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Author Topic: Istock's back  (Read 26513 times)

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« Reply #100 on: September 15, 2014, 16:18 »
+22
Why is it so hard for istock to list images like Stocksy? 
1. Make 4 sizes
2. Mark in USD the actual price
3. Pay artist Non-Exclusive 20% and Exclusive 40%
4. Now use valuable curation for buyers!
This system should apply for all media! iStock is the only company that can truly piss off buyers and artist all at the same time!


PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #101 on: September 15, 2014, 16:42 »
+8
Well, it's the first regular business day and I'm watching XXXL sales that I used to get around $16-$35 now getting $6-$9.

I know the plan is that some of those buyers would have bought Small size and by default now download XXXL and things are supposed to even themselves out. But I wonder how many new XXXL buyers this will attract for the huge discount vs how many small buyers will go elsewhere.

I'm thinking it's time to start moving my higher value stuff out of micro. E+ and macro have shown me that certain pics have no problem getting higher prices. I now have a bunch of higher value pics being offered at a fraction of what they've proven to sell at.

I'll stick it out for a bit but I don't see a volume increase offsetting the price drop.

« Reply #102 on: September 15, 2014, 17:32 »
+2
and technical requirements are well beyond amateurs. Only serious folks are in microstock now and they are fed up with screwing by agencies.
ummm, how? there are several topics that istock now takes anything, even badly exposed and blurred files. and istock is not the only one (they have a dedicated topic because once upon a time they had the toughest criteria).

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #103 on: September 15, 2014, 17:38 »
+1
and technical requirements are well beyond amateurs. Only serious folks are in microstock now and they are fed up with screwing by agencies.
ummm, how? there are several topics that istock now takes anything, even badly exposed and blurred files. and istock is not the only one (they have a dedicated topic because once upon a time they had the toughest criteria).

You snipped too tightly, basti was talking about Fotolia in that sentence, "what made big trouble to Fotolia this year - its harder and harder to earn even that $10 a month with stock and technical requirements are well beyond amateurs."

iS, as you say, takes almost everything.

« Reply #104 on: September 15, 2014, 18:00 »
0
and technical requirements are well beyond amateurs. Only serious folks are in microstock now and they are fed up with screwing by agencies.
ummm, how? there are several topics that istock now takes anything, even badly exposed and blurred files. and istock is not the only one (they have a dedicated topic because once upon a time they had the toughest criteria).

You snipped too tightly, basti was talking about Fotolia in that sentence, "what made big trouble to Fotolia this year - its harder and harder to earn even that $10 a month with stock and technical requirements are well beyond amateurs."

iS, as you say, takes almost everything.

oh, i see now, my bad.

i should probably try to push some "technically imperfect" files to fotolia and see.

but, in the end, if too much serious contributors quit, all agencies will either drop the criteria and have a steady influx of new material or people from developing countries where such income is quite lucrative will take over.

but it actually depends on the buyers. if they want higher quality, the stock agencies will have to raise our royalty. if they, on the other hand, just continue buying stuff, disregarding the lower quality, nothing will change.

« Reply #105 on: September 15, 2014, 18:02 »
0
they're the ones stealing potential customers from expensive design firms and keeping the prices unreasonably low.

Churches, schools, students, small businesses, scouts, ad circulars, etc., were the backbone of the explosive growth in micro.  IS is leaving them behind and going for the same customer base as Getty.

i would guess those folks steal images off google images thinking they are all free

« Reply #106 on: September 15, 2014, 18:09 »
0
Why would you think that?

« Reply #107 on: September 15, 2014, 18:29 »
0
I was in traditional stock long before Microstock existed. And while I embraced Micro at it's rise, I also embraced price increases. Since the early 2000's, the market has evolved to settle at "Midstock" wherein prices are higher but affordable, and the predominant license is RF. (And where you can't buy anything worth using for $1 anymore.) Rights Managed can pay better, but sales are rare. The marketplace prefers a fast, (delivered online without negotiations) broad license. And I'm ok with Midstock. I'm ok with the pricing in the $30-$300 range, so long as my cut is at 35% or better. What I'm not ok with is my distributors deciding that they can only compete on price, and pushing customers to Subscriptions that pay me substantially less.


When Getty bought IS they tried to increase pricing for the industry. THEN Shutterstock saw an opportunity to undercut IS and did. As they gained traction and buyers flocked to SS for Walmart pricing, IS lost customers to SS's "screw the artist" business model.

Shutterstock's subscription offer is the cause of photographers making less money and for IS's recent changes. If you don't like what is going on at iStock -- blame Shutterstock
« Last Edit: September 15, 2014, 18:34 by Holmes »

« Reply #108 on: September 15, 2014, 18:32 »
+1
Why would you think that?

Just gut feeling and saw some statistic somewhere. I hear too many people say, "oh, I just got this photo off of the internet".

« Reply #109 on: September 15, 2014, 18:45 »
+5
When Getty bought IS they tried to increase pricing for the industry. THEN Shutterstock saw an opportunity to undercut IS and did. As they gained traction and buyers flocked to SS for Walmart pricing, IS lost customers to SS's "screw the artist" business model.

Revisionist history or, if you prefer, just plain wrong.  Shutterstock was already established as a subscription site when I joined in early 2005.  Getty bought iStockphoto in 2006.  Subscriptions had been around for a few years before Getty started playing around with iStock's pricing.

Mark Windom Photography

« Reply #110 on: September 15, 2014, 18:48 »
+1
Hobostock: On the previous site, you probably missed one fact. Agencies are not our employers, they are our business partners and without us, they are dead. 

I agree but there's one problem....few agencies truly consider it a business partnership....it's a very one-sided arrangement as far as they are concerned.  You want to leave?  They could care less as there are many more 'photogs' waiting to take your place.....and because of that those agencies will continue to exist as there is no way in h*ll there would ever be an agreement among enough contributors to leave an agency to the point where it would be dealt a death blow.
I'm down to two agencies, both of which do consider my relationship with them a partnership; who charge a fair price for the images and pay out a fair commission to the contributor  (I'm still with SS but am slowly, and steadily, withdrawing my content from there; no more subs for me).  I'm sure there are other agencies out there that fall into this 'good partnership' category but I'm done looking around.

« Reply #111 on: September 15, 2014, 18:54 »
+2
Why would you think that?

Just gut feeling and saw some statistic somewhere. I hear too many people say, "oh, I just got this photo off of the internet".

Obviously not all of them do.  I mean, I had a million downloads that sort of showed that.

« Reply #112 on: September 15, 2014, 19:06 »
+1
When Getty bought IS they tried to increase pricing for the industry. THEN Shutterstock saw an opportunity to undercut IS and did. As they gained traction and buyers flocked to SS for Walmart pricing, IS lost customers to SS's "screw the artist" business model.

Revisionist history or, if you prefer, just plain wrong.  Shutterstock was already established as a subscription site when I joined in early 2005.  Getty bought iStockphoto in 2006.  Subscriptions had been around for a few years before Getty started playing around with iStock's pricing.

True but SS could have worked with IS to raise pricing. But SS did not. Now SS owners are millionaires and the industry is forced to play on their terms.

Collusion perhaps but at least it was an attempt to get fairer pricing for our work.

« Reply #113 on: September 15, 2014, 19:56 »
+5
True but SS could have worked with IS to raise pricing. But SS did not. Now SS owners are millionaires and the industry is forced to play on their terms.

Collusion perhaps but at least it was an attempt to get fairer pricing for our work.

SS raised subscription prices and royalties several times.  Granted, the last time was in 2008, before the financial meltdown.  After that they just created more download products that produced more revenue for themselves and for us.  They were just a lot more careful about it, not wanting to push customers away with too aggressive pricing or too many complicated offerings.  iStock went for aggressive and complicated, and look what it's done for them.

And there's no perhaps about collusion.  It's illegal, and would have been a bad move on Shutterstock's part even if it wasn't.  iStock/Getty has a long history of abusing its partners and suppliers.  Last thing I want is for another agency to get into bed with them.


« Reply #114 on: September 15, 2014, 19:57 »
+1
Getty could have taken a different approach and gone after a really splendid collection, accentuating the Exclusive aspect. That's how you get away with charging more. But they didn't. They decided bigger was better and took a bazillion images from every Tom, Dick and Harry. Shutterstock went after the garden variety subjects, done exceptionally well, and iStock, I suspect, started losing sales. In 30+ years of shooting stock I've come to the conclusion that you can charge a premium for unique imagery or great service, but you cannot charge a premium if your images are me-too. You have to be different in some way, and you can't raise prices forever.

 
I was in traditional stock long before Microstock existed. And while I embraced Micro at it's rise, I also embraced price increases. Since the early 2000's, the market has evolved to settle at "Midstock" wherein prices are higher but affordable, and the predominant license is RF. (And where you can't buy anything worth using for $1 anymore.) Rights Managed can pay better, but sales are rare. The marketplace prefers a fast, (delivered online without negotiations) broad license. And I'm ok with Midstock. I'm ok with the pricing in the $30-$300 range, so long as my cut is at 35% or better. What I'm not ok with is my distributors deciding that they can only compete on price, and pushing customers to Subscriptions that pay me substantially less.


When Getty bought IS they tried to increase pricing for the industry. THEN Shutterstock saw an opportunity to undercut IS and did. As they gained traction and buyers flocked to SS for Walmart pricing, IS lost customers to SS's "screw the artist" business model.

Shutterstock's subscription offer is the cause of photographers making less money and for IS's recent changes. If you don't like what is going on at iStock -- blame Shutterstock

« Reply #115 on: September 15, 2014, 20:17 »
+1
Why is it so hard for istock to list images like Stocksy? 
1. Make 4 sizes
2. Mark in USD the actual price
3. Pay artist Non-Exclusive 20% and Exclusive 40%
4. Now use valuable curation for buyers!
This system should apply for all media! iStock is the only company that can truly piss off buyers and artist all at the same time!

make #3 30% or more and whatever for exclusives or I won't go back.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #116 on: September 15, 2014, 20:29 »
+1
Agree Except

1. three sizes, Small Web, useful Medium and full resolution Large
2.*
3. Yes but 30% and 50%?  :)
4.*

5. Make the search work by removing bad and inappropriate keywords. The buyers would LOVE it!

People will pay a fair price, for a good image, that's properly cataloged. Talk about closing the door after the horses have all escaped. Keywords are a tragic disaster area and when there were less images, agencies could have corralled them. Now with Millions of images, it's just out of control.

Good accurate keywords goes hand in hand with curated.


Why is it so hard for istock to list images like Stocksy? 
1. Make 4 sizes
2. Mark in USD the actual price
3. Pay artist Non-Exclusive 20% and Exclusive 40%
4. Now use valuable curation for buyers!
This system should apply for all media! iStock is the only company that can truly piss off buyers and artist all at the same time!

« Reply #117 on: September 15, 2014, 20:51 »
+2
I still think that a site could make their keywords look a lot cleaner by starting with the most popular searches (if the sites can't figure this out they have bigger problems) and go through the first 5 or so pages of results and hammer any spammed images that end up there - or even hammer the whole ports that those images came from - there are now plenty of images so for most popular searches it would just hide the spam and encourage better keywording.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #118 on: September 16, 2014, 02:26 »
+2
why not have launched this in a slower month, instead of ruining the only few good month(s) of the year?

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #119 on: September 16, 2014, 03:23 »
+3
why not have launched this in a slower month, instead of ruining the only few good month(s) of the year?
They have a long history of September mayhem. Last year wasn't too bad, though.

Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #120 on: September 16, 2014, 05:57 »
-1
Our budget doesn't support this sort of pricing. Please bring back the smaller sizes at a reduced rate. Otherwise we have no choice but to pursue other more economical options for web-resolution images.  "

if they can't afford micro images i'm sorry but there's no reason for them to stay in a business where they require stock images, simple as that, and good riddance.

pursueing cheaper options ? where ? how ? the other agencies will move in the same direction sooner or later.

web resolution ? 1024px screens are the minimum even on cheap smartphones nowadays.


Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #121 on: September 16, 2014, 06:05 »
+1
Hobostock: On the previous site, you probably missed one fact. Agencies are not our employers, they are our business partners and without us, they are dead. So they better behave like in partnership and not corporate b*** trying to squeeze us more and more on each step. This is what got IS down and what made big trouble to Fotolia this year - its harder and harder to earn even that $10 a month with stock and technical requirements are well beyond amateurs. Only serious folks are in microstock now and they are fed up with screwing by agencies.

I think we are heading towards the change in whole stock photo industry. As you said, there is no lower price to go. IS made double kill with repelling XS buyers while screwing all XL/XXL and premium collection authors. We shall see in a few months, Im curious where this goes. I do not upload to IS since January 2012, their "improvements" were simply too much for me.

action vs reaction ....

the more they scre-w us the more people will stop uploading as there's no decent return on investment, of course it will take some time for the agencies to notice.

and yes, at this point they played already all their cards, it can't get any lower and cheaper than subs.
so what's next ?

even the wire agencies doing news are selling with monthly subs (AP/AFP/Reuters) and guess what, news photographers are paid a pittance and nothing is going to change, even the top war photographers are having it rough and find it difficult to sell their photos after risking their neck, lots of photographers died recently in Ukraine and nobody gives a sh-it, they're considered dime a dozen or "they were asking for it" ...

what we're witnessing now is global devalueing of photography on every front, not just in stock.

because of the internet an entire world of suppliers selling digital products is just one click away and accepting credit cards for payments, nothing will ever be the same.

once the party will be over for stockers the survivals will switch to assignments, gigs, events, weddings .. whatever photo job where they deal face to face with the customer and where they're paid well.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 06:09 by Hobostocker »

« Reply #122 on: September 16, 2014, 06:38 »
+4
Our budget doesn't support this sort of pricing. Please bring back the smaller sizes at a reduced rate. Otherwise we have no choice but to pursue other more economical options for web-resolution images.  "

if they can't afford micro images i'm sorry but there's no reason for them to stay in a business where they require stock images, simple as that, and good riddance.

pursueing cheaper options ? where ? how ? the other agencies will move in the same direction sooner or later.

web resolution ? 1024px screens are the minimum even on cheap smartphones nowadays.

Oh, stop being so melodramatic.  There are lots of people who would like to pay for an image they can use, just like people want to pay $1 for a song on itunes, to be legal.

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #123 on: September 16, 2014, 06:46 »
+4
once the party will be over for stockers the survivals will switch to assignments, gigs, events, weddings .. whatever photo job where they deal face to face with the customer and where they're paid well.

Thats already happening and has been for a while. I think there are a very small percentage of stock shooters with stock as their only income. Stock has become supplemental income and is probably becoming a less significant part of people's earnings. Up until a couple years ago stock was my only photography income. Now it's less than 50%.

stock-will-eat-itself

« Reply #124 on: September 16, 2014, 06:48 »
+5
once the party will be over for stockers the survivals will switch to assignments, gigs, events, weddings .. whatever photo job where they deal face to face with the customer and where they're paid well.

Agencies are in denial about an endless supply of high production images, pro shooters will move on out of necessity. I'm already finding my client work is far outstripping my stock work which was the opposite only 2 years ago.

All they'll be left with is the endless hobbyists shooting their backyard, cheap objects on white, goofy looking relatives with terrible locations and props.

Agencies are out of their mind if they think I'm spending another $20,000+ I previously spent building my port. The return is not guaranteed like it used to be, these days it could take 3 to 4 years to pay for the time and expense just to break even, far too risky while every agency is busy slitting each others throat on price.

The SS subs model has succeeded in pulling in large amounts of quality work and it's rapidly becoming economically impossible to produce any further work to keep the library fresh. They have already become a victim of their own success, they just don't realise it yet as everyone is still dumping every image they've ever taken into the libraries (me included).

It will take the agencies a few more years to fully experience the long term damage that's going on right now.

I left iS exclusivity to weather the storm, what I didn't realise in hindsight is that dilution and ultra low prices were the nub of the problem, unfortunately for many of us is there's no real shelter from it in todays climate.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 06:57 by stock-will-eat-itself »


 

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