locked down to DT.

So are you going to pull the trigger? What canister are you?

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2008, 22:46 »
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I'm Bronze but should be Silver by the end of the year. I'm strongly considering going exclusive but am going to wait a bit to see how the new IS subscriptions affect income.

« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2008, 22:56 »
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congratulations to you. I think it's good for microstockers to quit SS as a result of them lowering our pay. If no one does it, everyone's pay gradually goes down overtime.
Is anyone else doing the same? Im already exclusive, but I would make the move if I was in the same boat.

« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2008, 00:20 »
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I'm on my way of doing the same, stopped uploading to DT about 3 weeks ago.
The main problem for me is Albumo that ignores my resuests to remove my portfolio there, and I have been deleting 1 file a day as they allow, but I still have a little over 200 files there.

« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2008, 01:29 »
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Unless something changes drastically, looks like November for me. Is there another way to avoid the 30 cents a download subsciption model that seems to be slowly taking over. The sites want to have it to stay competitive, the contributors don't like it. What if all the buyers end up on some sort of subsciption package, who loses? The contributors lose. The only way to stop it is if all the best contributors end up on one site that doesn't offer it, or offers subs with commissions based on image size. Its impossible to boycott subs if everyone is doing it. At least under one "good" roof there is a little bit of control. Would microstock survive without subsciptions? I'm guessing yes. It seems to me that it was all fueled by everyone wanting a piece of shutterstock's business.
I'm sure its way more complicated than my uneducated opinion,  just my 2 cents
« Last Edit: June 01, 2008, 01:57 by cdwheatley »

« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2008, 03:58 »
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The only way to stop it is if all the best contributors end up on one site that doesn't offer it, or offers subs with commissions based on image size.


Hmmmm ... that would mean moving towards a monopoly, which is never a good thing.

« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2008, 04:31 »
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The only way to stop it is if all the best contributors end up on one site that doesn't offer it, or offers subs with commissions based on image size.


Hmmmm ... that would mean moving towards a monopoly, which is never a good thing.

Monopoly in microstock ? Everybody is coping the winner. The other sites will follow IS business model or die. Good for us.

« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2008, 05:33 »
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I agree with Rene here- this isnt a straight forward monopoly situation. Right now, istock isnt acting as a monopoly- the others are. Istock is giving more (through things like reasonable subscriptions terms) in order to get more exclusives. Theyre competing, unlike a monopoly. On the other hand, SS and the others are saying "here's a crap deal- whatre you gonna do?" Theyre acting like a monopoly. SS need to feel pain for cutting our pay. IS should be rewarded. That's how I see it. This way, if SS changes it's tone, there wont be a monopoly, and we win.

« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2008, 05:53 »
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My sales with istock are still way too low to consider going exclusive.  I don't like the thought of deleting my portfolios with the other sites and having the ups and downs of the istock best match change.

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2008, 08:55 »
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Just thought of something. Is there anything to consider about payouts? Such as, if a site has a minimum $50 payout, you're at $25, and you cancel your account. Do they pay out when you cancel? Or do they only pay at the payout threshold so that it might make more sense to wait to cancel until you can get your $$$?

« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2008, 09:01 »
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Just thought of something. Is there anything to consider about payouts? Such as, if a site has a minimum $50 payout, you're at $25, and you cancel your account. Do they pay out when you cancel? Or do they only pay at the payout threshold so that it might make more sense to wait to cancel until you can get your $$$?
I think that legally they cannot keep your money. They changed the rules, we agreed with another policy. In original contract there was nothing about subscription. They are breaking the rules.

« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2008, 12:34 »
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Honestly, I was not aware of the requirement on DT. Half a year is a long time. I am definitely not uploading to DT until I know what will iStock offer next week. If the offer is good and subscriptions take off, it will be a LONG wait. My last upload was May 5th so I still have 5 months left.

Exactly the same here - I stopped uploading 3 weeks ago. I know it's my own fault for not checking closer when I joined, but at the time I had no intention of going exclusive anywhere. Personally I think it's absolutely disgusting they can keep our files for such a long period of time with no good reason. I have no problem with a site requiring one months notice prior to removal, but SIX MONTHS?? absolutely ridiculous....

Regardless, all the other sites will continue to get my new images over the next 5 months apart from Dreamstime, so it's their loss (not that they care, LOL  ;D)

« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2008, 13:05 »
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I stopped uploading to Dreamstime today. That give my 6 months to take decision about exclusivity.

« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2008, 15:29 »
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Do you know if there is a way to de-activate your photos on every other site but staying a member?  Is it ok with exclusive TOS of iStock?

That way if for any reason exclusivity with iStock doesn't work, we can reactivate our files without going trough the whole process of getting accepted and re-uploading the files.

« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2008, 16:29 »
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Do you know if there is a way to de-activate your photos on every other site but staying a member? 
Only at DT and SS. You can deactitivate (and reactivate) all your portfolio at SS. Deactivate and reactivate images one by one at DT. You have to delete all photos at others sites, but you can stay a member.
Is it ok with exclusive TOS of iStock?
IMO yes, you cannot sell RF images but there is nothing about be or not a member in TOS.


DanP68

« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2008, 16:44 »
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I agree with Rene here- this isnt a straight forward monopoly situation. Right now, istock isnt acting as a monopoly- the others are. Istock is giving more (through things like reasonable subscriptions terms) in order to get more exclusives.


Let's remember though that this is the company which keeps 80% of the commission.  I wouldn't exactly name them as a bastion of valor defending the rights of contributors.

bittersweet

« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2008, 17:25 »
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Do you know if there is a way to de-activate your photos on every other site but staying a member?  Is it ok with exclusive TOS of iStock?
As long as you are not licensing RF images, you can be a member wherever you want. I have registered with every single microstock agency, not because I ever intend to sell there (though I do purchase from 3 or 4 of them), but to protect my username and to avoid the possible confusion of it being used by someone else.

jsnover

« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2008, 17:49 »
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Let's remember though that this is the company which keeps 80% of the commission.  I wouldn't exactly name them as a bastion of valor defending the rights of contributors.

IS keeps 80% of our commissions, but 60% of an exclusive diamond's. I don't expect any agency to act against their own interests, but some type of balance between agency and contributor so the business can thrive in the long term seems ideal. I don't know that any of the agencies have grabbed that mantle. FT had looked promising with the option for exclusive files, higher base prices across the board for emeralds and up and flexibility with extended license pricing. I think their plan for low-commission flat rate subscriptions torpedoed that, leaving IS with the multi-tier subscription plan as a real contender.

Someone had pointed out that we actually have no idea what our commission percentage is at SS although we have various indicators that it has been dropping over time as they've put their prices up. CanStock started as the site that was fair to photographers - good percentage commissions and higher prices - but that didn't work out so well in the long run.

It certainly would be appealing to have deactivated portfolios qualify for IS exclusivity. If I were a stock site, I might set a time limit on that - i.e. I don't want that stuff on my servers indefinitely if it isn't going to be generating any revenue. But if it could stay inactive for, let's say, a year, that'd be great.

Does anyone know via experience that IS allows this (deactivated vs. deleted portfolios at other RF sites)?

DanP68

« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2008, 18:02 »
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There was a recent thread on the Shutterstock boards regarding a contributor who deactivated (by opting-out) his portfolio there to go exclusive "somewhere."  He gave up exclusivity after a while and returned.  All he had to do was reactive (opt-in) his portfolio on Shutterstock, and he was good to go again.  No need to re-apply, re-upload, change usernames, etc.

I too wish the subscription sites would develop a plan based on image sizes, per IS.  But since it isn't happening, I would at least like the sites adopting plans to offer a commission which is competitive with Shutterstock.  The Fotolia low-ball offer really sets us all back.  I've never been a big fan of Fotolia, my sales there at best have approached Dreamstime levels, and at worst fallen to near 123RF.  I appreciate others do much better, so I too have had high hopes for them.  Their credit image pricing is nice, even at my lowly bronze level.  Seeing a medium size image sell for $1.05 is pretty sweet.  Large and XL sales are &%#@! sweet.

To say this weekend has been a big disappointment for us would be an understatement.


 

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