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Author Topic: Make me want to be exclusive...  (Read 23299 times)

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« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2008, 16:48 »
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Thanks for the article outlining the disadvantages of exclusive representation. I would say the issues that would most concern me are 1) going exclusive yet being limited to the number of submissions you can make. 2) Taking down images off other RF sites. That's impossible for me. Been at it too long with images all over the place, few on Micros but lots elsewhere.


« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2008, 17:28 »
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I would be curious if there is anyone out there that has gone exclusive and then opted back out at Istock.  It seems that anyone that goes exclusive stays exclusive, which seems to speak for itself.

« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2008, 17:41 »
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The biggest are not exclusive

helix7

« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2008, 20:11 »
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Thanks for the article outlining the disadvantages of exclusive representation...

That wasn't exactly the intention, but glad I could help, I guess. :)

I really do believe that the exclusive program is good for some people. Unfortunately, for most it's not and there are changes that should be made to make it more fair. Just look at any of the monthly earnings breakdown threads here and you'll see what I mean. Few (if any) people report istock earnings representing 50% or more of their earnings. Which means that for most people here, going exclusive would result in a pay cut. It shouldn't be like that. Make it a fair deal. Cut the bull, and give it to people straight. It could be a great program, with just a few tweaks to the pay schedule and by cutting out some of the crap.



bittersweet

« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2008, 21:15 »
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I would be curious if there is anyone out there that has gone exclusive and then opted back out at Istock.  It seems that anyone that goes exclusive stays exclusive, which seems to speak for itself.


Bonnie Jacobs (bonniej) is a diamond level exclusive at istock. She went exclusive when the program first started, and then decided to "play the field" for a while (I believe she had a gold canister at the time). Eventually she realized that it was more profitable for her to return to exclusivity at istock (see her istock blog entries from August 07)

http://www.istockphoto.com/bonniej


« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2008, 21:46 »
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bittersweet,

are you the 'user' "bitter" from IS or is the choice of name just a coincidence?  ;)

http://www.istockphoto.com/bitter


Just curious ...

bittersweet

« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2008, 23:17 »
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I would think it would be pretty obvious that I'm not, but just in case... no.  :D

« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2008, 01:41 »
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I don't think she gave it enough time.  I have been on FT and StockXpert for nearly 2 years now and on both sites it's only been the last few months that I have really taken off in these two places.  In Fotolia I am now in the top 80 in all time sales where as 6 months ago I was nowhere near that. In another 6 months I will be able to double my prices there.  I've only been at 123 and bigstock for a few months so am doing badly compared to everywhere else but hope that by this time next year they wil increase also.
Bonnie has an amazing portfolio so I think if she had given it another year she would have made a lot more money.   Maybe she just decided that she couldn't be bothered to upload to that many sites.
I would be curious if there is anyone out there that has gone exclusive and then opted back out at Istock.  It seems that anyone that goes exclusive stays exclusive, which seems to speak for itself.


Bonnie Jacobs (bonniej) is a diamond level exclusive at istock. She went exclusive when the program first started, and then decided to "play the field" for a while (I believe she had a gold canister at the time). Eventually she realized that it was more profitable for her to return to exclusivity at istock (see her istock blog entries from August 07)

http://www.istockphoto.com/bonniej



« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2008, 01:56 »
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We had a meeting of Slovenian iStock users about 14 days ago. Most of the people there were exclusives and said their income almost doubled when they went exclusive. This was due to more images they could upload, faster review times (and therefore better position of the images in the "best match") and also search prefers exclusives (not 100% sure about this one).

I'm just a newbie on IS, so (for now) I don't have to make that decision :D


I must say from my experience, iStock does indeed prefer exclusives when it comes to searches. I work for a major ad agency in the LA area and we spend a lot of money buying istock photos and from other large agenciesgetty, veeretc. Anyhow, I'm an iStock contributor myself and when I log in using the ad agency's member name and password and search for my photos nearly half of my portfolio doesn't show. But when I log off and search for my photos, then most of my photos show up. It never fails, I log in with the agency's password/name and the bulk of my portfolio disappears.

As a result, I will become exclusive with iStock by mid summer because I'm currently tied up with Dreamstime. Also the Getty incentive at istock is nice. I've contributed to many microstock sites, but I must say they don't compare to istock's quality. If getty, veer or jupiter doesn't have the image we want, then it most cases istockphoto will have it. It just that good. Actually years back we tried shutterstock and dreamstime, but these two sites still didn't compare to istock's quality. As a designer I have tight deadlines and I can always count on istock for the right image under the tightest time constraints. Some of the top istock contributors such as lisegagne, sjlocke, hidesy, nico_blue, sodafish just to name a few can easily run with the big boys at veer, stockbyteetc. Their work is great.



bittersweet

« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2008, 06:45 »
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It never fails, I log in with the agency's password/name and the bulk of my portfolio disappears.


You might want to clear the search filters in that account.

« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2008, 09:55 »
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I was decided not to search out exclusivity and now I am not so sure. I have worked as an exclusive photographer in the past days when there were only "regular" agencies and those arrangements were good ones. One quick question. Is Dreamstime the only agency that holds things up by taking 6-12 months to pull images off their site?

« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2008, 13:50 »
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Dumb question:

Does "going exclusive" mean "YOU" only sell through a specific site, or does it mean a certain "IMAGE" is only on specific site?  As in, if I am on several sites and wanted to be "exclusive" with IS (my largest selling site) would I have to pull up stakes at every other site or could I just upload specific "exclusive" photos to IS?

Thanks,
Connie

bittersweet

« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2008, 13:51 »
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I don't think she gave it enough time. 

Could be. She quit in June 1, 2006 and returned in August 2007. There was a 30 day waiting period from the point when she quit until she started contributing elsewhere, and when she applied to istock for re-instatement, she had her crown back within the hour.

13 months is quite a stint to absorb a loss in income. I can understand why she might not want to wait any longer in hopes that after two years things would really start to take off.

bittersweet

« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2008, 13:55 »
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Dumb question:

Does "going exclusive" mean "YOU" only sell through a specific site, or does it mean a certain "IMAGE" is only on specific site?  As in, if I am on several sites and wanted to be "exclusive" with IS (my largest selling site) would I have to pull up stakes at every other site or could I just upload specific "exclusive" photos to IS?

Thanks,
Connie

Exclusive at istock means ALL your royalty-free imagery. Yes, you would have to delete your RF portfolios before your application would be approved. You are free, however, to have RM portfolios elsewhere, as well as work-for-hire, etc. Some sites DO offer image exclusivity, but istock is not one of them.

It's best to read all the fine print before agreeing to anything. i can't believe the number of people who were shocked to find out that they had little control over their DT images until 6 months after   they had already been on the site.  Apparently many people agree to things without fully understanding what they are agreeing to.

lisafx

« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2008, 16:38 »
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I was decided not to search out exclusivity and now I am not so sure. I have worked as an exclusive photographer in the past days when there were only "regular" agencies and those arrangements were good ones. One quick question. Is Dreamstime the only agency that holds things up by taking 6-12 months to pull images off their site?

Big Stock has a 3 month wait.

« Reply #40 on: May 19, 2008, 18:53 »
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No way
They have stupid rejections on isolations and clipping path.
otherways on they site I see stupid isolations.
And They dont have referal program for submiters, only for buyers and you got only 5$ for that.
What on SS my rerefed photographers make in one day??????????
EVERY DAY
« Last Edit: May 19, 2008, 18:57 by Suljo »

« Reply #41 on: May 19, 2008, 22:36 »
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Becoming exclusive on istock was the single most important thing I have done to juice up my stock sales and income in microstock.  Sure there are plusses and minuses but all in all, there is no other site I'd rather be on and exclusivity makes a huge difference in income.

bittersweet

« Reply #42 on: May 19, 2008, 22:44 »
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And They dont have referal program for submiters, only for buyers and you got only 5$ for that.
It's actually $10.

lisafx

« Reply #43 on: May 20, 2008, 08:10 »
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After defending istock's reviewers as the best in the business, I just had an entire series rejected for poor isolation. 

I have many hundreds of isolations in my portfolio and quite a few of them accepted in the last couple of months.  Nothing at all different about the current batch that should have caused them to be rejected.

There is just no way I could consider going exclusive anywhere when there are such inconsistent reviews resulting in wholesale rejections of entire series.

Looks like Atilla the Reviewer does visit istock after all.   

helix7

« Reply #44 on: May 20, 2008, 08:40 »
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...exclusivity makes a huge difference in income.

The issue I have is that it's not proportionate to what the industry is doing and what most people will make non-exclusively. Sure the exclusive program is good, and it boosts people's incomes. But for many it's not enough to justify the risk and the sub-par reward. istock cites increased earnings as a perk. But then they only offer the Exclusivity Estimator as a base for calculating how much you might make as an exclusive, and quite frankly that falls well short of what I'd make as a non-exclusive. Looking at the monthly earnings threads here in the forum, few people report istock earnings as a high enough percentage of their total to justify going exclusive. It would mean a significant loss.

According to the Exclusivity Estimator, the best-case scenario is a doubling of monthly income at the Diamond level. Few people report istock earnings as more than 40% of their earnings, so you can see the problem here.

Sure istock can do whatever they want, offer whatever exclusivity options they want to, regardless of whether they are on-par with industry earnings. All I'm saying is that most people will come to the conclusion after doing the math that there is something missing from exclusivity, and I think istock can take some steps to refine the program to make it more fair and appealing.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 08:43 by helix7 »

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« Reply #45 on: May 20, 2008, 08:57 »
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After defending istock's reviewers as the best in the business, I just had an entire series rejected for poor isolation. 

I have many hundreds of isolations in my portfolio and quite a few of them accepted in the last couple of months.  Nothing at all different about the current batch that should have caused them to be rejected.

There is just no way I could consider going exclusive anywhere when there are such inconsistent reviews resulting in wholesale rejections of entire series.

Looks like Atilla the Reviewer does visit istock after all.   


K, let me give you a clue as to what's going on there. I did a sample test some months back and did it again recently with some vectors which were all rejected for the most outrageous reasons including one which was deemed "not suitable as stock."

Oh yeah says I? This was a duplicate of an existing image on IS that had blue flames sprouting off it, but I just laughed!

« Reply #46 on: May 20, 2008, 09:13 »
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And They dont have referal program for submiters, only for buyers and you got only 5$ for that.
It's actually $10.

It can bee and 100 but so what.
too small

lisafx

« Reply #47 on: May 20, 2008, 09:14 »
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After defending istock's reviewers as the best in the business, I just had an entire series rejected for poor isolation. 

I have many hundreds of isolations in my portfolio and quite a few of them accepted in the last couple of months.  Nothing at all different about the current batch that should have caused them to be rejected.

There is just no way I could consider going exclusive anywhere when there are such inconsistent reviews resulting in wholesale rejections of entire series.

Looks like Atilla the Reviewer does visit istock after all.   


K, let me give you a clue as to what's going on there. I did a sample test some months back and did it again recently with some vectors which were all rejected for the most outrageous reasons including one which was deemed "not suitable as stock."

Oh yeah says I? This was a duplicate of an existing image on IS that had blue flames sprouting off it, but I just laughed!

Was it a duplicate of one of YOUR blue flaming images, or someone else's? 

The images I just had rejected were not "inspired" by any others and as far as I could see were unique on the site. 

Honestly, these wholesale rejections for isolation really have me concerned.  Four of the last 5 shoots I have done are isolated on white, and if they have suddenly decided my isolations suck I might as well not bother uploading any of my new stuff there. 

Like I said, every time I start to think exclusivity may be a viable option IS does something to remind me why I am happy to be independent....
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 09:19 by lisafx »

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« Reply #48 on: May 20, 2008, 10:15 »
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Quote from: lisafx link=topic=4430.msg47570#msg47570


Was it a duplicate of one of YOUR blue flaming images, or someone else's? 



That's not so important, what is important is the fact that there are a growing number of reviewers on IS who are more interested in protecting their own portfolios than adding to the stocklist on IS. Add to that fact that you're not exclusive and you'll be struggling even harder to get past these agendas.

jsnover

« Reply #49 on: May 20, 2008, 10:57 »
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After defending istock's reviewers as the best in the business, I just had an entire series rejected for poor isolation.  ...
Looks like Atilla the Reviewer does visit istock after all.   

Once you're not as ticked off at them, it might be worth a note to contributor relations - that new department they have to "manage" us. It's more than likely there's a new reviewer who needs some assistance, and if you keep quiet about it, they'll just keep on truckin'.

I know it's hard to feel any community spirit when they've just dumped on you, but it'd probably help them out to complain so they can fix the problem. I know everyone makes mistakes, but when it's a diamond who complains, it's much more likely to get a serious second look than if it's some newbie who's likely to be taken as a whiner.


 

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