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Author Topic: Big H*cking News  (Read 9271 times)

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Istock News

« on: July 20, 2007, 18:28 »
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2007, 02:35 »
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Unlimited uploads for exclusives only.  It is bad enough only getting 20% commission.  I will have to consider if it is worth uploading to istock if the exclusives are going to have more advantages.

There is no way I am going exclusive with one site.  I just don't want to work for one company.

« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2007, 02:57 »
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They have lowered the Bronze level in the hope of enticing people to go exclusive earlier. It is pretty obvious what they are trying to do.  I think they are concerned about the competition they are getting so are trying to close up shop so they are offering lots of incentives.

Has anyone worked out the pricing change?  Any changes for Photog or just illistrators and filmers.

« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2007, 05:04 »
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yes i was upset to see that now it only takes 250 ti be Bronze! It took people like me a great effort to get 500 downloads to be Bronze and now this. Its obvious what they want to do. To tie people up early in the game as exclusives with them

« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2007, 07:12 »
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Do these levels have any benefit or is it just about getting a different icon next to your name?

vicu

« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2007, 08:39 »
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Because there are more contributors than ever, it can take an "average" but worthy portfolio a really long time to reach 500 downloads. I'd say it's that window of time where most who start out only with istock start shopping around. This is a smart move for istock to encourage those types of contributors into exclusivity.

As far as the comments about "if istock keeps giving advantages to exclusives, then i'm gonna have to quit"... that seems a bit silly. What would be the point of becoming exclusive if there was no advantage? It's okay if we make our decision to not become exclusive, but we don't think anyone who does should be compensated in line with their sacrifice? :-\

vicu

« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2007, 08:41 »
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Do these levels have any benefit or is it just about getting a different icon next to your name?

If you are exclusive there are additional benefits (higher percentages, higher upload limits, faster inspections are the main perks, but as you can see from the announcement, there are occassionally others). This enables you to become exclusive earlier than before (by 250 downloads).

vicu

« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2007, 08:48 »
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Has anyone worked out the pricing change?  Any changes for Photog or just illistrators and filmers.

The credit price is going up so it will be a price/income increase across the board. The illustrators were completely left out of the last adjustment that introduced additional photo sizes and structure. This new vector structure is similar to that adjustment and in my biased opinion is long overdue.

I'm not sure how the credit price increase will be received since it is the second one this year. Maybe they are planning not to do the yearly December announcement?? I guess if they don't see a dip from this one they'll be tempted to see how much they can get away with. It's hard to take it back once they've given it though.

I guess we all just wait and see.  ???

« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2007, 08:50 »
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I don't know a whole lot about the microstock industry and still learning. I do know alot about traditional stock and Getty Images. My understanding is Getty owns Istock and they are asking photographers to go exclusive. If this is the case let me put my 2 cents in. Getty is the trend setter in the stock photography industry. Whatever they do others will eventually follow. No one knows for sure where microstock is going and what the dollar amounts per image will eventually go. That being said Getty will determine this. They have the dollars and the power to determine this. My guess is there are a number of photographers who will say lets give exclusive a shot. Keep in mind once you give Getty exclusive usage of that photo, you lose all power and usage of that photo as long as Istock (Getyy) is distributing that image. There will probably be enough photographers who will say yes to exclusive and God only knows Getty has more than enough images to fill the gap for those photographers who say no to exclusive. In other words, Getty will eventually weed the non exclusive photographers out over time. If you don't believe me ask any stock photographer who has been in the industry long enough and knows the history of Getty and they will tell you exactly what I'm saying. That all being said, every other microstock agency will follow whatever pattern Getty sets. If you really want to make money in microstock as least in the short run, I suggest every photographer you can touch base with say NO. The biggest problem with photographers is they never work together on anything, therefore the Getty's of the world have 100% of the power. What other retail business do you know where the distributor gets to put his product on the shelf for free. Photographers have more power than they think, if only they work togother and not against each other.

Good luck to all.

« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2007, 08:54 »
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Do you think that Corbis entering the game help prompt this? I am a huge Istock fan and have been there about four years. I also a small player with 200+ pics and about 600 downloads I want see how this shakes out before I stop uploading to other sites.

« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2007, 09:00 »
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I forgot to mention something. That price increase photographers are talking about for going exclusive may be temporary. It might be a ploy to draw you in to an exclusive contract. I certainly don't know this for sure but it happened in traditional stock. The cost of doing business continues to grow and keep in mind, I believe Getty lost money last year. I recommend photographers go out and study the companies that are distributing your work as well as the competitors. I think it is important to know your business so you can make good business decisions. There are lots of great website out there to keep you informed. One of the best industry magazines is PDN (Photo District News). Rather if you are a part hobbist or trying to break in as a professional, this is a business and you are a part of it.

vicu

« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2007, 09:32 »
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I forgot to mention something. That price increase photographers are talking about for going exclusive may be temporary. It might be a ploy to draw you in to an exclusive contract. I certainly don't know this for sure but it happened in traditional stock.

The exclusive contract is not written in blood for pete's sake! It is easily rescinded with just a 30 day waiting period. Are you suggesting that the additional percentages being paid to contributors who sign up for exclusivity with suddenly change? The contract is binding both ways, and if there is no financial benefit to signing up then why would anyone? and if they renig on what they've agreed to, then in 30 days won't they have lost a significant number of exclusive contributors?

I guess I don't understand the point of posting such wild and unfounded speculation.

« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2007, 09:35 »
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Guys,

Thought this would be the perfect opportunity ;D to let you know that StockXpert has a few exciting programs we will be rolling out over the next few months, and we won't ask for you to be exclusive to StockXpert!

Stay tuned ...


« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2007, 11:09 »
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I guess I don't understand the point of posting such wild and unfounded speculation.
He's speaking from the viewpoint of a pro stock photographer who is only now checking out the microstock scene, and his concerns are derived from his years of experience in the traditional side of the industry. Whether they're valid or not remains to be seen ...

« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2007, 11:31 »
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As far as the comments about "if istock keeps giving advantages to exclusives, then i'm gonna have to quit"... that seems a bit silly. What would be the point of becoming exclusive if there was no advantage?

I actually said "I will have to consider if it is worth uploading to istock if the exclusives are going to have more advantages."

What I mean is that exclusives already have extra commission, higher upload limits, faster reviews and a few other extras that the rest of us don't hear about.  Now they are going to have a 100% commission day and an unlimited uploads weekend.  That is more advantages while non-exclusives are still stuck on 20% commission, the lowest of any of the sites. 

On top of this, my sales have gone in to decline since March while they are improving on other sites and istock now make only about 15% of my microstock monthly income.  If this continues, there might come a time when I find it isn't worth uploading to istock.  I hope that doesn't happen but it looks like it might.

« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2007, 11:34 »
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New credit prices mean a few extra cents from buyers who buy small amounts  of small amounts of credits old earnings in brackets

300 x 400 1 credit 19c - 26c (19c - 24c)
600 x 800 2 credit 38c - 52c (38c - 48c)
2 mp         4 credit 76c - $1.04 (76c - 96c)
5 mp         6 credit $1.14 - $1.56 ($1.14 - $1.44)

The 3 credit price for illustrators seems like a good idea

« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2007, 11:59 »
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I am not exclusive or have any intention of going exclusive in the near future.

However, I respect IS's decision to reward the loyalty of the exclusives that have taken the plunge and thrown their microstock future into one agency. If the future lies with commanding a loyal team of exclusive submitters, then IS is making the right moves. A fundemental rule of loyalty management is a mutual exchange of benefits, and so IS needs to be pro-active in its rewards for exclusives.

As for the rest of us, we decide based on our pattern of sales, if we go exclusive, if not, its still a good site to be part of, since for me at least they are still selling my non-exclusive images.

My 2 cents

Stu :)

« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2007, 12:06 »
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Vicu, I have been honest up front and said I don't know much about the micro stock industry. I'm simply throwing food for thought out there and hope photographers give their decisions some serious thought. I don't know what will happen. Let me repeat this, I don't know what will happen. I may be totally wrong, but if history repeats itself ????? Maybe image exclusive will turn out to be a sweet deal for micro, go ahead and test the waters if you wish. What I will say is Getty has a very powerful marketing machine, this may be very good for micro stock? Where are the end users (buyers) coming from? Do they have a favorite micro stock site or do they browse all of them? If Istock (Getty) is paying photographers more then are they going to charge the buyers more? If so, will this lead the buyers to other sites, after all micro stock is part of their cost cutting plans? Let me throw one more peace of advice out there, Think like a buyer not a photographer when making some of these decisions. If someone can direct me to the Istock contract I'll be happy to read over it.

To all: I'm trying to help, not trying to be your enemy. If you guys would prefer me to keep my opinions and years of experience out of your forum, I'll be happy to do so.

vicu

« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2007, 12:25 »
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Vicu, I have been honest up front and said I don't know much about the micro stock industry. I'm simply throwing food for thought out there and hope photographers give their decisions some serious thought. I don't know what will happen. Let me repeat this, I don't know what will happen. I may be totally wrong, but if history repeats itself ????? Maybe image exclusive will turn out to be a sweet deal for micro, go ahead and test the waters if you wish. What I will say is Getty has a very powerful marketing machine, this may be very good for micro stock? Where are the end users (buyers) coming from? Do they have a favorite micro stock site or do they browse all of them? If Istock (Getty) is paying photographers more then are they going to charge the buyers more? If so, will this lead the buyers to other sites, after all micro stock is part of their cost cutting plans? Let me throw one more peace of advice out there, Think like a buyer not a photographer when making some of these decisions. If someone can direct me to the Istock contract I'll be happy to read over it.

To all: I'm trying to help, not trying to be your enemy. If you guys would prefer me to keep my opinions and years of experience out of your forum, I'll be happy to do so.

No, of course your opinion is as valid as anyone's. I guess I get sick of seeing the same old "the sky is falling" chaos every time istock makes a big announcement. I apologize if my reaction seemed out of proportion to your comments, as it was more of a reaction to ALL these types of comments I've been reading all morning--- same goes for you, sharpshot. I was not implying that was a direct quote from you, but the general tone of many non-exclusives who have been voicing similar statements this morning.

It does disturb me when outright disinformation is being spread and I sometimes wonder about the source. However, hopefully we are all professional and level-headed enough to check facts before making important decisions based on someone's opinion we read on the internet.

Good luck to everyone! I hope that whatever decision you make for yourself serves you well in the future.

grp_photo

« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2007, 14:23 »
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The Announcements are actually not that exciting but it clearly shows that they are feeling/fearing the competition. Maybe the arrogance they showed in the past is going to brake their neck ( not so soon of course they are still strong but not so strong anymore as they have been two years ago).
By the way there is arrogant peebert is he still on their forums?

« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2007, 15:02 »
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Traveler, your opinion is very valued,and I do not think I speak only for myself.  I hope we can learn from you and you hopefully will learn also something from us about microstock.
Istock exclusivity is a very sensitive theme. And it is really easy to be biased about one position, as I am :) and then also being offended. I am not exclusive and have a bad feeling, when Istock announces such a thing, where again Istock exclusive get more preverable treatment. However ignoring my feeling, reflecting a little bit more about the exclusives, I think as an exclusive I would wellcome this and they certainly deserve this, it is good for them, in the short run definately. Also as a company it probably is a good economic descision.  

However I do not know about the long run. I really do not know if it is even good for the photographers who are exclusives. However IF photographers benefits from it in the long run then it will be the exclusive photographers who will benefit. Getty of course will be the big winner, but only if the other microstock agencies won't manage to close the gap.

Since I am on several other microstock agencies and IS income is only ~25% of it with a slightly downwards trend, I think becoming exclusive for me is out of question, even if the will offer us 50% for becoming exclusive, as other agencies are allready doing for non-exclusives.

I believe Istock is well ahead of the others, but the battle of microstock is not yet decided, even with Getty caring now about IS.

« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2007, 15:41 »
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... If you really want to make money in microstock as least in the short run, I suggest every photographer you can touch base with say NO. The biggest problem with photographers is they never work together on anything, therefore the Getty's of the world have 100% of the power. What other retail business do you know where the distributor gets to put his product on the shelf for free. Photographers have more power than they think, if only they work togother and not against each other.


I agree wholeheartedly. iStock's actions seem to me to be born from worry. They see other existing microstock companies growing as fast, if not faster than themselves. They see new players coming on to the market all the time ... some of them (like Snapvillage) a major new threat.

iStock was one of the first in this field and, naturally, they want to keep all the action for themselves. I don't blame them. So would I.

What they are offering exclusive photographers seems, on the surface, to be wonderful. But in my opinion it is a 'poisoned chalice'. According to their terms, in theory, if you go exclusive with them you cannot submit any photographs anywhere else. Not even photos you don't have with them.

How many people have photos that were rejected by iS but sell well with another company? You couldn't have those if you are exclusive.

How many people earn as much, if not more from all the other companies combined than they do with iS? Not on if you're exclusive.

How many people just love iStock's super-efficient uploading process.   ;)  You're stuck with it if you're exclusive.

And what about all those people who worked away to reach their 500 downloads so they could go exclusive only to find that, suddenly, people with half their number are offered the same terms. Do you think they're  happy bunnies?

Who knows ... next step may be that you are able to go exclusive with iS as soon as you're accepted.

The fact that iStock are trying to increase the attractiveness of their exclusivity deal seems to show that they are worried about their supply. And that's good for us suppliers.

My view is, as a photographer, we shouldn't put all our eggs in one basket. Keep our options open. After all, they're our images. And we are the foundation upon which this whole business rests. Don't forget ... no images ... no iStock.


« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2007, 15:49 »
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I only have 5 photos at iStockPhoto. I have ~1000 or more at other agencies. As long as they won't enable easy FTP uploads, they will not see my photos. I know that I'm just a small fish, but I'm sure that I'm not the only one who wants to spend a freakin huge amount of time (compared to other agencies) for uploading photos.

Just my two (euro) cents,
Michael

« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2007, 17:26 »
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By the way there is arrogant peebert is he still on their forums?

Peebert had a hard job of keeping the forums clean of trash similar to your post. It seems that even he eventually had enough as, to answer your question, no, he' no longer around. BTW, its seems pretty arrogant to call somebody arrogant while hiding in off-site forum behind an anonymous account.

« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2007, 02:04 »
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I think he had a serious motorbike accident, and in his absence one way or another things changed.


By the way there is arrogant peebert is he still on their forums?


 

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