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Author Topic: Layoffs at istock  (Read 109052 times)

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WarrenPrice

« Reply #100 on: January 18, 2012, 10:23 »
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I wonder if those laid off received some type of "golden parachute" offer of a bonus to not trash-talk iS in return?

It's usually not wise to trash talk the company you just got canned from if you want to work in the same industry.

yep.


« Reply #101 on: January 18, 2012, 10:43 »
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Not knowing the reasons or facts this is very hard to grasp! These lay-offs may have been desperately needed. Sometimes you need to clean house some to get it in order. My sales at iStock have
been extremely strong this month. I don't see this as the company is dying. I truly feel for those who have lost their jobs as I was there 2 years ago. Funny iStock saved my family and now its
hurting others. Truly a sad day for those who lost their jobs!
Great to hear your sales are doing well. However, I don't believe that iStock's pricing is sustainable with all the competition that's now out there. Case in point, I've got an upcoming project, and I'll be using Shutterstock for the first time because I'll save over 50% over what I'd pay at iStock for comparable images.  I hate not supporting my own agency, but I'm on a limited budget. 

« Reply #102 on: January 18, 2012, 10:55 »
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Lets talk pricing. I mainly sell HD video and feel the pricing is very fair for the work I do. I shoot in places people can't get into and want a fair price for my footage.
Buyers will still stop by istock because they know there is a selection of files there that you can not find at any of the other sites. I am not in this for a race to the bottom.
I almost dropped my exclusivity last year but after doing a lot of research and math iStock was still the place to be. Now if my sales tank and buyers leave then I have no
trouble running as fast as I can to other agencies! Having a different selections at different price points is a good thing. My bet is you will see other agencies try the same
thing in the near future. Now you might think I am just a fan boy but not a chance. I hate how iStock tries to grab all the cash from our work and Getty has to be the worst
of all for greed and arrogance! My point is I do what is best for my business. This includes my time, time to me is a very important factor and if I can earn what I need from
submitting to only one agency and make a good income then I have more free time to shoot and be with my family. Each of us needs to do what is best for us. Others are
better off not being exclusive and I support and applaud  them!

« Reply #103 on: January 18, 2012, 11:08 »
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I don't know if I'm missing something, but I don't see any twitter action from iStock's account since Jan 16th. Could the social media person/people have been among those let go?

« Reply #104 on: January 18, 2012, 11:16 »
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Lets talk pricing. I mainly sell HD video and feel the pricing is very fair for the work I do. I shoot in places people can't get into and want a fair price for my footage.
Buyers will still stop by istock because they know there is a selection of files there that you can not find at any of the other sites. I am not in this for a race to the bottom.
I almost dropped my exclusivity last year but after doing a lot of research and math iStock was still the place to be. Now if my sales tank and buyers leave then I have no
trouble running as fast as I can to other agencies! Having a different selections at different price points is a good thing. My bet is you will see other agencies try the same
thing in the near future. Now you might think I am just a fan boy but not a chance. I hate how iStock tries to grab all the cash from our work and Getty has to be the worst
of all for greed and arrogance! My point is I do what is best for my business. This includes my time, time to me is a very important factor and if I can earn what I need from
submitting to only one agency and make a good income then I have more free time to shoot and be with my family. Each of us needs to do what is best for us. Others are
better off not being exclusive and I support and applaud  them!
Let's talk exclusivity. I would argue that a majority of buyers don't care. Unless you're buying RM images, how "exclusive" is an image really if it's been purchased by other buyers hundreds of times?  For my projects and for a couple of designers I know, exclusivity means nothing. If buyers want something truly exclusive, they'll pay for a RM license. 

KB

« Reply #105 on: January 18, 2012, 11:23 »
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Its just my guess, but I really think this points towards the beginning of iStock being absorbed into Getty (rather than operating as an independent site) as many other collections have. With that done, H+F can easily put Getty back on the market for resale. That's bound to happen sooner or later, and a streamlined Getty might be more easily sold.
Remember JJRD's post from August:
As I eluded to at the London iStockalypse, we are currently intensely involved in a massive ingestion, inspection and administration initiative, that will completely redefine how we address Content around here... and for the better. A stronger, more rational & fair system is in the works.

That sounded ominous to me at the time, and even more so now.

KB

« Reply #106 on: January 18, 2012, 11:26 »
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Let's talk exclusivity. I would argue that a majority of buyers don't care. Unless you're buying RM images, how "exclusive" is an image really if it's been purchased by other buyers hundreds of times?  For my projects and for a couple of designers I know, exclusivity means nothing. If buyers want something truly exclusive, they'll pay for a RM license. 
The appeal of exclusivity is simply that there are images which aren't available anywhere else.

So iStock becomes a site of last resort. If you can't find it anywhere else, then as a last ditch effort, try iStock and you might find something.

Great business plan, eh?

« Reply #107 on: January 18, 2012, 11:30 »
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Not sweat I am on your team! All I care is my ROI which includes my TIME. Its just working for me, iStock could pull the rug out today and I would be scrambling for sure. Non-Exclusive means a massive income drop for me from 35% to 18% and a drop in search. I can't afford that so I hope iStock keeps on rolling!

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #108 on: January 18, 2012, 11:38 »
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Its just my guess, but I really think this points towards the beginning of iStock being absorbed into Getty (rather than operating as an independent site) as many other collections have. With that done, H+F can easily put Getty back on the market for resale. That's bound to happen sooner or later, and a streamlined Getty might be more easily sold.

I fear some version of this is what is happening. I also think it is in poor taste that they haven't made some comment, however vague it might have to be, to address contributor concerns around these layoffs. it looks like Tyler Hellard was their social media guy. he posts Sept 2011 as his leave date from iStock on his website, and he started tweeting freely about things this week. makes me wonder if they were bound by some sort of gag agreement for a couple of months.

conjecture aside, it's such bad business they have kept contributors, seemingly intentionally, in the dark. particularly exclusives. I don't really care if it is Getty, iStock, H&F anymore. as far as I'm concerned, it's all the same selfish and stymied machine these days.

« Reply #109 on: January 18, 2012, 11:40 »
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Not sweat I am on your team! All I care is my ROI which includes my TIME. Its just working for me, iStock could pull the rug out today and I would be scrambling for sure. Non-Exclusive means a massive income drop for me from 35% to 18% and a drop in search. I can't afford that so I hope iStock keeps on rolling!
Trust me, I like the perks of exclusivity as much as you do and agree that we're on the same team. Increased visibility (depending on which way the best match winds are blowing for the day), Vetta sales, etc. I'm just concerned that the pricing they have in place now is what's driving customers away. 

If the economy were back to where it was before the 2008 debacle, I think the picture would be very different. But people are watching their pennies and going to where the value is. And I'm not sure iStock provides that value any longer for many customers which is why people are seeing the steep decline in DL's. 

wut

« Reply #110 on: January 18, 2012, 11:41 »
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As I don't know who was fired I cannot say if it's really bad news. IMO there were a lot of incompetent staff there, especially in IT department and communication/contributors relation team.
Maybe, even if I'm almost sure of the contrary, Getty wants to save IS, make customers and contributors happy?

Indeed, one of the scouts was once particularly rude and overly aggressive, I'm not exaggerating by saying he was worse than Lobo. He was behaving like a cornered animal, after I relatively strongly, but respectfully disagreed with inspector's rejection.

« Reply #111 on: January 18, 2012, 11:44 »
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conjecture aside, it's such bad business they have kept contributors, seemingly intentionally, in the dark. particularly exclusives. I don't really care if it is Getty, iStock, H&F anymore. as far as I'm concerned, it's all the same selfish and stymied machine these days.

I totally agree, however its been so long since they've been upfront and open about virtually anything, that I've long since given up hope for any sort of transparency.

Also - my other thought on the full merger with Getty is that it'll be a clean and easy way to knock ALL contributors down to 20% royalties if they move all the content to Getty proper.

« Reply #112 on: January 18, 2012, 11:46 »
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^ 20% for everyone and the content has to be supplied exclusively. Same as Getty, more or less.

« Reply #113 on: January 18, 2012, 11:53 »
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Could the social media person/people have been among those let go?

Who is now wearing those shoes needs to quickly make sure that they get properly on board with Google+. What gets shared via G+ is now significantly affecting Google search results. Not Twitter. Not Facebook.

« Reply #114 on: January 18, 2012, 12:03 »
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Also - my other thought on the full merger with Getty is that it'll be a clean and easy way to knock ALL contributors down to 20% royalties if they move all the content to Getty proper.

Not a chance. Getty can only get away with that because it pretty much owns the market in which it operates. Istock is no longer in a position of strength and is weakening further by the month.

« Reply #115 on: January 18, 2012, 12:05 »
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Well, I posted condolences to the staffmembers who lost their job on their Facebook wall and they were gone instantly, so someone is at home in the social media department.

« Reply #116 on: January 18, 2012, 12:14 »
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Indeed, one of the scouts was once particularly rude and overly aggressive, I'm not exaggerating by saying he was worse than Lobo. He was behaving like a cornered animal, after I relatively strongly, but respectfully disagreed with inspector's rejection.

Wow you bothered appealing to scout? what's their turn atound time like these days?

« Reply #117 on: January 18, 2012, 12:14 »
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LOL, pretty funny maybe we should all post on Facebook!

WarrenPrice

« Reply #118 on: January 18, 2012, 12:15 »
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LOL, pretty funny maybe we should all post on Facebook!

I like it... how do we get there?

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #119 on: January 18, 2012, 12:16 »
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Well, I posted condolences to the staffmembers who lost their job on their Facebook wall and they were gone instantly, so someone is at home in the social media department.

I have to say that I have participated very little in the FB iStock group, because it creeps me out that they are controlling the flow on information on Facebook. Facebook is a means for me to connect with my stock photo peers without moderation, and now it's basically moderated. I have little interest in participating in that.

obviously contributors are not valued, despite assertions that we are valued. you can only talk out of both sides of your mouth for so long before people get into self-protection mode. no matter what 'expertise' Getty has brought to the table, they've continued to ignore the foundation for the success of iStockphoto-its contributors. all it will take is another hero agency to swoop in and steal us all. Shutterstock, bump up your royalties and develop a strong PAYG model and you won't have much arm twisting to do.

makes me sad. I have truly loved iStockphoto as it was.

« Reply #120 on: January 18, 2012, 12:28 »
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Well, I posted condolences to the staffmembers who lost their job on their Facebook wall and they were gone instantly, so someone is at home in the social media department.


Interesting because there is a post up on their FaceBook page from 55 minutes ago that is still up.
http://www.facebook.com/istock?sk=wall&filter=1

« Reply #121 on: January 18, 2012, 12:31 »
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Facebook is a means for me to connect with my stock photo peers without moderation, and now it's basically moderated. I have little interest in participating in that.

I don't participate in any iStock FB groups and long ago blocked anyone and everyone associated with iStock - no need to have them butting into my life outside of iStock.

« Reply #122 on: January 18, 2012, 12:35 »
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wow, can't remember if i posted this a while back here on msg when i had a whine about my 2011 sales, but i was definetely thinking that eventually there would be layoff's at istock - its inevitable. What i didnt know was how quickly that would happen and this news has taken me by shock.

What im trying to work out is was this action a pre-emptive move before even rockier times at istock in an attempt to streamline their business? or are things really that bad that they had to make layoff's in desperation?

Just a theory but could this be good news for non-exclusives? istock may prioritise them higher in the search to gain better commissions. Exclusives may argue about their unique content blah blah blah, better for istock blah blah, however putting non-exclusives right up there at the front will almost defientely be quick way to make those margins larger. Just a thought.

One more thing, not to worry - if istock does go tits up, buyers will just disperse themselves into the other sites so im sure you can recoup the money.

« Reply #123 on: January 18, 2012, 12:42 »
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makes me sad. I have truly loved iStockphoto as it was.


"I have truly loved" ???? Do me a favour. It was supposed to be your agency and you should have maintained a business relationship with them. It was entirely because of all the ridiculous pom-pom waving that Istock thought it could get away with screwing all it's contributors and all it's customers.

I'd only have been sad if they had got away with it __ because all the other agencies would probably have followed them and we the contributors (including you) wouldn't have had a business anymore. Fortunately their greed has come back to bite them hard and I hope any other agency will take notice of Istock's downfall.

What I find most bizarre is that Istock are still slipping price increases in, although under the radar nowadays rather than the big announcements of the past. Have they learned nothing from the last 18 months?

Plenty more tweets from customers spreading the word about their dissatisfaction with Istock. Just scroll down;

http://twitter.com/#!/search/%40istock

« Reply #124 on: January 18, 2012, 12:45 »
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Istock gains more with exclusive files, because are more expensive and that compensates the comission difference.


 

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