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Microstock Photography Forum - General => General Stock Discussion => Topic started by: Yuri_Arcurs on September 18, 2011, 02:38

Title: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Yuri_Arcurs on September 18, 2011, 02:38
Surprisingly it looks like that my income for Sep this year will be below my Mar sales this year. This is the first time in five years of production and certainly not due to me not uploading enough images. I have asked around and the trend seems to be the same for most contributors, especially Istock exclusives. Istock seems very affected in both sales and overall income.
Shutterstock has gone up it seems but has the same low "per-item" commission. Fotolia is about equal and DT seems to go a little below (Probably because of the upload limit they have there)
What are your experiences..And explanations...
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Microstock Posts on September 18, 2011, 03:26
This could be a very long thread  :)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 18, 2011, 04:27
Could the flood of IS editorial pictures be pushing some of your files back in the search? Or could they just be putting customers off and sending them elsewhere?

Shutterstock is still making strong progress for me. DT is drifting along below its best but Fotolia is running at about 30% of where it was and I am contemplating pulling out completely, in view their overall behaviour and the now low return on effort.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: sharpshot on September 18, 2011, 04:34
It could all be down to what I call BPS (big portfolio syndrome).  The bigger a portfolio gets, the less each image makes.  It's really hard to keep creative and not compete with your own images.  Buyers aren't going to look through all your portfolio, it takes too long.  There are more and more copycats producing similar images.  Most people see the effects of this after 4 or 5 years.  It gets harder and harder to increase earnings.

Istock seem to of been doing all they can to send their buyers elsewhere in the past few years.  Those that can't afford their higher prices have gone to the cheaper sites.  I get the impression that some buyers have gone back to the traditional sites, as the prices have become much closer over the years.  Contributors that are also buyers have seen commission cuts and price rises, not surprising if they are no longer enamoured with istock.

I'm sure there's lots of istock exclusives that are doing quite nicely and don't want to share that info with us.  It's really hard to tell if istock's problems are as extensive as it seems.

Shutterstock has improved but that seems to be mainly from pay per download sales.  I haven't seen a boost in subs sales.

It looks like Yuri is too big to see a large cut in commissions, just imagine how bad this is for the rest of us.  Falling sales and commission cuts are going to make a lot of people wonder if it's worth continuing with microstock.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: gostwyck on September 18, 2011, 05:00
For me it has been a trend that has been evident for about 12 months. Both IS and FT appear to be losing ground whilst SS continues to grow. I think DT have a fairly loyal customer base so they are just about holding on to their share of the market.

I'd suggest that microstock's explosive growth over the last few years has probably peaked (it had to eventually). In the early days any agency that had enough marketing $'s to make it's presence felt was bound to find new customers and grow sales. Now it's not so easy.

We're probably just witnessing a more mature market in which the existing customer base is making informed choices on where to do their shopping.

Istock have been pushing up prices for years (to our benefit as well as theirs) and maybe they have pushed them a bit too far recently and are starting to pay the price? FT have acknowledged customer resistance to higher priced images by limiting or reducing them on several occasions. In contrast SS has always been acutely sensitive and careful with price increases. SS has a fairly basic but easy to navigate site which always works well and all images are priced the same. It might be as simple as that.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: ShadySue on September 18, 2011, 05:07
Could the flood of IS editorial pictures be pushing some of your files back in the search? Or could they just be putting customers off and sending them elsewhere?
I wouldn't have thought so as they are totally different subject matter, therefore very unlikely to turn up in the same search.
For example: search 'businessman': lots of Yuri's on the first best match page, not one editorial.
(In addition, buyers can easily switch off editorials.)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Cogent Marketing on September 18, 2011, 05:34
I'm sure you've seen the iSP forum topic regarding August Yuri, http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=333872&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=333872&page=1) - there's 12 pages of comments basically stating the same thing, and you're right, most are exclusives voicing their disappointment.

No-one has a specific reason but the GROWING PORTFOLIO and problems with best match seem to emerge as valid reasons, sadly when these are mentioned they tend to be slapped down by Lobo, the admins don't seem to want people posting thoughts for the general downturn on sales - understandable I suppose as the other competing library admins reads the forum posts too.

On an infinitely smaller scale than yours, my sales in iSP and DT remain solid, relatively speaking, but my SS sales have gone up by 200% in the last two months - but with much smaller returns of course.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: fujiko on September 18, 2011, 05:45
istock is going downhill, it's a clear trend if you look around.

The worst is not that istock is going downhill but the way they are going down. They want to push contributors down with them.

As they fall they try to squeeze more and more, leaving a trail of lower earnings and low commissions for all contributors. A clear sign for other agencies that they can lower commissions without fear.

Shutterstock is growing every day.
Dreamstime is growing the slowest.

Fotolia just wants to be the cheapest of them all.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: travelstock on September 18, 2011, 05:51
Ok some thoughts:

1. The best match at Istock has been changing over the last month or so, either intentionally or unintentionally. That is going to have an effect on sales. There were a few days where we had some really unusual results coming up - that's going to have an impact, and was probably especially prominent for the high volume searches.

2. Microstock is maturing, and that is going to be felt at iStock first through being the oldest microstock with the most developed customer base. There will be a point where those with large portfolios just won't be able to achieve growth through further portfolio increases - at best you'll be able to stem losses or reach an equilibrium. Some here realise that, but the question is really where is that point, and what to do about it.

3. The above is exacerbated when there are multiple contributors producing the same "look" in volume - the pie ends up being carved up in different, but overall smaller portions.

4. In some ways what happens at iStock will also happen in other agencies - by virtue of being first to the market. Its just not possible to continue to increase sales long term in excess of the increase in quantity of images supplied.

5. At the moment, old files that became successful at the "peak" are still protected in the best match - if there's any change to that situation, there's some potentially massive falls in store for those that are doing best at the moment. Many popular searches don't have any material from the last 12 months or more.

6. For Yuri specifically: your old material is performing relatively better in the overall search compared to the new material - compare a search for "business" where you get 31/200 in the regular best match. Filter that down to the last 6 months and it goes down to 1/200 or 5/200 if you filter out Vetta, Agency and Exclusive +. Obviously theres both the effects of improving standards from the competition, volume of material with a very similar look and the favouring of Vetta & Agency all working against you in such searches.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Gannet77 on September 18, 2011, 05:54
Maybe I'm not typical, but iStock going downhill isn't a trend for me.

Obviously I'm a minnow compared to Yuri, but if September continues in the same vein as it has so far it'll be another BME for me in income, though not in downloads.  And that's despite my having dropped a royalty level since last year.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: gostwyck on September 18, 2011, 06:05
Maybe I'm not typical, but iStock going downhill isn't a trend for me.

That's probably because you've increased your portfolio size by about 50% in the last 12 months. It would be astonishing if you hadn't experienced growth under those circumstances.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 18, 2011, 06:13
My royalty figures are fine.

If you're very concerned, you may want to stop by the discussion forums more often to participate and contribute.  One factor we've discussed is whether images factories churning out large amounts of content and putting it on every possible site is good for the micro industry as a whole.  Thoughts?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cathyslife on September 18, 2011, 07:26
In addition to all the excellent points mentioned above, there is also the fact that images are turning up more and more on piracy sites, offering high resolution images for free. Even Sean has found his images floating out there.

There is a large contingency of people who don't steal images and will go to the agencies and purchase the proper license, but there's an even bigger contingency in the world who think it's OK to take for free whatever is on the internet. And there has been an amazing number of so-called "wallpaper" sites offering high resolution images propagating faster than bunnies.

I have to believe that this is going to seriously affect everyone's sales, on all the agencies.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: loop on September 18, 2011, 07:33
Is exclusive here; sales on the rise this month after a weak August. But they should rise more, current best match doesn't help much exclusives.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: ShadySue on September 18, 2011, 07:47
Is exclusive here; sales on the rise this month after a weak August. But they should rise more, current best match doesn't help much exclusives.
Totally the opposite here: sinking fast after a very good August.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lisafx on September 18, 2011, 08:29
Ok some thoughts:

1. The best match at Istock has been changing over the last month or so, either intentionally or unintentionally. That is going to have an effect on sales. There were a few days where we had some really unusual results coming up - that's going to have an impact, and was probably especially prominent for the high volume searches.

2. Microstock is maturing, and that is going to be felt at iStock first through being the oldest microstock with the most developed customer base. There will be a point where those with large portfolios just won't be able to achieve growth through further portfolio increases - at best you'll be able to stem losses or reach an equilibrium. Some here realise that, but the question is really where is that point, and what to do about it.

3. The above is exacerbated when there are multiple contributors producing the same "look" in volume - the pie ends up being carved up in different, but overall smaller portions.

4. In some ways what happens at iStock will also happen in other agencies - by virtue of being first to the market. Its just not possible to continue to increase sales long term in excess of the increase in quantity of images supplied.

5. At the moment, old files that became successful at the "peak" are still protected in the best match - if there's any change to that situation, there's some potentially massive falls in store for those that are doing best at the moment. Many popular searches don't have any material from the last 12 months or more.

6. For Yuri specifically: your old material is performing relatively better in the overall search compared to the new material - compare a search for "business" where you get 31/200 in the regular best match. Filter that down to the last 6 months and it goes down to 1/200 or 5/200 if you filter out Vetta, Agency and Exclusive +. Obviously theres both the effects of improving standards from the competition, volume of material with a very similar look and the favouring of Vetta & Agency all working against you in such searches.

All really excellent points Holgs.  I highlighted those I think are most responsible. 

It seems to boil down the the dreaded "point of diminishing returns", that gets discussed around here fairly often.  A number of us with mature, and relatively successful portfolios have already experienced this.  You reach a point where you cannot increase your output quickly enough to keep pace with the growth of the libraries.    For a one person shop like me, this point was reached last year, when for the first time I started seeing consistently lower sales than the same months the prior year.  It only makes sense that for a business with Yuri's output it would take longer to hit the wall.

I believe the reason we are seeing growth on some sites and big declines on others is due to migration of customers, rather than attracting new customers. There doesn't appear to be enough (or any?) growth in the customer base to absorb all the millions of images that keep flooding on the sites. 

And finally, I think that in Yuri's case specifically, his brand has been diluted by the large numbers of people who have learned to reproduce the look and feel of his images.  I used to be able to spot a Yuri Arcurs image a mile away, but now there are so people producing similar images, it's impossible to tell. 
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cobalt on September 18, 2011, 08:55
Is it possible that the agencies are content with the amount of money they are earning and are simply less interested in growing the customer base?

Istock especially for many months actively pushed customers away when they put all V/A in front of best match without a price slider. You have to be doing extremely well, to afford the luxury of "getting rid of customers". After all everyone knows how extremely difficult and expensive it is to win them back.

I mean, if they all get a decent salary and returns - who is going to push an agency to grow?

The smaller agencies will be interested in growing and increasing market share, but the bigger agencies? Once they have an established base, they might decide it is "good enough" for them, why try to conquer the world?

And it is obvious that the world market and demand for images is not shrinking. Not for a long time. But going into other countries and cultures isn´t easy and I wonder how many of the agencies have a truly global outlook (beyond the English language world and western culture).

For example: in 2010 istock made an amazing Lypse event in Japan. They created truly beautiful and high quality content. But if you look at the lightbox, the number of downloads seems low to me, especially if you ignore the more generic cityscape images.

http://www.istockphoto.com/search/lightbox/9363475/#1828fd50 (http://www.istockphoto.com/search/lightbox/9363475/#1828fd50)

I don´t know how big the market share of istock in Japan is, but in a country with 130 million people and obviously lots of web designers and money I would have expected these images to sell in much higher volume.

Again, I don´t know the market, but I really wonder if istock is the No 1 design resource for webdesigners in Japan.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: ShadySue on September 18, 2011, 09:36
Is it possible that the agencies are content with the amount of money they are earning and are simply less interested in growing the customer base?

Or maybe they think it's easier just to squeeze the contributors to get money rather than go to the bother/expense of gaining new customers?

(slightly OT, when checking something else, I noticed I've had no 'extended guarantee' ELs noted this year. Not that it means a cent of difference to me, but I wondered if others were noticing the same. Last year, some poor buyers were suckered into buying Extended Guarantee ELs on some of my files like random flowers or landscapes etc., and I felt very sorry for them, sure that they'd been scared into buying them. Two in particular were very large $$ values for the size bought, and I was pretty sure that they were new buyers, who had originally bought a bundle of 10 to try the site out, then been scared into buying extended guarantees, and probably never came back. (And yeah, I know they don't care about small buyers; but don't a lot of people check out a new site with a small purchase first?)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: nataq on September 18, 2011, 09:55
Unfortunately I´m experiencing a similar pattern. I had a good year until June, but then there were very bad July and August, and now the sales don´t seem to pick up like they used to. Many of the reasons have been named I think, but it seems we´re also heading into a new economical state - people are waiting what will happen. And the first things being cut are always marketing budgets.

That being said, I like most of you am pretty sure iStock lost a lot of customers due to their search policy. We told them it would happen, but they didn´t listen - very bad for all of us, including istock.
Now they are trying to get customers back but it will take a lot of time and effort. They are announcing some quite good ideas - unfortunately way before they are able to implement them, giving the competition time to work on the same ideas simultaneously. Sad for me being an exclusive.

For the moment I´m putting quite some efforts into marketing my company to become stronger on the assignment side of business. It seems I´ve been concentraing too long on stock. It has become hard to break even with model costs and such in a timely manner when doing stock shootings. If the trend continues it might not be worth shooting for stock anymore.

And something very specific to you, Yuri. While I admire your work I think you spent too much time teaching the competition. It sure was good to become popular and such, but in the longrun it might not have been the best idea.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 18, 2011, 11:34
I can't really offer any useful comparisons as I'm still in transition (from exclusive to non).

I will say that SS has been doing very nicely and that the percentage of OD and ELs really helps to bring up the returns. IS has been highly erratic - some decent days and some weekdays that look more like a bad weekend. It seems as if they're doing particularly poorly in Europe (based on the money I see when I get up in the morning on the West Coast of the US when Europe's business day is almost over.

September is half over, but right now the IS earnings are less than half of August's - it's never been like that in the past. SS September earnings so far are 68% of August suggesting September will be stronger.

I think that under H&F's thumb (via Getty) IS has been making moves that are not customer focused in any way and have such a short-term profit mindset that they're hurting the business. The continued software eff ups and the long time before what's broken gets fixed don't help. Even loyal customers, eventually, get to a point where they've had enough.

The dropping download numbers (look at the monthly sales threads on IS) are not a good sign, even if there's a temporary sweetener of some higher priced sales.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: fotografer on September 18, 2011, 11:45
I'm not seeing much difference in any of the sites except for Fotolia which earning are down to 30% of what they were this time last year. Fotolia went from being my highest earner to 4th place virtually overnight  and  are now earning me only double 123rf or Bigstock earnings instead of 10 to 15 times more.
 IS has stayed pretty consistant over the last 3 or 4 years.  I don't sell nearly as many images as I did 3 or 4 years ago but earn more per image so  earnings have been pretty constant.    
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lthn on September 18, 2011, 11:54
Istock is losing customers, and the problem with SS is that since there is no upload limit you gonna find a lot more ppl with similarly large collections, and pretty good quality too. It's simply oversupply
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 18, 2011, 12:01
Is it possible that the agencies are content with the amount of money they are earning and are simply less interested in growing the customer base?

No, not the way they are behaving. SS is growing its business and iS and Fotolia are trying to squeeze pennies to boost their profits.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: luissantos84 on September 18, 2011, 12:21
have nothing worth enough to say but will keep on reading

(HEY after 4 years and 11 months growing and now 1 down.. I understand but it doesn´t mean much unless you have been dropping for the all year)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: microstockphoto.co.uk on September 18, 2011, 12:58
My experience is that my earnings stopped growing significantly since April 2010 but I can't find a single reason.

On the negative side:
- commissions and sales are going down at all major sites - except Shutterstock;
- for us Europeans, the USD vs EUR exchange rate is not helping at all;
- on some sites newer pictures are not selling at all;

On the positive side:
- middle tier are doing well;
- low earners are not so insignificant (about 7% of total earnings); submitting to low earners has been more profitable than shooting new pictures lately. But it's not enough to counteract.

But I am afraid there's also an important issue which has nothing to do with the general situation: it's impossible to keep growing at the same pace as stock libraries; most active contributors on this forum have been doing microstock for at least 4 or 5 years (some more) and the wall may be near for us.

September 2011 is especially bad - even compared to August.

But people will always need pictures and stock is not over.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Digital66 on September 18, 2011, 15:33
Surprisingly it looks like that my income for Sep this year will be below my Mar sales this year. This is the first time in five years of production and certainly not due to me not uploading enough images...
Just my 2 cents... something else to think about:

You've been helping many people to getting into this business.  Some of them have portfolios almost identical to yours, some of them are exclusives with best positioning in the best match.  A big part of the piece of the cake they are taking, was yours before.  A negative impact in your sales would or will happen sooner or later.

Everytime we welcome new people into the business (by teaching newbes, by sharing information, by posting earnigs in blogs, by telling others how to make money), we are shooting ourselves on our own foot.   It's only good for the agencies, not for us.

I've been a business person all my life (I am 40+).  And this is the only business where I've seen people helping their potential competitors getting on board.   Honestly, I'll never understand it!
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cobalt on September 18, 2011, 16:15
"And this is the only business where I've seen people helping their potential competitors getting on board.   Honestly, I'll never understand it!"

Because the economics of microstock used to be based on producing images very, very cheaply.

You share costs for models or model for free for each other, you share locations with each other for free, you train each other with software and gear without charging each other, you do free advertising and evangelizing for your favorite agency without charging them for the time...this way microstockers can produce images much, much  cheaper than traditional macro artists and therefore our images can be offered at much lower prices on the market. And you also got a huge variety of images from all kinds of people. It is a lot easier for a restaurant chef, a medical doctor, a housewife, a gardener etc... to learn about photography and then go on create content that is typical for his area of expertise than it is for photographers to learn about all kinds of different subjects and create industry specific content. In the beginning many microstockers were amateurs in photography but usually experts in many other fields. The photographers benefitted from their unique knowledge or locations.

The low price of the images then made it possible to sell to the masses, similar to the software apps in the itunes store that sell for 2.99 instead of 30 or 300 dollars. Cheap production, cheap marketing, high volume sales.

The concept of sharing is the economic basis of the success of microstock and all social network based advertising and commerce.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Xalanx on September 18, 2011, 16:31
You're mistaking very much. This concept of sharing has only led to oversupply and the whole enormous pile of copycats that are microstock agencies today. And it might as well lead to its end.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cobalt on September 18, 2011, 16:36
No end, just a transformation as new markets open up.

There are more and more markets and countries around the globe entering the internet age. How many webdesigners in India, China, Middle East, South America are using stock sites today? How many will use it in five years? These are huge markets. Much bigger than Europe, even bigger than North America.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 18, 2011, 16:39
".this way microstockers can produce images much, much  cheaper than traditional macro artists and therefore our images can be offered at much lower prices on the market. "

No, not really.

But hiring a full staff may not make sense either.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Mantis on September 18, 2011, 16:43
No end, just a transformation as new markets open up.

There are more and more markets and countries around the globe entering the internet age. How many webdesigners in India, China, Middle East, South America are using stock sites today? How many will use it in five years? These are huge markets. Much bigger than Europe, even bigger than North America.

I think MS will not die, it will just continue to soften.  As demand grows in emerging markets so will supply and purchasing outlets.  The days of growing your port and realizing decent gains (notice I said decent) are closing....and closed for many low volume contributors.   
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: luissantos84 on September 18, 2011, 17:02
You're mistaking very much. This concept of sharing has only led to oversupply and the whole enormous pile of copycats that are microstock agencies today. And it might as well lead to its end.

that´s very true but what have you done? what are you doing? that´s stock even if Yuri or other don´t share, it will never stop unless agencies stop approving more of the "same" stuff and perhaps deleting older pictures without sales, agencies till approve a lot of noisy pics..

microstock will shrink day after day unless you keep on producing more and more and diversify which Yuri haven´t done

my 2cents from a nobody
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: gostwyck on September 18, 2011, 17:15
No end, just a transformation as new markets open up.

There are more and more markets and countries around the globe entering the internet age. How many webdesigners in India, China, Middle East, South America are using stock sites today? How many will use it in five years? These are huge markets. Much bigger than Europe, even bigger than North America.

Trust me most of those markets are already 'open'. Courtesy of Shutterstock's map, showing where your latest sales took place, I'm continually surprised how many of my sales occur in India, the Middle East and in South America.

From my time in the Far East I would say we're unlikely to ever crack the market there. For starters even microstock prices would be considered expensive in most of the Far East. Judging by the advertising you see they also have a preference for 'idealized' images that is simply off the scale compared to what we produce __ for example everyone has been 'whitened' to the point of being almost translucent. My guess is that their needs will eventually be met by their own agencies.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Xalanx on September 18, 2011, 17:18
No end, just a transformation as new markets open up.

There are more and more markets and countries around the globe entering the internet age. How many webdesigners in India, China, Middle East, South America are using stock sites today? How many will use it in five years? These are huge markets. Much bigger than Europe, even bigger than North America.

Every country is in "internet age", is nothing new to anyone. These new markets as you say are already buying stock images. The majority of web designers these days are in India, Eastern Europe and other places where work sells cheap. Major western european or american companies are outsourcing their projects right there.
If you're talking about emerging companies within those countries, well then you'll have to wait for the said countries to develop their economies and I believe it's going to be a long time until then.

LE: blimey, gostwyck was a bit faster.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Freedom on September 18, 2011, 17:19
Although I am not a newbie, I never cease to be astonished by the blatant selfishness and lack of goodwill of some photographers. Yuri, you should be proud of yourself that you are a generous one. Sharing knowledge is a common occurance in all professions. However, in any profession, There are a few who are more selfish than others. Goodwill will not hurt one's business. Short-sightedness will.

My September looks better than August which was my third worst month of the year.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: gostwyck on September 18, 2011, 17:32
Although I am not a newbie, I never cease to be astonished by the blatant selfishness and lack of goodwill of some photographers. Yuri, you should be proud of yourself that you are a generous one. Sharing knowledge is a common occurance in all professions. However, in any profession, There are a few who are more selfish than others. Goodwill will not hurt one's business. Short-sightedness will.

I suggest you write to the Coca Cola company asking for the recipe for their nice drink so that you can make it for yourself. Explain to them, like you have lectured us, that "Goodwill will not hurt one's business". Let us know how you get on.

Have you ever actually heard the expressions 'trade secret' or 'commercially sensitive information'? Do those exist because of "blatant selfishness and lack of goodwill" from nasty business people?

Yuri is probably kicking himself that he didn't keep his big trap shut ... not that he'd ever admit it of course.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: ShadySue on September 18, 2011, 17:41
Sharing knowledge is a common occurance in all professions.
True, but stock is a business, which is a very different thing.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: microstockphoto.co.uk on September 18, 2011, 17:48
But there's no trade secret here, our photos are out there for all to see.

Those serious about stock will find out anyway, and a lot of people - the large majority - will never succeed anyway, because it's not difficult but it takes time and devotion.

I completely agree with Yuri's way of sharing (and getting) information.

If anything, those sharing information - such as us on this forum - are gaining a competitive advantage against those who don't.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lthn on September 18, 2011, 17:53
Interesting how dropping sales means new markets opening up to some : )  I get suprisingly big batches of downloads from india if the SS map is trustworthy, their ratio is increasing a lot.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Xalanx on September 18, 2011, 17:53
If anything, those sharing information - such as us on this forum - are gaining a competitive advantage against those who don't.

You're thinking perhaps that "us on this forum" is limited to those who actively take part in discussion. When in fact there are zillions of pair of eyes watching these posts, many of them from persons who are not even registered here.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: gostwyck on September 18, 2011, 17:56
If anything, those sharing information - such as us on this forum - are gaining a competitive advantage against those who don't.

Really? There are nearly 13,000 registered members of this forum and an unknown number of unregistered 'lurkers'. Who exactly do you think you are gaining "a competitive advantage" over?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: microstockphoto.co.uk on September 18, 2011, 18:04
@Xalanx and gostwyck:

Over those who don't even read our posts, and are unaware of what's happening everyday in stock industry.

Anyway, it must be boring just reading without taking part, and they can read all they want but if they don't go out shooting photos, editing, keywording, uploading there's nothing they can do with all the information we are giving out

Unless they are agencies spying on us, which I'm sure it's happening all the time
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Xalanx on September 18, 2011, 18:15
Most of them are lurkers, it's more comfortable taking all the knowledge and insights from everyone who takes part. Also remember that this is THE forum where real microstock discussions happen. Agencies' forums are bad jokes. So this forum is naturally, very watched.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 18, 2011, 18:17
Although I am not a newbie, I never cease to be astonished by the blatant selfishness and lack of goodwill of some photographers. Yuri, you should be proud of yourself that you are a generous one. Sharing knowledge is a common occurance in all professions. However, in any profession, There are a few who are more selfish than others. Goodwill will not hurt one's business. Short-sightedness will.

My September looks better than August which was my third worst month of the year.

Goodwill on a one-to-one basis probably won't hurt your business much or at all. Such as if one person helps you and you help them in return. But every tip you share is being broadcast to an almost unlimited amount of potential competitors.

Let's say that overnight suddenly the amount of contributors to all sites doubled. And they all are actively submitting hundreds of thousands of new images similar to yours. Do you really think this would have no affect on your business?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: microstockphoto.co.uk on September 18, 2011, 18:26
Most of them are lurkers, it's more comfortable taking all the knowledge and insights from everyone who takes part. Also remember that this is THE forum where real microstock discussions happen. Agencies' forums are bad jokes. So this forum is naturally, very watched.

We're probably saying the same thing: we're creating a very useful body of information here.
Simply, I don't care if there are lurkers, still better than not discussing at all.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Freedom on September 18, 2011, 18:29
Although I am not a newbie, I never cease to be astonished by the blatant selfishness and lack of goodwill of some photographers. Yuri, you should be proud of yourself that you are a generous one. Sharing knowledge is a common occurance in all professions. However, in any profession, There are a few who are more selfish than others. Goodwill will not hurt one's business. Short-sightedness will.

My September looks better than August which was my third worst month of the year.

Goodwill on a one-to-one basis probably won't hurt your business much or at all. Such as if one person helps you and you help them in return. But every tip you share is being broadcast to an almost unlimited amount of potential competitors.

Let's say that overnight suddenly the amount of contributors to all sites doubled. And they all are actively submitting hundreds of thousands of new images similar to yours. Do you really think this would have no affect on your business?

Like Elainthewise said once, if you don't teach, others will. You cannot ban the existence of schools, teachers and mentors, unless in some pretty naive mind. You cannot control what others do, all you can do is to make yourself better in skills, EQ and and business knowledge.

Why is Yuri doing better than all of us? Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned, not only his skills, but also how he approaches business. For those critical of him, are you sure you have never got any inspiration from him and benefits of his knowledge sharing?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Mantis on September 18, 2011, 18:30
Interesting how dropping sales means new markets opening up to some : )  I get suprisingly big batches of downloads from india if the SS map is trustworthy, their ratio is increasing a lot.

It's kinda basic business 101 and cause and effect.  I will share some basic business information with you.  For every business response there is a possible competitive response.  So while dropping sales somewhere may mean less sales for contributors on those sites, there may be other sites opening up to steal some share.  Does "big batches of downloads" mean 2 or 50?  That's a VERY OPEN STATEMENT TO MAKE.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 18, 2011, 18:59
Although I am not a newbie, I never cease to be astonished by the blatant selfishness and lack of goodwill of some photographers. Yuri, you should be proud of yourself that you are a generous one. Sharing knowledge is a common occurance in all professions. However, in any profession, There are a few who are more selfish than others. Goodwill will not hurt one's business. Short-sightedness will.

My September looks better than August which was my third worst month of the year.

Goodwill on a one-to-one basis probably won't hurt your business much or at all. Such as if one person helps you and you help them in return. But every tip you share is being broadcast to an almost unlimited amount of potential competitors.

Let's say that overnight suddenly the amount of contributors to all sites doubled. And they all are actively submitting hundreds of thousands of new images similar to yours. Do you really think this would have no affect on your business?

Like Elainthewise said once, if you don't teach, others will. You cannot ban the existence of schools, teachers and mentors, unless in some pretty naive mind. You cannot control what others do, all you can do is to make yourself better in skills, EQ and and business knowledge.

Why is Yuri doing better than all of us? Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned, not only his skills, but also how he approaches business. For those critical of him, are you sure you have never got any inspiration from him and benefits of his knowledge sharing?

And wasn't the above bolded statement made based on the fact that she is selling books and profiting from teaching others? Schools get paid. Teachers get paid. In some cases mentors get paid but they also fit into the one-on-one type of help. How exactly do you benefit from broadcasting the inner workings of your business to tens of thousands of potential competitors? And for free?

Why is Yuri doing better than most of us? You're kidding me, right? Pretty simple.  He submits highly sellable images in huge quantities at a reasonable price to as many distributions channels as possible. I doubt buyers flock to buy his images because of his charitable efforts toward contributors.

Lesson learned? Yes, my lesson learned is that Yuri is saying his sales are declining and that if I'm going to succeed in the long term I probably want to make sure I use a different business model with my own unique style.

Naive, huh? Spare me.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Yuri_Arcurs on September 18, 2011, 19:04
Wow. Lot's of comments on this one. I am surprised that no one mentions the economic state we are in. Our internal speculations in my department on this matter are mostly related to the crisis and the fact that agencies are not raising prices. For example the model agencies that we work with regularly are seeing a massive drop in bookings and jobs for their models. Much more than we are seeing a drop in sales in microstock. A couple of years ago, right after the beginning of the crisis they saw no change, then a little drop last year and a totally devastating year this year - according to a couple of CEOs. I think this downfall in sales has to do with the economy in general, restructuring budgets and priorities changing.
In regards to copy-cats I completely agree with Lisa. I too was able to tell my images apart up to about two years ago. I don't think these individuals (copy-cat's if you will) came to where they are because of a  of advice I may have given on blog posts etc. I believe that the transparency of microstock, that it is so easy to see what to shoot to be successful makes it relatively easy to copy me and others. I have even had cases with people not only copying my images completely, but even copy-pasting the same title, keywords and description. Bold, but nevertheless effective.
In regards to sharing vs not sharing. I keep some things to myself. Off cause, but I also understand the time we live in. When asked, I will refer to the "knowledge restriction" or "sharing paranoia" that some photographers express as an old fashioned, conservative and very outdated way of thinking. The major overlooked aspect in this view is that you almost always gain, from sharing. When you enter a space with a mindset saying "ask me anything and I will try my best to answer you" and you genuinely try to help, you get so much back. This sounds soft, but it is actually not, it very concrete. I have always, and i really mean always, gained more from such situations than I felt I gave away. You never know what comes your way, but by keeping an open mind and a helpful mindset, people simply help back. And...it's generally a good way to be around other people. :)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cobalt on September 18, 2011, 19:06
"Trust me most of those markets are already 'open'. Courtesy of Shutterstock's map, showing where your latest sales took place, I'm continually surprised how many of my sales occur in India, the Middle East and in South America."

I´d love to have a map like that on istock :-(. That must be very helpful in targeting customers.

"From my time in the Far East I would say we're unlikely to ever crack the market there. For starters even microstock prices would be considered expensive in most of the Far East."

Yes, but companies are the end customer, not the single user. Our images maybe to expensive YET for the small bakery, but not for any business in the growing Middle class. My own background is from the Middle east, not Asia and I am seeing a huge growth in Middle Class businesses. But to become fully involved in these markets you need staff on the ground and a local office. You can´t run it by remote from Canada. As for cheaper content - istock is en route to push several agencies with different price points. I wouldn´t be surprised if the cheaper agencies are being created with the emerging markets in mind.

 "Judging by the advertising you see they also have a preference for 'idealized' images that is simply off the scale compared to what we produce __ for example everyone has been 'whitened' to the point of being almost translucent. My guess is that their needs will eventually be met by their own agencies."

I don´t think it would difficult for microstockers to adapt to a new market. Besides, there will obviously many new artists joining from these markets who already know how to create that "look". And then we all copy them :-)

They just have to train the inspectors to accept overprocessed content...again, something JJ indicated when he said that some of their agencies would accept content at smaller sizes, even if there were too many artifacts for the normal istock collection.

The majority of sales would probably go to the local artists, nothing wrong with that. Just like US photographers will be best in creating "US style smiling" images.

"Interesting how dropping sales means new markets opening up to some "

Dropping sales mean that I worry that the sales and marketing team is not pushing hard enough for new customers. Most photographers seem to worry about dilution or Best Match. I am mostly interested in growth.

Dilution doesn´t worry me. The majority of images added have nothing to do with my own little subject niche. I don´t care how many sunsets or flowers or business images are being added every week. I only look at my own subjects. And the number of people creating high quality content is very small.

I think the concerns of Yuri who runs a large business with a lot of staff is very different from those of individual contributors. For us it is easier to carve out a niche specializing in "children and their pets ", "easy recipes for camping" or any other subject we choose.

The more specialized, the less competition you have.

But you still need the growth in customers. Maybe it is time to do more of our own advertising - keep active blogs about our favorite subject, become more active in non stock forums to interact with the community of potential buyers.

For Yuri this could mean more direct interaction with business customers, direct sales from his website, selling image Cd´s at trade shows or whatever else the agencies themselves do to attract buyers. Maybe even get a few exclusive contracts with companies so they only buy from him directly.  Part of the website could be hidden from public view so all of us lurkers can´t copy him. Or just hide "exclusive" images during the first 6 months...whatever...

But maybe he is already doing that.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Freedom on September 18, 2011, 19:35
Yes, what Yuri says!!!

By being petty, you are not opening any doors for yourself, from a strict business point of view.

Back to topic, the economy has certainly made the big picture less bright. Another point is, when Yuri, Sean or Lisa are complaining, they are still doing way way better than most of us. Yuri wasn't asking for sympathy, he was just doing a market survey. If you don't want to share your knowledge, you don't even have to tell him that he was hurting his business, if you believe it and get any private joy from it, lol.

Wow. Lot's of comments on this one. I am surprised that no one mentions the economic state we are in. Our internal speculations in my department on this matter are mostly related to the crisis and the fact that agencies are not raising prices. For example the model agencies that we work with regularly are seeing a massive drop in bookings and jobs for their models. Much more than we are seeing a drop in sales in microstock. A couple of years ago, right after the beginning of the crisis they saw no change, then a little drop last year and a totally devastating year this year - according to a couple of CEOs. I think this downfall in sales has to do with the economy in general, restructuring budgets and priorities changing.
In regards to copy-cats I completely agree with Lisa. I too was able to tell my images apart up to about two years ago. I don't think these individuals (copy-cat's if you will) came to where they are because of a  of advice I may have given on blog posts etc. I believe that the transparency of microstock, that it is so easy to see what to shoot to be successful makes it relatively easy to copy me and others. I have even had cases with people not only copying my images completely, but even copy-pasting the same title, keywords and description. Bold, but nevertheless effective.
In regards to sharing vs not sharing. I keep some things to myself. Off cause, but I also understand the time we live in. When asked, I will refer to the "knowledge restriction" or "sharing paranoia" that some photographers express as an old fashioned, conservative and very outdated way of thinking. The major overlooked aspect in this view is that you almost always gain, from sharing. When you enter a space with a mindset saying "ask me anything and I will try my best to answer you" and you genuinely try to help, you get so much back. This sounds soft, but it is actually not, it very concrete. I have always, and i really mean always, gained more from such situations than I felt I gave away. You never know what comes your way, but by keeping an open mind and a helpful mindset, people simply help back. And...it's generally a good way to be around other people. :)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 18, 2011, 19:43
Wow. Lot's of comments on this one. I am surprised that no one mentions the economic state we are in. Our internal speculations in my department on this matter are mostly related to the crisis and the fact that agencies are not raising prices. For example the model agencies that we work with regularly are seeing a massive drop in bookings and jobs for their models. Much more than we are seeing a drop in sales in microstock. A couple of years ago, right after the beginning of the crisis they saw no change, then a little drop last year and a totally devastating year this year - according to a couple of CEOs. I think this downfall in sales has to do with the economy in general, restructuring budgets and priorities changing.
In regards to copy-cats I completely agree with Lisa. I too was able to tell my images apart up to about two years ago. I don't think these individuals (copy-cat's if you will) came to where they are because of a  of advice I may have given on blog posts etc. I believe that the transparency of microstock, that it is so easy to see what to shoot to be successful makes it relatively easy to copy me and others. I have even had cases with people not only copying my images completely, but even copy-pasting the same title, keywords and description. Bold, but nevertheless effective.
In regards to sharing vs not sharing. I keep some things to myself. Off cause, but I also understand the time we live in. When asked, I will refer to the "knowledge restriction" or "sharing paranoia" that some photographers express as an old fashioned, conservative and very outdated way of thinking. The major overlooked aspect in this view is that you almost always gain, from sharing. When you enter a space with a mindset saying "ask me anything and I will try my best to answer you" and you genuinely try to help, you get so much back. This sounds soft, but it is actually not, it very concrete. I have always, and i really mean always, gained more from such situations than I felt I gave away. You never know what comes your way, but by keeping an open mind and a helpful mindset, people simply help back. And...it's generally a good way to be around other people. :)

Yuri, I can't speak to other parts of the world but here in the USA the "Great Recession" supposedly ended in 2009. At that time things were pretty dire and the economy has improved over the past couple of years. So since the USA is one of the larger consumers of stock images it would seem odd that the economy has improved but micro sales in general seem to be in a downward trend for contributors over the past couple of years. Maybe this improvement in the USA is offset by the economy declining in other parts of the world. I'm more inclined to think that demand has plateaued while supply has significantly increased.

 
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: StanRohrer on September 18, 2011, 19:45
I think.....
1) Supply is outstripping demand.  We are adding images to the sites faster than we are gaining buyers.  Part of this is due to the economy.  Some low price buyers are not buying.  High price buyers are moving down to microstock - but not in the volumes needed to grow the sales.

2) iStock, in one of their articles, said that Getty thinks that libraries over 5 million images start to have lots buried that can't surface in searches.  So I don't understand why they are adding more images to iStock unless they want to bury the contributor owned images.

3) iStock is, what, 9 million images now? There are niches to be found but how many more hand shakes do we need?  Some of the popular categories will need very creative new images to make a finacial reward against the existing stock.  Adding more of the same just dilutes the sales across more images and even good images lose income.  In Yuri's case, perhaps adding more of the same style just adds compitition to yourself.

4) Even my low sellers still have value as seen on a very good sales day for me when the recent site issues had the default settings and Best Match all messed up.  I have value, it just depends on the Best match whim of the day.  Recently I observe they must change the Best Match every day in areas that affect my portfoliio.  I see some weeks with odd days very good mixed with even days very bad.  This can't be a market action to make a comb tooth sales chart across the days of multiple weeks.

5) Some of the iStock site volume statistics may include people checking their accounts and visiting the forums.  With all of the negativity around the site and RC changes, I know I spend less time and put less hits on the iStock servers.  This may or may not relate to sales but certainly impacts server statistics if other people are hitting less for non sales activities.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Elenathewise on September 18, 2011, 20:25
Ok some thoughts:

1. The best match at Istock has been changing over the last month or so, either intentionally or unintentionally. That is going to have an effect on sales. There were a few days where we had some really unusual results coming up - that's going to have an impact, and was probably especially prominent for the high volume searches.

+1
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: jsmithzz on September 18, 2011, 20:58
I agree with Yuri that a lot of it has to do with economy. I joined iStock a few years ago and watched my sales rise very nicely up until fall of 2008 when the economic crisis hit everyone. Since then, my sales have never fully recovered when looking at the RPI numbers.

I also think customers are much more sensitive to pricing and want to get the most they can for their dollar. The recent best match shift that pushed Agency and Vetta files to the front certainly didn't help, and I know personally of some graphic designers who abandoned iStock after many years of loyalty when that happened. They have no plans on coming back.   

A lot of people are seeking agencies that are going to provide them with imagery for the least amount of money. In their minds, that's no longer iStock. Companies these days are tightening their belts and can't spend money like they used to. As for the recession being over, I don't buy it. Unemployment is still high, people still aren't hiring and expenditures are nowhere near what they were before the crisis hit.   
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 18, 2011, 21:01
"I don't think these individuals (copy-cat's if you will) came to where they are because of a  of advice I may have given on blog posts etc."

Partially that, and partly because of notices of success from producing such content.  Seriously though, why would people read such posts and blogs?  To take proven method, duplicate it and take profit.  Come on.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cthoman on September 19, 2011, 00:40
Wow. Lot's of comments on this one. I am surprised that no one mentions the economic state we are in. Our internal speculations in my department on this matter are mostly related to the crisis and the fact that agencies are not raising prices.

That's a good theory, but I'm skeptical of this. I've found my freelance business and stock income have been pretty stable over the last few years. The distribution among various agencies of those stock sales though has changed drastically. I think the stock field is just volatile. Buyers jump around and sites change. It's hard to track buyers and even if they jump between two agencies your on, it's not necessarily a 1 to 1 ratio. Does an iStock buyer that moves to DT start buying small sub packages instead of credit sales? That can make a big difference in profit.

It seems it might actually be a good idea to restrict where I sell to make sure I'm always making a decent profit from each sale. That's my theory recently anyway. If not, then I'll probably end up trying (and failing) to maintain some ridiculously massive volume of sales at some pathetic RPD while fending off millions of new contributors. At that point, I think I might as well take a professional job catching falling swords.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: icefloe on September 19, 2011, 00:47
From my Audio point of view, I'm uploading very few files per month and my sales have increased slow but steady since beginning of istockaudio in 2009, which was right after the last economic crisis. My sales are still growing (slowly) and I haven't uploaded anything since june. So one possible answer could be that the audio-market isn't as flooded with files as the photo-market.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: microstockphoto.co.uk on September 19, 2011, 00:51
Wow. Lot's of comments on this one. I am surprised that no one mentions the economic state we are in.

One could think that buyers will always need pictures, and in difficult economy they will resort to microstock even more, instead of RM or assignment.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2011, 01:02
I think.....
1) Supply is outstripping demand.  We are adding images to the sites faster than we are gaining buyers.  Part of this is due to the economy.  Some low price buyers are not buying.  High price buyers are moving down to microstock - but not in the volumes needed to grow the sales.

2) iStock, in one of their articles, said that Getty thinks that libraries over 5 million images start to have lots buried that can't surface in searches.  So I don't understand why they are adding more images to iStock unless they want to bury the contributor owned images.

3) iStock is, what, 9 million images now? There are niches to be found but how many more hand shakes do we need?  Some of the popular categories will need very creative new images to make a finacial reward against the existing stock.  Adding more of the same just dilutes the sales across more images and even good images lose income.  In Yuri's case, perhaps adding more of the same style just adds compitition to yourself.

4) Even my low sellers still have value as seen on a very good sales day for me when the recent site issues had the default settings and Best Match all messed up.  I have value, it just depends on the Best match whim of the day.  Recently I observe they must change the Best Match every day in areas that affect my portfoliio.  I see some weeks with odd days very good mixed with even days very bad.  This can't be a market action to make a comb tooth sales chart across the days of multiple weeks.

5) Some of the iStock site volume statistics may include people checking their accounts and visiting the forums.  With all of the negativity around the site and RC changes, I know I spend less time and put less hits on the iStock servers.  This may or may not relate to sales but certainly impacts server statistics if other people are hitting less for non sales activities.

I agree with almost all of what you have said. particularly 5). the istock forum has changed so drastically, I'm sure most of us barely check in there, where a year ago I was in there easily 20 times per day if not more.

@ Yuri: I almost never come into threads with titles like this, but when I saw you were the author, I did read. you're a gauge, contributors like you, Sean and a handful of others are gauges for all of us. So when you guys (and girls) post, those of us in the middle of the road watch and listen. I don't know you, but you sound like a very kind, decent human being and I appreciate your candor. I don't agree with the kindness gives back mantra....though I appreciate you live by it. I don't believe microstock is that kind of an industry now. we are competitors, and unfortunately many of our colleagues are slimy and will steal, without giving it a moment's thought. I share far less than I would in my personal life, and I play my cards much closer to my chest than I used to, including with the agencies I work with. it's dog eat dog. that doesn't mean we can't get along, but kindness doesn't actually pay bills. wish it did. cheers in any case :-)

FWIW, my sales continue to climb, but much slower than they did. August and September are good here, so fingers crossed that it will continue but I still think much of what's been pointed out in this thread is totally valid as reasons for slumps.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lagereek on September 19, 2011, 02:01
At the moment I think IS,  is having such vast internal and external politics problems, its overshadowing everything else and business has become secondary. Theyre busy holding on to already existing buyers and contributors for that matter.
The constant best match tweaking is proof of serious instabillity.
For any buyers just visiting IS, maybe once or twice a month, its a nightmare of an interface with collections all over the place, copy-cats images everywhere at all differant price levels, price-sliders and all.

The SS policy of just keeping it simple,  is just paying off all the way. SS, is way up for me and so is DT and FT.  IS,  is pretty much on par but nowhere near what it used to be.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Microbius on September 19, 2011, 02:29
I think the "IStock especially" part could have something to do with the huge amount of bad will at the moment. I know I've stopped buying from them, and recommending them, and judging from the visits stats for the site I'm not the only one.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Yuri_Arcurs on September 19, 2011, 02:30
At the moment I think IS,  is having such vast internal and external politics problems, its overshadowing everything else and business has become secondary. Theyre busy holding on to already existing buyers and contributors for that matter.
The constant best match tweaking is proof of serious instabillity.
For any buyers just visiting IS, maybe once or twice a month, its a nightmare of an interface with collections all over the place, copy-cats images everywhere at all differant price levels, price-sliders and all.

The SS policy of just keeping it simple,  is just paying off all the way. SS, is way up for me and so is DT and FT.  IS,  is pretty much on par but nowhere near what it used to be.

I agree. I think that their design upgrade was a major downgrade. I now have five years of experience with Microstock and I still find it hard to do the most simple searches on Istock. And if I find it hard, try to put yourself in the shoes of the buyers visiting for the first time.... overwhelming...
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Yuri_Arcurs on September 19, 2011, 02:34
I think the "IStock especially" part could have something to do with the huge amount of bad will at the moment. I know I've stopped buying from them, and recommending them, and judging from the visits stats for the site I'm not the only one.
And there will be much more of that. When you start pushing commissions down to 15% that's when people really start uprising. I have about 300 direct/regular buyers and they all say the same when we have talks and they get to know that the commissions are that low: "wow, I did not know that, I will stop buying from them". When all platforms are offering the same images (more or less) fairness matters.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: sharpshot on September 19, 2011, 02:35
Wow. Lot's of comments on this one. I am surprised that no one mentions the economic state we are in. Our internal speculations in my department on this matter are mostly related to the crisis and the fact that agencies are not raising prices. For example the model agencies that we work with regularly are seeing a massive drop in bookings and jobs for their models. Much more than we are seeing a drop in sales in microstock. A couple of years ago, right after the beginning of the crisis they saw no change, then a little drop last year and a totally devastating year this year - according to a couple of CEOs. I think this downfall in sales has to do with the economy in general, restructuring budgets and priorities changing.
In regards to copy-cats I completely agree with Lisa. I too was able to tell my images apart up to about two years ago. I don't think these individuals (copy-cat's if you will) came to where they are because of a  of advice I may have given on blog posts etc. I believe that the transparency of microstock, that it is so easy to see what to shoot to be successful makes it relatively easy to copy me and others. I have even had cases with people not only copying my images completely, but even copy-pasting the same title, keywords and description. Bold, but nevertheless effective.
In regards to sharing vs not sharing. I keep some things to myself. Off cause, but I also understand the time we live in. When asked, I will refer to the "knowledge restriction" or "sharing paranoia" that some photographers express as an old fashioned, conservative and very outdated way of thinking. The major overlooked aspect in this view is that you almost always gain, from sharing. When you enter a space with a mindset saying "ask me anything and I will try my best to answer you" and you genuinely try to help, you get so much back. This sounds soft, but it is actually not, it very concrete. I have always, and i really mean always, gained more from such situations than I felt I gave away. You never know what comes your way, but by keeping an open mind and a helpful mindset, people simply help back. And...it's generally a good way to be around other people. :)

Yuri, I can't speak to other parts of the world but here in the USA the "Great Recession" supposedly ended in 2009. At that time things were pretty dire and the economy has improved over the past couple of years. So since the USA is one of the larger consumers of stock images it would seem odd that the economy has improved but micro sales in general seem to be in a downward trend for contributors over the past couple of years. Maybe this improvement in the USA is offset by the economy declining in other parts of the world. I'm more inclined to think that demand has plateaued while supply has significantly increased.

 
Recessions are measured by economic growth but this one is different to others I've lived through.  The big problem is that banks were lending money they never had a hope of getting back.  Now people are finding it much harder to borrow money.  Most countries have printed lots more money to try and ease this but that devalues the currency.  Some countries should default on their debts but they are being propped up, as there's a fear that if one defaults, it will have a domino effect.  I really can't see this strategy working.

I don't know about other countries but almost everything seems more expensive in the UK now.  Businesses have had to make cuts in spending and budgets for buying images are likely to be on their list.

There's also the feeling that a double dip recession is very likely, growth is usually much stronger after a recession but we really are in a perilous economic situation right now.  I would rather see all the economic problems dealt with now than go through a long period of sluggish growth, high inflation and currency devaluation.

I did think that microstock would be relatively recession proof though, as people using the more expensive sites are likely to switch to microstock if they want to cut costs.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: rene on September 19, 2011, 03:10
Since last September brilliant changes made by KKT my sympathy for IS has gone.  Especially the grandfathering lie is difficult to forget.
Now my relation is purely based on money. I'm still exclusive here but I haven't sent single customer here for 12 months because competition's referral programs pay better. 6 buyers went to the competition instead of IS .
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lagereek on September 19, 2011, 04:30
At the moment I think IS,  is having such vast internal and external politics problems, its overshadowing everything else and business has become secondary. Theyre busy holding on to already existing buyers and contributors for that matter.
The constant best match tweaking is proof of serious instabillity.
For any buyers just visiting IS, maybe once or twice a month, its a nightmare of an interface with collections all over the place, copy-cats images everywhere at all differant price levels, price-sliders and all.

The SS policy of just keeping it simple,  is just paying off all the way. SS, is way up for me and so is DT and FT.  IS,  is pretty much on par but nowhere near what it used to be.

I agree. I think that their design upgrade was a major downgrade. I now have five years of experience with Microstock and I still find it hard to do the most simple searches on Istock. And if I find it hard, try to put yourself in the shoes of the buyers visiting for the first time.... overwhelming...


Thats just it!  and can you imagine the nightmare for say an "amateur buyer"  or a first time buyer. I think they just give up and move on to another site.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: zager on September 19, 2011, 05:57
When all platforms are offering the same images (more or less) fairness matters.

Nice :-) Thx!
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lthn on September 19, 2011, 06:50
I remember Yuri saying in a recent interview that other agencies have been check-mated by istock years ago, that IS just does everything better, they are way ahead, and ceos' of other agencies are just amateur photogs... quite outspoken which is much appriciated imho. How does all that look now?

I personally don't think it's the economic situation yet. (it will be) Altho it's heading for a collapse, it works in weird way (thats one of the reasons it's likely to be a total collapse): despite being buried in debt, the western, developed world still has money to burn, loans on top of loans, untill everything implodes. The empty space from entities that have gone bankrupt and stopped buying, is likely getting filled up by the ones who are only on their way to becoming bankrupt and seek cheaper alternatives... so imho it's oversupply, maybe for different reasons. Oversupply on IS because they lost customers. Oversupply un SS simply because they have so much stuff, and they have a lot more high volume, high rate contributors. Almost 17 million shots as I remeber? vs. IS with about 10 mill.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: ProArtwork on September 19, 2011, 08:09
Global economic ideologies and policies scare people away and they won't spend!
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Ed on September 19, 2011, 08:49
I don't think anybody knows the correct answer and we can all theorize.  I agree with the theory of the economy but I also have a theory that won't be favorable among some of the contributors here....

I think another part of the issue is that we are licensing images on a royalty free basis.  Major buyers (I'm not talking new users, casual users, or the local small business) have licensed our images on a royalty free basis and have built a library of those images that they will continue to use internally until they go out of style.  Under the license agreement, they can do this...and they do.  Various marketing departments of these companies have a library of these images that they are going to continue to use over and over again.

In addition to that, these same buyers have a staff of designers that can manipulate these images in the same fashion other contributors do to create new images.  Bob Mizerak (rjmiz) was especially talented at doing that.  He was one of many that could take 6 images and manipulate them individually or together and create another 25 images from those 6.  It was a terrific talent - and these companies that have a budget to keep a libary of licensed images at hand, have the money to hire designers that can do the same.

I think in order to continue to realize gains in this industry, a photographer needs to spread his/her talents into different markets.  Shoot a little bit of micro/royalty free stock, and shoot some traditional stock.  Then find other sorts of income - whether ist's fine art or books or weddings or whatever.  Multiple streams of income is the best approach.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 19, 2011, 08:58
I think another part of the issue is that we are licensing images on a royalty free basis.  Major buyers (I'm not talking new users, casual users, or the local small business) have licensed our images on a royalty free basis and have built a library of those images that they will continue to use internally until they go out of style.  Under the license agreement, they can do this...and they do.  Various marketing departments of these companies have a library of these images that they are going to continue to use over and over again.

Good point and I'd agree with this.

RF may have worked okay for macro ten years ago when buyers only had higher priced images as an option. Now with the relaxed usage rights of RF, cheap micro prices, and the economy pushing buyers to be more frugal and reuse images, I'd say RF is a significant contributor to the current state. Plus, with RF, piracy is difficult to track because of the multi-use rights so plenty of people can get away with stealing whatever images they find on the internet, whether intentional or from ignorance. 
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Yuri_Arcurs on September 19, 2011, 09:03
I remember Yuri saying in a recent interview that other agencies have been check-mated by istock years ago, that IS just does everything better, they are way ahead, and ceos' of other agencies are just amateur photogs... quite outspoken which is much appriciated imho. How does all that look now?

I personally don't think it's the economic situation yet. (it will be) Altho it's heading for a collapse, it works in weird way (thats one of the reasons it's likely to be a total collapse): despite being buried in debt, the western, developed world still has money to burn, loans on top of loans, untill everything implodes. The empty space from entities that have gone bankrupt and stopped buying, is likely getting filled up by the ones who are only on their way to becoming bankrupt and seek cheaper alternatives... so imho it's oversupply, maybe for different reasons. Oversupply on IS because they lost customers. Oversupply un SS simply because they have so much stuff, and they have a lot more high volume, high rate contributors. Almost 17 million shots as I remeber? vs. IS with about 10 mill.

Please don't hide. Tell us who you are especially when making such bold quotes on my behalf.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on September 19, 2011, 09:10
Does anyone actually know the bottom line of these "agencies"? The money the little grubbers get to keep? Is it down over last March? Have enough small users downloaded enough of the same old, same old at their 25 per week to keep them in images for the next decade? Although I think most of you folks are really nice people, there is a certain righteousness to watching the micro community react to lose of sales. Too many of you folks thought you lived in an impervious bubble where the graphs only pointed skyward and BMEs could be seen into eternity.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: XPTO on September 19, 2011, 09:25
I think the "IStock especially" part could have something to do with the huge amount of bad will at the moment. I know I've stopped buying from them, and recommending them, and judging from the visits stats for the site I'm not the only one.
And there will be much more of that. When you start pushing commissions down to 15% that's when people really start uprising. I have about 300 direct/regular buyers and they all say the same when we have talks and they get to know that the commissions are that low: "wow, I did not know that, I will stop buying from them". When all platforms are offering the same images (more or less) fairness matters.

I have friends in the designing world who are costumers of IS. When we've started to talk about IS the first thing they commented was the continuous rise of prices, but when I've told them the commissions they pay to photographers... their jaw dropped! They were absolutely scandalized. That's when I've introduced them to other agencies...
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: XPTO on September 19, 2011, 09:49
I also think that economy has a lot to do with the current situation. In fact, this month of September has some similar signs to the Sept. 08 when the crisis initially exploded.

News about a possible second recession in the US are frequent in the news, and if it may not reveal to be true at least scares a lot of businessmen who start to get precautions and hold investments, namely in the marketing area. We must not forget that the psychological area of the economy is fundamental, if not the most important part of all. In economics, the fear of a recessions is many times what it takes to make it happen.

Then we have Europe, with serious troubles in Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy and also potentially UK and France in the horizon. There are thousand of businesses closing down due to the deficit crisis, because the increase of taxes are skyrocketing, people have less money to spend which put business into trouble. If we sum to the problems that the moving of factories to the third world and developing countries brought, and still continue to happen, again more unemployment, less consumption, more problems to business, less investment in marketing.

Of course the huge number of new contributors, and new submissions did not help.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: jjneff on September 19, 2011, 10:06
In the future I see iStock as actually being the strongest. They are moving to a midstock level instead of a microstock one. They have more avenues to reach more buyers. Now I am on the video side and I can say it is doing well for me, I had a much better summer than expected. Yes I do this full-time but I also work on other projects to keep my skills varied and sharp. I have had numerous people ask me to teach them. I always say, go to iStock read the material, post images or clips, get accepted and then get back to me. Funny I never hear from them again. iStock is starting to really focus on content while the others still take about everything. Trust me I have both eyes open but my bet still rest on the iStock horse.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: michealo on September 19, 2011, 10:07
Surprisingly it looks like that my income for Sep this year will be below my Mar sales this year. This is the first time in five years of production and certainly not due to me not uploading enough images. I have asked around and the trend seems to be the same for most contributors, especially Istock exclusives. Istock seems very affected in both sales and overall income.
Shutterstock has gone up it seems but has the same low "per-item" commission. Fotolia is about equal and DT seems to go a little below (Probably because of the upload limit they have there)
What are your experiences..And explanations...

I don't think it's surprising at all, you have drifted away from your core competency of creating sale able images to being a conference speaker, evangelist, trainer, etc.

And yes you may be uploading enough images but they are essentially the same images, or same sort of images. And other people have learned (with a lot of help from you) just how to fill your niche.

You can blame the macro economic factors all you like but that is the easy option
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Digital66 on September 19, 2011, 10:16
I remember Yuri saying in a recent interview that other agencies have been check-mated by istock years ago, that IS just does everything better, they are way ahead, and ceos' of other agencies are just amateur photogs... quite outspoken which is much appriciated imho. How does all that look now?

I personally don't think it's the economic situation yet. (it will be) Altho it's heading for a collapse, it works in weird way (thats one of the reasons it's likely to be a total collapse): despite being buried in debt, the western, developed world still has money to burn, loans on top of loans, untill everything implodes. The empty space from entities that have gone bankrupt and stopped buying, is likely getting filled up by the ones who are only on their way to becoming bankrupt and seek cheaper alternatives... so imho it's oversupply, maybe for different reasons. Oversupply on IS because they lost customers. Oversupply un SS simply because they have so much stuff, and they have a lot more high volume, high rate contributors. Almost 17 million shots as I remeber? vs. IS with about 10 mill.


Please don't hide. Tell us who you are especially when making such bold quotes on my behalf.


I think it was here: http://blog.johnlund.com/2011/01/yuri-arcurs-leading-microstock.html (http://blog.johnlund.com/2011/01/yuri-arcurs-leading-microstock.html)

"I think that while the all-traditional industry had a big problem realizing and understanding when they were facing serious competition from microstock, the microstock non-exclusive agencies right now have a very serious lack in understanding the actual competition that they are getting from iStock. They don’t get how far ahead iStock is actually becoming and this could potentially be a problem over time. The microstock agencies are paralyzed by their own success and they can't evolve beyond the very simple business model of 2004/5. iStock can, and does so extremely well with multiple price brackets and levels, and with educational events for photographers that teach that "little extra". The problem is also that the primary CEO's of the non-exclusive agencies are amateur photographers at best and often don't know good design, good pictures from less good ones, and really don't care too much about the "whine" in the design world. iStock is way better at this and when we start getting out of our current economic crisis, they are prepared for nurturing the high paying customers. Non-exclusive agencies will be the "leftovers", but the CEO's will probably disagree to the grave, not realizing that they have been check-mated for a couple of years and iStock has been earning bulk in those years. It's sad, because if the non-exclusive actually started doing a higher price bracket, it would be followed up and demanded by the photographers that other agencies also do this and it would outpay iStock's programs because of the total volume of non-exclusive traffic.
I have chosen to be non-exclusive as this was clearly the smartest thing to do when I first started, but at the moment it is easier to compete when being exclusive with iStock. I suspect that this will change when the microstock agencies begin looking at iStock and how they do things. I think I’ll stay non-exclusive for the time being. Unless a convincing offer is made…none have been convincing enough so far."  January 21, 2011 at http://blog.johnlund.com/2011/01/yuri-arcurs-leading-microstock.html (http://blog.johnlund.com/2011/01/yuri-arcurs-leading-microstock.html)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: ProArtwork on September 19, 2011, 10:17
Be prepared for iStock price increase!
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 19, 2011, 10:29

I don't think it's surprising at all, you have drifted away from your core competency of creating sale able images to being a conference speaker, evangelist, trainer, etc.

And yes you may be uploading enough images but they are essentially the same images, or same sort of images. And other people have learned (with a lot of help from you) just how to fill your niche.

You can blame the macro economic factors all you like but that is the easy option


Nail -> head.  Also, people may be getting tired of seeing the same models, as popular as they are: http://www.hallme.com/blog/stock-image-bingo/ (http://www.hallme.com/blog/stock-image-bingo/)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lthn on September 19, 2011, 10:30
I remember Yuri saying in a recent interview that other agencies have been check-mated by istock years ago, that IS just does everything better, they are way ahead, and ceos' of other agencies are just amateur photogs... quite outspoken which is much appriciated imho. How does all that look now?

I personally don't think it's the economic situation yet. (it will be) Altho it's heading for a collapse, it works in weird way (thats one of the reasons it's likely to be a total collapse): despite being buried in debt, the western, developed world still has money to burn, loans on top of loans, untill everything implodes. The empty space from entities that have gone bankrupt and stopped buying, is likely getting filled up by the ones who are only on their way to becoming bankrupt and seek cheaper alternatives... so imho it's oversupply, maybe for different reasons. Oversupply on IS because they lost customers. Oversupply un SS simply because they have so much stuff, and they have a lot more high volume, high rate contributors. Almost 17 million shots as I remeber? vs. IS with about 10 mill.

Please don't hide. Tell us who you are especially when making such bold quotes on my behalf.

No sry, not becasue of you or this post at all, but because I want to keep my 'speech free' about the agencies, and I do have an amount of un-nice things to say about them. I think they deserve it. I also do know that they take retribution just for ppl stating their opinion. Wouldn't know me anyway I'm not a household name in 'micro', I'm an art director turned photographer. I see a potential of having an ok side income from micro by building an ok portfolio, thats how I got involved. Thats all. The interview is the one by John Lund on his blog, anyone can find it.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Microbius on September 19, 2011, 10:50
ETA.

don't know how I missed someone already posted the same thing
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: thesentinel on September 19, 2011, 11:03
I don't think anybody knows the correct answer and we can all theorize.  I agree with the theory of the economy but I also have a theory that won't be favorable among some of the contributors here....

I think another part of the issue is that we are licensing images on a royalty free basis.  Major buyers (I'm not talking new users, casual users, or the local small business) have licensed our images on a royalty free basis and have built a library of those images that they will continue to use internally until they go out of style.  Under the license agreement, they can do this...and they do.  Various marketing departments of these companies have a library of these images that they are going to continue to use over and over again.

Undoubtedly iStock has tried its best at alienating both buyers and contributors, then add to this the "All you can eat" banquet of subscription selling which encourages the speculative buying of images that may not be needed for the current project but may useful for another one it is not difficult to imagine more and more buyers leaving iStock and adopting the subs model to assemble their own image bank over a short period of time that would 'satisfice' most of their requirements be recycling and combining, then withdraw from active purchasing.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cthoman on September 19, 2011, 11:13

I think it was here: [url]http://blog.johnlund.com/2011/01/yuri-arcurs-leading-microstock.html[/url] ([url]http://blog.johnlund.com/2011/01/yuri-arcurs-leading-microstock.html[/url])


Yeah, I remember reading that too. The iStock praise seemed so bizarre, since it seemed like (at that time) iStock had just blown off its foot with a shotgun and is still hobbling around now from the wound.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 19, 2011, 11:49

I think it was here: [url]http://blog.johnlund.com/2011/01/yuri-arcurs-leading-microstock.html[/url] ([url]http://blog.johnlund.com/2011/01/yuri-arcurs-leading-microstock.html[/url])


Yeah, I remember reading that too. The iStock praise seemed so bizarre, since it seemed like (at that time) iStock had just blown off its foot with a shotgun and is still hobbling around now from the wound.


It does read rather like a message to istock inviting them to make a special offer, rather than something designed to inform the public.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: gostwyck on September 19, 2011, 11:51
It does read rather like a message to istock inviting them to make a special offer, rather than something designed to inform the public.

^^^ That's what I thought too.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: helix7 on September 19, 2011, 11:58
I remember Yuri saying in a recent interview that other agencies have been check-mated by istock years ago, that IS just does everything better, they are way ahead, and ceos' of other agencies are just amateur photogs...

The economy was still bad when he made that comment. I don't get where Yuri is going with this. istock is great, then istock stinks, then it's the economy...
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lagereek on September 19, 2011, 12:21
I just searched the word "refinery",  since its in my interest and what do I find?  same boring models, posing as refinery workers,  Colgate smile into the camera and ofcourse the max DL, for one of these shots are embarrassing,  why?  because the people in these shots are not working, they are posing, hecne, they dont sell.
Now, you would think that a site like IS would have the knowledge, the expertice? right?  but sadly no,  they dont and why?  because then obviously the pohotographer is an exclusive.
This is why IS,  apart from the Vettas,  is not making any money from independants.
As I have always maintained,  you have to think commercially, you have to think, reallity.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: loop on September 19, 2011, 13:08
I just searched the word "refinery",  since its in my interest and what do I find?  same boring models, posing as refinery workers,  Colgate smile into the camera and ofcourse the max DL, for one of these shots are embarrassing,  why?  because the people in these shots are not working, they are posing, hecne, they dont sell.
Now, you would think that a site like IS would have the knowledge, the expertice? right?  but sadly no,  they dont and why?  because then obviously the pohotographer is an exclusive.
This is why IS,  apart from the Vettas,  is not making any money from independants.
As I have always maintained,  you have to think commercially, you have to think, reallity.

Maybe yes, but more than 90% of people in stock are models, professional or amateur. Stock is not exactly "photo-verité", there are other places for that. I have shots with models playing doctors and shots with real doctors in action and the ones with models sell better (and the same with teachers). On the other hand, these shots you say about the refinery with models theme seem to sell well too.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: michaeldb on September 19, 2011, 13:25
I don't get where Yuri is going with this. istock is great, then istock stinks, then it's the economy...

iStock was great, now iStock does stink. Re the economy:
Bloomberg Business Week 9-18-11
Forecasts: The US Economy is Flashing Recession
The US Economy may again be on the cusp of recession. Stagnant payrolls in August added to recent data showing that manufacturing is slowing, consumer confidence is sliding, home values are falling..."

When the economy first turned down, I think it helped microstock, as image buyers who had been using RM began to look for ways to cut costs. Now the pool of new customers may be a lot smaller.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Cogent Marketing on September 19, 2011, 14:30
Response to Yuri: Posted by:lthn
No sorry, not because of you or this post at all, but because I want to keep my 'speech free' about the agencies, and I do have an amount of not nice things to say about them. I think they deserve it. I also do know that they take retribution just for people stating their opinion.

A truly pathetic excuse. In the name (if I may) of many others here on this forum who do not hide behind anonymity in any shape or form, and still state what they believe, think and without fear of consequence - post it.

Grow up or grow a backbone. Or maybe better still, don't make comments at all if you don't have the guts to state who you are.

(PS) sorry, I could help but correct your spelling and grammar in the pasted section.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: ShadySue on September 19, 2011, 14:40
Response to Yuri: Posted by:lthn
No sorry, not because of you or this post at all, but because I want to keep my 'speech free' about the agencies, and I do have an amount of not nice things to say about them. I think they deserve it. I also do know that they take retribution just for people stating their opinion.
A truly pathetic excuse. In the name (if I may) of many others here on this forum who do not hide behind anonymity in any shape or form, and still state what they believe, think and without fear of consequence - post it.
Grow up or grow a backbone. Or maybe better still, don't make comments at all if you don't have the guts to state who you are.
Am I missing something or is there something extremely ironic about the above post?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Cogent Marketing on September 19, 2011, 14:45
Response to Yuri: Posted by:lthn
No sorry, not because of you or this post at all, but because I want to keep my 'speech free' about the agencies, and I do have an amount of not nice things to say about them. I think they deserve it. I also do know that they take retribution just for people stating their opinion.
A truly pathetic excuse. In the name (if I may) of many others here on this forum who do not hide behind anonymity in any shape or form, and still state what they believe, think and without fear of consequence - post it.
Grow up or grow a backbone. Or maybe better still, don't make comments at all if you don't have the guts to state who you are.
Am I missing something or is there something extremely ironic about the above post?
Now I'm confused. Unless your suggesting I'm hiding behind the same name I use on Veer, DT, ISP, SS, Pixmac, Alamy, Superstock, CanStockPhoto etc etc....

Or do you mean something else?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: rimglow on September 19, 2011, 14:47
Response to Yuri: Posted by:lthn
No sorry, not because of you or this post at all, but because I want to keep my 'speech free' about the agencies, and I do have an amount of not nice things to say about them. I think they deserve it. I also do know that they take retribution just for people stating their opinion.
A truly pathetic excuse. In the name (if I may) of many others here on this forum who do not hide behind anonymity in any shape or form, and still state what they believe, think and without fear of consequence - post it.
Grow up or grow a backbone. Or maybe better still, don't make comments at all if you don't have the guts to state who you are.
Am I missing something or is there something extremely ironic about the above post?
Now I'm confused. Unless you suggesting I'm hiding behind the same name I use on Veer, DT, ISP, SS, Pixmac, Alamy, Superstock, CanStockPhoto etc etc....

Or do you mean something else?

The first thing I did was click on your avitar to find out who you were. There's no info there so it looked like you were hiding. Thanks for clearing that up.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: nruboc on September 19, 2011, 14:52
Response to Yuri: Posted by:lthn
No sorry, not because of you or this post at all, but because I want to keep my 'speech free' about the agencies, and I do have an amount of not nice things to say about them. I think they deserve it. I also do know that they take retribution just for people stating their opinion.
A truly pathetic excuse. In the name (if I may) of many others here on this forum who do not hide behind anonymity in any shape or form, and still state what they believe, think and without fear of consequence - post it.
Grow up or grow a backbone. Or maybe better still, don't make comments at all if you don't have the guts to state who you are.
Am I missing something or is there something extremely ironic about the above post?
Now I'm confused. Unless your suggesting I'm hiding behind the same name I use on Veer, DT, ISP, SS, Pixmac, Alamy, Superstock, CanStockPhoto etc etc....

Or do you mean something else?


I can't see the top of your head in your picture, also will you supply your social security number, please...LOL
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lthn on September 19, 2011, 14:54
Response to Yuri: Posted by:lthn
No sorry, not because of you or this post at all, but because I want to keep my 'speech free' about the agencies, and I do have an amount of not nice things to say about them. I think they deserve it. I also do know that they take retribution just for people stating their opinion.

A truly pathetic excuse. In the name (if I may) of many others here on this forum who do not hide behind anonymity in any shape or form, and still state what they believe, think and without fear of consequence - post it.

Grow up or grow a backbone. Or maybe better still, don't make comments at all if you don't have the guts to state who you are.

(PS) sorry, I could help but correct your spelling and grammar in the pasted section.

Are you Mr. Cogent? A son to Mr. and Mrs. Marketing?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Cogent Marketing on September 19, 2011, 15:01
Response to Yuri: Posted by:lthn
No sorry, not because of you or this post at all, but because I want to keep my 'speech free' about the agencies, and I do have an amount of not nice things to say about them. I think they deserve it. I also do know that they take retribution just for people stating their opinion.

A truly pathetic excuse. In the name (if I may) of many others here on this forum who do not hide behind anonymity in any shape or form, and still state what they believe, think and without fear of consequence - post it.

Grow up or grow a backbone. Or maybe better still, don't make comments at all if you don't have the guts to state who you are.

(PS) sorry, I could help but correct your spelling and grammar in the pasted section.



Are you Mr. Cogent? A son to Mr. and Mrs. Marketing?

No. I'm the owner of cogent marketing communications. www.cogentmarketing.co.uk (http://www.cogentmarketing.co.uk)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 19, 2011, 15:13
I think lthn would prefer to know your actual name, not just your business connections.  It isn't listed on your website, nor whois .

(Off topic)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Cogent Marketing on September 19, 2011, 15:24
I think lthn would prefer to know your actual name, not just your business connections.  It isn't listed on your website, nor whois .

(Off topic)
Fine I have no problem with that. But with great respect you're missing the point I was making.

Lthn is completely anonymous but feels qualified to comment on other members of this forum. I am not anonymous. My company name is my forum ID. You can see my website, my avatar and you can see what I do. What do any of us know about Lthn?

The point I am (obviously) failing to make is that if your going to critique other professionals on this form you should have the courtesy - may be it's not guts - (too harsh) but it is the good grace to show yourself openly so others can make informed opinions on both sides of the debate. I think that's important (within the bounds of ID safety) on these types of forums. I think it is important to know (a little) about the person you are having dialogue with. Old fashioned maybe. And maybe I am, but that's me.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lthn on September 19, 2011, 15:28
Response to Yuri: Posted by:lthn
No sorry, not because of you or this post at all, but because I want to keep my 'speech free' about the agencies, and I do have an amount of not nice things to say about them. I think they deserve it. I also do know that they take retribution just for people stating their opinion.

A truly pathetic excuse. In the name (if I may) of many others here on this forum who do not hide behind anonymity in any shape or form, and still state what they believe, think and without fear of consequence - post it.

Grow up or grow a backbone. Or maybe better still, don't make comments at all if you don't have the guts to state who you are.

(PS) sorry, I could help but correct your spelling and grammar in the pasted section.



Are you Mr. Cogent? A son to Mr. and Mrs. Marketing?

No. I'm the owner of cogent marketing communications. [url=http://www.cogentmarketing.co.uk]www.cogentmarketing.co.uk[/url] ([url]http://www.cogentmarketing.co.uk[/url])


I could have googled that too... but since there isn't even a link, how should I know if it has anything to do with you, huh? Maybe you should mea culpa now.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: XPTO on September 19, 2011, 15:37
Response to Yuri: Posted by:lthn
No sorry, not because of you or this post at all, but because I want to keep my 'speech free' about the agencies, and I do have an amount of not nice things to say about them. I think they deserve it. I also do know that they take retribution just for people stating their opinion.

A truly pathetic excuse. In the name (if I may) of many others here on this forum who do not hide behind anonymity in any shape or form, and still state what they believe, think and without fear of consequence - post it.

Grow up or grow a backbone. Or maybe better still, don't make comments at all if you don't have the guts to state who you are.

(PS) sorry, I could help but correct your spelling and grammar in the pasted section.



Are you Mr. Cogent? A son to Mr. and Mrs. Marketing?

No. I'm the owner of cogent marketing communications. [url=http://www.cogentmarketing.co.uk]www.cogentmarketing.co.uk[/url] ([url]http://www.cogentmarketing.co.uk[/url])


Where do I find proof of that? That's what you're saying but there's no way anyone could check it.

BTW, I'm "Colonel" Sanders, and I'm the owner of KFC. Wait just a minute so I can get one of my photos from the web and load it as my avatar... My website is kfc.com if you want to check I'm serious.

I personally don't give a cr*p about identification in foruns. I just pay attention to what it's said and limit to agree or disagree with what I read giving credit to people based on the messages and not on who they hypothetically say they are.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Cogent Marketing on September 19, 2011, 15:48
Response to Yuri: Posted by:lthn
No sorry, not because of you or this post at all, but because I want to keep my 'speech free' about the agencies, and I do have an amount of not nice things to say about them. I think they deserve it. I also do know that they take retribution just for people stating their opinion.

A truly pathetic excuse. In the name (if I may) of many others here on this forum who do not hide behind anonymity in any shape or form, and still state what they believe, think and without fear of consequence - post it.

Grow up or grow a backbone. Or maybe better still, don't make comments at all if you don't have the guts to state who you are.

(PS) sorry, I could help but correct your spelling and grammar in the pasted section.



Are you Mr. Cogent? A son to Mr. and Mrs. Marketing?

No. I'm the owner of cogent marketing communications. [url=http://www.cogentmarketing.co.uk]www.cogentmarketing.co.uk[/url] ([url]http://www.cogentmarketing.co.uk[/url])


Where do I find proof of that? That's what you're saying but there's no way anyone could check it.

BTW, I'm "Colonel" Sanders, and I'm the owner of KFC. Wait just a minute so I can get one of my photos from the web and load it as my avatar... My website is kfc.com if you want to check I'm serious.

I personally don't give a cr*p about identification in foruns. I just pay attention to what it's said and limit to agree or disagree with what I read giving credit to people based on the messages and not on who they hypothetically say they are.

Quite frankly your response is ridiculous, as is your KFC analogy. And you don't need to resort to bad language even with ** to make your point. My identity is known to every single customer who purchases one of my images. It's on the page after the symbol © next to the image. It is also embedded in the file information of every image uploaded, including my web site. I don't include my inside leg measurement or social security number, but if it was a requirement I probably would. I don't have anything to hide, others appear to be a little more reticent and all I ask is why?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Cogent Marketing on September 19, 2011, 15:50
AND CAN WE PLEASE GET BACK ON OP MESSAGE?

It's more interesting to other forum members than this current 'tennis match'

Thanks.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cathyslife on September 19, 2011, 16:03
AND CAN WE PLEASE GET BACK ON OP MESSAGE?

It's more interesting to other forum members than this current 'tennis match'

Thanks.

Amen.

And besides, the quote that Yuri made has been posted now by two different people, so no one needs to hide or not hide...maybe Yuri forgot he said that? I remember reading it at the time, too, and thinking about how diametrically opposed my personal point of view regarding istock was (and still is). But if he were in a position to make a deal with istock, and that was his thought, the quote made (makes) perfect sense.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Elenathewise on September 19, 2011, 16:44
But if he were in a position to make a deal with istock, and that was his thought, the quote made (makes) perfect sense.

What really surprises me is that Yuri doesn't have a special deal with Istock. Look, here is a guy (ok a company) who consistently outselling all others, even on Istock with just - what, 1/5th of his current portfolio? - and they wouldn't even allow him better upload limits (judging by the size of his portfolio there). That buffles me. They are in this business to make money, right? So they  can easily add few hundred thousand in profit *a month* just by hosting his entire portfolio...  this just doesn't make any common sense to me...
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: ShadySue on September 19, 2011, 16:52
But if he were in a position to make a deal with istock, and that was his thought, the quote made (makes) perfect sense.

What really surprises me is that Yuri doesn't have a special deal with Istock. Look, here is a guy (ok a company) who consistently outselling all others, even on Istock with just - what, 1/5th of his current portfolio? - and they wouldn't even allow him better upload limits (judging by the size of his portfolio there). That buffles me. They are in this business to make money, right? So they  can easily add few hundred thousand in profit *a month* just by hosting his entire portfolio...  this just doesn't make any common sense to me...

I'm guessing that would be the last straw for some/many top-ranking exclusives.
To be honest, if I were Yuri, I'd set up my own site. Can't see any point in giving money away to agencies if I had the buyers looking specifically for my images. Yeah it would take time and effort, but he already has a team, why not add a few more? Wasn't he thinking about it a few weeks back?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: gostwyck on September 19, 2011, 17:04
What really surprises me is that Yuri doesn't have a special deal with Istock. Look, here is a guy (ok a company) who consistently outselling all others, even on Istock with just - what, 1/5th of his current portfolio? - and they wouldn't even allow him better upload limits (judging by the size of his portfolio there). That buffles me. They are in this business to make money, right? So they  can easily add few hundred thousand in profit *a month* just by hosting his entire portfolio...  this just doesn't make any common sense to me...

Agreed. Not only that but they are providing a gift to their competitors by being the only agency that doesn't have 'The Compleat Works of Yuri'.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cathyslife on September 19, 2011, 17:18
What really surprises me is that Yuri doesn't have a special deal with Istock. Look, here is a guy (ok a company) who consistently outselling all others, even on Istock with just - what, 1/5th of his current portfolio? - and they wouldn't even allow him better upload limits (judging by the size of his portfolio there). That buffles me. They are in this business to make money, right? So they  can easily add few hundred thousand in profit *a month* just by hosting his entire portfolio...  this just doesn't make any common sense to me...

Agreed. Not only that but they are providing a gift to their competitors by being the only agency that doesn't have 'The Compleat Works of Yuri'.

+1.

I'm surprised he doesn't have a deal too. And since most (if not all) of the employees at istock seem to be contributors, no way that little tidbit could be kept secret. A good argument for NOT allowing employees to be contributors (seems like it would be a conflict of interest anyway, but even Bruce was a contributor. Guess that's what set the precedent.)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Perry on September 19, 2011, 17:25
What really surprises me is that Yuri doesn't have a special deal with Istock. Look, here is a guy (ok a company) who consistently outselling all others, even on Istock with just - what, 1/5th of his current portfolio? - and they wouldn't even allow him better upload limits (judging by the size of his portfolio there). That buffles me.

That's about the one and only fair thing that iStock has done. The rules should be the same for all of us. I really cannot understand why someone would thing that it would be a good thing if an agency would give some members unfair advantages and benefits.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2011, 17:29
years ago I probably would have argued that iStock doesn't do special deals with hand-picked contributors. but then I saw the speed with which contributor Elena Vizerskaya was brought in, downloaded, made exclusive and boom--all in a very orchestrated fashion.....I love her work, that is beside the point. and theoretically I don't have any problem with superstar contributors being brought in to boost traffic etc.

however, there are clearly many special deals going down these days.....like Agency contributors with flexible exclusivity etc. not to mention special collections we're ostracized from. the backroom shenanigans are so much more apparent today, that even we optimists are in or ready to jump into self-preservation mode.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lthn on September 19, 2011, 17:37
But if he were in a position to make a deal with istock, and that was his thought, the quote made (makes) perfect sense.

What really surprises me is that Yuri doesn't have a special deal with Istock. Look, here is a guy (ok a company) who consistently outselling all others, even on Istock with just - what, 1/5th of his current portfolio? - and they wouldn't even allow him better upload limits (judging by the size of his portfolio there). That buffles me. They are in this business to make money, right? So they  can easily add few hundred thousand in profit *a month* just by hosting his entire portfolio...  this just doesn't make any common sense to me...

When I registered on IS as contributor (I was familiar with it for years before that as a buyer) I wondered around the forums quite a lot to get the feel of the site... when I ran into some interactions between Yuri and the staff, it just looked like they don't like him too much to say the least. Almost hostile sometimes, I found that weird... weird little ppl at istock, they just don't seem to know what they are doing
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: loop on September 19, 2011, 17:45
years ago I probably would have argued that iStock doesn't do special deals with hand-picked contributors. but then I saw the speed with which contributor Elena Vizerskaya was brought in, downloaded, made exclusive and boom--all in a very orchestrated fashion.....I love her work, that is beside the point. and theoretically I don't have any problem with superstar contributors being brought in to boost traffic etc.

however, there are clearly many special deals going down these days.....like Agency contributors with flexible exclusivity etc. not to mention special collections we're ostracized from. the backroom shenanigans are so much more apparent today, that even we optimists are in or ready to jump into self-preservation mode.

Why do you mean by "brought in"? As far as I know she had a POW, yes, and she became exclusive after reaching 250 downloads.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: VB inc on September 19, 2011, 17:47
years ago I probably would have argued that iStock doesn't do special deals with hand-picked contributors. but then I saw the speed with which contributor Elena Vizerskaya was brought in, downloaded, made exclusive and boom--all in a very orchestrated fashion.....I love her work, that is beside the point. and theoretically I don't have any problem with superstar contributors being brought in to boost traffic etc.

however, there are clearly many special deals going down these days.....like Agency contributors with flexible exclusivity etc. not to mention special collections we're ostracized from. the backroom shenanigans are so much more apparent today, that even we optimists are in or ready to jump into self-preservation mode.

Why do you mean by "brought in"? As far as I know she had a POW, yes, and she became exclusive after reaching 250 downloads.

Yeah, i remember her getting 250 dls real fast...
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2011, 17:50
I mean seemingly recruited....and that is just surmising. I don't know her, and as I said I really find her work is spectacular. but, it was the first instance of rumbling within the community on my timeline anyways where it seemed a contributor was singularly and aggressively promoted. saying that, her work garnered attention because of its merits too, I'm sure.

iStock did publish an article about her http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=975 (http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=975)

the article discussed her ascent on iStock in a positive light. and that may be true. however at the time, there were lots of questions and concerns within the community about the super fast rise of this contributor.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: ShadySue on September 19, 2011, 17:58
I mean seemingly recruited....and that is just surmising. I don't know her, and as I said I really find her work is spectacular. but, it was the first instance of rumbling within the community on my timeline anyways where it seemed a contributor was singularly and aggressively promoted. saying that, her work garnered attention because of its merits too, I'm sure.

iStock did publish an article about her [url]http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=975[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=975[/url])

the article discussed her ascent on iStock in a positive light. and that may be true. however at the time, there were lots of questions and concerns within the community about the super fast rise of this contributor.

I thnk she was headhunted and 'hothoused'. So fast that I remember that after she became exclusive, you could still freely download at least some of her iStock pics, full size,  free from Flickr, including her IOW puppy/laundry (yet at least 250 people had paid to download it from iStock). I'm guessing she was 'rushed' so fast, she didn't realise it wasn't allowed.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: XPTO on September 19, 2011, 18:00
Quite frankly your response is ridiculous, as is your KFC analogy. And you don't need to resort to bad language even with ** to make your point. My identity is known to every single customer who purchases one of my images. It's on the page after the symbol © next to the image. It is also embedded in the file information of every image uploaded, including my web site. I don't include my inside leg measurement or social security number, but if it was a requirement I probably would. I don't have anything to hide, others appear to be a little more reticent and all I ask is why?

No, my analogy is not ridiculous. It's perfect. What's ridiculous is you pretending that just because you say you are someone in the Internet that makes it true. I'm not questioning you are who you say you are (and couldn't care less) but since there's no way I can verify it what is the value of your statement? Even in the real world there a crooks that have fake ID's that trick the police!

And who's talking about your costumers? What do they have to do with this discussion? Wasn't the identification in this discussion forum what was being questioned? In the real world everyone is known by our own costumers. So what does that prove?

You say that if it was required you'd include your SSN and measurements. But since it isn't required you don't include them, right? Can you point in the Terms of Service of this group where it required to people identify themselves with real names and information? So if you do not provide more information than what is required, who are you to demand others to do it when it's not mandatory?

As for the reasons for others to hide their true identity, everyone has one. And I hope that one day that openness of yours won't bite you hard, because what's written in the Internet stays here forever, and you may regret in the future to be connected with certain statements, that no matter how true they are some people may look at them differently. We do not live in a free, just and tolerant world in case you haven't noticed. Just forget the propaganda.

Anyway, I prefer a good, honest and free comment from an anonymous person that's able to do it because of it, than a self-censored comment from someone who's afraid to put all the cards on the table with caution of future consequences. There's a reason why the vote in elections is secret...

I also think that we should get back on topic. I just think it's pathetic when someone cries for a real identification in an Internet forum, and using this factor as something to ascertain the credibility an usefulness of anything written by others...
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2011, 18:04
I mean seemingly recruited....and that is just surmising. I don't know her, and as I said I really find her work is spectacular. but, it was the first instance of rumbling within the community on my timeline anyways where it seemed a contributor was singularly and aggressively promoted. saying that, her work garnered attention because of its merits too, I'm sure.

iStock did publish an article about her [url]http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=975[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=975[/url])

the article discussed her ascent on iStock in a positive light. and that may be true. however at the time, there were lots of questions and concerns within the community about the super fast rise of this contributor.

I thnk she was headhunted and 'hothoused'. So fast that I remember that after she became exclusive, you could still freely download at least some of her iStock pics, full size,  free from Flickr, including her IOW puppy/laundry (yet at least 250 people had paid to download it from iStock). I'm guessing she was 'rushed' so fast, she didn't realise it wasn't allowed.


well, again, I don't know if any of that is true. I just know what we all saw and how many of us felt about it. not begrudging the success of another contributor, but certainly concerned about preferential treatment when we play by the rules and all pay the same royalties (hah, in fact some of us are paying more since the RC debacle). add to that recent flexible exclusivity given to certain contributors....how do you keep yourself from thinking competitively? as I said earlier, kindness is wonderful, but this is business too and kindness is not a currency in our industry.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: ShadySue on September 19, 2011, 18:13
(Re: Elena)
I thnk she was headhunted and 'hothoused'. So fast that I remember that after she became exclusive, you could still freely download at least some of her iStock pics, full size,  free from Flickr, including her IOW puppy/laundry (yet at least 250 people had paid to download it from iStock). I'm guessing she was 'rushed' so fast, she didn't realise it wasn't allowed.

well, again, I don't know if any of that is true. I just know what we all saw and how many of us felt about it. not begrudging the success of another contributor, but certainly concerned about preferential treatment when we play by the rules and all pay the same royalties (hah, in fact some of us are paying more since the RC debacle). add to that recent flexible exclusivity given to certain contributors....how do you keep yourself from thinking competitively? as I said earlier, kindness is wonderful, but this is business too and kindness is not a currency in our industry.
[/quote]
The Flickr bit is objective truth. I downloaded the pic at full size after she was exclusive. My other statements are subjective opinion, qualified as such by "I think" and "I guess".
IIRC, other people have been refused exclusivity until they have restricted their Flickr images.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: nruboc on September 19, 2011, 18:16
Quite frankly your response is ridiculous, as is your KFC analogy. And you don't need to resort to bad language even with ** to make your point. My identity is known to every single customer who purchases one of my images. It's on the page after the symbol © next to the image. It is also embedded in the file information of every image uploaded, including my web site. I don't include my inside leg measurement or social security number, but if it was a requirement I probably would. I don't have anything to hide, others appear to be a little more reticent and all I ask is why?

No, my analogy is not ridiculous. It's perfect. What's ridiculous is you pretending that just because you say you are someone in the Internet that makes it true. I'm not questioning you are who you say you are (and couldn't care less) but since there's no way I can verify it what is the value of your statement? Even in the real world there a crooks that have fake ID's that trick the police!

And who's talking about your costumers? What do they have to do with this discussion? Wasn't the identification in this discussion forum what was being questioned? In the real world everyone is known by our own costumers. So what does that prove?

You say that if it was required you'd include your SSN and measurements. But since it isn't required you don't include them, right? Can you point in the Terms of Service of this group where it required to people identify themselves with real names and information? So if you do not provide more information than what is required, who are you to demand others to do it when it's not mandatory?

As for the reasons for others to hide their true identity, everyone has one. And I hope that one day that openness of yours won't bite you hard, because what's written in the Internet stays here forever, and you may regret in the future to be connected with certain statements, that no matter how true they are some people may look at them differently. We do not live in a free, just and tolerant world in case you haven't noticed. Just forget the propaganda.

Anyway, I prefer a good, honest and free comment from an anonymous person that's able to do it because of it, than a self-censored comment from someone who's afraid to put all the cards on the table with caution of future consequences. There's a reason why the vote in elections is secret...

I also think that we should get back on topic. I just think it's pathetic when someone cries for a real identification in an Internet forum, and using this factor as something to ascertain the credibility an usefulness of anything written by others...

Yawn, everyone else has moved along to the topic at hand, we don't need a book on the matter.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: jamesbenet on September 19, 2011, 18:26
Interesting thread and topic... Ive had pretty bad sales for September, quite unusual and I think Ive pinpointed the cause:

 (Bad Karma)^2 [(Microstock Model) (Bruce Leaving) (Getty)] + [(Higher Prices)(Economic Crisis)]
_________________________________________________________________________________ = iStock '11

                         [(Competition)(Bad Word Of Mouth) (Best Match) ^3] - (Redeemed Credit System) ^2
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cthoman on September 19, 2011, 18:27
I'm surprised he doesn't have a deal too. And since most (if not all) of the employees at istock seem to be contributors, no way that little tidbit could be kept secret. A good argument for NOT allowing employees to be contributors (seems like it would be a conflict of interest anyway, but even Bruce was a contributor. Guess that's what set the precedent.)

I guess the prevailing opinion that he would need a deal at all tells you something about how the place is run. Unless, not setting up a ton of roadblocks is considered a deal now.  ;D
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2011, 18:28
Interesting thread and topic... Ive had pretty bad sales for September, quite unusual and I think Ive pinpointed the cause:

 (Bad Karma)^2 [(Microstock Model) (Bruce Leaving) (Getty)] + (Higher Prices)(Economic Crisis)
_________________________________________________________________________________ = iStock '11

                         [(Bad Word Of Mouth)  (Best Match) ^3] - (Redeemed Credit System) ^2


nice, I love it :-)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: ShadySue on September 19, 2011, 18:29
Interesting thread and topic... Ive had pretty bad sales for September, quite unusual and I think Ive pinpointed the cause:

 (Bad Karma)^2 [(Microstock Model) (Bruce Leaving) (Getty)] + (Higher Prices)(Economic Crisis)
_________________________________________________________________________________ = iStock '11

                         [(Bad Word Of Mouth)  (Best Match) ^3] - (Redeemed Credit System) ^2


nice, I love it :-)
+1  ;)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cathyslife on September 19, 2011, 18:30
Interesting thread and topic... Ive had pretty bad sales for September, quite unusual and I think Ive pinpointed the cause:

 (Bad Karma)^2 [(Microstock Model) (Bruce Leaving) (Getty)] + (Higher Prices)(Economic Crisis)
_________________________________________________________________________________ = iStock '11

                         [(Bad Word Of Mouth)  (Best Match) ^3] - (Redeemed Credit System) ^2


You nailed the equation perfectly!  :D
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: loop on September 19, 2011, 18:36
(Re: Elena)
I thnk she was headhunted and 'hothoused'. So fast that I remember that after she became exclusive, you could still freely download at least some of her iStock pics, full size,  free from Flickr, including her IOW puppy/laundry (yet at least 250 people had paid to download it from iStock). I'm guessing she was 'rushed' so fast, she didn't realise it wasn't allowed.

well, again, I don't know if any of that is true. I just know what we all saw and how many of us felt about it. not begrudging the success of another contributor, but certainly concerned about preferential treatment when we play by the rules and all pay the same royalties (hah, in fact some of us are paying more since the RC debacle). add to that recent flexible exclusivity given to certain contributors....how do you keep yourself from thinking competitively? as I said earlier, kindness is wonderful, but this is business too and kindness is not a currency in our industry.
The Flickr bit is objective truth. I downloaded the pic at full size after she was exclusive. My other statements are subjective opinion, qualified as such by "I think" and "I guess".
IIRC, other people have been refused exclusivity until they have restricted their Flickr images.
[/quote]

I wasn't concerned at all. I found her work to be excellent and, most important, different, and I felt se deserved being showcased (very often, POW and Artist of the Week are newbies). Getting to 250 si fast was natural, given the quality of her art, han having it showcased in the main page.
The free pass to "Agency" artists from outer space is another matter...
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2011, 18:46
it may well have been achieved as simply as you say it was. again, not knocking her work, at all. but it felt by design at the time and it still does looking back. and it was the first time I saw anything like that kind of promotion for one contributor. especially one whose work is almost all composite.

I'll say the recent addition of Getty content and Agency pseudo-exclusives are a far greater issue for me though. and then there's finding these 'contributors' promoted in hot shots and getty top 8 newsletters. lightboxes on the front page filled with the same contributors' work week after week.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Pheby on September 19, 2011, 19:15
years ago I probably would have argued that iStock doesn't do special deals with hand-picked contributors. but then I saw the speed with which contributor Elena Vizerskaya was brought in, downloaded, made exclusive and boom--all in a very orchestrated fashion.....I love her work, that is beside the point. and theoretically I don't have any problem with superstar contributors being brought in to boost traffic etc.


So you didn't believe istock had special deals with contributors until Elena Vizerskaya turned up and rose quickly? Yeah, right.

This is the first time I've ever heard anyone referring to "questions and concerns within the community" about her and her career at istock. But there seems to have been loads of "rumbling" about her where you've been since she became an outstandingly successful contributor within a very short time (or rather "brought in" and "made exclusive" in a "very orchestrated fashion").

You've suggested multiple times in this thread that she is getting some kind of special treatment, of course without forgetting to mention often enough that her work is excellent. This is exactly how nasty rumours about people start to spread, and I'm sure you're aware of how inappropriate it is to act like that against a fellow contributor. Yeah: "kindness is a wonderful thing".
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Elenathewise on September 19, 2011, 19:16
I guess the prevailing opinion that he would need a deal at all tells you something about how the place is run. Unless, not setting up a ton of roadblocks is considered a deal now.  ;D

Yup - just allowing a best-selling contributor to upload his work without ridiculous limits would be a "special deal" on Istock... This is not how you run business if you're just after money (which you should be, business is kinda about that) - it looks there are a lot of personal feelings and agendas involved, not rational calculations. Of course, they could be justifying it as keeping their collection "special" and different from other agencies, but is it really better with very limited representation of best-selling independents?

That's about the one and only fair thing that iStock has done. The rules should be the same for all of us. I really cannot understand why someone would thing that it would be a good thing if an agency would give some members unfair advantages and benefits.

I have to disagree. It's more of a reverse situation - How is it *fair* to Yuri or other independents when they can't upload most of what they produce? If an average Istock contributor is happy uploading 30 files a week, let them do that. For someone who is producing 250 a week, and has a proven sales record, such low upload limit is extremely unfair. People may produce different amount of images and of different quality, and that's what fair competition is about. Some work more than others, and some invest more in business, the best man wins, I don't see a problem with that. Most of people here praise Shutterstock and earnings there, well last time I looked Yuri has 51,380 files with that agency, and that somehow doesn't prevent us earning good money there...  
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 19, 2011, 19:24
" For someone who is producing 250 a week, and has a proven sales record, such low upload limit is extremely unfair"

Wah.  The rules are the rules.  I'm glad this is how it is at IS. 
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Elenathewise on September 19, 2011, 19:25
" For someone who is producing 250 a week, and has a proven sales record, such low upload limit is extremely unfair"

Wah.  The rules are the rules.  I'm glad this is how it is at IS. 

Ha - of course you are:)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2011, 19:30
years ago I probably would have argued that iStock doesn't do special deals with hand-picked contributors. but then I saw the speed with which contributor Elena Vizerskaya was brought in, downloaded, made exclusive and boom--all in a very orchestrated fashion.....I love her work, that is beside the point. and theoretically I don't have any problem with superstar contributors being brought in to boost traffic etc.


So you didn't believe istock had special deals with contributors until Elena Vizerskaya turned up and rose quickly? Yeah, right.

This is the first time I've ever heard anyone referring to "questions and concerns within the community" about her and her career at istock. But there seems to have been loads of "rumbling" about her where you've been since she became an outstandingly successful contributor within a very short time (or rather "brought in" and "made exclusive" in a "very orchestrated fashion").

You've suggested multiple times in this thread that she is getting some kind of special treatment, of course without forgetting to mention often enough that her work is excellent. This is exactly how nasty rumours about people start to spread, and I'm sure you're aware of how inappropriate it is to act like that against a fellow contributor. Yeah: "kindness is a wonderful thing".

I don't want to get caught up sniping at one another, so let me request that you go back and read my comments. within every comment I clearly state how good I find her work to be. and since I don't know who you are, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, maybe you weren't in the forums on istock when this came about. there was indeed a lot of commenting on this. you may also note in my first post that I stated I don't theoretically have a problem with bringing in superstars and promoting them as part of our collection. what I do have a problem with is preferential treatment and selective bending on rules. and FWIW, I don't blame those who benefit from the rules being bent. I blame the agency for operating using double standards.

@Sean: your post surprised me. do you really feel iStock's rules are the rules? I don't anymore. the rules are less than consistent these days.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Pheby on September 19, 2011, 19:38
years ago I probably would have argued that iStock doesn't do special deals with hand-picked contributors. but then I saw the speed with which contributor Elena Vizerskaya was brought in, downloaded, made exclusive and boom--all in a very orchestrated fashion.....I love her work, that is beside the point. and theoretically I don't have any problem with superstar contributors being brought in to boost traffic etc.


So you didn't believe istock had special deals with contributors until Elena Vizerskaya turned up and rose quickly? Yeah, right.

This is the first time I've ever heard anyone referring to "questions and concerns within the community" about her and her career at istock. But there seems to have been loads of "rumbling" about her where you've been since she became an outstandingly successful contributor within a very short time (or rather "brought in" and "made exclusive" in a "very orchestrated fashion").

You've suggested multiple times in this thread that she is getting some kind of special treatment, of course without forgetting to mention often enough that her work is excellent. This is exactly how nasty rumours about people start to spread, and I'm sure you're aware of how inappropriate it is to act like that against a fellow contributor. Yeah: "kindness is a wonderful thing".

I don't want to get caught up sniping at one another, so let me request that you go back and read my comments. within every comment I clearly state how good I find her work to be. and since I don't know who you are, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, maybe you weren't in the forums on istock when this came about. there was indeed a lot of commenting on this. you may also note in my first post that I stated I don't theoretically have a problem with bringing in superstars and promoting them as part of our collection. what I do have a problem with is preferential treatment and selective bending on rules. and FWIW, I don't blame those who benefit from the rules being bent. I blame the agency for operating using double standards.

@Sean: your post surprised me. do you really feel iStock's rules are the rules? I don't anymore. the rules are less than consistent these days.

Of course I have read your posts - you might have noticed that I summarized the first one concerning this. And of course I was in the istock forums at the time.
You have no grounds to suggest that rules are being bent in favour of E. V. and that she is profiting from double standards, regardless of how often you highlight the point that you love her work and have nothing against her. Except from "It felt by design at the time". And that's how rumours start.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2011, 19:43
I think it is totally fair to discuss something unsubstantiated as long as I state clearly that it is only surmising. the rumour is past its shelf life anyways, and I'm sure nobody cares about this particular example. it was simply the first time a possibility like this had come to my attention, which was my reason for pointing it out. it seems you don't like Yuri nearly as much as Elena, since you're letting him take a good flogging in here without your 'protection' ;)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: jbarber873 on September 19, 2011, 19:47
   Judging by the nasty tone this thread has taken on, nobody's very happy about anything any more. But since there really isn't any answer to the original question, I guess the next best thing is to score points against each other. Good thing you can't send electric shocks through the interwebs. At least not yet.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Pheby on September 19, 2011, 19:49
I think it is totally fair to discuss something unsubstantiated as long as I state clearly that it is only surmising.

In general, ok. But bent rules and special treatment for a single contributor, don't you think that's a bit too sensitive to play with like that? And fueling a rumour like that, well that just has a bad taste to me.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2011, 19:51
I'm not fueling anything. and I stand by my comments. but you're entitled to your opinion. cheers.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 19, 2011, 20:06
@Sean: your post surprised me. do you really feel iStock's rules are the rules? I don't anymore. the rules are less than consistent these days.

As far as "regular" contributors go, yes, things seem pretty consistent to me.  Disregarding edstock and anything else having to do with Getty specifically, of course.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: SNP on September 19, 2011, 20:21
@Sean: your post surprised me. do you really feel iStock's rules are the rules? I don't anymore. the rules are less than consistent these days.

As far as "regular" contributors go, yes, things seem pretty consistent to me.  Disregarding edstock and anything else having to do with Getty specifically, of course.

ok, with that qualification I don't disagree ;-)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 19, 2011, 21:52
I seem to remember Sean posting quite pointedly about the Vetta fast track (pre Agency) that some contributors appeared to have and also the self-inspection that some contributors have. When exclusives were waiting for longer than usual times and the work of the anointed few got to end up online the same day, I remember Sean saying something about that in the forums.

There was an inspector whose work was for sale on other sites and after a brief forum fuss and some time where the portfolio was offline, all went back to normal. I had a hard time imagining that other exclusives would be given so much benefit of the doubt.

There was also the little giveaway of double RC credits during the Vetta sale at the end of 2010, which seemed to me a way to get the favored few their royalty rate for 2011 when the ridiculous Vetta price increase had caused sales volume to drop.

I don't see a lot of consistency from where I sit (even where I used to sit, as a diamond exclusive).
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 19, 2011, 22:02
You're right about the self-inspection bit.  I was thinking more big picture things.  Upload limits, royalty rates, etc.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lagereek on September 20, 2011, 01:13
I just searched the word "refinery",  since its in my interest and what do I find?  same boring models, posing as refinery workers,  Colgate smile into the camera and ofcourse the max DL, for one of these shots are embarrassing,  why?  because the people in these shots are not working, they are posing, hecne, they dont sell.
Now, you would think that a site like IS would have the knowledge, the expertice? right?  but sadly no,  they dont and why?  because then obviously the pohotographer is an exclusive.
This is why IS,  apart from the Vettas,  is not making any money from independants.
As I have always maintained,  you have to think commercially, you have to think, reallity.

Maybe yes, but more than 90% of people in stock are models, professional or amateur. Stock is not exactly "photo-verité", there are other places for that. I have shots with models playing doctors and shots with real doctors in action and the ones with models sell better (and the same with teachers). On the other hand, these shots you say about the refinery with models theme seem to sell well too.


Hi Loop!  hows things?

Sell,  yes but not all that,  30 or 40 sales after 8 months is nothing to shout about.  I was actually thinking past private matters,  thinking about the old adage that the entire AD-world, is bases upon:  " if you got it,  then flaunt it".

There is nothing wrong with models, I use them myself from time to time but when you get a dirty old worker with oil and fuel spill,  looking like Tom Cruise and with a Tony Curtis smile, glaring into the camera,  well, not belieavable is it? not even for an amateur buyer.

Right now and in many searches its not even new files given priority, it seems to be old files but with hardly any sales track.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: XPTO on September 20, 2011, 01:53
Yawn, everyone else has moved along to the topic at hand, we don't need a book on the matter.

Funny statement from someone who hasn't made a single useful post in this discussion, which by the way was killed around post 72 by Yuri himself. Since then very little is discussed about the original topic.

In fact, this topic is as useless as all the other crying about falling sales. Very, very little has been added to what has been said ad nauseum in other discussions. Not even the economy part was talked about sufficiently to understand the current situation and allow us to adapt to what is coming. It's just whining all over again.

It's only missing the contributors with a portfolio of 10 images contradicting everyone else because he had 5 dl's as IS and call it a BME...

As for the original discussion, I may add that the fact that some agencies, like SS, continue to accept almost all kind of crap submitted to them burying great work right from the start, and in no way protect active contributors with a good collection is a reason for many of those who takes this as a business see falling income.

I personally reduced the number of submissions I send to micro because I don't like to see 21mp images buried under lots of images of the same search with much less quality and a 10th of the resolution. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of people better and more active than me, but they are probably more annoyed than me.

I believe that agencies love those old images from inactive contributors to a certain point, since they got a "long tail" income out of them, without the contributors withdrawing their money.

This way they get to keep the money in the banks generating a very nice revenue through interests, while the active contributors get their money out, monthly. And at this point they don't need many new images since all has been covered and the vast majority of the images won't go out of fashion that easily.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: sharpshot on September 20, 2011, 02:09
...As for the original discussion, I may add that the fact that some agencies, like SS, continue to accept almost all kind of crap submitted to them burying great work right from the start, and in no way protect active contributors with a good collection is a reason for many of those who takes this as a business see falling income....
I can't agree with that.  I recently had a BME with SS, having uploaded very little this year.  They have become much more selective with reviews for me, sometimes rejecting images that have sold lots of times on the other sites.  Even if they did accept too much, the good images rise to the top and the "crap" gets lost in the search.  I also see buyers purchase images that I would never consider as good quality stock.  I get EL's of all sorts of strange images that would probably be rejected now.

DT became highly selective and my earnings have fallen a lot there.  I'm sure buyers would like more choice, not having relatively inexperienced reviewers deciding what's commercial.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 20, 2011, 02:11
There's always been an inner clique/privileged contributors at iStock. I'm pretty sure Lise Gagne benefitted from that right from the start. Then there's the "one independent in the world gets to have 20% commission" policy. Hmmm. (I've just realised that nobody else at all gets 20% - it's either lower for beginners/independents or higher for exclusives. An entire payment band for just one person!)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lthn on September 20, 2011, 02:33
" For someone who is producing 250 a week, and has a proven sales record, such low upload limit is extremely unfair"

Wah.  The rules are the rules.  I'm glad this is how it is at IS. 

So what's cool about 18/week?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lthn on September 20, 2011, 02:50
There's always been an inner clique/privileged contributors at iStock. I'm pretty sure Lise Gagne benefitted from that right from the start. Then there's the "one independent in the world gets to have 20% commission" policy. Hmmm. (I've just realised that nobody else at all gets 20% - it's either lower for beginners/independents or higher for exclusives. An entire payment band for just one person!)

Ohh hell yea. Whenever I browsed the port of an 'inspector' badge person thing, I kept finding OOF, noisy, shaken -and ugly on top of all that- pics all over the place. Some of them where so messed up technically, it was just shameless. Inspection on IS has been the sandbox of a bunch of local inbreds for years and years.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: grp_photo on September 20, 2011, 03:18
I don't think it's the economy.
It's the insane amount of new pictures hitting the micro market everyday. Sometimes it's that simple.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Perry on September 20, 2011, 03:32
I don't think it's the economy.
It's the insane amount of new pictures hitting the micro market everyday. Sometimes it's that simple.


The worst thing is the insane amount of SIMILIAR pictures hitting the micro market everyday. This blog post by John Lund made me think a lot: http://blog.johnlund.com/2011/09/photography-in-path-of-change.html (http://blog.johnlund.com/2011/09/photography-in-path-of-change.html)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: grp_photo on September 20, 2011, 04:03
I don't think it's the economy.
It's the insane amount of new pictures hitting the micro market everyday. Sometimes it's that simple.


The worst thing is the insane amount of SIMILIAR pictures hitting the micro market everyday. This blog post by John Lund made me think a lot: [url]http://blog.johnlund.com/2011/09/photography-in-path-of-change.html[/url] ([url]http://blog.johnlund.com/2011/09/photography-in-path-of-change.html[/url])

Right but I and others have tried to put not too similar pics in microstock, matter of fact they got lost. The microstock market seems to demand the same pictures over and over or none of them. There are only two ways to be successful with not too similar or special pics: either you place them in special collections like Vetta and TAC, or you place them on good macro sites like Getty and Corbis. Otherwise you waste time and money. Microstock is about similar pictures its about proven standards, if you're pictures are special place them in a special shop.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Perry on September 20, 2011, 04:47
Right but I and others have tried to put not too similar pics in microstock, matter of fact they got lost. The microstock market seems to demand the same pictures over and over or none of them. There are only two ways to be successful with not too similar or special pics: either you place them in special collections like Vetta and TAC, or you place them on good macro sites like Getty and Corbis. Otherwise you waste time and money. Microstock is about similar pictures its about proven standards, if you're pictures are special place them in a special shop.

I understand your point, but I have to disagree a bit. I think submitting the same business handshakes will be really bad for everyone. Maybe not now, but eventually. There are limits how many handshakes the customers need. They need some new handshakes with current clothing trends etc., but there are limits. If we continue to make new "same" pictures over and over, it's very logical that our RPIs will fall, lower and lowe because the sales are dividided amongst too many images.
Almost none of my new bestsellers are "different" in some way, they don't have that much competition. I have found some niches that are not "too niche", but just enough to be different. The real niche and specialist images belong some other places than micros.

I think there is a middle ground somewhere; just a bit "different" images that will sell. They might not be bestsellers, but better than average - just because they are different in some way. Totally oddball images that sell only once or twice are not good microstock images.

Here is what the microstock sites should do: They should stop rejecting for "low commercial value" (if it's not some clear cases of pets and sunsets), and stop rejecting for artistic choices ("harsh shadows" or "uneven lighting" that SS uses a lot). Maybe then people would produce more "different" imagery instead of the light high-key stuff that looks like it's shot in a light box. The best thing would be to let the customers decide by using clever search algorithms and perhaps throwing away garbage that hasn't sold in - let's say - three or four years.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: grp_photo on September 20, 2011, 04:56
I have hundred times (money wise) more success if I place my special/not too similar in macro or via my subagencies in the TAC. I tried both ways before but too place special/not too similar pics in micro nowadays is a big waste of money, they do have overwhelming more potential if placed right.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Perry on September 20, 2011, 04:57
I have hundred times (money wise) more success if I place my special/not too similar in macro or via my subagencies in the TAC. I tried both ways before but too place special/not too similar pics in micro nowadays is a big waste of money, they do have overwhelming more potential if placed right.


I'm not talking real niche/specialist images, just images that are done a bit differently in some way.

Let's say I would want to shoot some business handshake images. These would some of the obvious choices:
http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-2304477-handshake.php (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-2304477-handshake.php) (hands against plain studio backdrop)
http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-4705569-deal.php (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-4705569-deal.php) (hands against a field and blue sky)
http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-16970382-unity-of-professionals.php (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-16970382-unity-of-professionals.php) (business people in brightly lit office)

Here are some "a bit different" choices that might get sold even at micros: (just a quick search at Getty's)

http://www.gettyimages.fi/detail/dv631014a/Digital-Vision (http://www.gettyimages.fi/detail/dv631014a/Digital-Vision) (frog perspectice)
http://www.gettyimages.fi/detail/985781-012/Stone (http://www.gettyimages.fi/detail/985781-012/Stone) (artistic blur, would get rejected on almost every microstock site)
http://www.gettyimages.fi/detail/88586601/Workbook-Stock (http://www.gettyimages.fi/detail/88586601/Workbook-Stock) (reflection in a glass table, would get rejected for "poor framing or cropping" :))
http://www.gettyimages.fi/detail/97595983/Flickr (http://www.gettyimages.fi/detail/97595983/Flickr)
http://www.gettyimages.fi/detail/81867587/Stone (http://www.gettyimages.fi/detail/81867587/Stone) (I have not a clue what this is about :))
http://www.gettyimages.fi/detail/115622370/Cultura (http://www.gettyimages.fi/detail/115622370/Cultura) (Some concept with a curtain)

I'm almost sure if thes eimages were submitted at micros they wouldn't get buried as easily as some very basic average quality run-of-the mill handshake images.

Yes, the microstock images are some of the most popular ones with thousands of downloads. The problem is that everyone of the linked images already have - let's say - 100 similiars for sale, If you are going to succeed with a similiar image, you really need to have the best image and luck.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: grp_photo on September 20, 2011, 05:16
I fully understand you, just believe me and give it a try the results will speak for itself.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Perry on September 20, 2011, 05:23
I fully understand you, just believe me and give it a try the results will speak for itself.

Yes, I sell my specialist/niche images as RM, the results are varying from very poor to very good, depending mostly on "luck".

You go ahead and shoot another apple isolated on white, If you have luck you could earn $2.67 in three years :D

Meanwhile I'll keep shooting familiar concepts with some new twists...
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: grp_photo on September 20, 2011, 05:29
I'm not talking about RM-RF that is not the point.
And I'm not talking about obscure images I'm talking exactly about the twist and that these images are poorly placed in traditional microstock.  (have to laugh myself about the term 'traditional microstock')
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lagereek on September 20, 2011, 05:41
" the cream always floats to the top"  well thats what we want to believe isnt it?  yes maybe in the old days or 5 years back but not now,  forget it.  A bad search or best match,  can totally slaughter a top image,  it gets buried like the rest and fades away into oblivion. Thats that. Too many images, too many contributors, this and that.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Perry on September 20, 2011, 05:47
" the cream always floats to the top"  well thats what we want to believe isnt it?  yes maybe in the old days or 5 years back but not now,  forget it.  A bad search or best match,  can totally slaughter a top image,  it gets buried like the rest and fades away into oblivion. Thats that. Too many images, too many contributors, this and that.

Yes, but if there were less of the "same" images, there wouldn't be so much stuff to get buried under.

I of course agree with the "too many images, too many contributors" part.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lthn on September 20, 2011, 06:09
Theres too much of everything. Time for WWIII
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lagereek on September 20, 2011, 06:10
" the cream always floats to the top"  well thats what we want to believe isnt it?  yes maybe in the old days or 5 years back but not now,  forget it.  A bad search or best match,  can totally slaughter a top image,  it gets buried like the rest and fades away into oblivion. Thats that. Too many images, too many contributors, this and that.

Yes, but if there were less of the "same" images, there wouldn't be so much stuff to get buried under.

I of course agree with the "too many images, too many contributors" part.

Less of same images,  ofcourse!  trouble is, micro agencies seem to encourage copy cats. The old trad agencies didnt want to know copys.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: XPTO on September 20, 2011, 08:46
" the cream always floats to the top"  well thats what we want to believe isnt it?  yes maybe in the old days or 5 years back but not now,  forget it.  A bad search or best match,  can totally slaughter a top image,  it gets buried like the rest and fades away into oblivion. Thats that. Too many images, too many contributors, this and that.

Yes, but if there were less of the "same" images, there wouldn't be so much stuff to get buried under.

I of course agree with the "too many images, too many contributors" part.

Less of same images,  ofcourse!  trouble is, micro agencies seem to encourage copy cats. The old trad agencies didnt want to know copys.

Agencies promote all this, simply because they get tenths of thousands of contributors who take months or years to reach payout, and they profit A LOT from the interests of that money in the banks.

An agency that has a payout limit at $100, prefers to have $1000 distributed by 20 contributors ($50 each) that will give them 1 year of interests or more, than 1 contributor that earns those $1000 and will withdraw at the end of the month.

I bet the agencies have earned millions of dollars just in interests from income that never reaches payout and others that gave/up forget and already have money to be paid but don't bother to check.

So, many of these agencies won't do anything to delete images that bury new content from active contributors simply because they are interested in delaying the payments.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: ShadySue on September 20, 2011, 09:10
There has been another big best match shakeup overnight. My top iceberg pic, with over 400 sales is now around position 300, photos only, in the best match, under photos of lettuce and a lobster in an ice block inter alia. My next flaming iceberg is at best match position 539
I also have not one photo in the top 200 photos of African elephant despite some flamers and two Vettas. But not to worry - EdStock's Quelea pics have risen in that search, and 'his' dark eles have bounced back up - they were sinking down.
Yet again: "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you."
(for those who think iStock is againt independents, there are plenty of indy pics above mine in both these searches)

Added: seems Editorial is getting a push. I've got some Editorials high/quite high in other searches. That's why Ed has risen: there aren't many Editorial Elephant pics.
Oh, hey I've got one, which was originally rejected for the main collection because of a radio collar. Why's it not in the top 200 with Ed's queleas? Back to paranoia.  ;)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: gostwyck on September 20, 2011, 09:15
Agencies promote all this, simply because they get tenths of thousands of contributors who take months or years to reach payout, and they profit A LOT from the interests of that money in the banks.

<Sigh> Not this old chestnut being wheeled out again. It's not true as the income from low-selling contributors is trivial in comparison to the income from those that do sell in volume.

Think about the numbers. If the minimum payout is $100 then the average account of the 'low-selling contributors' will likely be about $50. Even if there were 20,000 of these contributors it still only amounts to $1M. Sorry but that is small change to a company like Istock. They are paying these contributors only 15% so they have already banked $5.7M from the sales themselves. Also, the money remains as a liability on the books, not as an asset, so it doesn't increase their profit.

Interest? Have you seen interest rates nowdays? It is virtually impossible to maintain the value of an investment as inflation is higher than the interest rates available almost everwhere.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cathyslife on September 20, 2011, 09:29
There has been another big best match shakeup overnight. My top iceberg pic, with over 400 sales is now around position 300, photos only, in the best match, under photos of lettuce and a lobster in an ice block inter alia. My next flaming iceberg is at best match position 539
I also have not one photo in the top 200 photos of African elephant despite some flamers and two Vettas. But not to worry - EdStock's Quelea pics have risen in that search, and 'his' dark eles have bounced back up - they were sinking down.
Yet again: "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you."
(for those who think iStock is againt independents, there are plenty of indy pics above mine in both these searches)

Added: seems Editorial is getting a push. I've got some Editorials high/quite high in other searches. That's why Ed has risen: there aren't many Editorial Elephant pics.
Oh, hey I've got one, which was originally rejected for the main collection because of a radio collar. Why's it not in the top 200 with Ed's queleas? Back to paranoia.  ;)

I've revised my thinking about istock being against just indies...I pretty much now think istock is against everyone but themselves and anyone who facilitates their daily trip to the bank, which means a small percentage of the overall contributors.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: gostwyck on September 20, 2011, 09:41
There has been another big best match shakeup overnight.

Ouch! That's horrific. It looks like it is 95% geared towards newish images, with or without any downloads. Judging by the few test-searches I've tried my sales could be slaughtered if it stays like this.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: stockmarketer on September 20, 2011, 10:00
There has been another big best match shakeup overnight.

Ouch! That's horrific. It looks like it is 95% geared towards newish images, with or without any downloads. Judging by the few test-searches I've tried my sales could be slaughtered if it stays like this.

This explains it!!!

I'm in shock looking at today's vs yesterday's numbers.  I earned $62 at IS yesterday, and today we're halfway through the day and I'm at $5.  (And this is a Tues vs. Monday.  Tuesdays are generally better, at least for me... all the more shocking.)

Has ANYONE benefited from this shakeup?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lisafx on September 20, 2011, 10:11
There has been another big best match shakeup overnight.

Ouch! That's horrific. It looks like it is 95% geared towards newish images, with or without any downloads. Judging by the few test-searches I've tried my sales could be slaughtered if it stays like this.

This explains it!!!

I'm in shock looking at today's vs yesterday's numbers.  I earned $62 at IS yesterday, and today we're halfway through the day and I'm at $5.  (And this is a Tues vs. Monday.  Tuesdays are generally better, at least for me... all the more shocking.)

Has ANYONE benefited from this shakeup?

Not me, that's for sure.  Too bad.  Sales were picking up nicely after the summer slump.  Glad Istock put a stop to that. ;) :P
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: VB inc on September 20, 2011, 10:17
Theres too much of everything. Time for WWIII

The squeeze has started back in 08.  globalization and expansion has peaked. Economy is terrible worldwide and thats the main source of sales dropping. Everyone talks about the arab spring as a good thing. The arab spring is about the lack of jobs and young people having to revolt and blame the people in charge for their situation. I give a 2 year buffer before crisis mode.

Maybe this is what 2012 is all about  ;)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: stockmarketer on September 20, 2011, 10:29


The squeeze has started back in 08.  globalization and expansion has peaked. Economy is terrible worldwide and thats the main source of sales dropping.



I'm not so sure.  I think the biggest reason most people are seeing falling sales is the increased competition and not the economy. 

I see microstock as the type of industry that actually does well in an economic downturn. 

Reason #1: most companies are making less money and are cutting their budgets for advertising, promotion, etc.  They turn to a cheap alternative to the expensive image houses.  Sure, many have been doing this for years already, and maybe those are buying less microstock than they did a few years ago, but I feel there are still a lot of big buyers out there who are just now making the jump to ms or will do so as they tighten their belts.

Reason #2: this may just be the case for my port, but I think that as a lot of people are losing jobs or just entering a job market without openings, they're turning to self promotion through blogs, websites, etc.  (Just from my own investigative work, I think blogs and websites for consultants and other tiny upstart businesses are my biggest customers.)  They don't have the money to buy expensive images, so (if they're not stealing them) they turn to microstock.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: XPTO on September 20, 2011, 11:04
I think we should also consider that the gap between Micro and Macrostock is not so evident nowadays.

For example, I've been licensing  a reasonable number of images at alamy at around $6 and sometimes less. And even if this is the price charged for images around 1800 pixels on the longer side, the fact is that the RF of alamy allows much more than any of the EL's in micro.

Getty also has deals with clients for prices similar to these and Agefotostock created recently a "Micro" collection.

So, may Microstock, among many other reasons, be facing new competition from the traditional agencies? The average licensing price in my traditional stock agencies dropped more than 50% (RM and RF). Now the average sale is about $70 (full price) contrary to almost $200 in 2008.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: gbalex on September 20, 2011, 11:33
Yawn, everyone else has moved along to the topic at hand, we don't need a book on the matter.

Funny statement from someone who hasn't made a single useful post in this discussion, which by the way was killed around post 72 by Yuri himself. Since then very little is discussed about the original topic.

In fact, this topic is as useless as all the other crying about falling sales. Very, very little has been added to what has been said ad nauseum in other discussions. Not even the economy part was talked about sufficiently to understand the current situation and allow us to adapt to what is coming. It's just whining all over again.

It's only missing the contributors with a portfolio of 10 images contradicting everyone else because he had 5 dl's as IS and call it a BME...

As for the original discussion, I may add that the fact that some agencies, like SS, continue to accept almost all kind of crap submitted to them burying great work right from the start, and in no way protect active contributors with a good collection is a reason for many of those who takes this as a business see falling income.

I personally reduced the number of submissions I send to micro because I don't like to see 21mp images buried under lots of images of the same search with much less quality and a 10th of the resolution. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of people better and more active than me, but they are probably more annoyed than me.

I believe that agencies love those old images from inactive contributors to a certain point, since they got a "long tail" income out of them, without the contributors withdrawing their money.

This way they get to keep the money in the banks generating a very nice revenue through interests, while the active contributors get their money out, monthly. And at this point they don't need many new images since all has been covered and the vast majority of the images won't go out of fashion that easily.


You made some excellent points and I agree SS is not the best place for quality submitters. I also think part of SS's strategy is to keep those barely good enough but salable images coming in in mass. It does not bother them much that quality work is buried because they can keep more of the money those lower quality images generate because most of the new submitters that are helped along by the crew in the critique area rarely make payout and they are in the lowest pay tier.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: RacePhoto on September 20, 2011, 12:09
I'm still laughing every time I read a new Best Match comment how it "hurts everyone" (which is impossible!) or how it's hurting someones sales and placement, and it seems everyone here. So who's getting all those sales and all that top placement while "everyone else" is getting screwed?  ??? What will be the cause for lower sales when the best match claim finally goes away. What problem will be the new whipping post for why sales are down?

I wanted to add this to the thread: 2008 Microstock Secrets on DT. Interestng article. "...the average RPI (return per image) is around $3-4 up to as much as $10 for some ‘Microstock SuperStars'. Yuri also said that the RPI in microstock is now close to or exactly the same as the average for traditional stock."

Here we are 2011 and it seems to have changed. That's why this thread was started in the first place? Sales dropping, especially on IS.

I agree with the people who have figured that Microstock growth at a high rate, couldn't keep going on forever. Things are leveling off, stabilizing. Soon some more of the smaller agencies will be waving good-bye to the marketplace. They have taken their 80% and profited off our backs, the gold mine is tapped out. Only the big strong agents will survive.

20% just ask someone else if they would work for 20% commission on their own creative products, working hours and hours, doing everything including keywords and editing, uploading, and start into business knowing that. I bet you'll get screams of laughter, "Are you kidding?" But Microstockers are now down to 15% on IS in many cases. Oh please Sir can I have some more, why not make it 10%, I love licking boots for pocket change.

Anyone with any sense will see that the train has left the station. Those who are on it, may still be in for a good ride. New people entering Microstock, may find it's a huge waste of time trying to catch up.

Yes sales are dropping everywhere, especially on IS. But by the way, PP sales on IS are up for me. Sign of the times.

People claiming you can make money with those leftover pictures on your hard drive, or get into it with a P&S, or make a good income from a hobby or make $x RPI anymore, especially considering overstocked agencies and rejections... please stop!  (http://s1.postimage.org/1fincgjgk/nobull.gif)

Because Yuri pointed it out and maybe it looked like I was disagreeing and I also didn't post a link to the original interviews and article. Best that I add that!

http://blog.dreamstime.com/2008/11/05/secrets-of-microstock-superstars_art27749 (http://blog.dreamstime.com/2008/11/05/secrets-of-microstock-superstars_art27749)

No I don't disagree with anything in the interviews or what he said now. My opinion is the times have changed, the PRI isn't what it used to be, the future isn't as bright for new contributors as it may have been in 2008. Hope that clears up my intentions.

(http://s1.postimage.org/1fitylxfo/notrolls.gif)


I still believe that Istock is doing very well. I must say, hands down, they are exceptionally good at what they do. I say this even dough there are so many things with Istock I would very much like to see changed. The fact that they only host about 6000 of my 65000 images makes them a rather small playing in my financial monthly statement, so as a business partner (offer, etc.) I really have very little to do with them.
 


Believe it or not, you have 8817 files on IS not 6000. I suppose that proves that you really don't watch them closely.  8)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Yuri_Arcurs on September 20, 2011, 12:46
Seems this post has gone a little off topic.
I remember the John Lund interview and I actually agree with my own statements made at that time. It was a wake-up call and needed at that time, and it did work somewhat. However, I don't like forum posts that are direct and opinionated without knowing who I am talking to and that that somebody will put their name on what they are saying. The possibility to say what you want and hide away and not be held responsible on forums tends to make people much more aggressive and argumentative than they would have been in real life. So. I listen when people are not smurfs, trolls as they are called.
I still believe that Istock is doing very well. I must say, hands down, they are exceptionally good at what they do. I say this even dough there are so many things with Istock I would very much like to see changed. The fact that they only host about 6000 of my 65000 images makes them a rather small playing in my financial monthly statement, so as a business partner (offer, etc.) I really have very little to do with them.
Istock's business model is certainly not buying or acquiring good collections anymore. They have gone completely away from that. Back four five years ago, Getty would buy a new fancy collection every second month or so. How many such collections has Istock/G bought the last two years? Not any really. Jupiter you might think, but that was before the change in management. I believe that Getty's plan is simple: Be superb at distributing and managing user generated content, Maximize profit, cut out anyone that does not want to go this direction, minimize or camouflage commissions through complex systems while still keeping the carrot right in front of the photographer - but making the leap to get it longer and longer. Then I think it also involves stopping potential threats in the industry while they are small, such as Picscouts little hidden gem/ace (which was public but very few saw the implications of - now sold to Getty). And as a shocker: I think the ambition is to sell Getty/Istock with-in two years from now and make a huge profit for the initial buyers. :) Now with a much higher revenue and profit it would sell higher.
So. I think that the major attempts we have seen from macro stock photographers to enter micro with huge collections has had that very intention - getting bought by Getty. They might just have to settle for royalties now, there are no such attempts in the works because it is not Getty's focus anymore. A big profit to show off, rendering a higher sale tag (short term) is however. :)
So the way I see it, we are in it for the long howl. That's why economy matters and that's why I asked about it in this forum, to get a reference.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: jjneff on September 20, 2011, 13:10
I know Yuri to be a true professional, there is no need to point fingers or call names. This is a business people, I make decisions based on the facts I have in front of me.
iStock - Getty and all the others are a business too. They are not interested in what you earn or frankly what you do at this point. The economy is bad almost everywhere,
competition is strong and there are so many great images to choose from. I have to push myself to stay in the game like anyone else. I don't care who gets what, I know what
my needs are and what I need to do to meet them. Now if we spend more time shooting and creating then just maybe other doors will open as well. 
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: XPTO on September 20, 2011, 13:32
Agencies promote all this, simply because they get tenths of thousands of contributors who take months or years to reach payout, and they profit A LOT from the interests of that money in the banks.

<Sigh> Not this old chestnut being wheeled out again. It's not true as the income from low-selling contributors is trivial in comparison to the income from those that do sell in volume.

Think about the numbers. If the minimum payout is $100 then the average account of the 'low-selling contributors' will likely be about $50. Even if there were 20,000 of these contributors it still only amounts to $1M. Sorry but that is small change to a company like Istock. They are paying these contributors only 15% so they have already banked $5.7M from the sales themselves. Also, the money remains as a liability on the books, not as an asset, so it doesn't increase their profit.

Interest? Have you seen interest rates nowdays? It is virtually impossible to maintain the value of an investment as inflation is higher than the interest rates available almost everwhere.

Big companies don't get the same interest rates as common people. They have so much better deals that you can't even imagine because they deposit millions.

I know companies that have agreements with banks where they have a commitment to deposit above a certain value (millions) each week, and by doing so they get very high rates. In fact, when they are under that value a promotion is created to boost sales, even with 0 profit, so they can meet the goal. They profit more by selling products with 0 gain and meeting the goals, than missing it and gaining a 30% profit on each product sale.

More, in the current economy, banks are pushing strongly for people to deposit money since many are in trouble, or fear to be in trouble in terms of liquidity. There's a reason why credit is harder to get. It's not only that banks are more cautious after 2008. It's also because nowadays, when they need to ask to bigger banks for money to lend to their costumers they must pay higher interests to those higher entities. By promoting deposits there's no need to borrow money with high interests and can reduce the interests of loans to the common person or business, becoming more competitive than other banks.

So no, interest rates for big business are not irrelevant and have big implications in the sustainability of banks in the current economy and that's why they are trying to captivate deposits even at the common citizen level.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: stockmarketer on September 20, 2011, 13:42
20% just ask someone else if they would work for 20% commission on their own creative products, working hours and hours, doing everything including keywords and editing, uploading, and start into business knowing that. I bet you'll get screams of laughter, "Are you kidding?" But Microstockers are now down to 15% on IS in many cases. Oh please Sir can I have some more, why not make it 10%, I love licking boots for pocket change.

I guess it all depends how you approach microstock.  I don't think of myself as an artist and each of my images is a part of my soul.  No, I wouldn't spend months painting a huge portrait and accept the terms of a gallery that wanted to keep 85% of the sale.  But I went into microstock with the idea that I would produce a set amount every day, they would earn a projected amount every day based on the agency commission rates, and if I met my goal, I would be very, very happy.   I set short and long term revenue goals.  I met the short term goal in about a year, and just surpassed the long term goal after three years.  So today, I am very, very happy.

I went into microstock knowing the terms, fully understanding and appreciating that the agencies have invested heavily in building, marketing and maintaining their sites, and would put my images out in front of people ready to buy my work.  I could never build a site like this on my own.  To me, this service is worth the revenue share for what (most of) the agencies are doing on their end.  And at the point I decide it's not worth it, I walk away.  I'm no one's slave.  For the time being, they're helping me live a very comfortable life.  My ROI is extremely positive, and my wife regularly thanks me for putting a small amount of time into something that delivers such a big payout.  
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: RacePhoto on September 20, 2011, 13:51
20% just ask someone else if they would work for 20% commission on their own creative products, working hours and hours, doing everything including keywords and editing, uploading, and start into business knowing that. I bet you'll get screams of laughter, "Are you kidding?" But Microstockers are now down to 15% on IS in many cases. Oh please Sir can I have some more, why not make it 10%, I love licking boots for pocket change.

I guess it all depends how you approach microstock.  I don't think of myself as an artist and each of my images is a part of my soul.  No, I wouldn't spend months painting a huge portrait and accept the terms of a gallery that wanted to keep 85% of the sale.  But I went into microstock with the idea that I would produce a set amount every day, they would earn a projected amount every day based on the agency commission rates, and if I met my goal, I would be very, very happy.   I set short and long term revenue goals.  I met the short term goal in about a year, and just surpassed the long term goal after three years.  So today, I am very, very happy.

I went into microstock knowing the terms, fully understanding and appreciating that the agencies have invested heavily in building, marketing and maintaining their sites, and would put my images out in front of people ready to buy my work.  I could never build a site like this on my own.  To me, this service is worth the revenue share for what (most of) the agencies are doing on their end.  And at the point I decide it's not worth it, I walk away.  I'm no one's slave.  For the time being, they're helping me live a very comfortable life.  My ROI is extremely positive, and my wife regularly thanks me for putting a small amount of time into something that delivers such a big payout.  

Same as quoting the old Microstock Secrets interview on DT. The times have changed. What was a growth industry has slowed. Not only that, commissions from the agencies have been cut. Getting pictures placed and accepted is harder than only last year. As for the "artist" part, I consider people who draw stick figures or do isolations of sliced vegetables to be "artists" in the content of providing materials for the agencies to sell. It's now about creative ART and all that eternal Who-Ha. I could have just as well said contributors or slaves in the photo factory, I preferred to be somewhat respectful of people who work at their craft of producing images as artists.

Now someone needs a better camera, better editing software, better images, more time to spend/invest on submitting new images while the returns are less than they were before. Shorter commissions, higher expenses to produce the product. It's not 2008 anymore.

stockmarketer you produce 100 images a month, I don't know how that's "a small amount of time into something that delivers such a big payout. " but your .11 RPI shows that at least you know how to direct your energy in the direction of things that buyers want. That's another positive. Someone with 4000 images in three years, it's hard to believe you spend a small amount of time creating them? Maybe you should market your methods, because you seem to be way beyond most people for time and earnings.

Someone new might want to consider the road for growth and advancement, even steady income, is a little rougher than it was two to three years ago. I agree with you, running ones own site is difficult especially getting buyers to find it, when competing with the big multi-million image agencies, selling at low prices. I'm still surprised that anyone makes any sales on their private sites. Best Wishes to them.

And yes, I was responding to the OP. Sales are dropping, everywhere, especially on IS, but for some reason, maybe it's just me, SS is better than ever?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cthoman on September 20, 2011, 13:52
I guess it all depends how you approach microstock.  I don't think of myself as an artist and each of my images is a part of my soul.  No, I wouldn't spend months painting a huge portrait and accept the terms of a gallery that wanted to keep 85% of the sale.  But I went into microstock with the idea that I would produce a set amount every day, they would earn a projected amount every day based on the agency commission rates, and if I met my goal, I would be very, very happy.   I set short and long term revenue goals.  I met the short term goal in about a year, and just surpassed the long term goal after three years.  So today, I am very, very happy.

I went into microstock knowing the terms, fully understanding and appreciating that the agencies have invested heavily in building, marketing and maintaining their sites, and would put my images out in front of people ready to buy my work.  I could never build a site like this on my own.  To me, this service is worth the revenue share for what (most of) the agencies are doing on their end.  And at the point I decide it's not worth it, I walk away.  I'm no one's slave.  For the time being, they're helping me live a very comfortable life.  My ROI is extremely positive, and my wife regularly thanks me for putting a small amount of time into something that delivers such a big payout.  

I used to feel this way, but I can't say I do anymore. Maybe, it's that I've seen a years worth of work wiped out in a day by various agencies' policy changes. I know I'll never be the guy that sells huge volumes, so it becomes increasingly important that I get a decent return per sale.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lagereek on September 20, 2011, 14:08
Ha, Ha, they must be self-torturers,  they have been spanked by SS for months and their answer is THIS best match?  its a complete   joke!  not just new images, its as if they have sent out a bunch of newbies with a p/s,  to win an amateur competition.
This is without doubt the worst most infantile best match I have ever seen and I think they are doing it on purpose!  simply to aggrevate, hoping many of us will remove ports or images out of pure disgust.

good grief, what a total waste of time this is turning out to be. What next? are they going to open a photography school for their new members?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 20, 2011, 14:11
"It was a wake-up call and needed at that time, and it did work somewhat."

A wake up call to what?  And what worked?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: ShadySue on September 20, 2011, 14:51
So the way I see it, we are in it for the long howl.
A truer word was never spoken, even if unintentionally.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: microstockphoto.co.uk on September 20, 2011, 15:06
20% just ask someone else if they would work for 20% commission on their own creative products, working hours and hours, doing everything including keywords and editing, uploading, and start into business knowing that. I bet you'll get screams of laughter, "Are you kidding?" But Microstockers are now down to 15% on IS in many cases. Oh please Sir can I have some more, why not make it 10%, I love licking boots for pocket change.

Not that I like 20% or less: I find it a bit insulting indeed.

But I know some of my friends working overtime as graphic designers doing creative work as employees for large advertising companies, and I doubt they earn more than 20% of their employers' revenue.

Given the same %, better being exploited part-time by a distant internet business than enslaved full-time by a real boss in the same room.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: SNP on September 20, 2011, 15:46
^ I see what you're saying and why, I'm just not sure the two examples are analogous. another example is book publishing, royalties are a pittance and shelf life of a book is maybe three months. maybe you could compare books with selling photos, however authors are as much a part of the 'commodity package' as the book. that isn't the case in microstock. I think most of us are unknown to buyers, with obvious exceptions.

I don't feel grateful for being paid anything at all. I know iStock would like us to feel that way, but I've always found those comments to be a little ridiculous
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: RacePhoto on September 20, 2011, 23:16
20% just ask someone else if they would work for 20% commission on their own creative products, working hours and hours, doing everything including keywords and editing, uploading, and start into business knowing that. I bet you'll get screams of laughter, "Are you kidding?" But Microstockers are now down to 15% on IS in many cases. Oh please Sir can I have some more, why not make it 10%, I love licking boots for pocket change.

Not that I like 20% or less: I find it a bit insulting indeed.

But I know some of my friends working overtime as graphic designers doing creative work as employees for large advertising companies, and I doubt they earn more than 20% of their employers' revenue.

Given the same %, better being exploited part-time by a distant internet business than enslaved full-time by a real boss in the same room.

Apples and oranges. When I work for someone and they pay me an hourly wage or salary, or a flat fee, it has nothing to do with the final product or their earnings. Not my business.

I make photos and expect a fair percentage. 15% is not a fair percentage, even though they host, market and handle the billing. When I played in bands, the agents took 20% for booking and promotions. When I work the wholesale business I make a commission for sales, but when I stock and distribute myself, I get more. If the agencies stood up for us and protected us against unfair use or theft, I might be swayed a little. They don't do that, we have to wait two months for support to give us boilerplate answers or ignore the issues?

When our work gets stolen, they take the money back, instead of standing in back of their store integrity.

Even 20% is not a fair percentage when we are investing time and sometimes people pay for models, props, time, then we must edit and do the keywording, we take all the risk, investing up front, where an agency can refuse them? Then if we pass they take our work, sell it multiple times and pay us 20% of what it earns?

It's my work, my images and my income. They are just agents doing marketing for me. Of course people will point out, the agencies don't owe us anything (and I agree) and they don't really care about us, which I also agree. If I don't like it, I can go do something else!  :) I'd just be happier and more encouraged to produce more, working harder, if the returns were proportional to the efforts.

Some people think flipping burgers at McDonald's is a good job with advancement potential. Just like some people think making $10 a month at some tiny microstock site (competing with their own images elsewhere) is worth their time.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: grp_photo on September 21, 2011, 01:50
"It was a wake-up call and needed at that time, and it did work somewhat."

A wake up call to what?  And what worked?
Microstock agencies did cut commissions but it affected Yuri less than any other independent so it was quite successful. ;-)
But actually I think he wanted to achieve something  else.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lagereek on September 21, 2011, 01:58
20% just ask someone else if they would work for 20% commission on their own creative products, working hours and hours, doing everything including keywords and editing, uploading, and start into business knowing that. I bet you'll get screams of laughter, "Are you kidding?" But Microstockers are now down to 15% on IS in many cases. Oh please Sir can I have some more, why not make it 10%, I love licking boots for pocket change.

Not that I like 20% or less: I find it a bit insulting indeed.

But I know some of my friends working overtime as graphic designers doing creative work as employees for large advertising companies, and I doubt they earn more than 20% of their employers' revenue.

Given the same %, better being exploited part-time by a distant internet business than enslaved full-time by a real boss in the same room.

Apples and oranges. When I work for someone and they pay me an hourly wage or salary, or a flat fee, it has nothing to do with the final product or their earnings. Not my business.

I make photos and expect a fair percentage. 15% is not a fair percentage, even though they host, market and handle the billing. When I played in bands, the agents took 20% for booking and promotions. When I work the wholesale business I make a commission for sales, but when I stock and distribute myself, I get more. If the agencies stood up for us and protected us against unfair use or theft, I might be swayed a little. They don't do that, we have to wait two months for support to give us boilerplate answers or ignore the issues?

When our work gets stolen, they take the money back, instead of standing in back of their store integrity.

Even 20% is not a fair percentage when we are investing time and sometimes people pay for models, props, time, then we must edit and do the keywording, we take all the risk, investing up front, where an agency can refuse them? Then if we pass they take our work, sell it multiple times and pay us 20% of what it earns?

It's my work, my images and my income. They are just agents doing marketing for me. Of course people will point out, the agencies don't owe us anything (and I agree) and they don't really care about us, which I also agree. If I don't like it, I can go do something else!  :) I'd just be happier and more encouraged to produce more, working harder, if the returns were proportional to the efforts.

Some people think flipping burgers at McDonald's is a good job with advancement potential. Just like some people think making $10 a month at some tiny microstock site (competing with their own images elsewhere) is worth their time.


Youre forgetting,  when IS merged with Getty,  IS, also had to shoulder all the Getty debts, loans, the entire financial downslope,  thats what you are paying for ;)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: michealo on September 21, 2011, 03:27
Agencies promote all this, simply because they get tenths of thousands of contributors who take months or years to reach payout, and they profit A LOT from the interests of that money in the banks.

<Sigh> Not this old chestnut being wheeled out again. It's not true as the income from low-selling contributors is trivial in comparison to the income from those that do sell in volume.

Think about the numbers. If the minimum payout is $100 then the average account of the 'low-selling contributors' will likely be about $50. Even if there were 20,000 of these contributors it still only amounts to $1M. Sorry but that is small change to a company like Istock. They are paying these contributors only 15% so they have already banked $5.7M from the sales themselves. Also, the money remains as a liability on the books, not as an asset, so it doesn't increase their profit.

Interest? Have you seen interest rates nowdays? It is virtually impossible to maintain the value of an investment as inflation is higher than the interest rates available almost everwhere.

Big companies don't get the same interest rates as common people. They have so much better deals that you can't even imagine because they deposit millions.


Big companies biggest concern these days is not the interest rate but making sure they don't lose the capital due to a bank failure. Siemens for example just withdrew 500 million from a french bank and lodged it directly with the ECB.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: RT on September 21, 2011, 07:34
The fact that they only host about 6000 of my 65000 images makes them a rather small playing in my financial monthly statement, so as a business partner (offer, etc.) I really have very little to do with them.

Yuri

Have you considered pulling your portfolio from there and encouraging your regular buyers to visit a site where you have all your portfolio, tricky one to gauge but it may make more financial sense, it's certainly something I'd consider if I did the level of self marketing your company does.

I haven't noticed as drastic a drop in sales on iStock that you and others have I'm glad to say, but what I have noticed is the increase in sales at SS which, like you, concerns me because of their low commission rates.

There is no doubt, no matter what everyone's individual circumstances, that iStock is not the company it was, could or should have been.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: RacePhoto on September 21, 2011, 13:36
The fact that they only host about 6000 of my 65000 images makes them a rather small playing in my financial monthly statement, so as a business partner (offer, etc.) I really have very little to do with them.
Yuri

Have you considered pulling your portfolio from there and encouraging your regular buyers to visit a site where you have all your portfolio, tricky one to gauge but it may make more financial sense, it's certainly something I'd consider if I did the level of self marketing your company does.


Now there's a thinking man's question. (and I didn't think of it!)  :) The answer would be very interesting.

And keep in mind that Yuri can't be too concerned about IS because he has 2000 more images there, than he thinks he does.  8)

He also did write one of the best advise tips I ever read, and I'm working towards it.

The best number of agencies to have is 1, 2 or 25. (I think it was that and the 25 is a way of saying, put your pictures everywhere that will take them and collect the money. I assumed the 1 was Exclusive somewhere, IS comes to mind and the two would be IS and SS. However, he didn't specify, so that's my guess and opinion, based on ranks and sales.

Personally I'm working towards the ONE RF Agency and that will be SS. (and BigStock from the same family) I don't think that's what anyone ever had in mind. One RM agency = Alamy. I guess that's my two? LOL  :D

Also a good point: "Youre forgetting,  when IS merged with Getty,  IS, also had to shoulder all the Getty debts, loans, the entire financial downslope,  thats what you are paying for." Lager Eek (beer minded)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 05, 2011, 19:05
 Hi All,

 Very interesting posts thank you all for your opinions they are fascinating to read. I think the opinions on this post hold a great deal of what people are frustrated about. Thanks again for all the insight. Just to concur my Istock sales have dropped the most in the past year and Shuttersock is still selling as big as ever but that is just my experience, I never count a horse out of the race till it breaks a leg ;) Are we in the home stretch? ;D

Cheers,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: raclro on October 22, 2011, 23:42
For me it has been a trend that has been evident for about 12 months. Both IS and FT appear to be losing ground whilst SS continues to grow. I think DT have a fairly loyal customer base so they are just about holding on to their share of the market.

I'd suggest that microstock's explosive growth over the last few years has probably peaked (it had to eventually). In the early days any agency that had enough marketing $'s to make it's presence felt was bound to find new customers and grow sales. Now it's not so easy.

We're probably just witnessing a more mature market in which the existing customer base is making informed choices on where to do their shopping.

Istock have been pushing up prices for years (to our benefit as well as theirs) and maybe they have pushed them a bit too far recently and are starting to pay the price? FT have acknowledged customer resistance to higher priced images by limiting or reducing them on several occasions. In contrast SS has always been acutely sensitive and careful with price increases. SS has a fairly basic but easy to navigate site which always works well and all images are priced the same. It might be as simple as that.

This is exactly my diagnosis as well.  I don't claim to know actual numbers but I suspect available photos for sale internet wide have increased by more than 1000 fold since 2005, and buyers have not kept pace.  I certainly don't think the market is saturated, but very diluted for any individual (even big number guys with great porfolios)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: pro@stockphotos on October 23, 2011, 09:16
"Youre forgetting,  when IS merged with Getty,  IS, also had to shoulder all the Getty debts, loans, the entire financial downslope,  thats what you are paying for "

            You are forgetting Getty sold itself to an investment group for way too much.  Hence the investment group trying to squeeze out money from IS contributors. 
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: remsan on October 24, 2011, 03:08
I've been a business person all my life (I am 40+).  And this is the only business where I've seen people helping their potential competitors getting on board.   Honestly, I'll never understand it!

This is not the only business where people help eachother :).
A lot of people help eachothers all over the places. You can take almost any place (industry jobs, office jobs and so on).  It is a matter of what person you are.
Even if you take a normal case a people help another to get employed on his work later if the economics go bad maybe the first one will get fired and the later one will still be employed. Such is life.

Personally I've helped several people to get on board on iStock, but some of them didn't managed to have many images/videos on the site. Simply because is a lot of work to do all the time and they didn't have the time or the right personality for it.

I see it as several others has named in the forum. The economy crisis and the fact that there are more and more people who submits (even some few images will be there in the best match fighting with all others) will make it harder to have it sustainable.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cobalt on October 24, 2011, 04:31
Whoever is your competitor today, could be your customer tomorrow, or your boss if they buy you...In business I always try to treat everyone with respect and obvious industry information I always share. A market place needs to grow and develop and it usually benefits all players if there is sensible cooperation.

When it comes to istock I have absolutely no problem encouraging others to get into stock and learn the basics of the trade. 99% won´t go through with it anyway because stock is very hard work and many people simply don´t have a commercial eye, this is even true for pro photographers who come from other fields.

Microstock is built on creating all content on a very low budget - sharing locations, models, software tips, gear.  Without sharing we would have to charge Macrostock prices. But if you share it is quite easy to do and we can all serve a much wider customer market as a result, not just the traditional stock buyers.

Most artist anyway find their own niche and if you are successful you try very hard to offer files that have a distinct style to seperate yourself from the others in your field.

The copycats of course are a problem, because they copy our bestsellers. But in the end, they are not innovative, so you must find a way to stay ahead of them.

It would be a great help if agencies stopped showing number of sales. Getty never does that and as a result my intellectual creation has much better protection. Nobody knows which files sell except me.

istock has fuzzy numbers, but because the volume of sales has dropped, if you see that a file from a new series has more than 10 sales, you can just as easily identify a bestseller.

It would be great if in a first step they remove the numbers, but leave the flames and then maybe a year after that, remove the flames as well. Customers are getting such high quality at superb prices, I sincerly doubt they will buy less if the numbers are not there.

The copycats are the greatest threat IMO, you lose a lot of money because of them and if the search favors new files you are forced to reshoot your own ideas otherwise the money goes to those who copy you. It is a vicious circle that can only be broken if the numbers are removed.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: sharpshot on October 24, 2011, 04:43
Haven't people been training the copycats?  I don't think there's anything wrong with passing on knowledge but when they then become your competition and reduce your earnings, how does that benefit you?  Copycats can't innovate but they reduce the earnings potential of our best images.  I don't think getting rid of the downloads data is going to help much, they can see what's popular in the search and copy that.

They might not be such a problem with Getty because they don't look there but that could change.

I would like people that have just copied lots of best selling images to be given warnings, some images that are almost identical should be removed and they should be told that just copying others is going to lead to a ban.  If they can't produce anything of their own, what's the point in having them?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cobalt on October 24, 2011, 05:08
I have trained a lot of people and noone has ever copied me. Obviously I explain the problem to them before we start.

Copycats are normal when you are successful in business. But publishing my sales stats with the download numbers is not good. When the files were sold for 10 cents and it was all for fun, it was different. Now people feed their families from their income, they need better protection. You can always then decide to share a special celebration through your blog or the forums or social networks if you want to, but it will be my personal decision.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: remsan on October 24, 2011, 05:12
I would like people that have just copied lots of best selling images to be given warnings, some images that are almost identical should be removed and they should be told that just copying others is going to lead to a ban.  If they can't produce anything of their own, what's the point in having them?

This is the least that I would like to see that iStock does: to put more resources for checking millions of files for copycat.
I welcome the idea to hide the flames and the downloads instead, like cobalt says. People is and will allways get inspirations from eachothers. Of course the most important thing is to get your touch into it instead of re-reproduce someone else work.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: qwerty on October 24, 2011, 05:26
wouldn't people just seach for best match and copy whatever is at the top that been online for more than 1 month ?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cobalt on October 24, 2011, 05:59
At the top of best match might be Vetta files with few downloads. I think it would be very difficult to estimate if a file is worth copying. For the customers you will still need a sort by "popularity" but a file with a blue flame just shouts "copy me, copy me".
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Slovenian on October 24, 2011, 06:11
It would be great if in a first step they remove the numbers, but leave the flames and then maybe a year after that, remove the flames as well. Customers are getting such high quality at superb prices, I sincerly doubt they will buy less if the numbers are not there.

I couldn't agree more, that way, ppl would only buy photos for their quality, not (also) numbers. It would also level the field for new contributors, it really gets on my nerves that old crap sells (I don't mind great old photos selling), just because of its number of DL (and lowers my DL numbers because of that). If that would be incorporated, I'm sure I'd double my sales over night at most sites.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: loop on October 24, 2011, 06:45
It would be great if in a first step they remove the numbers, but leave the flames and then maybe a year after that, remove the flames as well. Customers are getting such high quality at superb prices, I sincerly doubt they will buy less if the numbers are not there.

I couldn't agree more, that way, ppl would only buy photos for their quality, not (also) numbers. It would also level the field for new contributors, it really gets on my nerves that old crap sells (I don't mind great old photos selling), just because of its number of DL (and lowers my DL numbers because of that). If that would be incorporated, I'm sure I'd double my sales over night at most sites.

Nothing that sells well is crap, from a stock photography perspective. Customers buy what they need. Maybe other photos deep in the search results would be useful to them, maybe not.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: antistock on October 24, 2011, 23:27
20% just ask someone else if they would work for 20% commission on their own creative products, working hours and hours, doing everything including keywords and editing, uploading, and start into business knowing that. I bet you'll get screams of laughter, "Are you kidding?" But Microstockers are now down to 15% on IS in many cases. Oh please Sir can I have some more, why not make it 10%, I love licking boots for pocket change.

Not that I like 20% or less: I find it a bit insulting indeed.

But I know some of my friends working overtime as graphic designers doing creative work as employees for large advertising companies, and I doubt they earn more than 20% of their employers' revenue.

Given the same %, better being exploited part-time by a distant internet business than enslaved full-time by a real boss in the same room.

Apples and oranges. When I work for someone and they pay me an hourly wage or salary, or a flat fee, it has nothing to do with the final product or their earnings. Not my business.

I make photos and expect a fair percentage. 15% is not a fair percentage, even though they host, market and handle the billing. When I played in bands, the agents took 20% for booking and promotions. When I work the wholesale business I make a commission for sales, but when I stock and distribute myself, I get more. If the agencies stood up for us and protected us against unfair use or theft, I might be swayed a little. They don't do that, we have to wait two months for support to give us boilerplate answers or ignore the issues?

When our work gets stolen, they take the money back, instead of standing in back of their store integrity.

Even 20% is not a fair percentage when we are investing time and sometimes people pay for models, props, time, then we must edit and do the keywording, we take all the risk, investing up front, where an agency can refuse them? Then if we pass they take our work, sell it multiple times and pay us 20% of what it earns?

It's my work, my images and my income. They are just agents doing marketing for me. Of course people will point out, the agencies don't owe us anything (and I agree) and they don't really care about us, which I also agree. If I don't like it, I can go do something else!  :) I'd just be happier and more encouraged to produce more, working harder, if the returns were proportional to the efforts.

Some people think flipping burgers at McDonald's is a good job with advancement potential. Just like some people think making $10 a month at some tiny microstock site (competing with their own images elsewhere) is worth their time.

exactly !
but the sad truth is photos are HARD to sell nowadays, and we must accept this fact !

if they were selling like e-books for instance there would be no problem using the usual affiliate networks and give a 20-30% cut to the seller as they still do for e-books, training videos, tutorials, and much more.

instead we have agencies eating out up to 85% of the sale and guess why, because there are simply too many photos out there and clients aren't willing to spend much.

and that's nothing, try to market a photo-book about your city or your favourite subject and you're lucky to make 50 or 100 sales at all, they're expensive and you will need a big budget for advertising and you will be lucky to make a profit.

if you think stock sucks try print-on-demand...

t-shirts on the other side sell well if you know what you're doing, see the difference ?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 25, 2011, 07:01
instead we have agencies eating out up to 85% of the sale and guess why, because there are simply too many photos out there and clients aren't willing to spend much.

That would only be accurate if they were incurring huge costs from carrying the stock of non-selling photos and therefore needed a big percentage cut to cover it. The reason for the percentage they take is something else.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: antistock on October 25, 2011, 08:02
instead we have agencies eating out up to 85% of the sale and guess why, because there are simply too many photos out there and clients aren't willing to spend much.

That would only be accurate if they were incurring huge costs from carrying the stock of non-selling photos and therefore needed a big percentage cut to cover it. The reason for the percentage they take is something else.

of course, but do you think any agency would accept a meager 30% cut ?
i can't remember a single agency doing that, even Tony Stone started at 50% in the golden days of stock.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: gostwyck on October 25, 2011, 08:12
of course, but do you think any agency would accept a meager 30% cut ?
i can't remember a single agency doing that, even Tony Stone started at 50% in the golden days of stock.

As has been mentioned before App stores generally take only 30% for providing a similar service (and make a very good profit whilst doing so). If anything app's are much more expensive for the agency to test/review before they go on sale.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: michealo on October 25, 2011, 08:32
of course, but do you think any agency would accept a meager 30% cut ?
i can't remember a single agency doing that, even Tony Stone started at 50% in the golden days of stock.

As has been mentioned before App stores generally take only 30% for providing a similar service (and make a very good profit whilst doing so). If anything app's are much more expensive for the agency to test/review before they go on sale.

Online stock agencies should have much lower costs than traditional ones that had to mail out catalogs, etc
30% should be plenty to cover costs and provide a decent margin.

They are leaving their business model open to invasion by the major online players such as google, amazon, etc. These have bullet proof ballet sheets, excellent programmers, worldwide infrastructure.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lagereek on October 25, 2011, 08:47
just the beginning.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: RacePhoto on October 25, 2011, 08:52
of course, but do you think any agency would accept a meager 30% cut ?
i can't remember a single agency doing that, even Tony Stone started at 50% in the golden days of stock.

As has been mentioned before App stores generally take only 30% for providing a similar service (and make a very good profit whilst doing so). If anything app's are much more expensive for the agency to test/review before they go on sale.

Online stock agencies should have much lower costs than traditional ones that had to mail out catalogs, etc
30% should be plenty to cover costs and provide a decent margin.

They are leaving their business model open to invasion by the major online players such as google, amazon, etc. These have bullet proof ballet sheets, excellent programmers, worldwide infrastructure.

Thank you and when it happens, you know a flock of people will be dumping their entire collections onto the new sites. (sorry for the term but what else is it when someone has all the same images on 25-30 sites?)

What will happen is the new Mega-Agency will have relatively all the top people and their images, on the new site, in a matter of months. This could in effect turn Microstock upside down. The smaller (anything under 5 on the right...) agencies, paying 15-30% will be obsolete and quickly dissolve into history. At least that's one opinion.

If I was an active seller, I'd pull everything I had from everywhere that had low returns and move it where someone paid 50% or better. Wouldn't take much to make that decision. SS and the new place.  :D


So what you say is true. If one of the major players, Google would be a likely choice, decided to get into Microstock, I'd guess there would be a massive change in the marketplace in a matter of months.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: antistock on October 25, 2011, 09:22
amazon and google will never enter microstock, thanks god !
it's already an awful experience dealing with them for ebooks and advertising, imagine the mess they would make selling stock !

and why should they ? where is the money ? all indicators are showing microstock is a declining industry.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: antistock on October 25, 2011, 09:24
of course, but do you think any agency would accept a meager 30% cut ?
i can't remember a single agency doing that, even Tony Stone started at 50% in the golden days of stock.

As has been mentioned before App stores generally take only 30% for providing a similar service (and make a very good profit whilst doing so). If anything app's are much more expensive for the agency to test/review before they go on sale.

yes but software is so much easier to sell compared to photos, that's why a 50% cut is reasonable for stock.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: michealo on October 25, 2011, 09:38
of course, but do you think any agency would accept a meager 30% cut ?
i can't remember a single agency doing that, even Tony Stone started at 50% in the golden days of stock.

As has been mentioned before App stores generally take only 30% for providing a similar service (and make a very good profit whilst doing so). If anything app's are much more expensive for the agency to test/review before they go on sale.

yes but software is so much easier to sell compared to photos, that's why a 50% cut is reasonable for stock.

Why is software easier to sell than an image?

And to your earlier point the stock business is a $4 - $5 billion industry
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: gostwyck on October 25, 2011, 09:39
yes but software is so much easier to sell compared to photos, that's why a 50% cut is reasonable for stock.

Huh? How do you work that one out? They are both just a series of 1's and 0's. Software just tends to have a lot more of them. With photos customers can see exactly what they are buying, software can more of an unknown unless you give away a basic version for free. Software generally needs to be tested against a variety of operating systems, etc, etc, etc.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: RacePhoto on October 25, 2011, 09:55
amazon and google will never enter microstock...


Maybe that could be "or" not "and" one of them might. Google more likely.

Never Say NEVER!

(anyone remember Romeo Void? 1981 - best played very loud...)  :D
Romeo Void - Never Say Never (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePIImGMjn_8#)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: mtilghma on October 26, 2011, 14:30
I think, but am not sure, she might have meant software sells more/better than stock photos.

While I'm not going to argue at all whether this is true, because I have no idea, this is indeed a huge part in the equation that you cannot ignore.  Sure, photo storage is cheap, but that further proves the point.  The main sources of overhead (guessing here -- server bandwidth, server maintenance, employees (coders, designers, businessmen, etc) ) do not vary much with each additional image added to the database.  Therefore the amount of money the company needs to take from a given sale varies perhaps nearly linearly with the total amount of sales.  Yes, photos and software are comparatively easy to sell.  Therefore necessary profit per sale is very correlated with total sales.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: gostwyck on October 26, 2011, 15:27
... The main sources of overhead (guessing here -- server bandwidth, server maintenance, employees (coders, designers, businessmen, etc) ) do not vary much with each additional image added to the database.  Therefore the amount of money the company needs to take from a given sale varies perhaps nearly linearly with the total amount of sales.  Yes, photos and software are comparatively easy to sell.  Therefore necessary profit per sale is very correlated with total sales.

I think most of us would be both shocked and sickened if we ever saw the figures proving just how profitable microstock was ... for the big agencies. Most of them pay out on average about 30% commission, possibly quite a bit less, and I am quite sure that royalties are their biggest single cost by some margin. The next biggest will probably be marketing which is something that they can control the expenditure of. Bandwidth, storage, etc can surely only be fractions of a cent per image sold. We know this because years ago they all sold licenses for 50c or less and were highly profitable back then.

As an independent my average sale on IS this month produced $9.20 of revenue. I get $1.65 of that leaving $7.55 in Istock's back-bin. Somehow I doubt that bandwidth, storage and server maintenence accounted for very much of it.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cobalt on October 26, 2011, 15:30
hm, but over 400 people, international offices and marketing, a legal department for ongoing copy right issues...sounds expensive to me.

We all saw how photoshelter failed after doing stock for only one year and they had excellent images and were well connected.

I am sure they are not living under the bridge, but I doubt the owners take a rolls royce to work. stock is a very competitive market.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: bunhill on October 26, 2011, 15:36
As has been mentioned before App stores generally take only 30% for providing a similar service (and make a very good profit whilst doing so). If anything app's are much more expensive for the agency to test/review before they go on sale.

Apps (and ebooks and music) help sell devices. It's a different model.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: gostwyck on October 26, 2011, 15:58
hm, but over 400 people, international offices and marketing, a legal department for ongoing copy right issues...sounds expensive to me.

We all saw how photoshelter failed after doing stock for only one year and they had excellent images and were well connected.

I am sure they are not living under the bridge, but I doubt the owners take a rolls royce to work. stock is a very competitive market.

I'm pretty sure that IS count all their inspectors and part-time 'admin' staff within that quoted 'over 400 people' figure. It's certainly not 400 full-time staff __ although they could easily afford it anyway.

Working my own sales backwards I'd estimate that SS/BigStock have combined annual sales in the region of $200M. I heard last year (from one of their employees) that they had 150 people working in their NY office. Salaries, taxes and benefits for the staff are unlikely to exceed $10M. If they pay out an average of 30% royalties then that would amount to $60M. That still leaves $130M left over to pay the office rent, bandwidth, hardware, marketing, etc. The owner could probably afford to drive to work in a different new Rolls Royce every single day if he chose to do so although somehow I doubt that would be his choice of vehicle.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 26, 2011, 17:16
Gostwyck, you've forgotten the interest and capital repayments on the cash GI borrowed to pay the owners a vast bonus for their overall cleverness. That must knock a hole in the balance sheet.
Then there's the administration fee to go to the the parent company, the dividend ... all sorts of financial transactions to be paid.
I think Photoshelter had a budget of about $4million for the year they were trying to run an agency. It's nothing compared with iStock.
(Ooops! Just realised you had switched to looking at SS. Still the iS situation deserves to be remembered)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: mtilghma on October 27, 2011, 01:03
Yes I agree, the microstock market is probably really profitable.  Was just saying that the "well they sell more of item X, so can afford to take a smaller cut" is, in general, a valid argument.  Look at the automobile industry. Cars have an average profit margin of 3%.  3%!!

And if we're going to talk econ...

there's really not all THAT much speculation to go around.  We know getty bought istock for 50 million.  We know that companies do a breakeven analysis when making an offer to buy another company, ie 'in how many years will my investment break even'.  There are things like inflation and discount rate etc that factor into this equation, but it is all 'in the noise' compared to two variables: income stream of said investment, and amount of years they want to break even by.

I asked some MBA friends what a typical number of years is that a company wants to break even by, when purchasing another.  I got more info than I bargained for, like 'it depends on many things like istock's debt or marketshare or leveraging their product against getty's product' blah blah blah which severely convolute what this breakeven number would be, but the point is that all those things do still go into some formula which pops out a number.  They were reluctant to give me a range, but I asked whether 2-20 should cover all extremes of riskiness and conservativeness, and they seem to think it would.

That means istock was probably generating somewhere in the range 2.5 to 25 million in pure profit each year.  So yea, given how few execs it takes to run one of these, that's pretty profitable.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: FD on October 27, 2011, 01:40
all indicators are showing microstock is a declining industry
For the individual contributor yes. For the agencies no.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: FD on October 27, 2011, 02:20
Apps (and ebooks and music) help sell devices. It's a different model.
Having had some (profitable) experience in selling consumer-targeted apps (we called them "programs" then), I disagree. I'm talking 15-20 years ago. The secret of our success was, apart of being the first on the market with a USP, copy protection. I actually made a lot of money by selling the copy protection scheme exclusively to a very large publisher on the side. The scheme was based on a few extra bits written between the tracks of a floppy on a Unix workstation, something that the PC couldn't read under DOS/Windows. Then came the breakthrough of the iMac (that could make a bitwise copy of the floppies) and there went our sales... slowly but unavoidably.

The thing is that consumer products are copied like hell, whether it's legal, ethical or not. There are the bins (usenet binary groups), torrents and specialized sites. In gaming theory, the profit is maximal since they chance of getting caught is zero when you only watch/listen to the products in the privacy of your home while you don't have to pay for the product.
In the imagery business it's different, unless you use a stolen image as your screen saver or print it out for on the wall of your living room. As soon as an image is used on a web site or on a product, it's there to see and find for everywhere - and the new image recognition technologies make it easier and easier to find them. A small time blogger might get away with it, but a large company won't run the risk using a stolen image for just a few bucks.

Apps (if you are talking about iPhone/iPad apps) are so profitable to write, even for consumers, because Apple copy-protected in a way the whole i-business. There is no (simple) way to crack/download an app for Apple products without compromising the integrity of the device. There are many "reprogrammers and sim-unlockers" around in India and SE Asia but I didn't hear yet of one that had customers for "unlocking" an iPad, iPhone or even iPod. The owners of these things paid a premium price for their devices and they don't want it to be tinkered with.

That's why the business model of Apple is so profitable : vertical integration. In the hay-days of the Mac-Microsoft war, it was said that the PC was so successful in terms of quantity, not because the over-all quality of the framework, but because almost all PC software could be stolen unlike the one for the Mac. Writing a Mac app protects your investment in time and programming effort.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lthn on October 27, 2011, 02:44
all indicators are showing microstock is a declining industry
For the individual contributor yes. For the agencies no.

I find it quite amazing that after years and years most ppl still just can't make that distinction
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: bunhill on October 27, 2011, 06:49
Apps (and ebooks and music) help sell devices. It's a different model.
Having had some (profitable) experience in selling consumer-targeted apps (we called them "programs" then), I disagree etc

No big deal and perhaps me not fully grasping your argument - but I do not see how what you have written about copy protection etc undermines the case that Apps (and ebooks and music) help to sell devices and therefore these markets represent a different model vs stock photos. I totally agree with you that copy protection and the verticals currently make it much more profitable to invest in the development of Apps for the Apple platform. Especially the verticals.

My point is that the different royalty structure (independent artists vs online retailer) makes sense when you take into account that the retailers (Amazon and Apple) are also in the business of selling physical devices (iPods, iPhones, iPads, Kindles). An attractive split (especially as the market emerges) encourages content onto their platforms and helps them sell hardware. The availability of content gives consumers a reason to buy Apple and Amazon devices - and captures them to some extent. Nobody knows how the split will vary over time as these channels become more established... but who would bet much on it moving further in favour of the artists unless new models compete effectively ?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: antistock on October 27, 2011, 08:13
yes but software is so much easier to sell compared to photos, that's why a 50% cut is reasonable for stock.

Huh? How do you work that one out? They are both just a series of 1's and 0's. Software just tends to have a lot more of them. With photos customers can see exactly what they are buying, software can more of an unknown unless you give away a basic version for free. Software generally needs to be tested against a variety of operating systems, etc, etc, etc.

try by yourself, sell a software online, a small shareware for instance, and you can make money even just using Adwords.

by opposite try to sell your photos on your own web site and what are the options ? banners and text-links only work if you're a well known photographer, it's all been tried forever and unsurprisingly you don't see any ads about people selling photos, only agencies and usually only microstock agencies, not RM o others.

why ? because their clients are not many and need to be handles in a more and traditional expensive way .. exibitions, ads on paper magazines, newsletters, phone calls ..

it's not so much different from selling fine-art in galleries.

so how can you guys claim it's not much harder to sell photos online ? software is selling like hot cakes, photos don't !
no matter if they're both bits and bytes, that's not the point.

and don't think it's easy to sell prints too, it's hard, and it's hard also if you put the prints in a shop or sell them on the beach.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: antistock on October 27, 2011, 08:23
I think, but am not sure, she might have meant software sells more/better than stock photos.

While I'm not going to argue at all whether this is true, because I have no idea, this is indeed a huge part in the equation that you cannot ignore.  Sure, photo storage is cheap, but that further proves the point.  The main sources of overhead (guessing here -- server bandwidth, server maintenance, employees (coders, designers, businessmen, etc) ) do not vary much with each additional image added to the database.  Therefore the amount of money the company needs to take from a given sale varies perhaps nearly linearly with the total amount of sales.  Yes, photos and software are comparatively easy to sell.  Therefore necessary profit per sale is very correlated with total sales.

no, i'm simply saying the cost per image for an agency nowadays is barely sustainable, don't you  see how many RM agencies have closed their doors in the last few years ? and of all the micros only 4 agencies are actually working well,what about the others who are struggling to stay afloat ?

by opposite your reasoning might work for Alamy, their expenses are minimal, they don't do keywording, they barely have a QC, they're not aggressive in their marketing and conservative in their investments, but guess what you the photographer need to spend twice the time for their idiotic keywording and the RPI is pathetic, in my case 0.5$/year ! is it worth it ?

i mean there are dozens of good agencies around but the few rich buyers are still sticking with Getty and the big 4 for micros.
try to put a few grands on the table, launch your own agency and see how far you can go with that budget.

getting photo customers is VERY HARD, period !

on the other side with 1000$ in budget instead i can pretty well make sales for a 30$ shareware and get a decent profit too, and i can do that also for a t-shirt, and even for mugs or baseball caps.

we should all realize that this market ain't getting better soon and making sales will become harder and harder, in 2-3 years we will reach the rock bottom and start digging.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: antistock on October 27, 2011, 08:25
I think most of us would be both shocked and sickened if we ever saw the figures proving just how profitable microstock was ... for the big agencies.

As an independent my average sale on IS this month produced $9.20 of revenue. I get $1.65 of that leaving $7.55 in Istock's back-bin. Somehow I doubt that bandwidth, storage and server maintenence accounted for very much of it.

and you would be shocked to know how much profitable RM stock was before digital and before microstock !

now it's too late to complain, the game is over and the race is only to the bottom.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: antistock on October 27, 2011, 08:28
hm, but over 400 people, international offices and marketing, a legal department for ongoing copy right issues...sounds expensive to me.

We all saw how photoshelter failed after doing stock for only one year and they had excellent images and were well connected.

I am sure they are not living under the bridge, but I doubt the owners take a rolls royce to work. stock is a very competitive market.

exactly, Photoshelter/DigitalRailRoad was a great concept but failed for lack of clients, it's always the same story, and they had also to realize that clients don't give a crap about who's the photographer, a lesson learnt the hard way.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: antistock on October 27, 2011, 08:34

That means istock was probably generating somewhere in the range 2.5 to 25 million in pure profit each year.  So yea, given how few execs it takes to run one of these, that's pretty profitable.

how can it be ?
200.000$ a month for a company with 400 employees and offices worldwide ?
maybe add a few zeros...

but hey, they were the ones digging their own grave selling photos below cost.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: antistock on October 27, 2011, 08:35

Apps (and ebooks and music) help sell devices. It's a different model.

but statistically it doesn't matter.
in business you have to think you invest xxx and you earn yyy back.

it's the same logic with selling music ... if you're not famous your music is worth nothing, no matter if you spend a million $ in advertising, you've simply no added value and no one will download your mp3s.

and thanks god we're in the photo business as the music industry is even more *removed coarse language* up at the moment.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: antistock on October 27, 2011, 08:49
Apps (and ebooks and music) help sell devices. It's a different model.
Having had some (profitable) experience in selling consumer-targeted apps (we called them "programs" then), I disagree. I'm talking 15-20 years ago. The secret of our success was, apart of being the first on the market with a USP, copy protection. I actually made a lot of money by selling the copy protection scheme exclusively to a very large publisher on the side. The scheme was based on a few extra bits written between the tracks of a floppy on a Unix workstation, something that the PC couldn't read under DOS/Windows. Then came the breakthrough of the iMac (that could make a bitwise copy of the floppies) and there went our sales... slowly but unavoidably.

The thing is that consumer products are copied like hell, whether it's legal, ethical or not. There are the bins (usenet binary groups), torrents and specialized sites. In gaming theory, the profit is maximal since they chance of getting caught is zero when you only watch/listen to the products in the privacy of your home while you don't have to pay for the product.
In the imagery business it's different, unless you use a stolen image as your screen saver or print it out for on the wall of your living room. As soon as an image is used on a web site or on a product, it's there to see and find for everywhere - and the new image recognition technologies make it easier and easier to find them. A small time blogger might get away with it, but a large company won't run the risk using a stolen image for just a few bucks.

Apps (if you are talking about iPhone/iPad apps) are so profitable to write, even for consumers, because Apple copy-protected in a way the whole i-business. There is no (simple) way to crack/download an app for Apple products without compromising the integrity of the device. There are many "reprogrammers and sim-unlockers" around in India and SE Asia but I didn't hear yet of one that had customers for "unlocking" an iPad, iPhone or even iPod. The owners of these things paid a premium price for their devices and they don't want it to be tinkered with.

That's why the business model of Apple is so profitable : vertical integration. In the hay-days of the Mac-Microsoft war, it was said that the PC was so successful in terms of quantity, not because the over-all quality of the framework, but because almost all PC software could be stolen unlike the one for the Mac. Writing a Mac app protects your investment in time and programming effort.

vertical integration : and i fully agree but their biggest asset is their clients have money to spend unlike the cheap-ass users on Android who only download free/freemium apps.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cathyslife on October 27, 2011, 08:57
I think most of us would be both shocked and sickened if we ever saw the figures proving just how profitable microstock was ... for the big agencies.

As an independent my average sale on IS this month produced $9.20 of revenue. I get $1.65 of that leaving $7.55 in Istock's back-bin. Somehow I doubt that bandwidth, storage and server maintenence accounted for very much of it.

and you would be shocked to know how much profitable RM stock was before digital and before microstock !

now it's too late to complain, the game is over and the race is only to the bottom.

Only for the contributor.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: antistock on October 27, 2011, 09:06
That's why the business model of Apple is so profitable : vertical integration. In the hay-days of the Mac-Microsoft war, it was said that the PC was so successful in terms of quantity, not because the over-all quality of the framework, but because almost all PC software could be stolen unlike the one for the Mac. Writing a Mac app protects your investment in time and programming effort.

i'm afraid the photo piracy is much bigger than we think.
unfortunately there are no numbers about it but i keep seeing huge packs of zipped RF images on the P2P networks and also on the thousands of warez forums and sites.

you say images can be easily spotted if they're online, but as they're RF how can you know if they bought it legally or not ? and try sueing a crook in russia or china ...
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: michealo on October 27, 2011, 09:06
.......

Any chance you could post 1 reply making five points rather than 5 replies making 1 point?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Slovenian on October 27, 2011, 09:07
I think most of us would be both shocked and sickened if we ever saw the figures proving just how profitable microstock was ... for the big agencies.

As an independent my average sale on IS this month produced $9.20 of revenue. I get $1.65 of that leaving $7.55 in Istock's back-bin. Somehow I doubt that bandwidth, storage and server maintenence accounted for very much of it.

and you would be shocked to know how much profitable RM stock was before digital and before microstock !

That makes no sense whatsoever, since they payed contributors 70% royalties and had tons of expenses with printing and shipping catalogues etc. The customer base was also tiny compared to MS
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: antistock on October 27, 2011, 09:08
Only for the contributor.

we will see.

if my theory is correct in 2-3 years the "big 4" will become the "big 3".
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cobalt on October 27, 2011, 09:51
I tried directing customers with google adwords to my portfolio, but it just cost me money. Yes, they did click on the ads, but I saw no increase in sales.

If you want to sell yourself I think you will need to add some classical marketing.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: helix7 on October 27, 2011, 10:59
we should all realize that this market ain't getting better soon and making sales will become harder and harder, in 2-3 years we will reach the rock bottom and start digging.

I've been in microstock for 5 years and people have been saying that for about as long as I've been here. A couple of year ago people were making the same predictions, saying we'd all be doing something else by now, microstock would collapse, etc. 2-3 years from now, I'll still be here, still making money. Maybe more, maybe less, but I don't see my microstock income drying up completely in a few years.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cthoman on October 27, 2011, 11:22
I've been in microstock for 5 years and people have been saying that for about as long as I've been here. A couple of year ago people were making the same predictions, saying we'd all be doing something else by now, microstock would collapse, etc. 2-3 years from now, I'll still be here, still making money. Maybe more, maybe less, but I don't see my microstock income drying up completely in a few years.

I tend to agree, although the landscape is always changing. Some agencies rise and others fall. It will still be here in 5 years, but what it will look like is a mystery.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lagereek on October 27, 2011, 11:26
No, youre right, it will never dry up. it will always sell. For me, its a matter of:  is working with IS, worth it?  weighing up time, effort, slow-uploading, slow reviewing against what seems a fading return?

Over the last ten days I have actually deactivated 2 blue flames and numerous red flames,  simply because I have a much better use for them, I found them way down in the best match and no way they are going to generate any revenue from there. However, one of the issues was, they had to be removed from IS and sure enough, its already paying off.

Im just wondering how many more are or will be in that position. :)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: SNP on October 27, 2011, 11:35
I think most of us would be both shocked and sickened if we ever saw the figures proving just how profitable microstock was ... for the big agencies. Most of them pay out on average about 30% commission, possibly quite a bit less, and I am quite sure that royalties are their biggest single cost by some margin.

I agree...I think it would floor us to know what their cut is, versus ours. as long as they continue in the capitalism-requires-constant-growth mindset...they'll continue to chip away at our royalties. unless some of the most influential heavy hitters were to draw a line (assuming it isn't already drawn)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cthoman on October 27, 2011, 11:37
No, youre right, it will never dry up. it will always sell. For me, its a matter of:  is working with IS, worth it?  weighing up time, effort, slow-uploading, slow reviewing against what seems a fading return?

Over the last ten days I have actually deactivated 2 blue flames and numerous red flames,  simply because I have a much better use for them, I found them way down in the best match and no way they are going to generate any revenue from there. However, one of the issues was, they had to be removed from IS and sure enough, its already paying off.

Im just wondering how many more are or will be in that position. :)

Interesting comment. I deleted my portfolio there last month, and this month another agency has had huge success and reached a new plateau. It's probably coincidence, but it does make me think.

I've often wondered how much walk in traffic these agencies receive. How many people are just wandering in from a Google search? So if your image doesn't exist there, then Google will just point them somewhere else where it does.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on October 27, 2011, 11:44

I've often wondered how much walk in traffic these agencies receive. How many people are just wandering in from a Google search? So if your image doesn't exist there, then Google will just point them somewhere else where it does.

Not much, I think. A few years ago iStock would give you a referral bonus for that, if it brought a new customer. I used to get one or two referrals a month that way so I don't think it makes much of a contribution.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cthoman on October 27, 2011, 12:02
Not much, I think. A few years ago iStock would give you a referral bonus for that, if it brought a new customer. I used to get one or two referrals a month that way so I don't think it makes much of a contribution.

Well, that's you. I'm talking about Google. They drive a lot of traffic to a lot of sites. Most of us use the same titles for our images across multiple agencies, so if you have an image titled "Cartoon Pirate Dog Vector". If somebody searches for that exact phrase on Google, what does it pull up? Is iStock first? Bigstock? Shutterstock? And if your image isn't on one of those sites, then it may skew the results to favor the agency that does have it. That was my point.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: ShadySue on October 27, 2011, 12:06
A few years ago iStock would give you a referral bonus for that, if it brought a new customer.
They still do, apparently - I got one last week.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: RacePhoto on October 27, 2011, 13:06
Only for the contributor.

we will see.

if my theory is correct in 2-3 years the "big 4" will become the "big 3".

Do I hear two, anyone want to bid two?  :)

And from my viewpoint there only is a big two right now, but I'm sure some people would count the lower agencies, which makes it the Big Nine if you include all the middle tier on life support.

Funny how fans of one or another of the Life Support Seven, say they do better with Agency X, but there's no consensus of which one that is. And how long will people believe that one of those seven will some day break free of the pack and make it into the top three? Not going to happen, unless that agency comes up with something new and different and draws the buyers and sellers.

Time for another one of my limited opinion polls? LOL
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: michaeldb on October 27, 2011, 16:20
...Over the last ten days I have actually deactivated 2 blue flames and numerous red flames,  simply because I have a much better use for them, I found them way down in the best match and no way they are going to generate any revenue from there. However, one of the issues was, they had to be removed from IS and sure enough, its already paying off.
Exactly. The less I submit to IS and the more I deactivate the more money I make elsewhere.

When I deactivate a 'flame' image, in the little box to give a reason why I am deactivating, I type, "Not suitable as stock."
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lagereek on October 27, 2011, 16:27
...Over the last ten days I have actually deactivated 2 blue flames and numerous red flames,  simply because I have a much better use for them, I found them way down in the best match and no way they are going to generate any revenue from there. However, one of the issues was, they had to be removed from IS and sure enough, its already paying off.
Exactly. The less I submit to IS and the more I deactivate the more money I make elsewhere.

When I deactivate a 'flame' image, in the little box to give a reason why I am deactivating, I type, "Not suitable as stock."

Might be coincidence, dont know??  but, yes!  they tend to sell a hell of a lot more and a lot more RF sales and for good money. Weird?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Slovenian on October 27, 2011, 16:41
...Over the last ten days I have actually deactivated 2 blue flames and numerous red flames,  simply because I have a much better use for them, I found them way down in the best match and no way they are going to generate any revenue from there. However, one of the issues was, they had to be removed from IS and sure enough, its already paying off.
Exactly. The less I submit to IS and the more I deactivate the more money I make elsewhere.

When I deactivate a 'flame' image, in the little box to give a reason why I am deactivating, I type, "Not suitable as stock."

Might be coincidence, dont know??  but, yes!  they tend to sell a hell of a lot more and a lot more RF sales and for good money. Weird?

So am I just stabbing myself in the back by spreading my work to smaller sites? I used to UL to just IS and SS. Perhaps that approach was a better one. An even better one would be SS + the best 50% royalties paying agency
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: KB on October 27, 2011, 21:59
Exactly. The less I submit to IS and the more I deactivate the more money I make elsewhere.

When I deactivate a 'flame' image, in the little box to give a reason why I am deactivating, I type, "Not suitable as stock."
Don't you mean, "Not suitable at iStock"?  ;)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: antistock on October 27, 2011, 22:30
I think most of us would be both shocked and sickened if we ever saw the figures proving just how profitable microstock was ... for the big agencies. Most of them pay out on average about 30% commission, possibly quite a bit less, and I am quite sure that royalties are their biggest single cost by some margin.

I agree...I think it would floor us to know what their cut is, versus ours. as long as they continue in the capitalism-requires-constant-growth mindset...they'll continue to chip away at our royalties. unless some of the most influential heavy hitters were to draw a line (assuming it isn't already drawn)

i'm afraid the line has been drawn already.
this thread has been opened by Yuri Arcurs who is microstock's top seller, if he's reporting falling sales this is indeed a good indicator about the actual scenario.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: antistock on October 27, 2011, 22:36
Well, that's you. I'm talking about Google. They drive a lot of traffic to a lot of sites.

yes but getting traffic is one thing, getting buyers from this traffic is quite another thing !

it might be easily generic and untargetd "junk traffic" that never converts in sales.
leechers searching for free images for instance ...

i mean the demand for images seems to be huge nowadays, but how many are ready to pay ?
NOT many i say, and who can blame them when there are trillions of decent free images around ?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: rubyroo on October 28, 2011, 01:08
i mean the demand for images seems to be huge nowadays, but how many are ready to pay ?

That's the very thing that the industry needs to address.  As you say, the demand is huge.  Imagine the massive sales increases we'd all experience if the agencies ran huge campaigns to educate the public on copyright theft and proper licensing.  More effort in that area would surely secure the microstock industry's future.  I'm sure many people would purchase if they knew how cheaply the could do so.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Graffoto on October 28, 2011, 01:21
"That's the very thing that the industry needs to address.  As you say, the demand is huge.  Imagine the massive sales increases we'd all experience if the agencies ran huge campaigns to educate the public on copyright theft and proper licensing.  More effort in that area would surely secure the microstock industry's future.  I'm sure many people would purchase if they knew how cheaply the could do so."



This make a lot of sense. The majority of people that I have spoken to, don't even know what stock images are, much less that there is such a thing as microstock.
And of course there is the prevailing thought process that says "if it is on the internet, it must be free".
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lagereek on October 28, 2011, 02:09
...Over the last ten days I have actually deactivated 2 blue flames and numerous red flames,  simply because I have a much better use for them, I found them way down in the best match and no way they are going to generate any revenue from there. However, one of the issues was, they had to be removed from IS and sure enough, its already paying off.
Exactly. The less I submit to IS and the more I deactivate the more money I make elsewhere.

When I deactivate a 'flame' image, in the little box to give a reason why I am deactivating, I type, "Not suitable as stock."

Might be coincidence, dont know??  but, yes!  they tend to sell a hell of a lot more and a lot more RF sales and for good money. Weird?

So am I just stabbing myself in the back by spreading my work to smaller sites? I used to UL to just IS and SS. Perhaps that approach was a better one. An even better one would be SS + the best 50% royalties paying agency

Hi!

Well I dont know about that?  over the years I have registered with lots of sites but since a year back, Im only active on 6 of them. I mean you have to try them out and if no good you drop them, right.
What I do know and have experienced, is that certain types of buyers will visit certain sites, at least in my case. I know that DT and SS have got lots of creative buyers, i.e. ad-agencies, etc.
As for IS, well, from a buyers perspective you are met with tons of collections, price-sliders, this and that, P+, E+, Vettas, the list just goes on and on, resulting in a major hassle just trying to find an ordinary pic.
No wonder they move on.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: sharpshot on October 28, 2011, 03:37
A few of my photos still sell better on istock that the other sites.  I'm going to treat them like a niche site and only send them the stuff they sell well.  It takes too much time to upload everything for 17% and there's no point now they are no longer a big seller for me.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: rubyroo on October 28, 2011, 04:11
This make a lot of sense. The majority of people that I have spoken to, don't even know what stock images are, much less that there is such a thing as microstock.
And of course there is the prevailing thought process that says "if it is on the internet, it must be free".

Thanks Graffoto.  Although the various agencies are competitors, I do feel strongly that at times they should 'act as one' to protect their own industry.  I'm not sure how it would work, but there must be some way for them to acknowledge their collective interest and pool resources for such a campaign.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lagereek on October 28, 2011, 04:40
A few of my photos still sell better on istock that the other sites.  I'm going to treat them like a niche site and only send them the stuff they sell well.  It takes too much time to upload everything for 17% and there's no point now they are no longer a big seller for me.

Thats one way. I am limiting my port, since I feel many, many images will do better elsewhere, especially in RF, I have had good proof of that so far. Its better to treat IS, as a side-kick, if it sell, fine, if not, no big deal.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Microstock Posts on October 28, 2011, 05:57
i mean the demand for images seems to be huge nowadays, but how many are ready to pay ?

That's the very thing that the industry needs to address.  As you say, the demand is huge.  Imagine the massive sales increases we'd all experience if the agencies ran huge campaigns to educate the public on copyright theft and proper licensing.  More effort in that area would surely secure the microstock industry's future.  I'm sure many people would purchase if they knew how cheaply the could do so.

I couldn't agree more with this. I'm not against free images, if people want to offer a portion of their port for free then that's their choice and the extra traffic to the ms site is a bonus in getting them up the traffic ranks. But I am against the sites touting themselves (at times) as being free image sites. Just look at the affiliate banners, I can't use a lot of them, for example here is the text from one of them (big 4 site), "Free images, Free registration, High quality stock images". I can't use that even if that is seemingly the desire of the agencies. They may get lots of hits from a banner like that from people searching only for free images, but where is the revenue? An affiliate link is me sending someone to another site, with the given potential that I get affiliate commission if they purchase, and I have had a fair few buyer referrals. But if I used a banner like the example quoted, I'm only sending traffic their way with an almost certainty that their is nothing in it for me. I just don't get it. More important than traffic is the right traffic.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Slovenian on October 29, 2011, 17:55
Hey, what is it today with SS? I'm having a great day, sales are more Friday like, then what I usually get for the weekend, besides I got an EL (first time over the weekend). It would be great if weekend sales were always like that :) . That being said, SS owed me big time since sales were really average, while October was supposed to be the best month of the year.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: asiseeit on October 29, 2011, 22:28
I figured out Yuri's new strategy. Start a sales thread and let his competition spend hours on the forums instead of creating content  ;D
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Microstock Posts on October 30, 2011, 04:01
I figured out Yuri's new strategy. Start a sales thread and let his competition spend hours on the forums instead of creating content  ;D

LOL!!  ;D
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 30, 2011, 13:04
Hi All,

 Some of my Micro agencies are dropping and that is expected since I have not uploaded any new work in three years. However, my ShutterStock is showing a 20% increase from this time last year. They are doing something right over there at SS, keep up the good work.

Best,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cathyslife on October 30, 2011, 13:49
I figured out Yuri's new strategy. Start a sales thread and let his competition spend hours on the forums instead of creating content  ;D

Or start a sales thread, have all kinds of contributors coming up with ideas and solutions about it, and voila! he has research, all done for free.  ;D
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on October 30, 2011, 13:52
I figured out Yuri's new strategy. Start a sales thread and let his competition spend hours on the forums instead of creating content  ;D

Or start a sales thread, have all kinds of contributors coming up with ideas and solutions about it, and voila! he has research, all done for free.  ;D

The usual m.o.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cybernesco on October 30, 2011, 14:18
This is the first time I haven't reach a monthly payout with iStock since July 2006. My October sales have dropped 68% from my September sales. The last time my iStock monthly sales were that low was February 2006. In 2009 iStock was my number one in sale revenue. In 2010 it felt to number 2. Last September it felt to number 3. Now it is number 6. All other sites above IS, which are Shutterstock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Bigstock, Canstock have all reached their regular monthly payouts and they all have given me better revenue then iStock. Furthermore, sales at those better sites appear to have increased to compensate  for the lost at IS.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Mantis on October 30, 2011, 16:42
This is the first time I haven't reach a monthly payout with iStock since July 2006. My October sales have dropped 68% from my September sales. The last time my iStock monthly sales were that low was February 2006. In 2009 iStock was my number one in sale revenue. In 2010 it felt to number 2. Last September it felt to number 3. Now it is number 6. All other sites above IS, which are Shutterstock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Bigstock, Canstock have all reached their regular monthly payouts and they all have given me better revenue then iStock. Furthermore, sales at those better sites appear to have increased to compensate  for the lost at IS.

Your port is really nice.  But it doesn't surprise me, not because of your port, but because of the many factors that control you, the contributor, from being successful.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: borg on October 30, 2011, 16:58
This is the first time I haven't reach a monthly payout with iStock since July 2006. My October sales have dropped 68% from my September sales. The last time my iStock monthly sales were that low was February 2006. In 2009 iStock was my number one in sale revenue. In 2010 it felt to number 2. Last September it felt to number 3. Now it is number 6. All other sites above IS, which are Shutterstock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Bigstock, Canstock have all reached their regular monthly payouts and they all have given me better revenue then iStock. Furthermore, sales at those better sites appear to have increased to compensate  for the lost at IS.


You haven't reach minimum payout on IS ($100) or your usual payout this month?

P.S. I think that Yuri's photos are not so bright any more, like before... ;)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 30, 2011, 18:41
Hi All,

 Just made our 40k credits this past week so we will hold our 18% at Istock for at least another year. Happy to have made it but if I don't feed the kitty I don't think I will see it in the future. On to new exciting things :)

Best,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cobalt on October 30, 2011, 20:15
Congratulations Jonathan!

I did a little analysis on my stats: if the current trend continues than I will be earning roughly 30% less in 2011 than in 2010. It will be lower than my earnings in 2008.

I did not upload as much as I should have, but looking at the traffic and the change in target group, it looks like my buyers are doing their xmas shopping elsewhere.

Next Thursday I am travelling and won´t really have time to shoot. I will see what I can do the next few days. If newer files are being preferred than I will try to get a few seasonal images in.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: luissantos84 on October 30, 2011, 23:21
This is the first time I haven't reach a monthly payout with iStock since July 2006. My October sales have dropped 68% from my September sales. The last time my iStock monthly sales were that low was February 2006. In 2009 iStock was my number one in sale revenue. In 2010 it felt to number 2. Last September it felt to number 3. Now it is number 6. All other sites above IS, which are Shutterstock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Bigstock, Canstock have all reached their regular monthly payouts and they all have given me better revenue then iStock. Furthermore, sales at those better sites appear to have increased to compensate  for the lost at IS.


You haven't reach minimum payout on IS ($100) or your usual payout this month?

P.S. I think that Yuri's photos are not so bright any more, like before... ;)

with 20k sales cannot be true or something is pretty wrong..
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: sharpshot on October 31, 2011, 05:44
I have over 20k sales and I'm going to earn around $170 this month, my worst for several years.  So I can believe that cybernesco isn't going to make a payout this month, I used to make over $500 regularly, so its a big drop.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: luissantos84 on October 31, 2011, 05:47
I have over 20k sales and I'm going to earn around $170 this month, my worst for several years.  So I can believe that cybernesco isn't going to make a payout this month, I used to make over $500 regularly, so its a big drop.

thats incredible.. pretty bad.. I have less than 1k sales and I will be over 170$..
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Pixart on October 31, 2011, 13:03
Hey, what is it today with SS? I'm having a great day, sales are more Friday like, then what I usually get for the weekend, besides I got an EL (first time over the weekend). It would be great if weekend sales were always like that :) . That being said, SS owed me big time since sales were really average, while October was supposed to be the best month of the year.
I too was wondering why my sudden lovely bump in sales toward the end of last week, especially with one of my popular photos, if you check the front page, you might find you have a photo there.  They have placed the same photo there before, and I saw it in a photo of their NY office wall art - so I think they have their own favourites, or more likely, they were in a rush and reposted previous artwork that has already been sized to front page specs.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cobalt on October 31, 2011, 14:02
fwiw my sales today are up as well. Maybe some buying before the holiday tomorrow.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: stockmarketer on October 31, 2011, 14:12
I'm seeing a typical Monday, maybe even down a bit from the last few Mondays.  The first few weeks in Oct were very strong for me, thanks a great deal to the still-unexplained EL rush at SS.  That has slowed down quite a bit, and I'll probably end October about 5% down from Sept (but still about 100% over Oct 2010).
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cybernesco on October 31, 2011, 20:09
This is the first time I haven't reach a monthly payout with iStock since July 2006. My October sales have dropped 68% from my September sales. The last time my iStock monthly sales were that low was February 2006. In 2009 iStock was my number one in sale revenue. In 2010 it felt to number 2. Last September it felt to number 3. Now it is number 6. All other sites above IS, which are Shutterstock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Bigstock, Canstock have all reached their regular monthly payouts and they all have given me better revenue then iStock. Furthermore, sales at those better sites appear to have increased to compensate  for the lost at IS.


You haven't reach minimum payout on IS ($100) or your usual payout this month?

P.S. I think that Yuri's photos are not so bright any more, like before... ;)


with 20k sales cannot be true or something is pretty wrong..


It is true.....

(http://www.usefulimage.com/photos/i-hhBbmJv/0/O/i-hhBbmJv.jpg)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: luissantos84 on October 31, 2011, 20:58
(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-okYdMIClD1o/Tq9SO1x9WxI/AAAAAAAAAzU/BdMfDqRYAIA/s1600/is.png)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: asiseeit on October 31, 2011, 22:43
This is the first time I haven't reach a monthly payout with iStock since July 2006. My October sales have dropped 68% from my September sales. The last time my iStock monthly sales were that low was February 2006. In 2009 iStock was my number one in sale revenue. In 2010 it felt to number 2. Last September it felt to number 3. Now it is number 6. All other sites above IS, which are Shutterstock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Bigstock, Canstock have all reached their regular monthly payouts and they all have given me better revenue then iStock. Furthermore, sales at those better sites appear to have increased to compensate  for the lost at IS.


You haven't reach minimum payout on IS ($100) or your usual payout this month?
P.S. I think that Yuri's photos are not so bright any more, like before... ;)

with 20k sales cannot be true or something is pretty wrong..

It is true.....
([url]http://www.usefulimage.com/photos/i-hhBbmJv/0/O/i-hhBbmJv.jpg[/url])


It looks like you're not submitting much to iStock. I think that explains it more than anything, especially with the increase in really good competition. imho.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: aeonf on November 01, 2011, 01:07
Cybernesco: quite a depressing graph!
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: hoi ha on November 01, 2011, 02:03
It looks like you're not submitting much to iStock. I think that explains it more than anything, especially with the increase in really good competition. imho.

You really believe that? Honestly? That the lack of sales is down simply to that?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: redo on November 01, 2011, 03:46
For me October 2011 at istock was better than July 2007.
I started at istock June 2007.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: sharpshot on November 01, 2011, 04:01
October was my worst month since December 2008.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: sharpshot on November 01, 2011, 04:23
Lots of people with falling earnings on the October thread.  There's some with BME's but this time of the year, it should be a lot more.

www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=336289 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=336289)

I laughed at the complaint about bad grammar on page 3, easy to guess what member of MSG that is :)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cybernesco on November 01, 2011, 09:03
This is the first time I haven't reach a monthly payout with iStock since July 2006. My October sales have dropped 68% from my September sales. The last time my iStock monthly sales were that low was February 2006. In 2009 iStock was my number one in sale revenue. In 2010 it felt to number 2. Last September it felt to number 3. Now it is number 6. All other sites above IS, which are Shutterstock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Bigstock, Canstock have all reached their regular monthly payouts and they all have given me better revenue then iStock. Furthermore, sales at those better sites appear to have increased to compensate  for the lost at IS.


You haven't reach minimum payout on IS ($100) or your usual payout this month?
P.S. I think that Yuri's photos are not so bright any more, like before... ;)

with 20k sales cannot be true or something is pretty wrong..

It is true.....
([url]http://www.usefulimage.com/photos/i-hhBbmJv/0/O/i-hhBbmJv.jpg[/url])


It looks like you're not submitting much to iStock. I think that explains it more than anything, especially with the increase in really good competition. imho.


Considering heavyweight microstockers have reported declining sales despite their heavy uploading. The question should be....should I waste my time submitting more to iStock?

These days, Microstock in general has definetly better vital signs then one of its subpart... iStock, hence why this thread is still going...  don't you agree?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: asiseeit on November 01, 2011, 09:07
It looks like you're not submitting much to iStock. I think that explains it more than anything, especially with the increase in really good competition. imho.

You really believe that? Honestly? That the lack of sales is down simply to that?

Our competition is uploading 200-600 high quality images a month. 3 a month just won't compete these days, no matter how good they are.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cybernesco on November 01, 2011, 09:18
It looks like you're not submitting much to iStock. I think that explains it more than anything, especially with the increase in really good competition. imho.

You really believe that? Honestly? That the lack of sales is down simply to that?

Our competition is uploading 200-600 high quality images a month. 3 a month just won't compete these days, no matter how good they are.

At the moment, 3 a month is sufficient for me elsewhere....my total revenue is the same as 2010. Buyers are going elsewhere....
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on November 01, 2011, 09:34
It looks like you're not submitting much to iStock. I think that explains it more than anything, especially with the increase in really good competition. imho.

You really believe that? Honestly? That the lack of sales is down simply to that?

Our competition is uploading 200-600 high quality images a month. 3 a month just won't compete these days, no matter how good they are.

I realize you're having great sales at the moment, and that's excellent. However there are several major contributors in the stats thread who are reporting small sales growth compared to portfolio growth or sales and download drops in spite of substantial portfolio growth.

I've been around iStock a while and the pattern I've noticed is that when people are having great sales they often try to cast it as a problem with the contributor, their portfolio, their uploads, etc. when others are not having the same experience. If it were one or two complainers, it'd be easy to dismiss, but I think that the stats thread is pretty clearly not so good for the big contributors overall.

So enjoy your good sales, but don't dismiss other people's experiences out of hand.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Slovenian on November 01, 2011, 09:34
If you check the October sales thread and look at the poll results, IS's sales are rising. It's not as bad as it looks in this thread. BTW my sales are down ;)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Slovenian on November 01, 2011, 09:44
However there are several major contributors in the stats thread who are reporting small sales growth compared to portfolio growth or sales and download drops in spite of substantial portfolio growth.

This is not directed at you jsnover, but generally speaking, expecting to see earnings constantly rising, even when you have a huge port and adding hundreds of photos every month is unrealistic. It's the problem of capitalistically orientated way of thinking and greed. I mean how can you not be satisfied earning five figures or at least high four figures every month? If you can't answer to that you're just too greedy for MS and try becoming a big shot photographer doing some of the biggest campaigns. And we all know no one is becoming a billionaire doing photography anyway.

Be happy with the 5+ grand you big timers earn every month. Be happy that you're able to keep it at that level at all, no matter how much you UL or of how high quality your content is. Competitions is growing every day, cuts are happening, I think y'all like a few of the agencies need a wake up call ;)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: michealo on November 01, 2011, 09:55
It looks like you're not submitting much to iStock. I think that explains it more than anything, especially with the increase in really good competition. imho.

You really believe that? Honestly? That the lack of sales is down simply to that?

Our competition is uploading 200-600 high quality images a month. 3 a month just won't compete these days, no matter how good they are.

I realize you're having great sales at the moment, and that's excellent. However there are several major contributors in the stats thread who are reporting small sales growth compared to portfolio growth or sales and download drops in spite of substantial portfolio growth.

I've been around iStock a while and the pattern I've noticed is that when people are having great sales they often try to cast it as a problem with the contributor, their portfolio, their uploads, etc. when others are not having the same experience. If it were one or two complainers, it'd be easy to dismiss, but I think that the stats thread is pretty clearly not so good for the big contributors overall.

So enjoy your good sales, but don't dismiss other people's experiences out of hand.

+1
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: RacePhoto on November 01, 2011, 10:01
It looks like you're not submitting much to iStock. I think that explains it more than anything, especially with the increase in really good competition. imho.

You really believe that? Honestly? That the lack of sales is down simply to that?

Our competition is uploading 200-600 high quality images a month. 3 a month just won't compete these days, no matter how good they are.

I realize you're having great sales at the moment, and that's excellent. However there are several major contributors in the stats thread who are reporting small sales growth compared to portfolio growth or sales and download drops in spite of substantial portfolio growth.

I've been around iStock a while and the pattern I've noticed is that when people are having great sales they often try to cast it as a problem with the contributor, their portfolio, their uploads, etc. when others are not having the same experience. If it were one or two complainers, it'd be easy to dismiss, but I think that the stats thread is pretty clearly not so good for the big contributors overall.

So enjoy your good sales, but don't dismiss other people's experiences out of hand.

I'm just a complainer. Everyone make a note of that...  :) 

I pretty much stopped uploading to IS, so it's my own darn fault.

Soon I'll become a SS exclusive and like the other agencies I dropped, I won't be able to speak about sales or much about the sites. It doesn't make any logical sense to me, to write about a sites sales and reviews or that kind of issues, when I no longer have materials there.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: asiseeit on November 01, 2011, 10:55
It looks like you're not submitting much to iStock. I think that explains it more than anything, especially with the increase in really good competition. imho.

You really believe that? Honestly? That the lack of sales is down simply to that?

Our competition is uploading 200-600 high quality images a month. 3 a month just won't compete these days, no matter how good they are.

I realize you're having great sales at the moment, and that's excellent. However there are several major contributors in the stats thread who are reporting small sales growth compared to portfolio growth or sales and download drops in spite of substantial portfolio growth.

I've been around iStock a while and the pattern I've noticed is that when people are having great sales they often try to cast it as a problem with the contributor, their portfolio, their uploads, etc. when others are not having the same experience. If it were one or two complainers, it'd be easy to dismiss, but I think that the stats thread is pretty clearly not so good for the big contributors overall.

So enjoy your good sales, but don't dismiss other people's experiences out of hand.

I don't mean to dismiss anyone's experience, it is what it is. And I'm not saying that there aren't other factors that effect our sales (like any business), but the biggest factor imo is what we're doing. It does seem appropriate to be honest here, otherwise these conversations turn into huge venting threads with no value to anyone. Jonathan R said on the last page that he hasn't uploaded in 3 years, so of course his sales are way down. All I'm saying is the same thing, if you upload just 40 photos a year, of course your sales will be down. They may level for a little while, but eventually it'll catch up with you, no matter what else is going on at iStock.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cthoman on November 01, 2011, 11:14
I don't mean to dismiss anyone's experience, it is what it is. And I'm not saying that there aren't other factors that effect our sales (like any business), but the biggest factor imo is what we're doing. It does seem appropriate to be honest here, otherwise these conversations turn into huge venting threads with no value to anyone. Jonathan R said on the last page that he hasn't uploaded in 3 years, so of course his sales are way down. All I'm saying is the same thing, if you upload just 40 photos a year, of course your sales will be down. They may level for a little while, but eventually it'll catch up with you, no matter what else is going on at iStock.

It could very well be an uploading thing for some contributors, but that still doesn't really answer the question of why iStock is dropping so fast. I haven't uploaded to many of the major agencies in a year and they are holding pretty steady in income. iStock seems to be the exception to that, so there is definitely something unique going on there. Maybe, it was dumping all that agency collection stuff in the catalog. Maybe, it's a bad reputation. I don't know, but it doesn't seem to be a simple fix. Unless, you count just dumping them.  ;D
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: asiseeit on November 01, 2011, 11:26
I don't mean to dismiss anyone's experience, it is what it is. And I'm not saying that there aren't other factors that effect our sales (like any business), but the biggest factor imo is what we're doing. It does seem appropriate to be honest here, otherwise these conversations turn into huge venting threads with no value to anyone. Jonathan R said on the last page that he hasn't uploaded in 3 years, so of course his sales are way down. All I'm saying is the same thing, if you upload just 40 photos a year, of course your sales will be down. They may level for a little while, but eventually it'll catch up with you, no matter what else is going on at iStock.

It could very well be an uploading thing for some contributors, but that still doesn't really answer the question of why iStock is dropping so fast. I haven't uploaded to many of the major agencies in a year and they are holding pretty steady in income. iStock seems to be the exception to that, so there is definitely something unique going on there. Maybe, it was dumping all that agency collection stuff in the catalog. Maybe, it's a bad reputation. I don't know, but it doesn't seem to be a simple fix. Unless, you count just dumping them.  ;D

I do think the average buyer at iStock is becoming more of a higher-priced (midstock) buyer (compared to sub sites buyers especially). So having TAC or Vetta files is more important than it used to be. In my experience, one TAC sale is the equivalent to about 100 SS sales.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cybernesco on November 01, 2011, 11:43
I don't mean to dismiss anyone's experience, it is what it is. And I'm not saying that there aren't other factors that effect our sales (like any business), but the biggest factor imo is what we're doing. It does seem appropriate to be honest here, otherwise these conversations turn into huge venting threads with no value to anyone. Jonathan R said on the last page that he hasn't uploaded in 3 years, so of course his sales are way down. All I'm saying is the same thing, if you upload just 40 photos a year, of course your sales will be down. They may level for a little while, but eventually it'll catch up with you, no matter what else is going on at iStock.


It could very well be an uploading thing for some contributors, but that still doesn't really answer the question of why iStock is dropping so fast. I haven't uploaded to many of the major agencies in a year and they are holding pretty steady in income. iStock seems to be the exception to that, so there is definitely something unique going on there. Maybe, it was dumping all that agency collection stuff in the catalog. Maybe, it's a bad reputation. I don't know, but it doesn't seem to be a simple fix. Unless, you count just dumping them.  ;D


I do think the average buyer at iStock is becoming more of a higher-priced (midstock) buyer (compared to sub sites buyers especially). So having TAC or Vetta files is more important than it used to be. In my experience, one TAC sale is the equivalent to about 100 SS sales.


What do you know about SS?

This is today so far at SS....

(http://www.usefulimage.com/photos/i-xjTC35C/0/X3/i-xjTC35C-X3.jpg)


This is my entire month of October at IS....

(http://www.usefulimage.com/photos/i-hhBbmJv/0/X3/i-hhBbmJv-X3.jpg)


Both sites have the same collection of images...
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cthoman on November 01, 2011, 11:45
I do think the average buyer at iStock is becoming more of a higher-priced (midstock) buyer (compared to sub sites buyers especially). So having TAC or Vetta files is more important than it used to be. In my experience, one TAC sale is the equivalent to about 100 SS sales.


Tell that to the contributors with dwindling vector sales...

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=336297&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=336297&page=1)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: alistaircotton on November 01, 2011, 11:48
I've been concentrating on my existing business and have not really uploaded much over the past two years. Despite this, sales in 2010 grew by 24% anyway when compared with 2009.
Even without uploading, the first three months of 2011 went just fine - still better than the same months in previous years despite no new uploads.

After that, maybe a lack of fresh content started to take its toll and sales stayed low until starting to upload content in August this year (about 200 so far). August sales were better than any other August, and September was reasonably close to a high September 2010.

Despite more or less consistent uploads since August, sales this October dropped sharply - due mostly to an epic fail October at IS. I need to go back to August 2006 to find a worse month from IS (down from $219 in October 2010 to $42 in October 2011).

As for reasons why sales seem to be falling at IS, there are probably many.

All I know is that I used to refer my clients to both IS and DT to select their own images for sites, or brochures or magazines. Now I refer DT only.  It used to be easy to refer people and then just buy the images on their behalf. At a dollar, or two, or five - I felt it was a bit of an extra "service" to my clients that they would not get from another provider. Today though, odds are my clients would choose a Vetta or an agency image which could easily cost $100 or more.

The result is that I don't refer anyone to IS anymore for choosing images. For me, it's a simple question of complicated pricing structures. Perhaps other "buyers" are also finding this large variation of image pricing a problem when referring their clients?

To me, IS is simply not a micro anymore. It's not really a traditional agency either. Perhaps it can't figure out what it is, and as a result, neither can their customers.

Perhaps companies made successful on a wave of crowdsourced suppliers should also not underestimate the tremendous amount of goodwill they can lose when ramming new contracts down the throats of their suppliers . . . suppliers who so often also turn out to be their customers!

   
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Jonathan Ross on November 01, 2011, 11:52
Hi All,


 Istock keeps dropping and ShutterStock keeps growing. I am glad they are balancing themselves out. As my Istock sales keep dropping the other agencies are picking up the slack and my monthly return is staying the same, within 100 bucks every month. Here is to not losing money over the big picture. :)

Best,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: asiseeit on November 01, 2011, 12:02
I don't mean to dismiss anyone's experience, it is what it is. And I'm not saying that there aren't other factors that effect our sales (like any business), but the biggest factor imo is what we're doing. It does seem appropriate to be honest here, otherwise these conversations turn into huge venting threads with no value to anyone. Jonathan R said on the last page that he hasn't uploaded in 3 years, so of course his sales are way down. All I'm saying is the same thing, if you upload just 40 photos a year, of course your sales will be down. They may level for a little while, but eventually it'll catch up with you, no matter what else is going on at iStock.


It could very well be an uploading thing for some contributors, but that still doesn't really answer the question of why iStock is dropping so fast. I haven't uploaded to many of the major agencies in a year and they are holding pretty steady in income. iStock seems to be the exception to that, so there is definitely something unique going on there. Maybe, it was dumping all that agency collection stuff in the catalog. Maybe, it's a bad reputation. I don't know, but it doesn't seem to be a simple fix. Unless, you count just dumping them.  ;D


I do think the average buyer at iStock is becoming more of a higher-priced (midstock) buyer (compared to sub sites buyers especially). So having TAC or Vetta files is more important than it used to be. In my experience, one TAC sale is the equivalent to about 100 SS sales.


What do you know about SS?
This is today so far at SS....
([url]http://www.usefulimage.com/photos/i-xjTC35C/0/X3/i-xjTC35C-X3.jpg[/url])
This is my entire month of October at IS....
([url]http://www.usefulimage.com/photos/i-hhBbmJv/0/X3/i-hhBbmJv-X3.jpg[/url])
Both sites have the same collection of images...


I used to submit to SS and all the others. Looks like you're having a great day!
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Slovenian on November 01, 2011, 12:03

This is today so far at SS....

([url]http://www.usefulimage.com/photos/i-xjTC35C/0/X3/i-xjTC35C-X3.jpg[/url])



Wow, impressive ratio of ELs vs subs, I'd sure love to have it :)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: asiseeit on November 01, 2011, 12:06
Hi All,


 Istock keeps dropping and ShutterStock keeps growing. I am glad they are balancing themselves out. As my Istock sales keep dropping the other agencies are picking up the slack and my monthly return is staying the same, within 100 bucks every month. Here is to not losing money over the big picture. :)

Best,
Jonathan

Hey Jonathan! It looks like you have a lot more on SS than on iStock. Did SS approve a lot more, or did you just not submit as many to iStock? I find it hard to believe you got any rejections whatsoever ;)
Steve
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cybernesco on November 01, 2011, 12:21
Quote from: asiseeit

I used to submit to SS and all the others. Looks like you're having a great day!

This is good...you have an amazing port!! I believe that a selected few, like yourself, probably have their ports bookmarked by some or many agencies so that regardless of what is going on, they will want to go back to your images...hence why your sales are keeping up.....which is ok for now. It remained to be seen if this is  sustainable through this ongoing iStock development.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Freedom on November 01, 2011, 14:57
What is TAC at IS? Does it refer to an Agency file?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: asiseeit on November 01, 2011, 15:15
What is TAC at IS? Does it refer to an Agency file?

Yes, TAC=The Agency Collection. It's now a collection that's distributed outside iStockphoto.com as well (Getty).
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: stokfoto on November 01, 2011, 16:23
First two weeks of the month ok on IS then it turned dead silent  I can't believe it only a few small photo sales a day that's all. I am a videographer there as well haven't sold a single video for over a week. So  oct was the worst month of the year there.However I experienced significant increase of sales  on SS .IS was 5 times better last month but SS caught up due to sweet EL's I had this month ,I wonder what will happen this month.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: pro@stockphotos on November 01, 2011, 16:42
Yeah, Sean reported what the top 5 exclusives are reporting less downloads but about the same $.  No growth is a concern but how much more is Sean making at IS than his old job.  I know a top 10 exclusive who quit a $50 hour job for IS.  Good work if you can find it.   
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cobalt on November 01, 2011, 17:13
Well, lots of admins and inspectors reporting worst month ever, I guess that rumour about admins having best match perks can be laid to rest.

Depressing thread, looks like our customers are all shopping at Shutterstock :-/

Those traffic stats are pretty accurate, it seems.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: lisafx on November 01, 2011, 17:16
Yeah, Sean reported what the top 5 exclusives are reporting less downloads but about the same $.  No growth is a concern but how much more is Sean making at IS than his old job.  I know a top 10 exclusive who quit a $50 hour job for IS.  Good work if you can find it.   

Sorry to say it, but that was then and this is now.  A couple of years ago it made sense to quit the day job and do stock full time, if you had the right portfolio and skill.  Today it would be insane - especially if one intended to be Istock exclusive.  The momentum and buyers are moving away from Istock.  

Anyone with a $50/hr. day job would be wise to plan on keeping it for the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cybernesco on November 01, 2011, 18:10

So far today with SS

(http://www.usefulimage.com/photos/i-zHhpkbt/0/X3/i-zHhpkbt-X3.jpg)


So far today with IS

$1.61
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on November 01, 2011, 18:24

So far today with SS

([url]http://www.usefulimage.com/photos/i-zHhpkbt/0/X3/i-zHhpkbt-X3.jpg[/url])


So far today with IS

$1.61


Hmmm. Interesting.

So is the 25-a-day subscriptions?

And the enhanced is just regular purchases? Or is that extended licenses?

Is that kind of sales volume happening every day or is today just a good day?
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cybernesco on November 01, 2011, 18:38

So far today with SS

([url]http://www.usefulimage.com/photos/i-zHhpkbt/0/X3/i-zHhpkbt-X3.jpg[/url])


So far today with IS

$1.61



Hmmm. Interesting.

So is the 25-a-day subscriptions?

And the enhanced is just regular purchases? Or is that extended licenses?

Is that kind of sales volume happening every day or is today just a good day?


This is 3 Enhanced X $28.00 + 9 subs X .38

I usually do get 2-3 enhanced per month. Rarely 2 on the same day. 3 on the same day happened twice before.  Overal, lately, SS and other sites are slowly filling the missing IS revenue.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Freedom on November 01, 2011, 18:48
This October was not my best match (last October was), it was not the worst either.

After learning the depressing new from others, maybe I should not complain. But my income increase has not been in proportion with my portfolio growth. I did expect more.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: loop on November 01, 2011, 19:17
>Cybernesco:

It seems really weird, with a +1,000 images portfolio to get so few downloads/earnings. I'm just having 15% less earnings from last October (and that without knowing October GI sales, that, in my case, normally count for 1 to three IS weekdays). And, still,  being in the group of old-timers, the more affected, exclusive or not, by the best match changes. Actually a friend of mine, with  one year at IS and about 100 photos, none of them very special, in his portfolio, is matching your numbers.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cybernesco on November 01, 2011, 19:24
Interestingly, so far, from the iStock October sales thread, the majority of Bronze members have reported BME or very good October sales while the majority of diamond and above members have reported WME since 2006/07/08 or very bad month.

In other words, the majority of bronze members are making more then what I made today as a gold member.

Maybe this could explain why the earning rating poll on the right is still up for IS...as the lower canister level are making it up for the  higher ones losing.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on November 01, 2011, 19:44
Interestingly, so far, from the iStock October sales thread, the majority of Bronze members have reported BME or very good October sales while the majority of diamond and above members have reported WME since 2006/07/08 or very bad month.

In other words, the majority of bronze members are making more then what I made today as a gold member.

Maybe this could explain why the earning rating poll on the right is still up for IS...as the lower canister level are making it up for the  higher ones losing.

It's always easy to get a BME as a bronze, when you get 5 dls this month instead of 4 last.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: loop on November 01, 2011, 19:52
Interestingly, so far, from the iStock October sales thread, the majority of Bronze members have reported BME or very good October sales while the majority of diamond and above members have reported WME since 2006/07/08 or very bad month.

In other words, the majority of bronze members are making more then what I made today as a gold member.

Maybe this could explain why the earning rating poll on the right is still up for IS...as the lower canister level are making it up for the  higher ones losing.

It's always easy to get a BME as a bronze, when you get 5 dls this month instead of 4 last.

Of course, but matching the results of a +1,000 files portfolio with a no-better 100 files portfolio is another matter.
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Slovenian on November 01, 2011, 19:57
Well, lots of admins and inspectors reporting worst month ever, I guess that rumour about admins having best match perks can be laid to rest.


Or that's just the directive they got lol. I surely won't fall for that ;)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Slovenian on November 01, 2011, 20:02
Interestingly, so far, from the iStock October sales thread, the majority of Bronze members have reported BME or very good October sales while the majority of diamond and above members have reported WME since 2006/07/08 or very bad month.

In other words, the majority of bronze members are making more then what I made today as a gold member.

Maybe this could explain why the earning rating poll on the right is still up for IS...as the lower canister level are making it up for the  higher ones losing.

It's always easy to get a BME as a bronze, when you get 5 dls this month instead of 4 last.

Of course, but matching the results of a +1,000 files portfolio with a no-better 100 files portfolio is another matter.

That's just his assumption, not a fact ;)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: cybernesco on November 01, 2011, 20:17
Interestingly, so far, from the iStock October sales thread, the majority of Bronze members have reported BME or very good October sales while the majority of diamond and above members have reported WME since 2006/07/08 or very bad month.

In other words, the majority of bronze members are making more then what I made today as a gold member.

Maybe this could explain why the earning rating poll on the right is still up for IS...as the lower canister level are making it up for the  higher ones losing.

It's always easy to get a BME as a bronze, when you get 5 dls this month instead of 4 last.

Of course, but matching the results of a +1,000 files portfolio with a no-better 100 files portfolio is another matter.

This is exacly my point
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Jonathan Ross on November 04, 2011, 20:25
Hi Steve,

 Yes, We got many rejections from Istock where the other sites took about 98%. We are just now redoing the small details that did not meet the QC needs at Istock and re-subitting. They are passing the second time through, most were to do with things like name tags we created to make shots more authentic we have gone in and removed the fake hospital names to meet Istocks requirements.
 Mostly quick fixes but I haven't had the man power to get it done until now, we have been pretty busy these past two years building the agency. They seem to be passing so hopefully I will see sales things stabilize or possibly even grow, we have another 1500 images to add. It also has to do with the limit per week they put on non-exclusives we can only submit 30 a week. The concern I have is that compared to the other top agencies that represent my work Istock is the one that is showing big drops this year, others have actually shown better months than last years.
 We are happy to have an Istock contract and would love to see the sales their grow but just to try every opportunity out there we are investing our shoot time right now towards TAC. I have seen several that have sold for $500 dollars already but it is to early to say what the RPI or the sell through rate is going to look like. Actually, I broke my foot a couple of weeks ago so we aren't shooting anything right now, but once I get back on my feet we will continue to add to our TAC imagery. I'll keep you posted on sales as they start to come in.

Best,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Michael Lancaster on November 08, 2011, 06:41
...
Shutterstock has gone up it seems but has the same low "per-item" commission. Fotolia is about equal and DT seems to go a little below (Probably because of the upload limit they have there)
What are your experiences..And explanations...

lol...
I've been start to drop since you started to mass produce the images  ;)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: tomspota on November 26, 2011, 17:30
Hi...if you are a videographer and are looking to increase your sales, please let me introduce myself.  My name is Tom Spota and I am the Director of Video Acquisition at Shutterstock Footage (http://footage.shutterstock.com/ (http://footage.shutterstock.com/)).  If you are an existing videographer with a large collection of clips that you’re ready to upload for review, we want to simplify that process for you. If you plan to upload 500 or more clips, email us at 500clips@shutterstock.com and let us know how many clips you have and what type of content it is (business, lifestyle, animation, etc.). If you have a link to your work online, please provide it.  Based on the nature of your request, we may be able to provide some submission assistance.

We would love to help you increase your sales!   ;)
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Microstock Posts on November 26, 2011, 18:41
Cheers Tom.  Have u guys noticed sales dropping at iStock?  :D
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Michael Lancaster on November 28, 2011, 01:01
Hi...if you are a videographer and are looking to increase your sales, please let me introduce myself.  My name is Tom Spota and I am the Director of Video Acquisition at Shutterstock Footage ([url]http://footage.shutterstock.com/[/url] ([url]http://footage.shutterstock.com/[/url])).  If you are an existing videographer with a large collection of clips that you’re ready to upload for review, we want to simplify that process for you. If you plan to upload 500 or more clips, email us at 500clips@shutterstock.com and let us know how many clips you have and what type of content it is (business, lifestyle, animation, etc.). If you have a link to your work online, please provide it.  Based on the nature of your request, we may be able to provide some submission assistance.

We would love to help you increase your sales!   ;)


Hi Tom!

Nice timing :).
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: luissantos84 on November 28, 2011, 12:21
Cheers Tom.  Have u guys noticed sales dropping at iStock?  :D

never had big sales on IS but have been increasing actually but this month went back like 1 year ago
Title: Re: Sales dropping. Istock especially.
Post by: Microstock Posts on November 28, 2011, 13:00
Cheers Tom.  Have u guys noticed sales dropping at iStock?  :D

never had big sales on IS but have been increasing actually but this month went back like 1 year ago

You've made me wonder if no one knew what I meant. Nevermind, back to my own world.