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Author Topic: Microstock has reached a plateau...  (Read 38654 times)

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« Reply #75 on: July 14, 2010, 21:07 »
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The issue here is the Micro model, the concept and if you think this present model will remain for another 10 years, well then Im afraid youve got youre head in the sand and pretty much deeper then mine. sorry.

Powerdroid still thinks his newbie graphs will continue going upwards forever. Let him enjoy the fantasy for now __ he'll learn soon enough!

Do I think my newbie graphs will continue going upwards forever?  I have no idea.  I just know that they've shown pretty consistent growth (not astronomical, but steady increases) for nearly two years.  But you're right... if this "fantasy" ends, I will learn, as you said.  I will learn that if my efforts stop paying off, it will be time to turn my energies to another endeavor that will, rather than plugging away at a standstill.  You can bet I will learn and move on.  But until then, I'm enjoying the fantasy -- creatively and financially.


vonkara

« Reply #76 on: July 14, 2010, 21:13 »
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Plus one post yee (Deleted)
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 21:17 by Vonkara »

lagereek

« Reply #77 on: July 15, 2010, 05:23 »
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There's the glass half full and the glass half empty point of view. I prefer to look ahead to all the great new stuff happening ahead. If the micro model dies a slow death, well, that's fine, because i know that there will still be a demand for good images. The digital revolution opened many more new paths than it closed. Microstock photographers proved that image creation, and creativity, did not have to belong to a select group of photographers in the major cities with access to labs that could process 8x10 film in 1 hour and located next to model agencies and prop rental houses. That was too bad for those photographers ( i was one of them), but it changed the world for the better. Go back and look at some of the magazines from the 70's, and tell me that the quality was better than the microstock competition today. It wasn't!
Okay, i get paid far less than i did back then. But the overhead that existed back then was crazy- $50,000 a year for rent, $40,000 a year for film and processing, the same amount for assistants, then messengers, insurance, promotion, and when you got the job you paid 25% to the rep who got you the job. Spend 3 weeks without a job and you were out of business. Today, every one of those expenses is gone. Instead, you have to pay the website to sell your images. Well, to me, they are welcome to it.
   The rights managed business came out of an era when to sell a stock image you had to publish a 300 page catalog and send out 10,000 copies for FREE, and do this 3 times a year. You had to duplicate every image at a cost of $5 a dupe just to have images to send out on approval. The rights managed era died because the delivery mechanism changed.
    All I am really trying to say is, if you feel that you are a good photographer ( or artist), then don't worry about where the future will be. Just try to be the best at whatever you do, and that quality will be recognized. I'm living proof that you can survive change, if you embrace change as the oppourtunity it is.

It is about time somebody finally said it.

Said what??????? something we didnt know? something which hasnt been said over a million times?  beats me!

best.

« Reply #78 on: July 15, 2010, 05:50 »
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There's the glass half full and the glass half empty point of view. I prefer to look ahead to all the great new stuff happening ahead. If the micro model dies a slow death, well, that's fine, because i know that there will still be a demand for good images. The digital revolution opened many more new paths than it closed. Microstock photographers proved that image creation, and creativity, did not have to belong to a select group of photographers in the major cities with access to labs that could process 8x10 film in 1 hour and located next to model agencies and prop rental houses. That was too bad for those photographers ( i was one of them), but it changed the world for the better. Go back and look at some of the magazines from the 70's, and tell me that the quality was better than the microstock competition today. It wasn't!
Okay, i get paid far less than i did back then. But the overhead that existed back then was crazy- $50,000 a year for rent, $40,000 a year for film and processing, the same amount for assistants, then messengers, insurance, promotion, and when you got the job you paid 25% to the rep who got you the job. Spend 3 weeks without a job and you were out of business. Today, every one of those expenses is gone. Instead, you have to pay the website to sell your images. Well, to me, they are welcome to it.
   The rights managed business came out of an era when to sell a stock image you had to publish a 300 page catalog and send out 10,000 copies for FREE, and do this 3 times a year. You had to duplicate every image at a cost of $5 a dupe just to have images to send out on approval. The rights managed era died because the delivery mechanism changed.
    All I am really trying to say is, if you feel that you are a good photographer ( or artist), then don't worry about where the future will be. Just try to be the best at whatever you do, and that quality will be recognized. I'm living proof that you can survive change, if you embrace change as the oppourtunity it is.

It is about time somebody finally said it.

Said what??????? something we didnt know? something which hasnt been said over a million times?  beats me!

best.

Great post, jbarber873.

I just find it funny (or sad) that so many here are so beaten down and angry that they feel they have to squash every note of optimism that sprouts up.  If it's from a relative newcomer like me they'll say "enjoy your little fantasy world while it lasts" and predict doom, or if it's from a seasoned pro like jbarber873, they'll dismiss it as worthless ramblings.

It's clear that certain people are doing well and want to tell everyone that the sky is falling to scare off new competition.  And it's clear that others believe the negativity they're spewing... microstock isn't working for them anymore and they're hell-bent on trash-talking it forever (so why do they spend so much time on it, particularly in a forum focused on something they clearly hate?)

I used to feel I got a lot out of participating in this forum -- good information and inspiration.  But now it's just depressing.  This is the last you'll be hearing from me. 

To all those who are here because you see a brighter future and wish to learn, best of luck, and don't let the complainers get you down.

To those who wish to squash the dreams of others so you can keep the downloads for yourself, shame on you.

And to those with the giant chips on your shoulders who do nothing but spread your poisonous negativity, find something productive to do with your time.

Power Droid out.  Good bye.

« Reply #79 on: July 15, 2010, 06:09 »
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Must say, you sound very optimistic indeed or perhaps afraid it has reached a plateau?  Im not, Ive also been in the stock-business for over 20 years, seen very good agencies bite the dust, in fact the entire RM industry has been in a decline for the past 3 years and there is absoloutely nothing in this world that says Micro wont go the same way.
We are all wishfull thinkers though, arent we?

I think you're missing the point.  He said he expects there are changes coming but that people will always need images.  Do you think we'll revert to a text-based world and suddenly the billions of attention-span-challenged people will prefer to read information instead of taking it in visually?  Of course not.  Then you have to believe that the demand for images will only increase.  Next, do you think buyers will pay high prices for those images?  No, price pressure will only grow, making microstock or something like it the most viable business model for supplying low-priced images for some time.  Yes, microstock could and maybe will be replaced by another model (free downloads with contributors paid via advertising, or some other variation of the free model that compensates contributors), but if you think there's no future for image-producers, then you have your head in the sand and the industry will pass you by.
 

Youre missing the point, nobody said it wont be a demand for image-makers, what I said or rather meant was: it will not and cant remain as it is and will probably be replaced by another model. There will always be a demand for pictures, sure! were not questioning that, another issue here.
The issue here is the Micro model, the concept and if you think this present model will remain for another 10 years, well then Im afraid youve got youre head in the sand and pretty much deeper then mine. sorry.

Yes, it will. I accept bets.

(Another think is how profitable it will be)

« Reply #80 on: July 15, 2010, 07:43 »
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Okay, i get paid far less than i did back then. But the overhead that existed back then was crazy- $50,000 a year for rent, $40,000 a year for film and processing, the same amount for assistants, then messengers, insurance, promotion, and when you got the job you paid 25% to the rep who got you the job. Spend 3 weeks without a job and you were out of business. Today, every one of those expenses is gone. Instead, you have to pay the website to sell your images. Well, to me, they are welcome to it.
   The rights managed business came out of an era when to sell a stock image you had to publish a 300 page catalog and send out 10,000 copies for FREE, and do this 3 times a year. You had to duplicate every image at a cost of $5 a dupe just to have images to send out on approval. The rights managed era died because the delivery mechanism changed.
    All I am really trying to say is, if you feel that you are a good photographer ( or artist), then don't worry about where the future will be. Just try to be the best at whatever you do, and that quality will be recognized. I'm living proof that you can survive change, if you embrace change as the oppourtunity it is.

It is about time somebody finally said it.

Said what??????? something we didnt know? something which hasnt been said over a million times?  beats me!

best.

He is the first one, that I red, who admit that Microstock is good as traditional stock.

lisafx

« Reply #81 on: July 15, 2010, 09:49 »
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To those who wish to squash the dreams of others so you can keep the downloads for yourself, shame on you. To those who wish to stem the overwhelming flood of competition so you can continue to support your families - shame on you.

And to those with the giant chips on your shoulders who do nothing but spread your poisonous negativity, find something productive to do with your time.  And to those who have more than two years experience and are willing to share it with the rest of the group, rather than just being cheerleaders and polyannas - stop raining on my parade.

Power Droid out.  Good bye.  Cmon - you know you don't mean this...

My translations above in red...

« Reply #82 on: July 15, 2010, 10:04 »
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Ha!  Yeah, exactly.

« Reply #83 on: July 15, 2010, 10:09 »
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And to those with the giant chips on your shoulders who do nothing but spread your poisonous negativity, find something productive to do with your time.  And to those who have more than two years experience and are willing to share it with the rest of the group, rather than just being cheerleaders and polyannas - stop raining on my parade.


Exactly! I don't have any chips on my shoulders ('giant' or otherwise), quite the reverse. I do however have nearly 6 years of experience of microstock and thereby the data to put current sales numbers into perspective.

I'm staggered that sharing information (which is what this forum is all about isn't it?) causes some poor newbie to run away crying about how horrid we all are. Their problem, not ours.

« Reply #84 on: July 15, 2010, 11:16 »
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(edited down)I used to feel I got a lot out of participating in this forum -- good information and inspiration.  But now it's just depressing.  This is the last you'll be hearing from me.

That's what they all say.

Sometimes the negativity here gets me down too and I just leave for a while. But there's no point in saying I won't be back, because there is too much good information on this site not to come back.

And it's depressing here because it's depressing everywhere in the business world! I've been unemployed for a year! That is totally freakin depressing! It's reality.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 11:18 by cclapper »

« Reply #85 on: July 15, 2010, 11:40 »
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I just assumed ALL photographers were grouchy. Something to do with radiation from cameras or something.

« Reply #86 on: July 15, 2010, 11:49 »
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Sometimes the negativity here gets me down too and I just leave for a while. But there's no point in saying I won't be back, because there is too much good information on this site not to come back.

Yeah, I do the same.

lagereek

« Reply #87 on: July 15, 2010, 13:39 »
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To those who wish to squash the dreams of others so you can keep the downloads for yourself, shame on you. To those who wish to stem the overwhelming flood of competition so you can continue to support your families - shame on you.

And to those with the giant chips on your shoulders who do nothing but spread your poisonous negativity, find something productive to do with your time.  And to those who have more than two years experience and are willing to share it with the rest of the group, rather than just being cheerleaders and polyannas - stop raining on my parade.

Power Droid out.  Good bye.  Cmon - you know you don't mean this...

My translations above in red...

Ha, ha,  bloody great reply!!  its funny, some people rather have a good lie then an ugly truth,  living in some sort of a promised land. What I dont get is that many seem to believe that the Micro will remain unchanged for a further 10 years, making it 20 years unchanged.
This means that the Micro will be the only business model in the entire world, throughout history remaining the same, which then wouldnt say very much for the concept anyway.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 13:40 by lagereek »

jbarber873

« Reply #88 on: July 16, 2010, 08:21 »
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To those who wish to squash the dreams of others so you can keep the downloads for yourself, shame on you. To those who wish to stem the overwhelming flood of competition so you can continue to support your families - shame on you.

And to those with the giant chips on your shoulders who do nothing but spread your poisonous negativity, find something productive to do with your time.  And to those who have more than two years experience and are willing to share it with the rest of the group, rather than just being cheerleaders and polyannas - stop raining on my parade.

Power Droid out.  Good bye.  Cmon - you know you don't mean this...

My translations above in red...

Ha, ha,  bloody great reply!!  its funny, some people rather have a good lie then an ugly truth,  living in some sort of a promised land. What I dont get is that many seem to believe that the Micro will remain unchanged for a further 10 years, making it 20 years unchanged.
This means that the Micro will be the only business model in the entire world, throughout history remaining the same, which then wouldnt say very much for the concept anyway.

    Well, I guess you could say I'm optimistic. But "Pollyanna"? Ouch!
Am I the one raining on the parade? I hope not- I'm a little confused by that, but it's not my intention.
As for being accused of lying, well that's not true. I never said that microstock will remain unchanged for 10 years. I said change is constant, and I said that change represents an oppourtunity. But maybe you didn't mean me- this is all getting a little confusing.
   My feeling is that if you are optimistic, and work as hard or harder than everyone else, there is always a place to make money in stock photography. The simple fact is that there are plenty of buyers for good photography. If that's been said a million times, well maybe it still hasn't sunk in.
   All my life, people have been telling me that it's over for photography. When i was a freshman in college at RIT in 1972 (!), the upperclassman all told us we would be driving trucks for a living. When i came to NYC to be an assistant, everyone said the business was dying, and you should have been here last year. McCann-Erickson had a very well respected "guru" on staff who always predicted doom for the next year.
   If you feel bad about this business, then by all means bail out. It won't help me, but maybe it will give a chance to someone young and energetic, who isn't beaten down by life, and just wants to make some great images. Even if this isn't as good a business as it used to be, it's still a great way to live your life, and I would still encourage those who love it to keep at it.
  So maybe I am Pollyanna. But I'll tell you this- the whole microstock world is a great and unique event, and I am happy to be a part of it.
And finally, in response to an earlier post, I do indeed think that a great deal of the work here exceeds the quality of traditional stock. There have always been gate keepers, and gate smashers. Be a gate smasher- it's more fun.
   And Powerdroid- come back! I love your posts. I'll shut up and sit on the sidelines- I promise!

« Reply #89 on: July 16, 2010, 10:21 »
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Thanks for your posts Powerdroid and jbarber873. I prefer to stay optimistic about microstock.

My own "newbie graphs" shows that the growth of my microstock earnings is slowing down, perhaps, approaching plateau. However, I can still predict my microstock earnings up to several (6?) months ahead. There are month to month variations but quarterly numbers look pretty smooth. It is an interesting challenge.

« Reply #90 on: July 16, 2010, 11:52 »
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I don't think he was talking about you jbarber. I think there has been a lot of optimism bashing here lately. The thought that optimism was somehow akin to foolishness or naivety seems to have been in a lot of threads. I'm not sure I agree, but like others said when it gets too negative here, I just stop reading for a while. Besides, football season is coming up soon, then I'll have a whole new distraction.

« Reply #91 on: July 16, 2010, 12:01 »
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If someone has done microstock for years (let's say for 4 years or more), it's just really hard to remain optimistic, everything just seem to go downhill. And it's also summer slowdown.

To be honest, if someone wanted to start microstock photography right now, I would say "don't bother". Partly to protect my own earnings and partly just to get them to do something else than wasting their time.

jbarber873

« Reply #92 on: July 16, 2010, 12:08 »
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I don't think he was talking about you jbarber. I think there has been a lot of optimism bashing here lately. The thought that optimism was somehow akin to foolishness or naivety seems to have been in a lot of threads. I'm not sure I agree, but like others said when it gets too negative here, I just stop reading for a while. Besides, football season is coming up soon, then I'll have a whole new distraction.

Football season- talk about optimism quickly dashed!
Anyway, thanks for the reply. I think your right. Like I said, it gets confusing following the threads.

« Reply #93 on: July 16, 2010, 13:34 »
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Yeah powerdroid come back you are the positive voice of the newbies! As vociferously positive as those that are so negative. We need the balance! Hey my graphs are still climbing steeply after 2 years too! I just stop coming here when it's too much doom and gloom and then come back now and again to check everything out. Sometimes the negative stuff makes me laugh out loud, much is Tongue in cheek. ; )

RacePhoto

« Reply #94 on: July 21, 2010, 17:00 »
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I just assumed ALL photographers were grouchy. Something to do with radiation from cameras or something.

I'd blame it on the chemicals and fumes, but we don't use that anymore.  ;D

The glass is 3/4th full and room for growth, just not the same rate that there was a few years back.

Plateau is a good way to put it. Leveling off, stabilizing whatever else, that's what's happening. Competition is greater from the agency side to the artists supply. Nothing has unlimited growth potential at a high rate forever. Expect some more agencies to be closing as the ones making a profit continue and those struggling find it necessary to close shop.

Example:  SHUTTERSTOCK STATS: 12,074,645 royalty-free stock photos / 81,787 new stock photos added this week / 240,364 photographers.

81,000 new photos a week, the competition is greater for each individual sale. The cameras are better, the contributors are smarter.
12 million pictures to choose from, and a potential of growing at 4 million a year!

« Reply #95 on: July 21, 2010, 18:53 »
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i for one enjoy powerdroids posts so it would be a shame if you didnt post here anymore.

« Reply #96 on: August 10, 2010, 09:06 »
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For the forseeable future, until another business model emerges that makes sense to contributors (free? that's an argument for another thread) microstock will prosper, and will become much larger than it is today.
Bingo. Ellen Boughn had some slips of the tongue a while ago, and also Arcurs. There is something being cooked, and one of the most prominent artists here made a slip of the tongue too. All those people were in Dublin and they apparently conspired there about that new "free" business model. It seems to be covered by an NDA, but we will know soon enough, I've been told in private.
Sorry to disappoint but if there was some new 'free' model being discussed behind closed doors and under an NDA in Dublin...the people involved didn't invite me! But since I'm a busy body, I probably would have heard about it and I didn't. So not to worry. Most of the talk was about how to raise prices, not free.

« Reply #97 on: August 10, 2010, 09:06 »
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For the forseeable future, until another business model emerges that makes sense to contributors (free? that's an argument for another thread) microstock will prosper, and will become much larger than it is today.
Bingo. Ellen Boughn had some slips of the tongue a while ago, and also Arcurs. There is something being cooked, and one of the most prominent artists here made a slip of the tongue too. All those people were in Dublin and they apparently conspired there about that new "free" business model. It seems to be covered by an NDA, but we will know soon enough, I've been told in private.

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #98 on: August 10, 2010, 09:20 »
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conspirations in Dublin? NDA? too many pints of Guinness, possibly

however, any alternative to microstock - free or not free - will have to generate revenue, otherwise no one will seriously follow it
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 09:23 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

« Reply #99 on: August 10, 2010, 09:45 »
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Sorry to disappoint but if there was some new 'free' model being discussed behind closed doors and under an NDA in Dublin...the people involved didn't invite me! But since I'm a busy body, I probably would have heard about it and I didn't. So not to worry. Most of the talk was about how to raise prices, not free.
Glad to hear. Well I heard about an NDA but not in public. Raising prices will be as difficult as putting the ghost back in the bottle. The amateurs will never give up producing stock under the cost level.


 

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