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Author Topic: Uniting contributors for better royalty, price control and safeguarding this industry  (Read 12038 times)

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swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #175 on: April 04, 2019, 10:03 »
+1
Point is that our competitors, other contributors, choose to sell at 15%. I can't compete with that.

Yes, but you don't compete on %, but on final price of the product. If you mean IS, then, as I remember, their subscription is more expensive for a customer than SS.


« Reply #176 on: April 04, 2019, 10:13 »
0
Point is that our competitors, other contributors, choose to sell at 15%. I can't compete with that.

Yes, but you don't compete on %, but on final price of the product. If you mean IS, then, as I remember, their subscription is more expensive for a customer than SS.
You did just say that the lower the royalty rate for us the better the agencies can market.  Prices and royalty rates matter and both are the reason there is a race to the bottom.   

« Reply #177 on: April 04, 2019, 10:15 »
+3
There are a lot of ways to do business but if you want to change the industry do not feed the places that do not value your work! Now I don't care from there where or how you decide to run your business that is your business :-) As for me now when I sell an image on Pond5 I can afford TWO bean burritos at Taco Bell once a year :-)

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #178 on: April 04, 2019, 10:16 »
+2
A long but interesting take on the state of photography

https://medium.com/@Zimberoff/disrupting-stock-photography-fffe1c7d5b99

Thanks for the reminder, read this article a while ago and it was very insightful.
But as I understand, the author suggestion is to build one mega agency which will include all photography content that exists...

"There cant be three Facebooks or six Googles. Those companies became institutions because, ultimately, there remained only one of each in its class. Right now, there is no go-to platform, no home for the worldwide community of commercial photographers and publishers to congregate."

Having one entity to control it all, sounds like Getty's dream come true :D It can lead to a total lose of control.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 10:21 by swisschocolate »

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #179 on: April 04, 2019, 10:19 »
+1

You did just say that the lower the royalty rate for us the better the agencies can market.  Prices and royalty rates matter and both are the reason there is a race to the bottom.

Yes, I agree with you.

« Reply #180 on: April 04, 2019, 10:23 »
0

You did just say that the lower the royalty rate for us the better the agencies can market.  Prices and royalty rates matter and both are the reason there is a race to the bottom.

Yes, I agree with you.
You do?  I thought you said there was no race to the bottom.

« Reply #181 on: April 04, 2019, 10:29 »
0
I am pricing my photos at $10 which is fair and they can buy cheaper at lower Res. I still get 50% which is good for me so to me it is very worth it. Now if a lot of artist did the same then where do you think buyers would go? The whole problem with this is that people don't value their work because it is so easy to take a digital picture. Now getting a model and property release is harder and should be valued more! I am an old pro at this by now and don't have trouble making decisions nor do I have trouble changing my mind if I am not happy!

You can price photos for much more than 10 dollars. Especially all your medical/hospital stuff.

Think 300-600 or at least 80-120, if the content is exclusive. Why not try it?

It is your business of course, I really wouldnt want to interfere, but my humble suggestion that the content you price at 10 dollars, would then be more useful as non exclusive content that goes everywhere.

I price my non exclusive photos between 5-15 dollars. If I had exclusive, good quality content up there, I would price it higher.

Exclusive content will compete with exclusive content from midstock or macro, not the micros.

Westend61 has a selection of their images there at standard macrostock pricing, so do others.

You might be surprised what you get. Maybe talk to pond5 also what they would suggest for premium content. Perhaps they also want to make a high quality collection that they can market alongside their high quality videos.

But of course totally up to you.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 10:35 by cobalt »

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #182 on: April 04, 2019, 10:33 »
+1
You do?  I thought you said there was no race to the bottom.

I agree with the logic of what you're saying, it should work like that, but practically I don't know where IS spends those money :D because it doesn't help them. And they sell at 15% for few years already, other big agencies didn't follow it.

I can't compare RPD etc, because I was exclusive, so my old images sell for higher prices there. But seeing the dynamic of my fresh new portfolios on other sites, I expect IS being just a few % of total income in the future.

« Reply #183 on: April 04, 2019, 10:34 »
+3
Agencies and buyers are not the problem, it's contributors who undervalue their work, they could sell at 50% at a reasonable price, but they choose not to.
Really? Are the laws of supply and demand suspended from this marketplace?

« Reply #184 on: April 04, 2019, 10:41 »
0
Agencies and buyers are not the problem, it's contributors who undervalue their work, they could sell at 50% at a reasonable price, but they choose not to.
Really? Are the laws of supply and demand suspended from this marketplace?
I don't follow.  If everyone chose to put their work on the highest paying sites then the lower paying sites would go out of business.  For the most part they don't own any of the supply, we do.  And to add to this, not all content is equal.  If there are 1,000,000 images of apples but none of oranges what does supply and demand say about the price of oranges?
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 10:48 by tickstock »

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #185 on: April 04, 2019, 10:51 »
+1
I don't follow.  If everyone chose to put their work on the highest paying sites then the lower paying sites would go out of business.  For the most part they don't own any of the supply, we do.

In theory. It really sounds great.

But you can't have one perfect store where every customer would be happy to shop forever and the management won't go crazy next month for whatever reasons.

It's an utopia.

« Reply #186 on: April 04, 2019, 10:53 »
0
I don't follow.  If everyone chose to put their work on the highest paying sites then the lower paying sites would go out of business.  For the most part they don't own any of the supply, we do.

In theory. It really sounds great.

But you can't have one perfect store where every customer would be happy to shop forever and the management won't go crazy next month for whatever reasons.

It's an utopia.
I'm not saying that.  If lots of people move to a higher paying site then other sites will pay more to stop losing content, a race to the top instead of a race to the bottom.

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #187 on: April 04, 2019, 11:01 »
0
I'm not saying that.  If lots of people move to a higher paying site then other sites will pay more to stop losing content, a race to the top instead of a race to the bottom.

Or they will turn into "free generous communities" and start making money with advertising and that will be the end of story :D

I understand what you're saying. It just doesn't seem possible to predict, organize and execute without risk of losing it all. Risks are too high to try even for me (and I'm not a business (yet, maybe :D) with hundreds of thousands images).

« Reply #188 on: April 04, 2019, 11:40 »
+1
Agencies and buyers are not the problem, it's contributors who undervalue their work, they could sell at 50% at a reasonable price, but they choose not to.
Really? Are the laws of supply and demand suspended from this marketplace?
I don't follow.  If everyone chose to put their work on the highest paying sites then the lower paying sites would go out of business.  For the most part they don't own any of the supply, we do.  And to add to this, not all content is equal.  If there are 1,000,000 images of apples but none of oranges what does supply and demand say about the price of oranges?
They won't all put their photos on the highest priced site will they? Over supply will drive down prices in any market. You could try and choke off supply but I doubt it will happen.

« Reply #189 on: April 04, 2019, 11:49 »
0
I don't follow.  If everyone chose to put their work on the highest paying sites then the lower paying sites would go out of business.  For the most part they don't own any of the supply, we do.

In theory. It really sounds great.

But you can't have one perfect store where every customer would be happy to shop forever and the management won't go crazy next month for whatever reasons.

It's an utopia.
I'm not saying that.  If lots of people move to a higher paying site then other sites will pay more to stop losing content, a race to the top instead of a race to the bottom.
The risk is that buyers will find the content they need from lower paying sites and move there. That seems to be the more likely outcome based on the evidence.

« Reply #190 on: April 04, 2019, 11:55 »
0
I don't follow.  If everyone chose to put their work on the highest paying sites then the lower paying sites would go out of business.  For the most part they don't own any of the supply, we do.

In theory. It really sounds great.

But you can't have one perfect store where every customer would be happy to shop forever and the management won't go crazy next month for whatever reasons.

It's an utopia.
I'm not saying that.  If lots of people move to a higher paying site then other sites will pay more to stop losing content, a race to the top instead of a race to the bottom.
The risk is that buyers will find the content they need from lower paying sites and move there. That seems to be the more likely outcome based on the evidence.

Yes, because contributors keep supplying them, I don't deny your pessimism, but it's not the lower paying sites that are to blame it's contributors and the answer is in their hands.

« Reply #191 on: April 04, 2019, 11:56 »
0
Agencies and buyers are not the problem, it's contributors who undervalue their work, they could sell at 50% at a reasonable price, but they choose not to.
Really? Are the laws of supply and demand suspended from this marketplace?
I don't follow.  If everyone chose to put their work on the highest paying sites then the lower paying sites would go out of business.  For the most part they don't own any of the supply, we do.  And to add to this, not all content is equal.  If there are 1,000,000 images of apples but none of oranges what does supply and demand say about the price of oranges?
They won't all put their photos on the highest priced site will they? Over supply will drive down prices in any market. You could try and choke off supply but I doubt it will happen.
Not necessarily the highest priced, what I said was "highest paying".  I meant sites that pay higher royalty rates.  Supply is harder to define here not all content is a commodity maybe images of apples are but other subjects aren't.  Just because there are millions of apples doesn't mean that will be useful for people looking for oranges.


« Reply #192 on: April 04, 2019, 12:09 »
+1
Agencies and buyers are not the problem, it's contributors who undervalue their work, they could sell at 50% at a reasonable price, but they choose not to.
Really? Are the laws of supply and demand suspended from this marketplace?
I don't follow.  If everyone chose to put their work on the highest paying sites then the lower paying sites would go out of business.  For the most part they don't own any of the supply, we do.  And to add to this, not all content is equal.  If there are 1,000,000 images of apples but none of oranges what does supply and demand say about the price of oranges?
They won't all put their photos on the highest priced site will they? Over supply will drive down prices in any market. You could try and choke off supply but I doubt it will happen.
Not necessarily the highest priced, what I said was "highest paying".  I meant sites that pay higher royalty rates.  Supply is harder to define here not all content is a commodity maybe images of apples are but other subjects aren't.  Just because there are millions of apples doesn't mean that will be useful for people looking for oranges.
I tend to think we all make a decision based on what works for us. (or should). If I had images that were hard to produce and therefore scarce I wouldn't be putting them on Microstock.  Microstock is just one sales channel.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #193 on: April 04, 2019, 17:47 »
+2
A long but interesting take on the state of photography

https://medium.com/@Zimberoff/disrupting-stock-photography-fffe1c7d5b99

Thanks for the reminder, read this article a while ago and it was very insightful.
But as I understand, the author suggestion is to build one mega agency which will include all photography content that exists...

"There cant be three Facebooks or six Googles. Those companies became institutions because, ultimately, there remained only one of each in its class. Right now, there is no go-to platform, no home for the worldwide community of commercial photographers and publishers to congregate."

Having one entity to control it all, sounds like Getty's dream come true :D It can lead to a total lose of control.

Not the same as one Google and by the way there are many other search engines. Google has grown from nothing in 1998 and diversified, they are smart. There are other social media platforms. There will never be one single go to photo platform. eBay is the top, but there are specialized auction sites. So lets look at the other reality.

There are many soft drink makers, a few larger, but many others that are a success. There are some big fast food corporations and small chains and local restaurants. There are many companies that make candy or soup or pasta. Yes some have a larger market share, but there's room for a number of successful businesses.

There could be and eventual sorting out of Microstock agencies which would be good for us, because the major agencies would get the majority of the business and they would be hosting our images. Getty isn't one of them, because they are a different market and product.

My view is, the specialty shops, RM agents and then the open market, Shutterstock, Adobe, Alamy and Pond5. Someone could break in like Pond5 did with Music or audio or a selected kind of content, there's room for a large dedicated Vector and Illustration site?

I look forward to the parasite agencies and the places that pay low and sell low going out of business. They don't help us or the industry at all, they just drag us down into the lowest level and have created stock photograph as a cheap commodity market.

The rest is a wonderful, informative read. "Why is the passive capture of digital image files important? Because the commercial class of pro photographers categorically refuses to contribute their valuable assets to the stock photo pipeline, let alone to do so proactively." And many more well thought out observations.

What he's saying is, very little of the highest quality work is actually making it into the market via online stock agencies. I think he's right, except for a few highly respected and skilled people who make a living at Microstock. But the stock agencies are filled with numbers, not quality. A serious buyer with serious money, isn't going to come to even the top agencies as a regular source for images.

UIcomments

« Reply #194 on: April 04, 2019, 18:24 »
0


Yes, because contributors keep supplying them, I don't deny your pessimism, but it's not the lower paying sites that are to blame it's contributors and the answer is in their hands.

I wouldn't call it pessimism, rather understanding of the law of supply and demand. Laws of economics work because they operate within large groups of people with different interests. Just because one person's interests aren't met doesn't mean that there isn't a huge group of people whose interests are fully satisfied.

« Reply #195 on: April 04, 2019, 18:56 »
0


Yes, because contributors keep supplying them, I don't deny your pessimism, but it's not the lower paying sites that are to blame it's contributors and the answer is in their hands.

I wouldn't call it pessimism, rather understanding of the law of supply and demand. Laws of economics work because they operate within large groups of people with different interests. Just because one person's interests aren't met doesn't mean that there isn't a huge group of people whose interests are fully satisfied.

Well if contributors are following the gibberish you call the Laws of Economics no wonder they are in a mess.

UIcomments

« Reply #196 on: April 04, 2019, 21:56 »
0


Yes, because contributors keep supplying them, I don't deny your pessimism, but it's not the lower paying sites that are to blame it's contributors and the answer is in their hands.

I wouldn't call it pessimism, rather understanding of the law of supply and demand. Laws of economics work because they operate within large groups of people with different interests. Just because one person's interests aren't met doesn't mean that there isn't a huge group of people whose interests are fully satisfied.

Well if contributors are following the gibberish you call the Laws of Economics no wonder they are in a mess.

They are not in a mess. Maybe people you know are, but that's just a percentage.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 22:03 by UIcomments »

swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #197 on: April 04, 2019, 23:28 »
+2
A serious buyer with serious money, isn't going to come to even the top agencies as a regular source for images.

Who is a serious buyer for you? :)

For years I find my images used by global brands and publishers, like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Nivea, ELLE, Danone, found images in Hollywood tv shows, etc.

They don't use stock for their commercials obviously, but for other purposes they are the main clients in the industry (in my experience). This is for whom "Premium Access" and other special deals were invented, agencies fight for them offering the best deals, because they have a huge continuous daily volume of demand.

"Why is the passive capture of digital image files important? Because the commercial class of pro photographers categorically refuses to contribute their valuable assets to the stock photo pipeline, let alone to do so proactively."

They were paid for their work already and they rarely have rights to upload it to stock, since it was exclusive for the client. And even if they can, there is no garantee that their "valuable assets" would sell. Making work for a specific client isn't the same as making stock for a broad range of different customers.

I create images just for stock and wouldn't exchange it for client's work. I want to shoot and sell what I want, not what some brief told me to do.

These are two different styles of work and philosophies behind it and absolutely different markets.
And that's why they don't intersect. (And I hope never will.) Which is a great thing :)
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 01:03 by swisschocolate »

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #198 on: April 05, 2019, 09:30 »
+2
A serious buyer with serious money, isn't going to come to even the top agencies as a regular source for images.

Who is a serious buyer for you? :)

For years I find my images used by global brands and publishers, like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Nivea, ELLE, Danone, found images in Hollywood tv shows, etc.

They don't use stock for their commercials obviously, but for other purposes they are the main clients in the industry (in my experience). This is for whom "Premium Access" and other special deals were invented, agencies fight for them offering the best deals, because they have a huge continuous daily volume of demand.

"Why is the passive capture of digital image files important? Because the commercial class of pro photographers categorically refuses to contribute their valuable assets to the stock photo pipeline, let alone to do so proactively."

They were paid for their work already and they rarely have rights to upload it to stock, since it was exclusive for the client. And even if they can, there is no garantee that their "valuable assets" would sell. Making work for a specific client isn't the same as making stock for a broad range of different customers.

I create images just for stock and wouldn't exchange it for client's work. I want to shoot and sell what I want, not what some brief told me to do.

These are two different styles of work and philosophies behind it and absolutely different markets.
And that's why they don't intersect. (And I hope never will.) Which is a great thing :)

I find my work used in all kinds of places, some major publications. Yes a Shutterstock image, at least once, has been a magazine cover, such as on Time. But that's not what he's writing about. Not the one off or the uncommon sales, because Microstock is full of trash and realistically disorganized, under priced and unattractive to established pros.

His point that the new agencies didn't disrupt, but they just bought the competition, is pretty much true. Yes, there's the other side, where the majors couldn't compete with the Micro prices. That's for general consumers and the broader market, especially the web.

Enterprise-level photo publishing, is a much higher value, more demanding and pays better. That's the point. Microstock has ignored that market. The top professionals have ignored Microstock. And there we are? Anyone with a camera can make any photos they want and put them up for sale. Sometimes we make a sale. I'm part of the we, as I'm not an elite media or art photographer.  :)

We are missing out on the higher value contracts, and being underpaid to do that. Somewhere, in the future, there will be other sites that vet the images, have higher standards and demands and pay us more. Microstock will survive just fine in the low pay area. But don't expect the enterprise-level photo publishing business to come to Microstock for their images. They will keep sourcing from known professionals.

Yeah, the briefs are bogus. Who's going to go out, invest and shoot, so a client can pick the winner. Or as many saw with Image Brief, pick through the submissions for ideas, then pay a pro to shoot.

I'd have to watch those magazines you list or TV shows to know if my images have been used. I don't. I have had friends tell me I was in a magazine. This is microstock, I agree with you. I'm not fine art or exceptional and I don't have much that's not reproducible in some form, by someone else.

But... if we are all missing a major part of the market, there's opportunity and income that's being missed. That only applies to people who want to get paid. Otherwise we can post on Instagram and FB for exposure and admiration.

Show Me The Money


swisschocolate

  • A girl from the Alps
« Reply #199 on: April 05, 2019, 13:01 »
+1
I find my work used in all kinds of places, some major publications. Yes a Shutterstock image, at least once, has been a magazine cover, such as on Time. But that's not what he's writing about.

I wasn't replying to what he was writing :) I was replying to your statement: "A serious buyer with serious money, isn't going to come to even the top agencies as a regular source for images."

It is just not true.

We are missing out on the higher value contracts, and being underpaid to do that.

I'm not missing out on any contracts and all the headache they would bring to my life. I hate being hired and I feel happy and lucky I've found stock.

Let those "known professionals" deal with that. If they like it. I would never ever want to do what they do.

I understand what you're saying. But I don't understand why there is such awe for "real pro photographers", while devaluing stock photographers.
These are two different worlds and each one with its own rules.

But don't expect the enterprise-level photo publishing business to come to Microstock for their images. They will keep sourcing from known professionals.
And here we go again... I just said that I constantly find stock images used by them for a decade and you keep saying they don't use it and never will.

Sorry, but it's impossible to discuss something that is just so far from the reality.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 13:24 by swisschocolate »


 

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