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Author Topic: StockXpert Subscriptions (Mulligan)  (Read 5715 times)

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« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2007, 22:14 »
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We will be opting out, since like a couple of others can't see how it will help our overall income.
Also think it will affect the other subscription site.
Unless StockXpert have something up their sleeves not yet announced, most photos will be the same on both sites, they can only compete on price.
Although they have now offered 30 cents per DL, we have all become used to an increase every year, and this will make it more difficult to raise prices.
For the first time, we are thinking seriously about going exclusive you know where.
Any sites want to guarantee they won't bring in subscription?
Linda


jsnover

« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2007, 11:42 »
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If it is a success, and my "full price" sales go down, I lose money, and should opt out. I can't see were I gain from this.

As I said at the top here: "I appreciate the fact that StockXpert is actually listening". But, that listening doesn't pay my rent, nor does it pay for my food or my cameras. Money pays, and $2.50 pays for more food than $0.30.

This line of reasoning actually sounds very much like the folks who have contributed to traditional stock agencies complaining about microstock. The missing pieces in the equation are 1) volume and 2) tapping new markets.

If there were a fixed pool of buyers, then certainly all you do is transfer customers from one vendor to another when you change prices or packaging. However microstock showed that there were businesses (and uses within a business that might have purchased expensive stock only for a few things) who'd become buyers at the right price.

Fotolia and StockXpert have found ways to tap into international markets (I think - obviously I don't have their sales data) that the original microstock players haven't.

The way you make more money with StockXpert subscriptions (if they can make this happen) is that you get a high volume of subscription sales at 30 cents per. If it just canibalizes the existing businesses then it's going to fail.  If StockXpert can tempt some buyers into the micrstock fold with their subscription plans - buyers who weren't SS customers - then we've grown the market.

From annectodal evidence, there's a long way to go in finding new customers for microstock, especially outside the US. If a site can expand the base, we win.

For me, the bottom line will be looking at the monthly $$ totals - if it goes up, great. If it goes down, then I opt out. If I thought that StockXpert was cannibalizing SS sales, I'd drop StockXpert completely in a heartbeat. My guess is that it won't, but we'll have to see.

« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2007, 12:58 »
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This comment from Steve-oh in the original thread is interesting:-

"We get feedback to the site about offering subscriptions, and at the tradeshows I've attended people ask about subscription. When we say no we don't offer it, they go somewhere else. They don't just go PPD with us."

Where do they currently go?

I hope Jo Ann is right and that everyone does make more money with this scheme, but that isn't happening at DT. Still, thanks to StockXpert for giving the option to opt out.
Linda

« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2007, 14:44 »
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Where do they currently go?


They obviously go to another subscription site. There aren't too many choices: SS, DT and 123. From those who have already decided to go with a subscription, there's nothing to lose or gain. But this will not succeed for StockXpert unless it's marketed. If it's marketed, it will take customers from other segments as well, those who pay more per image today.

This has nothing to do with the expansion of the market. Any image purchaser can afford to pay $10 or more for a photo, and if they don't have a choice, they will. But as long as the suppliers, that's us, keep undercutting each other with subscription schemes and lower prices, they will get a lower price, a price that they didn't even ask for until somebody offered it too them. What kind of business model is that?

I'm all for microstock. That's the reason why I'm here. But it has been shown beyond all reasonable doubt that customers are actually willing to pay real money for images. The prices of microstock images are already very low compared to other design/publishing costs.

Who goes for subscriptions? Not the secretary who needs an occasional photo for a presentation. It's the advertising agencies, the web designers and other bulk users. Do they invoice their customers 30c per image? No, they don't. Only the cost of having a designer searching for an image is somewhere between 30 and 80 dollars per hour. Still we, and our agents, fight to offer them even lower prices. Lower prices that are more or less insignificant to the customers, since they are completely overshadowed by other, higher costs.

StockXpert may gain some market shares from this, at least to start with, but long term, the others will fight back. Back to square one, only with a lower profit.

« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2007, 03:35 »
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Epixx, you just discribed how macrostockers feel / felt about microstock.  Yet you're in for microstock !!  But now that they could be cutting into YOUR profit (and not that of the macrostockers) it's suddenly all hell and doom.  Why don't you tell people to quit microstock, than we all can ask $50 an image.

As I see it, it's just 'go-with-the-flow'  and when it's not profitable enough (and that day will come) I'll just quit, no problem.

The microstock model is doomed to give low profit at some time.  So just grab what you can as long as it lasts.

« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2007, 04:10 »
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Epixx, you just discribed how macrostockers feel / felt about microstock.  Yet you're in for microstock !!  But now that they could be cutting into YOUR profit (and not that of the macrostockers) it's suddenly all hell and doom.  Why don't you tell people to quit microstock, than we all can ask $50 an image.

As I see it, it's just 'go-with-the-flow'  and when it's not profitable enough (and that day will come) I'll just quit, no problem.

The microstock model is doomed to give low profit at some time.  So just grab what you can as long as it lasts.

You are correct and you're incorrect. The reason why microstock exists, is that making halfway decent images has become much cheaper with the introduction of digital cameras. Another result of the "digital revolution" is that there are much more images on the market than before. So, the prices fall, and quite rightly so.

The problem we are facing now, is that we are competing with ourselves, selling the same images cheaper. If a photo has shown that it can generate a profit of $2.50 at StockXpert or any other site, why on earth should we offer it to the same customer for a price that only generates a profit of $0.30? If you lower the price of ice-cream, you can always hope that your customer will buy two cones instead of one. But he's certainly not going to buy your image twice, even if you lower the price to $0.01. The customer has already accepted the higher price, and would probably pay more if he had to.

If the agencies mostly had exclusive photographers and unique photos, it would have made some sense, since it would have been a competition between those photographers. But it's not. It's the same photographers competing against themselves, lowering the prices.

Lowering the price from, say $10 to $1 probably won't affect the number of images sold much, since, as I've mentioned earlier, $10 is already a very small fraction of the costs the customer has to publish the image. What you are talking about, the macro-stock prices, are so far above this level, that it doesn't really make any sense comparing. It's a different market altogether.

So who will be the winners if we keep lowering the prices from where we are now?

Photographers? Absolutely not, since volume will in no way increase at the same rate as the lowering of the prices, if at all.

Agencies? StockXpert will get a short term gain, until the competition catches up, or rather: catches down. Then we are back to where we were, only with lower profits.

Customers? High-volume buyers, absolutely. This is a gift from heaven for them.

iStock? Absolutely. Being the only micro-agency that has managed to market their exclusivity feature in a proper way can keep their price up and tell customers that "if you want our exclusive images, you have to pay the price". So no subscription from IS. They simply don't need it.

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