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Author Topic: Zack Arias on microstock  (Read 22642 times)

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« Reply #50 on: November 26, 2010, 16:13 »
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Micro has established that it needs millions of images to compete, maybe that will change as well. I don't know, just guessing here.

You don't need a million images. You just need the right ones and a good business model. You know, one that takes into account profit and stuff.  ;D I'm pretty pleased with my shops performance in its first month and I don't have a million images.


lisafx

« Reply #51 on: November 26, 2010, 17:00 »
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... right now one problem is will the industry offer the rewards it did to keep their mass base of shooters from wanting to stay or even produce anymore.
 An agency in Micro will have trouble sustaining itself if the part timers quit because of the immense volume they bring to an agency.

Jonathan, I think you have really hit the nail on the head here.  The agencies need to keep microstock sustainable for the contributors if they want to keep us motivated to produce great images! 

I know you are involved in management of several trad sites.  I think the micros would also benefit from having some experienced content providers in the position to make decisions.

rubyroo

« Reply #52 on: November 26, 2010, 17:51 »
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The agencies need to keep microstock sustainable for the contributors if they want to keep us motivated to produce great images! 


Ditto... ditto... a billion times ditto...

jbarber873

« Reply #53 on: November 26, 2010, 20:19 »
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The agencies need to keep microstock sustainable for the contributors if they want to keep us motivated to produce great images! 


Ditto... ditto... a billion times ditto...

 yes, true. but an agency that is looking to cash out of a private equity position really only needs to make the next 6 months look good.

« Reply #54 on: November 26, 2010, 23:53 »
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The agencies need to keep microstock sustainable for the contributors if they want to keep us motivated to produce great images! 


Ditto... ditto... a billion times ditto...

Yes you are right...
But I dont think they do

« Reply #55 on: November 27, 2010, 01:11 »
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I agree 100% cthoman,

 The model that Micro chose does include the number of images they have as part of their model. I think we could see smaller niche Micro collections that focus on directly what the market needs and produced at a higher quality. The hard part for any start up agency is they need a good idea and then they need to find buyers if they want to sell only direct.
 Some strong third party agencies that are represented by the bigger Micro agencies ( Monkey Business ) could become a great deal more popular especially with the people that don't want to deal with the management end and only want to focus on shooting.
 If a group of photographers band together as an agency and sign their copyright over to the head of the group they could produce a much higher quantity an see higher personal sales through the agencies by moving their return placement further up by the volume created by several shooters as apposed to just one.

Best,
Jonathan

« Reply #56 on: November 27, 2010, 01:50 »
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Some strong third party agencies that are represented by the bigger Micro agencies ( Monkey Business ) could become a great deal more popular especially with the people that don't want to deal with the management end and only want to focus on shooting.
 If a group of photographers band together as an agency and sign their copyright over to the head of the group they could produce a much higher quantity an see higher personal sales through the agencies by moving their return placement further up by the volume created by several shooters as apposed to just one.
This would obviously only work for agencies that let contributor-connected karma play a role in the search engine and the commission level, like iStock. I also don't think that iStock would allow some members of the guild to be non-exclusive, even if the guild itself is exclusive. For agencies where karma is connected to images only, and where even John Doe can have a flame if the image is good, it won't have any advantage, imho.

« Reply #57 on: November 27, 2010, 08:19 »
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If a group of photographers band together as an agency and sign their copyright over to the head of the group they could produce a much higher quantity an see higher personal sales through the agencies by moving their return placement further up by the volume created by several shooters as apposed to just one.

That walks the line on trying to figure out ways to game the system.  What we all as individuals need is not more ways for people to come in suggesting ways for others to take away our sales.

RT


« Reply #58 on: November 27, 2010, 11:45 »
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If a group of photographers band together as an agency and sign their copyright over to the head of the group they could produce a much higher quantity an see higher personal sales through the agencies by moving their return placement further up by the volume created by several shooters as apposed to just one.

There's already a distributor doing this in microstock without the individual photographers having to sign over the copyright to their images. In the case I personally know of the distributor takes a commission on the sales. I'm sure they're not the only one's doing this in micro.

It's the same set up that you have with Blend on traditional agencies.

« Reply #59 on: November 27, 2010, 16:07 »
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Hi RT,

 Yes, it is much like Blend or any of the third party Macro agency or Monkey Business in Micro. Sean, I don't think I am sharing an idea that hasn't already been thought of by many others.

Best,
Jonathan

« Reply #60 on: November 27, 2010, 22:11 »
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Yes, it is much like Blend or any of the third party Macro agency or Monkey Business in Micro. Sean, I don't think I am sharing an idea that hasn't already been thought of by many others.

Oh, that makes it ok then.  I know you didn't start on IS from the early days, so you don't really understand how annoying something like that is.

« Reply #61 on: November 28, 2010, 00:33 »
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Hi Sean,

My statement was not directed at Istock I said " the agencies ", it is related to the entire industry. To not contribute to and to not know of a company or industry change are two different things. I was aware of Istock years before I became a contributor, my mistake was not jumping in sooner. Why do you find it so annoying?

Jonathan


« Reply #63 on: November 28, 2010, 04:27 »
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 nice article. anyhow, it's full of wrong predictions and presumptions. nothing new from non-microstock photographer if i can say.  he is not the first one, and surely won't be the last one with that opinion, that's for sure.
 

« Reply #64 on: November 28, 2010, 07:31 »
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Why do you find it so annoying?

Because it wasn't about trying to cheat or game the system.   It was individuals in "the crowd" working to get to certain achievement levels to gain bonuses like higher royalty levels and possibly better search placement or whatever.   Now, you just want to do an end run around that, figuring out ways to get the benefits, like signing over copyright to someone who can be exclusive when you can't be, so you get to a higher level.

« Reply #65 on: November 28, 2010, 12:48 »
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 Sean,

 You read a lot into my post. I never said to join up with an exclusive and join forces to cheat Istock. You really need to read my post dude. I didn't say anything of the kind. I didn't mention exclusivity at any point I said that as a group you would attain higher returns because of the number of images that a shooter would be part of a co-op to be part of a group that produces more than one person can. I never said anything about exclusivity or Istock.
 Many agencies including Istock offer higher returns to non exclusives by the number of sales they produce. As a group that number would be higher and so would everyones returns. The sales would still be directly to each person for what their images sold for at each site but the return would be higher because of the number of images offered. I wouldn't want this to be an Istock exclusive situation and never said such a thing, that would be against their contract. Are you annoyed with Monkey Businesses model, that's what they do but they are not exclusive. I have been asked by others to join just such a group before, well over two years ago but declined. I think maybe you misinterpreted my statement.

Jonathan

« Reply #66 on: November 28, 2010, 13:08 »
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The system is the system. If the an individual can make more money by co-oping with others and attaining higher levels of sales and profits earlier then they should. Why shouldn't they?


« Reply #67 on: November 28, 2010, 15:12 »
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The system is the system. If the an individual can make more money by co-oping with others and attaining higher levels of sales and profits earlier then they should. Why shouldn't they?

I don't have to be rational about it.  I can just dislike the idea.

Of course in the end, the system will be adjusted so said people will end up where they were and screwing it up for everyone else.

« Reply #68 on: November 28, 2010, 16:03 »
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I think the "system" has shown it can screw it up for most everyone without any help.

re: the article, he seems to mix up complaints about stock, RF stock, and microstock. The biggest problem I see with microstock and stock in general is the push to lower commissions lately.

As far as IS being unsustainable - well, I personally don't buy it. I bet they could still make money at 40% for all, but I bet the profits and bonuses wouldn't be as high as they are supposed to be.

« Reply #69 on: November 28, 2010, 18:37 »
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The system is the system. If the an individual can make more money by co-oping with others and attaining higher levels of sales and profits earlier then they should. Why shouldn't they?

I don't have to be rational about it.  I can just dislike the idea.

Of course in the end, the system will be adjusted so said people will end up where they were and screwing it up for everyone else.

I suppose you are right. But consider this over the entire industry. It is the essence of Zack's blog post that comes full circle to your comments. What goes around, comes around.

« Reply #70 on: November 28, 2010, 21:56 »
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Zeus,

 The RM/RF Macro industry is a good example. It took a huge hit from Micro but to be successful stock photographers that wanted to continue producing in the industry we had to act and think rationally to survive and adapt to change, not everyone was able to do so. Everything is constantly in a state of change, nothing stays the same. We always have to learn to adapt.

Best,
Jonathan

« Reply #71 on: November 28, 2010, 22:20 »
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Of course in the end, the system will be adjusted so said people will end up where they were and screwing it up for everyone else.
Like the wholesale megamalls screwed it up for the neighborhood shops and the cars for the horse carriages? It's just a free market thing.

« Reply #72 on: November 28, 2010, 23:03 »
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Of course in the end, the system will be adjusted so said people will end up where they were and screwing it up for everyone else.
Like the wholesale megamalls screwed it up for the neighborhood shops and the cars for the horse carriages? It's just a free market thing.

No, I'm just specifically speaking toward the IS system.  If some "group" comes in with big sales numbers, all that's going to do is push the rest of the curve down.  You think anyone will be happy about that?

Heck, maybe I should just start taking borders.  Jonathan, you can start by signing over your copyrights to me, and I'll pay you %25.  Better than Getty ;) .

« Reply #73 on: November 28, 2010, 23:36 »
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Hi Sean,

 I don't think we can do that, but if it was legal and I could make more money that direction I would certainly consider it.

Thanks,
Jonathan

helix7

« Reply #74 on: November 29, 2010, 21:04 »
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How about the fact that any business keeping 80% of the money coming in on a product they don't have to manufacture would be considered a highly successful business by any definition? Or the fact that countless other microstock companies are sustainable on far less of a profit margin?
Still see no numbers.  Just words...

I'm pretty sure that 80 is a number. One that, as a percentage, many businesses would love to see when they look at how much money they get to keep from selling a product.

You don't need much more than that in terms of numbers to know that something is terribly wrong at istock HQ. Where . all that money is going is hard to imagine. It certainly doesn't take that much to run the daily operations of a company of that size. Countless other companies across every industry in the world are more than "sustainable" on far less of a profit margin, and you don't need to see any more numbers to realize that the company line at istock just doesn't add up.


 

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