MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: New Images DOA on Istock?  (Read 19961 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

lisafx

« Reply #50 on: June 14, 2010, 17:42 »
0
I can't speak for sites other than istock where I'm exclusive, but I think the contributions of new contributors is negligible. Growth in the library is coming from growth in established portfolios. I'm much more likely to see a contributor reach diamond than to see a base contributor make bronze these days. With the tiny upload cap, poor exposure, and relative lack of hot sellers it's amazing that any new contributor makes it to the point where they can get serious on istock.

Interesting point Avril.  That also may account for the numbers Racephoto gave.  There seems to be a sharp falloff of new contributors in 2009.  Perhaps that is due to barriers such as ever stricter upload limits, tighter image standards, and doubling the rate to get to exclusivity. 

Still, even those of us with established portfolios seem to be chasing after a shrinking pie.  On all sites, not just Istock. 

Difference is my newer images seem to be selling on other sites.  For example I have sold more new images (May & June) on Fotolia than on IS, even though my sales volume there is about a third the number of DL's I get on Istock. 

There is definitely something going on with new images and it seems to be unique to IS, at least by my stats. 


mlwinphoto

« Reply #51 on: June 14, 2010, 18:58 »
0
Well, I'm relatively new to iStock (less than 2 years) and have a small port (93 images.....can't seem to get past the concept of selling images so cheaply) so take my stats with a grain of salt.  I've uploaded 35 new ones this year which have accounted for only 7 of my measly 56 sales in 2010.  Small sample but obviously the older are outselling the newer.  I shoot primarily nature which doesn't sell very well anyway but my results so far this year seem to mirror yours (on a much smaller scale). 

Fortunately, and why I don't know, the first quarter of this year was the best in RM sales I've had in the last 4 years.....

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #52 on: June 14, 2010, 19:10 »
0
IS Contributors, rough numbers at the end of each year. (new)
2003 = 2145
2004 = 4082 (1937)
2005 = 8409 (4327)
2006 = 15325 (6916)
2007 = 21648 (6323)
2008 = 28019 (6371)
2009 = 29426 (1407)

Pretty interesting stats. I wonder what happened in 2009? I doubt the flood of new applications slowed down. Did Istock get that much more picky?

« Reply #53 on: June 14, 2010, 19:18 »
0
at IS, 1 of my last 20 was from this year. 13 were  from 2008 or older, leaving 6 for 2009. (there might be some overlap due to how they report).  I am always pleasantly surprised when an image under a month old sells at IS, it is so rare for me. I think starting a week late hurts for their best match, but I could be wrong.  May and June were good months at IS in 2009 for me, in 2010 Mar was good. This month is looking pretty weak so far. My port is up nearly 50% in that time though.  

Interesting numbers of new contributors at IS. I suspect now it would be tough to start w/ a 4 mp p&s as I did. Then again there are a lot of dslrs out there too. Curiously enough, those early pictures that I am guessing would never get me in or get accepted now continue to sell and sell.

--=Tom

« Reply #54 on: June 14, 2010, 20:26 »
0
The stats about total number of contributors are hugely misleading. I don't have the data to back this up for IS, but I'd bet that only a very small portion of the total are active contributors and only a small portion of those have a good size portfolio and any significant amount of sales.

A few years back some of us looked at what portion of DT contributors had more than 1,000 images and more than a few thousand sales (there was a specific number, I just don't recall it). It was a few hundred out of the many thousands total. Similarly BigStock at one point had a list of contributors you could sort by portfolio, and more than half had less than 5 images (again, my recollection could be off - it could have been less than 3, but the general point is the same).

This isn't to say that people who contribute 50 images and stop don't count (I think the sites love the folks who never reach payout), but that when there's an article about how much money you can make in microstock, a rush of people sign up, but most get bored or discouraged or something and just walk away.

red

« Reply #55 on: June 15, 2010, 00:18 »
0
I've always suspected that (some) agencies apply lower standards to new contributor's images (they say they don't) just to get them hooked. I notice new images that I don't think are up to par being added daily. Those contributors are then prolific on the message boards asking the kinds of questions that indicate that they are novices or in this just for smiles. They have a few images that friends and family think are wonderful so they give it a try only to be discouraged when their next 10 images or so are declined. They constantly ask why their images are being rejected and can't understand what they are doing wrong because that first image or 2 was accepted right away. Further evidence of a true novice is that their keywords are not well thought out. This is a money maker for the establishment as these images may be downloaded a few times (times many new contributors) but not enough for the hobby contributors to reach a payout.

« Reply #56 on: June 15, 2010, 04:30 »
0
Regarding those interesting stats about contributors acceptance... I applied in Jan 2009 and got in 6 months later for vectors, it was quite hard, I found photos acceptance ok and got in relatively quickly. But istocks vector policy is very difficult to guess, there are a lot of rejections for 'this isnt what we are after', a tricky one as Ive never once had it for photos and my vectors sell twice as well as photos. The only certainty is that they like very intricate vectors and icons!

But back to the topic I haven't found that new images take ages to sell, but i seem to be in the minority as am experiencing an upturn at istock of about 50% month on month for the past few months and istock is coming close to shutterstock now for me, with a portfolio there I guess of a few hundred (way off of the other sites, about 1750) Vectors continue to outsell photos for me 2 to 1 I'd say.

« Reply #57 on: June 15, 2010, 08:51 »
0
Pretty interesting stats. I wonder what happened in 2009? I doubt the flood of new applications slowed down. Did Istock get that much more picky?

I went through the review process several times in 2009 and when I finally got accepted late in the year, my images started to sell very well.   It suggests that they're being EXTREMELY picky... they're keeping out contributors who would otherwise be making them very good money.  But I'm also a buyer, so the message I get from this is that IS is serious about quality... much more so than the other sites.

As for new images not selling... I have noticed from my start at IS that new images take a while to get noticed, for whatever reason.  Even my best sellers saw little action in their first few weeks.  I see no difference today.

RacePhoto

« Reply #58 on: June 15, 2010, 13:05 »
0
The stats about total number of contributors are hugely misleading. I don't have the data to back this up for IS, but I'd bet that only a very small portion of the total are active contributors and only a small portion of those have a good size portfolio and any significant amount of sales.

A few years back some of us looked at what portion of DT contributors had more than 1,000 images and more than a few thousand sales (there was a specific number, I just don't recall it). It was a few hundred out of the many thousands total. Similarly BigStock at one point had a list of contributors you could sort by portfolio, and more than half had less than 5 images (again, my recollection could be off - it could have been less than 3, but the general point is the same).

This isn't to say that people who contribute 50 images and stop don't count (I think the sites love the folks who never reach payout), but that when there's an article about how much money you can make in microstock, a rush of people sign up, but most get bored or discouraged or something and just walk away.

First thing that comes to mind is the Contributor Charts software is not picking up new users as fast as it did when it was installed?

According to the IS front page
Total files 6972921
Waiting approval 46196

According to iStock DE 6.216.442 photos, as of June 15th. In the past it was closer.

Gold or Higher members 6% = 1712
Silver = 2839
Bronze = 7356 (300 DLs)
----- 40% above -----
Base = 17540 (the other 60%)

People who have not reached payout yet, 10761 or 36%. That doesn't mean they won't or can't or that new users aren't adding new files and merging up into the ranks. Just a number representing that over 1/3rd of all contributors have never received a cent for their work. I used 60 DLs as the rough point where non-exclusive people will have $100 in sales.

About views for new files. I found that I got 20-30 views per month for new images uploaded in 2010 on IS. Some other sites, I haven't had that many views in two or more years. I'm happy with getting views and at least someone might buy an image, because they see them.  :)  3000 similar photos in the search, which may mean something if you are competing against more or less similars for views? Woman headset about 7000, sliced tomato 9000, Sliced/Chopped/Dice Vegetables (CV) 17,000, Woman Phone 26,400!  ;) One shot that sells on SS was rejected by IS. Only 49 competing images in the search. I guess I can re-shoot that one?

Some people have suggested that I become an IS exclusive. Problem is I like SS which brings in equal bottom line dollars per month. Commissions are nice for statistics, just like RPI and BME and a bunch of others that don't go into the bank, but SS brings income. Also one RF sale on Alamy 2010, for a large scenic panorama equaled 2009 on IS or SS. I won't give up Alamy for the IS exclusive boost.

If I haven't mentioned this through hints and comments, I'm down to SS and IS, their related agencies for now, and Alamy. This all has to do with views, sales and standards. Yes I can get a flock of my Crapstock   accepted on some smaller sites, but it is hardly worth the time or effort when views/sales for good images on those same sites are pathetic. What chance do the cast offs and orphans have? You can read this all as I'm very pleased with continuing on SS and IS.

- xxx -

« Reply #59 on: June 15, 2010, 15:34 »
0
Hi Lisa, I noticed the same thing with the new images on Istock... Old images that I forgot I even had suddenly sell:-). I guess they are tweaking the search engine again.

lisafx

« Reply #60 on: June 15, 2010, 17:09 »
0
Hi Lisa, I noticed the same thing with the new images on Istock... Old images that I forgot I even had suddenly sell:-). I guess they are tweaking the search engine again.

Thanks for weighing in Elena.  You are probably right about the search engine tweaks. Hope the new images see the light of day eventually :)

lisafx

« Reply #61 on: June 16, 2010, 09:55 »
0
FWIW I had some contact with exclusives recently who said the same thing is happening to them (new pics not selling), so apparently it is a pretty widespread issue.

« Reply #62 on: June 16, 2010, 10:51 »
0
I thnk popularity-based ranking will be the epitaph for microstock.   As with many businesses, these agencies can't resist the temptation to mortgage their future for short-term profit.

RacePhoto

« Reply #63 on: June 16, 2010, 21:36 »
0
I thnk popularity-based ranking will be the epitaph for microstock.   As with many businesses, these agencies can't resist the temptation to mortgage their future for short-term profit.

Well at least there's some mystery left in the system.

Two images of mine, similar keywords except a very few, searched for the two main words, one comes up on page two (3 sales/133 views), the other on page four (7/147).

Here's the interesting part. The one that shows second has more sales and views and they were both uploaded on the same day in the same batch.

Something other than popularity = views or sales, or age, is driving the second image towards the front? No review rank either. One of the two keywords is 5th on the image that shows first and 6th on the one that shows second. Second keyword is 3rd on both. That would lead me to believe that word order of keywords is something that counts on IS matches in a search.

I suppose I could play with another image and put the two same words, as 1st and 2nd, in the correct order and test further.

vonkara

« Reply #64 on: June 16, 2010, 22:01 »
0

Something other than popularity = views or sales, or age, is driving the second image towards the front? No review rank either. One of the two keywords is 5th on the image that shows first and 6th on the one that shows second. Second keyword is 3rd on both. That would lead me to believe that word order of keywords is something that counts on IS matches in a search.
It's quite known that the IS best match work a lot with sales/views ratio, mixed with the download per month number and the keywords popularity (keyword your image have been downloaded with). That one show at the top of the list of keywords everyone can see in the browsing page. Normally 1 download / 10 views give you a quite good best match... with particular keywords lol (best match mystery)

« Reply #65 on: June 17, 2010, 02:39 »
0
^^^ I thought IS weights the keywords based on with what keywords the image was found/bought bumping that image up in searches based on that keyword (i.e. a relevancy factor).

lisafx

« Reply #66 on: June 17, 2010, 08:40 »
0
^^^ I thought IS weights the keywords based on with what keywords the image was found/bought bumping that image up in searches based on that keyword (i.e. a relevancy factor).

That is my understanding too.

Still, kind of difficult to understand how that would have affected the sort order of the two images Race is seeing...?

« Reply #67 on: June 17, 2010, 09:07 »
0
^^^
The image that is higher has higher rating related to the two keywords he used for the searching because it was bought after someone searched with one of these or both of these words? This could put the image before the one with more downloads/views/age ratio if those more downloads on the other image were with different words that those he is using for his test. Just a guess...

« Reply #68 on: June 17, 2010, 09:24 »
0
^^^ I thought IS weights the keywords based on with what keywords the image was found/bought bumping that image up in searches based on that keyword (i.e. a relevancy factor).
That's what "the man" wants you to believe. The truth is much more sinister.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have some tinfoil hats to make. ;)

« Reply #69 on: June 17, 2010, 09:48 »
0
^^^ I thought IS weights the keywords based on with what keywords the image was found/bought bumping that image up in searches based on that keyword (i.e. a relevancy factor).
That's what "the man" wants you to believe. The truth is much more sinister.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have some tinfoil hats to make. ;)

Are they all green with antennas on their heads? :]

vonkara

« Reply #70 on: June 17, 2010, 10:11 »
0
By keyword popularity, I meant by what keywords the image have been bought, yes. But it's not the only factor that's pretty sure. The views/download is one I noticed. Still it's just my observation, the best match change often
« Last Edit: June 17, 2010, 10:16 by Vonkara »

« Reply #71 on: June 17, 2010, 10:19 »
0
Even if the algorithm for best match didn't change, the sort would still change based on new puchases, new images, what was viewed, keyword changes, etc.

« Reply #72 on: July 24, 2010, 14:46 »
0
Hey all,

I know this is old thread alert, but I've been noticing this trend for several months. In fact, I found this particular thread by googling "istockphoto new files don't sell", just to see if anyone else was talking about it. Sure enough. Not only do my meager, once-in-a-while uploads no longer sell, but I've been observing portfolios of several top contributors who usually produce consistent sellers, and the trend is the same with all of them: files uploaded after about Feb 2010 are DOA.

Some quick analysis makes me question if simple market oversaturation is the issue. If that were the case, then old files would suffer as new files cannibalize their sales resulting in a general spreading out of the wealth between new and old files, but this isn't happening. Old files seem to be clipping along as they always have, while new stuff just isn't getting so much as a sniff. I was just browsing a portfolio of a high-volume contributor. He has several flames on files he uploaded as recently as this January, however the biggest seller among files he uploaded after February has a mere 20 downloads, with most having 0- 5 sales. I can't imagine the market got that much more oversaturated between January and February.

Conversely, it's hard to blame search positioning for the problem either. A few of my new files rank very well in the best match, and are getting views but still no sales. It used to be unheard of if one of my files got over 100 views with no sales. Now the norm for my new files is 200-400 views and no sales.

Why views aren't translating into sales is mystifying, as is the February 'extinction event'. My hottest seller right now is a file that I uploaded last October, and if anything it is still picking up steam. I suspect that had I uploaded that same image in March of this year, it would have less than 5 sales.

vonkara

« Reply #73 on: July 24, 2010, 15:04 »
0

Some quick analysis makes me question if simple market oversaturation is the issue. If that were the case, then old files would suffer as new files cannibalize their sales resulting in a general spreading out of the wealth between new and old files, but this isn't happening. Old files seem to be clipping along as they always have, while new stuff just isn't getting so much as a sniff.

The dilution effect is caused by heavy uploads such as 50,000 files added in one week or so. That make that newest files unable to get any attention and that mean no higher best match rank. The old files who sold enough to get a higher best match rank, such as the downloads per month show, are still selling as they are in front in searches.

I would say you are better to shoot what haven't been, but there is no hole anymore in the collection IMO. Since this is only a contributors problem and the agencies still make money, nothing will be made to change this. Btw I think it's not only a Istock issue

« Reply #74 on: July 24, 2010, 16:29 »
0
I know this is old thread alert, but I've been noticing this trend for several months. In fact, I found this particular thread by googling "istockphoto new files don't sell", just to see if anyone else was talking about it. Sure enough. Not only do my meager, once-in-a-while uploads no longer sell, but I've been observing portfolios of several top contributors who usually produce consistent sellers, and the trend is the same with all of them: files uploaded after about Feb 2010 are DOA.
Thanks for your observations and welcome to the MSG. I stopped uploading twice to IS since 2005 and till now, half of my sales are still from before 2007. I resumed uploading in 2009, and the things that start to sell now are those of 2009, with an odd brand new shot in the list. The secret of sales of course is search engine position, not that much quality. Since the best match has been changed regularly in the past, I don't care any more and I just upload, hoping that the best match will change again.


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
29 Replies
11335 Views
Last post September 11, 2009, 17:43
by LisaAnderson
21 Replies
5920 Views
Last post April 17, 2008, 11:56
by Dr Bouz
18 Replies
16524 Views
Last post March 08, 2014, 18:49
by Uncle Pete
158 Replies
39833 Views
Last post June 07, 2010, 20:37
by Suljo
32 Replies
9475 Views
Last post October 10, 2010, 03:23
by molka

Sponsors

Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors

3100 Posing Cards Bundle