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Author Topic: Statistics shows IS is falling  (Read 17791 times)

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« on: October 01, 2010, 16:35 »
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Every months in a year is different so it is pretty difficult to compare them to each other and make a judgement of how your things are progressing. But I like to compare the same month of consecutive years - from this you can see how your microstock business goes. There is a trend I realized about a year ago: IS is falling... well... other agencies are growing while IS doesn't or slightly even decreasing. There is the graph that tells you everything.



I am steadily uploading to each of these sites and my portfolio is growing and growing. SS and FTL is clearly rewarding it, but on IS I am having less downloads then two years ago even if I doubled or quadrupled my portfolio. This is interesting... worrying... well, I know IS doesn't care. What is bad. I liked them.


« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2010, 16:50 »
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Don't mix up wishfull thinking with statistcs. you are a single case from over 35K contributors.
And don't forget that for exclusives the picture might be completly different.

jen

« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2010, 17:01 »
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Maybe the types of images you sell aren't the types of images buyers search for at iStock? There could be a number of reasons for this but I don't think it's proof that iStock is failing.

« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2010, 17:04 »
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Yeah, I can't say that is true for me. My numbers were better at IS this year. My numbers at SS, were about the same as last year (not really any growth despite uploading a lot). DT was kind of a wash. I took a big hit from the royalty reduction last year, but gained most of it back. FT grew from last year, but kind of peaked this year. Overall, my numbers were kind of stagnant this year. The smaller agencies grew, but the bigger ones didn't do much. I may have hit that wall everyone is talking about though. I guess I'll need to reach back into my bag of tricks to improve my numbers.

« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2010, 17:33 »
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Don't mix up wishfull thinking with statistcs. you are a single case from over 35K contributors.
And don't forget that for exclusives the picture might be completly different.

Maybe you are right. But I am around the 80th position in all time total downloads according to istockcharts and I am still climbing in positions. Not too many independents are listed before me. So I do not have a reason to think my files are not suitable for istock.

« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2010, 17:55 »
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Id be laughing all the way to the bank with that many flames in my port.  Youve reached a temporary plateu maybe, thats all, I think.

« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2010, 18:05 »
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Don't mix up wishfull thinking with statistcs. you are a single case from over 35K contributors.
And don't forget that for exclusives the picture might be completly different.

Maybe you are right. But I am around the 80th position in all time total downloads according to istockcharts and I am still climbing in positions. Not too many independents are listed before me. So I do not have a reason to think my files are not suitable for istock.

78 to be exact :)
This does change the picture a bit but here are 2 other explenations:
1. Giving exclusives a higher best match boost then before.
2. You upload much more images to other sites then IS.


I can tell you I took a peak at someones port (diamond exclusive) and he DIDNT add any photos for over a year and he sees a growth from year to year.
again, you are only an individual case and you can not deduct from this a thing.

Very impressive port and d/ls BTW.

« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2010, 18:25 »
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I can tell you I took a peak at someones port (diamond exclusive) and he DIDNT add any photos for over a year and he sees a growth from year to year.

Yes, IS is pretty good in staying on the level without new uploads. This is their strongest side. But also this is where my problem lies. Only old files are selling. My port is nearly unsensible for new uploads. Only my old images are selling, this is why my downloads are not increasing or slightly decreasing even if I add a lot of new/better files. That might be different for exclusives... but I talked to same and took a look at some ports... fery few uploads on the recent pages. This is where the other two agencies are different. While they are still selling the old bestsellers they are also selling the better and updated new uploads as well. Please take a look at the graph I attached. Something happened around the end of 2009: the IS curves started to go down while the others are extremly turning upwards. 
Do not misunderstand me, I am not here to blame IS but to understand and hear opposing voices. I am losing my faith in IS but I want it back :)

« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2010, 03:06 »
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I have lost my faith in istock.  My sales have a similar pattern, new images haven't sold much for a long time now.  Exclusives have been given more advantages with better image placement and all the collections but we are all going to get a commission cut and I can't tolerate that.  Thinkstock has probably damaged istock sales and I don't want to have anything to do with that either, I would much prefer subs buyers went to Shutterstock who pay me much more and have my much bigger portfolio.

I have stopped uploading to istock but that's not going to make much difference, with new images not selling much.  Contributors have shown in the past that they will put up with almost anything the sites do.  A few take some action but it isn't enough.  I think the only hope now is for buyers to be put off by the higher prices and go to the other sites.  I am spending more time now building up my footage portfolio on Pond5 and my alamy RM portfolio, to move away from the greedy microstock sites.

« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2010, 04:21 »
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Makes me wonder if any of the other exclusivity programs make sense.
Why don't SS have exclusivity ?? they can easly hurt many competing MS sites like this.

« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2010, 04:22 »
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Id be laughing all the way to the bank with that many flames in my port.  Youve reached a temporary plateu maybe, thats all, I think.

Plateu? Look at SS and FT on the same graph. They do not look very flat to me.

« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2010, 04:30 »
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Id be laughing all the way to the bank with that many flames in my port.  Youve reached a temporary plateu maybe, thats all, I think.

Plateu? Look at SS and FT on the same graph. They do not look very flat to me.

No they dont, but I was talking about Istock. 

« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2010, 05:54 »
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Quote
I have lost my faith in istock.  My sales have a similar pattern, new images haven't sold much for a long time now. 
Yes, you're right Sharpshot, I see also that my last upload till august  aren't downloaded or very few, that's different than other years, I'm stopping uploading also...and wait...wait...

« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2010, 06:08 »
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Quote
I have lost my faith in istock.  My sales have a similar pattern, new images haven't sold much for a long time now. 
Yes, you're right Sharpshot, I see also that my last upload till august  aren't downloaded or very few, that's different than other years, I'm stopping uploading also...and wait...wait...

Our personal stats: out of the 260 photos we uploaded in the last 60 days only 34 where downloaded. very frustrating!

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2010, 15:46 »
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Why don't SS have exclusivity ?? they can easly hurt many competing MS sites like this.

Please don't! At SS, where're all equal. No favoritism in the search results. No different price points. And it's the best earning site for many.
It ain't broke, don't fix it if.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2010, 15:48 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2010, 16:31 »
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Why don't SS have exclusivity ?? they can easly hurt many competing MS sites like this.

Please don't! At SS, where're all equal. No favoritism in the search results. No different price points. And it's the best earning site for many.
It ain't broke, don't fix it if.
They don't have to do it the same way istock have.  I think image exclusivity is a good option, contributor exclusivity only is the problem with istock.  Some of the other sites already offer image exclusivity to all of us, that's fair and I think SS should try it.

RacePhoto

« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2010, 21:22 »
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Why don't SS have exclusivity ?? they can easly hurt many competing MS sites like this.

Please don't! At SS, where're all equal. No favoritism in the search results. No different price points. And it's the best earning site for many.
It ain't broke, don't fix it if.
They don't have to do it the same way istock have.  I think image exclusivity is a good option, contributor exclusivity only is the problem with istock.  Some of the other sites already offer image exclusivity to all of us, that's fair and I think SS should try it.

I would drop the others so fast it would make people dizzy. All my RF on SS would be perfect.

« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2010, 23:45 »
0
Every months in a year is different so it is pretty difficult to compare them to each other and make a judgement of how your things are progressing. But I like to compare the same month of consecutive years - from this you can see how your microstock business goes. There is a trend I realized about a year ago: IS is falling... well... other agencies are growing while IS doesn't or slightly even decreasing. There is the graph that tells you everything.



I am steadily uploading to each of these sites and my portfolio is growing and growing. SS and FTL is clearly rewarding it, but on IS I am having less downloads then two years ago even if I doubled or quadrupled my portfolio. This is interesting... worrying... well, I know IS doesn't care. What is bad. I liked them.


You know what, with my port you have to switch IS graphs with SS ones... I am still seeing lots of growth on IS, but my SS sales leveled off 2 years ago - they are not falling but not raising at all, in spite of lots of new images. Go figure! I gave up trying to figure out what's going on. Maybe the reason is that agencies advertise to different markets - on some you sell well, on others not that much...? or maybe there is some mysterious database effect, like a black hole - once you fall into one, there is no coming back.... Or maybe I pissed off someone on SS and they started to push down my images in search results and you pissed off someone on IS?   :-) Anyhow, I can not find any rational explanation:)

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2010, 02:13 »
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Why don't SS have exclusivity ?? they can easly hurt many competing MS sites like this.

Please don't! At SS, where're all equal. No favoritism in the search results. No different price points. And it's the best earning site for many.
It ain't broke, don't fix it if.
They don't have to do it the same way istock have.  I think image exclusivity is a good option, contributor exclusivity only is the problem with istock.  Some of the other sites already offer image exclusivity to all of us, that's fair and I think SS should try it.

SS is already paying one of the highest subscription commissions in industry. Could they really pay us more for exclusivity? Or would they have - in the long run - to lower commissions for non-exclusive images (which wouldn't be fair)? I am afraid the total payout for an agency must stay the same more or less, that's why I don't want exclusivity at SS.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2010, 02:27 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2010, 02:30 »
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Or maybe I pissed off someone on SS and they started to push down my images in search results and you pissed off someone on IS?   :-) Anyhow, I can not find any rational explanation:)

Yes Elena, this something what comes into my mind many times. Search engine placement, that can be the most probable reason for such discrepancies.
Anyway, thanks for sharing your stats, I need every incentives for not to stop new uploads to IS.

« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2010, 02:53 »
0
Why don't SS have exclusivity ?? they can easly hurt many competing MS sites like this.

Please don't! At SS, where're all equal. No favoritism in the search results. No different price points. And it's the best earning site for many.
It ain't broke, don't fix it if.
They don't have to do it the same way istock have.  I think image exclusivity is a good option, contributor exclusivity only is the problem with istock.  Some of the other sites already offer image exclusivity to all of us, that's fair and I think SS should try it.

SS is already paying one of the highest subscription commissions in industry. Could they really pay us more for exclusivity? Or would they have - in the long run - to lower commissions for non-exclusive images (which wouldn't be fair)? I am afraid the total payout for an agency must stay the same more or less, that's why I don't want exclusivity at SS.
I think they could easily double the price for exclusive subs and pay us double the commission or do what DT are already doing and increase subs prices of the more popular images.  There's a huge gap between subs and pay per download prices, buyers have shown they don't mind paying more for exclusive content and it gives sites something the others don't have.

Think how quickly SS could have 1 million exclusive images, especially with exclusives leaving istock and not liking the thought of uploading to multiple sites.

And SS are now my 5th placed pay per download site, with fast growth.  They could get in to the top 4 just for PPD.  So they aren't just a subs site anymore and all their rivals have exclusive images.  And they own BigStock that badly needs some help and they could share an exclusive collection.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2010, 02:59 by sharpshot »

« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2010, 04:31 »
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I'm a little up at the moment, but then I've been through so many best match changes that I dont bother with stats for IS, what I got this month is what I got, 20th of next month best match may change and my sales may double or they may half, who knows?

« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2010, 04:40 »
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I think they could easily double the price for exclusive subs and pay us double the commission or do what DT are already doing and increase subs prices of the more popular images.  There's a huge gap between subs and pay per download prices, buyers have shown they don't mind paying more for exclusive content and it gives sites something the others don't have.

Think how quickly SS could have 1 million exclusive images, especially with exclusives leaving istock and not liking the thought of uploading to multiple sites.

And SS are now my 5th placed pay per download site, with fast growth.  They could get in to the top 4 just for PPD.  So they aren't just a subs site anymore and all their rivals have exclusive images.  And they own BigStock that badly needs some help and they could share an exclusive collection.

No they couldn't. SS really don't need to take any lessons from DT. SS works because it is such a simple formula. SS customers don't value exclusivity of images so would not be prepared to pay more for them.

Did you ever read Cuppacoffee's excellent description of how her company operate their SS subscription and their attitude to our 'art'? Here it is;

"Buyers are not as educated as we contributors give them credit for. They may know that subscription prices at both places are the same but they assume that both sites are providing "different" images. They may not even know about the subscription prices as the business manager purchases the subscription and someone in that position is even more clueless as to how buying stock imagery works. The business manager assumes that since both sites are "cheap", they can give the designers a subscription to both sites and thus access to many more images. They do not know that there are duplicates, or even know, or care, how the images got to the sites in the first place. They do not know if they were submitted by "professionals," or hobbyists.

Designers in this type of business do not know about the inner workings of microstock in general. They read no forums, no sites about how or what microstock is, no industry reports, no photography sites in general. They don't care to know. They just want cheap images fast. They don't care about a site's design, they mainly care if the Search function is easy to use and gives them the results they want. Prices may be the same at both sites but designers don't know that contributors can submit to more than one place. They think in broad terms. They may even buy the same image twice because their immediate need is to find an image fast and use it at that moment. Since it is inexpensive to do that they search the site before searching their previous downloads. One designer may buy the same image as their counterpart on the other side of the building because it is "find it, use it, store it," and the image probably sits in limbo after it's use.

We think that each image we submit is a work of art, we get mad when it sells for a few pennies and we want to track how each image is used. The buyers in my industry think of each image as a commodity. A commodity that has a price that is determined as a function of its marketability. They need throwaway images so why shouldn't they be cheap? To answer your original question (I tend to go on and on) the buyers in my industry think they have access to many images because they have subscriptions at multiple sites, they have no clue about duplicates. If they run across the same image at both places it is of no consequence and they don't take the time to think about why."

« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2010, 05:06 »
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I think they could easily double the price for exclusive subs and pay us double the commission or do what DT are already doing and increase subs prices of the more popular images.  There's a huge gap between subs and pay per download prices, buyers have shown they don't mind paying more for exclusive content and it gives sites something the others don't have.

Think how quickly SS could have 1 million exclusive images, especially with exclusives leaving istock and not liking the thought of uploading to multiple sites.

And SS are now my 5th placed pay per download site, with fast growth.  They could get in to the top 4 just for PPD.  So they aren't just a subs site anymore and all their rivals have exclusive images.  And they own BigStock that badly needs some help and they could share an exclusive collection.

No they couldn't. SS really don't need to take any lessons from DT. SS works because it is such a simple formula. SS customers don't value exclusivity of images so would not be prepared to pay more for them.

Did you ever read Cuppacoffee's excellent description of how her company operate their SS subscription and their attitude to our 'art'? Here it is;

"Buyers are not as educated as we contributors give them credit for. They may know that subscription prices at both places are the same but they assume that both sites are providing "different" images. They may not even know about the subscription prices as the business manager purchases the subscription and someone in that position is even more clueless as to how buying stock imagery works. The business manager assumes that since both sites are "cheap", they can give the designers a subscription to both sites and thus access to many more images. They do not know that there are duplicates, or even know, or care, how the images got to the sites in the first place. They do not know if they were submitted by "professionals," or hobbyists.

Designers in this type of business do not know about the inner workings of microstock in general. They read no forums, no sites about how or what microstock is, no industry reports, no photography sites in general. They don't care to know. They just want cheap images fast. They don't care about a site's design, they mainly care if the Search function is easy to use and gives them the results they want. Prices may be the same at both sites but designers don't know that contributors can submit to more than one place. They think in broad terms. They may even buy the same image twice because their immediate need is to find an image fast and use it at that moment. Since it is inexpensive to do that they search the site before searching their previous downloads. One designer may buy the same image as their counterpart on the other side of the building because it is "find it, use it, store it," and the image probably sits in limbo after it's use.

We think that each image we submit is a work of art, we get mad when it sells for a few pennies and we want to track how each image is used. The buyers in my industry think of each image as a commodity. A commodity that has a price that is determined as a function of its marketability. They need throwaway images so why shouldn't they be cheap? To answer your original question (I tend to go on and on) the buyers in my industry think they have access to many images because they have subscriptions at multiple sites, they have no clue about duplicates. If they run across the same image at both places it is of no consequence and they don't take the time to think about why."


Not enterly true.  as my most recent GF was an art director for one of the biggest local advertising agency, she explained to me they had used at least 3 different MS sites and first of all had a table of legal issues with each site, since the RF license in each site isnt exactly the same and they each allow a different legal use of the image. in addition many times she would search for something very specific which could be found on one site but not the other.  they used to download hundreds of images a month.  another thing they didnt care about is the image price, nobody cared if the image would cost 5$ or 10$ for a 300K budget.

« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2010, 05:31 »
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...SS customers don't value exclusivity of images so would not be prepared to pay more for them...
So they should ignore the fact that the biggest site that does have lots of exclusive contributors and buyers that do value exclusive images is in trouble and just cater for their current customers? 

I like that they have kept it simple and I don't want to see them follow the way DT or any other site do it but I really think there is an opportunity now and I wish they would try higher priced exclusive images.  They have made one big change with pay per download and that has worked well, why limit themselves to the cheap end of the market?


 

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