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Author Topic: TRANSLATION: Storyblocks - so funny! - This is what the letter REALLY means...  (Read 4578 times)

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« on: August 08, 2019, 09:49 »
+7
So funny. HISTORY of storyblocks. (BTW - for those that cite "cost" for hosting videos -
it's actually become dirt cheap to host videos, i.e., 1 cent per 1000 videos/month, so
"cost" really is not a factor for any of these decisions).

a) 100% COMMISSIONS FOREVER! Aren't we great?
Translation: (We want a no-risk way of seeing what sells, then buy those clips dirt cheap)

b) SOZ - 50% COMMISSIONS NOW DUE TO "EXPENSES". BUT AREN'T WE GREAT?
Translation: (We bough all the dirt cheap clips that sold well, but now want a cut of the
periodic sales that we don't want to buy).

c) OMFG! MICROPENNIES FOR YOU CLIPS! MORE SALES FOR YOU! AREN'T WE GREAT?!??
Translation: kk, we've squeezed as much juice as we can out of the clips that don't sell
well - customers don't want to pay full price for those, but we can boost our subscriptions
making us craploads of money, and throwing a few crumbs their way.

d) WHAT? No one is signing up because they don't want to sell it for micropennies? Well,
we'll send them a PRETEND letter saying they were "specially" selected! (So storyblocks
sent out a letter to contributors saying "YOU HAVE BEEN SELECTED TO BE EXPEDIATED
FOR OUR MICROPENNIES PROGRAM!! AREN'T YOU EXCITED?!?!? APPLY NOW!"

e) Very few still get excited about the micropennies program, even with the "SPECIALLY
selected" program. So storyblocks says "FINE! You ain't gonna sign up? Well - we are
gonna try and FORCE to sign up then! SIGNUP FOR THE EXCITING MICROPENNIES PROGRAM,
otherwise we are going to KICK YOU OFF! EXCITING NEWS, EH?!?!?!?!"

Cost is a minimal factor here. (It literally is less than a penny to host 1000+ videos/month. As long
as you make more than 1 penny/1000 videos in sales, you are profitable).

The only real complaints they would have had would be from subscribers - who were paying a dirt
cheap price ($30/month) - and noticed there was a corresponding clip from the marketplace that
"looked" better for their project - so they complained, asking why should they have to pay $70 when
they have dirt cheap access to 100,000+ other clips.

So, the reason for the program is pure greed, and simply because they want to reduce customer support
questions specifically related to that.

They want to further dominate the video marketplace with cheap cheap content
(but great subscription revenue for them). They have already successfully decimated the
industries previous prices (getting other people to follow in the subscription battle/revenue
war), with contributors as the casualties.

Not that I think they will be hurting any time soon (they have such a HUGE library, they can now
auto-pilot it for at least 10-15 years making $30+ million/year in profit, with pretty much no effort.
The effort is logging in to your bank account and saying 'oh cool, I made $30 million this year!!).

I hope contributors are smart enough not to panic and think 'oh-oh, I better get into the MICRO pennies program!'.

I'm pretty sure everyone who "applies" will be "accepted", but that the "application" process was part
of a ploy to give a sense of "importance" to this micropennies program.

So, I guess good for them.


« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2019, 10:13 »
+2
So funny. HISTORY of storyblocks. (BTW - for those that cite "cost" for hosting videos -
it's actually become dirt cheap to host videos, i.e., 1 cent per 1000 videos/month, so
"cost" really is not a factor for any of these decisions).

I see, do you run many companies that need to use Amazon/CloudFront to store petabytes of data that needs to be available to the entire world at high speeds?

Look it up. :) You don't use a free DropBox account and post the public links...

---

Did someone hurt you personally at StoryBlocks? Do you know the purpose of a business? Did you know that if a part of a business isn't profitable, a smart business owner closes that part. We don't have to like it, you don't have to like it, it's business. If the marketplace was profitable, they would keep it. Evidently it costs more than it makes, so it must go.

I'm wondering why you haven't started your own site we can contribute to so you can sit back and see that $30 mil roll in? Let us know when you've found the $0.01 storage. :)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 10:26 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2019, 10:46 »
+1
So funny. HISTORY of storyblocks. (BTW - for those that cite "cost" for hosting videos -
it's actually become dirt cheap to host videos, i.e., 1 cent per 1000 videos/month, so
"cost" really is not a factor for any of these decisions).

I see, do you run many companies that need to use Amazon/CloudFront to store petabytes of data that needs to be available to the entire world at high speeds?

Look it up. :) You don't use a free DropBox account and post the public links...

---

Did someone hurt you personally at StoryBlocks? Do you know the purpose of a business? Did you know that if a part of a business isn't profitable, a smart business owner closes that part. We don't have to like it, you don't have to like it, it's business. If the marketplace was profitable, they would keep it. Evidently it costs more than it makes, so it must go.

I'm wondering why you haven't started your own site we can contribute to so you can sit back and see that $30 mil roll in? Let us know when you've found the $0.01 storage. :)

*Actually* - I do - but I don't need petabytes, nor do I use AWS. There are much cheaper alternatives specifically for videography.

I do this for fun, because I like videography.

And BTW - videoblocks does not use petabytes for the the 'client' side of things. The videos are highly compressed, clients do not *preview* 100,000 videos at a time (maybe "10" or "15" in a day) - so the costs are VERY very minimal.

Doing some simple math. Let's say you have 100,000 people view 10 videos/day.
1,000,000 videos previewed.

Video previews are super compressed - let's say 2 mb's on average for a 15 second preview.
(I just did a test run at a resolution LARGER than what they use, and my test video with lots of information was only 1.5 MB).

So that is only 2TB of data transfer (1 million videos previewed per day @ 2mbs each preview, or 60TB/month).

Using the cost caculator here: https://calculator.s3.amazonaws.com/index.html

It is $5,630/month *TOTAL* - if they had ZERO customers - and 100,000 people just looked at video previews per day.

They make $30,000,000+/year in subscription revenue.

$70,000/year for "previews" is a drop in the bucket.

It is dirt cheap for them.

For the *actual* subscribers - while you have outliers (i.e., some people downloading 2,000+ videos/month, then others
that try to scrape the entire collection which videoblocks automatically blocks) - the "average" I would estimate
(based on my experience) is about 15-20 videos/month, at about 30MB/video.  And then you have probably 75% of
subscribers that never use their subscription beyond the initial signup.

So for people who *use* their subscription, it's about $3-$4/month in cost (downloads/transfers/etc).

So also dirt cheap for the actual subscribers that download content.

It's a VERY very profitable business model.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 11:02 by SuperPhoto »

« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2019, 10:53 »
+1
increasingdifficulty is right. It is their business model and they have to act in a way it benefits them in the first place. I will not accept their offer to apply for their subs program as I am growing at P5 Shutter and Adobe and will not risk a dollar there to ear a dime at Sb or any of the other sites that have started a race to the bottom. My sales there at their market place have been few so I will not miss them much.

So funny. HISTORY of storyblocks. (BTW - for those that cite "cost" for hosting videos -
it's actually become dirt cheap to host videos, i.e., 1 cent per 1000 videos/month, so
"cost" really is not a factor for any of these decisions).

I see, do you run many companies that need to use Amazon/CloudFront to store petabytes of data that needs to be available to the entire world at high speeds?

Look it up. :) You don't use a free DropBox account and post the public links...

---

Did someone hurt you personally at StoryBlocks? Do you know the purpose of a business? Did you know that if a part of a business isn't profitable, a smart business owner closes that part. We don't have to like it, you don't have to like it, it's business. If the marketplace was profitable, they would keep it. Evidently it costs more than it makes, so it must go.

I'm wondering why you haven't started your own site we can contribute to so you can sit back and see that $30 mil roll in? Let us know when you've found the $0.01 storage. :)

« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2019, 11:04 »
0
And BTW - videoblocks does not use petabytes for the the 'client' side of things. The videos are highly compressed, clients do not *preview* 100,000 videos at a time (maybe "10" or "15" in a day) - so the costs are VERY very minimal.

And where do you think they store the original files? In their basement on USB drives? The original files all need to be available at all times.

Shutterstock, P5, SB all have very big hosting and bandwidth costs. Shutterstock and P5 most of all, but not cheap for SB. Maybe you should approach them as a consultant and you might make some good cash?
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 11:07 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2019, 11:07 »
+1
And BTW - videoblocks does not use petabytes for the the 'client' side of things. The videos are highly compressed, clients do not *preview* 100,000 videos at a time (maybe "10" or "15" in a day) - so the costs are VERY very minimal.

And where do you think they store the original files? In their basement on USB drives? The original files all need to be available at all times.

Shutterstock, P5, SB all have very big hosting and bandwidth costs. Shutterstock/P5 probably in the millions. Maybe you should approach them as a consultant and you might make some good cash?

Storage, like I said, is less than 1 cent per 1000 videos. (Significantly less, actually).

It is only the data transfer that really costs.

SO yes, it is dirt, dirt, cheap.

« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2019, 11:11 »
+2
Storage, like I said, is less than 1 cent per 1000 videos. (Significantly less, actually).

$0.021 per GB. All of the data needs to be accessible at any time, as they have no idea which clip will be bought.

SB themselves are reporting a nosedive in marketplace sales.

Pretty much every contributor active on various forums has reported a nosedive (often to $0) in marketplace sales since the end of 2018.

It's likely the marketplace only brings in four figures or a low five figure amount (SB's cut), which means - not profitable.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 11:17 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2019, 02:43 »
0
Quote
Storage, like I said, is less than 1 cent per 1000 videos.

Superphoto I think ID has a good point. You cannot count videos by the piece, one clip might be 50Mb and another one might need 500Mb of space.

:)

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2019, 07:14 »
+1
Storage, like I said, is less than 1 cent per 1000 videos. (Significantly less, actually).

Their website says they have over 822,000 clips. You can't seriously be suggesting that their total hosting costs are 'significantly less' than $8.22 a month?

« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2019, 08:46 »
+1
Storage, like I said, is less than 1 cent per 1000 videos. (Significantly less, actually).

Their website says they have over 822,000 clips. You can't seriously be suggesting that their total hosting costs are 'significantly less' than $8.22 a month?

Your math is off, 822,000/1000 = $822.

« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2019, 09:08 »
+2
Storage, like I said, is less than 1 cent per 1000 videos. (Significantly less, actually).

$0.021 per GB. All of the data needs to be accessible at any time, as they have no idea which clip will be bought.

SB themselves are reporting a nosedive in marketplace sales.

Pretty much every contributor active on various forums has reported a nosedive (often to $0) in marketplace sales since the end of 2018.

It's likely the marketplace only brings in four figures or a low five figure amount (SB's cut), which means - not profitable.

Even so - assuming then using the AWS rates (with according to SSF they have 822,000 clips) -

Let's say each clip on average would be about 350 MB (thats for 4k video about 20 seconds at high detail, looking at my own clips. Many do a much lower MPS, so in reality the average would probably be about 50-100 mb. But lets say 350 MB for arguments sake).

822,000 * 0.3 GB * $0.021 per GB = $5,178.60/month.

(That's if each clip in their entire market place was downloaded once).

Let's be super generous and say every single clip in their market place is downloaded 10x/month. (It's not - you'll have some extremely popular clips downloaded 1000x+, and then the majority of them - 75-80% - download 0x). But let's be generous.

So $5,178.60 * 10 = $51,786/month in costs for their *membership* library that is downloaded.

Add that to the super low previews/resolution (assuming 1 million videos 'previewed' - which are super LOW resolution, not the
original mps/dpi/etc) so add +$5,630/month.

SO their costs are $57,416/month.

Subscription revenue is roughly (according to 3-4 years ago, so most likely much higher), $2.5 million per month ($30 mil/year).

So 2.5 million revenue/month - 0.05 million in costs/month = $2.45 million profit/month (or $29.4 mil/year).

They are doing 'okay'.

Of course there is staff/overhead, according to linked in (which may or may not be accurate) - they have 107 employees.

Employees generally are not paid millions/year, more like let's say $50k/year (being generous again, because a lot most likely
are support staff, so most likely would be getting paid close to minimum wage, i.e., $7.25/hr =~ $15k/year) - but lets be generous
and say everyone makes a 'nice' salary of $50k/year.

$50,000 * 107 = $5,350,000 expenses in wages/year =~ 450k/month.

Let's also for arguments sake say their building rental/office space, with electricity/hydro/etc is $100k/month.
(Most likely not, because you can get a LOT cheaper, but trying to be super generous here).

$2.5 MILLION revenue/month - $60k hosting costs - $450k salaries/month - $100k building costs/month =

$1.89 MILLION PROFIT/month = $22 million PROFIT/month.

They are still doing "okay".

Lol - given the fact that their staffing costs are higher than their hosting costs - I'm surprised they haven't sent a letter
to their staff saying "GOOD NEWS! We've realized the salaries we are paying you are too high, so we've decided to cut
it in HALF! YAYAY! Aren't you HAPPY"?

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2019, 09:37 »
+3
SuperPhoto, you hit the nail on the head. That's exactly what happened.

Sure, it's their business and they can adjust their plans how they see fit. But Storyblocks, don't expect contributors to blindly join your lousy unlimited videos library.

The thing that irks me most about this decision is the short notice (only 1 month) and the fact they first had to cut commissions before ditching us altogether, while at the same time promoting their unlimited library as if it was a positive deal for contributors. I'd have appreciated it if they had been upfront about it, instead of sugarcoating it like so many shady agencies have done in the past.

« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2019, 10:28 »
0
The problem maybe is not SB itself but the fact that there is a solid case where files were kicked out of an agency or deleted, choose the right phrase.

The question is, will other agencies follow this tactic? Deleting or asking for a storage or listing fee for footage?

If I recall right there is (was?) an agency asking for a monthly fee to host and list images? (*, still a newbie I don't remember the thread :P  )

« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2019, 11:46 »
0
(That's if each clip in their entire market place was downloaded once).

Those are storage costs. Meaning with 0 downloads it still costs that much. Add the traffic costs on top of that.

Other than that, now your numbers are a bit more realistic. Although I don't have any 4k clips under 100 MB, the majority are over 500 MB (some 1+ GB), but who knows what the average is. And of course add in the downconverted HD that is usually around 100-200 MB.

Yes, back in 2016 they had $30 million in revenue with 80% profit - extremely good! It's not 2016 anymore so anything could have happened... It's not exactly unusual that stock companies go under.

Furthermore, a quick search will tell you that the average salary was in fact $100,000 per year with 100 employees, and they were planning on hiring many more.

---

This doesn't really matter much, however. What matters is whether the marketplace costs more than it makes, and whether they see that changing or not. Even if they have a profit of $15 million, it's not smart to keep a part of the business that's losing money, that they don't believe will change.

Some business owners keep money losing divisions, but that's just based on emotion, not numbers.

When you employ 150 people, of course you would rather cut parts of the business that don't require firing employees.

---

Of course WE don't like it, but it's business. I would do the same.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 11:49 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2019, 11:50 »
0
I think once they have kicked out the marketplace content and contributors and locked in enough volume uploaders they like to work with...they will lower their price even more.

 29 dollars a month, 19 dollars, or even 5 dollars a month limited to 100 files? ...this will help them to create very aggressive growth of customers.

If they can show stellar numbers  of new subscribers, they can then go sell themselves as the amazing growth site and maybe get a huge cash out for the owners when they sell the business.

Timeline? 18 months? 2 years?

They could also look for investor money and maybe take over some other small subs site to grow their marketplace.

But aggressive growth story to sell sounds realistic to me.

I am glad to be a member with Blackbox, all the newer content went there through them, so I didnt waste additional time and they are taking all their content down.

« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2019, 11:57 »
+1
Storage, like I said, is less than 1 cent per 1000 videos. (Significantly less, actually).

Their website says they have over 822,000 clips. You can't seriously be suggesting that their total hosting costs are 'significantly less' than $8.22 a month?

Your math is off, 822,000/1000 = $822.

Actually, your math is off. It's $8.22.

I'm sure you know that there are 100 cents to 1 dollar. :)

Anyway, both $8.22 and $822 are extremely wrong.

« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2019, 12:17 »
0
I really hope that they are not planning one step further, to give us some kind of compromise in the last moment... like they did before - they are cooking toad for a while...


« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2019, 12:19 »
+3

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2019, 15:00 »
0
822,000 * 0.3 GB * $0.021 per GB = $5,178.60/month.

So I'm confused... is it $5,178.60 a month, or considerably less than $8.22 a month? If it is $5,178.60 a month... then where did this 'considerably less than 1 cent per 1000 videos' come from? Did you pull that out of thin air?

« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2019, 23:25 »
0
822,000 * 0.3 GB * $0.021 per GB = $5,178.60/month.

So I'm confused... is it $5,178.60 a month, or considerably less than $8.22 a month? If it is $5,178.60 a month... then where did this 'considerably less than 1 cent per 1000 videos' come from? Did you pull that out of thin air?

That is if you use AWS.

There are cheaper services (which increasing guy doesn't seem to believe), so I decided to use his numbers for the calculations, to illustrate my point. It's still highly lucrative for them, & still very inexpensive to host the files even if they use AWS.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2019, 23:55 »
+1
Why are they shutting it down then?

« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2019, 00:02 »
+1
... because they are very nice people and concerned about their contributors...

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2019, 00:37 »
+1
You're obviously being sarcastic, but if this is a 'highly lucrative' part of their business, and they're still shutting it down, in the absence of any other supporting evidence you might like to offer up... then yes, because they are very nice people and concerned about their contributors is the most likely reason. Sure, I know that's highly unlikely to be true, but if that's not the reason... then what is the reason? My guess would be that it's not actually a highly lucrative part of the business.

I mean SuperPhoto knows their hosting costs, how much revenue they bring in, and he's obviously aware that the only costs involved in operating any stock marketplace are the hosting fees (which could be as low as $50 to $100 a year apparently)... so maybe he can suggest a reason why they're shutting down a highly lucrative business?


« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2019, 01:10 »
0

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2019, 02:12 »
+1
Yeah that video doesn't explain why they've shut down a highly lucrative part of their business.


 

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