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Author Topic: The Fall Of An Empire  (Read 31139 times)

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mattdixon

« Reply #150 on: December 13, 2012, 11:19 »
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What happens when Shutter Stock stop growing?


« Reply #151 on: December 13, 2012, 11:37 »
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What happens when Shutter Stock stop growing?


Same as what happens when you stop growing. Nothing goes up forever however your best chance of maintaining growth is the adherence of good and fair business practices. No point in committing 'business suicide' is there?

Ever heard of the John Lewis Partnership in the UK? For a high-street retailer they're doing amazingly well despite the recession and Johnny Internet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lewis_Partnership

« Reply #152 on: December 13, 2012, 12:12 »
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What happens when Shutter Stock stop growing?

I'm assuming that the natural rise and fall of things will mean that SS will not always be at the top of the earnings heap. I do think that the ability to supply whoever appears to be doing the best at the moment is the key to survival. I had really hoped in 2008 that in spite of Getty, iStock could be a solid, powerful agent to represent my work. Obviously I no longer believe that given my return to independence last year.

I'm really sorry to hear about your partner's week - I made more than that on Monday with my paltry 17% royalties and indie prices. Not saying that to gloat, but just to point out that in spite of the scary thought of dropping to a low royalty rate, there are options.

« Reply #153 on: December 13, 2012, 12:19 »
+3
What happens when Shutter Stock stop growing?

Are you trying to insinuate that things change and we should plan ahead?

That's crazy talk.  ;D

« Reply #154 on: December 13, 2012, 12:30 »
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What happens when Shutter Stock stop growing?

Oh Matt dont worry according to some here it will just grow and grow they will buy Getty, Apple and microsoft and become the worlds most successful company, they will make Mr Buffett and the Queen of England look like piss poor idiots and just guess who wioll be the CEO of it all?

The rest of us will join the dole que and live under the bridges at Waterloo station or the Brixton card board city. WOOYAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! ;D

mattdixon

« Reply #155 on: December 13, 2012, 12:32 »
+1
What happens when Shutter Stock stop growing?


Same as what happens when you stop growing. Nothing goes up forever however your best chance of maintaining growth is the adherence of good and fair business practices. No point in committing 'business suicide' is there?

Ever heard of the John Lewis Partnership in the UK? For a high-street retailer they're doing amazingly well despite the recession and Johnny Internet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lewis_Partnership


The shareholders will still want growth in profits and returns on their investment wether SS grow market share or not which will leave only a couple of options. It may be rosy there now but they will experience the same problems as iStock at some point in the future.

The John Lewis Partnership is owned by the employees, completely different to Shutter Stock which is owned by the share holders. Your not an employee of Shutter Stock or a part owner, you don't get a share of the profits, the share holders own the company.

You may experience more sales as they take market share from iStock, but SS and the shareholders keep the extra profit. I think you're confused there.

« Reply #156 on: December 13, 2012, 12:38 »
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Well... perhaps we're all masochists or playing 'better the devil you know'... but I'm not really up for exploring other territories right now.  Too much else going on in my life.  Given the scenario we have in the microstock model at this point, I'd certainly vote for SS over iStock.  So I'm (unsurpringly) adding a 'me three' to Gostwyck's post.

Ofcourse we are all here for SS, I was one ( still am ) one who has always been one of their ambassadors, was even accused of that here a few months back.
Having said that, going by the past history and track record of all micro, I am not going to allow myself any Euforia and certainly not slowly drift away into a dreamland of security and wonderful revenues past you wildest dreams and all this dpending on one single agency. No Madam.

« Reply #157 on: December 13, 2012, 12:42 »
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What happens when Shutter Stock stop growing?


Same as what happens when you stop growing. Nothing goes up forever however your best chance of maintaining growth is the adherence of good and fair business practices. No point in committing 'business suicide' is there?

Ever heard of the John Lewis Partnership in the UK? For a high-street retailer they're doing amazingly well despite the recession and Johnny Internet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lewis_Partnership


The shareholders will still want growth in profits and returns on their investment wether SS grow market share or not which will leave only a couple of options. It may be rosy there now but they will experience the same problems as iStock at some point in the future.

The John Lewis Partnership is owned by the employees, completely different to Shutter Stock which is owned by the share holders. Your not an employee of Shutter Stock or a part owner, you don't get a share of the profits, the share holders own the company.

You may experience more sales as they take market share from iStock, but SS and the shareholders keep the extra profit. I think you're confused there.


OOooops!  yes, ha, ha,  the shareholders? oh well some tend to forget that. Just a minor problem, they will be happy with a bone or something and they wont insist on more profit. Theyre happy just turning burgers at Mac.

« Reply #158 on: December 13, 2012, 12:46 »
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The John Lewis Partnership is owned by the employees, completely different to Shutter Stock which is owned by the share holders....
I don't think that's correct, as SS didn't give shareholders the majority of the company.  So Jon Oringer still has control of the company.  The time to panic is when he sells his controlling stake.  Hopefully that wont be any time soon.

« Reply #159 on: December 13, 2012, 12:51 »
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One minor disagreement/correction.  You use the word commission to refer to the payments we receive.  The correct term is royalty.  Commissions are what agents get for services rendered on our behalf, not what they pay us.

You're right! Thanks for that. 'Royalty' it is. I wonder how we got talking about 'commission' all this time without anybody pointing out the error before?

He is right, however it's commonly referred to as commissions, at least in microstock. I think because many ms sites use the word commissions when referring to royalties.

« Reply #160 on: December 13, 2012, 12:52 »
+1
What happens when Shutter Stock stop growing?

why do you have to "have" one agency that is above all others?

spread your work to many agencies and stop worrying..

if shutterstock stops growing, it means another one is taking the money and if you are on it as well, you don't lose anything..

being a non-exclusive since the beginning, I never had worries, because if one agency went down, there was always another one that went up.. That's a rule..
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 12:56 by cidepix »

« Reply #161 on: December 13, 2012, 12:54 »
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OOooops!  yes, ha, ha,  the shareholders? oh well some tend to forget that. Just a minor problem, they will be happy with a bone or something and they wont insist on more profit. Theyre happy just turning burgers at Mac.
Perhaps you could explain to me how people who hold a minority of the shares in a company can insist on anything?  I could buy some shares in Google, go to their AGM and insist that they only ever use yellow text but they will just ignore me, probably :)

The shareholders will want to see their investment growing but they only really have the option of selling their shares.  If they buy shares, they are just gambling that they will increase in value.  They can't insist on it.

rubyroo

« Reply #162 on: December 13, 2012, 12:55 »
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Ofcourse we are all here for SS, I was one ( still am ) one who has always been one of their ambassadors, was even accused of that here a few months back.
Having said that, going by the past history and track record of all micro, I am not going to allow myself any Euforia and certainly not slowly drift away into a dreamland of security and wonderful revenues past you wildest dreams and all this dpending on one single agency. No Madam.

Neither am I Sir.  Just working hard at it, favouring and praising the agencies which serve me best at a given time, airing views on poor treatment, constantly improving quality and hoping for the best.  Not preparing for the worst just yet.

Nothing lasts forever.  I'm sure we all know that.  It's not a crime to express pleasure when and where things go well is it?  As in life in general... even if things should fall apart in the future, it's important to enjoy what's there to be enjoyed right now.

mattdixon

« Reply #163 on: December 13, 2012, 13:00 »
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I'm really sorry to hear about your partner's week - I made more than that on Monday with my paltry 17% royalties and indie prices. Not saying that to gloat, but just to point out that in spite of the scary thought of dropping to a low royalty rate, there are options.

Thanks, I know your not gloating :-) It just illustrates how bad it's got over there. We're getting ready for the other options now, luckily I have a graphic design business to fall back on and my partner has got another job. At least the decision is made for me, no more hand wringing wondering if it's the right decision is anymore.

I have a friend who is a full timer with a port x3 mine, he's getting ready to sell his house. It's hitting people who have fully dedicated really hard. It will start catching up to the black diamonds soon, then sh*t really will hit the fan.

« Reply #164 on: December 13, 2012, 13:03 »
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What happens when Shutter Stock stop growing?


Same as what happens when you stop growing. Nothing goes up forever however your best chance of maintaining growth is the adherence of good and fair business practices. No point in committing 'business suicide' is there?

Ever heard of the John Lewis Partnership in the UK? For a high-street retailer they're doing amazingly well despite the recession and Johnny Internet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lewis_Partnership


The shareholders will still want growth in profits and returns on their investment wether SS grow market share or not which will leave only a couple of options. It may be rosy there now but they will experience the same problems as iStock at some point in the future.

The John Lewis Partnership is owned by the employees, completely different to Shutter Stock which is owned by the share holders. Your not an employee of Shutter Stock or a part owner, you don't get a share of the profits, the share holders own the company.

You may experience more sales as they take market share from iStock, but SS and the shareholders keep the extra profit. I think you're confused there.


Well, for starters, there's nothing stopping you or me from becoming shareholders of SS and thereby sharing in the profits. You can't do that with your beloved Istock can you? I think you're confused there.

No business grows forever. Take Tesco for example. Until recently they were so successful that 1 in every 8 spent by UK consumers was spent with them. Where do they go from there? Can they get to 1 in every 1? Of course not. They've tried to expand into the US but had to retreat in embarassing defeat. Maybe they should increase prices massively in the UK, just like Istock? That would work to boost profits wouldn't it?

I don't actually understand why you are trying to justify Istock's outrageous and greedy actions whilst at the same time complaining that you and the missus aren't making much money with them.

rubyroo

« Reply #165 on: December 13, 2012, 13:06 »
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Sorry Matt... I completely neglected to comment on your post, and now you've reminded me of it I feel bad about the one I posted above.

I'm very sorry to hear your news as well as your friend's(!)  I really hope things turn around for you all.

rubyroo

« Reply #166 on: December 13, 2012, 13:11 »
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BTW Gostwyck, thanks for the John Lewis link.  I didn't realise they owned so many other companies!  I may well change my shopping habits in light of that (I already boycott Tescos).

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #167 on: December 13, 2012, 13:37 »
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Take Tesco for example. Until recently they were so successful that 1 in every 8 spent by UK consumers was spent with them. Where do they go from there? Can they get to 1 in every 1? Of course not. They've tried to expand into the US but had to retreat in embarassing defeat. .

They should try to expand into Italy, where British products - as simple as noodles, baked beans, jam, mustard and cheddar cheese - are usually found in the "Prodotti etnici / Cibi dal mondo" [Ethnic products / Food from the world] area in local supermarkets, together with exhotic Asian and African products. Kinda ridiculous.

And stock agencies should do the same - trying to find new markets for their products instead of just stealing customers from their competitors.
My impression - from the few data we have (or had) about buyers, such as from Fotolia (once upon a time) and from Shutterstock's map - is that European sales are a lot better in UK and Germany than in the rest of Europe.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 13:46 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

mattdixon

« Reply #168 on: December 13, 2012, 13:46 »
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I don't actually understand why you are trying to justify Istock's outrageous and greedy actions whilst at the same time complaining that you and the missus aren't making much money with them.


I'm not, they've effectively wrecked my stock photo business, of course I'm not happy about it.

I'm just trying to explain (not justify) why it's happened and how SS may well end up going down the same road. Jon Oringer has already said even though the company has grown so have their operating costs, their profits have remained flat, just like iStocks did. The story won't end with iStock or Getty, you have an overall microstock market that has reached maturity, there isn't a single agency that has resisted the temptation to grow profit by reducing royalties. I doubt Shutterstock will be immune, maybe not now but when they can't grab anymore market share or reduce their operating costs.

http://pdnpulse.com/tag/jonathan-oringer

The John Lewis Partnership is a great business model, unfortunately the agencies out there just aren't set up like this.

« Reply #169 on: December 13, 2012, 13:51 »
+2
I'm just trying to explain (not justify) why it's happened and how SS may well end up going down the same road. Jon Oringer has already said even though the company has grown so have their operating costs, their profits have remained flat, just like iStocks did. The story won't end with iStock or Getty, you have an overall microstock market that has reached maturity, there isn't a single agency that has resisted the temptation to grow profit by reducing royalties. I doubt Shutterstock will be immune, maybe not now but when they can't grab anymore market share or reduce their operating costs.

Exactly.  All the photographers currently lining up to wax Oringer's car are setting themselves up for disappointment.  Flat profits + new investors = major cost-cutting to come.

« Reply #170 on: December 13, 2012, 13:59 »
+4
There's no knight on a white charger anywhere in sight...

However, there are a couple of key differences between iStock's situation and Shutterstock's:

SS's founder is still around, IS's isn't

Getty was founded by people with no interest in the product they sold, per se, just a vision that if they bought up all the agencies they could control the market and be successful (I'm paraphrasing, but Jonathan Klein has said this in interviews). SS is in business to make money, but it was founded by someone with an interest in the dog food he was selling (from a software business maxim that you should eat your own dog food; not a reflection on image quality)

SS is now answerable to shareholders who want to see a profitable business. Getty once was, but got bought out after their stock was hammered. The last owners - Hellman & Friedman - and current - Carlyle group - are private equity firms. They have zero interest in the business long term, just want to do 3-5 years and collect their check. They don't care if the business goes under after they leave as long as they have their money.

Any dominant business runs the risk of becoming complacent, greedy or lazy. It could happen to SS. However there is still at least the potential for some upside there.

With a business owned by private equity companies, there is no possibility for any upside except for the private equity companies

Poncke

« Reply #171 on: December 13, 2012, 14:01 »
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I'm just trying to explain (not justify) why it's happened and how SS may well end up going down the same road. Jon Oringer has already said even though the company has grown so have their operating costs, their profits have remained flat, just like iStocks did. The story won't end with iStock or Getty, you have an overall microstock market that has reached maturity, there isn't a single agency that has resisted the temptation to grow profit by reducing royalties. I doubt Shutterstock will be immune, maybe not now but when they can't grab anymore market share or reduce their operating costs.

Exactly.  All the photographers currently lining up to wax Oringer's car are setting themselves up for disappointment.  Flat profits + new investors = major cost-cutting to come.

For what I understand the IPO raised money to invest in making SS bigger by opening an office in Asia or thereabouts, marketing purposes and expanding their core business, which will create more profits. So not cuts are needed at all. Thats a myth. Cutting cost is easy, understanding the rootcause and resolving the problem, is where lots of companies fail. DMAIC - LSS, look it up, is what a lot of companies are lacking. Randomly cutting back on personnel for example is not going to help you, if you dont fix the problem that is actually costing you money.

« Reply #172 on: December 13, 2012, 14:33 »
+5
Jon Oringer at least said in one of his recent interviews that SS currently has 600 000 customers and he estimates that there are another 70 million out there.

Rebecca tells us that the market as ended, new contributors and new files will mean we inevtably lose sales and that there is no future. Also the traffic at gettyimages itself keeps going down. So they have no organic expansion, unless they buy other peoples businesses.

Like others have said "meeting expectations" is not growing.

SS sees a huge world market, Getty doesnt.

Who do you think will have more growth in the next few years?

« Reply #173 on: December 13, 2012, 14:44 »
+1
I'm just trying to explain (not justify) why it's happened and how SS may well end up going down the same road. Jon Oringer has already said even though the company has grown so have their operating costs, their profits have remained flat, just like iStocks did. The story won't end with iStock or Getty, you have an overall microstock market that has reached maturity, there isn't a single agency that has resisted the temptation to grow profit by reducing royalties. I doubt Shutterstock will be immune, maybe not now but when they can't grab anymore market share or reduce their operating costs.

Exactly.  All the photographers currently lining up to wax Oringer's car are setting themselves up for disappointment.  Flat profits + new investors = major cost-cutting to come.

Exactly!  spot on!  its really surprising after all these years to hear some people still believing in the fairy godmother as if 7 years of history here hasnt sunk in one millimeter.

« Reply #174 on: December 13, 2012, 14:46 »
+3
Nobody is exclusive at SS. I really dont think you can compare any praise heaped on Oringer to the way we wooyayed at istock.

The independents can just sit back and relax and see which agency rises and falls. their files are everyhwere.


 

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