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Author Topic: Sales slump  (Read 65654 times)

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« Reply #225 on: August 19, 2010, 09:30 »
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622 images online.  Only 2 sales yesterday.  And no sales in over 24 hours. 
 :-[


lagereek

« Reply #226 on: August 20, 2010, 09:55 »
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622 images online.  Only 2 sales yesterday.  And no sales in over 24 hours. 
 :-[

Something must be wrong??  cant be that down,  not even on a lousy day?

« Reply #227 on: August 20, 2010, 10:27 »
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There's an exclusive contributor about 100 DLs shy of Gold who I know, who mentioned they have had several 0 DL weekdays since the first week of July.  If that doesn't take away your will to upload, I don't know what will.  I keep sending in more images with the hope that things will improve markedly within the next 60 days.

lagereek

« Reply #228 on: August 20, 2010, 11:20 »
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There's an exclusive contributor about 100 DLs shy of Gold who I know, who mentioned they have had several 0 DL weekdays since the first week of July.  If that doesn't take away your will to upload, I don't know what will.  I keep sending in more images with the hope that things will improve markedly within the next 60 days.

This is worrying!

« Reply #229 on: August 20, 2010, 11:36 »
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There's an exclusive contributor about 100 DLs shy of Gold who I know, who mentioned they have had several 0 DL weekdays since the first week of July.  If that doesn't take away your will to upload, I don't know what will.  I keep sending in more images with the hope that things will improve markedly within the next 60 days.
That's one of the reasons why I just couldn't go exclusive.  Must be depressing having all your earnings from one site and not selling anything.  Istock is very slow for me this week, today is like a weekend day but the other sites have picked up and August is looking OK now.

« Reply #230 on: August 20, 2010, 12:43 »
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Is the consensus (such as it is) that istock should probably tweak their prices and/or best match algorithm to get rid of this recent and unwanted perception among buyers that they are a high-cost source of photos, and/or that their bargains are hard to find because they are buried under higher priced items on the store shelves? (as it were)

I would think that IS would be extremely sensitive to negative changes in revenue, they sell directly after all and they should know up to the minute if say, sales are down for a Monday in the second week of August compared to previous years.  If there is a problem, and they're either not aware of it or they're not moving yet to correct it, then I hope that their management will take prompt steps to overcome this organizational inertia.

I've noticed from working in large companies that once they reach a certain size, the individuals in the company lose true customer awareness and end up being mostly loyal to internal organizations - the accountants do what's best for the finance department, the QA people become obsessed with self-generated "standards" whether they make sense or not, and so on.  Istock is nowhere near that size, so maybe it's just a case of one or two key managers being on summer vacation and letting things slide a bit.

DISCLAIMER - all of this speculation could be horsefeathers.

« Reply #231 on: August 20, 2010, 13:20 »
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^ Just pointing out that their income is derived from sales of credit packages and to some extent daily fluctuations in our licence sales may be not as relevant. Obviously longer term trends would be similar for both parties, and best match is a very powerful credit use shaping tool which I bet they will be monitoring very deeply.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 13:31 by thesentinel »

« Reply #232 on: August 20, 2010, 13:31 »
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There is a danger when a big organisation makes a mistake that it becomes too embarrassing to admit to it, so it plows on regardless for a while.

Another danger is that if a customer loses confidence in your shop, tries another one and is happy there, then it may be a long time before the customer even bothers to glance through your window again. It is very difficult to win loyal customers back again after they desert you, because they are inclined to feel that you have betrayed them rather than that they deserted you.

Istock's "wow, we're the greatest" propaganda may also not stand it in good stead if people who have swallowed that line go elsewhere and find the same quality available for less. (No, no - not possible, I know. Istock's brilliance is beyond compare).

This is probably just crap, of course. I expect I am the only one heading for the worst month in a couple of years.
 

« Reply #233 on: August 20, 2010, 13:37 »
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^ Just pointing out that their income is derived from sales of credit packages and to some extent daily fluctuations in our licence sales may be not as relevant. Obviously longer term trends would be similar for both parties,

Which is why the true effect of a price change in January will not become apparent until late spring/early summer, at the earliest. Come to think of it, one worrying consequence of that is that buyers shocked by a January move may make firm decisions in February that are not apparent till June. By which time, the customer's decision would be firmly established. Depressing. Or maybe it's the booze talking. 

« Reply #234 on: August 20, 2010, 13:39 »
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^ Just pointing out that their income is derived from sales of credit packages and to some extent daily fluctuations in our licence sales may be not as relevant. Obviously longer term trends would be similar for both parties, and best match is a very powerful credit use shaping tool which I bet they will be monitoring very deeply.

This is true but I'm sure they, like us, keep a very close eye on downloads especially after a site revamp or price hike.

Also, whenever Klein or any of the big-wigs start talking turkey, they always tend to refer to numbers of licenses sold rather than credit packages. Here's a typical Klein quote from earlier this year on PaidContent.org;

Klein noted. Also, this is not an exaggeration: iStock sells a licensed user-gen image every second of every day."

rubyroo

« Reply #235 on: August 20, 2010, 15:35 »
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I'm hoping it's just a bad Summer dream that we'll all wake up from soon.

Maybe a lot of stressed out designers are taking extended breaks, or switching off their work minds more completely this year.

Only time will tell... I'm going to wait and see how things go from September through to December before getting too worried about this.

« Reply #236 on: August 20, 2010, 16:07 »
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That's one of the reasons why I just couldn't go exclusive.  Must be depressing having all your earnings from one site and not selling anything.  Istock is very slow for me this week, today is like a weekend day but the other sites have picked up and August is looking OK now.

Yeah, I'm ready to throw in the towel.  I had big plans at the start of the summer.  I was going to shoot enough to upload no fewer than 5 images per day, with the intent of doubling my income by Spring.  Based on my past earnings per accepted image, it seemed pretty easy.

So the last month I've had over 100 images accepted, and I think 4 of them have sales while the other ~100 or so languish.  In the meantime my previous best sellers have tanked, and now I'm thinking that if I followed through on my plans, at best I might add 10% or so to my earnings once I rebuilt it to previous levels.

Today is the first time where I hit the wall and said, "This is a waste of time and effort."  Why should I brainstorm another series of shots, process and keyword them, and then watch nothing happen?  My best selling image is 16 months old, and my second best is almost 4 years old.  Those two are going to carry what little sales I get no matter what I do or don't upload.  So should I spend time with the family and go out and get ice cream on a nice evening, or should I try to put together another pointless shoot?  Not a hard decision anymore.

So after a month of hard work generated absolutely nothing in returns, I'm not going to keep shooting/uploading.  I'll give it until Fall.  If things pick up, I'll get active again.  If they don't, I'll go independent and cut my losses.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 16:12 by djpadavona »

« Reply #237 on: August 20, 2010, 16:13 »
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That's one of the reasons why I just couldn't go exclusive.  Must be depressing having all your earnings from one site and not selling anything.  Istock is very slow for me this week, today is like a weekend day but the other sites have picked up and August is looking OK now.

Yeah, I'm ready to throw in the towel.  I had big plans at the start of the summer.  I was going to shoot enough to upload no fewer than 5 images per day, with the intent of doubling my income by Spring.  Based on my past earnings per accepted image, it seemed pretty easy.

So the last month I've had over 100 images accepted, and I think 4 of them have sales while the other ~100 or so languish.  In the meantime my previous best sellers have tanked, and now I'm thinking that if I followed through on my plans, at best I might add 10% or so to my earnings once I rebuilt it to previous levels.

Today is the first time where I hit the wall and said, "This is a waste of time and effort."  So after a month of hard work generated absolutely nothing in returns, I'm not going to keep shooting/uploading.  I'll give it until Fall.  If things pick up, I'll get active again.  If they don't, I'll go independent and cut my losses.

That just plain sucks. I wish you luck and keep posting your progress.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #238 on: August 20, 2010, 17:45 »
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Yeah, I'm ready to throw in the towel.  

I have these moments too. Especially the family part. This takes a lot of time away from my family. 

I signed up for a Lookstat account a couple days ago and it gave an absolutely clear snapshot of my progress which I really haven't been tracking much.

Since July of 08 I have tripled my portfolio (which is still small at around 500 images), and my revenue has gone up sigificantly, but my download count is literally the same. If it wasn't for stuff like going exclusive, the price increases, and E+ my income would have been flat for two years despite tripling my portfolio.

It's probably caused by a combination of a lot of things but regardless the end result is a bit of a concern. Without more price increases can I grow revenue?

lagereek

« Reply #239 on: August 21, 2010, 00:45 »
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I think maybe youre looking too deap into it?  Im a Diamond member at IS,  Ive got three friends/collegues here in Sweden, one is also a Diamond, the other two Gold, we are all four non-exclusives and ALL of us have taken about a 40% slump! I know six British photographers, all Diamonds and Gold, all Exclusives and all of them are also down 40-50%.
Its got nothing to do with Excl or non-excl. The micro market has just gone sour, period! and its not just an August holliday blues. Its reallity.

« Reply #240 on: August 21, 2010, 01:53 »
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I think maybe youre looking too deap into it?  Im a Diamond member at IS,  Ive got three friends/collegues here in Sweden, one is also a Diamond, the other two Gold, we are all four non-exclusives and ALL of us have taken about a 40% slump! I know six British photographers, all Diamonds and Gold, all Exclusives and all of them are also down 40-50%.
Its got nothing to do with Excl or non-excl. The micro market has just gone sour, period! and its not just an August holliday blues. Its reallity.

A 40% slump over what timescale? Are you making allowances for the normal summer slowdown? Has a major new player moved into niches that you have been supplying?

It makes no sense to me that a huge industry would collapse overnight without anything happening to cause that. I can see that an iStock problem plus the summer slowdown would make for some really bad figures, so as there is generally agreed to be an iStock problem, you need to take iStock and Alamy out of the equation and compare sales at the rest of the sites over the past couple of months with the same months last year (too early to include August unfortunately). If I do that, my total for June-July 2010 is about 4% below my total for 2009 (if I keep Alamy in the equation, I am about 4% up this year on last).  But then my June-July istock total is slightly higher than last year's too.

Of course, June is well down on last october-november, but that is comparing apples and pears.

Did any of the non-exclusives who have seen sales fall overall stop supplying their agencies from January on, in order to grab the juicy exclusivity carrot iS was dangling with its new pricing? It is funny that only seven months ago all the talk was about preparing for that and avoiding having images trapped on other sites.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 01:57 by BaldricksTrousers »

« Reply #241 on: August 21, 2010, 02:12 »
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I think maybe youre looking too deap into it?  Im a Diamond member at IS,  Ive got three friends/collegues here in Sweden, one is also a Diamond, the other two Gold, we are all four non-exclusives and ALL of us have taken about a 40% slump! I know six British photographers, all Diamonds and Gold, all Exclusives and all of them are also down 40-50%.
Its got nothing to do with Excl or non-excl. The micro market has just gone sour, period! and its not just an August holliday blues. Its reallity.

I think Lagercreek is correct here to a large extent - and I don't think it was all of a sudden either - it's been gradual and it's I believe a confluence of events. Once the professional shooters entered the micro market, the "hobbyist" either had to resign themselves to making pocket money or they had to up their game. But the pros with good portfolios swamped the market for buyers and continue to do so. Istock without any question has the best images on line of all the micros - some of the work available there is truly great stuff. But, for many buyers in a tight financial market, they will turn to cheaper alternatives and the truth is that the cheaper alternatives are pretty good too - certainly good enough. I just downloaded several images using "corporate strategy" as a keyword. I looked at istock and thought to myself - wow, some great stuff I would love to get those images - but I cannot afford it - so i got the second best at dreamstime. And that was good enough for what I am doing. And it will be good enough for what most buyers are doing. The law of supply and demand says that if supply grows, prices will fall. This applies to micro - the supply of images is massive - almost too big in some ways. The only way the micro market will recover is if there is less supply. And I don't see that happening any time soon unless there is major consolidation of ownership which in turn can control the supply and pricing. Maybe Getty has some sort of strategy along those lines - they are smart business people. But who knows? 

lagereek

« Reply #242 on: August 21, 2010, 02:51 »
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Hi!
Well Im a professional myself, joined Getty way back in 93. I wouldnt say the Pros saturated the micro-market, I mean look at some of the crap being accepted today!! taken by weekend snappers, reviewers STILL only look for noise and artefacts, consequently anything can get past.

No, this is a build-up over years, a build-up of constant problems, too many contributors, search-engine problems, site-problems, constant price-rising and during a finance-depression, spamming, keywording and all agencies are going through the same!
Just look at this summer, we had summer reviewers who litteraly should be behind a MacDonald counter.

So what happens after some years. Buyers gets pissed-off and call it a day, cant stomach it anylonger. As I said before, a creative industry concept get its 10 years of glory, then it settles down, slumps and will remain there. Nothing unusual about that?

« Reply #243 on: August 21, 2010, 04:27 »
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The buyers get pissed off and can't stomach it ..... and then do what, exactly? Shut up shop and apply for unemployment hand-outs? Just because they are pissed off?

« Reply #244 on: August 21, 2010, 04:33 »
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Hi!
Well Im a professional myself, joined Getty way back in 93. I wouldnt say the Pros saturated the micro-market, I mean look at some of the crap being accepted today!!

Agreed there's a lot of crap and that's what I mean when I said there was "too much" available sometimes and we have to really slog past crappy images sometimes to find the gems. But having said that, I read the boards, here especially, and everyone is saying how much they have to "feed the beast" with many of the pro submitters having thousands and thousands and thousand of images in their ports. I think most of the top contributors who do this as a living feel compelled to produce an awful lot of images to maintain their incomes - it's like a vicious cycle in a way - they have to keep producing more and more but by so many of them doing just that it ends up flooding the market. I don't really know what the answer is to that though - it must be terribly frustrating. And now contributors are saying their newer images struggle to get views never mind downloads.

I think the review processes really need to change - I think they need to get past focusing so much on the the technical issues with images and start looking at the subject matter and the content of images, encouraging real creativity and strong concepts instead of the endless 20 year olds dressed up in someone elses' clothes pretending to be successful executives - on isolated white backgrounds!!  

lagereek

« Reply #245 on: August 21, 2010, 05:05 »
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The buyers get pissed off and can't stomach it ..... and then do what, exactly? Shut up shop and apply for unemployment hand-outs? Just because they are pissed off?

Now youre being cynical ;D, ofcourse not BUT!  they will try and go elsewhere, where they can shop cheaper and without hassle. Human nature. FT has gained lots and lots of buyers, ask yourself why?

« Reply #246 on: August 21, 2010, 08:56 »
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The buyers get pissed off and can't stomach it ..... and then do what, exactly? Shut up shop and apply for unemployment hand-outs? Just because they are pissed off?

Now youre being cynical ;D, ofcourse not BUT!  they will try and go elsewhere, where they can shop cheaper and without hassle. Human nature. FT has gained lots and lots of buyers, ask yourself why?

Cynical? I'm shocked! :o

But I thought you were talking about the whole industry. Not just about iS.  Sure, if one shop doesn't offer the service you are looking for, you check out alternatives.

How long ago did Bruce pack his bags? Maybe iStock/Getty is missing his vision of how it works. It's hard to imagine TS and the redirection of customers happening on his watch. 

« Reply #247 on: August 21, 2010, 09:28 »
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I think most of the top contributors who do this as a living feel compelled to produce an awful lot of images to maintain their incomes - it's like a vicious cycle in a way - they have to keep producing more and more but by so many of them doing just that it ends up flooding the market. I don't really know what the answer is to that though - it must be terribly frustrating. And now contributors are saying their newer images struggle to get views never mind downloads.

I think the review processes really need to change - I think they need to get past focusing so much on the the technical issues with images and start looking at the subject matter and the content of images, encouraging real creativity and strong concepts instead of the endless 20 year olds dressed up in someone elses' clothes pretending to be successful executives - on isolated white backgrounds!!  

I'm not producing more and more right now.  I think I'm doing about the same output I've always been.  It's true new images aren't getting the views and sales immediately like they used to - check my port by uploads to see many many zeros.

There is a thread in the request forum looking for simple uncropped images of people, so there is still a desire for fresh product.

« Reply #248 on: August 21, 2010, 10:55 »
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It's true new images aren't getting the views and sales immediately like they used to - check my port by uploads to see many many zeros.

Not just you.  I see a ton of Diamond+ ports in the same predicament.  The question is...do they eventually catch on several weeks/months down the road?  Or are they finished before they got started?  And that's what I'm struggling with.  The Return on (Time) Investment.  Hoping new images will eventually catch on by some unexplained delayed best match response requires me to put a lot of blind faith in the system.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 10:59 by djpadavona »

« Reply #249 on: August 21, 2010, 10:57 »
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I still have 30-40 images to upload from several already produced series.  I'll stagger upload those, then watch and wait I suppose.  I can't bring myself to keep shooting daily though until there is some perceived return.


 

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