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Author Topic: iStocks 2cent Royalties Whats Going On?  (Read 12765 times)

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Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« on: April 23, 2018, 02:45 »
0

Dear fellow contributors,

Here's my take on the whole 2cent iStock debacle:

https://brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2018/04/22/istocks-2cent-royalties-whats-going-on/

Best regards,

Alex


derek

    This user is banned.
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2018, 02:48 »
+5
better then 1c debacle! ;D ;D

« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2018, 03:15 »
+18
I say every contributor should combine and put this agency out of its misery otherwise a day will come when every agency will follow suit and none of us will make anything.

« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2018, 03:28 »
0
The likes of Picfair will get nowhere as long as us contributors continue to feed the lower paying sites...I bet 95% of buyers don't really care about contributors...yes I contribute to them.......one of my favourite catch 22 quotes "From now on I'm thinking only of me. Major Danby replied indulgently with a superior smile: But, Yossarian, suppose everyone felt that way?
Then, said Yossarian, I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way, wouldn't I?

« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2018, 03:45 »
+8
Well to be honest as long as every one out there keeps uploading to these carpet baggers then stock producers get everything they deserve.

I pulled out of Isuck when they started messing us around and I haven't lost anything.  In fact my earnings have gone up thanks to Envato and Alamy.

ShadySue

« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2018, 05:16 »
+3

Dear fellow contributors,

Here's my take on the whole 2cent iStock debacle:

https://brutallyhonestmicrostock.com/2018/04/22/istocks-2cent-royalties-whats-going-on/

Best regards,

Alex

Good blog post, though I think you've missed Premium Access, whereby buyers pay a premium to access a much wider selection of files across Getty then get each file for a lower price. Getty pockets the premium, we get a percentage of the reduced sale, and we don't know how much the buyer actually paid.

Still, it can be bizarre what sells and for how much- a while back I earned $50 for a photo of a bow I'd bought in a pack of 3 at a pound shop. It was an iS file which was sold through Getty, for which I get only 20%, so the buyer had paid an unbelievable $250 (pre-PA).

Sadly, unlike Sammy, Alamy is coming nowhere near to making up my iS income.

« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2018, 05:27 »
+2
Your article is exactly what I feel about IS.

I am dreaming about dropping them and their infamous 2 cents sales. However, in my earnings reports, IS is along with sales level for me).

The solution I've found? Well, reducing the time spent on editing. The appearance is still looking ok, I still have sales, but I'm saving time that I can reuse on something more constructive.


Brasilnut

  • Author Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock & Blog

« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2018, 05:41 »
0
Quote
Good blog post, though I think you've missed Premium Access, whereby buyers pay a premium to access a much wider selection of files across Getty then get each file for a lower price. Getty pockets the premium, we get a percentage of the reduced sale, and we don't know how much the buyer actually paid.

Thanks for your insight.

I updated the post quoting you above. Hope it's OK with you :)

« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2018, 06:15 »
+1
I don't know if i cannibalizing myself by uploading to iStock, because i also upload to EyeEm?

EyeEm sends "premium" images to Getty

« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2018, 08:39 »
+4
One problem with talking about the 'two cent' issue is that there are actually two problems:

1) iStock has the lowest industry commission rate (for non-exclusives)
2) iStock removed the minimum guarantee per sale when they started paying 15% (for non-exclusives) for subscription sales.

The 15% has been around for a long-time and we all know it to be the major cost of working with IS. The new loss of the minimum guarantee is a different problem, and that's what produces the 2 cent sales. I've been carefully tracking my subscription royalties at iStock since they switched to a % on subs rather than the minimum guarantee. I took 4-6 months off from uploading to them to see what happened and have now resumed uploading, including the files that didn't get to iStock during my hiatus.

I hate getting 2 cent sales but I don't get very many and on average, the RPD for my sub sales only hasn't dipped below 50 cents. Which means I am actually getting more from them with the switch than without the switch (otherwise, my RPD for subs would be the minimum price of 28 cents). I don't love it but I can't justify hating it either.

Now, the 15% rate. Yeah, I totally hate that. But I have always known that's what I signed up for.

niktol

« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2018, 09:23 »
0
See how much you make with them. Estimate how much you could have made without them. Use reasonable assumptions. Not an exact science, but ballpark.

My (imperfect) assessment is that they are still in the black for me, but I am watching them.

« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2018, 09:53 »
+1
See how much you make with them. Estimate how much you could have made without them. Use reasonable assumptions. Not an exact science, but ballpark.

My (imperfect) assessment is that they are still in the black for me, but I am watching them.
It is certain what you make with them but I can't see how what you make without them is anything other than a simple guess what assumptions would you use?

niktol

« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2018, 10:05 »
0
See how much you make with them. Estimate how much you could have made without them. Use reasonable assumptions. Not an exact science, but ballpark.

My (imperfect) assessment is that they are still in the black for me, but I am watching them.
It is certain what you make with them but I can't see how what you make without them is anything other than a simple guess what assumptions would you use?

It's largely guesswork for now, but then there is a higher limit and a lower limit, which are accurate numbers. I am still experimenting with where in between the numbers would lie. Basically the primary question is what percentage of customers move over to another source if this one disappears. It's an interesting problem that may or may not be possible to solve experimentally or otherwise.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 10:18 by niktol »

« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2018, 11:18 »
+2
See how much you make with them. Estimate how much you could have made without them. Use reasonable assumptions. Not an exact science, but ballpark.

My (imperfect) assessment is that they are still in the black for me, but I am watching them.
It is certain what you make with them but I can't see how what you make without them is anything other than a simple guess what assumptions would you use?


It's largely guesswork for now, but then there is a higher limit and a lower limit, which are accurate numbers. I am still experimenting with where in between the numbers would lie. Basically the primary question is what percentage of customers move over to another source if this one disappears. It's an interesting problem that may or may not be possible to solve experimentally or otherwise.
My guess would be most buyers have one primary supplier and would only look outside if they couldn't find what they wanted there. So the more distinctive your work the more likely they would look outside that rather than find something on their preferred site. I suppose if you stopped uploading or uploaded say 50% of your images of equal quality and compared you might be able to draw some conclusions......

« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2018, 15:34 »
+2
Well to be honest as long as every one out there keeps uploading to these carpet baggers then stock producers get everything they deserve.

I pulled out of Isuck when they started messing us around and I haven't lost anything.  In fact my earnings have gone up thanks to Envato and Alamy.
I deleted my account when Istock introduced the insult of 0.02.
That was one of the easiest, and best decisions I have made regarding stock.

Now thanks to skipping cheap sites my sales are up. It makes no sense to compete with oneself and offer the same images at 0.02, 2.00,  22.00, or 222.00 on different sites. Which do you think buyers want to pay?


« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2018, 16:07 »
+2
This is what I think. Buyers are lazy. Buyers get use to one site and buy on that site. They don't shop around. To much time and way to much work for them to shop around. I don't like the low prices but I say to you all please leave Istock. Shut down your account in protest.  For me I still get a good monthly check even with the few 2 cent sales. I even still pick up pennies on the street when I see one....... W.Scott McGill

« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2018, 16:44 »
+1
One problem with talking about the 'two cent' issue is that there are actually two problems:

1) iStock has the lowest industry commission rate (for non-exclusives)
2) iStock removed the minimum guarantee per sale when they started paying 15% (for non-exclusives) for subscription sales.

The 15% has been around for a long-time and we all know it to be the major cost of working with IS. The new loss of the minimum guarantee is a different problem, and that's what produces the 2 cent sales. I've been carefully tracking my subscription royalties at iStock since they switched to a % on subs rather than the minimum guarantee. I took 4-6 months off from uploading to them to see what happened and have now resumed uploading, including the files that didn't get to iStock during my hiatus.

I hate getting 2 cent sales but I don't get very many and on average, the RPD for my sub sales only hasn't dipped below 50 cents. Which means I am actually getting more from them with the switch than without the switch (otherwise, my RPD for subs would be the minimum price of 28 cents). I don't love it but I can't justify hating it either.

Now, the 15% rate. Yeah, I totally hate that. But I have always known that's what I signed up for.

2c is a minimum guarantee per sale, therefore 2c could be better than 15%.  It only kicks in when Istock want to increase market share by offering large discounts on large yearly packs, discounts large enough to mean less than 2c without the minimum guarantee.  If they are taking market share your earnings elsewhere is sure to decrease.  Shutterstock contributors have already suffered a knock on effect besides losing buyers of large packs to Istock, they followed suit by reducing small packs to On Demand prices or less and giving a percentage to contributors.  By putting contributors on a percentage for subs both Istock and Shutterstock can make a profit no matter how much they discount to chase market share, and why not it's mostly our stock they are playing with, no loss to them.  So far they have not felt the need to discount as much as they could, but it's only a matter of time.  Contributors are complicit by allowing this and by allowing this give permission to agencies to push prices lower.  Would you sign up to 15% of heavily discounted subs now?

niktol

« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2018, 20:47 »
0
My guess would be most buyers have one primary supplier and would only look outside if they couldn't find what they wanted there. So the more distinctive your work the more likely they would look outside that rather than find something on their preferred site. I suppose if you stopped uploading or uploaded say 50% of your images of equal quality and compared you might be able to draw some conclusions......

That's pretty much how I see it too. In the end, you draw a straight line through two extremes, and  if you need 80% of buyers to migrate to break even, nope, ain't gonna happen. If it's 30% or less, maybe it's time to think about it and try a few things. Could be as simple as that.

« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2018, 02:25 »
+3
This is what I think. Buyers are lazy. Buyers get use to one site and buy on that site. They don't shop around. To much time and way to much work for them to shop around. I don't like the low prices but I say to you all please leave Istock. Shut down your account in protest.  For me I still get a good monthly check even with the few 2 cent sales. I even still pick up pennies on the street when I see one....... W.Scott McGill

I don't think buyers are stuck with one agency, it is just wishful thinking from image providers. It is free and easy to create an account, and think of all the offers the stock agencies for new customers. You get images free. The crazy prices, which we all know too well.
 
No one has too much money, and there are budgets, so why would buyers be careless when it comes to images? And why spend too much on images, in particular, when they don't have to?

When people shop online, they compare products and what's cheaper on other web shops. There are websites only for comparing prices accross the web. How would buying photos be any different? Image providers see it "special" but for image buyers it is nothing special, they just buy an image for a need.

The easiest way to shop online - and to buy an image online - is to search via Google. Most stock agencies are well represented there. Just tell Google what you want and see a wide array of images.

I'm surprised that so many talented contributors still continue to devaluate their work at 0.02.
Even worse, if you begin to come up with excuses why you should keep this up.












« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2018, 02:42 »
+2
This is what I think. Buyers are lazy. Buyers get use to one site and buy on that site. They don't shop around. To much time and way to much work for them to shop around. I don't like the low prices but I say to you all please leave Istock. Shut down your account in protest.  For me I still get a good monthly check even with the few 2 cent sales. I even still pick up pennies on the street when I see one....... W.Scott McGill

I don't think buyers are stuck with one agency, it is just wishful thinking from image providers. It is free and easy to create an account, and think of all the offers the stock agencies for new customers. You get images free. The crazy prices, which we all know too well.
 
No one has too much money, and there are budgets, so why would buyers be careless when it comes to images? And why spend too much on images, in particular, when they don't have to?

When people shop online, they compare products and what's cheaper on other web shops. There are websites only for comparing prices accross the web. How would buying photos be any different? Image providers see it "special" but for image buyers it is nothing special, they just buy an image for a need.

The easiest way to shop online - and to buy an image online - is to search via Google. Most stock agencies are well represented there. Just tell Google what you want and see a wide array of images.

I'm surprised that so many talented contributors still continue to devaluate their work at 0.02.
Even worse, if you begin to come up with excuses why you should keep this up.
People that work in Corporates and even moderately large businesses can't usually just open an account on a whim. When I was at work I had to buy from "approved" suppliers I couldn't just buy what ever I wanted.

vonkara

« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2018, 02:46 »
+1
It's amazing how many refer them as "buyers" as they were your next door neighbor, when they are big graphic designer agency accounts for the most part. Usually many graphic designer share the same company account and buy in bulk account owned subscription.

These companies are far from shopping around for cheaper price (accounts are usually playing with several thousand dollar budgets / month). They search for the best and MOST images constantly. That's why you guys doesn't make a dime at your dollar store photo agency that just open you're calling "low earners" and where your portfolios has more assets than sales.

Anyway. This forum really doesn't display much good info/insights anymore :)

« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2018, 05:41 »
+1
It's amazing how many refer them as "buyers" as they were your next door neighbor, when they are big graphic designer agency accounts for the most part. Usually many graphic designer share the same company account and buy in bulk account owned subscription.

These companies are far from shopping around for cheaper price (accounts are usually playing with several thousand dollar budgets / month). They search for the best and MOST images constantly. That's why you guys doesn't make a dime at your dollar store photo agency that just open you're calling "low earners" and where your portfolios has more assets than sales.

Anyway. This forum really doesn't display much good info/insights anymore :)

I don't know how it works for graphic design, but it's far from being the only business using pictures. In most of the cases, at least for photos, the firm will need some disposable image, in low or medium resolution, to illustrate something, in an acceptable quality.

That being said, they will look for the best deal, between the size of the portfolio and its price, and get one, maybe a few contracts, but will definitely not browse for hours to get a picture among others, except if they are looking for something specific, where they will actually agree on some much higher price.

That is what I have definitely seen working in marketing. Quality is a parameter, but not necessarily the main, especially when the image is just a part of a greater project.

niktol

« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2018, 07:35 »
+3
And I even met some of those buying from "big graphic designer agency accounts". It's typically a person who needs a pic or two for a monthly issue of "News in Happyville" sharing her working hours between "big graphic designing" and being a secretary.

« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2018, 10:29 »
0
One problem with talking about the 'two cent' issue is that there are actually two problems:

1) iStock has the lowest industry commission rate (for non-exclusives)
2) iStock removed the minimum guarantee per sale when they started paying 15% (for non-exclusives) for subscription sales.

The 15% has been around for a long-time and we all know it to be the major cost of working with IS. The new loss of the minimum guarantee is a different problem, and that's what produces the 2 cent sales. I've been carefully tracking my subscription royalties at iStock since they switched to a % on subs rather than the minimum guarantee. I took 4-6 months off from uploading to them to see what happened and have now resumed uploading, including the files that didn't get to iStock during my hiatus.

I hate getting 2 cent sales but I don't get very many and on average, the RPD for my sub sales only hasn't dipped below 50 cents. Which means I am actually getting more from them with the switch than without the switch (otherwise, my RPD for subs would be the minimum price of 28 cents). I don't love it but I can't justify hating it either.

Now, the 15% rate. Yeah, I totally hate that. But I have always known that's what I signed up for.

2c is a minimum guarantee per sale, therefore 2c could be better than 15%.  It only kicks in when Istock want to increase market share by offering large discounts on large yearly packs, discounts large enough to mean less than 2c without the minimum guarantee.  If they are taking market share your earnings elsewhere is sure to decrease.  Shutterstock contributors have already suffered a knock on effect besides losing buyers of large packs to Istock, they followed suit by reducing small packs to On Demand prices or less and giving a percentage to contributors.  By putting contributors on a percentage for subs both Istock and Shutterstock can make a profit no matter how much they discount to chase market share, and why not it's mostly our stock they are playing with, no loss to them.  So far they have not felt the need to discount as much as they could, but it's only a matter of time.  Contributors are complicit by allowing this and by allowing this give permission to agencies to push prices lower.  Would you sign up to 15% of heavily discounted subs now?

You are totally right that 2 cents is a minimum guarantee. I thought about correcting the language in my post but was too lazy (sorry). I should have said that IS removed the cap on subscriptions. Subs used to net a guaranteed 28 cents, not under and not over. Switching to the percentage has therefore increased my overall subscription RPD because it used to be 28 cents and is now > 50 cents.

Paulo M. F. Pires

  • "No Gods No Masters"
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2018, 13:45 »
0
Is just me or via "Getty Connect" we can as low as... 0,00075?

Moreover in the statement file (and site ) I don't see any downloads ( and the infamous 0,02 usually are reported ).

Deepmeta bug?

EDIT: Yes, I was living in a cave last year... And Yes I'm just waiting to reach minimum payout ( next month ).
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 13:50 by Paulo M. F. Pires »


 

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