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Author Topic: Another Massive Best Match Shift  (Read 140633 times)

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PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #100 on: December 22, 2011, 11:31 »
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"I was shocked a few years back when best match was so utterly dominated by Yuri.."

Well they fixed that!  A search for business man shows page upon page upon page of exclusive files - so Yuri's shots are deemed of less interest to buyers than thousands of exclusive images, many of which have no sales???  They really need to rename if from best match to 'bolster exclusive sales'
What a joke

Perhaps their market surveying said that buyers are tired of seeing the same thing they see everywhere else.  So they are giving the buyers what they asked for.  Who knows?

Maybe not so much that they're tired of seeing the same stuff. But they're seeing the same stuff as everywhere else and at higher prices on IS. Could be a move to push unique content to justify higher prices (?).


« Reply #101 on: December 22, 2011, 12:00 »
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   It has nothing to do with the "If the exclusive content is so superior".  It has to do with content and the price of the images.  ... You cannot compete on price and act as though the buyers won't notice and gravitate to the cheapest next best option. 

It wasn't contributors' idea to price exclusive content higher than independent or to exclude independents from Vetta. iStock raised the price of exclusive content a few years back - you can't then accuse independents of competing on price because they didn't get to participate in the increase.

If iStock wished to, they could have made Vetta and Agency image exclusive (sort of the way they did with any 'lypse content that an independent would shoot, or DT does with its assignment photos).

The current search results for best match are just not putting forward very appealing results. Whatever meat grinder they want to put the collection through, it should produce something that looks great for the first page or two and this algorithm doesn't. They did change it a bit from yesterday - moving independent content ever so slightly forward - so perhaps even they see an issue with it.

lagereek

« Reply #102 on: December 22, 2011, 12:03 »
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In fact only a couple of days back, I was speaking to one of the mentors, founders of the entire stock-industry back in the early 80s, whishing him a merry X-mas, etc. In touching this subject, he said: "be happy you never signed the dotted line for exclusivity, they are showing the signs of a company in deep trouble and they are not going to exist in a years time and thats when their remaining exclusives will have little option but to go with Thinkstock, if they still want to sell pictures, that is".
Just want to point out, this person is still a shareholder with major influence in the stock-world.







Considering that 99.9% of these "mentors, founders of the entire stock industry" are the same ones that several years ago were saying and repeating that a) microstock would never take off and couldn't never offer quality content, b) digital photography never would replace film, this new prediction can be considered a garantee of success and future for istock.

I can assure you, not this guy, in fact he predicted electronic pictures with commerce way back in mid 90s. So you are far out. Todays digital, micro or whatever is nothing special at all and in fact was even predicted long before that.
Todays problem is not the technique, its the people, computer nerds, etc and as far away business-men or staff orientated as a lemon-tree. Their biggest kick is probably to sit and watch paint dry.

lagereek

« Reply #103 on: December 22, 2011, 12:10 »
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   The perception at Istock that a collection of exclusive content can compete without independent photographers' content showing up in searches is a mistake, i would say. If the exclusive content is so superior, it would have risen to the top without having to bury non-exclusive images. But it's their company, and they can do what they want. Contributors have no say in what happens. For me, it makes it much easier to not bother with Istock for still images, since new files rarely get seen anyway. For exclusives at Istock, the message seems to be keep contributing new work, and don't try to coast on legacy images. So if that's the way it's going to be, then they have their marching orders, and they better get at it.

Exactly!!  this incredible misconception that these exclusive files should be better. Lucky for us!  buyers dont think so and even luckier for us, the masters of Micro are independant and isnt it strange that the worlds most famous photographers are totally independant and are housed as pseudos in a few agencies,  fortunately not one of them with IS.

so much for that.

« Reply #104 on: December 22, 2011, 12:29 »
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Maybe not so much that they're tired of seeing the same stuff. But they're seeing the same stuff as everywhere else and at higher prices on IS. Could be a move to push unique content to justify higher prices (?).

Great scope for advertising slogans there:

"Istock! Inferior content at premium prices!"

or

"Istock - presenting the content nobody buys!"

If they wanted to push the value of exclusive stuff from top artists as having special value I could see the sense in it, but the rule at the moment is that if it was approved today and the supplier's got a crown then it gets first place in the search, regardless of anything else.

Exclusives who want to survive will have to upload constantly because last week's files will get pushed out by this week's.  Until they change it again, of course, which might happen today, next week or sometime next year.

ShadySue

« Reply #105 on: December 22, 2011, 12:35 »
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the rule at the moment is that if it was approved today and the supplier's got a crown then it gets first place in the search, regardless of anything else.
Not necessarily true. My recent uploads are dropping like stones, though I see others that have been up for a while with 0dls at the top of some searches.

« Reply #106 on: December 22, 2011, 12:40 »
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If this change is here to stay, It will no longer be worth uploading to iS for many independents.

« Reply #107 on: December 22, 2011, 12:43 »
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Maybe not so much that they're tired of seeing the same stuff. But they're seeing the same stuff as everywhere else and at higher prices on IS. Could be a move to push unique content to justify higher prices (?).

Great scope for advertising slogans there:

"Istock! Inferior content at premium prices!"

or

"Istock - presenting the content nobody buys!"




OMG, I will refrain of saying what I'm thinking rigth now.

ShadySue

« Reply #108 on: December 22, 2011, 12:45 »
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If this change is here to stay, It will no longer be worth uploading to iS for many independents.

Why does anyone imagine that any best match change is 'here to stay'?
Here today, gone tomorrow.

« Reply #109 on: December 22, 2011, 12:53 »
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If this change is here to stay, It will no longer be worth uploading to iS for many independents.

Why does anyone imagine that any best match change is 'here to stay'?
Here today, gone tomorrow.

exactly what I'm thinking.  If there's one thing that's 99.9% guaranteed, it's that the Best Match will never be stagnant.  It's constantly being tweaked.

« Reply #110 on: December 22, 2011, 14:03 »
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IS prices just can't compete against SS's. So, if I was in their shoes, I would simply focus sales on content that is not on SS. 

Their future probably depends on it...

« Reply #111 on: December 22, 2011, 14:34 »
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IS prices just can't compete against SS's. So, if I was in their shoes, I would simply focus sales on content that is not on SS. 

Their future probably depends on it...

Maybe that is exactly their (or at least Rebbecca's) thinking. I don't know why they 'can't compete' though __ they used to be able to. I guess it's more that they don't want to. Pity that. I always thought Istock came into existence precisely to provide imagery at prices affordable to all.

I don't see much of a future in that direction though. Leaving the mass-market to SS and re-styling themselves as a 'boutique agency' is unlikely to bring in the sales volume to satisfy their content providers. It'll be interesting to see how it develops though.

« Reply #112 on: December 22, 2011, 14:51 »
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From the thread "Increase in non-exclusive files in results?"

Aug 2011

"Here's a sober search ... 4072 total files 2505 of those are exclusive yet only 32 of the top 200 in a best match search are exclusive."
One thing you can count on like death and taxes, each week will bring a new best match change.

« Reply #113 on: December 22, 2011, 14:52 »
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By the way, If I was independant, I would probably give SS smaller file sizes... so that it doesn't hurt my sales elsewhere.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #114 on: December 22, 2011, 14:59 »
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Maybe not so much that they're tired of seeing the same stuff. But they're seeing the same stuff as everywhere else and at higher prices on IS. Could be a move to push unique content to justify higher prices (?).

Great scope for advertising slogans there:

"Istock! Inferior content at premium prices!"

or

"Istock - presenting the content nobody buys!"

If they wanted to push the value of exclusive stuff from top artists as having special value I could see the sense in it, but the rule at the moment is that if it was approved today and the supplier's got a crown then it gets first place in the search, regardless of anything else.

Exclusives who want to survive will have to upload constantly because last week's files will get pushed out by this week's.  Until they change it again, of course, which might happen today, next week or sometime next year.

All I'm saying is that's what it looks like to me. Not that I agree with it.

What's "best" or "inferior" is all perception. There are plenty of images that "pro" contributors would scoff at as inferior that sell like crazy. So as long as what's on the first couple of pages of search resuts is "good enough" it will probably sell. 

jbarber873

« Reply #115 on: December 22, 2011, 15:22 »
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^^ What's "best" or "inferior" is all perception. There are plenty of images that "pro" contributors would scoff at as inferior that sell like crazy. So as long as what's on the first couple of pages of search resuts is "good enough" it will probably sell.

   That's true, and if they can find it cheaper somewhere else they will go there. None of this will change the world overnight, but there's a long trajectory from rights managed to royalty free to microstock that is turning images into a commodity. As with all commodities, the low cost producer will win. Inertia will keep things going for istock for a while,maybe long enough for getty to be sold or IPO'd, but for contributors, the easy money has been made. Going forward, production will have to be low enough to be covered by less sales and still be profitable.

lagereek

« Reply #116 on: December 22, 2011, 15:23 »
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Macdonalds, small and dry, without the chips, greasy, oily dressing, eight days old, fermented in oil and dripping of leftovers full of maggots and spam.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #117 on: December 22, 2011, 15:30 »
0
^^ What's "best" or "inferior" is all perception. There are plenty of images that "pro" contributors would scoff at as inferior that sell like crazy. So as long as what's on the first couple of pages of search resuts is "good enough" it will probably sell.
---------->
   That's true, and if they can find it cheaper somewhere else they will go there.

But that's the point.

It's exclusive content. It isn't anywhere else.

« Reply #118 on: December 22, 2011, 15:31 »
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   It has nothing to do with the "If the exclusive content is so superior".  It has to do with content and the price of the images.  ... You cannot compete on price and act as though the buyers won't notice and gravitate to the cheapest next best option. 

It wasn't contributors' idea to price exclusive content higher than independent or to exclude independents from Vetta. iStock raised the price of exclusive content a few years back - you can't then accuse independents of competing on price because they didn't get to participate in the increase.

If iStock wished to, they could have made Vetta and Agency image exclusive (sort of the way they did with any 'lypse content that an independent would shoot, or DT does with its assignment photos).

The current search results for best match are just not putting forward very appealing results. Whatever meat grinder they want to put the collection through, it should produce something that looks great for the first page or two and this algorithm doesn't. They did change it a bit from yesterday - moving independent content ever so slightly forward - so perhaps even they see an issue with it.

One thing I know is photography is not a science and it's very subjective.  I thought to myself when the independents were dominating the best match on the istock search, the results were not very appealing.  A lot of times on here its more like a atheist vs catholic or liberal vs conservative...  it just depends on which side you see yourself on.  I just know that independents do not help istock in the long run.  If it was a win win for istock then both istock and shutterstock would be growing from all the wonderful independents.  Istock propped up its competition by having the independents succeed at the cost of its growth in market share.  

traveler1116

« Reply #119 on: December 22, 2011, 15:36 »
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From the thread "Increase in non-exclusive files in results?"

Aug 2011

"Here's a sober search ... 4072 total files 2505 of those are exclusive yet only 32 of the top 200 in a best match search are exclusive."
One thing you can count on like death and taxes, each week will bring a new best match change.
I can't believe anyone forgot about this...

« Reply #120 on: December 22, 2011, 15:45 »
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...I just know that independents do not help istock in the long run.  ...

I completely disagree with this - speaking as a current independent and ex-exclusive (and ex-independent if you will).

Saying only exclusives are good for iStock long term is the same sort of approach as saying that closing the contributor list helps or excluding some of the big sellers helps. IMO, as a small-ish seller, I am helped when there is a vibrant marketplace with a large and diverse pool of buyers. I won't sell what Yuri or Lise Gagne do, but having them there brings buyers some of whom will buy my stuff as well. Having the best of everything, with some exclusive content (and I don't think it much matters if the artists are exclusive; image exclusive can work equally well IMO) is a great mix - and it proved to be so for iStock for a lot of years.

I also completely disagree that this forum is somehow as polarized as you see it. And I think there are a number of us who've been around for more than a few years with microstock who can definitely see all sides of the argument. It's too easy an out to just paint anyone who disagrees with iStock's recent business decisions as a rabid partisan. Just as it is a bit too glib to paint every exclusive as a hopeless fan boy.

Certainly iStock is close to the point for independents where you may get your wish that iStock will effectively be exclusives only - they are slowly reducing the value of selling there. If they ever get any of the involuntary independent content onto Thinkstock (this week they're up to 14 of my 2500+ images) perhaps this will change things, but so far I have no data on that side of the equation.

I think exclusives will be much worse off in an iStock that has no independents, (1) because you can't be a one-stop shop for a huge number of buyers and (2) because you then have no group to offset your higher royalty rate with, which means the Getty 20% will be your commission across the board.

« Reply #121 on: December 22, 2011, 15:46 »
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By the way, If I was independant, I would probably give SS smaller file sizes... so that it doesn't hurt my sales elsewhere.

Yuri doesn't do that and he appears to be doing just fine 'elsewhere'. About half the income SS generates nowadays is from OD and EL sales (and those sales are still growing strongly) so such a move is likely to be counterproductive.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #122 on: December 22, 2011, 15:54 »
0
By the way, If I was independant, I would probably give SS smaller file sizes... so that it doesn't hurt my sales elsewhere.

Yuri doesn't do that and he appears to be doing just fine 'elsewhere'. About half the income SS generates nowadays is from OD and EL sales (and those sales are still growing strongly) so such a move is likely to be counterproductive.

Wasn't Yuri recently complaining about sales in general?

« Reply #123 on: December 22, 2011, 15:56 »
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I think exclusives will be much worse off in an iStock that has no independents, (1) because you can't be a one-stop shop for a huge number of buyers and (2) because you then have no group to offset your higher royalty rate with, which means the Getty 20% will be your commission across the board.

That's the truth.

In a couple of years time it might be quite interesting to dig up this thread. Will Istock's latest bold move ensure the future sucess of the company ... or will it be seen as a rash reaction that just hastened their demise?

ShadySue

« Reply #124 on: December 22, 2011, 16:00 »
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I think exclusives will be much worse off in an iStock that has no independents, (1) because you can't be a one-stop shop for a huge number of buyers and (2) because you then have no group to offset your higher royalty rate with, which means the Getty 20% will be your commission across the board.

That's the truth.

In a couple of years time it might be quite interesting to dig up this thread. Will Istock's latest bold move ensure the future sucess of the company ... or will it be seen as a rash reaction that just hastened their demise?
Which 'lastest bold move'?
A temporary best match shift for a few days at a quiet time of year?
(Even though I think this best match is irrational, I don't think on it's own it's the final nail in the coffin.)


 

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