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Author Topic: Will exclusivity benefit stock agencies and buyers?  (Read 10241 times)

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« on: February 09, 2008, 20:06 »
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I find the notion of exclusivity benefiting stockphoto agencies and buyers interesting. I can see why some photographers are benefiting from the preferential treatment as being exclusive.

As we know, many prominent universities prefer faculty members who had studied and taught at other institutions because of their broader experience and exposure, rather than those whom only had the exclusive experience in one place.

In order to survive at different places, a non-exclusive photographer has to be more adeptable and tougher, and the quality is likely to be higher because of the broader experience.

When a photographer is exclusive to one agency, his photos are still available to all buyers in this agency. So I am not convinced that the buyers will have any problems to see the same photos available in other places. Because the exclusive photographer's photos are never exclusive to one buyer unless the photo is sold through an exclusive buy-out license immediately.

So why will exclusivity benefit stock agencies and buyers?


« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2008, 10:07 »
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Exclusivity to an agency means they control more unique images and for some agencies like IS, there are some high powered photographers like Lise Gagne and Hidesy that attract buyers. For buyers, it means one stop shopping and the knowledge that you can get those images only at one place, albeit with many other buysers.

graficallyminded

« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2008, 16:27 »
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Don't do it. 

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2008, 22:16 »
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2008, 22:45 »
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If you only plan to contribute to one place, go for it.  Otherwise, you'll typically make more money by submitting the same file to multiple agencies.

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2008, 23:00 »
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Was just curious what TheSupe knows that maybe I don't. Out of 11 sites, Istock is currently 69% of my earnings. The other 10 make up the remaining 31%. Of those, Fotolia is the only one showing strong and consistent growth. For me, uploading and keywording to these other 10 sites takes a lot of time with a pretty minimal return. Exclusivity with Istock is looking more and more attractive by the day.

« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2008, 00:00 »
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Was just curious what TheSupe knows that maybe I don't. Out of 11 sites, Istock is currently 69% of my earnings. The other 10 make up the remaining 31%. Of those, Fotolia is the only one showing strong and consistent growth. For me, uploading and keywording to these other 10 sites takes a lot of time with a pretty minimal return. Exclusivity with Istock is looking more and more attractive by the day.

In your case, definately go exclusive.  You'll get higher upload limits and a better percentage.  SS only accounts for about 20% of my earnings, while SS makes up 60% (gotta love referrals).

graficallyminded

« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2008, 00:11 »
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If you only plan to contribute to one place, go for it.  Otherwise, you'll typically make more money by submitting the same file to multiple agencies.

Amen to that.  I find that to be so true. 

I shouldn't be so biased to say "don't do it" because I can't really speak for everyone.  All I can speak for is myself.  When I was signed up under 2 or 3 agencies, I made some sales.  Then I added a few more that produced, and made even more.  Once I got to around 600 images, I added istock and stockxpert and a few others.  Now I'm up to 11 sites I've received payouts from, about 8 of those regular monthly payouts.  Istock is about 20-25% for me, Shutterstock is about 20-25% Stockxpert is about 20% and Fotolia 20-25% (they all fluctuate for me from month to month - one site does better one month, while another suffers...I wish they would all do better at the same time)

It's like the illustration I like to give about selling a product in a department store.  If I was the owner of PEPSI-Cola, why would I want to sell my soda just in Walmart?  What if Walmart offered me double the wholesale price that another store would give me for my product?  Do you think people are going to go just to Walmart so they can buy soda, or would they settle for Coke or RC, or a Store brand cola at other stores?  Now what if I decided to sell my PEPSI at multiple Target, gas stations, grocerie stores, etc?  There's no way the Walmart exclusive sales would match the sales figures from selling the product in multiple locations.  It's the same exact thing to me when it comes to stock. 

If I had the situation where my images only sold mainly on one site, I might consider it.  But the scales would have to be tipped at least 90% towards that one site for me to want to pull my product from the other guys. 

Do the math, decide whether or not you think your extra time uploading to multiple sites is worth it, and then make your decision.  To me, uploading to 10 sites isn't much hard than uploading to 5- but I'm just used to the whole process.  You get faster at it as you go along.  I've only been in this for 2 years.  The first year I pulled in mid 4 figures, the second low 5...this will be my third year, and I'm hoping to maintain or imcrease my sales in 2007.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2008, 00:15 by graficallyminded »

nruboc

« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2008, 00:18 »
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Me exclusivity experience, 1 file rejected from IStockphoto for "not stock oriented" goes on to become my all time best seller at other agencies bringing in over $2000 for one file alone. Exclusivity? thanks but no thanks.

« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2008, 02:08 »
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I like how DT lets you select specific files for exclusivity.

I put up a lot of editorial stuff on SS, and when they get rejected, they're set as exclusive on DT (usually rejected, but some make it through).

« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2009, 08:36 »
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I agree.  I have an image that was refused by IStock that has made me 500$ just from Dreamstime and is my bestseller there.

Me exclusivity experience, 1 file rejected from IStockphoto for "not stock oriented" goes on to become my all time best seller at other agencies bringing in over $2000 for one file alone. Exclusivity? thanks but no thanks.


tan510jomast

« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2009, 08:53 »
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I for one don't have much time to upload to 7 sites , never mind enough time to make enough new images each week. For this reason, I would be the first person to go exclusive as soon as one site takes off for me.
I am only coming to be one year old as a contributor, so this may be a bit premature. But yes, let's say if one of the Big 6 suddenly get good for me to have regular downloads , you know what? I would definitely go exclusive.

It's like any other fields of business. You prefer to rely on one bank, for example, or one brokerage, to deal with. They bend over backwards for you, and you do the same. The old saying, "You scratch my back and I scratch yours" counts bigtime
for me and many experienced business people.

Of course, there is the other saying, "Never put all your eggs in one basket".
But with me, that has not proven to be sound judgement.

batman

« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2009, 09:01 »
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I for one don't have much time to upload to 7 sites , never mind enough time to make enough new images each week. For this reason, I would be the first person to go exclusive as soon as one site takes off for me.
I am only coming to be one year old as a contributor, so this may be a bit premature. But yes, let's say if one of the Big 6 suddenly get good for me to have regular downloads , you know what? I would definitely go exclusive.

It's like any other fields of business. You prefer to rely on one bank, for example, or one brokerage, to deal with. They bend over backwards for you, and you do the same. The old saying, "You scratch my back and I scratch yours" counts bigtime
for me and many experienced business people.

Of course, there is the other saying, "Never put all your eggs in one basket".
But with me, that has not proven to be sound judgement.


tan, very noble thought. i am sure any of the Big 7  will rush out to welcome you as exclusive, and to  scratch yourback  ::) 
 if you put all your eggs in one basket, and that site does a LuckyOliver, your port is omelette, or toast  :D

« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2009, 10:37 »
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I think, that exclusivity can be good for some time. but when your portfolio grows enough it can only harm you, because you will always earn more submitting to 10-11 sites than one site alone. I think there is no agency that can give you such a push to earn more than at 10 agencies in the same time. Otherwise, biggest players would be all exclusives....but they are not.

lisafx

« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2009, 11:35 »
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I can see exclusivity benefiting contributors.  Not necessarily all contributors, but certainly those that don't want the extra work of uploading to multiple sites, want the extra security of knowing where their images were bought in case of misuse, enjoy being part of a group, like the exclusivity perks, etc.

I definitely think it is a good thing for the agencies.  Being able to offer customers a unique collection of images seems like a great marketing tool. 

But I am not so sure I see how it benefits buyers.  I would think that having the choice to buy the same image from various agencies would offer a lot of advantages, such as choosing the price point, license type, incentive packages, customer service, web interface, etc. that they want.   

RacePhoto

« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2009, 12:34 »
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Was just curious what TheSupe knows that maybe I don't. Out of 11 sites, Istock is currently 69% of my earnings. The other 10 make up the remaining 31%. Of those, Fotolia is the only one showing strong and consistent growth. For me, uploading and keywording to these other 10 sites takes a lot of time with a pretty minimal return. Exclusivity with Istock is looking more and more attractive by the day.

Correct me if I'm wrong about this example: 10 other sites?

nazdravie
Quote
Ive been an avid photographer for over twenty years. Currently Im an exclusive Istockphoto contributor and also have work available through Getty Images.
Member since: July 2007




PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2009, 13:12 »
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Was just curious what TheSupe knows that maybe I don't. Out of 11 sites, Istock is currently 69% of my earnings. The other 10 make up the remaining 31%. Of those, Fotolia is the only one showing strong and consistent growth. For me, uploading and keywording to these other 10 sites takes a lot of time with a pretty minimal return. Exclusivity with Istock is looking more and more attractive by the day.

Correct me if I'm wrong about this example: 10 other sites?

nazdravie
Quote
Ive been an avid photographer for over twenty years. Currently Im an exclusive Istockphoto contributor and also have work available through Getty Images.
Member since: July 2007


It looks like you're trying to bust me out on something here but I can't quite figure out what.

You're taking a quote I made from over a year ago and comparing it my profile as it appears today. I went exclusive in August.

And your point is....







RacePhoto

« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2009, 14:22 »
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Was just curious what TheSupe knows that maybe I don't. Out of 11 sites, Istock is currently 69% of my earnings. The other 10 make up the remaining 31%. Of those, Fotolia is the only one showing strong and consistent growth. For me, uploading and keywording to these other 10 sites takes a lot of time with a pretty minimal return. Exclusivity with Istock is looking more and more attractive by the day.

Correct me if I'm wrong about this example: 10 other sites?

nazdravie
Quote
Ive been an avid photographer for over twenty years. Currently Im an exclusive Istockphoto contributor and also have work available through Getty Images.
Member since: July 2007


It looks like you're trying to bust me out on something here but I can't quite figure out what.

You're taking a quote I made from over a year ago and comparing it my profile as it appears today. I went exclusive in August.

And your point is....


IS should be about 100% of your RF sales. Right?  ;D

Quote from: PaulieWalnuts
(Dec 07)
SS   44.12% (1st month)
IS   30.15% (+50%, BME)
FT   8.39% (BME)
SV   5.54% (BME)
123RF   4.07% (downloads up, $$$ down)
BigStock   3.47%
DT   2.31%

Quote from: PaulieWalnuts
(Nov 08)
I'm on track for being down about 50%. The new best match is not my friend.

Things change, up and down.

grp_photo

« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2009, 14:42 »
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WOW that was really misguiding, Paulie.
So you are already exclusive to iStock and the rest of your sales are through Getty and a few RM-Agencies or what. Come on why do you misguide people so much?

« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2009, 14:54 »
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Is it known to buyer if there are getting image from exclusive or not? They probably pay same amount. For agency, I do not know if benefits exceed cost. They have to share higher percentage of sale with exclusives but on the other hand they do not control them so tight as others, they assume that somebody who sold enough pictures already know what to do. I wonder what percentage of contributors are exclusives? If not high they are low maintenance contributors for agency.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2009, 14:56 by melastmohican »

batman

« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2009, 14:56 »
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I can see exclusivity benefiting contributors.  Not necessarily all contributors, but certainly those that don't want the extra work of uploading to multiple sites, want the extra security of knowing where their images were bought in case of misuse, enjoy being part of a group, like the exclusivity perks, etc.

I definitely think it is a good thing for the agencies.  Being able to offer customers a unique collection of images seems like a great marketing tool. 

But I am not so sure I see how it benefits buyers.  I would think that having the choice to buy the same image from various agencies would offer a lot of advantages, such as choosing the price point, license type, incentive packages, customer service, web interface, etc. that they want.   

lisafx,fine points once again from you. thx.

ok, so i was being flippant with tan510jomast in expounding the dangers of "all your eggs in one basket". but really, we are by nature EXCLUSIVE, as much as we hate to admit it that it could be useful here in the world of microstock.
we smoke the same cigarettes, we drive a certain make of car, we even buy coffee and doughnuts from one EXCLUSIVE shop.  so really, it's no difference .

i agree for convenience sake exclusiveness is attractive. also as you said, the simplicity of not having to checkout all the other sites. and with IStock, we know there is an advantage of being exclusive.
not that i would want to be with IS, but if IS did lean a bias towards their exclusive contributors,
why are we so surprised?   we get the same special treatment from other businesses we are regulars too , right?

as for the buyers? i am not one, so i wouldn't know. but obviously buyers don't patronize a certain
site; if they do, we won't see so many sites grabbing the same best sellers image to feature on their front page.  just a shot in the dark, as always.
if anyone disagree with anything i write  here, speak up or forever hold your peace    8)


OM

« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2009, 16:57 »
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After one year of my images being exclusive at FT, I removed the few pics I had at iS and went totally exclusive at FT. I have a very small portfolio at FT (90pix) so my experience since going fully exclusive cannot be backed statistically. However, since I went fully exclusive, sales have plummeted. So many more subs sales and XS/S whereas before, XL's were common.

On reflection, I can see that at FT, total exclusivity could be a disadvantage........they have to pay you a bigger % of the sales whilst the images remain the same price as they always were for buyers! I can't see any real advantage to being exclusive there..........it's not like iS where they promote a contributor every week or month.
I haven't much time to do stock work at the moment but I think I'd like to see if going non-exclusive would
make any difference! LOL.

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2009, 17:23 »
0
Was just curious what TheSupe knows that maybe I don't. Out of 11 sites, Istock is currently 69% of my earnings. The other 10 make up the remaining 31%. Of those, Fotolia is the only one showing strong and consistent growth. For me, uploading and keywording to these other 10 sites takes a lot of time with a pretty minimal return. Exclusivity with Istock is looking more and more attractive by the day.

Correct me if I'm wrong about this example: 10 other sites?

nazdravie
Quote
Ive been an avid photographer for over twenty years. Currently Im an exclusive Istockphoto contributor and also have work available through Getty Images.
Member since: July 2007


It looks like you're trying to bust me out on something here but I can't quite figure out what.

You're taking a quote I made from over a year ago and comparing it my profile as it appears today. I went exclusive in August.

And your point is....


IS should be about 100% of your RF sales. Right?  ;D

Quote from: PaulieWalnuts
(Dec 07)
SS   44.12% (1st month)
IS   30.15% (+50%, BME)
FT   8.39% (BME)
SV   5.54% (BME)
123RF   4.07% (downloads up, $$$ down)
BigStock   3.47%
DT   2.31%

Quote from: PaulieWalnuts
(Nov 08)
I'm on track for being down about 50%. The new best match is not my friend.

Things change, up and down.


I still have no idea what you're getting at here.

Uh yes, Istock is 100% of my RF income as it is for most exclusives. I only have a couple images on Getty and just got my first report with sales yesterday.

So now you're taking a quote from December of 2007 where Istock was 30.15% of my total. After that it floated between 50 - 70% of my total which is why I eventually went exclusive.

Yes, things go up and down. I took a 50% hit in 10/2008. Shortly afterwards it recovered back up to normal.

Again, so your point is...

Oh by the way, how'd your custom lighting system work out for you? Did you ever figure out your white balance problem with doing isolations? Did it end up being the combination of the fluorescent, incandescent, halogen, and flash light sources you were using?   ::)  FCH

« Last Edit: April 21, 2009, 18:19 by PaulieWalnuts »

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2009, 17:25 »
0
WOW that was really misguiding, Paulie.
So you are already exclusive to iStock and the rest of your sales are through Getty and a few RM-Agencies or what. Come on why do you misguide people so much?

I hope this is sarcastic humor, right?

RacePhoto

« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2009, 18:14 »
0
WOW that was really misguiding, Paulie.
So you are already exclusive to iStock and the rest of your sales are through Getty and a few RM-Agencies or what. Come on why do you misguide people so much?

No No No... the message is from Feb. 2008! Someone just brought the thread back from the dead.  :P

Yes the 100% part was supposed to be humor, but you never can tell what people will see in it?

Yes, I found all kinds of problems and solutions, one of them was trying to use old sheets for diffusers (too thick). Another was using different manufacturers of milk bottles for diffusers. Once I switched all the lights to the same color temperature and got it closer to the fill flash, it's much better. Added bottom lighting through Plexiglas... By then I was bored and moved on to some new challenge. The old project is sitting on the desk and now and then I flip the switch and take a picture of something, and turn it off again. 100mm Macro really helped too because of the distances and angles.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2009, 18:22 by RacePhoto »


 

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