MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Something positive at IS, royalty rate stays the same next year  (Read 11220 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

traveler1116

« on: December 19, 2012, 15:34 »
0
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=349961&page=1

    If you moved up during 2012 by hitting new levels/targets you will stay at your new rate going into 2013
    If you have not made it back to your 2012 level you will not move down on Jan 1, instead you will stay at your current level/rate going into 2013
    RC counts will still reset as of Jan 1, the 2013 RC targets will remain as they are, and if you reach a new level target during 2013 you will automatically move up
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 15:47 by traveler1116 »


« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2012, 16:12 »
+1
Is that 'something positive'? I'd have thought that only an increase in royalty rates could be described as such.

traveler1116

« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2012, 16:14 »
0
Is that 'something positive'? I'd have thought that only an increase in royalty rates could be described as such.
If you were set to lose a level then this is an increase, I certainly wasn't expecting them to do this.

Microbius

« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2012, 16:24 »
+8
Any warm feelings you feel about this are just Stockholm syndrome kicking in. So they've loosened the boot on our necks, or at least not stamped down any harder. They still have the worst rates out there.

« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2012, 16:26 »
+4
It's very good news for those 40%-ers who were going to drop (and I know there were a few). They get a year at their old rate - as I mentioned to one of them, they get a year to plan because if sales don't pick up, they'll be dropping to 35% in January 2014. At worst, this allows them to plan an orderly exit.

I think there's a small number of people for whom this is a very big deal, and I'm very happy for them. No one should be fooled into thinking everything's all better now though.

« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2012, 16:49 »
+1
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=349961&page=1

    If you moved up during 2012 by hitting new levels/targets you will stay at your new rate going into 2013
    If you have not made it back to your 2012 level you will not move down on Jan 1, instead you will stay at your current level/rate going into 2013
    RC counts will still reset as of Jan 1, the 2013 RC targets will remain as they are, and if you reach a new level target during 2013 you will automatically move up


I don't fully understand the part bolded. If you moved up during this year you should stay at your new level anyway for next year, don't you?

Microstock Man

  • microstockman.com

« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2012, 16:53 »
0
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=349961&page=1

    If you moved up during 2012 by hitting new levels/targets you will stay at your new rate going into 2013
    If you have not made it back to your 2012 level you will not move down on Jan 1, instead you will stay at your current level/rate going into 2013
    RC counts will still reset as of Jan 1, the 2013 RC targets will remain as they are, and if you reach a new level target during 2013 you will automatically move up


I don't fully understand the part bolded. If you moved up during this year you should stay at your new level anyway for next year, don't you?


ditto. Isn't that standard anyway?

traveler1116

« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2012, 16:55 »
0
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=349961&page=1

    If you moved up during 2012 by hitting new levels/targets you will stay at your new rate going into 2013
    If you have not made it back to your 2012 level you will not move down on Jan 1, instead you will stay at your current level/rate going into 2013
    RC counts will still reset as of Jan 1, the 2013 RC targets will remain as they are, and if you reach a new level target during 2013 you will automatically move up


I don't fully understand the part bolded. If you moved up during this year you should stay at your new level anyway for next year, don't you?

I think they were just trying to be clear, nothing changes if you moved up a level this year.

« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2012, 17:06 »
-7
Why so negative towards everything? would you have prefered a lower rate? so more silly threads would come about.

« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2012, 17:09 »
0
I was going down to 16% next year and now I'll stay at 17%.  They're only giving back what they were going to take away and I still don't feel a huge motivation to upload new stuff.  It's going to be hard to maintain 17% when so many buyers have gone to Thinkstock.  If they really want to be fair, they need to lower the RC's a lot to reflect that.

ShadySue

« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2012, 17:12 »
+1
"We understand that not everyone benefits from this announcement, but as stated above our analysis showed this to be the most effective way to impact the largest number of contributors quickly and effectively."
Which seems to mean that an awful lot of contributors were headed to drop a step.
That's quite an admission, which took guts for them to broadcast.
Felicitations to those saved for next year at least.

« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2012, 17:13 »
0
They have listened.
We are being listened to.
I like that.

« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2012, 17:18 »
0
I'm at 16% now. I was going to stay at 16% next year. I'm still going to be at 16%. Let the suckage continue.

KB

« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2012, 17:38 »
0
Not positive for me since I'm firmly in the middle of 2 of the big zones, but I'm happy for the few this will be good for.

I'm still upset at having to endure a pay cut last year for half a year or so until I climbed up to the next level. I had missed the cutoff by a stupid 200 RCs.  >:(

« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2012, 18:14 »
+1
It is good for me, because I was about to drop to 30% which would have made me look for the express exit to independence once I got my website done, my files sorted etc...

I will still continue to build my site, but at least I can enjoy Christmas and New Year with family and friends.

My site will anyway drive the traffic to my istock lightboxes for the time being. But from next year on I will actively promote my site to build my brand. I have completly neglected that over the years. But the website can also be used to promote my workshops, or do events at my studio etc...it doesnt all have to be about stock.

And for many of us this means that they are still interested in keeping their exclusives.

At least for now.


ShadySue

« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2012, 18:15 »
+1
Not positive for me since I'm firmly in the middle of 2 of the big zones, but I'm happy for the few this will be good for.

I'm still upset at having to endure a pay cut last year for half a year or so until I climbed up to the next level. I had missed the cutoff by a stupid 200 RCs.  >:(
They should let us carry forward our 'surplus' RCs.

Ed

« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2012, 19:09 »
0
...and inflation increases by a rate of 4%....leaving you with 4% less in the end.

Not sure how that's positive?

« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2012, 19:25 »
+2
Its too little, too late.  Completely meaningless for many of us.

tab62

« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2012, 20:25 »
+2
This kind of news is like telling a Chicago Cubs fan it will not get any worse next year since we already had the worst record in baseball- big deal...

« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2012, 21:34 »
+1
It is good for me, because I was about to drop to 30% which would have made me look for the express exit to independence once I got my website done, my files sorted etc...

I will still continue to build my site, but at least I can enjoy Christmas and New Year with family and friends.

My site will anyway drive the traffic to my istock lightboxes for the time being. But from next year on I will actively promote my site to build my brand. I have completly neglected that over the years. But the website can also be used to promote my workshops, or do events at my studio etc...it doesnt all have to be about stock.

And for many of us this means that they are still interested in keeping their exclusives.

At least for now.

I'm in the same boat as you and doing exactly the same thing... just gives me a bit more breathing space to get all those "ducks" in order

« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2012, 22:02 »
+1
Any warm feelings you feel about this are just Stockholm syndrome kicking in. So they've loosened the boot on our necks, or at least not stamped down any harder. They still have the worst rates out there.

Superbly expressed. I'm still of the opinion that the downward trajectory of sales, as illustrated in Sean's and others' graphs, will continue on the same path. Within a couple of years or so ... Istock could be largely irrelevant. Then they can stick their f*cking 'RC system' where the sun don't shine.  Intersting times ahead!

lisafx

« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2012, 23:21 »
+1
Considering I was going to drop from 19 to 18%, this is some what of a relief.  Not a big improvement, but nice not to drop.  It is definitely an acknowledgment from the folks running things that contributors have been pushed to their limits.  I'm pleased for exclusives who might be favorably affected by this.

Yes, problems continue at Istock, but it is a positive sign that the new Getty owners seem to be expressing some interest in improving things for contributors.  Maybe this will be the beginning of more positive movement there.  I'm not holding my breath, but I am hopeful.

« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2012, 01:05 »
0
its not positive at all... its the smoke and mirrors they are doing to keep exclusives exclusive as long as possible till they squeeze that last drop!

« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2012, 01:22 »
+3
This is not a positive nor a negative thing. It's a NEUTRAL thing.

« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2012, 01:25 »
-1
Considering I was going to drop from 19 to 18%, this is some what of a relief.  Not a big improvement, but nice not to drop.  It is definitely an acknowledgment from the folks running things that contributors have been pushed to their limits.  I'm pleased for exclusives who might be favorably affected by this.

Yes, problems continue at Istock, but it is a positive sign that the new Getty owners seem to be expressing some interest in improving things for contributors.  Maybe this will be the beginning of more positive movement there.  I'm not holding my breath, but I am hopeful.

I am in the same boat as you!  so I am actually well pleased. Besides I can see sales here are increasing quite a bit, might be a before X-mas rush, dont know but its way better then before.

traveler1116

« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2012, 01:30 »
0
Considering I was going to drop from 19 to 18%, this is some what of a relief.  Not a big improvement, but nice not to drop.  It is definitely an acknowledgment from the folks running things that contributors have been pushed to their limits.  I'm pleased for exclusives who might be favorably affected by this.

Yes, problems continue at Istock, but it is a positive sign that the new Getty owners seem to be expressing some interest in improving things for contributors.  Maybe this will be the beginning of more positive movement there.  I'm not holding my breath, but I am hopeful.

I am in the same boat as you!  so I am actually well pleased. Besides I can see sales here are increasing quite a bit, might be a before X-mas rush, dont know but its way better then before.
It doesn't affect me at all but I'm glad you guys will be making a little more next year.

aspp

« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2012, 04:30 »
+3
The over-complicated RC system which was always breaking down has effectively been suspended for the moment. Perhaps they will ditch it completely. For now somebody who made it to or remains at 35% will still earn 35% but someone who would have dropped to 35% will still get 40%. People with equivalent sales will be paid at different rates again. Just like under the canister system.

We can guess that there may have been either a significant group of people, or a group of significant people, who were about to drop by a margin which a slight adjustment would not have accommodated. This likely also demolishes the idea sometimes bullishly and sycophantically trolled out on the IS forum that there is a silent majority of people who are on the rise. This would have been be a slap in their face if they existed.

There is definitely encouraging language in this latest missive from Calgary. A definite business reason is not obvious. Clearly they are not doing this primarily because they want to be our friend. Something about the way they have been doing things has been hurting the business. It seems obvious until you try to pin it down. Rather like the early days of Glasnost and Perestroika, you can't be sure what it means or whether they even know themselves. They need to rebuild sales if they are going to prevent or reverse whatever trend the new approach is aimed at preventing.

« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2012, 05:20 »
0
I'd suspect that the group most affected by this would be the top contributors, who could have been struggling to reach their astronomically high targets and looking at dropping a royalty level (Sean included, by his own admission).

iStock will have seen that and may have been concerned at the prospect of losing some of their major exclusives - this could be seen as a good way to keep them on board, without having to make any major adjustments or concessions across the board at this time.

That said, it is a positive move;  it shows they are aware that there are issues with the RC system that need looking at, and will help to retain the status quo for a while until, hopefully, they can take a look and perhaps consider ways to improve it.

Well, we can only hope.

« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2012, 05:45 »
+1
It is not about you and you and you and me and me.
It is not about keeping a percentage and who kept and who lost it.

It is about that they were scared because of the sound of the peasants sharpening the pitchforks in the yard of the temple.

That is a very important lesson.
Forget you and me and percentages, -and see that we, when we are noisy enough, actually can make a difference.
 

« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2012, 06:01 »
0
Considering I was going to drop from 19 to 18%, this is some what of a relief.  Not a big improvement, but nice not to drop.  It is definitely an acknowledgment from the folks running things that contributors have been pushed to their limits.  I'm pleased for exclusives who might be favorably affected by this.

Yes, problems continue at Istock, but it is a positive sign that the new Getty owners seem to be expressing some interest in improving things for contributors.  Maybe this will be the beginning of more positive movement there.  I'm not holding my breath, but I am hopeful.

I am in the same boat as you!  so I am actually well pleased. Besides I can see sales here are increasing quite a bit, might be a before X-mas rush, dont know but its way better then before.
Reminds me of those Lennon and McCartney lyrics.
"I've got to admit it's getting better,
A little better all the time (can't get no worse)"

I still think having sent lots of their buyers to Thinkstock, they're going to struggle to keep istock going.  It might limp along but the good days seem over.

gillian vann

  • *Gillian*
« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2012, 06:02 »
0
yes, I agree. thought the internet has changed the world it has also give the masses a voice. (ouch, not that I want to ever, ever, been part of the sheeple)

ShadySue

« Reply #31 on: December 20, 2012, 06:13 »
+1
This is not a positive nor a negative thing. It's a NEUTRAL thing.
It's not even neutral for those of us who haven't reached the level we would have expected to reach two years ago before the RC system, and remember that includes a lot of those who did what 'they' wanted and branched into different media.

« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2012, 06:24 »
0
It's  a tiny step in the right direction aimed at stopping top contributors from deleting their ports. I don't think it is anything to get excited about in the long run as if they didn't expect to benefit from it then they wouldn't have done it.

« Reply #33 on: December 20, 2012, 06:40 »
-1
Considering I was going to drop from 19 to 18%, this is some what of a relief.  Not a big improvement, but nice not to drop.  It is definitely an acknowledgment from the folks running things that contributors have been pushed to their limits.  I'm pleased for exclusives who might be favorably affected by this.

Yes, problems continue at Istock, but it is a positive sign that the new Getty owners seem to be expressing some interest in improving things for contributors.  Maybe this will be the beginning of more positive movement there.  I'm not holding my breath, but I am hopeful.

I am in the same boat as you!  so I am actually well pleased. Besides I can see sales here are increasing quite a bit, might be a before X-mas rush, dont know but its way better then before.
Reminds me of those Lennon and McCartney lyrics.
"I've got to admit it's getting better,
A little better all the time (can't get no worse)"

I still think having sent lots of their buyers to Thinkstock, they're going to struggle to keep istock going.  It might limp along but the good days seem over.

yes but its a step in the right direction. As I have always said. I am rather doing business with a Gordon Gecco who can sell then an honest Bible pusher who cant.

« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2012, 08:29 »
0
Sales at iStock have probably been pretty bad this year so RC stays the same. If the sales would have gone up, they would have raised the RC limits to push contributors back. That is of course the whole idea of the RC system.

And obviously they're not expecting any growth next year which means that they can set the levels for next year as well, and make it look like a good thing.

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2012, 09:23 »
0
Reminds me of those Lennon and McCartney lyrics.
"I've got to admit it's getting better,
A little better all the time (can't get no worse)"

No, the official IS song is "Money can't buy me love".

Anyway, I am and will stay at 16% with or without their "bonus". Glad for those who can benefit.

vlad_the_imp

« Reply #36 on: December 20, 2012, 10:15 »
+2
Quote
Normal "good news" from iStock.
First you take something away.
Then you give it back
And everyone thinks iStock is soooo generous.

From IS forum, pretty much sums it up.

Here's another one...
Quote
While I appreciate this move, the situation when people who sold less will get more is hardly fair in any way.
Yep.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 17:41 by vlad_the_imp »

« Reply #37 on: January 01, 2013, 12:31 »
0
Did anyone else see a huge - completely out of line with December sales - jump in their 2012 RC totals?

Mine jumped about 8K since I last looked in early December and I now see they are 298 over the 35K threshold for 18% Don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but unless they were stuck for months and just caught up, I don't see how they can have gone up so much. Especially when Dls in 2012 were lower than in 2011 while the RC total was higher...

Anyone else see higher than expected numbers for 2012 RC totals?

ETA in talking with other contributors, it appears at least one other has seen a boost in RCs, but that was someone affected by the royalty rollover. That leads me to assume that their way of implementing the rollover was to apply some sort of artificial boost to some contributors' RC totals. Somehow I got "caught" in that and got my total boosted too. I wasn't scheduled to drop this year - that happened January 2012.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 12:37 by jsnover »

lisafx

« Reply #38 on: January 01, 2013, 12:52 »
0
Did anyone else see a huge - completely out of line with December sales - jump in their 2012 RC totals?

Mine jumped about 8K since I last looked in early December and I now see they are 298 over the 35K threshold for 18% Don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but unless they were stuck for months and just caught up, I don't see how they can have gone up so much. Especially when Dls in 2012 were lower than in 2011 while the RC total was higher...

Anyone else see higher than expected numbers for 2012 RC totals?

ETA in talking with other contributors, it appears at least one other has seen a boost in RCs, but that was someone affected by the royalty rollover. That leads me to assume that their way of implementing the rollover was to apply some sort of artificial boost to some contributors' RC totals. Somehow I got "caught" in that and got my total boosted too. I wasn't scheduled to drop this year - that happened January 2012.

I'll check and let you know in a half hour or more when the stats page finishes updaing  ::)

Yep, I got a big boost in credits too.  Enough to keep my current royalty rate. This must have been the workaround they devised to keep people from dropping down. 
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 12:55 by lisafx »

« Reply #39 on: January 01, 2013, 13:27 »
0
Did anyone else see a huge - completely out of line with December sales - jump in their 2012 RC totals?

Mine jumped about 8K since I last looked in early December and I now see they are 298 over the 35K threshold for 18% Don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but unless they were stuck for months and just caught up, I don't see how they can have gone up so much. Especially when Dls in 2012 were lower than in 2011 while the RC total was higher...

Anyone else see higher than expected numbers for 2012 RC totals?

ETA in talking with other contributors, it appears at least one other has seen a boost in RCs, but that was someone affected by the royalty rollover. That leads me to assume that their way of implementing the rollover was to apply some sort of artificial boost to some contributors' RC totals. Somehow I got "caught" in that and got my total boosted too. I wasn't scheduled to drop this year - that happened January 2012.

Nope, no boost for me.

Btw, what do you mean "the 35K threshold for 18%"? According to the numbers on my page the 18% mark is at 40K RC's.

« Reply #40 on: January 01, 2013, 13:32 »
0
My RCs went up by about 1000 overnight. And here I was thinking it was real ;)

I only had 350 credits missing anway.

ShadySue

« Reply #41 on: January 01, 2013, 13:44 »
0
No, mine is showing the same number as it was showing on Sunday night, i.e. it hasn't added the 25 from yesterday. Not that it matters, as I can't carry the extras forward or sell them on eBay.  :(

« Reply #42 on: January 01, 2013, 14:38 »
0

Nope, no boost for me.

Btw, what do you mean "the 35K threshold for 18%"? According to the numbers on my page the 18% mark is at 40K RC's.


I see 18% as my rate and this is the page I found that says 35K

I think I got somehow into the group that got a boost - as a diamond? based on closeness to the target? because I'm kind to small animals?

I expect at some point they'll realize it's not right, but I'm going to let them figure that out on their own and take the money back if they can ever figure out how to run a script to do it :)

« Reply #43 on: January 01, 2013, 18:33 »
0
Did anyone else see a huge - completely out of line with December sales - jump in their 2012 RC totals?

Mine jumped about 8K since I last looked in early December and I now see they are 298 over the 35K threshold for 18% Don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but unless they were stuck for months and just caught up, I don't see how they can have gone up so much. Especially when Dls in 2012 were lower than in 2011 while the RC total was higher...

Anyone else see higher than expected numbers for 2012 RC totals?

ETA in talking with other contributors, it appears at least one other has seen a boost in RCs, but that was someone affected by the royalty rollover. That leads me to assume that their way of implementing the rollover was to apply some sort of artificial boost to some contributors' RC totals. Somehow I got "caught" in that and got my total boosted too. I wasn't scheduled to drop this year - that happened January 2012.
I'm seeing exactly the same as you.  My stats have also gone a couple of hundred over the threshold for 18%.  I don't remember the figures last time I looked but it seems to have gone up by 1000s.  If this is correct then I will actually go back up to 18% after going down last year.

« Reply #44 on: January 01, 2013, 18:41 »
0

Nope, no boost for me.

Btw, what do you mean "the 35K threshold for 18%"? According to the numbers on my page the 18% mark is at 40K RC's.


I see 18% as my rate and this is the page I found that says 35K

I think I got somehow into the group that got a boost - as a diamond? based on closeness to the target? because I'm kind to small animals?

I expect at some point they'll realize it's not right, but I'm going to let them figure that out on their own and take the money back if they can ever figure out how to run a script to do it :)


Hmm. I'd like to think that we're all kind to small animals but I doubt that IS has based it's royalty schedule on that.

Here's my "What do RC's mean" page;

http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=1090

« Reply #45 on: January 01, 2013, 19:07 »
0
Did anyone else see a huge - completely out of line with December sales - jump in their 2012 RC totals?

Mine jumped about 8K since I last looked in early December and I now see they are 298 over the 35K threshold for 18% Don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but unless they were stuck for months and just caught up, I don't see how they can have gone up so much. Especially when Dls in 2012 were lower than in 2011 while the RC total was higher...

Anyone else see higher than expected numbers for 2012 RC totals?

ETA in talking with other contributors, it appears at least one other has seen a boost in RCs, but that was someone affected by the royalty rollover. That leads me to assume that their way of implementing the rollover was to apply some sort of artificial boost to some contributors' RC totals. Somehow I got "caught" in that and got my total boosted too. I wasn't scheduled to drop this year - that happened January 2012.

Yup, mine jumped to 1 over the threshold to maintain the level I was at before (and was nowhere near getting). Too bad I can't transfer them to 123RF.

« Reply #46 on: January 01, 2013, 19:12 »
0
My stats don't look like they've changed, still well below the 17% level but they've kept me on 17%.

When I type it, it sinks in how low it is :(

« Reply #47 on: January 01, 2013, 19:40 »
0
Here's my "What do RC's mean" page;

http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=1090


That's a year old - it's the 2011 rates for determining 2012 royalties. They dropped those to 35K at the end of 2011

« Reply #48 on: January 01, 2013, 20:22 »
0
Here's my "What do RC's mean" page;

http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=1090


That's a year old - it's the 2011 rates for determining 2012 royalties. They dropped those to 35K at the end of 2011


Ah, thanks! I didn't realise that was a permanent change? What do you get when you click on your "What are RC's ...?" link at the top of your Stat's page?

« Reply #49 on: January 02, 2013, 01:52 »
+2

Ah, thanks! I didn't realise that was a permanent change? What do you get when you click on your "What are RC's ...?" link at the top of your Stat's page?

That same out of date page you referred to. I'd never even noticed that link before, but am not surprised that it's out of date and thus grossly misleading for anyone who does click on it :) If it weren't for Google search I could never find anything on iStock - they need a site search. For as long as I've been there I can never find the stuff I'm looking for easily...

« Reply #50 on: January 02, 2013, 04:24 »
+6
It's obvious what they've done. They don't want to retrospectively shift the RC level downwards to keep people in their old band because that would result in some people moving up a level, so what they've done is thrown a pile of fake credits at everyone who was dropping a level to bring them above the "target".

Of course, this is grossly unfair to those who sold exactly the same number of files as, for example, jsnover but are now trapped a level below her because their sales have not fallen the way hers have. (Nothing personal intended - but I'm sure an extra 8,000 credits could have shifted a lot of people)

In effect it is an admission of the complete failure of the RC system because it says that if you sold more images in the past than some newbie you get a higher payment rate - even though the newbie may be outselling you today. Which is exactly the "unfairness" the RCs was meant to overcome.

Only this time it is doubly unfair, because the newbie will never be allowed to rise up the levels despite outselling the oldie and the oldie will never be allowed to drop levels despite falling sales. Except, of course, it is telegraphing the fact that the system is on the verge of being abandoned.

My guess is that their main aim is to stem a tide of defections by exclusives and at the same time to try to avoid further bad publicity which the new management seems to understand is damaging the brand.

It is a tacit admission that sales are crumbling and of a problem with RCs that  Gostwyck pointed out well over a year ago: that it would look very bad for iStock if it kept having to cut and cut the RC targets to keep the desired proportion of members in the various different bands.

I presume that they realise that they can't have a supposedly performance=based reward system that disregards performance in order to keep people who are "under-performing" happy. IF they haven't worked that out yet, they soon will.

The challenge now facing them is how to scrap the disfunctional RC system without creating a new wave of outrage from people who find their pay is getting cut. Even going back to the old system would enrage newbie exclusives who are high-performers and find their historic sales do not yet tally enough to put them into the RC band they have achieved. I suppose they could grandfather those, but it would be an expensive move and they wouldn't like that.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 04:43 by BaldricksTrousers »

« Reply #51 on: January 02, 2013, 04:53 »
0
^^^I didn't get any fake credits, I'm still below the 17% level but they've kept my 17%.  So I don't think that explains it.

« Reply #52 on: January 02, 2013, 05:27 »
0
^^^I didn't get any fake credits, I'm still below the 17% level but they've kept my 17%.  So I don't think that explains it.

Well, that's odd, but there doesn't seem to be any other reason that grandfathered people - and only them, apparently - are getting piles of credits. Maybe they haven't updated your stats yet.

Of course, the more interesting bit is why they might be doing it and what the implications are. One of the implications is that the RC levels can be left unrealistically high because people aren't screaming about losing their ranking.

« Reply #53 on: January 02, 2013, 06:42 »
0
^^^I didn't get any fake credits, I'm still below the 17% level but they've kept my 17%.  So I don't think that explains it.

Well, that's odd, but there doesn't seem to be any other reason that grandfathered people - and only them, apparently - are getting piles of credits. Maybe they haven't updated your stats yet.

Of course, the more interesting bit is why they might be doing it and what the implications are. One of the implications is that the RC levels can be left unrealistically high because people aren't screaming about losing their ranking.
Mine have gone up to 18% after going down to 17% last year.

lisafx

« Reply #54 on: January 02, 2013, 10:25 »
0
Very thoughtful and insightful analysis above Baldrick.  I suspect you are absolutely right. 

I agree this move is a tacit acknowledgement by the new management that the RC system is fundamentally flawed. They appear to be a bit more far-thinking than the prior group.  Maybe there will be some incremental improvements in things at Istock this year. 

« Reply #55 on: January 02, 2013, 11:04 »
-1
Its a long time since I have heard anything worse.

so amateur like.
like a nigerian scam

They should be closed down.

« Reply #56 on: January 02, 2013, 11:22 »
+2

...Of course, this is grossly unfair to those who sold exactly the same number of files as, for example, jsnover but are now trapped a level below her because their sales have not fallen the way hers have. (Nothing personal intended - but I'm sure an extra 8,000 credits could have shifted a lot of people)

It may have been 6K not 8K but it was definitely over 5K as I am 99% certain that the last time I looked at that number some time in December it was not over 30K.

I agree that it's unfair, even within a totally misbegotten system, to "help" some people and not others. From what others have said, Getty was aware when they started it that the key was to keep the top contributors happy, regardless of how they scr3wed everyone else.

My only puzzle is why I would have been included in the people to help - they never included me in the inner circle or gave me any sort of indication I mattered to anyone while I was exclusive. Largely the opposite.

First, they said they were going to roll over current rates and mine has gone up one point from what it was in 2012. Second, I'm an independent, and as such am part of the lower than dirt group that supports the higher payments to iStock exclusives by getting less than the Getty target of 20%. Why help me? My work is already everywhere else.

Given how they've mangled the site this past year, it doesn't surprise me that they've effed up implementing this new policy - layering incompetence on an unfair fix to a greedy and miserable RC system (in particular splitting credits by medium, having different levels for different media types).

Just when you think Getty can't get any worse...

« Reply #57 on: January 02, 2013, 11:30 »
0
Isn't this most likely just an IT screw up over the new year holiday that someone will fix when they get back to work?  It wouldn't be a shock for them to mess this up, would it?

ShadySue

« Reply #58 on: January 02, 2013, 11:37 »
0
From MichaelJay:
"Here is my guess based on others reporting similar boosts on Facebook: It probably would have been too complicated/risky to re-program the whole RC system for the royalty rate rollover, so someone came up with a pragmatic solution: Add a bunch of RCs to the table manually, so those people affected are reaching their RC targets."
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=350199&page=1

« Reply #59 on: January 02, 2013, 11:37 »
+2
The house of cards has become precariously fragile. When the players involved stop caring or even worse, start kicking at the base, then it's only a matter of time until the inevitable happens. Starting phony dialogues about what can be done to improve the situation shows a complete disrespect for the players. Telling everyone everything is good because it's not worse, is just as disrespectful. And that's what it all comes down to. Respect. Not giving a simple * about the very people making you insanely rich. It is how revolutions get started, governments topple and greedy companies die.

« Reply #60 on: January 02, 2013, 11:42 »
0
Isn't this most likely just an IT screw up over the new year holiday that someone will fix when they get back to work?  It wouldn't be a shock for them to mess this up, would it?
I would be extremely suprised if I get to keep 18%

« Reply #61 on: January 02, 2013, 12:00 »
0
Im with Zeus.
Its all about respect.

« Reply #62 on: January 02, 2013, 12:22 »
0
From MichaelJay:
"Here is my guess based on others reporting similar boosts on Facebook: It probably would have been too complicated/risky to re-program the whole RC system for the royalty rate rollover, so someone came up with a pragmatic solution: Add a bunch of RCs to the table manually, so those people affected are reaching their RC targets."
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=350199&page=1


he have left iStock exclusivity (for the ones that don't know)

« Reply #63 on: January 02, 2013, 12:37 »
0
Looks like I have had fake credits added now, to get me just over the 17% that I used to make easily.

« Reply #64 on: January 02, 2013, 12:45 »
+1
Isn't this most likely just an IT screw up over the new year holiday that someone will fix when they get back to work?  It wouldn't be a shock for them to mess this up, would it?

It would not be a shock for them to mess this up. And it would not be a shock for them to have not looked forward far enough to see the implications of another screw-up.  But when the screw-up comes, and they have to remove some RC's from accounts, then complaints will come and they will have to 'fess-up to all of the RC shenanigans behind the scenes to squelch the uprising.  It will all come out in the end as to what is going on - especially if they screw-up the first script.

« Reply #65 on: January 02, 2013, 12:46 »
0
From MichaelJay:
"Here is my guess based on others reporting similar boosts on Facebook: It probably would have been too complicated/risky to re-program the whole RC system for the royalty rate rollover, so someone came up with a pragmatic solution: Add a bunch of RCs to the table manually, so those people affected are reaching their RC targets."
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=350199&page=1


Yes, this looks to be right to me.

ShadySue

« Reply #66 on: January 02, 2013, 12:48 »
0
From MichaelJay:
"Here is my guess based on others reporting similar boosts on Facebook: It probably would have been too complicated/risky to re-program the whole RC system for the royalty rate rollover, so someone came up with a pragmatic solution: Add a bunch of RCs to the table manually, so those people affected are reaching their RC targets."
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=350199&page=1


he have left iStock exclusivity (for the ones that don't know)

That's irrelevant to this discussion.

« Reply #67 on: January 02, 2013, 12:51 »
0
From MichaelJay:
"Here is my guess based on others reporting similar boosts on Facebook: It probably would have been too complicated/risky to re-program the whole RC system for the royalty rate rollover, so someone came up with a pragmatic solution: Add a bunch of RCs to the table manually, so those people affected are reaching their RC targets."
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=350199&page=1


he have left iStock exclusivity (for the ones that don't know)

That's irrelevant to this discussion.


sorry, you are right

dbvirago

« Reply #68 on: January 02, 2013, 13:33 »
0
For me, the percentage is irrelevant at the current volume. While all other agencies rebounded in 2012, iStock continues to plummet. A few percentage points one way or another won't make any difference unless the sales increase.

« Reply #69 on: January 02, 2013, 13:58 »
+2
....
In effect it is an admission of the complete failure of the RC system because it says that if you sold more images in the past than some newbie you get a higher payment rate - even though the newbie may be outselling you today. Which is exactly the "unfairness" the RCs was meant to overcome.
....

The RC system was never meant to rectify any unfairness other than the fact that over time IS would have to pay exclusives that sold a lot up to 40%. They might have tried to sell it as being more fair, but really it was just a way to control and limit the % they had to pay to the artists.

The fact that total number of sales at IS has fallen drastically (compared to $ amounts) would have somewhat lowered the rate people climbed up the levels anyway and hurt newbies a lot. Gradually moving sales away from IS to PP and GI also lowers canister growth and RC totals (as well as the %age they have to pay).

Their biggest problem is they either have to hurt their loyal big contributors or they have to admit sales are falling or they have to do weird gyrations and shenanigans like this to keep the levels where they want them. With the RC system someone is going to get hurt. As usual at IS it will be independents as well as with this particular move, newbies.

ShadySue

« Reply #70 on: January 02, 2013, 15:04 »
+1
Don't imagine for a moment that only independents are suffering at iStock. A read across the board shows that many exclusives are suffering, and considering handing in the crown, which insanely is probably what they want, to get that percentage they hand out as low as possible, ignoring the probably-still-quite-valuable USP of exclusive images.

Poncke

« Reply #71 on: January 02, 2013, 16:19 »
0
Don't imagine for a moment that only independents are suffering at iStock. A read across the board shows that many exclusives are suffering, and considering handing in the crown, which insanely is probably what they want, to get that percentage they hand out as low as possible, ignoring the probably-still-quite-valuable USP of exclusive images.
Could an agency be that evil?

ShadySue

« Reply #72 on: January 02, 2013, 17:05 »
0
Don't imagine for a moment that only independents are suffering at iStock. A read across the board shows that many exclusives are suffering, and considering handing in the crown, which insanely is probably what they want, to get that percentage they hand out as low as possible, ignoring the probably-still-quite-valuable USP of exclusive images.
Could an agency be that evil?

It's the old 'evil vs stupid' conundrum.

Someone over on the iS forum questioned whether the iS management is effective.
I wondered if their policies are even sustainable. Doesn't look like it.  >:( :'(

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #73 on: January 02, 2013, 20:35 »
+1
Don't imagine for a moment that only independents are suffering at iStock. A read across the board shows that many exclusives are suffering, and considering handing in the crown, which insanely is probably what they want, to get that percentage they hand out as low as possible, ignoring the probably-still-quite-valuable USP of exclusive images.

I can't see this being their goal unless exclusive content no longer means anything to buyers.

Without exclusive content what's their competitive advantage? Do they have better service than other sites? More files? Better prices? Better search? Probably not.

So without exclusive content they would have most of the same content as other sites with higher prices, a buggy website, and poor customer service. I can't see that working out too well.

ShadySue

« Reply #74 on: January 02, 2013, 20:50 »
0
Don't imagine for a moment that only independents are suffering at iStock. A read across the board shows that many exclusives are suffering, and considering handing in the crown, which insanely is probably what they want, to get that percentage they hand out as low as possible, ignoring the probably-still-quite-valuable USP of exclusive images.

I can't see this being their goal unless exclusive content no longer means anything to buyers.

Without exclusive content what's their competitive advantage? Do they have better service than other sites? More files? Better prices? Better search? Probably not.

So without exclusive content they would have most of the same content as other sites with higher prices, a buggy website, and poor customer service. I can't see that working out too well.

It's not working out too well for anyone most people there at present.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 20:55 by ShadySue »

« Reply #75 on: January 03, 2013, 01:33 »
0

...Of course, this is grossly unfair to those who sold exactly the same number of files as, for example, jsnover but are now trapped a level below her because their sales have not fallen the way hers have. (Nothing personal intended - but I'm sure an extra 8,000 credits could have shifted a lot of people)

It may have been 6K not 8K but it was definitely over 5K as I am 99% certain that the last time I looked at that number some time in December it was not over 30K.

I agree that it's unfair, even within a totally misbegotten system, to "help" some people and not others. From what others have said, Getty was aware when they started it that the key was to keep the top contributors happy, regardless of how they scr3wed everyone else.

My only puzzle is why I would have been included in the people to help - they never included me in the inner circle or gave me any sort of indication I mattered to anyone while I was exclusive. Largely the opposite.

First, they said they were going to roll over current rates and mine has gone up one point from what it was in 2012. Second, I'm an independent, and as such am part of the lower than dirt group that supports the higher payments to iStock exclusives by getting less than the Getty target of 20%. Why help me? My work is already everywhere else.

My guess is that they don't want to be seen as being in thrall to a couple of hundred top exclusives. It might give them too much of a sense of their own importance while infuriating thousands of others (once more).  Imagine the row if word got out the fifty hand-picked exclusives had got grandfathered back into their 2012 pay level because iS was running scared that they would drop their crowns and everyone else was being told to get stuffed. Someone posted on IS what the cash difference was between one level and the next, and it is thousands. It's far better to produce a policy that applies equally to everyone than to argue over a list of people's names as to which one needs special treatment and which one doesn't - and big business policy-makers never like to deal with "special cases", they know it lays them open to a clamour from all those who think they are also special and feel snubbed ... and how can you ever respond to such demands? "Go away, you are of no importance to us"? That sort of message belongs in the pre-Rebecca-communication age.

So I think you are just one of the smaller fish that got caught in the trawl along with the real quarry.

« Reply #76 on: January 03, 2013, 02:12 »
0
....
In effect it is an admission of the complete failure of the RC system because it says that if you sold more images in the past than some newbie you get a higher payment rate - even though the newbie may be outselling you today. Which is exactly the "unfairness" the RCs was meant to overcome.
....

The RC system was never meant to rectify any unfairness other than the fact that over time IS would have to pay exclusives that sold a lot up to 40%. They might have tried to sell it as being more fair, but really it was just a way to control and limit the % they had to pay to the artists.

I've never believed for a minute that the "fairness" argument was anything other than a smokescreen to cover a cash grab - hence my quote marks. But once they admit that fairness has nothing to do with it then there is no longer any acceptable explanation for what they did ("sustainability" also being a transparent lie). The true explanation almost certainly being nothing more than "Getty says supplier commissions must be split 80/20 overall so we're going to cut your pay".  That's why they chucked out a system that rewarded exclusives according to their loyalty, skill, talent and effort - each in due measure - and replaced it with one that allowed their statisticians to manipulate the payout percentage and had no regard for anything other than sales volume.

The old system was stable, successful and sustainable, which it proved over the course of half-a-dozen years before it was needlessly scrapped. The new system was unstable from the very first day (didn't they fiddle at the margins with people who hadn't achieved their levels the moment it was brought in) was obviously broken within a year, when they were unable to set "targets" and then had to change those targets after they had been set (if I remember rightly). Now,  after two years, they have had to throw out the basic principles of the new system largely because they are reaping the consequences arising from the decision to scrap the old one.





 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
11 Replies
4177 Views
Last post August 17, 2011, 20:42
by velocicarpo
2 Replies
2553 Views
Last post August 26, 2012, 14:58
by fritz
9 Replies
2640 Views
Last post April 10, 2013, 15:59
by microstockphoto.co.uk
50 Replies
12361 Views
Last post July 22, 2013, 13:52
by gclk
56 Replies
12752 Views
Last post August 31, 2015, 22:48
by tickstock

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results