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Author Topic: Your Questions for Shutterstock, Fotolia, iStockphoto?  (Read 15390 times)

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« on: October 13, 2009, 15:41 »
0
Hello Microstockers,

i need you questions for the book fair in Frankfurt (biggest Book Fair in the World btw).
http://www.buchmesse.de/en/fbf/programme/key_focuses/photography/

Who i will meet?
I will meet there with Shutterstock (Adam Riggs), iStockphoto (Dittmar Frohmann) and Fotolia (Martin Ruge). I will have lots of time to ask them questions and i will try to make some interviews with my video camera.

I will interview them, so tell me YOUR! question!
What should i ask these guys?

I will be happy to write they answers into this post.


LSD72

  • My Bologna has a first name...
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2009, 19:37 »
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For Shutterstock: What do they see as their ultimate goal for BigStock?

For Istock: Why do they hate Raster Illustrations?

« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2009, 20:06 »
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For Istock: When are they going to increase the miserly royalties they pay the contributors who built their business for them?

« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2009, 20:23 »
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For all:  will you implement flexible pricing - set by contributors -  so that quality images with niche appeal can receive acceptable returns?   

« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2009, 20:28 »
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For all:  will you implement flexible pricing - set by contributors -  so that quality images with niche appeal can receive acceptable returns?   

Yes please. Good one.

« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2009, 20:55 »
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For all three: How do they think they are doing in appealing to non-English speaking buyers? If any barriers remain, what are they and how/when do they plan to address them.

I ask that because from some recent numbers (can't remember where I saw them) it appeared that there was still a huge portion of business coming from the US and UK. Seems a shame to be leaving money on the table elsewhere. I know everyone's doing translated sites and purchases in various currencies, but I wonder what else is needed?

ap

« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2009, 21:20 »
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it seems microstock is the key growth area in stock (outbidding traditional stock) for the next few years. where do these three see the growth areas to be? ie online media, traditional stock users, small blogs, etc. how much growth per year and in the line of jsnover's question, which foreign markets are most promising? (asia or south america, etc.)

KB

« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2009, 21:29 »
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For Shutterstock: Any plans to update the contributor side of the website to make it easier to manage our portfolio and track our sales? Perhaps you can "borrow" BigStockPhoto's design?  ;D

For Fotolia: Does anyone there notice the number of contributor complaints about inconsistent and annoying reviewing standards (more so than any other site, by far)? Any hope of educating reviewers towards implementing a focused, coherent, and clear vision of what is technically and aesthetically acceptable (and conveying same to contributors as well)?

« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2009, 22:05 »
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for SS (and the others too I suppose)- what percentage do you pay to contributors?

for IS - what are the plans for stockxpert?




« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2009, 22:46 »
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For Fotolia: Does anyone there notice the number of contributor complaints about inconsistent and annoying reviewing standards (more so than any other site, by far)? Any hope of educating reviewers towards implementing a focused, coherent, and clear vision of what is technically and aesthetically acceptable (and conveying same to contributors as well)?

Actually I find FT about the most consistent agency out there. Virtually the only rejections I've got in the last year, out of something like 700-odd uploads, are if I upload a view of a property without a PR. Ergo, I don't. Simples.

Much, much better than all those imaginary 'artifacts' or 'isolation too rough or too smooth' nonsense from IS __ which basically means you just uploaded an image that might seriously compete with one of the inspector's own images.

ap

« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2009, 22:54 »
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i find ft highly consistent too, for their rejections. but, you're right, it's never for technical reasons, just subject matter not suitable for them.

« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2009, 00:53 »
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Gostwyck I always seem to agree with you :)
I find exactly the same as you. I am very selective of what I upload and Fotolia along with Dreamstime and SS accept virtually everything I throw at them but I am also sick of the artifact rejections at IS.

 I also sometimes think that they come from a reviewer that just doesn't like the competition to the exclusive images.


Actually I find FT about the most consistent agency out there. Virtually the only rejections I've got in the last year, out of something like 700-odd uploads, are if I upload a view of a property without a PR. Ergo, I don't. Simples.

Much, much better than all those imaginary 'artifacts' or 'isolation too rough or too smooth' nonsense from IS __ which basically means you just uploaded an image that might seriously compete with one of the inspector's own images.

« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2009, 02:57 »
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To IS and FT: What about editorial pictures? Any plans to go into that direction?

« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2009, 03:25 »
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How about any plans to open up thier API for software developers, so they can create non registration (affiliate fee) Pay-Per-Download plug-ins.

David

RT


« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2009, 03:45 »
+1
Categories - Are they really that necessary?

« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2009, 04:32 »
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@ Fotolia
Can we (contributors) expect a fair relationship. Without unilateral changes like:
- Commition drop
- Added new forms of sales without possibility to opt-out
- Ranking system changes
- Pay 3.5 $ for HD videos (4 times less than the market average)
- Try "trap" contributors hiding information (information on subscriptions in the chapters "illustrations" and "videos" is omitted on contributor's page

Why Fotolia has highest  number of  thiefs - clients with stolen credit cards?
And please ask what made Chad Bridel change his mind about subscriptions (few months before subscription's introduction at FT he thought that subscriptions were very bad for long term)

« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2009, 06:37 »
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For Shutterstock - Do you plan to ever bring back Lightbox contest for contributors? (I thought those were good for helping sellers get seen) Have you considered allowing contributors to buy subscriptions at a discount? Can we get increased statistics information like views, keywords bought with, and lightboxes?

For iStock - How do you plan to protect sellers from lawsuits in the new logo program? Are you planning to decrease the commission price below 50% after six months?

For Fotolia - Can you implement a way for sellers to add vector formats to existing illustrations on the site? (Without having to delete the original files)


« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2009, 08:00 »
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For Istock - Any plans on making the submition process for contributors painless?  Maybe incorporate FTP?!!!

What is your plan for StockXpert?


For Fotolia - Can you set up a process to re-evaluate file rejections deemed not suitable for stock since some rejections end up being big sellers?  Not talking about the Academy Board!

Will you allow keywording of images after submittion?  Reason being is that I still have alot of images that were keyworded in phrases during version 1 and are not effective for the current version to get views.  Too many to reupload!
« Last Edit: October 14, 2009, 09:17 by tdoes »

traveler1116

« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2009, 09:22 »
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For all three: How do they think they are doing in appealing to non-English speaking buyers? If any barriers remain, what are they and how/when do they plan to address them.

I ask that because from some recent numbers (can't remember where I saw them) it appeared that there was still a huge portion of business coming from the US and UK. Seems a shame to be leaving money on the table elsewhere. I know everyone's doing translated sites and purchases in various currencies, but I wonder what else is needed?

I'm in china now and on FTs website I noticed all of the images on the homepage were of asian people and then when you switch to the US you get a different set of images and then there were talks about IS having different best match results for different countries.

« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2009, 10:05 »
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To IS and FT: What about editorial pictures? Any plans to go into that direction?

IS has already announced that it's going to allow exclusives to submit editorial images (the 'lypse in Istanbul next month to start and then more generally in 2010).

« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2009, 10:08 »
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To IS and FT: What about editorial pictures? Any plans to go into that direction?

IS has already announced that it's going to allow exclusives to submit editorial images (the 'lypse in Istanbul next month to start and then more generally in 2010).

Then I'll have to clarify the question (I'm not exclusive): How about allowing independants to submit editorial images?

« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2009, 11:10 »
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Categories - Are they really that necessary?

Here here  :D

« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2009, 17:11 »
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For FT: is it possible to change this ridiculous watermark appeared since V2?

« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2009, 19:57 »
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Hi Ap,

 At this time Micro is not even close to out selling standard stock. Maybe down the road but it's a bit of a jog.

 As for the post I would like to ask them about the future of their industry and how they plan to sustain growth and profit and at what rate and margin. With some data to support it. Where will all the new buyers come from to sustain growth in this industry at the rate the product is being produced.

Best,
Jonathan


« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2009, 20:14 »
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To IS and FT: What about editorial pictures? Any plans to go into that direction?

IS has already announced that it's going to allow exclusives to submit editorial images (the 'lypse in Istanbul next month to start and then more generally in 2010).

Then I'll have to clarify the question (I'm not exclusive): How about allowing independants to submit editorial images?

That is incorrect.  Getty has invited a select group of iStock exclusives to submit to their editorial collection.  A move that will unlikely be extended to any non-exclusive for obvious reasons.

ap

« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2009, 20:57 »
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Hi Ap,

 At this time Micro is not even close to out selling standard stock. Maybe down the road but it's a bit of a jog.

 As for the post I would like to ask them about the future of their industry and how they plan to sustain growth and profit and at what rate and margin. With some data to support it. Where will all the new buyers come from to sustain growth in this industry at the rate the product is being produced.

Best,
Jonathan



hi jonathan,

i was referring to the 'growth' of micro outstripping mid or macro stock. that seems the real trend and the source of threat to the pros. i don't know what its absolute share of the market is though. minuscule?

« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2009, 21:23 »
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i was referring to the 'growth' of micro outstripping mid or macro stock. that seems the real trend and the source of threat to the pros. i don't know what its absolute share of the market is though. minuscule?

No __ far from it and the gap is closing almost daily. It's difficult to get an accurate handle on the figures because micro is growing incredibly rapidly and macro sales are shrinking just as quickly. Alamy for example recently reported that US$ sales had shrunk by about 70% in the last year alone __ of course they blamed it on 'the recession' rather than competition from elsewhere. My guess is that total micro sales will outstrip macro within the next couple of years. Five years from now nobody will even be discussing it. They'll always be plenty of 'high-end' agencies trying sell into niche markets at high prices but they'll be tiny markets and relatively little money to be made from it.

Guys like Yuri and Andres are the real litmus test of where the industry is heading. I'm sure they'd both rather be flogging their images for hundreds rather than single $'s and it seems unlikely that any significant agency would bar their entry __ quite the reverse. Yet somehow they've both uploaded well over 300 new images apiece to the micros already this month. Like it or not micro is the future and where most of the money is (already?) going to be be in the future.


ap

« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2009, 21:47 »
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i feel yuri and andres are just the tip of the iceberg. there are millions of foot soldiers marching beneath them, providing the real trendlines.  but i also think they're real trend setters by legitimizing microstock with their young, hip success stories over the stuffy macros...
« Last Edit: October 15, 2009, 00:07 by ap »

RacePhoto

« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2009, 21:53 »
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Categories - Are they really that necessary?

Here here  :D

+1 more!

« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2009, 07:15 »
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Why do you try so hard to suck or it just natural? When are you going to contributors with respect?

SS still gives new contributors preference over older contributors. When are you going to reward our hard work. We are the one that brought to the dance. Remember without contributors you are nothing, nada, nix!

KB

« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2009, 10:20 »
0
For Fotolia: Does anyone there notice the number of contributor complaints about inconsistent and annoying reviewing standards (more so than any other site, by far)? Any hope of educating reviewers towards implementing a focused, coherent, and clear vision of what is technically and aesthetically acceptable (and conveying same to contributors as well)?

Actually I find FT about the most consistent agency out there. Virtually the only rejections I've got in the last year, out of something like 700-odd uploads, are if I upload a view of a property without a PR. Ergo, I don't. Simples.

Much, much better than all those imaginary 'artifacts' or 'isolation too rough or too smooth' nonsense from IS __ which basically means you just uploaded an image that might seriously compete with one of the inspector's own images.

I seriously wonder, given the large differences in experiences that people have with FT, whether some accounts are marked as "pass", and others "fail".

I just ran a small test over the last 10 days. I submitted the same 5 photos to all the top agencies. Here were the results:

123: 4 of 5 accepted
BigStock: 5 of 5 accepted
DT: 5 of 5 accepted
FT: 0 of 5 accepted
IS: 5 of 5 accepted
SS: 5 of 5 accepted
StockXpert: 5 of 5 accepted

For 123, the one rejection was "lighting/composition".

For FT, all 5 rejections were for "quality of photo".

It's been my experience, and thus my question for FT, that there is a disconnect between FT reviewers and the rest of the stock sites. My acceptance ratio is 80%-95% on all other sites, but is well below 50% on FT. Are FT's standards so much greater than all the other sites? I don't think so, since I'm sure if I re-submitted those 5 images enough times (which I definitely will not bother doing), eventually they would all get accepted.

So my question, re-phrased, is that something in the review process is broken at FT, and are they going to fix it or not?

« Reply #31 on: October 16, 2009, 00:30 »
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Thank you for your questions.

I will use some on the interviews today and give some feedback in this thread.

« Reply #32 on: October 17, 2009, 00:26 »
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Hi AP and all,

 Definitely a growth of great proportion thus the drop in the other models. Istock sold $865,000 in sales just yesterday. Just one day, that's serious chowder at a few bucks a piece. The RF Macro has dropped significantly and someone said it dropped 70%. %'s don't mean much if you don't mention dollars. RF Macro had the room to drop that far and still make more than Micro clearly for my company because the RPI in Macro RF used to be $3-$4 hundred a year with a $1500 hundred life average, that's per image. Now it dropped 70% so you make $400- $ 450 dollars off your RPI in Macro RF over it's life ( 3-5 years ). I am still making more per image a year on my Macro RF by far and I haven't produced hardly at all for it in 09'. As a matter of fact I have some Macro RF ( 1400 ) images from an old collection I have not added to for 5 years and it still outsells my Micro images that are brand new.
 RM is a completely different model from Micro that will have buyers for quite some time  and can actually take advantage of some of the chinks in the Micro armour. I don't consider Alamy as one of the RM players though so that makes a big difference around here. Corbis and Getty RM are still making way more RPI than Micro and motion is huge in RM compared to Micro, for the time being.
 Diversification in as many models as you can keeps you safely protected in the long run. It's like Roulette, I have a much better chance of winning betting on red than I do on 27. All models have there place at this time, to early to say that some are dead or dying. Watch and wait to see where you might play your chips and keeps your bets small and across the table till the wheel gets hot.

Cheers,
Jonathan
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 00:29 by Jonathan Ross »

« Reply #33 on: October 17, 2009, 05:54 »
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Then I'll have to clarify the question (I'm not exclusive): How about allowing independants to submit editorial images?

That is incorrect.  Getty has invited a select group of iStock exclusives to submit to their editorial collection.  A move that will unlikely be extended to any non-exclusive for obvious reasons.
[/quote]

Sean, what are the obvious reasons?

« Reply #34 on: October 17, 2009, 07:17 »
0
That is incorrect.  Getty has invited a select group of iStock exclusives to submit to their editorial collection.  A move that will unlikely be extended to any non-exclusive for obvious reasons.
Sean, what are the obvious reasons?

Well, the obvious reason (at least to me) is that there is a way for everyone, exclusive and non, to join Getty and that is applying through Getty.   Offering that desirable option to everyone also does not increase their exclusive contributor base.

Quote
I am still making more per image a year on my Macro RF by far and I haven't produced hardly at all for it in 09'. As a matter of fact I have some Macro RF ( 1400 ) images from an old collection I have not added to for 5 years and it still outsells my Micro images that are brand new.

My Getty income has stalled and dropped since the beginning of this year.

« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2009, 16:39 »
0
Hey Guys,

back from Book Fair with some nice video interviews.
The first 2 Video Interviews are with Adam Riggs (Shutterstock) and Dittmar Frohmann (iStockphoto Europe).
I didn't use all of your questions and my interview partner did only answer few of them.

Interview with Adam Riggs - President and CFO of Shutterstock
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2bFOUzup4Q[/youtube]

Dittmar Frohmann - Senior European Manager at iStockphoto Europe
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKg4ATBoKNY[/youtube]

I will publish some text interviews in the next few days at my Blog: www.fotos-verkaufen.de

You can also see some photos from Book Fair 2009 here:
http://www.fotos-verkaufen.de/news/bericht-von-der-frankfurter-buchmesse.html

« Reply #36 on: October 17, 2009, 16:42 »
0
Deleted
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 16:49 by borg »


lisafx

« Reply #37 on: October 17, 2009, 17:03 »
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Great interviews!  Thanks for posting them :)

« Reply #38 on: October 18, 2009, 11:47 »
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Hi Amosnet,

 Thank you for the interviews. Very kind of you.

Cheers,
Jomathan


 

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