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Author Topic: iStock fails to recover ground  (Read 39401 times)

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« Reply #100 on: November 21, 2011, 09:37 »
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The correct url for thinkstock is thinkstockphotos.com.

Thinkstock.com is just a pointer. The traffic is higher for thinkstockphotos.com but it also has taken a big drop like Istock.

http://siteanalytics.compete.com/thinkstockphotos.com/


Thinkstock is not exactly competing with SS is it? Just 45K unique visitors ... compared to 2M.


« Reply #101 on: November 21, 2011, 10:22 »
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...This is microstock - IS has forgotten that very basic concept and are now suffering the consequences.


...It's possible that they haven't forgotten what microstock is about, and are just choosing to try a different pricing model and leaving microstock behind. I don't happen to agree with that position, if that is in fact what they are doing, but it does put things in a different perspective. In theory, things might not be so bad at istock HQ and they may just be planning to try and ride out the current slow-down in sales volume while slow and steady price increase up their profits.


Yes I agree with you on this - but I also don't think there is much of a market where they are going - there are too many great images available at the micro level - and I am not sure they are at the mid-level of stock either - they are quite close to where the original Getty prices used to be. Or at least the Getty I used to buy at (in Asia I think they were somewhat cheaper).


If you look at this old (June 2011) blog post by John Lund, he's very happy to see the Agency Collection (in which he already participated) being distributed on iStock at Getty prices. From that blog "I am missing a huge segment of the stock photography marketuntil now." and "Think about itnow I can have images that are available through both Getty and iStockphotoand all without having to license the images at microstock prices! Is that cool or what?"

If iStock could have managed this clever trick without driving away buyers for their regular collection, it could possibly have been a win-win. I think that the massive best match shifts in favor of Vetta/Agency and the long time before they grudgingly implemented a price slider (that even KKT admitted in that interview in Milan was something that users in their testing didn't even notice was there; I know some think it's OK, but I still think it's a poor implementation) drove regular buyers away.

I'm guessing they thought they could do both chunks of the market and keep Getty/H&F happy while continuing business as usual in the market segment that made them successful. They messed that up big time and the only remaining question is whether they have to retreat to being Getty lite and give up the microstock area to Thinkstock or whether they can make enough corrections to fix what they broke.

When you're big and the market leader you have much more leeway than other players to mess up and fix things. I have to say that the continuing eff up in software development isn't reassuring - I'm assuming they're on a very tight leash for spending and can't get the expertise they so clearly need.

« Reply #102 on: November 21, 2011, 10:27 »
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Nice analysis JoAnn.
Helix's comment about planning to ride out the slowdown made me think of all the companies that thought they could ignore problems until they went away, only to go to the wall while they waited.

« Reply #103 on: November 21, 2011, 11:42 »
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"Wait and see" is a terrible business strategy. Usually happens when the management is out of touch with the market.

Decisionmakers have to have a "feeling" for trends. If they dont, bring in new decision makers with better instincts. Because it is very unlikely that those who didnt anticipate the market reaction correctly the first time, will make any better decisions the second time. Either you have it or you dont. No matter how many statistics and data points you have, it all boils down to the decision makers.

It is true that large companies can survive bad decisions better than smaller ones. A small company will often die with the first fatal mistake.

But unless you have a patent or complete market dominance, large companies can suffer greatly, especially if they work in a very competitive environment. If your competition is sleeping or more stupid than yourself you can make more mistakes. If the competition is very aggressive and very clever...well...things can go fast, especially if you have additional pressure from outside market events (depression).

And if you lose customers, everyone doing a business degree probably learns in first year how extremely expensive it is to win customers back.  If the competition is strong you sometimes have to simply concede the market share to them and start looking for customers elsewhere (territory, target group)

So I sincerly hope that the customers they have now will be treated as the valuable treasures they are.

michealo

« Reply #104 on: November 21, 2011, 11:52 »
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The correct url for thinkstock is thinkstockphotos.com.

Thinkstock.com is just a pointer. The traffic is higher for thinkstockphotos.com but it also has taken a big drop like Istock.

http://siteanalytics.compete.com/thinkstockphotos.com/

My pure speculation on this thread topic is that Istock is building up the V/A collections to be the only midstock agency and at some point all of the main collection will be mirrored at Thinkstock to try and compete with Shutterstock for the micro market. The cream is being separated from the milk.


Just wondering what if any effect CDN (content delivery networks) have on site analysis

Like akamai hosting?

Does it show as akamai traffic
site traffic or something else?

« Reply #105 on: November 21, 2011, 12:21 »
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The correct url for thinkstock is thinkstockphotos.com.

Thinkstock.com is just a pointer. The traffic is higher for thinkstockphotos.com but it also has taken a big drop like Istock.

http://siteanalytics.compete.com/thinkstockphotos.com/


Thinkstock is not exactly competing with SS is it? Just 45K unique visitors ... compared to 2M.


I don't see Thinkstock ever being a legitimate threat to Shutterstock. Istock as a V/A midstock agency could fill a niche that isn't there. We'll see whether or not that is a good strategy if that is the plan.

« Reply #106 on: November 21, 2011, 12:40 »
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The correct url for thinkstock is thinkstockphotos.com.

Thinkstock.com is just a pointer. The traffic is higher for thinkstockphotos.com but it also has taken a big drop like Istock.

http://siteanalytics.compete.com/thinkstockphotos.com/

My pure speculation on this thread topic is that Istock is building up the V/A collections to be the only midstock agency and at some point all of the main collection will be mirrored at Thinkstock to try and compete with Shutterstock for the micro market. The cream is being separated from the milk.


Just wondering what if any effect CDN (content delivery networks) have on site analysis

Like akamai hosting?

Does it show as akamai traffic
site traffic or something else?


I don't know anything about the technical aspects of site analysis. I just noticed a few months ago that thinkstock's url had changed and I found it odd that it wasn't announced. I guess the conspiracy theorists can speculate on why it was done. ;)

« Reply #107 on: November 21, 2011, 12:48 »
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IS trying to take on SS by promoting Thinkstock makes me think of how Microsoft is now promoting Windows Phone 7 against iPhone and Android.  WP7 is actually a good product but it's taken maybe 2% of the smartphone market.  It's just too little, too late, and the marketing isn't focused well enough, and there's no compelling reason to switch.

IS will compete on price, which obviously at 25 cents commission is pretty close to the floor right now.   So why am I even leaving my (tiny) portfolio on IS?  I quit submitting long ago.  Now I'm just waiting for 10 cent Thinkstock sales to show up and prove to me that I'm only hurting myself by keeping anything there.

« Reply #108 on: November 21, 2011, 12:58 »
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Can we at least stick with facts rather than inventing stuff to make things look worse than they are? The TS minimum commission rate is 28c, not 10c or 25c.

« Reply #109 on: November 21, 2011, 13:36 »
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Can we at least stick with facts rather than inventing stuff to make things look worse than they are? The TS minimum commission rate is 28c, not 10c or 25c.

Like I said, I'm waiting for 10 cents, once they start seriously competing on price.  Where else would you think this is leading?   Am I to believe that IS wants to compete directly with SS by paying contributors more?  
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 13:39 by stockastic »

« Reply #110 on: November 21, 2011, 14:09 »
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The competition, such as it is, between Thinkstock and SS will be over the prices buyers pay, not commissions to contributors.

To beat SS for a buyer's business they're already cheaper for an annual subscription, they offer 10% off images at Getty and there is some content not on the micros in the mix. So far that hasn't stolen SS's thunder as far as I can tell (although I obviously don't have any access to data to back that up). I think the flow of new content into SS is considerably greater than it is at Thinkstock which matters more to subscription buyers than pay as you go buyers.

If IS really wants to get exclusive content onto Thinkstock en masse, especially from the top sellers, they'll either have to offer more for royalties or remove the opt out (which they've already done for Getty contracts). Having that new content might get them some leverage to have buyers from SS consider TS, but they'd be giving up all that extra independent content that isn't on IS because of the teeny tiny upload limits and buyers might not find that compelling.

If they want to get the existing independent content from IS onto TS they need to fix whatever's busted in the internals that transfer files from A to B. It's now nearly 2 months since we were forced into the PP and none of the files have made it over. So SS gets to have the busy season unmarred by additional competition from TS in any way.

By the time IS/Getty/H&F get their act together it may be like Bing vs. Google: even if Bing works OK, if a happy Google user (e.g. me) has no reason to switch, you stay where you are.

Tryingmybest

  • Stand up for what is right
« Reply #111 on: November 21, 2011, 14:37 »
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I hate to rejoice in anyone's demise. But they deserve it.  ::) On the other hand, if they fess up for being tyrannical, then they deserve a second chance.

After they disappear, let's hope their reviewers don't get jobs at SS, 123RF, etc. Maybe we can be the reviewers and reject all their work as "not suitable for stock."

Site analytic's most recent update - apologies if this is shown somewhere else...

IS in trouble.

http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com/
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 14:40 by TheBlackRhino »

« Reply #112 on: November 21, 2011, 14:58 »
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If IS really wants to get exclusive content onto Thinkstock en masse, especially from the top sellers, they'll either have to offer more for royalties or remove the opt out (which they've already done for Getty contracts).

I think they will remove the opt out. The only people at that point who would be financially motivated to stay exclusive are the ones with large V/A portfolios. I bet IS/Getty is just waiting for the V/A collection to reach a certain size before this is done.

The problem with Thinkstock is who other than Getty wants it to be a success? If my main collection stuff goes there and I'm not making a large sums from my Vetta files then I see no reason to stay exclusive. If other contributors feel that way then that is good news for every agency other than Istock.

ETA: I might just do something else rather that upload 1300+ files to 10 different agencies if that happens. I can't imagine the folks with 10,000+ files looking at that option.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 15:07 by retrorocket »

lagereek

« Reply #113 on: November 21, 2011, 15:19 »
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Since this migration to TS, is unavoidable, Im going to cut a deal for myself. No less then, 4.50, bucks per sale. I recon thats a pretty good deal Im  offering, considering Im allowing them to take a 30% agency commission.

Mailed them this morning about it.

« Reply #114 on: November 21, 2011, 18:11 »
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I hate to rejoice in anyone's demise. But they deserve it.  ::) On the other hand, if they fess up for being tyrannical, then they deserve a second chance.

After they disappear, let's hope their reviewers don't get jobs at SS, 123RF, etc. Maybe we can be the reviewers and reject all their work as "not suitable for stock."

Site analytic's most recent update - apologies if this is shown somewhere else...

IS in trouble.

http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com/



I would take Istock's inspectors any day over Shutterstock's, or at least the Istock rules for image acceptance.  If you were able to purge from Shutterstock what Istock would normally reject they could clean up their collection, have more salable product, and actually have a system where photographers are encouraged to upload.

« Reply #115 on: November 21, 2011, 23:09 »
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The money that I make at SS is pretty strong encouragement...

lagereek

« Reply #116 on: November 22, 2011, 01:20 »
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I hate to rejoice in anyone's demise. But they deserve it.  ::) On the other hand, if they fess up for being tyrannical, then they deserve a second chance.

After they disappear, let's hope their reviewers don't get jobs at SS, 123RF, etc. Maybe we can be the reviewers and reject all their work as "not suitable for stock."

Site analytic's most recent update - apologies if this is shown somewhere else...

IS in trouble.

http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com/



I would take Istock's inspectors any day over Shutterstock's, or at least the Istock rules for image acceptance.  If you were able to purge from Shutterstock what Istock would normally reject they could clean up their collection, have more salable product, and actually have a system where photographers are encouraged to upload.


Well Mantis!  for the IS reviewer, images are accepted on the basis that its technically sound, thats all,  hence we have gazillions of files floating around, irrelevant material clogging up every search.
You think thats a good idea?  :)

RacePhoto

« Reply #117 on: November 22, 2011, 01:31 »
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1) Nice analysis JoAnn.

2) Helix's comment about planning to ride out the slowdown made me think of all the companies that thought they could ignore problems until they went away, only to go to the wall while they waited.

3) Can we at least stick with facts rather than inventing stuff to make things look worse than they are? The TS minimum commission rate is 28c, not 10c or 25c.

#1 +1 for JS

#2 Yes a Blockbuster Epiphany, while they ignored the upstart NetFlix. I love that one. ThinkStock is not a bumbling idiot operation. Well, not totally? ;) Aw heck, I can go to Borders and get a book, or maybe shop at Circuit City for electronics?

#3 While I agree in principle that people should debate with facts not emotions or invention of negative remarks misrepresenting the opposition. ThinkStock pays 25c for sales through StockXpert, so it's not 28 cents in all cases. Sorry.

Yeah, who's afraid of the big bad wolf, (ThinkStock) why, I have a fine house made of straw. (or is that straw man arguments?)

I don't think SS has any problem staying ahead of ThinkStock in the market. I do think that everyone else, below those two, needs to be watching out for the freight train about to overtake and run them down.

Not sure about the analytics, because of multiple domain locations. thinkstockphoto.uk does it count? And what about SS with all their servers around the globe. I just don't know...
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 01:33 by RacePhoto »

nruboc

« Reply #118 on: November 22, 2011, 01:33 »
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I hate to rejoice in anyone's demise. But they deserve it.  ::) On the other hand, if they fess up for being tyrannical, then they deserve a second chance.

After they disappear, let's hope their reviewers don't get jobs at SS, 123RF, etc. Maybe we can be the reviewers and reject all their work as "not suitable for stock."

Site analytic's most recent update - apologies if this is shown somewhere else...

IS in trouble.

http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com/



I would take Istock's inspectors any day over Shutterstock's, or at least the Istock rules for image acceptance.  If you were able to purge from Shutterstock what Istock would normally reject they could clean up their collection, have more salable product, and actually have a system where photographers are encouraged to upload.



LOL, another post from a brilliant Anonymous poster, with all signs showing ShutterStock eating IStock for lunch, Mantis steps forward and posts this masterpiece...LOL.. saleable product...LOL

« Reply #119 on: November 22, 2011, 02:35 »
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#3 While I agree in principle that people should debate with facts not emotions or invention of negative remarks misrepresenting the opposition. ThinkStock pays 25c for sales through StockXpert, so it's not 28 cents in all cases. Sorry.

Thanks for the correction. I don't have any StockXpert legacy files so I didn't know that.

« Reply #120 on: November 22, 2011, 03:19 »
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I am absolutely shocked to see Istock is on a par with Depositphotos.  Did DP even exist a year ago?

Lisa, the only thing to consider in these charts is the trend. The overall traffic number is highly flawed, so you are correct that there is no way DP is on par with IS as of now. The trend is the important data to consider.

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #121 on: November 22, 2011, 05:50 »
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If IS are doing so bad, how come they are ranking close to SS on this ratings list tier at 5.6 ? I don't get it.

« Reply #122 on: November 22, 2011, 05:54 »
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Because istock is a pay as you go site with high prices, SS is a subscription site with much lower prices. So even with less traffic, istock still makes more money.

ShadySue

« Reply #123 on: November 22, 2011, 06:02 »
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If IS are doing so bad, how come they are ranking close to SS on this ratings list tier at 5.6 ? I don't get it.
1. We don't (or at least I don't) get a chance to vote in the rankings every month. I get a chance about every 3 months.
2. The $$ bandings are very wide. In the band I'm usually in, my income can fluctuate very widely yet I'm still in the same band, so apparently flatlining. I guess that may or may be balanced out by someone else whose income fluctuates within a narrow range but over the cusp of two bands.

michealo

« Reply #124 on: November 22, 2011, 06:03 »
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If IS are doing so bad, how come they are ranking close to SS on this ratings list tier at 5.6 ? I don't get it.

The intervals in the survey aren't even so it's not a linear comparison

over 6 could in fact be twice between 5 and 6

and IS includes exclusive and none exclusive, one could argue that for the sake of comparison ISX and ISNX should be separate

I PMed Leaf with that suggestion too


 

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