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Author Topic: Thinkstock is alive?  (Read 28037 times)

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« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2010, 16:20 »
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I'm with you there Lisa...istock in 2009 (and 2010 until march) was the big majority of my stock income, double or triple (depending on the month) of my #2, SS.
Since march downloads have been going steadily downhill and i'm since the past 2 months down to half of what i used to make there (iS). Sure there might be a summerslump like they love to point out there, strange though on other sites i barely feel it. No matter what everyone says, i remain convinced it's the darn TS (WITH it's toxic green search button ;)).
(on a sidenote: DT suddenly is doing better than ever here...i've been wondering if i'm an isolated case? I do have a small portfolio thus not entirely relevant for statistics)


« Reply #26 on: July 09, 2010, 16:33 »
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Never in the field of stock photography have so many turkeys voted for Christmas all at the same time.

Excellent description of TS supporters.  :D

« Reply #27 on: July 09, 2010, 18:24 »
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It costs as low as $5.99 for a XXXL image on Thinkstock as opposed to $30 on IS. We only get 20% of the 5.99 as opposed to 20-40% on IS. So that is $1.20 commission from Thinkstock and about $7.00 commission from Istock. For the same photo at the same size.

Exactly, and this is why I choose not to support TS. Once StockXpert went kaput, I deleted all my images and kindly asked them to delete anything that had already migrated over to TS.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2010, 18:25 by Norebbo »

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #28 on: July 09, 2010, 20:17 »
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I keep wondering if Getty's ultimate, long term goal isn't to kill the microstock business model altogether, or at least limit it to mostly snapshots.
Well if killing Istock's sales is part of the plan...Mission Accomplished!!  Average daily sales at IS down 30% from the high of March '10 and down 21% from LAST JULY, which was second worst month of last year.

I'm beginning to wonder if Thinkstock is starting to finally draw enough business from IS that it's now noticeable.

My sales have been pretty consistent for the past couple years but in May they dipped, June dipped more, and if July keeps going as it is I'll be back to July 08 download levels with 3x the number of images. This could be caused by a lot of things but it seems like there's a higher than normal amount of people complaining about a summer slowdown. Summer may have something to do with it but something else is going on here.

And if Getty does kill micro they had better replace it with something that has higher pricing and commissions, not lower.

« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2010, 07:08 »
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And if Getty does kill micro they had better replace it with something that has higher pricing and commissions, not lower.

They already have something with higher pricing and commissions...Getty Images. Look at the pool of photographers they have to choose from, ones that they have watched come up through the ranks at IS, that they can now shuffle over into the trad agency. The rest is collateral damage.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2010, 07:29 »
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And if Getty does kill micro they had better replace it with something that has higher pricing and commissions, not lower.

They already have something with higher pricing and commissions...Getty Images. Look at the pool of photographers they have to choose from, ones that they have watched come up through the ranks at IS, that they can now shuffle over into the trad agency. The rest is collateral damage.

Yes but Getty seems to be in decline. IS is growing. But they're heavily promoting Thinkstock. And promoting it to buyers at Getty and IS !!??

Not sure what the strategy is here but if Thinkstock grows into a monster that drains Getty, IS, and other micros of buyers I don't think this is good for any of us.

« Reply #31 on: July 10, 2010, 07:48 »
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And if Getty does kill micro they had better replace it with something that has higher pricing and commissions, not lower.

They already have something with higher pricing and commissions...Getty Images. Look at the pool of photographers they have to choose from, ones that they have watched come up through the ranks at IS, that they can now shuffle over into the trad agency. The rest is collateral damage.

Yes but Getty seems to be in decline. IS is growing. But they're heavily promoting Thinkstock. And promoting it to buyers at Getty and IS !!??

Not sure what the strategy is here but if Thinkstock grows into a monster that drains Getty, IS, and other micros of buyers I don't think this is good for any of us.

It looks like Getty has been pouring massive amounts of money into promoting Thinkstock; I keep seeing Thinkstock ads everywhere online. Thinkstock seems to be as widely advertised as Netflix, and who hasn't heard of Netflix? If I were an iStock exclusive, I would be furious about this.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #32 on: July 10, 2010, 07:55 »
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And if Getty does kill micro they had better replace it with something that has higher pricing and commissions, not lower.
They already have something with higher pricing and commissions...Getty Images. Look at the pool of photographers they have to choose from, ones that they have watched come up through the ranks at IS, that they can now shuffle over into the trad agency. The rest is collateral damage.
Yes but Getty seems to be in decline. IS is growing. But they're heavily promoting Thinkstock. And promoting it to buyers at Getty and IS !!??Not sure what the strategy is here but if Thinkstock grows into a monster that drains Getty, IS, and other micros of buyers I don't think this is good for any of us.
It looks like Getty has been pouring massive amounts of money into promoting Thinkstock; I keep seeing Thinkstock ads everywhere online. Thinkstock seems to be as widely advertised as Netflix, and who hasn't heard of Netflix? If I were an iStock exclusive, I would be furious about this.

I'm IS exlusive. I'm not furious but more concerned. Getty isn't dumb. They will invest where they see the most buyer demand and highest profits. And that apparantly is Thinkstock. I understand that from a business perspective that they must adapt to market changes. But if micro subscription is the future I don't know how sustainable that is for contributors.

« Reply #33 on: July 10, 2010, 08:58 »
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Getty, like every giant company, cares mostly about the profit. That said, they will move wherever the money is. If they see the money in Thinkstock, and if they want to kill Istock, they will do it anyway. If that's the case, I'm afraid they are investing so much in promoting Thinkstock until they reach SS in sales. I doubt they will do anything before reaching the level of sales at SS. They are maybe testing the field right now, to see which of two (IS or TS) costs less and brings more money. So, maybe they are moving in two directions now to see which one is better for them.
One thing is certain... Copying SS model, they are obviously trying to steal buyers from SS

« Reply #34 on: July 10, 2010, 09:02 »
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Getty isn't dumb. They will invest where they see the most buyer demand and highest profits. And that apparantly is Thinkstock.

Getty does have a track record of being 'dumb' __ that's why they got bought out cheap by H&F when the share price plummetted by 75% in about a year (and the shareholders had so little confidence in the management that they voted in favour of it).

'Getty' isn't a person, at least in this context. It's actually a collection of people mostly with responsibilities for their own departments/companies with little or no regard for other parts of the overall business, some of which they are in competition with.

There's no chance of TS generating higher profits than IS either. Just as contributors earn hugely less when an image is bought on TS rather than IS, it also follows that far less profit, in terms of $'s, is generated from a TS sale. TS however certainly could damage IS which currently is probably the most profitable and valuable part of the Getty stable. You should be concerned __ very, very concerned.

« Reply #35 on: July 10, 2010, 09:56 »
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Corbis spent lots advertising snap village and that didn't do much damage to the established sites.  I think it is very hard to move buyers from a site they are satisfied with.  That's why new sites don't work.  Corbis are now trying an alternative option, building a big collection by paying us to upload.  Will be interesting to see if that works.  Getty are doing the opposite with TS, penalizing contributors by paying a low commission, having an opt out and upload limits that will keep the collection small.  It doesn't make sense to me and I wish them as much success as snap village had :)

lisafx

« Reply #36 on: July 10, 2010, 10:12 »
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Maybe I am just feeling pessimistic at the moment, but as I see more TS advertising and their name appears in more photo credits, it is beginning to feel like not IF, but WHEN TS kills off Istock. 

Reading the monthly stats threads doesn't inspire confidence either.  Pretty much everyone with a mature portfolio is reporting steep declines in downloads.  Even the few exclusives still managing to have BME's are reporting actual DL numbers are down.       

I can't help but wonder what TS is doing to Getty's goal of growing Istock profits by 50% this year.  Unless they are including TS in that "growth". 

KB

« Reply #37 on: July 10, 2010, 10:51 »
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My prediction: TS has begun, and will continue, to negatively impact iStock sales. Getty knew this would happen, and will use the "unexplained downturn" to do the unthinkable and cut exclusive commissions. Just a little at a time, of course (gotta keep that frog in the pot). When commissions are down to where Getty wants them, perhaps then they will merge TS & IS or otherwise kill off the lower-end product.

lisafx

« Reply #38 on: July 10, 2010, 11:21 »
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My prediction: TS has begun, and will continue, to negatively impact iStock sales. Getty knew this would happen, and will use the "unexplained downturn" to do the unthinkable and cut exclusive commissions. Just a little at a time, of course (gotta keep that frog in the pot). When commissions are down to where Getty wants them, perhaps then they will merge TS & IS or otherwise kill off the lower-end product.

^^Makes sense.  Or perhaps keep IS as an "exclusive only" site and shuttle independents over the TS. 

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #39 on: July 10, 2010, 12:59 »
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Getty does have a track record of being 'dumb' __ that's why they got bought out cheap by H&F when the share price plummetted by 75% in about a year (and the shareholders had so little confidence in the management that they voted in favour of it). 'Getty' isn't a person, at least in this context. It's actually a collection of people mostly with responsibilities for their own departments/companies with little or no regard for other parts of the overall business, some of which they are in competition with. There's no chance of TS generating higher profits than IS either. Just as contributors earn hugely less when an image is bought on TS rather than IS, it also follows that far less profit, in terms of $'s, is generated from a TS sale. TS however certainly could damage IS which currently is probably the most profitable and valuable part of the Getty stable. You should be concerned __ very, very concerned.
They have a track record of making drastic changes often. The more decisions and changes you make the more likely mistakes will be made. Most of the other non-Getty companies rarely make changes which, ultimately, could be their biggest mistake.

TS may not be earning Getty more total profits today. But I bet it earns a higher profit percentage than their macro offerings or Istock. From what I understand a good chunk of the content is wholly owned so they have no commissions to pay on some of it. If they transition buyers to TS so that it's generating as much revenue is IS it will most likely generate higher total profits which is probably why they're promoting it so much.

I am concerned, but planning and action is more productive than worrying. 

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #40 on: July 10, 2010, 13:15 »
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Maybe I am just feeling pessimistic at the moment, but as I see more TS advertising and their name appears in more photo credits, it is beginning to feel like not IF, but WHEN TS kills off Istock. 
Reading the monthly stats threads doesn't inspire confidence either.  Pretty much everyone with a mature portfolio is reporting steep declines in downloads.  Even the few exclusives still managing to have BME's are reporting actual DL numbers are down.       
I can't help but wonder what TS is doing to Getty's goal of growing Istock profits by 50% this year.  Unless they are including TS in that "growth". 

My revenue is down a bit but downloads are significantly down. My revenue is almost flat but it's an illusion. The exclusive cost bump and E+ kept the revenue up while downloads were declining. There aren't any more cost bumps coming.

Maybe the 50% will come from ex-Getty buyers. With this economy I'd bet a ton of Getty buyers have/are headed for micro and subscriptions. So Getty is probably pushing existing buyers who are at risk of being lost, and also buyers they have already lost, to IS and/or TS. Getty corporate buyers who used to have big million dollar budgets but now only have a fraction of that would still be big revenue bumps for IS and TS.

« Reply #41 on: July 10, 2010, 14:58 »
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I am concerned, but planning and action is more productive than worrying. 

But what plans? What actions? What can we, as individuals, do?


« Reply #42 on: July 10, 2010, 16:08 »
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But what plans? What actions? What can we, as individuals, do?

Don't support TS with your content. Without content it can never become a threat. Simples.

« Reply #43 on: July 10, 2010, 16:15 »
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I think if Getty wanted to destroy Istock they would just sell cheap subs through Istock. No one is holding a gun to your head making you submit to thinkstock or any of the other sites that pop up hourly. More likely they have just found a way to cut into the competition with minimal damage to Istock. Thinkstock and sub sites in general should only sell dated or slow sellers, leave the better or new stuff priced higher until demand falls like most products on the market. All you can eat buffets usually have mediocre food.

If your sales are dropping on Istock as a nonexclusive, it's not hard to see what one of biggest factors might be. best match is littered with Vetta files. If E+ files ever get a push it will only get worse.  Low visibility=low sales. As mentioned before, in the past Istock made more money off of nonexclusive files, that is not the case anymore.

« Reply #44 on: July 10, 2010, 16:19 »
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Don't support TS with your content. Without content it can never become a threat. Simples.

I thought the plan was to ceaselessly complain about it and make up wild speculations?   ;D  I guess nobody ever talks about the other possibility. Thinkstock actually increasing prices and royalties down the road. That's been known to happen in the stock world too. I'm just saying it could happen, but I'm sure it is all doom and gloom in the future.  ;)

lisafx

« Reply #45 on: July 10, 2010, 16:43 »
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If your sales are dropping on Istock as a nonexclusive, it's not hard to see what one of biggest factors might be. best match is littered with Vetta files. If E+ files ever get a push it will only get worse.  Low visibility=low sales.

It seems that the drop in sales is not unique to independents.  Exclusives are seeing it too, but the effects are softened by the higher prices and percentages.  

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #46 on: July 10, 2010, 17:01 »
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Don't support TS with your content. Without content it can never become a threat. Simples.

I thought the plan was to ceaselessly complain about it and make up wild speculations?   ;D  I guess nobody ever talks about the other possibility. Thinkstock actually increasing prices and royalties down the road. That's been known to happen in the stock world too. I'm just saying it could happen, but I'm sure it is all doom and gloom in the future.  ;)

Increase prices? Probably. Increase royalties? Probably not. You think Getty is going to increase royalties out of the kindness of their hearts?

The trend has been to increase prices while "adjusting" the terms where contributors either get less or must reach higher goals to earn more.

« Reply #47 on: July 10, 2010, 17:26 »
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The trend has been to increase prices while "adjusting" the terms where contributors either get less or must reach higher goals to earn more.

If it's a trend, then I'm not sure which direction it is going. Up would be my guess though. For a while, it was all upward with raises at SS and IS. Then, it was a mix of simultaneous up and down like at FT or DT. That's probably still an up trend for contributors though. Things get tougher in stock over the years, but companies generally want to make more. And some of that trickles down to us.

I removed my portfolio at Thinkstock, but I don't really have any ill will towards them like many others. As far as microstock atrocities, It's pretty low on my list. If it is even on it.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #48 on: July 10, 2010, 18:47 »
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The trend has been to increase prices while "adjusting" the terms where contributors either get less or must reach higher goals to earn more.
If it's a trend, then I'm not sure which direction it is going. Up would be my guess though. For a while, it was all upward with raises at SS and IS. Then, it was a mix of simultaneous up and down like at FT or DT. That's probably still an up trend for contributors though. Things get tougher in stock over the years, but companies generally want to make more. And some of that trickles down to us. I removed my portfolio at Thinkstock, but I don't really have any ill will towards them like many others. As far as microstock atrocities, It's pretty low on my list. If it is even on it.

I don't remember IS giving contributors a raise. When did that happen? They've raised prices which I'm glad they did. I think all micro sites should raise prices. But they're also talking about increasing the canister level requirements which effectively would delay commission raises for most contributors.

Complaining and wild speculation doesn't help but I don't think blind optimism does either.

« Reply #49 on: July 10, 2010, 19:21 »
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Complaining and wild speculation doesn't help but I don't think blind optimism does either.
Hahaha. I wouldn't say blind optimism. There's been a lot of bumps in the road. SS needs a raise to keep pace, DT is still recovering from their changes and FT is constantly on double secret probation with me. Despite all that, I'm having my best year in stock, so I can only tell it from my perspective (which is optimistic).

I guess I was joking about the Thinkstock complaining because I don't get it. Thinkstock wasn't for me, so I left. End of story. I wouldn't fault anyone for joining them though, and I don't really think their warts are much different than all the other agencies. I guess I've resigned myself to the fact that no agency really represents my interests. They represent their own, so there are always going to be issues and conflicts. But complaining about agencies that I don't even participate at is just silly.


 

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