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Author Topic: Istock RC's grandfathered at your current rate?  (Read 12647 times)

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lisafx

« on: November 18, 2013, 18:43 »
+6
Redeemed Credits Update:

There will be no changes to any of the RC targets over the previous year's targets. All redeemed credit targets for all file types will stay the same for 2013.

These targets will determine your starting/minimum royalty rate for 2014. If you reach a new target during the remainder of 2013 you will move up to the higher royalty rate, otherwise your current rate will remain in effect.

If you fail to reach your 2013 target, you will not drop a royalty rate at the start of 2014. If you miss your target, you will have your current royalty rate grandfathered. For example, if someone who is now on 30% only got 10,500 RCs by the end of the year and missed the 30% target by 500 then they will still start next year earning 30%.

Please refer to the Redeemed Credit chart here for additional clarity on the target amounts.


If I am interpreting this correctly this is good news.  I know I won't be making my target this year. 

A couple of questions I have.  It says if you missed your target you will keep your current rate "at the start of 2014".  Could this change during the year? 

Also, the example given was someone who missed their target by 500 RCs.  Does that mean you are only grandfathered if you're within a certain range of meeting your target, or even if you have fallen way short of it? 

Sorry to be looking a gift horse in the mouth, but it wouldn't be the first time we thought we got a gift horse and instead of its mouth, we found ourselves peering up the other end.  (to torture a metaphor)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 18:46 by lisafx »


« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2013, 18:52 »
0
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 00:47 by Audi 5000 »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2013, 18:52 »
+3
Hahahaha, I knew that if I reached my target, it wouldn't matter. I thought the targets would be lowered, but a minimum of grandfathered in is good. I'm glad for those who won't reach their targets to be grandfathered, as this year they seem to have been doing everything possible to cut RCs.

Lisa:
It's all smoke and mirrors with iS, but I read it as meaning (in answer to your questions, both of which I asked myself when I got the newsletter):

1. That everyone will be grandfathered in, the 500 was just an example.
"If you fail to reach your 2013 target, you will not drop a royalty rate at the start of 2014. " seems pretty unequivocal, but they've reneged on a promise to 'grandfather in' before.

2. I think that 'not drop a royalty rate at the start of 2014' should mean just that. If you didn't reach your target this year, you should still start next year at your current rate because of the grandfathering in. It is possible to go up a level if you make the next up target during the course of the year.

Well, that's what what I see as the logical interpretation of what the newsletter said, but not only they often interpret what I see as unambiguous in a very different way that I do. IANAL, and an iStock promise is worth ...
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 13:46 by ShadySue »

« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 18:57 »
+25
Sounds like they admit that their projections from last year were terribly off, but they're desperate to keep contributors.

« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2013, 19:01 »
+28
Sure, it's better then nothing.
But I still remember the grandfathering promise from 2010. They convinced me to became exclusive and few month later my promised 'canister' became another color icon without any value.
I don't trust them.

« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2013, 02:44 »
+12
Sounds like they admit that their projections from last year were terribly off, but they're desperate to keep contributors.

Sounds like they are desperate to hide the number of people who would go down a level, which might reveal something about how their overall business is doing. I wouldn't pull my portfolio if I dropped a level (which I would) but I would probably tell the world that their price changes this year made what started as an easily achievable target nigh on impossible to reach. Which means iStock is making a lot less from me than it did last year.
This way, there won't be any kerfuffle from downgraded contributors.
 

« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2013, 03:47 »
+17
I think it is positive they are announcing it now and not in January. So people can relax and just focus on working in peace.

And they obviously buy themselves some time. I know many exclusives who have said that if they drop a (another) level, they will go indie. Even with this reassurance everyone is working on their exit strategy, unless istock shows a very visible and reliable upswing it will not stop people leaving.

other agencies have proven they can offer a public business vision and deliver what they announce, so how will istock catch up with a company that has a 9 year track record of reliabilty?

Of course a turnaround is possible, but unless they embrace and encourage the digital entrepreneur, they will lose the race. That will need a real change of the companies DNA and a huge influx of new people who feel comfortable doing transparent and public business online.

« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2013, 08:00 »
+1
Sounds like they admit that their projections from last year were terribly off, but they're desperate to keep contributors.

Sounds like they are desperate to hide the number of people who would go down a level, which might reveal something about how their overall business is doing. I wouldn't pull my portfolio if I dropped a level (which I would) but I would probably tell the world that their price changes this year made what started as an easily achievable target nigh on impossible to reach. Which means iStock is making a lot less from me than it did last year.
This way, there won't be any kerfuffle from downgraded contributors.

Right.  I believe that this wasn't done out of the goodness of their hearts, rather it is a tactical business decision for strategy unknown. Maybe they saw a significant contributor defection with the commission cuts, enough to raise a red flag on their operating income.  Another drop might lead to greater loss either in terms of complete defecting contributors or uploads of saleable quality, or both.  I mean look how they are wooing key contributors.

« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2013, 08:42 »
+1
It's pretty clear to me that they are holding everyone at least at their current rate for the entire 2014 - as they state your rate can't go down in 2014.

I think this is a clear sign that the site redesign, the site being down so frequently, the site's slow speed, and various decisions have impacted sales overall in a negative way.  I think they are doing whatever they can to keep exclusives from bailing.  I sure hope this trend doesn't continue as it's been a nice ride so far - would hate to see it end.

« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2013, 09:06 »
+1
I was there. I've been every year. But Murphy's law says that if one year I don't reach it, they won't grandfather anyting.

« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2013, 09:50 »
0
also the move to remove the XS size from the signature + collection must be a choice to help exclusive to reach their canister target....from my perspective as customer there is a lot of difference to buy an image from 10 or 20 credits.

KB

« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2013, 11:16 »
0
also the move to remove the XS size from the signature + collection must be a choice to help exclusive to reach their canister target....from my perspective as customer there is a lot of difference to buy an image from 10 or 20 credits.

I completely missed this in the announcement. What a stupid decision! Unless they are planning a price cut of the Sig+ collection so that S files become 10 credits (I doubt it).

« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2013, 11:59 »
+2
Sounds like they admit that their projections from last year were terribly off, but they're desperate to keep contributors.

Odd comment considering your last couple of years.

    It does say Istock is not growing at all and is probably tanking.  Every comment on the forumns is happy.  Seems to me the exclusives should be conerned about the falling sales.

« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2013, 12:34 »
+1
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 00:47 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2013, 12:36 »
+2
I'm a total outsider. I wanted to get into the stock industry a couple 3 years ago, but realized I didn't have the skills. Been trying hard to become better, so I've been watching the whole IStock deal from an outside point for a while here.

I predict IStock will be sold again.

I think Getty is going to squeeze all the juice out and then throw the rest away.

They've tried to move buyers over to their other stock sites - how successful have they been? Is this why PP sales are up?

They've tried several moves that make no sense from an industry perspective, but I bet they look good on paper as a positive for someone to buy IStock.

1. no upload limits/quality or key word checks - it's about the total number of images.
2. rebranding so it is new and shiny
3. touting the cost cuts to look more competitive.
4. the amount borrowed against IStock.

Pretty sure those  that have been here forever could point out a ton more -  They may not have realized how bad the coding/infrastructure was and they are dumping money into it because then it will be another 'plus' they can show a potential buyer. They won't put a dime into any remodel of old code to help the contributor, more than likely.

So I think all will get to keep their rate - until the new owners move in.
JMVHO.   They'll do any deal with anyone's images that will gain them more money.  They will make promises they don't plan on keeping because they won't have to. They want to keep their contributors just long enough for the new owners to take over.

« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2013, 12:48 »
0
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 00:47 by Audi 5000 »

lisafx

« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2013, 13:44 »
+4
Thanks, Liz, for answering my questions.  I know your guess is as good as mine.  I think you're right in your interpretations.  That is what it seemed like to me too, but wanted to get other opinions. 

Sadly I no longer take anything said by IS at face value. 

I'm relieved, because although I have been able to easily achieve - and even double - the required RCs to keep my level in the past, the one-two punch of low sales/migration of sales to TS,  and slashed prices at IS has made it impossible this year. 

« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2013, 14:38 »
+4
I predict IStock will be sold again.

I think Getty is going to squeeze all the juice out and then throw the rest away.

No. Getty will be sold again (with IS included). Carlyle have a lot of money tied up in Getty and, with the level of debt and falling revenues reported, it's not clear to me where they are going to get a decent return from it.

Getty have already squeezed all the juice out of IS anyway. So much so that they nearly killed it.

« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2013, 14:47 »
-1
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 00:47 by Audi 5000 »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2013, 15:19 »
0
^^ I'm assuming that piece was produced via a substandard voice recognition software, and not manually edited. Queen of Typos can spot these things. But it is, like you say, very difficult to decipher.
However, this has to be the (mis)Quote of the Month:
"it was really difficult to get some of the traditional players in the space that celebrates toady"
I will make sure to wide-berth that space.  ;)

« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2013, 15:24 »
-1
I predict IStock will be sold again.

I think Getty is going to squeeze all the juice out and then throw the rest away.

No. Getty will be sold again (with IS included). Carlyle have a lot of money tied up in Getty and, with the level of debt and falling revenues reported, it's not clear to me where they are going to get a decent return from it.

Getty have already squeezed all the juice out of IS anyway. So much so that they nearly killed it.
I don't think it's been nearly killed.  You are forgetting that iStock is still making a lot more than Shutterstock, at least according to Jon Oringer. 
I do agree that IF iStock is ever sold it will be as part of Getty, there is no way to separate them now.

I believe they will want to take it public again. But not yet. At the moment they seem to be in the process of building value. The down economy and pessimistic expectations gives them a good space within which to reinvent yet again IMO.

« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2013, 15:34 »
+2
I believe they will want to take it public again. But not yet. At the moment they seem to be in the process of building value. The down economy and pessimistic expectations gives them a good space within which to reinvent yet again IMO.

It's a thought __ if the public would buy it. The stock owning public seemed pretty grateful to sell out to H&F in 2007 though. Revenues have fallen since then, they've got all that debt and now a major competitor/threat has emerged in the form of SS. Seems to me that Getty's prospects now are a lot less rosy than they appeared to be in 2007.

« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2013, 15:39 »
0
^^ I'm assuming that piece was produced via a substandard voice recognition software, and not manually edited. Queen of Typos can spot these things. But it is, like you say, very difficult to decipher.
However, this has to be the (mis)Quote of the Month:
"it was really difficult to get some of the traditional players in the space that celebrates toady"
I will make sure to wide-berth that space.  ;)

Sometimes there is some good content on Seeking Alpha. But much of the content worse than useless. I have no idea why so many people outside of the financial community continually link to it - possibly, I think, because the site seems to score well in Google searches when people are looking for articles to justify their points of view - often about subjects they only pretend to understand. No disrespect intended to tickstock because he is not guilty of this.

Basically any old blogger or day trader can push an opinion on SeekingAlpha. It's the finance equivalent of, say, Trip Advisor - where their bad may very well be your good.

« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2013, 15:41 »
0
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 00:46 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2013, 15:54 »
0
The stock owning public seemed pretty grateful to sell out to H&F in 2007 though. Revenues have fallen since then, they've got all that debt and now a major competitor/threat has emerged in the form of SS. Seems to me that Getty's prospects now are a lot less rosy than they appeared to be in 2007.

The stock was over-valued in 2007 on the back of having risen unrealistically in the credit fuelled boom. That made it very difficult for them to operate as a company. Going private was surely the best thing. Many other companies were going private or buying back shares at the same time. And look how much money it has made for people since.

You talk about debt as if that were always a pejorative thing. It's no different from a mortgage. Others would simply call that corporate finance. Certainly I think there is a danger of over-exaggerating its importance - and ultimately the debt exists because the lenders believe in the company. And because Getty continues to do what it has always done - which is to make money. You always talk Getty down - but it's a valuable company run by bright people who obviously have a clear sense of their vision of image as commodity. Yes we might not love it in the same way as we could love some other stock agency. Though I love much of the very intelligent and creative work which people have been able to produce because Getty exists.

SS is a great company. But you definitely couldn't love that either. And TBH I believe that they were extremely lucky with their IPO. Perhaps there would have been a point after Facebook when they worried about going ahead with it. And they have been lucky since the IPO that stocks have continued to boom. FWIW I think that they remain desperately over exposed to the microstock subscription market. That seems like having nearly all of your eggs in one basket. And, lets face it, the investors haven't got much of a clue if Seeking Alpha is anything to go by.


 

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