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Author Topic: istock is dragging  (Read 14407 times)

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« on: July 25, 2007, 13:50 »
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no dls in days.  I have a small portfolio but I used to sell slowly but steadily.  Now - nothing in days.  I am at 269 or so dls - am I bronze now or not?  Would that make a (tangible) difference to me?  At this rate I surely won't even think about exclusivity.


« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2007, 13:58 »
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IS has been picking up for me lately. Not a huge amount ($100+/month), but the trend is definitely there.

I don't think that your "canister level" (as IS refers to it) is a factor in their search routine. Given that you have a small portfolio, why not take the time to investigate why images that were selling no longer are?
« Last Edit: July 25, 2007, 14:05 by sharply_done »

« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2007, 14:07 »
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PS I'd look at your portfolio to offer more advice, but you haven't entered the info properly - your links don't work.

vicu

« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2007, 14:17 »
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no dls in days.  I have a small portfolio but I used to sell slowly but steadily.  Now - nothing in days.  I am at 269 or so dls - am I bronze now or not? 
Yes, you qualify to be bronze but not all the canisters have been changed yet. The canister painter takes a few days sometimes for all levels (unfortunately).

Quote
Would that make a (tangible) difference to me? 
As a non-exclusive, a new canister level means higher upload limits. As an exclusive, a new canister level also means higher payout percentages.

Quote
At this rate I surely won't even think about exclusivity. 
I can understand your apprehension. It's hard to offer much help without seeing your portfolio, or knowing how large it is or how long it's been up. If you have a very small portfolio and have had several days with zero downloads, it's a lot different than if you have an average sized portfolio and have had several days with zero downloads. Summer is typically slower, but without knowing your numbers, can't say if it's way out of line with what might be expected. Sorry.

If you think you might consider exclusivity at any point down the road, be sure you have a clear understanding of what your commitments with other sites involve, namely the fact that some require you to keep images on for a certain period of time, and you would not be eligible to apply for exclusivity at istock as long as you have images on other sites.

« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2007, 15:49 »
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I am in the oposite situation. Today is the 25th and I am one download from having a BME (best month ever).

I have: 214 files, 620 downloads, have been on iStock for 1 year.

The funny thing is that beginning of this month was dreadful but the middle was fantastic and it made up for it.

I hope you downloads pick up.

P.S. Still not enough to go exclusive by any means:)

« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2007, 17:00 »
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Thanks for letting me know about the links.  No idea what went wrong - used to work.  Anyway, I fixed them and would love some input.

Tina

« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2007, 17:28 »
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IS ans StockXpert are competing for the best site this month, and IS is generally my best, but lately I have been earning half of what I did months ago.  Anyway, I haven't noticed any slowdown this month, maybe one or two days without downloads, but generally at least one a day.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2007, 05:48 »
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IS has been picking up for me lately. Not a huge amount ($100+/month), but the trend is definitely there.

I don't think that your "canister level" (as IS refers to it) is a factor in their search routine. Given that you have a small portfolio, why not take the time to investigate why images that were selling no longer are?

Hi..no disrespect intended believe me but I have to ask how you would investigate why certain images aren't selling anymore especially when your area of expertise is a port full of airplanes, skies and photoshop? Gosh, I know this sounds like I'm being catty but I really don't mean it to be. You're doing well no doubt because you have a large super collection of planes on different backgrounds and from different viewpoints. I just don't see how you would make such an investigation. I think many contributors at iStock would be interested in what you think is the problem with diminishing sales including some exclusives I know.

« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2007, 08:20 »
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IS has been picking up for me lately. Not a huge amount ($100+/month), but the trend is definitely there.

I don't think that your "canister level" (as IS refers to it) is a factor in their search routine. Given that you have a small portfolio, why not take the time to investigate why images that were selling no longer are?

... how you would investigate why certain images aren't selling anymore ...

Well your response did come of as a little bit harsh. Sharply probably intended you to utilize investigation techniques that do not depend on the subject matterb so that his expertise in planes is irrelevant.
e.g. Search for the keywords of your images that have fallen of the table. Perhaps they do not appear on the first few pages anymore. Is somebody spamming these keywords or has an exclusive uploaded similar or better pictures with the same concept? Have you dilluted the sales potential of your own picture - more of the same? Hopefully this clarifies what sharply suggested.

« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2007, 13:48 »
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this is the traditional summer holiday period, sales are always slower this time of year.

« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2007, 13:54 »
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I apologize but as I said I didn't mean my comment to be taken personally. I say things like I mean them and in this format it's easy to be misconstrued.

That said..I don't think the things you are suggesting work in the scenario we're looking at at iStock. All one has to do is read the forums to see everything is screwed up for most as far as views and sales are concerned even some of the big players. I just don't think there is any way to predict sales right now. Out of the few who actually voice there opinion on forums there is the occasional one who will say sales are steady but the majority find sales are way down and too much for it just to be a seasonal thing. My sales at SS remain consistent even though the time of year is a slow one. iStock continues to plummet to the extent that I limit my visits there to once every other day.

Sharply has a super portfolio and I think I said that. I have a few of his images in my lightbox in fact. That said..I made an EL on Fotolia today with the only plane I have in my port. LOL It's crappy compared to Sharply-done's but I guess they didn't see his. I'm glad. ;)

« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2007, 14:52 »
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Here's a chart to show how my earnings with istock have fallen.  This is while I have been uploading the max every week.

The peak was on 13th March.

« Last Edit: July 26, 2007, 14:55 by sharpshot »

« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2007, 17:06 »
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Hi..no disrespect intended believe me but I have to ask how you would investigate why certain images aren't selling anymore especially when your area of expertise is a port full of airplanes, skies and photoshop? ...  I think many contributors at iStock would be interested in what you think is the problem with diminishing sales including some exclusives I know.
I'm guessing that the problem may be that the images are no longer selling well due to either increased competition or unfavorable keyword weighting.

My approach would be (and is) to take a look at images that compete against mine, and to reorder and incorporate keywords that I may have missed. I would (and do) look for (new) images that are taking business away from me, and attempt to incorporate elements from those shots into future ones of my own. This is a straightforward and logical approach, and one that may work regardless of the type of shots you make.

As far as my expertise in aircraft goes, this is not so correct - I began shooting this stuff only six months ago, after I began shooting stock exclusively and noticed that the existing imagery in this area was for the most part 'amateury' and 'snapshottish'. Prior to my involvement with microstock I specialized in studio portraiture and live performance photography. The reason I don't shoot and post that kind of stuff is that the market is already very flooded with it, and I'd rather compete in an area that's visibly weaker. Better to be a big fish in a small pond than vice versa, I think. On a related note, I think I've taken the airplane thing about as far as it can go, and will be changing specialties soon ...
« Last Edit: July 26, 2007, 17:30 by sharply_done »

« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2007, 17:19 »
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Just to follow suit, here's how my IS sales have gone. Things were progressing well until June, but have begun to recover somewhat. I was planning on reaching Gold status by the end of year, but will now likely make that in spring 08.


« Last Edit: July 26, 2007, 17:25 by sharply_done »

manwolste

« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2007, 23:49 »
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Small portfolio, was accepted by istock and shutterstock in March 2007 (DT since September 2007). So I know statistical conclusions are problematic. Anyway, the development at ss/is is still kind of surprising for me:

ss sales was #1 right away, nearly twice the numbers of dt/is. But since may ss is flat with a slight decrease. IS sales increased a lot in July (after a flat June), this month creating 15% more $$ than ss. Basically I have  the same images on both sides (little deviations of course). So Im a bit puzzled why SS sales is rather disappointing and IS is doing so good for my images. But maybe its the normal fluctuation of a small portfolio.

« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2007, 00:15 »
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Anyway, the development at ss/is is still kind of surprising for me:

ss sales was #1 right away, nearly twice the numbers of dt/is. But since may ss is flat with a slight decrease. IS sales increased a lot in July (after a flat June), this month creating 15% more $$ than ss. Basically I have  the same images on both sides (little deviations of course). So Im a bit puzzled why SS sales is rather disappointing and IS is doing so good for my images. But maybe its the normal fluctuation of a small portfolio.

That happened to me also when I first started with both. At SS downloads are right away, and fade overtime. At IS, they are slow to begin with, then increase over time. It's the caused by the differences in preferences of their best match searches. So, at SS you have to consistantly upload photos every week.

vicu

« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2007, 00:18 »
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Small portfolio, was accepted by istock and shutterstock in March 2007 (DT since September 2007). So I know statistical conclusions are problematic. Anyway, the development at ss/is is still kind of surprising for me:

ss sales was #1 right away, nearly twice the numbers of dt/is. But since may ss is flat with a slight decrease. IS sales increased a lot in July (after a flat June), this month creating 15% more $$ than ss. Basically I have  the same images on both sides (little deviations of course). So Im a bit puzzled why SS sales is rather disappointing and IS is doing so good for my images. But maybe its the normal fluctuation of a small portfolio.

It's the subscription program. Subscribers download new stuff when it appears. If you don't upload new stuff, you don't get as many downloads, so instead of each image being a potential "nest egg" that you can collect on indefinitely, you have to keep uploading new material constantly in order to maintain your download rate.

« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2007, 00:26 »
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[... you have to keep uploading new material constantly in order to maintain your download rate.
I think of it as feeding the monster. Ya gotta keep him happy or things will go south in a hurry. Leaf once commented that his sales dropped by about 2/3 when he stopped uploading to SS.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2007, 02:13 by sharply_done »

« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2007, 08:31 »
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Best month ever for istock this month (with a few days still to go).  I have uploaded a few more in the past 2 months so it will be interesting to see if it is a increase in sales/photo or just because I have increased my photos.

« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2007, 15:40 »
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[... you have to keep uploading new material constantly in order to maintain your download rate.
I think of it as feeding the monster. Ya gotta keep him happy or things will go south in a hurry. Leaf once commented that his sales dropped by about 2/3 when he stopped uploading to SS.


Big fat coincidence????  I think not, especially at SS.  Whenever I take a break from uploading, my sales tank down to zero $ days... ???    8)-tom

« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2007, 17:20 »
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I reached a peak in February and since then have been constantly losing performance.  July is slightly better.

Regards,
Adelaide

manwolste

« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2007, 23:50 »
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Small portfolio, was accepted by istock and shutterstock in March 2007 (DT since September 2007). So I know statistical conclusions are problematic. Anyway, the development at ss/is is still kind of surprising for me:

ss sales was #1 right away, nearly twice the numbers of dt/is. But since may ss is flat with a slight decrease. IS sales increased a lot in July (after a flat June), this month creating 15% more $$ than ss. Basically I have  the same images on both sides (little deviations of course). So Im a bit puzzled why SS sales is rather disappointing and IS is doing so good for my images. But maybe its the normal fluctuation of a small portfolio.

It's the subscription program. Subscribers download new stuff when it appears. If you don't upload new stuff, you don't get as many downloads, so instead of each image being a potential "nest egg" that you can collect on indefinitely, you have to keep uploading new material constantly in order to maintain your download rate.

Well, Im aware of that, this effect is often described in the SS forums. But I did upload constantly. But obviously the market is telling me: my new uploads are not good enough to enhance sales there.

A bit sobering for me - but to look at this situation from a positive perspective: at least you get a quick response and immediate feedback of whats selling and whats not selling. So I realize now SS-sales can be used and interpreted as a market "indicator" (dont blame SS, blame yourself....). Sobering, but good - so I dont waste time and energy to go into the wrong direction.

Got the message. Guess I have to improve and try harder. Back to the camera.....

« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2007, 17:05 »
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... SS-sales can be used and interpreted as a market "indicator" (dont blame SS, blame yourself....). Sobering, but good - so I dont waste time and energy to go into the wrong direction.
I've found that SS isn't that good an indicator of what will universally sell well. Its business model is such that users are inclined to DL images they don't immediately need, and that can artificially inflate the demand for any given image. I'm sure there are plenty of people who have images that sell well on SS and linger in obscurity elsewhere (vice-versa, too). Flickr's "interestingness" rating works similarly.

« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2007, 17:21 »
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I've found that SS isn't that good an indicator of what will universally sell well. Its business model is such that users are inclined to DL images they don't immediately need, and that can artificially inflate the demand for any given image. I'm sure there are plenty of people who have images that sell well on SS and linger in obscurity elsewhere (vice-versa, too). Flickr's "interestingness" rating works similarly.

I would concur with that too.  When I first got into the biz, I felt  exactly that   "If  it will fly on SS,  it will fly anywhere".
     That has not proved to be  true in my case.  I also thought if I got it passed the SS reviewers (they were pretty tough on me in the beginning) I could get it uploaded anywhere.  That REALLY turned out not to be true.  That is not meant to be slap on SS. I have pix they shot down that IS took.  SS is tough and demanding of technical quality. They know what they want.   But, SS didn't turn out to be the is all, end all I thought it would be as a 'measuring rod'.
    Each site is different, as each site has a different client base.  I think Sharply_Done has it right] as far as SS goes.... "users are inclined to DL images they don't immediately need"[/i.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2007, 17:53 by a.k.a.-tom »

« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2007, 16:59 »
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I'm guessing that the problem may be that the images are no longer selling well due to either increased competition or unfavorable keyword weighting.

With certain sites I think there is a bit more to it than this and they keep it a secret for a reason.

As far as my expertise in aircraft goes, this is not so correct - I began shooting this stuff only six months ago, after I began shooting stock exclusively and noticed that the existing imagery in this area was for the most part 'amateury' and 'snapshottish'. Prior to my involvement with microstock I specialized in studio portraiture and live performance photography. The reason I don't shoot and post that kind of stuff is that the market is already very flooded with it, and I'd rather compete in an area that's visibly weaker. Better to be a big fish in a small pond than vice versa, I think. On a related note, I think I've taken the airplane thing about as far as it can go, and will be changing specialties soon ...

I'll be very interested in seeing what you do next.  :)

« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2007, 17:09 »
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I'm strongly considering shooting small and medium product in a specialized studio. Gotta explore around a bit more before committing, though.


 

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