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Author Topic: Stock/Getty offering higher commissions on new sub packs  (Read 10239 times)

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« on: October 29, 2015, 20:00 »
+10
Today we are announcing new increased per-download royalty payments for our recently released small 10 and 25 download limit monthly subscriptions.

As you are all very aware, iStock by Getty Images has undergone a number of significant changes over the last two years: from launching subscriptions, to radically simplifying our credits offering, along with the various improvements to our site experience along the way. This year, weve seen benefits of these changes through new customer growth and more customers downloading more content from us. That said, we remain in an increasingly competitive space with new entrants and a continuous pressure to provide the best kinds of products to the customer.

At the end of August, we began testing a new type of small monthly subscription that we believe can be a powerful new tool to grow our business, attract new customers, and better meet the needs of existing ones. These subscriptions offer customers a small number of downloads per month (10 or 25) at a very attractive price point (starting at $40 for 10 Essentials downloads per month; $99 for Signature). These subscriptions are performing well for us, increasing our new customer conversion and the amount that customers are spending with us. As such, after two months of testing, we now feel confident that these products will be a permanent part of our ongoing product offering and as such, we are announcing a new royalty schedule designed to support their introduction.

These downloads have thus far been generating royalties based on your existing subscription royalty schedule. As such, there has been appropriate discussion and concern about the royalties that are being paid on these new subscriptions. When we began testing them we did so knowing that we would need to make royalty adjustments but due to the limitations of our royalty system, we werent able to execute the changes until now.
The new per-download rates for the 10 and 25 download per month subscriptions are:
Non-Exclusive downloads from $0.28 to $1.00
Exclusive Essentials downloads from $0.34 to $1.25
Exclusive Signature downloads from $0.75 to $2.50
Exclusive Signature+ downloads from $2.50 to $3.00

We will also be retroactively applying the new rates, for any image downloaded by the new products since they launched (August 25, 2015), to your accounts by the end of November.

Given the limitations of our current system, these royalties for small subscriptions will show up in your account in 2 separate areas via two different reports: The existing subscription rate that is already reported in your stats area PLUS an admin adjustment (reported in your CSV) equal to the difference between that rate and the new rates. The admin adjustment will be reported around the same time as your current royalties, but provided as a cumulative amount.

That means that, for now, royalties will appear as any other subscription download at the old rates, except with a lump sum adjustment between the new and old rates for any images downloaded by these 10/25 subscriptions. Longer term, were working on developing an integrated solution to break out these downloads with more transparency.

Please keep in mind that because weve only recently started testing the products they only represent a very small portion of total subscription downloads, so not many contributors will see any impact to their royalties yet. Longer-term, however, we do anticipate that these products will play a larger role at iStock and your royalty payments overall.

The rate schedule will be updated in the next couple of weeks to reflect the amounts set out above for subscriptions with 25 or fewer downloads per month, but please consider this your notice regarding these rate increases.

If there are any questions please let us know. Thanks for continuing to be our partners.


ShadySue

« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2015, 20:07 »
+4
Wow - a pleasant surprise! A long time since I've had one in stock.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2015, 20:21 »
+18
It looks like they may have finally reached the point where reducing contributor royalties has had a negative impact on them and are now reversing it. No company would willfully hand that much of their profits out of the kindness of their hearts. I hope this is the start of the turnaround toward more positive things to come. Been waiting a long time.

« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2015, 20:22 »
+3
That's a good step forward from iStock/Getty. Hope other agencies are to follow.

« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2015, 20:35 »
+17
My only issue is that these are tantamount to credit packs, not subs. Subs would be something like 200 a month, etc.  They just copied deposit photos and are giving us a little more. The real issue is that the industry is redefining the original meaning of subscriptions to mean anything they want.

« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2015, 20:36 »
+9
This is really good news.

I sincerly hope this means there will be a new direction and NOT a continuation of the terrible policies of Jonathan Klein.

A very tiny little flame of hope in an endless sea of darkness and years of disappointments.

« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2015, 22:12 »
0
Better than regular subscription royalties, but just a little better.  Royalties on at least the 10 images a month package should be paid with regular credit sales royalties %. 

« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2015, 22:13 »
+23
I think it's more the removal of really, really bad news (minuscule royalty rates on the 10 and 25 credit packs they call subscriptions). These packs are really heavily discounted credit packs and as such, if buyers move to these as their existing credit packs run out (and why wouldn't they?) contributors take a pay cut.

Instead of buying 6 credits for $60, you buy a one month 25 credit (Essentials) pack for $65. Four times the images for essentially the same money (or save $20 and go for 10 images for $40). If you need Signature stuff , you can get 10 images for $99 instead of 8 for $220

If you were getting 30% (as an exclusive) on credit sales, you'd make $66 (on 8 Signature images) versus $25.00 on 10 of these "subscriptions". Even if Getty forced everyone to 20%, it'd still be $44 royalties for credits. It's a big cut, not an increase.

However, I think the bigger problem is getting the download volume up - I know they say it's increasing, but I keep hearing people describe declines of one sort or another, so I think we'd be hearing more happy noises if sales volume were picking up...

« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2015, 22:44 »
+6
Imagine a ship like the Titanic, big huge hole ripped down the hull, sinking like a rock: the new captain just ordered the cabin boy to go down and stuff some towels in it.

« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2015, 23:27 »
+8
Sorry, after all the cr@ppy news the agencies have been throwing at us for a couple years, I'm not gonna complain or throw a wet blanket.   This is good news and maybe even the start of Istock realizing they need to treat contributors better.  Hopefully it will catch on with the other sites. 

I have hardly uploaded all year anywhere, and nothing to Istock.  I got good HCV pictures waiting to be processed and more good ideas for shoots.  If I  start to see my income improve it will be worth it to get back to work.

StockPhotosArt.com

« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2015, 02:04 »
+19
The cut they still take on any sale, from 80 to 85% (!!!), is too offensive to be accepted. Especially when many agencies live with a 50% commission and they say 80% is unsustainable. Yes, unsustainable for greedy b******s.

Since 17% commission is unsustainable for me too, I hardly can cooperate with them anymore.  So they lost all new material from the past 1 1/2 year, including my new footage.

« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2015, 02:08 »
+14
I think there is comming a competition about the contributors. First Adobe and now Istock with a increase.
If we contributors are better organized or united in a club for example we can take a much bigger piece of the pie.

« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2015, 02:11 »
+5
...
Longer term, were working on developing an integrated solution to break out these downloads with more transparency.
...
Would be nice if the "Longer term" efforts also include realtime reporting of iStock sub sales (and not the currently followed next-month-bulk-reporting) considering that the credit sales will decline even further.

« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2015, 03:57 »
+10
Although this new offer will kill many credit sales. I have gone from 100-120 a day in 2012 to an average of 10 a day in the last months and 6-8 in the last weeks....so it is having an impact. Istock is cornered with so many cheap subscription options everywhere that it has to move into this vortex. Remember that it was not Istock that started all this subs scheme...it is following others that compete on price. 

That said, it is a right move and I appreciate that they give more to contributors that are totally unmotivated with this agency. This minisubscriptions are in effect credit bundles and with the low rate it was effectively a 10+% commission. So exclusives that are on the 35-40 % were and still are hit hard with this new offer.

I still see a huge mistake in the way they are treating images. Images are not potatoes and the mentality that all images should be sold by the weight independently of their production value or scarcity is plain wrong. This goes on at Istock and Getty and I bet is already giving them huge problems to attract high production images that were only to be found at Getty and Istock. Photographers don't see the incentive to supply rare or expensive images if they are being sold at the same sub prices like the green apple on white next door. If you navigate by new at Getty or Istock you will see what I am talking about. At some point premium collections like former Vettas Stones etc will be excluded from cheap subs because the demand is still there and if they cannot cover it others will do ( the success and growth of Stocksy is a prove of this and I really don't know how Offset is doing although I don't see that many great images on their site).


Sharing some of the profits with contributors is a step in the right direction, specially if we consider that credits will decline even more now. But many other implementations will be necessary to become the leader in the licensing media business again. I still believe that Shutterstock and Adobe content is much weaker in diversity and quality than Getty/Istock although if we only consider generic shots all the other agencies are at the same level or surpassed them. Let's see if they and I hope the other 2 big players will start to understand that it is not more about volume since a long time ago and caring for those producers that can create unique images is fundamental if they still want to have those kind of content.

Shelma1

« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2015, 04:50 »
+5
As usual, opaque and confusing information from iStock. I can't tell how much I'll actually earn, but it still sounds pretty terrible. iStock makes $4 per download for the essentials 10-pack "subscription" and pays me as little as 28 cents? Or is it $1? Or something in between? Best case ($1) seems unlikely, since 25% would be higher royalties than what they're paying on other sales. But they did make the higher number bold in the email so your eyeballs would skim over that 28 cent part, I guess.

Why not just make it clear and simple and pay the same (low) royalty you get on credit sales? This just seems misleading.

ShadySue

« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2015, 05:05 »
+3
Ha, you're right - it is ambiguous phrasing!
I took it as meaning that e.g. your payment was going to be $1 rather than 28c, but that isn't the  usual interpretation of "from 28c to $1". You'd have to check or post on their forum for a clarification.
Hopefully it's just bad writing. Not sure  why you'd prefer your usual percentage over 1 in this instance, though.

« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2015, 05:54 »
+3
Seems pretty simple to me, you used to get 28c per download for non-exclusive images with the new 'subs' pack, now you'll get $1. Real subs rates remain unchanged.

Still a massive pay cut for exclusive contributors - my average credit payout is about $10 but will drop 70% to $3 as this system replaces credits.

It's a pity because I was just beginning to see some signs of life in the credit system this month.

Ah well, back to business as usual - the slow death of viable exclusivity.

Shelma1

« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2015, 05:56 »
+3
If the rate is rising from 28 cents per download to a dollar per dl, then that's good news, and of course I prefer 25% to 20%. But the email makes it sound like the royalty will fall within a range rather than moving from one number to another. Clarification from them would be great.

« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2015, 06:29 »
0
Is it include only istock subs or also include partner program subs?


And Second One, i am pretty New member, this change gonna effect me?

ShadySue

« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2015, 06:37 »
0
Is it include only istock subs or also include partner program subs?
It's not all istock subs, only the small packages of images which they are calling 'subs'. Not PP.
Quote
And Second One, i am pretty New member, this change gonna effect me?
Any of your sales of small package 'subs' will be at the same rate as those of anyone else.

OTOH, it seems likely that there will be even fewer credit sales in future, so most of us will probably drop even more in overall income, as iStock becomes just another subs site.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2015, 08:43 by ShadySue »

« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2015, 07:51 »
+4
Sorry, after all the cr@ppy news the agencies have been throwing at us for a couple years, I'm not gonna complain or throw a wet blanket.   This is good news and maybe even the start of Istock realizing they need to treat contributors better.  Hopefully it will catch on with the other sites. 

I have hardly uploaded all year anywhere, and nothing to Istock.  I got good HCV pictures waiting to be processed and more good ideas for shoots.  If I  start to see my income improve it will be worth it to get back to work.

I think you might want to re-read Jo Ann's post. It sums up the cannibalization that will likely take place. NO AGENCY just raises commissions without validating the hypothesis that this will make them more money. 

« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2015, 09:03 »
+1
Help me understand this. I say we pay non-exclusive 20%  so for 10 images at $40.00 they should get 80 cents per image download! Now for Exclusives it works to $9.90 per image so if we just went a flat 30% we should at minimum get $2.97 per image download.  I think that is better :-)

Shelma1

« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2015, 10:13 »
+2
Um...yeah, thanks for suggesting a possible cut in royalties.

I've emailed them to ask them to clarify but haven't heard back yet.

« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2015, 10:22 »
+8
In typical iStock fashion, this announcement leaves more questions than answers. The confusing messaging and less than transparent reporting along with the past history of how these things usually work out for the contributors mean that I'm withholding judgement until I hear some further clarification. Currently this whole non-subscription, subscription plan sounds like a cut in overall earnings to me.

« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2015, 11:42 »
+6
Um...yeah, thanks for suggesting a possible cut in royalties.

I've emailed them to ask them to clarify but haven't heard back yet.
Selling 10 Signature images at $99 and paying $25 in royalties ($2.50/image) means 25%. That's a clear cut for exclusives whose royalties are above 25%. 
These new subscription packages are nothing but cheap credit packs with a different name.


 

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