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Author Topic: Time to step it up, Envato  (Read 7951 times)

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« on: July 19, 2014, 11:54 »
+10
I posted this over at the Envato forums but I think it's worth repeating and discussing here. And I'm posting this in the GR sub-forum here but I think this applies to other Envato marketplaces as well.

I think Im officially done uploading my work to GraphicRiver. I just cant do it anymore. Im getting good results from a similar marketplace where I set my own price and get 70% of each sale without having to be exclusive there. So whats the incentive when my work gets priced too low at GraphicRiver (often half of what it sells for elsewhere) and I get just 33%?

Lets go, Envato. The competition is putting you guys to shame. At the very least you need to get the prices up so that were getting better royalties on sales. Right now we get hit hard twice with low prices AND low royalty percentages. Right now, when my vectors gets priced at $5, that's the lowest price I get anywhere I currently upload to.

Im done uploading there until I see some changes.


« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2014, 19:47 »
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...Im getting good results from a similar marketplace where I set my own price and get 70% of each sale without having to be exclusive there...
Care to name names?

« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2014, 20:38 »
+1
Care to name names?

Creative Market. They're new to photos, no idea how that part of the business is going for them and for contributors. But vector stuff seems to do well there. Any vector folks looking to give it a try, however, I'd just suggest you go into it not exactly thinking of it like other microstock places. The stuff that does well is bundled products, sets of stuff, etc. It's different. And you have to approach it differently.

« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2014, 21:36 »
0
Care to name names?

Creative Market. They're new to photos, no idea how that part of the business is going for them and for contributors. But vector stuff seems to do well there. Any vector folks looking to give it a try, however, I'd just suggest you go into it not exactly thinking of it like other microstock places. The stuff that does well is bundled products, sets of stuff, etc. It's different. And you have to approach it differently.
Thanks. I've actually bought some things there, fonts and PS actions. I wasn't aware that they offered such good terms to sellers. I doubt if I could re-package the kinds of things I do for microstock to sell at Creative Market. Still it's something to keep in mind, as the microstock market dwindles.

BD

« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2014, 21:42 »
+1
I was looking at Creative Market and recognized a model. I think this person might be using someone elses photos: https://creativemarket.com/amber.m

The image on Creative Market: https://creativemarket.com/amber.m/51442-Young-woman-pilot

Zoom Team image on Shutterstock: http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-192718232/stock-photo-portrait-of-young-beautiful-woman-pilot-in-front-of-airplane.html?src=OOYGxJ1P2_XyNj6LdwW9ZA-1-43

The woman on Creative Market wrote in her profile that she is located in Berlin, but Zoom Teams profile on Shutterstock says they are located in Poland. Zoom Team has lots of images, the woman on Creative Market only has a few. I could be wrong, but it seems suspicious.

« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2014, 11:41 »
0
At the very least I need the ability to set my own prices at GraphicRiver. I'm not even sure why they don't already give us that capability. The prices that reviewers set are all over the place. I've got highly detailed stuff priced at $5 while much simpler stuff goes for $8.

« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2014, 12:59 »
0
Post moved to the thread on Creative Market
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 10:28 by Jo Ann Snover »

« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2014, 13:27 »
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Jo Ann, Creative Market is nothing like Fiverr. And I'd be happy to get into a discussion as to why that is, but this is a discussion about Envato and I'm hoping to bring it back around to that topic.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 13:45 by EmberMike »

« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2014, 13:27 »
0
I've sent a site mail (via iStock) to Tomasz Tulik about Amber Mueller's portfolio. He can do a DMCA takedown notice if appropriate

http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=603612

His work at iStock is a small subset of what he has elsewhere, but that's the only way I could find to e-mail him (Facebook is useless unless you're a friend). If anyone knows Tomasz, perhaps they can let him know directly.

« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2014, 13:57 »
+1
interesting.  i think this thread can juxtapose with the one about Stocksy.
really, what are the stock alternative, other than coop or the one with the gent who design
the sites for contributors indie . sorry, forgot his name, but he was well-discussed here
for quite a bit, until he left.
envato is pond5 photodune,etc.. right? where u can set your own price.
we also used to have a rising star with John Griffin Cutcaster (the Stocksy Offset of those days) a while back which did this too.
and then there's the sector at Flickr. (creative commons).

i am not even sure these are viable alternative to Getty or Shutterstock. ie. in the sense that we make money regularly with G and S.
but yes, it would be nice to see something else ... ie. if they really do work..
and not just vapour like so many new products.

stock photography agencies , coops whatnot, .. are like those motor shows or computer gadgets shows.
lots of gaseous stuff, ..or vaporware, as they call it.
most become pretty much um, vapor... after they novelty wears out.

unlike Getty and Shutterstock.  and yes, i like to see if Envato can be something else. but i am not too sure
as we have already seen so many come and go... GL, Alamy, Yay,.. oh well, you see it all to your right>>>

« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2014, 14:01 »
0
I guess I never joined or expected much from Envato. It seemed like bad news when Fotolia felt threatened by their low pricing model.

« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2014, 14:43 »
0
envato is pond5 photodune,etc.. right? where u can set your own price...

Envato is Photodune, GraphicRiver (vectors and other graphic templates), and some other marketplaces for website themes, video, audio, code assets, and 3D. None of it is set-your-own-price as far as I know. Which is sort of the problem here. The royalty they offer (33%) isn't awful by microstock standards. But coupled with a low price on some products, in my case $5 for vectors I typically like to see go for at least $10, it's a more difficult thing to stay on board with.

The appeal for me when I signed up was that I could offer my work in a way that was very different from anything else out there at the time. Contributors at Envato have a more direct line of communication with customers, where people can rate and comment directly on a product, ask questions, get help, etc. And Envato also allowed (pushed) vector artists who use a lot of text in their work to include fully-editable files, without text converted to shapes. Which initially seemed like a chore but eventually I've come to realize that this is a huge advantage for stock agencies to offer. Especially when they're trying to compete with the likes of Shutterstock and others who don't allow vector artists to upload files with editable text.

The problem now is that other companies have taken that model and evolved it beyond what Envato offers. I think Envato needs to respond in some way, do something to catch up to what others are offering.

For change, I think this is a really interesting and potentially beneficial situation for contributors. We've got a company that has fallen behind in pricing and royalties, as new competition emerges and offers more than double the Envato royalty rate and no limits on pricing.

I've said before that change in this business will come from startups and small companies who offer more or do something better than the competition, forcing the existing companies to react. This is exactly that type of situation.

« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2014, 15:05 »
+1
I've said before that change in this business will come from startups and small companies who offer more or do something better than the competition, forcing the existing companies to react. This is exactly that type of situation.

Hope this proves to be true... Only way it can happen though is if more people would make contributing to fair trade sites or new agencies with better (for the contributor) market strategies a priority.

« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2014, 16:19 »
0
envato is pond5 photodune,etc.. right? where u can set your own price...

Envato is Photodune, GraphicRiver (vectors and other graphic templates), and some other marketplaces for website themes, video, audio, code assets, and 3D. None of it is set-your-own-price as far as I know. Which is sort of the problem here. The royalty they offer (33%) isn't awful by microstock standards. But coupled with a low price on some products, in my case $5 for vectors I typically like to see go for at least $10, it's a more difficult thing to stay on board with.

 ...........edited to save bandwidth or whatnot for Tyler :)

I've said before that change in this business will come from startups and small companies who offer more or do something better than the competition, forcing the existing companies to react. This is exactly that type of situation.

many thx 4 the info. i like your summation para. but where are these co's???
in an ocean of "walmarts, mcd's, GPOs,etc.." do u mean we need to step back into mom and pop's stores???
maybe so, like target bombed in canada.
so, perharps a change in the wind could well be for stock photography too.

but saturation is a problem , as is the global disparity.  eg. oscar or manuel or kong li... in a 3rd world would be elated to earn $50 monthly with SS or Getty, while mohamed, sean, or frederic living in USA, EU,etc.. may find 10K p.a. a bit of a shortfall in 2014.
what i mean is that like coffee, stock photos are a product that allows exploitation.
and the moguls of microstock/stock know that.

only yesterday, i was discussing this with a marketing man from belgium who told me, "you ...photographers .. have become more or less redundant or just an employee where your stock agencies
really pull all the strings, .. and you and even your big earners say ... jump? how high?? "

he asked, "do you earn enough to make a living at it?... or are you also flipping burgers as a sideline?"

I mentioned Yuri, SJLocke, Dolgachov,etc.. and the number of images they have all over the web.
he said that's really not much money for 35K p.a. with that much cannibalism of their work worldwide.

it went past my head, as i thought 35k is cool for me, if i were earning that.

i hope i am still on topic. we are talking about making money , right???

« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2014, 20:06 »
0
I find Envato's pricing overall - whacked!  For example - if I want to buy a trading card template

http://graphicriver.net/item/universal-sport-trading-card/4049099?WT.ac=search_item&WT.oss_phrase=trading%20cards&WT.oss_rank=1&WT.z_author=DiscoverIt

It is $5 for one customer.  That means if I shoot a team of 13 hockey players and every player wants the cheapest cards, I would have to pay $65 because each parent is a customer, not the team.  Add about $5 currency exchange.   I only charge $15 for photo paper trading cards.  That price includes taxes, commissions to leagues, photography (and all the gear etc.), customization, travel, expertise. 

So, I think I'll get an extended license to use for the whole season.... but

This license is a single application license and not a multi-use license, which means that you cant use the Item to create more than one unique End Product.

Ironically.... if you don't like the price you can often find on Etsy with very loose or undefined licensing terms.

But I can go somewhere else like easydigitals and for $24.95 get a template I can use unlimited times  http://easydigitals.com/prolines-2-trading-card-photoshop-elements/ 

It's stupid because I would be happy to pay envato for an EL but the terms don't come close to working (and seriously - $250?  Maybe 10 years ago, but in this day and age?)

Also, I think Envato pays EXCLUSIVE artists around 70% don't they?  That is why they pay everyone else so pathetic.

BoBoBolinski

« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2014, 02:22 »
0
"he said that's really not much money for 35K p.a. with that much cannibalism of their work worldwide."

I'm not sure what this sentence means, but I'm assuming you are suggesting top names in stock are earning 35k per year? I think you might find it's a lot more than that.

« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2014, 11:22 »
0
"he said that's really not much money for 35K p.a. with that much cannibalism of their work worldwide."

I'm not sure what this sentence means, but I'm assuming you are suggesting top names in stock are earning 35k per year? I think you might find it's a lot more than that.

lol, someone actually reads my comments???
seriously, BoBo, yes, i thought about that too, after i logged off, but was too lazy to come back in to correct the typo. should have been one digit more...
350K
i think that is what Yuri used to make in his early days. so maybe even this is understating his earnings today.
but with Yuri, what's the difference... he is still making money anyway!!!

« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2014, 12:01 »
0
...should have been one digit more...
350K
i think that is what Yuri used to make in his early days. so maybe even this is understating his earnings today...

Add yet another zero and you're there. Or you would have been a year or two ago. No idea what he's earning these days. More or less.

« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2014, 12:44 »
0
...should have been one digit more...
350K
i think that is what Yuri used to make in his early days. so maybe even this is understating his earnings today...

Add yet another zero and you're there. Or you would have been a year or two ago. No idea what he's earning these days. More or less.

lol, and remove a couple of zeros and you get me.
back to topic,
mike, but can you not remove your images from envato if u r not happy with the pricing there?
secondly, are there really sales in those sites u mentioned as your opening post?

if so, why is envato so vital to you? or is it that envato has a time to hold ransom your images like dt, is,etc..???

« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2014, 14:14 »
0
mike, but can you not remove your images from envato if u r not happy with the pricing there?
secondly, are there really sales in those sites u mentioned as your opening post?

if so, why is envato so vital to you? or is it that envato has a time to hold ransom your images like dt, is,etc..???

Envato doesn't have a ransom on files, I can delete images myself from the dashboard. So sure, I could delete images or my entire portfolio if I'm really unhappy with the situation. I'd just prefer to try and reach some sort of better reasonable solution before it comes to that. I like Envato, I think they're a good company and they were really innovators in this whole model of creating multiple marketplaces for products beyond just photos and vectors. In fact they kind of came up with other marketplaces first and worked back from there to photos.

Envato also has customers. Lots of them. And an extremely powerful platform that draws customers from other marketplaces. ThemeForest is their biggest market (I think) and GraphicRiver benefits from the crossover between TF and other Envato properties. I think that's why GR did so well for me for a while. I was making over $500 a month there at one time. Not near that anymore, though.

So there is a lot to like about their system and what they are capable of, but the poor royalties and low prices are difficult to overlook, even in spite of all of the positive they offer.

As for other companies and whether sales are there or not, I can assure you they are there. The one I was talking about in my original post is Creative Market, which last month was my #3 best earner. I do better there than at Fotolia or Dreamstime. And it is companies like Creative Market that I think are poised to put Envato out of business if Envato struggles to get or retain top-quality content. And obviously having a poor royalty and low pricing is a good way to lose contributors or keep new ones away.

Again, I like Envato, and I'd like to see them continue to do well. But I don't want to let that happen at my own expense, having to drastically lower my expectations and the perceived value of my work just to stay in the Envato marketplace.

« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2014, 14:32 »
0
embermike, much appreciation for your rapid response.
but isn't the bottom-line more important than the per-dl or rpi?
eg. SS is like peanuts to many, but they get payout monthly.

if envato pays out more monthly than the others, does it matter at all?

what i am saying is , as i said for the dpc issue. it may not be a good idea to some of us, but
if it is viable for you or me, why worry.
as for the others pricing out envato. it is highly unlikely, because as far as per dl goes,
SS is bottom of the list, and 90% of the sites to our right pays much much higher than SS.

still, no one is toppling SS from #1 spot. not as long as i am visiting tyler's site to look.
and as you say, envato is good...so maybe i start looking at them too  ;)

it really does not mean they will be losing business, if they have other contributors who like their
culture like you, it is unlikely pricing is going to make envato lose market.
likewise for the quality of the portfolio. you will no doubt give envato the quality stuff
simply because they make the sales for you. and one day, even i too will give my quality stuff
to them ( as soon as i get time to life my face out of drinking my Guinness, lol)

just my objective thought.


 

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