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Author Topic: Extrapolating Redeemed Credits  (Read 12313 times)

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123XXX

« on: September 12, 2010, 01:55 »
0
I am new here on this forum and wanted to first start by saying hello to everyone and to say that I think this is a fantastic forum as it also allows contributors from iStock the opportunity to discuss different aspects of being an iStock contributor with other members of the iStock community.

For the time being I have a question about this new subject of redeemed credits on iStock and I am starting a new thread here as I didn't see one that seems to cover this issue yet. Sorry if missed something that has been written about it already though as I don't mean to repeat this question.

I am trying to do some estimations on redeemed credits and the chances that I might have of hitting the next level on redeemed credits by the end of the year. I realize we are given a figure by iStock showing how many redeemed credits we have earned so far this year, but since I have not looked at that figure in the past, I have no idea approximately how many credits I am earning per month on average. Part of the problem is I became exclusive earlier this year and added some more pictures since then. So my income has been climbing a bit and I can't simply take the figure they give us for the year to date and divide it by the number of months that have gone by so far this year in order to get a rough monthly figure.

What would be ideal is if iStock would give us a breakdown of how many credits we have earned each month so far to date this year, but it seems at this point they don't. So what I would like to do is basically try and figure out approximately how many credits I have earned on a monthly basis over the last 3 months since the past 3 months of sales more or less represents what I am earning at the moment on a monthly basis.

I realize the number of earned credits is actually based upon the sizes of the pictures sold and not the total dollar amount earned for the month, but there at least should be a simple formula that can be used to make a rough calculation based upon dollars earned for a given month? For example, if someone earned $200 in a month is there a way to know roughly how many redeemed credits that would come out too?

Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated...
« Last Edit: September 12, 2010, 01:59 by 123XXX »


« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2010, 02:12 »
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Hi,

for the past 3 years sept & oct have been about 10% higher than average, november average and december down about 20%, basically making those four months about the same as previous 4. Overall istock would sell more, my guess is those with a lot christmas stuff sell absolute heaps and basically would skew the view of everyone selling a lot more (could be wrong here though).

« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2010, 03:46 »
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Here's a rough estimate: If I divide my redeemed credits by my royalties so far this year it works out to 1 redeemed credit = $0.53. I'm at diamond level, so you'll have to adjust this if you're not at that level. Here's a handy dandy chart:

Level   Commission   Redeemed Credit Value
Base           20%                    $0.27
Bronze        25%                    $0.33
Silver          30%                    $0.40
Gold           35%                    $0.46
Diamond     40%                    $0.53

So if you're at silver level and you earn $200 in a month, that works out to $200/0.40 = 500 redeemed credits.

michealo

« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2010, 04:00 »
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Here's a rough estimate: If I divide my redeemed credits by my royalties so far this year it works out to 1 redeemed credit = $0.53. I'm at diamond level, so you'll have to adjust this if you're not at that level. Here's a handy dandy chart:

Level   Commission   Redeemed Credit Value
Base           20%                    $0.27
Bronze        25%                    $0.33
Silver          30%                    $0.40
Gold           35%                    $0.46
Diamond     40%                    $0.53

So if you're at silver level and you earn $200 in a month, that works out to $200/0.40 = 500 redeemed credits.

That is spot on

123XXX

« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2010, 04:14 »
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Cheers sharply_done. That is perfect and exactly the information I am looking for.

« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2010, 05:23 »
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I'll take it one step further.
If we know the value of a redeemed credit at each level, you can work out the royalties needed in order to maintain your commission level. You can calculate what royalties you'll need to jump up a level, too. Here's another handy dandy chart:

Level          Commission   Redeemed    Royalties Needed    Royalties Needed
                                       Credits Req'd      to Maintain              to Promote

IndyBase                15%               -                       -                               $398
IndyBronze             16%           2,000                 $424                         $2,650
IndySilver               17%         12,500               $2,816                         $9,010
IndyGold                18%         40,000               $9,540                       $35,775
IndyDiamond          19%       150,000              $37,763                     $352,450
IndyBlackDiamond  20%     1,400,000            $371,000                             -

Bronze                   25%           2,000                    -                              $4,141
Silver                     30%         12,500                $4,969                       $15,900   
Gold                      35%         40,000              $18,550                        $69,563
Diamond                40%       150,000              $79,500                      $742,000         
Black Diamond        45%    1,400,000            $834,750                              -


So if you're currently at Gold level, you'll need to earn $18,550 per year to maintain that commission rate - if you earn $69,553 you'll jump up to Diamond level. If you're an independent and iStock comprises 40% of your total microstock revenue, then you'll have to be earning about $94k to "earn" a 19% commission, and about 928k to get 20%.

rubyroo

« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2010, 05:55 »
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Although I'll be withdrawing from iStock when the new percentages kick in, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate you sharing your work on this Sharply... it's incredibly helpful to see the new levels expressed in these real terms.  I more clearly understand the difficulties for those non-exclusives stuck at 19% now.

123XXX

« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2010, 06:27 »
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Thank you so much for those additional calculations. It puts it in real dollar terms in terms of what we will need to earn to either maintain or reach the next level on an annual basis. In regards to exclusives, it seems most will fall in from 25% to a maximum of 35%. 40% will be a thing of the past for probably most at that level now. As for the Indys, wow, that is a tough nut.   

« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2010, 06:51 »
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I'm an IndySilver so it looks like I'm done. This really sucks. Nothing for me to strive for anymore with istock.

alias

« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2010, 06:55 »
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If I divide my redeemed credits by my royalties so far this year it works out to 1 redeemed credit = $0.53.

Did you account for EL bonus, referrals ?

123XXX

« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2010, 07:17 »
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Valid point. In that case I guess you need to consider Vetta too. But you can easily base calculations on "Royalty Earnings" alone, which does not include EL and referrals. Vetta though is included in that figure I believe. 

« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2010, 07:24 »
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My estimation is $0.26/credit as IndyGold (including just 3 or 4 ELs this year)

123XXX

« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2010, 07:32 »
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By the way, the iPhone iStock Stats App gives you a quick total royalty earnings only figure for the year minus EL sales and referals. Again am not sure if Vetta sales are included in that figure or not though.

« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2010, 18:44 »
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that's  a good chart. the only problem is that it does not account for those, like me, who have multiple mediums at iStock.  currently I am gold, but my port is both vector and photos so I will drop into different categories for that. 

lisafx

« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2010, 19:12 »
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Interesting charts.  And very helpful.  Thanks for posting those.

Comparing Indy diamond to EX diamond, it looks like if a hypothetical independent makes $37, 863 then at the same level they would make $79,500 as exclusive.  Am I reading that right?  

If so, that would mean they would only make 211% of their independent Istock income if they were to go exclusive, assuming their sales levels stayed the same.  So double their income, plus 11%.  

As an independent diamond who makes 40% of my income from Istock, double that plus 11% still leaves me 9% short of my total income as an independent.  

Am I doing this right?   I was under the impression that under the current royalty scheme I would make significantly more as an exclusive.  Is that a myth, or have I somehow miscalculated?

« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2010, 19:23 »
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Interesting charts.  And very helpful.  Thanks for posting those.

Comparing Indy diamond to EX diamond, it looks like if a hypothetical independent makes $37, 863 then at the same level they would make $79,500 as exclusive.  Am I reading that right?  

If so, that would mean they would only make 211% of their independent Istock income if they were to go exclusive, assuming their sales levels stayed the same.  So double their income, plus 11%.  

As an independent diamond who makes 40% of my income from Istock, double that plus 11% still leaves me 9% short of my total income as an independent.  

Am I doing this right?   I was under the impression that under the current royalty scheme I would make significantly more as an exclusive.  Is that a myth, or have I somehow miscalculated?

You also need to include access to Veta and increased upload quota and able to spend more time concentrating on shooting and improving Istock portfolio. These are all hard to quantify which makes the decision for exclusive harder. With Istock's recent behaviour I'd be surprised if many people are considering going exclusive.

« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2010, 21:10 »
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As an independent diamond who makes 40% of my income from Istock, double that plus 11% still leaves me 9% short of my total income as an independent.  

Am I doing this right?   I was under the impression that under the current royalty scheme I would make significantly more as an exclusive.  Is that a myth, or have I somehow miscalculated?

I think you forgot that as an excusive, your photos are going to be sold at higher price, and this can go from 20 to 100% more.  So this means more redeemed credits par sale and more $.

Or maybe it is me who is missing something???

Please correct me if i'm wrong because these higher prices are what makes exclusivity "still" interresting to me...

Claude

« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2010, 21:16 »
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Interesting charts.  And very helpful.  Thanks for posting those.

Comparing Indy diamond to EX diamond, it looks like if a hypothetical independent makes $37, 863 then at the same level they would make $79,500 as exclusive.  Am I reading that right?  

If so, that would mean they would only make 211% of their independent Istock income if they were to go exclusive, assuming their sales levels stayed the same.  So double their income, plus 11%.  

As an independent diamond who makes 40% of my income from Istock, double that plus 11% still leaves me 9% short of my total income as an independent.  

Am I doing this right?   I was under the impression that under the current royalty scheme I would make significantly more as an exclusive.  Is that a myth, or have I somehow miscalculated?


You need to calculate the additional income from higher file prices - ie. each download you get is a higher percentage of a higher number of credits.

So on the new system it should be easier for exclusive to reach the higher levels in terms of the number of downloads.

With no other changes in your portfolio (ie. no vetta and no content in exclusive +) the number in this thread are reasonably accurate as a minimum. http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/evaluating-exclusivity-at-istock-crunching-the-numbers/

« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2010, 21:56 »
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that's  a good chart. the only problem is that it does not account for those, like me, who have multiple mediums at iStock.  currently I am gold, but my port is both vector and photos so I will drop into different categories for that. 

Yeah, I hear you. The chart would be a lot more interesting if it applied to me at all (vectors).  ;D Although when I looked at my numbers, I could double my income there and still not make the next level which would still be a 10% cut. But, it's not about the money, right? Actually, I'm starting to agree with that statement. I wouldn't be considering deleting my portfolio if it was just about money.

« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2010, 04:36 »
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lisafx: a few more factors you forgot and where not mentioned here:

1. As an exc your files are much more expensive. more expensive photos = less demand = less downloads.
2. as an exc you get better best match = more sales.

which of the 2 out weighs the other is unknown.

lisafx

« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2010, 09:13 »
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I didn't forget that exclusive files are more expensive.   I am using the data supplied by Sharply Done, which presumably already accounts for the price differential (or else his chart would be pretty useless).  

As for higher upload limits and "more time to shoot for Istock" that would be completely useless to me.  Most of my time is spent editing, not uploading, and that would not change with exclusivity.  I am already shooting and uploading at my maximum capacity, and my 40/week limit pretty much covers that.  

The only factor not considered is Vetta, and that's iffy, especially considering that royalties there are being cut.

So from what I can see I would still not benefit from exclusivity, even under the current conditions.  This is a genuine surprise to me.  I had thought I would.

« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2010, 09:52 »
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I didn't forget that exclusive files are more expensive.   I am using the data supplied by Sharply Done, which presumably already accounts for the price differential (or else his chart would be pretty useless).  

As for higher upload limits and "more time to shoot for Istock" that would be completely useless to me.  Most of my time is spent editing, not uploading, and that would not change with exclusivity.  I am already shooting and uploading at my maximum capacity, and my 40/week limit pretty much covers that.  

The only factor not considered is Vetta, and that's iffy, especially considering that royalties there are being cut.

So from what I can see I would still not benefit from exclusivity, even under the current conditions.  This is a genuine surprise to me.  I had thought I would.

I wasn't suggesting that you were forgetting the higher prices, just that you couldn't use these stats to extrapolate your potential earnings as an exclusive.

The way the targets are set it would be relatively easier for exclusives to reach than independents precisely for the reason that they're accumulating credits faster on the same download numbers. 

The other factor is that the figures are fairly rough because credit prices vary depending on how credits are purchased. If you have a lot of sales from bloggers buying small credit packages (for example) your redeemed credit value would be higher because the credits cost more - but it would also mean that you need to earn more to reach the levels.

Another big variable that we don't know is whether the calculation of the redeemed credits is properly in sync with the annual download statistics.

« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2010, 10:28 »
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It occurs to me that someone like Holgs, having only recently gone exclusive, could be quite seriously disadvantaged by being paid next year according to his RC's for this year, most of which he was independent for.

Looks like if anyone is barmy enough to go exclusive in the future at Istockphoto then they need to time it correctly or it could be very expensive in lost commissions.

« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2010, 11:45 »
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That's a very good point. It has no advantage to go exclusive at the end of the year.

For Lisa, it will be too risky to go exclusive because she has built large ports with all agencies. Not only just the micros, she has to delete all her RF files from Alamy or perhaps other macros, not sure if there are many.

It occurs to me that someone like Holgs, having only recently gone exclusive, could be quite seriously disadvantaged by being paid next year according to his RC's for this year, most of which he was independent for.

Looks like if anyone is barmy enough to go exclusive in the future at Istockphoto then they need to time it correctly or it could be very expensive in lost commissions.

« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2010, 15:01 »
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It occurs to me that someone like Holgs, having only recently gone exclusive, could be quite seriously disadvantaged by being paid next year according to his RC's for this year, most of which he was independent for.

Looks like if anyone is barmy enough to go exclusive in the future at Istockphoto then they need to time it correctly or it could be very expensive in lost commissions.

I think it will be the long-term Diamond exclusives that are hit hardest. I'm past the 30% level, but short of a massive upswing there's no chance I'll retain 35% for the start of next year.


 

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