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Author Topic: What about a kickstart for a new collaborative microstock agency?  (Read 1381 times)

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« on: July 13, 2020, 18:55 »
+1
Hello,

The idea will be to raise funds to start a new agency where every one have 1 vote. The total cost will be:

- 1 dedicated server = 600€/year with 8TB disk.
- License for control panel = 180€/year.
- License for Sell Media plugin = 150€/year.
- Website creation = Free (I will do it).
- 10h design/programming tasks = 3.600€/year.
- Marketing fund to start = 3.000€/year.

Total = 7.530€

My portfolio is about 4.000 photos, 50GB of disk, so with about 7.500GB it could be 150 portfolios as mine, 600.000 photos in total.

- 50% commission for the photographer.
- and the remaining 50% would be for the agency: 30% for marketing and 20% to future growth.

Isn't perfect. But it can be done.

What do you think?

Thank you.


« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2020, 19:24 »
+4
If it was that easy everyone would be doing it.

« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2020, 21:31 »
+6
If I had a nickel...

« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2020, 21:42 »
+1
Just do it. Don't listen to anybody here. They aren't any smarter than you.

« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2020, 21:56 »
+7
Just do it. Don't listen to anybody here. They aren't any smarter than you.

Well, at the least, we're more experienced...

« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2020, 22:01 »
+6
Smarts has nothing to do with it.

Those of us who have been part of previous contributor/co-op agencies, as well as many other agencies now long gone, have the scar tissue to understand what the OP does not.

He can develop his own scar tissue if he thinks past experience doesn't apply to him, doesn't apply any more, doesn't apply on Tuesdays - pick any reason.

It's hard and complicated to build and run such a site, and that's without figuring out how to find, attract and keep buyers.

There's that lovely quote about those who are ignorant of history that springs to mind

« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2020, 22:19 »
+3
I know a guy who is very, very talented... had a great idea for a creative business, had a perfect plan, a fantastic workspace, access to resources, even had cash.

One thing he didn't have though... Clients.

I don't want to discourage you but it seems to me you'd have to do this in a new way. The platform you are talking about sounds great for photographers (if you can find clients) but why would a client choose this over the other options?

« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2020, 22:27 »
+1

One thing he didn't have though... Clients.

That's exactly the lesson that many of us old timers here learned the hard way from our mutual Symbiostock experience.

Once burned, twice wary.

« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2020, 03:32 »
0
What happened marthamarks?

Thank you.

« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2020, 03:33 »
0
Duplicated.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 03:37 by aitor »

« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2020, 05:49 »
+2
I spent hours and hours building a SYM site, it broke. Spent more hours and hours rebuilding, it broke again. I gave up. In the whole time, I think I only had one or two sales. Even with a bunch of sites linked together through a common search engine, there were no clients. It takes time and lots of money.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 05:57 by cathyslife »

50%

« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2020, 05:56 »
+3
I think it is too late for another (Micro)-Stockagency. 2004 it would have been possible, 2004 Symbiostock would have been a success but now it is too late it was already 2010 way too late we now have 2020. Even old and well established agencies like Dreamstime (they have been one of the first before Fotolia/Adobe) now struggle against the big three Shutterstock/Adobe/Getty-iStock. It's too late! Stocksy only can survive because it is exclusive, member-limited and highly curated (contributor and picture-wise).

« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2020, 06:36 »
0
So, we can do anything?

« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2020, 06:36 »
+1
What happened marthamarks?

Thank you.

Here's your answer, from Cathy:

I spent hours and hours building a SYM site, it broke. Spent more hours and hours rebuilding, it broke again. I gave up. In the whole time, I think I only had one or two sales. Even with a bunch of sites linked together through a common search engine, there were no clients. It takes time and lots of money.

Only way I would have said it differently is this: "I spent months building a SYM site, it broke. Spent more months rebuilding, it broke again. I gave up."  After that, what Cathy wrote reflects my own experience.

I still have the site I built at that time — https://bestnaturestock.com/ — but it's no longer a Symbiostock site. It just tells visitors about me and my photography (and my fiction, too) and points them to the commercial sites that license my images and videos.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 12:40 by marthamarks »

« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2020, 06:39 »
0
I also had a SYM and I also suffered it, although now it seems to have more options/improvements.

However, on the one hand, there is a millionaire business and on the other, we who receive alms.

Can't we do anything to improve it? really?

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2020, 09:02 »
+4
I also had a SYM and I also suffered it, although now it seems to have more options/improvements.

However, on the one hand, there is a millionaire business and on the other, we who receive alms.

Can't we do anything to improve it? really?

If you can't figure out the answer yourself, don't even bother trying to start a new agency. We all would like some magical contributor-run agency loaded with clients, but that's a pipe dream. You clearly lack market insight, business skills and experience to properly set up and run an agency successfully. You won't make it on a €3k/year marketing budget. That alone makes this a futile endeavor.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2020, 09:22 »
+2
I wrote my potted history of the Symbiostock story on my blog: https://backyardsilver.com/do-self-hosted-stock-photo-sites-ever-work/

Since then, my site crashed with multiple errors in the main database and it just was not worth the effort to fix it, so I closed it down. I've since moved my "personal" site to the paid offering from Picfair. Basically you can create a version of the images you have uploaded to their agency in your own design (out of a few choices), create albums, create a landing page etc. and they handle the sales of the image with no commission. I think it cost $29 or so for the year in a special offer.

So if you want somewhere to send people to see just your images and search your portfolio it works for that. I moved my old URL to it and so each page says https://www.backyardstockphotos.com/

Steve


ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2020, 09:40 »
+2
There's that lovely quote about those who are ignorant of history that springs to mind
And also the one explaining that a cynic is just a disappointed optimist. (Once bitten ...)

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2020, 11:41 »
+1
I know a guy who is very, very talented... had a great idea for a creative business, had a perfect plan, a fantastic workspace, access to resources, even had cash.

One thing he didn't have though... Clients.

I don't want to discourage you but it seems to me you'd have to do this in a new way. The platform you are talking about sounds great for photographers (if you can find clients) but why would a client choose this over the other options?

Aside from all the other issues, software, server cost, fees, management, we're supposed to be thinking of a new site, not just self hosted, even though that's related. Who does reviews? There are expenses, but ignoring all of that...

Attracting clients, advertising, marketing, that's going to take some money.

I won't say impossible, but starting a new agency or co-op is a long uphill battle against the current market and trends. When established agencies are closing or weak, I don't really think a new agency is a good plan.

Someone here did start his own agency, and he ran it a couple years. Invited established known artists. Jo Ann was one of them. I think it was self review. Nice job of making the site and working out the details. He eventually closed, because it wasn't profitable. That was about 10 years ago when things were still good for Microstock, and growing.

How to make a million dollars in Microstock, with your own agency? Start with two million.

My best realistic answer would be, buy an existing small agency that's in trouble, losing money, and bring it back as an artists co-op agency. Solid foundation, good software, hosting costs are known.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 11:45 by Uncle Pete »

« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2020, 11:57 »
0
Yep, I was part of that one as well. The site was great. Same old problem. No buyers.

steheap

  • Author of best selling "Get Started in Stock"

« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2020, 13:26 »
+3
Stretch the memory banks - Dan Padavona with Warmpicture back in 2012....

« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2020, 14:46 »
+1
Stretch the memory banks - Dan Padavona with Warmpicture back in 2012....

Yes! I even designed the logo for the site. I wish it would have taken
 off.



« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 14:49 by cathyslife »

« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2020, 15:55 »
+1
yep warmpicture was a great start but went under like all others by failing to attract buyers - not the fault of Dan and others who contributed, just hitting the wall of the real world

----------------
all that aside, this 'proposal' has an even greater fault - it won't WORK on kickstarter -- you need to give something to supporters and a microstock site like this has nothing to offer

we actually tried kickstarter for sym - aimed at photographers and offering site development, hosting, support, etc, but no takers.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2020, 21:45 »
+2
Stretch the memory banks - Dan Padavona with Warmpicture back in 2012....

Thanks and all who answered, it was a good project and well conceived. Not sure why he shut it down, unless the simple answer is, not enough buyers to cover the work involved and expenses. He'd be the one to weigh in here how a self run site could work.


« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2020, 22:00 »
0
Hello,

The idea will be to raise funds to start a new agency where every one have 1 vote. The total cost will be:

- 1 dedicated server = 600€/year with 8TB disk.
- License for control panel = 180€/year.
- License for Sell Media plugin = 150€/year.
- Website creation = Free (I will do it).
- 10h design/programming tasks = 3.600€/year.
- Marketing fund to start = 3.000€/year.

Total = 7.530€

My portfolio is about 4.000 photos, 50GB of disk, so with about 7.500GB it could be 150 portfolios as mine, 600.000 photos in total.

- 50% commission for the photographer.
- and the remaining 50% would be for the agency: 30% for marketing and 20% to future growth.

Isn't perfect. But it can be done.

What do you think?


I would think you would need about 20,000E a year for legal fees and maybe 10,000E for liability insurance.

« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2020, 22:27 »
0
I think it is too late for another (Micro)-Stockagency. 2004 it would have been possible, 2004 Symbiostock would have been a success but now it is too late it was already 2010 way too late we now have 2020. Even old and well established agencies like Dreamstime (they have been one of the first before Fotolia/Adobe) now struggle against the big three Shutterstock/Adobe/Getty-iStock. It's too late! Stocksy only can survive because it is exclusive, member-limited and highly curated (contributor and picture-wise).


So the solution is to create something exclusive. Well, something exclusive is done. If success is achieved for those inside, goal accomplished. Can be done. Although most of those who think in this forum say no, among other things because of their own experience in the past and the current circumstances of the market. Let's live new experiences. Flavored with the current decade of 2020.

« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2020, 03:36 »
0
Quote from: mj007 link=topic=35825.msg554759#msg554759
...

I would think you would need about 20,000E a year for legal fees and maybe 10,000E for liability insurance.

so you're spending 10X more on legal & insurance than you are on marketing??
where are you getting these nice round numbers? have you actually done the research or are you just tossing #s out there?




 

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