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Author Topic: For people who upload mostly video, but also some photos  (Read 9783 times)

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« on: September 30, 2017, 11:34 »
0
I have read several members saying that when starting adding photos to their catalog of video, they have noticed a decrease in income, sales in photos taking the place of part of the sales in video, but obviously at a much lower price.

Here is my experience: I have a bit less than 3,000 video clips in the main agencies and about 4 months ago I started to upload a few photos to several agencies (about 800 pics).
I dropped all the dead ones and I kept uploading photos only to SS, FT, Alamy and the new SB.
No sales so far in Alamy and SB, but that seems normal: they all say that start selling at Alamy takes forever and SB only started with photos last week.

In SS I have noticed that my cap remained the same in spite of adding photos. As an example, if I was making $1,000 before, selling just video, I am still getting $1,000 now, but $70 comes from photos and $930 from video. In reality it is slightly different, because the cap is dynamic and in my case it goes slightly up every month. But the bottom line is the same: I get the same total revenue as before adding the photos, as if my previous video cap includes now video and photos. More or less the same is true for Fotolia, although with lower sales.
In other words, adding photo to my catalog is not useful and is not harmful, it is just a waste of time. I do get sales, and they tend to increase every month, but they are balanced by an equal loss of revenue in video.
My idea is to continue uploading until the end of the year and see if Alamy and SB wake up to life, than decide what to do; but almost certainly I will stop uploading photos to SS and FT.
Basically I have the feeling that if you do mainly video, adding photos to the same agencies is not useful at all.

I would be interested in other people experiences about it. After all understanding how the algorithm works is the single most important thing for this work and the only way to understand is to compare our experiences.

People who believe there is no cap, no manipulation and that sales happen just by accident, please note that I do not complain at all about conspiracy. I find that the main agencies (especially SS) obviously have an extremely complex algorithm that control our sales and I am think it is a very good thing


« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2017, 12:08 »
+1
$930 from $1,000 is not a significant enough change to draw any conclusions at all.

A "dynamic" cap is not a cap.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2017, 15:42 »
+1
A dynamic cap that gradually increases every month? I had to chuckle at that one!

Try deleting all your photos.... I'm pretty sure your earnings won't miraculously increase! They might, for a bit, but thats just general variance from month to month. September to November is usually better than June, July and August.

« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2017, 04:29 »
+1
...and 70$/month from 800 pics is not that bad, these days... especially for new photos that seem to be penalized in SS in the latest months

« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2017, 05:01 »
+3
For people of the English language academy, I am not native speaker. I could have used monthly allotted income, but in this forum people generally uses the word cap.
The amount of sales I stated is not what I actually get, it is a round figure used as example.
I am not complaining about poor photo sales (I do not like to post in a forum to complain), I am just saying that photo sales are matched by an equal loss in video sales.
Also I said that these are my first impressions and I will keep going with the experiment for another few months.

BTW I was trying to share some experiences about the algorithm with other users, but as usual this forum has become a place just for whining about poor sales or to pick endless fights about the length of a timelapse, or the right to photoshop models...

« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2017, 05:26 »
+1
It's just that certain people complain about caps or have conspiracy theories on every single forum I visit (not specifically talking about you Brightontl). The odd thing is that somehow, the evil companies always seem to single them out and punish them, not allowing them to grow. They complain about the same, or lower sales despite bigger portfolios, and don't realize you have to grow your portfolio faster/better than the competition. Not just grow it compared to itself.

The thing is that I have never experienced any caps myself, and I sell a lot of things at a lot of different places.

It's human nature to try to look for patterns here and there, when there are none.

I don't doubt that certain sites change up their algorithms a couple of times a month, but I don't believe for one second that they single out particular contributors and put a cap on their accounts.

---

Anyway, $1,000 per month is great and I don't see why you need to look for something to blame. The more sales you have, the less the monthly total will vary. It's how things work.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 02:24 by increasingdifficulty »

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2017, 07:11 »
0
Photos have a much lower RPD than video. So obviously, the extra revenue coming in from newly uploaded photos is relatively small to the existing expected revenue from video.

It's technically impossible for photo sales to cannibalize your video sales. It may not add much revenue because of the aforementioned RPD, but it certainly won't come at the cost of your video sales performance.

« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2017, 12:37 »
0
Brightontl, you are not the only one noticing caps on Shutterstock while uploading images. We noticed too after 5 months of uploading a hundred images.... but the worst thing is, that after deleting the images, caps lowered even worse than before starting uploading images. The September is the first month after the deleting since we are seeing our video clips shine like they used to. It was a nightmare year.

« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2017, 12:46 »
+2
Yes, one blog post who writes "kinda" in a serious article. The conspiracy is proven! We can all rest now.

So, if the sales would have gone up, everything would have been normal. No correlation to images, right?

Classic example of "sales go up - I'm good", "sales go down - it must be the company's fault".

It is quite entertaining to read, however.

---

You do realize three things can happen: Sales stay exactly the same, sales go up, or sales go down. That they stay exactly the same is less likely than the other two scenarios.

If you bark at a cat tomorrow, your sales may go down, up, or stay the same. I'm sure you can find a blog post where the writer barked at a cat and sales immediately plummeted.

 :)

---

Maybe you just uploaded less video clips since you were busy with images and that was the reason? Maybe sales always fluctuate, up or down, no matter what? Maybe the CEO of Shutterstock reads this forum and decides he doesn't like certain people and punishes them?

---

You WILL NOT be able to increase your earnings in all eternity despite how much you upload. It doesn't work like that. There is a FINITE number of customers (more or less). When you reach a certain portfolio size, your earnings will not continue to increase nearly as much as when you started. Or at all. At some point, uploading is necessary just to maintain sales. Or even to prevent a bigger fall in sales (due to files getting older, less relevant, etc. etc.).

This happens naturally, without caps.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 13:03 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2017, 13:24 »
0
but the worst thing is, that after deleting the images, caps lowered even worse than before starting uploading images. The September is the first month after the deleting since we are seeing our video clips shine like they used to. It was a nightmare year.

So... sales went down when uploading images. And also when deleting images. You contradict yourself.

And then, in September, when EVERYBODY'S sales go up after the summer, that is of course because you deleted your images a few months earlier.

I am speechless.  ???

« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2017, 13:34 »
0
but the worst thing is, that after deleting the images, caps lowered even worse than before starting uploading images. The September is the first month after the deleting since we are seeing our video clips shine like they used to. It was a nightmare year.

So... sales went down when uploading images. And also when deleting images. You contradict yourself.

And then, in September, when EVERYBODY'S sales go up after the summer, that is of course because you deleted your images a few months earlier.

I am speechless.  ???



number of sales went up, bot income stayed on the same level. After deleting sales went down, but so did income.

« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2017, 13:43 »
+1
So... zero correlation then.

You're just making things up out of the blue I'm afraid.

Do you have the sales graphs (last 12 months) to show that on the exact date you uploaded images, sales went down.

I mean... You can't seriously say that after 5 months, sales went down, and THAT is the reason.

« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2017, 14:44 »
0
Brightontl, you are not the only one noticing caps on Shutterstock while uploading images. We noticed too after 5 months of uploading a hundred images.... but the worst thing is, that after deleting the images, caps lowered even worse than before starting uploading images. The September is the first month after the deleting since we are seeing our video clips shine like they used to. It was a nightmare year.

Thank you for your input, very useful.
Actually I do not think I will be deleting my image portfolio, as I believe that deleting anything would certainly have a negative effect on the algorithm (as it would be stop uploading altogether). I will probably be going on with my experiment until the end of the year, after that I believe I will stop uploading photos.

So far my findings are as follows: if we call my allotted monthly sales just with video AMS(v), and my allotted monthly sales adding photos to video AMS(v+p), and v= $ monthly income from video, and p=$ monthly income from photo, we have the following equation:

AMS(v) = v
AMS(v+p) = (v-p)+p

Therefore AMS(v) = AMS(v+p)

So, uploading photos to your video portfolio, all other things equal is a waste of time.

Of course this pattern can only be experienced by people who started uploading only video, then after a while decided to add photos.
And again, these are early findings, not yet confirm by enough data, I will come back to it at the end of my test, in three months

« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2017, 14:48 »
0
Of course this pattern can only be experienced by people who started uploading only video, then after a while decided to add photos.

...and only people with forum names starting with B and V.

Why are my monthly sales not the same every month, and not capped? Did they just pick you because of unknown reasons?

« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2017, 15:09 »
0
Of course this pattern can only be experienced by people who started uploading only video, then after a while decided to add photos.

...and only people with forum names starting with B and V.

Why are my monthly sales not the same every month, and not capped? Did they just pick you because of unknown reasons?
OK, the name of the game here is trying to find patterns in the algorithm (or we could call it the search engine).
Why do we want to find patterns in the search engine? Because in being successful in this game there are 3 main factors IMHO:
- Quality of files (maybe)
- Frequency of uploading
- Understanding how the search engine (or the algorithm) works

If I put up the time and the effort of posting in a forum, in a language that is not mine, I would like at least to get some return in my strategy as a stock submitter.
Other people prefer to post in the same forum to whine about poor sales or to pick up endless fights about the time a time lapse shou d last (12 seconds, no you crazy fool, he should be 20 seconds), or about the right to photoshop overweight people.
So, if you want to cooperate to this thread (and perhaps also get some useful findings for yourself at the end) start describing your patterns:
- Do you upload only video?
- Do you upload only photo?
- Do you upload both?
- Did you start with photo or video?
- how long ago did you start uploading?

You seem to be implying that you do not see any patterns in your sales, while we all do. OK, so let's try to find out what is the reason why.
If you don't want to cooperate, there are tons of other threads where you can pick arguments, like how long a time lapse should last for or how much a model should weight

« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2017, 17:14 »
+1
Patterns can be found ANYWHERE for a person who wants to find patterns. That is how the human brain is wired. But it doesn't mean that there are people stopping your sales.

The search engines aren't that complicated - recency (when a clip was uploaded), sales, and keywords/descriptions are the main parts that determine search rank. Different agencies weight these a bit differently (more emphasis on title, or description etc.), but in general they work in the same way. Conversion can also play a small part in more advanced engines.

That means a clip with 0-1 sales that is 2 years+ old is not likely to be found if there are many competing clips for the same keywords.

A clip with many sales will continue to be found until enough newer, competing clips have been uploaded that match the number of sales, but have a more recent upload date.

This is the main reason why you can't just leave your portfolio and expect sales to stay the same. It is also the reason why you need to keep uploading more and more material just to stay at the same level.

Especially people who have older portfolios can experience a drop as their older clips with few sales become virtually invisible. The first two years everything was relatively new, and the upload rate is often the biggest at that time too, which is why a rapid increase in sales can be seen. This will not last forever.

---

You're very welcome to dive deeper into the cap theories. It's a waste of time, but go ahead.  :)

If it was even remotely true, everyone would have the same earnings per clip. But we all know that's not true. I guess they just pick a select few contributors that they want to cap. Just because.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 17:21 by increasingdifficulty »

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2017, 22:14 »
+1
Your sales went down when you deleted some of your portfolio? My God, what kind of crazy, messed up world are we living in?! Everyone knows that deleting some of your portfolio should increase your sales considerably... so there must be something seriously wrong. Just the other month, I deleted 99% of my portfolio, and I'm now making millions of dollars a week.

« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2017, 02:19 »
0
@Brightontl - why don't you post a screenshot of your Shutterstock Earnings graph over the past 12 months? Spacey, Video-Stock? Anyone?

Here are mine. Videos first, then images.

By your logic, any time image sales would go up, footage sales would go down. As you can see, this is not the case. What would be the benefit for Shutterstock? If anything, they should put image sales to 0 and only give out footage sales until you reach your monthly cap. No, that's not how it works.

Here's a pattern for you (image sales first, then video):

up up
down down
down up
up down
up up
down down
up up
down down
down up
up down
down down

4 times they went separate ways. 7 times they went the same way. This is called natural fluctuation.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 06:36 by increasingdifficulty »

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2017, 10:44 »
+2
Here you go...

As you can see, each month has a very specific, yet variable, cut-off point. A hard line where the earnings bar for that month won't go any higher. If that's not a cap on earnings, then I don't know what is! Take the first month to the left for example... why is it that amount, and not a higher amount? The only valid reason I can think of, is that there's a cap... what else could it be?!


« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2017, 10:52 »
+1
As you can see, each month has a very specific, yet variable, cut-off point. A hard line where the earnings bar for that month won't go any higher.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D - I needed a good chuckle.

« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2017, 03:00 »
0
@Brightontl
@Video-StockOrg

It would be easier to have a serious discussion if we could see some actual data, like the Shutterstock graphs.

« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2017, 04:48 »
0
their graph won't help you anything. It's not such a one-sided analysis.

Here you go if you wish to see it.

« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2017, 05:07 »
0
Thanks.

But what is your data then, that you base your theory on?

You write things like "because I uploaded images, footage sales went down". But that's just a sentence you picked out of the blue. Based on emotion. Sales would most likely have gone down even if you hadn't uploaded images, so would your conclusion then have been - "sales went down because I didn't upload any images"?

You have 12,000 clips, which is an enormous portfolio. Therefore, sales are likely to be more even than for someone with a smaller portfolio.

By the way, did your caps get temporarily lifted in September?

After 10,000 clips, it's very hard to continue to see meaningful growth, unless you dramatically increase your quality/content. 500 (good) new clips take a LONG time to make and upload, and that would still only be a 5% increase.

During the time it takes to upload 500 clips, a big part of your portfolio will have become old enough to be very hard to find.

It is almost impossible to keep increasing sales forever. Naturally. Not because someone puts a cap on your sales.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 05:16 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2017, 06:05 »
0
Well, that's the tricky part...we went through our number of sales in past 4 years and comparing the size of portfolio, time of year (new year, summer slumps), a constant number of sales growth each year for specific months and constant growth of sales with each month. Comparing all with time of uploaded 100 images (tagged and uploaded in 1 batch), how much has the number of video sales lowered, what impact it had on whole income for that months. And even the fall of sales after deleting the files.
We don't believe that this drops of income happened just accidentally in this specific months and in months after deleting files, while it had very much constant growth before with same workflow and constant uploading of new stock video files.

If we could get such results in a graph, It would be awesome.

And yes, we believe in aliens.

« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2017, 06:26 »
+1
Well, I believe there is life somewhere in the universe too, so I guess that means I believe in aliens.  :)

However, I also believe in HARD DATA, and numbers as the only basis for conclusions. Emotions and feelings always, always lie.

That means graphs with data collected over a longer period of time, like a year, where you can CLEARLY see correlation and changes.

Did your sales go down exactly x months after uploading the photos? Did they go back up just as much exactly x months after deleting them (adjusted for time of year)? If not, there is just nothing that connects them.

---

There could be a thousand reasons for a change in sales patterns. "Change is the only constant".

A certain site can suddenly spend $1,000,000 on marketing, a new big contributor with similar clips as you might upload their portfolio, your older clips with few or 0 sales might reach the age where they can no longer be found, new trends in advertising can emerge... etc. etc.

In what month did you upload your images?
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 06:28 by increasingdifficulty »


 

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