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Author Topic: iStock New Sub. Model Just Announced!  (Read 25787 times)

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EmberMike

« Reply #100 on: March 04, 2014, 11:08 »
+14

It was really starting to seem like no one had gotten royally screwed over in this business for a while. Glad iStock finally stepped up and did something about it. Just didn't feel like microstock for a while there. ;)

We need one of those signs that factories have, the ones that say "It has been ___ days since a workplace accident." Except ours can say "It has been ___ days since a stock agency concocted a new way to screw artists."


Tryingmybest

  • Stand up for what is right
« Reply #101 on: March 04, 2014, 11:13 »
0
Maybe it's a cruel April Fool's joke.  :o

Let me translate from iSpeak

thinkstock isn't shafting everyone enough. so we are starting a subs plan for istock that shafts people there too. Since a lot of the content from exclusives isn't available on main, we will move it there to shaft them too. Of course you get no RC for this shafting. We will mix the sales reporting in with the PP reporting so it will be harder for you guys to notice when we short change you, don't worry, if we accidentally overpay you we will claw it back eventually.

we are launching this in April, expect all sorts of things to be messed up as we roll this out.

EmberMike

« Reply #102 on: March 04, 2014, 11:23 »
+1
I still don't have a clue what the endgame goal is here. Thinkstock was being promoted by both iStock and Getty (and presumably other Getty properties) for subscriptions. Which one will they promote now?

Getty historically hasn't been in the business of holding overlapping sites for very long, at least when it comes to microstock. They killed StockXpert because they didn't need another credit-based microstock site when they already had iStock.

Very weird that they're launching a subscription service within iStock instead of continuing to try and bring subscription buyers over to Thinkstock.

The only thing I can imagine is that they've got some data in front of them that suggests that buyers want the option to buy subscriptions and single images both under one roof. I just can't imagine there are that many of those types of customers out there.

Ron

« Reply #103 on: March 04, 2014, 11:26 »
0


Is there one person here or there that's going to step up and say... This is a good Idea, I like it?  ::)



Yes, On the SS forum someone likes it

Quote from:

That's good news I think. Sales there are very good for me already and I'd thought the lower value sales were subs. Hopefully this will mean even better sales!

« Reply #104 on: March 04, 2014, 11:30 »
+6
Well, in my opinion exclusivity is an outdated concept and was for a while. Clients need the right image at the right time, and they don't care at all if that image is sold on one agency only, not if the quality is the same. Istock had some delusions for a while that their exclusive content was better than non-exclusive, and it really isn't the case, and it looks like they're starting to realize that. Which will eventually result in diminishing benefits for exclusives... they'll probably retain some form of exclusivity perks but not significant ones. My prediction is that all contributors will be on about the same level pretty soon, they'll keep reducing payouts until it doesn't make sense to contribute anymore. Not for the people living in countries with high cost of living, anyway.

« Reply #105 on: March 04, 2014, 11:45 »
0
Being unable to understand that having what competitors doesn't have --don't even matter if better or worse-- it's a big plus for any business in any part of the world, is extremely nearsighted.

« Reply #106 on: March 04, 2014, 11:49 »
-1
Being unable to understand that having what competitors doesn't have --don't even matter if better or worse-- it's a big plus for any business in any part of the world, is extremely nearsighted.

Ummm.... how is it a plus for any business to have something worse than your competitors?  ;D

« Reply #107 on: March 04, 2014, 12:07 »
+2
Better or worse, different. But if you haven't understood it, don't try, you won't.

« Reply #108 on: March 04, 2014, 12:43 »
+10
Well, including the istock exlusive imagery into a sub model seems to be a bad move fom me. The world is already overfed with stock images, if you want something you will get it doesn't matter which agency you work with. But the iStock exlusive imagery had a huge advantage: it was more expensive. Still everyone could afford to buy a licence but meawhile you always knew that you are not buying the cheapest stuff so it is likely that you will not see it again and again everywhere on the internet. Now this last advantage is gone.

IStock is not leading or dictating anymore on this market but trying to catch up with Shutterstock. SS just won another battle this is what I think.

« Reply #109 on: March 04, 2014, 12:50 »
+14
Taking a look at Getty's actions in the last month or so,  plus some of the comments from Shutterstock's February earnings call, I'm wondering if taken together we can make some sense of what Getty's up to.

photos.com and punchstock are going away and their business shifted to Thinkstock and Getty Images; clipart.com has been sold to Vital Imagery Ltd. I'm guessing that what these sites brought in wasn't worth the cost of operating them.

When Getty started Thinkstock in spite of the fact they had two other subscription sites (admittedly inherited from Jupiter Images' acquisition) the thought was that it was their "Shutterstock killer". Given Shutterstock's earnings rise over the last year, I'm guessing that hasn't worked out as they expected.

Someone (tickstock?) suggested that moving subscriptions to iStock and mandating participation meant that Getty was making good money from Thinkstock and wanted to expand it. But if that were the case, I'd have expected them to move more iStock content (and possibly more Getty content - they already changed the Getty contract to let them move things to Thinkstock without the artist's OK) over to Thinkstock where all the buyers expect to find Getty's subscription content.

They can change the iStock contributor agreement to let them force exclusive content onto Thinkstock just as they did earlier with indie content; they've also been working on whatever tangle of code powers their "connector", so I can't imagine it's a technical issue with being unable to move the content over.

So that leads to me to assume that Thinkstock isn't doing as well as all that and they're trying another tack to chip away at Shutterstock's incursion on their turf by putting the subscription business on iStock itself.

I realize that alexa's ranking of a site is just one metric, but looking at iStock, SS, Getty and Thinkstock global/US ranking:

IS  424 / 252
SS  216 / 194
Thinkstock  5,824 / 1,519
Getty 3,003 / 1,107

And for some comparison to see how well Thinkstock is doing against other micros...

Fotolia 528 and Germany (higher ranked than the US) 64
dreamstime 656 / 607
123rf  472 / 551
DepositPhotos 1,317 / 1,060
PhotoDune 2,886 / 2,018
Canstock 3,636 / 2,027
Alamy 16,001 / 12,010

I'm guessing that with all the terrible pricing moves when they remade the collections, business on iStock is not doing so well in spite of all the royalty cuts and that bringing Thinkstock to iStock is  something they hope will reverse that. I would once have said that they'd be missing all the non-iStock content that Thnkstock also has, but given the dump of Getty material onto iStock in the last year or so, a lot of it may already be there. I can't imagine that the aging StockXpert content (that is now nowhere except Thinkstock) is going to make much of a difference to business.

Possibly Carlyle has given Getty some targets to hit and they're doing whatever they can to meet those (in other words looking at the long term for the business has been overshadowed by the short term need to not get fired by their bosses)?

« Reply #110 on: March 04, 2014, 13:14 »
+3
I don't see the need to have ThinkStock around for much longer at this rate. They are cutting and moving things together which is smart. Only time will tell how this all will play out. Being a video guy I am not affected yet but that won't last long. Out of the 9 video sales I had on Getty last month 7 of them were for 3-5 bucks! I remember iStock saying there would never be a time when we as video artist would earn less at Getty then we do at iStock. Well that was a lie!!!

« Reply #111 on: March 04, 2014, 13:17 »
+3
It is hard to see how the royalty rates that have been announced will work in the long run.

Non-exclusive: All Collections: $0.28/download
Main (exclusive): $0.34/download
Signature (exclusive): $0.75/download
Signature+ (exclusive): $2.50/download

The customer will be paying a flat fee for a subscription. If they buy the higher level subscription they will be able to download as many images from any collection as they want. Effectively, the customer is paying the same price per image regardless of which collection it comes from.

If the customer downloads all images from the Main collection Getty makes out, but if all the images they choose are from the Signature+ collection Getty takes a big hit because they have to give up 7 to 9 times more money in royalties than they would have if all the images came from the Main collection.

Assume that a customer has an all collection subscription, but downloads all the images they need from the non-exclusive main collection and Getty pays just 10% of the subscription fee in royalties. If those same customers downloaded the same number of Signature+ images Getty would payout over 90% of what they collect.

There would be an incentive for Getty to push images from the non-exclusive Main collection to the top of the search return order. But they will want to keep the high priced images at the top of the search return order so their single image buyers can see them first and maybe spend more for the images they want to use. This may be another plan that has not been well thought out.

It can't be long before Getty changes the royalty rate to one flat price regardless of which collection the image comes from.

« Reply #112 on: March 04, 2014, 13:33 »
0
The customer will be paying a flat fee for a subscription. If they buy the higher level subscription they will be able to download as many images from any collection as they want. Effectively, the customer is paying the same price per image regardless of which collection it comes from.

That's not what the announcement said though (I thought the same thing).
"Our new Image Subscription model allows our customers to download a specific number of Photos or Illustrations, of any size, monthly, from our Main, Signature, and Signature+ collections, depending on the tier."

So, for $X, you can have 100 Main, 20 Signature and 10 S+ .  Or whatever.

« Reply #113 on: March 04, 2014, 13:34 »
0
.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 23:54 by tickstock »

« Reply #114 on: March 04, 2014, 13:37 »
+1
But then, that's just a "subscription credit program".  That would be an end run around paying contributors properly.

« Reply #115 on: March 04, 2014, 13:40 »
+2
.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 23:54 by tickstock »

« Reply #116 on: March 04, 2014, 13:45 »
+6
That would be an end run around paying contributors properly.
Isn't that what sub programs are?

Sorry, no, I mean at iStock, you buy credits, and you trade a certain amount for a certain size of a certain image.  If the sub plan works this way, you are buying credits and you trade a certain amount for a certain image.  It's basically the same thing they already have, but they found a way to pay the contributor less.

« Reply #117 on: March 04, 2014, 13:49 »
0
.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 23:54 by tickstock »

« Reply #118 on: March 04, 2014, 13:51 »
0
The customer will be paying a flat fee for a subscription. If they buy the higher level subscription they will be able to download as many images from any collection as they want. Effectively, the customer is paying the same price per image regardless of which collection it comes from.

That's not what the announcement said though (I thought the same thing).
"Our new Image Subscription model allows our customers to download a specific number of Photos or Illustrations, of any size, monthly, from our Main, Signature, and Signature+ collections, depending on the tier."

So, for $X, you can have 100 Main, 20 Signature and 10 S+ .  Or whatever.

Then it is somewhat similar to the system that DT used in the past:
$0.35 > $0.70 > $1.05 according to the DT image level
Customers complained and DT abandoned it.

« Reply #119 on: March 04, 2014, 13:51 »
+3
That would be an end run around paying contributors properly.
Isn't that what sub programs are?

No. In a conventional sub programme (such as SS or DT for example) the agency takes the risk that, if a subscriber were to download their full entitlement, then the agency would lose money. It would appear from the SS financial reports that the average subscriber only downloads about one third of their entitlement.

EmberMike

« Reply #120 on: March 04, 2014, 13:58 »
+4
Sorry, no, I mean at iStock, you buy credits, and you trade a certain amount for a certain size of a certain image.  If the sub plan works this way, you are buying credits and you trade a certain amount for a certain image.  It's basically the same thing they already have, but they found a way to pay the contributor less.

Maybe that's exactly what the goal is.

« Reply #121 on: March 04, 2014, 13:59 »
+1
Well, including the istock exlusive imagery into a sub model seems to be a bad move fom me. The world is already overfed with stock images, if you want something you will get it doesn't matter which agency you work with. But the iStock exlusive imagery had a huge advantage: it was more expensive. Still everyone could afford to buy a licence but meawhile you always knew that you are not buying the cheapest stuff so it is likely that you will not see it again and again everywhere on the internet. Now this last advantage is gone.

IStock is not leading or dictating anymore on this market but trying to catch up with Shutterstock. SS just won another battle this is what I think.

An image buyer who doesn't want to buy something that's all over the internet buys RM. Current RM prices are very affordable. He would not pay more for RF image which is not in any way unique or special (and majority of Istock's exclusive collection isn't). So, including exclusive content in their sub program is a logical move for iStock. In the business where everyone sells subscriptions you can improve your chances by offering more content for the subscription price (and um, having your site up helps too ;-)).

Uncle Pete

« Reply #122 on: March 04, 2014, 14:32 »
+1
All I can think of is IS has figured they moved as many people to TS as they could, so now close all the others and see if they can bring more over with some brand recognition.

I still don't understand the consolidation and closings but StockXpert is still around? What's the point?

I don't see the need to have ThinkStock around for much longer at this rate. They are cutting and moving things together which is smart. Only time will tell how this all will play out. Being a video guy I am not affected yet but that won't last long. Out of the 9 video sales I had on Getty last month 7 of them were for 3-5 bucks! I remember iStock saying there would never be a time when we as video artist would earn less at Getty then we do at iStock. Well that was a lie!!!

Wow there's a first. iStock has lied to us.  >:(

And another good point you make. What if they just had problems with the feed and soon everything IS will be from all these places, TS will just forward us to IS. All the rest will just forward us to IS subs. Everything on one site.

Another "Huh" is they included exclusives, then they excluded exclusives from TS, but leaving files was optional, now they are going to include exclusives again in the new one. Talk about waffle and waver.

(Edit: I had to remove an out of context quote...)
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 15:09 by Uncle Pete »

« Reply #123 on: March 04, 2014, 16:09 »
0
... but StockXpert is still around? What's the point?

I think it is only for the back end function of paying contributors. They don't want to/can't/are afraid to try to come up with some sort of connector to track and pay for the Hemera (StockXpert) content that's on Thinkstock. Clunky as it is, they can use the old code to avoid breaking things introducing new code.

For those who weren't around then, StockXpert was acquired by Jupiter Images and StockXpert content was later included in subscriptions on photos.com and JIunlimited. SockXpert contributors were paid via their StockXpert account. When Getty acquired Jupiter and then decided to start Thinkstock, all the Jupiter properties contributed to Thinkstock. Then Getty closed StockXpert as a sales site or way to contribute, but left all the files there to keep them on Thinkstock.

Goofy

« Reply #124 on: March 04, 2014, 16:11 »
+3
Noticed how their site crashed after this announcement  ;D



 

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