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Author Topic: Five days without a sale  (Read 23529 times)

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« Reply #75 on: November 22, 2008, 05:13 »
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Before Istocks building of this new contract photographers could sell their work ( as long as it was a different shoot and theme ) with any RF company they wanted giving them more strength in their own companies diversity. Now with the Istock contract you have to put all your work under one roof making it more limiting than ever before for photographers security.

There is no "new" contract.  Exclusivity has been the same since it was introduced in 2005.

You can still sell your work with any RF company you want to get all the strength you want in your own company.  You just can't be exclusive.  No one is making anyone be exclusive.


« Reply #76 on: November 22, 2008, 05:54 »
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This devastating drop in sales gives me a sick feeling in my stomach. :-[

« Last Edit: November 22, 2008, 05:57 by epantha »

vonkara

« Reply #77 on: November 22, 2008, 14:07 »
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Here's mine... The same drop at the same place


AVAVA

« Reply #78 on: November 22, 2008, 14:23 »
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Hi SJ,

 Sorry for any confusion. I'll try to be a bit more specific.
 Before Istock built their exclusive RF contract there was never an exclusive for stock by photographer. The exclusivity was based on the images. Istock changed that with their new contract and based it off of photographers not the work itself. That limited photographers to their promoting their work at other RF agencies. That is the change I am referring to Istocks Exclusive contract compared to what used to exist.
 Even in RM I can shoot for Corbis or Getty or anyone I want as long as I am doing different work, but I don't need to tell you that you are very savvy to the industry.
 I will say the best part of the contract at Istock is you can pull out at any time and move your work on. I hope they don't change it down the road and add a 2 year or 7 year exclusive contract that would really lock you guys in.
 Does that make more sense or am I still talking in circles. Let me know I really want to try and clear up that there is a difference to Istocks contract that did not use to be part of the industry. I didn't mean to infer that they had changed their contract if I did that was my bad. I was referring to the change in the industry.

Best,
J
« Last Edit: November 22, 2008, 14:28 by AVAVA »

« Reply #79 on: November 22, 2008, 14:27 »
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My number of downloads at IS is only about 4% lower this month than it was in October.

However, $/download dropped from 1.01 to 0.89 -> 11% drop. Much more XS ans S downloads!

Perhaps, the economy is more important here than the IS search algorithm ...

« Reply #80 on: November 24, 2008, 05:47 »
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IS is getting sad  :'(

lagereek

« Reply #81 on: November 24, 2008, 07:29 »
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The argument has always been that its impossible to "police" image exclusivity ( as opposed to person exclusivity), this is ofcourse total rubbish.
How then did yesterdays large libraries such as Image-Bank, Stones, Getty, etc manage to keep full control? and thats BEFORE the computer era.
Nowdays with all the programs, softwares and what-nots it should be dead easy.
I know many photographers supplying different images to differant RM agencies, including Getty and Corbis. So whats the big deal?

vonkara

« Reply #82 on: November 24, 2008, 16:54 »
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Perhaps, the economy is more important here than the IS search algorithm ...

It could be only that IS is less popular. Because I get mostly the same earning than before elsewhere

Remember the Alexa graphic. Google trend see the same as Alexa. Maybe a less drastical drop but a drop anyway



That's 30% less traffic than a year ago
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 16:55 by Vonkara »

« Reply #83 on: November 24, 2008, 17:07 »
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The argument has always been that its impossible to "police" image exclusivity ( as opposed to person exclusivity), this is ofcourse total rubbish.
How then did yesterdays large libraries such as Image-Bank, Stones, Getty, etc manage to keep full control? and thats BEFORE the computer era.
Nowdays with all the programs, softwares and what-nots it should be dead easy.

And yet Alamy can't seem to figure out they've got 10,000 RF images listed under RM as well, eh ;)

You're dealing with 50,000 contributors from all walks of like, not a couple of hundred full time photographers.  I think it's a bit different to keep an eye on everyone with that sort of contributor base, wouldn't you?

AVAVA

« Reply #84 on: November 24, 2008, 17:27 »
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Gotta Back SJ on this one,

 It is a very difficult job tracking these kind of huge collections. There can often times be numerous resellers that the original distributor or photographer has zero control over. The best thing is to politely bring it to their attention ( weekly if you must ) until their is resolve.

Best,
AVAVA

lisafx

« Reply #85 on: November 24, 2008, 18:02 »
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Well, yet another thread that strayed into discussing the best match has just been locked.  (October stats thread)

Not that I especially blame them.  Those threads just go on and on and on.  I have never seen so many people upset about their sales for such an extended period of time. 

« Reply #86 on: November 24, 2008, 18:07 »
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Well, I've been selling (non-exclusive) on istock for years, and in the last two years I've just had a super gnawing feeling in my gut that their ultimate goal is to have a completely "exclusive" site.  That is, they WANT to one day be able to advertise to clients - "All of our contributors are exclusive to istock only!".   The problem is, they're still loading up on money made from nonexc sales to completely igore them (yet).  It still wouldn't shock me if within a year they do tell contributors though to, "Go exclusive, or leave".   Of course, they'll find that many won't put up with it and they WILL leave, but by then they'll have so many exclusives signed up they won't care.   It's just one of those "not if but when" type of scenerios.

I would have gone exclusive with them long ago had it not been for that one tiny little fine print item in their contract that says that even if they reject an image, you can't sell that rejected image elsewhere.  I have no problem selling a set of images through them and only through them.  But if they reject an image, it should be a free agent and I should then be able to sell that one via other outlets to make revenue off of it if I deem fit to do so.  Since I can't - then they will never get my stuff as an exclusive seller.  I'd rather have the ability to sell what I want anywhere than have someone tell me I'm not even allowed to use my rejects the way I want.

I would more expect to see that all new contributors after a certain date must be exclusive and exiting non-exclusive are ok.

However now that I say that, there are a lot of well established stock professionals locked into image exclusivity contracts for long periods (ie 5yrs), even for those are not, you are asking them to remove all other collections to join istock, also many people are also very seriously put off by that exclusivity contract as no other agency has anything like it.  I would think (and it is only my guess as I dont know) istock would always want to be trying to attract a number of already professional photogs, and being exclusive only would wipe much chance of this.

Phil

lisafx

« Reply #87 on: November 24, 2008, 18:18 »
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 I would think (and it is only my guess as I dont know) istock would always want to be trying to attract a number of already professional photogs, and being exclusive only would wipe much chance of this.

Phil

^^ Well stated Phil.  This is exactly why istock would be crazy to insist on exclusivity.  I can't think of a faster way for them to lose market share. 

They would be shutting themselves off completely from many of the top sellers.  Not only Yuri, but Andres, Ron Chapple, Monkey Business, etc, not to mention the pros that are likely to be trying out microstock in the future. 

jsnover

« Reply #88 on: November 24, 2008, 19:02 »
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The worry about IS forcing everyone to be exclusive first surfaced around the time they introduced exclusivity; it has reared its head several times since and each time - in the IS forums - various admins (including Bitter more than once) have said that they have no intention of doing this.

I think it'll be interesting to see how they integrate Jupiter's offerings into Getty's mix, especially StockXpert and its sales through photos.com and JI unlimited. I cannot imagine that IS would walk away from the huge business that their independent content represents. What would they gain over their current position where they can say you should buy at IS because they have all the independent stuff plus their exclusive content?

Once you incorporate StockXpert, they'll have a lot more of the independent content IS currently doesn't have - either because of upload restrictions or the types of raster illustrations IS currently rejects, but SS, StockXpert and others thrive on.

Clearly the best match changes have been a very big deal - although my vector sales are still AWOL, the last shift did something to let new images see the light of day again. I'm happy as otherwise this year's Christmas collection (of mine) would have just vanished. If you don't have Christmas images, you might also count that among the reasons that sales are down. Over the last ~2 weeks, it's been almost entirely Christmas images, and a nice mix of old and new ones.

On the best match bias for exclusives, I would point out that (a) I know nothing about the rules for best match and (b) when I did a search for senior couple, although Lisa's stuff was much further back than I'd have expected, the first three images were by monkeybusinessimages, an independent. Yes they were all in blue flames, so I'm sure that helped :)

lisafx

« Reply #89 on: November 24, 2008, 19:34 »
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On the best match bias for exclusives, I would point out that (a) I know nothing about the rules for best match and (b) when I did a search for senior couple, although Lisa's stuff was much further back than I'd have expected, the first three images were by monkeybusinessimages, an independent. Yes they were all in blue flames, so I'm sure that helped :)

Thanks for confirming what I have been saying for weeks.  I'm not kidding about how badly this best match has ruined my sales on istock.  It's really beyond depressing.

Guess I will have to comfort myself that people are finding my pictures elsewhere.  Had BME's on quite a few sites in October.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 19:38 by lisafx »

« Reply #90 on: November 24, 2008, 20:03 »
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I don't pretend to understand the new best match at all. Its sad to hear all the non-exclusives suffering, myself included. Especially with Istock generally being one of the top 2 earners for most.

I uploaded a couple of very similar Christmas files recently, both started getting regular sales and were on my first page of best match. Then one of the images got about 5 downloads in one day. In the past this would have bumped that image up in best match. Instead, the exact opposite happened and it dropped back to page 4 under best match in my port. The other similar file is still on page one with half the downloads. Huh????

I'm confused, shouldn't files move up for selling?

I also wonder if this change is benefitting Istock or is it just a failed best match experiment. Maybe will never know.

bittersweet

« Reply #91 on: November 24, 2008, 20:09 »
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It is very very bizarre. They do keep tweaking it, but new images I upload are showing up on the second to last pages of my portfolio. Oldish files are selling though, and this is the only thing keeping me from going down overall.

I just really haven't uploaded much b/c it just ends up at the bottom of the pile for whatever reason.  ???

dbvirago

« Reply #92 on: November 24, 2008, 20:42 »
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There has been a lot of arguing here and on IS as to whether sales are down and whether best match is at fault. This is my IS sales graph for 32 months. The big spike was a flurry of ELs. As you can see, I am pretty much back to where I started.


jsnover

« Reply #93 on: November 24, 2008, 21:06 »
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I uploaded a couple of very similar Christmas files recently, both started getting regular sales and were on my first page of best match. Then one of the images got about 5 downloads in one day. In the past this would have bumped that image up in best match. Instead, the exact opposite happened and it dropped back to page 4 under best match in my port.

It is bizarre, but that's not what I've been seeing with one of my new Christmas files that's sold more than the others - it's still #6 in my portfolio by best match in spite of having sold 19 times in about 2 weeks. It hasn't sold any more than 3 times in one day - perhaps there's some threshhold I haven't hit, and over that you get bumped back?

But overall, 14 of the first 20 files in my portfolio (by best match) are from the last 3 months. The first 60 images all have downloads (when the massive emphasis on newness was in place, there were lots of new 0 download images up front). I still have the collection of flaming images and vectors at the very back - can't explain those other than best match weirdness.


PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #94 on: November 24, 2008, 21:08 »
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I don't pretend to understand the new best match at all. Its sad to hear all the non-exclusives suffering, myself included. Especially with Istock generally being one of the top 2 earners for most.

I uploaded a couple of very similar Christmas files recently, both started getting regular sales and were on my first page of best match. Then one of the images got about 5 downloads in one day. In the past this would have bumped that image up in best match. Instead, the exact opposite happened and it dropped back to page 4 under best match in my port. The other similar file is still on page one with half the downloads. Huh????

I'm confused, shouldn't files move up for selling?

I also wonder if this change is benefitting Istock or is it just a failed best match experiment. Maybe will never know.

Files that have too many downloads to views get pushed back.  The dead last image in your port has 282 views and 39 downloads which is around 1 download per 7 views. Any files that cross the 1:7 or 1:8 line get banished to the back of your port and get spanked in best match search results.

No idea what they're trying to do here but I'm not overly thrilled that I'm starting to get a collection of formerly good selling images at the back of my port.

« Reply #95 on: November 24, 2008, 21:17 »
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I can see how tilting the table towards their exclusives, especially their top contributing exclusives, and away from new contributors and newer images might really help them - in the short to medium term.  But there will still be a certain turnover rate of these top, favorite contributors no matter what they do.  They will have to find new, top contributors somewhere.

I wonder how they will manage to recruit these new contributors.  I've read quite a few messages from non-exclusives saying they're tired of uploading then finding their pics are so buried in the search results that they are now un-motivated to continue uploading.  These people sound like they're turning away from IS and writing it off.

Maybe IS believe that a small pool of talented and extremely dedicated bunch of lowly non-exclusives will persevere and will keep on plugging away at IS, carrying a mop and pail as it were, until they qualify for and then decide to go exclusive.  Serve an apprenticeship in other words.

Or maybe it's they're way of saying that crowdsourcing is done, and what the business really needs is fewer, better contributors selling a lot more pix per contributor, who are recruited more carefully.  In other words, it needs only a handful of dedicated professionals and they can be recruited by some other means, such as being lured away from other stock sites or by recommendation of an existing, top contributor (e.g. a former assistant).  As opposed to running a constant, open, 24x7 audition at their shareholders' expense.

bittersweet

« Reply #96 on: November 24, 2008, 21:28 »
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Oh well, I can't figure out how to make it bigger, but you get the idea.  :)
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 21:36 by whatalife »

jsnover

« Reply #97 on: November 25, 2008, 12:16 »
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It is bizarre, but that's not what I've been seeing with one of my new Christmas files that's sold more than the others - it's still #6 in my portfolio by best match in spite of having sold 19 times in about 2 weeks...

Lending credence to the theory that says low views to sales ratio hurts best match placement. I checked this morning's display of the first 20 of my portfolio by best match. The file I mentioned above has moved back 9 places since yesterday after getting 2 sales and 5 more views. Another file that was #3 yesterday got no sales, but 3 more views and is now in 2nd place; the previous #2 also had no sales but added only 1 view.

Nuts.

AVAVA

« Reply #98 on: November 25, 2008, 12:22 »
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 HI All,

  For me it's like trying to figure out a Rubics Cube. I can get one side the right color but when I try to start on the next side the first side gets all screwed up. I thought the cube was out of my life years ago but my sons just bought one. Dreaded thing still the same results for me 20 years later. I just stare at it on the table with mixed feelings of defeat, the desire to beat it, or just throw it out the window. ;)

Best,
AVAVA

lisafx

« Reply #99 on: November 25, 2008, 19:48 »
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I hate those things, but my hubby is a master at the Rubik's Cube. 

Maybe I should ask him to try and figure what's going an at Istock ;)


 

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