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Author Topic: iStock surveying buyers again...  (Read 25683 times)

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« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2012, 00:41 »
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Jeez!  a bit late in the day, isnt it?  maybe two years back. Having a site, search, CV, and not a million collections,  would ofcourse be a good start. Oh yes, nearly forgot,  looking after your life-support, namely the contributors wouldnt be a bad idea.

Surely, insulting and threatening contributors in their private communication isn't helping them, is it?


« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2012, 00:46 »
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This may be a case of "too little, too late" marketing. It's funny, remember back in 2010/11 when all the changes took place? And how a few customers closed their accounts and left on the forums? It was easy for Istock to say only a few accounts were closed, it was "business as usual, nothing to see here folks" and that was true. What they are discovering now is there a lot of open istock accounts with no credits. People spent what they had and are not buying any more. That lag time is now catching up with them so they are sending out "Hey we missed you!" emails.  I hope buyers will complain of the Getty images now populating the site and want a better filter for searches.

On a bit of the plus side, they are listening. I believe that the results of the contributor survey was one of the reasons some staff members were fired.

rubyroo

« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2012, 02:28 »
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I'd think it was a spoof if I hadn't seen the [email protected] they spout at people. The funniest bit is that after the uber-hip intro they then use "by gum", which hasn't been hips since before hips evolved.

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!

 :D

When I read 'by gum', I immediately thought of The Goodies in oversized flat caps singing 'Black Pudding Bertha' back in the 1970s.  I hope that's not a new trend in Calgary...

« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2012, 02:41 »
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interesting survey.
Because it tells us that they are having an internal debate and someone needs hard numbers to make his point.

it also shows us that they are living in a fantasy world of their own, but we knew that already.

« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2012, 02:52 »
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The 'by gum', made me cringe. I think I may have heard it in old American black and white movies, not that the films weren't good, they were jolly good as some people would say in a by gum gone era.  ;D

I remember how they spoke to me once.

Q. How do I say no to the new ASA?
A. Contact artists @istockphoto.com to close your account.

I was like, who are these people??

rubyroo

« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2012, 03:09 »
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Oh I never heard it in an American accent (or Canadian).  I'll probably hear it everywhere now you've said that.

That response you received was as if they viewed you as a complete time-waster.  Short, arrogant, dismissive.  Just so rude - and with what possible justification?  I wonder if this new survey means they have changed or will change that attitude.

« Reply #31 on: May 09, 2012, 03:11 »
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arrogance is their trademark.

And I would not say this, had I not been treated so badly for such long time that it has built up a craving for vengance.

« Reply #32 on: May 09, 2012, 03:17 »
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That response you received was as if they viewed you as a complete time-waster.  Short, arrogant, dismissive.  Just so rude..

Sorry, I wasn't clear before. It was their words in their forum, so actually addressed to all of us. But yes, when I read it 'arrogant' was the first adjective which sprung to mind.

« Reply #33 on: May 09, 2012, 04:52 »
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I wonder if this new survey means they have changed or will change that attitude.

No.  And would a change in attitude or pricing or whatever even matter at this point?  No...at least not from this indie's point of view.   

« Reply #34 on: May 09, 2012, 05:04 »
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They will not change the attitude.

Because they lulled themselves, their exclusives and their costumers into a belief that the provide the worlds best material.
Problem is that they dont, and it gets worse and worse.
There is now a  great difference between the exclusive IS material and what is provided globally via other agencies.

They live in a glass bowl.
There are cracks in it.

They are 3 years behind the global micro market. The mechanisms compare to those of the former east block, before the wall fell:
Refusing to face facts.
Arrogance towards the people.
Issuing false propaganda.
All laws only benifit the party.
All implemented actions only goes one way.
Resistance is erased and subdued.

Same old story.

antistock

« Reply #35 on: May 09, 2012, 09:14 »
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They will not change the attitude.

Because they lulled themselves, their exclusives and their costumers into a belief that the provide the worlds best material.
Problem is that they dont, and it gets worse and worse.
There is now a  great difference between the exclusive IS material and what is provided globally via other agencies.

They live in a glass bowl.
There are cracks in it.

They are 3 years behind the global micro market. The mechanisms compare to those of the former east block, before the wall fell:
Refusing to face facts.
Arrogance towards the people.
Issuing false propaganda.
All laws only benifit the party.
All implemented actions only goes one way.
Resistance is erased and subdued.

Same old story.

fully agree and i witnessed the same scenario in a few corporations i worked for years ago.

the issue is all about outselling the competition and their sales force is usually encouraged to live in a fantasy world and push the boundaries, no matter if the product is a pile of sh-it, their salesmen think if a product doesnt sell as expected the sales force is to blame, not the product itself, which can be true or not in many situation, as the pricing is dictated by the sales manager for instance, and so all the other promotions and obviously the contributors fees.

there cant be any negativity in a sales force, the sales force must be always kept in a positive mood with insane and wildly optimistic scenarios and especially with huge bonuses and career advances.

whoever "resist" is quickly blackmailed and finally fired at the first occasion, see istock's former CEO.

do you think these guys read istock forums ? no way, and if they ever do they would say we're just bad apples, not representative of their contributors.

now they're clueless about slumping sales and guess what, they will blame the recession and the former managers for not being aggressive enough.
i can tell you, if they do change something it will be more cuts in royalty fees and a jump in pricing of maybe 20-30%.

« Reply #36 on: May 09, 2012, 09:57 »
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Excuse my French, but what a bunch of f'ing morons. If they need a survey (which will probably not result in any meaningful changes anyway as other posters have mentioned) to figure out what's wrong then they truly are clueless. 

Prices are too high compared to other sites. Simple supply and demand. Who gives a crap about exclusivity? There's no value add in it for most buyers (and yes, I know a few buyers). Whether an image has been sold 1000 times on iStock or 1000 times across multiple sites really makes no difference.

I also used to buy things from iStock myself from time to time for small projects, and I now go elsewhere along with lots of others like me who made iStock what it was in its heyday. Everyone I know who's left to buy from competitors cited the ridiculous and frequent price increases as the primary reason not to mention the inept IT department they must have that can't seem to keep the site running smoothly. How quickly Getty forgets and how quickly greed has taken over. Such a shame.

traveler1116

« Reply #37 on: May 09, 2012, 11:09 »
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Who gives a crap about exclusivity? There's no value add in it for most buyers (and yes, I know a few buyers). Whether an image has been sold 1000 times on iStock or 1000 times across multiple sites really makes no difference.
IS exclusive files can only be found at IS, if you need a file that an exclusive artist made then you cannot get it from SS.  Prices can be higher because there is different content.  Prices remain low at the other sites because they all offer essentially the same product and compete by keeping prices low.

« Reply #38 on: May 09, 2012, 11:25 »
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Who gives a crap about exclusivity? There's no value add in it for most buyers (and yes, I know a few buyers). Whether an image has been sold 1000 times on iStock or 1000 times across multiple sites really makes no difference.
IS exclusive files can only be found at IS, if you need a file that an exclusive artist made then you cannot get it from SS.  Prices can be higher because there is different content.  Prices remain low at the other sites because they all offer essentially the same product and compete by keeping prices low.

How different are the exclusive files at istock or anywhere else? Can't similar non-exclusive files be found elsewhere? Exclusive images are still downloaded many times, so buyers don't have an edge over competitors, competitors are buying the same images too.

traveler1116

« Reply #39 on: May 09, 2012, 11:38 »
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How different are the exclusive files at istock or anywhere else? Can't similar non-exclusive files be found elsewhere? Exclusive images are still downloaded many times, so buyers don't have an edge over competitors, competitors are buying the same images too.
You'll have to do a search, there are some very unique exclusive artists though.  Similar images elsewhere might be an option for some but if a buyer finds the perfect exclusive image then they might choose it over a similar but not perfect for them nonexclusive image.  I'm not sure about the argument that exclusive images are downloaded lots so there is no advantage.  By that logic non exclusive files which are spread out over many sites including subscription sites have been downloaded many more times and would be even less of a value to buyers.  I don't think anyone has claimed that exclusive files are not allowed to be downloaded many times or that buyers think that's what it means.

« Reply #40 on: May 09, 2012, 11:46 »
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IS exclusive files can only be found at IS, if you need a file that an exclusive artist made then you cannot get it from SS.  Prices can be higher because there is different content.  Prices remain low at the other sites because they all offer essentially the same product and compete by keeping prices low.

I would have said this is untrue a couple years ago, but since I've been more carefully controlling the flow of my new images, there is something to be said for customers buying images that aren't available elsewhere. Not necessarily because the images are unique or special, but because when they find the image that they think is perfect, they buy it. If that image is only in limited places, they can only buy it there.

That said, IS's catalog is probably missing as much stuff (rare or otherwise) as it has exclusive content.

« Reply #41 on: May 09, 2012, 11:48 »
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IS exclusive files can only be found at IS...

Once upon a time that was true. Now, you find exclusive content all over the place in the Getty family, and some of the images from Getty (that got there via iStock exclusives' stuff being mirrored) on other sites as "Ocean". Then there's all the Getty wholly owned content (EdStock) and a bunch of material that's marked as iStock exclusive, but (like RubberBall) is sold on their own site, other sites and Getty.

Part of Getty hosing iStock exclusives was breaking the tight link between the site and certain content. While exclusive I was vehemently opposed to exclusives putting their images into the Partner Program - that was an own goal by contributors which helped Getty out. The waters are now so muddy that I don't think there is a clear notion for buyers what that "exclusive" crown really means any more.

antistock

« Reply #42 on: May 09, 2012, 11:53 »
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IS exclusive files can only be found at IS, if you need a file that an exclusive artist made then you cannot get it from SS.  Prices can be higher because there is different content.  Prices remain low at the other sites because they all offer essentially the same product and compete by keeping prices low.

i've always had mixed feelings about this.

first of all, are we sure buyers even know about exclusivity ?
secondly, do buyers even care to look the name of the photographer ?

third, if what they're searching for is hard to find on the micros, what about buying on getty/corbis/alamy ?

antistock

« Reply #43 on: May 09, 2012, 11:59 »
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The waters are now so muddy that I don't think there is a clear notion for buyers what that "exclusive" crown really means any more.

exactly !

microstock is not a boutique stock agency, it's the cheapest, rock bottom.
what's the reason for exclusivity as long as the only microstocker with a name in the industry is Yuri Arcurs ?

no micro buyers will ever search for our names or buy a picture because we give a somewhat added value, there's simply no added value at all, they couldn't care less who is the photographer and yes i'm sure they never also heard about exclusives and exclusivity, and why should they after all ?

helix7

« Reply #44 on: May 09, 2012, 11:59 »
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IS exclusive files can only be found at IS, if you need a file that an exclusive artist made then you cannot get it from SS.  Prices can be higher because there is different content.  Prices remain low at the other sites because they all offer essentially the same product and compete by keeping prices low.

I'm a buyer, a subscriber at SS, and there is nothing I've found at istock that I can't find a suitable replacement/similar for at SS. I've had clients refer to specific images at istock that they want to use, and I've always been able to find an equally effective (sometimes more effective) high-quality image at SS. I've never had to use istock for anything. Exclusivity only means I'd be paying more for something I can find an alternative for elsewhere.

« Reply #45 on: May 09, 2012, 12:05 »
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Exclusivity is only in the interest of the agency, so they can claim they have unique pictures when they try to sell their pool.

traveler1116

« Reply #46 on: May 09, 2012, 12:09 »
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IS exclusive files can only be found at IS, if you need a file that an exclusive artist made then you cannot get it from SS.  Prices can be higher because there is different content.  Prices remain low at the other sites because they all offer essentially the same product and compete by keeping prices low.

I'm a buyer, a subscriber at SS, and there is nothing I've found at istock that I can't find a suitable replacement/similar for at SS. I've had clients refer to specific images at istock that they want to use, and I've always been able to find an equally effective (sometimes more effective) high-quality image at SS. I've never had to use istock for anything. Exclusivity only means I'd be paying more for something I can find an alternative for elsewhere.
So if every image you could possibly want is already on SS I guess the game is over for all of us.  I don't think it is though and new, better, or different content will be produced, some by exclusives.  I just did a quick search on SS of some of the more unique travel locations I've been to and a few places had no images on SS.

traveler1116

« Reply #47 on: May 09, 2012, 12:11 »
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Exclusivity is only in the interest of the agency, so they can claim they have unique pictures when they try to sell their pool.
Obviously that's not true. 

« Reply #48 on: May 09, 2012, 12:17 »
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How different are the exclusive files at istock or anywhere else? Can't similar non-exclusive files be found elsewhere? Exclusive images are still downloaded many times, so buyers don't have an edge over competitors, competitors are buying the same images too.
You'll have to do a search, there are some very unique exclusive artists though.  Similar images elsewhere might be an option for some but if a buyer finds the perfect exclusive image then they might choose it over a similar but not perfect for them nonexclusive image.  I'm not sure about the argument that exclusive images are downloaded lots so there is no advantage.  By that logic non exclusive files which are spread out over many sites including subscription sites have been downloaded many more times and would be even less of a value to buyers.  I don't think anyone has claimed that exclusive files are not allowed to be downloaded many times or that buyers think that's what it means.

So if the aim of an exclusive collection is to attract more buyers, the more buyers an agency attracts because of these images, the less attractive it becomes for buyers as more and more are buying the same images. I've never understood the concept of exclusivity in microstock. Until now shutterstock have thought the same, yet they have tons of buyers and I'm sure many of them are now former istock buyers. I'd argue that buyers can find really decent images from non-exclusive material, enough to justify buyers buying cheaper elsewhere. It's microstock, it's supposed to be cheap and for everyone, that's why it took off. Use an image today, use a different one tomorrow type of thing.

traveler1116

« Reply #49 on: May 09, 2012, 12:46 »
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So if the aim of an exclusive collection is to attract more buyers, the more buyers an agency attracts because of these images, the less attractive it becomes for buyers as more and more are buying the same images. I've never understood the concept of exclusivity in microstock. Until now shutterstock have thought the same, yet they have tons of buyers and I'm sure many of them are now former istock buyers. I'd argue that buyers can find really decent images from non-exclusive material, enough to justify buyers buying cheaper elsewhere. It's microstock, it's supposed to be cheap and for everyone, that's why it took off. Use an image today, use a different one tomorrow type of thing.
Again, exclusive images don't mean that they won't be bought many times and they aren't advertised as such.  Exclusive files mean they are only sold at IS (for the most part, jsnover. I guess it's more correct to say within Getty) and not offered at other sites like SS, FT, 123rf, etc..   Like I said before the other sites compete mainly on price because content is nearly the same, IS can compete on content and charge more.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 12:48 by traveler1116 »


 

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