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Author Topic: Possible general drop in the Micro income to all?  (Read 9691 times)

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XPTO

« on: January 18, 2010, 19:00 »
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Hi,

The title may be a little bit alarmist, but I don't know the real risk we're facing in the service I link at the end.

This new search engine searches an image the buyer have previously found, throughout the several agencies, giving the price on each of them so the buyer may choose the cheapest option available.

I know there are several other factors involved for buyers like the quality of service, the trust they have in a particular agency, the fact that they have credits bought in an agency and they don't want to scatter credits among other agencies, etc.

But are we at risk of seeing our income drop significantly because the buyers now have an easy way to search for the cheapest alternative?

Will we in a few months, be talking about deleting our portfolios from the agencies with the lowest prices so we preserve the higher prices? Or not, like we start selling a lot more in certain agencies because they have lower prices? Something like Micro-micro or nano-stock?...

Take a look and say what you think about it?

The new service:

http://www.spiderpic.com/


« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2010, 19:04 »
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Lee did a posting today: http://www.microstockdiaries.com/

Will we in a few months, be talking about deleting our portfolios from the agencies with the lowest prices so we preserve the higher prices?


Let's hope! :)

« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2010, 19:25 »
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If the same product is offered on different sites it is only mater of time when price comparison engine will appear. It not necessarily have to be bad thing. If only price is factor would BHPhoto or Adorama survive all these "cheapest" photo sites popping every day?

nruboc

« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2010, 19:52 »
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Just remembered why I'm not at CanStockPhoto

« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2010, 19:59 »
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i think it's not alarmist, but inevitable.
no matter what business experience you 've had, the only thing that has prevailed is that prices salaries,etc  keep falling while shareholders, CEOs ,perks of the top brass continue to sky rocket.
getting closer to photography, it's been like that too since the 80's.
blame it on globalization, low cost of equipment, erasing the invisible line between amateurs, dabblers and professionals.
i remember pros complaining to me in the early 90's when i was working with the best in the business. i need not elaborate on it, if you were a photo correspondent, wedding photographer, or whatever, you know .

as for moving your port out of the sites that seem to perpetually drop your earning baseline, i don't even know if this would change things.
what's the percentage ratio of top earners like Yuri,SJLocke,...(enter your name here)... etc to the rest who "haven't a clue about photography" before they got into micro stock?
i am not sure, can anyone make an educated guess?

so, say Yuri,Sean,Avava, etc..quit en masse contributing to any of the Big 6 +_3 that sells pictures for peanuts.  these sites will still have new contributors to fill the void.
and the sites know that.

p.s.
oops, sorry, i should not include SJLocke because he is exclusive with IS and there one can opt out on peanuts and 3rd party etc.
 you know what i mean anyway. and yes, i welcome Mr Locke's and other exclusives to comment on this as well, as the thread is about microstock in general
« Last Edit: January 18, 2010, 20:09 by PERSEUS »

« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2010, 20:15 »
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afterthought:

i suppose the only thing to do, which i am doing in 2010, is to give the generic stuff to micro, and go a little for niche to specialized images  and increase my port in RM.
and not even care if there is a horde of new ppl to fill the void or not.
but that's my project for this new year.

i suppose it's easy for me, as i am not dependent on micro stock.
but i sure would like to hear from those who have been .

« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2010, 20:43 »
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Great service, but it does make clear why it is a terrible idea to put something into a premium collection on one site (an EVO example from 123rf is used by SpiderPic) and sell it at regular prices elsewhere.

Why on earth would a buyer pay $120 for an image when they can get it for  1/10th of that elsewhere.

It also points out the rotten deal selling large raster versions of a vector for $50 at ClipArtOf when the vector itself can be had for $15 at IS.

For image sizes up to L, the prices are more in line (excepting things like CanStock which is just way too cheap) but at XL and up, the contributor is not really getting that much more at the sites other than IS. From the buyer's point of view, going to FT, BigStock or StockXpert for an XXXL image would be a huge savings.

One more reason, if one were needed, not to put exclusive IS content on Photos.com/JIU or other partner sites for much less money...

« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2010, 20:48 »
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Great service, but it does make clear why it is a terrible idea to put something into a premium collection on one site (an EVO example from 123rf is used by SpiderPic) and sell it at regular prices elsewhere.

Why on earth would a buyer pay $120 for an image when they can get it for  1/10th of that elsewhere.

It also points out the rotten deal selling large raster versions of a vector for $50 at ClipArtOf when the vector itself can be had for $15 at IS.

For image sizes up to L, the prices are more in line (excepting things like CanStock which is just way too cheap) but at XL and up, the contributor is not really getting that much more at the sites other than IS. From the buyer's point of view, going to FT, BigStock or StockXpert for an XXXL image would be a huge savings.

One more reason, if one were needed, not to put exclusive IS content on Photos.com/JIU or other partner sites for much less money...

as always good advice jsnover.
so not giving micro any larger than 4MP was a good move for me , huh?
i also wonder what some contributors were using as thinking caps for putting same size images that sell for XXcents and expect to sell the same for $XX
. oh well, bad weed i suppose.

thx again jsnover.

« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2010, 21:43 »
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Hi XPTO,

 I still see strong growth in Micro for my company. It has not been taken off the table by any means. We are just trying to find out where to focus our energy for the highest return with the least effort in this market.

Best,
Jonathan

ap

« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2010, 22:00 »
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amazing service, xpto! waiting for an invite to see what it retrieves for my work. i don't quite understand though...how can 123 list an image at $120, even for a large size? is that why my sales died there?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2010, 22:04 by ap »

« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2010, 22:01 »
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It's one more reason to remove portfolios from cheap sites!

And one more reason to consider IS exclusivity.

« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2010, 22:23 »
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It's one more reason to remove portfolios from cheap sites!
And one more reason to consider IS exclusivity.

well said Digital66,

i suppose we can safely say in this case, microstock sites persistently pushing for subs are actually doing us a favour (cough cough) by making it a lot easier for us to decide which sites to remove our portfolio.
except for the ones that have a "hold time" (eg BigStock 90 days... ) .

this will certainly help us "spring clean" in prep for IS exclusivity.

XPTO

« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2010, 04:17 »
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Lee did a posting today: http://www.microstockdiaries.com/

Will we in a few months, be talking about deleting our portfolios from the agencies with the lowest prices so we preserve the higher prices?


Let's hope! :)


Well, I'm all for people giving up on the low earners and to concentrate on the top 6, and wouldn't mind to see it reduced to 4 - well with StockXpert and BS being taken over by IS and SS maybe there are only 4 now.

Most people don't see a dime from most of the agencies at the right of this page, but if you sum all those dimes they surely provide a nice income to the agency owners...

From my part I contribute to the big six, and recently requested the close of my account in one of the two low earners. The other one, I'll give it a little bit more time as it carries the Corbis brand on it's back, but I'm not pleased with it either.

As for IS, it's too unstable and unreliable to consider exclusivity, and as I live solely from my Stock income I cannot make my income depend on the unpredictable whims of IS management.

« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2010, 04:22 »
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yes, it certainly looks like canstock could up their prices!

XPTO

« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2010, 04:26 »
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amazing service, xpto! waiting for an invite to see what it retrieves for my work. i don't quite understand though...how can 123 list an image at $120, even for a large size? is that why my sales died there?

The difference of prices is not totally correct, and it's being used as a marketing stunt.

From the example I saw, the cheapest price shown is for the Small size in one agency against the XL or XXL size in the most expensive example. So, the examples they provide are not completely accurate.

But they are not very off either, because the $2 in the cheapest example becomes only $5 in the maximum resolution in that agency, so the difference is not from $2 to $32, but from $5 to $32. Still a huge difference. Unless FL (the most expensive in the example I've looked) offers something more in the license than the cheapest one, for example.

XPTO

« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2010, 04:56 »
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so, say Yuri,Sean,Avava, etc..quit en masse contributing to any of the Big 6 +_3 that sells pictures for peanuts.  these sites will still have new contributors to fill the void.
and the sites know that.

I don't think is this completely true in the current days.

Two or three years ago, when the quality level in micro was average if a top contributor left it could be replaced by another in a short time because it wasn't very complicated to reach the same quality.

But nowadays, are you expecting that new contributors with point-and-shoot cameras will fill the void created by people that are using Hasseblads/Canon 1Ds MKIII - 5d MKII/ Nikon D3X, with professional lighting equipment, crews of assistants and years of experience in a couple of months?

I don't think it's that easy. In fact, the raise of quality and the very high standards of the Micro nowadays has given a power to the photographers in the Micro that we haven't had before. The question is that we didn't realize that yet.

Although no one is irreplaceable, certain agencies could not survive (or would barely survive) an organized movement of their (10, 20 or 30) top contributors leaving, because many designers would follow their work in other agencies, and a huge crowd of lesser successful photographers would mimic their idols (yes, it's what they are to many). So we would be talking no in 10, 20 or 30 contributors but possibly hundreds.

Considering the current demand of image quality in Micro it takes many months of committed work, huge investment and talent to get to the level of the best. So, in the current moment I don't believe in the argument that "someone will fill your place if you leave" when it comes to the best (and the ones just a step below them).

It's just a question of people getting organized. We all have witnessed how several agencies changed their initial policies after a hint of rebellion among the contributors like FL, IS, SS, StockXpert, Alamy and even the all mighty Getty in the last years. Well, but this is another question.

RT


« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2010, 05:18 »
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Can't see an organised movement happening, different contributors have different levels of success at different sites, Yuri for example has said Fotolia is his biggest seller and I also think it's the highest for Andres, Sean obviously ain't going to quit iStock, and for many SS is top of the list.

People always quote the big 6 or sometimes even 4, I've never understood that as far as I can see there are only the big 3, iS, FT & SS, Dreamstime provides a credible amount for some but I've yet to see any of the top contributors (or most others come to that) state they get anywhere near from DT what they get from the top 3 sites. So I do support the theory that some of the smaller one's might disappear but not the Big 3.

Having had a look at this software I can't see it as being any threat to micro income whatsoever,

- For one it requires the user to enter personal information, including your date of birth. You don't need to do that on any stock site to download an image.

- There's a fee involved, doesn't say what it is yet but I think this will be a big put off for some

- In order for this software to be of any real benefit you'd need to be purchasing quite a few images each month, if you do that you'd already have a subscription on one of the sites.

So IMO this software would be fine for the odd one off purchase, but is anybody really going to go that much trouble to save a couple of dollars.

« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 05:31 by RT »


« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2010, 12:30 »
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Will we in a few months, be talking about deleting our portfolios from the agencies with the lowest prices so we preserve the higher prices?
Let's hope! :)
This evolution has been predicted here a couple of years ago. I don't think stock agencies will be very cooperative on scraping by robots, as the reaction of SS to Lookstat showed. But anyways, having this in mind, I already decided not to upload to a couple of new agencies that play the price competition game. I'm always amazed people jumping on bandwagons that give less.

« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2010, 12:37 »
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Microstock agencies should be able to block price comparison spiders if they choose to, and I'm amazed they're letting this happen.  Well let me qualify that, they can at least try to block the spiders - it may be technically difficult and turn into a prolonged cat-and-mouse game. 

If the microstocks can't or won't stop this, it's going to change the game, big time.   

lisafx

« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2010, 13:44 »
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Microstock agencies should be able to block price comparison spiders if they choose to, and I'm amazed they're letting this happen.  Well let me qualify that, they can at least try to block the spiders - it may be technically difficult and turn into a prolonged cat-and-mouse game. 

If the microstocks can't or won't stop this, it's going to change the game, big time.   

I agree with the above.  An accelerated race to the bottom on price is a very bad thing for all of us.  I hope the higher priced agencies - IS, FOT, DT - step up and try to stop this.

It is yet another argument in favor of IS exclusivity, IMO.

On a comforting note, my sales at Canstock (the lowest priced agency listed) are still dismal.  If they don't raise their prices to be more competitive, I may have to pull the plug there.  I already dropped Veer and Crestock.   

helix7

« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2010, 18:34 »
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...It is yet another argument in favor of IS exclusivity, IMO...
   

Lisa, wouldn't exclusivity be the worst thing to do if a price comparison tool goes mainstream and people start using these tools more to find cheaper images? Sure prices would be secure from comparison under exclusivity. But if these comparison websites get popular, that would exclude exclusive images from those comparisons completely. Anyone using the comparison sites will be buying zero exclusive files.

Then again, I guess if these sites get popular enough, we're all screwed anyway... :)


« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2010, 18:53 »
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When they go to Google, they will find the image and the price reference of exclusive images. With just one price.

lisafx

« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2010, 18:53 »
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Then again, I guess if these sites get popular enough, we're all screwed anyway... :)



^^ That I can agree with!

I think Istock is gradually moving toward mid-stock status, and they will be marketing themselves as having a higher quality and more unique type of microstock.  The rest of us independents are being faced with lowering royalties at most sites.  

The separation between IS and the rest is becoming more pronounced.  We have to decide whether we want to be in the quantity camp (and I mean major quantity, like Yuri, Monkeybusiness, Andres, etc.) or in the uniqueness camp. I can't possibly produce quantity like they do without becoming a factory, and I have no desire to go that route.  I would rather work on upping my uniqueness and/or artistry and leave the mass production to others who have a taste for it.

Hopefully Istock will be fine without these rock bottom price grabbers.  

« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2010, 19:03 »
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I don't really see how you could ever compare most agencies. How much does a credit cost? How many credits do you have to buy? How much does a subscription package cost? Are the images the same size?

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2010, 19:08 »
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I don't really see how you could ever compare most agencies. How much does a credit cost? How many credits do you have to buy? How much does a subscription package cost? Are the images the same size?
If the selection is decent at the cheapest site then why wouldn't buyers just get a subscription plan there? Good selection, cheapest prices, and contributors being fed sub-plan peanuts.

The good selection part is the fault of the contributors. If the site was cheapest and had a bunch of crap then buyers are getting what they're paying for.


 

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