MicrostockGroup

Agency Based Discussion => iStockPhoto.com => Topic started by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 10:06

Title: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 10:06
Since most of us appear to agree that changing buyer's behavior is the best response to Istock's unethical money grab, it would be great to read what buyers have to say. 

I know that some buyers have voiced plans to leave, but it's really hard to find their posts, buried as they are in all the justifiable contributor outrage. 

It would be nice to be able to read what buyers have to say here on MSG.  If you are a buyer who is going to leave Istock, or if you have found a post somewhere by a buyer who is leaving, or if any of the buyers you have contacted have responded, could you post it here?  It might have a stronger impact if we can see the buyer comments in one place.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 10:46
Thanks to Peresanz for posting links to some of the buyers in istock thread who are going to take their business elsewhere. 



Surfing through the enormous thread is a pain. I found three, though:

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4613522[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4613522[/url])

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4616262[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4616262[/url])

and this one, crying out loud:

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4615822[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4615822[/url])
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: anonymous on September 09, 2010, 10:57
Photography is a "hobby" for me and my tiny little port of 250 images at IS will not sway their decision, my REAL job is creative director for fortune 1000 co.
Not only do you have my support in no longer purchasing from IS (have about 50 credits that I'll spend this weekend so that some of you can get your 20% - and I'll buy nothing with a crown : P   ), but I'm pulling my port as well. It's only worth about $500 per year, but I'll feel better about myself. We also have monthly "designer meetings" (people from area design companies get together to suck down scotch and crab cakes) and I will take my 10 minutes of speech time to make sure that they're at least aware of this.

It's unfortunate that Wall-St found its way into MS

added: and even if all of this gets IS to modify or completely drop this plan, I'm done with them.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ThomasAmby on September 09, 2010, 11:00
MORTON
I'm listening but not hearing much.
Admins, check how much i spend here. And I'm only here because I was referred by a contributor who I'm very fond of. Out of respect for that contributor, and others I am actively looking elsewhere for my images.
I'm sure Getty don't need my money anyway. You have now placed Vetta out of my reach. The agency collection doesn't interest me at all and you are constantly trying to get me to Thinkstock. If I'm looking for a subs package I've found a better deal on another site outside of the Getty empire.
Contributors. It's a big step but you need to get together, take your content and your ethics and reasonable prices and royalties and start up again. Designers will follow. Designers are cool. iStock was cool, Getty isn't.

What a rotten way to treat people.

LIZZIELOU (buyer who has spent more than $10000 over the last five years, documented with a screenshot)
I'll have to go where the images go. I believe this will have to start with the big contributers moving, buyers following then the smaller conrtibutors follow. but in support I will try to shop elsewhere before here especially if the artist is not wearing a crown (which is looking more like a dunce hat)

POLEKSPRESS (member since 2005)
I will never buy credits from Istock again!!!!!!!!!

ABDESIGN
I am the art director for a company who has purchased close to 2500 images here at istock. We will never again purchase images from here. In fact, is there a way to get your current credits refunded. I will be throwing away my crown before the end of the year and moving on. This place disgusts me.

SDbT
In protest ... I just used up the last of my credits and will not purchase further content at iStock until this situation is resolved.

MORTMATCH (corporate master)
I'm a pissed-off buyer. Microstock is cheap to begin with. Giving contributors less of a piece of the pie -- and I pity the non-exclusives taking such a hit as well as the exclusives who bought in to the promise of rewards for selling only to iStock customers -- is beyond greedy and mean-spririted. It's sweatshop labor. Hear that, iStock? S-W-E-A-T-S-H-O-P. I'm disgusted.
A couple of months ago, I had my company open a corporate account for thousands of dollars. And I can change that.
By the way, let me take a crack at running your business. I think I can make those margins sustainable without screwing your artists. I really think I can. How hard can it be to make something profitable when you're raking in 70 percent of the income of a product you don't even make?

anonymous
Photography is a "hobby" for me and my tiny little port of 250 images at IS will not sway their decision, my REAL job is creative director for fortune 1000 co.
Not only do you have my support in no longer purchasing from IS (have about 50 credits that I'll spend this weekend so that some of you can get your 20% - and I'll buy nothing with a crown : P   ), but I'm pulling my port as well. It's only worth about $500 per year, but I'll feel better about myself. We also have monthly "designer meetings" (people from area design companies get together to suck down scotch and crab cakes) and I will take my 10 minutes of speech time to make sure that they're at least aware of this.

It's unfortunate that Wall-St found its way into MS

added: and even if all of this gets IS to modify or completely drop this plan, I'm done with them.

GBALEX
I have worked in the advertising industry for years and our clients are mainly medium to small local businesses and a few large local corporations. I became a submitter in early 2004 to and thought seriously about quitting my job to develop a port large enough to live on.
I decided against it because I was afraid that it would end this way. I worried about the # of images flooding the market to the extent our work would be devalued. The writing was on the wall as you started seeing photographers who used to make decent money producing stock start offering workshops and frequenting micro forums to scare up customers simply because the money they made teaching others to produce stock is better than the money they made producing stock content themselves.
The end result has been many more submitters with LCV work burying images that we as buyers actually need for our projects.  Those submitters would never have made the cut if they had not been coached and most will never produce the type of work that most agencies and their clients need.
Besides being a buyer of images I know many submitters who have worked long and hard to provide a good living for themselves and I do not take the moves that IS has made lightly!  I think IS has forgotten that a great many buyers are also submitters and that as creative's we have respect and empathy for each other.
Micro does need to make changes, however I will not be supporting IS any longer.  Even before this move I have been buying my images more and more from sites who support photographers, graphic artists, video & audio producers.
With this move I have discussed this with my co workers and we have decided to no longer buy our content from IS.
I don't see things improving any day soon unless sites make moves to reduce LCV work, improve search engines and also raise prices for the end product.  That is hard right now because advertising in general has dropped because of the global recession.
I will encourage other buyers to examine how IS has treated its content providers and I will encourage them to seek other options.  Our company will no longer be buying IS content!

cameronpashak
I have continued to be a loyal customer and will buy an image that might not be the best out of all the ones i also found on other sites but still have bought it just because. If this goes thru, I will look at things for a year or so as a contributor. If I do worse next year under this structure, then i will look at my options as i can't really afford the time to upload to other sites at this moment.

But I can assure you the 60% of my earnings that i spend here buying images will definitely be spent somewhere else from the moment this is confirmed. I know that sounds crazy and not fair to our contributors but this is out of principle. If HF want to milk me of my continued hard work....they aint getting one bit of it back in the form of me buying images and I have the assurance of 3 other designer friends (none of which are contributors) of mine they are going to do the same as they see how hard outside of my regular work contributing images to istock.
Full post (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4626002)

ForwardDesign
While having been a $1000 - $1400 per year "buyer" at Istockphoto, I'm rather surprised by their indifference to their contributors. We seem to live in a day and age where corporate greed is king. At our 10:00am meeting tomorrow, I will bring this up to our design staff and see if they know of an image source that plays more fairly at the schoolyard. After reading the forum posts, I have to agree that there is a serious difference in the mathematical understanding and a rather callus response from Istockphoto staff. It's likely that somebody upstairs desires a larger paycheck and/or they're jockeying to sell.
CNET (http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20015830-264.html#ixzz0z4KodWD7)

leremy
I am a contributor and also a buyer at istock. I still have 26 credit. I have so far only buy images from istock (I had spent about usd500 so far since 1 year ago), and with this recent development that really irritate me, I will definitely not buy anymore credits from istock. Yes, there are plenty other agencies out there that I can buy pictures from. Just a side note, one of them has helped me in making 6x times more money than what I have made here. The more I think of it, the more it make sense for me to buy elsewhere. [...]
Full post (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4645982)

dsteller
[...]I am a contributor and I am a buyer. I am not big in either, but my 2000+ purchases are significant to me. It is sad for me to say but I am going to be purchasing elsewhere from here on out. [...]
Full post (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4658722)

caspixel
[...]As a buyer, I am very excited to see some new fresh content at some other sites. You guys provide great content. The best, really. Time to share.
Full post (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4661252)

anthony_taylor
As the library depletes, so will the custom. As a contibutor I'm being forced out. As a designer and buyer of images for national retail chain here in the UK I'll be taking my company's business elsewhere.
Full post (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4668702)

emrah
[...]I'm definitely not buying any photos and stupid announcements of istock any more
Full post (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4669632)

GeoffBlack
I will no longer buy here.
Full post (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4656272)

Jancouver
[...]BTW. I also bought 440 files from iStock for our projects but I will NOT buy a single file again from iStock!
Full post (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4656922)

ChrisGorgio
Shame on you for treating your long-standing contributors this way. Especially non exclusives who will be dropping to a base rate of 15%. If I'm not mistaken the lowest commission in the industry.
I will no longer be buying here or recommending the site to others.
Unbelievably greedy and ungrateful. Shame
Full post (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&messageid=4554592)

Anja_Kaiser
If these changes should actually take effect, I'm going to delete my entire portfolio on new year's eve. *NOONE* will take up to 85% of what *my* work earns. I was almost about to reach the golden canister level and now it's for the trashbin? Plus a huge pay-cut? Plus a slap in my face? NO. Enough is enough. I'll lose about $400 to 500 a month (still), but my pride's worth something, too. iStock will lose me as a contributor and a buyer as well. The whole thing is blatantly barefaced and respectless.
Full post (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&messageid=4565412)

JDehoff
I don't upload photos or illustrations of my own, so this does not effect me the same way. However, I have been downloading images to use in design projects from istock for years. The rates for images continue to go up each time I need to buy credits. I thought this would go to overhead and the artists. And now you're giving the artists I depend on a paycut? It seems like you're collecting more from both sides. Has someone gotten greedier?
The allure to istockphoto was that istock was NOT Getty images. I am saddened that istock has chosen to sell out and has opted to grow too large to maintain what made them unique in the first place. Change is only good if you don't lose the core of what made you good to begin with.
I guess I will increase my patronage to other, "smaller" stock image sites in the future in order to support the artists, instead of a corporation. Very disappointing istock.
Full post (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&messageid=4578262)

ktasos
I deactivated my second file!!! I have nothing to loose as a non-exclusive contributor.I think if the things remain the same i will delete my entire portfolio soon... plus i will never buy not a single $ from this place anymore
Full post (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&messageid=4579722)

Lazyfish
[...]But as a buyer i'm pissed off. I spend several thousand dollars on here every year through my corporate name, and i did that percisely because you guys were not getty. i liked the iStock model and always felt i was helping the little guy with the money my design agency makes. My business partner and I will have to re-evaluate were we spend our money now. I don't feel right giving it to you.
I feel sorry for people making their living on here. Good luck to you all!
Full post (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&messageid=4581262)

anonymous
I had dinner tonight with the two people with whom I built the redacted. The artist/co-designer is currently working on an independent film and was shocked when I told him what IS are currently doing - he said that he's spent around $2,000 in the last month at IS on images and videos, and he will no longer buy there.
Full post (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4675472#post4675472)

acromedia
Although its been said many times already, I just have to add: Wow.
As a partner/creative director at a web design firm, I've used and steered numerous client to istock for years. I just added up our invoices and we've spent over $6000 here in the past few years.
However, once our credits run out, we will no longer purchase from istock or any other getty sites. It is insane how the contributors here are being treated, and I cannot in good conscious support a company that abuses its suppliers in these manners.
I urge you all to remember that you have a choice; creating thousands of posts is a good way to let of some steam, but I'd encourage you to spend that effort moving your content to other sites, of which I hope to see and buy your work.
Change, take action, send a message.
Full post (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=255782&messageid=4742382)

Crooky0
[...]I am not a contributor...I merely came here to buy stock photos, and have spent a decent amount of money here over the past few years. I have never boycotted a business in my entirely life before now. Congratulations, iSP...you are the first! How's it feel to be #1?
Full post (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4734982)

mericsso
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.
Full post (http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/buyers-bailing-on-istock/175/)

hqimages
Yup, I'm downloading from Stockfresh now.. it's the only good alternative for me anyway.. but it feels good that there is an alternative with similar quality to istock, and better % for uploaders..
Full post (http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/buyers-bailing-on-istock/200/)

luriete
(I'm a photographer, and a client who buys usually 750 credits a year - we'll switch to someone else on that front and ask other agencies we work with to do the same)
Full post (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382&messageid=4733342)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: FD on September 09, 2010, 11:04
Should've kept the permalinks though :\
For what? The thread on IS will vanish soon. They can't afford that kind of content creeping into Google.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: etienjones on September 09, 2010, 11:05
Photography is a "hobby" for me and my tiny little port of 250 images at IS will not sway their decision, my REAL job is creative director for fortune 1000 co.
Not only do you have my support in no longer purchasing from IS (have about 50 credits that I'll spend this weekend so that some of you can get your 20% - and I'll buy nothing with a crown : P   ), but I'm pulling my port as well. It's only worth about $500 per year, but I'll feel better about myself. We also have monthly "designer meetings" (people from area design companies get together to suck down scotch and crab cakes) and I will take my 10 minutes of speech time to make sure that they're at least aware of this.

It's unfortunate that Wall-St found its way into MS

added: and even if all of this gets IS to modify or completely drop this plan, I'm done with them.


Thanks anonymous for the support.  If anything can make a difference then this kind of action could.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ThomasAmby on September 09, 2010, 11:06
Should've kept the permalinks though :\
For what? The thread on IS will vanish soon. They can't afford that kind of content creeping into Google.

Well, that's very true. Better get them posted in here before it's too late.
IS need to open their eyes. These are their buyers.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: KB on September 09, 2010, 11:16
and I'll buy nothing with a crown : P
Why is that? What have exclusive contributors done to earn your wrath? In some ways, we are hurt more by this move than independents. Of course, it's your decision, and your money. I'm just curious why you feel that way.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: FD on September 09, 2010, 11:35
Well, that's very true. Better get them posted in here before it's too late.
IS need to open their eyes. These are their buyers.
You can take screenshots or (better) save the pages offline.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: anonymous on September 09, 2010, 12:13
and I'll buy nothing with a crown : P
Why is that? What have exclusive contributors done to earn your wrath? In some ways, we are hurt more by this move than independents. Of course, it's your decision, and your money. I'm just curious why you feel that way.
Nothing personal, it just always seems to be the "little guy" that gets crapped on the most and it's the independants that get burned the most in this decision.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ThomasAmby on September 09, 2010, 12:14
and I'll buy nothing with a crown : P
Why is that? What have exclusive contributors done to earn your wrath? In some ways, we are hurt more by this move than independents. Of course, it's your decision, and your money. I'm just curious why you feel that way.
Nothing personal, it just always seems to be the "little guy" that gets crapped on the most and it's the independants that get burned the most in this decision.

As a non-exclusive, I think it's the other way around. Well, we're both getting screwed, but exclusives seem to take a bigger hit
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: KB on September 09, 2010, 12:29
and I'll buy nothing with a crown : P
Why is that? What have exclusive contributors done to earn your wrath? In some ways, we are hurt more by this move than independents. Of course, it's your decision, and your money. I'm just curious why you feel that way.
Nothing personal, it just always seems to be the "little guy" that gets crapped on the most and it's the independants that get burned the most in this decision.
As a non-exclusive, I think it's the other way around. Well, we're both getting screwed, but exclusives seem to take a bigger hit
Thanks, I do agree with you as far as total income goes. As an independent, I would've lost about 6-8% of my total income. As an exclusive, it's going to be a 16% drop.  I'm definitely going to feel more pain as an exclusive than I would've before, an an independent.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: disorderly on September 09, 2010, 12:33
As a non-exclusive, I think it's the other way around. Well, we're both getting screwed, but exclusives seem to take a bigger hit

Depends on how you look at it.  In an absolute dollar sense, you're probably right.  Exclusives make more there, so they have more to lose.  But that's not the only way to see this one.  Exclusives mostly lose potential income growth; everybody at lower canisters will keep the same percentage under the new plan, but will lose the change to ever move up.  By iStock's figures, ¾ of them won't see a dime less.  But independents all lose; with maybe one or two exceptions, every single independent will be compensated at a significantly lower rate.  Mine drops by 20%; others go even further.  So in the comparison between those who don't make more and those who make significantly less, I know where my sympathies would lie.  If I were disinterested, which of course I'm not.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Mellimage on September 09, 2010, 12:42
Another Buyer protesting:
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4624682 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4624682)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: helix7 on September 09, 2010, 12:44
Another Buyer protesting:
[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4624682[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4624682[/url])


Just saw that one. Wow is that huge.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: KB on September 09, 2010, 12:44
Exclusives mostly lose potential income growth; everybody at lower canisters will keep the same percentage under the new plan, but will lose the change to ever move up.  By iStock's figures, ¾ of them won't see a dime less.
Your argument would be valid if the 3/4 figure were accurate. I don't believe it is (and I know in my case, as I have said, I will be losing 16% of my income, all other things being equal).

Interesting argument, eh? Who's getting screwed harder.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ThomasAmby on September 09, 2010, 12:50
Keep them coming, I'll try to keep my initial post updated
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on September 09, 2010, 12:57
Another Buyer protesting:
[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4624682[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4624682[/url])


I think Mortmatch deserves to be quoted in full on this page. What an exquisitely terse and to-the-point diatribe;

"I'm a pissed-off buyer. Microstock is cheap to begin with. Giving contributors less of a piece of the pie -- and I pity the non-exclusives taking such a hit as well as the exclusives who bought in to the promise of rewards for selling only to iStock customers -- is beyond greedy and mean-spririted. It's sweatshop labor. Hear that, iStock? S-W-E-A-T-S-H-O-P. I'm disgusted.

A couple of months ago, I had my company open a corporate account for thousands of dollars. And I can change that.

By the way, let me take a crack at running your business. I think I can make those margins sustainable without screwing your artists. I really think I can. How hard can it be to make something profitable when you're raking in 70 percent of the income of a product you don't even make?"

ETA: That's interesting __ if you click on Mortmatche's name now he has disappeared! Along with his Corporate Master shield.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 09, 2010, 13:03
Yeah, that's pretty to the point.

But if you click on Mortmatch's link it goes to the homepage. Wonder what happened.

ETA: You ETA'd while I was posting.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on September 09, 2010, 13:14
Exclusives mostly lose potential income growth; everybody at lower canisters will keep the same percentage under the new plan, but will lose the change to ever move up.  By iStock's figures, ¾ of them won't see a dime less.
Your argument would be valid if the 3/4 figure were accurate. I don't believe it is (and I know in my case, as I have said, I will be losing 16% of my income, all other things being equal).

Interesting argument, eh? Who's getting screwed harder.

I don't think the focus should be on who is getting screwed the most, non-exclusives or exclusives. I think we all agree we ALL are getting screwed one way or another. Let's just leave it at that and stay united. If a buyer has more sympathy towards independents, that his/her right. Let's not make them justify their choices. Stay focused.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on September 09, 2010, 13:16
I don't think the focus should be on who is getting screwed the most, non-exclusives or exclusives. I think we all agree we ALL are getting screwed one way or another. Let's just leave it at that and stay united. If a buyer has more sympathy towards independents, that his/her right. Let's not make them justify their choices. Stay focused.

Well said indeed Cathy!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gbalex on September 09, 2010, 13:29
I have worked in the advertising industry for years and our clients are mainly medium to small local businesses and a few large local corporations. I became a submitter in early 2004 and thought seriously about quitting my job to develop a port large enough to live on.

I decided against it because I was afraid that it would end this way. I worried about the # of images flooding the market to the extent our work would be devalued. The writing was on the wall as you started seeing photographers who used to make decent money producing stock start offering workshops and frequenting micro forums to scare up customers simply because the money they made teaching others to produce stock is better than the money they made producing stock content themselves.

The end result has been many more submitters with LCV work burying images that we as buyers actually need for our projects.  Those submitters would never have made the cut if they had not been coached and most will never produce the type of work that most agencies and their clients need.

Besides being a buyer of images I know many submitters who have worked long and hard to provide a good living for themselves and I do not take the moves that IS has made lightly!  I think IS has forgotten that a great many buyers are also submitters and that as creative's we have respect and empathy for each other.

Micro does need to make changes, however I will not be supporting IS any longer.  Even before this move we have been buying content more and more from sites who support photographers, graphic artists, video & audio producers.

With this move I have discussed this with my co workers and we have decided to no longer buy our content from IS.

I don't see things improving any day soon unless sites make moves to reduce LCV work, improve search engines and also raise prices for the end product.  That is hard right now because advertising in general has dropped because of the global recession.

I will encourage other buyers to examine how IS has treated its content providers and I will encourage them to seek other options.  Our company will no longer be buying IS content!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Danicek on September 09, 2010, 13:30
That's interesting __ if you click on Mortmatche's name now he has disappeared! Along with his Corporate Master shield.

Wise move to delete - ban buyers.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ap on September 09, 2010, 13:58

Interesting argument, eh? Who's getting screwed harder.


don't know who's getting screwed harder, or whether it matters, but this poll http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/poll-what's-your-future-commission-rate-photos!/25/ (http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/poll-what's-your-future-commission-rate-photos!/25/) shows that 99% of indies will be dropping their commission rate, whilst 42% of all exclusives will be maintaining their current commission rate.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Nordlys on September 09, 2010, 14:03
and I'll buy nothing with a crown : P
Why is that? What have exclusive contributors done to earn your wrath? In some ways, we are hurt more by this move than independents. Of course, it's your decision, and your money. I'm just curious why you feel that way.

Well - when some one pissis on me I for one Piss back.

Beisides - you should thank us, while on your knees whining. Hurting IS on the wallet, is the only thing that can bring the silly management at IS to the negosiationg table. The independents leaving, and taking their businnes and clients with them, is "money talks".

Remeber - there are 80%+ non ex. on IS.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 14:07
Photography is a "hobby" for me and my tiny little port of 250 images at IS will not sway their decision, my REAL job is creative director for fortune 1000 co.
Not only do you have my support in no longer purchasing from IS (have about 50 credits that I'll spend this weekend so that some of you can get your 20% - and I'll buy nothing with a crown : P   ), but I'm pulling my port as well. It's only worth about $500 per year, but I'll feel better about myself. We also have monthly "designer meetings" (people from area design companies get together to suck down scotch and crab cakes) and I will take my 10 minutes of speech time to make sure that they're at least aware of this.

It's unfortunate that Wall-St found its way into MS

added: and even if all of this gets IS to modify or completely drop this plan, I'm done with them.

As far as I am concerned you and the other buyers who are leaving on principle are heroes.  It's one thing to talk about how things should be.  It's another to support the artists and vote with your feet.  Thank you!

And thanks also for spreading the word to your fellow designers!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Perry on September 09, 2010, 14:10
All these IS buyers bailing... it's like music to my ears! :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: macrosaur on September 09, 2010, 14:20
Since most of us appear to agree that changing buyer's behavior is the best response to Istock's unethical money grab, it would be great to read what buyers have to say. 

I know that some buyers have voiced plans to leave, but it's really hard to find their posts, buried as they are in all the justifiable contributor outrage. 

It would be nice to be able to read what buyers have to say here on MSG.  If you are a buyer who is going to leave Istock, or if you have found a post somewhere by a buyer who is leaving, or if any of the buyers you have contacted have responded, could you post it here?  It might have a stronger impact if we can see the buyer comments in one place.

FUCK !

how dumb you guys are ?

1 - newspapers
2 - all photo news sites (PDN, etc)
3 - photo blogs
4 - IT blogs (techcrunch, slashdot, etc)
5 - news aggregators
6 - TV (who knows)
7 - photo forums
8 - photo newslettes
9 - photo newsgroups on Usenet
10 - and the list goes ooooonnn......


now, you spend hours talkinh crap.
follow this focking 10 steps for once and you WILL see some results.

trolls knows it better.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 14:28
Just finished reading Thomas' excellent post compiling the buyers' comments.  Well done!  And thanks so much to the folks who have been able to unearth them in that monster thread!

Most of all, three cheers for the buyers who have supported all of us these past several years, and who are continuing to support the contributors by taking their business to more ethical agencies:  Morton, Lizzielou, Polekspress, ABDesign, SDbT, Mortmatch, anonymous, and Gbalex.

Hopefully the list will continue to grow as more designers get word of what's happening.

And Cathy, I totally agree that this shouldn't be about exclusive vs. independent.  We are all getting hosed here to one degree or another and this rampant greed threatens everybody.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on September 09, 2010, 14:31
Just finished reading Thomas' excellent post compiling the buyers' comments.  Well done!  And thanks so much to the folks who have been able to unearth them in that monster thread!

Most of all, three cheers for the buyers who have supported all of us these past several years, and who are continuing to support the contributors by taking their business to more ethical agencies:  Morton, Lizzielou, Polekspress, ABDesign, SDbT, Mortmatch, anonymous, and Gbalex.

Hopefully the list will continue to grow as more designers get word of what's happening.

And Cathy, I totally agree that this shouldn't be about exclusive vs. independent.  We are all getting hosed here to one degree or another and this rampant greed threatens everybody.

Hear, hear.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: rubyroo on September 09, 2010, 14:43
Hear Hear (also)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on September 09, 2010, 14:44
^^^ +3
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: katzeye on September 09, 2010, 15:05
Hi, I just joined this group.  So glad I found it.  I just spent the past five years gradually building to get to be exclusive at iStock.  I am now knocked down to 15% with no hope of ever crawling out of that hole.  I didn't go exclusive, yet, thank goodness.  Now I will try starting over at other agencies.  A designer friend posted this on my FB page:

Getty owns the whole image world. That is silly that iStock is paying the photographer's less. I am getting tired [of] the costs that keep going up on purchasing images.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 15:37
Hi, I just joined this group.  So glad I found it.  I just spent the past five years gradually building to get to be exclusive at iStock.  I am now knocked down to 15% with no hope of ever crawling out of that hole.  I didn't go exclusive, yet, thank goodness.  Now I will try starting over at other agencies.  A designer friend posted this on my FB page:

Getty owns the whole image world. That is silly that iStock is paying the photographer's less. I am getting tired [of] the costs that keep going up on purchasing images.

Welcome aboard Katzeye!  Thanks for posting your designer friend's comment here.

Hope you took the opportunity to tell her about the better paying sites.   :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: traveler1116 on September 09, 2010, 15:44
Photography is a "hobby" for me and my tiny little port of 250 images at IS will not sway their decision, my REAL job is creative director for fortune 1000 co.
Not only do you have my support in no longer purchasing from IS (have about 50 credits that I'll spend this weekend so that some of you can get your 20% - and I'll buy nothing with a crown : P   ), but I'm pulling my port as well. It's only worth about $500 per year, but I'll feel better about myself. We also have monthly "designer meetings" (people from area design companies get together to suck down scotch and crab cakes) and I will take my 10 minutes of speech time to make sure that they're at least aware of this.

It's unfortunate that Wall-St found its way into MS

added: and even if all of this gets IS to modify or completely drop this plan, I'm done with them.
You can buy from the crown too, we're all getting screwed here.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: KB on September 09, 2010, 15:45
and I'll buy nothing with a crown : P
Why is that? What have exclusive contributors done to earn your wrath? In some ways, we are hurt more by this move than independents. Of course, it's your decision, and your money. I'm just curious why you feel that way.

Well - when some one pissis on me I for one Piss back.

Beisides - you should thank us, while on your knees whining. Hurting IS on the wallet, is the only thing that can bring the silly management at IS to the negosiationg table. The independents leaving, and taking their businnes and clients with them, is "money talks".

Remeber - there are 80%+ non ex. on IS.
Perhaps you should make sure you know who pissed on you before you piss back?

But I'm not going to contribute to this stupid argument any longer; I agree with those that say it's counterproductive. We are all getting screwed by Getty -- that's the part to focus on.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Nordlys on September 09, 2010, 15:57
and I'll buy nothing with a crown : P
Why is that? What have exclusive contributors done to earn your wrath? In some ways, we are hurt more by this move than independents. Of course, it's your decision, and your money. I'm just curious why you feel that way.

Well - when some one pissis on me I for one Piss back.

Beisides - you should thank us, while on your knees whining. Hurting IS on the wallet, is the only thing that can bring the silly management at IS to the negosiationg table. The independents leaving, and taking their businnes and clients with them, is "money talks".

Remeber - there are 80%+ non ex. on IS.
Perhaps you should make sure you know who pissed on you before you piss back?

But I'm not going to contribute to this stupid argument any longer; I agree with those that say it's counterproductive. We are all getting screwed by Getty -- that's the part to focus on.

It's beacuse you don't get it. IS will keep changing goals until all exclusives are down to the standard Getty 20% royalty. You wil get F* over, and over, and over again.

The only way to get Getty to the negociating table, it to give them a hit on the wallet - i.e. IS sales. This is what the independents are doing for you. We are trying to save your asses. At the same time we free ourselves from the tyranny of Getty by taking our pics, our clients, and our DL's to other sites.
Wake up - wipe the cloth of IS sweettalk from your eyes....
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: pet_chia on September 09, 2010, 16:06
Quote
The end result has been many more submitters with LCV work burying images that we as buyers actually need for our projects.

What is "LCV" ?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on September 09, 2010, 16:08
^^^ Low Commercial Value __ crap images basically.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ThomasAmby on September 09, 2010, 16:13
One more added
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 09, 2010, 16:20
Quote
It's another to support the artists and vote with your feet.  Thank you!

That has got to be the most self-interested moronic comment I've read in this whole debate. Why would anyone contributing to IS want people to go elsewhere and thus damage the artists income?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ason on September 09, 2010, 16:26
Hi People!

Im very tired...but plz spread it on FB and twitter, I started today in swedish...
I don´t think byers know this Istockpolicy, so tell them...pardon from a very tired swede..
pardon the swenglish...
/lena
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 16:26
Quote
It's another to support the artists and vote with your feet.  Thank you!

That has got to be the most self-interested moronic comment I've read in this whole debate. Why would anyone contributing to IS want people to go elsewhere and thus damage the artists income?

LOL.  Both self-interested AND moronic?  That seems a bit OxyMoronic to me ;D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: disorderly on September 09, 2010, 16:30
Quote
It's another to support the artists and vote with your feet.  Thank you!

That has got to be the most self-interested moronic comment I've read in this whole debate. Why would anyone contributing to IS want people to go elsewhere and thus damage the artists income?

To point out to iStock management that their actions have consequences?  To put every other agency on notice that we're not just sheep to be fleeced?  And that's ignoring the very human "screw with me and I'll screw with you" response to being bullied.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 09, 2010, 16:44
Quote
.  Both self-interested AND moronic

That's right, they exist hapily together, you've just shown that.

Quote
To point out to iStock management that their actions have consequence

Look mate, you're hardly a big seller on IS. For a lot of people it's their entire source of income, start chasing buyers away and people are not happy. Duh!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Nordlys on September 09, 2010, 16:45
Quote
It's another to support the artists and vote with your feet.  Thank you!

That has got to be the most self-interested moronic comment I've read in this whole debate. Why would anyone contributing to IS want people to go elsewhere and thus damage the artists income?

To point out to iStock management that their actions have consequences?  To put every other agency on notice that we're not just sheep to be fleeced?  And that's ignoring the very human "screw with me and I'll screw with you" response to being bullied.

Well - the independnts are going to leave IS i masses. So we will naturally redirect our clients to our other sites, as we pull down our stuff from IS.
We'll also stop buying images from IS.
The independents are about 75% of IS contributers in numbers, though not in images, but we buy a lot casuse many of us also run design shops aside the photography.
All that businnes is now leaving IS as we leave IS.

For the exclusives I feel sorry- but you just made a bad business desition.

I remember advicing Lisa some years ago, not to put all her eggs in the IS bag - I bet she glad about that today?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: dirkr on September 09, 2010, 16:45

That has got to be the most self-interested moronic comment I've read in this whole debate. Why would anyone contributing to IS want people to go elsewhere and thus damage the artists income?

I am not damaging my income if buyers go elsewhere. I am (i.e. my images are) elsewhere.
Istock / Getty are damaging my income (come next year) by lowering the already lowest commission in the industry by another 25%.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Nordlys on September 09, 2010, 16:49
Quote
.  Both self-interested AND moronic

That's right, they exist hapily together, you've just shown that.

Quote
To point out to iStock management that their actions have consequence

Look mate, you're hardly a big seller on IS. For a lot of people it's their entire source of income, start chasing buyers away and people are not happy. Duh!

In futura I not - I left the place. As in independent I'm noto responsible for YOUR business desitions. I make my own. If I chose to redirect my clients and my network to other sites, that MY desition. If you choose to stay with IS - thats YOUR desition!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 09, 2010, 16:50
Quote
I am (i.e. my images are) elsewhere.

Oh yeah, I see, 400 sales in 2 years, a real pro!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 09, 2010, 16:51
Quote
If I chose to redirect my clients and my network to other sites, that MY desition.

Oh, I bet you're another big seller!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: helix7 on September 09, 2010, 16:53
Look mate, you're hardly a big seller on IS. For a lot of people it's their entire source of income, start chasing buyers away and people are not happy. Duh!

They made the choice to go all-in with one source of income. I'm not going to remain supportive of a company like istock just to keep a few exclusives happy.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 16:54
Looks like threats of driving buyers away from istock to better paying sites have upset some folks.  That's a good thing.    

Vlad is the first, but definitely not the last to try and derail our attempts to respond to this situation by trolling up the forum threads and dragging us off topic.  

This thread makes a lot more sense and is much more on topic now I've put him on ignore :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 16:56

I remember advicing Lisa some years ago, not to put all her eggs in the IS bag - I bet she glad about that today?

I don't know who you are, but if you were one of the folks who gave me that excellent advice about staying diversified, THANK YOU.  I am indeed glad!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ThomasAmby on September 09, 2010, 16:57
Quote
If I chose to redirect my clients and my network to other sites, that MY desition.

Oh, I bet you're another big seller!

"vlad_the_imp",

Do what you have to do, we'll do what we have to do.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: disorderly on September 09, 2010, 16:58
This thread makes a lot more sense and is much more on topic now I've put him on ignore :)

Indeed.  You're a wise woman, Lisa.  I spent tens of seconds working on a reply before I reached the same conclusion.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 17:49
I have had decent sales today at a couple of sites that are usually dead in the water - Canstock and Crestock.  And my Fotolia sales are up by about 50% over what they usually are on a weekday. 

It's probably way too soon to see a noticeable difference from customers moving, but it did seem unusual.  Anyone else experiencing the same? 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: luissantos84 on September 09, 2010, 17:50
I have had decent sales today at a couple of sites that are usually dead in the water - Canstock and Crestock.  And my Fotolia sales are up by about 50% over what they usually are on a weekday. 

It's probably way too soon to see a noticeable difference from customers moving, but it did seem unusual.  Anyone else experiencing the same? 

I just see a very good performance at 123RF
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Lizard on September 09, 2010, 19:00
Me too , especially on 123RF , 3x usual last 2 days  ;D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: pet_chia on September 09, 2010, 19:07
Evidently the istock inspectors formed a union or started a boycott or something ... I seem to have a lot of files piled up in the queue.

Not sure but I think maybe this company did the business equivalent of shouting, "Hey watch me step on this rake!"
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ap on September 09, 2010, 19:19
so, there is really no point to not uploading as a protest strategy.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: disorderly on September 09, 2010, 19:34
so, there is really no point to not uploading as a protest strategy.

Why do you say that?  I'm not disagreeing necessarily.  But I'd expect that sort of protest to take a lot of people over a lot of weeks to get anyone's attention at all.  Heck, my upload slots don't open up again for another 24 hours.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ap on September 09, 2010, 19:40
Why do you say that?  

it seems the reviewers are on strike indefinitely. it doesn't matter whether you upload or not. i still have files from the first of the month.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: disorderly on September 09, 2010, 20:00
Why do you say that?  

it seems the reviewers are on strike indefinitely. it doesn't matter whether you upload or not. i still have files from the first of the month.

That may just be the US holiday this past weekend.  I have a batch from last Friday that's waiting for review, but everything else is caught up.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Pixart on September 09, 2010, 20:20
Maybe the reviewers are on strike too?  Aren't they all exclusives?  Think they are happy>?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Blufish on September 09, 2010, 20:36
Not Having internet or cable for almost 3 days and look what i missed!  I will be notifying my designer friends to go elsewhere with their stock dollars. IStock's decision is completely asinine.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 09, 2010, 21:58
I’ve been reading about the IS debacle and see a lot of people allowing their emotions to get the better of them.  Istock has been on a downward slide for months now and everyone should have expected this to happen.  Probably not so soon but it was definitely on the cards.  Istock has made one bad decision after another and their last attempt at improving their website has probably blown their budget causing the big Kahunas at the top to kick ass, forcing them to reduce costs.  Of course the quickest way to do this is to reduce commissions.

I see people have stopped uploading and are pulling (or talking about pulling) their portfolios.  Istock is worried about their bottom line so I advise contributors to do the same.  For those earning a living, don’t let your emotions drive you to make a bad decision.  Instead make this a slow and steady process.  Set up your position on other viable sites and slowly reduce your portfolio on IS.  Don’t do anything hasty that will you hurt you.

The other thing everyone needs to remember is that this isn’t necessarily an Istock problem.  This is a microstock problem.  You could remove your portfolio and dump it onto another site but the same thing will happen in the future.  The new site will grow, money will be invested, bad decisions will be made, budgets will be blown out and eventually they’ll be forced to shaft the contributor.

The only solution to all of this is, as a few have pointed out, to educate the buyer.  Stop referring contributors and buyers to sites that make you the most revenue.  Instead, refer them to sites that give you both greater commission and a better deal for the buyer. 

The poll results on the left are biased and do nothing more than give power to the already greedy agents.  It's flawed because not everyone gets to vote for starters and because it's about sales volume rather than RPD.  This table should be scrapped and replaced with a table that displays the fairest pricing and commission structure for both buyers and contributors.  Buyers should be able to look at this table and it should immediately influence them on making a decision where to buy.  It should also influence contributors to upload to the site that gives them and the buyer the best deal and it should also influence the agents to strive to be at the top of the list.

This table could possibly be made into something like a widget that can be placed on everyone’s websites and blogs and is always kept up to date.  Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and all social networking sites should be used to educate the buyer.  There’s no point driving them to an agent that makes you more money if it doesn’t give them the best price.  The majority of buyers don’t care where they buy their images as long as it’s the cheapest alternative.  If they find the same image on two websites that are both cheap only then will the contributor’s commission influence their decision and this is what we need to play on.

So if it's going to hurt you and your family, leave your IS portfolios sit for a while, promote the fairer sites and the buyers will follow if we start promoting agents with the interests of the buyer at heart.  Even if it’s a new site with no buyers yet, just add your portfolios and at least give the buyer the option of buying them there.

As for Istock, there is no need to punish them.  They’re already finished.  They cannot come out on top of this one.  Even if they reverse their decision, contributors and some buyers have already lost faith in them.  And this is the other thing, it is silly to be loyal to any agent.  These agents are supposed to have the buyers and the contributors’ best interest at heart but the world doesn’t work that way.  Forget about loyalty.  Instead favour the agent that’s the fairest at any given time and never become exclusive.  Doing that only gives the agent the power to screw you over you by locking you in. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: madelaide on September 09, 2010, 22:59
Maybe the reviewers are on strike too?  Aren't they all exclusives?  Think they are happy>?

Maybe the review payments were reduced too?  ;D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gbalex on September 10, 2010, 00:04
You make some good points pseudonymous
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cybernesco on September 10, 2010, 00:24


pseudonymous, great post, thank you for your input and welcome. Denis
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Phil on September 10, 2010, 00:39
You make some good points pseudonymous

very
Title: Sales are up
Post by: Nordlys on September 10, 2010, 03:31
Sales all over my sites (FOT, DT, SS, Alamy) are going up, and up and up these past two days.

And to Lisa FX - we had a mail discution some years back about going exclusive or not, and I recommended you to take a look at the alternatives, such as Alamy, DT, SS etc. My nick on IS was Asist.

I was really glad to see when you started to diversify - it will keep you and our family on your feet, even though IS income will drop or disapear. In time IS will selfdsestruct, and we gain the loss on our other sites.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Freezingpictures on September 10, 2010, 04:43
I have had decent sales today at a couple of sites that are usually dead in the water - Canstock and Crestock.  And my Fotolia sales are up by about 50% over what they usually are on a weekday. 

It's probably way too soon to see a noticeable difference from customers moving, but it did seem unusual.  Anyone else experiencing the same? 

I experience the same for the last two days, but with iStockphoto  ::)
Might be the season.
Title: Re: Sales are up
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 10, 2010, 04:49
Sales all over my sites (FOT, DT, SS, Alamy) are going up, and up and up these past two days.

And to Lisa FX - we had a mail discution some years back about going exclusive or not, and I recommended you to take a look at the alternatives, such as Alamy, DT, SS etc. My nick on IS was Asist.

I was really glad to see when you started to diversify - it will keep you and our family on your feet, even though IS income will drop or disapear. In time IS will selfdsestruct, and we gain the loss on our other sites.

I'm seeing nothing anywhere that is not easily explained by old "ebb and flow". In fact on many sites I am doing worse than I would expect. I wouldn't expect to see anything happening at this stage though, it took months for the signs of possible buyer resistance to turn up in the sales pattern after the last price hike.
Title: Re: Sales are up
Post by: Nordlys on September 10, 2010, 04:53

I'm seeing nothing anywhere that is not easily explained by old "ebb and flow". In fact on many sites I am doing worse than I would expect. I wouldn't expect to see anything happening at this stage though, it took months for the signs of possible buyer resistance to turn up in the sales pattern after the last price hike.

Well - that what I see, but ofcourse, it too early to judge a long term effect, but I hear a lof of others reporting the same - but we will have to wait and see the long term effect of all this.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: microstockphoto.co.uk on September 10, 2010, 09:23
My sales on all other sites are good indeed in these last few days.
But it's early for me to say if it's an effect of disillusionment or just September.
Let's hope you are right.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 10, 2010, 09:24
For Exclusives at IS thinking about alternatives I have some help for them which is found here below.

It is a submission portal called Isyndica (url supplied below)

[url]http://vds.isyndica.com/Affiliate/sumos[/url] ([url]http://vds.isyndica.com/Affiliate/sumos[/url])


Well, this may be very good information, Sumos, but you seem to be spamming the site by posting the same thing to every single thread in the IS forum. 

Not to mention it is totally OT, as this is a thread about buyers and their intentions to buy at other sites instead of Istock.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ichiro17 on September 10, 2010, 10:46
For Exclusives at IS thinking about alternatives I have some help for them which is found here below.

It is a submission portal called Isyndica (url supplied below)

[url]http://vds.isyndica.com/Affiliate/sumos[/url] ([url]http://vds.isyndica.com/Affiliate/sumos[/url])


Well, this may be very good information, Sumos, but you seem to be spamming the site by posting the same thing to every single thread in the IS forum. 

Not to mention it is totally OT, as this is a thread about buyers and their intentions to buy at other sites instead of Istock.


Seriously, stop spamming sumos, no one cares
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: NancyCWalker on September 10, 2010, 10:47
Here's another buyer bailing.

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4645982 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4645982)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 10, 2010, 15:48
Here's another buyer bailing.

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4645982[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4645982[/url])


Thanks for posting that link Nancy.  Just to add to the summary that Thomas is compiling, here's the relevant portion of Leremy's comments:

"I am a contributor and also a buyer at istock. I still have 26 credit. I have so far only buy images from istock (I had spent about usd500 so far since 1 year ago), and with this recent development that really irritate me, I will definitely not buy anymore credits from istock. Yes, there are plenty other agencies out there that I can buy pictures from. Just a side note, one of them has helped me in making 6x times more money than what I have made here. The more I think of it, the more it make sense for me to buy elsewhere."
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ErickN on September 10, 2010, 15:51
Another one : http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193 (http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 10, 2010, 15:56
Another one : [url]http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193[/url] ([url]http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193[/url])


Fantastic article.  Yay Ember Studios!  This is so well written and explains the problem so succinctly, this will probably be the blog I link to in my future e-mails explaining the situation.    Thanks for posting Eric :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Microbius on September 10, 2010, 16:10
Yeah I thought about posting a link to it on Facebook
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Dreamframer on September 10, 2010, 16:14
I got more than 50 referred buyers on Istock. Maybe I could ask them for the opinion?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: helix7 on September 10, 2010, 16:16
Another one : [url]http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193[/url] ([url]http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193[/url])


Sorry to disappoint, but that's my blog. :)

I keep a separate website and blog for my design business. But in light of this week's news, I figured a little overlap was needed. ;)

Glad everyone likes the post. Feel free to link to it wherever.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on September 10, 2010, 16:17
Another one : [url]http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193[/url] ([url]http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193[/url])


Sorry to disappoint, but that's my blog. :)

I keep a separate website and blog for my design business. But in light of this week's news, I figured a little overlap was needed. ;)

Glad everyone likes the post. Feel free to link to it wherever.


I thought that was yours....great post by the way. It describes what was going on exactly how it is.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: helix7 on September 10, 2010, 16:20
Thanks. Just trying to spread the word any way I can. My design site/blog gets a decent amount of traffic from marketing professionals, other designers, etc., so it seemed like a good place to share some info and opinion on what's going on in stock.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: pet_chia on September 10, 2010, 16:24
Maybe the reviewers are on strike too?  Aren't they all exclusives?  Think they are happy>?

Maybe the review payments were reduced too?  ;D

I had a bunch of files reviewed in the last 24 hours ... evidently the reviewers were distracted for a day or so while they read all the forum threads and calculated their new commission levels, then got back to work.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on September 10, 2010, 16:33
I doubt most buyers are the lemmings they are being made out to be. this is another fiasco a la istock forums. the very fact that TPTB haven't shut it down proves its relative impotence. no business is going to sit there and let their suppliers bitch and moan to the detriment of their survival. anyone with half a brain reading that thread is going to think it is exactly what it is, a collection of pissed off, knee jerk reactions.

Lisa - you're always going to be one of the best, nicest contributors out there and I do sincerely feel for non-exclusives like you. I hope for the ultimate well-being of your business, but I was surprised to see you start this thread and applaud some of the attitudes and actions taking place. you're so much better than that.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: corepics on September 10, 2010, 16:33
yet another one (found via the istock threat):

http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193 (http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: corepics on September 10, 2010, 16:34
Never mind.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ErickN on September 10, 2010, 16:34
Another one : [url]http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193[/url] ([url]http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193[/url])


Sorry to disappoint, but that's my blog. :)


No disappointment here  :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: modellocate on September 10, 2010, 21:34
Istock seems to be evolving further towards higher priced images. I'd not be surprised if they're happy to loose all but the top layer of contributors. Though I'm puzzled how the new commission schedule will attract new sellers. For someone like me, ShutterStock is still the place to be. However I'm earning more in other royalties in a few months than I ever did with microstock -- so maybe microstock in general won't be my main focus at all.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: FD on September 10, 2010, 22:42
Lisa - you're always going to be one of the best, nicest contributors out there and I do sincerely feel for non-exclusives like you. I hope for the ultimate well-being of your business, but I was surprised to see you start this thread and applaud some of the attitudes and actions taking place. you're so much better than that.
Hahaha. Maybe she has some honestly left.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 10, 2010, 23:24

Lisa - you're always going to be one of the best, nicest contributors out there and I do sincerely feel for non-exclusives like you. I hope for the ultimate well-being of your business, but I was surprised to see you start this thread and applaud some of the attitudes and actions taking place. you're so much better than that.

Thanks a lot for the kind words.  You know I think highly of you too :)

I have not been on board with bashing of exclusives, so that is not an attitude I have supported, but I certainly do support protesting this terrible change.  And as people with much more business acumen than I have said the best way to protest is to direct buyers to sites that offer a fairer commission, then that seems like a good starting place.

I know that as a person with the highest integrity (which I think describes you very well) you would do the same if it is what you thought was right...
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Microbius on September 11, 2010, 03:23
I doubt most buyers are the lemmings they are being made out to be. this is another fiasco a la istock forums. the very fact that TPTB haven't shut it down proves its relative impotence. no business is going to sit there and let their suppliers bitch and moan to the detriment of their survival. anyone with half a brain reading that thread is going to think it is exactly what it is, a collection of pissed off, knee jerk reactions.
I really hope you are wrong. I am sorry that as an exclusive your fate is tied so closely that of IStock, but as an independent I feel that if IStock is allowed to get away with this there will be no end to the shafting we'll get from the industry.
Independents have historically had to put up with one of the lowest rates in the industry from IStock and now they want to cut it by 25%.
We are the ones who have supported the site and helped to bankroll a lot of benefits for exclusive that we just don't get as non exclusives. There is only so far people can be pushed.
I for one will continue to spread the word that IStock should not be supported by buyers because of its treatment of contributors.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: TylerCody on September 11, 2010, 03:52
Buyer's bailing on iStock? That is the real question. The new royalty structure will hurt some contributors, but not all. What will hurt all contributors though, and iStock themselves, is if buyers do start bailing.

These messages that keep coming out from Kelly which are getting worse sounding, and more insulting to the contributors each time, could be the real start of the downfall of iStock.

I assume these messages are a collective thought process of all the admins at iStock, but obviously they are all a bit clueless on what to put out there at this point considering the backlash from contributors increases with each new post from KK.

This is the more worrysome part. People laugh at the inept sounding replies, but they are really no joke. They could hurt the company and in turn hurt the contributors even more than the new royalty scheme changes.

At this point I think the best thing everyone can hope for is that iStock decides to hire a proper PR firm to try and clean up the PR disaster started by Kelly.

Knowing that Kelly probably doesn't have a strong enough corporate management background to properly deal with the spiraling situation he started means that he should take a back seat at this point and let someone who is more capable handle the situation.

Getty, who are a bunch of serious corporate players, have to be scratching their heads at this point wondering if they have the right team in place at iStock to handle this sort of corporate disaster.

I am sure iStock admins are giving Getty assurances they have it under control, that this is just the usual ranting and raving that goes on from contributors when they make changes, and that it will all comfortably blow over very soon.

I am afraid it might not be the case though time time and iStock might have opened up a can of whoop-ass on themselves this time around that they are not capable of handling.

Lets hope they get things back under control very soon for the greater good of everyone.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Microbius on September 11, 2010, 04:03
Buyer's bailing on iStock? That is the real question. The new royalty structure will hurt some contributors, but not all. What will hurt all contributors though, and iStock themselves, is if buyers do start bailing.

Nope, those buyers will not stop buying images, just buy elsewhere. IStock have just made themselves the worst place for independents to sell work, the only thing that prevents independents pulling portfolios is the volume of sales. Once those sales move to other sites there will be no reason to keep on with IStock (or what's left of it). We'll still get our money, just from other sites that pay and are managed better.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: TylerCody on September 11, 2010, 04:07
Buyer's bailing on iStock? That is the real question. The new royalty structure will hurt some contributors, but not all. What will hurt all contributors though, and iStock themselves, is if buyers do start bailing.

Nope, those buyers will not stop buying images, just buy elsewhere. IStock have just made themselves the worst place for independents to sell work, the only thing that prevents independents pulling portfolios is the volume of sales. Once those sales move to other sites there will be no reason to keep on with IStock (or what's left of it). We'll still get our money, just from other sites that pay and are managed better.

I agree with you 100%. I think you might have slightly misunderstood my post though. I did not say buyers would stop buying images, but might start bailing on iStock, which means buying images elsewhere. So I am in full agreement with you. Please reread what I wrote. Cheers. Tyler.
Title: Start moving buyer to better paying sites
Post by: Nordlys on September 11, 2010, 04:08
Now is the time to move buyers to our better paying sites. A 25% cut and 15% base is not good enough, so heres what everybody should do:

1: Stop linking to Istock from your website, your blog, and from forum threads. This will help better paying agencies move up in Google rank, thus getting in more buyers.

2: Stop buying images at IS, try everyone else before going there. Why put money in to venture bankers pockets, when you can put money in to artists pockets.

3: Tell everyone in your network to please do the same as the above. And tell them to tell their network too.

4: Tell everyone around you, that buying at IS, is just putting money in to bankers pockets, and tell everone you know that they exploit artists by paying them as litte as 15%.

5: Do the storytelling on your website, on your blok, on twitter, in magacines etc. all over the world.

Following the above will quickly lead to a massive raise in sales in the better paying agencies, god for all independent artist - bad for greedy bankers.

Now GO and ACT!
[/color]
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Microbius on September 11, 2010, 04:13
Buyer's bailing on iStock? That is the real question. The new royalty structure will hurt some contributors, but not all. What will hurt all contributors though, and iStock themselves, is if buyers do start bailing.

Nope, those buyers will not stop buying images, just buy elsewhere. IStock have just made themselves the worst place for independents to sell work, the only thing that prevents independents pulling portfolios is the volume of sales. Once those sales move to other sites there will be no reason to keep on with IStock (or what's left of it). We'll still get our money, just from other sites that pay and are managed better.

I agree with you 100%. I think you might have slightly misunderstood my post though. I did not say buyers would stop buying images, but might start bailing on iStock, which means buying images elsewhere. So I am in full agreement with you. Please reread what I wrote. Cheers. Tyler.

Sorry I was referring to the bit I quoted "What will hurt all contributors though.... is if buyers do start bailing." I was pointing out that it would not hurt all contributors.

I did read your post carefully, I agree with everything else you said, I think the evaluation of the situation in IStock was spot on.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 11, 2010, 06:23


pseudonymous, great post, thank you for your input and welcome. Denis

Thanks Denis.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on September 11, 2010, 06:36
Buyer's bailing on iStock? That is the real question. The new royalty structure will hurt some contributors, but not all. What will hurt all contributors though, and iStock themselves, is if buyers do start bailing.

These messages that keep coming out from Kelly which are getting worse sounding, and more insulting to the contributors each time, could be the real start of the downfall of iStock.

I assume these messages are a collective thought process of all the admins at iStock, but obviously they are all a bit clueless on what to put out there at this point considering the backlash from contributors increases with each new post from KK.

This is the more worrysome part. People laugh at the inept sounding replies, but they are really no joke. They could hurt the company and in turn hurt the contributors even more than the new royalty scheme changes.

At this point I think the best thing everyone can hope for is that iStock decides to hire a proper PR firm to try and clean up the PR disaster started by Kelly.

Knowing that Kelly probably doesn't have a strong enough corporate management background to properly deal with the spiraling situation he started means that he should take a back seat at this point and let someone who is more capable handle the situation.

Getty, who are a bunch of serious corporate players, have to be scratching their heads at this point wondering if they have the right team in place at iStock to handle this sort of corporate disaster.

I am sure iStock admins are giving Getty assurances they have it under control, that this is just the usual ranting and raving that goes on from contributors when they make changes, and that it will all comfortably blow over very soon.

I am afraid it might not be the case though time time and iStock might have opened up a can of whoop-ass on themselves this time around that they are not capable of handling.

Lets hope they get things back under control very soon for the greater good of everyone.

It isn't the greater good of everyone, it would be for the greater good of the exclusives who will be losing money. I don't really care if IS hires a PR firm to handle their disaster or not. If you think Kelly's speeches were a bunch of crap, wait until you hear what spin a PR firm would put on things. Sorry, I disagree with you.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 11, 2010, 06:54
There was a recent post on iS from a contributor/designer saying he sourced images for a major UK company's national ad campaigns and would be going elsewhere. I can't find the link - it's either gone or buried too deep.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ThomasAmby on September 11, 2010, 08:38
9 more added.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on September 11, 2010, 08:48
9 more added.

Where are the nine more? I thought they were going into this thread.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ThomasAmby on September 11, 2010, 08:55
9 more added.

Where are the nine more? I thought they were going into this thread.

Sorry for not explaining
They are in my first post on page 1 of this thread. Just in order to have them in one place

...More to come
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Perry on September 11, 2010, 08:55
9 more added.

Where are the nine more? I thought they were going into this thread.

You are correct. They are added on the first page, in the fourth message.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sofe on September 11, 2010, 09:11
I am an exclusive contributor to istock. I will go from 40% to 35% most likely (at least if sales keep up). But I for one would like this to really hurt for istock. They have stabbed me in the back. I put my trust in them, and this is what they do! Unfortunately Im too dependent on the money since its my main income, otherwise I would leave immediately. Now it has to be a more long term goal, but I will work towards it.

There are few things I hate more than greed, and I feel this is motivated by nothing but pure, ugly greed. H&F want some more money on top of the pile they already got. I hope buyers leave by the thousands. That's the only thing that will really hurt them. And I hope all non exclusive contributors that are not dependant on the money will leave as well. 15% is an insult! Don't let the remaining 85% go to Getty/H&F.

Unfortunately I don't think the other microstock companies that I have checked out seem like such great ones either. I hate subscriptions, and it seems on most of them you cant opt out of that. We should get paid reasonably for our work. If I were to start a site there would be no subscriptions. The contributors would get a fair royalty and a good percentage of the profit would be given back as bonus to the contributors at the end of the year. I really wish there was a site that was focused on representing the contributors/artists in a successful and sustainable (real world sustainable, not H&F/Getty greed sustainable) way rather than focused on making the most possible profit.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lagereek on September 11, 2010, 09:25
I personally know of a London based photographer who is a pretty heavy contributor but he is also a big partner in an Advertising/designer agency, who for ages obviously have bought all their stock from IS.
Im pretty darned sure, when he gets hold of this news though,  his agency will probably go elsewhere.
see, the trouble is, sooner or later you pick on the wrong crowd,  dont you.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Nordlys on September 11, 2010, 09:29
I personally know of a London based photographer who is a pretty heavy contributor but he is also a big partner in an Advertising/designer agency, who for ages obviously have bought all their stock from IS.
Im pretty darned sure, when he gets hold of this news though,  his agency will probably go elsewhere.
see, the trouble is, sooner or later you pick on the wrong crowd,  dont you.

I think the bean counter missed this. Many part time contributers work in the design and advertising industri, and often spent more money on IS buying pics, than they do earn i royalties from their portfolios. So they are going to migrate, take their pics with them, and taking their business somewhere else. I think thins goes for at lot part timers, especially those non exclusive.

It has to hurt IS renevue badly
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on September 11, 2010, 09:56
9 more added.

Where are the nine more? I thought they were going into this thread.

Sorry for not explaining
They are in my first post on page 1 of this thread. Just in order to have them in one place

...More to come

Perfect, that works best. Will go check the first page.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: iclick on September 11, 2010, 13:21
Could explain why my sales have tanked these last three days, Okay Saturday is to be expected! but Thursday and Friday?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 11, 2010, 13:23
Thanks a lot Thomas, for keeping the list updated.  And thanks again to the additional buyers who are showing support for the artists and looking elsewhere for images!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: KB on September 11, 2010, 13:44
Could explain why my sales have tanked these last three days, Okay Saturday is to be expected! but Thursday and Friday?
There appears to have been a HUGE best match shift -- at least in the one series of mine that I checked. That might also explain it.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on September 11, 2010, 14:50
Could explain why my sales have tanked these last three days, Okay Saturday is to be expected! but Thursday and Friday?
There appears to have been a HUGE best match shift -- at least in the one series of mine that I checked. That might also explain it.
Absolutely: I've had a few sales from longstanding low sellers.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: massman on September 11, 2010, 15:47
Another
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4675472 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4675472)

Edited to fix link
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: KB on September 11, 2010, 15:48
Could explain why my sales have tanked these last three days, Okay Saturday is to be expected! but Thursday and Friday?
There appears to have been a HUGE best match shift -- at least in the one series of mine that I checked. That might also explain it.
Absolutely: I've had a few sales from longstanding low sellers.
The strange thing is, I've now checked some other series, and they don't show any surprising shift at all. It was only that one series. Weird!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 11, 2010, 16:27
Another
[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4675472[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4675472[/url])

Edited to fix link


Good catch Massman!  I hope David won't mind my quoting it here:

I had dinner tonight with the two people with whom I built the redacted. The artist/co-designer is currently working on an independent film and was shocked when I told him what IS are currently doing - he said that he's spent around $2,000 in the last month at IS on images and videos, and he will no longer buy there.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Mellimage on September 11, 2010, 17:55
I know that Scott Kelby buys from Istock, wonder if he knows what the agency is doing and if it would change a thing... .
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Graffoto on September 11, 2010, 18:45
I know that Scott Kelby buys from Istock, wonder if he knows what the agency is doing and if it would change a thing... .

Probably not as long as they buy advertising space from him.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 11, 2010, 22:07
I've just had a lot of sales elsewhere, particularly at 123, DT and FT which is unusual for this time of the week.  Is this a coincidence or have buyers already switched to another side?  Anyone else notice an increase in sales at other agencies?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: dgilder on September 11, 2010, 23:02
Good catch Massman!  I hope David won't mind my quoting it here:

Not at all, but for clarity, that was something I posted for a friend anonymously, not a personal experience. One of the other contributors got flustered with me over there about it.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Microbius on September 12, 2010, 04:09
I know that Scott Kelby buys from Istock, wonder if he knows what the agency is doing and if it would change a thing... .
Has anyone contacted him, he describes his personal philosophy as "You never go wrong by doing the right thing". Someone should at least sound him out.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: acv on September 12, 2010, 09:21
Good idea if you can get some big names on board? What are Lise and Yuri saying? If you can get some heavy weights to support us it would be great. However they are so rich they probably don't care about the poor man and woman who has to scrap money together to put food on the table.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: rubyroo on September 12, 2010, 09:24
Ha!  For a moment there I thought you said Lisa - and was about to jump in and defend her.   :D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on September 12, 2010, 09:27
I know that Scott Kelby buys from Istock, wonder if he knows what the agency is doing and if it would change a thing... .
Has anyone contacted him, he describes his personal philosophy as "You never go wrong by doing the right thing". Someone should at least sound him out.

I don't think someone should sound him out, I think we all should sound him out. Did you contact him yet?  ;)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 12, 2010, 10:24
Good catch Massman!  I hope David won't mind my quoting it here:

Not at all, but for clarity, that was something I posted for a friend anonymously, not a personal experience. One of the other contributors got flustered with me over there about it.

Thanks for allowing me to post it.  This is exactly the type of information we need to post here and exactly what the folks at Getty should be listening to.  Not everyone feels they can be open about who they are for fear of retaliation, but their money is just as green and their business is just as gone.

Ha!  For a moment there I thought you said Lisa - and was about to jump in and defend her.   :D

Yeah, I am more in the "struggling to put food on the table" category than the top dogs are, but definitely can't just quietly accept something like this.  To be honest, with so much to lose I am surprised the top tier are not making more of a stink. 

In the case of exclusives like Lise, most likely they will be staying on the 40% they already get, so not really losing anything beyond some imaginary higher level.  And perhaps Yuri has been so busy building huge ports at other sites, and selling his services, blogs, etc. that perhaps IS is only a tiny part of his income at this point? 

Have to give Sean credit, he is one of the only top people to be making an issue of this.  Perhaps it is because he is smart enough to see that, even though it doesn't affect his income NOW, the moving goal posts, outside content, and departing buyers WILL almost certainly affect his income in the future. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on September 12, 2010, 11:15
Have to give Sean credit, he is one of the only top people to be making an issue of this.  Perhaps it is because he is smart enough to see that, even though it doesn't affect his income NOW, the moving goal posts, outside content, and departing buyers WILL almost certainly affect his income in the future. 

I have been meaning to say something about Sean and this is a perfect place. I really appreciate that he spends time here in this forum, offering advice and even setting everyone straight when needed. As an exclusive, he didn't have to do that, but he impresses me as being a good business person, taking the time to keep a finger on the pulse of the microstock community, not just on his wallet. He has a huge portfolio and does a good business...I appreciate that he is being vocal on this.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on September 12, 2010, 12:13
Good idea if you can get some big names on board? What are Lise and Yuri saying? If you can get some heavy weights to support us it would be great. However they are so rich they probably don't care about the poor man and woman who has to scrap money together to put food on the table.
Lise has some big Admin job at istock, so I guess her lips are sealed.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on September 12, 2010, 13:06

Lisa - you're always going to be one of the best, nicest contributors out there and I do sincerely feel for non-exclusives like you. I hope for the ultimate well-being of your business, but I was surprised to see you start this thread and applaud some of the attitudes and actions taking place. you're so much better than that.

Thanks a lot for the kind words.  You know I think highly of you too :)

I have not been on board with bashing of exclusives, so that is not an attitude I have supported, but I certainly do support protesting this terrible change.  And as people with much more business acumen than I have said the best way to protest is to direct buyers to sites that offer a fairer commission, then that seems like a good starting place.

I know that as a person with the highest integrity (which I think describes you very well) you would do the same if it is what you thought was right...

you are right, I would. and of course I respect and admire your principles, even if in this instance I think they are misguided, if for no other reason, but prematurity. but I stand behind even though I disagree and certainly know that as an independent, you are in a completely different situation.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Erik on September 12, 2010, 14:55
my brother is designing websites for huge and famous companies.( cannot say names here) 6 years ago he advised me to sell on IS.Now it was my turn to tell him to quit buying at IS. he will he promised me.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 12, 2010, 17:11
my brother is designing websites for huge and famous companies.( cannot say names here) 6 years ago he advised me to sell on IS.Now it was my turn to tell him to quit buying at IS. he will he promised me.

Good for you Erik, and good for your brother too :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 12, 2010, 17:17
Posted by Kat in another thread:

The company I work for has already purchased thousands of credits before this announcement, so we have to use them up. We purchase at other sites as well so we don't get all our images from iStock, but we do get a lot of them there. I have started looking at other sites for images for the second half of the project because I suspect what we have so far will use up the credits by the end of the year.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Pixel-Pizzazz on September 12, 2010, 21:21
I wonder what will happen when IS finally launches LOGOs and re-opens that wound.  That will probably be another ugly mess with the logo contributors having to defend their own interests against the buyers.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: UncleGene on September 12, 2010, 23:18
I've just had a lot of sales elsewhere, particularly at 123, DT and FT which is unusual for this time of the week.  Is this a coincidence or have buyers already switched to another side?  Anyone else notice an increase in sales at other agencies?

Interesting. I know that with my volume it is extremely minor sign, but I see sudden DT increase (first time I see - ahead  of SS). Buyers, way to go!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: NancyCWalker on September 13, 2010, 06:36
A friend tweeted me to say that he will be shopping elsewhere.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: peresanz on September 13, 2010, 09:34

Recently posted:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4696662 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4696662)

Should the thread be deleted anytime, here is the post:

"Well, if anyone is still interested in another buyer's perspective, here's my latest. I have been looking at other stock sites and I am pleasantly surprised at the variety and quality of images I'm finding. I bought into the hype that iStock was the best site to find images, and while you contributors certainly, hands down, do a fantastic job there are also others out there who are also doing a fantastic job (some are independents who also upload here).


I am going be happy to support sites that offer their contributors a fairer percentage, especially when I can get equally as great quality images for less than what iStock is now charging.


Thanks for all the many years contributors!"
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 13, 2010, 09:48
Thanks all ^^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ :).
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ThomasAmby on September 13, 2010, 10:00
I've done an almost complete search for the word "buy" on every page of the three threads. I Imagine I would find some more searching for "purchase" or better yet "purchas", but it takes ages :)

Also left out plenty of comments from contributors saying they had already persuaded their designer friends to go to other agencies. It leads me to believe the buyers' comments are only the tip of the iceberg as both contributors and buyers have extensive networks in the design business.

It's sad, but I can only hope the IS managers will take this seriously and re-think their strategy.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on September 13, 2010, 10:14
better hope that SS/DT/Fotolia etc., don't piss you off next, because your buyer friends will only do this once for you. next time they'll see the outcry for what it is.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: dgilder on September 13, 2010, 10:31
Thomas, use this:

http://davidgilder.com/misc/iStockfulator/noindex.cgi (http://davidgilder.com/misc/iStockfulator/noindex.cgi)

Just plug in the the thread id, it will read the entire thread and compile it into a single page.  Once it loads right-click and view source, you should be able to search there pretty easily.  Some of the quotes still get picked up multiple times but it should be pretty easy to figure it out when you see it.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on September 14, 2010, 03:36
It may not be exactly what we want to read but I think there is some food for thought in this post from another buyer at Istock, Sassafras;

"Wow, what a kahuna thread, yikes. It was only a matter of time before the squeeze was put on the producers, and not just the buyers. That being said I am sure there will yet "another" pricing hike for us as well. I feel sorry for many of you. Reading the comments discussing the loss of the "community" hits a familiar chord. In a few short years IS has moved from the 1-2-3 dollars to almost $20 for a large image. While the pricing has gone up exponentially, how much more of the roughly 600% price hike has ended up in the contributers pockets? Yet even after reading through these enormous threads I doubt anyone on the "inside" is going to listen. Money speaks louder than words.

From a buyers viewpoint the endless rate hiking has been a challenge. We do talk amongst ourselves, and a lot of us developed similar coping strategies. We buy a lot less, we buy smaller, and we don't keep a large bank of credits (after being burned on multiple occasions). Most importantly IS has gone from the first spot to look, to the last (which is a shame, as there is a lot of good stuff by some very talented folks). I don't know of ANY business that can successfully pull off a 600% rate hike over such a short time. Guess it wasn't enough to satisfy the hunger for profit.

IS has pretty much destroyed the microstock market that it pretty much created. Mission accomplished?

Do any buyers bother posting here anymore?"
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on September 14, 2010, 10:20
I'd say that is exactly what some of you want to hear. FWIW, any buyers at agencies here that I've spoken to, who I work with daily, don't really care. they aren't generally concerned with how the artists are being compensated. they are too busy working. I'm a designer first, it is how I ended up selling my photos on iStock, I see the outrage as just another iStock forum meltdown. it's like crying wolf now and it's always the same contributors, more or less, who are upset.

that doesn't mean that many contributors don't have a reason to be worried, concerned or angry about what they will be losing. but sending buyers away from a site is just plain stupid. talk about shooting off your entire leg.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: traveler1116 on September 14, 2010, 10:37
I'd say that is exactly what some of you want to hear. FWIW, any buyers at agencies here that I've spoken to, who I work with daily, don't really care. they aren't generally concerned with how the artists are being compensated. they are too busy working. I'm a designer first, it is how I ended up selling my photos on iStock, I see the outrage as just another iStock forum meltdown. it's like crying wolf now and it's always the same contributors, more or less, who are upset.

that doesn't mean that many contributors don't have a reason to be worried, concerned or angry about what they will be losing. but sending buyers away from a site is just plain stupid. talk about shooting off your entire leg.

It's only shooting yourself in the leg if you are exclusive, if not it's good business.  Am I missing something?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: anonymous on September 14, 2010, 10:42
I'd say that is exactly what some of you want to hear. FWIW, any buyers at agencies here that I've spoken to, who I work with daily, don't really care. they aren't generally concerned with how the artists are being compensated. they are too busy working. I'm a designer first, it is how I ended up selling my photos on iStock, I see the outrage as just another iStock forum meltdown. it's like crying wolf now and it's always the same contributors, more or less, who are upset.

that doesn't mean that many contributors don't have a reason to be worried, concerned or angry about what they will be losing. but sending buyers away from a site is just plain stupid. talk about shooting off your entire leg.

It's only shooting yourself in the leg if you are exclusive, if not it's good business.  Am I missing something?

+1
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 14, 2010, 11:01

that doesn't mean that many contributors don't have a reason to be worried, concerned or angry about what they will be losing. but sending buyers away from a site is just plain stupid. talk about shooting off your entire leg.

It's only shooting yourself in the leg if you are exclusive, if not it's good business.  Am I missing something?

Exactly.  For independent contributors it's about survival. 

I can understand how to an exclusive contributor it would feel threatening to have buyers directed to sites that don't sell your work.  But to continuously characterize efforts to save our incomes as "whining" and "stupid" is really downright insulting and demeaning (not to mention wildly OT). 

Feel free to disagree.  You have in the past, and you are entitled to your opinion, but it would be very much appreciated if you could keep the insults and personal attacks out of it.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on September 14, 2010, 11:08
... sending buyers away from a site is just plain stupid. talk about shooting off your entire leg.

No __ going exclusive in the first place is shooting yourself in the leg. Why on earth risk your own income (not to mention that of others) by helping one agency maintain such a dangerously dominant position? That's the really stupid bit.

You haven't seen anything yet either __ Istock will soon want your arms and your other leg too.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gaja on September 14, 2010, 11:10
Today I had two of the smallest sales; one on DT and one on IS. The sale at IS gave me $0.19, the one on DT gave me 0.30. In january the minimum price at IS will be $0.14

Please explain how it will hurt me if I ask my designer friends to shop at DT, when I get twice as much money per sale there.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Perry on September 14, 2010, 11:11
but sending buyers away from a site is just plain stupid. talk about shooting off your entire leg.

If we are going to talk about legs, this is more like "shooting off your entire leg, and growing a new stronger leg as a replacement"
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: helix7 on September 14, 2010, 11:16
... but sending buyers away from a site is just plain stupid. talk about shooting off your entire leg.

I'd say that sending buyers away from the site that'll pay me 17% and directing them to the site that will pay me 50% is more like getting a fancy new shoe and pair of pants for that leg. Fancy pants, with all that extra income from every single sale.

:)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on September 14, 2010, 11:23
... but sending buyers away from a site is just plain stupid. talk about shooting off your entire leg.

I'd say that sending buyers away from the site that'll pay me 17% and directing them to the site that will pay me 50% is more like getting a fancy new shoe and pair of pants for that leg. Fancy pants, with all that extra income from every single sale.

:)

LOL!  good analogy!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on September 14, 2010, 11:25
Today I had two of the smallest sales; one on DT and one on IS. The sale at IS gave me $0.19, the one on DT gave me 0.30. In january the minimum price at IS will be $0.14

Please explain how it will hurt me if I ask my designer friends to shop at DT, when I get twice as much money per sale there.

Not only is it NOT hurting non-exclusives by sending buyers to other sites, it is actually saving buyers money, too. Using basic minimum credit purchases to illustrate, a L image on IS costs $15.20, I get $3.00. The exact same image on DT costs the buyer $13.20 while I make $4.07.

Going exclusive made sense IF IS had honored their side of the bargain, but they have not. Now exclusives are SOL. And trust me I am not gloating. I have friends who have been with them from the start and it sucks big time that after all their commitment, they are getting the shaft.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on September 14, 2010, 11:25
Lisa - I'm sorry you feel I was personally attacking you, which I would never do, to you, or to anyone. but I feel very strongly that it is very bad business to be pushing buyers away from any site and that it could backfire for all of us, short-term and in the long run. leaving iStock out of it entirely....it would be a bad decision, IMO, with any site. biting the hand that feeds you in many ways. having said that, I certainly have acknowledged that I am not in the position of independents. but I am privy to a number of conversations happening at agencies, and it also bothers me to see fellow contributors I know and care about going off the rails and making themselves look less than professional.

you can't really expect support when you are intentionally trying to take business away from all of us. and as I said earlier, which I think is still valid, that this strategy, if you can even call it that, will only work once. if I put myself in the shoes of an independent, you are setting yourselves up to be fairly beholden and vulnerable to the agencies where you put your work after you burn the iStock bridge.

but I do apologize if my tone was rude. the negativity and attempts to pull business from us all have put all of us in very bad moods. no one is enjoying the diatribes.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gaja on September 14, 2010, 11:30
Not only is it NOT hurting non-exclusives by sending buyers to other sites, it is actually saving buyers money, too. Using basic minimum credit purchases to illustrate, a L image on IS costs $15.20, I get $3.00. The exact same image on DT costs the buyer $13.20 while I make $4.07.

Going exclusive made sense IF IS had honored their side of the bargain, but they have not. Now exclusives are SOL. And trust me I am not gloating. I have friends who have been with them from the start and it sucks big time that after all their commitment, they are getting the shaft.

And in January (if the prices aren't upped) the difference for me will be IS: 2.28, DT: 4.07
I wonder what choice is better for me?  ::)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: helix7 on September 14, 2010, 11:35
...you can't really expect support when you are intentionally trying to take business away from all of us...

Who's taking business away from everyone? I'm only intent on taking it away from iStock. I'm fairly sure that most buyers leaving iStock will end up on one of the 14 sites I have my work available at, so it's just relocating business, not taking it away entirely.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on September 14, 2010, 11:38
well, I guess there's not any real point in pushing the issue. but I would never pull any buyers into this kind of fight in this way. I think it is so unprofessional and assumptive to cause buyers the trouble of taking sides. A: it assumes they can't make up their own minds based on the agency they wish to buy from, and B: it sends to another agency or multiple agencies, who could turn around tomorrow and do something else or similar in terms of pricing.

I get being upset, I get trying to leverage your position in any way that you can...but to take this approach less than a week after the announcements, with barely half the information and to alienate yourselves from your peers and clients by taking such an inflammatory position. it just doesn't make sense. don't underestimate how many contributors are angry about this, even non-exclusives who realize that sending business away is never good, for anyone.

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.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: helix7 on September 14, 2010, 11:45
well, I guess there's not any real point in pushing the issue. but I would never pull any buyers into this kind of fight in this way. I think it is so unprofessional and assumptive to cause buyers the trouble of taking sides. A: it assumes they can't make up their own minds based on the agency they wish to buy from, and B: it sends to another agency or multiple agencies, who could turn around tomorrow and do something else or similar in terms of pricing...

It also does a service to the client by directing them to sites that are also cheaper than iStock, so they're saving money. I doubt any client would be offended by me suggesting they save money and shop elsewhere. Certainly wouldn't call it "unprofessional" to offer a client a better option.

And so what if an agency I send buyers to cuts their rates. What are they going to do, cut from 50% to 48%? 45%? Still beats the crap out of iStock's rates.

...I get being upset, I get trying to leverage your position in any way that you can...but to take this approach less than a week after the announcements, with barely half the information and to alienate yourselves from your peers and clients by taking such an inflammatory position...

You're assuming that independent contributors are only directing buyers away from iStock since last week. I've always directed buyers to the 50%+ sites, and promoted those sites exclusively on my website. Sending buyers away from iStock is nothing new. Just more people are doing it in light of last week's announcement.

...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.

No we aren't. There's the iStock ecosystem where sub-20% rates are acceptable, and the rest of the stock world where that sort of rate is disgustingly low. Sorry, but we're not in this together. You're hoping to maintain the status quo at iStock and encourage buyers to keep paying higher prices and contributors to keep accepting the lowest pay rate. I'm hoping to see iStock fall and see a fair trade company rise. A company that pays fairly and offers fair pricing for buyers.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 14, 2010, 11:48


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.  
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: traveler1116 on September 14, 2010, 11:53
well, I guess there's not any real point in pushing the issue. but I would never pull any buyers into this kind of fight in this way. I think it is so unprofessional and assumptive to cause buyers the trouble of taking sides. A: it assumes they can't make up their own minds based on the agency they wish to buy from, and B: it sends to another agency or multiple agencies, who could turn around tomorrow and do something else or similar in terms of pricing.

I get being upset, I get trying to leverage your position in any way that you can...but to take this approach less than a week after the announcements, with barely half the information and to alienate yourselves from your peers and clients by taking such an inflammatory position. it just doesn't make sense. don't underestimate how many contributors are angry about this, even non-exclusives who realize that sending business away is never good, for anyone.

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'm exclusive now and for nonexclusives to ask buyers to leave with them is completely understandable.  If IS goes ahead with the changes they have announced, I will leave and the extra buyers at other sites will be good for me.  If IS reverses the changes then hopefully a lot of buyers won't leave.  Remember  a lot of smaller buyers are contributors too and when they get screwed they keep saying they are leaving and taking their buying $ to other sites.  People still need images so there is no way that a net loss will result from any of this, no business is being sent away it's just redirected to fairer paying companies.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gbalex on September 14, 2010, 11:54
Lisa - I'm sorry you feel I was personally attacking you, which I would never do, to you, or to anyone. but I feel very strongly that it is very bad business to be pushing buyers away from any site and that it could backfire for all of us, short-term and in the long run. leaving iStock out of it entirely....it would be a bad decision, IMO, with any site. biting the hand that feeds you in many ways. having said that, I certainly have acknowledged that I am not in the position of independents. but I am privy to a number of conversations happening at agencies, and it also bothers me to see fellow contributors I know and care about going off the rails and making themselves look less than professional.

you can't really expect support when you are intentionally trying to take business away from all of us. and as I said earlier, which I think is still valid, that this strategy, if you can even call it that, will only work once. if I put myself in the shoes of an independent, you are setting yourselves up to be fairly beholden and vulnerable to the agencies where you put your work after you burn the iStock bridge.

but I do apologize if my tone was rude. the negativity and attempts to pull business from us all have put all of us in very bad moods. no one is enjoying the diatribes.

After your conversations with the agencies and fellow buyers why would you be in a very bad mood if you do not feel that any significant number of buyers will shift to agencies which offer contributors and buyers better incomes/prices?

You have reason to be upset only if you believe that both sides can benefit from change and if that is the case then why in the world would you support or risk your livelihood with an agency that is less than beneficial to both buyers and contributors?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 14, 2010, 12:15
Another relevant buyer post on Istock:
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4712662 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4712662)

Text by Aleishaknight here:

Oh, I think more people are upset that are not posting. I've been a long time buyer, but just started contributing photos about two weeks before the big announcement. (Seriously, ugh.) I haven't said anything because I felt that everything that needed to be said has been posted already, (and my whole 27 files don't matter way one or the other). I have been trying to get the word out, though, encouraging all the buyers I know to write in and tell IS that they will only do business with a company that gives fair commissions.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on September 14, 2010, 12:29
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.    
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Nordlys on September 14, 2010, 12:38


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 totally agree with Lisa on this. Talking about us pushing business to other site, are not making business like deecitions are bull.
You've got to draw a line somewhere. Thres also ethics in business - god and bad.
Istock are like doing business wiht the mafia - the photo mafia - and I for one don't want to contribute, or in any other way be assosisated with the kind os business IS practices.

As for directing buyers to sites where the price for the same product are lower,a nd my indcome higher, can I not se hurting me, nor the buyer - it's a win-win situation.

As for the exclusives at Istock - sorry - you made your own decition about doing so - now you have to take whatever crap comes down from above at the IS halls...
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on September 14, 2010, 12:41
Believe it or not, exclusives do care what happens with independents. But you're eroding that sense of support, at least speaking for myself.    

To be honest the best support you could give to us and to yourself is to abandon exclusivity. Collectively we need to reduce Istock's power. Quite simply Istock shouldn't have the nerve to attempt such a stunt let alone have the ability to get away with it. The power they have comes mainly from their base of exclusive contributors which is why 74% of them are getting away relatively unscathed (at least for now).
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Gimmerton on September 14, 2010, 12:42
Quote
As for the exclusives at Istock - sorry - you made your own decition about doing so - now you have to take whatever crap comes down from above at the IS halls...

Thank you for these kind words  :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on September 14, 2010, 13:07
Well gostwyck, your expectations of me supporting that kind of tactic are way off the mark. Especially if how people are treating other people is any kind of factor. I'm exclusive for a lot of reasons, but I also actively educate myself about the other sites constantly. Everything I know keeps me at istock. I think they continue to lead and bring us new and sustainable business. That does not imply absolute support for each and every decision they make, but I know where I want to be and that has not changed. And the support I do give to independents has been carried out in the form of cr sitemails to hq and on conversations with admins about the reduction for independents. But I don't support anyone pulling business out, no way.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: helix7 on September 14, 2010, 13:08
...And taking business from me to suit your career choices (remaining independent) is pretty crappy...

Kind of sounds like the argument a lot of traditional stock photographers used when iStock contributors were taking their business to suit their careers.

Anyway, why should I alter my career to suit your choice to go all-in with one agency? Sounds pretty crappy to me, asking independent artists to sacrifice their careers and not encourage buyers to shop where we stand to gain the most, just so that you can maintain your status at iStock.

You made your choice, and now you don't like that you're locked in at the most unethical company in the business. I'm not going to stop supporting the companies that pay fair rates so that you can keep your earnings. Sorry.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gbalex on September 14, 2010, 13:11
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.

Fair enough

Support is a two way street, what are you as a group of exclusive contributors willing to do to support independent contributors besides "hoping"?

What productive options do you see available for independents to recover their lost income on IS and how can exclusives help support that process?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: iclick on September 14, 2010, 13:16
Just been posted in 'That thread'  :) if you are gathering Quotes from Buyers

"Since 2006, i've spent over 7k with istock. Me and other art buyers are starting to realize this is like buying cloths made in China. I stock is like a third world county, where say Veer or Almay are thridworld too, but at least they are fair trade. I'm going to start buying photos from agencys that pay their continbutors more then 15%. Istock if you think this mess is just pissed off your contributors, think again. Art buyers have a conscience too"
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on September 14, 2010, 13:18
Well gostwyck, your expectations of me supporting that kind of tactic are way off the mark. Especially if how people are treating other people is any kind of factor. I'm exclusive for a lot of reasons, but I also actively educate myself about the other sites constantly. Everything I know keeps me at istock. I think they continue to lead and bring us new and sustainable business. That does not imply absolute support for each and every decision they make, but I know where I want to be and that has not changed. And the support I do give to independents has been carried out in the form of cr sitemails to hq and on conversations with admins about the reduction for independents. But I don't support anyone pulling business out, no way.

Classic! I know all about your 'support'.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Nordlys on September 14, 2010, 13:24
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.

Fair enough

Support is a two way street, what are you as a group of exclusive contributors willing to do to support independent contributors besides "hoping"?

What productive options do you see available for independents to recover their lost income on IS and how can exclusives help support that process?

Well - support is nice, even if it only as hope for the better...

But look - we have to get the most out of your business - if that includes attracting buyers to other sites that IS, where we earn the lowest commision - thats a sound business decition for us.

I recon, that you as an excluse got an other perspective, but that dosen't change the way we have to do businnes - and survice. And a paltry 15% is not enough to survive...

On a personal level, one feels sorry for those exclusive and lockes up with an unethical company, but funny thing is that you folks did so to maximise your profits short term. (sounds familiar?) Nothing wron with that, but dont whine when things change, and your bedpartner in the morning suddenly looks way less attractive :)


 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: RacePhoto on September 14, 2010, 13:29
Believe it or not, exclusives do care what happens with independents. But you're eroding that sense of support, at least speaking for myself.    

To be honest the best support you could give to us and to yourself is to abandon exclusivity. Collectively we need to reduce Istock's power. Quite simply Istock shouldn't have the nerve to attempt such a stunt let alone have the ability to get away with it. The power they have comes mainly from their base of exclusive contributors which is why 74% of them are getting away relatively unscathed (at least for now).

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.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on September 14, 2010, 13:33
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.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on September 14, 2010, 13:34
I don't think exclusives should worry about us taking away buyers because a lot of us aren't uploading to istock now and might be forced to start deleting our portfolios.  You will earn more from the buyers that stay with istock if there is less competition.

The buyers can always keep their istock accounts to buy from exclusives, I have no problem with that but they will need to use the other sites to see new images from a lot of us.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 14, 2010, 13:50
Just been posted in 'That thread'  :) if you are gathering Quotes from Buyers

"Since 2006, i've spent over 7k with istock. Me and other art buyers are starting to realize this is like buying cloths made in China. I stock is like a third world county, where say Veer or Almay are thridworld too, but at least they are fair trade. I'm going to start buying photos from agencys that pay their continbutors more then 15%. Istock if you think this mess is just pissed off your contributors, think again. Art buyers have a conscience too"

Thanks a lot for posting Iclick.  How nice of you to actually post ON TOPIC ;D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: RacePhoto on September 14, 2010, 13:51
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.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on September 14, 2010, 13:54


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.  
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on September 14, 2010, 14:03
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.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: nruboc on September 14, 2010, 14:12


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
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on September 14, 2010, 14:22
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.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Perry on September 14, 2010, 14:24
I do this for the money, not a feel goof factor.

:D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: disorderly on September 14, 2010, 14:30
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.)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gbalex on September 14, 2010, 14:43
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.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on September 14, 2010, 14:46
^^^ 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.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Microbius on September 14, 2010, 15:32
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.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on September 14, 2010, 15:37
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.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Microbius on September 14, 2010, 15:41
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.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on September 14, 2010, 16:20
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.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 14, 2010, 16:31

(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...
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: dgilder on September 14, 2010, 16:36
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 ;)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 14, 2010, 16:45
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. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on September 14, 2010, 16:46
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.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 14, 2010, 18:44
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. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on September 14, 2010, 18:47
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. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Phil on September 14, 2010, 20:30
doesnt matter
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Smiling Jack on September 14, 2010, 23:12
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
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 15, 2010, 07:31

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.  
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: helix7 on September 15, 2010, 08:40

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!"
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: mericsso on September 15, 2010, 12:57
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.

(http://blog.michaelericsson.com/history.png)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on September 15, 2010, 12:59
85% profit is not an accurate number. sigh. too bad, leaving takes away your support from many artists in fact.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 15, 2010, 13:01
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.

Thanks a lot Mericsso!  Really appreciate your taking such a principled stand. 

I am sure you will find what you need elsewhere, and probably cheaper too :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: nruboc on September 15, 2010, 13:08
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.

([url]http://blog.michaelericsson.com/history.png[/url])


Thanks for your support Mericsso, it's much appreciated!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully if more buyers make the same decision, IStock will reverse course.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on September 15, 2010, 13:09
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.

Thanks Michael! Great to see you here and your support is really appreciated.

If that post's not worth a 'heart' I don't know what is!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: hqimages on September 15, 2010, 13:28
Yup, I'm downloading from Stockfresh now.. it's the only good alternative for me anyway.. but it feels good that there is an alternative with similar quality to istock, and better % for uploaders..
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on September 15, 2010, 13:54
Just been posted in 'That thread'  :) if you are gathering Quotes from Buyers

"Since 2006, i've spent over 7k with istock. Me and other art buyers are starting to realize this is like buying cloths made in China. I stock is like a third world county, where say Veer or Almay are thridworld too, but at least they are fair trade. I'm going to start buying photos from agencys that pay their continbutors more then 15%. Istock if you think this mess is just pissed off your contributors, think again. Art buyers have a conscience too"

Thanks a lot for posting Iclick.  How nice of you to actually post ON TOPIC ;D
But here's the rub. Although we (including me) are all here complaining about being ripped off etc, and Iclick says it's like buying clothes made in China (so I trust you'll be moving to macro to buy your images), all of us (of course I'm including me) could be providing images which supply companies which source their goods from sweatshops, and there's nothing we can do about that other than don't upload anything (just about) anywhere.
A bit ironic, huh?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Xalanx on September 15, 2010, 14:01
too bad, leaving takes away your support from many artists in fact.

He will support many other artists in fact, on the agencies where he will purchase images. And obviously better support than istock contributors will get.

Is it just me, or this whole istock fiasco is starting to create frictions between exclusives and independents?  ::)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Microbius on September 15, 2010, 14:07
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.

Thanks a lot Mericsso!  Really appreciate your taking such a principled stand. 

I am sure you will find what you need elsewhere, and probably cheaper too :)
+1
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Microbius on September 15, 2010, 14:10
85% profit is not an accurate number. sigh. too bad, leaving takes away your support from many artists in fact.
I give up
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: helix7 on September 15, 2010, 14:11
85% profit is not an accurate number. sigh. too bad, leaving takes away your support from many artists in fact.

The minority at iStock. And 85% is accurate for the majority.

Leaving supports more artists and in a greater way.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: anonymous on September 15, 2010, 14:16
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.

([url]http://blog.michaelericsson.com/history.png[/url])

Excellent!
Just had lunch with VP of one of the top three online "travel" sites, went back to his office, and got him set up on a new stock site (I won't pimp it). He slapped the credit card down then and there. These guys spend a LOT of scratch on images, mostly EL's since they use them in print and television as well.
Rock On Garth!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: mericsso on September 15, 2010, 14:17
I know 85% isn't an accurate number, it's just the angry number to throw around. It's very complex to try and figure out what they are really making as an average percentage based on the whole. I like the previous post where the guy touched on fair trade and china. I don't think what he was getting at was moving to macro. For me I have a freelancer, micro and macro budget. As an art buyer I do love iStock for my micro needs. It's priced right, and the content is good. "made in china" doesn't mean its bad. I have an iPhone thats made in China and its awesome! Since I've dipped into the stock world, I have a soft spot for it. I know how hard it is to make a go of it.

If I have say $2000.00 per year, and I spend all that at istock, its a safe bet that about 20-35% will go to the artists. So if I'm trying to support the artists first, I'm better to spend that money at stockfresh of another place where the contributor gets paid more.

In the coffee world, the farmers yelled and screamed for more money, but it wasn't until people started to realized the benefits of fair trade that the farmers started to get paid fairly for there work. Art buyers are mostly socially conscience people, I think the industry should start a movement for fair trade royalties. Maybe that just crazy I don't know, just trying help and give a different perspective.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 15, 2010, 14:18
Quote
Is it just me, or this whole istock fiasco is starting to create frictions between exclusives and independents?

Of course it has the potential to do so. An independents best interests are to tempt buyers to a site where they get the best price for their photos, an exclusive wants all buyers at iStock. If you're trying to take my income away I'm not happy. This is devisive, can't be anything but.
Two things lessen the friction, firstly I've had a good week on IS (I'm an exclusive) so buyers are buying and the more people leave the more likely it is that my work will get bought.
Now to act as devil's advocate, I could say that buyers are using their last credits and the crash will come, but to be honest I can't see 99.9% of buyers caring, or even knowing, or caring if they did know. Again I could be  wrong and for the first time I am casting glimpses at other sites in case a dropping of exclusivity becomes finally necessary, but somehow I think it unlikely. The people i think will really suffer are those who give up IS exclusivity and try and achieve similar earning on other sites, starting from the bottom again.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: nruboc on September 15, 2010, 14:26
Quote
Is it just me, or this whole istock fiasco is starting to create frictions between exclusives and independents?

Of course it has the potential to do so. An independents best interests are to tempt buyers to a site where they get the best price for their photos, an exclusive wants all buyers at iStock. If you're trying to take my income away I'm not happy. This is devisive, can't be anything but.
Two things lessen the friction, firstly I've had a good week on IS (I'm an exclusive) so buyers are buying and the more people leave the more likely it is that my work will get bought.
Now to act as devil's advocate, I could say that buyers are using their last credits and the crash will come, but to be honest I can't see 99.9% of buyers caring, or even knowing, or caring if they did know. Again I could be  wrong and for the first time I am casting glimpses at other sites in case a dropping of exclusivity becomes finally necessary, but somehow I think it unlikely. The people i think will really suffer are those who give up IS exclusivity and try and achieve similar earning on other sites, starting from the bottom again.


Yes, that's why it is important for us independents to get the word out, it will be a prolonged effort, and is why it is so important for us to keep up the fight long term (unless IStock  reverses this decision). I disagree with you on the part about not caring if they did know. I'm sure many would care knowing the most expensive site is also the same site who shafts its contributors with the lowest commissions.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 15, 2010, 14:33
Quote
I disagree with you on the part about not caring if they did know. I'm sure many would care knowing the most expensive site is also the same site who shafts its contributors with the lowest commissions.

So you would like me to lose sales, you'd like to shaft me? You'd like to take food out of my children's mouths? Where's the solidarity in that?
Are you actually an IS contributor? How long have you been there, how many sales?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Xalanx on September 15, 2010, 14:35
Quote
Is it just me, or this whole istock fiasco is starting to create frictions between exclusives and independents?

Of course it has the potential to do so. An independents best interests are to tempt buyers to a site where they get the best price for their photos, an exclusive wants all buyers at iStock. If you're trying to take my income away I'm not happy. This is devisive, can't be anything but.
Two things lessen the friction, firstly I've had a good week on IS (I'm an exclusive) so buyers are buying and the more people leave the more likely it is that my work will get bought.
Now to act as devil's advocate, I could say that buyers are using their last credits and the crash will come, but to be honest I can't see 99.9% of buyers caring, or even knowing, or caring if they did know. Again I could be  wrong and for the first time I am casting glimpses at other sites in case a dropping of exclusivity becomes finally necessary, but somehow I think it unlikely. The people i think will really suffer are those who give up IS exclusivity and try and achieve similar earning on other sites, starting from the bottom again.

I would think too, that dropping exclusivity for a long time contributor is not the way to go. Right now the market is oversaturated everywhere and also at all big 4 agencies long time contributors have a huge advantage in sales. Regardless portfolio quality, the guy who started in 2004 will make more than the guy who started in 2008. So that would mean dropping exclusivity is a no-go.

What I foresee when 2011 will come is a big drop in uploads by independents, and possibly many of their images removed.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: anonymous on September 15, 2010, 14:42
So you would like me to lose sales, you'd like to shaft me? You'd like to take food out of my children's mouths?
iStock is doing all of those things to you starting January 1
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: nruboc on September 15, 2010, 14:45
So you would like me to lose sales, you'd like to shaft me? You'd like to take food out of my children's mouths?
iStock is doing all of those things to you starting January 1

^^^ Perfect, that's all the response needed right there
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 15, 2010, 14:49
Quote
iStock is doing all of those things to you starting January 1
Quote
Perfect, that's all the response needed right there

Do you not understand the point I'm making?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: iclick on September 15, 2010, 14:57
Quote
What I foresee when 2011 will come is a big drop in uploads by independents, and possibly many of their images removed.

I believe it will not only be independants, with more and more divisions/collections being created within Exclusive Contributers there's a bigger pecking order there than Old Macdoanals Farm  ;) and with the addition of the new outside collection many will make loose patience if they have not already
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: dirkr on September 15, 2010, 15:07
If I have say $2000.00 per year, and I spend all that at istock, its a safe bet that about 20-35% will go to the artists. So if I'm trying to support the artists first, I'm better to spend that money at stockfresh of another place where the contributor gets paid more.

At least for independents Istock has always been the place paying the lowest commissions. Many people accepted that due to their high sales volumes. But from a "fair trade" standpoint Istock has never been the perfect place to buy from.
But the really outrageous thing is that they now even want to lower the already lowest commission further.

I can only applaud you for your actions and for your motivation to do so. If enough buyers would follow, in the end a bigger part of the money spent ends up in artists' pockets, that can only be a positive move for the whole industry.

And, as you are referring to Stockfresh, there are more sites out there paying 50% or more to contributors:

Yaymicro, GraphicLeftovers, Clipdealer, Zoonar, The3dStudio, Alamy to mention the few that come to my mind.
Many of these are low earners for the most of us right now, but that doesn't mean they should stay unmentioned. They deserve our support as well.


In the coffee world, the farmers yelled and screamed for more money, but it wasn't until people started to realized the benefits of fair trade that the farmers started to get paid fairly for there work. Art buyers are mostly socially conscience people, I think the industry should start a movement for fair trade royalties. Maybe that just crazy I don't know, just trying help and give a different perspective.

I don't think that's crazy, a "fair trade seal" for stock sites has been discussed elsewhere on this board. I think it would be a good thing to have, but it will need work to get it going...
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 15, 2010, 15:12
I am having trouble seeing why exclusives and independents should be working at cross purposes here.  This time around exclusives are taking their hits right along with independents.  

It is in the interest of BOTH groups of sellers to stop istock gauging contributors this way.  We may differ in how we want to address the problem, but it's really surprising to me that both sides are having trouble even agreeing there IS a problem ???

It's the same old "divide and conquer".
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: nruboc on September 15, 2010, 15:13

Quote
What I foresee when 2011 will come is a big drop in uploads by independents, and possibly many of their images removed.

I believe it will not only be independants, with more and more divisions/collections being created within Exclusive Contributers there' a bigger pecking order there than Old Macdoanals Farm  ;) and with the addition of the new outside collection many will make loose patience if they have not already

^^ I agree and if ThinkStock is not a wake up call, I don't know what is. One only has to do a quick search over there to see where things are headed. I do believe IStock has a exclusive "list"  of contributors they will make sure are taken care of.  It only makes sense, most companies identify their top talent, the ones they can't afford to lose and they're the ones who get the perks. I feel bad for those not on that list.

Also, do think it is a coincidence the site was re-designed right before this announcement. Think about it.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on September 15, 2010, 15:19
...Art buyers are mostly socially conscience people, I think the industry should start a movement for fair trade royalties. Maybe that just crazy I don't know, just trying help and give a different perspective.
That would be great.  If buyers and contributors got together, we would all be better off.  There are sites that pay us more and charge you less.  They also listen to us and don't have shareholders and hedge funds taking all their profits and demanding more each year.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 15, 2010, 15:43
Quote
It's the same old "divide and conquer".

Of course, and there's always someone who'll step in and take the place of someone who steps down. It's a hungry world out there. I know of one exclusive who gave up her exclusivity. She is now back in the IS fold, 9 months and considerably poorer later. Nobody who is a good seller on IS now is going to give up exclusivity unless they are completely mad.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on September 15, 2010, 16:00
Quote
It's the same old "divide and conquer".

Of course, and there's always someone who'll step in and take the place of someone who steps down. It's a hungry world out there. I know of one exclusive who gave up her exclusivity. She is now back in the IS fold, 9 months and considerably poorer later. Nobody who is a good seller on IS now is going to give up exclusivity unless they are completely mad.

I dont know if I'd be considered a "good seller" or not at iS, but I must be completely mad.  I'll be cancelling my exclusivity at istock this weekend and starting the 30 day countdown.  I think I can get a good start at a few other agencies with the port I have and port I'm building.  I'll let you know in 9 months how I'm doing as an independent.  :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Phil on September 15, 2010, 16:01
85% profit is not an accurate number. sigh. too bad, leaving takes away your support from many artists in fact.

leaving gives more to the artists. There are some great exclusives but go back through the istock forums, take the view you are an independant and see the snide, derogatory remarks about the independants. 6 indys for each excl, but on the forum it's about 1 to 20 the other way.

personally yaymicro are now offering 20% for referrals thats more than istock are offering me for my own sales.

I'm still yet to see a good reason to support istock in all this.

istock will increase marketing to compensate for royalty loss (yeah right), but that is stealing my customers from other sites where I earn more. Thinkstock was created to go after SS, where I earn more. They get applauded for it, but we get critisiced?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 15, 2010, 16:23
Quote
I'll let you know in 9 months how I'm doing as an independent.

Well I wish you luck and hope it's good new to report. I'd like to know how you get on and would be more than happy if it's a success, it will give hope to everyone.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 15, 2010, 16:24
Seems that some of the buyers really have relocated.  Since there has been a big push to get them to try out Stockfresh, I find it interesting that I have had more sales at SF the past three days than I did the previous 6 weeks my portfolio was up there. 

Hard to imagine this is just a coincidence.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: dgilder on September 15, 2010, 20:03
WOW,  the Agency collection is already hitting iStock.  Remember how it wasn't supposed to have things on par with iStock's current collection?   Check this one out, and note the prices:

http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-14241845-woman-reading-airplane-ticket-outside-of-airport.php (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-14241845-woman-reading-airplane-ticket-outside-of-airport.php)

A bunch of images from this photographer just moved through the queue, and I haven't seen much that I would think would qualify for Vetta, let alone a higher price point.  Note the new Vetta pricing tops out at 150, this one is 200 just for XXL.

The new 'The Agency' contributor's portfolio link doesn't work yet because the images haven't been indexed.  Guess we will find out tomorrow or the day after just how they will fall into the search rankings.

Poor, poor buyers.   These are the 'top images' that will be bumped even higher than Vetta in the search results.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: dgilder on September 15, 2010, 20:05
Here are two more:

http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-14241908-man-holding-gift.php (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-14241908-man-holding-gift.php)

http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-14156766-beautiful-young-woman-with-shopping-bags.php (http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-14156766-beautiful-young-woman-with-shopping-bags.php)


OMG iStock, this is what you are pinning your future one?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Phil on September 15, 2010, 20:38
look at the keywording of the airline ticket one
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on September 15, 2010, 20:48
Yup, I'm downloading from Stockfresh now.. it's the only good alternative for me anyway.. but it feels good that there is an alternative with similar quality to istock, and better % for uploaders..

Thanks Hilary!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on September 15, 2010, 20:49
Another buyer bailing, in case anyone misses it. I think the crap storm is going to hit hurricane force here again soon after a slight reduction to a tropical storm over the past couple days.

I think more painful than the changes themselves was how iSP has tried to pull one over on people by:


- Making the explanation of the changes as confusing as possible (read the original thread)

- Including only positivity in the announcement of the changes, including saying things like most people would not receive less commission, which as evidenced by the vast amount of negative replies, is clearly false.

- Sticking with said positivity in their 2nd thread after a sea of negative response

- Creating this "look what we've done for you people" thread to pat themselves on the back while urging contributors to let their royalty rates get raped.

- Not maintaining a dialogue with this sentiment from their contributors throughout this debacle.

I am not a contributor...I merely came here to buy stock photos, and have spent a decent amount of money here over the past few years. I have never boycotted a business in my entirely life before now. Congratulations, iSP...you are the first! How's it feel to be #1?


http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4734982 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4734982)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on September 15, 2010, 20:50
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.

Thanks a lot Mericsso!  Really appreciate your taking such a principled stand. 

I am sure you will find what you need elsewhere, and probably cheaper too :)

Ditto, thanks for the support, it is most appreciated!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on September 15, 2010, 20:52
Another buyer bailing, in case anyone misses it. I think the crap storm is going to hit hurricane force here again soon after a slight reduction to a tropical storm over the past couple days.

I think more painful than the changes themselves was how iSP has tried to pull one over on people by:


- Making the explanation of the changes as confusing as possible (read the original thread)

- Including only positivity in the announcement of the changes, including saying things like most people would not receive less commission, which as evidenced by the vast amount of negative replies, is clearly false.

- Sticking with said positivity in their 2nd thread after a sea of negative response

- Creating this "look what we've done for you people" thread to pat themselves on the back while urging contributors to let their royalty rates get raped.

- Not maintaining a dialogue with this sentiment from their contributors throughout this debacle.

I am not a contributor...I merely came here to buy stock photos, and have spent a decent amount of money here over the past few years. I have never boycotted a business in my entirely life before now. Congratulations, iSP...you are the first! How's it feel to be #1?


[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4734982[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4734982[/url])


Excellent! I hope you are right about the hurricane and crap storm.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on September 15, 2010, 20:58
The initial royalty reduction announcement was handled incredibly poorly, but I think this Agency rollout might trump even that. All I can say is wow to what I'm witnessing. I really didn't think things could get much lower. I bet vector artists are on the edges of their seats to hear what their "good news" is going to be.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on September 16, 2010, 00:28
Although its been said many times already, I just have to add: Wow.


As a partner/creative director at a web design firm, I've used and steered numerous client to istock for years. I just added up our invoices and we've spent over $6000 here in the past few years.


However, once our credits run out, we will no longer purchase from istock or any other getty sites. It is insane how the contributors here are being treated, and I cannot in good conscious support a company that abuses its suppliers in these manners.


I urge you all to remember that you have a choice; creating thousands of posts is a good way to let of some steam, but I'd encourage you to spend that effort moving your content to other sites, of which I hope to see and buy your work.


Change, take action, send a message.


http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=255782&messageid=4742382 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=255782&messageid=4742382)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: TheDman on September 16, 2010, 01:18
Here are two more:

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-14241908-man-holding-gift.php[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-14241908-man-holding-gift.php[/url])

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-14156766-beautiful-young-woman-with-shopping-bags.php[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-14156766-beautiful-young-woman-with-shopping-bags.php[/url])


OMG iStock, this is what you are pinning your future one?


Proves what I've been saying for years - we at istock are already beating the pants off Getty in the quality department. Sure there's a lot of lower-end stuff to wade through, but that's a small price to pay to avoid having to spend $300 on a single photo, and you can usually find a better quality one to boot.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Xalanx on September 16, 2010, 02:26
Here are two more:

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-14241908-man-holding-gift.php[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-14241908-man-holding-gift.php[/url])

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-14156766-beautiful-young-woman-with-shopping-bags.php[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-14156766-beautiful-young-woman-with-shopping-bags.php[/url])


OMG iStock, this is what you are pinning your future one?


Hahaha, how lame ;D

The one with the woman looks like at least one of the strobes didn't fired :P
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ThomasAmby on September 16, 2010, 04:02
Just added the last four comments posted in here. I've been busy with a client the last couple of days and I'm finding it hard to keep track of all the relevant buyer comments. Probably missed a lot already.
But please, keep them coming. Post it in here whenever you see one.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: iclick on September 16, 2010, 08:09
This one just now in the "We the undersigned vote of no confidence" thread Lisa

Quote:  "name removed Contributer and buyer (2800 files purchased so far)"
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on September 16, 2010, 08:58
I just got a mail from a friend who always purchased his pictures here, saying that he've had enough and will go elsewhere next time.

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4746452 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4746452)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 16, 2010, 09:25
Thanks a lot Carolynne, for posting these!  You deserve credit as both and ethical buyer and as someone who has always advocated for fairness for both buyers and sellers. 

Thanks, Thomas for keeping your post updated.  Glad you were able to get away for a couple of days and get some real work done.  More than I have managed since this fiasco started....

And yeah, those Agency images are just horrible.  Complete embarrassment.  The buyers that don't know or care about the contributor situation will surely start leaving when they see that crap cluttering up the searches  :P
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ThomasAmby on September 16, 2010, 09:35
Thanks, Thomas for keeping your post updated.  Glad you were able to get away for a couple of days and get some real work done.  More than I have managed since this fiasco started....

Believe me, it was a big struggle to get started but we agreed upon a deadline before all of this mess. I even had to postpone it with three days and give a discount because my thoughts were elsewhere (and still are)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on September 16, 2010, 09:46
85% profit is not an accurate number. sigh. too bad, leaving takes away your support from many artists in fact.

You're right it's not. I assume IS has some average that they are trying to achieve. My guess would be somewhere between 20-25%. I assume if enough independents leave to mess up their ratio, they'll have to come back and lower exclusives' portion again. Whatever that target number is somebody has to suffer to help them hit it. Right now, it's mostly independents, but exclusives may have to carry the weight in the future.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 16, 2010, 15:19
Another buyer leaving, posted here in the Istock thread:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4746452 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4746452)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 16, 2010, 15:45
They're offering 10% off prices for minimum 50 credit packs for the next week as an apology for today's outage. Is that normal? Or is it a sign of other concerns?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 16, 2010, 16:18
They're offering 10% off prices for minimum 50 credit packs for the next week as an apology for today's outage. Is that normal? Or is it a sign of other concerns?

You bet it is! 

But of course what concerns me is that this is a discount we contributors will be paying for.  Once again we get to eat Istock's mistakes. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on September 16, 2010, 16:24
Once again we get to eat Istock's mistakes. 

Istock? Mistakes? When?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on September 16, 2010, 18:27
They're offering 10% off prices for minimum 50 credit packs for the next week as an apology for today's outage. Is that normal? Or is it a sign of other concerns?
If you read the fine print, that expired in July...or was there yet another outage where they changed the message, because this is the one I saw: To reward your patience, get 15% off your next purchase of 50 credits or more next time you visit by using promo code UPGRADE. But use it fast — it's only good for a little while (offer expires July 10, 2010).

In other news, I was just discussing stock photos with a colleague and told her I am phasing out iStock as my stock site and gave her the names a couple other sites. She said she did not know they existed, but was relieved to know there are others out there, because she is seeing all the Vetta images and was beginning to get outraged about the prices. And then I told her about the commission fiasco and she was appalled. She is no longer going to be shopping at iStock.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: nruboc on September 16, 2010, 18:41
They're offering 10% off prices for minimum 50 credit packs for the next week as an apology for today's outage. Is that normal? Or is it a sign of other concerns?
If you read the fine print, that expired in July...or was there yet another outage where they changed the message, because this is the one I saw: To reward your patience, get 15% off your next purchase of 50 credits or more next time you visit by using promo code UPGRADE. But use it fast — it's only good for a little while (offer expires July 10, 2010).

In other news, I was just discussing stock photos with a colleague and told her I am phasing out iStock as my stock site and gave her the names a couple other sites. She said she did not know they existed, but was relieved to know there are others out there, because she is seeing all the Vetta images and was beginning to get outraged about the prices. And then I told her about the commission fiasco and she was appalled. She is no longer going to be shopping at iStock.



^^ Great news, thanks for the support. That is the only way things are going to change.... with the customers
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on September 16, 2010, 19:07
They're offering 10% off prices for minimum 50 credit packs for the next week as an apology for today's outage. Is that normal? Or is it a sign of other concerns?
If you read the fine print, that expired in July...or was there yet another outage where they changed the message, because this is the one I saw: To reward your patience, get 15% off your next purchase of 50 credits or more next time you visit by using promo code UPGRADE. But use it fast — it's only good for a little while (offer expires July 10, 2010).

In other news, I was just discussing stock photos with a colleague and told her I am phasing out iStock as my stock site and gave her the names a couple other sites. She said she did not know they existed, but was relieved to know there are others out there, because she is seeing all the Vetta images and was beginning to get outraged about the prices. And then I told her about the commission fiasco and she was appalled. She is no longer going to be shopping at iStock.



^^ Great news, thanks for the support. That is the only way things are going to change.... with the customers

they actually tweeted the discount offer- use code REDEEM10 for 10% off credit packs of 50 or more (for one week only).  so that July one is different.  wonder what contributors get as a "gift" for the outage... oh wait.. nevermind.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on September 16, 2010, 19:32

they actually tweeted the discount offer- use code REDEEM10 for 10% off credit packs of 50 or more (for one week only).  so that July one is different.  wonder what contributors get as a "gift" for the outage... oh wait.. nevermind.

Well that explains it. I don't follow iStock  twitter...or any twitter for that matter. :D Doesn't really matter for me though, as I will not be buying a 50 credit pack there.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 16, 2010, 19:40
They're offering 10% off prices for minimum 50 credit packs for the next week as an apology for today's outage. Is that normal? Or is it a sign of other concerns?
If you read the fine print, that expired in July...or was there yet another outage where they changed the message, because this is the one I saw: To reward your patience, get 15% off your next purchase of 50 credits or more next time you visit by using promo code UPGRADE. But use it fast — it's only good for a little while (offer expires July 10, 2010).

No, they have just sent new 10% offers out to customers. It's not the old message.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on September 16, 2010, 22:03

they actually tweeted the discount offer- use code REDEEM10 for 10% off credit packs of 50 or more (for one week only).  so that July one is different.  wonder what contributors get as a "gift" for the outage... oh wait.. nevermind.

Well that explains it. I don't follow iStock  twitter...or any twitter for that matter. :D Doesn't really matter for me though, as I will not be buying a 50 credit pack there.

so... where are you buying credits from these days?  (am I allowed to ask that?  okay if you prefer to keep that to yourself, of course).   I'm working on building ports elsewhere soon as my exclusivity contract is canceled. :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on September 17, 2010, 01:34
....I'm working on building ports elsewhere soon as my exclusivity contract is canceled. :)
My advice would be to put your portfolio on lots of sites, try the top 10 in the earnings poll here first and if you get sales with them, try some more.  Don't bother with crestock though, most people have very high rejections there and mostly $0.25 subs sales.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: FD on September 17, 2010, 03:12
At this point I think the best thing everyone can hope for is that iStock decides to hire a proper PR firm to try and clean up the PR disaster started by Kelly.
Sounds like the way BP handled the oil spill or the pope took care of the child abuse scandal in the church.  :P
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 17, 2010, 09:38

My advice would be to put your portfolio on lots of sites, try the top 10 in the earnings poll here first and if you get sales with them, try some more.  Don't bother with crestock though, most people have very high rejections there and mostly $0.25 subs sales.

Over time, it might be best to upload to lots of sites.  I am currently on 10.  But since 90% of my earnings come from the big four, it may be a more realistic goal for departing Istock exclusives to just focus on getting their portfolios on FT, DT, and SS.  Once they are getting steady earnings there, then they would have time to explore the other sites. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: dirkr on September 17, 2010, 10:11

Over time, it might be best to upload to lots of sites.  I am currently on 10.  But since 90% of my earnings come from the big four, it may be a more realistic goal for departing Istock exclusives to just focus on getting their portfolios on FT, DT, and SS.  Once they are getting steady earnings there, then they would have time to explore the other sites. 


It might be a good idea to support those sites that actually pay fair commissions as well (if time permits), even if they currently don't provide a big portion of sales. If they don't have our portfolios, they never will be big sellers - and the other big sites will have it easier following Istock and lowering our commissions.

Some of those agencies have been listed here (http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/fair-trade-logo/).
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on September 17, 2010, 10:17

My advice would be to put your portfolio on lots of sites, try the top 10 in the earnings poll here first and if you get sales with them, try some more.  Don't bother with crestock though, most people have very high rejections there and mostly $0.25 subs sales.

Over time, it might be best to upload to lots of sites.  I am currently on 10.  But since 90% of my earnings come from the big four, it may be a more realistic goal for departing Istock exclusives to just focus on getting their portfolios on FT, DT, and SS.  Once they are getting steady earnings there, then they would have time to explore the other sites. 

Thanks for the tips.  I'm planning to start with the Big Four plus StockFresh.  I may test the water on other sites after the first of the year. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on September 17, 2010, 16:48
At this point I think the best thing everyone can hope for is that iStock decides to hire a proper PR firm to try and clean up the PR disaster started by Kelly.
Sounds like the way BP handled the oil spill or the pope took care of the child abuse scandal in the church.  :P
I absolutely do NOT want a PR spin. I want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
But I'm almost certainly whistling down the wind.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on September 17, 2010, 22:40

they actually tweeted the discount offer- use code REDEEM10 for 10% off credit packs of 50 or more (for one week only).  so that July one is different.  wonder what contributors get as a "gift" for the outage... oh wait.. nevermind.

Well that explains it. I don't follow iStock  twitter...or any twitter for that matter. :D Doesn't really matter for me though, as I will not be buying a 50 credit pack there.

so... where are you buying credits from these days?  (am I allowed to ask that?  okay if you prefer to keep that to yourself, of course).   I'm working on building ports elsewhere soon as my exclusivity contract is canceled. :)

At the moment, Dreamstime and StockFresh are the ones I am going to focus on. I like their lower priced credit packages, because I just don't have the purchasing power to plunk down a lot of money at this time. I also liked the quality of images I was seeing on ShutterStock, but I do not want to sign up for a subscription plan, I just don't buy enough images to justify that cost and their "OnDemand" pricing is still a little rich for my blood.

I am still a pretty small buyer, but I am hoping that business will continue to pick up for me.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: dgilder on September 17, 2010, 22:55
Conveniently, I happen to have both a dreamstime and stockfresh account, :) so this is good news for me.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Phil on September 17, 2010, 23:04

they actually tweeted the discount offer- use code REDEEM10 for 10% off credit packs of 50 or more (for one week only).  so that July one is different.  wonder what contributors get as a "gift" for the outage... oh wait.. nevermind.

Well that explains it. I don't follow iStock  twitter...or any twitter for that matter. :D Doesn't really matter for me though, as I will not be buying a 50 credit pack there.

so... where are you buying credits from these days?  (am I allowed to ask that?  okay if you prefer to keep that to yourself, of course).   I'm working on building ports elsewhere soon as my exclusivity contract is canceled. :)

At the moment, Dreamstime and StockFresh are the ones I am going to focus on. I like their lower priced credit packages, because I just don't have the purchasing power to plunk down a lot of money at this time. I also liked the quality of images I was seeing on ShutterStock, but I do not want to sign up for a subscription plan, I just don't buy enough images to justify that cost and their "OnDemand" pricing is still a little rich for my blood.

I am still a pretty small buyer, but I am hoping that business will continue to pick up for me.

my wife buys the odd image (about 1-2 month), we have credits at dt, ft and is which is a pain. now she buys at canstock, becuase they are cheap and you can transfer credits at any amount, so she just transfers 2 credits from earnings when she needs it and grabs her small image. I'm not being real clear sorry, but for contributor and buyer it's nice and might be worth a look.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 18, 2010, 04:46
The problem with stockfresh is that most would-be contributors are locked out of it because they can't cope with the numbers. Or maybe they secretly want an elite site, which would make sense.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on September 18, 2010, 05:57
^^^I'm sure it's just to keep costs to a minimum, can't be elite if I'm in it :)  It would be crazy to invest heavily in a new microstock site when you see how well all the new ones have done recently.  It would also be really bad if they were swamped with images and had lots of IT problems, building it up slowly is much easier.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 18, 2010, 06:16
^^^I'm sure it's just to keep costs to a minimum, can't be elite if I'm in it :)  It would be crazy to invest heavily in a new microstock site when you see how well all the new ones have done recently.  It would also be really bad if they were swamped with images and had lots of IT problems, building it up slowly is much easier.

On the other hand, achieving an impact on the market requires a large collection and their main cost should be advertising. Slowly-slowly is not the way to catch the leaders.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: dgilder on September 18, 2010, 09:28
Well,that depends partly on whether the leaders trip and fall on their faces and their pocket change falls out and lands in your pocket.  Improbable? Yes.  Impossible? No.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Case on September 21, 2010, 07:20
My sales are horrible this week. I think damage to the company has been done.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: bittersweet on September 21, 2010, 11:58
Because many of us use corporate accounts to buy images, I think istock has underestimated the number of contributors who are also buyers.

I am a buyer and a contributor and I know that in the grand scheme of things, I don't amount to even a blip on their radar screen. I have less than 500 images in my portfolio, so when I gave back my crown last year, they didn't care. I have a portfolio with both illustrations and photos, so I'm certainly destined for the lowest bracket since my redeemed credits will be split between the two media, and illustrators have to achieve levels twice that of photographers, so they clearly don't care about that either.

I'll admit to being guilty of complacency over the past year. I gave back my crown on principle, but I've continued to spend my dollars there, even if not as many as I once did. I made many excuses: It was too easy to convert my earnings to credits as I went along. I was familiar with the search engine, and often times was on a tight deadline and didn't want to take the extra time to search elsewhere and have to pay out of pocket for credits. But no more. I have some projects for which I've already done mock-ups using exclusive images. Once those are purchased, I will no longer be spending my earnings for credits.

Maybe my tiny portfolio and the 1000 images I've purchased from istock aren't important to them, but I wonder how many other "insignificant" buyers are out there in the istock fold.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on September 21, 2010, 12:12
Maybe my tiny portfolio and the 1000 images I've purchased from istock aren't important to them, but I wonder how many other "insignificant" buyers are out there in the istock fold.

It was all those "insignificant" buyers that turned iStock into a multi-million dollar company. I think iStock/Getty takes that for granted these days. Enough of them leave and the impact will be felt.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on September 21, 2010, 12:16
It was all those "insignificant" buyers that turned iStock into a multi-million dollar company. I think iStock/Getty takes that for granted these days. Enough of them leave and the impact will be felt.

Exactly. Isn't it the nature of design as a profession that many who do it are either self-employed or work for small outfits? I'd say individual designers are a core market and en masse become highly significant.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 21, 2010, 12:29

Maybe my tiny portfolio and the 1000 images I've purchased from istock aren't important to them, but I wonder how many other "insignificant" buyers are out there in the istock fold.

I think any business is making a big mistake when they consider any buyer insignificant.  Hope you are able to find what you need elsewhere.  :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: etienjones on September 21, 2010, 13:00
My sales are horrible this week. I think damage to the company has been done.

Something has definitely changed, at least for me.  The last 4 months have been one BME after another  . . .  until "the announcement".  Since then only one sale, slow is an understatement.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on September 24, 2010, 10:15
my sales have been very good this week. I've had two days that were stellar in fact. I think it is far too early to start suggesting sales are plummeting because of an issue being primarily covered in forums, which most buyers don't really visit.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on September 24, 2010, 10:27
my sales have been very good this week. I've had two days that were stellar in fact. I think it is far too early to start suggesting sales are plummeting because of an issue being primarily covered in forums, which most buyers don't really visit.

From what I remember, September goes like that sometimes. It's normal, then rallies at the end of the month. Then, October is all awesome.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on September 24, 2010, 10:45
And any buyers leaving are likely to use up their credits first.  Going to have to wait and see if there is a long term impact.  My sales aren't as good as they were in the spring but istock has always been volatile.

I still hate the look of the new site and go there much less often than I used to.  I can understand if designers asked for this bland look but it would be much better if we could choose to have the old colours.  Isn't a brand important?  It just looks like several other sites now.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on September 24, 2010, 12:37
And any buyers leaving are likely to use up their credits first.  Going to have to wait and see if there is a long term impact.  My sales aren't as good as they were in the spring but istock has always been volatile.

I still hate the look of the new site and go there much less often than I used to.  I can understand if designers asked for this bland look but it would be much better if we could choose to have the old colours.  Isn't a brand important?  It just looks like several other sites now.

Yep, I'd largely agree. Mind you, if I were a buyer wanting to express my disatisfaction, I'd actually leave a few credits behind at Istockphoto for those times when I needed an image that perhaps couldn't be found at other sites.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Maui on September 24, 2010, 14:48
my sales have been very good this week. I've had two days that were stellar in fact. I think it is far too early to start suggesting sales are plummeting because of an issue being primarily covered in forums, which most buyers don't really visit.

The last few days were stellar for me, too. 2 to 3 times more downloads than usual.

(Oh, wait, that was on Shutterstock. Sorry...)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on September 26, 2010, 22:48
And any buyers leaving are likely to use up their credits first.  Going to have to wait and see if there is a long term impact.  My sales aren't as good as they were in the spring but istock has always been volatile.

I still hate the look of the new site and go there much less often than I used to.  I can understand if designers asked for this bland look but it would be much better if we could choose to have the old colours.  Isn't a brand important?  It just looks like several other sites now.

Yep, I'd largely agree. Mind you, if I were a buyer wanting to express my disatisfaction, I'd actually leave a few credits behind at Istockphoto for those times when I needed an image that perhaps couldn't be found at other sites.

Yup. ;)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 29, 2010, 16:38
There are quite a few contributors posting their concerns about how confusing the new pricing and search is for buyers,  and some more buyers leaving in this thread: http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=255972&page=1] [url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=255972&page=1 (http://[url)[/url]

Here are some specific examples of buyers leaving:

From Wellsource:  I've spent about $4,000 at iStock in the past few years. That doesn't seem like a lot, but it's money I'll probably be taking elsewhere.

From Jallfree:  BUT I went to see the web company that builds sites for the company I work for about a week ago. They employ about 10 people so they are small but a very professional thriving company that produces good work at a fair price. They use iStock for imagery. During discussions they mentioned they were looking elsewhere for stock photography as prices at iStock were getting too high.

From Onfilm: I spoke to a designer friend of mine yesterday. He was one of the buyers here in the early days, but not so much recently. He was looking for an image last week, but didn't buy anything as it was all too expensive, despite the fact that his credits will be expiring soon.

From Esren: i heard a story last night from a friend whos brother is editor at some mag in london, to quote ' we stopped using istock because their prices tripled',


At some point this has to be a wake-up call for whoever is making decisions about Istock, doesn't it?   
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on September 29, 2010, 16:53
From Onfilm: I spoke to a designer friend of mine yesterday. He was one of the buyers here in the early days, but not so much recently. He was looking for an image last week, but didn't buy anything as it was all too expensive, despite the fact that his credits will be expiring soon.
This happened to me. I had 10 credits that were going to expire and wanted buy an interesting vector to dissect. I couldn't find anything for that price that I liked. It would have been nice to search by price instead of tier.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: pet_chia on September 29, 2010, 17:55
...
At some point this has to be a wake-up call for whoever is making decisions about Istock, doesn't it?   

That's exactly what I was thinking when I read the comments in that thread.  Besides the possible organization problems I speculated about previously, I wonder (again) if istock listens too much to its (top) contributors and not enough to its buyers.

Not that you have to be a genius to know that you don't mix up identical-looking cans of soup on the same shelf at wildly different prices.  The real bargains belong in bins in the aisles or in other places where the bargain-hunters can zero in on them and the fancy premium goods should be set off in more swank-looking displays for the discriminating buyer.  All you need in this case is extra check boxes or sorting options.  OR, quit trying to be both Kmart and Sachs 5th Avenue at the same time, and create separate micro/mid websites under the same corporate umbrella.  It's hard to see how jumbling up similar-looking cheap and expensive products with only tiny, ambiguous symbols to differentiate between them is going to be anything but a failure.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Risamay on September 29, 2010, 18:10
It's hard to see how jumbling up similar-looking cheap and expensive products with only tiny, ambiguous symbols to differentiate between them is going to be anything but a failure.

+1

If I were a buyer, I wouldn't want to waste precious time on IS manually sorting through my search results for prices that fit my budge when sort by price point should be an automatic, built-in search feature. And if I were a new buyer, finding Vetta or Agency files first, before seeing or understanding how to find more reasonably priced images might scare or turn me off IS, right off the bat. And if I were a legacy IS buyer, I might still shop there, but I'd certainly start augmenting my searches and sourcing material with other agencies whose prices are either a) more affordable or, b) easier to immediately distinguish.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gaja on September 30, 2010, 00:49
I like the way Veer has handled the issue of mixed prices. The prices are clearly visible in the result display, and you can very easily limit the output to your budget with a slider on the side.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on September 30, 2010, 09:49
I like the way Veer has handled the issue of mixed prices. The prices are clearly visible in the result display, and you can very easily limit the output to your budget with a slider on the side.

This seems very logical and easy to use.  Hope Istock will make the effort to easily distinguish their collections too.  Fingers crossed that is in the works...? 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: helix7 on September 30, 2010, 11:56
I like the way Veer has handled the issue of mixed prices. The prices are clearly visible in the result display, and you can very easily limit the output to your budget with a slider on the side.

This seems very logical and easy to use.  Hope Istock will make the effort to easily distinguish their collections too.  Fingers crossed that is in the works...? 

The problem with iStock is that pricing is not only varied but also tied into their best match system (favoring exclusive images, thus more expensive images), and they've made it very clear that they'd never modify the search to put the less expensive content (non-exclusive) anywhere closer to the front of the results. Sorting by price is probably never going to happen at iStock.

Which, for buyers, seems to be extremely annoying. I solved the problem for me as a buyer by not getting images from iStock anymore. I wonder if more buyers will migrate away from iStock for more simplified pricing schemes. Buyers aren't stupid. They'll grow tired of the "1 credit does not equal 1 dollar" system, if they haven't already. It's getting way too complex between varying credit prices, multiple collections, exclusive, non-exclusive, E+, and now Agency.

I prefer to buy images where I know 1 credit equals 1 dollar (or less) and a certain size image is always the same number of credits.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on October 18, 2010, 22:42
now that Agency is filling up the searches, buyers are not happy and voicing it.

check out this thread at iStock
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=266081&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=266081&page=1)

 I wonder how many upset buyers this one post represents since we all know that many buyers do not frequent the forums (or probably even know they exist). 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on October 19, 2010, 02:33
I really don't understand why buyers use istock exclusively.  Some of the other sites have millions of images that istock don't.  Some of them sell at lower prices and with higher commissions, so contributors earn more.

I understand if they have been with istock for years and feel a loyalty but what about the contributors who have been doing this for years and are now getting their commissions cut?  A lot of us wont want to do this job anymore if the sites are going to take nearly all the money.  I think the only way to stop the rapidly increasing prices and reducing commissions is for both contributors and buyers to do something about it.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Fotonaut on October 19, 2010, 02:59
I really don't understand why buyers use istock exclusively.  Some of the other sites have millions of images that istock don't.  Some of them sell at lower prices and with higher commissions, so contributors earn more.

iStock exclusive contributors. Gives iStock an edge. They are the key component. Lower prices or higher commissions to contributors means nothing if I don’t find what I need searching for an image.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on October 19, 2010, 03:09
I really don't understand why buyers use istock exclusively.  Some of the other sites have millions of images that istock don't.  Some of them sell at lower prices and with higher commissions, so contributors earn more.

iStock exclusive contributors. Gives iStock an edge. They are the key component. Lower prices or higher commissions to contributors means nothing if I don’t find what I need searching for an image.
What about the top selling non-exclusives that have thousands of images on the other sites that istock don't have?  Yuri is a good example 28,430 on DT, 6,319 on istock.  There are lots of good new contributors that are stuck with the low upload limits with istock and lots that wouldn't use them because the 20% commission was too low.  There must be times when the other sites have something istock don't?  That's why I can't understand buyers using only istock.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: rubyroo on October 19, 2010, 04:07
I remember a lecture at university where we were told that the most successful companies were either 'the first' or 'the best'.  For a while, I think iStock has been perceived to be both.   I'm not sure how designers here feel, but most of the designers I know also have a preoccupation with what's 'cool' - and I think iStock has also been perceived to be 'cool'.

My sense is that it's 'cool' image has taken a battering because of the recent publication of cuts to contributors, and this has made some designers start to question whether, in fact, they are 'the best' any longer.

Just my perception.  FWIW.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: travelstock on October 19, 2010, 04:09
What about the top selling non-exclusives that have thousands of images on the other sites that istock don't have?  Yuri is a good example 28,430 on DT, 6,319 on istock.  There are lots of good new contributors that are stuck with the low upload limits with istock and lots that wouldn't use them because the 20% commission was too low.  There must be times when the other sites have something istock don't?  That's why I can't understand buyers using only istock.

How do you think Yuri got to 1M downloads on IS with less then 1/4 of his portfolio? By filling his quota with only his best sellers. Its the top 25% (or usually less) that buyers want to see, not wade through the massive bulk of similars.

Also lets not forget that Yuri's images are actually cheaper on IS than FT and in many cases also than on Dreamstime.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on October 19, 2010, 04:38
^^^I wonder how he knows what his bestsellers are when he uploads new images?  I think he got all those sales because istock has the most buyers.  I still think they would be sensible to use at least one other site, just to see what else is available.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on October 19, 2010, 04:45
^^^I wonder how he knows what his bestsellers are when he uploads new images?  I think he got all those sales because istock has the most buyers.  I still think they would be sensible to use at least one other site, just to see what else is available.

With the factories, one image of people in grey suits in a row is the same as the next.  If you're missing out on a couple, it's no big dealio.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on October 19, 2010, 05:27
Sure but it isn't just the factories that have images missing from istock, that was just an example.  Lots of good independents either don't have their full portfolios there or don't use istock at all.  I just think its sensible for buyers to at least have an account with one of the other sites and have a look occasionally.

I understand that istock exclusives want buyers to only use that site and of course I want buyers to look elsewhere, we all have vested interests here but I still see it as a fact that while istock has the exclusive collections, they are missing a lot of top quality images.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: travelstock on October 19, 2010, 05:34
Sure but it isn't just the factories that have images missing from istock, that was just an example.  Lots of good independents either don't have their full portfolios there or don't use istock at all.  I just think its sensible for buyers to at least have an account with one of the other sites and have a look occasionally.

I understand that istock exclusives want buyers to only use that site and of course I want buyers to look elsewhere, we all have vested interests here but I still see it as a fact that while istock has the exclusive collections, they are missing a lot of top quality images.

The other factor is that each agency has its own license conditions. Some buyers aren't worried by this, but the bigger buyers will want to have every document checked off and procedures to deal with licensing. They don't just swap and change agencies casually. Having an extra set of legal documents to handle is often a much bigger problem for an organisation than sourcing content.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: molka on October 19, 2010, 06:42
It's interesting how people who have been okay with 20%, even praising the site, are suddenly in fury with 15%. Is that reasonable? Or is that this always sucked, but they just played the fashionable smiley fanboy and all the frustration building up suddenly burst out with this latest move? I vote for the latter.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on October 19, 2010, 07:02
I am now the 39th person ignoring molka :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: molka on October 19, 2010, 07:12
Looks like I hit the nail on the head again : )
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: molka on October 19, 2010, 07:18
MORTON
I'm listening but not hearing much.
Admins, check how much i spend here. And I'm only here because I was referred by a contributor who I'm very fond of. Out of respect for that contributor, and others I am actively looking elsewhere for my images.
I'm sure Getty don't need my money anyway. You have now placed Vetta out of my reach. The agency collection doesn't interest me at all and you are constantly trying to get me to Thinkstock. If I'm looking for a subs package I've found a better deal on another site outside of the Getty empire.
Contributors. It's a big step but you need to get together, take your content and your ethics and reasonable prices and royalties and start up again. Designers will follow. Designers are cool. iStock was cool, Getty isn't.

What a rotten way to treat people.

LIZZIELOU (buyer who has spent more than $10000 over the last five years, documented with a screenshot)
I'll have to go where the images go. I believe this will have to start with the big contributers moving, buyers following then the smaller conrtibutors follow. but in support I will try to shop elsewhere before here especially if the artist is not wearing a crown (which is looking more like a dunce hat)

POLEKSPRESS (member since 2005)
I will never buy credits from Istock again!!!!!!!!!

ABDESIGN
I am the art director for a company who has purchased close to 2500 images here at istock. We will never again purchase images from here. In fact, is there a way to get your current credits refunded. I will be throwing away my crown before the end of the year and moving on. This place disgusts me.

SDbT
In protest ... I just used up the last of my credits and will not purchase further content at iStock until this situation is resolved.

MORTMATCH (corporate master)
I'm a pissed-off buyer. Microstock is cheap to begin with. Giving contributors less of a piece of the pie -- and I pity the non-exclusives taking such a hit as well as the exclusives who bought in to the promise of rewards for selling only to iStock customers -- is beyond greedy and mean-spririted. It's sweatshop labor. Hear that, iStock? S-W-E-A-T-S-H-O-P. I'm disgusted.
A couple of months ago, I had my company open a corporate account for thousands of dollars. And I can change that.
By the way, let me take a crack at running your business. I think I can make those margins sustainable without screwing your artists. I really think I can. How hard can it be to make something profitable when you're raking in 70 percent of the income of a product you don't even make?

anonymous
Photography is a "hobby" for me and my tiny little port of 250 images at IS will not sway their decision, my REAL job is creative director for fortune 1000 co.
Not only do you have my support in no longer purchasing from IS (have about 50 credits that I'll spend this weekend so that some of you can get your 20% - and I'll buy nothing with a crown : P   ), but I'm pulling my port as well. It's only worth about $500 per year, but I'll feel better about myself. We also have monthly "designer meetings" (people from area design companies get together to suck down scotch and crab cakes) and I will take my 10 minutes of speech time to make sure that they're at least aware of this.

It's unfortunate that Wall-St found its way into MS

added: and even if all of this gets IS to modify or completely drop this plan, I'm done with them.

GBALEX
I have worked in the advertising industry for years and our clients are mainly medium to small local businesses and a few large local corporations. I became a submitter in early 2004 to and thought seriously about quitting my job to develop a port large enough to live on.
I decided against it because I was afraid that it would end this way. I worried about the # of images flooding the market to the extent our work would be devalued. The writing was on the wall as you started seeing photographers who used to make decent money producing stock start offering workshops and frequenting micro forums to scare up customers simply because the money they made teaching others to produce stock is better than the money they made producing stock content themselves.
The end result has been many more submitters with LCV work burying images that we as buyers actually need for our projects.  Those submitters would never have made the cut if they had not been coached and most will never produce the type of work that most agencies and their clients need.
Besides being a buyer of images I know many submitters who have worked long and hard to provide a good living for themselves and I do not take the moves that IS has made lightly!  I think IS has forgotten that a great many buyers are also submitters and that as creative's we have respect and empathy for each other.
Micro does need to make changes, however I will not be supporting IS any longer.  Even before this move I have been buying my images more and more from sites who support photographers, graphic artists, video & audio producers.
With this move I have discussed this with my co workers and we have decided to no longer buy our content from IS.
I don't see things improving any day soon unless sites make moves to reduce LCV work, improve search engines and also raise prices for the end product.  That is hard right now because advertising in general has dropped because of the global recession.
I will encourage other buyers to examine how IS has treated its content providers and I will encourage them to seek other options.  Our company will no longer be buying IS content!

cameronpashak
I have continued to be a loyal customer and will buy an image that might not be the best out of all the ones i also found on other sites but still have bought it just because. If this goes thru, I will look at things for a year or so as a contributor. If I do worse next year under this structure, then i will look at my options as i can't really afford the time to upload to other sites at this moment.

But I can assure you the 60% of my earnings that i spend here buying images will definitely be spent somewhere else from the moment this is confirmed. I know that sounds crazy and not fair to our contributors but this is out of principle. If HF want to milk me of my continued hard work....they aint getting one bit of it back in the form of me buying images and I have the assurance of 3 other designer friends (none of which are contributors) of mine they are going to do the same as they see how hard outside of my regular work contributing images to istock.
Full post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4626002[/url])

ForwardDesign
While having been a $1000 - $1400 per year "buyer" at Istockphoto, I'm rather surprised by their indifference to their contributors. We seem to live in a day and age where corporate greed is king. At our 10:00am meeting tomorrow, I will bring this up to our design staff and see if they know of an image source that plays more fairly at the schoolyard. After reading the forum posts, I have to agree that there is a serious difference in the mathematical understanding and a rather callus response from Istockphoto staff. It's likely that somebody upstairs desires a larger paycheck and/or they're jockeying to sell.
CNET ([url]http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20015830-264.html#ixzz0z4KodWD7[/url])

leremy
I am a contributor and also a buyer at istock. I still have 26 credit. I have so far only buy images from istock (I had spent about usd500 so far since 1 year ago), and with this recent development that really irritate me, I will definitely not buy anymore credits from istock. Yes, there are plenty other agencies out there that I can buy pictures from. Just a side note, one of them has helped me in making 6x times more money than what I have made here. The more I think of it, the more it make sense for me to buy elsewhere. [...]
Full post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4645982[/url])

dsteller
[...]I am a contributor and I am a buyer. I am not big in either, but my 2000+ purchases are significant to me. It is sad for me to say but I am going to be purchasing elsewhere from here on out. [...]
Full post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4658722[/url])

caspixel
[...]As a buyer, I am very excited to see some new fresh content at some other sites. You guys provide great content. The best, really. Time to share.
Full post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4661252[/url])

anthony_taylor
As the library depletes, so will the custom. As a contibutor I'm being forced out. As a designer and buyer of images for national retail chain here in the UK I'll be taking my company's business elsewhere.
Full post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4668702[/url])

emrah
[...]I'm definitely not buying any photos and stupid announcements of istock any more
Full post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4669632[/url])

GeoffBlack
I will no longer buy here.
Full post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4656272[/url])

Jancouver
[...]BTW. I also bought 440 files from iStock for our projects but I will NOT buy a single file again from iStock!
Full post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4656922[/url])

ChrisGorgio
Shame on you for treating your long-standing contributors this way. Especially non exclusives who will be dropping to a base rate of 15%. If I'm not mistaken the lowest commission in the industry.
I will no longer be buying here or recommending the site to others.
Unbelievably greedy and ungrateful. Shame
Full post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&messageid=4554592[/url])

Anja_Kaiser
If these changes should actually take effect, I'm going to delete my entire portfolio on new year's eve. *NOONE* will take up to 85% of what *my* work earns. I was almost about to reach the golden canister level and now it's for the trashbin? Plus a huge pay-cut? Plus a slap in my face? NO. Enough is enough. I'll lose about $400 to 500 a month (still), but my pride's worth something, too. iStock will lose me as a contributor and a buyer as well. The whole thing is blatantly barefaced and respectless.
Full post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&messageid=4565412[/url])

JDehoff
I don't upload photos or illustrations of my own, so this does not effect me the same way. However, I have been downloading images to use in design projects from istock for years. The rates for images continue to go up each time I need to buy credits. I thought this would go to overhead and the artists. And now you're giving the artists I depend on a paycut? It seems like you're collecting more from both sides. Has someone gotten greedier?
The allure to istockphoto was that istock was NOT Getty images. I am saddened that istock has chosen to sell out and has opted to grow too large to maintain what made them unique in the first place. Change is only good if you don't lose the core of what made you good to begin with.
I guess I will increase my patronage to other, "smaller" stock image sites in the future in order to support the artists, instead of a corporation. Very disappointing istock.
Full post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&messageid=4578262[/url])

ktasos
I deactivated my second file!!! I have nothing to loose as a non-exclusive contributor.I think if the things remain the same i will delete my entire portfolio soon... plus i will never buy not a single $ from this place anymore
Full post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&messageid=4579722[/url])

Lazyfish
[...]But as a buyer i'm pissed off. I spend several thousand dollars on here every year through my corporate name, and i did that percisely because you guys were not getty. i liked the iStock model and always felt i was helping the little guy with the money my design agency makes. My business partner and I will have to re-evaluate were we spend our money now. I don't feel right giving it to you.
I feel sorry for people making their living on here. Good luck to you all!
Full post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&messageid=4581262[/url])

anonymous
I had dinner tonight with the two people with whom I built the redacted. The artist/co-designer is currently working on an independent film and was shocked when I told him what IS are currently doing - he said that he's spent around $2,000 in the last month at IS on images and videos, and he will no longer buy there.
Full post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4675472#post4675472[/url])

acromedia
Although its been said many times already, I just have to add: Wow.
As a partner/creative director at a web design firm, I've used and steered numerous client to istock for years. I just added up our invoices and we've spent over $6000 here in the past few years.
However, once our credits run out, we will no longer purchase from istock or any other getty sites. It is insane how the contributors here are being treated, and I cannot in good conscious support a company that abuses its suppliers in these manners.
I urge you all to remember that you have a choice; creating thousands of posts is a good way to let of some steam, but I'd encourage you to spend that effort moving your content to other sites, of which I hope to see and buy your work.
Change, take action, send a message.
Full post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=255782&messageid=4742382[/url])

Crooky0
[...]I am not a contributor...I merely came here to buy stock photos, and have spent a decent amount of money here over the past few years. I have never boycotted a business in my entirely life before now. Congratulations, iSP...you are the first! How's it feel to be #1?
Full post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4734982[/url])

mericsso
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.
Full post ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/buyers-bailing-on-istock/175/[/url])

hqimages
Yup, I'm downloading from Stockfresh now.. it's the only good alternative for me anyway.. but it feels good that there is an alternative with similar quality to istock, and better % for uploaders..
Full post ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/buyers-bailing-on-istock/200/[/url])

luriete
(I'm a photographer, and a client who buys usually 750 credits a year - we'll switch to someone else on that front and ask other agencies we work with to do the same)
Full post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382&messageid=4733342[/url])


The problem is that there are no reasonably big numbers showing. I used Istock for about 2,5 half years working for a BTL agency. It wasn' big, wasn't small either, but very busy. I was in very good termns with the owners, and the one doing the finances told me that we used (7th month) more than 2,5 million HUF for buying stock, which is about 13 000 dollars... and that was only a mid sized agency.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Freedom on October 19, 2010, 07:22
From the designers who I personally know, they still consider Istock the best.

From a contributor's perspective, in all fairness, Vetta, Agency Collection and E+ give me a sense that I can grow into higher end of photography and will not stay at micro level  forever, if I improve my work. If the buyers cannot afford the higher end prices, they still have Thinkstock (and perhaps Dollar Bin) to shop from.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: molka on October 19, 2010, 07:40
and I'll buy nothing with a crown : P
Why is that? What have exclusive contributors done to earn your wrath? In some ways, we are hurt more by this move than independents. Of course, it's your decision, and your money. I'm just curious why you feel that way.

Well - when some one pissis on me I for one Piss back.

Beisides - you should thank us, while on your knees whining. Hurting IS on the wallet, is the only thing that can bring the silly management at IS to the negosiationg table. The independents leaving, and taking their businnes and clients with them, is "money talks".

Remeber - there are 80%+ non ex. on IS.
Perhaps you should make sure you know who pissed on you before you piss back?

But I'm not going to contribute to this stupid argument any longer; I agree with those that say it's counterproductive. We are all getting screwed by Getty -- that's the part to focus on.

It's beacuse you don't get it. IS will keep changing goals until all exclusives are down to the standard Getty 20% royalty. You wil get F* over, and over, and over again.

The only way to get Getty to the negociating table, it to give them a hit on the wallet - i.e. IS sales. This is what the independents are doing for you. We are trying to save your asses. At the same time we free ourselves from the tyranny of Getty by taking our pics, our clients, and our DL's to other sites.
Wake up - wipe the cloth of IS sweettalk from your eyes....

why . do you ppl think it's just getty being The Bad Guy here? I even heard laughable crap like how Istuck used to be a nice communinty site.. yeh, for a few months in 2004 or smthng like that, I guess. The site has been around for more than 5 years, and in all that time they developed these rich features for contributors:
1. a single file upload button : )))
2. their very own village idiot running auroud in their forums insulting and mocking the the ppl who actually work for his pay, STFU-ing them by bans and locked threads if they wanted to discuss anything more serious then what they would like to have for next lunch.
3. random rejections from maltrained granpas pretending to be quality controllers.

They have been treating you like turds for years with or without getty... and getty's low commision were at least on several times higher prices.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: anonymous on October 19, 2010, 08:55
If the buyers cannot afford the higher end prices, they still have Thinkstock (and perhaps Dollar Bin) to shop from.
heh heh...yeah...THAT's the ticket  ::)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on October 19, 2010, 09:12
I posted this under the" Istock changing royality structure" and thought I'd post it here as well since it does really have to do with buyers

I noticed an ad on my opening e-mail page for Istock....it says:

"WE MISS YOU...you know you want royalty-free images and videos for $1.....get 10% off and 10 free images"

Recon they really MISS their buyers..
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: JoeLena on October 19, 2010, 11:50
Well, that same email was sent many times over the years, I don't think it's due to some drop in revenue. For me every month is better than the previous, so people are still buying. I'm as upset about the changes in royalty amounts as anyone, but just bad mouthing and trying to start panic isn't the answer. As much as we would like to think buyers would go elsewhere because IS doesn't pay contributors enough it's not going to happen.

I posted this under the" Istock changing royality structure" and thought I'd post it here as well since it does really have to do with buyers

I noticed an ad on my opening e-mail page for Istock....it says:

"WE MISS YOU...you know you want royalty-free images and videos for $1.....get 10% off and 10 free images"

Recon they really MISS their buyers..
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on October 19, 2010, 13:19
^^^So what is the answer?  I don't think carrying on as if nothing has happened is right either.  They will just carry on taking more money from us.  I don't like doing weddings but I am even thinking about doing them now.  Anything is better than working for such a small slice of the money.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on October 19, 2010, 14:00
As much as we would like to think buyers would go elsewhere because IS doesn't pay contributors enough it's not going to happen.

You're probably right - just the fact that Istock is lowballing contributors isn't enough to get buyers to change agencies.  But if you add the fact that Istock is also squeezing buyers, then you get some traction.  If I was exclusive to Istock, posts like the following would really scare the he11 out of me.  Even as an independent they are unsettling.

Some highlights from the thread Jami linked to:

From Gracevinyard (the OP)

...In Summary for our us as a buyer over the last year: Less value, more time wasted, poor customer service.

As a serious question it seems that increasingly Istock is pitching for a different market now perhaps? Maybe smaller buyers like us should be at other microstock sites?


From Joebelanger:

I work for a $2 billion dollar company who uses/used Istock and they (last week) opened an account at another agency because of much of what you mention. They know I upload on several micros and asked me what's going on at IS and I simply directed them to the link, "where do we go from here".

From 8bm:

This is EXTREMEMLY ANNOYING. Thankyou for voicing this. Getting sick of having to advance search everything. Making it harder for us to exclude higher priced files WILL NOT tempt us to buy them - It is just frustrating and not to mention very obvious to buyers with nouse what is trying to be achieved.

From MortonS:

I came to this place a few years ago on the recommendation of a photographer. I wanted good quality cheap images - I'm sorry about that, I feel guilty now, but that's what made iStock stand out in the first place.

My last 600 credit pack dollars nearly went elsewhere, i had a 15% off code so I used it, but that will probably be the last time.

I know I'm a small scale buyer - about 5000 credits per year - but I feel that I am not welcome here. It's too confusing with standard collection, exclusive (which aren't), exclusive +, vetta, agency, dollar bin - have i missed any?

And don't get me started on the iStock exchange rate scam - a tip for buyers, don't EVER by in your local currency because you will probably pay 50% more for your credits.

And add to that the appalling redesign. The fonts are too small and nothing lines up. this place has gone from the designers secret to a designers nightmare. Flickr looks better quite frankly.

My last support query took several days to be answered - there is no excuse for that. Free services have faster response times.

The next time i need credits, I'm going to try another site. It might not be any better, but it can't be much worse.


From Sandypaige:

We don't buy huge amounts, I'm about the smallest fry out there. But I've been loyal, I have not bought art from any other site since the day I signed up here. In fact, until last week, I hadn't even searched online for other sites to consider. Last week I went looking for the first time. I'm not happy about it. I'd like to stay with iStock, but I don't think it's iStock anymore, not in the way I felt about it a year or two ago.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on October 19, 2010, 15:27
great posts, Lisa.. here are a few 'tweets' just from today:

@schachin: OMGOSH.  @istock have you LOST your MIND!  $50 for a web use stock photo.  you are not GETTY even if they own you.  #FAIL @istock mixing in really $$$$ images does not help your brand.  Makes you look overpriced & waists my time.  If I want Getty I go to Getty.

@timmooredesign: Thank you.  @istock for continually gouging your loyal customers.  You frustrate me greatly with your ridiculous price hikes.


@INBEDINT: IN DA FACE istock!  You're too darn expensive, I can get ur pix for free on Googleimages! lmao! #evilltellya!

@catapultdigital: So I know there's been big economic changes but still not happy istock wants us to pay £1.15 for images that used to cost us less than $1

@JULIAREICH: seeking quality royalty-free stock illo sites that are NOT istock.

lately I've been seeing a lot of posts like these on twitter. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on October 19, 2010, 15:41
For me every month is better than the previous, so people are still buying. "

That's what they used say about the real estate market (plus investments, cars, flights, jobs, etc, etc) not so long ago.

According to my data Istockphoto's continued dominance is by no means assured.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on October 19, 2010, 15:53
I see Lobo gratefully grabbed on the first excuse he could find to shut down the "Buyers' Gripes" thread;

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=266081&page=3 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=266081&page=3)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: borg on October 19, 2010, 16:23
As much as we would like to think buyers would go elsewhere because IS doesn't pay contributors enough it's not going to happen.

Of course!

Contributors are not "social case", so we don't need intervention of morality from someone, in this case buyers...
This only have to be problem between agency and contributors...

Aggressive campaign for our portfolios with "better deal" is a part of solution... But that have to be "united offensive"... :o
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on October 19, 2010, 17:01
I see Lobo gratefully grabbed on the first excuse he could find to shut down the "Buyers' Gripes" thread;

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=266081&page=3[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=266081&page=3[/url])


I'm sure there are more buyers seeing it locked and wondering why....They really haven't been under the fist of Lobo have they?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 19, 2010, 17:53

 Things are not always what they seem Danielsan...


 Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on October 19, 2010, 17:56
I see Lobo gratefully grabbed on the first excuse he could find to shut down the "Buyers' Gripes" thread;

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=266081&page=3[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=266081&page=3[/url])


I read the whole thread. So it seems that the only way buyers are going to get any attention to their support tickets is by posting a complaint on the forum. Once everyone jumped in, THEN admins took notice and resolved GraceVineyards' support issue. Then conveniently locked the thread. That's just messed up.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on October 19, 2010, 17:57

 Things are not always what they seem Danielsan...


 Jonathan

Can you elaborate, please?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on October 19, 2010, 19:37

2. their very own village idiot running auroud in their forums insulting and mocking the the ppl who actually work for his pay, STFU-ing them by bans and locked threads if they wanted to discuss anything more serious then what they would like to have for next lunch.


:D :D :D :D

That is so true. Perfect example was the buyer's gripe thread being locked.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on October 20, 2010, 16:19
This buyer (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=266181&page=1) chose to post in the suggestion forum - I felt like suggesting that they post somewhere more visible (as it seems the suggestion forum isn't) but thought better of it.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 20, 2010, 23:12
Hi CClapper,

 Nope! Have to do that homework on your own for this one. This might make a couple people happy on this site but I don't share everything till I put it to use myself. I am very sure that things are not what they seem. Sorry to be so mysterious but the writing is all over the wall if you spend hours on the internet tracking info or hear it from a very reliable source. Isn't this career awesome ;D

Good Luck,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on October 20, 2010, 23:31
Hi CClapper,

 Nope! Have to do that homework on your own for this one. This might make a couple people happy on this site but I don't share everything till I put it to use myself. I am very sure that things are not what they seem. Sorry to be so mysterious but the writing is all over the wall if you spend hours on the internet tracking info or hear it from a very reliable source. Isn't this career awesome ;D

Good Luck,
Jonathan

Nope, not planning to do any homework of my own here. Your post is so cryptic, I don't even know who or what you are referring to. I will go back and re-read because I obviously missed something. for instance, who is Danielsan? So when you say things are not what they seem, are you talking about things at IS are not what they seem? Things that Lobo says are not what they seem? things on the IS forums are not what they seem?

I don't spend hours on the internet tracking info and I don't have reliable sources, so I guess I will remain in the dark.  ::)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: djpadavona on October 20, 2010, 23:52
I agree with Cclapper.  Except for recognizing the Karate Kid reference, I don't have the slightest idea what you were referring to Jonathan.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on October 21, 2010, 04:48
I agree with Cclapper.  Except for recognizing the Karate Kid reference, I don't have the slightest idea what you were referring to Jonathan.

Nope, nothing there made any sense.  Although dropping the mysterious message did get him some attention.

Wax on, wax off!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: JamesGdesign on October 21, 2010, 05:08
...and now for multiple crane kick exercises on an old pontoon support post to bananaramas "cruel summer"...
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: djpadavona on October 21, 2010, 05:38
Sweeeeep the Leggggggg!!!!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: crazychristina on October 21, 2010, 06:47
Hi CClapper,

 Nope! Have to do that homework on your own for this one. This might make a couple people happy on this site but I don't share everything till I put it to use myself. I am very sure that things are not what they seem. Sorry to be so mysterious but the writing is all over the wall if you spend hours on the internet tracking info or hear it from a very reliable source. Isn't this career awesome ;D

Good Luck,
Jonathan
On a completely unrelated note, do you anticipate having any files in the Agency collection (via Getty) Jonathan?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on October 21, 2010, 08:35
snip
Wax on, wax off!

OK, THAT I understand. He should have said that in the first place!  :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 21, 2010, 08:40
Hi Crazy,

 There are several companies I am affiliated with that have been asked to place images in the Agency collection and yes I have been asked for my company to produce content for the collection. They have added several agencies not just Getty. As to weather I am going that route I will have to let you know in a couple weeks after Photo East.

Best,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on October 21, 2010, 08:47
Hi CClapper,

 Nope! Have to do that homework on your own for this one. This might make a couple people happy on this site but I don't share everything till I put it to use myself. I am very sure that things are not what they seem. Sorry to be so mysterious but the writing is all over the wall if you spend hours on the internet tracking info or hear it from a very reliable source. Isn't this career awesome ;D

Good Luck,
Jonathan

Nope, not planning to do any homework of my own here. Your post is so cryptic, I don't even know who or what you are referring to. I will go back and re-read because I obviously missed something. for instance, who is Danielsan? So when you say things are not what they seem, are you talking about things at IS are not what they seem? Things that Lobo says are not what they seem? things on the IS forums are not what they seem?

I don't spend hours on the internet tracking info and I don't have reliable sources, so I guess I will remain in the dark.  ::)

Maybe after you put all that secret knowledge that you gained from surfing and speaking to reliable sources to your special use, you could come back and tell us what you mean. Or not would be my guess.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 21, 2010, 08:51
CC,

 What Lisa said makes the most sense on this entire subject. Lisa is the closest of anyone here to seeing the big picture as to what what the powers are planning but Lisa has always been one of the people here that does here homework and can read between the lines. I respect the people that have been quoted about not buying from Istock anymore but have you checked out how many buyers they have. Think twice, this is a Getty owned company and they have been top dogs for the past 12 years or so for one simple reason, they know the market very well. I don't think that they will lose the lions share of sales because of this change. Just my opinion of coarse. I have been expecting this price change for sometime but so has everyone that knows this market just look to the past. We used to get a 50/50 split years ago. It was not till Macro RF came into the picture that the 20% share was introduced, Getty's sales took off during that period.

Best,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 21, 2010, 08:53
Yea jbarber873,

 I am not someone to share much info am I  ;D

Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on October 21, 2010, 17:55
CC,

 What Lisa said makes the most sense on this entire subject. Lisa is the closest of anyone here to seeing the big picture as to what what the powers are planning but Lisa has always been one of the people here that does here homework and can read between the lines. I respect the people that have been quoted about not buying from Istock anymore but have you checked out how many buyers they have. Think twice, this is a Getty owned company and they have been top dogs for the past 12 years or so for one simple reason, they know the market very well. I don't think that they will lose the lions share of sales because of this change. Just my opinion of coarse. I have been expecting this price change for sometime but so has everyone that knows this market just look to the past. We used to get a 50/50 split years ago. It was not till Macro RF came into the picture that the 20% share was introduced, Getty's sales took off during that period.

Best,
Jonathan

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Jonathan.  :)  But I have to admit the reference was totally lost on me too...  

I think I get your point though - it was inevitable that Getty would try and reduce Istock commissions to 20% across the board.  At least a lot of the long timers in the business speculated about it, and it made a certain amount of sense.   But you know, hope springs eternal.  Many of us wanted to believe that Istock was still in control and would protect their exclusives.  At least I certainly did.

And what has really come out of left field, AFAIK, is the reducing of non-exclusive commissions to as low as 15-19%.  I didn't hear anyone predicting that.  Could you or one of the other long time stock folks like Christian weigh in on whether there was a precedent for that one?  

Probably those of us who are non-exclusive and want to fare better on IS would be smart to do as you are doing and look for other avenues into the Agency Collection via one of the stock collections featured there.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on October 21, 2010, 17:59
Yea jbarber873,

 I am not someone to share much info am I  ;D

Jonathan

The new and improved sarcastic Jonathon. I like it.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 21, 2010, 23:23
 Hi Paulie,

 Oh you know me to well ;D If you are good at reading between the lines I am  still the same old guy just trying to keep the peace and spread some info. Play me in any sport, you will see the true me, I will play till one of us drops. Besides I have been way to friendly lately >:(

Best,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 21, 2010, 23:41
 Hi Lisa,

 No I can't say I have seen percentage drop below 20% before but there was a time when no one would believe 20% and we all got use to it and made a lot of money. I don't agree with the agencies choice but if I don't like it I have the choice to go somewhere else. We live in a Capitalist society not a Socialist one so we are stuck behind the 8 ball. I learned many years ago that we have very little power.
 If I was trying to sell someone something I would start high and end up coming down once the buyer put up enough struggle. The buyer would have thought they were empowered and I would walk away with just what I was hoping for. Maybe businesses do the same thing, pad their drops and then give everyone a chance to bitch then they change it to make you feel empowered when in the long run they ended up with happy contributors and the price they already were after. If not enough noise is made they leave it and make even more money than they had hoped for. I can't say that agencies do this but it is an old trick that still works very well.
 Once again excuse me on my number information this last week. My wife is recovering from surgery, I have been on the road and raising the family at the same time limping in a leg brace from a torn LCL this last weekend playing soccer, so the sleep has been missing and I am obviously off my game. Not trying to make excuses but until this week my numbers have not been off so I hope people can understand that my answers have been hindered by unexpected circumstance. Gostywk was kind enough to point out my latest error. That is two in one week, not good of me. I will pay closer attention as this is the last trip of the year.
 I will say that it is important for people to point out my mistakes this week, I wish some could find a bit of grace in their presentation but that is what you get when you try to share information. However, any one that points out my mistakes is helping me in a big way.
 Still one more trip to go to PhotoPlus next week so if anyone is there come over and say hi to the guy limping around in the brace :)

Best,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on October 22, 2010, 12:40

 No I can't say I have seen percentage drop below 20% before but there was a time when no one would believe 20% and we all got use to it and made a lot of money. I don't agree with the agencies choice but if I don't like it I have the choice to go somewhere else.

Thanks for answering my question.  I hadn't thought anyone went below 20%, but wasn't too sure since I don't know the macro market. 

Hope you and your wife both heal up fast :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on October 22, 2010, 18:36
Yea jbarber873,

 I am not someone to share much info am I  ;D

Jonathan

Well I agree with you that Lisa writes the most intelligent and cogent posts I have seen in my limited time here. I'm still not sure what you meant by your original post, but that's okay. I don't think more typing will make it clearer to me- I'm a little slow that way.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on October 23, 2010, 09:37
Here's another: http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=267191&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=267191&page=1)

Thread locked of course. iStock really knows how to make a customer feel wanted. :/
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on October 23, 2010, 10:30
Very interesting thread, Carolyn.  Seems like the "guarantee" may have had unintended consequences.  Here's the post from Chris3fer:

I work for a good size agency and its come up in a meeting today (for the second time in a year) that we shouldn't be using istock to make purchases. Quote from the meeting from pretty important purchasing people:


"They (istock) don't have proper licensing, and now they even have an additional legal guarantee you can purchase for another $100, because apparently their standard legal guarantee is meaningless. They also use a points system that doesn't make any sense. We should avoid them whenever possible."


It seems like charging extra for additional legal guarantees is making people think you have no real system for licenses and releases.


Like I said, this is the second time this has come up. a couple years ago everyone was using istock, now mangement is saying to stop. I just think this seems to be getting more common. Just sayin.


And his later post, which I think really speaks volumes about what Istock is losing:  In response to the question "Are you in a position to explain these licenses?"  He replies (emphasis added by me):

I am, but I didn't. I decided to cut back on my defending istock from 40% to 35% and I am currently over that percentage.. After all, money won't bring istock happiness.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Allsa on October 23, 2010, 12:28
Very interesting thread, Carolyn.  Seems like the "guarantee" may have had unintended consequences.  Here's the post from Chris3fer:

I work for a good size agency and its come up in a meeting today (for the second time in a year) that we shouldn't be using istock to make purchases. Quote from the meeting from pretty important purchasing people:


"They (istock) don't have proper licensing, and now they even have an additional legal guarantee you can purchase for another $100, because apparently their standard legal guarantee is meaningless. They also use a points system that doesn't make any sense. We should avoid them whenever possible."


It seems like charging extra for additional legal guarantees is making people think you have no real system for licenses and releases.


Like I said, this is the second time this has come up. a couple years ago everyone was using istock, now mangement is saying to stop. I just think this seems to be getting more common. Just sayin.


And his later post, which I think really speaks volumes about what Istock is losing:  In response to the question "Are you in a position to explain these licenses?"  He replies (emphasis added by me):

I am, but I didn't. I decided to cut back on my defending istock from 40% to 35% and I am currently over that percentage.. After all, money won't bring istock happiness.

Priceless!!  ;D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on October 23, 2010, 12:36
And I also love how Lobo dismisses any contributor/buyer. As if being a contributor negates any buying that you do. But then I've heard that before, even from people on this forum.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: travelstock on October 23, 2010, 12:43
Very interesting thread, Carolyn.  Seems like the "guarantee" may have had unintended consequences.  Here's the post from Chris3fer:

I work for a good size agency and its come up in a meeting today (for the second time in a year) that we shouldn't be using istock to make purchases. Quote from the meeting from pretty important purchasing people:


"They (istock) don't have proper licensing, and now they even have an additional legal guarantee you can purchase for another $100, because apparently their standard legal guarantee is meaningless. They also use a points system that doesn't make any sense. We should avoid them whenever possible."


It seems like charging extra for additional legal guarantees is making people think you have no real system for licenses and releases.


Like I said, this is the second time this has come up. a couple years ago everyone was using istock, now mangement is saying to stop. I just think this seems to be getting more common. Just sayin.


And his later post, which I think really speaks volumes about what Istock is losing:  In response to the question "Are you in a position to explain these licenses?"  He replies (emphasis added by me):

I am, but I didn't. I decided to cut back on my defending istock from 40% to 35% and I am currently over that percentage.. After all, money won't bring istock happiness.

So where are the buyers who aren't happy with IS's guarantee going to go? Certainly not to one of the smaller microstock agencies that don't have a guarantee at all.

I'd say Getty wouldn't be unhappy if these buyers continue to use rights managed licensing or their premium RF offerings.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on October 23, 2010, 13:46


So where are the buyers who aren't happy with IS's guarantee going to go? Certainly not to one of the smaller microstock agencies that don't have a guarantee at all.

That's a very good question.  I wonder that myself.  With the bargains to be had at Alamy these days, or with the variety of pricing on the Veer site, those would probably be good choices.  Interesting that the Getty name/reputation backing up Istock doesn't inspire more confidence in these buyers...

What's unfortunate is that Istock cast it's own practices into doubt unnecessarily by starting up those "guarantees".  Istock, and the other micros, have all been pretty diligent from the beginning (or at least the nearly 6 years I've been involved) about rejecting anything which might be copyrighted, and also ensuring that proper releases are uploaded.  

The irony is that the trad agencies appear to have been much less diligent about keeping copyrighted material out.  Looking at all the violations in the Agency collection is evidence of that, and until this year Alamy (and I assume many others) were willing to take contributors word that there was a model release.  
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on October 23, 2010, 14:00
What's unfortunate is that Istock cast it's own practices into doubt unnecessarily by starting up those "guarantees".  
It's just an income generating scheme. As I've said before, the buyers don't really understand what they are about. Two stick out on extended guarantees I've had (and I've mentioned them before): one was a flower and one was a bare landscape. No possible 'issues', and by looking at the amount paid for the base file, both by small bundle buyers, presumably newbies. I bet they never came back (Probable scenario: lured in by the promised low prices, scared into buying an extended guarantee). But iStock got its quick bucks - for nothing.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on October 23, 2010, 14:09

And his later post, which I think really speaks volumes about what Istock is losing:  In response to the question "Are you in a position to explain these licenses?"  He replies (emphasis added by me):

I am, but I didn't. I decided to cut back on my defending istock from 40% to 35% and I am currently over that percentage.. After all, money won't bring istock happiness.

That was awesome. :D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on October 23, 2010, 14:25
What's unfortunate is that Istock cast it's own practices into doubt unnecessarily by starting up those "guarantees".  


It's just an income generating scheme.

Totally agree Sue.  Looks like it backfired bigtime.  
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on October 23, 2010, 16:04
This is quite interesting: http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=267401&page=1#post5056901 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=267401&page=1#post5056901)

Client not needing files, finding files cheaper elsewhere, or not wanting to do business with a company with less than stellar business practices?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on October 23, 2010, 16:12
Sounds like Lobo is trigger happy these days....LOCK...LOCK...LOCK....just like the inspectors that go....REJECT....REJECT.....REJECT.... ;)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on October 23, 2010, 19:13
Sounds like Lobo is trigger happy these days....LOCK...LOCK...LOCK....just like the inspectors that go....REJECT....REJECT.....REJECT.... ;)

I think Lobo is playing Whack a Mole at istock these days. It's kind of sad to see the guy getting all these negative threads. He must really wish for the good old days, when only happy talk prevailed. I almost feel bad for him---- almost.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 23, 2010, 21:37
 Hi All,

  I think that there are a lot of buyers that worry about the security of Micro model and property releases in general. It can really hurt and has many times since Micro has been strong that there are legal problems. The agencies keep this pretty tight lipped for good reason but this isn't based on just opinion. There have been several cases of improper releases in Micro. I think it has to do with the wide open market that anyone can join and start shooting with little business knowledge. In some smaller non English speaking countries I am sure there are beginners that sign there own releases without witnesses, even here in the good old U.S. Just my understanding from speaking with several people on the topic but it seems Istock has the same concern and is going to cover there butt. Look into E and O insurance if in doubt, you need other insurance first but it is the last wall of coverage to keep you as a photographer safe from strange slip ups.

Best,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on October 23, 2010, 22:05
There really is no need for property releases, legally.  I'm sure you know that from all the unreleased spaces in ... Spaces, right?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: hoi ha on October 23, 2010, 22:12
  I think that there are a lot of buyers that worry about the security of Micro model ... releases in general. It can really hurt and has many times since Micro has been strong that there are legal problems. The agencies keep this pretty tight lipped for good reason but this isn't based on just opinion. There have been several cases of improper releases in Micro.

You are right there Jonathan - I know for an absolute fact that there are a fair number of contributors who "fake" model releases ... so this is a proper area of concern for some.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: pet_chia on October 23, 2010, 23:12
  I think that there are a lot of buyers that worry about the security of Micro model ... releases in general. It can really hurt and has many times since Micro has been strong that there are legal problems. The agencies keep this pretty tight lipped for good reason but this isn't based on just opinion. There have been several cases of improper releases in Micro.

You are right there Jonathan - I know for an absolute fact that there are a fair number of contributors who "fake" model releases ... so this is a proper area of concern for some.

Oh, crikey.  You mean they never phone a random sample of models at their given phone# (or write letters) and try to determine if they're fo' real, fo' sure?  I would think that using one's gut instincts one could pick out the likeliest suspects for this ... for example someone who has a lot of candid-looking photos of different people as opposed to having a stable of familiar models.

Even if the agencies spent very little time and effort doing this, I think it would be pretty good business practice to do it some, especially for a photog who appears to be "just too smooth or too * lucky" convincing dozens of complete strangers to sign releases.  And most important of all, let photogs know that your agency is going to be doing this and seriously scare them about the potential legal consequences of messing around.  Remember that Turkish guy who found his face on a can of Greek sardines, or whatever it was.

If there are many problems like that, or even a perception that there are a lot of problems, then I can see things moving away from crowdsourcing back to agencies using a stable, trusted handful of image factories.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on October 24, 2010, 08:01
snip
If there are many problems like that, or even a perception that there are a lot of problems, then I can see things moving away from crowdsourcing back to agencies using a stable, trusted handful of image factories.

Which is exactly what IS/Getty is in the process of doing.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on October 24, 2010, 08:36
If there are many problems like that, or even a perception that there are a lot of problems, then I can see things moving away from crowdsourcing back to agencies using a stable, trusted handful of image factories.

I think the fact that a protection program, or whatever it's called, is now being offered at an extra cost is a good sign that there's a problem.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: disorderly on October 24, 2010, 09:27
If there are many problems like that, or even a perception that there are a lot of problems, then I can see things moving away from crowdsourcing back to agencies using a stable, trusted handful of image factories.

I think the fact that a protection program, or whatever it's called, is now being offered at an extra cost is a good sign that there's a problem.

I remain unconvinced.  It could just be an marketing exercise, a way to both get revenue and sow fear and doubt of other agencies that don't have such a program.  Think Death Panels.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on October 24, 2010, 10:11
I think that there are a lot of buyers that worry about the security of Micro model and property releases in general. It can really hurt and has many times since Micro has been strong that there are legal problems. The agencies keep this pretty tight lipped for good reason but this isn't based on just opinion. There have been several cases of improper releases in Micro.


What makes you think that this is an issue confined to micro? All the well publicised cases I've heard of relate to images from 'macro' agencies. Remember this one earlier this year?

http://www.swedishwire.com/politics/5363-greek-gets-compensation-over-turkish-yoghurt- (http://www.swedishwire.com/politics/5363-greek-gets-compensation-over-turkish-yoghurt-)

Can you detail any of the cases you are referring to in micro? I haven't heard of any. In my experience micro have generally been tighter on releases than the majority of macro agencies and they are getting more so every year. There's a general mis-conception that micro are always playing catch-up to the macros but in fact it mostly works the other way around.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Gannet77 on October 24, 2010, 10:26
And that case wasn't caused by an improper model release anyway - there was no MR, the photographer had never claimed there was, the image was reportedly listed as RM Editorial, and it was the dairy in question that had used the image illegally, so not really relevant at all...
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 24, 2010, 12:53
Hi SJ,

 Yes but our work is released as No release as editorial or documentary leaving us and the agencies clear with their contracts. I am talking about false releases which have been a problem in Micro more than the other markets. Non released images of the right subject can still make great returns but if I have my choice when receiving files I would much rather have them released, larger market for the images means higher returns. It is the lifestyle stuff that will get you in the biggest trouble if not properly released. We take photos of our models holding up their signed releases and smiling, and we have a witness at every signing, photographer can't sign release.

Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: travelstock on October 24, 2010, 14:09
The two problem areas I see in micro for buyers are people who falsify releases or don't follow proper practices, and the "image thief" type contributors.

In travel imagery, I'm starting to see a lot more model released indigenous shots - now its possible that the photographers get the document explained to people who can't read and that this is in their native language, track down the child's parents and do the same, as they're passing through - or its possible that they just get someone to sign a bit of paper for an extra dollar.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on October 24, 2010, 14:23
The two problem areas I see in micro for buyers are people who falsify releases or don't follow proper practices, and the "image thief" type contributors.
In travel imagery, I'm starting to see a lot more model released indigenous shots - now its possible that the photographers get the document explained to people who can't read and that this is in their native language, track down the child's parents and do the same, as they're passing through - or its possible that they just get someone to sign a bit of paper for an extra dollar.
When this has been discussed in the iStock forums (many's the time and oft) there are always togs who claim either that they just pay money and get signatures that way; or that they just ask people to 'OK the paperwork' - I've been told more than once (on and off forum) that I shouldn't tell potential subjects 'worse case scenario', just vaguely say, as they claim to, that the pics will be used 'for adverts and such'.
In developing countries, I realise that just offering small amounts of money would guarantee signatures: in some, I can't imagine trying to explain, even if I knew the language, all the uses they could be used for to people who have never seen magazines, TV, internet or hoardings. I can also imagine how difficult it would be, for example, to establish that the adult eager to sign for a few dollars was actually the parent of a particular child.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on October 24, 2010, 17:54
I am talking about false releases which have been a problem in Micro more than the other markets.

I asked before. Is there any chance whatsoever that you can substantiate your bizarre statements with any actual examples or factual statistics? Just two or three examples would do for now (out of the 600M+ microstock images sold per annum, probably about 2 billion since it started). Otherwise I can't help thinking that your statements are as much a fantasy of your own mind as most of your supposed sales figures turn out to be.

No? Thought not.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 24, 2010, 19:58
Hey Gostywick,

 I don't know what makes you so aggressive towards my posts but I am not interested in going backwards in life, I have taken responsibility over every mistake I have posted, ahh 2 this week and anything else I have been incorrect about. I might just make a false post on your birthday as a little gift, my mistakes seem to make your day ;D Please if you doubt me there is nothing I can do about it. Do others find this a bit unnecessary or is it just me?

Best,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 24, 2010, 20:23
One more thing G,

 If I am so full of crap why do all these companies and expos ask me to come speak on stock. Do you have a better grip on the business than the people running things out there. You have to be asked to speak at these functions you don't just show up. So it sounds like you are saying ASMP, PACA, PHOTO PLUS and several others are all ignorant and I have pulled the wool over all their eyes. Why do these people keep asking me to come and speak. Please if you can offer a logical explanation I am all ears. I await your reply.

Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on October 24, 2010, 21:05
I have also not heard of any big problems with faked releases on micro sites.

I assume you are asked, because like Yuri, you place an emphasis on marketing yourself to photographers.  And because from past experience, you're likely to say yes.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 24, 2010, 22:50
 Hi SJ,

  The information I said about model release problems is a problem, it has been in RM and RF and has existed since the dawn of stock. However, there has been an exceeded growth of the problem since Micro has joined the business. This only makes sense in numbers alone. I was not trying to point a finger at Micro it has just opened the opportunity for more release issues purely on the numbers of images that Micro have added ( do the numbers, as well as adding less professional business people than who used to produce for stock, I am not making that up it's just a fact ).
 I believe I just answered this but I am happy to repeat myself. I do not market myself to other photographers, I share on forums information that I think might help others. If I wanted to market to photographers I would build a Blog. I work at these gatherings and lectures to meet new people in the business and rub shoulders with the most influential people in the business, that is what helps myself and the companies I am owner in as well as to learn more and more about the industry itself. I am invited by these groups and seem to hold their respect for being factual and supportive to the photographic community.
 
Best
Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: hoi ha on October 25, 2010, 00:45
The two problem areas I see in micro for buyers are people who falsify releases or don't follow proper practices, and the "image thief" type contributors.

In travel imagery, I'm starting to see a lot more model released indigenous shots - now its possible that the photographers get the document explained to people who can't read and that this is in their native language, track down the child's parents and do the same, as they're passing through - or its possible that they just get someone to sign a bit of paper for an extra dollar.

This exacty - I travel a lot and to very far away and remote places, especially in Asia - yet I see model released images of people in places I have been where I know there are no addresses, no phones, etc (for example the mountains in Burma and in remotest Mongolia)  - and the internet? They don't even really know what a computer is - and this is why people think they are safe model releases to fake because the people pictured have no access to modern technology of any sort and have virtually zero chance of ever knowing that their image is for sale somewhere. Even if by some miracle they did find out, so what? It's not like they could do anything about it anyway. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: RacePhoto on October 25, 2010, 01:03
Hi SJ,

  The information I said about model release problems is a problem, it has been in RM and RF and has existed since the dawn of stock. However, there has been an exceeded growth of the problem since Micro has joined the business. This only makes sense in numbers alone. I was not trying to point a finger at Micro it has just opened the opportunity for more release issues purely on the numbers of images that Micro have added ( do the numbers, as well as adding less professional business people than who used to produce for stock, I am not making that up it's just a fact ).
 I believe I just answered this but I am happy to repeat myself. I do not market myself to other photographers, I share on forums information that I think might help others. If I wanted to market to photographers I would build a Blog. I work at these gatherings and lectures to meet new people in the business and rub shoulders with the most influential people in the business, that is what helps myself and the companies I am owner in as well as to learn more and more about the industry itself. I am invited by these groups and seem to hold their respect for being factual and supportive to the photographic community.
 
Best
Jonathan

Oh good, could you possibly get me the email address for one person with Getty or Corbis that handles the editorial section, so I can ask them my simple question, which I've been trying to get someone to answer for over a year? Since you are "rubbing elbows" maybe I can finally get through to a human.
 
I believe someone asked a simple enough question, which I'd ask anyone making a broad claim. Do you have any proof or statistics related to fraudulent model releases being more prevalent in Micro than Macro, or more than historically in the stock industry? Something beyond the hypothetical assumption, professionals vs crowd source. Personal opinion, no matter how connected or how much of an industry insider you are?

To answer one more point:

Bernard Lawrence "Bernie" Madoff
Charles Ponzi
Billie Sol Estes
Charles Dawson
Frank Abagnale, Jr.
Christopher Rocancourt
Kenneth Lay

:D :D :D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: travelstock on October 25, 2010, 02:30
The two problem areas I see in micro for buyers are people who falsify releases or don't follow proper practices, and the "image thief" type contributors.

In travel imagery, I'm starting to see a lot more model released indigenous shots - now its possible that the photographers get the document explained to people who can't read and that this is in their native language, track down the child's parents and do the same, as they're passing through - or its possible that they just get someone to sign a bit of paper for an extra dollar.

This exacty - I travel a lot and to very far away and remote places, especially in Asia - yet I see model released images of people in places I have been where I know there are no addresses, no phones, etc (for example the mountains in Burma and in remotest Mongolia)  - and the internet? They don't even really know what a computer is - and this is why people think they are safe model releases to fake because the people pictured have no access to modern technology of any sort and have virtually zero chance of ever knowing that their image is for sale somewhere. Even if by some miracle they did find out, so what? It's not like they could do anything about it anyway. 

Its very true that the chances of there being consequences are very slim, it doesn't make it right though. I also see MR images from out of the way places I've been where I know it would be almost impossible to get legitimate model releases.

As a photographer by submitting a model release you're claiming the person has consented to have their image used commercially. If they haven't in fact done so, and particularly if you're faking releases its a black and white case of fraud - you're faking a legal document for personal financial gain - which is a crime in most countries.

It annoys me that I get rejections for an unrecognizable person in the background of an image that's something like 10 pixels high, while others are making it to the front of searches with dubious model releases.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Microbius on October 25, 2010, 03:51
All the high profile release scandals I can recall have been in macro.
I don't remember ever hearing any evidence of a greater problem in micro.
The big micro shooters who use pro models have as much to  lose as the macro shooters if they get locked down, while the small timers mainly shoot their families and people they know, no problems getting releases signed there.
Travel shots are an exception, but no more so on micro then macro.
Jonathan, you need to be a little bit more careful, your percentage of slip ups is looking a little high, word gets round in micro a lot faster then in macro I think.
Maybe if you are just guessing based on there being more people in micro than macro you should say I guess, or I think, or I feel, like you are discussing the issue rather than handing out wisdom?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on October 25, 2010, 05:48
'However, there has been an exceeded growth of the problem since Micro has joined the business. This only makes sense in numbers alone. I was not trying to point a finger at Micro it has just opened the opportunity for more release issues purely on the numbers of images that Micro have added ( do the numbers, as well as adding less professional business people than who used to produce for stock, I am not making that up it's just a fact ). '

This is what's known as 'conjecture'. 'A conjecture is a proposition that is unproven but appears correct and has not been disproven.'

Like I said, the conferences like to invite you because they know you put on a good show for photographers ( I assume you do), and that's what helps them up their attendance figures to make more cash.  What is going to make more money for them - 'J Ross tells how to make big money in stock' or 'SJ recommends not training your competition' - lol!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: loop on October 25, 2010, 06:33
... And so what, with "devolutions"? With more than 80,000 files licensed daily (one every second) is absolutely normal to have a little fraction of this figure returned, for a variety of reasons. Now and then I get the odd regular license returned; normally, to buy a different size, often bigger. I've sold a lot of ELs; not a single one returned. I've sold also a lot of Vettas: just one returned, "dind't fit customer's project". It's ok with me.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on October 25, 2010, 07:04
... And so what, with "devolutions"? With more than 80,000 files licensed daily (one every second) is absolutely normal to have a little fraction of this figure returned, for a variety of reasons. Now and then I get the odd regular license returned; normally, to buy a different size, often bigger. I've sold a lot of ELs; not a single one returned. I've sold also a lot of Vettas: just one returned, "dind't fit customer's project". It's ok with me.

I've had more refunds in the past month than I've had in the past year and this is trend is not okay with me. Mostly "didn't fit". You couldn't figure out it didn't fit before buying it?

I think for each refund the customer information should be provided. I wonder how many of these refunds end up with the image being used anyway, whether accidentally or intentionally. What percentage of buyers actually destroy the image? C'mon.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on October 25, 2010, 10:17
However, there has been an exceeded growth of the problem since Micro has joined the business. This only makes sense in numbers alone. I was not trying to point a finger at Micro it has just opened the opportunity for more release issues purely on the numbers of images that Micro have added ( do the numbers, as well as adding less professional business people than who used to produce for stock, I am not making that up it's just a fact ).
I'm not 'being aggressive' to you Jonathon, I'm quite justifiably asking you to verify the source data on which your broad sweeping statements are made. It is no surprise to me that of course you have no data. Nobody other than perhaps Getty, who have a substantial stake in both micro and macro, can possibly know the truth behind your conjecture and as that information would be commercially sensitive it's unlikely that they'd be sharing it. They wouldn't want to be frightening their customers would they?

You strike me as exactly the sort of person that regurgitates myths and fallacies endlessly so that eventually they become 'the truth'. I guess you need to have something to speak about at these 'conferences'.

I'm absolutely with SJL on the conference issue too. The difference between me being able to make a living at this and not doing so is primarily down to the specialist knowledge I have in my chosen niches. I share that knowledge with my brother and a few close friends within microstock but certainly not with 'the world'. I wouldn't accept invitations to speak or write a book for less than $100K because that's the sort of money I could lose over the next few years by doing so.  To put that into context I recently met up for a chat with one of our learned members on this forum. They confided in me that one particular conceptual 'prop' on which they had based a series of images had already netted them over $50K. I can guarantee that they won't be 'sharing' that with the world any time soon either.

It was more than a little ironic that Yuri was on the platform a couple of years ago telling everyone who would listen how much money was to be made in microstock __ and the next year he was back complaining about all the competition and how difficult it was to get a worthwhile return on a shoot. Then there are his 'apprentices' too who, having been invited into his studio, are now churning out virtual replicas of his best-selling images as fast as they can.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 25, 2010, 12:51
 Hi All,

 If you can't figure out that release issues would climb when 6 million images are added from all corners of the world then that is your choice. I have heard many different explanations from people that own agencies I respect their opinion and i will take their positions in the ownership of agencies experiencing this over some of the people on this site. I am not going to share names of my sources out of respect to them. Why do I want to say something that hurts my business, think about it. We are all in this business together and bad press hurts all of us not just the few. I would like to see this issue covered tighter by all the agencies, what seems to be the trouble with that.

 Gostywk you don't do anything but be aggressive with my posts, maybe you are not aware of that.

"Otherwise I can't help thinking that your statements are as much a fantasy of your own mind as most of your supposed sales figures turn out to be. I thought not!" I find this aggressive but maybe it's just me and this is common for your interaction with others. Since my knowledge is based on nothing but conjecture then it is time to sign off this post and move on.

Good Luck,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: RT on October 25, 2010, 13:52
I would like to see this issue covered tighter by all the agencies, what seems to be the trouble with that.

Jonathan,

I'll put aside the opinions of others about your knowledge of whether people falsify releases or not, I won't even comment about your 'bat phone' direct line to the agency owners.

But in regards to this part of your statement that I've quoted above, in an ideal world I'm sure we'd all like to see this happen, but varying data protection laws around the world and a real life practicality issue means that it'll never be foolproof, even Gettys guarantee doesn't actually mean much because they can't guarantee the information, they're just insured against it.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: rubyroo on October 25, 2010, 13:56
Drat... now you've gone and reawoken my childhood longing for a bat phone.... and a butler...
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cybernesco on October 25, 2010, 14:59
Hi All,

 If you can't figure out that release issues would climb when 6 million images are added from all corners of the world then that is your choice.
Good Luck,
Jonathan

Do you mean a greater percentage or just a greater number?  Just telling us that the number of issues is climbing just because the number of images is climbing is simply stating the obvious and is meaningless.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Freedom on October 25, 2010, 15:31
That is so true.


But in regards to this part of your statement that I've quoted above, in an ideal world I'm sure we'd all like to see this happen, but varying data protection laws around the world and a real life practicality issue means that it'll never be foolproof, even Gettys guarantee doesn't actually mean much because they can't guarantee the information, they're just insured against it.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: JoeLena on October 25, 2010, 15:31
Like I said, the conferences like to invite you because they know you put on a good show for photographers ( I assume you do), and that's what helps them up their attendance figures to make more cash.  What is going to make more money for them - 'J Ross tells how to make big money in stock' or 'SJ recommends not training your competition' - lol!
Classic. Thank you Sean.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Freedom on October 25, 2010, 15:44
I have no doubt about Johnathan's professional qualifications as a very accomplished photographer. It is also very nice of him to share his knowledge and insights about the industry.

However, Johnathan, I hope you are not bothered by some people's comments because we all have our own opinions, and you just cannot please everyone.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 25, 2010, 16:14
Hi Freedom,

 No these people don't get to me anymore, why should they everyone is entitled to their opinion. I gave that up a while ago but thank you for the advice and the support. You cannot please all the people and when you are willing to share information there will always be people that disagree or worse. No worries.

Best,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on October 25, 2010, 17:11
Has it ever been confirmed that all the Hulton Archive pics on iStock are properly model released? If you look at the Winter Wonderland lightbox featured on the front page (images rotate, you might have to wait) there's a photo of several people walking in snow. Looks about 1950s-ish. Of course, this image may well have been set up with models, but I can't help but wonder. And even if the image is fully MRed, are the MRs really of the current MR standards that we'd have to submit? We've been assured that these images are inspected to the same standards as the rest of us have to reach, but sometimes, it's really questionable.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: djpadavona on October 25, 2010, 17:47
Well I think if you post on a microstock forum, full of microstock contributors, and make a sweeping claim that too many contributors fake their releases, you are indirectly pointing the finger at the contributors on this board.  I don't see where it is being "overly aggressive" if we ask you to back up your claims with some data.  If anyone is being aggressive, it is the poster who enters this forum and suggests we are faking our releases.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: crazychristina on October 25, 2010, 18:02
Well I think if you post on a microstock forum, full of microstock contributors, and make a sweeping claim that too many contributors fake their releases, you are indirectly pointing the finger at the contributors on this board.  I don't see where it is being "overly aggressive" if we ask you to back up your claims with some data.  If anyone is being aggressive, it is the poster who enters this forum and suggests we are faking our releases.
I haven't felt accused by anything Jonathan has written. In the context of a discussion on why buyers might be wary of microstock, and what the purpose of istock's legal guarantee is, to raise the issue of false model releases is entirely appropriate. This forum has only a tiny fraction of total microstock contributors, and I don't think he's pointing the finger at anyone here, just a general discussion.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on October 25, 2010, 18:22
Well, I tend to come down on the side of the folks that expect information presented as factual to be verified with data.  Otherwise it's opinion, not fact.  

Not that there's anything wrong with folks presenting their opinions and theories.  We all do it.   But if you aren't able to back up your opinions then you have to expect they will be challenged.  

Jonathan, if you are hearing from heads of agencies that model releases being faked is a big problem, that's interesting info, and if that perception exists among buyers it threatens all of our livelihoods to a degree.  Even if you can't reveal who told you that, it would be nice to know more details.  

I think the reason you may be getting treated "aggressively" is that you tend to leave titillating posts hinting at some private insider knowledge, but then you don't follow through and reveal any inside information.  If it is confidential and you aren't at liberty to reveal it, why reference it at all?   It just comes off as kind of gossipy and that gets on people's nerves.  
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: loop on October 25, 2010, 19:23
Hi Freedom,

 No these people don't get to me anymore, why should they everyone is entitled to their opinion. I gave that up a while ago but thank you for the advice and the support. You cannot please all the people and when you are willing to share information there will always be people that disagree or worse. No worries.

Best,
Jonathan

That's not information, just speculation, maybe wishful thinking. Information has data and proof.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Freedom on October 25, 2010, 21:41
Lisa, Jonathan is not taking the oath under the Bible, isn't he?  If you don't believe what he says, that is perfectly fine. He is under no obligation to testify and backup his assertions because he was merely sharing what he believes, even if it was just heresays or fallacies. He is not in court.

When I first entered the stock photo market a few years ago, I was actually advised by someone to fake model release. Who? It's none of your business but I can tell you with the utmost certainty that I will never ever fake any model releases. That person was trying to be helpful to me in a wrong way, but how I act is directed by my own character and conscience.

Well, I tend to come down on the side of the folks that expect information presented as factual to be verified with data.  Otherwise it's opinion, not fact.  

Not that there's anything wrong with folks presenting their opinions and theories.  We all do it.   But if you aren't able to back up your opinions then you have to expect they will be challenged.  

Jonathan, if you are hearing from heads of agencies that model releases being faked is a big problem, that's interesting info, and if that perception exists among buyers it threatens all of our livelihoods to a degree.  Even if you can't reveal who told you that, it would be nice to know more details.  

I think the reason you may be getting treated "aggressively" is that you tend to leave titillating posts hinting at some private insider knowledge, but then you don't follow through and reveal any inside information.  If it is confidential and you aren't at liberty to reveal it, why reference it at all?   It just comes off as kind of gossipy and that gets on people's nerves.  
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on October 25, 2010, 21:54
Looks to me like you're out-voted Jonathan. Take yet another 'Bull-Sh!t Badge' for your nonsensical and misleading posts. In truth you don't know too much about this game as proven by your sales record in micro. Judging by that you're the wrong side of 'Average' and certainly no expert as you like to pretend. Somehow though you are actually very good at persuading newbies that you are a guru and long may you continue to mine that vein if it provides you with some income or fluffs up your ego.

Btw, taking an opposite point of view to you isn't 'aggressive' and it is actually allowed. It seems that you squeal "Unfair" every time that you lose an an argument. Heigh-ho.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 25, 2010, 22:50
 Hi All,

 I only try to offer advice and information and learn here as well, what good do I get out of writing here and trying to answer questions or share information? I am really only out to help others, if it doesn't help you maybe blow it off and move on as I am trying to do from this continuos circle of trying to prove myself. It is so the others out there that are looking for help can find some. If from now on I can't back up a statement that I know to be true without hurting other people and agencies by sharing names then I will no longer post such comments.
 Please remember I am only trying to help photographers out whenever I can I hope I have been help to some as obviously I have not been to others. I also realize that some of my posts are of more interest than others and to different people. This seems to have been spun into a " Micro stockers don't know how to get releases " and that was never said and never meant to be implied, if you read it that way I am sorry for not making it clearer. If anyone ever has a question about anything I might be able to help with please feel welcome to send me a PM I am always willing to help in any way I can, I'm not going anywhere ;)

Best,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on October 25, 2010, 22:59
Lisa, Jonathan is not taking the oath under the Bible, isn't he?  If you don't believe what he says, that is perfectly fine. He is under no obligation to testify and backup his assertions because he was merely sharing what he believes, even if it was just heresays or fallacies. He is not in court.


Freedom, you seem to have misread my post.  I didn't say I don't believe Jonathan, nor that he didn't have a right to state his opinions.  I merely asked that he differentiate his opinions (or beliefs since you prefer that word) from concrete facts.  And I asked if he has concrete facts, that he elaborate them.  In fact, you quoted me and I said we are all entitled to our opinions. 

Not sure why you want to argue with me since what you and I are saying isn't very different...  ???
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Freedom on October 25, 2010, 23:02
No Lisa, I was not trying to argue with you. However, I was trying to point out to you, from a different perspective, that you don't have to believe Jonathan, but he is not under any obligation to offer names and further facts.

Lisa, Jonathan is not taking the oath under the Bible, isn't he?  If you don't believe what he says, that is perfectly fine. He is under no obligation to testify and backup his assertions because he was merely sharing what he believes, even if it was just heresays or fallacies. He is not in court.


Freedom, you seem to have misread my post.  I didn't say I don't believe Jonathan, nor that he didn't have a right to state his opinions.  I merely asked that he differentiate his opinions (or beliefs since you prefer that word) from concrete facts.  And I asked if he has concrete facts, that he elaborate them.  In fact, you quoted me and I said we are all entitled to our opinions. 

Not sure why you want to argue with me since what you and I are saying isn't very different...  ???
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 25, 2010, 23:38
 Thanks Lisa and Freedom,

 You have both been supportive and helpful over time. I totally understand what Lisa is saying so let's not have you two disagreeing. A big part of it is the written word and how it is interpreted. I prefer phone calls over e-mails any day.

God luck to you both,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: fotografer on October 26, 2010, 03:20
Looks to me like you're out-voted Jonathan. Take yet another 'Bull-Sh!t Badge' for your nonsensical and misleading posts. In truth you don't know too much about this game as proven by your sales record in micro. Judging by that you're the wrong side of 'Average' and certainly no expert as you like to pretend. Somehow though you are actually very good at persuading newbies that you are a guru and long may you continue to mine that vein if it provides you with some income or fluffs up your ego.


He's starting to sound a bit like Rinder but without the sales pitch.  Yet!!!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: diego_cervo on October 26, 2010, 05:50
Looks to me like you're out-voted Jonathan. Take yet another 'Bull-Sh!t Badge' for your nonsensical and misleading posts. In truth you don't know too much about this game as proven by your sales record in micro. Judging by that you're the wrong side of 'Average' and certainly no expert as you like to pretend. Somehow though you are actually very good at persuading newbies that you are a guru and long may you continue to mine that vein if it provides you with some income or fluffs up your ego.

Btw, taking an opposite point of view to you isn't 'aggressive' and it is actually allowed. It seems that you squeal "Unfair" every time that you lose an an argument. Heigh-ho.

Did I miss something? Was it a competition and you're the winner?
I'm sure that Jonathan doesn't need my support but I think that someone here should learn some very basic good manners when expressing his own point of view..... at least to let us not going through a bunch of 'aggressive' posts every time that one shares his opinions!

Cheers,
Diego
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Fotonaut on October 26, 2010, 07:00
Did I miss something? Was it a competition and you're the winner?
I'm sure that Jonathan doesn't need my support but I think that someone here should learn some very basic good manners when expressing his own point of view..... at least to let us not going through a bunch of 'aggressive' posts every time that one shares his opinions!

Cheers,
Diego

Well put.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Smiling Jack on October 26, 2010, 09:07
I am a big boy- I can make my own decisions.Just state your opinions,observations and fact as you see them. Then I can make up my own mind.You don,t prove your point by running each other down.
Smiling Jack
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: MarkFGD on October 26, 2010, 19:00
First we got microstock and now it seems the dawn of the micro-mouth is upon us.

To say that Mr. Ross' portfolio is the 'wrong side of average' is rather offensive and very untrue. I think his sales record in microstock is a reflection of how late-in-the-day he entered the microstock market rather than an indication of his abilities.

Mr. Ross has speculated that due to the increasing number of images being sold and the increasing number of people making those images that it is likely that more model releases are suspect these days than they used to be, and that this is evident in a tightening of MR standards (and in some cases, the option to purchase an additional guarantee) by some agencies. That all seems perfectly reasonable to me. So, why on earth does it warrant these personal attacks on someone's character? It's beyond me.

Personally, I look forward to the views and opinions of all the contributors to these forums and look forward to reading more.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: djpadavona on October 26, 2010, 19:06
Hi All,

 I only try to offer advice and information and learn here as well, what good do I get out of writing here and trying to answer questions or share information? I am really only out to help others, if it doesn't help you maybe blow it off and move on as I am trying to do from this continuos circle of trying to prove myself.

Oh come on.  Are you serious?  You made a blanket statement about microstock contributors faking their releases.  You weren't helping anybody or offering helpful advice, and that is why you got called out.  If it is just an opinion, state it as such.  But you are insinuating you have inside information to back it up.  

You pull this nonsense too often.  You enter a thread, make a controversial statement, and then when asked to back it up you start playing the victim and claiming all you want to do is help us all.  Sorry but that doesn't fly with a lot of us.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: loop on October 26, 2010, 19:23
First we got microstock and now it seems the dawn of the micro-mouth is upon us.

To say that Mr. Ross' portfolio is the 'wrong side of average' is rather offensive and very untrue. I think his sales record in microstock is a reflection of how late-in-the-day he entered the microstock market rather than an indication of his abilities.

Mr. Ross has speculated that due to the increasing number of images being sold and the increasing number of people making those images that it is likely that more model releases are suspect these days than they used to be, and that this is evident in a tightening of MR standards (and in some cases, the option to purchase an additional guarantee) by some agencies. That all seems perfectly reasonable to me. So, why on earth does it warrant these personal attacks on someone's character? It's beyond me.

Personally, I look forward to the views and opinions of all the contributors to these forums and look forward to reading more.

Yeah, and with, more people in our forums is more probable that in some poster's city is raining rigth now. What a wate of time.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on October 27, 2010, 06:38
'Mr. Ross has speculated that due to the increasing number of images being sold and the increasing number of people making those images that it is likely that more model releases are suspect these days than they used to be'

Nope, sorry.  It was a statement of fact, not 'One might think' or 'Maybe the reason could be...' etc.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: MarkFGD on October 27, 2010, 08:11
You are indeed correct, Sean. He could have chosen his words more carefully and you were totally right to point this out to him at the time. However, the mud slinging that's occurred in subsequent posts is, in my opinion, totally uncalled for. I, for one, value the contributions Jonathan Ross makes to this forum in the same way that I'd miss your posts, if you were hounded off this site.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on October 27, 2010, 08:51
 Release the hounds  ;D That's a good one MarkFGD. I can handle a couple of nips at my feet I have big boots ;)

Best,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: MarkFGD on October 27, 2010, 09:23
You know, with more and more people on these forums, it's highly probable that at least one of them is going to have dog crap on their feet!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on October 27, 2010, 19:02
You know, with more and more people on these forums, it's highly probable that at least one of them is going to have dog crap on their feet!

LOL!  :D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on October 28, 2010, 09:26
Another getting ready to bail. Copying and pasting what they said, as I'm sure the thread will disappear:

I'd just like to say, I need to vent this, I'm looking for an image and find one I can work with, it costs the best part of £100. what! Istock this is a JOKE. and you try to hide the cost by converting £s to credits and disguise this JOKE of a price behind exchange and conversion rates.


To top it of I hear the photographers are receiving less money than ever for their images.


Rip off, Joke, Theives,


Bulk credits are purchased, then you hike up the prices, I'd love for you to come to my resturant. I would tempt you in with "all you can eat for .7 of a credit" on entry Id flog you 2,000 credits with no refund, tell you that the all you can eat was on bread only. then you get fed up and just order a meal because you have loads of credits. I'll watch you munch away and then approach you and say "Ho HO HO, I've just put the price of the food up, HO HO HO"


I will then walk out to the chefs and say "those meals your making have made me a fortune, by the way, I'm cutting your pay...


£100 for an image, that isn't exclusive, get real.


http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=268782&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=268782&page=1)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on October 28, 2010, 15:36
Another getting ready to bail. Copying and pasting what they said, as I'm sure the thread will disappear:

Good thinking^^.  Only way to know how buyers truly feel is to preserve their comments.  

Thanks for posting :)

MortonS (also a buyer) posted this:

You will find this thread closing pretty quickly. iStock/Getty have no interest in the opinions of buyers (which is a bit ironic). This place will eventually be a getty owned ghost town with all images costing 100 credits.

If you look at the winter lightbox of that photographer, the first five images which were taken a few minutes apart are in THREE different collections - it's effectively the same image.

It's TOO CONFUSING
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on October 28, 2010, 17:07


If you look at the winter lightbox of that photographer, the first five images which were taken a few minutes apart are in THREE different collections - it's effectively the same image.

It's TOO CONFUSING


Not only is it too confusing, but it looks like a bait and switch scam when you have similar images like that in so many different collections at different price points.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: pet_chia on October 28, 2010, 17:12
... it looks like a bait and switch scam when you have similar images like that in so many different collections at different price points ...


Bait and switch ... or ...

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7YSXCp8tpc[/youtube]
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Read_My_Rights on October 29, 2010, 08:35
Well the proof is in the pudding. A reduction of ~30% in income for me this month (IS exclusive) is clearly showing a reduced interest by buyers. The only pics that are selling regularly are the ones that are niche images that can not be had anywhere else. Even great images with regular DLs before the masters of disaster messed with the system are not being touched anymore. FU Getty/IS/Whatever hedge fund owns this POS now. Disgusted. That whole "rest of the year will provide more DLs" is clearly NOT kicking in this year.

And back to your regular programming
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on October 29, 2010, 09:29
Another comment:

It's comments like this and others that are making me glad i'm starting to look elsewhere.
You just don't get it do you - the reason that most of the regular buyers are here is price. My company have had the round of credit crunch redundancies and there is no place at the moment for suppliers that are raising prices.
You are living in a bubble.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gbalex on October 29, 2010, 11:56
Another getting ready to bail. Copying and pasting what they said, as I'm sure the thread will disappear:

I'd just like to say, I need to vent this, I'm looking for an image and find one I can work with, it costs the best part of £100. what! Istock this is a JOKE. and you try to hide the cost by converting £s to credits and disguise this JOKE of a price behind exchange and conversion rates.


To top it of I hear the photographers are receiving less money than ever for their images.


Rip off, Joke, Theives,


Bulk credits are purchased, then you hike up the prices, I'd love for you to come to my resturant. I would tempt you in with "all you can eat for .7 of a credit" on entry Id flog you 2,000 credits with no refund, tell you that the all you can eat was on bread only. then you get fed up and just order a meal because you have loads of credits. I'll watch you munch away and then approach you and say "Ho HO HO, I've just put the price of the food up, HO HO HO"


I will then walk out to the chefs and say "those meals your making have made me a fortune, by the way, I'm cutting your pay...


£100 for an image, that isn't exclusive, get real.


[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=268782&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=268782&page=1[/url])


This is one buyer that will not be putting up with all the drama, trouble, time and costs that a few submitters think I should put up with to buy their images in that thread. Good lord what planet are they from and what fumes have they been whiffing ?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on October 29, 2010, 16:08
This is one buyer that will not be putting up with all the drama, trouble, time and costs that a few submitters think I should put up with to buy their images in that thread. Good lord what planet are they from and what fumes have they been whiffing ?

I know!  The responses from a few contributors are just insane. One guy tells the OP to go get all the equipment, pay the models ($350 each?!), charter a ski trip, etc. to get similar pictures.  (Or - here's a thought - she could go to a different agency and look there! ).  

First off, I seriously doubt that the artist who created the ski pics actually did all that just for that shoot.  More likely they were on a ski vacation and either got friends to pose, or paid some locals to pose.  However those images were created, they are good and useful, but were undoubtedly uploaded under the micro payment model, not the new fleece-'em-for-all-you-can-get model.

To suggest in this day and age that a buyer's only options are to pay trad stock prices for (originally) micro images or to shoot it themselves is just wildly unrealistic.   There are a LOT of other options for buyers, and Istock and some of its more deluded contributors act as though they are the only game in town.   ::)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: pet_chia on October 29, 2010, 17:35
Are buyers rushing to use up subscription credits at the end of the month or something?   I had an absolute flurry of sales today, probably BDE which is getting close to making Oct the equal of Sept which was BME.

Or perhaps my non-exclusive, non-Agency, non-Vetta are just the kind of bargain that people are looking for.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: MarkFGD on October 29, 2010, 18:03
I can't believe the mentality of contributors on that thread. They give away the lion's share of the income from their photographic endeavours and then queue up to do Getty/iStock's public relations for them.

I assume Getty introduced the 20% royalty when they started buying every photo library they could get their hands on in the 1990s. Back then they would have been receiving transparencies from photographers and would have had to drum scan, catalogue and keyword them, etc., to earn their massive 80% take. Now they want 85% and all they seem prepared to do for it is raise their head out of the sand occasionally to count the money. They can't even be bothered to enter into dialogues with their own confused and unhappy customers anymore. What's going on?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gbalex on October 30, 2010, 11:22
This is one buyer that will not be putting up with all the drama, trouble, time and costs that a few submitters think I should put up with to buy their images in that thread. Good lord what planet are they from and what fumes have they been whiffing ?

I know!  The responses from a few contributors are just insane. One guy tells the OP to go get all the equipment, pay the models ($350 each?!), charter a ski trip, etc. to get similar pictures.  (Or - here's a thought - she could go to a different agency and look there! ).  

First off, I seriously doubt that the artist who created the ski pics actually did all that just for that shoot.  More likely they were on a ski vacation and either got friends to pose, or paid some locals to pose.  However those images were created, they are good and useful, but were undoubtedly uploaded under the micro payment model, not the new fleece-'em-for-all-you-can-get model.

To suggest in this day and age that a buyer's only options are to pay trad stock prices for (originally) micro images or to shoot it themselves is just wildly unrealistic.   There are a LOT of other options for buyers, and Istock and some of its more deluded contributors act as though they are the only game in town.   ::)

I agree Lisa and often do when you post. The thread is filled with insane points.  I found the suggestion that a producer should be paid the same price for both low and high quality oysters when the sales agent raised the price of the high quality oysters without passing some of those increased profits on to the producer especially entertaining.  
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on October 30, 2010, 16:09

I found the suggestion that a producer should be paid the same price for both low and high quality oysters when the sales agent raised the price of the high quality oysters without passing some of those increased profits on to the producer especially entertaining.  

Absolutely!  LOL on the whole "oyster" discussion.  Shows a complete lack of touch with reality.    I tend to be more horror struck than entertained, but you are right, with the right perspective this whole debacle is pretty darned entertaining :D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on October 30, 2010, 16:55
   Lisa- I read through the thread and I agree with your point that the typical non vetta image is as good as agency or vetta. I find the vetta/ agency images to be overdone and corny. I would have posted this in the thread but lobo locked me out some time ago. Too bad, i try to never miss a chance to dis vetta. "Peak creative prowess"- what a joke. ( Now, all you vetta people who are now getting out pitchforks, remember, I said this - not Lisa :D )
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: loop on October 30, 2010, 17:32
Better or worse, done or overdone, the fact is that Vetta sells. I'm selling more Vetta (on percentage per numbers of Vettas in my portfolio) than regulars. Discussion on artistisc merits is futile, because is subjective. Customer paying way more to buy these files is, at the very least, objective data.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on October 30, 2010, 18:44
  Lisa- I read through the thread and I agree with your point that the typical non vetta image is as good as agency or vetta. I find the vetta/ agency images to be overdone and corny. I would have posted this in the thread but lobo locked me out some time ago. Too bad, i try to never miss a chance to dis vetta. "Peak creative prowess"- what a joke. ( Now, all you vetta people who are now getting out pitchforks, remember, I said this - not Lisa :D )

:D

While I think there are some very nice photos in Vetta, I think some are no where near worth the price they want for them. It's just silly to see one photo that is Vetta (or Agency for that matter) right next to another in the same series that is in the regular collection. So arbitrary and makes it look like a total rip off.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: crazychristina on October 30, 2010, 18:50
I think most micro contributors have a hard time realizing just how much some people are willing to pay for an image. In fact some buyers prefer to pay more. Especially if it's not their money.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on October 30, 2010, 19:30
Better or worse, done or overdone, the fact is that Vetta sells. I'm selling more Vetta (on percentage per numbers of Vettas in my portfolio) than regulars. Discussion on artistisc merits is futile, because is subjective. Customer paying way more to buy these files is, at the very least, objective data.

I don't doubt they sell, Loop.  And I am glad you are making money.  But the question really is - do the vetta/agency images sell because they are actually better, and worth 10X (or more) the money, or because the best match is so heavily slanted in their favor? 

The only way to know for sure would be to have a broad mix of various collections in the first few pages of the search and then let the Vettas or Agency stuff stand on their own merits.  But that is never going to happen.  Because given a much cheaper, reasonably similar image, most buyers would choose that.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on October 30, 2010, 19:31
I think most micro contributors have a hard time realizing just how much some people are willing to pay for an image. In fact some buyers prefer to pay more. Especially if it's not their money.

Right.  Which is why microstock, with it's low prices, never really took off.  
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: markrhiggins on October 30, 2010, 19:33
I agree that some buyers do not mind paying more. I sell the occasional macro shot. I use a mcro agency for that. Would is the problem is Istock is now pushing these high price images at the front of searches. It is changing the site so that it is becoming unattractive to sell micro there as an independent. It is harder for buyers, harder for independents and most exclusives are p#ssed off. The strategic plan is???
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Sadstock on October 30, 2010, 19:38
I think most micro contributors have a hard time realizing just how much some people are willing to pay for an image. In fact some buyers prefer to pay more. Especially if it's not their money.

Right.  Which is why microstock, with it's low prices, never really took off.  
-------------------------
 ;D                     
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: loop on October 30, 2010, 20:54
Better or worse, done or overdone, the fact is that Vetta sells. I'm selling more Vetta (on percentage per numbers of Vettas in my portfolio) than regulars. Discussion on artistisc merits is futile, because is subjective. Customer paying way more to buy these files is, at the very least, objective data.

I don't doubt they sell, Loop.  And I am glad you are making money.  But the question really is - do the vetta/agency images sell because they are actually better, and worth 10X (or more) the money, or because the best match is so heavily slanted in their favor? 

The only way to know for sure would be to have a broad mix of various collections in the first few pages of the search and then let the Vettas or Agency stuff stand on their own merits.  But that is never going to happen.  Because given a much cheaper, reasonably similar image, most buyers would choose that.

Yes, best match is better for Vettas, and so, they are easier to find, but, on the other hand, they cost until 15x (minimun size) what han exclusive regular costs, and that largely levels the said advantage... In theory  it should  be much more difficult to sell. When, for example, some Vetta is a best selling image of a series, having this Vetta the similar regular  images from this series linked in a ligthbox in its own page, I can’t avoid thinking costumers judge that this Vetta is better than her “sisters”. And, most times, I agree.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on October 31, 2010, 02:20
Yes, best match is better for Vettas, and so, they are easier to find, but, on the other hand, they cost until 15x (minimun size) what han exclusive regular costs, and that largely levels the said advantage... In theory  it should  be much more difficult to sell. When, for example, some Vetta is a best selling image of a series, having this Vetta the similar regular  images from this series linked in a ligthbox in its own page, I can’t avoid thinking costumers judge that this Vetta is better than her “siGoogle Translatesters”. And, most times, I agree.

What language is this in? I recognise most of the words but no sentences make any sense whatsoever.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: john_woodcock on October 31, 2010, 05:01
Quote
Google Translatesters

I think there may be a hint here
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on October 31, 2010, 05:09
It's just silly to see one photo that is Vetta (or Agency for that matter) right next to another in the same series that is in the regular collection. So arbitrary and makes it look like a total rip off.
Interesting point of view. Here's my spin on the same phenomenon. My Vettas were almost all chosen by 'someone else'; I think only about two of those I nominated were accepted into Vetta. However, most of those I have have 'similars' in my port. The Vettas which sell (some don't!) sell better than the non-Vettas.
So that formed my strategies for Exc+. Where I had a series and one or two outsold the others, I made them Exc+, since history had shown that buyers preferred them. Buyers on a budget still have a choice of non Exc+ images from the series. Still, the Exc+ images outsell the non-Esc+, presumably proving that these particular ones, for reasons not always apparent to me, are more useful to buyers. Win-win.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on October 31, 2010, 10:43
It's just silly to see one photo that is Vetta (or Agency for that matter) right next to another in the same series that is in the regular collection. So arbitrary and makes it look like a total rip off.
Interesting point of view. Here's my spin on the same phenomenon. My Vettas were almost all chosen by 'someone else'; I think only about two of those I nominated were accepted into Vetta. However, most of those I have have 'similars' in my port. The Vettas which sell (some don't!) sell better than the non-Vettas.
So that formed my strategies for Exc+. Where I had a series and one or two outsold the others, I made them Exc+, since history had shown that buyers preferred them. Buyers on a budget still have a choice of non Exc+ images from the series. Still, the Exc+ images outsell the non-Esc+, presumably proving that these particular ones, for reasons not always apparent to me, are more useful to buyers. Win-win.

Maybe the reason people are buying the Vettas and E+ files is that they appear higher up in the search, as we see best match is populated almost exclusively by Vetta and Agency these days? So people never see the cheaper priced images in the same series unless they really go looking for them. Dunno. As a really low budget buyer, though I look. Well, I used to look. I only have one credit left at iStock with no plans to buy more.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: john_woodcock on October 31, 2010, 10:58
Quote
as we see best match is populated almost exclusively by Vetta and Agency these days?

I'm not quite sure what you mean by this? I haven't got hours to test this but 2 random searches, set to best match and photos only, produce the first half of the first page with Vetta and Agency, then onwards ordinary files with a scattering of Vetta and Agancy stuff. To say that there's nothing but V and A files is just disingenuous.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on October 31, 2010, 11:14

Maybe the reason people are buying the Vettas and E+ files is that they appear higher up in the search, as we see best match is populated almost exclusively by Vetta and Agency these days? So people never see the cheaper priced images in the same series unless they really go looking for them. Dunno. As a really low budget buyer, though I look. Well, I used to look. I only have one credit left at iStock with no plans to buy more.
I've got a Vetta which has sold a few times, but is really low for its main keyword. I can't actually find it at the moment on that keyword, but at one point it was on the last page of a 2000+ image search. However, I did check out another of my Vettas and there are non-exclusive images with no sales ahead of it in a best match search. I found another Vetta with the same main keyword, which has sold >30 times, on the last page of that search.
Actually, I can't work out the current best match at all - except that new uploads drop like stones after about 24 hours (maybe even before that, but not much more after that first slump).
I don't believe all this stuff about buyers only looking at a page or two. On Alamy, I can see that buyers can easily search over 4000 files on the more popular search terms. I guess some Micro buyers might just buy the 'most popular', weird as that seems to me.
However, I do agree that the high prices being rammed to the front might scare off buyers, especially as so many of the brought-in Agency files in particular are 'very average'. (I'm glad I don't compete in the lifestyle sector.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Sadstock on October 31, 2010, 11:56

Maybe the reason people are buying the Vettas and E+ files is that they appear higher up in the search, as we see best match is populated almost exclusively by Vetta and Agency these days? So people never see the cheaper priced images in the same series unless they really go looking for them. Dunno. As a really low budget buyer, though I look. Well, I used to look. I only have one credit left at iStock with no plans to buy more.
I've got a Vetta which has sold a few times, but is really low for its main keyword. I can't actually find it at the moment on that keyword, but at one point it was on the last page of a 2000+ image search. However, I did check out another of my Vettas and there are non-exclusive images with no sales ahead of it in a best match search. I found another Vetta with the same main keyword, which has sold >30 times, on the last page of that search.
Actually, I can't work out the current best match at all - except that new uploads drop like stones after about 24 hours (maybe even before that, but not much more after that first slump).
I don't believe all this stuff about buyers only looking at a page or two. On Alamy, I can see that buyers can easily search over 4000 files on the more popular search terms. I guess some Micro buyers might just buy the 'most popular', weird as that seems to me.
However, I do agree that the high prices being rammed to the front might scare off buyers, especially as so many of the brought-in Agency files in particular are 'very average'. (I'm glad I don't compete in the lifestyle sector.
---------------------------------------
One thing I've noticed with a few of my better selling files is that when they hit a milestone like 100 or 500 DL's they get bumped to the back of the best match, at least for a time.  I guess this is to minimize the best match feedback loop?  Maybe that is what was happening to your one Vetta image?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on November 06, 2010, 07:53
Don't know if the buyers have bailed en masse but they're not grabbing much of my stuff recently. The first 5 working days of November have been astonishingly low __ sales numbers are 35% lower than the equivalent days in 2009. Fortunately I had 3 EL's this week (very unusual) but without them this week's 'Payout Request' would be at Xmas/New Year levels.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: loop on November 06, 2010, 08:03
I sell Vettas even having similars linked in a lightbox, in the Vetta's page. The "vetta" one often is the most sold of the whole series, no matter how similar are the other photos. I've seen also in legacy files that have become Vetta that from the moment the file was put in the vetta, the whole series sell much more. I suppose that is a side-efect of having the regulars ones linked in the Vettas's page. Te customer finds the Vetta in the first pages, and if it's too expensive for his budget, buys another one of the same series.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Gannet77 on November 06, 2010, 11:37
Don't know if the buyers have bailed en masse but they're not grabbing much of my stuff recently. The first 5 working days of November have been astonishingly low __ sales numbers are 35% lower than the equivalent days in 2009. Fortunately I had 3 EL's this week (very unusual) but without them this week's 'Payout Request' would be at Xmas/New Year levels.


Well, my sales in November so far seem to be holding up well, after a less than shining October.

However, here's an interesting little snippet, for what it's worth:  I keep a (sometimes intermittent) log of total downloads as reported  by the http://istockcharts.multimedia.de/ (http://istockcharts.multimedia.de/) site, and according to that, overall downloads for October are 35% down on October 2009.

Now there's a big caveat to that - the charts are incomplete and the fuzziness introduced by iStock makes them rather inaccurate, also, based on the same charts, October 2009 was actually a BME for the period I've been keeping track, so that figure of -35% has to be seen in context, other months do show an increase.

And, as it happens, my own downloads in October were also down 35% on October 2009, while my income was actually 35% UP over the same month, partly thanks to a rise in canister level but in addition presumably thanks to raised prices, E+ and Vetta - so if iStock's income is comparable, they're not doing so bad!  But then, that seems to be their strategy - fewer downloads at a higher price point.  And actually, there's nothing wrong with that in itself.

Except, if that's the case, how come they claim the current royalty structure is so "unsustainable"?

ETA: Just remembered I went up a canister level, which accounts for a good bit of my extra income at any rate.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on November 06, 2010, 11:39
But then, that seems to be their strategy - fewer downloads at a higher price point.  And actually, there's nothing wrong with that in itself.
Absolutely not: the model worked for many years and is now called 'macrostock'.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Gannet77 on November 06, 2010, 11:46
But then, that seems to be their strategy - fewer downloads at a higher price point.  And actually, there's nothing wrong with that in itself.
Absolutely not: the model worked for many years and is now called 'macrostock'.

Indeed, I agree - it often seems in the monthly stats threads that people are bemoaning and seeing disaster ahead because they have fewer downloads.  It's the income that counts.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on November 06, 2010, 11:57
Don't know if the buyers have bailed en masse but they're not grabbing much of my stuff recently. The first 5 working days of November have been astonishingly low __ sales numbers are 35% lower than the equivalent days in 2009. Fortunately I had 3 EL's this week (very unusual) but without them this week's 'Payout Request' would be at Xmas/New Year levels.

My sales are back to summer levels again on Istock.  I had kind of assumed it was the introduction of all the new Agency files and their being front-loaded in the best match.

Gannet77, thanks for posting those interesting statistics.  Although they aren't firm, for all the reasons you mentioned, they are probably indicative of a general downward trend in DL's.  

Unlike you and Sue, I would definitely see this decline in sales numbers at Istockphoto as a serious problem.   Momentum is moving in the wrong direction, and this is not a the sign of a healthy business.  Sure, it is compensated, for the moment, by higher prices, but those prices can only continue to go up for so long.  Clearly Getty agrees or why would they have felt the need to boost profits by raiding royalty commissions?  

Bottom line is that fewer sales means demand for (Istockphoto's) images is declining.  According to the Law of Supply and Demand, as demand shrinks, prices will have to fall too.  Either that or the business will not survive.    
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: crazychristina on November 06, 2010, 14:59
It would be a problem if istock was purely micro. However they seem to moving closer to the macro business model - fewer sales a higher prices, anticipating more money overall. Remains to be seen if its 'sustainable'.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on November 06, 2010, 17:32
It would be a problem if istock was purely micro. However they seem to moving closer to the macro business model - fewer sales a higher prices, anticipating more money overall. Remains to be seen if its 'sustainable'.

For Getty it wasn't particularly 'sustainable'. That's why they had to buy iStock and why iStock continues to be the cash cow. It remains to be seen if it continues to do so, however, with all the constant cash grabs.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on November 06, 2010, 18:56

Unlike you and Sue, I would definitely see this decline in sales numbers at Istockphoto as a serious problem.  

I definitely see it as a problem. My October was dire compared to Oct 08 and 09, especially the last week. My files uploaded in the past 18 months are DOA (last week I noticed that two acceptances were well below best match position 100 on their main keyword about 24 hours after appearing in my port).
To be fair, this week has rallied a bit, but overall it is still worrying and unsustainable for many people.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on November 06, 2010, 22:24
I definitely see it as a problem. My October was dire compared to Oct 08 and 09, especially the last week. My files uploaded in the pasgt 18 months are DOA (last week I noticed that two acceptances were well below best match position 100 abut 24 hours after appearing in my port.
To be fair, this week has rallied a bit, but overall it is still worrying and unsustainable for many people.

Oh, sorry Sue.  Looks like I totally misread your post.  Glad your sales are rebounding a bit this week.  Hoping mine will do the same soon...
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on November 07, 2010, 04:42
[Double post]
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: alias on November 07, 2010, 07:28
But then, that seems to be their strategy - fewer downloads at a higher price point.  And actually, there's nothing wrong with that in itself.
Absolutely not: the model worked for many years and is now called 'macrostock'.

Indeed, I agree - it often seems in the monthly stats threads that people are bemoaning and seeing disaster ahead because they have fewer downloads.  It's the income that counts.

Seems logical that not IS Agency and Getty owned content will take an increasing share of these smaller numbers. Getty takes a bigger share on these sales.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on November 07, 2010, 07:33
But then, that seems to be their strategy - fewer downloads at a higher price point.  And actually, there's nothing wrong with that in itself.
Absolutely not: the model worked for many years and is now called 'macrostock'.

Indeed, I agree - it often seems in the monthly stats threads that people are bemoaning and seeing disaster ahead because they have fewer downloads.  It's the income that counts.
I was thinking more like that iStock is supposed to be a 'micro'stock, and it seems to be moving towards macro, though with a very confusing model. They should make their intentions clear to contributers. Some contributers are very commited to the micro model, and may be able to make informed decisions if they only had the actual information to do so.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on November 07, 2010, 08:40
But then, that seems to be their strategy - fewer downloads at a higher price point.  And actually, there's nothing wrong with that in itself.
Absolutely not: the model worked for many years and is now called 'macrostock'.

Indeed, I agree - it often seems in the monthly stats threads that people are bemoaning and seeing disaster ahead because they have fewer downloads.  It's the income that counts.

Seems logical that not IS Agency and Getty owned content will take an increasing share of these smaller numbers. Getty takes a bigger share on these sales.
I agree.  All those collections pushing non-exclusive images further down the search are going to reduce earnings.  They should raise commissions to keep it sustainable for non-exclusive contributors ::)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: alias on November 07, 2010, 09:59
Seems logical that not IS Agency and Getty owned content will take an increasing share of these smaller numbers. Getty takes a bigger share on these sales.
I agree.  All those collections pushing non-exclusive images further down the search are going to reduce earnings.  They should raise commissions to keep it sustainable for non-exclusive contributors ::)

More likely to see total percentages paid out in exclusive royalties gradually reduced first - tweaking the model continually in order to produce a result which is equivalent to 20% averaged ?

Best outcome for them could be mid/macro prices, 20% average royalties on microstock model with combined Getty IS class and brand ? So people putting their own work online and inspection by non staffers on piece pay. Maybe the rest of Getty moves towards that ? The two models combined.

Somewhere down the road some version of image exclusivity via some sort of collection based distribution at 20% ? But they have enough going on for now. And something about keywording. Is it possible that keywording might become a service layer ?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on November 07, 2010, 15:52

I agree.  All those collections pushing non-exclusive images further down the search are going to reduce earnings.  They should raise commissions to keep it sustainable for non-exclusive contributors ::)

I strongly suspect that a future incarnation of the search engine will have the ability to search individual collections - including the non-exclusive collections.  Buyers want to be able to look within the lowest priced imagery.

Yes, it was said in the forums, back when exclusive image prices went up, that there would never be a way to exclude exclusive images from any search.  But at this point I would not bet money on Istock keeping any of their promises to contributors. 

If buyers want to be able to search the lowest priced images, then Istock is likely to come up with a way for them to do that. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on November 07, 2010, 16:35

If buyers want to be able to search the lowest priced images, then Istock is likely to come up with a way for them to do that. 

Yeah. They'll send them to ThinkStock. :D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: pet_chia on November 07, 2010, 21:48
...
If buyers want to be able to search the lowest priced images, then Istock is likely to come up with a way for them to do that. 

Agreed.  It's only normal e-commerce.  Practically every other website does it - they have "price" as sorting option, or even "price (low to high)" and "price (high to low)".  Anything else is just going to annoy their customers and drive them away.

Unless it is actually their devious plan to drive the company into the ground (and I can't see how it could be) then they're going to have to give in and do this.  They cannot offer similar-looking, but (vastly) different-priced goods for sale without this feature.  Amazon does it, expedia does it, and Istock had darn well better do it unless they want to look like a bunch of fools.

The existence of this feature and the way that customers use it might also force them to think hard about pricing.  Is run-of-the-mill stock imagery really worth many times more than what professional but non-exclusive artists have produced, just because it was bought in bulk from god-knows-where and stamped with an "agency collection" seal of approval?  Their customers will let them know pretty quickly, as soon as they have the means to differentiate.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on November 09, 2010, 17:58
Loving it. I've been shopping at Dreamstime now, where you can still get 1 credit for $1 for as little as $25. At iStock, I'd have to shell out a whopping $5000 to get that same conversion.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on November 09, 2010, 18:17
Loving it. I've been shopping at Dreamstime now, where you can still get 1 credit for $1 for as little as $25. At iStock, I'd have to shell out a whopping $5000 to get that same conversion.

Glad it's working out for you Carolyn! 

I am honestly surprised Istock has been able to hang on it its buyers as long as it has.  The myth that it has the best quality and selection is just that - a myth. 

Yes, Istock still has most of its exclusives, but the exclusive images themselves are, with very few exceptions, about the same quality, variety, and subject matter as what's available from independents at the other sites. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Fotonaut on November 10, 2010, 02:52
I am honestly surprised Istock has been able to hang on it its buyers as long as it has.  The myth that it has the best quality and selection is just that - a myth. 
Yes, Istock still has most of its exclusives, but the exclusive images themselves are, with very few exceptions, about the same quality, variety, and subject matter as what's available from independents at the other sites. 

I beg to differ. iStock excel especially with regards to quality, a lot thanks to exclusives - and iStock beeing strict about submissions I guess. Plus their search is way better. Even though at times CV search can be frustrating, it generally give more precise results.

As a sidenote and an example, of all things, I bought a pic of your hubbies’ ass crack yesterday. On Dreamstime, but I initially used Istock search. Seeing it as a non-exclusive image, I could then move on to Dreamstime to find i there.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on November 10, 2010, 04:17
I am honestly surprised Istock has been able to hang on it its buyers as long as it has.  The myth that it has the best quality and selection is just that - a myth.  
Yes, Istock still has most of its exclusives, but the exclusive images themselves are, with very few exceptions, about the same quality, variety, and subject matter as what's available from independents at the other sites.  

I beg to differ. iStock excel especially with regards to quality, a lot thanks to exclusives - and iStock beeing strict about submissions I guess. Plus their search is way better. Even though at times CV search can be frustrating, it generally give more precise results.

As a sidenote and an example, of all things, I bought a pic of your hubbies’ ass crack yesterday. On Dreamstime, but I initially used Istock search. Seeing it as a non-exclusive image, I could then move on to Dreamstime to find i there.
I don't agree with istock being strict with submissions.  I often stumble across a portfolio and think that person would struggle to pass the entry test with shutterstock.  I don't think that's a bad thing though.  As contributors, we can get obsessed with "quality" but I see images that I don't like being used all the time.

And I think what is missing on istock is just as good as their exclusive content.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: hoi ha on November 10, 2010, 04:36

I don't agree with istock being strict with submissions.  I often stumble across a portfolio and think that person would struggle to pass the entry test with shutterstock.  I don't think that's a bad thing though.  As contributors, we can get obsessed with "quality" but I see images that I don't like being used all the time.

And I think what is missing on istock is just as good as their exclusive content.
[/quote]

I agree with this - and I am largely a buyer - I have never understood the exclusive thing either - would love someone to explain to me how an exclusive photo on istock is somehow more attractive to me as a buyer - the thing I am concerned about is how much an image may or may not have been used not where it came from. There is virtually no subject area (in photos that is - vectors are a different story) that cannot be found across all the sites.  And I find istock's standards to be about the same as the other Big 4 - each with their idiosyncrasies to be sure but basically all equally as strict in the larger picture.

As for istock's search - it's better than it used to be but not that great either.

So I cannot figure out why people buy photos there given all the other crap that comes with IS.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on November 10, 2010, 09:24

I beg to differ. iStock excel especially with regards to quality, a lot thanks to exclusives - and iStock beeing strict about submissions I guess. Plus their search is way better. Even though at times CV search can be frustrating, it generally give more precise results.

As a sidenote and an example, of all things, I bought a pic of your hubbies’ ass crack yesterday. On Dreamstime, but I initially used Istock search. Seeing it as a non-exclusive image, I could then move on to Dreamstime to find i there.

Then I stand corrected!  I will never argue with one of my buyers.  I am grateful for the business!  My hubby and I thank you.  Look - he's even giving you a vertical smile ;D

In all seriousness, you do make a good point about the strictness of the standards at IS.  As a buyer, you are probably in a better position than I am to judge the collection as a whole.  

I just meant that it is rare I see an exclusive who has a style and/or subject matter that is so unique you can't find similar on other sites.  Admittedly, this is partly due to some non-exclusives that make a career out of copying exclusive images...  
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on November 10, 2010, 09:29

I agree with this - and I am largely a buyer - I have never understood the exclusive thing either - would love someone to explain to me how an exclusive photo on istock is somehow more attractive to me as a buyer - the thing I am concerned about is how much an image may or may not have been used not where it came from.
That's a benefit, to a limited extent, of exclusivity for the buyer.
You can see the number of sales every image has, even though nowadays the actual sales are fuzzified a bit.
Some contributors, like me, have never submitted any images RF anywhere else. So the sales you see on iStock are the total sales for these files.
However, you might have to dig a bit to find out whether an exclusive contributor has always been exclusive, or when they became exclusive.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Fotonaut on November 10, 2010, 12:18
A real life example: I need images of a speeding moped to illustrate mopeds exceeding the 45 km/h speeding limit in Norway for mopeds for use in newspaper articles on the subject:

Search term "speeding moped".

Istock by downloads: http://is.gd/gUjyC (http://is.gd/gUjyC)
Istock by Best Match: http://is.gd/gUjGE (http://is.gd/gUjGE)
98 matches, 1-3 relevant for the newspaper articles, one really nice photograph (though not relevant).

Dreamstime: 1 image: http://is.gd/gUk4Z (http://is.gd/gUk4Z) switching "moped" with "scooter" (which is less relevant), 16 results (mostly of water scooters): http://is.gd/gUkcl (http://is.gd/gUkcl)

Fotolia: 1 image: http://is.gd/gUkne (http://is.gd/gUkne) and a couple more with water scooters when switching "moped" with "scooter".

Istock wins hands on.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on November 10, 2010, 12:25
A real life example: I need images of a speeding moped to illustrate mopeds exceeding the 45 km/h speeding limit in Norway for mopeds for use in newspaper articles on the subject:

Search term "speeding moped".

Istock by downloads: [url]http://is.gd/gUjyC[/url] ([url]http://is.gd/gUjyC[/url])
Istock by Best Match: [url]http://is.gd/gUjGE[/url] ([url]http://is.gd/gUjGE[/url])
98 matches, 1-3 relevant for the newspaper articles, one really nice photograph (though not relevant).

Dreamstime: 1 image: [url]http://is.gd/gUk4Z[/url] ([url]http://is.gd/gUk4Z[/url]) switching "moped" with "scooter" (which is less relevant), 16 results (mostly of water scooters): [url]http://is.gd/gUkcl[/url] ([url]http://is.gd/gUkcl[/url])

Fotolia: 1 image: [url]http://is.gd/gUkne[/url] ([url]http://is.gd/gUkne[/url]) and a couple more with water scooters when switching "moped" with "scooter".

Istock wins hands on.


Out of curiosity, how many of these pics from Alamy are relevant? (I ask because I generally think Alamy's search is dire, because it doesn't have a CV. To me, the results here look quite relevant, though most seem to be located in Asia, which you'd hav to filter out for your particular article.
http://www.alamy.com/search-results.asp?qt=speeding+moped&ct=&submitsearch=Search&go=1&a=-1&archive=1&size=0xFF (http://www.alamy.com/search-results.asp?qt=speeding+moped&ct=&submitsearch=Search&go=1&a=-1&archive=1&size=0xFF)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: malcam on November 10, 2010, 13:04
A real life example: I need images of a speeding moped to illustrate mopeds exceeding the 45 km/h speeding limit in Norway for mopeds for use in newspaper articles on the subject:

Search term "speeding moped".

Istock by downloads: [url]http://is.gd/gUjyC[/url] ([url]http://is.gd/gUjyC[/url])
Istock by Best Match: [url]http://is.gd/gUjGE[/url] ([url]http://is.gd/gUjGE[/url])
98 matches, 1-3 relevant for the newspaper articles, one really nice photograph (though not relevant).

Dreamstime: 1 image: [url]http://is.gd/gUk4Z[/url] ([url]http://is.gd/gUk4Z[/url]) switching "moped" with "scooter" (which is less relevant), 16 results (mostly of water scooters): [url]http://is.gd/gUkcl[/url] ([url]http://is.gd/gUkcl[/url])

Fotolia: 1 image: [url]http://is.gd/gUkne[/url] ([url]http://is.gd/gUkne[/url]) and a couple more with water scooters when switching "moped" with "scooter".

Istock wins hands on.


"Speeding" in the Istock C.V converts to speed. Try searching speed and moped on the other sites and the results are similar.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Fotonaut on November 10, 2010, 13:09
Out of curiosity, how many of these pics from Alamy are relevant? (I ask because I generally think Alamy's search is dire, because it doesn't have a CV. To me, the results here look quite relevant, though most seem to be located in Asia, which you'd hav to filter out for your particular article.
[url]http://www.alamy.com/search-results.asp?qt=speeding+moped&ct=&submitsearch=Search&go=1&a=-1&archive=1&size=0xFF[/url] ([url]http://www.alamy.com/search-results.asp?qt=speeding+moped&ct=&submitsearch=Search&go=1&a=-1&archive=1&size=0xFF[/url])


2-3 are motion blurred enough to be used. The rest is evidently not from anywere near Northern Norway. Unfortunately, Alamy pricing (£60) is way too much for a superlocal miniscule online newspaper churning out police report articles. At Istock a comparable image size (sans E+, Vetta or Agency) is less than $8.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Fotonaut on November 10, 2010, 13:14
"Speeding" in the Istock C.V converts to speed. Try searching speed and moped on the other sites and the results are similar.

Now I feel a bit embarrassed. But thank you! That was really helpful.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on November 10, 2010, 13:15
Out of curiosity, how many of these pics from Alamy are relevant? (I ask because I generally think Alamy's search is dire, because it doesn't have a CV. To me, the results here look quite relevant, though most seem to be located in Asia, which you'd hav to filter out for your particular article.
[url]http://www.alamy.com/search-results.asp?qt=speeding+moped&ct=&submitsearch=Search&go=1&a=-1&archive=1&size=0xFF[/url] ([url]http://www.alamy.com/search-results.asp?qt=speeding+moped&ct=&submitsearch=Search&go=1&a=-1&archive=1&size=0xFF[/url])


2-3 are motion blurred enough to be used. The rest is evidently not from anywere near Northern Norway. Unfortunately, Alamy pricing (£60) is way too much for a superlocal miniscule online newspaper churning out police report articles. At Istock a comparable image size (sans E+, Vetta or Agency) is less than $8.

I was really just wondering about the search. Thanks for looking!
It seems that no-one pays the stated price on Alamy. Deep discounts seem to be the norm: meeting micro going down as micro goes up.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on November 10, 2010, 13:46

I agree with this - and I am largely a buyer - I have never understood the exclusive thing either - would love someone to explain to me how an exclusive photo on istock is somehow more attractive to me as a buyer - the thing I am concerned about is how much an image may or may not have been used not where it came from.
That's a benefit, to a limited extent, of exclusivity for the buyer.
You can see the number of sales every image has, even though nowadays the actual sales are fuzzified a bit.
Some contributors, like me, have never submitted any images RF anywhere else. So the sales you see on iStock are the total sales for these files.
However, you might have to dig a bit to find out whether an exclusive contributor has always been exclusive, or when they became exclusive.
Are many buyers concerned about how many time an image has been purchased before?  If they are, I wonder why some images are still selling so well when there are better newer versions with low sales?  And wouldn't it be more useful to know to what extent the image has been used?  There's a big difference between someone using it for their personal blog and a big company buying an EL and using it in a marketing campaign.  The downloads don't give you that information.  I also read that an istock exclusive sells the same images on alamy as RM, so the number of downloads on istock isn't necessarily always giving the buyer the full number of sales.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on November 10, 2010, 14:04

I agree with this - and I am largely a buyer - I have never understood the exclusive thing either - would love someone to explain to me how an exclusive photo on istock is somehow more attractive to me as a buyer - the thing I am concerned about is how much an image may or may not have been used not where it came from.
That's a benefit, to a limited extent, of exclusivity for the buyer.
You can see the number of sales every image has, even though nowadays the actual sales are fuzzified a bit.
Some contributors, like me, have never submitted any images RF anywhere else. So the sales you see on iStock are the total sales for these files.
However, you might have to dig a bit to find out whether an exclusive contributor has always been exclusive, or when they became exclusive.
Are many buyers concerned about how many time an image has been purchased before?  If they are, I wonder why some images are still selling so well when there are better newer versions with low sales?  And wouldn't it be more useful to know to what extent the image has been used?  There's a big difference between someone using it for their personal blog and a big company buying an EL and using it in a marketing campaign.  The downloads don't give you that information.  I also read that an istock exclusive sells the same images on alamy as RM, so the number of downloads on istock isn't necessarily always giving the buyer the full number of sales.
I have heard of that, but it's against Alamy's rules.
However, of course what you say about image use is true.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: helix7 on November 10, 2010, 14:15
Are many buyers concerned about how many time an image has been purchased before?  If they are, I wonder why some images are still selling so well when there are better newer versions with low sales?  And wouldn't it be more useful to know to what extent the image has been used?  There's a big difference between someone using it for their personal blog and a big company buying an EL and using it in a marketing campaign.  The downloads don't give you that information.  I also read that an istock exclusive sells the same images on alamy as RM, so the number of downloads on istock isn't necessarily always giving the buyer the full number of sales.

Well the exclusive artist image download count only works if the artist really only sells through iStock and only ever sold through iStock. I've got images that have sold over a thousand times, and just a handful of times at iStock. If I go exclusive tomorrow, the download count still stays the same on iStock, and that could lead a buyer to mistakenly think that the image isn't widely in use.

That's always been a flaw in the exclusive system. The crown only means that a particular artist is exclusive right now. It says nothing of their past.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on November 10, 2010, 14:27
"Speeding" in the Istock C.V converts to speed. Try searching speed and moped on the other sites and the results are similar.

 thank you! That was really helpful.

Actually, this would support the idea that Istock's CV and search are more effective than the others. 

To be honest, I would have assumed that "speed" on any of the sites would have also brought up "speeding".  It is counterproductive for us to have to keyword plurals and multiple conjugations of every single word we use!  I don't do that, and I bet a lot of images are not turning up in searches at the other sites  :(
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: loop on November 10, 2010, 14:59
To sell the same RF exclusive istock images in alamy as RM is not allowed at istock, and would mean being banned forever.

And the benefit of exclusive images applies if this image is the one wich suits your needs. Te benefit of being able to buy it and use it.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on November 24, 2010, 10:25
Another disappointed buyer -
from the forums http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=276322&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=276322&page=1)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lagereek on November 24, 2010, 10:36
Im not too sure I believe this any longer, buyers going by the thousands, etc. I mean lets face it, if buyers really were abandening ship by the thousands, wouldnt it stand to reason Getty would become mildly worried, theyre accoutable to higher chiefs. Im pretty sure that if it was any truth in this we would have heard of some compromize or something?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Eyedesign on November 24, 2010, 10:52
Im not too sure I believe this any longer, buyers going by the thousands, etc. I mean lets face it, if buyers really were abandening ship by the thousands, wouldnt it stand to reason Getty would become mildly worried, theyre accoutable to higher chiefs. Im pretty sure that if it was any truth in this we would have heard of some compromize or something?

Yep! only wishing thinking by some on this forum.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on November 24, 2010, 12:21
actually I think it will take a bit of time before the true effects are really known.  I don't believe that buyers are all leaving in droves at the same time, but I do think that they are slowly but surely looking around at the competition.  What happened with the big agencies (i.e Getty, Corbis) when istock (and other microstock agencies) started popping up was a steady loss of buyers as they began to migrate away to these low-price/high-quality outlets.  Now we see Getty, who we all know has seen a significant drop in customers over the recent years, trying to take over iStock and move their high-price collections there.  Buyers aren't stupid.  they are starting to see the changes and paying attention.  They are starting to look elsewhere for good images at better prices. 

that's how I see it anyway. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: molka on November 24, 2010, 12:32
Im not too sure I believe this any longer, buyers going by the thousands, etc. I mean lets face it, if buyers really were abandening ship by the thousands, wouldnt it stand to reason Getty would become mildly worried, theyre accoutable to higher chiefs. Im pretty sure that if it was any truth in this we would have heard of some compromize or something?

Mildly worried? Midldly amused maybe: "Yipee, one micro site gone, next one please" It keeps on making money? "Yipee, it makes money"
In short: now that they own it, they don't give a flying fak. They have their main business, they can just push their ideas on how its done, either outcome favors them.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on November 24, 2010, 12:39
actually I think it will take a bit of time before the true effects are really known.  I don't believe that buyers are all leaving in droves at the same time, but I do think that they are slowly but surely looking around at the competition.  What happened with the big agencies (i.e Getty, Corbis) when istock (and other microstock agencies) started popping up was a steady loss of buyers as they began to migrate away to these low-price/high-quality outlets.  Now we see Getty, who we all know has seen a significant drop in customers over the recent years, trying to take over iStock and move their high-price collections there.  Buyers aren't stupid.  they are starting to see the changes and paying attention.  They are starting to look elsewhere for good images at better prices. 

that's how I see it anyway. 

I agree. I don't think it is buyers leaving in droves. I think it is buyers like the one in the link who have discovered that the prices have doubled. And the suggestions from the contributors on the thread is to a) ask Customer Support for a one-time price break or to look for other similar images that may be able to be used. Either way, the buyers' buying habits will need to be changed or they are going to continue to be in a jam and losing money on their projects. Who is going to pay for the time it takes for the OP to go back and try to wade through many more images and try to find something that will work? I am a graphic designer. There is nothing more sucky than to have spent an hour looking for the perfect image, finding it, and then going back and finding that it's now way over budget and can't be used.

Once buyers have to do this a time or two, it will get old, and then I think they will start looking around.

How sad is it that contributors have to be on these threads apologizing for the massive screw-ups of IS/Getty?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on November 24, 2010, 13:33
+1 to Jami and Cathy's posts.  

No, this is not a one time flood of buyers leaving.  It is more of a trickle turning into a stream.  

I know that some exclusives are seeing their royalties go up.  With all the various collections and other price raising schemes, this is not surprising.  But what's significant, IMO, is that pretty much everyone with a mature portfolio has seen their DL numbers plummet, and continue to drop month over month.  

I can't for the life of me understand why more exclusives aren't bothered by this.  I would be freaking out if all my eggs were in that basket.  

Kudos to the exclusives in that thread who are trying to help the buyer find workarounds to get his project done.  But buyers shouldn't have to go to the forums and get workarounds or pep talks from contributors (much less snotty retorts).  

A business is really not SUSTAINABLE if customers can't use it easily and intuitively.  If buyers need a training session on how to avoid getting hosed by higher prices, or confusing search engines, that isn't going to fly for long.  As we are seeing...
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on November 24, 2010, 13:45
I'm sure that there are people at istock who will get a big bonus if they hit their profit targets.  They have worked out that the best way to do that is to increase prices and cut commissions.  It will work in the short term, people will put up with almost anything for a while but I don't see this as a long term winner.  These are still difficult economic times and I think buyers will want to spend less money in the next few years.  Contributors will need more than 20% commission to make it sustainable, the amateurs are already being shut out with higher standards.  I think their plan could be to sell istock before it suffers the same problems Getty has had.  Then we will have to see what the long term plans of the new owners are.  I feel much more comfortable as a non-exclusive but I wish less of my eggs were in microstock.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Allsa on November 24, 2010, 16:08
A lot of buyers are fed up, but many of them still have credits left they have to use up, so I wouldn't be surprised to see iStock's earnings begin to drop sharply after the first of the year. Plus, many contributors are planning on leaving the site at the end of 2010 - which will decrease the size of the selection and make the competing micros that much more appealing. iStock's biggest advantage has been their huge library of exclusive content, which gave them a much better selection than the competition. They will lose that advantage over time, now that so many contributors are dropping exclusivity, and many independents are planning to stop uploading, or have stopped already. Eventually, the only unique thing about the site will be the fact that the prices are higher there than they are on any other micro. And somehow I doubt that distinction will keep the buyers coming. Eventually it has to reach the point where Getty will be undone by their own arrogance, I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: aeonf on November 24, 2010, 16:30
A lot of buyers are fed up, but many of them still have credits left they have to use up, so I wouldn't be surprised to see iStock's earnings begin to drop sharply after the first of the year. Plus, many contributors are planning on leaving the site at the end of 2010 - which will decrease the size of the selection and make the competing micros that much more appealing. iStock's biggest advantage has been their huge library of exclusive content, which gave them a much better selection than the competition. They will lose that advantage over time, now that so many contributors are dropping exclusivity, and many independents are planning to stop uploading, or have stopped already. Eventually, the only unique thing about the site will be the fact that the prices are higher there than they are on any other micro. And somehow I doubt that distinction will keep the buyers coming. Eventually it has to reach the point where Getty will be undone by their own arrogance, I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.

Wishfull thinking again.
quite common here I might add.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on November 24, 2010, 16:59
Kudos to the exclusives in that thread who are trying to help the buyer find workarounds to get his project done.  But buyers shouldn't have to go to the forums and get workarounds or pep talks from contributors (much less snotty retorts).  
Absolutely. But I think the second-last straw to my banning was stating that if someone had to be told how to use a site, the design was a usability failure, and suggesting that the web developers should all have to read Don't Make Me Think, the usability Bible. I actually thought that was helpful and constructive criticism, but it wasn't taken that way!
It scares me that Roger Mexico posted earlier today that there was going to be a new iteration of the site design and there would be screenshots to show how it all worked. That's what happened the last time. We shouldn't need it. F5 introduced a lot of problems without any preceptible benefit - at least I can't think of any, and I asked what the F5 improvements actually were (I think that was probably the third-last straw!).
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Habman on November 24, 2010, 17:08
Probably been said before . . . but if a website has to instruct, show, direct users to "How-to" screenshots, etc . . . that's an epic fail.

[ x ]  all websites should be easy to use
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: anonymous on November 24, 2010, 17:09
A lot of buyers are fed up, but many of them still have credits left they have to use up, so I wouldn't be surprised to see iStock's earnings begin to drop sharply after the first of the year. Plus, many contributors are planning on leaving the site at the end of 2010 - which will decrease the size of the selection and make the competing micros that much more appealing. iStock's biggest advantage has been their huge library of exclusive content, which gave them a much better selection than the competition. They will lose that advantage over time, now that so many contributors are dropping exclusivity, and many independents are planning to stop uploading, or have stopped already. Eventually, the only unique thing about the site will be the fact that the prices are higher there than they are on any other micro. And somehow I doubt that distinction will keep the buyers coming. Eventually it has to reach the point where Getty will be undone by their own arrogance, I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.

Wishfull thinking again.
quite common here I might add.
wishful indeed and I'm doing everything within my power to see to it that it happens...also "quite common here"  ;)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: aeonf on November 24, 2010, 17:13
A lot of buyers are fed up, but many of them still have credits left they have to use up, so I wouldn't be surprised to see iStock's earnings begin to drop sharply after the first of the year. Plus, many contributors are planning on leaving the site at the end of 2010 - which will decrease the size of the selection and make the competing micros that much more appealing. iStock's biggest advantage has been their huge library of exclusive content, which gave them a much better selection than the competition. They will lose that advantage over time, now that so many contributors are dropping exclusivity, and many independents are planning to stop uploading, or have stopped already. Eventually, the only unique thing about the site will be the fact that the prices are higher there than they are on any other micro. And somehow I doubt that distinction will keep the buyers coming. Eventually it has to reach the point where Getty will be undone by their own arrogance, I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.

Wishfull thinking again.
quite common here I might add.
wishful indeed and I'm doing everything within my power to see to it that it happens...also "quite common here"  ;)
Good luck...
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: anonymous on November 24, 2010, 17:23
A lot of buyers are fed up, but many of them still have credits left they have to use up, so I wouldn't be surprised to see iStock's earnings begin to drop sharply after the first of the year. Plus, many contributors are planning on leaving the site at the end of 2010 - which will decrease the size of the selection and make the competing micros that much more appealing. iStock's biggest advantage has been their huge library of exclusive content, which gave them a much better selection than the competition. They will lose that advantage over time, now that so many contributors are dropping exclusivity, and many independents are planning to stop uploading, or have stopped already. Eventually, the only unique thing about the site will be the fact that the prices are higher there than they are on any other micro. And somehow I doubt that distinction will keep the buyers coming. Eventually it has to reach the point where Getty will be undone by their own arrogance, I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.
Wishfull thinking again.
quite common here I might add.
wishful indeed and I'm doing everything within my power to see to it that it happens...also "quite common here"  ;)
Good luck...
appreciated  ;)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Freedom on November 24, 2010, 23:55

I can't for the life of me understand why more exclusives aren't bothered by this.  I would be freaking out if all my eggs were in that basket.  


As I told you in another thread, at least for me, the DLs are not dropping significantly and revenue is improving.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lagereek on November 25, 2010, 02:14
They probably are freakin out but theres little they can do, isnt it?
Speaking as an independant ofcourse, I must say I havent noticed any differance what so ever, not yet anyway, amount of DLs are pretty much the same, at least for the last week. Revenues are only a fraction down but ofcourse this could be the rush before X-mas?

Well, only time will tell, interesting to see what happens after new-year.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: vlad_the_imp on November 25, 2010, 02:25
Quote
I'm doing everything within my power to see to it that it happens.

Ha!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Chico on December 02, 2010, 05:52
Another one...

"I'm ready for you to delete this because I know you don't like criticism, but this site is a complete mess. The search doesn't work properly - every file seems to cost 200 credits.

The front page says credits as low as £0.7 which is gibberish, that isn't how we write 70p in England, it's offensive that you don't do some research and display it correctly.

Let me tell you straight. This site used to be the best bar none, for quality, price and performance. You only have quality left. I've wasted too much time and money hoping it will get better but I can't stand this clunky site any more.

I have 400 credits left. When they have gone, so have I."
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 02, 2010, 05:59
Another one...

"I'm ready for you to delete this because I know you don't like criticism, but this site is a complete mess. The search doesn't work properly - every file seems to cost 200 credits.

The front page says credits as low as £0.7 which is gibberish, that isn't how we write 70p in England, it's offensive that you don't do some research and display it correctly.

Let me tell you straight. This site used to be the best bar none, for quality, price and performance. You only have quality left. I've wasted too much time and money hoping it will get better but I can't stand this clunky site any more.

I have 400 credits left. When they have gone, so have I."
Ha, when I read his post, I thought, "Ah, it was £0.68 the other day" - and when I went to check, it now says $0.95 - without me changing any preferences etc. Ten minutes ago, I went into my one of own lightboxes, and all my file details disappeared and 'files per page' reset at 50 - again. How often have people been asking about this bug in the forums and it's not sorted out yet.
I just can't believe they don't make programmers work on this 24/7 - they introduced the problems, after all. (On the other hand, they were required to make changes, so whose fault really?)
Or just go back preF5. There were 'fewer' problems then.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: loop on December 02, 2010, 06:02
You are really on the watch to past an copy any customer complain at istock. This one have been already posted at least two times. Such and effort and dedication.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: briciola on December 02, 2010, 06:12
You are really on the watch to past an copy any customer complain at istock. This one have been already posted at least two times. Such and effort and dedication.
Maybe people want to let others in the community read the post, knowing that somebody at Istock will likely delete the original?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 02, 2010, 06:12
You are really on the watch to past an copy any customer complain at istock. This one have been already posted at least two times. Such and effort and dedication.
Pity IS doesn't have as much effort and dedication to their buyers.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Chico on December 02, 2010, 07:24
You are really on the watch to past an copy any customer complain at istock. This one have been already posted at least two times. Such and effort and dedication.

Where? Other topic? Original post was created 2 hours ago at IS.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 02, 2010, 07:29
You are really on the watch to past an copy any customer complain at istock. This one have been already posted at least two times. Such and effort and dedication.


Where? Other topic? Original post was created 2 hours ago at IS.

Vlad the imp started a new topic here: http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/another-happy-buyer-at-istock/msg172996/?topicseen#new (http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/another-happy-buyer-at-istock/msg172996/?topicseen#new), maybe not knowing about this thread.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 02, 2010, 07:38
Since I don't read the IS forums that much anymore, I am glad they are getting posted here.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: loop on December 02, 2010, 07:48
You are really on the watch to past an copy any customer complain at istock. This one have been already posted at least two times. Such an effort and dedication.

Where? Other topic? Original post was created 2 hours ago at IS.

Yes, and it was re-posted here twice within minutes (if not seconds).
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Chico on December 02, 2010, 07:49
You are really on the watch to past an copy any customer complain at istock. This one have been already posted at least two times. Such and effort and dedication.


Where? Other topic? Original post was created 2 hours ago at IS.

Vlad the imp started a new topic here: [url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/another-happy-buyer-at-istock/msg172996/?topicseen#new[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/another-happy-buyer-at-istock/msg172996/?topicseen#new[/url]), maybe not knowing about this thread.


Hum, thanks. I use to read only istock section of Microstockgroup forums.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Chico on December 02, 2010, 07:52
You are really on the watch to past an copy any customer complain at istock. This one have been already posted at least two times. Such an effort and dedication.

Where? Other topic? Original post was created 2 hours ago at IS.

Yes, and it was re-posted here twice within minutes (if not seconds).

Understandable, since the moderator deletes this kind of thing in nanoseconds.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on December 02, 2010, 13:44
Here's a contributor saying they are considering shopping elsewhere.

Of course the thread was locked immediately, with a link to the other thread (which also got locked). LOL

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=278702&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=278702&page=1)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 02, 2010, 18:34
I really appreciate people being willing to post comments here at MSG.  

Istock's forums are deadly dull now that so many posts are deleted and so many people banned.  Most of the enthusiastic posts that remain just ring hollow for me now.  

Thanks for posting Chico :)

Here's another one that JoAnn mentioned.  For the sake of clarity and keeping everything accessible in one thread, I'm quoting it here:

From Louddoor:

In September 2009, my biggest gripe about iStock was that there were too many awesome photos. Sensory overload! Life was good.

In November 2010, I am so frustrated with the lolly-gagging and excuse-making regarding the current site "improvements" and changes, that I am honestly considering signing up for an account at another microstock site for THE. FIRST. TIME. EVER.

Fix the search! No more excuses! No one cares about empty statements like "We are getting really close." If you couldn't make the new site work *at least as good* as the old site, then you didn't have any business launching a new site. Waste of time, resources, and your money (which iStock seems to be in dire need of right now.)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on December 02, 2010, 19:04

I can't for the life of me understand why more exclusives aren't bothered by this.  I would be freaking out if all my eggs were in that basket.  


As I told you in another thread, at least for me, the DLs are not dropping significantly and revenue is improving.

same for me, things are good in general...but I suspect that won't be cut and paste across the threads here
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 02, 2010, 19:38

same for me, things are good in general...but I suspect that won't be cut and paste across the threads here

Well, to be fair, this thread is about buyer's experiences, so that's why they are getting cut and pasted here.  

But I am genuinely glad when I hear folks like you, JoAnn, and others are doing well.  I just wish the happiness over there was a bit more widespread.  Like it used to be.  I certainly don't wish ill on any exclusives.   Some of my best friends are exclusives :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 03, 2010, 00:06
Some of my best friends are exclusives :)

Just as some of my best friends are independents :)

Most of the really nasty stuff hasn't happened yet - January will bring the rest of that. I continue to think that those who are soothed by higher prices and Getty as an outlet for Agency/Vetta (at lower royalty percentages even than the reduced ones on IS) aren't thinking through the long term. They'll all end up on 20% - which might be good news for independents if everyone's on 20% by then.

I don't understand why the attitude towards buyers is so inattentive. They don't keep them informed up front and the closest thing to a helping hand is posting that they should Contact Support. I know when I'm not treated well by a business and I have a choice, I vote with my wallet and hope that in time they come to their senses. Doesn't work with banks and cell phone companies as they're all just about equally awful :) Even if a business screws up, if they are attentive, contrite and helpful in trying to put things right, I find that a huge positive (unless they keep on doing it). So if I were just an iStock customer, I might overlook how they're treating contributors, but not how they were treating me. I think there's a ton of room for improvement there.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on December 03, 2010, 04:47
^^^That's why I believe istock will be sold off next year.  They aren't thinking of holding on to their customers for the long term.  They know most people will put up with things for a few months, hoping they will improve.  If they can sell the site by then, it becomes someone else's problem.

The only other explanation I can think of for treating their contributors and buyers so badly is that they have become arrogant, all the good people have left and they are now being run by people that don't understand the importance of good relationships with their suppliers and clients.  If that's true, it's going to be interesting to see how many people move to their rivals.  It does work for some businesses because they are all as bad as each other.  I don't think it will work with misrostock because a lot of people do this to supplement their income or just for fun.  They don't need to put up with it and there are still sites that pay a much higher commission and would be a good alternative for buyers.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lagereek on December 03, 2010, 09:10
Exactly!!!  January will come and sweet NOTHING will happen and frankly I do hope that nothing will come for the reason that this topic/subject is now getting boring and worn and torn.

Everyone is angry and frustrated, I can understand that but theres no need to add fuel to fire, wishing for damnation, destruction, etc, etc. For the most of us, IS is still the major source of Micro income and well?  just dont feel like putting crap on my own doorstep.
Besides this whole beef is with Getty not IS.

best. Christian
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 03, 2010, 10:32
Exactly!!!  January will come and sweet NOTHING will happen and frankly I do hope that nothing will come for the reason that this topic/subject is now getting boring and worn and torn.

Everyone is angry and frustrated, I can understand that but theres no need to add fuel to fire, wishing for damnation, destruction, etc, etc. For the most of us, IS is still the major source of Micro income and well?  just dont feel like putting crap on my own doorstep.
Besides this whole beef is with Getty not IS.

best. Christian

my beef is with iStock, not Getty.  things have already happened.   Exclusives have left, buyers have left.  there's a shift happening it's just difficult to see it right now while it's in progress.  I think the first quarter of next year will see a lot of changes in the microstock industry. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on December 03, 2010, 11:32
how can you split Getty out from iStock? that's seems like a new one. iStock clearly state they're on board and more or less 100% behind Getty decisions. whether that is actually true, or whether iStock admin are held hostage by Getty mandates---same end result. good or bad depending on your perseptive. AFAIK it's somewhere in the middle. Getty have pushed iStock forward, in really positive ways. but there are definitely casualties.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lagereek on December 03, 2010, 12:03
OH! man!  this is so ridiculous! IS,  is owned by Getty and their investment bankers, they can do what . they want with IS and nobody can say a damned thing, they can close it down tomorrow, if they want.
Would you like to be out of a job???  well neither does the IS admin. Contrary its a blessing some of the old crew  still persever, hopefully gunning for us.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lagereek on December 03, 2010, 12:09
Exactly!!!  January will come and sweet NOTHING will happen and frankly I do hope that nothing will come for the reason that this topic/subject is now getting boring and worn and torn.

Everyone is angry and frustrated, I can understand that but theres no need to add fuel to fire, wishing for damnation, destruction, etc, etc. For the most of us, IS is still the major source of Micro income and well?  just dont feel like putting crap on my own doorstep.
Besides this whole beef is with Getty not IS.

best. Christian

my beef is with iStock, not Getty.  things have already happened.   Exclusives have left, buyers have left.  there's a shift happening it's just difficult to see it right now while it's in progress.  I think the first quarter of next year will see a lot of changes in the microstock industry. 

BS!!!  if its so difficult to see,  then how . do you see it??  second-sight or something?  nothing has happend, just minor stuff such as we are a bit short-changed, thats all and that independants are taking a knocking. This is nothing, goes with the territory. This is the business we have chosen, nobody has twisted our arms. Dont like it?  well then just get out of it, simple as that.

best.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 03, 2010, 12:23
I dropped my crown last month.  My comments come from what I see and what I hear from other contributors at istock. I've been there for almost seven years and I've seen a lot of changes in those seven years.  There have always been things going on that people complain about.  In my opinion, this is the most dramatic change I've seen since I've been there.  Friends of mine who are exclusive at diamond level - top contributors and one that (until recently) was an inspector have expressed their concern.  They are being 'cautiously optimistic' at this point. 

that's what I "see" .. I guess it's more of a feeling based on my tenure at iStock. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lagereek on December 03, 2010, 12:30
I dropped my crown last month.  My comments come from what I see and what I hear from other contributors at istock. I've been there for almost seven years and I've seen a lot of changes in those seven years.  There have always been things going on that people complain about.  In my opinion, this is the most dramatic change I've seen since I've been there.  Friends of mine who are exclusive at diamond level - top contributors and one that (until recently) was an inspector have expressed their concern.  They are being 'cautiously optimistic' at this point. 

that's what I "see" .. I guess it's more of a feeling based on my tenure at iStock. 

Fair enough but Ive been with Getty-RM, since 1993, prior with Image-Bank and Stones-Worldwide, since 1986 and now lately Im an IS-Diamond, independant. So yes Ive seen an incredible amount nof changes but I hate to say nit but changes goes with the business.
I personally know several Diamonds, exclusives, etc, some are a bit dissapointed, some couldnt care and some are doing business as usual. Me? well, in spite of all this terror and horror that you proclaim is goiung to hit us, Im doing pretty well actually.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 03, 2010, 13:22
glad you're doing well and thanks for sharing your perspective.

And for the record, if you re-read my post, I didn't proclaim any terror and horror.  I only said there are changes happening.  :) 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 03, 2010, 13:58
Jami, I agree with you, FWIW.  The changes happening at Istock are going to reap long term consequences.  Some of them are evident in the increased buyer complaints, and the vastly increased number of contributor gripes.  But that growing unhappiness among the IS members (of both types) has the potential to slowly erode its #1 status among the micros.  

It's not going to happen overnight, and thank goodness for that.  Although Istock has dropped from 40% to 34% of my income over the course of the last couple of months (a drop unprecedented in 6 years), they are still my primary income source.  I am not rooting for them to fail.  Let me repeat that, because it doesn't seem to have been clear - I am not rooting for Istock to fail!  

If they straighten out the site problems, and manage to retain their buyers; if sales pick back up and the site is succeeding; I will be pleased as punch.  And financially well off too.  So I'm rooting for them, but like any friend, I am going to tell them when there's spinach in their teeth.  
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on December 03, 2010, 14:07
Lisa - I believe you're not rooting for iStock to fail. but I think you're a minority. I think a lot of contributors would like to see iStock fail out of spite, as well as seeing iStock exclusives fail in order to say I Told You So, or to feed some other insecurity-motivated complex. The reality is, if we magnify it to the worst case scenario and iStock fails tomorrow. then what? the next agencies follow suit, because another Agency will then be the iStock-villain and become the new agency to hate. iStock's failure would actually be a very dangerous signal to the remainder of the industry.

I think lagereek says it best when he says that the doom and gloom terror-speak is largely not commented on by many higher-level contributors because they simply know it's the nature of the business and they're disinterested and too busy producing and managing their business to comment.

I think iStock is handling buyers's concerns. of course they are, but certainly not in public forums. to be honest, I think the last few outcry campaigns have really handicapped us as contributors. the same contributors cried wolf and now the voice of the community is somewhat muted. that's not cheerleading, that's common sense.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: molka on December 03, 2010, 14:19
there will always be argumentless people  who's last refuge is saying others have complexes : ) what happens if istock falls? nothin'. after a while, other places get somewhat more dl's. the content is so generic it makes no differene whatsoever.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Freedom on December 03, 2010, 14:29
Lisa, I am sure you are not rooting for ISTOCK to fall. However, is it possible that your decreased sales are due to your "Buyers Bailing on Istock"?

My memory could have failed me, did you asked all designers you know and your friends know to buy your images from other sites, and not from ISTOCK in this thread?   
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: loop on December 03, 2010, 14:35
Lisa, I am sure you are not rooting for ISTOCK to fall. However, is it possible that your decreased sales are due to your "Buyers Bailing on Istock"?

My memory could have failed me, did you asked all designers you know and your friends know to buy your images from other sites, and not from ISTOCK in this thread?  

And she also said she was stopping uploading, so maybe she's selling this bit less because of that.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: pancaketom on December 03, 2010, 14:44
Well, I doubt IS is going to fail, and certainly not right away, but I sure hope they fail to meet their unsustainable goals by shafting contributors and I think most non-exclusives would love to see the buyers go somewhere that they get a higher percentage. I'd much rather get $7.50  from a $15 sale than $3.50 from a $20 sale at IS. It would be even nicer if IS and Getty came up with a model where the photographers got more than 20% and they continued to push prices gradually upwards and all thrived. It just doesn't appear that they have any interest in that and unless something changes (like a sale of the company), I don't think they ever will.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 03, 2010, 15:08
Lisa, I am sure you are not rooting for ISTOCK to fall. However, is it possible that your decreased sales are due to your "Buyers Bailing on Istock"?

My memory could have failed me, did you asked all designers you know and your friends know to buy your images from other sites, and not from ISTOCK in this thread?   

That is an excellent point.  It is quite possible that may have had an effect,  but I sort of doubt my influence is as far-reaching as I would like :)

However, reading the monthly threads on Istock the last couple of months, it seems quite a few have seen download numbers drop, not just me.  The difference is that, for exclusives, the drops in downloads have been compensated by higher prices, Vetta, Agency, etc.  For independents the lower download numbers are accompanied by equally lowered royalties. 

Feel free to use me as an example if it's helpful, but from the anecdotal evidence in the monthly stats threads, my experience is by no means unique. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 03, 2010, 15:46
Jami, I agree with you, FWIW.  The changes happening at Istock are going to reap long term consequences.  Some of them are evident in the increased buyer complaints, and the vastly increased number of contributor gripes.  But that growing unhappiness among the IS members (of both types) has the potential to slowly erode its #1 status among the micros.  

It's not going to happen overnight, and thank goodness for that.  Although Istock has dropped from 40% to 34% of my income over the course of the last couple of months (a drop unprecedented in 6 years), they are still my primary income source.  I am not rooting for them to fail.  Let me repeat that, because it doesn't seem to have been clear - I am not rooting for Istock to fail!  

If they straighten out the site problems, and manage to retain their buyers; if sales pick back up and the site is succeeding; I will be pleased as punch.  And financially well off too.  So I'm rooting for them, but like any friend, I am going to tell them when there's spinach in their teeth.  

I totally agree.  I am also NOT rooting for iStock to fail at all.  And no, I don't even think that for spite.  I'm sad and disappointed for my personal perspective but it's not my nature to wish ill-will.  I've made changes to my personal photography business based on my personal position at iStock with regard to the changes.  I have not stopped uploading there nor do I plan to.  I have an established portfolio there and very much want for it to continue to succeed.  In the meantime I'm also branching out now to other avenues for my work.  I want buyers to find my work where they feel most comfortable shopping. 

I also believe that there is a lot of strong feelings on both sides here and emotions are still very high and will probably continue to be until the new policies take effect at iStock and contributors/buyers see how it will effect them personally. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on December 03, 2010, 15:49
Lisa - I believe you're not rooting for iStock to fail. but I think you're a minority. I think a lot of contributors would like to see iStock fail out of spite, as well as seeing iStock exclusives fail in order to say I Told You So, or to feed some other insecurity-motivated complex.
Definitely not out of spite for IS or exclusives. Like most of us, I just want to get the most for my hard work. With upload restrictions, harder reviews and lower royalties, I'm not sure the place to get the most out of my work is IS. I don't think it is DT, FT or SS either, so it isn't all picking on IS. IS is just the poster child now for poor industry practices. I'm not sure if others feel that way, but that's my perspective.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 03, 2010, 16:19
Lisa - I believe you're not rooting for iStock to fail. but I think you're a minority. I think a lot of contributors would like to see iStock fail out of spite, as well as seeing iStock exclusives fail in order to say I Told You So, or to feed some other insecurity-motivated complex.
Definitely not out of spite for IS or exclusives. Like most of us, I just want to get the most for my hard work. With upload restrictions, harder reviews and lower royalties, I'm not sure the place to get the most out of my work is IS. I don't think it is DT, FT or SS either, so it isn't all picking on IS. IS is just the poster child now for poor industry practices. I'm not sure if others feel that way, but that's my perspective.

What I would really like IS to do is to get their act together and get a decent website working so buyers can easily find images and buy. I would really like to see my commissions rising proportionately with the increase in cost of images. I would really like to see independents treated as respectfully as the exclusives are. After all, Getty/IS DOES make money off of independent's files too. But I don't see any of that happening...in fact, I see the opposite happening. For months now!

I don't really care one way or another whether Getty/IS succeeds or fails. It has been made clear to me that my files are no longer of value and that I deserve a cut in pay, in fact. When that happens, I look elsewhere to make up the loss and that's exactly what I and many others are doing.

P.S. Yes lisafx did start the thread. She isn't making the stuff up, she is just reporting it. So don't shoot the messenger. If you believe in Getty/IS and you want to back them, no matter what they throw at you, that's your decision. But you shouldn't fault others for taking a different stand. This is America, remember? We get to choose what we do with our own lives. Nobody gets to bully us into doing anything. And when I say you, I am not speaking to anyone in particular. If the shoe fits...
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lagereek on December 03, 2010, 17:28
Lisa - I believe you're not rooting for iStock to fail. but I think you're a minority. I think a lot of contributors would like to see iStock fail out of spite, as well as seeing iStock exclusives fail in order to say I Told You So, or to feed some other insecurity-motivated complex. The reality is, if we magnify it to the worst case scenario and iStock fails tomorrow. then what? the next agencies follow suit, because another Agency will then be the iStock-villain and become the new agency to hate. iStock's failure would actually be a very dangerous signal to the remainder of the industry.

I think lagereek says it best when he says that the doom and gloom terror-speak is largely not commented on by many higher-level contributors because they simply know it's the nature of the business and they're disinterested and too busy producing and managing their business to comment.

I think iStock is handling buyers's concerns. of course they are, but certainly not in public forums. to be honest, I think the last few outcry campaigns have really handicapped us as contributors. the same contributors cried wolf and now the voice of the community is somewhat muted. that's not cheerleading, that's common sense.

Quite right!  theres been takeovers, piracy, cheatings, god knows for the past 30 years in the stock-business and this is by far the least serious of them all. Like Lisa says, ofcourse theres gonna be repercussions and they will last for about six months and then all forgotten.
As long as an agency will exist: thats good news but when its killed off on purpose like SX, thats bad news, and for most of us.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on December 03, 2010, 18:51
Like Lisa says, ofcourse theres gonna be repercussions and they will last for about six months and then all forgotten.
As long as an agency will exist: thats good news but when its killed off on purpose like SX, thats bad news, and for most of us.

I guess? I have no plans to upload anymore there, so I have to assume that has at least some lasting effect. Someone can always replace me, but I'm not the only person not uploading. How many new contributors does it take to replace one productive veteran contributor? How many will need to be replaced? Will their files go elsewhere? How many files will get deleted? How many exclusives will leave? I highly doubt IS will close or be killed off by this, but it would be nice for them and every other agency to get a little bit of a wake up call. You know that theory that businesses are built by people and not just a bunch of numbers and percentage points.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on December 03, 2010, 19:15
Lisa - I believe you're not rooting for iStock to fail. but I think you're a minority. I think a lot of contributors would like to see iStock fail out of spite, as well as seeing iStock exclusives fail in order to say I Told You So, or to feed some other insecurity-motivated complex.
Definitely not out of spite for IS or exclusives. Like most of us, I just want to get the most for my hard work. With upload restrictions, harder reviews and lower royalties, I'm not sure the place to get the most out of my work is IS. I don't think it is DT, FT or SS either, so it isn't all picking on IS. IS is just the poster child now for poor industry practices. I'm not sure if others feel that way, but that's my perspective.

What I would really like IS to do is to get their act together and get a decent website working so buyers can easily find images and buy. I would really like to see my commissions rising proportionately with the increase in cost of images. I would really like to see independents treated as respectfully as the exclusives are. After all, Getty/IS DOES make money off of independent's files too. But I don't see any of that happening...in fact, I see the opposite happening. For months now!

I don't really care one way or another whether Getty/IS succeeds or fails. It has been made clear to me that my files are no longer of value and that I deserve a cut in pay, in fact. When that happens, I look elsewhere to make up the loss and that's exactly what I and many others are doing.

P.S. Yes lisafx did start the thread. She isn't making the stuff up, she is just reporting it. So don't shoot the messenger. If you believe in Getty/IS and you want to back them, no matter what they throw at you, that's your decision. But you shouldn't fault others for taking a different stand. This is America, remember? We get to choose what we do with our own lives. Nobody gets to bully us into doing anything. And when I say you, I am not speaking to anyone in particular. If the shoe fits...

   Proving once again that Cathy has the best take on the whole thing. I totally agree. I don't care in the least who sends me the check, I just want to know how much it's for...
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 03, 2010, 19:48

What I would really like IS to do is to get their act together and get a decent website working so buyers can easily find images and buy. I would really like to see my commissions rising proportionately with the increase in cost of images. I would really like to see independents treated as respectfully as the exclusives are.

^^ Well said, Cathy.  This sums up my feelings too.  I would even be willing to cut them some slack on the treating independents as well as exclusives thing.  I'd be satisfied if they just treated independents as well as we are treated on the other Big 4 sites. 

I am probably wildly naive, but I keep hoping that Getty - or perhaps some new owners in the near future - will return the site to what it was just a year ago, when everyone was doing pretty well there, and the only gripes most of us had were small ones.  Probably that isn't realistic, but still would be nice.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on December 03, 2010, 21:08
I am rooting for iStock to fail.  :D

Sorry, I just can't stand their arrogance.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: djpadavona on December 03, 2010, 23:40

What I would really like IS to do is to get their act together and get a decent website working so buyers can easily find images and buy. I would really like to see my commissions rising proportionately with the increase in cost of images. I would really like to see independents treated as respectfully as the exclusives are.

^^ Well said, Cathy.  This sums up my feelings too.  I would even be willing to cut them some slack on the treating independents as well as exclusives thing.  I'd be satisfied if they just treated independents as well as we are treated on the other Big 4 sites. 

If I felt exclusives were being treated respectfully at iStock I would still be exclusive there.  We as independents have a right to feel mistreated by the commission structure.  But I felt things were much worse when I was exclusive.  First, they were going to lower my commission percentage by 18% after I had gone exclusive with them.  Then they brought in outside competition from the Agency Collection and gave them preferential search position ahead of exclusives.  On top of that, iStock messed up several key site features including search.  And they announced that they had the right to "move the targets" on the commission percentages without warning.

So how would you like to have all of your eggs in that basket?  Exclusives are taking far more risk than any of us.  For the few who end up profiting from the changes - more power to you and congratulations.

I'm insulated as an independent.  At the end of the day Shutterstock, Fotolia and Dreamstime keep bringing in the sales.  So if iStock collapses or lowers commissions even more it won't affect me that much.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lagereek on December 04, 2010, 02:25
Back in early 90s and in the Getty-RM, we were all on a 50/50 basis,  few years later we were on a 60/40 basis and a few years later on a 70/30 basis, in gettys favour ofcourse and blah, blah.
revenues from RM, in them days were a lot bigger then today, much, much more, so a cut down to 30%, hell that could mean thousands of dollars, which it did.
There was some serious holloring and shouting, this and that, pretty much same as now but with one big differance. It was business, not personal!

I do feel that some here are taking this very, very personal, as if this change is directed ONLY to them and its turning into a habbit to use a magnifying glass just to find the slightest, most microscopical fault and then enlarge it to a billboard poster.
Me?  Im far from happy with this new deal and I agree, the site needs fixing in just about everything and Im pretty sure that will come, once this has blown over.
IS, can survive without their independants, thats for sure but thats it,  just survive!  IS, is still today barely the only company within the Getty-sphere that consistantly shows a profit and I dont think they want to venture that by throwing out lots of independants, considering there are hundereds of independants with the higher rankings supplying.

Im not taking anybodys side in this, not sticking up for anybody but I think we should steady-on untill we really know whats going to happen.

best.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on December 04, 2010, 04:03
^^^Was there a forum like this when Getty were making the commission cuts?  It always looks worse on a forum, people don't feel the need to be polite.

And I'm not surprised the reaction to the Getty cuts would be more business like because I presume most of their contributors were professionals that relied a lot on Getty for their income.  It isn't the same with istock, a lot of people can leave them and still pay their mortgage.

And after seeing how Getty acquired a lot of their rival sites and then cut commissions, I'm not surprised there's a big negative reaction when they try to do the same with microstock.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 04, 2010, 09:23
snip
f I felt exclusives were being treated respectfully at iStock I would still be exclusive there.  We as independents have a right to feel mistreated by the commission structure.  But I felt things were much worse when I was exclusive.  First, they were going to lower my commission percentage by 18% after I had gone exclusive with them.  Then they brought in outside competition from the Agency Collection and gave them preferential search position ahead of exclusives.  On top of that, iStock messed up several key site features including search.  And they announced that they had the right to "move the targets" on the commission percentages without warning.

Excellent point, Dan. A whole lot changed a couple of months ago.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 04, 2010, 12:14
Back in early 90s and in the Getty-RM, we were all on a 50/50 basis,  few years later we were on a 60/40 basis and a few years later on a 70/30 basis, in gettys favour ofcourse and blah, blah.
revenues from RM, in them days were a lot bigger then today, much, much more, so a cut down to 30%, hell that could mean thousands of dollars, which it did.
There was some serious holloring and shouting, this and that, pretty much same as now but with one big differance. It was business, not personal!

I do feel that some here are taking this very, very personal, as if this change is directed ONLY to them and its turning into a habit to use a magnifying glass just to find the slightest, most microscopical fault and then enlarge it to a billboard poster.

Christian, I think most of us lack the decades of experience that you have in stock.  For many of us, this is the first time we have experienced Getty's business practices firsthand.  It's extremely upsetting. 

Even having heard about Getty's pasts behavior, it came as a surprise that they would cut commissions at Istock.  The amounts of money involved in individual microstock sales are so small, relative to the amounts in Getty's trad business, it seemed there was nowhere to cut!  To cut 5-20% from someone who is already getting paid the lowest rates in the industry (pennies on the dollar) seems shockingly greedy, even for a company that already has a reputation for greed. 

I completely agree with you that this is, bottom line, a business decision.  But considering that Istock has always billed itself as a "community" first, and a majority of their contributor base are hobbyists who joined for the community and fun of it, the hurt feelings and anger are understandable.  Only a tiny minority of microstock contributors are doing it FT as a business.  For most this feels like, not only an insulting business decision, but also a personal betrayal. 

Personally, I am somewhat in the middle.  I appreciate your willingness to share your years of experience.  In many ways you even predicted developments similar to these long ago, so perhaps you are able to take them in stride.  I hope one day to match your objectivity, but for the moment, I am still pretty royally pi$$ed ;)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lagereek on December 04, 2010, 12:48
Hi Lisa!  how goes?

I know exactly what you mean and it is upsetting. Their decision came as a shock for me as well ( not surprised though) I never thought they would go as far with IS, as they did.
What I mean is: now supposing there are in fact a lot of buyers leaving and all hell has broken loose, things which we dont know about, things that can make Getty come to a compromize or whatever??  perhaps we should relax a bit, wait and see what will REALLY happen after new-year. I mean there are so many here who are just guessing, they dont know, cant know but just guessing. Its a danger to listen too much to all this.

I dont believe this has got anything at all to do with IS, exclusives, independants or whatever. Getty needs more money, thats all, its as simple as that, more dosh and IS, being successfull, well, it was an easy prey.

all the best Lisa.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 04, 2010, 13:22

I dont believe this has got anything at all to do with IS, exclusives, independants or whatever. Getty needs more money, thats all, its as simple as that, more dosh and IS, being successfull, well, it was an easy prey.


I'm sure you are right - Getty needs money and Istock was ripe for harvesting.  Will definitely be interesting to see how this plays out over the next 6 months....
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on December 04, 2010, 13:32
Back in early 90s and in the Getty-RM, we were all on a 50/50 basis,  few years later we were on a 60/40 basis and a few years later on a 70/30 basis, in gettys favour ofcourse and blah, blah.
revenues from RM, in them days were a lot bigger then today, much, much more, so a cut down to 30%, hell that could mean thousands of dollars, which it did.
There was some serious holloring and shouting, this and that, pretty much same as now but with one big differance. It was business, not personal!

I do feel that some here are taking this very, very personal, as if this change is directed ONLY to them and its turning into a habbit to use a magnifying glass just to find the slightest, most microscopical fault and then enlarge it to a billboard poster.
Me?  Im far from happy with this new deal and I agree, the site needs fixing in just about everything and Im pretty sure that will come, once this has blown over.
IS, can survive without their independants, thats for sure but thats it,  just survive!  IS, is still today barely the only company within the Getty-sphere that consistantly shows a profit and I dont think they want to venture that by throwing out lots of independants, considering there are hundereds of independants with the higher rankings supplying.

Im not taking anybodys side in this, not sticking up for anybody but I think we should steady-on untill we really know whats going to happen.

best.

     I agree with you that it's not personal. Part of the issue with microstock is that it came from without. As you know, it was hard to get into the big agencies back then and the costs of production were much higher. I used to make 4x5 dupes of my images to send out for approval via fedex, so i expected a big payday when a sale was made. The digital revolution turned that all over. Even though Getty was ,as I recall, the first to sell on a website, the abilty to send out CD's instead of film changed a lot of business models. Photodisc killed my market, and eventually a great deal of RM as well. When getty was publicly owned, they were constantly being second guessed by the analysts about the trend of low priced competition. They didn't have an answer, which is why they were taken private at such a low ( compared to previous sales numbers) price. I don't think getty has any idea how to change this, because I don't think there is an answer. It's like a Western Union telegram. There was a time when you had to pay a lot of money to send a message quickly to the other side of the world. Now it's free. Western Union tried for years to salvage a business model out the past, and still has the money transfer business, but even that is being killed by paypal. So what's going to happen? I don't know. All I know is that you look for the best oppourtunity and try to make the most of it. Which is why I'm here.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 04, 2010, 15:54
It seems somewhere I read that Hellman & Friedman, a private investment firm who bought Getty in 2008, usually sales their business within 3 years. I can't find the article now, maybe someone else knows.

Edit:...if you notice the timing is just right...2011
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on December 04, 2010, 16:22
there are a few articles that say that about H&F. that's really their whole shtick I believe. from everything I read, their purpose is to add value to a company, build its profit margin/future potential and sell it off intact. I forget which other companies they VCed but I think there were some big ones. I want to say Google, but that doesn't seem right. maybe they sold something TO Google. who knows, can't remember. it wouldn't surprise me to see Getty sold. hopefully intact and iStock intact as well.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: RT on December 04, 2010, 17:58
Getty needs wants more money, thats all, its as simple as that, more dosh and IS, being successfull, well, it was an easy prey.

That's my take on it.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on December 04, 2010, 18:35
Hi DonDing,

 I read the article from Jonathan Klein saying the company would be looking build up the value to sell in 3-5 years once they were purchased by Hellman & Friedman, they were planning on "for lack of a better term" spinning it. Stock dropped from 90 to 24 in one year more or less and they bought it up to keep their information under wraps and not have to have to answer to stock holders. What is going on inside the machine is so hard to say these days and I think that is the way they want it to stay. I've been looking for the old article on Google but still haven't found it. I'll keep looking.

Best,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 04, 2010, 18:57
Hi DonDing,

 I read the article from Jonathan Klein saying the company would be looking build up the value to sell in 3-5 years once they were purchased by Hellman & Friedman, they were planning on "for lack of a better term" spinning it. Stock dropped from 90 to 24 in one year more or less and they bought it up to keep their information under wraps and not have to have to answer to stock holders. What is going on inside the machine is so hard to say these days and I think that is the way they want it to stay. I've been looking for the old article on Google but still haven't found it. I'll keep looking.

Best,
Jonathan

I was trying to find it and couldn't, but what you said is what I remember. There is no way to tell what is going on since they are a private investment company, but personally the way things are going at iStock....I think they are getting ready for a big sale.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 04, 2010, 18:59
there are a few articles that say that about H&F. that's really their whole shtick I believe. from everything I read, their purpose is to add value to a company, build its profit margin/future potential and sell it off intact. I forget which other companies they VCed but I think there were some big ones. I want to say Google, but that doesn't seem right. maybe they sold something TO Google. who knows, can't remember. it wouldn't surprise me to see Getty sold. hopefully intact and iStock intact as well.

They sold the portfolio company DoubleClick to Google for $3.1 billion in, I believe it was 2007.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on December 04, 2010, 19:09
thank you - that was it.....I couldn't remember the details
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on December 04, 2010, 19:12
Bottom paragraph of this article;

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article6877227.ece (http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article6877227.ece)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 04, 2010, 19:14
Bottom paragraph of this article;

[url]http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article6877227.ece[/url] ([url]http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article6877227.ece[/url])


Thanks gostwyck...that was it.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on December 04, 2010, 20:43
Hi DonDing,

 I read the article from Jonathan Klein saying the company would be looking build up the value to sell in 3-5 years once they were purchased by Hellman & Friedman, they were planning on "for lack of a better term" spinning it. Stock dropped from 90 to 24 in one year more or less and they bought it up to keep their information under wraps and not have to have to answer to stock holders. What is going on inside the machine is so hard to say these days and I think that is the way they want it to stay. I've been looking for the old article on Google but still haven't found it. I'll keep looking.

Best,
Jonathan

  I was a shareholder with Getty until about 6 months before they got taken out. The stock was climbing like mad until the last year before the buyout, but they started getting a lot of questions in the conference calls about RF taking away the RM share. At that time, Getty was trying to up the price of RF and got no where with that strategy. They came in with a couple of bad quarters and the stock fell through the floor. All this time, they kept saying that RF wouldn't hurt RM. Microstock wasn't an issue at that time, it was just declining revenue from RM. They didn't have an answer, so they just stopped taking questions. Most private equity firms try to turn a company in 3-5 years, after putting in new management and improving operations. That's the spin they will put on it for the roadshow- how they are positioned for growth with a profitable microstock model in a dominant position in the market. It's been off the analyst radar for so long they will only be able to judge the growth from getty's numbers. Anyone with an insight into the microstock business can see that Getty is sacrificing the future for the present jump in earnings, but no one on the street is going to say that, because Getty will sue them. ( it's happened to more than one analyst recently). The bottom line is that the present owners will cash out, and the new owners will wonder what happened in a few years. H&F knows they have to dump this company because it's a declining asset. It's just a question of waiting for the IPO market to heat up.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 04, 2010, 21:20
Hi DonDing,

 I read the article from Jonathan Klein saying the company would be looking build up the value to sell in 3-5 years once they were purchased by Hellman & Friedman, they were planning on "for lack of a better term" spinning it. Stock dropped from 90 to 24 in one year more or less and they bought it up to keep their information under wraps and not have to have to answer to stock holders. What is going on inside the machine is so hard to say these days and I think that is the way they want it to stay. I've been looking for the old article on Google but still haven't found it. I'll keep looking.

Best,
Jonathan

  I was a shareholder with Getty until about 6 months before they got taken out. The stock was climbing like mad until the last year before the buyout, but they started getting a lot of questions in the conference calls about RF taking away the RM share. At that time, Getty was trying to up the price of RF and got no where with that strategy. They came in with a couple of bad quarters and the stock fell through the floor. All this time, they kept saying that RF wouldn't hurt RM. Microstock wasn't an issue at that time, it was just declining revenue from RM. They didn't have an answer, so they just stopped taking questions. Most private equity firms try to turn a company in 3-5 years, after putting in new management and improving operations. That's the spin they will put on it for the roadshow- how they are positioned for growth with a profitable microstock model in a dominant position in the market. It's been off the analyst radar for so long they will only be able to judge the growth from getty's numbers. Anyone with an insight into the microstock business can see that Getty is sacrificing the future for the present jump in earnings, but no one on the street is going to say that, because Getty will sue them. ( it's happened to more than one analyst recently). The bottom line is that the present owners will cash out, and the new owners will wonder what happened in a few years. H&F knows they have to dump this company because it's a declining asset. It's just a question of waiting for the IPO market to heat up.

IMO I think they are getting ready to sell and since all the uproar over the rising prices and contributor cuts I really wonder how that will effect it. If I was investing, I would really pay attention to what is being said around the net cause it sure sounds like they are fluffing the pillows so they look fuller and as a buyer I'd be very cautious.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on December 04, 2010, 21:34
I'd think more importance will be placed on the bottom line. I doubt they'll be primarily concerned with forum banter. as much as some people would like to believe this is all over the net, it's not. as for Getty being a declining asset, I don't know if I buy that. they certainly were a declining asset. the point was to turn that around with the acquisition by H&F and going private. but, I guess we'll see as soon as they're sold. I think it's just a matter of when, not if, they're sold. I hope it's an innocuous transition at the contributor level.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on December 05, 2010, 01:31
IMO I think they are getting ready to sell

I'd agree. Which is probably where the "unsustainable" stuff ties in.

What buyer would want a company whose business model shows a declining profit margin year over year? Probably none at a premium price. So they adjusted some things to make the company more attractive.

Oddly, I haven't heard about any major changes to Gettyimages.com.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lagereek on December 05, 2010, 02:42
When good old Mark-Getty ( belonging to one of the richest families in the world)  was the owner of Getty in early 90s,  OH! man, there was lots of complaints, etc but one thing is for sure, he was a damned sight much better for contributors/clients, etc, then the present crew.

Now if there is a sell-out on the horizon, lets hope it goes back to being a creative buyer rather then these Mamon worshipping bankers crap.

RT! not too sure about wanting, and I teel you why:  I personally know some of the most prolific photographers within the main-core of their RM, Im talking about pretty big names here, guys that used to rake in really serious revenues and today, they are not doing well, down with 50%.
Further more, their handling of IS, indicates desperation, its a desperate act, indicating the need to quickly show a better balance-page.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on December 05, 2010, 04:05
Any thoughts on who would buy Getty/Istock?  I presume Corbis wouldn't be allowed to for competition reasons?  I think they would already own Getty if they thought they could buy them.

Perhaps with the poor economic situation, they could buy Getty and split it up, selling off some parts.

Who else is there?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lagereek on December 05, 2010, 04:41
Any thoughts on who would buy Getty/Istock?  I presume Corbis wouldn't be allowed to for competition reasons?  I think they would already own Getty if they thought they could buy them.

Perhaps with the poor economic situation, they could buy Getty and split it up, selling off some parts.

Who else is there?

Corbis certainly have the money. Probably not a smart move but they would have world dominance thats for sure. Another brillant buyer would be old Steve-Jobs, imagine, what a set up, Apple-mac and IS/Getty.

In any event, doesnt have to be a big buyer, a small business would certainly get banks behind them for this type of purchase. Im actually thinking about it myself.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: molka on December 05, 2010, 06:33


  I was a shareholder with Getty until about 6 months before they got taken out. The stock was climbing like mad until the last year before the buyout, but they started getting a lot of questions in the conference calls about RF taking away the RM share. At that time, Getty was trying to up the price of RF and got no where with that strategy. They came in with a couple of bad quarters and the stock fell through the floor. All this time, they kept saying that RF wouldn't hurt RM. Microstock wasn't an issue at that time, it was just declining revenue from RM. They didn't have an answer, so they just stopped taking questions. Most private equity firms try to turn a company in 3-5 years, after putting in new management and improving operations. That's the spin they will put on it for the roadshow- how they are positioned for growth with a profitable microstock model in a dominant position in the market. It's been off the analyst radar for so long they will only be able to judge the growth from getty's numbers. Anyone with an insight into the microstock business can see that Getty is sacrificing the future for the present jump in earnings, but no one on the street is going to say that, because Getty will sue them. ( it's happened to more than one analyst recently). The bottom line is that the present owners will cash out, and the new owners will wonder what happened in a few years. H&F knows they have to dump this company because it's a declining asset. It's just a question of waiting for the IPO market to heat up.

nice post. whether intentionally or not, it sums up and adresses number of things that I think are important.

 "All this time, they kept saying that RF wouldn't hurt RM." <->  "Microstock wasn't an issue at that time" <-> "just declining revenue from RM"

sure, there's no connection whatsoever. That's logical.

"sacrificing the future for the present jump in earnings"

That sums up micorstock. The "present jump" is exceptionally deceptive (if someone isn't very bright I guess) there becouse for most ppl getting involved it's an amazing jump: a jump from 0... or a jump from 'not even dreaming' that they could make money with their images. it's a bit amusing how those guys after being involved in it for a few years are complaining about dilution of sales value when they see trends like collages sold as one image... which is just a sub-scale repetition of what they started doing originally.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on December 05, 2010, 07:49
Any thoughts on who would buy Getty/Istock?  I presume Corbis wouldn't be allowed to for competition reasons?  I think they would already own Getty if they thought they could buy them.

Perhaps with the poor economic situation, they could buy Getty and split it up, selling off some parts.

Who else is there?

   I don't think there will be a private sale. The likely players don't have the cash or available financing to pull it off. I think they will do an IPO- that is, a stock sale to the public. They will get a big investment firm, i.e. Goldman Sachs, to sell it. The Investment firm will be able to show off the incredible growth of the microstock model and Istock in particular. The raw numbers will back it up. All the things we complain about- taking 80% of revenue, etc, will be viewed as a selling point by the investment bankers. Tech companies have been leading the rally lately, and anything looking like a "social media" or "cloud based" company will look like the future. Google just offered $6bn for Groupon and got turned down! There have been bidding wars for esoteric cloud based companies recently, which points to a building market for IPO's. When they sell this, they will be selling Istock for the most part, with it's revenue growth numbers, it's commanding share of the market and it's low cost of goods sold. And to be honest, it's a compelling story. It will work, because the latest moves will boost the bottom line, and the buyers will infer that it is due to the improving economy. They will not be able to put together the back story because, after all, that's just professional photographers whining about how the world has changed. Do you think investors care? When the time comes to market this company, that "unsustainable thread" will be long gone, and Lobo will be playing "whack a mole" with every negative thread, leaving only the muffin tossers to make everything look peachy. Buy it on the open, sell it before the first quarterly results!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on December 05, 2010, 08:51
I don't think there will be a private sale. The likely players don't have the cash or available financing to pull it off. I think they will do an IPO- that is, a stock sale to the public. They will get a big investment firm, i.e. Goldman Sachs, to sell it. The Investment firm will be able to show off the incredible growth of the microstock model and Istock in particular. The raw numbers will back it up. All the things we complain about- taking 80% of revenue, etc, will be viewed as a selling point by the investment bankers.
I doubt it very much. Getty & Istockphoto are now so intertwined that they cannot possibly be separated. They'd be in direct competition with each other so how could you place a value on their future earnings as individual entities? Impossible.

Istock on it's own might be worth about $1B today but H&F paid $2.4B for Getty as a whole. At the time they paid a 37% premium above the actual market value of Getty (i.e. the share price). I'm really not sure they could get their money back if they tried to sell today. An IPO would normally require them to retain a significant chunk (up to 49%) of the company anyway for the confidence of investors. Investors aren't going to flood in if it looks like H&F are tryng to run away from Getty.

I think H&F might already be regretting the day they bought Getty. It could prove difficult to shift especially in today's more cautious market. They biggest problem I see is ... who's going to buy it and why?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lagereek on December 05, 2010, 09:01
Plus the fact that all creative services, including all Ad-agencies, etc are right now lowest in demand for investors, on a global scale.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on December 05, 2010, 09:02
Plus the fact that all creative services, including all Ad-agencies, etc are right now lowest in demand for investors, on a global scale.

Exactly.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on December 05, 2010, 09:50
 @ Gostwyk-  When i said they would be selling Istock, I meant that's the "hook" to the story. The entire enterprise will be sold. The investment bankers will focus on the Istock part of the business as where the future growth will come from. the rest of the company will be looked upon as an extra cash generating part of the company ( not profits, but cash flow). They will calculate the numbers in such a way as to give the investor the impression that they are paying for Istock's growth prospects and the rest of the company is more or less free. This is how investment bankers sell a product. And I don't doubt that H&F regrets buying Getty. But right now, they have to get as much out of this as they can, and the only likely buyer is the public. They overpaid, but that was then and this is now.

@ lagereek- I don't think this will be an ad agency story as much as a "crowdsourcing, cloud based, social media" story. I'm not saying it makes sense in reality, but that doesn't stop an IPO when investors are looking for return.

I've done shots for prospectuses, annual reprts and IPO's all my life, and I've seen how these guys work. The broker just needs a one paragraph "story" to lay out to his client. The chance to get in on a growing "new media" company always brings in the cash. Where else will you put your money- in T-bills at 0.78 percent? Anyway, just my opinion, but I don't see any other way forward for these guys. They are kind of out of choices with an asset whose value will diminish over time. They didn't see microstock coming, but they see it now.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lagereek on December 05, 2010, 10:16
Yeah I know what you mean. Ofcourse, this is all speculation, they might not wanna sell the damned thing at all. I suppose Getty still is a name in its own right but I tell you, it will take some awful clever doing selling this thing.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on December 05, 2010, 10:30
Yeah I know what you mean. Ofcourse, this is all speculation, they might not wanna sell the damned thing at all. I suppose Getty still is a name in its own right but I tell you, it will take some awful clever doing selling this thing.

I totally agree.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on December 05, 2010, 12:15
Funny thing is when H&F paid $2.5B for Getty they'd have been hoping to flog it on around now for about a 50% profit. I don't thing anyone's going to hand over $3.6B for Getty any time soon.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on December 05, 2010, 12:19
Here's another happy customer from IstocKphoto. Not.

"$4215 bucks. That's the amount of money we have spent with iStock since July 2008. Here's a little look into the past:

In July 2008, my biggest gripe about iStock was that the search function did a horrible job of returning relevant results, mostly because of keywords spammers. iStock realized this and worked very hard to fix it. I can attest that by 2009 it was much better; much easier to get useful results.

In September 2009, my biggest gripe about iStock was that there were too many awesome photos. Sensory overload! Life was good.

In November 2010, I am so frustrated with the lolly-gagging and excuse-making regarding the current site "improvements" and changes, that I am honestly considering signing up for an account at another microstock site for THE. FIRST. TIME. EVER.

Fix the search! No more excuses! No one cares about empty statements like "We are getting really close." If you couldn't make the new site work *at least as good* as the old site, then you didn't have any business launching a new site. Waste of time, resources, and your money (which iStock seems to be in dire need of right now.)"
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on December 05, 2010, 12:41
someone already started a thread about that customer FYI.

oh gawd, if apple buys us...will we then be iiStock?

there are a few people over here who are so knowledgeable about economic/business analysis. unfortunately those same people are so emotionally biased against Getty/iStock that the analysis is insubstantial. why is that bias necessary if the writing is so clearly on the wall?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on December 05, 2010, 14:01
someone already started a thread about that customer FYI.

oh gawd, if apple buys us...will we then be iiStock?

there are a few people over here who are so knowledgeable about economic/business analysis. unfortunately those same people are so emotionally biased against Getty/iStock that the analysis is insubstantial. why is that bias necessary if the writing is so clearly on the wall?

What bias? That the enterprise value of Getty has clearly declined? You may love istock emotionally, but this is about numbers. H&F overpaid and now has the task of getting out with the smallest haircut. Gostwyck is correct that you can't get high numbers unless you have the earnings. Istock can be profitable without the enterprise value of Getty coming back to the buyout price, because that price was based on the RM numbers, which have evaporated. You  misunderstand my point. I agree that the model that Istock created will dominate for the next few years, but the money that it generates does not support the price at which Getty was taken out. It's just math, not emotion.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on December 05, 2010, 14:16
Apparently the truth has an anti-iStock bias. :D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on December 05, 2010, 16:55
someone already started a thread about that customer FYI.

oh gawd, if apple buys us...will we then be iiStock?

there are a few people over here who are so knowledgeable about economic/business analysis. unfortunately those same people are so emotionally biased against Getty/iStock that the analysis is insubstantial. why is that bias necessary if the writing is so clearly on the wall?

What bias? That the enterprise value of Getty has clearly declined? You may love istock emotionally, but this is about numbers. H&F overpaid and now has the task of getting out with the smallest haircut. Gostwyck is correct that you can't get high numbers unless you have the earnings. Istock can be profitable without the enterprise value of Getty coming back to the buyout price, because that price was based on the RM numbers, which have evaporated. You  misunderstand my point. I agree that the model that Istock created will dominate for the next few years, but the money that it generates does not support the price at which Getty was taken out. It's just math, not emotion.

good post. and I agree this has nothing to do with emotion....love or otherwise. despite my *love* for many aspects of iStock, the bottom line is what's best for my (read contributors in general) career. I'm exclusive as long as it works for me. friendship etc., aside. that's a separate issue and has nothing to do with what's best for my career. I won't be standing on deck playing a violin going down with any ship out of principle.

I can't argue your expertise. I find yours and others' posts very informative. I just think that you have no more access to numbers than anyone else, especially since getty went private. there could be (ARE) factors unknown to you and all of us. I think I would buy into the arguments more if they weren't so devoid of the possibility of being incorrect.

a thorough analysis should offer a referential viewpoint and acknowledge what it doesn't include. that's the main issue I have with this sort of conjecture. you can't just extrapolate based on data that are at least a few years old.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on December 05, 2010, 20:39
  ^^Being closely held prevents any accurate analysis of the actual numbers, but the overall direction of pricing has been markedly down. The new markets that have opened are operating at far smaller absolute numbers, so even with the expansion of the market, I would be very surprised to see higher revenue, never mind profits, than in the past. Again, one can hope that Getty has in fact made a whole lot more money recently than in the past, but that flies in the face of all the other evidence that is apparent. Let's hope that your dreams come true, and Getty turns out to be fabulously profitable. Then I still go back to my original position- buy on the rumour, sell on the news. ;)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on December 05, 2010, 22:30
buy on the rumor, sell on the news.....lol....I love that saying. haven't seen it in awhile. well, it's all food for thought in any case...
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 05, 2010, 22:34
Jbarber873, I find your analysis of the situation really interesting and completely plausible.  I don't know what your day job is, but it seems obvious that you are quite familiar with the workings of private equity companies, finance, and the stock market.  

Thanks for taking the time to distill the situation into layman's terms.  I suspect we will be getting the next phase in this saga sooner rather than later.  Probably by mid 2011.  It will certainly be interesting to watch it play out.

And I bet you are going to be able to do the "I told you so" dance, Jbarber :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lagereek on December 06, 2010, 01:53
Jbarber873, I find your analysis of the situation really interesting and completely plausible.  I don't know what your day job is, but it seems obvious that you are quite familiar with the workings of private equity companies, finance, and the stock market.  

Thanks for taking the time to distill the situation into layman's terms.  I suspect we will be getting the next phase in this saga sooner rather than later.  Probably by mid 2011.  It will certainly be interesting to watch it play out.

And I bet you are going to be able to do the "I told you so" dance, Jbarber :)

Jbarber873, certainly is eloquent, mastering the English language to perfection, I bet he is either a Financial-analyst or Journalist. crap! I lived in London for 25 years and New-York for 7 years and my English isnt half as good as his.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on December 06, 2010, 06:17
Jbarber873, I find your analysis of the situation really interesting and completely plausible.  I don't know what your day job is, but it seems obvious that you are quite familiar with the workings of private equity companies, finance, and the stock market.  

Thanks for taking the time to distill the situation into layman's terms.  I suspect we will be getting the next phase in this saga sooner rather than later.  Probably by mid 2011.  It will certainly be interesting to watch it play out.

And I bet you are going to be able to do the "I told you so" dance, Jbarber :)

Jbarber873, certainly is eloquent, mastering the English language to perfection, I bet he is either a Financial-analyst or Journalist. crap! I lived in London for 25 years and New-York for 7 years and my English isnt half as good as his.

  No. I'm just a lowly photographer, but I've worked with these people all my life. A still life shoot can be very boring, so i ask a lot of questions from the client, and they are happy to talk. I've seen them do this over and over.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on December 06, 2010, 10:01
Jbarber873, I find your analysis of the situation really interesting and completely plausible.  I don't know what your day job is, but it seems obvious that you are quite familiar with the workings of private equity companies, finance, and the stock market.  

Thanks for taking the time to distill the situation into layman's terms.  I suspect we will be getting the next phase in this saga sooner rather than later.  Probably by mid 2011.  It will certainly be interesting to watch it play out.

And I bet you are going to be able to do the "I told you so" dance, Jbarber :)

Jbarber873, certainly is eloquent, mastering the English language to perfection, I bet he is either a Financial-analyst or Journalist. crap! I lived in London for 25 years and New-York for 7 years and my English isnt half as good as his.

I think you manage to get your points across rather clearly Christian  ;D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 06, 2010, 11:57

  No. I'm just a lowly photographer, but I've worked with these people all my life. A still life shoot can be very boring, so i ask a lot of questions from the client, and they are happy to talk. I've seen them do this over and over.

Darn, I need to get a better class of clients! ;)

However you came by your understanding of finance, I am glad you are sharing it here. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on December 06, 2010, 17:36

  No. I'm just a lowly photographer, but I've worked with these people all my life. A still life shoot can be very boring, so i ask a lot of questions from the client, and they are happy to talk. I've seen them do this over and over.

Darn, I need to get a better class of clients! ;)

However you came by your understanding of finance, I am glad you are sharing it here. 

 As I posted in another thread, one of the things I really like about microstock is that NO CLIENTS come to the shoot.  ;D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on December 07, 2010, 12:18
 :D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: yuliang11 on December 07, 2010, 20:52

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...


well they can always cut more royalties from non-exclusives and give it to the exclusives
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: hoi ha on December 07, 2010, 22:13
Any thoughts on who would buy Getty/Istock?  I presume Corbis wouldn't be allowed to for competition reasons?  I think they would already own Getty if they thought they could buy them.

Perhaps with the poor economic situation, they could buy Getty and split it up, selling off some parts.

Who else is there?

It will be Google - mark my words!!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on December 08, 2010, 03:27
Google is one possibility but I think they would of purchased Getty when the price was cheap if they wanted to.  Do they really need Getty when there is nothing to stop them setting up their own site?  That's one reason why I don't see a lot of value in Getty/istock, there's nothing stopping one of the big internet businesses setting up something better and taking away all their customers.  It isn't like some businesses that have invested millions in property and have huge running costs.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: RT on December 08, 2010, 04:22
I'm sure if Google did set something up from scratch they might take a lot of the causal buyer business, but I'd imagine the majority of sales on Getty are from account buyers and people who go direct to the site because they want to buy from a reputable stock agency.
Add into the equation that somehow Google would have to weed the 'professional' stock shots out from the billions of images people post on social networking and community sites which would be a logistical nightmare if not impossible.
So if they did want to enter the stock imagery business the most sensible route would be to buy an existing site, in which case I'd imagine they'd look at a site like Getty/iStock who keep saying how unsustainable the business is becoming, why would Google want to enter a business that's unsustainable.
More likely if Google did do anything it would be to set up a dedicated feature to allow people to market their own images directly from which Google take advertising revenue, win win situation for them.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on December 08, 2010, 08:43
I'm sure if Google did set something up from scratch they might take a lot of the causal buyer business, but I'd imagine the majority of sales on Getty are from account buyers and people who go direct to the site because they want to buy from a reputable stock agency.
Add into the equation that somehow Google would have to weed the 'professional' stock shots out from the billions of images people post on social networking and community sites which would be a logistical nightmare if not impossible.
So if they did want to enter the stock imagery business the most sensible route would be to buy an existing site, in which case I'd imagine they'd look at a site like Getty/iStock who keep saying how unsustainable the business is becoming, why would Google want to enter a business that's unsustainable.
More likely if Google did do anything it would be to set up a dedicated feature to allow people to market their own images directly from which Google take advertising revenue, win win situation for them.

That makes a lot of sense. There is a big problem of how to make sure the people selling the images actually own the images. Better for Google to not get involved in that, and just be the broker. The big albatross around the neck of Getty is the legacy costs of their out of date RM business, and that's not going away. I think if any private company were to buy Getty, they would be best off shuttering the entire RM side of the business, just close it down, and concentrate of repairing the Istock side from the damage that the present managers have inflicted. But I don't think that will happen, because the present owners still have a chance to do an IPO. Google could just wait until that IPO stock tanks, and buy the remains at a huge discount. I'd rather be Google than Getty. One has a future, and one doesn't.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 08, 2010, 11:55
another frustrated buyer just posted on the iS forums:

Quote
As a freelancer web designer who uses iStockphoto a lot for comp art - but doesn't know too much about the processes here - I actually almost left today and went to Getty because all the photos I was getting were priced 55 credits for a Xsmall (and they had blue or orange camera icons - which I have no idea what these mean - but now from reading this thread I assume this means that they are from an agency and are about as expensive as Getty or Corbis).

After several frustrating minutes I figured out that the grey cameras meant more "normal" pricing (although xsmalls are now 5 credits? Geez...). I tried using the "exclude Vetta..." filter in search and still got almost all super expensive results with blue and orange camera icons.

I can tell you all that if you sell images on iStockphoto - we regular designer Joe's out here who are pressed for time and need to get in and out fast - just see these big prices and leave. If this is the way it's going to be and there's going to be regular pricing and deluxe platinum super pricing - then you need a working filter with a price limit so we don't waste our time!

I really hope iStock takes these complaints to heart and fix the search, for crying out loud!  They can implement code to double RC and reduce Vetta prices but they can't fix the sticky search issue?  argh!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 08, 2010, 13:01

I really hope iStock takes these complaints to heart and fix the search, for crying out loud! 

Me too!  It's crazy - the overwhelming majority of work on the site is still at reasonable, microstock prices, but because of the search engine problems buyers are only seeing the high-priced stuff. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 08, 2010, 13:36
The buyers being constantly led to the higher Vetta and Agency collections means more profit for iStock...plus the fact that the 10% bonus issue still hasn't been fixed on the EL's. So what does this all mean...it means more profit for iStock.

Think about it.....$400 - 40% = $240 profit for them...whereas a $4 shot - 40% =$2.40 profit. They gotta sale 100 of the lower priced to match the profit of one vetta and that is to say they are the having to pay at the high dollar 40% commission level. At the lower percentages the profit is higher.

Plus not paying the 10% on top of that for the EL sales = more profit. Why else would these problems not be fixed?

It makes sense if they lose a few buyers because of the higher priced Vetta, they are probably still making more money. It's all about the bottom line for them.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on December 08, 2010, 13:42
To play devil's advocate for a second, how hard is it to switch your search to downloads instead of best match? That eliminates a lot or all of the Agency and Vetta. The best match has rarely lived up to its name, and I've always assumed many buyers (at least mine) don't use it.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: molka on December 08, 2010, 13:45
To play devil's advocate for a second, how hard is it to switch your search to downloads instead of best match? That eliminates a lot or all of the Agency and Vetta. The best match has rarely lived up to its name, and I've always assumed many buyers (at least mine) don't use it.

maybe some people don't really want an image that's all over the place a 1000 times already. I did spend an awful lot of time searching and dling from istock, and out of respect for my own work and the client, looking thru the most downloaded was the very-very last choice.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 08, 2010, 13:54
To play devil's advocate for a second, how hard is it to switch your search to downloads instead of best match? That eliminates a lot or all of the Agency and Vetta. The best match has rarely lived up to its name, and I've always assumed many buyers (at least mine) don't use it.

Also a lot of the most downloaded would be the old stuff because it's been on there since the beginning and like Molka said it's already been downloaded a thousand times. Those most downloaded, if they happen to be exclusive, would be more expensive also because of higher canister level.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 08, 2010, 14:07
To play devil's advocate for a second, how hard is it to switch your search to downloads instead of best match? That eliminates a lot or all of the Agency and Vetta. The best match has rarely lived up to its name, and I've always assumed many buyers (at least mine) don't use it.

Buyers should use some other search order.  But sales trends indicate that the overwhelming majority DO use Best Match.  So how best match gets rigged is a very big deal to all of our sales.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on December 08, 2010, 14:27
To play devil's advocate for a second, how hard is it to switch your search to downloads instead of best match? That eliminates a lot or all of the Agency and Vetta. The best match has rarely lived up to its name, and I've always assumed many buyers (at least mine) don't use it.

Buyers should use some other search order.  But sales trends indicate that the overwhelming majority DO use Best Match.  So how best match gets rigged is a very big deal to all of our sales.

That was basically my point that some buyers should try using the other forms of searches and be a little more savvy. Every search is going to contain things you don't want because it has too many downloads, too expensive or any number of other reasons. That isn't going to get any easier as the collection grows and it probably isn't going to be any easier elsewhere. I'm surprised some of these agencies don't have a page describing methods to get the best search results (or maybe they do).
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 08, 2010, 14:41
To play devil's advocate for a second, how hard is it to switch your search to downloads instead of best match? That eliminates a lot or all of the Agency and Vetta. The best match has rarely lived up to its name, and I've always assumed many buyers (at least mine) don't use it.

I'm sure some don't use best match, but enough do that regardless of how easy it is to sort by downloads, best match changes are a very real assist/threat to us.

I'll give you an example of an old file - uploaded in November 2005 - that sold quite well elsewhere, but never much at IS. 14 sales in its first year, 10 in its second and 3 in its third.

In June 2009 something shifted (possibly best match 2.0, but I don't know) and the image started selling - 67 in 2009 and 121 so far this year.

I'm obviously happy when an oldie that was overlooked gets a new lease on life, but it underlines for me that it isn't just about the quality of my images.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on December 08, 2010, 15:14
I'm sure some don't use best match, but enough do that regardless of how easy it is to sort by downloads, best match changes are a very real assist/threat to us.

I agree, and I'm definitely not saying there aren't problems with the search. Throwing images buyers don't necessarily want and that piss them off at the front of searches doesn't help either. I thought IS learned their lesson with that by favoring exclusive files, but it's back again. On the other hand, excluding exclusive files or a more subtle price search would be a useful search function, but that probably would not go over well with exclusive contributors. I guess someone is always going to be unhappy.

Your example did make me think of something funny though. I had this war image that sold well when Bush was president. Now, it doesn't sell very often. Should I be campaigning for Jeb in 2012?  ;D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 08, 2010, 15:30
excluding exclusive files or a more subtle price search would be a useful search function, but that probably would not go over well with exclusive contributors. I guess someone is always going to be unhappy.


Completely agree.  The collection at Istock is so stratified now, the most logicial solution would be to allow searches of each collection individually.  That way buyers can choose whether they want to search lowest priced only, exclusive only, high-end only, or all jumbled together.  And it should be easy to find and use the different search orders - not buried in a menu somewhere. 

You're right that exclusives would probably be upset,  but I'm not sure Istock really cares what contributors think so much anymore. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 08, 2010, 15:37
excluding exclusive files or a more subtle price search would be a useful search function, but that probably would not go over well with exclusive contributors. I guess someone is always going to be unhappy.


Completely agree.  The collection at Istock is so stratified now, the most logicial solution would be to allow searches of each collection individually.  That way buyers can choose whether they want to search lowest priced only, exclusive only, high-end only, or all jumbled together.  And it should be easy to find and use the different search orders - not buried in a menu somewhere. 

You're right that exclusives would probably be upset,  but I'm not sure Istock really cares what contributors think so much anymore. 

That is a logical solution. And I know somebody would be upset, but that would service the buyers the best. It would make it so much easier for them to find what they want. A happy buyer is a spending buyer.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on December 08, 2010, 19:26
I think the Agency search bug should be a priority too. it's absolutely ridiculous that buyers have to go through that to search for files. I don't get the hold up on that bug. how frustrating.

I don't agree with splitting out collections though. I think they've already considered an option to omit Vetta/Agency files from searches but I don't know what the final decision is on that issue.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 08, 2010, 19:49
I think the Agency search bug should be a priority too. it's absolutely ridiculous that buyers have to go through that to search for files. I don't get the hold up on that bug. how frustrating.

I don't agree with splitting out collections though. I think they've already considered an option to omit Vetta/Agency files from searches but I don't no what the final decision is on that issue.
I can only imagine, and this is purely speculation, that they've settled on the sort of buyer they want, and it's a high roller.
Against that is the extremely deep discounts they're offering.
Who knows.
Maybe I should study Marketing 101 so that I might have a chance of understanding what's going on.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: MarkHayes on December 08, 2010, 19:58

I think the Agency search bug should be a priority too. it's absolutely ridiculous that buyers have to go through that to search for files. I don't get the hold up on that bug. how frustrating.

Somehow I suspect that if the bug locked the buyer into view only the dollar bin files it would have been fixed the first day.    :o
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: pancaketom on December 08, 2010, 20:00

I think the Agency search bug should be a priority too. it's absolutely ridiculous that buyers have to go through that to search for files. I don't get the hold up on that bug. how frustrating.

Somehow I suspect that if the bug locked the buyer into view only the dollar bin files it would have been fixed the first day.    :o

The only one that would have been fixed quicker is if it only showed non-exclusive content... can you imagine that lasting for a couple of months?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 08, 2010, 21:38

I think the Agency search bug should be a priority too. it's absolutely ridiculous that buyers have to go through that to search for files. I don't get the hold up on that bug. how frustrating.


Somehow I suspect that if the bug locked the buyer into view only the dollar bin files it would have been fixed the first day.    :o


The only one that would have been fixed quicker is if it only showed non-exclusive content... can you imagine that lasting for a couple of months?


it's not a bug. ;)
(http://baldrics.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/bugfeature.jpg)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: michaeldb on December 08, 2010, 22:55
Any thoughts on who would buy Getty/Istock? 
It will be Google - mark my words!!
I have always thought that ebay would begin buying microstock sites someday. Ebay has the knowhow for handling a lot of small transactions among zilliions of buyers and sellers. And ebay owns Paypal.

But Google is a good bet too, given that the heart of microstock is the search engines, and nobody knows search engines better, and Google has made what 6 acquisitions already this year?

A dark horse would be Amazon. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Danicek on December 09, 2010, 04:07
The buyers being constantly led to the higher Vetta and Agency collections means more profit for iStock...plus the fact that the 10% bonus issue still hasn't been fixed on the EL's. So what does this all mean...it means more profit for iStock.

Think about it.....$400 - 40% = $240 profit for them...whereas a $4 shot - 40% =$2.40 profit. They gotta sale 100 of the lower priced to match the profit of one vetta and that is to say they are the having to pay at the high dollar 40% commission level. At the lower percentages the profit is higher.

Oh boy and why do you think Getty bought IS? Why Getty used to have serious financial problems while IS is raking in gold? Shouldn't it be the other way round when 80% of $1000 sale at Getty is $800?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on December 09, 2010, 18:33
FYI, there's an f5 announcement that addresses the search specifically...also covers the Agency Trap bug.

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=280752&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=280752&page=1)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: bittersweet on December 09, 2010, 21:27
FYI, there's an f5 announcement that addresses the search specifically...also covers the Agency Trap bug.

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=280752&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=280752&page=1[/url])


An improvement that forces the buyer to include Agency and Vetta in their search results... but only temporarily. Classic.  :D

ETA: I am glad to see that they have finally fixed the multi-word CV narrowing results bug. It was really tedious to deal with.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 10, 2010, 08:18
An improvement that forces the buyer to include Agency and Vetta in their search results... but only temporarily. Classic.  :D

ETA: I am glad to see that they have finally fixed the multi-word CV narrowing results bug. It was really tedious to deal with.

I love how they got the big kahuna to make the big announcement. Like having a search engine that actually works is something that is big, exciting news! No, it should have been there all along! Now, every time IS fixes something on their new and improved site that they screwed up in the first place, it will become huge news and will require big fanfare. The koolaid wooyaying has already resumed! Too funny.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: rubyroo on December 10, 2010, 09:12
Exactly Cathy.  I noticed a post in the forum earlier that said something like 'Are we now celebrating mediocrity?'

It seems some are...
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jen on December 10, 2010, 09:21
You're right, it should have been there all along.  That doesn't mean I'm not happy they finally fixed it.  Anything that improves the site is good for business whether or not the feature should have been there in the first place.  I wonder if anyone can ever say anything even remotely positive about iStock without someone over here mentioning "koolaid"?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: rubyroo on December 10, 2010, 09:44
Fair point Jen.  It's always better to experience improvement than no improvement.  Also, none of us are flies on the wall - so we don't know exactly what's been going on behind the scenes... (FWIW, I've never mentioned 'koolaid'.  I don't even know what it is - but I'm assuming it's some kind of sugary or high-caffeine drink that we don't have in the UK?)

Having said that, it does seem extraordinary that action has been so slow on what would have to be the most fundamental aspect of the microstock business - the ability of a buyer to find the thing they want to buy.  It's impossible for me not to ruminate on how much money has been lost, both to the agency and the contributors, over these delays.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 10, 2010, 09:50
Koolaid reference:
http://www.raptureready.com/rr-kool-aid.html (http://www.raptureready.com/rr-kool-aid.html)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: rubyroo on December 10, 2010, 09:55
OMG Sean - I had no idea that was the source of the term.  I just thought it meant people were overloaded on some sort of 'happy-juice' that took them beyond reason.  Contextually, that's how it always sounded to me.

Seems the reality is rather more grim  :(

ETA:  Thanks so much for the explanatory link (almost forgot my manners!).  Much appreciated.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on December 10, 2010, 10:09
Who wants to put bets down on the thing being buggy and broken (somehow in iStock's favor of course)? :D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jen on December 10, 2010, 11:39
Having said that, it does seem extraordinary that action has been so slow on what would have to be the most fundamental aspect of the microstock business - the ability of a buyer to find the thing they want to buy.  It's impossible for me not to ruminate on how much money has been lost, both to the agency and the contributors, over these delays.

I agree with that for sure.  And the agency search bug has been going on for how long?  It drives me up the wall how slow they are to fix things sometimes.
It just irks me that being happy about those fixes means people over here start rolling their eyes and making jabs about koolaid and pom poms. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 10, 2010, 11:41
You're right, it should have been there all along.  That doesn't mean I'm not happy they finally fixed it.  Anything that improves the site is good for business whether or not the feature should have been there in the first place.  I wonder if anyone can ever say anything even remotely positive about iStock without someone over here mentioning "koolaid"?

Quote
Posted by: rubyroo
Fair point Jen.  It's always better to experience improvement than no improvement.  Also, none of us are flies on the wall - so we don't know exactly what's been going on behind the scenes... (FWIW, I've never mentioned 'koolaid'.  I don't even know what it is - but I'm assuming it's some kind of sugary or high-caffeine drink that we don't have in the UK?)

Having said that, it does seem extraordinary that action has been so slow on what would have to be the most fundamental aspect of the microstock business - the ability of a buyer to find the thing they want to buy.  It's impossible for me not to ruminate on how much money has been lost, both to the agency and the contributors, over these delays.

Let's be fair, Jen...I have seen posts over there at the IS forum referencing the koolaid by people who are not from over here.

Of course improvements are great, but we aren't talking about improvements. We are talking about fixes.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jen on December 10, 2010, 11:45
So what would be an acceptable non-koolaid response to iStock announcing an important fix?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 10, 2010, 11:58
So what would be an acceptable non-koolaid response to iStock announcing an important fix?

How about a professional email to all contributors and buyers letting them know that the search function is fixed and explain how it works? To me, that would be to the point and businesslike. These posts by the big chief, with the subsequent wooyay posts, feels to me a lot like drama and show business instead of just plain business.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 10, 2010, 12:00
So what would be an acceptable non-koolaid response to iStock announcing an important fix?

Jen, why are you so concerned with how other people characterize your responses?  Respond however you want and stop worrying what other people think of you.  

I see you are a new member here, so it might help you to understand that this forum is about the only place people can voice criticism of the agencies without being banned or having the posts deleted/locked.  So perhaps there is a bit of a wet blanket atmosphere.   Lots of woo-yaying and backslapping over at Istock forums, if that's your cup of tea.  
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 10, 2010, 12:13
Having said that, it does seem extraordinary that action has been so slow on what would have to be the most fundamental aspect of the microstock business - the ability of a buyer to find the thing they want to buy.  It's impossible for me not to ruminate on how much money has been lost, both to the agency and the contributors, over these delays.

I agree with that for sure.  And the agency search bug has been going on for how long?  It drives me up the wall how slow they are to fix things sometimes.
It just irks me that being happy about those fixes means people over here start rolling their eyes and making jabs about koolaid and pom poms. 
It's enough to say, "Thank goodness - and not before time!"
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on December 10, 2010, 12:16
It just irks me that being happy about those fixes means people over here start rolling their eyes and making jabs about koolaid and pom poms.  

That irks you? Quite frankly all the woo-yayers and corporate c**k suckers on that Istockphoto thread make me want to throw up. This is a business that cynically bullys and exploits it's contributors ... and yet apparently they still go hysterical with excitment when IS finally gets around to fixing something (that it itself accidently broke) after several months of customer complaints and requests. Wow-ee. This is of course from an agency that is by a huge margin the wealthiest, probably employs the most staff and yet suffers more outages, bugs and other general 'design conflicts' than all the other major agencies put together. They are the only agency that still can't even generate up-to-date statistics for example.

Cathy has summed it up perfectly in her last post.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jen on December 10, 2010, 12:18
So what would be an acceptable non-koolaid response to iStock announcing an important fix?

Jen, why are you so concerned with how other people characterize your responses?  Respond however you want and stop worrying what other people think of you.  

I see you are a new member here, so it might help you to understand that this forum is about the only place people can voice criticism of the agencies without being banned or having the posts deleted/locked.  So perhaps there is a bit of a wet blanket atmosphere.   Lots of woo-yaying and backslapping over at Istock forums, if that's your cup of tea.  
I don't know why it still says "New Member" as I've been reading for almost a year.  I guess I haven't posted enough.

I'm not worried about what other people think of me.  I probably shouldn't have said anything at all, I was grumpy this morning and I saw that K word again and I was inspired to comment.  Lurking is really my strong point, I should probably stick to that.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 10, 2010, 12:35


I probably shouldn't have said anything at all, I was grumpy this morning and I saw that K word again and I was inspired to comment.  Lurking is really my strong point, I should probably stick to that.

Yeah, I am pretty grumpy and confrontational today too.  Must the that joyous Christmas spirit ;)

IMHO, any of us should feel free to comment on anything we want.  Just with the understanding that folks may disagree - disagreeably. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jen on December 10, 2010, 12:43
Yes, it can be jarring to travel between "you've developed something you should've already had and made us dig through the forums to find it, wooyay!" and "those koolaid-drinking pom-pom-waving corporate c**ksuckers!!!" I am easily confused and disoriented.  ;D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 10, 2010, 12:48
^^ROFL!  It is certainly NEVER boring ;D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on December 10, 2010, 13:18
Yes, it can be jarring to travel between "you've developed something you should've already had and made us dig through the forums to find it, wooyay!" and "those koolaid-drinking pom-pom-waving corporate c**ksuckers!!!" I am easily confused and disoriented.  ;D

Jen, welcome. it's a tough crowd here. but you get a good dose of reality too if you can handle terms like c*ck sucker being thrown around, which I find unprofessional and borderline abusive. it's the way it is here. I can't always handle it. I migrate between lurking and posting depending on the issue, but I read a lot here. there are some really knowledgeable people here if you don't mind wading through negativity.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on December 10, 2010, 13:33
Yes, it can be jarring to travel between "you've developed something you should've already had and made us dig through the forums to find it, wooyay!" and "those koolaid-drinking pom-pom-waving corporate c**ksuckers!!!" I am easily confused and disoriented.  ;D

Yeah, responses at both places can wear on you. Reality is probably somewhere in between.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: rubyroo on December 10, 2010, 13:38
Yeah, responses at both places can wear on you. Reality is probably somewhere in between.

Well said!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Eyedesign on December 10, 2010, 15:20
Yeah, responses at both places can wear on you. Reality is probably somewhere in between.

Well said!

+ 2
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 10, 2010, 15:37
Gostwyck's always blunt, but if you bowdlerize (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Bowdler) the language, the content's generally solid.

I have a very hard time dealing with the multitude of "thank you's" when long overdue bugs get fixed. And at this point, any mention of news for contributors on Monday has me clenching every muscle in anticipation of another round of bad news. They thought the partner program was good news. Then they pitched September 7th as good news for most contributors. Their ideas about good news and mine don't line up.

I honestly feel that my exclusive status is in the intensive care unit on life support and I just read that the gang that put me there is coming for a friendly visit on Monday :)

And I like having a place it's OK to say that without being told I'm a ball buster and having my posts deleted (both of which happened on IS forums).
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 10, 2010, 15:41
Gostwyck's always blunt, but if you bowdlerize ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Bowdler[/url]) the language, the content's generally solid.

I have a very hard time dealing with the multitude of "thank you's" when long overdue bugs get fixed. And at this point, any mention of news for contributors on Monday has me clenching every muscle in anticipation of another round of bad news. They thought the partner program was good news. Then they pitched September 7th as good news for most contributors. Their ideas about good news and mine don't line up.

I honestly feel that my exclusive status is in the intensive care unit on life support and I just read that the gang that put me there is coming for a friendly visit on Monday :)

And I like having a place it's OK to say that without being told I'm a ball buster and having my posts deleted (both of which happened on IS forums).


I'm a bit behind on the iStock postings. Are they making another announcement on Monday or is this about an announcement in the past? If it's coming up this Monday...you'd better take the weekend off to enjoy your final days of freedom!!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 10, 2010, 15:49

I'm a bit behind on the iStock postings. Are they making another announcement on Monday or is this about an announcement in the past? If it's coming up this Monday...you'd better take the weekend off to enjoy your final days of freedom!!


The meat is unhelpfully buried in the middle of the thread, but here's (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=280752&messageid=5349462) a part that's talking about what's coming Monday Dec 13th. Earlier in the thread they said it was something for contributors.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 10, 2010, 15:56

I'm a bit behind on the iStock postings. Are they making another announcement on Monday or is this about an announcement in the past? If it's coming up this Monday...you'd better take the weekend off to enjoy your final days of freedom!!


The meat is unhelpfully buried in the middle of the thread, but here's ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=280752&messageid=5349462[/url]) a part that's talking about what's coming Monday Dec 13th. Earlier in the thread they said it was something for contributors.


It looks like it may have something with F5 because of the reference to it at the end of his post.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: pancaketom on December 10, 2010, 16:02
I'm a little gun shy of what they consider to be good for contributors these days.

I am guessing at some point they will revise the targets slightly downwards and everybody will be happy. except for those like me who don't have 1.4 million RCs and will be taking a cut next year. Even if they cut that a few orders of magnitude I'll still be taking a cut next year.

They could do something that would at least level the playing field like saying an RC is an RC and the targets are for totals, vector, video, audio, photo... nah, that would make sense.

I guess they will do what they will do. They should post it somewhere other than the middle of a thread though.

--=Tom
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 10, 2010, 16:07

The meat is unhelpfully buried in the middle of the thread, but here's ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=280752&messageid=5349462[/url]) a part that's talking about what's coming Monday Dec 13th. Earlier in the thread they said it was something for contributors.


It would certainly be much easier to find relevant information if it was posted at the top of the thread. Way too many cryptic and winky comments about mondays, F5s, etc.  from Istock staff.  They just dilute the thread so any useful news is nearly impossible to find....

Oh, just saw Jami made the same observation in the IS thread.  +1 Jami :D

I'm a little gun shy of what they consider to be good for contributors these days.



Me too.  I flinch like an abused dog every time I hear there's some new announcement coming that will be "good for contributors".  Shudder!

My guess - an across the board price rise to soften the blow of lowered royalties.  Of course this will be bad news for buyers, but the past year they have probably gotten used to bad news ;)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on December 10, 2010, 16:30
Pretty much anything they announce anymore is bad news for buyers. :D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 10, 2010, 16:39
yeah, I can't help be worry.  but considering they made the search update to be the big announcement, I'm not expecting much.  Of course, the search should have been working when they launched the new site in the first place!  I fear that all these little tweeks are going to be "too little, too late" for some buyers.  A lot of them are frustrated and looking elsewhere already.  Which is good news for independents, but sucks for exclusives. 

it's clear to me that the direction of istock is to promote the high-priced stuff of Agency and Vetta.  I'm guessing their large buyer base of small-time freelancers and organizations with low budgets will continue to move on to find cheaper stock products.  iStock will be catering to the big guys that have deep pockets. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 10, 2010, 17:55
iStock will be catering to the big guys that have deep pockets. 

Meaning bigger discounts and less money on our end.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 10, 2010, 18:26

I'm a bit behind on the iStock postings. Are they making another announcement on Monday or is this about an announcement in the past? If it's coming up this Monday...you'd better take the weekend off to enjoy your final days of freedom!!


The meat is unhelpfully buried in the middle of the thread, but here's ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=280752&messageid=5349462[/url]) a part that's talking about what's coming Monday Dec 13th. Earlier in the thread they said it was something for contributors.

I really, really don't understand why they do that childish F5 thing. They post F5, and everyone has to post F5, F5, and by the time there's a post it's in the middle, so you have to waste time finding it, and they say they've got some great news but they're not going to tell us until Monday. Why don't they just tell us as soon as they have something to tell us instead of making us worry over the weekend. That's generally held as 'bad management'.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: bittersweet on December 10, 2010, 18:33

I really, really don't understand why they do that childish F5 thing. They post F5, and everyone has to post F5, F5, and by the time there's a post it's in the middle, so you have to waste time finding it, and they say they've got some great news but they're not going to tell us until Monday. Why don't they just tell us as soon as they have something to tell us instead of making us worry over the weekend. That's generally held as 'bad management'.

I get a little maudlin thinking about the days when F5 meant something good, and the excited anticipation was actually warranted. *sigh*  :-\
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: molka on December 10, 2010, 18:36
 iStock will be catering to the big guys that have deep pockets.  

who are those supposed to be? I worked for big names and they don't have deep pockets for stock. There are special projects with high budgets but that means launching a new product, celeb or smthng like that, and that means commissioned shoots.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on December 10, 2010, 18:38
I honestly feel that my exclusive status is in the intensive care unit on life support ...
I really wouldn't be worried about giving up that crown. My data suggests to me that times are a'changing in the world of microstock. SS in particular are going from strength to strength and so far this month my earnings there are 25% higher than they are at Istockphoto. It's a trend that has been developing for some months now. Nearly 55% of my December's earnings at SS are from PPD's and EL's. They are no longer 'just a subscription site' __ far from it. I sell more EL's at SS than from all the other agencies combined (5 in the last 4 days for example).

If I assume that my own portfolio is exactly 'average' in it's performance, relative to the size of the entire library, then working my sales figures backwards can give an estimation as to the overall sales at each agency. If so, based on my November sales, then last month SS had a turnover of $9.8M and IS were $10.8M. Obviously I've had to base those calculations on a couple of educated guesses regarding the percentage commission paid at SS (assumed to be 33%) and the size of the IS library (assumed to be about 7.5M images). SS of course have nearly twice as many images, many of them either similars or fairly useless because of the lack of upload limits, so I suspect that their figure is artificially boosted by that. I've run this exercise a few times in the past and a couple of years ago SS were barely half that of IS. Whatever the accuracy of the estimations, the indisputable fact that SS is now generating more money for me than Istock, from essentially the same portfolio, tells me that they can't be too far apart when it comes to the size of the agency.

It might take another year or two but I reckon SS will eventually emerge as the dominant microstock agency. Who do you trust the most to win out in the end __ Jon Oringer, serial entrepreneur and founder of SS, or Kelly Thompson, COO of an H&F subsidiary?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on December 10, 2010, 18:39
iStock will be catering to the big guys that have deep pockets.  

Meaning bigger discounts and less money on our end.

But just think of how many redeemed credits you might get! Money is not what is going to make you happy!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Risamay on December 10, 2010, 19:45

I really, really don't understand why they do that childish F5 thing. They post F5, and everyone has to post F5, F5, and by the time there's a post it's in the middle, so you have to waste time finding it, and they say they've got some great news but they're not going to tell us until Monday. Why don't they just tell us as soon as they have something to tell us instead of making us worry over the weekend. That's generally held as 'bad management'.

I get a little maudlin thinking about the days when F5 meant something good, and the excited anticipation was actually warranted. *sigh*  :-\

Yeah. Those were the days :)

If they truly understood the way they've destroyed contributor (and buyer) confidence, trust, spirit - they'd stop the F5 stuff and just make straight, professional announcements because they'd get that what was once excited anticipation is now waiting and worrying about another what sauce storm on the horizon. And if they knew that, why would they continue to do that to us. Particularly if they aim to rebuild trust and all that jazz.

Ugh.

I will be shocked - but overjoyed - if Monday's announcement is actually something to celebrate.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: reckless on December 10, 2010, 20:20
Yes, it can be jarring to travel between "you've developed something you should've already had and made us dig through the forums to find it, wooyay!" and "those koolaid-drinking pom-pom-waving corporate c**ksuckers!!!" I am easily confused and disoriented.  ;D

Jen, I also have a tough time wading through the obsequious wooyays on the iStock forum, but as another lurker on this site for two years I caught a good laugh and smile from your post. Hang in there and say it like you feel it.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on December 11, 2010, 11:11
It occurs to me that it is usually about this time of the year that Istock announce the new prices and or any other changes to the pricing architecture to be imposed in January. Could this be what Monday's news is going to be about? Will they be intending to mitigate the reduced commissions with higher prices and, if so, will their customers accept it?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 11, 2010, 11:24
It might take another year or two but I reckon SS will eventually emerge as the dominant microstock agency. Who do you trust the most to win out in the end __ Jon Oringer, serial entrepreneur and founder of SS, or Kelly Thompson, COO of an H&F subsidiary?

Color me unexcited at the thought of a subscription model dominating the market.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on December 11, 2010, 11:33
I really wouldn't be worried about giving up that crown. My data suggests to me that times are a'changing in the world of microstock. SS in particular are going from strength to strength and so far this month my earnings there are 25% higher than they are at Istockphoto. It's a trend that has been developing for some months now. Nearly 55% of my December's earnings at SS are from PPD's and EL's. They are no longer 'just a subscription site' __ far from it. I sell more EL's at SS than from all the other agencies combined (5 in the last 4 days for example).

If I assume that my own portfolio is exactly 'average' in it's performance, relative to the size of the entire library, then working my sales figures backwards can give an estimation as to the overall sales at each agency. If so, based on my November sales, then last month SS had a turnover of $9.8M and IS were $10.8M. Obviously I've had to base those calculations on a couple of educated guesses regarding the percentage commission paid at SS (assumed to be 33%) and the size of the IS library (assumed to be about 7.5M images). SS of course have nearly twice as many images, many of them either similars or fairly useless because of the lack of upload limits, so I suspect that their figure is artificially boosted by that. I've run this exercise a few times in the past and a couple of years ago SS were barely half that of IS. Whatever the accuracy of the estimations, the indisputable fact that SS is now generating more money for me than Istock, from essentially the same portfolio, tells me that they can't be too far apart when it comes to the size of the agency.

It might take another year or two but I reckon SS will eventually emerge as the dominant microstock agency. Who do you trust the most to win out in the end __ Jon Oringer, serial entrepreneur and founder of SS, or Kelly Thompson, COO of an H&F subsidiary?

I can't say what it's like for the average independent, but this hasn't been my experience at all. If anything it has been the opposite. IS has gradually pulled away from SS with less images.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on December 11, 2010, 11:56
I really wouldn't be worried about giving up that crown. My data suggests to me that times are a'changing in the world of microstock. SS in particular are going from strength to strength and so far this month my earnings there are 25% higher than they are at Istockphoto. It's a trend that has been developing for some months now. Nearly 55% of my December's earnings at SS are from PPD's and EL's. They are no longer 'just a subscription site' __ far from it. I sell more EL's at SS than from all the other agencies combined (5 in the last 4 days for example).

If I assume that my own portfolio is exactly 'average' in it's performance, relative to the size of the entire library, then working my sales figures backwards can give an estimation as to the overall sales at each agency. If so, based on my November sales, then last month SS had a turnover of $9.8M and IS were $10.8M. Obviously I've had to base those calculations on a couple of educated guesses regarding the percentage commission paid at SS (assumed to be 33%) and the size of the IS library (assumed to be about 7.5M images). SS of course have nearly twice as many images, many of them either similars or fairly useless because of the lack of upload limits, so I suspect that their figure is artificially boosted by that. I've run this exercise a few times in the past and a couple of years ago SS were barely half that of IS. Whatever the accuracy of the estimations, the indisputable fact that SS is now generating more money for me than Istock, from essentially the same portfolio, tells me that they can't be too far apart when it comes to the size of the agency.

It might take another year or two but I reckon SS will eventually emerge as the dominant microstock agency. Who do you trust the most to win out in the end __ Jon Oringer, serial entrepreneur and founder of SS, or Kelly Thompson, COO of an H&F subsidiary?

I can't say what it's like for the average independent, but this hasn't been my experience at all. If anything it has been the opposite. IS has gradually pulled away from SS with less images.

  I only started with microstock a few years ago, but i can say without a doubt that SS has always been my best earner. Lately, IS has been dropping for me. It seems as though anything new just falls by the wayside and gets lost in the mass. Even things that are unique and sell very well elsewhere go nowhere on IS. Plus, they take over a month to inspect, and mostly reject, videos. At SS, I can post today and be selling tomorrow. If a shot catches on, it will continue to sell every day. If SS had an exclusive program, I would give it some thought.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 11, 2010, 14:18
It occurs to me that it is usually about this time of the year that Istock announce the new prices and or any other changes to the pricing architecture to be imposed in January. Could this be what Monday's news is going to be about? Will they be intending to mitigate the reduced commissions with higher prices and, if so, will their customers accept it?

My thoughts exactly.  ;)


My guess - an across the board price rise to soften the blow of lowered royalties.  Of course this will be bad news for buyers, but the past year they have probably gotten used to bad news ;)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on December 11, 2010, 14:48
^^^ Whoops __ missed that bit!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 11, 2010, 14:50
It occurs to me that it is usually about this time of the year that Istock announce the new prices and or any other changes to the pricing architecture to be imposed in January. Could this be what Monday's news is going to be about? Will they be intending to mitigate the reduced commissions with higher prices and, if so, will their customers accept it?

My thoughts exactly.  ;)


My guess - an across the board price rise to soften the blow of lowered royalties.  Of course this will be bad news for buyers, but the past year they have probably gotten used to bad news ;)

I can't imagine ANY company nowadays not pinching pennies, for whatever reason, but there seems to be a big bunch of IS people who seem to think IS buyers don't care about prices or price increases, that h*ck or high water they are going to stick with IS because they are lazy/don't care/whatever. I guess we will be finding it all out in short order.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 11, 2010, 15:15
While I wouldn't be surprised to see the normal price rise at iStock in January, I would be very surprised if this was the 'great news for contributers'. But as I've said, I'm pretty useless at second-guessing iStock.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: adijr on December 11, 2010, 15:31
It might take another year or two but I reckon SS will eventually emerge as the dominant microstock agency. Who do you trust the most to win out in the end __ Jon Oringer, serial entrepreneur and founder of SS, or Kelly Thompson, COO of an H&F subsidiary?


Color me unexcited at the thought of a subscription model dominating the market.


I'm mostly an outside viewer in this circuit, but here's my opinion of istock's most worrisome trend: http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com/# (http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com/#)
Of course the price model is different and so on, but if that trend continues for a long time, almost none of the details will matter. In the end, I think these statistics will dominate any discussion about current details.

Anyway, carry on... :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 11, 2010, 15:37
^^^ Whoops __ missed that bit!

Well, you know, great minds think alike, and all that ;D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 11, 2010, 15:41

I'm mostly an outside viewer in this circuit, but here's my opinion of istock's most worrisome trend: [url]http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com/#[/url] ([url]http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com/#[/url])



WOW!   :o
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 11, 2010, 15:53
It might take another year or two but I reckon SS will eventually emerge as the dominant microstock agency. Who do you trust the most to win out in the end __ Jon Oringer, serial entrepreneur and founder of SS, or Kelly Thompson, COO of an H&F subsidiary?


Color me unexcited at the thought of a subscription model dominating the market.


I'm mostly an outside viewer in this circuit, but here's my opinion of istock's most worrisome trend: [url]http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com/#[/url] ([url]http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com/#[/url])
Of course the price model is different and so on, but if that trend continues for a long time, almost none of the details will matter. In the end, I think these statistics will dominate any discussion about current details.

Anyway, carry on... :)

This is the SiteAnalytics graph referenced above:
(http://www.lizworld.com/iStock/SiteAnalytics.jpg)

Someone will need to come in and interpret the figures, but here are Alexa stats for iStock, FT, DT and SS for the past six months:
(http://www.lizworld.com/iStock/AlexaDec10.jpg)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 11, 2010, 15:58
It might take another year or two but I reckon SS will eventually emerge as the dominant microstock agency. Who do you trust the most to win out in the end __ Jon Oringer, serial entrepreneur and founder of SS, or Kelly Thompson, COO of an H&F subsidiary?


Color me unexcited at the thought of a subscription model dominating the market.


I'm mostly an outside viewer in this circuit, but here's my opinion of istock's most worrisome trend: [url]http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com/#[/url] ([url]http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com/#[/url])
Of course the price model is different and so on, but if that trend continues for a long time, almost none of the details will matter. In the end, I think these statistics will dominate any discussion about current details.

Anyway, carry on... :)

This is the SiteAnalytics graph referenced above:
([url]http://www.lizworld.com/iStock/SiteAnalytics.jpg[/url])

Someone will need to come in and interpret the figures, but here are Alexa stats for iStock, FT, DT and SS for the past six months:
([url]http://www.lizworld.com/iStock/AlexaDec10.jpg[/url])
Worryingly, there's no evidence on either graph of "half of the year's sales being made in the final four months", as intimated by KKT in that fateful announcemant.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 11, 2010, 16:00
It would be interesting to know how the traffic data is gathered at each site.  I know Alexa's comes from people who have their toolbar installed.  How does Compete gather its data?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on December 11, 2010, 16:25
I'm mostly an outside viewer in this circuit, but here's my opinion of istock's most worrisome trend: [url]http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com/#[/url] ([url]http://siteanalytics.compete.com/istockphoto.com+shutterstock.com/#[/url])
Of course the price model is different and so on, but if that trend continues for a long time, almost none of the details will matter. In the end, I think these statistics will dominate any discussion about current details.


Interesting __ thanks for that. I've just been checking my stat's for the first 10 days of December on both IS & SS and comparing them to the same period last year. Income at Istockphoto is 30% down compared to last December but at Shutterstock it is 30% up. The figures for each year are almost identical but simply reversed between agencies. Weird.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: suemack on December 11, 2010, 16:26
Wonder how many of the Internet users in the Alexa graph would be anxious contributors trying to keep an eye on what's happening, going back frequently to see if there have been any new updates in policy
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 11, 2010, 17:14

Interesting __ thanks for that. I've just been checking my stat's for the first 10 days of December on both IS & SS and comparing them to the same period last year. Income at Istockphoto is 30% down compared to last December but at Shutterstock it is 30% up. The figures for each year are almost identical but simply reversed between agencies. Weird.

Your post made me curious so I checked the same stats.  In my case, both agencies are down from the same 10 days last year.  Down 17% for Istock and down 12% for Shutterstock.  Now I'm depressed :(
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: adijr on December 11, 2010, 20:45

Interesting __ thanks for that. I've just been checking my stat's for the first 10 days of December on both IS & SS and comparing them to the same period last year. Income at Istockphoto is 30% down compared to last December but at Shutterstock it is 30% up. The figures for each year are almost identical but simply reversed between agencies. Weird.

Your post made me curious so I checked the same stats.  In my case, both agencies are down from the same 10 days last year.  Down 17% for Istock and down 12% for Shutterstock.  Now I'm depressed :(

Apologies for the original stats link eventually leading to some people being depressed. Look on the bright side, you're still making (loads of?) money! The reason i brought up compare is because they (and alexa, and so on) can give us a slightly better/different idea of what the buyers are doing (I'm assuming buyer traffic is much higher than contributor traffic. I could be wrong). Looking at your specific numbers is usually way too specific, as it depends on endless factors (e.g. even if you added only 10 pics this year, if they were the top selling santa pictures of 2010, that might change your income dramatically).

Anyway, it's an interesting (graph on alexa) other statistic - but I find it somewhat confusing as it shows the graphs as a reach percentage.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: NancyCWalker on December 12, 2010, 10:25
IS has a post about a new F5 coming out after the weekend. That could be what your seeing in the recent Alexa stats as people keep checking to see what has broken, I mean, new woo-yay site whatever F5 thingy is.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 12, 2010, 15:39
IS has a post about a new F5 coming out after the weekend. That could be what your seeing in the recent Alexa stats as people keep checking to see what has broken, I mean, new woo-yay site whatever F5 thingy is.
Not the chart I posted above: that went up to 8th Dec and the announcement was made on the 9th.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 14, 2010, 10:37
if anyone still cares about buyer's leaving istock (personally I wish they would stay, but after seeing of these types of post, glad I am starting to spread my eggs to other baskets)

From this thread on iStock (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=282232&page=1)

Quote
Istock is officially no longer a micro stock site. With price hikes it was debateable, but now there is no way to turn off the vetta and agency Istock is doing me a mass disservice.

I, like thousands of other buyers, will not be buying vetta and agency simply because they are the first images to display in a search. We must now WASTE valuble time skipping the said "collection" making it an unviable service.

I will be purchasing my next stock credits at another site so see if it saves production time.

Shame really as IS was good
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 14, 2010, 11:09
Thanks Jami.  This is really so sad.  I was hoping that all these posts by buyers would alert TPTB at Istock that they are headed in the wrong direction.  Instead, they seem determined to keep plowing ahead with their buyer-unfriendly attitude. 

Shocking that so many buyers still seem unaware of other microstock options.  The other sites should really step up their advertising right now to make buyers aware they have choices!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 14, 2010, 11:14
Thanks Jami.  This is really so sad.  I was hoping that all these posts by buyers would alert TPTB at Istock that they are headed in the wrong direction.  Instead, they seem determined to keep plowing ahead with their buyer-unfriendly attitude. 

Shocking that so many buyers still seem unaware of other microstock options.  The other sites should really step up their advertising right now to make buyers aware they have choices!

I am wondering if, just as they are trying to get rid of non-exclusive and/or exclusive "slackers" (in Getty's eyes, not mine), perhaps they don't care that they are losing the small buyers? (I am of course making an assumption that the buyers that are leaving do not work for big agencies with deep pockets). Maybe we are all correct, Getty does NOT care about their buyers. The ones they DO care about are sewn up deeply in their pockets and that's all that matters. Just an observation on my part.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on December 14, 2010, 11:23
I am wondering if, just as they are trying to get rid of non-exclusive and/or exclusive "slackers" (in Getty's eyes, not mine), perhaps they don't care that they are losing the small buyers? (I am of course making an assumption that the buyers that are leaving do not work for big agencies with deep pockets). Maybe we are all correct, Getty does NOT care about their buyers. The ones they DO care about are sewn up deeply in their pockets and that's all that matters. Just an observation on my part.

What's considered a small buyer? The poster from Jamie's quote and some of the other peeved buyers said they had several hundred credits. That may not be a premium buyer, but seems like someone that buys fairly frequently. Definitely, a customer I'd like to have.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 14, 2010, 11:53
I am wondering if, just as they are trying to get rid of non-exclusive and/or exclusive "slackers" (in Getty's eyes, not mine), perhaps they don't care that they are losing the small buyers? (I am of course making an assumption that the buyers that are leaving do not work for big agencies with deep pockets). Maybe we are all correct, Getty does NOT care about their buyers. The ones they DO care about are sewn up deeply in their pockets and that's all that matters. Just an observation on my part.

What's considered a small buyer? The poster from Jamie's quote and some of the other peeved buyers said they had several hundred credits. That may not be a premium buyer, but seems like someone that buys fairly frequently. Definitely, a customer I'd like to have.
I am embarrassed about the slagging that OP has got from some contributers. Where's Lobo to delete the abusive posts?
Some contributers are lucky to have fast internet connections and don't know that you can't change sort order until a whole search page has loaded (15 seconds for 200 images here). If you try while the page is downloading, you've blown it.
This is also the case if you try to add an image to a lightbox while the image page is still downloading (i.e. no 'done' in the bottom left) - you just get taken to iStock's home page. Wonder who thought up that annoyance.
These have been on the site for years.
Although I apparently must have a slow connection, in that others don't seem to know about this strange behaviour, I don't know of a single site, small or large, commercial or personal, which won't let you use page functions before the whole page loaded.
"What would Amazon do?" needs to become the iStock mantra.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on December 14, 2010, 12:10
I am embarrassed about the slagging that OP has got from some contributers. Where's Lobo to delete the abusive posts?
Some contributers are lucky to have fast internet connections and don't know that you can't change sort order until a whole search page has loaded (15 seconds for 200 images here). If you try while the page is downloading, you've blown it.
This is also the case if you try to add an image to a lightbox while the image page is still downloading (i.e. no 'done' in the bottom left) - you just get taken to iStock's home page. Wonder who thought up that annoyance.
These have been on the site for years.
Although I apparently must have a slow connection, in that others don't seem to know about this strange behaviour, I don't know of a single site, small or large, commercial or personal, which won't let you use page functions before the whole page loaded.
"What would Amazon do?"   needs to become the iStock mantra.

Very well said Sue. I am always thinking how awful the buyer's experience must be at Istockphoto compared to my own on Amazon. Amazon could never have grown to the size they are with the development and management team at IS.

To be honest Istockphoto should ask themselves the question "What would SHUTTERSTOCK do ... or Dreamstime ... or Fotolia ... or BigStockPhoto ... or CanStockPhoto ..."
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 14, 2010, 12:15
I am wondering if, just as they are trying to get rid of non-exclusive and/or exclusive "slackers" (in Getty's eyes, not mine), perhaps they don't care that they are losing the small buyers? (I am of course making an assumption that the buyers that are leaving do not work for big agencies with deep pockets). Maybe we are all correct, Getty does NOT care about their buyers. The ones they DO care about are sewn up deeply in their pockets and that's all that matters. Just an observation on my part.

What's considered a small buyer? The poster from Jamie's quote and some of the other peeved buyers said they had several hundred credits. That may not be a premium buyer, but seems like someone that buys fairly frequently. Definitely, a customer I'd like to have.

But of course! Me too. A few small buyers very quickly add up to one big buyer. I am just trying to make sense of the bad behavior on IS's part towards these buyers. They aren't small in MY eyes, but maybe Getty's?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: helix7 on December 14, 2010, 12:17
if anyone still cares about buyer's leaving istock (personally I wish they would stay...)

Why? I don't see much benefit for us to have buyers remain at istock. We'd do better if they migrated to sites like StockFresh, GL, etc.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 14, 2010, 12:17
snip
I am embarrassed about the slagging that OP has got from some contributers. Where's Lobo to delete the abusive posts?

Here are my three guesses:
1. he quit (not likely)
2. off enjoying his Christmas vacation already?
3. istockalypse somewhere?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on December 14, 2010, 12:30
Why? I don't see much benefit for us to have buyers remain at istock. We'd do better if they migrated to sites like StockFresh, GL, etc.

GL, definitely. SF, the jury is still out. My RPD is a lot higher at IS, than SF. So, technically I get paid more on each download, even if the percentage is much lower.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 14, 2010, 12:42
if anyone still cares about buyer's leaving istock (personally I wish they would stay...)

Why? I don't see much benefit for us to have buyers remain at istock. We'd do better if they migrated to sites like StockFresh, GL, etc.

I personally would like the buyers to stop posting in the IS forum, use up their credits, and look for some other site that fulfills their needs. There are some decent ones around. All posting in the IS forum does is allow verbal abuse from the ignorant contributors, and even the knowledgeable, helpful ones insist that the buyer should read this thread, read that thread, go here, go there, install this fix, wait until tomorrow for the fix for the fix, and so on. It is so freakin' ridiculous.

I totally agree with some of the posters in that thread AND the buyer...it's NOT the contributors OR buyers' responsibility to test the freakin site and come up with the tutorials on how to use it!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 14, 2010, 12:43
if anyone still cares about buyer's leaving istock (personally I wish they would stay...)

Why? I don't see much benefit for us to have buyers remain at istock. We'd do better if they migrated to sites like StockFresh, GL, etc.

well, for selfish reasons, because most of my port is still just at iStock.  :)  but another reason because eventhough I am a small fish and now Independent, I think iStock will continue to be a good earner for me.  
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 14, 2010, 12:46
I have a feeling by the end of the day I'll be thinking more along the lines of wishing all the buyers would just leave iStock.  you guys are right, they can't seem to do anything right these days and buyers are really starting to get pissed.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on December 14, 2010, 12:55
Why? I don't see much benefit for us to have buyers remain at istock. We'd do better if they migrated to sites like StockFresh, GL, etc.

GL, definitely. SF, the jury is still out. My RPD is a lot higher at IS, than SF. So, technically I get paid more on each download, even if the percentage is much lower.
I think buyers usually buy more images if they are lower priced.  I sold more with istock before they raised prices.  If we get a much higher commission and extra sales, we will make more.  It might not be as simple as how much we make per sold image.  I make a lot more from each download with alamy but its not a big earner compared to some of the micros.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on December 14, 2010, 13:28
I think buyers usually buy more images if they are lower priced.  I sold more with istock before they raised prices.  If we get a much higher commission and extra sales, we will make more.  It might not be as simple as how much we make per sold image.  I make a lot more from each download with alamy but its not a big earner compared to some of the micros.
Definitely true. People do buy more when it is cheaper, but they buy more cheap images. There's a sweet spot between price and sales volume. As a vector contributor, IS has always been a unique model because they don't sell small jpeg versions for vectors. After selling at several different agencies for a while, I've come to think this is the best model for my work. Small size jpegs just seem to cannibalize the larger sales.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on December 14, 2010, 14:41
snip
I am embarrassed about the slagging that OP has got from some contributers. Where's Lobo to delete the abusive posts?


Here are my three guesses:
1. he quit (not likely)
2. off enjoying his Christmas vacation already?
3. istockalypse somewhere?


Well, he just showed up, and quickly joined in on the slam-fest, trying, again to discredit the OP by mentioning that they had a buyer and seller account. WTH does that have to do with ANYTHING? The arrogance at that place never ceases to amaze me.

Well you have to give them credit for keeping their Contributor account and their Buyer accounts separate this time. Previously they were apparently using them both:

Here (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=180261&messageid=3118701#post3118701)


I really hope they lose all their customers.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on December 14, 2010, 15:21
^^^ Followed by another swipe when Lobo locked the thread;
"So, we have another example of where the contributor base is duped into a discussion with a buyer who is also a contributor. Whereas it's appreciated that you are purchasing from the collection you are also EXCLUSIVE with I think it would be great if you could pick an account to communicate with and stick with it.

It just seems very disingenuous to attempt to use your buyer account as a leveraging tool when you participate as an exclusive contributor."

I don't understand why it is 'disingenuous' to complain as a buyer just because you are also a contributor (and an exclusive one at that). If the difficulties being experienced are in the search and purchase of images then what's wrong with speaking as the buyer in that regard? Istock makes money from Lizzielou in both  of her capacities so surely she should be treated with double respect not just ignored because of it.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 14, 2010, 15:25
I just got back to my desk and saw that the thread had been locked. I was thinking "thank goodness Lobo stepped in and stopped the verbal abuse" but no, he just added to it by pulling the old buyer/contributor/worthlessness card out of his sleeve and locked the thread in his usual cowardly way.

Just freakin incredible. I wonder how many times I have said that in the last few weeks about IS.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on December 14, 2010, 15:27
^^^ Followed by another swipe when Lobo locked the thread;
"So, we have another example of where the contributor base is duped into a discussion with a buyer who is also a contributor. Whereas it's appreciated that you are purchasing from the collection you are also EXCLUSIVE with I think it would be great if you could pick an account to communicate with and stick with it.

It just seems very disingenuous to attempt to use your buyer account as a leveraging tool when you participate as an exclusive contributor."

I don't understand why it is 'disingenuous' to complain as a buyer just because you are also a contributor (and an exclusive one at that). If the difficulties being experienced are in the search and purchase of images then what's wrong with speaking as the buyer in that regard? Istock makes money from Lizzielou in both  of her capacities so surely she should be treated with double respect not just ignored because of it.

That seems like the most loyal type of customer you could have. One that is an both an exclusive contributor and buyer.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 14, 2010, 15:39
^^^ Followed by another swipe when Lobo locked the thread;
"So, we have another example of where the contributor base is duped into a discussion with a buyer who is also a contributor. Whereas it's appreciated that you are purchasing from the collection you are also EXCLUSIVE with I think it would be great if you could pick an account to communicate with and stick with it.

It just seems very disingenuous to attempt to use your buyer account as a leveraging tool when you participate as an exclusive contributor."

I don't understand why it is 'disingenuous' to complain as a buyer just because you are also a contributor (and an exclusive one at that). If the difficulties being experienced are in the search and purchase of images then what's wrong with speaking as the buyer in that regard? Istock makes money from Lizzielou in both  of her capacities so surely she should be treated with double respect not just ignored because of it.

That seems like the most loyal type of customer you could have. One that is an both an exclusive contributor and buyer.

Hopefully, not any more.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: rubyroo on December 14, 2010, 15:48
That seems like the most loyal type of customer you could have. One that is an both an exclusive contributor and buyer.

That's what I was thinking.  I find the whole 'If you're a contributor too, you're opinion as a buyer is worthless' approach quite bizarre.  There wouldn't even be any iStock if weren't for such dual-identities.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: pet_chia on December 14, 2010, 15:53
... he just added to it by pulling the old buyer/contributor/worthlessness card out of his sleeve ...

Methinks that you'd better listen to the buyer+contributor criticisms, when they are offered.  Since he/she has more skin in the game, a buyer/contributor is more likely to care about the company and is more likely to offer constructive criticism or advice.

Someone who's ONLY a buyer is a lot less likely to care enough to spend time trying to correct the problems.  I don't bother telling anyone at Walmart if I find that their little kitchen gadgets or pet supplies or whatever are not what I wanted, I just walk out and go to another store.

Imagine if at a Walmart employee meeting, one of the workers says that she thinks the displays of Christmas ornaments are messy and disorganized, and really confusing to the customers, for example she tried to buy a lighted reindeer and couldn't find one at a good price so she went down the road to get one at Home Depot.  Would the manager roll his eyes and explain to the others, well, never mind, because you see she's disingenuous, she's not only a customer but she's an EMPLOYEE TOO.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on December 14, 2010, 15:55
Hopefully, not any more.

I can't imagine they would be loyal after being insulted like that. Gasoline puts out fires, right?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 14, 2010, 16:10
... he just added to it by pulling the old buyer/contributor/worthlessness card out of his sleeve ...

Methinks that you'd better listen to the buyer+contributor criticisms, when they are offered.  Since he/she has more skin in the game, a buyer/contributor is more likely to care about the company and is more likely to offer constructive criticism or advice.

Someone who's ONLY a buyer is a lot less likely to care enough to spend time trying to correct the problems.  I don't bother telling anyone at Walmart if I find that their little kitchen gadgets or pet supplies or whatever are not what I wanted, I just walk out and go to another store.

Imagine if at a Walmart employee meeting, one of the workers says that she thinks the displays of Christmas ornaments are messy and disorganized, and really confusing to the customers, for example she tried to buy a lighted reindeer and couldn't find one at a good price so she went down the road to get one at Home Depot.  Would the manager roll his eyes and explain to the others, well, never mind, because you see she's disingenuous, she's not only a customer but she's an EMPLOYEE TOO.

great analogy!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: rubyroo on December 14, 2010, 16:12
Ditto.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 14, 2010, 16:18
great analogy!

Not really.  It would be more apt if the employee came back in with a mustache and beard and started yelling at the customer service desk that the place sucks and she can't find anything, so she is leaving.  Then she goes out and takes off the disguise and heads in to work.

It's more that everyone that is responding to the person doesn't know they are dealing with our good friend Bob the contributor, even though Bob thinks everyone might know.

Anyways, it sounds like the poster is part of a work group that uses the account, so it may be a ranting co-worker.  I don't know how they track all that stuff.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on December 14, 2010, 16:26
Not really.  It would be more apt if the employee came back in with a mustache and beard and started yelling at the customer service desk that the place sucks and she can't find anything, so she is leaving.  Then she goes out and takes off the disguise and heads in to work.

It's more that everyone that is responding to the person doesn't know they are dealing with our good friend Bob the contributor, even though Bob thinks everyone might know.

Anyways, it sounds like the poster is part of a work group that uses the account, so it may be a ranting co-worker.  I don't know how they track all that stuff.

That's funny! I never thought about showing up to work in a disguise, so I can yell at my boss.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on December 14, 2010, 16:27
^^^ Followed by another swipe when Lobo locked the thread;
"So, we have another example of where the contributor base is duped into a discussion with a buyer who is also a contributor. Whereas it's appreciated that you are purchasing from the collection you are also EXCLUSIVE with I think it would be great if you could pick an account to communicate with and stick with it.

It just seems very disingenuous to attempt to use your buyer account as a leveraging tool when you participate as an exclusive contributor."

I don't understand why it is 'disingenuous' to complain as a buyer just because you are also a contributor (and an exclusive one at that). If the difficulties being experienced are in the search and purchase of images then what's wrong with speaking as the buyer in that regard? Istock makes money from Lizzielou in both  of her capacities so surely she should be treated with double respect not just ignored because of it.

Wow. Just wow. The disrespect is just unreal. Are they seriously trying to get rid of all their buyers AND their sellers. How stupid can they be?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 14, 2010, 16:35
That's funny! I never thought about showing up to work in a disguise, so I can yell at my boss.


(http://www.moonbattery.com/nose-moustache-glasses.jpg)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 14, 2010, 16:54
great analogy!

Not really.  It would be more apt if the employee came back in with a mustache and beard and started yelling at the customer service desk that the place sucks and she can't find anything, so she is leaving.  Then she goes out and takes off the disguise and heads in to work.

It's more that everyone that is responding to the person doesn't know they are dealing with our good friend Bob the contributor, even though Bob thinks everyone might know.

Anyways, it sounds like the poster is part of a work group that uses the account, so it may be a ranting co-worker.  I don't know how they track all that stuff.

I suppose you could be right, but we are not talking about someone trying to do this covertly.  Even when someone admits to being a contributor and buyer they should be allowed to raise concerns from the buyer point of view.  I dont recall reading anything blatantly obnoxious from the poster anyhow.  of course I didn't read all the threads, but then I think the point that is trying to be made here is that iStock should show more tact and respect with all of its customers - whether that customer is a buyer or a contributor. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 14, 2010, 17:05
great analogy!

Not really.  It would be more apt if the employee came back in with a mustache and beard and started yelling at the customer service desk that the place sucks and she can't find anything, so she is leaving.  Then she goes out and takes off the disguise and heads in to work.

It's more that everyone that is responding to the person doesn't know they are dealing with our good friend Bob the contributor, even though Bob thinks everyone might know.

Anyways, it sounds like the poster is part of a work group that uses the account, so it may be a ranting co-worker.  I don't know how they track all that stuff.

Is lizzielou an exclusive contributor? Does lizzielou (or her workgroup) buy credits to purchase images at IS? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, then she deserves respect, instead of being told "don't let the door hit you on the way out." It doesn't matter if I know that she is an exclusive contributor...if she says she's a buyer and that is true, that's all that matters to me. One would think that would matter to IS.

Sean, I certainly hope that you are not saying you approve of the way Lobo cuts people down, "outs" them (he seems to think that is some sort of crime and is purposefully trying to make others believe it is criminal), and then locks the thread so that no one can even respond.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on December 14, 2010, 17:22
Have people seen this thread: http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=282362&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=282362&page=1) ?

Two buyers out of nine responses:

Come on Istock - you are loosing money here. I search and get one page click next and get a blank page - please stop messing with something that is not broken. Im off elsewhere.

Truly, because now I have to go look at other sites. I have never shopped another site.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 14, 2010, 17:33
Have people seen this thread: [url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=282362&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=282362&page=1[/url]) ?

Two buyers out of nine responses:

Come on Istock - you are loosing money here. I search and get one page click next and get a blank page - please stop messing with something that is not broken. Im off elsewhere.

Truly, because now I have to go look at other sites. I have never shopped another site.


It doesn't seem to matter, Lobo's gonna find something wrong with them, shut them up, then lock the thread.

Look in this thread:
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=281812&page=12 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=281812&page=12)

Just 15 minutes ago rogermexico posted again about how there will be a fix for some bug or another. Bugs are still being reported. They are playing whack-a-mole yet again.  ::)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on December 14, 2010, 17:37
How truly embarrassing. They should head on over to Dreamstime. :D. I'm really liking it over there. AND we get comp images that are nice and big.

Edited: Ugh. Typos.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on December 14, 2010, 17:39
It doesn't seem to matter, Lobo's gonna find something wrong with them, shut them up, then lock the thread.

Those people are all clearly Communist and their anti-Capitalism agenda biases their opinions.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 14, 2010, 17:40
great analogy!

Not really.  It would be more apt if the employee came back in with a mustache and beard and started yelling at the customer service desk that the place sucks and she can't find anything, so she is leaving.  Then she goes out and takes off the disguise and heads in to work.

It's more that everyone that is responding to the person doesn't know they are dealing with our good friend Bob the contributor, even though Bob thinks everyone might know.

Anyways, it sounds like the poster is part of a work group that uses the account, so it may be a ranting co-worker.  I don't know how they track all that stuff.

Are you an iStock employee, Sean? I thought it was just an agency representing you.

Lobo's response was unforgivably rude. Instead of addressing the issue he just chose to insult the customer on what appears to be a false premise. Even if he was right about the dual account, that is not relevant to the complaint.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on December 14, 2010, 17:46
...an agency representing you...

I'm thinking that might be pushing it. I'm going with they're just some people I do business with. You know like the guy you buy tickets from outside a concert.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 14, 2010, 17:56
Well, here are some more quotes from buyers.  This is just crazy.  And these are buyers that are still there after all the price increases, so they apparently aren't even the price sensitive ones!

Kudos to Sean for suggesting the Google workaround, BTW, but it should NOT be necessary.  Too bad only buyers who have slogged through 12 pages of that thread on the Help Forum will run across his post.  

Jessicaboyd:  

Getting one page of results and then click on the next button to get an empty page. Are we really doing away with clickable page numbers? The new options in the left panel look nice, but I'm not getting any images at all in some cases of very common words. I agree with whomever said it was a bad idea to release this during a busy holiday time. Not the most well-conceived idea. IMHO. Going to have to go somewhere else. Sorry iStock.

Ronnieb:

Any idea when this bug is fixed? I'm alrady waiting for more than a day to download some material. I agree with a lot of people here that this is NOT the way to do business... When my credits are used I quit Istock..

Keylock71:

Got to say... istock has been my primary go to site for stock imagery at work, but this roll out is been very poorly handled from what I can tell. Not at all professional or considerate to the folks who have been buying stock images from here.

Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on December 14, 2010, 18:05
Not at all professional or considerate to the folks who have been buying stock images from here.

[/i]

That seems to be iStock's new mantra.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: sharpshot on December 14, 2010, 18:07
I wonder if all we are seeing is a small proportion of the istock buyers going elsewhere or if there's going to be something big happening here?  If there's a herd mentality, this could lead to a big change.  It seems that the vast majority of contributors are capable of putting up with anything istock do but are buyers the same?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Perry on December 14, 2010, 18:20
There is a number of reasons why someone would have two accounts, one for buying and one for contributing.

If I were working at some company as a designer, I would have one buyer's account.
And If I was contributing images in my free time, I sure wouldn't be using the same account I am using at work.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 14, 2010, 18:49
I just got back to my desk and saw that the thread had been locked. I was thinking "thank goodness Lobo stepped in and stopped the verbal abuse" but no, he just added to it by pulling the old buyer/contributor/worthlessness card out of his sleeve and locked the thread in his usual cowardly way.

Just freakin incredible. I wonder how many times I have said that in the last few weeks about IS.
I am totally incandescent about this. Totally. I will refrain from saying more here. I have SMd Lobo directly.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on December 14, 2010, 18:55
I just got back to my desk and saw that the thread had been locked. I was thinking "thank goodness Lobo stepped in and stopped the verbal abuse" but no, he just added to it by pulling the old buyer/contributor/worthlessness card out of his sleeve and locked the thread in his usual cowardly way.

Just freakin incredible. I wonder how many times I have said that in the last few weeks about IS.
I am totally incandescent about this. Totally. I will refrain from saying more here. I have SMd Lobo directly.

How can you be blocked from posting and still have access to sitemail? I thought the two were intertwined.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 14, 2010, 18:58
I think iStock is kinda shooting their selves in the foot over all this. It's bad enough that they have twice (as far as we know) insulted a buyer like that and they turn around and insult them as an exclusive contributor as well. It shouldn't make a difference rather you are a buyer and seller. No where does it say it's illegal to do both on that site. That contributor may have a small port but could be a big buyer. The way they make it sound is like they are criminals and are being charged for treason. How stupid is that?? Personally if that was me I would be hitting the door on both ends...buyer as well as seller. It looks like they are trying to make all the negativity lye solely on the contributors, even if it is coming from a buyer. I really hope there are a lot of their buyers reading those posts and realize what is really going on there. It's so bizarre.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 14, 2010, 19:00
I just got back to my desk and saw that the thread had been locked. I was thinking "thank goodness Lobo stepped in and stopped the verbal abuse" but no, he just added to it by pulling the old buyer/contributor/worthlessness card out of his sleeve and locked the thread in his usual cowardly way.

Just freakin incredible. I wonder how many times I have said that in the last few weeks about IS.
I am totally incandescent about this. Totally. I will refrain from saying more here. I have SMd Lobo directly.

How can you be blocked from posting and still have access to sitemail? I thought the two were intertwined.
I've only been banned from the forums.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on December 14, 2010, 19:04
Are you an iStock employee, Sean? I thought it was just an agency representing you.

Lobo's response was unforgivably rude. Instead of addressing the issue he just chose to insult the customer on what appears to be a false premise. Even if he was right about the dual account, that is not relevant to the complaint.

I'm not commenting on the response.  I just saying I understand the rationale behind being concerned about that.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 14, 2010, 19:06
Are you an iStock employee, Sean? I thought it was just an agency representing you.

Lobo's response was unforgivably rude. Instead of addressing the issue he just chose to insult the customer on what appears to be a false premise. Even if he was right about the dual account, that is not relevant to the complaint.

I'm not commenting on the response.  I just saying I understand the rationale behind being concerned about that.
I don't. So can you please explain?
Added: sorry, I saw you did. I'll respectfully agree to differ with your take on this.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 14, 2010, 19:12
Are you an iStock employee, Sean? I thought it was just an agency representing you.

Lobo's response was unforgivably rude. Instead of addressing the issue he just chose to insult the customer on what appears to be a false premise. Even if he was right about the dual account, that is not relevant to the complaint.

I'm not commenting on the response.  I just saying I understand the rationale behind being concerned about that.
I don't. So can you please explain?
+1

I don't see what difference it makes rather the buyer was also a contributor. If he's looking for a image and has a budget in mind...he's not going to be looking for his image but someone else s at the price within his budget. If he wanted to use his own it could be free. He's venting as a buyer, not a contributor.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 14, 2010, 19:14
I don't see what difference it makes rather the buyer was also a contributor. If he's looking for a image and has a budget in mind...he's not going to be looking for his image but someone else s at the price within his budget. If he wanted to use his own it could be free. He's venting as a buyer, not a contributor.

I believe the implication is that being a disgruntled contributor might color her impressions as a buyer.  Personally, I don't think that invalidates the buyer's opinion at all.  But I believe that is the thinking behind bringing it up.  

Edited to change his/her to her.  Guess it's safe to assume Lizzielou is a woman :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on December 14, 2010, 19:29

How can you be blocked from posting and still have access to sitemail? I thought the two were intertwined.
I've only been banned from the forums.

Interesting. I guess they used to be intertwined but aren't anymore. How silly then. There was no reason to ban me from sitemail. I actually wasn't even using it that much. Oh well, hurts them more than me in the long run. :D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 14, 2010, 19:55
I don't see what difference it makes rather the buyer was also a contributor. If he's looking for a image and has a budget in mind...he's not going to be looking for his image but someone else s at the price within his budget. If he wanted to use his own it could be free. He's venting as a buyer, not a contributor.

I believe the implication is that being a disgruntled contributor might color her impressions as a buyer.  Personally, I don't think that invalidates the buyer's opinion at all.  But I believe that is the thinking behind bringing it up.  

Edited to change his/her to her.  Guess it's safe to assume Lizzielou is a woman :)

I see the point now. It's being found guilty before innocent. It's their way of justifying the actions of the buyer so it appears the real reason is because they are also a contributor. I guess I could see the reasoning behind that, but when their are many other buyer saying basically the same thing, it really doesn't justify the attitude.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on December 14, 2010, 20:21

How can you be blocked from posting and still have access to sitemail? I thought the two were intertwined.
I've only been banned from the forums.

Interesting. I guess they used to be intertwined but aren't anymore. How silly then. There was no reason to ban me from sitemail. I actually wasn't even using it that much. Oh well, hurts them more than me in the long run. :D

  Gee, they banned me from both too. Do you think it was something I said?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 14, 2010, 21:39
I don't see what difference it makes rather the buyer was also a contributor. If he's looking for a image and has a budget in mind...he's not going to be looking for his image but someone else s at the price within his budget. If he wanted to use his own it could be free. He's venting as a buyer, not a contributor.

I believe the implication is that being a disgruntled contributor might color her impressions as a buyer.  Personally, I don't think that invalidates the buyer's opinion at all.  But I believe that is the thinking behind bringing it up.  

Edited to change his/her to her.  Guess it's safe to assume Lizzielou is a woman :)

So if you are already disgruntled you are not allowed an opinion if they mess you about some more? Or maybe everybody is lying when they say they have deadlines and the search is a mess? The search is actually perfect, the roll-out was flawless, there are no bugs anywhere on the site and the only problem at iStock is that it is full of people who are irrational, upset and trying to pretend that things are less than perfect. Got it. No wonder they are being rude to these subversives!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on December 15, 2010, 01:55

How can you be blocked from posting and still have access to sitemail? I thought the two were intertwined.
I've only been banned from the forums.

Interesting. I guess they used to be intertwined but aren't anymore. How silly then. There was no reason to ban me from sitemail. I actually wasn't even using it that much. Oh well, hurts them more than me in the long run. :D

  Gee, they banned me from both too. Do you think it was something I said?

One can only hope, right? :D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 15, 2010, 07:36
I don't see what difference it makes rather the buyer was also a contributor. If he's looking for a image and has a budget in mind...he's not going to be looking for his image but someone else s at the price within his budget. If he wanted to use his own it could be free. He's venting as a buyer, not a contributor.

I believe the implication is that being a disgruntled contributor might color her impressions as a buyer.  Personally, I don't think that invalidates the buyer's opinion at all.  But I believe that is the thinking behind bringing it up.  

Edited to change his/her to her.  Guess it's safe to assume Lizzielou is a woman :)

So if you are already disgruntled you are not allowed an opinion if they mess you about some more? Or maybe everybody is lying when they say they have deadlines and the search is a mess? The search is actually perfect, the roll-out was flawless, there are no bugs anywhere on the site and the only problem at iStock is that it is full of people who are irrational, upset and trying to pretend that things are less than perfect. Got it. No wonder they are being rude to these subversives!

Exactly. As long as you preface your report of a bug or criticism with "you guys are the best ever" and end your post with a "wooyay, F5!" you are good. Don't get frustrated and/or mad and post, otherwise whatever you say is only coming from a deceitful, disgruntled nobody, who happens to be both a buyer and contributor.

I can't even imagine working for a company who has me on a tight deadline for a huge project, only a few days before Christmas vacation, only having an account at IS to buy images, and having to wade through all of those bug posts just to find out how to use the freakin search tool and find something to use for the project. Some of these people who work at IS apparently have no clue how the real working world works.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 15, 2010, 07:45
That whole fiasco could have been avoided if only her first question had been properly answered, rather than locked and referred to a totally irrelevant thread on another forum. We all make mistakes, but it could have been sorted if the admin who locked it had, when I SMd him on the loupe issue, had opened the thread again and cleared up that point. Now lizzielou and malamus are so angry they're digging themselves in really deep.
When I taught, we were always told to try to diffuse situations, to try to avoid a situation from escalating.
Looks like some admins deliberately fanned the fire from the very beginning on this one.
(Get down, conspiracy theorist - I was even beginning to wonder if there was a 'back story.)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: molka on December 15, 2010, 11:22
they put up a new search engine without testing? Nice : >> I can't even remember when I last heard about that level of dilettantism even from semi-serious net corp. : >
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 15, 2010, 12:25

I believe the implication is that being a disgruntled contributor might color her impressions as a buyer.  Personally, I don't think that invalidates the buyer's opinion at all.  But I believe that is the thinking behind bringing it up.  

Edited to change his/her to her.  Guess it's safe to assume Lizzielou is a woman :)

So if you are already disgruntled you are not allowed an opinion if they mess you about some more? Or maybe everybody is lying when they say they have deadlines and the search is a mess? The search is actually perfect, the roll-out was flawless, there are no bugs anywhere on the site and the only problem at iStock is that it is full of people who are irrational, upset and trying to pretend that things are less than perfect. Got it. No wonder they are being rude to these subversives!

Very well summed up Balderick!

Hopefully it was clear that I was not agreeing with Istock's stance?! 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 15, 2010, 12:34

I believe the implication is that being a disgruntled contributor might color her impressions as a buyer.  Personally, I don't think that invalidates the buyer's opinion at all.  But I believe that is the thinking behind bringing it up.  

Edited to change his/her to her.  Guess it's safe to assume Lizzielou is a woman :)

So if you are already disgruntled you are not allowed an opinion if they mess you about some more? Or maybe everybody is lying when they say they have deadlines and the search is a mess? The search is actually perfect, the roll-out was flawless, there are no bugs anywhere on the site and the only problem at iStock is that it is full of people who are irrational, upset and trying to pretend that things are less than perfect. Got it. No wonder they are being rude to these subversives!

Very well summed up Balderick!

Hopefully it was clear that I was not agreeing with Istock's stance?! 

It was clear to me. I thought you were just trying to state the rationale behind the admin's rudeness and locking of threads. And I agree, I disagree!  :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 15, 2010, 13:00

It was clear to me. I thought you were just trying to state the rationale behind the admin's rudeness and locking of threads. And I agree, I disagree!  :)

Hee, hee.  Good, we agree on what we disagree with ;D
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 15, 2010, 13:40
I am utterly lost as to why a buyer complaint isn't equally valid whether the buyer only purchases, or contributes as well. I don't always agree with what's done by admins in the forums, but I usually at least get it. This one I don't get.

Typically, ad hominem attacks surface when you can't attack on the issues - i.e. they're almost always a sign of a weak case.

I can see why IS is defensive, given that they have effed up the search changes - both in how broken search is and in once again delivering new code at a truly terrible time. Not the absolute worst time - that would have been in early November - but early December (typically a very busy time in my years there) and on a weekday, not a weekend.

If they could put some of the energy into working on fixes (i.e. not just going home at 5pm and leaving the buggy search and no admins to respond) that they do into insulting buyers, we'd all be better off.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 15, 2010, 14:14
I am utterly lost as to why a buyer complaint isn't equally valid whether the buyer only purchases, or contributes as well. I don't always agree with what's done by admins in the forums, but I usually at least get it. This one I don't get.

Typically, ad hominem attacks surface when you can't attack on the issues - i.e. they're almost always a sign of a weak case.

I can see why IS is defensive, given that they have effed up the search changes - both in how broken search is and in once again delivering new code at a truly terrible time. Not the absolute worst time - that would have been in early November - but early December (typically a very busy time in my years there) and on a weekday, not a weekend.

If they could put some of the energy into working on fixes (i.e. not just going home at 5pm and leaving the buggy search and no admins to respond) that they do into insulting buyers, we'd all be better off.

I don't either.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 15, 2010, 14:17

If they could put some of the energy into working on fixes (i.e. not just going home at 5pm and leaving the buggy search and no admins to respond) that they do into insulting buyers, we'd all be better off.
Ay, there's the rub.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 15, 2010, 14:50
Hopefully it was clear that I was not agreeing with Istock's stance?! 

Quite clear, I was just trying to work out what the admin's attitude meant.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on December 29, 2010, 14:47
One more happy punter (from the 404 thread):

"Your website is so bug ridden you should have ORKIN as a sponsor. I just bought $350 worth of credit and nearly every photo I've included in my album that the client signed off on gets me a 404 error when attempting to order? (Of course no 404 error when taking my money) WTH? Your customer service number cycles me through in seconds and than hangs up? Can you really call it customer support when someone phones you, tweets you, posts on Facebook, emails you, and now posts on your forum and you don't adequately responds?"
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: rubyroo on December 29, 2010, 14:49
Wow.  If I were that buyer, I'd cash in my chips at this point.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 29, 2010, 14:53
Wow.  If I were that buyer, I'd cash in my chips at this point.

me too. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 29, 2010, 15:52
this person on twitter has been not happy about the 404 errors on lack of customer service from istock.. I think someone posted part of his tweets already, but here's the latest:

Quote
tweet by Vonster: @iStock You guys really need to email your user base once the problem is fixed.  Telling us to keep trying is not good customer service.

and then iStock's reply:
Quote
Tweet reply by iStock: @Vonster Agree.  Unfortunately emailing that many users isn't a practical option either.  It's the holiday short staffing us that's the prob.

okay, seriously?!  Every other retailer adds additional seasonal staff to help with these sorts of things.  Okay, so maybe it's different for an online company, but I would guess that Amazon most certainly beefed up their staff for the holiday sales. 

I kind of feel sorry for whoever is responding on the twitter account as they seem to be one of the few people working, and they really can't fix anything, just respond to complaints/tweets and notify someone on staff who may actually be working.  404 errors for customers trying to buy istock items is competely UNSATisfactory. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 29, 2010, 16:07
I wish someone would explain to me why istock can't email contributors and buyers. Surely it's possible...I get email blasts all the time from big companies.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 29, 2010, 16:09
I wish someone would explain to me why istock can't email contributors and buyers. Surely it's possible...I get email blasts all the time from big companies.

they do have a huge base, so maybe they don't want to widely advertise all the problems going on. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 29, 2010, 16:47

and then iStock's reply:
Quote
Tweet reply by iStock: @Vonster Agree.  Unfortunately emailing that many users isn't a practical option either.  It's the holiday short staffing us that's the prob.

I kind of feel sorry for whoever is responding on the twitter account as they seem to be one of the few people working, and they really can't fix anything, just respond to complaints/tweets and notify someone on staff who may actually be working. 

I feel really sorry for that person too.  They just made a fatal error in telling the truth - that "It's the holiday short staffing that's the prob".  They are most likely going to get their a$$ handed to them for admitting that publicly.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 29, 2010, 16:55
Here's another:

Quote
idyzyn
idyzyn
Member has had a submission accepted to the Designer Spotlight
Posted 9 mins ago
Quote
   
I've basically left iStock although I used to LOVE IT HERE - returned today to buy a couple of images - and have found that the search isn't working at all for me. Only the Dollar Bin search.

No I'm not trying too specific a keyword. I can type in "boy" and get nothing. I can type in "boy scout" and get nothing. "camping" - etc - NOTHING. So that's what I'll be buying: NOTHING!!!!!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 29, 2010, 16:57
Here's another:

Quote
idyzyn
idyzyn
Member has had a submission accepted to the Designer Spotlight
Posted 9 mins ago
Quote
   
I've basically left iStock although I used to LOVE IT HERE - returned today to buy a couple of images - and have found that the search isn't working at all for me. Only the Dollar Bin search.

No I'm not trying too specific a keyword. I can type in "boy" and get nothing. I can type in "boy scout" and get nothing. "camping" - etc - NOTHING. So that's what I'll be buying: NOTHING!!!!!



I was just going to post that!  :) 
here's the link if anyone cares to see the thread. (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=286942&page=1)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Blufish on December 29, 2010, 17:00
This was his last post. OUCH.


All better. I went to another site and typed it in and got just what I wanted. No more screwing around. I don't have time . . .
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 29, 2010, 17:00
Here's another:

Quote
idyzyn
idyzyn
Member has had a submission accepted to the Designer Spotlight
Posted 9 mins ago
Quote
   
I've basically left iStock although I used to LOVE IT HERE - returned today to buy a couple of images - and have found that the search isn't working at all for me. Only the Dollar Bin search.

No I'm not trying too specific a keyword. I can type in "boy" and get nothing. I can type in "boy scout" and get nothing. "camping" - etc - NOTHING. So that's what I'll be buying: NOTHING!!!!!



I was just going to post that!  :) 
here's the link if anyone cares to see the thread. ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=286942&page=1[/url])


We must have posted at the same time.  :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 29, 2010, 17:01
What are they thinking??? I'm beginning to think they are trying to show a loss to save on taxes rather than a profit.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 29, 2010, 17:02
Here's another:

Quote
idyzyn
idyzyn
Member has had a submission accepted to the Designer Spotlight
Posted 9 mins ago
Quote
   
I've basically left iStock although I used to LOVE IT HERE - returned today to buy a couple of images - and have found that the search isn't working at all for me. Only the Dollar Bin search.

No I'm not trying too specific a keyword. I can type in "boy" and get nothing. I can type in "boy scout" and get nothing. "camping" - etc - NOTHING. So that's what I'll be buying: NOTHING!!!!!



I was just going to post that!  :) 
here's the link if anyone cares to see the thread. ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=286942&page=1[/url])

It was probably just that really stupid 'feature' that reports 0 results until they all come down (who thought of that one? Why hasn't it been fixed? Why am I even asking?)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 29, 2010, 17:03
This was his last post. OUCH.


All better. I went to another site and typed it in and got just what I wanted. No more screwing around. I don't have time . . .

That's too bad. But I totally understand. As a buyer, I wouldn't have lasted as long as some of these ones with a lot of patience have. When people are on a deadline, there's just no time to sit around and try and troubleshoot a poorly designed and implemented website.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 29, 2010, 17:21
On Twitter, I can see the responses of the Istock staff, but not the comments directed to Istock by other people. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Red Dove on December 29, 2010, 17:32
I can't read this stuff anymore...it's too depressing. I've stopped uploading since nobody can see my stuff...or buy it even if they can. The sales I had on Christmas Day are very likely fraudulent and will be backed out. It's a ship of fools captained by Donald Duck. Unbelievable. And one of my New Year's resolutions was to cut down on the scotch. Fat chance.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 29, 2010, 17:33
On Twitter, I can see the responses of the Istock staff, but not the comments directed to Istock by other people. 

I can only see posts by istock regarding Vetta. I'm not seeing any of the kind of posts I saw before, from istock or to istock.  ???
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 29, 2010, 17:37
On Twitter, I can see the responses of the Istock staff, but not the comments directed to Istock by other people. 

I can only see posts by istock regarding Vetta. I'm not seeing any of the kind of posts I saw before, from istock or to istock.  ???

Now that is down right weird. I was just looking at it, then closed it out and after you said something Lisa, opened it back up and the post's from the customer was gone. Can the monitor the post on twitter too????
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 29, 2010, 17:43
On Twitter, I can see the responses of the Istock staff, but not the comments directed to Istock by other people. 

I can only see posts by istock regarding Vetta. I'm not seeing any of the kind of posts I saw before, from istock or to istock.  ???

Now that is down right weird. I was just looking at it, then closed it out and after you said something Lisa, opened it back up and the post's from the customer was gone. Can the monitor the post on twitter too????

Yeah, I am wondering if they haven't disconnected their link to twitter somehow, except for the sales plugs.

All of this social networking is accomplishing one good thing for consumers and that is if companies don't get their act together and treat their customers and suppliers right, people are going to know about it, and fast.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 29, 2010, 17:46
On Twitter, I can see the responses of the Istock staff, but not the comments directed to Istock by other people. 

I can only see posts by istock regarding Vetta. I'm not seeing any of the kind of posts I saw before, from istock or to istock.  ???

Now that is down right weird. I was just looking at it, then closed it out and after you said something Lisa, opened it back up and the post's from the customer was gone. Can the monitor the post on twitter too????

Yeah, I am wondering if they haven't disconnected their link to twitter somehow, except for the sales plugs.

All of this social networking is accomplishing one good thing for consumers and that is if companies don't get their act together and treat their customers and suppliers right, people are going to know about it, and fast.

Yeah its as if they are a cat trying to cover up their sh*t just to cover up the smell. Bottom line is....it still smells.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 29, 2010, 18:10
On Twitter, I can see the responses of the Istock staff, but not the comments directed to Istock by other people. 

I can only see posts by istock regarding Vetta. I'm not seeing any of the kind of posts I saw before, from istock or to istock.  ???

Now that is down right weird. I was just looking at it, then closed it out and after you said something Lisa, opened it back up and the post's from the customer was gone. Can the monitor the post on twitter too????

Yeah, I am wondering if they haven't disconnected their link to twitter somehow, except for the sales plugs.

All of this social networking is accomplishing one good thing for consumers and that is if companies don't get their act together and treat their customers and suppliers right, people are going to know about it, and fast.

don't put an "@" or "#" in front of istock, just do a search on "istock" and you'll get all the tweets that have istock in them somewhere.  I still see the tweets.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 29, 2010, 18:14
don't put an "@" or "#" in front of istock, just do a search on "istock" and you'll get all the tweets that have istock in them somewhere.  I still see the tweets.

Let me try again. I saw them earlier and haven't changed anything since, but when I searched and followed, i used @iStock.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 29, 2010, 18:20
don't put an "@" or "#" in front of istock, just do a search on "istock" and you'll get all the tweets that have istock in them somewhere.  I still see the tweets.

Let me try again. I saw them earlier and haven't changed anything since, but when I searched and followed, i used @iStock.

The first time I did it I also did the @iStock and it pulled up the remarks by the customer. When I reopened it, it was already on the iStock page but the remarks were gone, so when I tried it with just iStock and it still pulled up just iStock's posts again and no customer posts.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 29, 2010, 19:51
Thanks for the replies.  I just assumed I was doing something wrong, as I haven't used Twitter before. 

Weird that the customer complaints are disappearing.  Does Istock have some control over what is visible on twitter?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 29, 2010, 19:53
Thanks for the replies.  I just assumed I was doing something wrong, as I haven't used Twitter before. 

Weird that the customer complaints are disappearing.  Does Istock have some control over what is visible on twitter?

That's what I was wondering too.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 29, 2010, 20:03
Thanks for the replies.  I just assumed I was doing something wrong, as I haven't used Twitter before.  

Weird that the customer complaints are disappearing.  Does Istock have some control over what is visible on twitter?

That's what I was wondering too.

I believe so. For instance, I have a FB page for my cathyslife stuff. I have that linked to my Twitter account. Any time I post something on FB, it automatically tweets the same thing. So likely their FB page is linked? Not sure, i need to go investigate the FB page.

Also, when I go to Twitter and login, their posts don't show on the left in my Timeline tab. If I click on the istock logo to the right, under the people I am following, istocks timeline shows. I think all the posts show there. I never did get the hang of or like Twitter.

edit: so i don't think they were disappearing for me, I think I just don't know exactly how to use Twitter.   ::)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: donding on December 29, 2010, 20:11

edit: so i don't think they were disappearing for me, I think I just don't know exactly how to use Twitter.   ::)

First time I've been on there so don't really know what I'm doing...lol
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 29, 2010, 20:14
I took a look at the istockphoto FB page. Doesn't look like exactly the same things that are posted on FB by IS are appearing on Twitter, so I believe they might post the tweets manually. I'm really just guessing...as I said, don't know a whole lot about it, only a little.

There are a few posts on the FB page though by angry buyers and/or contributors etc.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 29, 2010, 21:13
no, you can't delete the twitter posts.  I think only the original person who tweeted it might be able to, as I've deleted a few of mine in the past. 

I do have my twitter and FB pages linked so that if I add #fb to the end of any tweet it automatically will also post on my Facebook page.  I dont know if there is something that goes the other way, the app I used is a Facebook app called "selective tweets" (http://www.facebook.com/selectivetwitter)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on December 29, 2010, 21:24
no, you can't delete the twitter posts.  I think only the original person who tweeted it might be able to, as I've deleted a few of mine in the past. 

I do have my twitter and FB pages linked so that if I add #fb to the end of any tweet it automatically will also post on my Facebook page.  I dont know if there is something that goes the other way, the app I used is a Facebook app called "selective tweets" ([url]http://www.facebook.com/selectivetwitter[/url])


There is an app that posts your FB posts to your Twitter account. I have mine linked to my business page. I think I got the app here: http://www.involver.com/applications/#__ (http://www.involver.com/applications/#__)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on December 30, 2010, 03:13
This evening I see a bunch of angry twitter posts from buyers (apparently they're buyers; I don't know the people) as iStock has implemented a time lock - one download every 5 minutes. One comment was that with a lightbox of 38 images that'll take over 3 hours to download.

I assume this is related to the credit card fraud, but if so, how stupid to limit the small numbers of downloads as well as the big batches. So if I need 5 pictures for a project, I download all 5 in 5 minutes and then I go away for hours or days while I work on things. Users of that sort shouldn't have to wait 25 minutes to download their images. It's the sustained numbers of downloads at speed that should be the flag.

I guess this was the best that the skeleton IT staff could come up with over the holidays???
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on December 30, 2010, 04:59
This evening I see a bunch of angry twitter posts from buyers (apparently they're buyers; I don't know the people) as iStock has implemented a time lock - one download every 5 minutes. One comment was that with a lightbox of 38 images that'll take over 3 hours to download.

I assume this is related to the credit card fraud, but if so, how stupid to limit the small numbers of downloads as well as the big batches. So if I need 5 pictures for a project, I download all 5 in 5 minutes and then I go away for hours or days while I work on things. Users of that sort shouldn't have to wait 25 minutes to download their images. It's the sustained numbers of downloads at speed that should be the flag.

I guess this was the best that the skeleton IT staff could come up with over the holidays???
I see the 404 error on SMs is still there. While me getting that message (which apparently doesn't mean anything) when SMing someone hardly matters, I hope it's been fixed when people send support tickets. Even if it's working, the impression is given that it isn't, and buyers don't all hang around the forums (it was an hour or two after my 404 that it was reported in the Help forum, and a while after that before I and others realised that the SMs were getting through despite the 404).
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: rene on December 30, 2010, 07:38
This evening I see a bunch of angry twitter posts from buyers (apparently they're buyers; I don't know the people) as iStock has implemented a time lock - one download every 5 minutes. One comment was that with a lightbox of 38 images that'll take over 3 hours to download.

I assume this is related to the credit card fraud, but if so, how stupid to limit the small numbers of downloads as well as the big batches. So if I need 5 pictures for a project, I download all 5 in 5 minutes and then I go away for hours or days while I work on things. Users of that sort shouldn't have to wait 25 minutes to download their images. It's the sustained numbers of downloads at speed that should be the flag.

I guess this was the best that the skeleton IT staff could come up with over the holidays???
The real problem is that a long term IS's strategy is limited to 5 minutes as well. In last 5 months all moves they made were disastrous. CEO's "Wo-ho" and Lobo's "we are on it" give a good images of the actual Istock: a site out of control.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on December 30, 2010, 09:43
Once again, iStock is expecting their customers to jump through hoops because of their inadequacies and incompetance. I guess that holiday vacation is still more important than running a multi-million dollar business. Oh, the arrogance.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 30, 2010, 10:44
Once again, iStock is expecting their customers to jump through hoops because of their inadequacies and incompetance. I guess that holiday vacation is still more important than running a multi-million dollar business. Oh, the arrogance.

you got that right.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 30, 2010, 10:58
Here's one of the posts about the 5 minute wait between downloads.  I originally posted in the f5 thread, because this guy (oddly enough) doesn't say he's bailing:

It's been a very frustrating 2 days for me. I finally figured out what the 404 error is for buying stock. They are allowing you to buy/download one photo every 5 minutes. I saved everything I needed to a lightbox and then sat at my computer for 3 hours to download the 40 pix I needed today. Download one, start timer, wait 5 minutes, download the next, start timer, wait 5 minutes. For 3 hours. If you try to download faster than one per 5 minutes, you get the 404 error. I stumbled upon the "workaround" by accident after pulling my hair out for 2 days.

What I really cannot fathom is why any buyer would go through this.  Surely he could have saved hours of his time by going to FT, DT, or SS and buying there?  Do these buyers not KNOW about other sites, or are they just determined not to buy more credits elsewhere when they already have credits paid for at IS ??
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on December 30, 2010, 11:01
Here's one of the posts about the 5 minute wait between downloads.  I originally posted in the f5 thread, because this guy (oddly enough) doesn't say he's bailing:

It's been a very frustrating 2 days for me. I finally figured out what the 404 error is for buying stock. They are allowing you to buy/download one photo every 5 minutes. I saved everything I needed to a lightbox and then sat at my computer for 3 hours to download the 40 pix I needed today. Download one, start timer, wait 5 minutes, download the next, start timer, wait 5 minutes. For 3 hours. If you try to download faster than one per 5 minutes, you get the 404 error. I stumbled upon the "workaround" by accident after pulling my hair out for 2 days.

What I really cannot fathom is why any buyer would go through this.  Surely he could have saved hours of his time by going to FT, DT, or SS and buying there?  Do these buyers not KNOW about other sites, or are they just determined not to buy more credits elsewhere when they already have credits paid for at IS ??

It baffles me too, but remember, sometimes the person buying isn't the person paying, so the buyer has to purchase wherever their employer tells them to.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on December 30, 2010, 11:02
Here's one of the posts about the 5 minute wait between downloads.  I originally posted in the f5 thread, because this guy (oddly enough) doesn't say he's bailing:

It's been a very frustrating 2 days for me. I finally figured out what the 404 error is for buying stock. They are allowing you to buy/download one photo every 5 minutes. I saved everything I needed to a lightbox and then sat at my computer for 3 hours to download the 40 pix I needed today. Download one, start timer, wait 5 minutes, download the next, start timer, wait 5 minutes. For 3 hours. If you try to download faster than one per 5 minutes, you get the 404 error. I stumbled upon the "workaround" by accident after pulling my hair out for 2 days.

What I really cannot fathom is why any buyer would go through this.  Surely he could have saved hours of his time by going to FT, DT, or SS and buying there?  Do these buyers not KNOW about other sites, or are they just determined not to buy more credits elsewhere when they already have credits paid for at IS ??

I don't know but you can bet I've been letting them know about other sites to check out.  I do that via twitter - and sometimes if Dreamstime is watching for tweets, they have also replied to the person and given them a discount code.  smart marketing.  
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on December 30, 2010, 11:04

I don't know but you can bet I've been letting them know about other sites to check out.  I do that via twitter - and sometimes if Dreamstime is watching for tweets, they have also replied to the person and given them a discount code.  smart marketing.  

Smart marketing indeed.  And good for you, Jami, for getting the word out.  Makes me kind of sorry I am so ignorant about social media...
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on January 02, 2011, 12:00
Another buyer left...

I was talking to a designer last week who asked me what sites I uploaded to. When I mentioned iStock, she said "Oh, there always seems to be something wrong with that site. I don't go there any more." There must surely be others who feel the same.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: SNP on January 02, 2011, 15:10
This evening I see a bunch of angry twitter posts from buyers (apparently they're buyers; I don't know the people) as iStock has implemented a time lock - one download every 5 minutes. One comment was that with a lightbox of 38 images that'll take over 3 hours to download.

I assume this is related to the credit card fraud, but if so, how stupid to limit the small numbers of downloads as well as the big batches. So if I need 5 pictures for a project, I download all 5 in 5 minutes and then I go away for hours or days while I work on things. Users of that sort shouldn't have to wait 25 minutes to download their images. It's the sustained numbers of downloads at speed that should be the flag.

I guess this was the best that the skeleton IT staff could come up with over the holidays???

I have no technical background in terms of dealing with CC fraud...so this is with a grain of salt...but I can't believe what a cumbersome strategy this is to deal with the fraud taking place. alienating already alienated buyers. it's kind of embarrassing.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Chico on January 05, 2011, 16:00
Never ends...

My God! This site sucks so bad now. Still after almost a month, you're search does not work in Safari. This just blows. Other links in my account go painfully slow. I'm ditching iStock for good. This company has problems beyond the scope of anything I ever anticipated or encountered. I'm purchasing the last of the hi-res images I need for clients and then I'm done with iStock. Buh-bye.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 06, 2011, 17:02
Bye-bye to another buyer. Customer Idyzyn writes in the "Search not working" thread;

"Just stopped back to check on the progress. Firefox (my preferred browser) SEARCH NOT WORKING STILL.

In Safari I was able to search fine.

In the meantime though I did a little bit of seaching online and found another source that works great, has great pricing, and sorry to say, has won over my business. Let's just say I found some 'place' that works just great. Over the years as a single buyer I think I was a pretty loyal customer and involved and proud "member" of the iStock community. After being beaten down in the forums a couple of years ago when I spoke up about the prices being raised while the site quality was going crazy - I felt my business didn't matter and my involvement not appreciated - so I found other ways to make old photos work, took photos myself, did more illustration and typography, and silently bought photos in protest.

I don't care what anyone thinks anymore about us li'l buyers - but I can tell ya that there are much easier options out there that are selling the same things for less. I don't want a bunch of different levels and options and ridiculously crazy searches and pricing. I just want to type in a word, look through the options, and buy an image. I can't do that here anymore."

These search issues are becoming "unsustainable".
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 06, 2011, 17:07
Bye-bye to another buyer. Customer Idyzyn writes in the "Search not working" thread;

"Just stopped back to check on the progress. Firefox (my preferred browser) SEARCH NOT WORKING STILL.

In Safari I was able to search fine.

In the meantime though I did a little bit of seaching online and found another source that works great, has great pricing, and sorry to say, has won over my business. Let's just say I found some 'place' that works just great. Over the years as a single buyer I think I was a pretty loyal customer and involved and proud "member" of the iStock community. After being beaten down in the forums a couple of years ago when I spoke up about the prices being raised while the site quality was going crazy - I felt my business didn't matter and my involvement not appreciated - so I found other ways to make old photos work, took photos myself, did more illustration and typography, and silently bought photos in protest.

I don't care what anyone thinks anymore about us li'l buyers - but I can tell ya that there are much easier options out there that are selling the same things for less. I don't want a bunch of different levels and options and ridiculously crazy searches and pricing. I just want to type in a word, look through the options, and buy an image. I can't do that here anymore."

These search issues are becoming "unsustainable".

I am glad that some buyers are taking the time to make their dissatisfaction known. Somehow I don't think IS gives a hoot, but maybe the more people speak up, the more it will matter. I'm sure not banking on it though. Theirs has been an arrogant, elitist attitude from the beginning, don't see anything changing. Mostly, they just say "don't let the door hit you in the a*s on the way out."
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on January 06, 2011, 17:13

Bye-bye to another buyer. Customer Idyzyn writes in the "Search not working" thread;
(snip)
I felt my business didn't matter and my involvement not appreciated - so I found other ways to make old photos work, took photos myself, did more illustration and typography, and silently bought photos in protest.

I don't care what anyone thinks anymore about us li'l buyers - but I can tell ya that there are much easier options out there that are selling the same things for less.

I'm very happy he finally looked around and discovered that there are other sites that are cheaper, simpler to use, and have comparable quality.  

I must admit, though, that I am amazed he spent so much time on workarounds like using old photos and taking them himself over the years before finally looking elsewhere.  

Until recently, it seems, the fallacy persisted among buyers, that Istock is the only (or best) game in town...  
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 06, 2011, 17:29

Bye-bye to another buyer. Customer Idyzyn writes in the "Search not working" thread;
(snip)
I felt my business didn't matter and my involvement not appreciated - so I found other ways to make old photos work, took photos myself, did more illustration and typography, and silently bought photos in protest.

I don't care what anyone thinks anymore about us li'l buyers - but I can tell ya that there are much easier options out there that are selling the same things for less.

I'm very happy he finally looked around and discovered that there are other sites that are cheaper, simpler to use, and have comparable quality.  

I must admit, though, that I am amazed he spent so much time on workarounds like using old photos and taking them himself over the years before finally looking elsewhere.  

Until recently, it seems, the fallacy persisted among buyers, that Istock is the only (or best) game in town...  

I just finished reading that thread over at the IS forum. It just cracks me up how the contributors just keep saying "try another browser" and "I don't know why you are having so much trouble, I just did the same search and got x results". One person even asked if the buyer could post a screenshot of their results! I appreciate that they are trying to help, but the fact remains: a buyer shouldn't have to post in the forum to try to get answers as to how to do a search! For every one that takes the time to post, there MUST be dozens others who just leave.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 06, 2011, 17:35
For every one that takes the time to post, there MUST be dozens others who just leave.

Undoubtedly. It could well be hundreds of buyers leaving for every individual that bothers to post. Istockphoto's 'Faceted Search' must be the best Christmas present that their competitors have ever had. It's "the gift that keeps on giving".
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cdwheatley on January 06, 2011, 17:54

Bye-bye to another buyer. Customer Idyzyn writes in the "Search not working" thread;
(snip)
I felt my business didn't matter and my involvement not appreciated - so I found other ways to make old photos work, took photos myself, did more illustration and typography, and silently bought photos in protest.

I don't care what anyone thinks anymore about us li'l buyers - but I can tell ya that there are much easier options out there that are selling the same things for less.

I'm very happy he finally looked around and discovered that there are other sites that are cheaper, simpler to use, and have comparable quality.  

I must admit, though, that I am amazed he spent so much time on workarounds like using old photos and taking them himself over the years before finally looking elsewhere.  

Until recently, it seems, the fallacy persisted among buyers, that Istock is the only (or best) game in town...  

I just finished reading that thread over at the IS forum. It just cracks me up how the contributors just keep saying "try another browser" and "I don't know why you are having so much trouble, I just did the same search and got x results". One person even asked if the buyer could post a screenshot of their results! I appreciate that they are trying to help, but the fact remains: a buyer shouldn't have to post in the forum to try to get answers as to how to do a search! For every one that takes the time to post, there MUST be dozens others who just leave.

I'm wondering if Istock is doing any follow up with all these disgruntled buyers. Do they just let them go elsewhere? Do they care? Is it it such a small amount of the bottom line that they just do nothing and let it go? Are they calling, or sending private emails to these people to retain their business? A simple phone call, or email just might go a long way. Something like: "We appreciate your business, please bear with us while why get our s**t together". I know... not what most would like to see happen here, but curious anyway :).
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on January 06, 2011, 18:31

I'm wondering if Istock is doing any follow up with all these disgruntled buyers. Do they just let them go elsewhere? Do they care? Is it it such a small amount of the bottom line that they just do nothing and let it go? Are they calling, or sending private emails to these people to retain their business? A simple phone call, or email just might go a long way. Something like: "We appreciate your business, please bear with us while why get our s**t together". I know... not what most would like to see happen here, but curious anyway :).

That would be a negative. I know personally the designer who posted the above and know she's never been contacted by iStock.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on January 06, 2011, 18:38
For every one that takes the time to post, there MUST be dozens others who just leave.

Undoubtedly. It could well be hundreds of buyers leaving for every individual that bothers to post. Istockphoto's 'Faceted Search' must be the best Christmas present that their competitors have ever had. It's "the gift that keeps on giving".

this is exactly what I was thinking about - for every one buyer that complains openly, how many just say "f-it, I'm outta here!"

I think gostwyck has it right it is "the gift that keeps on giving" for iStock competitors! LOL!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Blufish on January 06, 2011, 18:54
It's been facinating to watch the drama surrounding iStock. I am not there, and have no plans of going there.  The recent buyer leaving did jog a memory though.

While I was still an active buyer a few years ago, I had an oil and gas client that I purchased stock for. $200-300 stock mind you. I was looking to cut costs and found istock. I thought wow! A stock pic for $5!  I was ecstatic and shared with my client who was also thrilled as I was a hero. Back then, not many micros were around, so habits formed. I stuck with purchasing iStock for quite a while.

It was when I switched roads and started shooting 6 months ago, google became my best friend and I was surprised on how many other sites were out there. Before that, even as a designer, I didn't know how many other sites were out there.

So, my point? Habits are hard to break, but with all that is going on at iStock on the buyer side, I wouldn't be surprised if there are buyers exploring google and finding out that they aren't the only game in town. Then they use up their credits and hit the road. It would never have occurred to me to post in a forum as a buyer as I just figured it was for the artists.

So, that's my 2 cents.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cthoman on January 11, 2011, 16:36
Did anybody read the "Buyers Can't Sign Up?" thread?

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=290922&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=290922&page=1)

Should anything surprise me anymore?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on January 11, 2011, 16:51
Yeah, it's really unbelievable!  Thanks for posting a link here.  Seems appropriate to the topic.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: pet_chia on January 11, 2011, 18:17
Can they not leave buyers alone, except to flag any sale for immediate ( < 5 minute ) human attention which is (for example) for more than 5 XXL or XXXL images within 1 hour, where the buyer's first purchase ever at IS was within 1 week of the time of sale?  Then they can lock out just that customer, ask them for a confirmation email (answering specific questions such as name, address and web page of their business, etc.) compare the credit card billing address to the IP address, contact the credit card company, etc.  If the scammers are forced to spread out their purchases over a longer period (the scammers, not the established customers) then it would greatly limit the number of fraudulent purchases that go through before the credit card # is found to be fake.

I assume that there are not dozens and dozens of accounts and credit cards being used so it would be well within their ability to pay a little overtime to IT people to monitor transactions around the clock and follow up on the suspicious cases as soon as possible.  I know that fraud artists are clever and creative but there are only so many ways to commit online fraud and it shouldn't take all that long to come up with simple blocks that would catch most of the bad guys before they can do any significant damage and yet leave the legitimate revenue stream at least 99% intact.

When I hear that they have forbidden all purchases occurring within 5 minutes for all customers, or shutting out all new customer registrations, it kinda sounds like they're just phoning it in and trying to do the absolute minimum to block the fraudulent transactions without sufficient regard for maintaining their normal revenue stream.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on January 11, 2011, 18:48

When I hear that they have forbidden all purchases occurring within 5 minutes for all customers, or shutting out all new customer registrations, it kinda sounds like they're just phoning it in and trying to do the absolute minimum to block the fraudulent transactions without sufficient regard for maintaining their normal revenue stream.

Perhaps that is because all the IT money was going into rolling out the new Photos.com?   It appears Istock is being treated like the black sheep of the Getty Family. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: RT on January 11, 2011, 18:57
Perhaps that is because all the IT money was going into rolling out the new Photos.com?   It appears Istock is being treated like the black sheep of the Getty Family. 

I just read about the relaunch of photos.com today and had the exact same thought as you, I too think that maybe iStockphoto is at the bottom of the pecking order when it comes to the importance of having the site run correctly, and in true tradition they relaunch a site selling all the photos for next to nothing at no doubt huge profits for them.

As you wrote earlier, I thank god I'm not exclusive at Istock.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on January 11, 2011, 19:14
Which would make Getty the stupidest corporation in the world, since iStock was their cash cow. It appears that not only has the cash cow been milked dry, but now it is a downer cow flailing on the slaughterhouse floor.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: hoi ha on January 11, 2011, 20:29
Which would make Getty the stupidest corporation in the world, since iStock was their cash cow. It appears that not only has the cash cow been milked dry, but now it is a downer cow on the slaughterhouse floor.

Actually I see this statement a lot and wonder where people get this information from? I always imagined that istock was a pretty small part of their overall revenue (and why it does not get much priority) - I seem to recall this from financial statments a few years ago ... anybody know these days what proportion of getty's revenue IS is responsible for?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Sadstock on January 11, 2011, 21:33
Which would make Getty the stupidest corporation in the world, since iStock was their cash cow. It appears that not only has the cash cow been milked dry, but now it is a downer cow on the slaughterhouse floor.

Actually I see this statement a lot and wonder where people get this information from? I always imagined that istock was a pretty small part of their overall revenue (and why it does not get much priority) - I seem to recall this from financial statments a few years ago ... anybody know these days what proportion of getty's revenue IS is responsible for?

--------------------------
Getty is private at the moment, so nobody outside of getty/istock knows that answer.  I think Istock is a big and very profitable part of getty.  I think I recall Kelly saying a while back that they were paying out something like $1.8 million a week to contributors in royalties with the expectation that they would brake $2 million in the not too distant future.  I can't find the link to the article/thread, so my memory is likely off on the numbers but the principal remains the same.

So to figure out Istock's gross I'll pick an average percentage that Istock pays out to contributors per sale.  I'll guess say 30% (obviously its now far less with today's cuts, but not sure what that will look like going forward)  So $1.8/.30 = $6 million for gross sales per week.  $6 million x 52 weeks = $312 million a year in gross sales.  Royalties are in the neighborhood of $94 million.  Royalties aside their other costs low with salaries for say 250 employees, payments to 150 independent contractors for inspections, lots of marketing, lots and lots of bandwidth used, and lots and lots of storage.  I can't imagine that Istock is spending $100 million a year on all that other stuff, so Istock is generating maybe $150 to $200 million a year in cash that Getty gets to use.  You can alter the basic assumptions significantly and Istock is still throwing off a huge amount of cash every week for getty to use.  

Now if you drop that average percentage payout from 30% to say 25% percent Istock picks up a whole lot of cash without selling a single additional image.  
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: djpadavona on January 11, 2011, 22:18
I agree with Sadstock.  Without access to company records (since they are no longer privately traded) there is no way to know for certain.  But it is important to differentiate between revenue and profitability.  Getty's traditional businesses were generating far more revenue than iStock, but they were also bleeding cash.  iStock was the portion of the business which was making money.  Obviously unsustainable.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: pet_chia on January 11, 2011, 23:32
I agree with Sadstock.  Without access to company records (since they are no longer privately traded) there is no way to know for certain.  But it is important to differentiate between revenue and profitability.  Getty's traditional businesses were generating far more revenue than iStock, but they were also bleeding cash.  iStock was the portion of the business which was making money.  Obviously unsustainable.

Maybe that's the key ... instead of cutting fat to make the other divisions profitable, they were hoping that IS would pay the bills.  But they found that although IS was very profitable, it would not be capable of carrying the other money-losing businesses on its back unless they lowered commissions and raised prices ... maybe that's what they meant by "sustainable".

I couldn't find the original, infamous "unsustainable" quote just now when I looked for it ... does anyone else have it, or do they remember, was the wording used to justify the changes specifically that "istockphoto" was not sustainable, or did they use an undefined term like "it is not sustainable" which could either mean istockphoto or the parent company?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Sadstock on January 12, 2011, 00:35

I couldn't find the original, infamous "unsustainable" quote just now when I looked for it ... does anyone else have it, or do they remember, was the wording used to justify the changes specifically that "istockphoto" was not sustainable, or did they use an undefined term like "it is not sustainable" which could either mean istockphoto or the parent company?


-------------------------
Here is the link and the quote.  For what its worth, this particular post in its entirety from Kelly is probably the most damning, offensive, and disingenuous forum post any Istock admin has ever made.  This post made clear to me that I had no future as an Istock exclusive.

"Since roughly 2005 we've been aware of a basic problem with how our business works. As the company grows, the overall percentage we pay out to contributing artists increases. In the most basic terms that means that iStock becomes less profitable with increased success. As a business model, it’s simply unsustainable: businesses should get more profitable as they grow. This is a long-term problem that needs to be addressed."

and also

"According to our projections 76% of Exclusive contributors will either retain their current royalty rate or move up."

which might even be true if you count all the base level contributors most of whom have never earned enough to cash out.  However if you narrowed that list to gold and diamond contributors, I think it would be more than 76% would drop a level or more.  

Another that really pissed of a lot of people was the promise to "hopefully start a back-and-forth dialog to help everyone understand exactly what’s happening and why" which never happened.    

It also contains the info from Kelly about how much they pay out a week

"we expect to see our total royalty payout increase by more than 30% next year, from $1.7-million per week to well over $2-million per week. Make no mistake, the total amount of money iStock contributors are making is going up."

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: RacePhoto on January 12, 2011, 02:50
Which would make Getty the stupidest corporation in the world, since iStock was their cash cow. It appears that not only has the cash cow been milked dry, but now it is a downer cow flailing on the slaughterhouse floor.

And a nice visual analogy.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: qwerty on January 12, 2011, 05:07
Which would make Getty the stupidest corporation in the world, since iStock was their cash cow. It appears that not only has the cash cow been milked dry, but now it is a downer cow on the slaughterhouse floor.

Actually I see this statement a lot and wonder where people get this information from? I always imagined that istock was a pretty small part of their overall revenue (and why it does not get much priority) - I seem to recall this from financial statments a few years ago ... anybody know these days what proportion of getty's revenue IS is responsible for?

--------------------------
Getty is private at the moment, so nobody outside of getty/istock knows that answer.  I think Istock is a big and very profitable part of getty.  I think I recall Kelly saying a while back that they were paying out something like $1.8 million a week to contributors in royalties with the expectation that they would brake $2 million in the not too distant future.  I can't find the link to the article/thread, so my memory is likely off on the numbers but the principal remains the same.

So to figure out Istock's gross I'll pick an average percentage that Istock pays out to contributors per sale.  I'll guess say 30% (obviously its now far less with today's cuts, but not sure what that will look like going forward)  So $1.8/.30 = $6 million for gross sales per week.  $6 million x 52 weeks = $312 million a year in gross sales.  Royalties are in the neighborhood of $94 million.  Royalties aside their other costs low with salaries for say 250 employees, payments to 150 independent contractors for inspections, lots of marketing, lots and lots of bandwidth used, and lots and lots of storage.  I can't imagine that Istock is spending $100 million a year on all that other stuff, so Istock is generating maybe $150 to $200 million a year in cash that Getty gets to use.  You can alter the basic assumptions significantly and Istock is still throwing off a huge amount of cash every week for getty to use.  

Now if you drop that average percentage payout from 30% to say 25% percent Istock picks up a whole lot of cash without selling a single additional image.  

If your numbers are even close to being right $50 million dollar purchase was a good deal.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on January 12, 2011, 10:37
Great detective work Sadstock.  Thanks for posting that.  Memory tends to fade.  I had forgotten exactly how ridiculous KT's assertions were. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on January 12, 2011, 11:01
Great detective work Sadstock.  Thanks for posting that.  Memory tends to fade.  I had forgotten exactly how ridiculous KT's assertions were. 

yeah, thanks.. just when I was making progress on my therapy to forget that crap.  better call my shrink now...
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: djpadavona on January 12, 2011, 11:15
For what its worth, this particular post in its entirety from Kelly is probably the most damning, offensive, and disingenuous forum post any Istock admin has ever made.  This post made clear to me that I had no future as an Istock exclusive.


And for I.  I cancelled my exclusivity after reading the KT post.  Prior to that I planned on being exclusive for many, many years.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Chico on January 12, 2011, 11:17
Bruce was the smart guy ever. Took the money and jump off when realized that boat would sink.

Long live to Bruce Livingstone.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: KarenH on January 12, 2011, 11:30
For what its worth, this particular post in its entirety from Kelly is probably the most damning, offensive, and disingenuous forum post any Istock admin has ever made.  This post made clear to me that I had no future as an Istock exclusive.


And for I.  I cancelled my exclusivity after reading the KT post.  Prior to that I planned on being exclusive for many, many years.

His posts, especially the last one about exceeding expectations (while the site deteriorates, buyers leave, contributors are screwed over and all credibility goes up in flames), was downright offensive.  That and his "what I think you meant to say" post chastising people who showed concern over the site failure.  Is he that clueless?  Does he really not look at anything except his own paycheck? 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on January 12, 2011, 11:55

His posts, especially the last one about exceeding expectations (while the site deteriorates, buyers leave, contributors are screwed over and all credibility goes up in flames), was downright offensive.  That and his "what I think you meant to say" post chastising people who showed concern over the site failure.  Is he that clueless?  Does he really not look at anything except his own paycheck? 

Apparently so. 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: rubyroo on January 12, 2011, 12:52
It all sounds a bit like the Margaret Thatcher model - where an assistant allegedly ensures you don't read any negative press about yourself.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: VB inc on January 12, 2011, 13:03
i think its really sad whats going on at istock. with all these new collections, they have raised prices, and reduced commission percentages. Now theres talk about vectors having their own vetta like collections as well as editorial. All these new collections will just push further down the "main" collection that is there. This will surely annoy buyers on budgets since they will spend longer time searching and some will leave and never look back.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 12, 2011, 14:51
And here's another future Dreamstime customer (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=291752&page=1) posting of his problems at IS...

I posted in the keywords forum that they should be sending out e-mails with apologies and some suggested workaround for known problems to buyers to help get them through this mess. The response (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=290952&messageid=5600102) was that the forum thread with faceted search bugs was already there!

Aargh! I am so frustrated at the lackadaisical attitude about everything! Where is the professionalism or sense of urgency - or even compassion for the frustrated buyers?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Graffoto on January 12, 2011, 15:10
^
This just reinforces by suspicion that their programing has been outsourced to India.
Time zone considerations and other factors are making it impossible to react to these failures in a timely
fashion.

ETA: sorry about the formatting, that's what happens when I post from my iPhone.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on January 12, 2011, 15:17
wow. the other microstock sites must be woo-yaying with each iStock Epic Fail of the day (or is that "of the hour?")
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 12, 2011, 15:22
deleted, duplicate, see post below
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 12, 2011, 15:23
And here's another future Dreamstime customer ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=291752&page=1[/url]) posting of his problems at IS...

I posted in the keywords forum that they should be sending out e-mails with apologies and some suggested workaround for known problems to buyers to help get them through this mess. The response ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_permalink_popup.php?threadid=290952&messageid=5600102[/url]) was that the forum thread with faceted search bugs was already there!

Aargh! I am so frustrated at the lackadaisical attitude about everything! Where is the professionalism or sense of urgency - or even compassion for the frustrated buyers?


JoAnn, your "The response" link is taking me to an IS permalink page. ??

nosaya, even if IT has been outsourced...some of these issues are WEEKS old...I'm sure time zones don't account for that. Today, I'm kind of jumping on the bandwagon theory of a sale is in progress, Getty/IS will be exclusives only and indies will be shuffled off to photos.com. But I reserve the right to change my mind based on the latest developments.  :)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 12, 2011, 15:30
^
This just reinforces by suspicion that their programing has been outsourced to India.
Time zone considerations and other factors are making it impossible to react to these failures in a timely
fashion.

Apart from the condescending insult to Indians what makes you think that anyway? The in-house developers have always cocked-up everything they've ever tried to do. At least they are consistent I suppose. It just looks like their mistakes are now being compounded by the number of changes they are trying to perform without sorting existing errors first. They're in over their heads.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: caspixel on January 12, 2011, 16:11
Where is the professionalism or sense of urgency - or even compassion for the frustrated buyers?

When did they *ever* have compassion for the buyers? That is nothing new. It was always an "if you don't like it, leave. And don't let the door hit you in the ass" attitude there. More and more buyers seem to be taking them up on it now though.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 12, 2011, 16:33
Yup, I've never seen so many buyers posting with issues before. There were always complaints when prices went up, and sometimes browser issues, which were often easily solved (even if they shouldn't have needed sorting), but now the problems are more serious, more persistent and need courage with codes to get anywhere.
It's just ridiculous that the contributors are having to write code to work around the failings of the paid coders. Does no-one at HQ have a sense of embarrassment?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 12, 2011, 17:01

JoAnn, your "The response" link is taking me to an IS permalink page. ??

Sorry about that - I've fixed the link. I copied from the wrong place...
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 12, 2011, 17:02

JoAnn, your "The response" link is taking me to an IS permalink page. ??

Sorry about that - I've fixed the link. I copied from the wrong place...

Thanks, I'll have a look.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on January 12, 2011, 17:11
And here's another future Dreamstime customer ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=291752&page=1[/url]) posting of his problems at IS...

I posted in the keywords forum that they should be sending out e-mails with apologies and some suggested workaround for known problems to buyers to help get them through this mess. The response ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=290952&messageid=5600102[/url]) was that the forum thread with faceted search bugs was already there!

Aargh! I am so frustrated at the lackadaisical attitude about everything! Where is the professionalism or sense of urgency - or even compassion for the frustrated buyers?


Unreal.  Here's the text from Mediaworks:

Sorry guys.... no time to wait for whatever fix you come up with to correct what wasn't broken to begin with.
I'm off to Dreamstime with my dollars....

Does it strike anyone else as odd that buyers are able to mention the other sites they are going to by name now?  Those posts always used to be quickly expunged or edited by admins until recently.  Kind of adds to the sense that nobody's minding the store.  
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 12, 2011, 17:22
And here's another future Dreamstime customer ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=291752&page=1[/url]) posting of his problems at IS...

I posted in the keywords forum that they should be sending out e-mails with apologies and some suggested workaround for known problems to buyers to help get them through this mess. The response ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=290952&messageid=5600102[/url]) was that the forum thread with faceted search bugs was already there!

Aargh! I am so frustrated at the lackadaisical attitude about everything! Where is the professionalism or sense of urgency - or even compassion for the frustrated buyers?


Unreal.  Here's the text from Mediaworks:

Sorry guys.... no time to wait for whatever fix you come up with to correct what wasn't broken to begin with.
I'm off to Dreamstime with my dollars....

Does it strike anyone else as odd that buyers are able to mention the other sites they are going to by name now?  Those posts always used to be quickly expunged or edited by admins until recently.  Kind of adds to the sense that nobody's minding the store.  


Yeppers, I noticed that too.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jamirae on January 12, 2011, 17:31
And here's another future Dreamstime customer ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=291752&page=1[/url]) posting of his problems at IS...

I posted in the keywords forum that they should be sending out e-mails with apologies and some suggested workaround for known problems to buyers to help get them through this mess. The response ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=290952&messageid=5600102[/url]) was that the forum thread with faceted search bugs was already there!

Aargh! I am so frustrated at the lackadaisical attitude about everything! Where is the professionalism or sense of urgency - or even compassion for the frustrated buyers?


Unreal.  Here's the text from Mediaworks:

Sorry guys.... no time to wait for whatever fix you come up with to correct what wasn't broken to begin with.
I'm off to Dreamstime with my dollars....

Does it strike anyone else as odd that buyers are able to mention the other sites they are going to by name now?  Those posts always used to be quickly expunged or edited by admins until recently.  Kind of adds to the sense that nobody's minding the store.  


Yeppers, I noticed that too.


I figured I was just reading it too quickly, but I see it is still there.  weird.. maybe no moderator caught that?
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: jbarber873 on January 12, 2011, 17:36
   maybe they fired Lobo ;D  ( such are the dreams of the istock contributor)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gaja on January 12, 2011, 17:51
^
This just reinforces by suspicion that their programing has been outsourced to India.
Time zone considerations and other factors are making it impossible to react to these failures in a timely
fashion.

ETA: sorry about the formatting, that's what happens when I post from my iPhone.

That was the first thing my husband said too. And it has nothing to do with insulting Indians, he is very clear on the issue that the average Indian programmer is more intelligent and better at their job than he is. It has everything to do with communication. The responisbility gets fragmented, nobody has any overview over what should be done, or what has been done by whom. Outsourcing, whether it is to India or the next door neighboor, requires very good managing.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 12, 2011, 18:05
  maybe they fired Lobo ;D  ( such are the dreams of the istock contributor)

Nope - he's still posting as of four hours ago:
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=291742&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=291742&page=1)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 12, 2011, 18:19
  maybe they fired Lobo ;D  ( such are the dreams of the istock contributor)

Nope - he's still posting as of four hours ago:
[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=291742&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=291742&page=1[/url])


Yeah, but I didn't get his post, and he didn't lock the thread. Hmmm.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 12, 2011, 18:36
  maybe they fired Lobo ;D  ( such are the dreams of the istock contributor)

Nope - he's still posting as of four hours ago:
[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=291742&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=291742&page=1[/url])


Yeah, but I didn't get his post, and he didn't lock the thread. Hmmm.


It looks like he moved someone over from another forum to the better place for their issue.
Here's a thread he's (politely) locked in the past half hour:
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=281732&page=46#post5604882 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=281732&page=46#post5604882)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 12, 2011, 18:50
It looks like he moved someone over from another forum to the better place for their issue.
Here's a thread he's (politely) locked in the past half hour:
[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=281732&page=46#post5604882[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=281732&page=46#post5604882[/url])


OK got it. Wow, that was polite.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 19, 2011, 09:05
Another disgruntled customer here:
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=291522&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=291522&page=1)
Though to be fair, this morning Firefox is showing up the site and the search just fine from here.
This morning (GMT) I uploaded a pic and after I'd done the keywording and categories and hit the final button, I got a big error, but the pic went up with all its information intact anyway.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: Microbius on January 19, 2011, 09:14
Just think about the percentage we are paying these clowns to run the site and they can't even get search box to work for buyers. It would be funny if this wasn't how I made my living.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 19, 2011, 09:43
Just think about the percentage we are paying these clowns to run the site and they can't even get search box to work for buyers. It would be funny if this wasn't how I made my living.

It is still a bit funny though. They must be spending all their time devising ever more intricate methods to take money from the contributors and then writing the code to do so ... whilst forgetting that they're supposed to be selling our images. Here's the quote from (ex?) customer Artytype;

"Whole site is dead in OS10.5.8 and Firefox no formatting, CSS non existent. Bit of bind really when all I wanted to do was buy some images, Oh well I'm sure someone else will be just as greatful for the money."
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 19, 2011, 10:27
A short, sharp statement as Janisjones2 exits stage-left;

"Thanks guys - I'll leave you to it and do something more productive. Good luck"

And Newkid501 is not best pleased either;

"please fix this awesome stock website...or i'll be forced to use another. i cannot search on firefox, chrome, safari, opera...

safari is no longer responding because of script on the webpage...blah blah blah

the following pages have become unresponsive. you can wait for them... blah blah blah

i really need to purchase some stock images, like yesterday. it's getting pretty annoying. thank you."
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 19, 2011, 10:46
A short, sharp statement as Janisjones2 exits stage-left;

"Thanks guys - I'll leave you to it and do something more productive. Good luck"

And Newkid501 is not best pleased either;

"please fix this awesome stock website...or i'll be forced to use another. i cannot search on firefox, chrome, safari, opera...

safari is no longer responding because of script on the webpage...blah blah blah

the following pages have become unresponsive. you can wait for them... blah blah blah

i really need to purchase some stock images, like yesterday. it's getting pretty annoying. thank you."

But really, these constant pleas from buyers and contributors for the site to be fixed are a total waste of time and energy, I just wish everyone would leave and go buy/sell somewhere else.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: dgilder on January 19, 2011, 12:14
They probably will now that IS has bumped all the E+ Medium and above prices from 5 to 15 credits and raised the credit package prices 3-5 cents/credit.
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: lisafx on January 19, 2011, 13:42
Oh dear lord.  It never ends.  Gostwyck and Dgilder, would you guys mind posting links to the forum posts you referenced?  For any of us too lazy to hunt for them?  Thanks a lot!

And just to add, about that one poor guy who can't get the search box to go live, and actually took the time to WRITE THE CODE HIMSELF to fix it - OMFG!!
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 19, 2011, 14:04
Oh dear lord.  It never ends.  Gostwyck and Dgilder, would you guys mind posting links to the forum posts you referenced?  For any of us too lazy to hunt for them?  Thanks a lot!


Here;
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=293812&page=3 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=293812&page=3)

Here;
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=293812&page=4 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=293812&page=4)

And here;
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=291522&page=1#post5652462 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=291522&page=1#post5652462)
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: dgilder on January 19, 2011, 14:06
I'll put this here too, its from the other thread:

E+ price changes (based on KelvinJay's post ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=293832&messageid=5649962#post5649962[/url]) and link ([url]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1999508/1Mod%20shared/2010prices.jpg[/url])):
Code: [Select]
M    15 to 20 (33% increase)
L    20 to 30 (50%)
XL   25 to 35 (40%)
XXL  30 to 40 (33%)
XXXL 35 to 50 (43%)

Wow.  Bet they finally give the E+ files the Best Match boost they had promised at the start of the program.


The minimum prices for images on Dreamstime:
Code: [Select]
ES   1
S    3
M    4
L    5
XL   6
XXL+ 7

The maximum prices for very popular images on Dreamstime:
Code: [Select]
ES   9
S    11
M    14
L    15
XL   16
XXL+ 17

So the largest size of the most popular image on Dreamstime is 3 *credits* cheaper than the Medium E+ file from iStock.  The credits on Dreamstime are also significantly cheaper (10-15%?). 
Title: Re: Buyers Bailing on Istock
Post by: dgilder on Janua