MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: iStock is making a change to Best Match tonight.  (Read 15740 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« Reply #50 on: December 12, 2012, 11:26 »
0

Youre right actually!  this best match tweak is just a playact. Makes it look as if they are doing something.

Thanks. Now my maths isn't so good cause I nevva finish skool so just bear wiff me ok?

But I can tell you one thing. Double the volume of pictures, times half the site traffic as before gives you 25% of the total downloads from a year ago equals a bunch of upset contributors shouting for answers. So whatever admins are left running the little store in Calgary they are trying like mad to window dress as best they can before all the contributors realize the best match isn't going to save them, they hand in their crowns, and then there is no longer a little shop for them to go to work in anymore.
|
Brilliant. This sounds spot on.


lisafx

« Reply #51 on: December 12, 2012, 11:27 »
0
The only way contributors are going to see their incomes increase again is if iStock's site traffic goes back up. So you have an oversupplied archive and an under supplied buyer pool.

That means iStock really has to roll up their sleeves, get out there, and push the market by investing in marketing and advertising.

But if they aren't even willing to reach into their fat pockets to hire the right developers to expeditiously fix site problems, then they are never going to spend money on marketing and brand development.

The only brand of value to the owners in terms of promoting at this point is Getty and so iStock is being marginalized.

Best match tweaks are just smoke and mirror fixes to make it look as they are being proactive to the contributors. You can even bring back the contributor acclaimed BM2 and still little will change. No increased traffic, no increased downloads.

Very well put.  Your posts are extremely rational and enlightening.  Thank you :)

« Reply #52 on: December 12, 2012, 11:34 »
0
Thank you lisafx. Now that I am not doing the shoot, upload, repeat dance, nor busy putting in many payment of earnings requests anymore, I have lots of time to contemplate my navel. :)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 11:46 by iStop »

« Reply #53 on: December 12, 2012, 12:12 »
+2
By the way, closing down iStock regional offices (Germany) cutting down staff (Calgary), and outsourcing IT (South America) means there isn't anybody around the store to drive the stock photo buyers' market back in iStock's direction.

But none of this is actually for me to worry about according to my job description as artist supplier, right? So things like site problems, malfunctions, accounting errors, losses in site traffic, competitors gaining market share, scam sites reselling iStock contributor content, the buyers' rising price concerns, to zoom or not to zoom, to show dollar prices or not, fraud and charge backs, refunds and charge backs, incorrect picture view tallying, file descriptions that need to be edited twice for any changes to be reflected on the site, and whatever else goes wrong with my agent's cyber sales platform, these things are just not my job to worry about, right?

After all, I am blessed with the easier job of only having to try to supply iStock with something they can sell. So I shouldn't be worrying about all these other logistical things. I should just keep it simple and do my job and let them do theirs. And I mean that. So why is it we always have to cross the line and try and help them do their job anyway and then still have to try and keep them honest with us on top of it all?

Thank god though they see the value of me and my contributions by paying me so much more than they pay themselves when the products I create for us do sell. So, see that, I've really got nothing to complain about :)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 12:40 by iStop »

« Reply #54 on: December 12, 2012, 13:04 »
0
Better sales here, not still the way they were but good enough.

« Reply #55 on: December 12, 2012, 14:00 »
0
Funny this! because whatever happens, good search or bad, whatever. It will never, ever, in 1000 years benefit an independant. Although we outnumber the excl. by 20-1. they still after all these blinding misstakes, errors, issues, whallops,...... that a crown will bring them revenues.

No I dont think that Getty, behind the scenes is masterminding this. I have known them since 93 and frankly they are a quite clever bunch.
I am sure its been left to the IS Admin, which is exactly what bothers me.

mlwinphoto

« Reply #56 on: December 12, 2012, 14:13 »
+1
Funny this! because whatever happens, good search or bad, whatever. It will never, ever, in 1000 years benefit an independant. Although we outnumber the excl. by 20-1. they still after all these blinding misstakes, errors, issues, whallops,...... that a crown will bring them revenues.

No I dont think that Getty, behind the scenes is masterminding this. I have known them since 93 and frankly they are a quite clever bunch.
I am sure its been left to the IS Admin, which is exactly what bothers me.

And here I am thinking about dropping my crown (after only 5 months) and going back to being an independent.  My income may drop but so will my blood pressure.  Having my photography income solely in the hands of the train wreck that iStock is becoming is not a pleasant thought.

« Reply #57 on: December 12, 2012, 15:34 »
+2
And here I am thinking about dropping my crown (after only 5 months) and going back to being an independent.  My income may drop but so will my blood pressure.  Having my photography income solely in the hands of the train wreck that iStock is becoming is not a pleasant thought.

It's unlikely to improve or level out anytime soon either. Look at Sean's downloads graph and those of others too. Let the trend be your friend.

Anyone thinking of ditching their crown needs to consider the timing in order to minimise loss of income and give their images the best of starts at the other agencies, most especially at SS. Right now is probably the optimum time to give the 30-day notice or close to it . Sales accelerate sharply from mid-January until the end of March so that's when the demand for new images is at it's peak. Early sales are a huge help in getting images to the top of the sort-order at SS and, as an independent contributor, that's where 50% of your microstock earnings are most likely to be coming from.

« Reply #58 on: December 12, 2012, 15:43 »
0

Anyone thinking of ditching their crown needs to consider the timing in order to minimise loss of income and give their images the best of starts at the other agencies, most especially at SS. Right now is probably the optimum time to give the 30-day notice or close to it . Sales accelerate sharply from mid-January until the end of March so that's when the demand for new images is at it's peak. Early sales are a huge help in getting images to the top of the sort-order at SS and, as an independent contributor, that's where 50% of your microstock earnings are most likely to be coming from.

Great advice, thanks. Is there a similar high-sales period at SS in Sep-Nov? I ask because my ark is not yet even half-built.

« Reply #59 on: December 12, 2012, 15:57 »
0
Great advice, thanks. Is there a similar high-sales period at SS in Sep-Nov? I ask because my ark is not yet even half-built.

Yes. March was a BME for me this year followed by massive, and I do mean massive, BME's in both October and November.

SS have already projected revenues to rise to $160M+ for 2012 (up from $121M in 2011) and then to over $200M in 2013. Looking at my graph, which pretty much matches SS's growth, I'm anticipating a few more BME's next year. Oh yes.

Trust me, SS is a different game to what you're used to. The graph of sales is the same shape as the IS graphs that folk have been posting __ except that it's a mirror image.

traveler1116

« Reply #60 on: December 12, 2012, 16:02 »
0
Great advice, thanks. Is there a similar high-sales period at SS in Sep-Nov? I ask because my ark is not yet even half-built.

Yes. March was a BME for me this year followed by massive, and I do mean massive, BME's in both October and November.

SS have already projected revenues to rise to $160M+ for 2012 (up from $121M in 2011) and then to over $200M in 2013. Looking at my graph, which pretty much matches SS's growth, I'm anticipating a few more BME's next year. Oh yes.

Trust me, SS is a different game to what you're used to. The graph of sales is the same shape as the IS graphs that folk have been posting __ except that it's a mirror image.
That doesn't seem to be the experience of many exclusives that have left, most or all had massive drops income and have slowly (after a year or more) worked their way up to near what they were at before.  I don't think the picture is as rosy as you paint it but if you have some examples to counter this I would love to see them.

« Reply #61 on: December 12, 2012, 16:55 »
0

Anyone thinking of ditching their crown needs to consider the timing in order to minimise loss of income and give their images the best of starts at the other agencies, most especially at SS. Right now is probably the optimum time to give the 30-day notice or close to it . Sales accelerate sharply from mid-January until the end of March so that's when the demand for new images is at it's peak. Early sales are a huge help in getting images to the top of the sort-order at SS and, as an independent contributor, that's where 50% of your microstock earnings are most likely to be coming from.

Great advice, thanks. Is there a similar high-sales period at SS in Sep-Nov? I ask because my ark is not yet even half-built.

Take it with a pinch of salt. Euforia sets in whenever an exeptional month at SS. I myself had a month during this year where I earned almost 5K, next month under 2K. So you know it varies same as everywhere.
SS is great but after the IPO, there are hints in their own forum that things aint what they used to be. I dont know really but something is cooking thats for sure. One of the absoloute best earners at SS is a personal friend of mine and he agree, something is not right?

Nothing in micro is to be taken seriously or at face value. Its just a numbers game. Safest bet is to stay where you are and not venture into unknown territory.

best.

« Reply #62 on: December 12, 2012, 17:01 »
0
The only way contributors are going to see their incomes increase again is if iStock's site traffic goes back up. So you have an oversupplied archive and an under supplied buyer pool.

An under supplied buyer pool which was caused by iStock's mismanagement of their IT department.

Quote
That means iStock really has to roll up their sleeves, get out there, and push the market by investing in marketing and advertising.

Correct - as long as the product they are supposed to sell is working 100%. Showing the current iStock web site to a new buyer might rather scare them away than invite them to put money into it...

Quote
But if they aren't even willing to reach into their fat pockets to hire the right developers to expeditiously fix site problems, then they are never going to spend money on marketing and brand development. ...

These expenses should go hand in hand.

Poncke

« Reply #63 on: December 12, 2012, 17:19 »
0

Anyone thinking of ditching their crown needs to consider the timing in order to minimise loss of income and give their images the best of starts at the other agencies, most especially at SS. Right now is probably the optimum time to give the 30-day notice or close to it . Sales accelerate sharply from mid-January until the end of March so that's when the demand for new images is at it's peak. Early sales are a huge help in getting images to the top of the sort-order at SS and, as an independent contributor, that's where 50% of your microstock earnings are most likely to be coming from.

Great advice, thanks. Is there a similar high-sales period at SS in Sep-Nov? I ask because my ark is not yet even half-built.

Take it with a pinch of salt. Euforia sets in whenever an exeptional month at SS. I myself had a month during this year where I earned almost 5K, next month under 2K. So you know it varies same as everywhere.
SS is great but after the IPO, there are hints in their own forum that things aint what they used to be. I dont know really but something is cooking thats for sure. One of the absoloute best earners at SS is a personal friend of mine and he agree, something is not right?

Nothing in micro is to be taken seriously or at face value. Its just a numbers game. Safest bet is to stay where you are and not venture into unknown territory.

best.
What for influence has an IPO on the workings of a stock site? 

« Reply #64 on: December 12, 2012, 19:47 »
+1
Great advice, thanks. Is there a similar high-sales period at SS in Sep-Nov? I ask because my ark is not yet even half-built.

Yes. March was a BME for me this year followed by massive, and I do mean massive, BME's in both October and November.

SS have already projected revenues to rise to $160M+ for 2012 (up from $121M in 2011) and then to over $200M in 2013. Looking at my graph, which pretty much matches SS's growth, I'm anticipating a few more BME's next year. Oh yes.

Trust me, SS is a different game to what you're used to. The graph of sales is the same shape as the IS graphs that folk have been posting __ except that it's a mirror image.
That doesn't seem to be the experience of many exclusives that have left, most or all had massive drops income and have slowly (after a year or more) worked their way up to near what they were at before.  I don't think the picture is as rosy as you paint it but if you have some examples to counter this I would love to see them.

I can only speak from my own experience of sales/income from SS. Obviously, with 8 years there, I've had the opportunity to get many of my images well established in the default sort-order. It does take time to do that but, if their work is good enough, then the same should happen to any other contributor. It really is a true meritocracy of images. Truth is SS is going up, IS is going down, and it's entirely up to you where to place your chips. From my data, to any casual observer, it would be a very easy decision to take.

« Reply #65 on: December 12, 2012, 20:51 »
+2
Great advice, thanks. Is there a similar high-sales period at SS in Sep-Nov? I ask because my ark is not yet even half-built.

Yes. March was a BME for me this year followed by massive, and I do mean massive, BME's in both October and November.

SS have already projected revenues to rise to $160M+ for 2012 (up from $121M in 2011) and then to over $200M in 2013. Looking at my graph, which pretty much matches SS's growth, I'm anticipating a few more BME's next year. Oh yes.

Trust me, SS is a different game to what you're used to. The graph of sales is the same shape as the IS graphs that folk have been posting __ except that it's a mirror image.
That doesn't seem to be the experience of many exclusives that have left, most or all had massive drops income and have slowly (after a year or more) worked their way up to near what they were at before.  I don't think the picture is as rosy as you paint it but if you have some examples to counter this I would love to see them.

I don't know what you're hoping to see, but as many, many diamond and up iStock exclusives were saying their Nov 2012 earnings were 50% of what they were in November 2010, I think being where I was in 2010 is not bad. SS had BMEs in October and November and unless iStock falls even further in the toilet next year, continued strength at SS may mean some growth over 2012 numbers.

I'll take reversing the slide over being sad over a 50% drop any day. You can take it as not rosy because I'm not above 2010, but I'd rather see the positive trends and how it could have been me in that -50% camp.

« Reply #66 on: December 13, 2012, 02:41 »
0
Funny this! because whatever happens, good search or bad, whatever. It will never, ever, in 1000 years benefit an independant. Although we outnumber the excl. by 20-1. they still after all these blinding misstakes, errors, issues, whallops,...... that a crown will bring them revenues.

No I dont think that Getty, behind the scenes is masterminding this. I have known them since 93 and frankly they are a quite clever bunch.
I am sure its been left to the IS Admin, which is exactly what bothers me.

And here I am thinking about dropping my crown (after only 5 months) and going back to being an independent.  My income may drop but so will my blood pressure.  Having my photography income solely in the hands of the train wreck that iStock is becoming is not a pleasant thought.

IMO and after 25 years of supplying in this bloody stock game, one is as good or bad as the other but let me tell you this. I know 4 of my old pals, yes we are old hands you know, some would even call us antiques. In the beginning of 2013, they will pull their ports from every sigle micro agency and I am not talking some neewbie ports here but ports with 5000+ images AND put them into macro-RF or whatever, as long as its not micro.
I myself will hang on a bit more since I want to see the outcome of all this with IS and SS, etc.

Best advice I can give with my humble experience is to start thinking beyond micro, start thinking about getting some value for your craft. Micro is a concept, its riding on its 13th year which really means that the golden halleluja days are over. :)

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #67 on: December 13, 2012, 06:35 »
0
Funny this! because whatever happens, good search or bad, whatever. It will never, ever, in 1000 years benefit an independant. Although we outnumber the excl. by 20-1. they still after all these blinding misstakes, errors, issues, whallops,...... that a crown will bring them revenues.

No I dont think that Getty, behind the scenes is masterminding this. I have known them since 93 and frankly they are a quite clever bunch.
I am sure its been left to the IS Admin, which is exactly what bothers me.

And here I am thinking about dropping my crown (after only 5 months) and going back to being an independent.  My income may drop but so will my blood pressure.  Having my photography income solely in the hands of the train wreck that iStock is becoming is not a pleasant thought.

IMO and after 25 years of supplying in this bloody stock game, one is as good or bad as the other but let me tell you this. I know 4 of my old pals, yes we are old hands you know, some would even call us antiques. In the beginning of 2013, they will pull their ports from every sigle micro agency and I am not talking some neewbie ports here but ports with 5000+ images AND put them into macro-RF or whatever, as long as its not micro.
I myself will hang on a bit more since I want to see the outcome of all this with IS and SS, etc.

Best advice I can give with my humble experience is to start thinking beyond micro, start thinking about getting some value for your craft. Micro is a concept, its riding on its 13th year which really means that the golden halleluja days are over. :)

But what can you put on macro that already isn't in micro? Unless you have a specialization with access to stuff that few people can get, maybe like oil rigs ;), you're probably not going to do well.

« Reply #68 on: December 13, 2012, 07:46 »
0
Funny this! because whatever happens, good search or bad, whatever. It will never, ever, in 1000 years benefit an independant. Although we outnumber the excl. by 20-1. they still after all these blinding misstakes, errors, issues, whallops,...... that a crown will bring them revenues.

No I dont think that Getty, behind the scenes is masterminding this. I have known them since 93 and frankly they are a quite clever bunch.
I am sure its been left to the IS Admin, which is exactly what bothers me.

And here I am thinking about dropping my crown (after only 5 months) and going back to being an independent.  My income may drop but so will my blood pressure.  Having my photography income solely in the hands of the train wreck that iStock is becoming is not a pleasant thought.

IMO and after 25 years of supplying in this bloody stock game, one is as good or bad as the other but let me tell you this. I know 4 of my old pals, yes we are old hands you know, some would even call us antiques. In the beginning of 2013, they will pull their ports from every sigle micro agency and I am not talking some neewbie ports here but ports with 5000+ images AND put them into macro-RF or whatever, as long as its not micro.
I myself will hang on a bit more since I want to see the outcome of all this with IS and SS, etc.

Best advice I can give with my humble experience is to start thinking beyond micro, start thinking about getting some value for your craft. Micro is a concept, its riding on its 13th year which really means that the golden halleluja days are over. :)

But what can you put on macro that already isn't in micro? Unless you have a specialization with access to stuff that few people can get, maybe like oil rigs ;), you're probably not going to do well.

Nah forget that! I got much more specialized stuff then oil industry already as RM and RF, selling really well. BTW, I was refering to macro-RF not RF such as in micro.

« Reply #69 on: December 13, 2012, 17:21 »
0
Thanks for the helpful advice, gostwyk and jsnover. Appreciated.

mlwinphoto

« Reply #70 on: December 13, 2012, 20:40 »
0
Funny this! because whatever happens, good search or bad, whatever. It will never, ever, in 1000 years benefit an independant. Although we outnumber the excl. by 20-1. they still after all these blinding misstakes, errors, issues, whallops,...... that a crown will bring them revenues.

No I dont think that Getty, behind the scenes is masterminding this. I have known them since 93 and frankly they are a quite clever bunch.
I am sure its been left to the IS Admin, which is exactly what bothers me.

And here I am thinking about dropping my crown (after only 5 months) and going back to being an independent.  My income may drop but so will my blood pressure.  Having my photography income solely in the hands of the train wreck that iStock is becoming is not a pleasant thought.

IMO and after 25 years of supplying in this bloody stock game, one is as good or bad as the other but let me tell you this. I know 4 of my old pals, yes we are old hands you know, some would even call us antiques. In the beginning of 2013, they will pull their ports from every sigle micro agency and I am not talking some neewbie ports here but ports with 5000+ images AND put them into macro-RF or whatever, as long as its not micro.
I myself will hang on a bit more since I want to see the outcome of all this with IS and SS, etc.

Best advice I can give with my humble experience is to start thinking beyond micro, start thinking about getting some value for your craft. Micro is a concept, its riding on its 13th year which really means that the golden halleluja days are over. :)

Well, I don't have 5,000 images on micro but I'm going to be doing the same. 
Only one sale since the latest iStock best match tweak and very little hope that the sinking ship can be righted....sick and tired of the games they play with their contributors livelihoods.
I'm also going to devote more of my shooting and marketing efforts into promoting my own work in the RM marketplace....put my fate into my own hands, so to speak.
If I going down in flames in this business I want it to be of my own doing, not someone elses.

« Reply #71 on: December 14, 2012, 01:52 »
+1
The thread started by a frustrated long term buyer has now been locked. His post from earlier today about the current state of best match results seems pretty accurate to me:

"I have just come back to have a look at the site after one of my colleagues mentioned that the Zoom function is back.  It does look good I must say and seems to load quicker than its previous incarnation.

however, I just wanted to say that there is a lot of talk about how dreadful Best Match is at the moment and how it got even worse.

Ive just taken a good look and searched for the sort of things I normally or typically look for.  I just cannot believe it. How can 18 images by the same photographer all in a row of the same subject possibly be part of a legitimate Best Match?

I am sorry, but until this changes for the good (it is truly dreadful at the moment) neither myself nor any of my colleagues are likely to be rushing back here for stock images. Just have a look how well Best Match type seaches work on other sites and perhaps it will be easy to understand why previously dedicated buyers like me (and others) prefer to buy elsewhere at the moment."


So SearchFairy twiddled a few dials and this is the outcome?

It seems to me as long as iStock is a dumping ground for Getty Agency/Vetta files which get a huge advantage in placement (and it was promised when these ingestions began that they'd fix best match so that they didn't all appear up front like new content typically would; so much for that), and on which Getty makes so much more money - paying 20% royalty on content they don't own vs. up to 28% on iStock contributors' content - they have no incentive to fix this even though the results are so awful when you do common searches.

On a separate but related note: I recall many forum discussions where someone would say they got terrible results searching for (some single term) and there'd be a chorus of self-righteous contributors saying that of course you got rubbish; you needed to refine the search with multiple terms. In the course of the discussion about best match results, Rebecca and SearchFairy said that buyers typically use a single search term so showing examples where multiple terms made for horrible results wasn't really pertienent.

If it wasn't so many people's livelihoods, it'd be funny...

« Reply #72 on: December 14, 2012, 02:19 »
0
The thread started by a frustrated long term buyer has now been locked. His post from earlier today about the current state of best match results seems pretty accurate to me:

"I have just come back to have a look at the site after one of my colleagues mentioned that the Zoom function is back.  It does look good I must say and seems to load quicker than its previous incarnation.

however, I just wanted to say that there is a lot of talk about how dreadful Best Match is at the moment and how it got even worse.

Ive just taken a good look and searched for the sort of things I normally or typically look for.  I just cannot believe it. How can 18 images by the same photographer all in a row of the same subject possibly be part of a legitimate Best Match?

I am sorry, but until this changes for the good (it is truly dreadful at the moment) neither myself nor any of my colleagues are likely to be rushing back here for stock images. Just have a look how well Best Match type seaches work on other sites and perhaps it will be easy to understand why previously dedicated buyers like me (and others) prefer to buy elsewhere at the moment."


So SearchFairy twiddled a few dials and this is the outcome?

It seems to me as long as iStock is a dumping ground for Getty Agency/Vetta files which get a huge advantage in placement (and it was promised when these ingestions began that they'd fix best match so that they didn't all appear up front like new content typically would; so much for that), and on which Getty makes so much more money - paying 20% royalty on content they don't own vs. up to 28% on iStock contributors' content - they have no incentive to fix this even though the results are so awful when you do common searches.

On a separate but related note: I recall many forum discussions where someone would say they got terrible results searching for (some single term) and there'd be a chorus of self-righteous contributors saying that of course you got rubbish; you needed to refine the search with multiple terms. In the course of the discussion about best match results, Rebecca and SearchFairy said that buyers typically use a single search term so showing examples where multiple terms made for horrible results wasn't really pertienent.

If it wasn't so many people's livelihoods, it'd be funny...


Ofcourse!  when all their PR avenues has been closed, people didnt fall for it, didnt swallow the garbage, what else? when fighting a losing battle but to close the threads and hide in shame.

« Reply #73 on: December 19, 2012, 08:09 »
0
That last best match shift has really screwed up my port and basically jumbled up everything, my sales have plummeted.


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
10 Replies
3969 Views
Last post January 20, 2010, 10:15
by travismanley
235 Replies
43872 Views
Last post April 09, 2011, 17:30
by Sadstock
14 Replies
4062 Views
Last post September 25, 2011, 00:44
by lagereek
18 Replies
6204 Views
Last post April 18, 2012, 05:47
by fotografer
8 Replies
2218 Views
Last post February 24, 2018, 23:44
by namussi

Sponsors

Mega Bundle of 5,900+ Professional Lightroom Presets

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors

3100 Posing Cards Bundle