pancakes

MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: There are no rules: Microstock is totally harem scarem.  (Read 10023 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

WarrenPrice

« on: October 12, 2010, 14:56 »
0
I'm having a terrible week.  Nothing makes sense.  No sales and I was expecting a bunch.  Last Tuesday I had 15 sales on Shutterstock. Today -- ONE!

I had an image selling like crazy on SS.  I sent it to Dreamstime and it was rejected.
Dreamstime acceptance ratio was on the rise, taking nearly everything.  Last two weeks ... the bottom fell out.  They don't want any of my stuff.

There is no rhyme nor reason. 

Sorry!  Just had to blow off a little steam.
Isn't October supposed to be a good month?   ::) :P


lisafx

« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2010, 18:22 »
0
That does sound like a bad week, Warren. 

Things are improving for me over what they were in the summer, but still kind of squirrely.  Some really excellent days and some pretty low days.  As you said, no rhyme or reason to it.  ???

OM

« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2010, 18:22 »
0
I'm having a terrible week.  Nothing makes sense.  No sales and I was expecting a bunch.  Last Tuesday I had 15 sales on Shutterstock. Today -- ONE!

I had an image selling like crazy on SS.  I sent it to Dreamstime and it was rejected.
Dreamstime acceptance ratio was on the rise, taking nearly everything.  Last two weeks ... the bottom fell out.  They don't want any of my stuff.

There is no rhyme nor reason. 

Sorry!  Just had to blow off a little steam.
Isn't October supposed to be a good month?   ::) :P

It's not you Warren. After a bumper first 3 weeks of Sept. at FT (double a normal month) sales for me this month have, so far, been VERY low. Got a small port but nevertheless, disturbingly quiet even in subs. Mat Hayward mentioned that he thought they fiddled around with the search on FT toward the end of last month because he had also taken a bit of a hit............but who knows!

rubyroo

« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2010, 18:41 »
0
I'm all over the place too - when I have a good day, I think it's getting back on track, and then it's fine for a few days, and then it just drops like a stone.

I've been assuming that it has something to do with agencies trying to staggerc large influxes of new images from ex-iStock exclusives - and just letting the rest of us have the odd day or three in the sun.

« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2010, 21:47 »
0
That does sound like a bad week, Warren. 

Things are improving for me over what they were in the summer, but still kind of squirrely.  Some really excellent days and some pretty low days.  As you said, no rhyme or reason to it.  ???

+1

LSD72

  • My Bologna has a first name...
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2010, 11:35 »
0
Its becoming a really good roller coaster ride. Just apply Forrest Gump to your RPI and "You never know what your going to get".  I personally am refocusing and looking at downsizing who I submit too and looking towards other avenues of income with my Photos. DOnt know what.. but I am looking..lol.

« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2010, 13:58 »
0
Few moments ago I was willing to open a new topic  "Bad October, baad!" but then I saw this topic... ;D

This month should be the best of the best, but this year will "absent" that result ... My sales are now worse than in September...
« Last Edit: October 13, 2010, 14:01 by borg »

« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2010, 07:24 »
0
Unfortunately it probably just going to get worse for most stock photographers. As more images are uploaded and more companies add to the competition, the market will saturate even for the big four. This just means lower acceptance rates, lower prices, and more 'subscription' deals since the board for each company have to come up with novel ways to attract customers. Not too mention, the 'free' image section. Why on earth would anyone give away my work for free? Especially when the people using the imagery are probably charing their clients thousands of dollars or earning thousands of dollars from advertising revenue.

lisafx

« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2010, 08:57 »
0
Agree with much of the above^^, except the "lower prices" part.  Prices continue to climb.  The problem is that those price hikes aren't necessarily being shared among contributors anymore, thanks to the shrinking royalty percentages.

« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2010, 15:29 »
0
I'm already on BME on DT, SS and FT ;D

« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2010, 16:48 »
0
I'm having a terrible week.  Nothing makes sense.  No sales and I was expecting a bunch.  Last Tuesday I had 15 sales on Shutterstock. Today -- ONE!

Same here...and here I was, thinking it was because I had a raise! Everything just dropped right around that! So at least it's good to hear there isn't a conspiracy  ;)

« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2010, 18:13 »
0
I expect the agencies to push subscription plans harder all the time, because subscriptions break the link between sale price and commission . We don't know what the buyer paid, and in fact there is no simple numerical answer to that question. Even if a sale price is stated, that price doesn't include additional front-end subscription charges.   So the actual price of the subscription can be raised at any time with no obligation to increase payments to contributors. 

« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2010, 09:10 »
0
Yes its quite depressing, I'm new to MS and the more I learn about it the more I'm disliking it. My interpretation is that the clients, marketing departments and the stock companies are all getting rich from exploiting photographers.

For example, a client buys a 'subscription' with iStock, gets a high IQ image. 0.30c goes towards to the photographer, iStock no doubt gets a lot more through its subscription. The client then either sells the image as part of an advertising or somewhere the image ends up on pages which cost thousands of dollars to advertise in?

I was reading about TIME magazine. Apparently they used a microstock image which was bought for 15 dollars. This is for a front page for one of the most well known magazines out there making huge amounts of money from advertisements. Apart from the MS pin up boys, seems like the photographer is the loser here?

« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2010, 10:14 »
0
Yes its quite depressing, ... Apart from the MS pin up boys, seems like the photographer is the loser here?

Warning -- Biased Opinion: Welcome to reality. This business is what it is. No sense in complaining about others who you think are getting a better deal than you. If you feel like a loser, what is keeping you from seeking other work?

lisafx

« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2010, 10:46 »
0
Yes its quite depressing, I'm new to MS and the more I learn about it the more I'm disliking it. My interpretation is that the clients, marketing departments and the stock companies are all getting rich from exploiting photographers.



Can't say I blame you.  A couple of years ago I would have argued pretty strongly that microstock is a win/win for all involved, but today some greedy agencies are ruining it for photographers.

Have to agree with Lou though - why bother with it?  You missed the glory days...

If I was just starting out now I know for certain I would not put the work into developing my portfolio that did back in 2005-06.  Too little return on investment.

« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2010, 11:02 »
0
Six years ago this was a dynamic fairly quick-return business. Probably due to the shortage of images relative to the demand. The steady decline in earnings per image uploaded has put a damper on my enthusiasm. My IS income is 1/3 of what it was 5 years ago with 4 times the images. Lots of reasons market-wise for that if you've been following this group. For me, now, I upload much less, check results less often, and generally regard this business as more of a curiosity/hobby than as a money-making venture. Plus it's fun to follow the rants, prognostications, and trends. I don't have a dog to play with. Thank God I don't need to make a living at this.

« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2010, 11:07 »
0
My interpretation is that the clients, marketing departments and the stock companies are all getting rich from exploiting photographers.

For example, a client buys a 'subscription' with iStock, gets a high IQ image. 0.30c goes towards to the photographer, iStock no doubt gets a lot more through its subscription. The client then either sells the image as part of an advertising or somewhere the image ends up on pages which cost thousands of dollars to advertise in?

I was reading about TIME magazine. Apparently they used a microstock image which was bought for 15 dollars. This is for a front page for one of the most well known magazines out there making huge amounts of money from advertisements. Apart from the MS pin up boys, seems like the photographer is the loser here?
Yep, This sums it up nicely. 30 cent for you where images getting are used in hundred and thousand dollar applications. The same goes for some much of macro market now as well. "Well, we need to sell them the images for a few bucks so they don't go elsewhere".


« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2010, 17:02 »
0
I spent about a year at it, just as a hobby really.  Eventually I had 150 good salable images (of which IS accepted less than half, of course).  Just about all of them sell from time to time and it's fun to watch the money trickle in - some days nothing, some days $10.   But with so many of the sales netting me 30 cents or less, there's little point.  Only a few images have actually repaid the time I spent on them.  

If I really went at it and produced a couple thousand images, the money would start to mean something.  But there are 2 big reasons I don't do that.  One is the difficulty of coming up with good subjects that won't cost anything to shoot.  The other is that the business seems to be still declining, so even if I calculated today that the effort would be worthwhile, in 2 years I might well conclude it wasn't.  

There are just too many new photographers still coming online, all around the world, thinkiing they can somehow scratch out a living from a DSLR, and for many of them 30 cents still means something, relative to their local costs of living.  Ooops, I meant 25 cents.  Oh wait, I see it's now 15 cents.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2010, 17:09 by stockastic »

« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2010, 19:36 »
0
Hi Zeus,

I agree totally with your point. The sales are down for many and the prices just keep jumping around. Soon it  MIGHT just be stock period. No upper lower middle pricing but this is purely conjecture on my part. How do we get a larger percentage per image, I only see one option make better photos than the next guy that meet the buyers needs the best, easier said than done for all of us. That seems to be the trend at the moment. You can buy RM Macro for less than some Micro so who knows where this is heading.
My last statement is fact, please pull up a Macro agencies site and look at the price break down depending on what you need the image for. I am flying right now but if someone would like to see an example I can post it tomorrow when I am home.

Best,
Jonathan

« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2010, 20:18 »
0
It's true that one could take almost any business concept or line of work, study the market and conclude there's no point in going into it because too many are doing it already.  But the truth is that 80% of them are not terribly good at it - there is always an opportunity for someone who undertakes to do something really well.

However I can't readily think of a comparable trade or craft where you have absolutely no control over what you charge. Imagine that pottery sold on a global market, and the shipping cost was zero - but it could only be sold for a fixed price of $1 per item.  What would you expect to see on the shelves?  
« Last Edit: October 30, 2010, 20:22 by stockastic »

« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2010, 06:25 »
0
For me, now, I upload much less, check results less often, and generally regard this business as more of a curiosity/hobby than as a money-making venture. Plus it's fun to follow the rants, prognostications, and trends. I don't have a dog to play with.
Lol

I've lost motivation recently because of the disappearance of iSyndica, not that I've ever been that hard working anyway.

« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2010, 07:17 »
0
I've been uploading photos for about 2 1/2 years and have been happy with the supplemental income. When the ad agency I worked for shut down 8 months ago I thought I could try and combine stock photography and freelance graphic design work for my income. Then IS announced their horrendous changes for non-exclusive contributors and I completely lost trust in the company and saw how volatile and unstable the field is a whole. When a local printer called me recently and offered me a full time job as a Digital Prepress Specialist, I took it. I will still work on increasing my portfolios and focus more on Alamy, but will probably never rely solely on MS income because it is too unreliable. It's possible I could change my mind in a few years but I'll just have to wait and see what happens.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2010, 14:02 by epantha »

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2010, 12:28 »
0
I used to think about microstock as unreliable as well, but seeing it in retrospective after 3 years, no other "real" job lasted as long for me.

« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2010, 13:56 »
0
Hi microstockphoto.co.uk,

 So glad you have found your calling. Keep shooting, the more the better and especially the better the more, cash that is :)

Cheers,
Jonathan

jbarber873

« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2010, 20:20 »
0
It's true that one could take almost any business concept or line of work, study the market and conclude there's no point in going into it because too many are doing it already.  But the truth is that 80% of them are not terribly good at it - there is always an opportunity for someone who undertakes to do something really well.

However I can't readily think of a comparable trade or craft where you have absolutely no control over what you charge. Imagine that pottery sold on a global market, and the shipping cost was zero - but it could only be sold for a fixed price of $1 per item.  What would you expect to see on the shelves?  

  The way i look at it is this:
I am selling nothing. By that I mean the buyer gets only a series of electrical impulses ( a virtual piece of pottery, if you will). My profit is anything over the cost of production. In my case, i shoot only studio shots of objects I already own or can get at no cost. I also submit images where the props were paid for by my regular clients. In this way, the images have only the time value of the studio as a real cost. Since I am only shooting on down time, this is a sunk cost anyway. So, essentially, microstock is a machine that sells a product that doesn't exist and sends me money.
   Now, if I shot models, with wardrobe and location costs; or travel images with the associated costs, it would not make sense to enter this business to me. At the PDN photo show last year, Yuri Arcurs presented sales figures showing a steady decline in the RPI of his images. Given his huge overhead, there's got to be a point soon when the downward RPI trend meets the upward cost per image trend.
    Zeus' and Jonathans point about the downward trend in macro sales mirrors my experience as well. When I get my statements from macro sales, it's hard to tell which is microstock and which is RM macrostock ( except for those fewer and fewer BIG sales).
    Still, if you can balance the cost of producing an image  with the expected return you can make money. The people who shoot every hamburger they ever ate are the ones most likely to be profitable, because the cost basis for the image is so low. Likewise the people who shoot their own family, or dog or whatever. But unless you have a pretty big family, this gets old after a while. It could be that the end game is that it becomes a business of big producers. But if that happens, the agencies will become hostage to these big collections, who may find other ways to sell images with some new technology or website yet to be invented ( and of course, there's always google image search , which may end up being a game changer after all...)


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
10 Replies
5908 Views
Last post July 17, 2006, 16:31
by madelaide
32 Replies
10472 Views
Last post April 05, 2007, 17:38
by madelaide
13 Replies
3540 Views
Last post October 23, 2008, 22:54
by helix7
3 Replies
1868 Views
Last post May 13, 2009, 16:12
by melastmohican
3 Replies
1864 Views
Last post July 26, 2009, 14:38
by madelaide

Sponsors

Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors

3100 Posing Cards Bundle