MicrostockGroup Sponsors

Envato Elements

Author Topic: PicturEngine: Some thoughts  (Read 15318 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

grafix04

« on: December 04, 2012, 09:34 »
+1
I haven't been doing much in microstock lately but I popped in here a few days ago and saw the Black Friday offer by PictureEngine.   90 days for free I was tempted.  But then I thought about it.  90 days in microstock goes quicker than beer turns to piss.  We've all joined new agents who have promised us the world only to realize a year later that we'll never reach a payout.  It's naive to swallow PE's sales pitch and believe that they'll be any different.  Justin doesn't answer reasonable questions about marketing and how they'll attract buyers.  Without the buyers, it's useless.  $480 for something thats proven to bring in the dosh could be reasonable if you have a decent sized port.  But $480 on something new and unproven is throwing money down the pan.  I'd rather put that towards something else - even money at the casino is better spent than money in the trash even if I lose it at the casino.  They really should consider lowering the pricing to get loads more contributors on board or have a pricing structure that is variable to the size of people's portfolios.  Eg. Up to 500 images - $50.  Up to 1000 images - $100 and so on, capped to a certain amount.  That would make more sense because there are a huge number of contributors with smaller ports that simply can't justify $480.  Losing $50 to support something that could eventually work for us is reasonable.  Set at $50, theyll have more signing up and that means they'll get loads of exposure.   As people's portfolios grow, they pay more.

At the moment PE isn't worth the risk for most of us.  Still though, thinking about the possibilities of PE gets me excited.  Even if PE stick to their guns with their pricing, there'll be some people willing to throw their money away and hopefully there'll be enough  to get them up and running soon.   Unlike any agent, they're a search engine and therefore they don't need all of us contributors to sign up in order for the site to operate to its full capacity.  Unlike any new agent, they'll have our images to provide buyers without us being part of it directly.  That means the number of buyers using the site will grow over time and eventually it will become more worthwhile for the rest of us to sign up. 

When it goes live, it has the potential to kick some of the big agencies in the teeth and it gives us some control over our image sales, even if we don't sign up or buy into the advertising plan.  All we would have to do, for now (or when it goes live), is upload first to the agent who gives us the better return.  We wait some time until the image is indexed on PE and then upload to the rest of them if we like.  GL is the best one that I can think of since we can set our own pricing and our cut is 52%.  If PE takes off, we can even pull our portfolios from the worst agencies or just stop uploading to them.  Doing this might give the agents an incentive to treat us better.  Instead of increasing their margins by reducing our cut, we could possibly have them all sweetening the deals to win us over so we can upload to them first.


Microbius

« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 09:42 »
0
I think it is a great idea, but without any traffic at the moment he's looking for investors, not customers. Why pay the fee if you know there isn't a customer base using it yet? Until that traffic is there, there's no point paying out.

The only way it will work is to build the traffic by giving a completely free trial and prove the returns are there. You would then be crazy not to buy in. How he would cover the cost of that is anyone's guess.

lisafx

« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 09:51 »
0
I agree, I would not invest $480 in PE.  Not until/unless they are proven to bring in big sales.  Since I have already invested considerable time and money in my own site, the advertising only plan, for $120 seems like a good deal to me.  Unfortunately they still aren't supporting Ktools so that is not an option for me. 

If Ktools themselves, or some other enterprising person were to set up something similar to PE only supporting the Ktools platform, they might really make a go of it. 

« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 12:23 »
+2
PE potentially could be great, or it might just be a money pit.  They like to talk about how you get to keep 100% of the proceeds but that is not really true.  Up to $480 their commission is 100% and your net is zero.  You'd have to sell $960 worth to make the effective commission 50%.  To relate it to iS, you would have to sell $565 on PE for you to net 15% or $600 for 20%.  Anything above that and you're better off than at iS as an independent, but you would still make more off of equivalent sales at SS.  That may be possible for you big players but not likely for us small fry.  At how many small, new sites do you make more than $565 a year?

I wish PE well but will sit on the sidelines and watch what happens.  At this point I'd rather a one-time fee to set up my own site than continuing charges for an unproven entity.

« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 12:37 »
0
I get the idea, and I think it has power.  If a meta-search site like this started getting known and used by buyers, we'd have leverage to start redirecting  buyers to agencies we prefer.  In time this could become a big lever indeed. 

$480, for most of us, is just nuts, so PE isn't going to be that site.   But even if one did get going at a reasonable price, consider that we'd be tying ourselves to not just a few crappy agenices, but exactly 1 meta-search company, which then owns us and our socks (a phrase I once heard used by a bankruptcy lawyer).  They won't remain nice guys forever and when they start increasing their cut, where do we go next? 




RacePhoto

« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 13:07 »
0
I agree, I would not invest $480 in PE.  Not until/unless they are proven to bring in big sales.  Since I have already invested considerable time and money in my own site, the advertising only plan, for $120 seems like a good deal to me.  Unfortunately they still aren't supporting Ktools so that is not an option for me. 

If Ktools themselves, or some other enterprising person were to set up something similar to PE only supporting the Ktools platform, they might really make a go of it.

Good plan or if there was some way to have a storage site of our own, without Photostore or any of the other places and he could still draw our data. Self hosting without any other access, should be something for anyone.

What I'm getting at is, say I don't want my own store like many people do. I could just have my images and data on my servers and PE could draw from that. Fairly simple?

« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 13:30 »
0
What I'm getting at is, say I don't want my own store like many people do. I could just have my images and data on my servers and PE could draw from that. Fairly simple?
Mmmm maybe.  An agency will want to invest zero time in configuring their end, so the contributors' server access has to be identical for everyone.  Maybe all your images, with unique file names, in a single folder, accessible via FTP. 

Today's agencies won't like this, though, because they have legal responsibilities; for example, a buyer pays for an image but loses his copy and needs to download it again; meanwhile the photographer has quit the agency and changed his FTP logons.  Or the buyer comes back for a larger size iimage for the big print run.  Or even worse, your server is down and a buyer can't get the image he just paid for.  I don't think the big agencies will accept these possibilities.  They'll want copies under their control.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 13:38 by stockastic »

Poncke

« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2012, 13:35 »
0
PE potentially could be great, or it might just be a money pit.  They like to talk about how you get to keep 100% of the proceeds but that is not really true.  Up to $480 their commission is 100% and your net is zero.  You'd have to sell $960 worth to make the effective commission 50%.  To relate it to iS, you would have to sell $565 on PE for you to net 15% or $600 for 20%.  Anything above that and you're better off than at iS as an independent, but you would still make more off of equivalent sales at SS.  That may be possible for you big players but not likely for us small fry.  At how many small, new sites do you make more than $565 a year?

I wish PE well but will sit on the sidelines and watch what happens.  At this point I'd rather a one-time fee to set up my own site than continuing charges for an unproven entity.

Thats very similar to what I said in the other thread, but wasnt really agreed with. But I agree with what you say there.

Poncke

« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 13:36 »
0
@ Grafix, I agree with your thoughts. Good piece.

« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 13:38 »
0
I did sign up for the free 90 days.  Nothing to lose there.  I was going to start uploading but while signing up to the paid for storage, I had second thoughts.  Is there any point in paying for that before the site is live?

I think I'll wait until the site is fully functional.  Wasn't it supposed to be close to going live over 6 months ago?  I'm really struggling to get enthusiastic.  PictureEngine should be getting us all excited but that's not going to happen when we're having to risk our hard earned money.

I signed up to the $480 a year option and thought it might be worth a punt, if there was reasonable sales towards the end of the 90 day trial but I would probably be better off waiting and going the ktools route, if it's ever an option.

« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 13:43 »
0
I don't see how something like this could get going without the company being prepared to lose money on it for  a while.  Otherwise, we're all just waiting for someone else to report success.  Trying to get in the black right away with big up-front fees sounds pretty dodgy to me.   

Anyway, they're obviously not interested in small fish so why do I even care....?


« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 14:12 »
0
With nearly 4K files on line I must say I find PE a bit late in  the day to emerge. A couple of years back it would probably been Ok but now micro seems to be like flogging a dead horse. With the exeptions of SS, DT and IS, it just doesnt produce anymore. As many have said previously,  micro is probably back in the hands of the amateurs, where it all started.

Where is PEs advertising, promotion, PR, etc?  cant see anything in that area. How will they get the customers, the buyers? the idea is great but at the moment not much better then a low tier agency. Im out.

« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 14:35 »
0
With nearly 4K files on line I must say I find PE a bit late in  the day to emerge. A couple of years back it would probably been Ok but now micro seems to be like flogging a dead horse. With the exeptions of SS, DT and IS, it just doesnt produce anymore. As many have said previously,  micro is probably back in the hands of the amateurs, where it all started.

The missed point here I think is that PE isn't designed to be a "Microstock" site.  While micro pricing is accommodated so is traditional RM and RF pricing. I think in the short term, at least, it will appeal more to professional picture buyers rather than the masses.

« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2012, 14:59 »
0
JB talked about 40k potential buyers on an announcement a few weeks ago if I remember well

cascoly

  • Photography, travel & online games at cascoly.com

« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2012, 18:22 »
0
With nearly 4K files on line I must say I find PE a bit late in  the day to emerge. A couple of years back it would probably been Ok but now micro seems to be like flogging a dead horse. With the exeptions of SS, DT and IS, it just doesnt produce anymore. As many have said previously,  micro is probably back in the hands of the amateurs, where it all started.


The missed point here I think is that PE isn't designed to be a "Microstock" site.  While micro pricing is accommodated so is traditional RM and RF pricing. I think in the short term, at least, it will appeal more to professional picture buyers rather than the masses.


why?  why would pros even look at a site that is  an order of magnitude smaller than their current source?  and how is anyone going to find them in the first place?  when i've searched for stock images, i find my images that are represented by various agencies but almost never the ones on my smugmug or redbubble site:
http://cascoly.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-use-Google-increase-HubPages-traffic-and-microstock-sales
 so most user who find pictures thru google are going to continue to be directed to the major agencies.

PE hasn't made any argument for how they'll overcome this basic problem - that's why the advertising  only option seemed like a reasonable way  to test them out - except it was only during the not-yet-even-beta phase and now they want $ while they try to launch

« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2012, 19:08 »
0
With nearly 4K files on line I must say I find PE a bit late in  the day to emerge. A couple of years back it would probably been Ok but now micro seems to be like flogging a dead horse. With the exeptions of SS, DT and IS, it just doesnt produce anymore. As many have said previously,  micro is probably back in the hands of the amateurs, where it all started.


The missed point here I think is that PE isn't designed to be a "Microstock" site.  While micro pricing is accommodated so is traditional RM and RF pricing. I think in the short term, at least, it will appeal more to professional picture buyers rather than the masses.




why?  why would pros even look at a site that is  an order of magnitude smaller than their current source?  and how is anyone going to find them in the first place?  when i've searched for stock images, i find my images that are represented by various agencies but almost never the ones on my smugmug or redbubble site:
http://cascoly.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-use-Google-increase-HubPages-traffic-and-microstock-sales
 so most user who find pictures thru google are going to continue to be directed to the major agencies.

PE hasn't made any argument for how they'll overcome this basic problem - that's why the advertising  only option seemed like a reasonable way  to test them out - except it was only during the not-yet-even-beta phase and now they want $ while they try to launch


Not sure I understand this. Have you been asked for money? I haven't.

« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2012, 19:24 »
0
Not sure I understand this. Have you been asked for money? I haven't.

right, pretty much we have 3 months to test the waters, its just upload and done!


cascoly

  • Photography, travel & online games at cascoly.com

« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2012, 21:52 »
0

earlier on they claimed the system was 'fully operational' - but turns out that did not include the advertising only option.  so there's no way to test out the so-called-beta -- when they launch - they've said when it goes live, ad-only will have to start their paypal payments

so there was no beta for the ad-only function - we couldnt even see if they read out file info!  no way to know how searches,etc would show up, how many views were generated, 

grafix04

« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2012, 23:16 »
0
With the exception of a few, I think most of you either missed or dismissed the main point I was trying to make - leveraging, which stocktastic picked up.

PicturEngine need to recover some of their costs before they can go live but at the asking price, realistically, not many will sign up.  However some will and they have.  At some stage, they will go live.  My main point, however, was that even if a lot of us dont sign up to any of their plans, when or if PE does go live, we can use the site to our advantage without parting with a cent.

Until either such time as the site is proven to work for us or until they reduce their asking price, we can control which microstock site we upload to first, because the first site our image is placed on, will be the one that is indexed at PE, giving us all a chance to direct the buyer to the microstock site who gives us the most favorable return.  For me that site appears to be GL.  We can also spread the word about PE.  A tweet, a FB and G+ post from a good number of us is really all it takes. 

Eg:  "PicturEngine:  The new Google for stock images #microstock #rmstockphotos #rfstockimages #graphicdesign"

Buyers will catch on, so will contributors and some of them will sign up.  Once buyers get word of a site where they can access images from all agents without duplicates, I bet they'll flock there.  At least to check out the new toy.  When they search, they'll find our images from the Microstock site that we prefer, without duplicates from the other sites, therefore giving us the opportunity to get the maximum return possible from the sale of that image.

Les

« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2012, 02:05 »
0
Quote
Until either such time as the site is proven to work for us or until they reduce their asking price, we can control which microstock site we upload to first, because the first site our image is placed on, will be the one that is indexed at PE, giving us all a chance to direct the buyer to the microstock site who gives us the most favorable return.
What do you with the existing images?
It would be better if Picturengine could override "the first placement" and instead used the "preferred site" (our own platform) for the image indexing and display.

« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2012, 04:01 »
0
...Once buyers get word of a site where they can access images from all agents without duplicates, I bet they'll flock there.  At least to check out the new toy....
Perhaps they will but if they're satisfied with the current sites they're using, perhaps they wont be interested?  And the PE search is going to have to be amazing, as they'll have millions of low quality images with spam keywords in their huge collection.  Until I see it in action, I'm not sure PE will work. 

I also think that if PE did work and we all started uploading to the best paying microstock site, the other sites could easily switch their strategy.  They wouldn't have to pay for advertising, PE would be sending them buyers.  The most important thing for sites would be to get our images first.  So perhaps we would see the reversal of commission cuts?  Some sites used to pay 70% commission, if they had buyers using the sites, I think that could be sustainable.

Poncke

« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2012, 05:53 »
0
What if because of PE is redirecting to the site with the highest price (first placement on the site with best pricing) buyers will go to a cheaper agency to get the image? Same as with Alamy. Buyers zoom an image on Alamy and then get it from a  micro (RF only)

If that makes sense.

I mean, you could out price yourself, because you are competing with your own images.

« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2012, 06:59 »
0
With the exception of a few, I think most of you either missed or dismissed the main point I was trying to make - leveraging, which stocktastic picked up.

PicturEngine need to recover some of their costs before they can go live but at the asking price, realistically, not many will sign up.  However some will and they have.  At some stage, they will go live.  My main point, however, was that even if a lot of us dont sign up to any of their plans, when or if PE does go live, we can use the site to our advantage without parting with a cent.

Until either such time as the site is proven to work for us or until they reduce their asking price, we can control which microstock site we upload to first, because the first site our image is placed on, will be the one that is indexed at PE, giving us all a chance to direct the buyer to the microstock site who gives us the most favorable return.  For me that site appears to be GL.  We can also spread the word about PE.  A tweet, a FB and G+ post from a good number of us is really all it takes. 

Eg:  "PicturEngine:  The new Google for stock images #microstock #rmstockphotos #rfstockimages #graphicdesign"

Buyers will catch on, so will contributors and some of them will sign up.  Once buyers get word of a site where they can access images from all agents without duplicates, I bet they'll flock there.  At least to check out the new toy.  When they search, they'll find our images from the Microstock site that we prefer, without duplicates from the other sites, therefore giving us the opportunity to get the maximum return possible from the sale of that image.

Wait a minute, ppl keep saying "buyers will catch on"  yeah? where, how, from where? look, buyers are bloody conservative beings and its not at all easy to get buyers leaving one agency for another.

This affair takes tons and tons of advertising and promotion same as any new product.

grafix04

« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2012, 08:24 »
0
It's like trying to have a conversation with the cast of the Muppets, without the puppeteers in the room.

« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2012, 08:42 »
0
It's like trying to have a conversation with the cast of the Muppets, without the puppeteers in the room.

I like Jim Henson and his muppets. :D

Microstock InsiderEnvato Elements

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
270 Replies
36475 Views
Last post December 07, 2012, 09:24
by leaf
55 Replies
6811 Views
Last post November 27, 2012, 13:53
by Poncke
4 Replies
1542 Views
Last post December 06, 2012, 12:51
by Poncke
5 Replies
2450 Views
Last post December 14, 2013, 22:55
by simi
16 Replies
4013 Views
Last post September 27, 2016, 17:26
by PicturEngine-JustinB

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors

Envato Elements