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Author Topic: EdStock content dominating Editorial search results  (Read 3827 times)

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« on: January 29, 2012, 09:57 »
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Now that EdStock's fast-growing portfolio has over 120,000 images (far larger than the Vetta and Agency collections combined), I'm starting to wonder if there's any point left in submitting new Editorial work to iStock.

The problem is that no matter the age of EdStock's files, they get sorted by the date they were uploaded to iStock, rather than the date they were taken.  That's unfortunately the exact opposite of what we were told when EdStock was introduced ('On a technical note, we will be dating these files so that our system recognizes their original creation date, and not the date they are uploaded to iStock. This is being done to ensure that these new files do not dominate our Best Match sort en masse.' - www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=330294).  The files may (sometimes) be properly dated with their original creating date, but it doesn't seem to help - that's not what is being recognised by the system, as its very easy to see when sorting results by 'File Age'.

So when a fresh dumping of hundreds or thousands of EdStock files with a certain keyword lands on the iStock collection, the fact that they were taken at different points over the last twelve years or more doesn't matter - they go to the front of the 'File Age' sorting, and at or near the front of the Best Match.  Good luck to people who uploaded images for any partular location/brand/subject before a consignment of EdStock content arrives.

Since August last year I've been doing my best to bring this to the attention of the fine people at iStock, but so far there seems to be absolutely zero interest.  No response to the sitemails, emails, support tickets or complaints raised on the subject, except to say that I should not mention it in iStock forum.  My guess is that if they do one day communicate about it, it'll be to say something along the lines of 'yeah well, best match will sort it out over time'.

But check out an editorial-only search for 'Volkswagen' which received an EdStock dumping last autumn.  Still there on the first page of results is a portrait of Bernd Pischetsrieder taken almost eleven years ago.  The photo was taken in 2001 when Mr Pischetsrieder was about to take over as chairman of VW.  He then left VW in 2006.  No problem with the image being among EdStock's portfolio, it's just a good example of a very old EdStock file, which is placed far above editorial images from other contributors, taken ten years later, in October 2011.

As new (well, mostly old) EdStock content arrives, all the recently arrived editorial content from everybody else gets pushed pages and pages back.  Sometimes if a file managed to sell well before the EdStock onslaught, best match might put it ahead of a new block of EdStock content, but the vast majority of files just get buried.

Try an Editorial-only search for any of these to see examples where everybody else's work gets displaced by slabs of EdStock content:
Los Angeles | Berlin | Volkswagen | Edinburgh | Rome | Government | France

Seems that if you do have Editorial content on iStock, you just have to keep your fingers crossed until the day when a huge batch of EdStock files will come along and take their place in front of yours.

/long-winded-rant :)


« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2012, 10:49 »
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Editorial is dead for contributors at IS. They will allow us to sell editorial photos only as long as they haven't covered that subject with their content.  Then they push us to the back, especially non-exclusives.
Move on, forget about IS editorial, it just doesn't make any sense, it is unsustainable :P
I have just a few editorial pics on IS, now I send everything to RM agencies.

« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2012, 10:53 »
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It's nothing I'd waste any more time shooting and submitting.

KB

« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2012, 11:02 »
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I think it's pretty clear now that the whole idea of allowing editorial images on iStock was to enable UL'ing of EdStock content. It would have been impossible to say, no, you can't UL editorial, but EdStock can. Instead, they create editorial lite, and allow some contributions from regular folk (but even then, they make so many odd, convoluted restrictions that not even the inspectors can keep them all straight).

And then they make the effort of regular contributors worthless by dumping 1/8 million (and counting) EdStock files, dominating the best match exactly as they promised (ha!) would not happen.

ShadySue

« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2012, 11:17 »
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Certainly seems that it's all going one way.
We're not allowed to submit sports shots or celebrities even taken from public places (in the UK, that's fine).
When I asked, I was told I "didn't have the right permissions". When I could get permission for one particular event (even though the organiser agreed that no permissions were actually necessary), I asked what format the permission should be in, they said it would not be acceptable anyway. (So why couldn't they just have said that in the first place?)
We were told that EdStock would only be celebrities and iconic place the rest of us wouldn't get access to.
EchoDelta's original post:
On June 9th we are planning to add a collection of news, location and entertainment images from Getty Images photographers. You're going to see unreleased images of famous people and iconic locations on iStock for the first time ever. By adding this content we hope to draw more attention from traditional consumers of editorial imagery.
[paragraph about applying to Getty for acceptance of celeb photos.]
There is still no plan to get into current, timely news none of the new content we are adding will be more recent than 180 days.
These new editorial files will all be in a single contributor portfolio called EdStock. On a technical note, we will be dating these files so that our system recognizes their original creation date, and not the date they are uploaded to iStock. This is being done to ensure that these new files do not dominate our Best Match sort en masse.

Well, to be fair, the word 'only' wasn't actually used, it was implied to those with inference-mindblock.

Yup, looks like all they have done is drag down Editorial prices across the board. There are many complaints on the Alamy forum about the constant lowering of prices.

There also seems to be no rush to correct keywords and captions - even some of the earliest are a nightmare.
Not to mention the appalling quality of many of them: astonishing they'd be accepted to Getty when they'd never get into iStock.  I don't mean celebs, I mean Ed's general editorial stock (some of which doesn't even need to be editorial.  Hmmm, I was going to show some examples, but the 'no people' filter doesn't seem to work on Ed's files.

Just the usual iStock lies.  ::)  >:(

« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2012, 11:19 »
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The other thing that really bothers me is the double standards that IS gives to the EdStock collections.
Such as the Format of the caption and date, similars and other technical issues. If an IS contributor would submit with these errors they would be rejected.

If they want the collections to draw more buyers that's fine, but they need to also put the celebrities name in the keywords as both first and last name, along with last and first name. Because right now if you search by last name nothing comes up.

  

ShadySue

« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2012, 11:21 »
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And then they make the effort of regular contributors worthless by dumping 1/8 million (and counting) EdStock files, dominating the best match exactly as they promised (ha!) would not happen.

Though other ingested collections also dominate the Best Match, e.g. my previously-cited CSA_Images who dominate several categories of photo searches with their badly-keyworded sketches and illos, some of which are good.

« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2012, 12:31 »
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Yup, looks like all they have done is drag down Editorial prices across the board. There are many complaints on the Alamy forum about the constant lowering of prices.

And despite the lowering of prices, one meager editorial sale at Alamy still earns more than all the sales of all my micro editorial shots combined.  Contributing editorial to the micros is a waste.

grp_photo

« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2012, 12:46 »
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  Contributing editorial to the micros is a waste.
You're right but some people will never learn.

ShadySue

« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2012, 12:54 »
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Yup, looks like all they have done is drag down Editorial prices across the board. There are many complaints on the Alamy forum about the constant lowering of prices.
And despite the lowering of prices, one meager editorial sale at Alamy still earns more than all the sales of all my micro editorial shots combined. 
That's not my experience this month! (0 on Alamy).

« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2012, 13:01 »
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Yup, looks like all they have done is drag down Editorial prices across the board. There are many complaints on the Alamy forum about the constant lowering of prices.
And despite the lowering of prices, one meager editorial sale at Alamy still earns more than all the sales of all my micro editorial shots combined. 
That's not my experience this month! (0 on Alamy).

Wait until next month.   ;)  Must be slow this month at Alamy, because I just got my first sale on Friday.  Normally I'd have 4 or 5 by now.

« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2012, 17:43 »
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Its not like this "edstock" collection is stealing any downloads from anyone.
Over 120K files and less then 5K sales.

« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2012, 17:52 »
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Its not like this "edstock" collection is stealing any downloads from anyone.
Over 120K files and less then 5K sales.
In a way it is because an IS contributor CANNOT upload the same type of images. Even if the IS contributor is credentialed for let say a celebrity event, like I have been, they cannot submit those images. Like I said before part of the double standard.

ShadySue

« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2012, 18:08 »
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Its not like this "edstock" collection is stealing any downloads from anyone.
Over 120K files and less then 5K sales.
In a way it is because an IS contributor CANNOT upload the same type of images. Even if the IS contributor is credentialed for let say a celebrity event, like I have been, they cannot submit those images. Like I said before part of the double standard.

Oh yes, and Ed photos are accepted where they are not the sort of photo that needs credentials, but which would not be accepted by us mere mortals (e.g. for lighting), or are in the editorial collection when they should not be, when it was clearly said that we could not choose to put certain photos into editorial, and I've had some weird editorial rejections 'send to main collection', even for a handmade, signed item.

« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2012, 18:17 »
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Its not like this "edstock" collection is stealing any downloads from anyone.
Over 120K files and less then 5K sales.

Maybe true - in a lot of cases, EdStock's huge blocks of content might not be stealing downloads from other contributors, but just making buyers abandon any hope that iStock might have what they want.

A buyer looking for editorial files of the city of Berlin might just never find all the gems from normal contributors that are hidden away on pages 23 to 25 (of 25).

Having said that, if they're searching for 'Berlin' but what they wanted was 18 pages of celebrity poses, then they've struck lucky! :)


 

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