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Author Topic: Termination of an exclusive contract with Istockphoto  (Read 4717 times)

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« on: October 24, 2012, 12:28 »
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Due to problems with Istockphoto site update and poor relations of their management towards contributors, I'm thinking more and more often to terminate an exclusive contract with them.
Whether here in the forum is someone who recently broke exclusive contract with Istockphoto, and what is his experience in relation to earnings now and before?


aspp

« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2012, 12:43 »
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Not answering your question here but I think they do not want exclusives any more. Or at best are completely indifferent to the concept. That seems to be what they are signalling.

I bet that sooner or later they will close exclusivity to new entrants. Probably in the classic IS manner by breaking that part of the website and then leaving it broken. But the bit that lets people drop exclusivity will still work.

« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2012, 13:04 »
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What you experience will depend on many things, including what you're currently earning at iStock. If you are a bronze exclusive, it should be trivial to match or exceed your iStock income by going independent. If you're a diamond or above, the situation is trickier.

It also matters whether or not you have accounts at other sites already - in my case, I kept my old Shutterstock account so I now make 38 cents per subscription versus starting out at 25 cents again.

You'll need to provide a bit more information about your situation to get any sort of answer - and even then, there's a lot of "it depends" :)

« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2012, 13:17 »
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What you experience will depend on many things, including what you're currently earning at iStock. If you are a bronze exclusive, it should be trivial to match or exceed your iStock income by going independent. If you're a diamond or above, the situation is trickier.

It also matters whether or not you have accounts at other sites already - in my case, I kept my old Shutterstock account so I now make 38 cents per subscription versus starting out at 25 cents again.

You'll need to provide a bit more information about your situation to get any sort of answer - and even then, there's a lot of "it depends" :)



I'm gold exclusive and I kept my Shutterstock account.
Problem with Shutterstock are very large taxes for non-US citizens (30%).

I saw your Istockphoto portfolio. You have a very nice collection.
 Have you long been independent?
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 13:20 by vuk8691 »

lisafx

« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 13:20 »
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Is it necessary to have two identical threads for this? 

« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2012, 13:29 »
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Is it necessary to have two identical threads for this?

I can only see one thread now. Looks like the first was opened in the 'General' forum before being put in the 'Istock' forum.

« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2012, 13:42 »
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I'm gold exclusive and I kept my Shutterstock account.
Problem with Shutterstock are very large taxes for non-US citizens (30%).

It's going to be painful financially and for a long time to come. Your RPD on iStock will probably be more like $1.70 per sale as an independent (that's what mine is this month anyway). You will lose out in the best match sort-order position and therefore will sell fewer images at iStock too. I know someone who gave up exclusivity a few months ago and their downloads now are about one third of what they were 18 months ago as an exclusive.

However if you are in this game for the long-term, say 5 years+, then becoming independent is almost certainly the way to go. I see nothing at IS that tells me they have a rosy future.

IMHO the sooner you take the nasty medicine, the sooner you will get better.

« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2012, 13:46 »
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Thank you. This time, I've been independent for just over a year (since June 2011); I was exclusive for three years - 2008 - 11, and before that independent from late 2004.

Another issue for a departing exclusive is how dependent they are on Vetta/Agency/exclusive + & Getty Images sales - the larger portion of your income comes from those collections, the harder it will be to match as an independent. I pulled out of Vetta when they put the prices up and never actually submitted anything to Getty, so it was relatively straightforward for me. I also never did E+ - although I now have almost my full quota of Photos+, which works very well for independents, IMO. The big win for us is that the higher prices are still the same or lower than the regular exclusive collection, so there's not much price resistance if anyone's still willing to pay iStock prices.

Given the blood bath that is the stats thread each month for (most) higher level exclusives, I think I'm doing better now than I would have if I'd stayed exclusive, but of course you can't know about the road not travelled :)

« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2012, 13:59 »
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Thank you for your advice. This will be a difficult decision.

« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2012, 16:00 »
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Problem with Shutterstock are very large taxes for non-US citizens (30%).


That actually depends on which country you are from.  I am non-US and pay 0% taxes - but it sounds like you may already know if your own country has a tax treaty or not. 

mlwinphoto

« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2012, 17:45 »
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I am considering doing the same thing although I've only been exclusive for 3 months.  August and September were quite good considering the small portfolio I have.  However as I continue to move images in to iStock from other agencies I was dealing with I find that sales are getting worse, not better.  Obviously I won't be basing my decision to terminate exclusivity on one month's performance at iStock (Oct) but what concerns me the most is the apparent lack of respect and consideration for contributors from HQ.  So many valid questions being raised in the forums with no response. Without any clear direction as to the future there I am beginning to think that the "all eggs in one basket" approach with exclusivity at iStock is not the place I want to be.

« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2012, 18:48 »
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I am considering doing the same thing although I've only been exclusive for 3 months.  August and September were quite good considering the small portfolio I have.  However as I continue to move images in to iStock from other agencies I was dealing with I find that sales are getting worse, not better.  Obviously I won't be basing my decision to terminate exclusivity on one month's performance at iStock (Oct) but what concerns me the most is the apparent lack of respect and consideration for contributors from HQ.  So many valid questions being raised in the forums with no response. Without any clear direction as to the future there I am beginning to think that the "all eggs in one basket" approach with exclusivity at iStock is not the place I want to be.

In your circumstances you want to get rid of the crown as soon as you can. It's a no-brainer. What on earth persuaded you to go exclusive 3 months ago, or any time in the last couple of years come to think of it? Get your stuff back on SS pronto-pronto. That's where the money is today and, judging by the trends, where it it is likely to be for the foreseeable future. It's certainly not going to be iStock __ they're in a tail-spin and apparently without a qualified pilot at the controls.

mlwinphoto

« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2012, 19:22 »
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..... What on earth persuaded you to go exclusive 3 months ago, or any time in the last couple of years come to think of it?.....

It was a moment of weakness, or perhaps the whiskey.... ;)

Fortunately I did leave some of my port on SS and deactivated my account there rather than closing it.  So, it wouldn't be too hard to get up and running again.

We'll see.  I am still holding out hope that iStock with get their act together although that hope is rapidly fading.... :'(

« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2012, 21:22 »
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I was considering doing the same, but I live in Brazil.....so I would have to pay 30% tax.
Think it is not a good idea..

Reef

  • astonmars.com
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2012, 21:28 »
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It's certainly not going to be iStock __ they're in a tail-spin and apparently without a qualified pilot at the controls.

It's a kamikaze mission. Death and Glory.


 

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