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Author Topic: The Graph Say It All - sales vs $  (Read 15184 times)

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Beppe Grillo

« Reply #50 on: August 12, 2013, 00:00 »
+3
It looks like LisaFX copied my sales graph.  :-[

In reality, to save some money, iStock uses the same graph for everybody :D


« Reply #51 on: August 12, 2013, 01:09 »
+4
Some nice ideas to turn the company around in the above posts but it looks from the outside as though the bean counters and MBA types have control. Sadly, as with so many American and European companies in the past decade these guys think profit is about slashing costs and fiddling with their product/price.

Stuff like marketing, sales, building competitive advantage, market share and trust - basically putting the customer before the shareholder is so old-school and takes time. Plus its hard to do and they're not up to it.

XPTO

« Reply #52 on: August 12, 2013, 01:55 »
+3
I've seen a drop of 50% in the average sale commission from June to July and it's getting worse in August!

« Reply #53 on: August 12, 2013, 04:08 »
+2
in every other industry they try to slash suppliers' costs to cut costs, why micro should be any different ?
we're a cost, not a scarce resource that needs to be incentivized and paid properly, IS is not a boutique agency with hard to find specialists.

You are wrong. You can produce - let's say - potatoes, and negotiate their price. But in microstock world some potatoes sell 1000 times more than other potatoes. Everyone wants to sell those potatoes.

« Reply #54 on: August 12, 2013, 05:42 »
0
in every other industry they try to slash suppliers' costs to cut costs, why micro should be any different ?
we're a cost, not a scarce resource that needs to be incentivized and paid properly, IS is not a boutique agency with hard to find specialists.

You are wrong. You can produce - let's say - potatoes, and negotiate their price. But in microstock world some potatoes sell 1000 times more than other potatoes. Everyone wants to sell those potatoes.

blame the agencies for that.

they know very well the 20/80 rule, but business concepts and other top sellers are paid exactly like any other random low-selling image.

there's nothing to negotiate with micro agency, it's a "take it or leave it" affair.

even Yuri finally gave up and moved to getty/IS and he's doing lifestyle/business/concepts which are among the top sellers, if he can't negotiate a decent payout, who will ?

in any case something's gotta change sooner or later as the whole idea of selling micro is being destroyed by decreasing sales .. the deal was to sell cheap but to sell many times, now you only sell cheap ... that's a dealbreaker and they've no way to "fix" it as they should create an artificial undersupply in their own archive.

so the whole model is broken from the ground up and soon sales will be as scarce as in RM.
what will agencies do ? nothing in my opinion, they will just wait and see, all they need to stay in business is a constant supply of new images, old contributors will be replaced by new happy snappers who've no idea about how it all works and are thrilled at the idea of getting 30 cents for a download.


« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 05:45 by Xanox »

ShadySue

« Reply #55 on: August 12, 2013, 05:46 »
+2
there's nothing to negotiate with micro agency, it's a "take it or leave it" affair.
even Yuri finally gave up and moved to getty/IS and he's doing lifestyle/business/concepts which are among the top sellers, if he can't negotiate a decent payout, who will ?
What on earth makes you imagine that Yuri didn't negotiate a very favourable deal? We know already that he gets excusive benefits while not having to be in any 'normal/usual' sense 'exclusive'.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 05:59 by ShadySue »

« Reply #56 on: August 12, 2013, 06:17 »
+1
Great thread. I've got a graph that looks like yours with a large drop in sales and income.

« Reply #57 on: August 12, 2013, 09:45 »
+1
What on earth makes you imagine that Yuri didn't negotiate a very favourable deal? We know already that he gets excusive benefits while not having to be in any 'normal/usual' sense 'exclusive'.

because in the end he realized he could make more money with getty/IS alone.
so it's obvious any kind of special deal he could have negotiated with SS & friends was still nowhere near what he's earning from Getty now.


« Reply #58 on: August 12, 2013, 10:20 »
+2
What on earth makes you imagine that Yuri didn't negotiate a very favourable deal? We know already that he gets excusive benefits while not having to be in any 'normal/usual' sense 'exclusive'.

I assumed that was what he was upset about with the rest of them. He tried to negotiate with all of them and only IS was listening.

ShadySue

« Reply #59 on: August 12, 2013, 12:10 »
+1
What on earth makes you imagine that Yuri didn't negotiate a very favourable deal? We know already that he gets excusive benefits while not having to be in any 'normal/usual' sense 'exclusive'.

I assumed that was what he was upset about with the rest of them. He tried to negotiate with all of them and only IS was listening.
That was my point.
Or that iStock's deal was better.
I remember a few years back he posted on his blog that submitters should always negotiate with agencies, but when questioned about that on msg, he said Getty/iS 'of course' didn't negotiate terms. That was then.
He was always good at getting deals or being sponsored (once he got an enormous lighting bank from one of the companies, another time he was doing feature videos via one of the smaller sites). Of course, he will always go where he gets the best deal. That's what comes with being a 'brand' (euphemism).

This is now.

lisafx

« Reply #60 on: August 13, 2013, 12:17 »
+2
Same graph here with August set to look even worse. As each month goes by, IS are starting to smell more and more like The Walking Dead of the industry.

Agreed, except without the high entertainment value :)

lisafx

« Reply #61 on: August 13, 2013, 12:25 »
+2
Just out of curiosity, what would YOU do to turn around IStock if you had the chance to steer the ship?

It is rather presumptuous to assume anything without knowledge of what the books truly look like. But my goal would be to restore contributor confidence and make IS the #1 destination for future uploads. Why? Because
  1) I want the best images available
  2) Happy Contributors upload more, and recommend that customers purchase from my agency
  3) People who are treated well tend to be more productive and take more pride in their future work than those who feel unappreciated.

I would begin by immediately pushing up contributor commissions and completely eliminating the RC/crown system. Set non-exclusives at a 30% commission rate, probably similar to or higher than SS and just below DT. That would be a huge message that things have drastically changed in favor of artists. Commission rates would be even higher than they were during the Bruce era. Push exclusives into the 35% to 40% range, and try to come up with added incentives to keep them around.

Secondly I would hire a team to completely revamp the uploading procedure. Even if I feel a need to keep categories, I need to decide if the merits of my own keywording system are not enough to overcome the snag in the upload process. My goal is get the upload procedure at least as efficient as DT, and hopefully SS.

Third, I would swallow my idiotic pride and humbly ask Sean to return with his full portfolio. I would acknowledge that he, and many others, were treated unfairly when they fought against the Google fiasco. Regardless of how much they rocked the boat, their position had strong merit.

Fourth, I would make a decision about the forum. The current forum is a mess, and buyers see it. If the forum is going to remain a Gestapo run cesspool, then it is going to give us a bad image. Why continue wasting company resources on it? Either clean up the forum and its administrators, or simply eliminate it. Where is there a rule that says a stock agency has to have a forum?

I may be a Pollyanna and I don't know what their books look like. But I think that if they shocked contributors with this type of goodwill, they would see a stampede of people returning to them. The goodwill would likely slowly spread back to the buying community, just as all of the bad will in recent years soured it.

Dan, I wish you were running Getty/Istock.  If you were, they might have a prayer of survival.  Unfortunately, I think the folks running the show are still misguidedly looking only at next quarter's profits. 

« Reply #62 on: August 14, 2013, 03:36 »
+3
I'm very very unhappy with this unproductive site. It has been months since i've stopped uploading. OP is definitely right, this is probably it ,IS nailed it's own coffin. If sales continue this way in a few months, i will have no choice but the remove my port from the site. No point of having more downloads figure while income slumped.

p/s-  Fingers crossed , i think this will be the only month i'm not able to cash out after all these years being with IS

« Reply #63 on: August 14, 2013, 04:19 »
+5
Just completed my mid-month analysis and Istock have dropped out of the Big 4 for the first time since 2009 - now in 5th place behind DP. Also I've just recorded a download for 12 cents - that is daylight robbery, pure and simple.

For my own peace of mind I won't be uploading or following their progress for the foreseeable future. Evidently my energy and creativity are best deployed elsewhere.

« Reply #64 on: August 14, 2013, 04:50 »
+1
Just out of curiosity, what would YOU do to turn around IStock if you had the chance to steer the ship?

It is rather presumptuous to assume anything without knowledge of what the books truly look like. But my goal would be to restore contributor confidence and make IS the #1 destination for future uploads. Why? Because
  1) I want the best images available
  2) Happy Contributors upload more, and recommend that customers purchase from my agency
  3) People who are treated well tend to be more productive and take more pride in their future work than those who feel unappreciated.

I would begin by immediately pushing up contributor commissions and completely eliminating the RC/crown system. Set non-exclusives at a 30% commission rate, probably similar to or higher than SS and just below DT. That would be a huge message that things have drastically changed in favor of artists. Commission rates would be even higher than they were during the Bruce era. Push exclusives into the 35% to 40% range, and try to come up with added incentives to keep them around.

Secondly I would hire a team to completely revamp the uploading procedure. Even if I feel a need to keep categories, I need to decide if the merits of my own keywording system are not enough to overcome the snag in the upload process. My goal is get the upload procedure at least as efficient as DT, and hopefully SS.

Third, I would swallow my idiotic pride and humbly ask Sean to return with his full portfolio. I would acknowledge that he, and many others, were treated unfairly when they fought against the Google fiasco. Regardless of how much they rocked the boat, their position had strong merit.

Fourth, I would make a decision about the forum. The current forum is a mess, and buyers see it. If the forum is going to remain a Gestapo run cesspool, then it is going to give us a bad image. Why continue wasting company resources on it? Either clean up the forum and its administrators, or simply eliminate it. Where is there a rule that says a stock agency has to have a forum?

I may be a Pollyanna and I don't know what their books look like. But I think that if they shocked contributors with this type of goodwill, they would see a stampede of people returning to them. The goodwill would likely slowly spread back to the buying community, just as all of the bad will in recent years soured it.


My friend although this would be nice! Any one believes this really can happen in microstock now! would need committing ;-) you would need to change all stock sites.

People are moaning about the drop in revenue but I bet your selling on Shutterstock and happy with your 25 a day sales!
It's sad to stay that what has probably screwed the industry up,  are the contributors!  We work hard and product some amazing images/art and unfortunately (me included) we upload it to many sites! We are as much to blame as the agencies. How can istock sell a photo that can be bought elsewhere for half the price?!  if we were more exclusive then price would be less of an issue. Apart from the Google issue which Google and istock should be made to pay a massive fine to all artists involved. why are we are just having a pop at istock? Those that really wanted to change things walked away from istock early this year, totally respect to those guys.

I'm sure that most customers using our imagines don't know or care about all this politics and certainly don't ready our forums! They are busy doing their thing and looking to buy images for the lowest cost!

Im sure folks will wish to rant at my post, Im not happy about the current situation in the industry but this is just how it is. The real problem is i and i'm sure the agencies,  don't know how to bring back the glory days  :-\  Im sure this is why they need yuri (only at istock) makes sense exclusive is the only way to drive prices back up.

One thing is for sure with istock dropping its though review policy are work is being lost in rubbish snaps  :(

« Reply #65 on: August 14, 2013, 06:38 »
+5
Just completed my mid-month analysis and Istock have dropped out of the Big 4 for the first time since 2009 - now in 5th place behind DP. Also I've just recorded a download for 12 cents - that is daylight robbery, pure and simple.

For my own peace of mind I won't be uploading or following their progress for the foreseeable future. Evidently my energy and creativity are best deployed elsewhere.

And this will only get worse in January when nearly everyone's payout level drops. I believe that we've only seen one part of the commission cuts and we'll see w hole new slue of threads in Feb 2014 about how IS screwed everyone by not adjusting the RC levels commensurate with the commission cuts.

« Reply #66 on: August 14, 2013, 07:20 »
+1
istock will win this game not now but next year when half contributors will dropp one or two royalty levels

iStock will win when story will be over as with Stocxpert, and all buyers will be redirected to getty and thinkstock...
It is expensive for Getty to have double infrastructure...

« Reply #67 on: August 14, 2013, 07:53 »
+1
as much as i'm convinced exclusivity brings no added value in microstock, agencies like iStock have all the data we can't access and they can judge in real time what's going on, if they haven't killed exclusivity yet it can only mean that somehow they're profiting from it.

same goes for these absurd RC rules and the whole idiotic ranking in diamonds silver/black/gold/uranium ...

so, what's next ? buyers are moving to greener pastures it seems, no matter if IS is aggressively advertising on Adsense etc, the competitors are doing the same (even Yuri, search "stock photos" and there's a paid link to People Images).

i'm afraid their downfall is imminent at this point because it means their loyal buyers are lost forever and they're not going back anytime soon, and why they should anyway ?

it looks like a deja vu of Quark vs Adobe actually ...



« Reply #68 on: August 14, 2013, 07:57 »
+3
People are moaning about the drop in revenue but I bet your selling on Shutterstock and happy with your 25 a day sales!

I actually have a higher RPD with SS than I do with IS. Which I never would have believed possible just last year.

I'm seeing a slowdown at SS too. It's simple mathematics. My old material continues to sell, but at a predictably lower rate (off by 5 or 10% since last year) because so much new material has been added. But my new images don't sell, at all. So there is no way for me to maintain income, and no longer incentive to upload.

ShadySue

« Reply #69 on: August 14, 2013, 08:52 »
0
They don't want seem to want exclusives and they definitely don't want new files. A 'marker' file I got accepted yesterday and went into my port within the last couple of hours (i.e. it wasn't showing in the search earlier) is already down at 28 out of 391 files. Extrapolated, that would mean if it was a sexy businesswoman, it would already be off the top 200 in the best match. I'm going to try to remember to chart its best match position daily.

« Reply #70 on: August 14, 2013, 09:10 »
0
I haven't looked too closely at my graphs in a while but I was surprised to find that my RPD had gone over $10 for July and August.  I'm not sure if it's ever been that high before and I seem to be getting more ELs than I would normally get.  I wonder if that's because with all the savings on nonexclusive files buyers are able to spend more on exclusive content, are other exclusives seeing a raise in RPD?

Yes, RPD is now well over $10. It happened with the E+ to S+ switch by moving a bunch of content up levels.

« Reply #71 on: August 14, 2013, 09:12 »
+2
We work hard and product some amazing images/art and unfortunately (me included) we upload it to many sites!

I've stopped this. Now, I just need everyone else to get on board.  ;)

ShadySue

« Reply #72 on: August 14, 2013, 10:16 »
+4
Another kick in the goolies for iS and exclusives:
"Come on! I need a post-it note photo, do a search, plenty come up.  The one I like is 40 credits for a 'large' version - and ranges from 30 to 55 credits for various print resolution versions.  40 credits for a post-it note photo? This is not photography at its highest level.  It's a post-it note.  After 10 years on this site, I think its time to explore other options!"
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=355636&messageid=6926658
It was probably a good-selling exclusive file which stupidly got promoted by the formula rather than by the tog's greed.
Wonder if they'll have any answer other than 'use the slider', actively directing sales away from exclusives (other than those with demoted post-it photos), and that tog has lost a sale s/he might have got at S.

« Reply #73 on: August 14, 2013, 10:22 »
+5
Well, if the one he likes is 40 credits, that's what the cost is.  If it's more important that it doesn't cost 40 credits, then he can pick a cheaper one.

« Reply #74 on: August 14, 2013, 14:42 »
0
Well, if the one he likes is 40 credits, that's what the cost is.  If it's more important that it doesn't cost 40 credits, then he can pick a cheaper one.

besides, he could snap the photo himself with his iphone and good luck with that.

how hard is to shot a photo of a post-it on your desk ??


 

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