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Author Topic: Is shutterstock a prophet  (Read 3800 times)

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CofkoCof

« on: April 18, 2008, 12:16 »
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We all know that pictures/vectors sell very well when they get accepted to Shutterstock and then they sink into oblivion (except the popular ones). This is very encouraging for people who are new to stock (like me) since you start earning immediatly. Many find out that this is not so good later on, since the earnings don't rise as much as your portfolio does.

But today I was thinking about something else. Could SS be a prophet for other sites. Like the images that really start selling well at SS will eventually get a lot of downloads elsewhere. If that is true, what is the number of downloads at which you can say that it will sell well everywhere?


bittersweet

« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2008, 12:22 »
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Like the images that really start selling well at SS will eventually get a lot of downloads elsewhere.
??? I would think it would have somewhat of an opposite effect.

The new files are downloaded more b/c people are trying to get their money's worth by downloading their maximum limit as many days as possible. Their first step is to pillage through the newest uploads.

(Disclaimer: This is solely my opinion based on many instances of anecdotal evidence posted throughout these forum.) ;)


CofkoCof

« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2008, 12:30 »
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Like the images that really start selling well at SS will eventually get a lot of downloads elsewhere.
??? I would think it would have somewhat of an opposite effect.

The new files are downloaded more b/c people are trying to get their money's worth by downloading their maximum limit as many days as possible. Their first step is to pillage through the newest uploads.

(Disclaimer: This is solely my opinion based on many instances of anecdotal evidence posted throughout these forum.) ;)


I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say. I agree with what you are saying in the first part of my post. But the thing I'm more interested in is: are the pictures that got a lot of downloads at SS also gonna sell well on IS, DT, FT. My pictures are pretty new so I don't know how they will perform there. So I'm wondering if I can expect good sales from the pictures that sell well on SS.

« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2008, 12:44 »
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In my expirience there's no way to know if an image will sell well on one site or another because each site has its different costumers... you have to find out which one sells your images better.

« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2008, 12:49 »
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Sometimes it holds true, other times not so much.  My #1 image at SS has sold 4x as many times as the next closest, yet it has barely sold elsewhere, whereas my #2 image at SS has earned more elsewhere than at SS (both at FT and IS), but it is still a top earner at SS so the trend hold true there.

DanP68

« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2008, 13:21 »
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My absolute fastest selling image is #1 for me at iStock, Shutterstock, and a few smaller sites.  The trouble is, a lot of sites don't have the volume of iStock and Shutterstock so it takes longer for the cream to rise to the top.

In general I notice that my fastest selling images at Shutterstock tend to eventually become very good sellers at iStock and Dreamstime.  Fotolia seems very "different."  It has surprised me so far what has sold, and what hasn't sold, at Fotolia.  The other sites probably aren't worth considering due to the much lower volume.

And you are absolutely right about how Shutterstock works.  The new stuff gets downloaded immediately, even if it is fairly mediocre.  But if an image is really strong, it tends to sell faster and for a longer period.  Then it slows a bit and settles into a steady seller for the longer term.  These successes are challenging at SS, but I believe they are the obvious key to long term, growing earnings there.

« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2008, 13:33 »
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I've found that SS can be a good sales barometer: stuff that sells well on SS will usually have good sales everywhere else, and images that only get a few DLs on SS are usually flops.

Runaway sellers are another matter. These are dependent upon luck more than anything else. What may be a big hit on one site may only have mediocre sales on another.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2008, 16:36 by sharply_done »

CofkoCof

« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2008, 13:47 »
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In general I notice that my fastest selling images at Shutterstock tend to eventually become very good sellers at iStock and Dreamstime.  Fotolia seems very "different."  It has surprised me so far what has sold, and what hasn't sold, at Fotolia.  The other sites probably aren't worth considering due to the much lower volume.

I've found that SS can be a good sales barometer: stuff that sells well on SS will usually have good sales everywhere else, and images that only get a few DLs on SS are usually flops.
That's good to hear, I have some vectors that sell great at SS pending at IS.

And you are absolutely right about how Shutterstock works.  The new stuff gets downloaded immediately, even if it is fairly mediocre.  But if an image is really strong, it tends to sell faster and for a longer period.  Then it slows a bit and settles into a steady seller for the longer term.  These successes are challenging at SS, but I believe they are the obvious key to long term, growing earnings there.
When an image gets to like 10th page in the "newest first" order it stops getting downloads for being new. After that it's mostly downloads from "most popular" order and if it did't reach the first few pages of the "most popular" while it was new it will be very hard for a buyer to find it. Atm I managed to get a few vectors pretty high (one is 5th if you do "web icon set" search) and they sell every day.

« Last Edit: April 18, 2008, 13:49 by CofkoCof »

helix7

« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2008, 15:10 »
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In my expirience there's no way to know if an image will sell well on one site or another because each site has its different costumers...

I agree. I have had images get 20-30 DLs a day for a few days straight at SS, and never really take off at istock or other sites. And the opposite has happened, too. Top sellers at other sites don't always translate to top sellers at SS.

« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2008, 16:47 »
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In my expirience there's no way to know if an image will sell well on one site or another because each site has its different costumers...

I agree. I have had images get 20-30 DLs a day for a few days straight at SS, and never really take off at istock or other sites. And the opposite has happened, too. Top sellers at other sites don't always translate to top sellers at SS.

Agree also, SS isn't the most accurate barometer. I don't how many times I've had image go crazy on SS and get just a trickle of downloads elsewhere and vise/versa. Still left scratching my head when it happens though.  ???

lisafx

« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2008, 17:38 »
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I kind of view SS as a predictor.  It's not foolproof by any means, but usually an image that sells well off the bat on shutterstock will sell well elsewhere when/if it approved. 

RT


« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2008, 17:49 »
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IMO you can never use subscription sales (no matter what site they're on) to gauge any type of popularity long term because of what others have already pointed out, unless the image has been on the site for a while.
I've got an image on SS that sells 2-3 times every single day and I uploaded it about 6 months ago, yet I've got an image thats way higher in overall sales that I uploaded less than a month ago, and neither of these images do what I'd describe as outstanding on other sites.
iStock is without doubt the best site for contributor statistics, but then they keep changing their best match criteria which buggers everything up  :D
The best advice is create what you think will sell using obvious research methods and make the image the best you can, keyword it well and leave the rest to fate.

« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2008, 17:51 »
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For me it must be Nostradamus cause I probably predicts sales in next century on other sites :-)

« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2008, 02:51 »
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I have a few  images that do well on SS but not any where else. They are some of the nicest images that I have in my portfolio but not as stock worthy as most of my images. One in particular that I just looked at the figures for  has had 158 dls on SS and has sold only 4 times each on IS and DT.   
To me this suggests that quite a lot of impulse buying goes on at SS where they buy an image with their extra credits just because it's a nice image even though it's not particularly useful.

« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2008, 04:45 »
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I've found that Shutterstock can show a trend sometimes, particularly on people shots, but not always.

It's also clouded somewhat by the fact that the Shutterstock faithful will jump on anything that they think might be of use someday, whilst people who pay as you go only buy what they want at the time.


 

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