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Author Topic: RPD on IStock including PP lower than all other sites for the first time  (Read 3691 times)

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« on: April 23, 2014, 06:43 »
+4
March was my first month when royalty per download on IS plus PP has been lower than all the other major sites. It has been heading that way for a while, with decreasing sales on the main IS site and increasing sales on (the very poorly paying) Thinkstock.

This makes IS my poorest paying site per download out of the top 5 plus DP (I use Microstock Analytics and these are the 6 sites it covers). IStock needs to rethink payment levels on TS to at least bring them more in line with the other sub sites.

Has anyone else crossed this line yet?


« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 07:03 »
-1
For me it's mostly on par with Deposit but still ahead of 123RF.

IStock needs to rethink payment levels on TS to at least bring them more in line with the other sub sites.

Why does it "need" to? A company only "needs" to improve payments to suppliers when it doesn't get enough products. Apparently there is still plenty of supply at this price point.

And at the end of the day, "RPD" is a nice indicator but overall with limited relevance. Thanks to a single large sale, Deposit now has a much higher RPD for me in 2014. Still iStock is making more money in a week than Deposit did in the first quarter for me...

« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 07:21 »
+3

As exclusive, my RPD has dropped to about 12 $ as a result of the fact that istock demoted a number of my S+ files to S (food for thought: these files were selling better as S+ than they are now as S!). It will drop more when we have data about susbcription sales (I'm still wondering why can't they add the information and the money instantly, like everybody else).

Ron

« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 10:01 »
+1
For me it's mostly on par with Deposit but still ahead of 123RF.

IStock needs to rethink payment levels on TS to at least bring them more in line with the other sub sites.

Why does it "need" to? A company only "needs" to improve payments to suppliers when it doesn't get enough products. Apparently there is still plenty of supply at this price point.

And at the end of the day, "RPD" is a nice indicator but overall with limited relevance. Thanks to a single large sale, Deposit now has a much higher RPD for me in 2014. Still iStock is making more money in a week than Deposit did in the first quarter for me...
I agree, for 2013 my RPD on Alamy was 19$, on SS 0.62$ but SS made me about 100 times more money.

« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 10:41 »
+1
I find that RPI is usually better indicator of how a site is doing than RPD - as Ron pointed out, my RPD on Alamy is much higher than my RPD on shutterstock, but although I have 3.5x more images on Alamy than on shutterstock, I make about 2.5x more on shutterstock, where my RPI is many many times more even though my RPD is a fraction of what it is on Alamy, because I generally license as many images in a week as I do in a year on Alamy.

Both stats are important certainly. On my own site in the past year, my RPD went from $450 to around $200 but my RPI has gone up, as has my average monthly income because the volume of licenses has increased.  When you're dealing with higher priced licenses, that number is going to fluctuate more widely.  If I license some web uses for $25-$50, it brings my RPD down, but it increases my RPI and my income. As an iStock exclusive, you are going to get more higher priced sales (with Getty and Vetta) which would leave you with a higher RPD until it gets diluted by the sub sales, but the total income earned, and your return per image (so you can see if income is keeping up with the number of new images added), are also key numbers. The question is, are sub sales helping your RPI? Obviously, they bring your RPD down.

For example, if I had one EL and only 10 sub sales on shutterstock, my RPD would be $2.85 and I'd make $31.30. If I had one EL and 100 sub sales, my RPD would be $0.60 but I'd earn $61.00. So, my RPD would only be one-third of what it had been, but I'd earn twice as much, because the volume of sub sales would make up for the lower prices.

I realize that the drop in RPD if you're looking at just Vetta and Getty images would be significant, since those sales are equal to multiple sub or even regular sales. Even as a non-exclusive, I saw a drop when my E+ images disappeared, so I do understand your concern, but you need to look at volume and RPI too in order to really analyze how things are doing.


« Last Edit: April 23, 2014, 10:55 by wordplanet »

« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2014, 10:53 »
+5
And at the end of the day, "RPD" is a nice indicator but overall with limited relevance. Thanks to a single large sale, Deposit now has a much higher RPD for me in 2014. Still iStock is making more money in a week than Deposit did in the first quarter for me...

I'd say some of it is about potential. If I make $.50 RPD at an agency, I have to sell 10 images to make $5, 100 to make $50, 1000 to make $500 and 10,000 to make $5000. But, how many agencies can realistically do that kind of volume at the higher quantities? By contrast, say you make $5 RPD (that's $50, $500, $5000, $50000) or $10 RPD ($100, $1000, $10000, $100000). The potential is much greater to make money.

« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2014, 10:57 »
+2
As an exclusive, my RPD has grown, but it's really inconsequential...

...given April will probably be the first month where I made much, much more the year before, with only 40% of my current portfolio size. Not a good sign at all. :/

« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2014, 11:09 »
+2
And at the end of the day, "RPD" is a nice indicator but overall with limited relevance. Thanks to a single large sale, Deposit now has a much higher RPD for me in 2014. Still iStock is making more money in a week than Deposit did in the first quarter for me...

I'd say some of it is about potential. If I make $.50 RPD at an agency, I have to sell 10 images to make $5, 100 to make $50, 1000 to make $500 and 10,000 to make $5000. But, how many agencies can realistically do that kind of volume at the higher quantities? By contrast, say you make $5 RPD (that's $50, $500, $5000, $50000) or $10 RPD ($100, $1000, $10000, $100000). The potential is much greater to make money.

I agree - that's why you really need to look at both RPD and RPI. If I license one RM image for $300, I need to license 500 images at an agency that returns $0.60 RPD to earn the same amount. RM is the better model for photographers in this instance, but it's still a question of volume. Or say you get $50 for every $100 image you license on Stocksy, you'd need to license 83 images on a site with a $0.60 RPD to earn the same.

If you're licensing 500 images a month on the $0.60 RPD site and one a month on Stocksy, you're still ahead on the sub site ($300 vs. $50), but if you license 10 on Stocksy and 500 on the sub site, Stocksy pulls ahead ($500 vs. $300) with so many fewer sales needed to make a difference. 

« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2014, 13:02 »
-1
I'd say some of it is about potential. If I make $.50 RPD at an agency, I have to sell 10 images to make $5, 100 to make $50, 1000 to make $500 and 10,000 to make $5000. But, how many agencies can realistically do that kind of volume at the higher quantities? By contrast, say you make $5 RPD (that's $50, $500, $5000, $50000) or $10 RPD ($100, $1000, $10000, $100000). The potential is much greater to make money.

Not sure about that "potential" thing. Because in the end it does not depend on how much I make from one single sale but also how many customers an agency can attract.

Sure it's easy maths to say I'd rather sell 1,000 licenses at $50 each than 1,000 licenses at $0.50 each. And some agencies just don't get my images because the small customer base does not justify the low prices. But if an agency has a huge client base, it will still make more money than an agency with higher prices but almost no customers.

Don't get me wrong, I believe that some images warrant higher prices, and I struggle to find the right distribution ways for each of my shoots. I love to get those $25 sales on Stocksy or macro.

But simply saying "iStock RPD is down, so it needs to raise royalties" is pointless. I would like to see them go up but from their point of view there is no need to do that as they still get plenty of supply. And apparently rightfully so as other sites with similar or slightly higher RPD don't even make me enough money to make a payout monthly.

« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2014, 13:44 »
+4
I'd say some of it is about potential. If I make $.50 RPD at an agency, I have to sell 10 images to make $5, 100 to make $50, 1000 to make $500 and 10,000 to make $5000. But, how many agencies can realistically do that kind of volume at the higher quantities? By contrast, say you make $5 RPD (that's $50, $500, $5000, $50000) or $10 RPD ($100, $1000, $10000, $100000). The potential is much greater to make money.

Not sure about that "potential" thing. Because in the end it does not depend on how much I make from one single sale but also how many customers an agency can attract.

Sure it's easy maths to say I'd rather sell 1,000 licenses at $50 each than 1,000 licenses at $0.50 each. And some agencies just don't get my images because the small customer base does not justify the low prices. But if an agency has a huge client base, it will still make more money than an agency with higher prices but almost no customers.

Don't get me wrong, I believe that some images warrant higher prices, and I struggle to find the right distribution ways for each of my shoots. I love to get those $25 sales on Stocksy or macro.

But simply saying "iStock RPD is down, so it needs to raise royalties" is pointless. I would like to see them go up but from their point of view there is no need to do that as they still get plenty of supply. And apparently rightfully so as other sites with similar or slightly higher RPD don't even make me enough money to make a payout monthly.

I guess it was more of the point that most micro sites seem to sell between 10-100 images a month (at least from my perspective). There are some outliers that sell more (especially SS), but for the most part they fall into those sales volumes (regardless of varying prices).

So if they are going to fall into those sales volumes, shouldn't they be profitable at those volumes for contributors? It's awesome that SS can do insane volumes and it works for their business model, but if nobody else can really replicate that for their contributors should they even try?

« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2014, 05:37 »
+1
My problem is that while IS had a higher RPD any sales they made were a positive, even if the volume was low it was still worth uploading.

Once their RPD goes below the other major sites you start to risk cannibalizing your sales at better paying sites like SS. I think one of the main things keeping people on IS is the high RPD for this reason.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2014, 06:02 »
+2
^^ RPD is only going to get worse once you factor in subs.
As when they announced TS, they're claiming it's a different market, but just like then they're trying to switch their existing buyers via a naff chrome yellow band.

« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2014, 06:41 »
0
^^ RPD is only going to get worse once you factor in subs.
As when they announced TS, they're claiming it's a different market, but just like then they're trying to switch their existing buyers via a naff chrome yellow band.

Agreed, I was comparing to other sites that sell a lot of subs, like SS, DP and FL


 

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