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Author Topic: iStock surveying buyers again...  (Read 25712 times)

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« Reply #125 on: May 10, 2012, 11:48 »
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Jamirae is obviously one of those fourteen year old forum trolls, or possibly someone from another stock site trying to badmouth iStockphoto. Can anyone confirm that this survey even exists?


Oooohh! Someone who's got the iStock Koolaid!

Sunshine, if you had been at iStock in 2004, like some of us here, you would know who Jamie is and what her contribution has been. With 26,000 iStock sales she's probably got a rather more impressive record there than you have (please correct me if I'm wrong about that). Oh, and try checking her profile.

well gee, I've never been called a "fourteen year old forum troll" before.  I can assure you that I am not.  and, yes, BaldricksTrousers is correct, I started at istock in 2004 (feel free to look at my port) and was exclusive with them until the redeemed credits program can about and my earnings crashed there because of it.  I'm not trying to badmouth iStock (they seem to be fine at doing themselves in), I'm just providing information.  yes, the survey really came to me, and yes I really filled it out.  You can believe what you want about me, but a fourteen-year-old-troll I am most certainly not.  

now.. to answer another question about the survey.. regarding pricing.  As I recall the price issue did come up in a few questions where it was given as one of the potential responses.  I only gave you a small sampling of the questions - those that I found most odd (the "Cool" thing still has me preplexed!)   the questions that included price were something along the lines of "Why do you not buy as much from iStock" (or somethign like that based on the response I gave to a question about my purchasing from iStock has decreased and will continue to decrease).  The potential responses that involved price were something like "cost too high."  I dont recall anything about the price increases but there was a question asking to compare of the prices  of the three sites.  

oh, and there was also a question where the responses were something like related to having to buy more credits than you need for one image and another option/response about being able to buy just one image at a given price point (in other words, not having to purchase a credit pack).

based on the questions, to me the overall tone of the survey indicated that they believe the way to bring more buyers is to be "cool" again, but they have no idea how to get there.   Clearly whoever developed the survey skipped the part in their Maketing Research class about how to design a survey so as to be as objective as possible in order to get the best/honest responses from your respondents.  Adding the "cool" thing is sort of like "leading the witness" so that they get responses geared toward the answer of "look!  the buyers want us to be cool!  let's be more cool so we can get more buyers."  

that's just my thoughts on it.  I am not convinced that they really know who their buyers are and I dont think this survey will provide them that answer.  


« Reply #126 on: May 10, 2012, 11:57 »
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"more images from professional photographers"

That's kind of a weird thing to say.  "individual contributors" vs. "professional photographers"?  Wth is that supposed to mean?

yes, that one took my by surprise, too, which is why it was one of the ones I listed here.  My first thought was that they probably assume that buyers (who the survey is targeting) would consider a "professional photographer" as an in-house photographer who gets assignments to do shoots specifically for the agency, like Getty does.  But then my second thought was if a buyer knows that much then they should also understand that many "individual contributors" ARE "professional photographers."   I figure I'd give them the benefit of the doubt and go with my first thought.  :)

« Reply #127 on: May 10, 2012, 12:41 »
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What do they expect:
1. Reduce prices
2. Clean up search.


as far as searching is concerned, you could have a look at this here:
http://boostmatch.photonullplus.de/

(can't do anything about the pricing, though. sorry)

(EDIT: sorry for the redundant post (i have now created a new topic about this) but being new here i had to post a reply somewhere before being able to start a new topic  :-\)
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 12:50 by nullplus »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #128 on: May 10, 2012, 13:11 »
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I'm not a buyer, so it doesn't matter for me; but I was thinking more about keyword spamming messing up searches.

« Reply #129 on: May 11, 2012, 07:00 »
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I'm not a buyer, so it doesn't matter for me; but I was thinking more about keyword spamming messing up searches.

For me, other than the voodoo sites play with their search, keywording is the single most important function of an image sale (to be found), aside from it being just what the buyer wants.  Spamming just fks it up for everyone, the buyers and the contributors.  I probably spend more time than I should keywording because over the years I have realized its importance. Some are of the mind that if a site allows 50 KW then I am putting in 50.  I personally only put in what I think is appropriate, somewhere between 8 and 50 ;)

lagereek

« Reply #130 on: May 12, 2012, 00:21 »
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"more images from professional photographers"

That's kind of a weird thing to say.  "individual contributors" vs. "professional photographers"?  Wth is that supposed to mean?

yes, that one took my by surprise, too, which is why it was one of the ones I listed here.  My first thought was that they probably assume that buyers (who the survey is targeting) would consider a "professional photographer" as an in-house photographer who gets assignments to do shoots specifically for the agency, like Getty does.  But then my second thought was if a buyer knows that much then they should also understand that many "individual contributors" ARE "professional photographers."   I figure I'd give them the benefit of the doubt and go with my first thought.  :)

As you say, at Gettys, and in the RM-world its common to commission pro-photographers for certain specialized shoots,  either on a percentage or outright payment.

'In Micro, however,  the last thing the agencies want,  are professionals!  why?  because pros makes demands, pros would not stand for some of the nonsense going on. All the amateurs, weekend-snappers, semis, etc, well the can sort of juggle them around, put them in promised land, patronize them, whatever. They are an easy catch, easy to satisfy.

« Reply #131 on: May 12, 2012, 01:48 »
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"more images from professional photographers"

That's kind of a weird thing to say.  "individual contributors" vs. "professional photographers"?  Wth is that supposed to mean?

yes, that one took my by surprise, too, which is why it was one of the ones I listed here.  My first thought was that they probably assume that buyers (who the survey is targeting) would consider a "professional photographer" as an in-house photographer who gets assignments to do shoots specifically for the agency, like Getty does.  But then my second thought was if a buyer knows that much then they should also understand that many "individual contributors" ARE "professional photographers."   I figure I'd give them the benefit of the doubt and go with my first thought.  :)

As you say, at Gettys, and in the RM-world its common to commission pro-photographers for certain specialized shoots,  either on a percentage or outright payment.

'In Micro, however,  the last thing the agencies want,  are professionals!  why?  because pros makes demands, pros would not stand for some of the nonsense going on. All the amateurs, weekend-snappers, semis, etc, well the can sort of juggle them around, put them in promised land, patronize them, whatever. They are an easy catch, easy to satisfy.

This is so true. This is often where an agency's biggest and most vocal fan base lies. Dt is a prime example of this, IS may have unwittingly silenced the pom pom girls and boys, but most of them still upload regardless of every action IS takes. Many are professional photographers, many more are still dreaming.

« Reply #132 on: May 12, 2012, 02:38 »
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'In Micro, however,  the last thing the agencies want,  are professionals!  why?  because pros makes demands, pros would not stand for some of the nonsense going on. All the amateurs, weekend-snappers, semis, etc, well the can sort of juggle them around, put them in promised land, patronize them, whatever. They are an easy catch, easy to satisfy.

So they couldn't change the Getty Images terms, to force the pros there to allow their stuff in TS, for example, or to cut commissions?  Oh, hang on.....

lagereek

« Reply #133 on: May 12, 2012, 03:57 »
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'In Micro, however,  the last thing the agencies want,  are professionals!  why?  because pros makes demands, pros would not stand for some of the nonsense going on. All the amateurs, weekend-snappers, semis, etc, well the can sort of juggle them around, put them in promised land, patronize them, whatever. They are an easy catch, easy to satisfy.

So they couldn't change the Getty Images terms, to force the pros there to allow their stuff in TS, for example, or to cut commissions?  Oh, hang on.....

Sure!  but the timing was perfect ( from them, that is),  many of us already had ports of 2000 images, plus. Once youre up in that bracket, it would be foolish to deactivate, wouldnt it. Besides, the way things are going for independants, I dont think its much differance in revenue.

We might make a misstake, ONCE! even twice,  I doubt we will do it again,  regardless of agency?

« Reply #134 on: May 12, 2012, 08:54 »
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'In Micro, however,  the last thing the agencies want,  are professionals!  why?  because pros makes demands, pros would not stand for some of the nonsense going on. All the amateurs, weekend-snappers, semis, etc, well the can sort of juggle them around, put them in promised land, patronize them, whatever. They are an easy catch, easy to satisfy.

So they couldn't change the Getty Images terms, to force the pros there to allow their stuff in TS, for example, or to cut commissions?  Oh, hang on.....

Sure!  but the timing was perfect ( from them, that is),  many of us already had ports of 2000 images, plus. Once youre up in that bracket, it would be foolish to deactivate, wouldnt it. Besides, the way things are going for independants, I dont think its much differance in revenue.

We might make a misstake, ONCE! even twice,  I doubt we will do it again,  regardless of agency?

But that applies to everyone - once a sales outlet delivers a significant slice of your income and you have invested time and effort in building a portfolio then you are effectively over a barrel. They can mess you about however they like and leave you to decide whether to accept a cut in income or lousy conditions or to wave goodbye to everything. If you are big enough to matter to them, then you are almost certainly in too deep to get out.

lagereek

« Reply #135 on: May 12, 2012, 09:06 »
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'In Micro, however,  the last thing the agencies want,  are professionals!  why?  because pros makes demands, pros would not stand for some of the nonsense going on. All the amateurs, weekend-snappers, semis, etc, well the can sort of juggle them around, put them in promised land, patronize them, whatever. They are an easy catch, easy to satisfy.

So they couldn't change the Getty Images terms, to force the pros there to allow their stuff in TS, for example, or to cut commissions?  Oh, hang on.....

Sure!  but the timing was perfect ( from them, that is),  many of us already had ports of 2000 images, plus. Once youre up in that bracket, it would be foolish to deactivate, wouldnt it. Besides, the way things are going for independants, I dont think its much differance in revenue.

We might make a misstake, ONCE! even twice,  I doubt we will do it again,  regardless of agency?

But that applies to everyone - once a sales outlet delivers a significant slice of your income and you have invested time and effort in building a portfolio then you are effectively over a barrel. They can mess you about however they like and leave you to decide whether to accept a cut in income or lousy conditions or to wave goodbye to everything. If you are big enough to matter to them, then you are almost certainly in too deep to get out.

I totally agree!  over a barrel, thats the truth of it all. Many of us here are probably in far too deep already. However, with all forums, writings, etc, ite really not doing them any good attracting new contributors, especially professional suppliers.
Again, Im not too sure they care, its a bloody numbers game, thats it. If they would lose 10 photographers today, they got 20 new ones by tomorrow.

I mean, they dont seem too worried about someone like Yuri doing his own thingy,  so what chance have you got?

wut

« Reply #136 on: May 12, 2012, 09:29 »
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Will they then revoke their recent price hike and trumpet how well they listen to their buyers?

These are all fast cash grabs. You seem to already know their tactics well ;)

wut

« Reply #137 on: May 12, 2012, 09:42 »
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But, by Jove, I think it's spiffing of them to inquire of the hoi polloi, what? Presuming, that is, that this isn't some cad's merry jape. What bricks they are!

Great wording, I had to check the urban dictionary for a few words. However what do bricks stand for, I could find the meaning.

I enjoy reading posts from you Brits, I learn so much from you, so many new words (ShadySue, gostwyck as well). Sometimes it seems that Americans only use half of the English vocabulary

wut

« Reply #138 on: May 12, 2012, 10:04 »
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What accelerates the end of the game is the race to the bottom that began with all te agencies (and yes, this includes Thinkstock) entering the subscription wars. Selling a these prices mean, for the client, that the cost of the photos in the frame of the budget of a whole  project is nil, nothing, rien de rien, nichts,nada, niente. And of course, the spoiled (spoiled by us) customer, nowadays, is not ready to accept the kind of quality of five, seven years ago in change of these nil prices (that are the same of five seven years ago). Prices like the ones at istock make this cost a real, but very minor cost... but if costumers can reduce this to zero, why not? They would pay happily more if prices very higher at all the big agencies. There's a big scope between these zero prices and good steal prices.

I totally agree. I'm saying all the time, that the prices should go up, quadruple at least. They're absurd at the moment, especially if you look at the quality of the best images (only a few %, but that's more than enough to find a good image for most subjects)

« Reply #139 on: May 12, 2012, 10:24 »
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But, by Jove, I think it's spiffing of them to inquire of the hoi polloi, what? Presuming, that is, that this isn't some cad's merry jape. What bricks they are!

Great wording, I had to check the urban dictionary for a few words. However what do bricks stand for, I could find the meaning.

I enjoy reading posts from you Brits, I learn so much from you, so many new words (ShadySue, gostwyck as well). Sometimes it seems that Americans only use half of the English vocabulary

A brick is an all-round good fellow - I think it had a short period in vogue in the mid 20th century, perhaps mainly as children's slang.

helix7

« Reply #140 on: May 12, 2012, 10:37 »
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I was going to make a comment on this whole survey thing, but I just looked at my istock stats for the first time since last month and found something more interesting to comment on.

April was my worst month at istock in over 4 years, and this week was my worst week there in about the same time period. istock is now at it's lowest percentage ever (4%) in my monthly microstock earnings total.

Amazing how bad it's gotten.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2012, 10:48 by helix7 »

helix7

« Reply #141 on: May 12, 2012, 10:47 »
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Remember when it was cool to be an istocker? By gum how things have changed.  :D


Sorry, couldn't resist:


lagereek

« Reply #142 on: May 12, 2012, 11:11 »
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Remember when it was cool to be an istocker? By gum how things have changed.  :D


Sorry, couldn't resist:




Who is this pratt?  its Timberland, isnt it?

« Reply #143 on: May 12, 2012, 12:37 »
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I'm pretty sure those are stills from the Facebook movie (Social Network) - Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker

« Reply #144 on: May 12, 2012, 13:49 »
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I was going to make a comment on this whole survey thing, but I just looked at my istock stats for the first time since last month and found something more interesting to comment on.

April was my worst month at istock in over 4 years, and this week was my worst week there in about the same time period. istock is now at it's lowest percentage ever (4%) in my monthly microstock earnings total.

Amazing how bad it's gotten.

My January earnings with PP included were a few dollars less than my November 2006 earnings.  November 2006 was my 9th month at IS.  Last month, BigStock was a mere $10 shy of my January IS earnings (BigStock also beat Fotolia for the first time ever).

lisafx

« Reply #145 on: May 12, 2012, 15:29 »
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But that applies to everyone - once a sales outlet delivers a significant slice of your income and you have invested time and effort in building a portfolio then you are effectively over a barrel. They can mess you about however they like and leave you to decide whether to accept a cut in income or lousy conditions or to wave goodbye to everything. If you are big enough to matter to them, then you are almost certainly in too deep to get out.

I believe this is the most concise analysis of the microstock business that I've ever read.  Well put! 

lagereek

« Reply #146 on: May 12, 2012, 15:44 »
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But that applies to everyone - once a sales outlet delivers a significant slice of your income and you have invested time and effort in building a portfolio then you are effectively over a barrel. They can mess you about however they like and leave you to decide whether to accept a cut in income or lousy conditions or to wave goodbye to everything. If you are big enough to matter to them, then you are almost certainly in too deep to get out.

I believe this is the most concise analysis of the microstock business that I've ever read.  Well put! 

Paul has summed it up quite nice actually but its still a feeling of history is repeating itself. To us who are still in the trad agencies, it started with a 50/50, split, then it became 60/40, then 70/30, etc and in the agency favour. Ofcourse, pics sell for a lot more money.
I mean really its the same as investing in any business, rough with the smooth and ofcourse having to stand for lots of nonsense.
I havent got an answer for this, there isnt much anybody can do exept bellyaching. :)

antistock

« Reply #147 on: May 12, 2012, 22:15 »
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I totally agree. I'm saying all the time, that the prices should go up, quadruple at least. They're absurd at the moment, especially if you look at the quality of the best images (only a few %, but that's more than enough to find a good image for most subjects)

they should go up anyways, inflation is pretty bad in europe but even more here in asia, here it's running at 10-20% per year for many items and 5-10% for anything else with some goods peaking at 100-200% compared to 2011.

all this is first and foremost reflected in the average cost of transportation and the production costs are therefore skyrocketing but agencies are still paying peanuts, selling less than before, and pretending to slash royalty fees even more.

« Reply #148 on: May 12, 2012, 23:40 »
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I totally agree. I'm saying all the time, that the prices should go up, quadruple at least. They're absurd at the moment, especially if you look at the quality of the best images (only a few %, but that's more than enough to find a good image for most subjects)

they should go up anyways, inflation is pretty bad in europe but even more here in asia, here it's running at 10-20% per year for many items and 5-10% for anything else with some goods peaking at 100-200% compared to 2011.

all this is first and foremost reflected in the average cost of transportation and the production costs are therefore skyrocketing but agencies are still paying peanuts, selling less than before, and pretending to slash royalty fees even more.

There is nothing pretend about the commission cuts.

« Reply #149 on: May 13, 2012, 09:48 »
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I totally agree. I'm saying all the time, that the prices should go up, quadruple at least. They're absurd at the moment, especially if you look at the quality of the best images (only a few %, but that's more than enough to find a good image for most subjects)

they should go up anyways, inflation is pretty bad in europe but even more here in asia, here it's running at 10-20% per year for many items and 5-10% for anything else with some goods peaking at 100-200% compared to 2011.

all this is first and foremost reflected in the average cost of transportation and the production costs are therefore skyrocketing but agencies are still paying peanuts, selling less than before, and pretending to slash royalty fees even more.

So you don't think these issues also affect the people who buy photos?


 

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