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Author Topic: So where are we at now?  (Read 2830 times)

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Snow

« on: July 01, 2020, 05:21 »
+9
Some of us have taken a stand by deactivating or even deleting our portfolio's.
Meanwhile almost every stock contributor I have been following since day one have done nothing even though I know they can afford it. With all due respect but even Mat who works for Adobe still has his port up at SS. I didn't even know he had one over there in the first place since it's the competition. But this does tell me something about Adobe's standpoint on this matter.

So what does that tell us? Either these people made deals, their portfolio's are adjusted so their cut is higher then the rest (without them even knowing) or they just don't care about all this.

On top of that other agencies haven't picked up on this and don't seem to care either. My sales at Adobe are down after I disabled my portfolio at SS (coincidence?) while they should be slightly up from buyers that cannot find my work at SS anymore. Video sales at P5 are non existent, nothing new. So that probably tells us it's indeed a different crowd or not enough of us have moved to Adobe/P5 to make even the slightest difference! That still doesn't explain why Adobe is down just this month though for me and many others but that's for another thread.

All photographers featured here: https://contributor.stock.adobe.com/be_en/insights/best/contributors still have their portfolio's up at Shutterstock. I haven't checked Illustrations and vectors but I'm sure it's the same.

Contrary to many others who can afford but do nothing I actually cannot afford the loss of this income but did try to make a change by deactivating my image and video portfolio in the beginning of June.
But if all these people who continue working with SS don't care and are so keen on destroying this market then why shouldn't I join them and get things moving a bit faster, take what is left and then completely move out? After all like someone mentioned it's each for themselves right? F.ck the rest! That's the mentality of your average stock contributors no?

So those who could live from this income, can barely now and will not anymore in the near future can blame themselves for that. Not going the whole distance, take in the few bad months ahead while trying to establish an income elsewhere that would eventually fill the financial gap SS has created. That would only work if at least 50% of the established contributors (medium to high sellers) would deactivate their portfolio's.
I figured this time because of these radial changes to royalty rates for images and videos it would surely change peoples mind but no it seems we are being surrounded by robots who may have experienced a slight glitch but are back in business! Many don't even seem to have noticed the glitch!

It also feels like each of us is fighting their own battle. I do not get any sense of group mentality at all. If I didn't care about others and the future of Microstock then my portfolio would never have been disabled in the first place because again, I do need the money! When someone tries to convince others of how bad this situation has become and what steps are required to turn it back around another person comes in to ridicule what has been written and that's that. People seem to go hide under a rock when harsh language is being used to make a point so to me it feels more like a friendly social club then a protest.

So I ask myself am I still doing the right thing by disabling my portfolio even though other contributors don't care, nor do other agencies or buyers. I won't be uploading new work obviously but I'm seriously considering re-activating my portfolio just to take what's left and pay my contribution to the destruction of this market...

Be well people!
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 07:27 by Snow »


« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2020, 06:47 »
+5
I think go with your own personal instinct, mine says no Im not standing for that level of greed and luckily I can afford to ditch SS completely, happy to move onto pastures new no regrets at all.

« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2020, 06:54 »
+18
Only you know the answer. For me, I know I don't care for others. Why? Because I've learned over the years carrying for others makes you suffer. I wish all contributors keep uploading to SS and I wish all of them eventually get 0.01$ for a photo. Or even less. Maybe some day contributor will need to pay to be on SS? Maybe. Or maybe it'll be free like on Pexels. You can't change the world, you can only change yourself. That's why I deleted all videos and photos. I have something that is worth more then money: self esteem. I will NOT sell a video for 0,50$ with a camera worth 6000$. No way. That's why when Adobe decides to go on the same path as SS I'm out of Adobe. When Pond5 decide the same I'm out. There are other things to do in life than spend 10-15 minutes typing tags for 10 cents. All of you who are still at SS: just stay there, so Oringer will get a few more millions in his pocket with your help and a mindset of a low paying worker.

bUt I neEd tO PuT foOd oN tHe TabLe. What you will soon be doing is either selling your gear or changing focus to others things to do if this trend in microstock keeps up. Devaluement of our work means we earn less money, we upgrade less gear, we travel less and we have less motivation. How you people think selling for a few bucks is still better than nothing is beyond me. No self respecting professional would say something so foolish. I wonder what dentists would say if their services were suddenly undercut to a fraction. Well here's a newsflash: they would stop working until they get their money back.

« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2020, 07:29 »
+4
Only you know the answer. For me, I know I don't care for others. Why? Because I've learned over the years carrying for others makes you suffer. I wish all contributors keep uploading to SS and I wish all of them eventually get 0.01$ for a photo. Or even less. Maybe some day contributor will need to pay to be on SS? Maybe. Or maybe it'll be free like on Pexels. You can't change the world, you can only change yourself. That's why I deleted all videos and photos. I have something that is worth more then money: self esteem. I will NOT sell a video for 0,50$ with a camera worth 6000$. No way. That's why when Adobe decides to go on the same path as SS I'm out of Adobe. When Pond5 decide the same I'm out. There are other things to do in life than spend 10-15 minutes typing tags for 10 cents. All of you who are still at SS: just stay there, so Oringer will get a few more millions in his pocket with your help and a mindset of a low paying worker.

bUt I neEd tO PuT foOd oN tHe TabLe. What you will soon be doing is either selling your gear or changing focus to others things to do if this trend in microstock keeps up. Devaluement of our work means we earn less money, we upgrade less gear, we travel less and we have less motivation. How you people think selling for a few bucks is still better than nothing is beyond me. No self respecting professional would say something so foolish. I wonder what dentists would say if their services were suddenly undercut to a fraction. Well here's a newsflash: they would stop working until they get their money back.

+100
Agree totally
For me, micro stock is a hobby and a good little gig where earning a few hundred a month is for funny money - to be spent on gear, trips, etc
However, while it would be easy just to leave my images as they are and not uploading new stuff, I still feel offended enough that SS  values out work at $0.10 that I will not support them by leaving my images for sale.
They are deactivated and will remain until there is a material reversal in commissions - which I think will never happen.
I couldnt stomach the feeling of seeing $$0.10 sales come in.
No way.
The board members on SS are laughing at all the minions who will take whatever they deem to be fair. And it will happen again - believe me, it will happen again with the same results - with contributers who are a/ clueless or b/ will bitch and moan about the dire situation, but will keep on as before.
Good for them - you get exactly what you let yourself get.
As for me, Im already resigned that SS is a lost cause. So Ive cut my ties and have come to peace with it.

Snow

« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2020, 07:37 »
0
Thanks for your input guys, keep it coming please!

« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2020, 07:51 »
+5
Simply de-activating your portfolio is not enough.  Your images will still be used as bait for links from Google, and will still be counted as "assets" of the company.

Closing your account will (eventually) get your images removed, as will deleting the images by hand.




« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2020, 09:12 »
+14
I think you are being far too impatient.

Customers often source images for projects over several months, putting  together a larger design, getting it approved before downloading the files.

Also many customers have an agreement with one marketplace, if they want to switch the contract to another company, they need to get that approved.

So the migration of customers to other agencies will take months, if not 2-3 years. It is a slow process.

You are also ignoring that while maybe the majority of ports are still open, the uploads to SS have dropped drastically by about 50%.

And if you look at the latest uploads, you see a considerable drop in quality.

Also I am sure in January, with the reset, that number will go down again.

Shutterstock will slowly change into a company that has a huge volume of irrelevant amateur content, I mean they now accept 25 images of the same out of focus mushroom, and some professional stock machines.

If you want to be a force for change, then what you can do is aggressively upload your best work to other agencies that pay better and also promote them online - twitter, facebook...comments on the internet etc...

What you decide about your ports is your own decision.

You can keep them off, you can delete your account, or you just keep them open and keep collecting some income while aggressively uploading elsewhere.

Some people also decide to deactivate files that were especially expensive to produce and that they prefer to place elsewhere.

You can also look for smaller agencies that take exclusive content.

To remove your dependence from Shutterstock is something that takes a lot of time, but diversification is key to survival in stock.

All agencies can suddenly mutate and go from being a peaceful reliable place to hellhole. It just takes a new owner or new manager to turn your world upside down.

Personally I have not uploaded in weeks and in June both my ports were closed for a time. (videos full month, photos from June 13th but are still off now of). I have now reactivated my 800 videos to get my own data and am considering if and what to deactivate.

I am seeing some uptake on Adobe and Dreamstime. But I really need to upload much more, the last 8 years I favored Shutterstock and Eyeem, which has now backfired on me.

So please - have patience. Take a time out. Think about what you want to produce, what kind of returns you expect and which agencies will be most suited for which type of content.

« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 09:46 by cobalt »

« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2020, 09:44 »
+9
Don't be fooled.
It seems that Shutterstock is showing images of disabled accounts longer than they used to after they have been disabled. They could now be manipulating the image numbers too.
They changed their system so that the "no 10cents" avatar cannot be shown as you may know, and they are working hard to disguise as if everything-is-normal on the surface..

They are trying to discourage protesters and break our spirit.

You really don't know if an image has been deleted or disabled until you actually buy them.

It seems that quite massive amounts of well selling Russian, Czechoslovakian contributor's illustrations have been disabled but they look as if they are still on sale.

What people are replying above is right. Do what you can. 
The situation is different for each person.  In the end it will all add up.
Personally I think that vector based illustrators have been hit uncomparably the hardest because they are subscription-optimized merchandise and don't often get ODs.
Especially people that were making around $2K a month and were professional microstockers. Now they can't live on it anymore. (critical situation). But they can't throw away the remaining earnings instantly now either. (disable images or close accounts, that is.) Because they still need that income.
And that's probably why shutterstock chose this timing. Which was  in the middle of a pandemic. Because it was the least likely timing to lose money-making contributors. The most vulnerable timing. Bad economy, no jobs, other agencies reviewing processes were halting or really slow. Sales down too. And contributors will likely be quieter because they are too caught up with everyday life. Really evil.
.
Most likely strategy of those contributors would be to not upload , and meanwhile concentrate on making a foothold on other stock agencies and then taking good images first off Shutterstock. It's going to be a long process but it must be done. If you leave your good images at Shutterstock, they will dominate other stock agencies at a lower price. (which will mean Shutterstocks pricing will become the de facto standard. A  disaster for the industry)

Now with the new earnings structure Shutterstock can go low as never before.
Now they can dump our images to an new breed of strategic partners and have nothing to lose .  They already have the merchandise, the platform (the API),
and one million contributors over many nationalities and languages which is less likely to bundle up,
and they NOW have secured the absolute low cost for the images.

No doubt they have been planning this for a long time.
So it's not going to be reversed easily or in a short amount of time. 
Of Course they saw the protest coming.
They were prepared and they probably had calculated estimations of how many contributors at what earnings level would close their accounts and break off.

It has been a month since the earnings structure change, and some people are just starting to notice their unusually low earnings from Shutterstock. This is not a short battle. it will be a long one.
Considering  all the consequences above I think we are doing a fairly good job. Were doing good as long as we are providing them with only 10cent class images.  That's what they seemed to want,  and that's what they will get.

Snow

« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2020, 09:55 »
+1
So please - have patience. Take a time out. Think about what you want to produce, what kind of returns you expect and which agencies will be most suited for which type of content.

Thanks a lot for your input Cobalt!
My video port stays deactivated no matter what since I would be at 15% and with such a small portfolio (50 clips) it doesn't matter much anyway.
I was planning to reactivate images though and take what is left but I might take a time out as you suggested to see how the market behaves. I'm not putting any hopes up though and highly doubt Adobe, P5 or others are even remotely interested in taking SS position on the market. It's like they are all afraid of Shutterstock or made their own deals with them. We'll see.

Thanks again ;)

Snow

« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2020, 10:22 »
0
Don't be fooled...

Good to see the good guys are still out there, it's just a pity to see so few. I always wonder how come we look like such a small group? Well you seem to be new here so good to have you here anyway! And almost level 6 so a well established contributor too. I've been on and off this forum myself. It's a pain to have some people here who are only good at provoking others, like any other forum I suppose but I do feel this is still the best place to discuss everything Microstock related.

Joining Microstock (and doing my homework) automatically led me to this place so how come this place isn't flooded with messages from dissatisfied contributors who want to know what is going on or who want to express their feelings or what actions they have taken? Are they afraid? Is it the language barrier? Without this forum I would be running around like a headless chicken, I kid you not! This place has made me aware of many things in Microstock, even outside Microstock!

I just noticed from the poll on the right that SS dropped from mid 60's (right?) to almost 50. Maybe these figures are being manipulated as well but that's good since SS does the same and this should actually reflect the current situation. Still I want to see that Adobe's figure go up drastically!

I do hope to read more people's input on this, from level 1 to level 6, main or side income.

Thanks for taking the time to actually write a decent comment people, you give me strength!

H2O

« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2020, 10:31 »
+6
Over time the real talent on Shutterstock will just stop uploading if they have not disabled their ports already, nobody who is sane is going to continue to work for 10c.

The problem is for a great many contributors, especially in third world countries this is their livelihood.

The other problem is this has been sprung on people with no notice and it will take time for people to make their minds up.

The whole thing has obviously been planned by Oringe and he is using Pavlovsky to do his bidding having watched Pavlovsky video on YouTube, (link below) you can see he is totally detached from the Microstock business, to him it is about maximising the companies assets and this is the free 323,097,488 million image content that they have.

Whatever anyone does it will be virtually impossible to change the commission rates they are now offering, they could even go to 1c a download and there is nothing anyone can do about this, they are doing exactly what the Mill owners did in England in the 17 to 19th Century, continually cutting wages along with bringing in piece work, this in the UK took until the mid 20th century to abolish.

The only way to win with these people is to vote with your feet, but as they are so dominate in the market place this will take time.

Shutterstock are nothing more than a Corporate Mafia organisation, they are acting as in the Martin Scorsese film Goodfellers, they take over a restaurant and once they have run every scam they can think of, they burn the place down and cash in on the insurance, Shutterstock are now cashing in.

Personally I will never upload another image to them and my way forward is to sell personally and on other sites, like Adobe.

I give Shutterstock three year until they are finished, as their content will become dated and all the good content will be deleted, on top of this a great many buyers have for quite a few years found it difficult to find what they need, simply because of the piles of rubbish that they have let onto the site.

The other problem that they will have which is significant and probably the single most important factor that they have overlooked, is a great many graphic designers/art directors are also buyers and what will be more important is these people are major industry influencers, they are never going to recommend them again and will go out of there way to run them down.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=863&v=18XDzw-xlCI&feature=emb_logo

Shelma1

« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2020, 10:42 »
+5
Don't be fooled...
Joining Microstock (and doing my homework) automatically led me to this place so how come this place isn't flooded with messages from dissatisfied contributors who want to know what is going on or who want to express their feelings or what actions they have taken? Are they afraid? Is it the language barrier? Without this forum I would be running around like a headless chicken, I kid you not! This place has made me aware of many things in Microstock, even outside Microstock!


Everyone's on the coalition FB page and website.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/261369748434285/

https://stockcoalition.org

« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2020, 10:54 »
+4
No contributor can afford a 0,10 payment per image. It's crazy.
I can find more money on the street when I go walking.

« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2020, 10:55 »
+2
Just to add, accept 0,10 now and next year they're going to offer 0,05 per image.

Good for me I deleted my SS portfolio already earlier.

« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2020, 10:57 »
+3
All featured Adobe photographers still have their ports on SS? Today is July 1st not April 1st. Those featured ports are because of recent sales, nothing else. No one has made any deals. stop spreading false rumors and making up stories. Use the truth as your voice. Anybody can boycott or not, that's their choice, stop bullying and attacking them for free choice.

10 cents is not fair, not enough for the work, no one should accept that. Not motivated to make or upload anything.

No contributor can afford a 0,10 payment per image. It's crazy.
I can find more money on the street when I go walking.


Staying with SS is crazy.

« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2020, 11:00 »
+8
I can't delete my portfolio. I am the sole bread winner for my family and we have a mortgage to pay, that I wouldn't be paying if I deleted now. Sorry, I would love to but I wont put my kids out on the street.

You can bet I stopped uploading the day I found out about this though, and will do my best to get buyers to other sites and build up other revenue with a mind to deleting come January.

« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2020, 11:05 »
+6
One post was removed for harsh / insulting / rude language.  Please keep the conversation civil.


« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2020, 11:13 »
+1
Microstock is a crowd-sourced industry.
If you expect everyone to do as you do because you need the income, you are in for some major disappointment.

Vote with your portfolio and do what you need to do. But, your actions are independent of anything others do. Mob rule is very democratic but isn't always in your best interest.


Edit: Yes, I've disabled downloads at SS. If other sites make up the income lost, great. If not, I haven't made myself dependent on this income.

Snow

« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2020, 11:38 »
+1
Over time the real talent on Shutterstock will just stop uploading if they have not disabled their ports already, nobody who is sane is going to continue to work for 10c...

Thanks for your input!

It's confusing to see those who can afford the loss and take a stand are still up. They might have stopped uploading though.
There's Anja K and a few other well known contributors that have taken action but like I said most that I have been following since day one and that have been featured on SS in the past still have their portfolio's up. What message are they giving to SS and other contributors? It's these people that have the power to change the market much faster then we do yet they seem to be ok with selling at 0,10c?  Or perhaps they have gotten a deal like Africa Studio?

Snow

« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2020, 11:46 »
0
All featured Adobe photographers still have their ports on SS? Today is July 1st not April 1st. Those featured ports are because of recent sales, nothing else. No one has made any deals. stop spreading false rumors and making up stories. Use the truth as your voice. Anybody can boycott or not, that's their choice, stop bullying and attacking them for free choice.

10 cents is not fair, not enough for the work, no one should accept that. Not motivated to make or upload anything.

No contributor can afford a 0,10 payment per image. It's crazy.
I can find more money on the street when I go walking.


Staying with SS is crazy.

Take it easy man, take a chill pill! I'm sorry I didn't check the date ::)
I always read your posts as if you're on the verge of tearing the place down lol.
Anyway I have made a deal in the past so there you go. No longer with that agency btw.
I'm sure you know this business is not as transparent as many people think.

« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2020, 11:58 »
0
Over time the real talent on Shutterstock will just stop uploading if they have not disabled their ports already, nobody who is sane is going to continue to work for 10c...

Thanks for your input!

It's confusing to see those who can afford the loss and take a stand are still up. They might have stopped uploading though.
There's Anja K and a few other well known contributors that have taken action but like I said most that I have been following since day one and that have been featured on SS in the past still have their portfolio's up. What message are they giving to SS and other contributors? It's these people that have the power to change the market much faster then we do yet they seem to be ok with selling at 0,10c?  Or perhaps they have gotten a deal like Africa Studio?

What deal did Africa get?

Snow

« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2020, 12:06 »
+2
Over time the real talent on Shutterstock will just stop uploading if they have not disabled their ports already, nobody who is sane is going to continue to work for 10c...

Thanks for your input!

It's confusing to see those who can afford the loss and take a stand are still up. They might have stopped uploading though.
There's Anja K and a few other well known contributors that have taken action but like I said most that I have been following since day one and that have been featured on SS in the past still have their portfolio's up. What message are they giving to SS and other contributors? It's these people that have the power to change the market much faster then we do yet they seem to be ok with selling at 0,10c?  Or perhaps they have gotten a deal like Africa Studio?

What deal did Africa get?

Well their portfolio was going offline in the exact same way our deactivated portfolio's were goin offline but then they got back online. I'm sure that wasn't a glitch? I've never seen such a glitch anyway and it would be too much of a coincidence to be happening on that particular top selling portfolio no?
But good for them right? I can understand that. It's those who are not getting a deal and continue supporting SS that I cannot figure out.

Snow

« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2020, 12:10 »
+1
Need a break, thanks for all your input so far peeps, keep it going and take care!

« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2020, 12:41 »
+4
As someone that did this fight several years ago with iStock and others, I sympathize with those taking a stand to get more for their work. That said, I feel like micro stock dried up as a viable business model a couple years ago, so I'm not sure what I'd be fighting to get or return to at this point in time. I figured the whole thing would either collapse, limp forward in its current state or something new would come along.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2020, 12:43 »
+2
One post was removed for harsh / insulting / rude language.  Please keep the conversation civil.

I was directly quoting comments across several posts from the same author, none of which have been removed for harsh / insulting / rude language. Just an FYI.


 

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