MicrostockGroup

Agency Based Discussion => iStockPhoto.com => Topic started by: helix7 on January 17, 2012, 18:35

Title: Layoffs at istock
Post by: helix7 on January 17, 2012, 18:35
Can't find much definitive news about this yet, but twitter is buzzing about some layoffs at istock that happened today. Could this be the "unsustainability" finally catching up with HQ?

Anyone on the receiving end of the pink slip today, you have my sympathies. I'm sure the people who were let go weren't the ones who really have led the company down this path, nor were they they ones who really deserved pink slips.

Anyone know anything more about this?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Karimala on January 17, 2012, 18:48
Wow.  I just posted something about that as pure speculation just a few days ago.  Writing is on the wall!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: traveler1116 on January 17, 2012, 18:51
Writing is on the wall!
What does it say?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Karimala on January 17, 2012, 18:54
Writing is on the wall!

What does it say?


Here's my post from two days ago...again it was just speculation.  There are so many signs pointing to the end of IS as we know it.  Gostwyck predicted a lot of this a year ago.

http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/experiences-after-quitting-istock-exclusivity/msg237995/#msg237995 (http://www.microstockgroup.com/general-stock-discussion/experiences-after-quitting-istock-exclusivity/msg237995/#msg237995)

Hopefully someone posts here about what's really happening.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: gostwyck on January 17, 2012, 18:56
If sales and revenue are falling then unfortunately lay-offs are a likely outcome. If it's true then it just confirms what all the circumstantial evidence has been indicating.

Anyone seen Lobo on the forums today?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: jamirae on January 17, 2012, 19:01
I just did a quick search on Twitter for "istock" and "Istockphoto" and didn't see anything about layoffs. I'll try again later but if someone finds any facts on this, please post. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Karimala on January 17, 2012, 19:17
I just did a quick search on Twitter for "istock" and "Istockphoto" and didn't see anything about layoffs. I'll try again later but if someone finds any facts on this, please post.  

Searching under "all," there's several tweets from folks in Calgary lamenting IS laying off their friends.

Quote
splorp Grant Hutchinson
Bummed to hear that my friends over at @istock are being subjected to the familiar sounds of the corporate stupids. Sigh.

Quote
stephenpeasley Stephen Peasley
Warm thoughts to @istock peeps on the receiving end of bad news today. I think I'm having disjointed déjā vu or something.

Quote
xerxesirani Xerxes Irani
Sorry to hear about our fellow @istock folks. Speaking from experience, another door is opening.

And a retweet by barbnoad Barb Noad.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Karimala on January 17, 2012, 19:20
Another tweet from Calgary.

Quote
daniel_fontaine Daniel Fontaine
@thecultofteak I'm going to guess that they're consolidating all under the Getty umbrella like Corbis did with Veer.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: jamirae on January 17, 2012, 19:28
Thanks.  I thought i was searching wrong. I was rushed :)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: klsbear on January 17, 2012, 19:30
If sales and revenue are falling then unfortunately lay-offs are a likely outcome. If it's true then it just confirms what all the circumstantial evidence has been indicating.

Anyone seen Lobo on the forums today?

I had a response to a post about 7 hours ago from Lobo so he was there earlier today.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: ShadySue on January 17, 2012, 19:41
If sales and revenue are falling then unfortunately lay-offs are a likely outcome. If it's true then it just confirms what all the circumstantial evidence has been indicating.

Anyone seen Lobo on the forums today?


I had a response to a post about 7 hours ago from Lobo so he was there earlier today.

And three minutes ago on this issue.
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339765&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339765&page=1)

But in reply to his question, yes you'd think there would be an official announcement, confirming or denying the rumours.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Karimala on January 17, 2012, 19:41
One more from Calgary with a Calgary retweet...

Quote
SoCoAddict Ian Harding
We all saw it coming. RT Looks like I'm done being respectfully quiet about the mess @GettyImages is making of @iStock. Assholes.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Graffoto on January 17, 2012, 19:43
It may be that Getty is folding IS into the main corporate control and thus needs fewer employees.
Of course this RIF action will help a little in feeding the beast that owns Getty.

Using my own recently paltry sales as a barometer, tells me IS in its present configuration is not long for this world.  :o
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Karimala on January 17, 2012, 19:43
One more from Calgary with a Calgary retweet...

Quote
SoCoAddict Ian Harding
We all saw it coming. RT Looks like I'm done being respectfully quiet about the mess @GettyImages is making of @iStock. Assholes.

Anyone know Ian Harding?  His profile says he's the voice of iStockaudio?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on January 17, 2012, 19:51
Wow, and just yesterday I said about the lack of IS communication "Silence frequently comes before big changes or news. "
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Karimala on January 17, 2012, 19:54
One more from Calgary with a Calgary retweet...

Quote
SoCoAddict Ian Harding
We all saw it coming. RT Looks like I'm done being respectfully quiet about the mess @GettyImages is making of @iStock. Assholes.

Original tweet comes from a guy who actually left IS.   And Brad Ralph is Senior Art Director/Co-founder of iStockphoto.   :o

Quote
Tyler Hellard
@poploser Tyler Hellard
Looks like I'm done being respectfully quiet about the mess @GettyImages is making of @iStock. Assholes.
6 hours ago
replies ↓
Brad Ralph
bstellar Brad Ralph
@
@poploser how do you really feel? Remember, twitter is considered part of the trust-tree.
4 hours ago
Tyler Hellard
poploser Tyler Hellard
@
@bstellar But I'm not giving this "It's not them, it's me" speech when people ask why I left anymore. Because it was totally them. ;)
4 hours ago
Tyler Hellard
poploser Tyler Hellard
@
@bstellar Yeah, except I'm not sure 140 is enough to fully express myself.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: stockastic on January 17, 2012, 19:55
After this inevitable and long-expected meltdown, it's likely to become much more difficult to do things like close accounts and get files removed.   Not to mention getting paid any remaining balances.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: traveler1116 on January 17, 2012, 20:16
Anyone know Ian Harding?  His profile says he's the voice of iStockaudio?
He's the voice for the audio files I think.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: ShadySue on January 17, 2012, 20:23

Quote
Tyler Hellard
@poploser Tyler Hellard
Looks like I'm done being respectfully quiet about the mess @GettyImages is making of @iStock. Assholes.
6 hours ago
replies ↓
Brad Ralph
bstellar Brad Ralph
@
@poploser how do you really feel? Remember, twitter is considered part of the trust-tree.
4 hours ago
Tyler Hellard
poploser Tyler Hellard
@
@bstellar But I'm not giving this "It's not them, it's me" speech when people ask why I left anymore. Because it was totally them. ;)
4 hours ago
Tyler Hellard
poploser Tyler Hellard
@
@bstellar Yeah, except I'm not sure 140 is enough to fully express myself.

Notwithstanding the momentous content, no wonder I don't do Twitter. That's all just gobbledegook.
And what on earth is a trust-tree?
Is '140' an in-joke?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Karimala on January 17, 2012, 20:25
Anyone know Ian Harding?  His profile says he's the voice of iStockaudio?
He's the voice for the audio files I think.

Do you mean the watermark voice?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Karimala on January 17, 2012, 20:26

Quote
Tyler Hellard
@poploser Tyler Hellard
Looks like I'm done being respectfully quiet about the mess @GettyImages is making of @iStock. Assholes.
6 hours ago
replies ↓
Brad Ralph
bstellar Brad Ralph
@
@poploser how do you really feel? Remember, twitter is considered part of the trust-tree.
4 hours ago
Tyler Hellard
poploser Tyler Hellard
@
@bstellar But I'm not giving this "It's not them, it's me" speech when people ask why I left anymore. Because it was totally them. ;)
4 hours ago
Tyler Hellard
poploser Tyler Hellard
@
@bstellar Yeah, except I'm not sure 140 is enough to fully express myself.

Notwithstanding the momentous content, no wonder I don't do Twitter. That's all just gobbledegook.
And what on earth is a trust-tree?
Is '140' an in-joke?

140 refers to the 140 character limit for tweets.

Trust-tree, I'm thinking, means something like a circle of trust?  "Don't tweet, because you're violating a circle of trust" kind of thing...I guess.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Karimala on January 17, 2012, 20:36
Pics from the Layoff Commiseration Party happening now in Calgary...posted by Brad Ralph.  Apparently Brad still has his job.

https://path.com/p/3cb8lM

https://path.com/p/1NVC2X
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: stockastic on January 17, 2012, 20:43
Is '140' an in-joke?

Posts ('tweets') on Twitter are limited to 140 characters.   It's a system that seemed soooo cool a couple of years ago, and is going to seem sooooo limited very soon.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: ShadySue on January 17, 2012, 20:47
140 refers to the 140 character limit for tweets.
Trust-tree, I'm thinking, means something like a circle of trust?  "Don't tweet, because you're violating a circle of trust" kind of thing...I guess.
The real trouble is tweeting about your old employer, not matter how awful, with the risk that a diligent potential future employer will be able to identify you.
140 characters? I have't even warmed up in 140 characters!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: KarenH on January 17, 2012, 21:01
Someone just posted on twitter "istock, what are you doing? Raising prices yesterday and cutting staff today? What's going on? Is that an iceberg dead-ahead?"   -- I don't think it's a contributor, so if the buyers know, . . .
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: helix7 on January 17, 2012, 21:16
I really want to believe that these layoffs were necessary and for the good of the company, maybe in some effort to cut costs and fix some things. And I almost could believe that except that yesterday istock raised some prices for E+ files, which seems to be a move counter to trying to fix things in Calgary. Jacking up prices just grows the problem.

I'm no business expert, but I truly believe that cutting prices is the only way to put istock back together. Sales volume is slowing. They need to get people buying again with the almost reckless abandon of past years. I used to buy small images for comps just to not have the watermark in them. Even if I didn't use them in final projects, it was worth a buck to get a non-watermarked image for presentation purposes. Now, forget it. $9 for an XS E+ image? Please. I don't buy there at all anymore because prices got so crazy.

The only thing that will save istock is a return to that pricing mentality. Continuing to go in the other direction, always raising prices, it will without a doubt kill the company.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Risamay on January 17, 2012, 21:20
Indeed: Raising prices WHILE cutting staff. The turds.

Ah, I think of all the fan boys and girls who held on for so long ...

Hopefully no one has any WooYay illusions anymore.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: KarenH on January 17, 2012, 21:27
A Twitter post from six hours ago says there were 30 layoffs.  I don't know how big the company is, how many they employ.  Is that a lot?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Karimala on January 17, 2012, 21:28
To be a fly on the wall...

Quote
poploser Tyler Hellard
Listening to @iStock layoff stories with old co-workers. And wow... just wow.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: caspixel on January 17, 2012, 21:33
Makes me wonder if KKT was the last line of defense for some of these people. He gets replaced and the trickle is turning into a tidal wave. How I wish Lobo was one of the cuts though! LOL
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: caspixel on January 17, 2012, 21:35
A Twitter post from six hours ago says there were 30 layoffs.  I don't know how big the company is, how many they employ.  Is that a lot?

I think for HQ it is. The number 100 (give or take) sticks in my mind for some reason.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: jamirae on January 17, 2012, 21:40
To be a fly on the wall...

Quote
poploser Tyler Hellard
Listening to @iStock layoff stories with old co-workers. And wow... just wow.

it's very sad. I feel for all of those laid off.  I had several friends laid off when the economy tanked.  A few are still looking for work, thankfully most found other work, though not as high paying as the jobs they had been with for years.  As much as I am angry about what istock has done to its contributors this is truly a sad day to see them lay-off employees.  

I guess that financial assistance for the new and improved minilypse program really seems like a crazy thing to do when you're going to be laying off employees a few weeks after you announce this.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Sadstock on January 17, 2012, 21:45
Sad news for those affected.  Hopefully they've had enough warning to sock away some cash and at least get their resume updated.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: dcdp on January 17, 2012, 21:47
It's hard enough getting any sort of information out of them as it is, it's going to be much harder now.

The writing has been on the wall for sometime now, but the lack of any sort of feedback about anything recently seems to indicate something has been going on there.

I wonder if they will make any sort of official announcement ... somehow I doubt it!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: dcdp on January 17, 2012, 21:48
A Twitter post from six hours ago says there were 30 layoffs.  I don't know how big the company is, how many they employ.  Is that a lot?

I can't find that twitter post, might have been deleted.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Sadstock on January 17, 2012, 21:49
Looks like the Getty smoke and mirrors machine has at least one last gasp before they have to come clean that the net profit is falling.  Layoffs only help the bottom line for so long.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Karimala on January 17, 2012, 21:49
Makes me wonder if KKT was the last line of defense for some of these people. He gets replaced and the trickle is turning into a tidal wave. How I wish Lobo was one of the cuts though! LOL

According to that interview with Kelly in October, he was promoted to Vice President of Product Development, and is now based in New York City. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbESgjlRjCA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbESgjlRjCA)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: jamirae on January 17, 2012, 21:50
According to Manta.com they have (had) 116 employees.  That data might be questionable since they say that iStockphoto, LP was established in 2008 - but then that could be when they organized under the "LP" status?  director is listed as Kelly Thompson.

Manta also lists iStockphoto Ulc at the same address with 50 employees - director there is listed as Darren Brown.  I'm not familiar with Canadian business structures to not sure what Ulc is, but I"m guessing someone here may know?

But I'd say it's still pretty close.  I wonder what effect this has on the other offices outside of Canada - like Germany?  didn't they open an office there?  and I thought another one somewhere too?  
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: cthoman on January 17, 2012, 21:57
Hmm... maybe this was true...

http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/independents-do-you-plan-to-leave-istock-or-not/msg219285/#msg219285 (http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/independents-do-you-plan-to-leave-istock-or-not/msg219285/#msg219285)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: jamirae on January 17, 2012, 22:03
A Twitter post from six hours ago says there were 30 layoffs.  I don't know how big the company is, how many they employ.  Is that a lot?

I can't find that twitter post, might have been deleted.

nope here it is:
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: caspixel on January 17, 2012, 22:03
Makes me wonder if KKT was the last line of defense for some of these people. He gets replaced and the trickle is turning into a tidal wave. How I wish Lobo was one of the cuts though! LOL

According to that interview with Kelly in October, he was promoted to Vice President of Product Development, and is now based in New York City. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbESgjlRjCA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbESgjlRjCA)

Right, but he would have zero control over iStock in that position...if he is still there, that is!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: cathyslife on January 17, 2012, 22:05
Hmm... maybe this was true...

[url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/independents-do-you-plan-to-leave-istock-or-not/msg219285/#msg219285[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/independents-do-you-plan-to-leave-istock-or-not/msg219285/#msg219285[/url])


You sure hit the nail on the head there.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: dcdp on January 17, 2012, 22:09
A Twitter post from six hours ago says there were 30 layoffs.  I don't know how big the company is, how many they employ.  Is that a lot?

I can't find that twitter post, might have been deleted.
Never mind, found it.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: clickinchic on January 17, 2012, 22:39
I wonder if those laid off received some type of "golden parachute" offer of a bonus to not trash-talk iS in return?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: jamesbenet on January 17, 2012, 22:52
Wow this really came out of left field...

Let me recap...

Getty Buys iStock
iStock Expands
Prices are raised a few times
iStock becomes fastest earning and growing Microstock
H&F Buys Getty/iStock
Bruce leaves
Prices raised a few more
iStock continues growth
best match changes every few weeks
Search problems abound
RC System takes away from contributors
Prices raised and tweaked
Buyers start to migrate Sales slow down
Many Exclusives break contract
Forums are no longer tolerant
Kelly Accepts new Position
More price tweaking
Forums are over moderated
Severe Site outage
Sales are slowing even more
Worst contributor stats in several years
Traffic takes a nose dive
Contributors are kept in the dark
Non Exclusives are sent to the back of the search
iStock Lays off several employees  Probably to boost profits.
No official HQ statement yet...

I probably missed a bunch of stuff but its very discouraging to hear these news.

All I can say is thank you to the employees that have received the news and the ones that are still at HQ doing their best to weather the storm.  I bet you all worked heavily to create what this place got to at it's peak. May you unfortunate find work early and with little downtime.

To be fair we as contributors are not owed any explanation for the layoffs or should be privy to the circumstances that created this event. But it would show some good will and communicative effort to give us some sort of outlook for the year which used to be an iStock tradition maybe even with why these layoffs were necessary.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: KB on January 17, 2012, 22:54
I really want to believe that these layoffs were necessary and for the good of the company, maybe in some effort to cut costs and fix some things. And I almost could believe that except that yesterday istock raised some prices for E+ files, which seems to be a move counter to trying to fix things in Calgary. Jacking up prices just grows the problem.

XS+ was raised from 5 to 6 credits, S+ from 10 to 12, and XXL+ from 40 to 45. At the same time, exclusive XXXL was cut from 32 to 28 and XXL from 27 to 25. Just seems like some minor tweaking to me (though, yes, in % terms 10 to 12 is a 20% increase, but still ...).
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: KB on January 17, 2012, 22:58
Wow this really came out of left field...

Let me recap...
I'd add to your list Rob Sylvan leaving and major exclusives dropping exclusivity in droves.

I'd subtract "Non Exclusives are sent to the back of the search" as that was a temporary best match oddity that hopefully will never be repeated.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: dcdp on January 17, 2012, 23:01
Wow this really came out of left field...

Let me recap...

Getty Buys iStock
iStock Expands
...

You forgot:
iStock kicks contributors a wet willy
.
.
.
iStock kicks contributors in the shin
.
.
.
iStock gives contributors an atomic wedgie
.
.
.
iStock kicks contributors in the groin
.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: KB on January 17, 2012, 23:03
^ Those are implied.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: markrhiggins on January 17, 2012, 23:03
I doubt their profit is falling. It will in future but for now it is less business (and getting more so) but with higher margins due to decreased costs. They now pay less in royalties and less for operations. I suspect the prgrammers aren't paid much.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: dcdp on January 17, 2012, 23:12
I doubt their profit is falling. It will in future but for now it is less business (and getting more so) but with higher margins due to decreased costs. They now pay less in royalties and less for operations. I suspect the prgrammers aren't paid much.
I think it probably is. Maybe not on a per image basis, but overall their profit is driven by sales and I suspect the number of Vetta and Agency sales dropped significantly when the price filter was put in which would have dropped profits.

Do the programmers deserve to be paid much? Perhaps if they were well paid ones we would have all the problems on the site? Not that higher pay guarantees competency.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Karimala on January 17, 2012, 23:24
I doubt their profit is falling. It will in future but for now it is less business (and getting more so) but with higher margins due to decreased costs. They now pay less in royalties and less for operations. I suspect the prgrammers aren't paid much.


Some of us were talking about that just the other day...

http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/end-of-year-is-review-statistics/msg237820/#msg237820 (http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/end-of-year-is-review-statistics/msg237820/#msg237820)

Getty's track record doesn't give me any reason to hold out hope IS will ever improve.  Maybe my experience with StockXpert has left me cynical, but I can't help but think they are actually trying to push out all the contributors so they can use the brand name iStockphoto for older Getty images they wholly own.  They get 100% of the royalties for those images and minimal labor is involved.  Moving Getty images onto iStock is cheap and efficient.       


That is a frightening theory that I had not yet heard of.


A very valid theory. Check this out: Dorian Kindersley.

From Wikipedia: "Dorling Kindersley (DK) is an international publishing company specializing in illustrated reference books for adults and children in 51 languages. It is currently part of the Penguin Group.
Established in 1974, Dorling Kindersley publishes a range of titles in genres including travel, (including Eyewitness Travel Guides), history, cooking, gardening, and parenting. They also publish a children’s catalogue for children, toddlers and babies, covering such topics as history, the human body, animals, and activities.
DK has offices in New York, London, Munich, New Delhi, Toronto, and Australia."

Clearly, they're not an individual istock illustrator who just happened to get all their images approved to Getty's Agency collection. The images started at Getty and then were moved to Istock.

Istock portfolio link: [url]http://www.istockphoto.com/Dorling_Kindersley[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/Dorling_Kindersley[/url])

Getty portfolio link: [url]http://www.gettyimages.com/Creative/Frontdoor/DorlingKindersleyRM[/url] ([url]http://www.gettyimages.com/Creative/Frontdoor/DorlingKindersleyRM[/url])
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: hoi ha on January 17, 2012, 23:56
Am I the only one who kinda really does not feel that sorry for them if I am being totally honest? I mean they hung with the evil empire - in their tweets they talk about shutting their mouths when they saw bad stuff happening - I know the economy sucks and maybe finding jobs will be harder but if they sat back and watched the contributors get screwed and kept their mouth shuts and continued to work for them regardless when others (see Rob S) left as a matter of principle - sorry but you kinda get what you deserve no? Am I just cold hearted and harsh? 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Sadstock on January 17, 2012, 23:57
A Twitter post from six hours ago says there were 30 layoffs.  I don't know how big the company is, how many they employ.  Is that a lot?

I can't find that twitter post, might have been deleted.

---------------------------
last time I counted, which was more than a year ago, I found about 90 admin badges.  That of course did not count many back office people (accounting, sales, legal, HR) who don't typically post much, so the number would be somewhat higher.  I would guess 150 or so total employees not counting inspectors.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: RacePhoto on January 18, 2012, 00:07
A Twitter post from six hours ago says there were 30 layoffs.  I don't know how big the company is, how many they employ.  Is that a lot?

I can't find that twitter post, might have been deleted.

---------------------------
last time I counted, which was more than a year ago, I found about 90 admin badges.  That of course did not count many back office people (accounting, sales, legal, HR) who don't typically post much, so the number would be somewhat higher.  I would guess 150 or so total employees not counting inspectors.

And I may have missed it along these three pages, but StockXpert staff had already been responding from the IS offices. Could be some of those people were no longer needed. They were IS employees. At any rate, looks like consolidation and more work for the people who are left.

I remember the same things going on at Chevrolet when it went to GM and BOC (a bunch of centralized positions also at the HQ eliminating people at the plants) as they tightened their belts. Staff leader and his assistant, each with support people, became, a one person with one secretary department.

People are a huge expense for any operation.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: KarenH on January 18, 2012, 00:09
Am I the only one who kinda really does not feel that sorry for them if I am being totally honest? I mean they hung with the evil empire - in their tweets they talk about shutting their mouths when they saw bad stuff happening - I know the economy sucks and maybe finding jobs will be harder but if they sat back and watched the contributors get screwed and kept their mouth shuts and continued to work for them regardless when others (see Rob S) left as a matter of principle - sorry but you kinda get what you deserve no? Am I just cold hearted and harsh? 
I get where you're coming from, but I have to admit that I've worked at jobs that I totally didn't believe in and were against my principles, because there weren't, at the times, any options, and I needed the job.  It eats away at you, you lose some self-respect -- but you also do what you have to do.  So if they weren't in a position that they could leave on principle -- and it's a lousy economy to do so -- I get that, and I feel for how they must have felt about it.  :(  
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: jamesbenet on January 18, 2012, 00:17
Quote
I get where you're coming from, but I have to admit that I've worked at jobs that I totally didn't believe in and were against my principles, because there weren't, at the times, any options, and I needed the job.  It eats away at you, you lose some self-respect -- but you also do what you have to do.  So if they weren't in a position that they could leave on principle -- and it's a lousy economy to do so -- I get that, and I feel for how they must have felt about it.  :(  

Very well put, don't demonize the gears of the machine when the brain controller has got them cornered. In this economy I am sure many admins just avoided any confrontation to keep that paycheck. I can't blame them.

I know of many back end people over the years that have given their full effort to their jobs at iStock and if any of them are affected by this then... I am in solidarity and in support for them to find a job soon. Nothing is as black and white as it seems on the surface; plus we have no info only speculation at best right now.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: asiseeit on January 18, 2012, 00:18
I think for HQ it is. The number 100 (give or take) sticks in my mind for some reason.

It's more than double that.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: caspixel on January 18, 2012, 00:24
I wonder if those laid off received some type of "golden parachute" offer of a bonus to not trash-talk iS in return?

No doubt they all have to sign confidentiality agreements.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: markrhiggins on January 18, 2012, 00:34
if they just had better programmers. It could have been fully automated. Get rid of all the people, cut royalties, accept photos with no review cost, get partners agencies to sell the photos for you... Oh well the plan is almost working. Hope they keep the red hot team that stops fraud and the team that refunds customers so easilly , or maybe that part is automated???
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: SNP on January 18, 2012, 00:34
fabulous. nothing breeds confidence like layoffs.....happy 2012

ETA: saw someone already posted the tweet by Tyler Hellard. guess we wait and see what's in store. sigh
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: RapidEye on January 18, 2012, 01:47
Doesn't bode well. Looks as if the doomsayers have been right all along.

My sympathy to the victims.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: qwerty on January 18, 2012, 01:51
Lightening the staff costs before the sale ???

Everybodies been talking about this sale. When's it going to happen ?

Nobody wants/likes being laid off. Hope everything goes okay for those now looking for work.
I wouldn't put I was in charge of the Istock search code on my resume though
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Karimala on January 18, 2012, 02:02
Quote
I get where you're coming from, but I have to admit that I've worked at jobs that I totally didn't believe in and were against my principles, because there weren't, at the times, any options, and I needed the job.  It eats away at you, you lose some self-respect -- but you also do what you have to do.  So if they weren't in a position that they could leave on principle -- and it's a lousy economy to do so -- I get that, and I feel for how they must have felt about it.  :(  

Very well put, don't demonize the gears of the machine when the brain controller has got them cornered. In this economy I am sure many admins just avoided any confrontation to keep that paycheck. I can't blame them.

I know of many back end people over the years that have given their full effort to their jobs at iStock and if any of them are affected by this then... I am in solidarity and in support for them to find a job soon. Nothing is as black and white as it seems on the surface; plus we have no info only speculation at best right now.

Well said by both of you.  This is a major turning point in IS's history.  The least we can do is be supportive of those who worked so hard on our behalf and just lost their jobs.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: lagereek on January 18, 2012, 02:04
This is what I said some months back, once Getty had done their business, the staff is expendible. Its always been like that, since 93, in fact. Im pretty sure that any layoffs, are not the once responsible for the fall of IS, rather the opposite, they probably fought our battles.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 18, 2012, 02:35
Layoffs really suck - obviously worst for those laid off, but it's a pretty horrible situation at the company after your friends have been let go. It's hard to focus on what needs to get done, or be motivated about anything. You can't blame the rank-and-file for the crappy policies of those running the show, so I do feel for those let go (on the assumption that it wasn't any of the mangers setting the polcies :))

Given that management (using the term in its loosest sense) at iStock hasn't been saying anything much since the Getty suit took over, I can't imagine they'll tell contributors squat now, but it'd be interesting to know where (what departments) the layoffs occurred. Was this a small percentage across the board or were some departments eliminated or significantly cut back. At this point my only remaining decision is whether or not I keep my portfolio there, so I'm relatively lightly affected, but for those still exclusive, I can't imagine this is encouraging news.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 18, 2012, 02:41
All very sad for the people who lost their jobs, but we don't know anything about the circumstances. Not even the number of people being laid off nor what their jobs entailed, could all be project related for a canceled project or perhaps overlap from previous Getty M&As? I can only presume that for a fragmented organization like Getty there will be plenty of opportunities for financial streamlining by trying to centralize common tasks (admin, finance, legal, tech, support etc.)

As sad as it is, iStock like all and any businesses should be kept lean and mean unfortunately then any excess needs to be trimmed.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 18, 2012, 03:25

Im pretty sure that any layoffs, are not the once responsible for the fall of IS, rather the opposite, they probably fought our battles.

+1

Frankly, it's silly to blame workers for the sins of the management. If every worker quit in protest the moment their company did something they thought was unfair, immoral or unethical there would be bugger-all companies still in business and nobody would have a job.  People need to work to feed their families and pay the mortgage, that's the priority in life, not protecting suppliers who are free to stop supplying any time they like.

My sympathy to those unfortunate enough to have got the axe.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: ARTPUPPY on January 18, 2012, 03:32
Interesting news, at least they waited until after Christmas for staff cuts. I wonder if Istock HQ will eventually shut down in Calgary and move to Seattle much like Veer did (within 2-4 years). If Getty is going to control istock it might as well go all the way. I still think the F5 website change was the result of Getty being hands on for coding so it could upload most of it's own content. That's why you're getting so many bugs, its hard to fix things when you have corporate HQ in Seattle adjusting/tweaking things as well. Add to that istock's programmers trying to keep up and you'll have problems. And we still haven't heard from Rebecca Rockefeller what's planned for 2012. I think they are trying to fix all of the website bugs so she can give us all a "good news" announcement. Wait and see...
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 18, 2012, 04:36
It strikes me that the people in Canada have, indeed, just heard from the elusive Ms Rockefeller and her MBA theories.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: rubyroo on January 18, 2012, 04:51
My sympathies also to those who have lost their jobs.  I've worked in companies too where a takeover meant getting what they wanted and then stabbing people in the back.  The only thing that made me feel better in retrospect was that the 'favoured' ones who selfishly sat grinning like a Cheshire Cat as notices were handed out to others also ended up being fired further down the line.  That's usually the way it goes.  

Thanks for all the work you did that helped us to sell our wares, and I wish you all the very best in finding new roles that you love.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: rene on January 18, 2012, 05:03
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?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: rubyroo on January 18, 2012, 05:10
Perhaps I'm missing something, but I've really struggled to understand what purpose iStock serves in the long-term for Getty.

If the expensive images are sold at Getty, and the cheap stuff goes to Thinkstock, then does it make sense to keep a separate agency for something called 'mid-stock' and for PPDs?  Surely they can just absorb a 'mid-stock' tier into Getty and make PPDs available on TS etc.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: sharpshot on January 18, 2012, 05:12
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?
If they wanted to do that, wouldn't they be employing better staff instead of just laying people off?  This looks like another cost cutting exercise, perhaps to make it easier to merge istock in to Getty at a later date.

I would like to think they are getting ready to sell istock but how would they sort out all the istock content on other Getty sites and the Getty content in the istock collections?  They might sell Getty with istock but I can't see how they can split them up now.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: lagereek on January 18, 2012, 05:37
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?
If they wanted to do that, wouldn't they be employing better staff instead of just laying people off?  This looks like another cost cutting exercise, perhaps to make it easier to merge istock in to Getty at a later date.

I would like to think they are getting ready to sell istock but how would they sort out all the istock content on other Getty sites and the Getty content in the istock collections?  They might sell Getty with istock but I can't see how they can split them up now.

Yup!  and who is going to buy it?  Santa! ;D
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on January 18, 2012, 06:07
For the people who are calling the staff incompetent, keep in mind that what you are capable of, and what you are told to do by your bosses, may be two different things.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: jsmithzz on January 18, 2012, 06:27
This comes as no surprise. Prices have been jacked up to mid-stock prices, there are too many pricing tiers that confuse buyers, and they've COMPLETELY forgotten the reasons why iStock was successful before Getty came along and mucked things up. Shutterstock and other true microstock sites are now laughing all the way to the bank, and Getty has completely stripped iStock of what it once was. It's a shame, but again, not a shock to me.

Unless Getty lowers prices to bring back the buyers so that it can compete with other sites, iStock is in for some VERY rough times ahead. Their corporate greed and hubris have caught up to them, and now people are paying the price.  
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: jsmithzz on January 18, 2012, 06:30
And just to add, Steve Jobs once said of Mark Zuckerberg, ""I admire Mark Zuckerberg. I only know him a little bit, but I admire him for not selling out, for wanting to make a company. I admire that a lot."

Too bad that can't be said of Bruce. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Artemis on January 18, 2012, 06:46
For the people who are calling the staff incompetent, keep in mind that what you are capable of, and what you are told to do by your bosses, may be two different things.
Absolutely, ive seen it happen too often in the workfield.
Peeps having to follow insanely ineffective and needlessly complicated procedures,  because management in their ivory towers are clueless and incompetent.

I wonder if the in-house masseuse got sacked too...
Sincere sympathies to those that were layed off though.  :-[
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: hiddenstock on January 18, 2012, 07:12
And just to add, Steve Jobs once said of Mark Zuckerberg, ""I admire Mark Zuckerberg. I only know him a little bit, but I admire him for not selling out, for wanting to make a company. I admire that a lot."

Too bad that can't be said of Bruce. 

From what I heard it seemed that istock needed a lot of invest at the time of the buyout.  I read it that quite a lot of the money was reinvested in IT to make the place run smoothly (for a bit).
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: gostwyck on January 18, 2012, 07:44
From what I heard it seemed that istock needed a lot of invest at the time of the buyout.  I read it that quite a lot of the money was reinvested in IT to make the place run smoothly (for a bit).

D'ya think? Of course it did. Every expanding business needs investment to do so. Do you think Facebook, a business making no money (quite unlike Istock at the time of the sell-out), is still operating out of Zuckerberg's bedroom?

Btw, the money for the sale went into Brucie's back-bin (togther with any co-investors) not into Istock. Bruce sold it remember? Afterwards it was owned by Getty.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: helix7 on January 18, 2012, 07:45
Jodi Styner (https://twitter.com/#!/nerdyword) was one of those who lost their job, on her birthday no less. Bummer.

Jodi was a copywriter at istock, and she tweeted, "Spent today getting drunk with my coworkers, most of whom don't have jobs anymore either, & it was great but also sad because I love them." I'm guessing she's referring to coworkers in and around her department mostly, so I'm assuming other copywriters, maybe marketing staff, etc., are among the casualties.

In all it sounds like around 30 jobs were cut. That's pretty huge for a company of around 100. Especially a company that has already been struggling to solve the problems they had before they cut 30 people from their roster. Cutting jobs saves money, but it also makes it a hell of a lot harder to solve problems. Less people trying to do more isn't a good thing.

I had very little confidence in istock ever regaining their former glory before this news. Now I have zero confidence in the company at all. I don't think that istock will be around for long if this keeps up. The best thing that could happen to istock now would be for H&F to decide they want out of their Getty deal, and then for Getty to cut istock loose to some new buyer. Hopefully someone with the vision and sense to see what needs to be done to fix the company and to do it.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on January 18, 2012, 07:55
Jodi Styner (https://twitter.com/#!/nerdyword) was one of those who lost their job, on her birthday no less. Bummer.

Jodi was a copywriter at istock, and she tweeted, "Spent today getting drunk with my coworkers, most of whom don't have jobs anymore either, & it was great but also sad because I love them." I'm guessing she's referring to coworkers in and around her department mostly, so I'm assuming other copywriters, maybe marketing staff, etc., are among the casualties. =

It's too bad more (or some) of these people didn't interact with us.  They might have had more insight to the issues and been able to help steer things.  From what I hear, most of the employees there really don't have an idea of what goes on at the site.  They are just doing their own thing.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: cathyslife on January 18, 2012, 08:04
Jodi Styner (https://twitter.com/#!/nerdyword) was one of those who lost their job, on her birthday no less. Bummer.

Jodi was a copywriter at istock, and she tweeted, "Spent today getting drunk with my coworkers, most of whom don't have jobs anymore either, & it was great but also sad because I love them." I'm guessing she's referring to coworkers in and around her department mostly, so I'm assuming other copywriters, maybe marketing staff, etc., are among the casualties. =

It's too bad more (or some) of these people didn't interact with us.  They might have had more insight to the issues and been able to help steer things.  From what I hear, most of the employees there really don't have an idea of what goes on at the site.  They are just doing their own thing.

Agreed. Most people here have been seeing the downward slide for over a year now. If anyone working there didn't have a clue this was coming, it was their own fault, because the signs sure weren't hidden! A year is a lot more notice than some folks nowadays are getting that they are going to be losing their jobs.

I think it's probably a lot like the layoffs going on in other business sectors. Middle and upper management need to protect their big salaries, so the peeps lower down the ladder take the fall. Somebody has to pay for those masseuses and istockalypses.  >:(
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: ShadySue on January 18, 2012, 08:06
Somebody has to pay for those masseuses and istockalypses.  >:(
Oh, here was I thinking that's why they wouldn't give me my 5% increase when I hit iron pyrites.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: KarenH on January 18, 2012, 08:10
It's hard enough getting any sort of information out of them as it is, it's going to be much harder now.

The writing has been on the wall for sometime now, but the lack of any sort of feedback about anything recently seems to indicate something has been going on there.

I wonder if they will make any sort of official announcement ... somehow I doubt it!
I don't think so now.  :)   On one of the race threads, there was a short message where someone said something like 'bad news at msg', a couple people saying, 'yeah not good' or 'site mail me if you don't know what I'm referring to' -- and no one mentioned the word layoff at all.  And a mod just deleted ALL of those posts, with "some issues that other microstock forums may choose to discuss may not necessarily be discussed here."   I guess that settles the question of any kind of an official announcement.  I don't know why, knowing how it had hit the forums and twitter, they just don't say 'yeah, we found it necessary to make some staff reductions' and just leave it at that, and move on.  Banning all reference to company news, and dodging the questions with a lockdown, just makes it worse.  
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: gostwyck on January 18, 2012, 08:12
Agreed. Most people here have been seeing the downward slide for over a year now. If anyone working there didn't have a clue this was coming, it was their own fault, because the signs sure weren't hidden! A year is a lot more notice than some folks nowadays are getting that they are going to be losing their jobs.

I think it's probably a lot like the layoffs going on in other business sectors. Middle and upper management need to protect their big salaries, so the peeps lower down the ladder take the fall. Somebody has to pay for those masseuses and istockalypses.  >:(

The most obvious sign that things weren't going to plan was when Thompson got sacked.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: ShadySue on January 18, 2012, 08:17
 Banning all reference to company news, and dodging the questions with a lockdown, just makes it worse.  
That's their modus operandi.
Mushroom management.
(Keep us in the dark and feed us sh*t)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: jsmithzz on January 18, 2012, 08:36
Jodi Styner (https://twitter.com/#!/nerdyword) was one of those who lost their job, on her birthday no less. Bummer.

Jodi was a copywriter at istock, and she tweeted, "Spent today getting drunk with my coworkers, most of whom don't have jobs anymore either, & it was great but also sad because I love them." I'm guessing she's referring to coworkers in and around her department mostly, so I'm assuming other copywriters, maybe marketing staff, etc., are among the casualties. =

It's too bad more (or some) of these people didn't interact with us.  They might have had more insight to the issues and been able to help steer things.  From what I hear, most of the employees there really don't have an idea of what goes on at the site.  They are just doing their own thing.
The fact that their own employees were in the dark and working in silos speaks volumes about the management (or mismanagement) of that place.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on January 18, 2012, 08:40
Jodi Styner (https://twitter.com/#!/nerdyword) was one of those who lost their job, on her birthday no less. Bummer.

Jodi was a copywriter at istock, and she tweeted, "Spent today getting drunk with my coworkers, most of whom don't have jobs anymore either, & it was great but also sad because I love them." I'm guessing she's referring to coworkers in and around her department mostly, so I'm assuming other copywriters, maybe marketing staff, etc., are among the casualties. =

It's too bad more (or some) of these people didn't interact with us.  They might have had more insight to the issues and been able to help steer things.  From what I hear, most of the employees there really don't have an idea of what goes on at the site.  They are just doing their own thing.
The fact that their own employees were in the dark and working in silos speaks volumes about the management (or mismanagement) of that place.

Yes, it speaks volumes. But about what?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: michealo on January 18, 2012, 08:44
The most obvious sign that things weren't going to plan was when Thompson got sacked.

And the source for this is?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: cuethesun on January 18, 2012, 08:50
If they're downsizing across the board I wonder if that means inspectors and admins are next?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: cmannphoto on January 18, 2012, 08:57
All this just makes my head spin.  ??? I feel like I am on that cruise ship Costa Concordia that sank. The captain (KKT) already on shore while the passengers (us) are still on the ship.

Really got me thinking about dropping my crown.

Kelvin came into the Push for Gold thread and deleted any "hints' of news from msg.

And you know we care not going to get any official word from HQ.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: jsmithzz on January 18, 2012, 09:29
All this just makes my head spin.  ??? I feel like I am on that cruise ship Costa Concordia that sank. The captain (KKT) already on shore while the passengers (us) are still on the ship.

Really got me thinking about dropping my crown.

Kelvin came into the Push for Gold thread and deleted any "hints' of news from msg.

And you know we care not going to get any official word from HQ.
I'm also thinking of dropping my crown as well for the first time since I started back in 2006. Shutterstock is looking better and better every day. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: lagereek on January 18, 2012, 09:58
Jodi Styner (https://twitter.com/#!/nerdyword) was one of those who lost their job, on her birthday no less. Bummer.

Jodi was a copywriter at istock, and she tweeted, "Spent today getting drunk with my coworkers, most of whom don't have jobs anymore either, & it was great but also sad because I love them." I'm guessing she's referring to coworkers in and around her department mostly, so I'm assuming other copywriters, maybe marketing staff, etc., are among the casualties. =

It's too bad more (or some) of these people didn't interact with us.  They might have had more insight to the issues and been able to help steer things.  From what I hear, most of the employees there really don't have an idea of what goes on at the site.  They are just doing their own thing.

Quite right!  and, yes, dont know whats going on,  the usual story, they are the ones ending up with a rough deal.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: TheDman on January 18, 2012, 10:11
Banning all reference to company news, and dodging the questions with a lockdown, just makes it worse.  

That was my reaction too. It's this kind of 'all is well here, keep your head in the sand' attitude that helped get them into this predicament in the first place.

Istockphoto was killing Getty back in the day because istock was cheap, consistent, and simple to use, while the Getty site was a confusing, expensive, difficult to use mess. So what does Getty do? They buy Istock out and turn it into a confusing, expensive, difficult to use mess. It's what they do.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: helix7 on January 18, 2012, 10:13
I'm also thinking of dropping my crown as well for the first time since I started back in 2006. Shutterstock is looking better and better every day. 

Not that I need the competition, and I try not to encourage anyone to go independent, but it's hard not to think you guys are crazy for keeping the crowns. Just my 2 cents, but I wouldn't bet my future on that company, not in the state they are in these days. You're brave if you stick with it.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on January 18, 2012, 10:15
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: jjneff on January 18, 2012, 10:17
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!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: blackwaterimages on January 18, 2012, 10:18
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: WarrenPrice on January 18, 2012, 10:23
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: jsmithzz on January 18, 2012, 10:43
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. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jjneff on January 18, 2012, 10:55
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!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 18, 2012, 11:08
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?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jsmithzz on January 18, 2012, 11:16
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. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: KB on January 18, 2012, 11:23
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: KB on January 18, 2012, 11:26
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?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jjneff on January 18, 2012, 11:30
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!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: SNP on January 18, 2012, 11:38
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jsmithzz on January 18, 2012, 11:40
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. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: wut on January 18, 2012, 11:41
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: blackwaterimages on January 18, 2012, 11:44
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stockpuppet on January 18, 2012, 11:46
^ 20% for everyone and the content has to be supplied exclusively. Same as Getty, more or less.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stockpuppet on January 18, 2012, 11:53
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 18, 2012, 12:03
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Pixart on January 18, 2012, 12:05
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: cuethesun on January 18, 2012, 12:14
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?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jjneff on January 18, 2012, 12:14
LOL, pretty funny maybe we should all post on Facebook!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: WarrenPrice on January 18, 2012, 12:15
LOL, pretty funny maybe we should all post on Facebook!

I like it... how do we get there?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: SNP on January 18, 2012, 12:16
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cmannphoto on January 18, 2012, 12:28
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 (http://www.facebook.com/istock?sk=wall&filter=1)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: blackwaterimages on January 18, 2012, 12:31
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stocker2011 on January 18, 2012, 12:35
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 18, 2012, 12:42
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/# (http://twitter.com/#)!/search/%40istock
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: loop on January 18, 2012, 12:45
Istock gains more with exclusive files, because are more expensive and that compensates the comission difference.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Pixart on January 18, 2012, 12:46
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.
[url]http://www.facebook.com/istock?sk=wall&filter=1[/url] ([url]http://www.facebook.com/istock?sk=wall&filter=1[/url])

Hmmm.. now I see all kinds of mesages before it was just the poll on top from Jan 12.  
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 18, 2012, 12:55
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.

There's what you were supposed to be doing and what you actually do. I completely get the emotional attachment - and I was never a pom-pom carrier.

I think that at its very best, a successful business, particularly one that is changing how things are done, is a very exciting and engaging thing. On top of which there are a number of really wonderful contributors who were active participants in the supplier side of the community. I don't think that was illusory, even though it is now largely gone (wholly gone for me and the forums are  heading for ghost towns compared to what they once were).

Call me foolish (and Douglas Freer suggested I was in need of psychiatric counseling for going exclusive!) but I was at one time very engaged with being part of the business and its growth and success. It felt like a partnership. Perhaps I just saw what I wanted to see. At any rate, I get the attachment thing (wouldn't have called it love, but that's just a quibble).
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: kelby on January 18, 2012, 13:07
will be a coincidence but today the site was been down about 3/4 times
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cmannphoto on January 18, 2012, 13:11
will be a coincidence but today the site was been down about 3/4 times
I was thinking that same thing. I was getting blank pages yesterday as well.

What is more scary is that I have not had a single DL today, which has not happened to me on a weekday since about 18 months ago.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: wut on January 18, 2012, 13:17
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?

Yeah, almost a year ago. Never since then, I don't upload over there at the moment, since best match is still favouring exclusives a lot more than usually
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: FreeTransform on January 18, 2012, 13:34
I wonder if KKT sent a message telling the laid off folks that money is not what's going to make them happy…
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jjneff on January 18, 2012, 13:36
Funny people here that statement is a classic "Money is not going to make you happy" Kinda of true but try living without it Kelly!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: wds on January 18, 2012, 14:01
This seems like an extremely scary time. If there are layoffs, I would expect some major change/announcement soon.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cthoman on January 18, 2012, 14:17
"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.

I get the emotional attachment too. I don't run my business like a robot.

As far as getting away with it and others following suit... didn't they? They paid 20% for how many years and were very successful at the low rate. Other companies like DT and FT lowered their royalties a couple times. They weren't really following IS though, since they did all that before the current rate drop.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: luissantos84 on January 18, 2012, 14:22
This seems like an extremely scary time. If there are layoffs, I would expect some major change/announcement soon.

any musician here so we can have a even more cooler annoucement :D
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ProArtwork on January 18, 2012, 14:28
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.

to address contributor concerns around these layoffs.

This is an internal business matter, part of operations. It should not be anyone's business. I see layoffs everyday and most of the time is because they are not productive, lost some accounts they were in charge of, maybe some cutbacks and etc. Some employees don't adapt to changes and so they have to go. I'm sure they will hire more people to either replace those that were let go or for new projects.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 18, 2012, 14:36
This seems like an extremely scary time. If there are layoffs, I would expect some major change/announcement soon.

any musician here so we can have a even more cooler annoucement :D

You mean, you want a Media Mashup?  ;)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on January 18, 2012, 14:39
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.

I don't see much moderation aside from Eric deleting an employee's address...
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gbalex on January 18, 2012, 14:41
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 have to agree with you, those waving the pom poms for ANY agency are asking to be screwed.

And yet there are plenty of us out there waving for all their worth. How about starting by holding them accountable for some of their actions or non actions? SS would be a good place to start the site is buggy as hell right now!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on January 18, 2012, 14:43
I have to agree with you, those waving the pom poms for ANY agency are asking to be screwed.

As mentioned, IS was felt to be more of a partnership at the time.  We were working together, or at least it felt like we were working successfully towards a common goal.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 18, 2012, 14:50
As mentioned, IS was felt to be more of a partnership at the time.  We were working together, or at least it felt like we were working successfully towards a common goal.

That's exactly how it should be __ a partnership with common goals. That's certainly how I've felt about my dealings with SS and DT over the years. But I've never felt "in love" with them.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gbalex on January 18, 2012, 14:50
I have to agree with you, those waving the pom poms for ANY agency are asking to be screwed.

As mentioned, IS was felt to be more of a partnership at the time.  We were working together, or at least it felt like we were working successfully towards a common goal.

Yes I understand that, I worked for the same in my personal life with the same results. I have come to understand that I was naive and that in order to be successful, I need to be judging people and business's by their actions. I think alot of us are taking way too much for granted and because of that we are failing to turn the boat. Who do you suppose will be the next IS?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 18, 2012, 14:59
Who do you suppose will be the next IS?

There won't be another, for lots of reasons. No other agency is strong enough or their business model will not support an attractive enough package to gain exclusive contributors in sufficient numbers. C

In future contributors will also be more wary of agencies, regard them with a healthy suspicion and be less inclined to offer them their "love".
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gbalex on January 18, 2012, 15:02
As mentioned, IS was felt to be more of a partnership at the time.  We were working together, or at least it felt like we were working successfully towards a common goal.

That's exactly how it should be __ a partnership with common goals. That's certainly how I've felt about my dealings with SS and DT over the years. But I've never felt "in love" with them.

How are your new images selling? 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: heywoody on January 18, 2012, 15:03
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.

to address contributor concerns around these layoffs.

This is an internal business matter, part of operations. It should not be anyone's business. I see layoffs everyday and most of the time is because they are not productive, lost some accounts they were in charge of, maybe some cutbacks and etc. Some employees don't adapt to changes and so they have to go. I'm sure they will hire more people to either replace those that were let go or for new projects.

Nothing to do with stock, but I’ve seen this so many times in the software industry.  As soon as the corporates / accountants / bean counters take over any organisation, that which made the company successful is forgotten in favour of a perceived bottom line.  Letting employees go is an admission of failure, a solution that lacks any sort of imagination / vision,  a short term respite at best and usually just slightly delays the inevitable collapse.  
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamirae on January 18, 2012, 15:17
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.

There's what you were supposed to be doing and what you actually do. I completely get the emotional attachment - and I was never a pom-pom carrier.

I think that at its very best, a successful business, particularly one that is changing how things are done, is a very exciting and engaging thing. On top of which there are a number of really wonderful contributors who were active participants in the supplier side of the community. I don't think that was illusory, even though it is now largely gone (wholly gone for me and the forums are  heading for ghost towns compared to what they once were).

Call me foolish (and Douglas Freer suggested I was in need of psychiatric counseling for going exclusive!) but I was at one time very engaged with being part of the business and its growth and success. It felt like a partnership. Perhaps I just saw what I wanted to see. At any rate, I get the attachment thing (wouldn't have called it love, but that's just a quibble).

couldn't agree more with this sentiment.  I truly felt that it was a strong partnership at one time.  Until they basically thumbed their noses at all of us starting with the canister change fiasco.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gbalex on January 18, 2012, 15:19
Who do you suppose will be the next IS?

There won't be another, for lots of reasons. No other agency is strong enough or their business model will not support an attractive enough package to gain exclusive contributors in sufficient numbers. C

In future contributors will also be more wary of agencies, regard them with a healthy suspicion and be less inclined to offer them their "love".

I have come to the conclusion that we would need dynamite to blast people out of their denial.  How long do you suppose buyers will be happy with your old images at SS, since our new ones have been buried for who knows how many months?  Why do you suppose that is happening?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 18, 2012, 15:26
I truly felt that it was a strong partnership at one time.  Until they basically thumbed their noses at all of us starting with the canister change fiasco.
That was the end of any veneer of partnership: it was contributor against contributor: rivals with a potential large loss for helping someone else. Previously, co-operation could benefit individuals by raising the quality of the overall offerering.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 18, 2012, 15:28
I'm wondering if it was the people who actually caused the problems who were laid off.
More likely it was the people working under orders to the people who actually caused the problems who suffered, while the causers are sitting pretty.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 18, 2012, 15:29
I have come to the conclusion that we would need dynamite to blast people out of their denial.  How long do you suppose buyers will be happy with your old images at SS, since our new ones have been buried for who knows how many months?  Why do you suppose that is happening?

I think new images are doing fine at SS. I've uploaded about 80 images so far this month and they've generated nearly 50 sales. Considering that I mainly do quick, cheap shoots for niche markets I think that's reasonable. I just wish other agencies did the same.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on January 18, 2012, 15:55
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'd agree with this. I've said before that it doesn't seem to make financial sense to have duplicate strategies, technology platforms, offices, and people for IS and GI. It would seem to make sense to dump the IS platform and move the content over to GI as collections. Vetta/Agency is already on GI. Oh yeah, and KKT is already at the GI office. Hmmmmm, a pattern?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lisafx on January 18, 2012, 16:02
I truly do sympathize with those who were laid off at Istock.  I suspect it may not have been a complete surprise though.  What we contributors have seen for 1.5 years (or more) is a corporate culture that places no value on our contributions and treats us with contempt.  Probably the same culture had begun to permeate HQ also.  Once the contributors became unimportant, it was only a matter of time before the administrators were treated with the same arrogant disregard.  

Sincerely wishing the best to those who are searching for new jobs, and those that are stuck working even harder to clean up the mess.  

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'd agree with this. I've said before that it doesn't seem to make financial sense to have duplicate strategies, technology platforms, offices, and people for IS and GI. It would seem to make sense to dump the IS platform and move the content over to GI as collections. Vetta/Agency is already on GI. Oh yeah, and KKT is already at the GI office. Hmmmmm, a pattern?

I also agree with Blackwater that this is probably another step toward Getty absorbing Istock.  So sad....
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: pet_chia on January 18, 2012, 16:15
Were inspectors affected by the layoff?  I just got the looniest rejection I've ever received.  I've been rejected for keywords before in cases where I was reaching somewhat for the concept implied by the shot, but this is the first time that keywords were rejected for things which are blatantly, obviously visible in the image: "house", "tree" and stuff like that.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: SNP on January 18, 2012, 16:19
I have to agree with you, those waving the pom poms for ANY agency are asking to be screwed.

As mentioned, IS was felt to be more of a partnership at the time.  We were working together, or at least it felt like we were working successfully towards a common goal.

this is what I was talking about, although I am reluctant to comment in regards to the pom pom baloney. give me a break. we all participate in the community because of an emotional connection to our peers, as Sean says, the partnership towards a common goal. our respective objectives seem to be at odds these days, and yes, that makes me sad.

as for moderation in the facebook group. I suppose moderation is the incorrect word to use. I guess it just doesn't feel like an entirely free forum for discussion anymore than iStock does these days.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: BImages on January 18, 2012, 16:25
Who do you suppose will be the next IS?

There won't be another, for lots of reasons. No other agency is strong enough or their business model will not support an attractive enough package to gain exclusive contributors in sufficient numbers. C

In future contributors will also be more wary of agencies, regard them with a healthy suspicion and be less inclined to offer them their "love".

Maybe a site owned by all contributors, all at the same level. Some kind of cooperative website...
Something that could not be sold, and where contributors make the decisions...

I would be the first to participate.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: leaf on January 18, 2012, 16:35
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jbarber873 on January 18, 2012, 16:47
     I think you have to look at long term trends as opposed to short term noise. What IStock pioneered was a great idea, but just being first does not keep out competition. There are more people with digital cameras all the time, and a much wider knowledge of the microstock market as a place to sell images. It's inevitable that competition and commoditization of images results. Getty and Istock and indeed the entire stock image industry can't stand in the way of trends, they can only react to them. Everyone loves SS now, but don't make the mistake of thinking they have some sort of lock on the future. It's all about numbers- increased supply, decreased cost of production, and worldwide competition from contributors with lower fixed costs. Istock made a lot of errors, but those errors really don't mean much in the face of a secular change.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: leaf on January 18, 2012, 16:47
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.


that wouldn't surprise me one bit.. .. sorta what Corbis just did with Veer. (http://www.microstockgroup.com/veer-marketplace/corbis-shutting-down-veer-calgary-office!/)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamirae on January 18, 2012, 16:55
Who do you suppose will be the next IS?


There won't be another, for lots of reasons. No other agency is strong enough or their business model will not support an attractive enough package to gain exclusive contributors in sufficient numbers. C

In future contributors will also be more wary of agencies, regard them with a healthy suspicion and be less inclined to offer them their "love".


Maybe a site owned by all contributors, all at the same level. Some kind of cooperative website...
Something that could not be sold, and where contributors make the decisions...

I would be the first to participate.


Check out Warmpicture.com (http://www.Warmpicture.com)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamirae on January 18, 2012, 16:56
Were inspectors affected by the layoff?  I just got the looniest rejection I've ever received.  I've been rejected for keywords before in cases where I was reaching somewhat for the concept implied by the shot, but this is the first time that keywords were rejected for things which are blatantly, obviously visible in the image: "house", "tree" and stuff like that.

I doubt it.  Inspectors are more like contract workers and not direct employees.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Pixart on January 18, 2012, 17:17
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.
[url]http://www.facebook.com/istock?sk=wall&filter=1[/url] ([url]http://www.facebook.com/istock?sk=wall&filter=1[/url])

Hmmm.. now I see all kinds of mesages before it was just the poll on top from Jan 12.  


Well, it's gone again.  Wonder what else is gone.  Still up though is the ever-popular "try a different browser" suggestion.  and this one "Dear iStockphoto: when I my credits expire, I will no longer be using your service. It's bad enough that I'm getting less freelance work. I don't like when you take my money and give me nothing in return."
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: BImages on January 18, 2012, 17:18
Who do you suppose will be the next IS?


There won't be another, for lots of reasons. No other agency is strong enough or their business model will not support an attractive enough package to gain exclusive contributors in sufficient numbers. C

In future contributors will also be more wary of agencies, regard them with a healthy suspicion and be less inclined to offer them their "love".


Maybe a site owned by all contributors, all at the same level. Some kind of cooperative website...
Something that could not be sold, and where contributors make the decisions...

I would be the first to participate.


Check out Warmpicture.com ([url]http://www.Warmpicture.com[/url])


It's owned by one person and it could be sold, so it's not good enough...
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cuethesun on January 18, 2012, 17:22

I doubt it.  Inspectors are more like contract workers and not direct employees.

I wonder how the decline in uploads is affecting them tho - given they're paid by volume, surely a reduced inflow is going to mean less of them needed to maintain the queues?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 18, 2012, 17:48

I doubt it.  Inspectors are more like contract workers and not direct employees.

I wonder how the decline in uploads is affecting them tho - given they're paid by volume, surely a reduced inflow is going to mean less of them needed to maintain the queues?

Still "Waiting approval 42286", and the last editorial batch I uploaded took c10 days to be inspected.

I wonder if they've had a paycut. So many files are still coming through with appalling keywording getting passed.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: velocicarpo on January 18, 2012, 17:54
I took istocks latest behaviour as a personal insult. I am definitely not sad when they are going down.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: SNP on January 18, 2012, 18:10
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: disorderly on January 18, 2012, 18:19
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: madelaide on January 18, 2012, 18:22
It's not a salary that will make people happy!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: wut on January 18, 2012, 18:27
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.

Indeed, that's exactly what I wanted to say, you beat me to it.

FT can go down along with them for all I care...
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on January 18, 2012, 18:28
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 .
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: aeonf on January 18, 2012, 18:38
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 .

+1
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 18, 2012, 18:43
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 .

Sorry, but I don't think so. And those with the largest amount to lose are of course going to say that the best course of action is for istock to come back strong.

Quote
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.


+1
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: rubyroo on January 18, 2012, 18:46
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 18, 2012, 18:48
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?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: wut on January 18, 2012, 18:50
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.

And we almost get no sales on top of that. But ok, to be honest, RPD for instance, is 60-70% higher at IS compared to SS, but the volume is just over 15%. Still terrible, but not as bad as some are portraying it, at least for most indies.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 18, 2012, 18:51
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Noodles on January 18, 2012, 18:52
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!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: aeonf on January 18, 2012, 18:57
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).
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: rubyroo on January 18, 2012, 18:59
No thanks.  I have no idea what they'll do at any given point in time.  I find independence a steadier vessel.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 18, 2012, 19:04
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. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cthoman on January 18, 2012, 19:16
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: disorderly on January 18, 2012, 19:33
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lisafx on January 18, 2012, 19:35

"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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 18, 2012, 19:58
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: adamkaz on January 18, 2012, 20:02

"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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 18, 2012, 20:06
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: helix7 on January 18, 2012, 20:13
"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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: adamkaz on January 18, 2012, 20:25
"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/ (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.)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jbarber873 on January 18, 2012, 20:29
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jjneff on January 18, 2012, 20:34
Exclusive at iStock is the only way to make real money! :-) "Runs for cover"
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: velocicarpo on January 18, 2012, 20:36
It's not a salary that will make people happy!

rsrsrsrsrsrs....a good and sarcastic one :D
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 18, 2012, 20:53

"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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: helix7 on January 18, 2012, 21:03
I guess we'll have to wait and see the results of the 2011 survey (2010 here: [url]http://blog.microstockgroup.com/microstock-income-vs-portfolio-size/[/url] ([url]http://blog.microstockgroup.com/microstock-income-vs-portfolio-size/[/url])) 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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: adamkaz on January 18, 2012, 22:07
I guess we'll have to wait and see the results of the 2011 survey (2010 here: [url]http://blog.microstockgroup.com/microstock-income-vs-portfolio-size/[/url] ([url]http://blog.microstockgroup.com/microstock-income-vs-portfolio-size/[/url])) 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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: caspixel on January 18, 2012, 22:16
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?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 18, 2012, 23:13
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).
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: SNP on January 18, 2012, 23:44
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamesbenet on January 19, 2012, 00:39
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: nruboc on January 19, 2012, 01:09
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
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: nruboc on January 19, 2012, 01:13
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.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cthoman on January 19, 2012, 01:44
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 cwould be huge if something were to go down with iStock.

While I'm not gleefully awaiting the demise of any company, I don't think the impact of IS going under would be that huge. Sure it will hurt some contributors (greatly), but they'll most likely recover. Someone else will pick up the sales and I don't think prices or royalties will get worse as a result of IS failing. If anything it will be a cautionary tale for other companies.

I think contributors underestimate their own relevance in building these companies and microstock from nothing. IS and SS didn't build microstock. We did. They were just there to wisely capitalize on it.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 19, 2012, 01:57
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.

to address contributor concerns around these layoffs.

This is an internal business matter, part of operations. It should not be anyone's business. I see layoffs everyday and most of the time is because they are not productive, lost some accounts they were in charge of, maybe some cutbacks and etc. Some employees don't adapt to changes and so they have to go. I'm sure they will hire more people to either replace those that were let go or for new projects.

Wow! Talk about a "head in sand" view of iStock! All in one day a heap of people lost accounts and didn't adapt so they have to be replaced?

It's as plain as the nose on your face that this is either a tactical response to falling profits or a strategic move that is part of an overall cost-cutting restructuring (possibly brought about by the failure of the previous strategy).

In your observation of other company layoffs you may notice that more often than not when a large group is sacked it is a cost-cutting measure so they are never replaced. Others are told to work harder to keep their jobs.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 19, 2012, 02:06
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 without SS and DT you would be getting 20% (or less). Remember why and when the "on the bridge at midnight" decision to create exclusivity was made?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lagereek on January 19, 2012, 02:15

"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.

Very TRUE!  indeed, if history and this business with IS, have proved anything,  its that exclusivity just doesnt work and is extremely dangerous. Can be wrecked just over a night.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 19, 2012, 02:26
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.

Oh, come on! That "exclusive is better quality, woo-yah" myth never had much credibility, even in the early days. Now the inspection is tougher elsewhere than at iS.

I don't want to see iStock collapse. Even last month it still generated 12% of my earnings (22% if you count in PP), a far cry from the 40% it once was - and while I've managed to replace the lost percentage so my overall earnings last year were my best ever, I know hard it is to plug such gaps.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 19, 2012, 07:04
sweeten the deal for us and demand exclusivity. win-win.
I think it would take a long time for them to build up any sort of trust.
Look at the people (several) who severed their ties with other agencies to become exclusive on the promise that they would be 'grandfathered in'.
I'm sure most people would be extremely sceptical of any 'sweetening' of contributor relations.
And whatever the 'new kind of trust' JJ said iStock would have to earn was meant to be, there has been no sign of it since he wrote that over a year ago.

While I would love to go back to the heady days of  late 2008, it's not going to happen by wishing.

iStock, even if they wanted to, would have a long, hard climb to win back even a fraction of confidence and 'trust' from the contributor community.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cuethesun on January 19, 2012, 07:42
sweeten the deal for us and demand exclusivity. win-win.
I think it would take a long time for them to build up any sort of trust.
Look at the people (several) who severed their ties with other agencies to become exclusive on the promise that they would be 'grandfathered in'.
I'm sure most people would be extremely sceptical of any 'sweetening' of contributor relations.
And whatever the 'new kind of trust' JJ said iStock would have to earn was meant to be, there has been no sign of it since he wrote that over a year ago.

While I would love to go back to the heady days of  late 2008, it's not going to happen by wishing.

iStock, even if they wanted to, would have a long, hard climb to win back even a fraction of confidence and 'trust' from the contributor community.

They'd probably have to do a comprehensive reset (start again, purge a lot of the top and middle management layers...)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on January 19, 2012, 07:57
Hmmm, interesting timing for this Getty blog post about their technology development approach (http://blog.gettyimages.com/2012/01/17/from-our-lean-and-agile-dev-team/) which I'm familiar with.

I wonder how much of this approach impacts technology strategy at IS.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 19, 2012, 08:03
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.
Arguably, that was then.
This is now.
Brand = product + personality.
What are the current 'values' of the iStock 'brand' that differentiates it from any others, in a good way?
Yes, there are many exclusive files.
(In many cases, they are essentially similar to many widely-distributed files, just with specific models)
Then ... ?
And for personality, we know who is the most visible face of the 'personality' of iStock - someone who is even snarky to buyers and forgets that many contributors are also buyers. Presumably, as he has retained his job, these are the values they are happy about conveying.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 19, 2012, 08:07
Hmmm, interesting timing for this Getty blog post about their technology development approach ([url]http://blog.gettyimages.com/2012/01/17/from-our-lean-and-agile-dev-team/[/url]) which I'm familiar with.

I wonder how much of this approach impacts technology strategy at IS.


Just found this;

"Redundancies at iStock    

Posted on January 19, 2012

This statement directly from Getty/iStock: As we continue to bring Getty Images and iStockphoto closer together, we are completing the process of full functional integration across the two brands. As with most integrations, some positions become redundant and approximately 30 employees will be leaving the business in the coming months. It is never easy to make these decisions, especially given the strong team we have at iStockphoto. Nonetheless, Getty Images remains committed to having an office in Calgary and to the vitality of the iStockphoto brand."

This was the source;

http://www.whichstockagency.com/en/502/nutshell (http://www.whichstockagency.com/en/502/nutshell)

It's nice that they're "committed to having an office in Calagary" although it omits to confirm whether any staff will actually be occupying it.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jjneff on January 19, 2012, 08:12
iStock is not going to die, others will raise prices like SS did for video. My sales have been very strong this month. Getty needs to consolidate certain areas! I would do the same to save money and be more efficient. My Vetta files are doing great so I say iStock is now mid-stock. No the community as it was is now gone and that is a shame indeed. But business is business and I can come here to chat. I focus on my content as I have a lot more to learn and as I push myself my skills get better and more opportunities arise because of it.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: helix7 on January 19, 2012, 08:29
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...

You're right, they used to do that very well. More recently I'd say that they've limited the collection with their ancient standards and managed to let other agencies exclusively have content that istock doesn't offer. Until recently that was most notably EPS10 vector files, and still is anything with text in it, despite the high demand everywhere else for ready-to-use vector files with text included, or composed entirely of text, hand-lettered or otherwise. They also refuse anything that's a print template, like business card templates, brochure layouts, etc., all things that SS and some others accept. istock is sticking with their "we'll tell you what you want instead of giving you more choice and responding to your requests" mentality, and they'll ride that idea all the way to the bottom, while other agencies evolve and adapt to buyer demands.

...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...

That's assuming that istock was still a big player at the time of the collapse. They're already #2 or #3 at best by most standards (lower in my earnings sheet but that's just me). Site traffic is way down, they're not so influential anymore. And after watching istock collapse I doubt that very many companies would be willing to travel down the same path. Other companies also aren't influenced by the greed of Getty or H&F. They don't have those interests to answer to. istock going away would only have a positive impact on the business. Even the influx of exclusives into the other agencies would be a good thing, I think. Whatever bolsters the better agencies and helps the collections, thus encouraging buyers, is good for everyone.

While it's nice to think about the day istock disappears off the map, realistically it will never happen. If istock stays on the downhill slide, eventually the investors will cut their losses and bail, opening the door for a shot at recovery. Losing their overbearing overlords is probably the only thing that will save the company at this point. I still firmly believe that a drastic across-the-board price reduction is the only way to turn things around, but that won't ever happen while Getty is at the helm.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 19, 2012, 08:43
While it's nice to think about the day istock disappears off the map, realistically it will never happen.
Never heard of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire?
The bigger they come, the harder they fall.

Quote
I still firmly believe that a drastic across-the-board price reduction is the only way to turn things around, but that won't ever happen while Getty is at the helm.
I'm not so keen on the price cut idea, but it could easily happen under Getty if they slash all commissions again, which would either be their end, when most contributors baled. Then how would the other agencies jump? Past performance is no indication of future possiblitiles.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: KarenH on January 19, 2012, 08:47
Hmmm, interesting timing for this Getty blog post about their technology development approach ([url]http://blog.gettyimages.com/2012/01/17/from-our-lean-and-agile-dev-team/[/url]) which I'm familiar with.

I wonder how much of this approach impacts technology strategy at IS.


Just found this;

"Redundancies at iStock    

Posted on January 19, 2012

This statement directly from Getty/iStock: As we continue to bring Getty Images and iStockphoto closer together, we are completing the process of full functional integration across the two brands. As with most integrations, some positions become redundant and approximately 30 employees will be leaving the business in the coming months. It is never easy to make these decisions, especially given the strong team we have at iStockphoto. Nonetheless, Getty Images remains committed to having an office in Calgary and to the vitality of the iStockphoto brand."

This was the source;

[url]http://www.whichstockagency.com/en/502/nutshell[/url] ([url]http://www.whichstockagency.com/en/502/nutshell[/url])

It's nice that they're "committed to having an office in Calagary" although it omits to confirm whether any staff will actually be occupying it.


And posted to the iStock forums -- and quickly locked with a "we're not going to talk about it."   I honestly do not understand their refusal to just admit it.  Being so secretive just fuels speculation. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jjneff on January 19, 2012, 08:55
I posted it knowing it would be locked. Its like a lawyer stating something to a jury knowing the Judge is going to say "disregard that statement" My problem is I have no idea to what level they are going to merge. If their goal is to have everyone at 20% this year then I want out NOW!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: KarenH on January 19, 2012, 09:03
I posted it knowing it would be locked. Its like a lawyer stating something to a jury knowing the Judge is going to say "disregard that statement" My problem is I have no idea to what level they are going to merge. If their goal is to have everyone at 20% this year then I want out NOW!
That's it exactly.  Someone in here posted that it's an internal business decision and no one else's business except for those involved.  But people do make decisions based on what is happening.  As an analogy, if you hold stock in a company or industry, news about organizational changes to a company you are invested in are relevant, even if you're not an employee.  That announcement from Getty is what should have been stated by iStock when it happened, so people (contributors and buyers) don't have to learn about it through social media.   
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 19, 2012, 09:05
Hmmm, interesting timing for this Getty blog post about their technology development approach ([url]http://blog.gettyimages.com/2012/01/17/from-our-lean-and-agile-dev-team/[/url]) which I'm familiar with.

I wonder how much of this approach impacts technology strategy at IS.


Just found this;

"Redundancies at iStock    

Posted on January 19, 2012

This statement directly from Getty/iStock: As we continue to bring Getty Images and iStockphoto closer together, we are completing the process of full functional integration across the two brands. As with most integrations, some positions become redundant and approximately 30 employees will be leaving the business in the coming months. It is never easy to make these decisions, especially given the strong team we have at iStockphoto. Nonetheless, Getty Images remains committed to having an office in Calgary and to the vitality of the iStockphoto brand."

This was the source;

[url]http://www.whichstockagency.com/en/502/nutshell[/url] ([url]http://www.whichstockagency.com/en/502/nutshell[/url])

It's nice that they're "committed to having an office in Calagary" although it omits to confirm whether any staff will actually be occupying it.


Huh?  Does this mean 30 more employees will be let go, or are they referring to the 30 who were just let go?  The source link only leads to IS, not the actual statement.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on January 19, 2012, 09:08
WOW, and Kelly Thompson is leaving Getty. His last day is tomorrow January 20th.

http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2140045/jobs-shed-getty-images-absorbs-istockphoto (http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2140045/jobs-shed-getty-images-absorbs-istockphoto)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on January 19, 2012, 09:08
I'm not sure where that statement came from, but the important part is "we are completing the process of full functional integration across the two brands".  Ick.

eta: now I know.  Thx!  I was wondering when someone would find the news about Kelly...
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 19, 2012, 09:10
Hmmm, interesting timing for this Getty blog post about their technology development approach ([url]http://blog.gettyimages.com/2012/01/17/from-our-lean-and-agile-dev-team/[/url]) which I'm familiar with.

I wonder how much of this approach impacts technology strategy at IS.


Just found this;

"Redundancies at iStock    

Posted on January 19, 2012

This statement directly from Getty/iStock: As we continue to bring Getty Images and iStockphoto closer together, we are completing the process of full functional integration across the two brands. As with most integrations, some positions become redundant and approximately 30 employees will be leaving the business in the coming months. It is never easy to make these decisions, especially given the strong team we have at iStockphoto. Nonetheless, Getty Images remains committed to having an office in Calgary and to the vitality of the iStockphoto brand."

This was the source;

[url]http://www.whichstockagency.com/en/502/nutshell[/url] ([url]http://www.whichstockagency.com/en/502/nutshell[/url])

It's nice that they're "committed to having an office in Calagary" although it omits to confirm whether any staff will actually be occupying it.


Huh?  Does this mean 30 more employees will be let go, or are they referring to the 30 who were just let go?  The source link only leads to IS, not the actual statement.

I'm inferring it's about the 30 who were just let go. Perhaps they gave them notice instead of a severance payment, or maybe (best case scenario) let each of them choose, as they said, 'in the coming months' rather than all leaving at once. Of cuorse, we all know how ambiguous iStock statements are at the best of times, and this is not the best of times.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: RapidEye on January 19, 2012, 09:18
http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2140045/jobs-shed-getty-images-absorbs-istockphoto (http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2140045/jobs-shed-getty-images-absorbs-istockphoto)

See the bit about Kelly Thompson at the end. News to me.

Edited: Never mind ... Paulie has started a dedicated thread about this here:
http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/kelly-thompson-leaving-getty-january-20th/ (http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/kelly-thompson-leaving-getty-january-20th/)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 19, 2012, 09:22
I'm not sure where that statement came from, but the important part is "we are completing the process of full functional integration across the two brands".  Ick.

Wasn't that one of the questions on the questionnaire to buyers: something like would you like to see all collections at once.
So either:
1. The majority response was Yes, showing that buyers aren't as confused by different prices as some here think (contrary to real-shop experience, where different prices are usual)
2. They ignored whatever the buyers said and are consolidating assets to keep down overheads.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: kelleyhg on January 19, 2012, 09:28
As a former Getty-iStock employee who was also let go in July (after doing GREAT work there), I can only say there is a much better door open for these people. I'm now at Shutterstock, and we're hiring like crazy. So we'd love to hear from talented people who have much to contribute in this industry. All my best to the 30 iStock people at this time of transition. I know from personal experience that it can be scary for you (and those close to you) right now, but it may get a lot better as it did for me.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamirae on January 19, 2012, 09:36
As a former Getty-iStock employee who was also let go in July (after doing GREAT work there), I can only say there is a much better door open for these people. I'm now at Shutterstock, and we're hiring like crazy. So we'd love to hear from talented people who have much to contribute in this industry. All my best to the 30 iStock people at this time of transition. I know from personal experience that it can be scary for you (and those close to you) right now, but it may get a lot better as it did for me.

That's great to hear!  congrats on your new-found position at SS!  Thanks for sharing that info here.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 19, 2012, 09:40
As a former Getty-iStock employee who was also let go in July (after doing GREAT work there), I can only say there is a much better door open for these people. I'm now at Shutterstock, and we're hiring like crazy. So we'd love to hear from talented people who have much to contribute in this industry. All my best to the 30 iStock people at this time of transition. I know from personal experience that it can be scary for you (and those close to you) right now, but it may get a lot better as it did for me.

Welcome and thanks for sharing!  IMO...you're working for a much better company.  SS has been my favorite since Day 1 for good reason. 

Mind if I ask a question?  Hmm...let me see if I can put this delicately..........................WT* is going on over at Getty and IS?!?!!  This is the first I've heard of layoffs last July.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: velocicarpo on January 19, 2012, 09:56
To all those who think it would be a disadvantage if istock is going down:

1. istock was/is responsible for the latest wave of commission cuts after their Sept. 10 royalty cut.
2. Lately I see much more sales at newcomer agencies, which means the old rule of a monopoly of the big four is not entirley true anymore. I earn already more on Veer and Depositphotos than on DT e.g..
If istock goes down buyer would distribute all over the place, increasing competition between the reamining agencies and lowering the power to abuse.
3. Lots of competition would go out of business. I guess many people wouldn`t start again uploading their Portfolio again. Others may even not be active anymore but still have their Portfolio on the site. Off course others would upload to the remaining agencies and increase competition their, but their images had been on sale before (on istock) too, therefore the total amount of competing files lowers.
4. If istock goes down, it would be a HUGE sign to all Agencies treating Contributors bad and working with the "profit is all" scheme that this DOES NOT WORk. It would be a well appreciated warning.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: dirkr on January 19, 2012, 09:58
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.

Commission rates? Istock is the worst agency out there in terms of commission rates. The always were with their 20% for indies and still decided that's not low enough.
And if you now start about exclusive rates: I only know two other microstock agencies that offer a similar exclusive program. FT and DT. And the commission rates they offer for their exclusives are way better than those at IS.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: djpadavona on January 19, 2012, 09:58
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 .

I've never had a problem with iStock's pricing. In fact I am one of the few who have applauded their consistency in pushing up prices. But it's a little disingenuous to point the finger at Shutterstock when you have iStock clearly pushing Thinkstock subscriptions. The bottom line is they can't have 84% of the commission for my work. It's pathetic, and their treatment of contributors completely undermines their desire to raise microstock pricing to midstock.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 19, 2012, 10:02
If istock goes down buyer would distribute all over the place, increasing competition between the reamining agencies and lowering the power to abuse.
But would lead to a pricing 'race to the bottom', as contributors would be loathe to commit to exclusivity (other than maybe image exclusivity, but that's subjective anyway and could lead to all sorts of disputes) so all agencies would have to differentiate themselves would be pricing, customer service (expensive) and/or search.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 19, 2012, 10:05
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 .

I've never had a problem with iStock's pricing. In fact I am one of the few who have applauded their consistency in pushing up prices. But it's a little disingenuous to point the finger at Shutterstock when you have iStock clearly pushing Thinkstock subscriptions. The bottom line is they can't have 84% of the commission for my work. It's pathetic, and their treatment of contributors completely undermines their desire to raise microstock pricing to midstock.

+1.  That 84% cut feels like outright theft, especially considering we're paying them more for a service that is continuously deteriorating. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: wds on January 19, 2012, 10:13
Are folks aware of this: http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2140045/jobs-shed-getty-images-absorbs-istockphoto (http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2140045/jobs-shed-getty-images-absorbs-istockphoto)

Apparently in addition to the layoffs, KT is leaving Getty.
Very scary and uncertain times indeed.

------- Oops!, see this was already posted.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: velocicarpo on January 19, 2012, 10:15
I'm not sure where that statement came from, but the important part is "we are completing the process of full functional integration across the two brands".  Ick.

True....
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 19, 2012, 10:18
As a former Getty-iStock employee who was also let go in July (after doing GREAT work there), I can only say there is a much better door open for these people. I'm now at Shutterstock, and we're hiring like crazy. So we'd love to hear from talented people who have much to contribute in this industry. All my best to the 30 iStock people at this time of transition. I know from personal experience that it can be scary for you (and those close to you) right now, but it may get a lot better as it did for me.

Welcome and thanks for sharing!  IMO...you're working for a much better company.  SS has been my favorite since Day 1 for good reason. 

Mind if I ask a question?  Hmm...let me see if I can put this delicately..........................WT* is going on over at Getty and IS?!?!!  This is the first I've heard of layoffs last July.

I'll second Karimala's welcome and also her question! What exactly is going on in Calgary?

Great to hear that SS is still 'hiring like crazy'. Looks like the guys with the white hats are winning through!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 19, 2012, 10:27
I do know one thing that's going on, at least with Getty.  They are calling people who created accounts at Thinkstock, inquiring about their photo buying needs.  

Yes, Getty called me yesterday.  Out of curiosity, last week I created an account at Thinkstock to see if there was anything additional available to registered users.  Nope...what you see is what you get.  The only difference is you get a phone call from Getty plugging Thinkstock.  Woohoo!   ::)  At least they also mentioned IS, which gave me a teensy tiny bit of relief, but nevertheless I had to laugh, because I'm in the middle of deactivating all of my IS images.  Such impeccable timing!

Much preferred when Anthony from Shutterstock called me.  He called to let me know about the integration of images from SS to BigStock before it happened, and wanted to know what I thought about it.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: wut on January 19, 2012, 10:28
I still firmly believe that a drastic across-the-board price reduction is the only way to turn things around, but that won't ever happen while Getty is at the helm.

I can't understand why would anyone believe that, much less believe that firmly? What's your reasoning behind it? Aren't the $250 sub packages (750 images/month) low enough? As far as I'm concerned those are the rock bottom prices. Most ppl that aren't willing to pay even as low a price won't buy it for half the price anyway, they'll just steal it. And even if there was, for instance a 10, 20, even 30% growth, what good does it do if the prices are reduced by 50% (because 20% wouldn't bring in any significant number of additional buyers)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: djpadavona on January 19, 2012, 10:35
Great to hear that SS is still 'hiring like crazy'. Looks like the guys with the white hats are winning through!

I'm seeing growth at Dreamstime too. My DT income is now significantly higher than my IS income, and yet I have far more images online with IS than at DT. I very much like Serban and DT and consider them a "white hat" agency too.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: michealo on January 19, 2012, 10:41
Great to hear that SS is still 'hiring like crazy'. Looks like the guys with the white hats are winning through!

I'm seeing growth at Dreamstime too. My DT income is now significantly higher than my IS income, and yet I have far more images online with IS than at DT. I very much like Serban and DT and consider them a "white hat" agency too.

With a 6 month lock on images?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 19, 2012, 10:44
I still firmly believe that a drastic across-the-board price reduction is the only way to turn things around, but that won't ever happen while Getty is at the helm.

I can't understand why would anyone believe that ...
That's absolutely NOT my quote.

This is Helix's belief:
I still firmly believe that a drastic across-the-board price reduction is the only way to turn things around, but that won't ever happen while Getty is at the helm.
To which I replied:
I'm not so keen on the price cut idea, but it could easily happen under Getty if they slash all commissions again [...]
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: djpadavona on January 19, 2012, 10:45
Michaelo-
It doesn't bother me because I'm not planning to leave them. Also, I rarely contribute to microstock agencies anymore. I'm probably past the 6 months already  :P

Besides, the 6-month lock-in is very transparent. It's not hidden. So you might disagree with it and prefer not to join DT, but it hardly makes them "black hat."
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: Tryingmybest on January 19, 2012, 10:49
If sales and revenue are falling then unfortunately lay-offs are a likely outcome. If it's true then it just confirms what all the circumstantial evidence has been indicating.

Anyone seen Lobo on the forums today?

Almost everything about iStock produces bad karma. That Lobo character is an icon of their sheer arrogance. Sorry if folks are getting laid off, but istock is one beast whose time is up and they have very little time to change their ways.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: wut on January 19, 2012, 10:50
I still firmly believe that a drastic across-the-board price reduction is the only way to turn things around, but that won't ever happen while Getty is at the helm.

I can't understand why would anyone believe that ...
That's absolutely NOT my quote.

This is Helix's belief:
I still firmly believe that a drastic across-the-board price reduction is the only way to turn things around, but that won't ever happen while Getty is at the helm.
To which I replied:
I'm not so keen on the price cut idea, but it could easily happen under Getty if they slash all commissions again [...]


Sorry Sue, I've corrected it. I wanted to quote you both at first, but then I, in the middle of writing my reply, realized it's really directed at what helix wrote, decided to remove yours, but unfortunately made a mistake

ETA I don't know what's going on, I can't unquote myself...And I'm not even in the quote ??? (no quote code for my nick, it's just in Sue's post)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 19, 2012, 10:52
I'm seeing growth at Dreamstime too. My DT income is now significantly higher than my IS income, and yet I have far more images online with IS than at DT. I very much like Serban and DT and consider them a "white hat" agency too.

With a 6 month lock on images?

What's wrong with that? Is 6 months too much of a commitment for your precious images? Might you suddenly change your mind tomorrow or next week so can't commit to anything? They claim to have 129K photographers who appear to be OK with it.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: wut on January 19, 2012, 10:56
I'm seeing growth at Dreamstime too. My DT income is now significantly higher than my IS income, and yet I have far more images online with IS than at DT. I very much like Serban and DT and consider them a "white hat" agency too.

With a 6 month lock on images?

What's wrong with that? Is 6 months too much of a commitment for your precious images? Might you suddenly change your mind tomorrow or next week so can't commit to anything? They claim to have 129K photographers who appear to be OK with it.

How's that even working AFAIK you can deactivate your images at any time, I tested it with one image last year, that wasn't online for at least 6 months and I had no problem with doing it, it disappeared from my port
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Pixart on January 19, 2012, 10:58
Karin - SS called me about a week after I created a purchasing account - and they gave me a 15% coupon after the call because I still had credits at Dreamstime.  I would say it's not isolated to Thinkstock, think of all the phone calls you get after you testdrive a new car .   ;)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: helix7 on January 19, 2012, 11:01
I still firmly believe that a drastic across-the-board price reduction is the only way to turn things around, but that won't ever happen while Getty is at the helm.

I can't understand why would anyone believe that, much less believe that firmly? What's your reasoning behind it?...

As credit prices and image costs steadily increased at istock over the years, buyer volume has dropped. You used to be able to get just about any Large photo for around $10. Now those same images can cost $50. I think there is a pretty clear correlation between rising prices and buyer dissatisfaction.

I used to be a buyer at istock. I'd pick up small images on a whim for comp purposes because they were cheap and it was nice to put an unwatermarked image into a design comp. Now an XS E+ image can cost $9. No way I'm spending $9 on a comp image. Even at the large size, if I bought a Large photo for $10 and didn't use it, no big deal. If I spend $50 I'm sure as heck going to be bummed about not using it, and certainly more inclined to get a refund.

For $50 you can go to SS and get 5 images, any size. For buyers this seems like a no-brainer, and I think that istock's pricing has had a profound effect on the decline in earnings many people see and the overall decline in site traffic and buyer activity. Returning prices to a true microstock level is the only way to bring buyers back around.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: michealo on January 19, 2012, 11:01
I'm seeing growth at Dreamstime too. My DT income is now significantly higher than my IS income, and yet I have far more images online with IS than at DT. I very much like Serban and DT and consider them a "white hat" agency too.

With a 6 month lock on images?

What's wrong with that? Is 6 months too much of a commitment for your precious images? Might you suddenly change your mind tomorrow or next week so can't commit to anything? They claim to have 129K photographers who appear to be OK with it.

If my images aren't so precious why do they need to hang on to them for 6 months?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: wut on January 19, 2012, 11:11
I still firmly believe that a drastic across-the-board price reduction is the only way to turn things around, but that won't ever happen while Getty is at the helm.

I can't understand why would anyone believe that, much less believe that firmly? What's your reasoning behind it?...

As credit prices and image costs steadily increased at istock over the years, buyer volume has dropped. You used to be able to get just about any Large photo for around $10. Now those same images can cost $50. I think there is a pretty clear correlation between rising prices and buyer dissatisfaction.

I used to be a buyer at istock. I'd pick up small images on a whim for comp purposes because they were cheap and it was nice to put an unwatermarked image into a design comp. Now an XS E+ image can cost $9. No way I'm spending $9 on a comp image. Even at the large size, if I bought a Large photo for $10 and didn't use it, no big deal. If I spend $50 I'm sure as heck going to be bummed about not using it, and certainly more inclined to get a refund.

For $50 you can go to SS and get 5 images, any size. For buyers this seems like a no-brainer, and I think that istock's pricing has had a profound effect on the decline in earnings many people see and the overall decline in site traffic and buyer activity. Returning prices to a true microstock level is the only way to bring buyers back around.
I thought you were referring to across the board reduction as in at all agencies (as it was obvious from my reply) - that wouldn't make any sense. Still, I think it's a good thing someone's trying to drive the prices up, where they rightly belong IMO, at all agencies, content is also getting better and better, there are fewer amateurish shots every year and they don't sell anyway. Better quality deserves higher prices, our productions costs go up all the time if we want to remain competitive. And like you said, it's a no brainer for the buyers to go to SS and similar agencies. So there's really no need for that, there's a price point for everyone, or else macro wouldn't exist anymore ;)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: leaf on January 19, 2012, 11:20
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.

[off-topic]I feel the difference between MSG and an agency forum is, on MSG you can talk about virtually any topic or subject matter - the only reason a post would be moderated is the manner in which it it is said.  Everyone is certainly free to post negative views of an agency (or this site for that matter), as long as it is stated in a respectful manner.  I realize your post was very borderline in regards to if it should have been removed - perhaps it should have been left.. it is a grey line and it's tough to always know which side of the line to pick.  No matter what i pick, I certainly won't please everyone.  As the post wasn't adding anything to the conversation in terms of opinions or thoughts and was simply humor at Lobo's expense I thought it just as well to remove it and in doing so, hopefully keep the thread on task. ... anyhow, enough thoughts.. back on topic [/off-topic]  ... [/moderators thoughts]
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ayzek on January 19, 2012, 11:26
Before than talking about an agency like hero of stock photography. Do not forget that there is an agency that selling Large RF images from 35 to 260 bucks and giving %60 to their contributors.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cthoman on January 19, 2012, 11:34
As credit prices and image costs steadily increased at istock over the years, buyer volume has dropped. You used to be able to get just about any Large photo for around $10. Now those same images can cost $50. I think there is a pretty clear correlation between rising prices and buyer dissatisfaction.

I used to be a buyer at istock. I'd pick up small images on a whim for comp purposes because they were cheap and it was nice to put an unwatermarked image into a design comp. Now an XS E+ image can cost $9. No way I'm spending $9 on a comp image. Even at the large size, if I bought a Large photo for $10 and didn't use it, no big deal. If I spend $50 I'm sure as heck going to be bummed about not using it, and certainly more inclined to get a refund.

For $50 you can go to SS and get 5 images, any size. For buyers this seems like a no-brainer, and I think that istock's pricing has had a profound effect on the decline in earnings many people see and the overall decline in site traffic and buyer activity. Returning prices to a true microstock level is the only way to bring buyers back around.

That's kind of an apple to oranges comparison. My average image sells for about $18.50 at IS. That same image would cost $19 at SS to buy as a single image. It would cost $15-$38 at DT and would cost $10.4 at FT. That's not really a huge difference.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: HughStoneIan on January 19, 2012, 11:40

......The best thing that could happen to istock now would be for H&F to decide they want out of their Getty deal, and then for Getty to cut istock loose to some new buyer. Hopefully someone with the vision and sense to see what needs to be done to fix the company and to do it.

 (https://twitter.com/#!/nerdyword)

Jon Oringer ?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 19, 2012, 11:47
If my images aren't so precious why do they need to hang on to them for 6 months?

In fact it is only one third of your port, uploaded within the last 6 months, that you cannot delete. Just as Istock introduced exclusivity, to defend their position against the emerging competition, the 6 month lock-in was DT's response to that. It also ensures that having gone to the expense of reviewing images it has a reasonable chance of getting a return. Back in the day people were choosing exclusivity and deleting portfolios that had only just been reviewed. Anyway, if you don't like it then don't join DT __ simples.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: mlwinphoto on January 19, 2012, 12:02
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.

Exclusive to the agency but not the buyer.  I've never understood why an image being exclusive to iStock would matter to a buyer when that image may be found in use all over the globe by the many who purchased it before.  Would love to hear from a buyer as to why/if iStock image exclusivity really matters to them.

A (generally) better standard of image?.....not sure I agree with this statement.  Being independent I pay close attention to the quality of the images around me and why there is what I would consider "substandard" work everywhere there is also outstanding work everywhere....iStock is no exception.

Personally I hope iStock does well for you exclusives now and well into the future so you'll stay there and not flood the other agencies with your work.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: TheDman on January 19, 2012, 12:15
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.

Exclusive to the agency but not the buyer.  I've never understood why an image being exclusive to iStock would matter to a buyer when that image may be found in use all over the globe by the many who purchased it before.  Would love to hear from a buyer as to why/if iStock image exclusivity really matters to them.

A (generally) better standard of image?.....not sure I agree with this statement.  Being independent I pay close attention to the quality of the images around me and why there is what I would consider "substandard" work everywhere there is also outstanding work everywhere....iStock is no exception.

Personally I hope iStock does well for you exclusives now and well into the future so you'll stay there and not flood the other agencies with your work.

You're missing the point. It's not supposed to be exclusive to the buyer, it's just exclusive to the site. So if a buyer wants that particular image the only place they can get it is at istockphoto. Having a different set of images is one way for agencies to differentiate themselves from one another.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamirae on January 19, 2012, 12:36
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.

Exclusive to the agency but not the buyer.  I've never understood why an image being exclusive to iStock would matter to a buyer when that image may be found in use all over the globe by the many who purchased it before.  Would love to hear from a buyer as to why/if iStock image exclusivity really matters to them.

A (generally) better standard of image?.....not sure I agree with this statement.  Being independent I pay close attention to the quality of the images around me and why there is what I would consider "substandard" work everywhere there is also outstanding work everywhere....iStock is no exception.

Personally I hope iStock does well for you exclusives now and well into the future so you'll stay there and not flood the other agencies with your work.

You're missing the point. It's not supposed to be exclusive to the buyer, it's just exclusive to the site. So if a buyer wants that particular image the only place they can get it is at istockphoto. Having a different set of images is one way for agencies to differentiate themselves from one another.

for a buyer the advantage of an exclusive image on istock would also be that they can see if it has been downloaded a gazillion times and decide if they want the same thing every other buyer has downloaded or not.  If it has low downloads they may have a better position in having a unique image.  That's about it. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: mlwinphoto on January 19, 2012, 12:38
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.

Exclusive to the agency but not the buyer.  I've never understood why an image being exclusive to iStock would matter to a buyer when that image may be found in use all over the globe by the many who purchased it before.  Would love to hear from a buyer as to why/if iStock image exclusivity really matters to them.

A (generally) better standard of image?.....not sure I agree with this statement.  Being independent I pay close attention to the quality of the images around me and why there is what I would consider "substandard" work everywhere there is also outstanding work everywhere....iStock is no exception.

Personally I hope iStock does well for you exclusives now and well into the future so you'll stay there and not flood the other agencies with your work.

You're missing the point. It's not supposed to be exclusive to the buyer, it's just exclusive to the site. So if a buyer wants that particular image the only place they can get it is at istockphoto. Having a different set of images is one way for agencies to differentiate themselves from one another.

Right.  Beneficial for the agency.  I don't see the benefit for the buyer....for one thing they can't "shop around" for the best price on that image if they are so inclined.  And, in all honesty, I'm not sure there is a long term benefit for the contributor.....in the short term they receive higher commissions for each sale but having that image in only one place also means less exposure to the buyer base which, in the long term, may mean fewer sales and ultimately less income on a per image basis...or not
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: wut on January 19, 2012, 12:52
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.

Exclusive to the agency but not the buyer.  I've never understood why an image being exclusive to iStock would matter to a buyer when that image may be found in use all over the globe by the many who purchased it before.  Would love to hear from a buyer as to why/if iStock image exclusivity really matters to them.

A (generally) better standard of image?.....not sure I agree with this statement.  Being independent I pay close attention to the quality of the images around me and why there is what I would consider "substandard" work everywhere there is also outstanding work everywhere....iStock is no exception.

Personally I hope iStock does well for you exclusives now and well into the future so you'll stay there and not flood the other agencies with your work.

You're missing the point. It's not supposed to be exclusive to the buyer, it's just exclusive to the site. So if a buyer wants that particular image the only place they can get it is at istockphoto. Having a different set of images is one way for agencies to differentiate themselves from one another.

Right.  Beneficial for the agency.  I don't see the benefit for the buyer....for one thing they can't "shop around" for the best price on that image if they are so inclined.  And, in all honesty, I'm not sure there is a long term benefit for the contributor.....in the short term they receive higher commissions for each sale but having that image in only one place also means less exposure to the buyer base which, in the long term, may mean fewer sales and ultimately less income on a per image basis...or not

The best for both word's (togs&buyers), if we're talking about exclusivity, is RM. It's a shame it's dying.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 19, 2012, 12:53
There's an official thread on iStock now.
Seems to take a while for their spin machine to wind up
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339821&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339821&page=1)
Seems JJRD is leaving.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: wds on January 19, 2012, 12:53
JJRD is leaving iStock. We are in the midst of MAJOR changes!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock today
Post by: djpadavona on January 19, 2012, 12:55

......The best thing that could happen to istock now would be for H&F to decide they want out of their Getty deal, and then for Getty to cut istock loose to some new buyer. Hopefully someone with the vision and sense to see what needs to be done to fix the company and to do it.

 (https://twitter.com/#!/nerdyword)

Jon Oringer ?

That would surprise me. Judging by the way SS has stepped in and taken the business IS has lost, I assume they are quite profitable. Getty has had so many problems with finances over the years. Unless iStock's financials are considerably better than the parent, I can't see SS wanting to boat anchor their business.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 19, 2012, 13:05
JJRD's leaving! (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339825&page=1)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamirae on January 19, 2012, 13:05
JJRD is leaving iStock. We are in the midst of MAJOR changes!

and the walls come tumbling down...
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cthoman on January 19, 2012, 13:16
JJRD's leaving! ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339825&page=1[/url])


I have to be honest. I really don't know who JJRD is. I guess I don't spend enough time in the IS forums.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: TheDman on January 19, 2012, 13:20
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.

Exclusive to the agency but not the buyer.  I've never understood why an image being exclusive to iStock would matter to a buyer when that image may be found in use all over the globe by the many who purchased it before.  Would love to hear from a buyer as to why/if iStock image exclusivity really matters to them.

A (generally) better standard of image?.....not sure I agree with this statement.  Being independent I pay close attention to the quality of the images around me and why there is what I would consider "substandard" work everywhere there is also outstanding work everywhere....iStock is no exception.

Personally I hope iStock does well for you exclusives now and well into the future so you'll stay there and not flood the other agencies with your work.

You're missing the point. It's not supposed to be exclusive to the buyer, it's just exclusive to the site. So if a buyer wants that particular image the only place they can get it is at istockphoto. Having a different set of images is one way for agencies to differentiate themselves from one another.

for a buyer the advantage of an exclusive image on istock would also be that they can see if it has been downloaded a gazillion times and decide if they want the same thing every other buyer has downloaded or not.  If it has low downloads they may have a better position in having a unique image.  That's about it. 

You can view downloads whether an image is exclusive or not.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: TheDman on January 19, 2012, 13:25
I don't see the benefit for the buyer....

It's not supposed to provide any 'benefit' to the buyer, it's just supposed to make the buyer shop at your store.


for one thing they can't "shop around" for the best price on that image if they are so inclined.

That's the idea! If you want the image, you have to come here. Macy's has their own exclusive brands like I.N.C. and Alfani. When you buy an Alfani shirt, that doesn't mean nobody else in the world owns that shirt. It just means you can only buy it at Macy's.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamirae on January 19, 2012, 13:26
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.

Exclusive to the agency but not the buyer.  I've never understood why an image being exclusive to iStock would matter to a buyer when that image may be found in use all over the globe by the many who purchased it before.  Would love to hear from a buyer as to why/if iStock image exclusivity really matters to them.

A (generally) better standard of image?.....not sure I agree with this statement.  Being independent I pay close attention to the quality of the images around me and why there is what I would consider "substandard" work everywhere there is also outstanding work everywhere....iStock is no exception.

Personally I hope iStock does well for you exclusives now and well into the future so you'll stay there and not flood the other agencies with your work.

You're missing the point. It's not supposed to be exclusive to the buyer, it's just exclusive to the site. So if a buyer wants that particular image the only place they can get it is at istockphoto. Having a different set of images is one way for agencies to differentiate themselves from one another.

for a buyer the advantage of an exclusive image on istock would also be that they can see if it has been downloaded a gazillion times and decide if they want the same thing every other buyer has downloaded or not.  If it has low downloads they may have a better position in having a unique image.  That's about it. 

You can view downloads whether an image is exclusive or not.

I know that.  the deal is that if it is not an exclusive image then you really don't know how many times the image has been downloaded from all the other sites, so the download number then only becomes significant (for a buyer) on exclusive images.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 19, 2012, 13:26
JJRD is leaving iStock. We are in the midst of MAJOR changes!

and the walls come tumbling down...

Well it turns out JJRD's prediction of 'major changes ahead' was correct __ although perhaps not exactly in the way he expected.

These 'changes' don't strike me as being an attempt to expand or enhance the business of Istock. Quite the reverse. It looks like a full-on retreat in the face of falling revenues.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 19, 2012, 13:28

for a buyer the advantage of an exclusive image on istock would also be that they can see if it has been downloaded a gazillion times and decide if they want the same thing every other buyer has downloaded or not.  If it has low downloads they may have a better position in having a unique image.  That's about it. 

You can view downloads whether an image is exclusive or not.

But you have no idea how often it's been sold at other agencies.

Of course, for people who were formerly independent there's still no way of knowing how often a file sold before it was exclusive on iStock.

But in fact, to my incredulity, it seems that many buyers seem to prefer the reassurance of knowing that a file's already had many downloads.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 19, 2012, 13:29
In particular, it suggests to me that decisions about content - what's accepted, where it goes, etc. - are all moving to Getty. If I had to make a guess, I'd say that iStock will become an input portal for Getty Images "crowdsourced" content. Down to Thinkstock/photos.com or up to Getty (Vetta/Agency).
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: TheDman on January 19, 2012, 13:32
I know that.  the deal is that if it is not an exclusive image then you really don't know how many times the image has been downloaded from all the other sites, so the download number then only becomes significant (for a buyer) on exclusive images.

Ah, point taken.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on January 19, 2012, 13:35
Wow, now JJRD. Wasn't he the one that said something in the past year like... Things are good and I'll be one of the first ones gone if that changes
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: TheDman on January 19, 2012, 13:36
In particular, it suggests to me that decisions about content - what's accepted, where it goes, etc. - are all moving to Getty. If I had to make a guess, I'd say that iStock will become an input portal for Getty Images "crowdsourced" content. Down to Thinkstock/photos.com or up to Getty (Vetta/Agency).

Agreed. What amazes me about that is why they're pushing Thinkstock as the place for the crowdsourced content. When they bought that dog the istockphoto brand was about 10,000 times stronger than Thinkstock, yet it seems they want istockphoto to become Thinkstock. You don't kill off your best brands and replace them with lesser ones.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamirae on January 19, 2012, 13:37
Wow, now JJRD. Wasn't he the one that said something in the past year like... Things are good and I'll be one of the first ones gone if that changes

right.. I was just trying to find that thread! 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamirae on January 19, 2012, 13:38
In particular, it suggests to me that decisions about content - what's accepted, where it goes, etc. - are all moving to Getty. If I had to make a guess, I'd say that iStock will become an input portal for Getty Images "crowdsourced" content. Down to Thinkstock/photos.com or up to Getty (Vetta/Agency).

Agreed. What amazes me about that is why they're pushing Thinkstock as the place for the crowdsourced content. When they bought that dog the istockphoto brand was about 10,000 times stronger than Thinkstock, yet it seems they want istockphoto to become Thinkstock. You don't kill off your best brands and replace them with lesser ones.

and with the ingestion of all the Getty content to istock it looks like they want iStock to become Getty.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 19, 2012, 13:39
Wow, now JJRD. Wasn't he the one that said something in the past year like... Things are good and I'll be one of the first ones gone if that changes

right.. I was just trying to find that thread! 

It was around the time of the RC introduction.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 19, 2012, 13:39
If my images aren't so precious why do they need to hang on to them for 6 months?

In fact it is only one third of your port, uploaded within the last 6 months, that you cannot delete. Just as Istock introduced exclusivity, to defend their position against the emerging competition, the 6 month lock-in was DT's response to that. It also ensures that having gone to the expense of reviewing images it has a reasonable chance of getting a return. Back in the day people were choosing exclusivity and deleting portfolios that had only just been reviewed. Anyway, if you don't like it then don't join DT __ simples.

The decision was also a response to contributors who would submit images for the sole purpose of entering the monthly "On Assignment" contest and then pulling them after the contest ended.  It was frustrating a lot of buyers who wanted to purchase images from an "On Assignment" collection.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 19, 2012, 13:40
In particular, it suggests to me that decisions about content - what's accepted, where it goes, etc. - are all moving to Getty. If I had to make a guess, I'd say that iStock will become an input portal for Getty Images "crowdsourced" content. Down to Thinkstock/photos.com or up to Getty (Vetta/Agency).

Well being as JJRD was the trainer and organiser-in-chief of the inspection team it does suggest that contributors' content maybe going elsewhere to be reviewed. Interesting.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stockpuppet on January 19, 2012, 13:46
September 2010: (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=257202&page=3)

Quote
if one day I do not believe in iStockphoto anymore, I will be out of here in a snap. Faster than a speeding bullet.
- JJRD
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Eireann on January 19, 2012, 13:47
And the news keeps on getting better and better!
I'm sorry, I really don't feel much for either of them (Kelly or JJ).
I remember, not so long ago, both continuously singing somewhat emotional praises to Getty and Getty employees - how intelligent they are, how wonderful it is to be working with them and what a blessing to be part of such a great company.
They might not feel the same today, but it's too late. The harm has already been done and there's no going back.

Kelly needs to spend more time with his family. Right.
I agree with Jsnover.
Whatever you do, Kelly, cooking classes or ballroom dance, please stay away from any decision making positions at SS or DT. Come to think of it, or any other agency too.
I like them, and my commissions, just as they are.

Meanwhile you go ahead and sink away IStock, sink away ...
From where I stand it's only what you deserve.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: JPSDK on January 19, 2012, 13:50
This is my first post on this forum. I have not posted before, but eventually I have read the microstockgroup forums when there have been news in the industry.
Im not a major player, just an amateur that has been around since 2007, mostly on shutterstock.

And now is such a time... For important news.

A major agency is in trouble, and the trouble seems to be deep.
As I see it it started last year when they argued that the canister system was unsustainable and they couldnt afford to pay the future canister levels rises and therefore did all kinds of fancy things to secure the profit.  Raising prises for the customers and lowering commisions for the contributers. Greed that was, and a bad sign.

In my understanding such a statement means that they have been pushing liquidity (or lack thereof) in front of them and have not had the according expansion in sales volume to be able to pay their promises back. Its always dangerous to push obligations in front of you and especially in a shrinking economy. So my guees is that IS financial trouble already began back in 2008- 09, and they were able to pull it till now.

So what?
Im quite certain that the microstock part of their business is dying, but I dont know if they have plans in the mid stock market. They may try to be competitive with a business model for mid stock. They allready have a complex of strange licences and exclusive contributers, that could be trimmed to the mid stock areana. But I see no clear signs of such a strategy. IS more has the appearance of a giant fighting blindly and randomly in the mud, without being able to take the right steps to get out of it.

And so what?
If an agency cannot survive in the microstock market on an 85% share, they are not competent and deserve to die. And I do not mourn their death. But I do appreaciate the lesson the agencies might learn from this: There is a limit to how much you can rape and pillage. And maybe the most important lesson. We contributers actually have a voice. Some of us are both contributers and buyers, and we all have a voice, and we spread the word.  IS forgot that, and they died from their ignorance. bad karma killed them.
I like that, since we cannot make a union or do anything in common, the important lesson here, for the agencies to learn, is, that it all adds up, and in the end karma can change. Like someone said with the bacteria film.
IS deserved it.
Let the other agencies learn.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: leaf on January 19, 2012, 13:59
Wow, JJRD leaving is big news.. I see him as one of the 'faces' of iStock - at least at the few iStockalypses I have attended and on their forum.

I can imagine other (micro)stock agencies swarming like vultures around the iStock doors in Calgary  ... waiting to snatch up some good employees.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on January 19, 2012, 14:03
September 2010: ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=257202&page=3[/url])

Quote
if one day I do not believe in iStockphoto anymore, I will be out of here in a snap. Faster than a speeding bullet.
- JJRD


Yep, that's the one I was thinking of.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Risamay on January 19, 2012, 14:16
September 2010: ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=257202&page=3[/url])

Quote
if one day I do not believe in iStockphoto anymore, I will be out of here in a snap. Faster than a speeding bullet.
- JJRD


Yep, that's the one I was thinking of.


Doesn't sound like it was a matter of his lack of faith. Sounds like he was asked/forced to leave. Downsizing, layoffs, etc.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: luissantos84 on January 19, 2012, 14:17
I am enjoying a lot reading this thread, I really hope (or not) that from the 30 employees not many were taking care of the website :D
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: click_click on January 19, 2012, 14:17
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. ...
Yeah I start seeing it his way as well. Basically what happened to Stockxpert will be the fate of iStock. Of course Getty could not just flick the switch and make iStock disappear, it would be too drastic. To widdle it down the way they did in the past years makes most sense if the goal is to scare all noobs, and middle tier performers away and offer the high profile shooters special Getty contracts while leaving the iStock site there to rot.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamirae on January 19, 2012, 14:18
September 2010: ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=257202&page=3[/url])

Quote
if one day I do not believe in iStockphoto anymore, I will be out of here in a snap. Faster than a speeding bullet.
- JJRD


Yep, that's the one I was thinking of.


Doesn't sound like it was a matter of his lack of faith. Sounds like he was asked/forced to leave. Downsizing, layoffs, etc.


well could be although he isn't leaving "in a snap.  Faster than a speeding bullet."  From what I recall reading in the IS thread he's going to stick around a few months to help transition.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Risamay on January 19, 2012, 14:27
Yup. That often happens when roles are made redundant or are split up between other roles or employees. Makes sense as iStock is being further absorbed into Getty, officially.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: mlwinphoto on January 19, 2012, 14:34
With iStock being integrated into Getty Images I wonder if independents will be required to go image exclusive with Getty as we do now with our traditional RM and RF content??
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cmannphoto on January 19, 2012, 14:38
^ That is my biggest concern. I hope the HQ does as Andrew said and Sean suggested
Quote
Posted By sjlocke:

Posted By rogermexico:
Everybody has a lot of questions about the short and long term implications of what's going on this week. People are going to be coming in here to provide more information about what all this means. There is not going to be a vacuum following the above announcement.


Lets hope that happens sooner than later. In a clear, concise manner that treats us like adults and businesspeople.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: peter_stockfresh on January 19, 2012, 14:40
I'll never forget the day when I saw people in the Istock forums cheering that StockXpert was killed.
I wonder who's cheering now.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 19, 2012, 14:40
With iStock being integrated into Getty Images I wonder if independents will be required to go image exclusive with Getty as we do now with our traditional RM and RF content??

That would be a very quick way of losing 80% of Istock's content. Not a chance of it happening.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamirae on January 19, 2012, 14:41
I'll never forget the day when I saw people in the Istock forums cheering that StockXpert was killed.
I wonder who's cheering now.

:) 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 19, 2012, 14:44
I'll never forget the day when I saw people in the Istock forums cheering that StockXpert was killed.
I wonder who's cheering now.

Well they do say that 'revenge is a dish best served cold'.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gbalex on January 19, 2012, 14:49
I'll never forget the day when I saw people in the Istock forums cheering that StockXpert was killed.
I wonder who's cheering now.

Yes I remember that as well, not a culture we want spread to other sites.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stockmarketer on January 19, 2012, 14:54
Let's all take a deep breath here. I'd say we're in a "the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" situation.

Yes, there are monumental changes happening in the offices of iStock.  And yes, JJRD's leaving is big news.  But even today, after the news broke, buyers are still buying.  How much will all of this "inside baseball" news affect sales today, tomorrow, next week, next month?  I'm guessing not much.  

We're all assuming the current iStock leadership is incompetent and has no plan to take the business anywhere but down.  Recent missteps even validate this opinion.  But it still remains to be seen.

I am no iStock cheerleader.  I haven't uploaded there in quite some time.  But my sales for the past few weeks have been going up... not just a typical post-holiday rise, but they're back to where they were last Sept or Oct.  To me this means that most buyers are so disconnected to what's happening behind the scenes that the iStock management has a bit of time to coast and implement positive change before the business actually dies.  Will it happen?  Who knows... but it would be naive to write iStock's obituary today.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: helix7 on January 19, 2012, 14:55
With iStock being integrated into Getty Images I wonder if independents will be required to go image exclusive with Getty as we do now with our traditional RM and RF content??

Let em try it. It would be the last major action of istock.

However what I do see happening is a pay cut for exclusives. As more parts of istock get integrated into Getty, I think more of the Getty folks are going to start asking each other why they're paying such a high percentage to some folks. 20% seems like it would be itough to sell to contributors. But maybe 25% across the board for exclusives. Amazingly I could see a lot of people sticking around for that.

And maybe 15% across the board for independents, just to make the exclusive deal look a little sweeter.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 19, 2012, 14:56
I'll never forget the day when I saw people in the Istock forums cheering that StockXpert was killed.
I wonder who's cheering now.

I still mourn the loss of StockXpert.   :'( 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cthoman on January 19, 2012, 14:59
I'll never forget the day when I saw people in the Istock forums cheering that StockXpert was killed.
I wonder who's cheering now.

Well, I'm not cheering, but I am patting myself on the back and saying, "That'll do pig. That'll do".  ;D
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 19, 2012, 15:08
Let's all take a deep breath here. I'd say we're in a "the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" situation.

Yes, there are monumental changes happening in the offices of iStock.  And yes, JJRD's leaving is big news.  But even today, after the news broke, buyers are still buying.  How much will all of this "inside baseball" news affect sales today, tomorrow, next week, next month?  I'm guessing not much.  

We're all assuming the current iStock leadership is incompetent and has no plan to take the business anywhere but down.  Recent missteps even validate this opinion.  But it still remains to be seen.

I am no iStock cheerleader.  I haven't uploaded there in quite some time.  But my sales for the past few weeks have been going up... not just a typical post-holiday rise, but they're back to where they were last Sept or Oct.  To me this means that most buyers are so disconnected to what's happening behind the scenes that the iStock management has a bit of time to coast and implement positive change before the business actually dies.  Will it happen?  Who knows... but it would be naive to write iStock's obituary today.

No, sorry, but this really is the beginning of the end of Istock as a major player n microstock. Even Getty doesn't really believe in them anymore. Istock are being squeezed of staff and it follows that they are likely to be squeezed of future investment too. Therefore they will not be able to compete in the longer term. As sales dwindle more exclusives will give up their crowns and eventually fresh content will dry up too. They'll still be around but not as we once knew them.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stockmarketer on January 19, 2012, 15:25

No, sorry, but this really is the beginning of the end of Istock as a major player n microstock.


Right, this is my point.  It might be the beginning of the end, but iStock isn't dead as many are proclaiming.

I'm pointing out that there are thousands of people around the world right now making purchases on the site and oblivious to what's happening behind the scenes.   And it's even possible that iStock could introduce some changes that make these buyers want to stick around for the foreseeable future.

Frankly I'd be thrilled if all those buyers immediately gave up on IS and went to SS, DT and FT.  But unless the iStock management truly wants to throw money away, they have a plan for keeping those buyers in some capacity. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lagereek on January 19, 2012, 15:26
^^ Agreeing!  and for some weird, uncanny almost grotesque reasons, one gets the feeling, Its been destroyed on purpose and for what?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: disorderly on January 19, 2012, 15:29
Frankly I'd be thrilled if all those buyers immediately gave up on IS and went to SS, DT and FT.  But unless the iStock management truly wants to throw money away, they have a plan for keeping those buyers in some capacity. 

I wonder.  I assume that if such a plan exists, they somehow expect to hold on to the buyers without holding on to the content that they buyers have been purchasing.  Because unless iStock stops screwing its suppliers, there's going to be less and less Getty-supplied content for them to spend their money on.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: traveler1116 on January 19, 2012, 15:32
No, sorry, but this really is the beginning of the end of Istock as a major player n microstock. Even Getty doesn't really believe in them anymore.
I don't think this is correct at all, I would guess iStock becomes an even bigger part of Getty as Getty artists are pushed onto iStock.  The trend is going that way, there is little or no movement from iStock to Getty while there is a lot of movement the other way.  I think iStock becomes stronger but I am worried that iStock artists lose out.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jjneff on January 19, 2012, 15:35
Well I can say if they choose to cut me to 25% I'm good and gone as an Exclusive! Terrible decision to take a key person and spread their work around. This is what makes companies fail.
No, I don't think iStock will die over night but this year will say everything.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: caspixel on January 19, 2012, 15:36
But unless the iStock management truly wants to throw money away, they have a plan for keeping those buyers in some capacity.  

I don't see Getty as ever understanding the business model, so any "plans" they might think they have for keeping buyers will fail, unless they can figure out what the magic (all three sides of the triangle working together to succeed - agency, contributors, AND buyers)  was that has been lost in their lust for profits. Unfortunately, big business does not understand that it is the people at the bottom, that they sh*t on, that props up the people at the top. They think the people at the bottom (the suppliers AND the customers - big business has a huge contempt for customers - the necessary evil that they are) are easily replaceable. There will always be more, right? WRONG! The more they weaken the base, the more likely the top will also collapse.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: SNP on January 19, 2012, 15:43
I think we can all agree that JJ and Kelly leaving does not bode well for any iStock exclusive. I don't know about the rest of you exclusives, but holy sh*t...what now?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: velocicarpo on January 19, 2012, 15:44
I'll never forget the day when I saw people in the Istock forums cheering that StockXpert was killed.
I wonder who's cheering now.

+1
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 19, 2012, 15:45
In particular, it suggests to me that decisions about content - what's accepted, where it goes, etc. - are all moving to Getty. If I had to make a guess, I'd say that iStock will become an input portal for Getty Images "crowdsourced" content. Down to Thinkstock/photos.com or up to Getty (Vetta/Agency).

I've been saying for ages that one of the most important things about iStock is its inspection system, which could provide "triage" for Getty, allowing them to direct content to their main collection or to TS or iS depending on the inspector's judgement.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 19, 2012, 15:47
I think we can all agree that JJ and Kelly leaving does not bode well for any iStock exclusive. I don't know about the rest of you exclusives, but holy sh*t...what now?

Erm ... that's a really tricky one ... let me think about it for a nano-second or two and see if I can come up with any solutions.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: loop on January 19, 2012, 15:52
JJRD lay off is really bad news. Istockphoto owes much to him. Worst of all: JJRD is a photographer and an artist; I won't be surprised if his replacement heading the content department is a marketing specialist, a seller. It has happened often lately in the whole culture industry and when, with time, these kind of changess backfire often is too late to ammend it.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: SNP on January 19, 2012, 15:54
JJRD lay off is really bad news. Istockphoto owes much to him. Worst of all: JJRD is a photographer and an artist; I won't be surprised if his replacement heading the content department is a marketing specialist, a seller. It has happened often lately in the whole culture industry and when, with time, these kind of changess backfire often is too late to ammend it.

this is true, unfortunately. but I think we're about to see iStock get swallowed up by the Getty machine. the question is whether to go with the flow or walk the plank and hope the sharks are friendly
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ffNixx on January 19, 2012, 15:55
I think we can all agree that JJ and Kelly leaving does not bode well for any iStock exclusive. I don't know about the rest of you exclusives, but holy sh*t...what now?

Erm ... that's a really tricky one ... let me think about it for a nano-second or two and see if I can come up with any solutions.

LOL... you two should just go and get married! :D
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 19, 2012, 15:56
^^ Agreeing!  and for some weird, uncanny almost grotesque reasons, one gets the feeling, Its been destroyed on purpose and for what?

Perhaps because direct control of it had slipped out of the hands of people who believed in it and into the hands of people who, deep down inside, still feel that a bunch of amateurs with their digicams are destroying stock photography and wish they would go away. I'm sure that the Gettyimages bosses will have talked up their "market leading experience" to the new owners who probably neither know not understand the stock image market and the tensions inside it.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: helix7 on January 19, 2012, 15:57
this is true, unfortunately. but I think we're about to see iStock get swallowed up by the Getty machine. the question is whether to go with the flow or walk the plank and hope the sharks are friendly

That's what it sounds like, since all of the jobs lost were on the istock side. The "redundancies" all seem to favor the Getty team, so any replacement to JJRD would come from Getty. istock is being eaten.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: SNP on January 19, 2012, 15:59
I think we can all agree that JJ and Kelly leaving does not bode well for any iStock exclusive. I don't know about the rest of you exclusives, but holy sh*t...what now?

Erm ... that's a really tricky one ... let me think about it for a nano-second or two and see if I can come up with any solutions.

LOL... you two should just go and get married! :D

I think my husband would have an issue with that, but I've learned to appreciate gostwyck's humour over the years.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Noodles on January 19, 2012, 16:03
I think we can all agree that JJ and Kelly leaving does not bode well for any iStock exclusive. I don't know about the rest of you exclusives, but holy sh*t...what now?

Erm ... that's a really tricky one ... let me think about it for a nano-second or two and see if I can come up with any solutions.

I know this one!  Well, not really a solution but they do say "Every cloud has a silver lining"  :)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 19, 2012, 16:06
this is true, unfortunately. but I think we're about to see iStock get swallowed up by the Getty machine. the question is whether to go with the flow or walk the plank and hope the sharks are friendly

That's what it sounds like, since all of the jobs lost were on the istock side. The "redundancies" all seem to favor the Getty team, so any replacement to JJRD would come from Getty. istock is being eaten.

I think istock will be around this year, as they streamline what images go to Getty and what goes to stinkstock, but then BOOM!, one day an announcement will come and istock will be gone. You will be directed to either Getty or thinkstock directly. The "artist formerly known as istockphoto" will cease to exist.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stocker2011 on January 19, 2012, 16:09

No, sorry, but this really is the beginning of the end of Istock as a major player n microstock.

I'm pointing out that there are thousands of people around the world right now making purchases on the site and oblivious to what's happening behind the scenes.   And it's even possible that iStock could introduce some changes that make these buyers want to stick around for the foreseeable future.

Just because buyers are buying doesnt mean that their current situation is 'sustainable' ie. profitable. Buyers have been buying all the time in 2011 but that didnt stop 2011 from being a lot of contributors worst year ever which was a strong signal for the arrival of the events which we are currently witnessing.

You also mentioned that you yourself are seeing an increase in sales, i was too until the begining of the week when it all completely went dead. That's best match working its magic once again.

One thing i'd like to know is exactly why Kelly and JJRD left, was it money orientated or were they pushed out because they were the last major obstacles to remove so that Getty could steer istock directly into an iceberg, of course just before they raped it for all that it was worth.


istock have been riding the wave of being No.1 for too long now
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: helix7 on January 19, 2012, 16:12
Let's all take a deep breath here. I'd say we're in a "the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" situation.

Yes, there are monumental changes happening in the offices of iStock.  And yes, JJRD's leaving is big news.  But even today, after the news broke, buyers are still buying.  How much will all of this "inside baseball" news affect sales today, tomorrow, next week, next month?  I'm guessing not much...

You're right, but I don't think the concerns being expressed have anything to do with buyers. The concern seems more to do with what Getty will do to contributors. Especially knowing that Getty pays everyone 20%, and whether they might want to implement that same standard at istock.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stockmarketer on January 19, 2012, 16:12
this is true, unfortunately. but I think we're about to see iStock get swallowed up by the Getty machine. the question is whether to go with the flow or walk the plank and hope the sharks are friendly

That's what it sounds like, since all of the jobs lost were on the istock side. The "redundancies" all seem to favor the Getty team, so any replacement to JJRD would come from Getty. istock is being eaten.

I think istock will be around this year, as they streamline what images go to Getty and what goes to stinkstock, but then BOOM!, one day an announcement will come and istock will be gone. You will be directed to either Getty or thinkstock directly. The "artist formerly known as istockphoto" will cease to exist.

No.  iStock as a name has way too much brand equity.  That wasn't really the case with StockXpert.  Even people who only marginally know what microstock is probably have heard of iStock.  If they know one place to turn to for buying cheap pictures, it's probably iStock.

They will transform the business but keep the name.  People will likely be screwed... probably contributors... but if the management has an ounce of sense about making money, they will find a way to keep buyers with the name iStock.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stockmarketer on January 19, 2012, 16:14
You also mentioned that you yourself are seeing an increase in sales, i was too until the begining of the week when it all completely went dead. That's best match working its magic once again.

For me, this week is running about 35% higher than last week.  If there was a change, I guess I benefited.  Sorry.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: TheDman on January 19, 2012, 16:15
I think istock will be around this year, as they streamline what images go to Getty and what goes to stinkstock, but then BOOM!, one day an announcement will come and istock will be gone. You will be directed to either Getty or thinkstock directly. The "artist formerly known as istockphoto" will cease to exist.

Which just kills me. It would be like Amazon buying Overstock.com, dissolving Amazon.com and rerouting traffic over to Overstock. Why would you eliminate the stronger brand?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 19, 2012, 16:22
No.  iStock as a name has way too much brand equity.  That wasn't really the case with StockXpert.  Even people who only marginally know what microstock is probably have heard of iStock.  If they know one place to turn to for buying cheap pictures, it's probably iStock.

They will transform the business but keep the name.  People will likely be screwed... probably contributors... but if the management has an ounce of sense about making money, they will find a way to keep buyers with the name iStock.

You could be right, that would certainly be the smart thing to do, but Getty Images has an even bigger brand recognition. Could go either way, I suppose, unless you factor in your statement which I bolded above. Based on that, istockphoto will be gone.  ;)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: caspixel on January 19, 2012, 16:25

I think istock will be around this year, as they streamline what images go to Getty and what goes to stinkstock, but then BOOM!, one day an announcement will come and istock will be gone. You will be directed to either Getty or thinkstock directly. The "artist formerly known as istockphoto" will cease to exist.

I think it will become just another collection on Getty's main site, just like the other collections they absorbed. They will get rid of the iStock website. Why continue to maintain it and incur the cost when they already have one umbrella site.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: scottdunlap on January 19, 2012, 16:43
I know I'm in the minority, but I think iStock is actually doing well sales-wise. However, Getty is used to paying out a lower commission % and it's killing them that iStock is higher. They see getting that number down as a natural way to increase profits, and they will continue their march to lower the % paid out.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 19, 2012, 16:55
... but I think we're about to see iStock get swallowed up by the Getty machine. the question is whether to go with the flow or walk the plank and hope the sharks are friendly

I think there are negative ramifications of trouble at iStock for all of us who sell there - independents for whom it is one of the top earners (even if smaller than it was), and exclusives for whom the Getty-run business may be as shark infested as independent waters seem to be. I think it will mean lower royalty percentages, fewer choices over where your content goes (I think the opt out for the partner program will very soon be gone, for example).

I think that a flood of new content from departing exclusives may dilute earnings for independents at other sites, although that might improve as more buyers migrate to find the content.

That curse - may you live in interesting times - comes to mind.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 19, 2012, 16:56
September 2010: ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=257202&page=3[/url])

Quote
if one day I do not believe in iStockphoto anymore, I will be out of here in a snap. Faster than a speeding bullet.
- JJRD


Yep, that's the one I was thinking of.


Doesn't sound like it was a matter of his lack of faith. Sounds like he was asked/forced to leave. Downsizing, layoffs, etc.


I agree. He said he would be OUT OF HERE in a snap. In his goodbye post, he said he would be remaining as an iStock exclusive.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: thesentinel on January 19, 2012, 17:00


I think it will become just another collection on Getty's main site, just like the other collections they absorbed. They will get rid of the iStock website. Why continue to maintain it and incur the cost when they already have one umbrella site.

Three different customer payment mechanisms?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lagereek on January 19, 2012, 17:11
^^ Agreeing!  and for some weird, uncanny almost grotesque reasons, one gets the feeling, Its been destroyed on purpose and for what?

Perhaps because direct control of it had slipped out of the hands of people who believed in it and into the hands of people who, deep down inside, still feel that a bunch of amateurs with their digicams are destroying stock photography and wish they would go away. I'm sure that the Gettyimages bosses will have talked up their "market leading experience" to the new owners who probably neither know not understand the stock image market and the tensions inside it.

Yes, could very well be that way. Although they would have to be total lunatics, thinking it would go back to the traditional way of stock agencies and Im not too sure todays Getty bosses are on the ball, theyre not of the same breed as the previous ones. No clout, no style.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Freedom on January 19, 2012, 17:14
I know I'm in the minority, but I think iStock is actually doing well sales-wise. However, Getty is used to paying out a lower commission % and it's killing them that iStock is higher. They see getting that number down as a natural way to increase profits, and they will continue their march to lower the % paid out.

I agree. Sales wise I am selling more and getting more money under the new RC system although I had to live with reduced commission % for a while.

Since I was a new kid in the block, I didn't know any of the senior people personally. I am sorry that they had to leave to pursue "new interests", layoff is not pleasant for anyone. As to iStock's future, let's wait and see.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: mtilghma on January 19, 2012, 17:20
first and foremost, my biggest hope is that the friends and acquaintances i've made here and elsewhere who make either their entire income or a large portion of it as an istock exclusive do not see their lives turned up-side down.  no petty victories are worth that.  whether it means a smooth transition to indy, or an istock rebound, or whatever else, that is my hope.

that being said, i do have a secret, selfish outcome that i see helping me most.  that would be if istock turns into a getty portal, like many have said so far, where photos go either up to vetta or down to thinkstock.  such a situation may result in the "up to vetta" venue requiring image exclusivity, but not agency exclusivity.  that would help me, and I would submit a lot through that.  my biggest loss when rescinding istock exclusivity was many of my photos being taken off vetta... they sold quite well there.  if i can stay an indy, but upload to "istock->getty->vetta" first if i promise image exclusivity if accepted, i think that would help me a lot.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Equus on January 19, 2012, 17:35

that being said, i do have a secret, selfish outcome that i see helping me most.  that would be if istock turns into a getty portal, like many have said so far, where photos go either up to vetta or down to thinkstock.  such a situation may result in the "up to vetta" venue requiring image exclusivity, but not agency exclusivity.  that would help me, and I would submit a lot through that.  my biggest loss when rescinding istock exclusivity was many of my photos being taken off vetta... they sold quite well there.  if i can stay an indy, but upload to "istock->getty->vetta" first if i promise image exclusivity if accepted, i think that would help me a lot.

Yes, but I'd hate to see what I think is a Vetta image rejected and sent to Thinkstock!
In many ways I'd like to see the end of photographer exclusivity, and a fair rate paid to everyone. I'd like the opportunity to put some things elsewhere as RF. I have been thinking of giving up the crown so that I can do just that, but so far no one has convinced me that I'd be financially better off as an independent.
To those who have been laid off, well, that's happened to me twice, both times have led on to new adventures and turned out to be for the best. I hope the same happens for all of you!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: mtilghma on January 19, 2012, 17:43

that being said, i do have a secret, selfish outcome that i see helping me most.  that would be if istock turns into a getty portal, like many have said so far, where photos go either up to vetta or down to thinkstock.  such a situation may result in the "up to vetta" venue requiring image exclusivity, but not agency exclusivity.  that would help me, and I would submit a lot through that.  my biggest loss when rescinding istock exclusivity was many of my photos being taken off vetta... they sold quite well there.  if i can stay an indy, but upload to "istock->getty->vetta" first if i promise image exclusivity if accepted, i think that would help me a lot.

Yes, but I'd hate to see what I think is a Vetta image rejected and sent to Thinkstock!
In many ways I'd like to see the end of photographer exclusivity, and a fair rate paid to everyone. I'd like the opportunity to put some things elsewhere as RF. I have been thinking of giving up the crown so that I can do just that, but so far no one has convinced me that I'd be financially better off as an independent.
To those who have been laid off, well, that's happened to me twice, both times have led on to new adventures and turned out to be for the best. I hope the same happens for all of you!

your fear implies a situation where i promise image exclusivity no matter the outcome, even if it goes to thinkstock.  i would never submit, if that were the situation.  if i need to promise image exclusivity only for the vetta outcome, but not the thinkstock outcome, i would submit in droves
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lisafx on January 19, 2012, 18:09
As a former Getty-iStock employee who was also let go in July (after doing GREAT work there), I can only say there is a much better door open for these people. I'm now at Shutterstock, and we're hiring like crazy. So we'd love to hear from talented people who have much to contribute in this industry. All my best to the 30 iStock people at this time of transition. I know from personal experience that it can be scary for you (and those close to you) right now, but it may get a lot better as it did for me.

Congratulations Kelley.  Very nice to hear that there are doors open to talented hard working people who were clearly undervalued by Getty :) 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jjneff on January 19, 2012, 18:15
Is that Kelley Thompson at ShutterStock?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lisafx on January 19, 2012, 18:32

No, sorry, but this really is the beginning of the end of Istock as a major player n microstock. Even Getty doesn't really believe in them anymore. Istock are being squeezed of staff and it follows that they are likely to be squeezed of future investment too. Therefore they will not be able to compete in the longer term. As sales dwindle more exclusives will give up their crowns and eventually fresh content will dry up too. They'll still be around but not as we once knew them.

Sadly, I have to agree with this assessment.  Except that I would say this is the middle of the end.  The beginning was Sept 2010 IMO. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Risamay on January 19, 2012, 18:38
September 2010: ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=257202&page=3[/url])

Quote
if one day I do not believe in iStockphoto anymore, I will be out of here in a snap. Faster than a speeding bullet.
- JJRD


Yep, that's the one I was thinking of.


Doesn't sound like it was a matter of his lack of faith. Sounds like he was asked/forced to leave. Downsizing, layoffs, etc.


I agree. He said he would be OUT OF HERE in a snap. In his goodbye post, he said he would be remaining as an iStock exclusive.


Great catch! That settles it then (:
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Risamay on January 19, 2012, 18:43

I think istock will be around this year, as they streamline what images go to Getty and what goes to stinkstock, but then BOOM!, one day an announcement will come and istock will be gone. You will be directed to either Getty or thinkstock directly. The "artist formerly known as istockphoto" will cease to exist.

I think it will become just another collection on Getty's main site, just like the other collections they absorbed. They will get rid of the iStock website. Why continue to maintain it and incur the cost when they already have one umbrella site.

That'd be my bet, as well.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lisafx on January 19, 2012, 18:45
Is that Kelley Thompson at ShutterStock?

Nope.  Kelly Thompson doesn't spell his name with two e's.  
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 19, 2012, 18:48
Is that Kelley Thompson at ShutterStock?

Kelley (vs. Kelly) has hg for last name and says they were let go in July, so I think it isn't KKT.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamirae on January 19, 2012, 18:54

No, sorry, but this really is the beginning of the end of Istock as a major player n microstock. Even Getty doesn't really believe in them anymore. Istock are being squeezed of staff and it follows that they are likely to be squeezed of future investment too. Therefore they will not be able to compete in the longer term. As sales dwindle more exclusives will give up their crowns and eventually fresh content will dry up too. They'll still be around but not as we once knew them.

Sadly, I have to agree with this assessment.  Except that I would say this is the middle of the end.  The beginning was Sept 2010 IMO. 

that's exactly what I was about to say!  So I guess I'll just +1 your post!  :)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lisafx on January 19, 2012, 19:02

Sadly, I have to agree with this assessment.  Except that I would say this is the middle of the end.  The beginning was Sept 2010 IMO. 

that's exactly what I was about to say!  So I guess I'll just +1 your post!  :)

Great disillusioned minds think alike, I guess... ;)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Risamay on January 19, 2012, 19:03
+2
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 19, 2012, 19:04
+3  :(  >:(
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: briciola on January 19, 2012, 19:27
And the news keeps on getting better and better!
I'm sorry, I really don't feel much for either of them (Kelly or JJ).
I remember, not so long ago, both continuously singing somewhat emotional praises to Getty and Getty employees - how intelligent they are, how wonderful it is to be working with them and what a blessing to be part of such a great company.
They might not feel the same today, but it's too late. The harm has already been done and there's no going back.

Kelly needs to spend more time with his family. Right.
I agree with Jsnover.
Whatever you do, Kelly, cooking classes or ballroom dance, please stay away from any decision making positions at SS or DT. Come to think of it, or any other agency too.
I like them, and my commissions, just as they are.

Meanwhile you go ahead and sink away IStock, sink away ...
From where I stand it's only what you deserve.
Got to agree, I couldn't care less that they're gone - one's nothing more than a spin doctor who speaks in riddles, the other a fool who was best kept out of the forums lest he put his foot in it again.  Good riddance.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: isaack on January 19, 2012, 20:12
Not a good week for news at iStock. I wonder if we will hear anymore from Getty/iStock regarding the changes this week or if we will have to wait till next week.

In the meantime their website is down again. I imagine we'll be seeing a lot more bugs as they make iStock and Getty one of the same.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cmannphoto on January 19, 2012, 20:16
Not a good week for news at iStock. I wonder if we will hear anymore from Getty/iStock regarding the changes this week or if we will have to wait till next week.

In the meantime their website is down again. I imagine we'll be seeing a lot more bugs as they make iStock and Getty one of the same.
Andrew did mention some info and Lobo hinted it MIGHT be tomorrow
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Pixart on January 19, 2012, 20:19
In the meantime their website is down again. I imagine we'll be seeing a lot more bugs as they make iStock and Getty one of the same.
Yeah, they likely shut it down to roll out the newest commission cuts. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 19, 2012, 21:21

Sadly, I have to agree with this assessment.  Except that I would say this is the middle of the end.  The beginning was Sept 2010 IMO. 

that's exactly what I was about to say!  So I guess I'll just +1 your post!  :)

Great disillusioned minds think alike, I guess... ;)

+4
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: PeterChigmaroff on January 19, 2012, 21:23
They must have let some more tech guys go cause I just got this for a log in;


"The glitch monsters are at work down in the dark internety room, but they sent a note up that said: “Dear You, Me fix broken thing. Sorry for trouble. Love, Monsters.”

They, and the site, will be back up soon. In the meantime, we’d like to offer you 10% off your next purchase of 50 or more iStock credits using the coupon code below."
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Jonathan Ross on January 19, 2012, 21:42
Hi All,

 Whatever the outcome I say plan for the worst and hope for the best so now is a time to think about the future of stock and how to stay three moves ahead of your opponent, the game goes on. Stay sharp and listen to your gut then do lots of investigating and think about tomorrow if you are serious about stock photography being your full time income.
 Its been like this going way back and isn't about to stop, its a wild ride and some days I wonder what it would be like to just get a check and go home at the end of the day. These are definitely strange days but definitely not boring. This was written on the wall a couple of years ago if you are reading between the lines it was obvious the day they assimilate Istock,. Check out all their other collections that at one time were huge all on their own now just a portion under the Getty umbrella. Do not stand around and wait for changes to hit you smack between the eyes, that is always going to be to late.

Best,
Jonathan
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 19, 2012, 22:03
Hi All,

 Whatever the outcome I say plan for the worst and hope for the best so now is a time to think about the future of stock and how to stay three moves ahead of your opponent, the game goes on. Stay sharp and listen to your gut then do lots of investigating and think about tomorrow if you are serious about stock photography being your full time income.

Its been like this going way back and isn't about to stop, its a wild ride and some days I wonder what it would be like to just get a check and go home at the end of the day. These are definitely strange days but definitely not boring. This was written on the wall a couple of years ago if you are reading between the lines it was obvious the day they assimilate Istock,. Check out all their other collections that at one time were huge all on their own now just a portion under the Getty umbrella. Do not stand around and wait for changes to hit you smack between the eyes, that is always going to be to late.

Best,
Jonathan

Your wisdom and experience is always much appreciated, Jonathan.  After listening to you and other well-established stock photographers who joined the microstock ranks, I started making plans and finding different avenues for revenue two years ago.  And it's working.  Diversification is key.  Parking images on one site is a recipe for the ultimate disaster. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: blackwaterimages on January 19, 2012, 22:18
Well, I guess it looks like my speculation back on page 4 is looking more like truth. Crazy times in iStock world. Can't say I'm even slightly sorry to see KKT or JJRD go though.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cthoman on January 19, 2012, 22:51
Hi All,

 Whatever the outcome I say plan for the worst and hope for the best so now is a time to think about the future of stock and how to stay three moves ahead of your opponent, the game goes on. Stay sharp and listen to your gut then do lots of investigating and think about tomorrow if you are serious about stock photography being your full time income.
 Its been like this going way back and isn't about to stop, its a wild ride and some days I wonder what it would be like to just get a check and go home at the end of the day. These are definitely strange days but definitely not boring. This was written on the wall a couple of years ago if you are reading between the lines it was obvious the day they assimilate Istock,. Check out all their other collections that at one time were huge all on their own now just a portion under the Getty umbrella. Do not stand around and wait for changes to hit you smack between the eyes, that is always going to be to late.

Best,
Jonathan

Nice post. This made the most sense out of anything I've read in this thread. I'm probably interpreting (or misinterpreting) it with my own views in mind, but I still like it.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: raclro on January 20, 2012, 00:01
I have searched in vain to find more than rumors about rumors about rumors.   The analysis of some seems rather far reaching.  I see JJ is leaving, but his statement does not seem to be cause for alarm, in fact quite the contrary.  I am not saying there is no problem, but must the sky always be falling each time something changes?  Along with all of you, it has always seemed like poor policy on the part of iStock to  remain quiet so long during times of change, they have to see how the rumors explode and unsettle those trying to pay attention.  Sorry for my outburst, I need to take another monthly sabbatical from the forums.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 20, 2012, 01:08
I have searched in vain to find more than rumors about rumors about rumors.   The analysis of some seems rather far reaching.  I see JJ is leaving, but his statement does not seem to be cause for alarm, in fact quite the contrary.  I am not saying there is no problem, but must the sky always be falling each time something changes?  Along with all of you, it has always seemed like poor policy on the part of iStock to  remain quiet so long during times of change, they have to see how the rumors explode and unsettle those trying to pay attention.  Sorry for my outburst, I need to take another monthly sabbatical from the forums.


Try searching a bit harder: http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2140045/jobs-shed-getty-images-absorbs-istockphoto (http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2140045/jobs-shed-getty-images-absorbs-istockphoto)

"We are completing the process of full functional integration across the two brands," says Getty Images' co-founder and CEO Jonathan Klein.... while confirming 30 redundancies at iStock (not at Getty) and then needlessly mentioning that they are not going to shut up shop at Calgary (which might suggest it is something he has been thinking about doing - there's a new rumour for you).

Fact 1: 30 staff, estimated at between 15% and 30% of the entire staff being fired
Fact 2: Senior management figures KT and JJRD among those fired
Fact 3: Sackings declared by Getty chief to be part of an "integration process" with Getty
Fact 4: "Integration" involves downsizing iStock, not Getty, making it plain iStock is being "integrated" into Getty, not the other way round.
Fact 5: Earlier part of integration process involved pushing low-grade Getty collections into iS at high price points and pushing most of iStock's collection into other Getty subsidiaries, TS and PP
Fact 6: Istock was stripped first of its CEO then of its COO and now of whatever JJRD is. The CEO job is considered too insignificant to merit a full-time in-house boss, instead it is made part of the duties of a Gettyimages employee.
Fact 7: (I almost missed this one) according to Klein's statement, iStock is no longer thought of as a company, it is regarded as a Getty "brand" (see his quote above).

From being a self-contained, self-governing, stand-alone unit, as Bruce Livingstone was promised it would remain when he sold it, it has become one of "the Gettyimages collections" and Calgary has become a Getty branch office rather than the headquarters of a company.

But you're right. The sky has not fallen in. People will continue to buy and sell image licences at iStockphoto and the name will remain a proud part of the Gettyimages group, alongside the other famous collections. Tony Stone, the Bettmann Archive etc.

However, while the marketing, quality control and accounting functions may remain in Calgary, the financial control, strategic planning and budgeting will be done in Seattle, where due consideration will need to be given to the competing demands of other active collections, such as TS, Photos.com and, of course, the main Gettyimages collection. That is what "integration" is about.

So it is still iStock, Captain, it's just not iStock as we knew it.  
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 20, 2012, 01:16
@Baldrickstrousers

Nice summary that I think is highly plausible/accurate.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: leaf on January 20, 2012, 01:17


However, while the marketing, quality control and accounting functions may remain in Calgary, the financial control, strategic planning and budgeting will be done in Seattle, where due consideration will need to be given to the competing demands of other active collections, such as TS, Photos.com and, of course, the main Gettyimages collection. That is what "integration" is about.


great summary Baldrick

.. and in their quest to cut $$ and merge iStock with Getty I can hardly imagine them affording to keep the Calgary office open for the next few years.  I would have guessed Veer would have been open longer at this point (if that office wasn't closed already).
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 20, 2012, 01:34
^^ Agreeing!  and for some weird, uncanny almost grotesque reasons, one gets the feeling, Its been destroyed on purpose and for what?

Perhaps because direct control of it had slipped out of the hands of people who believed in it and into the hands of people who, deep down inside, still feel that a bunch of amateurs with their digicams are destroying stock photography and wish they would go away. I'm sure that the Gettyimages bosses will have talked up their "market leading experience" to the new owners who probably neither know not understand the stock image market and the tensions inside it.

Yes, could very well be that way. Although they would have to be total lunatics, thinking it would go back to the traditional way of stock agencies and Im not too sure todays Getty bosses are on the ball, theyre not of the same breed as the previous ones. No clout, no style.

They wouldn't have to think anything would go backwards. All it takes to undermine a company or department is subconscious resentment by the top-brass.

When every development plan is met with scepticism instead of enthusiasm; when every request for funds has to meet slightly tougher reward/risk criteria, then it isn't long before disillusionment starts to set in and that leads to loss of impetus and, eventually, stagnation.

As things start to go wrong, the big boss doesn't think "*, I screwed that up", he thinks "I always knew it was a stupid idea that couldn't work, haven't I been warning them about the risks of grandiose plans and overspending?" And when the big-big boss asks why his investment isn't delivering the expected return, the big boss says: "The trouble is, it's a pretty amateurish management we inherited there. What we need to do is bring the managerial functions under the wing of some experienced people at head office, and just have the nuts and bolts jobs done by the technicians there. We'll soon sort things out."

I've worked under exactly that kind of regime and its a nightmare.  
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: thesentinel on January 20, 2012, 01:49

As things start to go wrong, the big boss doesn't think ", I screwed that up", he thinks "I always knew it was a stupid idea that couldn't work, haven't I been warning them about the risks of grandiose plans and overspending?" And when the big-big boss asks why his investment isn't delivering the expected return, the big boss says: "The trouble is, it's a pretty amateurish management we inherited there. What we need to do is bring the managerial functions under the wing of some experienced people at head office, and just have the nuts and bolts jobs done by the technicians there. We'll soon sort things out."

I've worked under exactly that kind of regime and its a nightmare.  

Add to that a layer of 'too cool for school' self backslapping cronyism and you have the perfect storm for corporate self sabotage.

I've never met the legend that is jjrd so have failed to fall under his gallic charms but found his impenetrable ramblings and his coterie of familiar faces in all the 'lypse reports as divisive and demotivating as the getty dictated changes.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: RapidEye on January 20, 2012, 01:53

As things start to go wrong, the big boss doesn't think ", I screwed that up", he thinks "I always knew it was a stupid idea that couldn't work, haven't I been warning them about the risks of grandiose plans and overspending?" And when the big-big boss asks why his investment isn't delivering the expected return, the big boss says: "The trouble is, it's a pretty amateurish management we inherited there. What we need to do is bring the managerial functions under the wing of some experienced people at head office, and just have the nuts and bolts jobs done by the technicians there. We'll soon sort things out."

I've worked under exactly that kind of regime and its a nightmare.  

Add to that a layer of 'too cool for school' self backslapping cronyism and you have the perfect storm for corporate self sabotage.

I've never met the legend that is jjrd so have failed to fall under his gallic charms but found his impenetrable ramblings and his coterie of familiar faces in all the 'lypse reports as divisive and demotivating as the getty dictated changes.

You actually managed to get me chuckling in the midst of all this doom and gloom.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lagereek on January 20, 2012, 02:34
This could just be the tip of the iceberg, it might go a lot deeper then we think,  could involve all sorts of things? I mean, what do we know, really? exept that we have been shortchanged for ages. ::)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 20, 2012, 02:40
This could just be the tip of the iceberg, it might go a lot deeper then we think,  could involve all sorts of things? I mean, what do we know, really? exept that we have been shortchanged for ages. ::)

My God! You're right  :(! It's worse than I ever imagined  :'(! It's out there trying to get us  :o. It's terrifying! I think it might have got under the bed now. I can't look  8) because it will see me. What is it????   ;D
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lagereek on January 20, 2012, 02:50
This could just be the tip of the iceberg, it might go a lot deeper then we think,  could involve all sorts of things? I mean, what do we know, really? exept that we have been shortchanged for ages. ::)

My God! You're right  :(! It's worse than I ever imagined  :'(! It's out there trying to get us  :o. It's terrifying! I think it might have got under the bed now. I can't look  8) because it will see me. What is it????   ;D

The Bogeyman :o, bigfoot, Dracula :o :o, all wrapped up in one! :o :'( ;D

Jokes apart, isnt it ironic?  yesterday at IS, I had the best day for ages. Weird!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 20, 2012, 02:59
As sad as it is with people being laid-off, especially nice ones, it is less of importance who is at the helm as long as the right measures/decisions are implemented appropriately.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 20, 2012, 04:21
As sad as it is with people being laid-off, especially nice ones, it is less of importance who is at the helm as long as the right measures/decisions are implemented appropriately.

Absolutely.

The problem is that there's been the same helmsman steering the boat since last summer. Is it appreciably further from the shoals now than it was then? Has confidence in completing the voyage safely improved since Rebecca took the helm?

I've noticed quite a few passengers launching the lifeboats and now members of the crew are being forced to walk the plank.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: sharpshot on January 20, 2012, 04:28
It's ironic that it looks like some of those istock exclusives that were very pro istock and anti Getty a few years ago are going to end up with their portfolios in a Getty collection.  I presume the top exclusives will be looked after and they might not have a viable alternative but it's quite a turn around for the people that used to rant about Getty being out of touch with their high prices and how low priced microstock was the future.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lagereek on January 20, 2012, 05:14
Getty works like this and has done ever since 93.  They will look after unique ports, nieched ports that can offer something that other agencies are short of or havent got.
All these business ports, handshakes and general ports, no matter how big,  they will find themselves in an uphill struggle. This is the fundamental rule of their HQ-creative department and has always been. Further more, lots of ports will be redundant, especially all the ones built on copying.

This will ofcourse only apply if IS,  is totally swallowed up by Getty, i.e. cease to exist?  Ofcourse one can argue if it would be for better or worse?  I would say it would definetely benefit the full time photographer, not having to battle with copys, spamming and tons of irrelevant material.
Anyway, who knows?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stocker2011 on January 20, 2012, 06:52
Nice summary Baldrick. In short i think it's going to get a lot worse before its gets better, the good old days are gone and in fact i dont think it'll get better so like Jonathon said its better to start making plans now if you depend on istock as your primary income.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: hiddenstock on January 20, 2012, 07:21
Getty works like this and has done ever since 93.  They will look after unique ports, nieched ports that can offer something that other agencies are short of or havent got.
All these business ports, handshakes and general ports, no matter how big,  they will find themselves in an uphill struggle. This is the fundamental rule of their HQ-creative department and has always been. Further more, lots of ports will be redundant, especially all the ones built on copying.

This will ofcourse only apply if IS,  is totally swallowed up by Getty, i.e. cease to exist?  Ofcourse one can argue if it would be for better or worse?  I would say it would definetely benefit the full time photographer, not having to battle with copys, spamming and tons of irrelevant material.
Anyway, who knows?
This may sound pretty selfish but I hope my portfolio unique and good enough.  Just started doing this full time so I am pretty worried.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: RapidEye on January 20, 2012, 07:22
Interesting ... from the tone of this post only 15 days ago, announcing an expanded minilypse programme, it appears JJRD had no idea he'd be leaving:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339075&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339075&page=1)

Followed by a bunch of admins cheering. Hmm.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on January 20, 2012, 07:31
So it is still iStock, Captain, it's just not iStock as we knew it.  

We come in peace...
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: RapidEye on January 20, 2012, 07:32
So it is still iStock, Captain, it's just not iStock as we knew it.  

We come in peace...

Resistance is futile...
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: rubyroo on January 20, 2012, 07:37
Interesting ... from the tone of this post only 15 days ago, announcing an expanded minilypse programme, it appears JJRD had no idea he'd be leaving:

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339075&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339075&page=1[/url])

Followed by a bunch of admins cheering. Hmm.


I imagine they all received the announcement on the day Twitter-ville started buzzing about layoffs (17th).  Although they may have had the good grace to at least alert the senior members slightly ahead of their underlings.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: PaulieWalnuts on January 20, 2012, 08:27
So it is still iStock, Captain, it's just not iStock as we knew it.  

We come in peace...

Resistance is futile...

"don't get on that ship! The rest of the book To Serve Man, it's... it's a cookbook!"
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Mantis on January 20, 2012, 09:00
I have searched in vain to find more than rumors about rumors about rumors.   The analysis of some seems rather far reaching.  I see JJ is leaving, but his statement does not seem to be cause for alarm, in fact quite the contrary.  I am not saying there is no problem, but must the sky always be falling each time something changes?  Along with all of you, it has always seemed like poor policy on the part of iStock to  remain quiet so long during times of change, they have to see how the rumors explode and unsettle those trying to pay attention.  Sorry for my outburst, I need to take another monthly sabbatical from the forums.


Try searching a bit harder: [url]http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2140045/jobs-shed-getty-images-absorbs-istockphoto[/url] ([url]http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2140045/jobs-shed-getty-images-absorbs-istockphoto[/url])

"We are completing the process of full functional integration across the two brands," says Getty Images' co-founder and CEO Jonathan Klein.... while confirming 30 redundancies at iStock (not at Getty) and then needlessly mentioning that they are not going to shut up shop at Calgary (which might suggest it is something he has been thinking about doing - there's a new rumour for you).

Fact 1: 30 staff, estimated at between 15% and 30% of the entire staff being fired
Fact 2: Senior management figures KT and JJRD among those fired
Fact 3: Sackings declared by Getty chief to be part of an "integration process" with Getty
Fact 4: "Integration" involves downsizing iStock, not Getty, making it plain iStock is being "integrated" into Getty, not the other way round.
Fact 5: Earlier part of integration process involved pushing low-grade Getty collections into iS at high price points and pushing most of iStock's collection into other Getty subsidiaries, TS and PP
Fact 6: Istock was stripped first of its CEO then of its COO and now of whatever JJRD is. The CEO job is considered too insignificant to merit a full-time in-house boss, instead it is made part of the duties of a Gettyimages employee.
Fact 7: (I almost missed this one) according to Klein's statement, iStock is no longer thought of as a company, it is regarded as a Getty "brand" (see his quote above).

From being a self-contained, self-governing, stand-alone unit, as Bruce Livingstone was promised it would remain when he sold it, it has become one of "the Gettyimages collections" and Calgary has become a Getty branch office rather than the headquarters of a company.

But you're right. The sky has not fallen in. People will continue to buy and sell image licences at iStockphoto and the name will remain a proud part of the Gettyimages group, alongside the other famous collections. Tony Stone, the Bettmann Archive etc.

However, while the marketing, quality control and accounting functions may remain in Calgary, the financial control, strategic planning and budgeting will be done in Seattle, where due consideration will need to be given to the competing demands of other active collections, such as TS, Photos.com and, of course, the main Gettyimages collection. That is what "integration" is about.

So it is still iStock, Captain, it's just not iStock as we knew it.  


This is an excellent summary.  Nice job.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: raclro on January 20, 2012, 09:22
Thanks for the update.  I found the article you linked to about one hour after my post.  So much for my half thought out reply with far less than half the available information.
Now to the subject at hand.  I will be interested to follow the progress of this recent development.  I am still uploading but not with as much enthusiasm as before. 
I have my own small business that is suffering as of late and have some serious and difficult changes to make that will upset some staff.  I am on both sides of this issue right now.  I hope I can learn about communication from iStocks negative example and do better in the coming weeks with my other problem.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 20, 2012, 09:48
However, while the marketing, quality control and accounting functions may remain in Calgary ...

I presume JJRD's position as Director of Content (or whatever it was) has been made redundant which suggests to me that the inspection side of Istock might be moving to Getty. I could imagine that the concept of having 100-odd partially-employed 'inspectors' dotted around the globe to be quite alien to Rebbecca who does not come from a microstock background. Maybe she will out-source it to Romania instead.

All those Admin 'staff', operating from their homes, might be let go too (I've never really understood how that side of things could work efficiently). Rebbecca might not like the way they operate either.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: hiddenstock on January 20, 2012, 12:18
However, while the marketing, quality control and accounting functions may remain in Calgary ...

I presume JJRD's position as Director of Content (or whatever it was) has been made redundant which suggests to me that the inspection side of Istock might be moving to Getty. I could imagine that the concept of having 100-odd partially-employed 'inspectors' dotted around the globe to be quite alien to Rebbecca who does not come from a microstock background. Maybe she will out-source it to Romania instead.

All those Admin 'staff', operating from their homes, might be let go too (I've never really understood how that side of things could work efficiently). Rebbecca might not like the way they operate either.

Maybe that has happened already.  Inspections are really speedy now, and vetta/agency nomination go though at the same speed. Those nominated files used to take 3-7 days longer now they don't.

ETA recently accepted agency are all established agency artist.  I am guessing it is more of the same for a chosen few.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cmannphoto on January 20, 2012, 13:28
HQ has posted an explanation to the changes

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339877&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339877&page=1)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 20, 2012, 13:44
HQ has posted an explanation to the changes

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339877&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339877&page=1[/url])


^^^ More management-speak fluff. Did anyone learn anything from it (apart from "Everything's going to be great!")?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ffNixx on January 20, 2012, 13:45
HQ has posted an explanation to the changes

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339877&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339877&page=1[/url])


^^^ More management-speak fluff. Did anyone learn anything from it (apart from "Everything's going to be great!")?


They decided to replace a charismatic leader, an iStock mascot, with a committee. Great decision! :D
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: luissantos84 on January 20, 2012, 13:47
nothing exciting there actually, I was looking for another cut
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 20, 2012, 13:50
nothing exciting there actually, I was looking for another cut
I don't look for, or get excited by, cuts. I worry about them.  :o
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: caspixel on January 20, 2012, 13:51
HQ has posted an explanation to the changes

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339877&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339877&page=1[/url])


Bring on the Woo-Yays!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cmannphoto on January 20, 2012, 13:52
HQ has posted an explanation to the changes

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339877&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339877&page=1[/url])


^^^ More management-speak fluff. Did anyone learn anything from it (apart from "Everything's going to be great!")?


They decided to replace a charismatic leader, an iStock mascot, with a committee. Great decision! :D


I don't like it either, feels like we are getting info from a little guy behind the curtain with the "HQ" post. Seems on body wants to stand up and lead IS.
I also don't like the answers coming from Lobo. I understand his job as moderator, but not here. We should be hearing from someone in charge at IS not a forum moderator.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: traveler1116 on January 20, 2012, 13:55
HQ has posted an explanation to the changes

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339877&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339877&page=1[/url])


^^^ More management-speak fluff. Did anyone learn anything from it (apart from "Everything's going to be great!")?


They decided to replace a charismatic leader, an iStock mascot, with a committee. Great decision! :D


I don't like it either, feels like we are getting info from a little guy behind the curtain with the "HQ" post. Seems on body wants to stand up and lead IS.
I also don't like the answers coming from Lobo. I understand his job as moderator, but not here. We should be hearing from someone in charge at IS not a forum moderator.

I agree.  While the answers he's giving are reassuring I don't think he is being told very much at all so it's difficult to put much weight on them.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cmannphoto on January 20, 2012, 13:59
^ I have a hard time taking someone, who at times comes across so condescending, seriously.  It makes it look like he is in charge. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cobalt on January 20, 2012, 13:59
I think it is sad that they feel the need to hide behind the istockHQ moniker.

The competition all have CEOīs that put their names out on the internet. So does every other successful internet based company. Can you imagine Mark Zuckerberg hiding behind a faceless alias?

Who is in charge of istock? Who is the captain on the bridge? Who feels responsible for success or failure?

We will see what is coming, but this text is extremly disappointing.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 20, 2012, 13:59
I also don't like the answers coming from Lobo. I understand his job as moderator, but not here. We should be hearing from someone in charge at IS not a forum moderator.
He's admitting his posts have no real currency, by prefacing them with "From what I understand ..." and "At this point I don't suspect ..." and "the answer as I understand it".

And as always, the 'debated interpretation' of the obfuscatory OP has started.
JJ may be going, but his legacy may have a long shadow.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Risamay on January 20, 2012, 14:08

I've never met the legend that is jjrd so have failed to fall under his gallic charms but found his impenetrable ramblings and his coterie of familiar faces in all the 'lypse reports as divisive and demotivating as the getty dictated changes.

You actually managed to get me chuckling in the midst of all this doom and gloom.

Ditto  :D

And great summary, Baldrick.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 20, 2012, 14:14
Agree with gostwyck that today's announcement is corporate blah blah with no real meaning.

@cobalt. In the iStock thread you mentioned concern over Getty editors making choices over where content goes. i think that's a real concern. I have two brothers who submitted music to Pump Audio prior to the time Getty bought it. It had done well for them. After Getty bought it things went OK for a while but recently they wondered what happened to their new submissions as they couldn't find them at Pump Audio. Contacting Getty about this they were told that Getty decided they'd be best at iStock - where they haven't sold at all. So their old stuff at Pump still sells but they can't get new stuff there.

It certainly seems clear that the new regime doesn't plan to have a visible presence - and a name - in the iStock forums. They won't even put a name out there - I'd love to see a post from this he/she who will not be named HQ account on the importance of the iStock community :)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 20, 2012, 14:17
Who is in charge of istock? Who is the captain on the bridge?

Judging by the way sales have been leaking it might as well be Francesco Schettino.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Risamay on January 20, 2012, 14:19
Agree with gostwyck that today's announcement is corporate blah blah with no real meaning.

It certainly seems clear that the new regime doesn't plan to have a visible presence - and a name - in the iStock forums. They won't even put a name out there - I'd love to see a post from this he/she who will not be named HQ account on the importance of the iStock community :)

All that today's announcement means is that they plan to pump us with fluff to keep things as quiet as possible. And very smooth corporate move to hide behind a moniker. Much harder to rage against iStockHQ than it was to lambast JJ, KK, etc.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 20, 2012, 14:21
Who is in charge of istock? Who is the captain on the bridge?

Judging by the way sales have been leaking it might as well be Francesco Schettino.

We'll know for sure when the stories of falling into the lifeboat start to surface :)

And so who plays the part of the infuriated Italian coast guard official telling that world-class-sleazeball to get the eff back on the ship?!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: thesentinel on January 20, 2012, 14:34


And so who plays the part of the infuriated Italian coast guard official telling that world-class-sleazeball to get the eff back on the ship?!

Gostwyk - a shoe in for that role
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ffNixx on January 20, 2012, 14:44
Who is in charge of istock? Who is the captain on the bridge?

Judging by the way sales have been leaking it might as well be Francesco Schettino.

We'll know for sure when the stories of falling into the lifeboat start to surface :)

And so who plays the part of the infuriated Italian coast guard official telling that world-class-sleazeball to get the eff back on the ship?!

Now, now, guys and girls, don't be morons! For people with feelers out for corporate shenanigans, you're far too quick to concur in the condemnation of a "useful idiot". If you had bothered to calculate the number of days, months and years between the sinking of the Titanic and the Italian tragedy, you'd be far less certain it was an accident. Take more care!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stockastic on January 20, 2012, 15:00
Often, after some tragedy like the Italian cruise ship grounding, an enjoyable story is quickly spun up by the media;  and long after the fact - years, sometimes- we find out it didn't happen like that at all.  The media wants conflict and tragedy, heros and villians.

I've already read that the captain didn't exactly 'trip and fall' into a lifeboat - he landed in one when the ship's deck tilted to 70 degrees and he slid off the deck.   
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: blackwaterimages on January 20, 2012, 15:12
Agree with gostwyck that today's announcement is corporate blah blah with no real meaning.

It sure is giving Lobo plenty of reason to be his usual unpleasant self. Can't he get fired so we can have a less hostile forum experience over there....?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: caspixel on January 20, 2012, 15:14
I've already read that the captain didn't exactly 'trip and fall' into a lifeboat - he landed in one when the ship's deck tilted to 70 degrees and he slid off the deck.   

I wonder what the chances of *that* are, and if other people had as fortuitous a sliding. :D
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lisafx on January 20, 2012, 15:34
I have searched in vain to find more than rumors about rumors about rumors.   The analysis of some seems rather far reaching.  I see JJ is leaving, but his statement does not seem to be cause for alarm, in fact quite the contrary.  I am not saying there is no problem, but must the sky always be falling each time something changes?  Along with all of you, it has always seemed like poor policy on the part of iStock to  remain quiet so long during times of change, they have to see how the rumors explode and unsettle those trying to pay attention.  Sorry for my outburst, I need to take another monthly sabbatical from the forums.


Try searching a bit harder: [url]http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2140045/jobs-shed-getty-images-absorbs-istockphoto[/url] ([url]http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/news/2140045/jobs-shed-getty-images-absorbs-istockphoto[/url])

"We are completing the process of full functional integration across the two brands," says Getty Images' co-founder and CEO Jonathan Klein.... while confirming 30 redundancies at iStock (not at Getty) and then needlessly mentioning that they are not going to shut up shop at Calgary (which might suggest it is something he has been thinking about doing - there's a new rumour for you).

Fact 1: 30 staff, estimated at between 15% and 30% of the entire staff being fired
Fact 2: Senior management figures KT and JJRD among those fired
Fact 3: Sackings declared by Getty chief to be part of an "integration process" with Getty
Fact 4: "Integration" involves downsizing iStock, not Getty, making it plain iStock is being "integrated" into Getty, not the other way round.
Fact 5: Earlier part of integration process involved pushing low-grade Getty collections into iS at high price points and pushing most of iStock's collection into other Getty subsidiaries, TS and PP
Fact 6: Istock was stripped first of its CEO then of its COO and now of whatever JJRD is. The CEO job is considered too insignificant to merit a full-time in-house boss, instead it is made part of the duties of a Gettyimages employee.
Fact 7: (I almost missed this one) according to Klein's statement, iStock is no longer thought of as a company, it is regarded as a Getty "brand" (see his quote above).

From being a self-contained, self-governing, stand-alone unit, as Bruce Livingstone was promised it would remain when he sold it, it has become one of "the Gettyimages collections" and Calgary has become a Getty branch office rather than the headquarters of a company.

But you're right. The sky has not fallen in. People will continue to buy and sell image licences at iStockphoto and the name will remain a proud part of the Gettyimages group, alongside the other famous collections. Tony Stone, the Bettmann Archive etc.

However, while the marketing, quality control and accounting functions may remain in Calgary, the financial control, strategic planning and budgeting will be done in Seattle, where due consideration will need to be given to the competing demands of other active collections, such as TS, Photos.com and, of course, the main Gettyimages collection. That is what "integration" is about.

So it is still iStock, Captain, it's just not iStock as we knew it.  


Well, I can't give you a heart Baldrick (apparently I have to "spread the love"  :-\ ??? ) but I would give you one if I could.  Instead I will just have to sit in my office applauding your brilliant summary. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lisafx on January 20, 2012, 15:45

The problem is that there's been the same helmsman steering the boat since last summer. Is it appreciably further from the shoals now than it was then? Has confidence in completing the voyage safely improved since Rebecca took the helm?



With all these nautical references, this image keeps springing to mind...
(http://ww3.hdnux.com/photos/07/77/55/2095982/5/628x471.jpg)

ETA:  Just read the prior page and saw Gostwyck beat me to the Costa Concordia reference :)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 20, 2012, 15:51
I've already read that the captain didn't exactly 'trip and fall' into a lifeboat - he landed in one when the ship's deck tilted to 70 degrees and he slid off the deck.   

I wonder what the chances of *that* are, and if other people had as fortuitous a sliding. :D

Even more amazing the Captain apparently fell into the lifeboat together with both his second and third-in-command officers! What a staggering coincidence.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: caspixel on January 20, 2012, 17:05
I've already read that the captain didn't exactly 'trip and fall' into a lifeboat - he landed in one when the ship's deck tilted to 70 degrees and he slid off the deck.   

I wonder what the chances of *that* are, and if other people had as fortuitous a sliding. :D

Even more amazing the Captain apparently fell into the lifeboat together with both his second and third-in-command officers! What a staggering coincidence.

LOL!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: caspixel on January 20, 2012, 17:07
In scanning the discussion thread on the Getty announcement, I see there are *still* people asking Getty what their vision for the company is and other information. Do these people need to be hit upside the head with a wrecking ball? Has the company's behavior the last five years not told them anything? The aren't and never will be privy to the internal strategies at Getty. It's kind of pathetic to still see these kind of supplicating requests.

They get Lobo and vague announcements from HQ. And that is it.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 20, 2012, 17:27
Do these people need to be hit upside the head with a wrecking ball? Has the company's behavior the last five years not told them anything?


Speaking of people that "need to be hit upside the head with a wrecking ball" have you dared venture onto the "Thanks" thread yet? There appears to be some kind of mass-hysteria thing going on in there, not dissimilar to the 'official media' portrayal of Kim Jong-Il's death. I didn't think anyone has actually died at Istock recently but now I'm not sure. Maybe.

Not to be read on a full stomach unless you want to ruin your keyboard;

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339825 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339825)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamirae on January 20, 2012, 17:35
Do these people need to be hit upside the head with a wrecking ball? Has the company's behavior the last five years not told them anything?


Speaking of people that "need to be hit upside the head with a wrecking ball" have you dared venture onto the "Thanks" thread yet? There appears to be some kind of mass-hysteria thing going on in there, not dissimilar to the 'official media' portrayal of Kim Jong-Il's death. I didn't think anyone has actually died at Istock recently but now I'm not sure. Maybe.

Not to be read on a full stomach unless you want to ruin your keyboard;

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339825[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339825[/url])


I just had to click the link. oh brother.  why do I read these things?  It's like standing in the check-out line at the grocery store and reading the headlines on the latest gossip-magazines and trash-tabloids. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: caspixel on January 20, 2012, 17:37
Do these people need to be hit upside the head with a wrecking ball? Has the company's behavior the last five years not told them anything?


Speaking of people that "need to be hit upside the head with a wrecking ball" have you dared venture onto the "Thanks" thread yet? There appears to be some kind of mass-hysteria thing going on in there, not dissimilar to the 'official media' portrayal of Kim Jong-Il's death. I didn't think anyone has actually died at Istock recently but now I'm not sure. Maybe.

Not to be read on a full stomach unless you want to ruin your keyboard;

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339825[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339825[/url])


 :D I scanned some of it when it first when up. I had enough of the cultish adoration after a couple pages. No way I could stomach 12 of them!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 20, 2012, 17:47
:D I scanned some of it when it first when up. I had enough of the cultish adoration after a couple pages. No way I could stomach 12 of them!

But you must, honestly. The amusement factor actually increases the further you get as the faithful try to outbid each other with ever more elaborate swooning and exultations of the fallen. You couldn't make this stuff up __ it's comedy gold.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: bunhill on January 20, 2012, 18:07
^ you are laughing at people for trying to find nice ways to say thanks to someone they like and found inspiring ?

That is all it is.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cobalt on January 20, 2012, 18:22
If Jon Oringer decided to leave SS to sail the world or save the rainforest - how many people would be posting in his farewell thread? 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 20, 2012, 18:27
If Jon Oringer decided to leave SS to sail the world or save the rainforest - how many people would be posting in his farewell thread? 
If he was going to save the rainforest, I would.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: luissantos84 on January 20, 2012, 18:27
If Jon Oringer decided to leave SS to sail the world or save the rainforest - how many people would be posting in his farewell thread?  

are we really going to compare agencies? not the best man (myself) for sure but this moment they look like "light years" from each other, donīt know if in terms of value but for sure not pulling crap after crap to their contributors and they have a few more too..
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cobalt on January 20, 2012, 18:34
Itīs not about comparing agencies. Just respecting peoples heartfelt emotions.

JJRD has such a "following" because he worked his a** off for the contributors, literally. And over the years he has personally met and interacted with thousands of people, assisted us at shootings, responded personally to our sitemails etc...there is a reason why he will be missed. Just like Rob Sylvan or Bruce, strong character, strong personality.

I have never met Jon Oringer, so I really donīt get why some members here adore him so much. Looks just as overhyped to me as our reactions to JJRDīs departure probably look to you.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: luissantos84 on January 20, 2012, 18:41
Itīs not about comparing agencies. Just respecting peoples heartfelt emotions.

sure, you do have a strong point and your opinion seem to match all contributors at iStock "side", I believe I was going towards the agencies, not the people behind them, my bad
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lisafx on January 20, 2012, 19:14
In all fairness, I wouldn't begrudge anyone the opportunity to say goodbye to JJ or anyone else who has gotten the boot from Getty.  We've all been treated shabbily by them, and now it appears that long-time Istock administrators are no longer exempt.   I never met any of these folks, and as a non-exclusive, seldom had any personal dealings with them.  If I had I would probably be joining the chorus of well-wishers though. 

Also, these latest developments have got to be a massive blow to Istock exclusives.  I doubt any of us who are non-exclusive can understand the degree to which these changes are going to affect many exclusives on a personal and emotional level.  I know the comment about Kim Jung Il's funeral was a joke, but this really is a grieving process for a lot of people.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: helix7 on January 20, 2012, 19:19
...I have never met Jon Oringer, so I really donīt get why some members here adore him so much. Looks just as overhyped to me as our reactions to JJRDīs departure probably look to you.

Not at all. Actually it's strange to me that you don't understand why people like Jon, yet you understand why they like JJRD. Jon is a nice guy, helpful, very dedicated to the company and contributors. I don't understand why the fact that you personally don't know him prevents you from being open to the idea that he is, in fact, very liked in the SS community.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 20, 2012, 19:20
Itīs not about comparing agencies. Just respecting peoples heartfelt emotions.

JJRD has such a "following" because he worked his a** off for the contributors, literally. And over the years he has personally met and interacted with thousands of people, assisted us at shootings, responded personally to our sitemails etc...there is a reason why he will be missed. Just like Rob Sylvan or Bruce, strong character, strong personality.

I have never met Jon Oringer, so I really donīt get why some members here adore him so much. Looks just as overhyped to me as our reactions to JJRDīs departure probably look to you.

From what I've seen in these forums, it hasn't been adoration for Jon Oringer at all, it has been acknowledgement of his good business sense and the way he runs his company.

I find it pretty hard to adore a person who stayed at istock for over a year, standing behind the crap that has gone on. Please don't try to make me believe that these people weren't getting perks that they just didn't want to give up. Massages, istockalypses, whatever other freebies that were handed out? They have exactly the same scruples as Getty! If they didn't, they would have been gone when Rob and some of the others were.  It's not about what is right or wrong, it's about the money! The money and perks were just too good.

It has been nothing but constant drama at that place for months. And this is just another chapter in the soap opera that is istock. If these guys were such hard workers and wonderful people, they shouldn't have a thing to worry about. They will get jobs right away.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stockastic on January 20, 2012, 19:30
I've already read that the captain didn't exactly 'trip and fall' into a lifeboat - he landed in one when the ship's deck tilted to 70 degrees and he slid off the deck.  

I wonder what the chances of *that* are, and if other people had as fortuitous a sliding. :D

Maybe the lifeboats were still suspended and hadn't been lowered into the water yet.  I read that part of the problem was that while the ship was tipping and unstable,  they were afraid that if they lowered the lifeboats, the ship might come down on top of them.  Who knows?  Let's meet here a year from now and discuss what really happened. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 20, 2012, 19:36
I've already read that the captain didn't exactly 'trip and fall' into a lifeboat - he landed in one when the ship's deck tilted to 70 degrees and he slid off the deck.  

I wonder what the chances of *that* are, and if other people had as fortuitous a sliding. :D

Maybe the lifeboats were still suspended and hadn't been lowered into the water yet.  I read that part of the problem was that while the ship was tipping and unstable,  they were afraid that if they lowered the lifeboats, the ship might come down on top of them.  Who knows?  Let's meet here a year from now and discuss what really happened. 

I can totally see that happening. But the question is then, why didn't they get back out of the lifeboats? If they couldn't, when they reached the water or land or wherever the lifeboats went, why didn't the captain go back to the ship? Lots of questions and we may not know the truth for YEARS.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Snufkin on January 20, 2012, 19:37
.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: loop on January 20, 2012, 19:44
Some talk of "adoration" because they like to make appear istock exclusives as imbecilles. A pity to have such a dirty mind. It's not adoration, it is mostly (and plainly) friendship and gratitude. After years of working and interacting with someone, it is easy to tell the good and competent person from the jerk. Unless yourself are a jerk, that's another matter.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cobalt on January 20, 2012, 19:47
...I have never met Jon Oringer, so I really donīt get why some members here adore him so much. Looks just as overhyped to me as our reactions to JJRDīs departure probably look to you.

Not at all. Actually it's strange to me that you don't understand why people like Jon, yet you understand why they like JJRD. Jon is a nice guy, helpful, very dedicated to the company and contributors. I don't understand why the fact that you personally don't know him prevents you from being open to the idea that he is, in fact, very liked in the SS community.

Maybe I should rephrase what I said - I cannot connect in any way emotionally to the adoration of Jon Oringer. This doesnīt mean I donīt respect other peoples feelings or admiration for him. I have never met him and some of the comments and postings Iīve read appear overhyped. But maybe if I met him, I would feel the same way and write the same things.  
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 20, 2012, 19:50
Itīs not about comparing agencies. Just respecting peoples heartfelt emotions.

JJRD has such a "following" because he worked his a** off for the contributors, literally. And over the years he has personally met and interacted with thousands of people, assisted us at shootings, responded personally to our sitemails etc...there is a reason why he will be missed. Just like Rob Sylvan or Bruce, strong character, strong personality.

I have never met Jon Oringer, so I really donīt get why some members here adore him so much. Looks just as overhyped to me as our reactions to JJRDīs departure probably look to you.

From what I've seen in these forums, it hasn't been adoration for Jon Oringer at all, it has been acknowledgement of his good business sense and the way he runs his company.

Exactly!  I have the utmost respect for Jon and where he's been taking Shutterstock all these years.  He's the captain of a very steady ship, avoiding all the crazy, relentless ups and downs like we've witnessed at IS. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 20, 2012, 19:51
^ you are laughing at people for trying to find nice ways to say thanks to someone they like and found inspiring ?

That is all it is.

So send him a PM if that's how you feel. All this public wailing is just posturing, embarrasing and vomit-inducing. That's all it is.

"You were the wind beneath my wings" .... BLEEEAAARRRRHHH

"I am still in shock, i needed 2 sleeping pills to pass the night. I dont know what to think, i dont know what coming next, i dont know what to do with the crown. Today i am not shooting in honor of my friends fired." .... BLEEEAAARRRRHHH

I've never read such utter, f*cking bollocks in my life. Truth is those who paid his wages considered him not worthy of them any more. That's why they are dispensing with his services to Gallic riddles.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: loop on January 20, 2012, 19:57
So, I imagine you vomiting your guts for a full week when Steve Jobs died an tens of thousands os posts about him were posted in public forums.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 20, 2012, 20:06
Maybe indie's lack of sympathy has something to do with having been screwed repeatedly for two solid years.  As Peter from Stockfresh (founder of StockXpert) reminded us the other day, he remembers the day when everyone at IS was celebrating StockXpert's demise while we were freaking out about our futures.   
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: loop on January 20, 2012, 20:13
"Everyone was celebrating". Never saw this thread. I suppose it is futile to ask for a link.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: AudioGate on January 20, 2012, 20:15
:D I scanned some of it when it first when up. I had enough of the cultish adoration after a couple pages. No way I could stomach 12 of them!

But you must, honestly. The amusement factor actually increases the further you get as the faithful try to outbid each other with ever more elaborate swooning and exultations of the fallen. You couldn't make this stuff up __ it's comedy gold.

Perhaps the irony of your attitude is lost on you. So, I'll explain it to you. You are deriding people for having what you perceive to be an an extreme reaction to an event and yet you reacte extremely to their action feeling the need to write as mockingly as you possibly can with the differentiial being that they are trying to express being nice and you are trying to expres being mean and you are very convincing.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: WarrenPrice on January 20, 2012, 20:17
What sickens me is the childish bickering.  May each mourn in each's own way ... or celebrate.
It's pretty obvious which is which.  Why go to the funeral (istock forum) if you feel sick?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 20, 2012, 20:18
So, I imagine you vomiting your guts for a full week when Steve Jobs died an tens of thousands os posts about him were posted in public forums.

Being as Jobs was actually dead it was probably a little tricky to send him a PM. It is also beyond question that Jobs was a truly remarkable man, known throughout the world and all of us have benefited from how he 'changed the World', even if you never bought any of his products.

Not sure I fully understand your comparison with Jobs and a French-Canadian beardie who looked at digital images for a living.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 20, 2012, 20:19
Maybe indie's lack of sympathy has something to do with having been screwed repeatedly for two solid years.  As Peter from Stockfresh (founder of StockXpert) reminded us the other day, he remembers the day when everyone at IS was celebrating StockXpert's demise while we were freaking out about our futures.   

Hmmm __ maybe.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: AudioGate on January 20, 2012, 20:21
So, I imagine you vomiting your guts for a full week when Steve Jobs died an tens of thousands os posts about him were posted in public forums.

Being as Jobs was actually dead it was probably a little tricky to send him a PM. It is also beyond question that Jobs was a truly remarkable man, known throughout the world and all of us have benefited from how he 'changed the World', even if you never bought any of his products.

Not sure I fully understand your comparison with Jobs and a French-Canadian beardie who looked at digital images for a living.

Do you genuinely feel better for putting others down? Are you really that unsuccessful?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 20, 2012, 20:21
Maybe indie's lack of sympathy has something to do with having been screwed repeatedly for two solid years.  As Peter from Stockfresh (founder of StockXpert) reminded us the other day, he remembers the day when everyone at IS was celebrating StockXpert's demise while we were freaking out about our futures.   
I guess that counts as hyperbole, then.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: loop on January 20, 2012, 20:22
So, I imagine you vomiting your guts for a full week when Steve Jobs died an tens of thousands os posts about him were posted in public forums.

Being as Jobs was actually dead it was probably a little tricky to send him a PM. It is also beyond question that Jobs was a truly remarkable man, known throughout the world and all of us have benefited from how he 'changed the World', even if you never bought any of his products.

Not sure I fully understand your comparison with Jobs and a French-Canadian beardie who looked at digital images for a living.

Not. But now I understad the kind of person you are.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: WarrenPrice on January 20, 2012, 20:24
So, I imagine you vomiting your guts for a full week when Steve Jobs died an tens of thousands os posts about him were posted in public forums.

Being as Jobs was actually dead it was probably a little tricky to send him a PM. It is also beyond question that Jobs was a truly remarkable man, known throughout the world and all of us have benefited from how he 'changed the World', even if you never bought any of his products.

Not sure I fully understand your comparison with Jobs and a French-Canadian beardie who looked at digital images for a living.

Do you genuinely feel better for putting others down? Are you really that unsuccessful?

To belittle is to be little.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 20, 2012, 20:30
"Everyone was celebrating". Never saw this thread. I suppose it is futile to ask for a link.


Since I didn't see the thread either, all I can do is show you Peter's post, which is on page one of this thread.

http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/layoffs-at-istock-today/msg239116/#msg239116 (http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/layoffs-at-istock-today/msg239116/#msg239116)

And I stand corrected.  He said "some," not "everyone."
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stockastic on January 20, 2012, 20:34
I've already read that the captain didn't exactly 'trip and fall' into a lifeboat - he landed in one when the ship's deck tilted to 70 degrees and he slid off the deck.  

I wonder what the chances of *that* are, and if other people had as fortuitous a sliding. :D

Maybe the lifeboats were still suspended and hadn't been lowered into the water yet.  I read that part of the problem was that while the ship was tipping and unstable,  they were afraid that if they lowered the lifeboats, the ship might come down on top of them.  Who knows?  Let's meet here a year from now and discuss what really happened.  

I can totally see that happening. But the question is then, why didn't they get back out of the lifeboats? If they couldn't, when they reached the water or land or wherever the lifeboats went, why didn't the captain go back to the ship? Lots of questions and we may not know the truth for YEARS.

When the coast guard officer told him to get back on the ship, the captain tried to tell him that it was completely black out there, they couldn't see a thing.  I don't imagine it was easy, trying to decide what to do.  At that point he had a lot of people in lifeboats and maybe some in the water, all needing help and guidance.  Trying to get himself and some crew members back onto a ship leaning at 70%, in pitch darkness, might just get more people killed and he might have had his hands full with the people right around him.  So easy to second guess this guy, who was already extremely stressed out knowing he'd made a huge mistake, and with people in panic...  
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 20, 2012, 20:37
fair enough but then there is also the issue of his showboating and wrecking the ship in the first place.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cobalt on January 20, 2012, 20:40
"Everyone was celebrating". Never saw this thread. I suppose it is futile to ask for a link.


Since I didn't see the thread either, all I can do is show you Peter's post, which is on page one of this thread.

[url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/layoffs-at-istock-today/msg239116/#msg239116[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/layoffs-at-istock-today/msg239116/#msg239116[/url])

And I stand corrected.  He said "some," not "everyone."


Honestly I cannot remember ever hearing or reading someonecheering stockexpertīs closure on the istock forums. Not saying it didnīt happen, but I genuinly donīt remember it. It also doesnīt make a lot of sense - didnīt stockexpert promote istock exclusive images on the top of the site for a while? At least i remember seeing my easter eggs there and had the impression it was good for them.

But since it must have been terrible for him, I am sure he knows what he saw. Something like that you donīt forget.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: blamb on January 20, 2012, 20:41
JJRD has such a "following" because he worked his a** off for the contributors, literally. And over the years he has personally met and interacted with thousands of people, assisted us at shootings, responded personally to our sitemails etc...there is a reason why he will be missed. Just like Rob Sylvan or Bruce, strong character, strong personality.

JJ pushed for things I wanted ... I'm not gonna hold back a few kind words for the guy.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 20, 2012, 20:47
Do you genuinely feel better for putting others down? Are you really that unsuccessful?

I most certainly am that 'unsuccessful'. It's something I have to deal with constantly whilst I'm working on my golf handicap. I do appreciate your concern though.

I'm just trying to give a sense of perspective regarding JJRD, et al. This isn't the Istock forum btw __ over here you are actually allowed to say what you think. Ok?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: loop on January 20, 2012, 20:52
"Everyone was celebrating". Never saw this thread. I suppose it is futile to ask for a link.


Since I didn't see the thread either, all I can do is show you Peter's post, which is on page one of this thread.

[url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/layoffs-at-istock-today/msg239116/#msg239116[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/layoffs-at-istock-today/msg239116/#msg239116[/url])

And I stand corrected.  He said "some," not "everyone."


Honestly I cannot remember ever hearing or reading someonecheering stockexpertīs closure on the istock forums. Not saying it didnīt happen, but I genuinly donīt remember it. It also doesnīt make a lot of sense - didnīt stockexpert promote istock exclusive images on the top of the site for a while? At least i remember seeing my easter eggs there and had the impression it was good for them.

But since it must have been terrible for him, I am sure he knows what he saw. Something like that you donīt forget.


Am I mistaken? Or this Peter and his partners sold stockxpert to Jupiter and then Jupiter sold to Getty?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 20, 2012, 21:01
"Everyone was celebrating". Never saw this thread. I suppose it is futile to ask for a link.


Since I didn't see the thread either, all I can do is show you Peter's post, which is on page one of this thread.

[url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/layoffs-at-istock-today/msg239116/#msg239116[/url] ([url]http://www.microstockgroup.com/istockphoto-com/layoffs-at-istock-today/msg239116/#msg239116[/url])

And I stand corrected.  He said "some," not "everyone."


Honestly I cannot remember ever hearing or reading someonecheering stockexpertīs closure on the istock forums. Not saying it didnīt happen, but I genuinly donīt remember it. It also doesnīt make a lot of sense - didnīt stockexpert promote istock exclusive images on the top of the site for a while? At least i remember seeing my easter eggs there and had the impression it was good for them.

But since it must have been terrible for him, I am sure he knows what he saw. Something like that you donīt forget.


Am I mistaken? Or this Peter and his partners sold stockxpert to Jupiter and then Jupiter sold to Getty?


You're right.  Same guy. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: AudioGate on January 20, 2012, 21:18
Do you genuinely feel better for putting others down? Are you really that unsuccessful?

I most certainly am that 'unsuccessful'. It's something I have to deal with constantly whilst I'm working on my golf handicap. I do appreciate your concern though.

I'm just trying to give a sense of perspective regarding JJRD, et al. This isn't the Istock forum btw __ over here you are actually allowed to say what you think. Ok?

I have no concern for you - please see my earlier post on my thoughts about you as I'm all for saying what I think. But thanks for trying to tell me how fora work.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamesbenet on January 20, 2012, 21:23
In the interest of fairness I decided to post in the HQ thread. But if its tampered or erased/edited out, I want to post it here for preservation.   Thanks!

______________________________
About 14 months ago the company made a decision to cut many of our royalties by large amounts in order to remain sustainable.

The company is still here be it because of that or other circumstances; however sales across the board have slowed from the smaller producer to the image factory entrepreneur.

With all the savings that were allocated from exclusives and non exclusives; what is being done to regain the trust of buyers and suppliers in order to once again be where the company 2 years ago proclaimed to be not only healthy but on top of the business with large growth.

We have been left in the dark regarding the state of the company, future prospects and leadership guidance that used to characterize iStock.  Every December- January Bruce and Kelly gave a sort of state of iStock message with lots of info regarding the company's performance, growth, success and decisions to carry it forward.

This time around we had to find out in 3rd party blogs that a significant part of the company was let go and after it was not contained we got an official message from HQ.

We as suppliers of content need to know where the ship is, where its headed and if its healthy for the voyage ahead.  We don't need exact figures, we need credible assurances by real people. We have been kept in the dark for so long that the trust we once possessed has almost extinguished.

So in concise terms:

How is the company doing?

What is being done to improve the bottom line of contributors?

What steps necessary are being considered to retain current buyers and attract new ones or those that searched elsewhere?

What value does exclusivity play in all of this, considering many of us have battered a pretty unreliable year?

What incentives are being considered to keep exclusives and attract non-exclusive content to iStock first, instead of the competition? Non exclusive search has been at the back with many withdrawing new uploads.

Has Video been affected by these changes and in what measure?  Can we expect better competitive pricing structures, editorial video and faster inspections that are competitive with other sites?

We all want a healthy company and an even healthier communication between the parts.   We contributors have patiently waited for your side to show interest in keeping us informed. We are all ears and are prepared to listen and understand current developments.

Thank you!

__________________________________________
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: caspixel on January 20, 2012, 21:29

"You were the wind beneath my wings" .... BLEEEAAARRRRHHH



OMG, someone really said that?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 20, 2012, 21:35
Well said, James!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 20, 2012, 21:40

"You were the wind beneath my wings" .... BLEEEAAARRRRHHH



OMG, someone really said that?

Sadly they did __ and worse. Really it is too embarrassing and distressing to discuss any further. I'm quite literally sick of the nausea such posts generate when I view them.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 20, 2012, 21:53
Well said, James!
+1
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stocker2011 on January 20, 2012, 21:56
Well done James and well said.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: OhGoAway! on January 20, 2012, 21:57
The hand-wringing *is* silly. Because any reasonable person knew, deep-down, in her heart-of-hearts, that this day was coming, the day Bruce said goodbye. I was honestly shocked that day and felt as though I had lost a trusted and inspiring leader, as well as probably witnessing the end of iStock.

In spite of the many assurances to the contrary, I had not just fallen off the turnip truck and I knew how these acquisitions go. Maybe those who are so effusively wailing about the movings on of JJRD and Kelly are just much better at convincing themselves of what they *want* to happen (versus what they *know* will happen) than I am. I mourned iStock years ago. This news, though titillating, scarcely matters.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 20, 2012, 22:35
post from tab not workin right  :(
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 20, 2012, 22:36
HA!  (http://forum.realityfanforum.com/Smileys/classic/laugh3.gif) Sean keepin' it real as always.

Quote
Geez, I thought he got hit by a bus or something, with all this.


http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339825&messageid=6587575 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339825&messageid=6587575)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 20, 2012, 22:50
The hand-wringing *is* silly. Because any reasonable person knew, deep-down, in her heart-of-hearts, that this day was coming, the day Bruce said goodbye. I was honestly shocked that day and felt as though I had lost a trusted and inspiring leader, as well as probably witnessing the end of iStock.

In spite of the many assurances to the contrary, I had not just fallen off the turnip truck and I knew how these acquisitions go. Maybe those who are so effusively wailing about the movings on of JJRD and Kelly are just much better at convincing themselves of what they *want* to happen (versus what they *know* will happen) than I am. I mourned iStock years ago. This news, though titillating, scarcely matters.

ditto. i could care less about hearing answers to jameses questions. they would just be platitudes again anyways.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: AudioGate on January 20, 2012, 23:47

"You were the wind beneath my wings" .... BLEEEAAARRRRHHH



OMG, someone really said that?

Sadly they did __ and worse. Really it is too embarrassing and distressing to discuss any further. I'm quite literally sick of the nausea such posts generate when I view them.

Masochistic drama-queen.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: caspixel on January 21, 2012, 00:50

"You were the wind beneath my wings" .... BLEEEAAARRRRHHH



OMG, someone really said that?

Sadly they did __ and worse. Really it is too embarrassing and distressing to discuss any further. I'm quite literally sick of the nausea such posts generate when I view them.

Masochistic drama-queen.

Nah, hilarious and acerbic British wit.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lagereek on January 21, 2012, 02:01
Big party at IS,
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: thesentinel on January 21, 2012, 02:54


Nah, hilarious and acerbic British wit.

I think this could be a case of words changing their meaning as they cross the Atlantic, but please don't mix up the British characteristics of wittyness and chippyness, they ate very different things.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: fotografer on January 21, 2012, 04:16


Jokes apart, isnt it ironic?  yesterday at IS, I had the best day for ages. Weird!
Me too which is unusual for a Friday.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: sharpshot on January 21, 2012, 04:24


Jokes apart, isnt it ironic?  yesterday at IS, I had the best day for ages. Weird!
Me too which is unusual for a Friday.
It's still dire for me.  Sold 3 photos yesterday, used to be over 20 a day most weekdays days at one time.  The prices have gone up but my sales volume and overall earnings have crashed and show no signs of recovery.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: rubyroo on January 21, 2012, 05:00
I can understand why people feel emotional about it.  I imagine that for people who were there from the start, and who actually felt they 'knew' the people involved, and felt that they had single-handedly changed their lives for the better by enabling them to walk away from jobs they hated and become self-sustaining creatives, it must feel like a bereavement of sorts... in that they felt this person was there for them, and instrumental to all that, and they won't be any more.  The 'coziness' they felt has been eroding for some time, as iStock has progressively shifted from a matrix model to a hierarchichal one, and JJ was perhaps the major connection they still had to 'how things were'.  I think he also helped some to feel more protected in the face of changes, with his assurances that he was the one who would' go out to bat' for them.  It sounded sometimes as though he saw himself as 'David' to Getty's 'Goliath', and he seemed to want iStocker's to know that.  

I think for those of us who are indies and were never really a part of that familial feeling are obviously going to feel differently, as we have our work and working relationships in numerous different agencies with different structures and cultures.  We don't have that sense of 'envelopment' that some iStock exclusives do.  We also haven't been on the receiving end of the same sort of warmth and encouragement that some exclusives have felt.

I would have thought he would have known this was on the horizon.  Those of us who are a bit longer in the tooth have seen this scenario play out in our own working lives previously, so perhaps it's more of a shock for younger people and those who've never been employed in a take-over situation.  The long-standing expectation of such things tends to dilute the impact somewhat when they happen.

But anyway,  JJ sounds positive and as though he's looking forward to the new change, so he sounds fine.  

I'm as grateful as anyone for the advent of microstock and the way it has changed my life.  Of course, my main gratitude goes to Jon Oringer, because his agency has been steady and strong and has provided me with the greatest reward for my efforts.  If it weren't for Shutterstock, this would not have become a feasible endeavour for me.  So yes, I do have a certain fondness for him.  I get that.  If he walked away, I'd continue to be grateful to him for what he'd enabled me to achieve up to that point, but I'd also be very worried about the future.  Probably too worried about that to be emotional about it.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 21, 2012, 05:55
Contrary to the general opinion, I think the official statement was informative (even if it was only confirmation of what we already pretty much knew).

They state clearly that iS is no longer an independent business, Calgary is a branch of Getty. They tell us that the inspection systems are being merged to give consistency across the group (will that mean tougher or weaker inspection standards? Is iStock content going to have to live up to Flickr standards, or vice-versa?).  And they admit that the strategy of the last year or two has failed and they are being outcompeted by other agencies (the "opportunity" they refer to is quite obviously winning back the market share that they shouldn't have lost in the first place).

Those seem like pretty big admissions to me.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lagereek on January 21, 2012, 06:15
Yep, its the same old story, companies becomes too big for their shoes, complaicant and arrogant, treating everybody including staff like dirt, they become blind and before you know it,  competitors are moving past, gets bigger and more powerful.
When they finally wake up, its all too late.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 21, 2012, 06:39
ditto. i could care less about hearing answers to jameses questions. they would just be platitudes again anyways.
I guess you mean you couldn't care less?

I'm perfectly sure James didn't want platitudes but was asking, hypothetically, for Truth.
I for one would certainly be interested in hearing the true answers to his questions.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 21, 2012, 06:56
I think there's probably a cultural difference to take account of.
Even if we allow that many people in that thread are actually saying as they found, the flowery language and emotions expressed are way OTT for my sensitivities. I wouldn't even outpour like that to my nearest and dearest.
But once I happened on some TV programme showing clips from an American phenomenon called a 'Mother and Daughter pageant', a kitschy, saccharine affair. At the end, the eponymous mothers and daughters had to recite their words of love to each other and that to most Brit ears was just hysterical (and if supposed to be taken seriously, nauseous). That programme was the talk of the steamie for weeks.

JJ seems to have had a great effect on many, but not all, people who met him. I never met the man, I never understood his waffles on the forum, even allowing for ESL; and the one exchange I had with him was not positive.
It was at a time when Vetta was fairly new, and the keywording on many Vetta files was truly awful: particularly from one Vetta inspector, whose port (at the time: after a long war of attrition he cleaned up his act) was full of almost the worst keywording I'd seen. Every single file I looked at had at least five irrelevant keywords, often over ten.
Without naming that person or even directly alluding to him on the forum, I posted "Could Vetta files have their keywords double-checked, in respect for the buyers and to those of us who are trying to keep our keywords clean?" and within ten minutes JJ jumped in and said simply, "That will not be happening". No expansion or explanation.
So, while I don't wish the man any harm, and there are certainly others who should have lost their job before him, there will be no eulogies, emotional or otherwise, from me. Even if I could post on the forum.  ;D
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 21, 2012, 07:01
But anyway,  JJ sounds positive and as though he's looking forward to the new change, so he sounds fine.  
While you are looking for new opportunities, it's best not to express publically what you really think.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stocker2011 on January 21, 2012, 07:12
Not sure if this has already been posted yesterday but they also lost someone from the video department:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339881&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339881&page=1)

Which will probably mean even longer inspection times are coming. Currently non-exclusives have roughly a 2.5 month wait.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 21, 2012, 07:27
ditto. i could care less about hearing answers to jameses questions. they would just be platitudes again anyways.
I guess you mean you couldn't care less?


 ;)

I'm perfectly sure James didn't want platitudes but was asking, hypothetically, for Truth.
I for one would certainly be interested in hearing the true answers to his questions.
[/quote]

I'm perfectly sure James didn't want platitudes either. I'm perfectly sure that all contributors have been looking for the Truth since the day Getty bought the place. Based on past performance, I think you have heard all the Truth you are going to hear from Lobo's post. And who knows if that is even the Truth? The Truth to you means something entirely different than the Truth to Getty.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 21, 2012, 07:44
I'm perfectly sure that all contributors have been looking for the Truth since the day Getty bought the place. Based on past performance, I think you have heard all the Truth you are going to hear from Lobo's post. And who knows if that is even the Truth? The Truth to you means something entirely different than the Truth to Getty.
I guess that's the New Kind of Truth, like the new kind of trust JJ was never able to explain or bring about, unless 'new kind of trust' means 'don't trust anything'.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: rubyroo on January 21, 2012, 08:34
@ Sue.  Yes the cultural difference probably does have a lot to do with it.  Brits come from a far more pee-taking culture I think.   There's been a lot of americanisation of our culture, but I hope we never lose that (most especially the ease with which we can take the pee out of ourselves).
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 21, 2012, 08:55
@ Sue.  Yes the cultural difference probably does have a lot to do with it.  Brits come from a far more pee-taking culture I think.   There's been a lot of americanisation of our culture, but I hope we never lose that (most especially the ease with which we can take the pee out of ourselves).

I'm sure as long as we have such delightful treasures as HIGNFY and Mock the Week, that won't happen.  :D
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Mantis on January 21, 2012, 09:09
From the IStock Reorg discussion: "I'm impressed with the way Lobo has responded to some very relevant concerns; if he's being honest (and there's no reason to believe he isn't), then I don;t think we've got too much to panic about."

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Does someone really think that Lobo is part of the strategic team, that he makes decisions, that he dictates the rule of law?  So he is nice in a couple of "forum moderator posts" and this guy equates that to "everything will be okay"?  Really, this is an unbelievable perspective, somebody who is grasping at straws and totally doesn't get that Lobo's role has NOTHING to do with business development, and everything to do with locking posts, demeaning posters who mean well, and laughing every time he gets a paycheck.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 21, 2012, 09:51
From the IStock Reorg discussion: "I'm impressed with the way Lobo has responded to some very relevant concerns; if he's being honest (and there's no reason to believe he isn't), then I don;t think we've got too much to panic about."

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Does someone really think that Lobo is part of the strategic team, that he makes decisions, that he dictates the rule of law?  
Lobo himself knows his place, in this respect. As I said on p16:
"He's admitting his posts have no real currency, by prefacing them with "From what I understand ..." and "At this point I don't suspect ..." and "the answer, as I understand it"."
Bearing in mind that it wasn't that long after he locked a thread with an adamant "we have no plans to introduce editorial" that they ... introduced editorial.  ;)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: [email protected] on January 21, 2012, 09:59
I'm perfectly sure that all contributors have been looking for the Truth since the day Getty bought the place. Based on past performance, I think you have heard all the Truth you are going to hear from Lobo's post. And who knows if that is even the Truth? The Truth to you means something entirely different than the Truth to Getty.
I guess that's the New Kind of Truth, like the new kind of trust JJ was never able to explain or bring about, unless 'new kind of trust' means 'don't trust anything'.

Right, this is the weird effect that istock had on people.  It was an online community when people traded files but changed when $.10 commissions were introduced.  Then, it became a business with a left over "fake" community feel.  Because "on-line" anything is not real to the extent of being tangible personal relationships.  Then, getty bought and the community thing was flung further away for the thing istock became after money was introduced.   A cutthroat, competitive business that was whitewashed by being online in stead of in person.  The last email from istock I received was titled " blah blah community blah blah ....."  I deleted it without reading and tried to not throw-up.  The left over community BS always was used to soften the blows of decisions like when the best match was massaged to get Lise back to #1 in daily sales when she had dropped to 5th by a truer organic best match back in august 2008.  Many of these types of manipulations were evident with even the original owners at the helm.  They were just more acceptable because of that fake "community" feel.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: rubyroo on January 21, 2012, 10:01
I'm sure as long as we have such delightful treasures as HIGNFY and Mock the Week, that won't happen.  :D

Very true!  I'm a fan of both!  Especially HIGNFY - wouldn't miss it for the world :D
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: rubyroo on January 21, 2012, 10:06
unless 'new kind of trust' means 'don't trust anything'.

Yes indeed - there's such a thing as oversaturating your specs with the tint of 'rose'.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 21, 2012, 10:14
Not sure if this has already been posted yesterday but they also lost someone from the video department:

[url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339881&page=1[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=339881&page=1[/url])

Which will probably mean even longer inspection times are coming. Currently non-exclusives have roughly a 2.5 month wait.


That, on the face of it, seems totally insane.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: sharpshot on January 21, 2012, 11:17
Just imagine how long the video reviews would be if they hadn't put a lot of us off with their tedious buggy upload, processing glitches, disgustingly low commissions and poor sales.  I deleted most of my video portfolio after the commission cut and wouldn't dream of uploading there now.

I wonder how much money istock have lost by being greedy and demotivating contributors?  Probably enough to pay for lots more video inspectors.  Pond5 is the big winner, just like SS is with stills.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: briciola on January 21, 2012, 11:46
ditto. i could care less about hearing answers to jameses questions. they would just be platitudes again anyways.

I guess you mean you couldn't care less?

Off topic - I came across David Mitchel speaking on exactly that point a few days ago -
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om7O0MFkmpw[/youtube]
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 21, 2012, 11:54
...Pond5 is the big winner, just like SS is with stills.

Checked Alexa out of curiosity, and for the first time I've seen, Shutterstock is running neck and neck with IS and actually beating them on some days.  Whether or not Alexa is reliable, this development is nevertheless interesting.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 21, 2012, 12:01
I guess you mean you couldn't care less?
Off topic - came across David Mitchel speaking on exactly that point a few days ago -
Brilliant: what a coincidental find.  :D
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 21, 2012, 12:09
I guess you mean you couldn't care less?
Off topic - came across David Mitchel speaking on exactly that point a few days ago -
Brilliant: what a coincidental find.  :D

 :D You guys are too funny!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: rubyroo on January 21, 2012, 13:11
@ briciola

Brilliant!  Thank you so much!  The misuse of that phrase drives me nuts - as he says, it makes no sense at all.  God bless you David Mitchell.  I think he's great on 'Would I Lie To You' also.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jjneff on January 21, 2012, 19:49
I'm with James! give me your vision not your secrets. I need to make an informed business decision!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Risamay on January 21, 2012, 20:15
I love David Mitchell. Even 'Peep Show'. You've really got to dig David Mitchell to stream your through 'Peep Show'. It's no 'Mitchell and Webb' (:
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cobalt on January 21, 2012, 21:21
I'm with James! give me your vision not your secrets. I need to make an informed business decision!

Yes, James post is excellent and down to the point.

This "no -information announcement" from the Wizard(s) of Oz hiding behind some thick curtain is so counterproductive, I really donīt know what to say. Apart from all the site bugs, the company communication, if there is any, seems to be designed to belittle and embarrass us. Just like the strange "little monster in the cellar" screen that was used AGAIN.

A CEO of an international  200+ million dollar business that hides? Or that other admins feel they need to protect and shield from the real world?? Isnīt "superior social network leadership skills" the most essential part of the job description for an internet based marketplace?  

All the competition now has to do is parade their brainpower - CEOīs and executives that give public interviews, show themselves in videos, smart presentation of intelligent new business tools for contributors and customers, a leadership team that OMG (!) dares to personally meet contributors. Maybe even shakes a hand or two and says "I hope the service our agency provides meets your expectations"....and all the time appear to actually ENJOY leading a company. There are indeed people that thrive under that kind of responsibility.


Where will the next generation and talent go? Digital entrepreneurs are not silly little children.

The competition is certainly just sitting back, having enormous fun watching istockīs reputation sink lower and lower.

Very sad. And completly avoidable. :(

--------------------------------------------------

I see a lot of new members popping up here. Looks like msg will be even more powerful as the main business plattform of the industry.

Unfortunately, I spent too little time building my portfolio in the last few years. And I seriously wonder how the Inspector team or any admins are taking the new developments. I wish them all the best, they are amazingly passionate and hard working people. Best team I have ever been part of. Truly grateful to the istock that was.

I think I will try to take a break from the forums for a while and just focus on content production. I own my products, it is the only thing I have full control over.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 22, 2012, 06:41
The competition is certainly just sitting back, having enormous fun watching istockīs reputation sink lower and lower.
Very sad. And completly avoidable. :(

If they'd wanted to avoid it, which seems debatable.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: sharpshot on January 22, 2012, 07:10
I love David Mitchell. Even 'Peep Show'. You've really got to dig David Mitchell to stream your through 'Peep Show'. It's no 'Mitchell and Webb' (:
It's funny, I much prefer "Peep Show" to "Mitchell and Webb".  Some of the scenes with Super Hans make me laugh until it hurts.  There's a few episodes that aren't brilliant but ones like "Wedding" and "Shrooming" are hilarious.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Mantis on January 22, 2012, 08:14
I'm with James! give me your vision not your secrets. I need to make an informed business decision!

Yes, James post is excellent and down to the point.

This "no -information announcement" from the Wizard(s) of Oz hiding behind some thick curtain is so counterproductive, I really donīt know what to say. Apart from all the site bugs, the company communication, if there is any, seems to be designed to belittle and embarrass us. Just like the strange "little monster in the cellar" screen that was used AGAIN.

A CEO of an international  200+ million dollar business that hides? Or that other admins feel they need to protect and shield from the real world?? Isnīt "superior social network leadership skills" the most essential part of the job description for an internet based marketplace?  


All the competition now has to do is parade their brainpower - CEOīs and executives that give public interviews, show themselves in videos, smart presentation of intelligent new business tools for contributors and customers, a leadership team that OMG (!) dares to personally meet contributors. Maybe even shakes a hand or two and says "I hope the service our agency provides meets your expectations"....and all the time appear to actually ENJOY leading a company. There are indeed people that thrive under that kind of responsibility.


Where will the next generation and talent go? Digital entrepreneurs are not silly little children.

The competition is certainly just sitting back, having enormous fun watching istockīs reputation sink lower and lower.

Very sad. And completly avoidable. :(

--------------------------------------------------

I see a lot of new members popping up here. Looks like msg will be even more powerful as the main business plattform of the industry.

Unfortunately, I spent too little time building my portfolio in the last few years. And I seriously wonder how the Inspector team or any admins are taking the new developments. I wish them all the best, they are amazingly passionate and hard working people. Best team I have ever been part of. Truly grateful to the istock that was.

I think I will try to take a break from the forums for a while and just focus on content production. I own my products, it is the only thing I have full control over.

Nice post.  Bottom line...they either simply don't know what their go-forward plan is or they know it's going to be a knock out punch to many, many current contributors and until they are ready to drop that axe mums the word.  I still personally feel that all indys will ultimately be pushed into PP as their only "relationship" with Getty.IS.  I have no proof, of course, just that it seems that is just the thing these vultures would do.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Mantis on January 22, 2012, 08:22

The problem is that there's been the same helmsman steering the boat since last summer. Is it appreciably further from the shoals now than it was then? Has confidence in completing the voyage safely improved since Rebecca took the helm?



With all these nautical references, this image keeps springing to mind...
([url]http://ww3.hdnux.com/photos/07/77/55/2095982/5/628x471.jpg[/url])

ETA:  Just read the prior page and saw Gostwyck beat me to the Costa Concordia reference :)


Another's trash can be someone else's treasure...an artificial reef!!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lagereek on January 22, 2012, 08:32
I actually photographed this ship in the port of Stockholm a few years back,  was a job for the port of Stockholm authorities, their cruising magazin.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Mantis on January 22, 2012, 08:48
I actually photographed this ship in the port of Stockholm a few years back,  was a job for the port of Stockholm authorities, their cruising magazin.

It'll be very interesting to see how and/or what they actually do with it now.  Remove it? Remove it a piece at a time? Clean it, then sink it in deeper water? I saw something on the news that a ship of this type costs $500,000,000.  WOWZ!!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: rubyroo on January 22, 2012, 09:19
I still personally feel that all indys will ultimately be pushed into PP as their only "relationship" with Getty.IS.  I have no proof, of course, just that it seems that is just the thing these vultures would do.

That would be interesting.  I suspect an awful lot of indies would pull their ports out of the PP if it came to that.  They won't have a PP if they have no content.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 22, 2012, 10:39
I still personally feel that all indys will ultimately be pushed into PP as their only "relationship" with Getty.IS.  I have no proof, of course, just that it seems that is just the thing these vultures would do.

That would be interesting.  I suspect an awful lot of indies would pull their ports out of the PP if it came to that.  They won't have a PP if they have no content.

It's already happening in some ways.  As I've mentioned previously, 17 of the 20 images in my neon alphabet series completely stopped selling at IS in August 2010, then started selling on the partner sites in September 2010.  They had regular sales at IS up until then, and sales continued with regularity on the partner sites.  Why would these images just stop selling on IS like that? 

I've deactivated these images, so I can't monitor them on IS anymore, but just prior to removal they were showing in best match along with 80 other images with the keywords "neon" and "alphabet."  Only 100 images in the best match, so why did sales come to a sudden halt?

Did they somehow get lost for over a year on IS and only recently reappear just prior to deactivation?  I have no idea, but I do find the whole thing extremely weird.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: caspixel on January 22, 2012, 10:46

This "no -information announcement" from the Wizard(s) of Oz hiding behind some thick curtain is so counterproductive, I really donīt know what to say. Apart from all the site bugs, the company communication, if there is any, seems to be designed to belittle and embarrass us. Just like the strange "little monster in the cellar" screen that was used AGAIN.

A CEO of an international  200+ million dollar business that hides? Or that other admins feel they need to protect and shield from the real world?? Isnīt "superior social network leadership skills" the most essential part of the job description for an internet based marketplace?  

It's the way of American big business, where the uber-wealthy CEOs sit in their ivory towers, insulated from the riff raff, disconnected from the real world. When are people going to realize, they will never get the answers they seek from Getty? Getty will do what Getty wants and only inform you of the decisions after they are already implemented. Or do people just not pay attention to their past performance?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 22, 2012, 11:05
It's the way of American big business, where the uber-wealthy CEOs sit in their ivory towers, insulated from the riff raff, disconnected from the real world. When are people going to realize, they will never get the answers they seek from Getty? Getty will do what Getty wants and only inform you of the decisions after they are already implemented. Or do people just not pay attention to their past performance?

It pretty much seems that way. I don't know what it will take for some people to see that Getty was on, has been on, and will be on this path from day 1. Every single thing that has happened has been a step closer. The only reason Lobo, KKT, etc. are put in the path is to try and minimalize damage. They DO want to keep a select few happy, and give the illusion that they are giving information and are transparent, but for the most part, they don't give a rat's a$$ what happens to the rest of the contributors. The ones they want to keep happy ARE being communicated with in a businesslike manner. The rest get Lobo.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 22, 2012, 11:39
A CEO of an international  200+ million dollar business that hides? Or that other admins feel they need to protect and shield from the real world?? Isnīt "superior social network leadership skills" the most essential part of the job description for an internet based marketplace?  

Istock's real problem was that it didn't actually have a CEO. Thompson was only the COO and there's a world of difference. Istock is now nothing more than a 'profit centre' for Getty and worse, one that is being perpetually squeezed for short-term gain to the considerable cost of it's future. Istock will never again have anyone in charge with the authority to make the real strategic decisions necessary to build the business or even prevent it being overwhelmed by the competition. It hasn't got a chance of competing effectively against other agencies that are being driven hard and aggressively by entrepreneurs. Istock is basically f**ked.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: BImages on January 22, 2012, 12:04
Istock is being "Lobo"tomized... lol
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Pixart on January 22, 2012, 12:20
I actually photographed this ship in the port of Stockholm a few years back,  was a job for the port of Stockholm authorities, their cruising magazin.

It'll be very interesting to see how and/or what they actually do with it now.  Remove it? Remove it a piece at a time? Clean it, then sink it in deeper water? I saw something on the news that a ship of this type costs $500,000,000.  WOWZ!!

It took me a minute to decide if you were referring to the ship or to Istock.   ;)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lagereek on January 22, 2012, 12:49
I actually photographed this ship in the port of Stockholm a few years back,  was a job for the port of Stockholm authorities, their cruising magazin.

It'll be very interesting to see how and/or what they actually do with it now.  Remove it? Remove it a piece at a time? Clean it, then sink it in deeper water? I saw something on the news that a ship of this type costs $500,000,000.  WOWZ!!

It took me a minute to decide if you were referring to the ship or to Istock.   ;)


Good one! Pixart! :D  , what they do with it?  God knows,  they might tow it out on deeper water and sink it, after saving expensive equipment ofcourse.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 22, 2012, 13:29
I actually photographed this ship in the port of Stockholm a few years back,  was a job for the port of Stockholm authorities, their cruising magazin.

It'll be very interesting to see how and/or what they actually do with it now.  Remove it? Remove it a piece at a time? Clean it, then sink it in deeper water? I saw something on the news that a ship of this type costs $500,000,000.  WOWZ!!

It took me a minute to decide if you were referring to the ship or to Istock.   ;)

 :D

Yes, certainly a lot of parallels!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 22, 2012, 15:44
It's the way of American big business, where the uber-wealthy CEOs sit in their ivory towers, insulated from the riff raff, disconnected from the real world. When are people going to realize, they will never get the answers they seek from Getty? Getty will do what Getty wants and only inform you of the decisions after they are already implemented. Or do people just not pay attention to their past performance?


Your comment reminds me of a piece in the Wall Street Journal that appeared yesterday, The New American Divide (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577170733817181646.html).  While it's about the growing cultural divide between the upper-middle class and the working class, the same can be said for CEOs and the workers in their companies, especially in a situation like the one we face with IS/Getty/H&F.  Has anyone from H&F ever taken the time to walk among us? 

Disclaimer: I'm making no claim about agreeing or disagreeing with the author's opinions for solutions.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamirae on January 22, 2012, 16:20
In all fairness, I wouldn't begrudge anyone the opportunity to say goodbye to JJ or anyone else who has gotten the boot from Getty.  We've all been treated shabbily by them, and now it appears that long-time Istock administrators are no longer exempt.   I never met any of these folks, and as a non-exclusive, seldom had any personal dealings with them.  If I had I would probably be joining the chorus of well-wishers though. 

Also, these latest developments have got to be a massive blow to Istock exclusives.  I doubt any of us who are non-exclusive can understand the degree to which these changes are going to affect many exclusives on a personal and emotional level.  I know the comment about Kim Jung Il's funeral was a joke, but this really is a grieving process for a lot of people.

I have to agree with Lisa here.  If you don't like the posts to JJRD, then just stay out of that thread.  There's always some posturing and nonsense in those types of threads but many sincere posts as well.  Besides, he's going to be around as an admin for a few more months and staying on as a contributor.  So just let the thread die out on its own.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Hobgoblin on January 22, 2012, 16:39
I feel like the biggest sucker in the world. After 6 months spent dismantling my portfolios at SS, DT and FT, I have just gone exclusive with IS. So far, I am on track this month to outstrip my total earnings as an independent - despite the fact that SS was a far greater earner for me than IS. I thought I had landed in stock heaven! But my joy hasn't lasted long. I think it may be a fool's paradise.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: caspixel on January 22, 2012, 16:56
It's the way of American big business, where the uber-wealthy CEOs sit in their ivory towers, insulated from the riff raff, disconnected from the real world. When are people going to realize, they will never get the answers they seek from Getty? Getty will do what Getty wants and only inform you of the decisions after they are already implemented. Or do people just not pay attention to their past performance?


Your comment reminds me of a piece in the Wall Street Journal that appeared yesterday, The New American Divide ([url]http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577170733817181646.html[/url]).  While it's about the growing cultural divide between the upper-middle class and the working class, the same can be said for CEOs and the workers in their companies, especially in a situation like the one we face with IS/Getty/H&F.  Has anyone from H&F ever taken the time to walk among us?  

Disclaimer: I'm making no claim about agreeing or disagreeing with the author's opinions for solutions.


Wow. That author's hypothesis is as much fiction as the neighborhoods he used to back up his wildly inaccurate analysis, though I shouldn't be surprised coming from the WSJ and a conservative think tank. Typical blame progressive policies and not looking AT ALL at how conservative polices and the wealthy are shaping this country. The only thing I agree with is that there is a divide.

Added: He really makes me sick with his suggestions that the wealthy should go out and give the poor a positive moral example, like those cut-throat rapacious bullies should be held up as an example for ANYTHING ETHICAL. How would everyone feel if Jonathon Klein came out of his ivory tower to walk amongst all you lowly contributors, holding himself up as an example of how "moral" you should be? Yuck! I think I need a shower.

This post from the comment section sums up the article perfectly:

Quote
Here's a translation summary of Charles Murray's latest hack piece on behalf of the elite which employs him as Court Philosopher:

1) "Industriousness:...The primary indicator of the erosion of industriousness in the working class..."

Translation: The reason you are unemployed/underemployed is that you are a lazy bum.

2) "To illustrate just how wide the gap has grown between the new upper class and the new lower class, let me start with the broader upper-middle and working classes from which they are drawn, using two fictional neighborhoods that I hereby label Belmont"

Translation: "Let me make things up"

2) "For explaining the formation of the new lower class, the easy explanations from the left don't withstand scrutiny. It's not that white working class males can no longer make a "family wage" that enables them to marry."

Translation: "Let me manufacture and beat upon a strawman"

3) "The average male employed in a working-class occupation earned as much in 2010 as he did in 1960."

Translation: "How To Lie With Statistics", by Darrell Huff

4) "It's not that a bad job market led discouraged men to drop out of the labor force"

Translation: "Why stop at just an imaginary town? Why not also an imaginary history, where the massive manufacturing offshoring and Wall St. three-card monte games of the past 30 years never happened in the first place?"

5) "As I've argued in much of my previous work, I think that the reforms of the 1960s jump-started the deterioration."

Translation: "The eternal, imaginary Cadillac-driving Welfare Queen did it, not the plutocrats who cut checks for my conservative think-tank gigs."

6) "The economic value of brains in the marketplace will continue to increase no matter what, and the most successful of each generation will tend to marry each other no matter what."

Translation: "The rich are genetically superior to you peons."

7) "Increasing scholarships for working-class children won't make a difference."

Translation: "Because your children are likewise genetically inferior, there's no point in wasting any money on them."

8) "Changes in marginal tax rates on the wealthy won't make a difference."

Translation: "On behalf of the bigwigs who sign my checks -- let's cut to the chase."
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 22, 2012, 17:07
I feel like the biggest sucker in the world. After 6 months spent dismantling my portfolios at SS, DT and FT, I have just gone exclusive with IS. So far, I am on track this month to outstrip my total earnings as an independent - despite the fact that SS was a far greater earner for me than IS. I thought I had landed in stock heaven! But my joy hasn't lasted long. I think it may be a fool's paradise.

I don't think I'd have done what you did at this time (I went exclusive in Aug 2008 and left June 2011) but don't waste energy beating yourself up over what's done. You need to look forward now and decide how long to stay with exclusivity. It may take them a while to cut royalty rates and do some of the other things I'm virtually certain will come. Use the time to make a plan for what next. I'm sure there's a bigger sucker out there somewhere :)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 22, 2012, 17:23
I don't think I'd have done what you did at this time (I went exclusive in Aug 2008 and left June 2011) but don't waste energy beating yourself up over what's done. You need to look forward now and decide how long to stay with exclusivity. It may take them a while to cut royalty rates and do some of the other things I'm virtually certain will come. Use the time to make a plan for what next. I'm sure there's a bigger sucker out there somewhere :)

I'm not so sure that Istock will cut royalty rates. I think they've already pushed them down too far and they know it. Governments know that if they increase taxes beyond a certain point then revenue starts to decrease as the incentive to work is reduced and the incentive to avoid the tax, via loopholes, is increased. Istock has already gone beyond that 'sweet spot'. People keep making references to the 20% that Getty pay but Istock operates in a very different market for contributors that Getty does.

If sales continue to fall, which they probably will, then Istock may simply be forced to take action, however unpalatable, to stop exclusives * their crowns. I don't think the picture is rosy for exclusives, not by a long way, but can Istock/Getty afford to sit on their hands and do nothing whilst their business slowly evaporates? It's not as if they are unaware of the strength of feeling regarding the royalty rates.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Equus on January 22, 2012, 18:40
When exclusives talk about how good or bad their sales are, it would be really interesting if they could please also mention what royalty rate they are on.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: KB on January 22, 2012, 20:19
I see a lot of new members popping up here. Looks like msg will be even more powerful as the main business platform of the industry.
Too bad that platform can't include selling images.  ;D
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: CarlssonInc on January 22, 2012, 22:49
I actually photographed this ship in the port of Stockholm a few years back,  was a job for the port of Stockholm authorities, their cruising magazin.

It'll be very interesting to see how and/or what they actually do with it now.  Remove it? Remove it a piece at a time? Clean it, then sink it in deeper water? I saw something on the news that a ship of this type costs $500,000,000.  WOWZ!!

It took me a minute to decide if you were referring to the ship or to Istock.   ;)


Good one! Pixart! :D  , what they do with it?  God knows,  they might tow it out on deeper water and sink it, after saving expensive equipment ofcourse.

Based on my experience from working with shipping at JPMorgan I would say that based on steel value alone it will be salvaged. Also considering environmental and reputational issues I would say it definitely will be salvaged. Big question is whether it will be repaired or turned into scrap. My gut feeling is that they will be able to get "it lifted" enough to get it to a dry-dock where it will be repaired, change of name likely, but unlucky....
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Pixart on January 23, 2012, 00:11
January must be the month to clean house.  Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis are gone from RIM today (Blackberry).
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: sharpshot on January 23, 2012, 03:07
I actually photographed this ship in the port of Stockholm a few years back,  was a job for the port of Stockholm authorities, their cruising magazin.

It'll be very interesting to see how and/or what they actually do with it now.  Remove it? Remove it a piece at a time? Clean it, then sink it in deeper water? I saw something on the news that a ship of this type costs $500,000,000.  WOWZ!!

It took me a minute to decide if you were referring to the ship or to Istock.   ;)


Good one! Pixart! :D  , what they do with it?  God knows,  they might tow it out on deeper water and sink it, after saving expensive equipment ofcourse.

Based on my experience from working with shipping at JPMorgan I would say that based on steel value alone it will be salvaged. Also considering environmental and reputational issues I would say it definitely will be salvaged. Big question is whether it will be repaired or turned into scrap. My gut feeling is that they will be able to get "it lifted" enough to get it to a dry-dock where it will be repaired, change of name likely, but unlucky....
I thought they said on the news that they were going to cut it up where it is now.  It looks too big to move cost effectively and the damage looks too severe to repair.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 23, 2012, 04:02
January must be the month to clean house.  Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis are gone from RIM today (Blackberry).


Hmmm __ here's the BBC's Tim Weber's view of it;

"Analysis
 
Tim Weber
 
Business editor, BBC News website
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The departure of RIM's co-chief executives was long overdue. Not even troubled computer giant Hewlett-Packard - which lost two CEOs in less than a year - was as bad a technology car crash as Research In Motion.

Here was a company that defined what smartphones were all about; that had cornered the oh-so-important corporate market; that had made serious inroads into the youth market with cheap entry-level smartphones. And then threw it all away in an orgy of poor executive decisions, lacklustre innovation, unkept promises in delivering new product and - the greatest sin of all - a total lack of understanding that its part of the tech industry was undergoing a fundamental shift.

First Apple, then Google managed to eat the Blackberry pie, and RIM did nothing to stop them. The company's new boss will have to work very hard to keep RIM in the smartphone game."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16675452 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16675452)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gclk on January 23, 2012, 08:04
On top of the redundancies it's not encouraging to see that  - far as I can tell from www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers (http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers) - there are no open positions at any level or skillset at the company.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: michealo on January 23, 2012, 08:12
On top of the redundancies it's not encouraging to see that  - far as I can tell from [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers]www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers[/url]) - there are no open positions at any level or skillset at the company.


that makes perfect sense, if you had an open position you would offer it to someone who was there
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gclk on January 23, 2012, 08:54
On top of the redundancies it's not encouraging to see that  - far as I can tell from [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers]www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers[/url]) - there are no open positions at any level or skillset at the company.


that makes perfect sense, if you had an open position you would offer it to someone who was there


Maybe when that's possible, but a person in charge of the global content team might not want, or be qualified to take a graduate level junior programming position (for example).
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 23, 2012, 09:27
On top of the redundancies it's not encouraging to see that  - far as I can tell from [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers]www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers[/url]) - there are no open positions at any level or skillset at the company.


that makes perfect sense, if you had an open position you would offer it to someone who was there


Maybe when that's possible, but a person in charge of the global content team might not want, or be qualified to take a graduate level junior programming position (for example).


It's maybe not the best climate for people looking for a job to think that an iStock job might be a lasting career.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamirae on January 23, 2012, 09:30
On top of the redundancies it's not encouraging to see that  - far as I can tell from [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers]www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers[/url]) - there are no open positions at any level or skillset at the company.


That's because you are looking in the wrong place.  This is now Getty, not iStock.  Check here and you'll see a boatload of job openings for Seattle along with many others sprinkled around the world.
http://www.gettyimagesjobs.com/ (http://www.gettyimagesjobs.com/)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lisafx on January 23, 2012, 13:40
On top of the redundancies it's not encouraging to see that  - far as I can tell from [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers]www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers[/url]) - there are no open positions at any level or skillset at the company.


That's because you are looking in the wrong place.  This is now Getty, not iStock.  Check here and you'll see a boatload of job openings for Seattle along with many others sprinkled around the world.
[url]http://www.gettyimagesjobs.com/[/url] ([url]http://www.gettyimagesjobs.com/[/url])


Good point Jami.  But wouldn't you think they'd offer some of those Getty jobs to Istock people rather than just laying them off?  Seems odd, but then I don't claim to understand the workings of the corporate mindset... ???
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamirae on January 23, 2012, 13:42
On top of the redundancies it's not encouraging to see that  - far as I can tell from [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers]www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers[/url]) - there are no open positions at any level or skillset at the company.


That's because you are looking in the wrong place.  This is now Getty, not iStock.  Check here and you'll see a boatload of job openings for Seattle along with many others sprinkled around the world.
[url]http://www.gettyimagesjobs.com/[/url] ([url]http://www.gettyimagesjobs.com/[/url])


Good point Jami.  But wouldn't you think they'd offer some of those Getty jobs to Istock people rather than just laying them off?  Seems odd, but then I don't claim to understand the workings of the corporate mindset... ???


right.. The ethical and moral thing to do would be to offer them to istock staff first.  Although maybe they did and no one wanted to move, we don't really know for sure.  However, I'm betting on the corporate mindset that they just cleaned out from the place they are taking over so that they could begin filling it with their own hand-picked staff.  Sadly, that's the way it usually works - nothing fair about it.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lisafx on January 23, 2012, 13:50

right.. The ethical and moral thing to do would be to offer them to istock staff first.  Although maybe they did and no one wanted to move, we don't really know for sure.  However, I'm betting on the corporate mindset that they just cleaned out from the place they are taking over so that they could begin filling it with their own hand-picked staff.  Sadly, that's the way it usually works - nothing fair about it.

I'm sure you're right.  Disgraceful though. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Karimala on January 23, 2012, 14:10
It's cheaper to fire employees and hire new people in another location than it is to relocate existing employees.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on January 23, 2012, 14:11
It's cheaper to fire employees and hire new people in another location than it is to relocate existing employees.

It also may be that the current employees were considered and not chosen as the best people for what needed to be done.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: RacePhoto on January 23, 2012, 14:36
On top of the redundancies it's not encouraging to see that  - far as I can tell from [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers]www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers[/url]) - there are no open positions at any level or skillset at the company.


That's because you are looking in the wrong place.  This is now Getty, not iStock.  Check here and you'll see a boatload of job openings for Seattle along with many others sprinkled around the world.
[url]http://www.gettyimagesjobs.com/[/url] ([url]http://www.gettyimagesjobs.com/[/url])


General response, not directed at you personally:

True and for those less likely to find corporate snakes hiding under ever rock. Most people don't want to re-locate! Spouses have jobs, maybe a better paying one? Children have schools and friends, people have families. It's a freakin different country!

If you were asked to move to Canada would you leave the US? (for those who live in the US and are calling Getty unethical, immoral, disgraceful or unfair, without anything concrete? We don't know who's gone, how many or what happened to them. But the big nasty Getty has been so mean and unfair?) For the rest... Would you leave your country and move to Seattle?

I hear the coffee is good there and the climate is kind of mild? Someone may want to sell their home, leave town, have their partner leave their job, and go to Seattle, for what? Working for Getty in an unsure market, for a company in transition, where people are getting let go? Would you do that?

So consider why many people won't be moving because of personal reasons. It's not always the big bad corporation wolf!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: dcdp on January 23, 2012, 14:41
Well I've had my 7 out of 10 accepted at SS, time to make a big decision I suppose. To jump or not to jump.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 23, 2012, 14:50
With apologies to the bard:

To jump, or not to jump: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the bank balance to suffer
The ebb and flow of outrageous RCs,
Or to take action against a sea of troubles,
And by diversifying end them?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: RacePhoto on January 23, 2012, 14:53
With apologies to the bard:

To jump, or not to jump: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the bank balance to suffer
The ebb and flow of outrageous RCs,
Or to take action against a sea of troubles,
And by diversifying end them?

Love it, that's two in one day. Yours and the gostwyck  first rule of MicroStock. (briefly stated, good images will sell)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: dcdp on January 23, 2012, 14:56
Well I've had my 7 out of 10 accepted at SS, time to make a big decision I suppose. To jump or not to jump.
That was quick. Like a bandaid.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: loop on January 23, 2012, 15:04
On top of the redundancies it's not encouraging to see that  - far as I can tell from [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers]www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers[/url] ([url]http://www.istockphoto.com/istock_careers[/url]) - there are no open positions at any level or skillset at the company.


That's because you are looking in the wrong place.  This is now Getty, not iStock.  Check here and you'll see a boatload of job openings for Seattle along with many others sprinkled around the world.
[url]http://www.gettyimagesjobs.com/[/url] ([url]http://www.gettyimagesjobs.com/[/url])




Good point Jami.  But wouldn't you think they'd offer some of those Getty jobs to Istock people rather than just laying them off?  Seems odd, but then I don't claim to understand the workings of the corporate mindset... ???


I suppose it depends on the real reason behind the layoffs. Actually, we don't know.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 23, 2012, 15:35
Well I've had my 7 out of 10 accepted at SS, time to make a big decision I suppose. To jump or not to jump.
That was quick. Like a bandaid.

Meaning you started the 30-day clock?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 23, 2012, 15:37
I suppose it depends on the real reason behind the layoffs. Actually, we don't know.


Yes we do __ some of the reasons were in the announcement. More of Istock's functions will be moving in-house to Getty. Plus of course any business that is losing sales needs fewer staff to service customers and needs to reduce costs.

Conversely when a business is doing well, like SS for example, then they start "hiring like crazy" as recently reported. There's 34 'career opportunities' at Shutterstock on this link;

http://www.simplyhired.com/a/jobs/list/c-shutterstock (http://www.simplyhired.com/a/jobs/list/c-shutterstock)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 23, 2012, 15:44
Someone may want to sell their home, leave town, have their partner leave their job, and go to Seattle, for what? Working for Getty in an unsure market, for a company in transition, where people are getting let go? Would you do that?

Well, if it's good enough for Kelly Thompson then its goo.... Oh! Hang on! I think I see what you mean.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lagereek on January 23, 2012, 16:01
Yes but its not only bad sales, its the whole situation in micro, Just look around, there are agencies and little hole in the wall outfits everywhere. Its bound to come to a halt, sooner or later.
Few years back, we used to say, oh! well, there is room for everybody, but there isnt, not anymore, we used to say, the cream will always rise but in a multi-million search, the cream gets lost forever. Its all a fallacy really.
The noose is tightening, soon there will hardly be any ellbow room for a fulltime stockphotographer or even try to make a living out of stock.

Todays buyers are so easily satisfied, they just about buy any old rubbish, the cheaper the better, forget quality, its become an alien word.

All things considered, I suppose many of us are still doing well but the question is,  for how long? I heard somewhere, all in all, its thousands of applicants to differant agencies per/week!  and I bet the majority gets in, giving room for more irrelevant material, more clogging up files and more spamming. Its like a ticking bomb, isnt it, exploading anytime.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: RacePhoto on January 23, 2012, 16:08
Someone may want to sell their home, leave town, have their partner leave their job, and go to Seattle, for what? Working for Getty in an unsure market, for a company in transition, where people are getting let go? Would you do that?

Well, if it's good enough for Kelly Thompson then its goo.... Oh! Hang on! I think I see what you mean.

Yes and I forgot maybe some people were relieved to be out of that employer's ranks!  :D

Fired? Well that's a relief, Thank You! LOL
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stockastic on January 23, 2012, 16:29
I spent 30 years in the technology business.  One thing I think I learned - from the experiences of friends and co-workers - is that one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to relocate to chase a job.   It only makes sense if you're moving to a big city AND one you'd really like to live in.  The reason is that your wonderful new job is likely to last a couple of years at most, and then, there you are - in a new city, without a job or a network.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: [email protected] on January 23, 2012, 16:40
It's cheaper to fire employees and hire new people in another location than it is to relocate existing employees.

It also may be that the current employees were considered and not chosen as the best people for what needed to be done.

It seems to me there were too many istock chefs in the getty/h&f kitchen.   
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 23, 2012, 16:59
It's cheaper to fire employees and hire new people in another location than it is to relocate existing employees.

It also may be that the current employees were considered and not chosen as the best people for what needed to be done.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 23, 2012, 17:02
With apologies to the bard:

To jump, or not to jump: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the bank balance to suffer
The ebb and flow of outrageous RCs,
Or to take action against a sea of troubles,
And by diversifying end them?

 :D

edit: what thread is gostwycks first rule of microstock in?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: mlwinphoto on January 23, 2012, 17:20

Would you leave your country and move to Seattle?

I hear the coffee is good there and the climate is kind of mild? Someone may want to sell their home, leave town, have their partner leave their job, and go to Seattle, for what? Working for Getty in an unsure market, for a company in transition, where people are getting let go? Would you do that?


The climate is mild (with the exception of last week) and the coffee is great....along with the scenery.  But, Seattle is all full; no room left; traffic is terrible, housing is expensive and hard to find....best to stay where you are..... ;)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 23, 2012, 17:50
I spent 30 years in the technology business.  One thing I think I learned - from the experiences of friends and co-workers - is that one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to relocate to chase a job.   It only makes sense if you're moving to a big city AND one you'd really like to live in.  The reason is that your wonderful new job is likely to last a couple of years at most, and then, there you are - in a new city, without a job or a network.
I've know couples who have split up because of an enforced move too.

Also, I don't know how different, if any, the Canadian education system is from the USian system. The US system is vastly different from the Scottish, which itself is so far different from the English that it can make a big difference moving between them. Often it means a child being put back a year, especially in secondary schools where they could be preparing for their major exams. So much so, that my next door neighbour, on having a forced move, chose to keep his house here, stay in digs Monday to Thursday while working in England and drove up after work on Friday and left home about 4 a.m. on a Monday to work in England, to keep his kids in the system they knew. And gratefully took redundancy (or very early retirement?) a few years later.

So no, for someone in a serious relationship or with family (children or perhaps even more so, aging parents), a big move is not necessarily an easy option.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 23, 2012, 17:53
Have you compared your projected downloads at Istock for this month with Jan 2010 yet? I was staggered to find that my own downloads are likely to be down about 50%, possibly worse __ in just one year.

I know we independent contributors are not helped by the current best match but even so that's an astonishing decline in sales. If that's how things are going at Istock then the latest redundancies are unlikely to be the last.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: helix7 on January 23, 2012, 18:13
It also may be that the current employees were considered and not chosen as the best people for what needed to be done.

Interesting that Getty decided that all 30 redundancies in positions were best filled by Getty folks. Not one exception as far as we know.

That's not really a merging of ideas. More of a takeover, really.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: dcdp on January 23, 2012, 18:18
It also may be that the current employees were considered and not chosen as the best people for what needed to be done.

Interesting that Getty decided that all 30 redundancies in positions were best filled by Getty folks. Not one exception as far as we know.

That's not really a merging of ideas. More of a takeover, really.
If all the people booted were in IT it might be explainable.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 23, 2012, 23:43
Have you compared your projected downloads at Istock for this month with Jan 2010 yet? I was staggered to find that my own downloads are likely to be down about 50%, possibly worse __ in just one year.

I know we independent contributors are not helped by the current best match but even so that's an astonishing decline in sales. If that's how things are going at Istock then the latest redundancies are unlikely to be the last.

Same here. It will probably be up on December, but only just.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stocker2011 on January 24, 2012, 10:57
Looks like we're going to be getting another update today and hopefully some answers to some burning questions.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: gostwyck on January 24, 2012, 11:20
Looks like we're going to be getting another update today and hopefully some answers to some burning questions.

I don't have any 'burning questions'. Istock isn't that important any more.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: michealo on January 24, 2012, 11:29
Looks like we're going to be getting another update today and hopefully some answers to some burning questions.

answers? you are kidding right? :-)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lisafx on January 24, 2012, 11:54
Looks like we're going to be getting another update today and hopefully some answers to some burning questions.

answers? you are kidding right? :-)

I have gotten to the point where the prospect of upcoming announcements from Istock brass fills me with dread. 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: wds on January 24, 2012, 11:58
Have you compared your projected downloads at Istock for this month with Jan 2010 yet? I was staggered to find that my own downloads are likely to be down about 50%, possibly worse __ in just one year.

I know we independent contributors are not helped by the current best match but even so that's an astonishing decline in sales. If that's how things are going at Istock then the latest redundancies are unlikely to be the last.

I'm an exclusive on iStock and January is shaping up to be a horrid month.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jamirae on January 24, 2012, 12:10
Looks like we're going to be getting another update today and hopefully some answers to some burning questions.

answers? you are kidding right? :-)

I have gotten to the point where the prospect of upcoming announcements from Istock brass fills me with dread. 

me too.  all I can think of is "oh Lord, what now?!"
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Freedom on January 24, 2012, 14:28
Looks like we're going to be getting another update today and hopefully some answers to some burning questions.

I don't have any 'burning questions'. Istock isn't that important any more.

If that's the case, why are you one of the most active persons in any Istock related topics?  ???
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: RacePhoto on January 24, 2012, 15:11
Looks like we're going to be getting another update today and hopefully some answers to some burning questions.

answers? you are kidding right? :-)

I have gotten to the point where the prospect of upcoming announcements from Istock brass fills me with dread. 

And a touch of boredom as well. How long can we be fed this sugar coated trash as they try to disguise the truth of what's being served up to us?

Maybe that's the plan. Lull people like me into ignoring them for being irrelevant and uninformative.  :)

Yes I do find that all the Getty people (if it is in fact "all" were retained and their counter parts from IS were "all" let go.) is kind of one sided. But fact of the matter is, home office stays, has tenure and probably some union contract that say they can't be let go for a "new hire" from Canada. Holy Cow. Labor relations nightmares and huge separation clauses. While dropping people from Canada isn't as expensive.

What would you do if you were running the company? (that's a general, You anyone, not You Lisa)

To this day I've never been fired from a job. Of course being self employed for 42 years helps. But I have had part time jobs to pay the bills, worked two during college, and the most recent at the hotel 2008, when a new management company came in, it was humorous. I got one day notice, the night before I was gone, in an envelope from the manager. Oh so kind and polite you B's. Then when I asked about termination they said, "Oh you weren't fired, you just weren't hired..." Cute, very cute.

Might as well throw the monkey wrench into this festival.

1) How many people were let go?

2) How Many were migrated to Seattle?

3) How many were offered no option to transfer?

4) How many were offered a transfer and declined?

Anyone have the facts behind any of this, or is the whole thread conjecture?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 24, 2012, 15:20
Looks like we're going to be getting another update today and hopefully some answers to some burning questions.

I don't have any 'burning questions'. Istock isn't that important any more.

If that's the case, why are you one of the most active persons in any Istock related topics?  ???

I can answer that, though Gostwyck for sure will answer for himself, too. For the same reason I am still one of the most active persons in istock-related topics...because a. we can post whenever and wherever we feel like and b. a lot of us were at istock early on and have watched it go from something great to nothing. Just because exclusives (and by exclusives I am not just saying you, but all exclusives) are in the hot seat today doesn't mean they have a lock on talking about istock. EVERYONE has lost something, some early on, some are just feeling the $hit hit the fan now.

I don't have any burning questions either and whatever answers come out likely won't be anything earth-shattering anyway. I think there are a whole bunch of intuitive, smart businesspeople in this forum, including Gostwyck, and I value their opinions as well as yours. We ALL are watching and commenting because whatever happens will most certainly affect all the other sites in one way or another.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: qwerty on January 24, 2012, 15:23
My January has been terrible at Istock. Do you think a lot more buyers migrated to other agencies in January because they were waiting for the end of the calendar year ?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: RacePhoto on January 24, 2012, 15:27
With apologies to the bard:

To jump, or not to jump: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the bank balance to suffer
The ebb and flow of outrageous RCs,
Or to take action against a sea of troubles,
And by diversifying end them?

 :D

edit: what thread is gostwycks first rule of microstock in?

One of the best ever:

(parts cut about everyone seeing lower sales on new images...)

If your images are good enough then they will sell. If they're not then they won't. No point in concocting elaborate conspiracy theories to explain a lack of sales because that is unlikely to be the issue.

YES!
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on January 24, 2012, 15:34
Looks like we're going to be getting another update today and hopefully some answers to some burning questions.

I don't have any 'burning questions'. Istock isn't that important any more.

If that's the case, why are you one of the most active persons in any Istock related topics?  ???

I'm fairly active on iStock topics even though I believe their are steering their once mighty ship straight for the rocks. iStock's resurgence or continued malaise or absorption into Getty is something that affects the business that we're all earning money from. I feel free to comment on FT - which banned me as a contributor - or on iStock - where I'm only banned from the forums - or on sites I do not yet contribute to when they make moves that affect all of us (contributors) as a whole. While exclusive at IS I made many, many comments about the Partner Program in which I didn't participte.

When US Rep Barney Frank (who is retiring) was recently asked in an interview if he smoked marijuana (he's in favor of decriminalizing it) he said no, and that he never anticipated having an abortion, but that didn't stop him from strongly supporting women's right to choose one.

For those who feel iStock is unfairly criticized here, feel free to add your opinions to the mix in discussions. I'm weary of this needling and baiting - smiley face or no - of those whose negative views of the agency you don't share.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stockastic on January 24, 2012, 15:47
Yes I do have one "burning question": how am I going to get that last $82 that IS owes me?  They shut off my sales in December as if flipping a light switch.  I might be dead by the time I reach another payout; but if I close the account I expect I'd get more of a response if I emailed Vladimir Putin...   
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: ShadySue on January 24, 2012, 15:49
Yes I do have one "burning question": how am I going to get that last $82 that IS owes me?  They shut off my sales in December as if flipping a light switch.  I might be dead by the time I reach another payout; but if I close the account I expect I'd get more of a response if I emailed Vladimir Putin...   

How long have you been waiting for a CR reply? Might be worth reminding them?
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Freedom on January 24, 2012, 16:06
I understand the resentment. I have a few pet peeves myself. What I don't understand is the chronic and biased complaints which is not good for your own health, either. If Istock goes down the drain, how many people will truly benefit? In addition, the exclusives at times are victimized not only by Istock's bad policy moves, also colleagues on the forum. What is good if all exclusives drop the crown and compete with you in SS and all other agencies? Will you still be making as much?

Why do I remain exclusive?

1. Money. Correct me if I am wrong. According to what I read, some indies such as Lisa still make a big portion from Istock although I understand that the amount is not as good as before. Is Istock #2 earner for Lisa? As an exclusive, my income is growing, though not gloriously.

2. Possibility to grow. Not only everyone including indies can attend lypses, Getty and Istock provide a lot of info and guidance if you look into it.  If an image is rejected, at least a chance to resubmit is sometimes offered. Occasionally if one resubmits a rejected image which was not supposed to, if the flaws are corrected, they still get accepted. While in some other site, you may get your account cancelled without further explanations (from what I read here), is it true?

3. Room for discussion. Ok, Lobo and so on. But if you voice the same kind of dissents in any other sites, you are lucky if your account can remain open. For Jsnover, even a few years after she made some fair comments at one particular site, does this site forget and forgive her dissents?

4. Life is equal. Exclusive and non-exclusive are choices. As exclusive, we only have one basket for all eggs in exchange of better best match and $. But that's a choice. You have the equal opportunity to make or not to make the choice. As I wish you well as an indie, I hope you also understand my position and wish me well.

That's all I can think of now.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: jbarber873 on January 24, 2012, 16:47
   ^^^ that's fine. but if others have different points of view, they have a right to express them. I'd rather read things i disagree with and maybe learn something, than to only read what reinforces my own point of view.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 24, 2012, 17:02
   ^^^ that's fine. but if others have different points of view, they have a right to express them. I'd rather read things i disagree with and maybe learn something, than to only read what reinforces my own point of view.

Thank you. I typed out five paragraphs twice, deleted them before posting, and you managed to say what I wanted to say in three succinct sentences.

I don't believe there was a possibility for me to grow at istock, and I certainly don't believe that life is equal. But I'm OK with anyone who is doing wonderfully at istock, just as they should be OK with me having done crappily (new word) at istock.  ;)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lisafx on January 24, 2012, 17:17

1. Money. Correct me if I am wrong. According to what I read, some indies such as Lisa still make a big portion from Istock although I understand that the amount is not as good as before. Is Istock #2 earner for Lisa? As an exclusive, my income is growing, though not gloriously.



Yes, Istock was my top site (around 40% give or take) for 6.5 of my 7 year micro career.  Only the last few months did they slip to #2.   

Money is a great reason to be exclusive.  Clearly you believe you have made far more as exclusive than you would have as independent.  You may very well be right. 

To be honest, I still can't wrap my head around the acrimony between exclusives and indies.  There really shouldn't be such a huge divide.  I realize that the treatment of indies at Istock has fostered this divide, but as adults and thinking people we don't have to let ourselves get sucked into it.

Personally, I do have some negative feelings about the way Getty, and their parent H&F have mismanaged Istock.  It has caused negative repercussions across the industry.  But I certainly have no negative feelings towards exclusives, either individually, or as a group. 

Whenever exclusives and indies start sniping at eachother I can't help but hearing the song from the show Oklahoma:  "Oh the farmer and the cowman should be friends..."  ;)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHw3xadHorw[/youtube]
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Freedom on January 24, 2012, 17:21
   ^^^ that's fine. but if others have different points of view, they have a right to express them. I'd rather read things i disagree with and maybe learn something, than to only read what reinforces my own point of view.

Exactly, I agree. We need different views. But if one is truly bored on the topic, will boredom contribute anything to the discussion?

The fact that Istock generates so many discussions and emotions, proves that the site is not dead.

At least for me, Istock is not all bad.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Freedom on January 24, 2012, 17:23
   ^^^ that's fine. but if others have different points of view, they have a right to express them. I'd rather read things i disagree with and maybe learn something, than to only read what reinforces my own point of view.

Thank you. I typed out five paragraphs twice, deleted them before posting, and you managed to say what I wanted to say in three succinct sentences.

I don't believe there was a possibility for me to grow at istock, and I certainly don't believe that life is equal. But I'm OK with anyone who is doing wonderfully at istock, just as they should be OK with me having done crappily (new word) at istock.  ;)

I am sympathetic to indies. I was an indie myself at one point. Hope you continue your success.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: stockastic on January 24, 2012, 17:24
Yes I do have one "burning question": how am I going to get that last $82 that IS owes me?  They shut off my sales in December as if flipping a light switch.  I might be dead by the time I reach another payout; but if I close the account I expect I'd get more of a response if I emailed Vladimir Putin...   

How long have you been waiting for a CR reply? Might be worth reminding them?

No I said "if" I close the account, I haven't done that.  Still wondering if I'll ever get another sale...
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Freedom on January 24, 2012, 17:30
Lisa, I totally agree with you. Thank you.

As an exclusive, I actually don't have huge increase in DLs. But I do benefit from the price increases. E+ works very well for me too. Before I became exclusive, many exclusives told me that at least they could focus on improving their skills and not to deal with many sites. Guess I also get lazy, lol. For someone like you, Lisa, your decision to be an indie is definitely correct. You have too many eggs, big golden ones, you need many safes! 


1. Money. Correct me if I am wrong. According to what I read, some indies such as Lisa still make a big portion from Istock although I understand that the amount is not as good as before. Is Istock #2 earner for Lisa? As an exclusive, my income is growing, though not gloriously.



Yes, Istock was my top site (around 40% give or take) for 6.5 of my 7 year micro career.  Only the last few months did they slip to #2.   

Money is a great reason to be exclusive.  Clearly you believe you have made far more as exclusive than you would have as independent.  You may very well be right. 

To be honest, I still can't wrap my head around the acrimony between exclusives and indies.  There really shouldn't be such a huge divide.  I realize that the treatment of indies at Istock has fostered this divide, but as adults and thinking people we don't have to let ourselves get sucked into it.

Personally, I do have some negative feelings about the way Getty, and their parent H&F have mismanaged Istock.  It has caused negative repercussions across the industry.  But I certainly have no negative feelings towards exclusives, either individually, or as a group. 

Whenever exclusives and indies start sniping at eachother I can't help but hearing the song from the show Oklahoma:  "Oh the farmer and the cowman should be friends..."  ;)

[youtube][url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHw3xadHorw[/url][/youtube]
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lisafx on January 24, 2012, 17:42

As an exclusive, I actually don't have huge increase in DLs. But I do benefit from the price increases. E+ works very well for me too. Before I became exclusive, many exclusives told me that at least they could focus on improving their skills and not to deal with many sites. Guess I also get lazy, lol. For someone like you, Lisa, your decision to be an indie is definitely correct. You have too many eggs, big golden ones, you need many safes! 


Thanks, but speaking as a goose, I can definitely say my egg production is way down, LOL.  Honestly, I probably would have made a lot more as exclusive over the past years, especially since they implemented the price changes.  But with all the changes and upheavals the past couple of years my nerves would have been totally shot.  Either that, or I'd be addicted to valium! 
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: RacePhoto on January 24, 2012, 19:06

To be honest, I still can't wrap my head around the acrimony between exclusives and indies.  There really shouldn't be such a huge divide.  I realize that the treatment of indies at Istock has fostered this divide, but as adults and thinking people we don't have to let ourselves get sucked into it.

Personally, I do have some negative feelings about the way Getty, and their parent H&F have mismanaged Istock.  It has caused negative repercussions across the industry.  But I certainly have no negative feelings towards exclusives, either individually, or as a group.  

Whenever exclusives and indies start sniping at eachother I can't help but hearing the song from the show Oklahoma:  "Oh the farmer and the cowman should be friends..."  ;)


Cause they are Sheepherders and they smell funny!  :D We're the cattlemen. (or maybe the other way around?)

Yes, I've said it before, we're in this together. No divide for me between anyone. Last week it was people who had some feelings about folks from other countries, as if they didn't have the same rights as the rest of us. Free market, let our pictures speak, not our prejudices.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: Freedom on January 24, 2012, 19:15
Race, I agree.

Lisa, it would be highly likely, had you concentrated on IS, you would have had a lot more images. You would be able to upload more with your huge capacity to making quality images.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: scottdunlap on January 24, 2012, 19:32
Thanks, but speaking as a goose, I can definitely say my egg production is way down, LOL.  Honestly, I probably would have made a lot more as exclusive over the past years, especially since they implemented the price changes.  But with all the changes and upheavals the past couple of years my nerves would have been totally shot.  Either that, or I'd be addicted to valium! 

I remember asking you for advice several years ago, and you were really helpful and very level-headed. I decided to stay exclusive, you went the other way, but I'd guess there's a chance it may change for me down the road. Right now I am happy and doing well. But if (when?) I get crunched by Getty cutting % rates, I may leave even though I would take a hit. If I feel I'm being squeezed and it isn't fair, I'm willing to lose some money to go in a different direction. So I can totally relate to it not simply being a $ issue, though of course that's a biggie.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: cathyslife on January 24, 2012, 19:32
   ^^^ that's fine. but if others have different points of view, they have a right to express them. I'd rather read things i disagree with and maybe learn something, than to only read what reinforces my own point of view.

Thank you. I typed out five paragraphs twice, deleted them before posting, and you managed to say what I wanted to say in three succinct sentences.

I don't believe there was a possibility for me to grow at istock, and I certainly don't believe that life is equal. But I'm OK with anyone who is doing wonderfully at istock, just as they should be OK with me having done crappily (new word) at istock.  ;)

I am sympathetic to indies. I was an indie myself at one point. Hope you continue your success.

Funny.  :D
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: WarrenPrice on January 24, 2012, 19:59
I wonder if Getty, H&F, iStock management is following this thread.  Certainly filled with sound business advice and planning recommendations for restructuring.
Could it be that the MSG Business Management Gurus have offered a plan for their own distruction?

 ??? :P ;D
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: caspixel on January 24, 2012, 20:18
How sad, pathetic, and predictable. A few crumbs from iStock HQs and they still scramble thankfully like little mice.

Two things:

1. Grandfathered canister levels
2. No plans for iStock editorial

How can anyone believe anything they say. It's all corpor-babble.

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=340051&page=1 (http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=340051&page=1)
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: RapidEye on January 25, 2012, 04:21

As an exclusive, I actually don't have huge increase in DLs. But I do benefit from the price increases. E+ works very well for me too. Before I became exclusive, many exclusives told me that at least they could focus on improving their skills and not to deal with many sites. Guess I also get lazy, lol. For someone like you, Lisa, your decision to be an indie is definitely correct. You have too many eggs, big golden ones, you need many safes! 


Thanks, but speaking as a goose, I can definitely say my egg production is way down, LOL.  Honestly, I probably would have made a lot more as exclusive over the past years, especially since they implemented the price changes.  But with all the changes and upheavals the past couple of years my nerves would have been totally shot.  Either that, or I'd be addicted to valium! 

My nerves *are* shot and my inspiration quotient is way down, though I diligently continue to churn out routine images. If I do get round to tossing the crown, the very best thing about it will be not having to watch every episode of the iStock horror show.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: antistock on January 25, 2012, 07:52
what's the point for Getty to keep IS in canada by the way ?

it's just a mess, they should merge the two companies, share the same data center and use the same CMS/DAM as well rather than bug fix IS.

layoffs are always happening when companies miss sales targets.
the old CEO also got fired from getty .. they're obviously cleaning up IS and refocusing on their core business.
IS' the new CEO must have had orders from the top to end the happy farm at IS and add some corporate style management that means from now on it's a no-bullsh-it operation run by suits.

it's finally game over for the old IS.
Getty knows very well how to sell photos and how to screw contributors.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: BaldricksTrousers on January 25, 2012, 08:08
Getty knows very well how to sell photos ....

That's probably why their share price disintegrated and those left clutching slices of the company were overjoyed to hive them off to the corporate raiders at what would once have been bargain basement prices.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: lisafx on January 25, 2012, 12:01

Lisa, it would be highly likely, had you concentrated on IS, you would have had a lot more images. You would be able to upload more with your huge capacity to making quality images.

You're very sweet to say so.  I wish I did have a huge capacity to make quality images.  I hope my images are quality, but I know my capacity is more modest :). 

This is one thing I can say for certain.  Unlike most indies, perhaps, I have always produced exactly as many images as I am comfortable with, which is roughly 100 images a month, give or take.   That is well within my upload limits as a BD on Istock.  

I am completely in awe of people like Sean Locke, who as a one-man-show can produce a couple thousand brilliant images a year, but it's not a pace I would be happy having to keep.
Title: Re: Layoffs at istock
Post by: antistock on January 25, 2012, 12:19
Getty knows very well how to sell photos ....

That's probably why their share price disintegrated and those left clutching slices of the company were overjoyed to hive them off to the corporate raiders at what would once have been bargain basement prices.

media companies come and go quickly ... look what happened to Myspace or what's happening to Yahoo, and RIM, Nokia and many others all in sharp decline.

Getty stock was a bubble to say the least, we can't blame microstock for that.