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Poll

For independent contributors - in light of Istock's new policy of mirroring all non-exclusive content in the Partner Program, will you be agreeing to the new ASA or leaving the site?

I will be pulling my portfolio from Istockphoto
52 (21.8%)
I will be staying and allowing my content in the PP
104 (43.7%)
Not sure right now.
47 (19.7%)
Going exclusive.
10 (4.2%)
I left already.
18 (7.6%)
Never joined
7 (2.9%)

Total Members Voted: 213

Author Topic: Independents - do you plan to leave Istock or not?  (Read 41791 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

RT


« Reply #200 on: September 14, 2011, 05:53 »
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It's such a shame that we can't all just leave and point the buyers to sites that pay better commissions.  

Absolutely, it's a shame there isn't one.

I get an average of $5+ for an XL, $4+ for Large and $3 for Medium downloads on iStockphoto, Shutterstock pays me $2.85 (or for 80% of my sales there 38c ) for an XXL download, Dreamstime have a sliding scale but the average is way lower than iS.

As soon as a site comes along that pays better commissions and has the number of sales that iStock does, I'll take suggestions like yours seriously.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 05:58 by RT »


« Reply #201 on: September 14, 2011, 09:15 »
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I'm leaving - the only decision I have left to make now is whether I close my account completely, or disable most of my portfolio. I may leave a couple of old images active to keep my account open, just in case iStock management changes for the better someday (dream on). I expect that if I stay things will keep getting worse - earnings will continue to decrease over time, and the terms of the ASA will become even more unreasonable. I'm jumping off the sinking ship now, and plan on working very hard to create my best new images for iStock's competitors. I see it as sacrificing short term gain for long term stability, both for myself and for the industry as a whole. The alternative is to give in to hopelessness and let iStock kick me around to the bitter end. Call me deluded, but I'm casting my vote in favor of hope.

« Reply #202 on: September 14, 2011, 09:15 »
0
Absolutely, it's a shame there isn't one.

I get an average of $5+ for an XL, $4+ for Large and $3 for Medium downloads on iStockphoto, Shutterstock pays me $2.85 (or for 80% of my sales there 38c ) for an XXL download, Dreamstime have a sliding scale but the average is way lower than iS.

As soon as a site comes along that pays better commissions and has the number of sales that iStock does, I'll take suggestions like yours seriously.

I agree, but when you start averaging in subs from Thinkstock and Photos.com, that's going to bring that average way down. Then, they are just another agency with a poor RPD and a pathetic royalty rate.

« Reply #203 on: September 14, 2011, 09:35 »
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A year ago I stopped uploading new images there. Now I've picked the images I'll keep on there and I put them into p+ (if they weren't already) - a mix of decent sellers that didn't get accepted or never really sold much at other sites and smaller images and old crappy ones. As the 28th approaches I'll start removing the rest. I'll be sorry to lose all the work that it took to get them up and the shrinking income I still get there, but I am sick of their heavy handed approach and greedy ways. I have no reason to believe that things will get any better there, so I am going to make this move. I wish everyone would do the same, as it would make Getty and the others take notice, but I can understand why people don't.

« Reply #204 on: September 14, 2011, 09:40 »
0

I get an average of $5+ for an XL, $4+ for Large and $3 for Medium downloads on iStockphoto, Shutterstock pays me $2.85 (or for 80% of my sales there 38c ) for an XXL download, Dreamstime have a sliding scale but the average is way lower than iS.

Are you talking P+ images here? Those IS averages sound very high compared to what I see for regular collection images. I'm making 18%, so even if you're on a higher percentage, I'm not sure that would account for the difference. P+ has helped a lot, but I'm not sure even that would pull my averages up that much.

Also, on other sites, I haven't seen the 12 cents for an XS download that I have seen on IS (again regular collection). That's not the average, but it's pretty painful to see some of the numbers when IS has heavily discounted the credits.

« Reply #205 on: September 14, 2011, 09:48 »
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Will we be able to recognized the TS sales, other than by the low price?

I'm thinking of leaving my images there for now; but if I start seeing lots of sales from TS , I'll leave IS rather than help them bring down SS.  



We have few options left at this point.  All the agencies will be steadily  moving to subscription plans.  That breaks down the whole idea of 'commission' on a sale, and payment to the photographer becomes an arbitrary, token amount.  The very few that offer fair prices (like GL) might make enough sales to support themselves, but not their contributors.

Prices are now so low that many of us have essentially stopped doing new microstock shots, and are just leaving the old ones online because there's no other way to get any money out of them.   None of these agencies have any long-term vision for the business and don't really care if experienced photographers are dropping out - they think crowdsourcing can keep them supplied forever.    
« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 15:05 by stockastic »

RacePhoto

« Reply #206 on: September 14, 2011, 21:14 »
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Will we be able to recognized the TS sales, other than by the low price?


Yes, green bars are partner program, blue bars are IS.

I keep kicking this back and forth. If the files are already there, why not just leave them and stop uploading new ones. Then I'd still get some sales, but not add anything newer and hopefully better. In effect dropping IS but still benefiting?

Or the other way, pull everything, which doesn't hurt them, just myself.

Before someone points out that I dropped DT and FT, (and some other smaller sites), yes, but they have distribution, mystery partners, and commission issues that put me over the limit of what I could stand. IS makes sales at a decent rate, even with the cuts and making things almost all sub now for me. Money talks!  ;D

RT


« Reply #207 on: September 15, 2011, 03:04 »
0
Are you talking P+ images here? Those IS averages sound very high compared to what I see for regular collection images. I'm making 18%, so even if you're on a higher percentage, I'm not sure that would account for the difference. P+ has helped a lot, but I'm not sure even that would pull my averages up that much.

Also, on other sites, I haven't seen the 12 cents for an XS download that I have seen on IS (again regular collection). That's not the average, but it's pretty painful to see some of the numbers when IS has heavily discounted the credits.

No I took a mixture of regular and P+, hence I used the term average, and having done another check I can confirm the figures I used are correct.

I agree about the 12c, but as you said it's for an XS and I can't remember the last time I had one of those.

Either way my point still stands that to make the statement 'lets all point buyers to sites that pay a better commission' when in fact there isn't one is a bit silly IMO.

@cthoman - As the saying goes, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it, for now I like to deal in the present not guess the future.

I have lots of gripes about iS but their commission rates compared to the other top microstock sites isn't top of my list.

« Reply #208 on: September 16, 2011, 04:43 »
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I decided to agree to being in the PP.  Got sick of seeing the page come up every time I log in.  I really don't think enough people are going to leave istock to make a difference.  I can't afford to lose any more earnings right now.  I have no confidence in the future of microstock, so I might as well make as much as I can now.  Earnings are going to get diluted when all the opted out content hits TS, it probably wont be worth having a portfolio there but I really can't afford to lose istock right now.  I'm going to do what most of the big contributors have done and ignore commission %.

I'm going to concentrate much more on building a separate portfolio with alamy and doing other things like selling prints.

ShadySue

« Reply #209 on: September 16, 2011, 05:17 »
0
Before someone points out that I dropped DT and FT, (and some other smaller sites), yes, but they have distribution, mystery partners, and commission issues that put me over the limit of what I could stand. IS makes sales at a decent rate, even with the cuts and making things almost all sub now for me. Money talks!  ;D
Yup, we're all hos, we're just haggling over the price.

lisafx

« Reply #210 on: September 16, 2011, 08:33 »
0
I have no confidence in the future of microstock, so I might as well make as much as I can now. 

Sadly, I have come to pretty much the same conclusion.  I've joined a bunch of smaller sites I wouldn't have bothered with a year or two ago as part of a strategy to maximize my earnings on my existing portfolio. 

It's all well and good for us to plan ahead and do what we can to support (and even police) the industry for the long term, but developments in the last year have me questioning whether there is a long term for microstock - at least from the contributor perspective.

« Reply #211 on: September 16, 2011, 15:57 »
0
I think there's a bottom-line metric for these agencies: how often do buyers report they couldn't find what they wanted for a specific need, and ended up not buying an image (or going elsewhere)?  When that number gets low enough, the agency in some sense has enough images.     

At that point they probably start caring a lot less about contributors, and the cost of reviewing new images is harder to justify.   To increase profits, they can either raise prices to buyers or lower payments to contributors, who (as we all know) are unlikely to actually remove the images already approved and online.





  
« Last Edit: September 16, 2011, 16:29 by stockastic »

« Reply #212 on: September 17, 2011, 16:22 »
0
Well, I deactivated half of my portfolio.

« Reply #213 on: September 18, 2011, 14:45 »
0
Well, I deactivated half of my portfolio.
Good for you! You have some very stocky concept images and isolations in your port - I am sure that buyers will find them on other sites (that has been my experience since I stopped submitting to IS many months ago).

« Reply #214 on: September 18, 2011, 15:01 »
0
Thank you, I am sure they will. Especially since I have almost twice as many images elsewhere anyways as I had stopped uploading after the commission cut last year.

« Reply #215 on: September 18, 2011, 15:52 »
0
I have no confidence in the future of microstock, so I might as well make as much as I can now. 

Sadly, I have come to pretty much the same conclusion.  I've joined a bunch of smaller sites I wouldn't have bothered with a year or two ago as part of a strategy to maximize my earnings on my existing portfolio. 

It's all well and good for us to plan ahead and do what we can to support (and even police) the industry for the long term, but developments in the last year have me questioning whether there is a long term for microstock - at least from the contributor perspective.

Same here...uploading to a few smaller sites hoping something will make it worthwhile.  I have been on several smaller sites in the past and deleted my ports due to few sales.  Now, with less income due to wife getting let go, I am borderline desperate.

helix7

« Reply #216 on: September 20, 2011, 07:26 »
0
I have no confidence in the future of microstock, so I might as well make as much as I can now. 

Sadly, I have come to pretty much the same conclusion.  I've joined a bunch of smaller sites I wouldn't have bothered with a year or two ago as part of a strategy to maximize my earnings on my existing portfolio. 

It's all well and good for us to plan ahead and do what we can to support (and even police) the industry for the long term, but developments in the last year have me questioning whether there is a long term for microstock - at least from the contributor perspective.

I've narrowed the focus down to SS, and my confidence in that one company. I have zero confidence in istock, and very little in most other companies. I'm optimistic about companies like StockFresh, but realistically my confidence in them is slipping. So really it just comes down to SS for me. I'm opting to stay with istock and let my stuff into the PP, as long as it doesn't impact my earnings at SS. I make the majority of my microstock earnings with SS, and doing what I can to keep that going is the priority. Which could eventually mean that if ThinkStock manages to pick up and become a real threat to SS, my images will no longer be at istock or TS.

But for now, I'm betting that ThinkStock won't be a threat to SS, even with all this new independent content, and SS will remain the top player. As long as my SS earnings remain steady, I'm staying where I am for now.

I'm not sure what the future of microstock is, but if it does indeed start to fall apart, I'd rather ride out the sinking ship with SS than anyone else. At some point that may mean bailing on istock and some others. But we're not there just yet.

« Reply #217 on: September 20, 2011, 07:40 »
0
I just deactivated the few files I had on istock. Kind of a nice feeling actually. :D

« Reply #218 on: September 20, 2011, 09:35 »
0
I just deactivated the few files I had on istock. Kind of a nice feeling actually. :D

I felt the same way.

« Reply #219 on: September 20, 2011, 10:27 »
0
I have no confidence in the future of microstock, so I might as well make as much as I can now. 

Sadly, I have come to pretty much the same conclusion.  I've joined a bunch of smaller sites I wouldn't have bothered with a year or two ago as part of a strategy to maximize my earnings on my existing portfolio. 

It's all well and good for us to plan ahead and do what we can to support (and even police) the industry for the long term, but developments in the last year have me questioning whether there is a long term for microstock - at least from the contributor perspective.

I've narrowed the focus down to SS, and my confidence in that one company. I have zero confidence in istock, and very little in most other companies. I'm optimistic about companies like StockFresh, but realistically my confidence in them is slipping. So really it just comes down to SS for me. I'm opting to stay with istock and let my stuff into the PP, as long as it doesn't impact my earnings at SS. I make the majority of my microstock earnings with SS, and doing what I can to keep that going is the priority. Which could eventually mean that if ThinkStock manages to pick up and become a real threat to SS, my images will no longer be at istock or TS.

But for now, I'm betting that ThinkStock won't be a threat to SS, even with all this new independent content, and SS will remain the top player. As long as my SS earnings remain steady, I'm staying where I am for now.

I'm not sure what the future of microstock is, but if it does indeed start to fall apart, I'd rather ride out the sinking ship with SS than anyone else. At some point that may mean bailing on istock and some others. But we're not there just yet.

If at some point Thinkstock sales go up and SS sales go down, will you be willing to abandon the significant % that TS and IS represent to stick with a sinking SS ship?
(unlikely SS would totally go away, but if IS customers get moved to TS and they market heavily they could take some of SS's customers too.

helix7

« Reply #220 on: September 20, 2011, 10:52 »
0
If at some point Thinkstock sales go up and SS sales go down, will you be willing to abandon the significant % that TS and IS represent to stick with a sinking SS ship?
(unlikely SS would totally go away, but if IS customers get moved to TS and they market heavily they could take some of SS's customers too.

Yep, that would be the point where I couldn't really stay with istock/TS.

« Reply #221 on: September 20, 2011, 12:34 »
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I'm out. I deactivated all my files except one. I couldn't deactivate one of them because the page wouldn't load. I guess I'll have to contact support [rolls eyes and grumbles under his breath].

Here's the link for the one file I couldn't get rid of:

http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-illustration-4354925-dream.php

If anyone has any suggestions, otherwise I'll just contact support.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 12:36 by cthoman »

RacePhoto

« Reply #222 on: September 20, 2011, 13:01 »
0
I'm out. I deactivated all my files except one. I couldn't deactivate one of them because the page wouldn't load. I guess I'll have to contact support [rolls eyes and grumbles under his breath].

Here's the link for the one file I couldn't get rid of:

http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-illustration-4354925-dream.php

If anyone has any suggestions, otherwise I'll just contact support.


Maybe it's gone? All I get is a blank page. On the other hand, maybe you should leave one photo, that won't sell, so you can potentially have an account should things change?

One that doesn't show seems appropriate?  ;D

« Reply #223 on: September 20, 2011, 13:34 »
0
Maybe it's gone? All I get is a blank page. On the other hand, maybe you should leave one photo, that won't sell, so you can potentially have an account should things change?

One that doesn't show seems appropriate?  ;D


No, it's still there it's the only one that shows up in my upload section. The others say this file has been deactivated when you go to their pages, so I guess it's just a hiccup. I left on file at FT when I left there, and in hindsight, I wish I'd just deleted them all. Oh well, I'm off to support.

« Reply #224 on: September 20, 2011, 14:07 »
0
I also want to apologize to the employee at iStock that I have been feeding and clothing for the last couple of years. I won't be able to pay your salary next year. You'll have to find someone else to adopt you.  :'(


 

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