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Agency Based Discussion => iStockPhoto.com => Topic started by: dgilder on September 07, 2010, 14:36

Title: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 07, 2010, 14:36
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&page=1)

Basically, you get x% royalties based on how many credits were used to download your files the past year.

As a gold exclusive, next year my royalty will drop 5% based on the new plan, even after I finally hit diamond.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 07, 2010, 14:38
Also, if you brought in more than $1,000,000 of business to iStock, they will throw you an extra 5%, so max is 45% now.

http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=861 (http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=861)

Scroll down for royalty charts
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 07, 2010, 14:42
If I understand this correctly, this will be very VERY BAD NEWS to non-exclusives.

Their new royalty base level will be 15%!!!

For the current crappy 20% you should sell files for 1,400,000 credit (yes, over a million credits)

Please tell me this is just a bad dream... :(
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 07, 2010, 14:44
Yep, they'd have to sell 1.4M credits worth just to get back to 20%.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 07, 2010, 14:45
I just started to hate iStock.

They are a bunch of greedy a**holes.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 07, 2010, 14:48
Even exclusives are going to need to be sell about 4000 images per month to maintain the 40% rate.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 07, 2010, 14:49
And yet they dare to say:
"With that overriding objective, we wanted to produce a solution that:
- would not change most contributors' total compensation (except for the better)"

I think for most of the contributors this sucks big time.

15% must be the crappiest compensation ever, anywhere. it's so close to giving images for free.

This new royalty-bullcrap-structure was a great dissappointment...when I started to read the thing I thought I would get MORE than 20%...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 07, 2010, 14:52
It depends on how many non-exculsive contributors they have, but yeah, this actually seems like less money for the vast majority of iStockers.  Even if they had said more money for vast majority of exclusive I would still think that would be incorrect.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: grp_photo on September 07, 2010, 15:06
lol ;D :D Awesome news I really start to love istock 15% for more than 90% of the non-exclusives that is a new record - wow!
But it is good in general and good news for me prices go up I'm all for it. Istock will represent pictures from other agencies - great!
And one has to say it is much more fair to newer contributors for the old 2004-istock-woohay-exclusives it is a slap in the face - good :-)!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 07, 2010, 15:08
Like dgilder, after running some preliminary numbers this looks like it just massively delayed a 5% raise I was about to get for hitting the next cannister level.

I've been saying for a long time that more sites would start moving toward a performance based model. Where the people who make them the most credits/money are rewarded and poor performers are essentially discouraged through a less favorable compensation model.

ETA: It's a 5% delay in commission percentage (30 to 35%). But the increase from 30 to 35 is 16%. So as far as money in my pocket goes I've just been told the 16% raise I was going to get in a couple of months has just been delayed indefinately until I can increase double my sales volume. Which I plan to do but...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: helix7 on September 07, 2010, 15:13
Unless I'm misunderstanding this, I'll be earning 17% next year at istock.

20% was pretty low in the industry. Less than that is just a joke.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 07, 2010, 15:14
And it's pretty clear this move is all Getty. The new Agency Collection will have Getty, Jupiter and Punchstock to tap into the massive Istock buyer base.

Oh, and notice the commission is 20-30%.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Tim Markley on September 07, 2010, 15:16
We will continue to pay out royalties based on the value of the credit purchased. In the case of royalties from Subscription credits we are adjusting the minimum value of the subscription credit from $0.95 to $0.65.

And for those opted into the sub plan it only gets worse.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 07, 2010, 15:17
I just started a thread in a local designer's forum about the pay cut for non-exclusives and told them that if they want the photographer to get a more fair payment they should shop their images elsewhere; I also gave links to SS, DT and FT. (I wish SX would still exist...)
I Also mentioned Veer because I think they would like their attitude.

I wish some of you did the same, just to get people to understand that iStock/Getty are greedy *insult removed* that don't care if the photographer will be able to pay his/her bills.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: LostOne on September 07, 2010, 15:18
Unless I'm misunderstanding this, I'll be earning 17% next year at istock.

20% was pretty low in the industry. Less than that is just a joke.
Me too. Was close to going exclusive, now I'm thinking about dropping IS altogether.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 07, 2010, 15:20
Totally sucky news - can't see any upside except perhaps for the factories with huge volume.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: helix7 on September 07, 2010, 15:21
I just started a thread in a local designer's forum about the pay cut for non-exclusives and told them that if they want the photographer to get a more fair payment they should shop their images elsewhere; I also gave links to SS, DT and FT. (I wish SX would still exist...)

I stopped buying at istock recently. I'd encourage any designers around here who purchase stock images to do the same. There are plenty of sites around that pay a far rate to artists and in some cases they'll even save you money with lower overall prices. I'm throwing my support behind sites like GraphicLeftovers and Stockfresh.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: skvoor on September 07, 2010, 15:21
I will not accept 15% royalty rate. I will stop uploading to Istock and probably delete all my images.
This is too much..
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 07, 2010, 15:22
-- /Double post/ --
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: microstockphoto.co.uk on September 07, 2010, 15:22
Why do they bother to elaborate complicated royalty structures? It's a paycut. As simple as that.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: FD on September 07, 2010, 15:26
IS : "September, 2010: $3.05 royalties" - oh noooo! My "bizness model" is ruined.  ;D
This is really bad news. I think I will have to order a medium instead of a large monthly Frappuchino in Starbux on their behalf.  :P

There is going to come a point where it all breaks down.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Kngkyle on September 07, 2010, 15:28
This is bad. There really isn't anything positive about these changes, especially for independents.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Beach Bum on September 07, 2010, 15:33
Wow!  This is bad across the board.....exclusives and non-exclusives.  A few months ago they enticed contributors to go exclusive with the guaranteed next level (total downloads) and now we're being hit with this.  Glad I didn't make the jump, but I'm still getting a big cut. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Albert Martin on September 07, 2010, 15:33
Screw...

I've told you that Getty will play with most of people there... It is just a start...

Very sad joke for non-exclusives there!

[ADDED] I always forget the most important thing: What is next? Shutterstock downing to $0.15 basic tier downloads?
HAHA!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 07, 2010, 15:35
This is a giant fsck you to both independents and exclusives.  A 20% royalty was bad enough, but at my level of sales I'm looking at a 20% reduction from that!  Way to go, iStock.  You finally found a way to outdo Fotolia in the greedy *insult removed* competition.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Albert Martin on September 07, 2010, 15:37
Most of people talk about Istock as: "they are the best and greatest"... Now most will must add: "And they pay the lowest royalties in the industry"... Incredible!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Phadrea on September 07, 2010, 15:38
This has been a terrible year at Istock. They mess up the website with a horrible new design (hyped up to the hilt before it went live) which decresed a lot of people's sales, they are making it nigh on impossible to get good images that are perfectly well lit approved, sales are poor for most at the moment and now this !!! It's absolutley dire.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Kngkyle on September 07, 2010, 15:39
I guess the only silver lining for me is that my commission wont decrease. But the chance of me ever going up to the next level is slim.

I regret going exclusive now.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: vonkara on September 07, 2010, 15:39
...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: LostOne on September 07, 2010, 15:40
Wow!  This is bad across the board.....exclusives and non-exclusives.  A few months ago they enticed contributors to go exclusive with the guaranteed next level (total downloads) and now we're being hit with this.  Glad I didn't make the jump, but I'm still getting a big cut.  
I don't think there will be many more contributors going exclusive after this. I think we may see more of them dropping the crown than getting one.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Mr. Stock on September 07, 2010, 15:41
Quote
Unless I'm misunderstanding this, I'll be earning 17% next year at istock.

20% was pretty low in the industry. Less than that is just a joke.


Yep, same for me, dropping down to 17%, maybe 16% (depends how I do the next three months.) My sale were up for a year but recently tanked so unless my sales increase again, I will have to stop uploading and perhaps even delete my portfolio. I feel like I see the end for microstock, at least for me, istock and micro in general just aint what it used to be.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 07, 2010, 15:43
What does this mean? :
"You will retain the royalty rate from the end of the previous year "
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 07, 2010, 15:45
So now canister levels are meaningless.  This is a real kick in the teeth to the exclusives who helped build the business, but maybe haven't had as much time to keep up their portfolios in the past year.

I am BD on istock and I don't bring in anything close to the 1,400,000 credits per year that would be necessary to keep the measly 20%.  I wonder if even Yuri or Andres sells that much on istock alone?  They have affectively made the top rate just for show hardly anyone will actually get it.

For exclusives this seems just devastating.  For independents it is a DANGEROUS precedent.  I don't think we can just sit back and eat this one or we will find ourselves facing the same from the other sites.  

Personally, I think it would be a good idea for EVERYONE who doesn't like these changes to stop uploading to IS completely until our concerns are addressed.  These numbers need to at least be attainable and not pulled from the realm of fantasy.  
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: LostOne on September 07, 2010, 15:45
I know there is a stream of replies, but I just want to figure out something. If I am silver exclusive and I sell approximatively 4 to 6 pictures a day,mostly medium and large sizes... How much will I loose ??

If anyone have two minutes to explain me this new structure, I would appreciate it. I would certainly reconsider my exclusivity if I loose anything near 5% and more
Lets say you sell 5 pictures every single day and lets say they are all large or medium. The average of medium and large which is (10+15)/2 = 12.5. This means you earn 60 credits per day (5 pictures * 12.5 credits). That is 21900 credits in a year. That would get you 30% royalty with the new structure. You would need 40000 credits in a year for the next canister.

PS: You can see how many credits you earned this and the last year in the stats page. It says redeemed credit total.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: microstockphoto.co.uk on September 07, 2010, 15:45
What does this mean? :
"You will retain the royalty rate from the end of the previous year "

It means lifetime achievements don't count anymore. Only credits sold on the previous year will count towards our level.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ichiro17 on September 07, 2010, 15:47
Even exclusives are going to need to be sell about 4000 images per month to maintain the 40% rate.

umm no, they will need approx 1700 images per month based on my average redeemed credit.  Which isn't as preposterous as 4000
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Albert Martin on September 07, 2010, 15:47
So now canister levels are meaningless.  This is a real kick in the teeth to the exclusives who helped build the business, but maybe haven't had as much time to keep up their portfolios in the past year.

I am BD on istock and I don't sell anything close to the 1,400,000 files per year that would be necessary to keep the measly 20%.  I wonder if even Yuri or Andres sells that much on istock alone?  They have affectively made the top rate just for show hardly anyone will actually get it.

For exclusives this seems just devastating.  For independents it is a DANGEROUS precedent.  I don't think we can just sit back and eat this one or we will find ourselves facing the same from the other sites.  

Personally, I think it would be a good idea for EVERYONE who doesn't like these changes to stop uploading to IS completely until our concerns are addressed.  These numbers need to at least be attainable and not pulled from the realm of fantasy.  

I support this! You all must STOP working with those self pronounced experts and ASK 50% royalty!!!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Snufkin on September 07, 2010, 15:48
Greedy a**#%les.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: graficallyminded on September 07, 2010, 15:48
Why do they bother to elaborate complicated royalty structures? It's a paycut. As simple as that.

Amen. It's yet another illustration of corporate greed at it's finest.  Economy my arse; it's the company wanting to line their halls with more granite and marble.  What is this, the pharmaceutical or insurance industry?  Oh wait no, it's just microstock.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cthoman on September 07, 2010, 15:49
Unless I'm misunderstanding this, I'll be earning 17% next year at istock.

20% was pretty low in the industry. Less than that is just a joke.

That's what I calculated mine out as too. Applied to my monthly earnings that 3% drop is a pretty serious hit. I just don't get this.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: rubyroo on September 07, 2010, 15:50
This would be a great time for SS to offer exclusivity. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: mantonino on September 07, 2010, 15:51
I am BD on istock and I don't sell anything close to the 1,400,000 files per year that would be necessary to keep the measly 20%.  I wonder if even Yuri or Andres sells that much on istock alone?

Sean said absolutely nobody will quality for 45% on the iStock forums (I'm sure he'll chime in here as well)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: skvoor on September 07, 2010, 15:51
Personally, I think it would be a good idea for EVERYONE who doesn't like these changes to stop uploading to IS completely until our concerns are addressed.  These numbers need to at least be attainable and not pulled from the realm of fantasy.  

Absolutely agree.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 07, 2010, 15:52
Unless I'm misunderstanding this, I'll be earning 17% next year at istock.

20% was pretty low in the industry. Less than that is just a joke.

That's what I calculated mine out as too. Applied to my monthly earnings that 3% drop is a pretty serious hit. I just don't get this.

It's not a "3% drop", it's a 15% drop.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Dreamframer on September 07, 2010, 15:54
So now canister levels are meaningless.  This is a real kick in the teeth to the exclusives who helped build the business, but maybe haven't had as much time to keep up their portfolios in the past year.

I am BD on istock and I don't sell anything close to the 1,400,000 files per year that would be necessary to keep the measly 20%.  I wonder if even Yuri or Andres sells that much on istock alone?  They have affectively made the top rate just for show hardly anyone will actually get it.

For exclusives this seems just devastating.  For independents it is a DANGEROUS precedent.  I don't think we can just sit back and eat this one or we will find ourselves facing the same from the other sites.  

Personally, I think it would be a good idea for EVERYONE who doesn't like these changes to stop uploading to IS completely until our concerns are addressed.  These numbers need to at least be attainable and not pulled from the realm of fantasy.  

I agree. I won't upload. This is not just too much. This is very humiliating.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: LostOne on September 07, 2010, 15:54
Just wait for a few days for their old and verified tactics. They will offer something that is just slightly less awful than this and people will start saying "Thanks istock".
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cardmaverick on September 07, 2010, 15:55
Changes like this happen for a reason, their previous business models were most likely unsustainable. Add in the fact that the US is entering a depression and the future just looks very bleak.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: grp_photo on September 07, 2010, 15:56
So now canister levels are meaningless.  
They are not meaningless your upload-limit still depends on your canister level.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: LostOne on September 07, 2010, 15:59
Changes like this happen for a reason, their previous business models were most likely unsustainable. Add in the fact that the US is entering a depression and the future just looks very bleak.
They are selling more than ever and their business model is unsustainable. Geez. If it weren't for recession they would double their earnings then. It's just greedy.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 07, 2010, 16:01
I am BD on istock and I don't sell anything close to the 1,400,000 files per year

"credits per year", not files.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sharpshot on September 07, 2010, 16:01
I had already stopped uploading to istock, lost all motivation but this is it, they wont get any more from me if this is implemented.

Unfortunately I can't afford to leave there at the moment but that's my new goal and this will get me working harder with the other sites.

I just hope the other sites don't try this, I will leave microstock if they all cut commissions.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ErickN on September 07, 2010, 16:02
Just wait for a few days for their old and verified tactics. They will offer something that is just slightly less awful than this and people will start saying "Thanks istock".

+1
That's what I suspect too. First announce a REALLY bad news, then « listen » to the masses by taking a step back to just a bad news. Reminds me our politicians...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Dreamframer on September 07, 2010, 16:06
Just wait for a few days for their old and verified tactics. They will offer something that is just slightly less awful than this and people will start saying "Thanks istock".

I just wanted to say the same thing
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: click_click on September 07, 2010, 16:07
I am BD on istock and I don't sell anything close to the 1,400,000 files per year

"credits per year", not files.

That's 56,000 XXXL files for non-exclusives...

Piece of cake.  >:(
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Fred on September 07, 2010, 16:08
oops!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: LostOne on September 07, 2010, 16:11
So now canister levels are meaningless.  This is a real kick in the teeth to the exclusives who helped build the business, but maybe haven't had as much time to keep up their portfolios in the past year.

I am BD on istock and I don't sell anything close to the 1,400,000 files per year that would be necessary to keep the measly 20%.  ...

Actually they don't require 1,400,000 files.  They requirement is for "credits".  My account works out to about 3.34 credits for each sale so the 1,400,000 requires about 419,000 sales.    I certainly won't be looking at 20% but maybe you have a chance.

fred
Lisa sold 200.000 files altogether, even she won't be keeping the 20% royalty. Looks like Yuri will be the only one from the non-exclusives to be up at the 20%?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cardmaverick on September 07, 2010, 16:13
How do you figure out the number of credits you sold?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 07, 2010, 16:14
I am BD on istock and I don't sell anything close to the 1,400,000 files per year

"credits per year", not files.

Yeah, sorry.  I actually understood that but wrote it wrong in my post.  Still * near impossible goal.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: helix7 on September 07, 2010, 16:15
Personally, I think it would be a good idea for EVERYONE who doesn't like these changes to stop uploading to IS completely until our concerns are addressed...

More importantly, stop buying images from istock if you're a buyer as well. Not that designers needed another reason, with istock being the most expensive of the microstock options. But even more so now, it's important to let istock know that enough is enough.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 07, 2010, 16:16
Just wait for a few days for their old and verified tactics. They will offer something that is just slightly less awful than this and people will start saying "Thanks istock".

+1
That's what I suspect too. First announce a REALLY bad news, then « listen » to the masses by taking a step back to just a bad news. Reminds me our politicians...

I hope you are both right, but I have my doubts.  Just talked to contributor relations and they said this is coming down from above and it's going to stick.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jallfree on September 07, 2010, 16:16
You find credits you have earnt in the stats on you own page
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Microbius on September 07, 2010, 16:16
How do you figure out the number of credits you sold?
It says under your stats page now.

This is absolutely disgusting, it's a devastating cut in income for non-exclusives, to think I was complaining about how low the 20% pay rate was a couple of days ago and now it has been chut to 15%!
Greedy scum bags is right, I'm stopping uploading as of now.

Edited to add: yeah and definately stopping buying anything from them. I would recommend anyone wanting vectors goes to Graphic Leftovers. They know how to treat their contributors.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 07, 2010, 16:18
I just got an urge to upload some images to Alamy...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jallfree on September 07, 2010, 16:19
I was a full on iStock luvver that never whinged in the past (or posted rants on forums). People always envisioned doom and gloom and ended up earning more money

I'm on target to take about a 12% paycut and I earn a decent whack on iStock

I've just stopped loving iStock... I will be looking at alternatives seriously
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 07, 2010, 16:21
It's not based on files or downloads, it's based on number of credits/money used to buy each image.

So if someone paid 3 credits to download one image (small size?), the contributor is given 3 credits toward the performance measurement.  

If you sold 5,000 downloads in 2009, and all of them were sold at 3 credits each (Small size?) your redemed credit rate would be 15,000 credits.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: devon on September 07, 2010, 16:24
Personally, I think it would be a good idea for EVERYONE who doesn't like these changes to stop uploading to IS completely until our concerns are addressed.  These numbers need to at least be attainable and not pulled from the realm of fantasy.  

We should stop uploading to IS completely !!  We need several leaders from the big players.   Maybe a union!!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Suljo on September 07, 2010, 16:24
That is why I allways talk friendly about my Greedy iStock Cattle *insult removed* geeks.
Cmon geeks Light my fire...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Pixart on September 07, 2010, 16:27
Any other agencies reading this - the time is now to annouce a kick ass exclusive deal. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: etienjones on September 07, 2010, 16:29
We will continue to pay out royalties based on the value of the credit purchased. In the case of royalties from Subscription credits we are adjusting the minimum value of the subscription credit from $0.95 to $0.65.

And for those opted into the sub plan it only gets worse.

Is that right?  So now a xs brings 9.7 cents.  Boy, that 25 cents from TS sure is looking Good. (irony)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: grp_photo on September 07, 2010, 16:32
Personally, I think it would be a good idea for EVERYONE who doesn't like these changes to stop uploading to IS completely until our concerns are addressed.  These numbers need to at least be attainable and not pulled from the realm of fantasy.  

We should stop uploading to IS completely !!  We need several leaders from the big players.   Maybe a union!!
Reminds me of Fotolia nothing will happen and they knew it. The leaders (Yuri,Andresr etc.) are already investing in macro. The rest will upload as usual new contributors will welcome these changes so were will no shortage in new material for istock. Also Agencies can post their pictures in a high-priced collection so even more supply.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dnavarrojr on September 07, 2010, 16:36
Personally, I think it would be a good idea for EVERYONE who doesn't like these changes to stop uploading to IS completely until our concerns are addressed.  These numbers need to at least be attainable and not pulled from the realm of fantasy.  

Absolutely agree.

Could not agree more!

DO NOT get hot headed and delete your portfolio.  Don't mess with your current earnings.  Just stop giving them new content.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dirkr on September 07, 2010, 16:39
Stopping uploads is just step one (which I will do).
If they don't make significant changes, I'm thinking of withdrawing my portfolio at the end of the year.

Won't hurt them much, but I will feel better.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: nicmac on September 07, 2010, 16:41
One has to try to understand the strategy here. So let's see. The only way the vast majority of contributors will make the same or more despite their royalty rate going down is if they raise the prices by more than that cut. Maybe that's coming.

What I see here though, in the now, and this is purely my musing, is an effort to get the large customers slowly used to the idea of paying more for more elaborate and expensive artwork, in other words getting them accustomed to buying from Getty directly or from their other macro collections. Of course lost Getty customers who saved by buying from IS will slowly be brought back to macro at the same time. The success of Vetta and the implementation of the agency proves that this is working.

At the same time, they are trying to convince their best selling photographers and exclusive farms to contribute to macro, while discouraging the rest from submitting, even to micro. They've got the numbers and it probably won't hurt them that much to have the small guys rant and leave IS, even if that small guys turns out to be most exclusives and non exclusives below diamond. In any case, by force of habit, most contributors will take the bullet and keep submitting... to preserve their lifestyle. It's all just a news cycle anyways, and people will stop their turmoil in a couple of weeks and settle back into their routines.

But hmm... moving good customers and best selling photogs to Getty... not caring about the rest at all... discouraging new and small contributors... Separating their collections in tiers according to production value...

Sounds to me like Getty slowly wants to move out of the micro business, and hurt it good on the move, taking away big names and big customers with it. Perhaps they didn't buy Istock to help it flourish? Perhaps they bought it to recuperate what they could and then slowly choke it to death... hoping to do it in a way that would prove how micro is inferior to all serious, sensible art buyers in the world. Perhaps in their view it would be great if eventually they all blushed in shame after someone recognized that they used some cheap stuff from micro in their prestigious publication...

After all, let's not forget that the brand that Getty is trying to polish and grow here is... Getty.

Huge gamble. I do hope that I'm completely wrong, here by the way. But we've all seen this happen over and over in other industries, so why not in this one?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 07, 2010, 16:42
I had never considered exclusivity; the numbers just didn't add up for me.  So I'm experiencing schadenfreude watching the exclusives gnashing their teeth over the news.  Experience the wisdom of Animal House:

  Otter: "Face it, Flounder.  You *removed coarse language* up.  You trusted us."
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ShadySue on September 07, 2010, 16:45
How do you figure out the number of credits you sold?
It's now at the top of your stats page. Just appeared with the announcement, so I guess they're serious about this one. Maybe no backtracking this time. Maybe Kelly's getting scared about achieving his target of 50% growth.
So what did all these promises about us being grandfathered in actually mean. We can get the next colour when we get the dls, but it doesn't necessarily affect our payments.
Trouble is, I bet the other agencies are watching this with great relish. :-(
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jbarber873 on September 07, 2010, 16:49
There is a very simple and clear reason why this is happening. Getty images is being dressed up for an IPO. Obviously with the image lock ups and general inertia from most contributors, the resulting profits that will accrue to the bottom line will make getty look likes it's on an earnings roll. Most investors will not know enough to dig in the details, and find out that istock is mortgaging the future by burning their contributors big time.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 07, 2010, 16:51
The misery will not stop here: Remember, they can tinker with their royalty targets every year, just to keep us from earning too much. Who knows, the base royalty could be 10% for 2012...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 07, 2010, 16:52
Any other agencies reading this - the time is now to annouce a kick ass exclusive deal. 

I have a totally opposite reaction...I would never go exclusive anywhere. When it all comes down to it...it's all about companies lining their own pockets. When it comes down to them or me, it's gonna be them.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: FD on September 07, 2010, 16:53
Maybe a union!!
Nah, that's too proletarian. We need a guild!  :P
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: helix7 on September 07, 2010, 16:53
It's all about the designers, and if you guys really want to make a statement, it's going to have to be with buyers. Frankly, istock probably doesn't care if a few people delete their portfolios or stop uploading. If they are going to feel any impact from this, it'll have to come from buyers. If you're a designer and purchase stock images, look elsewhere from now on. If you know people who buy from istock, let them know what's going on and that they could actually save money AND support artists by taking their business elsewhere.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ikostudio on September 07, 2010, 16:54
I will stop uploading to IS completely from now one.
I hope everybody do the same, and unless they "REALY, REALY" change this new structure. I will not upload more pictures to IS.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: traveler1116 on September 07, 2010, 16:55
I just got an urge to upload some images to Alamy...
Yep me too.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ErickN on September 07, 2010, 16:58
Based on my current numbers, I earn an average of 5 credits per file sold. As an independant, to keep a royalty rate of 20%, I'd have to sell 280.000 files per year, which is 767 files per day ! No need to tell you I'm FAR from it.

And thinking I just made gold canister last month... Not that it's anything to write home about for an independant as money is concerned, but I still felt good for the accomplishment. Now, my promotion to gold will mean a 20% royalty cut. Thanks iStock.

[DREAM MODE]
Now that I think about it, they said : « You will retain the royalty rate from the end of the previous year  ». So i guess I should retain my current 2010 rate of 20% for the coming year ?
[/DREAM MODE]

Just to see the good part of it, I guess my plans/motivation to invest more in macro will get a HUGE boost.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sweetgirll on September 07, 2010, 17:00
Oh bad news for non exclusives like me
with a smallish portfolio there.

if they are going to open the door for this "premium colllection" and add
images from external??? agencies, even if they are more expensive, I guess there will be endless images to compete in ranking.

In 2009 there were 5 million files on Istock, but since is growing fast...I wonder this year they reached 6- 7 million files already?

I can't help wonder if the addition of a new collection and more contributors if that will double the number of images..

 >:( >:(

 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ErickN on September 07, 2010, 17:01
Maybe a union!!
Nah, that's too proletarian. We need a guild!  :P

 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 07, 2010, 17:02
http://search.twitter.com/search?q=istock (http://search.twitter.com/search?q=istock)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ikostudio on September 07, 2010, 17:05
Why not start a movement on Facebook, to fight this???

Lets to this, it's a good idea to spread our words, to a millions of designers and buyers.
Unfortunately I don't speak English very well, but I it´s a good idea.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Dark_Angel on September 07, 2010, 17:09
impudence
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 07, 2010, 17:10
umm no, they will need approx 1700 images per month based on my average redeemed credit.  Which isn't as preposterous as 4000

According to my 2009 figures each image sale netted me 4.7 'redeemed credits'. If that figure is roughly average it would mean an exclusive needing to sell about 2700 images per month on average to maintain a 40% commission into the following year.

I would guess that there are probably fewer than 40-50 contributors in total who will maintain their rate __ everyone else loses out. To reach the 45% would require approximately 30K sales per month and, as SJL has pointed out, nobody at all does that.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Jonathan Ross on September 07, 2010, 17:11
 Hi All,

 Diversify! I have mentioned this more than several times. If you keep all your eggs in one basket you better hold on tight. I am sorry to hear the news and if anyone feels they can spin this into a win / win situation they should re read the up coming changes. There are a lot of agencies out there in Macro that have never done anything like this, maybe venture forth and try all the models, just a suggestion. Again, my heart goes out to those that will get stung by the change.

Best,
Jonathan
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on September 07, 2010, 17:11
What is see is a natural reaction from a company who has seen other companies (Fotolia etc.) giving it to the contributor with no downside. So I guess it's time to shoot even harder and smarter right?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: helix7 on September 07, 2010, 17:11
Why not start a movement on Facebook, to fight this???

Lets to this, it's a good idea to spread our words, to a millions of designers and buyers.
Unfortunately I don't speak English very well, but I it´s a good idea.

I don't want to fight it. Crazy as it sounds, I'm beginning to think this is a good thing for the industry. istock has been jacking up prices, confusing buyers with varying price points for images (exclusive, non-exclusive, vetta, ex-plus), jacking up credit prices, pretty much screwing with people non-stop for years. I say let them fall. Let the exclusives drop their crowns and flood the competition with product that used to be istock's alone, and let buyers really make a choice.

Besides, there's no reason to fight it. There are plenty of good alternatives out there who offer good prices with better royalty rates, so buyers and contributors all benefit.

I'd love to see companies like Stockfresh come out of this on top. They offer fair pricing, fair royalty rates, and wouldn't it just be a little extra special to see the guys who started StockXpert come back and take down the giant. :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 07, 2010, 17:11
The misery will not stop here: Remember, they can tinker with their royalty targets every year, just to keep us from earning too much. Who knows, the base royalty could be 10% for 2012...

January 11, 2011 we will post new targets. These targets will affect your royalty growth for 2011 and set your initial royalty rate for 2012.

Notice the words "royalty growth". This almost certainly implies that the redeemed credit targets will be changing every year. So if you did 12,501 in credit sales in 2010 you get 30%. If you do 12,501 credit sales again in 2011 but they increase the target to 15,000 you now only earn 25% for the entire year.

Not only the royalty rates can be adjusted, but the redeemed credit goals as well. So what's to stop them from doing something like

2010:  12,500 = 17% non exclusive / 30% exclusive

to

2011: 15,000 = 17% non exclusive / 30% exclusive
2012: 17,500 = 15% non exclusive / 28% exclusive (sorry, times are tough, unsustainable, etc)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: shotupdave on September 07, 2010, 17:12
Sound like getty is taking lesson from Ebay and Enron. Corporate greed at its best or worst
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 07, 2010, 17:13
Diversify! I have mentioned this more than several times. If you keep all your eggs in one basket you better hold on tight.

I have my "eggs" in many "baskets". The problem is that iStock is my best "basket"...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Kngkyle on September 07, 2010, 17:16
Haha. Fotolia is openly courting the big IS contributors on Twitter: http://twitter.com/fotolia (http://twitter.com/fotolia)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on September 07, 2010, 17:16
The misery will not stop here: Remember, they can tinker with their royalty targets every year, just to keep us from earning too much. Who knows, the base royalty could be 10% for 2012...

January 11, 2011 we will post new targets. These targets will affect your royalty growth for 2011 and set your initial royalty rate for 2012.

Notice the words "royalty growth". This almost certainly applies that the redeemed credit targets will be changing every year. So if you did 12,501 in credit sales in 2010 you get 30%. If you do 12,501 credit sales again in 2011 but they increase the target to 15,000 you now only earn 25% for the entire year.

Not only the royalty rates can be adjusted, but the redeemed credit goals as well. So what's to stop them from doing something like

2010:  12,500 = 17% non exclusive / 30% exclusive

to

2011: 15,000 = 17% non exclusive / 30% exclusive
2012: 17,500 = 15% non exclusive / 28% exclusive (sorry, times are tough, unsustainable, etc)

Yes or maintain this new structure and  double the price of a credit and half the number of credits and image costs.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 07, 2010, 17:16
It's all about the designers, and if you guys really want to make a statement, it's going to have to be with buyers. Frankly, istock probably doesn't care if a few people delete their portfolios or stop uploading. If they are going to feel any impact from this, it'll have to come from buyers. If you're a designer and purchase stock images, look elsewhere from now on. If you know people who buy from istock, let them know what's going on and that they could actually save money AND support artists by taking their business elsewhere.

This is very smart Mike.  I have been looking into getting a site built and had been trying to decide which agency to link the images to.  Had been considering Istock just this morning.  I will be choosing another site that pays a decent % instead.  

Also, my current business cards have the link to my IS portfolio.  I will be changing that and ordering new cards ASAP.  

Maybe not much, but if everyone with their own site or blog did the same thing it could have some impact.  And what about the industry bloggers?  Hopefully they will be vocal about these changes to warn buyers.  
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 07, 2010, 17:23
There is a very simple and clear reason why this is happening. Getty images is being dressed up for an IPO. Obviously with the image lock ups and general inertia from most contributors, the resulting profits that will accrue to the bottom line will make getty look likes it's on an earnings roll. Most investors will not know enough to dig in the details, and find out that istock is mortgaging the future by burning their contributors big time.

I think you might be right JB. Maybe not an IPO but a sale of the company anyway. H&F have owned Getty for how long? About 2 years isn't it? They'll probably be looking to move it on soon and a good hoick in profits should make them lots of extra lolly.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dnavarrojr on September 07, 2010, 17:34
It's all about the designers, and if you guys really want to make a statement, it's going to have to be with buyers. Frankly, istock probably doesn't care if a few people delete their portfolios or stop uploading. If they are going to feel any impact from this, it'll have to come from buyers. If you're a designer and purchase stock images, look elsewhere from now on. If you know people who buy from istock, let them know what's going on and that they could actually save money AND support artists by taking their business elsewhere.

This is very smart Mike.  I have been looking into getting a site built and had been trying to decide which agency to link the images to.  Had been considering Istock just this morning.  I will be choosing another site that pays a decent % instead.  

Also, my current business cards have the link to my IS portfolio.  I will be changing that and ordering new cards ASAP.  

Maybe not much, but if everyone with their own site or blog did the same thing it could have some impact.  And what about the industry bloggers?  Hopefully they will be vocal about these changes to warn buyers.  

Someone else said it, but it bares repeating...  MANY iStock exclusives are going to drop their exclusive status and flood other sites with images that use to only be available on iStock.  I think Buyers will notice this, especially since prices are lower on most other sites.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Albert Martin on September 07, 2010, 17:46
It's all about the designers, and if you guys really want to make a statement, it's going to have to be with buyers. Frankly, istock probably doesn't care if a few people delete their portfolios or stop uploading. If they are going to feel any impact from this, it'll have to come from buyers. If you're a designer and purchase stock images, look elsewhere from now on. If you know people who buy from istock, let them know what's going on and that they could actually save money AND support artists by taking their business elsewhere.

This is very smart Mike.  I have been looking into getting a site built and had been trying to decide which agency to link the images to.  Had been considering Istock just this morning.  I will be choosing another site that pays a decent % instead.  

Also, my current business cards have the link to my IS portfolio.  I will be changing that and ordering new cards ASAP.  

Maybe not much, but if everyone with their own site or blog did the same thing it could have some impact.  And what about the industry bloggers?  Hopefully they will be vocal about these changes to warn buyers.  

Someone else said it, but it bares repeating...  MANY iStock exclusives are going to drop their exclusive status and flood other sites with images that use to only be available on iStock.  I think Buyers will notice this, especially since prices are lower on most other sites.

Many Istock  EX exclusives will find that many other places will not accept wast of their images due to different standards. There is Shutterstock with almost 12 million images. Dreamstime don't accept much of similars. Fotolia has specific taste. 123RF rejects by default daily sum of images. It will be very interesting to see where will go that EX exclusives as well how will they succeed on other places... Not to mention StockFresh and Crestock ;-)

[ADDED] I wonder is this again idea of some fat-ass from Getty? If it is, then soon no more Istock.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: michaeldb on September 07, 2010, 17:53
One has to try to understand the strategy here. So let's see. The only way the vast majority of contributors will make the same or more despite their royalty rate going down is if they raise the prices by more than that cut. Maybe that's coming.

What I see here though, in the now, and this is purely my musing, is an effort to get the large customers slowly used to the idea of paying more for more elaborate and expensive artwork, in other words getting them accustomed to buying from Getty directly or from their other macro collections. Of course lost Getty customers who saved by buying from IS will slowly be brought back to macro at the same time. The success of Vetta and the implementation of the agency proves that this is working.

At the same time, they are trying to convince their best selling photographers and exclusive farms to contribute to macro, while discouraging the rest from submitting, even to micro. They've got the numbers and it probably won't hurt them that much to have the small guys rant and leave IS, even if that small guys turns out to be most exclusives and non exclusives below diamond. In any case, by force of habit, most contributors will take the bullet and keep submitting... to preserve their lifestyle. It's all just a news cycle anyways, and people will stop their turmoil in a couple of weeks and settle back into their routines.

...Getty slowly wants to move out of the micro business, and hurt it good on the move, taking away big names and big customers with it. Perhaps they didn't buy Istock to help it flourish? Perhaps they bought it to recuperate what they could and then slowly choke it to death... hoping to do it in a way that would prove how micro is inferior to all serious, sensible art buyers in the world. Perhaps in their view it would be great if eventually they all blushed in shame after someone recognized that they used some cheap stuff from micro in their prestigious publication...

After all, let's not forget that the brand that Getty is trying to polish and grow here is... Getty.

I read the IS thread for about an hour, but realized that it was literally growing faster than I could read it. So I came over here for the skinny.

At first I thought that LostOne was right. (Just wait for a few days for their old and verified tactics. They will offer something that is just slightly less awful than this and people will start saying "Thanks istock".)

But now I think nicmac has spoken the truth.

Maybe Getty saw that subscription is the future of microstock (and, someday, real micropayments) and took a shot at subscriptions with StockXpert/PP, and missed.

Anyway, Getty probably never wanted to compete on price only (and that is how commodities must be sold, and microstock images are a commodity), that's not how Getty sees itself. So now Getty is taking its losses and repositioning itself in the image market. As nicmac says, in its new position, Getty will want to destroy microstock, i.e. us.

Anyway, what we are probably witnessing is infanticide, Getty is intentionally, if slowly, killing IS. And we independent microstockers are probably next, if Getty has its way.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: vonkara on September 07, 2010, 17:55
For me it's basically a drop from 40% as a silver exclusive to 25% or 30% with luck at the end of this year.

I might cancel my exclusivity soon and go back with Shutterstock and Dreamstime. It will take myself around 3 hours to resubmit at SS and 20 minutes to reactivate all my files at Dreamstime... sigh

We need some stability, it's incredible.... They threat us like puppets
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Freezingpictures on September 07, 2010, 17:57
For me it's basically a drop from 40% as a silver exclusive to 25% or 30% with luck at the end of this year.

I might cancel my exclusivity soon and go back with Shutterstock and Dreamstime. It will take myself around 3 hours to resubmit at SS and 20 minutes to reactivate all my files at Dreamstime... sigh

You get 40% as a silver exclusive. i thought you are just getting 30% as a silver exclusive.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: donding on September 07, 2010, 17:59
You need to take into consideration that the Jan 2011 pay structure is going to be set from the 2010 earnings.....just remember how slow it's been this year....not a good beginning to the 2011 pay structure for many of us.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 07, 2010, 18:04
I would be willing to be there will be ANOTHER price rise in the new year, to coincide with this raping of contributors they will rape buyers too. 

Then they can present that to contributors as a way to recover the lost money from the lowered royalties.   

Which will lead to a further exodus of buyers, therefore requiring more cuts to contributors to make up for that, etc., etc., etc. until there is not even anyone left to dance on the ashes of what used to be istock. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: FD on September 07, 2010, 18:06
MANY iStock exclusives are going to drop their exclusive status and flood other sites with images that use to only be available on iStock.
That was the first thing that crossed my mind. Imagine Sjlocke flooding SS and DT.  :-[
Istock was such a great place to keep them locked up while we regulars had some nice sales at SS.  :P
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Blammo on September 07, 2010, 18:08
It's all about the designers, and if you guys really want to make a statement, it's going to have to be with buyers. Frankly, istock probably doesn't care if a few people delete their portfolios or stop uploading. If they are going to feel any impact from this, it'll have to come from buyers. If you're a designer and purchase stock images, look elsewhere from now on. If you know people who buy from istock, let them know what's going on and that they could actually save money AND support artists by taking their business elsewhere.

Hope more buyers will read and agree on this, there has got to be a limit to how greedy you can get without consequences.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: vonkara on September 07, 2010, 18:11
For me it's basically a drop from 40% as a silver exclusive to 25% or 30% with luck at the end of this year.

I might cancel my exclusivity soon and go back with Shutterstock and Dreamstime. It will take myself around 3 hours to resubmit at SS and 20 minutes to reactivate all my files at Dreamstime... sigh

You get 40% as a silver exclusive. i thought you are just getting 30% as a silver exclusive.
It's what I calculated from the % sheet, I might be wrong I'm confused. I get 0.76$ out of a 1.56$ credit... that would even be 50%. All I know is I get 0.76$ for my lowest
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: luissantos84 on September 07, 2010, 18:12
soon SS will announce exclusivity program :P
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jcpjr on September 07, 2010, 18:12
I smell an IPO or possibly a "Pretty Woman" sell off coming... lots of partners have been gathered into the fold.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 07, 2010, 18:18
MANY iStock exclusives are going to drop their exclusive status and flood other sites with images that use to only be available on iStock.
That was the first thing that crossed my mind. Imagine Sjlocke flooding SS and DT.  :-[
Istock was such a great place to keep them locked up while we regulars had some nice sales at SS.  :P

Amen!  This is one thing that could really dilute sales for everyone even further - if the really great istock exclusives begin flooding in to the other sites.

Remember that August was given as the deadline for us independents that wanted to go exclusive and still keep our canister levels?  Those of us who signed contracts to go exclusive in August once our DT commitments ran out?  Weren't there a fair number of people who actually followed through?  Now only one week into Sept. and this comes about.  Wonder if it was in the works all along when they were trying to get everyone squared away by August?  
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 07, 2010, 18:20
I smell an IPO or possibly a "Pretty Woman" sell off coming... lots of partners have been gathered into the fold.

I googled it and can't find what a "Pretty Woman" sell off is.  ???
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: RT on September 07, 2010, 18:26
I don't know what insults me more, the veiled attempt to hide what is an obvious commission cut or this statement:

''With that overriding objective, we wanted to produce a solution that:
- would not change most contributors' total compensation (except for the better)
- adjusts the model to better reward contributors of premium content"

Either the person who wrote that is incredibly naive or they're hoping that everyone who reads it is.

I'm guessing this will change over 95% of contributors commissions for the worse, and that not one single "premium content" contributor will be better rewarded.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 07, 2010, 18:28
For me it's basically a drop from 40% as a silver exclusive to 25% or 30% with luck at the end of this year. I might cancel my exclusivity soon and go back with Shutterstock and Dreamstime. It will take myself around 3 hours to resubmit at SS and 20 minutes to reactivate all my files at Dreamstime... sigh
You get 40% as a silver exclusive. i thought you are just getting 30% as a silver exclusive.
It's what I calculated from the % sheet, I might be wrong I'm confused. I get 0.76$ out of a 1.56$ credit... that would even be 50%. All I know is I get 0.76$ for my lowest

Silver exclusives get 30%.

The credit's are $1.53 each. An exclusive XS is 2 credits, or $3.06. You get $.92 which comes out to 30%.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: borg on September 07, 2010, 18:30
Do you hear now a whisper with the wind...???
That Alamy is calling us to go... ;)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 07, 2010, 18:33
I'm guessing this will change over 95% of contributors commissions for the worse, and that not one single "premium content" contributor will be better rewarded.

It's worse than that. If there are only about 50 contributors who achieve the 30K sales per year needed to stay at 40% then they represent only 0.16% of the 30,0000 contributors. Therefore 99.84% of us will lose out.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 07, 2010, 18:35
I smell an IPO or possibly a "Pretty Woman" sell off coming... lots of partners have been gathered into the fold.

I googled it and can't find what a "Pretty Woman" sell off is.  ???

It probably means istock is being dressed up. Meaning do whatever it takes to increase financial performance and make istock look attractive to potential buyers, regardless of consequences.

It wouldn't matter if contributor relationships are permanently damaged. As long as it looks good when it sells is all that counts. If it blows up afterwards it doesn't matter. The sale is already completed. Kind of the same thing with selling a car that has problems. Clean and wax it, do your best to hide the problems, sell it at top dollar, and let the buyer deal with the problems that are sure to come up shortly after the sale.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jbarber873 on September 07, 2010, 18:36
MANY iStock exclusives are going to drop their exclusive status and flood other sites with images that use to only be available on iStock.
That was the first thing that crossed my mind. Imagine Sjlocke flooding SS and DT.  :-[
Istock was such a great place to keep them locked up while we regulars had some nice sales at SS.  :P

I totally agree with you. The only thing we can hope for is that the exclusives are given a bone- a slightly less onerous change that they can call a win. As others have said, this has happened before.
On the other hand, it's perfect timing for stockfresh. If they can take advantage of it.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jcpjr on September 07, 2010, 18:36
I smell an IPO or possibly a "Pretty Woman" sell off coming... lots of partners have been gathered into the fold.

I googled it and can't find what a "Pretty Woman" sell off is.  ???

Sorry Lisa. The movie "Pretty Woman" was about a tycoon (Richard Gere) who bought up companies in an appearance to make it look like he was trying to help them survive when in reality he would break them up and sell them off for huge profits.  
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: click_click on September 07, 2010, 18:37
I don't know how many phone lines IS customer support has but if only 1000 contributors would take turns calling 24/7 it will have an impact on sales or at least customer support performance for existing/future buyers. It hast to hurt so they would start to listen to us.

Making a category for a 45% royalty rate for non-existent contributors is just illusionary - what.

We need some leverage to make IS listen that this is bullcrap.

How dare they treat us like this?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: loop on September 07, 2010, 18:38
What happened today it is not a minor change. It's a turning point. Never thougth I would consider the idea of leaving exclusivity. Too early to say, it's difficult, but maybe there's is some backpedaling. For the moment, I'll wait.  For becoming independent; it would help being offered by other sites the possibility of swallowing all my portfolio at once.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: click_click on September 07, 2010, 18:38
I don't know how many phone lines IS customer support has but if only 1000 contributors would take turns calling 24/7 it will have an impact on sales or at least customer support performance for existing/future buyers. It hast to hurt so they would start to listen to us.

Making a category for a 45% royalty rate for non-existent contributors is just illusionary - what the *.

We need some leverage to make IS listen that this is bullcrap.

How dare they treat us like this?

Sorry for double post.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 07, 2010, 18:47


Sorry Lisa. The movie "Pretty Woman" was about a tycoon (Richard Gere) who bought up companies in an appearance to make it look like he was trying to help them survive when in reality he would break them up and sell them off for huge profits.  

Oh, I see.  Yes, that or an IPO does sound like exactly what's going on here.  

Thanks for explaining John.  I have seen PW a couple of times but for some reason Richard Gere made more of an impression than what his character did for a living ;)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jbarber873 on September 07, 2010, 18:56
I smell an IPO or possibly a "Pretty Woman" sell off coming... lots of partners have been gathered into the fold.

I googled it and can't find what a "Pretty Woman" sell off is.  ???

It probably means istock is being dressed up. Meaning do whatever it takes to increase financial performance and make istock look attractive to potential buyers, regardless of consequences.

It wouldn't matter if contributor relationships are permanently damaged. As long as it looks good when it sells is all that counts. If it blows up afterwards it doesn't matter. The sale is already completed. Kind of the same thing with selling a car that has problems. Clean and wax it, do your best to hide the problems, sell it at top dollar, and let the buyer deal with the problems that are sure to come up shortly after the sale.

exactly! If it's an IPO, the present owners get taken out and the new suckers- I mean shareholders -will have to deal with the mess. As they say "past performance is no guarantee of future results"
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on September 07, 2010, 19:14
The IPO thing is an interesting theory  but it could also be that Getty, as a whole, is just making less money. Way less money. I doubt they could sell the business for anything close to what was paid for it. It could be just their way of trying to maintain an money stream by taking it from their contributors, the ones least likely to effect their business. We'll know fairly soon if it is IPO.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ChasingMoments on September 07, 2010, 19:29
Still shocked...
My first though was "Darn, now all the exclusives are going to drop their exclusive status and flood other agencies"
Having sat on it for a while, my second though is "HAAH, AND THE BUYERS WILL FOLLOW TO OTHER AGENCIES AS WELL", which makes me feel better....
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 07, 2010, 19:32
I don't know what insults me more, the veiled attempt to hide what is an obvious commission cut or this statement:

''With that overriding objective, we wanted to produce a solution that:
- would not change most contributors' total compensation (except for the better)
- adjusts the model to better reward contributors of premium content"

Either the person who wrote that is incredibly naive or they're hoping that everyone who reads it is.

I'm guessing this will change over 95% of contributors commissions for the worse, and that not one single "premium content" contributor will be better rewarded.

I can see two explanations for this remark.  The first is that it's an outright lie and they think we're either stupid or sheep.  Or possibly both.

Okay, let's move on to the second explanation, that they really believe that total compensation for the majority of contributors won't go down.  Since it's clear that most contributor's royalty percentages will drop, that suggests they're planning to increase prices.  If they raise them enough, most contributors will earn a smaller percentage of a larger amount and will at least break even.  Of course, raising prices will likely decrease sales, so they have to find the sweet spot before they hit a point of diminishing returns.  The result is that Getty makes a lot more money, most contributors don't lose anything (except their anal virginity), and a few even make a little more.  But if they've calculated wrong, well, they may make a lot more but everybody else loses.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jcpjr on September 07, 2010, 19:34


Sorry Lisa. The movie "Pretty Woman" was about a tycoon (Richard Gere) who bought up companies in an appearance to make it look like he was trying to help them survive when in reality he would break them up and sell them off for huge profits.  

Oh, I see.  Yes, that or an IPO does sound like exactly what's going on here.  

Thanks for explaining John.  I have seen PW a couple of times but for some reason Richard Gere made more of an impression than what his character did for a living ;)

Although Richards character did see the light at the end, I don't expect the same here.

Concerning the thought that little money would be made selling off, there are lots of major corps out there that would snap at the idea of owning a share of this "new" business that's 5 years young give or take. We're talking millions of images....just my thinking on the matter.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Beach Bum on September 07, 2010, 19:38
All of this reminds me of why I love Shutterstock. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ichiro17 on September 07, 2010, 19:44
The IPO thing is an interesting theory  but it could also be that Getty, as a whole, is just making less money. Way less money. I doubt they could sell the business for anything close to what was paid for it. It could be just their way of trying to maintain an money stream by taking it from their contributors, the ones least likely to effect their business. We'll know fairly soon if it is IPO.

People, there's NO IPO coming soon.  If there is, its silly.  There's no money in the capital markets for anything at the moment, so an IPO will be a long ways away and will happen when they can get premium dollar - not for iStock, but for Getty as a whole.  iStock without Getty and vice versa isn't going to work

I think they are trying to drive off non-exclusives and keep exclusives (not sure how) and I'm borderline for a pay raise.  This isn't over yet, and its going to be interesting.  Yay for industry shakeup?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 07, 2010, 19:45
All of this reminds me of why I love Shutterstock. 

Don't kid yourself. You'll eventually need vaseline over there too.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: vonkara on September 07, 2010, 19:51
The agencies want to make money from the two ends. Now, either you pay fee's to get your images online like Getty, or they cut in the pourcentage.

From the billions images added, only a few sell a bunch now. I never heard the database space was that much expensive  ::)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Beach Bum on September 07, 2010, 19:53
All of this reminds me of why I love Shutterstock. 

Don't kid yourself. You'll eventually need vaseline over there too.

Well, they don't have a track record of screwing over contributors.  They keep it simple.  In the 4 1/2 years I've been there, there has never been a decrease in contributor's share.  There have been increases though.  I like it.  You could be right.  I don't know.  I just know about my past experience and it's been good. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 07, 2010, 19:55
All of this reminds me of why I love Shutterstock. 

Don't kid yourself. You'll eventually need vaseline over there too.

I prefer to hold out hope where Shutterstock is concerned.  They have always treated me with fairness, and if they find it necessary to adjust our arrangement, I'd expect them to handle it better than this.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jbarber873 on September 07, 2010, 20:00
The IPO thing is an interesting theory  but it could also be that Getty, as a whole, is just making less money. Way less money. I doubt they could sell the business for anything close to what was paid for it. It could be just their way of trying to maintain an money stream by taking it from their contributors, the ones least likely to effect their business. We'll know fairly soon if it is IPO.

People, there's NO IPO coming soon.  If there is, its silly.  There's no money in the capital markets for anything at the moment, so an IPO will be a long ways away and will happen when they can get premium dollar - not for iStock, but for Getty as a whole.  iStock without Getty and vice versa isn't going to work

I think they are trying to drive off non-exclusives and keep exclusives (not sure how) and I'm borderline for a pay raise.  This isn't over yet, and its going to be interesting.  Yay for industry shakeup?

When i brought up IPO, I meant Getty. They are currently owned by a private equity firm, and I think they can see the writing on the wall. The best move it can make is to squeeze profits for 6 months and make the earnings grow ( at the price of destroying the franchise). Microstock is the only growth in the whole space, and the value will never be better than now.
As for no money in the capital markets, it's quite the opposite- corporations have never had more money on the balance sheet than right now. Investors are getting 1% on treasuries. I think there will be a ton of deals getting done soon.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 07, 2010, 20:02
The IPO thing is an interesting theory  but it could also be that Getty, as a whole, is just making less money. Way less money. I doubt they could sell the business for anything close to what was paid for it. It could be just their way of trying to maintain an money stream by taking it from their contributors, the ones least likely to effect their business. We'll know fairly soon if it is IPO.


Getty sees Istock as a cash cow. Macro sales are way down, Istock sales are way up. If they can't get more buyers to Getty to buy at macro prices, then take macro priced images to Istock where the buyers already are.

This performance goal change will eventually position istock as a higher end site geared people who "get it" and consistently produce highly sellable images. I'm getting to be like a prophet with this stuff. I brought up this performance stuff months ago (http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/reaching-a-certain-level-!/msg153688/#msg153688)  

They will keep wringing the buyers and contributors until they see there's nothing else they can get. People are mad, but not even close to mad enough to make major changes. We have a lot more to go through before contributors take action on a big enough scale.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: picomatic on September 07, 2010, 20:07
 
1. They are now fat with content and its time  to grab as much cash as they can.
2. Buyers will know what's going on and they do care about the people who make the images rather than a website.
3. A new stock site will rise quickly with great stuff, the'll pay the talent fairly and justly and  buyers will flock to it.
4. Buyers will always follow the talents not greedy websites.  

You'all CHEER UP

and BYEstock !
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Kngkyle on September 07, 2010, 20:12
Another thing to keep in mind:
Quote
iStock will now set royalty levels annually. The levels are set based on overall iStock credit usage from the previous year.

So it might take 1,400,000 credits to qualify for 20% in 2011, but in 2012 they could very well raise it to 1,800,000 or whatever. Every year they can adjust the levels and I can only see that going one way...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: michaeldb on September 07, 2010, 20:17
All of this reminds me of why I love Shutterstock. 
All this reminds me of why I have always loved Dreamstime too. Achilles makes a conscious effort to create a level playing field for contributors new and old, the opposite of what IS has always done.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ichiro17 on September 07, 2010, 20:20
The IPO thing is an interesting theory  but it could also be that Getty, as a whole, is just making less money. Way less money. I doubt they could sell the business for anything close to what was paid for it. It could be just their way of trying to maintain an money stream by taking it from their contributors, the ones least likely to effect their business. We'll know fairly soon if it is IPO.

People, there's NO IPO coming soon.  If there is, its silly.  There's no money in the capital markets for anything at the moment, so an IPO will be a long ways away and will happen when they can get premium dollar - not for iStock, but for Getty as a whole.  iStock without Getty and vice versa isn't going to work

I think they are trying to drive off non-exclusives and keep exclusives (not sure how) and I'm borderline for a pay raise.  This isn't over yet, and its going to be interesting.  Yay for industry shakeup?

When i brought up IPO, I meant Getty. They are currently owned by a private equity firm, and I think they can see the writing on the wall. The best move it can make is to squeeze profits for 6 months and make the earnings grow ( at the price of destroying the franchise). Microstock is the only growth in the whole space, and the value will never be better than now.
As for no money in the capital markets, it's quite the opposite- corporations have never had more money on the balance sheet than right now. Investors are getting 1% on treasuries. I think there will be a ton of deals getting done soon.

Corporations don't buy stock, they are holding it for acquisitions.  That has nothing to do with IPOs.

The number of investment firms looking at stuff like this in a time of uncertainty is small - hence the few IPOs and startiving investment bankers.  Just saying, you can make it look pretty but no one has to buy you a drink just because you may look nice
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: shotupdave on September 07, 2010, 20:22
this has made a pretty good ripple in the pond, Got this on my FB page today

Fotolia ‎@sjlocke Our Non-Exclusives start at 25% with no reset. Just saying... :) microstock istockphoto istock
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ichiro17 on September 07, 2010, 20:25
I think Fotolia, as much as I hate them with a passion, is doing the right thing trying to steal all IS's exclusives.  Its a great thing to see
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jbarber873 on September 07, 2010, 20:26
The IPO thing is an interesting theory  but it could also be that Getty, as a whole, is just making less money. Way less money. I doubt they could sell the business for anything close to what was paid for it. It could be just their way of trying to maintain an money stream by taking it from their contributors, the ones least likely to effect their business. We'll know fairly soon if it is IPO.

People, there's NO IPO coming soon.  If there is, its silly.  There's no money in the capital markets for anything at the moment, so an IPO will be a long ways away and will happen when they can get premium dollar - not for iStock, but for Getty as a whole.  iStock without Getty and vice versa isn't going to work

I think they are trying to drive off non-exclusives and keep exclusives (not sure how) and I'm borderline for a pay raise.  This isn't over yet, and its going to be interesting.  Yay for industry shakeup?

When i brought up IPO, I meant Getty. They are currently owned by a private equity firm, and I think they can see the writing on the wall. The best move it can make is to squeeze profits for 6 months and make the earnings grow ( at the price of destroying the franchise). Microstock is the only growth in the whole space, and the value will never be better than now.
As for no money in the capital markets, it's quite the opposite- corporations have never had more money on the balance sheet than right now. Investors are getting 1% on treasuries. I think there will be a ton of deals getting done soon.

Corporations don't buy stock, they are holding it for acquisitions.  That has nothing to do with IPOs.

The number of investment firms looking at stuff like this in a time of uncertainty is small - hence the few IPOs and startiving investment bankers.  Just saying, you can make it look pretty but no one has to buy you a drink just because you may look nice

But they always DO buy me drinks!
As for the IPO, we'll see.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 07, 2010, 20:28
this has made a pretty good ripple in the pond, Got this on my FB page today

Fotolia ‎@sjlocke Our Non-Exclusives start at 25% with no reset. Just saying... :) microstock istockphoto istock

I know - funny stuff, eh? ;)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: adijr on September 07, 2010, 20:31
Forgive this question which not many people will care about, but as an exclusive with the smallest portfolio around, what happens to exclusives with less than 2,000 credits?

http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=861 (http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=861)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Talanis on September 07, 2010, 20:32
It really looks like they want to get rid of the non-exclusive contributors. For the exclusives, Vetta and Exc+ sales help a lot to get higher on the redeemed credit totals but for non-exclusive, with the lower credit pricing on photos, I can see that as almost impossible to get to the top tier. So droping the non-exclusive royalties to 15% (and they were already one of the lowest)? Looks clear to me that they want non-exclusive to either leave or turn exclusive (which I'm not sure many will do).

For me, as a low level exclusive (since 2 months), it doesn't change a thing. I'll stay at 25% next year and might get to 30% the next year but probably never go above that.

@adijr - the lowest commission for exclusives stays at 25%
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: adijr on September 07, 2010, 20:35
@adijr - the lowest commission for exclusives stays at 25%

Thanks alot for the answer! are you guessing this from what you've read, or did you see this somewhere specific? I'd like to give it a read and re-consider this whole exclusivity thing.

Thanks again!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 07, 2010, 20:35
this has made a pretty good ripple in the pond, Got this on my FB page today

Fotolia ‎@sjlocke Our Non-Exclusives start at 25% with no reset. Just saying... :) microstock istockphoto istock

I'd hold off on other micros while looking at other options.

I wonder what would happen if the top istock contributors (like may the top 100 that probably make up over 10-20% of istock's revenue) set up their own site with mostly exclusive content.

Like a Photoshelter virutal agency. Stay with istock. Start building a mix of RM and RF. Price it lower than Istock and Getty. Get 90%. Put some back into admin and marketing.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: FD on September 07, 2010, 20:39
0.76$ for my lowest
I get 0.19$ as my lowest XXXXXXS  ;D - Half of SS.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: w7lwi on September 07, 2010, 20:41
Anyone notice the usual iStock apologist's have been conspicuously absent from this discussion?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Talanis on September 07, 2010, 20:41
@adijr - the lowest commission for exclusives stays at 25%

Thanks alot for the answer! are you guessing this from what you've read, or did you see this somewhere specific? I'd like to give it a read and re-consider this whole exclusivity thing.

Thanks again!

Well, there is not commissions below 25% on the list so it's pretty safe to say that the lowest commision for exclusives is 25% ;)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: SNP on September 07, 2010, 20:45
why should they comment? they're being verbally abused ad nauseum. this program is a smart business move for Getty and for iStock. it hits contributors who aren't as productive harder than more productive contributors. the simplest solution is to produce more quality work. the idea is to increase the volume of buying and I'll take that any day over 5% here and there, which I lose and gain daily in exchange rate fluctuations anyways.

this definitely screws non-exclusives, and to those of you I have great respect for, it's a raw deal. but if I remove the emotion, you have not taken the risk exclusives have taken. I think assuming iStock is nose-diving is far from accurate. they will continue to lead and jumping ship just makes it better for those of us who don't.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: madelaide on September 07, 2010, 20:48
they will probably resume the old royalties or offer some improvement from this announcement, and people will be happy.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: michaeldb on September 07, 2010, 21:03
Anyone notice the usual iStock apologist's have been conspicuously absent from this discussion?
Looks like you managed to rouse one from the depths.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: goldenangel on September 07, 2010, 21:07
they will probably resume the old royalties or offer some improvement from this announcement, and people will be happy.
History repeats itself...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: azurelaroux on September 07, 2010, 21:11
It's more likely that the usual cheerleaders aren't talking because they are not being sparred from the pay cut either. It's hard to cheer for a lower percentage.

This will screw anybody who doesn't earn 1 million 400 thousand credits a year. At the current rate that is equivalent to 93,333 XL images. I don't know that even the top Diamond contributors sell that much in a year.

I never did like making the payment complicated like this. It's to easy for mistakes to be made and contributors have no way to know if they are actually getting paid what they are owed or not.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Digital66 on September 07, 2010, 21:36
I have read the announcement several times.  I'm shocked.

Is this a joke?   
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 07, 2010, 21:44
Posted this over there, thought I would share here as well:

So as to the 1.4 million credits, look at it from a money perspective. Lets say the average credit is between $0.75 and $1.50, this should be fairly reasonable and very generous if iStock was offering large corporations that low of a credit price compared to their standard prices.

If you aren't making iStock between $750,000 and $2,100,000 dollars per year, they aren't going to give you more than 40% ( $300K and $840K). How many exclusive contributors do you think are actually pulling in that kind of cash? How many non-exclusives?

If you want to make it back up to the 40% royalty level at 150,000 credits, you have to bring in between $112,500 and $225,000 of which you would get between $45K and $90K. How many contributors do you think can actually match that?



The average price per credit for my sales this year is $1.28 With that number, I would have to bring in $191,584.58 to meet 40% which would net me $76,663.83. If I was two or three credits shy, and only brought in $191,580 , I would only get $67,054.60 at 35%. That is an extra $9,609.23 in iStock's pocket if I miss the target by a few credits (assuming I manage to match the sales again the following year).

To even get to 35% for next year (where I am currently), I will have had to bring in $51,200 by the end of this year, of which I would get to keep $17,920
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: SNP on September 07, 2010, 21:47
reading the announcement, doing the math....and then reading through the monster thread, the only thing I know for sure is that only a few people in there actually understand the announcement. same goes in here, the basic math skills of microstock contributors in general are sorely lacking...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Kngkyle on September 07, 2010, 21:53
reading the announcement, doing the math....and then reading through the monster thread, the only thing I know for sure is that only a few people in there actually understand the announcement. same goes in here, the basic math skills of microstock contributors in general are sorely lacking...

So you are somehow reading this differently than virtually everyone else? Care to enlighten us all?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: SNP on September 07, 2010, 21:55
no, I don't. though again, I do feel for non-exclusives, they are bearing the brunt of this and the past three or four major upheavals.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 07, 2010, 22:02
no, I don't. though again, I do feel for non-exclusives, they are bearing the brunt of this and the past three or four major upheavals.

Uhh, I'm pretty sure everyone is affected by this. I'm exlusive and was supposed to go from 30% commission to 35% by the end of the year. That is no longer happening.

Maybe you can use some of your superior math skills and explain to all of us who are lacking math skills the calculations of my situation.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 07, 2010, 22:17
So I was expecting to make it to diamond and 40% by the end of the year or early next year.  Now I will only receive 30% under this new plan.  That is a difference of 10 percentage points, but in terms of real money, 30 is 75% of 40.  So I will be making 25% less than I was expecting to make next year, and 14.3% less than I am actually making this year.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: asiseeit on September 07, 2010, 22:20
Non-exclusives will definitely be hurt by this. But with a 1-5% drop on just one their selling avenues. Middle of the road exclusives though seem to be hurt the most. Many are saying they'll be dropping 5%. Thankfully mine is staying the same, but that 1.4million mark seems next to impossible.
On the other hand, I as well think we will hear a second announcement later this week with a compromise of some kind. Probably a lowering of the targets for next year or some kind of 1-year royalty lock-in rate.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ComfortEagle2095 on September 07, 2010, 22:33
A lot has been said about the top exclusives not being able to make the cut to get the highest royalty rate and maybe they'll drop their crowns.

But I wonder, do they really get the same deal everybody else gets?  I wouldn't be surprised if the biggest players with the most profitable portfolios don't negotiate secret sweetheart deals so that IS can continue to lock up their portfolios.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: donding on September 07, 2010, 22:35
They will come in and butter it up and then everyone will be relieved and happy, The point is they are STILL giving us a PAY CUT. This sounds so much like Fotolia....remember them? Everyone was going to pull their ports or stop uploading. The question is how many actual did it?? Don't make idol threats....those have been made over and over at other sites as well as iStock, but it always turns out the same and they know it. Everything dies down and everyone forgets about it until it happens again and again and then the threats start again but how many actually do what they say they are going to do?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 07, 2010, 22:36
But I wonder, do they really get the same deal everybody else gets?  I wouldn't be surprised if the biggest players with the most profitable portfolios don't negotiate secret sweetheart deals so that IS can continue to lock up their portfolios.

Sean has said repeatedly that he doesn't have a sweetheart deal.  If he doesn't, nobody is likely to.   And I believe him.  

I am constantly hearing rumours about sweetheart deals from this site or that one.  Never seen any evidence.  Maybe those with inside info can let me know how to get something like that going....?  ;)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on September 07, 2010, 22:38
Non-exclusives will definitely be hurt by this. But with a 1-5% drop on just one their selling avenues. Middle of the road exclusives though seem to be hurt the most. Many are saying they'll be dropping 5%. Thankfully mine is staying the same, but that 1.4million mark seems next to impossible.
On the other hand, I as well think we will hear a second announcement later this week with a compromise of some kind. Probably a lowering of the targets for next year or some kind of 1-year royalty lock-in rate.

Just to clarify a simple math principle, when  you go from 20% to 15 % you do not lose 5% you lose 25%. That is one quarter not one twentieth.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jamirae on September 07, 2010, 22:39
So I was expecting to make it to diamond and 40% by the end of the year or early next year.  Now I will only receive 30% under this new plan.  That is a difference of 10 percentage points, but in terms of real money, 30 is 75% of 40.  So I will be making 25% less than I was expecting to make next year, and 14.3% less than I am actually making this year.

I am in this same boat.  really excited to be so close to that diamond level and now what's the point?  this sucks.. big time.  

I've not contributed in this forum or been here since I created an account months ago. but after today's announcment I decided I needed to get myself out and see what's going on in the rest of the microstock world.  yea, I started at iStock in 2004 and have too much going on to work with multiple sites and istock always treated me well so I stayed there all "fat and happy" - until the last year with the price increases, the big canister level shift scare (then the 'grandfather' in to compromise for us loyals) and now this BS.   Yep, I was an istock cheerleader, but now I will most likely be an independent come January when this takes effect.  I really don't see them backing off of this.  I have seen the writing on the wall, so to speak, and it's getting clearer and clearer.

so... what is there a thread around here that can give advice on becoming independent?  :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: KB on September 07, 2010, 22:40
Non-exclusives will definitely be hurt by this. But with a 1-5% drop on just one their selling avenues.
This sounds less harsh than it really is. For non-exclusives, they will be seeing as much as a 20% (oops! 25%) drop in commissions.  

I recently (sadly) became an iStock photo exclusive, but I can now look forward to seeing a 16% cut in my commissions in 2011.  >:(
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: KB on September 07, 2010, 22:42
Non-exclusives will definitely be hurt by this. But with a 1-5% drop on just one their selling avenues. Middle of the road exclusives though seem to be hurt the most. Many are saying they'll be dropping 5%. Thankfully mine is staying the same, but that 1.4million mark seems next to impossible.
On the other hand, I as well think we will hear a second announcement later this week with a compromise of some kind. Probably a lowering of the targets for next year or some kind of 1-year royalty lock-in rate.

Just to clarify a simple math principle, when  you go from 20% to 15 % you do not lose 5% you lose 25%. That is one quarter not one twentieth.
Ha! I didn't think I was one of the math challenged. Next time, I'm going to have to use my calculator.  ;D
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 07, 2010, 22:53
Everyone was going to pull their ports or stop uploading. The question is how many actual did it??

I did, I dropped FT long before I went back exclusive with iStock.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: djpadavona on September 07, 2010, 22:56
Everyone was going to pull their ports or stop uploading. The question is how many actual did it??

I did, I dropped FT long before I went back exclusive with iStock.

As did I.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: RacePhoto on September 07, 2010, 23:00
Non-exclusives will definitely be hurt by this. But with a 1-5% drop on just one their selling avenues. Middle of the road exclusives though seem to be hurt the most. Many are saying they'll be dropping 5%. Thankfully mine is staying the same, but that 1.4million mark seems next to impossible.
On the other hand, I as well think we will hear a second announcement later this week with a compromise of some kind. Probably a lowering of the targets for next year or some kind of 1-year royalty lock-in rate.

Just to clarify a simple math principle, when  you go from 20% to 15 % you do not lose 5% you lose 25%. That is one quarter not one twentieth.

Yes you lose a flat 5% but you also lose 25% of the commission. Thanks for making it more confusing for the math challenged.

This is like people with BME and averaging DPI when some images never get a download and never will, like they have some factor in the actual sales. If those dogs never existed, the DPI would go up or is it RPI, or some other fictional nonsense number. All that counts is bottom line and dollars, not statistics. Want a much better DPI, RPI or whatever, just delete 100 duplicates or similars that will never sell. Wow, that's impressive.

Anyway... I read the whole thing and saw the Premium collection, which is actually attractive, possibly? I'm not an exclusive so I don't know who's getting a worse deal. The whole new improved program that they claim will be an improvement, is terribly confusing and convoluted. I'm too small for it to make much difference, but bigger contributors and people who depend on this income, aren't going to be pleased waiting a year to see if it's really the same, better or worse. A year?  >:(

Donding: "Everyone was going to pull their ports or stop uploading. The question is how many actual did it??"
I did, but I also dropped Dreamstime, Panther, Featurepics and 123RF for their own failures to meet my expectations.

Still very happy with SS and IS. I have also said for years now, if SS offered me something to be an exclusive, I would do it.  :)

I may print and read the changes again, but in the end, trying to understand what they are claiming and what's real, won't change it, so I'll just ride the wave and see where I end in 2012 with IS.

Most of all, this is going to be fun to watch!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dnavarrojr on September 07, 2010, 23:03
...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: KB on September 07, 2010, 23:16
Just to clarify a simple math principle, when  you go from 20% to 15 % you do not lose 5% you lose 25%. That is one quarter not one twentieth.

Yes you lose a flat 5% but you also lose 25% of the commission. Thanks for making it more confusing for the math challenged.

At the risk of making another math error ....

It's really quite simple. If you make, say, $2000 (a week / month / year) from iStock in 2010 and sell the same amount in 2011, you'll make 75% of that -- $1500.

I think most people would see a cut from $2000 to $1500 as being pretty significant. 5% may not sound too bad, but in reality, it is.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: SNP on September 07, 2010, 23:19
I don't believe anyone threatening to drop exclusivity will do it. the cost would be far greater to the contributor. and to what end? I was supposed to hit diamond this year, so I'm losing the added income in theory. my level is not dropping, I should have the 40K redeemed credits top maintain 35% royalties, but I won't get 40% for hitting diamond. I see potential for increased business. I'll take in volume what I'm losing in percentage to a certain point. I also think the marketing value of attracting more traditional pros is being overlooked. someone posted earlier that the invitation is ironic, but it's not in fact. the Agency Collection will be priced like traditional RM and RF imagery. they're just putting it all under one umbrella and bringing that traffic to iStock. why is that bad? it's already for sale elsewhere.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dnavarrojr on September 07, 2010, 23:21
I don't believe anyone threatening to drop exclusivity will do it.

Nobody?  Not one person?  Really?!?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: SNP on September 07, 2010, 23:37
if they do, more for other exclusives. but, stupid move IMO. people are still in there explaining CURRENT royalty structures to one another. how can you get mad about something you don't even understand?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: asiseeit on September 07, 2010, 23:38
Non-exclusives will definitely be hurt by this. But with a 1-5% drop on just one their selling avenues.
This sounds less harsh than it really is. For non-exclusives, they will be seeing as much as a 20% (oops! 25%) drop in commissions.  

I recently (sadly) became an iStock photo exclusive, but I can now look forward to seeing a 16% cut in my commissions in 2011.  >:(

I realize it is much more than an effective 5% drop in money, but for non-exclusives iStock makes up a smaller percent of their money. A 20% drop in part of one's income is much less than a 20% drop in all of one's income. So for example, if iStock makes up 25% of your income, only 25% of your income is privy to the 20% drop. And also to be honest, those that don't sell 2000 credits (about 40 dls a month if I figured it right) in a year are either just beginning or not really contributing much stock right? So most serious non-Exs will be in the 16%-18% range right? My only point really is that curiously, middle-of-the-road (Gold or low Diamond) exclusives look to be hurt quite a bit unless the facts change this week. A strange move to hurt many exclusives so much.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 07, 2010, 23:41
iStock was 40-45% of my three agency income prior to going exclusive again.  I went exclusive again to lock in the diamond level royalties of 40%.  That made it justifiable in the long term.  They locked us into the cannisters, and gave people until August to switch and still keep their lock-in, now in September they say, 'Ha Ha, Fooled You.  Cannisters mean nothing now'.  So yeah, exclusives will drop.  In fact, as non-exclusive would mean only 16% or 17% royalties for a lot of people, some are discussing removing their portfolio entirely on ethical grounds.  After all, no images at iStock likely means more sales at the other, more-affordable-than-iStock sites.  I know several designers who were priced out of iStock at the start of the year and only shop other sites now.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: pancaketom on September 07, 2010, 23:42
I can't really see any good in this for most of us. It is a bit of a Fotolia move really. Quite a kick in the teeth, BOHICA sort of thing. I too expect after a week or more they will make it just slightly more palatable, at least for exclusives, and they will breathe a sigh of relief, and Getty will continue to milk the IS cash cow dry.

15% that is pathetic.  That means if you make $1,500 on there in a year, Getty has pocketed $8.500 at the same time - and I thought 20% was poor.

I really hope that this comes along with a massive price increase and the buyers go somewhere we get a better shake.

On a happier note, I had my BDE at SS today.

--=Tom
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: travelstock on September 07, 2010, 23:53
This is bad news for everyone, though probably worse news for exclusives than non-exclusives. I suspect the reason you don't see too much comment from the exclusives here is because they're busy reading the 77 page thread on Istock.

On the current structure I'd be looking at dropping back to 30% from 35% - ie. a 16% drop on my whole income, as opposed to from 20 to 17% on 30% of my income, with no real prospect of ever making it to the 40% rate. Obviously this doesn't take into account the effect of the extra competition of adding another collection to the search.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 08, 2010, 00:02
Yeah, no one is going to really know what is going to happen until they drop those other collections into the iStock main catalog best match sort.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: RacePhoto on September 08, 2010, 00:07
I wasn't disagreeing or detracting, just pointing out that yes it's only 5% and yes, it's represents a 25% cut in income!

Just to clarify a simple math principle, when  you go from 20% to 15 % you do not lose 5% you lose 25%. That is one quarter not one twentieth.

Yes you lose a flat 5% but you also lose 25% of the commission. Thanks for making it more confusing for the math challenged.

At the risk of making another math error ....

It's really quite simple. If you make, say, $2000 (a week / month / year) from iStock in 2010 and sell the same amount in 2011, you'll make 75% of that -- $1500.

I think most people would see a cut from $2000 to $1500 as being pretty significant. 5% may not sound too bad, but in reality, it is.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Digital66 on September 08, 2010, 00:09
An idea suggested by Vasko  http://www.istockphoto.com/Vasko (http://www.istockphoto.com/Vasko)

--------------------------------------------------------------------
iStock Contributer against Proposed Changes Royalty Changes.

Everyone who wants to protest the proposed changes grab this image and set it as your avatars. Let's unite and express our concerns. The contributers have the power here. If we all decided to move our portfolios to another agency iStock would suffer. iStock is nothing without its contributers and we should voice our opinions together. I know it's not much But at least it's something.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaskophoto/4970229742/# (http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaskophoto/4970229742/#)
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: SNP on September 08, 2010, 00:22
^ not again.....if you're that serious, just dump your crown and be gone. talk all you want, but put your money where your mouth is.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Kngkyle on September 08, 2010, 00:29
As a month long IS exclusive, I think I'm going to see just what effect these changes will have before I dump the crown. What matters most to me is the bottom line. If these changes decrease my overall earnings to the point where I think I would make enough as an independent to justify re-uploading to a bunch of sites then that is what I will do.

With that being said, I'm certainly not happy, and do regret my decision of going exclusive.

I'm just a small fry though so what I do is rather meaningless.  :-\
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: SNP on September 08, 2010, 00:37
I wouldn't say your opinion is meaningless at all. in fact, your strategy is precisely what most of us should be doing. waiting it out and seeing what happens is a pretty sound approach. I believe even with the changes that being exclusive is still where it's at, I think there's going to be more business heading towards iStock and that leaving would be a big big risk.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Phil on September 08, 2010, 00:41
So the company that makes record profits in the middle of a financial depression has to cut the commissions and try and wrap it all nice.

150k = 19%, 1.4 Million for 20% thats one hell of a jump.

personally 25K credits so I drop to 17%

Andresr has 10x the downloads that I do and while he would growing faster etc so I would guess he is in the 300-400k credits area so 19% and not even halfway to 1.4M. Wonder if yuri is getting that many?

I wonder how many exclusives will actually give up the crown? My guess is it will be 4 :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Digital66 on September 08, 2010, 00:45
^ not again.....if you're that serious, just dump your crown and be gone. talk all you want, but put your money where your mouth is.

It's not that simple.  And the plan does not affect only exclusives, it affects everyone.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: SNP on September 08, 2010, 00:53
it is that simple. I think I've already acknowledged that this most instantly affects non-exclusives....and we exclusives over time. but there will be increased traffic, that's one of the main motivations for the Agency Collection at least....our number of sales could go up too.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Phil on September 08, 2010, 01:04
I think Fotolia, as much as I hate them with a passion, is doing the right thing trying to steal all IS's exclusives.  Its a great thing to see

cant say I blame them, I'd be personally emailing anyone gold or above, match your cannister, instant upload with 100% approval and I'd even put a staff member on clicking through categories, I'd be "hey I can have your whole portfolio up in 2-3 days"  :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lagereek on September 08, 2010, 01:04
So now canister levels are meaningless.  This is a real kick in the teeth to the exclusives who helped build the business, but maybe haven't had as much time to keep up their portfolios in the past year.

I am BD on istock and I don't bring in anything close to the 1,400,000 credits per year that would be necessary to keep the measly 20%.  I wonder if even Yuri or Andres sells that much on istock alone?  They have affectively made the top rate just for show hardly anyone will actually get it.

For exclusives this seems just devastating.  For independents it is a DANGEROUS precedent.  I don't think we can just sit back and eat this one or we will find ourselves facing the same from the other sites.  

Personally, I think it would be a good idea for EVERYONE who doesn't like these changes to stop uploading to IS completely until our concerns are addressed.  These numbers need to at least be attainable and not pulled from the realm of fantasy.  


Lisa!

Remember what I said few years back when Getty took over?  how they operate etc?  well if this isnt proof in the pudding, I dont know what is. Its down out shameful and should really be beneath their dignity.
Maybe its time to pull out and start concentrating on ethical issues and fair play, rather then the same old monies.

best.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 08, 2010, 01:05
Um, except any increased traffic is offset by exclusives images dropping in the best match results due to a flood of new 'high quality' images.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: macrosaur on September 08, 2010, 01:06
BWAHAHAHA !!!!!!

how many times i told you that micros will end up like this .... now enjoy your 15% entry-level payout ... you better move to Shutterstock and the rest of the gang ... as long as they don't follow istock's "grand strategy" to squeeze photogs even more.

beside, the only good thing was Vetta and now they pay only 20% ...

i'm laughing my ass off !
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lagereek on September 08, 2010, 01:07
I think Fotolia, as much as I hate them with a passion, is doing the right thing trying to steal all IS's exclusives.  Its a great thing to see

cant say I blame them, I'd be personally emailing anyone gold or above, match your cannister, instant upload with 100% approval and I'd even put a staff member on clicking through categories, I'd be "hey I can have your whole portfolio up in 2-3 days"  :)

FT, is in my books the fastest rising agency, they are hard but fair and thats good enough for me and the FT revenues seems to be rising all the time. Great agency!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lagereek on September 08, 2010, 01:09
Um, except any increased traffic is offset by exclusives images dropping in the best match results due to a flood of new 'high quality' images.

Crap!!  what new high quality images??  you mean the same old isolations on whites or the young business man?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: djpadavona on September 08, 2010, 01:48
exactly! If it's an IPO, the present owners get taken out and the new suckers- I mean shareholders -will have to deal with the mess. As they say "past performance is no guarantee of future results"

Well said.  I wonder if the buyers of iStock realize past results were achieved with several huge exclusives who will no longer be there?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 08, 2010, 01:54
Um, except any increased traffic is offset by exclusives images dropping in the best match results due to a flood of new 'high quality' images.

Crap!!  what new high quality images??  you mean the same old isolations on whites or the young business man?

No, I mean the Getty collections they are dumping into iStock search pool.  You know, older, middle aged business guys who actually look like managers, isolated images that actually contain clipping paths, released crowd scenes, etc.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Danicek on September 08, 2010, 02:09
All of this reminds me of why I love Shutterstock. 
All this reminds me of why I have always loved Dreamstime too. Achilles makes a conscious effort to create a level playing field for contributors new and old, the opposite of what IS has always done.

Agree (while there could have been some weaker spots).

However far more importantly - this moves make it very difficult for the fairer sites to survive and compete. Their fairer (to contributors) strategy means they have less (and probably far less) money to use to grab market share.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: TheDman on September 08, 2010, 02:17
It's all about the designers, and if you guys really want to make a statement, it's going to have to be with buyers. Frankly, istock probably doesn't care if a few people delete their portfolios or stop uploading. If they are going to feel any impact from this, it'll have to come from buyers. If you're a designer and purchase stock images, look elsewhere from now on. If you know people who buy from istock, let them know what's going on and that they could actually save money AND support artists by taking their business elsewhere.

Already done! I'm not just a contributor but as of this year a rather large subscription buyer (240 credits/day!) and I'm sure I'll look elsewhere now to make my next large purchases.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Danicek on September 08, 2010, 02:20
I don't believe anyone threatening to drop exclusivity will do it. the cost would be far greater to the contributor.

You are not considering the option that other major players could offer the big (diamond) exclusive special deals. FT openly talked about this months ago and is actively promoting their willingness to "take care of" people now.

So if such a big player with worthwhile portfolio calls them, it is quite possible they will just put their portfolio up in one step, give them reasonable level and ensure their images are properly ranked.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: iclick on September 08, 2010, 02:29
people are still in there explaining CURRENT royalty structures to one another. how can you get mad about something you don't even understand?

LOL stil trying to work out my loss, but one thing for sure it will be significant as my numbers thus far are almost 40% down on last year

Once upon a time like many Independents IS was my biggest earner but it has been going backwards for some time now despite what, when and how often I upload. Take only this month so far as an example,  SS is triple in $ the amount at IS with Dreamstime and Fotolia not far behind that is a huge dip. Very convenient also dont you think that many are seeing a loss in numbers then this ridiculous insult comes along to rub salt into the wound.

The writing was always on the wall since the Getty takeover, but this is simply to Brutal!

I for one will be taking action in my own small way as it would seem the words and the well being of its Contributers now count for very little and this sort of unacceptable treatment of those who have made IS what it is today will continue as long as they feel they can get away with it. I really do feel that they have gone to far this time

Of course if the past is anything to go by now that this Bombshell has been dropped they will come along with a little sweetener  ;)

All I can say it better be a huge Candy Store!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Microbius on September 08, 2010, 03:00
Someone needs to set up a site that's run along the lines of John Lewis in the UK. Contributors would get a percentage but also be the shareholders. Profits would be split at the end of each year as a bonus for each contributor proportional to how much they have made for the site over that year

"owned in trust for the benefit of its members, who are Partners from the day they join"
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: rubyroo on September 08, 2010, 03:08
Yes, the John Lewis idea would be fab.  Not sure how the Co-Op (shop chain) works - is it along the same lines?  I was surprised when the Co-Op recently bought up the well-established Somerfield chain, which presumably had the more traditional business set-up.   I hadn't realised before then that a co-operative style of business could overtake a (for want of a better term) purely capitalist enterprise.  Presumably they outbid a few traditional rivals in the process too.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dirkr on September 08, 2010, 03:20


Already done! I'm not just a contributor but as of this year a rather large subscription buyer (240 credits/day!) and I'm sure I'll look elsewhere now to make my next large purchases.

Make sure you let IS sales people know about that move and why you are doing it...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: diego_cervo on September 08, 2010, 03:31


Of course if the past is anything to go by now that this Bombshell has been dropped they will come along with a little sweetener  ;)

All I can say it better be a huge Candy Store!

maybe yes, but what about 2012? and 2013?  ??? How will the redeemed credit structure be changed in the years to come?

I wonder why we (and I mean all people here, big players included) don't seriously consider to stop uploading and let istock know it really well!
I know that it has been suggested dozens of times but I'm with istock since late 2005 and I never saw an announcement worst than this one!
What else we should tolerate then?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: pixelmemoirs on September 08, 2010, 03:33


Already done! I'm not just a contributor but as of this year a rather large subscription buyer (240 credits/day!) and I'm sure I'll look elsewhere now to make my next large purchases.

Make sure you let IS sales people know about that move and why you are doing it...


thank you!  ;D

I just wish the industry could be regulated by a governing body or something to stop all this unfairness to contributors.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: pixelmemoirs on September 08, 2010, 03:36
I will not accept 15% royalty rate. I will stop uploading to Istock and probably delete all my images.
This is too much..


I got a couple of more dollars to go to hit payout then Im out of there too stuff them!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sharpshot on September 08, 2010, 03:56
I don't like unions, never used one but I do think we could get behind the sites that pay a decent commission and have reasonable prices for the buyers.  If the vast majority of contributors and buyers abandoned sites that pay low commissions, we would all be better off.  Why is that so difficult?  I really find it hard to understand why we can't get together contributors and buyers to improve microstock for all of us.

This isn't like some other industries where the contributors have no power and have to put up with being treated unfairly, it's easy to buy and sell images and I don't see why it should cost more now than a few years ago when the costs of running a site and marketing were higher.

All we need to do is select the sites that are fair to contributors and buyers and only use them.  If the other sites want our business, they can make changes.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: rubyroo on September 08, 2010, 04:00
I think there would be real poetic justice if contributors went all out to support Stockfresh and enabled them to triumph after what Getty did to the remains of StockXpert.  I believe they're paying 50% commission.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dirkr on September 08, 2010, 04:05
I think there would be real poetic justice if contributors went all out to support Stockfresh and enabled them to triumph after what Getty did to the remains of StockXpert.  I believe they're paying 50% commission.

I'd love to do that. But I'm waiting for my application to be approved since several months now... :-[
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: borg on September 08, 2010, 04:07
Its very easy to me!

I'll see what will happen till end of this year...

Then I will decide... 85% of price is too much for any brokerage commission of agency type of work ...
So, there is a lot of other like Alamy where I  can get 60%, they deserve our intention...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: macrosaur on September 08, 2010, 04:26
hahahaha ! hohohoho !! bwahahahahaha !!

i'm reading the +80 pages rants in the IS forum ... i think it will take a few hours but it's so funny i can't stop....

but what keeps surprising me is how many deluded contributors are out there, talking of BS and buzzwords
like "comunity" and yadda yadda ...

IS is a company, and worst of all it's owned by Getty ... their task is only one : making profits, and lot of them,
no matter if this means squeezing the balls of their photographers, they've so many of them they're probably glad
to see some of them leaving in droves for greener pastures.

community, canisters, gold, diamond, etc ... it's all rubbbish ... go to Flickr if you want this stuff.

the only thing a serious agency must do is provide the CLIENTS and make sales !

it's not facebook or myspace, it's a focking agency ... why crying and venting and ranting over and over ?

15% of a sale .. good deal ... at least for Getty :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: microstockphoto.co.uk on September 08, 2010, 04:28
I think there would be real poetic justice if contributors went all out to support Stockfresh and enabled them to triumph after what Getty did to the remains of StockXpert.  I believe they're paying 50% commission.

If they only allowed me inside... I'm still waiting after three months. This would be a very good time to start uploading there, with a lot of motivation.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: rubyroo on September 08, 2010, 04:32
Ah yes... fair point.  Perhaps this event will speed them up once they realise this is their golden opportunity for a bit of karma.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: diego_cervo on September 08, 2010, 04:39
I don't like unions, never used one but I do think we could get behind the sites that pay a decent commission and have reasonable prices for the buyers.  If the vast majority of contributors and buyers abandoned sites that pay low commissions, we would all be better off.  Why is that so difficult?  I really find it hard to understand why we can't get together contributors and buyers to improve microstock for all of us.

This isn't like some other industries where the contributors have no power and have to put up with being treated unfairly, it's easy to buy and sell images and I don't see why it should cost more now than a few years ago when the costs of running a site and marketing were higher.

All we need to do is select the sites that are fair to contributors and buyers and only use them.  If the other sites want our business, they can make changes.

I don't like unions too and you are right when you say that contributors have power, but I think that abandoning istock should be the last move.
Most of us (if not all) will be damaged by this new istock's policy and I think it will be easier to convince a large number of people to stop uploading this time. Can it be worthy to try to negotiate something better before saying goodbye to istock and go elsewhere?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 08, 2010, 04:40
this definitely screws non-exclusives, and to those of you I have great respect for, it's a raw deal. but if I remove the emotion, you have not taken the risk exclusives have taken. I think assuming iStock is nose-diving is far from accurate. they will continue to lead and jumping ship just makes it better for those of us who don't.
Actually this hits most exclusives far harder than independents. If like me and many others you are at diamond level and say comfortably between the 40-150K redeemed credits here's how the numbers work out;

Exclusive drops from 40% to 35% __ a reduction of 12.5% of total income.

Independent drops from 20% to 18% or 10% of Istock income. However being as Istock is probably only about 35% of total income the actual reduction in total income will be about 3.5%.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: diego_cervo on September 08, 2010, 04:51

Actually this hits most exclusives far harder than independents. If like me and many others you are at diamond level and say comfortably between the 40-150K redeemed credits here's how the numbers work out;

Exclusive drops from 40% to 35% __ a reduction of 12.5% of total income.

Independent drops from 20% to 18% or 10% of Istock income. However being as Istock is probably only about 35% of total income the actual reduction in total income will be about 3.5%.

Right. If they are squeezing us even though their business is going well, what would they do if they loose market share?? Ask for a blood donation from us??
We allowed FT to cut royalties a few months ago, now istock is doing the same.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: travelstock on September 08, 2010, 04:52
hahahaha ! hohohoho !! bwahahahahaha !!

i'm reading the +80 pages rants in the IS forum ... i think it will take a few hours but it's so funny i can't stop....

but what keeps surprising me is how many deluded contributors are out there, talking of BS and buzzwords
like "comunity" and yadda yadda ...

IS is a company, and worst of all it's owned by Getty ... their task is only one : making profits, and lot of them,
no matter if this means squeezing the balls of their photographers, they've so many of them they're probably glad
to see some of them leaving in droves for greener pastures.

community, canisters, gold, diamond, etc ... it's all rubbbish ... go to Flickr if you want this stuff.

the only thing a serious agency must do is provide the CLIENTS and make sales !

it's not facebook or myspace, it's a focking agency ... why crying and venting and ranting over and over ?

15% of a sale .. good deal ... at least for Getty :)

One of the reasons why IS is actually successfull is because it has a community that supports it. In the crowd-sourcing game its still one of the key ingredients for success. Up until now, IS has been the best at playing the community game. The big question will be whether this move is enough to break the model and drive away contributors and traffic, or whether it will just annoy a lot of people but ultimately not change anything, except getty's bottom line.

Unlike similar moves from other sites, there don't seem to me any winners out of this one, and its the biggest contributors that have the most to loose. Some diamonds would drop from 40% commissions to 30%. That's a pretty bitter pill to swallow and I'm sure will remove a fair bit of goodwill.

Either way today is a day for a lot of "I told you so"s. Unfortunately I'm on the wrong side of those at the moment.  
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: qwerty on September 08, 2010, 04:54
I've stopped up loading to Istock unless they fix this mess.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: alias on September 08, 2010, 04:58
Exclusives and non exclusives are equally independent. The best way of maintaining a portable portfolio is to manage your collection right. Especially keywords. Keyword generically & in detail ahead of specifically keywording for any particular site. You want to be able to quickly upload to a new site or destination if you choose to. And you want the keywords, descriptions etc to be in the IPTC data. Even exclusives.

I am 100% certain that dissatisfaction with the latest Getty announcement brings closer viable new investment which will ultimately undermine the value of IS as a business. Irrespective of the royalty numbers, the manner of the announcement undermines trust. Nearly everyone who contributes to IS would quickly move somewhere else immediately given a better offer. Getty bought a community. That was what crowd-sourcing was all about. That was why IS was such a thing. That is still where the next opportunity lies.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: rubyroo on September 08, 2010, 05:01
Yes, me too.  No more uploads.

Although I've always thought exclusivity with any agency was a bad idea... unlike Macrasaur I feel a huge empathy for these people who have worked so hard for so long, only to have the rug pulled from under them.  I think most of us know to expect such things in business, but I don't think it warrants all that gloating and laughing.  Just because the world is as it is, it doesn't mean people are wrong to hope for something better.  If no-one had ever had a bit of faith in a dream, history would tell a very different story in terms of human progress.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 08, 2010, 05:03
I've stopped up loading to Istock unless they fix this mess.

I've stopped uploading to Istock too. There will probably be some minor retraction from this announcement, maybe an adjustment to the redeemed credit levels, but it won't be enough. I may never upload another image to Istock again.

Istock have proved themselves to be outrageously greedy corporate bast*rds and I hope that enough of us will react appropriately to seriously impact their bottom-line long-term.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sharpshot on September 08, 2010, 05:04
I don't like unions, never used one but I do think we could get behind the sites that pay a decent commission and have reasonable prices for the buyers.  If the vast majority of contributors and buyers abandoned sites that pay low commissions, we would all be better off.  Why is that so difficult?  I really find it hard to understand why we can't get together contributors and buyers to improve microstock for all of us.

This isn't like some other industries where the contributors have no power and have to put up with being treated unfairly, it's easy to buy and sell images and I don't see why it should cost more now than a few years ago when the costs of running a site and marketing were higher.

All we need to do is select the sites that are fair to contributors and buyers and only use them.  If the other sites want our business, they can make changes.

I don't like unions too and you are right when you say that contributors have power, but I think that abandoning istock should be the last move.
Most of us (if not all) will be damaged by this new istock's policy and I think it will be easier to convince a large number of people to stop uploading this time. Can it be worthy to try to negotiate something better before saying goodbye to istock and go elsewhere?
It looks like the commission cut comes in January 2011, I wont start deleting my portfolio before then but unless they go back to paying me 20% and start improving my sales, they have left me no option.  I don't think they will reverse this decision, as they stuck to the $0.25 subs commissions with thinkstock.  I'm not interested in a site that wants to improve their earnings by taking more of the little bit they pay me.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: travelstock on September 08, 2010, 05:06
Exclusives and non exclusives are equally independent. The best way of maintaining a portable portfolio is to manage your collection right. Especially keywords. Keyword generically & in detail ahead of specifically keywording for any particular site. You want to be able to quickly upload to a new site or destination if you choose to. And you want the keywords, descriptions etc to be in the IPTC data. Even exclusives.

I am 100% certain that dissatisfaction with the latest Getty announcement brings closer viable new investment which will ultimately undermine the value of IS as a business. Irrespective of the royalty numbers, the manner of the announcement undermines trust. Nearly everyone who contributes to IS would quickly move somewhere else immediately given a better offer. Getty bought a community. That was what crowd-sourcing was all about. That was why IS was such a thing. That is still where the next opportunity lies.

Reminds me of a quote that I heard from someone far better connected in the industry: "When you go exclusive, you put all your eggs in one basket, but at the end of the day you still have all your eggs to put wherever you like".

If any of us drops the crown, there are still alternatives available.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: XPTO on September 08, 2010, 05:08
The only way to scare the sh*t out of Getty and IS management is for non-exclusives to start a campaign globally targeting picture buyers. Let's make an e-mail, showing how exploitive IS is, and that they can buy the same images from agencies like DT, SS, etc., and even alamy, for a lower price for them and a far higher and fairer commission for the photographers.

Also making them realize that turning this business unsustainable for the photographers will kill their content suppliers and large quantities of good quality imagery will stop.

This is THE ONLY way to pressure Getty and IS. Burn a hole in their pocket!

Threatening to stop uploading, or deleting portfolios is just a huge BS that never worked and never will. The only power we have is to influence those who put the money in the business, the picture buyers.

And it doesn't take a Union to do this, or global organization. Just a good and true e-mail, which could be translated into several languages. Then each of us could search for a series of designer companies, send the e-mail asking them to pass to their contacts and soon enough the designers would become aware of the way IS is likely to damage their quality and cheap source of images.

This is the only way. Stop uploading, deleting portfolios and unions are just BS and everyone knows it wont happen to a scale to bother the administration of these agencies.

And it will send a strong signal to all the other agencies thinking of scr*wing us.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 08, 2010, 05:14
What happened today it is not a minor change. It's a turning point. Never thougth I would consider the idea of leaving exclusivity. Too early to say, it's difficult, but maybe there's is some backpedaling. For the moment, I'll wait.  For becoming independent; it would help being offered by other sites the possibility of swallowing all my portfolio at once.

Oh, nice! Six months ago (and long before that) the exclusives were constantly telling us that they deserve lots, lots more pay and perks because they've made a commitment and we're whoring around. Is the new mantra going to be that they deserve lots of special treatment from the other sites because their iStock marriage is going bad?

I hope the other sites respect the loyalty we independents have given them and don't make special offers to ex-exclusives that could undermine established contributers.

It's amusing to see Fotolia over at twitter pretending that it doesn't shaft its contributors "We pay 25%".  Twenty-five percent of what? "Why, 25% of some notional, variable number that we dream up of course, percentages aren't linked to prices you know."
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: loop on September 08, 2010, 05:24
I don't believe anyone threatening to drop exclusivity will do it. the cost would be far greater to the contributor. and to what end? I was supposed to hit diamond this year, so I'm losing the added income in theory. my level is not dropping, I should have the 40K redeemed credits top maintain 35% royalties, but I won't get 40% for hitting diamond. I see potential for increased business. I'll take in volume what I'm losing in percentage to a certain point. I also think the marketing value of attracting more traditional pros is being overlooked. someone posted earlier that the invitation is ironic, but it's not in fact. the Agency Collection will be priced like traditional RM and RF imagery. they're just putting it all under one umbrella and bringing that traffic to iStock. why is that bad? it's already for sale elsewhere.

With all due respect: you are completely wrong. You forget that this is a numbers game. It wont happen overnight, yes (although it seems that there are already some quitters, or people that stopped uploading), but yes in the mid-term. If lower commissions, external Getty flooding, downloads fall when customers realise that it ins not not micro but, at least midstock, etc affect contributors earnings, and contributors realise that they can earn substantially more being not exclusive, many will drop the crown. Emotions don't last may time, economic reality is far stronger.
Of course, if Istock manages to get more money for they exclusives with the new scheme, that won't happen. But that seems a diffult target. Time will tell.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: macrosaur on September 08, 2010, 05:33
I wonder what would happen if the top istock contributors (like may the top 100 that probably make up over 10-20% of istock's revenue) set up their own site with mostly exclusive content.


nothing.
because the dirty work is getting clients and making sales,
and this will cost you millions in advertising especially if starting from scratch.

the real value of IS are their loyal clients, not the millions of photos.
photos are just a commodity nowadays, that's why they rightfully
treat you guys iike crap.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: XPTO on September 08, 2010, 05:42

the real value of IS are their loyal clients, not the millions of photos.
photos are just a commodity nowadays, that's why they rightfully
treat you guys iike crap.

That is why we, the photographers, must target our actions in informing Picture Buyers about the exploitive nature of IS and that there are other alternatives in the market. Show them the agencies that give us the better commissions which allow us to invest and create higher value images.

Picture buyers only hear about the marketing of agencies telling them they are the best. Maybe it's time that the content producers have a word near the buyers pointing the best alternatives to both and putting the exploitative middlemen in their places.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dbtale on September 08, 2010, 05:47
I don't think I should say anything about the commission cut, since it is so well discussed. However, it is interesting to see a change in canister levels similar to that of Fotolia. This new level system is more friendly to new contributors, but still far from supporting new talents. I think the agencies who set up static levels for canisters (like previous istock, fotolia and shutterstock) are still back in 2005 when these limits seemed hard to achieve. Now several contributors reached the limits just because they are participating in MS from early on. It's not that they are so talented, its just that they have started earlier. Fotolia have already realized that the canister levels are not useful without constantly rising the bar, so only those who are talented will stay on the higher canister levels they deserve. However they have implemented this very badly because they set up the levels so high that new talents might not even start after seeing the levels set up for the ones who were with fotolia in the past five years. Istock has made a step further, and dropped the original canister system to a more democratic one, which also supports new talents on some levels. My only problem with their system that they still require you to wait a year to increase your canister level. An ideal system would use the past year as the basis for the canister level instead of using the year boundaries. I would be happy to see this level system to appear on other sites.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: aluxum on September 08, 2010, 05:55
Hello:

This is my first post at this forum. I have been following with interested some posts here for the last months and with the turmoil created by the latest Istock move though was a good moment to introduce myself and write my first post.

I have been a stock contributor for the last few years. Mainly in Macro agencies but 1 year ago I tried Istock to test the waters of micro distributors. I have to say that I was already used to micro pricing as many of my sales at Getty fall into the category of "Premium Access" where you get a few dollars a sale. The first months as a non exclusive contributor were quite dissapointing since I was used to much bigger revenues at Getty. With all the incentives to exclusivity I bit the bullet to push the envelope and see how far I could get my rpi there to see the potential of micro. I have to say that I was surprised at how much better my revenue improved after this move. I guess the push by Best Match and some increase in the upload quota and % share helped too.

The last move anounced yesterday has worried me in many ways. Obviously the move is very bad to 99% of all istock contributors. If the 80% non exclusives and 75-60% Exclusives share that the Getty Corporation seems is not enough for them.....will any number be ever enough. I don't think so. The Getty sale to a private equity firm meant the business is no longer for a long and sustainable run but for a short term profit.

Getty is used to the 20% for RF and paying a 40% when their business in the royalty free arena is moving so fast to Istock is not being seen with good eyes. The Thinkstock creation was a first and strong advice of what was coming, the next step has happened much quicker than I thought. The lowering of commissions and the introduction of images from outside sources ( I bet than wholly owned content with a good Best Match position is not far away ) are a nail in the coffin on any reasonable mid-term planning a contributor can do.

Non exclusives are much more affected than they might think at first. It is not only the lowering commission. The dominance of the Getty conglomerate is taking over and as time passes, the alternative sites where to place images with reasonable return are diminishing. On the other side why should the competitor sites follow another strategy that the company that has showed the most success.

The only hope is that in our connected world things change so quickly that a much better alternative for photographers might arise at any given point. The middle man is taking now the largest straw......but for how long ?

Cristian
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dirkr on September 08, 2010, 06:00
I don't think I should say anything about the commission cut, since it is so well discussed. However, it is interesting to see a change in canister levels similar to that of Fotolia. This new level system is more friendly to new contributors, but still far from supporting new talents. I think the agencies who set up static levels for canisters (like previous istock, fotolia and shutterstock) are still back in 2005 when these limits seemed hard to achieve. Now several contributors reached the limits just because they are participating in MS from early on. It's not that they are so talented, its just that they have started earlier. Fotolia have already realized that the canister levels are not useful without constantly rising the bar, so only those who are talented will stay on the higher canister levels they deserve. However they have implemented this very badly because they set up the levels so high that new talents might not even start after seeing the levels set up for the ones who were with fotolia in the past five years. Istock has made a step further, and dropped the original canister system to a more democratic one, which also supports new talents on some levels. My only problem with their system that they still require you to wait a year to increase your canister level. An ideal system would use the past year as the basis for the canister level instead of using the year boundaries. I would be happy to see this level system to appear on other sites.

I would generally agree that moving from lifetime achievement to achieving goals in a moving timescale is a good move to better support new talent.

The only thing is, that they coupled this move with a pay cut. If they simply had retained the old commission values as basis and offered something on top for achieving certain goals, all would be fine.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 08, 2010, 06:09
I don't think I should say anything about the commission cut, since it is so well discussed. However, it is interesting to see a change in canister levels similar to that of Fotolia. This new level system is more friendly to new contributors,

How is is more friendly to new contributors? As I read it, for the first calendar year you will be stuck on 15% instead of 20%. In your first year, you have to build your portfolio slowly, since uploads are so limited. After one year, you are starting to take off and by the end of year two, your sales are excellent, you are well into silver level ... but your credits are tallied for the entire year, so your average still leaves you on the bottom rung thoughout year three, by which time you have hit gold level, and you maybe just scrape onto 16% (non-exclusive) as the rate to be paid in your fourth year. If you go exclusive, you might get all the way up to the 30% level as a gold canister. That's the first four years for someone who is doing well above average.

How is that friendly to newcomers?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sharpshot on September 08, 2010, 06:10
...Non exclusives are much more affected than they might think at first. It is not only the lowering commission. The dominance of the Getty conglomerate is taking over and as time passes, the alternative sites where to place images with reasonable return are diminishing....
This isn't what I am experiencing.  Some of the other sites are getting stronger, istock has fallen back.  They have sent some of their buyers to the other sites by raising prices too high and now they will lose a lot of their contributors by cutting commissions.  There is a real opportunity now for a rival site to become the No.1 and I hope one of them take it.
Title: Strike proposal
Post by: striker on September 08, 2010, 06:12
proposal:

if nothing changes we can:

1st October: stop uploading

1st November: delete all photos from PP

1st December: leave exclusivity

1st January: delete all photos

we have to do this very "loudly" by using twitter and facebook (iStock can enter again into twitter top10).

and all of this not only for money i loose but also for the way they think that they can treat us...


what do you think?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: aluxum on September 08, 2010, 06:28
Let's hope those other sites don't get the same greed rush as Istock is experiencing. Whatever happens, I have to agree that having spread out the risk in as many outlets as possible is the wisest move now.

Cristian


"This isn't what I am experiencing.  Some of the other sites are getting stronger, istock has fallen back.  They have sent some of their buyers to the other sites by raising prices too high and now they will lose a lot of their contributors by cutting commissions.  There is a real opportunity now for a rival site to become the No.1 and I hope one of them take it."
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Phil on September 08, 2010, 06:29
I don't think I should say anything about the commission cut, since it is so well discussed. However, it is interesting to see a change in canister levels similar to that of Fotolia. This new level system is more friendly to new contributors,

How is is more friendly to new contributors? As I read it, for the first calendar year you will be stuck on 15% instead of 20%. In your first year, you have to build your portfolio slowly, since uploads are so limited. After one year, you are starting to take off and by the end of year two, your sales are excellent, you are well into silver level ... but your credits are tallied for the entire year, so your average still leaves you on the bottom rung thoughout year three, by which time you have hit gold level, and you maybe just scrape onto 16% (non-exclusive) as the rate to be paid in your fourth year. If you go exclusive, you might get all the way up to the 30% level as a gold canister. That's the first four years for someone who is doing well above average.

How is that friendly to newcomers?

I agree, unless they take away upload limits it is worse for new contributors.
Title: Re: Strike proposal
Post by: Perry on September 08, 2010, 06:42
1st January: delete all photos

I would never delete my photos from IS. I have too much time invested in uploading and keywording etc.

It would be much better to inform the clients about other sites where photographers are treated more fairly.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: macrosaur on September 08, 2010, 06:44

the real value of IS are their loyal clients, not the millions of photos.
photos are just a commodity nowadays, that's why they rightfully
treat you guys iike crap.

That is why we, the photographers, must target our actions in informing Picture Buyers about the exploitive nature of IS and that there are other alternatives in the market. Show them the agencies that give us the better commissions which allow us to invest and create higher value images.

Picture buyers only hear about the marketing of agencies telling them they are the best. Maybe it's time that the content producers have a word near the buyers pointing the best alternatives to both and putting the exploitative middlemen in their places.

well, i could tell you that Hewlett Packard months ago slashed the salary of their 100.000 employees
by 20% while doubling the salaries of their top executives ... i've read in Germany the former
employess of EDS (now owned by HP) even went on strike a few days, but yet nothing changed,
her CEO has been fired recently because of a love affair and now he's VP of Oracle, running
out with 40 million $ in bonuses....

so goes this world, my friends !
and picture buyers will never give a crap ... nor they give a crap about HP and their crappy
printers, all they know is the price is fair and the product doesn't sucks so much.

20% fee ... it's a joke already, and now with just 15% it's a pittance .. better post the pics
on Flickr and see if some buyer sends an email ... or make a photo blog infested by
ads ....
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: macrosaur on September 08, 2010, 06:47

I agree, unless they take away upload limits it is worse for new contributors.

indeed.
and that's why i've quit microstock in disgust.

15 uploads a week ? it's  a joke !
on macros i can upload 100 pics a day if my connection allows.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ChasingMoments on September 08, 2010, 06:48
SO, as far as I understand there has not been an official response from IS on this... after the 90 plus pages on IS forum?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: bittersweet on September 08, 2010, 07:01
Okay so I'm only on page 7 of the 10 pages, but nobody has mentioned the fact that the levels for illustrators are nearly double! what is up with that???
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dbtale on September 08, 2010, 07:08
How is that friendly to newcomers?

Newcomers can see more perspective with this system, since the bars does not seem to be so high. I believe there could be talented people who give up on becoming a stock photographer because they see that the bars are favoring the old contributors. So instead they leave their talents unexploited...

Anyway I have also said that I don't like the way they have implemented the system right now. But I don't think a talented photographer would need 4 years to reach the gold canister level. Let's take the example of black diamond contributors: they have all achieved at least 25000 downloads/year (e.g. if they registered in istock's early ages). If we calculate with my average 6.1 (which I am sure they oversell) redeemed credits per download that would mean they would receive more than 150000 redeemed credits per year. Thus if they would start today they would be on at least gold level by next year anyway, and they would have started after more than half a year has already passed. If they would always use the past year (the year between today and the same date last year) instead of the calendar years they are proposing right now then this system would be even more fair.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: borg on September 08, 2010, 07:15
They doing that because they can, less money for contributors mean more money in their pockets...
I saw it before with stock brokers, some of them didn't want to trade with less liquid stocks and bonds, they wanted only "blue chips"... Now in crisis, they are struggle for every transaction they can get...

Also, they saw big mess with "Fotolia percentage problem", now is everything calm about that, Fotolia makes more money for itself and still has lot of contributors..They expect the "same course of events"...
Lots of noise in the beigning  and at the end of whole this ,all will be again as before, difference is only more money in their pocket...
85% of price for OUR work is too much... They are not producers , they are only distribution center...
So , we can only search for others for a better deal, because nothing will change...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Karen on September 08, 2010, 07:15
Just wait for a few days for their old and verified tactics. They will offer something that is just slightly less awful than this and people will start saying "Thanks istock".
so true   :-[
Title: Re: Strike proposal
Post by: jduplass on September 08, 2010, 07:17
Each of these companies would like us to believe that if we don't sell our images through them, we miss out to "their clientele" but I don't believe that.  It is the fresh new content and the best of the best old content that determines where people buy images.  These companies flaunt their content numbers and their quality to the buying population in order to grow their clientele.  And it works.  iStock CANNOT do that if we all take a stand.  Don't pull ports, just let iStock fall behind in the race to represent the best images out there.  Not a PAYCUT but a PAYSHIFT.  Moving those iStock dollars to another company. It won't be instant, but it will happen.  No buyer is loyal enough to any company to sacrifice quality of work to stay with a sinking ship.  I think what we could find in 2011, if we do this, is that as our iStock income decreases, the income at the others will grow. 

January 2011 may be a good time for the other micro companies to pick up disgruntled iStock exclusives and take advantage of the images they represent that iStock customers will never see.  I am curious... if Fotolia, Shutterstock or Dreamstime suddenly came up with an incentive for the exclusives to jump ship, or for us to pull our iStock ports down... would you take it?  I would.  We have more control over this situation than you realize.  I agree with those calling out for no more new uploads in 2011 but if you want to see results early in 2011, start now.  Start building a payshift before the paycuts hit.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: borg on September 08, 2010, 07:20
Just wait for a few days for their old and verified tactics. They will offer something that is just slightly less awful than this and people will start saying "Thanks istock".
so true   :-[

Yes!

First shock and then "goodwill"...
And all will say "thanks ", for "new iStock social programs"

Please can someone put this fact on their forum... I am not so good in English.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Karen on September 08, 2010, 07:50
If there is diamond contributor, currently taking 40% and if you sold 39,999 credits worth of images in 2010.
That means for your sales in 2011, your rate would drop from 40% to 30%.
That is a 25% pay decrease from what you were earning! not to be confused with a 10 percent rate decrease!
Is there any reason why to reduce 25% pay for this contributor???
(http://www.thephoto.ca/temp/iSCAPRC.jpg)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 08, 2010, 07:52
If there is diamond contributor, currently taking 40% and if you sold 39,999 credits worth of images in 2010.
That means for your sales in 2011, your rate would drop from 40% to 30%.
That is a 25% pay decrease from what you were earning! not to be confused with a 10 percent rate decrease!
Is there any reason why to reduce 25% pay for this contributor???

Pure unadulterated greed perhaps?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jjneff on September 08, 2010, 08:05
Would you guys come to istocky.com? I will open it if you will
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: travelstock on September 08, 2010, 08:15
Would you guys come to istocky.com? I will open it if you will

I think something that wouldn't be in breach of an existing trademark might be a little bit better...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ErickN on September 08, 2010, 08:21
If there is diamond contributor, currently taking 40% and if you sold 39,999 credits worth of images in 2010.
That means for your sales in 2011, your rate would drop from 40% to 30%.
That is a 25% pay decrease from what you were earning! not to be confused with a 10 percent rate decrease!
Is there any reason why to reduce 25% pay for this contributor???

And it can be even worse for contributors who upload different media types, as the redeemed credits are split btw media types.
To keep your exclusive diamond contributor example, currently getting 40% :
If he/she sells 30,000 credits worth of photos only, it means a drop from 40% to 30% (25% pay cut)
If he/she sells 30,000 credits, split btw 10,000 from photos and 20,000 from illustrations, it means a drop from 40% to 25%
That's a 37.5% pay cut.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dnavarrojr on September 08, 2010, 08:28
All of this reminds me of why I love Shutterstock. 
All this reminds me of why I have always loved Dreamstime too. Achilles makes a conscious effort to create a level playing field for contributors new and old, the opposite of what IS has always done.

Agree (while there could have been some weaker spots).

However far more importantly - this moves make it very difficult for the fairer sites to survive and compete. Their fairer (to contributors) strategy means they have less (and probably far less) money to use to grab market share.

I disagree.  With an expected flood of artists dropping exclusivity, they'll pick up thousands upon thousands of new images (new to them) and with their already lower price-point they'll be MUCH MORE attractive to buyers.  iStock survives on its exclusives, it's what gives them their power.  Which is why upsetting the exclusives this way makes so little sense.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dnavarrojr on September 08, 2010, 08:30
I think there would be real poetic justice if contributors went all out to support Stockfresh and enabled them to triumph after what Getty did to the remains of StockXpert.  I believe they're paying 50% commission.

I'd love to do that. But I'm waiting for my application to be approved since several months now... :-[

Ditto...  The folks at Stockfresh don't answer emails... I'm not impressed so far.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gbalex on September 08, 2010, 08:30
people are still in there explaining CURRENT royalty structures to one another. how can you get mad about something you don't even understand?

LOL stil trying to work out my loss, but one thing for sure it will be significant as my numbers thus far are almost 40% down on last year

Once upon a time like many Independents IS was my biggest earner but it has been going backwards for some time now despite what, when and how often I upload. Take only this month so far as an example,  SS is triple in $ the amount at IS with Dreamstime and Fotolia not far behind that is a huge dip. Very convenient also dont you think that many are seeing a loss in numbers then this ridiculous insult comes along to rub salt into the wound.

The writing was always on the wall since the Getty takeover, but this is simply to Brutal!

I for one will be taking action in my own small way as it would seem the words and the well being of its Contributers now count for very little and this sort of unacceptable treatment of those who have made IS what it is today will continue as long as they feel they can get away with it. I really do feel that they have gone to far this time

Of course if the past is anything to go by now that this Bombshell has been dropped they will come along with a little sweetener  ;)

All I can say it better be a huge Candy Store!

We hear this comment over and over, however it really resembles something you might hear from a battered woman.  

IS has firmly and openly shown us that they can NOT be trusted!  Even if you get your candy, you have to know that sooner or later you will have a nice black eye and maybe a few broken bones to go along with those sweets!

IS has been the site I use to buy images and after this stunt that will no longer be the case, as Lisa pointed out to continue to buy from them would set a dangerous president!

I will no longer be contributing to IS, if we as a collective group accept such pathetic returns for our work it will not be long before the other sites follow suit!

To those who are extolling the virtues of SS remember they have not given a raise in two years and they have not put any effort into making sure their site is scalable and functioning without constant bugs which cost submitters sales!!!
Title: Re: Strike proposal
Post by: dnavarrojr on September 08, 2010, 08:38
1st January: delete all photos

I would never delete my photos from IS. I have too much time invested in uploading and keywording etc.

It would be much better to inform the clients about other sites where photographers are treated more fairly.

It is stupid to completely remove a revenue source until/unless other sites can take up the slack.  You are MUCH better off just stopping uploading to iStock and continuing to collect revenue from your existing work.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 08, 2010, 08:43
I agree with some of the others who said this is a tactic. It's indirect negotiation. If it's not, and they really are trying to shove this model down our throats with no negotiation, it's a pretty ominus sign.

The tactic is to present a really bad deal that angers almost everybody. They will then come back with something that is still pretty bad, but just not as bad. This will then get "Woo-Yays", "Thank-you Istocks", and "we still love you's". So they will still get more money, we will happily get a pay cut, and everything is back to normal.

What I think they'll come back with is a slightly more attainable plan. They probably already have 2-3 alternate plans ready to drop in place. They'll lower the goals a bit, or grandfather in some people for a year, etc. More people will get to keep their current commission % but very few will ever get a raise. Mission accomplished. They will have lowered the average commission percentage accross the board. Probably by 5-7% which would instantly put millions back in their pocket.

So when, or if, they come back with a slightly revised bad model, is everybody going to be happy with something that is still bad? Maybe it's time to start discussing that if this current model isn't acceptable, what would be acceptable to us? They're not going back to the old model. So what would be acceptable for performance goals?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: rcaucino on September 08, 2010, 08:59
Quiet honestly, I have to remember that in the last 5 years iStockphoto has changed my life. In better. It allowed me to transform a simple hobby into a rewarding and important job. I want to thank for that iStockphoto and especially its founder, Bruce Livingstone.
Point.
 
Quiet honestly the date 09/07 will be remembered as the end of "Peace, Love and Photography" era. End of the joyful community of photographers and designers, Steel Cage Battles, iStockalypse... good bye. Getty is just another f****n corporation and we are in it only for the money.
Point.
 
Quiet honestly this turning-point is another proof that to be exclusive contributors is a big mistake because it is a big risk. Personally I am not an exclusive photos contributors, but I'm for video. For photos will mean an overall reduction of 5% of my income (not a drama). For video of 20-30%. I think that in 2011 you'll probably can buy my videos also on F*****A and S******S***K.
Point.
 
We are lucky because this event will give us the strength and courage to look around, explore new distribution channels, to seek new technologies and new tools to find the next big thing, the microstockbusiness of 2015.

Good luck guys and God bless you.

Roby
Title: Re: Strike proposal
Post by: borg on September 08, 2010, 09:00
1st January: delete all photos

I would never delete my photos from IS. I have too much time invested in uploading and keywording etc.

It would be much better to inform the clients about other sites where photographers are treated more fairly.

It is stupid to completely remove a revenue source until/unless other sites can take up the slack.  You are MUCH better off just stopping uploading to iStock and continuing to collect revenue from your existing work.

Another topic here suggests that anti-marketing campaign is better way... To redirect buyers to agencies with better deal for contributors....
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Dreamframer on September 08, 2010, 09:02
Just wait for a few days for their old and verified tactics. They will offer something that is just slightly less awful than this and people will start saying "Thanks istock".
so true   :-[

Yes!

First shock and then "goodwill"...
And all will say "thanks ", for "new iStock social programs"

Please can someone put this fact on their forum... I am not so good in English.

I did it, but th thread develops so quickly no one actually saw it. :)

Plus, I got a sitemail from admin to stop posting, because I said that this would be handled in in other way if their headquarters were somewhere in Eastern Europe.
They are just being lucky to be based in civilized country like Canada. :)
Borg, I'm not sure if you know what happened to our national TV and it's CEO back in nineties?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: leaf on September 08, 2010, 09:03
I just saw this in the iStock forum.  Someone was frustrated that questions weren't being answered in the forum so posted direct contact details for contributors.

Email: Contributor Relations: artists@istockphoto.com


Phone from North America toll free: 1-866-478-6251 (7:00 to 18:00 MT)


International Toll Free 00-800-6664-6664


Fax 1-403-398-6815
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jbarber873 on September 08, 2010, 09:04
Would you guys come to istocky.com? I will open it if you will

as long as you have money for a good law firm to fight the trademark infringement suits.
Oh, and how about an unlimited google adwords account to drive traffic- the last time i looked, "stock photo" was selling for about $1.23 per click.
and who gets to be on the first page?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Freedom on September 08, 2010, 09:10
Like Sean said at IS forum, 99.9% contributors don't like the new structure. But what are the alternatives?

It's easier for the independents to stop uploading, at least they can upload somewhere else. What about exclusives? We have already been hit harder by the reduction of the percentage.

Think about the possible rivals. Did FT and DT also change the pay structure and reduce the percentage for the contributors? Did they do that with any notice? Had we not become disillusioned by FT and DT, would we have become IS exclusive at the first place? When FT and DT changes their pay structure, did they even allow the contributors to discuss the issues in their forums?

Alamy pays a good percentage, but how long does it take to get the payment to a contributor? Have you had refunds from Alamy buyers? How often do you sell at Alamy?

If we urge all the buyers leave IS, again who are we hurting the most?

Whenever a site causes a big controversial, the first thing I notice is the decrease of DLs. I hope I am wrong.
Title: Re: Strike proposal
Post by: gbalex on September 08, 2010, 09:11
1st January: delete all photos

I would never delete my photos from IS. I have too much time invested in uploading and keywording etc.

It would be much better to inform the clients about other sites where photographers are treated more fairly.

And what will you do once you have destroyed IS's credibility and the buyers who used to purchase your images have moved to sites which have better compensation for their photographers?

Your strategy will only work if you and many others move your portfolio's to a site which is offering fair compensation and your buyers are willing to follow you there.

As a buyer I have already moved my purchases to such a site and I no longer plan on buying from IS!  We were warned about Getty from some credible photographers and it is clear that they understood the beast perfectly!  

You can not make good choices if you are not willing to see who you are doing business with and no amount of wishing or manipulation is going to change how Getty does business.  It is something akin to sticking your hand in front of a rattle snake and hoping that it will give you kisses!
Title: Re: Strike proposal
Post by: Perry on September 08, 2010, 09:14
And what will you do once you have destroyed IS's credibility and the buyers who used to purchase your images have moved to sites which have better compensation for their photographers?

Your strategy will only work if you and many others move your portfolio's to a site which is offering fair compensation and your buyers are willing to follow you there.

I already have my portfolios uploaded to several sites... I just say "Welcome, shop your asses off!" :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: borg on September 08, 2010, 09:18

I did it, but th thread develops so quickly no one actually saw it. :)

Plus, I got a sitemail from admin to stop posting, because I said that this would be handled in in other way if their headquarters were somewhere in Eastern Europe.
They are just being lucky to be based in civilized country like Canada. :)
Borg, I'm not sure if you know what happened to our national TV and it's CEO back in nineties?

Come on! :D :D
What they would think about ...
90-ties are behind us, we are now part of civilized world... ;) ;) 15% in enough to live in Eastern Europe... ;D ;D :P
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Dreamframer on September 08, 2010, 09:21

I did it, but th thread develops so quickly no one actually saw it. :)

Plus, I got a sitemail from admin to stop posting, because I said that this would be handled in in other way if their headquarters were somewhere in Eastern Europe.
They are just being lucky to be based in civilized country like Canada. :)
Borg, I'm not sure if you know what happened to our national TV and it's CEO back in nineties?

Come on! :D :D
What they would think about ...
90-ties are behind us, we are now part of civilized world... ;) ;) 15% in enough to live in Eastern Europe... ;D ;D :P

Let them think what they want. I think they are just very lucky not being closer. :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: peter_stockfresh on September 08, 2010, 09:25
Ditto...  The folks at Stockfresh don't answer emails... I'm not impressed so far.

Not sure where you wrote, but we haven't received any e-mails from the address in your account. If you use the online form, we will definitely get it.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jbarber873 on September 08, 2010, 09:26

I did it, but th thread develops so quickly no one actually saw it. :)

Plus, I got a sitemail from admin to stop posting, because I said that this would be handled in in other way if their headquarters were somewhere in Eastern Europe.
They are just being lucky to be based in civilized country like Canada. :)
Borg, I'm not sure if you know what happened to our national TV and it's CEO back in nineties?

Come on! :D :D
What they would think about ...
90-ties are behind us, we are now part of civilized world... ;) ;) 15% in enough to live in Eastern Europe... ;D ;D :P

I'll be right there!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ayzek on September 08, 2010, 09:27
I agree with some of the others who said this is a tactic. It's indirect negotiation. If it's not, and they really are trying to shove this model down our throats with no negotiation, it's a pretty ominus sign.

The tactic is to present a really bad deal that angers almost everybody. They will then come back with something that is still pretty bad, but just not as bad. This will then get "Woo-Yays", "Thank-you Istocks", and "we still love you's". So they will still get more money, we will happily get a pay cut, and everything is back to normal.

What I think they'll come back with is a slightly more attainable plan. They probably already have 2-3 alternate plans ready to drop in place. They'll lower the goals a bit, or grandfather in some people for a year, etc. More people will get to keep their current commission % but very few will ever get a raise. Mission accomplished. They will have lowered the average commission percentage accross the board. Probably by 5-7% which would instantly put millions back in their pocket.

So when, or if, they come back with a slightly revised bad model, is everybody going to be happy with something that is still bad? Maybe it's time to start discussing that if this current model isn't acceptable, what would be acceptable to us? They're not going back to the old model. So what would be acceptable for performance goals?
+1
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gaja on September 08, 2010, 09:46
I wish Tyler would open shop here. :)
-Good name
-Good boss
-Already well known, well liked and high in search placement
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on September 08, 2010, 09:53
I think there would be real poetic justice if contributors went all out to support Stockfresh and enabled them to triumph after what Getty did to the remains of StockXpert.  I believe they're paying 50% commission.

Yes, great thought but it would be about a month before they were bought out by Getty and just to stiff it to the decenters they would create a new sub agency and pay the photogs 5%.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Eireann on September 08, 2010, 09:57
IStock is the last site I submit to.
IStock is the last site I buy from.
Almost all my IStock images have between 5 - 7 keywords, (keywords rejection terror), are nothing special and never sell.
In my books IStock sits at the bottom of the list. Some months, lower than sites like Featurepics.
To exclude IStock completely would be easy for me.
I also don't like Getty.
I can't bring myself to upload to a site that pays me 15 %. Impossible. No matter how many sales or how much money 15 % translates into.
20 % is painful as it is. Anything less is unacceptable to me.

If an organized protest succeeds in taking form (sign petition, stop uploading on Day X, delete ports on Day Y) count me in.
By myself I don't matter, but part of a larger group I might be able to help.
I'm willing to participate, just let me know what to do.

If nothing else happens, I'll follow Sharpshot's example, and come 1-st January I will delete every single one of my images, bar the 3 ugliest IStock photos I've got.

I'm sure the very intelligent people at Getty have already taken this possibility into account. Exodus of non-exclusives. But they don't care; they'll quickly replace us with Getty collections and Getty professional photographers. And in their world all is well again.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: grp_photo on September 08, 2010, 10:03
If there is diamond contributor, currently taking 40% and if you sold 39,999 credits worth of images in 2010.
That means for your sales in 2011, your rate would drop from 40% to 30%.
That is a 25% pay decrease from what you were earning! not to be confused with a 10 percent rate decrease!
Is there any reason why to reduce 25% pay for this contributor???
([url]http://www.thephoto.ca/temp/iSCAPRC.jpg[/url])

20% is the norm for RF with Getty and yes it has to be exclusive too (though session- and not contributorwise).
If 20% for exclusive stuff is not enough for you, you are free to choose a different agency - good luck!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: UncleGene on September 08, 2010, 10:05
I never thought I could start thinking about restoring my FT account (with phrase in my mind - "they are not as bad as I thought").
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on September 08, 2010, 10:18

20% is the norm for RF with Getty and yes it has to be exclusive too (though session- and not contributorwise).
If 20% for exclusive stuff is not enough for you, you are free to choose a different agency - good luck!

A bit simplistic, as it's image exclusivity and not artist.

I think the worst thing about all this is the inability to plan. It's impossible to be sure that the lines won't be redrawn in the near future. You work your butt off and just as you are nearing a milestone the map is redrawn. Detour time.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: helix7 on September 08, 2010, 10:18
I think StockFresh could be the iStock killer. Better compensation for artists, better prices for buyers. Just need to grow the collection and then promote . out of it.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: donding on September 08, 2010, 10:23
The key to all this is the BUYERS. There are millions of contributors who probably don't even know what is going on or don't even care and continue to upload. The target should be the BUYERS. That is the only way to burn a hole in the pocket of Getty and will also send a message to other sites that the photograph's won't put up with all this abuse any more.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Eireann on September 08, 2010, 10:27
Helix,
I agree about SFresh. But they're not ready yet.
I also like Veer, very much.
But they haven't reviewed any of my images in over 3 months. That's how long it takes for Veer inspections - over 3 months.
These sites need to step up their game and do it soon.

And I agree with Sharpshot. We should support the sites that pay us better. It's in our hands and it seems like an easy job. I'm all for it.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: helix7 on September 08, 2010, 10:29
Helix,
I agree about SFresh. But they're not ready yet...

Yet. But they will be. All the more reason to throw our support behind them now, do our small part to grow the business. I'm going to start buying there exclusively, and will urge other designers to do the same.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Microbius on September 08, 2010, 10:34
Actually, thinking about it after having read some more of the IStock thread, if we do go to StockFresh and it actually becomes successful surely Peter will just be selling it on quick smart (to Getty or similar) the same as he did with StockXpert. Same as Bruce did with IStock back in the day?

Jumping from ship to ship not going to get us anywhere, sadly.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: grp_photo on September 08, 2010, 10:37

20% is the norm for RF with Getty and yes it has to be exclusive too (though session- and not contributorwise).
If 20% for exclusive stuff is not enough for you, you are free to choose a different agency - good luck!

A bit simplistic, as it's image exclusivity and not artist.

I think the worst thing about all this is the inability to plan. It's impossible to be sure that the lines won't be redrawn in the near future. You work your butt off and just as you are nearing a milestone the map is redrawn. Detour time.
It's not image-exclusivity its session- and similiar-exclusivity (you can read the guidelines at Getty they are quite strict) and I said so.
Getty pays their pro-photographers 20% why oh why should they pay housewives 40% in the long term.
In five years it will 20% for all and 10% for non-exclusives - you don't believe me - well you didn't believe all the people that said to you five years ago after Getty bought iStock.
It's a genius plan from Getty and you have to adore it. Istock will prosper and they will be the only microstock-agency which content will grow creative- and quality-wise and not just number-wise. And Getty will make a lot more money out of it. That is to kill two birds with one stone - genius!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 08, 2010, 10:42
Before campaigning to drive all the customers to other sites, it might be a good move to work out how much money we get from one sale elsewhere compared to the money we get from iStock. If we convert a 15% commission worth $2 into a "fair percentage" commission worth 38c, who is the winner?

I seem to remember that a year or two back there was great enthusiasm for the "Midstock" idea, which has flopped everywhere except at iStock. It will probably flop there, too, given enough time, but until then the per sale commission value remains one of the highest, even if it is at a humiliating low percentage.

If we throw the baby out with the bathwater, a third of our earnings vanish overnight. To be realistic, I can't afford to do that. Suspending uploads for two or three weeks or months will achieve nothing (are we all still firmly behind the Fotolia upload boycott? Remember that? Hands up those who didn't cave in and start uploading again).

They're doing this to us because we're screwed and they know it. It isn't a negotiating ploy, it's an ultimatum. Nowhere are they asking for feedback or opinions, they're just telling us how it is going to be and letting us rant (up to the permitted level where you get an official warning, or "bitch-slapping" as they probably call it). The only question we need to ask is whether we are bending over far enough.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Lizard on September 08, 2010, 10:43
Actually, thinking about it after having read some more of the IStock thread, if we do go to StockFresh and it actually becomes successful surely Peter will just be selling it on quick smart (to Getty or similar) the same as he did with StockXpert. Same as Bruce did with IStock back in the day?

Jumping from ship to ship not going to get us anywhere, sadly.

+1
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 08, 2010, 10:47
Helix,
I agree about SFresh. But they're not ready yet...

Yet. But they will be. All the more reason to throw our support behind them now, do our small part to grow the business. I'm going to start buying there exclusively, and will urge other designers to do the same.

Great. And most of us can't make any sales there at all because they can't even handle the number of applications.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 08, 2010, 10:51
The only way to scare the sh*t out of Getty and IS management is for non-exclusives to start a campaign globally targeting picture buyers. Let's make an e-mail, showing how exploitive IS is, and that they can buy the same images from agencies like DT, SS, etc., and even alamy, for a lower price for them and a far higher and fairer commission for the photographers.


Better yet, all the tweeters, facebookers, and bloggers should publicize this.  And some of the talented videographers (who are getting hit even harder than photographers) should do a Youtube video.  Something along the lines of United Breaks Guitars.  That was a big hit and did impact on United Airlines.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo[/youtube]
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: alias on September 08, 2010, 10:51
The tactic is to present a really bad deal that angers almost everybody. They will then come back with something that is still pretty bad, but just not as bad. This will then get "Woo-Yays", "Thank-you Istocks", and "we still love you's". So they will still get more money, we will happily get a pay cut, and everything is back to normal.

Trust is ebbing away.

The canister debacle ended with what has now turned out to be a disingenuous promise that everyone would be grandfathered in. The PP thread resulted in 'exclusive' content being pushed to the back of the PP search.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: helix7 on September 08, 2010, 10:54
Actually, thinking about it after having read some more of the IStock thread, if we do go to StockFresh and it actually becomes successful surely Peter will just be selling it on quick smart (to Getty or similar) the same as he did with StockXpert. Same as Bruce did with IStock back in the day?

Jumping from ship to ship not going to get us anywhere, sadly.

I doubt he would do that. He sold StockXpert to Jupiter, not Getty, and Jupiter kept things going at StockXpert. It wasn't until Getty bought Jupiter that things took a turn for the worse.

Besudes, even if Peter did sell, it wouldn't be for several years. Look at how long StockXpert was around. I think he would have to show a few years of good revenues before he could even entice a good buyer. In the meantime, we can make good money at 50% per sale until that happens, if it ever happened.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cmcderm1 on September 08, 2010, 10:55
PLAN:  Let's do a survey as contributors of best sites to participate in; Rank them 1-##; upload to site surveyed as #1 first - wait a month - upload to site surveyed as #2 - wait another month - ..... and so on.

That way the site we recognize as best gets our newer images first, and "exclusive" for a month, then the next best has a shot.  We need to be disciplined in much the same way OPEC regulates supply of oil (though they have their moments too).  So whenever to have new images to upload go to site #1 first and upload, police ourselves and wait the month, then upload to site #2.

Not perfect but more disciplined and structured.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Magnum on September 08, 2010, 10:56
Has there been a reply to all this , or are we just throwing all we got without waiting and listening?  Like said before here.  lower percentage can actually be more cash than before.  Depends on the sell price.

 Istock has always been paying the lowest percentage, and we all have raised them to the sky.  No wonder they lower it even more ;)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: rubyroo on September 08, 2010, 11:07
I doubt he would do that. He sold StockXpert to Jupiter, not Getty, and Jupiter kept things going at StockXpert. It wasn't until Getty bought Jupiter that things took a turn for the worse.

Yes, that was my understanding of what happened also.   
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: diego_cervo on September 08, 2010, 11:07

In five years it will 20% for all and 10% for non-exclusives - you don't believe me - well you didn't believe all the people that said to you five years ago after Getty bought iStock.


I'm starting to believe you!
I use to be optimistic, but I don't see the glass half-full this time. It clearly seems to me that istock followed the move of FT when cutting royalties so what scares me is that other agencies will follow this pattern sooner or later.
Besides, how many exclusives will drop the crown? I don't know if this will affect the traffic to istock but it may turn in less sales=less redeemed credits=less royalties.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: donding on September 08, 2010, 11:13
Wow someone just posted on the iStock forum that their portfolio was being deleted just for speaking up on the forum

Here's the post with a copy and paste

"cr8tivguy
cr8tivguy
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo, Flash and Illustration downloads in the past 0 months Exclusive
Posted 7 mins ago

Quote
   
WOW ISTOCK IS REMOVING MY IMAGES FOR SPEAKING UP HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: HughStoneIan on September 08, 2010, 11:18
Anyone remember this article?  Things have surely changed (in order to remain the same, of course).

http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=159 (http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=159)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 08, 2010, 11:20
FALSE ALARM apparently - iStock moved instantly to deny this.

It proves that they can issue quick denials when they want to.

 




Just saw this on iStock thread - more news would be welcome

cr8tivguy
cr8tivguy
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo, Flash and Illustration downloads in the past 0 months Exclusive
Posted 22 mins ago

Quote
   
WOW ISTOCK IS REMOVING MY IMAGES FOR SPEAKING UP HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: madelaide on September 08, 2010, 11:32
The various views here make an interesting mosaic. Unfortunately we are a bit culprit of sites doing what they do, because in the end we (or most of us) always accept the changes, and accepted IS low commission from the start.

But I think nobody ever expected IS to set the photographers' commission ever lower than 20%.  Even if we have an increase in sales, 20% was already a shame.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Freedom on September 08, 2010, 11:35
I checked his port after reading his post, his images were still there when I looked.

Wow someone just posted on the iStock forum that their portfolio was being deleted just for speaking up on the forum

Here's the post with a copy and paste

"cr8tivguy
cr8tivguy
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo, Flash and Illustration downloads in the past 0 months Exclusive
Posted 7 mins ago

Quote
   
WOW ISTOCK IS REMOVING MY IMAGES FOR SPEAKING UP HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: FD on September 08, 2010, 11:43
Photoshow on the SS forum:
Quote
Well I see my portfolio not being there much longer. At those royalty rates having my port there will only canabalize my sales elsewhere on better paying agencies
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: donding on September 08, 2010, 11:45
I checked his port after reading his post, his images were still there when I looked.

Wow someone just posted on the iStock forum that their portfolio was being deleted just for speaking up on the forum

Here's the post with a copy and paste

"cr8tivguy
cr8tivguy
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo, Flash and Illustration downloads in the past 0 months Exclusive
Posted 7 mins ago

Quote
   
WOW ISTOCK IS REMOVING MY IMAGES FOR SPEAKING UP HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Guess he was being sarcastic with the statement
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 08, 2010, 11:45
As an independent, I accepted a low percentage from iStock because they could deliver a significant amount of income.  They were my best earner for a while, dropping to 2nd place in large part because their low upload quota let me build much bigger portfolios elsewhere.  Last month they slipped to 3rd.  That may be a fluke or maybe the start of a trend.  But they don't exactly hold a lot of my loyalty, and they have a lot less today.  If I were exclusive I'd be pissed, and I'd have given my 30 days notice already.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: RacePhoto on September 08, 2010, 11:58
I think you guessed right. :D

http://tinyurl.com/34xy6ck (http://tinyurl.com/34xy6ck)

Still there.


I checked his port after reading his post, his images were still there when I looked.

Wow someone just posted on the iStock forum that their portfolio was being deleted just for speaking up on the forum

Here's the post with a copy and paste

"cr8tivguy
cr8tivguy
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo, Flash and Illustration downloads in the past 0 months Exclusive
Posted 7 mins ago

Quote
   
WOW ISTOCK IS REMOVING MY IMAGES FOR SPEAKING UP HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!"



Guess he was being sarcastic with the statement
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 08, 2010, 12:15
The various views here make an interesting mosaic. Unfortunately we are a bit culprit of sites doing what they do, because in the end we (or most of us) always accept the changes, and accepted IS low commission from the start.

But I think nobody ever expected IS to set the photographers' commission ever lower than 20%.  Even if we have an increase in sales, 20% was already a shame.

All this talk about "accepting" or "not accepting" rates makes little sense to me. The only way to reject what they do is to pull your portfolio. As iS has changed the terms of the submitter agreement, you are entirely entitled to withdraw from it.

By the time you've rejected iSTock's and Fotolia's price cuts and been a bit iffy about DT, and refused to accept the lack of pay rise at SS, you will be left with Cutcaster and Canstock among your leading earners.

The fault is in "crowdsourcing". When a product comes from a huge mass of uncoordinated volunteers, none of them have any economic clout (except maybe one or two at the very pinnacle, who are looking out for themselves, not for thousands of rivals). The agency is an organisation with discipline and a unified purpose, we are not. They can control us just the same way that an army of a few thousand can control a country of millions. Take up arms against them and they'll shoot you - or at least close your account. When others hear about it, they will tot up the cost of resistance and balance that against the cost of submission. Meanwhile, potential ringleaders are bought off with a few extra privileges.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Pixart on September 08, 2010, 12:52
Act locally, think globally.

Calgary is proud of it's little picture agency.  If you would like to write a brief letter to the editor of the Calgary Herald, I am confident they would be interested in hearing what you have to say about their home grown success story.

http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor.html (http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor.html)

Call me nuts, but we should really send out well crafted press release with contact information of artists who will take calls from columnists?

This isn't just a story about some moms with cameras getting screwed.  This is National story of a proud little Canadian company that took on the photo industry and changed everything.  This is a story of a Canadian company that was swallowed up by a monopoly-ish (American) agency that chewed it up and spit it out.  This is a multi-billion dollar industry that is not regulated.  Workers are not protected, even their membership agreements are subject to change at the sole discretion of the agency.  This story is a modern example of how the Internet has changed all the rules within an industry.  Their success will built on the backs of it's artists, but the artist seems to have become irrelevant.

We'll definitely get a few lines in the Herald, as a local business they will care.  Why can't we send a press release to PhotoShop Magazine, USA Today, The Globe and Mail etc.?  They may find the evolution of this unregulated industry quite interesting.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 08, 2010, 13:03
All this talk about "accepting" or "not accepting" rates makes little sense to me. The only way to reject what they do is to pull your portfolio. As iS has changed the terms of the submitter agreement, you are entirely entitled to withdraw from it.

On the contrary, that's not the only way.  There are plenty of options, although some of them require that significant numbers of submitters act.

There are probably lots of other actions, short of leaving iStock entirely.  And I suspect a lot of people to sit tight and hope making a stink alone will cause a change in plans before January 1st.  I doubt it, but I've been wrong before.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: xst on September 08, 2010, 13:08
As history shows you can sqeeze some concessions from them
http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/esearch/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003641060 (http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/esearch/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003641060)

however don't expect a lot.
even if half of contributors are out, they will have huge collection and content to sell
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on September 08, 2010, 13:09

20% is the norm for RF with Getty and yes it has to be exclusive too (though session- and not contributorwise).
If 20% for exclusive stuff is not enough for you, you are free to choose a different agency - good luck!

A bit simplistic, as it's image exclusivity and not artist.

I think the worst thing about all this is the inability to plan. It's impossible to be sure that the lines won't be redrawn in the near future. You work your butt off and just as you are nearing a milestone the map is redrawn. Detour time.
It's not image-exclusivity its session- and similiar-exclusivity (you can read the guidelines at Getty they are quite strict) and I said so.
Getty pays their pro-photographers 20% why oh why should they pay housewives 40% in the long term.
In five years it will 20% for all and 10% for non-exclusives - you don't believe me - well you didn't believe all the people that said to you five years ago after Getty bought iStock.
It's a genius plan from Getty and you have to adore it. Istock will prosper and they will be the only microstock-agency which content will grow creative- and quality-wise and not just number-wise. And Getty will make a lot more money out of it. That is to kill two birds with one stone - genius!

Yes it is similar exclusive, but that is still a far cry from artist exclusive. Also an image has value regardless of the status of the creator. That is exactly how the mentality of microstock got going. People thinking they are out just having a little fun making a few dollars here and there. Now that many of them are making more than a few dollars they don't like the idea of seeing their income dwindle. Obviously. Who would? I won't argue at all that the percentages, or other creative income limiting changes won't happen. I would agree completely with this. Anyone making 40% on iStock right now and is a housewife is also one hell of a photographer as well. As a matter of fact the notion of housewives should not make this kind of income should send a rain of crap down on your head.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jjneff on September 08, 2010, 13:10
Thanks for the link I just sent a letter to Calgary!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: grp_photo on September 08, 2010, 13:23

20% is the norm for RF with Getty and yes it has to be exclusive too (though session- and not contributorwise).
If 20% for exclusive stuff is not enough for you, you are free to choose a different agency - good luck!

A bit simplistic, as it's image exclusivity and not artist.

I think the worst thing about all this is the inability to plan. It's impossible to be sure that the lines won't be redrawn in the near future. You work your butt off and just as you are nearing a milestone the map is redrawn. Detour time.
It's not image-exclusivity its session- and similiar-exclusivity (you can read the guidelines at Getty they are quite strict) and I said so.
Getty pays their pro-photographers 20% why oh why should they pay housewives 40% in the long term.
In five years it will 20% for all and 10% for non-exclusives - you don't believe me - well you didn't believe all the people that said to you five years ago after Getty bought iStock.
It's a genius plan from Getty and you have to adore it. Istock will prosper and they will be the only microstock-agency which content will grow creative- and quality-wise and not just number-wise. And Getty will make a lot more money out of it. That is to kill two birds with one stone - genius!

Yes it is similar exclusive, but that is still a far cry from artist exclusive. Also an image has value regardless of the status of the creator. That is exactly how the mentality of microstock got going. People thinking they are out just having a little fun making a few dollars here and there. Now that many of them are making more than a few dollars they don't like the idea of seeing their income dwindle. Obviously. Who would? I won't argue at all that the percentages, or other creative income limiting changes won't happen. I would agree completely with this. Anyone making 40% on iStock right now and is a housewife is also one hell of a photographer as well. As a matter of fact the notion of housewives should not make this kind of income should send a rain of crap down on your head.
Actually I'm expecting that they will change the current exclusive Status from all RF to only all Micro-, Mid-RF so people are allowed to do RF with different sessions at traditional agencies. This way important contributors and photographers like iofoto, Jonathan Ross and Monkeybusiness could become exclusive at IS and I'm very  sure many would especially pros with no former Microstock-experience.
Second housewives that evolved will keep their 40% for a while but there are a lot of housewives that started 2002,2003,2004 that didn't evolved at all they had just been lucky to be early starters at istock from a business point of view you must get rid of them a soon as possible.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 08, 2010, 13:26
All this talk about "accepting" or "not accepting" rates makes little sense to me. The only way to reject what they do is to pull your portfolio. As iS has changed the terms of the submitter agreement, you are entirely entitled to withdraw from it.

On the contrary, that's not the only way.  There are plenty of options, although some of them require that significant numbers of submitters act.
  • Exclusives can elect to go independent.  They given 30 days notice, which is plenty of time for iStock to see what they're going to lose and maybe reconsider.
  • Both exclusives and independents can cut back on their uploads or stop completely.  That'll take longer to percolate in the minds of iStock management, but it'll show that people are seriously pissed and wiling to act on it.
  • Submitters can remove content.  Less obvious, and likely less effective.  But an interesting symbolic act.
  • Submitters can make a public stink, affecting buyers, investors and other potential submitters.  Maybe iStock & Getty won't care about the bad press, and maybe they won't see enough lost sales soon enough to affect their decisions.  Then again, maybe they will.

There are probably lots of other actions, short of leaving iStock entirely.  And I suspect a lot of people to sit tight and hope making a stink alone will cause a change in plans before January 1st.  I doubt it, but I've been wrong before.

Quitting exclusivity is a huge step, likely to lead to a major loss of earnings. Getty will get to keep a larger slice of the pie (maybe they even want to drive out a heap of the lower-ranked exclusives, who knows?). It would take a lot of people including some big names for this to have a real impact. As usual, the pain would be on the submitters' side.

Reducing uploads is futile, we did it to Fotolia with absolutely not effect whatsoever. After a little while, everybody drifts back.

Removing content - would they even notice? I guess it would appear as a blip in the stats report. Which content do you remove? The 20% that makes 90% of your money, which might actually hurt them? Or the 80% that makes 20% of your money, which they might be happy to see removed from their servers?  They already progressively remove it themselves, which says they don't really want it.

Making a stink might work. If you can drive buyers away that would certainly hurt them (and I am pretty sure they will delete the porfolios of anyone they catch doing that) but they would probably never get those buyers back, which would hurt submitters in the long term, too. Of course, if it taught them and the rest of the industry a lesson the cost in lost sales would probably be worth it in the long run. It is also about the only thing a small group of activists could do without the support of the masses.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Anja_Kaiser on September 08, 2010, 13:27
As a (non exclusive) contributor I've already stopped uploading months ago, because I was simply  tired of constantly taking slaps in my face (And I'm *not* talking about rejections only.), as a buyer I've already moved on to other places as well.
Still, I've tried hard not to take things personally, since this is business, but NOW I DO. I definitely won't take this slap, I've had enough. It's not about the money I'm going to lose, but their attitude. If these changes will take effect, I'll definitely pull my port.
I've already been invited to join Stockfresh some time ago and just decided to massively support them both by uploading everything I have and bringing in as many contributors and clients as I can find. I don't care, whether they're "ready" - they're fair and that counts.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: massman on September 08, 2010, 13:29
Photoshow on the SS forum:
Quote
Well I see my portfolio not being there much longer. At those royalty rates having my port there will only canabalize my sales elsewhere on better paying agencies

What have royalty rates go to do with cannibalization of sales?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Kngkyle on September 08, 2010, 13:31
Another interesting way to protest would be to do something like what was done to CBS when they canceled the show Jericho. Fans got together and sent tons of peanuts to CBS headquarters in NYC until they agreed to do another season. It worked.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: helix7 on September 08, 2010, 13:32

What have royalty rates go to do with cannibalization of sales?

If you're selling an image on istock and earn $2 for the sale, but could have sold the same image elsewhere at a higher royalty rate and earned $3 for the sale, you're cannibalizing. On that single transaction, you're basically cheating yourself out of your own money.

It happens across the board, no avoiding it. But I guess in this case as Bobby sees it, the new percentage at istock is crossing that line with him to the point where it's just too far off his average earnings per sale.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: helix7 on September 08, 2010, 13:40
Rob locked the thread at istock, says an announcement will be coming within 1 hour.

Anyone want to take a guess at what it will be?

I'm guessing nothing new. Changes are slated to go ahead as originally planned.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Kngkyle on September 08, 2010, 13:44
Never a dull moment.  ;)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: vonkara on September 08, 2010, 13:48
From Sylvanworks (copy paste)...

OK, the folks at HQ have been reading the responses and have been putting together a reply. I'm going to lock this so everyone can catch their breath for a few minutes. I've been told the response will be posted within the next hour
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Eireann on September 08, 2010, 13:50
15 % is too low.
Regardless of how much money 15 % translates into. It's ethics.
You tell me when is the best time to delete my port. Today? Tomorrow? On the 1-st of January?
I'll do it.
I'll never take anything less than 20 % commission.
Unacceptable.

And I'm all for supporting the better paying sites, Anja. I'll go with you.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: azurelaroux on September 08, 2010, 13:53
Someone has mentioned in the IS thread that this is simply a ploy. They want to do something but they know we won't like it. So, they announce this fiasco to get us upset. Now they will announce what they really wanted and it won't seem as bad as the fiasco so we will accept because they are "meeting us 1/2 way".

I stand by what I posted in the other thread. I contracted for 20% - if I'm not guaranteed a minimum of 20% then there is no reason for me to stay. IS already has the lowest percentages in the industry so there is no reason to lower them.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: macrosaur on September 08, 2010, 13:54
BLA BLA BLA BLA ....

nobody of you will leave iStock.
you invested too much time and resource on it and now you're "locked in".

i predicted all this a long time ago, and i'm sure the entry-level royalties
will be lowered again in the future ... 10% ?  5% ? why not ! there's a fool
born every minute isnt it ?

p.s.
if you sell a fine-art photo in an art gallery you never get less than 50% of the sale,
and these guys spend real money in order to make an exibition, calling people by phone,
sending printed invitations ... getty instead doesn't move a finger, it's all computer automated
and the product is a digital download and pretends a whopping 85% !

you better flip burgers at McDonalds than getting 15% of YOUR work.



(http://wigmaster.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/mcdonalds_is_evil.jpg)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Kngkyle on September 08, 2010, 13:55
I doubt the coming announcement will change anything. They will likely just try to explain it better and answer some of our questions. And of course add in some lines about how great this is for the contributors.  ::)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jsolie on September 08, 2010, 13:58
I suspect that they might redact some of the really bad parts, but still keep it essentially intact.  My suspicion goes along the lines of how my youngest son requests dessert: "cookies, ice cream with toppings and a brownie"  "No!"  "well, how about the ice cream with toppings?"
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: vonkara on September 08, 2010, 13:59
Never a dull moment.  ;)

I wish microstock was very dull...

Rob locked the thread at istock, says an announcement will be coming within 1 hour.

Anyone want to take a guess at what it will be?

I'm guessing nothing new. Changes are slated to go ahead as originally planned.

Let be hopefull, they have a chance to not start the 3rd world war. But my guess is, Istock is surrounded by a mixture of the west Canadian fuel industry and owned by American capitalists. Nothing will change or maybe in worst
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: macrosaur on September 08, 2010, 14:00
From Sylvanworks (copy paste)...

OK, the folks at HQ have been reading the responses and have been putting together a reply. I'm going to lock this so everyone can catch their breath for a few minutes. I've been told the response will be posted within the next hour

never say never ... i've read yesterday on TechCrunch that the users of Digg.com mounted a rebellion and left Digg in droves for their direct
competitor Reddit.com .. Digg now is dead and worth nothing, and all this in just one week !
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on September 08, 2010, 14:02


never say never ... i've read yesterday on TechCrunch that the users of Digg.com mounted a rebellion and left Digg in droves for their direct
competitor Reddit.com .. Digg now is dead and worth nothing, and all this in just one week !

What's Digg? Is that a shovel company?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ShadySue on September 08, 2010, 14:03
It's all so tedious and time-wasting.
First the subscription scheme, then the partner project and the Thinkstock fiasco.
Now this.
:-(
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Kngkyle on September 08, 2010, 14:07
It's all so tedious and time-wasting.
First the subscription scheme, then the partner project and the Thinkstock fiasco.
Now this.
:-(

You missed the canister changes, that never ended up happening but still caused a controversy. I think we'd all rather have those canister changes and this load of crap.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: macrosaur on September 08, 2010, 14:09


never say never ... i've read yesterday on TechCrunch that the users of Digg.com mounted a rebellion and left Digg in droves for their direct
competitor Reddit.com .. Digg now is dead and worth nothing, and all this in just one week !


What's Digg? Is that a shovel company?


www.digg.com (http://www.digg.com)

now is simply a sort of interactive RSS aggregator.

but until 2 years ago it was said to be worth 1 BILLION $ !

they had 30-40 million monthly users ... now i guess they're 1% of that ...
it was impressive how the rebels coordinated themselves and *removed coarse language* it up for real.

it gives us hope that people somehow can still change the world, i hope facebook
and myspace follow the same fate soon ....
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: bluerabbit on September 08, 2010, 14:14
Just shows that going exclusive anywhere sets you up to be used and abused. Sure, independents are going to get a pay cut, but we have multiple outlets. It will have an effect on my income, but not as bad as the great majority of exclusives on iS! I have actually recommended going exclusive on IS to some people just starting out because it offered a better return on a small portfolio. To anybody who followed my foolish advice, I apologize. Diversify.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on September 08, 2010, 14:16
Just out of curiosity what is the downside here to video?

Sorry I find it here,  http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=861 (http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=861)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Nordlys on September 08, 2010, 14:20
Well - I for one stopped uploadting til IS long ago. The process simply became way to time consuming.

Today I woted with my feet and culled the remaining 100 pics I had there. I'll never work with someone only offering 15% cut.

I'll now consentrate more on my Alamy and DT acount, and then some Fotolia now and then.

I will also do whatever I can to tell buyers about the rotten IS policy, and try to divert as many as possible away from IS, by posting stories on blogs an websites, as well as mailing buyers direcly.

I suggest, that you folks do something similar.

It's about time they are given a smack in the butt they can feel!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: azurelaroux on September 08, 2010, 14:22
Video now has to get 1,250,000 Redeemed credits per year to stay at 20%. The table with the breakdowns is here. http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=861 (http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=861)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ShadySue on September 08, 2010, 14:24
It's all so tedious and time-wasting.
First the subscription scheme, then the partner project and the Thinkstock fiasco.
Now this.
:-(

You missed the canister changes, that never ended up happening but still caused a controversy. I think we'd all rather have those canister changes and this load of crap.
I already mentioned that earlier in this thread, but the thread is so long, it's impossible to read and retain everything.
I counted that as 'breach of trust' (because we'd been promised we'd be grandfathered in), parallel to istock emailling their top buyers suggesting they might move to TS, after promising us that PP customers were "new".
It's just impossible to have any trust in their declarations now.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Anja_Kaiser on September 08, 2010, 14:27
BLA BLA BLA BLA ....

nobody of you will leave iStock.
you invested too much time and resource on it and now you're "locked in".

i predicted all this a long time ago, and i'm sure the entry-level royalties
will be lowered again in the future ... 10% ?  5% ? why not ! there's a fool
born every minute isnt it ?

p.s.
if you sell a fine-art photo in an art gallery you never get less than 50% of the sale,
and these guys spend real money in order to make an exibition, calling people by phone,
sending printed invitations ... getty instead doesn't move a finger, it's all computer automated
and the product is a digital download and pretends a whopping 85% !

you better flip burgers at McDonalds than getting 15% of YOUR work.



([url]http://wigmaster.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/mcdonalds_is_evil.jpg[/url])

I will. You all have my word.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 08, 2010, 14:33
Quitting exclusivity is a huge step, likely to lead to a major loss of earnings. Getty will get to keep a larger slice of the pie (maybe they even want to drive out a heap of the lower-ranked exclusives, who knows?). It would take a lot of people including some big names for this to have a real impact. As usual, the pain would be on the submitters' side.

Reducing uploads is futile, we did it to Fotolia with absolutely not effect whatsoever. After a little while, everybody drifts back.

Removing content - would they even notice? I guess it would appear as a blip in the stats report. Which content do you remove? The 20% that makes 90% of your money, which might actually hurt them? Or the 80% that makes 20% of your money, which they might be happy to see removed from their servers?  They already progressively remove it themselves, which says they don't really want it.

Making a stink might work. If you can drive buyers away that would certainly hurt them (and I am pretty sure they will delete the porfolios of anyone they catch doing that) but they would probably never get those buyers back, which would hurt submitters in the long term, too. Of course, if it taught them and the rest of the industry a lesson the cost in lost sales would probably be worth it in the long run. It is also about the only thing a small group of activists could do without the support of the masses.

Oh don't be such a pathetic defeatist idiot. As a 'group' we have forced agencies to backtrack or temper down their announced plans on several occasions. It just needs a big enough stink to be made.

We were mainly unsuccessful the last time with Fotolia only because the issues concerned policies that had actually been in place for years but without us noticing or being aware. It was not a new initiative on FT's behalf. The current issue with Istock is very different.

Ultimately Getty/Istock want to make more and more money. If we collectively give them such a kick in the nuts ... by not uploading ... with email campaigns ... with as much negative publicity as we can generate ... etc, etc, etc ... then we will ultimately be successful.

We should never forget that WE ARE ISTOCKPHOTO. Without us they literally don't have a business. Theoretically Istock, if offered on the open market, might be worth up to $1B right now. We have the power between us to reduce that valuation to zero virtually overnight __ but we have to have balls, stick together and do what is right for our long-term future.

If we let Istock get anyway with this then you can expect other agencies to follow their lead fairly soon afterward.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: vonkara on September 08, 2010, 14:40

Ultimately Getty/Istock want to make more and more money. If we collectively give them such a kick in the nuts ... by not uploading ... with email campaigns ... with as much negative publicity as we can generate ... etc, etc, etc ... then we will ultimately be successful.


We could use our creative network "friends" to do the email campaign. Though, even by stopping the uploads, the Istock collection will remain one of the biggest. But I thought the "friends" mass mail could be a nice way to reach a lot of Istock users
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 08, 2010, 14:41
Just shows that going exclusive anywhere sets you up to be used and abused. ... Diversify.

Yes it does. I actually blame the absurdly loyal woo-yaying exclusive masses for the situation we all now find ourselves in. Independents can easily just stop uploading to Istock for months, probably without us even noticing it. It is not so easy for exclusives with all their eggs in the Istock basket. Istock knows the power it has over them and is now abusing that power hoping that such is the exclusives commitment they will have little choice but to suck it up.

Give up your stupid little crowns and get back your independence.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 08, 2010, 14:43

Ultimately Getty/Istock want to make more and more money. If we collectively give them such a kick in the nuts ... by not uploading ... with email campaigns ... with as much negative publicity as we can generate ... etc, etc, etc ... then we will ultimately be successful.


We could use our creative network "friends" to do the email campaign. Though, even by stopping the uploads, the Istock collection will remain one of the biggest. But I thought the "friends" mass mail could be a nice way to reach a lot of Istock users

Use your CN to try to organise an attack on iStock and you will be off the site faster than your feet can touch the ground. It's a clear breach of the terms of service.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: azurelaroux on September 08, 2010, 14:43
No announcement yet but they are deleting any threads that ask about it or are negative in nature - not just locking - deleting.

Welcome to FT... Oh wait this isn't FT???
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 08, 2010, 14:44
Using the creative network won't work, they will just delete it and remove you from the site.  They have made no secret that they can read your site mail whenever they want.

Ask Paul Cowan, he's been down that road before.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: azurelaroux on September 08, 2010, 14:46
It's just occurred to me that there are probably more people waiting for this announcement then were waiting for the last "F5" announcement.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 08, 2010, 14:49
It's just occurred to me that there are probably more people waiting for this announcement then were waiting for the last "F5" announcement.

They keep us hanging around to create the impression that "our man" is engaging in fisticuffs with "getty's man" to extract the minimal concession that they have to announce if they are going to say anything. In fact, the pair of them are having a beer together in the corporate executive lounge and discussing Tiger Woods.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on September 08, 2010, 14:51
It's just occurred to me that there are probably more people waiting for this announcement then were waiting for the last "F5" announcement.

They're flying in Karl Rove.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: macrosaur on September 08, 2010, 14:51
no no no you must send a press release to newspapers and TV and then to TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Slashdot, Register, and all the other IT/ICT websites.

as i see there's definetely something news-worthy :

"Angry Istock photographers rebels against new draconian paycuts and menace to leave out in droves feeling scammed by Getty"

... something like that.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: azurelaroux on September 08, 2010, 14:56
Rob posted in the original thread that it's almost ready - that was 15 minutes ago.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: massman on September 08, 2010, 14:58
Here it is:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&page=1)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: DiscreetDuck on September 08, 2010, 15:00
For the last "F5" announcement, press "F5" !!!
 ;D
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: macrosaur on September 08, 2010, 15:01
Here it is:

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&page=1[/url])


hahahaha

you're screwed.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: peresanz on September 08, 2010, 15:05
Here it is:

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&page=1[/url])


Amazing... After 24h and more than 130 pages in their forum they come with the same BS
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Nordlys on September 08, 2010, 15:06
IS profits are not growing fast enough - IS is paying out way to much money....

Wuuu Huuuu - I'm crying for them. They just plan rub photographers and shamelessly complain that is not enough . HA!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Kngkyle on September 08, 2010, 15:09
Quote
Since roughly 2005 we've been aware of a basic problem with how our business works. As the company grows, the overall percentage we pay out to contributing artists increases. In the most basic terms that means that iStock becomes less profitable with increased success. As a business model, it’s simply unsustainable: businesses should get more profitable as they grow. This is a long-term problem that needs to be addressed.

That is such crap. They already pay the lowest commission in the industry and now they are trying to convince us that is unsustainable? How . do the other sites stay afloat then? It's just pure greed. They keep trying to sugar coat it and I hope nobody buys it.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Kngkyle on September 08, 2010, 15:14
Perhaps the worst part of this is that every year they will raise the redeemed credit amounts required for each level. So for 2011 it's 1,400,000 credits and then maybe 1,800,000 for 2012 and then maybe 2,200,000 for 2013. Just keep on raising it so hardly anyone goes up a level.

Complete garbage.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 08, 2010, 15:16
At least they're being honest about one thing.  To paraphrase: "You think you're being *removed coarse language*?  That's nothing compared to what we're doing to independents!"
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Xalanx on September 08, 2010, 15:18
At least they're being honest about one thing.  To paraphrase: "You think you're being *removed coarse language*?  That's nothing compared to what we're doing to independents!"

indeed
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 08, 2010, 15:24
Not even a sop! And a mea culpa too! Just a bit of corporate crap.

The exclusives are probably getting screwed at least as hard as the independents. And the whole thing is based on the idea that they have not lost customers as a delayed reaction to the price rises at the start of the year, so the last four months will deliver 50% of the annual income, as usual.

This is a "permanent fix" to their lust for cash because it allows them to move the goalposts every year, so there is absolutely no permanence for contributors.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: vonkara on September 08, 2010, 15:28
Quote
Since roughly 2005 we've been aware of a basic problem with how our business works. As the company grows, the overall percentage we pay out to contributing artists increases. In the most basic terms that means that iStock becomes less profitable with increased success. As a business model, it’s simply unsustainable: businesses should get more profitable as they grow. This is a long-term problem that needs to be addressed.

That is such crap. They already pay the lowest commission in the industry and now they are trying to convince us that is unsustainable? How . do the other sites stay afloat then? It's just pure greed. They keep trying to sugar coat it and I hope nobody buys it.

Exactly what I said in the new Istock thread as long as many others. Complete BS, or Istock is very badly managed !!!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ComfortEagle2095 on September 08, 2010, 15:39
OK so they made their "difficult decisions".  Now make yours.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 08, 2010, 15:43
OK so they made their "difficult decisions".  Now make yours.

I made my first one: I clicked that Pause Uploads button on DeepMeta.  No more new content for iStock.

But here's a problem.  I can't find any way to deactivate or delete existing images.  Am I missing something?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: djpadavona on September 08, 2010, 15:53
I did it.

Exclusivity Cancellation Application
Thank you. Your exclusivity status will be deactivated in 30 days.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: helix7 on September 08, 2010, 15:59
It is definitely greed, plain and simple. If 40% and 50% royalties are sustainable at other companies, but 20% isn't sustainable at iStock, it's because they are cutting some heavy paychecks at HQ.

So we'll see how it plays out. Maybe it's time for the microstock giant to fall, let some young blood take over for a while.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ShadySue on September 08, 2010, 16:01
OK so they made their "difficult decisions".  Now make yours.

I made my first one: I clicked that Pause Uploads button on DeepMeta.  No more new content for iStock.

But here's a problem.  I can't find any way to deactivate or delete existing images.  Am I missing something?
I think you can only deactivate one at a time, which would be a pain with a port as big as yours.
You could contact contributer relations.
(But I'd counsel waiting for a while before making such a drastic more. I'm keeping a watching brief.)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: grassr00tpower on September 08, 2010, 16:07
Today I opened an company account for our ad agency on dreamstime and advised the employees not to use istock anymore. Beyond that I changed the PW of istock to prevent that some of the guys are just following an routine and accidentially buy there.

Off course I stop uploading immediatly.

....lol, on their forums they claim to be independent of Getty....so, congrats! They managed to get so shameless independently and without the influence of an already big and shameless company....well done, istock!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 08, 2010, 16:08
They've applied the 80:20 formula, haven't they? The 20% of exclusives who make 80% of the money are going to get squeezed (along with all the non-exclusives), while the 80% of exclusives who make 20% are let off. It's a reward for under-achievement (or, at least, for not being good enough to bring yourself the the notice of their accountants).

I'd love to know what the projected profits increase is. Didn't the CEO say a while back that he has been ordered to "grow" the company by 50% this year? I suppose that means "grow" the profits, since growing the business doesn't seem to be the aim.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Fotonaut on September 08, 2010, 16:09
I did it.

Exclusivity Cancellation Application
Thank you. Your exclusivity status will be deactivated in 30 days.


Kudos.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: traveler1116 on September 08, 2010, 16:16
Can we curse on this site because this f'ng bs.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: traveler1116 on September 08, 2010, 16:18
I did it.

Exclusivity Cancellation Application
Thank you. Your exclusivity status will be deactivated in 30 days.


Kudos.

I will too as soon as the new changes take place, all future content now that was originally going to be exclusive+ and/or possibly Vetta will be on Alamy now. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: michaeldb on September 08, 2010, 16:24
I did it.

Exclusivity Cancellation Application
Thank you. Your exclusivity status will be deactivated in 30 days.


Kudos.
Congratulations, and welcome to the wonderful world of independents. Enjoy your new freedom.

As for me, as an independent illustrator, IS offers to pay me 15% royalties. What is the economic/business justification for taking 85% commission for a product which IS had no part in creating and which is distributed electronically by an automated system? 85%?

"...The only hope is that in our connected world things change so quickly that a much better alternative for photographers might arise at any given point. The middle man is taking now the largest straw......but for how long ?" Cristian

[edited to add:]
I have removed links to IS from my site (a small thing, but IS got 24 referrals from those links on my site).
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: madelaide on September 08, 2010, 16:24
All this talk about "accepting" or "not accepting" rates makes little sense to me. The only way to reject what they do is to pull your portfolio.

We could have never been there to begin with, but the good results everyone reported even with the mere 20% attracted each of us, so are culprits in having accepted this from the moment we joined IS. That's what I meant. And yes, we can remove our portfolios, and I remember many did from FT and some (I think) from DT.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: madelaide on September 08, 2010, 16:26
I did it.

Exclusivity Cancellation Application
Thank you. Your exclusivity status will be deactivated in 30 days.
A brave move, congratulations. I don't think I would take this decision so fast.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: No Longer Cares on September 08, 2010, 16:27
I will/have stopped uploading to iStock.  Unless the base 20% is restored before 2011, I will probably remove my portfolio.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 08, 2010, 16:27
I did it.

Exclusivity Cancellation Application
Thank you. Your exclusivity status will be deactivated in 30 days.


Congratulations Dan.  You have always had the courage of your convictions.  Admirable :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Anja_Kaiser on September 08, 2010, 16:30
Done. I've removed my entire port. And I feel much better now.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Nordlys on September 08, 2010, 16:36
Well done Anja - so Did I this morning. Let them fry in their own fat, when everybode starts to refer clients to other sites, they are going to take a massive hit in sales and overall traffic...

Also remeber to tell everyone you know - never to buy at Istock, as the photographer only gets 15%
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: grp_photo on September 08, 2010, 16:40
they don't care it's a senseless action, also I find it strange that new members popping in just to announce that they have removed their portfolio from iStock   ::)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 08, 2010, 16:41
Okay, their current system is unsustainable. Then why . can't they for example freeze the current royalties? 20% for every independent and for the exclusives whatever percentage they are currently earning.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Freedom on September 08, 2010, 16:43
It looks like they want the majority contributors stay at bronze and silver level and never be able to move up unless you are hugely productive. It is very demoralizing, to say the least.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Freedom on September 08, 2010, 16:45
That would be worse than what is proposed. The new and up-coming talents should be rewarded, and should not be banned from advancement.

Okay, their current system is unsustainable. Then why . can't they for example freeze the current royalties? 20% for every independent and for the exclusives whatever percentage they are currently earning.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 08, 2010, 16:47
Just some numbers to think about.

Unsustainable: 40%.

Assuming that everyone who qualifies for exclusivity became exclusive:

There are a total of 738 people who qualify for the 40% royalties. That is only 2.4% of all contributors. They are the only ones who can get the 40% commission.

There are 1056 people who qualify for 35% royalties, only 3.5% of contributors. Combined, there are only 5.9% of all iStock contributors who qualify for 35% and up. Many of these people have had accounts on iStock for over 6 years just to get to this level.

This is unsustainable? Lets say that triples in the next six years, so roughly 18% of iStock contributors qualify for more than 35% royalties. Unsustainable?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 08, 2010, 16:49
That would be worse than what is proposed. The new and up-coming talents should be rewarded, and should not be banned from advancement.

Well, they can * have it.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 08, 2010, 16:52
they don't care it's a senseless action, also I find it strange that new members popping in just to announce that they have removed their portfolio from iStock   ::)

They are new members here, but they may have been at IS for a long time.  

This board has always had more independents than IS exclusives active because we need to keep abreast of developments across the whole industry, whereas they may have felt they only needed to follow Istock.  Now they are joining here to find out what their other options are.  Nothing wrong with that.  It's a smart move.

The people we should worry about are the defeatists who are always complaining that there's nothing we can do about anything and we should all just bend over and touch our toes.    :P
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Anja_Kaiser on September 08, 2010, 16:58
they don't care it's a senseless action, also I find it strange that new members popping in just to announce that they have removed their portfolio from iStock   ::)

They are new members here, but they may have been at IS for a long time.  

This board has always had more independents than IS exclusives active because we need to keep abreast of developments across the whole industry, whereas they may have felt they only needed to follow Istock.  Now they are joining here to find out what their other options are.  Nothing wrong with that.  It's a smart move.

The people we should worry about are the defeatists who are always complaining that there's nothing we can do about anything and we should all just bend over and touch our toes.    :P
Yep, iStock was my first agency years ago. I've never been a "big fish" over there, therefor most people may not know my (former) portfolio, but many illustrators over at Shutterstock do, since I'm pretty active in their (illustrators') forum. I'm just new to this board, because I was using different sources of information til now, but felt like joining this particular discussion.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: pixelmemoirs on September 08, 2010, 16:59
they don't care it's a senseless action, also I find it strange that new members popping in just to announce that they have removed their portfolio from iStock   ::)


They are new members here, but they may have been at IS for a long time.  

This board has always had more independents than IS exclusives active because we need to keep abreast of developments across the whole industry, whereas they may have felt they only needed to follow Istock.  Now they are joining here to find out what their other options are.  Nothing wrong with that.  It's a smart move.

The people we should worry about are the defeatists who are always complaining that there's nothing we can do about anything and we should all just bend over and touch our toes.    :P


Your forum link was posted to my FB wall ;D

Has everyone signed the petition

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: michaeldb on September 08, 2010, 16:59
Yeah I always wondered why there were IS people here, who had IS forums to post in, and who loved IS so much, and who could only make money there. Now it looks like MSG will be getting a lot of new members.

they don't care it's a senseless action, also I find it strange that new members popping in just to announce that they have removed their portfolio from iStock   ::)

They are new members here, but they may have been at IS for a long time...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 08, 2010, 17:01
It looks like they want the majority contributors stay at bronze and silver level and never be able to move up unless you are hugely productive. It is very demoralizing, to say the least.

They could at least freeze the royalties of the 20% guys (like me), for every one of us this is a kick in the teeth. (And our steady 20% don't affect the sustainability of the business at all, because it stays the same all the time)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: donding on September 08, 2010, 17:06
This is a sad day indeed...time hasn't allowed me to work much on my portfolio for several months now, but after all this I ask myself the question.....is it even worth the hassle and aggravation any more? Microstock is getting cheaper and cheaper at the contributor end and those of you who are making a living at this will defiantly feel the effects more than most of us. I'm glad I don't rely on microstock for a living because if I did, I'd probably end up applying for food stamps in the near future with everything headed the way it is now, because frankly if your self employed you can't draw unemployment and good luck trying to find a job these days.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: mantonino on September 08, 2010, 17:07
I posted a translation of iStock's reply. LOL  (Those of you who know me know what's coming.  For the rest of you, this ought to be a bit fun.)

http://bit.ly/istockchanges (http://bit.ly/istockchanges)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 08, 2010, 17:08
Just some numbers to think about.

Unsustainable: 40%.

Assuming that everyone who qualifies for exclusivity became exclusive:

There are a total of 738 people who qualify for the 40% royalties. That is only 2.4% of all contributors. They are the only ones who can get the 40% commission.

There are 1056 people who qualify for 35% royalties, only 3.5% of contributors. Combined, there are only 5.9% of all iStock contributors who qualify for 35% and up. Many of these people have had accounts on iStock for over 6 years just to get to this level.

This is unsustainable? Lets say that triples in the next six years, so roughly 18% of iStock contributors qualify for more than 35% royalties. Unsustainable?

Thanks for that __ it certainly puts this issue into some perspective. The f*cking greedy *insult removed*.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 08, 2010, 17:12
The people we should worry about are the defeatists who are always complaining that there's nothing we can do about anything and we should all just bend over and touch our toes.    :P

Yeah. It'll be the same limp-wristed f*ck-wits who joined Thinkstock because "Ooh __ there's nothing we can do about the big juggernaut". You can pretty much guarantee that they'll wimp out of this fight too.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Habman on September 08, 2010, 17:12
Check this out . .

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382&page=1)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 08, 2010, 17:17
Someone said this at iStock forum and I like it.

Quote
why not to do this:

keep "canister level" payments for all of us who will lose with the new rules
use "redeemed credits" payments for those who will "move up" with them.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 08, 2010, 17:18
Like the 60 people who have posted to that in the past two hours will actually have an impact on any of iStock's business plans.

http://davidgilder.com/misc/iStockfulator/noindex.cgi?url=252382 (http://davidgilder.com/misc/iStockfulator/noindex.cgi?url=252382)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Freedom on September 08, 2010, 17:19
I agree 20% should be the minimum for non-exclusives.

It looks like they want the majority contributors stay at bronze and silver level and never be able to move up unless you are hugely productive. It is very demoralizing, to say the least.

They could at least freeze the royalties of the 20% guys (like me), for every one of us this is a kick in the teeth. (And our steady 20% don't affect the sustainability of the business at all, because it stays the same all the time)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 08, 2010, 17:22

The people we should worry about are the defeatists who are always complaining that there's nothing we can do about anything and we should all just bend over and touch our toes.    :P

Sorry, Lisa, but where . are we going from here? The one thing that would really shake them is a mass defection of customers that would almost certainly lead to a mass defection of exclusives. All those images then end up on the other sites, diluting the sales there. And while the percentage commissions may be better, the cash returns are not going to be.

Maybe that would teach the other sites a lesson and be good for the longer term, or maybe everyone just loses out.

If there is a clear, workable plan of action with clear objectives then I'm all for it. But I suspect the only objective we can agree on is "scrap this and start again" and the only effective course of action is to attempt to destroy iStock by driving off buyers. They are definitely not going to abandon this without a major fight, but if we win we may just turn the drift of buyers going to cheaper places into an avalanche.

It probably wouldn't be difficult to break Istock because it is built on the myth that nothing anywhere near as good is available anywhere else. All you need to do is destroy that perception in the industry and iSTock's own pricing policies will do the rest. But that means that we are then driving microstock prices down - and we can't return the buyers if iS gives in.

Do you really think anything as feeble as an upload boycott is going to work, when 90% of submitters are probably still in blissful ignorance about this?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 08, 2010, 17:27
Do you really think anything as feeble as an upload boycott is going to work, when 90% of submitters are probably still in blissful ignorance about this?

Yes, given enough months, I think it has a very good chance. It's not as feeble an idea as doing nothing at all which seems to be your main suggestion. All submitters should be aware of the situation as they have had the email.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 08, 2010, 17:28
I think you can only deactivate one at a time, which would be a pain with a port as big as yours.

I can't even find a way to do that.  I figured I could start deleting a few at a time, starting with stuff that hasn't sold in a while.  But I can't see a delete or deactivate button anywhere.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 08, 2010, 17:32
Today I opened an company account for our ad agency on dreamstime and advised the employees not to use istock anymore. Beyond that I changed the PW of istock to prevent that some of the guys are just following an routine and accidentially buy there.

Well done!  Applause from me.  Hope others follow suit
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: djpadavona on September 08, 2010, 17:32
Check this out . .

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382&page=1[/url])



Sorry but this is just a waste of time and effort.  Starting petitions, changing your avatar to a red ribbon, it's all pointless and Getty doesn't care.  If the people who started these "movements" spent the same amount of time contacting buyers to educate them on what is happening, we could solve this problem inside of a month.

It's like taking part in a community walk to fight a disease.  The disease doesn't care about your solidarity and your commitment to go for a walk.  You want to make a difference?  Put down your hard earned cash to give it to researchers who are capable of finding a cure.  It's the same with this situation.  Those of you with connections to buyers need to get on the horn if you want real changes.  That takes real work and commitment.  Signing a petition just points out to Getty exactly who needs to be eliminated first.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 08, 2010, 17:34
Today I opened an company account for our ad agency on dreamstime and advised the employees not to use istock anymore. Beyond that I changed the PW of istock to prevent that some of the guys are just following an routine and accidentially buy there.

Well done!  Applause from me.  Hope others follow suit

Yes, very nicely done, I hope many will follow!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: djpadavona on September 08, 2010, 17:36
I think you can only deactivate one at a time, which would be a pain with a port as big as yours.

I can't even find a way to do that.  I figured I could start deleting a few at a time, starting with stuff that hasn't sold in a while.  But I can't see a delete or deactivate button anywhere.


Click on the file.  Click on Administration.  Type something in the box.  Click the big blue Deactivate button.  It's a PITA.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 08, 2010, 17:38
Check this out . .

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382&page=1[/url])



Sorry but this is just a waste of time and effort.  Starting petitions, changing your avatar to a red ribbon, it's all pointless and Getty doesn't care.  If the people who started these "movements" spent the same amount of time contacting buyers to educate them on what is happening, we could solve this problem inside of a month.

It's like taking part in a community walk to fight a disease.  The disease doesn't care about your solidarity and your commitment to go for a walk.  You want to make a difference?  Put down your hard earned cash to give it to researchers who are capable of finding a cure.  It's the same with this situation.  Those of you with connections to buyers need to get on the horn if you want real changes.  That takes real work and commitment.  Signing a petition just points out to Getty exactly who needs to be eliminated first.


100% correct.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ShadySue on September 08, 2010, 17:40
I posted a translation of iStock's reply. LOL  (Those of you who know me know what's coming.  For the rest of you, this ought to be a bit fun.)

[url]http://bit.ly/istockchanges[/url] ([url]http://bit.ly/istockchanges[/url])

Well done! :-)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Freedom on September 08, 2010, 17:40
I doubt the majority of buyers care how much we earn. They just want the right image and at bargain price.

Do you stop buying cheap things because they are made by cheap labor?


Check this out . .

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382&page=1[/url])



Sorry but this is just a waste of time and effort.  Starting petitions, changing your avatar to a red ribbon, it's all pointless and Getty doesn't care.  If the people who started these "movements" spent the same amount of time contacting buyers to educate them on what is happening, we could solve this problem inside of a month.

It's like taking part in a community walk to fight a disease.  The disease doesn't care about your solidarity and your commitment to go for a walk.  You want to make a difference?  Put down your hard earned cash to give it to researchers who are capable of finding a cure.  It's the same with this situation.  Those of you with connections to buyers need to get on the horn if you want real changes.  That takes real work and commitment.  Signing a petition just points out to Getty exactly who needs to be eliminated first.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ap on September 08, 2010, 17:47
I doubt the majority of buyers care how much we earn. They just want the right image and at bargain price.



i think the obvious way to hit istock is to deactivate your best sellers, the ones that make istock the place for buyers to shop. if everyone can do that all at once, for a day, a week, and see how that affects istock's bottomline...

of course this will affect everyone's earnings, but this is better than to deactivate your entire portfolio or to walk away altogether. this is the equivalent of a strike. but it must be coordinated to happen in one fell swoop.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: djpadavona on September 08, 2010, 17:47
I doubt the majority of buyers care how much we earn. They just want the right image and at bargain price.

As was pointed out earlier in this thread, many designers are artists too and all too are familiar with the plights we face trying to get agencies to treat us fairly.  Therefor it is possible some amount of empathy can be expected.

However the best argument to make to any designer is that -

1) The same images are available at a cheaper price at other sites
2) Despite the cheaper price, the artist will receive a larger commission due to a more fair profit sharing between the agency and artist

That's all that needs to be said.  Include a direct link to the same image selling cheaper (but not ridiculously cheap) at a reputable agency.  I also think it goes without saying that most artists are slightly anti-authoritarian and probably would view Getty in a much more negative light than say, Bigstock or Stockfresh.  

I really don't think it is a difficult sell at all.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: mantonino on September 08, 2010, 17:48
I posted a translation of iStock's reply. LOL  (Those of you who know me know what's coming.  For the rest of you, this ought to be a bit fun.)

[url]http://bit.ly/istockchanges[/url] ([url]http://bit.ly/istockchanges[/url])

Well done! :-)


Haha thanks.  I guess I have a bit of a reputation as a crap-stirrer in microstock so this was the perfect opportunity for me to be snarky.  I make less on iStock than I do The3DStudio most months so if they banhammer me for being real, so be it.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: NitorPhoto on September 08, 2010, 17:51
Let's be constructive! There are some points in the new concept I do like. Measuring the seriousness of contributors according their current annual performance is not such a bad idea. What I dislike are the actual numbers. They took what Yuri can produce (and he alone) and made it as a starting point, I mean as the highest limit. I do not mind if they give him extra, no doubt he is the most serious player in the league, so give him more. But please open the 20% (independents) club for some mortals as well. Place this limit to somewhere around 60-100k, then most serious players can jump it and secure their current income. I suggest that IS should shift this whole limit-structure with one or two steps backwards compared to the annoucment - then I could take side with them.

As an example: I am on the brink of being qualified for that 150k limit club. Last year I passed it, this year I have a chance but it's not sure yet - I'll be close that's for sure. And who am I? I am a bit late starter compared to the real IS veterans but I am already somewere around the 80th position in overall number of downloads. That's cool, we can say I am doing well and I feel myself pretty serious. It seems I am in their first 10 most successful indenpendents (if not then definitely within the first 15) but still I have no chance to keep my income and have a chance to miss even the second group? I think this is disproportionate.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 08, 2010, 17:52
Click on the file.  Click on Administration.  Type something in the box.  Click the big blue Deactivate button.  It's a PITA.

No wonder I couldn't find it.  Thanks; I figure I can deactivate a few every day as my little protest.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 08, 2010, 17:55
Do you really think anything as feeble as an upload boycott is going to work, when 90% of submitters are probably still in blissful ignorance about this?

Yes, given enough months, I think it has a very good chance. It's not as feeble an idea as doing nothing at all which seems to be your main suggestion. All submitters should be aware of the situation as they have had the email.

Upload boycotts have worked to improve things with other sites that lowered royalties.  I don't know if one will work at IS.   I don't even know if doing what we can to drive buyers to the more reasonable sites will work.  But I do know that doing nothing will guarantee we all go down the tubes.  There is no doubt about that.  

At some point it isn't just about how much you think you can change.  I am not certain we can get them to change anything.  For me it is an issue of deciding whether I want to to stand up for myself or just accept whatever crumbs Istock wants to toss my way without protest.  

Either way, my income is going to be affected.  Not only will I lose probably 10% of my IS income (which is 4-5% of my overall income), but I expect I will also lose income on the other sites when brilliant photographers who have been exclusive begin competing with me on the other sites.  We are all in for some pain.  The question is should we try to salvage the industry or just let it go down.  I'm gonna try and salvage what I can because that's what I believe in.  

For the moment, I am going to contact every buyer I know, let them know what's happening to image producers at Istock, and offer them better choices of where to shop.  I have also suspended uploading for the time being.  I am leaving it open when I will resume uploading - don't want to box myself into a corner.  Others are free to do what their consciences dictate.  

BTW, Balderick, my initial comment about defeatism was not directed at you, and I don't think you fit that description.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: grp_photo on September 08, 2010, 18:01
The brilliant ones will remain exclusive the other ones are no threat at all but most of them will remain exclusive too.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 08, 2010, 18:03

Do you stop buying cheap things because they are made by cheap labor?


Actually, Yes.  

For example, my husband and I stopped shopping at WalMart a few years ago when I found out they were squeezing their suppliers to shut down US and other Western factories that paid a living wage and instead open sweatshops in third world countries.  I have persuaded others to do the same.  

Just today I drove 5 miles out of my way to buy a bouquet of flowers for a friend from a local Florist who supports my church, rather than just picking them up at the supermarket by my house.

Are WalMart or the supermarket going to go out of business?  No.  But I feel better about my choices, and if enough people did the same then the economy would not be in the toilet as it is.    
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: travelstock on September 08, 2010, 18:03
Click on the file.  Click on Administration.  Type something in the box.  Click the big blue Deactivate button.  It's a PITA.

No wonder I couldn't find it.  Thanks; I figure I can deactivate a few every day as my little protest.

Someone could probably write a macro to automate the whole process. Its what I did for deactivating files from DT and FT. Depending on your internet speed you can program your computer deactivate thousands of images in minutes with very little hassle.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Freedom on September 08, 2010, 18:03
It may be the case for the non-exclusives.

However, do you get paid more at other sites? From my recollections, even though IS only gave me 20%, I still got higher dollar amount, than, SS and FT, 123, Veer, etc. With DT, my Level 4 images were doing comparably ok but their sub sales sucked.  

I doubt the majority of buyers care how much we earn. They just want the right image and at bargain price.

As was pointed out earlier in this thread, many designers are artists too and all too are familiar with the plights we face trying to get agencies to treat us fairly.  Therefor it is possible some amount of empathy can be expected.

However the best argument to make to any designer is that -

1) The same images are available at a cheaper price at other sites
2) Despite the cheaper price, the artist will receive a larger commission due to a more fair profit sharing between the agency and artist

That's all that needs to be said.  Include a direct link to the same image selling cheaper (but not ridiculously cheap) at a reputable agency.  I also think it goes without saying that most artists are slightly anti-authoritarian and probably would view Getty in a much more negative light than say, Bigstock or Stockfresh.  

I really don't think it is a difficult sell at all.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Freedom on September 08, 2010, 18:08
I can understand that some minority will do as you are doing. But the majority are watching their own bottom lines. You said something to that effect, too, Lisa. Many people do it from the view point of political protectionists, instead of thinking about fairness. If you don't have enough money to go somewhere else, will you still buy at Walmart? What if Walmart does not have 5DM2?
 


Do you stop buying cheap things because they are made by cheap labor?


Actually, Yes.  

For example, my husband and I stopped shopping at WalMart a few years ago when I found out they were squeezing their suppliers to shut down US and other Western factories that paid a living wage and instead open sweatshops in third world countries.  I have persuaded others to do the same.  

Just today I drove 5 miles out of my way to buy a bouquet of flowers for a friend from a local Florist who supports my church, rather than just picking them up at the supermarket by my house.

Are WalMart or the supermarket going to go out of business?  No.  But I feel better about my choices, and if enough people did the same then the economy would not be in the toilet as it is.    
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Pixart on September 08, 2010, 18:13
It's bad enough, but the introduction of other collections will make it even harder to get those credits.  You think non-exclusive search placement is bad now, wait until this mystery fully owned content is added.  It will take the first 10  search pages, then 15 pages of exclusives then us - the excluded.  Unless they see the 85% potential of pushing the excludeds to the top.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 08, 2010, 18:17
It may be the case for the non-exclusives.

However, do you get paid more at other sites? From my recollections, even though IS only gave me 20%, I still got higher dollar amount, than, SS and FT, 123, Veer, etc. With DT, my Level 4 images were doing comparably ok but their sub sales sucked.  


Just for informational purposes - this past August my $/DL numbers at the top three PPD sites were:  Istock $1.07, Fotolia $ 1.44, and Dreamstime $1.83.  This is including sub sales.  The very high rates for PPD still mean that I score considerably higher on a per sale basis at FT and DT than IS.  And that is as it currently stands.  Only gonna get worse when the new rates kick in.  So yeah, it only makes sense to direct buyers to those sites.  

Don't understand your WalMart question?  What does it matter to me whether or not WalMart carries the 5DII if I don't shop there?  
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Freedom on September 08, 2010, 18:24
Lisa, your reply makes sense because you have a lot of higher level images at DT and your canister level is high at FT. While at IS, your BD status does not generate more money for you because you are an independent.

As to the Walmart comment, I meant that if other alternative stores do not carry what you want or carry what you can afford, you will have no choice but to buy from Walmart. But I worded it wrongly so I understand why you didn't get my point.

It may be the case for the non-exclusives.

However, do you get paid more at other sites? From my recollections, even though IS only gave me 20%, I still got higher dollar amount, than, SS and FT, 123, Veer, etc. With DT, my Level 4 images were doing comparably ok but their sub sales sucked.  


Just for informational purposes - this past August my $/DL numbers at the top three PPD sites were:  Istock $1.07, Fotolia $ 1.44, and Dreamstime $1.83.  This is including sub sales.  The very high rates for PPD still mean that I score considerably higher on a per sale basis at FT and DT than IS.  And that is as it currently stands.  Only gonna get worse when the new rates kick in.  So yeah, it only makes sense to direct buyers to those sites.  

Don't understand your WalMart question?  What does it matter to me whether or not WalMart carries the 5DII if I don't shop there?  
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: corepics on September 08, 2010, 18:26
Having spent a couple of hours reading up on what's going on, and the havoc IS has created, I can only add that I'm as disgusted as most at the current events.

However, I feel the majority of solutions and counter measures mentioned, are equal to shooting yourself in the foot. Even despite the drop in royalties for the majority of both exclusives and non-exclusives, IS will still remain in the top tier - did the math for our fairly medium sized portfolio and performance. IS will surely drop a notch or two in our ranking, but still not enough to completely withdraw completely

Next step from IS management might well be a change in contributor agreement - forcing us to either accept or reject their new royalty structure.

(...)The people we should worry about are the defeatists (...)

I'd usually agree to such a statement, but in this case, given a chronic oversupply across the industry, as well as IS' long-time standing as market leader, I see very little options left than to either reject or accept their horrendous proposal.

The decision to reject Getty's ThinkStock offer was considerably easier after StockXpert's demise, but apparently, the signal sent to Getty Corp. by opting-out of their ThinkStock proposal wasn't even close to being strong enough to allow such dramatic (and undesirable) royalty changes to be proposed in the first place.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 08, 2010, 18:39
For the moment, I am going to contact every buyer I know, let them know what's happening to image producers at Istock, and offer them better choices of where to shop.  I have also suspended uploading for the time being.  I am leaving it open when I will resume uploading - don't want to box myself into a corner.  Others are free to do what their consciences dictate.  

BTW, Balderick, my initial comment about defeatism was not directed at you, and I don't think you fit that description.

Lol Gostwyck does :)

Contacting buyers is a practical step. It amounts to going nuclear. It may be the only answer. I'll suspend uploading for a short while in case there is a widespread move in that direction.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 08, 2010, 18:39
From Sylvanworks (copy paste)...

OK, the folks at HQ have been reading the responses and have been putting together a reply. I'm going to lock this so everyone can catch their breath for a few minutes. I've been told the response will be posted within the next hour

This has become their modus operandi and I am SOOOO tired of it. I will be happy to make things easier for them. I have ZERO trust in the cr*p that comes out of their mouths anymore.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: KB on September 08, 2010, 18:44
From Sylvanworks (copy paste)...

OK, the folks at HQ have been reading the responses and have been putting together a reply. I'm going to lock this so everyone can catch their breath for a few minutes. I've been told the response will be posted within the next hour

This has become their modus operandi and I am SOOOO tired of it. I will be happy to make things easier for them. I have ZERO trust in the cr*p that comes out of their mouths anymore.
You're now in the clear majority with that thinking, Cathy.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 08, 2010, 18:56
I doubt the majority of buyers care how much we earn. They just want the right image and at bargain price.

I think a good portion of buyers are designers or artists themselves...I DO think they care. I would hope that they would be sympathetic. I know that I have read some posts by buyers, either here or in the istock forum, that stated as much.

edit: sorry, just read Dan's post, he said the same thing. Been trying to read through the 12 pages that have been added since I left this morning.

KB, do I detect a little sarcasm in your remark? Or is my general pissiness from this whole debacle spilling over into your innocent post?  ;)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Suljo on September 08, 2010, 19:00
I just wonder in what drugs are iStock and Greedy???
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 08, 2010, 19:12

KB, do I detect a little sarcasm in your remark? Or is my general pissiness from this whole debacle spilling over into your innocent post?  ;)

FWIW, I didn't read it as sarcastic.  But I can TOTALLY relate to general pissiness spilling over.  I am so aggravated over this my family is afraid to get near me  :o
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: FD on September 08, 2010, 19:14
I just wonder in what drugs are iStock and Greedy???
Welcome. We have been expecting you.  :P
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Suljo on September 08, 2010, 19:45
I just wonder in what drugs are iStock and Greedy???
Welcome. We have been expecting you.  :P


See the new line in they history  ;D
In September 2010, Getty Images iStock Photo Brand announced plans to cut payments to contributors by as much as 25% starting in 2011, while claiming that it furthered the interest of those same contributors. Getty's motivation was greeted with skepticism by the iStock community.[4]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getty_Images (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getty_Images)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 08, 2010, 20:09

KB, do I detect a little sarcasm in your remark? Or is my general pissiness from this whole debacle spilling over into your innocent post?  ;)

FWIW, I didn't read it as sarcastic.  But I can TOTALLY relate to general pissiness spilling over.  I am so aggravated over this my family is afraid to get near me  :o

I'm sure you're right Lisa.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 08, 2010, 20:10
Almighty Angry Parokeet, guide us through this iStock mess.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: madelaide on September 08, 2010, 20:22
I doubt the majority of buyers care how much we earn. They just want the right image and at bargain price.

Do you stop buying cheap things because they are made by cheap labor?

So buyers do care, as well as some people only buy mahogany furniture with certified origin, or gives preference to local producers, or avoids buying imported stuff even if paying more for national, etc. You know, sustainability is a poweful word these days. Of course, not all buyers will care, maybe just a minority will care, but those of us who have access to buyers, this is a valid strategy. They can find good images elsewhere for basically the same price or cheaper.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Kngkyle on September 08, 2010, 20:40
These changes will come back to haunt them. Kinda like this:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEfb-I1oy40[/youtube]
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Suljo on September 08, 2010, 20:45
Almighty Angry Parokeet, guide us through this iStock mess.

I just like way how somebody who wrote this on Wiki legally try to ruin they reputation just little bit.
I dont looked if same is added on iStock wiki too...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 08, 2010, 20:48
I doubt the majority of buyers care how much we earn. They just want the right image and at bargain price.

Do you stop buying cheap things because they are made by cheap labor?

So buyers do care, as well as some people only buy mahogany furniture with certified origin, or gives preference to local producers, or avoids buying imported stuff even if paying more for national, etc. You know, sustainability is a poweful word these days. Of course, not all buyers will care, maybe just a minority will care, but those of us who have access to buyers, this is a valid strategy. They can find good images elsewhere for basically the same price or cheaper.

Well, according to iStock's figures, if you get one buyer in ten to go elsewhere, it will knock something like $38 million off their turnover. I really, really do think they would notice that. In fact it might be about the same as the sum they are trying to grab from commissions and could even cost the CEO his job.

One in a hundred will still cost them something like $4 million, which is probably noticable even at Getty greed levels.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: djpadavona on September 08, 2010, 20:53

KB, do I detect a little sarcasm in your remark? Or is my general pissiness from this whole debacle spilling over into your innocent post?  ;)

FWIW, I didn't read it as sarcastic.  But I can TOTALLY relate to general pissiness spilling over.  I am so aggravated over this my family is afraid to get near me  :o


Sounds like a photo shoot is in order.  Psycho mom going ballistic, isolated over white, with clipping path.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: KB on September 08, 2010, 20:57
KB, do I detect a little sarcasm in your remark? Or is my general pissiness from this whole debacle spilling over into your innocent post?  ;)
I'm afraid it's the latter. I genuinely believe that most iStockers, exclusive & independent, no longer trust management. How could they after this?

Or maybe it's my own pissiness showing. Having dropped independence after 4 years only 2 months ago, I've now received a big slap in the face (kinder than the analogy I am actually envisioning). My gold grandfathering is meaningless, and my silver commission level will be cut to bronze. I AM NOT HAPPY!  >:(

ETA: I suppose I should admit that if I had been exclusive the entire year, I likely would not have seen a commission cut (except for the lowering that would result from the cut in ELs & subs). But I still would be very unhappy about the whole thing (just not quite as angry as I am now).
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: bluerabbit on September 08, 2010, 21:32
We should all discuss it here rather than in the forum over there, because hits on their site might add to the site's value. I don't feel like helping them at the moment.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sc on September 08, 2010, 21:36
If you wanna mess with their google ranking remove all your links to their site even the links to your portfolios in this forum.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: FD on September 08, 2010, 21:43
In September 2010, Getty Images iStock Photo Brand announced plans to cut payments to contributors by as much as 25% starting in 2011, while claiming that it furthered the interest of those same contributors. Getty's motivation was greeted with skepticism by the iStock community.[4]
It's quite clear that the corporate nitwits of Getty are jealous at the bonuses in the financial world, even if those screwed up an entire economy. They need their fat payout at the end of the year. Looking at the couple of thousand I made on IS, that means 8000$ for them. I'd rather send my stuff for free on Flickr in the future.

I saw it coming, and I removed my Deepmeta link end of June. I'm just a bit worried many of their great photographers would dump exclusivity and find out the sites where we make our real money.  I'm for a pay rise of the exclusives! ;)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Fotonaut on September 08, 2010, 21:50
As I entered the world i iStock in 2005 as a buyer, only contributing a tiny bit since the start of 2010, my perspective as a buyer is that the only ones with the key to actually do something are the iStock exclusives. What indepedents do will not matter, their work is already all over the place.

As a buyer I already know I can get the independent's work cheaper elsewhere, and often I do. But all in all iStock has the best stuff, so as a buyer often it makes sense to go there (search time/quality ratio definately favour iStock). Most of the time thats where I find what I need.

If exclusives were to make a combined move to another site, where I then could get the most good stuff, that's where i would turn to buy. If that is Bigstock or CanStock, great. Cheaper for me as a buyer. If it is Yay or any other site that both gives a good commission and comparable prices to iStock, that's fine too. I'll go where I find what I need.

But the clue is that it would have to be a collective move by enough exclusives.

Of course, then there is the issue that within some years that site would lower commissions, or Getty would buy the site and start their dance again.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dnavarrojr on September 08, 2010, 22:29
Ditto...  The folks at Stockfresh don't answer emails... I'm not impressed so far.

Not sure where you wrote, but we haven't received any e-mails from the address in your account. If you use the online form, we will definitely get it.

I used the form this time... we'll see what happens.  I am curious as to why it takes months to approve applications.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: macrosaur on September 09, 2010, 00:39
you guys are all wrong :

we're selling a DIGITAL product !

if we look at the royalties paid in most of the Internet Marketing business i've never seen anyone getting more than 20% of the sale price for selling or re-selling or promoting someone else product on the web, and this is even more true for the biggest affiliate companies like Commission Junction, TradeDoubler, and Zanox who make millions of sales every day worldwide !

Getty pretending an 85% cut of the sale is just ... hahaha ... unbelievable and unthinkable even in their weirdest dreams, nowhere in the past history of stock an agency ever paid so low !

the real problem of microstock is that it started cheap and it started as a joke, and so it remained for the years to come, you can't expect a business like that goes up to premium prices and therefore premium payouts in a snap.

as a matter of fact the opposite happened, and i'm not the least surprised.

you're treated like monkeys now because YOU accepted these crazy low-payouts in the first place !

there's plenty of IT companies a lot bigger than istock who can pay all the operational costs and live just on advertising and that's advertising converting very bad by the way so we're talking of the bottom of the barrel and yet they make profits and they're in business, don't believe the getty hype ... Alamy pays 40% and no questions asked ... same for many other macros, all in the 30-40% range, only getty pays 20% but sales are going down.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: rod on September 09, 2010, 01:59
Drop their royalty from 20% to 1x%, IS make a  severe precedent,maybe some other agencies will follow later.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 09, 2010, 02:51
Do you stop buying cheap things because they are made by cheap labor?

I do, sometimes. What makes this situation special, is that the options where photographers get more are also cheaper. And the creative people buying the images also symphatize with other creatives i. e. photographers.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 09, 2010, 02:58
[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getty_Images[/url] ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getty_Images[/url])


I think the text don't fit there, it should be on iStock's page, for example here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IStockphoto#Controversies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IStockphoto#Controversies)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: diego_cervo on September 09, 2010, 03:07

Upload boycotts have worked to improve things with other sites that lowered royalties.  I don't know if one will work at IS.   I don't even know if doing what we can to drive buyers to the more reasonable sites will work.  But I do know that doing nothing will guarantee we all go down the tubes.  There is no doubt about that.  

At some point it isn't just about how much you think you can change.  I am not certain we can get them to change anything.  For me it is an issue of deciding whether I want to to stand up for myself or just accept whatever crumbs Istock wants to toss my way without protest.  

Either way, my income is going to be affected.  Not only will I lose probably 10% of my IS income (which is 4-5% of my overall income), but I expect I will also lose income on the other sites when brilliant photographers who have been exclusive begin competing with me on the other sites.  We are all in for some pain.  The question is should we try to salvage the industry or just let it go down.  I'm gonna try and salvage what I can because that's what I believe in.  

For the moment, I am going to contact every buyer I know, let them know what's happening to image producers at Istock, and offer them better choices of where to shop.  I have also suspended uploading for the time being.  I am leaving it open when I will resume uploading - don't want to box myself into a corner.  Others are free to do what their consciences dictate.  


100% agree!
Like many others I stopped uploading to istock as well and I hope that all people here will do the same. Besides, thanks to all the buyers who have decided to shop elsewhere!

Please this time don't let the protest end soon and accept everything they do.... This new istock policy will have lots of implications on big players and factories too, so I'm crossing the fingers and hoping they will join us in any form of protest.

p.s. Thank God I never opted in for exclusivity!!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Oldhand on September 09, 2010, 03:36
IS have planned for this reaction. They held off an already preplanned reply for 24 hours, and will have another up their sleeve if the response remains at the same level. They have appeased the top contributors with the tiered system, so they won't cause a problem.

Maybe 100-1000 people will delete their potfolio - again anticipated. Maybe the amount of uploads will be 50% of the usual amount next week - again anticipated.

IS's end goal is to weather the protest and get their way. Bit by bit uploading will resume and the comments on the forum get less.

What we need is concerted, directed action. A small group of respected contributors should canvas popular opinion, and then with a mandate from us approach IS. Is are quite happy for us to moan for weeks, what they do not want is actual action. Direct emails to buyers, articles in newspapers, facebook campaigns etc etc. Neither do they want us to have a focal point. They see the community approach as a weakness, when in fact it is our strength.

I "Mr and Mrs X" represent the wishes of the following 10,000 contributors with a total portfolio size of 5 Million. We need to open constructive dialogue with IS, or on such a day at 12am MST everyone will begin deleting their portfolios at the rate of 1 picture per hour until an announcement is fothcoming on your site. A press release will also be issued etc, etc.

Candidates please step forward.

Oldhand'
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: CofkoCof on September 09, 2010, 03:45
See the new line in they history  ;D
In September 2010, Getty Images iStock Photo Brand announced plans to cut payments to contributors by as much as 25% starting in 2011, while claiming that it furthered the interest of those same contributors. Getty's motivation was greeted with skepticism by the iStock community.[4]
[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getty_Images[/url] ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getty_Images[/url])

Nice one :D
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: hoi ha on September 09, 2010, 03:49
IS have planned for this reaction. They held off an already preplanned reply for 24 hours, and will have another up their sleeve if the response remains at the same level. They have appeased the top contributors with the tiered system, so they won't cause a problem.

Maybe 100-1000 people will delete their potfolio - again anticipated. Maybe the amount of uploads will be 50% of the usual amount next week - again anticipated.

IS's end goal is to weather the protest and get their way. Bit by bit uploading will resume and the comments on the forum get less.

What we need is concerted, directed action. A small group of respected contributors should canvas popular opinion, and then with a mandate from us approach IS. Is are quite happy for us to moan for weeks, what they do not want is actual action. Direct emails to buyers, articles in newspapers, facebook campaigns etc etc. Neither do they want us to have a focal point. They see the community approach as a weakness, when in fact it is our strength.

I "Mr and Mrs X" represent the wishes of the following 10,000 contributors with a total portfolio size of 5 Million. We need to open constructive dialogue with IS, or on such a day at 12am MST everyone will begin deleting their portfolios at the rate of 1 picture per hour until an announcement is fothcoming on your site. A press release will also be issued etc, etc.

Candidates please step forward.

Oldhand'

Exactly right - but you will need to have a central coordination point - this forum makes sense ... but how do you do it? See this is exactly what they are counting on - the inability of so many individuals in cyberspace to coordinate a concerted, unfied approach. And a transparent one as well where tasks are delegated and everyone knows what is happening - it is a huge mean feat. I cannot begin to imagine how to accomplish this effectively - which is why I fear they will always win.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: LostOne on September 09, 2010, 03:51
[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getty_Images[/url] ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getty_Images[/url])


I think the text don't fit there, it should be on iStock's page, for example here [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IStockphoto#Controversies[/url] ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IStockphoto#Controversies[/url])

Check under Contributors. There is one sentence about it, but doesn't say much about lowering royalties. Maybe someone can edit it:
"In September 2010 iStock announced plans to restructure it's royalty system for contributors.[7]"
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: hoi ha on September 09, 2010, 04:07
Actually the more I think about it the more I am convinced that Istock/Getty/Hellerman know exactly what they are doing and they have structured this change to create exactly the result they want. The people who are talking about leaving are exactly they people they want gone. They are changing the structure of who they are and the vast majority of people contributing to the site they no longer want or feel they need. Thinkstock is the old istock - the new istock is going to be something different.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Oldhand on September 09, 2010, 04:31
1 - Ask for leaf's help on this site!
2.  State an intention to run a poll for anyone interested in representing the wishes of Micro photographers against IS specifically. Post here, on Microstockdiaries, IS, plus all other micro sites (they might like that!) Interested parties to contact Leaf by say Monday 9am.
3. Poll runs for 48 hours. You can choose as many candidates as you like, then everyone with over 75% is in the negotiating group. If too many people have over 75%, then it will be the 6 most popular.
4. The group then privately discuss options for reaching agreement with IS. Total refusal, acceptance on condition your current level remains the same, etc, etc..
5. They canvas our opinion on their ideas by another poll, again advertised in advance.
6. They approach IS on our behalf, in private, and communicate back the best deal they can. Needs a 75% approval to pass.
7. Bargaining power! We need to operate from strength. so the group has to co-ordinate a list of all photographers supporting them with image numbers etc.
8. What happens if IS refuse to move. Then everyone on the list starts removing image every hour until negotiations begin again from a set date after negotiations break down. Press are contacted with a release.

As my old teacher would say, needs work, but we have to start concerted action to succeed.

Oldhand
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lagereek on September 09, 2010, 04:32
Must say Ive been curious as to why my FT and SS  revenues have doubled and rising during the last six months. Buyers are without doubt leaving IS, theyve had it with all the excuses of price increases and hassle.
Buyers reading the ongoing threads at IS, will feel even more inclined to get out. Its very bad publicity indeed.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lagereek on September 09, 2010, 04:39
1 - Ask for leaf's help on this site!
2.  State an intention to run a poll for anyone interested in representing the wishes of Micro photographers against IS specifically. Post here, on Microstockdiaries, IS, plus all other micro sites (they might like that!) Interested parties to contact Leaf by say Monday 9am.
3. Poll runs for 48 hours. You can choose as many candidates as you like, then everyone with over 75% is in the negotiating group. If too many people have over 75%, then it will be the 6 most popular.
4. The group then privately discuss options for reaching agreement with IS. Total refusal, acceptance on condition your current level remains the same, etc, etc..
5. They canvas our opinion on their ideas by another poll, again advertised in advance.
6. They approach IS on our behalf, in private, and communicate back the best deal they can. Needs a 75% approval to pass.
7. Bargaining power! We need to operate from strength. so the group has to co-ordinate a list of all photographers supporting them with image numbers etc.
8. What happens if IS refuse to move. Then everyone on the list starts removing image every hour until negotiations begin again from a set date after negotiations break down. Press are contacted with a release.

As my old teacher would say, needs work, but we have to start concerted action to succeed.

Oldhand


Its a waste!!  do you really think they care?   IS same as the others are Agents, our agents,  no contributor is fully employed with rights, etc,  they merely represent us in selling our pics and we recieve a percentage, etc.  They dont care! and if anybody wants to get out,  so what? its thanks for the coffee and bye bye.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: pixelmemoirs on September 09, 2010, 04:48
Click on the file.  Click on Administration.  Type something in the box.  Click the big blue Deactivate button.  It's a PITA.

No wonder I couldn't find it.  Thanks; I figure I can deactivate a few every day as my little protest.

type something in the box yeah, like up yours greedy b*******s lol
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Oldhand on September 09, 2010, 05:00


Its a waste!!  do you really think they care?   IS same as the others are Agents, our agents,  no contributor is fully employed with rights, etc,  they merely represent us in selling our pics and we recieve a percentage, etc.  They dont care! and if anybody wants to get out,  so what? its thanks for the coffee and bye bye.
[/quote]

It's that fine line beween what a company can get away with and what the masses will accept. No, they don't care for us a individuals, and I respect they are a capitalist business designed to make a profit. They will cut magins where they can, they are not a charity. But. accepting that, we have a unique bargaining power in our ability to act collectivley.  Individual action in meaningless. If a majority of people are unhappy and are willing to ultimately disable or remove images, then that is a serious threat to IS. They won't backtrack 100%, but they may make important concessions.

In the words of the Great Irish man Jim Larkin. " Le grandes ne sans grandes que parce'que nous sommes a' genoux. Levons nous". Apologies to the French, but it's inscribed on his statue in Dublin.

The great only appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise.

Oldhand
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ThomasAmby on September 09, 2010, 05:08
Of course they'll change their mind once they begin seriously losing their buyers and contributors. Though the new royalty rates might make up for some of the loss, they'll now have a bad reputation and ultimately they will do what it takes to get back their buyer and contributor base.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lagereek on September 09, 2010, 05:11


Its a waste!!  do you really think they care?   IS same as the others are Agents, our agents,  no contributor is fully employed with rights, etc,  they merely represent us in selling our pics and we recieve a percentage, etc.  They dont care! and if anybody wants to get out,  so what? its thanks for the coffee and bye bye.

It's that fine line beween what a company can get away with and what the masses will accept. No, they don't care for us a individuals, and I respect they are a capitalist business designed to make a profit. They will cut magins where they can, they are not a charity. But. accepting that, we have a unique bargaining power in our ability to act collectivley.  Individual action in meaningless. If a majority of people are unhappy and are willing to ultimately disable or remove images, then that is a serious threat to IS. They won't backtrack 100%, but they may make important concessions.

In the words of the Great Irish man Jim Larkin. " Le grandes ne sans grandes que parce'que nous sommes a' genoux. Levons nous". Apologies to the French, but it's inscribed on his statue in Dublin.

The great only appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise.

Oldhand
[/quote]

Love that saying. btw.  However,  if a thousand guys pulled out this minute,  they could be replaced within 24 hours.  Its a numbers game and thats the downfall of it all.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 09, 2010, 05:20
For independent contributors there is one way of both mitigating the lost income from Istock and also giving them a little less opportunity to profit from us __ make some images exclusive on FT.

Identify images that sell better on FT than most other places, make them exclusive (removing them from all other sites first!) and increase the price up to the maximum allowed for your Ranking. As a Gold contributor for example you can multiply the price by 4x. I've been doing this very occasionally for some while and am pretty sure that it more than compensates for the lost sales elsewhere. Obviously the images themselves need to already enjoy a high placement in the FT sort order and be unique enough to justify the higher price __ it's unlikely to work if it's just another 'girl wearing headset' shot.

It is a small step but they will all add up in the end. I suspect this may need to be a slow long-term war of attrition against Istock using a multiple of tactics. Istock, in their truly staggering greed, have chosen to do incredible damage to both their brand and their relationship with their suppliers and ultimately it is going to cost them far more than they seek to gain. Of that I am certain.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 09, 2010, 05:52
If you choose to stop uploading to Istock, in protest against the reduction in commissions, how much will it actually cost you in lost income?

I've just checked my numbers to try and find out. Over the last 3.5 months I've uploaded just under 200 new images. Those images have so far generated 80 sales on Istock, probably fairly average for me nowadays. The actual revenue they have contributed however works out at just over 0.5% to my total over the last 3 months from all agencies.

Those 80 sales represent about 2% of my total sales on Istock over the same period so, if I were exclusive instead, it would have cost me roughly the same 2% in earnings.

It's not a costly exercise to undertake for either independents or exclusives and, if the majority of contributors stopped uploading for 3 months, it would send a very powerful message of protest to Istock.

Check out your own new uploads/earnings over the last few months. Your new images may sell better or worse than mine but I suspect the impact will be similar although it also depends on the size of your portfolio relative to the number of new images. Don't forget you'll still have the images ready to upload later if we get a satisfactory outcome from this mess.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Danicek on September 09, 2010, 05:55
^ Agree. I'm done uploading  for now (every bit counts). I still have some stuff in the queue and that's all they will get for now.

EDIT - I think they used to have the size of their queue some place on the site. Is this now gone?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lagereek on September 09, 2010, 06:03
I agree!  crap DOES sometimes happen but from a business point, its no use to stop uploading, what for? I remember back in the mid-90s in the RM sector when Getty cut us down from 50/50 to 60/40, even in some cases 70/30.

All this and the ongoing IS threads are really very bad publicity and because we havent had a kind of warning or hint but just dumped in our lap,  well it certainly gives the wrong vibes, such as:  is the company in trouble? financial mismanagement? or severe internal politics?  because there isnt any inside info about the running of the company, it all basically smells fishy.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: crazychristina on September 09, 2010, 06:05
I believe istock is encouraging big producers at the expense of smaller producers. Only the biggest producers will be able to access the best royalties. The long term effect of this will be a lack of diversity, with a huge number of similar images in the library. Short term profits but long term death.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 09, 2010, 06:12
I agree!  crap DOES sometimes happen but from a business point, its no use to stop uploading, what for? I remember back in the mid-90s in the RM sector when Getty cut us down from 50/50 to 60/40, even in some cases 70/30.

What do you mean "it's no use to stop uploading"? Of course it is. Maybe if you and others had taken a stand against Getty "back in the mid-90s", as you keep going on about, then you wouldn't have lost out as much as you did. Doing nothing will only ensure that history repeats itself.

Quite frankly, considering the PITA that the Istock upload systen is, I simply can't be bothered to upload there for a poxy 18%. At 20% it is bad enough already __ at some point you simply have to draw a line in the sand and say "No more".
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: peresanz on September 09, 2010, 06:23

I was not aware of this option in the Istock profile:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4613922#post4613922 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4613922#post4613922)

I opted-out. Please check
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lagereek on September 09, 2010, 06:35
I agree!  crap DOES sometimes happen but from a business point, its no use to stop uploading, what for? I remember back in the mid-90s in the RM sector when Getty cut us down from 50/50 to 60/40, even in some cases 70/30.

What do you mean "it's no use to stop uploading"? Of course it is. Maybe if you and others had taken a stand against Getty "back in the mid-90s", as you keep going on about, then you wouldn't have lost out as much as you did. Doing nothing will only ensure that history repeats itself.

Quite frankly, considering the PITA that the Istock upload systen is, I simply can't be bothered to upload there for a poxy 18%. At 20% it is bad enough already __ at some point you simply have to draw a line in the sand and say "No more".

Hey wait a minute!  I do agree with you BUT!  the horrible truth is:  longterm youre the looser!  stopping uploading will only render in less revenues and WHY?  give them that free of charge?

Also, have you stopped to consider:  this is perhaps the reaction they actually want.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: FD on September 09, 2010, 06:43
I believe istock is encouraging big producers at the expense of smaller producers. Only the biggest producers will be able to access the best royalties. The long term effect of this will be a lack of diversity, with a huge number of similar images in the library. Short term profits but long term death.
+1
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 09, 2010, 06:47
I believe istock is encouraging big producers at the expense of smaller producers. Only the biggest producers will be able to access the best royalties. The long term effect of this will be a lack of diversity, with a huge number of similar images in the library. Short term profits but long term death.

Big producers may be being hit less than others but almost all of them will be taking a hit somewhere. Don't forget that Vetta commissions have been slashed, so have EL commissions for exclusives and Vector artists' sales are worth barely half the redeemed credits of photographers for the purposes of calculating future earnings.

If this wasn't enough already then don't forget this is just for starters. It's virtually guaranteed that the goalposts will be moved to Istocks further advantage in following years too. The scale and breadth of this hit is breathtaking in it's audacity.

Istock have quite deliberately chosen to exploit their contributors until the pips squeak __ nothing more, nothing less.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: luissantos84 on September 09, 2010, 06:55
"That means people will have to give iStock 1.4 million Euros before you will earn your 20%."

http://blog.photocase.com/en/2010/09/08/1-4-million-euros/ (http://blog.photocase.com/en/2010/09/08/1-4-million-euros/)

How can IS say that is having to a difficult time and that the success of contributors makes them less profitable?? Come on.. who are they fooling?? money is never enough!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Danicek on September 09, 2010, 07:01
I believe istock is encouraging big producers at the expense of smaller producers. Only the biggest producers will be able to access the best royalties. The long term effect of this will be a lack of diversity, with a huge number of similar images in the library. Short term profits but long term death.
+1

Hmm, I see very many diamond and even black diamond contributors voicing the fact that they will see huge cut in the IS forum. Or are these not considered big enough to be big producers. If not, then there is only handful of big producers, two or three?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 09, 2010, 07:07
I agree!  crap DOES sometimes happen but from a business point, its no use to stop uploading, what for? I remember back in the mid-90s in the RM sector when Getty cut us down from 50/50 to 60/40, even in some cases 70/30.

What do you mean "it's no use to stop uploading"? Of course it is. Maybe if you and others had taken a stand against Getty "back in the mid-90s", as you keep going on about, then you wouldn't have lost out as much as you did. Doing nothing will only ensure that history repeats itself.

Quite frankly, considering the PITA that the Istock upload systen is, I simply can't be bothered to upload there for a poxy 18%. At 20% it is bad enough already __ at some point you simply have to draw a line in the sand and say "No more".

I am not going to be uploading to this site anymore, and it has little to do with how it's going to affect IS's bottom line. Sure, it's going to affect my bottom line, but I am done with their games. They have wanted to get rid of independents since Getty bought the place, and that's exactly what's going to happen. I don't give a rat's a*s about what they think any more...this is about how I expect to be treated as a human being, and their way just isn't cutting it.

This is just one more big corporation using the whole bad economy thing to ream people and get them down to third world country wages. Look around, Getty isn't the only one. It's pretty sad that people with college degrees and years of experience in their field are having to accept minimum wage jobs just to make some kind of money, and the people who are lucky enough to still have jobs are having their wages lowered, all because of the "bad economy." Meanwhile, top management still drives around their Benz's and have 3 homes and vacation in Europe 4 times a year.

It's about self-respect. Something that doesn't seem to mean much anymore.

I am just waiting for the RM folks to jump in here with their "you didn't have any self respect when you started uploading to microstock. You get what you deserve."  ::)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sharpshot on September 09, 2010, 07:09
I don't care if not uploading will lose me money and I don't care if that's what they want.  There is just no way I will accept less than 20% and the way istock/getty have behaved in the last year is too much for me.  I don't want to work with them long term and will be doing all I can to work with their rivals.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: loop on September 09, 2010, 07:12
One thing must be said in favor of IS: they are showing and almost incredible tolerance with the people's opinions in the thread, just deleting an absolute minority coming from people really out of their minds. They are tolerating insults, calls for deleting portfolios, calls for delintg buyyers accounts, calls for buying at another sites  etc etc.
Yes, that doesn't solve the problem, I agree. But I don't know if that would be possible elsewhere.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: azurelaroux on September 09, 2010, 07:16
I believe istock is encouraging big producers at the expense of smaller producers. Only the biggest producers will be able to access the best royalties. The long term effect of this will be a lack of diversity, with a huge number of similar images in the library. Short term profits but long term death.
+1

Hmm, I see very many diamond and even black diamond contributors voicing the fact that they will see huge cut in the IS forum. Or are these not considered big enough to be big producers. If not, then there is only handful of big producers, two or three?

I have yet to hear of anyone who is selling at the 1.4 million credit rate needed to maintain their status as diamond. Reports are that even Yuri isn't doing that.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 09, 2010, 07:16
One thing must be said in favor of IS: they are showing and almost incredible tolerance with the people's opinions in the thread, just deleting an absolute minority coming from people really out of their minds. They are tolerating insults, calls for deleting portfolios, calls for delintg buyyers accounts, calls for buying at another sites  etc etc.
Yes, that doesn't solve the problem, I agree. But I don't know if that would be possible elsewhere.

Because they know that in the end only a small percentage of them will actually do what they say they going to do. They're going to let people blow off steam. Once that is done, things will still stand, or maybe they will concede a small bit, and people will settle back down to take it in the a*s, just like always. How do you think Jim Jones got all those people to drink the Kool-Aid?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: click_click on September 09, 2010, 07:17
As much as I support boycotting further uploads for a few months we have to consider what the outcome (most likely) will be.

The 100+ inspectors will be out of work after approx. 7-10 days. That means that iStock starts saving money as they won't be paying any inspectors for the period of no images coming in.

Over 3 months I assume they would save around $0.5 million maybe more. That's actually not even bad for them considering that they keep running their business technically as if nothing happened, just without brand new images. I'm sure naive buyers don't care.

I can't see how this would dramatically affect IS.

The only way we, as contributors can take action, is removing our files. This way we make the decision for the buyers and they don't even have an option of buying our images at IS. Just by telling them might not even work as some are probably sitting on credit packages that they need to use anyway.

You think they would forget about tens or hundreds of $$$ just because some photographer they know is not getting paid enough - next year...?

It's like ripping my own heart out when thinking about pulling my port at IS due to the hard work I put in. I will take enough time necessary to think about that one.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: LostOne on September 09, 2010, 07:27
We could start filling out our queues with over/under exposed noisy images. Or images that have no potential to sell but are perfectly lit. Inspectors would have to work, server costs would still go up, but it wouldn't bring them any profit.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4PN7Xbexq4[/youtube]
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: click_click on September 09, 2010, 07:30
We could start filling out our queues with over/under exposed noisy images. Or images that have no potential to sell but are perfectly lit. Inspectors would have to work, server costs would still go up, but it wouldn't bring them any profit.

... and it will get your account suspended once they figure that you intentionally upload crap.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: luissantos84 on September 09, 2010, 07:30
is there a way to see how many files are on the queue these days??
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: iclick on September 09, 2010, 07:33
Quote: Over 3 months I assume they would save around $0.5 million maybe more. That's actually not even bad for them considering that they keep running their business technically as if nothing happened, just without brand new images. I'm sure naive buyers don't care.

I can't see how this would dramatically affect IS.:



You could be surprised ;) I can tell you what will effect IS and that's what is happening right now if you read the Forum.

Customers are talking with their feet! perhaps they will listen now, what they seem to forget is that allot of their Custom comes from Family or Friends of or indeed the Contributers themselves I for one have friends there who have spent a pretty penny  

Looking forward till next time we chat ;)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 09, 2010, 07:33
We could start filling out our queues with over/under exposed noisy images. Or images that have no potential to sell but are perfectly lit. Inspectors would have to work, server costs would still go up, but it wouldn't bring them any profit.

Use your time and energy more profitably by uploading your images to all the other agencies __ just not Istock.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 09, 2010, 07:34
Actually the more I think about it the more I am convinced that Istock/Getty/Hellerman know exactly what they are doing and they have structured this change to create exactly the result they want. The people who are talking about leaving are exactly they people they want gone. They are changing the structure of who they are and the vast majority of people contributing to the site they no longer want or feel they need. Thinkstock is the old istock - the new istock is going to be something different.

I'd agree with this. They've had nine months to carefully craft this program. It's getting the exact response and results they expected. It's pretty clear they want people who constantly produce a high volume of fresh highly sellable exclusive images. In other words, the good performers.  It's probably safe to say the people most negatively affected aren't what they now consider good perfomers so if they protest or complain it doesn't matter. They probably don't want those people anyway.

Another thing that just hit me is that this is just the beginning of the weeding-out process. They will probably continue weeding-out the poor or even average performers who decided to stay anyway. These people will see rejection rates will go higher from tougher inspections. Eventually, if not already, your Redeemed Credit performance will affect your search placement further pushing down poor performers. They will continue to discourage people they don't want.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: frank_photocase on September 09, 2010, 07:35
We could start filling out our queues with over/under exposed noisy images. Or images that have no potential to sell but are perfectly lit.

You better give us these photos, except the noisiness ;)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lagereek on September 09, 2010, 07:35
I agree!  crap DOES sometimes happen but from a business point, its no use to stop uploading, what for? I remember back in the mid-90s in the RM sector when Getty cut us down from 50/50 to 60/40, even in some cases 70/30.

What do you mean "it's no use to stop uploading"? Of course it is. Maybe if you and others had taken a stand against Getty "back in the mid-90s", as you keep going on about, then you wouldn't have lost out as much as you did. Doing nothing will only ensure that history repeats itself.

Quite frankly, considering the PITA that the Istock upload systen is, I simply can't be bothered to upload there for a poxy 18%. At 20% it is bad enough already __ at some point you simply have to draw a line in the sand and say "No more".

I am not going to be uploading to this site anymore, and it has little to do with how it's going to affect IS's bottom line. Sure, it's going to affect my bottom line, but I am done with their games. They have wanted to get rid of independents since Getty bought the place, and that's exactly what's going to happen. I don't give a rat's a*s about what they think any more...this is about how I expect to be treated as a human being, and their way just isn't cutting it.

This is just one more big corporation using the whole bad economy thing to ream people and get them down to third world country wages. Look around, Getty isn't the only one. It's pretty sad that people with college degrees and years of experience in their field are having to accept minimum wage jobs just to make some kind of money, and the people who are lucky enough to still have jobs are having their wages lowered, all because of the "bad economy." Meanwhile, top management still drives around their Benz's and have 3 homes and vacation in Europe 4 times a year.

It's about self-respect. Something that doesn't seem to mean much anymore.

I am just waiting for the RM folks to jump in here with their "you didn't have any self respect when you started uploading to microstock. You get what you deserve."  ::)

Yeah well iots a bit differant you know,  RM shots can and will bring you in thousands of bucks,  differant league.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: LostOne on September 09, 2010, 07:37
We could start filling out our queues with over/under exposed noisy images. Or images that have no potential to sell but are perfectly lit. Inspectors would have to work, server costs would still go up, but it wouldn't bring them any profit.

Use your time and energy more profitably by uploading your images to all the other agencies __ just not Istock.

I was joking.

About the upload limits. You can find them here:
http://www.istockphoto.com/xnet.php (http://www.istockphoto.com/xnet.php)
Direct link to the topic:
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=238102 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=238102)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: azurelaroux on September 09, 2010, 07:44
Actually the more I think about it the more I am convinced that Istock/Getty/Hellerman know exactly what they are doing and they have structured this change to create exactly the result they want. The people who are talking about leaving are exactly they people they want gone. They are changing the structure of who they are and the vast majority of people contributing to the site they no longer want or feel they need. Thinkstock is the old istock - the new istock is going to be something different.

I'd agree with this. They've had nine months to carefully craft this program. It's getting the exact response and results they expected. It's pretty clear they want people who constantly produce a high volume of fresh highly sellable exclusive images. In other words, the good performers.  It's probably safe to say the people most negatively affected aren't what they now consider good perfomers so if they protest or complain it doesn't matter. They probably don't want those people anyway.

Another thing that just hit me is that this is just the beginning of the weeding-out process. They will probably continue weeding-out the poor or even average performers who decided to stay anyway. These people will see rejection rates will go higher from tougher inspections. Eventually, if not already, your Redeemed Credit performance will affect your search placement further pushing down poor performers. They will continue to discourage people they don't want.

This is most likely the case. At least one diamond as mentioned getting a personal phone call from an admin on the IS thread. I can only guess that they are soothing over the stock house contributors so that they will stay exclusive while not caring if the others leave.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lagereek on September 09, 2010, 07:48
There isnt one single agency in the world that can show a profit based on exclusive photographers only. Its an ancient concept belonging to the 80s. and has never had any place what so ever in the digital era.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Dreamframer on September 09, 2010, 07:50
I disabled all my audio files, and I am an exclusive audio artist. Images are much easier from me to produce, so I left them online.


I am not a professional photographer, but I am producing high quality audio files, and I can't allow my hard work to be sold for such a small amount of money.


I understand that Istock wants to change it's business model to bring them more money, and I hope Istock understands that I can't let my music to be sold for 20% of RF price forever. The story would probably be different if I didn't think that my talent for music is worth more than few bucks per sale. In that case I would probably leave my audios online. But unfortunatelly I couldn't swallow this one. I think my price is bigger.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Eireann on September 09, 2010, 07:51
Crap does happen.
Sometimes there's nothing I can do about it.
Not this time though. This time I have full control.

I'm not going to sell a single file for less than 20%.

And then, there's this Exclusive Diamond with his 1000 files / 5 years.
The guy has made it clear that he doesn't care what happens to IStock Independents. He doesn't care, just like that. He only cares about Exclusives and their commission. Independent commission can go as low as 5% for all he cares.
Fair enough.
The thing is, let's take Anja Kaiser above. She has deactivated her entire IStock portfolio. She's an independent.
Every single IStock Exclusive, including Black Diamonds are at risk of taking a hit because of her actions.
She's not a regular. She's top stuff. Her illustrations are famous and sell by the thousands, all over the world. She outsells - by a long mile - most of the Exclusive portfolios.  
Not a single Exclusive has expressed concern over her departure.
They don't care all right.
But they should.

I am not going to sell a single file for less than 20%.
If an organized protest takes form, I'm in.
If we can't make it happen, I'll deactivate my portfolio before the change takes place. And make sure to let them know why.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: luissantos84 on September 09, 2010, 07:58
Actually the more I think about it the more I am convinced that Istock/Getty/Hellerman know exactly what they are doing and they have structured this change to create exactly the result they want. The people who are talking about leaving are exactly they people they want gone. They are changing the structure of who they are and the vast majority of people contributing to the site they no longer want or feel they need. Thinkstock is the old istock - the new istock is going to be something different.

I'd agree with this. They've had nine months to carefully craft this program. It's getting the exact response and results they expected. It's pretty clear they want people who constantly produce a high volume of fresh highly sellable exclusive images. In other words, the good performers.  It's probably safe to say the people most negatively affected aren't what they now consider good perfomers so if they protest or complain it doesn't matter. They probably don't want those people anyway.

Another thing that just hit me is that this is just the beginning of the weeding-out process. They will probably continue weeding-out the poor or even average performers who decided to stay anyway. These people will see rejection rates will go higher from tougher inspections. Eventually, if not already, your Redeemed Credit performance will affect your search placement further pushing down poor performers. They will continue to discourage people they don't want.

This means that Yuri give 1.4millions euros to IS??.. If I read well in I guess IS forum he isn't making that.. So I dont get what you are saying..
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 09, 2010, 08:02
Actually the more I think about it the more I am convinced that Istock/Getty/Hellerman know exactly what they are doing and they have structured this change to create exactly the result they want. The people who are talking about leaving are exactly they people they want gone. They are changing the structure of who they are and the vast majority of people contributing to the site they no longer want or feel they need. Thinkstock is the old istock - the new istock is going to be something different.

I'd agree with this. They've had nine months to carefully craft this program. It's getting the exact response and results they expected. It's pretty clear they want people who constantly produce a high volume of fresh highly sellable exclusive images. In other words, the good performers.  It's probably safe to say the people most negatively affected aren't what they now consider good perfomers so if they protest or complain it doesn't matter. They probably don't want those people anyway.

Another thing that just hit me is that this is just the beginning of the weeding-out process. They will probably continue weeding-out the poor or even average performers who decided to stay anyway. These people will see rejection rates will go higher from tougher inspections. Eventually, if not already, your Redeemed Credit performance will affect your search placement further pushing down poor performers. They will continue to discourage people they don't want.

I agree. First to go will be non-exclusives, then low-producing, low-earning exclusives.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 09, 2010, 08:04
Actually the more I think about it the more I am convinced that Istock/Getty/Hellerman know exactly what they are doing and they have structured this change to create exactly the result they want. The people who are talking about leaving are exactly they people they want gone. They are changing the structure of who they are and the vast majority of people contributing to the site they no longer want or feel they need. Thinkstock is the old istock - the new istock is going to be something different.
No, I wouldn't agree. If they didn't want certain contributors then there's lots of other things they could do about it.

This is about Istock reducing commissions for them to make even more eye-watering profits. That's why virtually EVERY contributors is losing out (if not in basic sales then from Vetta, EL's, vectors, etc), not just a select few. This is ONLY about PROFIT. It's purely about them exploiting contributors __ because they think they can.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: grassr00tpower on September 09, 2010, 08:26
...today my next step was deleting all the links from my Homepage and opting out of promotional use. I will do as much as I can to stop such behaviour.

I`m sick and tired of this corporate a****le behaviour, not only speaking of istock...
just look at the whole financial crisis, the food quality dilemma,...and we always hear the same crap: "NOT ENOUGH GROWTH"...just as istock statet!

People are not only angry becajuse of the recent changes. It is a lack of confidence: every now and then there had been a - usually unpleasant - surprise from istock. May it be best match, canister changes, contract changes, thinkstock etc. You simply CANNOT do reliable business with people like this.

Beyong that, look at the "exclusive" concept. It is a "slavery" concept of photographer exclusivity instead of material exclusivity. With this they built up a nice Trap for all esxclusives beeing unable to build a distributed Portfolio. I never understood how people could accept this type of contract.

Sure, we are talking about business, and you have to cool down in many ocassions in order to do professional business, but enough is enough.

Somebody who is a native english speaker and is located in the states please form a union. You have my (financially and timewise) support.

Thank you
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Lizard on September 09, 2010, 08:32
What about thing not so drastic as pulling portfolios , like reduce keywords on approved images to 1 or something , or we can all write something against this  in description field.  They cannot throw us all out for that.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 09, 2010, 08:34
Actually the more I think about it the more I am convinced that Istock/Getty/Hellerman know exactly what they are doing and they have structured this change to create exactly the result they want. The people who are talking about leaving are exactly they people they want gone. They are changing the structure of who they are and the vast majority of people contributing to the site they no longer want or feel they need. Thinkstock is the old istock - the new istock is going to be something different.
No, I wouldn't agree. If they didn't want certain contributors then there's lots of other things they could do about it. This is about Istock reducing commissions for them to make even more eye-watering profits. That's why virtually EVERY contributors is losing out (if not in basic sales then from Vetta, EL's, vectors, etc), not just a select few. This is ONLY about PROFIT. It's purely about them exploiting contributors __ because they think they can.

I'd agree about the profits. But, if it was only about profits they wouldn't have set up a performance based model. A main goal of any performance model is that it automatically weeds out weak performers. They have effectively turned every contributor into a sales person that carries a quota. The more you miss your quota the less you make and eventually you leave because it's not worth it. The model makes you get rid of yourself rather than making them look bad by them getting rid of you. First prize is a Cadillac, second prize is a set of steak knives, third prize is you're fired.

It's also probably more profitable to not spend operatings costs on poor performers. So in the end, it's all about profit anyway.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: luissantos84 on September 09, 2010, 08:42
I agree with Walnuts but actually not even Yuri will get the 1.4Million, so who are the good performers??
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cybernesco on September 09, 2010, 08:44
Actually the more I think about it the more I am convinced that Istock/Getty/Hellerman know exactly what they are doing and they have structured this change to create exactly the result they want. The people who are talking about leaving are exactly they people they want gone. They are changing the structure of who they are and the vast majority of people contributing to the site they no longer want or feel they need. Thinkstock is the old istock - the new istock is going to be something different.
No, I wouldn't agree. If they didn't want certain contributors then there's lots of other things they could do about it.

This is about Istock reducing commissions for them to make even more eye-watering profits. That's why virtually EVERY contributors is losing out (if not in basic sales then from Vetta, EL's, vectors, etc), not just a select few. This is ONLY about PROFIT. It's purely about them exploiting contributors __ because they think they can.

That is right... the product are only digital files made by us.   No warehouse, no packaging, no manufacturing, no transportation, no handling, no servicing...ect. Therefore the ratio of the cost of doing business versus revenue should go down as more and more files are sold not the other way around like iStock would like us to believe. As  revenue is growing, there is no doubt in my mind that profit would grow exponentially keeping the same cannister system as before. In other words, the ratio of the cost of marketing, employees and offices ect... versus revenue should go down as more and more files are sold regardless of how big the business have growned. This is simple math.  

What they are doing by taking a bigger piece of the pie is an act of greed nothing else. And they are doing it because they have a very good chance of getting away with it.

Denis
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: bittersweet on September 09, 2010, 08:47
I've deactivated all dollar bin files, opted out the couple dozen images I had in the PP, and opted out of promotional use. I've also started uploading to Stockfresh, only the third agency I've chosen to participate with since dropping the crown a year ago.

I'm just a small fish and am certain that istock couldn't care less about my doing any of these things, but I'm really glad I didn't take the advice several gave at the time I left that I should wait for things to improve for exclusives. I would have been sorely disappointed at this latest development. Now it's just par for the course and not all that shocking. The writing has been on the wall for a while now.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 08:47
I believe istock is encouraging big producers at the expense of smaller producers. Only the biggest producers will be able to access the best royalties. The long term effect of this will be a lack of diversity, with a huge number of similar images in the library. Short term profits but long term death.

Big producers may be being hit less than others but almost all of them will be taking a hit somewhere. Don't forget that Vetta commissions have been slashed, so have EL commissions for exclusives and Vector artists' sales are worth barely half the redeemed credits of photographers for the purposes of calculating future earnings.



Well stated Gostwyck^^.  This isn't about encouraging anyone.  

Sean already stated that neither he, DNY59, nor even LISE can meet the 1.4 million credit threshold to be in the highest tier.  That's NOBODY.  Same for independents.  It's a total red herring.  
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Dreamframer on September 09, 2010, 09:01
If they want me out, they made it. :) I am happy that I found another place to sell my talent for for music for more money and I'm already approved there. Since I disabled all my audio files today, the next step will be dropping exclusivity.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 09, 2010, 09:01
I agree with Walnuts but actually not even Yuri will get the 1.4Million, so who are the good performers??

You're focusing on the level and missing other metrics.

I bet they're looking at Redeemed Credits per Download as a performance measure. And also Redeemed Credit per Image.

Better performers probably have higher numbers for both of these measures. And therefore they would want these people to submit more images.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 09:02

This is most likely the case. At least one diamond as mentioned getting a personal phone call from an admin on the IS thread. I can only guess that they are soothing over the stock house contributors so that they will stay exclusive while not caring if the others leave.

They've also called a few diamond independents.  But as absolutely no compromise or improved deal was offered, it didn't do much to sooth any ruffled feathers...  :P
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: pet_chia on September 09, 2010, 09:05
I agree with Walnuts but actually not even Yuri will get the 1.4Million, so who are the good performers??

Maybe they extrapolated the credit-performance of a handful of people (or just one top person), came up with a figure of 1.4 M for 2011, and set the line there as a "stretch goal".

Alternatively, maybe this figure actually fits on an exponential curve, if you were to graph all of the credit sales levels versus commissions.  Sorry, I'm not enough of an Excel wienie to figure this out.  I'm not saying that would be a sensible policy, I'm only taking a wild guess as to their thought processes.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: FD on September 09, 2010, 09:06
They have wanted to get rid of independents since Getty bought the place, and that's exactly what's going to happen.
Is that so? Some simple math leads me to the conclusion that IS makes much more money (84%) off small independents than off big time exclusives (60%) given the same amount of credits spent. That scenario (of kicking out the John Doe independents) doesn't make sense, logically.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 09:13

I'd agree about the profits. But, if it was only about profits they wouldn't have set up a performance based model. A main goal of any performance model is that it automatically weeds out weak performers. They have effectively turned every contributor into a sales person that carries a quota. The more you miss your quota the less you make and eventually you leave because it's not worth it. The model makes you get rid of yourself rather than making them look bad by them getting rid of you. First prize is a Cadillac, second prize is a set of steak knives, third prize is you're fired.

It's also probably more profitable to not spend operatings costs on poor performers. So in the end, it's all about profit anyway.

Brilliant Pauly!  Makes total sense.  I think you have summed up their intentions perfectly.  You're a lot smarter than that haircut makes you look ;)

The only antidote to the above will be if they end up losing customers.  We have to do whatever we can to make sure that happens!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: peresanz on September 09, 2010, 09:18

The only antidote to the above will be if they end up losing customers.  We have to do whatever we can to make sure that happens!


Actually this is happening right now. Many buyers are announcing in the iS forum that they will stop buying from iS if they don't change their mind.

Also, the news are spreading fast:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20015830-264.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20} (http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20015830-264.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20})
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 09, 2010, 09:18
They have wanted to get rid of independents since Getty bought the place, and that's exactly what's going to happen.
Is that so? Some simple math leads me to the conclusion that IS makes much more money (84%) off small independents than off big time exclusives (60%) given the same amount of credits spent. That scenario (of kicking out the John Doe independents) doesn't make sense, logically.

Maybe you're simplifying the math too much.  Look at the other side of the equation: the expense of reviewing.  Independents represent a lot more uploads, with lower limits but a lot more of us.  That likely means a lot more reviewer time, which is a direct expense.  Assuming exclusives' work sells better, due to better search placement or better quality or both, then the cost/benefit balance slides toward exclusives.  Heck, just the dollar or whatever they pay to PayPal MassPay whenever we ask for our money probably favors exclusives as well.

iStock seems determined to piss off independents.  I have to assume they've determined there's a financial benefit to doing so.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Dreamframer on September 09, 2010, 09:25
They have wanted to get rid of independents since Getty bought the place, and that's exactly what's going to happen.
Is that so? Some simple math leads me to the conclusion that IS makes much more money (84%) off small independents than off big time exclusives (60%) given the same amount of credits spent. That scenario (of kicking out the John Doe independents) doesn't make sense, logically.

Maybe you're simplifying the math too much.  Look at the other side of the equation: the expense of reviewing.  Independents represent a lot more uploads, with lower limits but a lot more of us.  That likely means a lot more reviewer time, which is a direct expense.  Assuming exclusives' work sells better, due to better search placement or better quality or both, then the cost/benefit balance slides toward exclusives.  Heck, just the dollar or whatever they pay to PayPal MassPay whenever we ask for our money probably favors exclusives as well.

iStock seems determined to piss off independents.  I have to assume they've determined there's a financial benefit to doing so.

As I understood many exclusives are pissed-off too
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 09, 2010, 09:29
Independents represent a lot more uploads, with lower limits but a lot more of us.  That likely means a lot more reviewer time, which is a direct expense.  Assuming exclusives' work sells better, due to better search placement or better quality or both, then the cost/benefit balance slides toward exclusives.  Heck, just the dollar or whatever they pay to PayPal MassPay whenever we ask for our money probably favors exclusives as well.

iStock seems determined to piss off independents.  I have to assume they've determined there's a financial benefit to doing so.
It surely cost the same to review a file whether it is from an independent or an exclusive and exclusivity does not place you higher in the search engine (other than Vetta). Independents also get paid a lot less commission so we only help Istock's desire for ever higherprofitability.

Istock are not trying to get rid of individual contributors __ they just want to pay everyone less and trouser the extra money.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: bittersweet on September 09, 2010, 09:29
Quote
Cultivating or exploiting the community?
Thompson bristles when questioned whether iStock's size and market power might mean it's turning from cultivating its community of contributors to strip-mining it.
"There's no way we could do that," he said. "We have no motivation to watch our contributors go elsewhere. Unless we provide a fair royalty, that will happen."


A fair royalty?? Seriously??


http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20015830-264.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20} (http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20015830-264.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20})
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ichiro17 on September 09, 2010, 09:30
I agree with Walnuts but actually not even Yuri will get the 1.4Million, so who are the good performers??

how can you make these statements? you don't know how much he sells and at what sizes, so you don't know if he does or doesn't.  

if he averages 10 credits per sale, and sells 140,000 photos in a year, then its completely plausible.  And thats only 12,000 photos per month for a stock photo machine that is legendary for being prolific - its completely plausible if I average 10 credits per image.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: luissantos84 on September 09, 2010, 09:38
I agree with Walnuts but actually not even Yuri will get the 1.4Million, so who are the good performers??

how can you make these statements? you don't know how much he sells and at what sizes, so you don't know if he does or doesn't.  

if he averages 10 credits per sale, and sells 140,000 photos in a year, then its completely plausible.  And thats only 12,000 photos per month for a stock photo machine that is legendary for being prolific - its completely plausible if I average 10 credits per image.

I have read this I guess in IS forum, and now here also Lisa said that not even Lisa Gagne can make the 1.4..
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 09, 2010, 09:40
It surely cost the same to review a file whether it is from an independent or an exclusive and exclusivity does not place you higher in the search engine (other than Vetta). Independents also get paid a lot less commission so we only help Istock's desire for ever higher profitability.

It costs the same, but I wonder if that image has the same value over time.  If they were to determine that the average exclusive's image generates more revenue than the average independent's, then the review cost of that exclusive's image is a smaller expense at the front end.  So independents represent a greater cost due to the reduced benefit, and getting rid of a bunch of them improves profit even as it decreases revenue.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 09, 2010, 09:41
how can you make these statements? you don't know how much he sells and at what sizes, so you don't know if he does or doesn't.  

if he averages 10 credits per sale, and sells 140,000 photos in a year, then its completely plausible.  And thats only 12,000 photos per month for a stock photo machine that is legendary for being prolific - its completely plausible if I average 10 credits per image.

But Yuri doesn't "average 10 credits per sale" does he? As an independent (whose images are cheaper) it is unlikely that he averages more than 5 credits per file. At that rate he would have to sell 30K images per month.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dirkr on September 09, 2010, 09:44
It doesn't matter whether Yuri makes the cut to retain 20% or not. He is one person (or rather company).

The statement that "the vast majority of contributors" will stay the same or be better off still is nothing but an obvious lie.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: FD on September 09, 2010, 09:44
Maybe you're simplifying the math too much.  Look at the other side of the equation: the expense of reviewing.  Independents represent a lot more uploads, with lower limits but a lot more of us.  That likely means a lot more reviewer time, which is a direct expense.
Looking at my own AR over 5 years and credits spent on my shots, it's still very profitable. CanStockPhoto reviewers get 4ct per review, SS reviewers get 2 cents more. Assume IS pays 15 or 20ct. Assuming I had 500 rejects (quod non), that would have cost them 100$ over 5 years. Compared with well over 2000 credits spent by customers on my stuff in 2010 alone (of which they keep 80%), that's still a huge profit. If the placement costs were really the issue, they could charge a placement fee of 25ct per image, or throttle down the upload limits of contributors with an appalling AR, like DT does. I still don't see the business sense of all this, but maybe I'm thick.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: luissantos84 on September 09, 2010, 09:48
Maybe you're simplifying the math too much.  Look at the other side of the equation: the expense of reviewing.  Independents represent a lot more uploads, with lower limits but a lot more of us.  That likely means a lot more reviewer time, which is a direct expense.
Looking at my own AR over 5 years and credits spent on my shots, it's still very profitable. CanStockPhoto reviewers get 4ct per review, SS reviewers get 2 cents more. Assume IS pays 15 or 20ct. Assuming I had 500 rejects (quod non), that would have cost them 100$ over 5 years. Compared with well over 2000 credits spent by customers on my stuff in 2010 alone (of which they keep 80%), that's still a huge profit. If the placement costs were really the issue, they could charge a placement fee of 25ct per image, or throttle down the upload limits of contributors with an appalling AR, like DT does. I still don't see the business sense of all this, but maybe I'm thick.

I cannot add a lot but I have heard that IS pays a lot more for review..!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: FD on September 09, 2010, 09:48
It costs the same, but I wonder if that image has the same value over time.  If they were to determine that the average exclusive's image generates more revenue than the average independent's, then the review cost of that exclusive's image is a smaller expense at the front end.  So independents represent a greater cost due to the reduced benefit, and getting rid of a bunch of them improves profit even as it decreases revenue.
This a self-inflicted artifact or a self-fulfilling prophecy since exclusives have a better placement in the best match.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lagereek on September 09, 2010, 09:49
Talking about calls.  Ive had numerous personal calls and mails offering me blinding deals with contracts and everything (which in fact it is)  if I place an Industrial portfolio with them, obviously Exclusive.  Been tempted actually.
Well Im not too bloody sure anymore,  especially when sitting on another 2000 shots not uploaded not even done the PP yet.

best.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 10:02

Actually this is happening right now. Many buyers are announcing in the iS forum that they will stop buying from iS if they don't change their mind.

Also, the news are spreading fast:

[url]http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20015830-264.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20}[/url] ([url]http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20015830-264.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20}[/url])


This is great news!  I am trying to troll through the 100 or so pages of the current thread to find buyers posts, but not having a lot of luck.

Anyone who finds a buyer's posting care to link to it or quote them here for all of us that are desperately trying (and failing) to keep up ???  

ETA:  Just started a new thread to try and organize buyer's opinions into one place.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Dreamframer on September 09, 2010, 10:03
I just canceled my audio exclusivity. I hate the fact that I have to wait 30 days until I become non-exclusive.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Albert Martin on September 09, 2010, 10:09
I just wonder in what drugs are iStock and Greedy???
Welcome. We have been expecting you.  :P


See the new line in they history  ;D
In September 2010, Getty Images iStock Photo Brand announced plans to cut payments to contributors by as much as 25% starting in 2011, while claiming that it furthered the interest of those same contributors. Getty's motivation was greeted with skepticism by the iStock community.[4]


[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getty_Images[/url] ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getty_Images[/url])


LOL!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: peresanz on September 09, 2010, 10:18

Actually this is happening right now. Many buyers are announcing in the iS forum that they will stop buying from iS if they don't change their mind.

Also, the news are spreading fast:

[url]http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20015830-264.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20}[/url] ([url]http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20015830-264.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20}[/url])


This is great news!  I am trying to troll through the 100 or so pages of the current thread to find buyers posts, but not having a lot of luck.

Anyone who finds a buyer's posting care to link to it or quote them here for all of us that are desperately trying (and failing) to keep up ???  

ETA:  Just started a new thread to try and organize buyer's opinions into one place.


Surfing through the enormous thread is a pain. I found three, though:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4613522 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4613522)

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4616262 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4616262)

and this one, crying out loud:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4615822 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4615822)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: helix7 on September 09, 2010, 10:32
Oh man... it's taken me a good hour to catch up on things this morning. Word is traveling fast! CNET, twitter, blogs, etc.

One last thought and then I need to get back to work...

For all of the significant effort and protest on the part of the contributors, it's all for nothing if istock can continue to do business as usual, and they will do that as long as the buyers stick around. We're at a point in microstock where the size of the collection doesn't matter much. If they lose even 1 million images in the fallout, it won't matter.

The only way to make a statement here is through the buyers, and the only way I see we can get through to buyers is to convince them that not only should they support more ethical companies that properly compensate artists, but they can also save some money in the process by shopping elsewhere. I've been championing StockFresh throughout this entire discussion, and I'll continue to do so and make my image purchases there. I am hopeful that other buyers will do the same, as it seems to me StockFresh has the perfect pricing model and royalty structure. Buyers spend less per image than at istock, and we earn more per sale at the 50% royalty rate.

It's the buyers that matter. It's great that people are stopping uploads, deleting portfolios, etc., over at istock. If you really want to make a difference, though, convince even one person you know who buys at istock to take their business elsewhere. The best place to start is to let your designer friends know what's going on. Anyone working at a design agency, ad agency, any creative company. Tell them they can look like a hero to their bosses by suggesting StockFresh and saving the company money on stock image costs.

I don't know about you all, but I'm tired of istock. The restrictions, the low pay, and constant changes, the bug-ridden website and downtime, the constant issues, problems, and general frustration. On top of that, from a buyer's perspective the site is a nightmare. Varying prices, Exclusive content favored in searches, expensive premium collections, Exclusive Plus (why are those images more expensive?). I think it's time for a better solution.

This time next year, I'd love to see StockFresh in the Big Four, with iStock in the Middle Tier.

Let's do whatever we can to make that happen.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 10:45

Actually this is happening right now. Many buyers are announcing in the iS forum that they will stop buying from iS if they don't change their mind.

Also, the news are spreading fast:

[url]http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20015830-264.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20}[/url] ([url]http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20015830-264.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20}[/url])


This is great news!  I am trying to troll through the 100 or so pages of the current thread to find buyers posts, but not having a lot of luck.

Anyone who finds a buyer's posting care to link to it or quote them here for all of us that are desperately trying (and failing) to keep up ???  

ETA:  Just started a new thread to try and organize buyer's opinions into one place.


Surfing through the enormous thread is a pain. I found three, though:

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4613522[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4613522[/url])

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4616262[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4616262[/url])

and this one, crying out loud:

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4615822[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4615822[/url])


Awesome!  Many thanks to the three buyers represented here!  One of them isn't even a contributor.  Thanks Peresanz for posting the links.  Hop you don't mind if I repost them in the Buyers Bail thread? 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 10:50


This time next year, I'd love to see StockFresh in the Big Four, with iStock in the Middle Tier.

Let's do whatever we can to make that happen.

This is a worthy goal Mike, and I agree with you completely.  I am on SF already and have very high hopes for its success.  Only problem is that SF is not ready for us yet, and most people here don't have their images there.  So redirecting buyers there is going to leave the vast majority of disaffected istockers out in the cold.

I suggest sending buyers to FT or DT, both of which give us a fair % and both of which are fully up and operational with a collection that's able to rival istock's for scope and quality.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: loop on September 09, 2010, 11:27
If they want me out, they made it. :) I am happy that I found another place to sell my talent for for music for more money and I'm already approved there. Since I disabled all my audio files today, the next step will be dropping exclusivity.

Well, that's better and more reasonable than trashing cars or burning buildings.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: peresanz on September 09, 2010, 11:35


Awesome!  Many thanks to the three buyers represented here!  One of them isn't even a contributor.  Thanks Peresanz for posting the links.  Hop you don't mind if I repost them in the Buyers Bail thread? 

Absolutely, please do it!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: nicmac on September 09, 2010, 11:41
Oh, if only Veer could get their act together and make their way through the Dash for Cash queue already... I'm loving my time there (and the royalties) so far, but this 3-4 months inspection time will kill any chance they'd have to get new talent at this crucial time.  :-[

Another thing that's pissing me off here, and not many people are talking about it, is that silly "Communication problem" with Thinkstock. The simple truth is that our photos are being held hostage there. There simply is no way at the moment to get them removed... Or am I missing something? Now it looks like a part of the plan all along to keep people locked in.

Getting suppliers locked in (isn't a bit part of artist exclusivity exactly that?) ... while weeding out the poor performers, low producers and new talent by beating them up until they can take no more and leave on their own free will... Looks like a big identity crisis is going on there. Or is this all meant to be a transition towards another format where they choose their suppliers? A kind of mix between RM and RF? Take the brand away from what has become micro into a new format?

Or they're just plain greedy and didn't expect any concerted effort from us dogs, to bite the hand that feeds us.

Meanwhile, we'll stop upoading at Istock and start uploading and promoting FT again which if I'm understanding well has pulled a similar nasty stunt not too long ago. Maybe when SS does something of the kind next we'll all go back to uploading and promoting IS in outrage over their abusive business sense decision.

I guess we shouldn't do that dance. Let's not go back to upload and promote FT. Let's look at others... Fresh, Veer, BS, SS, Alamy, 123...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: loop on September 09, 2010, 11:58
While I'm against the proposed changes, I must confess that I'm beggining to feel uneasy at all this agressiveness against istock, in a good number of cases coming from people that, looking a their number of files/downloads through the years, only can have a limited interest in the matter.
I won't do anything in the spur of the moment; no boycotting, no, deleting portfolio, no stop uploading, no calling my designer sister-in-law to sent her to buy to another site. I've said before that this is a numbers matter. So, I will wait until February or March 2011 and see what happens with my numbers. If I feel that I'm losing money, and if I can get my protfolio accepted en masse elsewhere (I've already had some offer from some other site about that) I will become independent. That's all.
Until 2005/2006 (well, actually until the photos.com/thinkstock affair) Istockphoto was the fairer a better rewarding agency. But even then, it was regularly attacked for many people.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: helix7 on September 09, 2010, 12:07
...Until 2005/2006 (well, actually until the photos.com/thinkstock affair) Istockphoto was the fairer a better rewarding agency. But even then, it was regularly attacked for many people.

istock has been on the low end of artist commissions for a lot longer than the photos.com/thinkstock days. They've been fairly attacked and criticized for doing exactly what they're pushing forward with today, keeping the bar low on royalties. In 2005 and 2006 I'm pretty sure StockXpert was already around, and they certainly offered a more fair rate than istock ever offered, even to exclusives.

istock has never been the more fair and rewarding agency.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 09, 2010, 12:09
Yeah, hey everybody, i think the idea here is to try and get better terms from Istock.

This angry mob stuff with pitchforks and torches stuff aint the best route. By driving off buyers you are burning the house down that some of your fellow contributors are still in. And what happens if istock decides to make adjustments that are more acceptable to contributors. Are those buyers coming back? Probably not.

Think before just doing stuff.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: luissantos84 on September 09, 2010, 12:14
Yeah, hey everybody, i think the idea here is to try and get better terms from Istock.

This angry mob stuff with pitchforks and torches stuff aint the best route. By driving off buyers you are burning the house down that some of your fellow contributors are still in. And what happens if istock decides to make adjustments that are more acceptable to contributors. Are those buyers coming back? Probably not.

Think before just doing stuff.

sorry but that is non-sense.. someone reduce your paycheck and you just stay very quiet to earn something, that's another problem in microstock, everybody is accepting whatever the deal is (I am not saying I am not one of those) but there are limits.. 15% is ridiculous! 80% wasn't enough to run this business, always listening that they do 700k daily.. when is going to be enough???..
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: loop on September 09, 2010, 12:16
...Until 2005/2006 (well, actually until the photos.com/thinkstock affair) Istockphoto was the fairer a better rewarding agency. But even then, it was regularly attacked for many people.

istock has been on the low end of artist commissions for a lot longer than the photos.com/thinkstock days. They've been fairly attacked and criticized for doing exactly what they're pushing forward with today, keeping the bar low on royalties. In 2005 and 2006 I'm pretty sure StockXpert was already around, and they certainly offered a more fair rate than istock ever offered, even to exclusives.

istock has never been the more fair and rewarding agency.

I dind't say the agency that payed higher comissions, but the more rewarding, the one that generated most incoming for their contributors. Well I suppose you understood it, but maybe yoy felt better misinterpreting.
Don't agree neither in the second point. Even now, IS (Istock, not Getty Thinkstock) have the only fair subs systems.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: diego_cervo on September 09, 2010, 12:26

And what happens if istock decides to make adjustments that are more acceptable to contributors. Are those buyers coming back? Probably not.

Think before just doing stuff.

According to their second explanation it seems pretty unlikely that they are going to change their minds (I hope I'm wrong...)
The picture is more like that they will adjust canisters year after year to pay less royalties as possible in order to keep their business "sustainable"
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 09, 2010, 12:29
Yeah, hey everybody, i think the idea here is to try and get better terms from Istock. This angry mob stuff with pitchforks and torches stuff aint the best route. By driving off buyers you are burning the house down that some of your fellow contributors are still in. And what happens if istock decides to make adjustments that are more acceptable to contributors. Are those buyers coming back? Probably not. Think before just doing stuff.

sorry but that is non-sense.. someone reduce your paycheck and you just stay very quiet to earn something, that's another problem in microstock, everybody is accepting whatever the deal is (I am not saying I am not one of those) but there are limits.. 15% is ridiculous! 80% wasn't enough to run this business, always listening that they do 700k daily.. when is going to be enough???..

First of all, I'm not one of the people facing a reduction. If their numbers work out as the say they will, I may move up a canister around the same time as with the old model. I'm more worried about the future changes.

I am not saying anyone should keep their mouths shut. I'm not happy about this change. But I'm looking at options of how best to deal with this instead of aggressively doing the first thing that comes to mind and potentially hurting myself or others.

Also, they may not care about some of the buyers. There is such as thing as a bad buyer. Such as someone who spends $25 in credits and then eats up $100 in support calls because they need so much handholding. They are not profitable and businesses won't admit it but they are glad to let them go.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Dreamframer on September 09, 2010, 12:51
If they want me out, they made it. :) I am happy that I found another place to sell my talent for for music for more money and I'm already approved there. Since I disabled all my audio files today, the next step will be dropping exclusivity.

Well, that's better and more reasonable than trashing cars or burning buildings.

But it doesn't produce the same satisfaction, lol. I still say, lucky them... :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 09, 2010, 13:07
Think before just doing stuff.

I think that would be sound advice for iStock, not us.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Roadrunner on September 09, 2010, 13:23
Dang!  Just when I thought I was getting close to increasing my acceptance rate to 25%.  Well now I can just concentrate on four cites and not worry about 80% of my uploads being rejected for "OVETRFILTERED". ::)  This will be a real timesaver for me. ;D
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Snufkin on September 09, 2010, 13:29
Yeah, hey everybody, i think the idea here is to try and get better terms from Istock.
[...]
Think before just doing stuff.

I don't think you fully comprehend what just happened. You want to negotiate better terms with con artists? Because that's what these parasites are.
Luring so many people into exclusivity and then screwing everybody with no mercy - that must be one of the greatest cons in the history of stock photography.

I don't think you should even hope that it will stop here, their goal is to squeeze as much as possible, this monster is insatiable. Unless they lose some ground I expect in 3-4 years it will be 5-10% for non-exclusives and 20% for exclusives. The show has just begun.
What's even more dangerous, they have a history of acquisitions. I'm pretty convinced they are planning to buy other microstock agencies until they can shape the whole stock market the way they wish. That's why they need cash, loads of cash. If they succeed you will have to be happy with the crumbs they will throw you.

What can we do to protect our incomes? Basically it comes down to cause them to gradually lose their market share.

1. Short term goal: make a stink around them, kick and bite, draw the buyers away from them.
Sure, they are big but there are very many of us. So it is like the fight of Liliputians against Gulliver. It can get very, very unpleasant for them.

2. Mid-term goal: find a way to strenghten the market share of the weaker but fair agencies. We need 10-15 agencies that are more or less equally strong that would compete for contributors.
I don't know how to achieve this, but only 4 top agencies is a potentially dangerous situation. Getty can buy SS, DT, FT at any time and then it's Game Over for pretty much everyone.

3. Long-term goal: come up with a new, decentralised distribution model to replace or complement microstock. This has been discussed before. I believe this is possible but it it is a topic for another thread. There are very many clever people among contributors, I hope that we will invent something better.

I know it hurts if you're exclusive Paulie, but in 2012 you can consider yourself very lucky or succesful if you keep your current roaylty rate. The show has just begun. They have set up a hamster wheel for you and us, can't you see it?
I have always thought going exclusive was reckless and a bad business decision because I was afraid eventually something like this could happen. I hate to be right this time and I really don't like the idea of former exclusives flooding SS,DT etc. with their images...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 09, 2010, 13:34
Yeah, hey everybody, i think the idea here is to try and get better terms from Istock.

This angry mob stuff with pitchforks and torches stuff aint the best route. By driving off buyers you are burning the house down that some of your fellow contributors are still in. And what happens if istock decides to make adjustments that are more acceptable to contributors. Are those buyers coming back? Probably not.

Think before just doing stuff.

I am definitely thinking before doing stuff, but my idea is NOT AT ALL about getting better terms from istock. First of all, I don't believe they are coming. Second of all, even if they did backpedal today and change things for the better, I DON'T TRUST A FREAKIN WORD THEY SAY. They have been playing these bullsh*t games for too many years now and I'm done. I still have photos there. If taking them down helps prove a point, I am there. If not, then I will leave them up and take whatever meager income I can get and when I decide to take them down I will. If Getty forces me to take them down, I will. But as a non-exclusive, not a major player, I am hosed with IS anyway. Have been for a while now. So I don't really have too much to lose by deleting what is there. I am SOOOO glad I never took the leap to be exclusive there. For once, I made a good choice.

Quote
By driving off buyers you are burning the house down that some of your fellow contributors are still in.

Everybody will do what they feel is right for them. Personally, I am sick that any of this has happened. IS was my first stock site, they were a great place and were my biggest earner. I didn't come up with this crap yesterday. Getty/IS did. Don't be blaming the contributors who are angry and doing what they think is right...blame Getty.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 09, 2010, 13:45
Yeah, hey everybody, i think the idea here is to try and get better terms from Istock.

This angry mob stuff with pitchforks and torches stuff aint the best route. By driving off buyers you are burning the house down that some of your fellow contributors are still in. And what happens if istock decides to make adjustments that are more acceptable to contributors. Are those buyers coming back? Probably not.

Think before just doing stuff.

Exclusives have quite a lengthy record of dancing round the bonfire as istock torches the independents, if I remember rightly. If burning down the barn on istock's farm puts an end to micros trying to screw their contributors then it may turn out to be best for all of us.

What happens will happen. It's got a life of its own. Either the spark will catch or it will go out.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: djpadavona on September 09, 2010, 13:53
Sean already stated that neither he, DNY59, nor even LISE can meet the 1.4 million credit threshold to be in the highest tier.  That's NOBODY.  Same for independents.  It's a total red herring.  

In fairness though, DNY59 disagreed with Sean on this issue and felt the 1.4m threshold was attainable.  It's buried somewhere in the first thread.  FWIW I agree with Sean that it is unattainable, but DNY59 is amazingly talented and if he thinks he can do it, then I am not going to doubt him.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: donding on September 09, 2010, 14:04
Sean already stated that neither he, DNY59, nor even LISE can meet the 1.4 million credit threshold to be in the highest tier.  That's NOBODY.  Same for independents.  It's a total red herring.  

In fairness though, DNY59 disagreed with Sean on this issue and felt the 1.4m threshold was attainable.  It's buried somewhere in the first thread.  FWIW I agree with Sean that it is unattainable, but DNY59 is amazingly talented and if he thinks he can do it, then I am not going to doubt him.

Well if they can do it that is great, but as far as the majority of iStockers that is not at all possible. I'm a small fry and maybe this won't effect me that much, but in the future this will go on and on if someone...rather it be a small fry or a big fish....doesn't stand up to them, then everyone loses in the end. If this mass exodus that everyone is threatening to do and the threat to run off all the buyers, actually happens....then those big fish more than likely won't get to that level.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 09, 2010, 14:05
In the future, this IS royalty thing is going to be printed in books as an example of a bad business decision and bad communications. It will be studied over and over in business schools etc.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jbarber873 on September 09, 2010, 14:08
Yeah, hey everybody, i think the idea here is to try and get better terms from Istock.

This angry mob stuff with pitchforks and torches stuff aint the best route. By driving off buyers you are burning the house down that some of your fellow contributors are still in. And what happens if istock decides to make adjustments that are more acceptable to contributors. Are those buyers coming back? Probably not.

Think before just doing stuff.

Exclusives have quite a lengthy record of dancing round the bonfire as istock torches the independents, if I remember rightly. If burning down the barn on istock's farm puts an end to micros trying to screw their contributors then it may turn out to be best for all of us.

What happens will happen. It's got a life of its own. Either the spark will catch or it will go out.

This brings up images from "Lord of the Flies" for me. If you step back from all the personal involvement and issues, it really has been an amazing 2 days. Only a couple of days ago, the first 500 posts to ANY Istock announcement would be " Great idea! We love you! Muffins for the istock team! " and on and on. At least in this case, the knee jerk kissing up to the admins has been kept to a minimum.
The peasants are out with the torches, roaming the countryside! I think I saw this movie, and as I recall, it doesn't end well.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jamirae on September 09, 2010, 14:17


This time next year, I'd love to see StockFresh in the Big Four, with iStock in the Middle Tier.

Let's do whatever we can to make that happen.

This is a worthy goal Mike, and I agree with you completely.  I am on SF already and have very high hopes for its success.  Only problem is that SF is not ready for us yet, and most people here don't have their images there.  So redirecting buyers there is going to leave the vast majority of disaffected istockers out in the cold.

I suggest sending buyers to FT or DT, both of which give us a fair % and both of which are fully up and operational with a collection that's able to rival istock's for scope and quality.

is FT Fotolia?  I'm researching my options - plan to go Independent the first of the year.  Might as well, I'm screwed if I stay exclusive at iStock.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 09, 2010, 14:21
is FT Fotolia?

Yes it is. And welcome to the independent camp!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: loop on September 09, 2010, 14:24
Yeah, hey everybody, i think the idea here is to try and get better terms from Istock.

This angry mob stuff with pitchforks and torches stuff aint the best route. By driving off buyers you are burning the house down that some of your fellow contributors are still in. And what happens if istock decides to make adjustments that are more acceptable to contributors. Are those buyers coming back? Probably not.

Think before just doing stuff.

Exclusives have quite a lengthy record of dancing round the bonfire as istock torches the independents, if I remember rightly. If burning down the barn on istock's farm puts an end to micros trying to screw their contributors then it may turn out to be best for all of us.



I really can't remember that. Post some real example, please.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sc on September 09, 2010, 14:26
Yeah, hey everybody, i think the idea here is to try and get better terms from Istock.

This angry mob stuff with pitchforks and torches stuff aint the best route. By driving off buyers you are burning the house down that some of your fellow contributors are still in. And what happens if istock decides to make adjustments that are more acceptable to contributors. Are those buyers coming back? Probably not.

Think before just doing stuff.

Exclusives have quite a lengthy record of dancing round the bonfire as istock torches the independents, if I remember rightly. If burning down the barn on istock's farm puts an end to micros trying to screw their contributors then it may turn out to be best for all of us.

What happens will happen. It's got a life of its own. Either the spark will catch or it will go out.

I totally agree. It's not personal, it's business.

They are doing what they think is right for their businesses, Istock and exclusives (and not just exclusives, there are a others who will buy into this latest scheme). If driving business to other sites that pay a fairer percentage hurts anyone at Istock - well that's just business. Istock and anyone on the bandwagon are only looking out for what is in their best interests. Accepting these terms may help some but it certainly isn't going to help me or the majority of contributors.
So again it isn't personal it's just business.
Every contributor needs to evaluate their own business and where they want it to go - if this current Istock plan isn't it then they need to take the steps to get it going in the right direction.
It's not personal, it's business. And the sooner the majority of contributors start treating this like a business and not a hobby the better off we all will be. And refusing to accept these terms is a good start.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: grp_photo on September 09, 2010, 14:31


This time next year, I'd love to see StockFresh in the Big Four, with iStock in the Middle Tier.

Let's do whatever we can to make that happen.

This is a worthy goal Mike, and I agree with you completely.  I am on SF already and have very high hopes for its success.  Only problem is that SF is not ready for us yet, and most people here don't have their images there.  So redirecting buyers there is going to leave the vast majority of disaffected istockers out in the cold.

I suggest sending buyers to FT or DT, both of which give us a fair % and both of which are fully up and operational with a collection that's able to rival istock's for scope and quality.

is FT Fotolia?  I'm researching my options - plan to go Independent the first of the year.  Might as well, I'm screwed if I stay exclusive at iStock.
Looking at your portfolio you better stay exclusive!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Eireann on September 09, 2010, 14:36
Helix 7,  CClapper
I agree. 100%. I'll do everything I possibly can to help make that happen.
Designers, printers, friends, everyone I know.
I too have had enough of IStock / Getty. Pompous nonsense.
By myself I don't matter. Standing by your side I might be able to help.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 09, 2010, 14:50
I don't think you fully comprehend what just happened. You want to negotiate better terms with con artists? Because that's what these parasites are.
Luring so many people into exclusivity and then screwing everybody with no mercy - that must be one of the greatest cons in the history of stock photography.

I don't think you should even hope that it will stop here, their goal is to squeeze as much as possible, this monster is insatiable. Unless they lose some ground I expect in 3-4 years it will be 5-10% for non-exclusives and 20% for exclusives. The show has just begun.
What's even more dangerous, they have a history of acquisitions. I'm pretty convinced they are planning to buy other microstock agencies until they can shape the whole stock market the way they wish. That's why they need cash, loads of cash. If they succeed you will have to be happy with the crumbs they will throw you.

What can we do to protect our incomes? Basically it comes down to cause them to gradually lose their market share.

1. Short term goal: make a stink around them, kick and bite, draw the buyers away from them.
Sure, they are big but there are very many of us. So it is like the fight of Liliputians against Gulliver. It can get very, very unpleasant for them.

2. Mid-term goal: find a way to strenghten the market share of the weaker but fair agencies. We need 10-15 agencies that are more or less equally strong that would compete for contributors.
I don't know how to achieve this, but only 4 top agencies is a potentially dangerous situation. Getty can buy SS, DT, FT at any time and then it's Game Over for pretty much everyone.

3. Long-term goal: come up with a new, decentralised distribution model to replace or complement microstock. This has been discussed before. I believe this is possible but it it is a topic for another thread. There are very many clever people among contributors, I hope that we will invent something better.

I know it hurts if you're exclusive Paulie, but in 2012 you can consider yourself very lucky or succesful if you keep your current roaylty rate. The show has just begun. They have set up a hamster wheel for you and us, can't you see it?
I have always thought going exclusive was reckless and a bad business decision because I was afraid eventually something like this could happen. I hate to be right this time and I really don't like the idea of former exclusives flooding SS,DT etc. with their images...

Excellent. Very well said indeed Tom.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 09, 2010, 15:06
In fairness though, DNY59 disagreed with Sean on this issue and felt the 1.4m threshold was attainable.  It's buried somewhere in the first thread.  FWIW I agree with Sean that it is unattainable, but DNY59 is amazingly talented and if he thinks he can do it, then I am not going to doubt him.

He was talking with me in part of that, and he very specifically said he himself could NOT make that target.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Freedom on September 09, 2010, 15:10
DNY59 presents the top 1%, not the majority.

In fairness though, DNY59 disagreed with Sean on this issue and felt the 1.4m threshold was attainable.  It's buried somewhere in the first thread.  FWIW I agree with Sean that it is unattainable, but DNY59 is amazingly talented and if he thinks he can do it, then I am not going to doubt him.

He was talking with me in part of that, and he very specifically said he himself could NOT make that target.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 09, 2010, 15:18
I posted this over there, but I'm sure its lost by now:

Quote
27.1% of my 2,166 images in my port were uploaded this year. I also went exclusive in February of this year. I am a little over 3,000 downloads from hitting diamond, and if I double my credits redeemed by the end of the year, I will still not have enough to keep the 35% I now have as a gold exclusive, let alone hit the 40% I was promised (when I hit 25K) in exchange for my exclusivity at the start of the year.

I have already uploaded more than I uploaded during the entire last year, and last year I had almost doubled what I had uploaded in any of the 6 years I have been with iStock.

I have been producing more content, like iStock is hoping to encourage, and practically everything I have uploaded this year has been XXXL. I am not going to have enough redeemed credits to even keep the 35% I currently get, let alone the 40% iStock guaranteed I would be locked into when I agreed to remove my files from other sites.

So if I have more credits redeemed, better search rankings, etc as a fresh exclusive, AND increased the size of my portfolio by 37% in that same time period, yet still cannot reach even the minimum level to simply keep 35% royalties, what kind of contributors are they expecting to see maintain their current levels or increase?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 09, 2010, 15:21
He was talking with me in part of that, and he very specifically said he himself could NOT make that target.

I think you'll find that "he" (DNY59) is definitely female. It's the bit when she talks about her 'husband' that gives it away somewhat.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 15:26

So if I have more credits redeemed, better search rankings, etc as a fresh exclusive, AND increased the size of my portfolio by 37% in that same time period, yet still cannot reach even the minimum level to simply keep 35% royalties, what kind of contributors are they expecting to see maintain their current levels or increase?

This is so disgusting David.  You, Kyle, and others that just got persuaded to go exclusive this year with their promises of preserving canister levels.  

It is absolutely no coincidence that they used that deal to get everyone interested in exclusivity on board by August, and then the first week of September they drop this bomb.

I was sooo clooose to doing it myself.  I even signed the contract to preserve my canister, and when I did I got personal contacts from some high up admins promising they would "take very good care" of me.  It absolutely sickens me how they have breached their promises to you.  
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 09, 2010, 15:26
He was talking with me in part of that, and he very specifically said he himself could NOT make that target.

I think you'll find that "he" (DNY59) is definitely female. It's the bit when she talks about her 'husband' that gives it away somewhat.

I thought he was a she, too, because I think her name is Diane.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 09, 2010, 15:31
He was talking with me in part of that, and he very specifically said he himself could NOT make that target.

I think you'll find that "he" (DNY59) is definitely female. It's the bit when she talks about her 'husband' that gives it away somewhat.

I thought he was a she, too, because I think her name is Diane.

Dead giveaway :D

But I think even she might be kidding herself about meeting, and more importantly maintaining, that top level.  

Istock has several ways to make sure nobody gets into the top tier:

1.  They can keep moving the goal posts each year;

2.  They can tweak your search positions, as someone suggested (sorry, can't find who) so that your sales decrease as you get close to the goal; and

3.  They are introducing another huge collection, filled with outside artists and wholly owned content, that will get search engine priority, pushing images of even the most successful Istock contributors back in the search.  
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 09, 2010, 15:32
Sean already stated that neither he, DNY59, nor even LISE can meet the 1.4 million credit threshold to be in the highest tier.  That's NOBODY.  Same for independents.  It's a total red herring.  

In fairness though, DNY59 disagreed with Sean on this issue and felt the 1.4m threshold was attainable.  It's buried somewhere in the first thread.  FWIW I agree with Sean that it is unattainable, but DNY59 is amazingly talented and if he thinks he can do it, then I am not going to doubt him.

Yes _she_ did say that :) .  She does a little better than I, and trying to figure out if I would make the higher level, I didn't think she would either, but obviously she has a better handle on her own account.  Lise too.

However, if my historical figures pan out, I don't think I'll make it.  But it's nice they added a crazy new level, for whatever reason.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 09, 2010, 15:32
I've never had much contact with her before, so apologies for the gender misstatement  :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Pickerell on September 09, 2010, 15:53
I don't understand Kelly's statement:

"Since roughly 2005 we've been aware of a basic problem with how our business works. As the company grows, the overall percentage we pay out to contributing artists increases. In the most basic terms that means that iStock becomes less profitable with increased success. As a business model, it’s simply unsustainable: businesses should get more profitable as they grow. This is a long-term problem that needs to be addressed.

"Last year we proposed changes to canister levels designed to stave off, but ultimately not solve, this problem. In the end, we chose to scrap those. The royalty changes we released yesterday are not a band-aid solution, they are a permanent fix. They ensure a viable, long-term future for iStock and its community."

A couple weeks ago they said they were paying out $1.7 million a week in royalties. At the first of the year I believe it was $1.2 million. Let's assume $1.7 million for the whole 52 weeks. That's about $88 million paid out to contributors in a year. Is he saying it costs $212 million a year to operate that web site? What is the staff being paid? Sure money is spent on advertising, but really how much "profit" do they need?? They expected to grow revenue 50% in 2010. The payout to contributors sure hasn't grown by 50%. I don't see any way that he could argue that the business has "become less profitable with increased success."
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 09, 2010, 15:54
This is interesting.  The poll stands at 37% leaving iStock completely at the moment.


http://www.micropoll.com/akira/mpresult/852926-275197 (http://www.micropoll.com/akira/mpresult/852926-275197)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 09, 2010, 16:04
This is interesting.  The poll stands at 37% leaving iStock completely at the moment.


[url]http://www.micropoll.com/akira/mpresult/852926-275197[/url] ([url]http://www.micropoll.com/akira/mpresult/852926-275197[/url])


Unfortunately it's a poor poll. What about options like "I will be giving up exclusivity" or "I will stop unploading to Istock"?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 09, 2010, 16:11
Doesn't matter much if they are really about to lose 37% of their contributors.  I think the cases you mention might fall under the "No I just have to take it" category.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 09, 2010, 16:14
Doesn't matter much if they are really about to lose 37% of their contributors. 

You do know, I hope, that this poll indicates nothing of the kind.  A small self-selected sample?  Statistically insignificant.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 09, 2010, 16:43
True, but if what you are implying, that only the really angry people were responding, then the rate would be skewed more to the "I'm leaving" than it already is.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: vonkara on September 09, 2010, 16:52

So if I have more credits redeemed, better search rankings, etc as a fresh exclusive, AND increased the size of my portfolio by 37% in that same time period, yet still cannot reach even the minimum level to simply keep 35% royalties, what kind of contributors are they expecting to see maintain their current levels or increase?

This is so disgusting David.  You, Kyle, and others that just got persuaded to go exclusive this year with their promises of preserving canister levels.  

It is absolutely no coincidence that they used that deal to get everyone interested in exclusivity on board by August, and then the first week of September they drop this bomb.

I was sooo clooose to doing it myself.  I even signed the contract to preserve my canister, and when I did I got personal contacts from some high up admins promising they would "take very good care" of me.  It absolutely sickens me how they have breached their promises to you.  

Exactly why I go exclusive and was happy until this. I'm still happy since I can reactivate my portfolio at Dreamstime and Shutterstock quite easily (couple of hours).

Still I don't know if my images will keep their search popularity they had before at SS, and neither If my images will stay level 2 and 3 at DT  :-\
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 09, 2010, 17:43
The second iStock "back and forth discussion" thread seems to be winding down a bit now.  You can actually step away for awhile and have a reasonable hope of catching back up.  Its on page 128 now.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jamirae on September 09, 2010, 17:57


This time next year, I'd love to see StockFresh in the Big Four, with iStock in the Middle Tier.

Let's do whatever we can to make that happen.

This is a worthy goal Mike, and I agree with you completely.  I am on SF already and have very high hopes for its success.  Only problem is that SF is not ready for us yet, and most people here don't have their images there.  So redirecting buyers there is going to leave the vast majority of disaffected istockers out in the cold.

I suggest sending buyers to FT or DT, both of which give us a fair % and both of which are fully up and operational with a collection that's able to rival istock's for scope and quality.

is FT Fotolia?  I'm researching my options - plan to go Independent the first of the year.  Might as well, I'm screwed if I stay exclusive at iStock.
Looking at your portfolio you better stay exclusive!

why do you say that?  I have both photo and vectors in my port.  I currently am "gold" level which means 35% royalty on each download.  The new structure will split my photo and vector work.  trying to best estimate my "redeemed credits" level I don't see myself making it to even 30% for the new structure in 2011 so I'll be dropped down to 25%.  which really sucks as I am just a few months away from hitting diamond or 40% if the current structure were to stay in place.  If I go independent I realize that I would drop even lower to 16% at istock, but I am hoping I can offset that by building portfolios at other agencies. 

I'm still evaluating, but right now I'm leaning strongly toward dropping my exclusive status at iStock come the first of the year.  I've been with iStock since 2004, when I first got into photography and microstock.  When they started the exclusive program, I jumped on board.  I've even hosted a minilypse event and helped coordinate and attended several others.  My heart has been there since the beginning.  But sadly, it's grown beyond what it used to be and now I see that I'm nothing special to them, although iStock was always special to me and I'll always be grateful for what I have learned from there.  I just know that it's time for me to re-evaluate my position and do what is right for me.  iStock is not doing what is right for me, they are a business and are doing what is right for their business - at least in their eyes.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: crazychristina on September 09, 2010, 18:03
I think the istock community will slowly die as a result of these changes. You're just working for the man now. Lobo eats tacos while contributors burn.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: bittersweet on September 09, 2010, 18:03
nm
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: djpadavona on September 09, 2010, 18:10
I've never had much contact with her before, so apologies for the gender misstatement  :)

Same here.  She does excellent work. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jamirae on September 09, 2010, 18:14

Looking at your portfolio you better stay exclusive!

why do you say that? 

I might be wrong, but I think it was a back-handed compliment in reference to the idea of your work being released onto other sites = stiff competition. :)

oh haha... could be! I'm a little slow today.  :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ap on September 09, 2010, 18:14
As much as I support boycotting further uploads for a few months we have to consider what the outcome (most likely) will be.

The 100+ inspectors will be out of work after approx. 7-10 days. That means that iStock starts saving money as they won't be paying any inspectors for the period of no images coming in.

Over 3 months I assume they would save around $0.5 million maybe more. That's actually not even bad for them considering that they keep running their business technically as if nothing happened, just without brand new images. I'm sure naive buyers don't care.

I can't see how this would dramatically affect IS.

The only way we, as contributors can take action, is removing our files. This way we make the decision for the buyers and they don't even have an option of buying our images at IS. Just by telling them might not even work as some are probably sitting on credit packages that they need to use anyway.

You think they would forget about tens or hundreds of $$$ just because some photographer they know is not getting paid enough - next year...?

It's like ripping my own heart out when thinking about pulling my port at IS due to the hard work I put in. I will take enough time necessary to think about that one.

i think you're on the right track. for the maximum impact, we should set up D-day, a day where contributors deactivate their most popular files. this could be for a day or a week or longer, but it isn't permanent and you don't even have to pull your entire port. it sends a clear message to the management that the contributors can turn off the spigot anytime we choose. it will impact your bottom line, but collectively, it will impact is bottom line tremendously, perhaps to the tune of $.5 million a day. will someone listen then?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gaja on September 09, 2010, 18:20
Exactly why I go exclusive and was happy until this. I'm still happy since I can reactivate my portfolio at Dreamstime and Shutterstock quite easily (couple of hours). Still I don't know if my images will keep their search popularity they had before at SS, and neither If my images will stay level 2 and 3 at DT  :-\

The files at DT keep their level and number of sales. The only drawback in reactivating a file, is that the lock in periode of 6 months starts from fresh. If it has been a while since you went exclusive, you might even find that the levels have increased, DT did some reductions in the number of sales it took for a pic to reach a certain level.

With the buyers fleeing Istock, there might even be some sales at DT. Who knows.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ShadySue on September 09, 2010, 18:52
Lobo eats tacos while contributors burn.
LOL! Sadly.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Digital66 on September 09, 2010, 19:07
...for the maximum impact, we should set up D-day, a day where contributors deactivate their most popular files. this could be for a day or a week or longer, but it isn't permanent and you don't even have to pull your entire port. it sends a clear message to the management that the contributors can turn off the spigot anytime we choose. it will impact your bottom line, but collectively, it will impact is bottom line tremendously, perhaps to the tune of $.5 million a day. will someone listen then?

Can deactivated images be re-activated?  Is that possible?

If so, I don't think that is as easy to do at IS as it is at SS.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Pixart on September 09, 2010, 19:47
I think it has been mentioned that an e-mail went out with this news.  I have not received an e-mail.  I would like to forward it to a few designers I know.  Anyone?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ap on September 09, 2010, 19:52

Can deactivated images be re-activated?  Is that possible?

If so, I don't think that is as easy to do at IS as it is at SS.
[/quote]

you're right, you'll need to go through support to reactivate. it will be awkward.  ::)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Amanda_K on September 09, 2010, 22:11
In all fairness I think Lobo and his taco have no power whatsoever to get an answer. ;) And he has been pretty fair with leaving posts alone (as long as there are no personal attacks, though some border on that and have been left alone.)  I have never ever seen such a lack of iStock cheerleaders in an announcement thread like this.

I've been buying from iStock since 2003, contributing since 2004 and exclusive since it was an option.  I have referred 100+ (paid/tracked referrals) buyers and fellow artists over the years and told countless others great things about iStock for years. This was the last straw for me.

I canceled my exclusivity yesterday based on Kelly's "response" to our concerns.  Today I opened accounts at Dreamstime, Fotolia and Shutterstock.  29 days to go.  I'm going to go deactivate some more images from iStock now.  I'm done waiting for a reasonable answer to any of this from iStock HQ.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: djpadavona on September 09, 2010, 22:30
Lobo and Sylvan are good apples.  Don't blame them for what is happening there.  Hell, I think Rob mentioned he was dropping not 1, but 2 canister levels based on this decision.  I'm sure he's "thrilled."
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 09, 2010, 23:07
Yeah, the admins in general have been getting a raw deal from a lot of people.  People like Rob really can't do much other than commiserate, and even that would probably be frowned upon by some.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Kngkyle on September 09, 2010, 23:12
I'd say Lobo is the only admin actually reading any of our comments. And he probably doesn't have any authority over anything other than the forums. He should be promoted to CEO and the rest can get . out.  8)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Danicek on September 10, 2010, 00:12
^ agree
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 10, 2010, 01:16

I really can't remember that. Post some real example, please.

Go and read the responses to the pay rate announcement made at the beginning of the year.

Do you think it's an accident that the COO made a special point in his last post of saying that he was shafting non-exclusives really hard? He was expecting it to get the usual WooYay from the in-crowd.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 10, 2010, 01:33
Just a note to myself somewhere I can find it in the morning.  That thread is up to page 138 now.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: loop on September 10, 2010, 01:42

I really can't remember that. Post some real example, please.

Go and read the responses to the pay rate announcement made at the beginning of the year.

Do you think it's an accident that the COO made a special point in his last post of saying that he was shafting non-exclusives really hard? He was expecting it to get the usual WooYay from the in-crowd.

Just did it. Nothing at all of what you mean. Zero examples. Sorry, I fear you could be a little paranoid, or personally interested in a comfromtation between exclusives and independents that just can weaken  the contributors strength in these decisive moments.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 10, 2010, 01:52

I really can't remember that. Post some real example, please.

Go and read the responses to the pay rate announcement made at the beginning of the year.

Just did it. Nothing at all of what you mean. Zero examples. Sorry, I fear you could be a little paranoid, or personally interested in a comfromtation between exclusives and independents that just can weaken  the contributors strength in these decisive moments.

No you didn't, you haven't had time to go through that lot. So you're just saying whatever comes into your head.

More interestingly, Shank Ali has turned negative on iStock and accused them of destroying trust and stealing contributors money... I never thought I would see the day
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: loop on September 10, 2010, 01:59

I really can't remember that. Post some real example, please.

Go and read the responses to the pay rate announcement made at the beginning of the year.

Just did it. Nothing at all of what you mean. Zero examples. Sorry, I fear you could be a little paranoid, or personally interested in a comfromtation between exclusives and independents that just can weaken  the contributors strength in these decisive moments.

No you didn't, you haven't had time to go through that lot. So you're just saying whatever comes into your head.

More interestingly, Shank Ali has turned negative on iStock and accused them of destroying trust and stealing contributors money... I never thought I would see the day

Not everybody is so slow.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 10, 2010, 02:09
Not everybody is so slow.

Sixty-nine thread pages read in full and digested in less than 26 minutes. I'm impressed. You should be a forum moderator.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: FD on September 10, 2010, 02:16
I'm still evaluating, but right now I'm leaning strongly toward dropping my exclusive status at iStock come the first of the year.
That's what we are afraid of. So many top talents exclusives on IS and if they decide to flood the other sites with their work, we regulars at those other sites will suffer.  :P (it's a compliment).
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 10, 2010, 02:31
Quote
I'm still evaluating, but right now I'm leaning strongly toward dropping my exclusive status at iStock come the first of the year.

Yeah, well I'd evaluate very carefully. I know of two reasonably high selling exclusives who dropped exclusivity last year, they're now back on IS with their tails between their legs, back as exclusives. Your income will plummet, I kid you not, I've seen one of the figures. If you have a few years to spare to crawl back up the rankings elsewhere ( an increasingly hard task) and your IS income is just pocket money it may be worth a punt, if you have more to lose than pocket money I'd be very careful. Most of the people here pulling their work are very small fishes making a huge amount of noise completely out of all proportion to their sales. They will miss the loss in income more than IS will miss them.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 10, 2010, 02:52
Vlad's right. It will be even worse than last year, too, as the iStock contribution to the total will drop from 20% commission to probably 16% or 17% and you need to remember that the sale price of your images will be much lower, so your income will immediately fall by something like 75%. The slow initial sales from other sites while you start to build search engine position are likely to leave you 50% down for quite some time, I would think. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 10, 2010, 03:16
Could the scale of these cuts have been brought on by the failure of the changes to pricing this year? For a few months now people have been complaining about falling income, maybe istock's income has also declined because of buyer resistance.

If the COO screwed up in January and found himself faced with a deteriorating balance sheet, he may have been under pressure to redeem himself by getting money from somewhere else. Cutting Vetta and subscription prices suggests things aren't going according to plan  - ESPECIALLY as Vetta was meant to be fixed for 2010 and they are rushing in to cut the price in the third quarter.

If more money can't be got from buyers and if buyers are drifting off to cheaper places faster than iStock can recruit new ones, then the only way of clawing back the losses would be by raiding the contributors' piggy banks.

Note that this drastic change was NOT in the works in January or they wouldn't have planned to mess with the canister levels. Even when they put those changes on hold it was only meant to be temporary. So this plan was hatched in the spring or later, or pulled out of the rejected ideas bin then, by which time credit package renewal data and buyer feedback would have been available.

But if this was triggered by an earlier mistake - well, airline pilots know that crashes usually happen because of an initial non-fatal error leading to a cascade of mistakes caused by increasing pilot stress.

 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: fotografer on September 10, 2010, 03:26
I feel really sorry for the exclusives and am so glad that I was never in a position where it would have been benificial for me to become exclusive.  They are in a horrible position of having to take a huge cut in earnings whatever they decide.
I will probaly end up with 18% next year which is only a 10% drop of 22% of my earnings so I haven't been hit nearly as badly as an exclusive.   Their problem if they go independent is that they have to work their way up through the ranks of the other sites which unless they are the best will be extremely difficult. I do really well at the 4 big sites as I got in early but just can't seem to make it with 123rf and Bigstock that I joined a couple of years later. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: loop on September 10, 2010, 03:31
Not everybody is so slow.

Sixty-nine thread pages read in full and digested in less than 26 minutes. I'm impressed. You should be a forum moderator.

Who I am it's not your business. And if you think that I would spend more than fifteen minutes browsing in a thread when you have been not able to cut and paste one single example (in so many pages!) in a full day to support your campaign to confront exclusives and independents, you are very wrong.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 10, 2010, 04:39
Not everybody is so slow.

Sixty-nine thread pages read in full and digested in less than 26 minutes. I'm impressed. You should be a forum moderator.

Who I am it's not your business. And if you think that I would spend more than fifteen minutes browsing in a thread when you have been not able to cut and paste one single example (in so many pages!) in a full day to support your campaign to confront exclusives and independents, you are very wrong.

Oh, so you didn't read it. So your post saying you had and there was nothing to support what I said was, indeed, made up, which makes your opinions very reliable. I didn't ask you who you were and I don't want to know. You won't waste time trawling through hundreds of posts to find out what I am saying, but you demand that I should waste time trawling through them to provide evidence that you can't be bothered to look for yourself. Well, you asked for examples and I pointed you in the right direction, I don't care whether you go further or not - just don't claim that you have make accusations against me and then admit that you haven't.

People here who've been around for a long time know whether or not there is any truth in what I said, it doesn't need proving. It's certainly not a majority of exclusives either, but it only takes a few to leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth. And it isn't me who has campaigned to cause confrontation between exclusives and independents, it is iStock and Getty.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: RT on September 10, 2010, 05:11
You won't waste time trawling through hundreds of posts to find out what I am saying, but you demand that I should waste time trawling through them to provide evidence that you can't be bothered to look for yourself.

In all fairness you raised the issue, it would be far easier if you just cut and pasted the comment in question rather than expect him or anybody else to read through 69 pages of a thread just to see if you're correct, then you could sit back and be satisfied that you won your point.

Personally I'm bored of the 'them vs us' thing, some exclusives don't like non-exclusives and vice versa, it's human nature.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: loop on September 10, 2010, 05:12
So, you can't read. I said I'ven been browsing fifteen minutes ant that was enough.
Maybe you just can't read more five or ten posts in this time; it's not my case. And I've been in istock and in the forums many years, more than enough to know  what I'm talking about.

The bare, not arguable, fact is that you can't prove your words.  You just can insist that "it's true", but you can't provide examples. Hum. And being your target to create conflict between people, that puts a clear light in your personality.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: alias on September 10, 2010, 05:14
http://blog.melchersystem.com/2010/09/07/the-everywhere-image/ (http://blog.melchersystem.com/2010/09/07/the-everywhere-image/)

Quote
Just when you thought is was over, it starts again, like a bloody headache. Getty Images, the agency that suffers and profits the most from micro stock is about to launch a cross brand collection. Called the Agency Collection, at least on Istock,  it will be priced at a premium to Vetta and will be available on iStock, Getty Images, Jupiter and PunchStock.

It will include images from Getty Images, but also from Istock contributors.

Why is this important ? Because this will be the first time that the same image will be available on all brands owned by Getty Images. Will they be priced the same? The post from Istock Kelly Thomspon doesn’t say, although the mention that they will be “priced at a premium to Vetta”seems to indicate that there is a good chance they will be.

A long awaited natural step, this cross brand collection will give Getty a lot of valuable data.

First and foremost, it will show which brand is the most successful at selling these images. If Istockphoto sells more than twenty times what Getty images has sold, you can be sure that will prompt the Seattle giant to revisit the need for sales people, something they are trying hard to prove. If Punchstock doesn’t sell any, they might shut down that brad.. And so on.

It will also show if an image sells better if available on multiple sites at the same time. In theory, it should be.

Istockphoto certainly has an edge in this competition. Not only it is a 100% royalty free platform, unlike the others, but  it has much, much more traffic than the others, which, for RF, is critical.

Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: peresanz on September 10, 2010, 05:26

iStock's movement, now on wikipedia!!:

"In September 2010, Getty Images iStock Photo Brand announced plans to cut payments to contributors by as much as 25% starting in 2011, while claiming that it furthered the interest of those same contributors. Getty's motivation was greeted with skepticism by the iStock community.[4]"

[4] http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=251812&page=1)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getty_Images (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getty_Images)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Microbius on September 10, 2010, 05:36
A couple weeks ago they said they were paying out $1.7 million a week in royalties. At the first of the year I believe it was $1.2 million. Let's assume $1.7 million for the whole 52 weeks. That's about $88 million paid out to contributors in a year. Is he saying it costs $212 million a year to operate that web site? What is the staff being paid? Sure money is spent on advertising, but really how much "profit" do they need?? They expected to grow revenue 50% in 2010. The payout to contributors sure hasn't grown by 50%. I don't see any way that he could argue that the business has "become less profitable with increased success."

It's all just BS, Getty gave the new CEO that target. New CEO has to meet +50%. No sustainable way to reach that crazy level of growth, so they take the easy route and screw their contributors. It's easy to say IStock is run independently of Getty, but when they set the targets to cover the price they paid for the company and the targets are crazy unobtainable by steady growth blam, it's grab the soap time for me and you.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ichiro17 on September 10, 2010, 07:37
A couple weeks ago they said they were paying out $1.7 million a week in royalties. At the first of the year I believe it was $1.2 million. Let's assume $1.7 million for the whole 52 weeks. That's about $88 million paid out to contributors in a year. Is he saying it costs $212 million a year to operate that web site? What is the staff being paid? Sure money is spent on advertising, but really how much "profit" do they need?? They expected to grow revenue 50% in 2010. The payout to contributors sure hasn't grown by 50%. I don't see any way that he could argue that the business has "become less profitable with increased success."

It's all just BS, Getty gave the new CEO that target. New CEO has to meet +50%. No sustainable way to reach that crazy level of growth, so they take the easy route and screw their contributors. It's easy to say IStock is run independently of Getty, but when they set the targets to cover the price they paid for the company and the targets are crazy unobtainable by steady growth blam, it's grab the soap time for me and you.

Profit and revenue are two different things.  Business school wasn't that hard for me, and the distinction between both is pretty clear.  You can have 500% growth in revenue and -200% growth in profit.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dirkr on September 10, 2010, 07:42
You can have 500% growth in revenue and -200% growth in profit.

the only thing you need for that is an incredibly bad management... ;D
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ichiro17 on September 10, 2010, 08:06
You can have 500% growth in revenue and -200% growth in profit.

the only thing you need for that is an incredibly bad management... ;D

:) yes...or the quest for rapid growth while spending a lot to attain it with the hopes that you can slow the expenses down in the future.

while I won't be affected by the changes (in fact, i might actually be bumped up a level), I don't necessarily agree with any of the statements that iStock isn't profitable enough or can't make money at this pace.  In fact, I think its preposterous that they are having a hard time doing what they are doing at an average of probably 25% royalties. 

What really blows my mind is that the NHL has 55% of its revenue going to player salaries and for the most part it makes good money despite what they are saying.  Yet an internet company with no real overhead compared to the NHL can't do the same thing.  Thats BS.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 10, 2010, 08:12
Here is something that makes me angry.  The iStockcharts folks emailed this to me this morning.

Quote

We've got 5531 exclusive contributors in our contributor charts:

base contributors          105 ( 1.9%)
bronze contributors       2417 (43.7%)
silver contributors       1647 (29.8%)
gold contributors          760 (13.7%)
diamond contributors       574 (10.4%)
blackdiamond contributors   28 ( 0.5%)

Kelly says 76% of exclusives will not take a hit.   43.7% of them won't because they are bronze.   Another 29.8% are silver, and stand a fairly good chance of hitting that low 2000 credit target.  Add in the 1.9% base contributors that are guaranteed to go up.  That is 75.4% of exclusives.

iStock is gunning for your royalties golds and diamonds, I guess we now know why the silver target was set so comparatively low.  It makes it easier for them to say that 76% of people will not see a change.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Nordlys on September 10, 2010, 08:23
Here is something that makes me angry.  The iStockcharts folks emailed this to me this morning.

Quote

We've got 5531 exclusive contributors in our contributor charts:

base contributors          105 ( 1.9%)
bronze contributors       2417 (43.7%)
silver contributors       1647 (29.8%)
gold contributors          760 (13.7%)
diamond contributors       574 (10.4%)
blackdiamond contributors   28 ( 0.5%)

Kelly says 76% of exclusives will not take a hit.   43.7% of them won't because they are bronze.   Another 29.8% are silver, and stand a fairly good chance of hitting that low 2000 credit target.  Add in the 1.9% base contributors that are guaranteed to go up.  That is 75.4% of exclusives.

iStock is gunning for your royalties golds and exclusives, I guess we now know why the silver target was set so comparatively low.  It makes it easier for them to say that 76% of people will not see a change.

I think we can also conclude, that with the new 15- 19% for independents, they also wanted to make i clear, that those are not very welcome.

So - they aim for exclusive content, high volume shooters (new content all the time) and volume sellers.
This will further make the IS collection very streamlined micro-like boring content.
They will loose at lot af the less mainstream pictures, that made the collection interesting for some buyers who lokked for something out of the ordinary. Perhaps they replace this with the Getty content?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 10, 2010, 08:25
You can have 500% growth in revenue and -200% growth in profit.
the only thing you need for that is an incredibly bad management... ;D

It's not bad management. It's desparate or greedy management depending on the person. Depends on which type of person you believe Kelly is.

Kelly may be telling the truth that this new model didn't come from up above. But what did come from up above were probably some insane revenue and profit goals. "Kelly, here are your goals. You are expected to meet these for 2011." So Kelly came up with this model to either keep his job (desparate) or get a big fat bonus (greedy). Unfortunately after he spent 9 months of going through the numbers he realized some drastic changes had to be made to meet those goals.

- He changed to a performance model. Not enough. Still short of goal.
- He cut commissions a little. Still short of goal.
- He cut commissions more. Still short of goal.
- He raised performance goals. Still short of goal.
- So why did he cut the extended license bonus? He had to. Every little bit counts

H&F/Getty set the goals. Management are making decisions based on the goals.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: bittersweet on September 10, 2010, 08:48
Has anyone else noticed a connection between istock's announcement and a rash of obnoxious spamming?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: peresanz on September 10, 2010, 08:51
Vultures are flying low now, lol
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ThomasAmby on September 10, 2010, 08:58
Did anyone notice this? (http://www.dreamstime.com/thread_23946)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dirkr on September 10, 2010, 08:59

It's not bad management. It's desparate or greedy management depending on the person. Depends on which type of person you believe Kelly is.

Kelly may be telling the truth that this new model didn't come from up above. But what did come from up above were probably some insane revenue and profit goals. "Kelly, here are your goals. You are expected to meet these for 2011." So Kelly came up with this model to either keep his job (desparate) or get a big fat bonus (greedy). Unfortunately after he spent 9 months of going through the numbers he realized some drastic changes had to be made to meet those goals.

- He changed to a performance model. Not enough. Still short of goal.
- He cut commissions a little. Still short of goal.
- He cut commissions more. Still short of goal.
- He raised performance goals. Still short of goal.
- So why did he cut the extended license bonus? He had to. Every little bit counts

H&F/Getty set the goals. Management are making decisions based on the goals.

I tend to disagree. Acting out of either greed or despair is bad management.
Good management includes to stand up against unachievable performance goals coming down from company owners - even if it means you're getting yourself in trouble.

I agree that what you describe is a very likely explanation of what is happening though.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: peresanz on September 10, 2010, 09:03
Did anyone notice this? ([url]http://www.dreamstime.com/thread_23946[/url])


Yes, previously posted here:

http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/for-exclusives-at-is-here-is-info-on-alternatives/msg159929/?topicseen#new (http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/for-exclusives-at-is-here-is-info-on-alternatives/msg159929/?topicseen#new)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Blufish on September 10, 2010, 09:04
Did anyone notice this? ([url]http://www.dreamstime.com/thread_23946[/url])


Wow  Wonder how long it will be before others sites smell blood too.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ichiro17 on September 10, 2010, 09:05
Here is something that makes me angry.  The iStockcharts folks emailed this to me this morning.

Quote

We've got 5531 exclusive contributors in our contributor charts:

base contributors          105 ( 1.9%)
bronze contributors       2417 (43.7%)
silver contributors       1647 (29.8%)
gold contributors          760 (13.7%)
diamond contributors       574 (10.4%)
blackdiamond contributors   28 ( 0.5%)

Kelly says 76% of exclusives will not take a hit.   43.7% of them won't because they are bronze.   Another 29.8% are silver, and stand a fairly good chance of hitting that low 2000 credit target.  Add in the 1.9% base contributors that are guaranteed to go up.  That is 75.4% of exclusives.

iStock is gunning for your royalties golds and diamonds, I guess we now know why the silver target was set so comparatively low.  It makes it easier for them to say that 76% of people will not see a change.

I think that you should also understand (not that I agree with them) that they think its okay to lower your percentages because they think they will make more overall revenue which means you will stay at the same nominal value, while your percentage decreases.  Now unless they are brilliant fortune tellers, I can't say that they will be right 100% and given that they can't run their business while only having to pay out 20%, I wouldn't trust these estimates at all.  Plus when is it okay to take 25% away because you think that you will give the same amount back in increased revenues.  All that means is that they are taking future revenues away from you and keeping you at the same level.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ThomasAmby on September 10, 2010, 09:06
Did anyone notice this? ([url]http://www.dreamstime.com/thread_23946[/url])


Yes, previously posted here:

[url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/for-exclusives-at-is-here-is-info-on-alternatives/msg159929/?topicseen#new[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/for-exclusives-at-is-here-is-info-on-alternatives/msg159929/?topicseen#new[/url])


Sorry I didn't see that :-)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: helix7 on September 10, 2010, 09:07
... And what happens if istock decides to make adjustments that are more acceptable to contributors. Are those buyers coming back? Probably not...

Good, let them stay at the agencies that pay us better. Why would we want buyers to stick with istock where we only get 20%?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Microbius on September 10, 2010, 09:09
I just took a step back and reassessed the IStock changes. If you think about what they say they are trying to, reward contributors for what they are contributing now rather then the legacy stuff they uploaded, the changes look even stupider and unnecessarily convoluted.
If their goal is really this why not just offer flat percentages, one rate for exclusive one for nonexclusives. Those who sell more make more, why bother with the tiered system at all. I wonder if this is where they are heading (?)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 10, 2010, 09:11
Did anyone notice this? ([url]http://www.dreamstime.com/thread_23946[/url])


Yes, previously posted here:

[url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/for-exclusives-at-is-here-is-info-on-alternatives/msg159929/?topicseen#new[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/for-exclusives-at-is-here-is-info-on-alternatives/msg159929/?topicseen#new[/url])


Neither did I.  Thanks for posting here Thomas.

Sorry I didn't see that :-)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ichiro17 on September 10, 2010, 09:12
I just took a step back and reassessed the IStock changes. If you think about what they say they are trying to, reward contributors for what they are contributing now rather then the legacy stuff they uploaded, the changes look even stupider and unnecessarily convoluted.
If their goal is really this why not just offer flat percentages, one rate for exclusive one for nonexclusives. Those who sell more make more, why bother with the tiered system at all. I wonder if this is where they are heading (?)

I'm totally okay with a tiered system.  I think that those who show accelerated growth should be rewarded heavily.  However, I don't think they should burn out the long term contributors either.  Sustainable growth is just as important as having a spectacular year. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 10, 2010, 09:14
I just took a step back and reassessed the IStock changes. If you think about what they say they are trying to, reward contributors for what they are contributing now rather then the legacy stuff they uploaded, the changes look even stupider and unnecessarily convoluted.
If their goal is really this why not just offer flat percentages, one rate for exclusive one for nonexclusives. Those who sell more make more, why bother with the tiered system at all. I wonder if this is where they are heading (?)

The reason their rationalizations don't make sense is because they are flat out untrue.  

If they really wanted to reward high performing contributors they would not have made the top goal so completely unreachable even for their top performers. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on September 10, 2010, 09:20

Kelly says 76% of exclusives will not take a hit.   43.7% of them won't because they are bronze.   Another 29.8% are silver, and stand a fairly good chance of hitting that low 2000 credit target.  Add in the 1.9% base contributors that are guaranteed to go up.  That is 75.4% of exclusives.

iStock is gunning for your royalties golds and diamonds, I guess we now know why the silver target was set so comparatively low.  It makes it easier for them to say that 76% of people will not see a change.

Even if you maintain your current level, is it safe to say that any serious advancement is dead in the water for most people?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Eireann on September 10, 2010, 09:33
@Loop,
Oh, please. Baldrick is right.
There are a lot of exclusives who don't give a  d*** about what happens to independents. Not only that, but deep down they harbour this lovely hope that independents get crushed further and further - commissions, best match - search position, exposure, collections access - , give nothing to independents, let them rot.
This is OUR site, We built it, We deserve every perk, it's US, the Exclusives who should get all the rewards. Independents are kindly invited to bear the blows and rot in hell.  
It's a common attitude and one of the main reasons I never wanted to be part of the 'crowned' group. Not cool. At all.
Of course Baldrick is right. And don't ask me to cut and paste, it's stupid, but I might well do it.
That doesn't mean that every exclusive is guilty.
And it's definitely not a subject we should be discussing right now.

What bothers me right now is this - how far is too far?
How many independents are willing to take the cut and submit their images for 15 % commission? Probably most of them.
I strongly belive that there's no such thing as 'going too far' in the world of microstock photographers.  10% commission is fine, and so is 5.
0.25 cents is better than nothing and the race is on.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Microbius on September 10, 2010, 09:50
^+1
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cybernesco on September 10, 2010, 10:18

Another news article about us:

http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/61173/20100910/istockphoto-gets-ire-of-contributors-over-new-payment-scheme.htm (http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/61173/20100910/istockphoto-gets-ire-of-contributors-over-new-payment-scheme.htm)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: helix7 on September 10, 2010, 10:19

I dind't say the agency that payed higher comissions, but the more rewarding, the one that generated most incoming for their contributors. Well I suppose you understood it, but maybe yoy felt better misinterpreting.
Don't agree neither in the second point. Even now, IS (Istock, not Getty Thinkstock) have the only fair subs systems.

I didn't misinterpret it. I just still disagree. istock has never been the most rewarding (in your terms) agency for most people. Just because it might be for you, that's just you. Earnings polls have shown for years that for most people in microstock, istock is not the top earner. Between that and the industry-low royalty rates, I just can't figure out how you are coming to the conclusion that on the whole, istock has been the most rewarding agency.

As for subscriptions, sure the original istock sub plan was great. But they're not interested in pushing that plan anymore. It's all about Thinkstock now, which also happens to operate at industry-low levels.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ichiro17 on September 10, 2010, 10:35
welcome to the classic agency problem
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jamirae on September 10, 2010, 10:36
@Loop,
Oh, please. Baldrick is right.
There are a lot of exclusives who don't give a  d*** about what happens to independents. Not only that, but deep down they harbour this lovely hope that independents get crushed further and further - commissions, best match - search position, exposure, collections access - , give nothing to independents, let them rot.
This is OUR site, We built it, We deserve every perk, it's US, the Exclusives who should get all the rewards. Independents are kindly invited to bear the blows and rot in hell.  
It's a common attitude and one of the main reasons I never wanted to be part of the 'crowned' group. Not cool. At all.
Of course Baldrick is right. And don't ask me to cut and paste, it's stupid, but I might well do it.
That doesn't mean that every exclusive is guilty.
And it's definitely not a subject we should be discussing right now.

What bothers me right now is this - how far is too far?
How many independents are willing to take the cut and submit their images for 15 % commission? Probably most of them.
I strongly belive that there's no such thing as 'going too far' in the world of microstock photographers.  10% commission is fine, and so is 5.
0.25 cents is better than nothing and the race is on.

that's pretty harsh.  I've always been with iStock and I'm an exclusive (at the moment) but I have NEVER had ill feelings towards anyone for being an independent.  I know many of my friends who are exclusive at istock have always felt the same way.  please don't lump "most of us" into this hateful category.  Sadly it seems the negative people who feel that way are usually the loudest ones that get heard or that post in the forums.  I'm sorry if you were treated poorly, and I hope that you don't hate me just because (at the moment) I am an iStock exclusive.   each stock agency is built by the artists who contribute their work, whether they choose to contribute solely to one agency or not.    

I can't blame an agency for offering perks to those who exclusively contribute to one agency over all others.  However, I totally agree that the tiny 15% commission that iStock is going to for Independents is obnoxious and a slap in the face.  personally, I'd think that while the exclusive images like Lise Gagne may define a site like iStock, it's the total contributor base, most of which are independents (for any site, I would guess) that really build the agency.  
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dnavarrojr on September 10, 2010, 10:40
Quote
I'm still evaluating, but right now I'm leaning strongly toward dropping my exclusive status at iStock come the first of the year.

Yeah, well I'd evaluate very carefully. I know of two reasonably high selling exclusives who dropped exclusivity last year, they're now back on IS with their tails between their legs, back as exclusives. Your income will plummet, I kid you not, I've seen one of the figures. If you have a few years to spare to crawl back up the rankings elsewhere ( an increasingly hard task) and your IS income is just pocket money it may be worth a punt, if you have more to lose than pocket money I'd be very careful. Most of the people here pulling their work are very small fishes making a huge amount of noise completely out of all proportion to their sales. They will miss the loss in income more than IS will miss them.

What a load of crap.  The potential is there for even MORE income by diversifying.  You cannot say definitively for every single exclusive that they're income will drop MORE by dropping exclusivity over staying and taking it up the rear.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Pixart on September 10, 2010, 10:42

Kelly says 76% of exclusives will not take a hit.   43.7% of them won't because they are bronze.   Another 29.8% are silver, and stand a fairly good chance of hitting that low 2000 credit target.  Add in the 1.9% base contributors that are guaranteed to go up.  That is 75.4% of exclusives.

iStock is gunning for your royalties golds and diamonds, I guess we now know why the silver target was set so comparatively low.  It makes it easier for them to say that 76% of people will not see a change.

Even if you maintain your current level, is it safe to say that any serious advancement is dead in the water for most people?

We can't forget here the introduction of those new collections.  Even if you are a top performer who should remain at your current level - those new collections could be in the millions, who knows?  And if it happens to be mostly wholly owned content - it's a no brainer what collection will be on the front of the search.  How could anyone expect not to see a hit when competing with that?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dnavarrojr on September 10, 2010, 10:43

Another news article about us:

[url]http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/61173/20100910/istockphoto-gets-ire-of-contributors-over-new-payment-scheme.htm[/url] ([url]http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/61173/20100910/istockphoto-gets-ire-of-contributors-over-new-payment-scheme.htm[/url])


Written by Getty, apparently.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jjneff on September 10, 2010, 10:53
I am on the video side and will retain my current level in 2011. That being said sometimes I am jealous of Non-Exclusives. I started video there when video started at IS. I did a ton of research and the only people I could find on the web who were making any decent money was IS exclusives. So I closed my accounts everywhere and went exclusive. It has been good for me. My medical job was cut in April of this year so iStock is what is feeding my family. Now if you think that is easy street think again! I am not holding out for any change. I just need to focus on getting good content out there. If I dropped my exclusive in 2011 I would go from 35% to 18% ahh could you afford that? I just can't afford it and I can't find a Cat Scan job in my area at all. I can relocate as there are medical jobs out there if I have to. Wish me luck and I have been fighting for all you non-exclusives. I feel the bottom of the barrel should be 20%
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 10, 2010, 10:55

Another news article about us:

[url]http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/61173/20100910/istockphoto-gets-ire-of-contributors-over-new-payment-scheme.htm[/url] ([url]http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/61173/20100910/istockphoto-gets-ire-of-contributors-over-new-payment-scheme.htm[/url])


Written by Getty, apparently.


It's even more of a whitewash than the CNET story.  I attempted to fill in the details in a comment, but couldn't get it to post.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: abimages on September 10, 2010, 10:56
Quote
I'm still evaluating, but right now I'm leaning strongly toward dropping my exclusive status at iStock come the first of the year.

Yeah, well I'd evaluate very carefully. I know of two reasonably high selling exclusives who dropped exclusivity last year, they're now back on IS with their tails between their legs, back as exclusives. Your income will plummet, I kid you not, I've seen one of the figures. If you have a few years to spare to crawl back up the rankings elsewhere ( an increasingly hard task) and your IS income is just pocket money it may be worth a punt, if you have more to lose than pocket money I'd be very careful. Most of the people here pulling their work are very small fishes making a huge amount of noise completely out of all proportion to their sales. They will miss the loss in income more than IS will miss them.

What a load of crap.  The potential is there for even MORE income by diversifying.  You cannot say definitively for every single exclusive that they're income will drop MORE by dropping exclusivity over staying and taking it up the rear.

I hope you're right! FWIW since going exclusive in Feb I've had less earnings this year than previous independent years :o
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: FD on September 10, 2010, 10:57
Has anyone else noticed a connection between istock's announcement and a rash of obnoxious spamming?
Yap, Sumos is one of those obnoxious iSyndica guys, spamming all over.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dnavarrojr on September 10, 2010, 10:57
I am on the video side and will retain my current level in 2011. That being said sometimes I am jealous of Non-Exclusives. I started video there when video started at IS. I did a ton of research and the only people I could find on the web who were making any decent money was IS exclusives. So I closed my accounts everywhere and went exclusive. It has been good for me. My medical job was cut in April of this year so iStock is what is feeding my family. Now if you think that is easy street think again! I am not holding out for any change. I just need to focus on getting good content out there. If I dropped my exclusive in 2011 I would go from 35% to 18% ahh could you afford that? I just can't afford it and I can't find a Cat Scan job in my area at all. I can relocate as there are medical jobs out there if I have to. Wish me luck and I have been fighting for all you non-exclusives. I feel the bottom of the barrel should be 20%

You have to do what's right for you, that's true of everyone.  And trust me, I know of which you speak.  I got laid off for a second time a couple of years ago and have been living on unemployment, occasional consulting jobs and my stock sales.  Fortunately, I never got sucked into exclusivity anywhere.  So I've got stuff on numerous sites.  That was wonderful during the summer slump because when sales plummeted most places, a couple of places took up some of the slack with sales I wasn't getting last year.

I wish you sell and hope you can keep up your level the following year as well.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: abimages on September 10, 2010, 11:00
Expect update announcement  from IS later today:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253252&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253252&page=1)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 10, 2010, 11:09
iStock was about 45% of my income as a non-exclusive.  When I went exclusive in February, my income nearly quadrupled in March compared to January.  Its backed off now and has been pretty steady at tripple my average monthly income at iStock.  In terms of overall microstock, I'm still making nearly 30% more as an iStock exclusive than I was earning overall from all microstock combined.  Next year I will automatically be making 15% less than I am now, and 25% less than I should have been, as I'm nearly to diamond.

If I drop exclusivity, I will be removing my port entirely.  I will eat a significant loss, but I have ethical difficulties being in bed with a company as exploitative as it appears iStock is about to become.  I will probably have to shutter my studio for awhile and go back to on location stock shoots only while I build income back up.

Fortunately this is not my primary source of income.  I feel very sorry for those who need iStock to put food on their tables.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: LostOne on September 10, 2010, 11:13
Expect update announcement  from IS later today:

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253252&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253252&page=1[/url])

Another announcement filled with lies? I think I've had enough of those.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 10, 2010, 11:28

Another announcement filled with lies?

At least we're guaranteed one thing with Istock.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Nordlys on September 10, 2010, 11:41
 I feel very sorry for those who need iStock to put food on their tables.

As do we all, but people has to be carefull, as to whome they "go to bed with" - sometimes, you get home with somthing more than you expected in the first place...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: michaeldb on September 10, 2010, 12:13

Another news article about us:

[url]http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/61173/20100910/istockphoto-gets-ire-of-contributors-over-new-payment-scheme.htm[/url] ([url]http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/61173/20100910/istockphoto-gets-ire-of-contributors-over-new-payment-scheme.htm[/url])


Written by Getty, apparently.

Yes, this is not really an article, it is a Getty press release. The "IBTimes" may just be a site which prints press releases for a fee.

It shows that IS/Getty, while not openly responding to the outrage of their suppliers on their own forums, do feel it necessary to take PR steps outside their own site.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Elenathewise on September 10, 2010, 12:39

Another news article about us:

[url]http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/61173/20100910/istockphoto-gets-ire-of-contributors-over-new-payment-scheme.htm[/url] ([url]http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/61173/20100910/istockphoto-gets-ire-of-contributors-over-new-payment-scheme.htm[/url])


Written by Getty, apparently.

Yes, this is not really an article, it is a Getty press release. The "IBTimes" may just be a site which prints press releases for a fee.

It shows that IS/Getty, while not openly responding to the outrage of their suppliers on their own forums, do feel it necessary to take PR steps outside their own site.


Yup funny thing you can't even post a comment... I tried several times. And yes, how wonderful - all of us "miscalculating" our commission rates.... Ya it takes a lot of brainpower to multiply your current number of credits by 2! (Using their own recommendation! ...even if that holds which is most likely won't).
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: arielmartin on September 10, 2010, 12:42
Ok, guys, if any of you wish to leave IS and join other agencies, here are my referral code at SS. It won't hurt you and will help me a lot      ;)

http://submit.shutterstock.com/?ref=318328 (http://submit.shutterstock.com/?ref=318328)

Best regards to all,
  Ariel
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 10, 2010, 12:50
Not cool, Ariel.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 10, 2010, 12:55
Ariel and Sumo, enough of the spamming already.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Eireann on September 10, 2010, 13:03
@Jamirae,
I don't hate you. I like you actually :)
And I wish you best of luck. I mean it.

And if indeed there are many IStock Exclusives who think independents have been treated unfairly over the years, well, they should have been more vocal.
I'm not going to go into all that now; let's just wait for the announcement and hope for the best.
For all of us.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: loop on September 10, 2010, 13:38
@Jamirae,
I don't hate you. I like you actually :)
And I wish you best of luck. I mean it.

And if indeed there are many IStock Exclusives who think independents have been treated unfairly over the years, well, they should have been more vocal.
I'm not going to go into all that now; let's just wait for the announcement and hope for the best.
For all of us.

Just to say I'm amazed ad your powers that let you read minds and know what people thinks.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Eireann on September 10, 2010, 13:44
@Loop,
right.
It's Voodoo :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Microbius on September 10, 2010, 14:18

Another news article about us:

[url]http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/61173/20100910/istockphoto-gets-ire-of-contributors-over-new-payment-scheme.htm[/url] ([url]http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/61173/20100910/istockphoto-gets-ire-of-contributors-over-new-payment-scheme.htm[/url])

just when you think you can't get any more pissed off they go and write some crap like that. There's so much BS and misinformation in that release it's untrue arrrghhhhhhhhhh
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Nordlys on September 10, 2010, 14:28
That is IS management "fighting" back, with the weapons they know - press releases via well paid contacts in the press officies and newspapers.

We rule the internet invironment - they the old media.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 10, 2010, 14:34
just when you think you can't get any more pissed off they go and write some crap like that. There's so much BS and misinformation in that release it's untrue arrrghhhhhhhhhh

That article may calm some clients, but makes me (contributor) even more pissed of! I don't think Getty/IS understands that they can't fight the truth with lies.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cybernesco on September 10, 2010, 14:34

Another news article about us:

[url]http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/61173/20100910/istockphoto-gets-ire-of-contributors-over-new-payment-scheme.htm[/url] ([url]http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/61173/20100910/istockphoto-gets-ire-of-contributors-over-new-payment-scheme.htm[/url])

just when you think you can't get any more pissed off they go and write some crap like that. There's so much BS and misinformation in that release it's untrue arrrghhhhhhhhhh


That release is total BS.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: donding on September 10, 2010, 14:36
Some one earlier was asking about where to find this. I don't know if anyone posted it yet or not, but if they didn't here it is.  Its the contributor charts at iStock. It will tell you how many of what canister level there is.
http://istockcharts.multimedia.de/ (http://istockcharts.multimedia.de/)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on September 10, 2010, 14:40
just when you think you can't get any more pissed off they go and write some crap like that. There's so much BS and misinformation in that release it's untrue arrrghhhhhhhhhh

That article may calm some clients, but makes me (contributor) even more pissed of! I don't think Getty/IS understands that they can't fight the truth with lies.

Unfortunately you can. Look at governments and other big corps that get themselves in trouble. Spinning is a science.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 10, 2010, 14:44
Unfortunately you can. Look at governments and other big corps that get themselves in trouble. Spinning is a science.

A Government isn't as easy to change as a business. And even big corps fall... Enron, anyone?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 10, 2010, 15:06
Expect update announcement  from IS later today:

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253252&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253252&page=1[/url])


What a bunch of drama. And I am willing to bet there are a lot of people anxiously awaiting to hear what the news will be. It doesn't even matter to me what they announce. Trust is gone, their words mean NOTH-ING!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Oldhand on September 10, 2010, 15:15
Interesting announcement from DT - referrel bonus's for exclusives elsewhere! It's on their home page.

Quick thinking!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: donding on September 10, 2010, 15:23
Expect update announcement  from IS later today:

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253252&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253252&page=1[/url])


What a bunch of drama. And I am willing to bet there are a lot of people anxiously awaiting to hear what the news will be. It doesn't even matter to me what they announce. Trust is gone, their words mean NOTH-ING!


They probably just said that to quiet down the masses, which it looks like it did a little bit, while they plot their next move!!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Microbius on September 10, 2010, 15:31
I get the feeling that there isn't going to be any movement on their side at all.
The second statement didn't have any give in it, and I doubt the next one will.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: donding on September 10, 2010, 15:36
I get the feeling that there isn't going to be any movement on their side at all.
The second statement didn't have any give in it, and I doubt the next one will.
It would be nice if they would just say something rather than leaving everyone blowing in the wind. I'm with you, I doubt what they have to say is going to be any better.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cthoman on September 10, 2010, 15:40
So if it is really true that they can't sustain these levels of commissions, why bother to keep their exclusive program? Isn't it easier to tick off 20% of their contributors rather than 80-100%? Then just raise the prices on all the better selling files or higher canister contributors to exclusive level. And maybe keep an exclusive image program for Vetta. That would allow them to have more higher priced content and everybody would only get 20%. Hell, at that point you could probably bump it up to 1 or 2 percent and still come out ahead.

Maybe not the best solution, but it just seems there could have been so many other solutions that wouldn't make everyone mad.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Microbius on September 10, 2010, 15:49
So if it is really true that they can't sustain these levels of commissions, why bother to keep their exclusive program? Isn't it easier to tick off 20% of their contributors rather than 80-100%? Then just raise the prices on all the better selling files or higher canister contributors to exclusive level. And maybe keep an exclusive image program for Vetta. That would allow them to have more higher priced content and everybody would only get 20%. Hell, at that point you could probably bump it up to 1 or 2 percent and still come out ahead.

Maybe not the best solution, but it just seems there could have been so many other solutions that wouldn't make everyone mad.
[/quote
I don't believe for a minute it was not sustainable. Imagine how many sales it would take for everyone to make it to platinum. It's just greed plain and simple, they aren't happy with higher profits, they want higher profits in proportion to revenue. It's all total BS that stems from Getty buying the site and wanting a good return on the investment, even if it means squeezing IStock till the pips squeak.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cthoman on September 10, 2010, 15:55
I don't believe for a minute it was not sustainable. Imagine how many sales it would take for everyone to make it to platinum. It's just greed plain and simple, they aren't happy with higher profits, they want higher profits in proportion to revenue. It's all total BS that stems from Getty buying the site and wanting a good return on the investment, even if it means squeezing IStock till the pips squeak.

I'm not sure I believe it either that it is unsustainable. My point was more of why come up with a solution that makes everyone mad? There had to have been a way to do it that would make more or most people happy to drown out all the negatives.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: nicmac on September 10, 2010, 15:56
I still think that they're moving to a different model. Kelly's release (http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/61173/20100910/istockphoto-gets-ire-of-contributors-over-new-payment-scheme.htm (http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/61173/20100910/istockphoto-gets-ire-of-contributors-over-new-payment-scheme.htm)) might be true, but he's not really talking about the present contributors and collection... He's talking about Getty moving in their shots and photographers which will sell for a lot more and in turn create a larger royalty total. If the Istock brand is strong and has a larger buyer base why not use that to sell the great quality photographs that have a hard time selling at the old banner?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: nicmac on September 10, 2010, 15:58
Quote
I'm not sure I believe it either that it is unsustainable. My point was more of why come up with a solution that makes everyone mad? There had to have been a way to do it that would make more or most people happy to drown out all the negatives.
Well if they want to keep the brand but change the content, that's one hell of a good way to do it.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 10, 2010, 16:30
Some one earlier was asking about where to find this. I don't know if anyone posted it yet or not, but if they didn't here it is.  Its the contributor charts at iStock. It will tell you how many of what canister level there is.
[url]http://istockcharts.multimedia.de/[/url] ([url]http://istockcharts.multimedia.de/[/url])


One problem there is that they do not list the split out between cannister level's for the exclusives.  I wrote to the person who runs that site and they sent me the exclusive split out below.  I also confirmed that this is all inclusive.  If someone asks them to remove them from the list, they only make the entry anonymous by removing the name.  So the numbers here are accurate:

Quote
We've got 5531 exclusive contributors in our contributor charts:

base contributors          105 ( 1.9%)
bronze contributors       2417 (43.7%)
silver contributors       1647 (29.8%)
gold contributors          760 (13.7%)
diamond contributors       574 (10.4%)
blackdiamond contributors   28 ( 0.5%)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: KB on September 10, 2010, 16:33
So the numbers here are accurate:

Quote
We've got 5531 exclusive contributors in our contributor charts:

base contributors          105 ( 1.9%)
bronze contributors       2417 (43.7%)
silver contributors       1647 (29.8%)
gold contributors          760 (13.7%)
diamond contributors       574 (10.4%)
blackdiamond contributors   28 ( 0.5%)
But I ask again -- how can we trust the accuracy when it shows 105 base level exclusive contributors?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ErickN on September 10, 2010, 16:49
But I ask again -- how can we trust the accuracy when it shows 105 base level exclusive contributors?

Just a wild guess, but it seems the canisters shown on iStockCharts are determined after the # of downloads. But the # of DL are given by the API in ranges, not exact numbers. Contributors with >200 downloads seem to be at base canister, while contributors with >300 are bronze. Maybe the API doesn't deliver the canister info ?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Pixart on September 10, 2010, 16:49
LOL, if professional athletes can't manage their money - why would we expect mere mortals at Getty to manage theirs???

http://www.daveramsey.com/article/the-million-dollar-mystery/lifeandmoney_budgeting?ectid=bitlyified091020100919 (http://www.daveramsey.com/article/the-million-dollar-mystery/lifeandmoney_budgeting?ectid=bitlyified091020100919)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Karen on September 10, 2010, 16:51
Not sure if this already was posted...

The end of iStockphoto at Ember Studio: :(
http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193 (http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: donding on September 10, 2010, 16:57
Hmmmm I wonder when they get to quit and go home???   Hasn't it  been about 6 hours since they said they would post a response. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: KB on September 10, 2010, 16:58
But I ask again -- how can we trust the accuracy when it shows 105 base level exclusive contributors?

Just a wild guess, but it seems the canisters shown on iStockCharts are determined after the # of downloads. But the # of DL are given by the API in ranges, not exact numbers. Contributors with >200 downloads seem to be at base canister, while contributors with >300 are bronze. Maybe the API doesn't deliver the canister info ?
Thanks! That wild guess sounds exactly correct to me.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: modellocate on September 10, 2010, 17:02
"Contributors who don't sell exclusively will get a maximum 20 percent royalty instead of a minimum 20 percent royalty in the previous payment scheme."
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 10, 2010, 17:15
"Contributors who don't sell exclusively will get a maximum 20 percent royalty instead of a minimum 20 percent royalty in the previous payment scheme."

To be more accurate, "Contributors who don't sell exclusively will get a maximum 20 percent royalty instead of exactly 20 percent royalty in the previous payment scheme." 

And since the quota to get to that maximum is unachievable by all (or nearly all), "Contributors who don't sell exclusively will get less than 20 percent royalty and as little as 15 percent instead of exactly 20 percent royalty in the previous payment scheme."
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 10, 2010, 17:19
Most will get between 15% and 18%, just like most exclusives will get between 25% and 35%.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Gannet77 on September 10, 2010, 17:25
But I ask again -- how can we trust the accuracy when it shows 105 base level exclusive contributors?

Just a wild guess, but it seems the canisters shown on iStockCharts are determined after the # of downloads. But the # of DL are given by the API in ranges, not exact numbers. Contributors with >200 downloads seem to be at base canister, while contributors with >300 are bronze. Maybe the API doesn't deliver the canister info ?
Thanks! That wild guess sounds exactly correct to me.

Not exactly.  The multimedia charts don't use the API.

But you're basically right, the charts show everyone with less than 300 as base, but if you check through some they are actually bronze, and some are exclusive so they must really have >250 downloads.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 10, 2010, 17:45
They just updated everyone again.  They are sticking to their previous statements:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&page=1)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dirkr on September 10, 2010, 17:48
Not really a surprise. There are about three more months left before the changes will affect my royalties. For so long I will not upload anything and then start deleting my portfolio. It's sad but I am not accepting a commission below 20%.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Norebbo on September 10, 2010, 17:48
They just updated everyone again.  They are sticking to their previous statements:

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&page=1[/url])


Then I guess that's it. I have no motivation (or sound business reasoning) to upload there anymore.

Another one bites the dust.  :-[
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on September 10, 2010, 18:10
Wow. Three replies and nothing has changed. Brutal.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Nordlys on September 10, 2010, 18:18
""""But money isn’t going to be what makes you all happy. You want to know that this is still the best place to be, to hang out, and sell your work. You may not be convinced today like you were last week, but it’s our job to make sure you feel that way again soon."""

Ha ha ha ha ha ah...... Goood to get f*ed

They don't think the contributers need money to run their businesses!

Epic fail = end of Istock. Period!

I'll give them max 2 years before folding, and they are no longer no 1 in one year
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: SNP on September 10, 2010, 18:22
^ you will be wrong, I'm almost certain
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 10, 2010, 18:25
(from the iStock forums)

"I remember standing around with Bruce in 2004, agonizing over this new idea — exclusivity for our contributors. It was excruciating. It looked great on paper, but would it fly? Would they really leave competitors to come sell only at tiny little iStock? We had only ever paid out 20% royalties. "

If they thought that 20% was only a little, then WHY . are they trying to give us even less?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Nordlys on September 10, 2010, 18:28
Whats really bevildering, is that those guys don't understand, that it is not them paying the contributers, but it is the coutributers that are paying them.

It so so so so stupid, that I in my 35 years in sales and marketing advisory life have never ever seen anything like it.

It like at piece of comedy at the theater - or should I say tragedy?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Dreamframer on September 10, 2010, 18:47
What a mess, and Istock doesn't change the decision. It's amazing how we thought we can change things in past when similar (but less tragic) changes happened on different sites. Now Istock is showing us that they don't really care even now with so many contributors whining and leaving the site. They probably follow the numbers and see that nothing radical is changing on the economic side of the business, so they are not even trying to talk with us.
I wonder, after all, if we are able to change anything about our future in microstock business. If this thing with Istock goes unnoticed on the money side for Istock, I'm afraid all agencies will start to screw us in the same way. Why not? If they all do it there will be no more space for us to run away, no more agencies with fair deal.
Capitalism..... Marx had right... It's rotten.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 10, 2010, 18:54
Something just occurred to me...you know how since F5 we don't seem to be able to opt-out of subs? I'm guessing that non-exclusives will not be able to do that...meaning we are going to be shuffled over to ThinkStock. No choice anymore to opt-out. Anybody else thinking this?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 10, 2010, 19:00
It's not over yet, and it won't be until iStock's changes go into effect and its suppliers and buyers take whatever action they see fit.  I'm still optimistic, although not about iStock changing its mind.  I'm more and more convinced they feel they have no choice, whether because of greed higher up the chain or because they're overleveraged and can't survive on less.  But all that means is that they can't and won't survive.  And maybe that's good for the industry as a whole.  Maybe it'll show the Get Rich Quick VCs that microstock is a good place to avoid.

As for me, I'm going to keep to my plan.  No more uploading, and remove existing images a few at a time.  If iStock reverses their changes regarding independents, I'd consider reversing mine.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Elenathewise on September 10, 2010, 19:01
They just updated everyone again.  They are sticking to their previous statements:

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&page=1[/url])


BS, more BS and nothing but BS. (Not going to elaborate here since many people did that extensively on original istock thread)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: madelaide on September 10, 2010, 19:05
Something just occurred to me...you know how since F5 we don't seem to be able to opt-out of subs?
You are right, all we can do at the moment is to opt in/out from partner program (TS is one, I believe).

And in fact I can't see how to change that.  I click in "All Off", it asks me to confirm, but I don't see any change in the profile. I mean, I can't even know if I am part of the partner program or not (I should not, I am almost sure I opted out before).  If I unselect "Opt-in to Partner Program", nothing happens either.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Elenathewise on September 10, 2010, 19:05
Not sure if this already was posted...

The end of iStockphoto at Ember Studio: :(
[url]http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193[/url] ([url]http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193[/url])


This is nice. Too bad I can't leave a comment thanking them - getting an error.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: djpadavona on September 10, 2010, 19:08
Wow. Three replies and nothing has changed. Brutal.

The strange thing is they never should have sent message #2 or #3.  The first announcement told us where they stood, and the 2nd and 3rd got everyone's hopes up for a concession for no good reason at all.  Why does Kelly keep announcing what he has already said?  I prefer not to hear anything again, except "We are reconsidering..."
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Digital66 on September 10, 2010, 19:09
If this thing with Istock goes unnoticed on the money side for Istock, I'm afraid all agencies will start to screw us in the same way.
You bet.  That's what's coming.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ShadySue on September 10, 2010, 19:11
Wow. Three replies and nothing has changed. Brutal.

The strange thing is they never should have sent message #2 or #3.  The first announcement told us where they stood, and the 2nd and 3rd got everyone's hopes up for a concession for no good reason at all.  Why does Kelly keep announcing what he has already said?  I prefer not to hear anything again, except "We are reconsidering..."
Except that last time they 'reconsidered', they made promises (grandfathering) that they are not going to keep.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 10, 2010, 19:11
Something just occurred to me...you know how since F5 we don't seem to be able to opt-out of subs?

You are right, all we can do at the moment is to opt in/out from partner program (TS is one, I believe).

And in fact I can't see how to change that.  I click in "All Off", it asks me to confirm, but I don't see any change in the profile. I mean, I can't even know if I am part of the partner program or not (I should not, I am almost sure I opted out before).  If I unselect "Opt-in to Partner Program", nothing happens either.


It was reported earlier in the week (before the big debacle) that there was a bug with this opt-in/opt-out check mark...at the time I thought it weird that IT can't even get that right...now I'm beginning to think it's all on purpose.

See this thread: http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=246012&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=246012&page=1)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: rubyroo on September 10, 2010, 19:13
Wow. Three replies and nothing has changed. Brutal.

The strange thing is they never should have sent message #2 or #3.  The first announcement told us where they stood, and the 2nd and 3rd got everyone's hopes up for a concession for no good reason at all.  Why does Kelly keep announcing what he has already said?  I prefer not to hear anything again, except "We are reconsidering..."

Yes, that's exactly what I've been thinking also.  Why on earth pre-announce these statements as though they'll deliver something useful when they don't?   Bizarre.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: djpadavona on September 10, 2010, 19:15
Except that last time they 'reconsidered', they made promises (grandfathering) that they are not going to keep.

It really is a very sad day.  I still hold a glimmer of hope that these conditions will improve before 12/1/10, the day I assume a large percentage of exclusives will click the cancel button.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: donding on September 10, 2010, 19:15
Not sure if this already was posted...

The end of iStockphoto at Ember Studio: :(
[url]http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193[/url] ([url]http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193[/url])


This is nice. Too bad I can't leave a comment thanking them - getting an error.

That's Helix 7 site. He's a member here
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Elenathewise on September 10, 2010, 19:32
Not sure if this already was posted...

The end of iStockphoto at Ember Studio: :(
[url]http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193[/url] ([url]http://www.emberstudio.com/blog/?p=193[/url])


This is nice. Too bad I can't leave a comment thanking them - getting an error.

That's Helix 7 site. He's a member here


Well thank you Helix 7 :-) And trust me, buyers have nothing to lose by switching to other agencies. For example, only half of my port is available on Istock because of stupid upload limits for non-exclusives. I know this is also the case with many excellent contributors with big and diverse portfolios. By switching to other sites you'll definitely see more choice, not less, and probably for cheaper price. The irony is that even if you buy cheaper there, we'll get paid more! Looks like win-win situation to me:)
I am glad buyers making these decisions - only a fear of losing customers can make istock re-evaluate their policy.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: HughStoneIan on September 10, 2010, 22:48
One example of the real reasons for the changes:

http://www.observer.com/2010/real-estate/mack-daddy-likes-big-bucks-and-klein-cant-not-buy (http://www.observer.com/2010/real-estate/mack-daddy-likes-big-bucks-and-klein-cant-not-buy)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: FD on September 10, 2010, 22:57
Ariel and Sumo, enough of the spamming already.
Leaf should have banned those spammers a long time ago.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: michaeldb on September 10, 2010, 23:06
One example of the real reasons for the changes:

[url]http://www.observer.com/2010/real-estate/mack-daddy-likes-big-bucks-and-klein-cant-not-buy[/url] ([url]http://www.observer.com/2010/real-estate/mack-daddy-likes-big-bucks-and-klein-cant-not-buy[/url])

On IS' 3rd explanation thread is a post by a guy who spends his royalties on his wife's medical expenses - she has breast cancer. And he quotes the IS statement that 'money is not important'.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 11, 2010, 06:52
I'm more and more convinced they feel they have no choice, whether because of greed higher up the chain or because they're overleveraged and can't survive on less.  But all that means is that they can't and won't survive.
 

You’re probably right on both occasions.  I’d be betting they feel they have no choice and that they also have overleveraged.  Kelly made it pretty clear in the already famous academy award-winning speech that IS is a “larger, more successful company”.  Getty would be putting pressure on them to meet their budget and they’ve probably blown it with all the website shenanigans from the past few months but I doubt this means they won’t survive (yet).  The more likely scenario is that IS is forecasting to come out with a slightly lower massive profit than first expected and that Getty is forcing them to make up the difference to enable them to invest in their next major f-up.

Quote
As for me, I'm going to keep to my plan.  No more uploading, and remove existing images a few at a time.  If iStock reverses their changes regarding independents, I'd consider reversing mine.

Good move.  No-one should rush this.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 11, 2010, 06:58
Wow. Three replies and nothing has changed. Brutal.

The strange thing is they never should have sent message #2 or #3.  The first announcement told us where they stood, and the 2nd and 3rd got everyone's hopes up for a concession for no good reason at all.  Why does Kelly keep announcing what he has already said?  I prefer not to hear anything again, except "We are reconsidering..."

Yes, that's exactly what I've been thinking also.  Why on earth pre-announce these statements as though they'll deliver something useful when they don't?   Bizarre.

He just wanted to remind everyone that he thinks of them as "friends".  What a tool.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: alias on September 11, 2010, 07:13
The more likely scenario is that IS is forecasting to come out with a slightly lower massive profit than first expected and that Getty is forcing them to make up the difference to enable them to invest in their next major f-up.

No it is part of strategy to streamline RF stock business. Many factors but eg IS is cheaper to run than Getty and has more traffic. Getty employs account managers etc. eg the more work goes through IS the fewer office staff they need. Arty Vetta shows that IS can be portal for more expensive work - ie Agency Collections.

20% is standard Getty rate. This affects people at Getty as much as it affects IS. It affects everyone who works in the industry.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Kngkyle on September 11, 2010, 07:24
As much as I hate all these changes, I have to give them credit for allowing us to really hammer them on their forums. You would never see Fotolia or Dreamstime allow that.

Yea thats about the only positive thing I can say.  ;D
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Read_My_Rights on September 11, 2010, 07:27
Something just occurred to me...you know how since F5 we don't seem to be able to opt-out of subs? I'm guessing that non-exclusives will not be able to do that...meaning we are going to be shuffled over to ThinkStock. No choice anymore to opt-out. Anybody else thinking this?

You can but it is buried so deep it is very hard to find.

My Account/Preferences/My uploads/Manage collections/Partner Program

I just finished removing every single file that had at least 1 IS DL. Yeah Getty here are my leftovers.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 11, 2010, 07:27
The more likely scenario is that IS is forecasting to come out with a slightly lower massive profit than first expected and that Getty is forcing them to make up the difference to enable them to invest in their next major f-up.

No it is part of strategy to streamline RF stock business. Many factors but eg IS is cheaper to run than Getty and has more traffic. Getty employs account managers etc. eg the more work goes through IS the fewer office staff they need. Arty Vetta shows that IS can be portal for more expensive work - ie Agency Collections.

20% is standard Getty rate. This affects people at Getty as much as it affects IS. It affects everyone who works in the industry.

I seriously doubt this was planned greed from the beginning.  It makes more sense that they had their eye on a target, didn't meet it and made a difficult decision knowing there would be mass hysteria and retaliation.

Of course there's the other ridiculous theory going around that they came up with this evil plan in order to drive out non-exclusives.  If that was their intention they wouldn't have shafted exclusives as well.  They would have thrown in a sweetener instead and enticed non-exclusives to join the other side.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Nordlys on September 11, 2010, 07:30

[/quote]
They would have thrown in a sweetener instead and enticed non-exclusives to join the other side.
[/quote]

So now is time to deside if you want to join the Dark side, or go with the Force
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 11, 2010, 07:52
As much as I hate all these changes, I have to give them credit for allowing us to really hammer them on their forums. You would never see Fotolia or Dreamstime allow that.

Yea thats about the only positive thing I can say.  ;D

Even their reason for allowing it is self-serving...they know that most of the complainers won't do a darn thing about making a change. They will stay and take whatever gets dished out.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 11, 2010, 08:08
Just a quote from the IS forums, in relation to these ones...........



" Don't bother with that forum anymore.I found the same loonies over there that are on here"
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: massman on September 11, 2010, 08:13
Just a quote from the IS forums, in relation to these ones...........



" Don't bother with that forum anymore.I found the same loonies over there that are on here"

Your ignored rate is growing.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Perry on September 11, 2010, 08:24
Just a quote from the IS forums, in relation to these ones...........



" Don't bother with that forum anymore.I found the same loonies over there that are on here"

You consider yourself a loony?
I consider you ignored from now on.  Go on and enjoy your 15% royalties.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: thesentinel on September 11, 2010, 08:33
Just a quote from the IS forums, in relation to these ones...........



" Don't bother with that forum anymore.I found the same loonies over there that are on here"

You consider yourself a loony?
I consider you ignored from now on.  Go on and enjoy your 15% royalties.

Vlad is quoting the infamous shank ali ! The chief loony of all loonies, and by remote control he's extended his lunacy here - I'm sure he'd be chuffed!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Mr. Stock on September 11, 2010, 08:41
So what can we all do to thwart IS and other micro agencies who may try this in the future?

My little idea.

I haven't read all the posts on this topic, over 30 pages I believe, so if this has already been mentioned I apologize.

Someone who knows about SEO, create a web site with a unique URL that simply and elegantly explains photographers' issue with iStock. Not defamatory in any way, not  a flashy website, just a basic list of concerns. If it's coded properly it should rank somewhat high in the search results, it wont rank very high initially. All the photographers who agree with the statement on this page will have a link on this page to their web site and provide a reciprocal link on their own web site to the web site taking issue with IS. Reciprocal links help sites rank higher (at least they used to) So the links in essence are the same as a petition. With each link to the photographers web site, adjacent links to their images on other micro sites could be provided. Each link could also have a small thumbnail showing the type of images that photographer sells at the other micros. Then a press release is written by someone who knows how to write, unlike me, again not defamatory, and this is sent to any and all magazines, blogs, forums, anyplace that might have an interest in this issue and where image buyers might frequent. Finally, a pool is created through paypal and money is collected through donations to buy an add in a major design publication stating the issue. This could cause IS to back down, and dissuade other micros from trying something similar in the future. Heck, this could become an organization for micro stock similar to SAA. Just an idea.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: loop on September 11, 2010, 08:45
As much as I hate all these changes, I have to give them credit for allowing us to really hammer them on their forums. You would never see Fotolia or Dreamstime allow that.

Yea thats about the only positive thing I can say.  ;D

... and organising buyers boycots in qnd out their own forums. How much will last any employee doing that at any business? At least they are taking the heat

Note : But I don't agree with the changes.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Eireann on September 11, 2010, 08:48
Impaler,

Thing is, there's something wrong with your memory. It got wiped out. Aliens did it!
IStock the bestest. Yeah, but not really.  
Not so long ago you were complaining about their poor sales, biased best match and crappy management. Right here, on this forum. You were asking for advice and looking to go independent.
What happened? You got a badge? All is well now?
Well done, we wish you continued success.
Now go impale a goat and stop spamming.


CClapper,
this is the real problem. I'm willing to do everything I can to stop this from ever happening again. IStock's changes might not even be legal, (canister lock-in agreement), but we're weak and incapable of organizing ourselves.
What's to do ?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: nicmac on September 11, 2010, 09:11
Of course there's the other ridiculous theory going around that they came up with this evil plan in order to drive out non-exclusives.  If that was their intention they wouldn't have shafted exclusives as well.  They would have thrown in a sweetener instead and enticed non-exclusives to join the other side.

Actually I think independents are collateral damage, since the beef seems to be the growing number of folks to reach the 35-40% mark, or expected to in the near future, which is certainly not the independents. But had they messed only with their exclusive structure, the headlines would have been "Istock screws their exclusives" which would have been incredibly worse. With the damage done to our wallet, they're appeasing a few of their exclusives who would have gone even more berserk trashing IS reputation, but more importantly killing the awful headline. Of course making more money during a PR operation certainly made that decision more obvious. Being on the receiving end of this PR op, though, plainly sucks.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 11, 2010, 09:21
Of course there's the other ridiculous theory going around that they came up with this evil plan in order to drive out non-exclusives.  If that was their intention they wouldn't have shafted exclusives as well.  They would have thrown in a sweetener instead and enticed non-exclusives to join the other side.

Actually I think independents are collateral damage, since the beef seems to be the growing number of folks to reach the 35-40% mark, or expected to in the near future, which is certainly not the independents. But had they messed only with their exclusive structure, the headlines would have been "Istock screws their exclusives" which would have been incredibly worse. With the damage done to our wallet, they're appeasing a few of their exclusives who would have gone even more berserk trashing IS reputation, but more importantly killing the awful headline. Of course making more money during a PR operation certainly made that decision more obvious. Being on the receiving end of this PR op, though, plainly sucks.

Exactly. Since the day Getty bought IS, their path has been to transform IS to Getty, and that path NEVER included non-exclusives.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 11, 2010, 09:37
Of course there's the other ridiculous theory going around that they came up with this evil plan in order to drive out non-exclusives.  If that was their intention they wouldn't have shafted exclusives as well.  They would have thrown in a sweetener instead and enticed non-exclusives to join the other side.

Actually I think independents are collateral damage, since the beef seems to be the growing number of folks to reach the 35-40% mark, or expected to in the near future, which is certainly not the independents. But had they messed only with their exclusive structure, the headlines would have been "Istock screws their exclusives" which would have been incredibly worse. With the damage done to our wallet, they're appeasing a few of their exclusives who would have gone even more berserk trashing IS reputation, but more importantly killing the awful headline. Of course making more money during a PR operation certainly made that decision more obvious. Being on the receiving end of this PR op, though, plainly sucks.

Exactly. Since the day Getty bought IS, their path has been to transform IS to Getty, and that path NEVER included non-exclusives.

I get what you're both saying but if that was the case, woudn't they have reduced the commission of independents and left exclusives as is?  That way independents would have either jumped ship or become exclusive and exclusives would have been happy.  Their current structure now will force quite a few exclusives to leave as well, maybe not in a hurry, but they'll definitely consider alternatives in the next couple of months. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: TheSmilingAssassin on September 11, 2010, 09:44
Of course there's the other ridiculous theory going around that they came up with this evil plan in order to drive out non-exclusives.  If that was their intention they wouldn't have shafted exclusives as well.  They would have thrown in a sweetener instead and enticed non-exclusives to join the other side.

Actually I think independents are collateral damage, since the beef seems to be the growing number of folks to reach the 35-40% mark, or expected to in the near future, which is certainly not the independents. But had they messed only with their exclusive structure, the headlines would have been "Istock screws their exclusives" which would have been incredibly worse. With the damage done to our wallet, they're appeasing a few of their exclusives who would have gone even more berserk trashing IS reputation, but more importantly killing the awful headline. Of course making more money during a PR operation certainly made that decision more obvious. Being on the receiving end of this PR op, though, plainly sucks.

Exactly. Since the day Getty bought IS, their path has been to transform IS to Getty, and that path NEVER included non-exclusives.

I get what you're both saying but if that was the case, woudn't they have reduced the commission of independents and left exclusives as is?  That way independents would have either jumped ship or become exclusive and exclusives would have been happy.  Their current structure now will force quite a few exclusives to leave as well, maybe not in a hurry, but they'll definitely consider alternatives in the next couple of months.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 11, 2010, 09:54
Of course there's the other ridiculous theory going around that they came up with this evil plan in order to drive out non-exclusives.  If that was their intention they wouldn't have shafted exclusives as well.  They would have thrown in a sweetener instead and enticed non-exclusives to join the other side.

Actually I think independents are collateral damage, since the beef seems to be the growing number of folks to reach the 35-40% mark, or expected to in the near future, which is certainly not the independents. But had they messed only with their exclusive structure, the headlines would have been "Istock screws their exclusives" which would have been incredibly worse. With the damage done to our wallet, they're appeasing a few of their exclusives who would have gone even more berserk trashing IS reputation, but more importantly killing the awful headline. Of course making more money during a PR operation certainly made that decision more obvious. Being on the receiving end of this PR op, though, plainly sucks.

Exactly. Since the day Getty bought IS, their path has been to transform IS to Getty, and that path NEVER included non-exclusives.

I get what you're both saying but if that was the case, woudn't they have reduced the commission of independents and left exclusives as is?  That way independents would have either jumped ship or become exclusive and exclusives would have been happy.  Their current structure now will force quite a few exclusives to leave as well, maybe not in a hurry, but they'll definitely consider alternatives in the next couple of months.

No, they don't want to leave exclusives as is. They want EVERYONE to make 20% or less! That has been how Getty operated since day 1.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: alias on September 11, 2010, 09:57
I seriously doubt this was planned greed from the beginning.  It makes more sense that they had their eye on a target, didn't meet it and made a difficult decision knowing there would be mass hysteria and retaliation.

No I am certain this is about streamlining and 20%.

I will try explaining again:

The IS system is probably less to operate. Getty still employs account managers etc.

Getty operates at 20/80. Best of both worlds for them is to move towards running IS as the RF portal but paying Getty 'standard' royalties. IS also has much more traffic than Getty Images.

Getty content is coming to IS (at the 'standard' 20% royalty). IS content is going out on Getty at the 'standard' rate (ie 20%). Royalties are definitely moving towards 20%.

So IS is being tested as a portal for work from the main Getty RF collection. I am speculating that it may ultimately be the main portal for Getty RF. So why run two inspection processes. Suppose later there will be a single place to upload for inspection from where it will be sent to a collection or directly to one of the subscription portals which will compete with microstock.

20% is the theme here. It's even the rate which many non exclusives are setting like a line in the sand.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: nicmac on September 11, 2010, 10:27
Of course there's the other ridiculous theory going around that they came up with this evil plan in order to drive out non-exclusives.  If that was their intention they wouldn't have shafted exclusives as well.  They would have thrown in a sweetener instead and enticed non-exclusives to join the other side.

Actually I think independents are collateral damage, since the beef seems to be the growing number of folks to reach the 35-40% mark, or expected to in the near future, which is certainly not the independents. But had they messed only with their exclusive structure, the headlines would have been "Istock screws their exclusives" which would have been incredibly worse. With the damage done to our wallet, they're appeasing a few of their exclusives who would have gone even more berserk trashing IS reputation, but more importantly killing the awful headline. Of course making more money during a PR operation certainly made that decision more obvious. Being on the receiving end of this PR op, though, plainly sucks.

Exactly. Since the day Getty bought IS, their path has been to transform IS to Getty, and that path NEVER included non-exclusives.

I get what you're both saying but if that was the case, woudn't they have reduced the commission of independents and left exclusives as is?  That way independents would have either jumped ship or become exclusive and exclusives would have been happy.  Their current structure now will force quite a few exclusives to leave as well, maybe not in a hurry, but they'll definitely consider alternatives in the next couple of months.

Just to temper a bit, I don't think IS doesn't want non exclusives, in fact if you read between the lines KK hints that making an exclusive plan the way they did was kind of a mistake. Besides if you only have exclusives, then they're nothing special. I mean to a lot of buyers, the fact is you'll find most of the better photos from the top agencies at IS plus exclusive content, which is a big draw. They don't have to go to three or four places. Plus the independent work is cheaper so that's another tier in pricing. Cut it off and all of a sudden they're really not competitive anymore and become a luxury item, which would be attractive to many but would certainly cost them their leadership position.

So I think IS do want independents, but do care more about the reactions of their exclusives. We are at the bottom of the pecking order, but it doesn't mean that they don't want our business.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: madelaide on September 11, 2010, 11:10
Back to what Kelly Thompson wrote:
Quote
But money isn’t going to be what makes you all happy. You want to know that this is still the best place to be, to hang out, and sell your work. You may not be convinced today like you were last week, but it’s our job to make sure you feel that way again soon.

It seems that to some IS is a cult, you have to be there no matter what, your life isn't complete unless you are there.  ::)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: travelstock on September 11, 2010, 11:25
I think I'm caught up on the latest on the threads about the latest changes - to sum it up, IS haven't changed their position, and the vast majority are still unhappy. Both exclusives and non-exclusives.

At the moment we have:
- an Avitar campaign going
- a petition thread: http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382&page=1)
- people contacting buyers
- people twittering / blogging
- individuals cancelling exclusivity
- individuals deleting portfolios
etc. etc.

KK's last thread is titled: "Where we go from here". To me the line that stands out is: "Tuesday was iStock’s "bridge" day, and we crossed it full on." It sounds like they not only crossed it, but burned it down behind them.

To make any change this time we're going to need more than a pettition or new avitars. Rather than everyone running in different directions we really need to come up with a co-ordinated and professional response to this from both exclusives and non-exclusives.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 11, 2010, 11:34
I feel like the discussion's over.  All that matters are suppliers canceling exclusivity, which won't take effect for a month; suppliers stopping uploading, which will take weeks to register with anybody; buyers shifting to other agencies, which will take months to affect revenues, and which will likely be blamed on Seasonal Affect Disorder or sunspot activities or something other than rejection of the new plan; and suppliers removing content, which I expect to be insignificant.  And that ignores everyone who'll delay any action at all until January 1st, and then probably delay even longer to see just how much they lose, at which point they're blame SAD and sunspots, etc.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: nicmac on September 11, 2010, 11:36
I think I'm caught up on the latest on the threads about the latest changes - to sum it up, IS haven't changed their position, and the vast majority are still unhappy. Both exclusives and non-exclusives.

At the moment we have:
- an Avitar campaign going
- a petition thread: [url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382&page=1[/url])
- people contacting buyers
- people twittering / blogging
- individuals cancelling exclusivity
- individuals deleting portfolios
etc. etc.

KK's last thread is titled: "Where we go from here". To me the line that stands out is: "Tuesday was iStock’s "bridge" day, and we crossed it full on." It sounds like they not only crossed it, but burned it down behind them.

To make any change this time we're going to need more than a pettition or new avitars. Rather than everyone running in different directions we really need to come up with a co-ordinated and professional response to this from both exclusives and non-exclusives.


People are doing what they think that they can afford to do in regards to this. If we really all wanted to destroy IS, well then we would have to do all of the above at a precise moment, plus a lawsuit. But for most, the right moment is not now,  but more like February or March after we see the real results of this.

Thing is, I don't want to destroy Istock... and I don't think I'm alone in not wanting this major player to go down the tubes overnight. Isn't something like this exactly why we're not exclusives? We should just pat each other on the back and congratulate ourselves for making the choice we did and openly encourage better managed companies to help them take the lead. Istock has already lost the trust of their "cult" as someone else put it. That's a lot of word of mouth that will in the long term make sure that karma does its thing.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: fullvalue on September 11, 2010, 11:37
I think I'm caught up on the latest on the threads about the latest changes - to sum it up, IS haven't changed their position, and the vast majority are still unhappy. Both exclusives and non-exclusives.

At the moment we have:
- an Avitar campaign going
- a petition thread: [url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252382&page=1[/url])
- people contacting buyers
- people twittering / blogging
- individuals cancelling exclusivity
- individuals deleting portfolios
etc. etc.

KK's last thread is titled: "Where we go from here". To me the line that stands out is: "Tuesday was iStock’s "bridge" day, and we crossed it full on." It sounds like they not only crossed it, but burned it down behind them.

To make any change this time we're going to need more than a pettition or new avitars. Rather than everyone running in different directions we really need to come up with a co-ordinated and professional response to this from both exclusives and non-exclusives.


Simple create a "RM" site that allows previous licensing as RF.  Exclusives would be able to move content there to send IS a message without burning their bridge.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: travelstock on September 11, 2010, 11:51

People are doing what they think that they can afford to do in regards to this. If we really all wanted to destroy IS, well then we would have to do all of the above at a precise moment, plus a lawsuit. But for most, the right moment is not now,  but more like February or March after we see the real results of this.

Thing is, I don't want to destroy Istock... and I don't think I'm alone in not wanting this major player to go down the tubes overnight. Isn't something like this exactly why we're not exclusives? We should just pat each other on the back and congratulate ourselves for making the choice we did and openly encourage better managed companies to help them take the lead. Istock has already lost the trust of their "cult" as someone else put it. That's a lot of word of mouth that will in the long term make sure that karma does its thing.

I'm presently exclusive, so I definitely don't want IS to go down the tubes overnight. But if I'm going to go back to being independent, I want an arangement that's more beneficial over the long term than what's there now. If anything worthwhile is going to come out of this, its going to have to develop over more than a few months. 

I went exclusive recently, partly because I was sick of being slowly screwed by 10 different agencies - and went to the one that didn't seem to have screwed exclusives quite so much in the past. Uploading to 10 different agencies does involve a lot more work, and you simply can't say to buyers "go here" because all of the options have major drawbacks from a contributor point of view.

A large number of unsustainable agencies doesn't really help us as contributors. If there were some way of creating another big agency that had much more favourable terms, and could be set up so as not to screw us, it would be far more beneficial for us than simply increasing the number of non-exclusive images on a wide range of agencies.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 11, 2010, 12:01
I'm presently exclusive, so I definitely don't want IS to go down the tubes overnight. But if I'm going to go back to being independent, I want an arangement that's more beneficial over the long term than what's there now. If anything worthwhile is going to come out of this, its going to have to develop over more than a few months. 

I went exclusive recently, partly because I was sick of being slowly screwed by 10 different agencies - and went to the one that didn't seem to have screwed exclusives quite so much in the past. Uploading to 10 different agencies does involve a lot more work, and you simply can't say to buyers "go here" because all of the options have major drawbacks from a contributor point of view.

A large number of unsustainable agencies doesn't really help us as contributors. If there were some way of creating another big agency that had much more favourable terms, and could be set up so as not to screw us, it would be far more beneficial for us than simply increasing the number of non-exclusive images on a wide range of agencies.

Well stated.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: travelstock on September 11, 2010, 12:04

Simple create a "RM" site that allows previous licensing as RF.  Exclusives would be able to move content there to send IS a message without burning their bridge.

Brilliant idea.  

I just re-read the exclusive agreement. This could work extremely well. We could develop a new simple Micro RM license that allowed a single image use - the buyer is automatically tracked against the image in question for each "use" so as to make the arrangement within the excusion in the IS exclusive agreement.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: nicmac on September 11, 2010, 12:06

People are doing what they think that they can afford to do in regards to this. If we really all wanted to destroy IS, well then we would have to do all of the above at a precise moment, plus a lawsuit. But for most, the right moment is not now,  but more like February or March after we see the real results of this.

Thing is, I don't want to destroy Istock... and I don't think I'm alone in not wanting this major player to go down the tubes overnight. Isn't something like this exactly why we're not exclusives? We should just pat each other on the back and congratulate ourselves for making the choice we did and openly encourage better managed companies to help them take the lead. Istock has already lost the trust of their "cult" as someone else put it. That's a lot of word of mouth that will in the long term make sure that karma does its thing.

I went exclusive recently, partly because I was sick of being slowly screwed by 10 different agencies - and went to the one that didn't seem to have screwed exclusives quite so much in the past. Uploading to 10 different agencies does involve a lot more work, and you simply can't say to buyers "go here" because all of the options have major drawbacks from a contributor point of view.


Personally, I'm willing to work more to preserve a healthy competitive market. I've worked a long time for a corporation and having competitors is super important. Otherwise the companies feel, with good reason, that they can do anything. People have been looking at Freshstock or Veer to rise up to the challenge... a big 6 would be excellent in my views. With none of them really rising too far above the others, thus becoming a target for a takeover from larger corporation which would force them in turn to have a change in management philosophy the way it all happened at IS since Getty acquired them or downright shut them down, which happened to StockXpert. This is a great first move for our future: making sure that a healthy competition keeps going between the agencies.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Mellimage on September 11, 2010, 12:23
As much as I hate all these changes, I have to give them credit for allowing us to really hammer them on their forums. You would never see Fotolia or Dreamstime allow that.

Yea thats about the only positive thing I can say.  ;D


Wonder for how much longer though after reading this:
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4673242 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253522&messageid=4673242)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 11, 2010, 12:46
Has anyone else noticed a sharp and unusual increase in their rejections at IS all of a sudden?  Like anyone who has been active on this forum?

For the past several weeks leading up to this I have had 100% approval rate.  My overall rate there is over 90%.  Just today, all of a sudden I had more than a third of images submitted in my last batch rejected.  The reasons listed were things like artifacts and/or purple fringing.  No attachments were included to show the "problem" areas, and I can't see them on my monitor.  Plus images from the same shoots were accepted 100% without exception over the last several weeks.  

Very hard not to view this as some sort of retaliation from speaking out here in the forums.  
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 11, 2010, 12:54
Couldn't say; my last batch (last = both most recent & last they're getting) is still waiting for review after eight days. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: travelstock on September 11, 2010, 13:06
Has anyone else noticed a sharp and unusual increase in their rejections at IS all of a sudden?  Like anyone who has been active on this forum?

For the past several weeks leading up to this I have had 100% approval rate.  My overall rate there is over 90%.  Just today, all of a sudden I had more than a third of images submitted in my last batch rejected.  The reasons listed were things like artifacts and/or purple fringing.  Images from the same shoots were accepted 100% without exception over the last several weeks. 

Very hard not to view this as some sort of retaliation from speaking out here in the forums. 

I also can't say - my last batch from the 8th also still hasn't cleared the batch. The exclusive que isn't exactly zipping along either at the moment.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 11, 2010, 13:39
I went exclusive recently, partly because I was sick of being slowly screwed by 10 different agencies - and went to the one that didn't seem to have screwed exclusives quite so much in the past. Uploading to 10 different agencies does involve a lot more work, and you simply can't say to buyers "go here" because all of the options have major drawbacks from a contributor point of view.

Unfortunately by going exclusive (not just you obviously) you give the agency the power to screw you to a far greater degree. The hassle of uploading and dealing with multiple agencies is simply the price of maintaining a competitive market for your work.

I don't know about anybody else but even now, several days after the original announcement, I still feel almost nauseous with rage and indignation __ and that's as an independent contributor. I do feel sorry for the exclusives who are losing out but in part I also blame them for helping create the monster that Istock has become. Unfortunately we independents have also been caught in the crossfire of reducing commissions. I doubt that Istock would have tried this on if all the contributors were on 20%.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cthoman on September 11, 2010, 13:48
Has anyone else noticed a sharp and unusual increase in their rejections at IS all of a sudden?  Like anyone who has been active on this forum?

For the past several weeks leading up to this I have had 100% approval rate.  My overall rate there is over 90%.  Just today, all of a sudden I had more than a third of images submitted in my last batch rejected.  The reasons listed were things like artifacts and/or purple fringing.  No attachments were included to show the "problem" areas, and I can't see them on my monitor.  Plus images from the same shoots were accepted 100% without exception over the last several weeks.  

Very hard not to view this as some sort of retaliation from speaking out here in the forums.  

Actually, I was surprised they accepted all of my last batch (no series rejections). I just assumed they sent it through because they wanted to clear off their plate, so they could watch Thursday's NFL game. Probably just random reviewer kindness though.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Maui on September 11, 2010, 13:58

Simple create a "RM" site that allows previous licensing as RF.  Exclusives would be able to move content there to send IS a message without burning their bridge.

Brilliant idea.  

I just re-read the exclusive agreement. This could work extremely well. We could develop a new simple Micro RM license that allowed a single image use - the buyer is automatically tracked against the image in question for each "use" so as to make the arrangement within the excusion in the IS exclusive agreement.

It seems to me that this would be a very good idea - not only for IS exclusives, but generally.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Xalanx on September 11, 2010, 14:07

Simple create a "RM" site that allows previous licensing as RF.  Exclusives would be able to move content there to send IS a message without burning their bridge.

Brilliant idea.  

I just re-read the exclusive agreement. This could work extremely well. We could develop a new simple Micro RM license that allowed a single image use - the buyer is automatically tracked against the image in question for each "use" so as to make the arrangement within the excusion in the IS exclusive agreement.

It seems to me that this would be a very good idea - not only for IS exclusives, but generally.

And what makes you think istock won't change their agreement to "you may upload to any RM site, EXCEPT for this one you created"?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: fullvalue on September 11, 2010, 14:17

Simple create a "RM" site that allows previous licensing as RF.  Exclusives would be able to move content there to send IS a message without burning their bridge.

Brilliant idea.  

I just re-read the exclusive agreement. This could work extremely well. We could develop a new simple Micro RM license that allowed a single image use - the buyer is automatically tracked against the image in question for each "use" so as to make the arrangement within the excusion in the IS exclusive agreement.
First, unlike changing payment terms that would require a whole new contributors agreement and who is going to sign a new contract with IStock now?.  Second, I believe singling a business out like that for exclusion would be illegal but not being a lawyer, I can’t be certain.

It seems to me that this would be a very good idea - not only for IS exclusives, but generally.

And what makes you think istock won't change their agreement to "you may upload to any RM site, EXCEPT for this one you created"?

First, unlike changing payment terms that would require a whole new contributors agreement and who is going to sign a new contract with IStock now?.  Second, I believe singling a business out like that for exclusion would be illegal but not being a lawyer, I can’t be certain.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: alias on September 11, 2010, 14:17

Simple create a "RM" site that allows previous licensing as RF.  Exclusives would be able to move content there to send IS a message without burning their bridge.

Brilliant idea.  

I just re-read the exclusive agreement. This could work extremely well. We could develop a new simple Micro RM license that allowed a single image use - the buyer is automatically tracked against the image in question for each "use" so as to make the arrangement within the excusion in the IS exclusive agreement.

You need to understand that RM requires customer accounts teams, negotiators, sometime lawyers etc and is more, much more, costly to operate. The market is going in opposite direction. RM is never simple.

Even Getty RF is more expensive than IS model. This explains much of what is happening. Getty wants Getty RF prices on IS model at Getty royalty. Best of both worlds.

And it wants to compete with microstock by subscription.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: travelstock on September 11, 2010, 14:55
You need to understand that RM requires customer accounts teams, negotiators, sometime lawyers etc and is more, much more, costly to operate. The market is going in opposite direction. RM is never simple.

RM and RF aren't exactly terms with precise meanings - there's so many different licenses out there that have common features, but aren't the same.

The RM license for the purposes of a new micro-style agency would only need to go so far as it is defined in the IS exclusive agreement.

As its drafted I think it would be relatively simple to come up with a license that is very similar to the micro RF license from an operational perspective, except that it would come under the terms of clause 2.1.3 of the IS Exclusive agreement that is: "(3) Content that is "Rights Managed", which is defined as Content produced by the Supplier and licensed for a fee that is based on one or more limited uses and for which usage history is tracked;"

There's nothing that says what the fee needs to be, how the use needs to be limited or how the usae history needs to be tracked.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: deepbluesea on September 11, 2010, 15:14
Has everyone seen this from Dreamstime?  Apologies if this has been posted before!

"Spread the word! We're running a special promotion through our referral program for your photographer friends, currently exclusive elsewhere. More to be read"

looks like the opposition is trying to recruit!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Microbius on September 11, 2010, 15:27
 .
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Dreamframer on September 11, 2010, 15:50
Lobo just said on Istock forum: "Mow your lawns, walk your dogs. This thread isn't going anywhere for now."
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: pet_chia on September 11, 2010, 15:56
Has anyone else noticed a sharp and unusual increase in their rejections at IS all of a sudden?  Like anyone who has been active on this forum?
...

No I had only one image out of a number of indoor and outdoor shots rejected lately, better than my overall acceptance rate of around 80%.  Some of the shots involved very tricky isolations and natural light, but I did spend more time than usual on post processing.

For the rejected image I had to go back and make the photo look a bit more shabby, so it would not appear "overprocessed" LOL.

Oh of course but I am anonymous, a very small fish, not overly angry or stressed at these changes, and not really worth crushing or teaching a lesson.

If you were trod upon by a reviewer, that's another reason IMHO that they should use buyers and not (exclusive) suppliers to do reviews.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ap on September 11, 2010, 16:04


Oh of course but I am anonymous, a very small fish, not overly angry or stressed at these changes, and not really worth crushing or teaching a lesson.


lol.. +1
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Dreamframer on September 11, 2010, 16:15
So, that was it. The thread on istock is slowing down, and we did nothing....
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: anonymous on September 11, 2010, 16:29
So, that was it. The thread on istock is slowing down, and we did nothing....
I did...closed my account and our firm just put them on the sh%t-list for purchasing...F'em and feed 'em fish heads. Alot will stay but I mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore...let Mr. Getty pay for his new house with the $ from those who stay, but it won't be mine anymore...."Thank you sir, may I have another?"

Seacrest, OUT
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: crazychristina on September 11, 2010, 16:36
Like a death in the family, however much emotion there may be the outcome is non-negotiable.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: disorderly on September 11, 2010, 16:37
It's optimistic to expect more at this point.  Aside from a few independents pulling their ports immediately, most actions will take time to show a result.  A lot of contributors will wait and see; three months is a long time.  I wouldn't be surprised to learn that all this advance notice was intended to provide a cooling off period.  

In any event, it seems clear that iStock is determined to follow through.  What they'll do if they see damage to their bottom line is another question, and one we may see in the new year.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: madelaide on September 11, 2010, 16:55
Has everyone seen this from Dreamstime?  Apologies if this has been posted before!

Yes, it was discussed in here: http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/for-exclusives-at-is-here-is-info-on-alternatives/ (http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/for-exclusives-at-is-here-is-info-on-alternatives/)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gaja on September 11, 2010, 18:31
It is unlikely that contributors could get a big company like that to close down or turn around in a few days. But I expect there will be a large impact in 6 months or a year. The goodwill is gone, there are a lot of negative blogs out there, and the rumor will spread amongst contributors and buyers.

Man's memory is normally 14 days, or at least it is said so when it comes to weather. But if you have heard or read something bad about a shop/company/agency/brand/person, it will be nagging in the back of your mind even though you can't remember the details. And when you are going shopping, you will probably choose something else, without conciencelly thinking about it. This will be what hurts Istock in the long run.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: luissantos84 on September 11, 2010, 18:35
the problem is that ALMOST nobody will leave... today everybody is complaining tomorrow or the next day it will be fine.. in 2012 will be 10%.. it won't stop, thats microstock! cheap cheap cheap :P
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: crazychristina on September 11, 2010, 18:52
While this appears to be an across the board cut in royalties, it is not. The possibility is there for creative, productive contributors to do very well with higher priced content, even if royalty percentage is down. The people who are really istock's bread and butter, the top few percent of contributors, will stay and prosper. The influx of getty content will also ensure that Istock as a company does well into the future. I'm sure their analysts have done the homework.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jbarber873 on September 11, 2010, 19:59
IS : "September, 2010: $3.05 royalties" - oh noooo! My "bizness model" is ruined.  ;D
This is really bad news. I think I will have to order a medium instead of a large monthly Frappuchino in Starbux on their behalf.  :P

There is going to come a point where it all breaks down.

Don't forget to shoot that Frappuchino before you drink it. Got to get that submission volume up!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 11, 2010, 20:15
Has anyone else noticed a sharp and unusual increase in their rejections at IS all of a sudden?  Like anyone who has been active on this forum?

For the past several weeks leading up to this I have had 100% approval rate.  My overall rate there is over 90%.  Just today, all of a sudden I had more than a third of images submitted in my last batch rejected.  The reasons listed were things like artifacts and/or purple fringing.  No attachments were included to show the "problem" areas, and I can't see them on my monitor.  Plus images from the same shoots were accepted 100% without exception over the last several weeks.  

Very hard not to view this as some sort of retaliation from speaking out here in the forums.  

I stopped uploading to IS a while ago, so I can't say whether you are seeing retaliation. Nothing would surprise me, but another thing to consider is that maybe it's just a bad batch of reviewers. We just had a holiday and all, maybe there were substitute reviewers?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on September 11, 2010, 20:45
While this appears to be an across the board cut in royalties, it is not. The possibility is there for creative, productive contributors to do very well with higher priced content, even if royalty percentage is down. The people who are really istock's bread and butter, the top few percent of contributors, will stay and prosper. The influx of getty content will also ensure that Istock as a company does well into the future. I'm sure their analysts have done the homework.

averil,

I've argued that microstock resembles a pyramid scheme where those on top stay there and those on the bottom never get to the top. This is more likely to happen with a lower income to start. It can be argued that this can be overcome but it becomes more and more difficult when there is a distinct disadvantage especially when starting off.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jamirae on September 11, 2010, 21:05
Has anyone else noticed a sharp and unusual increase in their rejections at IS all of a sudden?  Like anyone who has been active on this forum?

For the past several weeks leading up to this I have had 100% approval rate.  My overall rate there is over 90%.  Just today, all of a sudden I had more than a third of images submitted in my last batch rejected.  The reasons listed were things like artifacts and/or purple fringing.  No attachments were included to show the "problem" areas, and I can't see them on my monitor.  Plus images from the same shoots were accepted 100% without exception over the last several weeks.  

Very hard not to view this as some sort of retaliation from speaking out here in the forums.  

I stopped uploading to IS a while ago, so I can't say whether you are seeing retaliation. Nothing would surprise me, but another thing to consider is that maybe it's just a bad batch of reviewers. We just had a holiday and all, maybe there were substitute reviewers?

I sure hope this is more just a new inspector or some else.  I find it hard to believe that any inspector or company would retaliate like this.  to retaliate by rejecting images would be unprofessional and childish, and as pissed off as I am about the changes, I would find it hard to believe that some inspector at istock would drop to that level.    I've had that kind of crazy batch of rejections happen after new inspectors came on board.  Although, to be honest, I've not uploaded anything in some time due to personal issues and a general lack of time to do it.   
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: borg on September 12, 2010, 03:37
If I rent apartments  through the touristic agency ? Will I be satisfied if the agency retain 85% profit!?Definitely not!
Here is the same situation...  We do not sell images , we rent them ...
So, if you want a good availability of apartments , work with that touristic agency ...  But, they will earn 85% on your property...
If you can live with the fact that someone earns almost everything on your property, continue...
The difference in property is only in 15 % , what means their ownership of 85% over YOUR pictures....
15% separates us from giving our hard work for free to them...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: diego_cervo on September 12, 2010, 04:28
Has anyone else noticed a sharp and unusual increase in their rejections at IS all of a sudden?  Like anyone who has been active on this forum?

For the past several weeks leading up to this I have had 100% approval rate.  My overall rate there is over 90%.  Just today, all of a sudden I had more than a third of images submitted in my last batch rejected.  The reasons listed were things like artifacts and/or purple fringing.  No attachments were included to show the "problem" areas, and I can't see them on my monitor.  Plus images from the same shoots were accepted 100% without exception over the last several weeks.  

Very hard not to view this as some sort of retaliation from speaking out here in the forums.  

I stopped uploading to IS a while ago, so I can't say whether you are seeing retaliation. Nothing would surprise me, but another thing to consider is that maybe it's just a bad batch of reviewers. We just had a holiday and all, maybe there were substitute reviewers?

I sure hope this is more just a new inspector or some else.  I find it hard to believe that any inspector or company would retaliate like this.  to retaliate by rejecting images would be unprofessional and childish, and as pissed off as I am about the changes, I would find it hard to believe that some inspector at istock would drop to that level.    I've had that kind of crazy batch of rejections happen after new inspectors came on board.  Although, to be honest, I've not uploaded anything in some time due to personal issues and a general lack of time to do it.   

Lisa, I agree with Jamirae that it may be because of some new inspectors. The pics I uploaded before the recent announcements have been approved so far and I'm sure that you care about artifacts much more than I do  :)
Anyway, my pending queue is close to 0 since I stopped uploading there and soon I will not have much experience to share on this.
I DO HOPE THAT MOST OF US WILL KEEP NOT UPLOADING TO ISTOCK, if not with the aim of affecting their business decisions, at least for some very basic ethical principles.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sharpshot on September 12, 2010, 05:00
the problem is that ALMOST nobody will leave... today everybody is complaining tomorrow or the next day it will be fine.. in 2012 will be 10%.. it won't stop, thats microstock! cheap cheap cheap :P
I don't care what other people do but I wont be uploading any more to istock and will be leaving if the commission cuts go through.  I haven't left other sites when they have cut commissions because they have never gone below istock's 20% but this is too much for me, I would rather do another job than accept this.;
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: rubyroo on September 12, 2010, 05:07
I don't care what other people do but I wont be uploading any more to istock and will be leaving if the commission cuts go through.  I haven't left other sites when they have cut commissions because they have never gone below istock's 20% but this is too much for me, I would rather do another job than accept this.;

Well said Sharpshot.  That describes my position exactly also. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ErickN on September 12, 2010, 06:17
I don't care what other people do but I wont be uploading any more to istock and will be leaving if the commission cuts go through.  I haven't left other sites when they have cut commissions because they have never gone below istock's 20% but this is too much for me, I would rather do another job than accept this.;

100% agree with that.

If each contributor waits for others to do something before taking his/her own decisions, nothing will ever change. Each of us has a different situation w/r to microstock. For some it's a full-time business, for others just a hobby. Some rely on the income to feed their family, others still have a main job that brings food to the table. Therefore, expecting all contributors to make decisions and act in the same way, at the same time seems illusory to me, at best.

I for one won't be deleting my images at iStock for now. I have invested too much time and energy in it to do so. I won't be uploading any new images there, but then, I already stopped uploading to most micros many months ago, since I decided to concentrate my efforts on macro instead. But building a profitable macro portfolio takes time and until it brings me enough earnings to live on, I will need my micro income.

Not that it is the best way to go for everyone. It's just my own business decision based on my own numbers, and it's a long-term move, not an emotional reaction to what just happened at IS.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: borg on September 12, 2010, 06:43
the problem is that ALMOST nobody will leave... today everybody is complaining tomorrow or the next day it will be fine.. in 2012 will be 10%.. it won't stop, thats microstock! cheap cheap cheap :P
I don't care what other people do but I wont be uploading any more to istock and will be leaving if the commission cuts go through.  I haven't left other sites when they have cut commissions because they have never gone below istock's 20% but this is too much for me, I would rather do another job than accept this.;
Agree total!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sc on September 12, 2010, 07:43
Couldn't say; my last batch (last = both most recent & last they're getting) is still waiting for review after eight days. 

10 days for me.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Anyka on September 12, 2010, 08:49
Ha ha, the Istock site is down right now.  Not even an error message.
Who ever caused that ... could you PLEASE do it again, and again, and again ....  ;D
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 12, 2010, 08:51
Hmmm, not down for me. Maybe you have been banned.  ;)  Just kidding.  :D
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: fullvalue on September 12, 2010, 08:55
Please-  (Sorry for the rant.  After 20 years in sales it's a pet peeve)

We collect royalties.  We pay IStock commissions.  IStock is commissioned to sell our work.  We are the artists/tradesmen/whatever who created the product.

And yes, this is a small but important distinction.  We are suppliers.  We are not employees or even "like employees".

Yes, IStock is making this decision based on "Greed".  Just like when I went independent several years ago and then exclusive this year, those decisions were based on "Greed".  

Their perception is that unless you have truly unique content, moving your images off IStock will problably not impact them as the buyers will operate on the "equivalent option" principle and purchase the next in line just to get the job done.

Where they fail is the targets themselves are out of line and many of the "casual contributors" are also their customer base.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Nordlys on September 12, 2010, 09:32
Ha ha, the Istock site is down right now.  Not even an error message.
Who ever caused that ... could you PLEASE do it again, and again, and again ....  ;D

Perhaps some one finally goet pissed enough on them to launch a cyberattack, botnet etc. to down their servers?

Would really be a laugh....

Don't ever piss on your croud source!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 12, 2010, 10:35
Please-  (Sorry for the rant.  After 20 years in sales it's a pet peeve)

We collect royalties.  We pay IStock commissions.  IStock is commissioned to sell our work.  We are the artists/tradesmen/whatever who created the product.

And yes, this is a small but important distinction.  We are suppliers.  We are not employees or even "like employees".

Yes, IStock is making this decision based on "Greed".  Just like when I went independent several years ago and then exclusive this year, those decisions were based on "Greed".  

Their perception is that unless you have truly unique content, moving your images off IStock will problably not impact them as the buyers will operate on the "equivalent option" principle and purchase the next in line just to get the job done.

Where they fail is the targets themselves are out of line and many of the "casual contributors" are also their customer base.

All very well said Sharon.  I particularly agree with the statement I bolded. 

I do think, at least in my mind, there is a distinction between making a business decision for oneself like going exclusive or independent, and the kind of naked greed we are seeing at Istock.  To further one's own interests only crosses the threshold of "Greed" IMO, when it involves deliberately screwing over people who don't deserve it. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: xst on September 12, 2010, 12:26
don't forget,
it's already second cut for independents.

They cut prices for L, XL not that long ago.

Yes,
I'm not removing my content from the for now.

But it's just making less sense give hem new content.
May be I'll submit there rejects from other sites.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: grp_photo on September 12, 2010, 13:11
I seriously doubt this was planned greed from the beginning.  It makes more sense that they had their eye on a target, didn't meet it and made a difficult decision knowing there would be mass hysteria and retaliation.

No I am certain this is about streamlining and 20%.

I will try explaining again:

The IS system is probably less to operate. Getty still employs account managers etc.

Getty operates at 20/80. Best of both worlds for them is to move towards running IS as the RF portal but paying Getty 'standard' royalties. IS also has much more traffic than Getty Images.

Getty content is coming to IS (at the 'standard' 20% royalty). IS content is going out on Getty at the 'standard' rate (ie 20%). Royalties are definitely moving towards 20%.

So IS is being tested as a portal for work from the main Getty RF collection. I am speculating that it may ultimately be the main portal for Getty RF. So why run two inspection processes. Suppose later there will be a single place to upload for inspection from where it will be sent to a collection or directly to one of the subscription portals which will compete with microstock.

20% is the theme here. It's even the rate which many non exclusives are setting like a line in the sand.
I really don't understand why not more people can see it, Getty-RF is 20% for exclusive material.
Exclusive images as a majority are a "must" for an agency like Getty (you can't allow a smaller agency to have the same portfolio like you).
Exclusive artists are "nice to have" and gives an agency incredible power but they are not a "must".
So they are heading to 20% for exclusive material but will be become more lenient with contributor exclusivity in the future.
This was just the first step.
Personally I welcome these changes this will make the industry more professional. Contributor exclusivity is a dumb thing to do.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ajfile on September 12, 2010, 14:31
Interesting ..
http://www.observer.com/2010/real-estate/mack-daddy-likes-big-bucks-and-klein-cant-not-buy (http://www.observer.com/2010/real-estate/mack-daddy-likes-big-bucks-and-klein-cant-not-buy)

sorry if link is already posted 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Microbius on September 12, 2010, 14:36
Interesting ..
[url]http://www.observer.com/2010/real-estate/mack-daddy-likes-big-bucks-and-klein-cant-not-buy[/url] ([url]http://www.observer.com/2010/real-estate/mack-daddy-likes-big-bucks-and-klein-cant-not-buy[/url])

sorry if link is already posted 

It has been posted, can't remember if it was here or on IS, but in my opinion you can't post it too many times.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: vlad_the_imp on September 12, 2010, 14:44
Quote
Interesting ..

CEO of large company has expensive house shock.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 12, 2010, 17:14
Interesting ..
[url]http://www.observer.com/2010/real-estate/mack-daddy-likes-big-bucks-and-klein-cant-not-buy[/url] ([url]http://www.observer.com/2010/real-estate/mack-daddy-likes-big-bucks-and-klein-cant-not-buy[/url])

sorry if link is already posted 

It has been posted, can't remember if it was here or on IS, but in my opinion you can't post it too many times.


Agreed.  It was on IS. 

Jonathan Klein's new apartment looks so opulent it is reminiscent of Versailles.  What was it that happened to the owners of that place...?  ;)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 12, 2010, 18:55
I've been this mulling over trying to work out what the longer term effect of all this might be on Istock and their bottom-line.

Personally I am going to be dropping from 20% down to 18% __ that's a 10% hit for me. However Istock themselves are going from 80% to 82% of my sales and that's only a 2.5% increase for them (barely noticeable you might think).

Although many smaller-selling contributors are taking bigger hits than me there are also a great many heavy sellers who will not be hit at all __ and so again the overall increase in Istock's revenue is still going to be comparatively small.

Yes, Istock will be helping themselves to a bigger chunk of Vetta sales and also exclusive EL sales too, but even so the contributions from those will be fairly small compared to overall sales.

My guess is that Istock's overall gain will probably be no more than a 3-4% increase in total revenue. Ok, because the overhead has already been paid for then the net profit figures should be much more impressive __ but at what cost?

Istock would only need to lose 3-4 buyers out of every hundred they currently have and the whole debacle becomes financially neutral as far as the overall profit goes. When you then cost in the truly massive loss of goodwill from both their customers and their contributors, the potential number of exclusives ditching their crowns and the huge boost to competing agencies .... is it ever really going to be financially worth it?

It seems to me that Istock are taking a gamble of truly staggering proportions with fairly minor potential gains to their bottom-line ... and a mind-numbingly large downside if it all goes pear-shaped.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: madelaide on September 12, 2010, 19:03
gostwyck,

It's not so little for them, when you discount their costs on their share. Let's say 50% of the total is their costs, their margin is 30% and, in your case, would change to 32%, but 35% in my case.

Of course, it is difficult to quantify their costs.  It is hard to believe it is 50%.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Pixart on September 12, 2010, 19:16
Is editorial one of their new content streams?  (Mostly sports editorial in this case?) 

This announcement was made on Wed 8th (the day after the Istock announcement).

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100908005304/en (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100908005304/en)

Paul Melcher's take here:   http://blog.melchersystem.com/2010/09/12/under-the-carpet/ (http://blog.melchersystem.com/2010/09/12/under-the-carpet/)

Melcher's closing words ring so true This is not about fair competition anymore, where the best image wins, this is becoming a real monopoly. Heard that, Justice department ?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 12, 2010, 19:28
gostwyck,

It's not so little for them, when you discount their costs on their share. Let's say 50% of the total is their costs, their margin is 30% and, in your case, would change to 32%, but 35% in my case.

Of course, it is difficult to quantify their costs.  It is hard to believe it is 50%.

Being as they were highly profitable when selling images for $1, so much so that Getty paid $50M for them, I think you would fall on the floor if you realised what their real margins were.

Let's say they are paying $2M per week in commissions (like Kelly said) and let's assume for easy numbers that they are paying 33.3% in overall commissions (probably alot less than that in reality being as we know that 80%+++ of contributors are not exclusive). That would mean they were earning $6M per week or roughly $300M per year.

Of that $100M is paid in commissions leaving them $200M. I've heard the figure of 120 employees. If those cost an average of $60K per person per annum then the wages/insurance would come to $7.2M __ but let's call it $10M to be on the safe side. Staff cost are generally a company's biggest fixed cost __ a rule of thumb is to double it to get a handle on the building rent, energy, telephones, vehicles and other general overhead. So that all comes to $20M leaving them $180M for marketing, bandwidth and profit __ and those are probably worse case figures. If they were spending just $30M per annum on marketing/bandwidth (and that's probably more than Dreamstime's entire turnover) it would still leave them with $150M profit. My guess is that is not far from the truth __ but I'm not expecting them to tell us the real figures.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: azurelaroux on September 12, 2010, 19:29
Is editorial one of their new content streams?  (Mostly sports editorial in this case?) 

This announcement was made on Wed 8th (the day after the Istock announcement).

[url]http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100908005304/en[/url] ([url]http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100908005304/en[/url])

Paul Melcher's take here:   [url]http://blog.melchersystem.com/2010/09/12/under-the-carpet/[/url] ([url]http://blog.melchersystem.com/2010/09/12/under-the-carpet/[/url])

Melcher's closing words ring so true This is not about fair competition anymore, where the best image wins, this is becoming a real monopoly. Heard that, Justice department ?


I don't know if it's part of this or not but in July Examiner.com announced that their writers would be able to use Getty images for free in their articles.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Pixart on September 12, 2010, 20:05
Just watched a Seth Godin This is Broken talk on TED

http://www.ted.com/talks/seth_godin_this_is_broken_1.html (http://www.ted.com/talks/seth_godin_this_is_broken_1.html)

Around 18:20 he states Sometimes the best thing to do is break it for the pople you don't care about and just make it work for the pople that you do. 

Anyone thinking the same thing I am?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dirkr on September 13, 2010, 02:59
I've been this mulling over trying to work out what the longer term effect of all this might be on Istock and their bottom-line.

Personally I am going to be dropping from 20% down to 18% __ that's a 10% hit for me. However Istock themselves are going from 80% to 82% of my sales and that's only a 2.5% increase for them (barely noticeable you might think).

Although many smaller-selling contributors are taking bigger hits than me there are also a great many heavy sellers who will not be hit at all __ and so again the overall increase in Istock's revenue is still going to be comparatively small.

Yes, Istock will be helping themselves to a bigger chunk of Vetta sales and also exclusive EL sales too, but even so the contributions from those will be fairly small compared to overall sales.

My guess is that Istock's overall gain will probably be no more than a 3-4% increase in total revenue. Ok, because the overhead has already been paid for then the net profit figures should be much more impressive __ but at what cost?

Istock would only need to lose 3-4 buyers out of every hundred they currently have and the whole debacle becomes financially neutral as far as the overall profit goes. When you then cost in the truly massive loss of goodwill from both their customers and their contributors, the potential number of exclusives ditching their crowns and the huge boost to competing agencies .... is it ever really going to be financially worth it?

It seems to me that Istock are taking a gamble of truly staggering proportions with fairly minor potential gains to their bottom-line ... and a mind-numbingly large downside if it all goes pear-shaped.

I believe the impact on contributor's current commission percentage is just part of their goal. The other part is really spoken out clearly in their "not sustainable" message: They don't want more contributors (current exclusive bronze / silver / gold contributors) to increase their share in the future.
Without these changes many of these would have climbed up the ranks (and increased their commission). Slowly but surely.
Now they have the tools (yearly fixing of the necessary performance numbers) to make sure that does not happen. That is the part of their storyline where they actually are telling the truth - they want to change from a system where (exclusive) commissions rise simply by time passing by to a system that keeps them down.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: alias on September 13, 2010, 03:18
iStockphotos “Unsustainable” Business Model: From Crowd-Sourcing To Crowd-Shafting? (http://www.jeremynicholl.com/blog/2010/09/13/istockphotos-unsustainable-business-model-from-crowd-sourcing-to-crowd-shafting-2/)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Microbius on September 13, 2010, 06:16
iStockphotos “Unsustainable” Business Model: From Crowd-Sourcing To Crowd-Shafting? ([url]http://www.jeremynicholl.com/blog/2010/09/13/istockphotos-unsustainable-business-model-from-crowd-sourcing-to-crowd-shafting-2/[/url])


Good article, shame about the completely uninformed comments underneath it *sigh*
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: brm1949 on September 13, 2010, 06:28
As I am deactivating files, I've been using this proverb as a reason in their reason for deleting box. I know it will fall on deaf ears
but I had to say something that was real.

Better a little with righteousness
       than much gain with injustice.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on September 13, 2010, 06:32
My guess is that Istock's overall gain will probably be no more than a 3-4% increase in total revenue. Ok, because the overhead has already been paid for then the net profit figures should be much more impressive __ but at what cost?

Istock would only need to lose 3-4 buyers out of every hundred they currently have and the whole debacle becomes financially neutral as far as the overall profit goes. When you then cost in the truly massive loss of goodwill from both their customers and their contributors, the potential number of exclusives ditching their crowns and the huge boost to competing agencies .... is it ever really going to be financially worth it?

It seems to me that Istock are taking a gamble of truly staggering proportions with fairly minor potential gains to their bottom-line ... and a mind-numbingly large downside if it all goes pear-shaped.

Yes, I hit on the same idea in the "leveraged" thread:

"As iStock is only making maybe 3% extra overall from screwing us, it will take 33 x $30,000 of sales before they recover the money from the price hikes that this loss has cost them. That is  $990,000 of sales.

It also follows that if just 3% of buyers withdraw their business, the entire benefit to Getty of this crazy pay cut will be completely wiped out."

Of course, the 3% assumes that each departing buyer spends the average amount.

Another point is that because there are no costs associated with this change, all the extra cash goes directly into the bottom line. Conversely, all losses from buyers come straight out of the bottom line, because there are no savings associated with the disappearance of a buyer.

If we assume that 30% of the turnover is profit, then taking an extra 3% from us will boost profits by 10%. Losing 3% of (average spend) buyers would neutralize that. BUT  every extra additional one percent of buyers who quit would cut the profits by3.3%

The tighter their profit margins are, the bigger the hit caused by each one percent of buyers, and vice-versa.

Another point is that you can never replace a lost buyer. You can work to bring in another buyer, but you are always trying to recruit buyers, so the one you gain is one you would have had anyway. The only thing you can do to repair the damage caused by losing a buyer is to sweet-talk that buyer into coming back.

On the same lines, giving up exclusivity benefits the bottom line unless the person doing it also transfers sales elsewhere. Non-exclusives pulling pictures is unlikely to have much impact on the profits as buyers will generally find a similar image to meet their needs.

 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cathyslife on September 13, 2010, 06:39
iStockphotos “Unsustainable” Business Model: From Crowd-Sourcing To Crowd-Shafting? ([url]http://www.jeremynicholl.com/blog/2010/09/13/istockphotos-unsustainable-business-model-from-crowd-sourcing-to-crowd-shafting-2/[/url])


Good article, shame about the completely uninformed comments underneath it *sigh*


Lots of anger from the "trads." By the way, when I say trads, I use it as an abbreviation, not so many letters to type, NOT as a derogatory term, as one gentleman wrote. It just really cracks me up how they wish all micros would go away and they say we all got what we deserved. Do they seriously think companies are going to be able to afford $100 stock photos nowadays? There's a reason Walmart is huge and the same reason microstocks are huge, it's called demand.

By the way, Getty's new business model reminds me alot of Sam Walton's. He has the same basic principle...pay suppliers nothing. They will be clamoring to do business with me because I am the biggest.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lagereek on September 13, 2010, 09:49
iStockphotos “Unsustainable” Business Model: From Crowd-Sourcing To Crowd-Shafting? ([url]http://www.jeremynicholl.com/blog/2010/09/13/istockphotos-unsustainable-business-model-from-crowd-sourcing-to-crowd-shafting-2/[/url])


Good article, shame about the completely uninformed comments underneath it *sigh*


Lots of anger from the "trads." By the way, when I say trads, I use it as an abbreviation, not so many letters to type, NOT as a derogatory term, as one gentleman wrote. It just really cracks me up how they wish all micros would go away and they say we all got what we deserved. Do they seriously think companies are going to be able to afford $100 stock photos nowadays? There's a reason Walmart is huge and the same reason microstocks are huge, it's called demand.

By the way, Getty's new business model reminds me alot of Sam Walton's. He has the same basic principle...pay suppliers nothing. They will be clamoring to do business with me because I am the biggest.


Well although Im doing extremly well with Trad/RM, etc,  Ive got no sympathy for them at all,  theyve been copyrighting sunsets and clouds for jonks now and have had a real good time. So they blame the Micros for decreasing business and all, calling us idiots and everything, right?
Only today about 75% of all Trad-photographers I bet supply MIcros as well.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 13, 2010, 10:31


Well although Im doing extremly well with Trad/RM, etc,  Ive got no sympathy for them at all,  theyve been copyrighting sunsets and clouds for jonks now and have had a real good time. So they blame the Micros for decreasing business and all, calling us idiots and everything, right?
Only today about 75% of all Trad-photographers I bet supply MIcros as well.

The successful ones are anyway :)

Frankly, I am amazed at the shortsightedness of the "trad" photographers who are celebrating Getty's screwing it's Istock contributors.   

First off, it is a trad agency doing the screwing, secondly, the largest stock agency in the world screwing it's photographers is not a good precedent for the industry.  Theirs or ours.  What do they think they gain from this?  Micro royalties going down don't do anything to benefit trad photographers at all.  Quite the opposite. 

It is amazing to me that so many of these guys are celebrating the further deterioration of their own industry.  Sheer, gloating ignorance. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jamirae on September 13, 2010, 10:43

By the way, Getty's new business model reminds me alot of Sam Walton's. He has the same basic principle...pay suppliers nothing. They will be clamoring to do business with me because I am the biggest.

I was totally thinking the same thing!  The only difference is that Walmart often does have the lowest price, whereas Getty and iStock do not.

I spent a good portion of the weekend going over my position at iStock wrt exclusiveness and where these changes will put me.  I'm only a few months away from 40% (diamond status) but the changes will drop me from 35% down to 25%.  If I go independent not only will my earnings drop even more, but so will iStock's - at least what the earn off me.  I won't pull my portfolio from iStock if I go independent.  Granted, I'm just a small drop in the bucket for them - but dropping exclusivity also drops the prices on all my images - including the 5 or so that made it into the much-hyped Vetta collection.   That means less money for them off the top as well.  
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: diego_cervo on September 13, 2010, 12:09
I apologize if this has already been posted (the threads and posts on istock here are so many..... I'm sorry), but did you see this on wiki?

"In September 2010, Getty Images IStockphoto Brand announced plans to cut payments to contributors by as much as 30% starting in 2011, while claiming that it furthered the interest of those same contributors. The royalty paid to non-exclusive contributors becomes as low as 15%[4] on the 1st day of 2011. Getty's motivation was greeted with skepticism by the iStockphoto community. Thousands of messages of complaint from contributors were posted on the iStock forum site within a few hours of the announcement[5]. "But money isn’t going to be what makes you all happy." said CEO Thompson in his reply to the complaining contributors.[6]"

here is the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getty_Images (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getty_Images)

Thanks to whom wrote it!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ComfortEagle2095 on September 13, 2010, 19:17
Has anyone else considered the other cuts we've suffered beyond this royalty cut?

I thought about it and I realized that this royalty cut will actually hurt me a lot less than other things they've done.  I'm an independent and back in October of '08 when they changed the best match it cut my income by nearly 50% (on a portfolio of about 500 images). 

After a year of hard work and more than doubling my portfolio I had recovered those losses and was starting to get BMEs again for the first half of this year.  But then I guess they made changes again and since June my income is down 30%-40% again.  This royalty cut is peanuts compared to that.

Obviously IS doesn't really want my photos even though I've made thousands of dollars for them.  Seems like a ridiculous way to run a business.  Regardless, I know where I'm not wanted.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: helix7 on September 13, 2010, 21:24

Just saw this video poking fun at the situation: Istock competitor One Stock royalty cut update OO.mov (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Chi5F0LNZlE#)

Not sure if it's already been posted here, apologies if it has.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: RacePhoto on September 13, 2010, 21:59

I don't know if it's part of this or not but in July Examiner.com announced that their writers would be able to use Getty images for free in their articles.


Link for you if interested. I'd guess that examiner is paying for the right to use these "free" photos with some limitations. They used to offer free AP photos. We can also read this to be news photos. IS doesn't have editorial and news photos. I wish they did. Probably that Getty doesn't want to kill their expensive content and licensing by offer Micro News, but they don't mind killing RF?

http://bicyclewriter.com/47/examiner-moves-from-ap-to-getty-images (http://bicyclewriter.com/47/examiner-moves-from-ap-to-getty-images)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: dgilder on September 14, 2010, 11:29
Heh, I just realized how much the lyrics to NIN's Terrible Lies (http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Terrible-Lie-lyrics-Nine-Inch-Nails/1B972B54C1545F2F48256CC600240000) relate to how I feel about iStock at the moment.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 21, 2010, 06:52
I guess the dust is starting to settle on this issue, at least for now, and it seems unlikely that any form of compromise will be offered.

However the more I think about it the more certain I become that Istockphoto's greed will backfire upon them. It probably has already __ they just don't realise it yet. The primary purpose of the changes was presumably to boost the value of the business prior to the inevitable sale. Personally I believe that they have already irrevocably damaged their own brand and the community spirit on which they are built. As has been said earlier, they've turned 'crowdsourcing' in to 'crowdshafting'.

We've already witnessed the furore of reaction to the announcements and although things may be quietening down I don't see any evidence that people are feeling any differently. If anything attitudes have only been hardening as the full implications sink in. This is just the start too. This little baby is going to rear it's ugly head for months and months to come, especially at each month's end when contributors start seeing the effect in cold hard dollars. A bad month for sales, even if only for individual contributors, could unleash harsh reactions and actions long into the future.

Think about it; if you were a businessman looking to buy a microstock company how much might you have offered for Istockphoto say 3 weeks ago and how much would you offer now? I'd suggest it might be considerably less. Ok, we haven't seen the financials and, even if we had, it'll be months before we could see the actual effect of these changes on the bottom-line. Nonetheless confidence in the future of Istockphoto must have been shaken and that will likely be reflected in the price the business could achieve if offered for sale at this moment.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: azurelaroux on September 21, 2010, 07:41
I don't know that they are looking to sell the company. I think David hit the nail when he mentioned that IS was switching to mid. That would give Getty a "Traditional" agency, a "mid" agency (to compete with Alamy), and a micro/subscription (thinkstock).

I think they are also going to read a false positive as buyers use up the credits they have left before the annual new year price hike. At the end of January I think they will see the real affects of their changes as buyers don't renew their subscriptions or purchase more credits.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 21, 2010, 08:11
I don't know that they are looking to sell the company.


Read the bottom paragraph;

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article6877227.ece (http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article6877227.ece)

It has never been in question that they will sell on, it's what H&F do, it's only ever been a question of 'when'. That story is 11 months old but business situations can change and timelines can move in both directions.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: luissantos84 on September 21, 2010, 11:14
Heh, I just realized how much the lyrics to NIN's Terrible Lies ([url]http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Terrible-Lie-lyrics-Nine-Inch-Nails/1B972B54C1545F2F48256CC600240000[/url]) relate to how I feel about iStock at the moment.


NIN :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Pixel-Pizzazz on September 21, 2010, 14:08
I haven't seen any discussions about the apparant necessity to regularily grow your portfolio under the new model, or the culling that will be needed to keep things managable.  Chasing ones tail, so to speak, comes to mind.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 21, 2010, 15:45
I haven't seen any discussions about the apparant necessity to regularily grow your portfolio under the new model, or the culling that will be needed to keep things managable.  Chasing ones tail, so to speak, comes to mind.

You're right.  I think ITLR the pressure to keep uploading will become a big issue.   It just hasn't sunk in yet.

For me, one of the things that seemed most attractive when I was considering exclusivity was the fact that you didn't have to constantly "Feed the Beast" like you do at subs sites.  I know several people who went exclusive for that very reason, too.

Now it looks like those hoping to succeed on Istock will have to work harder at cranking out images than even those of us on subs sites.

No rest for the weary in this business, it seems.   
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 21, 2010, 19:31
I think the real kicker is that you don't - and can't - know up front what you have to do in any given year to keep your royalty rate for the next year.

In some ways it will depend on what other photographers are doing and could end up with an arms race type of situation. Yuri uploads 5K new images a year, so the next tier of people up their production from 1.5K to 3K per year and so on down the line. But even if your income for this year is fine, you may still lose out on the royalty rate for the following year if enough other people did even better than you (by sheer number of uploads or by hitting enough home runs with their big sellers).

Theoretically, if enough people kept their upload totals low, there wouldn't be a feed the beast situation, but if enough people do, then the rest have to keep up.

I think the hard part is having no fixed targets to hit - they're moving and hidden (during the year) - and not knowing how your competition is doing.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Pixel-Pizzazz on September 21, 2010, 19:47
I haven't seen any discussions about the apparant necessity to regularily grow your portfolio under the new model, or the culling that will be needed to keep things managable.  Chasing ones tail, so to speak, comes to mind.

You're right.  I think ITLR the pressure to keep uploading will become a big issue.   It just hasn't sunk in yet.

For me, one of the things that seemed most attractive when I was considering exclusivity was the fact that you didn't have to constantly "Feed the Beast" like you do at subs sites.  I know several people who went exclusive for that very reason, too.

Now it looks like those hoping to succeed on Istock will have to work harder at cranking out images than even those of us on subs sites.

No rest for the weary in this business, it seems.    
I looked with my eagle eye at one of the fan'boys' accounts and it seems that out of 5000 some images about 1/2 are not performing (some roughly 2500 without even one sale) - and many others that only have only 1 or 2, etc.  If heavy handed culling to purge the non-perfomers comes down, as I'm guessing is inevitable, I think they will be lucky not to lose 1/2 their folio to make room for fresh new files.  That would result in a huge loss of the market share (the number of uploads they have relative to the entire library) that they currently enjoy by retaining so many files. I think they are in for a rude awakening and may soon have to face the reality that their perceived past 'success' had more to do with 'the numbers game' than any real knack for making useful stock.  The numbers game charade is soon to be no more, IMO.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Pixel-Pizzazz on September 21, 2010, 19:49
Sorry this is totally off topic...

Why is it so hard to type when replying?  The lines of text jump up and down and are most of the time hiding underneat the bottom of the input window?

Does anyone know why this is and how to avoid it.  It is so hard to get the cursor where you need it!  arrgh!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: FD on September 21, 2010, 19:57
It is so hard to get the cursor where you need it!  arrgh!
If you are using FireFox/Win, the input box script on this site (the old SMF) is very resource intensive, which doesn't go well with the huge memory leaks in Firefox. Remedy: restart your PC or (better) kill the FireFox process three with the task manager (ctrl-alt-del). Do not close FireFox the conventional way in Windows since it will stay in memory.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Pixel-Pizzazz on September 21, 2010, 20:04
It is so hard to get the cursor where you need it!  arrgh!
If you are using FireFox/Win, the input box script on this site (the old SMF) is very resource intensive, which doesn't go well with the huge memory leaks in Firefox. Remedy: restart your PC or (better) kill the FireFox process three with the task manager (ctrl-alt-del). Do not close FireFox the conventional way in Windows since it will stay in memory.

Thanks for the quick reply.  I use IE8.  It seems to only happen when there is more text than can be readily seen in the input window.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sharply_done on September 21, 2010, 20:05
It is so hard to get the cursor where you need it!  arrgh!
If you are using FireFox/Win, the input box script on this site (the old SMF) is very resource intensive, which doesn't go well with the huge memory leaks in Firefox. Remedy: restart your PC or (better) kill the FireFox process three with the task manager (ctrl-alt-del). Do not close FireFox the conventional way in Windows since it will stay in memory.

The same thing happens with me using IE8 on WinXP. Very annoying.
You can make it go away by clicking the 'Compatibility View' button at the end of the address bar - it's the broken-sheet-of-paper thing next to the 'Refresh' & 'Stop' buttons.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Pixel-Pizzazz on September 21, 2010, 20:30
It is so hard to get the cursor where you need it!  arrgh!
If you are using FireFox/Win, the input box script on this site (the old SMF) is very resource intensive, which doesn't go well with the huge memory leaks in Firefox. Remedy: restart your PC or (better) kill the FireFox process three with the task manager (ctrl-alt-del). Do not close FireFox the conventional way in Windows since it will stay in memory.

The same thing happens with me using IE8 on WinXP. Very annoying.
You can make it go away by clicking the 'Compatibility View' button at the end of the address bar - it's the broken-sheet-of-paper thing next to the 'Refresh' & 'Stop' buttons.
THANK YOU!  That did the trick!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Risamay on September 21, 2010, 22:08
I haven't seen any discussions about the apparant necessity to regularily grow your portfolio under the new model, or the culling that will be needed to keep things managable.  Chasing ones tail, so to speak, comes to mind.
That is going to be a nightmare. Even for the uber-creative prolifics.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Risamay on September 21, 2010, 22:14
I think the real kicker is that you don't - and can't - know up front what you have to do in any given year to keep your royalty rate for the next year.
Seems like the new model all but guarantees burnout. And unlike the old model, you can't really take a sabbatical or healthy inspiration-break and continue to reap top benefits from all the hard work you did (consistently or not) in years past. That's just bananas. Don't the kids at the top know/understand that quality creative work isn't really an on-demand, high volume, 24/7 kind of skill/talent? I would hazard that such a skill/talent is rare, indeed. And that when you push artists too far they break/down and/or their work suffers. Which isn't good for either the artists or the business of selling their work.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 21, 2010, 22:41
Hi Marisa :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: cthoman on September 21, 2010, 23:57
Seems like the new model all but guarantees burnout. And unlike the old model, you can't really take a sabbatical or healthy inspiration-break and continue to reap top benefits from all the hard work you did (consistently or not) in years past. That's just bananas. Don't the kids at the top know/understand that quality creative work isn't really an on-demand, high volume, 24/7 kind of skill/talent? I would hazard that such a skill/talent is rare, indeed. And that when you push artists too far they break/down and/or their work suffers. Which isn't good for either the artists or the business of selling their work.

Actually, I'm thinking it will make less difference because the levels are so vast that it will be hard to make a change unless you're near one end of it. If you upload 0 files or 1000 files during the year, you will probably still be at the same level at the end of the year. Now, whether the level moves on you is another story.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 22, 2010, 03:51
Why is it so hard to type when replying?  The lines of text jump up and down and are most of the time hiding underneat the bottom of the input window?

Does anyone know why this is and how to avoid it.  It is so hard to get the cursor where you need it!  arrgh!

Thanks for bringing this up and also to Sharply for resolving it! I thought it was just me.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Risamay on September 22, 2010, 12:49
Hi Marisa :)
Hey chica :)

I'd successfully avoided reading or posting in these forums for years, but as I approach un-exclusivity, it has been recommended to me by several friendly iStockers that I follow along here. But my god, without a Lobo, it's like the Wild West over here! It's the very model of mayhem :)

I'll do my best to behave ...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Risamay on September 22, 2010, 12:50
Seems like the new model all but guarantees burnout. And unlike the old model, you can't really take a sabbatical or healthy inspiration-break and continue to reap top benefits from all the hard work you did (consistently or not) in years past. That's just bananas. Don't the kids at the top know/understand that quality creative work isn't really an on-demand, high volume, 24/7 kind of skill/talent? I would hazard that such a skill/talent is rare, indeed. And that when you push artists too far they break/down and/or their work suffers. Which isn't good for either the artists or the business of selling their work.
Actually, I'm thinking it will make less difference because the levels are so vast that it will be hard to make a change unless you're near one end of it. If you upload 0 files or 1000 files during the year, you will probably still be at the same level at the end of the year. Now, whether the level moves on you is another story.
Good point.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Pixel-Pizzazz on September 22, 2010, 13:22
Hi Marisa :)

Hey chica :)

I'd successfully avoided reading or posting in these forums for years, but as I approach un-exclusivity, it has been recommended to me by several friendly iStockers that I follow along here. But my god, without a Lobo, it's like the Wild West over here! It's the very model of mayhem :)

I'll do my best to behave ...

Lobo is actually around these parts (pieman) (http://www.microstockgroup.com/profile/?u=1063) - but it looks like he's only been lurking this month.  In any event, his big stick is pretty much flaccid here   :D
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Artemis on September 22, 2010, 20:07
We get those 'redeemed credits' shoven into our faces but there's no way to keep track of them? Mine keep going up with small random amounts now and then on a random timeframe, but they seem in no way related to my sales. I guess i have to take 'their word' that in the end the amount will be correct? "Their word", ha! (hahaha!)
This is seriously annoying me some extra though >:( Anyone managed to keep track of their RC's, found a pattern, anything?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: rubyroo on September 22, 2010, 20:14
So far, mine are consistently updating the day after the sales.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Artemis on September 22, 2010, 22:00
So far, mine are consistently updating the day after the sales.
Really?! Hmm.... strange, mine have updated 3 or 4 times after 'the announcement', every time for a fraction of the amount i sold. Maybe time to shoot a mail to support.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 22, 2010, 22:17
Hi Marisa :)
Hey chica :)

I'd successfully avoided reading or posting in these forums for years, but as I approach un-exclusivity, it has been recommended to me by several friendly iStockers that I follow along here. But my god, without a Lobo, it's like the Wild West over here! It's the very model of mayhem :)


It is indeed a bit rowdy at times, but these forums have been enormously helpful in dealing with all sorts of issues when they come up. Although there is no Lobo riding shotgun, be aware (if you do start submitting to other sites) that there are one or two who will (and have) retaliated against contributors for things said in this forum. That's why there are a number of independents here who don't use their regular name so they don't face their account getting terminated if they speak out about things that need to be addressed.

Just try to stay out of the bar fights and you should be fine :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sharply_done on September 22, 2010, 23:52
...
Just try to stay out of the bar fights and you should be fine :)

Yeah, no kidding.

That's a pretty good introductory blurb, too, jsnover.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ShadySue on September 23, 2010, 02:13
I guess i have to take 'their word' that in the end the amount will be correct? "Their word", ha! (hahaha!)
With all stock sites, you have to 'take their word' that their reporting figures are correct.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: ShadySue on September 23, 2010, 02:17
So far, mine are consistently updating the day after the sales.

Really?! Hmm.... strange, mine have updated 3 or 4 times after 'the announcement', every time for a fraction of the amount i sold. Maybe time to shoot a mail to support.

This issue has been brought up a few times in the 'where do we go to from here?' thread, but there is a main thread on the help forum:
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253622&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253622&page=1)
However, I can't explain why Lobo couldn't get a straight answer way back when the thread was started.
His current posting, that he'd rather give an accurate answer is creditable, but rather disingenuous. It's surely a simple enough question, and you'd think he could get a simple enough answer. (even if it's only, "Your reported RCs are not currently accurate, but they're working on it"). Seems very odd that he can't.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: LostOne on September 23, 2010, 04:00
Well if you thought this is a one time reduction here's something for you (quote from IS forums):
Quote
Gross Margin and Real Profit
By Jim Pickerell 9/21/2010
iStockphoto COO Kelly Thompson says the company cannot keep growing profit at the old royalty rates, so they have to reduce what they are paying suppliers. The problem is not that the company does not have substantial profits. Rather, it is Getty Images’ arbitrary standard for what the gross profit margin in the stock photo industry should be that causes the problem. "

How is this unsustainable? Just another lie.

So we can expect (yearly?) commission drops until we get to Gettys standards. When too many photographers will jump to a higher canister they will have to change it again. I also don't think that current change will get us to Gettys 20% standard. There is no way that the nonexclusives  can produce enough money to balance the commission of the exclusives so that the overall commission would be 20%.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sharpshot on September 23, 2010, 04:31
^^^And if enough non-exclusives leave or stop uploading, they will have to take the money from exclusives.  And when they sell istock, the new owners are probably going to want more.  This could get interesting.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: rubyroo on September 23, 2010, 04:45
Lost One and Sharpshot - you've both articulated my own thoughts here.  I can't see any other way that this can go.  If the non-exclusives' 15% is the bottom end counterweight to balance the 'whole' at 20%... and that counterweight departs... they can only cut the remaining exclusive commissions.  

I just wish the management would engage in the promised 'back and forth' discussion, rather than leaving everyone to speculate endlessly.  I can only imagine they're having back room crisis meetings.  I don't blame the iStock management at all - I think their hands are tied, and I hope they'll come through it OK enough to have that much-needed discussion.  
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Risamay on September 23, 2010, 12:44
It is indeed a bit rowdy at times, but these forums have been enormously helpful in dealing with all sorts of issues when they come up. Although there is no Lobo riding shotgun, be aware (if you do start submitting to other sites) that there are one or two who will (and have) retaliated against contributors for things said in this forum. That's why there are a number of independents here who don't use their regular name so they don't face their account getting terminated if they speak out about things that need to be addressed.

Just try to stay out of the bar fights and you should be fine :)
All good to know. Much appreciated! Thank you :)

ETA: I see from my profile that I've already been "ignored" by 1 member. How exciting!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 23, 2010, 12:53

By Jim Pickerell 9/21/2010
iStockphoto COO Kelly Thompson says the company cannot keep growing profit at the old royalty rates, so they have to reduce what they are paying suppliers. The problem is not that the company does not have substantial profits. Rather, it is Getty Images’ arbitrary standard for what the gross profit margin in the stock photo industry should be that causes the problem. "

How is this unsustainable? Just another lie.

I presume it is 'unsustainable' because Kelly Thompson and others' annual bonuses are directly linked to the gross profit margin.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jamirae on September 23, 2010, 13:25
It is indeed a bit rowdy at times, but these forums have been enormously helpful in dealing with all sorts of issues when they come up. Although there is no Lobo riding shotgun, be aware (if you do start submitting to other sites) that there are one or two who will (and have) retaliated against contributors for things said in this forum. That's why there are a number of independents here who don't use their regular name so they don't face their account getting terminated if they speak out about things that need to be addressed.

Just try to stay out of the bar fights and you should be fine :)
All good to know. Much appreciated! Thank you :)

ETA: I see from my profile that I've already been "ignored" by 1 member. How exciting!

great info!

what does that mean to be "ignored"?  they can't see anything you post or you just can't sitemail them?
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 23, 2010, 13:37

what does that mean to be "ignored"?  they can't see anything you post or you just can't sitemail them?


When an ignored user posts in a thread, you'll see "This user is currently ignored" instead of what they wrote. If someone else (whom you don't ignore) quotes the ignored post, you will be subjected to the undesired drivel, but it does help keep the discussion readable.

I've no idea how personal messages work with ignored members - I've never wanted to PM someone I ignore :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 23, 2010, 13:41
Welcome to the club Jami!

If you aren't ignored by at least on person, you aren't doing it right ;)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jamirae on September 23, 2010, 15:58
Welcome to the club Jami!

If you aren't ignored by at least on person, you aren't doing it right ;)

hahaha!  well I don't have anyone ignoring me at this point.  I just haven't posted much.  Note that this is not a request to be ignored, of course. 

I think all the posts that would get me ignored never made it past the "Post" button.  I tend to read, respond, then re-read and think about it before I hit the "Post" button.  I have abandoned many 'knee-jerk' snipey replies that way.  :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 23, 2010, 16:03
I think all the posts that would get me ignored never made it past the "Post" button.  I tend to read, respond, then re-read and think about it before I hit the "Post" button.  I have abandoned many 'knee-jerk' snipey replies that way.  :)

Don't supress those feelings __ let's hear them loud and clear! It is only an internet forum, not the United Nations or something.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jamirae on September 23, 2010, 16:11
I think all the posts that would get me ignored never made it past the "Post" button.  I tend to read, respond, then re-read and think about it before I hit the "Post" button.  I have abandoned many 'knee-jerk' snipey replies that way.  :)

Don't supress those feelings __ let's hear them loud and clear! It is only an internet forum, not the United Nations or something.

okay, tho actually if I can find a better way to respond to something then I do post it if I feel it will contribute to the conversation.  :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Artemis on September 23, 2010, 16:29
So far, mine are consistently updating the day after the sales.

Really?! Hmm.... strange, mine have updated 3 or 4 times after 'the announcement', every time for a fraction of the amount i sold. Maybe time to shoot a mail to support.

This issue has been brought up a few times in the 'where do we go to from here?' thread, but there is a main thread on the help forum:
[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253622&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=253622&page=1[/url])
However, I can't explain why Lobo couldn't get a straight answer way back when the thread was started.
His current posting, that he'd rather give an accurate answer is creditable, but rather disingenuous. It's surely a simple enough question, and you'd think he could get a simple enough answer. (even if it's only, "Your reported RCs are not currently accurate, but they're working on it"). Seems very odd that he can't.

Thanks for pointing me to that post Sue :)
The reply is there now and the bottomline seems to be: for some contributors there seem to be irregularities, if you suspect you're one of them, contact support.
*sigh* My payout rate for the entire next year depends on this, i cant afford it to be "wonky" (definitely not because i'll make it just, or just not).
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Risamay on September 23, 2010, 17:03
I think all the posts that would get me ignored never made it past the "Post" button.  I tend to read, respond, then re-read and think about it before I hit the "Post" button.  I have abandoned many 'knee-jerk' snipey replies that way.  :)
Good on you for censoring editing your posts. I'm used to doing that on iStock (though it may not always seem like it), but only so that I can get the snipes in and past the taco. By which, of course, I mean the Lobo.

Snipes are the spice of life. Even over at the U.N. (politicians are the snipey-est) ;)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: crazychristina on September 23, 2010, 17:20
If you ignore someone their posts do have a small Show button you can use to remind yourself why you ignored them in the first place. Sometimes though people who are arrogant and obnoxious lack social skills do actually have somethin positive to contribute on some subjects. If you decide that you overreacted by ignoring someone go to your profile->Ignore options and remove them from the list of ignored members.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sharply_done on September 23, 2010, 17:37
If you ignore someone their posts do have a small Show button you can use to remind yourself why you ignored them in the first place.
...

Yeah, I do that sometimes (press the 'Show' button), but 99% of the time it just serves to remind me why I pressed the 'Ignore' button in the first place. As they say, a tiger can't change it's stripes ...
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 23, 2010, 17:53


Yeah, I do that sometimes (press the 'Show' button), but 99% of the time it just serves to remind me why I pressed the 'Ignore' button in the first place. As they say, a tiger can't change it's stripes ...

+1

And good for you, Jami, trying to not get down in the mud.  Sometimes you get splashed anyway, though.  And the folks with the more, shall we say "abrasive" style sometimes make for interesting reading  ;)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on September 24, 2010, 06:29
Another move by a competitor to flush out some new blood :)
http://submit.shutterstock.com/newsletter/259/article1.html (http://submit.shutterstock.com/newsletter/259/article1.html)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: qwerty on September 24, 2010, 06:52
Another move by a competitor to flush out some new blood :)
[url]http://submit.shutterstock.com/newsletter/259/article1.html[/url] ([url]http://submit.shutterstock.com/newsletter/259/article1.html[/url])


I'll give you 85% of the 3 cents per download referal.

Apparently 15% is enough
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gbalex on September 24, 2010, 07:09
Another move by a competitor to flush out some new blood :)
[url]http://submit.shutterstock.com/newsletter/259/article1.html[/url] ([url]http://submit.shutterstock.com/newsletter/259/article1.html[/url])


"We're growing. We're aggressively signing up new customers, our download counts are very high"

And yet while they have raised prices for buyers they have not given a contributor royalty increase in two years.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sharpshot on September 24, 2010, 07:22
Another move by a competitor to flush out some new blood :)
[url]http://submit.shutterstock.com/newsletter/259/article1.html[/url] ([url]http://submit.shutterstock.com/newsletter/259/article1.html[/url])


"We're growing. We're aggressively signing up new customers, our download counts are very high"

And yet while they have raised prices for buyers they have not given a contributor royalty increase in two years.

And they probably wont raise commissions while so many people accept $0.25 from thinkstock and crestock.  Sad isn't it?  And if istock get away with cutting commissions, I can see the other sites trying it.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Eireann on September 24, 2010, 08:13
Absolutely, Sharpshot.
Why would they?
Contributors upload for a fixed 0.25 - no raise, to sites like ThinkStock and Crestock, why would Shutterstock give us a raise? They already pay us more.
And indeed, Shutterstock is doing very well. That is true :)
I hope they keep on growing.
They deserve to be successful.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Danicek on September 24, 2010, 11:11
This may not be really related to this topic (on the other hand it can be). Just read at IS forums that Rob Sylvan left the admin (official staff) team

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=257422&page=2 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=257422&page=2)

I wonder if it has to do anything with the changes or if he leaving at this time is just coincidence.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 24, 2010, 11:38
^^^ Rob leaving now, 2 weeks after this bombshell, is a bit too much of a quinky-dinky for me __ whatever the offical line might be. Maybe Rob will pop in here to explain things.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: bittersweet on September 24, 2010, 11:45
Lobo said he will be making an official announcement soon.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: rubyroo on September 24, 2010, 11:54
Oh that is a shame.  He's such a complete star.  I think, out of respect for him, I won't speculate, and will wait for his statement.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: nruboc on September 24, 2010, 11:57
If he left out of principle due to recent changes....RESPECT!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: bittersweet on September 24, 2010, 12:01
If he left out of principle due to recent changes....RESPECT!
I think it's safe to assume that is not what his official announcement will say, but the timing makes you wonder. I had nothing but the greatest respect for Rob before this, so nothing will change there, regardless of his reasons.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: LostOne on September 24, 2010, 14:00
This is starting to look like a falling house of cards. Contributors, buyers and admins leaving.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 24, 2010, 14:33
Wow.  Really sorry to hear Rob's left.  He was always a calm and reassuring presence.  He will really be missed. 
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Sadstock on September 24, 2010, 14:36
Rob has always been a class act and I will miss him too.

I think its safe to assume that Rob's departure is linked to the compensation structure change.  Note that he stopped posting shortly after the initial announcement, though his departure was not confirmed until today.  If it was anything else, I think it is quite likely he would have delayed his departure by a few weeks to avoid the appearance of them being linked. Obviously there are things like a family illness that might also necessitate a quick exit.

I'm sure Rob will never say they are linked, much like Peabert never said why he left either.  

On the assumption that they are linked, I do tip my hat to him for having the guts to stand up for what he believes is right.

I'm guessing a number of inspectors will also depart over the next few months, as many of them will be taking a big hit, and they can't drop exclusivity and remain inspectors.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 24, 2010, 14:51
^^^ Good post Sadstock (and welcome!). My sources tell me that several inspectors are leaving too. Lots going on behind the scenes at the moment.

Is Istockphoto imploding before our eyes? They've lost their way, plenty of buyers, the confidence and the trust of their contributors and now it's looking like a mass-exodus of staff to boot. The greedy exploitive *insult removed* are getting their come-uppance.

Oh dear. How sad. Never mind.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: thesentinel on September 24, 2010, 15:19
^
But without the good guys we can only expect an acceleration of the rape and pillage.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on September 24, 2010, 15:27
I have as hard a time believing that Rob's departure is unrelated to the recent announcements as I do that anyone will acknowledge that that's the reason.

It took me a while with Google to find this, but here's (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=171201&messageid=2947041) a post from Rob when the Partner Program was introduced. We asked if those who opted out would see their best match placement worsened. In case the text goes away at some point, he said:

 "What would the point of negatively affecting best match placement for people who opt-out but not telling them? That isn't consequence or punishment that is just being mean. If you see me quit then perhaps you can assume that is how they are running things.

I know of no consequence currently or in the future for people who choose to not include their files in the partner program."

Speaks volumes to me.

Rob, you will be sorely missed. You have made a huge difference to the operation of the iStock forums. I can't fathom how you found the patience to deal calmly with all the situations you did. Perhaps you just ran out of patience. Perhaps all your work with books and NAPP was just taking up more time and paid you better. Perhaps you just couldn't stand behind the cash grab and defend the indefensible.

iStock is the poorer for your departure. I hope they realize that. Any other organization that gets you is lucky indeed :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sharply_done on September 24, 2010, 15:30
Yeah, it's a sad shocker, alright. No matter the reason he might give for leaving, people are going to chalk it up the commission restructuring - it's the natural thing to do.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: SNP on September 24, 2010, 15:31
Wow.  Really sorry to hear Rob's left.  He was always a calm and reassuring presence.  He will really be missed. 

exactly my feelings. he's just released a new book and I'm certain his own photography has been harder to shoot as a result of his work as an admin. I'm sure it will be too good to be true for everyone hoping this is out of protest, but that is not Rob's style AFAIK.

I hope he is simply going onto other things and happy about the decision.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 24, 2010, 15:38
^^^ Good quote Jo Ann. Reflecting on Rob's words back then, in the light of today's news, it kind of looks as if this thing might have been building for some time.

I wonder if Rob increasingly found himself unable post in support of the management's policies?

(NB: Just had an idea __ I know someone who can post in support of the management no matter what they do to us. She'd be ideal.)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 24, 2010, 15:41
Yeah, it's a sad shocker, alright. No matter the reason he might give for leaving, people are going to chalk it up the commission restructuring - it's the natural thing to do.

Soooo __ are you giving up exclusivity now? I wasn't expecting to have a drink on you quite this soon!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jamirae on September 24, 2010, 15:45
i wouldn't want to speculate on why Rob is leaving.  He has a lot of other things going on besides iStock - in fact he just came out with a new book "Taking Stock" (http://www.peachpit.com/authors/bio.aspx?a=500DF4F6-79AC-4172-83D9-B4A0C1EB1A05) and is a trainer for lightroom along with other things. (http://sylvanworks.com)  

Perhaps he has a lot of things going on in his life and it's just time for him to move on.  We don't know and really shouldn't speculate.  It will be a great loss, for sure.  he has been rock there and a constant calm in the iStock forums.  
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sharply_done on September 24, 2010, 15:46
Soooo __ are you giving up exclusivity now? I wasn't expecting to have a drink on you quite this soon!

I can't make up my mind: Are you counting your chickens before they hatch, or are you simply trying to gloat? Hmm, maybe both.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: lisafx on September 24, 2010, 15:49

It took me a while with Google to find this, but here's ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=171201&messageid=2947041[/url]) a post from Rob when the Partner Program was introduced. We asked if those who opted out would see their best match placement worsened. In case the text goes away at some point, he said:

 "What would the point of negatively affecting best match placement for people who opt-out but not telling them? That isn't consequence or punishment that is just being mean. If you see me quit then perhaps you can assume that is how they are running things.

I know of no consequence currently or in the future for people who choose to not include their files in the partner program."



Good find on that quote JoAnn.  I am trying to resist speculating, but this does make one think.

Whatever the reason, I wish him nothing but the best.  I hope the book is a runaway bestseller for him and he can retire to some tropical island somewhere on the proceeds.  :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: jamirae on September 24, 2010, 15:50
oh, and FWIW - he may not be gone completely, I see from his profile page (http://www.istockphoto.com/sylvanworks) that he still has the Admin and Moderator badges.  I would think once he leaves those positions and the privileges are removed, those will be gone as well.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Risamay on September 24, 2010, 15:52
^^^ Good post Sadstock (and welcome!). My sources tell me that several inspectors are leaving too. Lots going on behind the scenes at the moment.

My sources tell me that Rob will stay on as a contributor. As to whether this will be in an exclusive capacity or a non-exclusive capacity, I couldn't say. Because I don't know :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: gostwyck on September 24, 2010, 15:52
I can't make up my mind: Are you counting your chickens before they hatch, or are you simply trying to gloat? Hmm, maybe both.

Istockphoto's heading south mate __ seriously. The good old days are history. Trust Uncle Gostwyck.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: sharply_done on September 24, 2010, 15:55
Istockphoto's heading south mate __ seriously. The good old days are history. Trust Uncle Gostwyck.

Oh brother. I hope I don't have to listen to you go on like this for a year and a half.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Risamay on September 24, 2010, 15:58
I have as hard a time believing that Rob's departure is unrelated to the recent announcements as I do that anyone will acknowledge that that's the reason. [snip] iStock is the poorer for your departure. I hope they realize that. Any other organization that gets you is lucky indeed :)

I wholeheartedly concur :)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: bittersweet on September 24, 2010, 16:24
oh, and FWIW - he may not be gone completely, I see from his profile page ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/sylvanworks[/url]) that he still has the Admin and Moderator badges.  I would think once he leaves those positions and the privileges are removed, those will be gone as well.


Remember how long it takes for canister changes to update? I'd guess it's probably the same lag time as that.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: crazychristina on September 24, 2010, 16:30
^
But without the good guys we can only expect an acceleration of the rape and pillage.
Unfortunately the good guys serve to give a false impression of who we're really dealing with. istock maintains the front of being a community to encourage contributors to give their all (while taking less), but quite obviously this is only done to further their business interests. Rob and Roger and Lobo are like the happy smiling business team images that designers use to get customers in.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Risamay on September 24, 2010, 16:41
what does that mean to be "ignored"?  they can't see anything you post or you just can't sitemail them?

OT: Congrats, Jami! Looks like you're "doing it right" as jsnover instructed - I see you've got two people ignoring you. I've still got you beat. I'm up to four! I like it that you can see everyone's stats. That hawk_eye has the highest I've seen so far with nine!

Anyway. As you were.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Artemis on September 24, 2010, 16:52
what does that mean to be "ignored"?  they can't see anything you post or you just can't sitemail them?

OT: Congrats, Jami! Looks like you're "doing it right" as jsnover instructed - I see you've got two people ignoring you. I've still got you beat. I'm up to four! I like it that you can see everyone's stats. That hawk_eye has the highest I've seen so far with nine!
try vlad_the_imp ;)

+1 on Jsnovers Rob-post!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: Blufish on September 24, 2010, 17:11
what does that mean to be "ignored"?  they can't see anything you post or you just can't sitemail them?

OT: Congrats, Jami! Looks like you're "doing it right" as jsnover instructed - I see you've got two people ignoring you. I've still got you beat. I'm up to four! I like it that you can see everyone's stats. That hawk_eye has the highest I've seen so far with nine!

Anyway. As you were.

Ijust found out imignored by 2! Yay me!
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: KissMyBliss on September 24, 2010, 17:13
Ijust found out imignored by 2! Yay me!
That makes two of us.
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: rubyroo on September 24, 2010, 17:15
Oo arrrrrrrrr

(sorry)
Title: Re: iStock changing royalty structure
Post by: KissMyBliss on September 24, 2010, 17:18
Oo arrrrrrrrr

(sorry)
Pirates have feelings too, you know  :'(

Luckily, I'm a bilingual buccane