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Author Topic: iStock changing royalty structure  (Read 229252 times)

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« Reply #1225 on: October 15, 2010, 07:08 »
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server error when uploading?  Awesome!!  Can't post in the forums though, is anyone else having this problem?

I think you're wearing out the upload servers with all those Balkans images. I think you're at #30 of the most prolific up-loaders at IS at the moment!

Maybe, I'm trying to fill my upload slots up every week and I've come close with above 85% acceptance (I haven't done the numbers but I think it's at least that high).  Still looks as though I won't get 40,000 RCs this year, probably 39,000 or something.

I'm be aiming for the same, but sort of a massive turn-around there's no chance that I'll make the 40K this year. Comfortably past the 30% mark, and on my current sales I'd have made it if I was exclusive full year. Will just have to aim for 40% next year ;)


molka

    This user is banned.
« Reply #1226 on: October 15, 2010, 07:15 »
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I am still banned from forums & sitemail... any other ban'ees in a similar spot? Whats the record for these sorts of things (other than permanent ban, of course).
Still banned too. I expect mine is permanent. I'm still ticked about not being able to check sitemail though. I'm considering contacting support about that. Could really care less about posting on the forums.

Maybe they think you are trolls, for saying stuff they don't like to hear 8 )

traveler1116

« Reply #1227 on: October 15, 2010, 07:49 »
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server error when uploading?  Awesome!!  Can't post in the forums though, is anyone else having this problem?

I think you're wearing out the upload servers with all those Balkans images. I think you're at #30 of the most prolific up-loaders at IS at the moment!

Maybe, I'm trying to fill my upload slots up every week and I've come close with above 85% acceptance (I haven't done the numbers but I think it's at least that high).  Still looks as though I won't get 40,000 RCs this year, probably 39,000 or something.

I'm be aiming for the same, but sort of a massive turn-around there's no chance that I'll make the 40K this year. Comfortably past the 30% mark, and on my current sales I'd have made it if I was exclusive full year. Will just have to aim for 40% next year ;)

I noticed you don't have many Vetta or Exclusive plus files, did you try to get any into Vetta?  and have you decided not to put a lot into Exclusive plus?

« Reply #1228 on: October 15, 2010, 10:07 »
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I noticed you don't have many Vetta or Exclusive plus files, did you try to get any into Vetta?  and have you decided not to put a lot into Exclusive plus?

I'm still trying to get a better idea on how what I've nominated on E+ is selling before putting in more. I haven't nominated much for vetta yet - and what I have nominated has either been knocked back or is still waiting for review by the Vetta team (I think!). 

How are your E+ files going?

lisafx

« Reply #1229 on: October 18, 2010, 18:01 »
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I found this post from Paul Cowan on the Istock forum thread interesting.  I certainly didn't know that Istock had been skimming fractions of a cent from us for some time now....

What's even more surprising is that there was so little reaction to the news.  Guess we are all becoming shell shocked.


Posted By PaulCowan:

So two new ways of clawing away our cash have now been mentioned:


1) Notional coversion rates on foreign currency transactions. We don't know what price they put on this but there is another site out there that shafts its contributors with conversion rates that come in at somewhre around 40%-50% different from reality (oddly enough, it has had the gall to respond to this thread by claiming it is fair to contributors, though it actually invented crowdshafting).


2) Rounding down percentages to the nearest whole number, which apparently is the existing practice. This means that someone on 15% commission will get 14c for a 99c credit sale. I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out that credit packages are priced in such a way that this sort of anomaly is the norm rather than the exception.


Paying 14c instead of 15c represents a further unannouced cut in commission of 15%, which is not insignificant from the photographer's point of view. If all my 20% payments were actually 19% I would have been underpaid by almost $2,000 over the past six years (given that this can only have happened since they stopped charging one dollar or less for a credit and paying 20c regardless of discounts my actual underpayment is probably only a few hundred dollars).


I don't understand how it is possible for them to quote percentage commission rates in the terms of agreement and then pay a lower rate than stated. Perhaps they would like to give us all back those fractions of cents that have accumulated over the years? BTW, the place that invented crowdshafting in its pricing scheme does actually calculate earnings to fractions of a cent, presumably to avoid being accused of failing to comply with its own contract terms.


I did ask about these fractions of a penny when we shifted away from a transparent pricing/commission system and my question was ignored by the spokesmen (I can't think why ....)

« Reply #1230 on: October 18, 2010, 18:11 »
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I found this post from Paul Cowan on the Istock forum thread interesting.  I certainly didn't know that Istock had been skimming fractions of a cent from us for some time now....

What's even more surprising is that there was so little reaction to the news.  Guess we are all becoming shell shocked.

Shell-shocked, that is the truth.

Big companies employ lawyers and bean-counters to come up with this crap, I'm guessing it's happening to us on a larger scale and is not just an IS thing. Not sure what can be done about it...class-action lawsuit?

lisafx

« Reply #1231 on: October 18, 2010, 18:21 »
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Big companies employ lawyers and bean-counters to come up with this crap, I'm guessing it's happening to us on a larger scale and is not just an IS thing. Not sure what can be done about it...class-action lawsuit?

You're probably right.  Short of a lawsuit I don't know what we can do.  Take our marbles and go home, but in this economy quitting one's job is pretty risky. 

It just fries me that we work so hard to produce a product, and have willingly agreed to terms that are very favorable to the agencies.  Yet they are still going to come up with underhanded schemes to h*ck us out of even MORE?!!

« Reply #1232 on: October 18, 2010, 18:30 »
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It would be so easy for us to say enough is enough and not put up with this and I don't think it's a big risk.  Buyers will still want images and will go elsewhere.  I feel much better not supplying istock with new images.  It might not make any difference but at least I am doing something.

« Reply #1233 on: October 18, 2010, 19:04 »
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Do you recall gostwyk's recent rampage about FT's games with currency conversions? A few people agreed it stunk but nothing much changed - beyond pointing out to FT that contributors noticed that they'd been had.

IS is done listening to contributors - beyond the woo-yays from the remaining enthusiasts - and I think most people realize this. Outrage fatigue (relative of compassion fatigue that charities mention if there are too many back to  back disasters that have them requesting donations too close together) has set in.

Of course, it's also possible that everyone's happy about it but too busy collecting their Agency Collection earnings to post about their joy :)

ShadySue

« Reply #1234 on: October 18, 2010, 19:17 »
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I found this post from Paul Cowan on the Istock forum thread interesting.  I certainly didn't know that Istock had been skimming fractions of a cent from us for some time now....

What's even more surprising is that there was so little reaction to the news.  Guess we are all becoming shell shocked.

Posted By PaulCowan:
[snip]
I don't understand how it is possible for them to quote percentage commission rates in the terms of agreement and then pay a lower rate than stated. Perhaps they would like to give us all back those fractions of cents that have accumulated over the years? BTW, the place that invented crowdshafting in its pricing scheme does actually calculate earnings to fractions of a cent, presumably to avoid being accused of failing to comply with its own contract terms.

I found this statement by Andrew (RogerMexico) in the Paypal hiccup thread quite depressing:
"People's nerves are raw around here from bad news and the fall out from bad news. So every time we screw something up - like this - it's just that much testier. It makes for a bad atmosphere but its understandable.

I don't know how much time its all going to take. When I look around the forums this week, its seems a little more normal than it did last week, which was better than the week before. But there's still a lot of hard feelings pretty close at hand."

So basically they know that if they wait long enough, we'll all be OK. They don't see that trust has been permanently lost, probably irrecoverably so.

And I noticed that in that Paypal problem thread, they didn't mention who was getting the interest for the two days - them or Paypal.
Not to mention all the fractions of a cent multiplied by gazillions.
And they are still unsustainable.
Tchah.

« Reply #1235 on: October 18, 2010, 20:33 »
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I found this statement by Andrew (RogerMexico) in the Paypal hiccup thread quite depressing:
"People's nerves are raw around here from bad news and the fall out from bad news. So every time we screw something up - like this - it's just that much testier. It makes for a bad atmosphere but its understandable.

I don't know how much time its all going to take. When I look around the forums this week, its seems a little more normal than it did last week, which was better than the week before. But there's still a lot of hard feelings pretty close at hand."

So basically they know that if they wait long enough, we'll all be OK. They don't see that trust has been permanently lost, probably irrecoverably so.

And I noticed that in that Paypal problem thread, they didn't mention who was getting the interest for the two days - them or Paypal.
Not to mention all the fractions of a cent multiplied by gazillions.
And they are still unsustainable.
Tchah.

Well, I am hoping that things just appear to be settled down and a lot of people are implementing their own plans, such as sharpshot mentioned above. I am anxious to see Jan. roll around, and then see if things are back to normal.

Regarding the Paypal problem...if indeed IS "neglected" to make the money transfer, as was reported on the IS forum by an admin, then it seems to me that IS will pocket the interest on the money that remained in their bank account for the extra days. No?

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #1236 on: October 18, 2010, 20:38 »
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I think the shock has worn off and a lot of contributors are now accepting whatever damage is being done. There's not much chatter about it here in the forum anymore. I really hope it doesn't turn out like Fotolia....yelling and screaming threatening to leave then accepting it and staying. The screwing never stops rather it be iStock or Fotolia.

jbarber873

« Reply #1237 on: October 18, 2010, 21:06 »
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You're always ahead of the curve, Lisa. As i recall, you were also the first one to call him "troll"  :D
You are not here long enough to know that macrosour and alzheimerhippie are synonyms for troll. Trolls are senile autistics with a leftover ADHD syndrom characterized by a pathetic need for attention compounded by extreme jealousy .

Don't feed the trolls (don't reply to their messages) and they'll just move on to another forum about creationism, evolution, god, atheism, politics or the unbearable lightness of being. This particular specimen has no life, isn't a photographer at at all, so why bother? Ignoramus igitur. If he comes back under another nick, I'll kill the attention sucker with a wooden stick right in his weak spot.  ;D Prolly.

Don't sugar coat it- tell us how you really feel! :D
It took me a while to figure out how to ignore the guy, but it's much better now.

« Reply #1238 on: October 18, 2010, 21:54 »
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I can't speak for anyone else, but it's not in my business plan to lose money. I spend alot of time, money and effort on my photo shoots. I expect a decent return and a fair chance for them to be seen by buyers. Instead of ranting in the forums I've been deleting images from the site, roughly 160 so far. I only hope that as more people realize that IS has become nothing more than a machine that is looking for slave labor, that they are also deleting their images and that this tedious one at a time process is keeping them to busy to rant in the forums.

« Reply #1239 on: October 18, 2010, 22:04 »
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Hey, I can delete and rant at the same time!

Not much point in ranting, is there? If there's any chance of iStock reconsidering its disastrous decisions, it'll be well down the line.  If that happens, and I doubt it will, my port will be lean and mean.  Or maybe just lean; we'll see.

traveler1116

« Reply #1240 on: October 19, 2010, 02:13 »
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I noticed you don't have many Vetta or Exclusive plus files, did you try to get any into Vetta?  and have you decided not to put a lot into Exclusive plus?

I'm still trying to get a better idea on how what I've nominated on E+ is selling before putting in more. I haven't nominated much for vetta yet - and what I have nominated has either been knocked back or is still waiting for review by the Vetta team (I think!).  

How are your E+ files going?
Honestly it's hard to tell, I do feel that since a lot of my images are of places that no so many people go there isn't a lot of competition on IS or any of the micros so it probably won't affect sales too much if I choose the right images.  But just looking at one of my "stock" images it appears to have sold more this year than last so putting it into E+ may not have hurt it.  We were also told that we would get a bump in the best match 6 months ago or whenever it was but nothing yet as far as I can see, the Admins recently said this was still going to happen but who knows when?

Uh oh.. I did just check the forums and JJRD said "E+ is doing superbly well. " and that was it, does this mean a Vetta style lowering of commissions soon?
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 02:18 by traveler1116 »

« Reply #1241 on: October 19, 2010, 02:59 »
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I think the shock has worn off and a lot of contributors are now accepting whatever damage is being done. There's not much chatter about it here in the forum anymore. I really hope it doesn't turn out like Fotolia....yelling and screaming threatening to leave then accepting it and staying. The screwing never stops rather it be iStock or Fotolia.
Fotolia still pay much higher commissions than istock, my earnings have increased there and the next ranking level is still possible for me to reach.  They pay much higher commissions for subs than thinkstock.  Istock are going to lower my commissions far below their rivals and hide my images below several exclusive collections and have made it an impossible task for me to get back to the already insultingly low 20% commission.  I can't see my earnings going anywhere but down there now, don't see why I should put up with that so I have stopped uploading and started deleting.

« Reply #1242 on: October 19, 2010, 05:43 »
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I noticed you don't have many Vetta or Exclusive plus files, did you try to get any into Vetta?  and have you decided not to put a lot into Exclusive plus?

I'm still trying to get a better idea on how what I've nominated on E+ is selling before putting in more. I haven't nominated much for vetta yet - and what I have nominated has either been knocked back or is still waiting for review by the Vetta team (I think!).  

How are your E+ files going?
Honestly it's hard to tell, I do feel that since a lot of my images are of places that no so many people go there isn't a lot of competition on IS or any of the micros so it probably won't affect sales too much if I choose the right images.  But just looking at one of my "stock" images it appears to have sold more this year than last so putting it into E+ may not have hurt it.  We were also told that we would get a bump in the best match 6 months ago or whenever it was but nothing yet as far as I can see, the Admins recently said this was still going to happen but who knows when?

Uh oh.. I did just check the forums and JJRD said "E+ is doing superbly well. " and that was it, does this mean a Vetta style lowering of commissions soon?

With a lot of your images of less frequented places (and therefore lower demand?) wouldnt you do better doing macro rm/rf in a macro travel library like loney planet / robert harding / etc etc?

« Reply #1243 on: October 19, 2010, 05:49 »
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I noticed you don't have many Vetta or Exclusive plus files, did you try to get any into Vetta?  and have you decided not to put a lot into Exclusive plus?

I'm still trying to get a better idea on how what I've nominated on E+ is selling before putting in more. I haven't nominated much for vetta yet - and what I have nominated has either been knocked back or is still waiting for review by the Vetta team (I think!).  

How are your E+ files going?
Honestly it's hard to tell, I do feel that since a lot of my images are of places that no so many people go there isn't a lot of competition on IS or any of the micros so it probably won't affect sales too much if I choose the right images.  But just looking at one of my "stock" images it appears to have sold more this year than last so putting it into E+ may not have hurt it.  We were also told that we would get a bump in the best match 6 months ago or whenever it was but nothing yet as far as I can see, the Admins recently said this was still going to happen but who knows when?

Uh oh.. I did just check the forums and JJRD said "E+ is doing superbly well. " and that was it, does this mean a Vetta style lowering of commissions soon?

If a lot of your images are less frequented places (and therefore lower demand?) wouldnt you do better doing rm/rf in a macro library with strong travel focus like loney planet / robert harding / etc etc?

traveler1116

« Reply #1244 on: October 19, 2010, 05:58 »
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^I'm not sure, it's something I've been thinking about more and more but it's hard to give up a few sales here and there when I could be waiting months to get anything... I will be traveling to albania and the middle east soon so probably a big portion of those files will go towards Alamy.  I've been slow to upload so far but in the last month or so I've tripled my portfolio.  Here it is, zero sales so far so any advice would be appreciated: http://www.alamy.com/search-results.asp?CreativeOn=1&qt=graham+klotz&all=1&creative=&adv=1&dtfr=&dtTo=&et=0x000000000000000000000&ag=0&vp=0&loc=0&lic=6&lic=1&hc=&selectdate=1&txtdtfr=&txtdtto=&size=0xFF&ot=1&ot=2&ot=4&ot=8&archive=1&chckarchive=1&aqt=&epqt=&oqt=&nqt=#BHM=foo%3Dbar%26st%3D11%26pn%3D1%26ps%3D30%26qt%3Dgraham%2520klotz%26lic%3D3%26mr%3D0%26pr%3D0%26aoa%3D1%26creative%3D%26nu%3D%26ccc%3D%26ag%3D0%26hc%3D%26et%3D0x000000000000000000000%26vp%3D0%26loc%3D0%26ot%3D15%26imgt%3D0%26dtfr%3D%26dtto%3D%26size%3D0xFF%26archive%3D1%26name%3Dgraham%2520klotz%26groupid%3D1029423%26pseudoid%3D{276CDA91-6A5B-4779-A21B-A1B1D1060D03}%26userid%3D%26id%3D%26a%3D%26cdid%3D%26cdsrt%3D%26cc%3DUSD%26xstx%3D0%26alamyuid%3D%26editorial%3D%26nasty%3D%26t%3D0%26edoptin%3D

From  what I remember about LP it doesn't seem worth it at all and they use other agencies for a lot of images in their guides, especially cover images.  I'll check out robert harding since I haven't heard of that before.

« Reply #1245 on: October 19, 2010, 07:12 »
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You are right about Almay. If your port is only 192 (unless you have more photos under different pseudo names), it may take a long time until you see regular income.

My Alamy port is a lot bigger than yours. This year, the sales have dropped. Besides, even though you have reached their $250 threadhold, you will not see the money until at least more than three months later, and you will consider it luck if you get paid within 3 months. I would not count Alamy as my regular income unless I have more than 2 thousand images in different subject matters.


^I'm not sure, it's something I've been thinking about more and more but it's hard to give up a few sales here and there when I could be waiting months to get anything... I will be traveling to albania and the middle east soon so probably a big portion of those files will go towards Alamy.  I've been slow to upload so far but in the last month or so I've tripled my portfolio.  Here it is, zero sales so far so any advice would be appreciated: http://www.alamy.com/search-results.asp?CreativeOn=1&qt=graham+klotz&all=1&creative=&adv=1&dtfr=&dtTo=&et=0x000000000000000000000&ag=0&vp=0&loc=0&lic=6&lic=1&hc=&selectdate=1&txtdtfr=&txtdtto=&size=0xFF&ot=1&ot=2&ot=4&ot=8&archive=1&chckarchive=1&aqt=&epqt=&oqt=&nqt=#BHM=foo%3Dbar%26st%3D11%26pn%3D1%26ps%3D30%26qt%3Dgraham%2520klotz%26lic%3D3%26mr%3D0%26pr%3D0%26aoa%3D1%26creative%3D%26nu%3D%26ccc%3D%26ag%3D0%26hc%3D%26et%3D0x000000000000000000000%26vp%3D0%26loc%3D0%26ot%3D15%26imgt%3D0%26dtfr%3D%26dtto%3D%26size%3D0xFF%26archive%3D1%26name%3Dgraham%2520klotz%26groupid%3D1029423%26pseudoid%3D{276CDA91-6A5B-4779-A21B-A1B1D1060D03}%26userid%3D%26id%3D%26a%3D%26cdid%3D%26cdsrt%3D%26cc%3DUSD%26xstx%3D0%26alamyuid%3D%26editorial%3D%26nasty%3D%26t%3D0%26edoptin%3D

From  what I remember about LP it doesn't seem worth it at all and they use other agencies for a lot of images in their guides, especially cover images.  I'll check out robert harding since I haven't heard of that before.

« Reply #1246 on: October 19, 2010, 07:29 »
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^I'm not sure, it's something I've been thinking about more and more but it's hard to give up a few sales here and there when I could be waiting months to get anything... I will be traveling to albania and the middle east soon so probably a big portion of those files will go towards Alamy.  I've been slow to upload so far but in the last month or so I've tripled my portfolio.  Here it is, zero sales so far so any advice would be appreciated: http://tinyurl.com/2v8m3bc

From  what I remember about LP it doesn't seem worth it at all and they use other agencies for a lot of images in their guides, especially cover images.  I'll check out robert harding since I haven't heard of that before.

My first tip would be to use http://tinyurl.com :)  I think you should do well with alamy, if you can build a bigger portfolio and leave it there for a few years.  I sold 10 there last year but only 2 this year.  That doesn't put me off, as I only have 500 there and I don't expect much until my portfolio has a few thousand images.  Looking at some of the portfolios when people say how much they are earning, I still think alamy is worthwhile and you never know, there is always the chance of a really big sale.  Feels a bit like having free lottery tickets.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 07:31 by sharpshot »

traveler1116

« Reply #1247 on: October 19, 2010, 07:50 »
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Thanks never tried tinyurl but I was thinking that I should use it for that one.  I do expect to get to 1000 images in the next 6 months, if I quit IS I think I will try to go full force in RM because I don't like FT or DT either.  That leaves me with just a few options especially if Veer and some of the new sites don't begin to produce well.

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #1248 on: October 19, 2010, 09:02 »
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I noticed an ad on my opening e-mail page for Istock....it says:

"WE MISS YOU...you know you want royalty-free images and videos for $1.....get 10% off and 10 free images"

Recon they really MISS their buyers... ;)

lisafx

« Reply #1249 on: October 19, 2010, 14:16 »
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I noticed an ad on my opening e-mail page for Istock....it says:

"WE MISS YOU...you know you want royalty-free images and videos for $1.....get 10% off and 10 free images"

Recon they really MISS their buyers... ;)

That would seem to suggest that buyers have been leaving, at least in enough numbers to be noticed (and "missed"). 

However the real things that are chasing buyers away - higher prices, confusing "collections", decline in customer service, erratic search problems, etc. - have not been fixed, and only seem to be getting worse. 

How do they expect to keep the buyers even if they do lure some back with discounts? 


 

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