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Author Topic: The Recent Microstock Timeline - A Scary Trend  (Read 3371 times)

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Leo Blanchette

« on: August 24, 2013, 02:14 »
0
  • Istock sells images to google. Google gives away images (Date needed)
  • Sean Lock exposes it. (Date needed)
  • Huge fallout. Microstock begins reconfiguring itself like a demented house of horrors.  (Date needed)
  • Istock asks you to upload 999 at smaller standards. My tormented mind's eye sees the jaws of a venus flytrap slowly opening. (Date needed)
  • Istock slashes prices on everything, perminantly. Cute statement: "*The lawyers said we can't promise infinity, but you get the gist".  (Date needed)



Meanwhile, in other seemingly unrelated parts of the business:



  • Shutterstock partners with Facebook.




The trends, though unrelated, all converge at certain points as you can probably guess. At least its not hard to see a pattern.

I'd like to hear the more educated voices on this one. I think Microstock is lost, and anyone left over are doomed to be victims.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2013, 02:25 by Leo »


BD

« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2013, 03:15 »
+1
Well, notice that Facebook decided to integrate Shutterstock images, not Instagram (Instastock) ones (which it own). What does that tell you about the CV of Instagram photos? Instagram images go through no review and anyone can sell them, which means low quality and too much search time for most buyers. Also, Facebook is paying US (Shutterstock and the contributors) for images. As far as IStock goes, the actions you describe sound like a sinking company with no long term plan. It seems from these events Shutterstock is rising and the other stock agencies are struggling. It also seems advertising is moving more online as opposed to print, which is why Facebook partnered with Shutterstock. 

As far as the terms of service debacle, I dont think they were planning on ever selling peoples images without their permission:  http://www.theverge.com/2012/12/18/3780158/instagrams-new-terms-of-service-what-they-really-mean and also what Instagram said http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/instagram-selling-photos-ads-article-1.1223584
« Last Edit: August 24, 2013, 03:43 by BD »

« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2013, 03:49 »
0
A large buyer signs for Shutterstock 1 year subscription plan, a $199/month 25-image downloads/day adding 750 photographs and illustrations each month to their own in-house image library.
That's 9,000 images per year or 99,000 images in 11 years. Total cost for amassing this royalty-free collection was a mere $27,500.
Now they can cancel their subscription, the inhouse library will supply most of their needs.
For special projects they will buy occasionally new images - at less than $10 per image ($229 for 25 images), bringing eventually their total image count to 100,000.

Such an impressive image library will become a valuable company resource and will attract a lot of attention. And as in most retail stores, office cabinets, and libraries, there will be also some degree of image pilferage committed by inside staff that invariably will reduce the sales revenue of remaining stock agencies.

   


Ron

« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2013, 04:40 »
0
A large buyer signs for Shutterstock 1 year subscription plan, a $199/month 25-image downloads/day adding 750 photographs and illustrations each month to their own in-house image library.
That's 9,000 images per year or 99,000 images in 11 years. Total cost for amassing this royalty-free collection was a mere $27,500.
Now they can cancel their subscription, the inhouse library will supply most of their needs.
For special projects they will buy occasionally new images - at less than $10 per image ($229 for 25 images), bringing eventually their total image count to 100,000.

Such an impressive image library will become a valuable company resource and will attract a lot of attention. And as in most retail stores, office cabinets, and libraries, there will be also some degree of image pilferage committed by inside staff that invariably will reduce the sales revenue of remaining stock agencies.

 
You cant stock up, you have to use the images within 6 months

Quote
Stockpile, download, or otherwise store Images not used within six (6) months of the expiration of the subscription under which you downloaded the Image. If you fail to use an Image within such six (6) month period, you will lose all rights to use that Image.

« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2013, 05:04 »
0
I'm not microstock optimist. On the other I think that FB / SS deal is not bad step. Many of FB advertisers steal images on Google these days.
And - as long as the most frequent words in this timeline is iStock and Instagram I don't think that situation is that bad.

« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2013, 05:35 »
+1
Quote
You cant stock up, you have to use the images within 6 months

Ron, I'm not sure how is the stocking up or Royalty Free interpreted. On one hand, I am aware of the policy that you quoted, and on the other hand, at least some agencies say, Royalty Free means that you can reuse the image as many times as you want.
Does it mean that if you use the image at least once within six months, you can then reuse it later again? And if the original client for whom you planned to use the image, cancels the project, can you use it for another project? The lines seem blurry.

At one time, I was contemplating writing series of books and since such a project (research, writing, and editing) would take considerably more time than 6 months, I checked with an agency if I could purchase the images for the planned use with anticipated final usage stretching over 6 months. I was told that it would be OK.


 
« Last Edit: August 24, 2013, 05:38 by LesPalenik »

« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2013, 08:08 »
+2
;
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 11:05 by Audi 5000 »

cuppacoffee

« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2013, 09:01 »
+1
Not possible to be enforced, how could it be tracked? Most buyers don't really read the "rules" or if they do they don't adhere to them, not always on purpose but images get downloaded and stored and not stored by date downloaded.

« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2013, 09:47 »
0
i can't see what the fuss is all about.

SS just signed a distributor deal with FB, so what ?

that's what agencies are supposed to in order to expand their market share, it only shows that SS salesmen have more balls than the competition.

of course what is good for SS is not necessarily good for us, or it can be even a stab in the back, but in this specific scenario it looks good to me, as others pointed out already we're talking about thumbnails, not full size images.

find me another agencies willing to monetize thumbnails, can't remeber a single one.


ShadySue

« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2013, 09:51 »
0
re subs sales
You cant stock up, you have to use the images within 6 months
[/quote]
With micro resources, that is almost impossible to police.
And what tiny percentage of buyers has ever even seen the clause? (as many as have seen similar clauses at TS et alia)

« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2013, 16:35 »
+1
You can only stock up for so long. You still need fresh images for new projects. You can't just use the same images over and over.

I doubt many people sit around and stock up on downloads. The amount of time it would take to sort and download the max every day would cost more in time than you save by banking photos. 

« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2013, 17:41 »
+1
A large buyer signs for Shutterstock 1 year subscription plan, a $199/month 25-image downloads/day adding 750 photographs and illustrations each month to their own in-house image library.
That's 9,000 images per year or 99,000 images in 11 years. Total cost for amassing this royalty-free collection was a mere $27,500.
Now they can cancel their subscription, the inhouse library will supply most of their needs.
For special projects they will buy occasionally new images - at less than $10 per image ($229 for 25 images), bringing eventually their total image count to 100,000.

Such an impressive image library will become a valuable company resource and will attract a lot of attention. And as in most retail stores, office cabinets, and libraries, there will be also some degree of image pilferage committed by inside staff that invariably will reduce the sales revenue of remaining stock agencies.

 

Doesn't make sense.
The cost for building up and maintaining the inhouse library (suitable database, software to acess it, keywording the images (!!), training staff how to use it...) would be way higher than the cost to keep the subscription running for the next ten or twenty years.

This does not make economical sense.

Jon Oringer once said something along the lines that the value Shutterstock provides for customers is not the in the images themselves, but it is an fast and efficient way to search and find the right image when you are looking for it.

Even if some customers would stockpile for later usage, the majority (and surely the big corporate buyers) will not for economical reasons.

« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2013, 17:45 »
+2
Quote
Jon Oringer once said something along the lines that the value Shutterstock provides for customers is not the in the images themselves, but it is an fast and efficient way to search and find the right image when you are looking for it.

But in order to find those images they have wade through a ton because of keyword spamming.  Which doesn't save time for the buyer and they might end up with something they didn't want or they go somewhere else.

That doesn't just plague SS as keyword spamming is everywhere.

« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2013, 18:25 »
+6
Jon Oringer once said something along the lines that the value Shutterstock provides for customers is not the in the images themselves, but it is an fast and efficient way to search and find the right image when you are looking for it.

He's claiming that the value of the search facilities is now greater, relatively speaking, than the value of the image itself.  And that the value SS adds is increasing, while the intrinsic value of the images isn't.   By that logic,  the agency should be keeping a larger and larger portion of the sale price for itself. 

The technical term for these sorts of assertions is "weasel words".



Uncle Pete

« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2013, 13:39 »
0
Actually Instagram and Facebook, already had the same rights that people think they backed down from. It was just restating them, when the whole uproar occurred. Just a detail. Instagram only backed down from the new wording. Nothing changed.


« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2013, 22:27 »
+1
no one will ever make big bucks from services like Instagram or Flickr, the money is just not there and nobody found a better working business model so far in the last 15 yrs.

the ugly truth is no one would use the internet if everything was pay-per-use.

i remember very well at the beginning they tried everything to get people buy a 33.6 modem, even giveaways and free unlimited connections with free email and all (AOL and many others), they only got troubles despite making billions with the Ponzi scheme running up in wall street during the "dot-boom".

the money was in providing services, consulting, custom software, infrastructure, hardware.
that's where the money is, not in photo sharing whatever.

i know, 500px now got backed by VC for a few millions but it's still a Ponzi .. they aint making any money, their goal is to be sold at a premium to the next su-cker, that's what VC is all about, not real profits or real companies with stable business models.

i mean look at the e-commerce world leader, Amazon.com, it's now making profits finally but it took them almost 20 yrs to reach the point where they are now and yet they're very small in net terms compared to a traditional distributor.

people have this illusion that the internet allows to cut the distribution costs to the bone and therefore to make bigger profits.

but it's wrong, it just cuts profits even more.
apple is making a sh-itload of money selling hardware for instance.

google selling advertising and services.

ebay selling classifieds and ecommerce services.

the list goes on, none of the top tier Nasdaq companies is actually selling free photo sharing services unless we take FB as a photo sharing site ?

the phenomenal success of Youtube never ever translated in phenomenal profits, quite the opposite only recently the managed to make some small profits out of it because their volumes are now so big that a few hollywood majors decided to jump ship and using Youtube as a promotional tool.

it's all indirect, nobody is making money selling the actual digital product they produce or distribute.

i see the same fate for the poor musicians, they will have to make good songs and give them away for free in order to make some money selling t-shirts ! and so their business will be in merchandising, not in music unless they also make live gigs.




« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 22:31 by Xanox »


Leo Blanchette

« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2013, 22:41 »
0
I always like your posts.

Beppe Grillo

« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2013, 01:37 »
0

find me another agencies willing to monetize thumbnails, can't remeber a single one.

iStock is on the way


 

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