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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 33140 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« Reply #100 on: December 20, 2009, 20:11 »
0
Yes and before you panic, think about this:

There is a good chance it will look like this:

exclusive images are more expensive -> non exclusive images get more sales  ;)

I'm thinking of what happens on DT. Higher level images are more expensive so some buyers prefer level 1 images. This is why the most downloaded image on DT has "just" 700 downloads which is not much compared to istocks numbers.This means that a few dollar difference IS important to buyers which is sort of sad, considering the image quality they get and the low prices... but nevertheless...


vonkara

« Reply #101 on: December 20, 2009, 22:35 »
0
Most designers don't care if an image is 20$ or 25$. They want the image that fit their needs. That's worthless when on hurry, and most serious ones are

« Reply #102 on: December 21, 2009, 00:07 »
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 Hi All,

 There is also the factor of editing. If they start to tighten editing you have no where to put those rejected photos but on your walls. As the competition grows along with the quality when is enough good work enough for them to start editing more tightly on esthetic standards rather than just technical, especially for their higher end part of the collection. There is huge room for them to reduce the acceptance rate as they fill their files picking only the best of the best. Just something I have seen happen in other areas of this industry in the past. There have been times in the past that photographers have seen the biggest agency slow their acceptance to a trickle 3 out of 50 submitted. Turning the tap on and off as they needed.

 Producing their own work for hire could also be part of their future. They approach a big producer that can get them a lot of great images at tough locations and hire them out for a couple weeks of shooting and pay a flat rate to purchase the copyright to all the images shot. Then they can put those images right at the top of the best match search or just about any search they want.

 None of this may happen it is all guess work when it comes to the future. The two points I made were used by the biggest agency in the past, who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Cheers,
Jonathan

« Reply #103 on: December 21, 2009, 04:37 »
0
I agree with this. I sell many more of my level 4 and 5 images at DT than I do the lower level images. I've just had a look at my DT sales for yesterday and of the 9 sales 5 of them were level 5 sales with commission  prices ranging between 4.33$ and 5.5$.

Most designers don't care if an image is 20$ or 25$. They want the image that fit their needs. That's worthless when on hurry, and most serious ones are

« Reply #104 on: December 21, 2009, 05:46 »
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ok, I dont't :D But then again, I don't have so many level 5 and 4 images. But lots of level 2s and 3s

« Reply #105 on: December 21, 2009, 06:47 »
0
Hasn't istock moved away from microstock now?  The prices for exclusives and Vetta are more like what we used to call midstock.  Perhaps lots of buyers don't mind the higher prices but it does make me wonder why the microstock sites have been selling at such low prices for many years if that is true.  It will be interesting to see how this works out, there must be a price level where the average microstock buyer becomes uncomfortable and switches to a lower cost site or subscription plan.  Don't know if istock are there yet, most of the other midstock sites have struggled to find enough buyers but they haven't built up the way istock has, so there is no real comparison.  It will be very interesting to see what happens in the coming months.

« Reply #106 on: December 21, 2009, 07:26 »
0
Yes and before you panic

I don't really see anyone panicking here, I just see a lot of questions being raised, a lot of speculation, and a lot of good food for thought.

« Reply #107 on: December 21, 2009, 08:30 »
0
Hasn't istock moved away from microstock now?  The prices for exclusives and Vetta are more like what we used to call midstock.  Perhaps lots of buyers don't mind the higher prices but it does make me wonder why the microstock sites have been selling at such low prices for many years if that is true.  It will be interesting to see how this works out, there must be a price level where the average microstock buyer becomes uncomfortable and switches to a lower cost site or subscription plan.  Don't know if istock are there yet, most of the other midstock sites have struggled to find enough buyers but they haven't built up the way istock has, so there is no real comparison.  It will be very interesting to see what happens in the coming months.

IStock has multiple tiers but they're grouped into different collections.  Everyone seems to be forgetting about the Dollar Bin.  If the routine Exclusive files don't sell at the higher price they can be moved to the Dollar Bin.  If I was really on a tight budget I'd probably start there and then if I didn't find what I wanted I'd move on.  I wouldn't search the expensive files and then see if I could find it cheaper.

« Reply #108 on: December 21, 2009, 08:53 »
0
Yes and before you panic

I don't really see anyone panicking here, I just see a lot of questions being raised, a lot of speculation, and a lot of good food for thought.

Is the right answer. I'd assume that designers who buy at DT (and FT, SS, etc) are naturally more price concious than those who shop at IS however, like fotographer, I see no pattern in them choosing lower level images (quite the reverse in fact as better selling images tend to be higher in the search order).

Thanks for the long-term view too Jonathan __ plenty to think about there. I'm not sure that IS will ever wield the power of traditional agencies in the past though. Surely IS must always keep their exclusives reasonably happy to prevent a mass exodus which could destroy their main USP?

If any particular agency should become so powerful to act as you suggest then it would probably be under circumstances in which other main agencies act similarly, as we have seen in the past, so to some extent we're likely to be screwed either way.

The greater the number of significant contributors who remain independent the better the chances we all have of maintaining conditions and slowing the process of one or two agencies getting overly powerful. I'm quite sure that without the emergence of SS, DT, CanStockPhoto, etc in 2004 then IS would still be paying a flat rate of 20% commission to all.

Having said that I also think that IS are a 'force for good' within the industry as they have always been brave enough to take the lead in driving prices up to more realistic levels. Another major credit to them is that they've never been tempted to enter the fray on subscriptions which increasingly undermine PPD prices. (NB: I know IS do have a sub model in name but it is much fairer to the contributor).

« Reply #109 on: December 21, 2009, 09:47 »
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The greater the number of significant contributors who remain independent the better the chances we all have of maintaining conditions and slowing the process of one or two agencies getting overly powerful.

And this is precisely the reason why I have dragged my feet for so long about going exclusive. Sure, monetarily the deal looks good now to switch to IS. But let's suppose a good majority of people do that. Down the road, Getty (or whoever owns it) will be able to name their own ticket and treat their contributors however they choose. By then, all of the other competitors will have failed for lack of good content. There won't be any quitting IS and going back to being independent. There won't be a choice. And I believe that's Getty's battle plan.

It is NEVER good to have one company with so much power and control.

It's kind of like Wal-mart, the mega-giant. Sure, I shop there now and again, but I don't want to buy everything there...I want a choice. IS is moving towards leaving contributors no choice.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 09:49 by cclapper »

helix7

« Reply #110 on: December 21, 2009, 11:04 »
0

Just changed my vote in the poll from "not sure" to "staying independent." For me, it came down to the canister change and how as a non-exclusive I would need to commit to exclusivity by January 11th in order to be grandfathered into Diamond at the current milestone of 25,000 DLs. I'm just not willing to commit to it without taking the time to see what kind of effect these price changes have on sales. If I was already Diamond, I might have gone exclusive since the higher royalty rate reduces the financial risks associated with the price change. And gut feeling is that the price changes will indeed benefit exclusives and damage the sales of independents.

But because of the change in policy for the canister milestones and the requirement that interested non-exclusives contact istock by January 11 to get grandfathered in, it just leaves too much uncertainty. I like the occasional gamble, but this action is a little too risky.

Maybe the crown is still in my future, but it'll have to wait another 30,000 DLs. I'm not committing to anything in January or rolling the dice on these price changes just yet.

« Reply #111 on: December 21, 2009, 11:12 »
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Yeah, that is a pretty quick decision to be made by the 11th. Especially since most of us are taking a break from work and stock to spend time with family and friends.

« Reply #112 on: December 21, 2009, 12:22 »
0
Funny about the timing and the release of the information right at the holidays. I imagine it was all just a coincidence  ;D

Best,
Jonathan

« Reply #113 on: December 21, 2009, 14:27 »
0
Funny about the timing and the release of the information right at the holidays. I imagine it was all just a coincidence  ;D

Best,
Jonathan

New Year and 90 day notice I'd be suspicious to Jon.  ::) Or not

lisafx

« Reply #114 on: December 21, 2009, 15:18 »
0
Just a little side note about considering exclusivity.  Istock always pays me on time according to the schedule they lay out. 

Unlike Fotolia, where there have been repeated problems getting paid in a timely way.  Or StockXpert, which is like pulling teeth to get paid the past couple of months.

The idea of consistent payouts without having to write Support, complain in the forums, compare notes with other contributors, etc. is appealing.

« Reply #115 on: December 21, 2009, 15:48 »
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Just a little side note about considering exclusivity.  Istock always pays me on time according to the schedule they lay out.  

Unlike Fotolia, where there have been repeated problems getting paid in a timely way.  Or StockXpert, which is like pulling teeth to get paid the past couple of months.

The idea of consistent payouts without having to write Support, complain in the forums, compare notes with other contributors, etc. is appealing.

But isn't StockXpert now owned by IS???

lisafx

« Reply #116 on: December 21, 2009, 16:01 »
0


But isn't StockXpert now owned by IS???


No.  They are separate companies both owned by the same parent company (Getty). 

Why does IS pay out on time every week and StockXpert not?  I don't know for sure, but most likely with the reduction in staff at StockXpert there just aren't enough people to keep the trains (payouts) running on time...?


« Reply #117 on: December 21, 2009, 16:48 »
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The only site I remember waiting too long for a payment is crestock.  FT have always been good for me, StockXpert take a few weeks sometimes but other times it is a few days.  Shutterstock are good.  It isn't something that would change my mind about going exclusive.

« Reply #118 on: December 21, 2009, 18:06 »
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I would consider IS full exclusivity if their terms are not so restrictive, such as you cannot even give away your photos for free, etc.

If IS ever allows for exclusivity on per image basis, I will definitely go along with it.

xst

« Reply #119 on: December 21, 2009, 18:53 »
0
BTW SS and DT allow you to disable images without deleting them.
So you can go exclusive to IS and then if you changed you mind later, you can just reactivate your portfolio on SS and DT.
I don't know if FT has such option?

« Reply #120 on: December 21, 2009, 22:43 »
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There is also the factor of editing. If they start to tighten editing you have no where to put those rejected photos but on your walls.

This in fact is the strongest argument against IS (or any other) exclusivity. I sometimes want to share my rejects (for a number of reasons) but I am supposed to bury them. I have a number of blogger friends on a tight budget (Google ads) that can have my stuff for free, if it's appropriate. The local NGOs (Philippines), if involved in local support like microcredits and if they are not a branch of the large international NGOs that are in it only for the huge administration fees, can have all my stuff for free.

Most what I do is not commercial stock in the narrow sense, but lifestyle and documentary in remote places, and that will hardly sell. For instance I have a huge jeepney collection and of rural professions in the Far East. I love photography, not stock. Stock is fine, but there is more in life and in photography. That's why I like to stay a genuine amateur.

It has been said that an exclusive is an employee of iStock, but it's worse. This employee can't even shoot in his free time and share his work. In fact, it's serfdom.

« Reply #121 on: December 21, 2009, 23:54 »
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Surely if you want to give images to a worth cause you can negotiate some  RM license agreement with them for nominal fee.

« Reply #122 on: December 22, 2009, 04:13 »
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It has been said that an exclusive is an employee of iStock, but it's worse. This employee can't even shoot in his free time and share his work. In fact, it's serfdom.

Actually the limitation is only for giving out royalty free licenses - either for payment or for free. There is no objection with "sharing" images, for example on Flickr, as long as you disable downloads, so nobody can use the images for free... There is also no limitation to work with other agencies for RM images. You can also still do work for hire. You can still sell prints. You can sell products (T-Shirts etc.) with your own images, as long as you dont work with sites requiring unlimited licenses for the images you upload.

And by the way: You are not bound to deliver anything if you dont want to. You can spend as much time as you want. You can spend money on equipment as you like or not. I dont think "serfdom" nor "employment" would allow you to do all that. ;)

If you have any specific questions what is allowed or not, you can contact Contributor Relations people, they are kind and as helpful as they can be.

« Reply #123 on: December 22, 2009, 04:20 »
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Changed my vote "not sure" to "staying independent." 

« Reply #124 on: December 22, 2009, 07:26 »
0
Actually the limitation is only for giving out royalty free licenses - either for payment or for free. There is no objection with "sharing" images, for example on Flickr, as long as you disable downloads, so nobody can use the images for free... There is also no limitation to work with other agencies for RM images. You can also still do work for hire. You can still sell prints. You can sell products (T-Shirts etc.) with your own images, as long as you dont work with sites requiring unlimited licenses for the images you upload.

To summarize: sharing is still possible, as long as you disable downloads. Giving for free to certain organisations/bloggers is also allowed if you make it a RM transfer (albeit for free, as Averil suggested), so you can set limits and keep track of the usage. Of course, that could only be with the rejects since you can't have the same (or almost the same) image both on RF and on RM. If the question would arise (much depends on how sales develop on IS), I would contact IS first.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 07:28 by FD-amateur »


 

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