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Author Topic: Why is iStockphoto tanking?  (Read 30518 times)

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« Reply #75 on: October 08, 2012, 00:35 »
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Problem with raising the prices in Micro is that if one agency does it, buyers will go to the next cheap agency. All agencies need to raise their prices, but to do that they need to make price agreements which is difficult to achieve and if not done right, it could be illegal (cartel price fixing). However book publishers have done it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed_Book_Price_Agreement and also their is something called resale price maintenance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resale_price_maintenance


Yes, there needs to be a sort of "cartel", that's what i mean.

It would be beneficial in many other ways too, buyers must realize and accept we have huge production costs and that micros can no more guarantee to sell images in high quantity as in the past to justify such underpricing.

But i would go even further : in theory, buyers having no other alternatives could even be forced to pay minimum 50$ per image as it's still cheaper and safer than using freeware/CC/public-domain/crowdsourced stuff or assignments.

Can't see the problem, really, all they have to do is billing a few dozen $ more to their customers.
Go in any design agency and the minimum price to do even a simple depliant is hundreds of dollars, where is the issue if their images cost 10$ more ?

It's a non-issue !
And their clients also have no other alternatives as well, either they pay the new prices or they don't get the product they need, simple as that.

I can't believe in 2012 there's this endless talk about 10$ more or 10$ less, it's BS and completely out of reality especially if coming from design agencies.







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« Reply #76 on: October 08, 2012, 00:42 »
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I think you are exaggerating just a little. I have always found comparable images, at less cost, at other places besides istock. You are correct about the keywording, but I don't find the CV at istock to be any better. One needs to have tutorials (written by third parties) just to use the search on istock.

For "somewhere else" i meant non-stock agencies, sites like Flickr, or crowdsourcing, or freeware or CC licences etc.

I don't know if at IS they're even aware of how much their Search is responsible for the loss of tons of sales.
I would not be surprised if they think to have the best Search in the market.

They may have very good programmers too, but decisions are taken by IT-illiterate executives in the end, usually due to emotive reasons rather than technical, or because they want to grab a promotion or a bonus, and finally because execs tend to think they always know better ....




« Reply #77 on: October 08, 2012, 02:16 »
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Kartels are unhealthy, and not good for competition and free market mechanismes, ans for "huge production costs".

No, there is always a guy who does not have "huge production costs", mabe because he lives in a cheap country, or maby because he think its fun to invest in photography.
Basically microstock means that all those photogs with high production costs are put out of busines, and  thats fine, exactly because they have high costs, and such pictures get cheaper.

Thats the meaning of competition, and now its global.
We are being croudsourced at the price of a bowl of rice.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #78 on: October 08, 2012, 03:50 »
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In the midst of all the tech problems they seem to have finally figured out how to tranfser images to the PP sites.  For the longest time I had only 10% of my portfolio on the PP sites and in the last few weeks the floodgates have opened.  More images showing up each day with about 50% of my portfolio showing up on PP sites now.  Maybe they've been focusing their IT department on transferring the files instead of fixing the broken features.
Sh*t, well they did say one of their priorities was to build TS, so they must have kept it as a priority.
There is no logic to their decisions or prioritising, but we are getting some sort of fuzzy message, I guess.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #79 on: October 08, 2012, 03:59 »
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Peeps, really, despite what our figures, and those of almost everyone on the September Sales thread, iStock is NOT tanking:

From Lobo:

"September Sales:
Alright, so we didn't see the usual September bump this year but our results are nowhere near the double digit drops contemplated in some of the discussions here in the forums. There are some folks who are attributing the Cash Sales launch to their sales but it's not what we are seeing. What we can say without a doubt is that Cash Sales is living up to expectations, especially where winning new customers is concerned.

The critical thing is whether these customers will be retained, converting to credit customers.
...

Why in the h*ck did we launch on Tuesday?!:
This took several months to build and we didn't want to leave to much to chance. Having the full staff of Developers allowed us to deal with critical issues in a timely fashion. (sic!) For everything we see happening on the site there are a gazilligillion invisible things going on behind the scenes. We just wanted to be sure we had all the right resources on hand.

Is that ALL?!:
Yep, for now. It's Thanksgiving in Canada tomorrow so we won't see much action from HQ. I'll be working on getting some additional information together on a few things for mid-week.

After the Christmas fraud heist, I wrote to CR and suggested they might hire some people from other religions or militant atheists to work over Christmas. Why can't they hire some less than rabid flagwaving programmers who don't care if they work over Canadian holidays? Oh, wait, though. Wouldn't they have to pay them a bit more anyway? Deal killer!

« Reply #80 on: October 08, 2012, 06:39 »
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Things are picking up again today at Istock, just got a fresh download for 0.09$.  :P

« Reply #81 on: October 08, 2012, 07:03 »
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Micro is just a small part of photography and media and its importance is way, way overrated. There is a differant world outside micro but most strictly micro shooters will ofcourse never experience that side of the business.

There are still plenty of buyers who simply dont want to have anything to do with micro and prepared to pay for quality. There is still plenty of assignment, commissioned work for freelance professionals.

If people think micro stockers have high overheads, well?  they should have experienced photography in the film days with studios, darkroom machinery, large formats 4x5 or 8x10, etc. Todays digital costs is like a spit in the ocean in comparisons.

Dan

« Reply #82 on: October 08, 2012, 07:17 »
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Can't  get  into  IS  or  Alamy  even  with  stuff  that  sells  elsewhere.  I  know  each  agency  is  different  but  this  is  ridiculous.

« Reply #83 on: October 08, 2012, 07:28 »
+2
Micro is just a small part of photography and media and its importance is way, way overrated. There is a differant world outside micro but most strictly micro shooters will ofcourse never experience that side of the business.

There are still plenty of buyers who simply dont want to have anything to do with micro and prepared to pay for quality. There is still plenty of assignment, commissioned work for freelance professionals.

If people think micro stockers have high overheads, well?  they should have experienced photography in the film days with studios, darkroom machinery, large formats 4x5 or 8x10, etc. Todays digital costs is like a spit in the ocean in comparisons.

*yawn* You sound like a broken record stuck in a groove (yes, that's another reference to an ancient technology you probably remember fondly and much prefer to today's horrid digital stuff).

What has your post got to do with 'why Istock is tanking'?

« Reply #84 on: October 08, 2012, 08:06 »
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Micro is just a small part of photography and media and its importance is way, way overrated. There is a differant world outside micro but most strictly micro shooters will ofcourse never experience that side of the business.

There are still plenty of buyers who simply dont want to have anything to do with micro and prepared to pay for quality. There is still plenty of assignment, commissioned work for freelance professionals.

If people think micro stockers have high overheads, well?  they should have experienced photography in the film days with studios, darkroom machinery, large formats 4x5 or 8x10, etc. Todays digital costs is like a spit in the ocean in comparisons.

*yawn* You sound like a broken record stuck in a groove (yes, that's another reference to an ancient technology you probably remember fondly and much prefer to today's horrid digital stuff).

What has your post got to do with 'why Istock is tanking'?

Yawn, sigh!! ................... I know, you like threads like this. Very entertaining and intelligent, arent they? have a lot to do with photography, havent they?

Ah yeah, have a cup of tea here, almost forgot.

MetaStocker

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« Reply #85 on: October 08, 2012, 13:32 »
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Yawn, sigh!! ................... I know, you like threads like this. Very entertaining and intelligent, arent they? have a lot to do with photography, havent they?

Ah yeah, have a cup of tea here, almost forgot.

Stock will never die, and micro is still stock, ranging from cheap to rock bottom.

Assignments and freelancers are things light years away from the average micro customer.
You're comparing apples with oranges.

I could tell you a few things about art galleries selling pure junk shot by so called artists on acid,
And their prints sell like hotcakes, just don't ask me how, to each his own market.


MetaStocker

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« Reply #86 on: October 08, 2012, 13:38 »
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Kartels are unhealthy, and not good for competition and free market mechanismes, ans for "huge production costs".

No, there is always a guy who does not have "huge production costs", mabe because he lives in a cheap country, or maby because he think its fun to invest in photography.
Basically microstock means that all those photogs with high production costs are put out of busines, and  thats fine, exactly because they have high costs, and such pictures get cheaper.

Thats the meaning of competition, and now its global.
We are being croudsourced at the price of a bowl of rice.


It's because of lack of cartels that micro agencies cut each others throat and in 2012 it's not unusual to see 0.2$ sales.

There can't be a fair competition if nobody is enforcing the rules.
And talking about competition,would you like to see a flood of chinese and indian microstockers taking over the industry and selling images for 0.05$ ? Because that's the future.


« Reply #87 on: October 08, 2012, 14:24 »
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That is already happening. The whole concept is based on it. Call them chinese or hobbyists.

« Reply #88 on: October 09, 2012, 08:55 »
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Things are picking up again today at Istock, just got a fresh download for 0.09$.  :P

I can beat that...just got an $0.08

lisafx

« Reply #89 on: October 09, 2012, 12:21 »
+1
And talking about competition,would you like to see a flood of chinese and indian microstockers taking over the industry and selling images for 0.05$ ? Because that's the future.

As a lifestyle shooter based in the US, I don't think I get much competition from China or India.  Not because they aren't shooting, or aren't good, but simply because I have "western looking" models and shoot for that market.  It is the Russians and Eastern Europeans that have been doing this for several years that are the main competition of shooters in western countries, IMO. 

« Reply #90 on: October 10, 2012, 13:59 »
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I recently joined istockphoto by the request of a fellow photographer friend who told me istockphoto is the best.
Well I submitted my best 3 photo sellers I used on a few other sites only to get rejected by istockphoto.
Maybe their reviewers need a refresher course  :-\

« Reply #91 on: October 10, 2012, 15:25 »
+1
I recently joined istockphoto by the request of a fellow photographer friend who told me istockphoto is the best.
Well I submitted my best 3 photo sellers I used on a few other sites only to get rejected by istockphoto.
Maybe their reviewers need a refresher course  :-\

Without knowing what your 3 best sellers looked like, it's entirely possible that these were things that iStock "doesn't like" - for example, SS loves things very vivid and iStock is more likely to hand out "overfiltering" rejections. Raster illustrations - often among the best sellers elsewhere - are subject to almost 100% rejection rates at iStock. Each agency has its own criteria - rational or not - and so you can find very salable work that some agency won't take (DT and its similars policy, for example).

It's a pain, but you could post here asking for suggestions about what to submit to iStock if you're willing to give links to your portfolios elsewhere.

dbvirago

« Reply #92 on: October 10, 2012, 17:32 »
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10/10/2012 6:26 AM MDT    XSmall   Regular   $0.09 USD

nuff said

« Reply #93 on: October 11, 2012, 10:51 »
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10/10/2012 6:26 AM MDT    XSmall   Regular   $0.09 USD

nuff said

Istock does make it painful not to be exclusive.  If you don't even look at the piddly partner sales and just look at the main site, non exclusive reg file can only make 63% of an exclusive reg file.  Which means if your at 17% you are really only  at 10.7% royalties.  vs 30% or 35%.  Ouch.

« Reply #94 on: October 12, 2012, 14:30 »
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Thanks for the info jsnover,  ;) I just submitted 3 more to istockphoto and got accepted  8) My friend looked at a few photos and picked out three he said istockphoto would like and they did.
I am getting to understand most companies, except for Bigstock, they reject better than 80% when all other except better than 80%, I guess just live and learn.

« Reply #95 on: October 12, 2012, 14:55 »
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Glad you found someone to ask - I assume the friend was an iStock contributor who has the scar tissue from his/her own rejections to know what to suggest.

These days BigStock is run by SS and seems to be following their reviewing standards fairly closely. Are you a SS contributor? If not, go for SS next and once you've figured them out, BigStock will take care of itself

« Reply #96 on: October 13, 2012, 08:23 »
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Thanks again jsnover  ;) I heard something about Bigstock and SS being related. Yes, I am a member of SS and funny thing, the the photos SS accepted, Bigstock rejected  ??? Maybe they are looking for diversity. Oh well, I am having a blast getting back to full speed in my photography again and having fun with the uploads.  8) Have a great weekend.

Poncke

« Reply #97 on: October 13, 2012, 11:28 »
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Write a note to BS with links to the photos on SS and they will accept them. Unless the photos are really bad and then SS will delete them. But 99% of the time BS accepted the links to SS and approved the photos.

« Reply #98 on: October 22, 2012, 17:42 »
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I think iStock has a serious issue. My sales have absolutely tanked from many sales a day to absolutely none. Looking at my Bit.ly analytics, the click throughs and page views have reflected this. On average my pages with the tracking links went from 500+ views per day to less than 10.

I have not changed anything, so something has gone very wrong at iStock's end.

Perhaps they have priced themselves out of the market? On the other hand maybe global financial issues are to blame. A combination of the two perhaps?

it's a worry and makes me want to try a few other stock related sites with better % on sales.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #99 on: October 22, 2012, 17:55 »
0
Views are almost gone, a 'feature' of the introduction of credit card sales in early September, together with the loss of the zoom feature, unreliable stats and goodness knows what else, possibly your tracking links, I couldn't possibly say.

Almost everyone is reporting a major fall in sales since the introduction of CCSales and the ensuing loss of site functionality.

In case you haven't read the iStock Help forum, there's a list of ongoing bugs as reported on 1st October, all but one still unfixed, some of these carrying over for months.
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=347769&page=1

They don't seem to GAD.


 

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