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Author Topic: So where are we at now?  (Read 2833 times)

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Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2020, 13:21 »
+10
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.

Agreed.

Although I'm taking a stand against SS and try to fight the race to the bottom, I think microstock as we know it is done for.

There will always be contributors who think it's worth their time and skill to keep uploading to earn pennies, effectively making images and video a low-priced commodity.
Microstock's heydays are long gone and won't be coming back. Maybe we can stall the decline for a couple of years by fighting SS, but I'm afraid it's inevitable; the unlimited subscription model is already a reality for most agencies, nanostock will be the new normal.


« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2020, 14:09 »
+9
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.

me too, full time here!
Level 5 for stills and lever 3 for videos
Rental house, food, 3 sons, bills...
My wife, due to covid-19, is earning less than before, so we can't afford another earnings drop.
I've lost the count of insults to people like me that still are with ss, but i don't care, you don't know me, so your judgment
is irrelevant to me...i think that bullying everyone that has a different opinion is not the way to conduct this protest.
Considering that most of these people are hobbists, retired, side incomers...well feel free to hate me, i don't care :)

Anyway, starting from today, i'll stop uploading new content to SS...until i can afford this

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2020, 15:08 »
+6
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.

Agreed.

Although I'm taking a stand against SS and try to fight the race to the bottom, I think microstock as we know it is done for.

There will always be contributors who think it's worth their time and skill to keep uploading to earn pennies, effectively making images and video a low-priced commodity.
Microstock's heydays are long gone and won't be coming back. Maybe we can stall the decline for a couple of years by fighting SS, but I'm afraid it's inevitable; the unlimited subscription model is already a reality for most agencies, nanostock will be the new normal.

I think both of you have "seen the light"  ;D Microstock might be good for the agencies, but for us, the time has passed and I think that time was years ago, SS was just the last to fall. I mean, working for pennies was bad enough, now we're working for fractions. Not even a quarter, we get nanostock from IS with the Connect sales. We get dime stock from SS. Adobe is still pretty fair, but sales?

Where are we now? I'd like to see some revision of the new deal, but maybe that was part of the plan? Make us an offer that stinks so bad, that when they give back a little, that's what they wanted us to get in the first place. Make em feel good... but if we get anything, I'd guess, it was planned that way in advance.

You'd have to think the CEO, directors, Jon and all of them are so stupid (well?) that they didn't foresee a protest and revolution for such a cut? I don't know, but a contingency plan, based on, cut deep and give a little back, wouldn't be beyond the real plan from the start?

Where are we now. I've been thinking a little about that. I mean not the uprising, protests, boycott, but where are we really?

People worked for years, to make it to the $10,000 earnings level, so they could make the top level, 38 cents a  sub download. We just lost that incentive, got kicked in the gut and thrown down the cellar stairs. Not only that, we are no longer ranked by earnings, but by downloads.

A sub gets me 10c and one DL towards the next level. If I get a $2.50 sale, I get one DL towards the next level. Holy Moly, the more I sell good images for more money, the less of a reward I get for that. Yet, for every 10c download I get an equal DL credit. That's a really interesting way to reward us. The worse I do, the more value and the better I make higher sales, the less value of the reward towards the next level.

And on top of the way things are valued, we are all going to be level one again, January 1st, whether it's someone who has been with the agency since 2008 or someone who signs up on Dec. 31st 2020. We're all returned to start, do not collect anything, turn in all your credits, effort, loyalty, and rewards, you are now reset.

So I'd say personally, I see this as an offer from SS to take it or leave it. No I don't like that, I won't defend extreme business practices, I understand, it's a company with stock holders, most of that still insiders and officers. But at what point does ethics and a tiny bit of humanity or a bit of kindness or social morality, become so distant that the artists are totally ignored?

Anyway, here's where I am now. Stay and take what I get or don't let the door hit me in the ass, as I leave.  :) My account is active, I have no video. The events I shoot are pretty much canceled. Nothing is going on, no work, nothing to upload. I'm just treading water and watching the ship sail away.

Good Luck everyone, whatever you decide is best for yourself. Welcome to Nanostock

Shelma1

« Reply #28 on: July 01, 2020, 15:40 »
+12
I have to imagine SS foresaw a protest, but figured people would just pull their ports. Certainly it never occurred to Pavlovsky that contributors would be looking at his abhorrent Twitter likes. Nor did it occur to Oringer that he should hire a PR team to handle his social media instead of telling the hands that feed him to go take a hike.

« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2020, 15:51 »
+8
Jon and Stan  didnt foresee any of this.

Just look at how unprepared Stan is as CEO - no professional twitter page, on facebook he still has his old company listed. Jon brags how he guides several new companies a year...if he does that ..when did he focus on SS?

Basically he is advertising on his own social media page that he has not been focussing on SS for years...

Look at the comments from former employees, comments for customers...the place has not been professionally run for ages. Whoever it was that REALLY built SS left a long time ago.

And because they are so unprepared and have a CEO who knows nothing about the media industry, you really have to expect the process of realizing that this new rate card does not work many, many months before they change it.

And they will change it. A professional agency cannot survive on amateur content alone with a few stock machine files sprinkled in.

Not if all the good quality, niche content is going to Adobe.

SS is not alone in this world.

If we send our oxygen to other places then gradually the customers will follow.

The current rate card will only work for snapshot iphone shots or extreme high volume factories.

So they have no choice, at some point, they will have to amend it.

Unless...they make so much money in China or India with very high volume sales, that it doesnt matter for them...but then they are lost for us anyway.

So if we focus elsewhere, it will not matter, by this time next year our ports will be much more diversified.

Maybe it will lead to many more boutique agencies for niche exclusive content, who knows.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 20:39 by cobalt »

« Reply #30 on: July 01, 2020, 16:21 »
+3


....
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.
why should buyers move when they're finding what they need on SS

Quote
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.
the numbers reported here show no such drop

people have been complaining about the dreck on SS for years - how are you measuring a drop i  quality now?

Quote
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.

the millions of quality images aren't going to disappear

once again, there are valid reasons for a boycott and disabling ports, but it's a fantasy that's it's going to affect SS

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

again many of us diversified years ago - but how many buyers look at  other agencies, or watch your tweets?
 
 
 

« Reply #31 on: July 01, 2020, 16:26 »
+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.

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

so those folks don't have 'real talent'?

« Reply #32 on: July 01, 2020, 16:47 »
+1


....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.


no need for conspiracies --  since the pandemic hit, millions are out of work - even telemarketers  & junk mail have almost disappeared

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/coronavirus-advertising-marketing-covid19-pandemic-business/

Quote
All photographers featured here: ...still have their portfolio's up at Shutterstock. I haven't checked Illustrations and vectors but I'm sure it's the same.

that sorta destroys the case many others are making that all quality is leaving!


Quote
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?
it's called the tragedy of the commons



Quote
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!
...  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.
says the pot to the kettle ??

« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2020, 17:09 »
+3
This is going to be a long campaign.

Shutterstock have made the mistake of dragging these changes out into next year when the crap will really hit the fan.

Buyers can still use our deleted work for 90 days before they start noticing things have really gone tits up. That takes us to September before this affect kicks in.

January will be the best time for Shutterstock to discount their products given that they only have to pay 15%, which means hardly any sub is going to be over 10 cents and ODs and ELs are going to look pitiful.

If you need the money wait until January when a lot more will become disgruntled, if you have already deactivated or deleted content you have to wait months for it to have an effect.  Shutterstock's gamble is that now or in January you cannot play the waiting game.

« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2020, 20:56 »
+7
...Anyway, starting from today, i'll stop uploading new content to SS...until i can afford this

This is a big act of support - thank you. I hope the new content is going to other agencies.

If you want to be public about it, I'd be happy to tweet a link to one of your new items at another agency (something I've been doing for those whose new content is going elsewhere)

angelawaye

  • Eat, Sleep, Keyword. Repeat

« Reply #35 on: July 01, 2020, 22:40 »
+18
I'm not going to lie, it is very hard to lose that 3 digit monthly income but I refuse to sell my photos for 10 cents. SS only gave a week notice which is so shameful, not even a 30 day notice. Makes me sick and to see his twitter account makes me more angry. I do not wish to support a company like this.

« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2020, 01:11 »
+6

This is a big act of support - thank you. I hope the new content is going to other agencies.

If you want to be public about it, I'd be happy to tweet a link to one of your new items at another agency (something I've been doing for those whose new content is going elsewhere)

Hi Jo Ann,
Thanks!
You are one of the best people of this forum!

ATM i prefer to remain 'anonymous', but i assure you that, as long as i can, i'll upload only to other agencies.

Snow

« Reply #37 on: July 02, 2020, 04:02 »
+5
Thanks to all your input! I decided not to give in and join the destruction of this market while feeding the greed so my portfolio stays deactivated. Its just too easy to give in!

Instead I will go back and find that enthousiasm again similar to when I just started out and treat Adobe, P5 and others as if they were the old Shutterstock. A bit like starting over. My motivation had dropped a lot because of Shutterstocks ways (sales and reviews) so I didnt upload much anymore to any agency. There will be difficult months ahead and SS knows this all to well but Im positive its still possible for us to create a sustainable income elsewhere that will eventually fill the financial gap SS has created for us.
For me 4 to 10 sub sales at SS equal 1 Sub sale at AS!

@motiondesign, we are mostly angry with those who can afford losing this income. I am talking about succesfull contributors that have been featured on all agencies in the past. These people even have other more succesful revenue streams as well. They have the power to change this market much faster then we do because of their high quality portfolios.
I think holding your uploads to SS is the best you can do in your situation so you still get an income from SS while trying to increase your income elsewhere with new work and eventually you could drop SS altogether.
Also if youre in the same boat as many others (except Mr Jensen apparantly) then Im sure your income has shown a huge decline because of those extremely low clip sales to the point where it wontt be sustainable anymore anyway in the near future. So better adapt to the situation now then later or too late!
But in the end you do what you feel best, no one is going to tell you what to do.
Just remember that you are not alone in this situation! A few posts back we have Angela who is a very talented and succesful contributor and has been struggling for a long time now to the point where she had to say no more! Im sure you know as a contributor but more so as an artist or designer losing motivation is a real killer. It gets you in a downward spiral where you dont find the courage anymore to create and upload, at least not to your own standards because the return is just not worth the time and effort anymore. We have to find that motivation again and use it elsewhere.

There a few on this forum where I have doubts they mean well for other contributors, instead they mean well for Shutterstock. A few others are just here to ridicule others, try to provoke them or try to be a smartass just to feed their ego. This is still the internet so we have got to look past the trolls and insiders (or at least they think they are insiders anyway)
That is why Im going back to reading instead of posting. But please keep providing input here, positive or negative, for or against taking action, as long as it has value to others.

My apologies if I have offended anyone in my posts!

Good luck people and take care!

« Reply #38 on: July 02, 2020, 04:16 »
+2
@Snow
Mate, no need to apologies, with Jo Ann and a few others, you are one of the best, polite and respectful.
And yes, the plan is to find a way to increase the income and say goodbye to SS (unless they change their mind
and offer fairer conditions)
Not an easy task, but i love challenges  :)

Good luck to everyone!

« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2020, 14:29 »
+8
Others have probably said it better - but we are basically where we were with Istock a few years back - are you going to put up with the BS they put you through to get 15% of whatever schemes and scams they come up with to wring as much $ out of a once pretty nice opportunity for everyone or are you going to decide that your peace of mind is worth it to remove your content?

I certainly am not a big enough fish that they care about my specific content even though it probably made them 6 figures over the years. They aren't going to give me any special deal and if they decide to improve the deal for artists it won't be because of something I do or do not do.

I can say they won't screw me any worse going forward. I don't have to worry about getting 10 cent video sales or a total January RPD of 10c. I won't be racing to follow a moving target RC scheme to prop up some egotistical man-child's bonus.

Sadly I also probably won't be doing a whole lot of microstock production anymore since SS was one of the last pillars barely keeping it worth my while. It was a good run. I wish I had put a little more work in during the early days when it really made a difference. Oh well, it was a good run.

I am very fortunate that I have no dependents and have paid off my debts and learned to live off of shockingly little in a place where many people struggle to make ends meet. (California)

Do I wish SS would pull its head out of its backside and actually motivate artists to produce quality work - hell yes, do I expect it to happen - not at all. Same with Istock/Getty, 123RF, and so on.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2020, 15:30 »
+2
I have to imagine SS foresaw a protest, but figured people would just pull their ports. Certainly it never occurred to Pavlovsky that contributors would be looking at his abhorrent Twitter likes. Nor did it occur to Oringer that he should hire a PR team to handle his social media instead of telling the hands that feed him to go take a hike.

Yes to both of those.

There have to be others who are either YES people and said nothing, or are equally head in the sand. (I was actually thinking of a place where the Sun doesn't shine, but I'm being nice?)

It's just difficult for me to accept that they wouldn't foresee what's going on, or worse events and outcomes.

« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2020, 16:09 »
+5
I have to imagine SS foresaw a protest, but figured people would just pull their ports. Certainly it never occurred to Pavlovsky that contributors would be looking at his abhorrent Twitter likes. Nor did it occur to Oringer that he should hire a PR team to handle his social media instead of telling the hands that feed him to go take a hike.

Yes to both of those.

There have to be others who are either YES people and said nothing, or are equally head in the sand. (I was actually thinking of a place where the Sun doesn't shine, but I'm being nice?)

It's just difficult for me to accept that they wouldn't foresee what's going on, or worse events and outcomes.

I think they ran the numbers and foresaw our money in their pockets in the form of increased profits and hefty bonuses, all else is irrelevant to them.


« Reply #42 on: July 02, 2020, 20:34 »
+3
Others have probably said it better - but we are basically where we were with Istock a few years back - are you going to put up with the BS they put you through to get 15% of whatever schemes and scams they come up with to wring as much $ out of a once pretty nice opportunity for everyone or are you going to decide that your peace of mind is worth it to remove your content?

I certainly am not a big enough fish that they care about my specific content even though it probably made them 6 figures over the years. They aren't going to give me any special deal and if they decide to improve the deal for artists it won't be because of something I do or do not do.

I can say they won't screw me any worse going forward. I don't have to worry about getting 10 cent video sales or a total January RPD of 10c. I won't be racing to follow a moving target RC scheme to prop up some egotistical man-child's bonus.

Sadly I also probably won't be doing a whole lot of microstock production anymore since SS was one of the last pillars barely keeping it worth my while. It was a good run. I wish I had put a little more work in during the early days when it really made a difference. Oh well, it was a good run.

I am very fortunate that I have no dependents and have paid off my debts and learned to live off of shockingly little in a place where many people struggle to make ends meet. (California)

Do I wish SS would pull its head out of its backside and actually motivate artists to produce quality work - hell yes, do I expect it to happen - not at all. Same with Istock/Getty, 123RF, and so on.

Yeah, I haven't made any stock art in about a year, and even last year was little bit of just throwing it against the wall and expecting nothing.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2020, 15:33 »
+2
I have to imagine SS foresaw a protest, but figured people would just pull their ports. Certainly it never occurred to Pavlovsky that contributors would be looking at his abhorrent Twitter likes. Nor did it occur to Oringer that he should hire a PR team to handle his social media instead of telling the hands that feed him to go take a hike.

Yes to both of those.

There have to be others who are either YES people and said nothing, or are equally head in the sand. (I was actually thinking of a place where the Sun doesn't shine, but I'm being nice?)

It's just difficult for me to accept that they wouldn't foresee what's going on, or worse events and outcomes.

I think they ran the numbers and foresaw our money in their pockets in the form of increased profits and hefty bonuses, all else is irrelevant to them.

Unfortunately, probably the right answer.


 

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