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Author Topic: About to cancel my iStockphoto exclusivity - What happens next?  (Read 2030 times)

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« on: April 26, 2020, 12:58 »
0
What happens to my iStock portfolio once I cancel photo exclusivity? I am about to do what I should've done years ago, but would like to understand everything that is about to change with it.

- What happens to my past signature+ files and files that are mirrored over to Getty? Do they get removed both from the + collection as well as from Getty?

- What happens to my Payoneer card and the way I receive payments?

- Is there a realistic way of getting your files onto the Getty site as RF once you are not exclusive any more?

- What is the best way to scrape my own keywords off of iStock? Preferably non qdisambiguated ones if possible? That would save me a ton of time as I put a lot of thought and research into metadata...

Anything else I need to know about canceling the exclusivity?

I've created accounts on AdobeStock, Shutterstock, Pond5, Dreamstime, 123RF, BigStock, DepositPhotis and Alamy so far and I will be using Stocksubmitter to submit both photos as well as videos to them. I will also continue submitting to iStock for another year or so at least, before evaluating based on my own data if my dignity is worth more than the scrapes I expect to receive from them.

Any other comments / suggestions more than welcome. Thank you!


ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2020, 15:04 »
+2
If you go to the exclusive forum on the iStock forums, you'll see on the first page there are two threads dealing with leaving excusivity. KelvinJay is a moderator there and his answers are as official as you'll get.

« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2020, 18:35 »
+10
What is the best way to scrape my own keywords off of iStock? Preferably non qdisambiguated ones if possible? That would save me a ton of time as I put a lot of thought and research into metadata...

Never EVER do your meta on any site.  Always on Bridge or PS or however you like.

« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2020, 05:44 »
0
I don't know answer to the most of your questions, but regarding Payoneer card, you will be able to use it even when you cancel exclusivity. Just be sure not to close your Istock account permanently since your card is linked to Istock. But, even than I think it would still work, or you could issue one via Shutterstock or Dreamstime or Depositphotos. Adobe only if your account is in dollars.
Like Sean said, it was big mistake to do keywording etc on site. Bridge, PhotoMechanic or any other software, meta stays forever and whereever you send your files.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2020, 05:47 by pics2 »

« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2020, 06:28 »
0
"- What is the best way to scrape my own keywords off of iStock? Preferably non qdisambiguated ones if possible? That would save me a ton of time as I put a lot of thought and research into metadata..."

There is no way to get non-disambiguated keywords from iStock as far as I know - in fact, I doubt they would even have been stored there in the first place, why would they?  But if you are using DeepMeta you can export any or all of the fields from there into a CSV file, so you can get titles, descriptions and disambiguated keywords into Excel or whatever.

I suppose if you had coding skills you could code some sort of re-ambiguation (I just invented that word!) to convert common istock-dictionary words to something that works elsewhere but I doubt it would be worth the effort - I think you just have to bite the bullet and re-do them!

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2020, 08:14 »
+4
It's been a few years but if I remember correctly any premium type of mirrored collections get dropped to regular collections and removed from Getty.

I learned the hard way that all metadeta should be in your files through Lightroom or other program. Maybe check DeepMeta for an export tool.

Getty seems to have lowered the bar to getting in but the question is, should you bother? Do you have highly value exclusive content to submit there that will sell at higher amounts? If not, you'll be earning micro cents per download and in some cases even less than iStock.

I would never do anything exclusive again unless I was offered a fortune.

« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2020, 13:43 »
+1
What is the best way to scrape my own keywords off of iStock? Preferably non qdisambiguated ones if possible? That would save me a ton of time as I put a lot of thought and research into metadata...

Never EVER do your meta on any site.  Always on Bridge or PS or however you like.
Yes Sean, don't I know it now :) I used to do it through Deepmeta, and having been through the good times with iStock at the same time as you and Sue (2008 and on), I got used to the smooth sailing and never really considered breaking my exclusivity. Then money grab Getty came and the rest is history...

« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2020, 14:20 »
+1
If you go to the exclusive forum on the iStock forums, you'll see on the first page there are two threads dealing with leaving excusivity. KelvinJay is a moderator there and his answers are as official as you'll get.

Thanks Sue, I will check it out!

I don't know answer to the most of your questions, but regarding Payoneer card, you will be able to use it even when you cancel exclusivity. Just be sure not to close your Istock account permanently since your card is linked to Istock. But, even than I think it would still work, or you could issue one via Shutterstock or Dreamstime or Depositphotos. Adobe only if your account is in dollars.
Like Sean said, it was big mistake to do keywording etc on site. Bridge, PhotoMechanic or any other software, meta stays forever and whereever you send your files.
Thanks for the info! Not a fan of Payoneer fees though (more expensive for Europeans), so I'll have to rethink it anyway. As far as keywords go, Ill see what DeepMeta can do for me, and make sure to do it better from now on.

"- What is the best way to scrape my own keywords off of iStock? Preferably non qdisambiguated ones if possible? That would save me a ton of time as I put a lot of thought and research into metadata..."

There is no way to get non-disambiguated keywords from iStock as far as I know - in fact, I doubt they would even have been stored there in the first place, why would they?  But if you are using DeepMeta you can export any or all of the fields from there into a CSV file, so you can get titles, descriptions and disambiguated keywords into Excel or whatever.

I suppose if you had coding skills you could code some sort of re-ambiguation (I just invented that word!) to convert common istock-dictionary words to something that works elsewhere but I doubt it would be worth the effort - I think you just have to bite the bullet and re-do them!

Indeed, I'll scrape what I can and update/add as I see fit. The problem is, disambiguation merges similar keywords into one, which wont work well on other sites, so I have no choice but to re-do them.

It's been a few years but if I remember correctly any premium type of mirrored collections get dropped to regular collections and removed from Getty.

I learned the hard way that all metadeta should be in your files through Lightroom or other program. Maybe check DeepMeta for an export tool.

Getty seems to have lowered the bar to getting in but the question is, should you bother? Do you have highly value exclusive content to submit there that will sell at higher amounts? If not, you'll be earning micro cents per download and in some cases even less than iStock.

I would never do anything exclusive again unless I was offered a fortune.

I have no love for Getty, they've ruined a great community and business for many small stock photographers that iStock used to be, but I'd be willing to give them a try and see how it goes. Non-exclusively of course. And I can always cancel in the future...

« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2020, 14:33 »
0
EDIT: Posted this reply by mistake, cant find a way to remove it now.

« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2020, 15:09 »
+4
if you drop exclusivity you instantly go down to 15% commission. if you think it is bad being exclusive wait till you see what happens afterward.
i would not even bother submitting any thing to getty, they in effect are nothing but a micro site these days. you really won't gain anything by submitting to getty.
the benefit of exclusivity is the so called extra bump in royalties but that is just smoke and mirrors. istock and getty are are not transparent at all. it's actually quite disgusting how they get away with it.

« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2020, 15:16 »
+1
if you drop exclusivity you instantly go down to 15% commission. if you think it is bad being exclusive wait till you see what happens afterward.
i would not even bother submitting any thing to getty, they in effect are nothing but a micro site these days. you really won't gain anything by submitting to getty.
the benefit of exclusivity is the so called extra bump in royalties but that is just smoke and mirrors. istock and getty are are not transparent at all. it's actually quite disgusting how they get away with it.
I know, having hard time trusting them tbh. They've proven in the past they did not even track the sales properly. I don't really care whether it's due to incompetence or intentional, it's bad either way, and the fact that they removed daily reporting of sales speaks volumes itself...

So you don't think Getty would account for a fair share of revenue % wise? For instance, if I distribute material over 5 sites (5 x 20%), Getty would not account for at least 20% of the revenue?

« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2020, 16:00 »
+4
if you drop exclusivity you instantly go down to 15% commission. if you think it is bad being exclusive wait till you see what happens afterward.
i would not even bother submitting any thing to getty, they in effect are nothing but a micro site these days. you really won't gain anything by submitting to getty.
the benefit of exclusivity is the so called extra bump in royalties but that is just smoke and mirrors. istock and getty are are not transparent at all. it's actually quite disgusting how they get away with it.
I know, having hard time trusting them tbh. They've proven in the past they did not even track the sales properly. I don't really care whether it's due to incompetence or intentional, it's bad either way, and the fact that they removed daily reporting of sales speaks volumes itself...

So you don't think Getty would account for a fair share of revenue % wise? For instance, if I distribute material over 5 sites (5 x 20%), Getty would not account for at least 20% of the revenue?

without knowing what kind of work you produce it is next to impossible to say.
that said, it is also the million dollar question.
overall i don't think it is an industry that has growth potential, either on one site or multiples.

« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2020, 01:22 »
+3
if you drop exclusivity you instantly go down to 15% commission. if you think it is bad being exclusive wait till you see what happens afterward.
i would not even bother submitting any thing to getty, they in effect are nothing but a micro site these days. you really won't gain anything by submitting to getty.
the benefit of exclusivity is the so called extra bump in royalties but that is just smoke and mirrors. istock and getty are are not transparent at all. it's actually quite disgusting how they get away with it.
I know, having hard time trusting them tbh. They've proven in the past they did not even track the sales properly. I don't really care whether it's due to incompetence or intentional, it's bad either way, and the fact that they removed daily reporting of sales speaks volumes itself...

So you don't think Getty would account for a fair share of revenue % wise? For instance, if I distribute material over 5 sites (5 x 20%), Getty would not account for at least 20% of the revenue?


You are assuming your portfolio will perform as well elsewhere as it does now on istock/getty.

But you forget that it took years for your files to build up a ranking, to get lightboxed by customers, to get bookmarked as a future resource.

Plus, as an exclusive the search engine heavily favored you. Now you will be in the real world so to speak, your newly incoming port will have to compete against the many established older ports.

This is what people going indie underestimate most, the customers dont know you and all files have to reestablish their rankings.

I have seen people who regained their istock income after 6 months. I have seen people where it took several years.

If you have stellar content and fill a very needed niche it will go faster. But without seeing your port it is impossible to make a prediction.

I love being indie, all agencies drive you crazy at some point and now I have more balance and sleep much better.

But if you really need the stock income every month, I would save up enough to cover yourself for at least 18 months.

Dont forget that on many agencies you also have to work up your way through the royalty ladder.

Many of my bestsellers on istock are dead on new agencies, but others that never sold are now bestsellers. Very few files made bestsellers everywhere, usually they fill a needed niche, often something localized that is difficult to copy.

If you want real feedback show your port to some friends who are already indie.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2020, 01:29 by cobalt »

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2020, 05:04 »
+2
What Cobalt said. Your search placement and earnings on IS will likely drop bigtime. So you wont just drop in commission. It will be close to starting over. When you turn in the crown you go to the back of the line.

50%

« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2020, 05:59 »
0
iStock exclusivity was never a thing I did consider for myself as I was with other agencies before iStock even existed. But I don't think that is really that bad. I do think you get a huge bump in search results if you are exclusive.
People hate iStock for valid reasons but the other agencies are not better.
Someone announced a software a couple a weeks ago that can read out the keywords at iStock and put them into your files automatically I think it was in this forum try a search for it. I'm 100% sure I read about it so there is a solution for your problem.

« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2020, 16:07 »
+6
... software ... that can read out the keywords at iStock and put them into your files automatically ...

This will be worse than useless.

Getty's controlled vocabulary works (given its approach) only on its own sites with its own search engine. Put those controlled vocabulary terms - most of which aren't even vaguely related to typical speech or search words - on other sites and you will severely hamper the sales of your images.

On Getty sites you search for house or garden and it knows to map those to Residential Structure and Front or Back Yard. On other sites, where humans search for house or home, files keyworded "Residential Structure" won't be in the results. Same for Horizon Over Water, Nautical Vessel, Downtown District, Mature Woman, etc.

On Adobe Stock, you will want to put the important keywords first - there's a post about that in this forum, but I think it's the first 7 that are significant in terms of search placement.

Bottom line, you need your files keyworded in a way that works for all sites and have those stored in the JPEG you upload. Pain to fix this now, but it's necessary.



50%

« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2020, 23:45 »
0
it would still be a start not all keywords on iStock/Getty are useless

« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2020, 03:13 »
0
iStock exclusivity was never a thing I did consider for myself as I was with other agencies before iStock even existed. But I don't think that is really that bad. I do think you get a huge bump in search results if you are exclusive.
People hate iStock for valid reasons but the other agencies are not better.
Someone announced a software a couple a weeks ago that can read out the keywords at iStock and put them into your files automatically I think it was in this forum try a search for it. I'm 100% sure I read about it so there is a solution for your problem.

I take it you mean this - https://www.microstockgroup.com/software/stocktool-save-your-keywords-backup-your-online-stock-data/

It's not free though, and it doesn't say that it translates the disambiguated keywords; unless it does, the problem would still remain as explained by Jo Ann.  Unless someone has access to the iStock dictionary so they could write something to reverse the controlled vocabulary terms to more general terms, e.g. Residential Structure back to "House", etc., you'd still need to go through the keywords yourself.

So yes, it might be of some use but you'd have to decide for yourself if it was really worth it to you.

« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2020, 09:55 »
+1
iStock exclusivity was never a thing I did consider for myself as I was with other agencies before iStock even existed. But I don't think that is really that bad. I do think you get a huge bump in search results if you are exclusive.
People hate iStock for valid reasons but the other agencies are not better.
Someone announced a software a couple a weeks ago that can read out the keywords at iStock and put them into your files automatically I think it was in this forum try a search for it. I'm 100% sure I read about it so there is a solution for your problem.

I take it you mean this - https://www.microstockgroup.com/software/stocktool-save-your-keywords-backup-your-online-stock-data/

It's not free though, and it doesn't say that it translates the disambiguated keywords; unless it does, the problem would still remain as explained by Jo Ann.  Unless someone has access to the iStock dictionary so they could write something to reverse the controlled vocabulary terms to more general terms, e.g. Residential Structure back to "House", etc., you'd still need to go through the keywords yourself.

So yes, it might be of some use but you'd have to decide for yourself if it was really worth it to you.

If all the keywording would take you more than 10 hours, and you count your time as at least $15 per hour, then the software is worth it. As far as changing the CV terms to general terms, maybe the developer can be prodded to make that update, or maybe it already exists in the software, since the software has been built for iStock exclusives leaving exclusivity.

« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2020, 04:16 »
+1
Actually, $149 (and it's tax deductible) isn't much to pay for such a tool even if it doesn't translate iStock controlled vocabulary to general terms - I am retired and have plenty spare time (especially under lockdown!), but I would happily pay that just to avoid the tedium of locating the jpgs and copying the keywords into the metadata, which it apparently does, even if I still need to tweak them afterwards as I suspect I would have to.

However, I'm not looking to cancel exclusivity just at the moment so I have no need of it just now.

If anyone does try it though, please let us know how you get on!


 

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