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Author Topic: 500px - Kelly Thompson strikes again  (Read 32285 times)

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« Reply #75 on: March 21, 2016, 19:24 »
+7

It definitely takes a cut out of our profits, to give the photographers 70%! There's no denying that. But we think it's better to tighten our margins and attract world class photographers. We'll make up the difference in volume, because we have the best photographers in the world selling their work.

did i read it wrong or did they mention world-class photographers will go with that???

Yes this is what world class photographers want - crappy commissions


Hongover

« Reply #76 on: March 21, 2016, 19:29 »
+2
So I wouldn't blame Thompson. He's just the messenger.
Once is unfortunate; twice is a pattern forming.
Honourable people would resign rather than announce this sort of 'deal'; or, if that was impossible, immediately afterwards.

Trust me when I say this. It's the 500PX board/investors who pressure the company into this decision. They used the 70% to lure in photographers. They look what the competition is doing, and see what they can get away with and they copy. This plan was probably 6 months to a year in the making.

He will never give up his secure 6-figure job for "honor"...no sane person would. He's what he will do in the future. He's going to tell you in a flower and rainbow email that 500PX will cut prices to attract more customers, which will lead to contributors getting less per sale.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 19:42 by Minscer »

ShadySue

« Reply #77 on: March 21, 2016, 19:46 »
+13
He will never give up his secure 6-figure job for "honor"...no sane person would.
Of course many would.
He above all people should, because 'money isn't what makes him happy'.

« Reply #78 on: March 21, 2016, 20:11 »
+13
No watermarks and pays 30%  >:(

I'm going to delete my profile too... I didn't upload many, but too bad I wasted some time on this without any return.

Edit: Deleted all my photos. So, I don't have to worry about them anymore.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 20:52 by anathaya »

« Reply #79 on: March 21, 2016, 20:48 »
0

It definitely takes a cut out of our profits, to give the photographers 70%! There's no denying that. But we think it's better to tighten our margins and attract world class photographers. We'll make up the difference in volume, because we have the best photographers in the world selling their work.

did i read it wrong or did they mention world-class photographers will go with that???

Yes this is what world class photographers want - crappy commissions

LOL,  i guess there will be enough gullible photographers who will believe them when they say
"your photograph will be published all over the world, ...
so that makes you a World-class photographer"

woopy dink!!!... but that only makes you a 2nd best World-class photographer,
since the ones who give them photographers away for free
... like those on flickr, fbok,etc.. are the real World-class photographers
since more of their photos are used all over the world...

and the only thing that is found more than your world-class photographs
 around the world is ....................garbage  8)

« Reply #80 on: March 21, 2016, 20:56 »
+8
Let's take a different perspective on this.

They've gone through 7 rounds of financing and they've pretty much gave the majority of the company away to investors. In 2014, the founder & CEO of the company was ousted because he was basically being too nice to the community instead of making money off of them.

With pressure from the board, the new CEO needed to start making money or else. Oh, let's not forget that investors in Silicon Valley are incredibly nervous right now and has been pressing their investments toward a path of profitability. And any chance of 500PX getting more funding was pretty slim in this funding environment.

And all the the pressure and nervousness has led to this. Investors want higher revenue so it can possibility go public one day or secure a nice exit in the future. Higher revenue always means higher valuation. 70% was always too good to be true. It was not sustainable for 500PX and it can never be. Now the party is over and they're like everyone else.

So I wouldn't blame Thompson. He's just the messenger.

Untrue. I suggest you read a little about his history. This is his M.O.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #81 on: March 21, 2016, 21:12 »
+7
So I wouldn't blame Thompson. He's just the messenger.

He's a messenger that usually doesn't deliver good news. Kind of like the people that deliver eviction notices. 

Hongover

« Reply #82 on: March 21, 2016, 21:25 »
+2
So I wouldn't blame Thompson. He's just the messenger.

He's a messenger that usually doesn't deliver good news. Kind of like the people that deliver eviction notices.

Well, that's usually the messenger's job. And they get shot for it sometimes. He's a little more than a puppet in this whole debacle.

I'm reporting what I'm seeing across Silicon Valley. Startups and post-startup companies are making some tough decision. There have been a lot of layoffs, cutbacks, pivots and an aggressive push for more revenue. Our company has made some cuts as well. With the nearly impossible funding environment, these companies are pushing for 'sustainability'. That's the buzzword these days. The other option is laying off people and 500PX would rather screw the contributors than their employees.

« Reply #83 on: March 21, 2016, 21:40 »
+6
"We still believe it is important to reward the creators, which is why we will continue to give you an industry-leading royalty rate of 60% on images exclusive to 500px, while moving to a 30% rate for non-exclusive images."

I am sure I see only Standard licenses at 60%. All the Extended license Add-ons give 40%.

And again all this crap about "rewarding" the creators - Without the creators, there would be nothing to sell!

« Reply #84 on: March 21, 2016, 21:41 »
+18
So I wouldn't blame Thompson. He's just the messenger.

He's a messenger that usually doesn't deliver good news. Kind of like the people that deliver eviction notices.

Well, that's usually the messenger's job. And they get shot for it sometimes. He's a little more than a puppet in this whole debacle.

I'm reporting what I'm seeing across Silicon Valley. Startups and post-startup companies are making some tough decision. There have been a lot of layoffs, cutbacks, pivots and an aggressive push for more revenue. Our company has made some cuts as well. With the nearly impossible funding environment, these companies are pushing for 'sustainability'. That's the buzzword these days. The other option is laying off people and 500PX would rather screw the contributors than their employees.

The could also manage the company better to be 'sustainable'. Why not move to cheaper offices (they are downtown Toronto) or why not save money and resources on NOT re-designing a perfectly good recognizable logo. Of course, cutting commissions is much easier if you're only trying to increase profits in the short term. In the long term, they took something good and f***ed up, just like with Istock. But nobody cares about long term anymore. The formula is: Take a good company, f*** it up, make a quick buck, get out, buy a mansion, repeat.

« Reply #85 on: March 21, 2016, 21:43 »
+3
I'm just left wondering where it's all supposed to lead.  And why more investment would have come into 500px last year, if it was already doomed.  Just cutting commissions again and again - well, it's been tried.  It only works AFTER you have 50 million stock images in your archives, and a big customer base.   For 500px, this huge commission cut will just cost them the content and contributors that I would think they'd need, to build the business.  Where do they go from here?

« Reply #86 on: March 21, 2016, 21:50 »
+2
Getty has nothing to fear from 500px!

Did you ever think Getty has something to fear from 500px? It is partly funded by Visual China Group which has a long standing partnership with Getty Images that was just deepened by the Corbis deal.

Now a former Getty manager is hired by 500px to head the market.

Can't you guess already what the next exciting news will be? Let me write it for you:

"We are excited to announce a partnership with Getty Images that will allow more customers to see and buy your content. Of course you will still receive your usual 30% of the 20% Getty pays us. But you know what? We might drop the weekly upload limit, so you can give us your images faster than ever."

Sorry to disappoint, but no Getty deals on the horizon.

Kelly

I'd like to welcome Mr. Thompson to this forum... 

Hongover

« Reply #87 on: March 21, 2016, 22:03 »
+2
So I wouldn't blame Thompson. He's just the messenger.

He's a messenger that usually doesn't deliver good news. Kind of like the people that deliver eviction notices.

Well, that's usually the messenger's job. And they get shot for it sometimes. He's a little more than a puppet in this whole debacle.

I'm reporting what I'm seeing across Silicon Valley. Startups and post-startup companies are making some tough decision. There have been a lot of layoffs, cutbacks, pivots and an aggressive push for more revenue. Our company has made some cuts as well. With the nearly impossible funding environment, these companies are pushing for 'sustainability'. That's the buzzword these days. The other option is laying off people and 500PX would rather screw the contributors than their employees.

The could also manage the company better to be 'sustainable'. Why not move to cheaper offices (they are downtown Toronto) or why not save money and resources on NOT re-designing a perfectly good recognizable logo. Of course, cutting commissions is much easier if you're only trying to increase profits in the short term. In the long term, they took something good and f***ed up, just like with Istock. But nobody cares about long term anymore. The formula is: Take a good company, f*** it up, make a quick buck, get out, buy a mansion, repeat.

It's slightly more complicated than that. Pretend you're a 40 year old investor and you put $10 million into 500PX. There are 2 ways of getting your money back. The company goes public or the company exits (getting sold to a bigger company). If neither happens, your $10 million is stuck in this company. You can turn 50 years old and the money can still be tied up...so what do you do?

If you have the majority of the company, or if your vision is in line with other investors of the company, you/they can do a few things. You can 'nudge' the CEO to increase revenue and pursue buyers and if he doesn't, you can replace him with a puppet. 500PX could be gearing up to compete against the likes of Getty & Shuttershock...or they can seek one of them as a buyer...most likely Shutterstock since Getty is broke. Or they're getting on a fast track to IPO so the investors can cash out before they turn 50 years old.

Some people try to build a good company if they own the majority of the company. If the company is majority owned by investors, they're more interested in cashing out. They don't care as long as get their investment back 3-fold...or preferably 20-fold.

« Reply #88 on: March 21, 2016, 22:19 »
+14
...I'm reporting what I'm seeing across Silicon Valley. Startups and post-startup companies are making some tough decision. There have been a lot of layoffs, cutbacks, pivots and an aggressive push for more revenue...

The difference here is that the people getting scr*wed can (even if they typically don't) empty out the store overnight, leaving the business shuttered.

You might think that enlightened self interest would at least consider that cultivating contributors rather than viewing them as a cost to be minimized might be a strategy for a newcomer to get a foot in the door as they try to get the business going.

And I can and do blame messengers who can't even be honest and straightforward about what they're doing. More than the actions (which are bad enough) it's the utter lack of respect that the stinking pile of corporate-speak represents that destroys any empathy I might otherwise feel. It's just business? That's not an excuse in my book.

« Reply #89 on: March 21, 2016, 22:32 »
0
...I'm reporting what I'm seeing across Silicon Valley. Startups and post-startup companies are making some tough decision. There have been a lot of layoffs, cutbacks, pivots and an aggressive push for more revenue...

The difference here is that the people getting scr*wed can (even if they typically don't) empty out the store overnight, leaving the business shuttered.

You might think that enlightened self interest would at least consider that cultivating contributors rather than viewing them as a cost to be minimized might be a strategy for a newcomer to get a foot in the door as they try to get the business going.

And I can and do blame messengers who can't even be honest and straightforward about what they're doing. More than the actions (which are bad enough) it's the utter lack of respect that the stinking pile of corporate-speak represents that destroys any empathy I might otherwise feel. It's just business? That's not an excuse in my book.

I would be willing to do that if it helps anybody else. To me it makes no difference. There are no sales for me there.

« Reply #90 on: March 21, 2016, 23:03 »
+4
Quote
... We still believe it is important to reward the creators, which is why we will continue to give you an industry-leading royalty rate of 60% on images exclusive to 500px, while moving to a 30% rate for non-exclusive images...

How do they release this garbage without even fact-checking it? "Industry-leading," yeah right.


« Reply #91 on: March 22, 2016, 00:18 »
+12
So I wouldn't blame Thompson. He's just the messenger.

He's a messenger that usually doesn't deliver good news. Kind of like the people that deliver eviction notices.

Yeah.  Great reputation this guy has earned.   Any stock company wanting a sociopath hatchet man to  try polish some turd of an announcement,  Kelly Thompson's the man for the job.

« Reply #92 on: March 22, 2016, 00:33 »
+6
Next week another new agency will make empty promises on a new site with weak backing and software and all the people here will go upload everything they have to get into the new place. Then when the new place has all kinds of favorable comments from the suckers, they will make cuts and changes, because they have the collection they need from the desperate suckers, to keep going when the good people leave.

You have seen this happen over and over and keep helping these people open and take advantage and cut prices, putting the good part of the market in the trash.

Stop helping these new places take advantage of us!

The lack of watermark should have convinced us from the start. I never joined. I'm happy to say "I told you so!"

« Reply #93 on: March 22, 2016, 01:31 »
+2
Let's take a different perspective on this.

They've gone through 7 rounds of financing and they've pretty much gave the majority of the company away to investors. In 2014, the founder & CEO of the company was ousted because he was basically being too nice to the community instead of making money off of them.

With pressure from the board, the new CEO needed to start making money or else. Oh, let's not forget that investors in Silicon Valley are incredibly nervous right now and has been pressing their investments toward a path of profitability. And any chance of 500PX getting more funding was pretty slim in this funding environment.

And all the the pressure and nervousness has led to this. Investors want higher revenue so it can possibility go public one day or secure a nice exit in the future. Higher revenue always means higher valuation. 70% was always too good to be true. It was not sustainable for 500PX and it can never be. Now the party is over and they're like everyone else.

So I wouldn't blame Thompson. He's just the messenger.

You can just copy and paste this to Pond5 thread.

It's coming...it's a pattern.

Help them grow & get bitten in the end!  8)

« Reply #94 on: March 22, 2016, 01:48 »
+2
yadyada why does it make you happy to revel in your colleagues misery?

« Reply #95 on: March 22, 2016, 02:47 »
+9
How do i write to 500px? Does anyone know the email address of their support team? Found it.

i am also considering to close the account completly. I really dont want another place filled with drama and abrupt changes.

Even if they had regular sales and I would decide to send exclusive content, there is no guarantee they wont pull another stunt in a few months or a year and all royalties get dropped again. Maybe to 20/40 or even less.

Trust is the most important commodity in business.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2016, 03:00 by cobalt »

« Reply #96 on: March 22, 2016, 03:12 »
+6
Quote
...from the email:
"We still believe it is important to reward the creators, which is why we will continue to give you an industry-leading royalty rate of 60% on images exclusive to 500px..."


This is simply not true. As an example, Zoonar paid 60% for non-exclusive material!


I had much more sales with Picfair (non exclusive) than with 500px and they pay me 100% of what I set up (and I don't use microstock pricing anywhere)...
Possible? Possible.

30% from non exclusive (most people are non-ex) is faaaaaar away from "an industry-leading royalty rate".

Edit

...
 Deleted all my photos. So, I don't have to worry about them anymore.


I'm sorry to tell you this, but you better check out in Google for your images shared out there. I think I have wrote about it many times long time ago... I've found my images shared taken (also without linking back) from 500px on Tumblr and other places that had no my permission to use my work, so I asked 500px what will they do to remove it and stop for future. They told me it's really ok and they like when people share our images (search for the old threads), and I can use Google DMCA to remove my work from the places as 500px can not do this. So I wasted my time on uploading to 500px only to find out that I need to waste more time on removing my work from very weird places.
Without paying me for the usage in their articles.
I removed my images from many places. Dozens, hundreds then. Blogged, reblogged, shared everywhere. Social media, you know...
And I still find my images from 500px in many places where I can not remove them...

So, if you delete images from 500px they still can be shared out there...

Edit

"Would you be happy with selling an unlimited license to one of your pictures, forever, for $175? ..."


Also this is interesting to read. Worth to remind some forgotten details for some of you, who may have any doubts ;)
« Last Edit: March 22, 2016, 06:14 by Ariene »

« Reply #97 on: March 22, 2016, 03:12 »
+1

« Reply #98 on: March 22, 2016, 03:14 »
0
Quote

We will be testing prices for the standard licenses of the Core and Prime collections to validate our price offerings starting on April 4. This will take place over a period of a few months. You may observe prices changing during this testing period.


I wonder how it looks in a few months!
So glad I chose to build my webpage through 500px.....

« Reply #99 on: March 22, 2016, 04:47 »
+21
Quoted from Linkedin

"I have been with iStockphoto since 2006 and Kelly has been a wonderful COO! One of the amazing things is how iStock listens to their contributors  ;D Kelly is not afraid to answer questions and see things from different angles. He is dedicated to making iStock the best and he has not forgotten the little guy  ;D like myself in the process. I feel this is a major reason iStock is the best content provider on the web. Kelly would be a true asset to any company  ??? so I hope he stays for many more years at iStockphoto."

Laugh ! I almost choked on my corn flakes!

Any way kkthompson I deleted all my worthless images from your wonderful site. They must be worthless becuase they only deserved 30% instead of 70%




 

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