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Author Topic: Latest iStock Changes  (Read 3949 times)

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« on: September 09, 2014, 02:43 »
0
I tried to start a vector-specific discussion on latest iS changes in iS's illustration forum, but it was locked immediately saying it's a "duplicated discussion".

Exclusive or not, what are your thoughts on the latest/upcoming changes?


ShadySue

« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2014, 05:57 »
0
I think that meant you should have discussed it on the changes thread in the discussion forum. Some of your colleagues, particularly Leontura, have been posting from the vectorist pov there, e.g.
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=362716&messageid=7042969
and
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=362716&messageid=7043711

« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2014, 06:38 »
+3
I'm an exclusive vector artist at iStock, and I have no idea what to expect from these changes. Luckily I have mostly 15 credit files, and they will cost about the same after these changes, except for people who buy the most expensive credit packs. So hopefully my files will still sell.

The price difference between non-exclusive and exclusive material is my biggest concern... that can't be good for us exclusives. You can get a super complex, big set of design elements from the Essential collection for 8-15 dollars, while one single icon from Signature will cost 24-45 dollars.

iStock always brag so much about their exclusive content, like it's automatically so much better than the non-exclusive. Which it isn't. The quality standards are exactly the same. You don't need to be extra talented or pass some tests to become exclusive. So I wonder if buyers are really willing to pay so much extra for exclusive material...

I'm getting very close (income-wise) to the point where it's not worth being exclusive any longer, so this change will be critical for me. It could either push me out of exclusivity, or boost my income and make me stay... I guess we will be able to tell quite quickly once the change is implemented.

« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2014, 04:12 »
0
I'm an exclusive vector artist at iStock, and I have no idea what to expect from these changes. Luckily I have mostly 15 credit files, and they will cost about the same after these changes, except for people who buy the most expensive credit packs. So hopefully my files will still sell.

The price difference between non-exclusive and exclusive material is my biggest concern... that can't be good for us exclusives. You can get a super complex, big set of design elements from the Essential collection for 8-15 dollars, while one single icon from Signature will cost 24-45 dollars.

iStock always brag so much about their exclusive content, like it's automatically so much better than the non-exclusive. Which it isn't. The quality standards are exactly the same. You don't need to be extra talented or pass some tests to become exclusive. So I wonder if buyers are really willing to pay so much extra for exclusive material...

I'm getting very close (income-wise) to the point where it's not worth being exclusive any longer, so this change will be critical for me. It could either push me out of exclusivity, or boost my income and make me stay... I guess we will be able to tell quite quickly once the change is implemented.

I'm one of the exclusive vector artists too, and agree with what you said above. If iS still care about exclusive artists, they should just sell everything with same price, promote exclusive contents in the search results and pay exclusive artists more.

« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2014, 07:55 »
+3
Yeah, but then they would make less money, which the executives at Getty would never allow...  so I think we're screwed.  :-\
Maybe they'll cancel the exclusivity program eventually.

« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2014, 08:13 »
+3
Yeah, but then they would make less money, which the executives at Getty would never allow...  so I think we're screwed.  :-\
Maybe they'll cancel the exclusivity program eventually.

They don't have to cancel exclusivity program, because most of us will quit if the new change doesn't turn things around...

« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2014, 15:06 »
0
Yeah, you're probably right about that.

Another thing iStock hasn't mentioned yet is if they're gonna change the RC targets. The targets used to be higher for vector artists because our images are usually sold for a higher price than photos, but now everything will cost the same... and yet we have to sell for 55000 credits to reach 35% while the photographers only have to sell for 35000 credits. Hopefully that will change when they announce the new RC targets though... just wish they could have presented those new targets now instead of letting us wait.

Another thing that's worrying is that "previous Vetta and E+S+ images will have strong search positioning"... I don't have a single file in those collections. So the really complex former Vetta vectors will now be in top of the searches, and at the same price as everything else...

So to be able to compete from now on, everybody will have to create Vetta quality vectors... and sell them for for a measly 24-45 bucks...

« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2014, 06:47 »
0
Yeah, you're probably right about that.

Another thing iStock hasn't mentioned yet is if they're gonna change the RC targets. The targets used to be higher for vector artists because our images are usually sold for a higher price than photos, but now everything will cost the same... and yet we have to sell for 55000 credits to reach 35% while the photographers only have to sell for 35000 credits. Hopefully that will change when they announce the new RC targets though... just wish they could have presented those new targets now instead of letting us wait.

Another thing that's worrying is that "previous Vetta and E+S+ images will have strong search positioning"... I don't have a single file in those collections. So the really complex former Vetta vectors will now be in top of the searches, and at the same price as everything else...

So to be able to compete from now on, everybody will have to create Vetta quality vectors... and sell them for for a measly 24-45 bucks...

They haven't fixed the bugs let alone come up with new RC targets, only good thing is that they've locked it for 2014 so nobody will drop in 2015.

I have few vetta illustrations in my port but I think I'm gonna deactivate some of them since they're gonna devaluate, might as well turn these files into prints and other products, and sell them elsewhere. Whether or not we the contributors are gonna create and upload more complex, Vetta type of illustrations really depends on the sales and royalties rate. What's the point of spending so much time and effort to create a masterpiece and sell it cheaply at the same time not getting much sales?

There are some exclusive vector artists who really target and rely on Vetta sales, more than 50% of their port consist of Vetta illustrations. Imagine what's gonna happen to their income after the change? It looks like to me that it's just another way to further slash the payout to contributors.

I think I'm on the brink of putting down the crown or might as well let it die and focus on design projects, unless there is miracle~

« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2014, 15:24 »
+4
What Getty/istock is trying to pull off is selling all images for either one credit or three, hoping that customers don't add up what a credit is worth in dollar terms. It is their way of trying to simplify the collection and the price ranges. Unfortunately illustrators are going to be an afterthought in all this, the main goal is "sell it all for one or three credits". As usual, I am sure there will be lots of site bugs when they are trying to pull this off. The fact is the customers have left the building, I'm not getting the views I had before on my work, and any freelance work I got via istock has stopped. These to me are my "dead canaries" in the istock coal mine that this avenue is a dead end.

Exclusivity is pointless now anyway, since the big push is "Every single image on iStock available with our Signature Subscription" - in other words, all of our work is now available at rock bottom prices. Upload any new illustrations? Congrats, you're now selling them for pennies on the dollar thanks to istock subs. The RC targets are nothing more than a paper tiger anyway, it's not enforceable since you are also selling the subscription plan on the same website. Istock cannot tie us in to the RC system while also offering the subscription plan. By offering the same royalty rates as 2014, it is their way of avoiding a class action. Regardless, what customers there are have wised up to the many price increases that istock have done in the past, and are probably going to turn to subscriptions and max it out. There is no future in istock unless you like making pennies for your work.

« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2014, 11:08 »
+3
Some new sales trickling in. It looks pretty ugly. I had one sale that its last royalty was $3.60. The new royalty was $.80. Another sale that was around $1. That certainly seems to be at the bottom or below the credit prices that were discussed (about $4-$5 a credit).

« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2014, 12:28 »
+4
Less sales, less money per sale. Revisiting Plan B.

« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2014, 03:20 »
0
What Getty/istock is trying to pull off is selling all images for either one credit or three, hoping that customers don't add up what a credit is worth in dollar terms. It is their way of trying to simplify the collection and the price ranges. Unfortunately illustrators are going to be an afterthought in all this, the main goal is "sell it all for one or three credits". As usual, I am sure there will be lots of site bugs when they are trying to pull this off. The fact is the customers have left the building, I'm not getting the views I had before on my work, and any freelance work I got via istock has stopped. These to me are my "dead canaries" in the istock coal mine that this avenue is a dead end.

Exclusivity is pointless now anyway, since the big push is "Every single image on iStock available with our Signature Subscription" - in other words, all of our work is now available at rock bottom prices. Upload any new illustrations? Congrats, you're now selling them for pennies on the dollar thanks to istock subs. The RC targets are nothing more than a paper tiger anyway, it's not enforceable since you are also selling the subscription plan on the same website. Istock cannot tie us in to the RC system while also offering the subscription plan. By offering the same royalty rates as 2014, it is their way of avoiding a class action. Regardless, what customers there are have wised up to the many price increases that istock have done in the past, and are probably going to turn to subscriptions and max it out. There is no future in istock unless you like making pennies for your work.


Yes, iS really looks like a dead end now... They're giving up on customers who have little budgets eg bloggers and SMEs, and hoping to win back the big ones. So I don't see this is any good for the contributors, because iS is losing loyal customers for sure, while TRYING to win back some others, what a smart move  ::)

Read some of their FB comments here:
www.facebook.com/istock/photos/a.433147720824.200423.20425620824/10152268795195825/?type=1&relevant_count=1

I've been iS exclusive all these years, so I'm curious about the vector market out there...... I've seen many vector artists offering their 500~1000 icons / clipart pack cheaply, and some hiring artists and designers to produce tens of thousand vector files yearly...... So is it gonna make any difference by becoming non-exclusive?
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 03:38 by runeer »


 

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