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Author Topic: stockfreeimages.com  (Read 22418 times)

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« on: March 15, 2012, 19:29 »
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dreamstime have launched stockfreeimages.com

- there a PR at http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stockfreeimagescom-launches-offering-400000-free-images-to-designers-webmasters-and-bloggers-2012-03-15

those who have free images on DT also seem to have their images opted into this collection - at the bottom of each image page there are (or should be I guess - it seems that my images on there don't have) thumbs to 8 of your other images on dreamstime.

Fotolia seemed to fail miserably in this space with photoxpress - but least for those with thumbnails on their stockfreeimages page's then they get some 'comeback' to the main DT site - fotolia 'forgot' that bit.

I guess it would have been nice to know before the launch?... or what that have simply meant everyone would pull their free images from DT?

yes there will be plenty of people who this does not affect as they don't have any free images on dreamstime, will be interesting if DT make this work where fotolia seem to loose interest.

(and for the record I have a whopping 6 free images on DT which are only there to test the waters)


« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 20:03 »
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Morons.  Goes to show none of them care about you/us.

« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 20:17 »
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Morons.  Goes to show none of them care about you/us.

I think you just came up with their tagline.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2012, 20:22 »
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I don't get this as a marketing tool. 400,000 images? That gives people 400,000+ reasons to not buy an image. If it's worth using it's worth charging for. Even $1. I just checked the site and there are plenty of usable images. WTH?

Free stuff should only be offered as an incentive to buy something. Buy 100 images get 10 free ones. I'm not seeing how attracting freebie hunters, who typically don't pay for anything and will go out of their way to find free stuff, is a good approach to grow revenue. Someone who is searching for free stuff does not intend to buy anything.

If I can get free gas at one gas station why would I go somewhere else to pay for it?

I hope this fails miserably and should be a lesson to anyone who gets warm fuzzys from offering some of their images for free.

velocicarpo

« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2012, 20:42 »
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Morons.  Goes to show none of them care about you/us.

So true...

« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2012, 22:26 »
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Morons.  Goes to show none of them care about you/us.
With more and more "get-rich-quick" contributors from Asia and Eastern Europe it's not too much of a surprise that the agencies have no interest in "protecting" or "tending to" their long standing, successful, individual contributors.

This was the problem to begin with: Microstock, the chance to make (some) cash from (almost) nothing. No editors had to be impressed, no massive gear had to be purchased. Yes, things have moved on but still, as we can see, so many new contributors are flooding the collections at every agency making it so much more difficult for each individual contributor.

It only hurts us not the agencies. They keep on getting swamped with thousands and thousands of images daily no matter what Yuri, Sean or anyone else says or does. Now the whole shebang is a self-runner. The agencies don't even have to beg contributors to come to them, it just happens on its own.

However, the agencies look for other ways to get more buyers and if that means offering free stuff to more people (which could possibly turn them into buyers...) then so they will do that as well. Like I said, they won't take a hit, only every single one of us does...

It never has been fair, but now it's even more unfair...  :-\

« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2012, 23:48 »
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If I can get free gas at one gas station why would I go somewhere else to pay for it?

I hope this fails miserably and should be a lesson to anyone who gets warm fuzzys from offering some of their images for free.

Because most of the microstock agency's free image offerings are akin to red-diesel (agricultural grade), yes it'll 'do the job', but it's not going to be good for your engine :)

I'm in favour of agencies making free-images offerings, and here's why:

1) Most agency-hosted free images are really crap. There are exceptions of course, but for the most part they are sub-standard when compared to the bulk of the paid collection, particularly in the major demand topics.
2) The upsell from free-to-paid has worked for me, I've been referring free-photo users to dreamstime (and other agencies) for about 2 years now, and they do convert quite nicely into paying buyers. My referral income makes a lot more (especially from dreamstime) on upsold buyers than from contributors (even though I have referred many more contributors).
3) At microstock-expo when I asked his panel about this, Oleg Tscheltzoff said "People who like free, don't want to pay"... which is fair enough, maybe they don't 'want' to pay, but those who are most successful eventually realise they will get more if they do, and fortunately microstock has a very VERY low 'barrier' price.
4) I have a couple of tools to help buyers search for free images, with a focus on the upsell, and I quite often get sent questions like "I like this image *link*" but it's not quite *reason*... where can I find a better version". I then refer those people to a lightbox or search results page of similar images.
5) The main competition to many microstock agencies is creative commons (mainly flickr/google) and wiki-commons. Bloggers want images, and the sheer number of blogs out there is unimaginable, I'd rather the people who 'like free' are getting them from somewhere where there is at-least a chance of them turning in to paying buyers.

I think a free offering is smart, and whilst stockfreeimages.com in particular could use a stronger focus on the upsell, it's neat, easy and quick use, and has potential to reach a lot of people.
If they just add an api I can get on upselling through them too :)

« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2012, 00:04 »
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Why dont they just market all 400,000 in the free section they started in 2007?  http://web.archive.org/web/20070809014104/http://www.dreamstime.com/free-images_pg1  ???

« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2012, 00:20 »
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That gives people 400,000+ reasons to not buy an image. 

You said it best.

For those who want to continue to devalue their work, go ahead.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2012, 07:46 »
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Here's another way to look at it.

I haven't bought antivirus software in probably 10 years. Why should I? There are dozens of free ones that are good enough. I'm guessing there are millions, or maybe even tens of millions of people, who feel the same way. If there were no free options my choice would be pay, or go without antivirus software. If antivirus was no longer free a good percentage of those people would buy it. Some won't, but using 10 million new sales as an example, multiplied by $30 for the software, equals $300 million. That $300 million would be divided up among all the software companies.

The same thing applies to us. If it wasn't free people would need to pay, or do without. And that new money would get divided up among us. Free takes away from all of us.

« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2012, 07:54 »
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Morons.  Goes to show none of them care about you/us.

Who? DT or the thousands of individuals who have contributed content to the free section?

Ed

« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2012, 08:03 »
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I'm convinced that the only way to get the value of an image to increase, is to educate the buyers on how they need to charge more for their product.  I don't understand why a designer can't charge an hourly rate plus out of pocket expenses - out of pocket expenses being the images they buy for use within the design.

The issue is that they are giving their work away for free or pennies, and then they are putting pressure on the agencies to lower prices and give work away for free because the designers don't have the cajones to raise their prices.

People (including contributors to the agencies) need to start learning to say no to low/no paying clients.

« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2012, 10:12 »
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2012, 10:17 »
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ShadySue

« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2012, 10:18 »
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Bonkers, I'd say.

"Image use is completely free of charge, but site terms do require users to provide attribution via a creditline. "

Which, judging by the extremely few people who obey iStock's site terms and attribute photos used editorially, will cost them a fortune to police. If they even bother.

ShadySue

« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2012, 10:24 »
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I'm not seeing how attracting freebie hunters, who typically don't pay for anything and will go out of their way to find free stuff, is a good approach to grow revenue. Someone who is searching for free stuff does not intend to buy anything.
As a former teacher, I can confirm this totally.

« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2012, 10:38 »
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I really don't mind the "free image of the week" approach that some agencies have on their front page.  It brings people to the site every Monday to see what's new and in most of these cases they can easily click through to the portfolio or "more of this model".

digitalexpressionimages

« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2012, 10:49 »
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Here's another way to look at it.

I haven't bought antivirus software in probably 10 years. Why should I? There are dozens of free ones that are good enough. I'm guessing there are millions, or maybe even tens of millions of people, who feel the same way. If there were no free options my choice would be pay, or go without antivirus software. If antivirus was no longer free a good percentage of those people would buy it. Some won't, but using 10 million new sales as an example, multiplied by $30 for the software, equals $300 million. That $300 million would be divided up among all the software companies.

The same thing applies to us. If it wasn't free people would need to pay, or do without. And that new money would get divided up among us. Free takes away from all of us.

Or they would pirate the software and people would download it illegally. Same goes for images. Free isn't something some people will do without. If it isn't given, they'll take it.

I feel, after re-reading my post, that I should add, most people don't have the knowledge to write an anti-virus program of their own if they choose not to buy one, but with cameras on every cellphone these days and a wide variety of people who have the opinion it's "good enough" as you put it, if stock image prices are too high and they can't get one free, they certainly could supply their own. I'm not sure there'd be much extra wealth to divide up.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2012, 11:15 by digitalexpression »

digitalexpressionimages

« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2012, 11:00 »
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Bonkers, I'd say.

"Image use is completely free of charge, but site terms do require users to provide attribution via a creditline. "

Which, judging by the extremely few people who obey iStock's site terms and attribute photos used editorially, will cost them a fortune to police. If they even bother.

They won't bother. The free section has always been a self promo tool to attract people to the site in the hopes that the next time they need an image they come back and buy one. DT knows just like everyone else that there will always be losses due to theft. They're trying to reduce the theft somewhat by giving would be thieves a legal way to get free photos. In the process hoping some will look at the higher quality options available and choose to buy one of those instead.

I don't necessarily agree with the strategy but I do accept that as long as I put my property on display, someone will want to--try to--will steal it.

« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2012, 11:15 »
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By FAR the most popular free site on the web is sxc.hu, which is a massive referral driver for istock. Dreamstime is trying to compete - every visitor they get to their free site is one they don't have to pay to advertise to. Fotolia did the same thing with photoxpress, though that site has shifted a bit. If sxc were not so popular, I doubt this approach would be Dreamstime's first choice.

ShadySue

« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2012, 11:15 »
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There are loads of photo users who don't require 'picture perfect': adequate and free is good enough.

OTOH, it depends how they're going to set out the new site. There seem to be some 'partners' who apparently offer free downloadable images. When you go to their page and look for e.g. a photo of a horse, and you get one free downloadable image then many more watermarked ones linking to the download page for the image on whichever micro/s they've partnered with.
Don't even know if that works well, but I got a (very) few referrals when iStock was giving them via some 'free' site, so some people must bite.

rubyroo

« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2012, 11:39 »
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IIRC, sxc.hu was originally the site that drove so much traffic towards StockXpert.  I seem to remember the boss of StockXpert saying they were pretty stunned at the amount of traffic they received via that route.  So... Getty swallowed that up too eh?

But still, I'd much rather see the agencies educating the public on copyright issues by persuading them that the prices they sell at are a bargain, and that the creators can only make a living if they SELL them.  I'd also like to see them try to break the 'everything should be free' mentality by making it widely known that copyright is NOT about the man on the street vs faceless corporates, but is about enabling us little creators to make a living from our titchy share of the cut.

I think someone cleverer than I ought to start a video campaign with depressing, funereal music, that starts 'Imagine a world without images.....' and then displays websites, magazines, etc. solely reliant on text, and puts forward the case for legitimate purchase to support the artists who make the world more visually appealing and help to convey a thousand words with a picture.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2012, 11:44 by rubyroo »

« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2012, 11:43 »
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IIRC, sxc.hu was originally the site that drove so much traffic towards StockXpert.  I seem to remember the boss of StockXpert saying they were pretty stunned at the amount of traffic they received via that route.  So... Getty swallowed that up too eh?

Actually, sxc was so popular that they spun out stockxpert as a paid site, which sxc then promoted. They were both bought by Jupiter images, which was then bought by Getty a number years ago. When Getty shut down stockxpert, sxc became a referral driver for istock.

And I agree with the rest of your points.

rubyroo

« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2012, 11:46 »
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Ahhh clever.  An inch by inch approach that worked.  I guess they still have that approach now with Stockfresh.  Hope it works for them this time around too.

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2012, 11:51 »
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Giving away just a few pictures for free as a promotional tool is fine.

But 400k+ is too much imo: for a popular search, it means many potential buyers can find a suitable free alternative, resulting in a lost sale instead of promotion.

However many other sites have free pictures as well, so - if they all do - I must be wrong and they must know what they do. Possibly ;D
« Last Edit: March 16, 2012, 11:53 by microstockphoto.co.uk »


 

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