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Author Topic: New MicroStock site concept -- need feedback  (Read 25606 times)

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« on: March 26, 2011, 12:16 »
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I need feedback from the microstock community on a proposed project.  My concept may not be new or novel, so first of all, that's a question I need answered. A key component, is that it will be owned by the Artists / Photographers...not some huge conglomerate. (Is this currently being done by any other microstock site?)

I think it is ridiculous that an artist makes less than half of the "sale" price of the creative.  Yes, marketing is expensive, as well as a website with all the bells and whistles, there's no reason that the artist should struggle, while the "conglomerate" makes millions upon millions.

Why am I doing this?  Well...there are a lot of reasons, but there are basically 2:  #1.  I'm in it for myself :) ....I want to make a small percentage off of each sale, and own a small (yet majority stake in the company);  #2.  I'm in it for YOU...you "the artist" should get the majority of the money made on the sale....not a piddly stake.

Each artist that uploads to this site, will own part of the company (if you desire).  The amount you own, will be figured based on your sales volume.  And you will not only make money on the art you submit -- other revenue streams will be available as well.  You will share in any advertising income, as well as income from tangible goods (such as t-shirts, posters, etc).

Sorry to ramble on, but I am excited to get started and I need some feedback.  So...is this the best place to post a comprehensive breakdown of the project, so I can start building up my "partner" base?

(I know there will be naysayers...forums are full of them; I am open to constructive criticism -- but regardless, this is going to happen, so if you want to "Get Rich Slow," then get on board!)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 13:35 by eStockArt »


« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2011, 12:49 »
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first step would be to review the numerous other ideas & discussions on this forum prioposing what you propose. then show us how your idea will be different.  a solid proposal which specifically addresses previous problems will still be met by slepticism, but you'll have a better chance

« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 13:38 »
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I'd probably be excited to join, but wouldn't be interested in a partial ownership of the company unless I had a written confirmation from all of the agencies I submit to that I'm not violating my contract by doing so.

IMO it would be great to have an option to join without "owning" part of the company, possibly with a decreased royalty.
And I'm not a nay-sayer, I'm all for it, if it can be done without breaching the agency contracts.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 13:41 by ThomasAmby »

« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 13:53 »
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What's your real name?

« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2011, 14:29 »
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a solid proposal which specifically addresses previous problems will still be met by slepticism
Slepticism, noun, a combination of drowsy disinterest and outraged disbelief.

Yes, that probably describes it pretty well.

« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2011, 15:43 »
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first step would be to review the numerous other ideas & discussions on this forum prioposing what you propose. then show us how your idea will be different.  a solid proposal which specifically addresses previous problems will still be met by slepticism, but you'll have a better chance

Please tell me the best place in the forums, to start.  I know there must be hundreds of similar posts as mine...and I am hoping that there is no one that has proposed that the submitters actually own the company.  I think that's where the difference lies.  On top of that, I am a Graphic professional and own graphic & printing based companies -- so there will be a strong emphasis on quality.  Every image must have useful value.  I would rather have less images and better quality than a million "garbage" images that wastes the client's time. (Time = Money)

« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2011, 15:47 »
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I'd probably be excited to join, but wouldn't be interested in a partial ownership of the company unless I had a written confirmation from all of the agencies I submit to that I'm not violating my contract by doing so.

IMO it would be great to have an option to join without "owning" part of the company, possibly with a decreased royalty.
And I'm not a nay-sayer, I'm all for it, if it can be done without breaching the agency contracts.

Good point....no use in biting the hand that's currently feeding you.  My concept is based on the entrepreneur within each of us...however, those that do not wish to have ownership for various reasons, should be given the opportunity to "opt out" while still realizing a phenomenal royalty rate.

(This is the type of feedback I need...thanks!)

« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2011, 15:47 »
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2011, 15:52 »
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a solid proposal which specifically addresses previous problems will still be met by slepticism
Slepticism, noun, a combination of drowsy disinterest and outraged disbelief.

Yes, that probably describes it pretty well.

I understand that.  I am prepared to hear "no thanks" plenty.  But there will be a select group of pioneers out there that will see the big picture, and will be rewarded accordingly.  This is not at all about what "I" can do, but what can be done when talented people come together with a common goal. 

I am a little perplexed though....what part of my plan (though very little has been disclosed) would prompt "outraged disbelief?"  I mean...if someone wants no part of it, then why get worked up over it?

« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2011, 16:22 »
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I am a little perplexed though....what part of my plan (though very little has been disclosed) would prompt "outraged disbelief?"  I mean...if someone wants no part of it, then why get worked up over it?
I think that some IS exclusives see any new site as a possible threat to IS. That means a threat to their income. And, also, it is emotional: (most) IS exclusives love IS to a certain extent, so they must hate all other sites that same extent.

Then, some people are iconoclasts by nature, and feel compelled to attack any new idea.

« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2011, 17:01 »
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I am hoping that there is no one that has proposed that the submitters actually own the company.  I think that's where the difference lies. 

Yeah, we've already visited that one several times.  Thanks for PMing me your name, but you need to do it here.  No reason to be all secretive and such, especially when you're asking people to give you content that you will sell and make a profit from.

« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2011, 17:39 »
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I am a little perplexed though....what part of my plan (though very little has been disclosed) would prompt "outraged disbelief?"  I mean...if someone wants no part of it, then why get worked up over it?
I think that some IS exclusives see any new site as a possible threat to IS. That means a threat to their income. And, also, it is emotional: (most) IS exclusives love IS to a certain extent, so they must hate all other sites that same extent.

Then, some people are iconoclasts by nature, and feel compelled to attack any new idea.

That's understandable I guess.  However, I would think that anything that happens in the microstock community that is skewed toward artist-control as opposed to company control would be welcomed; as it can encourage positive change.  IS...being the juggernaut it is, will not be threatened by any start-up, but this project will fill a niche for the artist that desires more control.

velocicarpo

« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2011, 17:44 »
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I am very interested in any new Project and appreciate any approach to create a new, more contributor oriented agency.

Some People here on the forum seem to think that it is somehow "cool" to express negativism, overly harsh criticism and scepticism towards new Projects and those who have the courage to invest something. Don`t listen to them.

I am pleased too, to see nowadays a new line of Microstock Companies which are much more enjoyable (although still small) than the first line, old school companies who refuse to innovate (e.g. Cutcaster, graphicleftovers, stockfresh)

What do you have in mind estockart? What is your concept?

« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2011, 18:35 »
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I'm always willing to listen to new ideas as well. Like Thomas, I'm not sure I'd want to actually own a piece of another company. Putting my artwork there and selling it is enough for me.

« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2011, 18:55 »
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I am hoping that there is no one that has proposed that the submitters actually own the company.  I think that's where the difference lies. 

Yeah, we've already visited that one several times.  Thanks for PMing me your name, but you need to do it here.  No reason to be all secretive and such, especially when you're asking people to give you content that you will sell and make a profit from.

Profile has been updated.

When you say "we've visited that one several times" -- are you saying that you have tried this before and it didn't work?  If so, why?

« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2011, 19:16 »
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I am very interested in any new Project and appreciate any approach to create a new, more contributor oriented agency.

Some People here on the forum seem to think that it is somehow "cool" to express negativism, overly harsh criticism and scepticism towards new Projects and those who have the courage to invest something. Don`t listen to them.

I am pleased too, to see nowadays a new line of Microstock Companies which are much more enjoyable (although still small) than the first line, old school companies who refuse to innovate (e.g. Cutcaster, graphicleftovers, stockfresh)

What do you have in mind estockart? What is your concept?

I understand the negativity, but I started my own company right out of college (20 yrs ago) and it is still going strong today.  So....I've learned to grow a thick skin.  I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel here...there are some fine companies out there that do a great job.  However, in my opinion, many of them are impersonal and seem to only care about the "company store."  With you, they're millionaires, without you...well, they're still millionaires -- so if you fold up and go away, they don't really care, now do they?

Don't get me wrong, I want to make money too.  If I provide a portal for you to sell your awesome creations -- then I think I deserve a commission, but not the "prime cut." The way it works now, at least when you go through the "big dogs," is that they grab the steak and give you the potato.

As far as what I have in mind, here are a few key points: (I am counting on my "partners" to help me in total development though...which is why I need feedback on things that need to be improved upon)

Higher Royalty rate
Ownership in the company (if desired) / Revenue-sharing plan
Bulk upload portal (fast, efficient)
Cross-merchandising (t-shirts, posters, prints, promotional products -- this is my real area of expertise)
Motto / Creed:  For Artists, By Artists

I know a lot about Vector art and illustration, and have a lot of contacts in these areas.  I understand copyright law, trademarking, licensing, etc.  Areas I am not real informed on would be photography, audio and video.  Unless I acquire some heavy hitters in these areas, I will start with vector and illustration.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 23:48 by eStockArt »

« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2011, 19:23 »
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Let me get back to my original question...where do I need to post this project on the forums?  I don't want to ruffle any feathers by posting in the wrong spot!
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 22:47 by eStockArt »

« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2011, 19:30 »
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I'm always willing to listen to new ideas as well. Like Thomas, I'm not sure I'd want to actually own a piece of another company. Putting my artwork there and selling it is enough for me.

Well of course we're not going to "force" anybody into ownership -- but the key point is "artist control."  There are going to be other opportunities to profit from your images as well -- as I've mentioned: t-shirts, posters...other promo products.  Also, the site will allow for the client to contact you if they would like an image altered, or get you to produce a similar image. For instance, let's say you have an image of a Shark holding a baseball bat, but you're client needs that same Shark dunking a basketball.  He won't have to search for a "Shark, Basketball."  He will just go straight to you and tell you what he wants.

BTW...your work is very nice, and exactly the quality-level we would need.  I hope you get on board!

« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2011, 23:42 »
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I am new to the forums, but I have a "big idea" ;) and the financial means to see it through.  I just want to make sure I post the information in the correct place in these forums.


Let me get back to my original question...where do I need to post this project on the forums?  I don't want to ruffle any feathers by posting in the wrong spot!



Hi Todd,

I think the category you posted in is most appropriate but you could probably get away with posting in the following category http://www.microstockgroup.com/new-sites-general/.

I'm not sure which one of these sites your developing but I would definitely add your website to the main subject of your post.


Example: Ideas Wanted - TurnerGraphics.com


   

« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2011, 00:03 »
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I am new to the forums, but I have a "big idea" ;) and the financial means to see it through.  I just want to make sure I post the information in the correct place in these forums.


Let me get back to my original question...where do I need to post this project on the forums?  I don't want to ruffle any feathers by posting in the wrong spot!



Hi Todd,

I think the category you posted in is most appropriate but you could probably get away with posting in the following category http://www.microstockgroup.com/new-sites-general/.

I'm not sure which one of these sites your developing but I would definitely add your website to the main subject of your post.


Example: Ideas Wanted - TurnerGraphics.com


   


I saw the "new site" option, but wasn't sure if I needed an active site to post.  I may put it there and see what happens.

All of those sites you list are mine -- but none of them are applicable to this project (except eStockArt of course).  However, this is not the only domain name I have purchased for this project.  I have several...but the decision on which one to "brand" will be made once I have the initial partner group in place.  I said all that just to say that it may be a bit premature to put links to the site as of yet.

« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2011, 04:55 »
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Hi Todd, there have been a few sites that have tried paying the contributors a big commission and so far none of them have been successful.  I don't understand why people continue uploading to istock when I'm sure their costs have come down over the years but they have cut commissions.  It makes no sense to me but I think you need to be a psychology expert to understand why big companies can pay so little to their contributors while increasing their profits every year.  There's a huge fear factor, people don't want to miss out on earning money by making a stand.  They see the amount of money they can make with the sites that pay low commissions and the small earnings from new sites.  They are unwilling to back new sites.  Buyers usually stick with the sites they know, they aren't interested in new sites with smaller collections of images.

I think the only way to break out of this horrible situation would be to go to the buyers and get them interested in a site that's better for all of us.  Pay us higher commissions and we can keep prices low.  We can spend more making new images and it will keep the best contributors motivated to stay in this business.  At the moment, a lot of us can't see a long future in microstock.

I really hope you don't put any money in to this without working out how to attract buyers to the site and keep them there.  Contributors have a real lack of patience with new sites, many of us are wondering if it's worth using new sites at all.  Lots of people upload there portfolios and delete them in a few months if there's low sales.  There's a real barrier to entry that most new site owners haven't anticipated.  If you can work out how to make your site different to those that have failed in recent years, you will make money but the odds are heavily stacked against you.

I'm sure one day someone will come up with the solution and we will all use a site that pays better commissions and I really hope you're the man to do this.  I wish you lots of luck.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 08:47 by sharpshot »

« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2011, 05:59 »
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I'm sure one day someone will come up with the solution and we will all use a site that pays better commissions




Crossing my fingers :)

« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2011, 07:03 »
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I am a little perplexed though....what part of my plan (though very little has been disclosed) would prompt "outraged disbelief?"  I mean...if someone wants no part of it, then why get worked up over it?
I think that some IS exclusives see any new site as a possible threat to IS. That means a threat to their income. And, also, it is emotional: (most) IS exclusives love IS to a certain extent, so they must hate all other sites that same extent.

Then, some people are iconoclasts by nature, and feel compelled to attack any new idea.

Reality check.

"Iconoclast" - Dictionary definition, "One who exposes or destroys impositions or shams; one who attacks cherished beliefs; a radical."

Exactly the opposite of your understanding of the word.

« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2011, 07:09 »
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I wish you well with your idea Todd but I do wonder if you appreciate the likely cost of entry to the microstock market nowadays?

The last agency that started-up and made a sustained impact was probably Fotolia in Nov 2005. To gain credibility and the portfolios necessary to grow the library they had to pay contributors 20c-50c per image accepted. Back then there was probably less than 1M microstock images in existence. Today you'd probably need a minimum of 3M images just to offer the choice that buyers have come to expect. Then you'll need to finance a heavy marketing campaign for at least a couple of years.

My guess is that a serious new entry would have to be prepared to sink something like $10M of start-up capital into the project. However I reckon the total microstock market is worth roughly $500M annually and is also eye-wateringly profitable for the 'Big 5' agencies that dominate it. If you can grab a 10% share of that market then the $10M entry-fee is going to look very cheap.

« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2011, 07:29 »
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Hi Todd
Thanks for posting your personal info here, it helps to know who we are talking to, especially when you are asking for other people's trust.

We have a lot in common and we're almost neighbors. I'm a freelance graphic/web designer in Greenville.

I've been in microstock since 2005. I only have a port of about 600 images, but I would be interested in your idea. Not as an owner, though. I don't mind paying a royalty to an agency but it has gotten way out of hand. 85% to them is WAY too much.

I will continue to follow your thread and see what develops. I wish you success with your venture.


 

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