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Author Topic: Opinion about Istock and frustrating good numbers  (Read 5623 times)

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« on: March 20, 2019, 07:14 »
0
I don't know what to think anymore, I thought that this is just a phase, but no, this a reality. My figures on Istock are even better than 2 year ago.

2 years ago my RPD on Istock was 0.6$ with 50% of my total income in $. Now, 2 years later, my RPD on Istock is 0.74$ with 64% of my total income, and I am non-exclusive. I have vector port on all sites from right column (big 4, middle tier, and few low earners), and on Istock I even have 150 files less than on Shutterstock (I have portfolio of around 1200 vectors)

These numbers make me seriously thinking to going exclusive on Istok, one of the most hated agency. (I dont have a great opinion about them too, but these number are so frustrating :) )

What do you think guys?

Also, is there any exclusive who wants to share their RPD?

Thanks!


« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2019, 07:22 »
0
What is your RPD in the other sites? for example SS? I would wait until your % total income from iS is about 80. But that's just my opinion. IF you have big sales in SS/AS that is what you are going to lose.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2019, 07:25 »
+1
I don't know what to think anymore, I thought that this is just a phase, but no, this a reality. My figures on Istock are even better than 2 year ago.

2 years ago my RPD on Istock was 0.6$ with 50% of my total income in $. Now, 2 years later, my RPD on Istock is 0.74$ with 64% of my total income, and I am non-exclusive. I have vector port on all sites from right column (big 4, middle tier, and few low earners), and on Istock I even have 150 files less than on Shutterstock (I have portfolio of around 1200 vectors)

These numbers make me seriously thinking to going exclusive on Istok, one of the most hated agency. (I dont have a great opinion about them too, but these number are so frustrating :) )

What do you think guys?

Also, is there any exclusive who wants to share their RPD?

Thanks!

You'd be better to ask for figures from illustrators, if that's all or most of what you do, but then again we all have different ports.

Just in case you don't know: if you become exclusive, all your existing files would continue to be sold at 1 credit, though you'll get a higher percentage. Your files after becoming exclusive would be sold for 3 credits.
(This also works in reverse: if someone gives up exclusivity, their existing files are still listed at 3 credits for which they get the lower percentage, and their new files after becoming indie are listed at 1 credit.)

You really have a dilemma: frustrating good numbers aren't generally reported there (see for example the current sales reports for February in their discussion forum), but you're * the trend.
Edited: hahaha I said b-u-c-king, but the auto-censor still cut what I wrote!
« Last Edit: March 20, 2019, 07:44 by ShadySue »

UIcomments

« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2019, 08:41 »
0
RPD is just one metric, but it isn't everything. It is about the same for me (I am not exclusive). I understand that you don't want to share absolute numbers, I wouldn't show them too. Unfortunately that also makes your situation impossible to assess, even if very roughly. I'd say be careful with istock. Some people on this forum tend to throw fits every time the istock name is uttered, but I am not one of them. I am only interested in how much they can do for me, not what I feel about them. Nevertheless, the decline of istock performance during the last two years in absolute and relative terms is obvious when it comes to my portfolio. If things continue as they do now, it is confidently and boldly headed to the third tier stock position. In this environment I would not recommend anyone to go exclusive with them. Everyone's case is different of course and in the end it is your decision.

« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2019, 14:56 »
+5
I think the problem is that you can't really predict the future with any useful degree of accuracy. Given that, spreading the risk around makes a lot of sense.

I was an exclusive at IS (mostly for photos, but some illustrations) but too far ago to be relevant to your choice. When they were the #1 microstock agency and progress (2004 to 2008) was strong, it looked like the risk was worth taking. Between mid-2008 and mid-2011 a lot of things changed and I saw what I interpreted to be the writing on the wall and decided that the risks were too great and I'd do better to return to diversification before things hit bottom.

The overall financial health of an agency is relevant to you, in addition to the money you're making. If you later decide to leave, you aren't able to pick up where you left off - there's always a step back before things pick up.

I have a hard time imagining why it would make sense for anyone with an existing portfolio that has demonstrated its sales ability to go exclusive with iStock. YMMV

« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2019, 18:39 »
0
What is your RPD in the other sites? for example SS? I would wait until your % total income from iS is about 80. But that's just my opinion. IF you have big sales in SS/AS that is what you are going to lose.

RPD on Adobe and SS is around 0.55$. Even with big sales on SS, I usually earn 3 times more on iStock than on SS, and 7 times more on iStock than on Adobe.

« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2019, 18:39 »
0
I don't know what to think anymore, I thought that this is just a phase, but no, this a reality. My figures on Istock are even better than 2 year ago.

2 years ago my RPD on Istock was 0.6$ with 50% of my total income in $. Now, 2 years later, my RPD on Istock is 0.74$ with 64% of my total income, and I am non-exclusive. I have vector port on all sites from right column (big 4, middle tier, and few low earners), and on Istock I even have 150 files less than on Shutterstock (I have portfolio of around 1200 vectors)

These numbers make me seriously thinking to going exclusive on Istok, one of the most hated agency. (I dont have a great opinion about them too, but these number are so frustrating :) )

What do you think guys?

Also, is there any exclusive who wants to share their RPD?

Thanks!

You'd be better to ask for figures from illustrators, if that's all or most of what you do, but then again we all have different ports.

Just in case you don't know: if you become exclusive, all your existing files would continue to be sold at 1 credit, though you'll get a higher percentage. Your files after becoming exclusive would be sold for 3 credits.
(This also works in reverse: if someone gives up exclusivity, their existing files are still listed at 3 credits for which they get the lower percentage, and their new files after becoming indie are listed at 1 credit.)

You really have a dilemma: frustrating good numbers aren't generally reported there (see for example the current sales reports for February in their discussion forum), but you're * the trend.
Edited: hahaha I said b-u-c-king, but the auto-censor still cut what I wrote!

Hahaha :)

So, my existing files will be sold at 1$, with 0.75$ minimum sub royalty like Signature? That is actually just fine. More chance to be sold at lower price.

Yes, Ive seen the forum. Doom and gloom there :) But, I see that exclusive artists usually have RPD between 1.7$ and 4$.  With RPD of 1.7$ I will earn 30% more than my total income now (all sites combine). :) Also, my numbers on iStock are constantly better, year after year...other sites lower and lower...

« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2019, 18:41 »
0
RPD is just one metric, but it isn't everything. It is about the same for me (I am not exclusive). I understand that you don't want to share absolute numbers, I wouldn't show them too. Unfortunately that also makes your situation impossible to assess, even if very roughly. I'd say be careful with istock. Some people on this forum tend to throw fits every time the istock name is uttered, but I am not one of them. I am only interested in how much they can do for me, not what I feel about them. Nevertheless, the decline of istock performance during the last two years in absolute and relative terms is obvious when it comes to my portfolio. If things continue as they do now, it is confidently and boldly headed to the third tier stock position. In this environment I would not recommend anyone to go exclusive with them. Everyone's case is different of course and in the end it is your decision.

As for the numbers, I can say that iStock is 3 times more than SS and 7 times more than Adobe. And as I said in post above, my numbers on iStock are constantly better, year after year...other sites lower and lower...

« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2019, 18:44 »
0
I think it is a huge dilemma. I would wait until your % of income is higher but you are saying that SS and AS are not as good for you as for others, so why not to take the chance? First, read carefully the contributor exclusivity agreement in order to see what happens the day you want to end that

« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2019, 19:10 »
0
I think the problem is that you can't really predict the future with any useful degree of accuracy. Given that, spreading the risk around makes a lot of sense.

I was an exclusive at IS (mostly for photos, but some illustrations) but too far ago to be relevant to your choice. When they were the #1 microstock agency and progress (2004 to 2008) was strong, it looked like the risk was worth taking. Between mid-2008 and mid-2011 a lot of things changed and I saw what I interpreted to be the writing on the wall and decided that the risks were too great and I'd do better to return to diversification before things hit bottom.

The overall financial health of an agency is relevant to you, in addition to the money you're making. If you later decide to leave, you aren't able to pick up where you left off - there's always a step back before things pick up.

I have a hard time imagining why it would make sense for anyone with an existing portfolio that has demonstrated its sales ability to go exclusive with iStock. YMMV

Yes, I agree with you. But, it is little bizarre that my income on iStock is 3 times higher than on SS (sometimes 4 times), and 7 times higher than Adobe. That is huge difference. And trend is still in rising pattern, 5 or 6 years in a row. Last 2 years are even more weird. Istock is better and better. More dl-s, more $, better rpd. If this continue, iStock will soon be more than 70% of my total income, and I even have least files on iStock than on other sites.

I have a dilemma last two years, because there is a huge difference between iStock and other sites. I know all bad things about iStock, and my hesitation is combination of that and future of iStock (they are very unpredictable). But, on other hand, numbers are consistent and in rising trend for more than 5 years...

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2019, 19:22 »
+1
So, my existing files will be sold at 1$, with 0.75$ minimum sub royalty like Signature?
No, looking at my sales, the minimum sub sale seems to nowadays be 75c, whether the actual files are Signature or Essential, and I get 30% of that, which is 22.5c.

I think the big thing is, like Jo Anne said, nothing is predictable in this industry, and with iS in particular. I'm exclusive because it made sense at the time (2007) to become exclusive and I never wanted to participate in subscriptions. A prime example of things changing, as iS suddenly decided to offer subs. They change policies almost as fast as the rest of us change underwear.

It's a hard call. But you can always become indie again, after 30 days' notice, if things get even worse there.

« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2019, 20:35 »
0
You are having a good run at iStock because the algorithm now skewed towards you. I am having a bad run at iStock because the algorithm now don't favors me.

However, this thing may change, because it had changed before.


Clair Voyant

« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2019, 21:09 »
+1
Do the math.
I am exclusive and would have it no other way, that said I also get 35%. I am also with GI. So I have all of my eggs in one basket and make a half decent living from this. I don't like Getty at all as an agency, but they do provide me a full time living. If I was to drop being exclusive my royalties would go down from 35% to 15% which is a very big drop, and in todays stock climate I am sure I would not make up the difference by spreading out to other agencies.
My wife is with IS, AS, and SS as a half baked photographer and also as an accomplished illustrator. She is more or less a newbie in the stock world with a lot of knowledge passed on from me.
My conclusion is that I would not drop exclusivity as the reduced hit in income I would take is way too much to even consider. In my wifes case as a newbie and slowly getting established I think spreading it out makes more sense. The math dictates that where her earnings come from the added royalties of being exclusive would not quite cover the earnings from the other two agencies. It's close, but not close enough to jump all in.

« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2019, 21:44 »
+2
Back in the day I considered IS exclusivity, but then they changed the search algo and my income there would drop over 50% and then slowly rise over 6 - 12 months and I'd start thinking about exclusivity again and then bam - sales would plummet again. Then they changed the levels goalposts and then they started pulling all sorts of BS and I pretty much gave up on them. If they work for you, you should go for it, but know they can change something and your earnings could plummet - this can happen anywhere, but if you are spread out hopefully it won't happen everywhere at once.

« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2019, 01:27 »
0
Keep in mind that iStock only requires exclusivity on commercial photos, so you can still upload editorial and RM to other agencies.
It can be worth it.

''Being Exclusive means that, for the file type(s) that you are Exclusive for, you agree that you cannot license any of that type of content in a royalty-free model elsewhere. So, for example, if you are Exclusive for Photos, you cant license any Photos with a competitor under the royalty free model, even images that youve never submitted to iStock.

You can still produce content in a work for hire or rights-managed manner. For more details, please see the Exclusive Artist Supply Agreement.''

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2019, 04:54 »
0
Keep in mind that iStock only requires exclusivity on commercial photos, so you can still upload editorial and RM to other agencies.
It can be worth it.

''Being Exclusive means that, for the file type(s) that you are Exclusive for, you agree that you cannot license any of that type of content in a royalty-free model elsewhere. So, for example, if you are Exclusive for Photos, you cant license any Photos with a competitor under the royalty free model, even images that youve never submitted to iStock.

You can still produce content in a work for hire or rights-managed manner. For more details, please see the Exclusive Artist Supply Agreement.''

For clarity, this has nothing at all to do with commercial or editorial.
It only has to do with RF. All your RF content has to go to iStock, whether it's editorial or commercial.
You can supply commercial and editorial content RF to iStock, and different commercial and editorial content RM elsewhere.
Not sure how relevant that is to the OP, but as I'm not an illustrator, I don't know anything about the world of RM illustrations. Or, indeed, the world of editorial illustrations.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 05:53 by ShadySue »

« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2019, 05:10 »
0
Keep in mind that iStock only requires exclusivity on commercial photos, so you can still upload editorial and RM to other agencies.
It can be worth it.

''Being Exclusive means that, for the file type(s) that you are Exclusive for, you agree that you cannot license any of that type of content in a royalty-free model elsewhere. So, for example, if you are Exclusive for Photos, you cant license any Photos with a competitor under the royalty free model, even images that youve never submitted to iStock.

You can still produce content in a work for hire or rights-managed manner. For more details, please see the Exclusive Artist Supply Agreement.''

For clarity, this has nothing at all to do with commercial or editorial.
It only has to do with RF. All your RF content has to go to iStock, whether it's editorial or commercial.
You can supply commercial and editorial content RF to iStock, and different commercial and editorial content RM elsewhere.
Not sure how relevant that is to an illustrator, but as I'm not an illustrator, I don't know anything but the world of RM illustrations.

Oh wow I always thought editorial couldn't be RF, we learn every day... Thanks for that ShadySue!

« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2019, 10:40 »
0
So, my existing files will be sold at 1$, with 0.75$ minimum sub royalty like Signature?
No, looking at my sales, the minimum sub sale seems to nowadays be 75c, whether the actual files are Signature or Essential, and I get 30% of that, which is 22.5c.

I think the big thing is, like Jo Anne said, nothing is predictable in this industry, and with iS in particular. I'm exclusive because it made sense at the time (2007) to become exclusive and I never wanted to participate in subscriptions. A prime example of things changing, as iS suddenly decided to offer subs. They change policies almost as fast as the rest of us change underwear.

It's a hard call. But you can always become indie again, after 30 days' notice, if things get even worse there.

Thanks for answers. And what about PP sales and Premium Access Time Limited?  On those sales I got 15%. If I go exclusive, will those sales also be at exclusive rate of 30%?

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2019, 11:23 »
0
So, my existing files will be sold at 1$, with 0.75$ minimum sub royalty like Signature?
No, looking at my sales, the minimum sub sale seems to nowadays be 75c, whether the actual files are Signature or Essential, and I get 30% of that, which is 22.5c.

I think the big thing is, like Jo Anne said, nothing is predictable in this industry, and with iS in particular. I'm exclusive because it made sense at the time (2007) to become exclusive and I never wanted to participate in subscriptions. A prime example of things changing, as iS suddenly decided to offer subs. They change policies almost as fast as the rest of us change underwear.

It's a hard call. But you can always become indie again, after 30 days' notice, if things get even worse there.

Thanks for answers. And what about PP sales and Premium Access Time Limited?  On those sales I got 15%. If I go exclusive, will those sales also be at exclusive rate of 30%?
All sales via Getty, including Premium Access are at a flat rate of 20% for all exclusives, so obviously they're pushing buyers towards PA (I think my lowest so far is 6c). Also a lot of single image sales for me seem to come from Getty at 20% (mostly low value, unless I get lucky); but I don't know which illustrations get mirrored over there, whereas all exclusive editorial photos get mirrored onto Getty, also those which get 'plussed' - which seems to be quite a random process, from what I've read.

I have no idea about PP, but it shouldn't be an issue for long as they're closing Thinkstock rsn ("mid-2019")
« Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 20:06 by ShadySue »


 

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