MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Pond5 "exclusive" vs "non-exclusive"  (Read 4867 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: March 24, 2019, 09:17 »
+7
While most people seem to agree that non-exclusive account is better, there are a few that believe exclusive with Pond5 would be great. While of course it is your decision what you want to do - the expression "Those that don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it" comes to mind... (immediate example is iStock, but there are many other agencies with their "good news!" e-mail broadcasts)...

Again, if you are thinking "soley" exclusive (i.e., Pond5 is your ONLY agency you have content on)...

a) You are placing a lot of trust in putting your livelihood in someone else's hands. Pond5 has just proven they will break that trust - so - there is nothing to stop them from breaking that trust if you go exclusive. 60% - but - maybe once they start getting sales, they'll get greedy - and you'll get another "good news" e-mail from them, telling you you only get 40%, or maybe 30%, due to hyperbole such as "market conditions" or "competition", etc, etc. So don't trust that you will get 60% forever, or even a long time.

b) Expression "don't put all your eggs in one basket" really holds true. Again - you are trusting that they have *your* best interests at heart, they don't. They have theirs. What happens if the relationship goes sour? Then you are screwed - your *one* income source now doesn't exist. Yes, of course at that point you could then scramble and start uploading to other agencies - but it would most likely be incredibly stressful the 1-2 month time period while you go to establish yourself on other agencies.

c) You are not likely to see the 'huge' boost in sales you are hoping. Educated guess - yes - you probably will see a 50%-100% increase in your sales @ 60% because of some additional marketing in this area, that will probably taper off after 5-6 months to about 20-30%. But - does that additional 20-30% increase justify putting all your eggs in one basket, and the income on other sites you will be foregoing?

Going "exclusive" - you are giving Pond5 the power to decide your income. You are letting THEM decide how successful your portfolio is. Be aware of that.

My educated guess is some contributors that have HUGE portfolios/staff/etc (because they are already making $500k+/year) - will create exclusive portfolios and will benefit from that marketing (the cost for them to 'test' out that sales channel will be small because they benefit from their existing current market position, and the marginal cost for them to create 'exclusive' content at the same time is virtually non existant). They'll just churn out a ton of content in addition to the regular content they produce. So you'll be competing with them.

It's your decision if you go exclusive - but - just be aware - IF you will ONLY be producing content to submit to Pond5:
- You are severely reducing your bargaining power.
- Pond5 has already broken the trust moving comissions from 50% to 40%, nothing to prevent them from changing this "shiny" exclusive % to say 50, 40, etc in the future.
- Overall - you are likely to see less income only having one income source, as opposed to taking the time to submit to multiple agencies.

If you do go exclusive, good luck!
« Last Edit: March 24, 2019, 09:22 by SuperPhoto »


« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2019, 11:17 »
0
On the flip side.  Putting your work on all the sites makes it a commodity with royalties and pricing likely determined by the worst of the bunch.  There is a race to the bottom.  I know I buy things at the cheapest places, how many people buy video/photo gear from the local camera store (assuming any are still around) and how many buy it from BH or Amazon?  I would rather risk it on a company paying 60%.  What would happen to the sites paying less if everyone did the same?

« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2019, 11:33 »
+2
On the flip side.  Putting your work on all the sites makes it a commodity with royalties and pricing likely determined by the worst of the bunch.  There is a race to the bottom.  I know I buy things at the cheapest places, how many people buy video/photo gear from the local camera store (assuming any are still around) and how many buy it from BH or Amazon?  I would rather risk it on a company paying 60%.  What would happen to the sites paying less if everyone did the same?

"Yesssssssss... but..."

Unlike cameras where you simply type in the model number, it's not "as" easy to find an identical clip on multiple sites. (Yes, you could say search for the title - but not every clip has totally unique titles. So "birds flying video" would probably find 1000's).

Also, not everyone shops around. I have purchased images/etc in the past - and when I found a site I liked - I stuck with it. Never occurred to me actually to "shop" around (plus even if I had, it would have been a bit of waste of my time).

I know a lot of other people fall into that boat too - not everyone is looking for the "cheapest" (even if it is identical) - simply because they want it "now" and don't want to waste time trying to see if they can find a cheaper one elsewhere, etc...

Also - these other sites still price the clips competively (i.e., $79/$199 HD/4K). You aren't seeing "huge" price variances (i.e., $1000 on pond 5, and $50 somewhere else)...

« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2019, 11:39 »
+1
I don't think everyone has to shop around for the impacts to be felt.  I bet I'm not alone in shopping at the cheapest place when buying most anything.

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2019, 11:45 »
+2
I know I buy things at the cheapest places

So do the buyers.
I really can't understand it...

"Exclusive" RF asset is more expensive, it is available in only one store and the whole "aura" of exclusivity is so misleading, it is never ever exclusive. What is the benefit of paying more? And still being ready that your competitor will buy the same stuff.

In addition to this, agencies make more money on non-exclusive content. So basically, they use the word "Exclusive" to sell more non-exclusive stuff.

This is what is happening on IS, I can buy a subscription to get non-ex, or I can buy a subscription and get ex+non-ex. So non-ex content has 100% chance to be sold, while ex content has only 50% chance. And in those 50% they will still compete with cheaper non-ex library.
Looking at this closely...

Exclusivity is a pure scam for an artist and a perfect marketing "story" for the agency.

« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2019, 11:49 »
0
I know I buy things at the cheapest places

So do the buyers.
I really can't understand it...

"Exclusive" RF asset is more expensive, it is available in only one store and the whole "aura" of exclusivity is so misleading, it is never ever exclusive. What is the benefit of paying more? And still being ready that your competitor will buy the same stuff.

In addition to this, agencies make more money on non-exclusive content. So basically, they use the word "Exclusive" to sell more non-exclusive stuff.

This is what is happening on IS, I can buy a subscription to get non-ex, or I can buy a subscription and get ex+non-ex. So non-ex content has 100% chance to be sold, while ex content has only 50% chance. And in those 50% they will still compete with cheaper non-ex library.
Looking at this closely...

Exclusivity is a pure scam for an artist and a perfect marketing "story" for the agency.
If you produce work that is unique and in demand buyers can't just get a cheaper non-exclusive version.  If you are producing nearly the same thing as everyone else then what you say is true.  Also you won't be competing against yourself on price.

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2019, 12:07 »
+2
If you produce work that is unique and in demand buyers can't just get a cheaper non-exclusive version.  If you are producing nearly the same thing as everyone else then what you say is true.  Also you won't be competing against yourself on price.

True. If you work in some other industry maybe...

The nature of stock is a generic, multi-functional content, that can be used in many different situations and by many different customers. It is a strong, but simple message that you "get" in a second. Because marketing and especially "super fast" marketing nowadays, when you have a fraction of a second to show your ad on facebook etc...

What can be THAT unique here?

I'm sure there is "someone". But I can't remember the name of any successful microstock producer who does that mysterious "unique" stuff... And I'm here more than 10 years. Unfortunately, I've never seen anyone like that.

And I'm not sure there is a customer for that. Because "unique" and overly complicated doesn't sell products, so they don't use it in advertising. Visuals of happy people in real life situations do sell products, that's why agencies asking and begging for such content, isn't it?

Unique - is truly exclusive and made by custom request.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2019, 12:17 by swisschocolate »

« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2019, 12:10 »
+1
Also in stock unless the production costs are prohibitively high not much will be in demand and "unique" for long.

« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2019, 12:17 »
+1
If you produce work that is unique and in demand buyers can't just get a cheaper non-exclusive version.  If you are producing nearly the same thing as everyone else then what you say is true.  Also you won't be competing against yourself on price.

True. If you work in some other industry maybe...

The nature of stock is a generic, multi-functional content, that can be used in many different situations and by many different customers. It is a strong, but simple message that you "get" in a second. Because marketing and especially "super fast" marketing nowadays, when you have a fraction of a second to show your ad on facebook etc...

What can be THAT unique here?

I'm sure there is "someone". But I can't remember the name of any successful microstock producer who does that mysterious "unique" stuff... And I'm here more than 10 years. Unfortunately, I've never seen anyone like that. And I'm not sure there is a customer for that. Because "unique" and overly complicated doesn't sell products, so they don't use it in advertising. Visuals of happy people do sell products, that's why agencies asking and begging for such content, isn't it?

Unique - is truly exclusive and made by custom request.
Not every city, building, landmark, food, etc.. has been shot yet.  Those would be unique even if they aren't that interesting.  Get into combinations of people and activities and there are many ways of doing it that are barely touched on.  Unique doesn't mean great art.  What's nice about P5 is that you could shoot great art or unique clips and price them accordingly, you don't need to compete on price.

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2019, 12:22 »
0
Not every city, building, landmark, food, etc.. has been shot yet.  Those would be unique even if they aren't that interesting. 

Yes, right.

But some unrecognizable statue in the middle of nowhere will never beat the Eiffel Tower in terms of customer's demand. Just because everyone goes to Paris and there is a huge industry around it.

« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2019, 12:41 »
0
Not every city, building, landmark, food, etc.. has been shot yet.  Those would be unique even if they aren't that interesting. 

Yes, right.

But some unrecognizable statue in the middle of nowhere will never beat the Eiffel Tower in terms of customer's demand. Just because everyone goes to Paris and there is a huge industry around it.
The point is that every subject hasn't had the perfect picture that every buyer wants taken yet, there are lots of unique takes that have value and aren't interchangeable with other images (more so for video).  For the most part pictures of the Eiffel Tower are a commodity (although I think great unique shots can probably be made of almost any subject) there are many other subjects that aren't.  If the content is only on P5 a premium can be charged so a less in demand subject can end up being a lot more profitable and even relatively more in demand.

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2019, 12:54 »
+3
If the content is only on P5 a premium can be charged so a less in demand subject can end up being a lot more profitable and even relatively more in demand.

Well, this sounds so great in theory. But I can't imagine how to build a stock business that brings regular money with such philosophy...

So:
1 - I have to shoot something that is "unique";
2 - I have to do it all the time;
3 - then hope that a customer will find some website called Pond5;
4 - and then will be willing to pay that high price...;
5 - and then will be willing to do it regulary so I will have a stable income.

I won't be able to do that :) I'd be inspired by anyone who could do that on a regular basis and make a living from it, it's a true unique talent!

And I think in that case it would be more profitable to have your own website, market it yourself for unique niche customers and get rid of distractions such as other artists portfolios etc. And it is completely another business model.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2019, 13:06 by swisschocolate »

« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2019, 13:04 »
0
If the content is only on P5 a premium can be charged so a less in demand subject can end up being a lot more profitable and even relatively more in demand.

Well, this sounds so great in theory. But I can't imagine how to build a stock business that brings regular money with such philosophy...

So:
1 - I have to shoot something that is "unique";
2 - I have to do it all the time;
3 - then hope that a customer will find some website called Pond5;
4 - and then will be willing to pay that high price...;
5 - and then will be willing to do it regulary so I will have a stable income.

I won't be able to do that :) I'd be inspired by anyone who could do that on a regular basis and have a living from it, it's a true unique talent!

And I think in that case it would be more profitable to have your own website, market it yourself for unique niche customers and get rid of distractions such as other artists portfolios etc. And it is completely another business model.
Are you saying you just shoot exactly the same thing as everyone else and there is nothing new or different about your images than anyone else's?  All images are exactly the same and it's a crap shoot as to which one a buyer selects?  I doubt you do that.  I think most of us try to add something unique to all our shoots that makes it better or at least different than what's already out there (uniqueness if you will).

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2019, 13:14 »
0
Are you saying you just shoot exactly the same thing as everyone else and there is nothing new or different about your images than anyone else's?  All images are exactly the same and it's a crap shoot as to which one a buyer selects?  I doubt you do that.  I think most of us try to add something unique to all our shoots that makes it better or at least different than what's already out there (uniqueness if you will).

I can't physically shoot exactly the same as someone else it will be different anyway. And kind of unique.
But I shoot red heart-shaped boxes with red roses on Valentine's. Because this is what is recognized and needed on Valentine's day.
Not green leaf on purple stones with snowflakes on the foreground saying "Happy Valentine's"... Sorry, I'm still confused what we call "unique" here.

I shoot everyday stuff and a lot of it. Well, I mean commercially viable, that can sell something or at least can be a background for the ad.

Because again, stock (well, from my experience maybe) - is a generic, multi-functional content, and it works only if there is a huge supply. The main customers are corporations, they need an astonishing amount of new media every day now with social media and online magazines and 24/7 global marketing (I see where my images are used).

And customers buy stock with only one purpose: to sell and promote products. And 99% of the time it is simple products for simple people, every single day.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2019, 13:19 by swisschocolate »

« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2019, 13:53 »
0
Are you saying you just shoot exactly the same thing as everyone else and there is nothing new or different about your images than anyone else's?  All images are exactly the same and it's a crap shoot as to which one a buyer selects?  I doubt you do that.  I think most of us try to add something unique to all our shoots that makes it better or at least different than what's already out there (uniqueness if you will).

I can't physically shoot exactly the same as someone else it will be different anyway. And kind of unique.
But I shoot red heart-shaped boxes with red roses on Valentine's. Because this is what is recognized and needed on Valentine's day.
Not green leaf on purple stones with snowflakes on the foreground saying "Happy Valentine's"... Sorry, I'm still confused what we call "unique" here.

I shoot everyday stuff and a lot of it. Well, I mean commercially viable, that can sell something or at least can be a background for the ad.

Because again, stock (well, from my experience maybe) - is a generic, multi-functional content, and it works only if there is a huge supply. The main customers are corporations, they need an astonishing amount of new media every day now with social media and online magazines and 24/7 global marketing (I see where my images are used).

And customers buy stock with only one purpose: to sell and promote products. And 99% of the time it is simple products for simple people, every single day.
It may not be best for you but there are lots of people shooting lots of different subjects with varying degrees of quality.  The more generic your or average quality stuff will be less valuable exclusively on one site because it can be undercut by lower prices.  I think history has shown what will happen to that content.  For me creating different or better content is how I hope to continue.  Unique in subject or quality is what I think is needed to do well in the long term.  BTW it's not all about selling a product.

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2019, 14:02 »
+1
It may not be best for you but there are lots of people shooting lots of different subjects with varying degrees of quality.  The more generic your or average quality stuff will be less valuable exclusively on one site because it can be undercut by lower prices.  I think history has shown what will happen to that content.  For me creating different or better content is how I hope to continue.  Unique in subject or quality is what I think is needed to do well in the long term.  BTW it's not all about selling a product.

Yes, probably such strategy works as well, haven't tried it. Mine works for me and I simply enjoy doing it this way.

But isn't it even more frustrating that your "different or better content" may never be discovered and sold at any price, just because Pond5 will never market just your portfolio, but as their statement goes "Over 20000 new videos added daily", whole their library instead? And maybe they'll get some percentage of global buyers and maybe they will find your works on Pond5, and maybe Pond5 will be here in 10 years...

You have only Pond5, but Pond5 has many others... it sounds like not the best relationship status :)

« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2019, 14:03 »
0

  BTW it's not all about selling a product.

Indeed just one example. There are a VAST amount of on-line training packages used by companies often with very mundane pictures


« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2019, 14:17 »
+1
It may not be best for you but there are lots of people shooting lots of different subjects with varying degrees of quality.  The more generic your or average quality stuff will be less valuable exclusively on one site because it can be undercut by lower prices.  I think history has shown what will happen to that content.  For me creating different or better content is how I hope to continue.  Unique in subject or quality is what I think is needed to do well in the long term.  BTW it's not all about selling a product.

Yes, probably such strategy works as well, haven't tried it. Mine works for me and I simply enjoy doing it this way.

But isn't it even more frustrating that your "different or better content" may never be discovered and sold at any price, just because Pond5 will never market just your portfolio, but as their statement goes "Over 20000 new videos added daily", whole their library instead? And maybe they'll get some percentage of global buyers and maybe they will find your works on Pond5, and maybe Pond5 will be here in 10 years...

You have only Pond5, but Pond5 has many others... it sounds like not the best relationship status :)
The main reason I am going to do it is because I think nonexclusive content will continue to be devalued.  I suspect a lot of other people will also go with P5 but that remains to be seen.  It will be interesting to see who is joining up in the near future.

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2019, 14:25 »
+1

The main reason I am going to do it is because I think nonexclusive content will continue to be devalued.  I suspect a lot of other people will also go with P5 but that remains to be seen.  It will be interesting to see who is joining up in the near future.

What if it's devalued for a reason? They can't sell it otherwise. Simple.

But while non-exclusive will be devalued and sold somehow somewhere, expensive "exclusive" will be sitting there (on 1! website) just as a marketing hook without sales at all.
This has happend to IS (regardless of all of their "Getty Power"), what makes someone think it won't happen to Pond5 is a mystery to me...
« Last Edit: March 24, 2019, 14:30 by swisschocolate »

« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2019, 14:33 »
+2

The main reason I am going to do it is because I think nonexclusive content will continue to be devalued.  I suspect a lot of other people will also go with P5 but that remains to be seen.  It will be interesting to see who is joining up in the near future.

What if it's devalued for a reason? They can't sell it otherwise. Simple.

But while non-exclusive will be devalued and sold somehow, expensive "exclusive" will be sitting there just as a marketing hook without sales at all.
This has happend to IS (regardless of all of their "Getty Power"), what makes someone think it won't happen to Pond5 is a mystery to me...
I'll risk it not selling with a 60% royalty rate rather than risk it selling for much less at 30%.  The challenge is to create content that buyers will pay for, that's my goal.  From my limited video experience P5 seems like it should deliver what I want.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2019, 14:35 by tickstock »

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2019, 14:35 »
0
I'll risk it not selling with a 60% royalty rate rather than risk it selling for much less at 30%.  The challenge is to create content that buyers will pay for, that's my goal.

That's a great goal :) Wish everyone who takes this risk a great luck.

« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2019, 14:38 »
+1
I'll risk it not selling with a 60% royalty rate rather than risk it selling for much less at 30%.  The challenge is to create content that buyers will pay for, that's my goal.

That's a great goal :) Wish everyone who takes this risk a great luck.
I think you are discounting the risk of not doing it.  I'm not surprised anymore when I see companies lower prices or royalty rates for nonexclusive content and I won't be surprised then next time they do it either.

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2019, 14:45 »
+4
I think you are discounting the risk of not doing it.  I'm not surprised anymore when I see companies lower prices or royalty rates for nonexclusive content and I won't be surprised then next time they do it either.

I just came back from IS exclusivity :D no thanks. Was running out with one thought: "I have to save my portfolio before it's too late".

My lost positions in searches/rankings on SS and Fotolia/AS for all these years is irreparable loss for my stock business.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2019, 14:56 by swisschocolate »

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2019, 10:50 »
+1
On the flip side.  Putting your work on all the sites makes it a commodity with royalties and pricing likely determined by the worst of the bunch.  There is a race to the bottom.  I know I buy things at the cheapest places, how many people buy video/photo gear from the local camera store (assuming any are still around) and how many buy it from BH or Amazon?  I would rather risk it on a company paying 60%.  What would happen to the sites paying less if everyone did the same?

I buy almost everything from B&H and if used, maybe eBay or FM forums/Fredmiranda. Local camera stores are Best Buy, Walmart, Costco and the likes. I used to buy things at Blacks AKA Wolf and many other names, just to help them. Paid more, but I could walk in, get what I wanted and walk out.

Same goes for Radio Shack. I can get the same parts on eBay and wait 3-6 weeks, order from the US and get them in days But I can't drive to the local Radio Shack anymore and grab things off the shelf. I miss that.

While I agree with most of what you have written on this thread, I will disagree about the buyer searching for the perfect image. They don't care if it's "The One" and only one, they want something to illustrate, as a side, as a background or something other than the main point of their use.

What I mean is, those people who shop by price, will find something suitable and won't care if my work is only available on Pond5.

Yes we are being sold as a commodity, things have been that way for seven years. Good that someone else has noticed and recognizes that, that's the business and Microstock.  :)

If P5 is trying to be stock and not cheap Micro, I'm thinking, not a bad plan. Since I haven't got video all over or thousands of ordinary Micro style video, I might consider going exclusive. I don't have as much at risk as other who might have 10,000 on multiple agencies.

Like everything else, we all need to decide for our own material, work and value. I like the 60% idea and video is not first, or second or third actually, for me, so why not.

But buyers don't shop for identical video by price, they shop by price, for what they need, just like consumers. And if they are looking for the subjects and the video that makes up most of Microstock, if they can't find it on one site, they will look on another. I don't think P5 is going to corner any market for Exclusive video, only available here, the only shot of something... that will benefit most artists. The plan would work for someone new maybe?

If P5 wants to dig in and demand all or none, I'm guessing that's what they will get. If they took the agency exclusive, they might get some one of a kind shots that people want to gets the most for their work.

Other side is, people will upload the best, for the most profit and then upload the rest, outtakes, extra trims, of the same, everywhere else. So P5 is getting quality but not originality or true exclusive. That's probably why they went for All or None?

« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2019, 11:30 »
+1
While I agree with most of what you have written on this thread, I will disagree about the buyer searching for the perfect image. They don't care if it's "The One" and only one, they want something to illustrate, as a side, as a background or something other than the main point of their use.
...
But buyers don't shop for identical video by price, they shop by price, for what they need, just like consumers. And if they are looking for the subjects and the video that makes up most of Microstock, if they can't find it on one site, they will look on another. I don't think P5 is going to corner any market for Exclusive video, only available here, the only shot of something... that will benefit most artists. The plan would work for someone new maybe?
The point is that buyers don't necessarily need the perfect image but they can't use images of apples to sell oranges and many can't use a bad image of an apple to sell apples.  There are lots of subjects out there where there are no good images or videos and a buyer can't really just use something close. 
The reason having exclusive content is beneficial is that the more times a buyer can only find what they are looking for on P5 the more likely it is to be a buyer's first choice when looking for any content.


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
8 Replies
4854 Views
Last post July 06, 2010, 22:16
by vonkara
21 Replies
6378 Views
Last post May 11, 2011, 06:43
by sharpshot
24 Replies
5492 Views
Last post September 26, 2011, 04:14
by michealo
26 Replies
7287 Views
Last post March 28, 2014, 23:14
by lisafx
9 Replies
1006 Views
Last post May 23, 2019, 13:19
by Trippy

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results