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Author Topic: We know what we want - the agencies don't. Let's tell them.  (Read 14433 times)

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« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2014, 20:00 »
Fair points all, but I really think some smart young starterupper could discover their library growing exponentially with the right incentives. If they were struggling, why not? Nothing to lose and everything to gain.

« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2014, 20:59 »
I have to admit that I am surprised by the low turnout and engagement here in the forums of "up and coming" agencies that want to make a mark in this industry.

Where are these agencies you speak of? I try to support the things that look good to me, but I don't find myself with too many options.


« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2014, 21:14 »
I have to admit that I am surprised by the low turnout and engagement here in the forums of "up and coming" agencies that want to make a mark in this industry.

Where are these agencies you speak of? I try to support the things that look good to me, but I don't find myself with too many options.
That's my question. Its an opportunity that they all seem to be ignoring. I wish some of the list on the side would try and engage us, its a great time for some agency to capitalize on the recent issues with the bigger sites.... I do to, but good choices are few and far between.

« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2014, 09:16 »
I think there have been a number of startups that just aren't getting the traction when it comes to sales.  It's become a chicken and egg situation at the moment.  People won't put their work somewhere that hasn't got sales as they've been burnt too many times in the past going to a load of effort keywording etc only to not see any sales.  Time is money in this business.  But the sales won't come unless the images are there.

I like what Stockbo for instance are trying to do, but they're playing on something that I can't imagine many buyers care about, which is fairly rewarding the photographers.  It's not got to the point where it's like ethically sourced coffee, or clothes, which do actually matter to the buyer.  Photographers aren't slaves (although I imagine there's varied views on that here!)  There needs to be a reason that's relevant to buyers for them to invest in buying images from your site.  Be it images you can't get anywhere else (Stocksy) or something else, a better search, a reward scheme, something like that.

Whilst I'm a photographer I'm only a bit part player in stock and dabble here and there but follow these forums quite a lot.  If I had the time or coding ability there does feel like there's a way to invigorate stock selling, from payouts to uploads, to searches, but it would cost a lot of money and time to get it useable, and even then you'd have zero budget to market with.  It'd take a lot of sunken investment to turn a corner to profitability, even if you have photographers willing to put their images on there.  All the while photographers would be wanting 50% of the sales right from the get go, which would probably make the site unsustainable to start with without deep deep pockets.

Add to the fact that for every photographer willing to put their livelihood on the line to stand up for a better return for artists there's another one to scoot in at the bottom happy to receive 16c a download.  If you could indeed amass all the photographers to bulk disable images from agencies that aren't delivering a sustainable return it would quickly get filled by upstarts new to the game happy to see their images selling.

However if everyone (even new photographers) all pulled their images and stuck by it, the agencies would quickly change their tune.  There's no way that is possible though and the agencies know that.

I imagine the infrastructure behind a stock site isn't easy to just create out of nothing even though the photographers are crying out for it.  At the end of the day it's a buyers market and if they can get their images cheaply, they're going to.  Whilst there are noble buyers out there that want to stand up for artists rights, the majority are going to go to the biggest/cheapest site.  Once buyers can get images for 1 dollar, it's difficult to then convince people to go back higher.

Also what micro site these days doesn't have pretty much every generic image that you could possibly ever need?  I think that's why Stocksy is starting to gain traction because people are bored with the same old images, it's all exclusive material on there not available anywhere else.  Personally I think (although I have no idea how this would work) a great way forward would be for each photographer to have to pick an exclusive agency to only submit their work to (or at least only being able to submit each image to one agency.)  That would mean that agencies would then have to compete for photographers attention with better % share etc etc.

In the current climate of every image everybody shoots being available on every single site, buyers will look for the cheapest.  I've noticed a couple of compare the market style stock searches starting to spring up now, which again markets the work on the last thing photographers want to be marketed on and that's price.

It's a frustrating time as it feels as though photographers should hold all the cards in this transaction and have the agencies dancing to our tune, but it's completely the other way round. 

It would only take one big agency (Shutterstock for instance where I have daily sales) to offer an exclusivity program that rewarded photographers much better for exclusivity (50% of the current buyer prices, so the buyer notices no difference, although I imagine the Shutterstock shareholders might which is why it's a non-runner) to see a lot of the more established players jump over there completely (although that runs the risk of all your eggs in the one basket!)  If they combined their sales numbers with a better rate for photographers I imagine it would quickly offset photographers earnings on other sites and in turn stamp out some of the smallers sites, or force them to start offering better rates to photographers to stick around.

But it's clear that helping photographers isn't top of an agencies list at the moment, which like farbled has pointed out, makes it strange that none have them have made it top of their list as the established photographers are clearly crying out for it.  It would almost market itself with the photography market (cameras etc) being so huge at the moment, blogs would report it, word would get round that someone was actually listening, photographers would direct buyers there etc etc etc.


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