MicrostockGroup Sponsors

Envato Elements

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - KevinM

Pages: [1] 2 3
I also got this email.

Anyone who does not belong to the selected few?

I did not get the email. I have about 700 video files on SS.

I am against this move because any program that reduces the value of our product is a bad idea. For long-term sustainability it's better to have fewer sales at a good price than more sales at a steadily dropping rate.

When clips don't sell, contributors can learn from that and make better or more relevant content. But when some clips are sold at a lower price than others of the same resolution, it creates the very dangerous precedent that really all clips can/should be sold for less. Competitors are forced to respond by dropping prices, and it becomes a race to the bottom. SS is trying to dance around that by offering lower priced clips only on certain PLATFORMS. But that still opens the Pandora's box of conditioning people to think prices should come down (not to mention technological risks like how Wix buyers were able to download SS clips by simply right-clicking!)

This shows the fundamental conflict between SS and contributors. Contributors want DOLLARS PER UNIT. We don't want to have to create 100,000 clips to earn a living. SS wants dollars period, and it has such a glut of content it is quite willing to sell much of it cheaply. Our only recourse is to push back by contacting SS and telling them we're against this because lowering prices in any avenue invites a race to the bottom in which contributors are hurt far more than the stock agencies.

General - Stock Video / Re: Pond5 removing 4k pricing
« on: February 15, 2019, 09:56 »
Here is the response I got from Pond5: "This particular test will run for 8 weeks and the prices will be set back to their original amount when it's finished. What we learn with the test it will help us to make better recommendations to our artists about the optimal price of 4K content to help them to make the most revenue. We appreciate your cooperation and we're here to solve any questions that you may have."

And the response I sent to them: "Cristobal, that was a tone-deaf response that ignored the key point here - Pond5 should not be changing prices, even as a test for a couple months, without informing contributors and getting their permission. It is a violation of a core element in the contributor relationship, namely contributors having control over their own pricing. Pond5 should have contacted contributors about the test and asked them to either opt in or opt out. I read almost everything stock sites send to me for contributor communications, and I did not see any communication about this at all, much less an opt in/out element. What I want to hear from Pond5 is: 1) they recognize that setting prices is a key prerogative for contributors; 2) they admit communication here was extremely poorly handled; 3) they make a commitment that in the future they will not change prices, even as a test, without consent from contributors. Please make these points known to the decision makers at Pond5."

I do read almost everything the stock sites email, and I didn't see anything about a 4K pricing test. Did anyone receive advance notification of this? Were you allowed to opt out?

General - Stock Video / Re: Pond5 removing 4k pricing
« on: February 14, 2019, 12:23 »
Just changed all my 4K pricing back to where it was and sent an angry email to Pond5. One of their key features for contributors is allowing us to set our own prices. To violate that and not even seek permission for the pricing test is a serious breach of trust. They need to hear from contributors that that's crossing the line, they must always seek permission before changing prices. I encourage others to email them as well so they don't continue to do this.

You can change the price in batch in setting. Account>Preferences.. most bottom column. by default web priced at 50% of your HD price.

Thanks for mentioning that! It's not an easily apparent feature, to access it you have to click the bottom box for "Customize down-converted price percentages."

It's a quick way to adjust the percentage difference between the 4K/HD/web prices. I compressed the price spread between 4K/HD/web. I think the default was something like 100%-50%-20%. I changed it to 100%-53%-33%. Then I went to my uploads and raised the price on all my 4K clips, so that the 4K and web versions are now more expensive but the HD price is where is was before.

The quality of your gear reflects not just your pocketbook but also your love for a truly great image. Both can change over time. I've been happy with a Sony FS7 for years, but lately when I see Red images I do linger and feel an impulse to step up to the next level. There is an undeniable gorgeous quality to the camera, its detail and dynamic range. Buyers may not search for "Red" but they may unknowingly choose footage shot on Red simply because they love the look. Sure, a great DP can get great images out of any camera, but you can consistently get better images out of a Red. I'm feeling the pull of the beauty, may have to buy one.

Can one justify buying a Red as a business expense for shooting stock? I actually think it's a fair gamble. Everything else being equal, if one's image quality is a bit better than competing shots due to using a Red rather than an FS7, I could see that bringing in another couple thousand a year in additional sales, and over the years paying for itself. Plus I think the quality that comes from Red gets you more "looks" from picky high-end buyers who will only use top quality shots. And then there's just the job satisfaction that keeps you motivated and producing. I love my FS7 for documentary and corporate work, but when I've shot on Red it's been like, "Dam*, this is sexy."

VideoBlocks / Re: Commission cut
« on: August 16, 2018, 10:42 »
Their prices are now comparable to Shutterstock and they're paying a higher commission.

Comparable to Shutterstock? I'd say a heck of a lot better than SS. On average, my HD sales at SS have been around $17 - $22. And these days, people are getting a lot of $1.50 sales for HD and 4k clips through SS. I think VB blows SS out of the water when it comes to stock footage earnings.

The sales price is comparable to Shutterstock ($79). And then VB pays a higher commission, so yes, it's a better deal for us than SS.

This line of "thought" is absurd conspiracy theory. If they were deviously planning both a commission cut and price raise, it would have obviously been much smarter to have done them at the same time to soften the blow of the commission cut. By doing one and then waiting 1-2 weeks, they lost portfolios, lost uploads, killed trust with their contributors, etc. Plainly NOT the best course of action from a business standpoint. What this appears to be on the surface is exactly what it was: they thought people would accept a 50% commission, since that is still tied for highest commission among major sites. But they sorely miscalculated vis a vis their low prices. When it was shown to them just how bad their thinking was by a whole lot of pissed off contributors who took the time to respond, they realized they needed to adjust, so they did.

The original Storyblocks 100% commission rate was great while it lasted but ultimately unsustainable. Cutting commission by 50% but not raising prices was unfair to contributors and damaging to the market. By keeping commissions at 50% but raising prices to market standards, a balance has been struck and commission dollars are good.

So they got that huge amount of footage and contributors to become just like others right after.
That was for sure par of the plan since the start... anyways - 50% of 49$ is not cool... I get it now.
I just did not see that they were going to do that move.

... I don't want to make people angry... but I still feel that Storyblock has sucessfully stop giving 100% comission and contributors are happpy with that.
If they would decided in one day to raise the prices and then take 50% everyone would be pissed - but because they "negociated" you seems all proud of what you got. Foor me Storyblock just became like other companies.

So you think 100% commission forever is sustainable and they're wrong for stopping it? I have to disagree with that perspective, and I don't think they lied when they said 100% commission was unsustainable. If they had originally came to us as contributors and said they have to make a change to stay in business, I would be fine with it as long as the change was fair and not damaging long-term to the market (i.e. low sales prices AND lowering commissions). Their idea on how to change was bad, they got stung for it, and now they've adjusted to end up in a fair place. They should have done that from the start. Think about it - they're now selling at the same price as SS but with a higher commission rate. Frankly, let's hope that lasts, we'll see if they can pull it off.

The original Storyblocks 100% commission rate was great while it lasted but ultimately unsustainable. Cutting commission by 50% but not raising prices was unfair to contributors and damaging to the market. By keeping commissions at 50% but raising prices to market standards, a balance has been struck and commission dollars are good.

Mods deleted other thread as a duplicate. It's OK, my point there was that we achieved success through speaking up! CAN'T EMPHASIZE ENOUGH HOW FANTASTIC IT IS THAT CONTRIBUTORS MADE THEMSELVES HEARD THROUGH WRITING EMAILS, DELETING PORTFOLIOS, REFUSING TO UPLOAD, ETC.! This is how we protect our interests as contributors and keep our industry viable. Great job, everyone!!

VideoBlocks / Re: Commission cut
« on: August 09, 2018, 10:20 »
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ENOUGH PEOPLE SPEAK UP! This is why we email with complaints, delete portfolios, refuse to upload, and yes, write petitions! Their prices are now comparable to Shutterstock and they're paying a higher commission. So the next time some pathetic loser tells you that you have no power and can't influence your industry, remember this event.

VideoBlocks / Re: Commission cut
« on: July 26, 2018, 10:21 »
Let's not be short-sighted. Stronger sales at VideoBlocks is not a good thing, because that means sales taken away from sites that charge higher prices and/or pay us more in commissions. It means an overall devaluation in the market. This pushback against SB is not only about a massive commission cut, it is equally or even more about a race to the bottom in stock footage like we saw happen in stock photography. Anyone who cares about continually getting paid less and less for their stock footage work should be concerned about what SB is doing.

Secondly, it's incorrect to view our response in terms of meeting or not meeting a certain goal. It would be great if losing contributors and trust made SB decide that a smaller commission cut is a better idea long term, but even if they don't, it's still important for us to make their choice as costly and damaging for them as possible. The next time they - and any other stock company - considers such a move (and they will), they will absolutely think back to what the costs were for them the last time. What was the response? How many contributors were lost? How much content deleted from portfolios? What was the quality of content lost and were the new contributors as good? What was the damage to our reputation among contributors and how did that affect business? These are questions about "how much." Which means every email counts, every petition signer counts, every deleted portfolio counts.

Some people here are stuck in a mentality of "You won't get them to change their mind on this decision, so it's pointless to say anything." If that's your perspective, it's easy to see why you'd feel defeated. However, it's a flat-out incorrect perspective because this is not an "all or nothing" scenario, it's a matter or "how much." SB has acted against your best interest, and there is no escaping that you have a binary choice in how to respond. Silence is an invitation for them and their competitors to take more of your money in the future. Any action you take against them is a small dollar amount in their loss column and notice that future actions will bring more losses.

VideoBlocks / Re: Commission cut
« on: July 25, 2018, 11:07 »
Agree 100%. Also, the petition is not just for SB contributors - signing it also says you won't purchase stock from them either. In my edit jobs I sometimes have to purchase. Or people can just sign as a show of support, and please share with peers.

VideoBlocks / Re: Commission cut
« on: July 25, 2018, 09:28 »
Signing the petition is costless, if we are many contributors signing, SB will take the disturb to read about our disappointment.

True, but it's unlikely to make any difference to anything. I think it's highly unlikely they're sat at StoryBlocks HQ going "Strange, people don't like this change... we predicted that everybody would love it!". They will have expected this to be an unpopular decision. In fact, they're more likely to be sat there saying "Only 91 people have signed a petition regarding this?! That's fantastic, we thought the change would be a lot less popular! We should have gone for 60% to us instead!"

They're even more likely to say, "Look at the sheep contributors we have like SpaceStockFootage who never speak up against us and troll anyone who does. Let's take 75%." In the same paragraph you speak against the petition yet point out that not enough people are speaking up. People have signed the petition, people have deleted their portfolios, people have sent emails to TJ and the support staff telling them why their pay cut is a terrible idea. Is it a tidal wave of action? No, but it is something and it does show them they're losing contributors. What do you do to try to make the situation better? Nothing, you actively make it worse. Never seen anyone try so hard to convince himself and everyone else that no one has any power so we should all shut up. That's pathetic.

VideoBlocks / Re: Commission cut
« on: July 21, 2018, 10:15 »
Yes, definitely. Thank for posting that contact info. The more they hear from us, the better it is for us.

VideoBlocks / Re: Commission cut
« on: July 20, 2018, 08:25 »
Did anyone make petition when:
- istock/getty started dumping prices on images and videos?
- when shutterstock invented $1.5 prices for stock clips?
- when Pond5 started offering membership?
- when Revostock closed down site and steal our money?
- when Dissolve threaten contributors with lower prices?
- etc...

why so much interest in dumping agency such as VB? Which lowered our value of footage from the beginning. You shouldn't even UPLOAD to such agencies.

You're highlighting the problem: stock agencies make moves that affect us negatively and we have no strong response. It doesn't have to be a petition, it can be a mass portfolio deletion, etc. - the point is that as the suppliers in the industry we have a right and duty to have some power in the relationship. Up to now we have been too disorganized to harness that power, so our response is scattered and weak. It's still too weak right now even with a petition, but this is a start in the right direction.

VideoBlocks / Re: Commission cut
« on: July 20, 2018, 08:00 »
pps, what is the direct CEO e-mail?

I wrote to support as well - and not only did they not really read the message - it appears I received the *exact* same carbon copy message

We think TJ's email is

VideoBlocks / Re: Commission cut
« on: July 20, 2018, 00:06 »
Done. Updated petition with email addresses for people who want to email TJ and Videoblocks. For some reason the link in your post was truncated and therefore didn't work. The full link to the petition is

VideoBlocks / Re: Commission cut
« on: July 18, 2018, 19:13 »
Well spoken, Noedelhap.

Plainly most people get it. If everyone who reads this thread sends an email or signs the petition and gets friends/peers to sign, then that is a significant number of people pledging to stop uploading or even delete their portfolio. Whether or not Videoblocks actually changes their policy, the point is they'll be made aware that cutting commissions means they will lose contributors, content and their good name. NOT responding to a massive, insulting commission cut sends the message to ALL stock companies that they can cut commissions as much as they want and we won't say a word (which is the more accurate definition of a sissy). By action or inaction, we inevitably MUST send one of those two messages. Seems a simple choice.

The petition link again:

VideoBlocks / Re: Commission cut
« on: July 18, 2018, 18:17 »
I also do this for a living.  I just don't think Videoblocks cutting commission from 100% to 50% is a reason to publicly speak out against them and start a petition.  And for anyone else doing this for a living, isn't it a bad business move to burn a bridge with one of the few companies that sells stock footage?  Let's say they do invest this money wisely and sales increase from them doing more marketing... 50% commission from a company that can sell videos is good.  As far as #facts about amateurs underselling for beer money, I know nothing about that.  I do know now that 50% commission from one company is standard, but with another company, it can get a petition started against them.

A company cuts our commissions by 50%, and your response is don't speak against it or you might burn a bridge, you're powerless, just get back to work. That's incredibly weak and self-defeating, if everyone had that attitude we'd be making even less. Don't distort things by blaming this on "outrage culture" or any such nonsense - this is business. If you don't want to stand up for your own economic self-interest, that's your choice.

VideoBlocks / Re: Commission cut
« on: July 18, 2018, 17:23 »
I'm blown away by everyones response.  $25 isn't enough for an HD sale?  $100 for 4k?  That's way better than all these under $20 4k sales I've had flooding in recently.  People complain about how bad their business model was before, and then complain about it when they make a change... and now a petition?  That's crazy!  It's not like they dropped it to 5%.  It's still 50%!  That's good in this game.  They should have some money to spend on marketing now, which usually creates more sales.  But good ahead and write them off if you want.

Tyson, you don't seem to see the big picture. They're driving down market prices while also massively cutting our commissions, which is bad enough in itself but gets worse if/when it encourages other companies to do the same. We are the suppliers in an industry. When our profit is squeezed - especially in dramatic cases like this - if we do not respond as suppliers in any other industry would, then that is economic suicide. We've seen this play out with stock photography, and plenty of people here, myself included, will do all we can to not have that process repeat in stock footage.

SpaceStockFootage: why would you think there has to be a murder in order to  use words like "betrayal," "back-stabbing," "crap" excuses, etc.? It's a betrayal for a company to market themselves as especially contributor-friendly and then make a massive 50% cut in commissions. And it is crap to paste it over with hollow excuses. Do you really think they're going to increase sales enough to make up that 50%? Do you think even they believe that? Of course not, it's a false hope meant to pacify us. So what do you do when a business partner takes 50% of your money and then gives a BS reason about why he took it?

Let's address the obvious problem. The businesses are strong and centralized, we as individual suppliers are weak and widely dispersed. They're always looking to increase profit and undercut the competition, and to do that they'll always have an eye toward paying their suppliers less. Every single time they make a move in that direction, we owe it to ourselves as business people to take a stand and say no. By not uploading, by deleting portfolios, and especially by then telling the companies that you're taking those actions, we let them know that there are economic consequences to squeezing us. The more unified we are in that, the more powerful the response, then the more economically defended we are in the long term. So please don't shrug this event off. Don't take a "it's not so bad" attitude or a defeatist attitude. Simply take one single minute to sign the petition and share it with your friends. And if you have other ideas to protect our interests, please share them.

VideoBlocks / Re: Commission cut
« on: July 18, 2018, 10:10 »
Thanks for signing! Yes, it's probably best if people word their emails differently, can be short as saying you won't be uploading anymore (or deleting your port) in response to this pay cut.

I wrote a long, angry email to and got a response this morning that largely recycled the lies in TJ's email about building a model that is sustainable so they can grow blah blah. This was my email response:

"Mike, did any employees at Storyblocks take a 50% pay cut so that you can be "sustainable" and "fair"? Are YOU taking a 50% pay cut for the "long term shared success strategy"? Is TJ? If not, then your response is 100% crap. Not 50% crap, 100%.You're stealing from contributors to grow profit and operating budget, and not sharing any of the pain. That's a horrible, insulting way to treat contributors, which is why we won't support you by contributing anymore. We're happy to work with your competition and support them. Your back-stabbing CEO just hurt his own company long-term by betraying its suppliers. That's the truth, and you guys are living in a PR spin zone if you don't see it."

VideoBlocks / Re: Commission cut
« on: July 17, 2018, 18:03 »
Here is the petition, please sign and share with friends!

VideoBlocks / Re: Commission cut
« on: July 17, 2018, 16:17 »
Here's a fun thread:

A quote from Zach at Videoblocks on that thread: "Our goal is to be the most contributor-friendly agency there is, so we will never do anything to jeopardize our relationships."

VideoBlocks / Re: Commission cut
« on: July 17, 2018, 16:16 »
Is anyone able to track down the email for CEO TJ Leonard? I had no luck through Google, hoping someone here has some web sleuthing skills.

email may be:

from page 8 of this publicly available PDF (page 5 on the document):

Great find!! Thank you!

Pages: [1] 2 3


Microstock Poll Results


Envato Elements