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Author Topic: The New best match and the 80/20 Rule  (Read 25044 times)

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PaulieWalnuts

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« on: November 05, 2008, 21:31 »
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I'm starting to see signs this best match change was based on the 80/20 rule. Meaning 20% of their contributors make up 80% of their revenue. Some of the top contributors were complaining of no revenue growth even though they were uploading hundreds or thousands of files yearly.

Jim Pickerell posted this at http://www.jimpickerell.com/articles2/admin-article-view.asp?id=2022

"Since the beginning of 2005 it is likely that iStock has had more than 52 million downloads. (Relatively accurate numbers are available for 2006 and 2007 when Getty Images was public and providing quarterly figures. The numbers for 2005 and 2008 are extrapolations.) These 267 [Diamond] photographers are responsible for Over 18.2 million of the 52 million downloads were of images belonging to these 267 photographers. "

If that's accurate than less than 2% of their contributors account for 37% of their downloads (and possibly revenue). That's pretty amazing. So maybe a very small percentage of contributors (less than 10%?) are responsible for 90% of their revenue.

Seems like most of the big guns have been happier with this new best match. So since you can't make everybody happy wouldn't it make sense to shift the best match toward making the top performers more happy?



« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2008, 23:30 »
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Seems like most of the big guns have been happier with this new best match. So since you can't make everybody happy wouldn't it make sense to shift the best match toward making the top performers more happy?



It really depends where it takes the collection, and obviously sales, as a whole. The interim would suggest the diamonds are happy and the company sees no loss in sales but if other agencies begin to have larger collections of newer, fresher images -- which is what will happen -- iS will end up losing. And guess what, so will exclusive photogs.

« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2008, 23:46 »
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Why does everyone seem to assume that only new contributors can provide "newer, fresher" images?

« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2008, 23:59 »
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I think what he was trying to say is: that if new files (from old or new contributor) are not allowed to climb up the best match, the collection would eventually start looking a little stale.

Does anyone know how a file climbs best match these days? The few sales I have had on new files don't seem to be helping much.

« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2008, 00:12 »
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I think what he was trying to say is: that if new files (from old or new contributor) are not allowed to climb up the best match, the collection would eventually start looking a little stale.

Ok, guess I wasn't reading it that way.  Thanks...

« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2008, 01:19 »
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if new files (from old or new contributor) are not allowed to climb up the best match, the collection would eventually start looking a little stale.


I was trying to say it will look a lot stale.

« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2008, 02:02 »
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A quick check seems to indicate to me that the bias has been pushed (more?) towards exclusives than big sellers.  My search showed mostly exclusives on the first page but most were bronze canisters.  fred

« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2008, 02:50 »
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The best match search changes regularly.  They do sometimes make it more favorable for new images.  We will have to see if they change it back to give newer images from non-exclusives a better chance.

« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2008, 06:51 »
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Does anyone know how a file climbs best match these days? The few sales I have had on new files don't seem to be helping much.

Get a very high view to download ratio. I once offered one of my files as a free download at IS. Subsequently it was buried. But during the time it was for free it got something like 40000 views. It was not such a great file. Non the less it got almost 100 dls and has now a view to dl ratio of 430. This pushes it on second place in best match in my portfolio.

 But it seems to only get really into effect if you already have a couple of dls on that file. The last download of that file was like a month ago despite the good best match positioning (2nd in my portfolio) and only got 2 !!!! downloads in this year.

Why does that old very very slow selling file deserve to be before other newer files which get downloaded several times a day and are in every aspect better? I don't know. This best match is really crazy.

I am doing ok altogether despite that most of my files (maybe because I am not exclusive) were pushed back, so I cannot complain that I am doing bad. But this best match is surely unreasonable.

Oh and I do have a very nice portfolio, feel free to take a look at it. The files look best, if you right click on the thumbnails ;)

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2008, 07:14 »
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A quick check seems to indicate to me that the bias has been pushed (more?) towards exclusives than big sellers.  My search showed mostly exclusives on the first page but most were bronze canisters.  fred

It may give a preference to exclusives but I think it gives a stronger preference to higher canister levels and especially Diamond level contributors. I just did a search for "telephone" and the first five images I checked were all exclusive diamonds. "Signs" turned up all exclusives with mostly diamonds and a gold.

So this supports what I'm saying about the best match giving preference to top active performers. And maybe that's the 1,000 Golds, Diamonds, and Black Diamonds that probably generate 80-90% of their revenue. To do that they probably measure a combination of canister level, exclusivity, total images, total sales, rate of new images uploaded, image download performance, etc. So even if you're gold but haven't uploaded anything in a year you may start losing best match preference.

Also, I'm a few downloads shy of Silver but I've already had a couple of my images penalized for getting too many downloads. They were at the front of my portfolio and were getting several downloads a day but then suddenly stopped getting downloads. I checked my port and they were litterally moved to the last page. Similar results in the search.  Why would they do that? Maybe because they don't want my bronze image displacing golds or diamonds in the search?

And for all of you exclusive conspiracy theorists, forget it. I'm an exclusive and I'm down 50% the past couple of weeks. There's much more going on here.

bittersweet

« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2008, 07:23 »
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And for all of you exclusive conspiracy theorists, forget it. I'm an exclusive and I'm down 50% the past couple of weeks. There's much more going on here.

But there are diamonds complaining that the floor dropped out for them as well. I don't know what the secret is. I have some suspicions. All I know is that I'm silver and I'm loving it.

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2008, 07:31 »
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I am doing ok altogether despite that most of my files (maybe because I am not exclusive) were pushed back, so I cannot complain that I am doing bad. But this best match is surely unreasonable.


And the first five images in a search for penguin are from an exclusive diamond.

I'm not against rewarding top contributors. I understand this from a business standpoint that they need to protect their revenue and also grow it. But couldn't they have done this best match shift less drastically and over a longer period of time so that they could make the top dogs happier while also not angering everybody else?

« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2008, 07:40 »
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If they want to protect their revenue they should make the best match favour the best images not the exclusives, because they have to pay more to the exclusives and customers are likely to prefer the best images at the top wether or not exclusive images.

hali

« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2008, 07:40 »
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it's much like the record industry, isn't it? once they said that springstein , m jackson, gnr,etc were the main moneymakers of the label, the rest are simply there to fill the demograph to look "big".
btw, just curious, how far this bias , as you put it , goes?
does having a reviewer as your fiance(e) helps to get you up the ladder? ;D
if so, does anyone know a reviewer i can get matchmade to?  ;)

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2008, 07:42 »
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And for all of you exclusive conspiracy theorists, forget it. I'm an exclusive and I'm down 50% the past couple of weeks. There's much more going on here.

But there are diamonds complaining that the floor dropped out for them as well. I don't know what the secret is. I have some suspicions. All I know is that I'm silver and I'm loving it.

This is about weighted performance. Each measurement (canister, total downloads, DL/PM, etc) has a weight. If you are doing well with all of those measurements then you're probably doing well in the best match and with revenue. The more areas you're doing poorly on the worse you'll do in the best match and with revenue.

I'd be willing to bet that those diamonds have some sort of performance issue. Like they haven't upoaded much in the past year. Or what they've uploaded isn't selling well even though it's at the top of the search.

It's rewarding the best of the best.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2008, 07:46 by PaulieWalnuts »

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2008, 07:59 »
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If they want to protect their revenue they should make the best match favour the best images not the exclusives, because they have to pay more to the exclusives and customers are likely to prefer the best images at the top wether or not exclusive images.

I would disagree. Even though they make a bigger percentage that image most likely is also at a dozen other sites. This increases the chances of it being purchased somewhere else instead of IS which for IS decreases its download volume, file revenue, and overall value.

Exclusive files increase value for IS as a whole. The more they have of something that someone can't get anywhere else the less influence the competition has on them. They then have more control on their operations and pricing.

If you have the exact same thing that everbody else is offering, what's your competitive advantage? Service or price. And since service really isn't a big factor in micros ("we're the micro with the best service" So what, who cares?) you're left competing on price. And competing prices only go lower.

lagereek

« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2008, 08:16 »
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Paulie!

with the latest best match, thats exactly what theyve done ( keeping a selectwed few exclusives happy) and as far as they are concerned the non-exclusives can just go knock themselves out, bugger off.

TIB, did the same misstake in early 90s  and see what happend.

« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2008, 08:48 »
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I wonder if some of the high performing images that were uploaded when the IS contributor was non-exclusive get some kind of flag and images uploaded while exclusive get preference. My all time best image currently at 7 views/DL which I believe is VERY good at IS had 3 DLs in October after consistently getting >15DL/month. Now it is buried on page 22 of my 26 pages amongst 0 DL files. IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. It used to be on page 1 when searching for "robot" and now I can't even find it anymore. BTW - I am silver exclusive. Fortunately my portfolio is so diverse that I am still making BMEs every month. The trick is keeping very diverse uploads coming during times when business is active - slow down uploads over the summer and longer holiday periods - and always submit as the images are processed - spread over the whole week so that your images are seen by as many reviewers as possible. You do not want all your images be seen by one reviewer because if he does not like the first couple he probably will look bad on the rest of the batch.

michealo

« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2008, 09:10 »
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From an economic point of view it would be better for best match to favour non exclusives as the commission payable would be 20% rather than the up to 40% for diamonds ....

lagereek

« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2008, 09:13 »
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Yes but youve got to remember, IS, ( no offence to anybody) is basically an amateur site, working on the laws of quantity. i.e. if one supplier quits there are dozens to replace him. They dont care if a contributor supply strong commercial imagery as long as they can produce. For the opposite youve got to go to a Trad-RM agency.
Me?  I will NOT upload anymore specialized images involving MRs etc, waste of time.
On the other hand, anybody joining IS today, well they better go exclusive, that word is a truly beloved word inside IS and much, much more important then image-quality.

CofkoCof

« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2008, 09:21 »
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I agree with Paulie, but I'd like to add that the statment probably doesn't hold for vectors. I think only a few illustrators are benefiting from current best match. Most (including diamonds) got their downloads cut by quite a margain.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2008, 09:23 by CofkoCof »

« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2008, 11:30 »
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If they want to protect their revenue they should make the best match favour the best images not the exclusives, because they have to pay more to the exclusives and customers are likely to prefer the best images at the top wether or not exclusive images.

I would disagree. Even though they make a bigger percentage that image most likely is also at a dozen other sites. This increases the chances of it being purchased somewhere else instead of IS which for IS decreases its download volume, file revenue, and overall value.

Exclusive files increase value for IS as a whole. The more they have of something that someone can't get anywhere else the less influence the competition has on them. They then have more control on their operations and pricing.

If you have the exact same thing that everbody else is offering, what's your competitive advantage? Service or price. And since service really isn't a big factor in micros ("we're the micro with the best service" So what, who cares?) you're left competing on price. And competing prices only go lower.

This makes a lot of sense to me. There must really be a problem with people shopping on Istock and buying at say... Fotolia for peanuts unless contributor is Emerald. Why advertise a file that can be bought cheaper elsewhere. Takes business away and maybe they don't come back?? hmmm??

Obviously not true in all cases but maybe its happening enough to change things around somewhat to see if it makes a difference.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2008, 11:35 by cdwheatley »

« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2008, 11:35 »
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On the other hand, anybody joining IS today, well they better go exclusive, that word is a truly beloved word inside IS and much, much more important then image-quality.

Trouble is, it could a looong to get the first 250 dls. I'm looking at nearly all my new images being placed in iS pergatory, for who knows how long.

« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2008, 12:05 »
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Everything is down on this site these days: views,Dls, uploads etc...

Other sites offer more than IS...

« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2008, 12:15 »
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Quote
and always submit as the images are processed - spread over the whole week so that your images are seen by as many reviewers as possible. You do not want all your images be seen by one reviewer because if he does not like the first couple he probably will look bad on the rest of the batch.

I upload at least 2 photos a day to IS and the other agencies. I seem to have a better acceptance rate when I only upload a few images at a time.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2008, 12:57 by epantha »


 

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