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Author Topic: Yuri admits he's losing money !  (Read 41720 times)

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macrosaur

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« on: February 27, 2010, 12:52 »
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check this out :

http://www.ellenboughn.com/shannon-fagan-asks-whats-your-position-on-global-positioning


in the comments Yuri says :

"I will bring some numbers to the table. Lookstat. Its not just as simple as adapting to new waters.

I still shot, but it is not a good market situation we are in. RPI for microstock non-exclusive has dropped from 9.8USD per image per month two years back to 4.5USD per image per month today. I am expecting it to drop to less than 3 USD per image per month this year, at which point it does not make much sense to be producing. I could produce and make money at this RPI, but that would be at a stabile RPI of 3USD per month, not if it keeps going down. Right now I have to produce 11000 images per year to maintain my income.
My production is very streamlined and probably uses every technology known to man on how to produce great stock images. We go a long way to optimize for 5% more/better output. Thats 5%, not 50% and still we cant really make sensible money from it in one-two years from now. Its not about adapting and changing, its about accepting that what we could once make a living from, will be a hobby for the crowd. A crowd that does not care about RPIs, model fees, overheads.its their hobby."


donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2010, 13:07 »
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That's kinda a scary observation by Yuri. But I think we all knew it was coming. The question is what can we do about it.

« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2010, 13:12 »
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He's got 30K images which, at an RPI of $3 per month, should generate about $1M per annum. If he can't 'make a living' out of that then his costs are totally out of control.

It's going to get much worse for him and all the rest of us too anyway __ that much is inevitable. Supply of new images is out-stripping the growth in the market and has been for some time. Whatever our individual RPI's are now in a few years time we will only dream of such figures.

« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2010, 13:12 »
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Yuri's profit margin may be shrinking, but his business model plays a *huge* part in it. The last time I looked, he had *three* studios, *ten* staff members, and took everyone on extended working vacations to South Africa and/or Hawaii.

macrosaur

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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2010, 13:20 »
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Yuri's profit margin may be shrinking, but his business model plays a *huge* part in it. The last time I looked, he had *three* studios, *ten* staff members, and took everyone on extended working vacations to South Africa and/or Hawaii.

it's just crazy how much he's spending.

just for starters, it makes no sense to be based in Denmark, one of the most expensive countries in europe and the world.
plus he has a huge studio, staffers, keyworders, stacks of Macs and PCs, and finally he pays his models.

moving the whole operation in a cheap euro country like Portugal o Serbia or Poland would slash his expenses at least 80%
and taxation is also lower than in northern europe.

Vacations to Hawaii for all the employees ?? That's another crazy thing, no wonder he can't pay the bills.

macrosaur

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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2010, 13:23 »
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But hey, maybe he's just downplaying his real earnings in order to pay less taxes and trying to demotivate his competitors ? Makes sense to me.

« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2010, 13:30 »
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The easy solution for him would be to quit microstock production, leave his portfolio to generate circa $1m for the next year or so and go shoot more lucrative real customer work. I think that's what I'd do.

« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2010, 13:37 »
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I met Yuri last year with the SS meeting in Denmark.
He is a business man and although rpi are low he will find his way out of it maybe start a different business.
Also what I noticed as long as he has that kind of twinkle in his eyes when he talks about photography everything
comes fine.
 

« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2010, 13:53 »
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That's kinda a scary observation by Yuri. But I think we all knew it was coming. The question is what can we do about it.

Probably stop taking on interns and training to go out and churn out the exact same thing as you.

vonkara

« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2010, 13:58 »
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Yea production cost might be out of control. I always wondered how some people were able to bookmark that many models and have that much equipment, while I can hardly validate the purchase of a new lens. Now I may have a part of an answer.

There's photographers that might hunt numbers instead profits IMO. I know I do microstock to pay myself things I couldn't afford normally, like restaurant, cinema, some electronic devices and a little fun each weeks.

I have small expectations doing this, but I do hope that the big players keep being successful, it's them who attract all the designers in microstock. I'm sure that Yuri will find the way to stay on track. Actually, why not stopping the production and just let the money come in for the next 6 months or year. That would be 100% profits

But a bad news for all the employees...
« Last Edit: February 27, 2010, 14:03 by Vonkara »

« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2010, 13:59 »
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... and, I actually totally agree with Ian Murray:
"What concerns me is that we now have a new type of entrepreneur targeting the hobbyist and encouraging them, really against their own best interest, to enter the micro world. I mean those people who run pro-micro blogs, give workshops, sell books. I have no wish to be personally rude to anybody but this kind of spin-off seems parasitic to me and nothing to do with supporting a creative stock photography industry. Its about finding positions from which to benefit from crowd sourcing whilst knowing full well the damage that it does both to new entrants and those already within the industry."

They're very chatty over there.

RT


« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2010, 14:04 »
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I always wonder why so many people take what Yuri says to be a reflection on the industry as a whole, his business model is unique to say the least and yet so many people seem to think that if he can't sustain a viable profit it means the end of microstock, if his RPI is dropping it could mean one of many things that relates to how he operates his business not neccesarily the microstock industry.

Every once in a while Yuri will make a statement that makes everyone talk about him and predict the end is nigh, then life goes on until the next time.

I spent a few hours the other day looking at blogs, reading interviews and statements from many of the self proclaimed experts in the stock industry all predicting what the future holds, having read them one thing became blatently clear - it's a business and nobody knows what will happen.

I predict in a few months time we'll all be having the same conversation.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2010, 14:18 »
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Does Yuri produce video clips?

« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2010, 14:32 »
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Would be very interesting to hear what other top non-exclusive photographers are thinking about market trends, e.g. Andres, or Cathy Yeulet or Ron Chapple (though Ron wasn't very active in micro last 12-18 months).

Feedback from Yuri is valuable, but statistically it isn't enough to drive any conclusions.

« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2010, 14:36 »
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This is normal!

Yuri needs to know that his style was embraced by many of us, so competition is increasing...

Many people think that money is in his style...

Like in every other business, we will see rise in standards and pricing, hooby will become job, and door will not be open for everyone, only for pros...

First car was a hobby product, now is industry...

First plane was a toy, now that is fastest transportation on Earth...

First photographer was a weirdo, now it is business...

We can expect further professionalization of micorstock...
« Last Edit: February 27, 2010, 15:09 by borg »

« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2010, 14:58 »
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Does Yuri work for microstock only? No commissioned work? And his studio is only for his own use?

To me it was alays difficult to imagine making a living solely on micros when your images cost so much.  But then if these costs are diluted with other work, it's another story.

macrosaur

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« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2010, 15:14 »
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Yea production cost might be out of control. I always wondered how some people were able to bookmark that many models and have that much equipment, while I can hardly validate the purchase of a new lens. Now I may have a part of an answer.

There's photographers that might hunt numbers instead profits IMO. I know I do microstock to pay myself things I couldn't afford normally, like restaurant, cinema, some electronic devices and a little fun each weeks.

I have small expectations doing this, but I do hope that the big players keep being successful, it's them who attract all the designers in microstock. I'm sure that Yuri will find the way to stay on track. Actually, why not stopping the production and just let the money come in for the next 6 months or year. That would be 100% profits

But a bad news for all the employees...

well if we look at the net gain of many big companies (ie : google) it's usually in the 10-15% range.

if Yuri says he can still pay the bills with a 3$ RPI it means when he had a 9$ RPI
he was making huge profits !


macrosaur

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« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2010, 15:18 »
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Many people think that money is in his style...

what's so special actually in "his" style ?
same photos were seen decades ago, just not in industrial quantities like he does.

and what's the point of buying nikon D3x and Hasselblads for shooting microstock ?

all i've read so far about that guy was on the line of "look at me ! i'm getting rich
with all those 0.25$ photos sold on micros, i've a huge studio and the latest gear !".

macrosaur

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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2010, 15:21 »
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We can expect further professionalization of micorstock...

be careful, as the next big thing in microstock could be a sudden invasion of
chinese and indian photographers selling like crazy with very low production costs.

actually i'm surprised it didn't happened already, maybe their english isn't good enough
for keywording ?  ???

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2010, 15:32 »
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I agree he has more competition now than he ever did before, but it's very possible the style of his shooting is wearing off. To much of the same ol same ol. Who knows.

« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2010, 15:36 »
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I think Ron Chapple just dumped his back catalogue on the micros to give it some new life and then went back to his main business. Very sensible. Unlike Yuri Arcurs.

If Arcurs manages to squander all the dough he has been making through his showy lifestyle it will be the joke of the century. It is possible for normal people to live normal lives on just a few percent of the money he is raking in.

Still, there's no doubt that living from microstock is living on the edge.

« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2010, 15:39 »
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and what's the point of buying nikon D3x and Hasselblads for shooting microstock ?
He didn't have to buy his Hasselblads.

« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2010, 16:37 »
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Quite some time ago Lise Gagne said the reason to use top equipment is to cater to snobbish buyers - those who will only buy images taken with the best equipment. Actually, what she really said is that it 'proves' you're a serious professional, and buyers like that. Technical considerations have nothing to do with it. It's all about image (surprise surprise).

ETA: Lise's also shooting with a Hasselblad these days.

macrosaur

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« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2010, 16:46 »
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Quite some time ago Lise Gagne said the reason to use top equipment is to cater to snobbish buyers - those who will only buy images taken with the best equipment. Actually, what she really said is that it 'proves' you're a serious professional, and buyers like that. Technical considerations have nothing to do with it. It's all about image (surprise surprise).

ETA: Lise's also shooting with a Hasselblad these days.

i could agree with this logic but how you call "snobbish buyers" the guys complaining microstocks
are getting too expensive ?

correct me if i'm wrong, but microstock buyers are the bottom of the barrel
compare to the ones shopping at Getty or any other RM.

for the record, i had plenty of sales on Alamy shot with an ancient nikon D50 in 6MP with a cheap Sigma lens, i don't know if they're snobbish enough but i do know i got paid an average of 100$/image and never had complaints of refunds asked.

would i sell twice with a Hasselblad ? i don't think so.
a D90 or a D700 is way more than enough for stock.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2010, 16:48 by macrosaur »

« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2010, 16:48 »
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And it will be worst everyday...

I don't want to be rude either, but... all those people who behave like microstock cheerleaders and are trying to refer as many new "photographers" as they can, they don't realize the damage they are doing.

The less competitors we have, the more images we'll sell.  It couldn't be easier to understand!  It's business.

The only winners with the microstock cheerleaders are the microstock agencies, not the photographers!
« Last Edit: February 27, 2010, 16:50 by Digital66 »


 

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