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Author Topic: Canon interview with Kelly Thompson > 31 million images sold per year  (Read 22774 times)

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michealo

« on: March 30, 2011, 10:00 »
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2011, 10:12 »
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I love this part

The concerns of professional photographers may come from fears about a commoditisation of the market, about iStock driving down the price of an image, and its impact on commission rates. But Thompson rebuts this idea, and suggests that rates have risen at iStock: We started paying 25 cents an image! He adds that commission levels stretch from 20% to 45%.

michealo

« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2011, 10:14 »
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At an average of $10 per image sold that would be a $310 million turnover which would be about a 10% of the global stock imagery turnover

« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2011, 10:14 »
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Why does almost everything he is quoted as saying come across to me as spin, distortion of the truth or just wrong? He says iStock started paying 25c per sale, I remember it paying 10c minimum and I believe that in 2003 it was as low as 5c.
He says the current commission rate ranges from 20% to 45% - err, excuse me, I think you mean 15% to 45%.
Doesn't this guy know anything about the company he's running?
Then we have the "make $10,000 from one photo in a few months" rubbish - I can't say it's a lie because maybe someone has done that, but it's hardly a fair representation of reality, is it?
And if Jonathan Klein told them to slow down the growth of the collection and concentrate on quality when he bought it, why did they speed up the expansion of the collection instead?
It's all bollux IMHO.

« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2011, 10:16 »
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At an average of $10 per image sold that would be a $310 million turnover which would be about a 10% of the global stock imagery turnover

Which is probably right and makes you wonder why they have Kelly running something that valuable.

ShadySue

« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2011, 10:19 »
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I love this part
But Thompson rebuts this idea, and suggests that rates have risen at iStock: We started paying 25 cents an image! He adds that commission levels stretch from 20% to 45%.[/i]
I understood that at first no money changed hands?
And the commission part omits a great part of the truth. [1]
Yup, JJRD was right, it's a "new kind of trust" we have to have in our 'leaders'. Trust that we'll never know HAFC WTH is going on.
[1] Does that make it a 'sin of omission' and a 'sin of commission' at the same time?

« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2011, 10:22 »
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"rates have risen at iStock"

Yes, for Istock. Not for contributors.

« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2011, 10:27 »
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Yes, of course, you are right, Sue.

I almost forgot to mention my amusement over the comment about the forum community being there to offer photographers helpful advice. Isn't this overlooking the fact that his redeemed credit targets system has made us all competitors with each other, so you'd be a fool to help others get ahead?

And I take it from his advice about not cropping images in order to leave plenty of space for designers that he hasn't been a recipient of the "too-much-space" rejection form.

« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2011, 10:32 »
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" But with the site offering advice articles for contributors and customers and a forum, it also manages to generate a sense of community."

yeah, I noticed that.  Is this dick really as clueless as he comes across???

« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2011, 10:33 »
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I don't know if it's a correct word, but this interview looks like a MOCKERY.

« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2011, 10:38 »
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I don't know if it's a correct word, but this interview looks like a MOCKERY.

I'm sure it's just a fair reflection of his PR skills. I wouldn't be surprised if it was written in full in Calgary and just handed in to Canon. Remember, Canon are going to love the micros: stock sites have helped to sell thousands of high-end Canon cameras and lenses, so there is no way Canon will mock the top man at the top site.

« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2011, 10:39 »
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" But with the site offering advice articles for contributors and customers and a forum, it also manages to generate a sense of community."

yeah, I noticed that.  Is this dick really as clueless as he comes across???

He's a dick, yes, but clueless? I think he/they know exactly what they are doing.

« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2011, 10:43 »
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Almost all the contributors had their royalties cuted. How this guy can say "rates have risen"? Is complete and total LIE!!!!

lagereek

« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2011, 10:46 »
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Feel I want to hide my head in the sand,  everything is just too embarrasing.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2011, 11:01 »
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I finally have a hundred images at iStock.  I should start seeing some money pretty soon, shouldn't I?  Isn't that what he said?   ??? :P

jbarber873

« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2011, 11:12 »
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   This is just one more step in the process of cleaning up Getty for an IPO or sale. Puff pieces like this will all be included in the press packet announcing the IPO, with the hope that the financial press will focus on their side of the story. The ongoing cleanup of the forums is another part, and the push to increase profits short term at any expense is the final part. And it's going to work.

« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2011, 11:17 »
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I think I threw up a little in my mouth. Wow does that bit of propaganda ring hollow after the last 6 months or so.

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2011, 11:19 »
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the article is fine IMO. it's remarkable that it's so taboo here to say anything positive at all about iStock. It was good advertising for iStock and though Kelly's comments were very general and broadly focused, that is undoubtedly the design of the publication and the interviewer. FWIW, I've never met or even spoken to him, but very good friends of mine and even other colleagues I don't know that well have consistently told me what a nice, very genuine person KK is. unfortunately being genuine almost always comes across as foot-in-mouth syndrome when a person is being paraphrased by media.

when I worked as a reporter/interviewer for magazines back when writing was my main work, magazines always have their agenda. they usually want broad statements, nothing drilled down and nothing too intimate. each article in that type of publication is simply an advertisement for both the magazine and the interviewee. The only obvious inference from the 'spin' is that Getty is actively for sale. but we already suspect that is underway. my concern with that is that iStock remains intact through a sale.

ShadySue

« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2011, 11:22 »
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the article is fine IMO.
Including the blatant lie: "commission levels stretch from 20% to 45%"?

Can we hazard a guess as to the extent of this lie:
Number of contributors earning less than 20% commission = ?
Number of contributors earning 45% = ?
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 11:23 by ShadySue »

« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2011, 11:22 »
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No word yet on the IS forums.

lagereek

« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2011, 11:23 »
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What did I say about a year back and I got flamed for it!!  I said, " computer guys" running the show instead of creatives, as the agency world used to be run by.

and thats exactly what it turned out to be, even if Gates or Jobs were running it, it wouldn still be a total mess.

Not kellys fault anyway, he is just taking orders.

« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2011, 11:24 »
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I recently read this 2009 article and though this line was pretty funny:

http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/yourmoney/41592872.html?page=1&c=y

"It doesn't really matter if someone considers themselves a professional or not," said iStockphoto COO Kelly Thompson.

"People aren't looking to make a whole lot of money, but they want to get that new lens cap," Thompson said.

« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2011, 11:27 »
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Agreed with SNP. I have met Kelly only very briefly and have nothing bad to say about him. I know he and Bruce are best friends, and that says a lot. My impression is that he is a bit deer-in-the-headlights when it comes to answering questions. :)

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2011, 11:30 »
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the article is fine IMO.
Including the blatant lie: "commission levels stretch from 20% to 45%"?

Can we hazard a guess as to the extent of this lie:
Number of contributors earning less than 20% commission = ?
Number of contributors earning 45% = ?

would it have mattered if he had said 15% to 40%? it wouldn't have changed the context of the article in any way. to put it in perspective, in publishing authors get 4% to 8%-if we're lucky. I'm not stating that I agree with 15% for non-exclusives. I completely disagree with so low a percentage in our industry for any artist. but I'm just saying that suggesting it was a great big LIE designed to mislead seems silly. because even had they printed the 'truth', it would have hardly changed the article.

ShadySue

« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2011, 11:33 »
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the article is fine IMO.
Including the blatant lie: "commission levels stretch from 20% to 45%"?

Can we hazard a guess as to the extent of this lie:
Number of contributors earning less than 20% commission = ?
Number of contributors earning 45% = ?

would it have mattered if he had said 15% to 40%? it wouldn't have changed the context of the article in any way. to put it in perspective, in publishing authors get 4% to 8%-if we're lucky. I'm not stating that I agree with 15% for non-exclusives. I completely disagree with so low a percentage in our industry for any artist. but I'm just saying that suggesting it was a great big LIE designed to mislead seems silly. because even had they printed the 'truth', it would have hardly changed the article.
Well, ya know, the devil's in the detail.


 

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