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Author Topic: Changed my mind on becoming IS exclusive...  (Read 12942 times)

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« on: August 30, 2010, 12:45 »
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I stopped uploading for 6 months at DT to be able to apply for IS exclusivity, but the sales are so low at IS these last 2 months that I was scared of the jump and decided that I wasn't going to do it.

Maybe because it's Summer, maybe Thinkstock deal (I retrieved myself), maybe new design change favoring exclusivity or whatever but I wonder if some of you were going to become exclusive also and decided not to do it after all?


ShadySue

« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2010, 13:07 »
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I stopped uploading for 6 months at DT to be able to apply for IS exclusivity, but the sales are so low at IS these last 2 months that I was scared of the jump and decided that I wasn't going to do it.

Maybe because it's Summer, maybe Thinkstock deal (I retrieved myself), maybe new design change favoring exclusivity or whatever but I wonder if some of you were going to become exclusive also and decided not to do it after all?
July and August have been pretty grim; that happened last year too (though not as bad as this year). My advice would be to see if things improve in September before making a final decision. In any case, you're only tied on for a month.
Good luck whatever you decide.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 14:11 by ShadySue »

« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2010, 13:14 »
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I stopped uploading for 6 months at DT to be able to apply for IS exclusivity, but the sales are so low at IS these last 2 months that I was scared of the jump and decided that I wasn't going to do it.

Maybe because it's Summer, maybe Thinkstock deal (I retrieved myself), maybe new design change favoring exclusivity or whatever but I wonder if some of you were going to become exclusive also and decided not to do it after all?

I was on track to become exclusive but decided against it. It was the whole original Thinkstock/StockXpert fiasco that changed my mind. My sales, like everyone else's, are down, but IS has been my best earner since I began there in 2005. I just decided that being exclusive at any site wouldn't be a smart move, for me. IS's recent turn towards high-end, artsy, studio shots would have left me in the dust anyway. I am not a full-time stock photographer, nor do I want to be.

vonkara

« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2010, 13:17 »
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Yes, wait 1 to 3 more months would be a good advice.

« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2010, 13:24 »
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......too late, I already took my decision (before posting this) and uploaded on DT, I will see. If you addition all the agencies, I am still not sure I would make more with only one company (and I hate to throw the hours of work to upload/categorize/re-clean/etc... that I spend so far everywhere. I might change my mind one day, it all depends, but it's scary.

« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2010, 13:49 »
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I don't blame you. Since I became exclusive in July, my total earning dropped immediately. August is even much worse than July.  But it is very hard to go back to be independent because I can't rebuild a substantial port in FT very quickly. FT was my second best earner after IS.

« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 14:01 »
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I stopped uploading for 6 months at DT to be able to apply for IS exclusivity, but the sales are so low at IS these last 2 months that I was scared of the jump and decided that I wasn't going to do it.

Maybe because it's Summer, maybe Thinkstock deal (I retrieved myself), maybe new design change favoring exclusivity or whatever but I wonder if some of you were going to become exclusive also and decided not to do it after all?

Well, you lasted longer than I did. I think I stopped uploading to DT for about a month before I lost my nerve to go exclusive. The summer has been pretty bad there, but I'm hoping it picks up in September.

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2010, 14:31 »
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I have been exclusive for just over a year but now they have changed the site to a horrible new design, sales have nosedived (partly due to the confusing new design in my opinion)  and their rejection rate has got ridiculous I am thinking of giving up my exclusivity. They won't let you question anything that borders on criticism as they lock threads or worse, ban you for a period of time (this hasn't happened to me BTW). There is no incentive for me to be exclusive as a days shooting could be written off due to their vague reasons for "lighting" issues. They don't even give you a chance to put right what is supposed to be wrong.

A year ago when I went exclusive they accepted almost everything I submitted. My methods haven't changed. Other members are experiencing the same problems. The whole climate has become unfriendly and up itself.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 14:34 by Herg »

ShadySue

« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2010, 14:59 »
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I have been exclusive for just over a year but now they have changed the site to a horrible new design, sales have nosedived (partly due to the confusing new design in my opinion)  and their rejection rate has got ridiculous I am thinking of giving up my exclusivity. They won't let you question anything that borders on criticism as they lock threads or worse, ban you for a period of time (this hasn't happened to me BTW). There is no incentive for me to be exclusive as a days shooting could be written off due to their vague reasons for "lighting" issues. They don't even give you a chance to put right what is supposed to be wrong.

A year ago when I went exclusive they accepted almost everything I submitted. My methods haven't changed. Other members are experiencing the same problems. The whole climate has become unfriendly and up itself.
I have almost stopped uploading pro tem. When my photos taken in Scotland get lighting rejections and so do my photos taken in Madagascar, and I've gone from over 90% acceptance to c50%, I'm guessing they really only want studio lighting. Or really badly lit 'creative' stuff that you can call Vetta.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 17:34 by ShadySue »

lagereek

« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2010, 16:52 »
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Im sure it doesnt really matter, exclusive or independant, the whole industry is very unstable and without doubt has had its glory days.

« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2010, 17:25 »
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My sales have not been impressive either after I have become exclusive three months ago. After they changed the site layout, my number of DLs is also getting worse. Herg is right, I think the new design is confusing and depressing.

My approval has gone up, because I have been learning new things everyday.

I have been exclusive for just over a year but now they have changed the site to a horrible new design, sales have nosedived (partly due to the confusing new design in my opinion)  and their rejection rate has got ridiculous I am thinking of giving up my exclusivity. They won't let you question anything that borders on criticism as they lock threads or worse, ban you for a period of time (this hasn't happened to me BTW). There is no incentive for me to be exclusive as a days shooting could be written off due to their vague reasons for "lighting" issues. They don't even give you a chance to put right what is supposed to be wrong.

A year ago when I went exclusive they accepted almost everything I submitted. My methods haven't changed. Other members are experiencing the same problems. The whole climate has become unfriendly and up itself.

lisafx

« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2010, 17:39 »
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This thread is quite an eye-opener.  I had assumed that all the sales I'm no longer getting were going to exclusives.  Instead it sounds like they have just...gone.

Also very surprising about the increased rejections for exclusives.  Particularly Sue, who I know has been doing this for a loooong time and knows how to meet istock technical standards.   :o

In answer to the OP - I have been toying with the idea of Istock exclusivity on and off for 5 years or so, but this past January I got serious and started closing some accounts elsewhere and stopped uploading to DT. 

Like Cathy, I changed my mind when Istock started sending its customers to Thinkstock.  Also, the segmentation of the IS collection and the ever-increasing prices had me worried for its long-term future. 

About the same time I noticed that Fotolia was picking up steam and seemed (seems) to be making good decisions that may ultimately bring them to the number one spot.  It doesn't seem like a good time to be dropping off up-and-coming sites to go exclusive with a site that is making so many decisions I don't agree with. 

Phadrea

    This user is banned.
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2010, 17:53 »
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I really am becoming  exasperated with Istock, even angry which isn't doing my creativity any good. They are turning down images that are good on the basis of lighting having shadows or being dull. I have tried it all ways. Flatter lighting to get rid of shadows and visa versa. They give you no clues as to what the rejection was for and like they used to do, give you the opportunity to re-submit. If you post on the critique forum you will get the chorus of agreement and backing for the great wisdom of the all knowing Istock admin from the usual crowd. It's a lose lose situation uless you take boring well lit studio shots. I thought Art was all about light and shade. :P
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 17:55 by Herg »

« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2010, 20:41 »
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I just went exclusive the first week of this month. Here is a rough idea of what it has done for my earnings and downloads. This doesn't include Vetta downloads because so far I only have 1 Vetta file and bunch of pending nominations. So this is mostly just from the exclusive plus and higher prices for exclusive files. My portfolio has not grown much at all this year.


I am fairly happy with the results thus far. Although they do seem to be rejecting everything I throw at them, which is starting to be very frustrating. This will be my BME on IS but will still fall short of what I was making as an independent. Hopefully more Vetta files will help make up some of this loss.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 20:43 by Kngkyle »

« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2010, 21:08 »
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If you post on the critique forum you will get the chorus of agreement and backing for the great wisdom of the all knowing Istock admin from the usual crowd.

Oh, I don't think so.

Why not post one here then?

« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2010, 02:26 »
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The numbers have never made me feel like going exclusive but even if I was doing better with istock, the thought of only one place to sell RF doesn't appeal to me.  

I have serious concerns about what has happened in the last couple of years.  Changing the canister levels took away any slight motivation I might of had to reach the diamond level, its too far away now.  I wish they were honest about it and just said they wanted to take more money from the contributors but this wont make much difference to me, if I stay non-exclusive.  

Closing StockXpert makes me wonder why I supply istock.  It has lost me money this year and that's not going to make me feel good about the owners of istock.  I don't like thinkstock, as I am sure is already apparent from my constant whinging about it.  

The new site looks drab, I was surprised they didn't offer a bit of customisation.  It might work for buyers but I want something that makes it stand out.  Looks like if was done by the same people that did the new BigStock and 123rf sites, I expected something better from istock.  They have messed up the opt-out for thinkstock, that is like poking a hornets nest and they don't seem concerned about it.

Closing StockXpert, raising prices and pushing buyers to thinkstock makes me wonder if they want to slow down the growth of microstock, perhaps because it is damaging Getty and they will be able to make much more selling Getty if istock isn't as strong.  If that isn't their plan, I really don't know what's going on.  I just hope they sell istock and the new owners go back to trying to make it the best microstock site for contributors and buyers.

lagereek

« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2010, 03:01 »
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This thread is quite an eye-opener.  I had assumed that all the sales I'm no longer getting were going to exclusives.  Instead it sounds like they have just...gone.

Also very surprising about the increased rejections for exclusives.  Particularly Sue, who I know has been doing this for a loooong time and knows how to meet istock technical standards.   :o

In answer to the OP - I have been toying with the idea of Istock exclusivity on and off for 5 years or so, but this past January I got serious and started closing some accounts elsewhere and stopped uploading to DT.  

Like Cathy, I changed my mind when Istock started sending its customers to Thinkstock.  Also, the segmentation of the IS collection and the ever-increasing prices had me worried for its long-term future.  

About the same time I noticed that Fotolia was picking up steam and seemed (seems) to be making good decisions that may ultimately bring them to the number one spot.  It doesn't seem like a good time to be dropping off up-and-coming sites to go exclusive with a site that is making so many decisions I don't agree with.  


FT, is definetly on the rise, the only one I would say, I know of an IS Diamond who today is earning more at FT then IS,  never happend before.

Yes, I was pretty much on the same route as you, thinking of exclusivity at IS and I was very close indeed but then changed my mind, the exclusives are not doing any better then the independants really and only with a few promotional aspects such as Vetta.  The E+ business is a flop, at least Ive been told so.

IS, did have their chance about a year back in turning lots of high-ranking independants into exclusive contributors but somewhere they lost it, they went the wrong way about it and its probably the Getty-folks to blame for this, enforcing almost insane rules and regulations, pricing, etc.

Its a pitty really because I know from experience that Exclusivity should in fact be a big boost and on all fronts but as I said, somewhere theyve lost the incentive of independants.

The big question now ofcourse is:  will IS survive as the market leader within this industry, not now but in a few years time?  at the moment Im in two minds about this?
Must never forget, one companys loss, is another ones gain.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2010, 03:04 by lagereek »

« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2010, 03:27 »
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I also decided against exclusivity at the last moment. I could have gone ex. about two months ago but the negative trends made me rethink my decision. Especially the "How was your July" thread was an eye opener.

« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2010, 04:24 »
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Finally, August, after four or five months still or going down, has bounced back, by 25% at my exclusive port at IS. August had been my lowedst month five years in a row. Hoping that will grow in the busy months. However it is true that a great part of the revenue comes from ELs, at 50% comission, some as high as 300 $, and Vetta sales

« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2010, 05:01 »
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I thought Art was all about light and shade. :P
Stock isn't Art. Stock is about light and light.  :P

abimages

« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2010, 05:05 »
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 But it is very hard to go back to be independent because I can't rebuild a substantial port in FT very quickly. FT was my second best earner after IS.

That's the very reason I didn't go back a few months ago when I thought about giving up the crown.
In the end I decided my efforts were better placed long term, by building my port at IS.
I'm glad I made that decision, I feel better getting the higher royalties, I do ok with E+, and I sold my first Vetta last week. I also have the Getty contract lined up but havn't uploaded anything as yet.
I havn't seen any change in acceptance level either, as others seem to be reporting  :)

« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2010, 09:59 »
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It doesn't seem like a good time to be dropping off up-and-coming sites to go exclusive with a site that is making so many decisions I don't agree with. 

Spot on Lisa. Although I've considered exclusivity many times over the years I'm always grateful in retrospect that I didn't do so.

I absolutely detest Istock's new site design and layout too. The hideous black-on-white colour scheme gives me a headache and the site has pretty much lost all of it's original intuitivity. Now, in the latest offering, I find I have to scroll about 4 miles to the right to see the rest of the page. They must be smoking or inhaling some very exotic substances in Calgary if they really think they have made 'some improvements'. They used to have the most professional and user-friendly site and now it looks like they let some 4-year-old loose with the coding.

« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2010, 10:35 »
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Changing the canister levels took away any slight motivation I might of had to reach the diamond level, its too far away now.

They actually haven't done this yet as far as I know. I assume it's coming, but those of us that were only a few months away got a reprieve.

lagereek

« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2010, 13:26 »
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Look!  if it was all down to the IS own Admin guys,  it would never have gone this far or this way, they care about IS and for many its more or less their lifeblood.
You cant blame them! theyre probably just pissed off as anybody else.
No!  all this mediocre stuff has got the Getty stamp all over it, from the pricing down to the E+, down to the change of interface. Also, notice!!  how nobody dares to even question anything in the forum, pretending its all sweet when every single one knows its far from it.

The IS Admin is in fact a nice bunch so dont shoot the pianist.

« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2010, 13:29 »
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I just went exclusive the first week of this month. Here is a rough idea of what it has done for my earnings and downloads. This doesn't include Vetta downloads because so far I only have 1 Vetta file and bunch of pending nominations. So this is mostly just from the exclusive plus and higher prices for exclusive files. My portfolio has not grown much at all this year.

I am fairly happy with the results thus far. Although they do seem to be rejecting everything I throw at them, which is starting to be very frustrating. This will be my BME on IS but will still fall short of what I was making as an independent. Hopefully more Vetta files will help make up some of this loss.

My experience has been basically similar. I went exclusive last month, so this will be my first full month as an exclusive.

My total earnings are about 2.4x the same period last year (with about 10% more files) with slightly lower downloads. For those crunching the numbers, there doesn't appear to be a significant increase in DLs from exclusivity, and at gold canister levels $$ should be around 2.6 times pre-exclusive levels. Obviously individual results will differ.

As far as acceptance or rejections go, there doesn't appear to be any real change in acceptance rates either.

For me the big benefit will be increased upload quotas, which over the coming months should make up for any lost income on other sites.


 

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