MicrostockGroup

Agency Based Discussion => iStockPhoto.com => Topic started by: gostwyck on December 21, 2011, 11:14

Title: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 21, 2011, 11:14
Just noticed that there appears to have been a massive further shift in the best match to favour exclusives __ it is now almost entirely exclusive images first followed by those from independent contributors afterwards. Incredible.

Istock must be getting desperate to hang on to their exclusives and/or make more money.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: KB on December 21, 2011, 11:19
You are not exaggerating. That's the largest weighting towards exclusives that I have ever seen.

Also, new files are given very high priority in this best match.

I doubt it will last long like this, but it does appear to be a move to try to get some exclusives over their stupid thresholds. (All it will do is get some people over, and make some oh-so-close but not quite over.) The idea of discrete zones so far apart is totally insane.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 21, 2011, 11:31
That's a huge change.

One of the searches I look at is San Antonio. There are 621 photos and one of mine is #6 by downloads and until today, has typically been somewhere in the first 5 or so by Best Match.

Today it's somewhere near the bottom of the second page of 200 and the whole first page of 200 is exclusive files. Unless I missed when scanning the page, all the images have a crown!

Even funnier, if I search for driftwood there are 3,123 photos and one of mine is #2 by downloads. It has been floating around on the first page by best match - it used to be on the top line. Today it's just past the 2,000 mark and the first 1,400 images are all exclusive! They have old (2007) zero download images from exclusives higher up than independent files that have actually sold.

This truly makes it clear that best match has zero to do with helping buyers find what they need better but is just a tool for the agency to see if they can't meet some goal or other of their own.

I can't wait to read the official explanations for why this is a good thing. If it actually helps boost sales at the site overall, that'd be one thing, but if it just drives more buyers away because they don't like what they see in searches, we all end up taking the hit in the long run. Tossers!
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: pancaketom on December 21, 2011, 11:33
perhaps buyers will learn to search by age or downloads instead of "best" match?
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: jcpjr on December 21, 2011, 11:40
What a joke they've become...My last D/L was on Dec. 9th and paid a  lousy 9 cents. After 6 years with them I've all but given up hope.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: Snufkin on December 21, 2011, 11:42
I have a file that has been selling 60-70 times / month.
Since July it has earned them over 2000 $ and occupied one of the top spots in best match, they even selected it for a lightbox maintained by their staff.
Now this file is gone, I checked the first 30 pages.
That is ridiculous, they must be desparate.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on December 21, 2011, 11:58
I have noticed that new files are buried to th extent that it is not worth uploading, Old stuff buyers may find by downloads but clearly they do want new independent content.  Any new contributors would be best advised to save there efforts for elsewhere. If you are a new contributor IS is clearly middle to poosible lower tier sales (as it will be for all bar exclusives)
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 21, 2011, 12:07
I have noticed that new files are buried to th extent that it is not worth uploading, Old stuff buyers may find by downloads but clearly they do want new independent content.  Any new contributors would be best advised to save there efforts for elsewhere. If you are a new contributor IS is clearly middle to poosible lower tier sales (as it will be for all bar exclusives)

I'd agree. Under these circumstances it is almost pointless for independent contributors to upload new images to Istock.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: traveler1116 on December 21, 2011, 12:10
It looks the opposite to me, new files are all up front in the searches I've done.  Old files with lots of sales on the other hand seem to be pushed back.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 21, 2011, 12:18
It looks the opposite to me, new files are all up front in the searches I've done.  Old files with lots of sales on the other hand seem to be pushed back.

Exclusive new images are up front __ but not those from independent contributors. The current best match is promoting multiple similar new images from the same exclusive contributors.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: traveler1116 on December 21, 2011, 12:29
It looks the opposite to me, new files are all up front in the searches I've done.  Old files with lots of sales on the other hand seem to be pushed back.

Exclusive new images are up front __ but not those from independent contributors. The current best match is promoting multiple similar new images from the same exclusive contributors.
That's true it is just exclusive files up front the two searches I did had 200/200 exclusive files in front and those are sorted by newest for the most part.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: stockastic on December 21, 2011, 12:34
It seems that unless you're exclusive, you're unlikely to sell anything.  And until you've sold 250, you can't become exclusive.

What happens when all the current exclusives get old and die?  Is IS assuming they'll pass their accounts to their children?
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: RT on December 21, 2011, 12:49
Quite incredible. I have an image that on iS and every other microstock site is the highest downloaded image for a certain keyword, on all the previous best match changes it's still always appeared in the first five pages, in this recent change I gave up checking after 200 out of the 671 pages of images for this particular keyword, every page was full of 'exclusive' only images of which a vast majority didn't even feature the particular item for the keyword search.

Well if iStockphoto didn't want to lose business before they sure as hell will do now. I don't normally subscribe to conspiracy theories but I genuinely now do believe somebody in the Getty/iStock management wants to kill the site off.



 
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 21, 2011, 13:07
Obviously this has to be a bug, a mistake. I'm sure it will be back to a "normal" well represented Best Match quite soon. No need for panic.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: blamb on December 21, 2011, 13:10
If there's one thing exclusives love, it's being favoured at the one time of the year when nobody is buying.   ;)
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 21, 2011, 13:23
What happens when all the current exclusives get old and die?  Is IS assuming they'll pass their accounts to their children?

They probably hope they won't!
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: fujiko on December 21, 2011, 13:24
A Best Match shift?

That's strange! ::)
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: fotoVoyager on December 21, 2011, 13:27
If there's one thing exclusives love, it's being favoured at the one time of the year when nobody is buying.   ;)

Ha!

This latest shift isn't doing me any good despite being exclusive because it's so weighted towards new files. My test searches for locations I've shot show that if I haven't uploaded images from there in the past few weeks, I ain't gonna be selling any, any time soon.

Who knows who's benefitting from this version.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 21, 2011, 13:30
Obviously this has to be a bug, a mistake. I'm sure it will be back to a "normal" well represented Best Match quite soon. No need for panic.

I don't think it is a 'bug'. I think it is a ill-thought-out, knee-jerk reaction to an ever-increasing number of exclusives dropping the crown as sales tumble. We've heard from quite a few disgruntled individuals already on MSG and I can't imagine that they're alone. Maybe it is intended to be a temporary 'fix' to help exclusives attain their RC targets but it's probably too little, too late for many. This smacks of an act of desperation for a company whose business is irretrievably on the slide. If I were exclusive I wouldn't be rejoicing, I'd be worried about the future.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 21, 2011, 13:55
Obviously this has to be a bug, a mistake. I'm sure it will be back to a "normal" well represented Best Match quite soon. No need for panic.

I don't think it is a 'bug'. I think it is a ill-thought-out, knee-jerk reaction to an ever-increasing number of exclusives dropping the crown as sales tumble. We've heard from quite a few disgruntled individuals already on MSG and I can't imagine that they're alone. Maybe it is intended to be a temporary 'fix' to help exclusives attain their RC targets but it's probably too little, too late for many. This smacks of an act of desperation for a company whose business is irretrievably on the slide. If I were exclusive I wouldn't be rejoicing, I'd be worried about the future.

Could be. I'm exclusive and I'll wait to see how this plays out. If the income from all my old stuff drops significantly then I'll be forced to focus my business and time elsewhere. We'll see.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: WarrenPrice on December 21, 2011, 14:10
I'm fairly new at (don't know much about) iStock.  It does seem that sales are subject to certain cycles or periods of time.  I also notice this phenomena at DT and SS, especially DT.  I guess my question is:
don't all the outlets change their search engines periodically? 

 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: scottdunlap on December 21, 2011, 14:20
Massive doesn't do it justice. Older files don't have a chance. I had the number one slot for a couple of years for the keyword "icon set." The file is less than 3 years old, and has sold almost 9000 times. Where is it listed now? Almost 4000 images back.
This one is gonna hurt.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on December 21, 2011, 14:26
Maybe they want to put fresh and  unseen at any other competitor site content on front. Probably too  early to say but, for the moment, it works well for me (btw, I reached my RC time ago, no need of help). I suppose newer exclusives, specially factories, are way more favored. On the other hand, Vetta and Agency seem pushed back. I've observed that when V & A are on front, maybe I sell less, but I earn more. Anyway BMs are not forever at istock, another shifts in the future will benefit another people.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 21, 2011, 14:34
Maybe they want to put fresh and  unseen at any other competitor site content on front. Probably too  early to say but, for the moment, it works well for me (btw, I reached my RC time ago, no need of help). I suppose newer exclusives, specially factories, are way more favored. On the other hand, Vetta and Agency seem pushed back. I've observed that when V & A are on front, maybe I sell less, but I earn more. Anyway BMs are not forever at istock, another shifts in the future will benefit another people.

Again, there must be different algorithms for different search terms.
'Elephant' is still dominated by CSA_Images' Vetta cartoons, as is 'zoo', where the top 32 hits are CSA's Vetta cartoons.
'Telesales' still has a lot of Clerkenwell_Images' Agency images at the top.

BTW, by sheer chance I noticed that there were two huge best match changes within about half an hour of each other yesterday evening UK time, but now it's back to the same or almost the same as the first iteration (sorry Race) in the searches I checked.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: pixel86 on December 21, 2011, 14:36
If there's one thing exclusives love, it's being favoured at the one time of the year when nobody is buying.   ;)

LOL!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 21, 2011, 14:45
Maybe they want to put fresh and  unseen at any other competitor site content on front.

Buyers already have a way to select exclusive content only, if that's what they wish to do. There's been a check box for that for a long time.

Buyers can also search newest first and check exclusive only, if they want fresh and exclusive.

Best Match is, or was, supposed to be about something else, and for a long time was supposed to be about helping the buyer. All this nonsense about favoring one group of contributors over another means the company has taken its eye off the ball. In the long run, if you don't serve the buyers well, someone else will.

Maybe they have some year end objectives they're trying to meet - although doing something December 21st is cutting it awfully close. Perhaps it's just a bug, although they locked a Help forum thread versus said "we're working on a fix" so I suspect not.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: RT on December 21, 2011, 15:09
I've just realised why they've done this.

They're about to close down for the Christmas period and no doubt will be posting that nobody will be monitoring anything for the whole period, this way when all the credit card fraudsters around the world download exclusive files only there won't be the aftermath of angry posts in the forum from all us nasty independents, like there was last year, they'll say 'were working on it' and the majority of replies will be 'you guys rock'
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on December 21, 2011, 15:16
I've just realised why they've done this.

They're about to close down for the Christmas period and no doubt will be posting that nobody will be monitoring anything for the whole period, this way when all the credit card fraudsters around the world download exclusive files only there won't be the aftermath of angry posts in the forum from all us nasty independents, like there was last year, they'll say 'were working on it' and the majority of replies will be 'you guys rock'

Well... according to many people in this very forum, customers are unable to find search features more visible that the ones you quote (I mean the slider). We can have opinions on that, buy they, the IS administrators, have all the information about which feaures use the customers and wich not. Some years ago, one of them said that 90% of the searches were done directly through Best Match.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: mlwinphoto on December 21, 2011, 15:21
In a way I'm glad (for now) that my images have dropped off the best match radar.  I'm convinced that my sales are not being reported accurately (only one showing since Nov 17 which is hard to believe) and I have no confidence in iStock's ability or desire to correct this "problem".  Let the images hide until, and if, there is official word that things are back to normal.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Sedge on December 21, 2011, 15:23
Wow, what a difference a day makes.  Yesterday was an "okay" day with 13 downloads and about $20.  A lot less than last December, but that's to be expected.  Today as of noon in California, I've had one stink'n download for 60 cents.  My one Best Match test image that was always on the first page for the search "paper and backgrounds" and sold four times yesterday, is nowhere to be seen.  Looks like I'm gonna get coal in my stocking.  Bah, humbug!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 21, 2011, 15:31
We can have opinions on that, buy they, the IS administrators, have all the information about which feaures use the customers and wich not. Some years ago, one of them said that 90% of the searches were done directly through Best Match.

Yes we know. Many of us with established portfolios found that out in Sept 2006 when our Istock income dropped 30-40% overnight. It was an experience that made me, amongst others, avow never to go exclusive. Too risky to allow one agency to exercise so much power at the drop of a hat.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 21, 2011, 15:48
Obviously this has to be a bug, a mistake. I'm sure it will be back to a "normal" well represented Best Match quite soon. No need for panic.

I don't think it is a 'bug'. I think it is a ill-thought-out, knee-jerk reaction to an ever-increasing number of exclusives dropping the crown as sales tumble.

I guess it's saying that if you aren't exclusive you don't get any sales. Drop the crown and 100% of your earnings go out of the window.

I can't believe the Qatar search. It's my niche and my first image is on about page 9, my next one on or about p12. I suppose iStock is now a dead agency and all we have left is TS.

I wonder if there is any relation between the expected (and missed) end-of-year transfer of all non-x files to PP and the year end burying of non-x files on the search.

Now I have to find another source to fill the $300 gap.

JUST THOUGHT - they can't keep it like this forever because there will never be another exclusive. No newbie will ever get 500 sales (or is it 250? Either way, it's become unattainable).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pancaketom on December 21, 2011, 15:53
I've just realised why they've done this.

They're about to close down for the Christmas period and no doubt will be posting that nobody will be monitoring anything for the whole period, this way when all the credit card fraudsters around the world download exclusive files only there won't be the aftermath of angry posts in the forum from all us nasty independents, like there was last year, they'll say 'were working on it' and the majority of replies will be 'you guys rock'

<conspiracy theory> while they are closed for the holidays there will be massive downloads of vetta and other images from favored exclusives, of course the $ will all be clawed back, but to throw a bone to the favored ones they will allow the RCs to stay - thereby allowing the chosen to make their targets without actually costing them any money or letting the great unwashed get to their targets - genius</conspiracy theory>

Maybe Sean can make a greasemonkey script that only shows indy stuff. HA
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 21, 2011, 15:56
BTW, the HUGE winner on a "qatar" search is not the exclusives, it is Edstock. Maybe those uploads are the most recent "exclusive" material, but (high price?) editorial swamps the first pages of the search. That's not going to do iS any good in the longer term.

Searching on "Crete" shows that the only non-exclusives still allowed room on early pages are the illustrators.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 21, 2011, 16:04
I do urge everyone to do a search on "Crete" and check out the number one, top of the search, best match image - a completely non-descript, non-specific picture of "the sea surrounding Crete". It is, indeed, a picture of sea.

It's good to know what the very best iStock has to offer is!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 21, 2011, 16:08
I do urge everyone to do a search on "Crete" and check out the number one, top of the search, best match image - a completely non-descript, non-specific picture of "the sea surrounding Crete". It is, indeed, a picture of sea.

It's good to know what the very best iStock has to offer is!

Ah __ it's lovely! Just how I remember it from my holiday there in '89. I'd have bought that as a postcard if it had been available back then.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 21, 2011, 16:20
I do urge everyone to do a search on "Crete" and check out the number one, top of the search, best match image - a completely non-descript, non-specific picture of "the sea surrounding Crete". It is, indeed, a picture of sea.

It's good to know what the very best iStock has to offer is!

Ah __ it's lovely! Just how I remember it from my holiday there in '89. I'd have bought that as a postcard if it had been available back then.

Indeed! And it's certainly not a shot you could get from Shutterstock, because that's the exclusive quality we keep hearing about, that is!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: DiscreetDuck on December 21, 2011, 16:25
It seems to be that future sales will only be made by accident...   :-\
(for independants)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Buzbuzzer on December 21, 2011, 16:41
My best seller for the last 5 years is gone...

So I guess, this best match will only serve the exclusives that made a lot of uploads this year.

I predict a huge drop in sale for the larger contributors, who have a lot of old files.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Freedom on December 21, 2011, 16:59
I also noticed a best match shift. All my today's sales have been old files although I have many new ones.

It is not a bad day for me. No complaints.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 21, 2011, 17:04
I also noticed a best match shift. All my today's sales have been old files although I have many new ones.

It is not a bad day for me. No complaints.

Buyers don't always buy the same day. Some save images, show clients possibilities, create draft designs, etc, then they buy later.

So it may take a couple of weeks or more before we see the full effects of this best match change.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 21, 2011, 17:07
I don't seem to see any of Yuri's images in the first few pages of a search on "business". Methinks he will be a trifle miffed about being pushed off his pedestal.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: gbalex on December 21, 2011, 17:18
That's a huge change.

One of the searches I look at is San Antonio. There are 621 photos and one of mine is #6 by downloads and until today, has typically been somewhere in the first 5 or so by Best Match.

Today it's somewhere near the bottom of the second page of 200 and the whole first page of 200 is exclusive files. Unless I missed when scanning the page, all the images have a crown!

Even funnier, if I search for driftwood there are 3,123 photos and one of mine is #2 by downloads. It has been floating around on the first page by best match - it used to be on the top line. Today it's just past the 2,000 mark and the first 1,400 images are all exclusive! They have old (2007) zero download images from exclusives higher up than independent files that have actually sold.

This truly makes it clear that best match has zero to do with helping buyers find what they need better but is just a tool for the agency to see if they can't meet some goal or other of their own.

I can't wait to read the official explanations for why this is a good thing. If it actually helps boost sales at the site overall, that'd be one thing, but if it just drives more buyers away because they don't like what they see in searches, we all end up taking the hit in the long run. Tossers!

Trust me buyers do notice that we are being served images not in our best interest. One reason we no longer buy there, slider people give it a rest!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 21, 2011, 17:20
I don't seem to see any of Yuri's images in the first few pages of a search on "business". Methinks he will be a trifle miffed about being pushed off his pedestal.

Maybe the real plan is to depose Yuri and replace La Gagne back on the throne __ sort of an 'Istock Winter' revolution.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: aeonf on December 21, 2011, 17:23
Chill people, its a bug and I am sure they will fix it sooner or later (proly later then sooner, it is IS....)
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: adamkaz on December 21, 2011, 17:26
If there's one thing exclusives love, it's being favoured at the one time of the year when nobody is buying.   ;)

LOL!
Yeah... I don't mind it. This December is on pace to be +100% over last December and finish with numbers like October or November. Maybe nobody is buying, but it sure seems like a lot are.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 21, 2011, 17:46

I don't think it is a 'bug'. I think it is a ill-thought-out, knee-jerk reaction to an ever-increasing number of exclusives dropping the crown as sales tumble. We've heard from quite a few disgruntled individuals already on MSG and I can't imagine that they're alone. Maybe it is intended to be a temporary 'fix' to help exclusives attain their RC targets but it's probably too little, too late for many. This smacks of an act of desperation for a company whose business is irretrievably on the slide. If I were exclusive I wouldn't be rejoicing, I'd be worried about the future.

This is the only explanation that makes any sense.  Very well said. 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 21, 2011, 17:49
Chill people, its a bug and I am sure they will fix it sooner or later (proly later then sooner, it is IS....)

And the evidence for that assertion is????

Oh, yeah, I get it. The iStock algorithm just burped all by itself and wrote itself some new instructions. It happens all the time.

But I'm not un-chilled. Istock's already removed itself from the ranks of indispensible agencies, we just have to adapt by filling the gap from some other source. Freelancing is all about adaptability, as someone was pointing out on another thread.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: heywoody on December 21, 2011, 17:56
(a) A sort order shift is gonna hurt some folks but surely someone has to benefit?

(b) Why is everyone surprised that they will try and promote the one area they still have an edge?

(c)

I have a file that has been selling 60-70 times / month.
Since July it has earned them over 2000 $ and occupied one of the top spots in best match, they even selected it for a lightbox maintained by their staff.
Now this file is gone, I checked the first 30 pages.
That is ridiculous, they must be desparate.


60 -70 dls month on month - wow!  Any chance you could post a link?
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 21, 2011, 18:02
(a) A sort order shift is gonna hurt some folks but surely someone has to benefit?

No doubt, but there is still a lingering hope that there will be some stability in earnings - and people who have worked for years to build a position and rely on the income to pay their mortgage should be able to expect some respect from the agencies they have built up through their efforts. Changes that completely dislocate earnings should be something that agencies avoid for the sake of their suppliers and for their own reputation.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 21, 2011, 18:05
(a) A sort order shift is gonna hurt some folks but surely someone has to benefit?



Yeah.  In my case it seems to be Bigstock.  Sales are THROUGH THE ROOF yesterday and today.  Easily double my previous best day there.  

I couldn't understand it until I read this thread, but maybe it's becoming a hot spot for disaffected Istock buyers who don't want to get sub plans?  
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 21, 2011, 18:07
Changes that completely dislocate earnings should be something that agencies avoid for the sake of their suppliers and for their own reputation.

Completely agree, but in Istock's case, they long ago decided they don't care much for their reputation, and even less for their suppliers.   :P
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 21, 2011, 18:16
Changes that completely dislocate earnings should be something that agencies avoid for the sake of their suppliers and for their own reputation.

Completely agree, but in Istock's case, they long ago decided they don't care much for their reputation, and even less for their suppliers.   :P

True.

What amazes me is that not a word of this is being spoken on the IS forum (unless exclusives are laughing behind their hands on their own forum). Have we become so used to Istock's shenanigans that we can no longer be bothered?
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: heywoody on December 21, 2011, 18:21
(a) A sort order shift is gonna hurt some folks but surely someone has to benefit?

No doubt, but there is still a lingering hope that there will be some stability in earnings - and people who have worked for years to build a position and rely on the income to pay their mortgage should be able to expect some respect from the agencies they have built up through their efforts. Changes that completely dislocate earnings should be something that agencies avoid for the sake of their suppliers and for their own reputation.

Unfortunately, ANY company will shaft any employee / contractor / supplier, even one with whom there are personal relationships and / or has greatly increased profit and / or has saved their corporate asses on multiple occasions if the bean counters, rightly or wrongly (and usually wrongly e.g. ford pinto), think it will save a buck.  What chance have relatively nameless and faceless stock contributors?
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 21, 2011, 18:26


What amazes me is that not a word of this is being spoken on the IS forum (unless exclusives are laughing behind their hands on their own forum). Have we become so used to Istock's shenanigans that we can no longer be bothered?
There was one thread earlier, promptly locked. The guy had a small port and got the typical dismissal based on needing more files before the thread was locked. Why would anyone post when they know they'll be licked or banned or both
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 21, 2011, 18:35
What amazes me is that not a word of this is being spoken on the IS forum (unless exclusives are laughing behind their hands on their own forum). Have we become so used to Istock's shenanigans that we can no longer be bothered?

It was briefly mentioned in this thread before Lobo locked it:
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=338629&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=338629&page=1)
You surely can't have forgotten that threads get locked, disappeared and posters get warned and banned sine die.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: jamirae on December 21, 2011, 18:59
(a) A sort order shift is gonna hurt some folks but surely someone has to benefit?



Yeah.  In my case it seems to be Bigstock.  Sales are THROUGH THE ROOF yesterday and today.  Easily double my previous best day there.  

I couldn't understand it until I read this thread, but maybe it's becoming a hot spot for disaffected Istock buyers who don't want to get sub plans?  

I think I need to join BigStock.  I was thinking there was going to be link to them from SS (the "bridge to BigStock" --- am I thinking of the correct agencies?)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 21, 2011, 19:45
Bigstock has been dead as a door nail for me. They used to be OK so perhaps it's just bad for newbies?
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: michaeldb on December 21, 2011, 20:54
(a) A sort order shift is gonna hurt some folks but surely someone has to benefit?

Yeah.  In my case it seems to be Bigstock.  Sales are THROUGH THE ROOF yesterday and today.  Easily double my previous best day there.  

I couldn't understand it until I read this thread, but maybe it's becoming a hot spot for disaffected Istock buyers who don't want to get sub plans?  
Having my best day in a while on Bigstock, but really rocking on DT, probably my best day ever there. More than twice my normal day (and only one was a Christmas image, so it's not a Christmas thing). Thank you, iStock?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Buzbuzzer on December 21, 2011, 21:05
The new best match is probably very good for users like Edstock, who entered IS by the back door...
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 21, 2011, 21:51
Changes that completely dislocate earnings should be something that agencies avoid for the sake of their suppliers and for their own reputation.

Completely agree, but in Istock's case, they long ago decided they don't care much for their reputation, and even less for their suppliers.   :P

True.

What amazes me is that not a word of this is being spoken on the IS forum (unless exclusives are laughing behind their hands on their own forum). Have we become so used to Istock's shenanigans that we can no longer be bothered?

Sales today are nothing unusual.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 21, 2011, 21:52
I've just gone 10 f**king hours between sales, right through the middle of the European & American working hours. Back in the day (like two years ago) 'only' 30 or 40 might have been a tad disappointing.

It is utterly tragic what they have done to that site. We could all, including and especially Istock, have earned a very good living for a very long time if they hadn't screwed it up.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 21, 2011, 21:55
Sales today are nothing unusual.

Really? They should be much better for exclusives being as all the independent stuff is buried.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: helix7 on December 21, 2011, 22:07
So what's this mean... my already abysmal sales at istock are going to get worse? Not sure that's possible unless I start giving them money.

This is a non-issue for me. istock is not of any concern anymore. If things turn around, great. If not, so be it, I'm already moving on.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Equus on December 21, 2011, 22:25
I'm exclusive, and sales are OK but nothing special.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: klsbear on December 21, 2011, 22:27
perhaps buyers will learn to search by age or downloads instead of "best" match?

I suspect at least some are searching by downloads or one of the other options.  I have a few images that have been appearing in the first few rows of Best Match and now they are several pages back after all the crowns.  Both images sold today.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Greg Epperson on December 21, 2011, 22:52
I'm an independent.  Searching "rock climb", 5 of my images are in the top 80 when sorting by Downloads , up until this week these and more appeared in the first 200 Best Match sort results.  This current Best Match shift has buried them very, very deep in the results.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: SNP on December 22, 2011, 00:15
Sales usual for a few days before xmas...if there is a big exclusive boost, it's not doing much for me
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 22, 2011, 00:53
Obviously this has to be a bug, a mistake. I'm sure it will be back to a "normal" well represented Best Match quite soon. No need for panic.

I don't think it is a 'bug'. I think it is a ill-thought-out, knee-jerk reaction to an ever-increasing number of exclusives dropping the crown as sales tumble. We've heard from quite a few disgruntled individuals already on MSG and I can't imagine that they're alone. Maybe it is intended to be a temporary 'fix' to help exclusives attain their RC targets but it's probably too little, too late for many. This smacks of an act of desperation for a company whose business is irretrievably on the slide. If I were exclusive I wouldn't be rejoicing, I'd be worried about the future.

If this was a deliberate change to the Best Match to protect/please/keep exclusives it isn't really the best they could do is it?

At the moment the search is heavily skewed towards RECENTLY UPLOADED EXCLUSIVE files. This will only benefit exclusives in those particular areas/niches where they just recently have uploaded. Old established work is buried deep deep in the search. So an exclusive might get a boost in sales in new work, but old established proven best sellers or well selling images are moved far towards the back.

The result will be that ONLY RECENT FILES FROM EXCLUSIVES will benefit from this, that doesn't mean that overall it is benefiting exclusives very well. Many established exclusives as well as independents will be dis-advantaged from this.

I still think/feel this is temporary, either for an for us unknown reason or a not uncommon glitch. The Best Match at the moment is not a Best Match and that is not serving iStock's customers very well, iStock will see that, the customers will experience that and realize that the current best match search is "unsustainable". I'm sure it will soon be "fixed", fingers crossed.

Also, yesterday's sales were quite normal, not great, not devastatingly bad.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on December 22, 2011, 01:53
there appears no use in uploading as an independent at all. The sales I get are mostly through TS or probably from uses who search by downloads. As time goes on the files will all go to the bottom.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on December 22, 2011, 01:58
how could you get to be an exclusive at Istock if you were starting out now? (apart from instant pre arranged promotion with a collection).

What do they want long term? All exclusives? Independents just on TS? Only exclusives that put in heaps of new content?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 22, 2011, 02:02
Sales usual for a few days before xmas...if there is a big exclusive boost, it's not doing much for me

Maybe it is Edstock who is benefiting, "he" certainly dominated my Qatar search.  No doubt the management will be buying in champagne if the sales are going there.

As for the iStock forums, obviously Lobo has won. The last thread I opened there, helpfully informing them of the reappearance of a bug and which I carefully put in the forum where Joyce discusses bugs, was slammed shut by Lobo with the comment "this isn't the help forum". My unwritten response was "Well, feck you, you uncouth ar$e'ole. I didn't want help, I was simply trying to give your company early warning of the reappearance of a bug. If you don't want my help then I won't fecking bother, you winker". So I see no point in posting what would be a "oooh-nay" thread when they deliberately shift the search. We know the wolfman doesn't like it.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 22, 2011, 02:11
Really!  we are very stupid here!  every time this happens,  up comes all these threads, postings, etc. Why not just let them hang in there, let them try to survive on their meazly little 5000, exclusives and then see what happens. Be like GM, trying to survive without thousands of factory workers,  down they go.

Its all going according to the Getty plan, they are slowly strangling the company, bleeding it dry, in fact, hoping the reaction will be that lots of exclusives and independants are leaving.

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.

They have just thrown the exclusives a bone, in the form of a best match, knowing fully well that will shut them up over the hollidays, etc, then after all hollidays, the wrecking-crew will emerge and brush them aside and why not?  they seem so stupid they believe anything,  even in Santa.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: aeonf on December 22, 2011, 02:18
^^ I believe in my sales figures which are good so far.
Is that a bad thing ?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: SNP on December 22, 2011, 02:19
Sales usual for a few days before xmas...if there is a big exclusive boost, it's not doing much for me

Maybe it is Edstock who is benefiting, "he" certainly dominated my Qatar search.  No doubt the management will be buying in champagne if the sales are going there.

As for the iStock forums, obviously Lobo has won. The last thread I opened there, helpfully informing them of the reappearance of a bug and which I carefully put in the forum where Joyce discusses bugs, was slammed shut by Lobo with the comment "this isn't the help forum". My unwritten response was "Well, feck you, you uncouth ar$e'ole. I didn't want help, I was simply trying to give your company early warning of the reappearance of a bug. If you don't want my help then I won't fecking bother, you winker". So I see no point in posting what would be a "oooh-nay" thread when they deliberately shift the search. We know the wolfman doesn't like it.

I know you're partly kidding...but I gotta say, I think Edstock is getting way too much press. I don't like Edstock, and I really don't like how they've trucked it all in and locked us out. having said that, Edstock is just a dumping ground for archival editorial images that Getty had laying around gathering dust--so they might as well make a few bucks off the images. Edstock is a threat to editorial contributors mainly because it represents a thoroughly insulting double standard. The Edstock collection doesn't pose any serious sales threat nor is it stealing all the best match window space.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 22, 2011, 02:27
^^ I believe in my sales figures which are good so far.
Is that a bad thing ?

Sorry!  but I do not!  I believe lots of exclusives are right now cr###ing themselves, and put in promised land, desperatly by the skinn of their teeth proclaiming just about anything. If not, how come then that the three, all diamond exclusives, I have known for years are right now, preparing to drop the crown?

In any event, IS,  is no longer an interesting proposition or company. Its a "has been".
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 22, 2011, 02:54
Really!  we are very stupid here!  every time this happens,  up comes all these threads, postings, etc. Why not just let them hang in there, let them try to survive on their meazly little 5000, exclusives and then see what happens. Be like GM, trying to survive without thousands of factory workers,  down they go.

Its all going according to the Getty plan, they are slowly strangling the company, bleeding it dry, in fact, hoping the reaction will be that lots of exclusives and independants are leaving.

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.

They have just thrown the exclusives a bone, in the form of a best match, knowing fully well that will shut them up over the hollidays, etc, then after all hollidays, the wrecking-crew will emerge and brush them aside and why not?  they seem so stupid they believe anything,  even in Santa.

There is no real bone thrown at the exclusives. Well established exclusives with years of creating well-selling images are being punished. Only recently uploaded files by exclusives benefit. Exclusives will only benefit in those particular areas/niches where they have RECENTLY uploaded - in all other areas (areas where they haven't uploaded but have excellent images in) they will be punished by other exclusives that have uploaded those subjects. So new very active exclusives stand to benefit the most, the rest are losing out.

Therefore I don't think this is really according to your theory of the Getty "plan". Why would they want to push well-established with a proven track-record exclusives towards independence thus benefiting their direct competitors - that doesn't make any sense for Getty or iStock. I must be missing something?

ADDED:
If this really isn't temporary, a glitch or similar it is really a super incentive for exclusives to "go to work" and work their socks off! Never before has there been such an opportunity to upload, get properly seen and sell new work. Time to get busy!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: RapidEye on December 22, 2011, 03:04
Exclusive here, sales rather normal. Could be seeing a bias towards newer files, but there's a fairly even mix between 2011 and 2010 images. Not much older stuff moving though.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 22, 2011, 03:21
Hi martin!

Well, yes, if this isnt temporary?  but really?  what else can they do?  they are dropping exclusives all over the place and we are not just talking about the run-of-the-mill, contributors here, we are talking heavy exclusives, etc. Ofcourse!  they HAVE, to do something and what better then to throw a bit of monies in their pockets.

Surely you must see its exactly the same pattern as back in 93, when Getty took over Stones and Image-Bank but with the incredible differance: it wasnt internet-based and with billions of digital files, also the people then were of a differant breed, professionaly, that is.

Dont you see?  in the long run they cant have IS, running alongside TS, it doesnt make sense! Vettas or no Vettas, it just does not make business-sense. Sooner or later they are forced to come with an excuse or reason, why even the exclusives simply have to go with TS.
I would say, forget the independant, thats not a problem for them, their big problerm will be their exclusives, how to break the news, etc, still keeping them happy, thats their main problem.
We, the independants, were the lucky ones, we are out of it. :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 22, 2011, 03:26
Exclusive here, sales rather normal. Could be seeing a bias towards newer files, but there's a fairly even mix between 2011 and 2010 images. Not much older stuff moving though.

Same here, my sales are pretty normal as well, no problem, but?? :-\, doesnt mean anything does it? its not just down to money, is it.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 22, 2011, 03:27
Sales usual for a few days before xmas...if there is a big exclusive boost, it's not doing much for me

Maybe it is Edstock who is benefiting, "he" certainly dominated my Qatar search.  No doubt the management will be buying in champagne if the sales are going there.

As for the iStock forums, obviously Lobo has won. The last thread I opened there, helpfully informing them of the reappearance of a bug and which I carefully put in the forum where Joyce discusses bugs, was slammed shut by Lobo with the comment "this isn't the help forum". My unwritten response was "Well, feck you, you uncouth ar$e'ole. I didn't want help, I was simply trying to give your company early warning of the reappearance of a bug. If you don't want my help then I won't fecking bother, you winker". So I see no point in posting what would be a "oooh-nay" thread when they deliberately shift the search. We know the wolfman doesn't like it.

I know you're partly kidding...but I gotta say, I think Edstock is getting way too much press. I don't like Edstock, and I really don't like how they've trucked it all in and locked us out. having said that, Edstock is just a dumping ground for archival editorial images that Getty had laying around gathering dust--so they might as well make a few bucks off the images. Edstock is a threat to editorial contributors mainly because it represents a thoroughly insulting double standard. The Edstock collection doesn't pose any serious sales threat nor is it stealing all the best match window space.

I wasn't kidding at all. In the last 12 hours four or five new exclusive images of Qatar have been accepted and now top the search, if you search on "Qatar" and disregard those, you will see what I mean. Page after page is dominated by Edstock. Maybe that search is an exception to the rule but niches where uploading is low are likely to see it if "Edstock" has been there because best match now seems to mean "Exclusive by descending age".

Edstock is a threat to travel photographers since lots of generic travel is included in it and buyers may take an editorial image with people for travel advert/orials regardless of the labelling.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 22, 2011, 04:15
Hi martin!

Well, yes, if this isnt temporary?  but really?  what else can they do?  they are dropping exclusives all over the place and we are not just talking about the run-of-the-mill, contributors here, we are talking heavy exclusives, etc. Ofcourse!  they HAVE, to do something and what better then to throw a bit of monies in their pockets.

Surely you must see its exactly the same pattern as back in 93, when Getty took over Stones and Image-Bank but with the incredible differance: it wasnt internet-based and with billions of digital files, also the people then were of a differant breed, professionaly, that is.

Dont you see?  in the long run they cant have IS, running alongside TS, it doesnt make sense! Vettas or no Vettas, it just does not make business-sense. Sooner or later they are forced to come with an excuse or reason, why even the exclusives simply have to go with TS.
I would say, forget the independant, thats not a problem for them, their big problerm will be their exclusives, how to break the news, etc, still keeping them happy, thats their main problem.
We, the independants, were the lucky ones, we are out of it. :)

My point was that this isn't exactly a way of "throwing a bit of money" on exclusives. My reasoning is that only most well-established exclusives will lose money with this best match, the type of exclusives you would think they would like to keep. This best match is more geared towards more recent exclusives, uploading new content.

Wasn't around in this industry in '93, didn't get started full-time in photography and stock until 2002-2003.

Also don't see the problem with Getty keeping/nurturing iStock. My sense is that Thinkstock, Photos.com will be their low-end proper subscription microstock, iStock is in today's market close to and probably still moving towards mid-stock, and "proper" Getty will be the high-end RM/RF.

By that segmentation they (Getty) would cover the entire spectrum of the market? Sounds like a plan and make sense to me. Naturally I don't really know anything of Getty's proper intentions, except making as much money as possible.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on December 22, 2011, 04:22

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.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: wut on December 22, 2011, 04:27
Sales today are nothing unusual.

Looks like traffic fell to a level, even with such an enormous boost all that exclusives get, are average sales. My sales are limited to 3/day (for 3 days in a row now). Now that can't be a coincidence
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: loop on December 22, 2011, 04:31
Sales today are nothing unusual.

Looks like traffic fell to a level, even with such an enormous boost all that exclusives get, are average sales. My sales are limited to 3/day (for 3 days in a row now). Now that can't be a coincidence

Until now, I'm having Best Week Ever. Being Christmas so near, I suppose that it won't hold until Sunday, but for the moment, it works.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on December 22, 2011, 06:26
"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."

The outcomes of individual company's marketing strategy are easier to predict than tecnology of the future. Clearly sales for independents are in the main from "downloads" searches. Nothing new gets seen. Giving exclusives a better best match and new content from exclusive great best match shows a worrying pattern not just for independents but many old faithfuls will see an accelerating decline in income. Sales from Istock already appear down only made up by higher prices and TS. Searches will not look better at Istock than elsewhere. I would say they may look worse, more expensive and have less variety. Tell me I am wrong but this is business. Money is being made short term without real long term strategies (apart from sell on the basis of record profits). Certainlt what happens to contributors is not part of the plan. It is better to get in "collections", no inspection required and good cash rewards than deal with contributors en masse.
Title: Re: Another Massive best match Shift
Post by: briciola on December 22, 2011, 08:01
Changes that completely dislocate earnings should be something that agencies avoid for the sake of their suppliers and for their own reputation.

Completely agree, but in Istock's case, they long ago decided they don't care much for their reputation, and even less for their suppliers.   :P

True.

What amazes me is that not a word of this is being spoken on the IS forum (unless exclusives are laughing behind their hands on their own forum). Have we become so used to Istock's shenanigans that we can no longer be bothered?
There were a couple of posts earlier, independents flabbergasted at the new best match...but Kelvin deleted them.  (I used to think he called it as he saw it...now he comes across every bit the tosser that lobo is)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 22, 2011, 08:36
ADDED:
If this really isn't temporary, a glitch or similar it is really a super incentive for exclusives to "go to work" and work their socks off! Never before has there been such an opportunity to upload, get properly seen and sell new work. Time to get busy!

Of course it's temporary: like all BMs, "this too will pass".
It also makes a mockery of Lobo's post:
"M seems to be in a place that the Warlocks are happy with right now. Does that mean everyone is going to be happy? No. Not everyone is going to be happy. Do we sort best match to please contributors who are searching every 20 minutes or so? No, we sort best match based on what we think the buying public is interested in."
He probably needs to change that to "what we would like the buying public to be interested in".
For example, clearly a potential buyer wanting to buy a 'photo' of a 'rainforest' was really looking for this all the time, just didn't know it:
http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-18465676-close-up-of-dark-haired-man.php?st=4fd1af5 (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-18465676-close-up-of-dark-haired-man.php?st=4fd1af5)
or
http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-18470824-giraffe.php?st=4fd1af5 (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-18470824-giraffe.php?st=4fd1af5) (for anyone who doesn't know, a giraffe's natural habitat is savannah, not rainforest)

Oh yes, I have an axe to grind. I had a rainforest pic arrive 'at last' in my portfolio on Tuesday night, and it's already down at #86, and one which arrived in my port this morning is at #71, below tons of these cartoons including this one, which is at #28 for a search on 'rainforest' photos only, best match:
http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-18318383-baby-elephant.php?st=fa44927 (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-18318383-baby-elephant.php?st=fa44927)
So I'm afraid it's not giving this independent any motivation to 'feed the beast'. If you submit to areas spammed by CSA, Ed or the other recent pseudo-exclusive spammers, the game's a bogey. Wait till the next best match, I guess.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pro@stockphotos on December 22, 2011, 08:55

 Giving exclusives a better best match and new content from exclusive great best match shows a worrying pattern not just for independents but many old faithfuls will see an accelerating decline in income. Sales from Istock already appear down only made up by higher prices and TS. Searches will not look better at Istock than elsewhere. I would say they may look worse, more expensive and have less variety. Tell me I am wrong but this is business. Money is being made short term without real long term strategies (apart from sell on the basis of record profits). Certainlt what happens to contributors is not part of the plan. It is better to get in "collections", no inspection required and good cash rewards than deal with contributors en masse.

    I completely am baffled by these claims.  You say istock is making a mistake by having content no one else has and their higher prices can not support this exclusive content.  You say they would be better to continue with showcasing independents that are on every site out there where price the only difference.
      I was shocked a few years back when best match was so utterly dominated by Yuri and then MBI.  That was truly a short term profit strategy that had no long term health for istock.  Now, maybe because independents thought this foolish short term money grab was smart they are surprised.  But in truth it made no business sense to feature content that is not exclusive.  Did you not see the Bigstock ad saying they were (some percentage) cheaper than istock.  Well now that marketing strategy doesn't hold water.  I remember looking at other sites a while back and seeing the same images on the best match of every site.  It was dumb of istock to have the basic same best match as shutterstock when prices were not the same.  It would be like Coca-cola allowing their exact formula to be sold in cheaper bottles by competitors.  Coke charges a premium for their product because no one else has it.  How is price supported otherwise?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 22, 2011, 09:31
    I completely am baffled by these claims.  You say istock is making a mistake by having content no one else has and their higher prices can not support this exclusive content.  You say they would be better to continue with showcasing independents that are on every site out there where price the only difference.
      I was shocked a few years back when best match was so utterly dominated by Yuri and then MBI.  That was truly a short term profit strategy that had no long term health for istock.  Now, maybe because independents thought this foolish short term money grab was smart they are surprised.  But in truth it made no business sense to feature content that is not exclusive.  Did you not see the Bigstock ad saying they were (some percentage) cheaper than istock. 

The point is that IS had the same independent content as other sites AND the exclusive content too. Therefore it was the best of both worlds. It would have been absurd for Istock to have not represented Yuri, 'the world's most popular stock photographer', amongst many others. Istock also differentiated itself from other agencies by the site features, the search, the technical standards, customer service, etc, etc.

Istock actually had a staggeringly successful business formula right up until they just got ridiculously greedy in 2010. It was the commission cuts that were the 'short term profit strategy that had no long term health for istock'. That and the introduction of high-priced collections which dominated the best match, the refusal for months to introduce a filter, the price increases too many to count and the endless site bugs. That's where it all went wrong __ not fairly representing independent contributors.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: briciola on December 22, 2011, 09:45
"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
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: jbarber873 on December 22, 2011, 10:10
   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.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 22, 2011, 10:22
"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?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: briciola on December 22, 2011, 10:30
"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?
yeah, that'll be it.  Istock giving customers what they want  ::)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 22, 2011, 10:31
"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?

Someone who cared that much could tick 'exclusives only'. OK they have to work out to filter under 'more attributes', but I just did it in about five seconds; so if they cared that much, they could easily work it out.
Also if so many buyers said that, the sensible thing would be to make that option more visible.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on December 22, 2011, 10:34
"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?

Exactly, and being recent exclousive content, can't also be in TS.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 22, 2011, 10:36
Someone who cared that much could tick 'exclusives only'. OK they have to work out to filter under 'more attributes', but I just did it in about five seconds; so if they cared that much, they could easily work it out.
Also if so many buyers said that, the sensible thing would be to make that option more visible.

Remember, buyers are stoopid - they can't be bothered to figure out things like sliders and buttons and stuff like that there.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 22, 2011, 10:49
Someone who cared that much could tick 'exclusives only'. OK they have to work out to filter under 'more attributes', but I just did it in about five seconds; so if they cared that much, they could easily work it out.
Also if so many buyers said that, the sensible thing would be to make that option more visible.

Remember, buyers are stoopid - they can't be bothered to figure out things like sliders and buttons and stuff like that there.

Och - that was just the one buyer, and he doesn't buy at iStock now, apparently.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 22, 2011, 11:09
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?

So the buyers first bought 1.3M of Yuri's images (plus 350K of MB's, 200K of Lisa's, etc, etc) before finally deciding that they didn't want to see them anymore. Interesting theory. "We the buyers demand less choice when we shop here".

We just have to hope that 'their market surveying' didn't say that buyers wanted cheaper prices too __ because Istock always does what the buyers want right?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pro@stockphotos on December 22, 2011, 11:19
   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.

   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.  If independents are as good or close to the best exclusive and their photos are selling just as well then eventually when there are site problems or price increases then buyers surely say what else is available.  That is when they might discover that yuri's exact image is sitting there at a competitor for $1 instead of $15.   And independents think this if a fair business model for all involved.  You cannot compete on price and act as though the buyers won't notice and gravitate to the cheapest next best option.  A site with very little exclusive content has exactly what to offer besides price?  Independents seem to notice that istock is taking buyers from getty and ignore the reasons the cheaper sites are taking buyers from istock.
 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 22, 2011, 11:31
"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 (?).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 22, 2011, 12:00

   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.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 22, 2011, 12:03

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.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 22, 2011, 12:10
   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.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 22, 2011, 12:29
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.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 22, 2011, 12:35
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.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: somethingpretentious on December 22, 2011, 12:40
If this change is here to stay, It will no longer be worth uploading to iS for many independents.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on December 22, 2011, 12:43
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.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 22, 2011, 12:45
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.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: jamirae on December 22, 2011, 12:53
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.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Buzbuzzer on December 22, 2011, 14:03
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...
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 22, 2011, 14:34
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.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Eyedesign on December 22, 2011, 14:51
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.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Buzbuzzer on December 22, 2011, 14:52
By the way, If I was independant, I would probably give SS smaller file sizes... so that it doesn't hurt my sales elsewhere.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 22, 2011, 14:59
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. 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: jbarber873 on December 22, 2011, 15:22
^^ 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.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 22, 2011, 15:23
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.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 22, 2011, 15:30
^^ 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.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pro@stockphotos on December 22, 2011, 15:31

   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.  
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: traveler1116 on December 22, 2011, 15:36
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...
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 22, 2011, 15:45
...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.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 22, 2011, 15:46
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.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 22, 2011, 15:54
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?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 22, 2011, 15:56
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?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 22, 2011, 16:00
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.)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 22, 2011, 16:03
Wasn't Yuri recently complaining about sales in general?

If you call 2 years ago 'recent'. Bizarrely he seemed to assume that his return per image should remain static despite the millions of new images (including his own) being uploaded each year. No sensible person that I know ever believed that the growth in demand could keep up with the growth in supply ... forever. He's still making a good living though.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 22, 2011, 16:09
...I just know that independents do not help istock in the long run.  ...

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 debatable. It would depend on how much revenue dropped from losing indies.

What percentage of IS is exclusive vs indie? 10% exclusive?

If the current revenue was divided up between 5,000 (?) people instead of 50,000 (?) would the remaining people, even with the 20% flat rate, make more or less? Hard to say.

Gettyimages is image/shoot exclusive so maybe this is where they're headed with IS.

Just sayin'
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 22, 2011, 16:12
Wasn't Yuri recently complaining about sales in general?


If you call 2 years ago 'recent'. Bizarrely he seemed to assume that his return per image should remain static despite the millions of new images (including his own) being uploaded each year. No sensible person that I know ever believed that the growth in demand could keep up with the growth in supply ... forever. He's still making a good living though.


2 years ago?

Maybe you need a new clock (http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/sales-dropping-istock-especially/)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 22, 2011, 16:14
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.)

Depends how 'temporary' it turns out to be. Right now it is not worth the time of independent contributors to upload new images to Istock. I'm really not sure that that will ever change in the future.

Maybe it will help Istock if exclusives now become too frightened to give up their crowns. Who knows?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 22, 2011, 16:17
^^ 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.

Sure - but that is no gauge of quality. And while good enough may do, if it costs more than stuff elsewhere that's sorted so that slightly better than good enough is at the front, where will people eventually go? To the expensive "just good enough, but, hey, you can't find it elsewhere" site, or to the "better than just good enough and much cheaper than iStock" site.

Which is the point I was making that Loop choked on. Maybe I phrased it slightly provocatively  ;D but it is a serious point. Exclusivity is not a selling point unless something is not only not available elsewhere but is also better than what is elsewhere. And there's so much imitation that a lot of stuff that an exclusive has is no different from what is available elsewhere. There are travel shots I've taken where I've stood in the same spot as a Getty photographer at the same time of day and pointed my camera at the same thing, and the same goes for some "exclusive" material (I should point out that these are coincidences, not deliberate copying).

You can only market exclusive work as deserving premium prices if it is actually different from or superior to what is available elsewhere. "Just good enough" doesn't hack it at the higher price point.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Buzbuzzer on December 22, 2011, 16:27
Would you contribute to a site that has the same image quality as SS, but sell their picture at 1/10 of the price?
What would happen to SS is actually happening to Istock...

Do not be blind, every SS sale is a sale lost somewhere else...
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 22, 2011, 16:28
You can only market exclusive work as deserving premium prices if it is actually different from or superior to what is available elsewhere. "Just good enough" doesn't hack it at the higher price point.

"That's the image I have to have" means the image gets bought whatever the cost.  If it is exclusive, then there's only one place to buy it, and one price for it.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: jbarber873 on December 22, 2011, 16:32
You can only market exclusive work as deserving premium prices if it is actually different from or superior to what is available elsewhere. "Just good enough" doesn't hack it at the higher price point.

"That's the image I have to have" means the image gets bought whatever the cost.  If it is exclusive, then there's only one place to buy it, and one price for it.

   That used to be the thinking at the RM sites. Sales for "got to have it regardless of the cost" is not what made IS work, and it won't save them in the future. There isn't enough volume.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 22, 2011, 16:33
Exclusivity is not a selling point unless something is not only not available elsewhere but is also better than what is elsewhere.

Exclusivity is not a selling point unless something is not only not available elsewhere but is also better also has higher perceived buyer value than what is elsewhere.

Buyers buy for a number of reasons including convenience, deadlines, most profitable, what their client feels is the best image, and on and on.

So "better" means a lot of things to a lot of different people and what it means to contributors really is probably the least important.

Trader Joes is a USA specialty grocery store that is wildly successful. They have their own brands and unique offerings that aren't really any better than any other product. But they charge more because they don't carry the same things as every other grocery store and make boatloads of money doing it.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 22, 2011, 16:34
Would you contribute to a site that has the same image quality as SS, but sell their picture at 1/10 of the price?
What would happen to SS is actually happening to Istock...

Do not be blind, every SS sale is a sale lost somewhere else...

Well there was Thinkstock and most of us boycotted it whilst we had a choice ... so I'd say the answer for most of us is 'No'.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 22, 2011, 16:38
Sean, yes, if it is an image someone has found and "must have" they will pay whatever is necessary. But very few sales are like that (at least, at the time of initial selection, once something has customer approval it's different).  There are also many close similars all over the place.

If you see Alamy search data you'll notice that most people will find something to suit them on the first page or two of a search. That's a "most suitable without wasting too much time" seach pattern, not a "must find the one-and-only best, must-have image" behaviour.

I don't doubt that your own work justifies a higher price but you are exceptional and this search doesn't seem sophisticated enough to recognise that, so I suspect your older files are getting buried behind more recent exclusive material that is far below your own quality - and it shouldn't be like that if they are trying to promote exclusive work as the mark of excellence.


Would you contribute to a site that has the same image quality as SS, but sell their picture at 1/10 of the price?
Not if the commission was 3c per sale. I don't really understand the point of the question, or who it was aimed at. (And thinkstock never was 1/10 of SS's price).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 22, 2011, 16:40
You can only market exclusive work as deserving premium prices if it is actually different from or superior to what is available elsewhere. "Just good enough" doesn't hack it at the higher price point.

"That's the image I have to have" means the image gets bought whatever the cost.  If it is exclusive, then there's only one place to buy it, and one price for it.

   That used to be the thinking at the RM sites. Sales for "got to have it regardless of the cost" is not what made IS work, and it won't save them in the future. There isn't enough volume.

2 credits vs. 1 credit is not the same as $5000 for RM vs. $1 for micro.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 22, 2011, 16:41
You can only market exclusive work as deserving premium prices if it is actually different from or superior to what is available elsewhere. "Just good enough" doesn't hack it at the higher price point.

"That's the image I have to have" means the image gets bought whatever the cost.  If it is exclusive, then there's only one place to buy it, and one price for it.

   That used to be the thinking at the RM sites. Sales for "got to have it regardless of the cost" is not what made IS work, and it won't save them in the future. There isn't enough volume.

But the RM sites are potentially hundreds to thousands of dollars.

If a buyer sees a "got to have it exclusive" image on IS for $30 are they really going to waste time wading through other sites trying to find something comparable for maybe $20? I doubt it. Not unless they're billing their client hourly for research time. "Look dear client, I charged you $100 in research fees to save you $10".
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 22, 2011, 16:50
You can only market exclusive work as deserving premium prices if it is actually different from or superior to what is available elsewhere. "Just good enough" doesn't hack it at the higher price point.

"That's the image I have to have" means the image gets bought whatever the cost.  If it is exclusive, then there's only one place to buy it, and one price for it.

   That used to be the thinking at the RM sites. Sales for "got to have it regardless of the cost" is not what made IS work, and it won't save them in the future. There isn't enough volume.



If a buyer sees a "got to have it exclusive" image on IS for $30 are they really going to waste time wading through other sites trying to find something comparable for maybe $20? I doubt it. Not unless they're billing their client hourly for research time. "Look dear client, I charged you $100 in research fees to save you $10".

Are they going to spend time wading through a poor search result on iStock to find an exclusive "must have" file if they reckon they will probably find one on another site with a better search for a lower price?

If they never see the exclusive's file, they'll never want it.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: WarrenPrice on December 22, 2011, 16:54
Wondering if there is really a point to this? 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 22, 2011, 16:58
Wondering if there is really a point to this? 

I suppose that depends on whether iStock execs read the threads or not.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 22, 2011, 16:59
Wondering if there is really a point to this? 

Yes, the winner gets bragging rights as the smartest person on MSG and a bowl of soup.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: WarrenPrice on December 22, 2011, 17:00
^^  ;D
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 22, 2011, 17:02
Wondering if there is really a point to this? 

I suppose that depends on whether iStock execs read the threads or not.

Of course they do. How do you think they introduce all of these new ways to reduce our benefits? They can come here and openly read contributor's battle plans and adjust accordingly.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 22, 2011, 17:05
Wondering if there is really a point to this? 

I suppose that depends on whether iStock execs read the threads or not.

Of course they do. How do you think they introduce all of these new ways to reduce our benefits? They can come here and openly read contributor's battle plans and adjust accordingly.

Yeah, I guess they'd be pretty bored by their own forums - I know they don't read those.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 22, 2011, 17:09
Wondering if there is really a point to this?  

I suppose that depends on whether iStock execs read the threads or not.

Of course they do. How do you think they introduce all of these new ways to reduce our benefits? They can come here and openly read contributor's battle plans and adjust accordingly.

Yeah, I guess they'd be pretty bored by their own forums - I know they don't read those.

Nevermind. Just got the joke.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: disorderly on December 22, 2011, 17:11
Do not be blind, every SS sale is a sale lost somewhere else...

Actually no, I don't believe it is.  I've had way too many sales of images from series to believe that subscription buyers and individual image buyers behave in exactly the same way.  Heck, just the fact that my Shutterstock subscription income exceeds that of every other site I submit to suggests that subscription buyers download a lot more, so many more that they more than make up for the lower per-image compensation I receive.  I don't doubt that subscriptions encourage this kind of behavior.  I've seen it at Shutterstock, and at CanStock and Deposit as well.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 22, 2011, 17:14
Do not be blind, every SS sale is a sale lost somewhere else...

Actually no, I don't believe it is.  I've had way too many sales of images from series to believe that subscription buyers and individual image buyers behave in exactly the same way.  Heck, just the fact that my Shutterstock subscription income exceeds that of every other site I submit to suggests that subscription buyers download a lot more, so many more that they more than make up for the lower per-image compensation I receive.  I don't doubt that subscriptions encourage this kind of behavior.  I've seen it at Shutterstock, and at CanStock and Deposit as well.

So are you saying they're hoarding and downloading stuff they wouldn't buy or use?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: disorderly on December 22, 2011, 17:16
Do not be blind, every SS sale is a sale lost somewhere else...

Actually no, I don't believe it is.  I've had way too many sales of images from series to believe that subscription buyers and individual image buyers behave in exactly the same way.  Heck, just the fact that my Shutterstock subscription income exceeds that of every other site I submit to suggests that subscription buyers download a lot more, so many more that they more than make up for the lower per-image compensation I receive.  I don't doubt that subscriptions encourage this kind of behavior.  I've seen it at Shutterstock, and at CanStock and Deposit as well.

So are you saying they're hoarding and downloading stuff they wouldn't buy or use?

I'm not saying that.  Maybe they are, or maybe they're downloading multiple images so they can choose l'image juste later.  Or maybe they're just using up some of their quota on stuff they want to use as desktop backgrounds.  I don't know why, but I know I see multiple images downloaded from the same shoot about as often as I see single downloads.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 22, 2011, 17:25
So are you saying they're hoarding and downloading stuff they wouldn't buy or use?

As Cuppacoffee explained some time ago, the company she works for essentially uses the SS library as if it was one of their own servers. When they have a need for images they search on that subject, download what might be suitable and then use what works best. They don't hoard images because it is just easier and quicker to use SS's search facility to find whatever they need at the time that they need it. Having instant access to a library of 17M images, with 4-5M new ones arriving every year, is a fantastic business resource for just $2500 or thereabouts.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 22, 2011, 17:41
If you see Alamy search data you'll notice that most people will find something to suit them on the first page or two of a search. That's a "most suitable without wasting too much time" seach pattern, not a "must find the one-and-only best, must-have image" behaviour.
That behaviour is called satisficing.
However, I'm not sure that what you say can be borne out just by studying Alamy Measures. It could also be that many people give up after two or three pages. I'm always intrigued by those who make a very broad search and seem to wade through 1400 and up files without narrowing their search.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 22, 2011, 17:49
So are you saying they're hoarding and downloading stuff they wouldn't buy or use?

As Cuppacoffee explained some time ago, the company she works for essentially uses the SS library as if it was one of their own servers. When they have a need for images they search on that subject, download what might be suitable and then use what works best. They don't hoard images because it is just easier and quicker to use SS's search facility to find whatever they need at the time that they need it. Having instant access to a library of 17M images, with 4-5M new ones arriving every year, is a fantastic business resource for just $2500 or thereabouts.

If buyers can grab a bunch of stuff they may not need could that lower their perception of the value of images?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 22, 2011, 18:08
Seriously! why do we even bother to write, post about this moron agency. Does it not feel as if your belly is getting spasticos coliticos.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 22, 2011, 18:11
Seriously! why do we even bother to write, post about this moron agency. Does it not feel as if your belly is getting spasticos coliticos.
Are you intending to answer your own question?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 22, 2011, 19:24
So are you saying they're hoarding and downloading stuff they wouldn't buy or use?

As Cuppacoffee explained some time ago, the company she works for essentially uses the SS library as if it was one of their own servers. When they have a need for images they search on that subject, download what might be suitable and then use what works best. They don't hoard images because it is just easier and quicker to use SS's search facility to find whatever they need at the time that they need it. Having instant access to a library of 17M images, with 4-5M new ones arriving every year, is a fantastic business resource for just $2500 or thereabouts.

If buyers can grab a bunch of stuff they may not need could that lower their perception of the value of images?

Possibly but what really 'devalues' images is the sheer quantity we are collectively uploading. Over-supply inevitably leads to falling prices. Always.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: jbarber873 on December 22, 2011, 21:26
Wondering if there is really a point to this? 

Yes, the winner gets bragging rights as the smartest person on MSG and a bowl of soup.

    Your points are well taken. We'll see what happens. Meanwhile, what kind of soup do you like?   ;D
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 23, 2011, 10:45
And for all those who were scared the wind would change and the best match would stick, there's been another one this morning sometime.
This one's a doosie: only 2 of the 21 pics in my 'above the line' first screen view of a search for gorilla photos only are actually photos of gorillas. The rest are either csa's cartoons or a man person in an orange monkey costume.
All but one of the top 21 are Vetta, and the 'one' is an actual photo of gorillas.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Sedge on December 23, 2011, 13:28
I don't know Sue; my Best Match search for "backgrounds and paper" looks the same.  The first 10 pages are completely filled with crowns (no Vettas, but for that search term that's understandable).  As an independent, I used to have 3 images on the first page. Lord knows where they are now.  My sales have completely tanked since this latest shift.

  :-[
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: cardmaverick on December 23, 2011, 13:35
I really can't blame Istock for pushing non-exclusive content down in the search. Like it or not, non-exclusive images are not something that make an agency stand out against their competition.

An agency manager once told me that exclusivity was a "weapon" agencies could use against their competition, and he's right, too bad iStock has done way to many other things to jack up its reputation... this probably won't stop the exodus.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 23, 2011, 13:58
... An agency manager once told me that exclusivity was a "weapon" agencies could use against their competition, and he's right...

Agencies should remember that they're not in business solely to have a dust-up and pummel their competitors - they are there to make a profit by serving their customers well. No customers, no business.

Agencies are there to grow the business both by increasing their share of the market - assuming they're doing a good job with great products & services at competitive (and note, I do not mean cheapest; Apple would be an example of being competitive but not cheapest) prices - and by increasing the market as they find new customers.

If all they do is focus on pushing what they want to sell or trying to crush the competitors and forget that they need to serve the buyer they're on the road to an unhappy ending. Big and successful businesses have much more time before they get hurt by the effects of their anti-buyer approach than a smaller one would and that's both good and bad news. Good news because you have time to fix things if you're open to the notion you might have made a mistake. Bad news because you're insulated from negative effects for a while and can continue the self-deluding thoughts that you can get away with anything because you're so big and successful.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Buzbuzzer on December 23, 2011, 14:25
... An agency manager once told me that exclusivity was a "weapon" agencies could use against their competition, and he's right...

Agencies should remember that they're not in business solely to have a dust-up and pummel their competitors - they are there to make a profit by serving their customers well. No customers, no business.

Agencies are there to grow the business both by increasing their share of the market - assuming they're doing a good job with great products & services at competitive (and note, I do not mean cheapest; Apple would be an example of being competitive but not cheapest) prices - and by increasing the market as they find new customers.

If all they do is focus on pushing what they want to sell or trying to crush the competitors and forget that they need to serve the buyer they're on the road to an unhappy ending. Big and successful businesses have much more time before they get hurt by the effects of their anti-buyer approach than a smaller one would and that's both good and bad news. Good news because you have time to fix things if you're open to the notion you might have made a mistake. Bad news because you're insulated from negative effects for a while and can continue the self-deluding thoughts that you can get away with anything because you're so big and successful.

Apple has exclusive stuff only... so they can sell it at higher prices.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: blamb on December 23, 2011, 14:46
Apple has exclusive stuff only... so they can sell it at higher prices.

ZING!  You win the thread!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 23, 2011, 14:57
Apple brand products are not sold exclusively by Apple, and there are competitors for iPads and iPhones - lots of companies have tried with Android tablets and smartphones. They've been very successful with the smartphones and almost a total failure with tablets. Apple also sells products that other people make - have you shopped at the Apple store for hardware? And the iTunes store is stuffed with goods that Apple didn't make.

When you say exclusive stuff only, what exactly were you referring to?

I'm not sure how your point pertains iStock's exclusivity where until very recently I couldn't buy anything from an iStock exclusive artist anywhere but iStockphoto.com. Now it's Getty family exclusivity, kind of - as Getty's contracts with Corbis result in work from iStock exclusives showing up there and other non-Getty distributors.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 23, 2011, 17:03

... An agency manager once told me that exclusivity was a "weapon" agencies could use against their competition, and he's right...


I still think exclusivity can only be "weaponised" if it is materially different from other content.


Exclusive: (http://i.istockimg.com/file_thumbview_approve/16558876/2/stock-photo-16558876-bodleian-library-radcliffe-camera.jpg)

Non-exclusive: (http://i.istockimg.com/file_thumbview_approve/4337589/2/stock-photo-4337589-the-radcliffe-camera-oxford.jpg)

I fail to see how having the first one on the front page of the search at a higher price-point than the second amounts to having a "weapon" against the other sites.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pro@stockphotos on December 23, 2011, 18:06
Apple brand products are not sold exclusively by Apple, and there are competitors for iPads and iPhones - lots of companies have tried with Android tablets and smartphones. They've been very successful with the smartphones and almost a total failure with tablets. Apple also sells products that other people make - have you shopped at the Apple store for hardware? And the iTunes store is stuffed with goods that Apple didn't make.

When you say exclusive stuff only, what exactly were you referring to?

I'm not sure how your point pertains iStock's exclusivity where until very recently I couldn't buy anything from an iStock exclusive artist anywhere but iStockphoto.com. Now it's Getty family exclusivity, kind of - as Getty's contracts with Corbis result in work from iStock exclusives showing up there and other non-Getty distributors.

Apple is exclusive in what price they set for their products.  If you an Macbook its the same price not matter the supplier therefore they skip the cutthroat Dell vs Gateway pricing wars.  As an exclusive on istock the price of the image is controlled by one company even if offered over different market segments.  You have to admit this is the only way apple can charge $1600 for laptop when a Toshiba with comparable specs is $375.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 23, 2011, 19:03

Apple is exclusive in what price they set for their products.  If you an Macbook its the same price not matter the supplier therefore they skip the cutthroat Dell vs Gateway pricing wars. 


This just isn't how it works, at least in the US. Prices are not uniform for Apple products.

I can buy from authorized Apple dealers (i.e. not some gray market item with no warranty) at a discount - here is an example from MacMall  (http://www.macmall.com/p/Apple-iMac/product~dpno~8535496~pdp.gfgcadd)at about $75 less than Apple for the same iMac (http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MC309LL/A?select=select&product=MC309LL%2FA). That doesn't even count other discount possibilities via organizations like NAPP.  Another example is the Airport Extreme router that's $163 at B&H versus $179 at Apple (for the latest MD031LL).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: blamb on December 23, 2011, 21:58
This is why we can't have funny jokes.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: idreamphoto on December 24, 2011, 00:13
I'm surprised more people are not ranting as independents are now buried - it seems like a pretty big deal for independents who use to have some popular photos at istock.  That is quite a shuffle - I would have guessed it would have been wise to keep a few independent files up front if they are relevant and popular for buyers and for independents to keep them engaged. Dang
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on December 24, 2011, 00:26
people still find files by doing search by downloads. New files will never be found. No point taking anything off in protest ,it is not seen anyway. I uploaded a couple of files that have next to no views. Quite dramatic turnaround. I will not bother putting anything else up, not worth the effort or commission rate. No loss to Istock but I wonder where they will be in 12 months. But dear files at Is or get cheaper (just as good files elsewhere? Do not ever believe exclusive files are better. Many would not even get accepted into SS. Quite a problem long term for exclusives.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 24, 2011, 01:44
I will not bother putting anything else up, not worth the effort or commission rate.

I just keep uploading, anyway. Maybe the next foul-up will put zero dl independent files at the front, who knows? And there's always TS for sales, as well. Curiously, I've still been getting some iSTock sales in the last week, though maybe that is from bookmarked files.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 24, 2011, 02:37
There is still a fundamental law in all stock-photography, Internet based or not: dont spread your images around, just for the sake of quantity!  its proved over decades that it does have a negative effect and depending on each agencies structure and policy,  the images start to lose credibillity and selling power.
Example:  one buyer from Germany mailed me privately and said. Look I have just paid around, 60 dollars here for two of your images, same two are also with such and such an agency, for half the price!  he then wanted me to mail him other types of images for the lower price.

Anyway. My point!  to sit here and wait for some sort of IS- new best match change, that should bvenefit independants, is just stupidity since the damage is already done. Uploading or wait for pie-in-the-sky, from this agency is not even important anymore and especially not since our files are being mirrored in TS, for pittence.

After collaborating for days now with many friends and hi-cannister members who are all in the same boat. The best action to take is agreed: remove your best sellers, most commercial shots or whatever, before they end up at TS or brfore the agency panicks and in some sort of way start locking files or other strange things happens.

This last best match change is without doubt a 100%, clear indication that this agency is under stress and panick and is prepared to act and do anything to keep its head above water.

best and Merry X-mas, to all. :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 24, 2011, 03:42
@lagereek

2012 will tell, but I do think you are wrong :) I'm sure they are currently experiencing some negative developments, but the full-on panic/stress you personally seem to be under is probably in my humble opinion not being mirrored at iStock.

Tinkering with the best match search is nothing new, big changes to the best match is nothing new - it is all the same old. Every time it changes one group or another is screaming their head off. Usually it calms down and works out "ok" after a while.

So my dear Christian, chill, enjoy the rather unexpected (referring to at Christmas time) large RM sale, put another log on the fire and have a wee tipple to calm those nerves! We all need our strength, wit and good sense of humor to press onwards and upwards in the new year.

All the best/ Martin
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 24, 2011, 04:13
@lagereek

2012 will tell, but I do think you are wrong :) I'm sure they are currently experiencing some negative developments, but the full-on panic/stress you personally seem to be under is probably in my humble opinion not being mirrored at iStock.

Tinkering with the best match search is nothing new, big changes to the best match is nothing new - it is all the same old. Every time it changes one group or another is screaming their head off. Usually it calms down and works out "ok" after a while.

So my dear Christian, chill, enjoy the rather unexpected (referring to at Christmas time) large RM sale, put another log on the fire and have a wee tipple to calm those nerves! We all need our strength, wit and good sense of humor to press onwards and upwards in the new year.

All the best/ Martin

Hi Martin!

nah!  no stress here mate. I mean frankly I dont really care about this too much. I sort of came in to this micro business 5 years back, on a banana peel, if you know what I mean. I am and have always been a freelance dayrate photographer and in the case of micro, I was looking for places to market my stuff that RM agencies didnt want, in those days.

Its a forum!  we scream, hallor, complain and make a lot of noise but in the end of the day its all a bit of fun and I bet in soul searching properly, very few here are seriously upset or angered.

However Martin, you have to understand,  since you are exclusivly bound to IS,  its an impossibillity for you to have an objective view/mind about all this, which I can fully understand.
In the RM, I have now been exclusive to Stone/Getty since 1993, hell of a long time and I know from experience how hard it is to take any sides against them, or to voice any criticism against something one is bound to.

all the best. Chris.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 24, 2011, 04:38
Christian, I'm pretty sure you're wrong about spreading stuff around. The most scientific microstocker alive is Arcurs, he calculates everything to maximise profit, and he believes in supplying every single site he can.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: fotografer on December 24, 2011, 05:10
Christian, I'm pretty sure you're wrong about spreading stuff around. The most scientific microstocker alive is Arcurs, he calculates everything to maximise profit, and he believes in supplying every single site he can.
+1 
I don't agree at all. I think that many customers stick with one site and don't ever consider going elsewhere so if you haven't got your images there then they won't get bought.  A few people might shop around to find the cheapest site for an image but it would actually cost them more in time than what they can save by buying the image cheaper so only small time buyers, bloggers etc are likely to do that.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 24, 2011, 05:33
Christian, I'm pretty sure you're wrong about spreading stuff around. The most scientific microstocker alive is Arcurs, he calculates everything to maximise profit, and he believes in supplying every single site he can.

Hi Paul!  and merry christmas!

Yep!  but in Yuris place thats easy to do! since hes got billions of shots further more he has staff and everything, putting a few people to upload and everything.

Us!  mortals, will have to find other ways and I can think of better things to do then spend 24 hours/day in front of a computer. See, comparing any of us to Yuri, is in fact a bit dangerous and misleading, he is an institution, we others are just contributors.

In any case, this is the strategy I have applied for 25 years and well,  I have survived.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 24, 2011, 05:47
people still find files by doing search by downloads. New files will never be found.
If someone is capable of searching by downloads, why are they not capable of searching by age?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on December 24, 2011, 07:42
they can search by age but this will also get mostly excusive images nowdays. lol
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 24, 2011, 08:03
they can search by age but this will also get mostly excusive images nowdays. lol
Must depend on the search. By age:
business: at this moment, the top 23 are all indie
Health, at this moment, top 20 are indie
New York has 3 exclusives on the top line, otherwise about the top 30 or 40 are mostly indie, although that is skewed slightly by batches of videos by two indies having come through all at once.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 24, 2011, 08:07
Christian, I'm pretty sure you're wrong about spreading stuff around. The most scientific microstocker alive is Arcurs, he calculates everything to maximise profit, and he believes in supplying every single site he can.


Yep, that seems to be working great for Yuri (http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/sales-dropping-istock-especially/).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on December 24, 2011, 08:09
they can search by age but this will also get mostly excusive images nowdays. lol
Must depend on the search. By age:
business: at this moment, the top 23 are all indie
Health, at this moment, top 20 are indie
New York has 3 exclusives on the top line, otherwise about the top 30 or 40 are mostly indie, although that is skewed slightly by batches of videos by two indies having come through all at once.

Yes, it seems that someone is confusing wishes with reality, lol
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 24, 2011, 08:59
Christian, I'm pretty sure you're wrong about spreading stuff around. The most scientific microstocker alive is Arcurs, he calculates everything to maximise profit, and he believes in supplying every single site he can.


Yep, that seems to be working great for Yuri ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/sales-dropping-istock-especially/[/url]).


If he thought he would be making more with fewer sites then he would change his strategy. The fact his sales started to drop doesn't mean he's got it wrong about supplying everyone, it may just mean that his is a victim of the steady flood of images that are trying to swamp his out. 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on December 24, 2011, 09:01
matbe now but reality is less indie uploads and more exclusives mean a exclusives will domoniate all searches. That is reality. Not one I like but a reality nonetheless. If nothing changes all searches will be dominated by exclusive content.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 24, 2011, 09:24
Christian, I'm pretty sure you're wrong about spreading stuff around. The most scientific microstocker alive is Arcurs, he calculates everything to maximise profit, and he believes in supplying every single site he can.


Yep, that seems to be working great for Yuri ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/sales-dropping-istock-especially/[/url]).


If he thought he would be making more with fewer sites then he would change his strategy.

His post asking questions would seem to indicate he doesn't know what the cause of the problem is or how widespread it is. I would guess he is trying to figure out if something can be changed in his strategy because the current one isn't producing the expected results.

Quote
The fact his sales started to drop doesn't mean he's got it wrong about supplying everyone, it may just mean that his is a victim of the steady flood of images that are trying to swamp his out.  

That's one possibility. But if IS sales are dropping more than others while some sites show a slight increase what would that indicate? Maybe that buyers are moving from higher priced IS to cheaper sites? And that would support the idea that spreading images all over the place at different price points is hurting contributors. If contributors didn't offer images cheaper elsewhere the buyers would have nowhere else to buy them.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pro@stockphotos on December 24, 2011, 10:32
Christian, I'm pretty sure you're wrong about spreading stuff around. The most scientific microstocker alive is Arcurs, he calculates everything to maximise profit, and he believes in supplying every single site he can.

It is presumptuous to assume exclusives at istock have made miscalculations in terms of maximizing profits.

There are two people with direct knowledge and a perfect comparable sample size to nail down the "which one is better"  independent or exclusive to istock.  It is the aforementioned Yuri and Lise Gagne.  If these two giants of the stock photo world would reveal their total earnings it would settle this question of which decision has been better in the last 6 years.  One has had a better bottom line on the balance sheet.  I wonder if they have privately compared notes?

I know by the comparing of incomes of large independents revealed on here it seems like the exclusives have made a lot more of this period of time. 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 24, 2011, 11:00
Amazing!  every time this comes up, people start to compare the whole thing to Yuri and Lise?  would you compare a little high-st Mac shop to the actual Apple corporation?
Lise started right in the beginning, 50% of her first two year stuff wouldnt even pass todays quality-control. Yuri has got a full fledged educated staff, studios, the lot.
Yuri can afford to make mistakes but the ordianry contributor, can not. I find it a bit naive (sorry) to always compare or quote the absoloute heights of any industries. Just because it worked for them, is no guarantee at all it would work for anyone else.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: aeonf on December 24, 2011, 11:30
Amazing!  every time this comes up, people start to compare the whole thing to Yuri and Lise?  would you compare a little high-st Mac shop to the actual Apple corporation?
Lise started right in the beginning, 50% of her first two year stuff wouldnt even pass todays quality-control. Yuri has got a full fledged educated staff, studios, the lot.
Yuri can afford to make mistakes but the ordianry contributor, can not. I find it a bit naive (sorry) to always compare or quote the absoloute heights of any industries. Just because it worked for them, is no guarantee at all it would work for anyone else.

Correct indeed. the comparison is futile.
A good comaparison would be an exclusive turning indie (or vice versa) and comparing revenue after his portfolio is uploaded every where else.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 24, 2011, 11:32

There are two people with direct knowledge and a perfect comparable sample size to nail down the "which one is better"  independent or exclusive to istock.  It is the aforementioned Yuri and Lise Gagne.  If these two giants of the stock photo world would reveal their total earnings it would settle this question of which decision has been better in the last 6 years.  One has had a better bottom line on the balance sheet.  I wonder if they have privately compared notes?

I know by the comparing of incomes of large independents revealed on here it seems like the exclusives have made a lot more of this period of time. 

Lise surely made a lot more, if we're talking about nett earnings, which really matter. Yuri gets only what's left after he pays out those 100 salaries, rents/mortgages for 3 (or is it 4 studios), he's flying in models from all over the world, there can't be much left after all that (procentually that is). I don't think it's a bold statement SJLocke, with his more or less low/mid budget shoots (no pro models, no super locations and props) nets a lot more than Yuri. I think it's more important for Yuri to be the star of MS everybody is talking about, than to earn more than everybody else. He loves being in the spotlight. Though I must say, he is a nice guy, giving free advice (of course there his own agenda behind it, but still), helping ppl etc. He replied to an IS sitemail, which really surprised me. He must be getting tons of msges. And he actually took the time to give me a decent, real reply. I doubt I'd be getting a reply from most of the other top contributors.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 24, 2011, 11:38

 SJLocke, with his more or less low/mid budget shoots (no pro models, no super locations and props) nets a lot more than Yuri.
quote]
Sean can speak for himself, but I believe he pays most of his models, hires locations like aircraft and supermarkets that must cost a pretty penny and once said he'd bought a prop for shoot that had cost in the high hundreds of dollars.

But yes, net earnings (also taking into account tax and tax deductions) is the only important figure. If your gross is huge and your net only moderate, all you're doing is channelling money and energy into the agent/s pocket/s.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 24, 2011, 12:01

 SJLocke, with his more or less low/mid budget shoots (no pro models, no super locations and props) nets a lot more than Yuri.
Sean can speak for himself, but I believe he pays most of his models, hires locations like aircraft and supermarkets that must cost a pretty penny and once said he'd bought a prop for shoot that had cost in the high hundreds of dollars.

But yes, net earnings (also taking into account tax and tax deductions) is the only important figure. If your gross is huge and your net only moderate, all you're doing is channelling money and energy into the agent/s pocket/s.

Sean did speak for himself, saying exactly that, at least regarding models (real ppl, not high end models), when it comes to other things, he at least said something along those lines. I'd never dare to make something like that up, or express my opinions as facts. Few hundred dollar props? Well that's not more than mid budget, now is it? Yuri's are in the thousands, regularly ;) . Supermarkets and aircraft could be free, he could give them the photos afterwards as a compensation. I never paid for a location, though I must say it really is a LOT of work to a deal like that out. So I do it 2-3 times a year at most. But then again I shoot a lot less than Sean.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 24, 2011, 12:12
Few hundred dollar props? Well that's not more than mid budget, now is it?
It's all relative. I once bought a prop that cost about £4, but only because I could eat it afterwards.  :D
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 24, 2011, 12:13
I do pay my models, but they aren't agency models, nor do I fly them in from anywhere, and most of the time they do their own makeup.    Locations costs a couple of hundred, or trade for images.  Props are reused as much as possible.  I don't travel to shoot - I don't see the need.  I'm intent on keeping my costs down so my net is as large as possible.  I'd say my costs are around %5 or so of my gross.  I'm sure Lisafx is the same as well as many of the others here.  Lise uses her husband for a lot of her stuff - her locations used to be her apartment.  If I wanted to work a lot more and make a lot less, I'd follow a different model.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 24, 2011, 12:21
I do pay my models, but they aren't agency models, nor do I fly them in from anywhere, and most of the time they do their own makeup.    Locations costs a couple of hundred, or trade for images.  Props are reused as much as possible.  I don't travel to shoot - I don't see the need.  I'm intent on keeping my costs down so my net is as large as possible.  I'd say my costs are around %5 or so of my gross.  I'm sure Lisafx is the same as well as many of the others here.  Lise uses her husband for a lot of her stuff - her locations used to be her apartment.  If I wanted to work a lot more and make a lot less, I'd follow a different model.

I'm glad we've (you really) cleared things up. And yes, I think that's the best approach to MS. Even if I were big, I'd still keep it small, I wouldn't change much regarding how I get down to this MS business. I'd only use better models, because a good model really makes a big, if not huge difference. I also like doing things simple, wether I do some personal projects or MS. When I overcomplicate things (locations that are hard to get, multiple models, complicated concepts), things never really add up, results are not good, photos don't sell and I'm in a bad mood because of all that (so much work and so poor results).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 24, 2011, 12:26
Few hundred dollar props? Well that's not more than mid budget, now is it?
It's all relative. I once bought a prop that cost about £4, but only because I could eat it afterwards.  :D

Lol, nice one.

That being said, I never payed a model more than 30 EUR (but I also never shoot more than 3h, at least not if I'm shooting alone). And I also never spent more than 15 EUR for props, it was usually food as well (which we ate afterwards, so it's not really an expense).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 24, 2011, 13:57
Christian, I'm pretty sure you're wrong about spreading stuff around. The most scientific microstocker alive is Arcurs, he calculates everything to maximise profit, and he believes in supplying every single site he can.

It is presumptuous to assume exclusives at istock have made miscalculations in terms of maximizing profits.

......

I know by the comparing of incomes of large independents revealed on here it seems like the exclusives have made a lot more of this period of time. 


I wasn't accusing exclusives of making miscalculations, I was responding to the statement "There is still a fundamental law in all stock-photography, Internet based or not: dont spread your images around, just for the sake of quantity!  its proved over decades that it does have a negative effect and depending on each agencies structure and policy,  the images start to lose credibillity and selling power."

I don't see Yuri as having lost credibility and selling power. Does anyone think he has?

The particular circumstances of each individual make everyone's best choice unique. I'm not even trying to pursue a maximum-profit route, for example. I suspect fame matters more to Yuri than it does to Sean; Lise seems quite private so Yuri's glitzy self-promotion wouldn't suit her. Some people don't have time to upload to many sites others have been concerned about the "eggs in one basket" syndrome (that rather than maximising earnings has been a major reason for people staying independent).

So my comment wasn't about relative profitability of independence or exclusivity, it was about whether, in theory, total exposure everywhere would be less profitable and credible than sticking to a selected few sites. I wasn't even thinking about the iS exclusive benefits, which are a special case that have nothing to do with Christian's "fundamental law in all stock photography".
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: stockastic on December 24, 2011, 14:19
I'm surprised more people are not ranting as independents are now buried - it seems like a pretty big deal for independents who use to have some popular photos at istock.  That is quite a shuffle - I would have guessed it would have been wise to keep a few independent files up front if they are relevant and popular for buyers and for independents to keep them engaged. Dang

Yes I had a few that made me some money, and they probably won't any more.  But the ranting is over because I stopped submitting to IS long ago.  I'm keeping my account open in hopes IS is sold, or some other miracle occurs, and it somehow morphs into something that makes sense.   I don't expect that to happen so sometime in the coming year, I'll probably close the account. 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pro@stockphotos on December 24, 2011, 14:45
I do pay my models, but they aren't agency models, nor do I fly them in from anywhere, and most of the time they do their own makeup.    Locations costs a couple of hundred, or trade for images.  Props are reused as much as possible.  I don't travel to shoot - I don't see the need.  I'm intent on keeping my costs down so my net is as large as possible.  I'd say my costs are around %5 or so of my gross.  I'm sure Lisafx is the same as well as many of the others here.  Lise uses her husband for a lot of her stuff - her locations used to be her apartment.  If I wanted to work a lot more and make a lot less, I'd follow a different model.

Your cost might also include "benefits" which equal zero at istock.  Normal benefits (bonus, health insurance, retirement, etc.) on a salary job add up to 40% above your salary.  I would say that is definitely at cost at istock.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: aeonf on December 24, 2011, 15:01
He also has to pay mortgage and feed his kids. that is not a business expense and has nothing to do with the business expense. if he pays himself a salary (as an LLC) then I am sure he gets all benefits possible...
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 24, 2011, 15:02
I include my health insurance in my costs, but not retirement.  Disney and Boeing didn't really help out much in that regards.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 24, 2011, 15:14
Christian, I'm pretty sure you're wrong about spreading stuff around. The most scientific microstocker alive is Arcurs, he calculates everything to maximise profit, and he believes in supplying every single site he can.

It is presumptuous to assume exclusives at istock have made miscalculations in terms of maximizing profits.

......

I know by the comparing of incomes of large independents revealed on here it seems like the exclusives have made a lot more of this period of time. 


I wasn't accusing exclusives of making miscalculations, I was responding to the statement "There is still a fundamental law in all stock-photography, Internet based or not: dont spread your images around, just for the sake of quantity!  its proved over decades that it does have a negative effect and depending on each agencies structure and policy,  the images start to lose credibillity and selling power."

I don't see Yuri as having lost credibility and selling power. Does anyone think he has?

The particular circumstances of each individual make everyone's best choice unique. I'm not even trying to pursue a maximum-profit route, for example. I suspect fame matters more to Yuri than it does to Sean; Lise seems quite private so Yuri's glitzy self-promotion wouldn't suit her. Some people don't have time to upload to many sites others have been concerned about the "eggs in one basket" syndrome (that rather than maximising earnings has been a major reason for people staying independent).

So my comment wasn't about relative profitability of independence or exclusivity, it was about whether, in theory, total exposure everywhere would be less profitable and credible than sticking to a selected few sites. I wasn't even thinking about the iS exclusive benefits, which are a special case that have nothing to do with Christian's "fundamental law in all stock photography".

Hi! Paul and merry x-mas!

well its not my fundamental law, its actually Ian Ogilvies of O&M, refering to products saleabillity in promotion and advertising. Anyhow I think its a serious mistake and very misleading to think in terms of that only because its worked beautyfully for Yuri and Lise (gange) to assume thats the formula for everybody. Much of their success lies in the fact they were early starters, well at least Lise was.

Today, 12 years later it would be suicidal to even think in those terms and especially since we now know that some agencies cant even be trusted. I mean, honestly, if it wasnt for some 3 agencies only, I would happily quit micro tomorrow.
Im beginning to think in the terms its a bit of a mugs-game, really.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: WarrenPrice on December 24, 2011, 15:17
Seems like a lot of noise over nothing.  I'm independent and making sales.  Just had two ... one for nine cents and one for 22 cents.   :P

With sales like that why shouldn't we look forward to 28 cent sales at Thinkstock?  ??? ??? ??? ;D
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 24, 2011, 20:26
I do pay my models, but they aren't agency models, nor do I fly them in from anywhere, and most of the time they do their own makeup.    Locations costs a couple of hundred, or trade for images.  Props are reused as much as possible.  I don't travel to shoot - I don't see the need.  I'm intent on keeping my costs down so my net is as large as possible.  I'd say my costs are around %5 or so of my gross.  I'm sure Lisafx is the same as well as many of the others here.  Lise uses her husband for a lot of her stuff - her locations used to be her apartment.  If I wanted to work a lot more and make a lot less, I'd follow a different model.

My expenses run around 15% of my gross.  I suspect that is because my gross is a lot less than Sean's, Lise's etc.  Even so, my accountants are consistently flabbergasted by such a low overhead.  I'm not complaining :)

I would absolutely hate to do this the way Yuri does, even if I would make more money.  I am a control freak, so I like to do everything myself.  Not to mention that I would rather spend my limited creative energy on taking and editing photos, rather than managing staff.  Hats off to Yuri though, for having that much energy!

ETA:  I agree with Balderick though about spreading images out.  I haven't seen it hurt my "brand" any.  Any overall decreases in income I've seen over the past year seem to be the result of the law of diminishing returns, combined with royalty cuts at several of the largest agencies. 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 25, 2011, 02:48
In spreading around files as much as possible. Are we not then contradicting ourselves a bit, to a few years back when we, here in this forum came to the conclusion that a too much spread was exactly what was clogging up files, etc, and with irrelevant material, followed by more spamming, etc. I remember some here went as far as to say, it was our own fault. So what has changed?
Me?  I see very little point, if any,  to have files floating around lets say beyond page,10-15, in any search and I see even less point in having tons of material just "being" there for the sake of it all.
Now, if this was run properly and files were given search placings after merit, i.e. earn their place in a search ( the way it should be) then we wouldnt have this mega problem. Instead we are sitting here getting totally whacked because some agencies manipulate their search on the basis of exclusivity, no matter what rubbish it is.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 25, 2011, 03:58
In spreading around files as much as possible. Are we not then contradicting ourselves a bit, to a few years back when we, here in this forum came to the conclusion that a too much spread was exactly what was clogging up files, etc, and with irrelevant material, followed by more spamming, etc. I remember some here went as far as to say, it was our own fault. So what has changed?
Me?  I see very little point, if any,  to have files floating around lets say beyond page,10-15, in any search and I see even less point in having tons of material just "being" there for the sake of it all.
Now, if this was run properly and files were given search placings after merit, i.e. earn their place in a search ( the way it should be) then we wouldnt have this mega problem. Instead we are sitting here getting totally whacked because some agencies manipulate their search on the basis of exclusivity, no matter what rubbish it is.

If you don't want to spread the files around why then be independent? Being exclusive at iStock gives me the opportunity to have my images at a microstock library with "highish" prices that sell quite well. I can still sell images "normal" RF through all collections at Getty, as well as RM via both Getty and Alamy, as well any other if I choose to do so and more importantly direct sales that I negotiate myself.

The only microstock library I feel is missing and that would really be of interest would be Shutterstock, but hey you can't have it all. I rather supply fewer places to feel more in control, easier workflow, thus more time for actually working.

Also, images buried deep in a search do sell - all images can't be home-runs. Some suddenly float to the top, some sink. I rather have them available for those occasional sales, in total they are considerable.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on December 25, 2011, 05:22
"Also, images buried deep in a search do sell - all images can't be home-runs. Some suddenly float to the top, some sink."

Most sink if they are weighted to the bottom of the search from day one. Some of the stuff that floats to the top through best match is sh*t. Understandable really!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 25, 2011, 06:17
I searched for roadtrip yesterday, photos only. Not only, I got lots of really bad photos in front of me (mostly zero sales too), at least half of them were illustrations. Which you can't turn off. Results were so messy, getting most of the file types you didn't want and don't need and the other third or so, that was of the right type, were mostly worthless. I really don't know how some ppl can still say IS's search engine is not just OK, but good, even the best. It doesn't even work. And I've seen lots of times the inability of their search engine to filter out illustrations. I think that's a big problem over there. I, as I contributor get an allergic reaction because of that, I really can't imagine how frustrating it must be for the buyers.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 25, 2011, 06:22
I searched for roadtrip yesterday, photos only. Not only, I got lots of really bad photos in front of me (mostly zero sales too), at least half of them were illustrations. Which you can't turn off.
Unfortunately CSA_illustrations is hogging all the searches in which they feature. However, as they are all Vetta, you can lower the slider to exclude them. And filter by Photography (image type). It is unfortunate that you still have four almost identical pictures of a road rather than a road trip on the top line, but that's spamming for you.
What would you expect to see in a 'road trip' picture anyway? A cartoonish family stuffed into a car with buckets and spades? Thelma and Louise?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: KB on December 25, 2011, 10:25
Getting rid of the stupid CSA files, I don't see any real difference in the relevance of the search results on iStock vs. SS. Both have some files that do seem relevant to the term (e.g., people in a car on a road), and both have files that are completely irrelevant (e.g., a waterfall! or an isolated car tire).

While I think the IS best match results used to be a lot more relevant when they were weighing keywords, it still isn't too bad -- except for the CSA files. Those (and similar pollution from other Getty collections) ruin the results.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 25, 2011, 11:34
I searched for roadtrip yesterday, photos only. Not only, I got lots of really bad photos in front of me (mostly zero sales too), at least half of them were illustrations. Which you can't turn off.
Unfortunately CSA_illustrations is hogging all the searches in which they feature. However, as they are all Vetta, you can lower the slider to exclude them. And filter by Photography (image type). It is unfortunate that you still have four almost identical pictures of a road rather than a road trip on the top line, but that's spamming for you.
What would you expect to see in a 'road trip' picture anyway? A cartoonish family stuffed into a car with buckets and spades? Thelma and Louise?

As I said, photos only results (so I have already used the photo filter). I'd not only like to see the photos you mentioned and similar, but also photos of better quality on the first page, not mostly rubbish. As the DL counter also proves, you can call it the objective measurement (my opinion that most photos are of course isn't).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: KB on December 25, 2011, 12:26
As I said, photos only results (so I have already used the photo filter). I'd not only like to see the photos you mentioned and similar, but also photos of better quality on the first page, not mostly rubbish. As the DL counter also proves, you can call it the objective measurement (my opinion that most photos are of course isn't).
How many DLs do the SS results have? Oh, wait, you can't tell.

Removing the CSA files, the iStock best match search returns files with > 10, > 40, > 30, > 70, 2, 3, and > 5600 results as the first 7 results. After that are a bunch of files that have been newly UL'd, so many haven't yet sold. Would you expect those to have dozens of sales already? It doesn't usually work that way on iStock.

I don't see a quality difference between the two sites' results. They both have mostly relevant results. And perhaps my level of quality is lower than yours, but most of them to me don't appear to be "rubbish" on either site.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 25, 2011, 13:31
You can filter the CSA file out only by using the price slider. Apparently you must have a pretty advanced knowledge in using filters and be pretty resourceful at the same time. And we, contributors are on that site every day, many times, know it well, so I wonder how bad it really is for the buyers, who use the site only when they need to buy something. And that is really problematic. On SS, filtering works, the search is super easy (no stupid sliders no one is using, that was comfirmed by IS as well) and effective. As a whole, IS is a buggy mess of a site, SS just works. In 2 years I've seen a few hours of downtime at SS (and that was only at the contributor side, so it doesn't really matter), IS has constant problems and they are giving discounts to the buyers, so we earn even more at the end. I think SS offers a much better user experience for the buyers. At contributors site, the two sites aren't even comparable, UL process simple and fast at SS, payments are on time all the time, there are no refunds etc etc. IS is just the opposite of all of that.

IMO the results are better at SS, more relevant and of better quality. Sure SS has those irrelevant tyre shots, but IS also has maps with pins, road signs, hotel signs and a Hertz sign. Oh yeah, you can filter editorial out as well. Joy oh joy this site... :s

BTW, we obviously don't see the same results at IS, this is what I see (the first 7):

Sort byPer Pageundefined
12345of 55
Above view of a couple driving in car.
PhotoExclusiveAdd to lightbox
#17957623
Above view of a couple driving in car.
skynesher
Downloads: > 10
Road Trip
PhotoExclusiveAdd to lightbox
#16290573
Road Trip
ZargonDesign
Downloads: > 10
mojave desert highway
PhotoExclusiveAdd to lightbox
#16761568
mojave desert highway
rappensuncle
Downloads: > 10
Traveling With Kids
PhotoExclusiveAdd to lightbox
#17812653
Traveling With Kids
dejanristovski
Downloads: > 10
Happy Woman in a Car
PhotoExclusiveAdd to lightbox
#18082765
Happy Woman in a Car
eucyln
Downloads: 3
Tourists on the ferry boat
PhotoEditorialExclusiveAdd to lightbox
#18521596
Tourists on the ferry boat
brytta
Downloads: 1
Above view of a couple driving in car.
PhotoExclusiveAdd to lightbox
#18660394
Above view of a couple driving in car.
skynesher
Downloads: 0
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: KB on December 25, 2011, 14:31
You're right, we are getting different results. Two of the ones you see in the first 7 (your #6 and #7) appear as #8 and #9 in my results (I show 7 across, so those are in my second row of results).  Your results are missing two more shots of an empty road (very similar framing to the "mojave desert highway" one that is in your results). One of those is the flame with > 5600 sales. The other difference is I used the more accurate numbers for DLs that appears on the file's page, rather than the ones shown in the search results.

I didn't see a hotel sign or hertz sign in the first 200 IS results, but I did see one motel (Route 66 -- relevant, IMO) and a Cafe sign (not relevant, IMO) in SS's first 100 results. Also a strangely irrelevant "We fly to the south!" poster about migration of birds. I'd say the majority of the first 100 results on SS are the empty road shots, while the IS results have quite a few more with people in cars.

Maybe it's my biased opinion, but I now think that iStock's results produce more relevant returns than SS's, if what you're looking for are people traveling in a car. If you want an empty road to represent a road trip, then SS's results are better. (And perhaps that is what buyers want, because if you sort iStock's results by downloads, all of a sudden the first seven are nothing but empty roads.)

Nothing to discuss about the stability of iStock's site. It sucks, 100%. They should have fired the IT team years ago, and brought in people who actually know what they're doing.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 25, 2011, 16:11
. And I've seen lots of times the inability of their search engine to filter out illustrations. I think that's a big problem over there. I, as I contributor get an allergic reaction because of that, I really can't imagine how frustrating it must be for the buyers.
Sadly, though, "that's not a fault, it's a feature".
But you can add photography (image) to your search and that should get rid illos.
They really do need to think about that CSA ingestion, though. They're fouling up too many searches.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 25, 2011, 16:17
You can filter the CSA file out only by using the price slider. Apparently you must have a pretty advanced knowledge in using filters and be pretty resourceful at the same time. And we, contributors are on that site every day, many times, know it well, so I wonder how bad it really is for the buyers, who use the site only when they need to buy something. And that is really problematic.
Probably the site is difficult for a tiny proportion of buyers, but let's be realistic. Most of the buyers will be used to using Photoshop and/or Illustrator and/or InDesign and/or e.g. WordPress, which IMO is pretty confusing (compared to basic HTML) if you want to do anything non-standard. They will therefore be very able to work out a few tick boxes or sliders.
In the real world, in the UK at least, supermarkets and other shops are always changing their layouts for whatever reasons. After a groan, most of us can usually cope and find what we want. Only a tiny minority will give up and leave. Presumably the shops are willing to put up with the loss of a few buyers for whatever nefarious benefit they get from the frequent changes.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 25, 2011, 16:22
You're right, we are getting different results. Two of the ones you see in the first 7 (your #6 and #7) appear as #8 and #9 in my results (I show 7 across, so those are in my second row of results).  Your results are missing two more shots of an empty road (very similar framing to the "mojave desert highway" one that is in your results). One of those is the flame with > 5600 sales. The other difference is I used the more accurate numbers for DLs that appears on the file's page, rather than the ones shown in the search results.

There's been a big change since I posted last. Then (after you had filtered out Vetta/CSA) there were four very similar from a series in the top row. Now only one is there and the others have dropped considerably.
In fact, the whole best match search for 'road trip' looks totally different from nine hours ago.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 25, 2011, 16:35
You can filter the CSA file out only by using the price slider. Apparently you must have a pretty advanced knowledge in using filters and be pretty resourceful at the same time. And we, contributors are on that site every day, many times, know it well, so I wonder how bad it really is for the buyers, who use the site only when they need to buy something. And that is really problematic.
Probably the site is difficult for a tiny proportion of buyers, but let's be realistic. Most of the buyers will be used to using Photoshop and/or Illustrator and/or InDesign and/or e.g. WordPress, which IMO is pretty confusing (compared to basic HTML) if you want to do anything non-standard. They will therefore be very able to work out a few tick boxes or sliders.
In the real world, in the UK at least, supermarkets and other shops are always changing their layouts for whatever reasons. After a groan, most of us can usually cope and find what we want. Only a tiny minority will give up and leave. Presumably the shops are willing to put up with the loss of a few buyers for whatever nefarious benefit they get from the frequent changes.

Then how come they're getting rid of the slider (or so I've read) ?

BTW, I don't think the proportion is so tiny. There are newspaper editors, bloggers or small time buyers such as a friend of mine, who is buying stock photos for her company's online store (probably just once a season and no more than 10-20 images, but still).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 25, 2011, 16:42
Then how come they're getting rid of the slider (or so I've read) ?
I missed that announcement. Have you got a link?
If it's true, I hope they'll be introducing something else to do the same thing. Buyers constantly asked for a way of filtering out more expensive files.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 25, 2011, 17:27
Then how come they're getting rid of the slider (or so I've read) ?
I missed that announcement. Have you got a link?
If it's true, I hope they'll be introducing something else to do the same thing. Buyers constantly asked for a way of filtering out more expensive files.

I can't, since I'm not sure wether it was an official announcement, post from a staffer or just someone saying it over here. I guess I'm taking in way too much info regarding MS :s
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: mtilghma on December 26, 2011, 09:13
It might just be PP results trickling in at the end of the month, since they're usually late... but it seems that my sales have picked up a bit after this new best match.

But indeed, my old and popular files that I've checked are sure enough shoved towards the back.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 26, 2011, 09:19
It might just be PP results trickling in at the end of the month, since they're usually late... but it seems that my sales have picked up a bit after this new best match.

But indeed, my old and popular files that I've checked are sure enough shoved towards the back.

You can easily check PP sales by looking at your stats page, and any PP sales are a sort of mossy green at the top of any normal 'blue' bars on the top two charts. Apparently they just started to come in for November, so check your November stats, not your December ones. Any PP sales will of course, increase your balance $$.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: asiseeit on December 26, 2011, 09:40
Then how come they're getting rid of the slider (or so I've read) ?
I missed that announcement. Have you got a link?
If it's true, I hope they'll be introducing something else to do the same thing. Buyers constantly asked for a way of filtering out more expensive files.

I've never seen any announcement that they're getting rid of the slider. They did say that most people don't see/use it.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 26, 2011, 09:52
Then how come they're getting rid of the slider (or so I've read) ?
I missed that announcement. Have you got a link?
If it's true, I hope they'll be introducing something else to do the same thing. Buyers constantly asked for a way of filtering out more expensive files.

I've never seen any announcement that they're getting rid of the slider. They did say that most people don't see/use it.

Isn't it a pity they don't do more real world user testing before introducing features?
OTOH, maybe most people don't need to filter out higher prices. And maybe people don't realise that that would be a way of filtering out CSA's cartoons if they want to see only photos (though it would also filter out any real Vetta photos in that search).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 26, 2011, 11:36
Unbelievable they would think people would actually use this stupid little thing,  looks like a kiddies Lego set.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: imageegami on December 26, 2011, 11:59
This best match shift to 100% exclusive content smells like a desperate move to keep exclusives from feeling the full effect of downward spiraling market share. Interesting that any attempt to discuss it in the iStock forum gets snuffed out by Lobo.

They have painted themselves into a corner with this. If they keep this best match long enough, independents will stop uploading and competition will pull ahead. That`s not going to happen because they need to keep feeding Thinkstock. On the other hand, this artificially boosted exclusive perk will now become the baseline with exclusives for measuring normal sales, and if the best match switches back to allowing some independent exposure then exclusives will get hit with declining sales due to best match shift + declining sales due to sliding market share. IMO, no happy ending for iStock here.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 26, 2011, 12:25
This best match shift to 100% exclusive content smells like a desperate move to keep exclusives from feeling the full effect of downward spiraling market share. Interesting that any attempt to discuss it in the iStock forum gets snuffed out by Lobo.

They have painted themselves into a corner with this. If they keep this best match long enough, independents will stop uploading and competition will pull ahead. That`s not going to happen because they need to keep feeding Thinkstock. On the other hand, this artificially boosted exclusive perk will now become the baseline with exclusives for measuring normal sales, and if the best match switches back to allowing some independent exposure then exclusives will get hit with declining sales due to best match shift + declining sales due to sliding market share. IMO, no happy ending for iStock here.

Exactly!  but even so, it has not done the slightest dent to increase exclusives revenues, heard this through the grapevine actually, its all for nothing, the place is a graveyard.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: SNP on December 26, 2011, 12:27
isn't it better that most buyers don't use the slider? it's there to appease buyers that are price conscious and want the ability to sort by price. good that most buyers don't use it.

as for exclusive only content - this is a smart and proven differentiator in commercial business models. iStock should probably go all-exclusive as part of the Getty-family brand, it's a smart move. I definitely feel for independents, especially those I call friends who are affected by this. But independents have the option to go exclusive. (gostwyck, I can hear your guffaw from Canada). where Getty gets a FAIL on their annual report card is contributor relations. undervaluing suppliers is bad business. no work = no success for Getty. all it will take is one pi55-off too many before contributors start divorcing themselves from the Getty family. the RC adjustment was a good move in the right direction.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: imageegami on December 26, 2011, 12:36
isn't it better that most buyers don't use the slider? it's there to appease buyers that are price conscious and want the ability to sort by price. good that most buyers don't use it.

as for exclusive only content - this is a smart and proven differentiator in commercial business models. iStock should probably go all-exclusive as part of the Getty-family brand, it's a smart move. I definitely feel for independents, especially those I call friends who are affected by this. But independents have the option to go exclusive. (gostwyck, I can hear your guffaw from Canada). where Getty gets a FAIL on their annual report card is contributor relations. undervaluing suppliers is bad business. no work = no success for Getty. all it will take is one pi55-off too many before contributors start divorcing themselves from the Getty family. the RC adjustment was a good move in the right direction.

I for one would be very happy to see iStock go all exclusive. That means that Thinkstock would close its doors overnight due to a lack of content and buyers would leave in droves (even faster than they are doing today) to other sites which pay a fair commission. Unfortunately, its not in the cards.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 26, 2011, 12:40
I for one would be very happy to see iStock go all exclusive. That means that Thinkstock would close its doors overnight due to a lack of content and buyers would leave in droves (even faster than they are doing today) to other sites which pay a fair commission. Unfortunately, its not in the cards.

Interesting pov, as I'd imagine that if they went all-exclusive they'd force exclusives to place some/all content in TS. IMO, it's a distinct exclusive perk that currently that's a choice.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 26, 2011, 12:51
This best match shift to 100% exclusive content smells like a desperate move to keep exclusives from feeling the full effect of downward spiraling market share. Interesting that any attempt to discuss it in the iStock forum gets snuffed out by Lobo.

They have painted themselves into a corner with this. If they keep this best match long enough, independents will stop uploading and competition will pull ahead. That`s not going to happen because they need to keep feeding Thinkstock. On the other hand, this artificially boosted exclusive perk will now become the baseline with exclusives for measuring normal sales, and if the best match switches back to allowing some independent exposure then exclusives will get hit with declining sales due to best match shift + declining sales due to sliding market share. IMO, no happy ending for iStock here.

Exactly!  but even so, it has not done the slightest dent to increase exclusives revenues, heard this through the grapevine actually, its all for nothing, the place is a graveyard.

Yep. I can't see this working at all. If Istock keep this best match algorithm for any length of time it will be the death of them as a force in microstock.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 26, 2011, 13:05
I for one would be very happy to see iStock go all exclusive. That means that Thinkstock would close its doors overnight due to a lack of content and buyers would leave in droves (even faster than they are doing today) to other sites which pay a fair commission. Unfortunately, its not in the cards.

As far as I'm concerned they have effectively become 'all-exclusive' with this latest move. This December's sales are barely more than half of those in Dec 2010 and I can see January's being halved yet again. This could be Armageddon for independents' sales at Istock. I think that there is a significant likelihood that Istock will drop into 3rd or even 4th place in my earnings. There may even come a point in 2012 when I simply delete my portfolio there. Most independents only put up with the insultingly low commissions because of the historical sales volumes which were a significant proportion of our incomes. If that melts away then there would be little reason to stay and several reasons to leave.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 26, 2011, 13:13
My sales were well below last December's before the new best match arrived. So far the current best match doesn't seem to have affected them all that much (it's hard to tell at this time of year) but once stuff that was working its way through designers' projects is all taken up, goodness knows if there will be any sales.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Juanmonino on December 26, 2011, 13:45
I am Istock exclusive, always been
I got almost 15000 files in IS
Yesterday December 25th I sold 3 images for a total of 7 dollars
last year same day I sold over $150.00 same day

Today is Monday 26, I have sold so far $23.00 (2:00 pm ET), last year I sold December 26 more than $300.00, and last year December 26 was a Sunday.

Something very serious is going on in IS, something that happened Friday and is affecting not only non exclusives but exclusives as well. Please if anyone else is having similar results let me know, this is like 90% decrease in sales and will put me out of business in a heart beat if not fixed.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: aeonf on December 26, 2011, 14:34
^^^ Why don't you use your talisman ? :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: imageegami on December 26, 2011, 14:54
I for one would be very happy to see iStock go all exclusive. That means that Thinkstock would close its doors overnight due to a lack of content and buyers would leave in droves (even faster than they are doing today) to other sites which pay a fair commission. Unfortunately, its not in the cards.

Interesting pov, as I'd imagine that if they went all-exclusive they'd force exclusives to place some/all content in TS. IMO, it's a distinct exclusive perk that currently that's a choice.

The only problem with that is that exclusives are only a tiny fraction of iStock. It would still mean chopping the legs out from under Thinkstock and they would also lose all those high margin sales and they would have, I don`t know, maybe 2,000,000 images (I`m guessing on the number but it would be a small fraction of what they have today). Bottom line, that`ain`t gona happen.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 26, 2011, 15:22
I am Istock exclusive, always been
I got almost 15000 files in IS
Yesterday December 25th I sold 3 images for a total of 7 dollars
last year same day I sold over $150.00 same day

Today is Monday 26, I have sold so far $23.00 (2:00 pm ET), last year I sold December 26 more than $300.00, and last year December 26 was a Sunday.

Something very serious is going on in IS, something that happened Friday and is affecting not only non exclusives but exclusives as well. Please if anyone else is having similar results let me know, this is like 90% decrease in sales and will put me out of business in a heart beat if not fixed.

Well Juan!  if somebody like you reports this!  thats alarming and rings warning bells all over the place and thats what I said earlier, this move havent done the exclusives any good at all. Something is going on and I think it could possibly be some sort of orchestrated "end" and what better timing then just before a new year?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: mtilghma on December 26, 2011, 15:26
and my little recent spike was indeed nov's PP sales rolling in
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Juanmonino on December 26, 2011, 15:36
I never seen nothing like this, today is monday and sales are completely dead, I have not sold a single image in hours, like I said last year and the year before at this day of the year I used to sell $250.00 - $300, today I am still at $28.30, this is like a 85% plummeting in sales, and I am exclusive.

I would like to know if other IS exclusives are experiencing something like this during last 4 days. They did something massive last friday, something never seen before. If this stay like this, I will be out of business by january. And I have the 8th collection in IS in size, 57th in sales.

And is nothing we can do, even questions about this matter are immediately censored in IS forums
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 26, 2011, 15:45
I see very weak sales across the board today, SS is at 25% (up until this hour, not the whole day) compared to last Monday, I'm seeing even less or no sales (at the lousy sites such as BS and SC). So I guess I'm seeing a 80% drop as well, but I'm comparing it to last week since I've almost doubled my port since last Dec (so perhaps this is comparing apples and pears). I think the economy also has much to do with current sales as well as really bad, dark future that awaits Europe in the next few years (I'm getting most sales from Europe, at least at SS).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: aeonf on December 26, 2011, 15:45
I wouldn't jump to conculsion just yet! it is christmas as I remember.
I would wait for in to end as well as waiting for the next best match shuffle which I assume will come soon.
My sales are OK BTW, but I do see a bias towards newer pictures.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: WarrenPrice on December 26, 2011, 15:49
Not sure about others but Monday is a holiday in US -- Sunday events are celebrated on Monday.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: imageegami on December 26, 2011, 15:49
I never seen nothing like this, today is monday and sales are completely dead, I have not sold a single image in hours, like I said last year and the year before at this day of the year I used to sell $250.00 - $300, today I am still at $28.30, this is like a 85% plummeting in sales, and I am exclusive.

I would like to know if other IS exclusives are experiencing something like this during last 4 days. They did something massive last friday, something never seen before. If this stay like this, I will be out of business by january. And I have the 8th collection in IS in size, 57th in sales.

And is nothing we can do, even questions about this matter are immediately censored in IS forums

Sorry to hear about your troubles. I don`t think you are alone among exclusives. Can you remember how JJRD declared that Thinkstock is a different customer base and that making images available there would have no impact on iStock sales?  Remember how we were promised to be grandfathered into existing commission levels? Remember how we were told by KK that commissions wouldn`t be changed except for the better? Can you recall that money isn`t what makes us happy? Not sure about you but from my perspective, they have lost any and all credibility and entrusting them with 100% of my stock revenue was making me naucious so I became independent, a change which I have not regretted.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on December 26, 2011, 15:51
Today is a holiday in many european countries. Others have holiday because Christmas was on Sunday. Even tomorrow is a holiday in UK.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 26, 2011, 15:53
Not sure about others but Monday is a holiday in US -- Sunday events are celebrated on Monday.

I just wanted to ask if there's boxing day in the US as well and checked it in wikipedia to find out there isn't. Which holiday is it?

So this explains my sales; Holidays in UK and commonwealth and USA. And panic in Europe. The rest of the world doesn't buy much anyway, well Latin America and Africa is on the rise in the last 6 months or so, at least at SS.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Juanmonino on December 26, 2011, 15:54
I don't get alarmed very easily, I have seen many changes and shifts, but nothing like this before, this is dramatic,huge,absolute, and I am comparing with same dates last year and year before, sales plummeted more than 85% compering same dates data. just last 4 days, starting friday afternoon.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 26, 2011, 15:55
Not sure about others but Monday is a holiday in US -- Sunday events are celebrated on Monday.

I just wanted to ask if there's boxing day in the US as well and checked it in wikipedia to find out there isn't. Which holiday is it?


I'm imagining that it's the Christmas public holiday today in the US to make up for Christmas being a Sunday.
Technically, tomorrow in the UK is officially the Christmas bank holiday, as today is Boxing Day.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Buzbuzzer on December 26, 2011, 15:58
Holiday in Canada too.. 1 sale today... but it's pretty normal.

We' ll see the real thing in January.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Juanmonino on December 26, 2011, 15:58
Today is a holiday in many european countries. Others have holiday because Christmas was on Sunday. Even tomorrow is a holiday in UK.

Last year december 26th was SUNDAY, and I sold almost $300.00 that day.

Today (I just had a sale) I sold $34.00 and is MONDAY.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 26, 2011, 16:02
Not sure about others but Monday is a holiday in US -- Sunday events are celebrated on Monday.

I just wanted to ask if there's boxing day in the US as well and checked it in wikipedia to find out there isn't. Which holiday is it?


I'm imagining that it's the Christmas public holiday today to make up for Christmas being a Sunday.
Technically, tomorrow in the UK is officially the Christmas bank holiday, as today is Boxing Day.

That's great, football matches are going to be spread out throughout the day again (not all at the same time so you can watch just one match). UK is great, there's no break in premier league. I guess this is what I like the most about UK :D
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 26, 2011, 16:03
I don't get alarmed very easily, I have seen many changes and shifts, but nothing like this before, this is dramatic,huge,absolute, and I am comparing with same dates last year and year before, sales plummeted more than 85% compering same dates data. just last 4 days, starting friday afternoon.

"I don't get alarmed very easily" LOL!  ;D :P -  you make me seem calm.  ;)

I've had not one sale for three days and at previous Christmasses I've always had a small trickle.
The sky may be falling in; but more likely it's because Christmas this year was a Sunday, so even those countries which don't celebrate Christmas wouldn't be working, so it's the Christmas diminution of sales multiplied by the Sunday diminution of sales.

I'll be annoyed if I don't get any tomorrow, but it's still a UK Bank/Public holiday for most except shop workers; but worried if I don't get any on Wednesday. Some people on the race threads have been reporting sales over the holiday.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 26, 2011, 16:04
Holiday in Canada too.. 1 sale today... but it's pretty normal.

We' ll see the real thing in January.

Pretty normal for a 120k diamond ?!?!?!  :o I'd guess pretty normal would be at least 20, while on a normal workday would be way over 50...
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Juanmonino on December 26, 2011, 16:14
Holiday in Canada too.. 1 sale today... but it's pretty normal.

We' ll see the real thing in January.

Pretty normal for a 120k diamond ?!?!?!  :o I'd guess pretty normal would be at least 20, while on a normal workday would be way over 50...

I am 155k diamond, never sold only 3 pics in any given day since I became exclusive in 2006. Even in new years day I never sold less than 20 images. Like I said, something big is cooking in IS, and it is not good neither for exclusives nor for non exclusives
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: fotoVoyager on December 26, 2011, 16:28
I am Istock exclusive, always been
I got almost 15000 files in IS
Yesterday December 25th I sold 3 images for a total of 7 dollars
last year same day I sold over $150.00 same day

Today is Monday 26, I have sold so far $23.00 (2:00 pm ET), last year I sold December 26 more than $300.00, and last year December 26 was a Sunday.

Something very serious is going on in IS, something that happened Friday and is affecting not only non exclusives but exclusives as well. Please if anyone else is having similar results let me know, this is like 90% decrease in sales and will put me out of business in a heart beat if not fixed.


My figures match yours pretty closely.

Xmas is on a weekend this year so I'm not panicking just yet. If January doesn't pick up, that's the time to *really* worry.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on December 26, 2011, 16:35
I'm almost at half what I got on 26 D last year, but maybe it's not fair comparing with last year, because these were the dates when the big credit card fraud took place.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: KB on December 26, 2011, 17:00
Can you remember how JJRD declared that Thinkstock is a different customer base and that making images available there would have no impact on iStock sales?  

Remember how we were promised to be grandfathered into existing commission levels?

Remember how we were told by KK that commissions wouldn`t be changed except for the better?

Can you recall that money isn`t what makes us happy?
Maybe we should start a thread that lists all of iStock's broken promises? It might rival this thread in length ....

Here's another couple that I recall (one from Lobo, I believe, the other I'm not sure who said it):

The EdStock (et al) files won't dominate the search results.

Don't worry, there will be consideration for anyone who's close to an RC cut-off line but doesn't quite make it.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 26, 2011, 17:06

Here's another couple that I recall (one from Lobo, I believe, the other I'm not sure who said it):

The EdStock (et al) files won't dominate the search results.

I'm pretty sure this one was Joyze.
Yup, top post here:
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=330294&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=330294&page=1)
Quote
Don't worry, there will be consideration for anyone who's close to an RC cut-off line but doesn't quite make it.

I agree, I'm pretty sure that was Lobo.
[/quote]
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pixel86 on December 26, 2011, 17:28
Sales have been consistently dropping for most at istock over the past few months, and yet it's being explained away now as various holidays?  ??? I guess many are hoping that magically, on Jan. 2, after the holidays, sales will inexplicably resume to levels from a couple of years ago. That is some faith and hope...
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 26, 2011, 18:32
Holiday in Canada too.. 1 sale today... but it's pretty normal.

We' ll see the real thing in January.

Pretty normal for a 120k diamond ?!?!?!  :o I'd guess pretty normal would be at least 20, while on a normal workday would be way over 50...

I am 155k diamond, never sold only 3 pics in any given day since I became exclusive in 2006. Even in new years day I never sold less than 20 images. Like I said, something big is cooking in IS, and it is not good neither for exclusives nor for non exclusives

You're probably right, but it would make sense to give it a few more days before you draw conclusions ... remember Ebenezer and Florence? Or maybe you are too young.

In any case, do you think you can change anything?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: kelby on December 26, 2011, 18:42
@juanmonino
last year on 25 and 26 there were fraudolent sales...so is normal that you made more of 300$.... btw also few sales for a diamond like you is worry
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 26, 2011, 18:49
@juanmonino
last year on 25 and 26 there were fraudolent sales...so is normal that you made more of 300$.... btw also few sales for a diamond like you is worry

In that case it would be a lot more realistic to compare your last 4 day sales to your average earnings juanmonino...
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Juanmonino on December 26, 2011, 19:31
I just want to find out if any other IS contributors experienced the same, I want to know if its just me or is happening to all/most diamonds
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: xst on December 26, 2011, 20:04
search for "Sensual couple" gives first non-exclusive image on page 140!!!

That's obvious,
They've just decided to push independents out competely.

I really disrespect them as much as Fotolia now
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: mlwinphoto on December 26, 2011, 20:32
I can't find any of my top sellers within the first 15 pages of any best match search.   I've had one sale (for .22) in six weeks which, in spite of my small portfolio, is so far below what is expected that I'm having a hard time believing it is true.

Regardless, I'm done uploading to iStock and will close out my account at the end of the year.  Good riddance (which I'm sure is how they feel about me as well).     :-*
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: travelstock on December 26, 2011, 22:30
@Juan I'm not a diamond, but on my numbers the Christmas period and December as a whole are up strongly from last year. At the moment the difference is greater than my portfolio growth for the period.

The way I'm seeing the search is that its favouring new images, and particularly new exclusive images. Looking at my downloads, the consistent theme is that they're 2011 files - the older ones tend to be specific subjects that are low volume but don't have much competition in the search. My portfolio is much smaller, and a bit unique in that it doubled in 2011 (+1500 images with 1000 of those in the last 6 months) but its not so small as to be completely irrelevant.

Those who have large portfolios where the average age of images is 3-4 years, this current best match is going to hurt.

For me its a nice change from the time when new files disappeared into oblivion which was the case for most of the year. That said, I don't expect the current algorithm to stay as it is. What I'm noticing is that the search order is actually changing quite quickly in a way that really boosts new-ish files with downloads. Longer term is what really matters & none of us really know how any of this is going to play out. Its probably wise not to bank on maintaining or growing earnings ant more than you would bank on a high-risk tech-stock on the sharemarket.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 26, 2011, 22:39
I just want to find out if any other IS contributors experienced the same, I want to know if its just me or is happening to all/most diamonds

---

I had to modify this post.  Due to the great fraud debacle of 2010, I don't know what my real sales were like over the holiday last year.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 27, 2011, 02:14
Fellas!  Im saying this with the best of intentions ( been exclusive myself now for 20 years, in the RM), know what its like,   BUT, this?  no, I would look after my own backyard and run for my life. Whats scary here is not the poor revenues, its the total trend, no matter what contributor, its like waiting for the inevitable. :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Gio on December 27, 2011, 02:48
I never seen nothing like this, today is monday and sales are completely dead, I have not sold a single image in hours, like I said last year and the year before at this day of the year I used to sell $250.00 - $300, today I am still at $28.30, this is like a 85% plummeting in sales, and I am exclusive.

I would like to know if other IS exclusives are experiencing something like this during last 4 days. They did something massive last friday, something never seen before. If this stay like this, I will be out of business by january. And I have the 8th collection in IS in size, 57th in sales.

And is nothing we can do, even questions about this matter are immediately censored in IS forums

Where have been last december? Have you ever heard about "fraudulent" sales? C'mon... it's Xmas time, it is obvious that our sales are similar to Zero.

Relax and wait for January.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ayzek on December 27, 2011, 02:50
This best match will give a boost to exclusives but also will makes life harder who plans to throw their crown.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: fujiko on December 27, 2011, 02:54
Exclusives vs Independents
New content vs Old content
Diamonds vs Silver

Don't you see that this is all about distracting from the real issue, Contributors vs Greedy Middlemen?

They are nothing but greedy middlemen with too much power. They don't generate content, they don't create anything of value. They are only creative in finding ways to exploit contributors and buyers.

But they have one mind and contributors are many and divided.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: RapidEye on December 27, 2011, 03:04
This best match will give a boost to exclusives but also will makes life harder who plans to throw their crown.

If there is a cunning plan behind this, this could be it.

Anyway, whatever it means, my sales seem normal for the time of year. Go figure.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 27, 2011, 03:19
This best match will give a boost to exclusives but also will makes life harder who plans to throw their crown.

What are you talking about?  by the sound of it all, top-exclusives, as here in this forum are suffering like crazy!  and with this, it should be a really easy decision to throw a crown,  unless ofcourse you believe in fairy-tales, that is.

Why dont you visit the RC-thread in the IS forum,  that should be depressive enough reading for you and see how many that are prepared to drop this so called crown.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ayzek on December 27, 2011, 04:03
This best match will give a boost to exclusives but also will makes life harder who plans to throw their crown.

What are you talking about?  by the sound of it all, top-exclusives, as here in this forum are suffering like crazy!  and with this, it should be a really easy decision to throw a crown,  unless ofcourse you believe in fairy-tales, that is.

Why dont you visit the RC-thread in the IS forum,  that should be depressive enough reading for you and see how many that are prepared to drop this so called crown.

I am not visiting istock forums anymore so i dont know whats happening in there. More people may thinking to throw their crown but it will not change that its getting harder to decide with this best match.
i was really luck that i throw my exclusivity in last May cause if i throw it today i will get less till i create selling portfolio in other places.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 27, 2011, 07:05
Maybe I'll join the panic team early (@Juan: very low Gold iron pyrites). I just looked back to  2007. I had my first images accepted on the 17th or 18th Dec (uploaded 12th) and by Christmas day, I had an absolute maximum of 8 images online, more likely 5 - yet I had a Christmas day dl and 2 on Boxing Day - though both were weekdays so some countries would be at work. This year, nada since 23rd - at the end which, I only needed 13 dls for Dec to be my BMY (not because of a really stellar Dec, though it's much better than last year; more a dire Jan - May).
I'll blame the total preponderance of CSA's cartoons and drawings in several of my areas of activity. That's probably a Red Herring, but a girl's gotta have a scapegoat.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: kelby on December 27, 2011, 09:10
i'm seeing another crap day even if today is not holiday.....i  had never ever seen before a business day slow like that.... SS and FT seems going only 10% under the average while IS is very very low....what !!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 27, 2011, 10:26
I'm going to have to think about this a bit more - what else would a visit to the dentist be good for? :) - but in the current best match state, I'm tempted to remove all my iStock bestsellers while they're still not on ThinkStock/photos.com.

Right now I'm still at 14 files (of about 2,500) migrated to Thinkstock. I have no idea, given how broken the "connector" has been to date, how long it'd take to remove files from there once I remove them from iStock. Given how totally buried my bestsellers are, if they're not going to make sales at iStock, why give them to Thinkstock and make less than almost anywhere else on a subs sale or two? Seems like a window to take advantage of, unless this current best match makes a huge left turn after the new year - if it was just some sort of year end hail mary pass trying to get (some?) exclusives' RC totals up.

I am still seeing a thin dribble sales (one today so far), but atypically nothing for Christmas eve/Day, and not the buried best sellers...
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: stockastic on December 27, 2011, 10:32
We might have expected them to first transfer the independent photos to TS, then bury them on IS.  But it looks like they decided to do it the other way around.   They'll all die on IS, and then slowly - someday - show up on TS.   
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pro@stockphotos on December 27, 2011, 10:59
This best match will give a boost to exclusives but also will makes life harder who plans to throw their crown.

If there is a cunning plan behind this, this could be it.

Anyway, whatever it means, my sales seem normal for the time of year. Go figure.

Maybe the other "cunning plan" is to try to stop the bleeding off of sales to the cheaper sites.  Obviously what has been good for the independent over the last 3 years has not been good for the exclusive.  Independents have been reporting the rising sales at other sites and the falling sales at istock.   As an independent you have a not all my eggs in one basket approach.  The same approach for istock would be to mitigate this loss of sales to competing sites.  As an exclusive I hope what ever actions istock takes makes you object.  If you are in agreement with their policies it can't be good for exclusives.   
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ayzek on December 27, 2011, 11:32
I'm going to have to think about this a bit more - what else would a visit to the dentist be good for? :) - but in the current best match state, I'm tempted to remove all my iStock bestsellers while they're still not on ThinkStock/photos.com.

Right now I'm still at 14 files (of about 2,500) migrated to Thinkstock. I have no idea, given how broken the "connector" has been to date, how long it'd take to remove files from there once I remove them from iStock. Given how totally buried my bestsellers are, if they're not going to make sales at iStock, why give them to Thinkstock and make less than almost anywhere else on a subs sale or two? Seems like a window to take advantage of, unless this current best match makes a huge left turn after the new year - if it was just some sort of year end hail mary pass trying to get (some?) exclusives' RC totals up.

+1
You read my mind.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: SNP on December 27, 2011, 11:46
This best match will give a boost to exclusives but also will makes life harder who plans to throw their crown.

If there is a cunning plan behind this, this could be it.

Anyway, whatever it means, my sales seem normal for the time of year. Go figure.

mine too. nothing fabulous, nothing scary. typical Christmas week here
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 27, 2011, 13:51
I'm going to have to think about this a bit more - what else would a visit to the dentist be good for? :) - but in the current best match state, I'm tempted to remove all my iStock bestsellers while they're still not on ThinkStock/photos.com.

Right now I'm still at 14 files (of about 2,500) migrated to Thinkstock. I have no idea, given how broken the "connector" has been to date, how long it'd take to remove files from there once I remove them from iStock. Given how totally buried my bestsellers are, if they're not going to make sales at iStock, why give them to Thinkstock and make less than almost anywhere else on a subs sale or two? Seems like a window to take advantage of, unless this current best match makes a huge left turn after the new year - if it was just some sort of year end hail mary pass trying to get (some?) exclusives' RC totals up.

I am still seeing a thin dribble sales (one today so far), but atypically nothing for Christmas eve/Day, and not the buried best sellers...

Joanne!  thats exactly what I have done, I have deleted about 90 files, blue and red flames, best-sellers, simply because I dont want them at TS, selling for a pittance. Im not that money hungry.

I negotiated a good deal for them elsewhere and sure enough they are already bringing in lots of revenues.
Im afraid as far as I can see, this is the only way to go,  once in on TS, theyre gone. Further more, since this corporation cant be trusted,  who is to say they wont get locked? or something else, stupid will happen to them. You dont want to take a chance with these people.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 27, 2011, 14:01
I have deleted about 90 files, blue and red flames, best-sellers, simply because I dont want them at TS, selling for a pittance. Im not that money hungry.

I negotiated a good deal for them elsewhere and sure enough they are already bringing in lots of revenues.
Im afraid as far as I can see, this is the only way to go,  once in on TS, theyre gone. Further more, since this corporation cant be trusted,  who is to say they wont get locked? or something else, stupid will happen to them. You dont want to take a chance with these people.

They won't lock it, they'll just say they have a problem with the connector (they sure can back it up with tons of past problems, it'll even look believable to many ppl). I bet it'll be indefinitely for every file that has at least some DLs, while they'll delete no to very low sellers and say they're doing their best at the same time.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Difydave on December 27, 2011, 14:18
This best match will give a boost to exclusives but also will makes life harder who plans to throw their crown.

If there is a cunning plan behind this, this could be it.

Anyway, whatever it means, my sales seem normal for the time of year. Go figure.
After the RC thing I can believe the cunning part. I'm not so sure about the plan though. :)
Sales are normal for Christmas. (hopeless in other words) Nothing on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day which is unusual, but even so normally only one or two. Very slow at a couple of sales yesterday and today. Someone else I know is also very slow. I expect the best match to be put back to "normal" (whatever that is) when they get back to work. When's that. Tomorrow?
A lot of people will have this week off anyway, and it will be the second working week in January I expect before things will be "business as usual"
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 27, 2011, 14:19
I have deleted about 90 files, blue and red flames, best-sellers, simply because I dont want them at TS, selling for a pittance. Im not that money hungry.

I negotiated a good deal for them elsewhere and sure enough they are already bringing in lots of revenues.
Im afraid as far as I can see, this is the only way to go,  once in on TS, theyre gone. Further more, since this corporation cant be trusted,  who is to say they wont get locked? or something else, stupid will happen to them. You dont want to take a chance with these people.

They won't lock it, they'll just say they have a problem with the connector (they sure can back it up with tons of past problems, it'll even look believable to many ppl). I bet it'll be indefinitely for every file that has at least some DLs, while they'll delete no to very low sellers and say they're doing their best at the same time.

You can't really believe they are that conspiratorial, can you? Or that they would care that much about any portfolio that they would put that much effort into selectively deactivating it? Sometimes I think people just spend their time trying to come up with a conspiracy theory that is wilder than anyone else's.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 27, 2011, 14:22
I have deleted about 90 files, blue and red flames, best-sellers, simply because I dont want them at TS, selling for a pittance. Im not that money hungry.

I negotiated a good deal for them elsewhere and sure enough they are already bringing in lots of revenues.
Im afraid as far as I can see, this is the only way to go,  once in on TS, theyre gone. Further more, since this corporation cant be trusted,  who is to say they wont get locked? or something else, stupid will happen to them. You dont want to take a chance with these people.

They won't lock it, they'll just say they have a problem with the connector (they sure can back it up with tons of past problems, it'll even look believable to many ppl). I bet it'll be indefinitely for every file that has at least some DLs, while they'll delete no to very low sellers and say they're doing their best at the same time.

You can't really believe they are that conspiratorial, can you? Or that they would care that much about any portfolio that they would put that much effort into selectively deactivating it? Sometimes I think people just spend their time trying to come up with a conspiracy theory that is wilder than anyone else's.

So much effort? A simple script would do it ;) . After being screwed so many times by them, nothing would really surprise me anymore
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 27, 2011, 15:00
So much effort? A simple script would do it ;) . After being screwed so many times by them, nothing would really surprise me anymore

Err, yeah, but unless Sean writes it for them a simple script isn't going to work, is it?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on December 27, 2011, 15:20

Joanne!  thats exactly what I have done, I have deleted about 90 files, blue and red flames, best-sellers, simply because I dont want them at TS, selling for a pittance. Im not that money hungry.

I negotiated a good deal for them elsewhere and sure enough they are already bringing in lots of revenues.
Im afraid as far as I can see, this is the only way to go,  once in on TS, theyre gone. Further more, since this corporation cant be trusted,  who is to say they wont get locked? or something else, stupid will happen to them. You dont want to take a chance with these people.

Is there really any noticeable difference in selling these files for 0.25 any size at TS and selling them at all these others subs sites (FT, SS etc) for 0.35 any size? From a principles point of view, for me, it isn't at all.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 27, 2011, 15:32
So much effort? A simple script would do it ;) . After being screwed so many times by them, nothing would really surprise me anymore

Err, yeah, but unless Sean writes it for them a simple script isn't going to work, is it?

Indeed. The way sales are going down even for the top, top contributors, such as himself, he just might need a job soon ;D
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pixel86 on December 27, 2011, 15:38
So much effort? A simple script would do it ;) . After being screwed so many times by them, nothing would really surprise me anymore

Err, yeah, but unless Sean writes it for them a simple script isn't going to work, is it?

 :D
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 27, 2011, 15:50
I have deleted about 90 files, blue and red flames, best-sellers, simply because I dont want them at TS, selling for a pittance. Im not that money hungry.

I negotiated a good deal for them elsewhere and sure enough they are already bringing in lots of revenues.
Im afraid as far as I can see, this is the only way to go,  once in on TS, theyre gone. Further more, since this corporation cant be trusted,  who is to say they wont get locked? or something else, stupid will happen to them. You dont want to take a chance with these people.

They won't lock it, they'll just say they have a problem with the connector (they sure can back it up with tons of past problems, it'll even look believable to many ppl). I bet it'll be indefinitely for every file that has at least some DLs, while they'll delete no to very low sellers and say they're doing their best at the same time.

You can't really believe they are that conspiratorial, can you? Or that they would care that much about any portfolio that they would put that much effort into selectively deactivating it? Sometimes I think people just spend their time trying to come up with a conspiracy theory that is wilder than anyone else's.


Dont know and dont care. Just simply dont want my best-sellers there. Period.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 27, 2011, 16:07
You can't really believe they are that conspiratorial, can you? Or that they would care that much about any portfolio that they would put that much effort into selectively deactivating it? Sometimes I think people just spend their time trying to come up with a conspiracy theory that is wilder than anyone else's.
And too often, the reality turns out to be even worse.  :(
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 27, 2011, 16:36
So much effort? A simple script would do it ;) . After being screwed so many times by them, nothing would really surprise me anymore

Err, yeah, but unless Sean writes it for them a simple script isn't going to work, is it?

LOL!  So true!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 27, 2011, 18:24

Is there really any noticeable difference in selling these files for 0.25 any size at TS and selling them at all these others subs sites (FT, SS etc) for 0.35 any size? From a principles point of view, for me, it isn't at all.

There is a difference. I don't sell at FT, so I can't comment on that, but at SS, for example, everything you sell counts towards getting you a higher royalty, not only on the subscriptions (which go up to 38 cents, not 35) but also on the on-demand and single sales which last month were about half my total. Sales at the iStock partner program count for nothing anywhere beyond the 28 cents a piece (it went up from 25 for independents after a lot of us held our images out the program because it was such a lousy deal for contributors.

And if you think that selling in volume for 28 cents a piece is fundamentally equivalent to selling them at 38 cents a piece I don't know what to say.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Noodles on December 27, 2011, 19:01
Twas heading for a BME until the change!

I have a question. As an exclusive, do you think it wise to move your old best sellers, which now looked dated and don't sell like they use to, into TS? I figure then I could recreate them as fresh new versions for the main IS collection.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 27, 2011, 19:43
Is there any keyword scrutiny during inspection going on nowadays.
Not counting the ingestions, whose keywords are often off the wall, a lot of stuff I'm seeing coming in this month from 'regular contributors' is really badly spammed.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: SNP on December 28, 2011, 00:27
gotta love the argument that selling subs at SS is more noble somehow. silly.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 28, 2011, 01:10
@lagereek

Christian,

Hope Christmas was good and that you were unaffected by the hurricane/storm - you are up north somewhere right?

Loads of things are going on at the moment, but I'm trying to keep a cool head and not doing anything rash or jump to conclusions, I've weathered many storms before during my 10 years in this industry, you probably have experienced many more.

As usual all the noise is coming from what seems to be a very vocal minority, but I'm starting to feel that a few comments made by contributors that seems to share my cool head have made me take these recent developments a little bit more seriously. I'm suffering at iStock at the moment, not catastrophic, but it is negative. Whether this is the result of industry developments, the tinkering with the best match search or something else I haven't worked out fully just yet. Hard to base decisions on only anecdotal information.

However, I fail to see the vast difference between the subscription model and it's pricing at Shutterstock versus TS/Photos.com - a few cents perhaps, but that's it right? Is it those few cents that make you this angry/annoyed/aggravated or have I missed something?

The way you "paint" iStock as basically untrustworthy (although in the past you seemed to have a completely different opinion) I also don't understand why you still have any images left there whatsoever? It doesn't seem to be worth it to you, both in terms of revenue nor the negative energy it seems to generate with you. Perhaps it would be better for you to drop them completely and not have to spend your time/energy on iStock issues? Only looking out for your best as a friend ;)

I'm not a fan of the the low-priced subscription model at all, but at the moment I would put Shutterstock in the same bucket at TS/Photos.com in that regard. Please explain to me the BIG difference between Shutterstock's subscription model and TS/Photos.com. Obsviously Shutterstock is much larger and generate more sales, but pricing is not that different to warrant your upset?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 28, 2011, 02:29
@lagereek

Christian,

Hope Christmas was good and that you were unaffected by the hurricane/storm - you are up north somewhere right?

Loads of things are going on at the moment, but I'm trying to keep a cool head and not doing anything rash or jump to conclusions, I've weathered many storms before during my 10 years in this industry, you probably have experienced many more.

As usual all the noise is coming from what seems to be a very vocal minority, but I'm starting to feel that a few comments made by contributors that seems to share my cool head have made me take these recent developments a little bit more seriously. I'm suffering at iStock at the moment, not catastrophic, but it is negative. Whether this is the result of industry developments, the tinkering with the best match search or something else I haven't worked out fully just yet. Hard to base decisions on only anecdotal information.

However, I fail to see the vast difference between the subscription model and it's pricing at Shutterstock versus TS/Photos.com - a few cents perhaps, but that's it right? Is it those few cents that make you this angry/annoyed/aggravated or have I missed something?

The way you "paint" iStock as basically untrustworthy (although in the past you seemed to have a completely different opinion) I also don't understand why you still have any images left there whatsoever? It doesn't seem to be worth it to you, both in terms of revenue nor the negative energy it seems to generate with you. Perhaps it would be better for you to drop them completely and not have to spend your time/energy on iStock issues? Only looking out for your best as a friend ;)

I'm not a fan of the the low-priced subscription model at all, but at the moment I would put Shutterstock in the same bucket at TS/Photos.com in that regard. Please explain to me the BIG difference between Shutterstock's subscription model and TS/Photos.com. Obsviously Shutterstock is much larger and generate more sales, but pricing is not that different to warrant your upset?


Hi Martin!

No, I am down south in Sweden, our farm is in SmŚland and yes, we have had two storms here, severall trees blown down, one of my horses had a narrow escape when heavy branches came down. I cant believe this, if its not one extreme its another, Christmas-eve, was plus 9 and sunny.

But Martin, its not a minority! visit the IS-forum, the RC-thread and see?  its everyone, not one single happy face and here, we are getting people like, Juan and fotovoyager, etc. I mean surely you can understand something is going on?  Im NOT saying IS, is untrustworthy on purpose but there are just too many things going wrong and I dont want any more "forced" contracts on me, it was enough having to sign away some RM-files inside Getty, to be allowed as micro and ,no, we were not giving an option there.

For starters the subs at SS, are 0.38c, so its 0.13c, more then TS,  quite a bit if you have say 50 sub sales per day, SS, also has SODs at 2.75 and single-sales at 5.75 and thats a hell of a differance from TS, wouldnt you say?

In all, I dont want to spend 2012, with these constant hassles within IS, these best match changes, bugs, glitches and all these segregations between exclusives and independants, all these "surprises", etc.
Just want a quiet and easy life :D, you know, sitting on the porch, drinking good Whiskey, and take some pics now and then.

all the best. and god fortsšttning!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 28, 2011, 02:55
@lagereek

Christian,

Hope Christmas was good and that you were unaffected by the hurricane/storm - you are up north somewhere right?

Loads of things are going on at the moment, but I'm trying to keep a cool head and not doing anything rash or jump to conclusions, I've weathered many storms before during my 10 years in this industry, you probably have experienced many more.

As usual all the noise is coming from what seems to be a very vocal minority, but I'm starting to feel that a few comments made by contributors that seems to share my cool head have made me take these recent developments a little bit more seriously. I'm suffering at iStock at the moment, not catastrophic, but it is negative. Whether this is the result of industry developments, the tinkering with the best match search or something else I haven't worked out fully just yet. Hard to base decisions on only anecdotal information.

However, I fail to see the vast difference between the subscription model and it's pricing at Shutterstock versus TS/Photos.com - a few cents perhaps, but that's it right? Is it those few cents that make you this angry/annoyed/aggravated or have I missed something?

The way you "paint" iStock as basically untrustworthy (although in the past you seemed to have a completely different opinion) I also don't understand why you still have any images left there whatsoever? It doesn't seem to be worth it to you, both in terms of revenue nor the negative energy it seems to generate with you. Perhaps it would be better for you to drop them completely and not have to spend your time/energy on iStock issues? Only looking out for your best as a friend ;)

I'm not a fan of the the low-priced subscription model at all, but at the moment I would put Shutterstock in the same bucket at TS/Photos.com in that regard. Please explain to me the BIG difference between Shutterstock's subscription model and TS/Photos.com. Obsviously Shutterstock is much larger and generate more sales, but pricing is not that different to warrant your upset?

...But Martin, its not a minority! visit the IS-forum, the RC-thread and see?  its everyone, not one single happy face and here, we are getting people like, Juan and fotovoyager, etc. I mean surely you can understand something is going on?  Im NOT saying IS, is untrustworthy on purpose but there are just too many things going wrong and I dont want any more "forced" contracts on me, it was enough having to sign away some RM-files inside Getty, to be allowed as micro and ,no, we were not giving an option there.

For starters the subs at SS, are 0.38c, so its 0.13c, more then TS,  quite a bit if you have say 50 sub sales per day, SS, also has SODs at 2.75 and single-sales at 5.75 and thats a hell of a differance from TS, wouldnt you say?


but Christian, you are (naturally) looking at this from an independent perspective. For exclusives the TS/Photos.com subscription model tilts in their favor STARTING at 0.38c and goes up to 0.46c thereby leaving Shutterstock far behind. SODs are comparable if I'm not mistaken. For independents I understand the displeasure of being paid less than at Shutterstock, but you can't have it all if you choose to be independent and exclusives do make sacrifices thus should be getting some benefits.

Yes, Getty is Getty and the new contract is what it is. What can we REALLY do?

Regarding the RC thread at iStock. Yes, many are unhappy, but as I said before the vocal people seem to be the displeased ones, the ones that are ok or are doing well often seem to stay quiet about it (fear factor?). However I did see a happy thread at iStock with quite a few not insignificant contributors displaying positives vibes/feelings - check out "Thank iStock" in their forum.

Basically you sound like you should be "Shutterstock exlusive", how many of the other sites bar Shutterstock within microstock do really generate any worthwhile revenue? You never toyed with the thought of becoming iStock exlusive.... :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 28, 2011, 02:56
@lagereek

Christian,

Hope Christmas was good and that you were unaffected by the hurricane/storm - you are up north somewhere right?

Loads of things are going on at the moment, but I'm trying to keep a cool head and not doing anything rash or jump to conclusions, I've weathered many storms before during my 10 years in this industry, you probably have experienced many more.

As usual all the noise is coming from what seems to be a very vocal minority, but I'm starting to feel that a few comments made by contributors that seems to share my cool head have made me take these recent developments a little bit more seriously. I'm suffering at iStock at the moment, not catastrophic, but it is negative. Whether this is the result of industry developments, the tinkering with the best match search or something else I haven't worked out fully just yet. Hard to base decisions on only anecdotal information.

However, I fail to see the vast difference between the subscription model and it's pricing at Shutterstock versus TS/Photos.com - a few cents perhaps, but that's it right? Is it those few cents that make you this angry/annoyed/aggravated or have I missed something?

The way you "paint" iStock as basically untrustworthy (although in the past you seemed to have a completely different opinion) I also don't understand why you still have any images left there whatsoever? It doesn't seem to be worth it to you, both in terms of revenue nor the negative energy it seems to generate with you. Perhaps it would be better for you to drop them completely and not have to spend your time/energy on iStock issues? Only looking out for your best as a friend ;)

I'm not a fan of the the low-priced subscription model at all, but at the moment I would put Shutterstock in the same bucket at TS/Photos.com in that regard. Please explain to me the BIG difference between Shutterstock's subscription model and TS/Photos.com. Obsviously Shutterstock is much larger and generate more sales, but pricing is not that different to warrant your upset?

...But Martin, its not a minority! visit the IS-forum, the RC-thread and see?  its everyone, not one single happy face and here, we are getting people like, Juan and fotovoyager, etc. I mean surely you can understand something is going on?  Im NOT saying IS, is untrustworthy on purpose but there are just too many things going wrong and I dont want any more "forced" contracts on me, it was enough having to sign away some RM-files inside Getty, to be allowed as micro and ,no, we were not giving an option there.

For starters the subs at SS, are 0.38c, so its 0.13c, more then TS,  quite a bit if you have say 50 sub sales per day, SS, also has SODs at 2.75 and single-sales at 5.75 and thats a hell of a differance from TS, wouldnt you say?


but Christian, you are (naturally) looking at this from an independent perspective. For exclusives the TS/Photos.com subscription model tilts in their favor STARTING at 0.38c and goes up to 0.46c thereby leaving Shutterstock far behind. SODs are comparable if I'm not mistaken. For independents I understand the displeasure of being paid less than at Shutterstock, but you can't have it all if you choose to be independent and exclusives do make sacrifices thus should be getting some benefits.

Yes, Getty is Getty and the new contract is what it is. What can we REALLY do?

Regarding the RC thread at iStock. Yes, many are unhappy, but as I said before the vocal people seem to be the displeased ones, the ones that are ok or are doing well often seem to stay quiet about it (fear factor, copycats etc.?). However I did see a happy thread at iStock with quite a few not insignificant contributors displaying positives vibes/feelings - check out "Thank iStock" in their forum.

Basically you sound like you should be "Shutterstock exlusive", how many of the other sites bar Shutterstock within microstock do really generate any worthwhile revenue? You never toyed with the thought of becoming iStock exlusive.... :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on December 28, 2011, 03:09
good luck Martin. You have all your eggs in the one basket you had better like it. It is not that people love SS, it is that it is a fair model that works. As an exclusive you appear smug. Time will tell. Is has screwed as much out of independents as possible. Most will not bother to upload. The images will be at the bottom of the searches and the royalty rate is poor. Where will you be when it is all exclusive? SS are getting very picky about the images they accept. Old exclusive stuff at IS will die anywhere else (even if accepted) and will not be seen on IS if you go independent.  There is still plenty they can take off exclusives to boost profits. They will need to do this with a continued drop in market share and worse search results. One thing about limiting uploads to independents was that there was not a lot of near identical images put up from them. Many bulk uploads have sameness from some exclusives. The search result for customers is not enhanced by pushing exclusives, vetta etc to the front. Customers are at times dumb but they are not stupid.  What next can be done to keep sales up for exclusives?? This is a one way street. Future changes will not get you as excited as screwing independents to reward exclusives.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 28, 2011, 03:41
Hi Martin!

I believe in exclusivity within RM, yes, and for protection, copys, etc. I do not believe in exclusivity in Micro, internet based agencies with billions of images floating around, pseudos, people with differant accounts and what nots. Its bound to be trouble and it is. Thats why only 15% of all contributors at IS, are exclusive, not much to hang in a x-mas tree, is it?
Exclusivity at IS, works for a chosen few and thats the people that were there when it all started with Bruce, etc, the so called backbone of the company, all the rest are just fill-outs and expendible.
In the micro world, exclusivity is just a pretty word, how do you police it?  I myself know severall who are exclusive, not just with IS but also others, get yourself a differant pseudo, differant account and upload differant pics, voila!  so much for that.

Person exclusivity, means nothing in micro and I really dont know how it came to be in the first place.

best.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 28, 2011, 03:46
good luck Martin. You have all your eggs in the one basket you had better like it. It is not that people love SS, it is that it is a fair model that works. As an exclusive you appear smug. Time will tell. Is has screwed as much out of independents as possible. Most will not bother to upload. The images will be at the bottom of the searches and the royalty rate is poor. Where will you be when it is all exclusive? SS are getting very picky about the images they accept. Old exclusive stuff at IS will die anywhere else (even if accepted) and will not be seen on IS if you go independent.  There is still plenty they can take off exclusives to boost profits. They will need to do this with a continued drop in market share and worse search results. One thing about limiting uploads to independents was that there was not a lot of near identical images put up from them. Many bulk uploads have sameness from some exclusives. The search result for customers is not enhanced by pushing exclusives, vetta etc to the front. Customers are at times dumb but they are not stupid.  What next can be done to keep sales up for exclusives?? This is a one way street. Future changes will not get you as excited as screwing independents to reward exclusives.

I don't have all my eggs in one basket, only in microstock. * I'm not smug at all, I take quite an offense that you say so - please point to where you got that impression.

Istock is the only microstock agency in my opinion where exclusivity available and is viable, naturally that makes it a different cup of tea to all the agencies where everyone is on equal footing. There is no charity going around, and Shutterstock, as well as other will squeeze as much as they can get away with when they feel they can, why wouldn't they?

I agree that iStock will continue to maximize their profit, they probably don't care at the expense of whom, but there is a limit at which it no longer is of interest even for exclusives.

By the sounds of things around here Shutterstock is soon big or powerful enough to capitalize on their position in the market. My thinking is then that they as a first step will start to offer exclusivity, 2nd step further down the line they will demand it, they are just slightly behind iStock.. iStock is at step 1 and I wouldn't be surprised if step 2 is just around the corner. As you said, time will tell.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 28, 2011, 03:49
Hi Martin!

I believe in exclusivity within RM, yes, and for protection, copys, etc. I do not believe in exclusivity in Micro, internet based agencies with billions of images floating around, pseudos, people with differant accounts and what nots. Its bound to be trouble and it is. Thats why only 15% of all contributors at IS, are exclusive, not much to hang in a x-mas tree, is it?
Exclusivity at IS, works for a chosen few and thats the people that were there when it all started with Bruce, etc, the so called backbone of the company, all the rest are just fill-outs and expendible.
In the micro world, exclusivity is just a pretty word, how do you police it?  I myself know severall who are exclusive, not just with IS but also others, get yourself a differant pseudo, differant account and upload differant pics, voila!  so much for that.

Person exclusivity, means nothing in micro and I really dont know how it came to be in the first place.

best.

Have to rush, but breach of contract of an exclusivity agreement is just not right and have been discussed here previously. I was then surprised by how many that seemed to think that was ok. In my opinion you sign a contract or give your word you stick to it, that's it.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 28, 2011, 04:03
If iStock make this search permanent, they'll pretty much lock-in all the exclusives and lock out everyone else. If exclusives discover they will have problems getting stuff into SS and DT, and know that 95% of their iS earnings will vanish if they drop the crown, then they aren't going to move, are they?

They've already made independents irrelevant, except for feeding TS, so who is going to be the next whipping-boy, out of Agency, Edstock and Exclusives? Would it make financial sense to push exclusives into the position previously held by independents while pushing Agency and Ed up front? What could exclusives do now, if that happened? And let's not forget that if prominent exclusives dump the crown, despite everything that means, it would give a useful boost to the PP, which seems to be the reinvention of microstock in a more pro-Getty form.

On both PP and iS, the contributors would then become a supporting act for other, more lucrative, Getty content.  That's what the logic of it looks like to me.

Carlsson - exlusivity is not an option for SS because they can't offer a higher payout for it on a subscription system.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 28, 2011, 04:46
If iStock make this search permanent,
Why do so many people think this is even slightly likely?
There have been nightmare BMs before, then another one comes along.
Even this one has different results in different searches, though it's true that exclusives dominate all the ones I've seen. But some have a preference within that to new images, some to V and/or A, some to well-selling images.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on December 28, 2011, 04:55
"I don't have all my eggs in one basket, only in microstock. * I'm not smug at all, I take quite an offense that you say so - please point to where you got that impression."

Your whole post earlier is totally smug. Try the IS forums for more support for independents being screwed to prop up exclusives as IS sales fall. Do not claim posters love SS because of the real issues with IS that have been vented about. Ebjoy the search while it compensates for lack of sales. What they need is to get more sales not give a bigger share to one group over another. The long term plan would seem to be scale down IS volume, have what is there as high price low volume and move all else to TS to compete with real micros.

Of course some may have images elsewhere in micro libraries often under other pseudonyms. Some claim it is the partners files etc. Others have RM. I am sure given vision many would have not been s loyal as they have to the IS exclusive agreement. Having a few images (taken in the same shoots as IS shots) in Alamy or somewhere else as RM is not a serious outing into market coverage. Like it or not the RF market is larger. You still have to think what is life like post IS like for you.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 28, 2011, 05:39
If iStock make this search permanent,
Why do so many people think this is even slightly likely?

Well, I've always said "if" and that it'll probably change soonish. But I think the fact that this one is so decisive marks it out as different. In the past there has always been at least some lip-service to balance in the best match - you know, three slots for independents per page, or whatever - to quell protests. This one simply dismisses independents as irrelevant and that does feel like a paradigm shift. I've usually had three or four shots on the front page of a "Qatar" search, I can't recall a time when I didn't have at least one, now my highest search slot is somewhere around page 12 of a 24 page search.

The thing that makes me really suspicious is that I can't see the point of them ordering a search in this way unless they want to achieve things - such as locking in exclusives - that won't be achieved if they keep changing it.

Even if the aim is simply to showcase files that other sites don't have, then if that is seen as an important enough objective to do this, it won't make sense to switch back to a previous version.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 28, 2011, 05:52
"I don't have all my eggs in one basket, only in microstock. * I'm not smug at all, I take quite an offense that you say so - please point to where you got that impression."

Your whole post earlier is totally smug. Try the IS forums for more support for independents being screwed to prop up exclusives as IS sales fall. Do not claim posters love SS because of the real issues with IS that have been vented about. Ebjoy the search while it compensates for lack of sales. What they need is to get more sales not give a bigger share to one group over another. The long term plan would seem to be scale down IS volume, have what is there as high price low volume and move all else to TS to compete with real micros.

Of course some may have images elsewhere in micro libraries often under other pseudonyms. Some claim it is the partners files etc. Others have RM. I am sure given vision many would have not been s loyal as they have to the IS exclusive agreement. Having a few images (taken in the same shoots as IS shots) in Alamy or somewhere else as RM is not a serious outing into market coverage. Like it or not the RF market is larger. You still have to think what is life like post IS like for you.

Don't tell me I'm smug when I'm not, especially when I'm in my response to you said I wasn't. I got no reason to be. Anyway your manners are severely lacking, and you come across as quite rude, however but I'm not biting. Regarding posters loving Shutterstock, you can clearly see that I'm been talking back and forth with lagereek, he "loves" Shutterstock.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 28, 2011, 05:58
If iStock make this search permanent,
Why do so many people think this is even slightly likely?

Well, I've always said "if" and that it'll probably change soonish. But I think the fact that this one is so decisive marks it out as different. In the past there has always been at least some lip-service to balance in the best match - you know, three slots for independents per page, or whatever - to quell protests. This one simply dismisses independents as irrelevant and that does feel like a paradigm shift. I've usually had three or four shots on the front page of a "Qatar" search, I can't recall a time when I didn't have at least one, now my highest search slot is somewhere around page 12 of a 24 page search.

The thing that makes me really suspicious is that I can't see the point of them ordering a search in this way unless they want to achieve things - such as locking in exclusives - that won't be achieved if they keep changing it.

Even if the aim is simply to showcase files that other sites don't have, then if that is seen as an important enough objective to do this, it won't make sense to switch back to a previous version.

Even if they change the search, best match, and even if its just slightly in favour of independants, its all too late, damage is done, etc. you cant keep doing business like this, constantly having to rely on a schitzophrenic best match, one day good, next day bad, etc. Thats not the way to do business,  you dont even get an announcement before they do it,  just Bang!  and your port is gone. No thanks,  had enough of that for 6 years.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 28, 2011, 06:06
"I don't have all my eggs in one basket, only in microstock. * I'm not smug at all, I take quite an offense that you say so - please point to where you got that impression."

Your whole post earlier is totally smug. Try the IS forums for more support for independents being screwed to prop up exclusives as IS sales fall. Do not claim posters love SS because of the real issues with IS that have been vented about. Ebjoy the search while it compensates for lack of sales. What they need is to get more sales not give a bigger share to one group over another. The long term plan would seem to be scale down IS volume, have what is there as high price low volume and move all else to TS to compete with real micros.

Of course some may have images elsewhere in micro libraries often under other pseudonyms. Some claim it is the partners files etc. Others have RM. I am sure given vision many would have not been s loyal as they have to the IS exclusive agreement. Having a few images (taken in the same shoots as IS shots) in Alamy or somewhere else as RM is not a serious outing into market coverage. Like it or not the RF market is larger. You still have to think what is life like post IS like for you.

Don't tell me I'm smug when I'm not, especially when I'm in my response to you said I wasn't. I got no reason to be. Anyway your manners are severely lacking, and you come across as quite rude, however but I'm not biting. Regarding posters loving Shutterstock, you can clearly see that I'm been talking back and forth with lagereek, he "loves" Shutterstock.

Hi Martin!

well its a touchy subject this, many here have had their entire ports destroyed, just overnight, so you know, feelings rush astray. Yes, I love SS, we all love SS, my reason for loving SS, is not the money, its the way they are conducting their business, nice and clean, no fuzz, friendly people, staff, etc and as I have said before, they conduct their business similar to Stones-Worldwide, and that Martin, thats just about the best you can get. :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 28, 2011, 06:07
If iStock make this search permanent,
Why do so many people think this is even slightly likely?

Well, I've always said "if" and that it'll probably change soonish. But I think the fact that this one is so decisive marks it out as different. In the past there has always been at least some lip-service to balance in the best match - you know, three slots for independents per page, or whatever - to quell protests. This one simply dismisses independents as irrelevant and that does feel like a paradigm shift. I've usually had three or four shots on the front page of a "Qatar" search, I can't recall a time when I didn't have at least one, now my highest search slot is somewhere around page 12 of a 24 page search.

The thing that makes me really suspicious is that I can't see the point of them ordering a search in this way unless they want to achieve things - such as locking in exclusives - that won't be achieved if they keep changing it.

Even if the aim is simply to showcase files that other sites don't have, then if that is seen as an important enough objective to do this, it won't make sense to switch back to a previous version.

Even if they change the search, best match, and even if its just slightly in favour of independants, its all too late, damage is done, etc. you cant keep doing business like this, constantly having to rely on a schitzophrenic best match, one day good, next day bad, etc. Thats not the way to do business,  you dont even get an announcement before they do it,  just Bang!  and your port is gone. No thanks,  had enough of that for 6 years.

I agree with you here Christian, the tinkering with the best match search has to stop. They should just make a decision as to how they want it look, hopefully with the aim of satisfying customers with proper relevance. Only change should then be dynamic i.e. rising of good sellers, sinking of under performers, geographic weighing etc. They have managed before to have a best match that looked alright, that was good for exclusives and ok for independents, don't see why they just can't go back to that. Short cuts, short term gains ain't going to get them anywhere in the long run unfortunately. They really need to win the community back, as well as the "feel good" factor. You think it is too late, I hope not.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 28, 2011, 06:13
"I don't have all my eggs in one basket, only in microstock. * I'm not smug at all, I take quite an offense that you say so - please point to where you got that impression."

Your whole post earlier is totally smug. Try the IS forums for more support for independents being screwed to prop up exclusives as IS sales fall. Do not claim posters love SS because of the real issues with IS that have been vented about. Ebjoy the search while it compensates for lack of sales. What they need is to get more sales not give a bigger share to one group over another. The long term plan would seem to be scale down IS volume, have what is there as high price low volume and move all else to TS to compete with real micros.

Of course some may have images elsewhere in micro libraries often under other pseudonyms. Some claim it is the partners files etc. Others have RM. I am sure given vision many would have not been s loyal as they have to the IS exclusive agreement. Having a few images (taken in the same shoots as IS shots) in Alamy or somewhere else as RM is not a serious outing into market coverage. Like it or not the RF market is larger. You still have to think what is life like post IS like for you.

Don't tell me I'm smug when I'm not, especially when I'm in my response to you said I wasn't. I got no reason to be. Anyway your manners are severely lacking, and you come across as quite rude, however but I'm not biting. Regarding posters loving Shutterstock, you can clearly see that I'm been talking back and forth with lagereek, he "loves" Shutterstock.

Hi Martin!

well its a touchy subject this, many here have had their entire ports destroyed, just overnight, so you know, feelings rush astray. Yes, I love SS, we all love SS, my reason for loving SS, is not the money, its the way they are conducting their business, nice and clean, no fuzz, friendly people, staff, etc and as I have said before, they conduct their business similar to Stones-Worldwide, and that Martin, thats just about the best you can get. :)

Sad thing is Christian that I think it wasn't long ago since you felt that way about iStock. Didn't you even contemplate exclusivity not that long ago (year or two ago)? iStock really has some serious making up to do to win a lot of people back, to turnaround the negative vibe that is currently surrounding it. I don't take it for granted that they will, but I still believe they will and I seriously hope so.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 28, 2011, 06:31
"I don't have all my eggs in one basket, only in microstock. * I'm not smug at all, I take quite an offense that you say so - please point to where you got that impression."

Your whole post earlier is totally smug. Try the IS forums for more support for independents being screwed to prop up exclusives as IS sales fall. Do not claim posters love SS because of the real issues with IS that have been vented about. Ebjoy the search while it compensates for lack of sales. What they need is to get more sales not give a bigger share to one group over another. The long term plan would seem to be scale down IS volume, have what is there as high price low volume and move all else to TS to compete with real micros.

Of course some may have images elsewhere in micro libraries often under other pseudonyms. Some claim it is the partners files etc. Others have RM. I am sure given vision many would have not been s loyal as they have to the IS exclusive agreement. Having a few images (taken in the same shoots as IS shots) in Alamy or somewhere else as RM is not a serious outing into market coverage. Like it or not the RF market is larger. You still have to think what is life like post IS like for you.

Don't tell me I'm smug when I'm not, especially when I'm in my response to you said I wasn't. I got no reason to be. Anyway your manners are severely lacking, and you come across as quite rude, however but I'm not biting. Regarding posters loving Shutterstock, you can clearly see that I'm been talking back and forth with lagereek, he "loves" Shutterstock.

Hi Martin!

well its a touchy subject this, many here have had their entire ports destroyed, just overnight, so you know, feelings rush astray. Yes, I love SS, we all love SS, my reason for loving SS, is not the money, its the way they are conducting their business, nice and clean, no fuzz, friendly people, staff, etc and as I have said before, they conduct their business similar to Stones-Worldwide, and that Martin, thats just about the best you can get. :)

Sad thing is Christian that I think it wasn't long ago since you felt that way about iStock. Didn't you even contemplate exclusivity not that long ago (year or two ago)? iStock really has some serious making up to do to win a lot of people back, to turnaround the negative vibe that is currently surrounding it. I don't take it for granted that they will, but I still believe they will and I seriously hope so.

Yep, correct!  not only me, Lise, Baldrick, many here were contemplating exclusivity a few years back. The root of all evils, is their constant best match changes, it sort of creates an instabillity which is hard to live with, let alone doing business with. :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 28, 2011, 08:13
I wasn't contemplating exclusivity - I'd signed a medium-term contract with another  agent, so it wasn't an option for me - but I know Gostwyck was about to jump. That was when they introduced the different pricing for exclusives. But just before a lot of people completed their six-month moratorium on uploading to DT, the powers that be at iStock decided to kick the train off the rails. I can't recall which crisis it was, but it came just in time to stop a lot of independents reaching for the crown.

That was one of the first shoot-self-in-foot moments at iS.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: JillLang on December 28, 2011, 08:51
This change has just killed my business there!  IS used to be so good for me.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pro@stockphotos on December 28, 2011, 10:27
This change has just killed my business there!  IS used to be so good for me.

The best match change has killed all the independents business for as long as its like this.  The best selling microstock producer best selling photos are not even on the first 600 images of the most popular key words.  I am sure this is a shock to independents even considering the weak time of year for sales. 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 28, 2011, 10:45
This change has just killed my business there!  IS used to be so good for me.

You'd better get used to it. As Baldrick has suggested this appears to be far too deliberate to be an 'accident' with unintended consequences. I doubt if it will change significantly any time soon unless it impacts overall sales. Even if it invokes buyers' protests Istock have proved themselves to be pig-headed enough to ignore them for several months before reluctantly taking any remedial action.

Even if the best match is modified I view this change as an act of desperation that does nothing to serve the buyers' interests and is a painfully obvious attempt to cling onto exiting exclusives. Yet another example of Istock introducing a short-term, self-interest policy that is likely to cause longer-term damage to the business. At best it will only delay the inevitable by a few months anyway.

Has anyone else noticed that some search words/phrases seem to have virtually disappeared? Try a search on 'roast lamb' for example. I'm getting zero results even when using different PCs and ISPs. Same with 'lamb (mutton)'. The phrase 'lamb shank' only generates 5 results although there are well over 100 within the library. I'd assume that there must be other similar issues.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: reckless on December 28, 2011, 10:51
Imagine the effect this has on Yuri, to see his expense and hard work wasted and his work not showing in the early pages of a search. I typed in 'businessman handshake' and found every exclusive copycat in the ranks but no Yuri in the front pages.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pixel86 on December 28, 2011, 10:54
This change has just killed my business there!  IS used to be so good for me.

Sorry to hear that Jill. I gave up on them a long time ago...for me, the writing on the wall was very clear. Maybe they'll change the best match sort back, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you. For some reason I was thinking you were exclusive, but glad to see that you have at least spread your work out so all eggs are not in one basket.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 28, 2011, 10:56
The best match change has killed all the independents business for as long as its like this.  The best selling microstock producer best selling photos are not even on the first 600 images of the most popular key words.  I am sure this is a shock to independents even considering the weak time of year for sales. 

Fear not, your own 'shock' will be arriving soon enough. Start planning your strategy in the event that Istock's sales continue to slide because, almost certainly, they will. The only question is how quickly and at what point the situation may stabilise (or not). The internet age allows businesses to grow with astonishing speed ... and also to implode just as quickly.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on December 28, 2011, 11:06
This change has just killed my business there!  IS used to be so good for me.

You'd better get used to it. As Baldrick has suggested this appears to be far too deliberate to be an 'accident' with unintended consequences. I doubt if it will change significantly any time soon unless it impacts overall sales. Even if it invokes buyers' protests Istock have proved themselves to be pig-headed enough to ignore them for several months before reluctantly taking any remedial action.

Even if the best match is modified I view this change as an act of desperation that does nothing to serve the buyers' interests and is a painfully obvious attempt to cling onto exiting exclusives. Yet another example of Istock introducing a short-term, self-interest policy that is likely to cause longer-term damage to the business. At best it will only delay the inevitable by a few months anyway.

Has anyone else noticed that some search words/phrases seem to have virtually disappeared? Try a search on 'roast lamb' for example. I'm getting zero results even when using different PCs and ISPs. Same with 'lamb (mutton)'. The phrase 'lamb shank' only generates 5 results although there are well over 100 within the library. I'd assume that there must be other similar issues.

This best match is not better not worse than any of the precedents. In some aspects is better (more original content on front of costumers), in some worse (less cheap files in front). I don't think many customers will even notice it.  And yes, it's better for some contributors and worse for other..., but that's another matter, completely different.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 28, 2011, 11:18
This best match is not better not worse than any of the precedents. In some aspects is better (more original content on front of costumers), in some worse (less cheap files in front). I don't think many customers will even notice it.  And yes, it's better for some contributors and worse for other..., but that's another matter, completely different.

Personally I think the best match is far worse than before. For a start many searches are dominated by a few newly-uploaded series by the same contributor/s thus offering less immediate choice. There's a reason why best-selling images are 'best-sellers' __ they're the ones the buyers liked the most (when they could actually find them). Suppressing such images behind a motley group of 'fresh' but largely boring and similar content is unlikely to thrill the buyers much.

Anyway, we'll soon see what happens won't we? The 'How was your January' thread on the IS forum should be illuminating.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 28, 2011, 11:29
I wasn't contemplating exclusivity - I'd signed a medium-term contract with another  agent, so it wasn't an option for me - but I know Gostwyck was about to jump. That was when they introduced the different pricing for exclusives. But just before a lot of people completed their six-month moratorium on uploading to DT, the powers that be at iStock decided to kick the train off the rails. I can't recall which crisis it was, but it came just in time to stop a lot of independents reaching for the crown.

That was one of the first shoot-self-in-foot moments at iS.

Yes, it was Gostwyck, me, and Cathy Clapper from this board, among others, who were waiting out the 6 months to become exclusive, and had been doing so under assurances that we would "be grandfathered into our current canister levels", back when that meant a certain royalty %.  The "kick off the rails" was the Sept. 2010 introduction of RC credits, making canister levels worthless.  We were lucky in that it happened before we went exclusive.  Some, like Dgilder and others weren't as lucky and got sucked into exclusivity on false pretenses.  I don't see how anyone could ever trust Istock after they did that. 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: traveler1116 on December 28, 2011, 11:33
Imagine the effect this has on Yuri, to see his expense and hard work wasted and his work not showing in the early pages of a search. I typed in 'businessman handshake' and found every exclusive copycat in the ranks but no Yuri in the front pages.
Yuri didn't invent the business handshake, in fact the oldest "business handshake" on istock is an exclusive file along with most of the other earliest ones.  Yuri's first business handshake was from 2006, 3 years after the first one.  I'm not sure how you can say everyone copied Yuri?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 28, 2011, 11:38
If iStock make this search permanent,
Why do so many people think this is even slightly likely?

Well, I've always said "if" and that it'll probably change soonish. But I think the fact that this one is so decisive marks it out as different. In the past there has always been at least some lip-service to balance in the best match - you know, three slots for independents per page, or whatever - to quell protests. This one simply dismisses independents as irrelevant and that does feel like a paradigm shift. I've usually had three or four shots on the front page of a "Qatar" search, I can't recall a time when I didn't have at least one, now my highest search slot is somewhere around page 12 of a 24 page search.

The thing that makes me really suspicious is that I can't see the point of them ordering a search in this way unless they want to achieve things - such as locking in exclusives - that won't be achieved if they keep changing it.

Even if the aim is simply to showcase files that other sites don't have, then if that is seen as an important enough objective to do this, it won't make sense to switch back to a previous version.

They could just add another filter, exclusive only if that was the point. And highlight it so buyers can really see it. Problem solved, for those that are looking for exclusive content. But that would go against everything they're really trying to achieve
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: mtilghma on December 28, 2011, 11:47
Yep, the RC invention was when they lost me, too.  It felt specifically designed to screw contributors like me, actually.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 28, 2011, 11:56
Imagine the effect this has on Yuri, to see his expense and hard work wasted and his work not showing in the early pages of a search. I typed in 'businessman handshake' and found every exclusive copycat in the ranks but no Yuri in the front pages.
Yuri didn't invent the business handshake, in fact the oldest "business handshake" on istock is an exclusive file along with most of the other earliest ones.  Yuri's first business handshake was from 2006, 3 years after the first one.  I'm not sure how you can say everyone copied Yuri?

Yuri is the supreme copycat. But the big guns in the "business" category are all copying each other and it started with the early iStockers copying successful images from the traditional libraries. So none of them are concept pioneers.

However, Yuri Arcurs undoubtedly does it best (as his sales figures web-wide attest) so burying his content is not giving customers the "best" match.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pro@stockphotos on December 28, 2011, 11:57
This best match is not better not worse than any of the precedents. In some aspects is better (more original content on front of costumers), in some worse (less cheap files in front). I don't think many customers will even notice it.  And yes, it's better for some contributors and worse for other..., but that's another matter, completely different.

Personally I think the best match is far worse than before. For a start many searches are dominated by a few newly-uploaded series by the same contributor/s thus offering less immediate choice. There's a reason why best-selling images are 'best-sellers' __ they're the ones the buyers liked the most (when they could actually find them). Suppressing such images behind a motley group of 'fresh' but largely boring and similar content is unlikely to thrill the buyers much.

Anyway, we'll soon see what happens won't we? The 'How was your January' thread on the IS forum should be illuminating.

Well, I have read the thoughts of independents for a long time on here.  And the couple of themes independents agreed on were keeping files "not all eggs in one basket" and this decision was leading to a mitigated loss effect with the fall of istock.  Many reporting the rise of SS at the expense of istock.  The common link between the two sites was selling the same independent files at different prices.  What would you in this scenario?  Besides sticking a link at the bottom saying this file is cheaper (way cheaper) at SS and every other rf site.   You saw the recent ad by Bigstock saying we have the same files for 60% cheaper.   I am not sure how this business models survives.   Price is not a factor that can be overcome by (features, service, or fancy colors).   Yes istock took more profit from independents, but they lost a lot of market share and strengthened their competitors.  Not a very good long term business strategy. 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 28, 2011, 12:07


They could just add another filter, exclusive only if that was the point. And highlight it so buyers can really see it. Problem solved, for those that are looking for exclusive content. But that would go against everything they're really trying to achieve

They already have an exclusive only filter.  Have had as long as I've been there (7 years).  Only difference is they now have (effectively) two exclusive only filters, and one of them is called Best Match.  ;)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: traveler1116 on December 28, 2011, 12:08
Imagine the effect this has on Yuri, to see his expense and hard work wasted and his work not showing in the early pages of a search. I typed in 'businessman handshake' and found every exclusive copycat in the ranks but no Yuri in the front pages.
Yuri didn't invent the business handshake, in fact the oldest "business handshake" on istock is an exclusive file along with most of the other earliest ones.  Yuri's first business handshake was from 2006, 3 years after the first one.  I'm not sure how you can say everyone copied Yuri?

Yuri is the supreme copycat. But the big guns in the "business" category are all copying each other and it started with the early iStockers copying successful images from the traditional libraries. So none of them are concept pioneers.

However, Yuri Arcurs undoubtedly does it best (as his sales figures web-wide attest) so burying his content is not giving customers the "best" match.
I wasn't saying Yuri is copying, just that he wasn't the first to do those shots and it's a bit ridiculous to say "every exclusive copycat" copied him when that obviously isn't true.  I do agree that it isn't the best match but it hasn't been for a while and it's been said before but no one seems to listen or they just don't want to acknowledge (is this what cognitive dissonance means?) that a few months ago nonexclusive images dominated the best match disproportionately.  It'll change again, at least for you nonexclusives it happened now rather than a month or two ago during the peak selling time.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 28, 2011, 12:12
Imagine the effect this has on Yuri, to see his expense and hard work wasted and his work not showing in the early pages of a search. I typed in 'businessman handshake' and found every exclusive copycat in the ranks but no Yuri in the front pages.

Thank goodness he has the benefit of being independent and not having his eggs in one basket.  This should be a non-issue!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 28, 2011, 12:14
  Besides sticking a link at the bottom saying this file is cheaper (way cheaper) at SS and every other rf site.   You saw the recent ad by Bigstock saying we have the same files for 60% cheaper.   I am not sure how this business models survives.   Price is not a factor that can be overcome by (features, service, or fancy colors).   Yes istock took more profit from independents, but they lost a lot of market share and strengthened their competitors.  Not a very good long term business strategy. 

Well, considering that (to my knowledge) EVERY other microstock site charges less than Istock and pays contributors a higher percentage, it seems to be quite doable.  In fact, most of the other major sites are thriving as Istock appears in decline.  Seems to me that it is Istock who has strengthened their competitors, and does not have a good long-term business strategy. 

FWIW, it was not the price differential that has caused Istock's buyers to abandon it for SS.  There has been a big price difference for a number of years.  Whatever the reason for the shift was, it most certainly wasn't the price difference on independent files.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 28, 2011, 12:22
I wasn't contemplating exclusivity - I'd signed a medium-term contract with another  agent, so it wasn't an option for me - but I know Gostwyck was about to jump. That was when they introduced the different pricing for exclusives. But just before a lot of people completed their six-month moratorium on uploading to DT, the powers that be at iStock decided to kick the train off the rails. I can't recall which crisis it was, but it came just in time to stop a lot of independents reaching for the crown.

That was one of the first shoot-self-in-foot moments at iS.

Yes, it was Gostwyck, me, and Cathy Clapper from this board, among others, who were waiting out the 6 months to become exclusive, and had been doing so under assurances that we would "be grandfathered into our current canister levels", back when that meant a certain royalty %.  The "kick off the rails" was the Sept. 2010 introduction of RC credits, making canister levels worthless.  We were lucky in that it happened before we went exclusive.  Some, like Dgilder and others weren't as lucky and got sucked into exclusivity on false pretenses.  I don't see how anyone could ever trust Istock after they did that. 

Me too and thank * we didnt. Imagine having to wake up seven days a week, wondering if the site is still there or exploaded, or the entire interface reaching out, to grab you by the balls or what hairy creature is constructing a new best match while eating a banana.
We could be a lot worse off you know. :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 28, 2011, 12:29
Imagine the effect this has on Yuri, to see his expense and hard work wasted and his work not showing in the early pages of a search. I typed in 'businessman handshake' and found every exclusive copycat in the ranks but no Yuri in the front pages.

Thank goodness he has the benefit of being independent and not having his eggs in one basket.  This should be a non-issue!

Jealous, Sean?


 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on December 28, 2011, 12:30
Imagine the effect this has on Yuri, to see his expense and hard work wasted and his work not showing in the early pages of a search. I typed in 'businessman handshake' and found every exclusive copycat in the ranks but no Yuri in the front pages.
Yuri didn't invent the business handshake, in fact the oldest "business handshake" on istock is an exclusive file along with most of the other earliest ones.  Yuri's first business handshake was from 2006, 3 years after the first one.  I'm not sure how you can say everyone copied Yuri?

So true.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: reckless on December 28, 2011, 12:44
Imagine the effect this has on Yuri, to see his expense and hard work wasted and his work not showing in the early pages of a search. I typed in 'businessman handshake' and found every exclusive copycat in the ranks but no Yuri in the front pages.
Yuri didn't invent the business handshake, in fact the oldest "business handshake" on istock is an exclusive file along with most of the other earliest ones.  Yuri's first business handshake was from 2006, 3 years after the first one.  I'm not sure how you can say everyone copied Yuri?

Guess I should have done my homework. How could one man possibly dominate the businessman searches until lately. Now the same style shows up but with gold crowns attached? What was I thinking?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: SNP on December 28, 2011, 12:55
as said above, what happens when independents get fed up and leave iStock altogether? maybe that's a non-issue since those upset here represent a tiny percentage of the overall non-exclusive contributor base. for the record, this latest best match incarnation certainly isn't doing anything magical for this exclusive's sales. but there is no denying that the search results are absolutely dominated by exclusive content this week. seems different from the usual type of best match tweak.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 28, 2011, 12:58
Imagine the effect this has on Yuri, to see his expense and hard work wasted and his work not showing in the early pages of a search. I typed in 'businessman handshake' and found every exclusive copycat in the ranks but no Yuri in the front pages.
Thank goodness he has the benefit of being independent and not having his eggs in one basket.  This should be a non-issue!
Jealous, Sean?

Hee hee....
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 28, 2011, 13:12
as said above, what happens when independents get fed up and leave iStock altogether? maybe that's a non-issue since those upset here represent a tiny percentage of the overall non-exclusive contributor base. for the record, this latest best match incarnation certainly isn't doing anything magical for this exclusive's sales. but there is no denying that the search results are absolutely dominated by exclusive content this week. seems different from the usual type of best match tweak.

Hi Stacey!  but its a heavy minority, many high end contributors. At least we vent our opinions and share here. The dangerous crowd, is the silent crowd of independants, they say nothing, suffer a bit in silence and then they leave, without a word and if theres anything to go by what has been whispered to me, they have left in thousands.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 28, 2011, 13:38
Under this best match it doesn't matter if we leave or not, we've been made irrelevant (though maybe some people will search by DLs). In any case, even if I earn almost nothing at iS next month, I will still want my $200 from TS.

One thing that surely has to make this search unsustainable is that it slams the door in the face of newbies. It's hard to imagine any of them ever being able to get a foothold is IS if everything they submit starts life in the bottom 30% of any given search. So, at the moment, it is effectively a members-only exclusive club.

BTW, I'm not at all upset. I've got past the stage of being upset with IS, just like I got past being upset over rejections. I've become fatalistic about it.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: imageegami on December 28, 2011, 13:51
Under this best match it doesn't matter if we leave or not, we've been made irrelevant (though maybe some people will search by DLs). In any case, even if I earn almost nothing at iS next month, I will still want my $200 from TS.

One thing that surely has to make this search unsustainable is that it slams the door in the face of newbies. It's hard to imagine any of them ever being able to get a foothold is IS if everything they submit starts life in the bottom 30% of any given search. So, at the moment, it is effectively a members-only exclusive club.

BTW, I'm not at all upset. I've got past the stage of being upset with IS, just like I got past being upset over rejections. I've become fatalistic about it.

Newton said it best:"For every action there is an equal and opposite re-action". They can`t just keep shoveling sh*t into the fan without getting it all over themselves too.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pro@stockphotos on December 28, 2011, 13:55
  Besides sticking a link at the bottom saying this file is cheaper (way cheaper) at SS and every other rf site.   You saw the recent ad by Bigstock saying we have the same files for 60% cheaper.   I am not sure how this business models survives.   Price is not a factor that can be overcome by (features, service, or fancy colors).   Yes istock took more profit from independents, but they lost a lot of market share and strengthened their competitors.  Not a very good long term business strategy. 

Well, considering that (to my knowledge) EVERY other microstock site charges less than Istock and pays contributors a higher percentage, it seems to be quite doable.  In fact, most of the other major sites are thriving as Istock appears in decline.  Seems to me that it is Istock who has strengthened their competitors, and does not have a good long-term business strategy. 

FWIW, it was not the price differential that has caused Istock's buyers to abandon it for SS.  There has been a big price difference for a number of years.  Whatever the reason for the shift was, it most certainly wasn't the price difference on independent files.

Have you looked at the prices of your images at istock vs other agencies.  At one agency I could buy 15 of your images for the cost of one image at istock.  They are the exact same image.  No difference whatsoever.  But price isn't the cause of the loss of sales to istock??? 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: jbarber873 on December 28, 2011, 13:58
Under this best match it doesn't matter if we leave or not, we've been made irrelevant (though maybe some people will search by DLs). In any case, even if I earn almost nothing at iS next month, I will still want my $200 from TS.

One thing that surely has to make this search unsustainable is that it slams the door in the face of newbies. It's hard to imagine any of them ever being able to get a foothold is IS if everything they submit starts life in the bottom 30% of any given search. So, at the moment, it is effectively a members-only exclusive club.

BTW, I'm not at all upset. I've got past the stage of being upset with IS, just like I got past being upset over rejections. I've become fatalistic about it.

    One way to look at this is that Istock is creating a collection of exclusive content that you can't get anywhere else.
    Another way to look at it is that if you search at Istock, you effectively have no access to the best selling files by a majority of microstock artists.
It's hard to say how this plays out. In the short term it may help them keep the exclusives in house, but in the long term it may make for a less competitive collection, especially if as Baldrick says, newbies will be unable to be seen and sell. Any collection that filters out new blood does so at it's peril.
As noted elsewhere on this thread, Yuri was not the first person to shoot a handshake, but the fact that he is the best seller proves that quality will win out over just being first.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 28, 2011, 14:00

...Has anyone else noticed that some search words/phrases seem to have virtually disappeared? Try a search on 'roast lamb' for example. I'm getting zero results even when using different PCs and ISPs. Same with 'lamb (mutton)'. The phrase 'lamb shank' only generates 5 results although there are well over 100 within the library. I'd assume that there must be other similar issues.

If you do a search on roast and lamb you get some results - that suggests to me that they've introduced a new CV term - Roast Lamb - but no files have that and they haven't made the search changes that should go with that (if you do a cv term search that gets 0 results, try the two words AND-ed and put up a message about what you did).

The fact that there are a bunch of very cute and very alive lambs that show up in the search for roast and lamb appears to be spamming. I don't think keywording animals with the meal they might become is helpful in any way to buyers
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: xst on December 28, 2011, 14:01
SS (so far)
1. hasn't cut my commissions.
2. Gives me .38c without requiring exclusivity
3. hasn't changed best match to make almost all my images invisible (for example make search for "sensual couple" - first 100 pages of 201 have ONE non exclusive image)
4. counts ALL downloads toward higher payout level


@lagereek

Christian,

Hope Christmas was good and that you were unaffected by the hurricane/storm - you are up north somewhere right?

Loads of things are going on at the moment, but I'm trying to keep a cool head and not doing anything rash or jump to conclusions, I've weathered many storms before during my 10 years in this industry, you probably have experienced many more.

As usual all the noise is coming from what seems to be a very vocal minority, but I'm starting to feel that a few comments made by contributors that seems to share my cool head have made me take these recent developments a little bit more seriously. I'm suffering at iStock at the moment, not catastrophic, but it is negative. Whether this is the result of industry developments, the tinkering with the best match search or something else I haven't worked out fully just yet. Hard to base decisions on only anecdotal information.

However, I fail to see the vast difference between the subscription model and it's pricing at Shutterstock versus TS/Photos.com - a few cents perhaps, but that's it right? Is it those few cents that make you this angry/annoyed/aggravated or have I missed something?

The way you "paint" iStock as basically untrustworthy (although in the past you seemed to have a completely different opinion) I also don't understand why you still have any images left there whatsoever? It doesn't seem to be worth it to you, both in terms of revenue nor the negative energy it seems to generate with you. Perhaps it would be better for you to drop them completely and not have to spend your time/energy on iStock issues? Only looking out for your best as a friend ;)

I'm not a fan of the the low-priced subscription model at all, but at the moment I would put Shutterstock in the same bucket at TS/Photos.com in that regard. Please explain to me the BIG difference between Shutterstock's subscription model and TS/Photos.com. Obsviously Shutterstock is much larger and generate more sales, but pricing is not that different to warrant your upset?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: xst on December 28, 2011, 14:05
In the past I was steering all clients of my design business to IS, now I recommend Dreams

  Besides sticking a link at the bottom saying this file is cheaper (way cheaper) at SS and every other rf site.   You saw the recent ad by Bigstock saying we have the same files for 60% cheaper.   I am not sure how this business models survives.   Price is not a factor that can be overcome by (features, service, or fancy colors).   Yes istock took more profit from independents, but they lost a lot of market share and strengthened their competitors.  Not a very good long term business strategy. 

Well, considering that (to my knowledge) EVERY other microstock site charges less than Istock and pays contributors a higher percentage, it seems to be quite doable.  In fact, most of the other major sites are thriving as Istock appears in decline.  Seems to me that it is Istock who has strengthened their competitors, and does not have a good long-term business strategy. 

FWIW, it was not the price differential that has caused Istock's buyers to abandon it for SS.  There has been a big price difference for a number of years.  Whatever the reason for the shift was, it most certainly wasn't the price difference on independent files.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: imageegami on December 28, 2011, 14:06
Best match at iStock no longer finds the most relevant image, rather it locates most relevant image from a very small subsection of the collection. This is not in any customer`s best interest so there is now yet another incentive for customers to move on to other sites. They are the authors of their own demise.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 28, 2011, 14:11

...Have you looked at the prices of your images at istock vs other agencies.  At one agency I could buy 15 of your images for the cost of one image at istock.  They are the exact same image.  No difference whatsoever.  But price isn't the cause of the loss of sales to istock??? 

You're looking today, but for those of us who have been around at iStock (and other sites) since before there even was exclusivity at iStock realize that prices have fluctuated over time at sites that have been around for years. Mostly it's been upwards, just more so at iStock than elsewhere. Content that has been on all those sites for all those years got more expensive at iStock (not the huge price rises that came from putting longstanding exclusive content into Vetta and Agency, but still a rise). iStock has been competing very successfully with those other sites for all those years and their decline did not coincide with other sites cutting their prices to demolish iStock. It came with some really poorly thought out moves that IMO were largely driven by H&F & Getty.

In other words you make it sound as if contributors are making some change or the other sites are making a change that is why things aren't going well at iStock. Taking the long term view that just makes zero sense.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 28, 2011, 14:19
In the past I was steering all clients of my design business to IS, now I recommend Dreams

When I log-in at iStock I still get a message flashing up saying that i "should" recommend the site to buyers because I'll get $20 if I do.

It seemed a bit crass when it first appeared, now it looks more like a bad joke. No way would any sane independent point buyers towards iStock now (perhaps that's something they've overlooked).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: imageegami on December 28, 2011, 14:22
In the past I was steering all clients of my design business to IS, now I recommend Dreams

When I log-in at iStock I still get a message flashing up saying that i "should" recommend the site to buyers because I'll get $20 if I do.

It seemed a bit crass when it first appeared, now it looks more like a bad joke. No way would any sane independent point buyers towards iStock now (perhaps that's something they've overlooked).

That`s the Hubris Factor at work :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 28, 2011, 14:27
Have you looked at the prices of your images at istock vs other agencies.  At one agency I could buy 15 of your images for the cost of one image at istock.  They are the exact same image.  No difference whatsoever.  But price isn't the cause of the loss of sales to istock??? 

If price is the cause of Istock's demise then it is more fool Istock for not knowing their own customers and their own market. Not so long ago they virtually 'owned' microstock and, if they'd played their cards better and been a little more patient, they still would.

Btw, it wasn't so long ago that Istock were selling images for 1/15th of their current prices either __ and everybody loved them for it. Buyers happily downloaded images by the bucketload, not because they had a use for them, but simply because they liked them.

If Istock had offered all exclusives 40% from the start (and maybe 50% to Diamonds or BD's) then the competition could not even have got started. Istock could have been as dominant as Microsoft, Google or Amazon currently are in their respective fields. That's when they could have decided what the market should pay. Now that we know how they act when in a position of power (and having sold out to private equity) it is probably just as well for all of us that that never happened.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pro@stockphotos on December 28, 2011, 14:30
Best match at iStock no longer finds the most relevant image, rather it locates most relevant image from a very small subsection of the collection. This is not in any customer`s best interest so there is now yet another incentive for customers to move on to other sites. They are the authors of their own demise.

"Other sites" contain none of istock exclusive content, have the same images of the major independent produces and these sites are made more relevant by having what exactly?"  It seems to me they have what would be called a national brand.  Istock is currently the only site holding up the prices of microstock.  Look what has happened to the cost of TV's.  I saw where a 42" tv is on average cheaper than a ipad.  How is that possible.  without istock or a company who fills that roll prices will collapse just like they have done in TVs and PCs and any other product that has the same suppliers competing in a market place without major differing traits besides pricing. 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lthn on December 28, 2011, 14:47
Those people running that site (and many here) lack analytical thinking, therefore the ability to learn. The result is applying changes for the worse. F.e. istock and many of it's 'exclusives' seem to have a hard time grasping the concept that exclusivity doesn't make much sense in microstock especially in its current state. What is that all about? 'Hey look at my exclusive isolated strawberries?'  "Hey look at my exclusive heavily vignetted shots of my neighbor making weird faces' or  'Look at my exclusive PS girlie montage, fairy wings, clouds an' all?'. Sure, you won't anything like that anywhere else... in 10000 versions : )
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Mantis on December 28, 2011, 14:48
Under this best match it doesn't matter if we leave or not, we've been made irrelevant (though maybe some people will search by DLs). In any case, even if I earn almost nothing at iS next month, I will still want my $200 from TS.

It matters if we leave in that if all indys were to leave, meaning pull their ports, TS would cease to exist unless they open up a new "application process" specifically for that cheapo charter sites.  And with this latest shift, and if it is any indication of what the future holds, IS will just try to make indys happy with a few hundred bucks a month to use as a carrot to keep uploading.  For example my TS earnings in nov were close to $300, something like $270.  Many indys will stay and upload for that few hundred bucks.  They point I am making is that I have always summized that when RCA came out it was the end of indys making anything on IS, and that IS would try to make the IS collection exclusive and dump what they consider the afterbirth (indys work) into TS to keep that collection alive and competing with other sub sites.  Seems to be happening now.  Just for the record I have had 3 dls there in the last 10 days with a 1900 port and gold canister...pft
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: jbarber873 on December 28, 2011, 14:52
Best match at iStock no longer finds the most relevant image, rather it locates most relevant image from a very small subsection of the collection. This is not in any customer`s best interest so there is now yet another incentive for customers to move on to other sites. They are the authors of their own demise.

"Other sites" contain none of istock exclusive content, have the same images of the major independent produces and these sites are made more relevant by having what exactly?"  It seems to me they have what would be called a national brand.  Istock is currently the only site holding up the prices of microstock.  Look what has happened to the cost of TV's.  I saw where a 42" tv is on average cheaper than a ipad.  How is that possible.  without istock or a company who fills that roll prices will collapse just like they have done in TVs and PCs and any other product that has the same suppliers competing in a market place without major differing traits besides pricing. 

      To carry that TV analogy along, at one time Sony was the undisputed leader of top quality televisions with their trinitron technology. They owned the market, just as IS owned the microstock market. What happened? The technology and ability to make a television that was just as good as a Sony became widespread- a commodity. Meanwhile, Sony continued to coast on it's past reputation without seeing that the world was changing. The same thing for portable music players. They owned that market with the walkman. Who owns it now? The lesson you want to take is to hold on to exclusivity as a "unique selling proposition" ( a rather discredited concept started by the defunct ad agency Ted Bates ). Having exclusive content may be valuable for IS, or it may be their own trinitron TV- the rest of the world may be happy without paying up for yesterday's hot product. Photography is a commodity. To make a profit going forward, you will have to create better images that can be profitable at a lower return. there is simply no other way to run it as a business, and not just a hobby.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pancaketom on December 28, 2011, 14:54
I don't know about everyone else, but IS has WAY less of my images than most of the other sites. Up until the RC announcement that was mostly because of the painful upload process and the upload limits. Since then it is because I stopped uploading there and deactivated many of my images. I imagine that there are plenty of others who don't have all their images at IS for some of the above reasons.

I'd much rather someone buy 15 of my images somewhere else than one from IS - I'd get a lot more $ that way. I also prefer the 35% more I get from SS than the PP program. IS might lead the field in raising image prices, but they also lead the field in lowering commission percentages.

I agree that IS could have completely dominated microstock, but they didn't.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 28, 2011, 15:08
Me too and thank  we didnt. Imagine having to wake up seven days a week, wondering if the site is still there or exploaded, or the entire interface reaching out, to grab you by the balls or what hairy creature is constructing a new best match while eating a banana.
We could be a lot worse off you know. :)

Wow mate, this is great stuff ;D . Ur half English, right? I can really appreciate good sense of humour ;)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 28, 2011, 15:21
"Other sites" contain none of istock exclusive content, have the same images of the major independent produces and these sites are made more relevant by having what exactly?"  It seems to me they have what would be called a national brand.  Istock is currently the only site holding up the prices of microstock.  Look what has happened to the cost of TV's.  I saw where a 42" tv is on average cheaper than a ipad.  How is that possible.  without istock or a company who fills that roll prices will collapse just like they have done in TVs and PCs and any other product that has the same suppliers competing in a market place without major differing traits besides pricing. 


I've never known such dillusional and blinkered ramblings. TV's have remained at roughly the same actual price for about 30 years (in common with quite a few other appliances) whilst employing vastly better technology/design and whilst wages have increased in the Western world by a factor of 10. If that hadn't happened you'd now be paying about $6000 for a 28" model using 1980 technology. The story is much the same in the car industry. The world moves on and productivity is always increasing. Most things get better and cheaper every year (just like the digital technology you probably employ to produce your images). It's called 'progress'.

Why do you think that your images alone in the world have a right to command ever-increasing prices, despite the supply of such images considerably outstripping the demand for them?

Btw, this is why the ipad costs what it does and why Apple struggle to make a profit on them;

http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-03-14/tech/30012225_1_ipad-apple-stores-pa-semi (http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-03-14/tech/30012225_1_ipad-apple-stores-pa-semi)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: xst on December 28, 2011, 15:28
However you donít see now company producing 3inch TV and selling them for 5 dollars. I bet you'd find market for this. Why? Because itís not viable business model. You do see now WEB sized images for pennies.

"Other sites" contain none of istock exclusive content, have the same images of the major independent produces and these sites are made more relevant by having what exactly?"  It seems to me they have what would be called a national brand.  Istock is currently the only site holding up the prices of microstock.  Look what has happened to the cost of TV's.  I saw where a 42" tv is on average cheaper than a ipad.  How is that possible.  without istock or a company who fills that roll prices will collapse just like they have done in TVs and PCs and any other product that has the same suppliers competing in a market place without major differing traits besides pricing. 


I've never known such dillusional and blinkered ramblings. TV's have remained at roughly the same actual price for about 30 years (in common with quite a few other appliances) whilst employing vastly better technology/design and whilst wages have increased in the Western world by a factor of 10. If that hadn't happened you'd now be paying about $6000 for a 28" model using 1980 technology. The story is much the same in the car industry. The world moves on and productivity is always increasing. Most things get better and cheaper every year (just like the digital technology you probably employ to produce your images). It's called 'progress'.

Why do you think that your images alone in the world have a right to command ever-increasing prices, despite the supply of such images considerably outstripping the demand for them?

Btw, this is why the ipad costs what it does and why Apple struggle to make a profit on them;

[url]http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-03-14/tech/30012225_1_ipad-apple-stores-pa-semi[/url] ([url]http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-03-14/tech/30012225_1_ipad-apple-stores-pa-semi[/url])
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 28, 2011, 15:36
When looking at prices it is fairly important to recognise the difference between selling a manufactured object with a certain manufacturing cost and selling a usage right which has hardly any intrinsic cost.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: jbarber873 on December 28, 2011, 15:39
"However you donít see now company producing 3inch TV and selling them for 5 dollars. I bet you'd find market for this. Why? Because itís not viable business model. You do see now WEB sized images for pennies."

     If you could make a copy of a tv with the click of a mouse you would see tv's selling for pennies. Once an image is created, selling a copy involves no cost of materials, just the administrative costs of running a stock agency. Selling a digital image can be a very profitable business, once the overhead is brought under control.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on December 28, 2011, 15:53
"Hopefully next year, the issues that plagued all of us this year will be resolved, and we can return to the community based #1 place that we are meant to be.

Yes, that would be an absolutely fantastic development. Would love for iStock to be the preeminent micro/mid-stock library without issues and glitches. Hopefully 2012 will be off to a rocking start - onwards and upwards."



I love the IS forums! I also love Pollyanna and well behaved hard working teenagers.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gbalex on December 28, 2011, 16:00
Best match at iStock no longer finds the most relevant image, rather it locates most relevant image from a very small subsection of the collection. This is not in any customer`s best interest so there is now yet another incentive for customers to move on to other sites. They are the authors of their own demise.

Best match results have been less that positive for buyers for some time, this latest move just makes it more visible to those who do not buy often.

Don't forget to include in your list... the oh so cleaver section of arrogant exclusives that routinely call buyers stupid!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Buzbuzzer on December 28, 2011, 16:25
This best match was predictable...

Instead of moving every independant files from IS to TS, which I tought they would do. Instead, they simply copy them there and change the best match on IS.

It is basically the same thing.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on December 28, 2011, 16:32
Best match at iStock no longer finds the most relevant image, rather it locates most relevant image from a very small subsection of the collection. This is not in any customer`s best interest so there is now yet another incentive for customers to move on to other sites. They are the authors of their own demise.


Don't forget to include in your list... the oh so cleaver section of arrogant exclusives that routinely call buyers stupid!

Obviously,nobody has called the buyers stupid, but your rant seems to point to some kind of deep frustration. Vent on, if that makes you feel better.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: mlwinphoto on December 28, 2011, 16:33

I'm wondering if the latest best match shift, some form of which I suspect will be in place for a long time, isn't meant to drive away the independent contributors with the smaller ports like myself.  I can't imagine iStock would want to lose the Yuri's of the microstock world. But the smaller contributors don't make a dent in their bottom line yet do take up employee time/iStock wages with editing and accounting necessities, take up server space ,etc.....insignificant on an individual basis but significant on a collective one, I would guess.

Regardless, my sales have come to a complete halt and I'm outta there....complete waste of time for someone like myself.  I'll focus all my energies on the Getty RM side of things and will, no doubt, be better off in the long run for doing so.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 28, 2011, 16:36
"Hopefully next year, the issues that plagued all of us this year will be resolved, and we can return to the community based #1 place that we are meant to be.

Yes, that would be an absolutely fantastic development. Would love for iStock to be the preeminent micro/mid-stock library without issues and glitches. Hopefully 2012 will be off to a rocking start - onwards and upwards."


I love the IS forums! I also love Pollyanna and well behaved hard working teenagers.

Sorry, Mark.  #1, only the first paragraph is mine.  You convienently left out the quotes separating them.  #2 What is 'Pollyanna' about hoping for resolution of the problems and issues we've had over the last 12 months.

Try harder next time, Ace.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: xst on December 28, 2011, 16:41
Yes, duplication of images is almost free, however if you take into account the whole process of crating image

Don't forget that photographer has cost - equipment, props, models, insurance, gas, computer for retouching etc

On top of that if it's business you need to make profit to live.

How many images should you sell for pennies to make it viable?
Now market isn't infinite.
How many images can be sold?
Now divide those numbers and you get maximum number of photographers who can live from it.
It's obviously simplification, but
I bet we have many more photographers there.
And only very small fraction of them lives of this business.
For vast majority it's pocket money to pay for hobby. (Unlike TV business)

That's the only reason for prices being that low.

its' like software - there are freeware applications.
But if you want to develop software and live of it, you cannot charge .25c for MS Word

"However you donít see now company producing 3inch TV and selling them for 5 dollars. I bet you'd find market for this. Why? Because itís not viable business model. You do see now WEB sized images for pennies."

     If you could make a copy of a tv with the click of a mouse you would see tv's selling for pennies. Once an image is created, selling a copy involves no cost of materials, just the administrative costs of running a stock agency. Selling a digital image can be a very profitable business, once the overhead is brought under control.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 28, 2011, 17:00
Yes, duplication of images is almost free, however if you take into account the whole process of crating image

Don't forget that photographer has cost - equipment, props, models, insurance, gas, computer for retouching etc

On top of that if it's business you need to make profit to live.

How many images should you sell for pennies to make it viable?
Now market isn't infinite.
How many images can be sold?
Now divide those numbers and you get maximum number of photographers who can live from it.
It's obviously simplification, but
I bet we have many more photographers there.
And only very small fraction of them lives of this business.
For vast majority it's pocket money to pay for hobby. (Unlike TV business)

That's the only reason for prices being that low.

its' like software - there are freeware applications.
But if you want to develop software and live of it, you cannot charge .25c for MS Word

"However you donít see now company producing 3inch TV and selling them for 5 dollars. I bet you'd find market for this. Why? Because itís not viable business model. You do see now WEB sized images for pennies."

     If you could make a copy of a tv with the click of a mouse you would see tv's selling for pennies. Once an image is created, selling a copy involves no cost of materials, just the administrative costs of running a stock agency. Selling a digital image can be a very profitable business, once the overhead is brought under control.

So what's your solution? Ignore the market and price your images according to what you think they're worth? Or do you work within the constraints of the market and adapt your costs to suit? If you can't then they'll always be someone who can.

It would be interesting if agencies just let us set our own prices for what we thought our work was worth (like most suppliers can or at least try to). Unfortunately that would probably be too unpredictable for the bean-counters to deal with.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: jbarber873 on December 28, 2011, 17:03
Yes, duplication of images is almost free, however if you take into account the whole process of crating image

Don't forget that photographer has cost - equipment, props, models, insurance, gas, computer for retouching etc

On top of that if it's business you need to make profit to live.

How many images should you sell for pennies to make it viable?
Now market isn't infinite.
How many images can be sold?
Now divide those numbers and you get maximum number of photographers who can live from it.
It's obviously simplification, but
I bet we have many more photographers there.
And only very small fraction of them lives of this business.
For vast majority it's pocket money to pay for hobby. (Unlike TV business)

That's the only reason for prices being that low.

its' like software - there are freeware applications.
But if you want to develop software and live of it, you cannot charge .25c for MS Word

"However you donít see now company producing 3inch TV and selling them for 5 dollars. I bet you'd find market for this. Why? Because itís not viable business model. You do see now WEB sized images for pennies."

     If you could make a copy of a tv with the click of a mouse you would see tv's selling for pennies. Once an image is created, selling a copy involves no cost of materials, just the administrative costs of running a stock agency. Selling a digital image can be a very profitable business, once the overhead is brought under control.

     That's all true. I don't however, see where the exclusive model as practiced by IS solves this issue. As i said before, photography is a commodity. You simply have to find a way to create images that generate a profit. The only reason that microstock interests me is that it's something i can do in my downtime. My assignment business makes the profit, but the microstock business pays for the studio, electric, equipment, etc. I don't use models, and I have an extensive prop collection paid for by clients, so anything I shoot for microstock is just gravy. I prefer the way it was before microstock, when RM generated amazing amounts of money, but you can't go back, only forward. All the points you make were made at the time by the RM photographers, and the microstock world just laughed, because they got to play at being a professional. Some actually have made it work, and they know what they have to do to make a profit. The rest are hobbyists, and a hobby that generates income and the satisfaction of approval by sales is a rare one, which explains it's allure.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gbalex on December 28, 2011, 17:33
Best match at iStock no longer finds the most relevant image, rather it locates most relevant image from a very small subsection of the collection. This is not in any customer`s best interest so there is now yet another incentive for customers to move on to other sites. They are the authors of their own demise.


Don't forget to include in your list... the oh so cleaver section of arrogant exclusives that routinely call buyers stupid!

Obviously,nobody has called the buyers stupid, but your rant seems to point to some kind of deep frustration. Vent on, if that makes you feel better.

No venting, just observations over time.  Even in this thread you only have to go back a few pages to see comments regarding dumb customers, customers not smart enough to use the IS slider or customers who are not intelligent enough to notice what IS is serving us and why!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 28, 2011, 17:42
Exodus of exclusives at IS!  they never expected this walk-out and certainly not from any heavy-weights, etc. It also creates a very bad face for newcomers and lower cannisters to see big names just throw the crown and they start wondering what . is going on.
They simply had to do something, so they changed the best match, in 100% favour of exclusives. Fat help that did?  many are still going independant.

So all in all, exclusives will ofcourse carry on dropping crowns, theyre not going to get fooled by this just temporary change,  at the same time they have just made arch-enemies of all independants.
Well, what a lovely 2012 and future its going to be in that place. I must say, I do not envy them. Its without a shadow of a doubt, the silliest most banal move I have experienced in 27 years of photography.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on December 28, 2011, 18:06
Best match at iStock no longer finds the most relevant image, rather it locates most relevant image from a very small subsection of the collection. This is not in any customer`s best interest so there is now yet another incentive for customers to move on to other sites. They are the authors of their own demise.


Don't forget to include in your list... the oh so cleaver section of arrogant exclusives that routinely call buyers stupid!

Obviously,nobody has called the buyers stupid, but your rant seems to point to some kind of deep frustration. Vent on, if that makes you feel better.

No venting, just observations over time.  Even in this thread you only have to go back a few pages to see comments regarding dumb customers, customers not smart enough to use the IS slider or customers who are not intelligent enough to notice what IS is serving us and why!

Lie. What has been said is that it was dumb to suppose, as some, (btw, not-exclusives) had suggested in some or other way,  that customers were too dumb to find the slider, etc. It's not what you say: it's exactly the contrary. And you know it.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: michaeldb on December 28, 2011, 18:08
Obviously,nobody has called the buyers stupid, but your rant seems to point to some kind of deep frustration. Vent on, if that makes you feel better.
"Vent on, if that makes you feel better."
The official motto of the iStock Contributor Relations Department?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: xst on December 28, 2011, 18:21
My whole response started form explaining that analogy with TV manufacturing doesn't hold.
That's all. :)

Frankly - my solution - it's like in acting.
There are some few who can have this as main job.
Most of the people have to get another main job. (in you case - main job is assignments)
Yes, Johnny Depp  may earn a lot.
But for extras expect to get real money from it? Be realistic... There is no enough business for everybody. 



Yes, duplication of images is almost free, however if you take into account the whole process of crating image

Don't forget that photographer has cost - equipment, props, models, insurance, gas, computer for retouching etc

On top of that if it's business you need to make profit to live.

How many images should you sell for pennies to make it viable?
Now market isn't infinite.
How many images can be sold?
Now divide those numbers and you get maximum number of photographers who can live from it.
It's obviously simplification, but
I bet we have many more photographers there.
And only very small fraction of them lives of this business.
For vast majority it's pocket money to pay for hobby. (Unlike TV business)

That's the only reason for prices being that low.

its' like software - there are freeware applications.
But if you want to develop software and live of it, you cannot charge .25c for MS Word

"However you donít see now company producing 3inch TV and selling them for 5 dollars. I bet you'd find market for this. Why? Because itís not viable business model. You do see now WEB sized images for pennies."

     If you could make a copy of a tv with the click of a mouse you would see tv's selling for pennies. Once an image is created, selling a copy involves no cost of materials, just the administrative costs of running a stock agency. Selling a digital image can be a very profitable business, once the overhead is brought under control.

So what's your solution? Ignore the market and price your images according to what you think they're worth? Or do you work within the constraints of the market and adapt your costs to suit? If you can't then they'll always be someone who can.

It would be interesting if agencies just let us set our own prices for what we thought our work was worth (like most suppliers can or at least try to). Unfortunately that would probably be too unpredictable for the bean-counters to deal with.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 28, 2011, 18:32

Have you looked at the prices of your images at istock vs other agencies.  At one agency I could buy 15 of your images for the cost of one image at istock.  They are the exact same image.  No difference whatsoever.  But price isn't the cause of the loss of sales to istock???  


Sorry, perhaps I am failing to get my point across.  I'll try one more time, and if you still don't get it, well maybe my language skills need some work.

I am not denying there is a price differential between independent files on Istock and other sites, nor that some buyers would be looking for the best price.  What I am saying is that the price differential is not the reason for the RECENT (past year) exodus of buyers.  How do I know this?  There has been a price differential for several years, and Istock was selling very, very well for independents, and was the top or second place earner for pretty much every independent supplier until this year.  If it was only price that was the issue, then sales would have shown it all along.  

Sales have only become anemic in the past year since Istock went off the rails, so obviously PRICE of independent content is not the reason.  

Here are some suggestions about why buyers may have gone elsewhere:
1.  Too many broken promises to contributors, many of whom are buyers.
2.  Wonky searches, site outages and other IT bugs
3.  Front loading of Vetta/Agency files which serve only a limited market and cost dozens of times more
4.  Non-responsive customer service
5.  Snotty "don't let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way out" attitude expressed to any buyer who dares bring up issues in the forums

The list goes on and on.  As does the Buyers Bail thread http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/buyers-bailing-on-istock/ (http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/buyers-bailing-on-istock/), which has 61 pages of departures and site issues, spanning more than a year.  

Can someone let me know if I have explained this coherently enough or if there is something I am leaving out?  
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: contrastaddict on December 28, 2011, 18:40
^Definitely coherent, nice post.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 28, 2011, 18:41
Under this best match it doesn't matter if we leave or not, we've been made irrelevant (though maybe some people will search by DLs). In any case, even if I earn almost nothing at iS next month, I will still want my $200 from TS.

It matters if we leave in that if all indys were to leave, meaning pull their ports, TS would cease to exist unless they open up a new "application process" specifically for that cheapo charter sites.  And with this latest shift, and if it is any indication of what the future holds, IS will just try to make indys happy with a few hundred bucks a month to use as a carrot to keep uploading.  For example my TS earnings in nov were close to $300, something like $270.  Many indys will stay and upload for that few hundred bucks.  They point I am making is that I have always summized that when RCA came out it was the end of indys making anything on IS, and that IS would try to make the IS collection exclusive and dump what they consider the afterbirth (indys work) into TS to keep that collection alive and competing with other sub sites.  Seems to be happening now.  Just for the record I have had 3 dls there in the last 10 days with a 1900 port and gold canister...pft

Agree with your points, but would like to add that those $200 - $300 for current participating members of TS are going to drop a lot when/if Istock ever manages to get its act together and transfer all those millions of non-exclusive files over to TS.  We will all most likely be getting pennies out of them after that.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: xst on December 28, 2011, 18:45
We need to think about strategies to mitigate this.
I personally now upload new content to IS with 6-9 months delay.
There maybe other ideas.
After holidays I'll probably open new thread in hope people will share some other ideas.


Under this best match it doesn't matter if we leave or not, we've been made irrelevant (though maybe some people will search by DLs). In any case, even if I earn almost nothing at iS next month, I will still want my $200 from TS.

It matters if we leave in that if all indys were to leave, meaning pull their ports, TS would cease to exist unless they open up a new "application process" specifically for that cheapo charter sites.  And with this latest shift, and if it is any indication of what the future holds, IS will just try to make indys happy with a few hundred bucks a month to use as a carrot to keep uploading.  For example my TS earnings in nov were close to $300, something like $270.  Many indys will stay and upload for that few hundred bucks.  They point I am making is that I have always summized that when RCA came out it was the end of indys making anything on IS, and that IS would try to make the IS collection exclusive and dump what they consider the afterbirth (indys work) into TS to keep that collection alive and competing with other sub sites.  Seems to be happening now.  Just for the record I have had 3 dls there in the last 10 days with a 1900 port and gold canister...pft

Agree with your points, but would like to add that those $200 - $300 for current participating members of TS are going to drop a lot when/if Istock ever manages to get its act together and transfer all those millions of non-exclusive files over to TS.  We will all most likely be getting pennies out of them after that.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on December 28, 2011, 18:50
In my opinion, main reason from losing some buyers is price. Yes, there was a difference in price years ago, but the one we have now exceed the limits of microstock and goes to midstock (almost macro for agency, just seeing this prices can scare budget buyers, true), while other stay where they were (ALL AT 35 cents!!!) or have gone up a couple of cents.  But at least istock sell our files at a decent price.
Most of the people talking of other reasons at the thread Lisa quotes, are contributors and buyers, mostly small buyers. They are disgruntled as contributors: it's undersatable. But as buyers they are just a tiny fraction. If you look at IS threads most buyers complaining are complaining about prices, and almost nothing more.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 28, 2011, 19:04
In my opinion, main reason from losing some buyers is price. Yes, there was a difference in price years ago, but the one we have now exceed the limits of microstock and goes to midstock (almost macro for agency, just seeing this prices can scare budget buyers, true), while other stay where they were (ALL AT 35 cents!!!) or have gone up a couple of cents.  

I don't doubt you are right about the midstock prices being a reason for some departures, but that is on Vetta and TAC files.  Pro@stock(etc.) was saying that it was the difference in cost between indy files at Istock and other sites that was the reason for buyers going elsewhere.  The difference in indy files is not so much - in fact some of my best selling files actually cost more at DT and FT - and istock has not significantly raised the price of our files in several years.  

Any perceived massive price increase at Istock is not on indy files, but is more a result of frontloading the search with midstock files, which I referenced in my above post.  
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 28, 2011, 19:05
^Definitely coherent, nice post.

Thanks :D.  Glad to know someone's following my reasoning...
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 28, 2011, 19:07

Have you looked at the prices of your images at istock vs other agencies.  At one agency I could buy 15 of your images for the cost of one image at istock.  They are the exact same image.  No difference whatsoever.  But price isn't the cause of the loss of sales to istock???  


Sorry, perhaps I am failing to get my point across.  I'll try one more time, and if you still don't get it, well maybe my language skills need some work.

I am not denying there is a price differential between independent files on Istock and other sites, nor that some buyers would be looking for the best price.  What I am saying is that the price differential is not the reason for the RECENT (past year) exodus of buyers.  How do I know this?  There has been a price differential for several years, and Istock was selling very, very well for independents, and was the top or second place earner for pretty much every independent supplier until this year.  If it was only price that was the issue, then sales would have shown it all along.  

Sales have only become anemic in the past year since Istock went off the rails, so obviously PRICE of independent content is not the reason.  

Here are some suggestions about why buyers may have gone elsewhere:
1.  Too many broken promises to contributors, many of whom are buyers.
2.  Wonky searches, site outages and other IT bugs
3.  Front loading of Vetta/Agency files which serve only a limited market and cost dozens of times more
4.  Non-responsive customer service
5.  Snotty "don't let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way out" attitude expressed to any buyer who dares bring up issues in the forums

The list goes on and on.  As does the Buyers Bail thread [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/buyers-bailing-on-istock/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/buyers-bailing-on-istock/[/url]), which has 61 pages of departures and site issues, spanning more than a year.  

Can someone let me know if I have explained this coherently enough or if there is something I am leaving out?  


I'd say that's about as succinct, elegant and accurate as your points could possibly be made. Your 'language skills' are just fine!
Title: They will lose even more buyers as the selection of photos they offer shrinks
Post by: Danybot on December 28, 2011, 19:21
You may be right that price isn't the only factor, but I expect it is still a major factor.  Istock had a big head start and a large customer base, so the response to the high price would likely be somewhat gradual rather than sudden, and the worsening economic conditions have also made buyers more price sensitive than they were in the past.

Istock has the largest profit margin in the microstock industry, charging the highest to buyers and paying lowest to photographers.  The service they provide just isn't superior enough to justify that profit margin.  They are increasingly uncompetitive, and their business will keep sinking.   This latest irrational move to abuse non-exclusives even further will backfire on them.   Most non-exclusives will stop uploading  (and even remove the files they already have there), leading to an inferior selection that will drive buyers away.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Mantis on December 28, 2011, 19:27
Under this best match it doesn't matter if we leave or not, we've been made irrelevant (though maybe some people will search by DLs). In any case, even if I earn almost nothing at iS next month, I will still want my $200 from TS.

It matters if we leave in that if all indys were to leave, meaning pull their ports, TS would cease to exist unless they open up a new "application process" specifically for that cheapo charter sites.  And with this latest shift, and if it is any indication of what the future holds, IS will just try to make indys happy with a few hundred bucks a month to use as a carrot to keep uploading.  For example my TS earnings in nov were close to $300, something like $270.  Many indys will stay and upload for that few hundred bucks.  They point I am making is that I have always summized that when RCA came out it was the end of indys making anything on IS, and that IS would try to make the IS collection exclusive and dump what they consider the afterbirth (indys work) into TS to keep that collection alive and competing with other sub sites.  Seems to be happening now.  Just for the record I have had 3 dls there in the last 10 days with a 1900 port and gold canister...pft

Agree with your points, but would like to add that those $200 - $300 for current participating members of TS are going to drop a lot when/if Istock ever manages to get its act together and transfer all those millions of non-exclusive files over to TS.  We will all most likely be getting pennies out of them after that.

Totally agree.  Dilution is the business challenge with ms.  I think thats what IS is trying to overcome with their exclusivity. 
Title: Re: They will lose even more buyers as the selection of photos they offer shrinks
Post by: xst on December 28, 2011, 19:34
Do you really think that selection is that important now?
10 million or 12 million images?
Most of the buyers can find what they need on any collection of 5-10 millions files.
(Very rarely you need something that specific...)

When I buy my main criteria are:
1. if I can buy small credit package of the just right size. (If I have small project today I don't want to pay for 10000 credits - especially in case of IS where they expire after 12 months (And I hate this expiration)
2. How easy and flexible search is



You may be right that price isn't the only factor, but I expect it is still a major factor.  Istock had a big head start and a large customer base, so the response to the high price would likely be somewhat gradual rather than sudden, and the worsening economic conditions have also made buyers more price sensitive than they were in the past.

Istock has the largest profit margin in the microstock industry, charging the highest to buyers and paying lowest to photographers.  The service they provide just isn't superior enough to justify that profit margin.  They are increasingly uncompetitive, and their business will keep sinking.   This latest irrational move to abuse non-exclusives even further will backfire on them.   Most non-exclusives will stop uploading  (and even remove the files they already have there), leading to an inferior selection that will drive buyers away.
Title: Re: They will lose even more buyers as the selection of photos they offer shrinks
Post by: ShadySue on December 28, 2011, 19:37
When I buy my main criteria are:
1. if I can buy small credit package of the just right size. (If I have small project today I don't want to pay for 10000 credits - especially in case of IS where they expire after 12 months (And I hate this expiration)
Apparently if you write to customer support they'll extend the expiry date.
Title: Re: They will lose even more buyers as the selection of photos they offer shrinks
Post by: KB on December 28, 2011, 19:52
When I buy my main criteria are:
1. if I can buy small credit package of the just right size. (If I have small project today I don't want to pay for 10000 credits - especially in case of IS where they expire after 12 months (And I hate this expiration)
Apparently if you write to customer support they'll extend the expiry date.
Yippee!  ;D

Subscription plans should expire, credits should not.

Do the credits on any other stock photo site expire? Or is this another way that iStock tries to differentiate itself from the competition?
Title: Re: They will lose even more buyers as the selection of photos they offer shrinks
Post by: Mantis on December 28, 2011, 19:53
When I buy my main criteria are:
1. if I can buy small credit package of the just right size. (If I have small project today I don't want to pay for 10000 credits - especially in case of IS where they expire after 12 months (And I hate this expiration)
Apparently if you write to customer support they'll extend the expiry date.

Why not make it a policy as opposed to buyers having to beg?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: asiseeit on December 28, 2011, 20:31
I believe in exclusivity within RM, yes, and for protection, copys, etc. I do not believe in exclusivity in Micro, internet based agencies with billions of images floating around, pseudos, people with differant accounts and what nots. Its bound to be trouble and it is. Thats why only 15% of all contributors at IS, are exclusive, not much to hang in a x-mas tree, is it?
Exclusivity at IS, works for a chosen few and thats the people that were there when it all started with Bruce, etc, the so called backbone of the company, all the rest are just fill-outs and expendible.

...and 80%+ of the top contributors are exclusive. That's a pretty full x-mas tree :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on December 28, 2011, 20:49
"Sorry, Mark.  #1, only the first paragraph is mine.  You convienently left out the quotes separating them.  #2 What is 'Pollyanna' about hoping for resolution of the problems and issues we've had over the last 12 months.

Try harder next time, Ace."

Yep only half the delusion quote belonged to you. I did not say it belonged to. IS has a queue of people that thank them for being gentle when they raped them. It is a shame to have people lack the foresight to see the real issue. People saying thanks because IS gave them back some of the royalty they took off them??? Thanking them for the exclusive bias at the best match (whilst knowing it is not helping the customer). Realistic now , why would IS grow next year? You have kept commission by increasing prices with falling volume and placed exclusives ahead of independents in searches to try to win them over (and maybe get more per sale). The only problems IS has had have been self inflicted. What are you hoping for a management change?? Hmm thought it made it worse. How long before they lose an accelerating rate of customers. When the sales get very low it does not matter what the percentages are, best match is or price. I t will mean severely diminished revenue even for exclusives. Exit strategies for exclusives are getting harder all the time. New files aunder different names at different agencies? That one has been done.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: WarrenPrice on December 28, 2011, 21:09
Lots of Hating going on here ... from both points of view.  I guess opinions are like birthdays ... everybody has one.
Is that how that goes?   ??? ??? ;D
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 28, 2011, 21:21
...and 80%+ of the top contributors are exclusive.

Maybe ... but for how much longer ... if sales continue to fall ... as they probably will ... hmm? The later exclusives leave it to jump ship the harder it will be for them to do so and the more money they will likely lose in the process. Poor bast*rds; not looking rosy for them is it? Just grateful that I'm not one of them.

I predict that May/June 2012 will be the start of the mass-exodus from exclusivity.

I'm looking forward to the day that Istock, having lost virtually everything, comes crawling back to us on their festering belly, apologising for past mistakes and promising the world in return for our support. I reckon that's going to happen by end-of-play 2013. All the power will swing the other way. Istock probably have two years maximum to turn it around or die.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 28, 2011, 21:39
Lots of Hating going on here ... from both points of view. 

I see a frank exchange of different views and information (which is kind of the point of a forum). Can you point out the 'Hating' bit, as you call it, because it's a struggle for some of us to spot it?

I get the impression that some Americans use this 'Hating' or 'Hater' word to lightly dismiss everything that they don't personally agree with. In the UK 'hating' is an extreme word with almost neo-Nazi scale implications. I don't see how that applies to this discussion.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 28, 2011, 21:59
In my opinion, main reason from losing some buyers is price. Yes, there was a difference in price years ago, but the one we have now exceed the limits of microstock and goes to midstock (almost macro for agency, just seeing this prices can scare budget buyers, true), while other stay where they were (ALL AT 35 cents!!!) or have gone up a couple of cents.  But at least istock sell our files at a decent price.

There are some stellar files at iStock in the exclusive collection. There's also a lot of very ordinary dreck. There's also some utter rubbish from Getty that would be hard to sell at regular exclusive prices, let alone Vetta & Agency (there are some great images in there too, but Vetta/Agency has gone from being a tightly edited collection of images, carefully chosen on merit by editors to a tip heap of stuff Getty wants to sell).

iStock could have a try to be a midstock agency with high prices but it isn't going to do that with all the content it has now, and it isn't clear why it would be any more successful with that then when Getty tried it (and iStock stole their thunder). Perhaps they have the stomach to toss not only independents (with some really excellent content) but lots of their "meh" exclusive content to end up with a collection that's worth premium prices. That'd be a very tough sell to iStock exclusives, IMO, but might make more sense to buyers than the current jumble of content quality and jumble of pricing levels.

Also, you can't buy a single image for 35 cents anywhere. The only way to get those prices is to sign up for a monthly or longer subscription.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: WarrenPrice on December 28, 2011, 22:03
Lots of Hating going on here ... from both points of view. 

I see a frank exchange of different views and information (which is kind of the point of a forum). Can you point out the 'Hating' bit, as you call it, because it's a struggle for some of us to spot it?

I get the impression that some Americans use this 'Hating' or 'Hater' word to lightly dismiss everything that they don't personally agree with. In the UK 'hating' is an extreme word with almost neo-Nazi scale implications. I don't see how that applies to this discussion.

I could but what would be the point?  Are you really sharing information?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Buzbuzzer on December 28, 2011, 22:38
...and 80%+ of the top contributors are exclusive.

99.999% of contributors are top contributors.  There's only one in the bottom !!!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 28, 2011, 22:41
I could but what would be the point?  Are you really sharing information?

I am __ lots, always, probably too much. Are you sharing any information? Do you actually have any information to share? Or are you just dumbly spouting 'Haters' as an alternative to having a view on the issues involved?

"I could but what would be the point". Yeah right. Pathetic. If you've got something to say then say it instead of feebly dismissing others' views as 'Haters' and then not being able to back it up or add anything to the discussion. Ploink.
Title: Re: They will lose even more buyers as the selection of photos they offer shrinks
Post by: michaeldb on December 28, 2011, 22:58
...Istock has the largest profit margin in the microstock industry, charging the highest to buyers and paying lowest to photographers.  The service they provide just isn't superior enough to justify that profit margin...
Good points. Finally, microstock is a business and the realities of business will apply. If iStock had barriers to entry or other unique advantages, they could possibly get away with what they are doing, but as it is, the marketplace is too open to allow them to make as many mistakes as they have made and be as cavalier as they have been, and get away with it. It seems that Getty bought the pooch and then scr*wed it.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Carver1936 on December 28, 2011, 23:02
I'm very surprise that people that are so openly against istockphoto just expend so much energy (negative) writing and commenting continuously about it, even the ones that are not uploading or the ones that are so fervently planning not to do it.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 28, 2011, 23:07
I'm very surprise that people that are so openly against istockphoto just expend so much energy (negative) writing and commenting continuously about it, even the ones that are not uploading or the ones that are so fervently planning not to do it.

So you're new with no portfolio link to give us a clue as to what skin, if any, you have in the game. Random spit balls from anonymous new members is more heat than light IMO.

If you don't like the vibe in these forums, feel free not to participate. If you have something concrete to add to the discussion, I'm missing it in the above post.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: WarrenPrice on December 28, 2011, 23:08
I could but what would be the point?  Are you really sharing information?

I am __ lots, always, probably too much. Are you sharing any information? Do you actually have any information to share? Or are you just dumbly spouting 'Haters' as an alternative to having a view on the issues involved?

"I could but what would be the point". Yeah right. Pathetic. If you've got something to say then say it instead of feebly dismissing others' views as 'Haters' and then not being able to back it up or add anything to the discussion. Ploink.

You're certainly right ... I have nothing to rival your wisdom.  Thank you for sharing with the dumbly feeble.  
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: mlwinphoto on December 28, 2011, 23:09
Lots of Hating going on here ... from both points of view.  I guess opinions are like birthdays ... everybody has one.
Is that how that goes?   ??? ??? ;D

It's not hate.  It's frustration with the policies being implemented by iStock resulting in an obvious class system there.

As an independent I expect exclusives to receive certain perks but I don't expect to be shut out completely....
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: SNP on December 29, 2011, 01:11
Istock is neither a family, nor a goverment. I particularly liked  ::) the assertion that istock is a rapist. Some absolutely absurd analogies and metaphors being thrown around. Maybe it is the post holiday sugar hangover, there are more cranky pants in here than usual. Which is fine in itself, but please, some better analogies.

The current best match strikes me as a temporary means of sorting. My guess is some quick means of relegating indie files en masse to TS. I think exclusivity is an integral part of the iStock brand, but I can't see this remaining the new best match normal.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 29, 2011, 01:33
Istock is neither a family, nor a goverment. I particularly liked  ::) the assertion that istock is a rapist. Some absolutely absurd analogies and metaphors being thrown around. Maybe it is the post holiday sugar hangover, there are more cranky pants in here than usual. Which is fine in itself, but please, some better analogies.

The current best match strikes me as a temporary means of sorting. My guess is some quick means of relegating indie files en masse to TS. I think exclusivity is an integral part of the iStock brand, but I can't see this remaining the new best match normal.

I really hope this is temporary, it for sure ain't doing me any favours and sales are shockingly bad compared to the same time last year.

Also found the "rape" analogy extremely inappropriate as well, shockingly low tone, distasteful and utterly disrespectful to victims of such vile crimes.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on December 29, 2011, 01:40
Different opinions do not make hate. Believing so is childish. Some people do not want to hear a counter view or look at the situation in a realistic manner. It is scary. I am interested in this situation from a management viewpoint. I saw enough irrational behaviour there and in teaching management for 20years. People find it hard to step out of their own spheres. They need to justify their decisions. They went exclusive / independent bought new equipment/studio whatever.. We do not want to admit we are wrong. We try to convince ourselves we are right. Step back for the personal and look at the big picture and it is clearer. I have no axe to grind . I started this after having a career I retired from and I am lazy. Hard workers like Sean /Uri and others deserve their success and money. They should not have to deal with management manipulation and deceipt. Future action needs good analysis of the present not denial.  If I was exclusive and needed money my wife would be joining other agencies quick.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on December 29, 2011, 01:55
for many halving/destroying their income is what is known as "financial rape".  An often used term to describe taking away money against their will and they are not willing or able to resist and totlly unexpected Many people find it a financial violation and a destroyed trust in the company. The term was used to showcase the attitude of some indoctrinated contributors who think it is ok to be treated like that. Yes it is vile. Take half of someones income and after give them back a little and they are all glowing IS lovers. What do you think this has done to people's incomes. Some people do not care , so long as it is not them. Others still blindly want to believe in the IS community. The community was contributors NOT management.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 29, 2011, 02:04
for many halving/destroying their income is what is known as "financial rape".  An often used term to describe taking away money against their will and they are not willing or able to resist and totlly unexpected Many people find it a financial violation and a destroyed trust in the company. The term was used to showcase the attitude of some indoctrinated contributors who think it is ok to be treated like that. Yes it is vile. Take half of someones income and after give them back a little and they are all glowing IS lovers. What do you think this has done to people's incomes. Some people do not care , so long as it is not them. Others still blindly want to believe in the IS community. The community was contributors NOT management.

I used to work in investment banking for JPMorgan for many years doing mergers and acquisitions. Heard many awful things, saw plenty of of companies/owners being taken advantage off, people losing vast sums of money/power, but never once heard anyone utter such awful statements.

It can't be widely used, it is not appropriate in my and I think many people's opinion and is extremely distasteful. I took offence to it, with extremely good reasons for it. In my opinion an apology to the forum would be appropriate and acceptable, but as you defend your choice of words I don't see it as very likely to happen.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: RapidEye on December 29, 2011, 02:45
Seems to me that people are hypersensitive about certain analogies, probably having to do with the unthinkability of a crime that represents not only violation of the person but also a transgression of Judaeo-Christian sexual morality. Plenty of metaphors are bandied about having to do with death and murder, arguably a worse crime, and nobody turns a hair.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 29, 2011, 02:49
Oh God, has it really come to this? People demanding an "apology to the forum" because they don't like a word and don't actually know what it means? Get a decent dictionary and look up "rape" since you obviously don't comprehend the scope of the word. Then can we get back to the topic (which is nothing to do with "hating").

Carver, the amount of energy expended probably reflects the significance of the threat to our income, our desire to  know what is going on, what it means and where it might go from here. It's quite normal for people to want to understand how the decisions of those they are engaged with will affect them.

And for whoever suggested that exclusivity was iStock's way of dealing with dilution, that's just not the case. There has never been any doubt that it was introduced to try to undermine rival micro agencies that were setting up from mid-2004 in response to iStock's success.  At that time, the number of microstock files available across all sites was fewer than 250,000.

One thing nobody has picked up on is the repeated reports from exclusives that despite the best match their sales are only normal. Is that because new projects aren't being started at the moment and people are only tying up the loose ends of jobs, or is it something else?

Lisa, if they wipe out our sales on the main site and then dilute PP sales to nothing there will be no point in continuing with the tedious upload process. My "who boycotted PP" thread indicates something like 55% of posters did, which suggests roughly a halving of PP income if they ever manage to transfer those files.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: nruboc on December 29, 2011, 02:56
Oh God, has it really come to this? People demanding an "apology to the forum" because they don't like a word and don't actually know what it means? Get a decent dictionary and look up "rape" since you obviously don't comprehend the scope of the word. Then can we get back to the topic (which is nothing to do with "hating").

Carver, the amount of energy expended probably reflects the significance of the threat to our income, our desire to  know what is going on, what it means and where it might go from here. It's quite normal for people to want to understand how the decisions of those they are engaged with will affect them.

And for whoever suggested that exclusivity was iStock's way of dealing with dilution, that's just not the case. There has never been any doubt that it was introduced to try to undermine rival micro agencies that were setting up from mid-2004 in response to iStock's success.  At that time, the number of microstock files available across all sites was fewer than 250,000.

One thing nobody has picked up on is the repeated reports from exclusives that despite the best match their sales are only normal. Is that because new projects aren't being started at the moment and people are only tying up the loose ends of jobs, or is it something else?

Lisa, if they wipe out our sales on the main site and then dilute PP sales to nothing there will be no point in continuing with the tedious upload process. My "who boycotted PP" thread indicates something like 55% of posters did, which suggests roughly a halving of PP income if they ever manage to transfer those files.


LOL... ditto.. apology to the forum, give it a rest please, we get it, you're easily offended, do we need to dwell on this
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 29, 2011, 03:12
Not easily offended and know full well what the word means and the different ways it could be used.

Still don't think that kind of analogy is appropriate, but perhaps lack of imagination and manners limited someone's options to express themselves. As I said, I didn't expect an apology or someone realising that their choice of word/analogy was poor. I reserve my right to be offended, as well as thinking it was a poor, unnecessary and out of place choice of word/analogy. Defend it all you like, I hope you never have to be offended by it for a reason.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 29, 2011, 03:15
Oh Man!  during my six years at IS, they have constantly messed around with this best match, always problems, etc. Even if they change it back to "normal"  the damage is done!  they will forever change this best match and thats the reason you cant do business with them anymore. The whole thing is too unstable, too unsure and yes, unsustainable.
You simply can not do business with any company lacking a solid platform and therefore generates instabillity.

Ingvar Kamprad, the IKEA boss!  his best advice to all of them, even Steve-Jobs, etc: Keep it simple, keep it clean and keep it safe.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 29, 2011, 03:24
Carlsson, I'm sorry if the word relates to something someone did to you. However, rape does not necessarily have anything to do with sexual assaults, so you are trying to circumscribe it in an inappropriate way. In addition, your determination that the person who used the word should humiliate himself by making a public apology to everyone is extremely manipulative/controlling behaviour that implies your sensitivities are shared by everybody else on this board and that anyone who offends them is both wrong and an outcast.

Personally, I find that offensive and I think perhaps it is you who should apologise to the forum for attempting to stifle freedom of expression and force people to submit to your authority as judge of good taste.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 29, 2011, 03:27
Oh Man!  during my six years at IS, they have constantly messed around with this best match, always problems, etc. Even if they change it back to "normal"  the damage is done!  they will forever change this best match and thats the reason you cant do business with them anymore. The whole thing is too unstable, too unsure and yes, unsustainable.
You simply can not do business with any company lacking a solid platform and therefore generates instabillity.

Ingvar Kamprad, the IKEA boss!  his best advice to all of them, even Steve-Jobs, etc: Keep it simple, keep it clean and keep it safe.

I agree, the several times per year complete change of the best match has finally taken it's toll. I can't believe they publicly stated that they were done with it, that it was now in the state they wanted it to be, just to dramatically change it again.

I know that most independents think this new incarnation is of great benefit to exclusives, trust me it is not. I can only see it benefiting those exclusives with very recent uploads in the particular search that a potential buyer is conducting.

Obviously it is even worse for independents as they are nowhere to be seen any more. Although I'm fond of benefits as an exclusive, this version of the search is not doing exclusives, independents and more importantly the buyers any favours at all. This certainly unfortunately will have a detrimental affect on everyone involved with iStock. Hopefully, but at this point in time it feels unlikely, they will realise this and bring back a best match search with a well balanced mix of relevant images from both exclusives and independents, thus serving the customer first and foremost.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 29, 2011, 03:36
Hi Martin!

Yes I know!  and from severall exclusive pals within IS, this new best match, is not at all generating further revenues. I know. Might be too early to tell, but I am not holding my breath at all. I think, as you say, all these constant messing around with this poor best match, has finally taken its toll and its become irreparable. I bet, not even the engineers behind it all, know what to do or why it doesnt work.

They can change it back and forth a hundered times, it wont matter anymore, its taken its toll, finished. simple as that.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 29, 2011, 03:39
Carlsson, I'm sorry if the word relates to something someone did to you. However, rape does not necessarily have anything to do with sexual assaults, so you are trying to circumscribe it in an inappropriate way. In addition, your determination that the person who used the word should humiliate himself by making a public apology to everyone is extremely manipulative/controlling behaviour that implies your sensitivities are shared by everybody else on this board and that anyone who offends them is both wrong and an outcast.

Personally, I find that offensive and I think perhaps it is you who should apologise to the forum for attempting to stifle freedom of expression and force people to submit to your authority as judge of good taste.

Hahaha, yes I apologise! For the record me myself have not been raped, but that doesn't exclude that people close to me haven't.

English is not my mother tongue, but I lived/worked in the U.K. for over 10 years, as well as the U.S. and I have never heard anyone using that particular word in such a liberal fashion or in any other way than in reference to a sex crime, especially to a wide public unknown audience like this forum. That doesn't mean that I don't know of it being able to be used in other ways, of course I do. It also doesn't take away that I was surprised by it being used here in such a way and I was offended. So be it.

I withdraw my "request" for an apology for the choice of word/analogy, and (sarcastically) apologise for thinking an apology would have been appropriate - pretty meaningless anyway if it ain't forthcoming voluntarily. "Freedom of expression" - you are cracking me up! You don't teach/tell your kids (if you have any) not to swear? To be be polite, respectful and teach them about manners? I guess I'm guilty of frequently stifling "freedom of expression".

Are we done now?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 29, 2011, 03:44

Are we done now?

Yup
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 29, 2011, 03:47
Hi Martin!

Yes I know!  and from severall exclusive pals within IS, this new best match, is not at all generating further revenues. I know. Might be too early to tell, but I am not holding my breath at all. I think, as you say, all these constant messing around with this poor best match, has finally taken its toll and its become irreparable. I bet, not even the engineers behind it all, know what to do or why it doesnt work.

They can change it back and forth a hundered times, it wont matter anymore, its taken its toll, finished. simple as that.

Yes, I guess the only remedy, unless too late, would be to bring back a well-balanced search and then lock-it, leave it, forbid for it to be touched. Stability is needed. As your quote from Kamprad "Keep it simple, keep it clean and keep it safe." should be their new motto - that, fingers crossed and perhaps things could improve.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 29, 2011, 03:48
Hi Martin!

Yes I know!  and from severall exclusive pals within IS, this new best match, is not at all generating further revenues. I know. Might be too early to tell, but I am not holding my breath at all. I think, as you say, all these constant messing around with this poor best match, has finally taken its toll and its become irreparable. I bet, not even the engineers behind it all, know what to do or why it doesnt work.

They can change it back and forth a hundered times, it wont matter anymore, its taken its toll, finished. simple as that.

Yes, I guess the only remedy, unless too late, would be to bring back a well-balanced search and then lock-it, leave it, forbid for it to be touched. Stability is needed. As your quote from Kamprad "Keep it simple, keep it clean and keep it safe." should be their new motto - that, fingers crossed and perhaps things could improve.




Hope so!  but they probably think theyre smarter then Kamprad :D
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 29, 2011, 04:08

Yes, I guess the only remedy, unless too late, would be to bring back a well-balanced search and then lock-it, leave it, forbid for it to be touched. Stability is needed. As your quote from Kamprad "Keep it simple, keep it clean and keep it safe." should be their new motto - that, fingers crossed and perhaps things could improve.

They've created so many different collections at different price points that creating a well-balanced search must be almost impossible. Comparing agency, Vetta and ordinary files is like comparing apples and oranges.

At one time the search was fixed. I suspect that the problem they were trying to solve when they started changing it was that it was self-reinforcing, so an old file that started to build up sales would continue to float near the top even if much better files were entering the collection. More recently, it has become a tool for trying to direct buyers to what iStock wants to sell, rather than helping them find what they want to buy.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 29, 2011, 04:11

Yes, I guess the only remedy, unless too late, would be to bring back a well-balanced search and then lock-it, leave it, forbid for it to be touched. Stability is needed. As your quote from Kamprad "Keep it simple, keep it clean and keep it safe." should be their new motto - that, fingers crossed and perhaps things could improve.

They've created so many different collections at different price points that creating a well-balanced search must be almost impossible. Comparing agency, Vetta and ordinary files is like comparing apples and oranges.

At one time the search was fixed. I suspect that the problem they were trying to solve when they started changing it was that it was self-reinforcing, so an old file that started to build up sales would continue to float near the top even if much better files were entering the collection. More recently, it has become a tool for trying to direct buyers to what iStock wants to sell, rather than helping them find what they want to buy.

Yep!  and forcing a product on to buyers, is not exactly ideal, especially when there are dozens of others selling the same product.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 29, 2011, 04:18
They should be able to strike a balance between different collections at different price points - Getty does.

I don't think anyone minds a few "teasers" from the higher priced collections feature at the top of a normal search or something like that.

For a "open" not very narrowed search they should be able to have a somewhat balanced mix, that coupled with a SIMPLE way of narrowing depending on budget constrains should better serve customers and contributors alike? Perhaps even let buyers set visible collections in their preferences? But they definitely need to go back to something balanced, and make it simple for buyers to be served with the right content at the right price point.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 29, 2011, 05:21
Yes and this is ofcourse the whole issue. They simply forgot the BUYER  and that many buyers are also contributors.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 29, 2011, 05:26
Yes and this is ofcourse the whole issue. They simply forgot the BUYER.

at the moment it feels like the buyers left and closed the door behind them. I've never seen 0 sale days before, not even on weekends, now I've had a couple in November and 7 (!) in December. iStock used to be so predictable, so dependable, someone have flicked the switch, not happy.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 29, 2011, 05:32
Yes and this is ofcourse the whole issue. They simply forgot the BUYER.

at the moment it feels like the buyers left and closed the door behind them. I've never seen 0 sale days before, not even on weekends, now I've had a couple in November and 7 (!) in December. iStock used to be so predictable, so dependable, someone have flicked the switch, not happy.

I beat you, I got ONE!  big deal.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 29, 2011, 05:36
Yes and this is ofcourse the whole issue. They simply forgot the BUYER.

at the moment it feels like the buyers left and closed the door behind them. I've never seen 0 sale days before, not even on weekends, now I've had a couple in November and 7 (!) in December. iStock used to be so predictable, so dependable, someone have flicked the switch, not happy.

I beat you, I got ONE!  big deal.

Beat me how? I have had 7 days in December without any sales on them. 7! When I before November never have had any! December is trending to be the worst in 5 years!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 29, 2011, 05:41
December will have the lowest downloads for me since May 2004, the month after I joined iStock. Only one zero sales day so far this month, though.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Chico on December 29, 2011, 06:55
December will have the lowest downloads for me since May 2004, the month after I joined iStock. Only one zero sales day so far this month, though.

December was my worst moth ever. Big, very big drop from november.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Mantis on December 29, 2011, 08:55
Lots of Hating going on here ... from both points of view.  I guess opinions are like birthdays ... everybody has one.
Is that how that goes?   ??? ??? ;D

It's not hate.  It's frustration with the policies being implemented by iStock resulting in an obvious class system there.

As an independent I expect exclusives to receive certain perks but I don't expect to be shut out completely....

Very well said.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on December 29, 2011, 08:58
apology still required Carlsson! ???  IS needs to to aplogise to , buyers and independentt for current chaos and also to exclusives for declining income. Also to contriutors for promising a future they destroyed.   Words??? Financial destruction? Financial destruction and theft against your will by force (financial rape?) . Delusion - pretending the overall royalty cuts were good? Delusion - pretending this trend in drop in sales will reverse itself becase of???? Delusion - exclusives will thrive without independents?? Choose the words you want and seek aplogies from Istock not me. Seek reality not semantics bias for complaint. Keep up the huge rm portfolio and make sure your partner keep uploading for you to other sites.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: iclick on December 29, 2011, 09:20
Unberleivable over there right now....

been days since a single download  :o pathetic! even for Christmas!

 Thank the heavens for Shutterstock ... been a great month for EL's there
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: imageegami on December 29, 2011, 09:30
This reminds me of the Doors song "This is the end..."
Even for iStock this is a bonehead move. They are really good at auto-destructing.
Although I`m sure someone will get a promotion and a raise out of this :) 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pixel86 on December 29, 2011, 10:06
Lots of Hating going on here ... from both points of view.  I guess opinions are like birthdays ... everybody has one.
Is that how that goes?   ??? ??? ;D

It's not hate.  It's frustration with the policies being implemented by iStock resulting in an obvious class system there.

As an independent I expect exclusives to receive certain perks but I don't expect to be shut out completely....

Very well said.

+1
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pro@stockphotos on December 29, 2011, 10:24

Have you looked at the prices of your images at istock vs other agencies.  At one agency I could buy 15 of your images for the cost of one image at istock.  They are the exact same image.  No difference whatsoever.  But price isn't the cause of the loss of sales to istock???  


Sorry, perhaps I am failing to get my point across.  I'll try one more time, and if you still don't get it, well maybe my language skills need some work.

I am not denying there is a price differential between independent files on Istock and other sites, nor that some buyers would be looking for the best price.  What I am saying is that the price differential is not the reason for the RECENT (past year) exodus of buyers.  How do I know this?  There has been a price differential for several years, and Istock was selling very, very well for independents, and was the top or second place earner for pretty much every independent supplier until this year.  If it was only price that was the issue, then sales would have shown it all along.  

Sales have only become anemic in the past year since Istock went off the rails, so obviously PRICE of independent content is not the reason.  

Here are some suggestions about why buyers may have gone elsewhere:
1.  Too many broken promises to contributors, many of whom are buyers.
2.  Wonky searches, site outages and other IT bugs
3.  Front loading of Vetta/Agency files which serve only a limited market and cost dozens of times more
4.  Non-responsive customer service
5.  Snotty "don't let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way out" attitude expressed to any buyer who dares bring up issues in the forums

The list goes on and on.  As does the Buyers Bail thread [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/buyers-bailing-on-istock/[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/buyers-bailing-on-istock/[/url]), which has 61 pages of departures and site issues, spanning more than a year.  

Can someone let me know if I have explained this coherently enough or if there is something I am leaving out?  



This is the disconnect for me as you have reported the decline of IS this year with the rise of the your other sites.  You felt this was good for "?", I am guessing for those who did not put all their eggs in one basket.  It appears promoting independents was a slow death for IS as the other agencies said we sell the same for less.  The prices you are receiving at the other agencies are being supported buy IS exclusive content and higher pricing.  If IS goes away, then your price support is removed and what else is separating the collections on the other agencies?  Or another agency has to seize contributors as exclusives to elevate their brand and price point.  In your explanation above you failed to address the magic formula that going to leave this marketplace alone that has attacked every other one that has no separation in their products. 
 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 29, 2011, 10:36
I know prices are a weighing factor but lets face it, whats a couple of cents or bucks here and there? I mean as a few buyers have said, if you find the right shot, thats it really.
I am sure that apart from the price factor, the actual hassle buyers have to go through, trying to find the right shot without getting silly collections thrown in their faces, without sliders, roll down lists and without IS, trying to tell them what to buy, etc, etc, all this has added to the inevitable downslope.

You can not run a car with a couple of blown head-gaskets, it will stop, its unsustainable. Thats what they have been trying to do for the past two years and its blown.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 29, 2011, 10:55
  The prices you are receiving at the other agencies are being supported buy IS exclusive content and higher pricing.  If IS goes away, then your price support is removed and what else is separating the collections on the other agencies?  Or another agency has to seize contributors as exclusives to elevate their brand and price point.  In your explanation above you failed to address the magic formula that going to leave this marketplace alone that has attacked every other one that has no separation in their products. 
 

Sorry, try as I might I just don't understand the logic here. How can iStock's exclusive content's price affect the prices of independents' files at other sites? We keep being told that the higher price of exclusive content is justified by it being unavailable anywhere else, so if you need that file you have to pay more to get it. That I understand (even though I doubt if most of it is unique enough to justify the claim). Are you now saying that there is no difference between exclusive and independent files so when people see high exclusive prices on iStock they are happy to pay lower prices for similar files on other sites? And are you suggesting that if iStock vanished, this would make the prices elsewhere fall? If so, how? And why?

I do try to understand everyone's different viewpoints but so far I can't follow the logic of what you are saying.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: SNP on December 29, 2011, 12:14
I don't think there is any logic in that statement. I tend to agree with you Baldrick
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 29, 2011, 12:46
 The prices you are receiving at the other agencies are being supported buy IS exclusive content and higher pricing.  If IS goes away, then your price support is removed and what else is separating the collections on the other agencies?  Or another agency has to seize contributors as exclusives to elevate their brand and price point.  In your explanation above you failed to address the magic formula that going to leave this marketplace alone that has attacked every other one that has no separation in their products.  
  

Sorry, try as I might I just don't understand the logic here. How can iStock's exclusive content's price affect the prices of independents' files at other sites? We keep being told that the higher price of exclusive content is justified by it being unavailable anywhere else, so if you need that file you have to pay more to get it. That I understand (even though I doubt if most of it is unique enough to justify the claim). Are you now saying that there is no difference between exclusive and independent files so when people see high exclusive prices on iStock they are happy to pay lower prices for similar files on other sites? And are you suggesting that if iStock vanished, this would make the prices elsewhere fall? If so, how? And why?

I do try to understand everyone's different viewpoints but so far I can't follow the logic of what you are saying.

If I'm understanding this correctly it sounds like they're saying the higher pricing and collections at IS are keeping the pricing at other sites stable and helping to prevent more downward price pressure.

If this is accurate it might have some merit. A flood of new images at other sites would increase supply without increasing demand which could affect pricing. Plus, images that were getting premium pricing would suddenly be available at a fraction of the cost and also through subscription. So, all of the buyers at IS would now go and find cheaper sites which would further lower their perception about the value of images.

Once prices of something go down it is almost impossible to increase the prices unless something changes. Like supply. And micro supply isn't going down anytime soon.

So, IS going under may not be that great of a thing for all of us.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 29, 2011, 12:51
The "rising tide floats all boats" theory? There may be something to it. Certainly, in the past iStock price rises seemed to prompt some action on other sites but there has been a disconnect there for at least two years.

However, I think it is a very weak link now that sites seem to have found their own ceiling for prices.  Removing iStock from the equation probably wouldn't affect that ... but, who knows?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: asiseeit on December 29, 2011, 13:35
nevermind.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pancaketom on December 29, 2011, 13:38
The flip side is IS cutting commissions has also seemed to encourage other sites to do so, plus although IS continues to jack up the exclusive and "special" collection prices, they are also encouraging their buyers to go to PP sites which are hardly pushing the price envelope up (and at least in some cases are pushing the commission envelope down).

I do agree that it is probably better to have a number of somewhat robust microstock sites that compete both for buyers (presumably with prices and services) and contributors (prices or at least commissions the other way, convenience, stability, and services - statistics, etc.)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 29, 2011, 13:38
nevermind.

Exclusive?  arent you?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gbalex on December 29, 2011, 13:39
Best match at iStock no longer finds the most relevant image, rather it locates most relevant image from a very small subsection of the collection. This is not in any customer`s best interest so there is now yet another incentive for customers to move on to other sites. They are the authors of their own demise.



Don't forget to include in your list... the oh so cleaver section of arrogant exclusives that routinely call buyers stupid!


Obviously,nobody has called the buyers stupid, but your rant seems to point to some kind of deep frustration. Vent on, if that makes you feel better.


No venting, just observations over time.  Even in this thread you only have to go back a few pages to see comments regarding dumb customers, customers not smart enough to use the IS slider or customers who are not intelligent enough to notice what IS is serving us and why!


Lie. What has been said is that it was dumb to suppose, as some, (btw, not-exclusives) had suggested in some or other way,  that customers were too dumb to find the slider, etc. It's not what you say: it's exactly the contrary. And you know it.


There have been plenty of backhanded comments showing varying degrees of contempt for buyers over time on the MSG and IS boards.  You can choose to overlook and justify them if you wish. For most of us who read them, they are not a big deal, chalked up as are par for the course considering the course IS has plotted for its travels. The maxim is true, interesting things are revealed when the going gets tough.

http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/another-massive-best match-shift/msg234044/#msg234044 (http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/another-massive-best match-shift/msg234044/#msg234044)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: jamirae on December 29, 2011, 13:42
I think a big consideration is being overlooked here.  You're all assuming that buyers have all this time to shop around to find the best price.  I tend to believe that buyers may do some price shopping but once they find a place they are comfortable with they tend to stick with it.  Why?  because it's convenient and it's a place they understand and know.  that's what kept a lot of buyers at istock - once they found it they didn't have a lot of reason to look elsewhere.  Now they do.  Buyers have been pissed at the many price increases and the addition of confusing price collections.  the site bugs have only added to the upset.  Thus, they've started looking elsewhere - they find a site that works, has decent enough pricing for them and they move to it.  

I really don't think buyers are constantly out there comparing one site to another.  they just don't have time for all that.  yes, they'll do it once in awhile when they need to, but in the end they tend to stick with the places they trust will get them the final product they are looking for.  
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gbalex on December 29, 2011, 13:52
One thing nobody has picked up on is the repeated reports from exclusives that despite the best match their sales are only normal. Is that because new projects aren't being started at the moment and people are only tying up the loose ends of jobs, or is it something else?


I was thinking the same thing, it will be interesting to see how it pans out over time.  I know we try to get our large projects done before the holidays, therefore for this best match to be anything but token, it will have to be in place for a good while.  If they do leave it in place long enough for it to take effect and sales are still normal, that would be the time to become alarmed.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gbalex on December 29, 2011, 14:10
I think a big consideration is being overlooked here.  You're all assuming that buyers have all this time to shop around to find the best price.  I tend to believe that buyers may do some price shopping but once they find a place they are comfortable with they tend to stick with it.  Why?  because it's convenient and it's a place they understand and know.  that's what kept a lot of buyers at istock - once they found it they didn't have a lot of reason to look elsewhere.  Now they do.  Buyers have been pissed at the many price increases and the addition of confusing price collections.  the site bugs have only added to the upset.  Thus, they've started looking elsewhere - they find a site that works, has decent enough pricing for them and they move to it.  

I really don't think buyers are constantly out there comparing one site to another.  they just don't have time for all that.  yes, they'll do it once in awhile when they need to, but in the end they tend to stick with the places they trust will get them the final product they are looking for.  
For the most part I agree with you, IS also made the big mistake of overlooking the fact that many of its buyers are also contributors who also talk to other buyers.  It is not so hard to change a supervisors position on the vendor you use when prices are also being raised in conjunction with best match changes that slow down the process of finding the images you need for projects. After all those supervisor think of man hours as more costly than a few extra dollars for an image.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: asiseeit on December 29, 2011, 14:28
nevermind.

Exclusive?  arent you?
Yes.
I didn't see a way to delete my post.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: jamirae on December 29, 2011, 16:00
I think a big consideration is being overlooked here.  You're all assuming that buyers have all this time to shop around to find the best price.  I tend to believe that buyers may do some price shopping but once they find a place they are comfortable with they tend to stick with it.  Why?  because it's convenient and it's a place they understand and know.  that's what kept a lot of buyers at istock - once they found it they didn't have a lot of reason to look elsewhere.  Now they do.  Buyers have been pissed at the many price increases and the addition of confusing price collections.  the site bugs have only added to the upset.  Thus, they've started looking elsewhere - they find a site that works, has decent enough pricing for them and they move to it.  

I really don't think buyers are constantly out there comparing one site to another.  they just don't have time for all that.  yes, they'll do it once in awhile when they need to, but in the end they tend to stick with the places they trust will get them the final product they are looking for.  
For the most part I agree with you, IS also made the big mistake of overlooking the fact that many of its buyers are also contributors who also talk to other buyers.  It is not so hard to change a supervisors position on the vendor you use when prices are also being raised in conjunction with best match changes that slow down the process of finding the images you need for projects. After all those supervisor think of man hours as more costly than a few extra dollars for an image.

totally agree.  happened to me just the other day.  My boss was looking for an image for a new "portal" page on our website.  he turned to me and said "what is that site you use for images?  istock..?"  As he turned to his keyboard to pull up the site I responded "Just go to shutterstock.com or dreamstime.com "  Because I knew he would freak out when all the crazy agency and vetta images showed up in the search.   Plus we have buyer accounts at all three (SS, DT and IS) of those agencies anyway.  He found some images at SS quickly which we sent to our graphics guy as examples of what he was looking for. 

In the past I would have gladly steered him straight to iStock, now I recommend different options.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: stockastic on December 29, 2011, 17:00
totally agree.  happened to me just the other day.  My boss was looking for an image for a new "portal" page on our website.  he turned to me and said "what is that site you use for images?  istock..?"  As he turned to his keyboard to pull up the site I responded "Just go to shutterstock.com or dreamstime.com "  Because I knew he would freak out when all the crazy agency and vetta images showed up in the search.  

I think this post says it all.   And notice the impact of the "slider".   Zero.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 29, 2011, 17:08
totally agree.  happened to me just the other day.  My boss was looking for an image for a new "portal" page on our website.  he turned to me and said "what is that site you use for images?  istock..?"  As he turned to his keyboard to pull up the site I responded "Just go to shutterstock.com or dreamstime.com "  Because I knew he would freak out when all the crazy agency and vetta images showed up in the search.   

I think this post says it all.   And notice the amount of time that was available to spend figuring out that wonderfully simple, intuitively obvious "slider".   Zero.

Yup!  there you have it, in a nut-shell. Imagine the "BIG"  brains behind this slider?  trying to indirectly fool buyers, thinking it was a quality slider, not a price slider. Man! what jerks.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 29, 2011, 17:18
totally agree.  happened to me just the other day.  My boss was looking for an image for a new "portal" page on our website.  he turned to me and said "what is that site you use for images?  istock..?"  As he turned to his keyboard to pull up the site I responded "Just go to shutterstock.com or dreamstime.com "  Because I knew he would freak out when all the crazy agency and vetta images showed up in the search.  

I think this post says it all.   And notice the impact of the "slider".   Zero.

Indeed. It's difficult to use a slider on one site when you're on a totally different site.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on December 29, 2011, 18:28
Great, now your boss now that a stock photo is worth 0.35 cents and not a cent more than that.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 29, 2011, 18:54
Great, now your boss now that a stock photo is worth 0.35 cents and not a cent more than that.

Better than iStock, where he would know it was worth 8c and not a cent more than that

(assuming, that is, that your logic makes any sense)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: KB on December 29, 2011, 19:29
Great, now your boss now that a stock photo is worth 0.35 cents and not a cent more than that.

Better than iStock, where he would know it was worth 8c and not a cent more than that

(assuming, that is, that your logic makes any sense)
Oh! So no matter what size a buyer purchases, independents now get only 8c per sale? Yikes! Suddenly I'm almost glad I'm exclusive. But in that case, I don't understand why any independent would remain on iStock. Huh.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 29, 2011, 19:37
Oh God, has it really come to this? People demanding an "apology to the forum" because they don't like a word and don't actually know what it means? Get a decent dictionary and look up "rape" since you obviously don't comprehend the scope of the word. Then can we get back to the topic (which is nothing to do with "hating").

Carver, the amount of energy expended probably reflects the significance of the threat to our income, our desire to  know what is going on, what it means and where it might go from here. It's quite normal for people to want to understand how the decisions of those they are engaged with will affect them.

And for whoever suggested that exclusivity was iStock's way of dealing with dilution, that's just not the case. There has never been any doubt that it was introduced to try to undermine rival micro agencies that were setting up from mid-2004 in response to iStock's success.  At that time, the number of microstock files available across all sites was fewer than 250,000.

One thing nobody has picked up on is the repeated reports from exclusives that despite the best match their sales are only normal. Is that because new projects aren't being started at the moment and people are only tying up the loose ends of jobs, or is it something else?

Lisa, if they wipe out our sales on the main site and then dilute PP sales to nothing there will be no point in continuing with the tedious upload process. My "who boycotted PP" thread indicates something like 55% of posters did, which suggests roughly a halving of PP income if they ever manage to transfer those files.

Really excellent post Balderick!  Agree 100% with all of it.  

As for the reports of exclusives having "normal" sales for this time of year.  These reports are coming from very reliable sources, so I definitely believe them.  However, in light of the extreme dominance of exclusive files in the search, this probably means site sales on the whole are way, way down.   Otherwise, shouldn't we be reading more reports of booming sales from the exclusives who are benefiting from this best match?

Good info from your poll thread.  I hadn't thought of applying that to the upcoming dilution of PP sales, but it is as good a measure as any.  Very clever :)

I would hate to see my PP income halved, considering it is already inadequate consolation for seeing my Istock income reduced to a small fraction of what it used to be.  
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: mlwinphoto on December 29, 2011, 19:46
I think a big consideration is being overlooked here.  You're all assuming that buyers have all this time to shop around to find the best price.  I tend to believe that buyers may do some price shopping but once they find a place they are comfortable with they tend to stick with it.  Why?  because it's convenient and it's a place they understand and know.  that's what kept a lot of buyers at istock - once they found it they didn't have a lot of reason to look elsewhere.  Now they do.  Buyers have been pissed at the many price increases and the addition of confusing price collections.  the site bugs have only added to the upset.  Thus, they've started looking elsewhere - they find a site that works, has decent enough pricing for them and they move to it.  

I really don't think buyers are constantly out there comparing one site to another.  they just don't have time for all that.  yes, they'll do it once in awhile when they need to, but in the end they tend to stick with the places they trust will get them the final product they are looking for.  
For the most part I agree with you, IS also made the big mistake of overlooking the fact that many of its buyers are also contributors who also talk to other buyers.  It is not so hard to change a supervisors position on the vendor you use when prices are also being raised in conjunction with best match changes that slow down the process of finding the images you need for projects. After all those supervisor think of man hours as more costly than a few extra dollars for an image.

totally agree.  happened to me just the other day.  My boss was looking for an image for a new "portal" page on our website.  he turned to me and said "what is that site you use for images?  istock..?"  As he turned to his keyboard to pull up the site I responded "Just go to shutterstock.com or dreamstime.com "  Because I knew he would freak out when all the crazy agency and vetta images showed up in the search.   Plus we have buyer accounts at all three (SS, DT and IS) of those agencies anyway.  He found some images at SS quickly which we sent to our graphics guy as examples of what he was looking for. 

In the past I would have gladly steered him straight to iStock, now I recommend different options.

Well done!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: SNP on December 29, 2011, 20:05
I think we have to wait and see what the best match looks like as the new year business ramps up again. you can't really judge anything this week. for me this is pretty much the worst week of the year for sales. let's see what happens when buyers come back to work after the holidays and where the best match is then.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 29, 2011, 20:10
I think we have to wait and see what the best match looks like as the new year business ramps up again. you can't really judge anything this week. for me this is pretty much the worst week of the year for sales. let's see what happens when buyers come back to work after the holidays and where the best match is then.

Yeah, you're right.  I posted without really considering that the last two weeks of December are historically always dead. 

FWIW, I am (optimistically) pretty sure this complete burying of indy files will not last more than a week or two into January.  I seem to recall in past years that the end of the year had a big boost for exclusives.  Although I find this one pretty alarming, I am still hopeful it may turn out to be just some sort of exclusive bonus. 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gbalex on December 29, 2011, 20:22
Great, now your boss now that a stock photo is worth 0.35 cents and not a cent more than that.

Better than iStock, where he would know it was worth 8c and not a cent more than that

(assuming, that is, that your logic makes any sense)

Loop does have a point, it makes no sense for us to steer buyers to a site that pays us .38 and I do not steer anyone to SS or other low paying sites.  Thou, your point is equally relevant .38 is preferable to .8
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on December 29, 2011, 20:46
Great, now your boss now that a stock photo is worth 0.35 cents and not a cent more than that.

Better than iStock, where he would know it was worth 8c and not a cent more than that

(assuming, that is, that your logic makes any sense)

Loop does have a point, it makes no sense for us to steer buyers to a site that pays us .38 and I do not steer anyone to SS or other low paying sites.  Thou, your point is equally relevant .38 is preferable to .8

What about reading carefully before writing? I wasn't talking about comissions, but price payed by customers.  What they are being told it's woth a file, xs or xxxxl. Try again. Read slowly if necessary.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Suljo on December 29, 2011, 21:01
^^ 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.

"Exclusive" content in RF world has no sense at all. It is just delusion for buyers and exclusive contributors...
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: stockastic on December 29, 2011, 21:03
Loop does have a point, it makes no sense for us to steer buyers to a site that pays us .38 and I do not steer anyone to SS or other low paying sites.  

It makes sense to steer buyers to sites where they might actually see your photos. And if you're an indendent, it no longer matters what IS's prices are, because they've buried all your photos.  
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 29, 2011, 21:15

What about reading carefully before writing? I wasn't talking about comissions, but price payed by customers.  What they are being told it's woth a file, xs or xxxxl. Try again. Read slowly if necessary.

Frankly, the price paid by the customer is much less important to me than what I make on the sale.  If I only get .09 on a particular sale, their paying industry high prices doesn't make me feel any better about it. 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: asiseeit on December 30, 2011, 01:40
Great, now your boss now that a stock photo is worth 0.35 cents and not a cent more than that.

Better than iStock, where he would know it was worth 8c and not a cent more than that
(assuming, that is, that your logic makes any sense)

Not sure where you're getting the 8 cent number from. If a buyer buys a credit for $1.50 per credit (120 credit package), an XS payout would be 25 cents at the 17% level, Medium size $1.53,... (for example). How could anyone be averaging 8 cents per sale on iStock?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: traveler1116 on December 30, 2011, 01:53
Great, now your boss now that a stock photo is worth 0.35 cents and not a cent more than that.

Better than iStock, where he would know it was worth 8c and not a cent more than that
(assuming, that is, that your logic makes any sense)

Not sure where you're getting the 8 cent number from. If a buyer buys a credit for $1.50 per credit (120 credit package), an XS payout would be 25 cents at the 17% level, Medium size $1.53,... (for example). How could anyone be averaging 8 cents per sale on iStock?
15% is the lowest rate, credits are sold as low as $.48 (maybe .46).  Sorry I didn't see you said averaging.  No one would be averaging that.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 30, 2011, 01:54
BIG DEAL!   so lets say they change this best match a few weeks after new year and lets say its mildly kinder to independants, so what, they throw us a bone and expect us to bark?  no thanks!
Ofcourse then they change it back and forth again and we end up in sheit-street, yet again. No thanks. Im not a begger, happy with the crumbs from the rich table, rather the opposite.

For me to even consider, leaving the rest of my port at IS, I will have to see it get back to at least 50% of the normal intake or else considering the ancient upload-process and everything?  just isnt worth the time.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 30, 2011, 02:11
For me to even consider, leaving the rest of my port at IS, I will have to see it get back to at least 50% of the normal intake or else considering the ancient upload-process and everything?  just isnt worth the time.

Christian - you are familiar with DeepMeta right? Makes it a doodle to upload, organising releases, update keywords and lots of other tasks.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 30, 2011, 03:24
If my eyes are not playing tricks on me and I haven't kept meticulous notes of file placement, it looks like the search is slightly less skewed towards only new files and a few better performers have started to rise? Anyone else seeing the same thing?

Could the current search with it's heavy tilt towards new files be a countermeasure to the new files not being shown properly in Nov/Dec? To give them a chance to be seen before resuming "normality" in regards to the best match search?

Unfortunately independent files are nowhere to be seen.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: RacePhoto on December 30, 2011, 03:34
If my eyes are not playing tricks on me and I haven't kept meticulous notes of file placement, it looks like the search is slightly less skewed towards only new files and a few better performers have started to rise? Anyone else seeing the same thing?

Could the current search with it's heavy tilt towards new files be a countermeasure to the new files not being shown properly in Nov/Dec? To give them a chance to be seen before resuming "normality" in regards to the best match search?

Unfortunately independent files are nowhere to be seen.

Reminds me that one post someone says Exclusives get a boost and a page before someone else says Exclusives are buried because Indys are paid a lower commission. Odd isn't it that both are claimed and have been for years.

Best Match SHift goes on minute by minute, based on what you looked at before, where you are and for all I know, the phase of the Moon.

I think people trying to understand it are spinning their wheels and wasting time, because it isn't "Another Massive Best Match Shift" there's a never ending Best Match Shift. Kind of like how to make people superstitious and insane. Make random changes all day every day.

Someone please clear this up... do Exclusives get better placement or are they being pushed to the back. Which is it. Seems exclusives complain they are getting lower rank, and Indys are complaining that Exclusive get ahead of them? Now it's new files vs old files, which seems to be changing by the minute.  ???
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 30, 2011, 03:40
If my eyes are not playing tricks on me and I haven't kept meticulous notes of file placement, it looks like the search is slightly less skewed towards only new files and a few better performers have started to rise? Anyone else seeing the same thing?

Could the current search with it's heavy tilt towards new files be a countermeasure to the new files not being shown properly in Nov/Dec? To give them a chance to be seen before resuming "normality" in regards to the best match search?

Unfortunately independent files are nowhere to be seen.

Reminds me that one post someone says Exclusives get a boost and a page before someone else says Exclusives are buried because Indys are paid a lower commission. Odd isn't it that both are claimed and have been for years.

Best Match SHift goes on minute by minute, based on what you looked at before, where you are and for all I know, the phase of the Moon.

I think people trying to understand it are spinning their wheels and wasting time, because it isn't "Another Massive Best Match Shift" there's a never ending Best Match Shift. Kind of like how to make people superstitious and insane. Make random changes all day every day.

Someone please clear this up... do Exclusives get better placement or are they being pushed to the back. Which is it. Seems exclusives complain they are getting lower rank, and Indys are complaining that Exclusive get ahead of them? Now it's new files vs old files, which seems to be changing by the minute.  ???

Hahaha I guess you are absolutely right about it not being "another massive best match shift" but a continuous one. I guess the best thing is to just get on with things and try and worry less about it.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 30, 2011, 03:43
Great, now your boss now that a stock photo is worth 0.35 cents and not a cent more than that.

Better than iStock, where he would know it was worth 8c and not a cent more than that

(assuming, that is, that your logic makes any sense)

Loop does have a point, it makes no sense for us to steer buyers to a site that pays us .38 and I do not steer anyone to SS or other low paying sites.  Thou, your point is equally relevant .38 is preferable to .8

What about reading carefully before writing? I wasn't talking about comissions, but price payed by customers.  What they are being told it's woth a file, xs or xxxxl. Try again. Read slowly if necessary.

Oh. What site charges 35c for a download? As I recall, it costs about $200 to be allowed to dl from SS.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 30, 2011, 03:43
If my eyes are not playing tricks on me and I haven't kept meticulous notes of file placement, it looks like the search is slightly less skewed towards only new files and a few better performers have started to rise? Anyone else seeing the same thing?

Could the current search with it's heavy tilt towards new files be a countermeasure to the new files not being shown properly in Nov/Dec? To give them a chance to be seen before resuming "normality" in regards to the best match search?

Unfortunately independent files are nowhere to be seen.

Hi Martin!

Looks the same to me really. They dont have to show any indy files since they are being mirrored at TS. They are counting on that independants will just sit quietly and watch their files being transfered.
This is where they are doing the mistake. Many will deactivate their most commercial files and ports, before the move. I have deactivated 90, of my most sold files, blue and red flames, etc. Reason being, I dont want that kind of stuff to end up in what is widely regarded as the ultimate dumping-ground. It gives a bad name, bad image, etc.
I personally know several creatives within ad-agencies, design-groups, ADs, etc, who will ONLY consult Getty for RM and RF and maybe the original IS but they certainly would not shop at TS! mind you, having said that, the majority, Im sure go to SS, today that is.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 30, 2011, 03:51
Great, now your boss now that a stock photo is worth 0.35 cents and not a cent more than that.

Better than iStock, where he would know it was worth 8c and not a cent more than that
(assuming, that is, that your logic makes any sense)

Not sure where you're getting the 8 cent number from. If a buyer buys a credit for $1.50 per credit (120 credit package), an XS payout would be 25 cents at the 17% level, Medium size $1.53,... (for example). How could anyone be averaging 8 cents per sale on iStock?

I never said averaging. Loop is spinning things to make them look as bad as possible for sites that are not iStock, I was just doing the same thing back. I have had at least one 8c commission from iStock and a couple of 10c commissions during the last year. 8/17x100 = 47c per credit. Probably one of their special discounts. In any case, even taking his "what the buyers pay" argument, there's not much difference between iStock pricing files at less than 50c and whatever the price would be if you download every single possible file you can from an SS subscription (and, of course, iStock's got TS, too, and has been actively pushing people away from iS towards TS, which completely blows his argument out of the water).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 30, 2011, 04:08
If my eyes are not playing tricks on me and I haven't kept meticulous notes of file placement, it looks like the search is slightly less skewed towards only new files and a few better performers have started to rise? Anyone else seeing the same thing?

Could the current search with it's heavy tilt towards new files be a countermeasure to the new files not being shown properly in Nov/Dec? To give them a chance to be seen before resuming "normality" in regards to the best match search?

Unfortunately independent files are nowhere to be seen.

Hi Martin!

Looks the same to me really. They dont have to show any indy files since they are being mirrored at TS. They are counting on that independants will just sit quietly and watch their files being transfered.
This is where they are doing the mistake. Many will deactivate their most commercial files and ports, before the move. I have deactivated 90, of my most sold files, blue and red flames, etc. Reason being, I dont want that kind of stuff to end up in what is widely regarded as the ultimate dumping-ground. It gives a bad name, bad image, etc.
I personally know several creatives within ad-agencies, design-groups, ADs, etc, who will ONLY consult Getty for RM and RF and maybe the original IS but they certainly would not shop at TS! mind you, having said that, the majority, Im sure go to SS, today that is.

I understand what you are saying. However, from an exclusive point-of-view TS is on par with what Shutterstock is for an independent (in terms of royalties, model etc.).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: aeonf on December 30, 2011, 05:06
If my eyes are not playing tricks on me and I haven't kept meticulous notes of file placement, it looks like the search is slightly less skewed towards only new files and a few better performers have started to rise? Anyone else seeing the same thing?

Could the current search with it's heavy tilt towards new files be a countermeasure to the new files not being shown properly in Nov/Dec? To give them a chance to be seen before resuming "normality" in regards to the best match search?

Unfortunately independent files are nowhere to be seen.

Hi Martin!

Looks the same to me really. They dont have to show any indy files since they are being mirrored at TS. They are counting on that independants will just sit quietly and watch their files being transfered.
This is where they are doing the mistake. Many will deactivate their most commercial files and ports, before the move. I have deactivated 90, of my most sold files, blue and red flames, etc. Reason being, I dont want that kind of stuff to end up in what is widely regarded as the ultimate dumping-ground. It gives a bad name, bad image, etc.
I personally know several creatives within ad-agencies, design-groups, ADs, etc, who will ONLY consult Getty for RM and RF and maybe the original IS but they certainly would not shop at TS! mind you, having said that, the majority, Im sure go to SS, today that is.

I understand what you are saying. However, from an exclusive point-of-view TS is on par with what Shutterstock is for an independent (in terms of royalties, model etc.).

Why on par ?
I make 42c vs 36c on SS as an exclusive.
That is 16% more!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 30, 2011, 05:08
If my eyes are not playing tricks on me and I haven't kept meticulous notes of file placement, it looks like the search is slightly less skewed towards only new files and a few better performers have started to rise? Anyone else seeing the same thing?

Could the current search with it's heavy tilt towards new files be a countermeasure to the new files not being shown properly in Nov/Dec? To give them a chance to be seen before resuming "normality" in regards to the best match search?

Unfortunately independent files are nowhere to be seen.

Hi Martin!

Looks the same to me really. They dont have to show any indy files since they are being mirrored at TS. They are counting on that independants will just sit quietly and watch their files being transfered.
This is where they are doing the mistake. Many will deactivate their most commercial files and ports, before the move. I have deactivated 90, of my most sold files, blue and red flames, etc. Reason being, I dont want that kind of stuff to end up in what is widely regarded as the ultimate dumping-ground. It gives a bad name, bad image, etc.
I personally know several creatives within ad-agencies, design-groups, ADs, etc, who will ONLY consult Getty for RM and RF and maybe the original IS but they certainly would not shop at TS! mind you, having said that, the majority, Im sure go to SS, today that is.

I understand what you are saying. However, from an exclusive point-of-view TS is on par with what Shutterstock is for an independent (in terms of royalties, model etc.).

Why on par ?
I make 42c vs 36c on SS as an exclusive.
That is 16% more!

Well both are low, but in the same ballpark. I'm sure you understood what I meant.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 30, 2011, 05:11
Top whack on SS is 38c but the overall average is about 55c per sale - for me, anyway.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: aeonf on December 30, 2011, 05:26
Top whack on SS is 38c but the overall average is about 55c per sale - for me, anyway.

Top whack on IS/TS is 44c so its still a 15.7% difference.
You average 55c on ALL sales, not ONLY subscription sales.
My average is 3.3$ including TS downloads.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 30, 2011, 05:30
If my eyes are not playing tricks on me and I haven't kept meticulous notes of file placement, it looks like the search is slightly less skewed towards only new files and a few better performers have started to rise? Anyone else seeing the same thing?

Could the current search with it's heavy tilt towards new files be a countermeasure to the new files not being shown properly in Nov/Dec? To give them a chance to be seen before resuming "normality" in regards to the best match search?

Unfortunately independent files are nowhere to be seen.

Hi Martin!

Looks the same to me really. They dont have to show any indy files since they are being mirrored at TS. They are counting on that independants will just sit quietly and watch their files being transfered.
This is where they are doing the mistake. Many will deactivate their most commercial files and ports, before the move. I have deactivated 90, of my most sold files, blue and red flames, etc. Reason being, I dont want that kind of stuff to end up in what is widely regarded as the ultimate dumping-ground. It gives a bad name, bad image, etc.
I personally know several creatives within ad-agencies, design-groups, ADs, etc, who will ONLY consult Getty for RM and RF and maybe the original IS but they certainly would not shop at TS! mind you, having said that, the majority, Im sure go to SS, today that is.

I understand what you are saying. However, from an exclusive point-of-view TS is on par with what Shutterstock is for an independent (in terms of royalties, model etc.).

Why on par ?
I make 42c vs 36c on SS as an exclusive.
That is 16% more!

Yeah,  ONLY at SS, they will sell ten times more per day!  plus all the 2.75. SODs plus all the ELs. TS, is a graveyard.  So what would you rather have?  5 x your rate or like me 50 x the SS rate/per day, plus 10 x SODs plus averagte of an EL/  all per day.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 30, 2011, 05:35
If my eyes are not playing tricks on me and I haven't kept meticulous notes of file placement, it looks like the search is slightly less skewed towards only new files and a few better performers have started to rise? Anyone else seeing the same thing?

Could the current search with it's heavy tilt towards new files be a countermeasure to the new files not being shown properly in Nov/Dec? To give them a chance to be seen before resuming "normality" in regards to the best match search?

Unfortunately independent files are nowhere to be seen.

Hi Martin!

Looks the same to me really. They dont have to show any indy files since they are being mirrored at TS. They are counting on that independants will just sit quietly and watch their files being transfered.
This is where they are doing the mistake. Many will deactivate their most commercial files and ports, before the move. I have deactivated 90, of my most sold files, blue and red flames, etc. Reason being, I dont want that kind of stuff to end up in what is widely regarded as the ultimate dumping-ground. It gives a bad name, bad image, etc.
I personally know several creatives within ad-agencies, design-groups, ADs, etc, who will ONLY consult Getty for RM and RF and maybe the original IS but they certainly would not shop at TS! mind you, having said that, the majority, Im sure go to SS, today that is.

I understand what you are saying. However, from an exclusive point-of-view TS is on par with what Shutterstock is for an independent (in terms of royalties, model etc.).

Why on par ?
I make 42c vs 36c on SS as an exclusive.
That is 16% more!

Yeah,  ONLY at SS, they will sell ten times more per day!  plus all the 2.75. SODs plus all the ELs. TS, is a graveyard.  So what would you rather have?

Completely understand that the volume at SS is much greater at the moment. But I guess TS has to be viewed as an extension of IS and with Getty behind it the future may be that it will rival SS in volume at the same model?

With the above in mind I fail to see why TS would be so much worse than SS? It is the same model at the same price level, viewed together as a unit with IS and with Getty behind it it's prospects are perhaps not that bleak?

Why call it a "dumping ground" when a combined IS/TS is the Getty equivalent to SS? Just thinking out loud.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 30, 2011, 05:45
Why call it a "dumping ground" when a combined IS/TS is the Getty equivalent to SS? Just thinking out loud.

That's rather how I see it, too. And it isn't a graveyard, either. If I separate them out, TS is my fourth largest earning agency, just behind DT and it's been consistently better than Fotolia ever was for me (three to four times better most months). Of course, that could change.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 30, 2011, 05:46
If my eyes are not playing tricks on me and I haven't kept meticulous notes of file placement, it looks like the search is slightly less skewed towards only new files and a few better performers have started to rise? Anyone else seeing the same thing?

Could the current search with it's heavy tilt towards new files be a countermeasure to the new files not being shown properly in Nov/Dec? To give them a chance to be seen before resuming "normality" in regards to the best match search?

Unfortunately independent files are nowhere to be seen.

Hi Martin!

Looks the same to me really. They dont have to show any indy files since they are being mirrored at TS. They are counting on that independants will just sit quietly and watch their files being transfered.
This is where they are doing the mistake. Many will deactivate their most commercial files and ports, before the move. I have deactivated 90, of my most sold files, blue and red flames, etc. Reason being, I dont want that kind of stuff to end up in what is widely regarded as the ultimate dumping-ground. It gives a bad name, bad image, etc.
I personally know several creatives within ad-agencies, design-groups, ADs, etc, who will ONLY consult Getty for RM and RF and maybe the original IS but they certainly would not shop at TS! mind you, having said that, the majority, Im sure go to SS, today that is.

I understand what you are saying. However, from an exclusive point-of-view TS is on par with what Shutterstock is for an independent (in terms of royalties, model etc.).

Why on par ?
I make 42c vs 36c on SS as an exclusive.
That is 16% more!

Yeah,  ONLY at SS, they will sell ten times more per day!  plus all the 2.75. SODs plus all the ELs. TS, is a graveyard.  So what would you rather have?

Completely understand that the volume at SS is much greater at the moment. But I guess TS has to be viewed as an extension of IS and with Getty behind it the future may be that it will rival SS in volume at the same model?

With the above in mind I fail to see why TS would be so much worse than SS? It is the same model at the same price level, viewed together as a unit with IS and with Getty behind it it's prospects are perhaps not that bleak?

Why call it a "dumping ground" when a combined IS/TS is the Getty equivalent to SS? Just thinking out loud.

Well maybe not a dumping-ground as such but you know what I mean. Thats where Getty/IS, will throw all independant files in the world, regardless of high quality or not, so in the end buyers will still have to wade through tons of irrelevant material.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 30, 2011, 05:48
Why call it a "dumping ground" when a combined IS/TS is the Getty equivalent to SS? Just thinking out loud.

That's rather how I see it, too. And it isn't a graveyard, either. If I separate them out, TS is my fourth largest earning agency, just behind DT and it's been consistently better than Fotolia ever was for me (three to four times better most months). Of course, that could change.

Blimey!  I didnt even know you were with TS, I thought somewhere you said you didnt go for them?  oh well I might be wrong, or was Gostwyck,  cant remember.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 30, 2011, 05:54
If my eyes are not playing tricks on me and I haven't kept meticulous notes of file placement, it looks like the search is slightly less skewed towards only new files and a few better performers have started to rise? Anyone else seeing the same thing?

Could the current search with it's heavy tilt towards new files be a countermeasure to the new files not being shown properly in Nov/Dec? To give them a chance to be seen before resuming "normality" in regards to the best match search?

Unfortunately independent files are nowhere to be seen.

Hi Martin!

Looks the same to me really. They dont have to show any indy files since they are being mirrored at TS. They are counting on that independants will just sit quietly and watch their files being transfered.
This is where they are doing the mistake. Many will deactivate their most commercial files and ports, before the move. I have deactivated 90, of my most sold files, blue and red flames, etc. Reason being, I dont want that kind of stuff to end up in what is widely regarded as the ultimate dumping-ground. It gives a bad name, bad image, etc.
I personally know several creatives within ad-agencies, design-groups, ADs, etc, who will ONLY consult Getty for RM and RF and maybe the original IS but they certainly would not shop at TS! mind you, having said that, the majority, Im sure go to SS, today that is.

I understand what you are saying. However, from an exclusive point-of-view TS is on par with what Shutterstock is for an independent (in terms of royalties, model etc.).

Why on par ?
I make 42c vs 36c on SS as an exclusive.
That is 16% more!

Yeah,  ONLY at SS, they will sell ten times more per day!  plus all the 2.75. SODs plus all the ELs. TS, is a graveyard.  So what would you rather have?

Completely understand that the volume at SS is much greater at the moment. But I guess TS has to be viewed as an extension of IS and with Getty behind it the future may be that it will rival SS in volume at the same model?

With the above in mind I fail to see why TS would be so much worse than SS? It is the same model at the same price level, viewed together as a unit with IS and with Getty behind it it's prospects are perhaps not that bleak?

Why call it a "dumping ground" when a combined IS/TS is the Getty equivalent to SS? Just thinking out loud.

Well maybe not a dumping-ground as such but you know what I mean. Thats where Getty/IS, will throw all independant files in the world, regardless of high quality or not, so in the end buyers will still have to wade through tons of irrelevant material.

I must be slow today! Yet again I fail to see the vast difference. The majority of all independent files are at all the independent agencies such as SS, why would those images + the ones from iStock exclusives turn irrelevant all of a sudden just because they are at TS? Or do you mean the ones that are going to be transferred from "proper" Getty RM/RF to TS turn irrelevant when they end up at TS?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 30, 2011, 06:01
Had a quick look at the search at TS and it looks fine to me? Certainly doesn't return anything that looks highly irrelevant or particularly low quality. Most of the stuff I see are the same as on iStock from independents and exclusives, as well as SS.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 30, 2011, 06:11
Why call it a "dumping ground" when a combined IS/TS is the Getty equivalent to SS? Just thinking out loud.

That's rather how I see it, too. And it isn't a graveyard, either. If I separate them out, TS is my fourth largest earning agency, just behind DT and it's been consistently better than Fotolia ever was for me (three to four times better most months). Of course, that could change.

Blimey!  I didnt even know you were with TS, I thought somewhere you said you didnt go for them?  oh well I might be wrong, or was Gostwyck,  cant remember.

I was very sceptical when it was announced and made some posts accordingly. However, I pretty quickly revised my opinion and decided that the arguments against it were just a rerun of the arguments the trads made against the micros in the first place and that resistance was futile and counterproductive. You won't have seen a post from me against it for getting on for two years now. Gostwyck has been consistently against it.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 30, 2011, 06:29
Had a quick look at the search at TS and it looks fine to me? Certainly doesn't return anything that looks highly irrelevant or particularly low quality. Most of the stuff I see are the same as on iStock from independents and exclusives, as well as SS.

Yes, the talk about it all being third-rate cr@p is nonsense. In niche markets, Istock files are well up the search but if you check "business" you find only about 10-20% of the files are from iS on the first page of the search (which is a good mix from different agencies). It's also worth noting there are 720,000 files on TS for business, compared with 550,000 on iStock, which may explain why some people don't do too well there: if you are concentrating on the top-selling subjects the competition is intense and iS content is getting limited exposure.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 30, 2011, 06:40
Looking through the business results, I must say that it seems to me that the "mutual inspiration" on iStock has led to a same-ishness in the content that TS has escaped from because of the diversity of its source material. For that particular search I would reckon TS beats iS.
Maybe people need to start looking beyond the top of the search by dls on the micros to get "inspired".
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 30, 2011, 07:42
If my eyes are not playing tricks on me and I haven't kept meticulous notes of file placement, it looks like the search is slightly less skewed towards only new files and a few better performers have started to rise? Anyone else seeing the same thing?
Ever since the current 'only exclusives on the first (few) page(s) best match, there have been different results on different searches, which actually has been the case for a while now. So for example, in the test searches I do, "African Elephant" is still totally dominated by recent uploads, so that two people dominate the top of that search, apart from one V and one A right at the beginning.
'Elephant', however, is totally dominated by Vetta images, so that CSA is still hogging the first page.
'Iceberg' seems to be pretty mixed, though (other thab exclusives only) - can't work it out at all.
'Telesales' seems to have a 'contributor' bias, at several price points, in the top screen but new files are not hogging the very top.
If I get time, I'll compare my screenshots from the weekend, but I think that'll only be African Elephant and Iceberg.

Whatever, although my December started well up, sales this week are well below the same week in previous years, so any 'exclusive boost' isn't helping me!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 30, 2011, 07:50
Had a quick look at the search at TS and it looks fine to me? Certainly doesn't return anything that looks highly irrelevant or particularly low quality. Most of the stuff I see are the same as on iStock from independents and exclusives, as well as SS.

Yes, the talk about it all being third-rate cr@p is nonsense. In niche markets, Istock files are well up the search but if you check "business" you find only about 10-20% of the files are from iS on the first page of the search (which is a good mix from different agencies). It's also worth noting there are 720,000 files on TS for business, compared with 550,000 on iStock, which may explain why some people don't do too well there: if you are concentrating on the top-selling subjects the competition is intense and iS content is getting limited exposure.

had a look at the TS search, first time really and I agree, not bad stuff at all, in fact I am surprised. However, its not only that, is it?  I mean before we know it, they start messing with their search and then what?  we are back to square one, same as with IS, and the wheel starts spinning yet again.
See what I mean, all this business with the IS, search for years and one becomes paranoid. :-\
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 30, 2011, 07:59
Yeah, but if you don't change the best match, all that happens is that some contributors benefit at the expense of others, and buyers keep seeing the same stuff at the top of searches every time, or with very little change.

Swings and roundabouts. Not that I'm defending the current best match.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 30, 2011, 08:31
There are lots of ways of making a best match compensate for reinforcing effects without necessarily overturning the apple cart. Anyway, there's no knowing whether they are going to play silly-Bs with the TS search or not. I wouldn't think there is the same pressure on them to favour one group or another as there is at iStock. They don't stand to gain hugely from the sale of a file from one collection compared with the sale from another.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 30, 2011, 08:41
For me to even consider, leaving the rest of my port at IS, I will have to see it get back to at least 50% of the normal intake or else considering the ancient upload-process and everything?  just isnt worth the time.

Christian - you are familiar with DeepMeta right? Makes it a doodle to upload, organising releases, update keywords and lots of other tasks.

Are you serious? DM is prehistoric compared to other sites. You still have to tick/check boxes besides keywords and while you can do it for multiple photos at the time, it's still a lot of work, at least for me, because I have differently keyworded images (only similars share them). DM really isn't much of an improvement, so I don't even use it because I don't UL much. In fact it's the worst piece of software I've ever used, but what can you expect from IS, which is by far the worst MS site to use, the most time consuming, most unintuitive and by far the buggiest site (not only MS site, but generally speaking). It amazes me it doesn't frustrate way more ppl
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 30, 2011, 08:49
If my eyes are not playing tricks on me and I haven't kept meticulous notes of file placement, it looks like the search is slightly less skewed towards only new files and a few better performers have started to rise? Anyone else seeing the same thing?

Could the current search with it's heavy tilt towards new files be a countermeasure to the new files not being shown properly in Nov/Dec? To give them a chance to be seen before resuming "normality" in regards to the best match search?

Unfortunately independent files are nowhere to be seen.

Hi Martin!

Looks the same to me really. They dont have to show any indy files since they are being mirrored at TS. They are counting on that independants will just sit quietly and watch their files being transfered.
This is where they are doing the mistake. Many will deactivate their most commercial files and ports, before the move. I have deactivated 90, of my most sold files, blue and red flames, etc. Reason being, I dont want that kind of stuff to end up in what is widely regarded as the ultimate dumping-ground. It gives a bad name, bad image, etc.
I personally know several creatives within ad-agencies, design-groups, ADs, etc, who will ONLY consult Getty for RM and RF and maybe the original IS but they certainly would not shop at TS! mind you, having said that, the majority, Im sure go to SS, today that is.

I understand what you are saying. However, from an exclusive point-of-view TS is on par with what Shutterstock is for an independent (in terms of royalties, model etc.).

Why on par ?
I make 42c vs 36c on SS as an exclusive.
That is 16% more!

It's so funny how incredibly stubborn some of you hardcore exclusives are ;D . Always deliberately forgetting ODs, SODs and EL at SS, which actually happen, which account for let's say 1/3 up to 2/3 of our sales, so many are averaging more than at IS excluding PP sales. When we include PP sales, the RPD is pathetic, way way lower than at SS. In fact way way lower than at any other site.

But I can understand you talking such nonsense, since you don't have a clue about other sites. And how can you, I really don't blame you for that, you're isolated in your rosy Getty world.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 30, 2011, 09:00
Completely understand that the volume at SS is much greater at the moment. But I guess TS has to be viewed as an extension of IS and with Getty behind it the future may be that it will rival SS in volume at the same model?

With the above in mind I fail to see why TS would be so much worse than SS? It is the same model at the same price level, viewed together as a unit with IS and with Getty behind it it's prospects are perhaps not that bleak?

Just wait until they have enough content and make the cuts ;) . Then you'll see why it's so much worse than SS, even if they manage to get the same volume - which I don't know what you're basing on, since traffic to IS is falling at a dramatic level, so do earnings for most, save the select group and some really outstanding contributors
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 30, 2011, 09:05
Had a quick look at the search at TS and it looks fine to me? Certainly doesn't return anything that looks highly irrelevant or particularly low quality. Most of the stuff I see are the same as on iStock from independents and exclusives, as well as SS.

Yes, the talk about it all being third-rate cr@p is nonsense. In niche markets, Istock files are well up the search but if you check "business" you find only about 10-20% of the files are from iS on the first page of the search (which is a good mix from different agencies). It's also worth noting there are 720,000 files on TS for business, compared with 550,000 on iStock, which may explain why some people don't do too well there: if you are concentrating on the top-selling subjects the competition is intense and iS content is getting limited exposure.

had a look at the TS search, first time really and I agree, not bad stuff at all, in fact I am surprised. However, its not only that, is it?  I mean before we know it, they start messing with their search and then what?  we are back to square one, same as with IS, and the wheel starts spinning yet again.
See what I mean, all this business with the IS, search for years and one becomes paranoid. :-\

Have the thought not crossed your mind that SS or any of the other significant "independent" agencies might get inspired by IS and start their own messing about with their searches....no-one is never safe...nothing will stay the same :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 30, 2011, 09:14
If my eyes are not playing tricks on me and I haven't kept meticulous notes of file placement, it looks like the search is slightly less skewed towards only new files and a few better performers have started to rise? Anyone else seeing the same thing?

Could the current search with it's heavy tilt towards new files be a countermeasure to the new files not being shown properly in Nov/Dec? To give them a chance to be seen before resuming "normality" in regards to the best match search?

Unfortunately independent files are nowhere to be seen.

Hi Martin!

Looks the same to me really. They dont have to show any indy files since they are being mirrored at TS. They are counting on that independants will just sit quietly and watch their files being transfered.
This is where they are doing the mistake. Many will deactivate their most commercial files and ports, before the move. I have deactivated 90, of my most sold files, blue and red flames, etc. Reason being, I dont want that kind of stuff to end up in what is widely regarded as the ultimate dumping-ground. It gives a bad name, bad image, etc.
I personally know several creatives within ad-agencies, design-groups, ADs, etc, who will ONLY consult Getty for RM and RF and maybe the original IS but they certainly would not shop at TS! mind you, having said that, the majority, Im sure go to SS, today that is.

I understand what you are saying. However, from an exclusive point-of-view TS is on par with what Shutterstock is for an independent (in terms of royalties, model etc.).

Why on par ?
I make 42c vs 36c on SS as an exclusive.
That is 16% more!

It's so funny how incredibly stubborn some of you hardcore exclusives are ;D . Always deliberately forgetting ODs, SODs and EL at SS, which actually happen, which account for let's say 1/3 up to 2/3 of our sales, so many are averaging more than at IS excluding PP sales. When we include PP sales, the RPD is pathetic, way way lower than at SS. In fact way way lower than at any other site.

But I can understand you talking such nonsense, since you don't have a clue about other sites. And how can you, I really don't blame you for that, you're isolated in your rosy Getty world.

Not forgetting anything, hence the argument that perhaps for exclusives IS&TS should be lumped together for comparable reasons (like for like) to SS and similars. Naturally TS is not yet on par with SS in the subscription segment, but who knows what will happen with time and Getty behind it. Is TS Getty's attack on SS?

No, I don't know much about the other sites, not in details, only bits and pieces, in a nonsensical kind of way.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 30, 2011, 09:16
Completely understand that the volume at SS is much greater at the moment. But I guess TS has to be viewed as an extension of IS and with Getty behind it the future may be that it will rival SS in volume at the same model?

With the above in mind I fail to see why TS would be so much worse than SS? It is the same model at the same price level, viewed together as a unit with IS and with Getty behind it it's prospects are perhaps not that bleak?

Just wait until they have enough content and make the cuts ;) . Then you'll see why it's so much worse than SS, even if they manage to get the same volume - which I don't know what you're basing on, since traffic to IS is falling at a dramatic level, so do earnings for most, save the select group and some really outstanding contributors

Don't think for a moment any cuts will be made before they have a firm grip around SS's neck...figuratively speaking and pure speculation only of course.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 30, 2011, 09:25
Completely understand that the volume at SS is much greater at the moment. But I guess TS has to be viewed as an extension of IS and with Getty behind it the future may be that it will rival SS in volume at the same model?

With the above in mind I fail to see why TS would be so much worse than SS? It is the same model at the same price level, viewed together as a unit with IS and with Getty behind it it's prospects are perhaps not that bleak?

Just wait until they have enough content and make the cuts ;) . Then you'll see why it's so much worse than SS, even if they manage to get the same volume - which I don't know what you're basing on, since traffic to IS is falling at a dramatic level, so do earnings for most, save the select group and some really outstanding contributors

Don't think for a moment any cuts will be made before they have a firm grip around SS's neck...figuratively speaking and pure speculation only of course.

Well just have to sit back and wait for a while to see TS's progress. IMO, we won't live long enough to witness it (or MS will simply seize to exist before that), I don't think any (sub)site can endanger SS. They offer great prices, great site, that's always working, search results that mostly deliver good results and don't screw the contributors (which as we all know are often buyers as well or they're at least connected with them). They're top sub site from the start. Now they're smartly adding new ways of buying images, without complicating anything for the buyers.

All that being said, I'm not loving SS, being a SS cheerleader etc. They're just the best that an independent can deal with, for most anyway. If they'd still give raises every year, than I could easily even say that I care deeply about them ;D . But in the situation that MS is in, we really can't realistically expect to get much more.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 30, 2011, 09:30
No!  there is no reason for SS, to start messing around with their search, they have not got an exclusivity program!  everone is an independant ( thats where they went right from the start). i.e.  they dont have to construde a search, geared towards certain contributors or any other funny stuff. It wouldnt render anything.

Wut!  is right though, many IS exclusives ( not saying you in particular)  but they do not want to listen to all the SOD, EL, etc, etc, but want to think of it, just as a subs site. Yet, many times per week, my SOD sales, EL, etc, are by far outnumbering the subs.

Other good agencies as FT and DT, yes sometimes they do a change but within reason,  reason for everybody, not like IS, totally demolishing many portfolios. Nobody minds a constructive search-change. Not destructive changes.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 30, 2011, 09:33
Completely understand that the volume at SS is much greater at the moment. But I guess TS has to be viewed as an extension of IS and with Getty behind it the future may be that it will rival SS in volume at the same model?

With the above in mind I fail to see why TS would be so much worse than SS? It is the same model at the same price level, viewed together as a unit with IS and with Getty behind it it's prospects are perhaps not that bleak?

Just wait until they have enough content and make the cuts ;) . Then you'll see why it's so much worse than SS, even if they manage to get the same volume - which I don't know what you're basing on, since traffic to IS is falling at a dramatic level, so do earnings for most, save the select group and some really outstanding contributors

Don't think for a moment any cuts will be made before they have a firm grip around SS's neck...figuratively speaking and pure speculation only of course.

Well just have to sit back and wait for a while to see TS's progress. IMO, we won't live long enough to witness it (or MS will simply seize to exist before that), I don't think any (sub)site can endanger SS. They offer great prices, great site, that's always working, search results that mostly deliver good results and don't screw the contributors (which as we all know are often buyers as well or they're at least connected with them). They're top sub site from the start. Now they're smartly adding new ways of buying images, without complicating anything for the buyers.

All that being said, I'm not loving SS, being a SS cheerleader etc. They're just the best that an independent can deal with, for most anyway. If they'd still give raises every year, than I could easily even say that I care deeply about them ;D . But in the situation that MS is in, we really can't realistically expect to get much more.

Agreeing!  buy your right we wont live long enough to see the transfers, so far they have managed to mirror a staggering 5 files. pugh!  must be heavy work, hey?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pro@stockphotos on December 30, 2011, 09:44
No!  there is no reason for SS, to start messing around with their search, they have not got an exclusivity program!  everone is an independant ( thats where they went right from the start). i.e.  they dont have to construde a search, geared towards certain contributors or any other funny stuff. It wouldnt render anything.

Wut!  is right though, many IS exclusives ( not saying you in particular)  but they do not want to listen to all the SOD, EL, etc, etc, but want to think of it, just as a subs site. Yet, many times per week, my SOD sales, EL, etc, are by far outnumbering the subs.

Other good agencies as FT and DT, yes sometimes they do a change but within reason,  reason for everybody, not like IS, totally demolishing many portfolios. Nobody minds a constructive search-change. Not destructive changes.

Can TS introduce " SOD, EL, etc, etc," and did SS start with these higher price offerings when they first started out?  In other words TS may not be stuck at low subscription pricing in the future.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 30, 2011, 09:46
Had a quick look at the search at TS and it looks fine to me? Certainly doesn't return anything that looks highly irrelevant or particularly low quality. Most of the stuff I see are the same as on iStock from independents and exclusives, as well as SS.

Yes, the talk about it all being third-rate cr@p is nonsense. In niche markets, Istock files are well up the search but if you check "business" you find only about 10-20% of the files are from iS on the first page of the search (which is a good mix from different agencies). It's also worth noting there are 720,000 files on TS for business, compared with 550,000 on iStock, which may explain why some people don't do too well there: if you are concentrating on the top-selling subjects the competition is intense and iS content is getting limited exposure.

When it opened, it was third rate crap.  A search on business returned nothing but images from some Japanese dude.  Thanks to everyone saying "oh, it's a different market", and IS forcing stuff to TS, now it has more diversity.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: imageegami on December 30, 2011, 09:56
But JJRD said it was a different market :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: aeonf on December 30, 2011, 09:59
I have plenty of "SOD's, EL's etc etc's" on IS. TS is for subscriptions.  When you combine the 2 since it is essentially the same agency the results are still better the SS as an exclusive.
I too fail to understand why TS/IS isn't comparable to SS. (it is)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on December 30, 2011, 10:02
I have plenty of "SOD's, EL's etc etc's" on IS. TS is for subscriptions.  When you combine the 2 since it is essentially the same agency the results are still better the SS as an exclusive.
I too fail to understand why TS/IS isn't comparable to SS. (it is)

That is exactly my point. Combined (IS/TS) is a more of a direct comparable to SS, especially for exclusives.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 30, 2011, 10:06
I have plenty of "SOD's, EL's etc etc's" on IS. TS is for subscriptions.  When you combine the 2 since it is essentially the same agency the results are still better the SS as an exclusive.
I too fail to understand why TS/IS isn't comparable to SS. (it is)

That is exactly my point. Combined (IS/TS) is a more of a direct comparable to SS, especially for exclusives.
For those exclusives who are involved, you'd have to count all of IS/TS and any Getty sales achieved via the iStock route.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: aeonf on December 30, 2011, 10:08
I have plenty of "SOD's, EL's etc etc's" on IS. TS is for subscriptions.  When you combine the 2 since it is essentially the same agency the results are still better the SS as an exclusive.
I too fail to understand why TS/IS isn't comparable to SS. (it is)

That is exactly my point. Combined (IS/TS) is a more of a direct comparable to SS, especially for exclusives.
For those exclusives who are involved, you'd have to count all of IS/TS and any Getty sales achieved via the iStock route.

That's exactly what I do.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 30, 2011, 10:20
I have plenty of "SOD's, EL's etc etc's" on IS. TS is for subscriptions.  When you combine the 2 since it is essentially the same agency the results are still better the SS as an exclusive.
I too fail to understand why TS/IS isn't comparable to SS. (it is)

That is exactly my point. Combined (IS/TS) is a more of a direct comparable to SS, especially for exclusives.
For those exclusives who are involved, you'd have to count all of IS/TS and any Getty sales achieved via the iStock route.

And for most independent contributors you'd have to include BigStock earnings in with those of SS. I only upload to SS and then the 'Bridge to BigStock' takes care of the rest.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 30, 2011, 10:33
And what a lot of meaningless nonsense you'll end up with by the time you've finished adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing and averaging all the possible combinations and permutations of income from the various sites and their subsidiaries!

I can't even figure out what anybody is trying to demonstrate with this any more.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: aeonf on December 30, 2011, 10:40
The demostration is to show that IS is comparable to SS.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 30, 2011, 10:48
The demostration is to show that IS is comparable to SS.

Not just to demonstrate that you can prove anything with statistics, then?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 30, 2011, 10:55
And what a lot of meaningless nonsense you'll end up with by the time you've finished adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing and averaging all the possible combinations and permutations of income from the various sites and their subsidiaries!

I can't even figure out what anybody is trying to demonstrate with this any more.

For istock, you would't have to do any sums. It all shows up in your stats charts.
Someone else can enlighten us about S/BS, which would be one simple addition if needed.
One person's figures have absolutely NO relation on anyone else's; but there might, or might not be an overall trend.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gbalex on December 30, 2011, 10:58
Had a quick look at the search at TS and it looks fine to me? Certainly doesn't return anything that looks highly irrelevant or particularly low quality. Most of the stuff I see are the same as on iStock from independents and exclusives, as well as SS.


Yes, the talk about it all being third-rate cr@p is nonsense. In niche markets, Istock files are well up the search but if you check "business" you find only about 10-20% of the files are from iS on the first page of the search (which is a good mix from different agencies). It's also worth noting there are 720,000 files on TS for business, compared with 550,000 on iStock, which may explain why some people don't do too well there: if you are concentrating on the top-selling subjects the competition is intense and iS content is getting limited exposure.


had a look at the TS search, first time really and I agree, not bad stuff at all, in fact I am surprised. However, its not only that, is it?  I mean before we know it, they start messing with their search and then what?  we are back to square one, same as with IS, and the wheel starts spinning yet again.
See what I mean, all this business with the IS, search for years and one becomes paranoid. :-\


Have the thought not crossed your mind that SS or any of the other significant "independent" agencies might get inspired by IS and start their own messing about with their searches....no-one is never safe...nothing will stay the same :)


Yes the thought has crossed my mind.  SS Job listings posted here a couple of months ago for a search engine programmer.

http://www.microstockgroup.com/shutterstock-com/do-you-think-ss-will-one-day-be-as-%27evil%27-as-isft/msg228086/?topicseen#msg228086 (http://www.microstockgroup.com/shutterstock-com/do-you-think-ss-will-one-day-be-as-%27evil%27-as-isft/msg228086/?topicseen#msg228086)

http://www.shutterstock.com/jobs.mhtml?nl=1&jvi=o46KVfwz,Job&jvs=Indeed&jvk=Job (http://www.shutterstock.com/jobs.mhtml?nl=1&jvi=o46KVfwz,Job&jvs=Indeed&jvk=Job)
"Among other great benefits, Shutterstock offers competitive salaries, health and dental plans, 401k, company equity, daily breakfasts, weekly massages, discounted gym memberships"

http://www.shutterstock.com/jobs.mhtml?nl=1&jvi=oIjWVfwC,Job&jvs=Indeed&jvk=Job (http://www.shutterstock.com/jobs.mhtml?nl=1&jvi=oIjWVfwC,Job&jvs=Indeed&jvk=Job)
"Search Engineer

We have a lot of challenging problems ahead of us, including:

    Helping customers find the images theyíre looking for as fast as possible.
    Providing recommendations based on a customerís searches, social graph, and other factors.
    Developing a framework to support rapid development of dynamic ranking algorithms.
    Creating a massively parallelized and real-time indexing process.
    Tracking search analytics and automatically acting on the results.

Our search engine is built on Perl and Solr.  Ideally you will have previous experience working with Solr and programming in Java. Being a JVM or Perl guru is an added bonus.  All candidates should have experience working on search engines and solving problems with large datasets."
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 30, 2011, 11:07
I have plenty of "SOD's, EL's etc etc's" on IS. TS is for subscriptions.  When you combine the 2 since it is essentially the same agency the results are still better the SS as an exclusive.
I too fail to understand why TS/IS isn't comparable to SS. (it is)

That is exactly my point. Combined (IS/TS) is a more of a direct comparable to SS, especially for exclusives.

You see, both of you're still not getting it! ;D SS, which you always mark as a sub (only) agency, not only has ODs, single sale purchase and ELs, but also sells them frequently and in huge volumes. TS has some kind of a higher priced option, I'm not sure what it is, I guess it's the EL option (which they pay at a pathetically low level), but they rarely happen. That's why my Nov PP average is just below 30c. So that higher priced product really adds nothing to the overall RPD. Now you've all over sudden added IS into equation, while so many of you have been talking all the time that TS is no worse than SS (some said it's actually better). Do you now see the disconnect between what you're saying and what things look like in the real world?

I really think things should be clear. It's not about exclusives vs indies, in fact I'm against it, it's contra productive. We should be fighting the beast, so they don't impose cuts and other things that are diminishing our earnings
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: jbarber873 on December 30, 2011, 11:08
The demostration is to show that IS is comparable to SS.

     It is comparable, except for the drama. But the whole comparison thing is pointless, because so many on both sides , independent and exclusive, have made decisions that they are now stuck with, so it's natural to defend your choice. I think the time when an exclusive could realistically become an independent is over. At most, a small percentage of files would be accepted at SS, given how stringent the reviewers are there now, so a portfolio at IS built up over years is pretty much the only game in town now for exclusives. So you better hope for that coming world domination of Thinkstock.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 30, 2011, 11:08
Had a quick look at the search at TS and it looks fine to me? Certainly doesn't return anything that looks highly irrelevant or particularly low quality. Most of the stuff I see are the same as on iStock from independents and exclusives, as well as SS.

Yes, the talk about it all being third-rate cr@p is nonsense. In niche markets, Istock files are well up the search but if you check "business" you find only about 10-20% of the files are from iS on the first page of the search (which is a good mix from different agencies). It's also worth noting there are 720,000 files on TS for business, compared with 550,000 on iStock, which may explain why some people don't do too well there: if you are concentrating on the top-selling subjects the competition is intense and iS content is getting limited exposure.

When it opened, it was third rate crap.  A search on business returned nothing but images from some Japanese dude.  Thanks to everyone saying "oh, it's a different market", and IS forcing stuff to TS, now it has more diversity.

If you look at the collection names in the "business" search, you'll see that only 15% of the top end of the search is allowed to be from iStock, so the diversity comes from the spread of collections that Getty have piled into it rather than from the actions or opinions of iSTock contributors.

The iStock content has given TS breadth, filling in the more off-beat niches, while the mainstream searches are well-supplied with 85% non-iS files on the leading pages.  
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: RacePhoto on December 30, 2011, 11:11
The demostration is to show that IS is comparable to SS.

Not just to demonstrate that you can prove anything with statistics, then?

Ah I knew it, we were twins separated at birth when it comes to this answer.  :)

IS is not SS in so many ways. And ThinkStock was what I pointed out and others have too. It was a warehouse for dusty old photos from all the collections that Getty had sitting is some closet. But Ah Ha, someone woke up, took our images hostage and moved them all to ThinkStock. Now that story has changed. (it's still not SS!) ThinkStock we get 25c from StockXpert, and 28c from IS. That's the facts, not "maybe some day it will change" it's the way it is.

SS people get 25, 33 or 38 and the sales volume is much greater. I for one had all the same images (except a few that one took and the other rejected) on IS, SS, ThinkStock, StockXpert and BigStock. So let me point out, I dropped StockXpert/ThinkStock which made five or six sales a month at 25c. BigStock makes less sales, but I get either 50c or $1 a download, so BigStock beats StockXpert. (I dropped StockXpert in Nov.) IS sales through ThinkStock run more than all of the previous added together but, and here's the key, SS makes more sales and more money than all the the rest, including IS regular sales, added together. Most Months Now and then I get a EL on IS and it moves up above SS.

Point is, SS is consistent, sells day after day, month after month and doesn't keep changing the rules and moving the bar. I'm at 15% now, after 3-4 years, because why? Unsustainable financially is their claim. The problem is they made all kinds of primises and plans and now we are paying for that by cuts in commissions.

Where did SS cut commissions? They offer an incentive that's realistic. IS takes away incentives and offers some mysterious levels, which aren't even disclosed.

Yes I was wrong about ThinkStock. I thought it wasn't a problem. People could opt in or out, they had a bunch of junk leftovers. But Getty fixed that and took all the Indy files and forced us over there. Then put the ThinkStock files from IS at the head of the search, so they could get more 25 cent sub sales, and divert our sales from IS, and customers, over to ThinkStock. It's the camel with it's nose under the tent. Once that happens it's too late. Well fans, it's too late! IS lowers pay, diverts buyers, moves images to 25c sales instead of standard IS pricing and fools with the search. SS does none of that. They are nothing alike!

Hey yes, SS will bridge your photos to a site that pays more commission. How's that so much unlike IS and their shell game, and we're the peas.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gbalex on December 30, 2011, 11:16
No!  there is no reason for SS, to start messing around with their search, they have not got an exclusivity program! everone is an independant ( thats where they went right from the start). i.e.  they dont have to construde a search, geared towards certain contributors or any other funny stuff. It wouldnt render anything.

Wut!  is right though, many IS exclusives ( not saying you in particular)  but they do not want to listen to all the SOD, EL, etc, etc, but want to think of it, just as a subs site. Yet, many times per week, my SOD sales, EL, etc, are by far outnumbering the subs.

Other good agencies as FT and DT, yes sometimes they do a change but within reason,  reason for everybody, not like IS, totally demolishing many portfolios. Nobody minds a constructive search-change. Not destructive changes.

I doubt that there is a site out there who values the welfare of contributors ahead of maximizing profits for themselves.  As sites become flush with cash some of the search capabilities they develop will not be in our best interest, they will be made to enhance the sites bottom line.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 30, 2011, 11:21
As sites become flush with cash the search capabilities they develop will not be in our best interest, they will be made to enhance the sites bottom line.

This is exactly the reason, or better said one of them, that cause recessions. And I could never understand such greed, it's beyond my comprehension. But that the misconception of capitalism, constant growth, which is, as we experienced, not possible to be lasting forever.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 30, 2011, 11:24
I doubt that there is a site out there who values the welfare of contributors ahead of maximizing profits for themselves.  

But there might just be one or two that see long-term profitability and looking after contributors as being inextricably linked. What appears to be happening to iStock (and possibly Fotolia) surely sends a message to others. At least, we can hope so.

I must go to my PO Box to see if I got a Christmas card from SS.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gbalex on December 30, 2011, 11:35
I doubt that there is a site out there who values the welfare of contributors ahead of maximizing profits for themselves.  

But there might just be one or two that see long-term profitability and looking after contributors as being inextricably linked. What appears to be happening to iStock (and possibly Fotolia) surely sends a message to others. At least, we can hope so.

I must go to my PO Box to see if I got a Christmas card from SS.

I think it is up to us to send them that message loud and clear.

Good luck with that Christmas Card.  I have found that tokens handed out only to a chosen few, are often designed stroke our egos and cloud our vision.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: luissantos84 on December 30, 2011, 11:43
The demostration is to show that IS is comparable to SS.

Not just to demonstrate that you can prove anything with statistics, then?

no! it ainīt comparable in any way.. actually TS doesnīt have anything to compete with SS (volume of subs).. in the other way SS has a lot more to compare regarding SOD, OD, EL which everybody keep on having more and more.. IS doesnīt look good in the long term, some can have faith..
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: aeonf on December 30, 2011, 11:48
^^^ I don't believe in faith.  I believe in numbers.  Mine are OK so far.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: TheDman on December 30, 2011, 12:03
I am not denying there is a price differential between independent files on Istock and other sites, nor that some buyers would be looking for the best price.  What I am saying is that the price differential is not the reason for the RECENT (past year) exodus of buyers.  How do I know this?  There has been a price differential for several years, and Istock was selling very, very well for independents, and was the top or second place earner for pretty much every independent supplier until this year.  If it was only price that was the issue, then sales would have shown it all along.  

I frankly think it has a lot to do with the crazy price differences on istock's site alone. Where I work we develop and implement thousands of websites, and we very often send customers out to stock sites to select some stock they want to use. Istock used to be our go-to recommendation, but we're starting to shy away from recommending them because too many times the customers will come back wanting to use a Vetta/Agency image that will be out of the price range we led them to believe.

I'm sure there's a market for Vetta. However, it should have been broken off as a separate site entirely, or just simply added to Getty. The collections needed to be much more clearly delineated. And now with Agency, Exclusive+, etc there are just way too many price points, all heaped into the same search results. Buyers don't know what to expect. Many of them are infrequent buyers who don't keep up on the latest istock pricing craziness; all they know is they used to search for stuff and find low-priced photos, and now the same searching produces vastly higher priced stuff. So they look elsewhere.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Eco on December 30, 2011, 12:15
Stimulating discussion, especially the comparison between IS and SS.

What I find interesting is that some of the IS exclusives based their defense of IS on their experience of IS in the PAST or TODAY without asking themselves objectively what about the FUTURE. What will it be like this time next year or two, three, five years from now? I get the impression that many diehard IS exclusives is suffering from denial. To survive in this volatile microstock market it is critical to keep an ear on the ground and make TIMELY decisions to counter disasters and to exploit opportunities.  If it is not clear by now that the glory days of IS is likely over I don't know what will convince you.

Everybody for himself, but for me to be exclusive to IS today is comparable to sitting on the deck of the titanic sipping sundowners totally oblivious to the fact that the ship is taking on water fast - that mighty ship believed to be unsinkable. The rest is history. Maybe you can also be a star in a movie one day.  

I am not against IS, but I am objective. For me personally IS it the titanic, but I am already on my live boat. Despite the lowest income from IS this December since March 2006 when I started I still manage to increase my overall microstock income on a monthly basis. This is very encouraging and frankly I cannot give a * what IS do with their best match. If I sell something there I will take the money - if donít sell anything (like the last 5 days) I can survive quite handsomely without them.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 30, 2011, 12:16
I am not denying there is a price differential between independent files on Istock and other sites, nor that some buyers would be looking for the best price.  What I am saying is that the price differential is not the reason for the RECENT (past year) exodus of buyers.  How do I know this?  There has been a price differential for several years, and Istock was selling very, very well for independents, and was the top or second place earner for pretty much every independent supplier until this year.  If it was only price that was the issue, then sales would have shown it all along.  

I frankly think it has a lot to do with the crazy price differences on istock's site alone. Where I work we develop and implement thousands of websites, and we very often send customers out to stock sites to select some stock they want to use. Istock used to be our go-to recommendation, but we're starting to shy away from recommending them because too many times the customers will come back wanting to use a Vetta/Agency image that will be out of the price range we led them to believe.

I'm sure there's a market for Vetta. However, it should have been broken off as a separate site entirely, or just simply added to Getty. The collections needed to be much more clearly delineated. And now with Agency, Exclusive+, etc there are just way too many price points, all heaped into the same search results. Buyers don't know what to expect. Many of them are infrequent buyers who don't keep up on the latest istock pricing craziness; all they know is they used to search for stuff and find low-priced photos, and now the same searching produces vastly higher priced stuff. So they look elsewhere.

Ofcourse!  we have all been saying that for ages but they dont care, or should I say, dont get it. Intelligence has its limitations.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 30, 2011, 14:10
Christian, after you were talking about devaluing images by having them at different price points on different agencies (and I disagreed) it did occur to me that the bigger problem would be having them at different price points WITHIN an agency, and iStock's price-points are all over the place.
Pricing by collection/status rather than by quality is probably their worst error in that regard.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 30, 2011, 14:22
For me personally IS it the titanic,

I recently got pulled up for "Titanic" comparisons. Apparently they are Soooooo 2010. I switched to Hindenberg to try to inject some novelty into it. I haven't decided whether 2012 should be dedicated to comparing iStock to the R101, Bluebird on Coniston Water or the Kursk in the Barents Sea. Time will tell.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 30, 2011, 14:46
Christian, after you were talking about devaluing images by having them at different price points on different agencies (and I disagreed) it did occur to me that the bigger problem would be having them at different price points WITHIN an agency, and iStock's price-points are all over the place.
Pricing by collection/status rather than by quality is probably their worst error in that regard.

Absoloutely! correct! good thinking. I dont think many have thought along those lines and yes, Istocks prices are all over the place which is completely detrimental.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 30, 2011, 16:39
I think we might be more au courrant to compare iStock to Netflix, someone once in a commanding position with enviable growth and customer satisfaction scores, but which amazingly quickly eroded most of those with breathtakingly moronic decisions and even worse PR defending them with the Kelly-clone CEO. Read here (http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Latest-News-Wires/2011/1229/Netflix-sees-big-decline-in-customer-satisfaction), here (http://allthingsd.com/20111024/netflix-beats-estimates-but-subscription-numbers-are-cloudy/), here (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204552304577116753154350724.html), and here (http://entrepreneurs.about.com/od/beyondstartup/a/Ceos-Say-The-Darndest-Things-When-Customers-Bail-Out.htm) for those outside the US who might have missed this little gem of a corporate pratfall.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 30, 2011, 17:00


     It is comparable, except for the drama. But the whole comparison thing is pointless, because so many on both sides , independent and exclusive, have made decisions that they are now stuck with, so it's natural to defend your choice. I think the time when an exclusive could realistically become an independent is over. At most, a small percentage of files would be accepted at SS, given how stringent the reviewers are there now, so a portfolio at IS built up over years is pretty much the only game in town now for exclusives. So you better hope for that coming world domination of Thinkstock.

Excellent post.  I hadn't thought about it in those terms, but you are probably right.  Whichever side of that proverbial fence we are on at this point, we are pretty much stuck with it. 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 30, 2011, 17:06
For me personally IS it the titanic,

I recently got pulled up for "Titanic" comparisons. Apparently they are Soooooo 2010. I switched to Hindenberg to try to inject some novelty into it. I haven't decided whether 2012 should be dedicated to comparing iStock to the R101, Bluebird on Coniston Water or the Kursk in the Barents Sea. Time will tell.

LOL!  Sorry, but for me, Titanic comparisons will never go out of fashion.  Not if they are appropriate.  :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 30, 2011, 17:16
For me personally IS it the titanic,

I recently got pulled up for "Titanic" comparisons. Apparently they are Soooooo 2010. I switched to Hindenberg to try to inject some novelty into it. I haven't decided whether 2012 should be dedicated to comparing iStock to the R101, Bluebird on Coniston Water or the Kursk in the Barents Sea. Time will tell.

LOL!  Sorry, but for me, Titanic comparisons will never go out of fashion.  Not if they are appropriate.  :)

Well, the R101 did seem to be sailing serenely on through the stormy skies before, unexpectedly and without warning, going into a nose-dive, crashing and burning, destroying most of its most sincere believers and architects in the process.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: TheDman on December 30, 2011, 17:22
The demostration is to show that IS is comparable to SS.

     It is comparable, except for the drama. But the whole comparison thing is pointless, because so many on both sides , independent and exclusive, have made decisions that they are now stuck with, so it's natural to defend your choice. I think the time when an exclusive could realistically become an independent is over. At most, a small percentage of files would be accepted at SS, given how stringent the reviewers are there now, so a portfolio at IS built up over years is pretty much the only game in town now for exclusives. So you better hope for that coming world domination of Thinkstock.


Nah. Depends on your situation. With istock's continued plummet the risk/reward scenario for exclusives is constantly changing. I'm exclusive, and last year at this time there was no way I would have considered dropping the crown. But after seeing my steep sales decline this year I'm simply not risking as much anymore, and what little I do risk I could easily see making back and then some at the other sites. Before the RC targets were lowered I was almost certainly going to drop the crown on Jan 1, considering I was going to miss the 30% cutoff by a hundred or so. Now that they've lowered I'm reconsidering just a bit... might hang around until March or April just to see if the decline continues, since those months were my best of 2011. And I'm sure more than "a small percentage at most" of my port would get into SS, at least among the sellers. Call me confident. ;-)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on December 30, 2011, 17:36


     It is comparable, except for the drama. But the whole comparison thing is pointless, because so many on both sides , independent and exclusive, have made decisions that they are now stuck with, so it's natural to defend your choice. I think the time when an exclusive could realistically become an independent is over. At most, a small percentage of files would be accepted at SS, given how stringent the reviewers are there now, so a portfolio at IS built up over years is pretty much the only game in town now for exclusives. So you better hope for that coming world domination of Thinkstock.

Excellent post.  I hadn't thought about it in those terms, but you are probably right.  Whichever side of that proverbial fence we are on at this point, we are pretty much stuck with it. 

Yup, we are stuck with it and thats that. Well thats why, during 2012, I am definetly going to concentrate lots more on RM and RF, its been extremly good to me over the years and all this palava has kind of side-tracked me for a few years.
If you have good RM and RF outlets, by the look of things in the micro industry, well,  its well worth looking after them. They have been sustainable for over 40 years and will still be around when micro is gone. :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 30, 2011, 17:39

Well, the R101 did seem to be sailing serenely on through the stormy skies before, unexpectedly and without warning, going into a nose-dive, crashing and burning, destroying most of its most sincere believers and architects in the process.

True, but when she caught fire I bet there were far fewer passengers denying there was a problem ;)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 30, 2011, 17:55


     It is comparable, except for the drama. But the whole comparison thing is pointless, because so many on both sides , independent and exclusive, have made decisions that they are now stuck with, so it's natural to defend your choice. I think the time when an exclusive could realistically become an independent is over. At most, a small percentage of files would be accepted at SS, given how stringent the reviewers are there now, so a portfolio at IS built up over years is pretty much the only game in town now for exclusives. So you better hope for that coming world domination of Thinkstock.


Excellent post.  I hadn't thought about it in those terms, but you are probably right.  Whichever side of that proverbial fence we are on at this point, we are pretty much stuck with it. 


If you're indie or newishbie, you can't become exclusive even if you should want to:
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=338589&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=338589&page=1)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: jbarber873 on December 30, 2011, 20:18
The demostration is to show that IS is comparable to SS.

     It is comparable, except for the drama. But the whole comparison thing is pointless, because so many on both sides , independent and exclusive, have made decisions that they are now stuck with, so it's natural to defend your choice. I think the time when an exclusive could realistically become an independent is over. At most, a small percentage of files would be accepted at SS, given how stringent the reviewers are there now, so a portfolio at IS built up over years is pretty much the only game in town now for exclusives. So you better hope for that coming world domination of Thinkstock.


Nah. Depends on your situation. With istock's continued plummet the risk/reward scenario for exclusives is constantly changing. I'm exclusive, and last year at this time there was no way I would have considered dropping the crown. But after seeing my steep sales decline this year I'm simply not risking as much anymore, and what little I do risk I could easily see making back and then some at the other sites. Before the RC targets were lowered I was almost certainly going to drop the crown on Jan 1, considering I was going to miss the 30% cutoff by a hundred or so. Now that they've lowered I'm reconsidering just a bit... might hang around until March or April just to see if the decline continues, since those months were my best of 2011. And I'm sure more than "a small percentage at most" of my port would get into SS, at least among the sellers. Call me confident. ;-)

   Confidence is a big part of success. Good luck and welcome to the indie club!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 31, 2011, 07:04
I guess my previous theory about inspectors not checking keywords nowadays is valid.
I have a vested interest in the search for "commercial kitchen" nobody.
"Commercial kitchen" has always been a particularly badly keyworded search, but the current best match on "Commercial kitchen" nobody shows that spamming has reached epidemic proportions.
They are just heaping ruin upon themselves. I'd say 24/the top 200 are 'commercial kitchens', with maybe another 6 at a generous stretch.
http://www.istockphoto.com/search/text/%22Commercial%20kitchen%22%20nobody/source/basic#18ad467c (http://www.istockphoto.com/search/text/%22Commercial%20kitchen%22%20nobody/source/basic#18ad467c)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 31, 2011, 07:21
"Commercial kitchen" has always been a particularly badly keyworded search, but the current best match on "Commercial kitchen" nobody shows that spamming has reached epidemic proportions.
They are just heaping ruin upon themselves. I'd say 24/the top 200 are 'commercial kitchens', with maybe another 6 at a generous stretch.
[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/search/text/%22Commercial%20kitchen%22%20nobody/source/basic#18ad467c[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/search/text/%22Commercial%20kitchen%22%20nobody/source/basic#18ad467c[/url])


Wow __ that's awful. If you swap between 'Best Match' and 'File Age' not only do the results not get any better but most of the same files appear in both searches (apart from the missing independent images in the best match results obviously!).

Here's the equivalent search at SS, using the default 'Most Popular' sort order. Almost all the SS images are of ... er ... commercial kitchens;

http://tinyurl.com/SS-commercialkitchen (http://tinyurl.com/SS-commercialkitchen)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Eyedesign on December 31, 2011, 09:09
The search Sue is running is "commercial kitchen" Nobody. Here is the same search on SS:  http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?lang=en&search_source=search_form&version=llv1&anyorall=all&safesearch=1&searchterm=commercial+kitchen+Nobody&search_group=&orient=&search_cat=&searchtermx=&photographer_name=&people_gender=&people_age=&people_ethnicity=&people_number=&commercial_ok=&color=&show_color_wheel=1 (http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?lang=en&search_source=search_form&version=llv1&anyorall=all&safesearch=1&searchterm=commercial+kitchen+Nobody&search_group=&orient=&search_cat=&searchtermx=&photographer_name=&people_gender=&people_age=&people_ethnicity=&people_number=&commercial_ok=&color=&show_color_wheel=1)

Also I'm guessing that SS's popular is like IS's downloads: http://www.istockphoto.com/search/text/commercial%20kitchen/source/basic#e93a9c3 (http://www.istockphoto.com/search/text/commercial%20kitchen/source/basic#e93a9c3) .
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on December 31, 2011, 09:28
Also I'm guessing that SS's popular is like IS's downloads: [url]http://www.istockphoto.com/search/text/commercial%20kitchen/source/basic#e93a9c3[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/search/text/commercial%20kitchen/source/basic#e93a9c3[/url]) .


It's not, it's more of a best match, which actually shows best results ;) . I've had many on the first page with not that many DLs.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on December 31, 2011, 10:06
The search Sue is running is "commercial kitchen" Nobody.

Istock's best match still provides an astonishingly poor selection though __ mainly newish images from series from just a few contributors. I think quite a few more customers will be taking their custom elsewhere if Istock stick with it.

I doubt that significant numbers of buyers actually use the keyword "nobody". Because it was recommended on IS I have included it in the keywords of my images but not a single buyer has ever been recorded using it on either DT or SS (where they show you the keywords used).

SS's 'Popular' corresponds most closely to Downloads/Month with a bit of a boost for new images (they usually start around one third up the Popular order).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Karimala on December 31, 2011, 12:50
No matter how hard I try, I cannot keep up with this thread, so sorry I'm late with this post.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rape (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rape)

The definition of "rape":

1. the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.
2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.
3. statutory rape.
4. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.
5. Archaic . the act of seizing and carrying off by force.


The way IS keeps walking away with more and more of our money definitely fits the definition IMO.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 31, 2011, 12:54
I doubt that significant numbers of buyers actually use the keyword "nobody". Because it was recommended on IS I have included it in the keywords of my images but not a single buyer has ever been recorded using it on either DT or SS (where they show you the keywords used).
I guess you're right, though the people choice is easy to find on SS [1]. It's hidden in iStock and DT.
Hey, DT has a price slider, and here we've had people complaining about iStock's price slider as though it was the only one on the whole Internet. Dreamstime commercial kitchen with no people selected in the advanced search is pretty clean, only a very few shouldn't be there.

[1] On SS, how you you exclude pictures which have people in them?

Back onto the slider thing, I'm booking a trip at the moment, and the site which will probably get my custom has tick boxes and two sliders (price and customer recommendation) to whittle down results. Very convenient and easy, IMO.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on December 31, 2011, 12:56
No matter how hard I try, I cannot keep up with this thread, so sorry I'm late with this post.

[url]http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rape[/url] ([url]http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rape[/url])

The definition of "rape":

1. the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.
2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.
3. statutory rape.
4. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.
5. Archaic . the act of seizing and carrying off by force.


Absolutely, like the Rape of the Sabine Women, which I might as well pimp:
http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-18355877-giambologna-s-rape-of-the-sabine-women-florence-italy.php?st=892c71f (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-18355877-giambologna-s-rape-of-the-sabine-women-florence-italy.php?st=892c71f)

Quote
The way IS keeps walking away with more and more of our money definitely fits the definition IMO.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 31, 2011, 13:41
Oh, well, I'm glad someone found a proper definition. I couldn't dig one out since apparently the word is now used in American slang to mean being victorious which has raised a storm of online objections.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pixel86 on December 31, 2011, 15:02
I think we might be more au courrant to compare iStock to Netflix, someone once in a commanding position with enviable growth and customer satisfaction scores, but which amazingly quickly eroded most of those with breathtakingly moronic decisions and even worse PR defending them with the Kelly-clone CEO. Read here ([url]http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Latest-News-Wires/2011/1229/Netflix-sees-big-decline-in-customer-satisfaction[/url]), here ([url]http://allthingsd.com/20111024/netflix-beats-estimates-but-subscription-numbers-are-cloudy/[/url]), here ([url]http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204552304577116753154350724.html[/url]), and here ([url]http://entrepreneurs.about.com/od/beyondstartup/a/Ceos-Say-The-Darndest-Things-When-Customers-Bail-Out.htm[/url]) for those outside the US who might have missed this little gem of a corporate pratfall.


And as of two days ago, likening istock to Verizon is also apropos. Verizon has since rescinded the intent to charge, but how greedy can a corporation get.  >:(

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/verizon-add-2-bill-pay-005857918.html (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/verizon-add-2-bill-pay-005857918.html)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on December 31, 2011, 18:28
Oh, well, I'm glad someone found a proper definition. I couldn't dig one out since apparently the word is now used in American slang to mean being victorious which has raised a storm of online objections.

Interesting.  I have never heard it used that way.  Must be pretty new/niche slang.

Thanks to Karimala for posting the definitions :)

This "rape" discussion has come up before and gotten pretty incendiary.   It seems that some of those who are not native English speakers fail to fully understand all common usages of the word, and therefore take deep offense.  May I humbly suggest that people refrain from correcting the grammar of others who are speaking their own native tongue, and are more apt to fully understand its correct usage?  
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 01, 2012, 03:06
No matter how hard I try, I cannot keep up with this thread, so sorry I'm late with this post.

[url]http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rape[/url] ([url]http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rape[/url])

The definition of "rape":

1. the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.
2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.
3. statutory rape.
4. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.
5. Archaic . the act of seizing and carrying off by force.


The way IS keeps walking away with more and more of our money definitely fits the definition IMO.


Really, you can't keep up with this thread and this is what you choose to dig up and highlight from all these pages? Really? Amazing! Happy new year!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 01, 2012, 03:21
Oh, well, I'm glad someone found a proper definition. I couldn't dig one out since apparently the word is now used in American slang to mean being victorious which has raised a storm of online objections.

Interesting.  I have never heard it used that way.  Must be pretty new/niche slang.

Thanks to Karimala for posting the definitions :)

This "rape" discussion has come up before and gotten pretty incendiary.   It seems that some of those who are not native English speakers fail to fully understand all common usages of the word, and therefore take deep offense.  May I humbly suggest that people refrain from correcting the grammar of others who are speaking their own native tongue, and are more apt to fully understand its correct usage?  

I take "offenCe" to you lumping us "non-native English speakers" together thinking we don't understand anything :) Joking! The question was never the full breadth of meanings for that particular word - it was the way that in the manner it was casually used to a quite wide unknown audience, but I stand corrected. Rape is my new word, I will use it daily for all those meanings that I previously didn't previously think it was "ok" to use it in! It really adds to the English language in my opinion, nothing quite like it like a brutal multi-faceted word like that to make people take notice of common littered with platitudes non perfectly written Queen's English!  
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 01, 2012, 04:21
There are plenty of brutal, multi-faceted English words, such as murder and torture. "That exam was torture" is presumably deeply offensive to relatives of victims of half the world's armies/dictators/internal security forces; "we murdered their team", likewise to the relatives of murder victims. 

It's probably time to move on.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: RapidEye on January 01, 2012, 04:49
It's probably time to move on.

It is, but please let me mention my favourite before we go: "Strangled at birth." Brutal. Nasty. Unspeakable for the parents. No *-footing around the literal meaning.

But, as a metaphoric expression, the phrase is ubiquitous and casual. Nearly 300,000 hits on Google.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 01, 2012, 05:55

It's probably time to move on.

Shhh we are not allowed to tell anyone what to do, it is rude apparently.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 01, 2012, 06:33

It's probably time to move on.

Shhh we are not allowed to tell anyone what to do, it is rude apparently.

But it wasn't an instruction, it was just an idea... I think that's OK.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on January 01, 2012, 06:39
I take "offenCe" to you lumping us "non-native English speakers" together thinking we don't understand anything Smiley Joking! The question was never the full breadth of meanings for that particular word - it was the way that in the manner it was casually used to a quite wide unknown audience, but I stand corrected. Rape is my new word, I will use it daily for all those meanings that I previously didn't previously think it was "ok" to use it in! It really adds to the English language in my opinion, nothing quite like it like a brutal multi-faceted word like that to make people take notice of common littered with platitudes non perfectly written Queen's English!  

Words used by me were accurate and in an appropriate way. Accept the points made in regard to your narrow focus on the discussion and your attempt to be critical of all other points made (accept those by yourself in supprt of IS).You are quick to atttack words as being wrongly used and offensive to you. Get over it . Your portfolio really limits you to your current strategy. Your Alamy penetration will not gain you much income and SS may not even accept most of your stuff (it is getting tough). Work an exit strategy for yourself if you want but quit trying to discredit all others. Delusion may be comfortable but please don't try to share it. You certainly do not let the facts get in the way of your argument.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 01, 2012, 06:53
It's probably time to move on.

It is, but please let me mention my favourite before we go: "Strangled at birth." Brutal. Nasty. Unspeakable for the parents. No *-footing around the literal meaning.

But, as a metaphoric expression, the phrase is ubiquitous and casual. Nearly 300,000 hits on Google.

Also cp the use of 'shafted' and 'boned', which are regularly used with re. iStock.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 01, 2012, 07:06
I take "offenCe" to you lumping us "non-native English speakers" together thinking we don't understand anything Smiley Joking! The question was never the full breadth of meanings for that particular word - it was the way that in the manner it was casually used to a quite wide unknown audience, but I stand corrected. Rape is my new word, I will use it daily for all those meanings that I previously didn't previously think it was "ok" to use it in! It really adds to the English language in my opinion, nothing quite like it like a brutal multi-faceted word like that to make people take notice of common littered with platitudes non perfectly written Queen's English!  

Words used by me were accurate and in an appropriate way. Accept the points made in regard to your narrow focus on the discussion and your attempt to be critical of all other points made (accept those by yourself in supprt of IS).You are quick to atttack words as being wrongly used and offensive to you. Get over it . Your portfolio really limits you to your current strategy. Your Alamy penetration will not gain you much income and SS may not even accept most of your stuff (it is getting tough). Work an exit strategy for yourself if you want but quit trying to discredit all others. Delusion may be comfortable but please don't try to share it. You certainly do not let the facts get in the way of your argument.

Happy new year to you to! You are still fuming? I'm totally over it, even bloody joking about it, you on the other hand is still spitting venom! I quote you "Get over it" - try and lighten up a bit my friend!

And do let off the portfolio review, if I asked you for one I would at least point you to where the bulk of the stuff is. Unfortunately 1200 images at iStock ain't feeding a family of four hahah, I wish though!

Yes, I'm completely deluded, thought forums were for exchange of views, opinions etc. but I feel like you get really aggravated if someone is not agreeing with you? Something I'm guilty of myself at times...I'll work on that in 2012!

Anyway, let's stop this silly nonsense semi-argument, it ain't constructive, not very nice and ain't going nowhere. I'm sure you are a nice, agreeable person, friends? Sincere olive branch is being handed to you :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on January 01, 2012, 11:32

I take "offenCe" to you lumping us "non-native English speakers" together thinking we don't understand anything :) Joking!

I just got the joke :)

"S" vs "C"... You know how we "Americans" have to spell everything our own way ;D
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Karimala on January 01, 2012, 13:54
No matter how hard I try, I cannot keep up with this thread, so sorry I'm late with this post.

[url]http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rape[/url] ([url]http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rape[/url])

The definition of "rape":

1. the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.
2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.
3. statutory rape.
4. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.
5. Archaic . the act of seizing and carrying off by force.


The way IS keeps walking away with more and more of our money definitely fits the definition IMO.


Really, you can't keep up with this thread and this is what you choose to dig up and highlight from all these pages? Really? Amazing! Happy new year!


Yes, actually...I did choose to dig that one up, because as a real-life rape survivor I thought it was important that non-English contributors know there are different meanings to the word, so they know when taking offense is warranted.  Just an attempt at mutual understanding among folks from different countries, nothing more.

Happy New Year to you, too!   :)  Peace.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: eyeidea on January 02, 2012, 01:19
I wished there would have been more love for exclusives like myself the last few months. The end of this week I am NON-exclusive.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 02, 2012, 01:25
I wished there would have been more love for exclusives like myself the last few months. The end of this week I am NON-exclusive.

Sorry to hear that and good luck with being independent. One wish that there was more care for exclusives as well as independents, but most of all the buyers.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on January 02, 2012, 03:00

It's probably time to move on.

Shhh we are not allowed to tell anyone what to do, it is rude apparently.


Hi Martin!

You better watch it mate!  some people here are very touchy, faint hearted, etc, and before you know it they chicken-out and slam ignore buttons on you. Who cares? not important but still. :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 02, 2012, 03:25

It's probably time to move on.

Shhh we are not allowed to tell anyone what to do, it is rude apparently.


Hi Martin!

You better watch it mate!  some people here are very touchy, faint hearted, etc, and before you know it they chicken-out and slam ignore buttons on you. Who cares? not important but still. :)

Hi Christian. So I've learnt! God fortsšttning!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Mantis on January 02, 2012, 08:58
I wished there would have been more love for exclusives like myself the last few months. The end of this week I am NON-exclusive.

Best of luck to you.  Your port is very beautiful.  You will do well as an independent.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: imageegami on January 02, 2012, 10:18
I wished there would have been more love for exclusives like myself the last few months. The end of this week I am NON-exclusive.

Its a difficult decision which comes with a mountain of uploading work and in all likelihood less revenue in the short term. IMO its a good decision and by the end of the year the math will have played itself out. Best of luck, I`m sure you will do very well.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: cobalt on January 02, 2012, 11:18
I wished there would have been more love for exclusives like myself the last few months. The end of this week I am NON-exclusive.

Whow! That is very sad indeed. I think losing you as an exclusive artist is a big loss for istock.

I see you dropped photo exclusivity in 2010 after the changes, which is understandable. At least this gives you a head start because you got to know the agencies.

I wish you all the best and hope istock takes these losses seriously and that 2012 will bring some new insights and a change of direction.

ETA: just remembered your thread on the video forum. Very respectful and professional.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 02, 2012, 18:51
Well I'm getting some sales today, XLs etc too, so even though best match is still exclusively exclusive, that still can kill my sales. I feel like Jack Bauer (Chuck Norris if you don't know who Jack Bauer is), invincible and untouchable :D . I think buyers started sorting search results by DLs (they couldn't find mine by age, since I haven uploaded anything since Nov)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: SNP on January 03, 2012, 12:24
remind me what the week after new year's is usually like....because sales are pitiful.....I forget how quickly business ramps up
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 03, 2012, 12:32
remind me what the week after new year's is usually like....because sales are pitiful.....I forget how quickly business ramps up

I think you meant, "I forgot how slowly business ramps up"  ;)
(Today is our New Year Holiday, making up for Ne'er Day being a Sunday).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 03, 2012, 12:35
The best match appears to have changed a lot again - a couple of my test searches that had my images buried deep now show them much closer to the beginning as they had been before. Perhaps other people could check their searches but the independent exile of the end of December appears to me to be over.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 03, 2012, 12:43
The best match appears to have changed a lot again - a couple of my test searches that had my images buried deep now show them much closer to the beginning as they had been before. Perhaps other people could check their searches but the exclusive exile of the end of December appears to me to be over.

Yes, big big change...back to similar as to before Christmas change and MUCH better. Stress at slightly lower levels now, fingers crossed that things will we stay stable for some time.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on January 03, 2012, 12:46
The best match appears to have changed a lot again - a couple of my test searches that had my images buried deep now show them much closer to the beginning as they had been before. Perhaps other people could check their searches but the exclusive exile of the end of December appears to me to be over.

Yep, looks like non-exclusive images have been sprinkled back into the leading search results.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on January 03, 2012, 12:48
I wont even bother to look. How can anybody live withe these schitzophrenic changes?  beats me.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Eyedesign on January 03, 2012, 12:52
Yes! not great but much better. Best sellers are now push forward again and today I'm getting more sells of images older than 24 months.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 03, 2012, 13:07
I wont even bother to look. How can anybody live withe these schitzophrenic changes?  beats me.

Stuck, uncertain that the grass is greener on the other side...still hoping things will improve or perhaps just a glutton for punishment.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on January 03, 2012, 13:09
Yep, looks like non-exclusive images have been sprinkled back into the leading search results.

'Sprinkled' is the word. One of my regular searches, with 1350 results, shows just 13 independent images within the first 200. Other searches produce similar results.

It's not as bad as it was but it is still horrifically skewed against independent contributors. I see nothing there to motivate me to upload any new images.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: SNP on January 03, 2012, 13:10
Yes! not great but much better. Best sellers are now push forward again and today I'm getting more sells of images older than 24 months.

glad for you. I'm barely getting sales.....pretty darn crappy here.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 03, 2012, 13:10
I wont even bother to look. How can anybody live withe these schitzophrenic changes?  beats me.
You seem to have managed all right so far.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 03, 2012, 13:14
These spam-laden ingestions are still too prominent, but it is overall better.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 03, 2012, 13:22
Yeah, its a sprinkling of good sellers among the exclusive files. They'll have to do better than that because they still have the problem that newbies won't be able to sell anything at all, however good they are. If an inde file isn't already a good seller it is nowhere to be seen.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on January 03, 2012, 13:22
Yeah, its a sprinkling of good sellers among the exclusive files. They'll have to do better than that because they still have the problem that newbies won't be able to sell anything at all, however good they are. If an inde file isn't already a good seller it is nowhere to be seen.

Exactly.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 03, 2012, 13:58
Yep, looks like non-exclusive images have been sprinkled back into the leading search results.

'Sprinkled' is the word. One of my regular searches, with 1350 results, shows just 13 independent images within the first 200. Other searches produce similar results.

It's not as bad as it was but it is still horrifically skewed against independent contributors. I see nothing there to motivate me to upload any new images.

Well uploads don't work anyway ;)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 03, 2012, 14:01
Yep, looks like non-exclusive images have been sprinkled back into the leading search results.

'Sprinkled' is the word. One of my regular searches, with 1350 results, shows just 13 independent images within the first 200. Other searches produce similar results.

It's not as bad as it was but it is still horrifically skewed against independent contributors. I see nothing there to motivate me to upload any new images.

Well uploads don't work anyway ;)
Huh? I've uploaded two this afternoon, the other finished about 30secs ago.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 03, 2012, 14:10
Yep, looks like non-exclusive images have been sprinkled back into the leading search results.

'Sprinkled' is the word. One of my regular searches, with 1350 results, shows just 13 independent images within the first 200. Other searches produce similar results.

It's not as bad as it was but it is still horrifically skewed against independent contributors. I see nothing there to motivate me to upload any new images.

Well uploads don't work anyway ;)
Huh? I've uploaded two this afternoon, the other finished about 30secs ago.

Than it must be broke for indies only. Working for IS feels to me like dragging a (prison) ball and chain uphill :s
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 03, 2012, 14:13
Yep, looks like non-exclusive images have been sprinkled back into the leading search results.

'Sprinkled' is the word. One of my regular searches, with 1350 results, shows just 13 independent images within the first 200. Other searches produce similar results.

It's not as bad as it was but it is still horrifically skewed against independent contributors. I see nothing there to motivate me to upload any new images.

I just uploaded one using the site uploader, not deep meta.

Well uploads don't work anyway ;)
Huh? I've uploaded two this afternoon, the other finished about 30secs ago.

Than it must be broke for indies only. Working for IS feels to me like dragging a (prison) ball and chain uphill :s
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 03, 2012, 14:40
Yep, looks like non-exclusive images have been sprinkled back into the leading search results.

'Sprinkled' is the word. One of my regular searches, with 1350 results, shows just 13 independent images within the first 200. Other searches produce similar results.

It's not as bad as it was but it is still horrifically skewed against independent contributors. I see nothing there to motivate me to upload any new images.

I just uploaded one using the site uploader, not deep meta.

Well uploads don't work anyway ;)
Huh? I've uploaded two this afternoon, the other finished about 30secs ago.

Than it must be broke for indies only. Working for IS feels to me like dragging a (prison) ball and chain uphill :s

I tried it on the site as well, I don't even use DM
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on January 03, 2012, 14:43
Than it must be broke for indies only. Working for IS feels to me like dragging a (prison) ball and chain uphill :s

So why are you bothering?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 03, 2012, 14:51
Than it must be broke for indies only. Working for IS feels to me like dragging a (prison) ball and chain uphill :s

So why are you bothering?

That was shadysue who said that, the quotes got mixed up and I'm not sure where my message went. I was trying to say that I had uploaded one without problems a little while back (site uploader).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on January 03, 2012, 14:57
OH! boy!  are we going to have another 24 pages now of how we are allowed to get a few crumbs thrown at us, the plebs?  and yes, why bother.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 03, 2012, 15:08
Than it must be broke for indies only. Working for IS feels to me like dragging a (prison) ball and chain uphill :s

So why are you bothering?

That was shadysue who said that, the quotes got mixed up and I'm not sure where my message went. I was trying to say that I had uploaded one without problems a little while back (site uploader).

I didn't say that. Wut did, IIRC. I also said I'd uploaded without problems (site, not DM).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 03, 2012, 15:11
Sorry, Sue.

and yes, why bother.

Because iS+PP is still, as of November (and probably December) my No.2 wealth generator.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Suljo on January 03, 2012, 15:54
Did anyone figure if you post something on IS forum and after few words or sentences type word

Lobo

every other words behind Lobo is not visible including Lobo

Is it new kind of lobotomy or just me?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 03, 2012, 15:55
Than it must be broke for indies only. Working for IS feels to me like dragging a (prison) ball and chain uphill :s

So why are you bothering?

That was shadysue who said that, the quotes got mixed up and I'm not sure where my message went. I was trying to say that I had uploaded one without problems a little while back (site uploader).

Just wanted to upload one I had forgotten back in Nov. So that the series would be complete. Otherwise I'm not planing on uploading any new content until best match gets back to spitting out "normal" results
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on January 03, 2012, 16:46
Sales still very anemic here.  I had hoped for a bit better since everyone should be back to work today, but clearly we are off to a slow start to the new year. 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Freedom on January 03, 2012, 17:03
Definitely slow. But January has never been a great month for me.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Micro1 on January 03, 2012, 18:04
Dear iStockphoto,

Can you please change your search engine to favor DLs/Month. This way buyers get to see a fair representation of good images. Frankly, not all of your "exclusive" images are very good at all. Your future actually depends on keeping buyers happy, not looking after "exclusives" interests.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: KB on January 03, 2012, 18:10
Dear iStockphoto,

Can you please change your search engine to favor DLs/Month. This way buyers get to see a fair representation of good images.

That would be a fair representation of popular, older files. What would be the point of UL'ing new files under that kind of best match? Similar to independents UL'ing under the current one -- why bother?

They need to go back to the best match the way it was when best match 2.0 was introduced. That best match gave a fair mixture of exclusive and independent files, new and old, and weighted by keywords. That's the only best match that makes sense to me, and it really was a BEST match due to the keyword weighting.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on January 03, 2012, 18:19


They need to go back to the best match the way it was when best match 2.0 was introduced. That best match gave a fair mixture of exclusive and independent files, new and old, and weighted by keywords. That's the only best match that makes sense to me, and it really was a BEST match due to the keyword weighting.

Absolutely right.  They spent ages developing best match 2.0 and it actually worked, was fair to every contributor, and put the best variety of content in front of buyers.  It was sheer idiocy to scrap it in favor of this mess.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pixel86 on January 03, 2012, 18:30


They need to go back to the best match the way it was when best match 2.0 was introduced. That best match gave a fair mixture of exclusive and independent files, new and old, and weighted by keywords. That's the only best match that makes sense to me, and it really was a BEST match due to the keyword weighting.

Absolutely right.  They spent ages developing best match 2.0 and it actually worked, was fair to every contributor, and put the best variety of content in front of buyers.  It was sheer idiocy to scrap it in favor of this mess.

That best match 2.0 makes sense if you have any consideration for buyers, but remember, the best match is designed to hike profits for istock. That's why best match 2.0 isn't being used any more.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: KB on January 03, 2012, 18:36
Absolutely right.  They spent ages developing best match 2.0 and it actually worked, was fair to every contributor, and put the best variety of content in front of buyers.  It was sheer idiocy to scrap it in favor of this mess.

That best match 2.0 makes sense if you have any consideration for buyers, but remember, the best match is designed to hike profits for istock. That's why best match 2.0 isn't being used any more.
I think you're probably right.

But the stupidity of it, as I'm sure you know, is that what's in the best interest of buyers ultimately ends up being what's in the best interest of IS, too. The reverse is not true, and is a major cause in the apparent exit of buyers in droves.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on January 03, 2012, 19:04
Absolutely right.  They spent ages developing best match 2.0 and it actually worked, was fair to every contributor, and put the best variety of content in front of buyers.  It was sheer idiocy to scrap it in favor of this mess.

That best match 2.0 makes sense if you have any consideration for buyers, but remember, the best match is designed to hike profits for istock. That's why best match 2.0 isn't being used any more.
I think you're probably right.

But the stupidity of it, as I'm sure you know, is that what's in the best interest of buyers ultimately ends up being what's in the best interest of IS, too. The reverse is not true, and is a major cause in the apparent exit of buyers in droves.

Yep. TPTB at Istock keep making sticking-plaster actions in an attempt to remedy the shortfall caused .. by their last sticking-plaster action ... for short-term gain. Unless and until they can see the bigger picture and start acting in the long-term interest of the business they are basically f**ked.

Nobody with any authority to make real decisions is in charge at Istock. They are now entering a tailspin without a qualified pilot onboard. If you're exclusive then make sure you have your parachute to hand. You will most likely need it before the end of 2012.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on January 03, 2012, 20:11
long term only exclusives at IS? No point uploading with this best match and how would a newbie get enough sales to go exclusive? All independents only at TS? Maybe in future newbies start there and go to IS as exclusive by some new formula? Strange results, definitely not the best images at front, just the most expensive. It is tricky, it is like a threat to exclusives - leave and your sales vanish and an attempt to keep them with sales in a decline at IS.

Profit will be great short term. Long term a strange strategy but do they think long term?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 03, 2012, 20:37
Very strange result for 'paintbox'. I can only imagine 'paint' is mapping to paintbox.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wolfman on January 03, 2012, 21:35
Dear iStockphoto,

Can you please change your search engine to favor DLs/Month. This way buyers get to see a fair representation of good images. Frankly, not all of your "exclusive" images are very good at all. Your future actually depends on keeping buyers happy, not looking after "exclusives" interests.

Downloads a month favors images that have already been favored by Best Match.

Two identical images one on page 1 and one 10 pages back - after a year I can tell you which one would have more downloads a month unequivocally - however I almost guarantee over a year downloads/view ratio of those two images would be near identical - and a much fairer judge of a files worth. x amount of buyers who viewed this file bought it - vs. x amounts of buyers who had this file pushed in front of them months on end bought it each month
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: KB on January 03, 2012, 22:12
Very strange result for 'paintbox'. I can only imagine 'paint' is mapping to paintbox.
Yes, the results for 'paint' and 'paintbox' are identical. 'Paintbox' doesn't seem to be in the CV, but I find it hard to believe that there isn't a single file tagged with that term. (If there really weren't any, that would explain what happened. The stupid programmers' choice of showing the closest matching term and not telling you that's what it did.) More likely, it's some sort of bug.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pancaketom on January 03, 2012, 22:25
Dear iStockphoto,

Can you please change your search engine to favor DLs/Month. This way buyers get to see a fair representation of good images. Frankly, not all of your "exclusive" images are very good at all. Your future actually depends on keeping buyers happy, not looking after "exclusives" interests.

Downloads a month favors images that have already been favored by Best Match.

Two identical images one on page 1 and one 10 pages back - after a year I can tell you which one would have more downloads a month unequivocally - however I almost guarantee over a year downloads/view ratio of those two images would be near identical - and a much fairer judge of a files worth. x amount of buyers who viewed this file bought it - vs. x amounts of buyers who had this file pushed in front of them months on end bought it each month

but views are too easy to rig - just set up a thing to view your rival's images a few thousand times to drop them from the search... maybe if they only counted buyer accounts...

actually what they claimed best match 2 was would make the most sense - too bad for everyone they couldn't actually stick with it.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 04, 2012, 05:22
actually what they claimed best match 2 was would make the most sense - too bad for everyone they couldn't actually stick with it.
Absolutely.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 04, 2012, 10:52
Looking at a handful of searches today, it seems the mix of indie/exclusive is improving. It's not that the top indie sellers have been moving further forward as much as the mix of independent files throughout is better. In particular, finding exclusive files mixed in at the end of searches, not just the indie ghetto at the end, seemed to be a return to something more reasonable.

I don't have any new files on iStock to watch how new independent files are being treated at the moment - has any independent risked uploading  - thus having files with which to check on search results?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on January 04, 2012, 11:03
Looking at a handful of searches today, it seems the mix of indie/exclusive is improving. It's not that the top indie sellers have been moving further forward as much as the mix of independent files throughout is better. In particular, finding exclusive files mixed in at the end of searches, not just the indie ghetto at the end, seemed to be a return to something more reasonable.

I'm not finding that from my standard searches. Today is marginally worse in the number of non-exclusive images within the first 200 (from 13 to 10).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on January 04, 2012, 11:09
Looking at a handful of searches today, it seems the mix of indie/exclusive is improving. It's not that the top indie sellers have been moving further forward as much as the mix of independent files throughout is better. In particular, finding exclusive files mixed in at the end of searches, not just the indie ghetto at the end, seemed to be a return to something more reasonable.

I'm not finding that from my standard searches. Today is marginally worse in the number of non-exclusive images within the first 200 (from 13 to 10).


Yep!  same old nonsense, files with zip dls and all that. In fact in some searches, the return is almost as if they have robbed a first year photo-college or something.

Just did a specialized search: nuclear industry and then I searched, within, for "interior"  and found 9, lousy files, dreadfully executed and totally irrelevant to what a nuke-plant, really looks inside.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Cogent Marketing on January 04, 2012, 11:34
Looking at a handful of searches today, it seems the mix of indie/exclusive is improving. It's not that the top indie sellers have been moving further forward as much as the mix of independent files throughout is better. In particular, finding exclusive files mixed in at the end of searches, not just the indie ghetto at the end, seemed to be a return to something more reasonable.

I don't have any new files on iStock to watch how new independent files are being treated at the moment - has any independent risked uploading  - thus having files with which to check on search results?

I uploaded two files last week in the middle of the ridiculous shift in best match and at the time was wondering why I was bothering. The two images went 'live' only today albeit being accepted three days ago. Both appear as the first non-exclusive images on page one for their respective searches in best match (figs, isolated, group) (image number 18796958) and the second image (eggs, straw) (image number 18796924). I only used search words that I knew were in my file data which may have skewed the results in my favour, but at least they appear on the first page which is an improvement.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: RacePhoto on January 04, 2012, 13:32
Dear iStockphoto,

Can you please change your search engine to favor DLs/Month. This way buyers get to see a fair representation of good images. Frankly, not all of your "exclusive" images are very good at all. Your future actually depends on keeping buyers happy, not looking after "exclusives" interests.

Downloads a month favors images that have already been favored by Best Match.

Two identical images one on page 1 and one 10 pages back - after a year I can tell you which one would have more downloads a month unequivocally - however I almost guarantee over a year downloads/view ratio of those two images would be near identical - and a much fairer judge of a files worth. x amount of buyers who viewed this file bought it - vs. x amounts of buyers who had this file pushed in front of them months on end bought it each month

Shh, you are being too logical and rational. There's got to be some hidden agenda or your theories won't keep this thread going for page 26... and beyond!  :-X

This "Best Match Shift" tale has more cliff hangers and plot variations than The Arabian Nights. Every day someone finds something new that has changed, even when it hasn't changed. Go back to Best Match 2.0 which people were seeing the effects and complaining of position changes, drops in sales and unfair prominent placement of 1) Exclusives, 2) Independents, 3) Old Files, 4) New files... depending on what agenda was popular for the day and of course the status of the person doing the search.

But wait, there's a punch line to that change. The new search hadn't even been put in place yet and nothing had changed. The only things that changed was the perception and imaginations of the people who thought something had changed.

And now (is it two years later?) The same perception continues, day after day.

"My photos aren't getting put up where they belong."  "Someone else's images are getting an unfair advantage" and my personal all time favorite "Everyone's pictures are being pushed to the back!" (impossible but entertaining as a theory)

I think that Green pictures have been moved up and in Feb. I'm ready to submit my theory that, landscape images will be placed ahead of Portrait. In March, I think we'll have food photo and small furry animals getting the boost. It doesn't matter, because every theory is right and none agrees with all the rest. I could take up reading tea leaves or animal entrails, that's more scientific!


Quote from: markhiggins
  long term only exclusives at IS? No point uploading with this best match and how would a newbie get enough sales to go exclusive? All independents only at TS? Maybe in future newbies start there and go to IS as exclusive by some new formula? Strange results, definitely not the best images at front, just the most expensive.

Yes Mark I tend to agree that this could be the scary end of all this fancy adjusting and chaos. A way for IS to have their exclusives and higher prices and cheap subs too.

Agree with all except the part about only the most expensive are at the front. Wasn't that contradicted by the theory that Independents were pushed to the front so IS would pay lower commissions, and make more money. Or was that swapped for the Exclusive to the front, so they could get their ranks up for the end of the year? Wait, old photos first, new photos don't have a chance.

It can't be all of those at the same can it?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 04, 2012, 16:04
Didn't Gostwyck work out that with the higher pricing for exclusive files, iStock now makes more by having them at the front than having the inde stuff there?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on January 04, 2012, 16:15
"Agree with all except the part about only the most expensive are at the front. Wasn't that contradicted by the theory that Independents were pushed to the front so IS would pay lower commissions, and make more money. Or was that swapped for the Exclusive to the front, so they could get their ranks up for the end of the year? Wait, old photos first, new photos don't have a chance.
"


The evidence supports exclusive and dearer at the front, not the other way around. It is not the commission they pay that they are thinking of.So 85% of $5 is not as good for IS as say $70 of $10. Long term it will create problems for them but now it is about maximising short term gain. The search is skewed and does not warrant arguing about.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Karimala on January 04, 2012, 22:50
Here's a new one...

Search for "animal" photos only under "Best Match."  7 out of the first 10 results are all audio files.   ::) 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: luissantos84 on January 04, 2012, 23:10
Here's a new one...

Search for "animal" photos only under "Best Match."  7 out of the first 10 results are all audio files.   ::) 

 ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: KB on January 04, 2012, 23:26
Here's a new one...

Search for "animal" photos only under "Best Match."  7 out of the first 10 results are all audio files.   ::) 
You were being kind, as it's actually 7 out of the first 8. :)

Hmmm. All are Yuri's; I didn't recall he was exclusive for audio, but apparently he is.

Clearly, yet another bug. Interesting; if you search for audio only, a different selection comes up. I looked for 3 or 4 of those 7, and I couldn't find any on the first page (200).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Karimala on January 04, 2012, 23:30
Ha!  I didn't notice they were Yuri's.  I was too distracted by the howling dog being interrupted by "iStockphoto.com.......aaaoooooooooo.....iStockphoto.com."
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: KB on January 05, 2012, 00:04
I was too distracted by the howling dog being interrupted by "iStockphoto.com.......aaaoooooooooo.....iStockphoto.com."
;D  ;D  ;D  ;D  ;D  ;D (I find that voice SO creepy!)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: RacePhoto on January 05, 2012, 02:32
"Agree with all except the part about only the most expensive are at the front. Wasn't that contradicted by the theory that Independents were pushed to the front so IS would pay lower commissions, and make more money. Or was that swapped for the Exclusive to the front, so they could get their ranks up for the end of the year? Wait, old photos first, new photos don't have a chance.
"


The evidence supports exclusive and dearer at the front, not the other way around. It is not the commission they pay that they are thinking of.So 85% of $5 is not as good for IS as say $70 of $10. Long term it will create problems for them but now it is about maximising short term gain. The search is skewed and does not warrant arguing about.

What I'm trying to point out is "evidence suggests" that you can prove anything you want depending on what you search for and what search terms, because it's always changing. There is no answer.

It looks the opposite to me, new files are all up front in the searches I've done.  Old files with lots of sales on the other hand seem to be pushed back.

Looking at a handful of searches today, it seems the mix of indie/exclusive is improving. It's not that the top indie sellers have been moving further forward as much as the mix of independent files throughout is better. In particular, finding exclusive files mixed in at the end of searches, not just the indie ghetto at the end, seemed to be a return to something more reasonable.

I don't have any new files on iStock to watch how new independent files are being treated at the moment - has any independent risked uploading  - thus having files with which to check on search results?

I uploaded two files last week in the middle of the ridiculous shift in best match and at the time was wondering why I was bothering. The two images went 'live' only today albeit being accepted three days ago. Both appear as the first non-exclusive images on page one for their respective searches in best match (figs, isolated, group) (image number 18796958) and the second image (eggs, straw) (image number 18796924). I only used search words that I knew were in my file data which may have skewed the results in my favour, but at least they appear on the first page which is an improvement.

Has the best match changed again? Now I am getting DLs only during European working hours. No DLs on working hours Americas. That's very weird for me.

Anybody else having this pattern?

Nope, the very opposite. As I posted yesterday, I had one dl prior to 19:15GMT, then 5 dls after that. Still a poor day, but far worse during European working hours. No dls at all today, 1315GMT. I have few files of specifically American interest. (167/2729).

[Lobo] Sept. 25th on the IS forums:

best match seems to be in a place that the Warlocks are happy with right now. Does that mean everyone is going to be happy? No. Not everyone is going to be happy. Do we sort best match to please contributors who are searching every 20 minutes or so? No, we sort best match based on what we think the buying public is interested in. I should also note that there seems to be some inconsistencies with what one contributor is seeing verses with what another. I suspect this has something to do with the localized search.

Due to the fact that we aren't privy to the inner workings of the best match we are always going to wonder what the exact logic is behind the current search results. The fact is, no two people are actually seeing the identical search results so it becomes even more cumbersome. So, in a nut shell, things are how they are going to be for the foreseeable future. As soon as we have an indication that things are going to change we can expect things to stay the same.

This ends my update on best match and best match related concerns. If you have any direct questions or comments related to the current sort I'm going to direct you to Contributor Relations and then indicate my Hammer will be smashing all future threads that start with "best match Sort changed..." or the like.


[/quote]

Repeating this part:  Do we sort best match to please contributors who are searching every 20 minutes or so? No 

It changes. It changes based on what you may have looked at before. It changes by location. It could change based on a random change so at 1:01 people see older exclusive files, at 1:02 they would see, newer non-exclusive files, at 1:03 people see best sellers from their own time zone.

The threads over the past months have shown that superstition plays a large roll in what people are finding and in fact, some people have their mind made up, so it doesn't matter what they see. They are going to conclude that the evidence supports whatever they want it to support.

That's my point. There is hardly a bit of evidence for anything scientific to prove that Old, Exclusive files are being advanced to the front and new non-exclusive files are getting pushed to the back, on a consistent basis. Time after time, different people run an identical search and get different results, even the same people doing the same identical search and get different results.

But I am for this thread continuing and some day hitting 50 pages, instead of a new one every week, re-hashing the always changing claims and theories.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 05, 2012, 03:16
You can only conclude that there is no evidence and everything is different for everyone if you think that Lobo was telling the truth/has the faintest idea what he is talking about when he said everybody sees different things.

On the other side of the argument is the fact that pretty much everyone posting here sees the same thing when they do a search. I made a remark about the number one search result for Crete some time back, and Gostwyck looked it up and saw the same thing, even though we are in totally different markets (unless iStock thinks Arabia is part of the Western world).

If there was anywhere that was going to deliver a different "specially tailored for you" geographical search it would be Arabia, but it doesn't. If I search for summer and beach I get two shots of Santa sitting on an Australian beach, whereas even the crudest regional adjustment would not have Christmas-related images leading searches in the Muslim world.

Of course the best match has constant tiny changes, as new material is indexed or existing stuff gets reranked according to sales or views, but to suggest that means that we can't recognise gigantic shifts caused by deliberate policy decisions is a bit like saying nobody can state with certainty an earthquake has happened because the Earth is constantly deforming due to the Moon's gravitational field.

This thread was started by a Richter strength 8 earthquake. It's naive to think that nothing identifiable happened.

It's also a bit naive to believe lobo is right when he says the best match is designed according to "what the buying public is interested in" (can anybody define the "buying public"?) when it is clearly designed to push with what the selling agency wants to shift.

In fact, iStock is designed like a grocery shop. The grocer doesn't put what the public want on all the shelves at the front, he puts them at the back so you have to traipse past all the stuff you don't want and maybe think "oh, that's nice, I'll have one of those while I'm here" before getting to the milk that you went in for. And, like the grocer, iStock puts the expensive stuff it wants to shift at eye-level (which is what the first few lines of the best match amount to).

Like the grocer, iStock sometimes moves its goods about a bit or tries a new layout, and it happens for a reason that the observer can quite often understand.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on January 05, 2012, 05:02
OK racephotos what is the point of arguing about insignificant trivia. Clearly exclusive files are pshed to the front and independants back. Saying else is stupidity. Most of us (independents) hope it does not last but it hs a fair chance of staying.

Putting new files up is a wasted excercise. They get very few views.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: breamal73 on January 05, 2012, 09:22
Well that experiment didn't last long, or is it just me?
I'm just a small part time indie player over on istock with around 40 illustrations and around 2 weeks ago a handful of my best sellers that were in the first few pages under best match suddenly found their way into no mans land, way past 50% of the pages, as did all my files.
Today I checked and they're more or less back to where they were before.
Whilst I'm happy to have my files back in a more salable position this constant screwing around and experimenting with best match can only serve to annoy and frustrate buyers. It's one thing messing contributors about but constantly doing the same to buyers means they'll give up with istock and go elsewhere.
Best match should (mostly) mean most relevant irrespective of whether there is a little crown logo underneath otherwise it becomes meaningless.
I say (mostly) because there should always be room for tinkering, no point an image occupying front page when it hasn't sold in ages. 
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gbalex on January 05, 2012, 12:17
[Lobo] Sept. 25th on the IS forums:

best match seems to be in a place that the Warlocks are happy with right now. Does that mean everyone is going to be happy? No. Not everyone is going to be happy. Do we sort best match to please contributors who are searching every 20 minutes or so? No, we sort best match based on what we think the buying public is interested in. I should also note that there seems to be some inconsistencies with what one contributor is seeing verses with what another. I suspect this has something to do with the localized search.

Due to the fact that we aren't privy to the inner workings of the best match we are always going to wonder what the exact logic is behind the current search results. The fact is, no two people are actually seeing the identical search results so it becomes even more cumbersome. So, in a nut shell, things are how they are going to be for the foreseeable future. As soon as we have an indication that things are going to change we can expect things to stay the same.

This ends my update on best match and best match related concerns. If you have any direct questions or comments related to the current sort I'm going to direct you to Contributor Relations and then indicate my Hammer will be smashing all future threads that start with "best match Sort changed..." or the like.




Repeating this part:  Do we sort best match to please contributors who are searching every 20 minutes or so? No  

It changes. It changes based on what you may have looked at before. It changes by location. It could change based on a random change so at 1:01 people see older exclusive files, at 1:02 they would see, newer non-exclusive files, at 1:03 people see best sellers from their own time zone.

The threads over the past months have shown that superstition plays a large roll in what people are finding and in fact, some people have their mind made up, so it doesn't matter what they see. They are going to conclude that the evidence supports whatever they want it to support.

That's my point. There is hardly a bit of evidence for anything scientific to prove that Old, Exclusive files are being advanced to the front and new non-exclusive files are getting pushed to the back, on a consistent basis. Time after time, different people run an identical search and get different results, even the same people doing the same identical search and get different results.

But I am for this thread continuing and some day hitting 50 pages, instead of a new one every week, re-hashing the always changing claims and theories.
[/quote]



Has anyone ever wondered why the cookies that the various micro sites load onto our systems keep getting fatter and fatter and each year more third party sites are involved in the process?  The sites use those cookies to gain info and track our activities on other sites, etc. They increasingly use that info to serve content and to manipulate resources (our images) to increase their own bottom line.  

I posted an old job listing for a SS search engine programmer earlier in this thread.  Now they are not going to publicly post sensitive info in the job listing, but they do give us a few clues as to what the future holds as far as searches.

I know that various sites including SS change out third party cookies at different times of the year. Right now there are only a few cookies associated with third party data gathering services on many of the sites, but a few months ago the sites were using quite a few third party sites to track our activities as buyers.

http://www.shutterstock.com/jobs.mhtml?nl=1&jvi=o46KVfwz,Job&jvs=Indeed&jvk=Job (http://www.shutterstock.com/jobs.mhtml?nl=1&jvi=o46KVfwz,Job&jvs=Indeed&jvk=Job)
"Among other great benefits, Shutterstock offers competitive salaries, health and dental plans, 401k, company equity, daily breakfasts, weekly massages, discounted gym memberships"

http://www.shutterstock.com/jobs.mhtml?nl=1&jvi=oIjWVfwC,Job&jvs=Indeed&jvk=Job (http://www.shutterstock.com/jobs.mhtml?nl=1&jvi=oIjWVfwC,Job&jvs=Indeed&jvk=Job)
"Search Engineer

We have a lot of challenging problems ahead of us, including:

    Helping customers find the images theyíre looking for as fast as possible.
     Providing recommendations based on a customerís searches, social graph, and other factors.
    Developing a framework to support rapid development of dynamic ranking algorithms.
    Creating a massively parallelized and real-time indexing process.
    Tracking search analytics and automatically acting on the results.

Our search engine is built on Perl and Solr.  Ideally you will have previous experience working with Solr and programming in Java. Being a JVM or Perl guru is an added bonus.  All candidates should have experience working on search engines and solving problems with large datasets."
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: SNP on January 05, 2012, 14:15
 Not bothering to analyze the best match, they always seem to mess with it year end/early Jan...but I sure wish buyers would get back to buying. My asked are slllloooooooow. Crumby sales start to the year.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on January 05, 2012, 15:16
Not bothering to analyze the best match, they always seem to mess with it year end/early Jan...but I sure wish buyers would get back to buying. My asked are slllloooooooow. Crumby sales start to the year.

Maybe this is the new 'normal' for sales? I've continually had to re-adjust my expectations from IS over the last couple of years. What I consider a 'good day' now would have been a disaster back in the day.

I notice that Istock didn't present the buyers with the usual festive huge price increase this year. I wonder why?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on January 05, 2012, 15:39
Not bothering to analyze the best match, they always seem to mess with it year end/early Jan...but I sure wish buyers would get back to buying. My asked are slllloooooooow. Crumby sales start to the year.

Maybe this is the new 'normal' for sales? I've continually had to re-adjust my expectations from IS over the last couple of years. What I consider a 'good day' now would have been a disaster back in the day.

I notice that Istock didn't present the buyers with the usual festive huge price increase this year. I wonder why?

God, I hope this isn't the new normal!  Over the last year, when sales dropped to 50% of what they used to be, it was really upsetting.  Now they are at 20% of what they used to be!!  :o  :'( 

Even the mid level sites are outselling Istock.  Really, really pitiful!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: SNP on January 05, 2012, 15:55
Not bothering to analyze the best match, they always seem to mess with it year end/early Jan...but I sure wish buyers would get back to buying. My asked are slllloooooooow. Crumby sales start to the year.

Maybe this is the new 'normal' for sales? I've continually had to re-adjust my expectations from IS over the last couple of years. What I consider a 'good day' now would have been a disaster back in the day.

I notice that Istock didn't present the buyers with the usual festive huge price increase this year. I wonder why?

any new normal is usually short lived in terms of the best match. it is very early after the holidays to jump to conclusions....
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: RacePhoto on January 05, 2012, 16:04
Not bothering to analyze the best match, they always seem to mess with it year end/early Jan...but I sure wish buyers would get back to buying. My asked are slllloooooooow. Crumby sales start to the year.

Maybe this is the new 'normal' for sales? I've continually had to re-adjust my expectations from IS over the last couple of years. What I consider a 'good day' now would have been a disaster back in the day.

I notice that Istock didn't present the buyers with the usual festive huge price increase this year. I wonder why?

Because they cut their costs from the supply side, they don't have to charge more, they are making more on less sales, at our expense.

Say the magic word and win yourself a stuffed duck... Sustainable.   ;D

Sales are down, commissions are down, IS is driving business to ThinkStock subs and away from IS packages. (forced  opt. in for non-exclusives because not enough people were volunteering to sink their own sales.) IS images pushed to the front of ThinkStock searches.

Fine mess, isn't it?

If IS drops back to the level of the next five or so, then there will be only one. (I loved Highlander...)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on January 05, 2012, 16:37
God, I hope this isn't the new normal!  Over the last year, when sales dropped to 50% of what they used to be, it was really upsetting.  Now they are at 20% of what they used to be!!  :o  :'( 

Even the mid level sites are outselling Istock.  Really, really pitiful!

Not just me then! Yep, pitiful is the word.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 05, 2012, 16:42
Not just you. Two Five (still pitiful, but thought I should update it just to be fair) sales today at IS - a bad weekend! Yesterday had a bit more spunk so I thought the week would pick up as it went on. But DT has been pretty quiet this week, so perhaps it's just a slow start
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 05, 2012, 17:02
For me, even IS is surprisingly good, I really didn't expect my sales to return to Fall levels so fast. Only FT has been a bit on the quiet side, but I got a bit more sales today. 123RF was also good today, which I can't say for the last 2 months
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on January 07, 2012, 23:58
Well, they may be questioning what makes "quality".  I just received a survey from IS as a "buyer" of imagery asking me to rate about 30 images ( a mix of independent, exclusive and agency work).  However, the standard was supposedly based on my definition of value.

Quote
Thanks, now that you have told us what is valuable to you, we would like you to evaluate some of the photography that we offer on our site.  Your Task

1) Imagine that YOU work for iStockphoto, and your role is to evaluate photography.

2) For each of the photographs which follow, please rate each on a scale from 1 to 5 stars.

One star ★  representing the lowest quality in terms of the value it offers.

Five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ representing the highest quality in terms of the value it offers.


The previous page asked me how I defined what is valuable to me in an image.  Lots of copy space, high production cost, realistic emotions, timeless imagery, current imagery, etc...  Each on a 1-5 scale.

So maybe someone is trying to listen to what the buyers want.

BTW, this was one of the images:
(http://usability.gettyimages.com/one5m.a.jpg)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pancaketom on January 08, 2012, 00:08
^^^^^ Maybe it is a fiendish new crowdsourcing review model?

speaking of model - that guy looks familiar. :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: RacePhoto on January 08, 2012, 01:01
^^^^^ Maybe it is a fiendish new crowdsourcing review model?

speaking of model - that guy looks familiar. :)

What does he do with those loose pencils in his shirt pocket while he's running the heavy equipment? (looks like a Cat loader or dozer)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: qwerty on January 08, 2012, 01:53
^^^^^ Maybe it is a fiendish new crowdsourcing review model?

speaking of model - that guy looks familiar. :)

What does he do with those loose pencils in his shirt pocket while he's running the heavy equipment? (looks like a Cat loader or dozer)

He was probably signing another model release for Lisa or taking out the bins
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 08, 2012, 04:02
Nah! I hear Lisa's had it with her remodel (didn't she say something about remodel from hell?) - he's driving the dozer at the house and she'll have a great new series of images. Not many people will have those :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on January 08, 2012, 04:56
Well, they may be questioning what makes "quality".  I just received a survey from IS as a "buyer" of imagery asking me to rate about 30 images ( a mix of independent, exclusive and agency work).  However, the standard was supposedly based on my definition of value.
...

The previous page asked me how I defined what is valuable to me in an image.  Lots of copy space, high production cost, realistic emotions, timeless imagery, current imagery, etc...  Each on a 1-5 scale.

So maybe someone is trying to listen to what the buyers want.

Interesting. Probably too little, too late though. Istock's huge mistake was stuffing the front of the search with expensive V/A images and then refusing to provide a price filter for months afterwards.

Of course they are compounding the same mistake now by providing a best match distorted in favour of exclusive images. When will they learn to present what the customer wants to buy rather than what Istock prefers them to buy?

Until Istock wakes up to the idea that they are supposed to be providing a service to the customers and the contributors, rather than dancing to the short-term tune of their profit-masters, they are screwed.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: cobalt on January 08, 2012, 04:57
Hi Sean,

do you think they may be planning to "rate our files on upload" by some kind of system?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: rubyroo on January 08, 2012, 05:15
Surely this must be a precursor to dividing up the library by taking images considered 'low quality' out of the main collection and selling them only via the PP (or the dollar bin, if they still have it).

Didn't they use some phrase a little while ago about up-routing and down-routing images according to their own quality criteria? (I can't remember the exact term they used).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 08, 2012, 06:11
I don't think it's even possible to rate 10+ mil images, they'd have to bother each buyer with hundreds if not thousands of images, not to mention many contributors are also buyers so the results would be biased. Perhaps that's their new strategy, make the contributors also the buyers (you have to buy/convert what, at least 50 credits?), forcing the to do so, "for their greater good" ;D
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on January 08, 2012, 06:28
I don't think it's even possible to rate 10+ mil images, they'd have to bother each buyer with hundreds if not thousands of images, not to mention many contributors are also buyers so the results would be biased.

To some degree they've already been 'rated' by how frequently they were downloaded. If Istock would simply allow that natural process of selection to take place, rather than skewing it in what they mistakedly believe is their own financial interest, then the customers would be far more satisfied with the search results.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: aeonf on January 08, 2012, 06:29
The files are already rated internally by inspectors.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on January 08, 2012, 06:30
The files are already rated internally by inspectors.

^^^ Ouch __ sounds painful!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 08, 2012, 06:35
The files are already rated internally by inspectors.
Never heard that one before, and it wouldn't explain some very bizarre results if so.
It's possible, of course, and I do suspect some sort of 'person' boost.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 08, 2012, 06:46
The files are already rated internally by inspectors.

can you please state a source or is it hearsay?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: aeonf on January 08, 2012, 06:53
Can't state the source but it came from a friend of a few inspectors.
They have a rating of 1 to 5 and this rating is another paramater which gets taken into account (out of many others) in the best match.
Believe it or not is your choice but it does seem logical to me.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 08, 2012, 06:56
Can't state the source but it came from a friend of a few inspectors.
They have a rating of 1 to 5 and this rating is another paramater which gets taken into account (out of many others) in the best match.
Believe it or not is your choice but it does seem logical to me.

I guess independets get an automatic 1 then ;D (or even zero)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 08, 2012, 07:02
Are you sure you/they are not talking about the "normal" rating. Quite often inspectors give an "initial rating" which logically would be taken into consideration of the best match. For example they see something that they think is exceptional and give it an initial rating of 5 which then in turn gives it a boost in the best match. Rating by fellow contributors though it has been stated has no bearing on the best match.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 08, 2012, 07:05
Can't state the source but it came from a friend of a few inspectors.
They have a rating of 1 to 5 and this rating is another paramater which gets taken into account (out of many others) in the best match.
Believe it or not is your choice but it does seem logical to me.
It's no more logical than a 'person' boost, but it might help explain why I've seen wrongly-titled/described/keyworded files at the top of the best match (not counted last year's ingestion waves).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on January 08, 2012, 07:26
I've posted before that I felt an inspector ranking system was a possibility. I wondered about this because some of my new images start off really high in the search while others seem to immediately get dumped to the back.

To me this would make sense since IS doesn't seem to be overly critical on aesthetic value so they let a lot of stuff in to see how it does. So I can see where a nothing-special image gets a low ranking while a nicely executed image gets a higher ranking.  Or... maybe even an inspector's buddy get's a favorable ranking where someone who is constantly bashing inspectors gets a poor ranking. Hmmmm.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Freedom on January 08, 2012, 07:34
From my personal experience, inspector's initial rating does not have anything to do with sales.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on January 08, 2012, 07:46
Surely this must be a precursor to dividing up the library by taking images considered 'low quality' out of the main collection and selling them only via the PP (or the dollar bin, if they still have it).


Oddly enough, this image which was included: http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-2847026-best-friends.php (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-2847026-best-friends.php), is titled "onePrac1Dollar": http://usability.gettyimages.com/onePrac1Dollar.jpg (http://usability.gettyimages.com/onePrac1Dollar.jpg)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 08, 2012, 07:56
From my personal experience, inspector's initial rating does not have anything to do with sales.
I've found it to be a kiss of death, in general   :o  similarly with sales straight out of the newly accepted queue, i.e. before it even gets into my port.
I haven't noticed any of my few IR pics getting a preferential best match boost.
But this wasn't whant aeonf was talking about.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pixel86 on January 08, 2012, 08:56
But again, IF they are going to start rating photos based on a person who works at istock's values and judgment, they are assuming THEY know what a buyer wants. If the purpose is to cull the low qualities to PPs, THEY are once again making choices for buyers. Why don't they give it a rest and stop trying to manipulate everything? The good photos will rise to the top because of sales. THOSE are the ones the buyers want, and the buyers will make the choices.

I don't see how buyers can make choices from a small, random number of images in a survey, and then istock follow through with those choices on millions of other images. Each photo might find a purpose (and therefore a sale) depending on each individual project. If they are weeding out technically bad quality photos, weren't they supposed to do that when they initially inspected them?

Maybe it's just a facade of pretending to care about what buyers want to get them back? After all, nothing has really changed in years regarding istock listening to what anyone (buyers OR contributors) suggests.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on January 08, 2012, 09:09
But again, IF they are going to start rating photos based on a person who works at istock's values and judgment, they are assuming THEY know what a buyer wants.

Isn't that the purpose of an inspector?

What about the other sites where the inspectors more frequently weed out stuff for Low Commercial Value? Isn't that deciding what a buyer wants? In this case, instead of rejecting it they're allowing it in and just giving it a different weight in search results.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 08, 2012, 09:31
But again, IF they are going to start rating photos based on a person who works at istock's values and judgment, they are assuming THEY know what a buyer wants.

Isn't that the purpose of an inspector?

What about the other sites where the inspectors more frequently weed out stuff for Low Commercial Value? Isn't that deciding what a buyer wants? In this case, instead of rejecting it they're allowing it in and just giving it a different weight in search results.

There's at least one iStock inspector who has an even lower dl/ul ratio than my pretty poor rate, despite his pics being studio/model/commercial stuff, so I'm suspecting he had a near-100% acceptance rate and what they're interested in in technical pixel-peeping ability.
Mind you, I've had some weird 'technical' rejections, including one for 'hot or dead pixel', which was a spark from the bonfire visible in the photo.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: rubyroo on January 08, 2012, 09:38
Reading others' comments and thinking a little further...

Perhaps what they're doing is re-assessing the inspectors' rating criteria by comparing it to a sample of buyers' ratings.

@ Sean.  Strange about that image with a '1dollar' name!  I wonder if they've ever renamed images at Getty according to their own categories?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 08, 2012, 09:51
Surely this must be a precursor to dividing up the library by taking images considered 'low quality' out of the main collection and selling them only via the PP (or the dollar bin, if they still have it).


Oddly enough, this image which was included: [url]http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-2847026-best-friends.php[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-2847026-best-friends.php[/url]), is titled "onePrac1Dollar": [url]http://usability.gettyimages.com/onePrac1Dollar.jpg[/url] ([url]http://usability.gettyimages.com/onePrac1Dollar.jpg[/url])


That's quite a big unwatermarked image.  :(
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: cobalt on January 08, 2012, 10:08
.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on January 08, 2012, 10:16
.

I agree totally.  :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 08, 2012, 12:07
.

I agree totally.  :)

Why do you do that, are you afraid of Lobo? :D Now I'm really curious what you 2 agreed on :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 08, 2012, 12:35
Can't state the source but it came from a friend of a few inspectors.
They have a rating of 1 to 5 and this rating is another paramater which gets taken into account (out of many others) in the best match.
Believe it or not is your choice but it does seem logical to me.


In 2004 (when I started) those initial ratings were explicit - you saw them. The default on a file was 3. You might get a 4 with a comment (here's an example of that (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-313480-fading-light.php)). Another example here (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-402407-love-letter.php). I also once had an initial rating of 1 on a raster illustration that I guess the inspector didn't like - I can't link to that as I deactivated it, furious at the 1 rating. It was a temper tantrum but for a while that file was my best seller at SS, so that made me feel better. I do have a file with an embarrassingly not-white background (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-331525-holiday-gold-curl.php) that got an initial 2. And in this initial 2  (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-496307-working-on-the-roof.php)on an uninspired shot they noted the focus could be better - something BigStock also used to do.

I don't remember when they stopped the initial ratings on all files, but it may have been when the ratings were being used to game search position. After that you'd only see it if they gave it an initial 5.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: cobalt on January 08, 2012, 12:58
jsnover has the correct answer. intial ratings are only given if the inspector really likes the file, but it has no effect on best match.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: WarrenPrice on January 08, 2012, 13:06
jsnover has the correct answer. intial ratings are only given if the inspector really likes the file, but it has no effect on best match.

Interesting.  I wondered why some files had ratings and who the people were rating them.  I thought that perhaps it was a holdover from the previously mentioned system gaming.  I can see names of people who rated the images.  Are those the reviewers?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: cobalt on January 08, 2012, 13:08
Many people in your creative network rate your files even today. But it was a lot easier, when we could see the fresh uploads from our network on a seperate page.

If the rating is from in inspector it will just say "initial rating".
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 08, 2012, 13:34
jsnover has the correct answer. intial ratings are only given if the inspector really likes the file, but it has no effect on best match.

Interesting.  I wondered why some files had ratings and who the people were rating them.  I thought that perhaps it was a holdover from the previously mentioned system gaming.  I can see names of people who rated the images.  Are those the reviewers?

No, that's if someone sees your file coming through the new files system. There seem to be some people who hang out there rating files they like - you might notice the same names come up again and again.
If you get an initial rating, that's exactly that it says: "initial rating". You don't get a name.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wolfman on January 08, 2012, 15:45
I don't think the inspector initial rating system is new news. It's been around for years, years ago you used to received ratings from 1-5 - but now it seems it's only used for 5s.

Surely you're not suggesting they have initial ratings and then another internal invisible rating system, that would be rather redundant and superfluous.

Boy oh boy - I am much too slow... Go JSnover!
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: aeonf on January 09, 2012, 03:55
^^ I was not talking about the user ratings of 1-5, these are useless in the best match.
I was talking about an INTERNAL inspector rating hidden from users. A way for them to help better photos "stand out" and worse ones to get buried.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 09, 2012, 08:40
Well, I guess 'being a pal of an inspector' might explain why this contributor's photos, including this one
http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-18651402-african-elephant-in-green.php?st=8e9dc86 (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-18651402-african-elephant-in-green.php?st=8e9dc86)
have been dominating the best match for 'African Elephant' for weeks now. (This one's at position 37, there are several above it, though they've descended a bit since last week.)
And maybe why a Meerkat, by an indy serial spammer, is BM1 on a search for 'lemur'.  >:( :(
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Cogent Marketing on January 09, 2012, 10:28
Well, I guess 'being a pal of an inspector' might explain why this contributor's photos, including this one
[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-18651402-african-elephant-in-green.php?st=8e9dc86[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-18651402-african-elephant-in-green.php?st=8e9dc86[/url])
have been dominating the best match for 'African Elephant' for weeks now. (This one's at position 37, there are several above it, though they've descended a bit since last week.)
And maybe why a Meerkat, by an indy serial spammer, is BM1 on a search for 'lemur'.  >:( :(

He might have a pal but "African Elephant in green" is a poor image, has only 15 views and no downloads, and probably never will have any. But I take your point.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on January 09, 2012, 10:51
^^ I was not talking about the user ratings of 1-5, these are useless in the best match.
I was talking about an INTERNAL inspector rating hidden from users. A way for them to help better photos "stand out" and worse ones to get buried.

^^^ Yet another absurd conspiracy theory entirely without foundation. Or maybe there's even a third rating that Lobo uses to hit people he doesn't like on the forums? Maybe aliens are really controlling things from the Planet Zogg?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on January 09, 2012, 11:16
^^ I was not talking about the user ratings of 1-5, these are useless in the best match.
I was talking about an INTERNAL inspector rating hidden from users. A way for them to help better photos "stand out" and worse ones to get buried.

^^^ Yet another absurd conspiracy theory entirely without foundation. Or maybe there's even a third rating that Lobo uses to hit people he doesn't like on the forums? Maybe aliens are really controlling things from the Planet Zogg?


Well, I know it sounds ridiculous but it really wouldnt surprise me the slightest,  if members like yourself, me, Lisa, Baldrick, etc, etc, are so much in their bad books that we are recieving the special treatment of:  as few sales as possible.
This is easy to orchestrate. Would be an interesting thing to see what the, fair trading dept would say about this. I would not put anything past these guys. Rock bottom.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 09, 2012, 11:17
Or maybe there's even a third rating that Lobo uses to hit people he doesn't like on the forums?
I wouldn't be at all surprised, looking at some of my best match positioning.  :( >:(
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 09, 2012, 11:23
^^ I was not talking about the user ratings of 1-5, these are useless in the best match.
I was talking about an INTERNAL inspector rating hidden from users. A way for them to help better photos "stand out" and worse ones to get buried.

^^^ Yet another absurd conspiracy theory entirely without foundation. Or maybe there's even a third rating that Lobo uses to hit people he doesn't like on the forums? Maybe aliens are really controlling things from the Planet Zogg?


Well, I know it sounds ridiculous but it really wouldnt surprise me the slightest,  if members like yourself, me, Lisa, Baldrick, etc, etc, are so much in their bad books that we are recieving the special treatment of:  as few sales as possible.
This is easy to orchestrate. Would be an interesting thing to see what the, fair trading dept would say about this. I would not put anything past these guys. Rock bottom.

You need to see the men in white coats Christian - paranoia of this level ain't healthy! :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on January 09, 2012, 13:44
Nah! I hear Lisa's had it with her remodel (didn't she say something about remodel from hell?) - he's driving the dozer at the house and she'll have a great new series of images. Not many people will have those :)

ROFL!!  What a great idea!  We'll have to borrow that bulldozer again ;D
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lagereek on January 09, 2012, 14:40
^^ I was not talking about the user ratings of 1-5, these are useless in the best match.
I was talking about an INTERNAL inspector rating hidden from users. A way for them to help better photos "stand out" and worse ones to get buried.

^^^ Yet another absurd conspiracy theory entirely without foundation. Or maybe there's even a third rating that Lobo uses to hit people he doesn't like on the forums? Maybe aliens are really controlling things from the Planet Zogg?


Well, Im joking ofcourse, but think about it, its possible though, isnt it?


Well, I know it sounds ridiculous but it really wouldnt surprise me the slightest,  if members like yourself, me, Lisa, Baldrick, etc, etc, are so much in their bad books that we are recieving the special treatment of:  as few sales as possible.
This is easy to orchestrate. Would be an interesting thing to see what the, fair trading dept would say about this. I would not put anything past these guys. Rock bottom.

You need to see the men in white coats Christian - paranoia of this level ain't healthy! :)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 09, 2012, 16:20
^^ I was not talking about the user ratings of 1-5, these are useless in the best match.
I was talking about an INTERNAL inspector rating hidden from users. A way for them to help better photos "stand out" and worse ones to get buried.

^^^ Yet another absurd conspiracy theory entirely without foundation. Or maybe there's even a third rating that Lobo uses to hit people he doesn't like on the forums? Maybe aliens are really controlling things from the Planet Zogg?


Well, Im joking ofcourse, but think about it, its possible though, isnt it?


Well, I know it sounds ridiculous but it really wouldnt surprise me the slightest,  if members like yourself, me, Lisa, Baldrick, etc, etc, are so much in their bad books that we are recieving the special treatment of:  as few sales as possible.
This is easy to orchestrate. Would be an interesting thing to see what the, fair trading dept would say about this. I would not put anything past these guys. Rock bottom.

You need to see the men in white coats Christian - paranoia of this level ain't healthy! :)

Anything is possible, but one would think they have plenty of other pressing more important issues to worry about then orchestrating personal vendettas against certain contributors - let's hope so at least.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Batman on January 09, 2012, 23:32
Are you sure you/they are not talking about the "normal" rating. Quite often inspectors give an "initial rating" which logically would be taken into consideration of the best match. For example they see something that they think is exceptional and give it an initial rating of 5 which then in turn gives it a boost in the best match. Rating by fellow contributors though it has been stated has no bearing on the best match.

If it has no bearing why do they have it?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 10, 2012, 00:37
Are you sure you/they are not talking about the "normal" rating. Quite often inspectors give an "initial rating" which logically would be taken into consideration of the best match. For example they see something that they think is exceptional and give it an initial rating of 5 which then in turn gives it a boost in the best match. Rating by fellow contributors though it has been stated has no bearing on the best match.

If it has no bearing why do they have it?

That is what I'm saying. Initial rating by inspectors MIGHT have an effect on the best match search. Ratings by fellow contributors used to have an effect, but was misused and has many times clearly been stated to no longer have any effect.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: markrhiggins on January 10, 2012, 00:46
so all exclusive files get rated highly and indies not? lol
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: RacePhoto on January 10, 2012, 03:01
so all exclusive files get rated highly and indies not? lol

I remember sending in a batch of pictures and they were all pretty much produced by identical methods and similar content, with the subject being different. The red one got a 5 the rest nothing. So I guess the reviewer likes red? LOL  :D

I have 18 images with a 5 rating and only one rating. Probably came with the review. Three of them have sold (3 or 4 times each) and for those with slow math... 15 have 0 downloads! Yes that makes me wonder why it's there and if it does anything?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 10, 2012, 04:15
I remember getting an initial 5 back in the summer, the file got sold 3 times in a week or so, but never since then (2 XXXL DLs). Makes me think it could have something to do with the rating, but then again, this photo sales a few times a week on FT and from time to time on other sites (so it's not so unsellable, although it's not stocky at all, it was more a part of a personal project)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 10, 2012, 04:40
Are you sure you/they are not talking about the "normal" rating. Quite often inspectors give an "initial rating" which logically would be taken into consideration of the best match. For example they see something that they think is exceptional and give it an initial rating of 5 which then in turn gives it a boost in the best match. Rating by fellow contributors though it has been stated has no bearing on the best match.

If it has no bearing why do they have it?

Just a 'fun feature'/hangover from the olden days, when it used to factor into best match until the Ratings Gangs went into action.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 10, 2012, 05:13
So, any news on best match? I know some of you perform daily searches and keep daily records. Any improvement at all from the last minor improvement last week?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 10, 2012, 05:36
So, any news on best match? I know some of you perform daily searches and keep daily records. Any improvement at all from the last minor improvement last week?
It's changing all the time. Just tweaks this week.
Of course, an 'improvement' for you or me would be bad news for someone else.
The same parameters aren't used for every term. Some are biassing new files, some big sellers, some presumably something like DL/M over the past year, and some I can't work out (random?).

I noticed something weird last night. I did a search on one term and noted the result.
Then I added in another word in the left column search.
Now, you might think that what would happen is that that best match would change, and all those with both keywords would shuffle up to fill the spaces.
Not at all - the search changed completely.
(Which is, theoretically, what's supposed to happen, as BM2 shuffles your keywords according to their uses in search. But in this case, the inserted 0 sales images messed up what had been a 'top 100 almost clean' search. But otherwise BM2 seems to have been ditched.)
[and if anyone's remotely interested, my first term was 'commercial kitchen' and my added term was 'nobody'. One of my regular searches - my kitchen, with almost 600 dls is down at 105 for 'commercial kitchen' (clean search apart from 2), but up to about 58 for both terms with a lot of isolated food or isolated chopping boards above it.  >:(]

If you mean are indies better represented: another of my best sellers is below several indie files with 0-10 sales, not all particularly new- indeed one older than mine.

Disclaimer: all of the above were last night.
Today, for 'telesales', the top two are indie, and 6 out of the top 20 are indie.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on January 10, 2012, 05:46
So, any news on best match? I know some of you perform daily searches and keep daily records. Any improvement at all from the last minor improvement last week?

Good news. There does appear to have been a change to the down-grading of non-exclusive images. One of my standard searches which last week produced only 13 non-ex images within the first 200 results now has 63 non-ex images, most of them at the bottom of the page though.

My sales at IS for the first 8 days of January are barely more than half what they were last year so hopefully this will help. Istock have now dropped to 3rd place in my earnings and so far just 18% of the total.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 10, 2012, 07:10
Tnx for the info, both of you. I'll wait for a little while though, to see if things settle this way. Then I'll think about uploading again, I have 100 files ready (and already uploaded to all the other sites).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 10, 2012, 08:40

My sales at IS for the first 8 days of January are barely more than half what they were last year
so hopefully this will help. Istock have now dropped to 3rd place in my earnings and so far just 18% of the total.

Likewise. Or to be more exact, mine are a couple short of being half of last year's. The tally is so low that it's down at the level of random noise now.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 10, 2012, 11:07
I had a good Monday, like usually. Then I usually just see sales fading away until next Monday :s
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: SNP on January 10, 2012, 12:39
sales are hitting normal levels, but they are older files, a weird mix....so IMO the best match is unfabulous right now
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on January 10, 2012, 15:06
Things are definitely still off here.  It needs to pick up soon.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: qwerty on January 10, 2012, 15:25
my sales are 50% lower than this time last year.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: cobalt on January 10, 2012, 15:39
I certainly hope it picks up again. At the end of every quarter and of course every new year are deadlines when budgets are closed or opened and customers might decide to go elsewhere.

With all the bugs and high prices - how much incentive is there for customers to come to istock?

Has anything new and exciting been implemented for the customers lately?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on January 10, 2012, 16:06
With all the bugs and high prices - how much incentive is there for customers to come to istock?

I've found for several weeks now that the search does not function properly at Istock. I can search using one term but then cannot cannot add further words (to the box on the LHS). So I can search on 'businessman' for example and get 186K results but if I want to narrow the results, say with 'reading' ... absolutely nothing happens. It's the same on both my newish laptop running Win7 and my PC running XP Pro. I use Explorer 8 as my browser. Anyone else finding this?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Karimala on January 10, 2012, 16:11
I noticed the same thing on my MacBook Pro using the latest edition of Firefox, Gostwyck.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: cobalt on January 10, 2012, 17:17
I saw someone asking about this on facebook, but many others commented that istock works fine for them. It works for me. Obviously another useless bug :(
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 10, 2012, 17:19
With all the bugs and high prices - how much incentive is there for customers to come to istock?

I've found for several weeks now that the search does not function properly at Istock. I can search using one term but then cannot cannot add further words (to the box on the LHS). So I can search on 'businessman' for example and get 186K results but if I want to narrow the results, say with 'reading' ... absolutely nothing happens. It's the same on both my newish laptop running Win7 and my PC running XP Pro. I use Explorer 8 as my browser. Anyone else finding this?

Chrome on a Mac works fine - I get from 166K photos to 4K photos if I narrow the businessman search. I think there were a bunch of bugs IS acknowledged in IE8 and said use IE9 as a workaround while they fix it. I took that to mean there was a minuscule chance of getting a fix (it was accompanied by lots of mumbling about why IE8 wasn't a good release...)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Equus on January 10, 2012, 17:40
I certainly hope it picks up again. At the end of every quarter and of course every new year are deadlines when budgets are closed or opened and customers might decide to go elsewhere.

With all the bugs and high prices - how much incentive is there for customers to come to istock?

Has anything new and exciting been implemented for the customers lately?

So true, and I need to be where the customers are.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 10, 2012, 17:54
I go from 18K+ to 4K+ filtering from 'businessman' and adding 'reading', (FF8/Win7) but I've had a few search blips in FF, IE8 and Chrome, logged in or out, which others can't replicate.
Weirdnesses abound.

At times in autumn, I was regularly getting really small numbers for an open search on 'duck'. I just tried. I typed 'duck' in the top box, and got the suggestion 'duck (freshwater bird)', so I clicked on that - the search phrase separated in the left hand box to 'duck' and 'freshwater bird', so I only get 943 hits. And for most of these, 'freshwater bird' is inaccurate anyway as Mallards can be freshwater or sea, as can many species.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on January 10, 2012, 19:18
Chrome on a Mac works fine - I get from 166K photos to 4K photos if I narrow the businessman search. I think there were a bunch of bugs IS acknowledged in IE8 and said use IE9 as a workaround while they fix it. I took that to mean there was a minuscule chance of getting a fix (it was accompanied by lots of mumbling about why IE8 wasn't a good release...)

Thanks for that. Maybe Istock are only interested in servicing customers using Chrome on a Mac then? That might explain why sales are so poor. I have absolutely no problem performing detailed searches on SS ... or DT ... or FT ... or Amazon ... or Google ... or anywhere but Istock in fact. I really, really can't believe how utterly useless the Istock development team appear to be. The number of 'bugs', downtime, security breaches, loss of basic functionality is almost beyond comprehension.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 10, 2012, 19:32
Has anything new and exciting been implemented for the customers lately?
Does it need to have been something that worked properly?

I bet many buyers would settle for things working properly, in particular search, rather than new and exciting stuff.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: qwerty on January 11, 2012, 03:07
can't get it to work in IE8, works okay on firefox.

You press the button to refine search and it doesn't do anything.

Hopeless.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Karimala on January 11, 2012, 03:27
The January bug report thread said this is a known issue with IE8, and suggests using IE9.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 11, 2012, 04:01
The January bug report thread said this is a known issue with IE8, and suggests using IE9.

How incredibly helpful! What a good thing it is that every customer checks the bug thread regularly to see if there is a work-around for the latest breakage.

I wonder if any customers have posted a complaint in the forum and had it deleted immediately without explanation  because it's not permitted to start threads about "known bugs".

Anyway, if the stupid customers aren't checking the forums regularly, that's their fault, isn't it? There's no reason for there to be any urgency about fixing something once it has been officially recognised as a "known bug" that customers are perfectly capable of avoiding if they only follow the instructions. If they can't be bothered to do that, that's their problem.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 11, 2012, 04:27
Anyway, if the stupid customers aren't checking the forums regularly, that's their fault, isn't it? There's no reason for there to be any urgency about fixing something once it has been officially recognised as a "known bug" that customers are perfectly capable of avoiding if they only follow the instructions. If they can't be bothered to do that, that's their problem.

Indeed. It looks that their customers are mainly half-literate rednecks who can barely figure out how to hold the mouse with their 4 fingers and click the buy button :) . But to think a bit more realistically, I think I just described their programmers ;D . Or they are some obsessive wankers, always with one eye on the pr0n and one hand in their pants, so it's no wonder nothing gets done :D
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Karimala on January 11, 2012, 04:33
Have you guys seen the bugs list lately?!  I try to avoid it as much as possible.  IS is in total meltdown mode.  :o 

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=338991&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=338991&page=1)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 11, 2012, 05:54
Anyway, if the stupid customers aren't checking the forums regularly, that's their fault, isn't it? There's no reason for there to be any urgency about fixing something once it has been officially recognised as a "known bug" that customers are perfectly capable of avoiding if they only follow the instructions. If they can't be bothered to do that, that's their problem.
Someone posted that the real bug was the 'known bug' thread. Once things got reported there they are in limbo: It's unlikely they will get fixed, but people aren't allowed to mention it again. Of course, that post got chopped.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 11, 2012, 05:58
The January bug report thread said this is a known issue with IE8, and suggests using IE9.
It's totally unacceptable that 'change your browser' should be necessary. Or even 'clear your cache (etc)' which is often given.
I have never had to do either to access any commercial site that I used. And wouldn't do it - there's always an alternative.

I'm told that Amazon still functions perfectly, if not quite as prettily, on even the old RiscOS browsers. iStock didn't even work on these when I started there in 2006 - though I'd imagine that the number of potential stock image customers there was microscropic.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: breamal73 on January 11, 2012, 06:33
Using IE8 I've found adding words in the left side "Narrow Your Results" window has no effect to the search, the page doesn't refresh at all.
However , including extra words in the main search window at the top does dramatically, and accurately, narrow the search results.

You're only supposed to upload vector files that are compatible with Illustrator 8 or less (or is it 10 as well now?) to accommodate those using a stone age version of Illustrator and yet it is these same people who are most likely to be using an older browser.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Karimala on January 11, 2012, 06:49
I'm beginning to wonder if this thread is appropriately titled.  Instead of " Another Massive Best Match Shift," shouldn't it be "Another Massive Best Match Break?"   :P  Gotta seriously wonder if the shifts aren't actually breakages at this point.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: ShadySue on January 11, 2012, 08:40
Search is definitely broken and crumbling/eroding by the hour. More and more search bugs being reported all the time, none getting fixed.

I'd be intrigued to know how much revenue was raised for iStock in terms of attracting new buyers or nudging old buyers to buy again by that Facebook ecard campaign they had before Christmas.
I'm guessing that it wouldn't be more than ditching social media for employing people who really know how to code Search functions.

Other than spam and ignorance in keywording, iStock used to have the best Search around (IMO), now it's about the worst. At least in these Good Old Days, if the keywording was good, the search was good; and BM2 was specifically designed to penalise poor keywording (though there were some unintended consequences).
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 11, 2012, 11:13
I think this graph visualizes best match mess perfectly:

(http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/2974/screenhunter01jan111710.jpg) (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/836/screenhunter01jan111710.jpg/)

And I haven't had a single sale today. No other site, even those with not only fewer earnings, but also DLs, doesn't have so erratic sales.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Cogent Marketing on January 11, 2012, 11:51
I think Istock are STILL excluding indies on certain searches and favouring crowns.

Try entering 'valentine's day' as a search. Out of the first 200 images only FOUR images are from indies (and one of those is a blue flag). The first two pages in best match are all crowns (50 per page).

The sneaky *insult removed* are doing specific best match tweaks on current & popular search items.

I'm gonna try some others, like Mothering Sunday, Easter and St Patrick's day and then report back.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: michealo on January 11, 2012, 11:59
I think Istock are STILL excluding indies on certain searches and favouring crowns.

so it is beneficial to be exclusive, now that surprises me, who would have thought ...
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Cogent Marketing on January 11, 2012, 12:05
I'm gonna try some others, like Mothering Sunday, Easter and St Patrick's day and then report back.

Done it. Here are the results, pretty convincing that Indies are still being discriminated against in best match searches for these 'current popular' themes.

Mother's Day:    Only four indie files appear in the first 300 files in best match.

St Patrick's Day:    Six indie files in the first 200 files

Easter:    13 Indie files in the first 200 files.

Not fair, but what can we expect from them? Their track record of recent times is hardly endearing or professional.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on January 11, 2012, 12:06
I'm amazed too. I thought all we exclusives wanted was this golden shiny crown...
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 11, 2012, 12:11
Well at least I won't have to bother with their prehistoric, middle ages torture alike upload process for a while. Or forever.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 11, 2012, 12:28
Well at least I won't have to bother with their prehistoric, middle ages torture alike upload process for a while. Or forever.

What is wrong with DeepMeta, which is also supported by iStock?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: stockastic on January 11, 2012, 12:34
Well at least I won't have to bother with their prehistoric, middle ages torture alike upload process for a while. Or forever.

What is wrong with DeepMeta, which is also supported by iStock?

I also found DeepMeta, the CV, and the whole process to be a PITA.   Some of the dislike is subjective - we saw prices going down while hoop-jumping was increasing.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on January 11, 2012, 12:36
I think Istock are STILL excluding indies on certain searches and favouring crowns.

so it is beneficial to be exclusive, now that surprises me, who would have thought ...

Can you point me to where near total exclusion of non-exclusive files in searches was touted as an exclusive benefit?  I've been on Istock for 7 years, and while there was always an exclusive bias, customers used to be presented with a reasonable choice of indy images too.    

Customers expect "best match" to best suit their search terms, not to be a way of further padding the company's bottom line.  If a customer wanted to see only exclusive images, that has always been an option.  No need to incorporate it into best match.  GOOD exclusive images and talented artists have always been able to stand on their own without rigging the game.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 11, 2012, 12:36
Well at least I won't have to bother with their prehistoric, middle ages torture alike upload process for a while. Or forever.

What is wrong with DeepMeta, which is also supported by iStock?

IMO, it's not much of an improvement, you still have to tick through all that boxes. Besides it's ultra unintuitive, it turns me away from using it. It only reflects their level of programming incompetence, really.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: stockastic on January 11, 2012, 12:43
Customers expect "best match" to best suit their search terms, not to be a way of further padding the company's bottom line.

It really isn't "best match" anymore, is it?   And I don't think they realize how transparent these schemes are, how the word will spread that IS shows you what they want to sell you.   They're poisoning their own well.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pro@stockphotos on January 11, 2012, 13:38
I think Istock are STILL excluding indies on certain searches and favouring crowns.

so it is beneficial to be exclusive, now that surprises me, who would have thought ...

Can you point me to where near total exclusion of non-exclusive files in searches was touted as an exclusive benefit?  I've been on Istock for 7 years, and while there was always an exclusive bias, customers used to be presented with a reasonable choice of indy images too.    

Customers expect "best match" to best suit their search terms, not to be a way of further padding the company's bottom line.  If a customer wanted to see only exclusive images, that has always been an option.  No need to incorporate it into best match.  GOOD exclusive images and talented artists have always been able to stand on their own without rigging the game.

It's not about "riggin the game" its about not "bleeding out" as promoting indies in the IS best match was a slow but quickening death.  Who knows if relegating indies to TS is going to work? But, I remember for a long time here the reporting of SS growth at the expense of IS.  Would you expect IS to see these internal numbers and just continue along this strategy while it benefited only independents and IS loses more market share.   It doesn't bother me to see indies upset with istock for protecting its market share.  I guess one of your baskets is braking eggs.   
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on January 11, 2012, 13:48
It's not about "riggin the game" its about not "bleeding out" as promoting indies in the IS best match was a slow but quickening death.  Who knows if relegating indies to TS is going to work? But, I remember for a long time here the reporting of SS growth at the expense of IS.  Would you expect IS to see these internal numbers and just continue along this strategy while it benefited only independents and IS loses more market share.   It doesn't bother me to see indies upset with istock for protecting its market share.  I guess one of your baskets is braking eggs.   

Wrong on all counts. It is exactly about 'riggin the game' as you put it and, unfortunately for you, can only hasten Istock's demise. Keep drinking the Kool-Aid and avoid all contact with reality for as long as possible.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on January 11, 2012, 14:05
I think Istock are STILL excluding indies on certain searches and favouring crowns.

so it is beneficial to be exclusive, now that surprises me, who would have thought ...

Can you point me to where near total exclusion of non-exclusive files in searches was touted as an exclusive benefit?  I've been on Istock for 7 years, and while there was always an exclusive bias, customers used to be presented with a reasonable choice of indy images too.    

Customers expect "best match" to best suit their search terms, not to be a way of further padding the company's bottom line.  If a customer wanted to see only exclusive images, that has always been an option.  No need to incorporate it into best match.  GOOD exclusive images and talented artists have always been able to stand on their own without rigging the game.

It's not about "riggin the game" its about not "bleeding out" as promoting indies in the IS best match was a slow but quickening death.  Who knows if relegating indies to TS is going to work? But, I remember for a long time here the reporting of SS growth at the expense of IS.  Would you expect IS to see these internal numbers and just continue along this strategy while it benefited only independents and IS loses more market share.   It doesn't bother me to see indies upset with istock for protecting its market share.  I guess one of your baskets is braking eggs.  

I agree. Showing exclusive content in the first pages instead of commodities seems the right way to go. That's not good for indies, but on the other hand they are reporting not selling at IS and selling a lot at other sites and so, the damage for them is minimized.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: SNP on January 11, 2012, 14:12
the site seems slow today, or is it just me? and sales are a mess of strange files. I'd like to see a more comprehensive best match than this.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: pancaketom on January 11, 2012, 14:17

It's not about "riggin the game" its about not "bleeding out" as promoting indies in the IS best match was a slow but quickening death.  Who knows if relegating indies to TS is going to work? But, I remember for a long time here the reporting of SS growth at the expense of IS.  Would you expect IS to see these internal numbers and just continue along this strategy while it benefited only independents and IS loses more market share.   It doesn't bother me to see indies upset with istock for protecting its market share.  I guess one of your baskets is braking eggs.   

I think that most of IS's "bleeding out" is due to a rather unhealthy self cutting habit they seem to have lately with bugs and so on. I don't see completely skewing search results for agency/vetta/edstock/exclusive stuff to be about protecting market share as much as a short term attempt to prop up earnings and sales figures. For all I know it might be working.

It does appear that they are breaking eggs. Maybe a more accurate analogy is it is a balloon basket that is sinking - or at least not rising as fast as they would like- so for now they are flinging out indy eggs. Once those are all gone, I doubt that they will be able to sustain their unsustainable ambitions without flinging some exclusive eggs out next - because I doubt that the wholly owned content will get tossed.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 11, 2012, 14:23
Well at least IS is working for most ppl, according to the poll. Most of them are probably exclusive, so we can extrapolate, that it still pays out to be one.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Cogent Marketing on January 11, 2012, 14:41
Well at least IS is working for most ppl, according to the poll. Most of them are probably exclusive, so we can extrapolate, that it still pays out to be one.
I don't know if 'most people' is a significant number in terms of crowns at IS that come here - if you look at the page after page after page of negative disappointing comments on the IS forum from crowns about the December and (separate thread) overall 2011 numbers - the VAST majority are saying the opposite. I accept there is a unknown quantity being of course, the thousands of crowns that don't even read the forums and post, but notwithstanding that, the overwhelming point of view from crowns who do state an opinion is negative and I would suggest IS is NOT working for them either.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 11, 2012, 15:05

I agree. Showing exclusive content in the first pages instead of commodities seems the right way to go. That's not good for indies, but on the other hand they are reporting not selling at IS and selling a lot at other sites and so, the damage for them is minimized.

Exclusives will not thrive long term with this approach - and I can and did say this while I was exclusive too. Unless iStock turns into a specialist boutique - in which case a whole lot of the exclusives will have to go too as their content is too generic - being the store with the smallest choice of any site just isn't a way to go.

I realize you think that it's OK as long as the indie stuff is there somewhere, even at the back of the bus, but as buyers don't look through more than the first few pages most of the time, it'll look as though it isn't there at all. You'll lose more by frustrating customers than you win by being up front, IMO - it's the buyer that counts. Why send the buyer elsewhere, even for independent stuff? How does that help iStock?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on January 11, 2012, 16:04
There's the possibility that some customers find the indie content at IS... and buy it elsewhere. Not the ocassional customer, who doesn't know how things work at microstock, but yes the recurrent experiencied buyer, the one that spends more. I any case, I think that if you are going to sell at an higher price, the least you can do is offer something tnat can't be bougth cheaper elsewhere.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Cogent Marketing on January 11, 2012, 16:20
There's the possibility that some customers find the indie content at IS... and buy it elsewhere. Not the ocassional customer, who doesn't know how things work at microstock, but yes the recurrent experiencied buyer, the one that spends more. I any case, I think that if you are going to sell at an higher price, the least you can do is offer something tnat can't be bougth cheaper elsewhere.

Been doing that since 2006. Not for exclusive files but always for Independents. Search for it on ISP and then download it from DT or FT. I guess between 1500 - 2000 files have been downloaded that way by us, it used to be (emphasis used to be) the IS search engine/best match/Relevant was the best way to find the image we needed and then we'd simply identify the photographer (Indie) and go elsewhere and download exactly the same image for 30-40% less that what IS charged. It was standard practise, I don't think we have purchased a IS image in the last three years. Right now we don't even bother with IS - straight to SS or DT, don't even bother with FT anymore either.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: lisafx on January 11, 2012, 16:23
There's the possibility that some customers find the indie content at IS... and buy it elsewhere.

That may have been true at one time.  I don't know. Seems so, according to Cogent.  

But considering the functioning of the IS site and search engine the past year or so, I seriously doubt it still happens.  Better to go to a site that functions, has a reliable search engine AND (in some cases) better prices.  

How these other sites manage to function, pay contributors more, charge less, and still turn a substantial profit has me scratching my head.  Must be some sort of magic... :o
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Juanmonino on January 11, 2012, 16:39
Things are not only going bad for independent contributors, for example, today (I'm exclusive) sales are dead for me, I think today is the worst working day in the last 3 years regarding $$$ and dls. There is not a logic for this sudden plummet of sales (beginning of january 2012 has been slow, but not THIS SLOW)

Has anyone here also experienced a substantial drop in sales today? any possible explanation?
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: loop on January 11, 2012, 17:16
I don't count by sales (it's tedious, as you have to open those files that maybe have sold twice or thrice) but for income. Judging by income, today seems slow, bot just a bit slow.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: cobalt on January 11, 2012, 17:37
Things are not only going bad for independent contributors, for example, today (I'm exclusive) sales are dead for me, I think today is the worst working day in the last 3 years regarding $$$ and dls. There is not a logic for this sudden plummet of sales (beginning of january 2012 has been slow, but not THIS SLOW)

Has anyone here also experienced a substantial drop in sales today? any possible explanation?

Unless it is related to some istock site outages - many are reporting 503 errors - unfortunately this could be a clear indicator that customers made a switch to other sites at the beginning of the new year.

These dates are a tremendous opportunity to aquire new customers from competitors but in the last three months I haven't seen anything to indicate that istock was aggressively encouraging customers to switch to us. On the contrary, with all the site bugs and bad communication it seems like they made it very, very easy or the ompetition to steal our customers.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: fotoVoyager on January 11, 2012, 17:44
Things are not only going bad for independent contributors, for example, today (I'm exclusive) sales are dead for me, I think today is the worst working day in the last 3 years regarding $$$ and dls. There is not a logic for this sudden plummet of sales (beginning of january 2012 has been slow, but not THIS SLOW)

Has anyone here also experienced a substantial drop in sales today? any possible explanation?

I'm dead in the water too after a couple of normal days. Can only assume there's some technical problem that's buggering up the search and therefore sales.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: Gannet77 on January 11, 2012, 18:03
Doing fine here.

Good day today, par for the month, 2 ELs so far...
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: gostwyck on January 11, 2012, 18:08
Things are not only going bad for independent contributors, for example, today (I'm exclusive) sales are dead for me, I think today is the worst working day in the last 3 years regarding $$$ and dls. There is not a logic for this sudden plummet of sales (beginning of january 2012 has been slow, but not THIS SLOW)

Has anyone here also experienced a substantial drop in sales today? any possible explanation?

I'm dead in the water too after a couple of normal days. Can only assume there's some technical problem that's buggering up the search and therefore sales.

I'm actually having my best day of the year so far. That means I'm getting about half the sales of a previous 'good day' rather than just a quarter. I think the change to the best match (just the other day) may be helping independents a bit.
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: traveler1116 on January 11, 2012, 18:25
Things are not only going bad for independent contributors, for example, today (I'm exclusive) sales are dead for me, I think today is the worst working day in the last 3 years regarding $$$ and dls. There is not a logic for this sudden plummet of sales (beginning of january 2012 has been slow, but not THIS SLOW)

Has anyone here also experienced a substantial drop in sales today? any possible explanation?


I'm dead in the water too after a couple of normal days. Can only assume there's some technical problem that's buggering up the search and therefore sales.


I'm actually having my best day of the year so far. That means I'm getting about half the sales of a previous 'good day' rather than just a quarter. I think the change to the best match (just the other day) may be helping independents a bit.


I did a few searches and independent files showed up as the first result (guess it's time to start a thread about how unfair that is?) and one of those images was the worst image I've seen on IS in a while (guess it's time to start a thread about how independents get special treatment too?).   For what it's worth, today has been slow for me too.  I mean look at the levels on this photo
(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7008/6681448317_7e16b7df5c.jpg)
Title: Re: Another Massive Best Match Shift
Post by: wut on January 11, 2012, 18:46
I did a few searches and independent files showed up as the first result (guess it's time to start a thread about how unfair that is?) and one of those images was the worst image I've seen on IS in a while (guess it's time to start a thread about how independents