pancakes

MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: BigStock e-mail about subscriptions and an RC-like payment system  (Read 34878 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« Reply #50 on: February 07, 2013, 16:45 »
+1
Here's the e-mail I just sent:

Mr. Pfeifer,

I'm not sure what you're thinking in implementing the schedule of contributor compensation outlined in your e-mail earlier today.

You must be aware of the low-earning status BigStock has for most contributors . Bottom-tier sites get supplied by contributors - in spite of their low earnings - as long as they meet several criteria. One is ease of upload; two is that they don't undercut a higher-earning site; and three is that they have decent royalty rates and a low payout threshold.

In the past, Big Stock has just about met all three of those (I have been with BigStock since 2005, with a hiatus from 2008-11 as an iStock exclusive and a new account when I returned in 2011). Your e-mail this morning has shot two of those three criteria in the head and the uploads are only OK - nothing like the easiest out there.

With the low earnings, it makes it very easy for contributors to walk away from BigStock, and with a recent rash of bad behavior by agencies, existing contributors are significantly on edge. Realistically, 50,000 downloads a year - even subscription downloads - isn't something that most of your contributors will ever reach. Many never will on Shutterstock, where the volume of business is much, much larger. And for heaven's sake don't even consider making some argument that you'll double, triple (or whatever) sales at BigStock in the next year or two. Not realistic.

Perhaps you aren't concerned about losing existing contributors and feel that there is an endless supply of willing participants with a nice point and shoot who'll supply you with content when the current crop of malcontents leaves. If that's the case, you're certainly making sure we head quickly for the exit.

If you have any concern about keeping your existing contributors, I strongly urge you to promptly reconsider this move. It is strongly reminiscent of the moves airlines made a few years ago for a two-tier pay system for pilots - one for the regional jets and one for the long-haul ones. From that, they tried to move jets classified as "regional" to the longer routes and move the pay scale with it. The real worry here isn't BigStock, but that you're looking to try this compensation scheme out and then move it to Shutterstock.

In the IPO documents, amid all the flowery words about a virtuous cycle, was a note of risks for the business. One was that contributors would no longer want to continue supplying you with content. You have the storefront but contributors own the content. Do you really want to start alienating your contributors when in general you are one of the respected agencies? Why just throw away all that goodwill you've spent so long building?

regards,

Jo Ann Snover (jsnover on both sites and contributor 249 at Shuttersock)


Good reply. Mine wasn't..as nice as yours :)


Poncke

« Reply #51 on: February 07, 2013, 17:01 »
+1
The site still show the old stuff.

http://help.bigstockphoto.com/entries/20876992-how-much-will-i-earn-as-a-bigstock-contributor

I never understand why that is the last thing to be amended. Its nothing short of a scam. You update your site's terms as soon as you change them.

« Reply #52 on: February 07, 2013, 17:09 »
+1
So all my pics at SS you can down download cheaper at BS? Given the volume of contributors contributing to both agencies, as a buyer I might ditch SS for a cheaper deal at BS.

It's not like SS and BS have totally different sets of customers. Doesn't seem to bode well for the future..

This is the real strategy. You nailed it. It is to drive subs sales to BS as a cost cutting strategy.  Paying out .29 cent SUBS vs. .38 cent subs times tens of thousands per year can add up to a bundle. The only trick is to drive buyers to BS (for now, anyway).  A complete migration of the two systems would mean that they'd apply BS subs pricing as their blanket and kill SS subs.  Migrating the two sites means (for the most part) keeping their existing buyers, reducing sub payouts.  I bet this is where they're going, otherwise why offer cheaper subs on the site they own? There is a method to this madness.

lisafx

« Reply #53 on: February 07, 2013, 17:10 »
+2
I know I am nowhere near the 50k downloads/year needed to get the .38 at Bigstock.  As JoAnn so eloquently points out, the volumes at BigStock just don't support those kinds of numbers. 

However, given the abundant downloads most of us get at SS, I thought it was worth checking my 2012 download totals to see if I get that much at SS.  Imagine my surprise to discover that I don't even get that many DL's annually there!  Fell just short at around 47k. 

I'd be curious if there are many of us who would keep their .38 rate if this same scheme were implemented at SS. 

EmberMike

« Reply #54 on: February 07, 2013, 17:23 »
0
Just got this new info from Bigstock:

Quote
All Bridge contributors will start at $0.38, and are guaranteed to be locked at this rate for the first 6 months.

I'm not a Bridge contributor, I manually upload images to Bigstock, so I'm waiting to hear back on what that means for me.

But if you use the Bridge, you're locked in at $0.38 to start.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 17:26 by EmberMike »

« Reply #55 on: February 07, 2013, 17:28 »
+1
...I'd be curious if there are many of us who would keep their .38 rate if this same scheme were implemented at SS.

There's Yuri and then there's... ?

Your total's great Lisa - talent, hard work and all that - but you know that you're not by any means a typical contributor! I'm guessing not even typical for those of us earning the 38 cent subs royalty. So what it amounts to is a pay cut for any subscription sales that migrate from SS to BS.

Remember all Veer's big talk about their subscription program? I haven't seen more than a damp fizzle from their subs sales. The only one whose structure I liked was iStock's, but that just wasn't competitive (possibly just wasn't promoted) so the sales never really built up (even before they started sending all subs buyers to Thtinkstock)

« Reply #56 on: February 07, 2013, 17:30 »
0
6 months lol. Well, ok whatever so I leave in 6 month whatever that's funny!  BS is so finished lol 6 months...... :)

« Reply #57 on: February 07, 2013, 17:37 »
+2
Have they stated what the cost to the buyer is for their subs program?  They better not be undercutting SS or we will have to organize a riot.  Heck, we should organize one anyway!

lisafx

« Reply #58 on: February 07, 2013, 17:38 »
+2
So what it amounts to is a pay cut for any subscription sales that migrate from SS to BS.

I absolutely agree.  And if it works for them on BS, I don't see why they wouldn't implement that or something similar on SS too.  And then there's the final nail in the coffin of micro, IMO. 

« Reply #59 on: February 07, 2013, 17:39 »
0
Have they stated what the cost to the buyer is for their subs program?  They better not be undercutting SS or we will have to organize a riot.  Heck, we should organize one anyway!

Is BS even worth a riot? Leaving BS is so much easier :)

« Reply #60 on: February 07, 2013, 17:43 »
+2
Yes, it would be and I hope they come to realize that.  I've canned 2 agencies in 2 months.  This might make it 3. 

« Reply #61 on: February 07, 2013, 17:48 »
+1
The riot MIGHT help stop this from spreading to SS...

« Reply #62 on: February 07, 2013, 18:08 »
0
The riot MIGHT help stop this from spreading to SS...

D Day 2?

« Reply #63 on: February 07, 2013, 18:12 »
+7
This makes me feel sick.  I've had enough of microstock now.  I'll still work with Pond5 and GLStockImages but there's no future with the rest of the sites.  Working harder each year only to get more and more commission cuts doesn't appeal to me at all.  Hard to believe that Jon Oringer is going to copy the disastrous policy of cutting already low commissions but he owns BS and that's what they're doing.  So I can no longer think that SS is the one site that makes sticking with microstock an option.

« Reply #64 on: February 07, 2013, 18:16 »
+5
So what it amounts to is a pay cut for any subscription sales that migrate from SS to BS.

I absolutely agree.  And if it works for them on BS, I don't see why they wouldn't implement that or something similar on SS too.  And then there's the final nail in the coffin of micro, IMO.

Agree totally!  If that happens, I will stop producing any micro images.  Any new images will be RM and will be sold direct.  That seems to be what the agencies are daring us to do, anyway.

Poncke

« Reply #65 on: February 07, 2013, 18:19 »
+3
So what it amounts to is a pay cut for any subscription sales that migrate from SS to BS.

I absolutely agree.  And if it works for them on BS, I don't see why they wouldn't implement that or something similar on SS too.  And then there's the final nail in the coffin of micro, IMO.

Agree totally!  If that happens, I will stop producing any micro images.  Any new images will be RM and will be sold direct.  That seems to be what the agencies are daring us to do, anyway.
Sums it up for me. Already submitting RM to Alamy and pulling all editorial from micros. If SS is announcing a cut, I am going Macro.

« Reply #66 on: February 07, 2013, 18:55 »
+2
The sad part is that a few of us leaving won't even make them flinch. I wish Yuri would pull all of his portfolios (except for his own website of course), it would truly begin the downfall of these greedy microstock agencies.

« Reply #67 on: February 07, 2013, 18:57 »
0
How can you even tell how many downloads you get there over the past 12 months.  I'm not going to take the money and get an average.

I'll probably be on the lower tier anyway.

Image statistics, choose a custom time frame of the past 12 months using the calendar in the right top corner.

Thanks.  Looks like I've only had 51 in the last year.  So I was right lowest tier for me.

« Reply #68 on: February 07, 2013, 19:18 »
0
So what it amounts to is a pay cut for any subscription sales that migrate from SS to BS.

I absolutely agree.  And if it works for them on BS, I don't see why they wouldn't implement that or something similar on SS too.  And then there's the final nail in the coffin of micro, IMO.

I don't think it's the final nail in the coffin for micro. There is still a huge market for inexpensive stock images. Someone will fill that need and will be happy to take whatever the agencies give out. Instead, I see this as the final nail in the coffin for all the photographers who have invested money in good equipment, have been turning out great images the past few years, but will no longer be able to afford to produce for such pittances. That is really a shame.  :(

It reminds of when my good friend, who had been a teacher for 25+ years and made about $70,000 a year, was offered a buyout to retire early. The schools needed to move out the good teachers who were at high pay levels, and move in young teachers who were happy to just have a job and were willing to take $32,000 a year. Same principle. Those of us who have been around for a few years have outlived our usefulness. The cycle will start all over.

« Reply #69 on: February 07, 2013, 19:35 »
+6

I don't think it's the final nail in the coffin for micro. There is still a huge market for inexpensive stock images. Someone will fill that need and will be happy to take whatever the agencies give out. Instead, I see this as the final nail in the coffin for all the photographers who have invested money in good equipment, have been turning out great images the past few years, but will no longer be able to afford to produce for such pittances. That is really a shame.  :(

It reminds of when my good friend, who had been a teacher for 25+ years and made about $70,000 a year, was offered a buyout to retire early. The schools needed to move out the good teachers who were at high pay levels, and move in young teachers who were happy to just have a job and were willing to take $32,000 a year. Same principle. Those of us who have been around for a few years have outlived our usefulness. The cycle will start all over.

I can understand when a business is struggling to stay afloat and they ask employees or suppliers to make cuts. And sometimes school systems - which aren't businesses in that they don't control their income, only their expenses - have to try and cut where they can.

What I find harder to swallow is a profitable business that "needs" to be even more profitable. Instead of growing the business by increasing sales, they decide to grow it by cutting into supplier royalties. I can't think of any way to describe it other than naked greed.

It really does feel a bit like all those cliched stories where the first wife puts the guy through medical school while she works and then he dumps her for a younger model once he's graduated and is earning a good salary.

"It's just business" only goes so far to wash the unpleasant taste out of my mouth

« Reply #70 on: February 07, 2013, 19:42 »
0
I just received a reply from BigStock:

" Hello,

We understand your concern.

One of the reasons behind this change is to provide our contributors with a higher chance to earn higher royalties. Subscriptions can allow more downloads, and higher total earnings, and you will still make the current amount from downloads made using credits.

We encourage you to stay, allowing the chance to see your earnings grow.

Please let us know how you would like to proceed. "



« Reply #71 on: February 07, 2013, 19:45 »
+4
I just received a reply from BigStock:

" Hello,

We understand your concern.

One of the reasons behind this change is to provide our contributors with a higher chance to earn higher royalties. Subscriptions can allow more downloads, and higher total earnings, and you will still make the current amount from downloads made using credits.

We encourage you to stay, allowing the chance to see your earnings grow.

Please let us know how you would like to proceed. "


Well, this is the same ol crappy answer all the sites give..."well we are trying to make you more money, that's why we made this stupid move".

Amazing!

« Reply #72 on: February 07, 2013, 19:46 »
+3
I just received a reply from BigStock:

" Hello,

We understand your concern.

One of the reasons behind this change is to provide our contributors with a higher chance to earn higher royalties. Subscriptions can allow more downloads, and higher total earnings, and you will still make the current amount from downloads made using credits.

We encourage you to stay, allowing the chance to see your earnings grow.

Please let us know how you would like to proceed. "


now I am relieved ;D

lisafx

« Reply #73 on: February 07, 2013, 20:21 »
+1
So what it amounts to is a pay cut for any subscription sales that migrate from SS to BS.

I absolutely agree.  And if it works for them on BS, I don't see why they wouldn't implement that or something similar on SS too.  And then there's the final nail in the coffin of micro, IMO.

I don't think it's the final nail in the coffin for micro. There is still a huge market for inexpensive stock images. Someone will fill that need and will be happy to take whatever the agencies give out. Instead, I see this as the final nail in the coffin for all the photographers who have invested money in good equipment, have been turning out great images the past few years, but will no longer be able to afford to produce for such pittances. That is really a shame.  :(


Cathy, you and I are saying the same thing.  I didn't specify "final nail in the coffin for skilled microstock suppliers" because I thought it was obvious what I meant.  Clearly "microstock" agencies will do just fine, at least in the short term. 

« Reply #74 on: February 07, 2013, 20:28 »
0
I for one would not compare this to the Getty/IS/Google atrocities.

"For the next six months, well guarantee that every subscription download you receive will generate a royalty of $0.38USD our maximum rate. These terms are being offered to contributors in the Bridge to Bigstock program only."

Unless I'm missing something, it's the same as I get at SS. And even if I am subject to the new payment schedule soon or someday, I will be getting .31 per subscription dl. Less than I get at DT, but more than I get a most sites. It's a bad trend that microstock sites are paying us less and less as they earn more and more, and Google attempting to destroy the value of our copyrights is scary, but it may not be the end of the world quite yet. I hope.  :)


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
8 Replies
4164 Views
Last post August 24, 2007, 02:03
by jeancliclac
4 Replies
2878 Views
Last post January 03, 2010, 20:18
by icefront
23 Replies
5940 Views
Last post August 29, 2012, 18:26
by Jo Ann Snover
13 Replies
2926 Views
Last post January 07, 2016, 15:56
by emjaysmith
5 Replies
3486 Views
Last post August 28, 2016, 13:08
by aeonf

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results