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What are you going to do when istock cut commissions tomorrow?

I have allready left.
14 (6.7%)
I have allready been removing my portfolio.
16 (7.6%)
I will start deleting my portfolio now.
10 (4.8%)
I will just stop uploading.
42 (20%)
I will upload less.
33 (15.7%)
I'm carrying on as normal.
95 (45.2%)

Total Members Voted: 193

Voting closed: January 30, 2011, 04:24

Author Topic: What are you going to do when istock cut commissions tomorrow?  (Read 23566 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« Reply #125 on: January 05, 2011, 13:08 »
0
Does anybody here try and make a stand ? very very few.
Who deleted his/her port ? practicly no one (and I dont mean 10$ a month ports or non selling photos).
You gave a good history leasson here, its in our best collective intrest to create a union. 100 or even 1,000 people pulling their ports wont change a thing. 10,000 people just might! what are the chances of this happening ? I would say slim but it's more like none.
I know I would be happy to pay my yearly dues to such a union.

And sorry in advance for all spelling and grammer mistakes, I do try :)

The way I read the poll above 40% actually took a stand. They said they were either going to stop uploading or delete files. They may be small steps, but they are still steps.


« Reply #126 on: January 05, 2011, 13:38 »
0
Hey gostwyck,

 You and I agree more and more these days ;) I think there will be companies sold when they saturate their profit margin and can get the best price possible. We saw Getty hold on to it's company to long and they lost a huge portion of the value of their company when they sold. At least that is the way it was presented to the public, I am a big cynic to the end and I don't always believe what I read so I am not sure what really took place when Getty's stock plunged and they were purchased it might have been part of the plan to go private. Either way I would guess that all of these sites will change hands in the next 5 years. I don't think we are looking at Ford or Sears here.

Best,
Jonathan

« Reply #127 on: January 05, 2011, 13:44 »
0
Hey gostwyck,

 You and I agree more and more these days ;) I think there will be companies sold when they saturate their profit margin and can get the best price possible. We saw Getty hold on to it's company to long and they lost a huge portion of the value of their company when they sold. At least that is the way it was presented to the public, I am a big cynic to the end and I don't always believe what I read so I am not sure what really took place when Getty's stock plunged and they were purchased it might have been part of the plan to go private. Either way I would guess that all of these sites will change hands in the next 5 years. I don't think we are looking at Ford or Sears here.
Yep, it'll maybe take another 5 years before microstock matures into a stable industry, assuming that it hasn't been replaced by a new business model ('nanostock'?) by then anyway. Trouble is, the way things are going, I'm not sure they'll be much left in it for us by the time we get there.

« Reply #128 on: January 05, 2011, 14:55 »
0
I'm new here and an exclusive illustrator at IS.  I'm waiting to see how the first quarter breaks before I move anything.  That being said, I have a full time job and also I have not sold stock anywhere else, but I'm starting to investigate the particulars of other stock sites. I cannot see these changes at IS being good for anyone.  :(

RT


« Reply #129 on: January 05, 2011, 15:06 »
0
Istockphoto has already been sold twice in less than 5 years and I have no doubt that H&F would sell again now if they could find a buyer willing to pay enough to ensure them a healthy profit.

Makes you wonder if the recent happenings there are a result of a failed 'closed doors' attempt at selling the company: they buy, create a few new changes to make the place look shiny and appealing (Vetta, Exclusive+ etc) and test the water for buyers, then they discover nobody is interested so they revert to the often seen procedure of installing a 'muppet' to head the public face of the management team and to consequently take the fall whilst the real management start about getting as much money out as possible anyway they can before the ship sinks.

« Reply #130 on: January 05, 2011, 16:13 »
0
Yep, that's Hugh Laurie.  When you choose an avatar for this site, there are quite a few celebrities you can choose from if you want.  

Thought it was. Handsome devil.

Think I'll go check out the celebrity avatars. I want to be somebody else for a little while.  :D

edit: There we go! I'm b-e-a-utiful!
« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 16:15 by cclapper »

RacePhoto

« Reply #131 on: January 05, 2011, 16:26 »
0
As the istock commission cuts are happening 1st January 2011

I will bet you a dollar that they won't be happening tomorrow.  I would say the 17th at the earliest.

Is it tomorrow yet? :D

I'm wondering how the rumor that the company was sold has turned into, all of this is caused by the new owners. Rumor becomes reality, where's the basis in fact for all these messages saying it's the new owners, if there are no new owners. I swear that one person here has been saying IS will be sold soon for three years now, and all the things they are doing are just to pump up the earnings so they CAN sell the company.

There is a mix of answers based on already sold or soon to be sold as the premise for the conclusions. What I don't see are any supporting facts or evidence?
« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 16:36 by RacePhoto »

alias

« Reply #132 on: January 05, 2011, 18:22 »
0
I am not sure what really took place when Getty's stock plunged and they were purchased it might have been part of the plan to go private

Getty was not meeting stock market expectations.

If Getty is sold or goes public investors will want to see profit growth. None of us knows whether the business is doing well now or not.

t'll maybe take another 5 years before microstock matures into a stable industry, assuming that it hasn't been replaced by a new business model ('nanostock'?) by then anyway.

Agency model will be challenged by marketplace model sooner or later.

« Reply #133 on: January 05, 2011, 18:27 »
0
Oh!  Sorry.  :-[

It never occurred to me that someone would use a celeb's pic to represent themselves... That would have been a hell of a doppleganger!


LOL.  Several people on this board once remarked how much I look like Bruce Willis, so I decided not to use the picture of Bruce Willis for my avatar anymore.

« Reply #134 on: January 05, 2011, 18:29 »
0
Ah, but Dan you will always be Bruce Willis to those of us who have been here a while ;)

lisafx

« Reply #135 on: January 05, 2011, 18:47 »
0

edit: There we go! I'm b-e-a-utiful!

Sorry, I prefer the real you :)

rubyroo

« Reply #136 on: January 05, 2011, 18:53 »
0
LOL.  Several people on this board once remarked how much I look like Bruce Willis, so I decided not to use the picture of Bruce Willis for my avatar anymore.

 :D :D :D

Now I think of it, I do recall that there are a couple of posters here who bear a remarkable resemblance to Freddie Mercury and Brad Pitt!   There's a jolly handsome and charismatic bunch at MSG, for sure.  ;)  

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #137 on: January 05, 2011, 20:14 »
0

It never occurred to me that someone would use a celeb's pic to represent themselves... That would have been a hell of a doppleganger!

There are people here who use celeb pics? What whackjobs. Crazy I tell ya.

BooKitty

« Reply #138 on: January 05, 2011, 20:22 »
0

It never occurred to me that someone would use a celeb's pic to represent themselves... That would have been a hell of a doppleganger!

There are people here who use celeb pics? What whackjobs. Crazy I tell ya.

Gwongetouttahere and fugettaboutit.  ;D

« Reply #139 on: January 05, 2011, 22:58 »
0
Shocked to see the poll showing 43% (at the time of this writing) saying that they are carrying on as normal.

I don't think it's that simple.  This single little poll doesn't capture all the contributors who simply walked away, or brilliant photographers like myself  ;)  who've decided that submitting images into this chaotic mess would not be a good investment of time. 

There are a lot of great stock images that IS isn't getting, and won't get in the future, from people who would read this forum and think - why would I spend time producing quality images for this crazy company that gives me no assurance that my commission a year from now won't be half of what it is today, or that my images won't be simply buried by new schemes to favor exclusives and high-margin images, or will even show up properly in searches based on keywords?   
I voted for Carrying on as Usual because there wasn't a "take a wait-and-see attitude for awhile".  I'm a relatively new contributor with a small portfolio.  While I've only had a handful of DL's, my return-per-image is the highest of all the sites I'm on.  I'm seeing higher overall dollars on SS and am getting close to my first payout -still a long way off on IS but the higher RPI is encouraging.  I've had .18 and .19 at FT and IS so it's not the only site that's offering small returns.  IS isn't going to be a priority to upload to, but for now I'll keep it in the mix and will be watching the overall return on investment.  It's never fun to get a pay cut (hey - we've had to do that at my "real" job for the past few years - no paid holidays, furlough days, etc) but for now as mentioned, I'm on "wait and see" mode before I just walk away.

« Reply #140 on: January 05, 2011, 23:23 »
0
I'm new here and an exclusive illustrator at IS.  I'm waiting to see how the first quarter breaks before I move anything.  That being said, I have a full time job and also I have not sold stock anywhere else, but I'm starting to investigate the particulars of other stock sites. I cannot see these changes at IS being good for anyone.  :(


Good idea to take some time to look around and see how you feel your work might do on the other sites. Once upon a time I'd have said that anyone producing complex vectors (anything other than simple clipart type stuff and huge piles of icons crammed into a file) would do best at IS. But for whatever reason, IS has just shafted vectors over the last couple of years. If you're at all interested in raster illustrations, the market elsewhere is a ton better than at IS.

There are a number of independent illustrators who stop by here, so I expect you'll find plenty of good info.

RacePhoto

« Reply #141 on: January 06, 2011, 01:11 »
0
Does anybody here try and make a stand ? very very few.
Who deleted his/her port ? practicly no one (and I dont mean 10$ a month ports or non selling photos).
You gave a good history leasson here, its in our best collective intrest to create a union. 100 or even 1,000 people pulling their ports wont change a thing. 10,000 people just might! what are the chances of this happening ? I would say slim but it's more like none.
I know I would be happy to pay my yearly dues to such a union.

And sorry in advance for all spelling and grammer mistakes, I do try :)

The way I read the poll above 40% actually took a stand. They said they were either going to stop uploading or delete files. They may be small steps, but they are still steps.

Funny isn't it that you should mention the 43% that are carrying on as usual as taking a stand. You did mention that didn't you? The majority of people who responded aren't going to change anything right now.

It's also kind of odd that the poll is very lopsided and leading?

« Reply #142 on: January 06, 2011, 01:36 »
0
Funny isn't it that you should mention the 43% that are carrying on as usual as taking a stand. You did mention that didn't you? The majority of people who responded aren't going to change anything right now.

It's also kind of odd that the poll is very lopsided and leading?

Actually, I was talking about the 40% not uploading, deleting files or have left IS (the top part of the poll). Those all add up to 40% on the poll. The other 43% is continuing as usual and I really didn't know how to categorize "I will upload less". That is a pretty vague response.

« Reply #143 on: January 06, 2011, 02:28 »
0
100 or even 1,000 people pulling their ports wont change a thing. 10,000 people just might! what are the chances of this happening ? I would say slim but it's more like none.

You're wrong on the first point. If the top 100 diamonds banded together to pull their portfolios iStock would go into complete panic mode. If the bottom 10,000 tried it, they would just laugh their heads off. However, the top 100 won't do it because it would risk sacrificing their entire income for most of them, even though iStock would almost certainly give in to their demands if it believed they were serious.

The first rule of trade unionism is that you can't hurt your paymaster without doing immeasurably more damage to yourself and your family. And if you aren't willing to do that, you have no bargaining power at all. It's in the paymaster's interests to screw you over as hard as they can but just stop short of the point where you turn yourself into an economic suicide bomb. I believe it's called living the American Dream.

« Reply #144 on: January 06, 2011, 05:51 »
0
^^^ But when was that? I know exclusivity used to affect best match placement but all the research I've done of late indicates that it is no longer a factor.

Of course it's very recently become more difficult to tell because the downloads numbers are further disguised.

If anyone is in any doubt there is one very easy way to check on how much the best match is influenced by exclusivity __ although it does take a bit of work to do so.

Pick a search term preferably in a niche subject that will have few if any Vetta or Agency images as they confuse the issue and need to be ignored for the purpose of the exercise. Food subjects are often good in that respect. Sort the results by best match and count how many exclusive images are in the first 25 or 50 images (or whatever sample size you choose). Then sort them by Age, Downloads, Size and count again. If best match is indeed influenced by exclusivity then statistically you should see a strong pattern emerge in which, when sorted by best match a higher proportion of exclusive images should be evident. Age and Size are of course statistically random. Sorting by Downloads should also be random but obviously, if exclusive files have been improved by the best match, then they should dominate the results too and further support the theory that best match really does help exclusives.

Try it for yourself. Personally I can find no statistical supporting evidence whatsoever that the best match favours exclusives. You can either do the work and prove it mathematically to your own satisfaction __ or alternatively you can believe in SNP's 'magic fairies theory'.


exclusive files could still be favored in the size, and age search.  How many people are shooting with a 5DmarkII?  All the images will be the same size, so they need another way to sort the images within those sames sized images.  I would assume it isn't random - but rather sorted by the way iStock wants them to appear.  

But of course that is all just guessing the best anyone can do

... except for the head of iStock Europe.. he should have a clue.  When asked how to improve search rank, this is what he said
(at 8m26s)

m


suffice it to say I think I side with the people saying exclusive photographers get a bump in the search.

« Reply #145 on: January 06, 2011, 06:00 »
0
Those are great examples of what a company can do to make a huge profit and keep their content providers happy. Not only that but their providers have more money to make their photos even stronger. We are always having to settle for second best model these days instead of the model that we think would sell because of the overhead issue and our diminishing returns.
  I was trying to describe is the agencies were making tons of money at 50/50 when they changed it it was to increase their profit margin and it continues to grow to this day. Why not pay your people a reasonable share of the sales and still make a great company. Contributors would flock to Istock and they would reap the rewards of their followers with their strong business model.
 Nordstroms stores started here in Seattle as only a shoe store and they used to let you return a pair of shoes whenever you wanted for a replacement, no charge. That model is why Nordstrom grew so fast and strong, they had customer support that followed them due to their ethics and customer service. Now they are everywhere and they still offer good service.
 Why must a company try to pay the least amount possible to their workers, I think it will hurt them in the end. I know you get what you pay for and when I hire people to help me I try to offer them a good paycheck so they will bust their ass for me and return whenever I need them. Just my opinion.

I think the point that most of us are not recognising here is that the owners of almost all microstock agencies are not really trying to build a long-term business at all. They're just looking to maximise short-term profits in order to sell the business on for a vast sum. These 'agencies' are basically just 'get-rich-quick' schemes on behalf of their various owners.

Istockphoto has already been sold twice in less than 5 years and I have no doubt that H&F would sell again now if they could find a buyer willing to pay enough to ensure them a healthy profit.

StockXpert sold out to Jupiter and was then effectively sold on again before being closed down by Getty. The owners of BigStock sold out to SS and CanStockPhoto also sold to another agency.

The commission cuts at IS, DT and FT were nothing to do with 'sustainability', the need to invest or to remain competitive __ they are/were simply part of their respective exit strategies.

The only significant agency who has not cut commissions or unilaterally modified their contributors' terms at all ... is Shutterstock. Jon Oringer further demonstrated his long-term commitment to the industry when he bought BigStock. The contrast in behaviour of SS compared to all the other agencies is quite stark. And that's why Shutterstock will eventually win

Nice post Gostwyck and I agree building up a business to sell seems to be a clear strategy for most stock sites, perhaps most businesses (at least start-ups) in general.  Which is why a microstock co-op idea would be great.  The site wouldn't / couldn't be sold off to someone else as soon as it became profitable, the (hopefully) successful site would remain the property of the photographers. [/dreaming]

« Reply #146 on: January 06, 2011, 06:10 »
0
Does anybody here try and make a stand ? very very few.
Who deleted his/her port ? practicly no one (and I dont mean 10$ a month ports or non selling photos).
You gave a good history leasson here, its in our best collective intrest to create a union. 100 or even 1,000 people pulling their ports wont change a thing. 10,000 people just might! what are the chances of this happening ? I would say slim but it's more like none.
I know I would be happy to pay my yearly dues to such a union.

And sorry in advance for all spelling and grammer mistakes, I do try :)

The way I read the poll above 40% actually took a stand. They said they were either going to stop uploading or delete files. They may be small steps, but they are still steps.

Funny isn't it that you should mention the 43% that are carrying on as usual as taking a stand. You did mention that didn't you? The majority of people who responded aren't going to change anything right now.

It's also kind of odd that the poll is very lopsided and leading?
I was most interested in the people that have chosen the first 4 options, as they might make a difference to istock.  I didn't really see much point in adding lots of extra options that aren't that significant.  I don't think it's lopsided or leading, it was just to satisfy my curiosity.

Thanks to everyone who voted.

« Reply #147 on: January 06, 2011, 08:00 »
0
I'm part of a very small minority. The 10% or so.
But I'm used with it already. For some strange reason I always end up being part of the minority.
For the past 10 days I've been deleting my IStock port. I'm doing it as we speak.
I will not sell any of my images for anything less than 20%.
I do not believe in the concept 'well, this is how microstock works, there's nothing we can do about it, we just have to accept it'.
I, for one, don't have to accept it.
And there are very, very few photographers who truly can't afford to delete their IStock ports.
Most can. Quite easily.
But they won't do it. Because 'a sale is a sale', '0.50 cent is better than nothing', and the power of money. No matter how little.
Getty is not the only culprit here. We're involved as well.
And Getty made a mistake.
They should have pushed things further. 10% commission would have worked just as well for most contributors.
Ah well, there's still time ...

« Reply #148 on: January 06, 2011, 08:20 »
0
I'm part of a very small minority. The 10% or so.
But I'm used with it already. For some strange reason I always end up being part of the minority.
For the past 10 days I've been deleting my IStock port. I'm doing it as we speak.
I will not sell any of my images for anything less than 20%.
I do not believe in the concept 'well, this is how microstock works, there's nothing we can do about it, we just have to accept it'.
I, for one, don't have to accept it.
And there are very, very few photographers who truly can't afford to delete their IStock ports.
Most can. Quite easily.
But they won't do it. Because 'a sale is a sale', '0.50 cent is better than nothing', and the power of money. No matter how little.
Getty is not the only culprit here. We're involved as well.
And Getty made a mistake.
They should have pushed things further. 10% commission would have worked just as well for most contributors.
Ah well, there's still time ...

Excellent summation, exactly how I feel.

« Reply #149 on: January 06, 2011, 14:23 »
0
Hi alias,

 Just to help Jonathan Klein said it himself when interviewed, so it isn't just based on guessing.

Leaf,

 I have been lucky enough to be involved in two co-ops now that are both making good returns especially for the owner shooters because they get a larger slice than the contributors to their site. I will say I would love to be involved with something of the sort but from my experience it would take a very special group of people to pull it off.
 They are out there but I don't know if they would opt in. It has to stay reasonably small in co-op form or the board has to absolutely be trusted and supported for a certain period of time to make it fly. Niche Micro collections could be a great way to start this. Baby Boomers are going to hit 65 here in about a week and senior images and footage I think are going to sell really well for the next twenty years. So who's in  :)

Cheers,
Jonathan


 

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