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Poll

Are you going exclusive with Istock in the next 6 months ?

I am already exclusive
33 (15.2%)
I am going to be exclusive
12 (5.5%)
I am not sure yet
28 (12.9%)
No I will stay independant
138 (63.6%)
Other (exclusive at DT/can't in the next 6 months)
6 (2.8%)

Total Members Voted: 195

Author Topic: Who is planning exclusivity ? -Poll-  (Read 33118 times)

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vonkara

« on: December 12, 2009, 14:54 »
0
It would be interesting to know since the new year announcement. I tried to keep the poll the more simple as possible, as there is many options available.

The last option (Other) is made for those possiblities. It would be nice to hear those "other" paths that some contributors would follow.

For the records
http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/istock-in-the-new-year/msg125007/?topicseen#new


WarrenPrice

« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2009, 15:04 »
0
I am considering the possibilities of video clips.  What effect that will have on microstock sales.  Especially, how posting video at Pond5 will affect iStock/Dreamstime exclusivity???


« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2009, 16:32 »
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My income at iStock has never come close to justifying exclusivity.  That may be because I generate so many images that my ports on other sites are more than twice the size of iStock, or it may be something about the kind of work I submit.  But even if I could justify it financially, I think I'd still remain independent.  I don't like iStock's rules, and what I feel is arbitrary behavior on their part.  I object to feeling powerless in a relationship, and that's where exclusivity would place me.

(In case you're curious, I'm two months away from gold and don't expect to reach it before the rule change.  At present, exclusivity would cost me 3/4 of my stock income.  No way do I believe the benefits of exclusivity would compensate me for that.)

KB

« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2009, 16:53 »
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(In case you're curious, I'm two months away from gold and don't expect to reach it before the rule change. 

If you're 2 months away from gold, then why don't you expect to reach it before the rule change in 2.5 months?  ;D

Even if you don't reach it, it sounds like you'd definitely be close enough to be grandfathered in.

lisafx

« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2009, 16:54 »
0
A week ago I would have been firmly in the "will stay independent" camp.

Now I am sorry to say I am edging closer to being on the fence again.  

ap

« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2009, 17:10 »
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i may be a lone voice in this, but being relatively new, the 'fun factor' overriding the bottom line is still important to me.

istock is definitely a classy site but then you'd be giving up the wackiness, the dependability, and the uniqueness of all the other sites. most important is not being able to submit editorial images and ss has a brilliant red carpet program.

again, being new, my images aren't accepted carte blanche by everyone, least of all by is. it's a source of amusement to see who will take what but it also covers all the bases for me. very few become 'exclusive' images by default.

financially, i feel more charitable about being independent vis a vis is latest price adjustments. if the buyers think the exclusives' new prices are too high, then they'd buy only non exclusive stuff. if they can't find any of the non exclusive images due to best match manipulation, then they'd naturally migrate to other sites. there will always be of course for whom money is no object. but i think that's probable half and half.

if you think is is a stepping stone to getty, then you've sidestepped the flicker artist or the photographer choice programs. i think being exclusive is only good for photogs like lisa who has a large and profitable portfolio to oversee. it makes no difference to newbies, yet. (fingers crossed)

vonkara

« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2009, 17:24 »
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 i think being exclusive is only good for photogs like lisa who has a large and profitable portfolio to oversee. it makes no difference to newbies, yet. (fingers crossed)
It's also good for people with around 300-500 images. Istock is quite the only agency where you can prospect to get a lot more downloads than images. You get that at SS also, but with a very low per image earning. IS is the only place I have files with more than 100 downloads, while those files were having approximatively 10 at DT.

If you take a look at most DT portfolios you see that quantity is way more important  there than at IS.

ap

« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2009, 17:37 »
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It's also good for people with around 300-500 images. Istock is quite the only agency where you can prospect to get a lot more downloads than images. You get that at SS also, but with a very low per image earning. IS is the only place I have files with more than 100 downloads, while those files were having approximatively 10 at DT.


i've always been curious about those pics with 100+ dls. does it tend to happen right away once it's online or is it a slow accumulation?

« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2009, 17:42 »
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Yeah, put me in the not sure camp. I'm definitely looking at it. There's the not putting all your eggs in one basket, but there is also wrangling all the different agencies. Also, I worry about some agencies growth in the future.

vonkara

« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2009, 17:44 »
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Slow/medium/fast accumulation on IS. Most of the ones you can see on DT are assignment pictures that have been escalated to level 5

« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2009, 17:47 »
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I will stay independent because I am sure other sites will have something to say about this.

Also istock is not going to win me over by burrying my files further down everytime they give exclusives better exposure.

Had they not changed their search behaviour last year to boost exclusives, I would have been exclusive long ago. But they showed me they can not be trusted.

« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2009, 18:05 »
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A week ago I would have been firmly in the "will stay independent" camp.

Now I am sorry to say I am edging closer to being on the fence again.  

Must say I'm sorry to hear that. I would miss you on fotolia, Lisa!

« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2009, 18:16 »
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The last option (Other) is made for those possiblities. It would be nice to hear those "other" paths that some contributors would follow.


Isn't 'I'm not sure yet' and 'Other (inc D/T lock-in)' basically the same thing? Surely virtually every independent is with DT and therefore there's nothing they can actually do for the next few months anyway?

Not such a bad thing as they can firstly monitor how the price rise is swallowed by IS customers and how the other agencies react too.

Maybe a better poll option would be 'Stopping uploads to DT until we can see the effect of IS action'

alias

« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2009, 18:39 »
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The DT lock in works against DT in this respect since it stops people from being free to come and go. As does the whole confusing business of images having different levels.

« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2009, 19:23 »
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The DT lock in works against DT in this respect since it stops people from being free to come and go. As does the whole confusing business of images having different levels.

I think DT's 6 month hold really works against them. I stopped uploading there more than 6 months ahead of the time I went exclusive - sales there had tanked and I wasn't sure what I was going to do, but needed to have some choices and that long wait needed to be off the table for me.

Once I'd done that, even at the point I was pretty sure I was going to stay independent, I didn't want to start uploading to DT again as it starts the 6 month clock over.

@Lisa, you've been on and off that fence so many times now there's probably a big dent in it :)

As far as the issue of newbies and exclusivity, I've always thought it's a good idea to start out with all the sites. Not just for the money but so you can see what sells best where and get a sense of what the market and competition are like. About the only thing you give up by taking that approach is the opportunity to submit images to Vetta which is a big draw for some (not for me; I have it turned off and had my included files pulled).

I don't think 500 DLs is an unreasonable hurdle even with current lower download levels (compared to those when it was established). It does require some serious commitment to build a portfolio, but I think that's a good thing. I do think that they should allow base level exclusivity - no more commission and only very slightly higher upload limits - so those who want to try for Vetta and feel part of the group have that option.

I think a newbie would be better off not going exclusive as a base level because you'd have the price disadvantage as well as your newness to the game working against you, but having the option would cost IS nothing and I think it might help encourage new contributors.

« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2009, 19:40 »
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Ap, you're not alone :)
I'm making no money but there's freedom into 'newbiness' and there's also a lot of fun. No financial worries, no strings attached, the game has yet to be played.
I love every moment of it and I hope money will never take that away from me.
To answer your question - going exclusive with IS.
IS is part of Getty. My answer is no.  
After the STXpert 0.5 cent cheap affaire, what next?  
I don't trust them.
Besides, I don't think IS wants any more newbies going exclusive. Towards independents they show no mercy either. Fair enough, it's their business and they're doing it in a pretty awesome way.
And of course, I'm never going to leave DT.
Unlike others, I love that site and I have no plan to leave them. Sales are decent, (for someone like me) and vibes are good. Around that place I feel as if I matter. 
DT is my favourite, but I also like SS. No plans on leaving them either.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 19:59 by Eireann »

ap

« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2009, 19:49 »
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@Lisa, you've been on and off that fence so many times now there's probably a big dent in it :)


she's not that heavy!  ;D judging from her photo, she's positively svelte.


« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2009, 20:07 »
0

@Lisa, you've been on and off that fence so many times now there's probably a big dent in it :)


she's not that heavy!  ;D judging from her photo, she's positively svelte.

That's why it's only a dent....I crushed my fence after the first few attempts to sit on it a while :)

« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2009, 20:18 »
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@alias,
image levels confusing on DT?  
What about these collections - Vetta Collection, Exclusive Plus Collection, Exclusive Simple Collection, Main Collection, With Crown, Without Crown, Dollar Bin Collection and so on?
Don't you find all those a bit confusing?
Not to mention the search engine DA...
As a buyer, I guarantee you, there's plenty of confusion going around.
DT's levels are just about fine.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 20:29 by Eireann »

« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2009, 20:23 »
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If they can't sustain their business with a fair number of people reaching the level where IS only gets 60% of each sale, then I doubt they would ever let me get to that level (by lowering top % by the time I get there or continuous moving goalposts every few years as I approach). I might make sense for diamonds, but not for me. I have the feeling that these large price raises will have to be carried on the back of exclusive content getting buried in the best match though if they want to increase income enough to make up for the canister moves.

In summary, I doubt it would be worth it for me now, and now I doubt it ever will be.
I am a little frightened of what they will do with the huge increases they are expecting to make though, after seeing what is happening to StockXpert/JIU/Photos.com

lisafx

« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2009, 20:44 »
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@Lisa, you've been on and off that fence so many times now there's probably a big dent in it :)


she's not that heavy!  ;D judging from her photo, she's positively svelte.

That's why it's only a dent....I crushed my fence after the first few attempts to sit on it a while :)

ROFL!  Thanks for the great laugh!

JoAnn, you are your own best selling model, so you won't convince anyone you are not good-looking.  We have seen the evidence!    

FWIW, I was thinking something similar about me and that  fence.  Except it is my rear end that has the dents, and a few splinters from all that fence sitting. ;D

 Believe me, I dread climbing back up there!

(BTW, my avatar picture on this forum is of my daughter.  I'm the one on my Istock profile page)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 20:46 by lisafx »

KB

« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2009, 22:45 »
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(BTW, my avatar picture on this forum is of my daughter.  I'm the one on my Istock profile page)
I always thought that was a photo of Audrey Tautou as Amelie.  ;D

ap

« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2009, 23:22 »
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Ap, you're not alone :)
I'm making no money but there's freedom into 'newbiness' and there's also a lot of fun. No financial worries, no strings attached, the game has yet to be played.
I love every moment of it and I hope money will never take that away from me.


yeah, gotta play the field. you never know when another handsome microstock site comes around the corner.  ;)

« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2009, 02:47 »
0

yeah, gotta play the field. you never know when another handsome microstock site comes around the corner.  ;)

But be careful - an Albumo can be lurking among the handsome new sites and that's bad news :)

« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2009, 04:01 »
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A few reasons I can think of to stay independent.

- Only being able to sell RF via Getty owned sites.  There are lots of buyers out there, some willing to pay higher than microstock prices, I don't want to cut myself off from them.
- best match changes, what do exclusives do when their earnings are cut in half?  It has happened in the past and will probably happen again.
- They reject images that sell well on other sites, they don't accept many non-vector illustrations.
- I don't know if they are going to be sold off soon, who will buy them?  Wont they want to make even more profit by squeezing us?  Will istock still be part of Getty?
- They took my portfolio off photos.com and I still think that was a bad decision, are they going to come up with more ideas as bad as that?
- Working for one company doesn't appeal to me, it is too much like being an employee, whatever they say goes and while you can leave, it would be a difficult and time consuming task rebuilding portfolios on the other sites again.
- Their upload limits keep millions of the best microstock images off their site, counteracting the appeal of their exclusive collection.  I have never understood the reason for that and I still think it will stop them dominating the market.

The fence is still a long way off for me :)


 

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