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Author Topic: Nippyish note from Rebecca Rockafellar  (Read 52137 times)

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PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #375 on: December 13, 2012, 07:36 »
0
From RR
Quote
In response to a great question raised today in this thread, a couple of folks from the content team are writing up a post that addresses what you, as an individual contributor, can do to drive your business forward on iStockphoto.  We have some good thoughts on this and will share ASAP.

I guess I obviously missed the point of hiring iStock as my agent when I signed up with them to be my exclusive sales representative. I made the obvious mistake of expecting them to take on the sole responsibility of selling my pictures for me while I took on the sole responsibility to create content for them to sell. You see it's not like that at all. I am spending way too much time creating content it seems and not enough time promoting it on my own. In fact, pretty soon iStock will be paying themselves even more to do less for me than what they are doing now when they cut everyone's royalty rates as people fail to reach their RC targets in the future.

What I realized though about this latest nonchalant post from HQ is that they don't take our rants and raves seriously, nor do they feel they need to act on or respond to them. That's right, we are just venting, but we will eventually get in line with it once we have gotten it off our chests. So they believe no matter what **IT they shovel on top of us that we will just suck it all up as we have always done and grin and bare it because they are still the best deal in town. And 30% of what we were earning before is still better than nothing for us so we aren't going to go anywhere.

Well it will be interesting to see what happens when the bigger, better deal eventually comes along as it always does in business when the top company in an industry gets complacent and other companies see it as an opportunity to take away market share. Then when exclusives start walking out in single file to take the better offer, and not looking back, iStock bean counters will be gobsmacked. They will be simply left with a whole bunch of over-priced, non-exclusive content.

They won't care at that point though I assume because the people pushing the wrong buttons now on the iStock side will already have been made redundant and the next investment banker group will already be at the helm thinking of new ways to squeeze a dollar out of a quarter.

Well said. Unfortunately, this is probably pretty accurate.

They've made it clear they're satisfied with their business performance and contributor performance isn't their concern.

Not a surprise really. It's business and every business operates to meet the goals that have been created. Contributor satisfaction and performance don't seem to be one of the goals. I think we're hoping for Costco ethics but are getting the Walmart treatment.

As contributors our only option is to decide whether or not to accept the conditions. And while I appreciate the opportunity I've been given by these agencies I've also been working to make stock a less prominent part of my photography earnings so I can be in a better position to decide if I want to accept the conditions.


aspp

« Reply #376 on: December 13, 2012, 08:36 »
+1
All I can do is tell you once again that the overall business is meeting our expectations

She means Getty as a whole.

« Reply #377 on: December 13, 2012, 08:49 »
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If I were Yuri Arcurs, I would be wondering what would happen if I cut a deal with the top 40 exclusives.....

My thoughts also when he released his site, I would not be at all surprised to see it roll out in some fashion.

I'm not sure you'll find any exclusives interested in "cutting a deal" with that business.
I can understand why but I do think exclusives running their own site might be an option worth considering.

« Reply #378 on: December 13, 2012, 16:20 »
0
Or make a mass deal with an excisting agency. Make a new collection within it.

They could call it "iflight" or something. Then it would be remembered.

It would be a nice collection for another agency to have. Like one of the 50/50 agencies.

« Reply #379 on: December 13, 2012, 19:23 »
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I will repost this just in case they would delete the post.  :D

---

We've been thinking for some time that we need to make changes to how we communicate to the contributor community at iStock. We created the iStock HQ alias to post from last year, because we thought it would be a good vehicle through which many different people could contribute. And frankly, I had watched the forums for some time and was not excited about getting myself or other key members of our team pulled into conversations that often carry on well beyond their useful life and end up wasting valuable time for all parties involved, even sometimes ending in personal attacks.

In the ensuing year or so, things have gotten even uglier on the forums. I accept that part of the problem is that we aren't communicating enough, and another part of it is that there have been a variety of issues that have you worried about iStock performance. I don't want to turn this into a revenue thread, so will just say that any rumors of iStock's impending demise are incorrect. We are still, by far, the number 1 microstock site revenue-wise. That said I'd like to continue on the subject of communications

To dispel one more rumor, we do read the forums, in fact there are many people across Getty Images who read the forums every day. On the worst days it is like watching a car-crash something horrible that you cannot look away from.
We get it, you guys are mad. And reading the forums for the past year has made it clear that some of you think we are lazy, incompetent, greedy or uncaring. The reality is that there are a few hundred people across Getty Images working as fast and as hard as they can to drive iStock forward. I can't easily convey in a forum post how hard it is to do that, how complex this business is, but presumably that's why you have chosen us as your distributor, so you dont have to worry about things like marketing, ecommerce, localizing into eleven languages, search engine relevance, global website scalability (the list goes on and on). Weve got that end of things.

IMO, if we could to step back together and do a collective reset, we would return the forums to a more productive place for sharing of information about the iStock business, be that HQ to the community or peer to peer. It is not a very civilized place at the moment. I'll take part of the blame for that since we changed our communication style this past year and aren't sharing enough information, but I will need all of your help to turn the tone around.

It is a well known internet phenomenon that people are more rude from behind a computer because it is easier to be rude to someone you have never met, particularly if they are posting from an alias. We're going to come out from behind the HQ alias, as it were, by having some of the key people that are working on the programs that you care about log in with their own membernames and start to directly communicate with you. We feel this is the right thing to do to help change the tone. We may also be sharing things with you that our competitors would find interesting. I cannot see any way around this, but there are guaranteed to be times when you want more information than it would be wise for us to give. And we're just going to say that, and ask that you understand this reality. Your part in this reset is to listen, ask sensible questions, be patient as we tackle any issues that arise, and try to take the vitriol and hyperbole down a notch.

Over the next few weeks you will see various Getty Images employees participating in the forums on the topics on which they are experts to provide first hand information where it's needed. As always Lobo will be there to provide additional support and to help us keep the conversation productive.

I don't expect I can reassure everyone here that we have your best interests at heart, but we do. That's because our interests are aligned when iStock is successful we're all successful.

Very much looking forward to some civilized and constructive conversations with you all.
Rebecca

lisafx

« Reply #380 on: December 13, 2012, 21:24 »
+11
Istock's signed their own death warrant.  *ETA - I posted about istock signing their death warrant and then saw Joe's post saying exactly the same thing.  He said it first and best, but great minds think alike ;D )

Here are my feelings, as expressed in the istock thread (for however long they manage to avoid deletion):

Well, I am just going to have to be frank here.  Evidently any adjustment to the RC credit system is off the table, and without that, there is no way to regain the good will of most of the contributor community.  We are here to sell images and make money, and when the site continues to take a higher and higher percent of our work, there is no way to feel good about that company.  Contributors who are also buyers have no incentive to buy here anymore, and none of us have any incentive to refer the site to buyers.  Unless this one issue, which is CRUCIAL to contributors bottom lines, is remedied, the site will continue its decline.  No amount of communication or (loooong overdue) bug fixes will matter if there are no buyers, and the buyers aren't likely to come back to a place that is paying artists so poorly.

Clearly this thread was an exercise in PR and not a serious effort to repair relations with contributors, because money IS what's going to make us happy. 
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 21:38 by lisafx »

« Reply #381 on: December 14, 2012, 00:35 »
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Brava!

That pretty much sums it up.

Reef

  • astonmars.com
« Reply #382 on: December 14, 2012, 00:44 »
0
Well, I am just going to have to be frank here.  Evidently any adjustment to the RC credit system is off the table, and without that, there is no way to regain the good will of most of the contributor community.  We are here to sell images and make money, and when the site continues to take a higher and higher percent of our work, there is no way to feel good about that company.  Contributors who are also buyers have no incentive to buy here anymore, and none of us have any incentive to refer the site to buyers.  Unless this one issue, which is CRUCIAL to contributors bottom lines, is remedied, the site will continue its decline.  No amount of communication or (loooong overdue) bug fixes will matter if there are no buyers, and the buyers aren't likely to come back to a place that is paying artists so poorly.

Clearly this thread was an exercise in PR and not a serious effort to repair relations with contributors, because money IS what's going to make us happy.

Well said Frank :-)

Shame its been locked but not unexpected.

« Reply #383 on: December 14, 2012, 01:35 »
0
Istock's signed their own death warrant.  *ETA - I posted about istock signing their death warrant and then saw Joe's post saying exactly the same thing.  He said it first and best, but great minds think alike ;D )

Here are my feelings, as expressed in the istock thread (for however long they manage to avoid deletion):

Well, I am just going to have to be frank here.  Evidently any adjustment to the RC credit system is off the table, and without that, there is no way to regain the good will of most of the contributor community.  We are here to sell images and make money, and when the site continues to take a higher and higher percent of our work, there is no way to feel good about that company.  Contributors who are also buyers have no incentive to buy here anymore, and none of us have any incentive to refer the site to buyers.  Unless this one issue, which is CRUCIAL to contributors bottom lines, is remedied, the site will continue its decline.  No amount of communication or (loooong overdue) bug fixes will matter if there are no buyers, and the buyers aren't likely to come back to a place that is paying artists so poorly.

Clearly this thread was an exercise in PR and not a serious effort to repair relations with contributors, because money IS what's going to make us happy.

EXELLENT!  and now when all PR avenues are closed, they close the threads and hide in shame. What a load of total and utter bollocks.

« Reply #384 on: December 14, 2012, 01:45 »
+1
'Changes in the way we communicate to the iStock community'

"This thread has been locked."

 ???

« Reply #385 on: December 14, 2012, 02:08 »
0
Plus a change, plus cest la mme chose  ;D

aspp

« Reply #386 on: December 14, 2012, 06:26 »
+3
She was spot on when she described Getty as lazy, incompetent, greedy and uncaring. It could be their slogan.

« Reply #387 on: December 14, 2012, 09:40 »
0
Plus a change, plus cest la mme chose  ;D

une crepe nutella pour moi ;D

Microbius

« Reply #388 on: December 14, 2012, 09:41 »
+5
Well the discussion was pretty much finished when she made the go f*ck yourselves post right?
You know this one:
"We are not contemplating changes to the RC system at this time
Nor are we contemplating changing the recently published RC levels at this time
We will continue to work on Best Match to balance the need to show bestselling material with new material, with the right spread of products, always ensuring the highest relevance possible our work here never stops"


rubyroo

« Reply #389 on: December 14, 2012, 09:43 »
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Totally agree Microbius.

« Reply #390 on: December 14, 2012, 09:51 »
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Well the discussion was pretty much finished when she made the go f*ck yourselves post right?
You know this one:
"We are not contemplating changes to the RC system at this time
Nor are we contemplating changing the recently published RC levels at this time
We will continue to work on Best Match to balance the need to show bestselling material with new material, with the right spread of products, always ensuring the highest relevance possible our work here never stops"


All the real decisions are being made by Getty. Don't forget that Getty would perceive any royalty being paid at more than 20% to be over-generous. The RC system is their way of edging closer to that average by stealth.

« Reply #391 on: December 14, 2012, 09:58 »
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Mission accomplished! Thank you to everyone who took part in our Make the Difference campaign.

We were able to reach our goal of 50,000 downloads. In fact, we blew it out of the water with a total of 66, 222 extra downloads. Amazing job!

It feels wonderful to support so many great causes. Thanks for helping make a difference!

For more information about the charities, visit our website:
http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=1465?esource=soc_gl_istockphoto_twitter_

« Reply #392 on: December 14, 2012, 10:34 »
+5
^^^That's interesting.  Not sure if they actually beat last years number of downloads or if they beat their estimate?  Would be nice if one of the charities was for stock photographers that can no longer afford to feed themselves :)

« Reply #393 on: December 14, 2012, 11:16 »
0
une crepe nutella pour moi ;D

Unfortunately what they serve has an extra "a" and is lacking two "e"s

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #394 on: December 14, 2012, 11:17 »
0
Mission accomplished! Thank you to everyone who took part in our Make the Difference campaign.
We were able to reach our goal of 50,000 downloads. In fact, we blew it out of the water with a total of 66, 222 extra downloads. Amazing job!
It feels wonderful to support so many great causes. Thanks for helping make a difference!
So did they donate $66,222?
I wonder who got all the extra downloads?

ETA: No, I see they only donated $50,000 and kept the rest for themselves.
I guess that was all they committed to do, but greedy nevertheless.
Once I sent a donation to MSF for a specific campaign and they actually emailled me to say they'd reached their target and asked if I wanted my small donation refunded or to go into their general fundraising.
Guess which charity I feel comfortable about?

Still wonder about all the extra dls when almost everybody from SuperSean down to me is having a dreadful month, or months.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 12:06 by ShadySue »

« Reply #395 on: December 14, 2012, 12:58 »
0
une crepe nutella pour moi ;D

Unfortunately what they serve has an extra "a" and is lacking two "e"s

been there in 2008 and it was real nutella, maybe they fill it up with other stuff ;)

« Reply #396 on: December 15, 2012, 16:30 »
+3
Well, I had some communication for that thread, but I see the "new communication" is like the "new trust" from Istock and the thread is closed. Needless to say I won't be sending them any of my new images or referring anyone there, in fact whenever I can I suggest buyers avoid IS like the plague.

Not really surprising - I guess the only real info from that whole thread was how much big exclusives sales were down.

lisafx

« Reply #397 on: December 15, 2012, 18:46 »
+1

Not really surprising - I guess the only real info from that whole thread was how much big exclusives sales were down.

That info was pretty shocking.

« Reply #398 on: December 15, 2012, 18:56 »
0
Exclusive need to just keep with isolated apples. No competition from Agency files.

« Reply #399 on: December 15, 2012, 21:22 »
+3

Not really surprising - I guess the only real info from that whole thread was how much big exclusives sales were down.

That info was pretty shocking.

Exactly. More than 'pretty shocking' in fact. It might even be 'unsustainable'. Where have I heard that before?


 

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