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Author Topic: iStock/Shutterstock Download Comparisons  (Read 18623 times)

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« on: January 07, 2016, 16:53 »
+2
Investors keep asking if and when Getty will turnaround its Midstock division. Getty Images keeps promising that they can turn the fortunes of iStock around. iStock contributors may be interested in the comparison between iStock and Shutterstock that Ive published today. You can access the story for FREE at this link (http://www.selling-stock.com/Article/istockshutterstock-comparison). However, if you want to review the full text of any of the links in the story, there is a small charge.


« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2016, 18:55 »
0
Any light on video Dl's between the two?

« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2016, 19:18 »
+32
I think Getty has scored one of the most amazing own goals, and that they are right now left with very few options.

I've had a couple of conversations with analysts over the last couple of years where they've been trying to sanity check Getty's "it's all fixed now" claims. I think Getty has all the credibility of Melissa Meyer saying that Yahoo's on the road back to market dominance. Getty doesn't understand why they've had troubles so they keep "fixing" things that don't address the reasons customers have gone elsewhere. IMO.

There are a couple of notes on your history section. iStock has had two cracks at subscriptions, the second of which was in 2014. The first was in 2008:

http://www.stockphototalk.com/phototalk/2008/04/istockphoto.html

It had many good points but it was too complicated for buyers and never really went anywhere.

Another big issue was Getty not understanding that many iStock buyers were also contributors. They largely destroyed the relationship with small design firms and anyone left probably departed when they effectively jacked up the price of small size images by having one price for everything.

The web site has been in such a bad state of repair for so long - often as various "improvements" were deployed in broken states - that it was much easier to do business almost anywhere else

Another big issue about pricing is that it is impossible to comprehend why some images are three times the price of others. Bog standard stock images (and some of the Getty leftovers pushed to iStock would never have been approved prior to this) are overpriced. I think that leaves buyers feeling it's a hard place to shop for images - and Shutterstock has certainly harped on about a single price for everything (even though their corporate buyers pay different prices).

When Vetta was introduced, the tightly curated collection at a higher price was something almost anyone could grasp. Whether you agreed with the curation decisions or not, it was clear that there was some reasoning behind. After that, things really unraveled, starting with the Agency Collection.

For a while, Getty's message about iStock was effectively "don't shop there". On the iStock site, buyers were referred to Getty for more images. On Getty, they were referred to Thinkstock and vice versa. None of the Getty properties referred buyers back to iStock. There was a story from a contributor who worked at a design firm of a visit from Getty sales reps to his company where they told the company not to buy from iStock because it wasn't legally safe to use their images! Jonathan Klein was frequently snide about user-generated content on iStock.

It's possibly a small thing, but iStock used to be a place where the customers and the contributors could interact in the forums (there was a Request forum; designers could showcase designs which linked to the illustrations or photos used; there were Steel Cage matches and so on). Getty killed that all way before they closed the iStock forums. It's not possible to put a number on how much business that might have cost them, but I think this was part of the process of rendering iStock just one more stock site versus the buyer's first choice place to look.

If you add up the many little things done to drive buyers away over time, I think you see that once buyers moved to somewhere else as their first place to look and they were getting what they needed, you can't get them back by saying "Look! I'm not as bad as I used to be". Why would they switch if they're happy where they are?

Getty's best hope is for Shutterstock to really p*ss off its buyers somehow so they start looking for an alternative. I don't think the odds are good.

« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2016, 19:28 »
+1
Great read Jo Ann!

« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2016, 04:06 »
+5
Bang on target, as usual, Jo Ann. I suspect that the only power in the Getty empire that really understood iS was Bruce. There must have been others in the set-up who did (and probably some with influence who didn't) but they weren't allowed the authority they needed. As soon as Bruce left it all went tits-up as Getty bosses - some of whom openly despised iStock - decided to seize control of the policy-making.
You could see from their actions that they never regarded it as anything more than a dumping ground for [email protected], such as snapshots of toilet doors and stuff scanned upside down, so it's no wonder that this rubbed off on customers. I used to be in charge of a division of a company that was despised by the chief exec - even when it was propping up his favourite bit that was in financial trouble - and it's very destructive

« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2016, 04:47 »
+4
I think Getty has scored one of the most amazing own goals, and that they are right now left with very few options.

Jo Ann:

Getty executives should read your post carefully but I doubt they would grasp a thing. Unfortunately the management at Getty/Istock is that bad nowadays............

« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2016, 04:55 »
+5
I don't understand why any stock image library would ban Jo Ann rather than taking her on as an exec. Seriously.

« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2016, 05:24 »
+4
I think Getty has scored one of the most amazing own goals, and that they are right now left with very few options.

I've had a couple of conversations with analysts over the last couple of years where they've been trying to sanity check Getty's "it's all fixed now" claims. I think Getty has all the credibility of Melissa Meyer saying that Yahoo's on the road back to market dominance. Getty doesn't understand why they've had troubles so they keep "fixing" things that don't address the reasons customers have gone elsewhere. IMO.

There are a couple of notes on your history section. iStock has had two cracks at subscriptions, the second of which was in 2014. The first was in 2008:

http://www.stockphototalk.com/phototalk/2008/04/istockphoto.html

It had many good points but it was too complicated for buyers and never really went anywhere.

Another big issue was Getty not understanding that many iStock buyers were also contributors. They largely destroyed the relationship with small design firms and anyone left probably departed when they effectively jacked up the price of small size images by having one price for everything.

The web site has been in such a bad state of repair for so long - often as various "improvements" were deployed in broken states - that it was much easier to do business almost anywhere else

Another big issue about pricing is that it is impossible to comprehend why some images are three times the price of others. Bog standard stock images (and some of the Getty leftovers pushed to iStock would never have been approved prior to this) are overpriced. I think that leaves buyers feeling it's a hard place to shop for images - and Shutterstock has certainly harped on about a single price for everything (even though their corporate buyers pay different prices).

When Vetta was introduced, the tightly curated collection at a higher price was something almost anyone could grasp. Whether you agreed with the curation decisions or not, it was clear that there was some reasoning behind. After that, things really unraveled, starting with the Agency Collection.

For a while, Getty's message about iStock was effectively "don't shop there". On the iStock site, buyers were referred to Getty for more images. On Getty, they were referred to Thinkstock and vice versa. None of the Getty properties referred buyers back to iStock. There was a story from a contributor who worked at a design firm of a visit from Getty sales reps to his company where they told the company not to buy from iStock because it wasn't legally safe to use their images! Jonathan Klein was frequently snide about user-generated content on iStock.

It's possibly a small thing, but iStock used to be a place where the customers and the contributors could interact in the forums (there was a Request forum; designers could showcase designs which linked to the illustrations or photos used; there were Steel Cage matches and so on). Getty killed that all way before they closed the iStock forums. It's not possible to put a number on how much business that might have cost them, but I think this was part of the process of rendering iStock just one more stock site versus the buyer's first choice place to look.

If you add up the many little things done to drive buyers away over time, I think you see that once buyers moved to somewhere else as their first place to look and they were getting what they needed, you can't get them back by saying "Look! I'm not as bad as I used to be". Why would they switch if they're happy where they are?

Getty's best hope is for Shutterstock to really p*ss off its buyers somehow so they start looking for an alternative. I don't think the odds are good.


This sums up Getty's last 10 years of their self destruction

« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2016, 08:51 »
+3
Killing "classic view" as they recently announced is not going to help attracting new customers either. I dont understand GI obsession in eliminating options.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2016, 09:03 »
+4
Great read Jo Ann!
And FAR more incisive and insightful than the OP's weak and speculative offering.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2016, 09:32 »
+3
Killing "classic view" as they recently announced is not going to help attracting new customers either. I dont understand GI obsession in eliminating options.
Indeed, and now that they have got rid of description, we are supposed to put all relevant locations into the title as well as the keywords. Great, give us tons of extra work to make up for your stupid decisions. Way to go.
 But in new view, a lot of my files are 'scrambled', and editing files via classic view broke weeks ago. I'm not even sure if they've given us more words in our title, but anyway, they're truncated in the search and in the new view.
Eejits.

Rose Tinted Glasses

« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2016, 22:04 »
+4
Great post Jo Ann.

I guess very few people were impressed with Jonathan Klein interviewing the new CEO Dawn Airey.

Jonathan: Dawn isn't Getty Images great and so am I?
Dawn: Yes Jonathan you are great and so is Getty Images.

And they wonder why it's a sinking ship!


« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2016, 15:07 »
+3
Great post Jo Ann.

I guess very few people were impressed with Jonathan Klein interviewing the new CEO Dawn Airey.

Jonathan: Dawn isn't Getty Images great and so am I?
Dawn: Yes Jonathan you are great and so is Getty Images.

And they wonder why it's a sinking ship!

H&F made their money, bled the company dry, pissed off buyers and pissed on contributors, cast the nearly dead carcass aside. Since then it's been a ship with no rudder, a captain who imagines they are making headway, claiming progress, by random changes in direction, with no idea where they are actually heading.

It's sad to watch how they took a top agency and business, with excellent customer and artist relationships, and turned it into a bucket of dust.

« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2016, 13:14 »
+2
I think Getty has scored one of the most amazing own goals, and that they are right now left with very few options.

Jo Ann:

Getty executives should read your post carefully but I doubt they would grasp a thing. Unfortunately the management at Getty/Istock is that bad nowadays............
If they can read that is........they certainly can't read the 10ft high writing on the wall

« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2016, 15:58 »
+9
Getty never understood the social media and community aspect that made iStock work originally. They won't learn now. If they do learn now it is to late to rekindle the community. Photos were assets and people were not a part of their equation. Buyers and sellers, often one in the same people, understood or quickly learned the needs of the other. Getty would have nothing of this interaction between the dedicated site users. I remember one very hot long thread with Rebecca at the helm where we all unloaded on her and it seemed there might have been a glimpse of light. Then she disappeared. The upper Getty management apparently wanted the exact opposite of what the the community needed to continue.

As they say in many leagues of racing (cars, boats, etc.)... The easiest way to make $10,000 is to start with $100,000. Or in photography- the fastest way to make money is to sell your gear. Getty is well versed in this branch of competition. H&F and others just helped them out.

« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2016, 02:53 »
+1
Great post Jo Anne!.

One other thing Getty did that helped sink them was their aggressive use of "extortion letters" that tried to bully anyone who may have taken an image off the web that was rights managed. Now, some may have been guilty, but many were not or made an honest mistake. Getty's recruited law firms demanded outrageous payments, many times the fee of the original usage, regardless of reasons or willingness to remove the images. This went on for years and may be still happening. The result was a worldwide association for designers and clients that Getty is an evil litigious, ruthless, empire and should be avoided.

I ran a large design firm and used photos of our work for our portfolio section of our website. The photos had been purchased for print. Getty found the images on our site and demanded over one hundred, thousand dollars in damages. (they never got a penny). I explained to them that the samples of my work gets me more business and then I can buy more photos from Getty. They just wanted their money.

I am sure many companies worldwide paid the extortion and Getty saw this as a significant source of income, but the damage to the Getty name is irreparable.

« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2016, 18:12 »
+2
Jo Ann

Thanks a lot for your comments. They are very enlightening and provide great insight.

« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2016, 20:42 »
+8
I ran a large design firm and used photos of our work for our portfolio section of our website. The photos had been purchased for print. Getty found the images on our site and demanded over one hundred, thousand dollars in damages.

Well, if you purchased them for print, and then they were used on the web, you violated the license.  Seems pretty simple.

« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2016, 03:52 »
+2
honest mistake or not they need to pay for the licence, there is no such thing as hiding behind ignorance

« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2016, 03:53 »
0
good read joann, sums it up nicely


 

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