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Author Topic: Layoffs at istock  (Read 108910 times)

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« Reply #175 on: January 18, 2012, 18:51 »
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You should care should one major agency collapse. It would have a huge impact in the industry, and it leaves contributors at the mercy of fewer major agencies. The best outcome would be a return to cultivating strong community relations with contributors.

R U Sirius?  iStock is the major agency least inclined to show mercy to suppliers, customers or, it now appears, staff. Their disappearance from the world of microstock would suit me just fine, both because of my own experiences with them and as a warning to anyone else who would attempt to strong-arm suppliers into accepting a terrible deal.  And make no mistake: 16 cents on every dollar they take in is an insult.

IS is the only place keeping up image costs and royalties.  Without them, you'd be getting $.10 from SS and images at DT would be $.50 .

Let's not forget it was Shutterstock contributors who fought for the first Enhanced License.  IS doesn't deserve the credit for everything.


Noodles

« Reply #176 on: January 18, 2012, 18:52 »
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IS is the only place keeping up image costs and royalties.  Without them, you'd be getting $.10 from SS and images at DT would be $.50 .

How do you work that out? SS started out at 20c minimum.

Btw, Istock started out as free. Them were the days eh?

It could go either way. If IS disappears then SS will dominate and perhaps raise prices!

« Reply #177 on: January 18, 2012, 18:57 »
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IS is the only place keeping up image costs and royalties.  Without them, you'd be getting $.10 from SS and images at DT would be $.50 .

... and yet, WITH them, us indies can get $0.7c and $0.10c FROM them.  Less than we get anywhere else.

"us indies" can always go exclusive and get a fair price for your work, a higher commision and so on. (much MORE then you get anywhere else).

rubyroo

« Reply #178 on: January 18, 2012, 18:59 »
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No thanks.  I have no idea what they'll do at any given point in time.  I find independence a steadier vessel.

« Reply #179 on: January 18, 2012, 19:04 »
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IS is the only place keeping up image costs and royalties.  Without them, you'd be getting $.10 from SS and images at DT would be $.50 .

... and yet, WITH them, us indies can get $0.7c and $0.10c FROM them.  Less than we get anywhere else.

"us indies" can always go exclusive and get a fair price for your work, a higher commision and so on. (much MORE then you get anywhere else).

For many, going exclusive doesn't make economic sense.  When I was considering it years ago, the numbers showed a significant loss of income, even if my sales doubled.  Even more than the loss of income, the biggest drawback was IS wouldn't accept images from my bread-and-butter collection that sustains me to this day.  Where would I have been able to sell them, if IS wouldn't accept them?  Nowhere. 

« Reply #180 on: January 18, 2012, 19:16 »
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You should care should one major agency collapse. It would have a huge impact in the industry, and it leaves contributors at the mercy of fewer major agencies. The best outcome would be a return to cultivating strong community relations with contributors.

Considering I no longer have files there, it would probably have a beneficial impact for me. To be honest though, all the big 4 sites are kind of parasites on the industry. They brought us falling royalties and overly cutthroat subscription plans. They all share the blame. I'd love to see those sales get spread out to smaller better paying sites.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 19:19 by cthoman »

« Reply #181 on: January 18, 2012, 19:33 »
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IS is the only place keeping up image costs and royalties.  Without them, you'd be getting $.10 from SS and images at DT would be $.50 .

You have that backwards.  iStock's the one paying me nine cent royalties.  SS's minimum is four times that.  Oh, and iStock's the one that cut my royalties by 20%.  You know how many times SS has reduced royalties?  Never, that's how many.

lisafx

« Reply #182 on: January 18, 2012, 19:35 »
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"us indies" can always go exclusive and get a fair price for your work, a higher commision and so on. (much MORE then you get anywhere else).

Is this suggestion actually meant to be taken seriously?!! Or am I having a flashback to two years ago? Istok is in total freefall.  No informed person in their right mind would consider going exclusive now.All the momentum is moving the other way.  You probably will be too, and sooner than you think.

« Reply #183 on: January 18, 2012, 19:58 »
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Istok is in total freefall.  No informed person in their right mind would consider going exclusive now.All the momentum is moving the other way.  You probably will be too, and sooner than you think.

True! We're in for a very interesting year as exclusives ditch their crowns. I reckon more than 50% of current exclusives will be independent by the end of the year.

« Reply #184 on: January 18, 2012, 20:02 »
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"us indies" can always go exclusive and get a fair price for your work, a higher commision and so on. (much MORE then you get anywhere else).

Is this suggestion actually meant to be taken seriously?!! Or am I having a flashback to two years ago? Istok is in total freefall.  No informed person in their right mind would consider going exclusive now.All the momentum is moving the other way.  You probably will be too, and sooner than you think.
Maybe... I'm having a hard time seeing earning as much per sale by going non-exclusive as I do as exclusive. It's not just the significantly higher royalty rate but the higher price points.

Seems like it would take a lot of SS and DT sales to make up for 1 large Vetta sale, or even 1 medium E+ sale.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #185 on: January 18, 2012, 20:06 »
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Istok is in total freefall.  No informed person in their right mind would consider going exclusive now.All the momentum is moving the other way.  You probably will be too, and sooner than you think.

True! We're in for a very interesting year as exclusives ditch their crowns. I reckon more than 50% of current exclusives will be independent by the end of the year.
I often wonder if that's what they're hoping, but they probably want to retain a few high ranking exclusives and get shot of us riffraff.

helix7

« Reply #186 on: January 18, 2012, 20:13 »
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"us indies" can always go exclusive and get a fair price for your work, a higher commision and so on. (much MORE then you get anywhere else).

I love the RPD arguement. Apparently that's all it takes to keep many people exclusive.

RPD doesn't pay the bills. Good monthly totals do.

« Reply #187 on: January 18, 2012, 20:25 »
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"us indies" can always go exclusive and get a fair price for your work, a higher commision and so on. (much MORE then you get anywhere else).


I love the RPD arguement. Apparently that's all it takes to keep many people exclusive.

RPD doesn't pay the bills. Good monthly totals do.

I guess we'll have to wait and see the results of the 2011 survey (2010 here: http://blog.microstockgroup.com/microstock-income-vs-portfolio-size/) to see if the average exclusive income is still over 3x the average independent.

(ETA: not trying to be snarky, but putting data out there that supports my position without giving you my personal numbers.)
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 20:27 by adamkaz »

jbarber873

« Reply #188 on: January 18, 2012, 20:29 »
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IS is the only place keeping up image costs and royalties.  Without them, you'd be getting $.10 from SS and images at DT would be $.50 .

    No, actually, without Istock I'd still be getting $1500 per sale at Corbis. Contributors make the mistake of thinking that just because something existed in a certain form at one point it will always be that way. Corbis and Getty had their day, Istock had it's day, and just as sure all the rest of the microstock sites are going to feel the effects of competition. If IStock gets folded into a dying Getty, and SS someday pays $.10 per download, then contributors better have a plan. Wishing for the old days is not a plan.

« Reply #189 on: January 18, 2012, 20:34 »
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Exclusive at iStock is the only way to make real money! :-) "Runs for cover"

velocicarpo

« Reply #190 on: January 18, 2012, 20:36 »
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It's not a salary that will make people happy!

rsrsrsrsrsrs....a good and sarcastic one :D

« Reply #191 on: January 18, 2012, 20:53 »
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"us indies" can always go exclusive and get a fair price for your work, a higher commision and so on. (much MORE then you get anywhere else).

There are a number of indies who are ex-exclusives. From my point of view "fair" ended in September 2010.

Now I'm back with fewer dollars per transaction in many cases (not all) and more transactions. It's the monthly total for my porfolio that I measure.

Even so, many of my iStock extended licenses are less than the $28 I make at SS. The $3.37 I earned last week from a medium at DT beats most of the large sales I've had at iStock. The Single sales at SS are more than most of my large and some XL and up sales at iStock . $2.28 for an XS at CanStock's parent beats every iStock XS. This notion that everything at iStock is much more is just a massive oversimplification.

helix7

« Reply #192 on: January 18, 2012, 21:03 »
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I guess we'll have to wait and see the results of the 2011 survey (2010 here: http://blog.microstockgroup.com/microstock-income-vs-portfolio-size/) to see if the average exclusive income is still over 3x the average independent.

(ETA: not trying to be snarky, but putting data out there that supports my position without giving you my personal numbers.)


I'm sure it will be, especially this year. Exclusives seem less hurt by the decline in the latter half of the year.

Even so, as long as my istock earnings are still less than 1/10th of what I'm getting from all of the other microstock agencies, RPD is a pretty meaningless statistic to me. For exclusives especially, RPD at istock is quite high. But I'm more interested in the bottom line at the end of the month, and in that regard istock doesn't even come close. Not now, not if I were exclusive, not even if istock let me be exclusive and paid me 100% royalties. It still wouldn't put as much money in my pocket as being independent does.

« Reply #193 on: January 18, 2012, 22:07 »
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I guess we'll have to wait and see the results of the 2011 survey (2010 here: http://blog.microstockgroup.com/microstock-income-vs-portfolio-size/) to see if the average exclusive income is still over 3x the average independent.

(ETA: not trying to be snarky, but putting data out there that supports my position without giving you my personal numbers.)


I'm sure it will be, especially this year. Exclusives seem less hurt by the decline in the latter half of the year.

Even so, as long as my istock earnings are still less than 1/10th of what I'm getting from all of the other microstock agencies, RPD is a pretty meaningless statistic to me. For exclusives especially, RPD at istock is quite high. But I'm more interested in the bottom line at the end of the month, and in that regard istock doesn't even come close. Not now, not if I were exclusive, not even if istock let me be exclusive and paid me 100% royalties. It still wouldn't put as much money in my pocket as being independent does.


I'm glad to hear that istock is such a small percent of your income. Gives me hope that the alternative to exclusivity is viable, if it comes to that for me. A sense of comfort.

« Reply #194 on: January 18, 2012, 22:16 »
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I don't understand why they are still promoting that Feast website, in light of these layoffs. I'm still trying to figure out the benefit of that to them. Seems a waste of resources. Does anyone even visit that site?

« Reply #195 on: January 18, 2012, 23:13 »
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I don't know how Feast is doing, but other than giving it a look-see when it was new, I haven't been back. I thought it was a poor use of resources when they started it (largely because there were so many bugs still not fixed in the main site). It may be that it's aimed at a different audience from those who hang out here, or it may just be an attempt to get back to an active community in a more controllable way (non-starter IMO).

SNP

  • Canadian Photographer
« Reply #196 on: January 18, 2012, 23:44 »
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iStock offers a brand, an exclusive product, and higher prices for a (generally) better standard of image. at least that is what they used to do, very well.

those waiting gleefully for their demise should be very careful what they wish for. the impact on prices and commission structures in microstock on the whole could be huge if something were to go down with iStock. again, the best outcome would be a visible return to contributor relations. a brave and bold Jerry Maguire move---doing the right thing and leading the way, even if it means a short-term hit to the bottomline that increases longevity and their position as a leader that offers exclusive content unavailable elsewhere. and the way to build that exclusive content is to make contributors happy. sweeten the deal for us and demand exclusivity. win-win.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 01:41 by SNP »

« Reply #197 on: January 19, 2012, 00:39 »
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I'm a firm believer that iStock will just become one more brand under the Getty main website such as the countless others.  They probably bought iStock with that in mind, dismantle the micro-stock model while at the same time milk it out of existence.  That would bring commissions to 25% or 20% across the board and prices probably will go up a bit or stay elevated.  If this turns out to be bad for the bottom line remains to be seen but it all points to iStock becoming less of an independent entity.

One thing I'm sure they see as a benefit is that iStock by being a Canadian company, enjoys a much lower regulation overhead and corporate tax than if it was based in the US.  Getty might just open a mailbox and registry in Switzerland and enjoy one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world, folding all companies into the main Getty behemoth.

nruboc

« Reply #198 on: January 19, 2012, 01:09 »
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IS is the only place keeping up image costs and royalties.  Without them, you'd be getting $.10 from SS and images at DT would be $.50 .

    No, actually, without Istock I'd still be getting $1500 per sale at Corbis. Contributors make the mistake of thinking that just because something existed in a certain form at one point it will always be that way. Corbis and Getty had their day, Istock had it's day, and just as sure all the rest of the microstock sites are going to feel the effects of competition. If IStock gets folded into a dying Getty, and SS someday pays $.10 per download, then contributors better have a plan. Wishing for the old days is not a plan.

Great post, funny that some think their exclusive agency is the end all be all

nruboc

« Reply #199 on: January 19, 2012, 01:13 »
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in the spirit of transparency...

one post was removed because it didn't add anything to the conversation and only served as an insult to one of the employees of iStock (even if it was simply meant as light humor)

The post wasn't really all that bad, and perhaps border line if it needed to be removed at all, but this thread has really been a great discussion so far and I don't want it to degrade into cheap insults.

Wow, my apologies for trying to input some levity into this thread, a chimp in front of a computer with a Lobo reference.... I should have known better, starting to feel like IStock around here.


 

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