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Author Topic: Tons of non exclusive's images on top of best match search results?  (Read 3880 times)

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« on: June 28, 2016, 16:16 »
+4
Hi there!

I'm an exclusive Istock contributor who, like so many, is suffering a devestating loss of sales these days, no matter of how hard I push my port.

It has been talked about in the forums so many times and now I checked for my images, and yes - it's true - there are tons of old or non-exclusive essential images showing up in Best Match search results before newer and exclusive content does. For example there are about 200 non-exclusive kitchen images from 2015 and 2014 before my kitchen images from June 2016 show up. This is definitely far away from my understanding of dealing with this issue on the side of Istock.

I just checked the exclusivity agreement, but my English is not good enough to understand every detail of this legal language.

I'm wondering if they have included any sort of grant that they treat exclusive submissions in a way that it receives priority in attention, search results or advertising. I remember having signed the agreement years ago under my belief my imagery will genereally (of course not forcefully in every single case, but mainly, generally) show up in search results before non exclusive contributor's will.

Did I get that so terribly wrong? Or are they maybe violating their own agreements by showing hundreds of non exclusive images on the best and valueable search results?

All I can find is this line:
Exclusivity brings more attention to your portfolio and makes the most out of all that traffic. outside the agreement. Of course located there outside it won't have any legal sustain, but still they should have noted some benefits in that agreements, no?

I'm very sure there was more of even a legal grant back then, because priority in search results was one of my main reasons to sign the agreement.

Does anybody know, what beneftis Istock is exactly and reliably granting us and if the thing with the disadvantage in search results for exclusive content can be legally claimed from Istock to be changed in a way?

Thank you very much for any answers!
Ozzy75


ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2016, 16:47 »
+5

All I can find is this line:
Exclusivity brings more attention to your portfolio and makes the most out of all that traffic. outside the agreement. Of course located there outside it won't have any legal sustain, but still they should have noted some benefits in that agreements, no?

I'm very sure there was more of even a legal grant back then, because priority in search results was one of my main reasons to sign the agreement.

Does anybody know, what beneftis Istock is exactly and reliably granting us and if the thing with the disadvantage in search results for exclusive content can be legally claimed from Istock to be changed in a way?

Thank you very much for any answers!
Ozzy75

Exclusivity brings more attention to your portfolio and makes the most out of all that traffic.  means absolutely nothing; it sounds encouraging, but doesn't in any way spell out any details of what they will do that we could hold them to legally. We were once promised that buyers would never be able to exclude all exclusive files from the search and of course, for quite some time now, they can.

Don't imagine for a minute that there is any legal chink in their contracts. They have all the rights and can change things on a whim, as we well know; only we have immutable responsibilities.

Goodness knows what any of the search means nowadays.
New only means 'new' at the top of the page, then below that it's all sorts of random files.
Sometimes, most popular all time doesn't mean a reverse order of highest selling files. For sure, within my own port, the actual best seller this year is on the third row.
Goodness only knows what Best Match means, but it seems to be different in different files. Maybe they're constantly fiddling in real time to see what works. I've certainly noticed some of my top selling files suddenly stop selling totally, even as subs, and when I've checked these files, which were generally on the top line or two of the best match, have gone below 200 in the ranking.

Still, when you think about it, there can only be a very few buyers for whom subs don't make more sense than credit sales, especially as they roll over, so essentially we're doomed. They have never cared when exclusives leave. I've often heard that they don't follow up to ask why people give up exclusivity, or even leave iS altogether, which is just ridiculous practice. I left a small tutorial site last week, and got a really nice email asking why I was leaving (stressing I was not obliged to answer) with about eight possible reasons with tickboxes, and a space for 'other'.

« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2016, 18:51 »
+3
Being exclusive doesn't mean you'll get better placement. It just means that you get paid more per download and they'll highlight you a bit more if the opportunities arises.

In addition, it's actually not logical for them to put exclusive images on top. They get paid less per download and Getty need every penny it can get. Everyone plays by the same rules, so you better give it your best when it comes to composition, commercial value and keywording.

Mr Nobody

« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2016, 19:01 »
0
Strictly on the business side to help you decide weather you should remain exclusive or Indie.  For me, every 1,000 images is generating about $800. So, if you have 5,000 images you should be making at least $4,000 a month.  Hope this helps... 8)

« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2016, 20:08 »
+3
Being exclusive doesn't mean you'll get better placement. It just means that you get paid more per download and they'll highlight you a bit more if the opportunities arises.

In addition, it's actually not logical for them to put exclusive images on top. They get paid less per download and Getty need every penny it can get. Everyone plays by the same rules, so you better give it your best when it comes to composition, commercial value and keywording.

Actually, you're not correct. It does make sense for iStock to put Exclusive first because Exclusive images and videos sell for 3 times as much. So even with iStock having to pay the contributor more, iStock still makes more profit selling an Exclusive file compared to a non-Exclusive file.

Rose Tinted Glasses

« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2016, 20:10 »
+7
The big question of the day is whether the grass is greener on the other side. Based on my numbers I am not seeing it. When you factor in all the extra work, sudden decrease in royalties, starting at the bottom in the other agencies, tossing the sales from Getty as S+ in hopes to get where you already are, it's daunting to say the least. For me exclusive works. Sure sales have been in a decline, but I am fairly convinced this is happening all around as the market is now saturated with agencies and images. I have roughly 3,000 images and bank money, it's my full time job.

It all depends on what you shoot, how ruthless you are with your own editing, and accuracy in keywords. In other words quality over quantity.

« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2016, 02:10 »
+2
I had invitations to become excusive. Simple after comparing of benefits promised and the real situation (i think i already told enough about their interventions and essential keyword deletions) i could not trust their promises.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2016, 03:57 »
+3
Strictly on the business side to help you decide weather you should remain exclusive or Indie.  For me, every 1,000 images is generating about $800. So, if you have 5,000 images you should be making at least $4,000 a month.  Hope this helps... 8)

Not remotely.
I know people who do worse at SS with a similar port (they live nearish me) than I do at iS, though as they have combined their port there and have essentially moved on, so haven't added anything for ages, it's impossible to say what would be happening now, when my iS income has tanked.

Plus read the SS sales drop thread: http://www.microstockgroup.com/shutterstock-com/shutter-stock-sales-drop/msg457404

One person's 1000 images generates $800 a month, someone else's 1000 images might, at the same agencies, earn $200 or $2000. Anyway, is that turnover? Profit is all that matters.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2016, 06:00 by ShadySue »

« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2016, 05:24 »
+2
At the end of the day it's down to the individual.


Do you think you're better off in or out?


There are no definites in this game. The images you think will sell don't, and those you nearly don't bother with sell well. 
If you leave exclusivity, then from what I've read it's not as simple as just having images on multiple sites. It seems to be a long haul to get back to where you were.






« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2016, 07:44 »
+1
Thanks to all of you for respondig!

First, my point of question was not to decide whether I should quit my exclusivity or not. Not at least after having read in these nice forums I think I have enough of aspect to make that deciaion in near future. I know it is a long way to go, but you know what it's like, you keep telling yourself to wait another 2 or 3 months, but you are already fes up with their way of dealing with customwrs, their unfriendly forums and their ridiculoulsy weak tech stability.
Then on one day you are selling well once again and there goes the decision again for another few months.
After all there are so many things besides a shrinking income that upset me, that I would really like to start somewhere else just because I can put my attention away from all this Istock anger for some time. At the moment every login turns out in something that bothers me or that makes me want to throw my computer out of the window...

Anyway, that was not my point.

As the first reply indicated, I was quite sure that Istock would not include any issues into their exclusivity agreement, that you as a contributor could nail them to. No matter what contract you sign, it's always you to take the disadvantages and the other side has the good parts. Being with Istock since 2004 I would not really have expected them to be 'fair' here. I just wanted to be sure I wasn't maybe missing a line that deals with the priviliges from exclusives.

And yes, there were definitely promises for contributors that they would benefit from better advertising and search result piorities. I didn't make that up. Most likely they had these lines on their website or in the forums back then for a while and removed them as most people had made up their minds regarding exclusivity.

Well it won't change things, but I think that so many images of non-exclusives on top search result places might even be a reason to quit exclusivity. Maybe my images would sell better if they were pushed back to essential as they would then show up in front position of search results :-)

Mr. Nobody, I don't think the number of files can roughly say something about the money you make each month. It mainly depends on where your files are placed in best match and if you are uploading flowers and landscapes or stockworthy stuff from different subjects. I guess I tend to be one of the more stocky guys with lots of different subjects. I have got about 3000 files and up 2012 Istock paid half of our house in total which was really good money. Now with all the technical crap, the faulty search engines and the confusing collections and structures I have no idea how I can still influence my income to raise or shrink anymore.

Well, I guess it's hard for everyone. Maybe I'll go the extra mile and build up a new base at another agency or two. Let's see.

Thank you again for your inputs!




ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2016, 08:22 »
+2
And yes, there were definitely promises for contributors that they would benefit from better advertising and search result piorities. I didn't make that up. Most likely they had these lines on their website or in the forums back then for a while and removed them as most people had made up their minds regarding exclusivity.
The Lobotomiser definitely said, emphatically, at least once, that exclusive would ALWAYS. period. have priority in best match. It demonstrably wasn't true then, and it isn't always true now.

Quote
Maybe my images would sell better if they were pushed back to essential as they would then show up in front position of search results
Maybes aye, maybes naw.
Years back there was a scheme where exclusives could voluntarily nominate files for the dollar bin, and I nominated some total non-sellers. Two of them have gone on to be among my top sellers, one being my #9 earner overall (really!). But even though it's an Ess, it hasn't sold since Nov as a credit or since mid-Feb as a sub: that was one specific file which went from always being in positions #1 - 5 for its main keywords to well below #200, killing its sales overnight (in fact, below #600 for what used to be its top keyword.)

There's no benefit to iStock in promoting exclusive - essential files, as they earn 1 credit and they have to pay us 30%/35%/whatever.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2016, 10:51 by ShadySue »

Rose Tinted Glasses

« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2016, 09:04 »
+3
And yes, there were definitely promises for contributors that they would benefit from better advertising and search result piorities. I didn't make that up. Most likely they had these lines on their website or in the forums back then for a while and removed them as most people had made up their minds regarding exclusivity.
The Lobotomiser definitely said, emphatically, at least once, that exclusive would ALWAYS. period. have priority in best match. It demonstrably wasn't true then, and it isn't always true now.

Quote
Maybe my images would sell better if they were pushed back to essential as they would then show up in front position of search results
Maybes aye, maybes naw.
Years back there was a scheme where exclusives could voluntarily nominate files for the dollar bin, and I nominated some total non-sellers. Two of them have gone on to be among my top sellers, one being my #9 earner overall (really!). But even though it's an Ess, it hasn't sold since Nov as a credit or since mid-Feb as a sub: that was one specific file which went from always being in positions #1 - 5 for it's main keywords to well below #200, killing its sales overnight (in fact, below #600 for what used to be its top keyword.)

There's no benefit to iStock in promoting exclusive - essential files, as they earn 1 credit and they have to pay us 30%/35%/whatever.

But the Lobotmiser was also a sarcastic snarky mouthpiece that would say whatever his employers would tell him to say all the while playing your taco eating buddy. Not trust worthy at all. Sort of like one of these cretins that only has power through the anonymity of the internet.

Off topic I know, but the point being is he was paid to lie deflect.

I never did understand how a company of such stature would keep a moderator like that around. He really turned a lot of people off and rarely brought anything positive and productive to the table.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2016, 09:08 by Rose Tinted Glasses »

« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2016, 11:54 »
+1
Right now Best Match is really favouring hard new content for the last months. All my historic best sellers many with thousands of downloads have faded totally away. That is the nature of the beast. Some months it favours old content and the next year just the opposite.

And about giving priority to non exclusive content......well if Istock can get 15-19% of the sale instead of 25+% who do you think is the company going to choose for better placement. They "love" exclusives but only to fill those spots that are not overdone already. To sell an apple on white I can guarantee you that they prefer to sell for a low amount to stay competitive and get the lion share.....who fullfills those two points??.........

MilanLipowski

« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2016, 13:09 »
+1
oh, i didn't know that "exclusive" still exists, but thanks for good news ;)


 

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