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Author Topic: Is Istock starting to completely dominate the market?  (Read 8799 times)

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« on: March 31, 2008, 20:51 »
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Even with the price increase, Istock earnings for this month will almost double my second place site this month. This is strange? was wondering if anyone else is experiencing this trend? or maybe just a fluke?


« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2008, 21:21 »
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They are a long way ahead just now, but SS haven't yet announced their increase. Let's see how things look in a couple of months.

« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2008, 21:47 »
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Yes, it seems that a lot is riding on what shutterstock does with their next increase, as far as keeping the market stable. If this trend continues, what is going to stop most of the top microstock photographers (diamond level) from going exclusive? Istock could become the next microsoft of microstock. Its to bad some of the other sites didn't bump up their prices a little higher.

« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2008, 21:58 »
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IS is the only site that reacts to my effort predictably. First month on SS brought $198. Why now on  the third month when I have 200+ more images it is only $120? IS for the same months period  $34, $74 and now $89. Also I have 2.8 times less images on IS than on SS. Clearly IS will be ahead of SS for me soon.


« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2008, 22:30 »
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Number of photos sold, SS still out in front,  but... money??  IS is number one for me.  SS is number 2 in $.  I don't have exact numbers but I'd venture to guess that either one of them alone is more than I make on all my other 10 put together.  Don't take it wrong though, I won't be quitting my day job any time soon to live off microstock.  8)=tom

« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2008, 22:35 »
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Yup... my 2nd month in a row for a BME (before this my BME was two years ago!). Clearly IS is doing something right and exclusivity is looking better and better... SS is 3rd best for me after DT and both of them are distant to IS.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2008, 22:42 »
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Is was 69% of my earnings for 11 sites. Jan was 51% and Feb was 67%. That about says it all for me.

I like SS but they dropped like a rock (half) when I stopped uploading for a month. IS still increased by 50%. SS is like a transaction. IS is like an investment.

« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2008, 23:12 »
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I don't think they'll dominate the market, but they will be one of the first sites that many people will think of when they hear the word microstock. As for me, this month my earnings actually went down a bit on iStockphoto(I'm blaming Easter). But Bigstockphoto made up for it.

DanP68

« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2008, 23:34 »
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Shutterstock has been ahead of iStock in my portfolio earnings 3 consecutive months, and 4 of the last 5.  This month, Shutterstock was a full 35% higher than iStock.

Dreamstime closed the gap between its #3 positon, and iStock at #2.  iStock still earns about 27% more on my porfolio than Dreamstime, but that is changing as many DT images are starting to go up in Level.

« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2008, 23:56 »
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The market is too big and too diversified to be dominated by anybody, particularly with IS' new policy on copyrighted items like cars etc.

For me, SS is still bigger, and DT equal in size to IS. In addition, StockXpert, 123, BS and not least FT are growing fast. This is not the time to put all the eggs in one basket.

« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2008, 00:34 »
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The market is too big and too diversified to be dominated by anybody, particularly with IS' new policy on copyrighted items like cars etc.

For me, SS is still bigger, and DT equal in size to IS. In addition, StockXpert, 123, BS and not least FT are growing fast. This is not the time to put all the eggs in one basket.

Right, maybe not such a good idea at this point. But I bet there are a lot more people thinking about exclusivity now than say..this same time last year. Everyone has their braking point. If Istock was 60% of your earnings  for 6 months in row you might reconsider? Thats not the case for me, but I could see it happening with one more price increase. Or maybe if a good portion of good getty shooters jump on the microstock bandwagon.

« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2008, 00:55 »
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Not for me.  I made over 25% more on SS than on IS and last month at fotolia because of 4 els, 2 each  at 150$  and 100$ even they beat them by a small amount.

« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2008, 02:19 »
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istock is way behind SS for me and my earnings haven't increased much in a year.  I have seen big gains with FT, DT, StockXpert and BS. 

I still think going exclusive is not the way to make the most money, as you can't upload RF to the higher priced sites.  I am uploading to alamy and already making money with mostphotos.  There are lots of other higher priced RF sites that I am going to join in the future.  Just a few of those should make more than I earn with istock.

« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2008, 02:58 »
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Is was 69% of my earnings for 11 sites. Jan was 51% and Feb was 67%. That about says it all for me.

I like SS but they dropped like a rock (half) when I stopped uploading for a month. IS still increased by 50%. SS is like a transaction. IS is like an investment.


I beg to differ, best match policies assure that what were your best selling files will fall off, maybe slower than SS but it will happen, and a point is reached where you have to put a great deal of continuous work into your portfolio to maintain the sale volume of sales, you cannot rely on way above inflation annual price increases to bulk up your income for ever.

Many Diamonds report doubling their portfolios over a year and showing no increase in sales volume over that period.

Good Investments are not usually typified by halving in value over a year!

With the ease of entry of new photographers and no real cap on what can be uploaded it won't be that long until the law of diminishing returns sets in big time.

DanP68

« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2008, 02:59 »
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Just examine the March earnings breakdown thread.  iStock is way down from where they were 1 year ago on a lot of larger contributor's lists.  Take a look at AndresR's percentages.  Fotolia has been far and away his best earner for 3 or 4 months straight.

I like iStock.  They are my #2 earnings producer and always contribute a lot to my bottom line. But not nearly enough to consider going exclusive.

« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2008, 03:18 »
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Just examine the March earnings breakdown thread.  iStock is way down from where they were 1 year ago on a lot of larger contributor's lists.  Take a look at AndresR's percentages.  Fotolia has been far and away his best earner for 3 or 4 months straight.

I like iStock.  They are my #2 earnings producer and always contribute a lot to my bottom line. But not nearly enough to consider going exclusive.

I think the numbers on some contributers with huge portfolios will be a little misleading, due to the amount of images on each site(istock upload limits). Plus, if you sell enough images on fotolia you can jack your prices up quite a bit. Not quite sure, but guessing fotolia only gets a fraction of the traffic that istock gets.

DanP68

« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2008, 03:53 »
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All of that counts, CD.  If an agency restricts your upload amount, earnings will be capped. If one agency allows you to raise prices, but another doesn't, that has to be factored in too.

You can clearly make more money than iStock in other agencies, for a myriad of reasons. 

michealo

« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2008, 04:08 »
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From the perspective of a new starter IS is the only way to go, I have already hit a payout there but still haven't got accepted at SS.

DT,BS and FT are very much 2nd Tier with every other site at the noise level

« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2008, 04:16 »
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All of that counts, CD.  If an agency restricts your upload amount, earnings will be capped. If one agency allows you to raise prices, but another doesn't, that has to be factored in too.

You can clearly make more money than iStock in other agencies, for a myriad of reasons. 

Totally agree, you have to take absolutely everything into consideration and I only have a portion of my portfolio there but it is not by choice. I agree that Istock has a lot of the market but it is a lot less than you think. Fotolia, Shutterstock, dreamstime and stockxpert are huge, bigstock and 123rf are quite big too. If I was to go exclusive (which I have considered) it would be to Fotolia.

Andresr

CofkoCof

« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2008, 04:25 »
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From the perspective of a new starter IS is the only way to go, I have already hit a payout there but still haven't got accepted at SS.
For me it's the other way around. Just got accepted to IS while I've earned enough for my first payout in the first month on SS.

RT


« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2008, 05:55 »
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If I was to go exclusive (which I have considered) it would be to Fotolia.

Andresr

I know where you're coming from, Fotolia do a huge amount of unseen marketing in the UK, I was speaking to a design company the other day and they search Getty first and then Fotolia, my brother who runs a film company has had cold calls from Fotolia's marketing people.

For me sales are good there, consistent and if I ever query anything Peter gets back as quick as a flash, and the best bit is were paid in real money  ;)


« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2008, 07:55 »
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It is always my best performer, I do OK on others and I am not ready to dump them yet. I don't think new players are going to make a dent now. The big ones are established and there is little room for growth.

lisafx

« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2008, 09:58 »
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For me istock has been consistently losing ground over the past year.  They used to be close to 50% of my earnings each month, but have gradually dropped to where they are 36% for the month of March. 

Fotolia replaced SS as #2 for the first time at 19% with SS coming in third at 17%.  SS really do need to get busy on that commission raise IMHO or else see themselves falling further behind. 

But back to the istock issue, until recently I had pretty much exactly the same images on all sites, so portfolio size wasn't the reason for istock's drop in my rankings.  And now that my productivity has gone up and upload limits prevent me getting all my pics on istock, I am concerned the decline there will only continue. 

The attractiveness of exclusivity at IS has gradually slipped away over time, due to many factors including low commission %, site instability, search confusion, upload limits, and now ownership uncertainty. 
« Last Edit: April 01, 2008, 10:06 by lisafx »

« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2008, 11:06 »
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My experience is very similar to that of Lisa. My earnings at iStock have been steadily losing ground since the first big change to the best match, spent many hours and $ disambiguating the portfolio but it did nothing to help.

In March, SS is #1 for me, FT is #2 and IS is #3. I have uploaded a lot of new images recently and so earnings at SS were very good, up by 200%. In same time, have only managed to get about 50 online at IS, partly due to their upload limits and also their unreasonable rejections (none of the other sites have rejected same images - make me think that IS actually don't want them and are finding reasons to reject).

And if I were forced to be exclusive, I'd be on Fotolia with Andres :)

« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2008, 11:17 »
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I'm finding exactly the same as Lisa and Phildate.  I haven't reached emerald yet on FT but when I do it will put fotolia well in front of FT and possibly SS also.


 

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