MicrostockGroup Sponsors

Envato Elements

Author Topic: Is it a good thing if Shutterstock stays #1?  (Read 12761 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2011, 21:21 »
0
Subscription prices and royalties don't bother me.  I really don't care how much I make for one sale; it's the total that interests me.
How could lowering prices result in making more money? It happens all the time in business. Would Dunkin' Donuts make more money if they were charging $10 for one doughnut?

Low prices make possible things which cannot happen when prices are high. New kinds of customers enter the market.

Consider a designer who is thinking about using an image she finds on iStock. She downloads a comp and works on it in PShop to see if it will work in her design, maybe isolating it or whaterver. If it does work, she buys it and starts working on the full size image, doing to it what she did with the comp. But if she has a subscription to SS, she just downloads the full size image and starts working on it. She doesn't have to do the same work twice.

This may not seem like much of a difference, but it is a big difference to designers. If I can download 20 images from SS for the same price one image costs me on IS, it will enable me to work in new ways. And I may end up buying more images than ever. This is really what's happening.


« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2011, 21:24 »
0
despite what some say here, it seems feeding the beast is a constant necessity still at SS....whether you're feeding it processed food, gourmet or utter crap doesn't always seem to matter

Huh? How would you know? From my experience I'd say that 'feeding the beast' is way more important at IS nowadays than it is at SS because the best match favours new images so much __ it hasn't done so on SS for years. I had 5 months off uploading anywhere this year. My income at IS went down and my income at SS went up. Why do you talk such nonsense on matters you obviously know so little about?

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2011, 21:53 »
0
despite what some say here, it seems feeding the beast is a constant necessity still at SS....whether you're feeding it processed food, gourmet or utter crap doesn't always seem to matter

Huh? How would you know? From my experience I'd say that 'feeding the beast' is way more important at IS nowadays than it is at SS because the best match favours new images so much __ it hasn't done so on SS for years. I had 5 months off uploading anywhere this year. My income at IS went down and my income at SS went up. Why do you talk such nonsense on matters you obviously know so little about?

I already acknowledged that obviously I don't know firsthand. But I read the SS submitter forums regularly and I see their latest uploads. sorry, but their standards are not anywhere close to iStock's. (well, that is for regular contributors. for content being trucked in from Getty, apparently there are no standards.)
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 21:55 by SNP »

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2011, 22:04 »
0
Is it a good thing?

Oh, absolutely. When the day comes that the majority of buyers come to the realization that any image is worth no more than 33 cents we should all pop champagne and break out the high fives.

« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2011, 22:20 »
0
Is it a good thing?

Oh, absolutely. When the day comes that the majority of buyers come to the realization that any image is worth no more than 33 cents we should all pop champagne and break out the high fives.


I think the buyers don't really know how much the contributors get paid for an image - if it is .07 or .25  (those are the lows I have seen listed for IS xsmall and pp sub sales) or .25 to .38 up to 5.70 (ss sub to single image range). we shall leave ELs out for now.

In general I do agree that sites could stand to raise prices a bit and commissions more. In reality I am guessing that prices will only rise slightly and they will be offset for the artists by drops in commission and dilution of sales as the image libraries continue to grow.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2011, 22:32 »
0
Is it a good thing?

Oh, absolutely. When the day comes that the majority of buyers come to the realization that any image is worth no more than 33 cents we should all pop champagne and break out the high fives.


I think the buyers don't really know how much the contributors get paid for an image - if it is .07 or .25  (those are the lows I have seen listed for IS xsmall and pp sub sales) or .25 to .38 up to 5.70 (ss sub to single image range). we shall leave ELs out for now.

In general I do agree that sites could stand to raise prices a bit and commissions more. In reality I am guessing that prices will only rise slightly and they will be offset for the artists by drops in commission and dilution of sales as the image libraries continue to grow.

I'm not talking about commissions. I'm talking about the homepage of SS where it shows buyers they can get 750 images in a month for $249.

Regardless of how many they download, buyer perception is that each image is worth 33 cents.

So what would happen if most buyers flocked to SS, along with most contributors? Well, after they have a trillion images from a bazillion contributors, and the supply of subscription images heavily outweighs demand, guess what happens? The same thing that is happening to macro and higher priced micro. Enjoy your nice earnings while they last.

« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2011, 23:08 »
0
One of the reasons why I went exclusive on Istockphoto more than 3 years ago was I was tired of getting paid peanuts for my image sales.  Now I see that Shutterstock may be stealing customers from Istockphoto, and I'm thinking why would this be a good thing?

I'm in the gold level on Istockphoto (probably not after this month) and I make about $0.42 to something like $7.8 an image sale, but more like at least $3.5 a sale on average.  Shutterstock only pays like $0.25 to $0.38 a sale.  I know that the on-demand images pay more, but I don't know if they are anywhere as popular as the subscription sales.  It would take more than 10 times the sales that I have on Istockphoto for Shutterstock to match my exclusive Istockphoto sales, and I doubt even half of that is possible.  Is selling full size images for even $0.38 a sale a good thing?  I know there are other websites like Dreamstime that pay more (and especially in royalty rates) but for the photography I do, it doesn't look like Dreamstime has anywhere the level of sales volume compared to IS or SS.

I feel that if Shutterstock stays #1 and further weakens other websites like Istockphoto, that would further dilute and cheapen the stock photography market and seriously damage the ability to produce stock photography for microstock as well as hurt many stock photography careers out there.  I guess microstock did that to traditional stock, but Istockphoto raised prices slowly but surely, and made it more viable to invest in produce stock photography for microstock.  Shutterstock doesn't care with keeping its rock bottom compensation rates. 

I would guess that rpd has been gradually increasing on ss over the years, since they keep introducing other methods to purchase images other than sub plans. I ran a poll recently to try and get an idea of sub verses non-sub income and non-sub income is actually pretty high. But with subs it's the sheer volume of downloads which is impressive, no other site that I'm aware of has that volume and it's increasing. For sure many former iStock customers have gone to the other big microstock site that they know, the simplicity of buying at ss is probably appealing especially as it seems that buying at IS is becoming ever more complex.

« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2011, 23:23 »
0
Subscription prices and royalties don't bother me.  I really don't care how much I make for one sale; it's the total that interests me.
How could lowering prices result in making more money? It happens all the time in business. Would Dunkin' Donuts make more money if they were charging $10 for one doughnut?

Low prices make possible things which cannot happen when prices are high. New kinds of customers enter the market.

Consider a designer who is thinking about using an image she finds on iStock. She downloads a comp and works on it in PShop to see if it will work in her design, maybe isolating it or whaterver. If it does work, she buys it and starts working on the full size image, doing to it what she did with the comp. But if she has a subscription to SS, she just downloads the full size image and starts working on it. She doesn't have to do the same work twice.

This may not seem like much of a difference, but it is a big difference to designers. If I can download 20 images from SS for the same price one image costs me on IS, it will enable me to work in new ways. And I may end up buying more images than ever. This is really what's happening.

As I see it, if your image is good and superior enough, people would pay the money to buy your image.

Back in December 2009, my images sold almost 400 times and made $673 (I was exclusive at the time), and when Istockphoto raised prices for Exclusive Photographers  (around 60%), my sales didn't go down, they went UP, and gather that I did upload 100 images between December 2009 and January 2010, but in March 2010, my royalties shot up to $1900 on 645 image downloads, thus my # of downloads went up between 40% and 60% and my average royalty per image went from $1.68 to $2.94, about a 75% increase.  At the very least, sales didn't go down as prices went up, and the combination of the same sales and a price increase means a lot more royalty revenue.

Look at Netflix, they raised prices about up to 60% and they only lost 4% of their customers, thus they made a lot more money as a result.  Of course though, their customer base growth has stalled.

If people are that desparate for low prices, either it shows more concern about the economy or that designers are getting paid less and less for their work.

BTW, once someone requested an image directly from me (that was not on my online collection) that was an Istockphoto customer, I sold them the image for $50 and they had no issue paying it.  

Perhaps Istockphoto exclusives are also moving more to Gettyimages?  I once had a Getty image sale (because Vetta collection images are also put on Getty Images) that netted me $250 in royalties earlier this year.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 23:38 by Skylinehunter »

« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2011, 23:47 »
0
Obviously I can't comment based on any great deal of experience, since I have only literally submitted to SS once. but from much of what I read on their forums, and from what i see in their newest acceptances, SS is still accepting a lot of work that would never meet iStock criteria for acceptance. despite what some say here, it seems feeding the beast is a constant necessity still at SS....whether you're feeding it processed food, gourmet or utter crap doesn't always seem to matter

I haven't submitted more than a few images to Shutterstock in several months and my earnings are growing. And I have submitted enough images to both sites over the years to know there is little difference in acceptance standards. This rah-rah iStock exclusive non-sense is so annoying. "Gee we have to work so much harder to get our great work past the inspectors. It's just garbage at all the other stock sites." Please.

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #34 on: December 17, 2011, 00:31 »
0
^ I don't think anyone said anything about garbage. the standards are higher at iStock. all it takes is a browse through recent uploads. I don't agree with everything iStock accepts. they let some 'garbage' (as you put it) through too. but overall, I think the standards are more consistent and higher. rah rah.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 01:35 by SNP »

lagereek

« Reply #35 on: December 17, 2011, 03:13 »
0
Look at all the past history of any stock-photography!  started in mid 70s,  Stones, Image-Bank, Telegraph, Pictor, etc, etc. Any agency will get their 10, years, of market leading and then slowly they have to move over. Fact of life really.
IS,  is no differance, theyve had their time. They could have done something better about it but chose, not to and thats really the end of story.
Getty, alone, ( without all their sister companies)  would today, not be the market leader.

« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2011, 03:15 »
0
^ I don't think anyone said anything about garbage. the standards are higher at iStock. all it takes is a browse through recent uploads. I don't agree with everything iStock accepts. they let some 'garbage' (as you put it) through too. but overall, I think the standards are more consistent and higher. rah rah.
That's not my experience.  I'm sure lots of exclusives that go independent will be shocked by the amount of images that istock accepted but get rejected by SS now.  Standards have risen a lot over the years, you can get lucky with a lenient reviewer on any site but they also have ones that have RSI from hitting the reject button.

« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2011, 03:30 »
0
Something I don't like about subscriptions is not having a fixed percentage of the amount buyers pay, like we do with pay per download.  I would like to know what commission % I get from subs sites.  Sub sites prices and commissions haven't kept pace with the increases we have seen in pay per download prices but that might not be a bad thing.  Every time prices go up, sales volume falls and it also gives sites an excuse to cut commissions.  This is microstock, so low prices with high sales volume and a reasonable commission that doesn't get cut every year works for me.

« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2011, 03:34 »
0
I'm always surprised when contributors send buyers to SS just becuase they sell more there.  I send buyers to Dt where I make 3x more per DL than I do at SS. Just because you sell more images there doesn't make it the best place for you to sell images.

RT


« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2011, 03:42 »
0
^ It surprises me too.

Although I don't have anything personal against SS, and they do what they do well without too many complications, if I could have one new years wish it'd be that SS ceased trading. Most people won't understand this but it would benefit us all.

« Reply #40 on: December 17, 2011, 03:55 »
0
^ It surprises me too.

Although I don't have anything personal against SS, and they do what they do well without too many complications, if I could have one new years wish it'd be that SS ceased trading. Most people won't understand this but it would benefit us all.
Yes, I agree with you to a certain extent as long as thinkstock go as well.  As far as I am concerned they are taking sales from places where we could earn a lot more money.  The only place that pays decent money for subs is  DT where they more often than not pay me more than a $ for a sub dl.
This month so far average earnings per sale 62c with SS and nearly 3$ with DT.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 03:59 by fotografer »

« Reply #41 on: December 17, 2011, 04:20 »
0
^ It surprises me too.

Although I don't have anything personal against SS, and they do what they do well without too many complications, if I could have one new years wish it'd be that SS ceased trading. Most people won't understand this but it would benefit us all.
How?  Would buyers spend more on other sites?  I think they would download a lot less images.  A lot might just use free images.  Every time prices have increased, I see a fall in the number of images sold.  Would I make more if the buyers went to istock?  They pay such a low commission % that I just don't see how that would benefit me?  Buyers would download much less and my earnings would be lower.  It really baffles me how that would benefit me.

SS aren't perfect, I would like to see some changes that benefit contributors but that's not going to happen.  Too many people are willing to sell for whatever they can get and buyers are used to cheap subscriptions.  I think SS closing would be a disaster, buyers would just move to sites like Thinkstock.


RT


« Reply #42 on: December 17, 2011, 05:25 »
0
How?  Would buyers spend more on other sites?  I think they would download a lot less images.  A lot might just use free images.  Every time prices have increased, I see a fall in the number of images sold.  Would I make more if the buyers went to istock?  They pay such a low commission % that I just don't see how that would benefit me?  Buyers would download much less and my earnings would be lower.  It really baffles me how that would benefit me.

SS aren't perfect, I would like to see some changes that benefit contributors but that's not going to happen.  Too many people are willing to sell for whatever they can get and buyers are used to cheap subscriptions.  I think SS closing would be a disaster, buyers would just move to sites like Thinkstock.

Would buyers spend more on other sites? - It's common knowledge that buyers on SS don't use their full subscription allowance, because if they did SS would go bust. So therefore you don't know how much buyers are willing to pay, there have been numerous messages from buyers across many forums who have all stated that within reason a few dollars here and there isn't a deal cruncher because in most cases the fee is passed onto the client.

I think they would download a lot less images. - You think but you don't know, but I ask why you think this? Do you think buyers on SS download stuff just for the fun of it, or are you going along with the urban myth that most of the images downloaded on SS are never used.

You keep mentioning percentages and yet you don't know what percentage SS actually pay you, as I've mentioned many times percentages mean absolutely nothing, it's the RDP that matters and on iS and DT it's higher than on SS.

"Too many people are willing to sell for whatever they can get and buyers are used to cheap subscriptions." - Yes and you're one of them, and through default so am I and everyone else who sells through SS. And why do you think buyers have become used to cheap subscriptions.

If you really want to understand it do your own sums, take the number of your sales across all the sites you submit to and then transfer that number to equate to only selling those files at SS based on your average RPD on SS, then do the opposite for your top 5 sites. SS would be the lowest return.

Heres my RPD and I've been very generous to SS because I've used last Oct when I had three times the amount of EL's than I've ever had (for some strange reason as discussed elsewhere), or in other words my SS RPD is normally a lot lot lower:

SS - $1.41
iS - $ 1.94 (and yes thats including Thinkstock sales)
DT - $1.85
FT- $1.54 (based on current exchange rates)

So you see if SS disappeared tomorrow and those buyers went to any of the other sites I'd make more money, and looking at what others have said on previous 'XXX month sales statistic' threads, so would they.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 05:50 by RT »

RT


« Reply #43 on: December 17, 2011, 05:28 »
0
Yes, I agree with you to a certain extent as long as thinkstock go as well.

Wouldn't we all, but I have no doubt you understand why Thinkstock came into existence in the first place!!

« Reply #44 on: December 17, 2011, 05:41 »
0
The only place that pays decent money for subs is  DT where they more often than not pay me more than a $ for a sub dl.


But the 'decent money for subs' isn't working for DT is it? That's why they are being 'revised in order to keep a competitive product'. See here;

http://www.microstockgroup.com/dreamstime-com/dt-subscriptions-update/

« Reply #45 on: December 17, 2011, 06:02 »
0
Although I don't have anything personal against SS, and they do what they do well without too many complications, if I could have one new years wish it'd be that SS ceased trading. Most people won't understand this but it would benefit us all.

Your head is in the clouds my friend. What you, the OP and a few others fail to understand is that it is the buyers who decide who is #1.

You have to deal with the real-world market for your work as it actually is, not how you'd prefer it to be. You can't 'uninvent' the subs model any more than you can uninvent digital photography or the internet __ which of course both massively reduced the selling price of imagery but, at the same time, has have given you access to customers all over the world.

How would SS ceasing trading benefit us all? Wouldn't SS's buyers simply move to an alternative subscription agency, like FT or TS, which pay contributors less? How would that 'benefit us all'?

RT


« Reply #46 on: December 17, 2011, 06:36 »
0
Your head is in the clouds my friend. What you, the OP and a few others fail to understand is that it is the buyers who decide who is #1.

You have to deal with the real-world market for your work as it actually is, not how you'd prefer it to be. You can't 'uninvent' the subs model any more than you can uninvent digital photography or the internet __ which of course both massively reduced the selling price of imagery but, at the same time, has have given you access to customers all over the world.

How would SS ceasing trading benefit us all? Wouldn't SS's buyers simply move to an alternative subscription agency, like FT or TS, which pay contributors less? How would that 'benefit us all'?

My head isn't in the clouds and I fully understand how business works thanks, I've never mentioned trying to uninvent the subs model (and have no idea why you think I'm against digital or the internet) but it seems that I'm in a minority here against folks who sing the praises of extra sales on SS whilst also mention how there revenue has dropped from previous years, maybe I should join the SS wooyay gang - "Wooyay I'm selling more and more on SS, I'm so happy even though I'm making less money than last year, I hope I make even less next year"  ::)

Lets all encourage the buyers to move to a site with the lowest RPD.

« Reply #47 on: December 17, 2011, 06:49 »
0
Lets all encourage the buyers to move to a site with the lowest RPD.

Why do you keep going on about RPD as if it is the be all and end all? If RPD is so very important to you then why aren't you selling all your stuff RM at Alamy or macro agencies? You won't earn much but you will have a fantastic RPD.

At the very least you sound like a perfect candidate for exclusivity at Istock. Just opt out of the PP and you should enjoy an RPD of $3.50+. Surely you would be willing to sacrifice your status and some of your income as an independent contributor to maintain your RPD? No?

I'll ask again __ can you just explain how SS ceasing trading will benefit us all? How? What do you think will happen in that event?

RT


« Reply #48 on: December 17, 2011, 07:21 »
0
Why do you keep going on about RPD as if it is the be all and end all? If RPD is so very important to you then why aren't you selling all your stuff RM at Alamy or macro agencies? You won't earn much but you will have a fantastic RPD.


I'll ignore the reference to macro agencies because I'm sure you understand the principles of microstock so I presume that was tongue in cheek(and you're getting RPD and RPI confused), however you don't seem to understand the basic fundamental problem of encouraging buyers within a 'microstock' targetted audience to go to the site which pays you the least.

At the very least you sound like a perfect candidate for exclusivity at Istock. Just opt out of the PP and you should enjoy an RPD of $3.50+. Surely you would be willing to sacrifice your status and some of your income as an independent contributor to maintain your RPD? No?
Like many others in the top 500 or so in this industry I did consider it once, but A. I wouldn't qualify because I had/have contractual agreements with some distributors for RF in both micro and macro & B. my premonitions of going exclusive and relying on the management of just one sales outlet and the possibilities that could incur would have and did come to reality!

I'll ask again __ can you just explain how SS ceasing trading will benefit us all? How? What do you think will happen in that event?

I thought I had, you amongst others have said your selling more on SS but making less overall than in previous years.

In simple terms:

You're an egg supplier, you have four shops selling eggs in various schemes in your town, you make less per individual egg sold at shop A than any of the others but you sell the highest quantity there, shop B suddenly alienates all it buyers and they come to you asking where to buy your eggs - why oh why please explain to me your reasons for sending them to shop A ????

Or for whatever reason shop A suddenly closes down, people still need and want to buy eggs so they go to the other shops in town - as things stand can you not see that you'd end up making more money.

Now in answer to your next question - Why do I sell on SS - It's because I'm in dependant and I understand that SS have a lot of buyers, I also understand that in this industry buyers don't shop around like some naively think they do, and if I wasn't on SS any buyers that go there would just buy someone else's image. But given the choice I would rather the buyer bought my stuff from a site that pays me more, which as things stand is any of the other top three microstock sites, and if SS were to cease trading the buyers would have no choice but to buy from a site that pays more.

That's me done on this subject, if you haven't got it yet you never will.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 07:37 by RT »

« Reply #49 on: December 17, 2011, 08:50 »
0
Now I see that Shutterstock may be stealing customers from Istockphoto, and I'm thinking why would this be a good thing?

Stealing!????  ??? ::)

Envato ElementsMicrostock Insider

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
76 Replies
10230 Views
Last post January 03, 2013, 02:12
by BaldricksTrousers
64 Replies
7826 Views
Last post June 04, 2014, 12:54
by cuppacoffee
141 Replies
18538 Views
Last post August 27, 2014, 09:00
by Phadrea
9 Replies
2940 Views
Last post August 20, 2015, 00:38
by Pauws99
1 Replies
1247 Views
Last post June 01, 2018, 21:33
by Zero Talent

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors

Envato Elements