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Author Topic: Is your September down?  (Read 19726 times)

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« Reply #50 on: September 21, 2012, 01:06 »
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I'm curious since a lot of people are saying IS is losing sooo many buyers and about to become irrelevant have your sales elsewhere gone up a lot?  People still need images even if they don't buy from IS so I would expect to see huge gains on other sites if that was true.


I completely agree. We keep hearing buyers are leaving, exclusives are leaving and the place is falling apart. Yet no other site show any gigantic increase but rather the opposite.
Yes exclusives are leaving but at the same time I know of two photographers who just signed on for exclusivity.
Sometimes I feel we are led down the garden path with all these predictions.


« Reply #51 on: September 21, 2012, 10:01 »
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I'm curious since a lot of people are saying IS is losing sooo many buyers and about to become irrelevant have your sales elsewhere gone up a lot?  People still need images even if they don't buy from IS so I would expect to see huge gains on other sites if that was true.

Yes indeed they have __ at Shutterstock. Pretty much every month at SS results in a significant increase for me over the same month the previous year. Over the last 27 months there has only been one month (a minor blip in Dec 2011) that has not shown an increase over the previous year. How many contributors with mature portfolios at IS can say that? Not me for sure.

Over the same 27 months my income at SS has roughly doubled whereas at IS it has roughly halved. Looking at my data it is difficult to not come to the conclusion that the two issues are related. If that trend continues for a few more years then IS will certainly become irrelevant for me.

I see no desire or willingness from 'HQ Team' at Istock to take the action necessary to address the situation either. They appear to be chasing short-term targets with ever more price increases and thinly-veiled reductions in contributors' commissions. We've had two of the latter in the last month alone. Leaving the RC targets for 2012 'the same', when sales are reducing, is effectively an increase to those targets and a reduction in what they'll be paying out to contributors. Then there has been the exchange-rate (on cash sales) sleight-of-hand too __ up to 18% extra for Istock and nothing for the artist. Why do so many contributors remain so blindly loyal to IS when they are being screwed further with every announcement from HQ?

I also think that the total volume of microstock images being sold each year has reduced. It's an economic truism that when something is cheap people buy more of it and when prices rise they buy less. Add 'these straightened times' into the equation and it is hardly surprising that volume of sales might be falling.

RT


« Reply #52 on: September 21, 2012, 10:26 »
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I've seen my sales numbers (downloads) at SS increase in comparison to my sales at iS decrease by a similar amount, which has netted me less money overall because the RPI is higher at iS. I've seen other established contributors mentioning how their overall income is dropping from previous years so I presume this is the cause.
iS is the obvious one to blame by losing buyers as a result of their management skills, but let's not forget we haven't had a commission increase from SS in what 3-4 years, and I doubt we will because as we all know the more the buyers utilize their subscription allowance at SS the less money they make.
Can't see it getting any better unless the new 'owners' at iS make a considerable change which I don't think will happen.

lisafx

« Reply #53 on: September 21, 2012, 12:25 »
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I've seen my sales numbers (downloads) at SS increase in comparison to my sales at iS decrease by a similar amount, which has netted me less money overall because the RPI is higher at iS. I've seen other established contributors mentioning how their overall income is dropping from previous years so I presume this is the cause.

It is certainly the case with me.  Until this year, IS was always my number 1 site.  Now it is SS, and even with the increase in numbers there, and the OD and EL sales, I am still not seeing income like I got at Istock, where my income has literally halved over the course of the past couple of years. 

Another place I have seen a steady increase in downloads is the Partner Program.  I have only been in it a bit over a year, but in that time I have seen the number of downloads steadily increase.  When you consider how many independent images they have been shuttling over there in the past year, to continue to see steadily increasing sales numbers on essentially the same size portfolio is revealing. 

« Reply #54 on: September 21, 2012, 12:40 »
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I've seen my sales numbers (downloads) at SS increase in comparison to my sales at iS decrease by a similar amount, which has netted me less money overall because the RPI is higher at iS. I've seen other established contributors mentioning how their overall income is dropping from previous years so I presume this is the cause.

It is certainly the case with me.  Until this year, IS was always my number 1 site.  Now it is SS, and even with the increase in numbers there, and the OD and EL sales, I am still not seeing income like I got at Istock, where my income has literally halved over the course of the past couple of years. 

Another place I have seen a steady increase in downloads is the Partner Program.  I have only been in it a bit over a year, but in that time I have seen the number of downloads steadily increase.  When you consider how many independent images they have been shuttling over there in the past year, to continue to see steadily increasing sales numbers on essentially the same size portfolio is revealing.
IS always used to be my best earner, then as it dropped Ft took over, then as that dropped DT took over but now for the first time for me SS is consistenly my best earner.   I never understood why everybody thought that SS was so good but now I do.  The PP is also steadily increasing for me earning me about a third of my total IS earning.  Not really happy about it though.

dbvirago

« Reply #55 on: September 21, 2012, 15:37 »
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I'm curious since a lot of people are saying IS is losing sooo many buyers and about to become irrelevant have your sales elsewhere gone up a lot?  People still need images even if they don't buy from IS so I would expect to see huge gains on other sites if that was true.

My sales at other sites have held steady or grown slightly. At SS, my numbers are back to pre-slump days. Haven't had a BME there this year, but I've come close several times and June, July and August were all strong.

JoEr

« Reply #56 on: September 21, 2012, 16:16 »
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So what could be the strategy at iStock? Nothing they do make any sense. Are they really raising prices just to compensate for fewer sales? Isn't the first thing you learn at any business school that such a strategy is not a very good idea, especially in the long run? Or am I missing something? And all these confusing and extra expensive collections they have... what the heck is that all about? What are they trying to achieve? I need answers, gosh darnit!

I'm going insane from the uncertainty when it comes to iStock... will the situation improve? will they be as tiny as the low earners in a couple of years? Is it time to leave exclusivity? Questions, questions...

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #57 on: September 21, 2012, 16:36 »
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So what could be the strategy at iStock?

"The sky has fallen."
Officially confirmed by Lobo when repeatedly asked why iStock has not delivered on their promise to reward people who have reached their next target 'immediately':
"We know you all worked hard BLINDLY for months to make sure you reached the next target. Our delays aren't intentional and I personally apologize for letting this issue drop while the rest of the sky was falling."
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=346693&page=5#post6746345

w7lwi

  • Those that don't stand up to evil enable evil.
« Reply #58 on: September 21, 2012, 20:33 »
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How can you be any worse than abysmal?  The only agencies doing worse for me are GL and DP.  And IS is giving them a run for their money in the ongoing race to the bottom.  Everyone else is doing fine and SS is on track for a BME in both quantity and dollars.

Poncke

« Reply #59 on: September 22, 2012, 02:27 »
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How can you be any worse than abysmal?  The only agencies doing worse for me are GL and DP.  And IS is giving them a run for their money in the ongoing race to the bottom.  Everyone else is doing fine and SS is on track for a BME in both quantity and dollars.
There are certainly contributors complaining on SS as well. Chris Lagerek, Mister Elements, Adrian Grosu, loads of others. There are threads started every week on sales dropping on SS. The only thing different is that there is an equal number of people reporting BMEs at SS.
I am gearing up for a BME at SS, but I only started 6 months ago. DP, CanStockPhoto, FT and 123RF have completely dried up for me on the other hand. I cant put my finger on it. And I do not submit to IS. After reading MSG for a few months, I think thats the best decision to make right now.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 02:35 by Poncke »

« Reply #60 on: September 22, 2012, 03:08 »
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Quote
And I do not submit to IS. After reading MSG for a few months, I think thats the best decision to make right now.

Why would that be the best decision? I am curious to know. Surely if you are non-exclusive the best tactic is to have images on every site, or am I missing something?

« Reply #61 on: September 22, 2012, 03:25 »
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IF they produce sales.
And if they govern your copyright decently.
And IF they dont annoy you too much.

Poncke

« Reply #62 on: September 22, 2012, 04:09 »
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Quote
And I do not submit to IS. After reading MSG for a few months, I think thats the best decision to make right now.

Why would that be the best decision? I am curious to know. Surely if you are non-exclusive the best tactic is to have images on every site, or am I missing something?

John, the bugs, the low commission, the keywording, the release policy, the drop in sales. The iStock forum here is the most active and I think 90% is full with complaints about IS. I dont want to expose myself to IS, I couldnt deal with it. I am having a hard time dealing with FT and DT already. They annoy me to no end. Already cut DT for that reason. As Jens pointed it out, they would annoy me too much. So thats why for me it was a good decision not to join them. The money would not make up for the aggravation. I have read the forums at IS, its full of complaining contributors. I dont want become one of them. And thats not a jab or negative comment towards the contributors, but towards IS.

« Reply #63 on: September 22, 2012, 05:16 »
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OK, fairy nuff.I personally wouldn't set too much store by some of the whinging here, whilst I agree there is a fair amount to whinge about, some of the complaints here border on the ludicrous IMHO. Low commission, have you seen what SS pay? Bugs exist everywhere ( again, see SS complaints), key wording? I don't see a problem there particularly, the release policy? You need a release for figures, is that a problem? Sales down, a lot of people here say they're down everywhere. I'd actually prefer new people not to sign up as IS, but you have to read between the lines here as far as comments go.

Poncke

« Reply #64 on: September 22, 2012, 05:32 »
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SS pays between 23% and 27% commission, this was calculated by Leaf and confirmed by someone from SS. I know SS is buggy too, but I am already with them, and the sales are ok for me and increasing. IS would pay me 15% commission. The model release system, where you need to upload a model release per shoot, almost per photo, and for every photo with different people, differently combined releases is just too much for me. I couldnt even upload 30% of my portfolio because I have general MRs not suitable for IS. Overall its just not going to work for me.

« Reply #65 on: September 22, 2012, 05:44 »
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SS pays between 23% and 27% commission, this was calculated by Leaf and confirmed by someone from SS. I know SS is buggy too, but I am already with them, and the sales are ok for me and increasing. IS would pay me 15% commission. The model release system, where you need to upload a model release per shoot, almost per photo, and for every photo with different people, differently combined releases is just too much for me. I couldnt even upload 30% of my portfolio because I have general MRs not suitable for IS. Overall its just not going to work for me.

having to upload releases every time you submit a photo seems a bit stone age.. but you do use DeepMeta don't you?  If you don't, you're crazy.

Poncke

« Reply #66 on: September 22, 2012, 05:51 »
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I dont, I am not with IS

« Reply #67 on: September 22, 2012, 07:12 »
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Quote
And I do not submit to IS. After reading MSG for a few months, I think thats the best decision to make right now.

Why would that be the best decision? I am curious to know. Surely if you are non-exclusive the best tactic is to have images on every site, or am I missing something?

John, the bugs, the low commission, the keywording, the release policy, the drop in sales. The iStock forum here is the most active and I think 90% is full with complaints about IS. I dont want to expose myself to IS, I couldnt deal with it. I am having a hard time dealing with FT and DT already. They annoy me to no end. Already cut DT for that reason. As Jens pointed it out, they would annoy me too much. So thats why for me it was a good decision not to join them. The money would not make up for the aggravation. I have read the forums at IS, its full of complaining contributors. I dont want become one of them. And thats not a jab or negative comment towards the contributors, but towards IS.
Just upload and forget about it except to go in every now and again to request a pay out. That's what I do.

« Reply #68 on: September 22, 2012, 08:01 »
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How can you be any worse than abysmal?  The only agencies doing worse for me are GL and DP.  And IS is giving them a run for their money in the ongoing race to the bottom.  Everyone else is doing fine and SS is on track for a BME in both quantity and dollars.
There are certainly contributors complaining on SS as well. Chris Lagerek, Mister Elements, Adrian Grosu, loads of others. There are threads started every week on sales dropping on SS. The only thing different is that there is an equal number of people reporting BMEs at SS.
I am gearing up for a BME at SS, but I only started 6 months ago. DP, CanStockPhoto, FT and 123RF have completely dried up for me on the other hand. I cant put my finger on it. And I do not submit to IS. After reading MSG for a few months, I think thats the best decision to make right now.

Chris Lagerek complain?  No!  Tell me it can't be so - he would never complain  ;D

It sounds like skipping iS is right for you.  For me, they are a very strong #2 after SS.  In fact, I've made more there so far this year than I have lifetime on any agency except for SS.  Uploading there is a nuisance even with DeepMeta but it's still worth it so far.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #69 on: September 22, 2012, 10:16 »
0
Quote
And I do not submit to IS. After reading MSG for a few months, I think thats the best decision to make right now.

Why would that be the best decision? I am curious to know. Surely if you are non-exclusive the best tactic is to have images on every site, or am I missing something?

John, the bugs, the low commission, the keywording, the release policy, the drop in sales. The iStock forum here is the most active and I think 90% is full with complaints about IS. I dont want to expose myself to IS, I couldnt deal with it. I am having a hard time dealing with FT and DT already. They annoy me to no end. Already cut DT for that reason. As Jens pointed it out, they would annoy me too much. So thats why for me it was a good decision not to join them. The money would not make up for the aggravation. I have read the forums at IS, its full of complaining contributors. I dont want become one of them. And thats not a jab or negative comment towards the contributors, but towards IS.
Just upload and forget about it except to go in every now and again to request a pay out. That's what I do.

Sage advice

« Reply #70 on: September 22, 2012, 12:28 »
0
How can you be any worse than abysmal?  The only agencies doing worse for me are GL and DP.  And IS is giving them a run for their money in the ongoing race to the bottom.  Everyone else is doing fine and SS is on track for a BME in both quantity and dollars.
There are certainly contributors complaining on SS as well. Chris Lagerek, Mister Elements, Adrian Grosu, loads of others. There are threads started every week on sales dropping on SS. The only thing different is that there is an equal number of people reporting BMEs at SS.
I am gearing up for a BME at SS, but I only started 6 months ago. DP, CanStockPhoto, FT and 123RF have completely dried up for me on the other hand. I cant put my finger on it. And I do not submit to IS. After reading MSG for a few months, I think thats the best decision to make right now.

Must be back to normal at SS. The same people are now reporting great earnings. I have to say if I had a big portfolio, thousands of files and the search, any search sabotaged the income. I would not be too happy.

« Reply #71 on: September 22, 2012, 14:32 »
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Quote
SS pays between 23% and 27% commission,

I'm talking amounts, not percentages.

lisafx

« Reply #72 on: September 22, 2012, 17:42 »
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but you do use DeepMeta don't you?  If you don't, you're crazy.

Call be crazy then.  I tried Deepmeta, after all the rave reviews of it on here.  It didn't seem to save me much time.  I already have a system at IS and DM just added to the PITA factor, IMO.  Maybe it takes getting used to...?

« Reply #73 on: September 22, 2012, 18:01 »
+1
but you do use DeepMeta don't you?  If you don't, you're crazy.

Call be crazy then.  I tried Deepmeta, after all the rave reviews of it on here.  It didn't seem to save me much time.  I already have a system at IS and DM just added to the PITA factor, IMO.  Maybe it takes getting used to...?

I'm 'crazy' too. Couldn't really see the point of DM. It was just adding an additional process to supposedly make the original process easier/quicker and any net gain was probably an illusion. It's the slowness of the Istock site and the existence of the CV that makes IS such a PITA to upload to.

« Reply #74 on: September 22, 2012, 18:43 »
0
Quote
And I do not submit to IS. After reading MSG for a few months, I think thats the best decision to make right now.

Why would that be the best decision? I am curious to know. Surely if you are non-exclusive the best tactic is to have images on every site, or am I missing something?

John, the bugs, the low commission, the keywording, the release policy, the drop in sales. The iStock forum here is the most active and I think 90% is full with complaints about IS. I dont want to expose myself to IS, I couldnt deal with it. I am having a hard time dealing with FT and DT already. They annoy me to no end. Already cut DT for that reason. As Jens pointed it out, they would annoy me too much. So thats why for me it was a good decision not to join them. The money would not make up for the aggravation. I have read the forums at IS, its full of complaining contributors. I dont want become one of them. And thats not a jab or negative comment towards the contributors, but towards IS.
Just upload and forget about it except to go in every now and again to request a pay out. That's what I do.

Sage advice

The ostrich method.  ;)


 

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