MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: iStock's Race To The Bottom And Return To The Dumping Ground For Image Leftovers  (Read 8387 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2015, 15:35 »
+11
There won't be many who will continue uploading for years.

Doesn't matter. The agencies plan is to have 10 million contributors all submitting 1 image and never reaching payout.


« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2015, 16:03 »
+2
(...) So I'm just offering buyers low quality photos for low prices when what most of them really want is high quality stuff and would still be willing to pay more for it.

But are the buyers really unhappy knowing that there isn't much new high quality stock being created now? Probably they can't really tell the difference just yet because there is still so much good quality older stuff online that they can choose from at these lower prices. So they are having a field day for now and are the true winners in all of this. Neither the artists or the photo resellers are benefiting at all from this when they should be in some way. And for the photo buyers themselves, this just means more money left (...)

you're spot on, a great many valid points you made there.

As for the photo buyers, there is one aspect not really making them the overall "winners" of all of this: the onus of sifting through 50m or so photos. This is **time-consuming** for them, this costs more (in time lost) than it saves (in dollars spent). I would hate to be in their shoes, I would prefer someone providing quality to me without the hassle of wading through tons of garbage or yet-more-of-the-same (I am talking multi-racial office high-fives and stuff here).

So what I hope to see is a market re-balancing itself to a point where, indeed, all those ridiculous discount-agencies (IS, SS you're talking about plus all others following the same idiotic path) have made themselves fully superfluous -- and good chances and business come back to those who pitch good quality selections to targeted audiences directly.

It would be nice to see that happening fast.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 16:06 by lex-icon »

« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2015, 17:28 »
+2
Let me remind that when istock,first with Bruce, then with Getty, was raising prices year after year, a lot of people, including a lot of photographers used to angrily protest (for example in this very forum). Recently, someone said that istock is still selling ex-Vetta and S+ images at "ridiculous high prices as if these fotos were gems" (meaning about 2 dollars and a half with the S+ subscription!!).

Obviously, introducing subs at istock was a (another) mistake. For what I can infere from my sales and revenue, and sales and revenue of some friends, we are losing money, yes, but Getty is losing money too. A lot of money.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 17:30 by loop »

« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2015, 00:15 »
+2
Let me remind that when istock,first with Bruce, then with Getty, was raising prices year after year, a lot of people, including a lot of photographers used to angrily protest (for example in this very forum). Recently, someone said that istock is still selling ex-Vetta and S+ images at "ridiculous high prices as if these fotos were gems" (meaning about 2 dollars and a half with the S+ subscription!!).

Obviously, introducing subs at istock was a (another) mistake. For what I can infere from my sales and revenue, and sales and revenue of some friends, we are losing money, yes, but Getty is losing money too. A lot of money.

Both are kind of true.  Getty got greedy and way overpriced a lot of images that were just boilerplate stock and overestimate the.draw of exclusivity for stuff that was nothing special.  Even for the stuff that was Vetta or agency and worth the higher price, there was too many different prices in the search and just confuse customers who went elsewhere for simplicity.

Now istock goes 180 and gives away all images at all size and quality for peanuts subs.

Getty never could get microstock right, just bounce from one ridiculous extreme to the other.   Dont blame the contribs for complaining about it.

« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2015, 00:54 »
+1
There won't be many who will continue uploading for years.

Doesn't matter. The agencies plan is to have 10 million contributors all submitting 1 image and never reaching payout.

Not really. For one, any serious agency (like a stock traded one) even a contributor account with $0.25 in an account payable, so it won't end up as a profit margin. Accounting wise it doesn't make a difference if they pay out that money or not.

And more importantly: The one image would most likely be one of a cat or a landscape or something random. For random contributors it takes a while (or never happens) that they understand the market needs. Agencies need people delivering good images as well. And for that at some point they will have to realize that a new balance has to be found. Not sure if that balance will be high enough for western countries to make a living, though.  ::)

« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2015, 01:02 »
+1
Let me remind that when istock,first with Bruce, then with Getty, was raising prices year after year, a lot of people, including a lot of photographers used to angrily protest (for example in this very forum). Recently, someone said that istock is still selling ex-Vetta and S+ images at "ridiculous high prices as if these fotos were gems" (meaning about 2 dollars and a half with the S+ subscription!!).

Obviously, introducing subs at istock was a (another) mistake. For what I can infere from my sales and revenue, and sales and revenue of some friends, we are losing money, yes, but Getty is losing money too. A lot of money.

Sure. Raising prices across the board was a part of what drove customers away from iStock, I am pretty sure. Despite the prior comments about the "good old times" when even web res images were $35 to license, there is a demand today for images that just don't justify that price. Have a look at all those "ten reasons why..." posts at Huffington Post and others that run 10 images along with the article - those articles will never make $350 in ad revenue. Not even talking about smaller blogs.

iStock opened that market to photographers who didn't get into those high priced agencies. But Getty thought they could come back to that old pricing. If you go back in time (like 2010), iStock made about $300 million in revenue when all others combined probably made less than $150 million. I believe even a higher tiered collection like Vetta did work very well as it was curated.

The problems came when prices for all images went up, no matter if they were unique, artistic, special or just a plain apple on white. Plus the seven collections with six size based price levels each, totalling 42 different price points for basically the same product. Customers didn't understand the reasoning behind that. I believe Shutterstock makes more money from non-subscription sales today than from those who are willing to pay $3,000 a year for image licenses. And all those non-subs sales could have been (sticked) with iStock if they acted smarter.

However, I am not sure if we were better off if that would have happened. Probably Getty would have cut down everybody to 20% (or 10% for non-exclusives and 25% for exclusives) today. They didn't have to cut royalties further since the RC introduction only because almost no one ever reached a higher payout level since but many dropped down, so they are already paying out less today than they originally expected.

« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2015, 02:32 »
+2
Let me remind that when istock,first with Bruce, then with Getty, was raising prices year after year, a lot of people, including a lot of photographers used to angrily protest


I was one who was concerned about it. I though it risked losing customers and the higher commissions risked pulling in a load of new photographers (which I suppose was part of the point).  For the most part, Bruce balanced the increased value of sales against the loss of customers very well but it did lose some - which boosted SS - and it did make us face tougher competition with some people dumping entire portfolios into the site and being excused the limits placed on the rest of us.

« Reply #32 on: May 26, 2015, 03:43 »
+2
Let me remind that when istock,first with Bruce, then with Getty, was raising prices year after year, a lot of people, including a lot of photographers used to angrily protest

I was one who was concerned about it. I though it risked losing customers and the higher commissions risked pulling in a load of new photographers (which I suppose was part of the point).

Remember the crazy high prices people used to pay for a basic html website ? There was money being spent back then.

Those were the days before social media sharing and before the ubiquitous iPhone camera (Facebook went mainstream about the same time that the original iPhone was launched). It was an era of almost unparalleled economic boom and new speculative web businesses funded by debt. There was suddenly a big and growing market for easily accessible commercial images. Plus clubs, church groups and existing local businesses were being told that they needed a "web presence". About the time that everyone got fast internet.

So back then iStock was probably right to increase prices. It was still much cheaper than images had been and the demand existed. But today business is much slower - and many organisations have switched their presence to Facebook. Many of the old web sites are either gone or else replaced by what is effectively a simple contact page. And much of the content which keeps things fresh today is shot on an iPhone and shared by 'friends' of the business/club/church group etc.

If the price of a thing is going down then we know that demand is not increasing. I strongly suspect that with hindsight the Shutterstock valuation will be seen as the high water mark. And that has almost certainly been based on past performance (never reliable), unrealistic future expectations and a market which would have corrected years ago if it had not been for QE and record low interest rates.

« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2015, 05:14 »
+4
Not everybody can pay mid-stock prices, ok. And so what? Every business has to know who its target customers are and that they can't have ALL the customers in its field.

All I know is that just a year ago, or less, I was selling almost as many files like I'm selling now with subs, and most of them (more than regular ones + Vetta) were E+ files, with an average of 18-25 & comission per download and an average price of about 50-60 $

« Reply #34 on: May 26, 2015, 05:50 »
+4
Not everybody can pay mid-stock prices, ok. And so what? Every business has to know who its target customers are and that they can't have ALL the customers in its field.

All I know is that just a year ago, or less, I was selling almost as many files like I'm selling now with subs, and most of them (more than regular ones + Vetta) were E+ files, with an average of 18-25 & comission per download and an average price of about 50-60 $

So does iStock know what its target market is? It started out as the definition of microstock, then it decided it wanted to be midstock, then in wanted to be both and now it seems to want to be microstock again but on a subscription basis. With the new pricing levels it seems to be telling all its customers that they were being ripped off in the past, which isn't exactly a great message.

« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2015, 07:15 »
0
Worth also remembering that, as well as the declining market, many countries are now beginning to experience negative economic inflation.

« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2015, 13:47 »
+2
But there is at least six months if not a year or two lag from the beginners doing uploads until they are disgruntled and stop. Then it will take time for the word to get around and the beginners no longer begin. I figure we are 3 to 5 years out from that point.

I think you are right but the point might be coming sooner. When I started in 2007, a main motivation to continue was the first download. And the second one the next day. And another one. It kept being rewarding. That time has passed. Nowadays I'm happy if one out of ten uploads gets a download within the first week. And five downloads a year is becoming a top seller at most agencies.

I believe newbies already don't get the same amount of reward/motivation today. Even from our times, most stopped uploading after a few weeks or months. There won't be many who will continue uploading for years.

But just like Pavlov's dogs they keep ringing that bell and contributors keep salivating at the thought of a meal ticket sale that never arrives

...I'm glad I'm a cat :D


« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2015, 13:49 »
+1
There won't be many who will continue uploading for years.

Doesn't matter. The agencies plan is to have 10 million contributors all submitting 1 image and never reaching payout.

More true than you could possibly imagine  ;)

« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2015, 16:32 »
+3
But just like Pavlov's dogs they keep ringing that bell and contributors keep salivating at the thought of a meal ticket sale that never arrives

...I'm glad I'm a cat :D

Eddie Izzard - Pavlov's Cats

« Reply #39 on: May 27, 2015, 00:12 »
+4

All I know is that just a year ago, or less, I was selling almost as many files like I'm selling now with subs, and most of them (more than regular ones + Vetta) were E+ files, with an average of 18-25 & comission per download and an average price of about 50-60 $
[/quothttp://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php?action=post;quote=419871;topic=25109.25;last_msg=420006#e]



Getting rid of E+ (or P+ for us non-exclusive) was the single biggest thing Getty did to drop my income.  Until the start of subs, of course.

« Reply #40 on: May 27, 2015, 17:54 »
+3
I think the toxic RC system (I stopped uploading) and then forcing us into PP was the worst. It made me pull most of my port and lowered my income a bit and theirs a lot. It was nice to have all my remaining images in P+ while that lasted though.

« Reply #41 on: July 21, 2015, 11:56 »
+2
lok at istock one image normal credit price and other sites, istock prices $30, other sites are $10 , so who buy images so higher prices, I wonder. istock lost almost all small customers by doing so, sure, subs are very cheap but subs for big customers, not for all customers, istock serving our images and efforts dramatically very low prices to big agencies and we lost most of maney all time, look at istock's last years alexa graph, constantly decreases, by the way, istock firm and its contributors are continuously losing money, why do not they do anything to stop it? I cannot understand really, If istock go this way, the next time will drown in their own vomit, I think.


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
10 Replies
5052 Views
Last post September 28, 2011, 01:19
by RacePhoto
24 Replies
4560 Views
Last post September 19, 2013, 18:28
by loop
8 Replies
3988 Views
Last post May 26, 2015, 22:57
by ruchos
7 Replies
2691 Views
Last post October 02, 2016, 18:24
by increasingdifficulty
8 Replies
3690 Views
Last post February 09, 2018, 19:50
by shiyali

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results