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Author Topic: Buyers Bailing on Istock  (Read 327309 times)

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RacePhoto

« Reply #175 on: September 14, 2010, 13:51 »
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74% of 16% are getting away unscathed? Where did you figure out that those exclusives wouldn't be effected at all? I'm just a lowly independent losing 25% of my low income, in 2011. Can you explain the figure? Seems to me that many more of the low exclusives, the ones with under 500 lifetime downloads, will be taking a cut as well.

The 74% was originally quoted by Kelly T. It was investigated by DGilder who worked out how the figures had been arrived at (basically most exclusives are currently at the base levels and therefore cannot actually drop any further). You'll need to keep up with the threads though if you want the full story.

If you mean wading through the IS forums, no thanks, I'll just trust you to sort out all that pit of sludge. :)

But thanks for explaining that they are already at base levels, so it won't drop 74% of them. I was looking at it from the top down, not the bottom up. Which means it looks positive that 74% won't lose anything, because they are under preforming to start with.

It's like the government unemployment figures saying that less people are applying for benefits each month. Well yes, that's true, but if 15% of all people are unemployed and some people have run out of benefits. the figure is a nice spin on a bad situation. The bottom 74% losing nothing, is leaving out that the top 26% are losing something!

The automatic is everyone else, losing 25% of their income, no matter what! :(

Please don't ask me to read the other forums, I'm not as strong hearted as I used to be.


« Reply #176 on: September 14, 2010, 13:54 »
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in any case, we're all in it together...whether it seems like it or not. the agencies and contributors combined make one big ecosystem, and that's the biggest concern.

I agree 100% with the above.  I can't speak to anyone else's motivations, but for myself, I am making the biggest stink possible for one reason - to try and benefit the entire ecosystem, not just my own tiny part of it.  

This isn't just about istock, this is about a precedent in the industry.  The 20% barrier has been broken.  The "protect our exclusives" barrier has been broken.  

This doesn't just affect us on istock.  The other sites are watching.  

If we don't protest this in the strongest terms, and do whatever we can to show istock this will hurt their financial bottom line, the other sites will quickly follow suit.  Then independents will be completely screwed and so will exclusives, because if you should find you are getting a raw deal at istock, you will no longer have the safety net of going independent to recover your income.  If istock succeeds and profits from shafting its contributors this way, very soon there won't be any place to do to get a better deal.  

very well said.  I couldn't agree with you more.

As for a comment about independents pulling your portfolio from iStock, I say don't do it.  just leave it, you don't have to upload more, but iStock actually will be making less money off of independents when the new royalty structure takes effect.  Their incentive will be to keep people exclusive because that is where they will make the most money.  So keep your port there, at least you'll benefit from some sales, even it is smaller, but it would be better than no sales.  but then again, I completely understand if you want to pull it due to the principal of the whole thing.  

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #177 on: September 14, 2010, 14:03 »
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Frankly sharpshot, I think it is best that independents continue to add diversity to istock. I don't think good riddance like many other very competitive contributors think. Istock is better with the mix of contributor types IMO. But taking that many steps further and trying to erode the business there has the potential to make that decision rather permanent.

nruboc

« Reply #178 on: September 14, 2010, 14:12 »
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in any case, we're all in it together...whether it seems like it or not. the agencies and contributors combined make one big ecosystem, and that's the biggest concern.

I agree 100% with the above.  I can't speak to anyone else's motivations, but for myself, I am making the biggest stink possible for one reason - to try and benefit the entire ecosystem, not just my own tiny part of it.  

This isn't just about istock, this is about a precedent in the industry.  The 20% barrier has been broken.  The "protect our exclusives" barrier has been broken.  

This doesn't just affect us on istock.  The other sites are watching.  

If we don't protest this in the strongest terms, and do whatever we can to show istock this will hurt their financial bottom line, the other sites will quickly follow suit.  Then independents will be completely screwed and so will exclusives, because if you should find you are getting a raw deal at istock, you will no longer have the safety net of going independent to recover your income.  If istock succeeds and profits from shafting its contributors this way, very soon there won't be any place to do to get a better deal.  


I completely agree... i and I'm doing all I can to get the word out...... posting in designer forums, emailing to companies which have used IStock/ThinkStock images.. they're easy to find because they credit IS/TS on the image, talking to designer friends, etc, there's lots we can do

« Reply #179 on: September 14, 2010, 14:22 »
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Frankly sharpshot, I think it is best that independents continue to add diversity to istock. I don't think good riddance like many other very competitive contributors think. Istock is better with the mix of contributor types IMO. But taking that many steps further and trying to erode the business there has the potential to make that decision rather permanent.
I was finding it hard to stay motivated with 20% commission.  My earnings have declined, now they want to reduce them more.  Why would I want to continue uploading?  They would just keep cutting commissions.  There really doesn't seem to be another option.  I have nothing against exclusives but I'm not going to add diversity to istock unless they reward me adequately.  I do this for the money, not a feel good factor.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 14:24 by sharpshot »

« Reply #180 on: September 14, 2010, 14:24 »
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I do this for the money, not a feel goof factor.

:D

« Reply #181 on: September 14, 2010, 14:30 »
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I'm convinced that iStock dropped independent's royalties at least in part so exclusives wouldn't feel singled out for mistreatment.  "You think you're suffering at our hands?  That's nothing to what we've done to those guys."  Maybe they really thought they could get away with paying us a pittance, and maybe they're right, but we're just collateral damage in iStock's attack on the artists who make the big money: the exclusives.

So we have to respond, or we're left accepting an unacceptable situation.  And to the degree we succeed, exclusives suffer.  Making them the collateral damage in our response to being made collateral damage.  Regrettable but unavoidable.

(Except for hawk_eye.  The more he attacks and insults our actions, the less I regret any damage done to him.  You reap what you sow, dude, just as we do.)

« Reply #182 on: September 14, 2010, 14:43 »
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Frankly sharpshot, I think it is best that independents continue to add diversity to istock. I don't think good riddance like many other very competitive contributors think. Istock is better with the mix of contributor types IMO. But taking that many steps further and trying to erode the business there has the potential to make that decision rather permanent.

Your comment makes my decision NOT to buy images at Istock feel like the right decision.  Why would I want to buy images from IS exclusives with so little empathy for their associates and very willing to build their success on the misery of contributors who have also worked hard to earn a living.

Why should independents stay to add diversity to istock when is is quite clear that they will not be compensated fairly for the product that they offer?

Because many of us use corporate accounts to buy images, I think istock has underestimated the number of contributors who are also buyers.

« Reply #183 on: September 14, 2010, 14:46 »
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^^^ Hey, hey, hey __ we are all being screwed and we all need to stick together. H-E's views are not in any way those of most exclusives.

Microbius

« Reply #184 on: September 14, 2010, 15:32 »
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All of your questions presume that your point of view on the situation provides an accurate prediction of the future available to us at istock. I don't have the same point of view, but I'm not an independent. And taking business from me to suit your career choices (remaining independent) is pretty crappy. Anyways, just offering my ten cents, because there's s pretty big bias here most of the time. But I suspect no one is interested is discussing the value of another perspective. I do hope that istock reconsiders the floor for independents to 20%. Believe it or not, exclusives do care what happens with independents. But you're eroding that sense of support, at least speaking for myself.    
Wow, what a victory for IStock, people thinking that independents remaining at 20% is a fair deal and something to be aimed for. Don't forget that this was already pretty much the lowest rate in the industry and a disgusting insult. Lowering to 15% was just unbelievable.

Again, sorry people like you and Vlad who have so much invested in IStock that you can't seem to see how this action helps the majority who made different business choices.

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #185 on: September 14, 2010, 15:37 »
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I see, so the empathy is a one way street. I'm supposed to have empathy while you point buyers away from my work. Anyways, I didn't post here to fight, but I'm certainly not a minority and I don't view this as us vs them anyways. You guys are the ones fueling that culture. You can insinuate that I don't care about non-exclusive welfare, but you are dead wrong. I just don't happen to agree with the sample of contributors in here most of the time.

Microbius

« Reply #186 on: September 14, 2010, 15:41 »
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I don't expect your sympathy at all, our interests conflict too much. You want people to buy from Istock, because you have chosen to stick by them, I want them to buy elsewhere where independents get a better deal.
Our roads have diverged.
I would like your understanding. I understand why you hate the idea of people moving away from Istock, it's taking money out of your pocket.
I'm not sure why you don't seem understand why people buying from Istock (rather than elsewhere) is taking money out of mine.

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #187 on: September 14, 2010, 16:20 »
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I do understand and appreciate what that means for non-exclusives. In any case, best to everyone. I for one will be sincerely disappointed to see some of you leaving istock. If you infer otherwise from my posts, then I'm not achieving anything by posting here.

lisafx

« Reply #188 on: September 14, 2010, 16:31 »
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(Except for hawk_eye.  The more he attacks and insults our actions, the less I regret any damage done to him.  You reap what you sow, dude, just as we do.)


OTOH she's performing a valuable service by continuing to bump up the thread.   ;)

Let's not get distracted from the important purpose of continuing to post buyers accounts of how they are leaving Istock.  If you know of anyone, please post here.  Don't let the shrill voices of defeatism intimidate you...
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 16:36 by lisafx »

« Reply #189 on: September 14, 2010, 16:36 »
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Thomas' post is missing quite a few from the most recent thread, I would dig them out, but I'm a bit busy deleting images at the moment ;)

lisafx

« Reply #190 on: September 14, 2010, 16:45 »
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Thomas' post is missing quite a few from the most recent thread, I would dig them out, but I'm a bit busy deleting images at the moment ;)

No problem David.  You have your work cut out for you.

I will head over and look for more.  If anyone else finds them, please keep posting. 

« Reply #191 on: September 14, 2010, 16:46 »
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I dont know if this means she is bailing or not, but when I posted on my Facebook page last week that I may be joining other stock agencies a designer/buyer friend of mine quickly responded to me asking me to be sure to let her know what other agency (or agencies) I join so that she can add that to her image sources.  Don't think she would drop iStock completely but if she needs to purchase one of my images and can find it cheaper elsewhere, I am sure she will go there. I would guess she may continue to find other images on another site if she found it cheaper with just as much variety and quality as istock.

lisafx

« Reply #192 on: September 14, 2010, 18:44 »
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Well done Jami!

I have never been on Facebook and, other than this forum, I pretty much stay away from "social media", but this situation makes me realize what valuable tools Facebook, Twitter, etc. can be. 

« Reply #193 on: September 14, 2010, 18:47 »
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Well done Jami!

I have never been on Facebook and, other than this forum, I pretty much stay away from "social media", but this situation makes me realize what valuable tools Facebook, Twitter, etc. can be. 

yes, The Twitter is all a rage still about the iStock issue.  some good, some bad, some misleading.  It's very interesting to see the wide variety of perspectives out there. 

« Reply #194 on: September 14, 2010, 20:30 »
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doesnt matter
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 20:34 by Phil »

« Reply #195 on: September 14, 2010, 23:12 »
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Hawk_Eye is right-Buyers buy from a microsite for one or more of the following reasons:

 1-It provide a product  at the cheapest price with the quality  needed.
 2-The product is readily available with great support.
 3-The product is only available at this location.
 But Istock does not produce the product-the contributors do.
 So if for what ever reason ,the contributors do not provide Istock with products that buyers need and meets the above conditions-Istock will fail.
Now I don't know if the reactions to Istock latest rule changes will be a tipping point or not- but it might be.
Smiling Jack
miling

lisafx

« Reply #196 on: September 15, 2010, 07:31 »
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Now I don't know if the reactions to Istock latest rule changes will be a tipping point or not- but it might be.


If this is not the tipping point, I suspect that will come in January.  Kelly has promised the exclusives they will all be making more money.  Since royalties are being cut, that additional money will most likely come from yet another price hike.  

It is harder and harder for buyers to find cheap images on Istock.  They will soon be buried behind the Agency collection, Vetta (which is getting a price hike), and Exclusive collection (which needs to be hiked to make up for royalty cuts).

Most likely there will be a lot more fodder for this thread in January.  If the treatment of contributors isn't enough of a tipping point, the relentless price increases will be.  

helix7

« Reply #197 on: September 15, 2010, 08:40 »
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If this is not the tipping point, I suspect that will come in January.  Kelly has promised the exclusives they will all be making more money.  Since royalties are being cut, that additional money will most likely come from yet another price hike...

I'm actually kind of surprised that a price increase wasn't part of last week's announcement. I doubt HQ would have guessed that there would be any buyer reaction to the royalty cut, so they could have logically concluded that rolling out a royalty cut and price increase would work. They might have had to deal with a double backlash, but it would have probably been on two separate fronts. And it would have possibly lessened the damage done since contributors might have been more likely to quietly go along with it if they knew that a price increase might offset the royalty cut losses.

Now they've got a major contributor backlash, on top of which buyers are becoming more aware of iStock's industry-low pay rates. Maybe that alone doesn't move very many buyers away from iStock, but a January price increase sure would.

I can get why iStock would try to pull off a price increase in January, but I think it could be that very tipping point that destroys the company. This contributor backlash they'll survive. There won't be enough of a wide-spread reaction by contributors, and buyers don't have too much incentive to take their business elsewhere based on royalty rates alone. But a price increase on top of the already highest prices in microstock, and then on top of the royalty issue that buyers are aware of (even if that alone doesn't make them react), could be that proverbial last straw that makes buyers say, "Enough already!"

« Reply #198 on: September 15, 2010, 12:57 »
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I contribute to iStock for fun. My real job is Art Director at a Canadian Magazine. I'm starting to feel like I'm supporting a big corporation instead of the artists. After I burn up my last batch of credits, I'll be taking my business elsewhere. 85% percent is just too much profit IMO.


SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #199 on: September 15, 2010, 12:59 »
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85% profit is not an accurate number. sigh. too bad, leaving takes away your support from many artists in fact.


 

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