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Author Topic: Been away for a couple of years. State of iStock?  (Read 2480 times)

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« on: December 08, 2013, 15:43 »
I started uploading to iStock back in 2004... well actually that date is wrong. I originally signed up to istock back in 2004. Got pissed off that I ddin't make the cut and came back in 2005... but still a long time. uploaded hundreds of images for about 3 years and then downloads dried up and my personal job situation changed. I kept tabs on the money but was super anemic. I've been exclusive since about 2008 because I couldn't feed the beast at Shutterstock and Dreamstime which seem to favor new uploads.

A couple of things have changed in the past few months. I've had my best year in like 5 years. I'm getting downloads all over my portfolio. I guess I've been with IS so long that I am getting a large chunk of the money for downloads and I have a couple of Vetta images that get frequent downloads and pay really well.

I've started uploading again, and I haven't had a single rejection yet which is strange and then I poked around here and it seems like IS is taking just about everything they can. I saw a couple of portfolios that reminded me of Alamy. Just thousands of random snapshots with with few downloads.

What do others see? Is IS taking everything these days? Seems like they are favoring old images over new. Exclusives over non? Thoughts?


« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2013, 15:49 »
I think you've summed things up pretty well. 

« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2013, 19:28 »
If anyone is getting good downloads for new images, then they don't publicize it much...

iStock have 'relaxed' acceptance standards and also have done away with upload limits, so it seems that new images uploads have increased exponentially - to the detriment of new image views, let alone downloads,,,,

This does not seem to be a positive development for contributors IMO - quite the reverse in fact... as our previous-quality-checked images are diluted both in volume and quality...

Whether this is good for buyers, I do not know ...

I could speculate that this was intended to enhance iStock's bottom line (else why do it?),,,  but whether this has had the intended effect, I do not know...


« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2013, 19:40 »
You could say that istock has shot them self in the foot by deluting the quality of the image base.

But thats how drastic they had to react, to have the feet move at all.


  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2013, 19:52 »
If anyone is getting good downloads for new images, then they don't publicize it much...
They'd have to have found an unexploited niche that buyers want.
New files sink fast, and if one has the precociousness to get a download, it usually sinks way down, on a second download, it sometimes goes near to the bottom of that search - that's even for exclusives, no favouritism, below older files with 0 dls. Effectively that's been since last September, i.e. 2012.
Example: I uploaded a file in early November and it was downloaded this week, which is a fast download for me these days. It's now at position 701/1075 on its main keyword - and I have at least four of the same subject, uploaded in 2008 but with 0 dls, on pages 2 and 3 of the same search. Not to  mention it's sunk below some indie files that are just plain spammed, not like the 'laser-focussed accuracy' which the best match was recently vaunted as having.  8)
That's just one example, I could give more from right through this year.
For some reason, they don't want to talk about this issue. Someone over there called it the 'elephant in the room'. Could be (conspiracy theory alert) that they're trying to get enough 0dl exclusive files to demote to Main, while promoting well-selling indie files to the same price as Standard exclusive files (else what incentive is there for indies to stay?), but keeping the promise to have half of their images half the price for ever. Presumably that's also why the huge influx of badly keyworded images, many of which wouldn't have got in in the old days, and actually going out on the streets to find new contributors (e.g. the suddently-convened Paris lypse.) Of course, my speculations are rarely correct - the truth is usually worse.  :(

Added: OTOH, I'm still getting first time sales from right back to 2007, so it's just new files that there's little point in bothering about.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 05:19 by ShadySue »

« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2013, 00:20 »
That could explain why they accept everything, so they have a huge heap of dross to sell at "1/2 price" but can keep all the reasonable files at full price.

To the OP, if you have old files selling well, enjoy the ride, in my limited indy IS experience it won't take long before they turn that tap back off and sales dry up.

« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2013, 09:27 »
I am enjoying the ride. I am also going to upload a few files and see what happens. I can't fathom why they would keep favoring old files vs. new, but as I've seen over the years that buyers are like lamb. They keep downloading the same popular images over and over again without seeking new and interesting images. Was there a time in the recent past that best match favored new images? I could see relaxing the standards on images a way to cut corners and not tie up the inspectors so much, but to promote 7-8 year old images over new ones still has me scratching my head!


  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2013, 09:38 »
Was there a time in the recent past that best match favored new images?
Not since at least the beginning of October 2012.


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