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Author Topic: Whatever happened to blackbox? How has the experience been, some advise on joining it?  (Read 4337 times)

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« on: April 25, 2020, 02:27 »
+1
At one time it seemed every youtuber was talking about it and now suddenly nothing. Did they all get super rich and move to a private island? How have the results been in general?

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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2020, 23:33 »
0
Please someone who joined do share your experiences

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georgep7

« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2020, 03:20 »
+1
Last year we talked the had some 10-20 P5 sales I think?
now they have 11711 sales priced from $25 to $99.

So much with "P5 had no sales for year 2019", right?

most valuable BB/P5 clip? aerial in Madrit sold 20 times for $79.
Although the contributor could have a better split $1580 if he uploaded by him/herself?

hm!?

« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2020, 03:30 »
0
I now have 212 very mixed clips with a lot of editorial and so far I have earned over 700 dollars. Which is perfectly fine for normal content.

But I treat BB as an additional agency, I still upload to my own ports.

I was hoping to find a bb trend, i.e. maybe a theme that sells better through them, but the sales are basically randomly spread over all kind of themes.

So with every new series I have to decide if it goes to them or if it goes to my ports. At the moment they get around 30% of my video uploads, but that is partly because I have many series where I already uploaded something somewhere.

If I get back to a more regular production of new content, I will increase the percentage for bb.

But after my istock experience I am very reluctant to be exclusive anywhere.

« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2020, 03:52 »
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Is the 15% or so that they take for metadata and editing justified by the additional sales generated through them. Does the overall larger and more popular port they have help also?

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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2020, 04:11 »
0
15% is just for distribution. If you want your files edited or metadata added you have to work with a curator and work out a royalty fee for them individually.

The results are certainly not less than I would have made by myself, and especially with editorial it seems to be slightly more. Hopefully when I reach 1000 clips I can see more trends.

The ranking of the files also seems to be much better than my own, I often find my bb files ranked higher than those from my own port on the same theme, for instance christmas video clips. I think that is certainly an effect that comes from being part of a high volume uploader group.

On the downside not all partners take everything, especially with editorial there seems to be a harder selection at Shutterstock or a long time lag before files go online. Commercial stock seems to be fine and goes everywhere eventually.

It saves me time and I like that my files can get better ranking.

I also really enjoy the very helpful bb community in their facebook group.

« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2020, 05:05 »
+2
Last year we talked the had some 10-20 P5 sales I think?
now they have 11711 sales priced from $25 to $99.

So much with "P5 had no sales for year 2019", right?

most valuable BB/P5 clip? aerial in Madrit sold 20 times for $79.
Although the contributor could have a better split $1580 if he uploaded by him/herself?

hm!?

Firstly, those numbers are WAY off... Salegt:0 gives you all clips with 1 sale OR MORE. You have to go up in numbers (salegt:1, salegt:2 etc.) and add in the results. And they did not just have 10 sales a year ago. :)

Secondly, (even if that number is wrong), 11,711 sales in one year from 1.4 million clips is incredibly bad - under 1% of the clips sold. Would you be happy with 10 sales per year from a 1,000-clip portfolio? I sell much more than that average per MONTH.

30,000 sales on 1.4 million clips per year is also very, very low.

---

The accurate number of LIFETIME Blackbox P5 sales is 14,038 as of today. That is for 3+ years, an incredibly bad average when you have 1.4 million clips.

When we get up to clips with higher sales count even my own <1,000 clip portfolio has performed better! That is compared to a 1.4 million clip portfolio! Not even including membership sales. To me, that makes it insane to believe that Blackbox would give you any kind of advantage (when the truth is the exact opposite).
« Last Edit: April 26, 2020, 05:24 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2020, 05:29 »
0
What is the salegt:0 that you've mentioned

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georgep7

« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2020, 05:29 »
0
Last year we talked the had some 10-20 P5 sales I think?
now they have 11711 sales priced from $25 to $99.

So much with "P5 had no sales for year 2019", right?

most valuable BB/P5 clip? aerial in Madrit sold 20 times for $79.
Although the contributor could have a better split $1580 if he uploaded by him/herself?

hm!?

Firstly, those numbers are WAY off... Salegt:0 gives you all clips with 1 sale OR MORE. You have to go up in numbers (salegt:1, salegt:2 etc.) and add in the results. And they did not just have 10 sales a year ago. :)

Secondly, (even if that number is wrong), 11,711 sales in one year from 1.4 million clips is incredibly bad - under 1% of the clips sold. Would you be happy with 10 sales per year from a 1,000-clip portfolio? I sell much more than that average per MONTH.

30,000 sales on 1.4 million clips per year is also very, very low.

---

The accurate number of LIFETIME Blackbox P5 sales is 14,038 as of today. That is for 3+ years, an incredibly bad average when you have 1.4 million clips.

When we get up to clips with higher sales count even my own <1,000 clip portfolio has performed better! That is compared to a 1.4 million clip portfolio! Not even including membership sales. To me, that makes it insane to believe that Blackbox would give you any kind of advantage (when the truth is the exact opposite).

Perhaps I calculated or search wrong @ID. I will take your numbers as actually correct, no problem, apologies for possible misinformation!
No I don't support BB, I was trying to focus on P5 past year sales for the same period everyone said "no sales!".

« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2020, 05:34 »
+2
At one time it seemed every youtuber was talking about it and now suddenly nothing. Did they all get super rich and move to a private island?

That was of course due to a big marketing campaign. Those YouTubers didn't recommend it out of the kindness of their hearts, and most of them didn't even work with stock footage. They of course got paid (in one way or another - referrals, cash, better rates, etc.).

Be very aware that that's how it usually is - from the latest tripod that is a MUST have, to the newest coolest LED light - those YouTubers got paid (with free products, cash, or referral links).

Very few are honest unfortunately, because they like free stuff. And they like to keep receiving free stuff.

---

Now, regarding the service.

There is one advantage: you save some time.

Disadvantages?

Everything else.

Less control, less money.

If uploading yourself, and keywording yourself is your worst nightmare, of course use them. In fact, it's better for me since that means less competition.

But if you care about maximizing revenue - keep as much control over your clips as you can.

---

Of course, people working as "curators" will tell you that you should use them so that they can make some $$$ off of your clips and they don't have to film as much themselves. Browse the portfolio and you can see some of the quality of those titles and descriptions... Not good.

---

A bit of a rant, but it just annoys me when stuff like this is so heavily marketed, essentially tricking people into giving them money.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2020, 05:41 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2020, 05:51 »
+1
What is the salegt:0 that you've mentioned

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Pond5 gives you the sales numbers if you use a few advanced search methods.

If you write (EXACTLY, don't add or remove any spaces)

artist:blackboxguild salegt:0

Pond5 will show you all the clips from that artist with 1 sale or more.

If your name is izzikiorage on P5 -

artist:izzikiorage salegt:0

will show you all of your own clips with 1 sale or more.

"Salegt" stands for "Sale Greater Than".

So, salegt:99

will show you all the clips with 100 sales or more.

---

It's a very fun and educative way to see through the bull**** of many forum posters. ;)

---

As soon as I see a forum member (usually at P5) with very strong opinions on how everything new is bad, and how they know how things should be done because they are "old industry professionals active since day one" I check their actual results. Since my own average is almost always MUCH better than theirs, I can continue my way of working with confidence.

« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2020, 06:12 »
+1
Perhaps I calculated or search wrong @ID. I will take your numbers as actually correct, no problem, apologies for possible misinformation!
No I don't support BB, I was trying to focus on P5 past year sales for the same period everyone said "no sales!".

No worries!

You probably put

artist:blackboxguild salegt:0

right?

The right ID, but the number you get is the number of clips with 1 sale OR MORE, not the total number of sales.

You have to keep going up (salegt:1 gives you 1,422 clips for example) and add those results to get the total, until there are no more clips shown, after salegt:19 in this case).

The 10 sales number you mentioned was probably from the 2019 thread with the same subject... That was 10 clips with 5 sales or more (from my post). Today, that number is 93.

That just means that another 83 clips reached 5 sales or more since last year around this time. Nice if you have a personal portfolio of 500 clips... Not so nice if your portfolio consists of 1.4 million clips...

---

I will say that the average has gone up since last year! But only from incredibly bad to slightly less incredibly bad. :)

« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2020, 06:19 »
0
What is the salegt:0 that you've mentioned

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Pond5 gives you the sales numbers if you use a few advanced search methods.

If you write (EXACTLY, don't add or remove any spaces)

artist:blackboxguild salegt:0

Pond5 will show you all the clips from that artist with 1 sale or more.

If your name is izzikiorage on P5 -

artist:izzikiorage salegt:0

will show you all of your own clips with 1 sale or more.

"Salegt" stands for "Sale Greater Than".

So, salegt:99

will show you all the clips with 100 sales or more.

---

It's a very fun and educative way to see through the bull**** of many forum posters. ;)

---

As soon as I see a forum member (usually at P5) with very strong opinions on how everything new is bad, and how they know how things should be done because they are "old industry professionals active since day one" I check their actual results. Since my own average is almost always MUCH better than theirs, I can continue my way of working with confidence.
This is amazing, is there a list of these advanced commands.

BB seemed to push pretty hard on marketing. Thats usually a red flag since afterwards there seemed to be no one talking about it at all

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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2020, 06:30 »
+1
Absolutely - https://www.pond5.com/document/help_adv_search.html -

but the only ones that are really useful are artist:, salegt: (or salelt:) and maybe itemgt: if you want to limit the results to when a clip was uploaded.

You have to know the upload date of at least one clip (from your own portfolio probably) to be able to correctly see the results for the dates you want.

georgep7

« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2020, 06:38 »
0
Absolutely - https://www.pond5.com/document/help_adv_search.html -

but the only ones that are really useful are artist:, salegt: (or salelt:) and maybe itemgt: if you want to limit the results to when a clip was uploaded.

You have to know the upload date of at least one clip (from your own portfolio probably) to be able to correctly see the results for the dates you want.

Yup! now I see my error. Thank you :)

Curator rating seems also an interesting one,
whatever clip makes 5/5 seems to have a chance to be highlighted
in relevant frontpage collections they assemble from time to time.

« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2020, 07:19 »
+1
Absolutely - https://www.pond5.com/document/help_adv_search.html -

but the only ones that are really useful are artist:, salegt: (or salelt:) and maybe itemgt: if you want to limit the results to when a clip was uploaded.

You have to know the upload date of at least one clip (from your own portfolio probably) to be able to correctly see the results for the dates you want.

Yup! now I see my error. Thank you :)

Curator rating seems also an interesting one,
whatever clip makes 5/5 seems to have a chance to be highlighted
in relevant frontpage collections they assemble from time to time.

Really?

I've been in several collections but none of those clips were rated 5, and the ones that are are far from my best work (or best selling work).

I think it means pretty much nothing at all.

Fun fact: 8.9% of rated 4 clips have sold, and only 8.2% of the rated 5 clips. :)

---

Anyway, looking at the newest rated 5 clips makes you quickly realize that there is not much logic to it, other than maybe some reviewers giving their friends or themselves a 5 on entire mediocre batches...

I would not spend even 1 second worrying about the curator rating on Pond5. :)

« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2020, 07:47 »
0
And what is the average sell through rate of all of pond5 or Shutterstock?

BB is not an edited collection like Digital vision or stocksy. It is simply a distributor. The success depends on the individual quality of files. The majority of people on bb are like everywhere, casual uploaders who are not specifically shooting for the stock video market.


« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2020, 08:02 »
+2
And what is the average sell through rate of all of pond5 or Shutterstock?

I'm glad you asked.

The 1 sale and up average for Pond5 total for clips added since 2017 (excluding Blackboxguild) is 2%.

For Blackboxguild it is 0.77%.

Pond5 as a whole is 2.6 times better on average.

---

The ALL-TIME corresponding numbers are 5.4% P5 and 0.8% BB.

So, 6.75 times better.

---

As for Shutterstock, there is no public information so I don't know.

---

The unfortunate truth is of course also that the better you are, the worse the deal gets.

Let's say your goal is $3,000 a month from stock footage. Suddenly, your "free" Blackbox community now costs you $450 per month. Quite steep in addition to all the other cuts you MUST accept. This one, you don't have to accept.

Let's say you also use a curator and those few minutes they spend tagging your clip could end up being the most expensive service you have ever used.

And being in a large portfolio on Pond5 is nothing but a gigantic disadvantage. If someone finds your style interesting and wants more from you, it is virtually impossible to browse and find those clips within the 1.4 million...

---

If you are happy with it, then that's great! I just think that everyone should find out as much as possible about what it REALLY means.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2020, 08:13 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2020, 08:16 »
0
Pond5 is how old - 15 years?

And BB has been on the market for how long?...When I joined 18 months ago they had 4000 members, now they have over 45 000.

Which means...just being logical...the majority of content was uploaded recently.

And how long does it take for clips to establish a good sales pattern? For me many series only start selling regularly after around 18 months...so...

Perhaps check that average sales rate again next year, again in two years etc...just to get a correct picture of their development.

Again, dont like bb dont upload.

But to simply say if you upload directly you sell more, at least for me that is not the case. Sales rate for me personally so far is at least equal and for editorial better if I go via bb.

However, as of now it is just 200 files, I can say more when I have 2000 online.

Like everywhere, the more work you put into your files, the better they sell. BB cannot make miracle earnings out of lower quality content.

« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2020, 08:31 »
+1
Again, dont like bb dont upload.

Don't worry, I won't. But the OP wanted to know some opinions.

But to simply say if you upload directly you sell more, at least for me that is not the case. Sales rate for me personally so far is at least equal and for editorial better if I go via bb.

That's great! Since you don't have the same clips in both portfolios it is impossible to actually know that, but if you're happy, that's good.

But what happens when you find out that optimizing the metadata at Pond5 is not the same as doing at Shutterstock? Or at Adobe? What do you do then? What if you want to try the membership, exclusivity (don't), changing prices?

---

The most valuable thing you can have is CONTROL over your clips.

Again, if you just want to put in the memory card, upload and forget about it, collect a few $ over the years, that is perfectly fine. And much better for me since that means I will sell more. But if you actually want to optimize the earnings for each clip, you need to be able to control them, change the metadata, pricing, put them into collections, etc.

---

It is perfectly reasonable to defend your choices, we all do. I just think that the OP should get information (based on actual numbers) from both sides.

---

By the way, from what time would you like a sales comparison? 2019? June? The last 6 months? I will make it happen, just let me know. The first numbers were ONLY for clips uploaded since 2017 (when BB started getting bigger). Not since P5 started.

« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2020, 09:03 »
+1
Here are the numbers from October 2019.

Only clips priced $79 and above (since that's where BB starts).

P5 - 1,388,862 new clips (excluding BB).
BB - 457,915 new clips.

P5 was 68.9% better for 3 sales and up. 52% better for 1 sale and up.

Considering the 15% BB fee:

3+ sales: P5 (without BB) was 98.7% better.
1 sale and up: P5 (without BB) was 78.8% better.

---

Those are the numbers based on a little more than 1.8 million clips uploaded since October 2019 with a MINIMUM price of $79.

98.7% can be quite a bit of money.

---

The important thing here was to see whether being with BB was an advantage (on average) or not. They would have to beat P5 by a bit to be worth the 15%. Clearly, they don't.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2020, 09:09 by increasingdifficulty »

georgep7

« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2020, 09:52 »
0
thanks for clarifying for curator rating, I thought it meant something "good" and I was anxious to see ratings every time :D

Quote
The most valuable thing you can have is CONTROL over your clips.

Although I do mediocre work,  +1000 from me

« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2020, 09:54 »
0
Here are the numbers from October 2019.

Only clips priced $79 and above (since that's where BB starts).

P5 - 1,388,862 new clips (excluding BB).
BB - 457,915 new clips.

P5 was 68.9% better for 3 sales and up. 52% better for 1 sale and up.

Considering the 15% BB fee:

3+ sales: P5 (without BB) was 98.7% better.
1 sale and up: P5 (without BB) was 78.8% better.

---

Those are the numbers based on a little more than 1.8 million clips uploaded since October 2019 with a MINIMUM price of $79.

98.7% can be quite a bit of money.

---

The important thing here was to see whether being with BB was an advantage (on average) or not. They would have to beat P5 by a bit to be worth the 15%. Clearly, they don't.
Guess it comes back to the basics, make crazy good content, keyword and upload on your own. There is no magic shortcut

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« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2020, 10:44 »
0
Here are the numbers from October 2019.

a) how did you get specific time frame #'s? (or did you just look at it then?
b) and lol - I just realized... blackboxguild has ~1.5 ****MILLION**** clips? that's like 7% of ALL footage uploaded! wow... and yeah, they actually have a less than 1% sales rate... a 15% cut for sales for them is pretty good... but for the contributors, either they are uploading a ton of crap, or...

but yes, I agree lack of control is a big thing. if you want to set & forget it and don't care - then yes, they might be pretty good to use... but if you want to take this a little more seriously, I think you should be submitting your own work yourself, and/or find a more efficient way of doing so...

« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2020, 10:52 »
0
It's not exactly a fire and forget solution though. Apparently you want someone to edit, keyword and upload your stuff you need to assign them close to 40% of your royalty income. The other is that you need to first send them the files via dropbox or something, then you need to choose a curator to do all the editing, metadata and all. The finally you get to upload the files, so it's a pretty involved process (which is good in a way since it gives you more control), but for many it might be the same as just editing and keywording yourself if the quality of keywording or editing is not significantly different from what a curator might give


 

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